Before the presentation of petitions, I would ask hon. members to write down their names on the petitions which they present. This is in accordance with the rule, and, if attended to, it will avoid difficulty.
I have the honour to inform the House that the Clerk of the House has received from the Clerk of the Crown in Chancery a certificate of the election and return of Samuel Desjardins, Esquire, for the electoral district of Terrebonne.
Mr. Speaker, I beg to move that an humble address be presented to His Excellency the Governor General of Canada in reply to the Speech from the Throne. At the very outset, Sir, permit me to say that I keenly appreciate the honour which has been done me in imposing upon me this pleasant task-an honour which I feel must necessarily have been intended chiefly for the worthy constituency of Haldimand and Monck, which I represent. Haldimand, Sir, deserves well at the hands of this House-a House standing for the free institutions which we enjoy ; for it was Haldimand which returned to the parliament of old Canada, on his coming back from his exile in the United States, that true Canadian patriot to whom we owe so much of our present day privileges, the late William Lyon Mackenzie. Assaulted in Montreal, burned in efligy in Kingston, mobbed in Toronto, it was for our quiet rural constituency to recognize in this man the true flame of patriotism, unadulterated by self-seeking or self-interest; and so, Sir, I repeat, the county of Haldimand deserves well at the hands of this House.
But enough of this ancient history ; let me come to the matter in hand. Once more we meet together, Sir, with little to regret, with much to be thankful for, during the year which has flown away so quickly since last we gathered here-with little to regret from the standpoint of the nation, but with sorrow in our hearts for true comrades stricken down by the hand of death -one in the fulness-of years, one in the glory of his youth, and all at a time of usefulness to their country-a country which they, irrespective of party, deeply and truly loved. Of national calamities, Sir, I am pleased to say we have had none whatever. No volcanic eruptions have overwhelmed, with inconceivable destruc-Mr. SPEAKER.
tion, whole prosperous communities in one brief day ; no earthquakes have wrecked our cities, burying the inhabitants in their ruins; no cyclones have swept over our country, leaving death and destruction in their path ; no plague has stricken our people in their thousands with its rapid death; no famine has slowly tortured them to the end of all things human ; no war has prevailed in our boundaries leaving in its track burned homesteads and maimed and wretched humanity. By the association of ideas one passes very naturally from the fact of the absence of war in our country to its happy termination in another part of the empire, far-away South Africa. How greatly has our realm increased, Mr. Speaker, within the last few years. Canada is no longer, a number of semi-discordant provinces experimentally strung together by an Imperial Act of parliament, but a nation well knit and well balanced-and more than a nation, a nation within an empire. And so it is that we find ourselves taking the keenest of interest in a war waged on another continent and at a distance of thousands of miles from our shores, and able not only to congratulate England on the termination of her war, but to congratulate ourselves on the termination of our war.
Even were this the proper occasion for so doing, Sir, time would be altogether inadequate for the discussion of the merits of the quarrel between Britain and Boer, which culminated in that struggle in South Africa. This much at least, we may feel sure of-that we, confident in the righteousness of our own cause, were no more confident and houest than our brave foemen, who believe firmly in the righteousness of theirs. And, on this common ground, at least, we may meet and agree-that war is in itself a shocking thing, and its termination on terms favourable alike to conquerors and conquered a matter for heartfelt thankfulness on the part of all of us.
Since the birth of this parliament, now some two years old, Australia has federated. We remember that, on an occasion similar to this, the gentleman who was then moving the Address, referred with pride to the fact that the successful union of our own provinces had, to a very large extent, actuated our fellow colonists in the island continent in taking that momentous step, In Australia, however, they have but one race. In Canada, we are fortunate enough to have two. And so we sincerely hope that, having set an example of political confederation to one part of the empire, we may now, by our historical record, inspire another great part of the empire in such a way that these recently diverse warring races may for the future dwell in peace and harmony in a united South Africa. And here, Sir, let me, very briefly, trace the history of French and English with a view to applying to this case the lessons
which we gather from that history. It is but a century and a half ago since these imperial peoples were striving for the mastery with bitter hate. Each called to its aid the savage Indian as auxiliary, and in many a peaceful home women and children fell beneath the savage tomahawk or the bloody scalping knife, as the war-party of the one or the other made incursion in those iron days that are past. We know that after battles more creditable to the participants than these awful cruel forays fought by men brave and heroic, battles fought with varying success, won alternately by one and the other, victory perched on the banner of Great Britain ; and, in 1763, by the treaty of Paris, Canada took her place among the family of young nations within the British Empire. What optimist, the most pronounced at that time, but would have prophesied nothing other than a century of strife and hatred, after a war so terrible as that which had just been concluded ? But what was the event. In less than thirteen years after that, our French Canadian brothers repudiated with scorn the invitation to join the revolted colonies, and arming themselves to repel the invasion of the Americans, slew their leader below the frowning walls of old Quebec, and planted the British flag more firmly than ever on the ramparts of that world famous citadel. After less than half a century, came the war of 1812, that struggle of the few against the many. Once more our French Canadian brothers sprang to arms, and, under gallant DeSalaberry hurled back the alien foe at Chateauguay, a second time saving Canada to the British Crown. Very shortly thereafter, when our forefathers-then called rebels, now called patriots-took up arms for the achievement of those rights which they felt to be their due, Quebec, under Papineau, was no whit behind Ontario under Mackenzie, and, while both uprisings were for the moment failures, the seed watered by patriot blood has long since borne fruit in our splendid selfgovernment of to-day, a self-government at the head of which sits our honoured chief, a true British statesman of French origin. And so, Sir, I think I may say that following a war so cruel as that I have described, when we find results so highly satisfactory, we are not mere idle dreamers if we look forward to the day when the two races in South Africa will be united as the two races are united here by ties of mutual respect and regard.
Among the chief event of the year that has passed one must give no secondary place to the crowning of His Gracious Majesty King Edward VII. of England, King Edward I., of United Canada. We can easily recall the sorrow that came upon us when we learned so unexpectedly that His Majesty had been stricken down with an illness which threatened to be fatal in its results, and I can assure
you, that our loyalty to the King was increased by our sympathy with the man in proportion to this was our joy at his complete recovery, and I can say in all truthfulness that not one in all the long line of British sovereigns ever rode to the Minster with more sincere acclaims than did our King. From the standpoint of military representation, it is somewhat a disappointment to say that Canada was almost unrepresented at the King's coronation. But, for this, the untoward event of the King's illness was alone to blame. Composed of 657 picked men, the contingent of Canada almost doubled in numbers the contingents from the Cape, New Zealand and Australia, and almost quadrupled the forces from any one of these alone. I can assure you that if this contingent did have to come back owing to the fact that when the King's operation in June was announced we were assured on the highest authority that the coronation could not follow until October, it was not time and money wasted, for these men saw and were seen. Everywhere, in London, in Southampton, in Liverpool, they were met by people in huge crowds who turned out to give them welcome-to give them welcome as a demonstration of the feelings which were held toward them because of the achievements of our brave brothers in arms from Canada in South Africa, achievements freshened in the minds of the people by the recent events at Hart's River with which that whole country was then ringing. Now, Sir-and in making the remarks I am about to make I hope I shall not be accused of too plain speaking, or be held to belong too much to that modern school of diplomacy which believes in speaking the truth in the case of nations as well as individuals-I would call attention to the fact that five years ago a contingent was sent to England to celebrate the diamond jubilee of Her Gracious Majesty Queen Victoria, and it met with a hearty welcome indeed. But what a difference between then and now ' In the former case we found that hospitality was the keynote and that, while the air was friendly enough, it was, to some extent patronizing nevertheless. This came as a surprise to Canadians, because, arguing from the historical record and from race ancestry they knew that they were the peers of any within the broad confines of the empire. But they learned that the English did not know it. Meantime South Africa had intervened, and what a change had come over the spirit of the times. Our English friends had learned to recognize the worth of Canadians, and, with that honesty and generosity which is characteristic of them when they do know, they were not slow to extend to us full recognition for the work our men had done and to give Canadians due equality. And so, in this case, our men had the satisfaction of feeling the new state of affairs, where to some extent
at least, in the. old days humiliation was j their portion. And this brings me to that part of His Excellency's speech which deals with the colonial conference in Great Britain. It would be hard to overestimate the vast importance of the results likely to flow from a meeting of that nature-a meeting called together by the Hon. Joseph Chamberlain to take advantage of the gathering in London of so many leading statesmen from the outlying parts of greater Britain to attend the coronation. The work of this conference fell chiefly under three heads. First, the political relations of the mother country with the colonies ; second, imperial defence ; third, the commercial relations between the various colonies and Great Britain. With regard to the first, the colonial representatives felt in general, and the Canadian representatives in particular, that the existing political relations were satisfactory in the extreme. Under no conceivable circumstances could we enjoy greater freedom to take advantage of every opportunity to develop our enormous resources, and that for the present at least is all our people crave. In this connection it may be opportune for me to read the opinion expressed by the Hon. Joseph Chamberlain. Mr. Chamberlain said:
It would be a fatal mistake to transform the spontaneous enthusiasm which has been so readly shown throughout the empire into anything in the nature of an obligation which might be at this time unwillingly assumed or only formally accepted.
The good sense of that, I believe, must be evident to every one, and I cannot see why the sentiment should not have been carried further and applied to the matter of imperial defence also. This, I know, has been an oft mooted question. Various and many have been the schemes proposed in this connection. One frequently urged and strongly pressed has been the collection of a fund by taxation in the colonies to be handed over to the British government for expenditure, but I believe that such a scheme savors too much of taxation without representation to be popular on this continent where the application of that principle worked so great a trouble over a century ago. What money we have to expend must be expended by our own responsible ministers and by them alone, until that day shall come, which I fear is yet far distant- that day hoped for but hardly to be expected for some considerable time yet- when our own Canadian house is set in order in the matter of defence. The scheme propounded by the British government was the formation of an Army Reserve Corps in Canada, liable to special service across the ocean and specially trained, to be used by the imperial government in the case of war, but only with the consent of the colonial government to which the particular force belonged. At first blush the scheme, sub-Mr. THOMPSON (Haldimand).
ject to that condition, seemed perfectly safe, but after all it was somewhat misleading. What colony would expend large sums of money in the creation of a force for a special purpose and then refuse that force to the imperial government when required ? The acceptance of such a proposition would, as a matter of course, mean the granting the use of these men whenever the government which raised the force were called upon to allow it to be utilized. In the case of the South African war, we gave aid freely and spontaneously, but with the distinct understanding that our action should not create a precedent, and that we should be free to exercise our own judgement as to our course in the future. Were it not for that understanding, in what position would we find ourselves? Simply this that in the case of wars declared by the British parliament, in the declaration of which we had no say, which would be forced on us without our consent being asked, we would be in the very anomalous position of forced contribution, the equivalent of having consented to give up some of the rights of self-government which we so highly value.
As one having some experience in the matter of recruiting even for a twelve day camp, may I say, with all diffidence, that the raising of the Canadian quota, which was fixed at 10,000 men, subject to special training-which must take at least three months in every year-would be in busy Canada entirely impossible. I doubt if a tithe of that number of men could be got together to drill that number of months every year. Therefore, I think that our representatives were quite right in not consenting to the scheme propounded by the mother country. And, mark you, Sir, it was refused in no mean spirit, but simply because our representatives felt that they had a knowledge of the local conditions in Canada which the imperial authorities could not possibly have. And in order to convince the House of the absolute correctness of the attitude of our representatives as Canadians, let me read to you the closing paragraph of the memo presented by the Canadian ministers to the imperial authorities last summer. It is as follows :
In conclusion the ministers represent that while the Canadian government are obliged to dissent from the measures proposed, they fully appreciate the obligation of the Dominion to make expenditures for the purposes of defence in proportion to the increasing population and wealth of the country. They are willing that these expenditures shall be so directed as to relieve the tax payer of the mother country from some of the burdens she now bears ; and they have the strongest desire to carry out their defence schemes in co-operation with the imperial authorities and under the advice of experienced imperial officers, in so far as this is consistent with the principle of local self government which has proved so great a factor in the promotion of imperial unity.
With regard to the trade question, our representatives reaffirmed the principle of preferential trade and urged its adoption by the colonies and the motherland, reserving the right, in the event of this change of policy within the empire not materializing, to take such steps as they deemed expedient. I may say, Sir, that while our leaders were sitting behind closed doors, we of lesser responsibilities had excellent opportunities of gauging the political sentiment of the rank and file throughout all parts of the empire-at least from every state, province and dominion in the self-governing parts of that empire-and delighted were we to find that the splendid men from Ceylon and the Cape, from New Zealand and Australia, stand heart and hand with us, seeing eye to eye, willing and eager for a lasting partnership with Britain, but too much of British blood to stand for one moment the slightest imputation of inferiority, building up in each new nation upon the sure foundation of equality a patriotism and a loyalty as wide and as deep as those seas Britannia rules. Tried in the furnace seven times heated these men have proved their worth, worth which ought never to have been doubted, for their blood is of the best, their environment of the best. No slum-bred men they, but for the most part each a laird on his own broad acres, independent of all save law and order and God, like the true British yeomen of old.
Now, I come to the question of the Alaskan Boundary Commission. That commission is intended to deal with the dispute between Canada and the United States regarding the boundaries in that far away part of North America, concerning which both nations are now at variance. At any time the discovery of rich gold deposits in those territories and the consequent inrush of miners might lead to a conflict of jurisdiction which would be most irritating and dangerous to the people of both countries, and therefore we view with satisfaction the appointment of this commission. We wish in Canada to live on terms of peace with the other nations of the world. We do not want one single foot of the territory of the United States, but I say with equal emphasis that we do not want the United States to take one single foot of the soil of Canada, and so we are well content with the scope of this commission which has to do with the ascertainment of what is a matter of considerable difficulty, but after all is only one of fact, and that is the deciding of where the boundary line actually runs. It is true that finality may not after all be reached for the reason that the jurists from each country who are to sit on this comission are equal in number.
But why borrow trouble ? This much at least we know, that the present attitude of the United States, from the standpoint of friendliness, is far different from the position maintained by it for so many years
in contending that there was nothing at all to arbitrate. So we say that even should this commission fail, it is quite possible that the door would be left ajar for the entry of some other commission, the results of which may be and we hope will be, more satisfactory.
Now, Sir, for me to sit down with no mention of domestic concerns, concerns which more nearly affect us than those imperial matters on which I have been touching, interesting as the latter are, would indeed, in my opinion, be a mistake. And first let me say a brief word as to the very satisfactory influx of immigrants now pouring into Canada. We have, as you know, vast areas of fertile, habitable land for which we must have a population if Canada is to take her place, as we confidently expect her to take her place, one day among the great nations of the world. But, Sir, in my opinion there is something even more important than the rapid settlement of Canada, and that is the proper settlement of Canada. I would infinitely rather see people coming into Canada belonging to those two great races which hitherto have colonized our land, than to see it filling up with off-seourings from the cities of foreign countries, the very class of people we do not want.
Topic: ADDRESS IN ANSWER TO HIS EXCELLENCY'S SPEECH.
Yes, Mr. Speaker, that is not only my sentiment, but I believe it Is the sentiment of everybody on this side of the House, including the hon. Minister of the Interior (Hon. Mr. Sifton), who takes care that our settlers are all of the best. To what class do I refer, in chief ? The settlers that we are after are those able to till the fertile land of the Territories and Manitoba, yes, and of new Ontario and new Quebec, for we must not forget the undeveloped resources of the older provinces in our enthusiasm for the new. These settlers we want, and these settlers we are getting in many cases farmers .with some means besides their own strong right arm, means which will enable them more rapidly to make wealth in time to come. And from what places are we getting these settlers ? From the inhabitants of the British Isles and the United States mainly, men living under institutions similar to our own, men spe&king the same language, so that in a very few years they will be equally good Canadian citizens with ourselves ; and we will not have to wait, one, two or three generations for the complete assimilation of these people.
Now, Sir, the main and most important question for these new settlers, and for the old settlers too, for that matter, is the question of transportation. To wliat end the raising of 200 million bushels of wheat in the west unless the farmers there can
get that wheat to market in reasonable time and at a reasonable expense to them ? And the very same remark applies to the mixed farmers of older Canada. These men must get their varied products to the seaboard quickly and Inexpensively, or forfeit the markets of Britain and Europe. Therefore it is with very great pleasure indeed that we heard the announcement in the Speech from the Throne, that the government of His Excellency will immediately appoint a transportation commission to deal with this very intricate question, for the purpose of its betterment.
I am very glad also that a reference has been made to the Militia Act. Framed in times long gone by, and under conditions totally dissimilar to those of the present day, the Militia Act was very unsatisfactory to the main body of the force to-day, and once more we are made to feel that the old dark days for the militiamen in this country are now gone by, and that at last parliament feels that it can deal without loss of dignity with matters pertaining to the active militia of Canada. For that, Mr. Speaker, I thank the Speech from the Throne.
As to the Railway Commission, that of course will be a permanent tribunal. The Railway Committee of the Privy Council has in times past given tolerable satisfaction; but so great is the increase in our commerce that the work thrown! upon that committee is altogether too much, even for their broad shoulders to carry. And so this commission should be appointed, following in this respect the example of other countries, of older countries, which have gone through similar commercial conditions.
Next, I come to a subject which I fear is a very debatable one, the subject of the Redistribution Bill. I hardly expect hon. gentlemen on the other side of the House to hail with joy the announcement of the advent of this measure. I feel that it would be impossible
Topic: ADDRESS IN ANSWER TO HIS EXCELLENCY'S SPEECH.
I was going to say that no matter how fair that measure may be, we can hardly hope to meet all the aspirations and longings of hon. gentlemen opposite, including the hon. member for East York (Mr. Maclean). Therefore I will say this much, at least, that I think the government surgeon will make the necessary amputations and ingraftments as painlessly as possible, and that, true to our Liberal conceptions, we will, as is our wont, try to remove the existing abuses without creating new ones. Further than that I cannot go.
The first reference in His Excellency's speech I had designedly left to the last, and that is the question of the general prosperity of Canada. I have done so be-
Topic: ADDRESS IN ANSWER TO HIS EXCELLENCY'S SPEECH.
cause this subject is an extremely pleasant one to all good Canadians, to those both on the right and on the left of Mr. Speaker. First, I think I may say that for the bountiful harvests, for the peace within our borders, for the absence of disease and disaster already referred to, we desire with all reverence to thank the Giver of all good. But in honouring Divinity, let us not forget humanity. Let us remember that, prodigal as nature may be in its good gifts, these gifts may be wasted by a government inactive or slothful, or they may be taken the best advantage of by such a government as Canada is fortunately ruled by to-day. Take the question of mineral lands in the first place. ' How rich are the mineral resources of this country ? It is Providence that has hidden these riches in the bowels of the earth, but it is the government that has supplied the facilities for using these deposits to the very best advantage. Why, Sir, away up in the frozen Yukon-which, by the way, is now for the first time sending a representative to these legislative halls, a gentleman both able and affable-away up in the frozen Yukon, law and order are maintained as they have never been maintained before in a similar territory under similar conditions ; and for that we thank the government. The miner and his hard-earned gold are as safe in the streets of Dawson City as in any other part of the world. The same remark applies to the outlying camps in British Columbia and in New Ontario. More than this, not only has the government afforded protection to the miners in their industry, but it has helped them in another essential respect by reducing the prices of what they consume, and of the raw material that they use in their industry, by the improved tariff now prevailing. So we say that nature and the government are working hand in hand, the one supplying the ores and the other supplying the facilities.
Next we come to our forest resources. Who, a few years ago, was doing anything for the development of the pulp wood industry of Canada, an industry now running up into the hundreds of millions ? Our spruce forests are not necessarily a disappearing quantity, for the reason that this wood reproduces itself so rapidly that only thirty years have to elapse from seed time to harvest. With regard to lumbering proper, the magnificent prices recently received here in Ottawa for limits in this neighbourhood, are the very best gauge of the prosperity of this great Canadian industry.
The fisheries, Sir, have increased with everything else in Canada, but we cannot look forward to their increasing to the same extent as some other industries because they are very long established and they have been very successfully worked, but even if that is the case I am told that
we do not yet realize a fraction of Canada's wealth. We have our magnificent halibut beds, deposits, or banks-which shall I call them, I ask my friends from the sea-I suppose banks, recently discovered on the coast of British Columbia. We know that railways projected to .Tames Bay must soon be built and that when they are built these inland seas will be opened up by the enterprising fishermen of Canada. We know that James Bay and Hudson Bay have an area three times as great as the North Sea and from the North sea in Europe every year upwards of $150,000,000 is taken in fish. We do not know these inland seas as I hope some day we will know them, but we are informed that cod and other fish of value are found there and we hope very shortly to take more advantage of these great seas which we possess. The government have not been idle, for they have provided the fishermen with cold storage for their bait so that they may take advantage of the run of fish all through the year, where before they were only able to work a little more than half that time.
In matters of marine Canada is bound to be a great country because she has large inland and outland seas. Here again prosperity on the lakes is very marked and the Department of Marine and Fisheries are doing everything they can to promote it by improving the harbours and channels and providing better lighthouses and buoys. Coming to manufactures, while we must congratulate ourselves that in the six years from' 1891 to 1890 inclusive, the exports of Canada increased in all about $45,000,000, it is a matter for still greater congratulation that in the last six years they have increased by some $80,000,000. We have confidence in the ability of our captains of industry, in the intelligence and strength of the armies of workingmen whom they command, and so we say : On with the good work ; go forth and conquer the markets of the world as your British forebears have done in days gone by.
As to farming, which I have left to the last because it is the great basic industry of Canada, in Ontario alone a billion dollar trust, I may say in sincerity, being the representative of an agricultural constituency, that while my heart warms to all the toilers of Canada, it grows warmer still towards the farmers, the men who till the soil. What a splendid prospect is theirs ? It does one good to think of it. While the mortgages are going off the farms the bank barns are going on the farms, the savings bank deposits of the farmers are increasing, their houses are comfortably furnished, their children well educated, and we find prosperity everywhere-prosperity everywhere. i am free to confess that the bountiful crops of the past two years, added to a better knowledge of agricultural processes, have in a large measure been responsible for this improvement, but I assert
also that the destruction of the cattle embargo in connection with the trade of the United States and the better system of cold storage in connection with our trade with the mother country, have to a large extent supplemented nature in her bountiful gifts and have brought About this better state of things for the toilers of Canada. So, Sir, summarizing the whole matter, we come to this, that our policy after all may be summed up in a phrase now tolerably well known-' Canada for the Canadians,' not Canada for some Canadians, but Canada for all Canadians-Canada for the miner and the mariner, Canada for the fishermen and the lumbermen, Canada for the manufacturer and the farmer with special privileges to none and equal rights for all.
In conclusion, with no war clouds hanging on our boundaries, with no serious domestic questions of race and religion such as we find in the Balkan provinces threatening our domestic peace, with capital and colonists seeking us where before we were the seekers, with waters, mines, forests and farm producing abundantly, with a government strong and united, administering impartially the free institutions of a liberty-loving people, with a king wise and gracious, possessed of a prime minister loved and revered by half the people of Canada, and honoured by the whole, we may well say it is good to be a Canadian, for verily we have a land flowing with milk and honey, and our lines are fallen unto us In pleasant places.
Topic: ADDRESS IN ANSWER TO HIS EXCELLENCY'S SPEECH.
(Translation.) Mr. Speaker, to quote Monsabre, ' Harmony implies numbers ; by itself a note may be sound, it does not give harmony.' Hence that old-time usage which enables' me to repeat in my own tongue what mv friend, the hon. member for Haldi-mand (Mr. Thompson) has so well expressed in his. While I appreciate the honour thus conferred on the constituency which I represent, I realize that the task entrusted to me is rather a difficult one for me to fulfil. I have accepted it, however, counting on the full measure of the indulgence which the House will grant. This, Canada's foremost assembly, should also! be the one nearest to perfection. Its members may and should differ as regards points of management, but they are all bound by the same fruitful love for the institutions which govern us.
A policy, to be considered good, need not be accepted by all-including the Opposition. If it were so, no policy could be called good. A good policy is one which ensures general prosperitv, and that we enjoy. It cannot be gainsaid that since 189G our economic conditions have steadily improved. To convince ourselves of the truth of this statement, we have only to consider for a moment the three phases of our industrial at-
tivity : Agriculture which supplies the raw material; manufactures, which transform it, and commerce, which distributes the goods.
And, first of all, let as take agriculture, undoubtedly the primary and most important of the sources of production. For several years past our farmers had been left in painfully straightened circumstances. Those whose property had so far escaped the bailiff's hand, were intent on giving up farms inadequate for the support of their families. The exports of agricultural products, which in 1878 amounted to $18,000,000 had fallen in 1896 to $14,000,000. Scarcely had the Liberals come into power than affairs took another turn ; exports of farm products increased, reaching in the course of the last fiscal year the sum of $37,000,000.
Then, the manufacturing industries, whose ruin had been predicted, found a wider outlet in the home markets, while their exports rose from $9,000,000 in 1896 to 818,900,000.
Internal trade was in a bad way, as evidenced by the number of failures reported ; it is now once more sound and flourishing. Transportation facilities have become inadequate for the requirements of our trade. Shares of our large transportation companies are sold at a premium on the stock exchanges of the world.
As a last result, our export and import trade which, in 1896, aggregated $239,000,000, reached in 1902 the figure of $423,000,000, an increase of $184,000,000 in the course of the six years of Liberal rule, while for the eighteen years of Conservative rule, the outside trade had increased by only $67,000,-
Last of all, by virtue of the principle that thrift engenders riches and plenty, the putting into operation of all the country's resources, coupled with good business management, has brought about an era of unprecedented prosperity and enabled our Finance Minister to announce each year a handsome surplus.
For that prosperity, we should thank Providence ; without its help, our efforts would have been of no avail. It is a principle which the Opposition have deeply impressed on their minds. However, I fear they are going too far when they endeavour to show that it is solely through Providence, independently of human effort, that these results have been achieved. They who so often taunt the government on account of short memory, forget that in 1877, when this country, like many others, was undergoing a severe economic crisis, the Conservative party took occasion of the condition of affairs to call for a change of rule. They forget also that 1897, when the present tariff went into force, they predicted the direst calamities as the outcome of it.
I do not mean to say, however, that in the mind of the Liberal party, all things are at their best, and that it only remains for the government to rest on its laurels.
Mr. DEMERS (St. John and Iberville!.
Certainly not. We know that dormant waters breed death, and it is only by incessant tossing that the waters of great rivers retain their sweetness and freshness. Our efforts, then, should tend unsparingly to perfect the work without altering the substance. As the ancients said : ' Motus alit, non mutat opus.' The changes or reforms which it would be desirable to bring about are numerous.
The face of our western country is rapidly changing. It is being invaded by a throng of European settlers, and-a fact which should be a matter of congratulation to us- the great neighbouring republic which for so many years boasted of annexing us piecemeal, is now sending to our country thousands of settlers who take over with them some capital and the help of their strong arms.
The sudden increase in the output of farm products explains the inability of railways and inland navigation companies to keep up with the requirements of the trade. The providing of new transportation facilities for the purpose of handling our surplus production and at the same time opening up new: districts, is one of the features of the government's programme.
Transportation agencies lose much of their usefulness if they do not provide the service which is wanted or if they exact exorbitant rates. The public will learn with gratification that a railway commission has been constituted, which, it is hoped,' will remove all grievances in that connection.
These transportation facilities having been provided in the public interest should be available at alll times. Labour disputes in connection with the operating of railways are of interest not only to the shareholders and employees of such railway companies, but to the general public as well. In order that business be not brought to a standstill, it is necessary that the government should provide some reliable system of arbitration.
Then, again, as a member from the district of Montreal I am gratified to learn that the Department of Marine and Fisheries is to be re-organized. The present government has done a great deal to improve the Montreal harbour. They realized that from the very nature of things, Montreal is Canada's seaport. Situated as it is at the outlet of the great lakes, at the innermost point that can be reached by sea-faring vessels, it is the meeting place of merchants from all parts of the world. I am confident the House will be willing to allow the Marine Department to exercise more complete control over our harbour and the great natural highway leading to it.
However satisfactory the state of our internal affairs, we should not lose sight of those international questions which concern us. The most important is, no doubt, the Alaskan boundary question. When, in 1807. Russia agreed to give away to the United
States that vast territory of Alaska for 37,000,000 francs, people in Europe wondered what could have induced such action. ' The explanation offered, says ElisSe Reclus, was the desire on the part of Russia, then unfriendly to Great Britain, to show her sympathy for the United States, and to lay the foundation for future strife between two neighbouring states.' Two serious disputes have already arisen out of this cession : One relative to the Behring sea fisheries, lias been, fortunately, settled ; the other, relative1, to the boundaries, is now pending.
1 am sure the House has learned with satisfaction that a treaty had been signed having for its object the settlement of this dispute. Statements have appeared in the newspapers to the effect that the treaty was one-sided, but no evidence has been furnished to support these statements. It has been said that the treaty had not been passed in good faith on the part either of the United States or of the mother country ; that in virtue of a secret understanding, the jurists appointed by the United States were not to render any decision contrary to the interests of their own country, while the representatives of Great Britain were to concede everything. However, the provisions of the treaty, as I read them, seem to exclude the possibility of such an understanding. By submitting the question to three jurists from each country who are bound under oath to give their decision in accordance with the facts, neither of the contracting parties could have in mind to deceive the public. To make such a supposition is gratuitously to insult two great nations. ' Why should they resort to such shameless trickery, the result of which would be to debase them both In the eyes of the world, as well as the members of the court appointed by them? Could they not have resorted to arbitration ? Secret instructions may) be given to arbitrators, not to jurists. Such are the reasons which make me believe that the treaty was initiated in good faith. Bet us hope that it will be carried out in the same spirit. Bet us hope that the press in both countries will show a spirit of fairness and refrain from any attempt at influencing the court.
The hon. member for Haldimand (Mr. Thompson) who takes special interest in military matters, has recalled an event which has been a cause of rejoicing throughout the country. I refer to the happy termination of the war in South Africa. The best minds were at variance as regards the justice of this war, a point which future generations will be in a better position to decide than we. However, the terms of peace, in the opinion of all, have been such as the world would expect the victor to grant to a courageous foe. The time is no longer when the conqueror could haughtily proclaim : ' Vue victis.' The enemy who
has laid down arms is entitled not only to life, but to all that makes life worth living,
that is to say, honour and liberty. By doing homage to a fallen foe, by pardoniug generously, by closing its ears to suggestions of vengeance and listening only to the voice of mercy, Great Britain has at once regained the sympathy which she had lost at the outset of hostilities ; so true is it that justice elevates nations.
That generous treaty was the forerunner of an event equally .glorious. I mean the coronation of His Majesty King Edward VII. In congregating so readily to witness this great celebration, British subjects realized that it was not so much the apotheosis of one man for whom they have the greatest admiration, they saw in it the bright symbol of the union which is to bind the king with the nation. Indeed, when the king appeared before his people in Westminster Abbey and was met by that loud acclamation : God Save King Edward, a new compact was entered into. On the one hand there was the king pledging himself tot observe the usages of the kingdom ; on the other, there was the people of Great Britain renewing their faith in her governmental institutions ; there was the people living in the colonies, proud of the liberty and self-government which they enjoy, asserting their loyalty to the British flag. Whatever was of a nature to enhance the friendly relations existing between the colonies and the mother country and between the various colonies, was a thing to be fostered. Whatever would alter the nature of these relations, was; a thing to be avoided. Our government understood it so. More than once it had proven its devotion to the mother land ; but at the same time as it accepted the invitation to take part in the Colonial Conference, it refused to discuss the question of contribution to_ the war expenditure of the empire, making clear its determination not to render compulsory deeds which had been accomplished voluntarily. That decision had been made known to the House at the preceding session and no exception had been found to it. Had we consented to share in the wars of the empire, our political future would have been jeopardized. Practically it would have been handing back to the authorities in Downing street the privileges which half a century of struggles have won for us. The wars which England is constantly waging in>
her various colonies do not concern us directly. We have nothing to do with the government of these colonies, neither are they governed on our account. Nothing could be more in contradiction with the principles of our government than for us to undertake to meet an expenditure to which we have not been called to give our assent. George III. lost his American colonies for having ignored this principle. An ill-fated day it would be when Great Britain would compel us to share in the expenditure incurred in her wars of expansion. British connection would thus become too burden
some and would inevitably be severed before long.
I understand that for the Britisher, who has been only a few years in America, the interests of England remain paramount. But for the great majority of our people, for those whose ancestors opened up the country, for those who can say like the Roman orator ' Here are the footprints of my forefathers,' in a word, for the Canadian-born, whatever their origin, while their loyalty is assured to England, their energy, their prospects, their feeling all centre in Canada, their home their native country.
Suoli are, Mr. Speaker, the sentiments which the eloquent spokesman of Canada, the lion the Prime Minister (Sir Wilfrid Eaurier) expressed at the conference. Unfortunately the weariness of a long journey across the sea had impaired his precious health. I am sure I am voicing the feelings of my colleagues on both sides of the House u 'lien I say that the whole country, made anxious by the news of his failing strength, rejoices now to find him restored to health and capable of resuming the management of public affairs.
I have then much pleasure in seconding tlie motion of the hon. member for I-Ialdi-rnand (Mr. Thompson).
Topic: ADDRESS IN ANSWER TO HIS EXCELLENCY'S SPEECH.
Mr. Speaker, let me, in the first place extend the congratulations of myself and my friends to the right hon. the Prime Minister on his restoration to health. We are very glad indeed to know that his trip to the south has resulted in so very great an improvement to his physical condition, which was somewhat impaired by the toils, and I suppose also by the festivities, which he had to undergo during the past summer. I may say to you, Sir, and to the right hon. gentleman and his friends, that, however, sharp our political differences may be, no one will rejoice more heartily than my friends and myself at the good news that has come to us of the right hon. gentleman's improvement in health.
Det me also, Mr. Speaker, congratulate the mover and seconder of the address on the very eloquent speeches which they have delivered this afternoon. My hon. friend from Haldimand (Mr. Thompson), always speaks well, and this afternoon he was even more eloquent than usual. I do not know quite, to what an extent he was willing to attribute to the present government the fact that we have been free from volcanoes and cyclones in this country during the past year, but I suppose it would be only in line with certain arguments which we hear on the public platform had he announced that our immunity from these evils has been to some extent at least due to the fact that there is a Liberal government in power in this country. I notice that my hon. friend the Minister of Customs (Hon. Mr. Paterson), whom I had the pleasure Mr. DEMERS (St. John and Iberville).
of meeting on certain public platforms recently-
Topic: ADDRESS IN ANSWER TO HIS EXCELLENCY'S SPEECH.
Yes, it is always a pleasure to meet my hon. friend the Minister of Customs. The hon. gentleman (Hon. Mr. Paterson) was inclined to give to a certain extent some credit to Providence for our prosperity, but I notice that he put the government a long way ahead, and Providence as a very bad second.
My hon. friend the mover of the address, referred to certain losses which this House sustained during the past year. I think we have to mourn the absence of four members, one on this side of the House and three on the other. My friend, the late Angus McLeod, who has been cut off in the prime of life, was a man who, while he did not take a very prominent part in the debates of the House, held a very high position in the business community of this country, and I believe he had the respect and esteem of every man on both sides of the House. The same is true of my late friend Dr. Horsey ; a gentleman who gave promise of very great ability in public life ; a gentleman who was cut off by a most unfortunate accident in the very prime of manhood, and whose death we on this side of the House deplore as much as our friends opposite. The revered figure of the late Dr. Christie is now missed from amongst us. He was a gentleman whose presence in this House dated from a very long time ago ; a gentleman who was honoured and respected on both sides of the House, and a gentleman whose loss I am sure we all deplore. The fourth hon. member whose absence we have to mourn is Mr. Maxwell, the late member for Burrard. My own personal acquaintance with Mr. Maxwell was not very great, but I am sure that his loss will be felt by the House as a whole and especially by my friends on the other side.
Now Mr. Speaker, with regard to the speech which has been placed in the mouth of His Excellency, I would like to call the attention of my right hon. friend the Prime Minister to the fact that there is no reference in that speech to a matter which was considered worthy of mention in the speech of last year. I refer to the proposed conference-not the colonial conference-but the proposed conference between the representatives of the government of this country and the governments of Australia and New Zealand. The speech of last year read as follows :-
I have also pleasure In informing you that the government of Australia and New Zealand have accepted an invitation from my government to attend a conference in London next June for the consideration of trade, transportation, cable and other matters of intercolonial concern, and it is hoped that the meeting may lead to an extension of Canadian trade with
those important portions of His Majesty's dominions.
I gather that that refers to an entirely distinct meeting from the colonial conference which had been summoned by the right hon. Mr. Chamberlain ; and I would like to ask the Prime Minister to state whether or not the expectations which were held out in the speech from the Throne last year have been in any way realized, and whether or not any progress has been made in these important matters as a result of that invitation which was extended by this government to the governments of the other colonies which I have named.
As to the colonial conference which has been held during last summer, that indeed, as my hon. friend from Haldimand has said, was an important gathering. I have examined with some interest the report of that conference which has been issued by the imperial government, and I am a little surprised to find that in respect to 23 subjects and motions which were made before that conference either by representatives of the imperial government or of the colonies, Canada took the initiative in not one. It does seem strange that the representatives of this country, the greatest colony of the empire, should sit supine while these matters were being brought to the attention of the whole world ; should not have a single suggestion to make, not one motion to put forward with regard to the very important subjects which were brought to the attention of the empire and of the world at that meeting. I may say that the only motion made by Canada at that conference was a formal vote of thanks to the Right Hon. Mr. Chamberlain at its close, moved by the Prime Minister of Canada.
Now, Mr. Speaker, this conference has a very important place, not only in the history of Canada but of the empire, and I desire to express my regret that it has been so barren of results in regard to matters in which Canada is deeply interested. In the first place, if there is one subject more than another which it was important to discuss at such a conference, it is the question of preferential trade within the empire. We all know the history of that question in this country. We all know that the Conservative party, as far back as 1892, brought a motion forward in this House affirming the advantages of mutual trade preferences between the mother country and the different parts of the empire. We know the stand which my hon. friends opposite took on that occasion, and we know the stand that was subsequently taken by the party of which the right hon. gentleman is and was then leader. In 1896 the right hon. Prime Minister, speaking for his party, or rather the party speaking through him, told the people of this country that they were as much in favour of preferential trade within the empire as was the Conservative party; and the Liberal party at that
time promised to the country, through my right hon. friend, that if they were returned to power they could do as much, and would do every thing that they could to bring about the consummation of that great idea. Well, Sir, what happened? My right hon. friend went to London in 1897, and the government of Canada, speaking through him, told the people of the mother country that Canada did not want any preference in the markets of the mother country. The government is responsible for these utterances, and it is against the government that I now bring this charge. But that is not the last of it. After the Prime Minister had spoken on that occasion, one leading English statesman said that the idea of preferential trade within the empire or of an imperial zollver-ein was to be approached with all the reverence due to a corpse. Another great English statesman said that after Sir Wilfrid Laurier's utterances he would not touch the question even with a pair of tongs. The Minister of Agriculture (Hon. Mr. Fisher), speaking in Great Britain in 1901, repeated the statement made by the Prime Minister in 1897. And last year, when food products were for the first time in many years taxed by the imperial parliament, the Chancellor of the Exchequer was asked whether or not it was proposed to exempt Canada either wholly or partially from the operation of this tax. The gentleman who propounded that inquiry was told by the Chancellor of the Exchequer that Canada was not to be exempted because Canada did not desire any exemption. My hon. friend the Minister of Finance has a record on this also. My hon. friend caused himself to be interviewed on this subject at a time when Sir Charles Tupper was propounding the idea throughout Canada that a preference of this kind might be obtained, to the great advantage of Canada, and that all Canadians should join together for the purpose of bringing it about, if possible ; and my hon. friend the Minister of Finance expressed himself in that interview as follows
There are three points which Sir Charles Tupper would like to make, but in not one of them is there any foundation for his efforts. He continues to talk about the Conservative party obtaining a tariff preference for Canadian products in England ; that is to say that Great Britain would impose duties on foreign foodstuffs while admitting those of Canada free. This is an old cry with Sir Charles Tupper, but no one knows better than he does that it is arrant humbug.
Everybody who has had a correct view of English public opinion has .been and is still aware that such tariff legislation in Great Britain for the present or the early future is Impossible.
Why, within a few months, or within a year at least, after that, the imperial government had done the very thing which my hon. friend said was arrant humbug ; and within eighteen months after that, my hon. friend with his leader in London, was
asking the imperial government to adopt that very policy. That does not seem to exhibit a very great degree of foresight on the part of my hon. friend the Minister of Finance. The speeches which were made by the colonial representatives at the Colonial Conference have not been published. It has been said by a member of the imperial government that they were suppressed at the suggestion of the colonial representatives. Might I ask my right hon. friend whether or not the Canadian representatives made any suggestion looking to the suppression of their speeches ? It would have been very interesting indeed to know what was the attitude of the Canadian representatives at that conference. How does my right hon. friend explain the fact that the Canadian representatives at the imperial conference adopted a policy with regard to this matter which had been urged upon this House time after time by the Liberal Conservative party, and which this government had called upon its followers to vote down over and over again ? In the session of 1900 Sir Charles Tupper moved a resolution in this House to the effect that Canada would never be satisfied with any policy short of one giving mutual trade preferences throughout the empire. That was voted down by our hon. friends opposite ; and when we proposed a similar resolution in 1901, and again in 1902, it met with exactly the same fate. But let use see what the representatives of Canada themselves proposed at that colonial conference. The report of the conference, at pages 37 and 38, contains the following language, out of the mouths of the Canadian ministers who were present:
Meanwhile the Canadian ministers determined to present to the conference a resolution affirming the principle of preferential trade, and the desirability of its adoption by the colonies generally, and also expressing the opinion of the Prime Ministers of the colonies that His Majesty's government should reciprocate by granting preferential terms to the products of the colonies in the markets of the mother country.
After calling upon their followers in the House to vote down the proposals made by us in 1900, in 1901, and again in 1902, they go to this colonial conference, and propose the very thing they had voted down and derided as a humbug. How did my hon. friend expect to get a preference from the imperial government after telling them in 1897 that we had given our preference to the mother country in return for the splendid freedom bestowed on Canada. How could we consistently, as I pointed out last year, go to the colonial conference and ask for a preference for Canada in the markets of the mother country after we had told the people of the mother country in 1897 that Canada wanted nothing in return for the preference we had given, because it had been given in return for the splendid freedom bestowed upon us. But I will con-Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).
tinue to quote the expressions which the Canadian ministers put forth at that conference :
The Canadian ministers desire it to be understood that they took this course with the strong hope and the expectation that the principle of preferential trade would be more widely accepted by the colonies and that the mother country would at an early day apply the same principle by exempting the products of the colonies from customs duties. If, after using every effort to bring about such a readjustment of the fiscal policy of the empire, the Canadian government should find that the principle of preferential trade is not acceptable to the colonies generally or to the mother country, then Canada should be free to take such action as might be deemed necessary in the presence of such conditions.
Wbat is the meaning of the covert threat contained in the last sentence ? Will my right hon. friend, when he rises to address the House, or the Minister of Finance, if he speaks on this motion, tell us what is the meaning of this language ? We have been held up to derision and scorn in this House because we attacked the policy of granting a preference to the mother country without asking that there should be a preference to us in return. We have said that that preference should not have been given in pretended return for our freedom, that negotiations should have been carried on for a mutual trade preference throughout the empire, and that all our efforts should have been directed to that end, so that the whole empire, and Canada itself might in that way be strengthened. The jeers and scorn seem to belong rather to our hon. friends on the other side of the House at present.
If, after using every effort to bring about such a readjustment of the fiscal policy of the empire, the Canadian government should find that the principle or preferential trade is not acceptable to the colonies generally or the mother country, then Canada should be free to take such action as might be deemed necessary in the presence of such conditions.
That means, if it means anything, that the Canadian government, after telling the people of the mother country that they did not want any preference in the markets of the mother country, have now come to the conclusion that they do want a preference, and, wanting that preference, they threaten the mother country with a repeal of the British preference unless a corresponding preference in the markets of the mother country shall be afforded Canada. It means that if it means anything ; and if it does not mean that, I will be glad if my right hon. friend, when he rises to speak, would be good enough to inform the House and the country just what that sentence is Intended to convey to the people of the mother country on behalf of the people of Canada.
There is another matter connected with the colonial conference on which we would like to have a little information from the
government, and that information we think we are entitled to. The President of the Board of Trade held certain conferences with the Canadian representatives, and at page 35 of the colonial conference report, we find this :
The result of the informal meetings with the President of the Board of Trade are set forth in the following memorandum :-
As a result of the communications which have taken place, it is understood that the representatives of the colonies hereinafter mentioned are prepared to recommend to their respective parliaments preferential treatment of British goods on the following lines :-
Canada : The existing preference on lists of cent and an additional preference on lists of selected articles
(a) By further reducing the duties in favour of the United Kingdom ;
(b) By raising duties against foreign imports ;
(c) By imposing duties on certain foreign Imports now on the free list.
That is merely a recommendation by the Canadian representatives to the Canadian government. We would like, and I think the country would also like to be informed, whether or not that suggestion has been acquiesced in by the government of this country, and whether we are to expect that that policy will be carried out by Canada ; whether oi; not it will be carried out without any corresponding preference to the products of Canada in the markets of the mother country, or whether it will only be carried out by Canada on the exemption by the mother country of Canadian food products from the tax which has recently been imposed.
There is another matter, Mr. Speaker, upon which X would like to say a word. We know that during the last three or four years Canada has been subjected to a discrimination by the German empire. We know that the German empire has imposed upon Canada a maximum tariff, while she accords to all other portions of the empire and to the United States of America her minimum tariff. This matter has been discussed more than once in the House ; it has been brought to the attention of the government and my hon. friend the Minister of Finance took the position of almost justifying the action of the German government when the matter was brought up by my hon. friend from Pictou some two years ago. We have pointed out to the House and the country that this discrimination is unfair to Canada, because it is a discrimination imposed, according to the expressed words of the German chancellor, because Canada has granted a preference to the mother country. We have also pointed out to the House and the country on more than one occasion that German goods have been coming to Canada under this British preference with very little value added to them in the British islands. As a matter of fact, under the Customs regulations which were read to this
House by my hon. friend from Toronto last year, all that is necessary is to change the label on the goods and add a profit, and then they come to Canada as British goods.
On the one hand we have Germany discriminating against Canada, and ou the other hand, we have Germany getting the advantages of the preferential tariff. Now, a very important statement was made, and apparently acquiesced in by the Canadian representatives at this political conference, and I will read it to my right hon. friend and ask him whether or not the Canadian government acquiesced in that statement, and. if so, whether it is the view which his government entertains:
In connection with the discussion of preferential trade, the conference also considered the point raised by the Commonwealth government as to the possibilities of the colonies losing most-favoured nation treatment in foreign countries in the event of their giving a tariff preference to British goods. As, however, the exports from the colonies to foreign countries are almost exclusively articles of food or raw materials for various industries, the possibilities of discrimination against them in foreign markets was not regarded as serious, and as the exports from foreign countries to the colonies are mainly manufactured articles it is recognized that if such discriminations should take place the colonies had an effective remedy in their own hands.
Thus my right hon. friend and his colleagues have acquiesced in a statement that with regard to this German discrimination we have an effective remedy in our own hands. During the past three or four years we on this side have pointed out to the government that we have in our own hands an effective remedy. In 1891 we moved a resolution which pointed out that the government of this country had an effective remedy in then- own hands, and that resolution was voted down by my hon. friends opposite and no action has since been taken by this government. Neither have we information whether they ever made any protest with regard to this treatment, and I desire now to point out to my right hon. friend that according to the view acquiesced in apparently by himself and colleagues at the colonial conference, this government has the remedy in its own hands, yet it hesitates to apply it. It suffers German goods to come into Canada by the hundreds of thousands of dollars under the British preference, and at the same time suffers Canadian products to go into Germany under the maximum tariff, while goods from all the rest of the empire and the United States go into that country freely under the lower or minimum tariff.
There is one other matter in connection with the colonial conference on which I would like to say a word. The colony of Newfoundland, immediately after the conclusion of that conference, was permitted to enter into negotiations with the United States for the making of a treaty, very
similar in its terms to wliat was known years ago as the Blain-Bond treaty-a treaty under which, I venture to say, the interests of Canada would be very much prejudiced if it should come into operation. I would like to know from the right hon. gentleman what is the view of his government with regard to that. We know that when the Blain-Bond treaty was proposed, there was a strong protest against it sent from Canada to the mother country, on account of which further negotiations were stayed for the time being. Has this government taken any similar steps with regard to the present treaty? If not, does it propose to take any such steps. I think that the government might very much better occupy itself at present in negotiating with Newfoundland for the purpose of rounding off the Dominion hy securing the entrance of Newfoundland into our confederation than in idle negotiations with the United States. That colony has important trade relations with many parts of Canada-not only the maritime provinces, but Quebec and Ontario as well. I believe that an arrangement could be made between Canada and Newfoundland which would be for the benefit of both countries, and I would like to see the government beginning those negotiations; and as a preliminary, I think that the government might very well enter into negotiations with the imperial authorities for the purpose of obtaining some honourable settlement of the difficulty known as the French shore question. Canada is interested in that question almost as much as Newfoundland. Canada would be specially interested if Newfoundland would become part of our confederation, and I hope to see that island enter the Dominion before many years. We on this side will give the government our cordial support in any movement to that end, and I hope that this government will take the initiative for the purpose of having this difficulty removed so that the island may enter confederation unhampered by any such difficulty as now unfortunately prevails on its western coast. I do trust that my right hon. friend will be able to give us some information with regard to that particular question, and to assure the House that the government is alive to the advantages which would accrue both to Canada and to Newfoundland by that island becoming a part of this Dominion.
My hon. friend from Haldimand (Mr. Thompson) has referred to the Alaskan boundary question. In common with every member of this House, I regret the position in which that matter stands at present. The attitude of this government upon it has been somewhat remarkable. Last year we submitted a motion for the purpose of bringing before the House and the country the papers relating to the abrogation of the Bulwer-Clayton treaty, and the government took the ground that Canada had no direct interest in the proposed canal across from
the Nicaraguan peninsula. My right hon. friend said that Canada had no direct interest in the abrogation of the Clayton-Bulwer treaty or in the construction of the Nicaraguan canal-that she had no more interest in that canal than she had in the treaty affecting the Suez canal or in any other treaty between Great Britain and a foreign power. I take issue with my right hon. friend. I say that Canada had a direct interest in the abrogation of that treaty. What interest has the United States in the Nicaraguan canal ? She has the interest of her possessions on the Atlantic and Pacific and of the share which she expects to have in the future great trade with the Orient. I leave it to every hon. member whether Canada has not precisely the same interest in that Nicaraguan canal as has the United States. Our interests may be of a lesser degree, but we have great possessions on the Atlantic and the Pacific and we hope to get some share in the great trade of the Orient in the future. I know of no portion of the empire which has a greater interest in this canal and in the abrogation of the Bulwer-Clayton treaty than we have. The attitude taken by my right hon. friend was not that of Lord Lansdowne because in a dispatch to the British ambassador at Washington in 1901, Lord Lansdowne referred to the interests of Great Britain in this Nicaraguan canal and in the Clayton-Bulwer treaty by reason of her enormous possessions on the continent of America. The further language of Lord Lansdowne was quoted in the House last year. Lord Lansdowne said :
Shortly afterwards Lord Hersehell intimated that the difficulties with regard to the question of the Alaskan boundary seemed insuperable and he feared it might he necessary to break off the negotiations^of which he hitherto had the charge. Upon this Lord Salisbury informed Mr. White that he did_ not see how Her Majesty's government could sanction any convention for amending the Clayton-Bulwer treaty, as the opinion of this country would hardly support them in making a concession which would be wholly to the benefit of the United States, at a time when they appeared to be so little inclined to come to a satisfactory settlement in regard to the Alaskan frontier.
My hon. friend from East York (Mr. Maclean) brought that to the attention of the government last year. And these are very significant words indeed. Apparently, at that time, the British government had taken a stand that it would not be a proper thing to abrogate the Clayton-Bulwer treaty without making some provision for the settlement of the Alaskan boundary. Now, I think it is due to the House and to the country that my right hon. friend should state frankly the influences, if there were influences, which led to that change of attitude on the part of t'he British government. And he should also, and more especially, tell the people of this country whether that change of at-
Topic: ADDRESS IN ANSWER TO HIS EXCELLENCY'S SPEECH.
titode took place with the consent and concurrence of the government of Canada. I would not have brought myself to believe that the Canadian government had concurred, if it had not been for the language of my right hon. friend speaking for his government, which seemed to indicate that in his opinion Canada had no direct interest in the abrogation of the treaty or in the Nicaraguan canal. It may be that this government has concurred in the abrogation of that treaty without provision for the delimitation of the Alaskan boundary. All I can say is that, if the government has taken that attitude, I believe it merits the censure and condemnation of every truehearted and loyal Canadian for so doing.
What is the position of affairs ? The position is that Great Britain has made a treaty with the United States of America for the submission to six impartial jurists of the question of the position of the Alaskan frontier ; three of these impartial jurists to be appointed by Great Britain and three to be appointed by the United States. Well, does my right hon. friend, or does his government, expect that there will be a verdict either one way or the other from a majority of these impartial jurists ? What was the idea of the government on that point when it consented to this treaty ? For I suppose that this treaty, which affects the boundary of Canada, was not made without the consent of the Canadian government. It is true it does not contain the provisions of the Washington treaty which make it necessary that it should be submitted to the parliament of Canada before it comes into force. ; Probably my right hon. friend will explain why that provision was not contained in the treaty which has just been made between Great Britain and the United States. The government have seen fit to make this treaty-it was made by the imperial government presumably with the concurrence of the Canadian government- but it is made without any reference to the parliament of Canada, and this parliament is helpless to touch the question one way or the other now that the treaty has been made.
Well, we have these impartial jurists to deal with this matter. And does my right hon. friend feel satisfied with the selection which has been made by the United States of America ? It seems to me that the situation is rather an extraordinary one. I do not know, personally, anything about the three gentlemen who have been selected by the government of the United States; but I have a number of quotations from leading journals of that country which point out the fact that these gentlemen have, or at least two of them, prejudged the case. For example, the Detroit ' Tribune ' says that the subsidence of opposition to the Alaskan treaty in the Senate is explained by the fact that word was 2
secretly passed around who the American members of the commission would be, and the announcement of the names was a sufficient guarantee that, no matter what the Canadian case was, there was not the least danger that Uncle Sam would lose anything. This newspaper, the Detroit ' Tribune ' also says :
It may he assumed without the slightest hesitation that the convictions of these two gentlemen-(Lodge and Turner)-have been formed in advance and irrevocably. ... If Secretary Root were to show any disposition to weaken or compromise they would doubtless break up the conference in a row before anything could be lost or gained.
That is the view which an important journal in the United States takes of the situation. Now, one of these gentlemen, Senator Lodge, a very prominent gentleman in the United States, is quoted in a public journal as having spoken as follows :
The negotiations failed because Canada made claims in regard to the Alaskan boundary which the United States could not accept and which no nation with an ounce of self respect could have admitted. . . In 1867 we bought Alaska and the Russian title vested in us. For seventy years, in round numbers, that title was never questioned. Then gold was discovered. Then England set up a claim in complete contradiction to the treaty of 1825 which had been recognized for seventy years, and a more manufactured and baseless claim was never set up. If we should yield to it there is not a portion of our northern boundary which England could not attack. . . When an attempt was made to revive negotiations last spring, Canada came forward again with her Alaskan claim and President Roosevelt refused to recognize it, as any patriotic American would.
. . . No nation can afford to surrender its territory on baseless claims.
Does my right hon. friend regard that as the language of an 'impartial jurist' about to pass on this question between Canada and the United States ? Then the Minneapolis ' Tribune,' another leading journal of the United States, said :
Secretary Root and Senator Lodge are men' of high character, but they are not exactly the eminent and impartial jurists contemplated by the treaty. Besides they are connected with the government in such a way as almost inevitably to make them strong partisans of its case. Senator Turner is not even a man of high public character. . . Besides
as a border senator, he is committed to the most extreme American interpretation.
And the Brooklyn ' Eagle,' in the forcible language which is sometimes found even In leading American journals expresses its view in this way :
The chances of convincing American jurists of the rightfulness of Canada's claims are about the same as the prospects of a thaw in Hades.
The New York ' Commercial Advertiser ' says :
Secretary Root and Senator Lodge have been stubborn in believing that Great Britain has
no reasonable grounds for claiming under the treaty between Russia and JJreat Britain any territory other than has been conceded all along. Senator Turner comes from the extreme north-western state where the feeling against yielding any Alaskan territory has always been stronger than in any other part of the United States.
The ' Literary Digest ' says :
As there is no seventh commissioner, a deadlock is regarded as almost certain in which case the boundary will remain, until further negotiations, where it now is, and it now is pretty near where the United States claims it ought to be.
The New York ' Evening Post ' says :
Mr. Root and Senator Turner and even more. Senator Lodge, lack judicial quality in all this Alaskan dispute. All three in time past have committed themselves unequivocally against the Canadian contention.
We believe that it would be a very fortunate occurrence should trifling indisposition or press of other duties require the resignation of Senator Lodge and permit the appointment of an expert historical geographer.
The New York correspondent of the London ' Times ' says :
If he (Lord Lansdowne) has conceded anything he has conceded it with the full consent of Canada, nay upon her urgency, and Canadian views have always had weight, perhaps too much weight, with the British Foreign Office, on purely Canadian questions.
Now, the question is, what do the government .propose to do after they have got the matter into this muddle? Why did they not in the first place take a firm stand as Canadian governments in days gone by have taken, and insist that the Clayton-Bulwer treaty in which we were interested-because we are interested in the Nicaraguan canal-should not be abrogated until some fair settlement had been made, or at least, until some fair means of settlement had been found for the delimitation of the Alaskan boundary ? Why did the government not take that stand ? I cannot believe that if the government had taken that stand the treaty would ever have been abrogated as it was. The right hon. gentleman, however, will correct me on that point. But now that a reference has been made of the Alaskan boundary question to six men, what are we to do about it ? Does the government propose to concur in the appointment of British arbitrators at all ? I venture to suggest to the government of my right hon. friend that that may be a question for serious consideration. If we appoint the arbitrators we know pretty well what the result will be. The very best that we can hope for is an even division, but an even division will leave matters exactly as they are at present, with the United States in possession of the disputed territory, and will leave them in even a stronger position than they are at present, because they will be able to say that the matter had been referred Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).
to a tribunal which was unable to determine whether the present boundary was right or wrong. But of one thing I am absolutely certain, and that is that if Canada or the mother country do appoint arbitrators-and I doubt the expediency of their doing so under present conditions-they should not follow the example of the United States in this regard. If we appoint any one we should appoint men wlfo can be fairly and honestly classed as impartial jurists. The fact that the United States have appointed men who do not seem to us to come within that category, is no reason why we should follow their example, because by doing so we would condone the course of the United States in the appointment of its arbitrators, and would place ourselves in the same position the United States occupies.
Now I think that the government of this country might at least have done one thing in regard to this matter which they have failed to do, and that is to take some effectual means of informing public opinion in the United States on this question. One reason why we have had so much difficulty in getting any reasonable settlement with the United States is that nearly everybody in that country believes that this is merely a trumped up claim on the part of Canada. Why did not the government of this country take some effectual means of informing public opinion in the United States with regard to this matter ? They have taken a great deal of pains in proclaiming their political propaganda in our own country. If some of that energy had been devoted to making known the Canadian case through the leading journals of the United States, it might have been possible for us to make a better arrangement with the government of that country than we have been able to do. I regret the condition in which this matter stands at the present time. Whatever course the government proposes to take in the interests of Canada, even in the hopeless condition in which the matter finds itself at present, we will give them our cordial support. Upon a question of this kind the whole country should be united; and if the government, by means of a resolution of this House, or by any other means, desires to have its hands strengthened, even at this unfortunate stage of the negotiations, I am sure that I can say on behalf of every man on this side of the House that we are prepared cordially to sustain the government in any such course.
Now, Mr. Speaker, I have not much more to add. Reference has been made, in the proceedings of the colonial conference, to a proposal by the Canadian government to establish a local naval force. It is not necessary for me to read the quotations; my right hon. friend no doubt recollects what the proposal was. No reference whatever is made to that in the speech
from the Throne. I would think it of sufficient importance to have merited a mention in the speech. Would my right hon. friend, in addressing himself to the House, be good enough to give us any information which he may think proper to give at the present time in regard to that matter, so that we may know what we have to expect.
Reference is also made in the speech from the Throne to the question of transportation, and to the fact that there has been a great influx of population into our north-western territories. I visited portions of the North-west during the past autumn, and I was very glad indeed to know that we are receiving a great immigration from the United States of America. We are all delighted to see that immigration taking place. Those people who are coming into that country are good citizens. They are, as the hon. member for Haldimand (Mr. Thompson) has said, people accustomed to govern themselves, people to whom representative institutions are no new thing. I am not at all afraid of the influx of these men to the North-west. I am very glad indeed that they are coming in great numbers, and I hope that their numbers will be increased during the coming year. I hope also that the government will take into early consideration the question of granting provincial autonomy to those great territories in the North-west. Those territories are filling up rapidly, the people are all accustomed to representative institutions, and a great many of them, at least, feel very keenly now that they have not the complete rights of self-government which have been conferred on the people of the other provinces. I regret that no mention of this important question has been made in the speech from the Throne. I know that my hon. friend the Minister of the Interior entertains the view that it is not wise at the present time to deal with the question. I do not agree with him, I do not agree with the reasons which he has stated, I do not see any force in those reasons. I hope and trust that notwithstanding the absence of any mention of this subject in the speech from the Throne, the government will upon reconsideration bring in a Bill during the present session for the purpose of conferring complete rights of selfgovernment upon the people of the Northwest Territories.
But, in regard to the question of transportation, which is one of very great importance, I find that these words have been placed in the speech from the Throne, in the mouth of His Excellency :
The whole question of transportation and terminal facilities continues to occupy much attention and my government will immediately appoint a commission of experienced men to report on the subject.
We will be glad to know what is the real significance of these words. Those of us 2i
who follow the trend of public affairs in the newspapers know that proposals will be made during the present session for charters to build transcontinental railways and it is also said that applications Will be made to the government for subsidies, or other assistance, to aid in the building of these railways. I would like to ask my right hon. friend, what is the significance of these words. Do they mean that the question of these charters is to be referred to the commission; do they mean that the question of the subsidies or other assistance to these railways is to be referred to a commission? If that is not the significance of the language which has been used we would be very glad indeed to know what scope these words have and what is the purport of the measure that is to be brought before the House in that regard.
I suppose it could not be expected that we should have any reference to the tariff in the speech from the Throne, but I may say to you, Mr. Speaker, that we recall the fact that during the past session the Minister of Finance (Hon. Mr. Fielding) practically announced to the House and to the country that there would be a revision of the tariff at an early day. I am not placing my own interpretation on his words because the hon. member for Alberta (Mr. Oliver), speaking afterwards in the same debate said that the speech of the hon. Minister of Finance was a clear warning to every free trader in the country that the tariff would be revised and that the tariff would be raised. Certain events have transpired since then to which I need not refer, but which are intimately connected with fiscal questions. If my right hon. friend would give us any idea as to whether or not the language of the hon. Minister of Finance in his budget speech last year is to be taken seriously, and is to be regarded as an announcement to the country that a revision will be made during the present session, we would be very glad to hear from the right hon. leader of the government on that point. A great deal of the prosperity-of the alleged prosperity -of this country is based upon the fact that our trade has increased. While our trade has very greatly increased since 1896, so has the trade of every portion of the world. I have the Agues before me and could give them at the present time if I though it wise. But, our trade may increase in Canada at the expense of our own industries. If a hundred of the leading factories in Canada were wiped out of existence at the present time, the imports of Canada would necessarily show an increase, but it would not at all follow that because the imports of the country were increasing the country was therefore more prosperous. We laid down our platform in regard to this question in 1901 and again in 1902, but that platform did not find acceptance with my hon. friends on the other side of the House. They disagreed with it very strongly and yet they do
not seem to agree very closely amongst themselves. We stand on the platform which we laid down in 1901 and in 1902, and if there is not a revision of the tariff upon the lines indicated in the resolutions which we moved we shall again state our views in this House by a resolution during the present session. I am glad to say that we have won a convert even within the cabinet, and that is the youngest member of the cabinet, my hon. friend the Minister of Marine and Fisheries (Hon. Mr. Pre-fontaine). That gentleman while my hon. friend the Finance Minister was declaiming in favour of a low tariff in the county of Yarmouth, was announcing to the electors of Maisonneuve that he was in favour of legitimate protection to Canadian industries. Now, this is a very important announcement indeed and the significance of his language is all the greater because he included the right hon. leader of the government :
I am, as I always have been, in favour of legitimate protection to our national industries and like my leader Sir Wilfrid Laurier 1 will ask and require protection for the interests of the different classes of the population.
My hon. friend the Finance Minister would not be very much pleased with a platform of that kind, if we are to judge by his recent utterances in the province of Nova Scotia, but, of course, so far as Ontario and Quebec are concerned the hon. Minister of Finance may have an entirely different platform, and in the constituency of Maisonneuve I am inclined to believe that he would stand on exactly the same platform as the hon. Minister of Marine and Fisheries.
Now, Mr. Speaker, there are one or two other matters perhaps on which a word might be said, but X think I will not take up the time of the House further at the present time beyond this : I am very glad indeed to learn by the speech from the Throne that the government proposes to bring down a measure in regard to Chinese immigration. My right hon. friend, in the campaign of 1896, made a pretty definite promise to the people of British Cclumbia in regard to that question. He. said that the question was not a question in the east but that as far as Chinese immigration was concerned the views of the Liberals of British Columbia would prevail. Well, my right hon. friend has a majority from that province, a very considerable majority indeed -and the views of the members from that province have been pretty freely expressed in this House. Nevertheless, no measure in regard to Chinese immigration has been brought down up to the present time. I am gJad that the government are at last taking this matter into their consideration and we shall be very ready indeed to give any suitable measure of that kind our most careful and earnest consideration. The people of
British Columbia, or a great many of them, feel very strongly on that subject, and those who have gone from the coast to British Columbia can readily understand that we in the east do not have a real conception of what that question means to the people of that province. It requires one not only to study the question from the reports of commissions and otherwise, but it also requires a visit to the province and a free statement of opinion from the people whom one meets of all classes in the province to understand how earnestly and how vigorously that question appeals to the large and important interests in the province of British Columbia. This speech does not in the least indicate what the nature of the measure is, but when it comes down we will be able to give it our attention and to criticize it if necessary. In the meantime we can only express our pleasure that the government have at last, in the seventh year after they have come into power, seen fit to deal in an effective way, we hope, with this question which is of such great importance to the west.
Now, Mr. Speaker, I do not know that I shall detain the House further at the present time. I trust that my right hon. friend will see fit to give us frankly-as frankly as the interests of the country will permit-information in reference to the matters which I have mentioned and I trust especially that in regard to the present position of the Alaskan boundary he will speak openly and frankly to the people of Canada in order that we may know just how we do stand in regard to the people of the United States on the one hand and the imperial government on the other, cn a question of great importance to the people of Canada, one which concerns the possible loss of a portion of their territory.
Topic: ADDRESS IN ANSWER TO HIS EXCELLENCY'S SPEECH.
The PRIME MINISTER (Right Hon. Sir Wilfrid Laurier).
Mr. Speaker, before I proceed with the observations which the speech of the leader of the opposition call from me, I deem it my duty as it is my pleasure to at once thank my hon. friend (Mr. Borden) for the very kind reference which he has made to myself. I also thank his friends behind him for the manner in which they received these observations of his. I am glad to believe that this incident is a further evidence that the amenities of British parliamentary life are of so kindly a nature; and that in the hands of my hon. friend the leader of the opposition they are indeed in safe keeping. I trust it may always be, that we can recognize honourable differences of opinion in this country, and that though we may be divided upon many questions, yet we can be united upon one, and that is a mutual respect for each other. I also beg to thank the leader of the opposition for the observations which he has made with reference to the colleagues which it has been our
Topic: ADDRESS IN ANSWER TO HIS EXCELLENCY'S SPEECH.