That the Order of the House to go into Committee of Ways and Means and any motion in reference thereto be made the first order of the day after Questions on Wednesday, March 19th, and all subsequent days until the Debate is completed.
Bill (No. 52) respecting the St. Clair and Erie Ship Canal Company-Hon. Mr. Tisdale. Bill (No. 53) respecting the Canadian Northern Railway Company.-Mr. Davis.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE.
Motion agreed to.
SELECT STANDING COMMITTEE ON RAILWAYS.
I would move, seconded by Mr. Borden (Halifax) :
That the name of Mr. Robinson' (Elgin) be added to the Select Standing Committee on Railways, Canals and Telegraph lines.
Motion agreed to. *
Bill (No. 43) respecting the Vancouver, Victoria and Eastern Railway and Navigation Company.-Mr. Maxwell. Bill (No. 44) respecting the Tilsonburg, Lake Erie and Pacific Railway Company.- Mr. McCarthy. Bill (No. 47) to incorporate the Canadian Manufacturers' Association.-Mr. Campbell. Bill (No. 48) to incorporate the Montreal and St. Lawrence Bridge Company.-Mr. Madore. Bill (No. 49) to confer on the Commissioner of Patents certain powers for the relief of John Westren.-Mr. Campbell. Bill (No. 50) respecting the Niagara, St. Catharines and Toronto Railway Company.- Mr. Calvert. Bill (No. 51) to incorporate the Dyment Banking Loan and Savings Company.-Mr. McCarthy.
CONSIDERED IN COMMITTEE-THIRD READINGS.
Bill (No. 13) respecting the Canada and Michigan Bridge and Tunnel Company.-Mr. Cowan. Bill (No. 15) respecting the River St. Clair Railway Bridge and Tunnel Company.-Mr. Ingram. Bill (No. 18) to incorporate the Velvet (Rossland) Mine Railway Company.-Mr. Galliher. Bill (No. 20) to incorporate the Battleford and Lake Lenore Railway Company.-Mr. Calvert.
CANADA SOUTHERN RAILWAY COMPANY.
House in Committee on Bill (No. 7) An Act respecting the Canada Southern Railway Company.-Mr. Ingram. On section 1.
I would suggest, Mr. Chairman, that the points for the commencement and termination of these branches should be more definitely set forth in the Bill. Is there not an additional clause to be proposed covering this point ?
I may explain that the Bill was laid over for a time in order to allow opportunity for full consideration. It was taken up at a time, when, I believe, the hon. gentleman (Mr. Sproule) was absent, and passed in its present form by the unanimous vote of the committee.
It was explained that the Canada Southern Railway Company were unable to fix definitely the terminal points of their proposed branches on the Niagara river, because bridges which it was designed to use had not yet been located. One is expected to cross at Grand Island, and another to be built in the neighbourhood of Queenston. The branches will not be constructed until the bridges are located, and, in the meantime, they cannot define the point exactly to which the lines are intended to run. The description is as definite as it can be made at the present time.
Bill reported, read the third time, and passed.
WAYS AND MEANS-THE BUDGET.
That the House res five Itself Into Committee to consider the Ways and Means 'or raising the Supply to be granted to His Majesty.
He said : Mr. Speaker, it is my happy
privilege to present to the House to-day another chapter in the continued story of
Canada's prosperity. A year ago, when speaking on an occasion similar to this, and congratulating the House on the then happy state of affairs, I expressed the opinion that the country had about reached the crest of the wave of business activity. I did not anticipate any immediate depression or any severe depression at all. What I suggested was that we might look forward to a period of check, a period during which we would not continue the rapid advance of the past-a period of rest after which the Dominion would again go forward by leaps and bounds. Some hon. gentlemen opposite thought that my view was too hopeful. Their observation of the signs of the times led them to believe that we had already entered upon a period of depression. In view of the operations of the year which has since passed and of the present outlook for the future we are able to see that my own anticipations and those of my hon. friends opposite have both been agreeably disappointed. The business condition of the country has proved very satisfactory, better than my own expectations, much better than the less hopeful views of my hon. friends on the other side. In a country so vast as ours, with such varied conditions, it would be too much to expect that every section and every industry would be able to make the same gratifying report of prosperity. But I think I can truly say that during the past few years we have approached as near to that happy condition as could reasonably be hoped for. In nearly all the great branches of industry, the past year has been one of activity and prosperity. In the paramount industry of agriculture, which must long continue to lie the very foundation of our prosperity, the results of the year have been most gratifying, especially in Manitoba and the North-west Territories, where increased acreage under cultivation and a most bountiful harvest gave us vast stores of grain which have taxed our facilities of transportation to the utmost, and warned us that larger provision must be made for the handling of the treasures of the great west.
The one disappointing feature of the year's affairs has been the census returns, which show a growth of population somewhat less than many had hoped for. But while these returns are for the moment disappointing, they are by no means discouraging. It is well known that during the first part of the ten years term there was comparatively little development of our country. But for the last five years Canada has been making very rapid advance. If it were possible to discriminate in the census between the two periods, it would probably be seen that practically the whole increase of population has taken place within the last five years, and viewed in that light the returns are encouraging. Fortunately, the condition of Canada in receut