Mr. Speaker, before the Orders of the Day are called, I have a word or two of personal explanation to make. Yesterday an hon. member of this House was pleased to state in his place, that I had been guilty of making certain statements equivalent to falsifying the record, and had quoted figures from a certain document which he named, which I could not produce or verify. Sir, that is a peculiarly odious kind of charge, and I may add a peculiarly silly one; for I do not suppose that many members of this House are less likely to make statements and quote figures from a document such as the Statstical Year-book without being able to verify them, than myself. I sent word to the hon. member for Pictou (Mr. Bell) who is the party in question just now, that I was going to bring this matter up, and I am sorry he is not here. I did not expose the matter yesterday afternoon, because I wanted to see how far stupidity and party spite would drive these gentlemen ; and I also wanted to see that they should be so committed that there could be no possible quibbling and no possible wriggling out of the position in which they had placed themselves. I will proceed briefly to give the House the authority on which I made the statements I did with respect to what appears in the Statistical Year-book for the year 1889. The House will recollect that I gave certain estimates of the population of Canada in the course of my remarks on the budget, and I stated that those had been derived from the Statistical Year-book of the year 1889. The House will also recollect that yesterday it was stated in this House, that these figures were not to be found in the Statistical Yearbook, that other figures were given, and a long deduction was made therefrom. Sir, I have here the Statistical Year-book for 1889, printed for the Department of Agriculture by ' Mr. Brown Chamberlain, printer to the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty in the year of Grace 1890.' On page 116, of this valuable and veracious document will be found the following statement: In the fiscal year ending the 30th of June, 1887, the estimated population of Canada is given at 4,875,005 souls. Immediately thereafter, for the fiscal year 1888, the population is given at 4,972,101, and for 1889, the popu-Hon. Mr. FIELDING.
lation is given at 5,075,555. I call the special attention of the hon. leader of the opposition to these facts, as he appeared to be under the impression that his colleague from Pictou had been making a correct statement when he disputed the authenticity of my remarks. Sir, that is enough in itself, but there is more also. I stated besides, that these hon. gentlemen-at least, the predecessors of these hon. gentlemen- had carried out the calculation, at any rate as regards one year, and that they had produced the results of showing that in 1890 or thereabouts, the population estimated by them for Canada would exceed 5,200,000. I have here, Sir, the Trade and Navigation tables for the Dominion of Canada for the year 1890, countersigned by Sir Mackenzie Bowell, then Minister of Customs, under date of the 29th December, 1890. On page X, the total duty Collected from customs is put down at $24,014,908. On the opposite page, you will find the amount of customs duties paid per head of the population put down at $4.60. You will further find at the bottom of the page this statement:
The calculations in this column are based on the estimated population of the Dominion in each year as published by the Department of Agriculture and statistics in the statistical Year book. See Pages 116 and 180 of that book for 1889, the figures this year having been corrected to correspond with those in the said statistical Year-book.
Now, I suppose it is possible for these two. hon. gentlemen to go through the profound arithmetical calculation of dividing $24,014,908 by $4.60, and if they do, they will find by the quotient that the estimated population of Canada, according to the customs returns and the Statistical Year-book, amounted to 5,220,632. Sir, I leave the House to say who has falsified the statements in the Year-book.