I would like to correct an error in an answer given by me to a question yesterday. I was asked if there had been any contract entered into with the Trans-Canada Railway Company for any portion of the line. The other portions of the answer were all right, but in the first part I overlooked the fact that a contract had been entered into last January for sixty miles of a railway which is really a portion of the Trans-Canada Railway.
TRANS-CANADA RAILWAY-CORRECTION. TO CHANGE THE NAME OF HUDSON'S BAY.
MACLEAN (East York) moved for leave to Introduce Bill (No. 173) to change the name of Hudson's Bay.
Perhaps, Mr. Speaker, the hon. gentlemen will hear me. I think there is good political reason and good national reason for the introduction of this Bill. It is an assertion of our supremacy
over the waters of Hudson's Bay and the adjoining territory. We have not been very successful in maintaining our supremacy and control over the northern half of this continent in the past. We lost the great valley of the Mississippi through inattention ; we lost Louisiana ; we lost Texas ; we lost Oregon and the Pacific coast-
And the state of Maine.
We lost Alaska
And you lost North Ontario.
And hon. gentlemen opposite may lose something else later on- they may lose their present seats. Our right and title to a portion of the Yukon is now disputed. And, as has been said, we lost the state of Maine. And nearly all these losses occurred because Canadians themselves failed to assert their rights and to assert their supremacy over their own country. The Hudson's Bay country is coming to be a valuable country. I believe there is a great future for us in that respect, and I say we ought to begin now to assert our supremacy in regard to that territory, we ought to give it a distinctively Canadian name, and I do not know any better name to apply to those waters than to call them the Canadian sea. There are but two seas larger than Hudson's Bay, the Mediterranean and the Carribean sea.
What about the Caspian sea ?
The Caspian sea is much smaller than Hudson's Bay, and we ought to be patriotic enough and Canadian enough
Does the hon. gentleman intend to include all these three seas in his Bill ?
Does the hon. gentleman think I do ? I am comparing these seas to Hudson's Bay, though it is not a bay, it is a great sea with an area of over half a million square miles. The area of Hudson's Bay is larger than that of all our lakes combined. The great lakes of Canada only include 100,000 square miles, but Hudson Bay includes half a million square miles, and has a name that is not properly applied to it. It may be said that I propose to remove an old historical landmark and to change the name. But, Sir, the discoverer of Hudson's Bay, or rather the man by whose name it is known, has a monument in the Hudson river in New York state, and he would still have a monument, if this Bill goes through, in Hudson Straits, and he is embalmed in Rip Van Winkle in a way that will last for ever. The motion I make has been suggested to me by men who have been studying the facts in connection with Mr. MACLEAN.
Hudson's Bay, by men who have been studying the geography of that country, by men who have been reading the history of the country, and the way in which we have lost territory. I think a very good opportunity is now presented to us for asserting our supremacy in that country. I hope it is true that the government in some way are already asserting supremacy in that country, that they are at the present time collecting customs duties there and planting the flag. If we do not plant the flag in Hudson's Bay, there are enterprising men and rivals of ours who will soon do it, and who have been setting up pretensions there, as they have set up pretensions in the Yukon. These things ought to cause us to reflect, and while hon. gentlemen opposite who have not been very anxious about protecting Canadian territory, and who have been anxious to see the old flag removed from the northern half of it-some of them may jeer and laugh at it-
Now the sore point comes. Now I touch on the raw. Now is the time to turn the other way. In the light of all our past experience, of this loss of territory, of this abandonment of territory, I say it is in the public interest that such a Bill as this should be introduced. It is the duty of the government to show that they take an interest iu a question like this, that they are interested in the maintenance of Canadian supremacy on this half of the continent, and that they are doing something now to hold that country for Canada. I hope they intend to give some encouragement to our friend Capt. Bernier in his efforts to plant ihe flag on the North Pole. I am quite willing so far as I am concerned, to support that scheme. I say this Bill is of the greatest national importance, it is important to the empire, and although it may be modified in the way it is drafted, I hope it will meet with the unanimous support of this House.
Motion agreed to, and Bill read the first time.
SUPPLY-THE TREADGOLD CONCESSIONS.
The PRIME MINISTER (Rt. Hon. Sir Wilfrid Laurier) moved that the House again go into Committee of Supply.