March 14, 1904 (9th Parliament, 4th Session)

LIB

Lawrence Geoffrey Power (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, a copy of which is as follows :-
Honourable Gentlemen of the Senate:
Gentlemen of the House of Commons :
In again meeting you in parliament, it is our first duty to express our heartfelt thanks to a beneficent Providence for the abundant harvest with which the country has been fovoured during the past year, and for the general prosperity that prevails in all parts of the Dominion.
It is very gratifying to note that the yearly increasing trade of Canada.which has been so marked a feature of the past six years, gives no indication of any abatement, -while the number of settlers seeking homes in Manitoba and the Territories is without a parallel in the history of the country. These two very important facts lead irresistibly to the conclusion that long before the Transcontinental Railway, authorized by parliament at its last session, can possibly be completed, its urgent necessity as a medium for canj ing the products of the west to our own Atlantic ports will have become apparent, independently of the mauy benefits that will follow from the opening up for colonization and for various enterprises of the northern parts of Quebec and Ontario.
The agreement made with the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway Company regarding a new transcontinental railway, contained certain stipulations which in effect required the Grand Trunk' Railway Company of Canada to become a party to that agreement and to assume heavy obligations in respect thereof.
Further consideration of the agreement by the representatives of the Grand Trunk Railway Company and my government has resulted in showing the desirability of certain amendments to the contract which, having been approved by my government and subsequently by the ,board of directors and the shareholders of the Grand Trunk Railway Company, will be submitted to you for ratification.
The sum of $5,000,000 in cash has been deposited in the Bank of Montreal in accordance with the provisions contained in the original and supplemental agreements with the company.
A Militia Bill will be introduced containing several important amendments to the present law rendered necessary by the growth of the force and calculated to promote its efficiency.
A co"y of the award defining the boundary between the Dominion and Alaska, and other papers connected with the controversy, will be laid before you.
In view of the widely exetended settlements now forming in the Territories, it will become necessirv to increase the strength of the Northwest Mounted Police Force, and authority will be asked for that purpose.
Gentle//ten of the House of Commons:
The accounts of the past year will he laid before you. I am glad to say that the revenue

will exceed the expenditure, leaving a balance to be applied in reduction of the public debt.
The estimates for the coming year will be laid before jou at an early date.
Honourable Gentlemen of the Senate :
Gentlemen of the House of Commons :
After the long protracted session of the last year, when so many important matters were dealt with, it is not probable that your duties will involve your being detained on the present occasion for any lengthened period. X commend, however, to your best consideration the subjects to which I have referred, and I invoke the Divine Blessing on your deliberations

Topic:   THE SPEECH FROM THE THRONE.
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