I do not care anything
about the figures the prairie provinces sent down in making their demand on my hon. friend; but I do know, as everybody else knows, that the exodus from this country is painfully large, that our people are going out by tens of thousands to the United States.
I was going to give some further proofs of conditions in this country, and I was going to point out that for the first time in very many years we have had what happened many years ago-talk of annexation and of secession. We have people asking if confederation is a failure. I have seen it stated in some Toronto paper that there is no talk of annexation in this country. I think that statement must have been made in a Pickwickian sense, because I have heard openly on Pullman cars and on the streets talk of annexation, I have had sane business men ask me if it was not necessary, in order to get out of this morass of difficulties, to join up with the United States. Just within the last week an outstanding gentleman in this city, one whose name is familiar to everyone in this House, one who is not. an annexationist, told me that if a vote were taken in one of the largest sections of the country, comprising about a third of the population, annexation would carry overwhelmingly. What a terrible condition of affairs to exist in such a country as this!
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