Mr. R. L. BORDEN.
I did not expect that my hon. friend (Mr. Paterson) would . be inspired with the spirit of prophecy, such as he apparently thinks would be necessary, No one imagines for one moment that he or any officer in the department, would be able to tell absolutely what changes must be made during the next fifteen months. However, as a fact, it would be only eight or nine months, because if the next session of parliament is called in the ordinary course in January he could bring down a supplementary estimate. Even for that period of eight months I do not ask him to judge of everything infallibly or to be able to prophesy, but I do ask him to show me one place where his department expects an increase of the staff or an increase of salaries to be necessary. He must know something about the present conditions. There is an estimate of what the increased revenue will amount to up to the end of the present fiscal year ; and whoever attends to that work ought to be able to give some of the information that I am asking for. My hon. friend speaks of the statistical staff, which I think he says numbers fifty-three. Has the labour of that staff been confined entirely to the work which we see in the report of the hon. gentleman's department, or have they ever endeavourd to
estimate anything of this kind We have largely increasing importations. Are there any statistics in the department which would indicate how much labour is involved in the manufacture or production of these goods ? That would be a very valuable piece of information for the public to have. Have the hon. gentleman's staff also considered whether or not any material portion of that labour might be profitably employed in Canada in the production or manufacture of those goods ? It is of course desirable to have produced in Canada all articles which we can possibly produce here. Would it not be important for his department to investigate these importations, especially in new lines of goods, with the view of judging to what extent they1 could be produced in the country ? I do not knbw whether this question has ever been taken up by my hon. friend since he has been in charge of the department, or indeed by any of his predecessors. At any rate, I should be glad to have him give the committee any information, if there be any, on that subject, and in default of that, let me know what he thinks of the suggestion.