Bill (No. 82) respecting the Rathbun Company.-Mr. Britton.
Bill (No. 83) to incorporate the Kootenay Central Railway Company.-Mr. Galliher.
Bill (No. 84) respecting the Alberta Railway and Coal Company.-Mr. Oliver.
Bill (No. 85) to incorporate the Alberta Central Railway Company.-Mr. Oliver.
Bill (No. 80) respecting the Trans-Canada Railway Company-Mr. Malouin.
The MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR (Hon. Clifford Sifton) :
1. A petition was received from the immigration commissioner at Winnipeg, under cover of a letter dated July 10, 1900, purporting to be signed by twenty-nine of the Doukhobors, making certain objections to the land, marriage and registration laws.
2. The department sent a copy of the petition to Mr. Maude, in order that he might communicate with the signers of the petition and remove their misapprehensions in regard to Canadian laws.
3. The department is not aware that the Doukhobors bad Issued an appeal to all the nations of the world, asking if they would be given a refuge from Canadian tyranny. Tlie department is informed that a Russian (not a Doukhobor) named Bojianski undertook to make trouble with the Doukhobors. He got up the original petition referred to. and has now caused to be printed a document. to which reference is made in the question, in a Winnipeg paper known as The Voice. The department has no reason to believe that the utterances of Mr. Bojianski represent the views of the 7.500 Doukhobors who are settled in the North-west, or any substantial portion of them.
The MINISTER OF RAILWAYS AND CANALS (Hon. A. G. Blair) :
1. In the supplementary estimates for 1899-1900, the sum of $1,500 was voted as a contribution towards the renewal of Cowan's bridge over Pigeon river.
2. No report has been received that the bridge has been completed.
3. The money has not been paid over.
4. Because no report was received of the bridge having been completed, nor an application made for an inspection of it. The appropriation lapsed on August 15, 1900.
5. The government is making further inquiries before deciding to ask parliament to revote the amount. We are led to make these inquiries in consequence of the statement that has been made to us that the hon. member for South Victoria, in the course of the recent election campaign, in the western part of the riding, denounced the government for having granted this aid, declaring that the expenditure was unnecessary and extravagant. We are endeavouring to ascertain as to the accuracy of this report, and inquiring again as to whether there is any doubt about the propriety of the appropriation before making up our minds on the subject.
Subtopic: COWAN'S BRIDGE, VICTORIA COUNTY, ONT.
1. Has the attention of the government been drawn to an issue of ' The Province,' of Vancouver, B.C., dated November 24, 1900, in which a report of an interview with the Hon. Clifford Sifton, Minister of Interior, is given and of which the following is a portion, viz.:-
' I may as well tell you the importance of the mining industries of this province have never been so fully borne in upon me as during this last trip of mine. It is a subject of great scope and one that must be treated with all possible care and consideration. I shall therefore urge upon my colleagues the advisability of appointing a strong and thoroughly competent commission to inquire into the whole matter and report at an early date. The commission, if appointed-and I have jevery reason to believe it will be-would deal not only with mining but also with matters of smelting and refining; in fact, it would take up and report upon the whole connection which the mining industry has with the general business of the country, including of course its relation to the customs tariff and the bearing which that has on it.' Also the Minister of Interior stated that action on the report of the said commission might safely be expected within a year from that date.
2. Has the government decided to appoint said commission?
3. If so, when? If not, why not?
Subtopic: B. C. IMMIGRATION INDUSTRIES.
1. Is the government aware that Mr. J. B. McArthur, president of the Rossland Board of Trade and Chamber of Mines, and also president of the election committee of Mr. W. A. Galliher, M.P., made the following remarks at an interview which members of the Rossland Board of Trade had with the Minister of Mines for British Columbia, during last autumn, viz.:-
' Mr. Sifton is going to take up the question of the advertisement of the mineral resources of British Columbia, and in fact of the whole of Canada. I am not prepared at the present time to disclose ail he says,, but he is going to take it up energetically in connection with the Yukon. He is also going to take up the silver-lead question, and there is no doubt whatever in his mind that the government will protect that industry, and an important announcement will be made by him shortly, in fact, something will be done within the next sixty days.'
2. Was Mr. McArthur authorized by the hon. the Minister of the Interior to make such a statement?
3. Is it the intention of the government to afford adequate protection to the silver-lead industry?
4. As the sixty days mentioned are now long past, when may the important announcement by the hon. the Minister of the Interior be expected?
Subtopic: B. C. MINERAL RESOURCES.