That from this date to the end of the Session Government Orders have precedence on Thursdays immediately after Questions to be put by members.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE.
Motion agreed to.
ACCOMMODATION FOR COMMITTEES.
Mr. T. S. SPROULE (East Grey).
Before the orders of the day are called, I wish to bring to the attention of the government the fact that the committee room in the tower used by the Committee on Agriculture and Colonization, is entirely too small for the needs of that committee ; and, as the old railway committee room has been vacated since the new one has been finished, and is comparatively idle, I think we ought to be allowed to use that room, which is not occupied except on days when the Committee on Agriculture and Colonization does not usually sit, and therefore it seems to me that it could be used by that committee without inconvenience to any other.
Mr. A. CAMPBELL (Kent).
That would hardly do. The Banking and Commerce Committee meets there, also the Public Accounts Committee, and I understand that the Senate Railway Committee is going to meet there. So that I think that room will be fairly occupied for the rest of the session.
The Banking and Commerce Committee could surely use the Private Bill's Committee room, which is vacant most of the time. I think the Public Accounts Committee is not so large that it could not use the tower room conveniently.
The MINISTER OF FINANCE (Hon. W.
S. Fielding). The Public Accounts Committee is large and usually has a number of witnesses, and I would not like to take the step recommended by the hon. gentleman if it would interfere with the meetings of that committee. With regard to the Senate, I hope that arrangements may be come to under which the Senate Railway Committee
can use the Railway Committee room on alternate days. There are no reasons why we should not come to a friendly understanding and avoid any difficulty. If several committees are called on the same day, of course there may be confusion, but the chairmen of the respective committees can easily arrange so as to prevent any trouble of that kind.
WAYS AND MEANS-THE BUDGET.
House resumed adjourned debate on the proposed motion of the Minister of Finance (Hon. Mr. Fielding) : That Mr. Speaker do now leave the Chair for the House to go into committee to consider of the Ways and Means for raising the Supply to be granted to His Majesty ; and the proposed motion of Mr. Borden (Halifax) in amendment thereto.
A good deal has been said by hon. gentlemen opposite, Mr. Speaker, regarding the increased expenditure of this country, and that is a subject which perhaps has not been dealt with on this side as fully as it might be. In view of what these hon. gentlemen opposite have said and in view also of the feeling which, I am free to admit, may exist to some extent in the minds of sincere believers in Liberal principles and firm supporters of this government, that we have not been faithful to the instructions given to us or to the platform of 1893, I would like this afternoon to tax the patience of the House somewhat by entering into the details and giving figures bearing on our expenditure. 1 know that it is not very pleasant for the House to have to listen to a long array of figures, nor is it at all agreeable to me to enter into these somewhat dry details, and I shall endeavour to be as brief as possible and weary the House as little as I possibly can in this respect.
Borne hon. members of the opposition have charged my hon. colleague the Finance Minister with not having put his case fairly, but to my mind he gave us an honest, clear and fair statement. In fact I think that he. put the case which might be urged against the government in a stronger light than was necessary. He informed the House that he anticipated having to add some millions to the public debt tliis year. I tbink that, in stating the amount be did he took the view of one wiho was anxious to present rather the least hopeful view ot the future, and thus, like a wise financier, err on the safe side by giving a forecast which would be more likely to result in an agreeable disappointment to the people than the reverse. I am in hopes, judging by the trade returns and the financial situation, as I view it, that our expenditure will fall short of the figures mentioned by the Minister of Finance, and that it will be found that my hon. colleague, in his budget speech, Ken. Mr. FIELDING.
presented a case against the government stronger than the facts would warrant.
My hon. friend, the leader of the opposition, gave us a statement of the increases under the various heads of expenditure, but there he stopped. He did not enter into any comparisons. He made no allowance for the altered condition of affairs at present compared with those of the years preceding this administration. The hon. member for Centre Toronto (Mr. Osier) also referred to the increase of expenditure in a general way. It is, however, very easy to make general statements, but much more difficult to particularize. I have taken the trouble to scrutinize the various expenditures, and at the risk of wearying the House, I propose to give the results of my researches, and I am convinced I shall be able to demonstrate, to the satisfaction of all fair-minded men, that comparing service with service, and taking into account the rapid development of the country during the last five years, its great increase in population-
some say even seventy millions of dollars in the expenditure. I ask fair-minded men, in judging of the increased expenditure, to take into account the difference of the circumstances of the country now and in bygone days. A business man's expenses increase with the growth of his business-so with a nation. The government had to keep pace with the advance movement. It would have been remiss in its duty if it had failed to do so. Bearing these facts in mind-the growth in the trade of the country and the evident increase that we have in the population-let us proceed to a scrutiny of the expenditure. We will take first the ordinary, the controllable expenditure. For the purposes of this comparison I take the year 1894-95 and compare it with the year just closed. I take the year 1894-95 because it is well known and will not be denied-at any rate it cannot be successfully contradicted- that the expenditure accounts for 1896 under hon. gentlemen opposite were not completed accounts. I know that in my own department amounts were left over to be paid after the year had elapsed. It was an election year and the full expenditure was not shown. Therefore, I take the year 1894-95. The ordinary controllable expenditure for 1901 was $46,866,367. In 1894-95, the ordinary expenditure was $38,132,005. These figures show an increase in 1901 over 1895 of $8,734,362.
Now on the face of it this looks large, but let us consider the details before passing judgment. I propose to go through all the departments, and thus afford an opportunity to any hon. gentleman who follows me to point out which of these particular expenditures he takes exception to. I call upon them to do that; and I mention to you, Mr. Speaker, right here, that the position of the opposition at this present moment is one that absolutely justifies every dollar of expenditure that has been made, and every dollar that has been added to the public debt. Why do I say that ? Why, Sir, the Minister of Finance has made his budget speech, he has given the fact that our expenditure has been increased ; he has not hidden the fact that on ordinary expenditure there has been an increase ; he has not hidden the fact that on capital expenditure there has been an increase ; he has not hidden the fact that there has been an addition to the public debt. These hon. gentlemen know that, and now is the time, now is the opportunity, if they dare do so, to offer an amendment and have it fairly debated. It was their duty to do it, to put a resolution before you, Mr. Speaker, declaring that the expenditure was unwise, unjustifiable, but they have not done it; and the fact that they have not done it proves conclusively to my mind that, they themselves being the judges, being conversant with the public accounts and the state of the country, are satisfied that the extra expenditure has been well and wisely made,
Hon. Mr. PATERSON..
and that there is no fault to be found with it. Sir, they do not venture to do so. If ever there was a time to challenge that expenditure it is now. It is very easy for them to rise and make speeches and let them go broadcast throughout the country, but the way for them to show that they are in earnest is to place themselves upon record against these expenditures
And so we will.
But you have not done it, and this is the time to do it when the financial statement is being discussed. The hon. gentleman sees the weakness of the position. Instead of introducing an amendment, an amendment so vague in itself that we cannot tell what it is, a thing that has reference to something that is not clear even in their own minds-instead of introducing that amendment, if they believe their own statements that there has been unjustifiable expenditure, why it was their bounden duty to move an amendment to that effect, and place it in your hands challenging the administration of the affairs of this country and dividing the House upon it; and, Sir, we would not have shrunk from the test and from the discussion that would have ensued. Let me go through these departments in detail, and as I do so-1 think hon. gentlemen will agree with me that while there has been an increased expenditure, necessitated by the circumstances and conditions of the country, I think they will admit there is nothing to be alarmed about. Take the first item, the sinking fund, there is an increase in that of $478,025, Nobody is alarmed about that, it is simply a cross entry,, that is all. In immigration therp is an increase of $249,077, nearly a quarter of a million dollars. Now perhaps hon. members opposite join this in the general statement that there has been an unjustifiable increase in every department of the government. But what are the facts with reference to immigration ? Have we had full value for the expenditure under that head ?
No, does some hon. gentleman say ? Then we hope he will put himself ou record as condemning it. But if he does he will have to face these facts when he puts his motion before you, Mr. Speaker, that according to the records of the Interior Department, in the five years from 1897 to 1901, 190,000 immigrants have been brought into the country, and what is better, they seem to be staying here. Every western man knows that immigration has been greater during the last five years than for any previous like period. The figures prove that. Homestead entries :
1901 : 8,167
Do you tell me that a quarter of a million dollars of extra money expended in the way it has been under the Minister of the Interior, bringing in that 190,000 people, settling up these homesteads, has not been a good investment for this country ? Why, Sir, the added commerce of this country alone justifies that increased expenditure. You can see it from the increased number of patents of Dominion lands issued :
And as I said before, the government and railway companies sold $454,641 worth of land in 1896, and in 1901, $2,454,899. I say, and I believe the country will say, that the increased expenditure under the head of immigration is justifiable, and has been a wise investment on the part of the minister who conducts that department. During the last fiscal year no less than 18,000 people came from the western states to settle in western Canada, many of them our own sons coming back to this land, when there is a government in power making a condition of things here which entices them to return. This spring, reports from responsible customs officers indicate that there is a great rush of incoming settlers from the States. Permit me to quote an extract from a letter of one of the sub-collectors of the Customs Department stationed at North Portal, which is at the. boundary of Minnesota :
Since the rush began we are almost swamped with work both night and day. What with settlers coming in and wheat going out the railway yards are full all the time.
That is cheering. Swamped with work, night and day, with immigrants coming in with their settler's effects. And yet the hon. gentleman opposite would propose a resolution in this House affirming that $250 -000 of an increase is unjustifiable. Why, in the ' Evening Journal ' of Ottawa we saw a day or two ago this item clipped from the Medicine Hat ' News ' :
Pouring Into the West.
1 he influx of settlers to the Canadian west is simply wonderful. At Medicine Hat we are in a position to size up the great incoming, especially of Americans, as we see here daily train load after train load of would-be settlers, bringing with them carloads of miscellaneous effects -horses, cattle, implements, household stuff. The exodus, fhis time from the states into Canada, shows that the undeveloped riches of western Canada are becoming known, and Canada is coming into her own. The rush of settlers is unprecedented, and is taxing the railways to the limit to handle the business in connection with their trade.
Now it may be said that these settlers are coming in of their own accord. The Minister of the Interior has had a few men throughout the western states for a few years past to promote immigration from that 73
country, recognizing the fact that they are a most desirable class of settlers ; and their work is bearing fruit, and no fault can be found with that comparatively small increase of expenditure which has brought about such results, especially when we remember the fact that every one of these incoming settlers who settles in that country becomes himself a most valuable immigration agent by the letters he writes to others ; and great as has been this in-ciease of immigration, we can scarcely imagine at what ratio it will continue to grow m the years that are coming, and that without a greatly added expenditure on the part of this government. This, I claim, to be wise legislation, wise administration, and in the very best interests of the country.
Now, we come to the next department, that of arts, agriculture and statistics presided over by my hon. friend the Minister of Agriculture (Hon. Mr. Fisher) The increase here is $480,000. It is accounted for largely this year by an expenditure of $249,907 for the census, and for cold storage $100,059, for which there was no corresponding expenditure In 1895 except a small item of $5,729 charged against the belated preparation of the census in that year. Then, in exhibitions we have had Glasgow, Buffalo and Paris, and we spent $164,823 on these exhibitions. Any one who is conversant with the success of the Canadian exhibitors at these different exhibitions, I think, will admit that it was money wisely expended. It was money expended for the benefit of all classes of the community, not any one industry alone, but for all, and the accounts of the Glasgow exhibition especially are most cheering in their nature. Canada has been advertised, trade has been increased to a wonderful extent there, and also to a more limited extent at Buffalo, but even at Buffalo the Canadian commissioner's quarters were thronged dally with people making inquiries about the North-west Territories and other portions of the Dominion. The benefits to be derived from the Paris exhibition were fully explained to us by the Minister of Agriculture last year. This accounts for an increase of $162,864. Is that expenditure to be condemned or is it to be approved ? Was it not a wise expenditure, the laying out of that small sum at the present time to be returned ten-fold, though not perhaps in the manner in which you put it directly in cash into your pocket, but which will manifest itself in the increased prosperity of the people of the country ? Then, in promoting the dairying interests of the country $20,000 more was spent last year. But the hon. Minister of Agriculture had no charge of $40,000 for the purchase of cheese and butter as in 1895. The maintenance of experimental farms only cost $4,700 more last year and we know the valuable work being done there, too.
I ask what expenditure there has been in connection with the Department of Agriculture that has not been wisely made or productive of good. .
In legislation there is an item to which, perhaps, there might be a little exception taken by bon. gentlemen opposite. There is an increase of $231,155. This is largely accounted for by the increase in the sessional indemnity granted last session. If our hon. friends are feeling very badly about that, or, if any of us feel badly, we can reduce that increased expenditure by telling the accountant that we will be satisfied with the old sum that we received before.
Are you prepared to make a motion to that effect'!
Does that include the hon. gentleman's increase of salary as well 7