Legislative Assemblies of Alberta and Saskatchewan, 25 April 1899, Alberta and Saskatchewan Debates over Confederation with Canada.



Territorial Treasurer Ross Announces the Government's Proposition Relating to Provincial Establishment.


An amount on Account of Lands Alienated Will be Asked to be Made our Capital Account in the Scheme of Confederation, and the Remaining Public Lands to be Demanded for the Territories—The Manitoba Basis, Urged by Calgary Boomsters, Would Leave Us in a State of Perpetual Provincial Poverty—The Budget Debate in the Assembly—Consecutive Report of Last Week's Proceedings in the House.

The Estimates for the year 1899 total $413,625.73, divided under the following heads:
Civil Government........... $43,826 77
Legislation................. 30,125 00
Administration of Justice... 9,950 00
Public Works................ 136,000 00
Education................... 158,000 00
Agriculture and Statistics.. 16,650 00
Hospitals, Charities and Public Health............... 8,750 00
Miscellaneous............... 10,323 76
Public Works.—The amount of Public Works is made up as follows:— Caretakers, messengers and stable suplies, $1,255; maintenance of legislative buildings and grounds, $2,445; maintenance and rent of Normal school buildings, $980; inspection of public works, $3,500; aid to local improvement districts, $14,000; inspection of coal mines, steam biolers and public wells, $4,000; expropriation of lands for roads, resevoirs, etc., painting bridges, advertising for tenders, lithographing maps etc., $3,250; repairs to public works, $5,000; culverts, $1,000; bridges $24,070; surveys (raods, etc.,) $5,000; tools and implements, $2,000; dams, $5,000; well boring $18,000; fireguards, $2,500; Edmonton-Peace River- Nelson River road and trail, $10,000; clearing, grading and improving main roads and approaches to brdiges, $30,000. Total $136,000.
Education.—The Education Vote includes $140,000 for grants to schools; $400,grants to high schools; $3,600, Normal school and institutes; $9,500, inspectors' salaries and expenses; $1,500, examinations; and $2,500, education of deaf mutes.
Agriculture.—To agricultural societies, $4,000; stock importation, $1,500; experimental work, $1,500; estruction of wolves, $1,500; destruction of noxious weeds, $4,000; collection and distribution of agricultural and vital statistics, $1,800; brand book, $1,200; encouragement of institute work by agricultural societies, $1,000.
The budget was brought down in the Legislature on Tuesday of this week. In a later issue there will be published in THE LEADER, as in former years, a fairly full report of the Budget Debate in the Assembly. This week we can give only a cursory glance at the speech of the Territorial Teasurer.
Mr. ROSS in making his first budget statement spoke nearly two and a half hours. In the latter part of the speech, after he had finished the dry details of the estimates and when dealing with the question of the future of these Territories, Mr. Ross spoke with a fluency and eloquence which he had never before exhibited on the floor of the House. His announcement of the view of the Government on the question of the proper method of approaching the problem confronting the country—the problem of provincial establishment— was highly important and notable.
The hon. the Treasurer gave a hurried revierw of the financial history of the Assembly and its forerunner, the old North-West Council. The first financial statement presented in the Territories was made in 1878, showing a revenue of $526 and no expenditure. The next year, 1879, revenue had fallen off to $25 and expenditure risen to $237,37. In 1879 the first federal grant was drawn and in that year the revenue from all sources was $20,000. In 1886-87—lastyear of the Council—the total appropriations were $85,578; 1888 (first year of Legislature)—$105,000. The following is a summary of Dominion grants in various years since 1891; 1891-92—$195,700; '93-'94—$199,200; '94-'95—$225,000; '95-'96—$267,000 (including $25,000 for relief); '96-'97—$242,879; '97-'98—$282,879. In these latter years local revenues ranged from $20000 in 1892 to $30,000 in 1897, and for the present year are estaimted at $49,000. The estiamted revenue for the present year includes: Balance from last year, $71,745; Dominion grant for Peace River road, $10,000, federal grant $282,979; local revenues $49,406. The Government hopes that the federal grant may be increased but cannot anticipate the Dominion supply bill for the year. The sum asked from Ottawa is $535,000. Mr. Ross went into a very full explanation of the Estimates, the main items of which appear above. One pleasing statement made was that the C.P.R. Co. has agreed to give free transportation to Territorial public works officers, which wil enable the public works vote to go much farther than it otherwise woiuld. The item of $10,000 for Peace River road is an amount paid by order in council from the Dominion Government, the sum being entrusted by the Dominion Public Works Department to the Territorial department for expenditure on the road. While electoral boundary lines are not regardedin apportionment of moneys now, yet the great natural divisions are kept in view. On public works there were expended last year in Northern Alberta $36,000, Southern Alberta $49,000, Western Assiniboia, $39,000; Eastern Assiniboia, $51,000; Saskatchewan, $38,000. After expaining the estimates, Mr. Ross dealt with the position of the Territories financially, and made a statement of what the Government believed shoudl be presented in the way of a constitutional proposition. There could be no question, he said, but that the federal grant of $282,979 was totally inadequate. The Government had this year asked $535,000, the amount deem ed necessary for the ordinary services dealt with by the Assembly. When considering any proposition for provincial establishment it has to be remembered that those services did not embrace all the services which as a province we should be obliged to bear. In addition to the grant to the Assembly Parliament votes for Lieut.-Governor's ofice $5,880; incidental justice $2,000; land titles offices $15,000; insane patients, $50,000; schools in unorganised territory, $2,000—these items made up the vote for North-West Government. Besides there were voted items of $40,000 for administration of justice; $2,500 for sheriffs; $15,000 for jails; $7,000 for agricultural societies; $5,000 direct vote besides other assistance to creameries. Then there would be at least a proportion of the immigration expenditure; the expenditure on court houses has always been borne by the Dominion; there would be some expenditure for law and order. While no one could contend that the Mounted Police vote was a provincial expenditure, yet as a province we would have to bear expenditure for law and order as do the provinces. The computation showed that to-day Parliament was voting about $550,000 for provincial services in the Territories—a sum far short of the requirements, as instead of the item of $282,979 granted to the Assembly he had shown that there was need for, and the Government had asked for, $535,000; which meant that local services in the Territories to-day demanded an annual expenditure of $800,000. This being the case it was well to look and see where we would land if the course was followed which some were advocating. Manitoba's subsidy was made up as follows: Per capita grant of 80 cents a head; $50,000 for government; 100,000 in lieu of lands; and interest on capital account computed at $32 per head of population. On such a basis the Territories would receive say: $120,000 per capita grant; $50,000 for government; then on capital account for argument's sake place the principal at $3,250,000 (although he might say that we were already charged with $3,000,000 on this account) which would give $162,500; we have about four and a half times Manitoba's area of land, and shoudl therefore receive say $400,000 on that account. This made a total of $732,500,—and remember this would be a fixed amount, incapable of enlargement. Alraedy the Assembly was asking $535,000, and Parliament was appropriating over $200,000 a year for local services besides. In view of these figures was there any man willing to believe that an arrangement on Manitoba' basis would be a good bargain for the Territories to make? That bargain once made, and the country would be in the position tha tno increase could be got in the way of subsidy except on the 80 cents per capita provision up to a certain limit. Would anyone say that such a bargain would satisfy the needs of the Territories, even if the amounts he had named could be got,and it was more than likely that there woudul be difficulty in obtaining so mcuh as he ahd computed on that basis. The bargain would be just about sufficient for present needs; but in five years, with any influx of population, we would be in a position that we might very well turn to a method that the House had heard something of, namely, commence borrowing. The Government believed that it was not needed to make that kind of a bargain; they believed the Territories shoudl demand the accounting by the Dominion of the whole land area excepting those portions homesteaded. They believed that we were entitled to possession of all the public lands, and more than that, they believed that an accounting shoudl be made for the lands which had been given away or alienated,—given for railways some of which were not built in the Territories. Those lands alienated had been given by Dominion vote for Domini on purposes. Land was practicaly the only revenue producing asset which a province could have—an asset which grew in value with the growth of population, —the only asset capable of maintaining an equilibrium between revenue and expenditure. Mr. Ross made a computation of the lands. There was altogether 300,000 square miles; 190,000,000 acres. One-half this areathe even-numbered sections-were set apart for homesteading; calculating pre-emptions, one-qurter of the onehalf, gave 120,000,000 acres. Then 35,000,000 acres had been given away as subsidies to railways. It was fair to argue that those 35,000,000 acres had been used in lieu of Dominion cash. In Canada about $200,000,000 has been spent in subsidies to railways, and these land subsidies shoudl be considered in the same light as cash subsidies—federal payments for federal purposes, and when local resources are used for federal purposes the province or the territory whose resources are thus taken shoudl be given credit. This principle was accepted in British Columbia. The Dominion required land in that province for raiway purposes,—and had to buy it. The Dominion took a 29-mile strip of rocks in British Columbia, the price being a capitalisation yielding $100,000 a year, which is the amount paid on account of the land yearly by Parliament to British Columbia. So if $35,000,000 acres of our lands have been taken for railway purposes, the price should be capitalised for our benefit. One dollar an acre would be a low rate for these lands, and it would be fair to ask that interest be paid by Parliament to the Territories on a capital account of $35,000,000 on account of lands so alienated. That would give a revenue of $1,000,000 a year. (Cheers.)Then there was the 35,000,000 acres not alienated, and whichshould be handed to the Territories. Set apart 35,000,000 acres of that which probably the federal government could properly claim represented the cost of having surveyed and administered the lands, and there was left 50,000,000 acres to be taken by the Territories as a revenue producing asset, a tangible capital account, which would grow in value with every cent's expenditure, which would be made more valuable by every dollar's expenditure on schools, on road improvements, on any and every provincialobject. As population increased that asset would increase in value, because the law of supply and demand governed the price of land as everything else. So as our needs grew, our revenue would also grow. This was the class of proposition that this Government proposed to the people of the Territories. (Cheers.) When they asked for provincial establishment they would certainly ask for the power to borrow; they would want every power possessed by any province, but he trusted that the day would be far distant when this country woudl need to resort to the use of the power to borrow. The resources of the country were such that there should be no need to brorrow at least during the time of the members of that House. The above was the proposition which the Government would ask the people to consider. The House had no mandate to make a bargain, but the time had come for a change, and it was the duty of public men to seek to educate the people and to interest the people in the subject. Every man in the House and country shoudl stand shoulder to shoulder on the pricniple, the justice of the Territorial claim. The lines between Grit and Tory should be obliterated for the time being until the Dominion be brought to admit the principle that those lands were ours. It was the duty of our representtives in Parliament to act in concert on this question, which was the most momentous that could engage their attention during this term.
At the evening session Dr. Brett, leader of the Opposition, made a two hours' speech. His criticism of the Estimates was mild. He had no objection to urge against any of the items, but urged that someof the pulic works sums, to be voted in bulk, should have been itemised,as has been one here in former years and is done in all other legislatures. He contended that the House might reasonably expect thatby this time the Agriculture Department would have something to show forits expense, but he failed to discover anything done. He held that the Government should do something to encourage immigration, whereas they appeared to be anxious to discourage immigration in alleged proof of which assertion he read the letterfrom Mr. Ross to the Regina Board of Trade respecting application for a well auger, appearing in THE LEADER last week. The Government's proposition respecting the provincial question-the demand for the lands— Dr. Brett declared the wildest freak of imagination ever heard placed by a responsible minister of the crown before a responsible assembly, and he believed the proposition was made simply to enable the Government to dilly-dally and do nothing and thus hold the support of those averse to establishment, while at teh same time appealing by teat alluring but ethereal project to those sections of country which demand advancement.
Mr. Brown followed Dr. Brett in a fluent and telling speech, pointing out the weakness of Dr. Brett's position and urging that if the Government's proposition in regard to public lands was just, the public men of the Territories would be recreant to their trust did they fail to make every endeavor to establish the claim.
After Mr. Meyers had spoken briefly, commending on the whole the Government's policy, there was a long pause. Ultimately,
Mr. Ross arose and said if no other member wished to speak he would close the debate.
Mr. Patrick then took the floor. On the establishment question Dr. Patrick held that two future provinces should be now mapped out, their bounds determined, and for the time being their legislation and government be carried on by one legislature and government; —in effect, a legislative union such as prevailed in Upper and Lower Canada from 1841 to 1867. These future provinces might remain for some time as a territory and still obtain and exercise the powers of borrowing—in fact all provincial powers, except that their legislation would be subject as now to the Governor General in Council.
After another long pause, the motion that the House resolve into Committee of Supply was put and carried.
The failure of Mr. Bennett to join in the debate was a cause of general surprise, and the conviction prevails that the Government's proposition took the wind so completely out of Mr. Bennett's sails that he recognized himself as being hopelessly at sea.
Mr. Ross went on to say that he would now, like to make a few observations with regard to the present position of the Territories, and the position be thought we should be in: and he would then have something to say with regard to certain propositions which had been made with regard to the political position of the Territories. The local revenue now announted to $45,000 or $50,000. It indicated $50,000 at present. The Dominion grant on the same footing as last year would be $282,979. Now there was no question that the amounts were totally inadequate for the service, but they must remember that although the amount directly received from Ottawa was $282,979, yet there were other moneys expended by the Dominion Government for purely Territorial purposes. There was the expenditure of $5,880 in the Lieutenant Governor's office; incidental justice, $2,000; registrars of land titles, $15,000; $50,000 for insane persons; and $2,000 for schools in the unorganised territories, making $74,800 in all. These amounts were expended by the Interior Department directly through the Lieutenant Governor and they would have to be undertaken by the local government when the Territories were established on a provincial basis. There were also the amounts of $40,000 for criminal justice, $2,500 for sheriffs. $9,800 for Regina gaol, $6,000 for Prince Albert gaol; aid to agricultural societies, $7,000; and to creameries, $5,000. There was a much larger sum devoted to creameries, but most of it was simply an advance, and recouped. The sum of $5,000, however, was a direct aid. Then there was the proportion of immigration outlay in respect of the Territories which it would be difficult to estimate. There was the sum of $23,000 for the construction and maintenance of court houses, and of $353,750 for the maintenance of law and order in the Territories which was now undertaken through the North-West Mounted Police. Although he did not wish for a moment to say that we ought to be charged with the Police expenditure in this country, still we would have to undertake a proportion of the burden entailed for the maintenance of law and order the same as in Manitoba and the other provinces, if we were formed into a province. The Government this year had asked for $535,000 from Ottawa and they believed that sum was actually necessary to provide for the needs of the country. Now if it was the case that this sum was needed, was it not very necessary for them to look minutely into the question and see where they would land themselves if they were to enter into confederation on the Manitoba basis? The province of Manitoba was dealt with in the following manner: They received an allowance of $50,000 for the purposes of government; $100,000 on account of lands; and interest on a capital account at the rate of $32 per head on the actual population, or about three and a quarter million dollars. If the Territories were similarly dealt with we would be in this position. We should have our subsidy based on a per capita amount of 80 cents per head. He supposed that the Dominion would claim that the Territories had a population of 100,000, but we would have, say, for the purposes of argument, a population of 150,000. At 80 cents per head that would give us $120,000. Add to that $50,000 for government,the same as Manitoba, and we would then have $170,000. Then we would be entitled to a capital account of three and a quarter millions, which at five per cent would produce $162,500–although it had to be remembered that the Dominion now held the Territories charged with some $3,000000 on account of capital account expenditures in the Territories: The Province of Manitoba received $100,000 a year in lieu of her lands; but in the Territories we had a little over four and a half times the land of Manitoba–that was in the organised Territories—so that we should be entitled on the same basis as Manitoba to over $400,000 a year in lieu of our lands. This would give us in all $732,500. This then was the position we would be in if we were dealt with on the same basis as Manitoba. We should have a fixed subsidy of $732,500. Was there any member of that House who believed that if we require a grant of $535,000 at the present time for the services we are performing, and if in addition to that we had to perform the services now carried out by the Dominion Government, that such a bargain as this would be a good bargain for all time to come? He did not think so, and he did not think any member of the House thought that the sum he had mentioned would be a sufficient sum for a fixed subsidy. The question of the division of the Territories did not come into this calculation. Once the bargain was made we would get no advance except what came through the per capita grant of 80 cents a head on the increase of population from 150,000 up to 400,000. Would any man say this was a proper basis for us to make a deal on? It appeared to him more than likely that a difficulty would be found in getting the Dominion to grant the sum of $400,000 in lieu of lands — not because we were not, entitled to it, for in fact, we were entitled to a great deal more. Now he thought that if we went to the Dominion Parliament and were willing to go into confederation on the same basis as Manitoba, with a reasonable amount of increase owing to the Territories having more land than Manitoba, we would probably have enough for our present needs. But we had to look ahead; and he made this statement, that in five years from that day, with the influx of population, and the extra services that would be required through this extra population, we would be in a position that we would have to turn to our borrowing powers in order to carry on the government of the country, He believed, however–and his collegues believed, that there was no necessity for the Government to deal in that way, and this Government had a proposition to make in respect to the position in which these Territories should be placed. The leader of the House had looked into this question, and, this Government was prepared to lay down what they believe would be the pro per course to pursue. In passing, also he would emphasize the point that his hon. friend from Macleod had led the country gently to a point where it could consider and look for a coming change. No doubt some people would say, that that was a drift policy; it might be but it had gradually and safely led the country up to a point when it might seriously commence to take those matters into consideration.
In the first place, continued Mr. Ross, the Government would lay this down as a basis, or starting point, that they would make the best possible bargain with regard to population. They would as large an amount as they could for government. These two items would likely be dealt with in any event on one basis. Then it would be the duty of this Government—or whoever might be carrying on the government of the Territories at that time—to carefully enquire into the alleged expenditure on capital account. It was not known here what services were undertaken on account of that; but they could obtain all the information at Ottawa. At present, they did not know what was They did not know what services were undertaken, but it could be learned at Ottawa, and it would be the duty of the Government to inquire into that. It would be their duty to demand on behalf of these Territories the whole of the lands of the Territories—(hear, hear) —that is to demand an account of the whole of the lands of the Territories including that portion which had gone from Canada's grasp. It was known that large grants had gone out in subsidies and so on, and of these an account must be given. Something must be given to the Territories in lieu of those lands which had been alienated by Dominion vote. The land belongs to the people. It is the only natural revenue producing asset they have; it is the one asset that grows by the growth of population; it is the only asset we can look to to maintain an equilibrium between revenue and expenditure. If we have an absolutely fixed subsidy the expenditure is bound to outgrow the revenue.
The speaker continued: In Alberta, Saskatchewan and East Assiniboia we have something like 300,000 square miles of lands, or 190 millions of acres in these Territories. It is only fair to assume that one half of these lands, that is the odd numbered sections throughout the country are lands which may be classed as revenue producing areas. There is the other half or the even numbered sections, set apart for homesteading. But the whole of that portion of the lands was not available or homesteading. Large areas have been sold, and we know that settlers have largely taken advantage of the pre-emption clause; and I think it is fair to say that one half of those lands should also be classed as revenue­ producing. That still leaves 120 million acres to be dealt with. There has been something like 35 millions of acres taken for subsidising railways not necessarily, in the Territories but sometimes in the Province of Manitoba, and also for the great national highway, the C.P.R. Now it, is but fair for us to remember that if that 35,000,000 acres taken from the Territories to subsidise Dominion undertakings, had been, needed for subsidising undertakings in the eastern provinces, the subsidy would have had to be made in cash. If our lands have been given instead of cash, then I say credit should be given to the new province for the lands which have been so taken. Over 200 millions of dollars have been given by the Dominion Government to subsidise railways mostly in the eastern part of Canada and why should the policy be changed in in respect of the western portion of the country? Let me quote the position in British Columbia to prove that an account, should be taken of these lands. In British Columbia the Dominion Government had to provide certain lands for the completion of the C.P.R. We find that by the terms of union, they made an agreement with British Columbia for twenty miles on each side of the railway, and they agreed to give the province $100,000 a year for this twenty miles of rocks along the line of the C.P.R. This amounts to 13,000,000 acres which the Dominion Government had to provide and which they purchased from British Columbia, and in respect of which they agreed to give the province $100,000 a year in perpetuity. Should it not therefore follow that we in these Territories should have a credit for the amount of lands which have been taken from us? What would be the position if we were given a capital account for this land so taken from the Territories for Dominion purposes? Instead of 35 million or 40 million acres of land we should have a capital account of $35,000,000 at the least calculation. Surely these lands, the choice of this country, taken by the C, P.R. and other corporations—surely, it is a low estimate to say that they are worth $1 an acre and the expense of surveys in that this is a fair recompense for us to accept for these lands at all, but let us calculate for the sake of argument on a capital account of $35,000,000 for these lands. To show where we could land ourselves by a proper bargain, let us say $33,000,000. On that amount we should be entitled to something over a million dollars a year. That would be a capital account worth calling a capital account. Now, over and beyond that, we claim, if our position is good, and if these lands belong to these Territorics and should belong to these Territories when erected into a province–we claim, I say, that there is a further amount to be dealt with of about S5 millions acres outside of the homestead lands, I think that 35 millions of acres would be a fair recompense to the Dominion of Canada for the expense of the survey and administration of these 85 million acres, and that would leave us a residue of 50 million acres. If this province was started off on such a basis as I have indicated, even with a lesser subsidy than I have marked out, we are entitled to a capital account of 50,000,000 acres of land of our own, which would lie increased in value by every expenditure of public money, every dollar expended on our educational institutions, every dollar expended in testing for water, every dollar expended in road improvements, every dollar expended in building bridges—every dollar expended upon any public service would be assisting to improve our own property: and with the influx of population and the consequent increase of the burdens we would have to bear, to meet, these would run concurrently as it were and there would be a perpetual large increase in the value of these lands to meet the burdens added by the growing requirements of the country. I think this is the kind of proposition the people of this country are looking for. We are not looking so much for thepower of borrowing money with the public credit. [?] are willing to take those powers, but I hope, the day is far distant when we will have to resort to borrowing powers. I helieve we have in this country suficient wealth that we will not, if a right course is pursued, have to resort to those borrowing powers, Mr. Speaker, not, in any event, so long as you and I are members of this Legislative Assembly. (Applause.) I believe, Sir, that it is from some such point of view as this that we should bring, this great question before the attention of the people. This House has no mandate, the Government has no mandate from the people of this country to make as yet any arrangements to change our present status; but I think it is our duty now to bestow some little attention upon the position in which we are likely to find ourselves. We are satisfied that whether the Dominion Government gives us an increased subsidy or not we have come to the point where we must, consider our position. It is our duty as far as we can to educate the people on this question; and it is the duty of every man in this House, it is the duty of every good citizen in this country, to stand shoulder to shoulder at this time to endeavor to force upon the Dominion of Canada this principle which we believe to be true, that we have a right to these lands. It is the duty of Grit and Tory, or Tory and Grit, no matter how you put it, whether he be a member of this legislature or not—it is the duty of the Dominion Members of Parliament representing this western country, that we and they should all stand shoulder to shoulder on this question—the most important that will be dealt with during their term in the Parliament of Canada. The question, as to the land regulations, or whether we shall get a bridge at Edmonton or a post office at Moosomin or some other point, are in comparison of very little moment, to the people of this country at large, but the question as to what the financial position of this country will finally be is one of the greatest moment to the whole of the people of this country. I hope no question will arise at this time as to whether we are to have one, two or three provinces or whether any part will be given to Manitoba. Let us leave those questions altogether on one side: let us endeavor to force upon the Dominion Government the principle that when the bargain is made it should be made upon the basis of the whole of the lands of these Territories belonging to the Territories, and that a full account should be given of them. We have been accused, and especially the leader of this House has been accused, of having adopted a drift policy.
Mr. Bennett—(Hear, hear.)
Mr. Ross—The hon. gentleman from West Calgary says "hear, hear." I have every reason to believe that, the hon. gentleman from West Calgary is a man of great ability, but I would point out to him that it must be entirely from hearsay that he has been able to make up his mind as to the policy which has been pursued by my hon. friend from Macleod, as he has not been with us very long and has had a very short experience in these Territories. If the hon. leader of the House has adopted a drift policy, then all I can say is that he must have been watched over by an All-wise Providence, because he drifted us through the stormy times of 1892 when we were fighting for the rights of responsible government, the hon.gentleman, Sir, brought this country through those stormy times, and drifted us not into the harbor of despair, but into the harbor of hope, and into that harbor these Territories came safely and were firmly anchored. There were other gentlemen in this House–there are not many of them here now, but there is one left, (Dr. Brett)—who tried to drift us on to the rocks at that time, and to throw us back in our effort for responsible government, but they were inot successful. But if that policy of drift, has been the policy which has landed us at this time, after it has been pursued so many years, in the position that we have a good and wise body of legislation on our statute books, that the people of this country have not been placed in a position in which they might be burdened with taxation,—if, I say, that policy of drift has brought us to the position we now occupy, where by wise legislation we are able to show to the people of this country and to the people of Eastern Canada. that the government of this country is in the hands of a man who is able to put on the brakes if the brakes are necessary, who has been able to branch out when branching out was necessary, who understood his position, and who has been able to take his place, each time he has gone to Ottawa, with men who are supposed to be superior to us poor mortals in this part of the country,--if we have been able to do all this and to demonstrate to the people of Eastern Canada that, we have been able to organise a government on proper lines, and that we we are ready and able, whenever it is necessary, to step into confederation on an equality with the older provinces— I say, Sir, if that be the resulta policy of drift, then I think the policy of drift a good one. (Applause), I would conclude bysaying that I hope and trust the members of this House—and I know they will—will realise that this is one of the most critical periods in the history of the Territories—one of those times when it is necessary to have at the helm the steady hand and the cool head. Sir, we have that cool head, we believe at all events that we have one who is able to cope with the difficulties which are likely to arise, and when the necessity arises I hope the members of this House will stand shoulder to shoulder on this great question. I have to thank you, Sir, and through you the House, for the very patient hearing which has been given me. I must apologise to the House—not for the matter, because the matter of what I have said is perhaps as good as I could possibly make it—but I must apologise for the manner and the tone of voice in which it has been given. I have been, as you are aware, under the weather for some little time and it is only with great effort that I am able to speak at all to-day.I hope and trust, Mr. Speaker, that the members of the House will enter into this debate fully realising the responsibility that, rests upon them. Mr. Speaker, I beg to move that you do now leave the chair.
Mr. Ross, who had spoken for about two hours and a half, then resumed his seat amid loud and general applause.
It being 5:30 o'clock the Speaker left the chair.
The debate was resumed at 8 o'clock.
DR. BRETT commenced by complimenting Mr. Ross very handsomely on his first budget speech, and also expressed the pleasure with which for several years he had listened to the budget speeches delivered by the leader of the House. With regard to the new Territorial Treasurer he must say that the duty of discharging the difficult task of presenting the budget, speech did not suffer at his hands. All the members he was sure would agree the facts had been placed before the House in a very clear and able manner; and he felt very much like congratulating the hon. member on the large amount of information he had given [?] his own department, but with reference to the departments generally. (Hear, hear.) But although the speech had doubtless pleased them all in the delivery, whether they would all agree with the sentiments contained in the latter part of that speech was quite another thing. Howeverit was delivered in a most creditable manner and he wished to sincelely congratulate the hon. gentleman on his effort. It was also very gratifying to the


Continued from Page 3.
newer members of the House to have that little historical sketch of the earlier circumstances of the Territories. There was no member in that House better qualified to give such a resume than the Territorial Treasurer because he had been connected with the legislature of the country since its earliest days. If was not always an easy task to deliver a budget speech, neither was it always easy to criticise it to one's liking. And it was more difficult on that occasion than usual to intelligently criticise the different items in the speech, and for two reasons. One was that they did not have as long a time for the perusal of the public accounts as they should have had. He contended that those accounts should be laid upon the table at least a week, or ten days before the budget is brought down. Then again, the accounts covered a long period—viz., sixteen months, which was a longer period than that usually covered in any other Assembly. Again, the Estimates practically were only placed on the table one day ago. Certainly they were received by members late on Saturday night, but Sunday was not the time to study the Estimates.
Mr. Haultain—Hear, hear. (Laughter.)  
Dr. Brett was glad the Premier concurred in that view, for he (Dr. Brett) was sure there were a great many hon. gentlemen who could not be prevailed upon to study Estimates on Sunday. (Hear, hear, and laughter.) The result was that they were tied down to just one day before being called upon to concur in the Estimates or to express an opinion on the different items. But there was also one reason which made it easier than usual to criticise the budget proposal this year, and that was that there were so few items. At no time since Estimates had been laid on the table had there been so few items as on this occasion. But while that made it easier in one way, it made it more difficult in another way to make up their minds whether these Estimates were such as they could easily concur in or whether they were such as they should object to or take a longer time for discussion and explanation before they concurred in them. It was true that additional information had been promised them by the hon. the Territorial Treasurer when they went into Supply, but that was not the time given to other legislatures and the members of other parliaments to criticise and express their opinions with reference to the several items of the Estimates. He was thinking today when the Territorial Treasurer was relating the early history of the country that history was repeating itself. There was a tiime in the early days when the estimates were not brought down for the consideration of the gentlemen who composed the old North-West Council. Some items were voted but the great bulk of the money was kept at the disposal of the Lieutenant Governor, and was disposed of by him as he pleased. He (Dr. Brett) was not making any charge that the Lieut.-Governor did not expend that money properly, but the fact remained that he had the control over the greater part of the money that was expended in those days, Now they had been told that great progress had been made in the Territories; there had been a general increase in the population, and demands had grown generally for greater attention to the public service, necessitating a larger employment of officials. He was sorry to say that the general progress was not manifested in the estimates for they found that out of the sum of $136,000 for public works about one-third of that amount was kept to be spent just as the Commissioner of Public Works chose to do. It was not specified whether the bulk of the money was to be expended in this district or in that district—on the completion of this bridge or of that bridge—it was entirely in the hands of the Government and the Commissioner of Public Works to expend as they chose. It was true that they were promised more details when they went into Supply but it was important to remember that the House was being asked by the Government to concur in those estimates before they went into Supply. When once they did that they knew very well that they could not increase the amount for any particular work, although they could lessen the amounts; and he said the Government were presuming a great deal on the confidence of the members of the Assembly to ask them to allow them to go into Supply when two-thirds of the amount voted for roads and bridges and public improvements were to be left at the entire disposal of the Government. They were presuming on the confidence of the House. Probably they enjoyed that confidence, and he (Dr.  Brett), hoped they would continue to enjoy it if they deserved it, but the course pursued with regard to these Estimates was not the way to secure or deserve the confidence of the Assembly or of any other body of gentlemen coming together for the transaction of public business. There was another feature, and probably a worse feature. He did not fear that advantage would be taken of it in that House because he was quite certain, that hon. gentlemen in that House did not come under the class who would be susceptible to it; but it was a fact that the holding back of a large sum of money like this gave the opportunity, if (desired, of attempting to exercise an influence over members of the Assembly. He did not say that it would. On the other hand he said the members of the House were of a class who would not be influenced in that way. (Hear, hear.) But it was a pernicious system and a pernicious practice. If there was a good precedent for it; if other governments brought down their estimates for roads and bridges and asked to have them so voted as to be at the disposal of the government then he (Dr. Brett) would admit that there might be some justification; but if they could not point to other legislatures, or to the Dominion House as doing this, then he should contend that the Government in this instance were making a departure which was bad, one that will grow and grow and grow, until presently they may come and ask the House to vote the whole amount required for the Territories in one vote and let them spend it as they liked. The practice was that even the smallest amounts were put down that were intended to be spent in any particular direction: and if the provinces did that, if the Dominion Government could do that, what was there to justify, this Government, and these gentlemen, who were conducting the business of the Territories in asking the House to put themselves in a less business-like position than the legislatures of the provinces or the Dominion Parliament? The Territorial Treasurer did not put his foot very deep into the matter and touched very lightly on it, but still he evidently realised that it was necessary to say something apologetic for the manner of bringing down, the Estimates. He realised that it was his duty to explain to the House , that it was not exactly the regular way of do ing things; and he gave as his justification that a great many of the members were young members who had not had the opportunity of finding out what was really necessary for their districts. Now in answer to this he wished to point out that the policy last year in regard to public works was the employment of district engineers. It was the business of those engineers to go through the country and find out the absolute requirements of the country. Hon. members who were in the last Assembly would hear him out that expendatures were made during the time that system was in vogue on the representations of these district engineers. If those engineers did not visit every locality still they had to cover pretty well every portion of the various districts. That was their business. They were charged with the responsibility of reporting on the necessary works required to be done in the districts in which they were employed. He presumed those district engineers carried out their instructions. If they did not then the Government was in fault for retaining men who did not carry out their instructions, and if the Government did not instruct them to find out and look over, and report things to them with regard to the necessary works to be done, then he said the Government were neglecting a very important part of their duty. Well, he would assume that the resident engineers understood their business, and made certain reports. If they did, then the Government should be in a position to know, if not absolutely what was required in regard to every road or bridge in the country, yet they should be in a position to give full information as to a large number of important works in the country requiring attention this year. After some further remarks on this line Dr. Brett turned to the question of the increase in the departmental staff.
He quite agreed with the remarks made by the Territorial Treasurer that afternoon when he stated that he would rather be censured for having expended money on his staff to get the work done than to be censured for neglecting to get the work done properly; and he was not going to carp because there was an; extra employee here and there about the buildings. He was not going to complain of that. Whatever assistance was really required, by all means let it be obtained. He had alwaays sustained the Executive where they had employed the best talent they could find. He had always supported them, and he hoped he always would, in employing the very best men they could find, even if they had to pay very large salaries to get them. The principle he believed in was to employ the best men they could get and a sufficient number of them, and then to expect and demand good and efficient service at their hands. He had no fault, then, to find in reference to the staff, although it might be large. But what he might point out was that the item of civil government, as compared with the total sum expended, amounted to ten per cent. of the whole. In saying this he was not including the salary of the Superintendent of Education or of the inspectors. It cost something like 10 or 11 per cent. without that, and as compared with the other provinces he could not help saying that this was a very large amount. In Ontario it was a little over 4 per cent. of the total expenditure for civil government. Now he was not going to urge that they should do things as cheaply as in Ontario. He was only pointing out the difference, and it would occur no doubt to other members as it did to him that it was a very large amount for civil government as against 4 per cent. in Ontario. However, with regard to the general question of civil government, until he was able to point out that there was an employee not earning his pay, or for whom there was not sufficient work to keep him employed, he was not going to complain: and he was not able to point to any employee who was in that position. If he was able to point to such an employe then he would ask for a reduction in respect of that employe but he was not going to ask for any reduction of that kind. But he would ask this question? With this large and expensive staff had the Government done everything they could reasonably be expected to do? Had they fulfilled their duties and their offices promptly and efficiently? Of course complaints were heard all over as to the manner in which they did their work. He certainly had heard a great many complaints as to the tardiness with which business was done. Letters were not answered quickly and things that should be done promptly were not done promptly. He must say that he had no complaint to make himself, but he knew that a great many complaints had been made by the public generally with regard to the tardiness with which business was done. It was not only the business of the Government to answer letters, and issue brands when applied for, and attend to communications in reference to public works, and that sort of thing. That was not their only business. Reference had been made that day to the salary of the members of the Government. He said they were not getting a cent too much. Two thousand five hundred dollars was not a cent too much. He would go a little farther and say probably it was not enough if they had as much work to do as they said they had. Well then, the business of the Government was not only to see that letters were answered and this or that business conducted quickly and efficiently. These Territories were large and there was room for a large number of people. He might add in passing that he did not complain of the amount for traveling expenses. He would not object if it were more, if ministers would get around among the people, and if he found it was resulting in some benefit to the people. Part of their business was to get acquainted with the wants and necessities of the people and if they were travelling about more and increasing this item for travelling expenses he would have no fault to find. But besides all this it was the duty of the Government to look after legislation and see that the necessary legislation was prepared. They heard the faultfinding of those who had to work under the conditions that exist; they heard of the drawbacks of the conditions under which people had to exist, and it lay with them to inaugurate anything which was going to be to the advantage of the Territories, which was going to contribute to the furthering of the prosperity of the Territories, to the enhancing of its wealth and the increasing of its population. Had the Government done all that could reasonably be expected of them in that regard? He said that as far as attending to the office business in his own case he had nothing to complain of, but at the same time complaints were numerous. But with regard to legislation he said that the best evidence that the Government had not paid so strict attention to the legislation of the country as they should, was to be found in the fact—the very striking fact—that after spending two years in the consolidation of the Ordinances, yet in the very first session after consolidating it was found necessary to amend quite a number of the Ordinances, the consolidation of which was only completed in 1898. They readily understood that necessity was alwayas arising for new legislation, but he felt that altogether the Government had not shown that attention and given that care to legislation that they should have done.
He had taken the opportunity on different occasions not so much perhaps to criticise the policy of the Government as to enquire what that policy was, because really he had to ask for the information as the policy was something which was not very apparent to him. Well, on several occasions on which he had asked for that informal information, he was told that their policy would be found in their legislation—that it was to be found embalmed in their Ordinances. Now, he quite agreed that some of the policy of the Government would be found in the Ordinances. They would take, for instance, for a moment a department that had been referred to at some length by the Territorial Treasurer, and that was the newly-created Department of Agriculture. The hon. gentleman had said that was a very important department and one that should have existed long before this, and that hitherto the business in connection with agriculture had been so great that it could not be attended to properly. All that, he (Dr. Brett) agreed with. He agreed that the department was one of the most important that could exist, particularly in this country, as well as elsewhere. Subjects came under the administration of that Department which were of the utmost importance and in no country were they more important than in this country. But if they took the legislation, as far as the legislation was concerned there was nothing before the House to justify the existence of that Department in the Territories up to the present time. He did not wish to be misunderstood in what he said. It was not because the department was not important or that it should not have been created and should not exist; this was not the ground he was taking; it was because of the work that was done and which the Assembly did not know anything about. If the department had all the importance ascribed to it, and was doing all the work credited to it, was it not important also that the Assembly should know what that department had been doing? On Friday night a report was laid on the table, but he had had no opportunity of studying it, and speaking honestly he was not privileged to criticise the head or the deputy head of that department, for he did not know what they had been doing. He did not know whether the money they had dealt with had been spent wisely or unwisely. He contended that one of the first duties of any department, when it came and asked for a large sum of money to support that department, was that it should lay information on the table of the House in such a way that every member would have an opportunity of finding out exactly what had been done in that department. The department in question presided over a great number of important matters in relation to these Terrotiroes, and among them was that of vital statistics and statistics of other kinds. He rememberd that two years ago the hon. the Commissioner in introducing the Statute Labor Ordinance dwelt on the necessity of procuring agricultural returns, and pointed out that these districts would form an excellent medium for this object. The hon. gentleman said that the question of getting statistics of the cattle, grain and produce of the Territories was a matter of great importance to the Territories.
Mr. Haultain—Hear, hear.
Mr. Brett, continuing, said that was two years ago, and he was not aware that any information on this important matter had been given to the public. He knew there were many people who were desirous of getting that information as to the country as a whole; they wished to get some statistics to show what the country was doing; they wished for statistics of some value that could be sent broadcast to the world, but they were unable to obtain those statistics. He repeated that the statement referred to had been made two years aago. He did not know how long it took to get the information. He knew it could not be done in a few weeks, but surely it could be done in a year, and certainly it ought to be done in less than two years. Had the House then any evidence that the government had carried out that portion of its duty in the manner they should do in reference to these important returns of cereals and cattle?
Then there were the vital statistics. He knew that many people might consider the Vital Statistics Ordinance an unimportant one to enforce, but he considered it a very important Ordinance. It was considered important in any other province, and although in the opinion of some, they were beginning the collection of these statistics very soon in their history yet he did not think himself that they were commencing a day too soon. They could not commence too soon, because if we were able to demonstrate from such returns that in this country we are freer from disease than in other countries, it would be a great incentive to immigration. It could not, he though, fail to be a great stimulus to immigration if he could be shown that we had a comparative immunity from those diseases; and therefore he regarded this matter as very important. The sooner the Government realised the importance of their agricultural and vital statistics, the sooner would they give it adequate attention, and attend to their business a little more carefully than they had done in the past.
There were other important Ordinances dealt with by this department. There was the sum of $4,000 for the destruction of noxious weeds. A considerable sum was expended last year, and he thought they should have had some report of this expenditure and its results. As it was the House did not know how it was expended, what plan was adopted and whether it was being successfully worked. Outside of the information they might have in individual cases the House was not in possession of any facts or information which would enable them to suggest any changes or made any amendments. They could not intelligently vote this $4,000 without knowing what good had been effected by the expenditure in the past. There was another matter which came under this department and that was agricultural societies. That matter had already been the subject of legislation this year and he was very glad to have an opporunity of congratulating the gentlement who brought in that new legislation, because he thought it was the right direction, but still he thought it was not the best that could have been brought in in the best interests of the country. He might be accused of having ideas away up in the heavens.
Mr. Haultain—Oh, no.
He had been accused of having ethereal ideas, but somehow those ideas had always subsequently materialised into the policy of the Government. It took in some instances on year, in some two years and in some three years for them to bring each particular idea he had advocated into practice, but it was only a matter of time. He had expressed an opinion in the past that a great deal of money had been spent on agricultural societies with very little benefit to the Territories. One object of these societies was to show to people who wish to come in here that this country is capable of raising good cereals and cattle and vegetables, and that this country generally is a desirable one to live in. How much good did these small shows do on this line? No doubt they did a certain amount of good in creating local rivalry, but he had a suggestion to make on a larger scale than that. Perhaps his ideas would not meet the approval of all, but it was not merely to get the approval of the majority that he was talking. He was talking about the policy which he believed would be for the best interests of the country irrespective of majorities in that House; and he said this: Let the Government instead of distributing this sum over a number of small societies, instead of doing that, let them take this eleven thousand dollars and spend it on one good fair; let it be in Regina, or Calgary, or Edmonton, or Moosomin, or Prince Albert. Let the Territories give a substantial sum that would warrant a locality in having the show. They would all remember the Territorial show held in Regina. He would admit that that show, perhaps was not as well managed as it might have been, but it attracted a great number of people, and the number of entries was larger than at Winnipeg or Toronto, and he did not suppose any one sould yet tell how far-reaching the effects of that exhibition would be. They knew that a good number of people who came in here to witness that show afterwards became permanent settlers. Probably every hon. gentleman could point to some settlers of that kind in his own district. Let the Government if necessary curtail expenditure in regard to the small shows, and give a sum to have a good fair. Let it be a travelling show if they liked, at some point in Eastern Assiniboia one year, in Alberta the next, at Calgary or Edmonton, as the case might be, next, in West Assiniboia the next, and after a while they might be sure Prince Albert would claim the distinction of having it there. This plan would do more good than the small shows and he thought this was a pretty general opinion throughout the country. He knew he had talked with men who took a great interest in agricultural matters, and who were well qualified to speak; and while, these gentlemen thought that some benefit was derived locally from the small shows, they were of opinion that the benefit, could not be compared at all with what would be derived from the holding of large fairs. He hoped the Government would consider the matter and next year adopt and press forward something of the kind suggested.
Dr. Brett next referred to immigration. He had, he said, mentioned the subject on previous occasions and he had been told by the leader of the House that it was not constitutional for that  House to deal with immigration matters. Now, he was not going to quarrel with the leader of the House as to whether it was constitutional to go into a general system of immigration or not, but he certainly thought they were perfectly constitutional and within their rights in discussing the matter. Some might say they had not the money to deal with it. Probably not; but there were different, directions in which he thought the Government should have moved and should he actually moving in connection with immigration, We were having a number of Doukhobors and Galicians brought into the Territories. It might be said, "What have we to do with that? The Dominion Government are doing that." True they are, but on whom is the responsibility thrown directly, these people get here? The responsibility was thrown on the local government of educating them and providing for any distress among them. It might be that in this latter case the Dominion Government would re-imburse them, but the first duty of seeing that these people did not suffer would fall on the Territories. There was no doubt the Dominion Government was imposing a great responsibility on the Territories  in respect of these people, and he thought the Territories should have sould say in the matter. He thought people living in the Territories should know as well as the people at Ottawa how and where those people should be settled —whether they should be settled in colonies, or should be distributed among other settlers who would benefit by having a plentiful supply of cheap labor. If the Government did not think it was in their power or within their discretion to take action in the matter, then the House should take upon themselves the duty of pointing out that the Territories should be consulted with reference to the nature and class of immigrants to be sent in; the manner in which they are to be located in colonies and be dependent on themselves, or located among the older settlers of the country. The question in his opinion was important one. It might be productive of a large amount of evil and a large amount of expensve and it should be one of the first duties of the Government to provide against disastrous consequences in the future.
Another thing of importance was the compiling of a book containing information about the Territories and which would be sent out under the authority of the Government. It was true they had not a large amount of money, but he thought sufficient could be found for that purpose. If they picked up the so-called immigration literature issued by the Dominion Government what did they find? They found that the Territories were given a very small space. In one that was circulated a little while ago the Territories occupied about four inches in a 300 or 400 page book. He said therefore that it behooved the Government to see that a suitable pamphlet, descriptive of this country and its resources, should be printed and placed in the hands of the people. The C.P.R. was anxious to distribute literature, but it was not the business of the C.P.R. as much as it was of the Government of the Territories to see that proper literature was compiled and distributed, descriptive of the products and resources of the Territories.
Dr. Brett went on to read a letter dated March 28th, written by the Commissioner of Public Works to the Regina Board of Trade. It seemed, he said, that the Board was desirous of demonstrating to the world that it was possible to obtain a water supply in the lands south of Regina. So important was it considered that the Council of Regina were willing to contribute a certain amount; the C.P.R. having lands for sale contributted an amount of $500; the Hudson Bay Co., $500; and the Board of Trade thought it was not an improper thing, or an unreasonable thing, to ask the North-West Government what assistance they would give to demonstrate that there was water in these lands, this being the only obstacle to settlement south of Regina. The Board asked, therefore, that the Government would assist them by placing an auger at their disposal to make the necessary tests. Mr. Ross's letter (which has already been published) as read by Dr. Brett was, in brief, that the Government had no machine available, and that in any case the department could not see its way clear to boring for water in unsettled townships while its resources were already being taxed to the utmost to provide water in districts already settled. The present policy of the government did not include what might be termed exploring for water in unsettled districts to aid in the settlement of these districts.
Dr. Brett said no doubt that was a very good policy as far as it went, but were the Government going to tie themselves down to one little narrow groove which was not capable of diversion or expansion or of being widened? Was it not possible to discover other avenues to which they could devote the public money with advantage? If thy were so narrow; if that was their policy; if they were so contracted that they could not go outside the policy already laid down; if they were not broad enough to assist in in the development of valuable lands, and had not energy enough to develop by their energies and their acts the great resources of this country as rapidly and as effectively as ought to be done, then he said that although he might enjoy the reputation of having wild ideas—(Mr. Haultain: Hear, hear)—of having impracticable ideas, yet he would rather have that reputation than the reputation the Government would make for itself—he would rather enjoy that reputation and that notoriety—and especially as he knew that judging by the past he would soon have the sanctification of finding that his ideas were being gradually assimilated by the Government and embodied in their policy.
But if he had hitherto enjoyed such a reputation he felt that he might now step down and give place to another hon. gentleman to take his place after what they had listened to that afternoon on another subject. He did not think any hon. gentleman present ever listened to a responsible Minister speaking to a responsible Assembly on a subject of so much importance to this country as a change in the constitution of the country;—no hon. gentleman could fail to be struck with the idea;-well, really the English language failed to find him words to describe exactly what he wanted to say; but anyway if ever any hon. gentleman present listened to such flights of imagination as they had listened to from the hon. Territorial Treasurer that afternoon, he was quite sure those flights of imagination did not come from him (the speaker.)
Mr. Haultain—Hear, hear.
Dr. Brett went on to say that he had already intimated that year after year he had had to ask what was the policy of the Government. For three or four years they had been talking of provincial autonomy. He was quite sure that provincial autonomy was one of those subjects that the Government did not like him to mention. They said that so many men raised their hands in holy horror when it was mentioned that it was better not to refer to it. But he always called a spade a spade, and when he had spoken of provincial autonomy on previous occasions he had been told that he was speaking wildly; that he was talking in the air; that he was speaking of things even their children would not realise till they were grey; and yet in two years they found it laid down in that House that the time had come when they must consider provincial autonomy. Dr. Brett quoted from THE LEADER report of the session of 1897 to show what Mr. Haultain's views then were on the subject. He went on to say that the policy of the Government was to hang on to the Yukon and not to let any portion of the Territories, whether in the east, west, north or south be taken from us; and that, if there was not an increase of subsidy the next step would have to be provincial autonomy. That was in 1897. Well there had been no increase in the subsidy. The estimates before then were based on exactly the same amount. Now, when was provincial autonomy going to come? When was the Government going to take action? Were the Government going to come there year after year making nice-sounding speeches to tickle the ears of the members and of the public, to buoy their hopes up, and lead them to believe that they were going to do something great? Well then the definite policy in 1898 of the Government was provincial autonomy if an increased subsidy could not be procured. But in the elections in the fall what did they find? The proper course of the Government in those elections was to have enunciated and enforced that the policy so far as they could. In the western portion of the country where that policy was supposed to suit the people it was their battle cry. They spoke that way at Edmonton and at Calgary. What they said at Moosomin and the eastern parts he could not say positively for he was not there to hear them, but he had reason to believe that in that portion of the country the people did not want autonomy because they thought it meant taxation. He did not know how far the Government went in the east to try and educate the people there up to their policy—how far they went in order to induce the people to vote for the men of their choice—but if they did not use every means in their power on that line them they were not acting fairly towards the people of this country. To-day they found that there was another policy. That policy was provincial autonomy, it was true, but under very different circumstances. They were to first get as much as they could on capital account, and get the population estimated as high as possible. He thought the estimate of 150,000 well within the mark. Certainly before any final arrangement was made the population would be well over the mark at that estimate. The speaker went on to recapitulate the various points in Mr. Ross's outline of the claims to be made; and referring to the suggested revenue from the public lands of a million dollars a year, he said that when the Territorial Treasurer made that statement he thought to himself that this was splendid, and if the Government were the men who could do this they were just the Government the country wanted. The hon. gentlemen thought that if we could get a million dollars a year we should not want to borrow any money. There was no doubt that if we could get a million dollars a year in lieu of our public lands we should be in a nice position. We should be getting more than any other Province in the Dominion if this were fulfilled; but he would ask hon. member did they take the proposition seriously? Coming from a responsible minister and addressed to them as members of that Assembly, did they take it seriously that they were to sit there and wait till the Government could make such an arrangement as that before they could change their political complexion? Did they not take it in the light of mere bombast to attract the attention of those who did not favor the idea of taxation and borrowing money? If the youngest men in that House had to wait for such an arragment as that to be made with the Dominion Government, did not venture even to think how old that man would be before the arrangement was made.
A voice—How about me?
Dr. Brett—Oh, you will be dead sure. (Laughter.) Continuing the speaker said that if the Government were honest to-day—because they had come to the jumping off point in respect of [...]


The Conclsion of the One-Sided Debate on the Territorial Budget — Speeches by Messrs. Brown, Patrick and Meyers.


The Government Sustained by a Vote of Nineteen to Eleven in a Full House — Continuation of "The Leader's" Consecutive Report of Legislative Proceedings.


The Budget Unanimously Adopted by the Assembly.


Conclusion of Mr. Brown's Half Hour's Fun with the Member for Banff— The Government's Successful Administration Commended — Mr. Meyer's Endorses the Policy — Dr. Patrick's Views on the Political Position of the Territories.

THE LEADER last week contained a a portion of the report of the Budget Debate in the Assembly on April 25th– the speeches of the Territorial Treasurer (Mr. Ross) and the leader of the Opposition (Dr. Brett) and part of the speech of the member for North Regina (Mr. Brown) who followed and replied to Dr. Brett. This week we publish the conclusion of Mr. Brown's speech and of the debate, and a continuation of our consecutive report of the sessional proceedings.
MR. BROWN contended that, the Government had managed the business of the country wisely and well, profiting by and avoiding the mistakes of other provinces. He contended that if the Government now relinquished office and another government took the reins, not in any particular would the new government find itself hampered by mistakes of the old. He reerred to the able manner in which new and peculiar conditions had been coped with. He drew a parallel between the Territories and Manitoba in its earlier stage. Manitoba adopted its system from the older provinces; but, government of the Territories said "No, a complex and expensive system, such as exists in Manitoba and the older provinces will not suit us," and so they commenced with a system dealing only with the actual needs of the country at that time. Those needs had grown and the system had been expanded to meet them. The result was that when they became a province instead of the provincial government taking over a great mass of chaos they would take over a country with institutions sufficiently developed to carry on the business of the country to advantage.
Speaking of the remarks of the Territorial Treasurer as to the public lands Dr. Brett had characterised them as mere bombast. He (Mr. Brown) thought the members of that House were just as able to say what bombast was as the hon. member for Banff was. He contended that the proposition laid down by the Territorial Treasurer was reasonable and a just proposition. Every other province had been dealt with on the principle that the lands were their own. If the Territories were justly treated they would get the benefit of those lands which should belong to them by right, but which had been disposed of or did not now belong to them owing to the peculiar position in which they were placed at the beginning. The Province of Manitoba was once in the same position. The Dominion Government offered Manitoba, a consideration for their lands, but when they did so they did not say to Manitoba, "You have no right to these lands." No; they admitted that the lands belonged to Manitoba: and what they did say was "We will give you so much, not in part compensation but in lieu of those lands and as an equivalent for them." There, had been a great dispute with Manitoba as to what the lands were worth. The Dominion Government made a sharp bargain with Manitoba at that time, and there could be no man conversant with the facts but who believed that some day the Dominion would have to make Manitoba some further allowance in respect of those lands. The Territories should note and benefit by the experience of Manitoba. Dr. Brett seemed to think that the lands, of the Territories were not worth the value put upon them by the Territorial Treasurer. Well, if they were not worth a dollar an acre they were coming very near to not being worth anything at all. But if the Dominion Government was not prepared, to settle, in the way suggested let them hand the lands over to the Territories and, thus prevent any dispute that, might arise. And with regard to the price of the lands let them remember that although 35 million acres had been alienated they had been alienated at a price. Let that be the price if it came to that, or if they wanted to be magnanimous let them cut it in two. On the other hand, there were charges against the Territories which would live to be deducted, and he was sure every hon. gentleman in that, House was willing to come to a settlement based on the exact rights of the Territories no matter what those rights may be; and it was not for that House or any member of that House to assume beforehand that when they had certain rights the Dominion Government would refuse to give them those rights. The Dominion Government had never been approached on the question; and until the Dominion Government refused to give to the Territories the rights they could demand, they had no right to say that the Government at Ottawa would so refuse,
Then Dr. Brett had a plan for meet ing the elevator monopoly. He would have a great system of Government elevators. He (Mr. Brown) thought if they could do away with the elevator retrictions the matter would right, itself. He did not believe in the Government going into any works which the people could provide for themselves. Dr. Brett had stated further that the Dominion Government borrowed money to carry on the government. Now the Dominion Government had no right, nor had any other Government any right to borrow one dollar, except to be expended on capital account. Dr. Brett spoke as if all a government had to do if it wanted money for any purpose whatever, was to borrow it, but he (Mr. Brown) asserted that this Government had no right, nor had any other Government any right to borrow money unless they could show an asset equal to the amount borrowed.
What was the position of the Territorial legislature to-day? For the last twenty-two years they had been growing—growing from a body in which, the people had not one single elected representative to one in which the people had some reresentation, and from that to one in which the people only were reresented, until they were now a Legisative Assembly with extended powers, with only one more step to be taken, and, that was the assumption of  final, measure of responsible government in the form of provincial establishment. He thought hon. gentlemen would agree with him that the country had not grown faster than its institutions; the country had not grown faster than our powers to govern had increased; and hon. gentlemen would also agree with him that the earlier stages of development had been passed through with less taxation and less burdens than had been the case with any province of the Dominion.
It had been stated that one of the great advantages to this country from provincial autonomy would be the power to borrow money to build railroads. He would point out that we have 2,000 miles of railroads to 100,000 people. No province in Canada could show a greater mileage of railways in proportion to population than this. Now, it was not only a question of building railways. Railways when they were built had to be kept up; they could not live on the wind. If there were more railways than were needed, then those railroads had to combine and force the rates up to a point at which they could live. The result therefore of having railways that were not actually needed would be that the people would have to pay increased railway rates. He was not at all sure that they had not enough railways for their present needs. If a question of rates were brought forward there was no court of law that would give any other decision than that a railway should have a reasonable income, and unless railways could obtain a reasonable income from the natural and legitimate business of the country they would obtain it by increased rates which the people would have to pay. What was wanted was to either own the railways or have control over them; and he did not think any North-West Government should give one single dollar to bonus a railway. If the Northern Pacific could come in with paltry bonus of $1,750 a mile and make a success of it, why give $10,000 a mile? They had better keep their money, in their pockets than have to pay higher rates and give a bonus too. It was not difficult to build railroads in the west it was not a mountainous country, railways were easy to construct. There was therefore not the need to bonus railroads which might exist in dsitricts where roads were more difficult and expensive to construct.
The speaker next referred to the public lands which were exempt from taxation. Before they borrowed money or undertook any burden of debt he thought their first duty was to find out what their assets were for the purposes of taxation and what portion of the country was going to hear the burden of that, debt. C.P.R. lands and other lands were at present in such a position that they could not be taxed. They needed to know whether one-fifth of the land was to bear the burden of the whole. When they were asked on the one hand to exercise borrowing powers and increase the burden of taxation, he said on the other hand that their proper course was not to tie their own hands but strive for that to which they had a right, and to strive to settle for all time whether all or only a portion of the land was to be available for the purposes of taxation. When that all important question was settled then they might be able to consider the question of borrowing money. Lenders of money were not fools, and if we went into the money markets of , the world those money lenders would look at our circumstances very closely. If we had to borrow money with a large incubus of untaxable land we could only borrow it at a rate that would be ruinous to the Territories.
As to the question of the division of the Territories he thought that was a matter to be settled when we received provincial government. For his own part he hoped the result would be one province. He should like to see a province—the greatest province in Canada which was the premier colony of the British Empire. He did not want to have two or three or four weakling province but one strong province whose voice, if not dominant in the councils of Canada, could at least at all time be heard with effect. But rather than any portion should be a part of that province against its will. rather than such portion should be prevented from running into debt, and should be accusing us of keeping them back   and retarding their progress—rather, he said, than occupy that position he would be willing to let that portion he  cut off so that they might enjoy the doubtful privileges which they wished to enjoy; but at the same time he should deeply regret to see the power of the new province to assert itself eventually as the premier province of the Dominion in any way impaired. In conclusion he would say that if the present administration had given the Territories good government, if it occupied such a strong position that even the hon. member for Banff when they came to analyse his speech was found, to agree with them in the main, if they had preserved the powers and the rights of the Territories intact and had so ordered the affairs of the country that any government which followed them could enter into their duties without being hampered by either their  misdeeds or ther mistakes—if, he said, this was the record of the Government, then he thought that Government ought to receive the commendation and support of that legislature and of the people at large. (Applause.)
Mr. MEYERS (Kinistino) said the few remarks he had to make would not delay the House for any great length of time; in fact he had made up his mind, not to take any part in that the night's debate, but although not an Irishman he thought he might be permitted an Irishman's privilege to change his mind. In the first place it afforded him great pleasure to add his congratulations to the member for Moose Jaw on the eminently satisfactory manner in which he had delivered what might be called his maiden speech as the Treasurer of the North- West Territories. He was sure the House would agree with him that that speech was not only ably though out and well delivered, but as to commend itself to the favorable consideration, of the House. As one of the old members he also quite agreed with the hon. member for Moose Jaw in regard to what he had said about the budget speeches which had been delivered in that chamber for Some years past by the leader of the House. As one of the oldest members of the House he had listened with a great deal of interest to those speeches, and he was sure the information derived from those speeches, and the great ability with which they were delivered would long be remembered, by those who had the privilege of listening to Mr. Meyers went on to refer to the system of education prevailing in the Territories. They had, he said, not heard much on the subject in that session but in previous years they had heard a great deal about the expensiveness of the system; Well, to those who were unacquainted with the system it might appear expensive; but the system was equal to any in Canada, and he might go farther and say it was equal to any system in the world. It was a system which, the more it was examined, the more it would commend itself to the people of the Territories, or of any other part of, the country. He found that in something like six years the school population had increased something like, 150 per cent;  and although the rapid increase might be embarrassing from a financial point of view; yet he thought it was a fact on which the country might congratulate itself. With regard to the public works he also thought the position was one which would commend itself to the favorable consideration of the people of the Territories, as a whole. He noticed in the estimates a certain expenditure for deep wells and dams; and he might say in the interests of the people he represented that he thought these were very important objects. Although in many portions of his district there was an abundance of water at easy depths, yet in other parts deep wells were very much needed, and he sincerely hoped that it was the intention of the Government to take into consideration the wants of his part of the country and of the whole of the northern part of the country in respect of those matters to which their attention had already been called. Then again there was the question of agriculture which they would all agree was a very important one. They had heard a good deal about the excellent system of the Department of Agriculture,and he quite agreed with the hon. member for Banff that this was one of the most important departments, as agriculture was one of the most important, in fact in every way the most important industry in the country. There could be no doubt about that; and with reference to that department he thought that what should be aimed at was as thorough and efficient a system as possible with a view of bringing out the best capabilities of the country at large. It seemed to him that there was no department which had a better opportunity of showing, the capabilities of the country rapidly and successfully than the Department of Agriculture. They were informed that the system at Regina was an expensive system, but when they looked at the vast extent of this country, he could not see that it was expensive in comparison with the amount of work to be done. Certainly he thought it would be premature for any one to come to the conclusion at present that it was more expensive than the necessities of the country called for. It had only been in vogue a few months. A year ago they had no agricultural department whatever, and to-day so far as he was in a position to judge they had a department in the hands of a very efficient staff of officials who were maintained at an expense which he did not think at all out of proportion in comparison with the amount, and importance of the work which they performed. At a previous session a Brand Ordinance was introduced. At that time the proper registration of brands was in its infancy, and he might go further and say that it was in its infancy to-day compared with what it would be. The number of brands had increased one hundred per cent., viz., from 3,500 to 7,000. He thought that was a pretty good proof that the system must be satisfactory, otherwise it would not be so largely taken advantage of. Then again they had heard a good deal about the experimental farms. They had heard that they might not be a success, and also that they might be premature. As he understood it they were to be not so much experimental farms in the large sense of the term as experimental plots, and the expense could not be very great. The step was one in the right direction and one that would commend itself to the favorable consideration of the farmers of the Territories, and for which he thought the Agriculture Department deserved a great deal of credit.
There was another subject, however, on which he regretted very much that he could note agree with the hon. member of Moose Jaw, and that was the omission from the Estimates of any bounty for the destruction of coyotes. It might seem to some that a matter of $1,500 for this object was a small matter and hardly worthy of consideration, but it was a matter that affected the Saskatchewan country very seriously. In the last two or three years the attention of the Government had been drawn to the ravages purpetrated by the coyotes and prairie wolves. Perhaps some hon. gentlemen might not be aware—he was not aware of it himself till tow or three years ago—that there was a difference between the coyote and the prairie wolf. The coyote was more particularly destructive to sheep. The prairie wolf was a cross between the wolf proper and the coyote, and it was particularly destructive to young animals. There was a sum of $1,500 for the destruction of timber wolves in the west. They understood from the Territorial Treasurer that in the west the Stock Association paid a certain bonus which was to be supplemented by the Government grant. He (Mr. Meyers) wished to say on behalf of the district he represented, and the people of the north, that during the last three or four years a small bounty had been subscribed by the farmers themselves. No doubt the amount was small, because the circumstances of the people were not perhaps very large, but they had plodded on year after year in this matter of wolf destruction in the hope of receiving some assistance from the Territorial Government, and he had hoped that some provision wouid be made in the present Estimates. They were told that if the same amount was given as for timber wolves it would be very small, but even if the provision made were small he thought some provision should be made with a view to helping those who were helping themselves with a view of protecting their cattle and sheep and young animals. Reference had been made in the debate to the subjects of immigration and provincial autonomy. These were important subjects, but as the hour was getting late and there were others to follow he would not attempt to grapple with them, but leave them to other and abler minds.
No one rising to continue the debate, and it now being twenty minutes to twelve (midnight),
Mr. Ross arose and said that if no other hon. member desired to join in the debate, he should exercise his right and close the debate.
DR. PATRICK arose, and was received with applause. He said he had not intended to say anything that night and had hoped that some other hon, members would while away the time till the clock struck the hour of midnight. He was not prepared with any notes but nevertheless, rather than allow the debate to collapse, he would endeavor to make a few observations on one or two of the important matters, before the House. He should like, to say with regard to the Estimates that he agreed to a certain extent with the hon. member for Banff in the objection to the lack of detail. On the other hand he understood the position of the hon. Commissioner of Public Works when he pointed thedifficultyof getting exact information from the members as to the nature and the location of the works required in the various districts; and hethought the explanation sufficiently satisfactory and reasonable to allow him to permit himself to assent on the present occasion to the passing of the Estimates in, the form in which they were presented. At the same time he did not think it should be accepted as a precedent. He thought all the information as to expenditure should be set out in the Estimates. A member should not be, as it were, a mere conduit pipe between the Government and the people he represented, but should have every opportunity of forming an intelligent opinion and, if necessary, of formulating any criticism on the various subjects which came before the House for consideration. He was not willing that the powers vested in him as it representative of the people should be handed over bodily to the Government to be exercised by order in council. Rather than assent to such a course as that he would prefer to hand them back to his constituents from whom he obtained them. He did not believe much in government by order in council, but when the hon. member for Moose Jaw said he would give details in committee of the inost important works and knowing the hon, gentleman as he did, and never having had any reason to doubt his word, he was willing to accept his statement that a fairly detailed statement would be brought down when the House went into Supply. With regard to the Civil Service he must say that he believed in good men at good salaries. He believed in the employment in every department of the public service of men thoroughly fitted for the work they had to do. In these latter days he thought it necessary that all public servants who were newly engaged should be stenographers and typewriters, except of course in the case of those who had other qualifications, and who would be fitted rather to direct the work of stenographers and typewriters than to perform that class of work themselves. He was very leased to note from the return rought down that the civil service was composed largely of very competent men who had that thorough technical and clerical qualification which the country had a right to expect. Referring to that item of expenditure which was made necessary by the addition of another resident member of the Executive Council, he said that in view of the circumstances of the country and the important questions waiting to be dealt with, it was a wise move to take in that third member of the Government. He was prepared to express his approval of the action of the Government in that regard. He thought it was quite in order to refer to the personal qualifications of the new Commissioner. When the Yukon debate was on last year he took occasion to refer in very favorable terms to the manner in which the hon. member for South Qu'Appelle had discharged his mission; and having that in view he (Dr. Patrick) certainly thought the hon. member had given proofof  his fitness for the new sphere to which he had been called. He would now pass oil to the constitutional question which so intimately and so seriously concerned the future of the country. He believed in delaying as long as possible the taking on of provincial status. One reason for that, was that whatever might be the condition of things in the west he did not think the people of the east were sufficiently educated as to the moral rights of this country; and he did not think the representatives in the Dominion House were at present prepared to give the people of the Territories their rights for the simple reason that at this present time, they had a very inadequate appreciation of the true scope and value of those rights. He thought it would take some time for the eastern members to get over the fact that the payment of £300,000 to the Hudson Bay Company did not convey the right to govern this country, Let them, if possible, delay the settlement of this question till they had a much larger population which would give them a fairly large representation at Ottawa—a representation large enough to influence the Government at Ottawa and to induce them to take a reasonable view of the position of the Territories. Dr. Patrick went on to point out that there was no precedent in Canada for a territory being erected into a province, and therefore they had to look for precedent to the great country to the south of us where the admission of territories to the dignity of Statehood had been going on for a great number of years. If they looked at their practice they would find that the territory of Dakota was not divided into States until it had obtained a population of 485,000. He would point out that it was possible for the North- West Territories to enjoy all the powers of a province saye and except that its legislation would continue to be subject to the federal legislation. They might have every one of those powers so long as those powers were subject to the higher federal power. As to many of the powers that certain members were clamoring for—the powers to charter railways, to borrow money, to deal with land registration and so on—those powers might be given and we might still remain Territories; and knowing that this was so he was pleased to find that the propo­ sition made by the Government contemplated the obtaining of all those powers while leaving the matter of provincial status to be settled later on in the next few years. He believed in taking over powers in driblets as it were. He thought the experience of the Territories in that line might be taken as a very safe guide in the future. If they took over powers, one by one, until they obtained all the powers of a province saving that their legislation would be subject to Ottawa, they would be in a position of making their own laws while the Parliament at Ottawa would stand to them somewhat in the relation of a Senate. They would have the Dominion Government exercising a power over them similar to that which the Imperial Government exercised over the Dominion. Probably that power would not often be exercised, but the mere fact that it was there would make the need for its exercise the less. That, then, was the next position that should be assumed by these Territories—that they could have all the enumerated powers of the Provinces save that those powers would be subject to Dominion legislation, and still remain Territories. If they could, do that, if they could postpone the final day of settlement until they had sufficient weight in the federal councils to enable them to have a reasonable chance of obtaining their rights—if, he said, they could do this, he thought it would be to their advantage. On the other hand, if they clamored too early for those rights they would be very apt to find themselves in the position of Manitoba. They would be very apt to tie their hands with a settlement that it would be very difficult to get out of if they left nothing of the public domain on, which, to found a new bargain. The salvation of Manitoba is the other territory that it has and which may enable them to re-open the question of settlement. That was a good reason to his mind for delaying a final settlement of the claims of the Territories on the Dominion. There was another important consideration. If one made a study of the basis of the subsidies of the Provinces he would come to the conclusion that the basis was unfair. They knew that large debts incurred by the provincial governments were assumed by the Dominion at confederation. When they came to determine what the debt capital of Manitoba. should be they were in a difficulty. Manitoba had no debt, and it was necessary that she should be placed on an equality with the other provinces whose public debts had been assumed, but it was very difficult to determine what the basis should be. It would be a very difficult thing for any man, or any set of men, to determine what would be an equitable basis on which to fix the debt capital of the Territories. He would rather see it delayed in the hope that the whole question would be re-opened by the provinces, and that it might then be settled on an equitable basis of so much per head of the population. It seemedto him that if the Dominion of Canada could assume provincial debts amounting to some 70 millions or thereabouts—if it could assume those debts incurred for local purposes—he was quite sure that it would be to the advantage of the Dominion to advance such sums for the public services of the Territories as would do away with any need for the Territories, going into the money markets of the world, and getting into debt. The Territories might, have the power to contract a debt, the same as the provinces, but if it had the power and used it, then when they became a province the Dominion would have to assume the debt in the same way it had done with other provinces. They heard of the sum of $3,800,000 incurred on capital account by the Dominion in respect of the Territories. He thought it was about time they should know what this had been expended for; what had been expended for local purposes; what amount was fairly chargeable to us as Territories, and what amount would be fairly chargeable to us as a province. Then again before we assumed provincial status there should be an absolute and accurate determination of 2 THE LEADER, THURSDAY EVENING, MAY 11, 1899. our boundaries. This was necessary for various reasons
On school districts and local improvement districts were loaning money through the exemption of land from taxation. This was through no fault of ours and the people of Canada. We should have compensation. We should be in a position to claim from the people of Canada money compensation for the loss we sustain because because of these exemptions; and before we were in a position to make this claim for compensation we ought to know exactly what our boundaries were. This, therefore, was another step to be taken in the matter.
But that raised yet another question; viz., whether their boundaries should really extend to the Arctic circle. He very much doubted the wisdom of that. They were asking a good deal from the Doininion Government when they asked as much as that. He thought they were asking for something they were not likely to get. He did not think any government in Canada would ever grant it. It was a question whether it would be of any utility if we did get it. He questioned if that very far northern country would ever become inhabited; but if it did and the inhabitants should desire to be added to the new province there was machinery in the British North America Act by which that addition could be made, but he did not believe that the northern boundary of the new province should extend to the North Pole. He thought they should take the 60th parallel of latitude for the northern boundary. That was the northern boundary of British Columbia. The new province would therefore be bounded by the 60th parallel on the north, by Manitoba on the east and British Columbia on the west. This province, south of the 60th parallel, would contain an area somewhere in in the neighbourhood of 520, 000 square miles, or an area half as great as that of all the other provinces put together. Would we not be asking the Dominion a great deal—would we not be asking them to much—when we asked to be made into a province half as large as the rest of the Dominion? He was sure they did not wish to ask for anything unreasonable. This matter must be dealt with not only from a Territorial but from a Canadian point of view. How would it strike the other provinces?—how would it strike for instance the province of Ontario to have a province more that twice as large itself? There was danger to his mind in confederation—a danger that strong provinces or states might be a menace to confederation itself. He thought the strength of a confederation was in the weakness of its units. He thought the strength of its units was the weakness of confederation. He remembered when the United States constitution was subject to considerable strain by reason of sectional feeling of the east against the west. It was more difficult to give effect to that feeling when the States were relatively small than when they were relatively large. Now he should be sorry to be understood as giving expression to the idea that we needed to increase the number of local governments in this country. One local government would serve our need for years to come yet. It would be ridiculous to give 100, 000 or 200, 000 people a double set of legislative machinery. But when we asked the Dominion Government to vest us with more powers, we should ask ourselves the question "What is to be our ultimate status?" "If" continued Dr. Patrick, "we should decide o an ultimate division into two provinces—and my own opinion is that an ultimate division into two provinces is a desirable thing- if we should decide on two provinces, then there is no reason why we should not have the two provinces defined as two Territories and united together for the purpose of government under one government." We had, he said, had the name of the North-West Territories of Canada now for some twenty-five years. If we were to be one province let us be established now as one Territory, with one name. If we were to have two provinces then let there be two Territories with distinctive names but one government. He might remind them that Upper and Lower Canada from 1841 to 1867 were united. There were obstacles to the union of those provinces which did not exist in this country. There were differences of race and creed that prevented for some years a harmonious union, but if they could get along for twenty-six or twenty-seven years, surely we in the west can get along for fifteen or twenty years. But he thought they ought not only look ahead for 15 or 20 years, they should look farther than that. This country was capable of supporting a population of millions. Its territory was larger than Norway, Sweden and Finland, and surely it was capable of supporting a larger population than those countries. Not only was our country larger, but our climate was not so inhospitable, the country was not so mountainous, there was room for a much larger agricultural population; and the population of Norway, Sweden and Finaland was about seven millions. They must look forward to the time when these Territories would have been five millions, or even ten millions of people occupying it. The question arose, What would be the state of things then? That was the point of view from which this matter must be looked at by the Government and the Parliament and the people of Canada; and it was our duty to look at it as Canadians as well as residents of the Territories. He did not believe that at the present time, nor for years yet, nor for many years yet, not until the population reached 500,000 or even more, that we should ask to be separated. For years at least the government should be vested in one legislature—as long perhaps as Lower and Upper Canada stayed together, we might remain as a united province.
Another reason that made him take this view of the question was that he believed when provincial status is established the question of a portion of the Territories being hitched on to a neighbouring provinces would arise. He thought that if we tried to have one very large province established under one government it would excite sufficient jealousy to make the people of the province of Manitoba ask for an extension of their boundaries. If it were clear to him that our boundaries would not be interfered with; if he were assured that no interference would be attempted with a view to hitch any section of the eastern portion of the Territories on to Manitoba—he quite admitted that then from the local point of view a large area under one government would be best. If a large area could be established as one province, and it could be left to the people themselves when the population grew large enough to seek for division—for the province to seek division of itself—that would put a deifferent aspect on the matter; but what he feared was that if we sought to have too large a territory established as one province, it would lead to a division of the whole which would be anything but satisfactory to the inhabitants of the eastern portion of the Territories. For that and for many other reasons he was inclined to hold that we should look at this question fairly, and ask ourselves whether, 200,000 square miles which would be the area of each province if we were divided, was too small an area for a province in the years to come. He would like to repeat that he was no advocate for any unneccessary machinery of local government or any other government machinery, but he thought they should look at this question not from the point of view of the present, or of the immediate future, or of the comparatively near future, but from the point of view of the far distant future. (Applause)
The motion to go into supply was then agreed to. Mr. Speaker left the chair. The House resolved into committee. Mr. Haultain moved that the committee rise and report progress and ask leave to sit again; and the House adjourned at midnight.


Regina Leader, 1896-1904. Digitized by Google Books.



Selection of input documents and completion of metadata: Isabelle Carré-Hudson.

Personnes participantes: