House of Commons, 28 March 1870, Canadian Confederation with Newfoundland

730 COMMONS DEBATES March 28, 1870
Hon. Sir Francis Hincks deep interest in the improvement of the navigation of the Ottawa, and he was satisfied that the policy of the Government in this matter was the correct one. That, as already announced by the Minister of Public Works, was to first improve the navigation between Montreal and Ottawa. The hon. member for South Renfrew had charged the Government with discouraging trade with other countries; but such was not the fact. With regard to the West Indies, he was not aware that there was anything to prevent commerce with these countries.
Mr. McDougall (South Renfrew) said the Government had discouraged trade with other countries when they voted against the proposition to trade directly with other countries.
Hon. Sir Francis Hincks said he did not understand what the hon. gentleman meant. There was nothing to prevent trade with the West Indies.
Hon. Mr. Holton—Will you state what has been done of late years as to suggestions made in the report of the Trade Committee?
Hon. Sir Francis Hincks said the chief object of that report was with reference to postal communication.
Hon. Mr. Holton—Does the Hon. Finance Minister admit that the report of the Commission has fallen still-born? That project, which has been referred to in speeches from the Throne, and which he vaunted as a substitute for Reciprocity has been a failure. (Hear, hear.)
Hon. Sir Francis Hincks said the principal recommendation of the report had reference to postal communication. That subject had engaged the most anxious attention of the Post Office Department since the time of the Commission. But a number of circumstances had intervened to prevent the establishment of a postal communication with the West Indies. The principal of these was the delay of Newfoundland in coming into the Confederation. A scheme of communication with the West Indies had been arranged and would have been established if Newfoundland had entered the Union.
Mr. McDonald (Middlesex West) thought that the eight feet depth of the Erie Canal would be sufficient. It would cost $32,000,000 to make it ten feet, and not above half that sum to make it eight feet.


Canada. House of Commons Debates, 1870. Edited by P.B. Waite. Ottawa: Queen's Printer, 1979. Original scans accessible at: http://parl.canadiana.ca/.



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