February 8, 1916

EXTENSION OF THE TERM OF PARLIAMENT.

ADDRESS TO THE KING.


Right Hon. Sir ROBERT BORDEN moved the following proposed resolution: Resolved, that an humble address be presented to His Most Excellent Majesty the King in .the following words: To the King's Most Excellent Majesty: Most Gracious Sovereign: ' We, Tour Majesty's most dutiful and loyal subjects, the Commons of Canada, in Parliament assembled, humbly approach Tour Majesty praying that you may graciously be pleased to give your consent to submit a measure to the Parliament of the United Kingdom, to amend the British North America Act, 1867, in the manner following, or to the following effect: " An Act to amend the British North America Act, 1867. " Be It enacted by the King's Most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Dords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows: " 1. Notwithstanding anything in the British North America Act, 1867, or in any Act amending the same, or in any Order in Council, or, terms or conditions of union, made or approved under the said Act, or under any Act of the Canadian Parliament, the term of the Twelfth Parliament of Canada is hereby extended until the seventh day of October, 1917. " 2. This Act may be cited as the British North America Act, 1916, and the British North America Act, 1867 to 1915, and. this Act may be cited together as the British North America Act, 1867 to 1916." All of which we humbly pray Tour Majesty to take into your favourable and gracious consideration. He said: The motion which I am proposing to the House is obviously of a very unusual and important character, and can only be justly based on the extraordinary events through which the Empire is passing at this time. We believe it to be the duty of the Government to bring it before Parliament, and it is, of course, for Parliament to determine after full consideration what may be the path of wisdom and of safety. It is hardly necessary to say that it is a motion'Which we should not press if hon. gentlemen on the other side of the House should oppose it as a party. In that case I should feel it to be my duty to withdraw the motion, and then it would naturally be for the Government to consider its course. With these preliminary remarks I may observe that since 1867, it has been the ' usual course in this country to hold elections after the fourth session of any Parliament. That, I think, is a rule which has been departed from on perhaps not more than two occasions. After the redistribution which was effected in 1914, it might even have been thought proper that a new; mandate should be immediately asked from the electorate of this country in the autumn of that year. In that connection it is appropriate to call attention to another consideration. On the outbreak of war, the Government of Canada pledged the assistance of the Dominion to the Empire, and when the subject of war was brought before Parliament in the August session of 1914, the Government presented proposals regarding assistance to the Empire in the war upon a larger scale than had ever before been proposed ot undertaken. It might have been urged by persons who are specially influenced by constitutional usage that a mandate from the electorate should have been then sought for that reason. However, the Government considered that public opinion was practically unanimous in supporting the course which the Government proposed. So far as Parliament was concerned no question was raised as to the propriety and wisdom of the course which had been marked out by the Government at that time. During that session my right hon. friend (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) stated expressly on the floor of the House that he supported the Government in the action which had been proposed. On August 19, 1914, he set forth the position of himself and his friends in these words: This session has been called for the purpose of giving the authority of Parliament and the sanction of law to such measures as have already been taken by the Government, and any further measures that may be needed, to insure the defence of Canada and to give what aid may be in our power to the Mother Country in the stupendous struggle which now confronts her. Speaking for those who sit around me, speaking for the wide constituencies which we represent in this House, I hasten to say that to all these measures we are prepared to give immediate assent. If in what has been done or In what remains to be done there may be anything which in our judgment should not be done or should be differently done, we raise no question, we take no exception, we offer no criticism, and we shall offer no criticism so long as there is danger at the front. So, with the feeling that public opinion in the country approved the course which the Government had proposed, and with this assurance from my right hon. friend, speaking for himself and for those who sit behind him on the other side of the House, we determined that no election was necessary during the autumn of 1914, and accordingly, no election was held. I shall return to such considerations at a later stage; but at the moment I desire to give to the House and to the country such information as is in my possession, that is, such portion of it as may properly be made public, respecting the probable duration of the war. I sought information on that subject before my visit to England during the past summer. Hon. gentlemen will remember that when Lord Kitchener took office as Secretary of State for War, in the Government of the United Kingdom, he declared that he would consent to serve for three years, and he added something to this effect, that if the war should continue beyond that period, he might find it desirable to transfer to other hands the duties which had devolved upon him in that most important position. During my visit to England last summer I had more than one purpose in view. I had the purpose of any necessary discussion with the British Government which might assist the co-operation of Canada with the rest of the Empire in this war. I had also the purpose of discovering to what extent the necessary preparation for carrying on the war had been made in the United Kingdom, and at what date that preparation would probably be complete, so as to enable the whole force of the Empire to be thrown into the war. And lastly, I had the purpose of obtaining such information as might be forthcoming from the highest authorities as to the probable duration of the war. As to the other matters, I have already spoken in this House. As to the probable duration of the war, it is already realized in this country, as in Great Britain and throughout the Empire, that the task which confronted us in August, 1914, has proved to be much more formidable than we at that time imagined, or than was imagined at that time by the authorities, both military and civil, of the United Kingdom. Having regard to the enormous preparation for this war, which had evidently been made by those who are opposed to us in this struggle, the only wonder is that the allied forces were not absolutely overwhelmed in the first three months or six months of the war. I believe that when that effort of Germany and Austro-Hungary failed, they lost their only chance of victory. I do not intend to imply the least doubt in what I am saying as to what the-eventual outcome of this war will be. I have no doubt whatever that the attack which Germany tand Austria-Hungary combined to make upon the civilization of the world will absolutely fail in the end. But, I believe that the war will last for a very considerable period in the future. No mam can, with any certainty, predict the date of its conclusion, but I believe we can with some certainty reach a reasonable judgment as to the period during which it will certainly last. From all the information in my possession, and from all that I could derive when I was in England during tlie past summer, I do not believe that we are more than half way through this war at present. It is altogether likely that it will last not only during the year upon which we have entered but during a considerable



part, at least, and perhaps the whole of the year which will succeed it. I say that because I am absolutely convinced that we are not yet prepared to throw the whole weight of the strength of this Empire into the struggle; and I believe that I am not trenching too far upon the confidence which was reposed in me on the other side of the Atlantic, and that I am not going too far, in saying that the Empire will not be able to throw the whole of its strength into this conflict until nearly, if not quite, two years shall have elapsed from the date at which the war commenced. Coming back from Great Britain, impressed with that conviction, I sought an opportunity of conferring with my right hon. friend on the other side of the House (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) as soon as was possible after an illness from which he at that time was unfortunately suffering. 1 had a conference with my right hon. friend on the 14th October and, later, on the 2nd November. Certain correspondence took place between us with which, as we agreed, neither he nor I need trouble the House or the country at the present time. Generally speaking, the discussion which took place between my right hon. friend and myself was along these lines; as to the advisability of an extension for oue year after peace, or for one year absolutely; the avoidance of any general election during the war; the proposal that by-elections should not be contested im the meantime and that each party should retain the seats it now holds, or had held previously to the vacancy; the suspension of party warfare during a war which obviously threatens the existence of the Empire; and, lastly, the restriction of legislation to matters arising out of the war, or occasioned thereby, or directly connected therewith, except possibly minor matters or matters of urgent need and unavoidable necessity as to which I would desire to consult with my right hon. friend. Our proposal, as embodied in the resolution which I am presenting to the House would extend the term of Parliament for one year. The writs for the general election in 1911 were returnable on the 7th day of October, and an extension for one year would involve the extension of the Parliamentary term to the 7th day of October, 1917. By the terms ^of the British North America Act, section 50, which is familiar to hon. gentlemen and which I need not quote, the life of the present Parliament is confined to five years from the date of the return of the writs. As to the precedents for the course which we propose on this occasion, there are only two as fax as I am aware, one a precedent of nearly two hundred years ago and the other a precedent recently established in the British Parliament. The most striking precedent is that of the Septennial Act of 1716. By a British Act passed in 1694 the duration of Parliament was limited to three years. The situation which ' confronted the British Government and the British people in 17X6 was that without some amendment of the Act a general election could not be deferred beyond 1717. The United Kingdom was in a certain state of unrest at that time. There had been a good deal of activity amongst those who were opposed to the Hanoverian succession. The Jacobites had made themselves pretty active, they were known to be pretty numerous and eventually a measure was proposed to Parliament by the ministry of the day which involved the extension of the parliamentary term from three years to seven years. A striking part of that proposal was that it extended not only to the Parliaments which should be summoned in the future but to the Parliament which was then sitting. Thus the terms of that measure applied it not only to future Parliaments but to the then sitting Parliament whose life, at the time at which it had been summoned, was 'limited to a period of three years. The passage of that measure has been attacked by some constitutional writers and has been justified by others. The justification by those who support it is put upon the ground that the measure was passed for the public security and for the tranquillity of the state. These are the grounds advanced by Mr. Dicey, who is a well known authority upon the British constitution. The measure was accepted by Parliament, and by the country; and the Parliament which had been summoned in 1714 to sit for a period of three years had its life extended from three years to seven years by the passage of that Act. The only other precedent is that recently afforded in legislation recently passed by the British Parliament. Apparently, the first proposal of the British Government was for a much longer extension of time than that eventually adopted. In fact, when the measure was brought down in the British House of Commons in the first instance it-provided for an extension of one year. That was afterwards reduced to a period of eight months, upon the theory suggested by one of the members of the House that the extension should be for one parliamentary session only, the idea being that at the next session any further extension, the necessity for which was fully acknowledged during the debate, should be dealt with. The measure as passed by the British House provides for an extension of eight months. Here, we are asking for an extension of one year. Hon. gentlemen in this House will bear in mind that an extension of one year would give us only one additional session-exactly what the measure passed in Great Britain effects-unless it should become necessary for any reason not now foreseen to hold an emergency session of our Parliament between now and next January. It must also be borne in mind that after the completion of this war 150,000 or perhaps 200,000 or 300,000 Canadian troops must be brought back from Belgium, France, and Great Britain and transported to and settled in their various homes in the northern half of this continent. It is unquestionable that such a task, a 'very great one in itself, will occupy no inconsiderable time. Therefore we are proposing to Parliament, as a not unreasonable measure, that if there is to be an extension at all it should be for a period of one year. It may eventually become necessary here, as in Great Britain, that a further extension should be made if an election during the war is to be avoided. A further consideration in that regard which should be borne in mind by the House and the country is the inevitable delay in securing an extension of our parliamentary term, which, under our constitution, can only be accomplished by legislation of the Imperial Parliament. The situation which confronts this Parliament is one which is inevitable under the federal institutions by which the various provinces of Canada are united for federal affairs. Any province of Canada can amend its constitution and extend its parliamentary term by a measure enacted by its own legislature, and without any resort to the Imperial Parliament. The reason for that is that is the express provision in the British North America Act that any provincial legislature may amend its constitution in any respect, except one or two. One exception that occurs to me is with respect to the office of Lieutenant Governor. That cannot be affected by any legislation of the province. But we have to depend upon legislation of the Imperial Parliament, and it is with that in view that I have proposed the resolution to the House in the terms which appear on the Order Paper. I entirely admit that no extension should be asked for by a Government in Canada, or should be approved, 'unless it appears to have the support of public opinion,' and unless it is approved by both political parties. As to public opinion I have sought to make myself acquainted through the press, and particularly through the press which supports my hon. friends on the other side1 of the House, with the condition of public opinion in this country respecting a proposal such *as this, and I trust the House will pardon me if I read a number of extracts from important journals, all of which I think are supporting hon. gentlemen on the other side of the House. The first to which I call attention is an article which appeared in the Montreal Herald of December 14, 1914: It is characteristic of Sir Wilfrid Laurier that in his address at the Montreal Reform Club on Saturday evening he refused to contemplate the possibility of a Dominion Election just, now. The soul of honour himself, he finds it impossible to believe that any Cabinet minister could be so base as to urge an election at a time like this, when men of both parties are standing shoulder to shoulder performing those great duties, that to-day fall to the lot of the people of Canada. The Free Press, Ottawa, May 11, 1915: Sir Robert Borden still has an opportunity to win the esteem of the people of this country, both Conservative and Liberal, by a definite and emphatic announcement that, as Prime Minister, he is opposed to the holding of a general election until the close of the war, and that at the next session he will introduce enabling legislation extending the life of Parliament. The Bulletin, Edmonton, February 11, 1915: An Ottawa despatch cites the possibility that the Canadian Parliament may follow the example of the British Parliament and extend its term so as to avoid a general election until after the war. Undoubtedly that ought to be done. The Chronicle, Halifax, April 12, 1915: We need not pause to remark that election day should not come until the war is over. Every decent-minded Canadian, regardless of party, knows and admits that.



The Recorder, Brockville, April 21, 1915: [Let the election be held at the close of the war, but do not let Canada make herself ridiculous in the eyes of the world by holding an election while the Empire of which she forms a part, is taking part in the most tremendous conflict in the history of the world. The' Herald, Montreal, April 22, 1915.: The problems arising out of Canada's participation in the war are enough to keep our ministers absorbed in work. Both the country and the Empire have a right to expect their undivided attention to the duties to which they have been elected and to the trust conferred upon them, since the war began, by the united action of the two great political parties. If they prove recreant to that trust-if they say that the business of Canada and of the Empire can go hang while they neglect their duties and stump the country stirring up political strife' and hatred-then they deserve the fate that would fall to a soldier who failed his country in the hour of need. The Globe, Toronto, October 23, 1915: The G-lobe has no warrant to speak for the Liberal party but it has every reason to believe that Sir Wilfrid Laurier is unalterably opposed to unlocking the door of office with a bloody key, as he himself put it some time ago. The rank and file of the Liberal party are as strongly opposed to a war-time election as the leader. The Star, Toronto, September 9, 1915: There ought to be no election during the war. There ought to be no talk about the next election. There is no need for any such talk now. At present all we need to say is: "No election now. No party politics now. No election dur-the war. No party politics during the war." The Star, Toronto, September 13, 1915: We do not want a partisan election during the war. We want to see unity, not conflict, in Canada. We want to see the energies and capacities of our public men working together, not one against the other. We want no election now. We want no election during the war. Manitoba Free Press, September 18, 1915: If, as is highly probable, the two political parties at Ottawa come to an agreement by which the life of the present Dominion Parliament will be extended for a period covering the balance of the war, it will be followed by a condition of political stability which has been sadly lacking during the past twelve months. There has been in reality no political truce in Canada since the outbreak of the war. At best we have had a condition of armed neutrality, breaking out from time- to time in open war. Toronto Globe, November 27, 1915: No portion of the address of President A. J. Young was more warmly received than that in which he said: " Parliament has still a year of its legal life to live, and before then we hope the war will be over; but if by unhappy chance it still continues, authority can be obtained to prolong its life from year to year, I Sir Rnhpr* ^^r^en.l one year at a time, until the close of the struggle. The thoughts of an election are particularly distasteful in these dark hours. With financial burdens piling up, our sons fighting and dying in France and Belgium, recruiting calls from one country to the other for more men to feed the insatiable monster, with fathers, mothers and wives sacrificing their time and treasure, and giving their loved ones at their country's call, this is a time to forget party and think only of the great object to be obtained- victory. Manitoba Free Press, December 6, 1915: That an arrangement will be made at the coming session of Parliament to extend the life of Parliament may be regarded as a political certainty. With the country looking on,, in no mood to tolerate partisan manoeuvrings, neither political party will dare to be stubborn or selfiish in its attitude. It has been reported that the Opposition may, as a condition of their consent, attempt to secure a measure of control over the legislation to be enacted during the added lease of life-that is to say, they will ask for certain guarantees. The wisdom of any such course is very problematical. If Parliament continues in existence beyond next October, the Borden Government's relationship towards Parliament should remain what it is. It should have power to pass such legislation and do such things as please it-subject always to its ultimate responsibility to the people. The Liberals can secure control, wholly or in part, only by an election, which would not be desirable; or by a coalition, which is not practicable. The Liberal parliamentary party will be well advised to leave the Borden Government in complete control of the national affairs and with a full measure of responsibility for its legislative and executive acts. The Daily Star, Toronto, January 12, 1916: If the House of Commons unites in a request for the extension of the life of Parliament for one year on account of the war, the Senate should naturally be influenced by the same patriotic considerations as have weight with the Commons. But aside from that, what concern has the Senate with election? It is not an elected House and should keep its hands off such matters. The Globe, Toronto, January 15, 1916: The Parliament of Canada is not the place, and the present session is not the time, for the played out games of party politics. The Globe, Toronto, January 18, 1916: . The Globe hopes that Sir Robert Borden and Sir Wilfrid Laurier will be able to curb the impatience of those of their, followers who would turn the thoughts of the Canadian people from the all-important problems of national defence to party strife at the polls. Canadians of all parties and of no party must unite to vanquish the common enemy instead of engaging in faction fights. Let it be said truly of this people as of the Romans in their times of crisis : " Then none were for a party; then all were for the State.'' If Sir Robert Borden, Sir Wilfrid Laurier, and their respective followers unite in asking the Imperial Parliament for an extension based upon " patriotism first,'' the Canadian people will be found behind them with hearty and undivided support. This is no time for paralysing the national effort against a ruthless foe through the continuation of partisan feud. Above all parties is the nation. The Globe, Toronto, February 1, 1916: ' To avert a war election by prolonging the life of the present Parliament is obviously the duty of all members, irrespective of party interests, leanings, or affiliations. A general election would be a most unfortunate disturbance at a time when the entire strength of the Dominion must be concentrated against a powerful enemy. During the past year a number of telegrams were sent out by an enterprising journal in the province of Ontario to mayors of cities and towns, reeves of municipalities and other persons occupying representative positions. About two hundred replies were received, and although, of course, it would be altogether unwise for me to attempt to inflict any large number of them upon the House, I will read a few of the replies, of which the vast majority, I think about 95 per cent, are of the same tenor- One mayor telegraphs as follows: It would be a grave mistake to hold federal elections during the progress of war. Let Canada stand as one man till our Empire has won the victory. Another mayor telegraphs as follows: Would be a national crime to hold elections during war. Another mayor says: No election nor time for election during war time. Another says: This is too serious and critical a time to have united Canada divided by party strife. Still another says: To hold an election during progress of the war would be nothing short of a crime. From the public utterances of hon. gentlemen opposite during the parliamentary recess, I have gathered that the views which are expressed in the journals from which I have quoted and in the messages from the mayors which I have just read, are held also by a number of them. My right hon. friend the leader of the Opposition (Sir Wilfrid Laurier), speaking at a federation of Liberal clubs in Toronto on the 21st of May, 1915, is reported to have used this language: I speak honestly that which I believe is in the Interests of the country when I say there should be, there ought to be, a change of Government or a different policy pursued, but I do not care, for my part, so long as the war lasts, to open the portals of office with that bloody key. But I have this to say to the Prime Minister and his colleagues: I do not care for an election. Let the Prime Minister and his colleagues say that there shall be no election as long as the war shall go on, and I will pledge myself and the party that we shall stop all preparations and think of nothing but the war. My hon. friend the ex-Minister of Public Works (Mr. Pugsley), in an interview to the Manitoba Free Press, is reported, in an issue of that journal of the 15th of September last, as having said: The present circumstances are so grave from the standpoint of Canada and the Empire that it would be deplorable, in my opinion, to have the people divided upon party questions. Another of the reasons why I favour putting off an election until after the War is because I think it would be a great pity to hold one just when the energies of all the people of Canada, and especially the members of the Government who are primarily charged with the duty of attending to the recruiting and equipment of the soldiers should be devoted to this one end. I am particularly appreciative of the view which my hon. friend from the city of St. John has expressed with regard to the arduous nature of the responsibilities which devolve upon the Government at a time like this. His long experience in official life would enable him to understand, perhaps as well as any man in Canada, the magnitude of the task which has devolved upon many members of the Government during the past eighteen months, and the necessity that their time should be given unremittingly and unflaggingly to the duties which ' press upon them not only from day to day but from hour to hour. I may say that in the early months of the war I believed that the great stress and strain upon the Government, particularly upon myself as the head of the Government, would relax from time to time as the war went on, but I declare to my fellow members of this Parliament that the responsibilities and duties and labours cast upon the members of the Government during the month of June last, immediately before my departure to England, were as great as they were during any of the earlier months of the war; and the same condition of affairs still continues from day to day. It is manifestly impossible that the members of the Government, charged with responsibilities such as those to which I have alluded, could adequately fulfil their duty to the country at a time like this in the midst of a general election. My hon. friend from Pictou (Mr. E. M. Macdonald), in an interview reported in the Toronto Star, said this: An election, while the struggle is raging for liberty and humanity, would be a crime. An election during the war would divide the Do-


'623 COMMONS


minion. There should be no election during the war. Now, I have expressed as well as I can to my fellow members of the House the reasons and considerations which have led the Government to propose this resolution. It is proper to say that the proposed extension of the parliamentary term incidentally involves the postponement of the date at which the Government shall render an account of its stewardship to the people. There are those who may regard that circumstance as exercising an influence upon the Government in the action which we propose. On the other hand, there are, doubtless, some who may consider that the political fortunes of the party in power may be unfavourably affected by the proposed postponement. I do not dwell for a moment upon any of these considerations; I do not pause even to take them into account. The struggle in which our Empire is engaged is of so tremendous a nature, the issues and consequences which it involves are so far-reaching and momentous, and the sacrifices which it entails are so enormous, that all considerations as to the fortunes of any political party, here or elsewhere, dwindle into absolute insignificance. Lest, however, there should be any misunderstanding as to the position of the. Government, let me say this. We do not come before Parliament in any sense as suppliants. The Government is quite prepared and willing to submit its record to the judgment of the people, whenever that course becomes necessary or desirable in the public interest. We are thoroughly conscious of the tremendous responsibilities imposed upon us during the past 'eighteen months. We are equally conscious that we have fulfilled those responsibilities to the best of our ability, and that we have unsparingly and unremittingly devoted ourselves to their fulfilment, without regard to any consideration but the conscientious performance of our duty. That mistakes may have been made, especially in the early weeks of the war, is more than probable, but I speak with a full sense of my responsibility when I say that in this Dominion as few mistakes have been made in the conduct of the war as in any part of the Empire. I hope that the House and the people will adequately realize the tremendous task, which has been undertaken and carried out. Both military and civil authorities in Great Britain agreed that if the Empire should become involyed in a Euro- pean war, the maximum expeditionary force which could be sent overseas by the British Islands would be 160,000 men. It was the opinion of many that the force should be limited to 80,000 or 120,000. Canada has under arms nearly 250,000 men, and has already sent overseas forces numbering more than 125,000 men, all fully armed and equipped, except in the provision of artillery for the later divisions, as to which, by arrangement, we depend upon the British Government. The task of carrying out this tremendous effort by a department of the 'Government whose organization had not been prepared for one-twentieth part of the work, entailed efforts and labours which can hardly be realized or understood by those who have not taken part therein. Nor have these great labours devolved upon the Department of Militia and Defence alone. I would ask hon. gentlemen to bear in mind that the Minister of Finance (Sir Thomas White), during the past eighteen months, has had responsibilities and labours east upon him which, I venture to say, have never been placed upon the shoulders of any other minister of finance since this confederation was founded in 1867, and those labours have been performed and those responsibilities fulfilled, in my judgment, with great ability. There may be differences of opinion between ourselves and hon. gentlemen on the other side as to the measures which have been taken, but as to the isLnoerity of my hon. friend's belief that the meaures which he took were- in the best interests of the country, there can be no possible question, nor can there by any question as to the devotion and energy with which he addressed himself to the task that lay before him. My hon. friend the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Sir George Foster) has also had unusual burdens and responsibilities placed upon him. He has had not only very difficult and intricate problems to handle in relation to transportation, but he has bad also to take into account the great and varied problems which will arise after the conclusion of the war, and as to which, I know, his labours have been irtdefatigable. The Minister of the Naval Service (Mr. Hazen) has also bad very heavy duties to perform, as also has the Minister of Justice (Mr. Doherty), who has had charge of the internment operations involving great responsibilities and not a little labour and attention to detail. The Minister of Customs (Mr. Reid) has had imposed upon him weekly, if not daily, Questions which have had to be taken up with the Government of the United Kingdom, concerning the prohibition of exports, and many other matters relating to his department. The good offices of the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Burrell) and his department have been sought by the British Government with reference to the large orders placed by that Government in this country. There are other departments of government upon which great (responsibilities exceeding those that are usual in times of peace have been placed during the past eighteen months. The Government do not dread an appeal to the electorate, if it should prove necessary, but in common with the great majority of the Canadian people they feel it their duty to take every possible step and to use every legitimate means to prevent such a necessity during the continuance of the war. One who has seen 150,000 Canadians under arms, the very flower of the country's youth, whether on the plains of Valcartier, or at Shorncliffe, or holding the trenches in Flanders, one who realizes to the full the uplifting spirit of unity and patriotism which has animated the Canadian people ever since the Empire sprang to arms, cannot but shrink from taking a course which would pour upon the glowing fire of united patriotic endeavour the waters of party strife and bitterness- It is for this reason, and in this spirit, that the Government submits this proposal to the House for its consideration and approval, in the hope that the resolution will be accepted in the same spirit. Right Hon. Sir WILFRID LAURIER('Quebec East): Mr. Speaker, when the Fathers of Confederation sought thesanction of the Imperial Parliament to the plan which they had devised for the union of the British provinces of this continent, they declared, in the very preamble of the Act, that the new Dominion should be endowed with a constitution similar in principle to the constitution of the United Kingdom. It is well to mark the words, Sir, because the intentions of those men, who had the moulding of 'Canada's destinies in their hands, was that the British constitution should be the pillar of fire by night and the pillar of clpud by day which should guide the young country to union and to nationhood. In the mass of rules and maxims, statutes and precedents, which make up the British constitution, there was one feature which particularly seemed to have attracted their attention, and that was that the maxim that the life of the elected branch of Parliament should not exceed limits rigidly fixed by law, and, as a corollary, that there should be at least one session of Parliament every year. These provisionĀ® of the British constitution had been evolved in the long struggle o the British people for constitutional government, and they were intended to put a check upon the power of the King and of Parliament. They were intended to subject the King to the control of Parliament and to subject Parliament to the final arbitrament of the people. The great and eminent men, wise and prudent also, who were then moulding the destinies of our own country, recognized the importance of these dispositionĀ® by making them fundamental features, permanent enactments of our constitution, and went so far as to place it beyond the power of this Parliament to repeal, to alter, or to ignore them. By section 50 of the Constitution they provided that: Every House of. Commons shall continue for five years from the day of the return of the writs for choosing the House (subject to he sooner disolved b,y the Governor General), and no longer. By section 20 they provided also as follows : There shall he a session of the Parliament of Canada once at least in every year, so that twelve months shall not intervene between the last sitting of the Parliament in one session and its first sitting in the next session. These two provisions are part of our constitutional law, and it is not in the power of this Parliament to ignore, to repeal, or to amend them. The last elections took place in September, 1911; the writs were returned in the following October; therefore this Parliament must cease in the month of October next. The only authority by which these provisions may be altered is vested, not in this Parliament, but in the Imperial Parliament. Such is the law to-day. Yet, in the face of this imperative disposition, there have been evidences as numerous almost as the days of the year that on the part of the Canadian people there is a growing disinclination to have an election during the war. The reason for that view seems to be this: in all things human, even the most excellent, the infirmity of our nature, is never completely absent. We prize our system of parliamentary government. We believe that the institutions



which we have obtained from Great Britain, if not absolutely perfect, are undoubtedly the best and wisest that ever were devised for the government of men; yet they betray the imperfection of our nature. Our own experience has proved that in every election there is some displacement of the public economy of the community; there is an unsettled state of business, more or less pronounced; there is violence to a greater or less degree in the clash of opinions and the clash of parties. And at a time when the energies of the nation should be bent towards one end, and one end only, the very thought that there might be an election, with all its concomitant strife and division, was alarming to a large section ol the community. This feeling on the part of the public was aggravated, if not entirely caused, by the uncertainty that existed as to the intentions of the Government-an uncertainty for which I think 4 p.m. they deserve some censure, because it was in their power to dispel it at once by a simple word frankly spoken. I say "uncertainty"; I should say rather "certainty," because for many months it seemed that the intention of the Government was to dissolve Parliament and to have an immediate election. I can not otherwise interpret the action of members of the Government. The reasons which the right hon. the Prime Minister now gives as to why there should not be an election were just as applicable in the month of April last as they are to-day; and everybody remembers that in the month of April last my hon. friend the Minister of Public Works (Mr. Rogers) spoke very emphatically on this subject. He said this: Is it, then, any wonder that the cry comes, from every individual that one meets and that understands the conditions, in tones louder than thunder, demanding that this Parliament be dissolved, that the rights and liberties of the people of this Dominion be granted to them under our form of democracy, and that that form of democracy be restored to them? This language, coming from such an eminent member of the Cabinet as my hon. friend the Minister of Public Works-who, I believe, is credited with having a large share in the framing of the policy of the Government-such language, used in the presence of his colleagues, must have meant, if it meant anything, that the minister had the authority of the Cabinet for so speaking. Otherwise, my right hon. friend the Prime Minister would have taken his colleague in hand and taught him his responsibility. But that is not all. Some weeks afterwards the hon. Minister of Public Works went to the city of Montreal, where he is reported to have spoken after this fashion: Mr. Rogers said, in view of the action of the irresponsible majority in the Senate, the Government had decided to appeal to the people last September, but its plans were changed owing to the outbreak of war. If the Opposition had played a loyal part, and had assisted the Government in the emergency, there would have been no talk about an election at the present time. In my judgment, these words meant only one thing: that the Government had resolved to try the fortune of a general election. But, whatever may have been the object of this attitude on the part of the Government, the response was not what had been anticipated. On the part of a large section of the community there was a sense of irritation that, at such a time, the Government should think of launching the country into the turmoil unavoidable from a premature appeal to the people. Therefore hon. gentlemen opposite changed their minds, and it was with no surprise-that we heard from the speech of His Royal Highness the following declaration: The life of the present Parliament expires in the autumn of this year, and, under existing legislation, a dissolution and election would be necessary in the early future. My advisers, however, are of the opinion that the wishes of the Canadian people and the present requirements of the war would be best met by avoiding the distraction and confusion consequent upon a general election at so critical a time. That purpose can only be - effected through the medium of legislation by the Parliament of the United Kingdom. A resolution authorizing and requesting the enactment of such legislation as will extend the life of this Parliament for the period of one year will be presented to you. In view of the expressions of public opinion to which my right hon. friend referred during the course of the remarks which he made this afternoon, it is possible that the proposal for an extension of the term of Parliament not for the period of the war, but simply for a period of twelve months, will occasion some disappointment. But, in my judgment, and, I believe, in the judgment of every one who values British institutions, a proposal for the extension of the term of Parliament for the duration of the war would be absolutely unacceptable, and if such a proposition as that should be brought before Parliament, I would deem it my duty to oppose it to the last. If this course were taken, we should substitute for an evil which we wish to avoid an evil still more to be 'dreaded. Whatever we may do, we cannot deprive the people of the supreme command which they must have over their legislatures, the members of which they elect. We cannot deprive them of periodical elections. The period may be extended, or restricted, but, we cannot have an indefinite proposition such as would be involved in a general proposal to have the term of Parliament extended during the whole duration of the war. We do not know how long the war may last. We all hope that it will soon be over; certainly it will not Ibe over so soon as we at first expected. But we have reason to believe that the words of Lord Kitchener, true and good soldier as he is, and knowing his business as well as any man, will come true and that the war will be over within three years, and that would be towards the end of 1917. . The proposal of the Government to which they ask our sanction in the resolution is that the term of Parliament should be extended for one year from the end of the present Parliament. When the speech from the * Throne was delivered I deemed it ' my duty, though my own views were pretty well formed on the subject, to consult those who do me the honour of giving me their confidence in this House. At the conference which we had on this subject there was, as of course there must be in every party, differences of opinion. My right hon. friend quoted in his speech the views held by the Liberal press. One would assume from this that the views held by the Conservative press were the Same, since he did not think it advisable to quote them to the House, but everybody knows that the Conservative press was not unanimous upon the subject, -and that there were organs of Conservative opinion which were -averse to any extension. The same division of opinion prevailed elsewhere. But whatever may have been the division of opinion amongst us, there was a general consensus of opinion-I think I may say so without -betraying any secret-that the matter should be left to my own judgment. This was placing upon me a heavy responsibility, a responsibility which it -is not my intention to -shirk or to seek to avoid. -I will endeavour to discharge it according to the dictates of my conscience, and certainly also with due regard for the rights of the *people, as I understand their rights. In the position which I occupy in this House, enjoying -as I do the confidence of a large section of the Canadian Parliament, I am a servant of the state, a servant of the -people; and- to the state and the people I owe duties-duties which, while differing from those appertaining to the members of the House who occupy the treasury benches, are nevertheless equally binding upon me, and not inferior in responsibility. When war -broke out I had a clear vision of the path I should follow, and from that path I have never deviated, though very often I encountered the taunts of foes, and sometimes the doubts of friends. Standing before me were facts which illuminated my -course and pointed the way. There was first of all the fact that England did not engage in this war from any motive of ambition or from any desire for aggrandisement. England went into this war from a sense of the duty which she owed not so much to hex-self, as to -Ehr-ope and to mankind at large. There is nothing so -sure in history, nothing so much beyond controversy that Sir Edward Grey, a statesman whose judgment, moderation, and lofty thought, already since the war began have been tried a hundred times, a hundred times found true, did everything it was possible for a man to do to preserve peace. He appealed again and again to the German through onr embassador and -chancellor with the view of inducing him to use his great authority in Europe to have peace maintained. He appealed to him in the name of all that was saered on earth, but he found the German mind poisoned by the lust of power, by the hope of huge indemnities after the victory, and by the allurements of booty and glory, if, indeed, there be any glory in the -modern methods of German warfare. He appealed in vain. Sir, there wa-s a time, not so long ago, when Benjamin Disraeli, Earl of Beaconsfield, came back from Berlin bringing a treaty which he presented to England, and which England accepted as "peace with honour." When the German chancellor, -speaking in the name of his nation, and of his Emperor, contemptuously stated that treaties were nothing but -scraps of paper, to be respected so long as they suited the German purpose, hut to be discarded as soon as they came in the way of German ambition, what was there for England to do? Nothing but to return to Berlin with victory and honour. And what was Canada to do? Sir, I need not comment upon that. Many times upon the floor of this House I have expressed my views. There was no obligation, no compulsion. Canada was free, absolutely



free: free to go in, and free to stay out. But what use are we to make of our liberty? We knew that England was engaged in mortal combat with an enemy strong in preparation-even more prepared than we had supposed hitherto-an enemy animated by the black ambition of universal domination. Under such circumstances there was nothing for Canada to do but to do what she did; to place at the disposal of England all her resources in men and money. Men there are to-day who sneer at the thought of Canada exhausting her resources to defend the Empire. Sir, who talks of Empire towd-ay? There are other things greater even than the Empire, great as it is. Civilization is greater than the Empire, and civilization is the issue. Who can doubt, who can deny, in the face of the declarations and pretensions set up by German writers in their books, in face of the vain and childish declarations of their most renowned professors, of the brutally frank avowals of their military leaders; who can doubt but that if Germany were to win it would be the end of all we hold sacred. Who can doubt that it would be the end of that individual liberty, that- personal dignity, that independence of thought and action which citizens of all British countries value more than life itself. For my my part, I re-echo the words lately spoken by that workman of the docks of Liverpool, who discussing compulsion in England put an end to all doubts, by exclaiming: "If Germany should win, nothing on God's earth would matter." I speak my whole soul and heart when I say that if Germany were to win I would be thankful that Providence should close my eyes before I saw the sun rising on such a day. But, Sir, there is more. Need I repeat that I am a Canadian of French origin? It has always seemed to me that those in whose veins courses the blood of France, as it courses in my veins, should have been even more eager than their fellow-citizens of English origin to stand behind England in this contest. Why should I say so? We of French origin have always had pride in our race. We have always affirmed it, not obstreperously, but with dignity, and certainly there never was a time when we had greater cause to be proud of the land of our ancestors than in these days when France,tried in the crucible of adversity, is perhaps greater than she ever was in the days of her greatest triumphs. She astonishes the world with her courage and heroism, and she .shows to the world not only all the virtues that we knew her to be possessed of, but virtues that we thought she lacked. These are some of the reasons which at all events influence me. It was a day of joy for us of French origin when England and France, who have done so much to bring civilization to the high plane it has reached, at last put an end to their .quarrels, buried, and buried forever, their old enmities, and proclaimed to the world their never-ending friendship. That day, the last pang of bitterness passed away, and there arose new hopes and new aspirations to nobler and broader views. But there came days of anxiety. As was well said the other day in a most admirable speech by my hon. friend from Kamouraska (Mr. Lapointe), on the 28th of July, 1914, when Germany declared war on France, there seemed to be hesitation on the part of England, and doubt as to whether or not the entente cordiale was anything but a broken reed. Anxiety there was as to what seemed to be hesitation. But there was no hesitation on the part of England. It must be remembered that Great Britain is a democratic country, and that in all democracies public opinion is the last supreme arbiter. There has been for the last sixty years in England a party of peace-a party of peace at any price-which was represented in the Cabinet, and before the Cabinet could declare war they had a .ministerial crisis. Two important members of the Government, Lord Morley and John Burns, declined to serve and they resigned rather than participate in the policy adopted by the British Government. But, as was stated by my hon. friend from Kamouraska, the moment England declared war upon Germany, anxiety was replaced by enthusiasm, and from that day every Canadian of French origin, worthy of his origin, has stood behind England in the war. But that is not all. When our troops crossed the seas what was their mission, what was their object, where were they to go? Their mission and their object was to go to France, to fight for France, nay, if need be, to die for France and,-I do not know whether I should say it in joy or sorrow-thousands of them, and more of British origin than of French origin, have given to France the last measure of their devotion, and have died for her. Yet, that is notv all. It is a fact well established by the testimony of history that there is no greater' bond of union between men than danger met and supported in common. Men there are to-day in France, men of French origin, and of English origin, all united in a common allegiance, standing shoulder to shoulder struggling to maintain the integrity of France and to preserve her from dismemberment and humiliation. I say without hesitation what I believe to be the true sentiment of all human hearts, that when these men divided as they are by race come back to Canada, when the war is over, they will be more united than when they left, and Canada will have the manifold blessings of that union. These were the sentiments which animated me; this was the vision which I had of what was to come, when, at the special session of the Parliament of 1914, I took my seat. Then I declared what should be the policy which I and the friends who give me their confidence would follow in this emergency. I expressed my views in words which have been very often quoted; they were even cited to-day by my right hon. friend the Prime Minister. 1 need offer no excuse if I should quote them again in view of what I shall have to say afterwards. On that occasion I stated the policy which we intended to follow in these words: This session has been called for the purpose of giving- the authority of Parliament and the sanction of law to such measures as have already been taken b,y the Government, and any further measures that may be needed, to insure the defence of Canada and to give what aid may be in our power to the Mother Country in the stupendous struggle which now confronts her. Speaking for those who sit around me, speaking for the wide constituencies which we represent in this House, I hasten to say that to all these measures we are prepared to give immediate assent. If in what has been done or in what remains to be done there may be anything which in our judgment should not be done or should be differently done, we raise no question, we take no exception, we offer no criticism, and we shall offer no criticism so long as there is danger at the front. These opinions which I then expressed have sometimes received a very singular interpretation. One interpretation of them which I have heard on the floor of this House this very session, would simply amount to making us mechanical automatons, mere clerks' to register the decrees of the Government. I need not say that to such an interpretation we of the Opposition do not intend to pay any attention. We are here, the representatives of the people, we see very clearly the duties which we have to perform, and we are still an Opposition. My words were very plain, and I can repeat what I said then, exemplified by what has happened since, and by what we shall do again. All measures which have for their object the successful prosecution of the war we are prepared now, as in the past, to support; all measures, all actions, which in our judgment may be detrimental to the successful prosecution of the war, it will be our duty to oppose. As to all such things as have no improper character, as to all such things as might be differently done, though not done wrongfully, we shall raise no question. But, Sir, to all wrongs, to all frauds, we shall offer determined opposition-these can not be condoned, they must be exposed, and, when exposed, they must be treated accordingly. These are the views we have held in the past, and which we now hold, and I appeal to the testimony of both friend and foe whether we have not remained true to these views to the present day. We have objected to no measure of the Government except their fiscal policy, and we objected to the fiscal policy introduced by the Minister of Finance last year, because in our judgment it would impair our trade relations with England, injure the trade of England, and to that extent injure the successful conduct of the war. I come to the measure which is before us, and which proposes to extend the term of this Parliament for twelve months. It must be remembered that this is a graver question for us in Canada than was the parliamentary extension measure for Eng-, land. The extension that is now sought, as I must again remind the House, is not in our own power. We are seeking an amendment to the Constitution, which was provided by the Fathers of Confederation, and as to that we must be very careful. The Constitution is the Ark of the Covenant, enclosing the tables of the law, and no one can touch it except at his peril. For my part, in the words which were quoted by my right hon. friend a jnoment ago-and he might have quoted them again and again, for I have always spoken the same way on that subject-I would deprecate an election during the war. Still, were the war to be protracted unduly beyond what was contemplated, no oiie would suppose That the right of the Canadian people over this Parliament would be in abeyance for all that time. We have this to consider. It is a different thing to force an election when it can be avoided, and to face an election when the law compels it. Moreover, do not let us forget that there is dignity and grandeur in a people carrying on in



time of stress their laws and their constitution just as they would in time of peace. In olden times, during war, even Rome suspended its constitution, but to the credit of England be it said that in no circumstances has she ever actually suspended her constitution. My right hon. friend has cited the example of Great Britain twice in her history extending the term of Parliament, but that is not a stretching of the British constitution; it is quite within the powers of the British Parliament. During the Napoleonic Wars, and the French Revolution, which lasted with scarcely an interruption from 1793 to 1816, England went on as usual. Again, throughout the whole American Civil War, our sister republic, the daughter of Great Britain, maintained her laws and institutions just as in peace. But, great as were those wars, terrible as they were, they were as nothing compared with the present war. The present war is an exception to all things, and it is in that spirit of exception that I, for my part, am disposed to judge the resolution which has been proposed by my right hon. friend. It is in that spirit that I am disposed to offer no opposition to it. I may say to my right hon. friend that -among the reasons which he has given, there is one which does not particularly impress me, and that is, that before the term of Parliament which it is now proposed tof extend is over, there may be some two hundred thousand or three hundred thousand of our soldiers still in Europe. These men would not be deprived of their votes in the event of an election, because the law that was passed last session provides for their being allowed to vote. There are other considerations, however, of greater moment, and which strongly appeal to me. I would observe, first of all, that it is not proposed here to alter the principle of the constitution. 'It is not proposed to override the control which the people have over Parliament. It is simply proposed to suspend for the time being the operation of the constitution. If it were proposed to make away altogether with that principle which is embodied in the constitution, certainly I would oppose such an attempt with all my might. But no such thing is proposed. This measure simply proposes that the constitution shall be suspended for twelve months, at the expiration of which time it will resume its full force. There is another consideration. If we pass this resolution I take it as a pledge from the Government that we shall be delivered from the threat which was held over our heads last year, of an instantaneous and premature dissolution at any time the Government thought fit. If the Government asks us to extend the life of Parliament, I take it that there will be no election until the fall of 1917. We shall then know exactly where we are, and shall not be subject to all the uncertainties which have been hanging over us for the last twelve months. Important, however, as these considerations are, they are not the one consideration which more than all appeals to me, and which has practically influenced my judgment. No one can have escaped the significance of the words of the Prime Minister when he said a moment ago that if the resolution was not adopted unanimously, he would think it his duty to withdraw it. I can conceive that. If this resolution was not adopted unanimously, even though carried by a majority of this House, and even if my right hon. friend himself were to carry it to the foot of the Throne, I have no doubt whatever that in the face of such a minority as would be arrayed against it, the British Parliament would never grant the power sought. The British Parliament, I am sure, will never, under any circumstances, alter the constitution of this country, except upon a unanimous resolution of the two branches of the Canadian Parliament. To say that, is paying no compliment to the British Parliament; it is only the spirit of the constitution; it is only the spirit which has always been displayed by Great Britain. To say that the British Parliament would oppose this measure unless presented to it with full unanimous support as I have mentioned is simply rendering bare justice to the Imperial Parliament, to the King, to the Lords, and to the Commons of Great Britain. But, Sir, if this Parliament not unanimously but by a majority pass this resolution and if in England they refuse then to pass it, or if the resolution is withdrawn from Parliament in the face of opposition from this side of the House, what would be the,consequence? The consequence would be that we -should at once have an election-an election during the.war; and that election -would take place not upon the broad questions of the war, not upon the great ideas which have been suggested by the war, not upon the conduct of the war by the Government, not upon the problems which are facing us on account of the war, but upon the refusal of the Opposition in the Canadian Parliament to grant an extension of the term of Parliament. That would be a miserable incident to go to the country upon, and I say, therefore, that instead of having the country divided upon such an incident, better by far-not only for the greater reasons, but even for the narrowest reasons of all-that we should preserve the unanimity which we have had in this House up to the present time. After all, what is it that is being sought of us. It is sought of us, not to do away with the control of the Canadian people over this Parliament, but simply to suspend for a short twelve months the verdict of the Canadian people upon the Administration, . upon its policy, and upon the general questions arising out of the war. For all these reasons, Sir, in view of the responsibility which has been placed upon my shoulders by my hon. friends; in view of the rights of the people, and in view of what I think best for the country, after giving this question the best judgment that I could, I am not prepared to oppose the resolution, but will allow it to pass unanimously in this House. I am well aware that the question is an important one; but, important as it is, it pales before the great problems which are still before us; it pales before the magnitude of the duties which the Allies have still to discharge. Let us for a moment consider the progress of the war. The campaign of 1914 went in the favour of the Allies. The battle of the River Marne shattered the plans which had been long prepared and premeditated by the German General Staff for an easy and a rapid victory, and the end of the year 1914 found the Kaiser and his staff piling up corpses by the hundreds of thousands in the marshes and swamps of Flanders, in a vain effort to reach Calais. On the eastern front the Russians 'had gone from victory to victory; they had taken possession of Galicia; they had reached the summit of the Carpathian mountains, and they were ready to invade Hungary. Such was the condition- of affairs at the end of 1914. The -campaign of 1915 was not as favourable to the Allies on the western front: notwithstanding most brilliant victories won by them, notwithstanding glorious feats of arms in which our Canadian troops won un-dying fame, the two armi-es remained practically in the -same position without marked advantage either on one side or the oth-er. On the eastern front the Russians fought at great odds. They were forced to abandon Galicia; they lost Poland; they suffered even an invasion of Russian territory; but at the end of the year they had checkmated the German forces and were -prepared to take the offensive, and they have taken that offensive now. We are now at the beginning of the third -campaign, and at this -stage we may well appropriate to ourselves the invocation of the American poet: Our lathers' God! from out whose hand The centuries fall like grains of sand, We meet to-day, united, free. Loyal to our land and Thee, To thank Thee for the era done And trust Thee for the opening one. In the words of the poet, we meet to-day, united, free. These words were inspired by a very different occasion: they were written on the occasion of the Philadelphia Exhibition of 1876 to perpetuate the first *century of the republic. An era was done: a new era was opening. The poet was not -alone in his conception, and his hopes and his trust; the most enlightened opinions of the most enlightened countries, England, France and the United States, were full of faith that this era would be one of -peace, and that it would see an approach, a permanent approach to that brotherhood of man, long sought, long hoped for and long prayed for, but never attained. These nations, the most enlightened on earth, were so absorbed by this idea and had such an abhorrence of war, that they would not even prepare against it, being full of confidence that the demons of war would never again be let loose on the world. But there was one power upon whom all appeals fell in vain, a power unreasoning in its mad ambition for conquest and domination. And the day came when it opened the gates and let loose its long prepared legions, and all the infernal furies rushed out in their wake. The issue is still pending and, so long a-s it is pending, so long as Belgium has not been restored to her independence, -so long as France has not recovered her lost territory, so long as the enemy has not been thrown back beyond the Rhine within its own bor-der-s, for my part, and I -speak again as I have -spoken always-my supreme thought will be to give all the assistance in bur power to Britain in the -struggle which she has undertaken against the common enemy of mankind. -Motion agreed to.


CON

Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir ROBERT BORDEN moved:

That the said Address he engrossed.

Topic:   '623 COMMONS
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Motion agreed to. That a message be sent to the. Senate to inform their honours that the House has passed an Address to His Most Excellent Majesty the King, praying that he may graciously be pleased to give his consent to submitting a measure to the Parliament of the United Kingdom to amend certain provisions of the British North America Act, 1S67, in the manner therein set forth, and requesting that their honours will unite with this House in the said Address, by filling up the blank therein with the words " Senate and." Motion agreed to.


QUESTIONS.


[Questions answered orally are indicated by an asterisk.!


HUDSON BAY RAILWAY AND TERMINALS EXPENDITURE.

LIB

John Howard Sinclair

Liberal

Mr. SINCLAIR:

'

1. How much has been expended to date by the present Administration in dredging and lighting and other improvements in Port Nelson?

2. How much additional is estimated to com-the said dredging, lighting and harbour improvements?

3. Kow much has been expended by the present Administration in connection with the construction of the Hudson Bay railway to date?

4. What additional amount will be required t) complete the work?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   HUDSON BAY RAILWAY AND TERMINALS EXPENDITURE.
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CON

Francis Cochrane (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. COCHRANE:

The following is in so far as the Department of Railways and Canals is concerned:

1. $5,018,711.74 to January 1. 1916.

2. $5,000,000.

3. $9,957,340.69, railway only to January 1, 1916.

4. $5,500,000.

FRESH FISH FOR AMERICAN MARKET. Mr. SINCLAIR:

Has the Government considered the question of assisting the transportation of fresh fish from the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia to the American market?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   HUDSON BAY RAILWAY AND TERMINALS EXPENDITURE.
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CON

George Eulas Foster (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir GEORGE FOSTER:

Since the examination and discussion of this question that we had two years ago the Government have given no special attention to it, although, generally, it has been kept in mind.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   HUDSON BAY RAILWAY AND TERMINALS EXPENDITURE.
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ESTIMATED POPULATION OF CANADA.

LIB

Alexander Kenneth Maclean

Liberal

Mr. A. K. MACLEAN:

What was the estimated population of Canada up to January 1, 1916?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   ESTIMATED POPULATION OF CANADA.
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February 8, 1916