Mr. R. L. BORDEN (Halifax).
I have little to add, Mr. Speaker, to the very eloquent and appropriate words in which my right lion, friend, the Prime Minister, has moved his resolution, beyond saying that it will meet, I am sure, with the cordial approval and support of every member of this House.
The right lion, gentleman has well referred to the condition of this country at the time when Her Gracious Majesty ascended the Throne, and its condition at the present time. Then there were five or six disconnected provinces, having little means of inter-communication, with hostile tariffs between them, with our North-west a wilderness, and with British Columbia an unknown country. Now we find this great country, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, governed by one parliament, subject to the same general laws; and instead of rebellion, we see our volunteer soldiers returning home from fighting the battles of the empire across the seas. It is truly a great change, and a change which has been, to no small . extent, brought about by the influence of Her late Majesty.
I may be permitted to add a word with respect to the interest which Her Majesty always took in her colonies on this side of the Atlantic. We well remember how anxious she was that the measure should pass which resulted in the confederation of these provinces. I may recall the words which Sir John Macdonald addressed to Her Majesty on the occasion of his interview at that time. ' We have desired,' he said.
' in this measure to declare, in the most solemn and emphatic manner, our resolve
to be under the sovereignty of your Majesty and your family for ever.' These words are particularly appropriate for all of us to remember at this time. And this we know, that subsequently, when the great work of binding together the provinces of Canada by a great railway was completed. Her Majesty expressed to Sir John Macdonald, in a letter, her pleasure at its accomplishment, stating that she had watched its progress with much interest, and that she hoped for the future success of a work of such value apd importance to the empire.
Then, Sir, we may well recall the kindly words which Her Majesty addressed to Lady Macdonald on the death of Sir John Macdonald, and not less may we recall the kindness which she exhibited towards the family of the late Sir John Thompson on the occasion of his death in England. We remember that on that occasion she placed on his coffin a wreath of lilies and laurels as a token of her sincere respect for him, and the country of which, at the time of his death, he was Prime Minister.
I entirely concur in all that my right hon. friend has so well said with respect to the influence of Her Majesty, both in public and in private life, and I feel that perhaps one more word may be added in that connection, namely, the great toleration which she exhibited for all opinions, the great sympathy which went out from her to all races and creeds in the vast dominions over which she ruled. Victoria was great enough to recognize the greatness of truth, to know that it had many sides, and I believe that her influence in that respect will survive long in the memory which will be handed down of the achievements accomplished during her reign.
I think we might well quote, as a nation, with respect to her, the touching words which James Russell Lowell addressed to his wife :
Blessing is she; God made her so.
Throughout the empire-not only throughout Canada, hut throughout the empire-we may well say of her who is now gone : Blessing was she ; God made her so.
I believe that nowhere in the empire more than in Canada, will her memory be honoured and revered; and may we not add that in our sorrow for her death, though in the fullness of her years, there is mingled a note of triumph for the character and the example she has left behind her.
With respect to the accession of His Most Gracious Majesty, it might be well to recall that when visiting Canada, and while he was yet a young man. he laid the corner-stone of this very building in which we now assemble. The corner-stone which he then laid might well have been thought a symbol of the great dominion which has since grown up. As the right hon. gentleman has said, there have been great developments during
Topic: DEATH OF QUEEN VICTORIA.