April 4, 1902 (9th Parliament, 2nd Session)


The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE (Hon. Sydney A. Fisher).

Mr. Speaker. At the hour at which I moved the adjournment of the debate last night, it seemed inadvisable to ask the House to listen then to the remarks which I feel it incumbent upon me to make in this debate. I would not have cared to enter into a discussion of the public questions of the day at this time, had it not been for some statements which have been made by gentlemen on the opposite side of the House in regard to two or three matters in which I am somewhat, personally concerned, and in which I have been taking considerable interest during the present administration. Hon. gentlemen opposite have made some statements in this debate which I cannot help characterizing as not only reckless hut rash, inasmuch as *they have shown thereby the lack of study of the condition of affairs and of what has actually occurred under the administration of the present government during the last few years.
First, let me say a word or two in regard to a matter which was brought up by my hon. friend and colleague the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Hon. Sir Richard Cartwright), when he spoke a week or two ago in this debate, in regard to certain figures pertaining to the census which has been taken by my department during the past year. Hon. gentlemen opposite alleged that my hon. friend the Minister of Trade and Commerce had made statements which could not be substantiated, and one hon. gentleman, the hon. member for Pictou (Mr. Bell) undertook to disprove some of those statements, and asked that further proof of them be submitted. I venture to think that my hon. friend the Minister of Trade and Commerce put this matter in an incontrovertible form before the House, so far as the broad question is concerned. The statements which he made did not go into such detail as could perhaps be called absolute and entire proof on every point; but they were sufficiently detailed. I think, to appeal to the mind of any unprejudiced individual who either heard or read them, and to prove his main contention, which was that the census cf 1801 was unduly swelled in the figures of population, and that therefore

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