February 11, 1901

?

The PRIME MINISTER.

There are some things which my hon. friend the leader of the opposition might have discussed which he did not discuss. My hon. friend never referred, for instance, to the late elections; and in this respect his speech of this afternoon is in marked contrast to the speeches which we heard during the last session and the previous session. Why, during last session, everybody who was in this House

to say :

The condition of pay, pensions, transport, &c.: Whilst noting the generous offer of the government of New Zealand to furnish pay in addition to transport, Lord Lansdowne is of opinion that the same conditions should be applied in the ease of each colony, namely, every colonial force should be landed at the port of debarkation in South Africa fully equipped at the cost of the colonial government or other body furnishing the force; the Imperial government to provide from that date pay at Imperial rates, supplies and ammunition, and to defray the cost of trans-

port back to the colony when the services of the force are no longer required. Wound pensions and compassionate allowances to be paid py the Imperial government at Imperial rates.

Now, it is perhaps doubtful if the pensions which will be paid by the Imperial government will be adequate to meet the views entertained by the Canadian government, but it is meet and proper that we should know exactly where we stand with regard to the action to be taken by the Imperial authorities ; and then if in our opinion-and I may say that I doubt, tak-Cling the measure of pensions on the other ;side, if the pensions to be granted by the / Imperial authorities will be adequate, in I our view, to what should be done to those who have risked their lives in South Africa -if in our view the pensions to be granted I by the Imperial authorities are not suffi-I cient, according to what I might call the Canadian standard, I have no doubt that this parliament will be well disposed to supplement them by an extra grant. That is the reason why no mention was made of ^this. in the speech from the. Throne.

My lion. friend wanted information upon the fast Atlantic service. I am sorry to say that upon that subject I have none to give. The conditions are not yet so favourable in England that we can undertake to have that service at an early day. But in all probability, as the war is now drawing to a close, normal conditions of trade will be resumed, and then the time will be appropriate to take up that question of a fast Atlantic service, to which both parties in this country are committed.

With regard to the Joint High Commission, the condition is just the same to-day as when we last separated. That commission has not been dissolved, it is still in existence, and we intend at the earliest possible moment to resume negotiations. But my hon. friend is aware that the conditions were not favourable to the resumption of negotiations when we separated. First of all, we had the general election on hand ourselves, and there was also one on the other side of the line, and pending the result. it was impossible to resume negotiations. But when this session has closed and the American Congress has terminated its sittings, I have no reason to doubt that we shall be able to resume negotiations and bring them, I hope, to a satisfactory conclusion.

I shall not touch upon all the topics which have been discussed, for instance, the Alaskan boundary, concerning which I am sorry to say I have no hope of arriving at a settlement further than I had on the former occasion. The Americans have taken such an attitude and such a course, and we have also taken such an attitude, that it seems almost impossible to reconcile the two opposite views. If I were not a member of the commission myself. I would feel more inclined to speak freely, but without ven-

Topic:   '23 COMMONS
Permalink
LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

turing to criticise the position taken by the American commissioners, I may say that we can hope that if we cannot reach an honourable settlement of the question between ourselves, we may at least effect an honourable compromise. Between two such countries as the United States on the one hand and Canada and Great Britain on the other, I am sure there is no difficulty that cannot be settled by an honourable compromise or arbitration. If we cannot ourselves arrive at an agreement, certainly we can agree to call in a third party, a friendly power, to arbitrate. In the meantime, we have taken a step which was important to take in a matter of great moment. At any moment, there might be discoveries of gold in that district, and we know from the character of the men who risked their lives in the search for gold, that unless we knew exactly where the gold might be found, whether in the territory of Canada or the United States, great complications might result unless there was a settled boundary. Consequently we have agreed on a provisional boundary, which will serve as a boundary so long as the question remains unsettled, and that provisional boundary has been settled by the geographers' of the two countries. In a short time I will be able to lay on the table the report on the commission. But for the present we have a provisional boundary, by which the two countries have agreed to abide, and according to which the rights of the two countries are to be settled in the meantime.

Topic:   '23 COMMONS
Permalink
CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

Is the temporary boundary in the nature of a compromise between the two boundaries which are respectfully contended for, or is it nearer the one than the other ?

Topic:   '23 COMMONS
Permalink
?

The PRIME MINISTER.

It is in the nature of a compromise between the respective positions taken by the two parties. But, I may say, this was not the idea which inspired us when we agreed to lay out the boundary on the ground. Perhaps the main idea which we had in our mind and which guided us was to fix the boundary at a place where it would be more convenient for the trade on the Dalton trail and also on the Lynn canal, which is the part most frequented. I think I have answered all the questions put to me by my hon. friends. Following the example of the hon. leader of the opposition (Mr. Borden), I shall not enter into any contentious matter now. I may say that I shall be glad, when the hon. gentleman exposes the policy of his party, to consider it more critically. At the present time I have only to say to hon. gentlemen opposite in conclusion, that our policy will be the same as for the last four years-a policy which received such ample endorsation by the people of Canada on the 7th of November.

Motion (Mr. Guthrie) agreed to.

Topic:   '23 COMMONS
Permalink
?

The PRIME MINISTER moved:

That the said address be engrossed and to be presented to His Excellency the Governor General by such members of the House as are of the hon. the Privy Council.

Topic:   '23 COMMONS
Permalink

Motion agreed to.


CHAIRMAN OF COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE.

?

The PRIME MINISTER (Hon. Sir Wilfrid Laurier) moved :

That Peter Macdonald, Esquire, member representing the electoral district of East Huron, be appointed Chairman of Committees of the Whole House.

Topic:   CHAIRMAN OF COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE.
Permalink

Motion agreed to.


SUPPLY-AUDITOR GENERAL'S AND OTHER REPORTS.

?

The MINISTER OF FINANCE (Hon. Mr. Fielding) moved :

That this House will, to-morrow, resolve itself into a committee to consider of a Supply to be granted to His Majesty.

Topic:   SUPPLY-AUDITOR GENERAL'S AND OTHER REPORTS.
Permalink
CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

I would like to ask the Minister of Finance (Hon. Mr. Fielding) when he expects to bring the estimates down ?

Topic:   SUPPLY-AUDITOR GENERAL'S AND OTHER REPORTS.
Permalink
?

The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

Very shortly.

Topic:   SUPPLY-AUDITOR GENERAL'S AND OTHER REPORTS.
Permalink
CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

And may I ask when we are to expect the Auditor General's Report ?

Topic:   SUPPLY-AUDITOR GENERAL'S AND OTHER REPORTS.
Permalink
?

The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

I am afraid I shall have to make further inquiry on that point. We are pressing it forward by all possible means, but at my last inquiry the document was not complete. I shall be able to tell my hon. friend (Mr. Borden) at the next sitting.

Topic:   SUPPLY-AUDITOR GENERAL'S AND OTHER REPORTS.
Permalink
CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

With the indulgence of the House, I would like to ask whether the hon. gentleman (Hon. Mr. Fielding) suggests that we should go into supply before the Auditor General's Report is down. I think it would be very inconvenient to do so-I can hardly see, at present, how it will be possible to do so. Perhaps the hon. gentleman will be able to give us to-morrow the date when we may expect the Auditor General's Report.

Topic:   SUPPLY-AUDITOR GENERAL'S AND OTHER REPORTS.
Permalink
?

The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

I will do my best to give the hon. gentleman a statement to-morrow. Meantime, the formal steps with respect to supply, taken at the first of the session, are being taken ; and, within a day or two, we will let the hon. gentleman know what further steps will be taken.

Topic:   SUPPLY-AUDITOR GENERAL'S AND OTHER REPORTS.
Permalink
CON

Nathaniel Clarke Wallace

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. N. CLARKE WALLACE (West York).

I would like to ask the Prime Minister (the Right Hon. Sir Wilfrid Laurier) in what

state the departmental reports are. The lateness of these reports last year delayed the business of the House for months. It is inconvenient, in fact it is impossible, to properly discuss the estimates and to reach conclusions with regard to the matters that come before us, until we have these reports. If these reports come before the House at an early day, it will be a gratification to us on this side to assist the government to put through the business of the House as promptly as possible.

Topic:   SUPPLY-AUDITOR GENERAL'S AND OTHER REPORTS.
Permalink
?

The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

My hon. friend (Mr. Wallace) will find no cause of complaint on that score.

Motion (Hon. Mr. Fielding) agreed to.

Topic:   SUPPLY-AUDITOR GENERAL'S AND OTHER REPORTS.
Permalink

WAYS AND MEANS.

February 11, 1901