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House of Commons, 8 May 1905, Canadian Confederation with Alberta and Saskatchewan

5471 COMMONS

              HOUSE OF COMMONS.

                                    MONDAY, May 8, 1905.

The SPEAKER took the Chair at Three o'clock.

            VACANCY IN THE CABINET.

Mr. W. F. MACLEAN (South York). Before the Orders of the Day are called, I intend to draw the attention of the government and of the House to a matter of very great importance, and, in order to put myself within the rules of the House, I intend to conclude with a motion. The right hon. the Prime Minister is no doubt aware of a vacancy in his cabinet; he is also no doubt aware that there is a vacancy in North Oxford, and if he is loyal and true to an old and trusted colleague, there will be in a very short time, or there may already be, for aught I know, a vacancy in the city of London. At the same time the right hon. gentleman is endeavouring to put through this House a constitutional Bill, a Bill which, it once passed, can't be revoked. In a country where there is a constitution as we have in Canada, my idea is that any constitutional amendment of the gravity of the one for autonomy in the west now before the House ought to be submitted to the people in a general election. In the United States, if a great constitutional change is proposed, it must be submitted to all the states for consideration before it can become law; and in countries organized under a constitution such as Switzerland, before a constitutional change can take place, there must be a referendum; and the same custom prevails in a number of other countries where they have written constitutions.
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Now, in Canada, this Bill proposing great constitutional issues, was brought down to parliament without any intimation to the people at the last general election that such a change was contemplated. In fact, the people were led to believe that no constitutional change was to take place ; but immediately the session was opened this Bill was introduced, a Bill that involves a great constitutional issue that to-day is disquieting the country from one end to the other. \Vhile I take the broad ground that this question ought first to be submitted to the people of the whole country, I certainly say, in view of the vacancy that has occurred in the cabinet, the vacancy that has occurred in North Oxford, and the vacancy that I think ought to occur in the House, if the right hon. gentleman has confidence in the hon. gentleman who has filled that office now for nearly two years‚ÄĒthere ought to be a vacancy in London. In view, then, of these two vacancies, or one vacancy, whichever it may be, I say it is the duty of the right hon. gentleman to cause writs to be issued immediately for that election, or those two elections, in Ontario, and to give the people of Ontario, that province which has been charged by some hon. gentlemen in this House with being an intolerant province a bigoted province, a narrow-minded province‚ÄĒto give the people of that province an opportunity to answer the contention. which, I believe, is held by the Prime Minister, that he has Ontario at his back in this matter ; and certainly to give the Postmaster General, the acting Minister of Public Works and the Minister of Customs an opportunity to justify before the people of their province the policy which they are now advocating in this House. Until that is done, I say the hon. gentleman cannot ask that any progress be made in connection with this constitutional Bill now before the House; in fact, I do not think this House will be justified in making any progress whatever, or progress of the most secondary character in a Bill of this kind. But, on the contrary, these vacancies ought to be filled. the writs ought to be issued for the elections, and an appeal ought to be made to the people of Ontario, and then we will know whether those hon. gentlemen are right, or whether their principal organ, the Toronto 'Globe,' is correct in the view which they take of this great constitutional changes which is involved in the school laws of the new provinces. The ' Globe' says it is constitutionally wrong, that it is wrong as a matter of policy, whereas the hon. gentlemen say their policy is right and that they are prepared to justify it in the province of Ontario. Then they must justify it under these circumstances in these constituencies of Ontario, and they must justify it now. If they hold back these elections. the inference will be that they are afraid to discuss their policy in that province. Surely there is no lack of men. I imagine that the 5473 ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† MAY 8, 1905 ¬† ¬† ¬†¬† acting Minister of Public Works is ready to fight the cause in the city of London ; I am even told that the chief whip of the party (Mr. Calvert) for Ontario is ready to fight for the cause in his own constituency; and we all know that the right hon. gentleman has a minister on tap in the city of Toronto, in the person of Mr. A. B. Aylesworth, who, it was some time ago reported, had joined, or was ready to join, the government, and he is ready, I believe, to replace either the Minister of Public Works or the Minister of Justice when the Prime Minister asks him to join the cabinet. In view of all these things, then, I say, and I say it after full consideration, after visiting the province of Ontario, where I have tried to ascertain the opinion prevalent among the people, and after all that has been said in this House about opening seats, that it is the duty of the government, to themselves, to the country, to the Bill and to the constitutional principles which they have enunciated in connection with this Bill, to hold these elections in the immediate future, to consult public opinion, and in some way to obtain the views of the people of Ontario in regard to this great constitutional question; and if they do not do so, it will be taken as an evidence of cowardice on their part. Now, let us have it out, let us have it out in Ontario, and let us have it out now ; and I make the challenge on behalf of my province‚ÄĒI am only speaking for myself‚ÄĒ I make the challenge on behalf of the province of Ontario to submit that question before the people in two of its most enlightened constituencies, the constituency represented by the late Minister of Public Works, which is a country constituency, and in the city constituency of London, represented by the acting Minister of Public Works. Let them follow the constitutional practice of consulting the people on a question of this kind. Let the right hon. gentleman ascertain what view the people of Ontario take on this question, the people of Ontario, who, as I pointed out the other day in this House, have as much interest as those of any other section of the country in the great west. As I pointed out here the other night, the great west has been largely settled by people from Ontario, who have taken Ontario institutions up there. while Ontario capital has been poured lavishly into that western country; and, therefore, it is that the people of this benighted province of Ontario, this intolerant province, have at heart the welfare of the west, and they claim that the people of the west should be given the same opportunity of deciding this school question for themselves as was given to the people of the older provinces prior to confederation. All the provinces that entered the confederation had an opportunity of passing on the school question and of saying in what way they were to restrict themselves in regard to education. and the peo 5474 ple of Ontario say that the same opportunity should be given to the people of those western provinces, that they should be consulted, and especially that they should be consulted on a constitutional amendment or a constitutional law which cannot be revoked. Surely we are to have in this country government by the people and for the people; surely we are to have consultations with the people, and here is an opportunity for one. If hon. gentlemen get the endorsation of the province of Ontario, they may have considerable reason for going on with this Bill ; but, in the meantime, after all that has taken place, after what the Postmaster General has said and the Minister of Customs has said, and the confidence they have expressed in their policy, surely there ought to be no hesitation in filling these vacancies. or at least in filling one vacancy and in making another vacancy, and of having this question threshed out before the people. I beg to move that the House do now adjourn.
Rt. Hon. Sir \WILFRID LAURIER (Prime Minister). Mr. Speaker, I am sorry that at this moment I have to say to my hon. friend (Mr. W. F. Maclean) that in my estimation and judgment his remarks are in exceedingly bad taste.
Mr. W. F. MACLEAN. Hear, hear.
Sir WILFRID LAURIER. It was only on Wednesday that our friend and colleague died and it was only last Saturday that we attended his funeral. The government will have to choose a successor, and we will have, at an early date, to make an announcement to the House, but when the hon. gentleman expects that we should be prepared to give an answer to his question today, I think it betrays a want of consideration on his part and that he asks a question to which he does not expect me to respond. I shall give him his answer in due time.
Motion (Mr. W. F. Maclean) to adjourn negatived.

¬† PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT IN THE ¬†¬† NORTHWEST‚ÄĒSCHEDULES AND ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† MAPS.

Mr. R. L. BORDEN. Mr. Speaker, before the House proceeds to the Orders of the Day, I would like the right hon. gentleman (Sir Wilfrid Laurier), in connection with the draft of the schedules which he was good enough to send me last Friday, whether or not the schedules for Saskatchewan have yet been completed and if not when we may expect to receive them. There was a map sent of the constituencies in both provinces with the delimitations of one only. We only received the one. Do I understand that we may rely on that map ?
Sir WILFRID LAURIER. Yes.
5475 COMMONS
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. I may say to my hon. friend, that I trust that before bringing these schedules down and asking the House to pass them he will go carefully into the question himself. I am inclined to think he cannot have had correct information in relation to these schedules or he would not have presented them to the House. I do not pretend to know anything about them myself, but my hon. friends on this side of the House who came from the Northwest have looked into them pretty carefully and I am very much astonished indeed that my right hon. friend should seek to pass through the House these schedules if they are of the character which these hon. gentlemen have described to me. I have every confidence they are telling me exactly what they believe, and also that their belief is founded on a very careful investigation.
I would like to ask my hon. friend another question and it is this: It was suggested by the hon. Minister of the Interior (Mr. Oliver) when going to the west for re-election, that amendments, other than that which has been announced to the House by the government, might be made. I do not yet know whether or not we are to regard that as an informal notice that other important amendments are in contemplation by the government, but we have had some remarks in which there may be something or in which there may be nothing in the past few days that indicate that the remarks of the hon. Minister of the Interior were intended to have a certain significance. I would like to ask my right hon. friend whether there are any other important amendments now in contemplation by the government. I do not wish him to tell me that the Bills may be amended. I know that, but what I ask is whether there are other amendments now in contemplation by the government in respect to these measures which are before the House.
Rt. Hon. Sir WILFRID LAURIER (Prime Minister). In regard to the first of the two questions which have been put to me by my hon. friend (Mr. R. L. Borden). I have to say that my information in regard to the schedules is the same as his own. I got my information from my friends the same as he got his information from his friends. My information is very different from the information which he has received, and either his friends are astray, or my friends are astray, because they do not appear to agree. The constituencies have been marked on the map, and the work of describing them is merely clerical. The constituencies themselves which have been carved out seem to be fair as far as my information goes. In these matters, as in all matters, the government will always be prepared to receive suggestions which will tend to improve the Bill. I do not say that these suggestions will be ac 5476 cepted, but   the government will be prepared to accept all fair suggestions made from one side or the other. I am aware that nothing is so delicate perhaps as to carve out new constituencies such as these in a new part of the country, and even in the older parts of the country in such a way as to give absolute satisfaction. This is a task, which, in our past experience, has not been found to be practicable, but I believe it is the intention of the government to do substantial justice to all parties concerned. In regard to the Manitoba Bill, if that were to be a precedent, the policy adopted was to leave the constituencies practically to the new provincial government. We thought this would be perhaps liable to very serious abuse, that it would not be acceptable, and we could not see that there was any other policy than to have the schedules prepared here and to have the constituencies marked out. In regard to the other question of my hon. friend, I may say that up to the present time the government have not considered any amendment to the Bill. I do not say that we may not offer any. but no amendment has yet been considered.
Mr. FOSTER. Do I understand that these schedules will be printed ?
Sir WILFRID LAURIER. Yes.  
MR. FOSTER.  The Bills, I suppose, will   not be pressed until they are in the hands of the members?
Sir WILFRID LAURIER. I will not say that. The schedules will not give much information of themselves unless they are accompanied by maps. Maps are being prepared and the schedules will be printed very shortly. They could be printed by to-morrow if necessary.
Mr. FOSTER. And the maps will be placed in the hands of hon. members ?
Sir WILFRID LAURIER. I have sent one to niy'hon. friend (Mr. R. L. Borden) and we can have a few more for hon. members. Without a map the schedules would not show anything at all.
Mr. W. F. MACLEAN. I would like to ask the right hon. leader of the government (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) whether, when he says he has no amendments, he intends to amend the present franchise Act in regard to the way in which the voters' list is prepared in this country or whether he intends to continue the present system in these new provinces ? There is enough experience of our present Franchise Act, of the way in which the names of voters are put on, and of the way in which the lists are prepared to call for a large measure of reform. This is an essential part of this Bill. When we are talking about constituencies we must take into consider 5477   MAY 8, 1905         ation the manner in which the voters' lists are prepared. That is a very important question.
Sir WILFRID LAURIER. My impression is that the elections will be carried on under the territorial laws now in existence.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. In regard to what my right hon. friend said respecting the information which will be placed on the table of the House, I did not observe his words, but I am informed that he spoke of having only three or four maps prepared to lay on the table of the House.
Sir WILFRID LAURIER. A few.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. I think it would be very desirable to have a much greater number than that.
Sir WILFRID LAURIER. It is impossible to have new maps printed or prepared. The only thing we could do was this: We have taken maps of the constituencies in the Northwest as they exist now, and upon these we have carved out and indicated the new constituencies. The thing can be understood at a glance. We will have as many of these maps prepared as we can but I cannot say as to the number.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. As many as possible ?
Sir WILFRID LAURIER. Yes.
MR. SAM. HUGHES. It would be a very easy matter to take one of the departmental maps, have a plate made of it and run a lot of these maps through the press. It could be done in half an hour.
Sir WILFRID LAURIER. We have taken the maps as they exist to-day. They are all marked in blue. The changes are marked in red in such a way that they can be understood at a glance.
Mr. SAM. HUGHES. The right hon. minister could have a large number of them run off in this way. A man could do it in half an hour.
Mr. M. S. McCARTHY. Is the right hon. First Minister (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) at liberty to advise the House who prepared the schedules for Alberta? Was it a committee appointed from both sides of the House? He states that his friends advise him that the provision is perfectly fair. Were they friends from the east or friends from the Northwest ?
Sir WILFRID LAURIER. The maps were prepared by the Department of the Interior under my direction and under the direction of members of the cabinet.
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QUESTIONS.

NORTHWEST TERRITORIES‚ÄĒGRAZING ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† LEASES.

Mr. SPROULE‚ÄĒby Sam. Hughes‚ÄĒasked :
1. How many grazing leases have been issued by the Department of the Interior in the Northwest Territories since January lst, 1904 ?
2. What are the names of the lessees?
3. How many acres in each lease ?
4. What lands are covered by said leases ?
5. For what length of time are the leases issued ?
6. Do any of the leases contain the proviso that the even numbered sections of land contained therein shall be exempt for the operations of the Homestead Law ?
Hon. FRANK OLIVER (Minister of the Interior). The information asked for in the question is being prepared in the department and will be placed on the table of the House as soon as ready.
Mr. SAM. HUGHES. In the meantime will the question stand on the Order Paper ?
Sir WILFRID LAURIER. Oh, no; it is answered.

EMIGRATION OF STATE CHILDREN.

Mr. URIAH WILSON‚ÄĒby Mr. W. J. Roche‚ÄĒasked :
1. Has the government, or any official on their behalf, had any correspondence with Mr. C. Kinloch Cooke, author of an article entitled : 'The Emigration of State Children,' published in the April, 1905 number of the 'Empire Review,' or any one on his behalf, or with any official of the imperial government, on the subject treated of in the said article ?
2. If so, will the government lay such correspondence on the table of the House ?
Rt. Hon. Sir WILFRID LAURIER (Prime Minister) :
1. Yes.
2. Yes, copies of the papers are being prepared. The information will be laid on the table as soon as possible.

BOUNDARIES OF THE NORTHWEST TERRITORIES.

Mr. CLEMENTS asked:
1. Has the government decided to erect wire fencing along the southern boundaries in the Northwest Territories ?  
2. If so, has the contract been let for the construction of same, and what firm received the contract ?
3. Were tenders asked for by advertising, and what length at time were tenders open ? It so, was lowest tender accepted ?
4. If contract is let, what is the price to be paid per rod, and what style of fence, height, &c. ?
Rt. Hon. Sir WILFRID LAURIER (Prime Minister). The government have that matter under consideration at the present moment, 5479                    COMMONS         but no tenders have yet been called for nor contracts let.

               THE LAKE FISHERIES.

Mr. BOYCE‚ÄĒby Mr. Sam. Hughes‚ÄĒasked:
1. Were any requests made to the Minister of Marine and Fisheries last year for the appointment of a commission to investigate the condition of the fisheries on the Georgian bay, Lake Huron, or Lake Superior ?
2. If so, by whom were such requests made, and when ?
3. What action was taken upon such requests?
Rt. Hon. Sir WILFRID LAURIER (Prime Minister) :
1. Yes.
2. The fishermen of Georgian bay by a memorial dated February 22, 1904.
3. All the preparatory steps were taken for the appointment of a commission; but owing to differences of opinion as to the most suitable season of the year for the sittings of such commission, the matter was held over until the present year. It is proposed to arrange for sittings during the present year.

¬†¬†¬†¬† PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT IN THE ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† NORTHWEST‚ÄĒSUBSIDY TO ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ALBERTA.

House in committee to consider the following proposed resolutions providing for the payment of subsidy to the province of Alberta.
On clauses 3 and 4, of the resolution,
Resolved, That inasmuch as the public lands in the said province are to remain the property of Canada, there shall be paid by Canada to the said province annually by way of compensation therefor a sum based upon the estimated value of such lands, namely, $37,500,000, the said lands being assumed to be of an area of 25,000,000 acres and to be of the value of $1.50 per acre, and upon the population of the said province, as from time to time ascertained by the quinquennial census thereof, such sum to be arrived at as follows:
The population of the said province being assumed to be at present 250,000, the sum payable until such population reaches 400,000 is to be one per cent on such estimated value, or $375,000 ;
Thereafter until such population reaches 800,000, the sum payable is to he one and one-half per cent on such estimated value, or $562,500 ;
Thereafiter, until such population reaches 1,200,000, the sum payable is to be two per cent of such estimated value, or $750,000 :
And thereafter such payment is to be three per cent on such estimated value, or $1,125,000.
Resolved, That an additional compensation for such lands there shall be paid by Canada to the said province annually for five years to provide for the construction of necessary public buildings, one-quarter of one per cent on such estimated value, or $93,750.‚ÄĒSir Wilfrid Laurier.
Hon. W. S. FIELDING (Minister of Finance.) When the House was in committee considering this matter on Friday last I 5480 presented an amendment by way of substitution for the third clause of the resolution granting an allowance in lieu of the lands. I desire to call attention to the fact that in preparing that amendment it was neglected to provide that the allowance should be paid half-yearly to the province. I wish to insert the words to make it clear that that allowance as well as other allowances to the provinces will be paid half-yearly in advance. The following is the amendment of which I gave notice on Friday :
Inasmuch as the said province will not have the lands as a source of revenue, there shall be paid by Canada to the province annually a sum based upon the population of the province as from time to time ascertained by the quinquennial census thereof, as follows :
The population of the said province being assumed to be at present 250,000, the sum payable until such population reaches 400,000 shall be $375,000 ;
Thereafter until such population reaches 800,000, the sum payable shall be $562,500 ;
Thereafter until such population reaches 1,200,000, the sum payable shall be $760,000 ;
And thereafter the sum payable shall be $1,112,500.
As an additional allowance in lieu of public lands there shall he paid by Canada to the province annually for five years from the time this Act comes into force, to provide for the construction of necessary public buildings the sum of $93,750.
I move that clauses 3 and 4 be struck out and that the above be substituted therefor. I also move that after the word 'Canada ' in the above amended resolution, the words shall be inserted 'by half-yearly payments in advance.'
Mr. BERGERON. What is the subsidy that is paid yearly to Quebec and Ontario ?
Mr. FIELDING. The sum paid to Ontario last year as set forth in the Auditor General's report is: allowance for government, $80,000; subsidy per head, $1,116, 872.80: interest on the amount standing to credit of province, $142,414.48, making a total payment to the province of Ontario last year of $1.339.287.28. These payments are usually grouped together under the head of subsidies to provinces, though in reality some of the payments are derived from interest on capital account. The payment to Quebec, including precisely the same class of items, amounted to $1,086,713.48.
Mr. BERGERON. My object in asking the question was to make a comparison between the amounts paid to the two largest provinces, and the amount that will be paid eventually to the new provinces.
MR. FIELDING. We have to bear in mind that the land subsidy to the new provinces is a very considerable item which does not go to the other provinces because they possess the land. The clause we are now discussing is the allowance in lieu of the land.
5481 MAY 8, 1905
Mr. W. F. MACLEAN. Does the term 'per capita' appear in the new resolution ?
Mr. FIELDING. The words 'per capita ' are not expressed in this part of the resolution, but of course as the population increases the land allowance will change.
Mr. W. F. MACLEAN. It does not fix any definite sum like 80 cents per head as in the case of Ontario.
Mr. FIELDING. The resolution is not dealing with the subsidy vote.
Mr. W. F. MACLEAN. I know it is not.
Mr. FIELDING. When we deal with the subsidy of course the language is the same, but this is an allowance in lieu of land. There is no corresponding legislation in respect to Ontario and Quebec and in that regard one can make no comparison.
Mr. W. F. MACLEAN. But there not be a vote per head as well.
Mr. HAGGART. Yes, there is.
Mr. FIELDING. Certainly, that is already done.
Mr. HAGGART. The minister promised to bring down a statement of the lands in these new provinces which are at the disposal of the government other than those lands which were intended for actual settlers, free gift lands and homestead lands, and the value of them. A motion was submitted some time ago and pressed a number of times by the hon. member for North Toronto (Mr. Foster) and the hon. member for Marquette (Mr. W. J. Roche) for information as to the location, area and value of these lands, and the amount of these lands at the disposal of the government. We were promised a statement in regard to these matters. We have only the estimated value in regard to an estimated area of 25,000,000 acres without any information at all upon the subject, and even in taking the value of these lands, in making an allowance to the province for them, surely the cost of the management of that land ought to be deducted from the amount in making an allowance for each province.
Mr. FIELDING. In reference to the request for information to which my hon. friend referred. I was under the impression that we had brought down all the papers sought for. If there is a request for a return of the kind mentioned that has not been brought down I do not remember it. My hon. friend may be correct, but I have no recollection of such a request.
Mr. W. F. MACLEAN. Is it not suitable that such a statement should be made, that we should take stock at the present time of the public lands at the disposal of the government for the carrying out of this arrangement with the provinces ? Surely the Minister of the Interior could give us a 5482 statement or he could easily obtain one, setting forth how many millions of acres are at the disposal of the government for this purpose, say in the province of Alberta. We ought to know this. and also should have a statement showing what public lands are still not alienated in any way in the other adjoining provinces, which will be available for the payment of the money proposed in these resolutions.
Mr. FIELDING. The value of these lands is always a problematical question, and it may not be easy for any of us to put a value on them. In the early stage of the discussion a request was made for information and information was brought down which I think covers most of what my hon. friend seeks. If hon. members will look at sessional paper No. 97, they will find that information therein given respecting the areas of the provisional districts of Alberta, Assiniboia and Saskatchewan. All the information he desires, I think, he will find there except that as to the value. That is a question as to which each of us is free to form his own opinion, and in the amendment which we have put before the committee we have eliminated the estimate of the area and the value and have put in a specific . sum. We avoid a discussion, for the purpose of the Act, of the value and area of the land .
Mr. HAGGART. The cost of management should be deducted in allowing the interest on the value of the land. The minister too will remember that we had a promise from the Minister of the Interior when the Grand Trunk Pacific was under discussion, that a large quantity of these lands would be available for sale, and would realize to the government of this country nearly the cost of construction of the line across the continent. Has any provision been made for keeping apart lands for the fulfilment of the promise of the Minister of the Interior, that they could be used for the payment of the transcontinental railway ?
Mr. FIELDING. It seems to me that provision is made. We keep the whole of the lands, not a part, we keep them all.
Mr. TURRIFF. Over a year ago, I made an estimate of the amount of section lands that would be available after all the land grants which railways had earned or would earn had been applied for, and I estimated that there would be probably 50,000,000 acres of odd sections available. It would however be impossible, I think, for any one to put a value on that land, simply because a great deal of it is not surveyed, and we do not know of what character it is. In reference to what the Minister of the Interior said about selling lands for the building of the Grand Trunk Pacific he did not make a statement of the kind attributed to him. He said that the building of that 5483 COMMONS road would open up the country and the value of the land would be enhanced.
Mr. HAGGART. Does the hon. gentleman deny the statement I made that the Minister of the Interior made that statement?
Sir WILFRID LAURIER. He said nothing of the kind.
Mr. TURRIFF. I did not deny any statement; I simply said that the statement made by the Minister of the Interior was that the building of the Grand Trunk Pacific would open up the country and that the enhanced value of the land opened up would be equal to what the road would cost.
Mr. HAGGART. He made a direct promise to the House that the land there could be disposed of for the purpose of recouping the country for the building of that road. However, while I am on my feet, let me draw attention to the return brought down by the Finance Minister. It simply gives the joint area of undisposed lands in the provisional district of Alberta as 38,190,964 acres, and of Saskatchewan at 51,832,246 acres. These lands may be included in the free lands and homesteads and when these are taken up there may be no land at all at the disposal of the government.
Mr. LAKE. I think the return which was brought down to which the Minister of Finance referred does give a considerable amount of information on this question which has been raised, although the return is couched in such a way that it is very difficult to get the information that it contains clearly into one's mind. What I would like to suggest is that although it is perfectly true that the basis of calculation is eliminated from the resolutions, still I think the only way in which we can arrive at a right understanding of what the calculation should be is by making a calculation based on a definite area of land and a definite value to be given to that area. It seems to me that is the only way in which we can arrive at anything like a safe calculation, and therefore I would like the Minister of Finance to give us some such calculation as that or to say whether he considers we ought to abide by the calculation which was made in the original resolution. I find that in this report which was brought down it is stated that there is a total of 277,931,790 acres of land still undisposed of in both provinces. I suppose for the purpose of rough calculation we may divide that into half, attributing one half to each province. That would mean nearly 139.000,000 acres of land in each province still undisposed of. Of course, I am quite willing to admit that it would be very difficult to make a close calculation as to the value of the whole of that land ; but in that return we have the statement showing an estimate given by the Surveyor General as to the condition of these lands. He has 5484 made a statement containing these various items: Lands suitable for grain growing; lands requiring irrigation; lands suitable for ranches and other descriptions of farming; and water. These are the figures at which he arrives:
Saskatchewan. Sq. miles. Alberta. Sq. miles.
Lands suitable for grain     growing. .. .. .. 86,000 80,000
Lands requiring irrigation.. 32,000 41,000
Mr. BERGERON. How many acres ?
Mr. LAKE. The figures in this part of the return are given in square miles and not in acres.
Sq. miles. Sq. miles.
Land suitable for ranches or other description of farming.. .. .. .. .. .. . 106,887 113,559
Water. . .. .. .. .. .. 27,000 20,000
Take the case of Saskatchewan; and I presume there will be no objection to our discussing either one province or the other. Take Saskatchewan, there has been, according to this return, about 22,235,385 acres of land disposed of. Supposing the whole of this were wheat land, that would still leave 34,804,615 acres of wheat lands at the disposal of the government, and in addition a very large amount of land which would require irrigation, and an enormous tract fit for ranching, according to the estimate of the Surveyor General. I would like to have some calculation made of the value which should be put upon these lands. How have the government arrived at this capital sum of $37,500,000, upon which they are going to distribute interest to the new provinces, according to population? What was the basis of that calculation? We find that wheat lands in the Northwest are selling at a far greater value than $1.50 per acre. Take the sales by the Canadian Pacific Railway in January this year, the average price obtained for the land was $4.10 per acre. I have looked through the report of the Department of the Interior for the years 1903, and 1904, and find there a statement of the lands disposed of by the various land companies in the Northwest‚ÄĒthe Hudson Bay Company, the Canadian Pacific Rail way and other companies‚ÄĒand I find that the average price obtained by the Hudson Bay Company for their lands was $5.50 per acre, by the Canadian Pacific Railway $3.50 per acre, and that the average price for the lands sold during the previous eleven years was about $3.50 per acre. It turns out, on totalling up these figures, that the grand total of the lands sold by the land companies during those previous eleven years amounted to 10,512,349 acres. and that the sum for which they were sold totalled just about the sum which is to be allowed each of the new provinces as compensation for 25 million acres of land. That is to say, the amount received by the companies 5485 ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† MAY 8, 1905 ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† amounted to $36,992,482. Thus the land companies, during the eleven years previous to the 30th June, 1904, sold something under eleven million acres of land for nearly $37,000,000. Those are the returns given in the report of the Department of the Interior. What I want to get is a definite idea of the basis of the calculation which was made by the government in arriving at this sum to be allowed the new provinces as compensation for their lands.
Mr. OLIVER. If the hon. gentleman will say just what information he wants in order to arrive at a basis for his arguments, I shall be very glad to order it to be prepared. I thought that the information submitted would be sufficient; but if it be not, and I am definitely informed what will be sufficient, certainly such a statement will be prepared. I may say that the question is not so much what a certain quantity of land in the Northwest Territory could be sold for as a question of how much money is required to carry on the government of the new provinces in comparison with the amounts which are available for the other provinces to carry on their provincial business. As stated in the resolution, it is not a matter of buying and selling lands, but of providing for the support of the provincial governments in proportion to that given the governments of other provinces from Dominion subsidies and the sales of land. We wish to place these new provinces in at least as good a position as the older ones.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. If that be the case, what is the use of any recital respecting the lands ? I do not see the force of it, yet the resolution was based altogether, in the first instance, on the amount of land and a certain value per acre. That has since been modified by the amendment introduced by my hon. friend the Minister of Finance for the purpose of getting rid of the difficulty suggested by the ex-Minister of the Interior (Mr. Sifton), who said that these new provinces, having their right to the lands recognized by the terms of the proposed statute, would continually come back upon the government with the plea that the lands had much improved in value, and there would consequently be constant friction between the Dominion government and the new provinces. But my hon. friend has put the matter in a new aspect; and I do not see why, if he is speaking with the concurrence of his colleagues, the Minister of Finance should have introduced the amendment in its present form, and why he should not simply eliminate all reference to the lands and put the matter in the form of a subsidy for the reason suggested by the Minister of the Interior, namely, that it is necessary for the carrying on of the governments of the new provinces, to make a certain additional grant to them.
Mr. OLIVER. That is exactly what is being done by the amendment, as I under 5486 stand it. This is a special allowance in view of the lands. There must be some reason given for making such an allowance different from what is given the other provinces, and that is the reason ; and the question of the value of the lands is not the main question to be considered, as the amendment introduced indicates. I was going to allude to a remark made by my hon. friend from Qu'Appelle (Mr. Lake) as to the value which has been received for lands sold by the land companies. On that value he proposed to base a comparison with the value of other lands in the Territories. I point out that the lands sold at that value were lands specially selected by the railway company, lands that, in many cases had been specially advantaged by the construction of the railway. The value of these lands. of course, is no fair basis of comparison in estimating the value of the lands remaining. The fact that these lands have been selected and taken out of the possibility of revenue for either this government or the provincial government absolutely reduces the value of the remaining part of the lands.
Mr. LAKE. I would suggest that the Minister of the Interior (Mr. Oliver) has forgotten that I included the lands of the Hudson Bay Company which were not specially selected. And the price received for them was $5.50, as against $3.50 per acre, which was obtained for the lands of the railway company which the minister says were specially selected. I might mention a further basis of calculation in the school lands which have been sold recently in the Northwest. These are not specially selected either. The school lands are simply two sections in each township. And the average price for which they sold was about $9 per acre. The average price for school lands in Assiniboia was $9.69 and the average of all, I think I am correct in stating was over $9 per acre.
Mr. TURRIFF. In the case of the school lands it is only the best lands that have been sold, in most cases. A high valuation is placed on the school lands, and if they do not bring that price they are not sold at all. In the last sale of school lands in Assiniboia, the lowest price was $7, and anything that purchasers did not think worth that was not sold, but still remains the property of the government. The same thing applies, to a large extent, to the Hudson Bay Company's lands. The company put a high price per acre and hold these lands until the particular part of the country in which they are becomes well settled, and so they get a high price. This policy is carried out even when it is necessary to hold the lands for many years. And, in case of the school lands, the government still hold the lands which Will not bring a good price.
Mr. ARMSTRONG. In view of the argument of the Minister of the Interior (Mr. 5487                 COMMONS              Oliver) with reference to the value being placed on the lands that are already held by the other provinces, I would call attention to the remarks made by the hon. gentleman on the 24th of March last. He said :
I find that the province of Ontario, with a population of two and a quarter millions in the year 1902, derived from its lands $1,499,000.
We find, by the arrangement that has been made with these Northwest provinces, that when their population reaches that of the province of Ontario, they will be deriving two and a quarter millions in respect of their lands.
He was leading us, as I understand, to believe that the provinces were receiving two and a quarter millions for their lands whereas Ontario was only receiving $1,499,000. If he is basing his argument on the value of the lands in that Territory, I think he would find that his statement is not in accordance with his present argument.
Mr. OLIVER. What is the objection?
Mr. FOSTER. Some explanation may have been given when I was not in the House. and if so I would not like to call upon the Finance Minister (Mr. Fielding) to give it again. But I do not remember having read it. There must have been some method by which these figures. as to either the quantity of land or the valuation of the lands, were arrived at. I would like to know from the Finance Minister what that method was. Take, for instance one province. Would the Minister of Finance tell us by what method he and the government arrived at the quantity of lands that would be fair to allow in comparison with the total area of the province. And then I would like to know by what method he and they arrived at the conclusion that a fair valuation of the land would be $1.50 per acre. I do not imagine for a moment that the government assembled around the Council Board would arrive at a conclusion as to the quantity without first going into the quantity of lands in the province. Nor would they reach a conclusion as to the value to be allowed without taking the different grades of lands and values of those different grades. Having done this, I should think they would come to the conclusion that, if they did not give the lands in toto to the province, they ought to make a compensation of a certain number of acres. Then they would make an estimate, based upon the best data possible, of the average value of these lands. Now, if we had the method by which the government arrived at these figures, we should be in a position to reach our own conclusions as to the justness of the grant and the fairness of the valuation. If something like that was not done, if the government made no investigation and took no trouble in regard to the matter ; if they simply came to the conclusion, as the Minister of the Interior hinted, that a certain amount was necessary for a revenue for these provinces 5488 in lieu of these lands, and, without calculation of any kind. put it at a round figure 25,000,000 acres and, without estimating the value of the different kinds of lands, wheat lands, grazing lands and the rest and averaging the whole simply jumped at a valuation, of course that is a wholly different case. If they simply said : We want to give them $37,500,000, and we will play at valuation and play at estimates of area, and will put a formula before parliament very dignified and very satisfying to the eye, but merely an excuse‚ÄĒ‚ÄĒand under that will give $37,500,000 in lieu of lands, then why all this pother and bother about the quantities of lands or valuation per acre ? If all they wished to do‚ÄĒand it is the only thing the Minister of the Interior intimates they sought to do‚ÄĒwas to give $37,500,000, what is the use of this arrangement of $1.50 upon 25,000,000 acres of land ?
Now the province of Saskatchewan has either a right to all these lands or it has a right in compensation to a certain proportion of its lands at a fair valuation; or if you are not going to take the lands into account at all, it has a right to ask you to say what amount of money you will give it per year, simply that and nothing more. What is the. use of going to Saskatchewan or to the other province and telling the people: We have given you 25,000,000 acres of your land, which is a certain proportion of all the lands in Saskatchewan, at a good average valuation of $1.50 per acre, if you are doing nothing of the kind ? If 25,000,000 acres is a fair proportion of all the lands in the province of Saskatchewan, that is to he, get at the proper valuation of them, not a rule-of- thumb valuation, and give the province which is to be, the value of those lands on what is a fair valuation. Now is $1.50 a fair valuation of the average lands in the province of Saskatchewan? That is what I think the Minister of Finance is bound to ascertain, unless he admits what the Minister of the Interior intimated‚ÄĒ but of course the Minister of the Interior was not there at the time, and he may just have thought that that would be the easiest way by which a minister could accomplish such an object, and therefore there is nothing in it but the idea of giving so much money and making an arbitrary basis upon which it was to be given. But I do not like to think that the government has come down to this parliament, under show of making an elaborate calculation, and given the proper proportion of lands in the province to the province, and given them without a valuation which is fair and just in commutation. I would like to hear from the Minister of Finance as to whether he is right in this respect, or as to whether the Minister of the Interior is right, as to whether my first supposition is right, or as to whether the supposition that one would take from what the Minister of the Inter 5489 ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† MAY 8, 1905 ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ior has said, is correct. Are we saying to the provinces: You have so many millions of acres of land in all, an average proportion of these we are giving to you as compensation, and we are putting a fair valuation upon the average proportion that we are giving you? That is what any gentleman from one of those provinces would think was being done, by virtue of the long detailed resolutions which, if they infer anything at all, infer an absolute and well proportioned classification as to the quantity of the lands, the proper valuation, and the proportion which should be given out of that quantity.
Sir WILFRID LAURIER. My hon. friend is aware that in the preparation of this Bill we took the position that the government of the new provinces was not entitled of right to the lands. We took the position that the lands fairly belonged to the Dominion. At the same time we had to take into consideration the fact that the lands which were given to the older provinces, not to Manitoba, were to them a valuable asset which enabled them to carry on their business. We thought therefore, since we retailed the lands, we should do as was done in Manitoba, we should give something in money in lieu of the lands. But my hon. friend knows better than I do, because he was long connected with the government which dealt with Manitoba, that Manitoba was not dealt with upon any rule which is known, at least, to the average mind. From time to time Manitoba was given some advantage, but they were always given in the absence of any principle which could be properly explained, which, so far as I know, has never been understood. When we came to discuss what would be a fair compensation ‚ÄĒI do not like to use the word compensation in regard to this matter‚ÄĒ
Mr. FOSTER. That is the word you have used.
Sir WILFRID LAURIER. I know it, still we sometimes use words when we think we might use better ones. The word " compensation' is [not a word I would like to use. At all events, what I have in my mind was this, that when we came to consider what we should give to the new provinces as an equivalent in money if we retained the lands, we had to find a basis for a calculation as to the value of the lands. As to the number of acres, we have had calculations made more than once, my former colleague, the present member for Brandon (Mr. Sifton) has stated to the House that there were 50,000,000 acres of land available in the two provinces, that is to say, between the province of Manitoba and the Rocky mountains. We did not imagine that we had 50.000000 acres immediately available for settlement, but that is the quantity which 5490 could be disposed of apart from the homestead lands.
Mr. HAGGART. Is that apart from the homestead lands ?
Sir WILFRID LAURIER. That is outside the homestead lands. We calculate we have 50,000,000 outside the homestead lands which can be disposed of; at all events, that is the way I understood the calculation. With regard to the price of these lands, I think it is not possible to ascertain a fair average value by what has been realized by railway companies in the disposal of their lands, and what has been realized by the disposal of. school lands by auction, or what has been realized by the Hudson Bay Company for their lands. The Hudson Bay Company chose its own time to sell its lands, at a time when it thought the best price could be obtained. The school lands are all disposed of at auction, they are not disposed of indiscriminately, they are put up at auction always with a view of realizing the best possible price. Then with regard to lands disposed of by the railway company, we know that they always dispose of them with a view of getting the best price, and they dispose of only such lands as have increased in value by railway facilities. The hon. member for Qu'Appelle (Mr. Lake) will admit that we could not take the prices obtained for'their lands by these various companies, as a fair average price for the whole 50,000.000 acres. That would be no fair basis of comparison. But we thought we would have a fair basis of comparism in the transaction that took place some years ago between the Canadian Pacific Railway Company and the government when, if I remember right, the government redeemed 6,000,000 acres of their land at a price, I think, of $1.50.
Mr. FOSTER. They realized $10,000,000.
Sir WILFRID LAURIER. That was the basis of our calculation. There were some 6,000,000 odd acres of land disposed of by the company to the government, and the price realized I think was $1.50 an acre. It is possible that to-day the lands in question might be sold for a little higher, or possibly they would not bring as much. But since that time we have undertaken national obligations, and we count upon this land as an asset to help us meet those obligations. I do not pretend to say that we could dispose of all the lands we have to-day at $1.50, I think we ought to realize more. The government will not dispose of them immediately, they will be sold from time to time as the country develops, and I daresay they will bring to the government enough revenue to enable us to meet the liabilities we have undertaken. But, I believe that if you put it as a fair business, 5491                             COMMONS                 transaction between government. and government, the price which we have given is a fair one, the basis is a reasonable one and one which is perfectly intelligible and will meet with the approbation of the House.
Mr. LAKE. In reference to what the right hon. gentleman said, I should be perfectly willing to admit that you could not put fifty million of acres on the market at this moment and obtain for them the price of $1.50 per acre, but I do firmly believe that if these lands are husbanded carefully we shall in the long run get fully the price which has been realized by the land companies for their lands and fully the price of school lands and even more than that price. He has taken the estimate of the late Minister of the Interior that 50,000,000 acres would be about the amount of land comprised in the odd numbered -sections which will be available for dis:posal by the government. I would suggest to the right hon. gentleman that it would be only right to take also the estimate 'which the late Minister of the Interior put upon the value of this land in his remarks on the occasion of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway debate. He stated that within ten years from the completion of this railway these 50,000,000 acres of land would be available, and I think he must only have referred to the lands which would be opened up by the railway. He further said that within ten years from the completion of the railway‚ÄĒI am only speaking from memory, but I think I am perfectly correct; if I am not some gentleman may put me right‚ÄĒ20000,000 acres would have an accrued value of $3 per acre. That is the basis that we ought to go upon. If these lands are not going to be thrown on the market in one block at once the value which they will have in the future should be given. to them. Further than that I may quote from a remark which was also made by the late Minister of the Interior during the debate on the second reading of this Bill. When, speaking in reference to the value of the school lands fund, he stated that that was a fund which would be worth $50,000,000. I may point out that the school lands are something less than one-seventeenth part of the whole of the lands included in these two provinces. I cannot suppose that the late Minister of the Interior would make a statement of that sort unless he had some ground for believing that at some day in the future the amount to be received for these lands would reach that sum.
Mr. FOSTER. I think, if I can Judge from what the right hon. Prime Minister stated, that the inference, if not the statement, of the hon. Minister of the Interior (Mr. Oliver) is the correct one. It does not seem to me that there was any calculation made at all, and that all the specious putting out of quantities of land and the estimating 5492 of prices simply have no significance at all except that you want to have a sufficient number of acres of land to multiply by $1.50 to make up the sum that you have come to the conclusion you would give to each of these provinces for its government‚ÄĒ$37,500,000. If so, why should you bring in the land at all ? The land evidently had nothing in the world to do with it. What the government were evidently looking at was this : What is the amount that we should reasonably give to each of these provinces to enable it to carry on its financial affairs; $37,500,000. You gave that. You have denied that they should have their lands. You say the lands should belong to the Dominion government. They do anyway. You say that the provinces as formed shall not have any rights at all over their lands: You deny any right or title at the present time to the people of the Northwest in these lands which may be all right and you deny any right to their lands after they are formed into provinces, when as provinces they, I think, ought to have their lands and the management thereof, for various reasons. But, you deny both of these premises. Then. why do you make the specious pretense of having anything to do with lands at all? Why do you not simply make your resolution read in this way: That the Dominion government does not propose to give over to these provinces their lands, and yet, recognizing that they must have money to carry on their public works, you give them the amount of $37,500,000 to be paid in a certain way. That would be a fair, open, clear exposition of the real facts which the hon. Minister of the Interior (Mr. Oliver) has inadvertently let out. The hon. Minister of the Interior, being young, is less wily and less skilled in the arts of concealment than his older colleagues. I sincerely trust that his virgin modesty and openness will always remain the same, and that he will be a shining example of a minister who is frank and outspoken, who will call a spade a spade, and who, when he makes a resolution to give money for any purpose, will not attribute it to some refined method of calculation as to the quantity of land and the present and prospective value of land, but will just simply say in his resolution, as he says before the committee, that he proposes to give these new provinces $37,500,000 each. This other is all subterfuge and a specious application of the wily arts of the politician to lull the sentiments and probably the rightful sentiments of the people in the Northwest. The hon. Minister of the Interior has been good enough to say that we should have the information. I would like to know the quantity of lands there is in each of these provinces that are considered to be arable lands, the acreage that is considered to be grazing lands and the area that is put in the category of mineral lands. I suppose there are certain portions of these lands, of which you already ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† have made surveys and in regard to which 5493 ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† MAY 8, 1905 ¬† ¬† ¬† you have information, that are put down as mineral areas and which are more or less large. Then there will be outside of that some timber areas, and I would like to know what amount there will be outside of the agricultural, grazing, mineral, and timber areas which would probably go as waste lands which could not be counted on at the present time and may not be counted upon as much in the future. The hon. Minister of the Interior must have that information, of course, and if we had these areas we would be able to tell a little better in reference to this resolution, so long as it has been put upon the ground of compensation for these lands, if a fair division has been made with the provinces. I dare say the hon. Minister of the Interior has that information now. If he has I would be very much obliged if he would give us that information before we take up the clauses of the Bill. We will get as much as we can while we are going through the resolution, and I have no doubt that will leave a large surplus of information to be brought down when we come to take up the clauses after the resolutions have been passed.
Mr. OLIVER. I think perhaps the hon. member (Mr. Foster) might have saved himself a good deal of argument if he had been in a little sooner. There is no question before the committee of calculation in regard to the land at all. The clause to which the hon. member objects my hon. friend the Minister of Finance has proposed to amend so that that question does not arise. I do not know whether the purpose was to avoid such trouble as that which has come to the mind of the hon. member, but whatever trouble there may be attaching to the Bill, it does not attach in any way such as he suggests after the amendment proposed by my hon. friend the Minister of Finance has been made. In regard to the specific question the hon. member has asked as to the amount of grazing, timber. mineral, agricultural and waste land. 1 do not know exactly the basis upon which he asks that question. If the hon. gentleman were very well acquainted with the conditions in the Northwest Territories, he would know that it is entirely a matter of opinion as to whether land is purely grazing land, or purely grain growing land. or purely timber land, or purely mineral land. These are all questions which are decided ultimately by experience, and in the meantime they can he only matters of opinion. No white man has ever explored a great part of that country, and so it would be impossible to give the definite information which the hon. gentleman asks. As to the part of the country which has been explored I can bring ten different men to give ten different opinions as to whether a certain piece of land is purely grazing land or purely agricultural land. Some of the timber speculators in this city and vicinity can bear testimony to the fact that land which they paid their good money 5494 for as timber land is not timber land at all, and the same may be said with regard to mineral speculators. If the hon. gentleman means that he will prevent the Bill passing until definite information is given him on this point, it simply means that the Bill will not be permitted to pass at all, because it would be impossible to give such information. If he will be satisfied with a fair estimate made by the officers of the department he can have that estimate at the earliest possible date.
Mr. FOSTER. We all know that until a man has exploited a certain area of land he does not know what it is best suited for, and that no information with regard to such a matter can be absolutely accurate. What I wanted was an approximate estimate, and in looking through the papers I find that the Surveyor General has given an estimate of the lands suitable for grain growing, the lands suitable for grain growing after irrigation, and the lands suitable for ranches or other description of farming, so that in reality there is a pretty fair idea given as to the information I wanted. The only thing that is not given is the area of waste lands, and that I suppose can be ascertained by deducting the areas mentioned here and the area of water from the total area.
Mr. OLIVER. Does that estimate include the organized districts of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Assiniboia, or does it also include the district of Athabaska which is now included in the provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta ?
Mr. FOSTER. It gives the areas in the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan, and I suppose he means all that is included in these provinces.
Sir WILFRID LAURIER. What does my hon. friend mean by 'waste lands' ?
Mr. FOSTER. Such as are not timber, mineral, grazing or agricultural lands.
Mr. HAGGART. Lands unfit for settlement.
Sir WILFRID LAURIER I understand that there is very little waste land in these provinces which would not come under one or other of these descriptions mentioned by the hon. gentleman. In Manitoba there was a good deal of swamp lands, but I am told by the members from the Northwest that there are no swamp lands in the new provinces or only a very insignificant quantity.
Mr. FOSTER. Mr. Deville has been a long time surveyor and I would rather have his estimate so that personal views may be eliminated as far as possible. I understand that the minister will get that information with respect to Saskatchewan and Alberta.
Mr. OLIVER. Certainly.
5495 COMMONS
Mr. FOSTER. It will not take Mr. Deville long to do that.
Mr. W. F. MACLEAN. This discussion indicates that the time has come for a better system of book-keeping in reference to the public lands of the Dominion. When one comes into a rich heritage the first thing he does is to take stock, and it is high time that the Dominion of Canada should take stock of the actual land it has in the Northwest, with its possibility value and its possibility for utilitarian purposes. In that way we will gradually collect a lot of useful information, and the time has come when no alienation of public land should take place and no grant should be made to any one without our knowing what we are giving away. The province of Ontario has alienated its Crown timber lands without keeping any account, so that now they do not know what the residuum is, they speak of it as wilderness and all that, but they should have an exact account kept of it in the provincial legislatures just as the Dominion legislatures should have an accurate account of the lands we own in the Northwest. I would suggest to the new Minister of the Interior that he should take steps to have a reliable system of book-keeping instituted in this respect. I would like to ask the hon. gentleman, whether all the patents have yet been issued to the Canadian Pacific Railway for their land grant ?
Mr. OLIVER. I have been only a day or two in the department but I have made inquiries on this matter, and I will be able to answer the question in a few days.
Mr. TURRIFF. The patents have not all been issued. There is a large amount of the land that has been selected by the Canadian Pacific Railway scheduled to them, but the land is not yet surveyed and the patents are issued just as quickly as the land is surveyed and the patents approved. In the meantime they have selected the land.
Mr. M. S. McCARTHY. It is unnecessary to say at this stage of the discussion that we on this side of the House are very much opposed to the Dominion government obtaining the lands in the new provinces. I wish to point out that the returns do not appear to have been brought down in such shape that one can possibly arrive at a conclusion as to the basis on which the government have proceeded. In the returns that were brought down the respective areas were given of the districts of Saskatchewan, Assiniboia and Alberta. but nothing was said of Athabasca, which is to be taken into the new province. It is almost impossible to figure from these returns just what the area is of the respective provinces. I have been attempting to do that, and I arrive at these figures, that there are in the proposed province of Alberta 249,000 square miles, and in the proposed province of Saskatche 5496 wan, 258,400 square miles. In the province of Alberta we practically have 159,000,000 or 160,000,000 acres. Why, then, are these calculations to be made on the basis of only 25,000,000 acres ? No reasonable explanation has. I think, been given of that, and yet the right hon. the First Minister tells us that there is no waste land in Alberta or, practically speaking, in Saskatchewan either. Why, then, should the estimate be made on only 25,000,000 acres, when we have in Alberta alone, practically speaking, 100,000,000 acres? From the return it is impossible for us to find out how much land has been alienated from the province of Alberta. This return shows the number of acres alienated within the districts of Saskatchewan and Assiniboia, but it does not tell us what proportion of this has been taken out of the province of Alberta or the province of Saskatchewan, and it is practically impossible for any man to work out any calculation without having this information before the House. With regard to the question asked by the hon. member for North Toronto (Mr. Foster), a number of reports have been made as to that country by different surveyors, which would furnish very valuable information to have before the House while this discussion is in progress. But what I object to particularly is the attempt to withhold these lands from the new provinces ; and then, if they are to be withheld, we desire to know what compensation is to be given to the new provinces for them. I have been endeavouring to figure out just what was allowed to the province of British Columbia for the 20-mile strip on either side of the Canadian Pacific Railway track, which was alienated for railway purposes by the Dominion government, and, according to my figures, I find that there is annually paid to the province of British Columbia the sum of $100,000 for lands that were handed over to the Canadian Pacific Railway. Estimating the area of that 20-mile strip on either side of the Canadian Pacific Railway track, we find that this $100,000 is paid to the province of British Columbia for practically only 13,000,000 acres, whereas, in the new provinces, we are not getting one-quarter the compensation, and even when our population is doubled we do not get one-half. What I desire to point out is that the land in the province of British Columbia is land taken along the railway track, a great part of it in country which is practically worthless, and yet a much more liberal allowance is made to the province of British Columbia for that land which was taken away from it than is being made by the present administration for land that is just as much taken away from the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan. I find that these figures for the area of this land in British Columbia work out as follows. taking the line as straight between ¬† the different points: Stephen to Beaver foot. 22 miles; Beaver foot to Beaver mouth, 42 5497 ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† MAY 8, 1905 ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† miles; Beaver mouth to Glacier, 24 miles; Glacier to Rcvelstoke, 35 miles; Revelstoke to Salmon arm, 52 miles; Salmon arm to foot Shuswap lake, 20 miles; foot Shuswap laketo bend above Kamloops, 30 miles; bend above Kamloops to Ashcroft, 52 miles; Ashcroft to Lytton, 36 miles; Lytton to. Hope, 62 miles; Hope to Port Moody, 62 miles; total, 437 miles. The railway mileage from Stephen to Port Moody is 508 miles. It will be seen that an error would be incorporated if the railway mileage was taken to calculate area of belt. the difference is' owing to crooks in line‚ÄĒ 71 miles. 437 X 40=17,480 square miles. When near coast, for 30 miles from Port Moody, only 10 miles in width can be obtained to south of line owing to international boundary, a deduction of 300 miles. Another deduction of 10 per cent must be made for lands alienated‚ÄĒand it is to be borne in mind that such alienated lands represent the best of the lot. Making these two deductions from the total of 17,480, we got 15,462 square miles, and multiplying this by 640 (the number of acres to a square mile) we get an acreage of 9,895,680, to which we must add 3,000,000 acres given in Peace River, making a total of 12,895,680 acres, or, for convenience, say 13,000,000 acres. It will be noticed that no deductions are made for water areas, nor have any been taken out of area of Alberta, which is 100,000,000 acres. For this 13,000,000 acres in British Columbia $100,000 was paid annually to the provincial government, and this land is in the Rocky mountain belt. There is no comparison of the treatment and there is discrimination against the new provinces. Thus, I desire some information as to why the government should only estimate the lands in that country at 25,000,000 acres if there are no waste lands, and no explanation has been given as to that. Until these figures are brought down and some information or knowledge given the House as to how the government arrived at the amount, it is practically impossible for us to discuss the matter on an intelligent basis.
Mr. BOLE. I wish to ask the hon. gentleman if, in his opinion, the sum set out now for the government of the provinces is sufficient or insufficient ?
Mr. M. S. MCCARTHY. In my opinion it is insufficient. It is not, however, a question of sufficiency or insufficiency. I have stated my position in regard to these lands before in this House. It is not only the allowance we are getting for the lands: there are other inconveniences to which we are subjected by reason of the determination of the Dominion administration to retain the lands. I have, however. gone over that ground fully before and I do not propose to do so again. But I will say that the chief of these inconveniences is the distance which we are from the seat of 5498 government. The hon. gentleman may not know it, but we cannot amend even our Mechanics Lien Act or any Act dealing with lands at all without coming down to this parliament. Another objection is the small representation we have in parliament at present. We have only ten members here from that country to-day, whereas if the lands were left in the hands of the local administration we would have fifty members looking after the administration of those lands for the benefit of the people. Another objection is we may have, by the retention of these lands here, a check on local enterprises. What is there to be gained by these provinces in assisting the developing of coal mines for instance, which is only one instance. There is no inducement for them to assist or encourage any local development. But as I have already fully stated my views, I do not propose to detain the House discussing them again. Let me say that the action by this government is contrary to the principles they have hitherto preached. It is contrary to their policy of decentralization. As Mr. Blake says, it is overturning the principles of the union; and as Mr. Mackenzie said, the very year the release was taken from the Hudson Bay Company, no person will pretend that after we have a government in these Territories, we will continue to administer these lands from Ottawa. That is the position I take.
Mr. BOLE. I have no right to make any suggestion to my hon. friend as to the line of argument he should take; but it seems to me that if he thinks the sums allowed are not sufficient for the requirements of the new provincial governments, he should confine his argument along that line, because the amendment eliminates the whole question of acres and dollars and so forth from the Bill. In view of that fact. the hon. gentleman should confine himself to discussing the sufficiency or otherwise of the sum set apart for the purposes of these provincial governments.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. I presume that my hon. friend from Calgary (Mr. M. S. McCarthy) is looking at the basis on which this legislation was introduced in the first instance. That basis is this. Inasmuch as the public lands in the said provinces are to remain the property of Canada, there shall be paid by Canada to the said provinces, by way of compensation therefor, a sum based on the estimated value of such lands. That is very simple and plain. Then it goes on to state what that sum is. My hon. friend from Calgary is arguing that that sum is not a fair value, if you take the lands as a basis; and notwithstanding the statement of the Minister of the Interior (Mr. Oliver), I have not yet heard from the Prime Minister any annunciation of policy different from that con 5499            COMMONS                     tained in the resolution as at first introduced. It is true that the wording of the resolution has been amended in order to meet the difficulty suggested by the ex-Minister of the Interior (Mr. Sifton). But the basis upon which the government proposes to proceed has not yet been departed from, so far as I understand. Well, then we might look at the condition. as outlined by a very important member of the government at that time, the ex-Minister of the Interior (Mr. Sifton), in 1903. What is the basis the government has laid down? The basis is that we are to pay to the provinces annually, by way of compensation therefor, a sum based upon the estimated value of the lands. I suppose that that is in line with the position taken by members from the Northwest, for example, my hon. friend from West Assiniboia (Mr. Scott), who no doubt has urged on the government the view he announced some two years ago in these words :
The people of the Northwest Territories contend that the public lands of those Territories are now simply held in trust by parliament until such time as new provinces may be created in that area.
That is the view, I suppose. that the government is taking or else my hon. friend from West Assiniboia (Mr. Scott) would not be supporting it. Therefore we must get at the value of the lands for which we are proposing to compensate these new provinces, in the words of the resolution as at first introduced. When it was important to show that these lands were so valuable that the country had a very great means of revenue in them. the government, through its then Minister of the Interior (Mr. Sifton) spoke in these words :
But we are now arriving at that position when, I fancy within the next two or three weeks, a final arrangement will be closed, under which the railway companies which have claims for land grants, including the Canadian Pacific Railway, will have those claims finally settled. I am pleased to say that as a result of this, an enormous quantity of odd numbered sections will come back to the government and be available for disposition in any way which the government may be authorized by parliament to adopt. We shall no doubt have in the neighbourhood of fifty million acres of odd numbered sections to dispose of in such manner as parliament may authorize.
That is to say, we will hold in trust for the people of the new provinces, as my hon. friend from West Assiniboia (Mr. Scott) put it. not only fifty million acres of odd numbered sections. but also fifty million acres of even numbered sections which must be reserved for homestead interests. The ex-Minister of the Interior (Mr. Sifton) then continued:
I propose at an early day to submit a measure providing for the disposition of these 5500 lands. The first principle of which will be the actual settler on an even numbered section alongside an odd numbered section shall have the preference in buying that piece of land at a price to be fixed in the manner provided in the Act.
I have no recollection that that Act, which was to be introduced in a few weeks, has yet made its. appearance. But continued the then Minister or the Interior (Mr. Sifton) :
Of these fifty million of acres of odd numbered sections‚ÄĒthe even numbered sections are kept for the poor man's homestead‚ÄĒtwenty million or twenty-five million at present so far removed from communication as to be absolutely of no money vailue whatever. But in my judgment, within ten years from the time this railway is completed, twenty million acres of land owned by the government at present will have acquired a value at least of $3 per acre. That is not a thing about which there is any question.
Well, if the government is holding these lands as trustees for the people of the Northwest Territories, even if they do not hand them over to those for whom they are holding them in trust. what is the position? They themselves admit by the terms of the first resolution, that they are making. compensation by this provision to the people of the Territories. Do they base that compensation on the valuation of $60,000,000 or $75,000,000? The ex-Minister of the Interior (Mr. Sifton) desired to keep within bounds, and according to one of his estimates it would be $60.000.000. and according to another estimate, which 1 have just it would be $75,000,000 which these lands will be worth in ten years. Upon what basis do the government propose compensation? Upon the basis of twenty-five million acres? The ex-Minister of the Interior (Mr. Sifton) said those lands would be worth $3 per acre in ten years or $75,000,000. But the government propose to compensate the Territories, not on the basis of $3 per acre. but $1.50 per acre.
And I venture to think that there is every reason indeed for the criticism of my hon. friend from Qu'Appelle (Mr. Lake) and my hon. friend from Calgary (Mr. M. S. McCarthy). What is the position of the government? Do they recognize that they stand in any way in the position of trustee for the people of the Northwest Territories in respect of these lands ? My hon. friend from Western Assiniboia cannot support them unless they take that view. That was his solemn declaration, made, I am sure not once, but many times, and certainly made in parliament. Well, they apparently carry out that view by providing that there shall be compensation. But when they compensate the provinces for the lands, they compensate them on the basis of fifty cents on the dollar. What justification has the government for that ? It does not make any difference Whether it is enough for the requirements of the 5501                 MAY 8, 1905 Northwest Territories or not, it the basis which I have just suggested, is the one on which the government is proceeding. And, if the government is proceeding on any other basis, we would like to know it. They have not suggested any other basis, except that my hon. friend the Minister of the Interior (Mr. Oliver) declares that it is only a question of what the Territories require. But the government, by their resolution, declare that it is only a question of doing justice to the Northwest Territories in respect of lands which we hold as trustees for them. And, notwithstanding the declaration of the Minister of the Interior, we shall hold them to that until we have some announcement from the Prime Minister (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) to the contrary. Here is a declaration on the part of the government that we should compensate them for these lands on the basis of $37,500,000 for each province, or $75,000,000 in all. What possible justification is there for departing from the figures that were given by the Minister of the Interior, when as we must suppose; he was endeavouring to place before the House and the country the fair value of these lands, a fair estimate of the number of acres and also a fair statement of the resources this country as a whole possessed for the purpose mentioned in these lands ?
Mr. FIELDING. I think that the argument of the hon. leader of the opposition (Mr. R. L. Borden) is somewhat defective so far as touching the particular point he speaks of is concerned. He spoke of the value of these lands ten years hence. If they become more valuable than now, it will largely be because of the large expenditure by this government, and it would not be right to compensate the provinces‚ÄĒ it compensate is the word to be used, though I do not admit that it is in view of this amendment‚ÄĒthat compensation should not be on the value ten years hence, when that value will be to a large extent the result of the expenditure of money by the people of the Dominion. I think the hon. gentleman will see that his argument does not reach the conclusion to which he has pointed.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. To what expenditure does the hon. minister refer?
Mr. FIELDING. Expenditure in the construction of railways, for instance; and the vast sums of money which we are expending, and will continue to expend, on immigration; and all the various expenditures which will flow from the national treasury to the benefit of that Territory, and which, owing to the nature of the country, must be on a liberal scale.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. I have never understood that the National Transcontinental 5502 Railway was to be built solely for the purposes of the Northwest Territories. On. the contrary I have understood the position of the government and its supporters to be that this railway was to promote the general interest of Canada, the eastern provinces as well as the Northwest Territories. Therefore, I cannot see any very good reason for charging the whole of that expenditure against the Northwest Territories. That does not seem to me a fair basis. So far as the value of the land is concerned, it is true that the ex- Minister of the Interior says that in ten years these lands will be worth $3 per acre. But he does not venture to say that they are not worth more than $1.50 per acre at present. And the hon. gentleman (Mr. Fielding) will notice by the terms of the resolution that the value upon which we are to pay the Territories in ten years from this time is not raised to $3 per acre, but remains for all time at $1.50 per acre on 25,000,000 acres. According to the former view of my hon. friend from Western Assiniboia‚ÄĒand it seems very much borne out by the terms of the resolution‚ÄĒit is not so much a matter of compensating the people of the Northwest for the lands as endeavouring to do simple justice to them in giving the entire benefit of their lands. At least, that position ought to be adopted if the government accedes to the view which the hon. gentleman put forward at the time. It might be provided that, for the first ten years, an advance would be made to those for whom we hold these lands in trust. But the mere fact that you are only making an advance for ten years is no reason, in my judgment why you should not do full justice to them at some future time. With their increased population and their increased necessities we should certainly bring the value of the land up to the figure which the ex- Minister of the Interior himself has suggested.
Mr. SCOTT. It is my opinion that the resolutions before the House do substantially meet the views I expressed four years ago, and three years, and two years ago. Even if that were not the case, even if the hon. gentleman's interpretation were the one to be accepted, in his statement that it must then be impossible for me to accept the resolutions, he is setting up a standard for me which he does not allow to govern himself on all occasions. If I recollect aright, on the 22nd of March last, he put on the record in parliament in the form of a resolution, his view that full autonomy should be granted to the Northwest Territories‚ÄĒ
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. Hear, hear.
Mr. SCOTT- full autonomy with regard to scllools and also with regard to lands. 5503            COMMONS          But in less than an hour from that time,   he suggested that the people of the Northwest Territories should be asked to relinquish a measure of autonomy with regard to the lands, that they should accept the lands with a string to them, the string suggested being that they should accept responsibility for the administration of the lands, but they were to give away the even numbered sections as free homesteads, and to continue to sell the odd numbered sections according to the policy which is in force at the present time or that which was foreshadowed by the ex-Minister of the Interior in his speech on the Grand Trunk Pacific Bill a couple of years ago. Let me say to my hon. friend from Calgary (Mr. M. S. McCarthy) who made a comparison with British Columbia, that if we allow ourselves to drift into comparisons of details with respect to the several provinces, we shall find between every province in Canada just as acute differences as he finds between the way British Columbia was treated with regard to a strip along the Canadian Pacific Railway and the way the new provinces are being treated in regard to their lands. In fact, the hon. gentleman overlooked the most striking case of all, that of Prince Edward Island. That province is allowed $45,000 a year, as I understand, not exactly in lieu of lands, but on account of the fact that she had not any lands. Now see what scope there is in that citation for the purpose of comparison. Take the case of Manitoba. I recollect reading a statement made by the Prime Minister of Manitoba a couple of weeks ago, in which he pointed out that the maximum revenue provided under the arrangement made by a Conservative government of this Dominion with that province, would be $648,000, that would be the maximum revenue they would receive under the existing arrangement when that province reached the maximum population provided for. He then pointed out, with every appearance of a deep sense of grievance, that these new provinces will have a maximum revenue of $2,207,000.
The hon. member for North Toronto (Mr. Foster), to whom I listened with much interest this afternoon, was much mistaken in thinking that these resolutions were agreed to without serious consideration of the matter of the lands. The revenues derived by the other provinces come from the Dominion treasury in the form of cash subsidies, and from the amounts which they are able to derive by administering, selling and otherwise disposing of their public domain. In considering the provisions for these new provinces, attention was naturally given to these two aspects of the case, we endeavoured to reach the proper amounts of ordinary cash subsidies by looking at the amounts the other provinces receive. Then we endeavoured to arrive at what would be a proper amount to allow the 5504 new provinces in consideration of the fact that they are not going to have in their actual possession the source of revenue which the other provinces except Manitoba, have in their possession, that is to say, the public domain. Of course there were two points of view, there was the federal point of view and the point of view of the people of the new provinces. Now let me say to the hon. member for North Toronto and the hon. member for North Lanark (Mr. Haggart), or to any one else who may think that too much money is being granted by these resolutions to the new provinces, that they may set their minds at rest in that regard. While we have not perhaps the actual measurement in acres of the quantity of land, while perhaps we are not able to arrive at an absolute estimate of the value of these lands, I think no person has any doubt about the fact that we have an enormous public domain out there, and that if a private corporation had that domain in its possession and treated it entirely from the point of view of revenue, they would consider it worth a great deal more than the $75.000,000 which is specified in these resolutions for both provinces. If this government decided to treat that public domain strictly from the point of view of revenue, I venture to think they would be able to dispose of it for a considerably larger amount than $75,000,000. Even if we knew the exact number of acres of wheat lands, the exact number of acres of grazing lands, the exact area of timber lands, and of mineral lands, we could not be much further ahead than we are at the present time. I do not suppose there are any two individuals who would agree as to the value to be put upon this enormous public domain. I might say, as the ex-Minister of the Interior said with regard to these 50,000,000 acres, that in a short time they may bring $3 an acre. Probably he was right. Or I might be disposed to think that they may be worth even $5 an acre; and by stretching the time a little, that in twenty-five or thirty years hence, if some of these lands still remain in possession of the Dominion government, they may be worth $30, $40 or $50 an acre. As I say, it is impossible to agree upon an estimate with regard to their value. When we were in consultation about this matter we had the advantage of the presence with us of the hon. gentleman from East Assiniboia (Mr. Turriff) who until recently was the Commissioner of Dominion Lands; and I suppose he has as much information about that public domain as any one else in Canada. He told his colleagues, and the members of the government who were in consultation, that there were, to the best of his knowledge, or that there would be, available from time to time, in addition to the even numbered sections which are set apart for free homesteads, in the neighbourhood of 50,000,000 acres of odd numbered sections available [or sale. Some members of the government 5505 ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†¬† MAY 8, 1905 ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† pointed out that against that calculation it must be remembered that the homestead lands had to be administered, and that their administration cost a considerable amount from year to year, and that even if $3 an acre was considered a fair value for the 50,000,000 acres, the cost of administration of those lands also ought to be deducted. It may be pointed out too,‚ÄĒI think it was pointed out once or twice, that there was a tacit understanding that the Dominion government was going to continue the mounted police force in those two new provinces, which at present means an expenditure of some hundreds of thousands of dollars per year. There were occasional allusions to the fact that it was the intention of the government to continue the immigration policy, which last year I think cost in the neighbourhood of $600,000 or $700,000. 0n the other hand, we had to remember that in addition to these odd numbered sections amounting to 50,000,000 acres, there were considerable areas of timber lands, considerable areas of valuable coal lands, and perhaps some other mineral lands. It was not in the mind of any person taking part in these consultations that we could arrive at any hard and fast understanding of the actual value. The idea was to reach an approximate value by comparing the conditions in the other provinces, and keeping in mind the revenues derived from the public domain by those provinces, and in that way arriving at what would be fair amounts in the way of land subsidies to pay out to these new provinces.
Alluding to the question of values, and having regard to the statement made this afternoon by the hon. member for Calgary (Mr. M. S. McCarthy) end the hon. member for Qu'Appelle (Mr. Lake), it may not be out 5506 of place for me to recall what I said in speaking on the second reading of the Bill, that up to the present time the Dominion of Canada has not reaped any net revenue from the administration of the public domain in Manitoba and the Northwest Territories. Some time ago I asked the Deputy Minister of the Interior to have a statement prepared for me in that regard. In my speech of a few weeks ago I gave a resume of this statement and if the committee has no objection I would like the privilege of handing it in full to the 'Hansard,' as it is long, and would take me a considerable time to read.
Mr. FOSTER. That is all right.
Mr. SAM. HUGHES. I requested a similar privilege some time ago, and the First Minister refused. I must object.
Sir WILFRID LAURIER. The hon. member (Mr. Sam. Hughes) is right.
Mr. SCOTT. I wish to put in the whole statement. it was sent to me by the deputy minister on the 11th of March. He says :
Inclosure :
Ottawa, 11th March, 1905.
Dear Mr. Scott,‚ÄĒIn compliance with the request contained in your note to me of the 6th instant, I beg to inclose you herewith a statement of the approximate revenue and expenditure in connection with Dominion lands in Manitoba and the Northwest Territories from the 1st of July, 1870, to the 30th of June, 1904, and also a statement showing the arrears due the government on account of Dominion lands on the 30th of June, 1904.
Yours very truly, W. W. CORY, Deputy Minister. Walter Scott, Esq., M.P., House of Commons, Ottawa.
STATEMENT showing the Arrears due the Government on account of Dominion Lands in Manitoba. and the North-west Territories on June 30, 1904.
DOMINION LANDS SALES. Timber Dues, Grazing Rent &c. Grand Total.
Principal. Interest. Total Sales.
$ cts. 280,265 95 $ cts. 85,723 21 $ cts. 365,989 16 $ cts. 14,828 30 $ cts. 380,817 46
CHAS. H. BEDDOE. Accountant.
W. W. Conv, Esq. Deputy Minister of the Interior, Ottawa.
DEPARTMENT of the Interior, ACCOUNTS BRANCH, Ottawa, March 7, 1905
5507 COMMONS
STATEMENT of Approximate Revenue and Expenditure in connection With Dominion Lands in Manitoba and the Northwest Territories from July 1, 1870, to June 30, 1904.
Fiscal Year. Dominion Lands Revenue. Dominion Lands Expenditure. Capital Account Expenditure. Excess of Revenue over Expenditure. Excess of Expenditure over Revenue. Net Excess of Expenditure over Revenue.
$ cts. $ cts. $ cts. $ cts. $ cts. $ cts.
1869-1870.... 1870-1871 ............. * 57,277 00 ............. 57,277 00
1871-1872.... ......... * 117,963 00 .............. 117,963 00
1872-73.... 26,239 45 * 235,356 00 ............ 209,116 55
1873-1874.... 29,980 80 * 282,696 00 ................... 252,715 20
1874-1875.... 27.641 15 * 185,218 00 ............ 157,576 85
1875-1876.... 8,545 94 * 212,841 00 ......... 204,295 06
1876-1877.... 3,799 86 * 90,521 00 ......... 86,721 14
1877-1878... 19,424 86 * 87,628 00 ....... 68,203 14
1878-1879.... 23,828 09 * 91,773 00 ........ 67,944 91
1879-1880.... 125,115 51 * 147,802 00 ........... 22,686 49
1880-1881.... 136,162 24 65,110 00 334,681 00 ......... 263,628 76
1881-1882.... 1,755,144 03 79,399 00 511,882 00 1,163863 03 ..............
1882-1883.... 1,017,765 20 113,247 00 562,221 00 342,297 20 ..........
1883-1884.... 960,857 00 159,398 00 728,441 00 73,018 00 .......
1884-1885.... 405,689 05 163,927 00 283,300 00 ........... 41,537 95
1885-1886.... 234,806 85 181,165 00 106,500 00 .......... 52,858 15
1886-1887.... 192,657 56 220,396 00 114,800 00 ........ 142,538 44
1887-1888.... 187,286 53 212,160 00 89,285 00 ........ 114,158 47
1888-1889.... 205,622 88 201,943 00 87,000 00 .......... 83,320 12
1889-1890.... 147,482 19 181,342 00 93,700 00 .......... 127,559 81
1890-1891.... 192,966 65 164,983 00 68,200 00 ........ 40,216 35
1891-1892 255,043 66 130,307 00 52,700 00 72,036 66 ..............
1892-1893.... 214,383 58 131,553 00 96,000 00 ................ 13,169 42
1893-1894.... 158,555 25 128,100 00 129,000 00 .......... 98,544 75
1894-1895.... 130,852 69 124,708 00 91,600 00 ............... 85,455 31
1895-1896.... 132,437 24 108,888 00 69,330 00 ............. 45,780 76
1896-1897.... 152,044 69 106,846 00 72,168 00 ........... 26,969 31
1897-1898.... 211,060 47 90,315 00 83,727 00 37,018 47 ..........
1898-1899.... 242,586 24 89,708 00 108,332 00 44,546 24 ........
1899-1900.... 248,035 58 108,533 00 167,367 00 ....... 27,864 42
1900-1901 289,497 45 138,082 00 209,540 00 ........ 58,124 55
1901-1902.... 367,903 93 163,812 00 272,871 00 ....... 68,779 07
1902-1903.... 811,935 31 197,317 00 348,929 00 265,689 31 ............
1903-1904.... 769,535 82 267,568 00 679,487 00 ......... 150,519 18
Less refunds.... 9,711,887 75 329,950 00 3,528,807 00 ............ 6,870,136 00 ........... 1,998,468 91 ................ 2,685,524 16 329,950 00
9,381,937 75 3,528,807 00 6,870,136 00 1,998,468 91 3,015,474 16 1,0017, 005 25
Dominion Lands expenditure from 1870 to 1880 included under Capital Account. Scrip not included above, $3,758,490.
I trust that my hon. friend from Victoria and Haliburton is interested in these figures which he has compelled me to take the time to read. There were only seven years since 1870 in which there has been a net revenue in the administration of the publtlc domain in Manitoba and the Northwest.
Mr. HAGGART. That does not include immigration? That is only the management of the lands?
Mr. SCOTT. The management lands alone.
Mr. FOSTER. Does that include the head office management here ? I should judge not.
5508
Mr. SCOTT. My hon. friend from Eastern Assiniboia (Mr. Turrlflf) states that it includes a portion of the head office management.
Mr. LAKE. I suppose that is quite distinct from the expenditure in the Yukon ?
Mr. SCOTT. Yes, the Yukon is excluded from the statement. It alludes to Manitoba and the Northwest Territories alone. I would further say to my hon. friends from Qu'Avppelle and Calgary that I should not be so enthusiastic in favour of this proposition for the Dominion government to retain the lands and to pay these amounts to the provinces in lieu of the lands if I were satisfied as to how the local gov 5509          MAY  8, 1905            ernments were to be able to run their business during the initial years especially if the lands in lieu of these moneys are transferred.
Mr. M. S. MCCARTHY. I would like to ask the hon. member if he did not advocate up there for years the retention of the land by the provinces ? Did he not claim for years that the land belonged to the provinces and should be administered by them ?
Mr. SCOTT. Is that the hon. man's whole question?
Mr. M. S. MCCARTHY. Yes.
Mr. SCOTT. Yes, I did in common with a very large number of people in the Northwest Territories, in common with practically all the members of the legislative assembly, and I venture to say that today a very large majority of the members of the legislative assembly‚ÄĒI speak from knowledge; I have seen them and they have told me so themselves, in fact members of the legislative assembly told me so before last New Year's, before these negotiations commenced‚ÄĒhold the same opinion now that I hold now. Together with them I have to some extent changed my mind in that regard, but if my hon. friend will read the statement that I made in the House three or four years ago he will find that what I laid particular stress upon was not so much the plea that the land should be turned over to the provinces as the plea that the government should put these provinces on an even financial plane with the other provincial governments in Canada. Let me ask my hon. friend where he thinks the local governments will get their revenue if they are not given the amounts that are provided for in lieu of lands ? If the lands were turned over to them with the string attached that the hon. leader of the opposition (Mr. R. L. Borden) proposed in this House, how would the governments of the provinces get the moneys necessary to carry on their business?
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. The hon. member for West Assiniboia (Mr. Scott) has made that statement three or four times. Surely he understands the proposal I made. I have pointed out to him before two or three times what I said, but still he persists in repeating what he has twice repeated today. He has distinctly twice today said that the only proposal 1 made in regard to these lands was that they should be handed over with certain restrictions. Is that the hon. gentleman's statement ?
Mr. SCOTT. I certainly understood the hon. gentleman to suggest that.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. Will the hon. gentleman answer me fairly? Does he understand that to be the only proposal or the first proposal I made ?
5510
MR. SCOTT. No.
MR. R. L. BORDEN. Well then, why does he repeat it ? Not only to-day, but on a previous occasion he has sinned in common with other members from the Northwest in this respect. Why does he endeavour to quote me as only making that proposal and no other proposal in the first instance? It does not seem to me a very high type of discussion to degenerate into that. I will read to the hon. gentleman what I said, and I stand by it to-day. I said this and I will not go back to the debate in February; I will only go back as far as the debate in March :
So far as the control of the lands is concerned, I adhere to the opinion I before expressed in this House, that the people of the Northwest Territories, when they are granted provincial rights, are fully capable of dealing with these lands, and that they are entitled to the control of these lands just as much as the people of the eastern provinces of Canada are entitled to the control of their provincial domain. I see no distinction.
That is the proposal I made, not only then, but in February. I went on further; it had been suggested in the Liberal press that these lands would be open to land grabbers in the Territories to a greater extent than they would be open to the attacks of land grabbers here, and I said I did not think that would be the case. I referred to the fact that the Prime Minister stated that if these lands were given to the provinces there might be interference with the free homesteads and with the present low price of government lands, and I said I thought there ought to be no difficulty on that score, because the people of the Territories were chiefly interested in the question of immigration. I continued:
May I not further suggest that if there was any danger, and I do not think there is, it would be the task of good statesmanship to have inserted, if necessary, a provision in this Bill with regard to free homesteads and the price of these lands. and obtain to it the consent of the people of the Northwest Territories.
I did not agree.with the position of the Prime Minister, and I said that even if I did agree with it, then I thought it would be the task of good statesmanship to do as I proposed. My own proposition in the first instance was that these lands should be handed over to the control and administration of the people of the Northwest Territories.
Mr. SCOTT. Then I understand that the proposal of the Prime Minister being to retain the land here, the hon. gentleman's alternative proposal was to transfer the lands to the provinces ?
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. Absolutely.
Mr. SCOTT. And my hon. friend (Mr. R. L. Borden) went on to say that if he could not carry out his exact proposal, then it 5511 ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† COMMONS ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† would be the task of good statesmanship to carry it out with this string to it‚ÄĒ
MR. R. L. BORDEN. I said that if there was any danger, but I did not think there was any, .then I would adopt that course.
Mr. SCOTT. If the hon. gentleman can show that he has the backing of his party to transfer these lands unrestrictedly to the new provinces, then we will talk business with him ; but, as I understand it, he is only speaking for himself.
Mr. SAM. HUGHES. The hon. gentleman (Mr. Scott) is not the Minister of the Interior, and he has no authority to speak for the Northwest Territories.
Mr. SCOTT. I have entire authority to speak in my position as member for West Assiniboia, which is a portion of the Northwest Territories. Taking my hon. friend's own words, that it would be the task of good statesmanship, if he were driven to it, to turn these lands over with his string to it, then I ask the hon. gentlemen from Calgary and Qu'Appelle to tell us how the provincial governments would be able to get enough money during the next five years, for instance, to build roads and bridges and maintain schools ?
Mr. W. F. MACLEAN. When the hon. gentleman proposed that the new provinces should retain these lands, how did he think they were going to get the money ?
Mr. SCOTT. I had not figured it out as thoroughly as I have since.
Mr. W. F. MACLEAN. Have you figured it out now ?
Mr. SCOTT. To some extent, and if my hon. friend (Mr. W. F. Maclean) will pay attention to me, perhaps he will be able to throw some light upon the question. A portion of the $1,030,375 which each of these provincial governments is going to have from the 1st of July next, we trust, to devote to the services of local government; a portion of it is the $375,000 to be given them in lieu of the lands‚ÄĒ
Mr. W. WRIGHT. Could we not give them all the subsidy now in this proposed measure and give them the lands as well, and come out ahead by over one million dollars ?
Mr. SCOTT. If my hon. friend (Mr. W. Wright) can get his leader and the majority on his side of the House, as well as the majority on this side, to agree to that proposition, those of us from the Northwest Territories will jump at it. But at the present time the arrangement is that each of these provinces shall receive a little more than $600,000, and, in addition, $375,000 in lieu of lands. And if the provinces are going to be given their lands, then this parliament will have to consider very seriously whether it will be justified in continuing to 5512 maintain the Mounted Police in those provinces. If we are going to put these provinces absolutely in the position of the other provinces, I suppose we could not maintain the Mounted Police which costs Parliament about one-half million dollars in the whole Territories, and which would mean an expenditure of about one-quarter of a million for each province‚ÄĒ
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. May I interrupt my hon. friend here? There was something said about the Mounted Police, and as to some arrangement, which did not appear on the face of the Bill. Has the Prime Minister any announcement to make in that regard ?
Sir WILFRID LAURIER. There has been no arrangement made.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. I mean as to the intention of the government.
Sir WILFRID LAURIER. We will come to that when I propose the estimates for the Northwest Mounted Police. I shall announce the policy of the government then.
  Mr. R. L. BORDEN. I do not ask that anything should be discussed out of its turn, but the question of the maintenance of the Northwest Mounted Police is relevant to the financial features of the Bill, as the   hon. member (Mr. Scott) also seems to think.
Mr. SCOTT. As the Prime Minister has suggested, we have the announcement with regard to the Northwest Mounted Police for the coming year in the estimates already before the House. Then there is the question of immigration. If the lands were entirely turned over to the provincial governments, would the leader of the opposition consent to   have this parliament vote $600,000 or $700,000 a year for immigration ? Every one I have ever heard discuss this matter agreed that if the lands were transferred to the provinces, the provinces would have to relieve this parliament to some extent from the expenditure on immigration.
Mr. SAM. HUGHES. Every session we vote money for immigration in the Lake St. John region, Quebec, and in Manitoba, and I never heard of any agreement with these provincial governments.
Mr. SCOTT. Will the hon. gentleman (Mr. Sam. Hughes) be prepared to state that he will vote to hand the lands over unrestrictedly to the people of the new provinces, and then continue to vote for an immigration expenditure of $600,000 or $700,000 a year ?
Mr. SAM. HUGHES. I am not in the witness box. My hon. friend (Mr. Scott) seems strangely agitated this afternoon in the absence of the real Minister of the Interior, who is not here, and who apparently has deputed the would-be Minister of the Interior to take his job. Let the hon. gentleman (Mr. Scott) make his speech and we - will answer it in good time.
5513 MAY 8, 1905
Mr. SCOTT, I hope I am not displaying any undue agitation, but I do feel, and I have felt for a long time past, a great interest in this question. As I say, it with possession of the lands and without these land subsidies the provincial governments would be able to carry on their business without borrowing money in their early years, I would have less objection to the land being transferred. But I am satisfied, from the calculation I have given, that the provincial governments would be in very great difficulties, especially in their early years, if they had to accept the responsibility of the administration of the lands and not have the ready money from the beginning that is being provided for in these resolutions. Deduct the amount that is to be given in lieu of the lands, place the expense of the Mounted Police service on these provinces, saddle them with a part of the expense of the immigration service and, in place of having one million dollars per year to maintain schools and build roads and bridges, these provincial governments would find themselves each with a revenue of less than a quarter of a million dollars per year.
Mr. LAKE. The hon. member read a statement of expenditure on Dominion lands and amongst others was the expenditure chargeable to capital account. I happen to have the public accounts before me and I find that the expenditure on capital account is something over $6,000,000. I understood the hon. gentleman to state the amount at something like $9,000,000.
Mr. SCOTT. No, the $9,000,000 will he the capital and the ordinary together. The capital expenditure was $6,870,136.
Mr. FOSTER. I wish to supplement my list of inquiries by asking also for a statement of the quantity of alienated land in each province.
Mr. OLIVER. I shall have the inquiry made.
Mr. M. S. MCCARTHY. The hon. member from Western Assiniboia has thrown about as much light upon the objections to handing over the lands to the provinces as we have had from hon. gentlemen opposite up to the present time. He fears that there will be a conflict but does not the result of their argument lead them to this that there is an area set apart east of Saskatchewan in regard to which the provinces of Manitoba, Ontario, and Saskatchewan are to be heard, as to their respective claims in that portion of country. Now then if these lands are given to the province of Ontario I assume that that province will then have the right to administer that public domain, but if that territory goes to the province of Saskatchewan or to the province of Manitoba, these provinces will not have the right, they will have saddled upon them the ad 5514 ditional expenditure of the administration of that country, but they will derive no profit from these lands. If some hon. gentleman opposite will explain how there is going to be any greater conflict by reason of that land falling into the hands of the province of Saskatchewan, and more than there will be if it falls into the hands of Ontario, then perhaps we may place some faith in the objections they are raising to this proposition. All we have heard is that there will be some differences between the new provinces and the Dominion government in connection with the administration of the Immigration Department. Will not the same difficulty arise in the cases of Ontario and Quebec? Are there not vast areas of lands in the northern portions of those provinces to be opened up and settled? Have not statements been made in this House, for instance, last session, during the discussion on the Grand Trunk Pacific Bill by hon. members from Quebec and from Ontario lauding the great value of the great asset they had in the Northern portion of their provinces through which that railway was to run, and that all they needed to induce settlement and fill that land up was the construction of a railway. Then I ask will there be any greater conflict in the administration of the Immigration Department between the government of Canada and the government of Ontario and Quebec than between the government of Canada and the new provinces in the west ? Further than that, from a large portion of the area part of which is to-day being created into provinces and which was acquired by the purchase of the rights of the Hudson Bay Company has been handed over to the province of Quebec. Did it strike the Minister of the Interior then that in handing that land over to Quebec, to administer there would likely be a conflict between the provincial and the Dominion authorities in carrying out the immigration policy. I say that that objection does not hold, and I say further that I do not believe there is a member from the Northwest Territories sitting on that side of the House who in the west and until he came to this parliament, did not advocate that the lands in these provinces belong to the provinces absolutely and that the provincial government should administer them. I may be speaking in error, but if so I am subject to correction. I know that the hon. member for Western Assiniboia (Mr. Scott) has for years advocated not only on the public platform, but in his paper the Regina 'Leader,' that these lands belong to the province and should be administered by the province. That is the position he took and the hon. member for East Assiniboia (MR. Turriff) has made a similar statement The hon. member for Strathcona (Mr. Talbot) I think has made similar statements, but now they come down here to this parliament and the only reason I have yet heard 5515         COMMONS            advanced by them or any hon. gentleman opposite why these lands should not be handed over is that there would be a conflict with the Dominion Immigration Department in filling and settling up that country. I think the hon. member for Mackenzie (Mr. Cash) said that he thought these lands should be retained by the government here for a few years and then handed over to the provinces. Why this delay? Is it because they are in power and anxious to maintain their power by means of a political machine or is it because the hon. member wants to state to this country that the people in those provinces to-day are not fit to exercise the same measure of self-government that belongs to all the other provinces but one in this. Dominion ? What were his reasons ? Why are these lands detained to-day ? The member for Brandon (Mr. Sifton) says that there would likely be a conflict, but I have pointed out before in this House that when he was in opposition, when the Conservative administration was in power, there was no man in Manitoba who advocated more effectually or more often, that the lands of Manitoba should be handed over to that province than the hon. member for Brandon (Mr. Sifton). Thus, I say, that I think the people in that country are entitled to some further explanation as to why these lands are being withheld than given by hon. gentlemen opposite.
Mr. TURRIFF. The hon. member is mistaken in saying that I advocated handing over the lands to the provincial government. Wha t I stated on every occasion was that in the deal that we should make on provincial autonomy, we would either be entitled to the lands or to a fair compensation for them, and the reason I am supporting this Bill and this clause‚ÄĒand supporting it heartily‚ÄĒis because I consider that we are getting a compensation in lieu of lands that is better for the province than handing over the lands to the province; what we are getting is a net revenue paid semi-annually in advance, so that we know exactly what we get and we get it for all time, and the Dominion government will, as has been pointed out if they choose to handle these lands from a revenue point of view, be able to recoup themselves for the subsidy they are giving in lieu of lands. I may say further that I have had hundreds of letters from my constituents since the Bills were introduced. and I have not had one letter from any gentleman in my own constituency objecting to the terms in lieu of lands or suggesting that we should have the lands instead of a subsidy that it is proposed to give.
Mr. W. F. MACLEAN. The hon. gentlemen from the west are like Saul of Tarsus: they have seen a great light, and instead of slaying the demon they are now 5516 ready to accept the situation. They were in favour of the provinces having these lands; Why are they not true to their principle? It seems to be characteristic of a Liberal that once he has a principle he must abandon it.
Sir WILFRID LAURIER. Like Paul of Tarsus.  
Mr. W. F. MACLEAN. They do not choose to be Paul; they are always Saul. Do hon. gentlemen from the west pretend to say that a definite proposition, which would give a sufficient amount of ready money for these provinces, could not be evolved, based on the provinces taking over these lands. I am quite sure that the Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding), if he had a conference with the representatives of these provinces, could evolve a financial policy which allow the provinces to have the lands and give enough ready money for all their requirements. My hon. friend from North Toronto Mr. Foster) would be prepared to do it any day. I am in favour of those provinces receiving those lands and administering them and of evolving a financial policy based on the land which would give them lots of ready money; and I do regret to notice that how ready are those Liberals to abandon their principles whenever these principles come in collision with some question of expediency and of holding offce. Surely they ought to elect to stand by their principles and by the Territories instead of coming down here and promising everything and then doing nothing. What is it they have not promised with regard to the school question and a financial arrangement with the new provinces. If there was ever a champion of national schools in this country, the ex-Minister of the Interior (Mr. Sifton) was that man. He made his reputation on that question. He got into this government on it and expects to achieve higher honours still. But he has abandoned all he ever said about national schools in Manitoba and has swallowed the mixture prepared for him without a protest. 1 never saw a more humiliating spectacle in this House than that presented the other day in that little duel between the Minister of Justice (Mr. Fitzpatrick) and the ex- Minister of the Interior (Mr. Sifton). I do not know what influence was exerted, but the spectacle presented was not a satisfactory one for the country. Neither will the country be satisfied with the spectacle presented to-day by these hon. gentlemen opposite who for years have been going up and down the Northwest asking, arguing that the lands should absolutely belong to the people of that country. inasmuch as the provinces were competent to administer those lands and should be given the same status as the other provinces. But now these same gentlemen say that they were 5517                      MAY 8, 1905            not well informed, and that after looking into the thing they are prepared to accept a compromise. If that be their view, it is not the view of the people of the west ; and when they go back to the people and try to explain the compromise they have agreed to on all these questions, they will be taught the lesson they richly deserve. Everything, they now say, can be settled in a spirit of compromise, and they are. here to make the best possible compromise. It was not for that purpose they were elected. They are prepared to do anything however to save their party. That is their sole object. But it seems to me that their object ought rather to be to vindicate their principles. Every effort they make, however, is to keep the Liberal party, by some means or other, in office, accept the dictates oi the Liberal chieftain, and compromise those principles which they used to advocate so strongly, to which they pledged themselves on every platform in the west. and which the people of the west hold so dearly. They made a pretense of independence, but what did it amount to ? The ex-Minister of the Interior (Mr. Sifton) bolted and out went these hon. gentlemen from the west behind him. They then held a little caucus and said: We must have a change in the School Act. Then the ex-Minister of the Interior got up and said he would support what he considered to be a substantial change.
Sir WILFRID LAURIER. Order.
Mr. W. F. MACLEAN. I am only giving this as an illustration to show how cheaply these hon. gentlemen hold their principles. We have never yet been told on what compromise they came back to the fold and what is the difference between the original clause and the present one. Yet the compromise has been accepted; and they have swallowed their medicine, and they are now striving to look pleasant over it. That is not a wholesome spectacle to show this country. Heaven only knows what other things they will be prepared to sacrifice before this debate is through. I believe that the people of the west want to control their own educational affairs and their own land, and I believe they are quite competent to control and administer both. Hon. gentlemen opposite are on record as having taken that view in the old days, but it is not their view to-day; and I trust that the members from the west will give this country a better reason for their submission than any they have so far given. I trust they will be able to give a better reason for consenting to have the new provinces deprived of their right to administer their own lands than that they do not see any income from these lands. There is an income to be derived from them. and it would be an easy matter for the provinces to base a system on which they could raise an income from those lands. Look at our 5518 friends, the railway contractors. All they need do to finance these days is to pawn these lands. Men like Mann and Mackenzie can go to the Dominion government and get their notes endorsed for $9,000,000   the strength of their land grant. They go to the province of Ontario and their note is endorsed for $1,000,000. They can go to Nova Scotia and raise money in the same way. They can go to Manitoba, where there is a Conservative government in power, and their note, with these lands as security, is endorsed for $1,000,000. If these railway promoters can have their notes endorsed and financed in this way, surely , these great provinces about to be erected in the west could evolve a financial policy based on their lands which would give them ready money, and they would then enjoy the income that would naturally come from those lands. Speaking from a Dominion point of view and as a citizen of Ontario, I could justify the policy of the Dominion holding on to these lands; but how a member from the Northwest can advocate any such policy I am at a loss to understand. This is but another instance of the abandonment of provincial interests and provincial rights in the interests of some outside concerns.
Mr. SCOTT. It is perfectly true that the opinion of a good many people in the Northwest Territories has been undergoing a change with regard to this question of lands. I do not know that my hon. friend from South York (Mr. W.F. Maclean) can be entirely relieved of responsibility for that fact. He made a statement on this question a little more than a year ago. Let me quote a part of that statement, which, perhaps he has forgotten :
The question of the autonomy of the Northwest has been brought up. I stand in favour of government by the people. The people of the Northwest are ready to assume the responsibility of their own government, they are ready to do it as we in Ontario are determined to maintain the system we have here. Why cannot the people of the Northwest be given a government. of their own ? They are prosperous, they have schools and other things to carry on, and they can manage for themselves as well as this government can do it for them. Why cannot the Northwest Territories be erected into a province ? The peopIe are asking for relief and they cannot get it, but if the Grand Trunk or the Canadian Pacific want anything, you fnd the great Liberal party turning hand-springs to give them everything they want. There is no legislature in this country to-day doing anything for the people, but every one of them is burning hand-springs to distribute the resources of the country among the great corporations.
What did that mean ? It could only mean that my hon. friend wanted other legislatures established,‚ÄĒnew legislatures created in the Northwest‚ÄĒand the public resources put into their hands, so that those legislatures could. as he says, turn handsprings to give these public resources to corporations. Was that not reason enough to lead 5519 ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† COMMONS ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† us to think again and perhaps revise our opinion ?
At six o'clock, committee took recess.

After Recess.

Committee resumed at eight o'clock.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. I would like to ask the Prime Minister as to one matter that I do not think has been very clearly brought out by any information laid before the House, and that is what quantity of actually good land there is in the Northwest in each of these provinces, suitable for agricultural purposes. The reason I ask is that a rather extraordinary statement was made by one of the hon. gentlemen from the Northwest, the hon. member for Strathcona (Mr. Talbot). In the first place he says:
There is another reason why it is best for the federal government to administer those lands. It may not be considered a good reason by some, but I think the experience of most of the other provinces will give some weight to it. It is this. We might at some future time have a careless or extravagant government in one or both of the new provinces. If such a thing did happen our resources would rapidly disappear, and we might in a very few years be compelled to appeal to extensive direct taxation.
I myself would not be inclined to think there was any greater danger in that regard from entrusting the lands to provincial control than from leaving them in the control of the gover nment of Canada. There is certainly no more reason to apprehend a reckless or extravagant government in the Territories than there is to apprehend such a government in the Dominion as a whole. Further than that, the direct and immediate interest of the people, the circumstances that the disposal of the lands would be a matter of immediate local concern. would seem to me to give greater security in that regard if they were under provincial control than that which might be expected to result from Dominion control. However, the hon. gentleman of course is entitled to his opinions in that regard. But he went on to say something else :
Some hon. gentlemen on the other side of the House would like to make the public believe- that all the lands in these vast areas are agricultural lands. Such is far from being the case. In fact only a small portion of those lands will ever be fit for agricultural purposes. Millions of acres are under water. Millions more consist of muskeg and slough, while millions more are sand hills and barren. There is no doubt there is an immense quantity of good agricultural land in the country, but it is only a fraction of the whole.
I would have been inclined to expect my hon. friend the Minister of the Interior (Mr. Oliver) to rise in his wrath, as well as in his might, and assail the hon. gentleman who made that statement about the lands in the Northwest. but I have not heard from him in that regard up to 5520 date. It is a pretty sweeping description. I am not inclined to agree with the hon. member for Strathcona so far as some of these statements are concerned, that is, from the information which I have been enabled to gather with respect to the quality of the land in the Northwest. I do not think that the hon. gentleman's observations are borne out by any information we have before the House at the present time. But when statements of that kind are made by hon. gentlemen who come here from the Northwest, they would seem to me to merit some attention from the government, and I think we should have some statement before the committee as to the proportion of good land available for agricultural purposes in the two new provinces.
Sir WILFRID LAURIER. I am sorry that at this moment I cannot give my hon. friend information as to the exact quantity of good land which is available for agricultural purposes in these two new provinces. I could, however, make an effort to have a computation made. which I will do, and hope to place in his hands at a very early date. Such information ought to be available. I agree with my hon. friend that there is no more probability of a reckless government existing in those provinces than there is here at Ottawa. We remember that there has been a reckless government at Ottawa in the past, and there may be again. But if there is a reckless government at Ottawa, the consequences to the people in the depletion of their assets would be less grave than would be the case if there was a reckless government in the Northwest Territories. If the lands were left under the control of the provinces the temptation would be very great to waste them, as the lands would afford them a ready asset to meet their liabilities ; whereas if there were such a thing as a reckless government in Ottawa, they would have other resources to draw upon besides the lands. Therefore I should think the observation of the hon. member for Strathcona was not without some foundation. As to the character of the lands, I must say that I am a little surprised at the description given of them by my hon. friend from Strathcona. My impression at the present time is that, with a very small exception, especially in the province of Saskatchewan, all the lands are available, either for ranching or for agriculture, by far the greater proportion. I do not know how much waste land there is. I understand there is very little swamp land, as there is in Manitoba. At the same time, I cannot give the information to my hon. friend he asks for, but when we take up this question again I hope to be able to give him the information.
Mr. LAKE. I wish to make the remark, amongst others, that no money is sufficient to compensate the people of the Northwest for the loss of their lands. The administration from Ottawa is a serious in 5521                MAY 8, 1905   convenience to the people of that country. I think every member from the Northwest knows that as well as I do. There are many letters coming all the time from our constituents asking us to see the land department at Ottawa and to arrange matters for them. A very large proportion of the people of the Northwest have business to do with the land department, and it would be very much more convenient for them it they were enabled to do their business on the spot. Besides, I do not consider that the administration of lands from Ottawa is at all what it should be, and is far less satisfactory than it would be on the spot. There are many points I might specify in which I think the administration at Ottawa is decidedly not in the interest of the country. At this moment I will not say any more about that, there will be other opportunities later on. But I make the assertion that I do not think the administration of the lands in the Northwest Territories is what it should be, or is what it would be if the administration was carried on from a central point in the Northwest Territories. It stands to reason that it is very much more easy to interest the members of a House sitting right on the spot and composed of gentlemen who are all acquainted with the circumstances of the country, than it is to interest a large House such as is assembled at Ottawa. For instance, we have ten members for the Northwest Territories, and if anything is going wrong in the Northwest Territories it is necessary for some of those ten members, possibly a very small number of them to acquaint the whole of this large House with the circumstances, and to get this House of 214 members interested in the matter. That is especially difficult in view of the fact that so many other matters of vast importance have to be dealt with here.
I think it might be taken for granted as a general principle that the administration will be better on the spot than it can possibly be if the administration takes place from a centre, 1,500 miles or more away. The hon. member for West Assiniboia apparently thought it would be unwise to trust the local assembly with the administration of affairs up there. I think the right hon. First Minister has shown that human nature is much the same everywhere and that there is as likely to be as good administration by the direct representatives in the local house of the affairs of the new provinces as there is likely to be if they are administered from Ottawa. The hon. member for Assiniboia, also, I think, asked the question as to how it would be possible to carry on the local government at the present moment without the revenue which is to be granted by the Dominion government as compensation for the loss of the lands. I looked at the Auditor General's Report a few minutes ago just to see what the revenue derived from Dominion lands amounted to, and what the act 5522 ual working expenses were on account of these lands and I find that the net revenue from lands and timber agencies, less certain refunds which were made, amounted to $890,152 last year, and that for the previous year it had been $113,287 greater than that. The expenditures on current account, Dominion lands offices, salaries, examination, and protection of timber lands and so on amounted to $247,282. Well, it seems to me that the difference between these two sums constituted what was really the revenue from Dominion lands during the twelve months ending 30th June, 1904, a sum which amounts to something over $600,000. Of course, in addition to that there is a large expenditure on capital account for surveys and so on, but, I think, the government of the Northwest Territories would equally be able to raise a sum on capital account to meet such capital expenses as the expenses of surveys and so on. So, I gather from the Auditor General's Report that there is a very considerable revenue coming in at the present time from these lands, an income which was very nearly as large as the compensation which is to be granted for the first few years for the loss of the public lands. I have no doubt in my mind whatever that it would be quite easy for the local government to very considerably add to that income, thoroughly acquainted as all the members of the local house would be with the local conditions. A new point was introduced into the discussion also by the hon. member for West Assiniboia when he stated that the retention of the Royal Northwest Mounted Police was a consideration which had to be looked at in connection with this question of public lands. For my part I cannot see that the question of the retention of the Mounted Police is affected one iota one way or the other by the question as to whether the Dominion or the new provinces have the possession of the public lands. If the amount of compensation is being placed at this present figure on account of the retention of the Royal Northwest Mounted Police we should certainly like to hear some assurance from the government that that body will be maintained.
Mr. HERRON. Before this resolution passes I would like to add a word to what has already been said in reference to the lands in the Northwest. I was very much surprised to hear the hon. member for West Assiniboia (Mr. Scott) state this afternoon that a great change has come over the people of the Northwest lately in reference to their lands. In my part of the country no change has come over the people. They are just as strongly in favour of having their lands to-day as they were one or two years ago, and .I do not think anything Will be done or anything can be done in this House to compensate the people in that country 5523             COMMONS              for the lands taken away from them by this government. A good deal has been said as to what the provinces would do, should the lands be handed over to them, for money to carry on the government. I may state that there have during the last few years been large sales of coal lands made. That is one way in which a revenue could be obtained by the new provinces. I understand that within the last two years a sale of coal lands amounting to about $300,000 was made to one man. That information may not be correct but I saw the report in several papers. If that is true it applies to a very small portion of our coal lands. I understand that large sales are being made continually to outside corporations. I understand that Jim Hill has, in the neighbourhood of Pincher Creek where I live, 10,000 acres of coal lands. I do not know what he has paid for them; I do not know, in fact, whether he owns the lands or not, but it is generally supposed that he owns them, and if he paid the same price for these lands that other people are paying for similar lands the amount will be quite considerable. Other coal lands are being sold from time to time. That is one source from which a considerable amount of revenue would be received by the new provinces.
Another way in which, I think, it would be very expedient for the government to deal with a portion of the Northwest lands would be to grant a pre-emption to settlers. I do not know whether it is generally accepted in this country or by members from the Northwest Territories, but in my locality it is considered that a quarter section of land is not sufficient for a homestead. I think this government should take into consideration the selling to homesteaders the odd quarter section adjoining their homesteads. As I understand the policy of the department at the present time there is no land for sale in the Northwest Territories to any person. I believe that is the present policy of the government. No doubt they will sell in time, and I do not see any reason why they should refrain from selling land to settlers. We know they have been selling it to corporations. I am quite sincere in what I say in reference to placing these odd sections at the disposal of homesteaders in addition to their homesteads. I think the government could sell this land at a good price, and I do not think they could sell it to any better people than the homesteaders, selling it to them at the price of railway lands, for instance. I say the time will come very soon, when, if even the Dominion government retain these lands, they will be putting up the price; they will not be giving these lands as free homesteads. I do not think it is justice to the pioneers who have gone in and settled that country, taken up land and advanced its value until today it is worth $5 to $10 an acre, in fact from 5524 $7 to $20 an acre and then to allow new settlers to go in and get that land for nothing the same as the early settlers did.
Mr. BOLE. Does the hon. gentleman (Mr. HERRON) advocate homesteading the odd sections ?
Mr. HERRON. Yes, certainly for the present, but I believe it will not continue very long. I do not think it should continue very long. The point I am making is that the land is worth from $10 to $20 an acre. and I do not think the government should continue very long to give that away.
Mr. BOLE. I was wondering where they were going to get the revenue to run the government.
Mr. HERRON. I have named one or two sources of revenue from which we could get perhaps as much money as we are getting under the present Bill. I believe we could derive a large revenue from the sale of our mineral lands in that country for some years to come, and with the revenue that will come to the provinces under this Bill, I do not see how they are going to provide for provincial services. The amount allotted for the first year under this Bill could be spent in my own district alone, and then it would not half supply the needs of the district in building roads and bridges and other things which are absolutely necessary. Hon. gentlemen on the other side of the House know that when the Territorial government was giving us $700,000 or $800,000 a year there were applications in for the expenditure of $15,000,000, which large sum could be very judiciously applied to meet the wants of the people.
Mr. W. F. MACLEAN. This afternoon the hon. member for Assiniboia (Mr. Scott) read an extract from a speech of mine that I had‚ÄĒ
Sir WILFRID LAURIER. Forgotten.
Mr. W. F. MACLEAN. No; but I was wondering how he could possibly make the views therein expressed conflict with my present views. I did say something about the recklessness of legislatures voting away the property of the people, but I was speaking of all legislatures, including the Dominion parliament. It must be remembered that these legislatures, which so cheerfully gave away the heritage of the people, were nearly all under Liberal governments, but a change is taking place now. There has been a change in my own province, and two minutes ago I received this telegram from Toronto, which shows what a Conservative government is doing to protect the interests of the people:
Whitney announces that Order in Council granting Electric Development Company power to develop extra 25,000 horse-power will not be ratified.    
5525 MAY 8, 1905
A Liberal government in Ontario gave away three great franchises in connection with the development of power, and two days before the election they doubled the capacity of water that one of these companies was allowed to take, and in that reckless way the property of the people was handed out to exploiters. The Conservative government in Ontario is trying to remedy this. I believe, with the member for Qu'Appelle, that there would be a more satisfactory administration of the public lands by the local authorities than by the central authority at Ottawa. The new Minister of the Interior has come into the House fresh from the west, and I would like him to tell us whether the opinion of the west is, as it was formerly, that the public domain shall be handed over to the new provinces. We are told here by one or two members from the west that their views have changed, but I am quite certain that the views of the people of the west in this respect have not changed.
Mr. OLIVER. All of us who come from the west are anxious to have this Bill passed, and if we do not reply to every assertion that is made from the other side, it is rather because we wish to forward business than that we are particular about how gentlemen on the other side care to represent or misrepresent the position. By this time we have fairly well arrived at a conclusion as to what is the position of the opposition in regard to this question. They appear to be unanimous in the view that the lands of the west shall be treated as a source of revenue, and that the west should depend upon its lands for its revenue. That is the view that prevailed when the Conservatives were in power, and every member on the other side has reiterated that principle today. I need not remind the House or the country that under that policy, not only was the land not a source of revenue, but it was a source of direct loss; it did not pay the cost of administration. It was not until the principle of the land for the people, the principle of free land to the settler, was adopted that the price of land in the Northwest increased. It is because of the policy of the land for the settler that land in the west has attained its present value. Just so sure as the policy of the land for revenue is adopted again, just so sure the result will be as before. With the experience we have had, it is late in the day or us to make the mistake of killing the goose that lays the golden egg. It is the free settlement of land that makes the balance of it valuable, and just so soon as you place the burden of support of provincial government upon the revenue derived from the sale of the land, just so soon you will depreciate the value of the land and injure the province and injure the country. I am fresh from the west, and I can tell my hon. friend (Mr. W. F. Maclean) that I discussed this question with 5526 the people I have the honour to represent. He knows the result. This subject was persistently placed before the people, and the provisions of the Bill in this regard were, so far as I could learn, unanimously endorsed by the people. We do not want a policy of the land for revenue; we want a policy of the land for the people, and the members who parade the fact that certain lands in the Northwest are to-day worth certain money are only giving evidence of the desirability, of the necessity for, and of the success of, the policy of giving away the land to anybody who will take it and use it. The idea that you could derive from the whole land of the country the same value that you can for a small part of it when you are using the greater part of it for the purpose of attracting settlers, is an idea that is absolutely absurd, and one which I think will not be approved of by even our western friends on the other side of the House.
As to the ability of the people of the Northwest to manage their own affairs their land or other matters, no question is raised by any person, but there is a difference in point of view as I had occasion to remark at another time. The provincial government, which circumstances compel to derive ultimately the larger part of its revenue from the disposal of its lands, is under necessity and stress of an absolutely different administration of its lands from the Dominion government which makes its money out of those lands by their settlement. As I said on a previous occasion, the Dominion government can afford, and well afford, not only to give the lands away, but to spend a million dollars a year in attracting settlement to those lands and still make lots of money for that country and for every province in the Dominion by doing so. It need scarcely be stated to the members of this House that the provincial government whose interest in those lands is from their sale and rental is not in a position to give them away, is not in a position to spend money in order to attract settlers to them, and give them the lands for nothing; as is the Dominion government which derives its revenues from the customs duties on the increased trade due to the presence of these settlers in Canada. There is no question about the ability of the provincial government or the Dominion government; it is a quesiion of the circumstances under which each government carries on its affairs, and again I say in answer to the hon. gentleman's question, we in the west appreciate thoroughly the necessity from every point of view of those lands being administered as far as possible in the interests of settlement and not in the interests of revenue; it is for that reason that we want those lands to remain under the administration of the Dominion which is able to administer them and still make a profit, and we are glad to receive a cash allowance in 5527 COMMONS place of the revenue that otherwise we would have to take out of those lands,
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. Is it not after all a mere matter of control?
Mr. OLIVER. Certainly not.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. Why not?
Mr. OLIVER. I have tried to explain.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. Perhaps my hon. friend does not understand me. The Dominion he says pays a certain subsidy to the province and pays out large sums of money in respect of the administration of those lands.
Mr. OLIVER. Yes.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. Well, can we not very well hand the lands over to the provinces and give them that additional amount and still have local control? Why would it not be better for the Dominion to take that course? As far as the Dominion is concerned, there would be no loss of money according to the hon. gentleman's statement. That is why I said just now that after all it is a mere matter of control.
Mr. OLIVER. If that is the suggestion of the hon. gentleman I would certainly advise him to put it in the form of a motion and place it before the House and the country.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. Would the hon. gentleman support it?
Mr. OLIVER. I certainly would not, for I believe in the principle that if we are paying the cost of the administration of these lands we should administer them.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. I did not suggest the contrary.
Mr. OLIVER I have not followed the hon. gentleman.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. I suggested that Canada shall make a proper allowance to the new provinces, having regard to the fact that they must take over certain items of expenditure which now devolve upon the Dominion of Canada in connection with the control of these lands. The hon. gentleman surely does not object to the new provinces getting an adequate allowance to carry on the business which is entrusted to them. Coming from the west he does not take that position.
Mr. OLIVER. Certainly not.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. Does it not come down then to what I suggested ?
Mr. OLIVER. Does the hon. member propose to give the provinces the cash allowance we propose in this Bill, and also to hand over the administration of the lands and also to recoup them for any possible loss incurred in the administration of those lands ?
5528
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. I say that if we impose on them under the terms of this Bill a certain expenditure, it is reasonable and necessary that we should make provision for that expenditure, and I have also said over and over again that I believe the provinces should be entrusted with the control of these lands. I do not think the hon. gentleman (Mr. Oliver) had concluded his remarks so I shall not add anything more until after he has finished.
Mr. OLIVER. I have no hesitation in saying that the principle that the government which provides the money should have the control is one that I would always support, and that if the Dominion government had to provide the provinces with the money with which to administer the lands, it would be right and proper‚ÄĒ and as a western man I would say it would be right and proper‚ÄĒthat the Dominion government should administer that for which it pays. But to repeat, if I can make myself clear, it would not matter if to-day we handed over to the provinces the amount of money that we are proposing to hand over and then handed over to them the land and then handed over an additional amount to repay them for possible loss on the administration of those lands, the principle would still remain that the Dominion government could afford to give the lands away and still make money, and that the provincial government could not afford to give the lands away and make money; and that therefore those of us who believe in the propriety and the good policy of administering these lands for the sake of settlement rather than of revenue, other things being equal, certainly want to see that administration remain in the hands of the Dominion government. Now in regard to a suggestion made by the hon. member for Alberta (Mr. Herron) as to the revenue that is being derived from the sale of mineral lands‚ÄĒand by inference he suggested that a sufficient revenue might be derived from the sale of mineral lands without trespassing on agricultural lands- I do not know what money could be derived from the sale of mineral lands, in the Territories ; I do not know what money has been derived in the past or can be derived in the future. I hope that a very large revenue can be derived from that source, but even supposing that there can be a considerable revenue derived from that source, it does not alter the principle I have stated, but we may judge possibly of this by comparison. The district of Alberta, as every one knows, is not what would be called a highly mineralized territory. There are important and valuable mineral coal deposits throughout the prairie country and in the Rocky mountains and these of course are of very great value, but certainly Alberta is not mineralized to anything like the extent that the adjoining province of British Columbia is. There is 5529 ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†¬† MAY 8, 1905 ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†¬† a province of larger area than the proposed province of Alberta, a province which is, I might almost say, entirely mineralized, which has coal, and gold, and silver, and lead, and copper, and iron, and every metal almost on earth, and has them in the greatest abundance. I suppose there is no other country of equal area that is as highly mineralized or mineralized with as valuable metal as British Columbia. British Columbia has timber and land and that province works all its natural resources for all they are worth as sources of revenue, yet if I have read the reports of the provincial government correctly, the total receipts from the sales of lands from all sources that I could gather in the province of British Columbia a year or two ago amounted to some $615,000.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. Did they not collect royalty ?
Mr. OLIVER. Yes, this is all I could gather. I have here the revenue from sale of mineral lands, timber lands and the rest, and the whole thing totals $615,000. If that is the total which British Columbia derives from the sale of lands and the rental and working of all its natural resources, I submit that we in Alberta cannot reasonably expect to support our provincial government from the sales of our mineral and timber lands.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. I would like to say to the hon. gentleman that one of his arguments at least would lead to some extraordinary results. He says that whatever the Dominion government provides money for, they should control. Well, the Dominion government, under the terms of this Bill, provides money for the administration of justice in the new provinces, and for other matters which are under control of the provinces. All I was suggesting was that if the lands were under control of the new provinces, it would be proper to take into consideration the expense involved in the administration of those lands. He says you must not get revenue out of these lands as that would hear harshly on the people. But I did not observe him to rise here and rebuke the argument of his predecessor two years ago when he led us to believe that we would get from sixty to seventy-five million dollars out of these lands. Well, it will not bear less hardly on the people if that money be taken by the Dominion than if it be taken by the new provinces. I heard no word of repudiation from the hon. gentleman when the ex-Minister of the Interior (Mr. Sifton) announced that policy. On the contrary, he voted in support of the government and in support of that argument. Are we to-day having a new policy announced ? Has the hon. gentleman decided to repudiate the policy of the government as announced by his predecessor, because 5530 that is what his argument leads to ? Let me tell him that in the province of Nova Scotia, which has an area of only 21,000 square miles, and where a wiser policy has been pursued in respect of its mines than that which is being pursued in respect of its Crown lands, the amount of money received from mineral lands in the year ending 30th September, 1903, was $619,234, which is a very comfortable amount of revenue for a province with a small area, and which was within a few dollars of one half the total revenue of that province during that year. And I might add also that it is a province, only portions of which are mineralized. The Annapolis valley and other very large portions of the province, which are suitable for agricultural purposes, are of course not mineralized, but there is quite a large area‚ÄĒ between one-half and one-third‚ÄĒwhlch might be regarded as mineralized land. If such lands were handed over to the new provinces, probably some system of not giving away the whole of the mineralized land, but reserving a certain interest to the people in the shape of royalty, might be carried out with equally good results. In the province of Alberta, such a policy would contribute largely to the development of the country. The hon. minister may see possibly that there might be some room for reflection in the suggestion that the lands, even if the present system were maintained, would be of some use to the new provinces. The Dominion government did not propose to make $60,000,000 to $75,000,000 by doing away with the homestead entries. The predecessor of my hon. friend distinctly said that these homesteads must be reserved for the poor man, but he proposed to make this money out of the alternate sections which are not reserved for homestead sections.
Mr. OLIVER. What did he say?
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. He said this:
But I would point to the fact that we shall enter upon the business of selling something like 50,000,000 acres of land in the Territories in a short time, and if we watch the manner in which the business of selling land by railway and land companies, has been going on, we have no reason to doubt that, if we choose, these lands win be disposed of with some degree of rapidity. What I desire to say is this: There is probably, out of that 50,000,000 acres of odd- numbered sections‚ÄĒthe even-numbered sections are kept for the poor man's homesteads‚ÄĒ20,000,000 or 25,000,000 at present so far removed from communication as to be absolutely of no value whatever. But, in my judgment, within ten years from the .time this railway is completed, 20,000,000 acres of land owned by the government at present will have acquired a value of at least $3 per acre.
And in the previous part of his remarks he pointed out that by reason of the corporations selecting their land, the government would be free to dispose of the odd- 5531 COMMONS numbered sections, reserving the even numbered for the poor man's homesteads, and we would get $60,000,000 to $75,000,000 out of it.
Mr. HERRON. I might say with reference to the comparison which the hon. gentleman drew between the lands of British Columbia and those of Alberta, that if we have no precious minerals in Alberta, still we have these immense coal deposits which are probably just as valuable as the precious metals. Some of the coal mines of Alberta have sold for as large a sum as some of these silver and copper mines of British Columbia. One of them sold for no less a sum than $3,000,000. Within twenty-five miles of the locality where I live, I suppose we have fifty coal mines just as good as the one I referred to, which sold for $3,000,000. Coal mines are being developed all over that country. Not more than a month ago, an eminent engineer reported on a mine newly developed within the last year, and in his report he said that there were ten million tons of coal above tunnel levels. That is only one mine out of fifty within twenty-five miles of where I live. It seems to me that a province with natural resources of that kind would have no difficulty in raising a fair amount of revenue. You might also take into consideration our fisheries, which may be of considerable importance. I think that if they were under the control of the Northwest government we should not see them leased at $10 a year for 21 years. If they were handled in the proper way, they would be another considerable source of revenue. I consider the minerals of our country also very important. And I think we could make a law which would do more to promote the development of our mineral resources than can be done from here. The mining laws of the Dominion, I consider, very unsatisfactory to the people engaged in' mining. And something should be done to remedy this difficulty.
Mr. W. F. MACLEAN. The Minister of the Interior (Mr. Oliver) laid down the doctrine a little while ago, that not only should the Dominion have these lands, but it should also have the immense revenue from customs to be yielded by that country. That is, the Dominion is to have everything, and the old provincial righters have completely changed their doctrines. The minister spoke of this land being the land of the people. Formerly it used to be 'the land for the province ' but the minister covers the change by a general assertion of ' the land for the people. But the fact is he is abandoning the old platform on which he and his friends used to stand before this House and before the country. But I believe there is no change in the view that the people of the country take on this subject. As has just been stated by the hon. member for Alberta (Mr. Herron), the mineral lands may be 5532 worth more than the agricultural lands, but these now are given over to the Dominion. Why not adopt this solution of the difficulty, take stock of what there is there and give half to the people of the west and keep half for the Dominion ? I hold that those provinces when established, should be started off with a large public domain of their own. They can give lands to the settler as well as the Dominion can. They can encourage mining by giving mineral grants. And perhaps they can do more than the Dominion can to develop the mineral lands by a policy similar to that of Nova Scotia. The province of Nova Scotia, for its size, is probably the richest province of the Dominion, by reason of its immense mineral deposits, especially in the way of coal. If there are these great coal deposits in the west that they say there are, and if coal is essential to the west, as I believe it to be, it would be a good thing if the new provinces had this public domain. And, if they cannot have it all, they should share it. It may be the view of the hon. gentlemen opposite that the provinces should not have part of this domain. That may be the view of the Dominion government, but I do not think it is in accord with the speeches made in the west or with the resolutions in the territorial assembly, nor do I believe it to be in accord with the views of the people of the west to-day.
Mr. LAKE. I believe that the consensus of opinion in the Northwest is in favour of the possession of the public domain by the people of the new provinces. It is curious to me that hon. gentlemen opposite say that they have not heard any dissatisfaction expressed in the country with the policy they now propose.
Mr. SCOTT. Why did not the hon. gentleman (Mr. Lake) go to Edmonton and ask the people to endorse his view ?
Mr. LAKE. I think the hon. gentleman (Mr. Scott), if he has heard from any but his own political associates must have heard a good deal more on this subject than he is willing to admit. We have been told by hon. gentlemen opposite that they have heard hardly any objection to the educational clauses of the Bill. The hon. member for Western Assiniboia (Mr. Scott) nods his head in assent to that. I can assure him that both with regard to the educational clauses, which we are not now discussmg, and the land clauses I have heard a great deal of dissatisfaction expressed, and have had a large number of letters on the subject. I can well understand that hon. gentlemen supporting the government think that the Dominion should retain the land. The idea was expressed to me by a leading Liberal of the Territories before the recent election. He said to me : 'You cannot expect the Dominion government to divest themselves of the enormous patronage involved in the the public lands of the Northwest.' But the point I wish to call attention to just now is 5533 ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† MAY 8, 1905 ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†¬† that referred to by the hon. member for Calgary (Mr. M. S. McCarthy). That hon. gentleman asked the question which has not yet been answered. He wished to know if this territory bordering upon Hudson bay‚ÄĒmost of it, I think, comprised in the district of Keewatin‚ÄĒis to be divided amongst the provinces of Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan, will that portion of the territory to he added to Ontario still remain, so far as the possession of the lands is concerned, in the hands of the Dominion government, or will the lands be handed over to the province ? And, will a difference be, made in that respect between the part of the territory given to Ontario and that given to the new province of Saskatchewan ? That is a question to which I would very much like to hear an answer, because I think it has a very clear bearing upon the subject before us. We know that a few years ago a very large amount of territory was handed over to the province of Quebec‚ÄĒ116,550 square miles.
Sir WILFRID LAURIER. I beg the hon. gentleman's (Mr. Lake's) pardon,‚ÄĒnothing was given to Quebec.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. There was a statute passed-
Sir WILFRID LAURIER. It was to settle the boundaries.
Mr. LAKE. There seems to be a great divergence of opinion between the right hon. leader of the government (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) and the local government of Quebec, because in the Order in Council which the Quebec government passed, upon which this Act of parliament was subsequently founded, it was stated that the definition of the limits which were proposed by the Quebec government meant an increase in area of 116,550 square miles. There can be no question, even if the right hon. gentleman (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) is right, and it was merely a new definition of the boundary, that it certainly drew the new boundary line far away to the north of the one which existed at that time. In any case, I think we should receive a definite answer on this point. Because only a short time ago, when the Minister of Justice was speaking on the Autonomy Bill, he said that in order to place the public lands of the Northwest Territories in the possession of the new provinces it would require a divesting Act by the parliament of Canada. So far as I have been able to see, there has been no divesting Act in regard, at all events, to that portion of the lands which the government of Quebec believed had been added to that province in 1889.
When we were asking for information this afternoon as to the basis of the calculation of the money grant given in lieu of lands, the information which we got showed us pretty conclusively that it was based upon the idea that 50,000,000 acres of land of the odd numbered sections 5534 are to be opened up and brought within the reach of civilization by the Grand Trunk Pacific. I do not think it can be said that any portion of the present district of Athabaska would come within that scope. I think the whole of the district of Athabaska is really considered by the government to be of little value at the present moment. Would it not be good policy, if the government determines to retain possession of the land in the present provisional districts of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Assiniboia, to hand over the district of Athabaska, at any rate. into the complete possession of the new pro¬ę vinces ? I think that would furnish a great incentive to the new provinces to try and open up this district. It seems to me that if a remote district of that sort is placed under the administration of a local government who have no beneficiary interest in the land, it would he a source of expenditure without affording any revenue. The provincial government might find a considerable amount of immigration going into the district of Athabaska, 300 or 400 miles away. These settlers would call loudly for the opening up of new roads and the building of bridges over some of the big rivers, and that would mean taking away a certain amount of money which would otherwise be spent in .the more thickly settled districts nearer home. Therefore, it seems to me that the local government would not be very anxious to encourage settlement in the remote districts ; whereas, if the lands in those remote districts formed part of the province, the local government would do their utmost to encourage settlement there. because they would be enhancing the value of their own property. For instance if the minerals are in the possession of the Dominion government. the opening up of a new coal mine would bring some money to the Dominion government in the shape of royalty, but it brings no revenue to the local government; in fact, it is a source of expenditure, because the local government has to provide for the inspection of the mine and for the safety of the miners. Therefore, the opening up of an undertaking of that sort is a loss to the local government, although it is a gain to the Dominion government. But if the mines and minerals belonged to the province it would be quite a different proposition for then the local government would be anxious to develop its resources and make a revenue in order to repay for the extra expenditure they Would have to make in providing for the inspection of the mine and safeguarding the lives of the miners.
Mr. MORIN. In regard to this question of lands in the new provinces, I cannot understand why the government do not annex those provinces and then give them the milk and the cream, and let them go. What is the use of this government acting as a clerk of the new provinces? Here is the federal government proposing to collect the 5535                    COMMONS        money for the sale of the land and hand it back to the provinces. Why don't you give them a quit claim to the land, and let the provinces take care of themselves ? If they can take care of themselves, they can take care of their own land. This is a childish policy; it is as plain as A, B, C. Now, what will take place ? I may not live to see the day, but the day will come when this government will receive no revenue from those lands, and then the government will say to the provinces: We cannot pay you any more, because we get nothing from you. Then they will say to this government: Why didn't you let us alone in the first place ? Why did you rob us when we had something ? Isn't it as broad as it is long? That is the way I understand it, anyway.
Mr. OLIVER. I think the hon. member has put his finger on the weak spot of our opponents' argument. He suggests that the time will come when the revenues from the lands will not be equal to the subsidy in lieu of the land. However, he is mistaken when he suggests that at that time, if it arrives, this government will be able to say to the provinces : We don't get the money, and therefore we cannot give it to you. That is the advantage of this agreement to the people of the Northwest, that, whether that time arrives or not, if it ever does arrive, it will not be the privilege of this government to say that it will not pay that money, because it will have to pay that money whether it derives any revenue or not. That is why we are supporting this provision.
Mr. MORIN. Very well. Will the hon. gentleman tell me whether the government proposes to act as a broker in this matter ?
Mr. OLIVER. The government is not acting as a broker at all‚ÄĒ
Mr. MORIN. Call it any other name you please.
Mr. OLIVER‚ÄĒbecause it is merely continuing to transact the business that it has always transacted, and the transaction of which has been successful and satisfactory ; and the local government is going to continue to transact its business, in which its administration has been successful, but its revenues will be on a somewhat different basis from what they were before, and that is all the difference. I just want to make reference to a point mentioned by the hon. member for Alberta (Mr. Herron) and also by the hon. member for Carleton (Mr. R. L. Borden), in reference to the revenue to be derived by the provinces, or that might be derived by the provinces in one instance, from the sale of coal lands, or royalties on coal and, in the other case, from the sale of the odd numbered sections of land. The hon. member for Carleton read an extract from a speech of the late Minister of the Interior, in which he suggested the idea that certain lands might be sold at the price, 5536 as I understand the extract, of $3 per acre. I am not able to say how far the late minister was laying down the policy for the future conduct of the government.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. He said that a measure would be introduced.
Mr. OLIVER. I will only say that the principle still remains the same, that this government can afford to give the lands away, and if it does not see fit to give the lands away it can afford to sell the lands to settlers better than the provincial government can afford to sell them if it has to sell them. He places the figures at $3 an acre of the land to be sold when land today is being sold at $6 per acre by railway companies. I submit that the provincial government under stress for revenue, as the government of every province in the Dominion is at the present time and as the governments of these provinces might very well he expected to be, would in the natural course of events, be apt to charge exactly what hon. members on the other side of the House have been suggesting during the whole of this day‚ÄĒthe last cent the land was worth and wring the last cent they could get out of it for the purposes of revenue. That is the principle that hon. gentlemen opposite have laid down. That was not the principle laid down by the late Minister of the Interior. The principle was that there was a possibility of deriving a certain amount of money from the sale of land, but the price he suggested was under the present conditions, a low price, a price such as might be supposed not to be a bar to successful settlement. The same in regard to the sale of coal lands or royalties on coal. In their comparison between the existence of coal in Alberta and the existence of coal in Nova Scotia our hon. friends on the other side of the House do not seem to appreciate the source from which the value comes. Coal and land in themselves have no value. The value in the coal is in the market that may be got for the coal, and the value of the land is in the demand that exists for the land. If nobody wants the coal or the land the coal and the land are worth nothing. In Alberta we have hundreds of square miles of coal practically worth nothing, because there is no market for it. Therefore, a comparison between the revenue that may be derived from coal in Alberta and the revenue that is derived from coal in Nova Scotia is not a proper comparison.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. Why is there not a market?
Mr. OLIVER. Because there is no great population dependent upon that source of supply. There will be, we hope, but there is not at the present time. To-day practically the area of coal land in the Edmonton districts is worth no more than ordin 5537 ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† MAY 8, 1905 ¬† ary farm land because there is so much of it and because there is no outside market for it. The market is not large enough. What I want to say in regard to coal is the same as I said in regard to land, that the provincial government under stress for the raising of a revenue might very well place a royalty on coal that would be a bar to the development of the industry in the stages through which it must pass while awaiting the development of the market. At the present time there is a royalty charged on coal by this government. This royalty of ten cents a ton is levied on coal mined under land granted on certain conditions. Other and adjoining land granted under different circumstances produces coal, but pays no royalty and I am credibly informed, that the circumstances belng as they are, the difference of ten cents a ton is sufficient to put out of business the coal mine‚ÄĒit is local mines that I am speaking of‚ÄĒthat has to pay that royalty as compared with the one that does not pay royalty. I submit we cannot afford to have our coal industry any more than our land settlement placed in jeopardy by placing it in the danger of provincial government which might very well be in financial stress as is the government of every province of the Dominion at the present time‚ÄĒ
Mr. BRODER. Would they not likely be as anxious for development as the federal government ?
Mr. OLIVER. Surely, they might be anxious, but if they had not the means, they could not do what they might desire to do and the experience of every government of every province of this Dominion is that they are under financial difficulties. Their provincial revenues are not equal to their provincial expenditures in scarcely any instance, they are continually looking for other sources of revenue and under the circumstances it certainly seems very plain that the danger to the development of the natural resources of the country is too great. We cannot afford to take the risk. We have heard of the great province of Ontario. It is a great province and it has a great people. It has a great undeveloped area and in that great undeveloped area is a vast clay belt, we are told‚ÄĒa clay belt suitable for settlement, awaiting settlement and we have a vigorous government in the province of Ontario. We have had one for many years and we have one now, we suppose. Has the province of Ontario at any time, or under any circumstances, or in any way successfully placed one single settler upon that great clay belt of Northern Ontario? Where has been the immigrant policy of the government of Ontario ? Where has been their policy of development of their great northern country ?
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. I think the late Liberal government claimed that they had created a New Ontario.
5538
Mr. W. F. MACLEAN. Ontario, Ontario.
Mr. OLIVER. They acquired this new Ontario, it is true, but what I am pointlflg out is that after they acquired it they have, just as we would be afraid would be done in the new provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan, skinned it of its natural resources for the sake of provincial revenue. Show me where they have put money into the development of that part of the province of Ontario.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. We are sorry to hear that their policy was so unwise.
Mr. OLIVER. I am neither defending nor attacking the government of Ontario. I am stating what I understand to be the plain facts and it is open to any hon. member of the House to correct me it I am incorrect. I am laying down the principle that no provincial government is circumstanced to undertake the work of the developement of a new country as is the Dominion government, because it derives its revenue from a different source and where the Dominion government has good and sufficient reasons for inducing free settlement by the expenditure of large amounts of money, no provincial government has any inducement or can afford to undertake that work and as a matter of fact does not undertake the work.
Mr. W. F. MACLEAN. Alas, and alack a day for provincial rights in the House of its old friends. Apparently the new provinces can do nothing. They are not able to administer public lands or public trusts, and if they were given charge of their estate they would only squander it. That apparently is the view of the hon. gentleman.
Mr. SCOTT. That is the hon. gentleman's statement.
Mr. W. F. MACLEAN. No, it is the statement of hon. gentlemen opposite, and especially of the hon. Minister of the In terior (Mr. Oliver). Later on in this discussion I intend to move a resolution something on these lines: that this clause be amended by the substitution of terms giving at least half the coal areas in each of the new provinces to the respective governments of those provinces. If there is any thing that the west is rich in it is in coal, and if there is anything the future, of the west depends on it is coal. Unless these settlers are assured for all time of the control of a cheap supply of coal, they run the risk of passing under a coal monopoly, as in the United States, where all the great cold areas, especially the Anthracite coal regions in Pennsylvania, have passed into the hands of barons, so that the people are paying $6 per ton for Anthracite coal when they should get it for $1.50 per ton, the cost of mining and transportation. Are we to repeat this mistake 5539                     COMMONS              in our western country ? The members from the west should insist that at least one-half of the coal areas should pass to the provinces and be kept for all time as a fuel supply for the people of the west.
MR. SCOTT. Why not say the whole of it?  
Mr. W. F. MACLEAN. I am willing to give them the whole of it, but let us at least make provision now for one half of it. Just as sure as there is a sun in heaven, that coal will be given away in grants of one kind and another, or sold for a mere trifle.
Sir WILFRID LAURIER. It will be safe in the hands of the local government?
Mr. W. F. MACLEAN. I do not say that, but if we have two trustees like the Dominion government and the provincial government it might be better protected than if we had only one trustee. There should be an arrangement between the Dominion government and the local government; that this coal land will be kept for all time for the benefit of the settlers.
Mr. LAMONT. Will Saskatchewan share in that ? _
Mr. W. F. MACLEAN. If Saskatchewan has no coal fields, then I am willing that she should have an interest in these coal areas. I preach the new doctrine in this House; that the people of the west should be partners of the Dominion government in the ownership and control of this public domain, and I challenge any man here from the west to deny that that is a sound proposition. Later on I intend to make a proposal that these new provinces should have at least one-half interest in the coal deposits of that new country.
Mr. HERRON. The Minister of the Interior suggested that the Dominion government would sell the lands cheaply for the purpose of developing the country, but I can point out to him that the sales they have made along the foothills have not had that effect. There was a sale made six or seven years ago of 10,000 acres to a foreign company, another sale of 15,000 acres to another company a few years ago, and not one shovel full of earth has been turned since. That land will be valuable in time to come, and I do not believe it is a good policy for the country that the government should sell it now at a nominal figure and allow it to remain there undeveloped.
Mr. OLIVER. That proves that what we need in Alberta is a market for the coal in order to give it value, and that in the process of development we must be careful how the business is handled or it will check that development.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. I would not look at it in that way. I would think that the people who take up these coal lands should 5540 either develop them or pay a rental until the market does come. Why should they be permitted, without contributing one dollar to the revenue of the country, to hold for thirty or forty years, coal lands that will be worth millions of dollars and perhaps tens of millions of dollars at that time if the country is well settled ? I cannot understand why in the name of common sense such a policy should be adopted. In most countries where these matters are well thought out the coal areas are leased and not sold out right. If they are not worked so as to produce a royalty, the people who hold these lands must pay an annual rental, so that they shall contribute something from year to year in respect to the increased value that these coal lands acquire through their being held. Both the Prime Minister and the Minister of the Interior stated this afternoon that these lands are of great importance to the people of the west, and that if they were handed over to them they would have to depend very largely upon these lands for revenue. They argued that the provinces would be less likely to take good care of them than would the Dominion government to whom these lands are of much less moment. I should think that argument would work the other way. These lands are of direct local concern to the people of the province, and in my view the province is more likely to take good care of them than is the Dominion. I do not know why we should suppose that the people of the Northwest are any more reckless, any less capable or any less honest than the people of Canada as a whole, or why the representatives of the people of the west assembled in their legislature would be any less capable, any less prudent or any less provident than the people of Canada as a whole. If they are not less capable, less provident, or less honest, surely they would be likely to take better and not worse care of these lands than the federal legislature.
Mr. OLIVER. I do not know exactly what the suggestion of charging an annual rental on coal property has to do with the subject under discussion.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. I will tell you. The hon. gentleman, (Mr. Oliver) said that these lands could not be developed because there is no market for the coal, and therefore, to follow out his argument to its logical result; it is a wise policy to sell these lands to speculators who will hold them until there is a market, and pay nothing to the public revenue while the increment of value is being added. I say that is not good policy, I say that in the meantime these speculators should pay an annual rental to the public treasury in order to give at least some compensation for the enormous profits which they in the end will make out of these coal lands.
Mr. OLIVER. I am quite willing to argue what should be a proper policy to pursue 5541                 MAY 8, 1905          in regard to these lands, but 1 do not see what it has to do with the question as to whether the Dominion or the province should carry out such a policy.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. I will endeavour to make it plain. I say that the people of the Territories are just as honest, just as capable and just as provident as the people of the rest of Canada ; and seeing this thing occurring under their own eyes they would be much more likely to stop it than we seem to have been during the past ten, or fifteen, or twenty years.
Sir WILFRID LAURIER. I do not dispute and nobody will dispute that the people of the Territories whether they are represented in this House or in their legislative assemblies are the same, but my hon. friend will agree with me that the argument I gave him this afternoon is unanswerable.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. I think it is, but in the very opposite direction.
Sir WILFRID LAURIER. My hon. friend does not apprehend the argument; it is this, that if a government, whether it be a local or a federal government, gets in trouble financially, the Dominion government has more resources to fall back upon than a local government; the local government has no resources other than it own lands, and therefore they are more liable to sacrifice these lands to meet an immediate contingency than the Dominion government will be. Let us look at the experience of the past. There is no denying that most of the provincial governments are not at the present time in a very flourishing condition financially; most of them are more or less embarrassed, and moreover I do not think, judging from the past, that my hon. friend has a bright example as to the administration of public lands by the several provinces. Take the neighbouring province of British Columbia. They gave away their domain, they gave away the richest mineral lands they had, the coal lands for a mere song, and when in 1897 the Canadian Pacific Railway came here for a subsidy to assist them to build the Crow's Ness Pass line they already had an enormous subsidy in lands from the British Columbia legislature, an enormous subsidy, so large indeed that before we gave any assistance to the company to build that line, we compelled it to surrender to us 50,000 acres of their best coal lands which we keep as a reserve, so that the people will have under all circumstances the benefit of the coal that is there. "We were not satisfied with the reservation of 50,000 acres of coal lands, but, it I remember aright, we also compelled the company to sell their coal at a stated price, which we were sure would prevent any monopoly of those lands, and would have the effect of preventing the very thing 5542 which terrifies my hon. friend from South York (Mr. W. F. Maclean) in his new zeal for provincial rights. That zeal altogether new and only of short duration because I remember only last year he was deprecating the mistake made by Sir John Macdonald in permitting a federal government and in not having a legislative union.
Mr. W. F. MACLEAN. I was pointing out the inconsistency of the right hon. gentleman.
Sir WILFRID LAURIER. That was last year; now he is a provincial righter and has all the zeal of a new convert who always goes too far and does not understand the doctrines he is talking about.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. The new light that my hon. friend from South York (Mr. W. F. Maclean) has received in this matter is but a feeble glimmer to that which has come to the right hon. gentleman and those on that side of the House. I still do not agree‚ÄĒ
Sir WILFRID LAURIER. I did not expect the hon. gentleman would.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN‚ÄĒwith the premier's argument. I did not suppose in his heart that he expected that any one would agree with him because after all his argument does not rest on much. He says that these provinces are likely to be in great stress fnancially while the Dominion government is always likely to have plenty of money. That may or may not be; we cannot always foretell. I still base my faith upon this that if those lands are of more importance to the province than they are to the Dominion as a whole, and if their people are equally honest and capable, we may expect them to take better care of the public domain than we could possibly do. We surely should not attribute to the people of those provinces so extremely reckless a disposition as to believe that they will sell their birthright for a mess of pottage, simply because of a temporary stringency. That is all the premier's argument amounts to. Some provinces may not have administered their public domain wisely; I am not contending that they always have done so, but has it not been the argument of my right hon. friend and his followers that this Dominion has not always administered the public domain wisely? How often have I heard the changes rung upon that as one of the misdeeds of the Conservatives in the past, and yet my right hon. friend and his colleagues were willing in 1875 to give twice as much land to have the Canadian Pacific Railway built as was eventually given by Sir John Macdonald, so that both political parties in the Dominion of Canada, have not according to the argument made on the other side of the House been guilty of excessive prudence in that re 5543 ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† COMMONS ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†¬† gard. I do not know enough about the history of the province of British Columbia to be prepared to offer an opinion upon the wisdom of the administration of the public domain of that province. I know that in my own province I do not approve of the way the Crown lands have been administered; they have been sold instead of being leased under proper control as to cutting upon them. In Quebec, as I understand, there is a system of leasing which perhaps may not always have been carried out very wisely, and in Ontario there is also a system of leasing and I believe in respect to the Crown lands, in respect to minerals, in respect to the public domain generally, it would be wise for the province to retain the ownership and lease subject to annual rentals as far as that policy is reasonably practicable. It has been followed with great success in Nova Scotia with respect to minerals and if it were not for the revenue derived from minerals, Nova Scotia would have an annual deficit of a large amount or the public services would have to be provided for much less liberally than they are at present.
Mr. WILLIAM WRIGHT. I am strongly of the opinion that the lands ought to be handed over to the management of the Northwest. I submit that they could manage them much more economically than they can be managed from Ottawa no matter what party may be in power. They are the people on the ground. We have in this House ten representatives for the whole Northwest to voice the views of the people there, but in the two legislatures that will be formed there will I think be fifty representatives, there will be representatives from every section of that country. I submit that they are much more interested than we can possibly be in the development of that country. I have different reasons why I would like to see the land in the hands of the people there. I do not think the right policy is being followed now in regard to the administration of these Northwest lands. Under the immigration arrangements that were introduced by the Interior Department, the government were I believe giving each alternate quarter section to prospective settlers, and I think selling the next quarter section in order to raise a revenue sufficient to carry on the management of the lands. Now it is proposed to hold these lands as a source of revenue. If this policy is carried out, we might ask ourselves how much revenue we are to get from it. If we have lost more than $1,000,000 in the past, will we not lose a million in the future if this policy is continued, so that ultimately these lands will be all gone and nobody will have been benefited, because I submit that in giving a quarter section to each settler we are not fulfilling all our duties in re 5544 gard to settlement, because as any one who is familiar with that country knows, a quarter section is not sufficient to establish a settler in the west.
Provision should be made for at least another quarter section to every prospective settler ; and I think that the ex-Minister of the Interior (Mr. Sifton) when he proposed putting a motion of that kind some time ago, intended to allow the settler to have the opportunity of buying the quarter section alongside of him. That, I think, would be a move in the right direction. It would be an improvement on the present policy of giving the quarter section at a nominal rate to some company or partnership or individual who will hold the land for speculation. To allow such lands to be held for speculative purposes is a natural hinderance to the settlement of the Northwest, because it augments the price which the settler will eventually have to pay ; and every dollar added to the price of the land is so much in the way of the settlement of that country. The proper policy would be to extend the present condition of giving a quarter section by providing that the actual settler, who cultivates the ground, will have the opportunity of buying another quarter section at a reasonable price. To-day, after he gets the first quarter section for nothing, he finds himself against the land of some speculator, and is forced to pay from $6 to $15 an acre before he can get the next quarter section. Two or three days ago I had a conversation with a man who tried to get land out there and found the diffculty so great that he actually came back in disgust and refused to settle under the present conditions. These people say that if proper conditions were imposed, they would move out there this spring and become settlers, but of course greater inducements are given to Doukhobors and Galicians and so on than to the young men from other parts of Canada. One gentleman that I saw said that he went up there to a land oflice and was pointed out a certain number of quarter sections upon which he might locate. After going out at considerable expense and selecting one, when he came back and tried to enter for location he was coolly told that they promised to hold it six months for some man in Ottawa, and that if he would wait until the spring and this man did not want the land, he could have it. After two or three similar experiences he came away in disgust, and has probably given up any notion of locating in the Northwest. If the present policy be continued, it will materially affect the settlement of that country. I do submit that if the people there had the management of the lands, they would administer it economically, promote settlement to a larger exent than is being done to-day, and save a large sum of money to this government. Even looking at the question from the standpoint only of economy, we would be making money for this Dominion and the Northwest by allow 5545 MAY 8, 1905 ing these new provinces to handle the lands themselves. They are more interested in getting good settlers than we can possibly be, because it is they who will suffer if settlement is retarded. Looking at it from every standpoint, I do not see what we have to gain by administering the lands from here. After all the money is gone, which we will get from the sales of lands in the future, we will have to dip into the Dominion treasury to pay the running expenses in connection with the management of lands in the North west, so that to continue the present policy would be suicidal, if only from a financial standpoint. There are many other considerations I might dwell upon, such as the giving away of vast coal lands. Last fall a large area was given away at $1.25 an acre and other large areas handed over to companies at insignificant sums. That is a policy which ought to be stopped. If these coal lands are not of any value we might as well hand them over to the Territories. We might as well do that in any event for all that we are getting for them. To say that the new provinces would squander and mismanage the lands is an insult to the people. The only good reason advanced so far is that advanced by the First Minister, that the provinces might be in distress for money; but I do not think that these local goverments, which will have the same ability to borrow as other local governments, need be in any want of money, and we can as well afford to give them a reasonable monetary annual payment as we can to the other provinces. The other provinces have their lands and yet get an annual subsidy of so much per head. Why not treat the Territories in like manner ? They should be given the same rights as the older provinces and be treated with as much fairness and consideration, and I have not yet heard any good reason why this should not be done.
Mr. W. F. MACLEAN. The right hon. gentleman should 'have been a Chancery lawyer, for once he gets a ward in Chancery, he wants to keep it there all his life. Evidently that is his intention in the case of these new provinces. He wishes to keep them as wards in Chancery and to manage their affairs for all time. He did tell us, when he introduced these Bills, that he was putting on the coping stone, that he was completing the emancipation of that country, but evidently his intention is to keep the west in the condition of wards for all time. The new provinces are not to be free to administer their own public lands but are to be treated as wards and the Dominion is to be their perpetual trustee. Perhaps the right hon. gentleman is more anxious about the patronage than anything else and thinks that his sunny measures will be promoted by having this large patronage at his disposal. I am surprised at the moderation of my own views in the matter of paternal government when I see this governments proposition, which is 5546 paternalism in its rankest form. There is to be no emancipation of the provinces, no provincial rights, no trusting the people of the west to manage their own affairs. They are instead to be managed by the Dominion and the control of their own financial heritage is to be taken out of their hands. Again I would ask the right hon. gentleman to answer the question proposed by my hon. friend from Qu'Appelle (Mr. Lake), with regard to this new territory in Keewatin. If it is to be divided up among the provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Ontario, is Ontario to be given a deed to the Crown lands it takes over and are the other provinces to be still in the position of wards and not to be given control of these lands ?
Sir WILFRID LAURIER. I intended to answer the question of the hon. member for Qu'Appelle, but did not understand exactly what it was.
Mr. LAKE. The question I put is this. If the lands of Keewatin are to be divided among the provinces of Ontario and Manitoba and the new province of Saskatchewan, will the lands, which are to be included in the province of Ontario, be placed absolutely in the possesion of that province ? If that be the intention, will the same treatment he meted out to Manitoba and Saskatchewan, and will they enter into full possession of those lands ? It seems to me that unless Ontario were placed in full possession of her slice of territory, the government might find that the precedent they are now setting would create a demand on the part of Ontario for a subsidy in lieu of these lands.
Sir WILFRID LAURIER. I must say to my hon. friend that I had not considered this aspect of the question. There was no necessity, I believe, for the government to come to any decision upon this point, especially in view of the manner in which the subject was brought up. My hon. friend is aware that when we brought down this Bill we did not include in Saskatchewan the whole of the area included in that territory. The territory in Keewatin is also claimed by the province of Manitoba. And I have no doubt, from the representations made to me that the province of Saskatchewan will also claim that portion of the territory. The province of Ontario has signified its intention to claim that its boundaries should be extended to the shores of Hudson bay. Under these circumstances the government decided not to dispose of the territory, but to wait and have a conference with the representatives of Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan, with a view to disposing of this territory. I am not prepared to say, at the present time, what the government should do. The only thing I can say, speaking for the government, is that we think it fair and just that the representations of these several provinces should be heard before a decision is come to.
5547 COMMONS
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. My hon. friend from Qu'Appelle (Mr. Lake) has given the Prime Minister (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) a very hard nut to crack and I must say that the right hon. gentleman has not made much impression upon it.
Sir WILFRID LAURIER. This is not the time to crack it. We will crack it in due time.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. In July ?
An hon. MEMBER. ' In due time.'
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. Oh, in due time. I did not know but that the right hon. gentleman had a preference for a summer session. The Prime Minister has already practically admitted that a statement made by a member of this House in the constituency of Mountain, in the province of Manitoba, embodied a decision which would be accepted by the government. And that statement, speaking from recollection, was that a portion of the territory not yet appropriated would be divided in this way; the line would run, I think from the northeast boundary of Manitoba, or some point near there, up Churchill river to Fort Churchill, then down the coast of Hudson bay to Weenisk river to Weenisk lake, then to Fishing lake at the boundary of the province of Ontario and thence south to the 49th parallel. This was to be the new boundary of the province of Manitoba. The portion of the land to the north and west would go to Saskatchewan and the portion to the east would go to Ontario. That division, as not only one but two hon. members of the House stated, and as practically the Prime Minister has said would be adopted. The question that the hon. member for Qu'Appelle asks is this: Having decided upon that course, you must have come to some conclusion whether you will or will not, in that portion of the territory to be handed over to Ontario, carry out exactly the same policy which you are carrying out with respect to these new provinces. In other words: You will add to the province of Ontario 30,000 or 40,000 square miles of territory. Will you reserve the public domain, in these lands to this government, or will that domain pass over to be administered by the province of Ontario as other provincial lands of Ontario are administered ? If you do hand this public domain over to Ontario, will or will you not adopt the same principle with regard to Manitoba? And, if you carry out the policy of transferring the public domain to these two provinces, how shall you make any exception in the case of the province of Saskatchewan ? And, if you carry out that policy in the province of Saskatchewan in regard to the added territory, what reason can possibly be given for withholding the lands in the remainder of the province? It seems a very logical sequence, and I should think 5548 it could afford some room for reflection by the government. I assume that practically the government will get out of it by not handing over any land to Ontario. And thus that fine province may find itself divested of a certain amount of territory because a difficulty arises through the inconsistent conduct of the government.
Now, there is one matter I wish to bring to the attention of the member for West Assiniboia (Mr. Scott). It relates to the hon. gentleman's attitude toward provincial autonomy. I have a little reference to some remarks of his. He referred to a certain proposal I made which was mentioned this afternoon. I said, in the first place, that I thought the lands ought to be handed over to the control and administration of the provinces, I adverted to the arguments of the Prime Minister that that would be dangerous to the immigration policy of the government. I thought there should be no such danger, but I suggested that if the government were of opinion that there was such a danger, they might hand over the land of the province on certain stipulations with regard to free homesteads, to which the consent of the people of the Northwest Territories would be obtained. On this point the hon. member for Western Assiniboia said :
I repeat, Mr. Speaker, that I am amazed that any man in this House should give voice to such a suggestion for invasion of provincial autonomy as is contained in the suggestion of my hon. friend.
As I understand him, in his opinion it is   an invasion of provincial autonomy to hand these lands over to the province under any restriction whatever even though the consent of the people of the Territories, through their representatives, were obtained-
Mr. SCOTT. Certainly.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN‚ÄĒbut he regards it not as an invasion of provincial autonomy to refuse to hand over any portion of the lands, but to retain them all in the possession of the Dominion government. That would seem to me a little inconsistent.
Mr. SCOTT. I may be permitted to say that when I made that reference to the suggestion of my hon. friend I was taking for the moment his point of view with regard to autonomy. He was taking the view that we must lay out the new provinces upon exactly the same basis as that on which the four original provinces entered confederation. For instance, they must be dealt with in a certain way with regard to education. He had a particular view in that matter. They must be dealt with so and so with regard to the lands, and in every particular, if I understood my hon. friend aright, it was his view that this parliament was not free to deal as it chose, but it must follow strictly certain lines which are laid down in the British North 5549 MAY 8, 1905 America Acts from 1867 to 1886 inclusive. Taking that point of view, I endeavoured to point out to the hon. gentleman that his own suggestion involved the most violent invasion of provincial autonomy I had ever heard any body give voice to.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. Where does the hon. gentleman find any provision in the British North America Act that substantiates anything he has said just now ? He says that my proposal involves some invasion of provincial autonomy ; what section or subsection of the British North America Act is he referring to ?
Mr. SCOTT. It is clear to every person that the provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec and Ontario own their public domain, they are entirely unrestricted in the usage of their public domain, it is their chief source of revenue. The province of Nova Scotia gets much more from its public domain than it does from the federal subsidy, so with the province of Ontario, so with the province of Quebec. My hon. friend's suggestion was, if I understood him right, that we were not free to deal with these new provinces with regard to the lands in any other way than thosa four provinces were dealt with; but then, he said, if there is a reasonable objection against that, why not put in this restriction ? Would it not be the statesmanlike thing to find a way of adopting the power of the provinces in their disposal of these lands,' he suggested. As I pointed out in my speech on the second reading, it would he a restriction that would amount to scores of millions of dollars to come.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. If he regards that as an invasion of provincial autonomy, does he regard it as a greater invasion of provincial autonomy to retain the lands altogether by the Dominion ?
Mr. SCOTT. My hon. friend knows my view with regard to the proposals which are before the House. My view is that this parliament has the discretion to give such constitution to these new provinces as it chooses to give. We are proposing to pay a certain amount of money to them in lieu of their public domain. I have been out in that country recently and have conversed with scores of men who take an interest in this question, and they all agree with me that this proposal is far better for the provinces even than the proposal to transfer the land unrestrictedly to the new provinces, and that as between the projosal that is being put into effect and the suggestion to turn over the public domain with my hon. friend's restriction, there is no comparison at all. With respect to the remarks which have been made by the hon. member for Qu'Appelle going to show that the people of the Northwest are not satisfied with these land proposals, I asked him a moment ago. I ask him again now, and I 5550 ask the member for South York, if they are in earnest in what they say about these land proposals, why did they not take the opportunity to go into the district of Edmonton and place their policy before the people of that district ? Surely they had a fine opportunity of placing their views with regard to the land question as well as the school question before the people of Edmonton ? But I understand they hold that it was no use to go, because there are a number of Roman Catholics in the district of Edmonton, and Roman Catholics forsooth, have no right to express an opinion upon the constitutional questions involved in this Autonomy Bill. But whatever reasons may underlie their contentions as to Roman Catholics and schools, surely as regards lands the interests of the Roman Catholic and Protestant citizens of the Northwest must be identical. And let me say here that this land proposition, in the judgment of the people of the Northwest Territories, is a much more serious, a much more momentous question than is the question that divides my hon. friend from Carleton and myself with regard to separate schools. There is a certain question between him and myself as to whether the settler out there shall have the privilege to send his child to a school-house on section 11 or to a school-house on section 14. But the settler in the Northwest Territories is more concerned to know whether he is going to have money enough to educate his child either in the schoolhouse on, section 14 or in the schoolhouse on section 11, than in the minor question as to which section his child shall travel to in going to the school-house. Very recently, in company with some of my hon. friends from the Territories and the new Minister of the Interior, I spent three weeks in the Northwest Territories, I was up in the constituency of Edmonton, passed through the constituency of Strathcona, spent four or five days in the district of Calgary, came through my own district, and put two days in at Regina. During that time I conversed with scores, if not with hundreds, of gentlemen, perhaps most of them Liberals, as would naturally be the case, but with a great many Conservatives also, and not a single man of them raised any objection against the land proposition of these measures. Many of the gentlemen I spoke to, Liberals, independents and Conservatives, some of them Conservative members of the legislature, spoke to me in strong terms of approval of the measures before the House at the present time in particular relation to the lands.
Mr. COCKSHUTT. When the Bill was up for the second reading, I took the opportunity of opposing this particular clause relating to the financial terms. I think there ¬† are very good reasons why these clauses should be opposed. I have listened during the afternoon and evening to hon. gentlemen 5551 ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†¬† COMMONS ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†¬† ¬† opposite, and I have not been able to gather any good reason for changing my views on this question. In the first place, the financial grant is a large one, it has to be paid by the Dominion, therefore every province becomes a party to the arrangement, and it is for every province to decide whether this grant is too large or not. We have been told by the new Minister of the Interior that we have lots of money. That is a very pleasant thing, but that may not always be the case, and the time will come when taxation will bear heavily on this country. Therefore, I think these financial terms should be watched very closely. I have not heard the Finance Minister deal with that part of the subject. Perhaps he has ways and means of raising money that will not embarrass us much in the near future. But this is a large question. The other provinces, I think, are getting 80 cents per head as a subsidy from the Dominion treasury. That is perhaps sufficient in Ontario, it may be sufficient for the Northwest, providing they get their land. To my mind, this course would be the better one to give them a smaller financial grant, but to give them possession of the lands, or a large portion of the lands. It appears to me that in so doing you would place where it properly belongs the responsibility for the administration of the lands. I listened to the Minister of the Interior just now, and I must say, if I followed him correctly, that he advanced a strange line of argument with regard to the land values. I understood him to make this argument, that the more lands we gave away so much more the remaining lands increase in value. That is a very strange proposition, the more of your assets you give away the more you will prize what are left‚ÄĒthat is what his argument amounts to. The more land we give away the more we will value those that are left. Then, if we continue to give away our lands, the time will come when what we have left will be worth $100 an acre. But would that be in the best interest of settlement? I think not. We want the lands, not only for settlers, but we want them especially for the right kind of settlers. We want them for good settlers. I believe it is very much better that we should grow solidly than that we should grow rapidly. I do not know whether the hon. Minister of the Interior admires the class of settlers that is going in there now to a very great extent or not, but I must say, that, as far as I am aware, and I believe this is the view of a great many people in Ontario, it is not the right kind of settlers that these lands are being given away to. We would rather see a better class even if we grow more slowly. Rapid growth is not the desideratum that we should strive for. We should look for quality as well as quantity. Therefore, I think the hon. gentleman, in pursuing that kind of argument, has not justified his posi 5552 tion. He made the further statement that Ontario has done nothing with her Crown lands. He says: I want to know where they have ever placed a single settler up there. I am not here as the sponsor of the Ross government. We had that government for thirty years. I did my best to turn them out and I am glad to say that we did at last get them out. They gave away vast tracts of our estate to their political friends, but there is to-day in New Ontario a large area of land left from which a good deal of revenue will accrue to us for generations to come. If these lands in the west are worth as much as it is said they are and if they were handed over the government of that country could be sustained for years and generations on them. It would seem, according to the hon. gentleman, that the people of the west should say : We will part with our inheritance, but we will take a mess of potage for it. These $2,000,000 will be only a mess of potage as compared with the value of these lands in years to come. Just compare that with the position of a man who has fallen heir to a great estate and who, on the death of his father, says that he prefers to retire on a life annuity and refuses to take any responsibility in connection with the management of his estate. What would you say of such a. man? Would you not say that he was a coward ? So he would be, because he would be laying down his birthright, selling it for a mess of potage. Man is here for something more than to take an annuity and to live for ever in peaceful retirement. He should take the responsibility that falls to his lot. Why should these new provinces be put in a different position from that occupied by the other provinces ? All the other provinces have their Crown lands except Manitoba. Have you any reason for making an exception in this case ? They are the most competent and the best able to administer these lands. They are on the spot. If there is anything wrong in connection with the administration of these lands these people are in the best position to make it right. They are the people to say what class of settlers they want in that country. They may say: We will take them a little slower but we will get the right kind. We will take the kind that will be a big boon to the country, that will build straight and true and right and if they do that they will not regret the policy of a little slower growth, of more solid growth, but of growth on right lines. Look at the great United States to the south of us. All that is best in that great republic came from that first little band of settlers who landed on Plymouth Rock. They are the people who laid the corner stone and set the foundation of that great republic. All that is truest and best in the United States to-day has descended from that little band of settlers that came out from 5553 MAY 8, 1905 Great Britain to seek freedom and the privilege of worshipping God in their own way. These people came out and laid the foundation of that great republic. To-day we are growing faster in the Northwest than we have been doing in the past, I question very much if the Department of the Interior, of whose wise administration we have heard so much, is exercising the care and wisdom which it should exercise in the settlement of that country. I think it would be better if we selected our settlers a little more carefully. I think these lands should be worth something to the settler coming in. My hon. friend from Muskoka (Mr. Wright) has stated that a Canadian has not the same advantages going in there as a man coming from a foreign country. If that is so it is a condition which should be rectified. Why should not the son of the Canadian farmer receive as good treatment as the man coming from the old country? I cannot understand that. It strikes me as a strange thing that a Canadian is not receiving as good treatment as one who comes from a foreign land. Many of Ontario's best sons have gone to the Northwest. Thousands and thousands have gone from Ontario and those are the kind of men we want in the Northwest. I commend to my hon. friend the Minister of the Interior this matter and I would ask him to see to it that the right kind of settlers go into that country. Do not be in too great a hurry to give away these lands. I understand that he says that we can make money out of giving them away, but I think it will he very difficult for him to prove that we can make more by giving away these lands. I understand his argument is that we can make more money by giving away these lands than by offering them for sale. He tells us that the coal lands are no good because there is no market for the coal. The same argument might apply to wheat, or to any other product of the Northwest. It'is a matter of transportation. That coal is worth money if we can find a market. It is only a matter of transportation. If we could not get the wheat out of the country, because of insufficient transportation the wheat would have no value. These coal lands will certainly be of great importance to that country as development goes on. I would be quite willing to trust these people with the administration of these lands. I think it is their part to succeed to that responsibility. I believe that they can administer these lands as well as they are being administered to-day. We are told they are well administered. From the remarks that have been made by the Minister of the Interior these lands have not realized as much to this country as they should have done. The hon. gentleman perhaps knows more about that than I do, but in the province of Ontario, although its as 5554 sets have been badly handled, the province has received a vast income and is today receiving a vast income from its Crown lands and will do so for generations to come. He says there are no settlers in Northern Ontario as a result of that. Let me point to the Soo and to New Liskeard which five years ago was scarcely heard of and which has a population of 5,000 to-day. Settlers are going in there in large numbers and if these Crown lands were handed over to the Northwest provinces they might also be able to draw a large settlement. If there was anything wrong about the administration of these lands the fifty representatives that are going to represent the people of these two new provinces in their local assembly, being the people on the spot, could deal wisely and promptly with the conditions arising in connection with these lands if they were placed under their control. It was not in the House this afternoon when the hon. Minister of Finance introduced some amendments. I have just had an opportunity of seeing them casually. They may be in the right direction and I think that perhaps some of them are, but it did occur to me that the administration of these lands should be placed in the hands of the provinces and that the cash subsidy, not only in justice to the rights of the other provinces, but in the best interests of these new provinces themselves, should be cut down to about the same figure as that which the older provinces are receiving. I do not see any good reason why that should not be done and I think that would be approved of by the country as a whole, because the cash subsidy is to be paid out of the pockets of the people of the whole Dominion. I think it would be advisable to revise the language of this clause and give the public lands to the provinces to which they really belong, thus pursuing the policy that has prevailed in this country ever since it was a country that the Crown lands shall belong to the various provinces of the Dominion and that the cash subsidy should be the same to these new provinces as it is to the provinces of the older parts of the Dominion.
Mr. ZIMMERMAN. I am delighted to see that our hon. friend from Brantford (Mr. Cockshutt) has got back his courage again. The other night he spoke to us for about an hour and a half. He took us all over creation. He told us that he had worshipped in the Catholic churches of Europe, Cuba and other countries, but for a long time we could not tell how he was going to vote, and we were left in doubt until the hour of midnight when he whispered in subdued tones that he proposed to vote in support of the amendment. His conscience then immediately pricked him and he proceeded to recite the Lord's Prayer. He said, in low tones that he had 5555 COMMONS changed his views on the question, but I can tell the hon. gentleman that if be consulted his constituents he would learn reasons why he should oppose the lands being handed over to the provinces. The manufacturers and business men of this country want to see the business of Canada continue to prosper as it has done for the past eight years. We have made wonderful progress under the present conditions ; immigration is pouring into our country in great volumes and business generally is increasing very rapidly. If the lands were handed over to the provinces, I am afraid the hands of the clock would be turned back, not that the people of the Territories are not competent, but they would necessarily have to disturb the existing system and we cannot aiford to take any chances on that.
Mr. COCKSHUTT. I would remark to the hon. gentleman that my courage has returned. I was not aware that I whispered in low tones what side I was going to take. If the hon. gentleman Mr. Zimmerman) did not hear me it was not because he could not, for he heard me a few minutes before when he interrupted me. I do not remember that the hon. gentleman found time during the debate to state his views. But I can tell him that there never was any doubt from the time I began to speak until I concluded as to what way I was going to vote. Every one who knows me well, can tell the hon. gentleman what my opinions are. If the hon. gentleman could not understand the drift of my speech that is not my fault, because my decision was never for a moment undefined from the beginning to the end of the debate.
Mr. OLIVER. The hon. gentleman (Mr. Cockshutt) has made a very valuable contribution to the debate, for he has let us know exactly where the gentlemen on the opposite side of the House stand on this very important question.
Mr. COCKSHUTT. I was speaking for myself.
Mr. OLIVER. Yes, but the hon. gentleman (Mr. Cookshutt) had the courage to say what some of his friends think but do not say. The hon. member stands for the principle of slow settlement in the Territories; he stands for the principle of smaller subsidies; he stands for the principle of the sale of the lands. He declares that the system of settlement in the province of Ontario has been a success. We are glad to know all these things, and we are glad to know that gentlemen opposite stand now where they have always stood, namely, for slow settlement for the sale of the lands, and for general stagnation. The hon. gentleman has suggested that it was under a Liberal administration in Ontario that the lands were not properly administered, but 5556 Ontario was not always Liberal, and the history of the administration of the Ontario lands since the first provincial government was created, proves that a province which depends upon the sale of its lands for its revenue cannot afford to handle these lands with the liberality that the Dominion government which does not depend upon that source of revenue is able to.
Mr. W. WRIGHT. Does the hon. gentleman not know that nearly all the new lands that have been settled in Ontario within the last thirty years, have been absolutely given to the settlers ?
Mr. OLIVER. I believe that the lands have been given to the settlers under that very Liberal administration to which the hon. gentleman objects, but what I said was that in all this great clay belt of northern Ontario which is laid down upon the map and which is said to be of very great agricultural value, there is not at the present time a single settler in that great clay belt as laid down on the map, nor has the government attempted to place a settler there.
Mr. W. WRIGHT. Does the Minister of the Interior know whether there is actually a clay belt there at all ?
Mr. OLIVER. I do not.
Mr. W. F. MACLEAN. And if there is it was only discovered a year or two ago.
Mr. OLIVER. The very fact that it is not known whether there is a clay belt or not fit for settlement, is all we want to know of provincial administration of a new country.
Mr. W. F. MACLEAN. The hon. gentleman himself told us- this afternoon that there were millions of acres in the west, and we did not yet know whether they were good for anything or not.
Mr. OLIVER. I said there were millions of acres that have not yet been settled.
Mr. W. F. MACLEAN. And over which a white man had not gone.
Mr. OLIVER. Exactly.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. The hon. gentleman told us that we were really only acquainted with a very small portion of that country.
Mr. OLIVER. I do not think I said that. I said there were large areas in Alberta and Saskatchewan that were not known, but I do say that the efforts of the Dominion government to colonize that country have resulted in placing half a million people in the districts of Saskatchewan and Alberta during the same period that the province of Ontario has not placed a single settler on its lands known as the clay belt. With regard to the advantage or disadvantage of giving away the lands, my hon. 5557             COMMONS             friend seems to be unable to understand that the giving away of a part of the land can increase the value of the remainder. If he is not able to understand that then I am unable to explain it to him. The fact is that the giving away of the lands in the Northwest and the policy under which these lands have been given away during the last few years, have resulted in doubling and trebling the value of the lands still remaining in the hands of the government and the railway companies, and at the same time it has had the result of increasing by millions and millions of dollars the revenue of this Dominion and the trade of Canada. I am astonished beyond measure to hear the representative of a manufacturing constituency in the province of Ontario declare that he does not know that it makes any difference as to whether the west is settled or not. If there is one thing the manufacturers of eastern Canada depend on more than another, it is on the securing of settlers upon these prairies. It is that increase of settlement that has given them their increased business within the last few years, and it is to the further increase of that settlement they must look for still further increase of business. If the hon. member for Brantford (Mr. Cockshutt) does not know that, I am satisfied there is not another manufacturer in this great city who does not know it. As to the allegation that there is discrimination as between foreigners and native Canadians in the administration of the Northwest lands. I may say that I have not been administering the Department of the Interior very long, but I have lived in the Northwest for many years and so far as my knowledge goes there is no such discrimination. I say that the administration of the lands in the Northwest has been on a fair basis and that the settler is not asked who he is or where he comes from. The policy of the government is to secure settlers for this Iand, and if it should happen that this or the other difficulty is in the way, the men we make settlers of in the Northwest are men who go there to overcome difficulties and not to be overcome by them.
Mr. W. WRIGHT. Did the hon. gentleman say that they did not give grants to the Doukhobors and give facilities in that way, supplying cattle, horses and implements so as to give them a start in a manner which has not been done for men from Ontario ?
Sir WILFRID LAURIER. Nothing of the kind.
Mr. OLIVER. There do not happen to be any Doukhobors in my own part of the country and personally I am not aware of all the facts of the case, but I am aware of this fact, that in cases where there has been a general scarcity resulting from frost or grasshoppers it has been the practice to 5558 assist the settlers regardless of nationality in the procuring of seed grain. I believe that policy has been pursued by different governments, and so far as I know there has been no disagreement in regard to it. I think it as well to say right here and now that the slur which I believe is very frequently cast that there is discrimination in the lands of the Northwest as against Canadians has no foundation in fact, none Whatever, and that the aim in the administration of that department has been as I hope it will always be to secure the best men that can be got for the settlement of the country. I would be delighted as the administrator of the department if the hon. member for Brantford (Mr. Cockshutt) would secure us a few shiploads of settlers of the same character as those who landed on Plymouth Rock. I will be glad to guarantee him and them the best facilities the country affords. We want a lot of settlers of that kind and if he can direct us to any port where they can be secured, we will use every effort to bring them to Canada and to establish them in the west.
Mr. W. F. MACLEAN. But the hon. gentleman is settling them on the rock of the constitution.
Mr. OLIVER. We will settle them on the black lands of the Saskatchewan.
Mr. COCKSHUTT. I wish to correct an impression which the hon. minister conveyed which is not warranted by anything I said, that is. that I stood for slow growth. That was not my remark; I said there are other considerations besides rapidity of growth, and I said that quality as well as quantity is one of those considerations. The hon. member had no right to say that I stood for stagnation. He thinks I am standing in the way of my own business. I am sorry he thinks that, but at the same time, he will see that I am looking after the interests of the country and not of my own business when I make that proposition. I think this is a consideration that will appeal to all the provinces, that quality is a great consideration, and that in giving lands in the west they should be given only to people who are likely to make a sound foundation for a great nation. That is a sound doctrine; I do not retire from it. I do not think the hon. gentleman was warranted in fastening that implication upon me.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. I regret that the new Minister of the Interior (Mr. Oliver) seems so anxious to obstruct the progress of this Bill. Just as we were about to pass this section when no one was ready to take his feet for the purpose of saying anything further about it, the minister, who I suppose is in charge of the Bill, found it necessary to rise, and to keep us here an hour or an hour and a half longer in the discussion he has opened up on the clay belt in 5559¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† COMMONS ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Ontario. It is difficult to say what the clay belt has to do with this Bill, but as the hon. gentleman has struck out new lines in other respects, he has struck out new lines in regard to government legislation. I think it a little unworthy of the hon. gentleman‚ÄĒ we might have expected it when he was away on the back benches, but it was hardly worthy of him as Minister of the Interior‚ÄĒto attempt to make a little cheap political capital by putting words into the mouths of hon. gentlemen on this side of the House which they had not used.
Mr. OLIVER. What words ?
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. He put words into the mouths of the opposition which I venture to say were never uttered by any member of the opposition. If he looks at Hansard, he will see that. I am not going to waste time as he has done by repeating these words but he will recognize them tomorrow. It is not the usual course of a minister who is trying to get a Bill through parliament, when he has been treated with a fair amount of courtesy to suggest that gentlemen who have spoken on this side of the House are dishonest and cowardly‚ÄĒ because that is what the hon. gentleman's remarks mean if anything. We hardly expect that sort of thing from a Minister of the Crown. He said the hon. member from Brandon was at least honest and had courage.
Mr. OLIVER. Surely ?
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. And he said it in such a context that he was imputing the want of those qualities to every hon. gentleman who had spoken on this side.
Mr. OLIVER. Mr. Chairman, am I responsible for all inferences that any hon. gentleman might choose to draw from my remarks ?
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. No, he is not, but when he uses language that warrants a direct inference he may expect that the inference will be noted.
Mr. OLIVER. I can only say that it is usual when the cap fits for gentlemen to wear it.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. There the hon. gentleman has made the suggestion again. The hon. gentleman has always prided himself in this House as a private member, he and one other hon. gentleman have always spoken of themselves as the only two honest and independent members in the House.
An hon. MEMBER. Who is the other.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. I have not heard any other hon. gentleman in the House speak of them in that way but they themselves have done so.
Mr. OLIVER. If I am to be called in question in this way I would certainly repudiate the statement made by the hon. 5560 gentleman that I ever spoke of myself in that way.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. I say that it is but the direct inference to be drawn from the hon. gentleman's remarks as was the case just now, because the hon. gentleman spoke of every one else as not possessing those qualifications, and although he did not speak of himself we all thoroughly understood what was in his mind and he understood it and he understands it now. It has been in his mind very often in the House but it is not worth while if he expects to get this legislation through to take the course of throwing sneers across the floor of the House which might not be noticed when he was a back bencher but may be when he is trying to get legislation through the House, or rather trying to obstruct its progress for his leader called for a vote just as he took the floor.
Sir WILFRID LAURIER. I call for one now.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. The hon. gentleman will call. It is like the man who called spirits from the vasty deep. The question was whether they would answer. The hon. gentleman may call.
Sir WILFRID LAURIER. But there may be no response.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. Or there may be more response than he wants. Now. in regard to this interesting question of the clay belt of Ontario which the Minister of the Interior insists we shall go into, he regards the clay belt as I understood him as absolutely useless. Well we heard a great many speeches two years ago about the wonderful value of this clay belt when the government proposed to spend a great many million dollars in running a railway through it.
Mr. OLIVER. Do I understand the hon. member to say that I said that the clay belt was useless?
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. He said that up to the present his own Liberal friends who have been boasting of their achievements in that regard have not succeeded in planting a single settler in that district.
Mr. OLIVER. What I tried to say was that they had not tried.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. My hon. friend the Minister of the Interior is going from bad to worse. It was bad enough to say they had good intentions and did not succeed in carrying them out, but it is infinitely worse to say that they did not have even good intentions. That is what some Conservatives in Ontario have been saying of the right hon. gentleman's friends during some time past, but I never heard so frank an admission with regard to it as that which my hon. friend has just given. We heard most glowing descriptions of this clay belt in 5561 MAY 8, 1905 Ontario from the First Minister and from other members opposite two years ago when we were discussing a proposal to pledge the credit of this country to the extent of about $150,000,000 for building a transcontinental railway. It was then described as a most wonderful country. We had not only quotations by the right hon. gentleman from the relations of the Jesuits of 250 years ago but also from reports of the government of Ontario showing what a magnificent country it was. Why the Minister of the Interior used to applaud these quotations himself most vociferously at that time, but he seems now to have lost every possible recollection of them. Let me cite to him, when he says that not a single settler has been planted in that country, what was then said. Perhaps I am not locating the clay belt in the right place. as I am not so familiar with it as he is ; but I notice in the report by the officers of his own department the following :
This year has witnessed an unprecedented influx of settlers into the Rainy River valley.
Would that mean the clay belt ?
Mr. OLIVER. If the hon. member does not know where it is he had better let out the job of discussing it.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. I am trying to let it out to the hon. gentleman, but I am not getting much help. Could he inform me of the location of the clay belt ? I understand it takes in this Rainy River valley.
During the past eighteen months the town of Rainy River has sprung into existence, with a population of 2,000. They have municipal organization.
Further on, referring to the settlement on the White Fish river, the report says :
The settlement is now fifteen miles long and seven miles wide, more than three hundred families and a population of 1,500. Three school houses have been erected and maintained, and three other districts are being laid off. One new church has been erected and there are four or five other places where church services are held. Three saw-mills have been put up, and last year the settlers sold 300,000 ties and eight hundred car loads of wood, which netted them about $110,000. Good trunk line colonization roads have been constructed.
And so on for two or three pages. I think therefore that in justice to the clay belt which my hon. friend. for some reason or other, has seen fit to attack‚ÄĒwithout any provocation whatever. I am sure, for the clay belt has done nothing to provoke him‚ÄĒ I should bring these facts to the notice of the House and free that much maligned country from the aspersions which that hon. gentleman has seen fit to pass upon it, with the sole object of obstructing this legislation.
Mr. SAM. HUGHES. As I came in I just chanced to hear the Minister of the Interior saying that the class of settlers 5562 brought into the Northwest were the best possible selection that could be made.
Sir WILFRID LAURIER. This is not in order.
Mr. SAM. HUGHES. I am just replying to the arguments advanced by the Minister of the Interior. If he was out of order, surely I can refute the illogical arguments advanced by him. The first minister should have exercised his prerogative and called his colleague to order. It is only a few years since the present Minister of the Interior made this very chamber ring with denunciations of the class of settlers the government were bringing into the region of East Edmonton. I refer to the Galicians. I could point out to him still further, as showing that discrimination against the people from the eastern part of Canada who settle in the Northwest, that the Doukhobors from Russia and the Galicians from Austria and the Polish part of Russia and the Roumanians are landed in the Northwest at less cost than a man can travel to that country from Ottawa. They are put there by government agents on lands selected for them, whereas a Canadian has to select land at his own expense, and pay a higher rate of transportation than a Doukhobor or a Galician. There has been no encouragement whatever during the last few years given to the British race from eastern Canada or the British Isles compared with that given these people.
Mr. CRAWFORD. In connection with the remarks of the leader of the opposition who attempted to call down the Minister of the Interior, I took down the words of the hon. member for Brantford (Mr. Cockshutt), and I do not see that any construction can be placed upon them other than that given by the Minister of the Interior. The hon. member, in referring to the matter, said : Get right class of settlers ; go slow and wait for settlement. These are the words he used in speaking of the immigration to this country. Well, I happened to go into some of the details in connection with the cost of bringing immigrants to this country, and the information I got from the Immigration Department was that the American settlers cost the country less per head than any others and that the British immigrants had more money spent on them than any other class. There was more spent on British immigration per head than any other class of people.
Mr. SAM. HUGHES. Does the hon. gentleman include the cost of Mr. Preston and other gentlemen flourishing and luxuriating in London ? The British immigrants brought more money into this country per head than any other class. and they were robbed deliberately with the connivance of the government agents.
Sir WILFRID LAURIER. Order.
5563 COMMONS
Mr. SAM. HUGHES. I make use of the expression advisedly. These men at Saskatoon had horses and oxen loaded upon them at exorbitant prices. I took the precaution to warn the government to send their agents among these people so as to protect them, but instead these agents stood in and got a rake off and allowed these extortionate practices to be done.
Mr. LAMONT. One of the chief men at Saskatoon who unloaded horses and oxen on the settlers was John Barr, a brother of J. M. Barr, the leader of the colonists.
Mr. SAM. HUGHES. I have not the least doubt of it.
Mr. W. J. ROCHE. I think that the question asked by the hon. member for Qu'Appelle was very a-propos, and that was as to the division of the district of Keewatin. The First Minister, with his usual agility, has talked all around that question without attempting to give a satisfactory reply. He saw the rather embarrassing position in which he was placed when he declared his intention of dividing that territory in the manner indicated by his speech in introducing the Bill. Then he claimed that the province of Ontario, and even the province of Quebec, and also the new province of Saskatchewan, had equal rights to the extension of their territory to the shore of Hudson bay with the province of Manitoba. So, if he means to have a division of the district of Keewatin, he will have to hand over the lands to these various provinces, or he will have to refuse them their lands. If he hands over to Ontario the portion of Keewatin that he thinks Ontario is entitled to, and vests that domain in the province of Ontario, he must adopt a similar policy in regard to that portion to be given to Manitoba also that portion to be added to Saskatchewan. If he refuses to hand over the domain to Ontario, that province will be claiming financial compensation for these lands. Moreover. you will have the unique spectacle of Ontario owning all its public domain save the portion of Keewatin reserved by the Dominion government. If you hand over to Manitoba the domain in that portion of the territory given to that province, you will have Manitoba not owning the 73,000 miles comprised within its present boundaries, but owning that portion of Keewatin over which the province will extend to Hudson bay. And you will have a similar state of affairs in Saskatchewan. So, I do not wonder that the right hon. gentleman was not able to make a satisfactory reply. He attempted a little jocularity at the expense of the hon. member for South York (Mr. W. F. Maclean) and accused that hon. gentleman of exhibiting the new found zeal of the convert, quoting expressions of that hon. gentleman of a year ago on which he put a different construction from the view expressed to-day. We are not obliged to go back a year to show how inconsistent the right hon. gentleman (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) 5564 has been on this question of refusing to hand over the public domain to the new provinces. My mind reverted to the speech made by the right hon. gentleman on the 21st of February introducing this Bill. At page 1518 of ' Hansard' he argued that the lands should be retained by the Dominion government. He said :
It is conceivable that if these lands were given to the new provinces, the policy of either one of them might differ from ours and clash with our efforts to increase immigration.
That was the principal cause he assigned. Then he goes on :
It might possibly render these efforts nugatory. For instance, if either of the new provinces, under the strain of financial difficulty, were to abolish the free homesteads, which have proved so beneficial and so great an inducement to immigration, one can readily understand what a great blow that would be to our immigration policy. Or if the price of government lands for sale were to. be increased over the present very moderate rate, that would also be another blow to that policy.
To-night he tells us that the provincial government, in order to get ready money, might sell the lands at an inferior price- quite a contrary argument to the one he used on introducing the Bill. At that time he told us that, under the pressure of financial stringency. the provinces might increase the price of the land so much as to discourage immigration: to-night he states they might give the land away practically for nothing. The leader of the opposition (Mr. R.L. (Bor-   den) asked the Prime Minister if he could not give us some estimate of the value of the lands within the area of the new provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta, and the right hon. gentleman stated that he was not in a position to give that estimate. I have here a book which was circulated among the people of the Northwest and to which the right hon. gentleman must have given his consent. This was the hand-book of the Liberal party circulated among the people of the Northwest with a view to securing their votes in the last election. It is called 'Hand-book of Canadian politics illustrative of the progressive administration of the Liberal government.' ' The story of a government that does things.' Chapter 18 is headed. ' What the Hon. Clifford Sifton has accomplished.' In the course of this chapter it is stated :
Manitoba, Assiniboia, Saskatchewan and Alberta possess an area of 238,000,000 acres of land. . .  About 18,000,000 acres have been given in free homesteads, but after deducting this and an additional 50,000,000 for lakes, rivers, bad lands, &c., there remains of government lands enough to provide 160-acre farms for at least 800,000 farmers.
That would make a total of 128,000.000 acres. And we know that the total area of Manitoba is so little that the Manitoba land included in this estimate cannot make a very large figure. The hand-book goes on:
5565 MAY 8, 1905
In addition to this, the millions of acres of land disposed of to railways and land companies is, of course, also available for settlement. There is, however, an additional tract of rich grain-growing lands yet untouched‚ÄĒ
  Where ?
‚ÄĒin the unorganized district of Athabaska, containing over 160,000,000 acres. After making allowance for water and lands unsuited for agriculture, Athabaska will give fully 100,000,000 acres as the future homes of practically another 800,000 settlers.
So, we have this district of Athabaska which is divided between the two new provinces almost equally, containing at least 100,000,000 acres of rich grain-growing land. Yet, in the measure now before us the government are only allowing 50,00,000 acres to the two provinces at $1.50 per acre. This hand-book also refers to an article by Dr. Wm. Saunders, of the Experimental Farm, published in the April, 1900, number of the 'Canadian Magazine.' Speaking of Dr. Saunders, the hand-book says that 'he has given some estimate of the available land in the Northwest Territories for that branch of farming' that is, grain-growing. And he shows that Manitoba, Assiniboia, Saskatchewan and Alberta contain 171.000,000 acres, and he estimates :
That there are within the limits referred to, after making allowance for land unfit for agriculture, about 171,000,000 acres suitable for cultivation, by which is meant land of such degree of fertility as to admit of profitable farming.
The right hon. gentleman (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) and his friends. last fall had sufficient information to enable them to issue this hand-book showing the enormous tract of land available for settlement. But to-day they plead ignorance of the quantity of land in that country. To serve their own ends the government were willing to tell of 'what the hon. Clifford Sifton has accomplished.' to speak as though he had discovered this land and had made it profitable for agriculture. Yet, now that it suits their purposes they are minimizing the extent as well as the value ¬† of that land. Otherwise, we would not have this mere pittance‚ÄĒfor so it is by comparison,‚ÄĒof 337,500.000 allowed to each province for its domain. I am not surprised that the right hon. gentleman Sir Wilfrid Laurier is asking for time to bring down figures that will meet the objections of this side of the House. But, considering the figures he and his friends gave in this handbook issued last fall, it seems clear that they are giving the new provinces too little in lieu of their public domain. But we have been told: What is the use of discussing the quantity of land and the value per acre in view of the new resolution which wipes that out of consideration and gives a lump sum ?
But we know that it is on this basis that they are arriving at a lump sum. And why have they wiped out that $1.50 an acre and the 25,000,000 acres for each province ? What object have they in doing so ? That 5566 has not been explained But if you look up the speech of the ex-Minister of the Interior. you will find the secret. He pointed out that if we placed the land at $1.50 an acre and the quantity at 25,000,000 acres, in the future these provinces might be coming back and demanding greater assistance from this parliament, because they might say that the lands were more valuable than the $1.50 they had been allowed and that there was a greater number of acres. So in accordance with the views of the ex-Minister of the Interior, and in order to provide against this contingency, they have simply excluded the $1.50 and the total number of acres from this Bill. And we see the hon. gentlemen from the Northwest Territories on the other side of the House assenting to a proposition that will prevent the other provinces from coming back to ask for an increase in the future, and at the same time, not providing for sufficient money to run their government for all time to come so as to avoid the necessity for them to appeal to this Dominion for more assistance.
Now, the member for West Assiniboia (Mr. Scott) has shown himself to be an expert as a political acrobat. In fact all the hon. gentlemen on the other side of the House from the west have taken a position unfavourable to the new provinces being given the ownership of these lands. The member for West-Assiniboia made one of the strongest speeches against that view when he first came into the House, and to-day he has changed his view, and, with all the zeal of a new convert, he is one of the strongest opponents of handing over the lands to the provinces and is making argument after argument to show with how much greater advantage this Dominion government can manage those lands than they could be managed by the new provinces. If I desired to take up the time of the committee, I could read excerpts from his speeches that would show how different his attitude upon this question used to be from what it is to-day. The present Minister of the Interior, or rather the would-be Minister of the Interior, the member for West Assiniboia, has boldly asked: Why didn't you go up to Edmonton and challenge the opinion of the people during the recent election if you believed the people of the west are opposed to the Dominion retaining those lands ? The hon. gentleman was very brave ; he was not nearly so satisfied as he tried to make us believe. The hon. gentleman was quite willing himself to swallow the original clause 16 in the Autonomy Bill for the sake of getting the plum of the portfolio of the Interior. But today he says that we were afraid to go up to the constituency of Edmonton and challenge public opinion. Why did not the government select himself for the portfolio, the man they had marked out for it? Because they were afraid to open up a constituency where the average Canadian elector resides. and to take an expression of opinion from men who under 5567               COMMONS             stand the politics of our country, from people who have been long enough here to become acquainted with public questions. One reason why we did not go to Edmonton can be found in the remarks addressed to this House a few years ago by the present Minister of the Interior himself. It has been said that we did not contest Edmonton because there was a certain number of Catholic voters in that constituency. That is not the case. One of the reasons why we did not go, is the reason assigned by the present Minister of the Interior, that his constituency is largely populated by a class of people who are not acquainted with British institutions, who do not understand our laws, and who would not understand the schools question or the land question. Now, what did that hon. gentleman state in regard to this very question two or three years ago ? I will read his remarks:
I am not in a position to speak of the Doukhobors from an intimate personal knowledge, as none of them are resident in the constituency I represent, but on the Galician question I claim to be an authority because I believe [that fully half of the whole Galician population of Manitoba and the Northwest is located in the district I represent. I understand that there are some 12,000 or 14,000 in one colony. Already one local electoral district is in all probably in the hands of the Galician vote, if these people are qualified to vote.
That is one reason why we did not go to the constituency of Edmonton. He speaks as follows in another place:
I am here to say to-nlght that I believe the present conditions of the country would be better, our prosperity would be greater, we would have a still larger number of good settlers, if we did not have that class of immigration at all.
That is the kind of men that he wished to lay this question before for their endorsement.
Another idea that is conveyed is that all foreign peoples are the same, that because the German people are foreigners and because they are desirable settlers, therefor the Galicians being foreigners and the Doukihobors being foreigners, are also desirable settlers. Do my hon. friends know that they could not insult a German and Scandinavian as much in any other way as to compare him with a Doukhobor or a Galician ? The pride of race is as strong in these people as it is in us, and they object, and object very strongly, to being placed in the same category as a Slavic people, a people who less than two generations ago were serfs of the soil, and who unfortunately have not had the opportunities, even if they had the capability. to rise very high above that position to-day. Make no mistake, there is no comparison between the German who comes from Galicia and a Galician who comes from Galicia, and no man will resent such a comparison more than the German himself. But the Galician or the Doukhobor who have been reared under circumstances which did not permit them to know what free government is, who know nothing of government except that government is a tyrrany, these people, let them, be ever so good, 5568 cannot be citizens as we would wish them to be citizens, or as our Scandinavian and German fellow citizens are.
These are the expressions of the present Minister of the Interior. I do not think he has changed his views, at any rate he has never repudiated these words so far as I know. I could quote various other expressions to the same effect:
Let me say one word to the government, and it will be a word of advice. I speak here tonight on behalf of the most populous district of the west ; and I have reason to believe that I speak the sentiments of the majority of the people between Lake Superior and the Rocky mountains on this immigration question. There is no question that the people of the west feel more strongly on than the immigration question, and there is nothing that they more earnestly resent than the idea of settling up the country with people who will be a drag on our civilization and progress. We did not go out to that country simply to produce wheat. We went to build up a nation, a civilization, a social system that we could enjoy, be proud of and transmit to our children, and we resent the idea of having the millstone of this Slav population hung around our necks in our efforts to build up, beautify and improve that country. and so improve the whole of Canada.
There the member for West Assiniboia has one reason why the Conservative opposition did not see fit to challenge an expression of opinion from these people, who are depicted by the Minister of the Interior as illiterate, ignorant of British institutions and of our laws and politics. Now, there has been something, I think, kept back by this government, some reason why they did not wish to hand over these lands to the provinces, something beneath the surface. I think it has been touched upon by some hon. gentlemen in some of their speeches, and I think I pointed it out myself when speaking on the second reading. But any person who lives in the west knows whereof I speak when I say that one reason why the government are retaining those lands in their possession is that they desire to have the wonderful leverage which they will have at election time by holding all these lands in their own hands. Every homestead inspector, you might say, is an active political partisan, an election agent during the course ot a campaign. Yes from one end of the year to the other. I do not have to go outside my own constituency to find examples of what occurred during the last campaign. One homestead inspector in my riding openly appeared at the polls in that contest, stood there in company with a mounted policeman with his side arms on, and in company with an interpreter from the Yorkton land office‚ÄĒthe three of them‚ÄĒand the electors had to run the gauntlet of the three of them before coming in, each one bringing pressure to bear upon them, threatening them with retaining their homestead patents if they voted for your humble servant.
These people were simply intimidated. they went in and shouted out how they 5569                MAY 8, 1905            desired to vote and it was left to the deputy returning officer to mark their ballots for them, it being simply open voting. After he had secured the whole vote en bloc this homestead inspector openly made the boast that now he would betake himself to the constituency of Dauphin, the election having been postponed for one week, and that after getting through there he was going to the constituency of my hon. friend from Mackenzie (Mr. Cash) to lend his active assistance there. That is the reason, and it is a very important reason to the government, why they are so anxious to retain these lands in the hands of the Dominion government. It is because of the wonderful influence that these government officials have over these people, who, as the hon. Minister of the Interior states, are not at all acquainted with our homestead laws and whose future prosperity, if these officials were to put into effect what they have threatened to do, would suffer a very serious impediment. That is one reason why the lands are not handed over to the provinces: If they were handed over the provinces would have their own officials and it would not interfere with the immigration policy of the Dominion government any more than it does in the other provinces of the Dominion where they have the ownership of the public domain. They could work in harmony with the officials of the Dominion government and it would not be an impediment to the encouragement of immigration. At this late hour I will not take up the time of the committee any longer, but I protest against the government retaining these lands and I claim that there can be no sufficient monetary consideration to compensate the people of the west in the future for the loss of their public domain. These lands should be handed over to be administered under the advice of the fifty members who will represent the people in the local legislatures of these provinces and to be administered by the respective governments of these provinces, who will have officials on the ground and who will administer them much more advantageously to the people interested there than they can be administered 1,500 or 2,000 miles distant from the scene of operations.
Mr. LAKE. Mr. Chairman, I do not wish to detain the committee longer, but I do not desire the vote to be taken without a reference to some of the remarks which have been made to myself personally by the hon. member for West Assiniboia (Mr. Scott). He has been twitting me with not having gone up into the Edmonton district and he referred to myself amongst others as having said that the reason was that there was a Roman Catholic vote. This is an entire revelation to me. I never had any idea of going into the Edmonton district, nor did I ever give the rea 5570 son which he has suggested for not going there. I should have had pleasure in going into West Assiniboia if the hon. member had become the Minister of the Interior. I must confess that I could not see the drift of his remark that Roman Catholics should have the same right to express their opinions as Protestants. Who said they had not? I can assure the hon. gentleman that it was not any one on this side of the House. It seems to me that he was simply following a course with which we have become familiar and which has been pursued by hon. gentlemen on the other side of the House who have grown accustomed to telling the members of the Roman Catholic faith that the Protestants are attacking their religion. That is the very surest way of promoting bigotry and religious strife and it has been sedulously practised by members opposite and is absolutely without any foundation at all.
Mr. BUREAU. What about the cartoons in the 'News' and 'World.?'
Mr. LAKE. I think that the hon. gentleman should look at some of the cartoons which have been published by papers on his own side of politics.
Mr. BUREAU. Name the papers.
Mr. LAKE. Well, if the hon. gentleman wishes I will describe a cartoon which appeared in the Ottawa ' Free Press' in which the right hon. First Minister was shown as a knight in full armour with the lance of righteousness in his hands, going to attack a double headed dragon breathing out rebellion and bigotry. I think one head was that of my hon. friend from Victoria and Haliburton (Mr. Hughes) representing rebellion and another head was that of my hon. friend from East Grey (Mr. Sproule) representing bigotry and on the top of this dragon was a representation of my hon. friend from North Toronto (Mr. Foster) without many clothes on him and in the form of a devil. This wonderful creature was being attacked by the right hon. First Minister with the lance of righteousness. That is one little cartoon‚ÄĒ
Mr. BUREAU. That is only one.
Mr. LAKE‚ÄĒthat comes to my mind and I think it compared very badly with some of the admirable cartoons which have appeared in the Toronto ' News.'
If I were asked what would have the strongest influence upon an election at Edmonton, I would, with my hon. friend from Marquette (Mr. W. J. Roche), say that it would be the enormous influence which is exercised on new settlers in a new country by the land and immigration officials of the Dominion government. Their influence is something overpowering, it is a very difficult influence to counteract and it is a standing wonder to myself how it is that any Conservatives managed to get elected in the Terri 5571               COMMONS              tories at all in the recent election in face of it.
Mr. FIELDING. In the first part of the resolution the word 'lands' is referred to and in the latter part we refer to public lands. If the committee will permit me, I will insert the word 'public' so as to make them uniform.
Amendment agreed to.
On resolution No. 4,
Resolved, That as additional compensation for such lands there shall be paid by Canada to the said province annually for five years to provide for the construction of necessary public buildings. one-quarter of one per cent on such estimated value, or $93,750.
Mr. FIELDING. I beg to move that the resolution be amended to read as follows:
As an additional allowance in lieu of the public lands there shall be paid by Canada by half- yearly payments in advance to the province annually for five years from the time this Act comes into force, to provide for the construction of necessary public buildings, the sum of $93,750.
There is no change in the substance of the resolution but there is a change in the drafting as previously explained.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. Is it intended to place any restrictions upon the use to which the province shall put this money?
Mr. FIELDING. No.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. Then, are not the concluding words of the amendment surplusage ?
Mr. FIELDING. It is intended to be a special allowance to the province for public buildings.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. Then you intend to restrict them to the use of the money for that particular purpose. Could they use it for the administration of justice?
Mr. FIELDING. No. What I meant was that it was not intended to restrict them as to the character of the buildings. The grant being for a special purpose it is reasonable that they should apply it to that purpose. The reason for stating it in the amendment is that in view of any further transactions we might have. it is well to know the reasons why it was granted.
Mr. SAM. HUGHES. Is this government going to trust the province to erect the buildings ?
Mr. FIELDING I think so.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. They have much more faith now than they have hitherto shown in the provinces. Does the amendment mean merely a statement of the reason on account of which the grant is made for five years ?
5572
Mr. FIELDING. It is a suggestion to the provinces as to the use to which it should put the money. but there is no restriction as to that particular use. I think it will be found necessary to spend quite that sum and perhaps more. We certainly did intend that the money should be applied to buildings, but there is no other restriction.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. Very well.
Amendment agreed to.
Mr. FIELDING. It was understood that I should change the phraseology a little of the resolution relating to allowance in lieu of subsidy. The question has been raised as to whether the words of section 2 would create anything more than an annual payment and after the word 'advanced ' in the third line of section 2, I propose to add the words :
‚ÄĒthe annual sum of $405,375, being the equivalent of interest, &c.
I think the wording is already plain enough but this addition will probably make it plainer that it is an annual payment only and not a capital sum.
Mr. HENDERSON. I am not quite clear that the amendment will get over the difficulty to which I have referred. In a similar instance the province of Ontario claimed that they were not only entitled to be paid the annual sum but that if they desired they were entitled to get the principal upon which that interest was based. Notwithstanding that the Act of parliament creating the annual sum declares that it should be paid as an additional subsidy, and notwithstanding that the wording of that Act (chap. 4 statutes of 1884) is much more expressive than the words in the amendment of the Finance Minister himself, a portion of that capital amount has been paid over to the province. True, it is charged to the province as a debt, but no doubt the intention is that at some future time the entire sum may be paid over. I am quite aware that the Minister of Finance argues against my contention that the Act of 1884 speaks of this sum as a 'capital sum.' but as against that there is the broad statement that the amount of $142,414 is the annual payment to be made to the province of Ontario in consideration of that capital sum and the Act declares that the sum shall be paid to Ontario as an additional subsidy. I very much fear that the contention will be set up in years to come, that as this sum is interest there must be capital behind it, and that if the province is entitled to interest it is entitled under the Act of 1885, chap. 4, to call for the principal when it so desires. I know that the Minister of Finance is endeavouring to get over that, but I think he should have used words so explicit that all chance of difficulty in the future would be avoided.
Why refer to this as interest at all? Could we not call it by some other name? 5573                              MAY 8, 1905 Could we not simply declare the fact that inasmuch as the province of Alberta has no debt it is to be paid in lieu of debt allowance this annual sum of $400,000 a year in perpetuity, and make no reference whatever to the fact that it is based on any principle sum or its being 5 per cent on an estimated capital account or debt account. There will be perhaps opportunities before this has finally passed the House to further consider the question. I quite approve of the course that the minister is pursuing in endeavouring to get around the difficulty, but I respectfully submit that in my opinion he has not quite overcome the difficulty and the door is still left open for the contention that this $400,000 is interest and that the capital is there and that the province of Alberta when it desires more money will have a right to call upon the Dominion of Canada to pay over the $8,000,000, which is not the intention of this House and not the intention of this committee. If the hon. gentleman will take the trouble to read up the debates of 1884 as reported in 'Hansard ' and observe the explicit language that was used by Sir Leonard Tilley and also by Sir Richard Cartwright at that time, and what seemed to be the clear understanding, that it never was the intention of the government to pay $2.848.000 allowed to the province of Ontario, as additional capital it is surprising that at this distant date you will find an hon. gentleman interpreting that clause in language entirely different from what Sir Leonard Tilley and Sir Richard Cartwright used at that time. Sir Leonard Tilley was distinct in his declaration that the. capital sum should never be paid and Sir Richard Cartwright who was the financial critic at that time accepted that explanation and understood that only the $142.414 yearly which was called interest should be paid over. I would draw the attention of the minister to this item again and possibly if he still thinks there is any room for doubt, before the resolution passes the final stage he will give it his further valuable consideration and place the matter beyond all possible doubt by leaving out any reference at all to the matter of interest which would leave it clear that the sum on which this interest is calculated is not capital at all and that the province would have no claim on the capital sum.
Mr. FIELDING. I think the language of the Ontario case and the language used here differ so materially that there is reason for a view in respect to the Ontario case which would not apply to this case. However, if my hon. friend and I cannot agree as to the Ontario case, I suppose we can all agree that we should come to a clear understanding in this case. Let me say that in my opinion which I gave in the Ontario case I was of course speaking on the legal 5574 advice of the Department of Justice. The intention of the statute must be gathered from the language of the statute itself and we must not as a rule look to the speeches of members of parliament to ascertain the precise meaning of the statutes. I think that hon. members on the other side who are lawyers will possibly say that in the form in which we now propose the motion, it becomes an annual payment and not a capital sum. However, I have not had the benefit of the advice of the Minister of Justice on this amendment as he is not present. I think in deference to the opinions of the hon. member for Halton (Mr. Henderson) I should not let the resolution go out of committee before making the suggestion, and if before the final stage, after consultation. the Minister of Justice is of opinion that the matter is not clear, I would be glad to accept my hon. friend's suggestion to make it more clear.
Mr. HENDERSON. I would say this further that we are not bound, I think, exactly by the language of this resolution. We must read it in connection with the Act of 1885, cap. 4. which gave additional powers to the province with reference to the use of money under such uncertain conditions when it is for the purpose of constructing public works, so that we must not rely entirely upon the wording of this resolution. we must read it as it will be interpreted in the light of the legislation of 1885. That is a matter which I would desire the Minister of Justice to look over very carefully indeed. I may say to the Minister of Finance that I took good care to see the Minister of Justice. We were both in the city of Quebec and we had quite a good understanding on that question in a jocular way. I would invite the Minister of Finance to draw the attention of the Minister of Justice to that special Act of Parliament to which he referred on a former occasion and have that Act of Parliament read in connection with the present legislation and see whether or not it might throw some other light upon it, or cause some other interpretation to be made at some future time.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. I would be inclined to think that apart from the Act of 1885 with which I am not familiar, the amendment of the Minister of Finance would be sufficient for the purpose intended, although I have not given it very much consideration, but as I understand the matter will be open when we get into committee on the Bill.
Mr. FIELDING. Certainly.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. I intended to_have asked, when clause 2 was being discussed why it is that the sum of $8,107.500 has been selected as the amount of debt the equivalent of interest on which shall be paid 5575                 COMMONS            to the new provinces? I asked a similar question in regard to clause one, but not in regard to this clause.
Mr. FIELDING. It is made up on the basis of the allowance made to the province of Manitoba some years ago, the sum of $27.77 per head, the same rate as was allowed Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. Afterwards in the re-adjustment in the debt accounts that sum was increased to $32.43 so that the sum which has been taken in the other provinces was accepted as the basis of this calculation.
Mr. HENDERSON. I did not raise that question but I am very glad that the leader of the opposition has raised it, as it is a matter of information, but I very naturally inferred that the amount of debt of the old provinces of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick as well as Manitoba were all taken into consideration in arriving at this particular sum because it does seem strange that a specific sum of eight millions and some odd hundreds of thousands of dollars should be used. I have no doubt the officers of the Finance Department have gone into a careful calculation embracing the debt of the old provinces of Canada as well as those of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Manitoba. I have not attempted to make the calculation but I assume that all these things are considered and on that basis the matter is calculated. We are obliged to take it for granted that that has been done with the utmost care and that whatever has been done has been done with a view to uniformity.
Mr. FIELDING. We have taken the basis of the other provinces and applied it to the estimated population of the new provinces.
Amendment agreed to.
Resolutions, as amended, reported, and read the second time.
Sir WILFRID LAURIER moved that the resolutions be referred to the Committee of the Whole on Bill No. 69.
Motion agreed to.
Sir WILFRID LAURIER moved the adjournment of the House.
Mr. W. J. ROCHE. The right hon. gentleman has submitted a schedule in connection with the delimitation of the constituencies for local purposes, and has given the number of votes cast at the last general elections. That is very useful, but it would be still more useful if he could give the population. He will say that the population is much larger than it was at the last census, but we would like to have some idea with regard to the formation of those constituencies by population. We should pay some respect to representation by population and should have some estimate of the   5576 population of the constituencies of the present day,
Sir WILFRID LAURIER. I have no objection to give the population as it was at the last census, but with regard to the actual population, we thought the best method to give an idea of it was to give the number of votes cast. We have no information in the department showing what the population may be at present, but if it is possible to give better information we shall gladly give it.
Mr. W. J. ROCHE. There might have been local conditions which prevented the votes in certain districts coming out. If the right hon. gentleman cannot glve the population. he could give the number of qualified voters in each district.
Mr. SAM. HUGHES. That was the suggestion I was about to make. The right hon. gentleman has not only the number of votes cast but the number of voters registered.  
Sir WILFRID LAURIER. I have no objection.
Mr. SAM. HUGHES. I do not see how you can give the present population but you can give the registration.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN. What business will be up to-morrow ?
Sir WILFRID LAURIER. Bill No. 69.
Motion agreed to, and House adjourned at 11.50 p.m.

Source:

Canada. House of Commons Debates, 1875-1949. Provided by the Library of Parliament.

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Selection of input documents and completion of metadata: Gordon Lyall.

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