November 17, 1910

VACANCY.

LIB

James Kirkpatrick Kerr (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER.

I have the honour to inform the House that, during the recess I received a notification of a vacancy having occurred in the representation in the House of Commons for the Electoral District of Drummond and Arthabaska, consequent upon Louis Lavergne, Esq., the sitting member therefor, having been moved to the Senate. I accordingly issued my warrant to the Clerk of the Crown in Chan-1

eery to make out a new writ of Election for the said Electoral District.

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FIRST READING.


Bill (No. 1) respecting the administration of oaths of office.-Rt. Hon. Sir Wilfrid Laurier (Prime Minister).


SPEECH FROM THE THRONE.

LIB

James Kirkpatrick Kerr (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER.

I have the honour to inform the House that when the House did attend His Excellency the Governor General this day in the Senate chamber, His Excellency was pleased to make a speech to both Houses of Parliament, and to prevent mistakes I have obtained a copy, which is as follows:

Honourable Gentlemen of the Senate: Gentlemen of the House of Commons:

When I prorogued parliament in the month of May last, I was about completing the term usually allotted to the office of Governor General, but it has pleased His Majesty King George V. to continue me as His representative in Canada, and therefore it is my great pleasure to greet you at the opening of this new session.

I meet you under the shadow of the calamity which has befallen this country and the whole British Empire, in the demise of our beloved sovereign, King Edward VII. His death is mourned, not only by his subjects the world over, but also by all civilized nations who had learned to appreciate the many gifts and qualities which had earned for him the name of Peacemaker, by which he will be known in history.

It is with great pleasure that I congratulate you on the ever-growing prosperity of this favoured land. Trade and commerce are advancing in all directions with rapid strides. The total volume of imports and exports far exceeds all previous records, and the growth of our industries and internal trade keeps pace with the development of our external commerce.

Whilst in certain of the western provinces crops did not realize the sanguine expectations which had been formed in the early

spring, yet the total yield was reasonably satisfactory, and the eastern provinces in this regard have been more than ordinarily blessed. The conditions now existing over the whole country conclusively demonstrate that even with lesser production at some points, the vastness and variety of our resources ensure at all times a high degree of progress for the whole country.

Negotiations for the acquisition from the admiralty of the two cruisers ' Niobe ' and ' Rainbow ' have been carried on with His Majesty's government, and the two ships hare now arrived and are stationed in Canadian waters, in pursuance of the policy adopted last session for the creation of a naval service.

The Hague Tribunal, to which was referred the controversy between Great Britain and the United States, with reference to fisheries in Canadian and Newfoundland waters, has rendered a decision which has been accepted by all parties interested as a fair and equitable adjustment of this long-pending dispute. The result is gratifying, inasmuch as it will tend not only to promote peace and friendship between us and our neighbours, but also to further the practice of settling international questions by means of arbitration.

Marked progress is being made in the construction of the National Transcontinental railway, and a large quantity of grain is this season finding an outlet from the west to the great lakes over this new highway. It is hoped that ere long a satisfactory arrangement can be made for the operation of the finished portions of the line, pending the completion; of the road from Moncton to Winnipeg.

The construction of a line of railway to Hudson bay, which has occupied the attention of the people for many years, has assumed practical shape. Already a contract has been awarded for the construction of a bridge forming part of this railway, across the Saskatchewan river at Pas Mission, and the work is now in progress. During the present session, a measure will be laid before you providing for the prosecution and completion of this work with all possible speed. The connection of the great west with the eastern portions of Canada and also with the overseas markets, by this new rail and ocean route, will not only open up a new section of Canada, but will greatly assist in the development of trade, and thus benefit both producers and consumers.

The construction of the bridge across the St. Lawrence river at Quebec, the largest Mr. SPEAKER.

work of its kind ever undertaken, has been receiving the careful attention of my government, and the utmost care is being observed so that success may be assured. The substructure is now under contract. Tenders for the erection of the superstructure have been received from four responsible companies, and are now being considered.

It is expected that the contract will shortly be awarded and the work pushed forward to completion.

While recognizing the importance of the Canadian home trade and the great value of the market for our staples in the United Kingdom, my government feel that they should avail themselves of every opportunity to promote friendly commercial relations with the British colonies and foreign countries, so that our surplus products may be admitted into the markets of those countries on the most favourable terms.

In pursuance of this policy, commercial arrangements, involving reductions of our customs duties, have been made with Italy and Belgium and a reduced schedule of duties has been granted to the Netherlands.

The desirability of more equitable tariff arrangements between the United States and Canada has long been felt on this side of the border. The commercial policy of the Republic has not hitherto favoured imports from Canada. We have bought largely from the United States, but they have bought much less from us in return. It is gratifying to find that a more liberal policy is now favoured by the neighbouring country, and that the government at Washington express a desire to establish better trade relations with the Dominion. Following the negotiations which took place some months ago between the President of the United States and my government, the results of which were at the time communicated to parliament, a further conference between representatives of the two countries has been held at Ottawa. While no conclusions have been reached, and no formal proposals made, the free discussion of the subject that has taken place encourages my government to hope that at an early day, without any sacrifice of Canada's interests, an arrangement may be made which will admit many of the products of the Dominion into the United States on satisfactory terms-

A very careful inquiry into the conditions of trade and transportation between the British West Indies and Canada has been held by a Royal Commission appointed by His Late Majesty, including among its members two of

my ministers. The report of the commission will be laid before you.

In view of the Imperial Conference on Copyright, at which unanimous conclusions were reached in favour of harmonious legislation on this subject throughout the empire, a Bill to revise and consolidate the law on copyright will be submitted to you.

A measure will be submitted to you in furtherance of the provisions of the treaty recently passed with the United States on the subject of contiguous waters.

Bills will also be introduced respecting banks and banking, terminal elevators at the head of Lake Superior; and with regard to the investigation and betterment of industrial and labour conditions and other subjects. Gentlemen of the Souse of Commons:

The accounts of the last year will be laid before you.

The estimates for the coming fiscal year will be submitted for your approval at an early date.

Honourable Gentlemen of the Senate: Gentlemen of the House of Commons:

These important subjects and all matters affecting the public interest I commend to your best consideration and pray that Divine Providence may guide your deliberations.

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LIB

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

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

Mr. Speaker I beg to move that the Speech of His Excellency the Governor General to both Houses be taken into consideration on Monday next, and that it be the first order of the day on that day and on every subsequent day until disposed of. It has been suggested to me that Monday would be a more convenient day for members than tomorrow.

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Motion agreed to.


SELECT STANDING COMMITTEES.

LIB
CON

George Taylor

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GEORGE TAYLOR.

Mr. Speaker, may I suggest to the right hon. the Prime Minister to change the name of Taylor to Perley?

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LIB

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

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

I will certainly accede with great pleasure to the request

of my hon. friend. I see by reports in the newspapers, if they are verified, that my hon. friend is to cease to act as chief whip of the Conservative party in this House. Will he permit me to say, so far as I am concerned, and I believe all the members of this House will take advantage of the present occasion to join with me in saying, how much we regret that he is no longer to occupy the post which he has occupied for over twenty years.

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CON
LIB

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

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

Not that in some respects I am not gratified that he no longer occupies that post, because he has been a good fighter, and" we all like a good fighter. However, I sincerely regret that he is no longer to occupy the position which he has occupied with such acceptance to his own party and with satisfaction to members on this side of the House.

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CON

George Taylor

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GEORGE TAYLOR.

Permit me to thank the Prime Minister for the kindly remarks he has made. I might suggest to him that in carrying out that long-promised reform of the Senate, he adopt this course with regard to members who have served 25 years in this House, like my friend the Minister of Customs and one or two others I might name, that they be simply transferred to the garden of ease over in the Senate.

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LIB

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

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

If I might be permitted, I think there is a good deal in the suggestion of my hon. friend. We recently opened a constituency by appointing a member of this House to the Senate. The election went against us. Perhaps if we opened the hon. gentleman's constituency in the same way, it would decide for us.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

I appreciate what the Prime Minister has said with reference to the very eminent services rendered not only to the Conservative party, but to the country as a whole by the hon. member for Leeds. The Prime Minister has said very truly that he has been a good fighter. He has been not only a good fighter, but a fair fighter, and I think that although he is about as strong a Tory as is to be found in the Dominion of Canada, there has never been a man in this House who has cherished the slightest ill-feeling against him. But I would like to say to my right hon friend the Prime Minister that he should not confine himself to the past tense in referring to my hon. friend from Leeds, because he not only has been a good fighter, but he is a good fighter, and will be a good fighter in the future-just as good in the future as he has been in the past; and I do not doubt that the services of my hon. friend_ from Leeds will be just as valuable and just as useful to the Conservative

party and to the country in the future as they have been in the past.

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Motion agreed to.


REPORT PRESENTED.


Report of the Joint Librarians of parliament.-Mr. Speaker.


November 17, 1910