January 19, 1914 (12th Parliament, 3rd Session)


Thomas Simpson Sproule (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Conservative (1867-1942)


I have the honour to inform the House that when the House did attend His Royal Highness the Governor General this day in the Senate Chamber, His Royal Highness was pleased to deliver a speech to both Houses of Parliament. To prevent mistakes I have obtained a copy which is as follows:
Honourable Gentlemen of the Senate:
Gentlemen of the House of Commons:
I take this public opportunity of expressing to you all my deep sense of gratitude for the comfort and support that were afforded us at the time of the serious illness of the Duchess of Connaught, by the numerous messages of sympathy that were received from Canada, and by the knowledge, that the hearts of so many Canadians were with us during those dark days. I can only regret that my enforced absence made it impossible for me to fully exercise the duties of my high office during a considerable portion of last year.
It gives me great pleasure to be able to congratulate you upon the remarkable expansion
of Canada's trade with other countries in the past fiscal year, during which our total trade far exceeded that of any preceding year.
The bountiful crops with which the Dominion has fortunately been blessed during the past season have been harvested under unusually favourable conditions, which have enabled the transportation companies to make full use of all the facilities at their disposal. Thus the difficulties, which sometimes arose in former years have not been manifest, and an unusually large proportion of the crops have been conveyed to the sea-board before the close of the season of inland navigation.
Canada has been favoured by a long series of prosperous years, and, although at the present moment business is slightly restricted by the financial stringency which prevails throughout the world, I feel convinced that this condition will be merely temporary, and that the boundless resources of this Dominion which are so fully and universally known and recognized, give us the fullest assurance of continued material prosperity and progress.
As a result of the recent decennial census the representation of the different provinces must be readjusted, as required by the British North America Act, and a Bill will be introduced for that purpose.
A Bill consolidating the Railway Act and its various amendments, as well as Bills relating to the Civil Service and to Trust and Loan Companies, will be submitted for your consideration.
Several other Bills will be submitted, including measures providing for increased representation of the provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia, in the Senate.
The volume of immigration during the present fiscal year promises to be greater than that of any preceding year. It has come in greatest measure from the British Isles and from the United States, but a large stream of desirable immigration has also reached our shores from other countries.
You will be pleased to learn that satisfactory arrangements have been made with the various provinces under the Agricultural Instruction Act passed at the last session. My advisers are convinced that the co-operation between the Dominion and the provinces which is thus afforded, will accomplish excellent results, in assuring better agricultural instruction and needful improvement of existing methods of agriculture.
The work on the National Transcontinental railway has been rapidly advanced during the past year, and, notwithstanding the difficulties attending the construction of the Hudson Bay railway, and the provision of terminals, every possible progress has been made in bringing that important project nearer to completion.
In connection with the highly important subject of transportation of our products, the provision of adequate terminal facilities at our great national ports has received and is receiving the attention of my advisers.
You have doubtless learned with satisfaction that the new government terminal elevator at Port Arthur is completed, and that it has been in operation since October last. In conjunction with this, a system of interior terminal elevators has been begun, which will provide largely increased facilities for the farmers of the great grain producing provinces.

The International Conference on Safety of Life at Sea, which has been in session in London for several weeks, has had under consideration questions of the highest importance, and it is hoped that its deliberations may result in more effective measures for assuring the safety of the passengers and crews of ocean-going steamships. Representatives of Canada were appointed by Order in Council and have been in attendance at all sessions of the conference.
Gentlemen of the House of Commons:
The accounts for the last fiscal year will be laid before you. You will be pleased to know that the revenue has been ample to cover both ordinary and capital expenditure.
The estimates for the next fiscal year will be submitted at an early date. They have been prepared with due regard to the necessary development of the resources of the Dominion, coupled with careful attention to economical administration.
Honourable Gentlemen of the Senate:
Gentlemen of the House of Commons:
In inviting your careful consideration of the subjects to which I have called your attention, I pray that the blessings of Divine Providence may attend your deliberations. [DOT]
On motion of Hon. Robert Rogers, it was ordered that the Speech of His Royal Highness the Governor General to both Houses of Parliament be taken into consideration on Monday next, and that this order have precedence over all other business except introduction of bills, until disposed of.

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