April 26, 1909 (11th Parliament, 1st Session)


James William Maddin



I expect to be very much in the flesh. I would urge upon the Prime Minister that he carefully consider the observations which I have submitted this evening. I have quoted the remarks of hon. gentlemen who support him. The Prime Minister has the Finance Minister from Nova Scotia, he has the hon. member for Pictou and the hon. member for Cape Breton North. These are all great conservators of the coal industry of Nova Scotia and I would ask them and the gov-

ernment: 'What are you going to do about it?' There is no doubt the coal industry has substantially fallen off and as one of the best evidences that the miners of Cape Breton are not enjoying the wonted and boasted prosperity I need only mention that Dominion No. 6 mine has closed down during February and March, or partially closed down. The mine had not been idle three weeks until public subscriptions were called for and the clergy and members of the local legislature were called upon to form committees to provide relief for miners in that community. Hardly a week passes but there are instances of distress brought to the attention of the authorities in the mining towns of Nova Scotia. So much in regard to the coal question.
The hon. member for Queens, Prince Edward Island (Mr. Warburton), while discussing the budget, just preceding me, spoke of the emigration that took place when the Liberal-Conservatives were in power. He said that it was quite a common thing for the people to leave the farms and the country, but that now they were coming back to us. Under the wise administration of this government the people were coming back to their native heath, were coming once again to Canadian soil. There was no one so well able to depict the sad consequences of the flight from the maritime provinces of the people to the United States as the hon. member for Pictou. I have heard him, with a great deal of pleasure, in the most unctuous tones describing the aged pair saying the family devotions and praying for the return of their beloved ones, and he prophesied that this was going to take place as soon as the Liberal party were in power. But the hon. member for Queens has endeavoured to show us that the people are flocking back again to the land of their birth. In 1908 $2,000,000 worth of household effects were shipped into the United States from Canada. What does that mean? It means that $2,000,000 worth of familv effects followed the families there that have gone over to the stars and stripes, and if you take into consideration the large number of young men and young women who have gone and taken no family effects with them, you will have some idea of the extent to which emigration from this country is going on even at the present time. I do not know how it is in the province of the hon. member for Queens, but I can assure him and this House that the people are not rushing and flocking back to Nova Scotia from the United States. There are hundreds and thousands of vacant farms in Nova Scotia, and these have been continually increasing in number from 1896 down to the present time. An effort is being made by the local government to induce settlers to come_ to Nova Scotia, but when one bears in_ mind that there are more Nova Scotians in the
state of Massachusetts than there are in Nova Scotia one can form some idea of the extent to which the population of the maritime provinces has been depleted by immigration to that country. I take issue with the hon. member for Queens when he sa^s that the people are rushing back. Since 1896 we have lost two representatives from Nova Scotia because we did not have population enough to enable us to retain our representation in parliament. Formerly we enjoyed twenty members, but now we have only eighteen, and this is the most striking evidence one could have as to the falling off in population i" Nova Scotia.
There is one other matter that I would like to direct the attention of the government to in connection with this debate and it has reference to the English mail boats,
I would like to urge upon the government the desirability of having the English mail boats call at Sydney harbour during the summer months. I submit that during the past two years, when these boats have called at North Sydney, the experiment has demonstrated the advisability, the sureness and shortness of that route as compared with any other route that these boats could take. I would urge it for the further reason that it would help the Intercolonial Railway which seems to be an eye-sore to some of our friends from the upper province. The English mail boats discharge the mails at Halifax in winter, and there is no good reason why they should not drop the Nova Scotia freight there as well. I can see no reason why the subsidized steamers which carry the mails for eastern Canada and the freight for the different provinces should proceed to St. John after simply dropping the mails at Halifax What earthly reason can there be why they should not put off at Halifax the freight for Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island? The common practice at present is that the freight goes through to the city of St. John, where it is dis charged, and the St. John wholesale houses are able to put their goods on the Halifax market before the Halifax wholesale dealer gets his goods which come on the same steamer. It seems that when the steamer arrives in St. John and the freight is put on shore there, the Canadian Pacific Railway in their anxiety to expedite the traffic for the west throw the eastern freight aside; and the St. John freight is taken possession of promptly by the merchants of that city, while the Nova Scotia freight is subsequently sent over the Intercolonial Railway at an additional freight expense of 50 cents per ton to the consumers of Nova Scotia. That is a hardship and it is a discrimination against the merchants of Nova Scotia for which there is no excuse. I beg to submit further that during that period of the year when the Cabot straits are free

from ice, the boats should make North Sydney a port of call, which would result in the landing of quite a number of passengers and a good deal of freight there, and incidentally benefit the Intercolonial Railway.

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