Mr. R. L. BORDEN (Halifax).
Mr. Speaker, before you leave the Chair I want to bring to the attention of the House the question of establishing a fast Atlantic service, which has been before this country for a great many years past. I think no one of us is inclined to minimize the importance to the country of this service. Its importance has been recognized by both political parties for many years, and I believe-though I have not verified the record -that the resolution upon which the Bill was founded for the establishment of this service, and which gave to it an aid of $750,000 a year, so commended itself to the judgment of this House that there was no division taken upon it. That the service at the present time is not what the requirements of the age demand must be apparent to us all. It has been stated by members of the government, in reply to questions from this side of the House, that the greater part of the Canadian mail is sent to and from New York, for the simple reason that it can accomplish the journey via New York in about two-thirds of the time which it would take if sent by way of a Canadian [DOT]port. The same is true as regards passengers, although to a lesser degree. We have land it stated by the Minister of Trade and Commerce during the present session that the average time which mails occupy in the journey from a Canadian port to a port in the United Kingdom is something like 94, 10 or 11 days. I have under my hand a record of the length of time occupied in the voyage between Halifax and the motherland some forty years ago, and I have no doubt that the House and the country have perhaps forgotten what has been pointed out many times, that the average length of the voyage from Canada to England to-day is practically what it was forty years ago. I have a comparison between the logs of the Royal Mail steamship ' Asia ' of nearly forty years ago and the length of the present day voyages. I shall take the liberty of reading to the House a statement taken from a public journal published in the city of Halifax, based upon a communication made by a gentleman who had gone to the pains of verifying the records, by examining the logs of these steamships of forty years ago. I may say that the journal to which I refer is non-partisan ; it is a mercantile journal published in the city of Halifax, and, commenting on the letter addressed to it by this gentleman, it says : After showing that the ' Unicorn,' made her first voyage from Liverpool to Halifax,-away back in 1840,-in 16 days, which was even then complained of as three or four days longer than was expected, he proceeds to show how very little better the service is to-day. The ' Mongolian,' the first weekly boat to come here this season, took somewhat over eleven days to make the voyage ! In other words she only " developed about the same rate of speed that was expected of the ' Unicorn ' in 1840.