I take it for granted that whatever government is in power will see to it that the gold produced in Canada will find its way to our own mint. Moreover, I suppose, they will arrange some scheme with the banks for the collection of the gold. People who live in the east can hardly conceive of the immense harm that has been done to Canada and Canadian institutions by the prevalence of just such a view as the hon. gentleman has expressed, that we have no real use for a mint. Of course I believe he expresses this view in good faith, not being conversant with the 'Tacts. If we had had a mint in Canada, or any place where gold could have been bought at its value, the city of Vancouver, instead of being a city of
40,000 inhabitants, would have been much more populous, because it would have received the benefit of the shipments of gold from the Yukon, and would have been a greater city than Seattle to-day. Seattle was built up, I can tell my hon. friend, from a city of 20,000 people, as it was when I first saw it, to a city of 120,000. Most of the prosperity which Seattle has enjoyed the last eight years has resulted from Canadian mined gold. Now, Sir, I think that 201
every man in this country should be alive to the fact that we are a gold producing country. We have other things in this country besides wheat, and fowl, and barnyard hogs. Last year we produced in British Columbia alone $6,000,000 worth of gold, and the whole output in Canada was nearly $21,000,000. Let me tell my hon. friend that that $21,000,000 went over to the American side and is credited to the United States production of gold, making that country the second largest in the world, whereas if Canada was to receive her right proportion and mint her own gold, she would stand fourth as a gold producing country. I have given some of the reasons, there are others of a patriotic nature. I think it is high time that this country of 6,000,000 people should mint their own gold and silver. We can produce every known mineral I think on the earth, we produce gold in a great amount, and silver in almost unlimited quantities, and I believe the time has come when this gold should be coined iin our own country, and bear a Canadian imprint. We have plenty of silver, and we shall see silver 50 cent pieces and $1 pieces of our own coining. When my hon. friend sees a gold piece with a beaver on one side and the name Canada on the other, I know his Canadian heart will swell with pride.
I desire first to thank my right hon. friend for the explanation he gave me. While the right hon. gentleman was speaking, I recalled to mind that this subject did come up in 1899 or 1900, and if I am not mistaken, politics did enter into the discussion of that question. Some of our friends from British Columbia were talking strongly on the lines the hon. gentleman (Mr. Macplierson, of Vancouver) has just suggested. The right hon. gentleman shows there was no politics in his scheme when he says that it was important to keep our own gold in Canada, to be minted here instead of letting it go over to the United States. Why is it that the government have waited four or five years to come to this decision and to build this institution, while our gold has been allowed to go over to the other side ?
My hon. friend from Vancouver says that instead of building up cities in the United States, Canadian cities will be built up by the construction of this mint. Surely . my hon. friend is not. serious. He knows very well that most Americans who come into our country in search of gold, on finding it take it home with them, and I do not think my hon. friend will find any means of preventing them from doing so. The Canadian mint here will be idle. There will be two or three superintendents and five or six clerks employed, we will spend a great deal of money and I intend to ask before I get through how much it will cost for oper-
ating. We will require to have a number of specialists. Having visited the mint in Philadelphia, I know the number of people who are employed there. I do not believe that we will coin very much money The establishment of this mint will not prevent money being coined on the American side. The hon. Postmaster General came to the rescue and spoke about the banks being called upon to help in the distribution of the gold. We know what has happened. The Bank of Commerce has a monopoly in the Yukon but that fact does not prevent Canadian gold from going to the United States. When the demand for a mint was first made in the House of Commons there was a population in Dawson City of 40,000. What is the population of Dawson City to-day ? There are not 10,000 people in that city. Where is your immense production of gold? I cannot see the usefulness of such a building. It will involve the expenditure of a large amount of money uselessly. It will cost a great deal of money to keep up that institution every year and there is no reason for it. The political reason has disappeared. If the building were to be erected in Vancouver or even in Dawson City there might be some reason for it, but being located here in Ottawa it will serve no useful purpose because it will be a great deal shorter for a man coming out from Dawson City to go to the United States than to come here. My hon. friend talks about patriotism being stimulated by the establishment of this institution. If there were more patriotism there would not be nine million dollars of American coin in circulation in Canada today.
I do not find fault with that. If my hon. friend looks at the statutes he will know that the banks have been allowed to use American coin for their reserves of gold. That was necessary when we were a small nation, but we are growing. Does my hon. friend believe that we must for ever remain without our own mint and our own coin ? There is in the highest sense a political reason for the establishment of a mint. Canada, today, with a population of six millions of souls, a larger population than that of Belgium, Sweden and Norway and many other nations and with a large production of gold, should have a mint of her own. As a commercial transaction I do not think there is any money in it. We will do well if we come out even, but whatever it may be as a commercial transaction, put it upon the ground stated by my hon. friend a moment ago-the political ground and I hope that he and his hon. friends will agree with the government that the mint will serve a Mr. BERGERON.
useful purpose. It will assert that Canada is coming to the front. It will be an advertisement for Canada not only on this continent but everywhere. You will see our gold coins in Washington and New York and wherever you go in the United States or in Europe you will find Canada advertised as it is not advertised to-day. Our bank bills may be refused in the money markets of Europe and the United States, but when you have gold coin in your pocket it will be accepted everywhere and it will advertise Canada. In the Yukon we produce about $10,000,000 every year. That is the standard production of the Yukon now. In British Columbia, as I understand from the statement made a moment ago by my hon. friend from Vancouver (Mr. Macpher-son), we produce $6,000,000-that makes $16,000,000-and in other parts of Canada we produce $4,000,000 making a total production of $20 000,000 of gold. I do put it to my hon. friend on the ground of his own political faith, on the ground that he has been preaching more than once recently : Does he not believe it is good policy that we should coin that gold ourselves in Canada ? Where does it go to-day ? It does not go to Europe. I do not think that any part of our gold goes to Europe, but I believe it all goes to the United States. Every ounce of that $20,000,000 of Canadian gold which is taken from the bowels of the earth goes to the United States. Let us have a mint here in Ottawa, that Washington of the North, and then we shall have something which is worthy of a nation. In the United States they have not one mint but several, one in Washington, one in Philadelphia, which is the oldest, one at San Francisco and one, I think, also at Denver. We will commence with one and as time goes on, we, like our neighbours, shall have more than one also. ,
Of course, I presume, the hon. gentleman (Mr. Armstrong) refers to the question that another hon. gentleman spoke of a moment ago when something was said about the hon. Finance Minister having made a statement that it would cost $200,000. I have never seen such a statement. I presume the hon. gentleman has seen a statement of that character. I presume he spoke from memory. If such a statement was made by my hon. friend the Minister of Finance it must have been made without any calculation, because the plans of the department were not prepared in any careful way at that time. He was under a misapprehension if he made that statement. Great care has been exercised in preparing a plan which will provide a building that can be operated in the most I economical way.
I will take the advice of my right hon. friend and wait until the hon. Minister of Finance is here.
Mr. BLAIN- On the question as to whether we were speaking from memory or not, I draw the attention of the hon. acting Minister of Public Works to page 5673 of the ' Hansard ' of 1901. The hon. Finance Minister said that ' the building would cost $200,000.' Now, my hon. friend the acting Minister of Public Works comes forward and says it will cost $370,000.