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The Pacific Railway. Speeches delivered by Hon. Sir Charles Tupper, K.C.M.G., Minister of Railways and… 1880

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y SPEECHES      
J. B. PLUMB., ESQ., M.P.,
Montreal |
By way of preface to the speeches which follow, we give the following,
.which appeared in the Parliamentary correspondence of the Montreal
■Gazette on Sir Charles Tupper's speech, in which the railway policy of the
late and present Administrations was contrasted, and a statement made of
the progress and estimated cost of the great national work. The letter was
■dated Ottawa, 15th April:—
The floor and galleries were early filled this afternoon, and an unusual
air of expectant interest was noticeable. Her Royal Highness the Princess
Louise honored Sir Charles Tupper by coming to hear him on that most
important of all subjects just now, the Canadian Pacific Railway. The
routine business was quickly run through, so that by half-past three Sir
Charles was fairly under way. Commencing with deliberation, and holding the ear of the House at once, he put in a few well chosen words as to
the magnitude and gravity of the question. Then followed a sketch,
.historical and polemic, of the policies of the preceding Governments. He
•established in the most incisive manner Mr. Mackenzie's assumption of the ■
construction of the Pacific Railway and the vast extension of that previous
liability which had been so much condemned and distrusted by the Reform
party when on the wrong side of the House. The Georgian Bay branch
and the Canada Central subsidy added four millions at one end, the
Esquimault and Nanaimo road the same sum at the other. Then there
was a hard hit at the famous " Carnarvon terms," which have now become
so proverbial that, like most adages, their original meaning is often forgotten. Some of your readers may be astonished to be reminded that they
meant (1st) the construction of the Nanaimo and Esquimault branch •
(2nd) the pushing on of the surveys on the mainland of British Columbia;
(3rd) the building of the waggon road and telegraph; (4th) two millions of
dollars a year to be the minimum expenditure within the province; (5th)
the completion of the whole line from Lake Superior to the Pacific in 1890.
After all this, Sir Charles Tupper's enquiry whether this Government is not
entitled to at least the support of the Opposition for a policy which promises but a comparatively moderate expenditure and immediate results,
had much appropriateness, and all the more when the enormous Reform expenditure upon works which remain useless without the completion of
the missing links and the construction of enough of the main line to serve
as a feeder, is taken into consideration. Sir Charles began to take a little
of the wind out oi\MA Blake's sails by reminding him tlat-he abetted all
this expenditure by entering the Ministry which undertook it. A point
which will meet with welcome is the statement of the reduction of cost that
is expected on the works already undertaken. Instead of " basing contracts upon guess work and hypotheses," Sir Charles has brought his
engineers down to work and figures. The result is already a saving of
$319,000 in the estimated cost of section 41. The same process is going
on on section 42, and we have the assurance that those contracts-will be
completed within the time stated, and that their cost will be reduced by
over half a million dollars.
Mr. Mackenzie's British Columbia tactics give him the option of
explaining whether, when he advertised for tenders for the Yale-Kamloops
line, he meant business, or whether, if it was, as he now says, an electioneering trick, he was justified in spending $32,400 for carrying rails from
Victoria to Yale. "Litera scripta manet." Hansard is an awkward
repository of words sometimes. So Mr. Mackenzie found it when he
denied his depreciation of the public lands for political ends. He was
nailed at once by his own speech, in effect saying that not only had settlers
to be given land for nothing, but to be paid for going to the Northwest.
His dogging of the English mission of last year, and his patriotic letter to
the Manchester Exa?niner, in which Canadian credit and Canadian energy
were alike vilified, got a sharp touching up from Sir Charles. A notable
thing was the reply to the Opposition taunts and gloating over the fall of
the English Conservatives. Sir Charles Tupper made it clear that, as far
as political sympathies can be supposed to stretch across the Atlantic,
names had little to do with Canada's prospects, and that the true Liberals
were to be found on the right of the Canadian Speaker. Mr. Forster's
avowal as to the Mother Country's true policy comes from one who has
weight in English Liberal thought. His expressions fall in no way short
of Lord Beaconsfield's. It is only too likely for their gratification that the
charitable wishes of the Opposition, that the Canadian Government will be
embarrassed by the defeat of Lord Beaconsfield, are doomed to disappointment.
The cost of the Pacific Railway and the means to build it will have a
keen interest for everybody. These are Sir Charles Tupper's calculations •
they are based on what are admittedly high estimates, and include the
equipment of the road:—406 miles from Thunder Bay to Selkirk,
$17,000,000; 1,000 miles from Selkirk to the Jasper Valley in the Rocky
V Mountains, $13,000,000; 540 miles from Jasper Valley, through British
Cohimbia to Port Moody on the Pacific, divided as follows—335 miles from
Jasper Valley to Kamloops, $15,500,000 ; 125 miles from Kamloops to Yale,
now under contract, $10,000,000, and 90 miles from Yale to Port Moody,
$3>500>000 ') add $1,000,000; making a total of $60,000,000 to build the road
from Lake Superior to the Pacific. The cost of surveys — $1,612,000 in British
Columbia; $1,507,000 in the eastern sections, a total of $3,119,000—has to
be added. Then there is the Pembina Branch, costing $1,750,000, making
a total of $64,869,000. The 600 miles from Fort William to Lake Nipissing
may be deferred for some years, but if Sir Charles Tupper's anticipations
prove true, it will not be long before public feeling, the development of the
Northwest, and the competition for its enormous grain trade will demand
the completion of the great national through route. Mr. Fleming's estimate
of its cost is $20,000,000; Sir Charles thinks it might be fairly put at
$30,000 per mile; but taking the latter figure, it would cost $20,000,000, and
would make a grand total of $84,870,000; taking the mean,
say, in roimd numbers, $85,000,000. Now, where is the money
to come from? Sir Charles, taking Sir John Macdonald's figures,
and backed up by the Globe in doing so, shows that if only
550,000 people settle in the Northwest during the next ten years—
and this, it must be remembered, is an estimate based on the actual immigration of the past few years—the country will receive from the sale of lands
$38,000,000 in cash, and will have $32,000,000 falling in for the balances
remaining, secured upon the lands sold—$70,000,000 in all, or enough to
build the road from Lake Superior to the Pacific. In defence of the undertaking of the Yale-Kamloops section, Sir Charles found the Globe again a
potent ally. For that newspaper, counting upon the settlement in British
Columbia of 100,000 people only, which it argues is a number there is no
reason to doubt, shows that they would pay the cost of the line in the Pacific
Province. The commercial prospects of the railway were ably discussed.
If Sir Charles Tupper seems to take a sanguine- view, he has abundant information for it in the receipts of the Pembina branch for March of this year
—$24,771, or equal to 17 per cent, per annum on the capital. With this
exemplar, the 700 miles that will be in operation in 1882 bid fair to at least
pay the interest upon their cost. That your readers may appreciate the
progress of railway communication with the Northwest, it may be as well to
state that these 700 miles are made ujvas follows:—406 from Thunder Bay
to Selkirk on the Red River, the branch thence to Winnipeg 13 miles, 200
west of Winnipeg, and the Pembina branch south 85 miles. The Sault Ste.
Marie project, its importance and its superiority over the United States
lines, with which it would contend for the western carrying trade, were
A touched upon, Sir Charles frankly owning his former doubts of its usefulness,
and'accounting for his change of opinion. Montreal will read with satisfaction, his. remarks on this subject.
A speech remarkable as much for its solidity and accuracy of statement
as for its easy delivery and the readiness with which casual objections were
dealt with, was wound up by a peroration patriotic not political, and as brilliant as it was broad in scope and statesmanlike. The applause that followed was beyond the usual measure that the House accords. It is seldom
indeed that a national event, such as to-day's exposition of the Government's
gplicy may well be deemed, is so thoroughly brought home to the people of
Gmada. and so ably impressed upon the minds of their representatives.
Never* 1 believe, since the days of 1873, with one exception only, that of
the introduction of the National policy, have the galleries been so filled, nor
Bas.thfa-ebeen such intense general interest in any political topic. THE PACIFIC RAILWAY DEBATE.
On Thursday, April the 15 th, 1880, on motion to go into Committee
of Supply,
Sir Charles Tupper rose and said :—Mr. Speaker,—I had intended***
submit to the House the resolutions respecting the Canadian Pacific Railway,
required by the circumstances that have occurred between the period at which
the resolutions were carried, last session, and the present time, but I do not
intend to pursue that course because it might be thought more convenient,
that, as arranged, the honorable member for West Durham (Mr. Blake),
should have an opportunity, upon the conclusion of my statement, of making
the motion, of which he has given notice, and which he would be precluded
from doing, if I were to submit at this moment the resolutions I shall, «t-a
later period, ask the House to concur in. On rising to address the House,
on one of the most important questions that can engage its attention, I propose, on the present,, as on the last occasion on which I addressed the House
on this subject last session, to avoid'in the fair and candid criticism to which
I shall be obliged to subject the proceedings and policy of the honorable
gentleman opposite, the use of a single remark, in the least degree calculated
to turn the current of this debate from the channel in which it is desirable
it should run. I feel that if there is any question that could be brought war
der the consideration of the House, that it is requisite to deal with in the
calmest, most dispassionate and judicial manner, it is the great question of the Canadian Pacific Railway. It will be, however, necessary,
in the somewhat changed attitude of honorable gentlemen opposite,
as foreshadowed by the promised resolution of the member for West
Durham, that I should as briefly as is possible describe the position
that, in my judgment, the two parties in this House occupy in relation to
this question. The House will remember, that when this Government was
in power, in 1871, and British Columbia was brought into the Confederation,
it was decided that we should grapple with the great question of the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway, by which all the various provinces would be brought into more rapid and easy communication. When
in a position to submit a formal proposition to the House, in 1872, by whieh
it was hoped to accomplish the construction of that work, the Government
submitted a proposal to grant $30,000,000 and 50,000,000 acres of land in
order to cover the expenditure connected with it. At the time that policy
was resolved upon, a resolution, in order to meet the apprehension which
existed in and out of the House, as to the very serious responsibility the
Government was about to incur, was proposed and carried, and it became 6
substantially a part of the terms of union with British Columbia, that that
work should be constructed, not by the Government, but by private enterprise, aided by a grant of lands and money to that extent. But even that
was limited byrthe declaratiop placed before the House, that ^progress of
that worip&ould not ikvolve an increase in the then rate of taxation.
Mr. Blake—Hear, hear.
Sir Charles Tupper—Now?-I am a little surprised to find the
honorable member for West Durham (Mr. Blake; taking exception to
the statement I have made, that it formed a part of the terms of
union with British Columbia, because the Government of which that
honorable gentleman was a member, at a later date, found it convenient to fall back upon that resolution, and embodied it in a Minute-of-
Council which they offered to British Columbia, and to the Imperial Government as well, as a reason for qualifying the engagement that was entered
into, ilam safe, I think, in saying that there is no man in this House, there
is no intelligent man in this country, that would not heartily concur in the
accuracy of the statement, that it would be greatly in the interest of Canada
if it had been possible to accomplish the construction of that work upon
those terms. Honorable gentlemen opposite took exception on many occasions to the sufficiency of the means that were thus provided for the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway. I think the honorable member
for Lamb ton (Mr. Mackenzie), when the leader of the Government, at a
public meeting at Whitby, committed himself to the statement that we
might as well have offered $10, as $30,000,000 and 50,000.000 acres of
land for the purpose of securing the construction of that work, so strongly
did he feel the entire inadequacy of the means proposed. Now, it will not
be at all necessary for me to discuss the circumstances under which the
Government found itself unable to accomplish the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway upon those terms. We are sufficiently familiar Wjith
that view of the question to render that entirely unnecessary. But we went
out of office, and the duty and responsibility of dealing with, this great question devolved upon the gentleman, who, during the subsequent five years,
led the Government of this country. Now, I think, we must all admit that
successive Governments must pay great deference to, and must hold themselves to a large extent responsible—for carrying out the policy of their
predecessors. I am satisfied ^e all agree in the opinion that it is only under
the gravest circumstances that a new administration is in a position to repudiate, if I may so speak, the engagements in relation to a great public question, to which their predecessors have committed the country under the
authority of Parliament. But I quite admit it was in the power of the honorable gentleman who was then called upon to form an administration, to
say that since, in .Parliament, he had opposed the policy of attempting to
construct the Canadian Pacific Railway, that he believed this country could
not engage in a work of such gigantic magnitude without seriously injuring
the financial position of the country—that, under those circumstances, he
must decline to hold himself responsible for the engagement into which his
predecessors had entered. The honorable gentleman had that course open
to him, because Parliament, having declared that the work should only be
constructed provided a company could be found, aided to the extent before
\ stated, to accomplish it as a private undertaking, and the effort to obtain
the construction of the work under the terms sanctioned by Parliament hav-.
ing failed, it was open to him, I say, frankly to state to the House, that he
was unable to carry out the policy to which his predecessors had committed
the country. The honorable gentleman did not adopt that course. Soon
after his accession to power he visited his constituents for the purpose of
declaring, as Prime Minister, what the policy of his Government was in relation to this great question: Well, sir, the honorable gentleman, much to
the surprise of many of his friends, and greatly to the astonishment of those
with whom he had formerly been in controversy upon the question, committed himself in the most unqualified manner to the construction of the
Canadian Pacific Railway. He said, and I am quoting from the organ ot
his party in this city:—
111 have always thought that speedy means of communication across the continent were necessary for settlement, and for the purpose of opening up the district
where we have great riches undeveloped in the bosom of the earth. Without that
communication their development cannot take place, and emigration cannot be
Now, with the great North West in our possession to be
peopled, and a declaration that the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway was essential to the development of the
great resources of Canada, referring, undoubtedly, to the mineral resources of British Columbia—a declaration that immigration
to this country could not be hoped foj, unless that ' work was
undertaken, committed, on the grounds of the broadest considerations of
public policy, the honorable gentleman, to the construction of that work.
But he went much further. He stated, in that address, that it was his intention to proceed with this great work in an entirely different manner from
that which his predecessors had propounded, and which Parliament had
authorized, and that was as a Government work. He gave, on that occasion, the very substantial reason that, if it was constructed as a Government
work, the people would receive the profit instead of the contractors. The
honorable gentleman, consistent with that declaration, came down to Parliament with a measure for the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway.
He has frequently referred to the fact that one of the first clauses of that act
provided that it must not increase the existing rate of taxation; that he had
adhered to the policy propounded by the previous Government and sanctioned by Parliament i that there must be no increase of taxation connected
with the undertaking. But he did not recount that which Parliament had com-
; miked itself to and sanctioned, and that was the declaration that it should not
be done by the Government, a declaration that the honorable gentleman himself
had voted for, and that hist (friends and supporters had supported, but that it
must be done by a private company, aided by a grant of lands and money.
That provision was swept away. It is true, however, that he provided in
his bill for the prosecution of the work in very much the same manner as
that propounded by his predecessors, provided the parties could be found
to take it up. I think those who have not recently read that Act will be a
little surprised to learn that he went further than his predecessors in the
means which he provided from the public resources for the purpose of f
8   .
prosecuting the work.    The honorable gentleman covered the whole ground
in his bill.    He said :—
« 11 A railway to be called the ' Canadian Pacific Railway' shall be made from
some point near to and south of Lake Nipissing to some point in British Columbia,,
on the Pacific Ocean ; both the said points to be determined and the course and line-
of the said railway to be approved of by the Governor-in-Council."
Even the sanction of Parliament was not" necessary to the adoption of
a line, and that line was to extend from a point on Lake Nipissing to a
point in British Columbia, on the Pacific Coast. The honorable gentleman
then went on to provide what should be given to the company undertaking
it.    He provided in section four :—
" 4. That a quantity of land, not exceeding twenty thousand acres for each mile-
of the section or sub-section contracted for, shall be appropriated in alternate sections of twenty square miles each, along the line of the said railway, or at a convenient
distance therefrom, each section having a frontage of not less than three miles nor
more than six miles on the line of the said railway, and that two-thirds of the quantity of land so appropriated shall be sold by the Government at such prices as may
be from time to time agreed upon between the Governor-in-Council and the contractors, and the proceeds thereof accounted for and paid half-yearly to the contractors,,
free from any charge of administration or management; the remaining third to be;
conveyed to the contractors. The said lands to be of fair average quality, and not to
include any land already granted or occupied under any patent, license of occupation or pre-emption right; and when a sufficient quantity cannot be found in the-
immediate vicinity of the railway, then the same quantity, or as much as may be
required to complete such quantity, shall be appropriated at such other places as-
may be determined oy the Governor-in-Council."
Now, I call the attention of the honorable ] member for North Norfolk
to this act to which I think he was kind enough to give his hearty support
when it was submitted to Parliament. I call his attention to this as indicating that the honorable gentleman at that time had not the same abhorrence of a large section of land along the line on the Pacific Railway being
in the hands of contractors. The late Government went further than the
previous Government had gone, because while we proposed to give 50,000,-
000 acres of land and $30,000,000, we never proposed to assume the cost
and responsibility of administering and selling two-thirds of the land and
relieving the contractors from that charge. So here is Parliament authorizing;
honorable gentlemen to give 50,000,000 acres and $30,000,000 in money
and providing for the expenditure necessary to administer and sell two-thirds
of the land owned, that was the property of the contractors. Then there
was the question of the surveys ; while under our contract, the company
with whom we made the contract for the work were obliged to cover all
cost incurred in connection with work up to that time, it is provided:	
" That the cost of surveys, and of locating the line of the several sections and
sub-sections of the said railway shall be part of the subsidy or consideration allowed
to the contractors, cr not, as may be determined by the Governor-in-Council and
agreed upon in the contract entered into with the contractors."
So the Government not only proposed to give all the land we proposed to give, but to bear the expense of the administration of
twa-thirds of the land, and to relieve the contractors of the cost of
any   surveys   or   location   of  any  portion   of  this  road.    The   honor- 9
able gentleman did not stop here. Having changed the position of
Parliament altogether, in relation to the great obligation of constructing the Canadian Pacific Railway, by providing that the Government themselves should either have the power to give the contract to the
company who would construct the road on the conditions contained in the
measure, or take up that work, as a Government work, and carry it to completion, the honorable gentleman did not stop there. Great as had been the
fears he had exhibited with reference to the enormous burden we were
placing on the shoulders of the people, he sought to make the Government
directly responsible for the expenditure of all this money in the construction
of the line from Lake Nipissing to the shores of the Pacific. But the honorable gentleman, over and above, the expenditure we proposed, committed
the country to a vast extension of the liability of the previous Government.
The previous Government assumed that if'they brought the Pacific Railway
to Nipissing, it would be a sufficient inducement for the lines in Ontario
and Quebec, running easterly to Quebec, and southerly to Toronto, to make
a connection at that point. At the same time, my honorable predecessor
submitted to Parliament a measure providing for the construction of the
Georgian Bay Branch, and to give a subsidy to the Canada Central Railway of
$1,440,000. Although the Georgian Bay Branch was through a terra
incognita, the line unsurveyed, and eminent engineers maintained it to be
impracticable, without any survey or any location, the honorable gentleman pledged himself as the leader of the Government, and he committed
the Government and the country to the construction of the line, from the
termmus of the Canada Central, east of Lake Nipissing, to the mouth of
French River, at an expense moderately put at $2,560,000. That makes
four million dollars of money which he proposed to expend outside of, and
over and above, the liability for the Canadian Pacific Railway before
reaching the eastern terminus, where it had been fixed by Parliament, on the south and east of Lake Nipissing. He may say, "but
this is all subject to the limitation that is provided for in this bill, with
reference to not increasing the then rate of taxation." Unfortunately for
him, and unfortunately for the honorable gentleman who sits behind him,,
and who now seems—I will not say ready to repudiate the policy of his
own leader—but to take a prominent part in a proposal that, I
fear, will be regarded in the light of a repudiation by them of their
obligations, and which will have the effect of sweeping from under their feet
any standing ground,—the honorable the then Minister of Finance submitted,
to Parliament a declaration to the effect that in order to meet the expenditure he would have to ask Parliament to impose an additional taxation of
$3,000,000 ; and then and there the honorable gentleman did impose that
additional taxation. When the honorable member for West Durham (Mr.
Blake) made his famous speech in Ontario, at a subsequent date, he said
that British Columbia had nothing to complain of, as Parliament had not
only pledged itself to the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway, but
had provided $3,000,000, had levied $3,000,000 additional taxation to-
meet their obligations, and notably for the Canadian Pacific Railway.
When the honorable gentleman imposed that additional taxation, this bill
was at the same time placed upon the Statute Book, saying that the undertaking should not involve an increase in the existing rate of taxation.    The =s
honorable gentleman, therefore, stands in this position : either he must give
up that clause as not having any binding obligation or effect, or stand before
Parliament and the country in the position of having violated the law in
the expenditure of every dollar spent from the first hour that he began to
expend any money on the Pacific Railway, because there is clear and undeniable evidence that the rate of taxation was then increased. Every single
dollar of the $11,000,000 spent in the construction of the railway, so far,
had been spent by the honorable gentleman in the teeth of the Statute, and
also the balance of the $28,000,000 of money required to complete the
expenditure he had begun—for without that completion all the $11,000,000
would be wasted—had been expended contrary to the declaration of that
act. The honorable gentleman, when in opposition, had exhibited such a
spirit of antagonism as honorable gentlemen opposite are, I am afraid,
inclined to exhibit to the policy proposed on this side of the House.
Mr. Blake—Which gentleman ?
Sir Charles Tupper—When I have the pleasure to look in. the face
at this moment of the hon. gentleman, and hold this friendly discussion on
so very important a question, I am reminded that when he was before in
Opposition, and when we then proposed a scheme for constructing the
Pacific Railway, which we felt quite possible, and which- we knew to be in
the interest of the country to complete as quickly as possible, he and his
colleagues decried that proposal or the advisability of going on with the
work; but when brought into power upon this side of the House, they did not
shrink back; they found that the dismal vista that they had seen before
had vanished; and the hon. gentleman went to the extent of adding
$4,000,000 to the amount we proposed for the construction of the Pacific
Railway at the eastern end of the line. But what did he do on the other
end of the line ? He went into a deliberate negotiation with British Columbia and the Imperial Government, and for fear that the hon. gentlemen may
forget these little inconsistencies, I will ask the indulgence of the House
while I refer to one of the most important State papers, one of the most
important documents that forms a portion of the archives of Canada, I mean
the treaty made between the Government of Canada and British Columbia,
and the Imperial Government. Although I would like to condense the
passage I am going to read, I am afraid I shall have to read it at length.
What I am going to read now will be found at page 511 of the Hansard of
1875. On tnat: Page wifi be found a verbatim statement of the treaty;
showing the obligations imposed by the then First Minister now sitting on
the other side of the House.    Lord Carnarvon said:—
" Adhering then to the same order in which, on the 16th August, I stated the
principle points on which it appeared to me that a better understanding should be
defined, I now proceed to announce the conclusions at which I have arrived.   They
are :—
1. That the railway from Esquimault to Nanaimo shall be commenced as soon
as possible, and completed with all practicable despatch.
2. That the surveys on the mainland shall be pushed on with the utmost vigor.
On this point, after considering the representations of your Ministers, I feel that I
have no alternative but to rely, as I do most fully and readily, upon their assurances
that no legitimate effort or expense will be spared, first to determine the best route
for the line, and secondly to proceed with the details of the engineering work.    It
V 11
would be distasteful to me, if indeed, it were not impossible to prescribe strigfly^ny
minimum of time or expenditure with regard to work of so uncertain a nature ; out,
happily, it is equally impossible for me to doubt that your Government will loyj&ly
-do its best in every way to accelerate the completion of a duty#ft1reely to^HJd'Sranse
of honor and justice.
3. That the waggon road anditelegraph line shall be immediately constructed.
There seems here to be some difference of opinion as to the special value to tbe
province of the undertaking to complete these two works ; but after considering
what has been said, I am of opinion that they should both be proceeded with at
once, as indeed is suggested by your Ministers.
4. That $2,000,000 a year, and not $1,500,000. shall be the minimum expenditure on railway works within the Province from the date at which the surveys^are
•sufficiently completed to enable that amount to be expended on construction. In
naming this amount I understand, that, it being alike the interest and the wish of
the Dominion Government to urge on with all speed the completion of the works
now to be undertaken, the annual expenditure will be as much in excess of the
minimum of $2,000,000 as in any year may be found'practicable.
o. Lastly, that on or before the 31st December, 1890, the railway shall be completed and open for traffic on the Pacific seaboard to a point at the western end of
Lake Superior, at which it will fall into connection with existing lines of railway
through a portion of the United States, andalso with the navigation on Canadian
This is Lord Carnarvon's decision or the conclusions at which he had
arrived as a mediator between British Columbia and the First Minister of
that day. It will be seen that the late Government here pledged themselves
to build the line from Esquimault to Nanaimo without delay. What did
that mean, in the first place ? I am quite certain that my hon. predecessor
will not question the calculation I have made when I say that at the very
lowest estimate it would cost $4,000,000. It is simply adding $4,000,000
upon the western end of the Canadian Pacific Railway to the $4,000,000
he had already added to the eastern end. But that is by far the least grave
portion of this matter. However much the hon. gentleman disregarded in
his own action the clause of the bill which provided that the work should
not proceed so as to involve an increase in the taxation of the country, by
this negotiation and engagement with Lord Carnarvon, he left himself entirely unprotected. I should like to ask what it would cost to construct a
waggon road for 400 miles through the Rocky Mountains. Is not that an
enormous addition to the contract to construct as rapidly as possible the
Canadian Pacific Railway ? I trust that the hon. member for West Durham will read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest these statements, which
received the ready and hearty concurrence and endorsement of the late
Minister of Public Works. I am aware that the hon. member for West
Durham was a little restive under those terms. At any rate, sitting upon this
side of the House, he 'exhibited a little of that restiveness which characterizes him when he is not in the Cabinet. The hon. m^iber for West Durham put a question on the notice paper on this subject, and what was the
■answer of the hon. First Minister of that day ? Feeling strong in the integrity of his position, and in the consciousness that he was grappling with
the construction of a great national work, he said :—" With respect to the
question raised by my hon. friend, the member for South Bruce, I may say
I have nothing to ask from Parliament. We have no authority to obtain,
but have merely to communicate this decision and rest upon the House 12
supporting us in accepting the terms that have been made through the intervention or mediation of Lord Carnarvon, and that support, I do not
doubt, will be cheerfully accorded."    Have we not a right to ask those gentlemen who were ready to accord support to the leader of the late Government, when he proposed, not only to pledge this country to build the Canadian Pacific Railway from end to end, but to add $8,000,000 to any expenditure which had ever been proposed by his predecessors, and add the cost
of the waggon road and of the administration of two-thirds of the land these
people were to receive, to consider fairly our position ?    That honorable
gentleman was prepared to rely on the gentlemen sustaining him for their
assured support, because he believed he was acting in the interest of the
country.    Have we not a right with our much more modest proposition—
with the burden honorable gentlemen opposite proposed to place on this
country, rendered so much lighter by us—to ask for some of that assured
support which the member for Lambton so confidently relied upon when
standing where I now have the honor to stand ?    The member for West
Durham was not prepared to go so far as this proposition of the late Government.    It is but just to him to say that he gave expression to his dissent in   perhaps the most marked manner that an independent member
could do so when he refused his vote for the construction of the Esquimault and Nanaimo Railway.    But though the faith and honor of the Government and the country had been irrevocably pledged to this undertaking,
when it was removed out of the way by the other branch of Parliament, the
honorable gentleman himself assumed the responsibility  of every word
and act of that Government by accepting a place in it.    He did more.    He
not only entered the Cabinet, committed and bound as it was to this policy,
beyond recall, and without qualification as to the resources of the country,,
without raising the question as to whether the railway should be completed
by 1890, from end to end, thus giving practical evidence  of his  being in
accord with its views, but showed he was prepared to take out of the coffers
of Canada $750,000 to compensate British Columbia for having generously
relinquished the immediate expenditure of the $4,000,000 on the Nanaimo
and Esquimault Railway.    Under those circumstances, the last source from
which this  Government  might have   anticipated  obstruction was   from
gentlemen opposite in adopting the present policy.    The late Government
committed itself to the construction of this great work regardless of the cost.
At the end of five years the former Government came back to power.    What
did we find had been accomplished in the meantime ?    Honorable gentlemen
may be surprised to learn that one of our first duties was to lay the rails
upon the Pembina Branch Railway, the contract for which was given out,
among the first acts of the late Government.    They also early undertook the
construction of the railway from  Fort William  to Shebandowan, and to
develop the policy known as the use of the water stretches.    There was,
besides, to be a road in the west, from the Lake of the Woods to Winnipeg.
To the credit of the member for Lambton, he is sometimes open to argument.    After two or three years' discussion in this House we were enabled
finally to convince him of the folly of his course—that every dollar he expended on the road to Shebandowan on the east, and on the road beyond
the Lake of the Woods in the west, would be wasted, while there was the
Duluth  Railway within a comparatively short distance  to carry  all the
V 13
passengers and traffic westward, and prevent either one or the other, ever
going by the mixed rail and water-stretches route, the amphibious line, after
it was constructed. I will credit him with practically admitting, at least,
that he was wrong and we were right.
Mr. Mackenzie—No.
Sir Charles Tupper—I know he is unwilling to admit it, but history
will establish the truth of my statements. I cannot absolve the honorable
gentleman for the folly of having undertaken the construction of the through
line by this route, and letting two contracts, one running to English River
on the east, and the other to Rat Portage on the west, without previous
surveys, without the slightest knowledge of those sections or what the road
would cost, or whether he could connect the two ends at all. It can be
proved those ends had never been connected by surveys, and that there was
no means of knowing whether, at any reasonable cost, the road could be
■completed. The result has been an enormous expenditure, largely due to
•the precipitate commencement of the work, and without sufficient information as to the character of the country. On attaining office we found
a large amount had been expended on those two sections of 227
miles; one running east from Red River 114 miles, and the other
113 miles, running west from Lake Superior. We found that
the money thus expended might as well be thrown into Lake
Superior, and was utterly useless for any purpose of value, there being a
gap of 185 miles between those sections: The honorable gentleman had
become convinced of the uselessness of this expenditure, without the completion of the intervening section; and shortly previous to the general elections he advertised for contracts for the road over those 185 miles. I am
not going to find any fault with that step. I gave him credit for it before,
but must withdraw it now, as he stated the other night that he had not at
all decided to construct those 185 miles—had not decided whether he would
allow the enormous expenditure to lie dead while he paid interest on it,
without accomplishing anything by it. I can readily understand why the honorable gentleman did not let the contracts before the election. He had stated
in and out of the House, as a ground of his claim to public confidence, that
he was building the Canadian Pacific Railway at a cost of $24,500 a mile,
and he had learned that if the contracts for the intervening 185 miles were
let, it would become apparent he had made an enormous miscalculation as
to the cost of the road, the contracts for portions of which he had given out
without any surveys or information to. warrant that action; so the ground
for his appeal for the public confidence in this matter would be swept from
under his feet. On the Georgian Buy Branch, Canada Central, the Pembina Branch, and the line between Thunder Bay and the Red River, we
found, when we came into power, that over $11,000,000 had been spent;
and to make that outlay of any practical value, would involve the proper
completion of those works, and I stated a year ago the expenditure involved
could not be estimated at less than $28,000,000. I am now able to take
something like a million off that estimate, as by pursuing a different policy
from that of the late Government, in letting the contracts and in their supervision after being let, we expect to effect a great reduction in the cost undertaken.    Before I had been a week in the office which the member for 14
Latftbton vacated, I called on Mr. Marcus Smith for a statement of the
work done upon those 228 miles, an estimate upon which the contracts had
been framed, and a statement of how much had been paid, and how much
was required to complete the work. I was astounded to discover
that the additional expense had to be counted, I may say, by millions.
I called the attention of Mr. Fleming to the same matter as soon
as he returned from England. Mr. Fleming said that, so far as Section 25
was concerned, it could be; the difference could be accounted for, as the
character of the work had been changed, but with respect to the
otfier portions that there had been no location surveys—no sufficiently accurate estimates made—no knowledge of details acquired
when those contracts were let to enable a close estimate to
be formed. He had no means of accounting for this great disproportion
between what they supposed the cost of the work would be, and what it was
now evident it would cost. Mr. Fleming sent for the engineers who had
been in charge of the works, both east and west, and they were unable to
give, a satisfactory account of so much money having been spent, and in
consequence a careful remeasurement has been made to ascertain^where
the discrepancy was. With regard to Section 15, Mr. Smith and Mr. Fleming said that we could account for the great disproportion between the cost
and the estimate because the plan had been changed. The contract was.
originally invited for that section of the road, but the amount asked by the
tenderers was so enormous that the moment the then First Minister saw
them he discovered it would not do to let the contract on those figures, or
he would have to add something like fifty per cent, to the cost which he
had stated he was building the Pacific Railway at per mile. The contract
was not let. It was subsequently let upon a system of trestle-work for embankments, and after the work had proceeded in that way for a length of
time), a report was made by the engineer in charge that the wood in that
country was of a very inferior description, and that so soon as the road was
completed it would probably be either all burnt up, and if not burned, the
wopd was of such an inferior quality that we should have to commence rebuilding it at an early day, and he therefore advised that embankments
should be substituted for trestle-work. That report was referred to Mr.
Fleming, who was here on a brief visit from England. He entirely concurred in the proposition that the work should be changed from trestle-work
to embankments, and he discussed that matter with the then Minister of
Public Works, who also concurred in the propriety of the change, of which
he still approves. The honorable gentleman took that report to the Council,
where it remained.
Mr. Mackenzie—The honorable gentleman is a little overstating the fact.
I agreed that the road would be much better built that way than the former
way, but I did not concur in the wisdom of making the change just then.
Sir Charles Tupper—The honorable gentleman ought to have dor.e
one thing or the other. The Chief Engineer having gone the next day to
England after discussing the matter with the honorable gentleman, and
having left his report in favor of the change, with the assurance of that
honorable gentleman that he agreed with it, he ought to have either obtained
the decision of the Council for the proposition or against it. or, at all events.
V lr
should have tajken care to know that the change was not made under, the
as|$pJ$ion that that which the Chief Engineer had recommended, and wrneli.,
met with the approval of the Hon. the Minister of Pubic Works	
Mr. Mackenzie—No.
;*jSii Chari!±s Tupper—Was not to be pursued.    That was the positiirjft'
in .wladph; I founds the work.    Notwithstanding the increased cost, I have no
hesitation in saying that the change was a wise one; and I recommended it
to the present Government especially when I found that the contract had
been carried on by the Engineer under the impression that the change ;haii'
been adopted, and that the contractor had expended over $100,000 for
plant thatswould not have been required if there had been no intention of a
change.    We were careful^,under these circumstances, that no more contracts should be let in the loose, irregulaay and improper manner prevailing
upLto that time.    We required a full statement  of all the work that -was
required on the sections of the railway, before we would commit ourselves
to their construction, and I postponed action twice upon the advertisement
which the honorable member for Lambton had himself put into the papers !
for the 185 milks, because the Department was not ready w%h the careful,
calculations based upon surveys and examinations and cross-sections jytefehv
had been prepared to enable us to know exactly what the amount of the
work would be.    I am happy to say that we have changed the mode of letting
the contracts, instead of basing them on mere guess work, we based them
on maximum quantities that cannot be exceeded; the contracts require the
amount of work should be done, if required, but that it may be reduced to
any extent.    I am happy to be able to tell the honorable gentleman that I
have already reduced the distance, or rather that Mr. Caddy, the engineer.'-
in charge of section 41, has been enabled, since that contract was let, to
reduce the distance on forty-seven miles of it by three and three-fourths
miles, a saying to the country of $319,000 by that reduction, and by lessens I
ing the amount of work to be done on that forty-seven miles.    The same,
process is going on on section 42, and these two contracts will be completed
within the time stated in the contract—a great novelty—the honorable gentleman will admit, considering the' inordinate time he has taken in similar!
cases.    Under that system we shall not only be enabled to construct these
works within the time stated in the contract, but by a reduction of the cost
by over half a million dollars.    I give this to the honorable gentlemen as an
evidence of the value of having a careful examination of the work before the
contracts are let, instead of rushing into it blindly.    That was our first
duty,   and   finding   that   this   expenditure   had   been   made,   we   had
no    alternative    but    to igo   forward   and   carry   it   out.      Moreover,
we    had   the   responsibility   thrown    upon    us    of   dealing   with   the
question of the construction of the railway as a whole; we did not find
it left a legacy to us, as the honorable gentleman found it left .to him.    It
was open to him, in the position in which we left the question, as I have
already stated, to say he was not prepared to adopt the policy of the construction of the railway, at all events in the manner that was indicated.
He adopted a different course; he not only provided for the construction
of the work directly by the Government, but he entered into a binding
treaty and  obligation with Lord Carnarvon, on behalf of  the  Imperial 16
Government and British Columbia, that this work should be completed by
1890 from the shores of Lake Superior to the Pacific Ocean. That was the
legacy we inherited from the honorable gentleman; and carrying out the
pledge he had made to Lord Carnarvon, he caused these further surveys to
be made with a view to the location of the line, and having satisfied himself that the best line that could be adopted was the line to Burrard Inlet,
the honorable gentleman proceeded to put an advertisement in the papers
calling for tenders for the construction of 125 miles, from Kamloops to
Yale. I heard with amazement the other night a statement from the honorable gentleman that he had not decided to do that work, that he had not
fully made up his mind to do it I am perfectly aware that it is legitimate
for a Government going to the country under the great discouragement
which the honorable gentleman was compelled to go to the country—I am
quite aware that it is legitimate for them to present a programme as attractive as they can for the consideration of the country. But I am astonished
that the honorable the then First Minister of the Crown should deliberately,
in his own department, call for tenders involving the expenditure of large
sums of money by intending contractors, for the construction of 125 miles
of railway through the canyons of the Fraser, a most difficult and inaccessible
locality, and afterwards state to this House that he did it deliberately, on
the eve of an election, without the intention of carrying it on to completion. The honorable gentleman stated that he was upholding the honor
and integrity of Canada ; that this work should be carried on to completion
as vigorously as possible, and that he had pledged himself to Lord Carnarvon
that the surveys should be prosecuted as rapidly as possible, and that as
soon as they were completed the road should be located, and not less than
two millions per annum should be expended. With that pledge he asks
for tenders for 125 miles of railway. That was the honorable gentleman's
obligation, from- which there was no escape, and there was the additional
pledge to British Columbia that that work was to be immediately undertaken. I ask the honorable gentleman to tell this house, if he had not
finally made up his mind to proceed with the construction of the railway
from Yale to Kamloops, why he made the contract involving the payment
of $32,400 to a contractor to carry rails from Victoria to Yale? Does the
honorable gentleman mean to say that, not content with holding out to the
people of British Columbia that he was going to build the railway, he was
absolutely going to take out of the public coffers $32,400 to remove these
tails from Victoria to Yale, without having satisfied himself that he ever
intended to strike a blow? That is a proposition, I am satisfied, the honorable gentleman, on reflection, will see is utterly untenable, and he will find
himself in a position that no possible argument on his part could justify.
Well, under these circumstances, the Government found themselves
brought face to face with the great question of the construction of
the Canadian Pacific Railway forced upon them. The course which had
been pursued by the late Government and by the late Finance Minister,
was that of holding up to the country the enormous and gigantic obligation
that this work would involve, and the honorable gentleman felt it his duty
to give the contractors all over the world, who might be invited to construct this line upon favorable terms, to understand that it was a work
involving enormous expenditure, and that it would be disastrous to any
\ 17
contractor to touch it. We were under the necessity of dealing with this
difficulty as a commercial undertaking, when it was in an entirely different
position from that which it occupied when we were deprived of power.
When we found ourselves brought face to face with this very serious question, what did we do ? We reverted back as far as possible under the
changed circumstances to our former policy. Our policy was this I That
the lands of the Northwest ought to build the Canadian Pacific Railway.
That was the principal plank in our platform. The late First Minister, in
his address at Sarnia, covered the whole ground when he said that it was
impossible ever to draw emigration into that great country and settle it
without the construction of a Canadian Pacific Railway. We held that
opinion, and we felt that, inasmuch as that great fertile North West must
remain a barren waste until the railway was constructed, and that inasmuch
as those lands were the most fair and fertile, and the richest to be found on
the face of the globe, and that they must remain useless to Canada unless
the railway was constructed, we felt warranted in adopting the policy which
we have adopted, But, saying that this great work ought to be and should
be constructed by utilizing those lands to which the road itself is
going to give such enormously increased value, we came down with that
policy, and we supposed that these honorable gentlemen opposite, having
committed the Government, having pledged the faith of Canada, as they
pledged it in relation to this question, that they would have been the first
men in this House to congratulate us upon the policy we had propounded
and give us their most hearty support, but we discovered that we were altogether mistaken. What was the language of the honorable leader ot the
Opposition last winter when we propounded that policy ? He said the land
was good for nothing.
Mr. Mackenzie:—I did not say so.
Sir Charles Tupper—The whole success of our scheme depended upon
being able to convince the world that these lands were fertile and of enormous value ; that they would largely repay any person who undertook their
settlement, that it was the most inviting field for emigrants that was to be
found in the world. But how did the honorable gentleman meet us ? He
met us first with the declaration that it is a bad policy to lock up the land.
Mr. Mackenzie—Hear, hear.
Sir Charles Tupper—Hear, hear, he says ? Yet I ask him what he
said to the people of Sarnia when he told them that without the Canadian
Pacific Railway these lands were valueless. I ask him how he reconciles
that statement with the statement that it is a bad policy to utilize these
lands for the purpose of constructing the railway through them ? What
more did the honorable gentleman say when he knew that the whole success
of our policy rested upon our success in convincing the world of the great
value of these lands and the safety of investing money in their purchase, in
order to give us the means of constructing this railway without imposing an
enormous burden upon the people of the country? The honorable gentleman took upon himself the responsibility of endeavoring to defeat the success of this policy. The honorable gentleman told the people of England
from the floor of this House that we could not give our lands away in Canada.
Mr. Mackenzie—I did not.
o m
Sir Charles Tupper—I ask the honorable gentleman to read his
speech. Turn up the Hansard and the honorable gentleman will see that
when we talked of building the Canadian Pacific Railway, with these lands,
and seHkg them to get the money he said we could not get people to settle
on the lands in Canada when we gave them away.
An honorable gentleman—Texas.
Sir Charles Tupper—I am not going to say anything about Texas, as
the honorable gentleman has been pressed sufficiently on that point; for he
was on the horns of a dilemma, and ready to fly to Texas or anywhere else
to escape from the difficulty. The honorable gentleman followed us to
England. After the House had adopted the policy that gave us the authority
to dispose of 100,000,000 acres of land for the purpose of constructing this
great work, and had authorized the mission to England for the purpose of
endeavoring to enlist capitalists abroad, and the Government of England to
aid in the prosecution of this work, the honorable gentleman not only
denounced the policy of using the lands, he not only declared that they were
Mr. Mackenzie—I said nothing of the kind.
Sir Charles Tupper-—He said we could not settle them when we gave
them away.
Mr. Mackenzie—I said nothing of the kind.
Sir Charles Tupper—If the honorable gentleman will read his speech
in the Hansard, he will find it there; if not, I will acknowledge I misapprehended what he said. The honorable gentleman followed us to England, he
followed that mission which this Government sent to England for the purpose
of obtaining aid in the construction of this work. Immediately upon our
arrival in England, a long article appeared in one of the leading journals,
declaring that there was a reaction in this country, that the Government had
lost their popularity; and so the honorable gentleman followed us step by
step, and used every argument that could be used in order to defeat and
render abortive the mission in which we were engaged. The passage I was
referring to in the honorable gentleman's speech of last year has been kindly
turned up for me. I will read from the speech of the honorable gentleman,
on page 1,905 of the Hansard;—
" If the honorable gentleman (Sir Charles Tupper) is proceeding on the hypothesis that in Canada alone is there any land available, he will find himself greatly
mistaken. We have found it very difficult indeed in Canada to promote settlement,
even where-fhe land was given away by the Government. It is still more difficult
to send settlers to the far-off western country, where they have the initial difficulties
of a new country to contend with, not less in amount, though different in kind, than
the settlers of our own wooded districts."
Mr. Mackenzie—Where is the place I said the land was worth nothing ?
Sir Charles Tupper—I said the honorable gentleman undervalued the
character of our lands.
Mr. Mackenzie—I have taken down the honorable gentleman's words;
he stated I said the lands were good for nothing.    Read the passage.
Sir Charles Tupper—I will tell him where I find it; I find it in the
statement that you cannot promote settlement where you give the lands
away., If that does not sustain my assertion, then I know nothing about
the meaning of the English language.   But not content with saying that we
\ 19
could not promote settlement where the lands were given away, that in the
Northwest the difficulties are greater than in any other part of Canada, the
honorable gentleman went on with this lugubrious account of our country:—
" They have a long winter, absence of lumber and building materials, and difficulties of transportation. We must, therefore, make up our minds, if we are to settle
that country, that it will be done only at the expenditure of a large amount of
money to aid settlers in going in, and in giving them land free after they get in.
That is my conviction.'
You not only cannot get them to go and settle the lands when you
give them away, but if you do, you have to pay them for doing it. If
we did that, where was the $100,000,000 to come from, on which we were
asking the House to sustain us in the construction of a Canadian Pacific
Railway ? Suppose we had failed under these circumstances, would it have
been very surprising? As has been already stated by the First Minister,
the communications with the Imperial Government were confidential, but I
may say this, that after the most friendly and frank discussion of the subject
with the Imperial Government, and especially with the Colonial Minister,
concerning the construction of a Canadian Pacific Railway—we found, and
for reasons I think the honorable gentlemen opposite will quite appreciate,
the time was not the most propitious for the purpose of pressing them for a
definite answer—we came away with the impression that at no distant day
we would be in a position to obtain from the Imperial Government the most
favorable consideration of our proposals. That this is a question in which
Lord Beaconfield's Government felt the greatest interest we can have no
possible reason to doubt. If the honorable gentleman opposite was about
making an appeal to the country, he would not like to be handicapped any
more heavily than was absolutely necessary for the time being; but there
is another reason why we did not think it necessary to press very strongly
the Imperial Government in relation to that matter. It is this, after the
discussion not only with the members of jhe Imperial Cabinet, and with the
Colonial Minister—after discussion with the first minds among the Opposition to the present Government in England—after having discussed this
question exhaustively with the first capitalists in England, we found we
were in a position, without any fear or doubt, to go steadily forward in
the prosecution of this work—knowing that the funds required could be
obtained on most favorable terms by my honorable friend the Minister of
Finance, and would be forthcoming as fast as he would require them, independently of any guarantee. I may still add that our mission was not
altogether fruitless from another point of view. If we were to go on with
the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway, it was not desirable that
-we should lose the opportunity of obtaining at a reduced rate a quantity
of steel rails for that railway, and I am able to tell the honorable gentleman
that we were more fortunate than himself—we h^d the good fortune to be
there just at the time when iron and freights had fallen to their lowest point,
and we were successful in making a purchase of 50,000 tons of steel rails at
a million and a half dollars less than the honorable gentleman paid for them,
and at a million and a half less than what they could be purchased for since.
Mr. Anglin—Why did you not purchase more ?
Sir Charles Tupper—I am afraid that honorable gentlemen are very
hard to satisfy.    All I can say is that if we had not been on the spot, and 20
the negotiations had not been managed as they were, we would not have been
able to have puirchased a quarter of that quantity at the price. It was the
last purchase made at that price, because when it was known that there was
a contract of 50,000 tons of steel rails on the market, the price went up at
a bound. I am afraid it will be a very long time before we, or our successors, will meet with the same good fortune in relation to this matter. I may
' say to some honorable gentlemen, who seem to think that owing to the.
■ defeat of the Beaconsfield Administration all hope of this Government ob-
. taining anything from England is gone, that we have no reason to distrust a
Liberal Administration any more than a Conservative Administration, and
I would ask any person who knows anything of the political principles propounded by gentlemen on this side of the House, whether there is any
Liberal party in England, or any man likely to be in a Liberal Cabinet in
England—under Mr. Gladstone, Lord Granville, or Lord Hartington—who
is more advanced in'Liberal principles than the gentlemen who sit on this
side of the House. There has, no doubt, been a great change of parties in
England, and if the Conservative party have lost power there, it has been
the means of bringing into power an Administration who are no more committed to Liberal principles and a Liberal policy than the gentlemen who
sit on this side of the House.
Mr. Rymal—I suppose you will hardly rejoice at the change.
Sir Charles Tupper—I may tell the honorable gentleman who interposed, that I am not dismayed at the change. I believe the interests of
Canada are just as safe in the hands of Lord Cardwell, as Colonial Minister,
as they were in the hands of Sir Michael Hicks-Beach. Who was Mr.
Cardwell ? He was the man who took up and went heart and soul into the
great question of the Confederation of British North America. He discharged that duty in the most able and energetic manner, and his successors
had merely to carry out what had really been accomplished by the Liberal
Administration. The Prime Minister of this Government, when in England,
had a highly satisfactory conversation with the gentleman who is not unlikely
to hold the seals of the Colonial Office, Mr. Foster. That gentleman, the
other day, in his speech delivered at the Colonial Institute, said :—
" His friend, Sir John Macdonald, came over to this country not long ago to get
a guarantee for the Pacific Eailroad, and he (Mr. Forster) was not at all sure that it
would not be advisable if the Mother Country were to be very liberal in these matters."
It will be seen, therefore, that notwithstanding the fall of the Beaconsfield
Administration, there is every prospect of the Government of Canada
being sustained and upheld in this great national enterprise. We
have here evidence that in the great country to which we owe a
loyal allegiance, there is in both political parties a keen appreciation
of the importance of our obtaining the great national highway now
under consideration. I ventured last year to draw attention to
the belief that the Imperial Government would feel that in the opening up
of the great Canadian North-West to the settlement of inhabitants of the
• Mother country, a. policy Would be propounded that would meet with the.
approval of Imperial statesmen. That idea was laughed to scorn by the
honorable gentlemen opposite. It was to them a matter of derision, but
subsequently Lord Beaconsfield came out in an elaborate eulogiurn on the
L 21
great national resources of British North America, and he declared to the
people of England the vital importance it was to the empire that her sons
who were obliged to expatriate themselves for the purpose pf bettering
their condition could seek a home in the fertile. lands of British North
America, under the same flag beneath which they had formerly lived, I
must now turn the attention of the House for a few moments to the
authority that was given to the Government at the last session of Parliament in relation to this great work, and the duty that was imposed on us.
I think I will convince the House (and the honorable member for West
Durham—I do not even despair of convincing him) that during the recess of Parliament the Government were engaged in discharging the duty
confided in them by Parliament, and which they directed them to carry
out.    The first resolution reads as follows :—
" 1. Resolved, That engagements have been entered into with British Columbia, as a condition of union with Canada, that a line of railway to connect the
Atlantic with the Pacific shall be constructed with all practicable speed."
" 6. Resolved, That in view of the importance of keeping good faith with
British Columbia, and canipleting the consolidation of the Confederation of Provinces
in British North America, and for 4ne purpose of extending relief to the unemployed
working c'nsses of Great Britain, and affording them permanent homes on British
soil | ar.i in view of the national character of the undertaking, the Government of
Canii-.a is authorized and directed to use its best efforts to secure the co-operation of
the Imperial Government in this great undertaking, and obtain further aid by guarantee or otherwise, in the construction of this great national work."
This resolution refers to the importance of securing the co-operation
of the Imperial Government by guarantee or otherwise, and all I can say is
that the Government did the best they could in that direction, and I think I
have given the House some evidence that the seed sown is likely to bear
ftuit in due time.    The seventh resolution reads:—
" 7.    That it is further expedient to provide :—
That 100,000,000 acres of land and all the minerals they contain be appropriated
for the purposes of constructing the Canadian Pacific Railway."
This was appropriated, and I need say nothing . further in relation to
the matter, after the exhaustive argument of the member for North Norfolk, who attacked the policy of the Government as to the mode in which
they propose to appropriate and utilize that hundred millions of acres of
land; and the able and exhaustive reply he received from the honorable
the first Minister, who, I believe, convinced this House, as he must have
convinced this country, that we have every reason to believe that that
policy will be eminently successful. I need not discuss the question
further, but say, that before Parliament rises it will be necessary to submit
a resolution confirming the mode in which it is decided by the Government to administer these lands a little more concisely than these resolutions
provide. It is not proposed, however, to depart from the policy we believe
has been wisely adopted, and which will be found sufficient to thoroughly
accomplish this work.    The ioth resolution reads :—
" 10. Resolved, That the Government be authorised and directed to locate a
portion of the Canadian Pacific Railway, from the Red River, westerly, running to
the south of Lake Manitoba, with a branch to Winnipeg. And, if they deem it advisable, to enter into contract for expending a sum not exceeding $1,000,000 in con- 22
structing the said railway without previously submitting the contracts to Parliament."
That power has been used, and before I sit down I shall have occasion
to explain to the House the position in which that matter stands. The
nth, 12th, 13th and 14th read :—
"11.   Resolved, That it is expedient to make further explorations in the Peace
and Pine River Districts and other sections of the country not yet examined, in order
to ascertain the feasibility of a line through the largest extent of fertile territory
before beginning the work of construction in British Columbia.
" 12. Resolved, That in the opinion of this House, the selection of the Burrard
inlet terminus was premature.
" 13. Resolved, That it is necessary to keep good faith with British Columbia,
and commence the construction of the railway in that province as early as is practicable.
" 14. Resolved, That the Government be authorised and directed to make such
further explorations as they may deem necessary for the said purpose, and so soon as
they have finally selected and located the line, to enter into contracts for constructing a portion of the same, not exceeding 125 miles, without the further sanction of
Parliament, so that the work of construction may, at latest, be commenced during
the present season, and thereafter be vigorously prosecuted."
I may say to the House that we fully appreciate the enormous expenditure involved in the construction of the line of railway to the Pacific
coast by the Burrard Inlet route. All we asked was authority to make
explorations with the view of seeing if we could not connect the Pacific
shores with the fertile district of the North-west by passing through a more
hospitable country.
Mr. Blake—Not inhospitable.
Sir Charles Tupper—I will recall that, as I have a vivid recollection of
what the honorable member has been made to suffer by having used that
word before. The Government, acting in good faith, and believing that if
they could facilitate the progress of the work in British Columbia, and find
a shorter and easier line of communication with the fertile valleys of the
North-west, it would largely assist in solving the great difficulty that.lays in
the way of constructing the Canadian Pacific Railway, directed itself as
vigorously to that question as possible. They obtained the services of an
active and energetic navigator to report on Port Simpson. After receiving
his report, I have no hesitation in saying that, in my opinion, no such port
is to be found on the Pacific coast as Port Simpson. It is easy of access,
and well sheltered within, and all that can be desired, in every respect.
But we found, on having the three routes examined, from Port Simpson to
Peace River, Pine River and Fort George, that the route Burrard Inlet was
150 miles shorter than that to Port Simpson, and we found that the country
through British Columbia, via the Peace River or Pine River, was not more
favorable for settlement than the Burrard Inlet route, but that, in addition to
its being 500 miles north of Victoria, we had to encounter a very unfavorable climate. The rain-fall was very incessant on the coast, and there Was.
no extent of country fit for settlement between the coast and five or six
hundred miles, where we would strike the Peace River Pass. Mr. Fleming,
pointed out in his report the great advantages it possessed, as a line easier
of construction. After full deliberation, we come to the conclusion that we
would not be acting in the interests of the country if we rejected the. Bur- 23
rard Inlet route which had been adopted by the late Government. The fact
that the hon. gentleman, after careful consideration, had adopted that route,
was greatly in its favor, and we had no hesitation in adopting it The Burrard
Inlet route has this advantage £It has a good harbor, and only thirty miles
across the Narrows are the valuable coal miles of Nanaimo. Within thirty
miles you have great coal deposits, and in close proximity abundant quantities
of iron ore, sufficient, I hope, to induce enterprising capitalists to undertake*
the manufacture of the iron rails required in British Columbia. You have
a most valuable fishery on those coasts, and, as is well known, you have
splendid forests of timber. You have, from Burrard Inlet up toward Yale,
from fifty to ioo miles of land valuable for settlement. The width is large
enough to provide homes for a large and thriving population. I fully
acknowledged last year that Kamloops district was a superior one. Yale is
at the head of the tide water, and you can reach it easily from the shores of
the Pacific. Steamers go daily from Victoria to Yale, and by the construction of 125 miles of rail you can reach the Kamloops district, which gives
us communication with the great central plateau of the Rocky Mountains,
through which 150 miles of the line will run, extending 140 miles south to
the United States, and 200 miles running northward, with a fine climate and
luxurious vegetation. The section of country is the most important and
the most suitable for settlers to be found in the whole of the Province of
British Columbia. I am sorry to detain honorable gentlemen opposite while
I read a few words from the " Guide to British Columbia," in which this
country is described—
Mr. Mackenzie—Who wrote the description ?
Sir Charles Tupper—I am not able to say who it was written by,
because I do not find the name of the author given, but I am happy to tell
honorable gentlemen opposite, if they are at all sceptical as to the value of
the authority, they will find a similar description in the able report of Mr.
Dawson of the geological survey of 1877, which affords abundant confirmation of what I shall here read. Speaking of the New Westminster district,
we find the following:—
" The Fraser river does not come from the Cascade range, but from the Rocky
range. It is the only river in British Columbia (except in the far northwest of the
Province) which has strength to cross the dry country between the Rocky and Cascade ranges and get through the latter range to the sea. It is fed in its course by
streams running from every point of the compass—a noble river, but navigable only
for considerable stretches, owing to rapids. Tale is the head oi steamboat navigation from the sea. After bursting through the mountain passes at Tale and Hope,
the Fraser is a tranquil, steady, clay-colored stream for the latter part of its course."
" This country on the lower portion of the Fraser is what I may call the New
Westminister district. It is in general a wooded district, but has large tracts of open,
arable and grazing land, delicious atmosphere—no malaria or ague—water-carriage,
facilities for shipment. Snow begins in January and is gone by March ; not continuous ; plenty of fish and game in the district; will raise anything Vancouver
Ibland will raise and more ; three large saw mills, employing 600 people; a grist
mill; distillery ; farmers' society, &c. About 200 settlers located themselves in
this district during 1874."
" The Mainland Guardian (New Westminister Journal), said, on March, 1872,—
A minimum yield of from 30 to 40 bushels of wheat to the acre, is the ordinary,'
average yield in the districts of Kamloops, Okanagan, Nicola, Sumass, Chilliwhack,
and the Lower Fraser.   Between the town of New Westminister and the mouth of 24
the river, a yield very much exceeding this is often obtained, not because of better
and more suitable soil, but solely due to more careful cultivation; 50 bushels of
oats, and an equal yield of barley, per acre are commonly reached. Indian corn
yields per acre 60 or 70 bushels. The yield of roots and green crops is generally
encouraging, being unsurpassed by any in the world."
" < On one farm the yield of potatoes was seven tons, on another as high as 15
tons per acre. ' Not a few specimens reached the enormous weight of 2£ and even 3
lbs. Turnips give 25 tons to the acre. Onions from four to six tons ; while carrots,
cabbages, beets, cauliflowsrs, &c, grow to a size which may without exaggeration be
described as enormous.
'•' Of fruits it may be enough to state, that the ordinary kinds (apples, pears,
plumbs, cherries, currants, gooseberries, strawberries, &c.) found in the eastern part
of the Dominion and in England, grow luxuriantly and yield plentifully.'"
" I will describe the New Westminister district, beginning at the mouth of the
River Fraser:—
" We find there extensive, low, rich, (tide-lands or flats,' free from timber, with
patches of willows, rosebushes, and, about the border of higher ground, crab apples.
A course grass called ' swamp hay,' is plentiful. There are a good many salt-water
sloughs, which add to th'e'uifficulty of dyking.
" Farm after farm is being occupied in this section, and there is room for settlers. There are 29,000 acres of very good land in an island between the north and
south-arm of the Fraser.
" ' On the north arm, a small settlement of about twenty farmers : 500 acres
cultivated ; samples of white and red wheat described as 5J feet high, yielding 50
bushels to the acre ; average of course, less. Two potatoes (" Breeley Prolific'")
}ielded 67 lbs.   1 imotl y hay, bailey, oats, peas, &c, good.'
" A district exactly like the mouth of Fraser district, indeed, part of it, within
the United Statesiterritory, near the mouth of the Lummi, and back from Semiahmoo,
is filling up with population rapidly.
" Ascending the Fraser, we in no long time come to forests on each side ; giant
pine; cedars, alders, maple cottonwood ; real agricultural value of land cannot be
seen. Luxuriant vegetation in the forest—berry-bushes of all kinds, also ferns,
ground-creepers, moss—the sweet-scented white flowers of the wild apple-free shine
among the green foliage of summer. Scenery and products altogether on a grand'
scale. But let the settler take heart : he is beside the sea here, no railway carriage
to the seaboard; there is much good land requiring little clearing, plenty well
worth the clearing. There are in parts extensive flats covered with wild hay, also
fine prairies with fertile soil ; excellent crops and dairy yield ; thriving farms near
the town of New Westminister, and settlements also at Pitt River, Keatsey, Langley,
Matsqui, &c. For instanee, at Pitt River 20,000 acres of good arable land requiring
no clearing—the part of it subject to freshets is good now for grazing.
" At Langley, a newspaper correspondent (Daily Standard, Victoria, November,
1872) describes farms with < several hundred acres of alluvial soil, black mould with
clay bottom ; at your feet several square miles of green meadow land, the gleaming river beyond, and across it the dark Caseade range; a stream, full of trout,
meandering through the meadow.' Another farm of "100 acres, every part cultivated',
drained, and laid off into large parks of 30 to 40 acres each ; the steading in the
form of a square; a fine mansion house.' Another of' 800 acres, 200 cultivated, fine
black soil, all fit for the plough, drained by a stream which skirts it.' Again, < 600
acre grass dairy Tarm ) cows, Durham breed; farmer cures butter.' The next, '300
acres, the stock and crop owned by the blacksmith. Good public school ; neat
Presbyterian chruch.' The writer ascribes an extraordinary production to'these
" Higher up the river still, where the rivers Sumass and Chilliwhack join the
Fraser, are rising settlements—Sumass Prairie 25,000 acres. Prime beef, choice
butter and cheese, fine cereals, wide-spreading fertile prairies and valleys here, thinly 25
peopled yet; 60 to 80 farms; .good dwellings, barns, stables, churches, schools,
shops, grist mill j 600 acres wheat raised last year, 40 to 50 bushes an acre ; 200
■acres oats ;also potatoes, peas, .beans, hop«,,fruit and even tobacco ; supply beef to
Tale and Hope (Yale gets some beef also from Nicola) ; extent of prairies great;
much good land also on the Chilliwhack above the valley that would do well when
Very fine stock country, ^and will also produce grain ; yield fall wheat only
without irrigation-; also profusely oats, barley, Indian corn, potatoes, tomatoes,
musk-melons, water-melons, grape-vines, tobacco. Summer warm, has shown 98° in
the shade, cold is sharp in winter, but weather clear and sunny, snow seldom deep,
and never lies long, cattle, horses and sheep as a rule, unhoused in winter; moderate
preparation, however, recommended.
" The lake, 70 miles long by 1^ miles wide ; country to the east of it a fair
sample of the bests districts betweenRocky and Cascade rangrs ; open, grassy hills,
dotted with trees like English parks, successive hills and dales; lakes, ponds, and
streams full of fish; soil much the same general character as the Similkameen ;
rich sandy loam, substratum of clay in some valleys, stretches of ' bottom' land, some
alkali patches; some settlers coming in fast and taking up land since Canadian
Pacific Railway began. Those who would have ' sold out' a year ago are now tilling
and improving their land. It is said that in Okanagan and adjoining districts, there
is room for a farming population of 10,000 souls (allowing 160 acres for nine persons.) Roman Catholic mission post 1,100 feet above sea level) on the east side of
the lake ; fine country behind it. On the west side of the lake, a little distance back
runs a low mountain range from which detatched spurs press upon the lake, and
rise above the waters in precipitous bluffs ; excellent pasture, particularly on small
spits jutting into the lake. The Cherry Creek silver mine has been abandoned for
the present.
" Near the north end of the lake is an Indian reserve of very choice land.
" Let us enter the district from the east. Columbia River is 44 miles from
Shuswap Lake, via Eagle Pass. Three Valley Lake (altitude 1.912 feet) is about 34
miles from Shuswap Lake. Directly south from Three Valley Lake is a long, wide,
grassy valley, which leads across a low 'divide' to the head-waters of the Shuswap
or Spillemeechene River. This is a gentle river flowing through a large valley,
much of which has clay sub-soil; fine fall wheat without irrigation; very good and
heavy crops here ; large farm buildings; well fenced fields; Indians at work on
farms; fine bunch grass on the high land, round which the river makes a southern
" A farmer on the Shuswap Prairie thrashed out 80 tons of wheat in 1879 ; two
other farmers 40 tons each. Prices here of very superior extra flour, §12 (48s. English) per barrel of 196 lbs ; choice bacon, 25 cents (Is. OJd. English) per lb.; juicy
beef, 10 cents (5d. English) per lb.
" Leaving the Shuswap or Spillemeechene River at a point, say beyond where
Cherry Creek joins it, there is between that point and the head of the Okanagan
Lake a district of open prairie nnd sparsely timbered land, abounding in rich pasturage and dotted with a few farming settlements.
'< From the head of Okanagan Lake to the Thompson River (South branch) is
about 45 miles northwest. Leaving the open, rolling, bunch-grass valleys of Okanagan, you first ascend for about 20 miles through timber land ; reach Grand Prairie—
fine soil, luxuriant bunch grass, dotted with cattle ; the prairie 16 miles by two
miles, bounded by hills, a river between ; elevation (1.450 feet) causes some danger
from night -frost. Ghrand Prairie to Thompson River—glittering stream through
valley, bordered by alders and willows, green meadows, clumps of trees, small lakes ;
good soil ready for cultivation.
" There is an open, or lightly timbered bunch-grass country along the banks of
the North ThompsoniRiver, and north of Kamloops Lake for 130 miles. 26
« Several English gentlemen, from the American side, have taken a prajrte of
2000 acres on the North Thompson, a short distance from Kamloops, and are making-
a long ditch for irrigation.
" In 1871, the yield of grain on the Tranquil and north and south branches of
the Thompson River was a million and a quarter pounds.
" The whole Kamloops-Shuswap district is a district of table land, with considerable depressions—abundant pasture, generally free from forests, and only interspersed with timber; summer climate dry, great heat; winter frequently very cold
for a day or two, but on the whole not very sharp; snow generally lies a short time
only ; cattle are driven here to winter, in severe seasons ; Hudson's Bay Company
used to ' winter out' 500 horses here, including brood mares and young horses. This
district will doubtless become known again as a mineral district. The first gold
found in quantity by the natives was found in this district, and fair wages are still
made on the Thompson River. The Thompson, near its mouth, is too full, rapid, and'
rocky for mining."
« Directly south from Kamloops, 30 miles, is Nicola Lake. The road at present
fromKamloops is a sort of natural trail over gently undulating but high open country,
with fine grass. First few miles no herbage; many ravines. At the first height,
turn and survey the magnificent scenery of the Thompson River valleys; will give
some idea of the grazing resources of the Province. Can bring a waggon with light
load across from Kamloops to Nicola Lake, if you take a guide, an axe, and a spade."
" This district includes Cache Creek, Bonaparte, also Williams Lake, and up to
Quesnel Mouth.
" The whole district is a very fine one, and at present shows what can be done
by applying capital to the soil. It is farther to the north, and generally more elevated than some sections already described, the risks of crops from summer night
frosts may be said to be very considerable in the entire country on the waggon-road
north of Pavilion Mountain, unless farms have a south aspect or are protected from
north blasts. The remark applies more particularly to farms farther north than Alexandria.
" The surface in so large a section of country is, of course, varied. It embraces
within its area fertile river-benches (terraces), table lands, large open valleys, immense plains and great rolling hills.
'• The country near the Thompson, Bonaparte and Hat Rivers is very attractive
to the eye; miles of green hills, crowning slopes, and level meadows; hardly a bush
or a tree ; fine grass almost to the hill-tops. The climate very healthful and enjoyable ; rather a want of timber in parts, also of rain generally, but there are many
" For grazing, the country cannot be surpassed, and its agricultural capabilities,,
so far as the soil is concerned, are in many parts very good. At Cache Creek and on
the Bonaparte there is' excellent arable land. The country through which the waggon-road passes to Williams Lake has some very good soil, with no more timber than
is needed for farming purposes. The farming land is bounded by low hills, beyond
which there are prairies and valleys. These hills are undulating and brightly green,
and their grassy carpet is daisied over with countless wild flowers."
I have no doubt, when my honorable friend the Minister of Public
Works has completed his improvements, we shall get ioo to 150 miles of
navigation, up into the mineral regions, that will become available
Mr. Blake—Will it yield as much as Vancouver Island?
Sir Charles Tupper—He does not say anything about that.
Mr. Mackenzie—It ought to do that, I should think.
Sir Charles Tupper—I do not think that honorable gentlemen should
abuse Vancouver Island after agreeing to expend four millions upon it. 27
I may say that the horses owned by .the Government, are, in the Kamloops district, unhoused during .the winter, and have been found to be in
good condition in the spring. No part of British Columbia is better suited
for settlement and cultivation than that of the Kamloops district.
Mr. Mackenzie—That is the best part of the country.
Sir Charles Tupper—There is no doubt of it; and that is one of the
reasons for adopting it as the railway route. Honorable gentlemen opposite
exercised a wise and sound discretion in committing the country to the construction of the 125 miles now put under contract, and which will bring us
in communication with the navigation of the north and south Thompson,
and render access to the rich mines of Cariboo comparatively easy. The
gold and coal mines will be made accessible by easy and rapid communication, and promote, as the honorable gentleman said to his constituents at
Sarnia, the opening up of the inaccessible parts where there are inexhaustible riches in the bosom of the earth. Well, sir, we resolved not to
waste time in surveys, but to make a rapid exploration of the route to
Port Simpson, and undertake at once the construction in accordance
with our pledge to Parliament. Upon determining that the line to Burrard
Inlet was the best we should have been false to ourselves and obliged to
sacrifice the best interests of the country if we did not act promptly and
carry it out. In putting this section under contract I am glad to be able to
say that the contracts will not be found to be fraught with the danger that
honorable gentlemen might suppose, unless they take the trouble to read
them. They have been let in maximum quantities : after putting in everything that could possibly be required, $1,000,000 extra is added for any
possible contingencies. The contracts themselves amount to $9,167,000 ;
$1,000,000 of that is for contingencies. The contracts are let by the yard,
but the Government have ascertained by proper evidence the very outside
quantities possible required for the construction of a first class road; and
the Government have reserved power to cut down the work to any extent
that may be found practicable, and at the same time to construct road of the
cheapest description from Kamloops to Yale. By carefully laying out the
work, by carefully watching its progress, by carefully reducing the work; by
increasing the curvature and increasing the grades if necessary and advisable,
we may finish and equip the road below the actual amount, as stated in the
contract; and we have also reserved the power to stop the work at any
Mr. Blake—Could you do it now ?
Sir Charles Tupper—I still hope to prove to the honorable member
for West Durham (Mr. Blake) that it would not be in the interest of the
country to bring this work to a stand, to tarnish the fair fame of Canada by
declaring that we were ready to repudiate solemn engagements, simply
because they were entered into by our predecessors. We do not bind ourselves to build the road by 1890, as they did ; we limited our obligation to
build that road by the greater obligations that we owe to Canada, not to do
anything that will materially interfere with the interests of the Dominion.
We will not hold ourselves bound—although the honorable gentleman has
pledged us to do it—to spend $2,000,000 per annum. We do not expect
to spend $1,000,000 this year; and if we stop the contractor at any time, if, r
through any disturbance of the Hon. the Minister of Finance's calculations"
or otherwise, it may be found expedient to do so, we can stop the work
without paying one dollar for loss, or for the profits the contractors might
otherwise have made. If that stoppage is ordered for six months, we must
make compensation by extending six months to the time allowed for the
completion of the contract. I expect, with the utmost confidence, that that
road will be finished and equipped with a moderate«amount of rolling stock
in as cheap a manner as is compatible with safety in going over it, and that
the whole of the cost will come within the $9,000,000. I will now refer to
the objections to the Burrard Inlet route made a year ago, first that it was
too near the American frontier.
Mr. Mackenzie—Have you not shifted the frontier ?
Sir Charles Tupper—We cannot prevent our line being exposed to
having its traffic carried to a- terminus in the United States ; but there'was
a more important matter—that the Burrard Inlet could be commanded by
guns on San Juan Island, and we considered how that difficulty could be
Mr. Blake—It might be done by getting a big gun ourselves.
' Sir Charles Tupper—The honorable gentleman says by getting a big
gun ourselves ; but we have another mode of meeting the difficulty, namely,
by the construction, when required, of eight miles of railroad, from the harbor of Esquimault to Sanwich Inlet, which will enable us to get to Burrard
Inlet, and thus avoid one of the principal objections that I raised last year.
The honorable gentleman will not have the opportunity, I think, to throw
the taunt across the House that I carried out a policy to which I was opposed. I had the candour to say, last year, in the light of all that was then
known, that I would select Burrard Inlet, and all we asked the House to say
was that the location of that line was premature. The subsequent exploration and examination confirmed us in the course we adopted, and having
made this examination I think we disposed of the word " premature."
Having propounded the policy of the construction of this road by the appropriation of 100,000,000 acres of lands, the Government felt it was necessary to put before the world the most authentic information we could'get in
relation to that land, and, notwithstanding that a large amount of money
has been expended on surveys, I think that it is not so large as we have
been led to suppose. Some $900,000, charged for surveys, should have
gone towards construction, because it was really in relation to the location
and construction of the road. But, as the honorable First Minister of that
day told the House, this was no ordinary survey. We were exploring a
country running, from Nipissing to St. Jarhes' Bay, running from Vancouver
Island to Fort Simpson, and running from the fifty-first to the fifty-sixth
parallel of latitude across the continent. The report I laid upon the table
of the House last year was accompanied by a map giving the best information in possession of the Government in relation to the lands in the North
West In this map the portions of the country about which we had no
definite information as to its value for settlement were indicated ; and I am
happy to be able to say that from the explorations of the past season we are
now able to say that from the foot of the Rocky Mountains to the western
L 29
boundary of Manitoba we can find 150,000,000 acres of good land, and
only 30,000,000 acres of land unfit for settlement.
Mr. Mackenzie—That is not the railway belt.
Sir Charles Tupper—Yes, it is.    The honorable gentleman can see.
that for himself from the map.
Mr. Charlton—Does it cover the Peace River district ?
Sir Charles Tupper—It does to some extent. I am happy to be able
to state that the surveys will be completed on the first day of July this
year, and that every dollar in the estimates for the coming season will be
expended in the construction of the road. Although in connection with the
diversion of the line south of Lake Manitoba, to run through a country
valuable for settlement—the best country for the railroad to pass through
and to promote colonization as rapidly as possible—the length of the line
was increased some twenty miles, nearly four miles were saved between
Thunder Bay and the Red River. We have found a good line between
Winnipeg and the Rocky Mountains, escaping the enormous gullies to the
south of Edmonton Pass, which shortens the road by ten miles or more.
Mr. Mackenzie— This is not measured yet.
Sir Charles Tupper—No; we are obliged to deal with approximate
measurements in order to discuss this question at all. I am also happy to be
able to say that, so far from the second 100 miles being open to the criticisms of the honorable gentleman, we have not only got a good line, but we
have just received tenders for the construction of probably as heavy a section of line as there is between Red River and the foot of the Rocky Mountains, under $500,000 for 100 miles. The grades will not exceed those of
the Grand Trunk or Great Western Railways. If there is any part of the
line which it is important should have the best possible grade, it is that
between the country from the Red River to Lake Superior. No person
who heard the elaborate statement of the honorable the Minister of the Interior the other night, can doubt but that the population will increase in
the country as rapidly as he depicted.
Mr. Blake—Hear, hear.
Sir Charles Tupper—I will refer the honorable gentleman to the.
Grit Bible for evidence of the accuracy of those statements. I have here
an extract from the Globe newspaper:—
" It would not indicate extravagant hope to say that 1,000,000 peopl • will be in
the North West Territories before the 1,400 miles already considered have been coju-
structed. But let us say that only 500,000 people are then in. the North West. If
they contribute to the Dominion treasury in the same proportion as the people of
the other provinces, they will increase the revenue by $3,000,000 a ye ir. The 1.300
miles of railway we treat of will certainly not cost more than $30,000,000 when completed and equipped. That sum represents an annual payment of interest of $1,200,-
000, soithatno less than $1,800,000 would remain to the good. Part of it would, of
course, go in expenses of government and protection for the 500,000 people contributing the whole, but it is easy to see that the Dominion has nothing to lose by carrying the Pacific Railway to the Rocky Mountains at an early date."
This is a corroboration of the statement, that we will be able to build
the whole road from the customs duty alone of the 500,0.00 people that will
/shortly go into that country.    Under the circumstances, Lam astonished at. 30
honorable gentlemen opposite arraying themselves in an attitude of hostility
to this work, on the ground that it is going to plunge us into financial difficulties. Although I am not prepared to admit the accuracy of everything
that appears in the Globe, I believe that the editor never penned a wiser or
more patriotic article than the one I have just quoted. No man has been
more unjustly assailed by that newspaper than myself, but after reading that
article I am prepared to forgive that paper everything. I feel that at last,
actuated by patriotic sentiments in a crisis like this, the editor feels
bound to come forward and cast his great influence in favor of this important work demanded alike by good faith and the best interests of Canada.
The same article continues :—
" We now come to the Lake Superior section, which is certainly a political
necessity, but not required till the prairie line has been completed and connected
with Thunder Bay. It is, as we have shown, reasonable to suppose thafifat least half
a million people will be on the plains when the Pacific Railway reaches the Rocky
Mountains. Every family going in afterward will increase the quantity of produce
available for export. The population of thejjfriited States doubled itself in twenty-
five years; in several western territories the population has been doubled in ten
years. The Canadian North West will gain by immigration continually, and— as
always happens^where fertile land can be easily procured—births will be very
numerous. By the time the line to the Rocky Mountains has been completed it
will be wise to push on the road around Lake Superior, because before it can be built
at a fair rate of speed a large traffic will await its opening. The Lake Superior section from the eastern terminus of the main Pacific to Fort William will be 620 miles
long, and when completed it will offer to the traffic of the Canadian and to a large
part of the American North West the shortest all-rail route to the seaboard, tt^s
not needed till the prairies have been opened up by the line to the Rocky Mountains. After that has been built it may be safely completed as a commercial road,
one that will pay better year by year, and will ultimately be a very valuable
What is our present position? On the 31st December last we had
expended $14,159,665. I give the items :—The expenditure on the lines
from Lake Superior to Red River has been $4,866,861 : on telegraphs,
$5°5>°39 > Pembina Branch, exclusive of rails, $511,214; on rails, bolts and
spikes, for the work altogether, up to the 31st December, $2,968,062.
Mr. Mackenzie—What has been done with the old rails ?
Sir Charles Tupper—Those are the old rails. I am not including
any considerable amount of the rails purchased since, because the payments
up to 31st December have not been made to any large extent. On the
Canada Central there was spent $563,715. I am glad to be able to say, in
connection with the contract for the section west of Red River,. that the
contractor entertains no doubt of opening fifty miles by July, and of laying
the track and being able to carry passengers over the one hundred miles by
the end of the season. We also expect to be able to complete the first fifty
miles of the second one hundred, west of Manitoba, by the July following,
and the remainder during the year 1881. For engineering and misoeila-
neous expenditures in connection with construction, $993,000; payments
not under contract, including such as for land at the Kaministiqua, and
dredging at Thunder Bay, &c, $247,300. The total for construction,
$10,729,257, to the 31st December last. Explorations, preliminary
surveys, and general examination of the whole country from Nipissing to
James' Bay in the east, and in British Columbia on the west from Victoria 31
to Port Simpson, extending throughout from the 49th parallel to the 56th
parallel, $3,119,618. Total expenditure upon the Canadian Pacific Railway,
including the Pembina Branch, $13,848,876. There is another item of Pacific
Railway accounts of $22,995, being a payment on the Dawson route in
settlement with one of the contractors, and on the Fort Francis locks, which
■cost $287,795, which, being one hundred miles away from the line, I do not
think ought to be charged to the Canadian Pacific Railway account. But
'.including this it reaches the total to the end of the year of $14,159,665.
It being six o'clock the Speaker left the chair.
after recess.
Before six o'clock I was about taking up the question of the expenditure that will be required to complete the Canadian Pacific Railway. I
will now submit a calculation I believe to be an outside one, or above the
probable outlay. This estimate has been prepared by a gentleman who has
had the widest and best opportunity of forming a deliberate and dispassionate judgment on the subject—a gentleman whose atality, in my opinion, is
only exceeded by his caution— Mr. Sandford Fleming, Engineer-in-Chief of
the Canada Pacific Railway. Howeyer much this estimate of expenditure
may be reduced, I am sure it cannot be exceeded. The distance from
Lake Superior to Burrard Inlet is 1,956 miles; that is adding twenty miles
for the diversion of the line to the south of Lake Manitoba, and deducting
three" and three-quarters miles for the reduction in the distance between
Lake Superior and Red River, and the shortening by the change of route
passing north of Edmonton instead of south as before. That total includes
the Fort William and Selkirk section of 406 miles as now reduced ; and for
that I submit an estimate for completion in the manner intended as a first-
class road, and with a thorough equipment for the large traffic expected,
-and including terminal stations, $17,000,000, or $1,000,000 less for the
reasons stated than my estimate of last year. The 1,000 miles from Selkufk
to Jasper Valley, the dividing point just beyond the foot of the Rooky
Mountoinsjriadudhig a Kgrit'equipment—all that will be required for some
years—Mr. Fleming estimates at $13,000,000, that is $3,000,000 more than
the average estimate for the 200 miles west of Red River, in order to be
entirely safe; We have 100 miles actually under contract, and have received
tenders for the other 100 miles, and I do not expect the average cost to
• exceed that of the 100 miles just let.
Mr. Blake—What is the amount estimated for the equipment, per
Sir Charles Tupper—A light equipment is all we shall require for
.some years.
Mr. Blake—Will it be $1,000 or $2,000 pei mile?
Sir Charles Tupper—When the traffic demands a heavier equipment
tthere will be the means of providing it.
Mr. Blake—I only want to know your estimate in dollars.
Sir Charles Tupper—It is $13,000 per mile, as against an estimate
we should be justified in giving of $10,000 a mile, making $3,000,000 more
than the average of the amount probably needed to complete and supply
with a fair equipment the 200 miles we have under contract on the prairies.
L 32
From Jasper Valley to Port Moody the distance is 550 miles. From Jasper
to Kamloops, in British Columbia, to which the portion now under contract
extends, is 335 miles, which can be constructed I believe, for $40,000 a
mile. But Mr. Fleming, more cautious, has given an outside estimate of
$43,660 a mile. This is much heavier than the prairie district, but is light
compared to the section we have let in the canyons of the Frasar. That
Will' give $15,500,000 for the section from Jasper House to Kamloops.
From Kamloops to Yale is 125 miles, which Mr. Fleming estimates at $80,-
000 a mile, or $10,000,000 to complete the road, with a fair equipment for
any traffic likely to be required. In my opinion we may set down, instead
of $10,000,000, $9,000,000 for that work. From Yale to Port Moody, 90
miles, he estimates at about $38,888 a mile, or $3,500,000. Those 550
miles foot up $29,000,000, to which, with his usual caution, Mr. Fleming
adds $1,000,000 ; this makes, with the $17,000,000 for the road from Fort
William to Red River, and $13,000,000 from Red River to Jasper Valley,.
$30,000,000 from that point to Burrard Inlet, a total of $50,000,000. To-
that, add for surveys and explorations, not included in the cost of engineering and locations, and other operations, $3,119,618. The House will be
very much surprised to learn the lavish, expenditure of the late Government
in British Columbia, if at the time the then Premier did not intend to carry
the work to completion. From June, 1871, to June, 1872, surveys in British
Columbia cost $182,216; from 1872 to 1873, $315,000—the late Government, of course, not being responsible for that. From 1873 to 1874, $118.,-
000; from 1874 to 1875, $191,241; from 1875 to 1876, $330,162'; from
1876 to 1877, no less than $273,788, or $500,000 for those two years;
from 1877 to 1878, $126,476; from 1878 to 1879, $50,112,: and from July,
1879, t0 December, $25,000 more, making a total of $1,611,997, for surveys in British Columbia. To that, add the expenditure between Lakes
Nipissing and Superior, and between Lake Superior and Red River and
the Rocky Mountains, in all $1,507,621, making a total of $3,119,618, to
be added to the $50,000,000, embracing all the other expenditures in connection with the Canadian Pacific Railway, except the Pembina Branch.
The Pembina Branch is estimated to cost, when finished and equipped,
$1,750,000, making in all, including the construction from Lake Superior
to Burrard Inlet, and all the surveys, a sum of $64,869,618. That completes the Canadian Pacific Railway, with the exception of 600 miles from
Fort William to Nipissing, the terminal point.
Mr. Mackenzie—It is more than 600 miles.
Sir Charles Tupper—After the Canada Central Company extend
their line to the Sault on the line I expect they will follow, it will be considerably less than 600 miles, because we will strike the Canada Central
some 60 or 70 miles west of the southeast bay of Lake Nipissing. Therefore, my estimate is more likely to be over the mark- than under it. I am
inclined to think, from the surveys that have been prosecuted during the
past year, from Nipigon to Fort William, a good and easy line can be
obtained, so much so as to make it doubtful whether it may not be desirable to go to Fort William rather than to strike the line from Lake Superior to Red River, some 50 or 60 miles outside the presert terminus. I
have also had a survey made from Nipigon eastward to Long Lake, and the
\ 33
line there is much more favorable than was before supposed. The line from
Nipissing towards the head of Lake Superior is also found to be an extremely
favorable line, running through an even country, well timbered. So tjhat I
am happy to be able to say that the completion of ou£ national through
line of railway from Ottawa to the waters of the Pacific—I may say from
Halifax, on the Atlantic, to the waters of the Pacific—will be attended with '
much less difficulty and expense than we have been led to suppose down to
the present time. I need not say we do not propose to grapple with the
whole of this work at the present moment, but I believe that with the
prospect of the development of the great North West and the increase of
population, at a comparatively early day, the pressure for the construction
of the through line will ere long become so great as to warrant and compel
that work being undertaken as essential in the interests of Canada. Now,
I believe we may safely put the cost of that work at $30,000 a mile. In the
first place, we will have easy access to it by the Canada Central, at or near
Sturgeon River, sixty or seventy miles west of the present terminus at South
East Bay. From the head of Lake Superior at Nipigon we will again strike
the line by water communication, and at Fort William we will have a railway for the purpose of reaching it at that end. Striking at these three .
points I believe we may safely put that work at $30,000 a mile, which
would add $18,000,000 to complete this great national highway. If we
were to put it at $30,000 a mile, an amount to which it may be safely
reduced, we make a total of $82,869,618. Mr. Fleming estimates this 600
miles at $20,000,000, which woold make $84,869,618. When I remind the
House that the land alone, according to the authority of the Right Hon.
Minister of the Interior, upon a calculation which he believes to be sound,
within the next ten years, will give us $38,000,000 in hand, and $32,000,000
to receive on mortgages within the following ten years, or a total sum of
$70,000,000—it will be seen that we incur no risk. But suppose the land
does not give us that, we have an authority which honorable gentlemen
opposite will accept, that the customs revenue from the people who will
go -into the country for the next ten years will furnish the interest on
$60,000,000. I have no hesitation in saying that the whole sentiment of
the country has changed on this question. I am not at all ashamed to say
that my own opinions have completely changed in relation to the character
of this great woEk. I remember well that when the then First Minister
brought in his act in 1874, for the construction of this as a Government
"work, I felt that we were incurring too great a responsibility. I believed at
that time it was an unsafe and unsound policy for the Government of this
country to undertake the construction of this great national work from end
to end as a Government work, and I did not hesitate to express my opinions
as freely and as forcibly as I could on the occasion of the passage of that
measure. But the whole condition of Canada has changed since then.
There is not an intelligent man in this country who does not look upon the
prospect of the settlement and development of the North West with entirely
different feelings from those that were then entertained. Why, who could
listen to the glowing statements of the honorable member for North Norfolk
{Mr. Charlton) when he pictured the enormous tide of emigration into
the   North   Western    States,   and    pointed    out    that   a   similar   tide
3 F
was only Waiting for an opportunity to pour into our own North
West; who could listen to the evidence the honorable gentleman
gave that the investment of $54,000,000 capitalized, would have given the
United States all the money that had been received from those lands and
enable them to have disposed of them by free grants instead of by sale,
without feeling that he was furnishing the strongest evidence of the safety of
the course that this Government was adopting in grappling with this question. By our land regulations we present these fertile regions of our North
West Territory in a more attractive form for settlement than even the lands
in the United States were offered, and, at the same time, hold within our
grasp, for sale, lands enough to more than recoup Canada for every dollar
expended on this railway. Let me again quote an opinion that is much
stronger with honorable gentlemen opposite than anything I can utter, that
is, an article in the great organ of their party, the Globe, which, after a most
careful examination of this whole question, says :—
" It is admitted by everyone that the plains of the North West Territories are
exceedingly fertile, and capable of sustaining, by agriculture, a population twice as
numerous as the present population of the Unitea'Siaties. It is also admitted that a
railway from Selkirk to the Rocky Mountains will open up the country so rapidly
that in a very few years the line will pay, as a commercial enterprise. There is
nothing to be gained by constructing it much faster than a continuous westward settlement can be made on the adjacent belt of land. But no one can doubt that it
will pay the Dominion well to build that piece of road. It will be 900 miles long,
or over one-third of the whole Pacific Railway. *        *
We find, then, that no less than "1,924 miles of the proposed Pacific Road may be
fairly considered as a commercial enterprise. That it is-also a national enterprise, is
a very poor argument against the project. When the road has been carried from the
Eastern terminus to the Rocky Mountains, it is safe to say that the population of the
North West will be great enough to contribute to the Dominion Treasury a larger
sum than will pay the interest on the loan, for which the older Provinces must first
pledge their credit. We have taken no account of the land sales, which must, if well
managed, put every year, a large and continually increasing sum into the hands of
the Government. *       *        *       But there is a political side to the
question. British Columbia will feel aggrieved unless some attempt is made to keep
faith with her. To develop the resources of the Province in advance ot the completion of the Pacific road is not an unreasonable wish.* There is a considerable tract
of good territory along the lakes and rivers of the proposed Yale-Kami oops section.
That piece of road; will cost perhaps $12,000,000 when equipped, and it is proposed
to finish it during the next five years. Canada is asked to spend $2,400,000 a year
for the purpose of colonizing and contenting British Columbia. The interest on the
money will be $96,000 the first year, and $480,000 in the last and each year thereafter. Now, it may be thought that this is not a large annual sum to pay for a piece
of road, which, though not necessary to the older Provinces, must be built some
time, and in the meantime will materially
If 100,000 people settle in British Columbia during the construction of the
road—and there is every reason why that number should go there in the course of a
few years—the Dominion will receive from them a revenue sufficient to pay the interest on the expenditure. It is no unimportant consideration that the people of the
Pacific Province would rebel against the total abandonment of the line, and by
clamoring for secession endanger the permanence of Confederation."
I trust these statements will relieve the honorable gentlemen opposite of
any apprehension they may • have as to the entire safety of at once undertaking the work, in the cautious manner the Government have adopted. 35
Now, I must refer once more to that great authority in the estimation of the
honorable gentlemen opposite. On the opening day of the session, and
long before that, at the time the Government were engaged in this exploration to Port Simpson, and investigating as to whether it were possible to
find an easier line, what was the Globe telling British Columbia :—
" If Mr. Mackenzie had not been deprived of power, that route, at this moment,
would have been under construction, and being rapidly pushed to completion."
The Globe, no doubt, when it found the honorable gentleman not only
advertising for tenders, but actually making an expenditure of .$32,400, in
hot haste during the progress of a general election, to move the rails from
Esquimault to Yale, concluded that he was just as serious as I concluded
he was. I was not alone, for the organ of his party seems to have been
laboring under the same misconception, as a reference to the Globe will
show. Not only did the Globe say that, but it also stated, on the opening
day of this session, if I remember rightly, at the time the leader of the
Opposition was actually intimating that he was prepared to go back upon
his own record, and abandon the keeping of good faith with British Columbia, to which he had pledged this country, it told the people that if he had
not lost power the work would have been under construction at that moment. I need not say more than that to show how thoroughly the honorable gentleman had convinced every person of his intention to go forward
with that work. I dare say I will be told by the honorable member for
West Durham (Mr. Blake) : Granted that your figures are correct, assuming that you can build this railway for even less money than you have esti-
timated, you have only encountered the first difficulty"; you have then
to operate the line, and the cost of that will be so greatly beyond anything
you can hope to obtain from it, that you will place an intolerable burden
upon the people of this country. I must address myself for a few moments
to that question. I will first give the information I have just received from
the Superintendent of the Pembina Branch :—
" The 160 miles we have now opened in the North West, shows that from,
the 1st day of March to the 12th of April we have carried 5,236 passengers, and
1,248 loaded cars, containing 12,460 tons of freight/'"*Phe gross receipts during that
short period were $36,387, and working expenses $15,000,-leaving a net profit of
$21,387, and this during a more difficult and sioimy period than has been known for
many years."
By July, 1882, we will have about 700 miles of this road in operation;
we will have 85 miles from Selkirk to Emerson or St. Vincent. We
will have 200 miles in operation west of the Red River, which, with the
branch of 16 miles to Winnipeg, will give us some 700 miles in operation,
without reference at ail to .the section in British Columbia. I have every
reason to believe that every mile of that road, from the day it is opened,
will make an ample return for all the expenditure incurred in its operation.
I think it is safe to say that in every succeeding year, as we extend gradually
this road towards the Rocky Mountains, it will furnish such an additional
volume of traffic from Red River to Thunder Bay, which will become the
great entrepot of that country, as will prevent it from burdening the people,
and give us some fair return for the interest on the money used in its com
struction. Honorable gentlemen must not forget, as I said before, that the
whole aspect of affairs in this country has entirely changed within a brief 36
period; that that which would have been properly regarded as highly
imaginative in relation to the development of the Canadian North-west,
must now be looked upon'with very different eyes indeed. My honorable
predecessor need only recall to his mind the fact that he publicly advertised, in 1876, offering $10,000 a mile and 20,000 acres of land for the
construction of the road, and asking how much more capital tenderers
would require four per cent, upon for twenty-five years to induce them to
undertake this work. And what was the response ? Not a tender. So
completely had the honorable gentleman opposite succeeded in imbuing the
minds of capitalists in this country and abroad with the hopelessness of this
enterprise, that not one of them would undertake it as a commercial enterprise on any terms. What is the condition of things to-day, supposing this
Government were to put an advertisement like that in the papers asking on
what terms capitalists would come forward and construct the road from Red
River to Kamloops, and repay us all the expenditure we have made beyond
Red River, and undertake to maintain and operate not only all that part of
that road, but the rest of the road down to Yale or Burrard Inlet ? Would
there be no response ? If such a proposal were made to-morrow, does he
not know that the first capitalists of this country would come to the front
and offer to construct and operate that road on terms that would for ever
settle the question as to whether this undertaking would be a serious
burden on the people of this country. I have good reason to state that
such an offer as that would secure the construction and operation of the
whole line from Red River to Kamloops, with the operation and maintenance of all the road to the Pacific, at a cost not exceeding $13,000 or $ 10,000
per mile from Red River to Kamloops, and 26,000,000 acres of land. In
that case we would be in this position, as the honorable gentleman would
see, that the whole expenditure of an unknown quantity, proving a burden
that could not be calculated, would be entirely removed, and we would be
in a position of having this great national work accomplished within ten
years, and on terms that would involve comparatively light expenditure
from the people of this country, and that would be a thousand times- recouped
from, the development of the North-west.
Mr. Mackenzie—Not a thousand times.
Mr. Blake—Nor a hundred.
Sir C h arles Tupper—While I say recouped, and when I said a thousand
fold, I did not mean, as the honorable gentleman knows, that the actual
amount would be returned a thousand times. I meant that there would be
such a development of the magnificent North West of this country as would
lift Canada rapidly into the position of a nation. And I would ask the
honorable, gentleman whether, under these circumstances, the Government
is not in apposition to say that they feel entirely free from any apprehension
as to the.sost either of the construction or the operation of this road after
its construction. Before I sit down, I must refer to the question of cancelling the contract of the Georgian Bay Branch. As the honorable gentlemen
know, the Georgian Bay Branch was undertaken without the necessary
information. As the honorable gentlemen know, the pciicy of the Government of that day had to be completely changed after they ascertained the
difficulties, the)- would encounter, and the uselessness of the work after it 37
was done. Instead of going from Nipissing to the Georgian Bay, it was
decided to stop the road at Cantin's Bay, and canalize the French River
from that point. The Government satisfied themselves that, in the interest
of Canada, all the money that was expended south of Lake Nipissing would
be thrown away. Having satisfied themselves of that they cancelled that
contract. It is now evident that the attention of the whole of this country
has turned to the question of obtaining the shortest line of communication
to our Great North West by Sault Ste. Marie. Honorable gentlemen opposite may remind me that at one time I entertained serious objection to going
by Sault Ste. Marie, but'the case is different to-day.
Mr. Mackenzie—Most other people are going to the States.
Sir Charles TuppeTr.—There is nothing that makes one despair so
much of the future ofcfcbis country as the determined, settled policy of honorable gentlemen opposite to decry and trample down their own country; but
I tell honorable gentlemen they mistake the patriotism of our people
if they imagine they will ever ride into power over the ruins of their country.
What is wanted to give a rapid and decided impetus to the progress and
prosperity of Canada is that patriotism in the hearts and minds of its sons—
(cheers)—which will enable them to unite in taking, up a great national
ijquestion free from the lowering and degrading tendency of party politics,
which leads men to seek party and personal advantages at the cost of the
country. When I opposed the construction of/the line to the Sault, it was line imder construction from Thunder Bay to
Red River; but the moment the Government was committed to the building
of that line, it was our duty to look for means by which we could make it productive. What are those means ? I have satisfied myself that the road,
with its easy grade and cheap rate at which it will be able to bring down the
products of the North West, cannot possibly have a competitor. What
would be the result of the extension of this road from Nipissing to the
Sault Ste. Marie? The distance from Montreal to Winnipeg via Chicago
is 1,741 miles. But, suppose a road were built to the Sault, and a fine was
built to St. Paul along the south shore of Lake Superior, the distance by
that route would be 1,563 miles. By Duluth, the shortest line to be
obtained by way of the United States, would be 1,514 miles.
From Montreal to Nipissing, and thence to Thunder Bay and on
to Winnipeg, the distance would be 1,358 miles, while by the
Sault Ste. Marie and water communication from Goulais Bay to Thunder Bay, it would be only 1,288 miles. (Cheers.) I believe that with the
character of our road, the cheapness with which we can bring the traffic of
the North West across it, there is no road, be it by way of Duluth or St.
Paul, that can compete with us. Therefore, I am glad that there is the
prospect of seeing either the Canada Central or Pacific Junction carried
through to the Sault, bringing our great North West within sixty hours of Montreal, and Toronto 100 miles nearer, and that within a comparatively brief-
period. Those who will look at the Union Pacific Railway, and notice the
enormous difficulties its builders had to contend with, will see ours is not a
stupendous task. They had to go through a comparatively barren country
compared with which ours is a garden. For more than a thousand miles
they had to surmount heights of 4,500 feet above.the level of the sea, while F
the passes through .which we cross, the Rocky Mountains are under 4,000.
They have to go through a country where the snowfall in the passes reaches
thirty feet, and where they have forty miles of snow-sheds, to prevent
trains from being buried. They have ik' pass through a country with
steeper grades than we will have to encounter, and yet the road was built
in the teeth of just such parliamentary struggles as we are to-day obliged to
endure. But, when constructed, the road silenced all opposition; and if
with a country which, according to a high American authority, embraces
three-fourths of the remaining wheat zone on^ the American continent, if
with this advantage, and our other advantages,' we hesitate in discharging
our duty to the country, we should be unworthy of the position we occupy,
either as statesmen or patriotic Canadians. (Loud Cheers.) No person
can look abroad over the Dominion without feeling that the great North
West Territory is the district to which we must look for our strength
and development. Just as the older of the United States look to their
great North West, with its rapidly increasing population adding hundreds of
thousands and millions to their strength, not only may we look for strength
by reason of an additional customs revenue from the increased population
of that territory, but we must look upon that western country as a field for the
mauufacturing industries of-the older and more settled parts of Canada.
Every person acquainted with this country knows we have exhausted to
some extent its bread-growing power, but under the National Policy that
Canada has adopted, we must look forward not only to building up thriving
centres of industries and enterprise all over this portion of the country, but
to obtaining a market for those industries after they have been established,
and I say where is there a greater market than that magnificent granary of
the North West, which, filled up with a thriving and prosperous population,
will make its demands upon Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick for these manufacturing products that we for many years will be so
well able to supply ? I regret that honorable gentlemen opposite should
have made this a battle ground ot party.- (Cheers.) If there was a single
question upon which the Government had a right to demand from honorable gentlemen opposite a hearty, cordial and unanimous support, it was on
their endeavor to assume, and to deal with the responsibilities which
they had placed upon the shoulders of the people of this country. I believe
at the time they proposed their scheme they were doing an unwise and
dangerous thing; but the improving times, the change that had come over
the country, and the development of the North West had altered the
position. At this moment the eyes of a large portion of the civilized
world are centered upon the great North-west of Canada, and hundreds of
thousands of people in every foreign country, as well as the British Empire,
are studying the question as to whether they shall come with their
capital and industry and build up Canada into a great, prosperous, and
progressive country. Under these circumstances, honorable gentlemen
opposite are unwise and unpatriotic in making this a battle ground of
party. There was no necessity for it. (Cheers.) I recognize to the
fullest extent, the advantage of having, two great political parties grappling
with each other, not on the low ground of personal or party ambition, but
on a great national question on which a broad line of demarcation can be made between them, and regarding which they can do battle
V. 39
for great principles on which they differ. We have such a question in
the National Policy without dragging in the Pacific Railway. If we are defeated on that issue, honorable gentlemen opposite will take our places
irrespective of the policy of the Pacific Railway. Having that line of
demarcation between us, let us, on the great riQional question of the
•Canadian Pacific Railway, unite as a band 01 brothers, irrespective of old parties, showing, not that we are Liberals or
Conservatives, but that we are Canadians, and that in every word that is
uttered, whether we sit on the Treasury benches or oh the Opposition side
of the House, we feel we owe it to Canada, to ourselves and to our
children, to do all that men can do to strengthen the hands of those who
are engaged in a great national enterprise, upon the suecess of which the
rapid progress and prosperity of our common country depends. (Loud
and long-continued cheers.) SPEECH OF HON. H. L. LANGEVIN, O.B., M.P..
Mr. Langevin—When, eight or nine years ago, this question of the
Pacific Railjsvay came before the house, we all considered that it was one of
the most important and weightiest questions that could reqaire the attention of Parliament. That question has lost none of its importance, none of
its weight or interest since that time. On the contrary, the people have
attached more importance, year after year, to this great work. This evening the question has acquired still greater importance, from the fact that
the honorable member for West Durham proposes to postpone one of the
most important portions of the railway. I should say that the Pacific Railway question disappeared before another great question, which is : " Shall
we continue to maintain this great Confederation of ours in its integrity ?"
The fact is, the proposal of the honorable member for West Durham, I
suppose on behalf of the Opposition, is nothing else than repudiation.
When British Columbia sent her delegates to settle the terms of Confederation with this Government, one of the conditions was that we should build
the Pacific Railway. That condition was assented to by the Government
of Canada. It was submitted to this Parliament and assented to. There
may have been, on the part of honorable gentlemen opposite, some difference of opinion about the expediency of undertaking such a great work at
that time, but the Act of Parliament was passed and became the law of the
country, and honorable gentlemen on both sides of the House had only to
bow to and obey the law. When the Government of 1873 left office, and
the Administration of honorable gentlemen opposite came into power, they
did not repudiate that condition of the Confederation or union of British
Columbia with Canada. They went to work to execute that great undertaking, and the only point of difference that we saw amongst the members
of that Government and their supporters was that, when the question of the
Esquimault and Nanaimo Railway was proposed to the House, the honorable member for West Durham, separating himself from his party, voted
with a few friends against that measure, and the Government of that day
were not powerful or willing enough to pass it in the Upper House. If the
Government had only expressed a desire that the Bill should pass, against
which the honorable member for West Durham had voted, it would have
become law. But there was a power behind the Throne—a power that
may still exist to-day behind the leader of the Opposition. This power was
stronger than that Government, and the measure for the construction of
the railway from Esquimault to Nanaimo was lost. Nevertheless, the Government of 1874 down to 1878, went on with the construction of that railway. They undertook a portion of the road fiom Thunder Bay towards the
west, and another section further on, leaving a gap of 185 miles. If I am
not mistaken, the honorable member for Lambton, who was then at the
head of Government, called for tenders for those four sections in British
Columbia, that the honorable member for West Durham has attacked so>
1 41
fiercely.    At that period, I believe, the honorable member for West Durham was one of the strongest supporters of the Mackenzie Government..
And, moreover, I think the honorable member for Lambton has stated,,
some time ago, that he never intended to build those four sections.
Mr. Mackenzie-S said no such thing.
,. Mr. Langevin—I understood the honorable gentleman said he had not
decided to go on with those four sections. But my honorable friend the
Minister of Railways has shown that, although the honorable gentleman had.
hot decided to go on with them, he had ordered and given a contract to
convey 6,000 tons of rails from Victoria to the Fraser River. The honorable gentleman had given a contract for that, nevertheless he says, he had
not decided to build the railway! The honorable gentleman says, yes;
perhaps he will remember what he said on another occasion. It is for him
to reconcile what he has just said with what he said then. At the elections
for Ottawa, in September, 1878, the honorable gentleman spoke as follows,
according to his organ the Free Press:—
On the westjlwe have; at this moment, very nearly completed 302 miies of
road, and during this year will lay. at least 270 miles. In British Columbia we have
only 6,000 tons, moved up now to Tale, where we will commence, next spring, if
Parliament sanctions the contract, to build the road to Kamloops.
And yet the honorable gentleman has not decided to proceed with this
Mr. Mackenzie—Certainly not.
1j jM& Langevin—But the honorable gentleman said before the electors
that be had so decided. Either he deceived the electors of Ottawa or has-
deceived this House. At that time, the member for West Durham supported the late Government, and had been the colleague of the honorable
Premier; he had assented to his policy, and never separated from the honorable Premier on account of the railway work going on. But what a
change! As soon as the late honorable Ministers left office, their party
ceased to regard the Pacific Railway in the same light. The honorable
member for West Durham, especially, became frightened at the prospect of
the construction of more than four sections in British Columbia. Everything became dark to him and his party; the greatest ruin was threatening
us in connection with that work, which the late Government had not attempted to construct. But what is the cause of this change ? It is this:
that instead of having large deficits we have taken the means of preventing
them, at the same time carrying on the Public Works of the country. The
member for West Durham should remember that he accepted the Carnarvon terms exacted from the late Government. Of course, the late Government inserted the condition about not raising further the rate of taxation,
but that was after they had raised the taxation by $3,000,000. But did
they meet the ordinary expenses even with the $3,000,000 additional taxation? No. All the time they were in office they ran into debt, which we-
have now to meet. The honorable gentleman says that those terms were
not accepted by the Government without the consent of Parliament. No.
doubt, but they were accepted by the country. It was understood that
$2,000,000 would be expended per annum in British Columbia, but the
honorable gentlemen opposite, following their ordinary course towards that I
Province, repudiated those terms, and sent a Comrnis^tor^ to Br&jsh Columbia; she would not accept $750,000 in exchange for the original bargain.
Up to that time he would not repudiate the Railway altogether; but that
Government offered that amount to content that Province for tMpostpone-
ment of the work, as says the honorable member for West Durham. But
she was not poor or reduced enough to accept such a bribe, saying: " We
nave a Treaty with Canada, which we know is just and proud enough
<to do justice to a small, weak Proyiace- like British Columbia j" and she
was right. She is not unreasonable; she has taken the word of this Government, that it will go on with the Railway; and though the work
was not begun before the 1st of January last, the Province knew it was
not our fault, and that the contracts would be given out early. Noifc? if the
people of British Columbia see the road does not progress at fuflffepeed,
they will not complain because they know we are acting in good faitii, and
that if we are not spending more millions and going on faster, it is because
we cannot afford it. They know we are proceeding gradually and surely
with the work. We do not want to plunge the country into debt and ruin
as the honorable member for West Durham asserts; but we want to keep
faith with British Columbia, though not at the immense expense he thinks
we shall incur. We wish to build a good road, a colonization road, as intended from the beginning. We shall save a great deal in grades and curvatures, and by that means, be able to build the road from the Pacific to the
older Provinces in such a way as not to overburden this country with
expenditure. The honorable member for West Durham desires to catch
Irish sympathy and Irish votes by expressing great regard for Irish rights
and claims, almost going as far as Home Rule, and anticipating-benefits to
Ireland from the recent change of Government. I have no doubt that
Ireland will get justice whatever Government is in power, as Canada got
justice when our fathers struggled for a responsible Government. We are
as much as the honorable gentleman in favour of Irishmen, and we showed
our sympathy by proposing to Parliament a vote of $100,000 for the distressed populations of Ireland. Our sole regret was our inability to do
more. But we do not on this or any other occasion wish to parade that
sympathy. It was proper to show it at the proper time; but what reason
is there for the honorable gentleman to appeal to Irishmen in connection
with the Pacific Railway ? Another of the honorable gentleman's objects
was to catch all the honorable members from Quebec, and enrol them under
his banner. What a bad Government, said he, is this Government which
will not give Quebec a Railway to connect it with the Pacific Railway, after
it has spent $11,000,000 for the beautiful railway from Quebec to Ottawa.
He says to the honorable members from Quebec :—" The Government will
not extend the Pacific Railway far enough east to connect with your road;
therefore, look, be careful, do not miss this opportunity to vote against your
friends; my motion proposes to suspend the Railway in British Colifmbia."
Did he speak about the eastern end of the railway in his motion ? Not a
word. He might, therefore, have spared himself the trouble of this appeal.
The Government have not changed its policy, which is to have a continuous
railway from the Atlantic to the Pacific. The water-stretches will not be a
part of the railway, as was the case under the late Government. But we
must take the necessary time for the work.    We can trust our supporters, 43
on telling them we are completing the gap of 185 miles between Fort
■William and Selkirk, and have put under contract, 200 miles on the prairies
to the west, and four sections in British Columbia, which the late Government put themselves under contract and decided to build. The road will
not cost the large amount the honorable me$nber for West>Durham supposes.
He speaks of an expenditure of $120,000,000. If we were to build a railway with a grade of 24 or 26 feet to the mile, it might cost that sun*- But,
as declared, the Government has no intention of building a railway with
those small grades. They are all very well, even essential, for that portion
which will carry the trade of the prairies from Red River to Thunder Bay.
It was required it should be a first class road, with small grades and proper
curvatures, the lightest grades we can, under the circumstances, obtain.
But we do not say, for all that, we are to undertake at once all the sections
.of the road. We will proceed with them gradually. The connection with
the railways in Quebec and Ontario will also come, when the railway is built
from Lake Nipissing to the main line. Whilst I am on. the subject, let me
quote from the organ of the honorable gentleman opposite, the Globe, a
paragraph about this eastern end of the railway:—
" We now come to the Lake Superior section, which is certainly a political
necessity, but not required till the prairie line has been completed and connected
witn Thunder Bay. It is, as we have shown, reasonable to suppose that at least half
a million people will be on the plains when the Pacific Railway reaches the Rocky
Mountains. Every family going in afterwards will increase the quantity of produce
available for export. The population of the United States doubled itself in twenty-
frve years; in several western territories the population has been doubled in ten
years. The Canadian North-West will gain by immigration continually, and—as
always happens where fertile land can be easily procured—births will be very
numerous. By the time the Hue to the Rocky Mountains has been completed, it
will be wise to push on the road around Lake Superior, because, before it can be
built at a fair rate of speed, a large traffic will await its opening. The Lake Superior
section, from the eastern terminus of the main Pacific to Fort William, will be 620
miles long, and, when completed, it will offer to the traffic of the Canadian and to a
large part of the American North-West, the shortest all-rail route to the seaboard.
It is not needed till the prairies have been opened up by the line to ^he, Rocky
Mountains. After that has been built, it may be safely completed as a commercial
road, one that will pay better year by year, and will ultimately be a very valuable
That is the opinion of the Globe newspaper, and I have no doubt that,
at all events, a large majority of the honorable gentlemen opposite will not
repudiate this article. The honorable member for' West Durham has
attacked the figures quoted by my honorable friend the Minister of Railways, giving the cost of the railway from Thunder Bay to Burrard Inlet.
The honorable gentleman has made his calculations ; it was a new role for
him to play, being a lawyer, and we have very seldom seen him plunged so
deeply into figures as he was this evening. He thought that as he had not
handled figures for some time he would make free use of them on this occasion. So when he was making his calculations as to the cost of the railway,
he thought he might as well as not double the cost estimated by Mr. Fleming. The Minister of Railways stated yesterday that the first portion of the
road from Fort William to Selkirk would cost $17,000,000 ; from Selkirk to
Jasper Valley, $13,000,000 ; From Jasper Valley to Fort Moody, including
equipments and engineering, $30,000,000, say $60,000,000 altogether. Add 44
to this the cost of preliminary surveys, explorations, etc., $4,869,000, it
•tyorild make a total of $64,869,000.    Add to this a section of the Pacific
Railway from Nipissing to Fort William, $24,000,000, if the cost is $40,000-
i a-mile; but if the cost is $30,000 per mile—as it is more probable to be—;
\ipmou\d amount to only $18,000,000, which, added to the $64,000,000,.
would make a grand total of $82,869,000. The honorable gentleman has ;
tried to convince the House that these figures have been put together for?
the purpose of the moment, and that they had no basis, that we could not j
show that they were the results of careful examination and calculation, such j
as an engineer should place before the head of his department. Under]
these circumstances, I may be allowed to give the House the data upon
which the Chief Engineer has based those figures. It is proper that the !
House should know that these figures have not simply been put together to j
show that the railway will cost $64,000,000 plus the Nipissing and Fort j
- William portion of the road, making altogether $88,000,000.    The Chief]
Engineer has furnished the data of his calculations, which I will read to the j
House :—
" Ottawa, April 15,1880.
" To the Hon. Sir Charles Tupper, E.O.M.G., Minister of Railways and Canals:—
" Sis,—I have the honor to submit the following estimate of the probable, expenditure necessary to pjace the Canadian Pacific Railway in operation from Lake Supe-.'.
rior to Port Moody.   I understand the policy of the Government with respect to the :
*fauWay to be :—
" 1. To construct the section between Lake Superior and Red River, w^ith the
limited gradients and curves set forth in my report, laid before Parliament, so as to-j
secure cheap transportation, and to provide, by the time the railway shall be ready
for opening, an equipment of rolling stock and general accommodation sufficient for I
the traffic to be then looked for.
'•' 2. To proceed with the work west of Red River by constructing 200 miles of
the route recently established. The roadway to be of the character defined by thej
48th contract and the tenders for the 66th contract recently received.
" To proceed with the construction of 125 miles in British Columbia, under the-
60th, 61st, 62nd and 63rd contracts.    The expenditure on the 425 miles to be lim- I
ited, in accordance with the provisions of the contract and the views set forth in my '■
report of 22nd November last.
" To proceed gradually with the intervening distance. To delay placing additional sections Under contract in British Columbia nntil the 125 miles are completed or well advanced, thus preventing any undue increase in the price of labor.
" To carry construction westward from Manitoba across the prairie region only
as settlement advances.
" In my report of last year, I placed the cost of the section between Lake Superior and Red River at % 18,000,000. Since that date, the steps taken to keep down
expenditure on the 185 miles between English River and Keewatin, have been so far
successful, as to reduce the length about 3| miles, and the estimated cost about
#500,000. The rails for these two contracts have likewise been secured at a considerable lower price than the estimate. Whatever an increasing traffic in future years,
may demand, in the way of territorial accommodation and rolling stock, I am confident the line ean be opened for traffic between Fort William and Selkirk, well
equipped for the business which may for some time be expected, at a cost not exceeding $17,000,000.
West of Red River, 100 miles have been placed under contract, and tenders have
been received for a second 100 miles section. These two sections are designed to he-
constructed and equipped in the most economical manner, dispensing with all outlay, except that absolutely necessary to render the railway immediately useful in the-1 45
WtlemefLt of the country. It is intended that the line be partly .ballasted to render
lit available for colonisation purposes, full ballasting being deferred until the traffic
Idemand high speed. It is intended to provide sufficient rolling-stock for all imme-
Hiate wants, postponing full equipment untiPthe country becomes populatec?%nd the
I business calls for its increase.
On this basis, and on the data furnished by the contracts which have been let
land the tenders recently received, 1 am of opinion that the railway can be opened
(from Lake Superior to the Pacific coast within the following estimate :—
46 miles, Fort William to Selkirk, with light gradients, including a fair allowance of rolling-stock
and engineering during construction  $17,000,000
100 miles, Selkirk to Jasper "Valley, with light equipment, etc  13,000,000
-55# miles, Jasper Valley to Port Moody, with light
equipment, etc., Jasper to Lake Kamloops, 355 at
$43,660    $15,500,000
Lake Kamloops to Tale, 125 at $80,000      10,000,000
Yale to Port Moody, 90 at $38,888        3,500,000
Add        1,000,000
Total miles 1,956   $60,000,000
The  above does   not  include  cost of explorations and  preliminary surveys
throughout all parts of the country north of Lake Nipissing to James Bay in the
i east, and from Esquimault to. Port Simpson in the west, latitudes 49° and 56°, not
i properly chargeable to construction, $3,119,618 ; or the Pembina Branch, $1,750,000 ;
I <or with other amount with which the Pacific Railway account is charged.
I have the honour to be, Sir,
Tour obedient servant,
^-Another point the honorable member for West Durham endeavoured to
pnake against my honorable friend was when he stated that, from Lake
i Kamloops to Yale* we had no data to go upon when we •stated the Railway
ibetween those two points would cost $io,000,000. On that point, as on
>.the other, I will ask the permission of the House to read a short extract
'from a report of Mr. Fleming, on which this estimate was based:—
I have examined, says Mr. Fleming, the rates given in the lowest tenders; they
^generally bear a fair relation to each other, and are about the prices for which other
f'work has been recently plac^ d under contract on other sections of the railway.   I do
not think experienced and responsible contractors would be safe in undertaking to
■do the same work at less rate.
The total sum of the lowest tenders for the four sections, as above stated, is
$9 167 040.    It will be borne in mind that the character of the contract to be entered
Knto is'materially different from ordinary contracts.   This sum represents the maximum.    The contract is not to exeeed the amount, but it may be very much less.—
(See clauses 5, 6, and 7.)
Those who made the surveys and calculations inform me that the quantities are
I very full, and that, in actual execution, they can be largely reduced. I am convinced,
I moreover, that, by making an extremely careful study of the final location, by sharpening the curvatures in some places, by using great judgment in adjusting the align-
I ment to sinimosities and sudden and great inequalities of the ground, by substituting
■the cheaper classes of work for the more costly whenever it can safely be done, and
Ifby doing no work whatever that is not absolutely necessary, a very marked reduction
Sscan be made. 46
The H#$ise will see by ftiiis statement with what precauffon the Government
acted in this matter. We took care to keep in our hands full power to stop-
that work at any time, if it should become necessary to do so, or to curtail
the amount of work, or diminish the expenses. The contracts are entirely^
in the hands of the Government. If a financial crisis should occur, we
would bnly have to stop the contracts, and the only liability on the part of
the Government would be that of giving to the contractors a time equal to
that of the suspension of his contracts. Therefore, though the honorable
gentleman from West Durham tried to frighten the House, he must admit
that the whole thing is in the hands of the Government. If we have the-
money, we may go on; if we have not the money, we need not proceed.
The Government is pledged to British Columbia, and we must keep faith
with her. When I speak of the Government, of course, I speak of Parliament, because we, as a Government, are in the hands of Parliament, and.
Parliament may, at any time it thinks proper, stop the work.
Mr. Mackenzie—Parliament is in your hands.
Mr. Langevin—The country will thank our party and this Government for such a boon. The honorable member for West Durham, in warning the Province of Quebec against this Government in its policy on the
Pacific Railway, should.have given some evidence of the good will and
great services, and great concessions that the Province of Quebec had ever
received at the hands of honorable gentlemen opposite. He should have
told the members from that Province how they had been treated when, two
or three years ago, their Province came to this House and asked for redress.
He should have told them how the petition of that Province was treated by
those honorable gentlemen when it was presented to the House. What redress did they give to Quebec ? In 1878, where was the honorable member
for West Durham when that question was put to a vote ? Did he show his
friendship towards Quebec and her representatives ? Did his name appear
in the division thatShen took place ? You will see that amongstfthe names
of 70 members out of 112, the name of the honorable member for West
Durham is-not to be found in the vote on the -Letellier question. The
honorable gentleman had been in the House, but when the vote came on
he was/not to be found. He would not give his vote for the Province of
Quebec. After that, it is rather doubtful whether the members for Quebec
will put themselves in the hands of the honorable member for West Durham.
And now, it is well that we should study a little, the course of the honorable
gentleman on the Pacific Railway question. He was opposed to the branch
from Esquimault to Nanaimo, and the honorable member for Lambton had
not the courage to resist him, and he threw out the Bill. The honorable
gentleman further says, that we are not bound by the Carnarvon terms. I
suppose the honorable member for Lambton had again to bow to his honorable friend, and say the Carnarvon terms must go also. The next point is
the honorable member for West Durham said, or wish'ed the country to
believe, that there was some pledge on the part of the Government of
Canada, to build a railway there. Therefore, he assented to the proposal
of the honorable member for Lambton, to offer that Province $150,000 as
compensation.    That was refused.    For what was it offered ?    As compen- I
sation for the delays that occurred in the building of the road in British
Mr. Blake—And would occur.
Mr. Langevin—Then came the tenders called for by the Hon. the
First Minister, for the four sections in British Columbia. The honorable
member for West Durham assented to them.
Mr. Blake—How did I assent to them.
Mr. Langevin—The honorable gentleman assented to them by continuing to give, his support to the honorable member for Lambton, and by
supporting him at the elections.
Mr. Blake—I was in England before these tenders were called for, and
I did not return until last December.
Mr. Langevin—Then why did not the honorable gentleman state on
the hustings that he did not agree with his honorable friend ?
Sir Richard J. Cartwright—-Because he was not here at the time
the elections came off.
Mr. Blake—I said I had left this country for the Old Country before
these tenders were called for, and I did not return until last December.    As
a matter of fact, ftiwas not aware that any such tenders had -been called for   I
until a few months witfhin the present speaking.
Mr. Langevin—I accept what the honorable gentleman says, but it is
strange he never took an opportunity of declaring that he had not assented
to the calling for these tenders, and that he knew nothing about them. It
is one of the strangest things possible that the honorable gentleman, while
from the country, never saw a Canadian paper, and was ignorant of what
was going on in this country. The honorable gentleman now says that if
his honorable friend, the honorable member for Lambton, had wished to
build these four sections he would have opposed him. It is late in the day
to make this statement. We. can see how the mind of the honorable gentleman is drifting. There is, first, the giving up of the Esquimault and
Nanaimo Branch; then the offer of $75,000 compensation, and, subsequently, his attitude in relation to these four contracts. Now,
what has he done during the past year ? The honorable gentleman, being
convinced that this Government was to build the railway to Bute Inlet, denounced the policy of the Government, and it was asserted on the other
side of the House that we were expending $20,000,000 more than would be
required to build the same road on the Fraser River. Had we adopted
that route they would have asked, " Why did you not take the route we
selected by the Fraser River ? We called for tenders, and by accepting
them you would effect a saving of $20,000,000 to the country." So they
found their little game was oyer, and now their policy was to denounce
what they wished for themselves. Now, what is the next move of the
honorable member for West Durham ? He asks us to postpone these contracts, and his next move will be to ask that there shall be no railroad at all.
The country, however, is not of that opinion. The country wants this railway, as it wanted the Intercolonial. We do not want to be at the mercy
of our neighbours on the other side of the line.    We want to build up a great 48
nation in British North America. We want tbis^. Confederation of ours to
be a success, and to make it a success we must have a Pacific Railway of
our own. It is a necessity of our position, a necessity of Confederation,
and therefore the people have determined that that road shall be bum.' But
we are alive to the position of the country. We do not want to build 1,956
miles of road in two, three or four years. We will take the necessary time
to construct it, and we will construct it as the wants of the country require
it. Another thing that must have struck honorable gentlemen is the determination of honorable gentlemen on the other side (and I am sorry to say
the honorable member for West Durham) to depreciate this country. From
beginning to end, the speech of the honorable gentleman was a depreciation
of our resources and our country, and an eulogium of the United States.
He has done his best to prove that our lands are not equal to those of the
United States, and that our institutions are not as good as those of the
United States, that we cannot have as large an emigration as the United
-States, that we have not the means of peopling our North-west as the
United States have of peopling their Western States. And why ? Because,
I suppose, this is British territory; because we have British institutions I
maintain that the emigration from the British Isles will not hesitate to come
to our North-west if they can find there good lands and the protection and
institutions they have left at home. In that country we have the best lands 1
in the world. We have free lands there, to begin with, and settlers may
also purchase lands there at a very small rate. They have also the free
institutions of the Old Country, and the greatest protection possible. They
will have communication with the old settled Provinces as soon as the railway is built. To the manufacturing industries is attributed this attraction
of foreign emigration, and the emigration from the old Provinces of the
Dominion. But there is no reason why that emigration should not go to
our North-west in a very short time. The National Policy is building up
manufacturing industries in this conntry that will require all the hands we
can furnish in this country, and furnish employment for the emigrants from
abroad. Already there is an emigration from the United States into British
territory in the North-west; I saw from a paper the other day that three
heads of families, with their wives and children, had just arrived at Winnipeg for the purpose of settling in the North-west. Last year I am informed
that no less than 3,000 people from the United States had settled in the
North-west. The honorable gentleman said that we would have but a small
emigration to the North-west, and he characterized the figures of my honor-
-able friend the Minister of Railways and Canals as " absurdly extravagant."
Now, supposing the emigration and purchase of lands were only half that
calculated by the honorable gentleman. The honorable gentleman is still
not satisfied; he is afraid that too many emigrants will come ; and he puts
in their mouths good arguments to induce them not to remain, but to go
into what he calls that beautiful land, the United States. I do not wish to
say that the honorable gentleman is not patriotic, but I am afraid that he
has .forgotten that patriotism for which he had such a high notion However, I was glad to hear the honorable gentleman say that, for this year and
next year, we could expect a large increase. He says the circumstances
are peculiar, and we may expect an emigration this year, probably a larger 49
us to have any more
influx than any previous year, but he will not allow
after; they must all go to the United States.
Mr. Blake—The honorable gentleman is misrepresenting what I said.
Mr. Langevin—The inference to be drawn from what the honorable
gentleman said was certainly that which I have stated. Why, if we are to
have emigrants coming this year, snould we not have them next year and
the year after, and so forth ? The same reason that will cause them to
come this year and next year, will cause them to come the following years
also. Surely there is no reason to prevent them coming. The peculiar
cirsumstances are such that these people must emigrate from the old countries if they want to live, which in Canada offers exceptional attractions for
all classes. We know that we had to vote a large sum of money the other
day—and we did it willingly, cheerfully, and with the greatest pleasure; and
we only regret that our means would not allow us to double or treble the
amount—to feed a portion of the people who form the population of the
British Isles. A portion of that people will emigrate and come out here,
as they did before; their lands are too small in extent, and they know if
they come over the Atlantic there are homes for them in the prairies of the
west, on British soil. They know they will find free land and that they can
purchase more, and that they will not find foreign institutions; they will
find free institutions, and here they will find home rule, of which we have
heard so much. Here they will find the institutions they have dreamtjo£jut
here in Canada they will find their compatriots ; they will find them in
every station of life; they will find them on the Bench, inj^Parliament, in;
the.Xocal Legislatures; they will find them at the Bar, in all the liberal
avocations ; they will find them among the merchants, and they will find
them among the most wealthy and influential people in the country;
amongst all these, Irishmen are found taking a prominent position, and well
treated, on an equal footing with all of us. We are always wj^mg to receive them, and, if I speak for my own Province, I would say that when, at
a certain period, a large number of these poor emigrants were obliged to
come to this country—and many of them lost their lives by the plague or
other disasters—their children were not left there unassisted, unclothed,
unfed, uncared for; they were received by my own countrymen in the;,.
Province of Quebec; they were taken care of, and we now find numbers of
them in the best positions in this country. They were not of our own
blood . they were not of our own nationality, but they were human beings.^-,
and we received them in our houses, we received them as our children.
Yes, Mr. Speaker, Irishmen will find here a home, they will find peace
here, and contentment, and honorable gentlemen need not be afraid, as the
honorable member for West Durham insinuated, that they will not come
because they will be under the same British flag, because they will be under
the same rule as in Ireland. The}- know better than that; they know that
they are as free in Canada, under the British flag, as they would be in the
United States, under the Stars and Stripes. Ask Irishmen in the United
States, ask Englishmen who have gone there, whether we do not have institutions in Canada as good, as free, as independent, as the,United States.
We have freedom here, Mr. Speaker, perfect freedom, but no license. The
honorafeie gentleman-has also stated trratjthe honorable the FiM Minister 50
had no right to expect from these emigiants settling in the North-West any
large contribution to the revenue for many years. And what reasons does
he give us ? He says they will have to build a house and a barn; they
will have to buy cattle and horses and agricultural implements ; they will
have to maintain themselves and their families ; they will have to provide
clothing and food; and the whole of these, he says, with hard cash. The
honorable gentleman tries to prevent emigrants—I do nor know why—
from coming here; he says to them : " Do not come here in this country,
you will have to pay for everything you require with hard cash." Well,
Sir, I do not know with what they pay for the same articles, horses,
cattle, implements, clothing, food, and so on, in the United States if
it is not with hard cash. They surely do not give them these horses,
cattle, implements, food and clothing for nothing in the United States.
Have they not to pay for all these things there, as well as here, with
hard cash? This is a very argument to use; it is not worthy of the
honorable member for West Durham. I am surprised that he should
attach so much importance to it. But he gives the emigrant another reason
against coming here. He says :—" You will have to smuggle, and you will
smuggle; you will smuggle a great deal." That is the accusation he brings
against the people coming from England ; that is the accusation he brings
against these Irishmen, and against Scotchmen and Englishmen, and French-
Canadians. Those are his words :—" He will smuggle as much as«he can,
and I expect he will smuggle a good deal;" and he gives that as a reason
why we will have no revenue from that source. I think for my part the
Hon. the Minister of Finance will call upon the Hon. the Minister of
Customs to take care that the smuggling does not go on in that direction.
The honorable gentleman continues and speaks of the value of real estate.
He says it has sunk everywhere, except that the honorable member for
Vancouver claimed differently for British Columbia. But the value of real
estate has not gone down by the policy of this Government. If real estate
did go down very low; if it sank and sank, while the honorable gentlemen
were in power; it is well known that since the National Policy has been
inaugurated, real estate has been improving; it has gone up from one end
ofcthe country to the other; and the honorable gentlemen, speaking of banks
and bank stocks, said that a number of banks had disappeared. Let him
look at and compare the list of stocks two and a half years ago with the list
to-day, and he will see an immense difference this year, and last year, in the
value of stock. He is determined to have nothing good in this country; he
is determined to see, and show, nothing but ruin and decay. It is the old
cry; his friends, when he was quite young, spoke of the same ruin and decay;
and so it is going on, and will go on from generation to generation ; and I
have no doubt this same cry will be repeated at appropriate intervals, by
the children of these gentlemen in ten, and. fifteen, and twenty, and thirty
years hence. As long as they cannot sit on these Benches, so long as they
are not in power, everything ceases to be bright, everything is dark; no
emigration can come.
Mr. Blake—That is just what you said at the last election.
Mr. Langevin—The honorable gentleman says, that is what we said
at the last election.   We had good cause at that time.    The honorable 51
•gentlemen opposite had brought the country to the last point possible; we
had been brought to the eve of a national bankruptcy, by the financial
policy of gentlemen on the other side; the country was in a most deplorable
condition; people were leaving it at every point; the revenue had fallen off;
deficit after deficit had rolled up, and we had to call upon the people and
point out the cause of this state of things. That brought about a change,
and having been put in power by the people, we inaugurated a wise policy
for improving the condition of the country, and the honorable gentleman
must see that we have been successful enough. The country understood
us, and they have brought us here to promote the prosperity of the country,
and we have to a great extent succeeded already, though we may expect to
do more during the next year. In conclusion, I only wish to say that .the
present occasion is, in my opinion, the only opportunityothat this Parliament
has had of deciding on this great question decisively. This is the first time
that we have been met, face to face, with the important question, whether
or not we are to continue to have Confederation, for which we have labored
year after year to bring about, whether that great work is to last or not ? It
as for honorable gentlemen to decide, and I appeal to the honorable member
for Lambton —he must be in favour of Confederation—as his honorable
friend, who, I am sorry to know, is in a very precarious state of health.
Let us vote this amendment down. Do not let us destroy Confederation;
it is a great, a good work, a work by which the institutions of England are
to be made permanent on this continent; it is a work0to secure freedom for
our children for all time, to come, to build a great Empire on this continent.
We shall not, perhaps, see it fully peopled; but the time will come, if we look
to the country instead of to ourselves ; if we look to the country instead of
to these benches. Honorable gentlemen should not forget that at the
period of this Confederation being brought about, these Provinces were
small dependencies of England ; they were scattered, and far asunder; the
leading men of each Province did not know the leading men of the other
Provinces ; they had no common intercourse; they did not know their
separate institutions; they were separated and isolated from each other as
much as we are separated from Ireland or China; but to-day we are a
united Dominion ; we are a great country, a powerful country, if we be
only true to ourselves. We are not very numerous—a little over 4,000,000.
But when the United States separated from England they were only 4,000,-
000 ; to-day they are 40,000,000 of people, perhaps 45,000,000 ; and, Mr.
Speaker, they have not a better country than ours; they had no better
prospects and advantages than we have ; they have had bloody wars ; we
have had no bloody wars; they had a bloody war to bring about their
independence, and they had another bloody war afterwards ; they had a
fratricidal war, which was a most bloody war. We have had no such
bloody wars ; England has recognized our rights, has recognized the true
policy of making this country a free country, and we are so free that we
have not a single British soldier, we have not a soldiei of the British army
amongst us, with the exception of a small number at Halifax, left to assist
in the guardianship of that coast. We are left in the free exercise of our
rights, and every man is loyal to the Empire and to our Queen, because we
know that we are protected in case of war, protected on the seas, and protected, not only in this country, but abroad; for every citizen that goes 52
abroad is protected by the flag of England. Mr. Speaker, once more; do
not let us destroy Confederation ; do not let us destroy the charter of our
liberties; let us be true to ourselves, and continue to progress as we
have been since the first day of Confederation; let us continue to be contented and happy. If we begin by passing this amendment, we are, in the
words of the honorable member for West Durham, saying to British Columbia, " You may go; you are not reasonable." It would be unreasonable
foxixs to tell British Columbia to go. She has been patient and reasonable.
She wi 1 wait until the good times come, when the means of the country-
will aUow us to build the road with vigour. We will build that railway
year by year, and shortly we will have a road from the Atlantic to the
Pacific; and most likely, on that day, we will, I hope, find the honorable
members lor Lambton and West Durham in a first-class car going to see
their friends in British Columbia ; and at that period they will regret having
attempted to destroy the future of Canada, by running down their country
and eulogizing the United States of America.
*-m$      .'43sfc ti?.$R3«   ;H!$|$pp| ps^te*ef^^w>^,j|j SPEECH OF J. B. PLUMB, ESQ, M.P.
Mr. Plumb—The attention of the House and country has been painfully drawn,_ within the last four or five days, to the important discussion
proceeding in this House. We were prepared for a very able review of the
fiscal history and policy of the country by the notice given by the member
for West Durham, and the expectations of the House and public have been
in some degree justified by the elaborate manner in which that honorable
gentleman has treated the great questions reviewed by him. He has made
a speech which must be regarded, in connection with that of the member for
Lambton, as the pronunciamento of the fragment of the party which they
lead and represent. The member for West Durham has been distinguished
by his erratic course. He first joined the administration of the member for
Lambton, being for a time a Minister without a portfolio. Then the honorable gentleman quitted the Government, and re-entered it, remaining till it
was overthrown.
Mr. Blake—No.
Mr. Plumb—He continued to be a member of the late Government at
least until the last session in which it was dominant was over—an erratic
and uncertain co-adjutor, first without portfolio, then after sitting one session
on the back benches he re-entered it in succession to Mr. Fournier as Minister of Justice, then again, taking the chair left vacant by his colleague, Mr.
Cauchon, he gave up the department of justice to another colleague, Mr. La-
flamme. The honorable gentleman went in and out and shuffled about so
many times that it is difficult to follow his movements.
His last utterance on a public platform during the election campaign
was at Teeswater, in his then constituency of South Bruce, whenJthe country
was anxiously waiting to hear him defend the Administration of which he was
a member. His friends were greatly disappointed. He scarcely referred
to the issues of the campaign so far as they turned upon the acts of his
Government, and his half hearted support of his associates was their implied
condemnation. He did not fail, however, to deal most minutely with
matters connected with his own department of Justice, claiming great credit
for having achieved without difficulty what his predecessor (Sir John Mac-
donald) had failed to accomplish—for having cleared up accumulations of
business left on his hands, I infer, by Messrs. Dorion and Fournier, who had
gone to their reward on the Bench where electors cease from troubling, for
having despatched promptly and with ease the ever increasing business of the
Department, and yet at the following session the honorable gentleman did
not hesitate to support a measure of his Government for the division of the
Department, and the new appointment of an Attorney-General at a salary
of $7,000 a year, on the ground that the labour'was too heavy for one chief
At the Teeswater meeting it was noted that the honorable gentleman
was very lukewarm in justifying Ihe course pursued by his colleagues.    He 54
was amply able, if he had so chosen, to find arguments, whether sound or
otherwise, for the defence of the Government of which he had been a member,
but though he failed to do so, the public has always held him responsible, and
will always hold him responsible, for the whole course of the Administration
of which he formed a part. We have heard for the first time n®w the conditions upon which he says he took office under the honorable gentleman
who led the late Government (Mr. Mackenzie.)
The chief characteristics of the honorable gentleman's political career
are its capricious inconstancy and its utter inconsistency. At one moment,
" letting I dare not wait upon I would," he refuses a seat in the Government ; at another, he accepts a position befitting his professional standing;
at another, retires from it to a comparative sinecure made vacant by the
promotion of a colleague whose presence was a perpetual reminder of
unsavory transactions, while his own place was filled by an arrangement
for which he is directly responsible, and which ought to have received his
indignant opposition.
The honorable gentleman says he retired, but he carried with him the
responsibilities of which he cannot rid himself, complicity with every act
of which he had been cognizant while he remained in office.
We were then told that the honorable gentleman intended to withdraw
from political life. He doubtless knew far better than we did the sins;
which he would be called upon to justify if he remained. The anxious-
electors of South Bruce sent urgent delegations to him urging him to accept
re-nomination, and he at last, when they brought him a requisition having a
formidable array of signatures, " vowing he would ne'er consent, consented,"
but wisely left his supporters to fight the battle while he turned his back
upon the campaign and remained absent from the country until the elections were over and his own signal defeat had. been secured.
Again he coquetted month after month with those of his party—and
they were not by any means the whole of his party—who desired to bring
him back to the present Parliament, one session of which had been held,
without his presence.
When it was announced last autumn that the retirement of Mr. Burker
had been arranged, and that the honorable gentleman would accept the
nomination for West Durham, we waited with much curiosity to hear what
ground he would take in the platform for his canvass. We expected to
hear additional theories, unsubstantial as those of the Aurora declarations, and.
perhaps more startling and disturbing, for at one time he appears as the advocate of radical changes in our political system, involving a progress which
is almost revolutionary, and which many less ardent but perhaps more
sincere and practical levellers deem dangerous. At other times, as- we have-
just now heard, he calls upon us suddenly to halt in the midst of our
career, to make a swift retreat and entrench ourselves behind the dismantled
and decaying fortress of 1871, a retreat that would involve the abandonment and surrender of all the great advantages we have gained since that
period. When, however, at West Durham he proclaimed his platform, we
were surprised to find that part of his speech—and a very large part of it
it was—which bore upon the National Policy was made up of stale quotations from the Globe—was in fact an argument prepared apparently out of 55
the threadbare editorial articles of that paper. He entered Parliament and
took a seat on the back benches with ostentatious humility. He has shown
that he is not to be contented with that position. He has now placed himself in such an attitude that his utterances must be dealt with as of a party
character, and it is almost distressing to see the manner in which his late
colleague, and I may now say his late leader, the honorable member for Lambton (Mr. Mackenzie), humbly takes up his argument, and even goes further
than the honorable gentleman himself in decrying the ability of the country to
build the Pacific Railway, which was the gravamen of that honorable gentleman's argument. I followed him (Mr. Mackenzie) through a great part of his
speech with surprise and deep regret, as I have no doubt did many other
honorable gentlemen who noted its tone and spirit. There has been nothing
said or done in the House so well calculated to dishearten and discourage
this country as the remarks of both those gentlemen. The speech of the
honorable member for West Durham (Mr. Blake), especially, was a funeral
dirge from beginning to end—a doleful sound from the tombs—a wail over
a lost Israel of power—a Jeremiad like the lamentations of the Hebrew
Prophet whose name has become an adjective. He warned us we were
going too fast—that we had no justification for claiming that we were making
healthy progress; that this country could offer no attractive inducements
for emigrants; that the Teutonic races were led to form settlements in the
United States by common political sympathies and Democratic sentiments ;
that the Celtic expatriation was always towards the great Republic which
heard and responded to the appeals of down-trodden Ireland, and that the
expatriation would now be checked by reason of the change in the Imperial
Government, in the " so-called United Empire,"—and we marked the sarcastic sneering emphasis with which he pronounced these words—and we
might hope through that change for the Sunburst of Home Rule,
and for the resulting justice so long denied or delayed. He said
we had practically nothing to look for to take up our vacant lands
except the immigration of a few English tenant farmers, who would be attracted to the Dominion by similarity of institutions and political sympathies;
that there was no hope for us except in immediately reversing our whole
policy; that otherwise the counjry could not possibly meet its pecuniary
engagements, or sustain the burthens which could not be thrown off. But
the hon. member for West Durham did not utter warnings of this kind during
the five years of the rule during which he sanctioned by his presence on the
Treasury Benches the disastrous depletion of the Treasury, the reckless increase in departmental expenditure, and the extravagant and blundering
railway policy of a Reform Government that had nothing to reform except
their own mal-administration. During the great depression under which
the country was suffering in that trying period, when the colleagues with
whom he was associated were proceeding with the extravagant schemes he
now denounces—were engaged in expensive enterprises of which they have
thrown upon the present Government, the necessity of carrying forward—
building railways, opening up new territory, and increasing in every manner, which the hon. member for West Durham now eloquently condemns,
the public debt, while the Treasury suffered from increasing deficits, for
which no provision was suggested by the hon. gentleman, or by his immediately culpable colleagues, he did not lift up his voice of warning.    He 56
did not take the position he now assumes, though there was a greater reason for it then. He allowed his friends to go on and deplete the Treasury ;
he saw the House filled with contractors, yet never uttered a word in denunciation of that iniquitous system by which the late administration disgraced the country. He was a consenting party to everything done by it,
and it does not become him or anyone on his side to hint at an exploded
thread-bare scandal, when they have proven scandals of their own of ten
times its magnitude. In his attack upon a sister Province he spoke of the
madness of throwing our gold into the canons of British Columbia; he
charged us with squandering the public money in the undertaking of the
construction of the railway line along the Fraser, an undertaking we feel
ourselves bound in honor and good faith to proceed with. For the first time
I heard in this House, during this debate, that there was never any sincere
intention on the part of the gentlemen on the opposite side to build any
portion of the railway in British Columbia. I supposed that when they accepted the Carnarvon Award—when they introduced the bill to sanction
the construction of the Nanaimo and Esquimalt line, and especially, latterly, when they transported the rails provided for that line to a convenient
point on the main land, and drew attention to the fact as an earnest of
their good faith, they intended in all honor to carry out the scheme agreed
upon. That agreement was ratified time after time by the House, and
while the Carnarvon terms were accepted the hon. gentlemen were so intent upon fulfimng them that they left out the proviso in respect to increase
of taxation, which had been adopted in all previous legislation, and, it is
said that the resolution offering that reservation was an afterthought of the
hon. member for West Durham, who put it in the hands of the hon. member for West Middlesex (Mr. Ross), by whom it was moved several day
after the debate on and acceptance of the Carnarvon terms, in a speech
in which that hon. member propounded the doctrine that emigration into
the Northwest must precede railway construction. I can-scarcely undertake
to follow the hon. member for West Durham in his five or six hours' speech.
In the array of figures that he produced during his treatment of the financial branch of his argument, I think I recognized a practised hand, one that
can make figures assist an argument on one side as well as on another. The
honorable.gentleman from West Durham himself used them as a pleader
handles a brief on which he must make an argument, before he has time to
study it. It was evident that his forte was not statistics compiled from
the Public Accounts and in deductions therefrom he was evidently at sea.
The state of things which my honorable friend has brought forward does
not prove his case. It is useless to say that this country is not in a f tate
in which we may look for progress and improvement. If there has been
no satisfactory progress attained since 1873, we all know where the responsibility belongs. It does not belong to the honorable gentlemen on this
side of the House, who have honestly endeavored to promote the public
welfare, but it lies upon those who, from the moment of their accession to
power in 1873, whether on the Treasury Benches or iu opposition, have endeavored in every possible way to alarm capitalists and prevent them from
investing their money in undertakings which would enhance the prosperity
of the country. My honorable friend complained a little while ago that we
charged him with J>eing unpatriotic.    I say the charge is a general one
s 57
against his side of the House, although I regret to say that the
chief offender of all, because I believe he sins against light and
knowledge, is the honorable member for West Durham (Mr. Blake),
whose utterances are still ringing in our ears. It is painful to
hear what that honorable gentleman has said of the state of affairs
in this country, and it would be still more painful to hear it if we
did not know that it was but a mere figment of his bilious imagination.
It is more than two years ago since the late Finance Minister jauntily
predicted ftom his place in this House that the culminating point in our
commercial depression had been reached. That honorable gentleman,
when it suited him, could speak as cheeringly about the prospects of the
country as any one upon this side of the House. But he wished merely
to cover his shortcomings ; he had no actual knowledge that the time had
come when the depression was to pass away. But that honorable gentleman never tired of pointing out the condition of the United States
as an example to be shunned. He told us that that highly
protected country, having committed suicide by adopting a protective system, was in a state of fiscal ruin from which it could
never recover. Now the tune is entirely changed. Consistency cannot be expected from desperate partisans, and I was not surprised to hear
the honorable member for West Durham lauding the United States,
and quoting it as an example of prosperity which we could not hope to
reach or even approach. But when I ventured, as I thought I might, to
ask him whether that country which he was so highly lauding, was not a
highly protected country, the honorable gentleman, instead of answering me
candidly, put his hand upon his heart and said he was too feeble to be interrupted, and trusted we would not question him and allow him to go to
the end of his speech without interpellation. I have always endeavored to
treat that honorable gentleman with the courtesy to which I think every honorable gentleman has a right. I refrained, therefore, from pressing for a
reply, although I believe that the interpellation had its effect and will take a
place in the official reports as a parenthesis in the honorable gentleman's
speech, and be, perhaps, a small antidote to a great bane. My honorable
friend said there was a large increase of population in the United States.
He must remember that the system of exclusive protection was initiated in
that country in 1861, when the Morrill Tariff was passed, and the great increase of-population and the rapid growth of prosperity to which he refers,
notwithstanding the civil; war, dates from that period. But the honorable gentleman did not state half the case when he gave the quantity
of the sales of land that had been made in the Western States, and built upon
it an argument against the calculation of the Premier. He then only stated
the sales the Government had made, which are not, I venture to say,although
I have not made the calculation, 10 per cent, of the entire sales. The great
sales of land in that country have been made by railway corporations
holding enormous grants of the public lands under the very system we
propose to adopt here, that of building railways in advance of settlement,
and trusting to the sale of lands to recoup the outlay. The railways of the
Western States preceded the influx of population which the honorable gentleman emphasises, and acted as potent colonizing agents. Kansas, which
ithe honorable member has specially referred to, would be nothing without 58
the great railways which run through it. It was by a combination of
railway charters with land grants that the Western States had been built up
and have increased so rapidly in population. Northern Missouri and
Illinois were largely populated by such means, and Illinois was one of the
first which felt the influence of that system. The Illinois Central
Railroad was greatly instrumental in filling that State with inhabitants, and giving it wealth and power. Now, we have proposed
to take a leaf out of the book of that country which my.honorable
friend says is so prosperous, and which, under his commendations, we may
perhaps venture to imitate. Why should not the same system prove successful here that has proved so successful there ? What have they got which
we have not ? What advantages have the North Western States which our
own North Western Territories have not? The whole argument of the
honorable gentleman opposite is that our country does not present advantages to intending emigrants which are presented by the States upon the
borders of Manitoba and southward, including Texas, that owing to the
difficulty of transport of supplies, absence of markets, isolation and many
other objections with which we have been made familiar, emigrants will not
be induced to take up our lands, that the climate is inhospitable, and last
and worst, that the system adopted by the Government is calculated to deter
actual settlers and throw the lands into the hands of speculators. It is
claimed by the honorable gentlemen opposite that the experience of the
Western States confirms their previsions. I think they are greatly mistaken.
We have seen that the great railway which extends from the Missouri to the
Pacific Ocean has been built by private enterprise. Notwithstanding the
enormous sums spent upon it, there has never been a day in which the bonds
of the California Central Railway have been below par, even in the greatest
period of depression. We are told now that we must halt after having
expended millions on our Pacific Railway, after having fully committed ourselves and the country to the great enterprise, although we believe we
are fully in accord with public sentiment in the course we are pursuing, and
that the country reposes full confidence in the wisdom and prudence of our
leaders in respect to the rate at which the work shall proceed, although we
feel assured that the task can be accomplished without permanently or presently increasing the public burthens. My honorable friend from West
Durham presents his Budget to the House, containing a dismal,
but, I fear, not a candid array of statistics, and demands that
we shall abandon a scheme which the Government of which he
was a member, equally with that which I support, are bound to fulfil.
Nothing can be imagined which would be more detrimental to the
interests of this country than the acceptance of his proposition. I undertake to say that, if the policy he urges were adopted, our securities in the
English market would immediately fall, and continue to decline in price.
To adopt that policy would be a confession of judgment, and we should
soon see the effects of it. The honorable gentleman is trifling with the best
interests of this country when he proposes to go back upon our word in regard to that great undertaking. I have never advocated going on with it
in such a way as to press unduly upon the taxpayers of this country. But
the first act of the honorable gentleman and his friends, when they came into office, was to increase the taxation by a sum declared by the late Finance 59
Minister to be $3,000,000. It is useless for them to say it was because
there were other obligations resting on the country than that of building the
Pacific Railway which were to be thus provided for. It can fte shown that
money raised under the tariff of 1874 was spent in the abortive Pacific Railway schemes of the late Government, contrary to the solemn pledges of
Parliament. I was surprised at the disingenuousness of the manner in
which the honorable member for West Durham brought before the House
the charge—so often repeated and never substantiated—that there was
something culpable in the increase of the expenditure of ten millions in
1874, as compared with 1867. ! t0°k the pains to examine every item of
the increased expenditure; I produced them here, and challenged our
friends opposite, to show .where there had been an increase in any one of
them which was not necessary and justifiable. I pointed out that there
had been no objection made to them at the time by any member of the
then opposition. I asserted, without contradiction, that nearly a million of
dollars of the expenditure, properly chargeable to 1875, was fraudulently
thrown upon that of 1874. The honorable gentleman instituted a comparison between the expenditures of 1871 and 1874.
Mr. Blake—I made no such comparison.
Mr. Plumb—My honorable friend will not interrupt me, because I
claim the same privilege that he did. I say fraudulently, in a political
sense ; and I say that the honorable gentleman can easily be shown that
the growth of the country—her recognized obligations and her necessary
duties, to say nothing of her best policy—absolutely forbids and makes it
impossible for her to go back to the scale of expenditure of 1871, which he
urges., as one that should be adopted. And I defy my honorable friend to
take up item by item of the increased expenditure, which he so strongly
condemns, and shew a single instance, up to 1872, to which there was any
objection made at all. In the spring of 1873, I acknowledge that the honorable member for Centre Huron (Sir Richard Cartwright) did make a feeble criticism of the budget of my honorable friend then, and now the Finance
Minister. He had previously confined his financial criticisms to a few feeble utterances upon the militia estimates. In 1872, it will be remembered,
the Globe newspaper denounced that eminent financier as a mixer and muddler of figures, and violently opposed his election; but my honorable friend
from West Durham accepted him as a colleague holding the Portfolio of
Finance in 1873 ; and is trom that time responsible for every act which he
sanctioned by remaining in office. Between 1867 and 1874, every item of
expenditure had been made necessary by circumstances and obligations
connected witn the union of the Provinces and the extension of our territory ; and I defy the honorable gentleman to point to a single item of expenditure which has not been accepted and continued by the Administration
which succeeded the Government overthrown in 1873. They were entirely
untrammelled when they came into power—and I would ask, Why did they
not cut off that expenditure; why did they not reduce that expenditure;
why did they not fulfil their loud-mouthed promises of economy and retrenchment? We may admit, for argument's sake, that they were bound
by the Pacific Railway agreements with British Columbia, although
my   honorable    friend    argues    that   they   were   not.    But,    why    did 60
they go on with that expenditure, as a Government work, when,
.as is asserted on the other side of the House, our scheme had
.failed? WHy did they make the obligations larger year by year?
Why did they at the outset throw away immense sums on useless
telegraph lines, long before the railway line, to which they were
to be an adjunct, had been located or even surveyed? I defy
my honorable friend from West Durham to answer those questions
satisfactorily. I would like my honorable friend to explain whether
he and his colleagues in one single instance reduced, without injury to
the country, one single item of the expenditure which they assert had
been so reckless, so extravagant, and so corrupt. When those honorable
gentlemen came into power, they found an overflowing treasury. They
found that there had been a large surplus year by year, notwithstanding a
heavy remission of taxes, in taking off the duty on tea and coffee, during
the Administration that held power from the time of Confederation till
1873. During that time over $10,000,000, out of the surplus revenues, had
been spent in public works, properly chargeable to capital account; and
there was no deficit impending when they took the keys of the public chest.
There could not have been a deficit in that year or the next. Upon meeting, in the spring of 1873, the Parliament, which had been elected the
previous summer, my honorable friend (Sir Leonard Tilley), then as now
the Finance Minister, stated that engagements which had been and would
be entered into would probably involve an ultimate necessity for increased
taxation. He said that the revenue for the coming year would be sufficient for
all purposes, and leave a moderate surplus, but that he would probably find it
necessary to deal with the Tariff at the next session, and that when he did
so he should keep in view the protection of our home industries, and promote
the interests of this country in that direction as far as practicable. He was
succeeded by the Hon. the ex-Finance Minister (Sir Richard Cart-
wright), who, it is well known, commenced his career by denouncing
his predecessors in the most violent terms, by grossly overstating
and misstating the extent and character of the obligations under which
.they had placed the country. He roundly asserted that the Pacific
Railway they had undertaken to construct would cost the country more
than $150,000,000 ; that they left above 131 millions to provide for ; that
it would create a greater public debt, in proportion to our resources and
population, than the national debt of England; and that they had left
.upon him 131 millions of obligations which, poor man, he had to provide
for—but he added that he was fully equal to the task. He painted everything in the blackest colours, he stated that the country had been ruined
by the extravagance of the Ministry that had just then retired. The honorable gentleman then increased, or permitted '.the increase, of the public
expenditure in every possible form. He piled deficit on deficit, he made
no provision for those deficits, except a notable suggestion that the yearly
contributions to Sinking Fund should not be charged against the yearly
expenditure on income account, and when he went out of office, the necessity devolved on my honorable friend of providing for them. I have not
heard my honorable friend from West Durham, during the course Of his long
and exhaustive oration, touch at all upon any plan which he would have proposed to bring forward to relieve the country from the burdens which had been 61
thrown upon it by the gentlemen with whom he has been associated for five-
years. The honorable gentleman is a special pleader. He takes his pleas from
his brief with great ingenuity, energy and eloquence, but after allrit is nothing
but special pleading. Every one who listened to the honorable gentleman
during the whole of his oration, felt that he was endeavoring to present from
his point of view, arguments, not as a statesman, not as the rising hope of a
great party, to whom the young men of Canada at one time looked for
better things, but as a pleader of a special case, for a special purpose, which
every man who listened to him felt was nothing more nor less than the word
of a trained advocate, and an ingenious hair-splitting counsel. The speech
of the honorable gentleman gives us the raison d'etre of his again
coming in the flesh among men, and claiming to take a part in the
affairs which he affected to have done with forever. Less than a year ago
he described himself as a ghost revisiting the earth whose interests he had
ceased to interfere with. But the honorable gentleman soon tired of playing
the role of a wandering spirit cut off from his familiar associations and ambitions, and he comes, like Banquo, with twenty mortal speeches in his
mouth, to push his late leader from his stool and usurp his place. The
honorable gentleman's temper is too excitable, and his nature is too
imperious and' arbitrary, and his organization is too nervous to
bear the brunt and stress which must be borne • by a party leader,
especially the leader of a forlorn hope, disorganized and demoralized
like that which now confronts us and is not at unity with itself.
The honorable gentleman could not refrain from a malignant attack upon
the Sister Provinces in his denunciation of the policy by which they have
been misled into Confederation. According to him each one has been guilty
of a lapse of virtue which is little better than shameless prostitution. Nova
Scotia was secretly bribed, and then, half reluctant, forced into consent.
A disgraceful bargain seduced Quebec. New Brunswick sold her wares in
the market, and pocketed the price of her dishonour. Prince Edward Island
yielded to the tempter and fell. Even weak Manitoba made some show of
resistance, which was but coyness, and became an easy, if not a willing
victim, but the crowning shame was the foul bargain with British Columbia,
which was made, according to the honorable gentleman, " on the first day of
April, 1871, "fitting day for fitting deed." Do we understand the honorable
gentleman, that he considers the bargains, if such they are, of a nature that
they should now be repudiated, or is he willing to abide by a wrong, provided
he can rule the destinies of a Union which he so eloquently denounces. To
go back to 1871 would be to cast off British Columbia and Prince Edward
Island, and disfranchise Manitoba and the Northwest. Is it part of the
hon. gentleman's programme, one of the issues of his new departure, to untwine the bonds that unite the Provinces ? • The studied effort to sow discontent among them would seem like it, but it is impossible to measure the
depth or height of the honorable gentleman's arguments. As he said at
Aurora, he is always fond of making disturbing speeches, and he is also
always " ill at ease," and " languishes for the purple mists" of chimeras which
every one but a vague political dreamer [ knows to be unsubstantial and
unattainable. His gloomy utterances migh't have found some response ^hen-
our community wace bowed down by the disasters through which we-jwejp
passing three or four years ago, and the bravest held his breath while the f
financial tornado and hurricane was at its height, but now he is as one born
out of due time. There is a hopeful feeling, a spirit of enterprise
.abroad, and the instincts of a young, energetic country are entirely antagonistic to his sepulchral doctrines.
The honorable gentleman from Lambton (Mr. Mackenzie) has just
told us that when he came into power, he found that the negocia.
tions of Sir Hugh Allan and his co-Directors, in respect to obtaining means for building the Pacific Railway under the charter that they
held, had wholly failed, but that his Government, recognized that they were
.the trustees of the preceding Government and of the people, in so far as the
-agreement to construct the road was concerned. They were, however, free
from the trammels of any previous legislation in respect to the manner of
constructing the road, and they chose to undertake it as Government work.
My honorable friend is never tired of repeating, both here and elsewhere,
that when he brought down the Pacific Railway resolutions in 1874,
they were passed without an amendment having been proposed, without
the change, as he said on one occasion, " of the dotting of an ' i'
or the crossing of a 't.'" The honorable gentleman was then backed
.by an enormous, unreasoning, over-bearing, mechanical majority.
When the honorable gentleman brought down his resolutions, they were
.rushed through at a late hour. At three o'clock in the morning the debate
was choked off ruthlessly, and there are gentlemen now present sitting in
this House to-day who know that when the honorable gentleman stated
that no amendment was offered to those resolutions, either his memory was
treacherous or he intentionally stated that which was not the case. The
honorable gentleman, if he will look at the votes and proceedings of that
day—I have them here—will find there were three amendments proposed,
•one by the honorable member for Frontenac and two by the honorable
member for Vancouver. They were voted down, of course, by the large
majority that sat behind the honorable gentleman, ready at all times to
submit to his dictum. The honorable gentleman, in the course of
the next session—early in 1875,—laid on the table of the House
two Pacific Railway contracts: One- for No. 13, being for grading
•and bridging the then contemplated line from Fort William Town
Plot to Shebandowan westward, 45 miles, for $406,904 ■ one for
section 14, from Selkirk, on Red River, to Cross Lake eastward, 77 miles,
for $402,950. In the summer of 1876 he entered into contract No. 25 for
section 25, from Sunshine Creek, where No. 13 was terminated, to English
River, 80 mfles, and for ballasting and track-laying from Fort William to
English River, 112^ miles, for $1,037,061 ; and in January, 1877,. for No.
15, from Cross Lake to Kewatin, 38^ miles, including ballasting and
•track-laying of No. 14 and No. 15, for $1,594,486. When asking the
House to sanction the contracts for sections 13 and 14, he at the same
•time asked authority to let section 15, from Cross Lake to Kewatin, and some
-discussion arose between the honorable gentleman (Mr. Mackenzie) and
the honorable the present Minister of Railways (Sir Charles Tupper), who
:said : " The statement made by the.Premier (Mr. Mackenzie) afforded one
-" of the most apt and forcible illustrations of the unwisdom of undertaking
" to let contracts without any such survey as would put contractors in a 63
| position to know anything like the amount of work required to be per-
" formed." Mr. Mackenzie said, in reply: " It so happened that a most
" elaborate survey had been made of this section. It would be impossible to
" have a more careful survey or closer examination, than had been made in
" these 37 miles. There had been no such survey on the Intercolonial." The
honorable gentleman (Mr. Mackenzie) now makes the disingenuous statement that he let the contracts upon the surveys which had been made by
his predecessors, but he knows perfectly well that the line was not fixed
upon to Kaministiqua in preference to the Nepigon until after he came to
power, therefore there could have been no close survey previously of the
line which he adopted. The Fort William Town Plot had not previously
been a make-weight in determining the terminus. Mr. Fleming has stated in
his evidence before a Committee investigating the letting of the contracts,
that when the line from Fort William to Shebandowan was put under contract they did not know where they were going, and it turned out, in fact,
that they did not go to Shebandowan at all, and we have
in evidence taken before that committee, of which the honorable gentleman
was a member, that it was found impossible to get a practicable line to Shebandowan. When the contracts were let, Mr. Fleming, if he was a party
to them at all, was acting under the direction of the honorable gentleman;
and I must say that I never heard anything on the floor of this House more
unfair and ungenerous in its character than an attack the honorable gentler
m|ra made on his chief engineer to-day, in the desperate hope of screening
himself. It was in evidence that the contracts were let without the most
elementary knowledge of the line; that they were let upon bills of work
containing specific quantities, which were merely guess work, not ascertained by actual survey, but made up here in Ottawa; that no survey whatever had been made, not even a trial line, on Section 14; that Section 13
had been let when the engineers did not even know where the line was to
run; that the elaborate and exhaustive survey of Section 15 was a line run
by eye and compass only, by Mr. Carre, who saysf that no mortal man—
upon the data he had thus obtained, the only data that the quantities were
based upon—could have given an idea of the cost. Mr. Fleming says that
Section 13 was not thoroughly surveyed before letting; that "itwas done
hurriedly," and that he " represented to the Minister that the quantities given •
had no pretensions to accuracy as to the final cost of the line, and were
simply a means of comparing tenders." When the work was let, he says,
■" we didn't know where we were going to." The whole thing, he tells us, was
done hurriedly in the office at headquarters, simply upon the rough profile
furiished by the Engineer in charge. The men who were taken up by the
contractors to work on Section 13 were kept for some time
idle, while the engineers were locating the line ; and the contractors were paid by the Government for the lost time. The engineers
arrived on Section 14 to make the survey, when the contractors, who had
taken the work, went up to commence operations. As to Section 15 we have
seen that the survey was simply a trial line, and it turns out that the surveys of Section 25 were in no better state for letting contracts. The results
are that the quantities in some cases are enormously increased, and in
others suspiciously reduced ; that, in all cases, the cost of the four Sections,
which was^phaticaflystated by the honorable gentleman to be $24;5oo a r
mile, or half that of the Intercolonial, is so enormously increased that it
wilireach $40,000 a mile; that that increase took place under the honor-'
able gentlemaiais- Administration, and must have been, or ought to have
been,.known to him when he repeated his statement as to the cost; and
it must have been known to him that he had no authority from Mr. Fleming
to make such a statement upon the hypothetic^]': amounts of the contracts.
These remarks apply with directness to sections 13, 14 and 25. As to section 15, the honorable gentleman claimed that elaborate and exhaustive surveys had been made, but the honorable gentleman must have had, or ought
to have had, some evidence of those surveys before he made the positive
statements in the House in 1875. Where is the record? We have seen
that'nothing can be more fallacious. Important engagements, committing
the country to termini at Fort William and at Selkirk, the former involving,
a-flagrant job and the latter at least a costly blunder that has cost the
country, as we are told by Mr. Carre, the Division Engineer, $360,000 from
fault of location alone, and contracts hurriedly let on imaginary
quantities, were made by the honorable member for Lambton,
who was the responsible Minister, and no one who knows the
honorable gentleman will believe for a moment that he was not
wholly responsible for all those lettings, and that"he was not or ought
not to have been fully cognizant of the state of the surveys upon a line
that he had himself fixed upon. It is of no avail whatever for that honorable gentleman to attack his chief enginber for errors or worse for which I
believe the courltry will justly hold him entirely responsible. In contract
13, taken at $406,494, but part of the Work was done, but in that the rarir>
of cost Was considerably exceeded. Contract 14 was for $402,950 ; the:
work executed under it amounted to $722,264. Contract 25 was for
$1,037,061; the work executed>under it amounted to $1,3847639. Contract 15 was for $1,594,085; the estimated cost up to January, 1879, was
$2,525,000. In/all these cases certain quantities stated on the contracts were
enormouslycincreased. In contract 25, for instance, the earth excavation
atyg.3 cents a yard was increased from one million to one million nine
hundred and fifty thousalnd cubic yards. In contract 15 the earth
cxcaviation was increased from 80,000 yards at 37 cents a yard to one million six hundred and fifty-seven thousand yards, and it is said that there
will be a further increase of one million three hundred thousand'yards.
Th©r«-was a radical change in the plan of executing section 15, dispensing
with" trestle work and substituting rock and earth. This change took
place in; the summer of 1878. An attempt was made to lead the Committee
to believe-that the change was not made upon Mr. Rowan's return from
Ottawa at that time, but the evidence in the Committees of the House
and Senate prove otherwise.
There had been three sets offenders prepared and advertised for on Section 15.    The final advertisement was made for September, 1876.    The
plan  was  to construct the  fillings of the hollows with trestle-work to
have no earth-work except the stripping of the rocks.    Strange to say, this '
woUld involve the use upon the line of a stretch of nearly fifteen miles of
timber of a size that the cotiKtry could not furnish.' When the lettings were
made, and, in fact, when the tenders were advertised for, it wiil be found 65
that Mr. Fleming was not in Canada. Mr. Marcus Smith, Acting Chief
Engineer, was in the West, and he telegraphed the hon. member for Lambton from Winnipeg, I after the bids were opened, if the <&ateet{had not
been let, to wait till his return. This/fhowever, did not suit the honi gentleman. The tenders were received-^wentyione of them—that of A. P.
Macdonald & Co., for $i,443^175, was the lowest. They were notified to
undertake the wcftkf >and arrangementstwere made by them for executing the
contract and furnishing the security ; but they heard, while their arrangements were pending, that two years' extension of time for finishing contract
14 had been given. Their contract included laying track over that section,
and its completion within the time first agreed om<was necessary in order
to enable Macdonald & Co. to get in supplies to Section 15. The contractors for Section 14 were Sifton, Ward & Co., of Petrolia—staunch
friends of the hon. gentleman—and I have good reason to believe that the
extension was made when it was found that the bid of A. P. Macdonald
& Co. was the successful one.
Mr. Mackenzie—No such thing.!;:      ist,p*
Mr. Plumb—I do not accept the hon. gentleman's " no such thing," for
leather think that, if the matter came to the test, that I could prove it.
Mr. Mackenzie—Well, prove it.
Mr. Plumb—Messrs. A. P. Macdonald & Co. contracted under the
impression that the Government would hold Sifton, Ward & Co. to the
dfirapletion of'the contract within the specified time.    They wrote to the.
Department stating what they had heard, and said that the prices at which
they had tendered were based upon the supposition that Sifton, Ward & Co.'s
contract would be finished in time to enable Macdonald & Co. to lay the
tr^jck over Section 14 by Augus&-i$7<7.    They conclude by asking if such
an extension had been granted, and say : "It w^uld be imprudent for us to
'Sejite^dnto-'-the contrae* ufcifess weUwere piqfc in possession of,the advan-,
" rages which the specifications and forms of tender led us to believe ancLi
" base our calculations upon."
What was the answer to that reasonable request ?    We must bear in
mind that this tender of A.. P. Macdonald & Co. was that of a perfectly
responsible firm, whose contract anybody, acting in his own private interest-
or having the public interest solely at heart, would have been anxious to
secure.    The Government gave no satisfactory explanation whatever.    Mr.
Braun briefly requests them to execute the contract immediately.    Messrs.
A. P. Macdonald & Co. reply :—
Montreal, 16th Octoher, 1876.
Sin,—In reply to your communication of the 14th instant, we beg to state that
we cannot enter into contract for Sections 14 and 15 Canadian Pacific Railway, on
account of reasons stated in our letter of the 13th instant.
We therefore most respectfully decline to sign said contract, hut beg to add that
if the Minister of Public Works should see fit to change his decision we would most
gladly enter into contract.
We have the honor to be, Sir,
Your obedient servants,
(Signed,) A. P. MACDONALD,
F. Braun, Esq, « ROBERT KANE.
Secretary Public Works Department,
5 66
Martin, G&arlton & Co. were the next lowest bidders ; the amount of
trfeir'tenderwas$i,540,090,nearly ahundredthousand dollars more, it nnjsfc;
be notiaed, than that of A. P. Macdonald & Co., whose bid was warned^
off. The nesfotward; was to them. Mr. Charlton seems to have been the
negociator, and he spent several weeks in offering securities of different
kindsjfbrlthe fulfilment. It would not be unfair to say, to obtain delay, that
fotsome purpose or other, seemed to be his chief object. While an; a$i?re
correspondence is going on between him and the Department, another,
actor suddenly appears, no other than Mr. Joseph Whitehead, whose characteristic letteir*o the honorable member for Lambton I wilLgive in full:—
Ottawa, November 28th, 1876.
Dear Sir,—It is the general impression outside that you are going to give the
oontract, Section 15. to Charlton & Co., and he is going to turn the contract over into
the hands of some Americans from New York, and according to the feeling, yon are
going to make a great mistake if you allow such a thing to be done, as it is well
known that Charlton says that he never intended to put a spade into the contract,
Section 15; he only wants to make some money out of it, the same way he did out of
the Grenville Canal, when he sold out to Cooke & Jones, and got six thousand,
Now, if you will give the contract, Section 15, to Sutton & Thompson's tender,
I will guarantee that the grading, track-laying and ballasting shall be done and com-
p$ffl5d<j>;the engine into Section 15 by the month of August next; and further, the
whole of Section 15.shall be finished, completed, by the fall 1878, and for every day
over and above, if any} you shall have the best of security that the Government shall
be paid five hundred dollars per day for every day over and above the two dates
named above, and this is the only way to put some life into the Pacific Railway, as
there has been no lifMn it yet.
Now, I hope you will pardon me for taking the liberty of writing you this note,
as I have no other objIfclWtaview than to let you know the feeling outside, as you
must admit'Shat Sutton: and Thompson's tender is not an extravagant one, only I
know what I have said in this note can be done.
I remain,
Your obedient servant,
Honorable Alexander Mackenzie.
The bidders next on the list were the firm recommended by Mr.
Whitehead; Sutton & Thomson, of Brantford, Ontario, whose bid was
$1,594,085 ; or, as stated by Mr. Mackenzie in a memorandum which I
shall give $1,594,155, a trifle of $150,980 over that of A. P. Macdonald
& Co. Not long after Mr. Whitehead's letter was written, the unready Mr.
Charlton seems to have become discouraged.    He writes as follows :—
" I have met with so many unfortunate difficulties in procuring security for so
"large a sum, so as to satisfy the demands of the Government, and have been so
"worried and disheartened by the ditticulties of the position in which 1 found my-
" self, and consequent failing health, that I am reluctantly obliged to say that I can-
" not now undertake so serious an enterprise, more especially as all the most experi-
" enced men whose advice and assistance I have asked, have convinced me and my
"friends that the work cannot satisfactorily he performed for the price tendered for."
I beg, therefore, to ask that the Honorable the Minister of Public Works will
" allow me to withdraw my tender," and will please to return to Mr. Beard, of Brooklyn, who proposed to join in the work, his deposit: and also return to me the papers
which I deposited as given to make up the balance of th». security required.
\ 67
And in a final agony of despair, he soon afterwards sends the
following telegram :—
Montreal Telegraph Company,
27th December, 1876.
(By Telegraph from Montreal.)
W. Braun,
Public Works Departments—
Dissension from within, added to extraordinary pressure from without, has left no
alternative but withdrawal.
(Signed) E. J. CHARLTON.
Mr. Martin seems not to have been then aware of Mr. Charlton's
'dilemma and its unhappy consequences, but on learning that there had
been a failure to furnish the security on the part of Mr. Charlton, he writes
*as follows, two days after the date of the mournful but suggestive telegram:
Ottawa, 29th December, 1876.
Sir,—.Selection 13, Canadian Pacific Railway, I have just learned with much
surprise through your Department that E. J. Charlton has withdrawn from our joint
tender to build said Section 15, Canada Pacific Railway.   His withdrawal was without my knowledge or consent.
1 am prepared to deposit the security required by the Government, and am prepared to perform the work mentioned in or contemplated by said tender.
And I now offer to comply with the conditions and requirements of the Government, as specified in the advertisement calling for tenders for said work, and, in our
•said tender, I protest against any and all acts depriving me of said contract.
Trusting that justice will be done me in the premises,
I have the honor to be, Sir,
Most respectfully yours,
To the Honorable
Minister of Public Works of Canada,
No reply seems to have been made to Mr. Martin's protest.
And it may be notieed here that the ingenous Mr. Charlton seems to
liave had a wide connection, for on the 28th of December Messrs. Baird &
Co., of New York, wrote to the Department complaining that he had used
them shamefully; that they had gone to Montreal to meet him, and had
stayed there three days, but had been unable to find him. They asked to
.be allowed to deposit cash security, and take the contract under Charlton's
The next lowest bidders were Messrs. Sutton & Thompson, the acceptance of whose tender we have seen was strongly recommended by Mr.
Whitehead; a memorandum signed by Mr. Mackenzie, in the following
words, recommends that their tender be accepted:—
30th December, 1876.
The undersigned reports that tenders having been invited for construction of
Section No. 15, Canadian Pacific Railway, twenty-one have been received at schedule
rates, which, when extended, are found to vary between $1,443,175 and $2,950,000.
That the firms whose tenders are first and second lowest, respectively, Messrs.
McDonald & Kane and Messrs. Martin & Charlton, are unable to furnish the necessary security. r
That the t<- ird'lowest tender is from Messrs. Sutton A Thompson, of Brantfordr
amounting to $1,594,155 (one million five hundred and ninety-four thousand one
hundred and fifty-five dollars).
Thato thiaifirm are prepared to make the necessary five per cent, cash deposit,
and propose to associate with themselves Mr. Joseph Whitehead, contractor, of
Clinton, Ontario.
The undersigned, therefore, recommends that the tegjder of Messrs. Sutton &
Thompson be accepted, and that they be allowed to associate Mr. Whitehead with,
themselves accordingly.
Respectfully submitted.
(Signed) A. MACKENZIE,
Minister Public ~fVorJ&.
. Thus it will be seen that on the day after Martin offered to put up the
security, and three days after Charlton withdrew in such moving terms, the
contract was awarded to Messrs. Sutton & Thompson, and, strange to
say, the disinterested Mr. Whitehead consented to put a little more life into
the Pacific Railway by becoming, first a partner nominally of that firm, and
lastly by taking the whole woik himself. It will be observed that the
memorandum of Mr. Mackenzie, which I read a few moments ago as a
reason for giving the contract to Sutton & Thompson, slates that A. P.
Macdonald & Co. and Martin & Charlton have been unable to furnish the
necessary security. As to A. P. Macdonald & Co., we have seen that there
was no lack of ability, but that they were apparently forced off in- another
way. There was no good ground whatever for this- assertion as respected
Martin & Charlton, for Mr. Martin, in his letter just quoted, distinctly proposed to furnish ample security, and protested against the contract being
taken away from him. Every contractor has a right to make as good a
bargain as he can, of course, and I do not intend in anything I have said,
or shall say, to make any charge against Mr. Whitehead, or to blame him
in any way. In the tender of Messrs. Sutton & Thompson, the timber was
taken at prices so low, and the quantity required was so enormous, that it
would have been absolutely impossible to deliver it. It could not be had in
the country, nor was it to be found nearer than the head waters of the
Mississippi, and I say that the Minister of Public Works, when he adopted
a radical change in the plan of construction of the section, which he
seems to have decided upon just before the tenders were advertised
for, and in the absence of his Chief Engineers, should have ascertained
that the timber could be found in the neighborhood of the work, and I want
the House and the country to understand that he was responsible for the
letting, for the principle adopted in the plan of construction, and he does
not pretend that it was decided upon when Mj. Fleming was ki Canada,,
or that the letting was under his advice. Mr. Whitehead had -not
long been at work on his contract when Mr. Rowan, the resident Engineer,
recommended that the work should be radically changed by substituting
rock and earth embankment for trestle work. His letter recommending the
change stated that the trestle work was perishable and liable to take fire.
I suppose most men could have known, without a professional opinion,
that wood was a substance that would decay in process of time and
might perhaps take fire if exposed to ignition; but Mr. Rowan was
careful not to state that the trestle-work timber could not be obtained 69
in the country.    Anyone could see the trestle-work plan was a dangerous
and .imprudent   one.    But   I   believe   it   suited   some   purpose of the
hon. gentleman to have the letting made at a comparatively low figure, and
he seems to have acquiesced with commendable alacrity in the necessity of
awarding the contract to bidders who were $140,000 higher than the lowest, and he did not at all object to Mr. Whitehead.    It would not be far out
of the record to say that when he let the contract on the timber plan he
had no real expectation to have it fulfilled upon that plan.    The timber was
taken at ruinously low prices, the earth and rock at extravagantly high
prices, and consequently when the timber was released, and earth and rock
were substituted, the change was enormously in favor of the contractor. The
quantity of loose rock at $1.75 a yard was exactly doubled.    The solid
rock at $2.75 was increased from 300,000 to 525,646 yards.    We have seen
that the modest little quantity of 80,000 yards of earth at 37 cents a yard—not
so modest a little price—was increased to 1,657,000 yards, and we hear
vihat 1,300,000 yards more is to be done.    Mr. Fleming approved of the
- proposed  change, and wrote a letter recommending it to the late First
Minister.    The latter, in his evidence before the Committee, says that he
himself approved of it, but he did not see fit to recommend it to the Coun-
<cil; but Mr. Rowan, the Engineer directing the work, left Ottawa under the
full understanding—the full conviction, as he states in his own evidence—
that that change was to be made:   Mr.  Fleming left for England the
next day, after he had written an approval  of Mr. Rowan's proposed
•change,  and believed that his recommendation was approved of.    Mr.
Mackenzie states that he had constant communication with Mr. Marcus
Smith, after Mr. Fleming's recommendation was made, prior to the departure
•of Mr. Smith for the Northwest, and discussed railway matters exhaustively
with him.    Strange to say, he never thought it worth while to speak of the
proposed change of Section 15, one of the most important matters connected with the whole subject.    When Mr. Smith reached Winnipeg, he found
that the work was proceeding on the changed plan, for which he disclaims,
and, I think, justly disclaims responsibility.    Mr. Rowan's evidence was not
quite satisfactory, but I will not refer further to that.    Mr. Fleming certainly,
I must say in all fairness, cannot be held culpable for the laches of his chief,
the late Minister of Public Works.   Mr. Fleming's leaning towards work of a
character, perhaps too expensive for the road bed required for the Northwest, is well known. ■ It is scarcely possible that he would have risked his
.reputation in recommending so flimsy, and, in fact, so impossible a plan as
■.that on which Section 15 was let, and no one can doubt for a moment, not
only that the change he   recommended was a proper one, if it was not
.an   imperatively   necessary    one,    but    that    the   present   Government
had   no   alternative    but   to   accept   it.    The   mischief   was   in   the
inception.    The   late    First   Minister   cannot  throw    the    responsibility
of that upon any one else, and he ought not to attempt on the floor of this
House   to place  it upon one who,  from his peculiar position,  is not
.able to reply or to defend himself.    The fact is that no one seems to
have been responsible.    It seems intended that there should be some convenient method by which the responsibility should be evaded, and it is
cowardly and shameful to say that the responsibility rests on Mr. Fleming.
The honorable gentleman knows that Mr. Rowan's reports upon the pro- r
gress of the work after the change, were not made as promptly and regularly
i!as they ought to have been. The contract was taken in such a way as to-
increase the estimated expenditure more than one million dollars, and the-
end is not yet. It was the same with the Georgian Bay Branch. As to the
•reckless rushing into a contract in utter ignorance of the nature of the country to be traversed, we have heard the honorable gentleman on the floor of
this House to-night accuse the Government of having neglected to build the
Georgian Bay branch, and of having been imfdthful to Quebec. The
extraordinary contract with the late Mr. Foster has been condemned
from time to time, and in regard to it we have received no satisfactory
explanation. That contract, too, was made for work upon a line
which no engineer had ever seen. Although the honorable member for
Lambton has attempted to shirk all responsibility in respect to these
contracts, I shall hold him responsible for them, and the country will also
hold him responsible for them. I repeat that the honorable gentleman
ought to have known, if he did not know, that there were no surveys worthy'
the name when those contracts were let. The honorable gentleman
stoutly asserts in the face of these facts that he was perfectly justified
in going before the country and saying that he was building the line embraced.
in the four contracts for one-half the cost of the Intercolonial Railway.
I knew the honorable gentleman was inaccurate in his estimates when he
made them. It is too late for the honorable gentleman to attempt to throw
the responsibility on others; it rests with him. The responsibility- also
rests on him of the hybrid system of navigation, the mixture of mud and.
water which he attempted to "utilize," to use his favorite word, between Port
Savanne and Keewatin. If the honorable gentleman had succeeded in
carrying out his scheme, he would have been able to transport over his-
portage, according to first tender, exactly five car-loads of grain per day, or
1,665 bushels, and if he had done so steadily from the opening until the
close of navigation he would have carried 280,000 bushels, or about six
vessel loads. If he had found for it employment from the end of the harvest
till the close of navigation, about eighty thousand bushels would have been
all that could have been carried, or a cargo and a half wo.uld have been all
the honorable gentleman would have been able to transport to market by
his line. At one end of the line there were 112 miles of railway that were
to cost, according to the latest estimate, about $40,000 per mile, that is
$4,400,000; at the other end a line of the same length at the same
figures, $4,400,000 more—making a total of $8,800,000. He was to spend
on Fort Francis Locks, and the improvement of navigation by railway, river
and tramway, say $500,000 more, and all this expenditure would be incurred for the purpose- of a line having, at the utmost, during the whole
of its navigable season, a carrying capacity of 280,000 bushels. The mere.
interest on capital therefore would have been $2.00 per bushel for every
bushel that could possibly be carried over the line. The honorable gentleman rose in is place to-day and advocated that policy. If the honorable-
gentleman had thrown into the sea every dollar that was expended in the
Fort Francis Locks he could not more effectually have wasted it, Ther^is
not one point of utility in connection with that undertaking. The honorable
gentleman quoted extensively from reports in relation to the Northwest. I
have  no   doubt he was at great pains  to  take  out of  those  reports. 71
anything unfavorable to that country that he could find. I believe
the honorable gentleman cafeftltiy passed over many a page that
would have refuted his own argument. He seemed Mpelled by a
mocking, imperious and cruel fate to follow in the wake of the
>(getttleman who preceded him (Mr. Blake), and to be forced to assist
■'MrMn^demning the Great West, and the schemesvtfh^eto :he has advocated
everywhere himself, and which never till now failed t& receive his strong support. The Opposition seem to have proceeded upon a settled plan in their
tactics this session, inspired, no doubt, by the new as^m&if. to the leadership.
cFirst the whole chorus rang changes on the utter failure of the National
rJMicy, and the utter and hopeless ruin of the country, with no prospect of
;ite revival. Next the Member for North Norfolk (Mr. Charlton,) brought
tiofcward his resolution condemning the Government Land Policy in the
North-West, and it was his patriotic endeavour to show there was
no possibility of utilizing them, and that the country to the south
had every possible advantage over ours, so that we could not compete with it in advantages offered to settlers. But an overwhelming
majority of the House negatived his proposals. He must have been
surprised to find he was utterly at variance, in his ideas and policy, with the
great organ of his party in Toronto. The next act in the dismal drama was
the speech of the member for West Durham—the logical sequence of all
that had preceded. We have now had the strongest and darkest presentation of their unpatriotic course that could have been made by hon. gentlemen opposite. We may congratulate ourselves we have heard the worst, and
it is worse than anything that could possibly be urged by gentlemen
who wish well to the country. Even had they had some warrant
for their contention, it was not patriotic to present the
dark side of the shield. But more unwarranted, misleading statements never were made. I regret that the oppositipn
have been led into a course which, I think, they will regret before a year
has passed. The member for Lambton, who is now apparently in most
jpoints at one with the honorable member for West Durham, ventured, however, to differ iwith him in respect to the entire prosperity of the United
States. He tells us that its Protective Policy has ruined its shipping trade.
The following extract from an authority that he will not venture to gainsay
refutes that assertion :—
'• We have at our doors all the illustrations and experiences of protection, and its
benefits required for our guidance. The United States have adopted a protective
policy, under which their manufactures have been fostered and promoted until in
1870 their products reached the sum of four thousand two hundred and fifty-three
million dollars, giving employment to two million operatives, and disbursing over
seven hundred and seventy-five millions in wages.
" It has been charged that protection has prevented the extension of foreign commerce in that country. That may be true; but it is estimated that the domestic
commerce of the United States lat>t year reached the enormous proportions of two
hundred, million tons, valued at ten thousand million dollars. What is the foreign
commerce of that country compared with the vast domestic trade that goes on in-
.ereasing without the fluctuations or risks of foreign trade? Look at the progress of
the cotton trade in that country. Previous to the import duties on foreign cottons,
in 1824, British manufactures crushed out all efforts to establish factories in the republic, but the imposition of 25 per cent, duty on foreign cottons had the effect in a
few years not only of building manufactories, but led to the production of an article 72
better in quality and lower in price than, the Americans received from the Brjtjfh
S&efore theitnwn industries were established.
" In 1860, the United States were exporters nearly 10 per cent, of their whole cottons manufactured. ,
" When a proactive dtft£ was imposed^lron manufactories were 'established, and
In a short ffcftne thepricexrf iron was brought down several dollars a ton, and it is
now sold cheaper than British iron wasjfver offered for in that market.
" The shipping interest of the United States was one of the most signal illustrations of the benefit of a protective policy that could be produced."
That is the statement of a gentleman who has had a large commercial
experience and whose utterances are entitled to great consideration when
dealing with statistics only—I mean the member for North Norfolk, Mr.
Charlton. That was a portion of his speech delivered in this House four
years ago, as I find it in the official record. Then, sir, he ably and judiciously
advocated Protection, upon which he spoke with much force and sincerity.
The Right Honourable the Premier has been greatly strengthened by the
organ of the Liberal party in Toronto, in his late estimates of the value of
our North Western lands. That paper has given no uncertain sound with
icgard to the lands which we hope to sell to defray the cost of constructing
the railway and with regard to the great promise and value of the country
which it will develop. I believe that no statement of the First
Minister exaggerated the value of our great domain, portions of
which will be purchased by capitalists for profitable investment and
cultivation, as well as by our own people and settlers generally seeking
comfortable homes. I believe the menacing labour question in the United
Kingdom will compel its statesmen to face it, and consider the best method
of disposing of the enormous population depending on manufactures
for support, that is increasing in a far greater ratio than the food supply can
be increased. In that direction we offer to England a priceless boon, which
no other country can offer, a region and soil best adapted to the development of the Anglo-Saxon race—a country possessing the laws, traditions and
loyalty of that race, and practically as near to England as Land's End was
to Glasgow 40 years ago. We have a new world to place at the disposal of
the over crowded mother country, and British statesmen will soon be
forced to turn their attention to some system of co-operation
with this Dominion for the development of the soil of that new
world. The member for West Durham speaks of the preference
of the Teutonic and Irish races for the United States, doubtless with some
truth, but we have large and flourishing settlements of Irishmen,
Scotchmen and Englishmen, and of races from the North of
Europe, too, with every prospect of their extensive increase.
Besides, the sentiment of loyalty, overlooked or excluded by honorable gentlemen opposite, will attract to our territory, through preference
and sympathy, multitudes of the British people.
In respect to our financial policy, so virulently attacked by the honorable member for West Durham, I do not believe the present Government
desire to emulate the reckless expenditure of their predecessors, or continue
building costly works while incurring growing deficits. I believe they will
take a different course, so different that the country will appreciate at its fullest
value the contrasted policy of the late and present Administrations in this
L 73
respect. I believe that this discussion was artfully contrived to alarm the
timid and deceive the unwary and ignorant; but I venture to predict it
will fail of its object, and that the gentlemen, compelled from their position
to sustain these resolutions, wilt..find theyrjpieetrwith no\ sympathy elsewhere, and thar?tHteyiftave plunged stiJHdeeper into that aoy%sJ-fiom which
I believe there is no political resurrection. .;■'   SPEECH OF MR. THOMAS WHITE, M.P.,   ';
The following is the report of the speech delivered by the member for
Cardwell on Tuesday, on the Pacific Railway debate :—
Mr. White (Cardwell) was received with cheers. He said:—Mr.
Speaker,—It is impossible to over-estimate the importance of the subject
which has, for the last three or four days, been engaging the attention of
this House. It is difficult to imagine any question more fraught with interest for, or more affecting the future well-being of the Dominion than that
presented to us for solution. It assumes two phases, to my mind, namely,
that viewed from the standpoint of the national obligation, and that from
the standpoint of the material interest of this Dominion. The honorable
member for West Durham (Mr. Blake), in relation to the first view of the
question, referred to what had been said by the honorable the Minister of
Railways as a " delving into antiquities." That honorable gentleman, as a
lawyer, knows this, that all our rights depend upon a delving into antiquities. If he has any legal question in dispute between man and man, he determines it by delving into antiquities; and we have to do the same thing
in questions arising between commimities, or individuals, or parts of communities. It seems to me that it did not come well from fhe honorable
member, for West Durham, to sneer at the honorable the Minister of Railways because he referred to the past history of this question, and to
describe that reference as a "delving into antiquities."
Notwithstanding that sneer, I shall, with the permission of the House, take
the liberty of delving into the antiquities of this question, with regard to the
relations between the Dominion and the Province of British Columbia, the
duty we owe to the Province, and the obligation imposed upon us to perform the terms entered into with that Province. It is not necessary to refer
to the earlier history of the railway. It is well known to those gentlemen
who have any knowledge of the circumstances in connection with the construction of the Pacific Railway, that it was originally by no means a party
question, that both parties were in favor of its construction; and honorable
members who are in the habit of studying what has taken place will remember that the strongest language was used by the leading organ of honorable
gentlemen opposite in denunciation of those who forgot that the construction of the Pacific Railway from ocean to ocean was a duty, to neglect
which would inflict upon us the liability of being accused of want of patriotism, and as being hostile to British connection. (Hear, hear.) It was not
a question whether we should build the Pacific Railway, that was urged
upon us by the leaders of both parties.    But it was the manner in which it
\ 75
was to be built, the time it should take to build it. That became a question engaging the attention of Parliament, and upon that a division took
place between the two political parties in this country. When British Columbia was incorporated in the Dominion we incurred the responsibility of
building the railway, commence it within two years at each end, and under-
■ taking to complete it within ten years. The Government of that time, under the instructions of this House, let the contract in accordance with the
determination arrived at, that the road should be built by a private company, aided by a subsidy of money and a subsidy of land; and if that company had succeeded, I think it would have been a great advantage to this
Dominion. Who would not now gladly give fifty million acres of land and
$30,000,000 to see that railway built from ocean to ocean?    (Hear, hear.),
But that scheme failed. I am not going to discuss the causes of that failure,
which were many. Sir Hugh Allan, who obtained, along with his associates,
a charter for his company, was, as I think, unfortunately mixed up with
other railway enterprises, which brought against him the strong hostility of
the most powerful Canadian railway corporation in London. He proposed
not only to build a railway across the continent, but a railway from Quebec
to Ottawa, to be continued to the Sault Ste. Mary, with a branch to Toronto, and then again by the Great Western to go farther West, and
thus secure competition with the Grand Trunk* , As a consequence of that
scheme, he met, in London, with the bitter hostility of the Grand Trunk
directors and shareholders, who did everything they could to prevent his
success. This strong corporation, with all the influence it had in London,
Avas aided by circumstances on this side of the water. I am not going to
say the honorable gentlemen opposite were not justified in endeavoring to
turn out the Conservative Government of that day; but, I think, looking
back to the past, that every one will admit it would have been the more
patriotic course, considering the interests this country had at stake, and that
those honorable gentlemen had pressed strongly the construction of this
'railway, had they held their hand, and not aided, by a political crisis at the
moment, those on the other side of the Atlantic, who were doing their best
to defeat the enterprise. I believe that, in spite of the opposition of the
Grand Trunk in England, Sir Hugh Allan would have succeeded, and that
we should have had enormous sums of British capital expended here for
the construction of the road had that opposition not been aided by the political crisis here. The road would thus have been built by a powerful
company, whose interest it would be to aid the settlement of the country,
and which, through its President, controlled a magnificent line of steamships—and which had, spread over the- United Kingdom, 1,200 agents,
passenger brokers, every one of whom would have been an emigration
agent for this country, and would have aided in filling up our Northwest
territory. (Hear, hear.) But the Allan Company failed; the Government
of that day was defeated, and honorable gentlemen opposite took office.
If the statements we have heard since this debate commenced are to be
L 76
-accepted, I think we may fairly say it was open tothilate Government, had
they chosen, to have said to British Coliimflbia':—" We cannot fulfil the
•bargain made, and therefore must ask you to release us, and we wlllobuijd
the railway as rapidly as we can, consistently with our financial pesftkri."
(Hear, hear.) They did not take that course. On the contrary, they recognized by their first act the obligation of the Dominion to construct the railway, and that, in spite of the fact that they, according to their own statement, made then and frequently since, were not bound to go on with the
work except as the finances of the Dominion would permit. In a report of
the Committee of the Privy Council, dated 8th July, 1874, on the mission
of Mr. Walkem to England, and a cable message received from the Colonial
Secretary—a report in which the Roman hand of the member for Lambkin
is visible in every line—we find this statement as to the position in which
the bargain stood :—
" Mr. Trutch, the delegate of the British Columbia Government, present in
Ottawa during the discussions on the terms of union, expressed himself as follows at
a public meeting, in order to reassure those who were apprehensive of the conveyances of so rash an assumption of such serious'obligations :—
" ' "When he came to Ottawa with his co-delegates last year, they entered into a
computation with the Prhy Council as to the cost and time it would take to build
the line, and they came lo the conclusion that it could be built on the terms proposed
in ten yfears. If they had said twelve or eighteen years, that time would have been
accepted with equal readiness, as all thit was understood was that the line should be
built as soon as possible. British Columbia had entered into a partnership with
Canada, and they were united to construct certain public works. But before one
would protest against alnything by which it should be understood that the Government were to borrow one hundred millions of dollars, or to tax the people of Canada
and British Columbia to carry out those works within a certain time (loud cheers)
he had been accused of having made a very Jewish bargain, but not even Shylock
would have demanded his pound of flesh if it had to be cut from his own body
(Laughter and cheers.)"
These expressions show very clearly that the terms agreed to were directory
rather than mandatory, and were interpreted by circumstances, the essence of the
engagement being such diligence as was consistent with moderate expenditure and
no increase in the then rate of taxation."
Then, again, in another report of Council, dated 23rd July, the honorable
gentleman more tersely and more emphatically stated the same fact. He
" It was distinctly understood by the British Columbia delegation at the time
the terms of union were agreed upon, that the taxation of the country was not to be
increased on account of this work beyond the rate then existing."
Now, it was with that understanding of the agreement that the late Premier
entered into the negotiations with which we have now to deal. He might
then have said to British Columbia—we cannot pretend to build this railway
at present, but will do what we Can to carry it across the Continent and
meet you at the earliest possible moment consistently with the proper expenditure of the public money, and you must depend on our good will and
jood faith. And he might the more readily have said this in view of the
position of the finances at that time. The Finance Minister had just imposed $3,000,000 additional taxation, so that when he sent his delegate to
British Columbia and entered into the Carnarvon Terms, he had actually
increased the burdens of the qpuntry by upwards of $3,000,000.    (Hear,
6 77
hear.) ■ vHejidid not take that course. He sent a delegate, Mr. Edgar, to
the British Columbia Government and made it an offer, without any pressure, in accordance with his own conception of the obligation of thls^coun-
try towards British Columbia. I do not propose to refer to the incidents of
that mission, as I wish to detain the House not a moment longer than is
possible. In the report of the Committee of the Privy Council, to which I
have already referred, the proposals made by the member for Lambton, of
his own motion, are thus succinctly stated:—
" The proppsitions made by Mr. Edgar involved an immediate heavy expenditure
in British Columbia not contemplated by the terms of union, namely, the construction of
a railway on Vancouver's Island from the port of Esquimault to Nanaimo, as compensation to the most populous part of the Province for the requirement of a longer
time for completing tMwne.ofthe mainland. The proposals also embraced an obligation
to construct a aoad or trail and telegraph line across the continent at once, and an
expenditure of not. less than a million and a half within the Province annually on the railway works on the mainland, irrespective of the amounts which might be spent east of
the Rocky Mountains, being a half more than the entire sum 'British Columbia
demanded in the first instance as the annual expenditure on the whole road."
How Lord Carnarvon understood these propositions of the Government
may be inferred from the despatch which he himself sent out, dated the i6fh
August, 1874; and as it is important to emphasize distinctly the voluntary
offers which were made by .those honorable gentlemen when they were re-
sponsible for the government of this country, it is well to have Lord Carnarvon's own words as giving his understanding of those proposals :—
" The proposals made by Mr. Edgar, on behalf of the Canadian Government, to the-
Provincial Government of British Columbia may be stated as follows :—
" 1. To commence at once, and finish as soon as possible, a railway from Esquimault to Njanaimo.
" 2. To spare no expense in settling as speedily as possible the line to be taken by
the railway on the mainland.
" 3. To make at once a waggon road and line of telegraph along the whole length
of the railway in British Columbia, and to continue the telegraph across the continent.
" 4. The moment the surveys ap.d,road on the mainland are completed, to spend a minimum
amount of$l,500,000 annually upon the construction of the railway within the province.
Lord Carnarvon suggested two amendments to.these terms. He suggested
first that the annual expenditure should be two million dollars instead of
one million and a half; and he suggested, secondly, that the road should be
completed before 1890. The Government accepted the. first of these propositions in these words, which I think I may fairly assume are the words
of the honorable member for Lambton :—
" In regard to the second proposal, the committee recommend that Lord Carnarvon
he informed (if it be fonnd impossible to obtain a settlement of the question by the
acceptance of the former offer) that the Government will consent that, after the
completion of the surveys, the average annual minimum expenditure on the mainland
shall be two millions."
Then as to the second, or time limit, which Lord Carnarvon desired to
impose, the honorable member for Lambton said :—
" There can be no doubt that it would be an extremely diffkult task to obtain the
sanction of the Canadian Parliament to any specific bargain as to time, considering
the consequences which have already resnlted from the unwise adoption of a limited 78
•period in the terms of union for the completion of so vast an undertaking, the extent
of which must necessarilyVbe very imperfectly understood byjj>eople at a distance.
The committee advise that Lord Carnarvon be informed that, whfi^n no case could
the Government undertake the completion of the whole line in the time mentioned,
an extreme unwillingness exists to another limitation of time ; but if it be found absolutely necessary to secure a present settlement of the controversy by furtfier concessions, a pledge may be given that the portion west of Lake Superior. vMl be compfe&d so ;
as to afford connection by rail with existing lines of railway'through a portion-^ the United
States and by Canadian waters during the season of navigation by the year 1890 as suggested."
And, finally, we come to the agreement actually made, as stated by Lord
Carnarvon in his despatch of the 17 th September, and I read that with a
view of completing this part of my statement. These were the agreements
that were made by Lord Carnarvon and accepted by the Government of
•.that day:—
"1. That the railway from Esquimault to Nanaimo shall be commenced as soon
as possible and completed with all practical despatch.
" 2. That the Surveys on the mainland shall be pushed on with thevimd^^gfi^r. On this
ipoint after considering the representations of your ministers, I feel that I have no
■alternative but to rely, as I do most fully and readily upon their assurances that no
■legitimate effort or expense will be spared first to determine the best route for the line and
secondly to proceed with the details 0/ the engineering work. It would be distasteful to me, ■
vif indeed, it were not impossible, to prescribe strictly any minimum of the time or
expenditure with regard to work of so uncertain a nature, but happily, it is equawif1
impossible for me to doubt that your Government will loyally do its best in every way to
accelerate the completion of a duty left freely to its sbnse op honor and justice.
" 3. That the waggon road and telegraph line shall be immediately constructed! i:
There seems here to be some difference of opinion as to the special value to the
province of the undertaking to complete these two works; but after considering
what has been said, I am of opinion that they should both be proceeded with at once,
;as indeed is suggested by your Ministers."
It is worth while remarking that these two works, the waggon road and the
telegraph line, were not asked for by British Columbia, but, on the contrary,
British Columbia intimated that they were useless, and that she did not
desire them ; but they were forced upon her and forced upon Lord Carnarvon
by the honorable gentlemen opposite when they occupied seats on this side
of the House !—
'■■ 4. That $2,00,000 a year and not $1,500,00 shall be the minimum expenditure on.
railway works within the province/?-om the aate at which th-e surveys are suffibien&y completed to enable that amount to be expended on construction. In naming this amount,
I understand that, it being alike the interest and the wish of the Dominion Government to urge on with all speed the eompletion of the works now to be undertaken,
the annual expenditure will be as much in excess of the minimnm of $2,000,000 as in any
year may be found practicable.
" 5. Lastly—That on or before th 31st of December, 1890, the railway shall be
completed and open for traffic from the Pacific seabord to a poirft at the western •
end of Lake Superior, at which it will fall into connection' with existing lines of
railway through a portion of the Dnited States, and also with the navigation on
Canadian waters. To proceed at present with the remainder of the railway; extending by
the country northward of Lake Superior, to the existing Canadian lines ought not in my
opinion to be required, and the time for undertaking that work must be determined by
the development of settlement and the changing circumstances of the country The
day is, however, I hope not very distant when a continuous lino Of railwav through
Canadian territory will be practicable, and I therefore look upon this portion of tie-
.scheme as postponed rather than-abandoned." 79
We had an appeal by the honorable member for West Durham (Mr. Blake)'
the other evening to the honorable gentlemen from the Province of Quebec,
and we had a suggestion from him that this scheme of the Government, this
disposition to expend money only on the western end to the exclusion of
that portion north of Lake Superior, was in fact an attack upon the interests'?
of the Province of Quebec.    But here we find in this arrangement, which
was made by the honorable gentlemeji opposite when they occupied seats
on this side of the House, a positive agreement to expend at least two >
millions, and as much more as they possibly could, every year in British
Columbia upon the mainland; and that the line north of Lake Superior
should be postponed indefinitely, abandpned, in fact, so far as any present
indication to construct it was concerned.    (Cheers.)    Now, here are the
words in which the Privy Council accepted those terms.    The report is
dated 18th December, 1874 :—
"The minute of Council of September 17th contained a statement of reasons
•showing why some of these modifications should not be pressed, but the Government
-actuated by an anxious desire to remove all difficulties, expressed a willingness to
make these further concessions rather than forego an immediate settlement of so
irritating a question, as the concessions suggested might be made without involving a violation of the spirit of any parliamentary resolutions or the letter of any enactment."
So that the very reason for the offer to expend two millions a year at least
in British Columbia after the surveys were completed, in addition to the
expenditures upon the eastern end of the line, was that that could be done
without involving a violation of the spirit of any parliamentary resolution
or the letter of any enactment. That was after three million dollars of additional taxation had been added to the burdens of the people of this country,
in excess of the rate of taxation existing when the Province was admitted
to the Union, and the first resolution limiting the obligation of the Dominion,
so frequently referred to, was passed by Parliament. The report of Council
'< The Committee of Council respectfully request that your Excellency will be
pleased to convey to Lord Carnarvon their warm appreciation of the kindness which
led his lordship to render his good offices to effect a settlement of the matter in
dispute, and also to assure his lordship that every effort will be made to secure the realization of what is expected."
(Cheers.) When, Sir, Lord Carnarvon reads the debates which have taken
place in this House; when he compares the different statements made at
different times by the honorable gentleman then at the head of the Government, and of one of his supporters who had a short time before been a
member of the Government, and who a short time afterwards was again a
member of the Government, he will be shocked at the perfidy of Canadian
public men. The comparison will certainly not be calculated to raise us in
the estimation of British statesmen. Lord Carnarvon accepted in the spirit
in which they were given the thanks awarded him, and said, on the 4th of
«It has been with great pleasure that T have received this expression of their
opinion I sincerely rejoice to have been the means of bringing to a satisfactory
conclusion a question of so much difficulty, of removing, as I trust, all ground of r
future misunderstanding between the Province of British Columbia and the Dominion,
and of thus contributing towards the ultimate completion of a public work in which
they0 and indeed the whole Empire, are interested."
The honorable member for West Durham (Mr. Blake) in his speech, stated,
that within a few; months after this correspondence had taken place, after I
tMS'ftlcterchange of compliments with'Lord Carnarvon, he entered the Government up®n the distinct understanding that these terms were to be abandoned. I think too much of him and of the member for Lambton to believe that i
any such compact could have beeti>made.    It is true that he contends that the
defeat of the Esquimault and Nanaimo Railway destroyed the Carnarvon
terms.    And he contends that the offer of $750,000 was to be regarded as-
a compensation for the abandonment of those terms.    It was nothing of the.
kind.    The Esquimault and Nanaimo  Railway was promised in excess of
the terms of union, and as compensation for the non-fulfilment of the condi->
tion to build the main line by 1881.    When the bill providing for the building of this railway was defeated in the Senate, the duty of the Governmeffikta
was to provide a substitute for the compensation for the delay on the mainland.    (Hear, hear.)    They offered that compensation''in the form of a money.
grant of $750,000, that being in fact, as stated by the member for Lambton
(Mr. Mackenzie), the sum which he proposed to give as a subsidy to a private company to build the island railway.    This offer, therefore, so far from,
being an abandonment of the Carnarvon terms, was a confirmation of them,
an admission of their binding character, a doing, in fact, in another form,,
precisely what was agreed to be done in those terms.    (Hear, hear.)
But, Mr. Speaker, we are told that we ought not to go on with the road
because there is an obligation on the Government not to go on if it will involve increased taxation. Whatever force there may be in that argument,!
members of the late Government have deprived themselves of the right to
use it. The late First Minister, when he entered into the Carnarvon terms,,
when he made the terms with British Columbia, actually appropriated
$3,000,000 of additional taxation to enable him to carry out those terms.
Here is the statement made by the honorable member for Lambton (Mr.
Mackenzie) in the minute of Council of the 23rd July, i879,sent to England,
for the information of the Imperial Government on this question.    He said:—
" So anxious, however, were the present Government to remove any possible cause
•of complaint, that they did take means to increase the taxation very materially in
order to place themselves in a position te make arrangements for the prosecution of the initials
and difficult portions of the line as soon as it was possible to do so ; and, at the same time,
a special confidential agent was deputed to British Columbia for the express purpose
of conferring with the Government of that Province, and to endeavor to arrive at
some understanding as to a course to be pursued which could be satisfactory to
British Columbia and meet the circumstances of the Dominion."
That was the statement made to the Imperial Government on the responsibility of honorable gentlemen opposite; that when they sent their agent to
British Columbia they sent him armed with the fact that $3,000,000 had
I 81
been appropriated to the carrying out of terms to be agreed upon in reference to this railway; and yet honorable gentlemen now say that we must
.(Jishbnor ourselves, because the carrying out of the terms, which they made
a show of carrying out by the infliction of $3,00^900 increased taxation,
would involve a very much smaller increased burden on the people. But
we have another report. In order to enable the Government to fulfil the
terms, and so that no excuse might be allowed for supposing that they were
unwilling to carry them out, we find them stating in another report of the
Privy Council on the 8th of July, that they had raised^'the average rate of
taxation 15 per cent.    The actual statement thus made is as follows :—
" In order to enable the Government to carry out the proposals, which it was hoped the
British Columbia Government would have accepted, the average rate of taxation was
rfefiscd at the last session about fifteen per cent., and the excise duties on spirits and
;k(bacco a corresponding! rate, both involving additional taxation exceeding three
millions of dollars on the transactions of the year."
(Cheers.^ That is a statement made by the authority of the Government
that this increased taxation was made expressly to enable them to carry out
these Carnarvon terms : and yet we have from these very gentlemen, now,
an appeal to the country to oppose the policy of the present Governments
the direction of carrying out those terms, on the ground that it may increase
the taxation of the country, and that in spite of the fact that the proposals
of the Government will not involve anything like so large a burden.
mr. Mackenzie's recognition of the obligations of the government.
The honorable gentlemen, as I shall be able to establish, has never until
this year gone back upon that record. Session after session we have had
the statement of the honorable member for Lambton that he recognized the
obligation resting upon him to carry out these Carnarvon terms. (Hear,
hear.) Every session we have had his assurance to that effect. Let me
read two or three such assurances given by him, when submitting his yearly
statements to the House. In his speech in submitting the Pacific Railway
policy in 1876, he said (and at this time the honorable member for West
Durham was a member of the Government, and is therefore responsible for
every word uttered):—
" We have felt from the first that while it was utterly impossible to implement to
the letter the engagements entered into by our predecessors, the ,good faith of the
country demanded that the administration should do everything that was reasonable'and in
their power to carry out the pledges made to British Columbia, if not the entire obligation
at least such parts ofc^fcas seemed to be within their power and most conducive to
the welfare of the whole Dominion as well as to satisfy all reasonable men in British
Columbia, which province had fancied itself entitled to complain of apparent want of
good faith in carrying out these obligations."
* *"* * * * * * * *
" Let me say, so far as the work itself is concerned, that I have always been an
advocate of the construction of a railway across the continent, but I have never
believed that it was within our means to do it in anything like the period of time
within which the honorable gentleman bound Parliament and the country."
That is by 1881. After an elaborate statement of surveys, and a suggestion
of the advantages of the Pine River Pass, he said:—
" But this route is open to the objection that if we were to decide upon surveying
6 f
that country, it would be practically putting, off the construction for some time longer than
would be necessary by adopting the line we have already surveyed. If British Columbia
were to act with consideration for national interests with regard to the obligations
assumed by the Dominion at the time of the union, it undoubtedly would be the
policy any administration would seek to carry out to examine the conntiy more
thoroughly before action. With the irritation that is felt by many in British
Columbia; and the constant complaints made, it is doubtful whether the country would
-be justified, even for a permanent advantage unless that one of so decided and conclusive a to be apparent at sight, in pursuing such a policy. Assuming, therefore, for
a moment—and assuming what I may call almost a certainty—that the Jasper House
Pass would be the crossing place in the Rocky Mountains, we have the line tolerably
clearly defined from east to we8t."-fi
Thus, Sir, at that time we had a statement that further explorations
must not be undertaken lest delay might occur in the work of actual
construction. The honorable member for West Durham (Mr. Blake) at
that time sat beside the then First Minister. (Cheers.) And speaking
of taxation, the late Finance Minister that very same session, the session
in which this statement was made by the honorable member for Lambton,
came down and announced that there was a deficit of $1,900,000, and
amended the tariff with the view to still further tdkation. Yet, in spite of
that deficit, and of that increased taxation, we had the statement of the
honorable member for Lambton that so important was it that this arrangement should be carried out and the terms fulfilled by an immediate
commencement of the work of construction, that he was actually prepared
to forego further explorations unless the advantages of such explorations
were apparent at first sight. The honorable gentleman in the same speech
" Our policy was this :—It is utterly impossible to commence the construction in
' British Columbia until we have overcome the initiatory difficulties by carefully surveying the countiy and ascertaining the line which would have ultimately to be
adopted. From the statements I have made it will be seen that an. enormous force
has been engaged and a large amount expended in that Province, and it is unjust in
the people of British Columbia to complain that we have not prosecuted this work
with all due diligence. Directions were given by the Government to the Chief Engineer
and by him to his staff that anything that could be done was to be done in order to push the
work forward as rapidly as possible."
In the same speech, in order to give additional proof of his sincerity and of
his determination to carry out this work, he referred to the steel rails which
had been sent to British Columbia.    He said:—
" It has been assumed that as this road is not to be constructed the rails shipped
to British Columbia are therefore utterly useless. That is a great.mistake. If we are
able to commence the work of construction this coming year in British Columbia these rails
would be required. It may be said to be impossible to commence the construction of
the road in British Columbia without having the rails on the spot.
" There are five thousand tons in British Columbia, and if we have erred In sending
them there we have simply erred in our earnest desire to shew the people of British
Columbia that we are desirous of keeping faith with them, that otto speeches were not
mere empty promises, and that we are resolved to place ourselves in rf position they
could not misunderstand."
That was the statement, in 1876, made by the honorable gentleman from
his place on the Treasury benches. The honorable member for West Durham sat beside him at the time and was responsible for every word he 83
uttered. And yet the honorable gentleman comes here and tells this
House, and he tells this country, that he had before this made an arrangement that this work was to be postponed. Let me read another extract
from the same debate.    The honorable member for Cumberland said :—
" He had followed the hon. gentleman closely, and failed to learn what was proposed to be done in regard to the great question of the Canadian Pacific Railway.
The British Columbii papers merely shewed that the Government had succeeded in
bringing matters to a dead-lock, and the Premier was bound to tell the House, before
•asking it to vote this large amount, what we intended to do."
" Hon. Mr. Blake—The last paragraph in the papers will show."
" Hon. Mr. Mackenzie—I said our policy from the first was to do everything in our
power to keep the bargain the hon. gentleman and his friends made, and nothing will
be lacking on our own part to bring it to a successful conclusion in British Columbia. I have
shown pretty conclusively that nothing I am aware of has been left undone that
could be done.    I do not know what the hon. gentleman wants."
That is to be taken as the interpretation of the arrangement made by the
honorable member for West Durham when he entered that Cabinet. But
we have another authority as to what the late Government intended to do,
which to my mind seems utterly to negative the suggestion made by the
honorable member for West Durham that he entered the Cabinet upon
conditions which would have dishonored the Government that accepted
him on such terms. Lord Dufferin, then Governor-General of Canada, was
sent to British Columbia in 1876. I should perhaps not use the word
, sent," but he went to British Columbia, though judging by his speech,
perhaps I am right in saying that he was sent there. He went there at any
rate. He went through the country. Honorable gentlemen who have
been trying to decry British Columbia will do well to read Lord Dufferin's
speech on that occasion, wherein he described what he calls " this glorious
country." But sir, the then Governor-General of this Dominion, after his
return from his tour through the interior of British Colombia, and just before he embarked for San Francisco, made a speech in Victoria. How serious he felt that speech to be may be gathered from one expression, which I
will read, and which was an extraordinary expression for a nobleman in his
position to use :—
** I would sooner cut my right hand off than utter a single word that I do not
know to be an absolute truth."
This statement was made in order to convince British Columbia that what
he said, he said from a knowledge of the facts, with a resolution to say
nothing but what he knew to be absolutely true.    The honorable member
.for- West Durham, (Mr. Blake) as a good constitutionalist, knows that being a Minister at the time, he was responsible for every word Lord Dufferin
itiien uttered.    Here is an extract from the speech :—
» Let me then assure you, on the part of the Canadian Government and on the part
oc the Canadian people at large, that there is nothing they desire more earnestly or
more ferwntly than to know and feel that you are one with them in heart, thought
and feeling Canada would indeed be dead to the most self-evident considerations
of felf-intc -st and to the first instincts of national pride, if she did not regard wi.h I
satisfaction her connection with the province so richly endowed by nature, inhabited
by a community so replete with! British loyalty and pluck, while it afforded her the
means of extending her confines and the outlets of her commerce to the wide Pacific
and to the countries beyond."
Well, Sir, at that time there was a suspicion prevailing that the honorable
member for Lambton had not acted in good faith in connection with the
Carnarvon terms. There was a suspicion prevailing, because two honorable gentlemen of the Senate, prominent friends of that gentleman, who were
known to be so good party men that one could hardly conceive their voting
against any measure which the Government sincerely desired to see passed
—yet voted against this bill—there was a suspicion that he had procured
the defeat of the measure for the construction of the Esquimault and Nanaimo Railway in the Senate ; and referring to that suspicion Lord Dufferin
« Had Mr. Mackenzie dealt so treacherously by Lord Carnarvon, by the representative
of his sovereign in this country, or by you, he would have been guilty of a most
atrocious act, of which I trust no public man in Canada or in any other British colony
could be capable. I tell you in the most emphatic terms, and I pledge my honour
on the point, that Mr. Mackenzie was not guilty of any such base aud deceitful conduct ; had I thought him guilty of it, either he would have ceased to be Prime
Minister, or I should have left the country."
I ask you, where is the difference between conspiring to secure the defeat
of the measure in the Senate which had passed the Commons, and which
the Ministry pretended to be in favor of, and conspiring to arouse public
sentiment, as those honorable gentlemen are doing to-day, in order to prevent the carrying out of the Carnarvon terms.    (Cheers.)
" I saw Mr. Mackenzie the next day, and I have seldom seen a man more annoyed
or disconcertedithan he was ; indeed, he was driven at that interview to protest with
more warmth rhan he has ever used against the decision of the English Government,
which had refused, on the opinion of the law officers of the Crown, to allow him to
add to the memb rs of the Senate, after Prince Edward Island had entered the Confederation."
And yet these honorable gentlemen come here now and ask us to postpone
the construction of this railway, to postpone the carrying out of these terms
which have been entered into, this solemn bargain which has been made,
and in order to carry which, they, at that time, four or five years ago, actually tried to violate the constitution by creating additional members of the
Senate. (Cheers.) Well, sir, after discussing the question of the action of
the Senate, Lord Dufferin said :—
" But there is one thing I admit the Senate has done, it has revived in their integrity
those original treaty obligations on the strength of which you were induced to enter
Confederation, and it has reimposed upon Mr. Mackenzie and his Government the
obligation of offering you an equivalent for that stipulation in the Carnarvon terms
which he has not been able to make good."
Then he refers to the offer of $750,000 as compensation for the failure of
that part of the Carvarvon terms which the Senate had made it impossible
to make good:—
"My only object in touching upon them at all is to disabuse your minds of the
idea that there has been any intention on the part of Mr. Mackenzie, his Government
or of Canada'to break faith'with you- Every single item of the Carnarvon terms is at
this moment in the course of fulfilment." 85
The honorable member for West Durham (Mr. Blake) is responsible for that
statement. Lord Dufferin pointed out how this was the case, and then he
went on to say : and I beg the honorable member for West Durham to
listen attentively to what he did say in relation to the conduct of those
who,; being strong in numerical majority, would try to oppress a small
Province because it had not sufficient members to compete with them:—
" Your numerical weakness as a community is your real strength, for it is a consideration that appeals to every generous heart. Far be the day when on any acre of soil
above which floats the flag of England, mere material power, brute political preponderance, should be permitted to decide such a-controversy as that which we are now
discussing. It is to men like yourselves, who, with unquailing fortitude, and heroic
energy, have planted the laws and liberties, and the blessed influence of English
homes amidst the wilds, and rocks, and desert plains of savage lands, that England
owes the enhancement of her prestige, the diffusion of her tongue, the increase of her
commerce, and her ever-widening renown, and woe betide the Government or the statesman who, because its inhabitants are few in number, and politically of small account, should
disregard the wishes or carelessly dismiis the representations, however bluff, boisterous, or
downright, of the feeblest of our distant colonies."
I draw to those words the special attention of the honorable member for
West Durham, who for the moment has permitted himself to sink the statesman who can think of the next generation, into the parish politician, who
thinks only of the next general election. (Cheers.) That was the position
in 1876, and I think I may say that I have established beyond controversy,
beyond the possibility of controversy, the fact that the honorable gentlemen
were at least committed, the honorable member for West Durham amongst
the rest, at that time, to the honest fulfillment of the bargain which they
had made.    (Cheers.)
In 1877—it was reported—I do not know what truth there was in the report
—that it was in consequence of Lord Dufferin's visit to British Columbia,
the question of the selection of the Burrard Inlet route came up for the first
time. Up to that time that route had hardly been heard of, and the honorable member for Lambton was known to be in favor of the Bute Inlet route.
Mr. Mackenzie—I have no objection to tell the honorable gentleman
that Lord Dufferin had nothing personally to do with it. It was adopted
purely upon practical engineering reasons. The honorable gentleman is
quite correct in saying I was in favor of the Bute Inlet route for a considerable time.    In fact I was in favor of it until I got something better.
Mr. WHiTErTrrWho suggested the change is not a matter of any consequence to my argument. I simply gave the report as it was current at the
time, and the honorable member knowing the facts contradicts it. In 1877
the Burrard Inlet route came up for the first time, so far as Parliament was
concerned, and so far as the suggestion of it as a seriQus route was concerned.
The honorable member for Lambton, in reply to the honorable member for
Cumberland, who asked whether, in connection with some other statements
which he made, he proposed to settle that question and put the line under
contract without the consent of Parliament, that being apparently the intention of the Government, from the speech of the honorable gentleman, Mr. 86
Mackenzie replied :—" Certainly not; I think I stated we hoped to have
" the tenders submitted to Parliament next session." (Cheers.) So ikat
in 1877, as in 1876, there never was a thought of abandoning the line in
British Columbia, or violating the Carnarvon terms ; but on the contrary
the Government of the day were acting in good faith in their desire to carry
out those terms. Well, Sir, in 1878 the honorable gentleman, the last time
he had the privilege of making a statement from the Ministerial benches,
referred to the great surveys which had taken place in connection with the
proposed road through British Columbia. Throughout all his speeches on
the subject, from first to last, there runs a line of argument showing how
sincerely he was devoted to carrying out the scheme of beginning the work
on the mainland. He pointed out that 47,000 miles of country had been
traversed by the various parties who were sent out to explore the country,
and that there had been " actual instrumental surveys laboriously measured
" yard by yard, of not less than 12,000 miles, or nearly five times the length
" of the road when completed from Lake Nipissing to the Pacific Ocean."
mr. Mackenzie's inconsistency.
Then he gave his reasons for desiring to- go on at once as follows :—
" If there were no political considerations governing the action of the Government v
and these political reasons referred to our obligations with the British Columbian
Government and people to proceed as fast as. possible—or as the hon. member for
Vancouver (Mr. Bunster) says two or three times every day " proceed immediately,"—
if there were no considerations of that kind to govern our action, it might be, I have
no doubt it would be desirable to spend another two years exploring the country
which is yet comparatively unknown."
" The governing considerations then, sir, are all in favour as it appears to me of
adopting, the views of the Chief Engineer in respect to this line. The Government
have not at the moment formally resolved upon the adoption of this line, but it is
the opinion of the Government that the considerations to which I have alluded in-
these remarks are such as must govern their- action if they- are to attend to this
matter purely in the public interest."
That was the statement made by the honorable member the last time he
addressed this House from the ministerial benches. What occurred afterwards ? Parliament was prorogued, the general elections were coming on,
and the honorable gentleman advertised for tenders for the construction of
that very portion of the railway which we are now asked to postpone. Now,
what are we to infer from that ? Governments do not do those things, on
the eve of general elections, which are likely to be unpopular with the country. He advertised for those tenders simply because the public mind of
this country had been thoroughly imbued with the fact that the honor of
the country was pledged to the carrying out of this arrangement. (Cheers.)
He had been going on through four sessions, making the only condition of
commencement, the completion of the surveys, and as soon as the surveys
were completed he advertised for tenders. (Cheers.) It is true he has
suggested, and I am bound to say I was astonished at the- suggestion and I"
am sure this House will be astonished when I offer them the proof I anv
going to offer,—it is true he suggested he did not intend to build the road,
although he advertised for tenders, intimating that he advertised for tenders 87
simply in order that he might find out how much it was likely to cost.
(Laughter and cheers.) After all the surveys made and all the reports obtained, we are actually asked to believe that he had advertised simply with
with the view of obtaining an idea of the cost. The only object he had in
view in sending this advertisement from one end of the Dominion to the
other, inducing contractors to make enquiries about them and to go to the
expense and incur the loss of time in getting up their tenders, was simply to
ascertain the probable cost without any idea of practical work. (Hear,
hear.) All I can say about it is this : he deceived his own friends most
wonderfully if that was his intention. Here is a statement in the Toronto
Globe of the 20th September last, I do not quote it because it is in the
Globe, but because it is an evidence of what was the popular impression as
to his intention in advertising for tenders :—
" Sir Charles Tupper's Pacific Railway resolutions proposed to construct 125 miles
of road in British Columbia during the present season. By that promise the British
Columbian members were induced to vote for the tariff, so injurious in itself to their
Province. They have been amused ever since by tales of explorations, surveys, guarantees, purchases of steel rails, and announcements that operations would soon begin.
It is now late in the year, nothing has yet been done, and very little could be done
before winter if the work were now begun.    Had Me. Mackenzie remained in office,
interior have been given. The people of British Columbia may well wonder at their
folly in parting with the ' bird in hand.'"
That was the impression the honorable gentleman made. Well, Sir, a short
time afterwards it was announced that the Burrard Inlet route had been
agreed upon, and that the Government were advertising for tenders for the
construction of a road in accordance with that decision. And here is what
the Globe said on the 27 th October in reference to this question :■—
" Just a year ago Mr. Mackenzie, as Minister of Public Works, was making preparations for the letting of contracts to build a line from Yale to Kamloops, about 120
miles, and the work of transporting the rails from Esquimault to the mainland was
actually begun. As soon as the present Government came into power, the order for
the transportation of the rails was countermanded, and the project of building the
Yale-Kamloops line was abandoned."
" In other words, they are shut up to a choice between acknowledging that they
have by their incompetence lost a whole year to the construction of the line, and
confessing that they never meant to give it up at all, and sought only to temporize in
the face of difficulty at the expense of the feelings and hopes of the unfortunate
That was the opinion of the Toronto Globe in relation to the action of the
hon. gentleman. There was then no suggestion that the road should be
postponed, but a suggestion that time .had been lost in not having gone on
with it earlier. (Cheers.) I have evidence still stronger than that—the
evidence of the hon. member for Lambton himself—which hon. gentlemen
opposite will perhaps accept. Last year the hon. member delivered a
speech on the floor of this House. He had no responsibility of office upon
him; he was in a position, if he had chosen to do so, to have done then
what he has humiliated himself by doing on this occasion. (Hear, hear.)
But he did not do so. Here is the assurance that he gave to hon. gentleman
on this side :—
I Thjey will always find that gentlemen on this side will be prepared to consider
u' r
all such questions from a tnily national point of view. We recognize the obligation
resting upor^ns as Canadians, and while I assert, in the most positive manner, that
nothing could have been done by any administration during our term of office that
we did not do or try to do, in order to accomplish or realize those expectations which
were generated by the Government of hon. gentlemen opposite in their admission of
British Columbia into the Confederacy I say, at the same time we endeavoured,
not merely to keep the national obligations, but we ventured to a great extent our
own political existence as administrators; we risked our political position for the
sake of carrying out to completion, in the best way possible, the course which hon.
gentlemen opposite had promised should be taken."
They are evidently not going any longer to risk their political position for
the sake of carrying to completion, and in the best way possible, the obligations which hon. gentlemen opposite had so emphatically rivetted upon
the Dominion. Then he gave to this country from the Opposition benches,
a declaration of his policy :—
" Our proposal was this : We endeavoured in the first place to obtain some modifications of the terms. We despatched an agent to British Columbia, and Lord
Carnarvon ultimately offered his good services in order to arrive at some understanding with that Province, and we reached the understanding that we would
endeavour to build a railway from Lake Superior to the Pacific Ocean,
by 1890, that we should expend a certain amount per annum in British
Columbia after the surveys were completed and the line adopted. The line never was
surveyed sufficiently to enable us to reach that conclusion till last year, and as .-soon as
(Cheers.) That is the statement of the hon. gentleman ; but I have another
passage from his speech stronger than that. It will be remembered that
the policy of the Hon. the Minister of Railways was this : He asked this
House to declare that the selection of the Burrard Inlet route was premature, to give him permission to make further and other explorations, and
further to allow him to let 125 miles of railway where he might determine
after these explorations were made. What did the hon. member for Lambton say to this proposition ? Here is an extract from his speech, and I beg
hon. members to note it well:—
" I do not see how it is possible that this House can authorize the Government first
to select a line, and, at the same time, when that line is not made known to Parliament, that we should authorize the Government to enter into a contract for building
125 miles of the railway. If the Government, ask for power to let out contracts on
lines that have been ahieady thoroughly surveyed and are located, I would not blame
those who approved of the policy of the Government, for giving them that power,
and, if they ask for the power to build 125 miles on the line which I believe to be best, I
will be prepared to support that proposition, but I am not prepared to support any proposition to place power in the hands of any Government to eaipend money in building a portion of a railway, without, at least,: communicating the place where that
money is to be expended."
(Cheers.) Now, it comes to this, that had the honorable member for Cumberland been less anxious to select the best possible route for British Columbia, had he been willing to come down here last year and ask permission to
let 125 miles of railway on the Burrard Inlet route, the honorable member
for Lambton would have supported him, and, I need not say, the whole
party at his back would have supported him as well.    (Loud cheers.) 89
Now, Mr. Speaker, what has brought about this change ? Certainly the
financial position last year was not better than the financial position this
year. (Hear, hear.) Certainly the business outlook was not better last
year than this year. (Hear, hear.) Certainly the prospect in this country
in relation to the filling up of the North-west was not better last year than
this year. (Hear, hear.) Why, then, was he prepared last year to give
his support to the precise expenditure asked for to-day, while this year he
advocates a postponement of the work ? There is a reason for it. An
honorable gentleman who was not here last year has returned to public,
life. (Hear, hear.) We have the honorable member for West Durham
(Mr. Blake) again in this House. That is why this opposition is put fo'r^
ward. Those who have watched his political career since 1867 know that
he never brooked leadership, and that he does not brook it now. He is
to-day aspiring to the leadership of his party ; but I will tell him, if he will
permit me to do so, that a man who does not know how honestly to follow
will never successfully lead. (Cheers.) Well, what is the result ? Those
who have watched Parliament, as I have watched it from that gallery, know
that the incorporation of the North-west territories has always received the
support of the honorable member for Lambton. He has always been in
favor of filling up the Northwest, and never until last night has he ever
uttered a single sentence of discredit against that North-west territory.
But those who have, as I have said, watched the course of events in this
Parliament, will remember the almost open rupture that took place between
the honorable member for South Bruce (Mr. Blake) and the honorable
member for Lambton, because the latter supported the policy of the
Government in regard to bringing in this North-west territory; and they
will also remember that the honorable member for South Bruce ultimately
left the House in a pet, and did not vote at all. Not satisfied, I say, with
placing his leader in. the humiliating position in which he has placed the
honorable member for Lambton, by inducing him to turn his back on his
political record, he compelled him to devote two hours last evening in that
triangular speech of the honorable members for West Durham, North Norfolk and Lambton, the details of which were announced in advance by that
honorable gentleman, to reading extracts from reports and books calculated
to discredit the country, and to prove, if the statements were true, that the
then member for South Bruce was right in his refusal to incorporate the-
North-west with the Dominion, and that the member for Lambton was-
wrong in supporting the Government on that question.    (Cheers)
The honorable member for West Durham referred to the question of Western
development, and he stated that that Western development had been most
marvellous There is one thing that will strike every honorable member in
this House that according to the honorable members on the other side everything American has been marvellous and everything Canadian has been the
reverse. He selected two States—Kansas and Nebraska—as illustrations
of progress, and in order to prove that we had no reason to look for any 90
such progress, he gave reasons showing the great advantages enjoyed by the
Western States as compared with the Canadian Northwest. The honorable
gentleman dwelt strongly upon what he called the vast recruiting ground
which the Western States possessed in the United States, and as an illustration of this, he pointed out that of the increase in the population of the
States and Territories, west of the lakes, between 1850 and i860, 81 per
cent, was native and 19 per cent, was foreign ; and that between i860 and
1870, the proportions were 79 per cent, native and 21 per cent, foreign.
Then he went on to show that there was no possibility of our copying that
wonderful development in our Northwest; that we had no such native
recruiting ground as the Western States. It will be perceived that while the
honorable gentleman is pleased to build up a Chinese wall as against immigrants coming into this country, he pulls it down when Canadians are to go
into that country (hear, hear.) Mention has been made two or three times
of the large number of Canadians going *into the United States. There is
no doubt that such an emigration has been going on. But it is worth while
to point out that by the census of 1870, it appears that of the population of
the United States there were 1.26 per cent, of the whole population
Canadians, and that in British North America 1.85 per cent, was of American birth. That rather pulls down the Chinese wall on both sides, and
shows that the people do come and go from and to both sides.
But after proving to his own satisfaction that we could get comparatively no
population into our Northwest, the honorable member for West Durham
went on to ask of what value the population going there will be to the older
Provinces. And referring to the suggestion that the manufacturers of the
east will find a market in the west, the honorable gentleman asked, with one
of his most cynical sneers, whether the N. P. was to have no effect there.
(Hear, hear.) Well, sir, it is well known that in the United States, where
protection prevails in the west as well as the east, western development has
resulted in home markets for eastern manufacturers. (Cheers.) So much
is this tjhe case, that the group of manufacturing States has increased in
population in an equal ratio with the whole United States. (Cheers.) I
think it will be admitted by everyone who knows anything of the progress
of immigration, notwithstanding the suggestions of the member for North
Norfolk (Mr. Charlton) that emigration has always gone on lines of latitude,
that the tendency in the United States is for the emigrant to go into new
territory. Places that were the centres of immigration only ten years ago,
are now the recruiting ground for emigrants going still further westward;
and as we have, at this moment, in our Northwest, the newest regions—
almost the only places remaining on the North American continent entirely
new—we shall have the same process or movement from east to west, into
our territory, in the future, in addition to the large immigration from the Old
World.    (Cheers.)
Then the member for West Durham told us as another reason why we could
not hope for much emigration to that country, that the people of Ireland 91
were not likely to come into Canada; and we had an appeal to Irish sympathies as a means of signalizing, perhaps, the advent of Irish leadership,
and the downfall of Scotch ascendancy in the Liberal party. If he had
been disposed to deal fairly with his own country, he might have referred
to the fact that there is no part of the North American continent where the
Irish race occupies a better position than in Canada. What is the fact in
the United States to-day ? The governing party are bitterly opposed to the
Irish race ; and the most effective cartoons of the great Republican carrica-
turist Nast are those in which he appeals to Irish antipathies among native
Americans. Do we find anything of that kind here ? On no other part of
this continent have the national and religious feelings of the Irish Roman
Catholics been recognized as in Canada. (Cheers.) Even in the Act for
opening up our new territory there is a constitutional provision made for
supplying the Irish Catholics with schools in accordance with their own religious convictions. The honorable gentleman might, when making that
appeal to Irish sympathies, and endeavoring to secure a new alliance, with
a view to the building up of his party, have said this much in relation to the
Irish race in Canada. Nowhere, whether in politics, commerce, or the professions, has the Irish race achieved greater renown or a more pre-eminent
position than in the British North American provinces.    CCheers.)
But I am glad he admits that the railways in the United States have
been the secret of their development. There is no doubt of it. In the Republic, in i860, only 18 years ago, there were only 36,635 miles of railway;
in 1878, there were 81,841,000; the average mileage built every year for the
last 18 years was 2,845, equal to the entire length of the Canada Pacific
Railway. (Cheers.) Though he admits that it is to those railways is due
the rapid peopling of the American Northwest, giving an example of a
movement of population and of settlement on a scale never before seen, yet
he seeks to place his party on the platform of building no more railways in
Canada. (Hear, hear.) The member for North Norfolk, referring last
night to the impossibility—for that seems to be the theme on the opposite
side—of building up our Northwest country at all, alluded to the small progress made in the Western Sates from 1800 to 1830. When he had to go
back that far he was hard pressed for an argument. (Hear, hear.) At that
time it is quite true the Western States were not peopled at all. Their population was, I think, about 760,000, the whole population of the country being
12,866,020. But since, and in exact proportion to railway development, the
Western States have been developed. Up to that time there was scarcely
any emigration from the Old World to the United States. It is rather a
curious fact that from 1815 to 1840 the emigration from the British Isles to
the British North American Provinces actually exceeded the whole emigration from them to the United States by 82,000. Down to 1847, the y^
of the Irish famine and the terrible ship fever, the emigration from the British
Isles to Canada was 746,163, and to the United States 780,048, the difference being only about 24,000 in favor of the United States. But since that
year emigration has been on a larger scale to the United States, in consequence of those very Western territories  attracting the people from the
& 92
Eastern States, who left room for the people from the Old World. By the
census returns, while 645,608 people came from the United Kingdom to
Canada, from 1847 tm l87°> 3.692,624 went to the United States. We
have in our mother land an important recruiting ground for emigrants to
this country. (Hear, hear.) In spite of the enormous emigration from the
Mother country, the population still increases. From i860 to 1870, its emigrants to all parts, including Australia, Canada, and the United States,
reached 1,571,729, despite which its increase of population was over two
and a half millions. That shows how important a recruiting ground the
British lies furnish for this Dominion. (Hear, hear.) We are told we are
not going to get much money from our lands in the Northwest. The member for West Durham stated that 11,770,000 acres were sold in the United
States, from i860 to 1869, and from 1869 to 1879, 47,170,000 acres.
Mr. Blake—Not sold, but granted and sold to settlers.
Mr. White—I understand—located or taken up. But he did not refer
t© the railway lands disposed of.
Mr. Blake—I mentioned that that number did not include the railway
Mr. White— I so understood you. But whatdo we find ? That the United
States Government granted to its railway companies 192,308,311 acres, and
that the companies sold to June 30th, 1879, 43,698,068 acres. Thirteen
railway companies in the United States sold in 1877, 1,006,266 acres, and
in 1878, 2,570,744. Sixteen companies sold their lands at an average of
$5.70 an acre. So there is proof that the railway companies in the United
States have succeeded in outdoing the Government, and that people have
actually gone West and paid large prices for railway lands when they could
have got homesteads and pre-emptions for little or nothing, showing the
advantages and good results that have flown from a perfectly organized
system in inducing these companies to co-operate in the settlement of those
lands. The total receipts from the sale of lands in the United States for
this century are $204,447,473. Those figures show that the lands of that
country have been yearly growing in attractiveness ; that there has been a
greater demand, a large number of sales and more competition, for the land
year by year. We may fairly assume, then, in connection with our Northwest, the settlement of a large population in it at no distant day.    (Cheers. J
Another reason urged by the member for West Durham why we could
not hope for success in selling the Northwest was that we have a large debt
in Canada. We have. I very much regret it is so large. But we are
incurring obligations, perhaps in the hour of our greatest weakness, that
will suffice for years. We are building up-large enterprises, such as those
connected with the canals ; deepening our rivers^ erecting1 lighthouses on our
coasts, in the interest of that great commerce that must come to the Country
in the future. These expenditures make additions to otti* debt. But those
improvements go on adding, not by way of direct retumi^-whicn the hon.
gentleman seems to thmk is the only possible return"; a natioti Cto have for
its expenditures, but in the development of our industries, of our trade and
commerce, and in the promotion of that prosperity wtftch is very much 93
more valuable than any question of so many dollars as tolls from those
works. (Cheers.) Take the Welland Canal; it does not yield us a great
deal in direct returns. And yet who is there in the country would oppose
the expenditure on its improvement ? Who would even dream of looking
for a return from that work from the tolls on the vessels passing through it.
It is simply a means of bringing the largest vessels from the Western lakes
into Lake Ontario, to enable Canada to compete with"jthe United States
for the shipment of grain to Europe. Nothing could be more unfair than
to refer to the debts for such public works as if they had to be repeated
from year to year. They are sources of development which the people
have voluntarily undertaken in view of the great advantages to result
from them. (Cheers.) The honorable gentleman should have dealt
honestly with our debt, which he told us had increased from $77,-
706,000 net debt in 1871, to $147,485,070 in 1879, or about 89 per
cent.; and he went on to compare that increase with the increase in European States whose large debts have been incurred, not for the purpose of
development, but for destructive objects and great armaments. But with
all this great increase, it will be admitted that the measure of the burden of
the debt is the annual interest paid upon it. Now what is the fact ? That
while the net'debt has increased about 89 per cent., the actual interest on
the debt has increased rather under 40 per cent.    (Cheers.)
Mr. Blake—I stated that.
Mr, White—Yes ; but the honorable gentleman so emphasized his
statement as to cause the fact to be overlooked. That is the real position
of affairs as to the increase of debt upon which the honorable gentleman
dwelt. There was no object, I think, speaking in the interest of his own
country, in throwing into the face of those who might desire to take advantage of the fact, that a large increase has taken place ; no object in giving
an opportunity to those who are opposed to Canada, and who are watching
this debate, ready to use the expressions of the honorable gentlemen to the
detriment of this country in England and Europe generally ; no necessity to
refer to an increase of the debt in a way to cause an erroneous impression
in regard to it. In that increase about $14,000,000 are debts of the provinces
which have been assumed by the Dominion; that is no real increase, but a.
transference of debt.
Sir Richard J. Cartwright—That is a mistake.
Mr. White—Does the honorable gentleman deny .tjjjiat view?
Sir Richard J. Cartwright—Certainly.
Mr. White—I think I am right; and I do not think the member for
West Durham will venture to say that the assumption by the Dominion of
the-debts which had to be paid by the provinces, is any addition to the
burdens of the people; it is a mere transference of the obligation from the
provinces to the Dominion, the taxes coming from the same people all the
while.    (Cheers.)
Then the honorable gentleman referred to the annual expenditure in Canada,
which was, if I remember aright, $6.69 per head, while in the United States
it was $6.13 per head.    Well, what is the fact with regard to our expend:-- 94
ture? It is well that our condition, as compared with, the United States,
should be understood when the whole policy of honorable gentlemen opposite is to show how much more desirable a country from every standpoint
is' the United States to settle in than Canada. The honorable gentlemen
referred to the large decrease of debt which is taking place there, and
happily taking place, because it is well that all free governing communities
should be as lightly taxed as possible. But the honorable gentleman, in
taking that ground, ought to have pointed out that the expenditures of the
Dominion of Canada practically include the expenditures of the Provinces,
(hear, hear), and that there is one item, the subsidies to the Provinces,
which, it seems to me, ought always to be considered in presenting the expenditures of the Dominion of Canada. What are the State debts in the
United States ? What are the debts outside altogether of the debts of the
Federal Government ? The last official census of 1870 shows that there
were State debts, county, town and city debts, independent altogether of the
Federal debt, amounting to $868,676,758. (Hear, hear.) The amount
raised by direct taxation in the United States in connection
with the State, county, town and city debts, amounted to no less than
$280,591,521. In i860, those direct taxes, outside the Federal taxes
altogether, outside the revenues of the Federal Government, amounted to
$94,186,746 for that year, and in 1870 they had increased to $280,591,521,
or an increase during that period of $196,404,775. (Hear, hear.) The
honorable gentleman referred to another point. He says:—Look at the
enormous taxes involved in the Customs' duties. Under this Customs'
tariff we have the large sum of 19.62 per cent, of everything that is imported into the country going into the Dominion Treasury, and he urged
that, I presume, as a reason why people should go to the United States
rather than come to Canada. (Hear, hear.) Well, he might also have
stated that in the United States, of the total imports, free and dutiable, no
less than 29.44 per cent, goes into the Federal Treasury. Or, if he came
to dutiable goods alone, he might have pointed out that while in Canada it
is somewhere about 24 per cent, in the United States it is 45.28 per cent,
of everything that is imported that goes into the Federal Treasury. That
is a specimen of the kind of argument with which this House has been
treated, in order to prove that this country is hardly a fit country to live in,
that we have neither present nor future to hope for, and that all sensible
men should feel that the proper place to go to, if they want to change then-
homes at all, is into the United States and not into Canada.    (Hear, hear.)
And now, sir, I come, for a moment, to the question of British Columbia itself. It seems to me that in relation to British Columbia there is a
determination irom one end of the country to the other to belittle that Province. We have heard about the 12,000 people there; we have heard
about the enormous injustice done to this country by the representation
.given to those 12,000 people; we have heard about British Columbia being
.a source of large expenditure, and as practically returning nothing to the
Treasury ; we have heard of it as a country utterly useless; we have heard
honorable gentlemen say, with a flippancy which I am sure every one
L 95
(must regret when you come to remember the position they occupy, that if
it is a question between building this railway and letting British Columbia
.go, they say : Let her go—they almost say, let her go whether the railway
is built or not.    What are the facts with regard to this Province ?    I do
not repeat the remarkable figures given by the honorable member for Victoria (Mr. DeCosmos) in the speech he has addressed to this House.    He
.gave us figures which I think will have a very considerable influence in
educating the public sentiment of this country in relation to British Columbia.    What was the revenue last year of that Province which we are asked
to regard as being utterly valueless, which has not yet commenced to be
developed, but which I think will be found to contain natural riches—I was
.going to say hidden riches—which, in the near future, will make it, if not
the richest, one of the richest provinces of this Dominion ?    The revenues
last year from  customs,   seizures,   excise,   mariners'  fees,   stamps,   &c,
amounted to $572,955.29.    Sir, what was the expenditure ?    I do not admit
that the expenditure on surveys can fairly be chargeable to British Columbia.    British Columbians would have been glad, I have no doubt, if the
Dominion of Canada had consented to begin the road without a survey
at    all    (hear,    hear).      The    expenditures     for    surveys    in    British
Columbia    have   been   made    for    the    exclusive   benefit   of  Canada
as   a  whole.    They   have   been   made   with   the   object of finding the
cheapest and best route for the railway with a view to future saving and
future advantage, and therefore they are in no way chargeable to that province solely.    But taking the expenditures on subsidy, collection of customs,
excise, lighthouses, coasts surveys, fisheries, salaries of Lieutenant-Governor
and  Receiver-General,   penitentiary,  hospital,  Indians,  administration of
justice, public works, post office,—taking all these, we find the expenditures were $462,172, so that there was an annual balance in favor of the
Dominion last year $110,782.    That was the position of British Columbia
in connection with the Dominion of Canada.
Mr. Blake—Have you included the interest on the debt and the subsidy?
Mr. White—I have included the subsidy only.
Mr. Blake—And the interest on their share of the debt ?
Mr. White—How much is it ?  Will the ex-Finance Minister kindly
say how" much it was ?
Sir Richard J. Cartwriht—According to the statement of the Deputy Finance Minister it was $97,000.
Mr. White—Then we have still a balance in favor of the Dominion.
But what I want to point out is this, that the revenues have been progressing in that Province. In 1874 the revenue from customs which I take as a
fair test, not having had to examine the others in detail, was $30,6,436 ; in
1875, $337,451 ; in 1876, $490,226; in 1877, $405,650; in 1878, $426,-
607 ; in 1879, $517,261, shewing a steady progress every year, with the
exception of 1876, when the revenues increased by nearly $90,000 by some
means which I have not been able to learn With the exception of that
year there has been a steady progress from $306,436 in 1874 to $517,261
in 1879. Then there is another point which I think indicates that the
people of British Columbia are somewhat progressive. There is no better
test of the progress of a people than the post-office     I find that the collec- 96
tions in the post-office ©f British Columbia amounted last year to $18,438,
while in Prince Edward Island, with its one hundred thousand inhabitants,
a province which we all admire, the garden province of the Dominion^ the
receipts were $20,840, or a difference of only about $2,400 between British
Columbia with its 12,000 inhabitants and Prince Edward Island.    (Hear,
hear.)    This indicates an activity on the part of the people of British
Columbia, an enterprise and intelligence, which augur well for the future of
that Province (hear, hear.)    Sir, why should we hot expect that this piece
of railway in British Columbia will return something to this Dominion in
the form of regular tolls, and by the development of the Province itself?
If any one will take the trouble to look over the library, they will find that
in i860, 1861 and 1862, almost every body seemed to be engaged in writing books about British Columbia, showing that that Province conteuhs-
within itself sources and wealth which are certainly equal to those which
are to be found in any other part of the Dominion.    There is nothing more
unfortunate than the disposition to measure all national wealth by the grain
producing power of the country.    We have our- prairies where wheat can
be raised ! we have in Nova Scotia our magnificent mines of coal and iron,
which are going to make that Province very wealthy in the future ; we have:
in New Brunswick forests of timber and the shipbuilding industry which
are the distinctive  features of  that Province ; and  we  have   in ^British
Columbia great  sources  of   riches,   and  particularly  of   coal,   iron and
other minerals, which  have   always  been the basis of powerful  States,
and which I venture to believe will make British Columbia one of the
wealthiest Provinces in this Dominion.    Apart altogether, therefore, from
the considerations of national honor, which seem to me to be strong, and
which have been presented with so much force by honorable gentlemen opposite, when they occupied a position on this side of the House, that they
cannot escape from them.    I say that, on mere grounds of material development and natural w^ll-being, we ought to do something towards the development of that province.    The honorable member for North Norfolk (Mr.
Charlton) talked last night of an expenditure of $30,000,000 in British Columbia.    There is no such expenditure demanded from the House at this;
■time.    As I understand, the policy the Government has announced it is
this: honorable gentlemen opposite admit that we must complete the portion of the road we have already under contract from Thunder Bay to-
Red River and the 200 miles west of Red River.    I understand the policy
of the Government is to build the 125 miles of railway which opens up the.*
best section of British Columbia, and which gives entrance to a great length-
of navigation, and will open up such portions of that province as are capa?
ble of development and improvement; and that the work of the Pacific
Railway shall go on in accordance with the wants of settlement in the prairie regions.    There is no necessity in British Columbia for the continuance
of that road to the Rocky Mountains until the railway across the plains is
ready to meet it.    (Hear, hear.)    But as the road goes on over the plains
in advance of settlement, the intermediate country ^11 become filled with
people, and when we get to that point where we shall be receiving advantages, which I venture to believe will be considerable, then the question of
the connection of the line on the prairies with the line which is now proposed to be constructed will become an important question for this Domini- 97
on to decide. (Hear, hear.) That does not become an important question
at present, and it is not right, therefore, for the honorable member for North
Norfolk to talk of an expenditure of $30,000,000 in connection with British
Columbia. I venture to believe that if the policy which is announced to us
here is fairly carried f>ut; if the policy is determined,upon to build these
railways with the least possible expenditure of money consistent with the safe
working of the railway; if everything is done that can be done to put people m these western prairies; if we devote ourselves to the development of
these enormous sources of wealth which are to be found in British Columbia itself; I think we may fairly look forward, as a result of that policy, to
such resources in the future as will enable us to carry on to completion the
great works which we have undertaken. Honorable gentlemen opposite
have chosen a different course; they have determined to cry halt; their disposition is to ignore altogether the obligations which they have entered into;
but I mistake the people of this country if any party can hope to build up
success upon national repudiation and national dishonor. The honorable
gentleman resumed his seat amid loud and long-continued applause.
Estimate referred to in Parliament, 15th April, 1880, by the Honorable the
Minister of Railways and Canals.
The Minister of Railways and Canals to the Engineer-in-Chief.
Dbpartmbnovof Railways and Canals,
Ottawa, 15th April, 1880.
Dear. Sir,—The Pacific Railway debate will begin this afternoon, and I must
ask you to furnish me with an estimate of cost. In doing this, take the following
data :—
The four contracts recently let in British Columbia, making full allowances for
the reductions to be made and referred to in your report on these contracts.
The contract for the first 100 miles west of Red River, as it is being carried out
with half ballasting, etc.
The accepted tender for the work on the second hundred miles section west of
Red River, ($438,914).
With regard to the location and character of the railway, I am aware that your
own preference has been for a line with light, easy gradients. The Government
recognizes the advantage of this feature between Lake Superior and Manitoba, but
west of Red River we attach less importance to it than the rapid settlement of the
country and the immediate accommodation of settlers.
The policy of the Government is to construct a cheap railway, following, or
rather, in advance of settlement, with any workable gradients that can be had, incurring no expenditure beyond that absolutely necessary to effect the rapid colonization of the country.
In accordance with this policy, Mr. Marcus Smith has found a line on the second
hundred mile section where, two years ago, he reported it impossible under the old
system of gradients, and he has stated to me that there will be no heavier hundred
mile' section tnan this one between Manitobaa,nd the Rocky Mountains. I am, therefore, perfectly justified in calling upon you to take the accepted tender for the second
hundred miles section as the basis for estimating cost up to the mountains.
7 98
Tou have recently shown me returns from Messrs. Caddy & Jennings, indicating
large reductions effected on Sections 41 and 42. The rails for these sections have
been secured at very low rates, and there are other circumstances which 1 need
scarcely say will enable you to place the cost of opening the line from Selkirk to
Lake Superior at much less than the sum named a year ago.
Tours faithfully,
Sandford Fleming, Esq.,'
• vEngineer-in-Chief,
Canadian Pacific Railway.
The Engineer-in-Chief to the Minister of Railways and Canals.
Canadian Pacific Railway,
Office of the-Ensinber-in-Chief,
":■ Ottawa, 15th April, 1880.
The Honorable
Sir Charles Tupper, K.C.M.G.,
Minister of Railways and Canals.
Sir,—I have the honor to submit the following estimate of expenditurejieces-
sary to place the Canadian Pacific Railway in operation from Lake Superior to Port
I understand the policy of the Government, with respect to the railway, to be :—
1. To construct the section between Lake Superior and Red River with the
limited gradients and curves set forth in my reports laid before Parliament, so as to
secure cheap transportation, and to provide, by the time the railway shall be ready
for opening, an equipment of rolling stock and general accommodation sufficient for
the traffic to be then looked for.
2. To proceed with the work west of Red River by constructing 200 miles on
the route recently established. The roadway and works to be of the character defined
by the 48th contract and the tenders for the 65th contract recently received.
To proceed with the construotion of 125 miles in British Columbia, under the
60th, 61st, 62nd and 63rd contracts. The expenditure on the 125 miles to be limited
in accordance with the provisions of the contract, and the views set forth in my report of the 22nd November last. *
To proceed gradually with the intervening distance. To delay placing additional sections under contract in British Columbia until the 125 miles are completed,
or well advanced, thus preventing any undue increase in the price of labor.
To carry construction westward from Manitoba across the Prairie Region only
as settlement advances.
In my report of last year, I placed the cost of the section between Lake Superior
and Red River at $18,000,000. Since that date the steps taken to keep down the
expenditure on the 185 miles between English River and Keewatin have been so far
successful as to reduce the length about 3| miles, and the estimated cost fully $500,000.
* Report on the British Columbia Section, 22nd November, 1879. Extracts:—" The total
sum of the lowest tenders for the four sections, as ab^ve stated, is $9,167,040. It will be borne
in.mind that the character of the contract to be entered into is materially different from ordinary
contracts. This sum represents the maximum—the contract is not to exceed the amount,' but it
may be very much less.  ,(see clauses5, 6 and7.)
''Those who made the surveys and calculations inform me that the quantities are very full
and that in actual execution they can be largely reduced. I am con-mnced, moreover, ithat by
making an extremely careful study of the final location, by sharpening the curvature in some
places, by usin£ great judgment in adjusting the alignments to the sinuosities and sudden and
great irregularities of the ground, by substituting the cheaper classes of work for the more costly
whenever it can safely be done, and by doing no work whatever that is not absolutely necessary,
a very marked reduction can be made." *' 99
The rails for these two contracts have likewise been secured at a considerably lower
price than the estimate. "Whatever an increasing traffic in future years may demand
in the way of terminal accommodation and rolling stock, I am confident the line can
be opened for traffic between Fort William and Selkirk, well equipped for the business which may then be expected, at a cost not exceeding $17,000,000. *
"West of Red River, 100 miles have been placed under contract, and tenders have
been received for a second 100 miles section. These two sections are designed to be
constructed and equipped in the most economical manner, dispensing with all outlay
except that necessary to render the railway immediately useful in the settlement of
the country. It is intended that the line be partly ballasted, to render it available
for colonization purposes, full ballasting being deferred until the traffic demands
high speed. It is intended to provide sufficient rolling stock for immediate wants,
postponing full equipment until the country becomes populated, and the business
calls for its increase.
On this basis and the other data furnished, the railway may be opened from
Lake Superior to the Pacific Coast within the following estimate :—
Fort  William to Selkirk (406 miles) with light gradients, including a fair allowance of rolling stock and engineering
during construction      $17,000,000
Selkirk to Jaspar Valley (1,000 miles) with light equipment, etc.      13^000,000
Jaspar Valley to Port Moody (550 miles) with light equipment,
Jaspar to Lake Kamloops, 335 at $43,660 $15,500,000
Lake Kamloops to Tale, 125 at $80,000    10,000,000
Tale to Port Moody, 90 at $38,888      3,500,000
Add      1,000,000    $30,000,000
Total miles, 1,956      $60,000,000
The above does not include cost of exploration and preliminary surveys throughout all parts of the country north of Lake Nipissing to James' Bay in the east, and from
Esquimault to Port Simpson in the west, between Latitudes 49° and 56°, not properly
chargeable to construction, $3,119,618, or the Pembina Branch, $1,750,000, or with
other amounts with which the Pacific Railway account is charged.
I have the honor to be, Sir, your obedient servant,
SANFORD FLEMING, Engineer-in-Chief.
The Engineer-in-Chief to the Minister of Railways and Canals.
Canadian Pacific Railway,
Office of the Engineer-in-Chief,
. Ottawa, 16th April, 1880.
The Hon. Sir Charles Tupper, K.O.M.G.,
Minister of Railways and Canals.
Sir In compliance with your directions, I have the honor to consider the cost
of the eastern section of the Pacific Railway extending from Thunder Bay, Lake
Superior, to the eastern terminus, Lake Nipissing.
In my report recently, laid before Parliamnnt, I hava referred to the projected
line between South-East Bay, Lake Nipissing, and Sault St. Mary. The explorations
of this district have established that a location can be had north of Lake Nipissing,
which would be common for 60 or 70 miles to the St. Mary's branch and the main
trunk line to the North-West. As tb>< St. Mary's branch will, m all probability be
constructed before the through line is undertaken, the length of the latter will be
reduced by the length of the location common with the two lines.   The eastern 100
terminus will consequently be advanced some 60 or 70 miles to the west, beyond the-
theoretical starting-point at Lake Nipissing. The length of the eastern section
therefore, may be assumed not to exceed 600 miles.
It is impossible to say what labor and materials may cost some years hence, when
the period arrives for the eastern section to be undertaken. Taking the basis of
present prices and present contracts, and adhering to the economic principles of
construction set forth in the letters of yesterday, I feel warranted in stating that'
$20,000,000 may be considered a fair estimate of the cost of opening the line from
Fort Willliam to the Eastern Terminus.
In order that the estimates of the cost of the line from Fort "William to the
Pacific, and from Fort William to the Eastern Terminus near Lake Nipissing, be
clearly understood, I deem it proper to submit the following explanations:—
I have, in previous reports laid before Parliament,; advocated a location for the
railway with generally light gradients and other favorable engineering features. The
policy of the Government, as stated in your letter,,likewise the change of line by the
abandonment of the old location west of Red River, render it necessary on my part
to modify the views I have previously held.
The estimates now submitted are based on the new conditions and the data to
which you refer, viz. : on contracts recently let for four sections in British Columbia,,
and the reduction to be made thereon ; on the contract for the first 100 miles section
west of Red River ; on the accepted tender for the second 100 miles section west of
Red River ; and on the assurance made by the Engineer who conducted the surveys
in the Prairie Region, that there will be no more costly 100 miles section between
Manitoba and the Rocky Mountains than the second 100 miles section west of Red
River; that hence this section may be taken to be representativ.- of the whole work
to the base of the mountains. I have likewise estimated the am mnt of rolling stock
as limited to the extent considered absolutely necessary for colonization purposes,
and I have not overlooked the fact that the transportation of rails and other mate—
rials, alter our own line from Lake Superior to Manitoba shall have been completed,
will be reduced to nominal charges to cover actual outlay, instead of the very high
rates we have been Compelled to pa'y'bythe railways in thfe United States.
It must be borne in mind that if the present defined policy with respect to the
gradual progress of the work be modified, or if the extent of the work be different.
from that assumed, or if its general character be altered, the cost may be affected by
the change. The same result may be looked for if a higher price has to be paid for
materials, or for labor, and if through these or other causes, the contractors failing to
perform what they have undertaken, the work in consequence has to be relet at
higher prices.    Under these circumstances the cost of the whole line may be increased.
The cost may be enhanced, morebver, if the location of the line be placed in the
hands cf careless or inefficient men, who may fail to exercise the piudence and judgment called for, or who may neglect, through want of care or skill, to lay out the;
work with regard to' economy. Or if the supervision of the contracts'be lax, so as to
admit of the possibility of work not absolutely required being" executed, or of payment being made in excess of work performed, increase of cost will result. From
first to last the strictest economy will have to be enforced, and rigid control exercised over the expenditure. The^ estimate submitted is based on the data set forth,
and on that data the whole main line, from Port Moody, on the Pacific coast> ,to the
Eastern Terminus, in the neighborhood of Lake Nipissing, may be constructed, in
the manner and under the circumstances referred to, for about $80,000,000. But to
meet any of the possible contingencies to which I have referred, I beg leave to recommend that, in considering the subject of capital required for the undertaking, a
liberal percentage be added.
I have the honor to be, Sir,
Tour obedient servant,
Engineer-in- Chief.  


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