« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
ion of that kind--a fact which the House and country would be glad to learn. Of course, it was impossible to discuss that particular item to any great extent at that time, but when he introduced the Bill, as he would probably do at a very early day, for the re-organization of the Government of the North-West Territory, and consolidation of the laws relating to it, he would enter more fully into the operations of the police force, and present to the House a complete picture of the country as it at present stood in respect of the execution of the laws in force, or supposed to be in force, but which were not being executed when the police force took possession of the country. He would say nothing as to the Insolvency Law, as it would be dealt with by his hon. colleague, the Minister of Justice, who had given his utmost attention to the subject, and would invite the opinion of the members of the House thereon, so as to obtain the most practical measure possible. But the leader of the Opposition had alluded to his (Mr. MACKENZIE'S) own opinion at a comparatively recent period as to the necessity of continuing the present law. His opinion then was, and his individual opinion remained to a great extent the same, that it would have been advisable then to have allowed the law to lapse for a year or two. He was bound to say that the commercial opinion of the country was generally opposed to his opinion on that matter. He was equally bound to admit that in executing the office that he held he must consider the commercial sentiment of the country in a question of that kind, and to a certain extent subordinate his opinion to it. He would say nothing as to the remarks of the leader of the Opposition concerning the revenue; no doubt his hon. friend, the member for Cumberland, would discuss the question with him at a later day. The question of immigration had also been mentioned. It was not pre-fied he could be able to show, when it came cisely, as his hon. friend had supposed, a up for discussion, that it bore a favorable repetition in the remark in the Speech contrast with some treaties that might be from the Throne last year. There was a discussed in the House. He was delighted combined effort last year, but it was not to hear the leader of the Opposition state the same sort of combination as now. An that on all occasions when a treaty was to endeavor was made to induce the Domin- be negotiated, the opinion of Parliament ion and Provincial immigration agents to should be obtained before the ambassadors act in harmony. Now it had been arranged that the several Provinces should pay a certain proportion of the Dominion emigration office, and that the Dominion Hon. Mr. Mackenzie.
general agent in charge of emigration in England would take charge of all the agencies of the several Provinces, and see that every agent was attending to his particular field, and that full information respecting all the Provinces was placed within the reach of every person in the districts where the agents were to work. This was the difference in the statements of the Speeches from the Throne this year and last. The resolutions aimed at by the representatives of the different Provinces would be placed before the House, which would then have the opportunity of seeing what system had been adopted. The hon. gentleman had regretted very much the omission from the Speech of all reference to the Reciprocity Treaty. He was satisfied that the hon. gentleman was merely joking when he remarked on that omission; he could not, from his knowledge of the practice of Parliament, have been serious in his remarks. There was no reason why any mention should be made of that subject. At opening of Parliament last year, the Government had to announce the course taken in regard to the negotiations then in progress, and these negotiations had not been concluded at the close of the session, and, indeed, were not even now concluded. The hon. gentleman presumed that the Government had not received notice, at the time the Speech was prepared, of the action of the United States Senate; but they had no notice of the action of the Senate at this moment. All they knew was that the draft treaty, which would be laid on the table of the House on Monday, was submitted, with the approval and sanction of the Government of the United States, as the law required for the action of the Senate, and the Government did not know at this moment what was the action of the Senate. But he would have no difficulty whatever in defending that treaty, and he was satis
Sir JOHN A. MACDONALD-No,
Hon. Mr. MACKENZIE-What was
proper for any member of the House, or for | done that would deprive us of the confithe House itself to even insinuate any instruc- dence that the Indians reposed in the good tion to an ambassador setting out to negotiate faith of the Canadian Government, and he a treaty. He (Mr. MACKENZIE) was induced was sure the leader of the Opposition —and he had regretted it ever since-to allow would not insist on the views which he the leader of the then Government to set out somewhat injudiciously gave utterance to for such a purpose without an expression to-day on this subject. With respect to of the opinion of the House having Ministerial explanations, he had not the first been obtained, but he supposed the slightest objection to give the explanations hon. gentleman possessed such an extended asked for. He had also been reminded of knowledge of the wants and peculiar cir- his omission to do this last year, but he cumstances of the country as would enable was not to blame for that omission. He had him to have that treaty executed in such stated that after the address was passed he a way as would not call forth the condem- would be prepared to give the explanations nation of the people afterwards. He would whenever asked, but he was never asked not now discuss the Reciprocity Treaty, to give them, probably owing to the ill and therefore would say nothing further on health which necessitated the frequent abthat point. The hon. gentleman on the sence of the leader of the Opposition. He present occasion had given the House a was glad to observe that the hon. gentlesomewhat different definition of the power man was not better able to attend to of the Crown in respect to treaties, laying his parliamentary duties, and he would down the principle that it was not capable give these explanations on Monday, toof executing any treaty without the same gether with an explanation of the changes having been submitted to and sanc- made in the Government last year. tioned by Parliament, and he took was particularly anxious at the earliest the ground that the treaty with the opportunity to refer to the changes in the Indians could scarcely be held to be Government last year, because he conceived a treaty without its having received the that the Minister of Justice had been sanction of Parliament. This, however, grievously and unjustly dealt with by the was not the first negotiation with the In- members of the Opposition, as he would be He dians since Confederation, and he had no able to show when the time came. recollection of the hon. gentleman submit- was not aware that there was any other ting any previous treaty for the approval subject which it was necessary for him to He apof Parliament. The hon. gentleman had refer to on the present occasion. either changed his views or had neglected preciated the courtesy of the hon. gentleto perform his duties; he must accept one men of the Opposition in taking the course or the other alternative. The poor In- they had taken in reference to the Addians on the plains would not be able to dress, and he had merely to say one word understand that the treaty was of no force in conclusion in reference to HIS EXCELand effect until it had been discussed and LENCY's official tour in the West, to which approved in Parliament; and he would the leader of the Opposition had very state frankly that the Government did not happily referred. No better emigration propose to submit the treaty with the In- agency was ever adopted than the publicadians, for the approval of Parliament, be- tion of HIS EXCELLENCY'S speeches-esfore considering it already ratified. The pecially his speech at Toronto-and the Government would not deal with the In- record of the tour generally; and a very dians in that manner. Everything that great deal had already been accomplished devolved on us in consequence of that by this means, in securing for this country treaty would come before Parliament. The the favorable notice of the English public. immediate result of the treaty was that we During last year a large number of distinhad obtained possession of their lands, and guished gentlemen from England visited a sum would be placed in the estimates to Canada, their first impressions being depay for them, and the very voting of rived from some of these very speeches. the money for the purchase of these lands He joined with the leader of the Opposiwas in itself practically the adoption of the tion in congratulating the hon. members treaty by the House. It was of the ut- for Levis and East Elgin upon the ability most importance that nothing should be they had shown to-day, and their introducHon. Mr. Mackenzie.
tion as speakers would have created such a favorable impression that the House would desire to hear them frequently.
Sir JOHN A. MACDONALD, in reply said that when the test of the proposed Reciprocity Treaty was before the House, it would be a fitting occasion to discuss in some parliamentary way the terms of that abortive treaty, so that the opinions of the representatives of the people might be expressed upon it, as they would be valuable for guidance on future occasions. With respect to the treaty with the Indians, he said it was in the nature of a contract with persons who were HER MAJESTY's subjects, though they were in some degree held to be a separate body with whom contracts are to be made, which are by courtesy calledtreaties. He should be very sorry that it should be understood that any government had the power to make treaties without the consent of Parliament, which contained provisions for the cession of their land. As great a responsibility might be incurred in the acceptance of land as in the granting of land. He did not mean to say that there was anything in this treaty that should receive the disapprobation or even the coldness of this House or any member of it. For himself he had no reason to suppose that this treaty was not satisfactory in every way to this country, both white and red; but still it was perfectly competent for Parliament to disavow such a treaty if the cession of territory or the granting of territory should be considered to be contrary to the best interests of the country. For that reason he had made the remark that it would be well in all treaties with the Indians—for fear they might not afterwards receive the approbation of Parliament-that some warning should be given that in case Parliament, in the exercise of its undoubted right, disapproved of the treaty, the Indians should not suppose that they had been treated with bad faith. That was all he said. He had no reason to suppose that the treaty was not satisfactory or would not prove satisfactory to the House and the country as well as to the Indians.
The resolutions were then read a first time. The first to the eighth resolution inclusive were carried without division. The ninth was adopted on a division. The tenth and eleventh were adopted without division. On the twelfth resolution,
Hon. Sir John A. Macdonald.
of which I gave him notice privately on Saturday last. In the Speech from the Throne, which we replied to on Friday, there was an intimation that papers relating to the troubles in the North-West would be laid on the table at a very early day. Now, sir, the question which I propose to ask my hon. friend is twofold: Firstly, as to when these papers will be brought down to the House; and, secondly, as to whether it is the intention of the Government of which he is the head, to submit to the House the proposition founded on these papers, having reference to the subject of an amnesty to the people engaged in the disturbances in the NorthWest some years ago, and also with reference to the cognate subject of the position of Louis Riel as a member-elect of this House.
Hon. Mr. MACKENZIE-Sir, my hon. friend is right in his remark, that he gave me notice of his intention to ask this question, and I am quite prepared to answer it. I expect to be able some time this afternoon to place these papers on the table of the House; they are not yet quite ready but I hope they will be before the House rises. The Government intend to deal with both subjects as soon as the papers are before the House, and I will place a notice of motion on the paper to-night for Thursday night in order to proceed with the consideration of these questions.
WOODEN AND IRON BRIDGES.
Mr. BLAIN—At the close of last session I moved for certain correspondence relating to the comparative value of iron and wooden bridges on the Intercolonial Railway. The Committee on printing had, I believe, broken up and were unable to consider the question whether these papers would be printed or not. I therefore, sir, with permission of the House, would move that these documents be printed. I *suppose it would be irregular to send them to the Printing Committee, as part of the papers belonging to the session, without a special motion being made; and I therefore, as I think the information is very desirable, seeing we have so many public works now going on, move :
"That the documents laid on the table last session, in anwser to an address for certain papers and correspondence, relating to the comparative cost of Wooden
Hon. Mr. Holton.
and Iron Bridges on the Intercolonial Railway, be printed and circulated as public documents usually are.
Mr. SPEAKER suggested that this should take the shape of a formal notice of motion.
Hon. Mr. HOLTON said, the hon. gentleman was quite right in taking this method to bring the subject of the printing of these returns, made last session, before the House. The motion, as a matter of course, went to the Printing Committee without the question being put by Mr. SPEAKER, under Rule 94.
Mr. BLAIN. The difficulty is that the Committee is not yet appointed.
Hon Mr. HOLTON.—When the Committee is appointed, the motion goes to it as a matter of course.
A COURT OF ADMIRALTY.
Mr. WOOD asked whether it is the intention of the Government to establish a Court of Admiralty for the inland waters of the Dominion during the present Session of Parliament.
Hon. Mr. FOURINER-A correspondence has been opened between this Government and the Imperial authorities on this subject. From the answers received, it appears that some legislation would be necessary in order to extend to inland waters the jurisdiction up to this time. confined to maritime waters only. The Imperial Government having expressed their willingness to accede to the request of this Government, it has been deemed advisable to ask, during this session of the Imperial Parliament, that the necessary legislation should be passed.
M. FOURNIER répète en français ce qu'il vient de dire en anglais :
Il y a eu, dit-il, échange de correspondance entre le gouvernement impérial et ce gouvernement, et le résultat est qu'il
est nécessaire que le gouvernement impérial légifère sur ce sujet pour étendre aux eaux intérieures du Canada, la loi relative aux eaux sujettes au flux et au reflux. Sous ces circonstances le gouvernement a décidé de demander au parlement impérial de passer cette législation.
THE WELLAND CANAL.
Mr. WOOD asked whether it is the intention of the Government to deepen the Welland Canal, so as to secure four teen feet of water on the mitre sills, instead of twelve, as at first contemplated.
Hon. Mr. MACKENZIE-It is not the intention of the Government to go to a greater depth than twelve feet of water. I may tell my honorable friend that the harbor capacity of the lakes does not seem to fairly contemplate a greater depth of water than that, as they could not possibly be used without an enormous outlay, and the outlay on the canal even would be so serious as to deter the Government from entering into such a great expense. We have given the question careful consideration, and think that the plan adopted is the one we must adhere to.
ST. LAWRENCE CANALS.
Mr. WOOD asked whether it was the intention of the government to proceed with the enlargement of the St. Lawrence Canals, and how soon, and whether they will be of the same capacity when finished as the Welland Canal?
Hon. Mr. MACKENZIE—It is the intention of the Government to proceed with the enlargement of the St. Lawrence Canals at an early day. There is not any pressing hurry for them, however, as we believe transhipment to smaller vessels in Kingston harbour can be accomplished without any very great expense. The plan for the ultimate works is to make the locks the same size. The survey has been made upon an intention to deepen the St. Lawrence river to no greater depth than twelve feet. The expense to get fourteen feet would be still more enormous than to get the same depth on the Welland, as it would involve the deepening of a large portion of the channel of the river. It is the intention of the Government to proceed, as time and circumstances may justify them, in doing any enlarging of the St. Lawrence canals, to the same depth as the Welland.
Hon. Mr. Fournier.
INSPECTORS OF INSURANCE COMPANIES. Mr. WOOD asked whether it is the intention of the Government, during the present session, to introduce an Act proof insurance companies, both fire and life? viding for the appointment of inspectors
Hon. Mr. MACKENZIE-The hon. gentleman will observe that in the Speech from the Throne one of the measures foreshadowed is a general Insurance Act. That Act will provide for a general inspector of insurance affairs.
INTERCOLONIAL RAILWAY CARS.
Hon. Mr. TUPPER asked whether tenders have been advertised in Nova* Scotia, for the coal and hay cars required by the Intercolonial Railway?
Hon. Mr. MACKENZIE-Perhaps the House will allow me to ask whether the question refers to the present or what time?
Hon. Mr. TUPPER explained that he meant the supply of hay and coal cars the Superintendent of Railways intimated it was the intention of the Government to put on the road. The question was put in consequence of a telegram from a contractor in Nova Scotia who had seen no notice and had not had an opportunity of competing for the cars.
Hon. Mr. MACKENZIE-Proposals were invited, as I understand, from the various manufacturers of cars in the Dominion for a certain number of cars, and a firm in St. John sent the lowest tender of any, either in the United States or Canada. I was afterwards told that another firm, in Halifax I think, which was in the habit of doing this business had not seen any notice, and as the first tender did not comprise all that was required by the road, I understand that the superintendent gave a contract to the Halifax firm at the same rate as the other.