trustworthy people in the island and at Cape Tormentine, that there has not been a single day this winter when the Stanley could not have made return trips to Prince Edward Island from Summerside to Cape Tormentine, and we have the same reports at the present time. It was not my intention to rebuke the government, but in view of the bungling and mismanagement to which the people of the western end of the island (indeed all over the island) were obliged to submit during the last winter, some explanation is required from the government. I would be more pleased to think that it was the result of neglect than that the Minister of Marine (Hon. Sir Louis Davies) had been influenced by any political pull coming from West Queen's. I do not want to make any political capital out of this matter because the people of the island and of the whole Dominion, irrespective of political parties, are deeply concerned. We have the facilities at hand, and what we complain is that they are not utilized in the best interest of the people. As you know, Mr. Speaker, the people of Prince Edward Island are an intelligent people, and since they entered confederation in 1873 they have been a long-suffering and patient people as regards this matter, but patience must have its limit. There may be some hon. gentlemen here who do not know that Prince Edward Island is a most fertile province, and that we have resources there in almost every line of agriculture. During the last few years the dairying industry has made marked progress, but that progress must necessarily be retarded unless we can send our products to the markets at all times of the year. I wish to emphasize that the route which I advocate is better than any other route which has been experimented upon, or which is known, and it will receive the approval of seven-eighths of the people of the island, lor the following reasons : Three-fourths of the freight and passengers and mails must pass through Sackville before coming to the island, and Sackville is a great many miles removed from Pictou, so that a great'deal of time would be saved. As to the steamers themselves they would have from 24 to 80 miles less ice breaking, because the route between Summerside and Cape Tormentine is only 15 miles whereas between Georgetown and Pictou it is about 50 miles. There would be consequently less wear and tear on the_ steamers by the shorter route. It is 132 miles shorter from Charlottetown to Sackville than via Georgetown, it is 182 miles shorter from Summerside and the west, than by going around via Georgetown, and it is 40 miles nearer to Sackville going to Georgetown via Summerside and the Cape than it is to go around via Pictou and Georgetown. The route, therefore. has many advantages in the saving of distances. Mails and passengers arriving by the Intercolonial Railway express from Montreal get to Sackville at 12.23 p.m., and Mr. LEFURGEY.
by the Canadian Pacific Railway from Halifax at 11.50 a.m., so that by proper train connection they could reach Charlottetown at 7 p.m., or 24' hours sooner than by the route now used. Take the example of two men leaving Charlottetown for the main line of the Intercolonial Railway in the morning at the same hour. The man going by Summerside and Cape Tormentine would be at Sackville when the man from Charlottetown and Georgetown would arrive at Pictou. In other words, he would be 24 hours ahead on a trip to Montreal or any point west. Another advantage is that the winter boat from Summerside to Cape Tormentine is never out of sight of land, and if the steamers carried ice-boats the passengers on that dangerous trip could be landed in a few hours without any delay. As the engineer pointed out to the Minister of Marine (Hon. Sir Louis Davies), the tide meets there twice daily and consequently the ice is kept loosened up. The winds also favour this route, because at Charlottetown and Georgetown we have the north and north-east winds, which completely block up the straits at times, while at Cape Tormentine this does not occur, or if we had a boat at either end it would more nearly carry out the terms of confederation, because if one boat was tied up on the Georgetown-Pictou route with north-east winds we would have the other route absolutely free of ice, or, on the other hand, if westerly winds blocked the western route the eastern would be open. Another point in favour of this route is that if there was any congestion of freight while there was open water we could have a boat ply from Summerside to Cape Tormentine twice daily. There is no business man in the House, nor any man of common sense, who, in view of the conditions that exist will deny in the face of these facts that the people of Prince Edward Island have not been treated fairly in this matter. We would like the assurance of the hon. the Minister of Marine-who, I regret, is not here-and the hon. the Minister of Public Works, that this matter will be remedied in the near future, and that this pier at Cape Tormentine will be put in repair, as was promised time and time again, and not be kept for use as a political machine during election time. Furthermore, we would ask that the steamer Stanley be put on a Summerside and Cape Tormentine route at the earliest possible moment. I have letters from reliable persons every day telling me that there has been open water on that route almost every day this year, and that the Stanley could have made round trips between those points without interruption the entire season. I thank the House for its kind attention, and would again ask the consideration of the hon. Minister of Marine and Fisheries and the government and the members of this House to the topic I have brought before them.
Mr. EDWARD HACIvETT (West Prince, P.E.I.) Before this motion is carried, Mr!
Speaker, 1 desire to say but few words, as my hon. friend from East Prince has dwelt so ably and exhaustively on the subject that he has left me very little to say. There is one thing we regret in connection with this matter, and that is that we have not the pleasure of seeing the Minister of Marine and Fisheries (Hon. Sir Louis Davies) in his seat. This motion was allowed to stand on the Order paper a week ago because of his absence, and now we find that he is again away from the House, and that we have to press this motion on the attention of this House in the absence of the minister in charge of the department. We are thus compelled to address ourselves to hon. gentlemen who are unfamiliar with the details, and it is very unsatisfactory to us to be placed in this position, representing as my hon. friend and myself do the majority of the people of the island and the intelligence and views and desires of that majority. We are the more disappointed, because we were led to believe by the hon. minister, who is not here to attend to the affairs of his province that he was going to revolutionize affairs once he obtained a seat on the treasury benches. Why is the hon. gentleman absent to-day '! The reason is not far to seek. There is a byelection on in Prince Edward Island, and he is more anxious to bring back to this House a supporter of the government than to remain here and attend to the business and wants of the people. The other day, on his return from a trip to the island, the hon. gentleman complained that he had been imprisoned in that province, and we had the hon. the Postmaster General, when asked for an explanation of the delay of ten days in the mail service between Prince Edward Island and the mainland, telling us that he would explain the delay as soon as his colleague returned. We know why the Minister of Marine went to the island at that time and sympathized with him. He went down to the bed side of a sick father, and' we know that with his characteristics of filial love and affection, he would not leave that bed side as long as his father remained ill, and we would have to wait until his return for the information we required. When the hon. gentleman came back he told us how he had been imprisoned owing to the ice blockade, and yet we find him going down and risking imprisonment again in his native province, but this time his object is to bring back a supporter to himself. He is not here to attend to his duties and the affairs of his province, but is down at the island trying to elect the candidate who was defeated on the 7th of November last, and bring him back to vote for this government.
This question we are discussing is one of great importance to the people of Prince Edward Island. One of the principal inducements at the time of confederation to Prince Edward Island to become a part of the Dominion was the promise held out to
the people that the Dominion would establish uninterrupted winter communication between the island and the mainland. We were told by both parties that the Dominion, having means at its disposal, would, if the island entered the union, provide the continuous steam communication in winter and summer, so necessary to the welfare of that province, between the island and the mainland. In bringing this question to the notice of the House, we therefore make no apology, because it is not one which affects our province alone. We have in that province a population of about 120.000, intelligent, fairly prosperous, and mostly composed of farmers and fishermen. We have no manufacturing industries of any importance, and consequently have to buy from the other provinces the manufacturing goods we require, and to-day, notwithstanding the ice blockade, we find commercial travellers from Toronto, Montreal, Quebec, Halifax, St. John and other cities of Canada visiting our province and selling their goods to our people. This question therefore is not one which affects the island alone, but the whole Dominion, and consequently we require to make no apology when bringing it to the notice of the House.
My hon. friend (Mr. Lefurgey) has dwelt so fully upon what has been done that little remains to be said. We know that the government has been approached by the local government of our province and shown that a large amount is due us by the Dominion because of the non-fulfilment of this article of confederation. The right hon. gentleman (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) replied that we have now one ice boat-I think that was in .1898-and that next year he would provide another one, and thus fulfil the terms of union. He sent away the delegation, and we have received no compensation for the non-fulfilment of those terms although they have been so long left unfulfilled. Another steamer was placed on the route, but to provide the continuous communication, guaranteed us by the terms of confederation, the two boats should not be kept on the same route between the same two points. It has been shown that the route between Cape Tormentine and Sum-merside harbour is the natural one. Between Cape Tormentine and Cape Traverse is really the natural route, as the distance across is only eight or nine miles, but as there are not proper facilities at Cape Traverse, communication cannot be kept up between those points. But Summerside harbour, lying some fifteen miles east, is easily accessible. That crossing was experimented upon by the steamer Stanley, which was sent there on the 22nd December, after ice had formed in the harbour, and she had no difficulty getting to the wharf and made the round trip in three hours, taking from Summerside a number of people and bringing back a number of passengers from the other side, thus clearly estab-