Wilfrid Laurier (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)
Sir WILFRID LAURIER.
comparisons on this point were unfair to the progress and prosperity of Canada during the last decade, and that it was necessary to show that these were unfair, or else the people of the world and the people of our own country, in studying the census, might not understand and appreciate to the full extent the immense progress which Canada has made in the last few years.
Now, Sir, I have under my hand a number of statements which go into greater detail than those submitted by my hon. friend. I venture therefore to supplement what he has stated by placing some of these statements before the House and the country. They are far too voluminous for me to read them all ; but I wish to read some specimen ones, which I have taken very much at random, amongst the many papers which were laid on the Table by the Minister of Trade and Commerce, and other statements which I have prepared. My hon. friend from Pictou claimed that in the taking of the census of 1891 extreme care had been taken by the government and the minister in charge of the department at that time to insist that the enumerations should be carefully and accurately made. He pointed out that, in so far as industrial establishments were concerned, the enumerators were instructed to include only those which had an annual output of $200. He therefore concluded that it was only such establishments that were included in the tabulation of the census of 1891, and that it was quite reasonable that industrial establishments yielding an annual output of $200 should be regarded as industrial establishments.
I have under my hand the instructions which were issued to the enumerators in 1891, and I find no such statement in those instructions. There was no instruction given to the enumerators that they should only include industrial establishments which gave an annual output of $200. As a matter of fact, that was the same instruction as was given in 1871, in 1881 and in this last census. I do not quarrel with that instruction, but I want to correct the impression that was conveyed by the remarks of my hon. friend from Pictou.
But, further than that, I find that in these tabulations not only did the enumerators take industrial establishments which had not an annual output of $200, but here in the bureau at Ottawa such establishments were included to a very large number indeed. I have in my hand the third volume of that census, which gives these industrial establishments. I have not undertaken to go through the whole 386 pages of that volume, but I did go through the first 80 pages, and as a specimen I find that in those 80 pages there are 339 industrial establishments included in the tabulation the product of each of which was less than $200- a pretty fair proportion, in fact a very large proportion of the whole number.