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Pacific railway. Speech delivered in the House of Commons by Hon. Edward Blake, M.P., on Thursday and… Blake, Edward, 1833-1912 1880

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THURSDAY and FRIDAY, 18th and 16th APRIL, 1880.
{From tJie Official Rvport of the Debates.)
Mr. BLAKE : I shall endeavour to
bring forward the amendment of which I
have given notice, in the spirit which my
hon. friend opposite indicated as correct
in the opening portion of his remarks
notwithstanding his failure to show
that spirit in the course of his speech. I
cannot agree with the hon. gentleman in
the view that this question is to be degraded by its discussion as a party question. We hear a good deal of that sort of
thing when one party takes a line of argument inconvenient to the other party.
Those who adopt that position, in effect
condemn the' institution of party altogether. They seem to argue that legitimate party questions are such only as are
inferior, or of small magnitude; and that
great questions should be handled on
some other and higher principles. If so,
what is the justification for party at all ?
But they do not carry out their view
to its legitimate result in any aspect; for
a moment later the hon. gentleman himself said that there was a most important,
a most,vital question—the so-called National Policy—which he rejoiced was made
the battle ground of party. I do not
know any reason why we who claim to
be as true Canadians as the hon.
gentleman—we who have just as
great a stake in Canada as he
has, we who have our interests here,
we who are just as proud and just as hope
ful and trustful of the future of this country, if only prudence shall -guide her destinies, as the hon. gentleman can be—
why we, the Liberal party, should not be
free to express our united opinion as to
what the interests of our country demand;
and it is because, in our opinion, it is desirable that a postponement of the Western
Section of the Pacific Railway should take
place, that I propose to place my amendment in your hands. The line of address
adopted by my hon. friend obliges me to
go a little more minutely into what I
may call the antiquities of this question
than I had intended. I must now advert
to these antiquities a little more in detail
than I would have done, not so much to
discuss them in their party aspect, or to
ascertain the extent to which each party
has become committed, one way or
another, not so much to ascertain who
was right and who was wrong in the past,
not so much with a view to recrimination
as to determine what, on the, whole, has
been the settled policy of Parliament on
the subject of increasing the burdens of
the people on account of the Pacific Railway. It was on the 1st of April (a
fitting day), in the year 1871,
that hon. gentlemen opposite, then
as now controlling public affairs,
carried an address of this House, praying
that British Columbia might be united
with Canada, on a  stipulation to be in- eluded in the Terror of Union, that the
Pacific Railway should be commenced
within two years and finished in ten
vears. At that stipulation of the Terms
of Union the Opposition, and other hon.
members not in their ranks, expressed
an honest, a genuine alarm. The Terms
of Union were believed to be prodigal in
all their aspects, and ruinous in particular,
with reference to'the Railway stipulation.
The scheme met with earnest opposition
on the part of many not belonging to the
Liberal party. There were several divisions upon it, and in one of these it
nearly met its fate, the majority which
served it being only ten. My hon. friend
from Dundas, a supporter of the Adminis-s
tration, moved that amendment which
went to postpone the consideration of the
question until the sense of the people
could be taken upon it. The Government
became alarmed lest they should not he
able to carry the scheme, and they gave
assurances that some resolutions would be
brought forward, which might serve as
a defence to their followers against the
public indignation, which it was apprehended might be aroused by their assenting to the "bargain. The Address then
passed. This was on the 1st of April;
and it was not until the 4th of April
that there was a proposal made in the
House for a definition of the liability for
the construction of this Railway. The
first proposal, made by Sir George Car-
tier in the absence of the then and now
First Minister, and seconded by the present Finance Minister, was that the
House would, on the following day, consider a resolution, "That the Railway
should be constructed and worked as a
private enterprise, and not by
Government, and that the public
aid to be given to the enterprise should
consist of such liberal grants of land,
and such subsidy in money or other aid
not unduly pressing on the industry *and
resources of the Dominion, as the Parliament of Canada shall hereafter determine." This resolution was not satisfactory to the friends of the Government.
It did not meet the exigencies of the
case;—it was too elastic, too vague, it
did not mean enough; and the consequence was that on the 11th of-April, in
substitution for that, a proposal was
moved and seconded by the same hon.
gentlemen in the same  terms—with this
exception, for the words " not unduly
pressing upon the resources of Canada,"
the words "not increasing the present
rate of taxation" were substituted-
This was more precise. The alteration was made in order to satisfy the
supporters of the Government, and
if possible the people. The hon. the
Minister of Railways asserts now, but
I deny, that the Terms of Union were in
form and fact modified by that resolution.
During the debate, an hon. member of
this House (Sir Antoine Dorion) moved
an Address to Her Majesty praying her to_
incorporate the resolution int6 the Terms
of Union. That motion was supported
by the Liberal party, but was defeated
by the votes of hon. gentlemen opposite,
who insisted that no such resolution
should be carried ; that it would prevent
the proposed Union, and deprive us of
the inestimable blessings to flow from
annexing British Columbia to this Dominion ; and that the opportunity of so
annexing that Province might be lost
forever. The opportunity thus fairly
offered to make that a condition of the
Terms of Union was rejected by hem. gentlemen opposite. Well, I have always
urged, and still urge, that the surrounding circumstances cannot be wholly
ignored. Having regard to the fact that
delegates were here from British Columbia taking part in the discussion, having
regard to the fact that the resolution was
in a sense, though not officially, and as it
is alleged without authority, recognised by
them, I have always urged that British
Columbia could not in equity and good
conscience wholly ignore the resolution,
but should remember that the Union was
in fact obtained by means of the resolution ; but I have been obliged to concede
that she was not strictly and legally
bound by the terms of-v that resolution, even if* the work turned out to be
such that its accomplishment would
materially affect the interests of the
Dominion, since the terms agreed to gave
her, by the strict letter of the law, the
right to insist that the work should be
proceeded with, no matter what the consequences. She is entitled to say, " Here
is my bond, I ask for my pound of flesh."
There was then, subject to and not controlling the legal effect of the Terms of
Union it is true, but still contemporaneous
with them in 1871, a formal resolution
V. 3
•declaratory of the desires and intentions
•of Parliament, that the work should not
involve an increase in the taxation. The
first Pacific Railway Act was passed in
1872, under the auspices of hon. gentlemen opposite. This Act recites the resolution against an increase in taxation and
the propriety of carrying it out; and provides a limited quantity of land and
money as the means. We were even then
told that the remaining land would meet
the money grant, which would cost us
nothing. This was the second Parliamentary declaration against increased
taxation for this object The Government, in 1872, chartered a Company which
deposited a million of money as security
for the construction of the road. Subsequently the Company, which was dependent on the raising of foreign capital
for its success, found that it could not
obtain that capital without modified
conditions, and asked for better terms,
which the Government refused. It then
proposed to surrender the charter, and
Teceive back the million hard cash,, which
it had deposited in order to secure the
fulfilment of its contract, and so sure
were the Administration that they could
make a better bargain with others, or so
kindly disposed were they towards that
particular Company, that they accepted
the surrender of the charter, and returned
the money that had been deposited. They
met the Ho\ise shortly after, in the fall of
1873, and they hacT already found that
some other, and different arrangements
would have to be made to accomplish
the construction of the Pacificv Railway. The Government of that day
acknowledged that their scheme, their
plan, their act, their charter, under which
the Company which they had favoured
had been incorporated, were failures and
they declared that a new plan, requiring
new legislation,. would be submitted to
the House for providing means to carry
out that great enterprise. The Speech
from the Throne delivered in 1873, contains these words :
" The Canadian Pacific Company, to whom
a Royal Charter was granted, have, I regret
to say, been unable to make the financial
arrangements necessary for the construction
of that great undertaking. They have, therefore, executed a surrender ot their charter,
which has been accepted by me. You will,
I trust, feel yourselves callel upon, to take
steps to secure the  early commencement and
vigorous prosecution of that railway1, and thus
to carry out in good faith the arrangement
made with the Province of British Columbia.
A measure for that purpose will be submitted
for your consideration."
What kind of measure ? Circumstances
to which, after the tone taken by the hon.
gentleman, it would be ill-bred to allude,
prevented the new proposition from
being brought down. The reign, of the
gentlemen who promised that new
scheme suddenly came to a termination.
It is very well known, however, that
the new idea was not in fact a new
idea, that the idea of the First
Minister, as he stated publicly in the
county of Lennox in 1873, always had
been the same, namely, that the work
should be constructed as a Government
work, and that it would, if he had been
in Ottawa during the Session in which the
arrangement had been made, have been so
undertaken; but the pressure of the Opposition had been so great that his colleagues had yielded, and for their action
he admitted he was responsible, though
his own views remained the same, that
the work should be constructed as a Government work. Then what was the new
plan which has never seen the light 1 It
must have been a measure for construe^
tion by .the Government in accordance with the opinions of its
chief. It was to be something different from the old plan. What other
difference could there be ? This proves
that the cry of change of policy is not
sincere. The new measure to be brought
down must have been a change from construction by a company to construction by
the Government. There is no other alternative. The Government resigned and
the hon. member for Lambton assumed
the position of First Minister. In his
published address to the electors of Lamb-
ton, which stated the Ministerial policy
on which the elections were held, my hon.
friend declared that the bargain which had
been made under the auspices of the late
Government was one which eould not be
fulfilled. He stated that it would not do
to commence the construction of the road
until" the country had been thoroughly
surveyed, and that it would not do to
prosecute the construction faster than the
resources of the country would justify.
He furthermore declared that application
would be made to British Columbia for a relaxation of the terms which hon. gentlemen opposite had imposed upon the
country; and for such an arrangement
as would give a reasonable time for the
commencement and performance of the
work without too great a strain on our resources. The present First Minister denounced this as a breach of faith with
British Columbia, entitling her to secede.
So different were his views from those
now advanced by the hon. Minister
of Railways. Shortly after the elections,
and after I had left the Government, a
gentleman, formerly a member of this
House (Mr. Edgar), was sent to British
Columbia with a view of negotiating with
that Province for a relaxation of the
terms. The propositions were rejected
or not accepted by the Government of
British Columbia, and were withdrawn
sometime in the month of June. Meantime the Session had been held, and a
new Pacific Bailway Act had been introduced. This second Act recited
expressly all the previous resolutions against the increase of taxation.
It recited that the taxation had been, to
some extent increased in order to meet
the obligations of the Dominion, and
declared that it was proper to provide for
the construction of the road as rapidly as
the work could be accomplished without
further raising the rate of taxation ; and,
the former scheme having failed and it
being impossible now to assume that the
road could be constructed by means of a
company, power was given by the Government to build sections as a Government work; but the avowed   and stated
' policy of the Administration was to use
that power only for the purpose of doing
some parts of the work in advance of the
completion of the surveys for the through
line; and it has been repeatedly explained,
by my hon. friend, the member for Lamb-
ton, that his intention was, as soon as the
surveys were completed, to submit the
whole of the road to tender, on a land
and money basis, the contractors taking
over, as cash on account, the works meantime executed by the Government. It
was a scheme devised to make progress
where, and so far as progress could be
made consistently with the resolution
against increased taxation. The Minister has complained that there was
no reiteration of the  declaration that the
■ road should be built only by a company.
but there was contained in the Act ;»
power to do the work by means of a company. At any rate it was unnecessary to-
. reiterate that My belief is that it
I would have > been contrary to the
I policy which the present First Minister believed to be sound when he
announced his Views in Lennox, in 1873.
I maintain that, by that Act, which repeated and re-enacted the old resolutions,
and declared it was proper to proceed
; only consistently with the provision
against increased taxation, there was a
reiteration of the old Parliamentary
policy, then reaffirmed for the third time,,
that tlie road was not to be constructed
on any plan which would cause increased
taxation. I well remember that the hon.
member for Victoria, B.C., (Mr. DeCos-
mos) objected to the introduction of that
provision into that Act, because he conceived it would be in derogation of the
bond, the fulfilment of which he so much
desired. In 1875, during the recess,
British Columbia having appealed to
England, Lord Carnarvon offered his good
offices, and he suggested certain terms, to
which, as far as they could, the Government agreed; the statement of the-Government being that they would do their best
to carry them out, as they were not contrary
to the spirit of any Parliamentary resolution, or the letter of any enactment.
The Government subsequently declared
that this expression was designed to indicate that they were not intending to attempt to transcend the taxation resolution.
It is contended that they could do so, and
that they did in fact so bind the country
by their action, although Parliament <
never confirmed it. I altogether deny
that the executive Government has any
general or implied authority of a nature
so extensive; but were it otherwise, no
such authority could be implied in
the face of a- distinct determination
by Parliament in an adverse sense ;
nor can any case be imagined in which
there could be a more decisive declaration
by Parliament of its policy that there
should be no increase of taxation for the
building of this Railway; and consequently
a more clear limitation upon any such
supposed implied executive powers as are
suggested. The Minister says that under
the Carnarvon terms there was an agreement to build the island Railway, by
which $4,000,000 were added to the cost
\ ■of the whole; but he seems to have forgotten that his own Government in 1873
had come to the determination that
the terminus of the Railway should
be at Esquimalt, and this determination,
if adhered to, necessarily involved the
•construction of the Island Railway,'and
indeed of other far more extensive and
'•costly works. I had taken occasion in <fche
fall of 1874 to declare my individual
views on the_ subject of tiie Pacific Railway. 1 then stated that I thought the
fulfilment of the agreement with British
Columbia impossible; that unless she
■chose to be reasonable and to agree to a
relaxation of the terms, I saw no hope of
performing them; and that, if she insisted on secession, as the consequence of
the non-fulfilment of the terms of Union,
I, for one, was prepared to say, " let her
go," rather than ruin the country in the
attempt to perform the impossible. I have
never changed that opinion, and each succeeding year has strengthened my view as
to the wisdom and soundness of such
a decision. During the Session of 1875,
when the Carnarvon correspondence
was brought down, I did, as the
hon. . gentleman says, ask the leader
of the then Government whether he
proposed to invite the sanction of Parliament to the arrangement. He replied
that he did not propose to invite the
action of Parliament directly, but that he
would rely on Parliament to enable him
to carry it out Well, that answer of itself indicated that the assent of Parliament was essentiaL Will anyone
seriously contend that the Executive
Government ef this country could, not
merely without the authority of Parliament, but in spite of the anti-taxation
resolution, make an agreement which
would of itself bind the country to build
the Island Railway, to expend not less :
than §2,000,000 a year on construction j
in the mainland, and to finish the road
by 1890 ? It was, however, soon made \
apparent that the action of Parliament j
was necessary in order to carry out the
Carnarvon terms. A Bill was of neces- :
sity brought in to authorise the construction of the Island Railway, one of the
■most important parts of those terms. I
opposed that Bill because I believed
that the Island Railway was not
a judicious undertaking, and also, and
chiefly because it was part of the Car
narvon terms, which I did not believe
were such as could be fully carried out
consistently with the taxation resolution,
to which I for one was detei mined to
adhere. The Bill succeeded in this House,
but it failed in the Senate, and the result
was that the sanction of Parliament was
refused to that essential part of the Carnarvon terms. At the close of that Session then the whole question was open.
The arrangement had failed. Parliament
had declined to authorise an essential
part of the terms ; fulfilment of the terms
had thus become impossible, and it became necessary to reconsider the whole
matter. I believe that everyone to-day
concurs in this result; at any rate 1 do
not observe that the Government now proposes to build the Island Railway. Shortly
after the close of the Session I entered
the Administration upon a distinct understanding in reference to the Pacific
Railway. That understanding was that
the Carnarvon terms having failed by
reason of the action of Parliament,a moderate money compensation should be
offered to the -Province for past and
future delays in the construction of the
Pacific Railway ; that it was always the
understanding of the Government ancidfat
it should be distinctly stated, that any
pledge for fixed expenditure, or for a time
limit, was subject to the taxationTresolu-
tion, in such sort that the work should not
be necessarily proceeded with in case
it would involve an increase of
of taxation ; and, that any arrangement
made with with the Province should be
expressly, as it must in fact be, subject to
the sanction of thi3 Parliament. This
understanding was carried out by the
Minute of Council of September, 1875.
By that minute, referring to the former negotiations, the Government declared as follows :—:
" It must be distinctly borne in n Hd that,
every step in the negotiations was necessarily
predicated on and subject to the conditions of
the resolution of 1871 .passed contemporaneously
with the adoption of the terms of Union with.
British Columbia, subsequently enacted in the
Act of 1872, and re-enacted (after a large addition had been made to the rate of taxation)
in the Act of 1874, that the public aid should
consist of such subsidy in money, not increasing the then existing rate of taxation, as Parliament should determine. This determination
not to involve the country in a hopeless burden
of debt is sustained by public opinion everywhere throughout the Dominion, and must
necessarily control the action of the Govern- 6
ment, and it cannot be too clearly understood
that any agreements as to yearly expenditure,
and as to completion by a fixed time, must be
subject to the condition, thrice recorded in the
Journals of Parliament, that no further increa;*
in the rate of taxation shall be required in order
to their fulfilment. The sanction of Parliament to the construction of the proposed railway from Esquimalt to Xanaimo was necessarily
a condition precedent to the commencement of
the work. The other important features of the
arrangement, namely, the limitation of the
time !■ r the completion of a certain portion,
and the specification of a yearly expenditure,
were deemed to be within the meaning of the
Act of 1874, rabject, of course, to the coi tl;-
tion already mentioned, which was referred to
in the minute of December, 1874, when the
Government expressed ' a willingness to make
these further concessions M the con
cessions .<.ng.ested might be made without im-
volvii g the violation of the spirit of a ly Par-
liame tary resolution, or the letter vt ai»y
The Government added a proposal of
$750,000 as compensation for delays.
British Columbia rejected the proposal,
and insisted on the fulfilment of the Carnarvon terms; she urged that the increase
of taxation which bad taken place in 1874,
and the Railway Act oi that year involved an abandonment of the resolution
of 1871, by which she contended that she
waSfcever bound. On the 13th March,
1876, the Government rejoined by a
minute in which they showed that the
resolution of 1871 was not abandoned,
but was re-enacted; in which they admitted that it way not part of the terms
of Union in form, as they would have desired, but argued that it could not be
wholly left out of account. The minute
added that " the people of Canada would
not consent to enter unconditionally into
arrangements which though less onerous
than the terms of Union would yet involve such a burden as might but for
the condition plunge the country into
ruin." The Government made no further
proposal, but ended the negotiations by
stating thai, British Columbia having
refused their offer of September, 1875,
" it remains only to endeavour to const i uct
the Railway as rapidly as the resources of
the country would permit." These minutes
were dispatched to the Secretary of State
for the Colonies, and also to British
Columbia. • During the Session of 1876,
a vote, hostile to the policy of the Government, and seeking to condemn it for
delay in the work, was proposed by the
hon. member for Victoria (Mr. DeOosmos).
It was voted down with practical
unanimity, the hon. member obtaining
but six or seven supporters. I think all
the present Ministers voted against it;
and the present First Minister
both spoke and voted against it, declaring
that the conduct of the hon. member for
Victoria in insisting as he did on the fulfilment of the terms gave very good
colour and reason for the charge contained
in the minute of the Government that the
action of British Columbia seemed more
influenced by the desire to , see many-
millions expended in their midst, than by
the wish that the enterprise should bo
carried on consistently with the interests,
and according to tho resources of the
country. Later during the Session the
correspondence to which I have referred
was brought down, and the House became possessed through these minutes of
the declaration o( tire policy of the Government, and of the whole statement of the
case. The House was made aware of the
decision of the executive not to make any
further, effort to obtain the authority of
Parliament for the construction of the
Island Railway, and of their solemn
declaration that they had not intended in
the former negotiations, 'did not then
intend, and would not agree, to make any
unconditional agreements, to make any
agreements otherwise than subject 'to the.
taxation resolution. With this knowledge we came to the discussion of the
vote in supply for the construction of the
Pacific Railway, and to that vote it was
proposed to add words declaring that tho
grant was made "with the view that
the arrangements for the construction
of the Railway shall be such as the re-
ources of the country will permit without increasing the existing rates of taxation." That vote was moved after the
occurrence of all the events to which
the hon. the Minister of Railways has
alluded as imposing such dreadful responsibilities upon him and his friends.
He has not indeed spoken consistently
upon this point, for after all these events,
after the making of these terms by which
ho alleged we were more tightly bound
than by those of the Union, he declared
to-night in one part of his speech that, we
were obliged by them to do what ? to
finish by 18901 No ! he says he does not
hold himself bound to do that To-
spend f 2,000,000 a year 1   No! he  say*
L •he does not hold himself bound to do •
that To build the Island Railway? No !:
he does not even propose to do that: so
that while the hon. gentleman at one
breath cries out : '< I am bound !" " I am
bound !" " I am bound !" like himself, he
turns round the next moment and exclaims : " I am free \" " I am free !" " I am
free!" But, Sir, after all these entangling
negotiations, after all these chains and
fetters had been wound round this unhappy country by the late unfortunate
Administration, it had prior to the vote of
1876, fully declared its meaning ; it had
taken its stand, it had declared that it
would not recede from or abandon the
Parliamentary policy of the now increase
of taxation. And the vote to which I
have alluded, was, under these circumstances carried, not by a party majority,
but by a united House. The vote was 149
to 10 ; among the majority were a large
number of members and supporters of the
present Government. I find in the
majority four of the present Ministers, Messrs. Langevin, Masson, Bowell
and Baby. I find there also, many active
members of the party including you, Sir,
Messrs. Cameron, of Victoria ; Caron,
Costigan, Desjardins, Haggart, Kirk-
patrick, McCallum, Mousseau, Orton,
Ouimet, Plumb, Robinson, Rochester,
and White ; besides many others; in all
forty-two, out of the small ■ contingent
which, at that time represented the Tory
party in this House. We were on that
occasion nearly unanimous. In that
year, 1876, long after the making and
failure of the Carnarvon terms, and after
the Government had fully declared its
meaning and its policy, this House was
almost unanimous in favour of the view
that the country was entitled to say, and
was bound to say, and we did in the
name of the country say that the arrangements for the construction of the
road should be such as the. resources of
the country would permit without increasing the existing rates of taxation.
This is ths fourth vote recorded by Parliament in the same sense. Now, I claim
that I have proved that apart from the
serious, the dreadful, I hope not the fatal
error of 1871, in declining to engraft
upon the terms of Union this limitation—
an error for which the Liberal party is not
responsible, because it did its best to
avert it; that apart from that error the
continuous and unvarying policy of Parliament was before, and after, and notwithstanding the Carnarvon terms that
this road should not be so constructed as
to necessitate any increase of taxation.
What happened after the Session of JL8761
The surveys had been prosecuted; some
contracts were let, some progress was
made.; The Session of 1877 arrived.
Was there any proposal from the Opposition declaring that we should proceed
faster, with the work, anything to alter
the view taken in 1876 1 Nothing ! The
Session of 1878 followed with the same
result, nor did aught occur to' shake the .
deliberate, solemn and repeatedly affirmed
declaration of Parliament on this subject.
But, meantime, further progress was made,
and to some enquiries the Government
answered that it hoped to be able shortly
to advertise for tenders for the whole
work on the land and money basis, subject to the approval of Parliament. It
was the policy of the Government at the
earliest moment at which the condition of
the surveys would permit, to take that
step,and so to give a fair trial to the plan,
the only plan by which the road could be
constructed in any short time without increasing the rate of taxation ; and if" that
trial failed, it was obvious the whole question must be opened afresh for consideration, and that it would be the duty of
the Government to consider of a new
policy. Well, an advertisement was issued in May, 1878,1 believe, for tenders
for the whole line upon the land and
money basis, and subsequently, I believe
in August, for the construction of the
middle part of the eastern link, I think
in three sections, and also for the line
from Yale to Kamloops. I had then long
ceased to be a member ot the Government,
was not even in the country, and knew
nothing about the matter until a few
months ago. Of course, it follows that
I am not able to say anything on the
subject of my own knowledge. My hon.
friend' (Mr. Mackenzie) has already
stated the circumstances under which
that advertisement was issued, with a
view, while yet the tenders were being
asked for the construction of the whole
line upon the land and money basis, to
obtain all the information possible, on all
alternative plans, so as to be able to present it to Parliament with such policy as
the Government might ultimately deter-
3 8
mine upon. But it would have been a
radical change in the policy of the Government as announced—as the people of
this country, certainly as I understood
it—had" the Government, after the
receipt of these tenders, proposed to Parliament the construction of the 125 miles
in British Columbia as a Government
work ; and if they had proposed it, the
hon. the Minister of Railways would have!
found me, as he. complains I sometimes
was, restive again. I would have'
declared it was impossible in. my view to
■ carry out any such policy consistently
with the former resolutions, and I would
have opposed it, with what effect I know
not, but with what earnestness I could.
I find then nothing proving an alteration
of poliay on the part of the Government
or of Parliament on this question until
the Session of 1879. Then, iudeed, there
was a change. The' new Government
having been formed in the meantime,
the grand proposal of last Session was
brought forward. The hon. gentleman
(Sir Charles Tupper) says, he is going to
give us another batch of resolutions, and
he read v.s some of these high-flown
resolutions he brought down last Session.
They indicate the character of the work
in the view of the hon. gentleman, the
relations of this country as well as the
relations of the Empire to the work, and
the mode in which alone it can be successfully prosecuted. The first declares that
an engagement was entered into with
British Columbia, but it says nothing of
any engagement with the Imperial Government or Lord Carnarvon, now so
much talked about, to construct the road
Not, however, by any specified time; on
the contrary, I find the Government by
this resolution declaring the contract to be,
that the line should be constructed with
all practicable speed. Next, there is a
declaration that the Canada Pacific Railway will be a great Imperial highway,
and so forth. Then there is a declaration
about the unprecedented state of enforced
idleness of the British working classes,
and the possibility of a scheme of relief
on a large scale being found indispensable
to alleviate the destitution. The hon.
gentleman, not content with taking charge
of the suffering thousands of Canadians,
and relieving by his legislation all the
misfortunes under which our ] cor
4,000,000 are labouring, in the largeness
of his heart, and the magnitude of his
resources, took charge of the unemployed
poor of England; and by his wit, and that
of the Imperial Government together,
this great scheme of outdoor relief—so far
outdoors as the North-West—was to be
carried out for the relief of the destitution
of the suffering poor in Great Britain.
Then the resolution introduced the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway,
which was to afford immediate employment to a vast number of workmen, open
up vast tracts of fertile land for occupation, and thus form a ready outlet for the
overpopulated districts of Great Britain
and other European countries. And the
Government is authorised and directed to
procure the substantial assistance of the
■Imperial Government by guaranty or
otherwise towards the execution of the
project as a national work ; and a hundred
millions of acres of land are set apart
for the purpose of supplying funds.
Then there is a resolution to alter
the route; an arrangement for building
a short extension from Selkirk, and
a proposition that it is expedient to make
further explorations in the Peace and Pine
River districts ; then there is a declaration that in the opinion of the House the
selection of the Burrard Inlet terminus
was premature; upon which I shall say no
more, than that if in the year 1878, with
all the information that was then obtained,
it was premature to decide that Burrard
Inlet should be the terminus, how premature was it for hon. gentlemen opposite to
decide that Esquimalt should be the terminus in 1873? That is theproblfem,
the arithmetical calculation, which I shall
desire the hon. gentleman to answer.
The hon. gentleman laughs at it. We
know that whenever the hon. First
Minister hears fcn awkward question he
turns it off with a laugh, but it will be
admitted that the hon. member for
Lambton, and the House and the country
knew more, in 1878 about what should be
the terminus than any one could know in
1873. Therefore, if it was not premature
to select Esquimalt in 1873, it could not
be premature to select another terminus
in 1878. Then there is a resolution
that it is necessary to. keep good
faith with British Columbia; and then
there is a provision, the sting of
which is in the tail. The 14th resolution  declares that  the  Government  bo
\ authorised to make further explorations,
and to enter into contracts for constructing a portion of the line in Columbia not
exceeding 125 miles in length without
the further sanction of Parliament. Here
for the first time do we find the policy of
building a railway in British Columbia
as a Government work brought down- by
the Government for the consideration of
Parliament and adopted by Parliament,
Well, on what was it that this part of the
Government policy was based ? On what
was it that the House was asked to hurry
into an engagement to commence, as a
Government work, 125 miles in British
Columbia'? Was it upon something old or
upon something new? Was it upon
something fresh ? Yes. The hon. gentleman pointed out that there were hundreds
of thousands of unemployed poor .in
England. He referred to their misery
and destitution, he said it would be necessary for the English Government to provide some means for their relief. He
pointed to "what he was going to do in
England. Both he and his colleagues
declared that the scheme possessed certain
elements of success. The first Minister
declared it must and would succeed. He
said that they would go home; that they
"would enlist the sympathies of the
Imperial Government ; that they would
obtain the co-operation which they
solicited, and which this House authorised them to obtain, the Imperial
aid, by guarantee or otherwise, towards the construction of this line.
They went home, and, like other people
who have gone home, they came back
again. But, Sir, although we heard a
great deal of some matters they
transacted, although the Finance Minister's loans, and the Minister of
Railway's purchases of rails were
told to us over and over again, until we
got more tired than ever of discussing the
rate of interest upon loans and the price
of steel-rails—although, I say, these proofs
of financial and commercial, ability were
discussed ad nauseam, not a word was
heard upon the great mission—upon the
principal point. What in the world is
the difference whether we get one-half
per cent, more or less on a loan of a few
million dollars ? What in the world is
the difference whether we buy steel-rails
at |24.40 or $25.40 compared with the
other question ?    Very  important things
both; but what in the world do we care
about these questions compare 1 with that
of obtaining a sound and solid basis of
Imperial aid for the construction of the
Canadian Pacific Railway ? We have
heard a great deal of the mint and the
anise and the cumin, but of the weightier
matters of the law very little indeed.
Now, why this silence? We have
endeavoured to elicit information on
the subject. I, myself, ventured to
put a question or two, I endeavoured to draw out the hon. gentleman on the Address, and subsequently by
a question, but still there was silence.
We authorised the Governmentto proceed
to England to accomplish a most important work, but not a word is told of the
result. Something, indeed, was told.
Oh, yes. We asked whether any arrangement had been made, any promise had
been given, and we were told there had
not. Some person asked the same
question in the Imperial Parliament,
and the answer was the same. But,
to-night, we are told that these
Ministers at home are diplomatic, that
there was in effect a secret understanding,
that they, were deeply interested—O, so
deeply interested—in' this matter. The
Minister is |now able to state this
fact, perhaps—may I venture to suggest
—with greater confidence than he would
have done before the late elections.
He says, indeed, that the British Government did not want to be handicapped at those elections by any promise.
But, Sir, if this-scheme for relieving unemployed Britons by sending them out
to our North-West was to be an advantage for the British people, why should
it be unpopular?. Why not proclaim it
on every hustings ? Why not make it a
elections? But, the
says that would
people were not
was like a cer-
which was agreed
to in this part of the world, with reference
to this same Pacific Railway, which
"should be kept quiet until after the
elections." . It is now, however, alleged
that there was a bargain. Well, it seems
to me that the hon. gentleman's plans in
England, under these circumstances,
failed. It was because the hon. gentleman found that it would be useless for
him to communicate   officially   that   he
battle cry in   the
hon.      gentleman
not     do;      the
to     know.      It
tain    arrangement
rl 10
has nothing to give us. It was
because his informal and confidential communications resulted unfavourably, that as Sir Michael Hicks-
Beach says, there was nothing put on
paper, and the hon. gentlemen came back
here with no more assurances than they
had before they left Canada. This we kno at
because the hon. gentleman has made a
statement to us on the subject, he has
told us what his expectations are.
He has told us the resolutions he is going
to bring down. There is to he a resolution modifying the plan fcr the sale ol
the lands. Instead of selling them at §2
an acre all round, they have adopted
another plan, and want to modify this
resolution accordingly. ' But we hear
nothing about further resolutions touching Imperial aid. Still, the hon. gentleman says he had many conferences with politicians and capitalists, and the Finance Minister made
complete arrangements for all the funds
that may be required for the completion
of the Pacific Railway from sea to sea, so
that, as fast as he wants it, he can get
the money, provided we give him
authority to raise the taxes required to
pay principal and interest. He says also
that the prospect of an Imperial guarantee from Mr. Forster, if he is to bo the
new Colonial Secretary, are quite as good
as were the'prospects of a guarantee by
the Beacons field Government That may
be so, and I dare say it is so; but the
reason given by the hon. gentleman was
a speech which Mr. Forster bad delivered
at the Colonial Institute. My hon,
friend's memory is of that character of
which memories often are. He remembered what was agreeable, and forgot
what was painful. He remembered well
Mr. Forster's diplomatic suggestion, that
" he was not sure that it might not be
advisable for the Government to be very
liberal in these matters," and he turns
that into a promise. But as to the quid
pro quo, Free-trade with Britain, -which
Mr. Forster suggests the hon. gentleman
utterly forgot all about that. Mr. Forster
says that the liberality must not be all on
one side; that it is not fair to ask the
Mother Country for assistance, and then
to throw obstacles, by means of Protection, in the way of their disposing of
their manufactures in the Colonies.
Well, I will say,  frankly, that if the
arrangement for aid from the Imperial
Government should turn out to be one for
a guarantee only, I am not at all certain
it would be a blessing to this country that
the guarantee should be obtained. Ct is
true the guarantee would enable us
to raise money at a lower rate
than that at which we are raising
it. It is true, also, that it might
enable us to raise money which we
could not raise at all without the guarantee. But it will not help us to pay the
money we borrow ; and I do. not think it
always a convenient thing to have
facilities for borrowing money, unless we see also that there
are commensurate facilities for repaying it The explorations which the
Government took authority to make, resulted in a report by the Chief Engineer,
in which he suggested that they were so
far favourable to the northerly route as
to render it improper to commence at
that time construction in British Columbia, and expedient to make furthfer explorations. The Government, however,
decided adversely to that view, and
determined to finally adopt the route to
Burrard Inlet. Now, even with, all the
haste that was used in reaching this
decision, it had become impossible at that
time to fulfil the arrangements, on the
basis of which Parliament had been asked
to authorise the letting of these contracts
without its sanction. That basis was,
that the work should be commenced in
British Columbia, in 1879* But tenders
were not called for till near the end  of
1879. The first contracts were not let
till December of that year, and the last
was not let until   the   10th   February,
1880, two days before the meeting of this
Parliament; so that, for several reasons,
the grounds upon which the hon. gentleman had asked Parliament to give him
special authority, had failed. They had
failed in this, that the construction could not be commenced
until after Parliament was in Session,
and, therefore, there was no ground for
I the action; they had failed in this-that no
inconvenience or delay would be caused
j by waiting for the assent of Parliament.
I Another ground on which the authority
I given by Parliament ought not to have
been exercised, is this: the House was
I led into the adoption of the series of
[ resolutions   in   which   this authority is contained on the statement made by the
Government as to the certainty of their
success in obtaining Imperial aid. They
wholly failed in that; the basis for the
authority disappeared, and, therefore, the
course they pursued in using the authority
was in this as well as the other particulars censurable. Again, the report of
the Chief Engineer justified, and in fact
rendered proper further investigation before fixing on the route. This contract
which they have let without the sanction
of Parliament will reach, according to
the estimate, $9,100,000, and with the
rolling.stock, rails, etc., the line will cost
certainly not less than 110,000,000, according to the tenders. That is the estimate, I observe, from the hon. Minister's
statement, which the Chief Engineer now
makes with reference to the contract
The hon. Minuter observed that he had
adopted an entirely different practice
from that of 'Jn'.s predecessor with
reference to the letting of contracts.
He said the contracts on the eastern end
had been let on imperfect surveys and inadequate information, which had resulted
in great loss and in the disappointment of
expectations which had been formed. He,
however, undertook to pursue a different
course, to secure complete investigation,
and absolute certainty, as far as certainty
can be obtained in these matters, as a preliminary to the letting of his contracts,
and I think the rule he laid down was an
excellent one. I think the fullest information ought to be obtained in the interests of the country, with reference to
the character of the work, and so forth, before the work is let. We know the reasons
which induced such departure as was
made from this custom in the earlier
days of letting this work, when the hon.
member for Cumberland, then. in Opposition, cheered the then First Minister
when he announced his intention of at
once letting the contracts. If tho principle
' which the hon. Minister so ostentatiously
put forward as governing his action was
specially applicable anywhere, that point
was British Columbia. But how far the
hon. gentleman's practice on this matter
conformed with his pretensions is to be
found in the memorandum to the
schedules for the Columbia section, which
were submitted for the information of intending tenderers. There will be found
there a note in these words:
" Some of the qnantitias are estimated from
preliminary location  measurement*,  and may
be   considered   roughly   approximate.     Other
I items are  merely conjectural,  and  arc  placed
I herein for the purpose of obtaining rates."
This was the thorough, exhaustive, minute
and detailed survey ; this was the accurate information which   the  hon.  gentleman got before he let the Yale-Kamloops
contract!    Some of   the   estimates are
simply roughly approximate I   Others are
merely conjectural and are placed  for the
purpose  of   obtaining rates !    As to the
eastern contracts, if I am i ightly informed,
there was no information of any material
consequence in the hon. gentleman's hands
which was not in the hands of the hon.
member for Lambton before he left office.
Mr. PLUMB : Section 15 1
Mr. BLAKE : If my hon. friend will
allow me to continue,  he will soon have
an opportunity to enliven the House with
one of his short speeches.     It   may  be
permitted to a person who has not gone
over the ground, who has not even made
a preliminary location measurement, who
has not even made a conjectural estimate
of   the   items,   to   make   a   conjecture
in   the   gross,   based   upon   former experience,     based   on    former    reports,
based upon what is known of other sections of the Railway, and from what has
I happened as to other roads, based on the
I general experience of the world in refer-
I ence to estimates of this description ; and
' my conjecture is that this road is as likely
I as not, instead of costing $10,000,000 to
cost $12,000,000 or more.   The contract",
I however, provide, as the hon. gentleman
. as said, that the Government may suspend
operations if the vote is expended at any
time, or in case the public interest requires, a suspension of the work, and may
in such case  cancel „the contract; and
that in no case will the contractor be en-
I titled  to damages by reason of loss of
I profits, but only to expenses incurred in
connection with the collection of material
and work  already done.   The Georgian
Bay branch contract was lately- cancelled
by the Government under similar prc-
I visions.     The hon. gentleman has stated
.' that he expects the expenditure next year
| on this work will not exceed 81,000,000,
' but, although,   possibly   no   more than
$1,000,000     may   be     expended     the
first   year,     yet    it     is   certain,    ac
cording to  the estimate formed of  ten
millions, and if the work is to be carried
J 12
oui accoiding to the terras of the contract, which provides for its completion
in five years, that an average of two millions a year will be required, and if we are
going to expend only §1.000,000 next year,
this means that there will be a larger
amount expended relatively in the following ytars. Roughly, we are involved
by this contract in an aveiage expenditure of §2,000,000 a year for the next
five years, and if the road costs
$12,000,000, then $2,400,000 a year for
the same time' will be required. The
hon. gentleman has said that the road,
which is in the middle of British Columbia, will be a pretty good thing. It
starts, it is true, at a point from which
the ocean is accessible by light steamers ;
it runs a considerable distance into the
interior, but, as far as I can observe, considering the condition of the country,
its population, its capabilities for early
settlement, this may be said of it, that it
begins nowhere, ends nowhere, and
will serve no earthly purpose. I quite
agree that m the construction of the
Pacific Railway as a through lino, by the
Burrard Lilet route, this might have
been the best point to commence at, but I
am speaking of it as it is. The hon. gentleman has prepared a map, which he laid
on the Table in the course of his speech,
as showing what recent explorations convince him is the state of the country,
with reference to its capacity for settlement. Without turning at this- time to
that portion which affects the North-
West, I would desire the particular
attention of my hon. friend the member
for Vancouver, to that portion of the map
which represents the Province of British-
Columbia. The hon. member will observe
that the parts which are marked brown
are barren and unfit for anything. The
parts left white embrace certain small
tracts in which people may find a living.
The hon. Minister, in the early part of
the evening, insulted my hon. friend by
calling his country inhospitable, and my
hon. friend will see what a double ii suit
is conveyed in his laying on the Table a
map showing the bulk of the Province unfit for settlement.
Mr. BUNSTER : I would like to ask
my hon. friend if he did not have that
map coloured on purpose.
Mr. BLAKE: My hon. friend no
doubt believes that I am the only person
who would have ventured to produce such
a map, But it is not my map. It is the
map of the hon. Minister of Railways,
who has done the hon. member for Vancouver " bi own." It is not to be supposed, however, that all this white ground
is available for white men. There is a
large portion of the land even there,
which the hon. the Minister of Railways,
in the early portion of the evening, rightly
called inhospitable. For example, the
northern part of the tract left white
is useless, in consequence of
climatic influences. Although there
are some portions of land in
it, which are rich enough to be cultivated, yet the climate prevents their
being settled, but in the lower portion
there is a little Jand capable of settlement,
as the hon. gentleman has said. At the
delta'of the'Fraser River, there are some
400,000 acres of laud capable of settlement, though I believe some of it requites
dyking in order to make it useful. East
of the Eraser River there are 640,000
acres, or 1,000 square nJles, at the outside, according to the statement in the
official report, of land capable of settlement ; and west ofthe Fraser River there
are 192,000 acres', if so small a quantity
is worth mentioning. There is of arable
land 1,200,000 acres, not altogether, but
in three divisions, and each of these is
broken by hills, valleys and rivers, so that
the country can only become a few small
detached settlements at best. Let me
read you an extract from the report of
Mr. Marcus Smith, your Assistant-Chief-
Engineer, made in 1879, and brought
down the other day; he says :
"Prom the River Pembina westward across
he Rocky Mountains, and by a chain of valleys
o Fort Hope the distance is 605 miles, of this
only 92 miles traverse a country fit for settlement, being the central plateau, or bunch-grass
belt between the Rocky and Cascade Mountains.
"A breadth of seventy miles on each side of
the line would include Lac La Hache and the
settlements of the Lilloet District on the west,,
those of Lakes Okanagan and Shuswass on the
east, and embrace an area of about 12,000
square miles, on which it is estimated there
are about 200 farms taken up, and the white
population is about 1,000. About one-tenth of
the arable land is under cultivation, but the
grazing land is nearly occupied and supports
20,0l 0 to 25.000 head of cattle, a considerable
number of horses, and.sheep.
"If the whole of the arable land of this
area were put under cultivation the total produce would  probably not exceed that of an
V 13
average county in Ontario. On the balance
of the 605 miles the country would not support a white population of more than a tow-
hundreds. The cost of constructing this
division of the line would be heavy, probably
not less than $50,000,000."
Mr. DeCOSMOS : What is the exact
size of an average county in Ontario ?
Mb. BLAKE : I do not know the
exact size, but as the hon. gentleman
interrupts me, I will read thehon. gentleman's own statement made in debate on
the subject of this line. It gives some
valuable information. The hon. gentleman says this—I read from the Official
debates for 1877 :
" The First Minister had referred to the
valuable land on Fraser River. As a fact, however, there were not perhaps over 400 square
miles, or 256,000 acre s of valuable arable land
along the whole river, from Yale to the mouth
of the Fraser. In farms and population there,
they did not exceed the farming population in
his own" district, and were far behind that
which existed in the district of his hon. friend
from Vancouver (Mr. Bunster); but what was
there from Ya'e to the mouth of Burrard Inlet
to support a railway ? There was nothing in
■the district to support a railway, so far as at
present known ; and when they reached the
Yale canyon there were sixty odd miles of canyon to get through, which' was nothing but a
vast ditch, cut by the w ater coursing through
for ages; there was nothing there, unless
mineral wealth was found in the mountains,
which were walled up on each side. Kext,
they had to go forty miles beyond before they
found anything but some high grazing land, and
away down in the bottom, along the Thompson,
some patches of land that could only be cultivated by irrigaton. After forty miles more, at
the end of Kamloops Lake, .they found a high,
rolling, grazing country and a few farmers
The population of that country has not increased 50 per cent, within the last ten years.
When they r ached Kamloops they found a
delightful point, from which open lands, but
narrow, stretched along the north fork of the
Thompson' for twenty miles beyond ; it was
comparatively worthless and, unless-mineral
wealth were found from Tete Jfeune Cache to
- that spot, it could not be considered as sufficient to invite the Government to coustruet a
railway in that direction. If the Government
was determined to bring a railway by T§te
Jeune Cache and Kamloops to Burrard Inlet,
he alleged, not only from a. Dominion point of
view, financially speaking, with respect to the
cost and receipts of the railway, but in the interests of commerce, in the intere ts of the industry of their Province, that the line of mil-
way could not be made a suoce>s t y the best
administration of the country. The sole and
whole reason was that they could not make a
way traffic. It was simply following a ditch or
ditches through the country, and was not calculated to make a way traffic or aid io the gain-
irg a large shaie of the trans-Pacific traffic."
Mr. DeCOSMOS : What I ask is, what
is the size of an average-size county in
Ontario ?
Mr. BLAKE: As I have said before  ■
I am not able to state the exact size of an
average county in Ontario.
J.VR. BUNSTER: Who made• that
statement the hon. gentleman has just
Mr. BLAKE : It was the hon. member for Victoria. Well, Sir, we are to
have this road for 125 miles lying in this
ditch that the hon. member speaks of,
with no means of placing there a population sufficient to create a traffic The
hon. the Minister of Railways talks of
placing there within four or five years, a
population of 100,000. Why, it could
not be done, and if it was done they would
Sir CHARLES TUPPER: It was the
Globe that said such a population could be
put there.
Mr. BLAKE : And does the hon. gentleman agree with that?
Mr. BLAKE ! I tell the hon. gentle-
nmi that he could not do it. If such a
population went there within the time he
names they would stay there as bones, not
as living men.
Mr. McINNES: I would say here	
Mr. BLAKE : To • judge from the
number of gentlemen who are continually
interrupting, one would think there must
be a great many men in British Columbia;
the only one who at all observes the proprieties of debate is the senior member for
Victoria (Sir John A. Macdonald). I
have said, Sir, and in that I am happy to
agree with my hon. friend from Victoria
(Mr. DeCosmos;, that I do not find that
the resources of the country in question
are likely to make the proposed work profitable. There is indeed some chance that
the line will not be required to be kept
open after it is built, and we shall thus
save the running expenses. The running
expenses depend upon the traffic. If the
traffic is heavy, then, of course, we shall
have adequate returns, but if it be light,
we shall have heavy running expenses
without returns, for there must be in that
isolated region, machine shops; all arrangements for making, or at any rate for repairing locomotives and cars, a staff and
so forth, if the road is to be run at all.
The engineers, taking the  Intercolonial
— 14
Railway as a guide, have estimated the
running expenses of working the 125
miles at $295,000. If there is hardly
any traffic it will not cost so much. But we
cannot hope to escape altogether from
running" expenses, which will, of course,
include renewals and repairs, though I
fancy the item of renewals to rails will
not be a heavy one. Our annual payments therefore, in respect of that railway
after construction, will be considerable.
The interest on the cost of construction at
$10,000,000 will bean annual burden of
$500,000, or if theline costs $12,000,000,
$600,000, to which may be added a loss
in running expenses of perhaps $150,000
a year, or more, making a total annual
charge of from $750,000 to $850,000 a
year. But that is not all, nor the chief
part of the burden, because this line is
proposed to be constructed, not as an
isolated transaction—not as a complete
thing in itself—not as the end of the
expenditure in British Columbia, but
only- as the commencement. It is but
a pledge ; it, is but a hostage for the
many other millions to be expended there.
We hear, indeed, nothing now of an Island Railway, except the suggestion of
the Minister of Railways to-night, that a
line eight miles long might be necessary
to get beyond the reach of the guns of St.
Juan. But apart from this we hear
nothing, and I think the judgment of the
country has so far condemned that project as to render its revival impossible.
But for the mainland we are to deal with
a proposal to build a long and very costly
line. We have a new set of estimates
brought down to-night. This is not the
first or second set—it is at any rate the
third set. Before J deal with them in
the gross, I wish to refer to one fact
which proves, plainly, that they are the
second sot brought down this Session.
The other side had a sort of preliminary
skirmish on this question on the
motion of the hon. member for North
Norfolk, on the land policy of the Government. The hon. First Minister then
said it was inconvenient to discuss the
Pacific Railway policy of the Government
on that occasion; that this should be postponed, till the general debate now going
on; but you will have noticed that he
immediately proceeded to discuss and expound it. The hon. gentleman declared
that the  expenditure in  connection with
the Pacific Railway, up the 30th June
next, would be about $15,000,000. We
know that the expenditure up to December last, largely exceeded $14,000,000,
and I think the estimate of $15,000,000,
up to the 30th- June, is perfectly fair. It
will be in the memory of the House that
he stated that from 30th June next, the
expenditure would be $10,000,000 a year
for the next two years,-and $5,000,000 a
year for the following eight years. This
will make a total expenditure of $60,-
000,000 to be: made after the thirtieth of
June next, or of $75,000,000- adding the
$15,000,000 already spent. This statement was not made recklessly. It was
made after due deliberation, of set purpose, as a deliberate declaration of the
policy of the Government, on the highest
authority; and the hon. Finance Minister on the following day confirmed it, declaring that it was based
on Mr. Fleming's figures. To-day, the
hon. Minister of Railways states that
the whole expenditure, including the past
$15,000,000, will be under $65,000,000.
He has seen the First Minister, or
those behind him, and goes ten millions
better. There isv a change of over
$10,000,000 between the deliberate estimate of last week and the final estimate
of this week.- I would like to know
where this ten millions has gone. I
would like to see the details of these
varying estimates, because they are on
the whole surprising to those who have
been forming their opinions on the
detailed statements made in published
reports by responsible officials. There are
550 miles of a very difficult road to build,
from Jasper House to Port Moody. For
a part only of that road, for the 493 miles
between the Divide and Port Moody, Mr.
Fleming's estimate was about $36,000,000.
The estimate- of Mr. Smith was
$36,500,000. and the estimate of Mr.
Cambie was, I think, $31,000,000. But
the average estimate of the Chief and
Assistant Engineer may be said to
be over $36,000,000 for this 493 miles,
which would run up the 550 miles to
$40,000,000 ; and now it is said that the
550 miles, composed of this 493 miles and
of 57 additional fiiilfes of inexpensive road,
can be built for $30,000,000, a difference
of $10,000,000. You add more than
one-sixth to the mileage, and you subtract
more than one-sixth ironi the cost    If so,
L 15
the part is greater than the whole. I may
be permitted to doubt a little whether a
large part of the $10,000,000 which has
disappeared in a week from the cost of
the Pacific Railway, has* not been arbitrarily cut off from the British Columbia
section. ■ I cannot but believe that a very
large part of that amount has been economised by taking an extravagant sum from
that section, and I shall remain of the
opinion, until I see some detailed statement, giving reasons why this immense
saving is practicable, that the last estimate of the Chief Engineer is not so
trustworthy, or based on such sound calculation as the former estimate of himself and his assistants. The House must
not forget too that Port Moody is not the
terminus of the Railway. The Engineers
say that the terminus must be at Coal
Harbour, or English Bay. You do, indeed, reach the Pacific seaboard at Port
Moody, but not a satisfactory terminal
harbour. You must go further, and
spend another million of dollars to
accomplish the other fourteen miles of
distance before you see the end of your
labours. But even supposing it to be
our unhappy fate to get no further than
Port Moody, and supposing the hon.
gentleman's revised estimates to be
realized, I call the attention of the House
to the fact that he calculates, himself, on
spending $30,000,000 for the western
-.section, and $13,000,000 only, or less
than one-half the former sum for the
whole of "the prairie line. • The fatal burden is still in the west. The hon. gentleman was right in dealing with the British
Columbia, or western section, of this
Railway as really beginning at a
point east of the Rocky Mountains.
But he did not go far enough east
In order to decide what is the true point of
commencement of the western or British
•Columbia section of the road, you have to
decide what is in truth the western end of
the prairie road. That point is the commencement of the British Columbia section. I go further than the hon. gentleman. At a point seventy miles west of
the longitude of Edmonton, you get to
the end of the' prairie. It is not necessary,
in order to early settlement, that even as
far as that point the country should be
traversed by the Railway. Beyond that
point, the Railway simply becomes necessary in view of  British Columbia inter
ests, and as a through line; unless, indeed,
the outlet of the western prairie country
is to be the Pacific and not the Atlantic
ocean. I take, therefore, the longitude of
Edmonton, which is also the point of
divergence in case a northerly route
should hereafter be adopted, as, for present purposes, the point of separation.
between the prairie and the British Columbia sections, and my hon. friend from
Lambton, upon all the information which
the official documents and the Engineer's
reports give, added to his own knowledge,
(assuming the continuance of the same
gradients and curves, and the same style
of construction and equipment, which
were always intended up to the
time he resigned,) estimates that
the 256 ' miles from Edmonton
to the summit would cost $9,400,000,
which added to Mr. Fleming's and Mr.'
Smith's estimates of over $36,500,000,
for the road from the Summit to the
Pacific would give a total of over
$45,000,000, as the, cost according
to the old estimates and old style
of construction of what may be
described as the western section of the
Railway. Of course when the hon.
gentleman choses to give us the information which will make it possible for us
to j udge what style of road he now proposes to build ; when he tells us what the '
curvature and gradients are to be, and
the general character of the works and
style of the road, we shall be better able
to judge of the correctness of his revised
estimates, but he would not even tell us a
little while ago, what the estimated cost
of equipment was ; he would merely say
it was a light equipment, by which we
can judge that this estimate is arrived
at by cramping the road very much
indeed. It would be very easy to tell,
if only it were convenient to let us
know, what the estimated cost of the
equipment is. It is estimated upon the
cost in dollars, of so many locomotives, so
many freight and passenger cars at such
a price. It is included for example in the
estimate of $13,000 a mile for the prairie
road. But the hon. Minister of Railways would not tell us how much he
could squeeze out for equipment in dollars
from the $13,000 a mile; and I am not
surprised, because, I dare say, he would
have to go into decimals to give it to us.
When you   recollect  that   an adequate 16
rolling-stock, according to the former
estimates, costs $2,000 a mile; that the
steel rails, plates and fastenings cost many
thousands more per mile, you will find how
very little remains of the $13,000 a mile
to construct the Railway. Then I say
that the British Columbia end, taking
the route adopted from the longitude of
Edmonton at the old rates, and on the old
style, would cost $45,000,000, on which
the permanent interest charged would be
$2,250,000, besides a large sum for running expenses. Now, the question for the
House to determine is whether we ought
or can afford here and now to take the
initial step, pledging us to an absolute
expenditure of at least $10,000,000
at once, and to an ultimate expenditure for the standard through line
from Edmonton to the Pacific of
$45,000,000, making an annual interest
charge of $2,250,000, besides over
$1,300,000 a year for the gross running expenses, subject, of course, to deduction of
the gross receipts. Considering only
what the railway works are which we are
called upon to execute in the North-West
to the eastward of Edmonton, and not
considering at all our other engagements'
—the general financial engagements of
the country; the demand for various improvements, East, West, North and South)
the Provincial demands for aid; not taking
a comprehensive view of these various calls,
but confining ourselves for the moment to
the demand upon us in order to develop
the North-West, in order thence to get
the money on which the hon. Minister
depends for the construction of the road
in British Columbia, in order thus to
render the construction in British Columbia possible. Is it—I will not say the
part of prudence, but the part of sane
men to commence now an expenditure of
$45,000,000 in that end of the Dominion?
The hon. gentleman has told us what, according to his present estimate, we have,
to do. According to his view we have to
spend $15,000,000 to build the road from
Selkirk to Jasper House, and nearly
$5,000,000 on the Eastern works, making
nearly $20,000,000 to be spent, besides
the $15,000,000 already expended; so
that by the time we reach Jasper
House, our total expenditure, exclusive of
interest, will have been nearly S3 5,000,000.
But except by most seriously degrading
the road, by altogether lowering the style
of construction, by changing it from a
good through line to an inferior colonisation road, it will be necessary, according
to the estimates of the hon. member for
Lambton, if they be correct, to expend a
very much larger sum than the hon. Minister calculates to reach this result The
Canada Central Railway subsidy reaches
$1,440,000, the surveys, including those
location surveys, which, after all, come
out of the pockets of the people, whether
called exploratory surveys or location
surveys, amount to $4,000,000. The
road from Fort William to Selkirk was
estimated at $18,000,000; the Pembina
Branch cost $1,500,000, and adding
$100,000 for the Red River Bridge, we
reach a little over $25,000,000. From
Selkirk to Edmonton, according to the
old grades and style of construction, the
hon. member for -Lambton estimates at
$17,650,000, which, added to the
$25,000,000, makes a total of over
$42,500,000 as the amount, including
what has been spent for surveys,
which it will have cost the country, irrespective 'of interest and
construction, to reach the point
which 1 suggest as the reasonable
terminus for the prairie section of the
road. Of this. amount we have paid
$15,000,000, and must provide nearly
$28,000,000 more. I have no doubt the
hon. gentleman can make a very large reduction in these figures by increasing the
curvature, by raising the gradients, by
degrading the road in every way from a
first-class to cheap colonisation railway. I
am not at present declaring that it may not
be good policy for him to do so,—possibly it may be so ; but I think the House
cannot intelligently dispose of the hon.
gentleman's suggestions on these points
without having before it some more facts
and figures than have been communicated.
I no not think" we can decide that
$13,000,000 will pay for the work according to the present plans of construction, till
we know what the curves and gradients
and other works are to be, and we may
be called upon to consider whether we
are not sacrificing to a large extent the
future to the present in the matter;
whether we are not causing a very much
larger ultimate expenditure by the proposed present economy at the expense of
the condition and quality of the
road.    If the   h'on. Minister   of  Rail-
V 17
ways can find a plan by "which he can
construct the road with inferior curves
and grades and in an inferior style to that
heretofore contemplated, but reasonably
good however, and the eon version of which
to superior curves and grades and a first-
class style can be ultimately secured, when
needed, without much added cost, I think
it may be a prudentthing to reduce for the
present the expense in this way. On the
other hand, we must look to the ultimate
'conversion of the road into a first-class
road, a cheap carrying road for the North-
West, without which it will be useless
for that long stretch of country towards
Battleford and beyond; for the grain will
have to come down along the Pacific Rail-
wa y a great many miles before it reaches
, Selkirk or the Red River. • The House
must remember that according to the theory
on which the hon. Minister advocates the
completion of the road, he is bound to
give reasonable grades and curves to the
prairies of the West. The Western settlers will at best be. in an inferior position
to those nearer Selkirk; and if you add
to their disadvantages a heavy tax on the
transport of their grain by reason of an
inferior road to Edmonton, it will not
compensate them, to say the grain can be
moved cheaply from Selkirk eastward.
What they want is to get it cheaply moved
along the whole distance. Again, of
course, the through traffic depends on the
road being first-class, and we must
remember that after we have spent all
the hon. Minister proposes, we shall have
not a Pacific, but a Colonisation road.
According to the old system of construction that central section would cost, including the other items I have mentioned,
altogether over $42,500,000, leaving out
entirely both ends. What are the ends
to cost? $45,000,000 is as I have stated
the cost from Edmonton to Burrard Inlet
on the West; and from Fort William to
Nipissing on the East, the hon. member
for Lambton, estimates at a length of
about 650 miles, and a cost of $32,500,000.
Thus the ends makes up together
$77,000,000, the centre and the past expenditure $42,500,000, making a total of
$120,000,000, and that wholly exclusive of the legitimate and nece-
sary charge, which must be added in all cases, the charge for
interest during construction. In all
enterprises of this description every esti-
mate with i-eference to expei^Vjfe*
includes a provision for interest on capital
provided during construction, before the
enterprise beeomes productive, and this
item is to be considered in the reckoning.
The House may be surprised to learn that
on our expenditure up to this time, and
rating the interest at 4 per cent, only, as
the money was raised partly on guarantee, that iaterest up to 30th June next
will exceed $1,250,000. Taking the
estimates of ten days ago, if $60,000,000
are expended in the next ten years, there
will be a total of over $24,500,000 for
interest, calculating interest on future
loans at 5 per cent, the lowest rate, as I
believe, at which the money can be raised.
Of course, according to the hon.
Minister of Railways, we have saved ten
millions daring the last week, and therefore the interest of that ten millions is to
be taken off; but even deducting it,
unless my hon. friend would be kind
enough during the progress of this debate
to save us another ten millions,
we should still find over $22,500,000
of interest to be provided before the
completion of the line, according to
the reduced figures, before we are able to
reap the benefits of that enormous through
and way traffic, the profits of which are
then to pour into the coffers of this country. We must not altogether forget the
eastern connection. The hon. gentleman
has not been altogether oblivious of that
part of the through line. It was politic
on his part to throw out some faint hopes
of the construction of that link. Quebec
has spent some $11,000,000, which she
can ill afford, for the construction of a
railway principally designed to tap the
Pacific trade. Quebec has stretched her
arms out towards the great west, as far as
this city, and the question is, how soon is
she to get further, how soon that great
expenditure is to be productive of the
benefits expected ? I am glad to know
her road is paying something as it is; but
what Quebec expected was not simply
that it should pay, while it is new and
cheaply worked, some fraction of the
interest on the cost of construction, but
that it would pour a great tide of traffic
into her principal cities, and bring
prosperity into her midst. But unless
and until an eastern connection of some
kind is made, those expectations of the Province of Quebec, on the faith ef which she t
-TffiQCP'ried to construct her railway,
fda'l&W be realised. My hon. friend
felt that. I should not be surprised—I do
not know' anything about it—but I
should not be surprised if my hon. friend
had been told something of that sort in
private. I should not be surprised if
some hon. member from Quebec had
forcibly expressed to him, in private, the
same observations which I have now
made in public. I should not be surprised if it had been indicated to him, in
language as strong as was consistent with
the politeness due to a powerful Minister,
that it was essential that he should throw
out, at any rate, some ray of hope, however faint, that at some early day the
Quebec Railway should be connected
with the through line; that he should say
to the members from Quebec: " Gentlemen, at the present time we can only
burn the candle in the middle, and at the
western end, but the time will come
sooner than you expect when we will be
burning it in the middle and at both
ends, when it will be alight in the east
also " That is, in fact, what, the hon.
gentleman, has vaguely suggested to us
to-night. But my hon. friends
from Quebec will consider how
nearer they will be to the attainment
of a connection with the Pacific
Railway by engaging immediately to
construct the western end, and to spend,
according to the revised estimates,
$30,000,000 in British Columbia. They
will consider how much it is going to
hasten the day in which our surplus cash
will enable us to make the connection for
which they long, toning $30,000,000 into
that " Brown Country," which is depicted
in the hon. Minister's map. They will
judge whether our purse' is like the
widow's cruise of oil, in which, however
much you may draw, from it, there will
always remain enough. They will consider whether even out of our abundance,
even out of our prosperity, even with our
large capacity for raising loans and obtaining moneys, we will be all the better
able to deal with the eastern end, because
we are commencing now to build the
western end. They will reflect upon the
possibility, nay, I will say the strong probability, that the effort to build the
western end, if so precipitately engaged
in, may crush this country, destroy the
whole scheme, and render impossible for
all time, or, at any rate, for a very long
time, to attempt an eastern connection.
According to his fashion, the hon. gentleman was not quite consistent in this
matter. He was at pains to point out, in
order to soothe the anxious fears of his
Mends and supporters, that the Govern,
ment was in a position to go slowly.
This contract, he says, contains clauses
which give an absolute power to stop the
work at any time ; and if we find the re
sources of this country "are going to be too
heavily weighed down by building this
125 miles in British Columbia, depend
upon it we will stop. We are not going
fast ; we are going, slow. We expec*-,
however, within ten years, having saved
that ten millions I have spoken of, to do
this much, at any rate; but we will not
engage to do it within ten years. We do
not consider ourselves bound to British
Columbia to do it by 1890, and we will
not do it within ten years if it presses too
heavily on our resources. So much was
necessary in order to soothe the fears of
those who dreaded that the taxation
would be too great and the expenditure
too rapid. But then the hon. gentleman
had to draw back, and in order to show
that even all that expenditure would not
indefinitely postpone the work at the eastern end, had to show "the silver trimming"—I think the hon. Finance Minister calls it—he had to show the " silver
trimming" of the cloud and he said in
effect: " So confident am I of the succc ss
of my scheme th«tt I will not name the
day in which the blushing East shall be
married to the rosy West, but it will be
very much sooner than any of you expect." One moment he said : " I will go
slowly in the West, because the work may
be too heavy for us—don't be afraid," and
the next moment he exclaimed : " I can
get on so fast in the West that I shall be
able to begin, in the East quite* soon—
don't be afraid." Such were the hon.
Minister's consistent statements. Well,
I say that these suggestions are intended,
no doubt, to be satisfactory and consolatory, and, perhaps, they will prove so;
but to my mind, looking at this from a
practical point of view, I believe that the
suggestions of the hon. gentleman are impracticable of execution, and that it may
be found out of the question to commence
the eastern end until we have got through
the centre and the western end, if the work 19
"is to be carried on according to his scheme
and his views, which, I believe, as they
.stand, are beyond the resources of the
•country. Quebec may expect the eastern
end to be commenced when the western
road is finished—that is, that it will be
begun in 1890, and may be finished in
1897, and I hope they will all be alive to
enjoy it Now, besides this enormous
expense to which I have referred, besides
this aggregate of I do not know how
many millions of dollars, the interest of
which, according to the old estimates, will
be six millions a, year, we have got to
consider the running expenses. These
-expenses Mr. Fleming estimated, in former days, at $8,000,000 a year ; but my
hon. friend from Lambton estimates them
at a gross sum of $6,750,000 a year for
"the whole line, or $4,500,000 a year from
Fort William to the Pacific. Of course,
against this sum are to be set the receipts, which will be considerable, and
will, in some sections of the road, perhaps, meet the expenses; but in the
early days, and for a long time, the road as
a whole will, I believe, be run at a loss.
Thus you have a charge for interest
and expenses for this Pacific Railway,
which, if you add the cost of interest
during construction, places it, according
to any estimate you may form, wholly
beyond the resources of this country to do
the work in the way, and at the rate
that the hon. gentleman has suggested
Now, what must we do ? What are we
bound to do? What.are those things
which it is essential for us to do ?
I agree that we must finish the road to
•Selkirk; and I am glad to hear the hon.
gentleman is going to save a million on'
it. I would prefer, if he would make it
a million and a-half, which would be
perhaps as easy. We ought to finish the
road to Selkirk as rapidly as possible,
consistently with due economy. The contracts are let, and I suppose that road
will proceed. I agree, also, that we
ought to proceed with the road through
the western prairies as rapidly as we find
the settlement and the development of
that country requires us to advance. I
believe that just as fast as we see that
the flow of settlement presses for it and
will be promoted by it, we ought to get
-on with the prairie road ; and, therefore,
to the suggestion of the hon. gentleman,
that he has  contracted for one hundred
miles, and that he is about to contract for
another hundred, I offer no dissent, hut
my hearty approbation. I believe that
the true course is that which the hon.
gentleman has adopted. That is, to proceed . with the conotruction of these
sections. He has told us in what time
he expects to have them finished; but long
before they are finished we may
know at what time and at what
rate it is necessary for us to
proceed further in order to de-
velope that country. We can be
guided by circumstances, and construct
the road, if necessary, even slightly in
advance of the actual tide of settlement,
but not so far in advance as to be expending our money before it can be of any use.
To do that which L have suggested, to
finish the road to Selkirk, to pay off the
subsidy of the Canada Central, and to
proceed with the construction through
the prairie, will, in my opinion, drain the
resources of this country, taxed and
burdened as it is, to the utmost farthing.
But to that we are committed. The die
is cast. We must, whether our hopes be
brighter or fainter, all agree to give a fair
trial to the great experiment, on which
we have risked so much, of endeavouring
to settle, as rapidly as possible, that great
North-West country, in the way and
manner I have suggested. Burdened as
this country is, that work will demand
the' most prudent management and the
most careful economy, and will involve an
elimination of every other expenditure
which can be in the meanwhile avoided.
According to the former figures of the
hon. gentleman's Engineer, and to thev-iew
of the hon. member for Lambton, our
interest charges will be about two
millions a year when that road is
completed as ■ far as Edmonton.
All that we can get from the lands in
that country, for the next few years,
during which we shall be engaged in the
construction of the road, will not, I believe, do more than help to eke out that
interest. I now proceed to state my
j views about the land question, but whatever we may decide about the land, I
maintain that to attempt at this time
more than is necessary, more than is essential, more than the cardinal thing
upon which the success of the whole enterprise is to turn, is an act of folly and
madness.    I intend before I sit down to 20
discuss what is the true financial condition of this country, and what is its rate
of taxation as compared with the rates of
taxation existing in 1871; and to consider how far, apart from the sale of the
lands, it is possible for us to undergo the
strain which the proposed work will in-;
flict upon us. „ But before I touch that
subject, it becomes necessary to deal with
the question of the lands, because the allegations made the other day with reference to the sales of lands, were that these
sales would relieve us almost immediately from the interest liability, and practically from the liability for principal. I quite sigree
that if the calculations of the hon.
First Minister and of the hon.
Minister of Railways, as to receipts from
lands, and expenditure on construction are
founded upon a reasonable basis, they remove all serious difficulty and we may
fairly and reasonably launch out into the
construction of tho Central and Western,
and also into the construction of the
Eastern end of the Pacific Railway. I
perfectly agree that if these matured
conjectures, in which every doubt war
given to the side of prudence—which represent minima instead of maxima ; if
these close and accurate calculations are
fairly to be counted upon as the results of
the immigration and the Railway construction; if business men, acting in
their own concerns, or acting for others
for whom they 'are trustees, ought to accept these figures as a basis for encountering for themselves or for others for whom
they act enormous liabilities, then the.
results of these calculations do justify as
in assuming the liabilities proposed to us.
Now, let us see what these calculations are. They assume that the
emigration will        commence       at
25,000 and increase yearly by
5,000, making, in the course of eleven
years, 550,000 emigrants. Of these
68,500 are to become homesteaders and
prenmptors, at an average rate of $3 an
acre for the preempted land ; 34,200 are
to become purchasers of and settlers upon
railway lands, at an average rate of $3 an
acre for the railway lands, making 102,700
owners of 32,640,000 acres to be settled
in that country in the course of eleven
years. The Government calculates not
merely on this number of emigrants,
not merely on this number of purchasers
"not merely on these prices, not merely om
this acreage, but with a sublime indifference to all the. dictates of prudence, and
to all the experience, of all time, they
calculate on the settlers on these lands,
paying their large instalments up to the
day. They calculate on the receipt of
$3*8,593,000 from land Bales in eleven,
years, and, in addition, on a good debt of
$33,750,000 more, bearing interest, making over $71,300,000 for lands, with a
claim for interest on the dobt at 6 per
cent They estimate the cost of survey
and management for this vast undertaking
at $2,400,000. I allege that the result of
these several calculations is absurdly extravagant 1 hope for a very
large emigration to the. North-West-
this year, and perhaps next. year. L
do not intend to be bound to an
estimate for ten "years by the results-
of one or two years. I call the attention
of the House and the country to the consideration of the fact that we are dealing;
with an estimate, not for one or two-
years, but an estimate for ten years; not
an estimate of $10,000,000, but an estimate of $60,000,000; therefore, I do not
intend to be bound by the figures
for the early years, attended as
these are with many exceptional
circumstances. Of course the whole
thing is conjectural; but we have a
right to refer to the experience of
the United States, to which, indeed, the
hon. gentleman referred as the nearest-
analogous experience to ours, and as furnishing with all due allowances the only
available guide. I will take the settlement of the Western States and Territories,'which have formed the scene of
the most rapid development which the
world has hitherto known, [deeply regret
that we are engaged in this discussion,
without the' advantage of the United
States Census very shortly to be taken,
because I agree that circumstances in
reference to the Railway development of
later years have sensibly affected the tide
of settlement, therefore these figures are
to be taken with a measure of allowance ;
still we must consider, whatever may be
now the relative advantages of our own
North-West, that theso states and territories were at the time the choicest in the
world open, and that they gave very great
facilities for settlement I take the group
of Western and North-Western States and 21
Territories, comprising Michigan, Indiana,
Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota,
Kansas, Nebraska, Dakota, Montana,
Wyoming and Colorado. The area of the
group is 634,000,000 acres. They had a
population, in ] 850, of 2,740,000. 'The
yearly increase between that year and
1860 was at the rate of 282,000 a year,
and the population, in 1860, reached
-5,600,000, so that at first sight hardly
any calculation of increase would seem
extravagant; but let us ascertain of what
-this population was composed. In the
year 1860 there were of persons born in
-the group 2,530,000, or 44 per cent of
■the whole population ; of persons born in
other parts of theUnited States, 2,015,000
•or 37 per cent, of the whole, making
•an aggregate native population of
4,545,000, or81 percent, of the whole.
Of foreign born emigrants 1,050,000, or
-only 19 per cent of the total population;
so that the extremely rapid increase
which took place in those years is due
mainly to the natural increase in the territory • itself, and to -migration from the
Eastern to the Western States, and not
to foreign immigration into the country.
The- annual increase to 1870 was still
greater than in the prior decade. It
averaged 300,000 a year. In 1870
the population was 8,640,000, thus com-
- "posed; born in the group, 4,390,000, or
■rPver 50 per cent.; born in other parts of
•-the" states, 2,500,000, or over 29 per
-cent, making 79J! per cent, in all of
natives ; foreign born,. 1,750,000, or 20J-
per cent, of the whole population. These
.•figures show that there were three great
sources of increase, to which I wish to
allude for a moment, in order that we
may see how far we can expect similar
results. First, there was a very rapid
natural increase in the western country,
ts always happens when there is abundance of fertile land, producing plenty of
food—consequently once there is a substantial nucleus of population, the
natural increase is a most important
■factor. Second, that there was a very
great migration from the Eastern to the
Western States—a home migration, not
an immigration from abroad. Lastly,
■that there was a large foreign immigration; now these figures, though demon-
-strative of the considerations to which I
have alluded, are yet subject pa observation, because,  during  a part  of the last
decade, native born Americans, from both
East and West, were swelling the armies
of the Union by hundreds of thousands;
therefore, there was not in that rapidly
growing country that relative increase of
the population by natural causes and
home migration, that would otherwise
have occured. The war had taken the
men away from the soil; and at the same
time there was a foreign immigration
equal to, if not exceeding, what had previously occurred in the United States, so
that while there was a very great foreign
immigration during a portion of that
decade, the domestic sources of supply
were seriously diminished by the deadly
struggle in which the- life blood of the
nation* was being poured out like
water. No doubt, however, the foreign
immigration is in fact a larger
factor than it appears to be in
the settlement of the Western States.
It was through the foreign immigration
to the east that the east was able to send
so many of its own sons to the west;
therefore, the foreign immigration did
play a very important indirect pert, as
well as its direct part in the settlement
of that country. Now, ia 1850, the population of the remainder of the States, exclusive of the group of states and territories to which I have referred, was no
less than 20,000,000. In 1860, it was
no less than 24,830,000. This shows
that, notwithstanding the extent to which
the population of the east migrated to
the west, the population of the former was
maintained and advanced, by virtue of
the foreign immigration and natural increase. The total number of immigrants
to the United States, in the decade from
1851 to 1860, was 2,600,000); from 1861
to 1870, 2,500,000, and| from 1871 to
1880,jj|jmaking an estimate for the last
eighteen'months, 2,700,000. I repeat
then,-for we cannot dwell on it too much
the threej factors which j produced • this
enormous increase of populationjin^these
splendid Western States. The first, a
very rapid increase of their native
population ; the second, a large
home migration from other States;
and third and last, the foreign immigration, operating directly by the immediate
advance into the west of immigrants, and
indirectly by displacing a certain number
of the native population who were so enabled to go west.    It is said that the do- 22
mestic transference of population has been*
even more rapid, and has, therefore,
played a still more important part in the
presentdecade than in former decades. Let
us compare our circumstances with theirs
in these particulars: First of all, we have
at present no nucleus of population in the
North-West worth mentioning. It is
towards the end of the decade for which we
are calculating that this factor will begin to
exert an appreciable influence. Next,
look at that native recruiting ground, that
constantly increasing population, first
20,000,000, running up to I know not
how many millions from which I have
shown the Western States draw their
main supply. How do we stand as to
that? We stand 4,000,000 against their
30,000,000 or 40,000,000. We stand
with only a tenth of their population,
with a relatively insignificant number,
of whom we know it to be a
fact, a deeply to be regretted fact,
but a fact which exists, and which
there is no use trying to conceal, that
many go to the United States—that out
of our 4,000,000, in the best times, hundreds of thousands leave us—I think the hon.
member for Cardwell, (Mr. White), gave
us at over half a n illien, the number of
those who went over during the last decade, in which prosperity was the rule, in
which there was no depression, in which
every Canadian had a home and good
work, but still in which something occurred to allure them to the settlements
in the Western States, largely by direct
removal there of those who preferred a
more southern climate, but also to a very
great extent by removal to the mami;
facturing towns in the Eastern States,
thus freeing the citizens of those states
and enabling them to go West Now, from
our 4,000,000 there cannot without most
serious consequences to the older Provinces be a very large number of
emigrants altogether; and of that number a considerable proportion will continue
to go to the manufacturing communities
of the States—there are persons who
prefer the latter to the rural and
remote settlements—and others will
go still to the Western States in
spite of the advantages we offer them
in our own North-West. We may hope
—I do, I am sure, as earnestly as any
■"an can hope—that those residents of
the older Provinces who decide to remove
will simply transfer their residences
to some other part of this Dominion. I
hope that the emigration from Canada to-
the United States may be seriously
checked and replaced by migration to-
the North-West. I hope that many of
those who are actuated by an adventurous spirit, or a desire for change, will
seek the North-West. But my hopes-
will not change the facts, and, whatever
we may hope and wish, it is only prudent,
it is only wise, that before incurring
vast obligations which, whatever the
result of your speculations, you havre got
to meet, you should count the cost and
carefully consider the risks, and weigh the
probabilities. We cannot shut our eyes
to the fact that a considerable number of
our surplus population will still go to the
manufacturing centres of the Eastern
States; that - some of our agricultural
population will do what some have done
before, and are doing now, prefer Dakota
and some of the Western Territories
But suppose I am wrong—suppose thaty
I moved by some sudden flush of partiotism
changing the desires and inclinations on
which they have acted hitherto, our whole
migratory population should, without exception, resolve to remain within the
borders of the Dominion, and to that end
move to our North-West in preference to
the manufacturing or the Western States;
or, suppose the establishment of an actual
wall, as high and as effectual as your Tariff
wall, to keep all these within your bounds
I as you wish to keep ont all foreign manufactures ; suppose you build a wall like
that of China, not indeed to keep  out
, invaders, hut to bar your own citizens
from transgressing your  limits, and to
t drive them into the North-West, what
would it do ? Certainly it would be
better than their going to the United
States,     for    to     go    there    involves
j a positive  loss  to the  whole Dominion
'■ of their resources.   But it is no better for
| us, with reference to the early ability of
the country, as a whole, to meet these
burdens—it is no better for us that they
should reside in the North-West than that
I they should remain in the older Provinces.
In the most highly coloured view they will
only be in one part instead of another
part of the Dominion; they will only be
paying taxes in the East instead of the
West. But talking of it only during the
next  few years,    I  do not   agree  teat 23
it is merely a transference of tax-paying
power. I am convinced that the North-
West settler, for several years, will not be
a very heavy contributor to the net revenue
of Canada. He is a new settler.. He pays,
the Minister says, an average of $3 an acre
for his land. At the end of the third year
he pays four-tenths of the money and
interest. He has to build his house ; he
has to build his barn, and to fence his
land ; he has to get his implements and
his animals, and to maintain his family—
in the homely parlance of our country, he
has " hard scratching" before him for some
years. It is true that the prairie has
very great advantages in some respects.
It enables you if you have capital and can
lay out money, to fence in and sow very
much earlier and to raise your crop very
much sooner. But, on the other hand,
the scarcity of timber, and so forth,
renders the material required for the
house and the barn and the fences dear,
and that is what, I have no doubt, the
hon. member for Lambton (Mr. Mackenzie) meant, when he spoke of the
initial difficulties of the settler, in the
prairies of our North-West as compared
with thoseof the wooded country. I expect to be called unpatriotic, because I
tell a few plain truths, but those who are
so loud in this kind of denunciation may
go on. I believe that it is not patriotic
to be dishonourable. I believe it is not
honourable to present false views of one's
country to emigrants or others. We
should not overstate, but fairly state the
true position and situation of the case.
But whatever refined diplomacy, whatever
reticence we might, under other circumstances, choose to exercise, it is impossible, in reference to the proposals of the
Government, on which we are asked to
"commit the country so deeply, to do otherwise than give the reasons why those proposals are not based on sound grounds ;
and we must state circumstances which
their high-toned patriotism might lead
them to conceal, nay, perhaps even to
deny. The free grant settler will not be,
in early days, a very large consumer of
dutiable goods. He will live as hard as
he can, smuggle as much as he can, and
smuggle- a good deal, too, under
the present Tariff;' he will, in
due time, under the influence of
that Tariff develope home manufactures.    For I   suppose that  the North-
West is not to be deprived of the
beneficent influences of the National
Policy—to find that they are to be our
hewers of wood and drawers of water ; I
suppose they are not to be doomed to that
wretched monotony of life, and to be
deprived of that charming diversity of
occupation which is a chief argument for
the National Policy, Under the hot-bed influence of the Tariff of high prices; under
the influences, whether beneficent or
maleficent, of the National Policy, he will
have his home manufactures. Since the
hon. gentleman announces to us that the
North-West is to supply us with a market,
for all time for our eastern manufactures,
let us know how this fleece of Gideon is
to be kept wet while all the .rest is dry.
It is quite true that in early years he will
not have home manufactures, but these
years will be the hard years for the
settlers. They are the years in which it
would be vastly important for his welfare
to have, T will not say home-made goods,
but cheap goods, to be allowed to purchase
the necessaries of life at the cheapest
rate, and in the market that gives the
greatest satisfaction. But you encourage
him in this way. You tell him we have
established a Tariff wall, by which
you must buy in old Canada, at
our prices, what you require in
the North-West. The large expenditure due to the increased price of goods
will diminish the settler's narrow and
limited purchasing power; and will in
effect render himsubject to a rate of taxation so high as to interfere (with his
comfort and advancement. The hon.
gentleman talks of a large return to the
coffers of the Dominion after paying the
I expenses of Local Government. To talk
I to the men who are to settle—to whom.
I you are going to sell lands—to talk to
them of the large taxes you expect them
to pay is a new way to encourage them
to go there. What cold water have we
thrown, as it is alleged, upon the settlement of the North-West, that can be
' equal to that ? I maintain that for the
: early years the taxpaying power of the-
, persons who migrate from the east to
the west will not be anything like what
the hon. gentleman states, and that, in
fact we can expect no net returns of any
material amount from that country during
the early years of its settlement. For
I the first   year   or so but   little local or 34
municipal Government may be needed,
and with the country in that disorganised
state, you may, of course, take
a small net revenue out of it;
but after Local Governments are established the cost will more than equal the
return. Nor must you forget that the
country is now costing you far more than
a million a year.
Columbia and Manitoba pay largely into
the Dominion Treasury.
Mr. BLAKE: I propose to show,
before I sit down, the net result in those
very Provinces. The conclusion is that
the resident of old Canada moving to the
North-West does not at first increase, but
rather diminishes the aggregate tax-
paying power of the Dominion. But,
besides that practical reduction in the tax-
paying power, there is another reduction
involved in the transfer of population.
Nobody can deny that there has been a
serious depreciation in the value of real
estate in the Dominion.
Mr. BUNSTER : Except in British
Mr. BLAKE : Well, if the hon. gentleman's exception be true, I can give no
better proof of the monstrous character
of the operations which are now proposed
—operations for which the whole of the
vast Dominion, with its overburdened
exchequer, is to be taxed to benefit a
Province with 12,000 white people,
which is the only Province in which real
estate is on the rise; and I venture to
hope that the Province which is prospering so greatly will not insist on the less
prosperous Provinces further depressing
their resources by raising $30,000,000
or $40,000,000 for the benefit of their
fortunate little sister, but that she will
wait a little] longer for her railway. I
save said there is a serious depreciation
in the value of real estate. That is true
Jn regard to Ontario, whatever it may be.
in regard to British Columbia; it
is true as to New Brunswick;
and I believe, as to the other Provinces. A
chief reason is that the demand is not so
'great as it was formerly. Formerly our
farmers, young and old, the natural increase of our population, created a demand which led to enhanced prices—now
large numbers of them are going West.
The supply is greater relatively than the
demand,  and that   is one and  a   very
potent reason why there is a depreciation
in the value of our lands. Thus I attribute to the emigration this result that
our property in the East is not so valuable, and not so likely to appreciate, and
we ourselves will not be so well off if the
people continue to migrate to the North-
West; and t hat also shows that in the early
years the migration to that country will
not help us, but, in fact, will lower our
tax-paying power for a time. When the
settlers begin to 'thrive—when they pay
off the $71,000,000 which, it is alleged,
they are to pay into the Exchequer, when
the North-West becomes largely productive, affairs will probably change and
the strength of the Dominion, as a whole,
will be increased by the larger measure
of prosperity enjoyed in the new settlement ; but that result cannot be looked
for in the immediate future, and it does not
in the least alter the argument that in
the near future our tax-paying power will
be rather diminished than increased by
the domestic migration. (Mr. Blake
here by arrangement moved the adjournment of the debate.) On its resumption
on Friday, Mr. Blake said : When the
House was good enough to peimit me
last night to postpone my further remarks, I had pointed out with reference
to the domestic migration of the United
States that it was impossible to
hope from our home resources anything
approaching an equal supply for the
North-West; that in fact their increase
furnished no indication whatever of the
rate of increase on which we could count
from that source, save that it would be
infinitely smaller, and could not be mentioned in the same breath ; and I was
about to advert to the relative condition
of the two countries with reference to
foreign emigration. I quite agree that
recent events, furnish us with a very happy
prospect of a considerable immigration of
British farmers here. I hail that as one
of the most encouraging circumstances to
be looked at in glancing at our future.
I think that what has happened, and what
is happening, cannot be without important
benefit to us. There can be no doubt
whatever that the conditions of British
agriculture have greatly changed, owin
to the increasing food supplies both in
meat and grain from foreign parts. Th
cheapening ot the supply has rendered
impossible for English farmers to contin
L 25
rpaying the large rents  they have been
.accustomed to pay.   There is consequently
a struggle  between   the   landlord   and
"tenant   at   this   time,   and    it   is   not
"to  be  expected  that the landlords will
•submit   without   reluctance,   or   except
■upon the   pressure   of  necessity,   to   a
"very     large     reduction,     or    to    any
"reduction they may think   unreasonable
. in their rents, and in the course  of that
."severe, if not hostile struggle, it is to be
expected that a great many British farmers will emigrate to this country.    But,
•notwithstanding   that    circumstance,   I
hold that it is impossible to contrast the
•situation of the  two  countries—Canada
and the United States—on the general
-question of foreign emigration,  without
■concluding that oar-future  is  not to be
measured by the estimate of theirs. What
has   happened   in   the    west    with reference   to   them   cannot   be    expected
Seasonably to happen, in our  West with
reference to us, so far as the result is to
be  obtained by foreign  emigration.    I
have already stated that the foreign emigration   to   the   United States for   the
."decade ending 1860, was 2,600,000 ; for
that ending 1870, 2,500,000; and for the
.' present   decade   it  is supposed  it   will
.amount to 2,700,000.    These "figures  are
-enough to convin'ce us that  the rapidity
with   which   western   lands have   been
.■settled, so far as that rapidity is  due to
the direct  or indirect effects  of foreign
■emigration, it is not a rapidity which we
•can hope  to reach in our North-West.
Nor can I agree that the area of land in
the United   States available for settlement,  although  it. is, no  doubt,   being
-rapidly    diminished,   is   as   yet   at   all
reduced to such proportions as to force
the current  of emigration -to our North-
West.    There are still large areas of land
in that country which are available for
settlement,  and   which,   to   those  who
"happen to prefer the United States, will
give them   an  opportunity   of   settling
there  for   some   years   to come.     ,The
United States, in a sense, commands the
"market in this respect.    The emigration
to the states, as far as I can understand,
has been composed in later years, to very
large extent of the Teutonic races.    The
Germans have played a very large part in
"the   settlement  of   the   United   States.
They exist there in  very great numbers
•and they exercise there a   powerful in-1
fluence. The same opinions which led
the inhabitants of that and all the conn-
tries of Europe, enjoying but partially developed constitutional Government, when
deciding to leave their native lands and
seek foreign shores, to choose the United
States as their goal, have derived further
strength from the knowledge that there
are settled in the great Republic millions
of their brother Germans and the descendants of their brother Germans. It is
therefore natural that we should expect,
for several years to come at any rate, that
the bulk of the Teutonic emigration will
go, as it has gone hitherto, in the
direction of the United States. The next
important factor in the emigration to the
United States has been from the people
of the country from which I am descended ;
and we know that the circumstances of
that country are such that, unfortunately
for us, and for the British Empire, there
has been a strong impulse on the part of a
very large and important part of the population of Ireland to prefer the Re
public. In this case the sins of the
fathers have been visited on the children-
The wrongs and injustice inflicted on the
majority of the Irish population informer
days—at least the no mory of those
wrongs and that injustice, the recollection
of transactions, which no man would at
this day vindicate or defend, has remained with those now on the soil, and
obliterates, or at any rate obscures to their
vision the more liberal conduct and the
more just eourse which has animated
British policy in this respect of later
years. That circumstance has led to a
large emigration from Ireland to the
United States; and we know what the
condition of Irish sentiment still is. But
I hope for great things for Ireland and
the Empire from the events|of the last
few days. I hope and trust that the
advent to power of the Liberal party,
supported by a great majority o{
decided Liberals and Radicals, will
result in fresh measures for relief
and justice to Ireland, which will tend
still further to weaken her old feelings of
hostility and disaffection, and to make
the Empire in this regard a United Empire. I hope we shall see among other
things a moderate measure of Home Rule
for Ireland, and witness by the application of that measure the creation and
maintenance of true and real bonds of 26
union between Ireland and the rest of
the   so-called   United   Kingdom.      But
things being  as they are,  and  having
regard also to the financial condition of
the bulk of the Irish peasantry, no wise
man can expect that within a short time,
that within the next few years, there will
be any serious change in the current of
Irish immigration.    So fax as the Roman
Catholic  Irish  are concerned  we  must
expect that the tide of emigration will
continue for some time to  set towards
the United States.    I hope the proportion
may  be diminished.     I should rejoice
greatly to see the Irish people recognise
the advantages we offer them, and establish   themselves   within    our   borders,
but still,   I believe that for sometime we
cannot count  on a decided  change.    The
set of emigration has been sufficiently
shown by the figures I have given,  and
naturally, with the imperfect information
available   to   those   coming from other
parts of Europe,  and apart from all con-'
sideration of soil and climate,  the notion
of the important  position   and situation
they would occupy under a Republican
form of Government—the idea that as
citizens of the great Republic they would
have a greater part and more active share
in the Government of their country—has
actuated a great   number of emigrants
from the   European   continent   to choose
the United States as the field where their
energies and their talents could be most
fully displayed   and  the advantages of
citizenship most freely exercised.   Among
the obvious material advantages presented
to the minds   of such   persons is this:
that the National   Debt of the United
States has been reduced in fourteen years
by $603,000,000.    It has been reduced
by 30 per cent   of the  amount at which
it now stands, and that great reduction
has    been    affeoted    in   the     face   of
great    difficulties    and    obstacles,   and,
notwithstanding a   period  of depression
which they have experienced, and  which
seems likely now to  be followed  by  a
period of revived prosperity, perhaps  of
inflation.    I say that the contrast in this
respeet, upon which I shall take occasion
later further  to   enlarge,  between  the
condition of the United States and  that
of the countries from which  emigrants
come, is a  contract calculated to allure
them   to   the   Republic.     Though   the
statistics for the current decade  of the
United States are not yet available, I aire
able to refer to some figures showing the?
later  progress  of two  states,   especially
alluded to by the hon. member for Card-
well  a few days ago, Kansas and   Nebraska     We were correctly told   that
Kansas  had increased from  360,000 in
1870, to 850,000 in 1879,  thus  showing-
an increase in nine years of 490,000.    I
have already pointed out the elements  of
which the increase of population in  the
Western States is composed, and the  domestic   and   foreign recruiting  grounds
from which  that  country draws her increase.    These considerations alone show
that the results in Kansas do not prove-
that our North-West is going to have  a
population   of   550,000  in ten years, as
stated, for none of   the  conditions   are
parallel.    But apart from the fact that
Kansas had in 1870, 360,000 of a population to start with, from   which  came a.
large natural increase forming an important part of the 490,000, it is to be remembered that Kansas had morever in 1870
over 1,500 miles  of railway in operation
and during the decade her railway facilities were increased to 2,300 miles.    There
is no doubt, I believe, that [this state has
shown the most remarkable development
in the history of the world.    In 1866 the^
State of Kansas was the twenty-fourth in
rank in the United States as a coin producer, and in 1878 she had run up to the
fourth.    In 1866 she was twenty-fourth
in rank as a wheat-producer, and she had
run up in 1878 to be almost the first in
rank, producing in that year  32,000,000-
bushels of wheat.    With all these advantages, with all these proofs of an unexampled progress,, with that large domestic
and foreign recruiting ground, to which
I have before alluded, we find her increase
of   population   in  nine years was but
490,000, and we are told that the North-
West without the advantages which were-
were possessed by Kansas, is to have an
increase through emigration of 550,000 in
eleven years.   Now, Sir, I will refer to Nebraska.    In that state also there has been,
as the hon, member said, very rapid progress. In 1870 the population was 122,000.
In 1879 it was 386,000.    The increase in
the nine years was 244,000 :   There was.
! thus, of course a substantial nucleus,  the
I natural increase from which would form
' no immaterial part of the total increase.
: There   was also  a great   domestic and. 27
foreign immigration. There were also
great railway facilities throughout the
period. In 1870, there were 705 miles
of railway in operation, and in 1878
1,320 miles; yet with all those advantages there was only an increase of
.244,000 in the nine years; and even
that increase was due to the
circumstances to which I have
referred, which give the States a
greater power of settlement than we can
nope for. These are the figures for the
two States which hon. gentlemen have
chosen, and I believe rightly chosen, as
presenting the strongest grounds for their
expectations. I do not think they furnish good grounds for these expectations.
I do not think that the only experience
to which we can refer, having regard to
the differences between the two countries,
justifies us, however sanguine or fervent
our hopes may be, justifies us as business
men, dealing with a business transaction,
and calculating the cash returns we may
count on from the North-West lands in
the next few years, in concluding
that there will be an emigrant population
of 550,000 in that country at the end of
eleven years, and in incurring on the faith
' of that result enormous liabilities, which,
if not met' out of the lands, must be met
otherwise. Such a thing may happen—I
wish it would, but I do not think it is
probable, because the experience of no
other country, making allowances, proves
that it can happen in our case. The
statement, I think, is purely conjectural,
is highly improbable, and cannot be
sustained by any analogous occurrence.
So much for the first postulate of the
hon. gentlemen. I do not grant his
postulate. I do not think that it is demonstrable in any way. I believe that
all past experience points to its inaccuracy. But it is enough for me to say
that it is not so far proved as to render
it prudent to count on its accuracy.
Next, as to the probable number of acres
to be sold and preempted. c hon. gentleman said the Government expect to
sell to the purchases of railway lands!
10,820,000 acres, and ah equal amount to
preemptors, making a total of 21,640,000
acres to be sold. They expect to make
free grants of 10,830,000 acres more,
making altogether 32,640,000 to be dis-
nosed of. Now, the sales by the United
States from 1860 tol869 were 11,770,000
acres ; but we are to double that quantity
in our sales.    The lands disposed of in the
United    States   by    tree    grant    and
under   tree-plan ting   conditions   during
eleven   years    from    1868    to     1879
amounted    to    47,140,000   acres;   but
we   are    to    sell    in    eleven   years
21,760,000     acres,     and     dispose    of
10,830,000 acres more free.    Although I
quite admit   that there are  other considerations to be regarded in this comparison ; that a large quantity of lands was
I in the same time disposed of by railway
i companies in the United States, and that
■ therefore in applying their   figures  we
must make considerable allowances, still
I think these figures furnish us with some
.ground on which to base our calculations.
j I have no accurate information as to the
1 sales of railway companies' lands.    I do
; not pretend to be able to inform the
| House   on    the     subject,    but   it    is
I well-known . that    the    railway   belts
in   the   United   States   are   as   a rule
j infinitely narrower  than ours,  that the
United States itself owns the alternate
| sections of these  lands,  and   that   the
greater portion of the land called railway
lands by us could not be so denominated
according to the system of the United
States.    But we expect to sell twice as
many   acres    as    the     United    States
sold   in   ten   years.    Well,   may   our
j hopes   be     realised!     But     can     we
I afford   to   venture   the   future   of   our
country upon   the   realisation . of those
j hopes?   That   is the   present question.
There is, however, a still more importan:
' point to refer  to in connection  with tin
subject    I will give the number of acres
taken up for farming purposes in the
| twelve   great  States and Territories to
I which I have referred, at three different
I periods, as compared with the population.
I In 1850  the population was 2,740,000.
I The number of acres taken up was but
35,000,000,  or twelve and a half acres
per head.    The number of acres of improved land, was 12,900,000, under five
acres per head   of the population.    In
1860 the population was 5,610,000.   The
land taken up was  67,450,000 acres or
twelve acres per head, and the improved
land  six and one-third" acres per head.
In 1870 the population  was 8,665,000.
Tho land taken   up was   95,190,000 or
undei   ten and a-half   acres per head.
The improved  land was  under  six and 28
a-half acres per head.    You thus find that
in those States which   are  pointel  to
.-as       the     example     on     which     our
progress is to be based,  there were only
during the most progressive period twelve
-and a-half  acres of land per  head taken
up for farms, and five  or six  acres per
head of improved lands.    Compare  this
with the  figures the hon. gentleman has
given.     Grant    him  the    550,000 emigrants he estimates, he still assumes that
these will take up  32,640,000,  or more
"than   fifty-nine   acres per   head of the
population.    The  hon.   gentleman may
say " that is my liberality,   I am offering
•ever so  much more   land  than  United
States  has given,   and it is natural that
more land will be taken  up per head."
No doubt  that   accounts for  part  of it,
"though for how much, I will  not pretend
to state; but   I hold and believe that it
is   impossible  seriously to  act   on   the
assumption     that     nearly     five    times
"the     acreage      per     head      will     be
taken   up    in   the    North-West    that
was taken   up  in   the most  prosperous
period of the development of the States I
have mentioned.    I think that  the calculation of  the hon. gentleman has been
demonstrated    to  be   utterly  fallacious.
It proves that either the hon. gentleman
has over calculated the number of settlers
on farm lands  to the population,  or that
he  has oven calculated  the quantity of
land   each   settler   will   take.    One or
other   of     these       propositions    must
account for the   difference.    You  cannot
seriously   assume    that   fifty-nine   and
a-quarter acres per head will be taken up
with us where the United States dispose of
only twelve and a-half acres to each head.
"Can it be said that experience proves the
probability  of this  calculation  so satisfactorily that   we   should   commit   otir-
telves irretrievably on the chance of its
realisation ?^TheseJfigures are suggestive
also in another respect, that  of revenue,
to which I have referred.     You find the
proportion improved is very small in proportion to the  amount taken up, in the
-earlier period not much more than one-
third, or four and three-quarter acres per
head.    I quite agree that our lands being
largely    prairie,   we   may    expect     to
improve or render productive more rapidly
alarger acreage than the average improved
acreage in the Western States, and due
•allowance is to be made for that circum
stance ; but, making the most liberal
allowance, is it possible that from the extent of the improvements indicated by
these figures, a large amount in payments
on land,|taxes and revenue, can be realised
from the settler in the very early days ?
These figures, as to the acreage of
improved lands, adding what amount in
reason you please for differences of condition, show that the returns cannot, in
the early years, be very large, inasmuch
as what the settlers pay must consist of
surplus profits after building houses,
barns, and fences, getting their lands into
cultivation, and maintaining their families.
I affirm that the figures I have mentioned
do not justify the calculations of the
Government. But whatever you may
think as to the calculations considered up
to this point, I hold it to be clear that the
estimates of the cash to be realised from
land sales are still more extravagant.
The Government expect to receive in
cash $38,600,000 in eleven years, which
would, exclusive of interest, be less than
half the cost, a balance of over $32,000,000
being payable later. The United States
realised in the eighty-three years up to
1879, from its public lands, $204,500,000,
the average being $2,460,000 a
year. In the twenty years preceding
1879 they realised $30,350,000, or an
average of $1,500,000 a year, which for
eleven years would make $10,500,000.
But this Government expects to realise
$38,500,000 in eleven years! Of course
the lands sold by the Railway Companies
in the United States are not included in
this calculation. Making every reasonable allowance for this circumstance, and
having regard to the conditions of the
Canadian so-called railway belt, and assuming the average prices of the Government to be correct, the figures justify no
such expectation. But the Government's
calculations, made "by the highest
authority," are wholly fallacious. The
railway lands are divided into five belts,
and the prices are, in each belt, $5, $4, $3,
$2 and $1 respectively, which, taken
together, makes $15, and divided by five,
the number of the belts, does, indeed, produce an average of $3 an acre, which is
the estimate of the Government. But
this, though a very simple,. is not a scientific or accurate method of arriving at
the true average price, because the various
belts differ in width.    In the first and 29
highest priced belt the width is but five
miles j in the second, fifteen ; in the third
and fourth, twenty, while the width of
the $1 ' belt is fifty miles. fhe
true average—assuming as the Government does, the lands to be taken
up according to their relative value and
attractiveness, and that the lands will
bear the enhanced prices put on them, according to their proximity to the railway,
instead of being $3 for these railway lands
is, when you allow for the varying widths
of the belts, but $2.12J. This single
error, of course, reduces the receipts from
these lands nearly one-third, or by several
millions. But the calculations as to the
preemptions is still more amusing. The
Government calculate according to the
first Minister's statement that for the land
preempted they will receive the same
average of $3 per acre, whilst the highest
price payable for any preempted land is
but $2.50 an acre. This is the price for
the first three belts. The fourth belt is
$2, and the big belt, which nearly equals
in width all the others, $1 only, and consequently, the average price for these lands
is $1.75, or not much over one-half the
estimate made " on the highest authority,"
which, by the figures given, would seem
to be calculated at $2.50 an acre.
I have thus pointed out how little this
House can depend on the Government
estimates. The general result of those
two errors is, that instead of $38,500,000
being receivable from these lands in eleven
years, only $23,350,000 will, on the
basis assumed by the Government
itself, be received, or a difference
©f $15,240,000. And correcting the
same errors as to the sums remaining due
at the close of the term, the estimate of
$32,750,000, for these sums remaining
due must be reduced to $21,620,000, a
difference of $11,590,000, making a total
error of calculation of $26,830,000 in the
estimate presented to the House by the
hon. the First Minister, and endorsed by
the hon. the Ministers of Finance and of
Railways, as the groundwork for our
action. Under these circumstances I am
not surprised that the" hon gentleman
should have felt it necessary to save the
$10,000,000 he economised last week.
The extravagance of the estimate is
shown in other ways. It seems that a
purchaser will pay on railway lands
$1,219.70 for a lot, while the preemptors,
at the same rate for their half, 160 acres,,
will pay at the highest $522.40, principal
and interest But apart from these errors
of calculation, reducing so largely the
fund upon which we were to depend for
building the Columbia section of the Canada Pacific Railway, there are other considerations which wholly vitiate the
estimates of the hon. gentleman. The
avearge price to be realised largely
depends upon the sale of lands in the
nearer belts, and if anything occurs to-
disturb the sales in them, it is quite dear
that even the smaller average I have- ■
stated cannot be realised. Then, not
merely the average price, tut the whole
sales depend upon the character of the
country. My hon. friend from Lambton
will kindly relieve me from discussing in
detail this important point, as having,
looked at all the reports on that subject,
he will undertake the task of pointing
out what, according to our official information, is the character of the country
in the railway belt. It will be found
that themap which the hon. gentleman
brought down last night, and in which he
depicted the barren spots as brown, is not
at all " brown " enough with reference to
the North-West. It does not by any
means accurately represent the extent of
the bad and inferior land in, that country.
The hon. gentleman stated that he estimated there were 150,000,000 acres of
good land in the North-West; but
he did not state that all that was
arable or wheat land; and I understand
from him in conversation that he does
not mean any such thing. It will be
found that the number of acres of wheat
land are not to be measured by anything
like those figures. In fact, Mr. Fleming,
in a late paper, places'the wheat land at
80,000,000 acres, and the pasture land at
a like quantity. All estimates on this
subject are at present conjectural; but,
( doubtless, there is a vast expanse of fertile
1 land, though broken by intervening >•
spaces of barren and inferior soils. There
is there good land enough to support a very
large population. Itwillbe found, however,
that circumstances will prevent much
of the high-priced lands close to the railway belt being taken up. There is bad
land close to the Railway, in many places,
barren, swamp and inferior land. These
and other considerations show that, both
with reference to  the  smaller average, 30
which is obtainable only by assuming
that the lands near the Railway are all
good lands, and with reference to the
general rate of prices, which is reached
on an exaggerated view as to the quantity
of first-class land, the expectation of
the hon. gentleman is not likely to
be realised. It is obvious that if
there be bad lands close to the Railway
the settlers will not pay $5 an acre for
them. There is no object in being near
the Railway, if you can raise nothing
which you can send away by it. You
would rather be fifty miles away, on land
capable of producing a crop, than close to
the line on a desert or a swamp. Another
circumstance which vitiates this estimate
is, that settlers will not buy railway
lands as long as free grants are obtainable.
I speak in the large. Of course there
will be instances in which a settler will
buy railway lands; and the capitalist who
wants more than 320 acres, will, doubtless, buy railway lands adjoining his
free grant. But, speaking generally, you
will find that settlers will not purchase
railway lands so long as free grants are
■obtainable. There is a good reason why
they should not. They get 160 acres free,
and the remainder on more favourable
terms than the purchaser of railway
lands, and, therefore, there will be, in
these earlier years, fewer settlers on railway lands than the hon. gentleman calculates. Another reason why there will
be fewer purchases, by settlers, of railway
lands, is that the hon. gentleman has
placed a barrier in the way of
such purchases by opening the railway
lands to speculators. Speculators are
following day by day, and hour by hour
in the track of the surveyors, finding out
the best sections of railway lands, particularly in the cheap outside belts, and
their entries are in the land office before
the report comes in; not with the view
of settlement, but with the view oi
taking what people on the English stock
market call ',a long shot"—with the
view of investing ten cents an acre in
dollar lands, or twenty cents an acre in
two dollar lands, in the expectation that
after an interval of years the development of the country will enable them to
exact enormously higher terms from the
settlers coming in. The hon. gentleman
may delude this House by a return, this
year or the next, into the notion that he
is going, to make a great deal of money
by selling the railway lands,, because he
is selling to speculators a large quantity
of cheap lands on which the purchasers
are paying only ten or twenty cents an
acre; but the real and solid returns to
Government from railway lands will be
what settlers will ultimately pay.
Those from buyers on speculation
will be but insignificant. What
the sett lei's will pay is the measure
of the true value of thoSe lands to us ; and
you are deliberately marring the chances
of developing that country, when you
place in the hands of speculators, upon
the payment of 10c. or 20c. an acre, the
choicest part of the railway lands; leaving it to them to determine, at their good
pleasure, how soon and what prices the
intending emigrant may take them,
and begin to make them valuable and productive to himself
and the country. For the sake
of making a false show of selling fast, you
are throwing away the best chances of an
effective and useful disposition of these
lands. Then it is pretended that the pre-
emptors will, at the end of three years,
pay in bulk four-tenths of their preemption price with the interest. The hon.
gentleman seriously ''suggests that 3,000
homesteaders, who go in 1880, will, in
1883, pay in $696,000, or $232 a piece,
on account of their preemptions ; that the
next lot will pay $928,000; the third,
$1,000,000, and so on, until 1890, when
the sums to be paid in by
the preemptors will be $1,576,000.
I quite agree with the hon. gentleman ' that the free-grant settlers
will, as a rule, take up their preemptions.
No doubt they will enter for them, and pro-.
ceed to improve them, but there is
equally little doubt that when the end of
the thii'd year comes round, the hon. gentleman's coffers will not be much fuller,
by reason of the payments for preemptions then falling due. I do not mean to
say he will not ultimately realise a considerable sum ; but, I am talking of his
calculation, that he will build this Railway in ten years', practically out of receipts
from these lands. I say that all the
experience of all Governments with
reference to sales of public lands is that
the settler is slow to pay. Is the hon.
gentleman going to tell these men, who
have been straining every nerve to cuiti- ^
~vate and improve these lands during their
first three years,  that unless they  then
pay up  their  preemption   money,  they
shall  forfeit their   preemption ?   Is he
going to use the   landlord   policy with
reference to these settlers ?   Is he going to
evict them ?   No ; he has no intention ot
doing   that.    He will not even threaten
them with eviction or forfeiture.     I do
not hear much talk of threatening even
"the speculators in case of default   Depend
on   it,   there will be no such talk to the
settlers.      Judging   from   all   past   experience, the result will be, that settlers
will feel  secure—will feel that it is not
necessary for them to pay promptly ; and,
indeed, to create a feeling of insecurity,
by threats or harsh  methods, would be
most detrimental to the settlement of the
country.     Consequently, the calculations
based   upon   the   punctual   receipts   of
revenue from these lands will be wholly
falsified, even if all the other calculations
should turn out true.     The hon. gentleman     expects    to     receive,     in     the
fourth year, $1,870,000; in the following
year, $2,622,000;   in   the    next   year,
$3,230,000; in the next year, $4,112,090;
in the next year, $5,058,000; in the next
year   $5,833,000 ;  in   the   next    year,
$6,877,000; while the last year of this
series of rapid  progression  is  to   yield
$7,562,000, to be received in cash from the
sales of North-West lands—an aggregate
of $88,593,000, apart from the sums not
yet due of $32,712,000.    Now, I venture
to say, if every one of the other calculatione
be realised, if the hon. gentleman gets into
that country  the amount  of emigration
he expects, and at the time he expects,
if he makes sales  to the numbers and at
the prices he expects,  these calculations
as to the dates and amounts of his receipts will,  under no  circumstances, be
realised.    Under no  circumstances will
he receive these sums,  or anything like
them, at these   times  or  anything like
them.    Let the  fourth  and  subsequent
years be the test.    The   receipts from
settlers in all the  earlier period will be
relatively  small;   and not before these
settlers, who  can pay  only  out of their
surplus   profits   after    improving   their
lands   and   maintaining  their   families,
achieve prosperity and become able to
pay, will you find the lands becoming,
as they ought to be, a source of revenue to
the countrv.    Even according to the cor
rected calculations, the Government would
be receiving in the fourth year $1,231,000,
running up to nearly $5,000,000 in the
last year, so that these corrected calculations are, in this respect, almost as preposterous   as   the   original.    Depend on it
your returns will be long deferred.    Then
the hon. gentleman takes up the question
of the expenses of management and surveys, which he estimates at $2,400,000.
Now, judging   by   the   results   in   the
United States, that also is quite too low.
You   will   remember   that there is an
enormous acreage to be surveyed.    If all
the    lands    were    fairly    good    lands,
and  the   surveys   could  be   kept   only'
abreast   of the   settlement,  you   would
require    to    survey    49,000,000    acres
to effect the settlement the  hon.   gentleman expects, not that so much land
is to be taken up by that number of persons ; but to give room for the expected
homesteaders to take up their free grants,
so   many   townships   as   will   comprise
nearly 50,000,000 acres must be surveyed.
But     that     is     on    the     assumption
that all the land to be surveyed is good
land, and that all the land surveyed will
be taken up.    I say that is an assumption
we cannot reasonably   Ret   upon,   since
there is bad and broken land,  and since
you must keep  surveys ahead of settlement ; and it is more correct, perhaps, to
conjecture, as we are now in the region of
conjecture, that 80,000,000  will be the
amount of acres required to be surveyed,
in   order   to   effect   the disposal of the
smaller quantity, than to  conjecture that
50,000,000 will be the number.     Ihea,
there is the  cost of collecting all these
millions of money from  all these thousands of men.    I  think  the  charge too
low.    I do not know what the immigration policy of the Government is  to be,
whether   they  intend largely to increase
the expense for that purpose or not, or to
devote the available amount to the North-
West ; but it is  obvious   that, if   these
lands are to be  rendered  productive by
immigration, the cost of inducing  immigration should be considered a first charge
upon the lands ; and that this, in addition
to the cost of surveys and management,
should reasonably be deducted from the
proceeds of   the   lands, before you can
apply anything to railway purposes.     Indeed, I may go further and say, that the
cost   of  payments for Indians   of over 32
$550,000 a year, and for the Mounted
Police Force about $300,000 a year, in
all $850,000 a year, and other local
charges, are prior charges on the proceeds
of the lands. I maintain that the whole
thing is visionary. Indeed, I may remind
the House that when the hon. gentleman
opened his remarks, he demanded a certain postulate to be granted to him; that
he declared later that he would prove his
figures to a demonstration ; and then at
the end he offered us to abate one-half.
"If you will not," says he, "take the
whole of my estimate, take one-half." A
calculation commencing so pretentiously,
and terminating in so humiliating a manner, was hardly, perhaps, worthy the
serious attention I have been compelled to
ask the House, to give it Now, with reference to the application of all this money.
In the announcement of the First Minister, he'took $38,600,000 to be received in
the eleven years, and deducted at the
close of the period $2,400,000 for management, the net cash coming in being
thus, $36,200,000. Set this against
the $60,000,000 he estimated to be
spent on the Pacific Railway, and there
is a small balance of $24,000,000 ! Yet
the hon. gentleman tells us the cost of the
road is to be met out of the land sales,
without encroaching on our taxes. But
that is not the true state of the account.
The hon. member for Gloucester at once
pointed out that the hon. Minister had
not allowed for the interest on the cost
of construction, and that this would absorb a large part of the receipts. To
that, no reply was then made ; but the
next day the hon. the Finance Minister
acknowledged the justice of the criticism,
and, in that free and off-hand manner in
which he is accustomed to deal with
millionsof money, agreed that$18,000,000
for interest on the $60,000,000 should be
deducted from the receipt First, he
would reduce the hon. First Minister's
estimate by half, then take off $18,000,000
from the remainder, and still, said he,
enough remains to build the road. Even
the $18,000,000 the hon. the Finance
Minister was willing to deduct, does not
represent the true state of the case. As
I said the other evening, we' shall have
spent, up to • the 30th of June,
! $15,000,000, in round numbers, on the
Pacific Railway, the interest paid on
which, at only 4 per cent., would amount
to $1,272,000 up to that period. But,,
taking the figures of the hon. Minister-
given the other night, namely, a further-
expenditure of $10,000,000 a year for-
the two first years, and $5,000,000*
a year for each of the eight
following years, allowing interest on these
at 5 per cent, and on the old balance at
4 per cent; and taking the receipts from
lands as the hon. Minister himself erroneously estimated them, then the result would
be a yearly deficiency for interest so large:
as to run up inthethird year to$3,332,000,
and in the* sixth year to stand at $698,000..
The account gets to the credit side in the
year 1887, and from that time the interest,
is paid, and something is available towards the principal; but the practical result would be a credit, according to that
calculation, not compounding the interest
in the earlier period or crediting the later-
yearly surpluses to capital until the close-
of the term, of $12,631,000 only to the-
capital account of the Pacific Railway.
But according to the corrected calculations, there would be a deficit of interest,
swelling each year until in 1885 it reaches
a sum of over five millions, thence gradually diminishing, until at the close of the
term it stands at $1,478,000, so that the
practical result would be that, at the close-
of the term there would be nothing
accomplished out of the proceeds of the
lands, except to pay the bulk of the
interest on the cost of construction, and the whole capital account,
with a portion of interest, would
remain due. Let me summarise these
results—the statement of the hon.
First Minister gave him a net return
from lands of $68,900,000, against an
expenditure of $60,000,000, leaving a.
credit balance of $8,900,000. The corrected statement gives him a net return
of $44,470,000 only, and an expenditure
for principal of $60,000,000, and for interest, excluding arrears of interest, of
$23,560,000, in all $83,560,000, leaving
a debit balance of $39,090,000—a trifling
error in the grand result of about
$48,000,000. And, when you remember
that even this calculation is, as I have
proved, based upon wholly visionary esti-
mctes, I think it is established that, as.
business men, we cannot build largely
on the taxes of this country being
lightened in respect of the construction
of this Railway within the next few years. r
My conclusion is this, that although we
may receive, and I hope we will receive,
in the time to come, a considerable
revenue from our lands in the North-
West, yet we cannot, as prudent men,
expect that we will early receive such a
large amount, or anything approaching
ing it, or anything approaching
one-half the amount which the
hon. Minister suggested ; that we
cannot expect that the immediate charge
and strain upon the resources of the country, involved in the Ministerial programme,
will be early relieved by the receipts from
lands. We must look, therefore, to our
-other resources for the present bearing of
that strain, and when these large receipts
do come in they will come in only to recoup us for the long years of arrears of
interest which will meantime have accrued, and will not do much towards the
liquidation of the original cost. These
fantastic calculations do not bear investigation. They are based on extravagant
. speculations in everything tending to increase the receipts, and on erroneous
figures besides ; they are based on untrustworthy estimates in everything tending to diminish the charge, and on erroneous figures besides; and, on the whole,
I declare that no sane businessman would
incur large liabilities, on the chance of
meeting them out of such resources.
Now, Sir, I for one, have no wish to
, prevent any expenditure which is essential for the settlement of the country, j
I wish the House to understand that that
is, at any rate, no part of my policy.
On that subject, as I have said, the die is
cast Most of us believe that we have a
prospect there ; and I want all to unite
, in the effort to realise that prospect I
think even those who do not believe it to
be so bright as others do will agree in
making the effort. I wish that we should
direct our exertions to every step calculated to make the best of that country;
to settle it at the earliest day; to give it
'as soon as possible a productive population, and to make it a prosperous and
influential portion of the Dominion. It
is because I want tho great experiment to
have a fair chance of success, because I.
believe that, committed as we are, it is
our duty and our interest to give ic that
chance of success, that I implore the
House to direct its undivided attention at
present to this point: to apply the avail-!
8, scanty as they are, of this
country, exclusively to that backbone of
the whole enterprise, without the success
of which there can never be a Pacific
Railway from sea to sea, without the success of which our whole plan and future
may be scattered to the winds. Prudence in our expenditure is essential
to the success of settlement Do you
suppose that those intelligent persons who
are about to emigrate to this country will
be attracted or repelled by the proposal to
expend $30,000,000 in the gorges of
British Columbia ? Do you suppose that
the suggestion that we can afford to ex-
sent, because
these settlers will repay it in taxes and
land purchases, is calculated to encourage
them to go into that country ? Do you
ile, scanning the
policy and programme of the Administration upon this subject, and understanding
that this vast expenditure is to be at once
incurred because they will pay it all, may
not say, " perhaps we had better not join,
perhaps we had better not be partners in
this gigantic undertaking if we alone are
to meet the expense." Prudence in the
limitation of our burdens, prudence as to
the increase of the National Debt, prudence as to every enterprise the Government are undertaking at the same time
that they are undertaking the settlement
of this country, is an essential condition
to the success of tlu-ir effort at
colonisation. Do not frighten away those
who might join us, by your lavish and
reckless engagements, based on their
anticipated payments and their expected
taxes. Our position is critical, and we
should husband our resources for what
that position may demand. The
hon. Minister himself stated yesterday
that Canada stood in a critical position.
I agree with him, and standing in that
position—more critical in my view, perhaps, than in the hon. gentleman's—it is
doubly necessary that we should take care
not to undertake just now more than is
generally agreed to be essential to the
success and the future of our country.
Tide us over for the present, and if your
expectations are realised, if you receive
these large sums within the short period
you have predicted, if within four or five
years these sums are paid into the Treasury, then it will be soon enough to
decide that there is a practical basis upon
J 34
which business men can act; soon enough I
to agree that there is a foundation upon |
which we can proceed to build in British
Columbia.    Then we can honestly tell our I
constituents that there is money, obtained j
from the lands, out of which the Railway
can be built, without  further  adding  to
their burdens.   But, in the meantime, we !•
cannot honestly say this ; we cannot show !
them that the resources of this  country, '
without   using   means   raised    by    the.
heavy burdens of taxation levied for the j
purpose, will suffice to build the Railway j
in   British  Columbia;  and  I,   for one, j
stand opposed to the expenditure of these j,
heavy taxes in any such way.    And now, I
having shown that we cannot depend on ■
the sales, and must look to the taxes, at!
present,  to  meet the proposed expendi-;
ture, it is necessary, to ascertain our pre- i
sent   condition,  as  compared  with our
condition in 1871, and to  examine into i
the state and resources  of this country.
Circumstances     render     it     extremely 1
difficult to form an accurate  estimate of
our position.    Fortunately, we are called
upon to form an estimate now,  not  for
one or two years, but for a series of years. I
We have a policy, a plan for ten years,
before     us,   and    we    are,     therefore, j
called   upon   to    measure    the    future
of   this    country   for    a   long     term.
The    best   course   is    to    look     back
a little and see whether from the lessons
of the past we can derive any light to be
shed  upon  our  future  condition.    It is
difficult, as I have said, to deal, even in a
series of' years, with the question of the
.progress  of this  country.     The  vicissitudes of the seasons, upon which depend
our main industry and source of wealth,
the changes in the markets of the world,
in the price of grain, and in the price of
lumber, our principal articles of export,
the changes in the world's trade, the succeeding depressions and inflations which
result in alterations in the profits of our
shipping business, and in the cost of the
goods we import, all these circumstances
render it an extremely difficult task for a
Finance Minister from time to time to
forecast the future of Canada, even for a
short eighteen months; and it is with unfeigned diffidence that I venture to offer
some general observations with reference
to the past as throwing light on the present
and future of our country.   For three years
after Confederation the amount of our
imports was almost stationary. The
times were hard. That period was followed by several years of tremendous
inflation. The hon. member for Card-
well referred to one circumstance, which,
no doubt reduced to some extent the
apparent amount of our imports, namely,
our illicit trade with the United States.
There was also the excessive value of
commodities. These circumstances, no
doubt, are to be considered as modifying
the apparent inflation. But, apart from
the question of illicit trade, these inflated
values only show after all that we got
less for our money. They do not prove
that we paid less money. A'ter this
period of inflation, there have followed
four years of ever widening and deepening depression ; and' the first question I
put is, how far our tax-paying powers
have really increased since 1871, when it
was resolved that we should not increase
the existing rate of taxation in order to
complete the Pacific Railway. Two
factors have to be considered in order
to solve this question—first, the increase
of population—secondly the increase of
resources. Increase of population does
not necessarily mean increase of tax-
paying power. We may have more
heads, but each head may be poorer, and
consequently there may bo a smaller
aggregate of surplus wealth, though
divided among a larger number of heads.
In this case there would be no increase
of tax-paying power. I do not believe
that the people of Canada are, on the
whole, able to pay more taxes per head
to-day than in 1871. There has been an
enormous shrinkage in our lumber trade,
from $28,000,000 in one year to
$13,000,000 in another. There have
been many bad crops. There has been a
great shrinkage in bank stocks, and a
number of these institutions has been
swept away altogether. There has been
a great depreciation in real estate, not so
much as compared with 1871, but suffi*
cient to be destructive of any increase
between 1871 and 1879. There has been
ageheralandlongprevailing and deep state
of depression in trade and commerce,
resulting in the loss of an enormous
amount of capital. Besides this, there -
has been a large increase in federal,
provincial, municipal, corporate, and
private indebtedness. Anyone who listened to the debate, the other day, oould not 1
but be appalled by the statements as to
the amount loaned on mortgages in the
Province of Ontario.    Added to all this,
there has been an upward turn in the
price of gold, which is unfavourable to all
borrowing   and    indebted   communities.
Against these unfavourable circumstances
are to be set expenditures, which have
(taken the form of assets.    We have made
large  federal,   provincial,   corporate and
private   improvements.    But  these   are
represented in part by premature or misdirected applications of capital.    No one
will pretend that the Intercolonial Railway, located as it is, is a good commercial
speculation;  and   several   Railways   in
Ontario  and  elsewhere  have  been  constructed at a time and on routes which
2>revent their value from equalling their
cost.    Many    of    these    public    works
will    in     future     be    very   valuable,
but at present they do not form an addition to our resources commensurate with
the burdens they involve.    The tax-paying powers of the people of Canada, man
for man, are, I repeat, no greater than in
1871.    One   proof   of  that is,  we  are
actually buying less.    For four years the
imports   have   been diminishing.     Last
. year they  reached the lowest point for
nine years.    It may be truly said  that
we bought less in nominal value, because
goods were cheaper, and we got more for
our money;  but  that observation does
not hold good to the full extent to which
it is sometimes advanced,  for values in
1871 had not reached  their   maximum,
and were not so far above those for 1879
as to account, to any adequate extent, for
this difference in the amount of  our importations.    The truth is that we are not
buying largely, because we are too  poor
to buy largely—we cannot afford it. And
this, as I said,   is  a corroborative  proof
that we are not better able, man for man,
to   pay  taxes than  in 1871.     Nor will
an   inflation  next   year,   or   the    year
after,   if there  should  be one, alter the
facts.    We  do not   proceed  by regular
steps, we go up and down; and on this
occasion  it is our rate   of progress for
a series of years,   not for  a year or two,
that we are called on to consider.   Speaking generally, in view of the history of
the last decade, and in  view  of our resources  and  our true elements of prosperity, old Canada cannot expect a genuine
rapid increase of her resources.    I hope
! for progress ; though it will be hindered
. by our Tariff laws.    The hon. gentlemen
i opposite hope for progress  on account ot
our   Tariff  laws.     Both are   agreed in
hoping for progress.    That there will be
. progress I have no doubt, but  I think  it
will not be such as to interfere'with the
I correctness    of  the   calculations   I   am
making.     I call on those who indulge in
more sanguine hopes to give a reason for
the faith that is in them.    I believe hard
I work, rigid  economy,  prudent  management, and gradual progress  and accumu-
j lation    is   the   fate    of    this   country, ■
as a whole, and of its population individually.    I  regard it as no unhappy fate, I
regard it as possessing great and compen-
; sating advantages.    From the  character
I of our  climate, and the nature of  our
resources,  and other circumstances, from
i the necessities  of   oar situation, we are
taught to practice virtues  whose  posses-
sion is a full compensation for the absence
! of those  somewhat  easier conditions   of
j life,   those   more   lightly   earned gains,
I those   brighter material prospects which
j may, perhaps, be  observed in some other.
j lands.  Sturdyindependence,manlylabour,
vigorous exertion, prudent self-restraint,
wise economy and temperance, these are
great and satisfying compensations ; but,
Sir, we must show ourappreciation of these
virtues by   an   earnest  effort to practice
them, not  merely in  private  life, but as
the distinguishing characteristics  of  our
national existence.   If we do not, we fail;
and when you find in this country   apparent progress by leaps and bounds, you
may conclude that that  progress is more
more   fictitious    than   real,    and    will
be    followed    by    disaster    which   will
Sweep  away   our   fictitious    gains,   and
leave us poorer than  before.    Now, Sir,
assuming that our tax-paying power is no
greater, man for man, than in 1871, we
have only to ascertain the increase of population since that time.    The hon. Minis-
terof Finance roughly estimated our population the other day at 4,000,000, that is,
including   the  new Provinces.    For obvious reasons I take, for the old Provinces,
the rate of increase demonstrated by the
last  Census,  although  I think that too
large an estimate;  and I make out our
population at   4,050,000, including   the   .
new Provinces, which,  for this  purpose,
may be   reckoned  at  something  under
200,000.    Now, of the new Provinces, it 36
may be repeated that whatever their tax-
paying powers, their' tax-consuming
powers are still more remarkable. I
have an interesting table of the results
as to the collection'' and' distribution
of our Revenue for the first ten years
after Confederation, which will answer
the prude": t query of the hon.
Finance Minister yesterday, in reference to the tax-paying power of
Manitoba -nd British Columbia, when he
asked why we should not count on a large
net revenue from the North-West, having
regard to the example, furnished by those
Provinces. Now, Sir, assigning to each
Province the revenue derived from it, as
shown by the Public Accounts, and charging each Province with its local services,
and with such parts of the Federal services as are by the Public Accounts distinguished and assigned to the separate
Provinces, the results are as follows:
We collected in all $198,000,000; we
spent in all $189,350,000 ; leaving a surplus of $8,650,000. The receipts from
Manitoba were $376,000, the distinguished
expenditure, $1,599,000 ; the deficit on
this head, $722,000. ftrf Prince Edward
Island the receipts were $1,596,000 ; the
expenditure, $2,6 :,000 ; the deficit,
$1,027,000. For British Columbia the
receipts were $2,558,000 ; the expenditure, $3,441,000; the deficit, $883,000.
For Nova Scotia the receipts were
$19,112,000; the expenditure $21,175,000;
the deficit $2,060,000. Then there
come the receipts and expenditure
on joint account for services not
divided among the Provinces, for example, Legislation, Civil Government, a large
part of the interest on the Public Debt,
and other uudiyide'c items, and all the expenditures in connection with the North-
West and the Pacific Railway. For
these the receipts were $7,599,000; the
expenditure, $50,581,000 ; the deficit,
$42,982,000 ; adding to this the aggregate
of the provincial deficits before stated,
you find a total deficit of $47,677,000.
Now, how was ' s met? We come to
the surpluses. The receipts from New
Brunswick were £ 17,106,000; the expenditure, $16,957,000, leaving a surplus'
d" $508,000. The receipts from Ontario
and Quebec, jointly, were $149,160,000 ;
the expenditure, $93,340,000; leaving a
surplus of $55,820,000, thus making
with the New Brunswick surplus, a total
surplus for I i three Provinces of
Quebec, Ontario and New Brunswick, of
$56,328,000, to be applied to the payment of the deficits before enumerated,.
amounting r in. the aggregate to
$47,677,000, leaving, after their payment, a netfc balance of $8,650,000
applicable to tho reduction of debt We
find, therefore, that Ontario and Quebec
have to provid 5 and have provided for the
bulk of this vast undivided expenditure resulting from the Confederation of the
various Provinces comprising the Dominion ; New Brunswick having supplied
towards her share the sum of $508,000,
and Ontario and Quebec, after providing
their own share, having provided the
share also of all the other Provinces of
the otherwise; unprovided balances. I
have not divided the various items for'
Ontario and Quebec, which are given
jointly in the Public Accounts ; but taking a few great heads of Revenue, a general conclusic 1 may be reached. Thus
the Excise duties of Ontario amounted to
$26,732,000; those of Quebec to
$13,647,600. The Customs duties for
Ontario (allowing those on dutiable goods
going into Ontario, though entered at
Montreal, according to the results ascertained after exhaustive examination by
the Commission which dealt with
that subject some years ago), amounted to $60,725,000. The Customs duties
for Quebec amounted, according to
the same results, to $31,357,000. I
estimate the division of Bill Stamps to be
two-thirds for Ontario, and one-third for-
Quebec, making $1,106,000 for the former, and $552,000 for the latter. The
general result on these heads is to give a
j revenue from Ontario of $87,954,000,
and from Quebec of $45,556,000. I
know that these figures may be disputed
in some respects by the people of the-
Maritime Provinces as to particular
items; for example, those which have reference to expenditure on the Intercolonial Railway. I know it is contended, whether rightly or wrongly, that
this expenditure should be entered as a
general charge against the whole Dominion, and not charged separately against
those Provinces. There may be, of course,
other disputable details. I state this in
order that the House may understand
that these figures may be somewhat
affected, but I am convinced that the re- 37
suit will not be very materially altered on
that account. It will be seen from these
statistics that some of the smaller Provinces, heavy as their contributions are—
and I freely admit that several of them are heavier contributors
per capita than some of the
larger Provinces—are yet not adequate
contributors to, on the contrary that they
are heavy drains on the revenues of
Canada; and it will be further seen that
the bulk of the expenditure—I may say
every shilling of the expenditure on the
North-West and on the Pacific Railway
—is contributed by the Province from
which, I have the honor to come. But
apart from the question of the distribution of taxation, I have shown that our
gross taxpaying power, as a whole, may
be said to have been increased since 1871
by the addition of 560,000 souls, or sixteen per cent, to our population ; that is,
that if we can, or if we choose, to buy,
man for man, goods to the same amount
in money, as we bought man for man in
1871, our consumption of imported or
excisable goods, and consequently our
revenue would, under the same rates of
taxation, be larger by 16 per cent. This
then is the estimated measure of elasticity
—not indeed the actual measure, for, as I
have said, we are not buying, we cannot
afford to buy, on the same scale—
and, therefore, it is altogether too
favourable a view for us to take.
But let us adopt it for a moment; and
proceed to enquire at what rate our expenditures have increased during the same
time. Sir, the increase in expenditures
has been altogether disproportionate to
the increase, even on the most favourable
view, of our tax-paying power. Our
gross expenditures have risen from
$15,600,000, m 187-1, to $24,800,000, in
1879 ; an increase of $8,800,000, or nearly
56 per cent. ! This, indeed, includes the
charges on Revenue, which, in some
eases, are represeutedby cross entries :
but, on the whole, the charges on Revenue
have increasd seriously, relatively to the
increased receipts. There are, in this
branch of the. expenditure, large added
burdens. For example, in the Post Office,
the deficiency, in 18.71, was $203,000 ; in
1879, it was $612,000 ; an increased net
ehargs of nearly 200 per cent In Public
Works, there was, in 1871, a surplus of
$315,000; in 1879, adeficit of $817,000;
an ad verse change of over $1,000,000. But,
leaving out of account all the charges
on Revenue, how does the remaining •
expenditure compare? In 1871, it was
$13,250,000 ; in 1879, $18,890,000 ; an
increase of $5,640,000, or over 42 per j
cent. Look at some of the items which
produce this appalling result... The capital of our net debt stood in 1871, at
$77,700,000; in 1879, it had risen to
$147,480,000. It had almost doubled.
It has since increased, so that it is now
more than doubled ; and still it goes
rolling on. Our net annual charge for
interest was in 1871, $4,800,000; in
1879, $6,660,000 ; an increase of
$2,360,000, or nearly 55 per cent.; and
it still goes . rolling on. The increase in
the charge for interest has not indeed
kept pace with that of capital, for several
reasons. We have raised a large sum
from our people without interest, in the
shape of legal tende'rs in circulation,
and compulsorily held as bank reserves.
We have issued several guaranteed loans
at very low rates of interest. We
have reborrowed to pay off old
loans at a much lower rate of
interest than the rate they bore;
we have borrowed fresh money at better
rates; and we have been borrowing at a
discount, which, of course, means that
we have been capitalising a material
part of our charge for interest. But with,
all those advantages, real and apparent,.
I believe, our nett annual charge for interest will, by 30th June next, be increased by $2,700,000, a year or nearly
63 percent. The truth is, Sir, that our
annual foreign loans are now not
much more than enough to pay our
interest. Some part of them, indeed,
have been of late years devoted in
terms to that purpose; we have had
yearly deficits, and have been obliged to
borrow to pay our interest. But apart
from this, the average annual loans to be
raised for the next few years for Public
Works will be not much greater in
amount than our yearly interest payments. Can we go on so borrowing for
ever? No, Sir, and the Minister, who
tells us he can, has yet prudently arranged
to avoid an application to the London
money market this year; andisaboutto try
his hand at a cheap domestic loan. He is
to ask us at home, out-of our abundance, to
supply him free of interest with the suns 38
he Wants. Passing from the charge for ;
debt, some of the items which comprise j
the ordinary annual expenditure show \
startling increases. The Provincial Sub- |
sidies have increased 31 per cent; Civil
Government, 34 per cent, with an enormous further increase in the present Estimates ; Administration of Justice, 83 per
cent. ; Penitentiaries, 46 per cent.; Indian
grants, by $480,000 ; North-West Police,
by $290,000 ; in Legislation there has
.been an enormous increase; with a general
result that the ordinary expenditure has
increased between 1871 and 1879, by
$2,380,000, or over 50 per cent. In the
face of this startling and wholly disproportionate increase of our expenditures
over our tax-paying power, is it not plain
that we have been going too fast ? We
have been running ahead of our resources.
We have increasing our expenses
more than three times as fast as
our tax-paying power. Our situation is truly critical. We have been
imitating, and even surpassing, the extravagance and recklessness of the nations
composing the European system. The
European nations in the fourteen years
from 1864 to 1879, increased their National Debts 65 per cent in the aggregate;
but we have doubled ours in nine years.
The budgets of those nations were increased in the last fourteen years 40 per
cent. ; but we have increased ours 56 per
cent, in nine years. It is quite true that
our expenditure has been more produc-
. tive than theirs. We have not been
engaged in numerous or frightfully expensive wars. We have expended large
sums in improvements more or less productive. But for all that, we have been immoderate in our expenditure, we have
acted extravagantly, we have gone beyond our tax-paying power, and we have
surpassed the European system in the increase of our annual charge. I say we
should not present to intending immigrants such a similarity in financial management to the countries which they are
leaving, mainly because of their heavy
burdens. We should rather endeavour
to present to them a cheering contrast to
to the European system; and this-
the mere because there is one
country, our rival and competitor in the
■ immigration market, which does present
a marked contrast to the European system.    While Canada is   so  lavishly in
creasing her yearly expenditure and"
National Debt, the United States has pre
sented to the people of Europe the unique
example of an enormous reduction in its-
National Debt, and it is that fact which
constitutes one of onr greatest difficulties-
j in competing with that country for immi
I grants. I dare say the hon. gentleman
will accuse 'me of being  "unpatriotic,"
I but it is no use blinking the facts. It is not
unpatriotic to say what is true.
I gentleman mistakes if he thinks I object
to his stating the fact that a protectionist
nation has succeeded in reducing its debt.
I should certainly not make any such ob-
' jections.
Mr. BLAKE : I am not now discussing
the general question of Free-trade and
Protection. However achieved, these are
the results. Nor must it be forgotten
that a part of the increase in Europe has
been  applied  to    public   improvements.
I Much public money has been expended
in the construction of railwaysthere. May
not the emigrant, flying from burdens
in his own country—flying from an.
enormous National Debt and annual Budget, say that it is prudent for-
for. him to fly to a country which presents a contrast to the one he is leaving,
which shows a continually decreasing
debt, and which, therefore, promises to
lighten the burdens of taxation ? We do
not present that contrast—the United
States do present that contrast. They
tell the emigrant that they have reduced
their debt by $630,000,000, their interest
by a still larger relative amount, their military expenses enormously; and that they
are presenting a prospect of progress in
the same direction. Why should we not
emulate their plan, by placing, so far as
our circumstances permit, this contrast before emigrants, instead of following the example set by the old countries
from which we expect them to come ?
The United States has reduced its
National Debt by 30 per cent, of its
present amount; and its Budget, though
large and extravagant compared to its
scale before the war, and embracing many
millions for war pensions and interest on
war debt, now compares not unfavourably with our own. Before the war the
expenditure of the United States, with a
population of twenty-seven and one-half
millions, showed a charge of $2 a head..
V 31
Of course we pay large sums for provincial
services, which do not in the United
States form part of the federal charge. It
is perfectly true that a comparison would
be unfair without a very large reduction on
that account, but, making that large
reduction, it is equally true that the comparison is not unfavourable after all; that
our system has become extravagant and
onerous, 'and has gone beyond the increase of the tax-paying powers of the
country; and it is time to call a halt. In
this expenditure there is included
$1,272,000 for interest already paid on
the Pacific Railway. There will be included $600,000 a year for future interest
on the past expenditure on that Railway,*
and untold sums for interest on tla?
further expenditure. How have we met
all this, while our tax-paying powers
have been increasing so slowly? How
have we made both ends meet ? Partly
by fresh loans, and partly by adding, to
the taxation of the people. The hon.
Finance Minister said, the other day,
that the difference between the taxes of
1868 and 1879 was a dollar per head,
and that the increased taxation thus calculated was four millions of dollars. He
gave us the ■ figures by a rough calculation. According to my view, the figures
for that period, so calculated, would be
$4,400,000, but I hold that this
mode of computation is not a
fair way of determining the real
addition to the burdens of the
people, and that they have been in
truth increased to a much larger extent.
That mode might be fair on the assumption that the people were consuming
relatively the same amount of goods as
formerly; but if in fact we are consuming a smaller value per head of goods,
while we are paying a larger sum per
head of taxes, it is obvious that the added
taxation upon that limited consumption,
which alone our poverty permits, has risen
to a greater amount than $4,400,000, and
and to a larger amount than $1 a head.
Suppose, for example, that our imports
for consumption were diminished by one
half, while the taxes we paid remained
the same as before, it is obvious that the
burden of taxation on imports would be
doubled. It becomes necessary then to
ascertain and compare the rates of taxation
of 1S71 and 1880. There are three
principal  heads  of taxation—first,   Bill
Stamps, to which it is not necessary to refer
as the amount is not very large, and there
has been no material change in the tax.
Taking up the second head, the duties of
Excise, I will not trouble the House with
any calculations as to malt and malt
liquors, because the increased tax has now
been taken off. The duty on spirits,
estimated on the quantity entered for consumption in 1879, at the rate collected in
1880, would be $3,650,000 ; and on the
same quantity, at the rate for 1871,
$2,750,000. The increased tax is, therefore, $900,000, or 33 per cent, of an
addition. It may be alleged that the
quantity entered for consumption in 1879
was abnormally large, and consequently,
that the gross siim of $900,000 is in excess of the increase on actual consumption.
Were this so, it would not, of course,
affect the rate of increase which would
remain at 33 per cent. But I dispute
the allegation, for it will be found that the
quantity warehoused in 1879, is far below
the corrected average for the nine years
from 1871 to 1879, and is almost equal
to the uncorrected average for that period.
It is, therefore, obviously not an
excessive consumption. I admit that
the hon. gentleman can hardly expect
so great a consumption this year, but, in
my opinion, that is largely due to the
fact that the tax has been raised beyond
the true point of greatest productiveness.
The magnitude of the tax has given rise
to a great deal of smuggling or illicit
distillation, thus interfering with the
revenue, though not with the consumption,
or with the cost to the people. I hope
that the hon. gentleman may be right in
attributing some part of the diminution
to the prevalence of sounder views, as to
the wisdom of abstaining from the use
of liquor. But, after all, the test which
I have applied, is the only fair one, and
this proves that the quantity is not excessive. As to tobacco, the duty on the
quantity entered for consumption, in 1879,
at the rates for 1880, would be $1,580,000.
At the rates for 1871, $1,140,000. The
increased tax is, therefore, $440,000, or
39 per cent, of an addition. The consumption is below the corrected average
tor the nine years, and, of course,
far below the uncorrected average.
It is, therefore, clear that this represents-
the minimum addition on this
head.     The ' result    then   is   that   the 40
*ur consumption it
must not take the
nor can  you,  with
increased excise on spirits and tobacco is
$1,340,000, or over 34 per cent, of an
addition. Nott I ceme to the last and
greatest head of taxation, the Customs'
duties ; and I wish to show the House
what is the increase in taxation on this
head on the whole Mass of the imported
goods, dutiable and free, which we consume. To ascertain
is obvious that you
total importations ;
propriety, take the goods entered for consumption. But by deducting from these
the value of foreign grains and the products
of foreign grains imported, since these articles are practically only in transitu, and
are either exported in specie or set free for
exportation an equivalent amount of
home grain, you arrive, as nearly as
the information given by our returns will
allow, at the quantity of imported goods,
free and dutiable, which we actually consume. This forms the basis of my c*lcu-
lation. Allowing for the temporary
duties imposed in 1870, and taken off in
1871, by a proceeding which came into
operation prior to the date of the taxation
resolution, the rate of taxation on the
imported goods, free and dutiable, which
were consumed in the four years from 1867
to 1871 was, upon the average, 13.90 per
cent This, then, I take to be a fair ascertainment of the burden of our Customs taxation in 1871. But I may say
that, even if you make no allowance for
the temporary duties to which I have referred, the average rate will be
raised only to 14.21 per cent, an increase
which you will see is not sufficient
materially to affect the results. During
the subsequent three years (1872, 1873
and 1874), in the course of which there
were considerable remissions of taxation,
and in. which also the very large consumption may have somewhat disturbed
the relation between the quantities of free
and of dutiable goods, the average rate fell
to 12.33 per cent. In 1875, the first completed year after the increase made under
the late Government, the rate was 14.32
per  cent.,   a large   increase  indeed,   an
increase     of    nearly
the    average    of   the
years,   but   after   all
increase, an increase of
third, on the average rate between  1868
and 1871.    But what is the rate now, as
ascertained by the return for the first six
one-sixth, on
preceding three
a very trifling
only  one-thirty-
months of the year? It is no less than
19.62 per cent. Nor does this represent
the whole extent of the increase. The
hon. Minister has told us that his revenue
is suffering by reason of the excsssive importation of goods in anticipation of the
tariff. But the goods so imported were,
of course, those of the class on which the
largest increases were to be made. Of
these, therefore, there has been an excessive supply, and by consequence an abnormal proportion ©f the importations for
the last six months have been of goods
paying the lower rates of duty. The
over-importations being absorbed, and the
imports reverting to their normal condition, these proportions. will be changed,
and consequently the average^ rate >
"wall be higher for the current six
months; and, in the future, the
Tariff will be found to inflict
a charge considerably exceeding 20
per cent, on everything free or dutiable
entered for consumption. But apart from
this consideration, and assuming 19.62
per cent, to be the true rate, consider
what this means compared with 13.90
per cent., the earlier rate. It means a
new tax, a fresh tax, of 5| per cent, on
the value of everything free and dutiable
which we import for consumption. It
means an increased rate of taxation of
over 43 per cent, for 5.72 is more than
43 per cent, on 13.90. Our Customs
duties are nearly half as heavy again as
they were in the early period. Now, if
you apply the new Tariff to our very small
consumptionfor 1879, a consumption many
millions smaller than that of 1871, and
smaller than any year thereafter, the increased taxation will, on that small consumption, be $4,075,000, and this, on the
incredible assumption that we are not to
increase the value of pur imports, is the
very smallest measure of onr added Customs taxation. If to that you add
$1,340,000, the increase in Excise,'
you find that the additional taxation of this country on the
small consumption of 187$ was more
than $5,400,000. This is far greater
than the hon. Minister's estimate of
$4,000,000, but it is far less than the
burden will be in case the consumption
should become normal. It is true that
the smallness of the value imported in
1879, is partly due to the comparative
cheapness of goods, but we must not for- 41
get that I hare been comparing it with
1871, when values, though higher than
in 1879, had not gone nearly to their
highest point; and after making every
allowance for cheapness there remains a
large deficiency to be accounted for only by
the consideration that our poverty and
our economy have led us to stint ourselves. But prices are rising, and hon.
gentlemen say, good times are coming.
What would this Tariff produce on a consumption of the average from 1872 to
1875, $109,000,000? You can easily
toll. It is about one-fifth. It would
take out of your pockets in
Customs nearly $22,000,000! But
let us try to an ivo at a normal
consumption. You can reach it in
two ways. Take* the consumption
of 1871 and add 16 per cent to represent
the increase of population. This would
give you, for 1879, a consumption of
$91,300,000. Or take together the nine
years of inflation and depression, ending
with 1879, and the uncorrected average
would be $91,000,000, less than the proper estimate, of course, but coming very
dose to the figure reached by the other
mode. Assume, then, that for us, in
1879, $91,000,000 would be a normal
consumption of imported goods, yon
would pay in Customs $17,850,000; in
Excise of spirits and tobacco, $5,230,000;
in all $23,080,000. While, at the old
rates, you would have paid in Customs
$12,650,000; in Excise, $3,890,000; in all
$16,640,000, an increased burden on your
normal consu nption of over $6,500,000.
And this is a fair estimate of the result
of the Tariff at the Custom-house
and Inland Revenue Office. It is,
indeed, quite clear that, with higher
prices and good times, the hon.
Minister should get a Revenue. When,
on an average, one-fifth part of everything
we require to impart, great or small, cheap
or dear, necessary or luxury, raw material
or manufactured article, free or dutiable,
and two-fifth parts of what we drink
and smoke are abstracted by Government for public uses, how in the
world can Government fail to realise a
Revenue 1 And yet, if things should so
turn out, no doubt we shall find the hon.
the Minister coming down next Session
boasting of his feat, and endeavouring to
persuade the country that he has conferred
on it great blessings, when he has in fact
only abstract r-d from it enormous sum« by
a raking and grinding Tariff, which is
oppressive in' its character and vexations
in its operation. Bnt this is not all, Sir,
or neatly ill. We have been considering
hitherto only the amounts that come into
the hon. Minister's hands. But the uncounted mi 11 ionr which go into the
pockets of the thousands of private tax-
gatherers created by this Tariff, partly to
unduly swell the legitimate profits of
some industries, and the rest to
compensate for the misdirected and
unprofitable application of capital and
labour to other trades ; these millions
though they are paid by the mass of the
consumers, as surely as if they went into
the Minister's hands, we are unable to
ascertain or take into account. But this
we know, that their receipt does not swell
the Public Treasure. The people pay
them, but the private, not the public tax
gatherer receives them ; and so, though
the people pay, they receive nothing in
return. Sir, we have reached and passed,
designedly passed, in many cases, the
effective limits of a Revenue Tariff. We
have been aiming at different and inconsistent ends. Pursuing revenue through
imports, we have been attempting at the
same time to check imports, on which our
revenue depends, and to substitute for
them home manufactures. And certain
it is, that unless the hon. gentleman has
1 wholly miscalculated his action, unless he
has wholly bungled in the use of the
great weapon he has been wielding,
I he will have stimulated home manufactures in respect of some of
; the articles of importation most
I productive of revenue. It is certain
' that he will have deprived the coffins of
j the country of the duties to be derived
| from those articles.
Sir SAMUEL L. T.ILLKY: As in the
, United States for instance.
Mb. BLAKE: I do not propose, as I
' have already said, just now to enter into
| a general discussion of Free-trade and
. Protection, or to analyse the condition
' of the United States, or to examine how
I far they may be able to endure losses and
to play tricks with the principles of poli-
I tical economy, which we can by no means
. afford. I think the distinctions are
: obvious. Nor do I intend to hazard a
conjecture as to which of the two inconsis-
! tent objects which the hon. gentleman 48
has been pursuing he will earliest or most
signally succeed in. I say that an effect
will be sooner or later produced; and
while in case of good crops ai,d high
prices there is no doubt the last Customs
revenue will next year be increased ;
there is no doubt, also, that a very large
sum will be sooner or later—and I think
tolerably soon—diverted from the Customhouse to the pockets of individuals.
It is plain, by the admission of the hon.
gentleman to the extent of $4,000,000,
and, by the figures I have stated to a
much larger amount, that we havegreatly
increased the burden of our taxation, and
that every dollar that we are paying and
are to pay for interest on the construction
of the Pacific Railway, has come and must
come out of this increased taxation, or
from further additions to our burdens.
It is obvious that you cannot meet in
any other way the additional interest for
the construction of the Railway ; and,
therefore, your plan is a deliberate violation of the settled and established policy of
Parliament. To our present load we are
to add many millions more for that work,
and where, save from these odious and oppressive added taxes under which we
labour, can you find the interest ? Even
apart from the Pacific Railway, and further expenditure on it, we are in a critical condition. We are trying one great
experiment in trade. We are engaged
in a supreme effort to make both
ends meet in finance. We have
not yet accomplished that feat.
The hon. gentleman said a month
or six weeks ago that the Revenue for
this year would be within half a million
uf the expenditure. I wonder whether
he will say so when he moves the second
reading of the Supply Bill? We
on this side believe the deficiency
will be a great deal more. We
are not yet in a state of equilibrium
as to receipts and expenditure. We are
engaged, I say, in one great experiment
Is one great experiment not enough at a
time? Would it not be better not to
plunge too deeply into experiments, speculations and conjectures? Would it not
be better, as we are engaged in this large
financial, commercial and fiscal venture,
not to enter into fresh pecuniary engagements of an enormous character,
based upon expectations of the vaguest
and most fantastic kind ?   Are we now
finally to subvert tho policy of Parliament re-enacted, as I have pointed out
four several times, agreed to almost unanimously in 1876, that the arrangements
for the construction of this road should
be such as not to increase the burdens of
axation ? Because, if you agree to the
scheme of the Government, and go on
now with the construction of the road in
British Columbia, you commit yourselves
to the construction of that road irrespective of the increased rate of taxation, and
of the burdens imposed and to be imposed upon tho country. I ask the House
not to adopt that ruinous and reckless
course; bnt in preference, to say they
will limit themselves at present to the
completion of the road between Fort
William and Selkirk, and the prosecution
of the prairie section, until we see the
actual result in point of settlement, development, land sales and, above all,
receipts of purchase money; and then,
when that result has been ascertained,
and a substantial fund has been provided
from the sales, a fund available
for the purpose of building in British
Columbia without continuing to levy
the present increased rates of taxation,
that they will then, and not till then
begin construction in British Columbia.
Sir, we must consider the circumstances
of this whole Confederation. We must
not forget the mode in which it was
formed. lion, gentlemen opposite affirmed, with great warmth, in 1867, and
for years afterwards, that it was but a
union on paper, and that the reality and
permanence of the connection were yet to
be established and secured by a careful
policy, and by a' practical experience on
the part of the people of its benefits. A
cynic, indeed, has said that, as between
Ontario and Quebec, it was rather a
divorce than a union.; that Nova Scotia
was coerced into it, and compensated by damages for the loss of
her honour; that New Brunswick
was frightened into it, and compensated
as well; that Manitoba was forced, and
purchased into it, too; and that Prince
Edward Island and British Columbia
were—shall I say seduced into it? by
pledges and promises—some impossible,
all extravagant; at any rate by settlements of the most lavish character. But
whether this description be true or not,
at any rate hon. gentlemen admit that
^ 43
it was at first a union only on paper. I
want to know what has been done to
cement it, to make it real and permanent,
to make it a union of hearts and interests, to give it vitality 'and strength?
Look at the various Provinces. Almost
every one, after all your better terms, is
in deep financial. difficulties, and is
knocking at your doors for further aid. Imitating your extravagance th<;y have ' outrun their resources, and they have come to
look on you as the great tax-gatherers for
the Provinces, believing that they may
go as far as they please and that Canada
must fill the void out of the federal
revenues. You have seen the distribution
of your revenues and your expenditure.
You remember all the promises at the
time of union, of low taxes and cheap
government. All, all are broken. ' The
vast sums you collect from the smaller
Provinces, heavier per capita than you
collect from old Canada, and a grievous
burthen on their people, are yet, as I have
shown you, quite inadequate to meet
their share of the cost of confederation.
Ontario settles the balance. That Province asks no special advantages. She
claims no special favours. She is ready
to do her part, and more than her part,
in the furtherance of the common
interest. But she may fairly demand of you a prudent, a
just, an economical expenditure of those
resources which she contributes, and an
abstinence from rash engagements for
speculative and unprofitable objects.
This indeed is the common interest. It is
the interest of the whole. What is the
y-wsent application of our revenue ?
Public works and improvements throughout the old Provinces have been, as fai as
possible, wholly stopped; there is no
money for them 1 Our inland shipping
trade, labouring under the greatest depression and the keenest competition, is
asking for relief from some of its burdens;
there is no money for it! The vast expenditure by which Quebec has strained
her resources to accomplish a connection
with the great west is largely abortive.
Let Quebec learn the prudence of not
building railways before they are wanted,
and act on the lesson now ; there is no
money for the eastern link I No, Sir,
all that we can raise by taxes or by loans,
all that we can beg or borrow, is to be
sunk in the gorges of the Fraser. Should
this be so ? Are we to tax ourselves to
the last point of endurance, and to mortgage heavily our future and our country
for such an object as this ? If it be true,
as your trusted representative, your High
Commissioner, said on the 27th March
last, that " The duty of opening up the
North-West is one we are to perform, not
so much for ourselves as for the Empire
at large; that the inhabitants of New
Brunswick, Nova Scotia and even Ontario, have not much greater direct interest in opening up those wheat fields
than the farmers of Yorkshire and Tip-
perary;" if this be true, how much less interest have we in opening up the canons and
gorges of British Columbia? If it be
true, as your High Commissioner said,
on the same 'occasion, that, "it is impossible for us with our limited means to
undertake alone the settlement of the
North-West; that we have neither the people nor the money to do it;" if this be true,
how much less are we able to add to that
intolerable task the Columbia section of
the Railway ? Is this indeed the way to
develop even' such a poor and attenuated
national spirit as is attainable by a
people who are not permitted, who, perhaps, do not even aspire to their legitimate participation in the management of
the concerns of the great family of
nations ? Is this indeed the way to infuse among us the spirit of unity and
brotherly love, to make us one, and a
contented people ? You may perhaps
partly satisfy the 12,000 souls in
British Columbia ; but only because your
action is the pledge and hostage to them for
the completion of this gigantic work, to
the ruin of the whole. For us, for all,
this is not the way. It is not by the forced
connection of a restrictive Tariff, compelling each of us to trade with some
other of us, to our loss, and against our
will; it is not by the fatal load of an
enormous debt, crushing out our energies
and mortgaging our hopes ; it is not by
an added weight of taxes, lowering the
value of our labours, and lessening the
comfort of our lives ; it is not by flinging,
with a lavish hand, into the mountains
and rivers of Columbia all you can collect
or borrow, while you starve all public
works at home; that you will accomplish a real success, that you will consolidate and harmonise the union.    You
are making our load heavier than that
of the United States. You are making
it heavier than we can bear. You are
paving the way to that very annexation
which you profess to dread ; because you
are bringing us to a plight in which we
may be forced to do, as a people, what we
heard described the other day as the sad
end of many an imprudent individual
borrower, to sell our poor equity
of redemption to the only available purchaser. You profess unbounded faith in the permanence
of your restrictive Tariff; you blame us
for even discussing its operation, for
throwing doubts on its durability; and at
the same instant you send a High Commissioner to England, who asks her to
close her ports against the grain of the
world, in order that your farmers and
hers may obtain from her millions of
poor a higher price for the staff of life;
and, who proposes in return, that you
should open your ports to her manufactures, thus destroying your revenue,
and at the same time, under the fierce
and unchec


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