May 19, 1909 (11th Parliament, 1st Session)


William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)



I made a statement at an earlier stage when I expected that by this time the French Chamber of Deputies would have taken action to approve the supplementary treaty, and in that event we would of course proceed immediately to present to the House legislation to ratify the treaty as respects Canada. I stated then that the French chambers had adjourned for a period, and I thought they would resume on the 11th or 12th of May. I thought there would then be ample time for them to take action on the treaty or, at all events, that I might have some intimation from the French authorities that the treaty would be immediately ratified. For that purpose I sent a communication to -the French Minister of Commerce suggesting that he should give me an intimation that the treaty would be approved by

the Chamber of Deputies at an early date, if it was not found possible to deal with it instantlv through other business. I hoped I would receive such an assurance, but I have not received a cablegram to that effect. The Consul General for France at Montreal has communicated with me, and expressed a hope that our government would be able to ratify and approve the treaty. But in view of that fact I had addressed this communication to the French Minister of Commerce and had not received the expected assurance by cable, I thought it would not be wise for us to proceed as respects the approval of the treaty by the parliament of Canada. I am aware that there are many difficulties at present in the French legislative chamber, and many matters have arisen which seem to the French government more urgent, and for that reason the matter has been necessarily set aside by other business. I fully expect however that at an early date the French chambers will complete approval of the treaty, and that when this parliament assembles again we will be in a position to submit a measure for the approval of the later treaty by the parliament of Canada.

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