An Act respecting the construction of a National Transcontinental Railway.
Whereas, by reason of the growth in population and the rapid development in the productiveness and trade of Canada and especially of the western part thereof, and with a view to the opening up of new' territory available for settlement, both in the eastern provinces and in the west, and the affording of transportation facilities for such territory and for other reasons, the necessity has arisen for the construction of a national transcontinental railway to be operated, as a common railway highway across the Dominion of Canada, from ocean to ocean and wholly within Canadian territory; and whereas an agreement has been entered into bearing date the 29th day of July, 1903, between His Majesty the King of the first part, and Sir Charles Rivers Wilson, C.B.. G.C.M.G., and others, representing therein and acting on behalf of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway Company, a company incorporated by an Act of parliament of Canada passed at the present session thereof, of the second part, making provision for the construction and operation of such a railway, a copy of which agreement forms the schedule to this Act ; and whereas it is expedient that parliament should ratify and confirm the said agreement, and should grant authority for the construction in manner hereinafter provided of the eastern division of the said railway between the city of Moncton in the province of New Brunswick, and the city of Winnipeg in the province of Manitoba.
Now therefore His Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows :-
There we have the matter before us. We have had the subject dealt with by sixty members of the House, including the Prime Minister, who presented till the points in connection with the Bill so well and forcibly. It will be noticed that the preamble begins :
' Whereas by reason of the growth in population.' We are quite sure that in the early eighties and up through the early nineties the growth of population in this country was very slow. It was very slow for various reasons. We, as Liberals thought that the fiscal policy of the Conservatives, then in office, had a tendency to retard the growth of the country. We saw that the industries whch had been promised did not spring up, and we attributed this fact to the fiscal policy which had been adopted. We saw that our young men had gone to the other side of the line, that a large population from French Canada had gone into the eastern States, that everywhere our people were leaving us and that our growth in population was not at all satisfactory. But I am glad to assure you, Sir, that since the advent of the Liberal party to power the growth has been rapidly increasing. We have had a natural growth of the country and have also had an immigration into Canada which has been a surprise to everybody. We have talked about the matter in the House and the records show that the immigration into
the country has been far and above anything ever known here, and that it is likely to increase. Indeed, the immigration into this country during the last fiscal year was about 125,000 people. That is very significant, when you remember that for many years the immigration did not exceed 5,000 or 6,000 per annum. That immigration is likely to increase. Why V Because we have the country to attract them; because the country is well governed and has a policy which is suitable to immigrants making life pleasant and easy for them. Under these circumstances, we are sure the immigrants will come into this country and will come in very fast. The second portion of the preamble says : ' And the rapid development in the productiveness and trade of Canada and especially of the western part thereof.' Let us consider, for a moment or two, the growth of trade which is the second reason why we are asked to vote for the Bill. When the Premier puts forward this resolution he does not say to us ; You are my servile followers; vote for this. He gives us reasons. And the second of these reasons is the rapid development of our trade. We find that in 1882, when the first transcontinental road was built, our total trade amounted to $221,356,703; and in 1902, twenty years later-just, two decades, the lifetime of one individual-it. had increased to $467,000,000. That is, it has doubled in the last twenty years and most of that increase, I am assured, has come in the last seven years. The total revenue of the country in 1882 was $33,383,455, and the revenue for 1902 was $66,500,000. We find a great increase in the bank assets also. The government are not by any means the only people to whom the increased business of the country is to be credited. There are the business people besides. The banks have a hand in practically all the business of the country, and they get a rake-off for the work they do. The total bank assets in 1882 were $227,426,835. In 1902, the total bank assets had grown to $041,985,372, more than keeping pace with the growth of the trade of the country. And if hon. gentlemen say that the government did not do it all, we quite agree with them; we say that the country grew independently of the government. The money in the savings banks including the post office savings banks in 1882 amounted to $21,786,661. This has grown until in 1902 it amounted to $59,147,226. These figures show the growth and expansion of our trade generally. But we know, independently of the figures that all our industries have been growing. In my own riding we have a smart little town. The industries of my own riding have grown rapidly. We can see them grow. New additions are being put upon factory buildings, more men are being hired, and new stuff being turned out. We have enormous factories in our town now, and what we see there is only indicative of what is going on