Sir WILFRID LAURIER.
eration that to a representative of that county in this House has this honourable duty been intrusted. And while I recognize my inability to perform it as creditably as I would like, or as the occasion demands, I am sure that I will receive from both sides of the House that kind indulgence and consideration which has always been granted to young members.
In the first paragraph of the address I am sure we will all join heartily. I am sure we are all united in expressing our gratitude to Divine Providence for the benefits conferred upon this Dominion during the past year, especially the magnificent harvest which has blessed in particular our great North-west, and diffused gladness and prosperity throughout this Dominion, not only in the North-west but in the other provinces has Divine Providence been kind to us in the past year, and certainly if ever we should express our gratitude to the Giver of all good gifts, we ought to do so on the present occasion.
The address naturally refers to the visit of the Prince and Princess of Wales to this country. We are indeed glad to know that their Royal Highnesses carried away with them most pleasant recollections of their visit. Indeed I think that no event in the history of confederation has so stirred the hearts of our people and evoked such an outburst of loyalty to the person and throne of the representative of the illustrious line of sovereigns who have guided the destinies of the empire, as this visit of the Prince and Princess of Wales. We are glad to know that from the momeut they landed upon the historic soil of the old city of Quebec-that soil rendered sacred by the memories of the conflict between the two great races now joined in friendship, that soil in where breathed their last, the one in the hour of victory, the other in the hour of defeat, the two great and noble warriors, personifying the chivalry and valour of the two great nationalities in this country, now living in peace and harmony, and working together shoulder to shoulder for the unification and solidification of this mighty Dominion-we are glad to know that from the moment of landing until departure, the reception which their Royal Highnesses received was one calculated to make them carry away most pleasant recollections. And it is gratifying to our pride as a portion of the empire to reflect that although the Prince and Princess of Wales made the tour of the world, and although they travelled in countries peopled by different nationalities, speaking different languages, yet everywhere they went was British territory and everywhere they were greeted by that grand old flag which for a thousand years has braved the battle and the breeze.
And in all these countries, though the people may speak different languages from that which we speak, and although their religion may be different from ours, yet, from
the bottom of their hearts the prayer went up for the preservation of their royal visitors, and that grand old anthem, so dear to the hearts of Canadians, ' God Save the King,' was sung as fervently as it would he in Great Britain itself. It must have been a revelation to their Royal Highnesses to realize the vastness of this mighty empire, the destinies of which they will, some day, be called upon to guide. Though we all hope that the day is far distant when His Majesty Edward VII., shall pass away, yet we know that the time must come when the sceptre shall pass into other hands; and it is pleasant indeed for the people of this country, having had some opportunity to gain knowledge of the character and disposition of those who, in future years, will rule over this empire, to know that they are of a kingly race and that they are fitted, eminently fitted, to fill the lofty position that some day, they will be called upon to fill.
The Speech from the Throne naturally refers to the assassination of President McKinley. I am sure, sir, that the people of this country, in common with those of all nations, will rejoice to know that this government proposes to join in measures that will prevent such diabolical crimes as that which was lately committed in the United States, and I am sure that this House will learn with pleasure that measures in this direction will soon be submitted to it.
The returns of the census are, naturally, a subject of very great importance to the people. And, while, for myself, I am somewhat disappointed at those returns, having felt that we had reason to believe that the population of Canada had increased at a greater ratio than is shown to have been the case by the official figures presented to vis, yet, I believe that the last few years have shown that the population of this Dominion is increasing at a rapid rate. All the evidences known to us, the general prosperity of the country, the stream of immigration that is going into the great North-west, the filling up of our towns and the cities-all these lead us to believe that within the last few years our population has been rapidly increasing and that when the next census is taken it will show a much larger ratio of increase than the census whose figures have just been made known. I am glad that the papers will be laid before us, and that there will be an opportunity of discussing this matter more fully at a later day.
Naturally, the application of the Canadian Pacific Railway for the right to increase their capital by some $20,000,000, is one that could not be passed over without comment in the Speech from the Throne. For my part. I consider it another evidence of the great prosperity of the country that a road penetrating all the parts of the Dominion, with its branch lines completing a great system, should find it necessary to double-track large port ions of the line and make other extensive improvements to provide for the
enormous amount of traffic that is offering. The necessity of providing for this additional traffic having arisen, it is natural that the company should seek power to add to its capital stock. But I am sure that the House will be glad to know that the government have been guarding the interests of the people and that the addition of $20,000,000 to the company's capital will not affect injuriously the government's right to control the rates. Everybody knows that, under the bargain made with the Canadian Pacific Railway, the Governor General in council had no control over the rates of tolls on the traffic of the road until the company had earned a dividend of ten per cent on its capital. The question naturally arose : What is the capital of the Canadian Pacific Railway ? We all know that the authorized capital was $65,000,000 ; and added to that, they had a large bond issue. Questions arose whether the amount of money they raised on these bonds should be considered part of their capital or not, and also whether their authorized capital of $65,000,000 should be considered, for this purpose, at its face value, or at the amount that the company received for it. I am sure that hon. members are all glad to know that these long-pending difficulties and differences of opinion are now to be settled in a practical way by the courts of the land. I believe that, before long, a solution of that difficult question will be arrived at which will be satisfactory to the people of this Dominion. The prospect of such a solution, I am sure, will be gratifying to the House.
The wonderful invention of Marconi, in his wireless telegraphy, is one that is of vast importance to us, and I am glad to know that the government has made arrangements by which Signor Marconi can continue his operations on the coast of Nova Scotia. If he is successful, as I hope and believe he will be-and who can tell in this age of invention, in this age of wonderful development, what the future has in store for us ?-his invention will redound to the great credit of this Dominion and will enable us to make arrangements for sending messages across the ocean at very much lower rates than those now in force. I feel sure that the government, in making arrangements with Signor Marconi, has done a thing in the best interests of the people.
The success of Canadian exhibitors at the various industrial exhibitions that have taken place is a matter also of the utmost importance to the people of this country. It is gratifying indeed to know that our success in these great exhibitions, notably at Paris, at the Pan-American at Buffalo, and at Glasgow, lias been so great as to assure us of practical results of vast interest to the people. At the Paris Exposition, Canadian exhibitors won 45 grand prizes, 87 gold medals, 105 silver medals, 85 bronze medals, and 48 honourable mention diplomas, a total of 370. And. at the Pan-American at Buf-
falo, the results have been almost as good. At that Exposition, Canadian exhibitors won 21 gold medals, 33 silver medals, 38 bronze medals, and 88 honourable mention diplomas-a total of 180 prizes and diplomas for Canada. The live stock entered by United States exhibitors at Buffalo comprised 546 animals, and the exhibitors were awarded prizes to the amount of $4,368.40. From the Dominion of Canada we sent 344 animals, yet our exhibitors carried off prizes to the amount of $3,141.60, a very much larger proportion than that of the* United States exhibitors. I need not take the time to give the details in other cases. The exhibitors at the fair in Glasgow were able to carry off a great many prizes, and got high awards for the excellence of their exhibits. And what is better, they were able to make sales of their furniture, of their carriages, of their agricultural implements, and especially of bacon. The House is no doubt aware that we have sold very little bacon in Scotland, but after the exhibition took place, and after the quality and excellence of Canadian bacon became known there, enormous orders were given to the Wm. Davies Co., of Toronto, and to other companies, and they have been enabled to make large sales, and have placed upon the markets in Scotland a large quantity of the excellent bacon which they are producing from our Canadian pork. But in other lines also Canadian manufacturers have been enabled to sell a large quantity of their goods in consequence of the exhibition that was held in Glasgow. So I think that the three exhibitions we have held in the places I have mentioned, have proved of enormous advantage to the people of this country. They have advertised Canada as it was never advertised before, and have brought our goods into competition with those of the rest of the world ; they have shown that the people of this young Dominion are able to carry off a great number of prizes in competition with the wide world ; they have shown that our people are energetic, are perfecting their machinery and their plant, and are able to produce articles that will compete successfully with the wide world.
The condition of the revenue, and especially the enormous exports and imports of this Dominion, naturally called for some comment from His Excellency. It must be exceedingly gratifying to the people of this vast Dominion, no matter to what political party they may belong, to know that their country is marching forward by leaps and bounds. One can scarcely realize the enormous advance that has taken place during the last few years. Take, for instance, the trade of Canada, which is a very fair index of the prosperity of the country. In 1891, we find the foreign trade of Canada amounted to $218,284,934. In five years from 1891 to 1896, that trade made but slow progress. In 1896 our foreign trade