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Excellency was pleased to make a most gracious speech from the Throne, of which he had for greater accuracy obtained a copy, as follows:
Honorable Gentlemen of the Senate:
Gentlemen of the House of Commons:
I have much pleasure in again calling you together to attend to the business of the country.
Since you last assembled it has been my happiness to visit the Mother Country, and to have had the opportunity while there of calling public attention to the remarkable progress of the Dominion, and of giving expression to the feelings of attachment to the person of Her Majesty and the interests of the Empire which animate the Canadian people.
The great depression which has prevailed throughout the neighboring countries for several years, and which has more recently been felt in the old world, causing a general stagnation of business, has extended to Canada and has seriously affected our trade. At the same time, we have reason to be grateful for an abundant harvest; and while I deeply regret the suffering which exists among certain classes and in particular localities, I believe nevertheless that the great bulk of our people continue to enjoy a condition of reasonable prosperity.
I am happy to be able to congratulate you on the fact that the great railway undertaking, connecting the former Province of Canada with the Maritime Provinces, provided for by the Act of 1867, is approaching completion. Early in the coming summer, the small portion of the Intercolonial line not already in operation will be opened, when the connection with other systems of railway will be formed, so as to enable passengers and traffic to pass over continuous lines of railway from Halifax or St. John to the extreme Western railways of Ontario.
The opening of the Prince Edward Island Railway during the past year marks an epoch in the history of that Island, and cannot but exert a beneficial influence on the people, and add to their material prosperity.
Every effort has been made to obtain an early settlement of the claims of Canada for compensation for the use of her Fisheries by the United States, as provided by the Treaty of Washington. Her Majesty's Government in the early part of last summer, at the instance of my advisers, appointed the British ommissioner, but I regret to have to state that the United States Government have not yet appointed a Commissioner, and that consequently no progress has been made.
I have given effect to the Supreme and Exchequer Court Act of last Session by issuing the proclamations, and by appointing the Judges and officers of the Court.
A Bill to simplify and amend the law relating to Common Carriers will be submitted for your consideration.
Correspondence, Reports, and other Papers regarding the construction of the Pacific Railway will be laid before you.
During the recess, a deputation from the Government of Manitoba visited Ottawa to invite the attention of the Government of the Dominion to the circumstances of that Province. They represented that the incom of the Province was insufficient to provide for its ordinary governmental expenses. The papers on this subject will be laid before you, and certain propositions will be submitted for your consideration. The Legislature of Manitoba has in the meantime adopted some measures to reduce the expenditures of the Province.
Mr. Speaker, and that he do appoint the printing thereof; and that no person but such as he shall appoint do presume to print the same. Carried.
Hon. Mr. MACKENZIE moved: That Select Standing Committees of this House for the present Session, be appointed for the following purposes:-1. On Privileges and Elections.-2. On Expiring Laws. 3. On Railways, Canals and Lines.-4. On Miscellaneous Private Bills, On Standing Orders.-6. On Printing.-7. On Public Accounts-8. On Banking and Commerce.-9. On Immigration and Colonization, -which said Committees shall severally be empowered to examine and enquire into all such matters and things as may be referred to them by the House; and to report from time to time their observations and opinions thereon; with power to send for persons, papers and records.
Mr. MACKENZIE said-I would mention to the House, with reference to this motion, that the matter of reporting the Debates should be assigned to the Printing Committee as part of their duties, and that they should be named the Standing Committee on Reporting and Printing. mention this at present as I find it will be necesssary immediately to refer the reporting of the Debates to them. The motion was carried.
That if anything shall come in question touching the Return or Election of any Member, he is to withdraw during the time the matter is in Debate; and all Members returned upon double Returns are to withdraw until their Returns are determined.
That if it shall appear that any person hath been elected or returned a Member of this House, or hath endeavoured so to be, by bribery or any other corrupt practices, this House will proceed with the utmost severity against all such persons as shall have been wilfully concerned in such bribery or other corrupt practices.
That the offer of any money or other advantage to any Member of the House of Commons, for the promoting of any matter whatsoever, depending or to be transacted in the Parliament of the Dominion of Canada, is a high crime and misdemeanor, and tends to the subversion of the Constitu
of every Session, they were made a standing order of the House and incorporated in the Rules. The motion was carried.
Mr. MACKENZIE said it might be more convenient, if, instead of moving these resolutions at the commencement
Hon. Mr. MACKENZIE laid on the Table the Report of the Department of Public Works; also the Report of the special commission appointed to investigate the nature and extent of the Baie Verte Canal.
Hon. Mr. BURPEE presented the Trade and Navigation Returns for 1876.
Hon. Mr. VAIL brought down the Report of the Militia Department.
On motion of Hon. Mr. MACKENZIE the House adjourned.
HOUSE OF COMMONS.
INDEPENDENCE OF PARLIAMENT.
Hon. Mr. MACKENZIE moved the Hon. Dr. Tupper.
FRIDAY, February 11.
The SPEAKER took the Chair at Three o'clock.
Mr. John Short, the Member elect for Gaspé, was introduced by Hon. Mr. Robitaille and Mr. Caron.
Mr. John Beverly Robinson, Member elect for West Toronto, was introduced by Sir John Macdonald and
INLAND REVENUE REPORT.
Hon. Mr. MACKENZIE laid on the Table the Report of the Inland Revenue Department.
Mr. CASEY—I rise to propose the adoption of the Address which has been placed in your hands, and which is the customary answer to His Excellency's speech from the Throne. In doing so, I feel that I have a right to claim, as is frequently done in such a case, the indulgence of the House. The member to whom this task is allotted can very generally plead inexperience in Parliamentary speaking. He has also other difficulties to contend with. His functions, which are chiefly those of an echo, are not of such a nature as to excite any lively
enthusiasm either in his own mind manly words, and though they would or in the minds of his audience. How- have sounded strangely enough from ever, I consider that on the present the mouth of a Governor General not occasion I am very fortunate in some so long ago, they now find an echo in of the topics I have to speak upon. every heart. It is felt by all that This is particularly so with the one without a love for our native land and which first catches your eye, namely, its free institutions, and without that de that relating to His Excellency's visit termination to preserve our legislative to the Mother Country, and the man- autonomy to which His Excellency rener in which he brought before the fers with so much approval, we can British public the resources of Canada. never be worthy the name of a nation, Not only did he on that occasion picture or attain to that grand destiny which our material resources and the feelings awaits us, if we have not the courage, of loyalty which he found to exist self-reliance, and patriotism to deserve here, in the brightest colors, but he it. It is well then that this national paid us a number of compliments feeling should be encouraged, and it is which I fear we cannot at all times a happy omen that this encourage feel that we deserve. In his speech ment should come from a quarter at the dinner given by the Canada where there can be no suspicion Club in July last he used language of disloyalty. It is well that the which I hope it is not not amiss Governor General should be one to quote. He referred to us as of the first to take a public "that noble community, their kinsmen occasion in the Old Country to and fellow citizens, who on the other encourage a national feeling among side of the Atlantic are engaged in us and point out that we have a destiny building up a nationality cognate to not only as a colony but as a nation. their own, instinct with the same high His Excellency, however, has been spirit of constitutional freedom, and careful to guard against any suspicion determined to prove itself a worthy of a wish on our part to separate from member of the British Empire. We the Empire, by assuring his hearers of can endorse all this, but when he goes the desire of Canadians to remain a part on to pay a high compliment to us for of the great British Empire, to share the invariable moderation, wisdom, its destiny, and to fulfil all the obligaand good feeling which characterizes tions that such a position may imply. political warfare in this country, we There is no use denying that as part cannot, I am afraid, receive it without of the British Empire we will be under a feeling of modesty. That modesty, certain obligations; that as a part of however, cannot make us less grateful the British Empire we will have to for the kindly spirit which prompted make concessions and sacrifices, and the expression. But, Sir, His Excel- will have to undergo a certain amount lency is careful to repudiate in very of inconvenience that we would not strong terms the idea that our loyal otherwise have to undergo. But I attachment to the Mother Country think this House and the country are arises from an unworthy feeling of de- unanimously of the opinion that these pendence. He says: "So far from obligations are such as we can sustain, this being the case, no characteristic and that the advantages which we of the national feeling is more strongly derive from the connection will counmarked than their exuberant confi-terbalance anything we may suffer on dence in their ability to shape their account of it. His Excellency no own destinies to their appointed issue, doubt had in his mind some great their jealous pride of the legislative au- scheme of individuality combined with tonomy with which they have been union. He has considered it his duty endowed, and their patriotic and per- to assist in developing such an idea sonal devotion to the land within amongst us, and I have no doubt it whose ample bosom they have been will be his privilege to assist in carrynurtured, and which they justly regarding it out to assist in carrying out
as more largely dowered with all that can endear a country to its sons than any other in the world." These are
the idea of a Canadian nationality, combined with a wider and more comprehensive nationality as members of
has touched upon this subject, not with the cold reasoning of the political economist, but rather with the sympathetic insight and hopeful warmth of imagination which are often more correct in predicting the destiny of nations than mere logic ever can be. I am sure the House will join in thanking His thanking His Excellency for these expressions and in hoping that his aspirations may be realized, and that the people of Canada may long remain as in his own words, "not only the kinsmen, but the fellow citizens" of those from whom on the other side we derive our political existence. But a picture But a picture cannot be bright all over. We cannot look at the state of business in the country since last year without very serious thoughts; the wonderful pros perity we have had for years has led us, perhaps, into extravagance in living, over production in some lines. and over importation in others. This has brought about an inevitable depressible in trade, and although the depression has been sufficient to cause difficulties, it is hardly sufficient to cause anxiety, much less alarm. The evil is producing its own cure. Those who have spent or produced too much have been obliged to curtail their expenditure and production. The result will be an accumulation of money in the country and a stoppage of that waste of our productive powers that has been going on too largely for the good of the country: The depression of trade will be only temporary. The country is not poor, it is only in such a position that it is not able to realize and employ all its capital. Another reaction must soon take place and set the wheels of commerce again in motion; and probably by the time His Excellency favors us with another speech, he will be able to tell us that this state of things has passed away, and prosperity again prevails throughout the country. This depression in trade has naturally caused a decrease in the national income as pointed out in the speech. The decrease like its cause must be only temporary. With increased imports the revenue must become again elastic, and it is highly creditable to His Excellency's advisers that, instead of recom
the British Empire. His Excellency | mending any rash attempts to force on the prosperity of the country or artificially increase the revenue, they have recommended a course of economy in public expenditure that will be acceptable to the country at large. If this re medy proves good in the commercial world there is no reason to suppose that it will not also be successful in that of politics, and if commerce be restored to its ordinary condition the same will take place with regard to revenue. It is also noted in the speech that this depression has not prevailed to such a great extent in the agricultural districts. This is quite correct; the crops have been unusually good throughout the country, and the markets have been very fair also. Even where this has not been the case, the abundant crop has prevented any possibility of hardship or suffering among the agricultural classes. The next item of importance that requires our attention is the reference to the completion of the Dominion railways in the east. cause for congratulation that the final opening of the Intercolonial Railway will next summer mark the completion of an undertaking which we commenced at Confederation for the purpose of binding ourselves somewhat more closely to the people of the Eastern Provinces. It is to be hoped the railway will have that effect. W. must also hope, and hope strongly, that although its route was not chosen for commercial purposes, it will secure sufficient communication between ourselves and the Eastern Provinces to accomplish fully its political object. The railway on Prince Edward Island is also a great boon to the people of that Province, and will enable them to start afresh as members of the Dominion with the prospect of a prosperity which they never had in other days. It is only to be hoped that some link may be provided between that railway and the mainland so that communica tion may be uninterrupted all the year round. Another subject of importance naturally connected with this is the production of the papers and correspondence in reference to the Pacific Railway. I think I would not be far astray in supposing that the corr pondence will refer to the negotiations between our Government and that of
district of rolling country covered for the most part with prairie soil appears.. On the Pine River there is a pass whose elevation is not more than two thousand feet above the sea, scarcely half the altitude of the Tête Jaune Cache,which was considered formerly so favorable. This extends not only through the Rocky Mountain Range but up to the very edge of the Cascade Mountains. Through this an outlet could probably be obtained to some point on the Pacific Coast-to Bute Inlet or Gardener Channel, for example. The climate of this country Mr. Selwyn reports on very favorably. Even as far north as Lake Arthabaska, he obtained specimens of wheat of fine quality which were produced there from grain sown in May and reaped in August of this year. When the House remembers that this point is over 600 miles north of Fort Garry, it will be seen that the country there is better than we ever expected to find it. Mr. Selwyn's reports point to the conclusion that the country is well worthy of consideration. We are also called upon in the Address to note that the Government has taken all neces sary steps to secure the settlement of our claims in regard to the Fisheries under the Washington Treaty. It is well-known to the House that the settlement of these claims was postponed simply on account of negotiations with regard to reciprocity. Now it appears that our Government has taken the necessary steps by appointing a Commissioner, and we may hope the matter will soon be brought to an issue. I cannot help, on behalf of myself, and perhaps some other Members who feel as I do, expressing a wish that some more definite basis might have been established for the settlement of this matter. We all remember that it was in order to ascertain the extent of our claims in regard to those Fisheries that the High Joint Commission was first asked for by our Government. It is also known that this Commission broke up without having come to any decision on that matter, so that the question of the extent of our as well as of the American claims remains exactly as it was before the Commission sat. There are, consequently, certain embarrassments.
British Columbia, with regard to the building of the railway on Vancouver Island. A Bill for the construction of such a railway passed this House last Session. The building of that road was part of a proposal from our Government in consideration of the inevitable delays in carrying out the bargain which the late Government entered upon. This Bill did not pass the Senate, and it remained for the Government to consider what was to be substituted. The offer of a lump sum instead of a railway on the Island was decided on. With regard to the remainder of the proposal, for the work on the mainland, the obligation of the Government remains the same as ever, and there is no reason to judge that they have given up their intention of going on with the the road. But it must be remembered that the former proposal, as well as the latter, was subject to the resolution adopted by this House that we should not be bound to increase the rate of taxation for the completion of this railway. It appears then that we were never bound, nor are we now bound, to lay additional burthens on the country for the building of this railway, but only to go on with it as rapidly as possible. Other reports by the engineers engaged in the survey of the Pacific Railway will, I understand, show that very considerable progress has been made during the recess. They will show that in the Cascade and Rocky Mountain ranges explorations have been made in hitherto unexplored districts, and more favorable routes have been discovered. They will show also that there are still large unexplored regions in that country which it will perhaps be well to look into before finally adopting a route for some parts of the road. However, considerable progress has already been made in the location of the railway, and it is understood that further explorations will be made next year. Mr. Selwyn, Director of the Geological Survey, has visited a portion of the country known as the Peace River district, considerably north of the first place chosen as the route of the Pacific Railway. He reports that where the river cuts through the Rocky Mountain region the mountains practically disappear, and only a