June 7, 1905

LIB
CON

Alfred Thompson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. THOMPSON.

Of course. These -regulations to which I have referred are operating iu the Yukon and are sent to our Gold Commissioner, who is head of our gold court there ; but I am just giving parliament the ideas of the miners themselves, in convention assembled, of the things they need :

It was considered the prospector should be allowed to take and hold ground for ninety days by prospecting continuously without recording.

The prospector is the man to whom we owe that $128,000,000 in gold. If he had not preceded the population, we would not have a Klondike or a Yukon, and it is necessary, in order that further discoveries may be made, to encourage the genus prospector. Unfortunately, he has, to a very large extent, left and gone to other fields. He is a migratory man always, in every country, but I am anxious we should do everything .possible to retain that class of men. He is a man who will take upon his back food for a few days, a frying pan, a shot gun, a little ammunition, and go out in the wilderness and prospect there day after day and week after week until his food supply runs out. Then he will come in for more and go out again. It seems to toe a fever ; there is a strange fascination for these men to go out and discover new gold districts. I am anxious that we should make things as easy as possible for the prospector and give greater inducement to him to go and discover new fields. For. in that vast territory, there may be a hundred IClondikes. It will be strange if there are not other deposits of gold there, because we are right in the auriferous belt, which runs from California to Cape Nome. Take a map of the western section of this continent and lay a ruler upon it, and you will he surprised to find that from California to British Columbia, to Yukon and Cape Nome, is almost a straight line due north, showing that we are really in the auriferous belt, and that further discoveries may he made at any moment in the Yukon. It therefore occurred to me that it might be possible for us to aid the prospector in this way. First, charge him no fees. Give him au absolute free claim from the time he stakes until he sells. Make the man who buys pay ; but so long as the prospect is held by the individual prospector himself, give him a free claim without royalty or fee of any kind. More than that, if the prospector should discover a new creek, that creek immediately becomes a revenue bearer to the government. Claims are staked on it. In

order fqr a man to .hold a claim he must first buy a license, which costs $5. To that we do not object. We ask the government to protect us, and are willing to pay for the protection. We do not object to the $5 for a mining license, and in order that a man may hold a claim he must have that license. But I would not have the prospector charged for fees or mining license or any royalty on his claims. All the other miners, however, who came after him and staked upon the creek he discovered would have to pay to the government the usual fees ; and I submit it would be good policy to give the prospector half those renewal fees for a term of years, or say until he has a bonus of $10,000. How would that work out ? At present that country which he is prospecting does not give the government a cent, but the moment he makes a discovery the government begins to get returns. Is it not fair then that the government should, for a term of years, divide those returns with the prospector who made it possible for them to get anything ? I am not wedded to this, but wish to do something that will induce the prospector to go out into the wilderness ; >and in the absence of anything else, I have thought out this scheme. The first year he gets nothing, the government gets -it all, because it might be a fake discovery, and I would not encourage that. Another thing, if a man holds a claim and has to put on his representative work and wants to renew at the end of the year, that costs $10. I do not object to that. The first year the prospector gets nothing ; the second year, if the claims are no good, these men who hold them will not renew them, but if they are good they will renew them, and the prospector would get half these renewals until he gets a cash bonus of $10,000. That is one method of helping the prospector and inducing him to go into the country and discover and open up large areas.

It was decided we need mining inspectors, hut that they bo elected by the miners on each creek, and that the Mounted Police do the desired work formerly done by the inspectors.

All the inspectors except two were discharged last fall, and the miners think that others should be elected. Their idea is to elect them as is done in Australia and some other country. These men get together and elect the man they think most suitable to inspect their claims. That is a matter I suggest in passing, to the government.

It was decided that all royalty or export tax be abolished and the British Columiba Hydraulic Lease Law should he adopted.

They are a unit on the question of abolishing the export tax. Formerly, where it bore only on the rich man who produced $5,000 and over, but now it bears upon the poor man. It bears upon every dollar you raise from the ground, and that is why it is so obnoxious. We would be willing, in anv event, that it should be remitted for a term Mr. THOMPSON.

of years, if not permanently. One of the things that occupy our attention in the Yukon individually and collectively is the lien law. iltn that country, where labour is valuable, a workable lien law is very desirable. We found it very difficult indeed to frame a lien law that would be workable. We did frame one and passed it through the Yukon Council, but the court decided it was ultra vires. The only thing for us to do then is to ask this parliament to pass a lien law which will be operative in the Yukon. The difficulty is this. As I understand the principle of such a law. it applies against the labour of a man who is working upon something and making it more valuable toy his labour. The product of his labour, so to speak, is attached by a lien law. But in the Y'ukon the thing is unfortunately reversed, and the man's labour decreases the value of land upon which be operates. These men work all winter, the dumps of gravel are washed up in the spring and their contents reduced to a very small quantity, and it is very easy to convey that from the claim. The consequence is the miner who had worked many weary months when he goes for his pay finds that there is no pay for him and that the claim perhaps does not even belong to the man for whom be worked. It is most unsatisfactory. A lien law which would enable- a lien to be put upon the gravel in the dump seemed to be the only way out of the trouble. We did that, but, as I say, the courts decided that it was ultra vires. The title we have from the government is only a lease-holder's title, and we could not attach a lien to this lease-hold, because it bad to be renewed year after year and at best was only a leasehold. I submit this to the government for their consideration, and hope that they will solve the problem for us.

Now, I wish to refer very briefly to one of the most important problems we have to face and that is the disposition of our gold. We have one product in the Yukon for export and that is the gold-absolutely we have nothing to export except the bullion. Therefore it is important to us that we should get the full value of our product when we market it. Gold fluctuates very little in value and its difference in value in different places is very little. Allowing for charge of transportation, it has the same value whether in the Yukon, in London or in South Africa. This being the ease, the miner should get as near that fixed value; as possible. He should not be under the necessity of selling his gold as if it were cord-wood, or hay or any commodity whose value fluctuates. At the present time, be sells bis gold to the banks ; and the banks make a profit on every ounce-and in some cases they make a fairly good profit. I do not want to say anything against the banks ;-they have done a good work for that country, but they are making too much money out of our gold. What do other

countries do ? They buy the gold. The United States government buys all the gold that comes to them ; and so does the British government and the French government. And I believe that Russia and Australia do the same. And Canada should do the same. There is no reason why our Canadian government should not buy every ounce of gold we produce in the Yukon. It is a pretty good thing to have a few millions of gold lying around, whether for a country or for a man.

Just in passing, let me congratulate Canada on the fact that she is going to have a mint. I do not know of any one thing that the Canadian government has done in the last decade which will have a more widespread or more beneficial effect upon the world at large regarding Canada and upon Canada herself than the fact that we are to coin our gold. I do not believe it is possible for a nation to do anything that more clearly gives it the stamp of nationhood than the issue of its own gold coins. I do not believe that the Transvaal republic did anything in the course of its career that did as much to give it a standing amongst the nations of the world as the minting of its own gold coins. Mr. Speaker, I shall never forget the moment when, in London, I saw for the first time an Australia sovereign. That coin told me more about Australia than a hundred bank notes could have done. It told me that Australia had a civilization ; that she produced her own gold, and coined her own money, -and stood upon her feet in financial affairs. I am sorry that Canada had not a mint years ago. I believe we would have had it years ago if the banks were not opposed to it. Of course, they are opposed to it. for every five-dollar gold piece in circulation means one less five-dollar note to put out by the banks. I am glad that the Finance Minister was able to tell us that the foundation for the mint was already laid and that shortly we shall have it in operation. In California to-day it is difficult to get paper money-I speak particularly of San Francisco. Go into a business house in San Francisco and ask for paper money, and they begin to wonder where you have come from. They say : We do not use paper money ; we are afraid of it : we have the gold. In England they have comparatively little paper money-the smallest is the five-pound note. The money of the common people is the gold. Let us have fewer five-dollar bills and in their place our own five-dollar gold pieces. I do not know how it is with others, but I certainly feel richer with a twenty-dollar gold piece than I do with a twenty-dollar bill. Australia had a mint in Sydney as early as 1855, and another in Melbourne in 1872 and another in Perth in 1897. And even Newfoundland has had a two-dollar gold coin for years. Yet, Canada, though the premier colony and the brightest gem in

the British crown has no gold coin of her own. Our mint is not yet ready. But we in the Yukon are ready ; we are producing $10,000,000 or 811JXI0,000 of gold a year. -and we have to sell it to the United States. Why should it not come here to Ottawa ?

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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

Hear. hear.

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CON

Alfred Thompson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. THOMPSON.

Now, I have a proposition to make to the government. Suppose our government proceeds to make money-that is, they put upon our gold ' the guinea stamp,' to use the poet's phrase. My proposition to-day is that they should issue government certificates -for our gold. We will take these certificates and use them for money, selling the government say $10,000,000 of gold per year. Here is a scheme for the Finance Minister to consider. Canada to-day is paying through her savings banks 3 per cent per annum to the people for their deposits. Here is $10,000,000 a year which the government may have for not one cent of interest-simply the issue of certificates which we will use as money in the Yukon. I would like to have it explained how it is that, if that were brought into effect, Canada would not save $300,000 a year in interest. There is a nut for hon. gentlemen to crack. I see my hon. friend from Halton (Mr. Henderson) is cogitating over it to see if there is anything behind it.

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CON

David Henderson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HENDERSON.

I think the Minister of Finance would like to see something behind it.

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CON

Alfred Thompson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. THOMPSON.

He will have $10,000,000 of gold behind it. What more does he want ?

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CON

David Henderson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HENDERSON.

But if he deposits the gold in the vault what about the interest ?

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CON

Alfred Thompson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. THOMPSON.

There -would be no interest-we would use the certificates.

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CON

David Henderson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HENDERSON.

Perhaps it would not work out exactly that way.

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CON

Alfred Thompson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. THOMPSON.

- Well, it is something for my hon. friend (Mr. Henderson) to think about.

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CON

David Henderson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HENDERSON.

I agree with you.

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CON

Alfred Thompson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. THOMPSON.

I am glad to find even one man to agree with my position. To me it seems feasible, but whether it is feasible or not, we are sure the government should buy our gold. This gold should not go to the United States, it should remain in Canada and help build up our own cities. Eventually no doubt, as the Finance Minister said the other day, the government will buy our gold ; but in the meantime the miners are losing a good deal every year. The assay office is in Vancouver, whereas it should be in Dawson where the miner could go with his gold, put it on the counter and have it weighed by an official and get full value for

it on tlie spot, instead of allowing a middleman to make something out of the exchange. I hope the government will do that before long. This gold question is a very interesting one to me, I have thought and read a good deal about it; and I do not see anything against the government hoarding this gold until the mint is completed. The Finance Minister told us the other day that the Dominion government had to have 25 cents worth of gold on every dollar up to $30,000,000 given out, making $7,500,000. If my memory serves me right, he told us that the total circulation of the Dominion government was about $47,900,000. For every dollar above $30,000,000 the Dominion government had to put up dollar for dollar in gold. Now if there was $47,000,000 in circulation, that meant that he had $17,000,000 in circulation dollar for dollar in gold, and $7,500,000 as against the $30,000,000. making a little more than $25,000,000 in gold which the Dominion government had to keep on hand. So you see this gold proposition is not a new one with the Dominion government. As the Finance Minister pointed out. our circulation has vastly increased. I will read what he said, which will be found in the ' Hansard ' of May 17 :

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CON

John Graham Haggart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HAGGART.

That includes the reserve the banks are obliged to keep in Dominion notes ?

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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

live government gave the Canadian Pacific Hallway 25,000,000 acres of land which is untaxable for all time to come, a concession that is wrong, I do not care who did it. The present government gave concessions in the Yukon to different parties-although I hope not for all time to come-which have proved a curse to that country and will always he a curse to it until they are removed. This fact was so impressed on the government that they appointed a Royal Commission to investigate that question and with your permission I shall refer [DOT] you and the House and the country to what Judge Britton found when he went to the Yukon. Under the heading :

Hydraulic leases attacked.

Judge Britton enumerates the following concessions :

1. Lease No. 9, comprising a tract of land situate between Adams creek and Fox gulch, on the left limit of Bonanza creek, having a frontage of 1J miles, issued in favour of C. A. Mats'll and associates, and known as the Matson concession.

Right in the very heart of the richest gold-bearing district in the world.

2. Leases Nos. 2 and 8, comprising a tract of land situate between Boulder creek and Fox gulch, on the left limit of Bonanza creek, having a frontage of 55 claims, issued in favour of J. J. Doyle and associates, and known as the Doyle concession.

3. Lease No. 5, comprising a tract of land commencing 24 miles from the mouth of Bonanza creek and extending up that stream for a like distance, issued in favour of the Hon. E. H. Bronson and 'C. C. Ray, and known as the Bronson and Ray concession.

These gentlemen live here in Ottawa.

4. Lease No. 18, comprising a tract of land commencing about li miles from the mouth of the Klondike river, thence up stream for a distance of 6'72 miles, issued in favour cf M. J. Boyle, and known as the Boyle concession.

5. Lease No. 10, comprising a tract of land situate on Quartz creek, a tributary of the Indian river, in the Yukon Territory, having a frontage of 3J miles, and known as the Quartz creek concession.

6. Lease No. 1, comprising a tract of land, situate on Hunker creek, below the mouth of Last Chance, having a frontage of 2J miles, and known as the Anderson concession.

7. Lease No. 33, comprising a tract of land, situate on Gold Bottom creek, a tributary of Hunker creek, issued in favour of C. J. Hermann, and known as the Hermann concession.

8. Lease No. 30, comprising a tract of land, commencing at the mouth of Miller creek, -a tributary of Sixty-mile river, and extending up stream a distance of 3'38 miles, issued in favour of the North American Transportation and Trading Company, and known as the Miller creek concession.

He says:

There have been granted, in all, since the opening of the Yukon Territory, 40 hydraulic leases. Of these 13 have been cancelled, and 27 are standing. Of the 27. 8 have been at- 1 Mr. THOMPSON.

tacked. Only 2 others were mentioned as likely to be attacked, and no one interested took the trouble within the time given, to formally lodge any complaint as to those.

He discusses the various concessions and refers to the mining regulations and proceeds :

The matter was treated in the larger way, ignoring placer claims when they formed a small part compared with the large quantity of gravel ground which it was alleged could be worked only by hydraulic methods. There certainly wyas not, in the earlier days after the opening of the territory, sufficient care on the part of the officials in the territory to see that the regulations were strictly complied with It will be seen by a perusal of the lease that the conditions are exacting and carefully drawn, with the manifest intention of protecting every interest connected with the mining Industry. Under these circumstances, it has apparently been thought best to accept as representation work, work done by placer methods instead of insisting upon work by hydraulic methods.

Now, there is the gist of the question. These are so-called hydraulic leases. They should be worked and worked alone by hydraulic methods, but there is not to-day in the Yukon a single one of these concessions operating by hydraulic methods, and the government, as the judge points out here very clearly, has seen fit to accept work done by ordinary placer methods as work done by hydraulic methods. What is the difference ? The difference is this : A man gets forty or fifty acres of mining land in a concession on which he does .$5,000 worth of work. I will work a placer claim of 250 feet beside him and I have to do a great deal more work than he has to do in proportion and he has many privileges that 1 have not. It is not these concessionaries who have given us all this gold. I venture to say that they have given us only a very small proportion of the product of the Yukon. The small individual miner is the man who has produced this gold and he is the man from whom these leases have taken ground right in the very heart of the richest areas in the Yukon. Judge Britton condemns that practice. Unfortunately there are terms in most of these leases whereby a double construction can be given to them. They may be construed to mean that the concessionaries do not absolutely have to work by hydraulic methods, and that is the loophole through which the concessionaire has always crawled. He says further :

All these questions are beyond the scope of my commission as affecting the rights of parties respecting any particular concession, but are of Importance for the consideration of tho department upon the question of beneht or injury to the mining industry of the territory.

Here is this pregnant sentence :

The fact of these large concessions existing no doubt has a bad moral effect.

Why ? He discusses that.

A miner, on the 'look out for a placer location, makes a discovery, and upon application, finds that his ground is not open, because it is within the territorial limits of a concession. This annoys him, and he spreads what he calls his grievance far and wide, creating dissatisfaction among miners. Others, without attempting to prospect or locate, say they cannot, because all the ground is covered by concessions, and men who never were and never intended to be miners join in the cry against concessions.

That is his opinion : Then he offers some suggestions :

In reference to the benefit or injury of hydraulic concessions, I think it proper to make the following suggestions :

Here they are :

That placer work or ' preparation ' work should not be accepted in lieu of -what can properly be called hydraulic work, or hydraulic operations. An annual expenditure of $5,000 is very small for such large areas. If the conditions are not complied with, the lease should be cancelled.

Here is another important point:

The regulations define the width of an hydraulic mining location as one mile, but where it is situated in a valley, the location may extend in width to the ' limits of the valley,' if so ordered hy the minister.

They may extend these limits to the limit of the valley.

A very liberal 'construction has been placed upon the expression ' limits of the valley,' as it has been held to mean from * summit to summit '

These valleys are 400 to 500 feet deep with mountains and hills on each side of them :

-as it has been held to mean from ' summit to summit ' of the watershed on either side. I think that too wide, wider than the regulations were intended to authorize. Such locations should not extend beyond the summit of the first or lower hill on either side. It is too much to say that ' limits of the valley,' in defining a location, should include a succession of hills and valleys between, leading up to the summit of the watershed. The regulations should be amended.

He proceeds :

These hydraulic concessions would be more beneficial to the mining territory if they were considerably smaller

They cover acres and acres and miles.

-or the conditions should require a much larger annual expenditure than $5,000.

In coming to the conclusion mentioned before, that in certain cases lessees had complied with the conditions of their leases, I did so because it was proper to consider, and I was bound to consider, the interpretation which the department had placed upon ' representation work ' upon all the hydraulic concessions.

Now, just in regard to this question 1 would like to show very briefly a very small section of the argument which was submitted to Judge Britton, and which, I suppose, influenced him somewhat in making up his mind. I will not read it all. It was by the advocates who presented the case of the board of trade before the commission. This statement shows how many miles are included in a concession, how many placer claims would he worked in case these concessions were thrown open, and how much revenue the government would get from this ground from which now they practically derive no revenue. It says :

If the above estimate is correct the government would receive in entry fees when concessions are thrown open $23,000 ; 5,130 men would be given employment, and calculating gold at $15 per ounce, $9,618,750 would be produced on which the export tax at pressnt levied would be $240,468.87. If these same men chose to buy imported goods for themselves and families it may be fairly estimated that each would pay $100 into the customs, making $513,000 more. The revenue to the government in renewing 1,215 claims at $12 each would be $14,580, while the claims restaked would be 542, bringing $5,420. With an adequate water supply on fair terms these estimates are too low. But summarized they stand thus :

Pees receivable by government on opening above concessions $ 23,000

Pees on claims renewed at end of first

year 14,580

Fees on claims restaked at end of year 5,420

Export tax 240,468

Customs (subject to 75 par cent reduction on account of consumption of Canadian goods) 513,000

Total revenue receivable at end of first

year *[DOT] 773,468

Reduction on account of use of Canadian goods 384,750

Actual revenue receivable at end of year 388,718

These figures are the opinions of the gentleman who argued the case for the board of trade before Judge Britton's Commission and they may not be absolutely correct, but they have in them a very large grain of truth.

This, Mr. Speaker, is no party question. I will refer very briefly once more to the platform of my predecessor, the Hon. Mr. Ross, and I find that the platform he ran upon and the platform he was elected upon contains this plank :

Resolved, That a policy should be adopted which would prevent the obtaining of concessions for hydraulicing, except in places wbere the dirt is of such low grade that it could not profitably be worked by other methods, and that before any hydraulic lease should issue, notice should be given by the applicant by publication in the newspapers of his intention of applying for such lease, so as to enable protests to be entered against the granting of the same ; and that the ow-ners of hydraulic concessions already granted should he compelled to carry out the strict terms of their leases, and that in default of their so doing their leases should be cancelled.

That is what Judge Britton says also. This was a plank in the platform of the Hon.

V

Mr. Ross when he was elected by the Yukon people to represent them in this House : and my own views are even stronger. This land, in the very heart of our gold bearing district is locked up ; the government gets no revenue out of it, the people get no employment, and the men who own these concessions play the part of the absentee landlord in Ireland. They do not reside there ; they reside in Ottawa or somewhere else. Messrs. Bronson and Rae live ir. Ottawa, they hold thousands of acres which do not produce a dollar, and they have not employed labour in the past commensurate with the acreage -which they have. There is nothing to be gained by the government or the people from having these leases perpetuated. The system is wrong. Make these men carry out the terms of then-leases, or throw the ground open. If the government are legally bound to these men, and must stand by the contract, then they should require them to work the ground hydraulically, so that there will be no doubt that labour is being employed and that the gold is being taken out of the gravel. But now nothing is doing. These leases are lying there dormant. I suppose the rent Is paid and the representation work amounting to $5,000 a year, is done to the satisfaction of the government. But the thing is wrong ; these men should not be there at all. This ground is in the heart of our gold-bearing district, and if they had not possession of it, the miners wotild have a chance of prospecting it and taking it up if they found that it was good enough. This question of concessions is affecting the Yukon Territory, I believe, more than anything else. It has . damped the ardour of the people there. They find it difficult to go on and prospect with these blankets covering the territory. The concessions may be worth nothing, or they may be worth millions of money. We do not know what they are worth, simply because we cannot prospect them.

In almost every other 'country where there are placer mines, in every country that I know of except the Yukon, quartz mining is carried on. At the present time no gold is being won from quartz in the Y'ukon, although there are many prospects, and one mill is ready for operation. People have found it difficult to interest capital in the quartz mining of the Yukon. If to-day we had a population deriving their livelihood from that industry, hon. gentlemen can understand what a difference it would make in the stability of that country. Placer mining is more or less unstable, while quartz mining is stable. The man engaged in quartz mining invests his money for years, and the people interested in it would be glad if the government could assist them in some way, such as allowing their machinery to come in free, as some of the mills they require are made in the United States. When mills of the same kind are made in Mr. THOMPSON.

Canada, they cannot be brought in duty free; but the mills made in the United States are in some instances better suited for tbe class of ore we have in the Yukon than the mills made in Canada, and our miners would like to be able to bring these in duty free. This is a reasonable proposition. It would not cost the government any money : it might cost the Canadian manufacturer the sale of a mill or two, hut it would give an impetus to the quartz-mining industry of the Yukon. While on this question of bringing in mills duty free. I might refer to another industry which has just been started there, that is, the dredging industry. Dredges are also made in Canada, but as a Canadian it humiliates me to have to admit that better dredges for the Yukon are made in the United States, for some unaccountable reason, whether because they have a larger market or not. In the Yukon we are just on the eve of a great dredging era, and I submit for the consideration of tbe government that they .should remit for a term of years the duty upon mills and dredges made in the United States, which are more suitable for work in the Yukon than those made in Canada. If the government would do this, it would give a great impetus to the quartz mining and dredging industries of the Yukon. It would be also for the benefit of Canada as a whole, because Canada has no better customer to day than the Yukon. We produce nothing but gold. Every man,' woman and child there has to be fed and clothed, and Canada supplies 80 per cent of our food and clothes. In passing, I may say that, though we are not producing a dollar from quartz mining, the export duty on gold applies to it as well as to placer gold ; so that while the government are not getting a dollar of revenue from that tax, it militates against the investment of capital in quartz mining. That is another matter which I submitted to the Prime Minister, and he saw the force of the argument, and had that tax remitted for ten years. All these things the people oi the Yukon appreciate.

Another question to which I wish to refer is the importation of liquor into the Yukon There does not seem to be any reason why the people of the Yukon should have to pay $2 a gallon on Canadian whisky brought in there, when it can be sent to Nova Scotia without the payment of a cent. This is another matter which should be brought to the attention of the government. We are Canadians as well as you in other parts of this country, and there is no reason why we should be compelled to pay an extra duty on that article-and we use a fair quantity of it. While we use Scotch and Irish whisky, the great bulk of the whisky consumed is Canadian rye ; and we feel it to be a grievance that we have to pay an extia $2 a gallon on that, while the people of Nova Scotia and the people of British Columbia do not pay anything.

705S

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CON

David Henderson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HENDERSON.

Who gets the $2 ?

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CON

Alfred Thompson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. THOMPSON.

The federal treasury.

-Mr. HENDERSON. Are you sure ?

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CON

Alfred Thompson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. THOMPSON.

I am not speaking by the book, tout I think so. At any rate, I know that the money is paid, and that it is wrong to tax any .part of this country in a way in which no other portion of the country is taxed. Why should we in the Yukon pay this or any other tax that no other province pays ? There is no right or reason in such an imposition. It is a small matter, and I refer to it only in passing, being convinced that it only requires to toe brought to the attention of the government to have the injustice removed.

There is one other question, and that is the question of the Yukon Council, which, makes our local ordinances or laws. I submit that there is no principle so deeply imbedded in the hearts of the Anglo-Saxon as that of responsible and representative government. When you trace the history of this race from the time that history first discovers them on the banks of the Weser and Elbe, in northern Germany, down to the present day, you will find running through it that one bright thread. You will find that wherever they are, on any section of God's footstool, they want the right to elect their own representatives to govern themselves. In the year -118, when they were on the banks of the Elbe, they had their Moot hill or sacred tree, around which they gathered periodically fo elect their own overseers and settle their own communal affairs. When they went to England you find their earliest effort, an effort which they ever continued, was to have an extended franchise. And when they crossed the Atlantic ocean and landed in the United States they perpetuated the same idea ; and it was because the British government of that day refused to grant them this right, which is bred right in their bones, that it lost the half of this continent, to the British Crown. Then followed their career in Canada Take the province of Nova Scotia, where they laboured against the family compact of that day, which was the weakness of the institutions established by such governors as Lord Faulkner. Take New Brunswick, where the same tiling occurred. But fortunately in those provinces the difficulty was settled without an appeal to arms. Such was not, however, the case in the provinces of Ontario and Quebec. How did the struggle for this very same principle there culminate ? It culminated in the rebellion led toy Papineau in Quebec and Mackenzie in Ontario. So long as this race is on this sphere, and wherever you will find a section of this race, you will find in the breasts of the people that love of self-government and that desire to elect their own representatives and legislate for themselves. So it is in the Yukon. Although we are 4.000 miles removed from

here, there is in our breasts the same sentiment which has animated this race from its dawn down to the present day, and until we get there what we enjoy here, we shall not be

satisfied. Trust the people every time; grant (them responsible government, and they will show themselves worthy of it. In our Northwest we have two great territorial divisions knocking at our doors for this same boon, and in a few days they' will be in the enjoyment of representative institutions. [DOT]

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CON

David Henderson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HENDERSON.

With a limitation.

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CON

Alfred Thompson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. THOMPSON.

I am not discussing this question from a political standpoint, but simply the principle of representative government. and I leave party politics to my hon. friend. We are about to grant those two territorial divisions representative government ; and while I do not ask this government to give us in the Yukon what they are giving the new provinces, while I do not ask for provincial government in its entirety', because we are not prepared for that, I do ask that we should be given that government which these Territories now enjoy. It is not responsible government that these Territories have now, but it is an advance on the system we have in the Yukon. Let me tell you what that system is. We have there a legislative body called the Yukon Council, composed of ten members and a commissioner. Five of these members are elected by the people, five are appointed by the government and the commissioner presides. Ills position is analogous to that of lieutenant governor, except in this respect, that he occupies the dual position of Speaker of our assembly and Governor of the Territory.

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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

Has he a vote ?

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Subtopic:   YUKON TERRITORY.
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June 7, 1905