Province of Canada, Legislative Assembly, Scrapbook Debates, 8th Parl, 5th Sess, (5 July 1866)
By: Province of Canada (Parliament)
Citation: Province of Canada, Parliament, Scrapbook Debates, 8th Parl, 5th Sess, 1866 at 32-33.
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Tuesday July 5th, 1866
The Speaker took the chair at 3 o’clock.
A number of petitions were presented. Several private bills were introduced and read a first time, among them one by Hon. T. D. McGee to incorporate Montreal Literary Club.
Hon. Mr. Cartier introduced an act respected the Bar of Lower Canada.
The Attorney General laid upon the table a copy of the report of the Adjutant General of Militia.
Hon. Mr. McDougall laid on the table returns relating to the lands of the Hudson’s Bay Company.
In reply to a question.
Hon. J. A. MacDonald stated that the schedule to accompany the resolutions on the Local Governments defining the limits of the Upper Canada constituencies was not yet ready, but he hoped it would be tomorrow.
On the order of the day for receiving the report of Committee of Ways and Means,
Hon. Mr. Holton stated, that as there was a large increase of revenue proposed by the resolutions of supply, he submitted to the hon. Minister of Finance, whether it would be proper at the same time, to proceed with the proposed reductions, and bring them to the same stage before the House.
Hon. A. T. Galt said he did not believe that the House could be in ignorance of the intentions of the Government with regard to the contemplated reductions. He (Mr. G.) said he was acting in strict accordance with the agreement come to yesterday, with regard to public business, that he would ask the concurrence of the House at 3 o’clock today, leaving the discussion until tomorrow night.
Hon. Geo. Brown said that it was not just to the House to take the concurrence in these resolutions, until the whole financial scheme was fairly before them. It had been proposed to increase the duties on some articles and to reduce them on others, and besides a very large increase in the expenditure of the country, upon which he (Mr. B.) held very strong views, and he confessed himself unprepared to enter upon the discussion until he had more information upon it than that contained in the speech of the hon. Minister of Finance.
Hon. Mr. Galt had, personally, no objections to accede to the views of hon. members opposite, but there were certain leading principals in the policy of the Government, upon which it was very desirable that the House should pronounce an opinion without delay, and he felt assured that the hon. member for Chateauguay, and the hon. member for South Oxford, were just as well prepared to discuss those leading principals now as they would be in a week hence, and takin the concurrence of the House now would by no means preclude them from the opportunity of discussing the matters of minor detail at another time.
Hon. John A. MacDonald said the policy of the member for Chateauguay was to delay the government business.
Hon. Mr. Holton replied that he only wished the whole financial scheme of the government be laid before the House in Committee of Wayanad Means at once, and he was prepared to enter on the discussion without a moment’s delay.
Hon. Mr. Galt said that one member proposed to have no desire for delay, while another had said that he had, not had time to consider it. He was quite satisfied that the members of the House who had now had the scheme before them for ten days were fully prepared to enter on the discussion, and as the principals involved were of great importance to the commercial interests of the country the House should dispose of them. The government had no intention of departing in any degree from the general principals laid down, and though a change would be made in some minor articles by transferring them to the free, but it would not affect the general features of the tariff. It had been known to the House that it was the intention of the Government to press these resolutions to as early a decision as possible, and he was prepared to go on with them now. He had made his statement already, and did not desire to say another word except in reply. He challenged the hon. gentleman to go on at once, and give him an opportunity to answer their objections to the tariff in the only place where he could defend the policy of the Government.
The first resolution was then concurred in on division.
Hon. Mr. Galt said he would move the House committee of Ways and Means tomorrow, so that the resolution might be fully discussed. He regretted that hon. gentleman were holding the rod over his head, as he would have to pass another sleepless night, (laughter) but he would bring forward the resolutions tomorrow.
Hon. Mr. Holton desired to see the session brought to a close as soon as possible, and wished the hon. gentleman to move in the matter this evening.
Hon. Mr. Galt had no objections if one of his colleagues would take charge of the report of the Committee of Supply.
Hon. Mr. Brown said the government was proceeding with business in a most unparliamentary way. They asked the House to provide for the expenditure before they secured the sanctions of the House to that expenditure.
On motion of Hon. Mr. Galt, the House concurred in the report of Committee of Supply, after a long and by no means interesting discussion, upon several items.
On the item of $4,000 grant to Trinity College, Toronto, coming up.
Hon. Mr. Mackenzie said if one institution were to be deprived of the grant the whole ought to be. If his friends would move that all greats to Sectarian College be expunged, he would be happy to support the motion.
Mr. D. Ford Jones exceedingly regretted that a motion such as that should have been brought up in the last Parliament of Canada, so soon after the gallant conduct of the College boys and University boys had been displayed against the Fenian invaders of our soil. He would oppose any interference with these grants.
Hon. Mr. Brown said Trinity College stood in an exceptional position, but he agreed with the member for Lambton that the motion should be made to supply to all Sectarian Colleges, though he thought that as this was the last session of the Parliament of Canada, and as no reform in these matters could now be effected it might be better to allow the items to pass without opposition.
Hon. J. S. MacDonald addressed the House at some length on the opposition formerly offered by certain members to all, such grants.
Hon. J.H. Cameron desired to know by what right the hon. member for South Waterloo had singled out the Church of England as a special object of opposition? Was there any particular change in the condition or the numbers of the members of the church, or of the circumstances connected with Trinity College this year, more than last, that the grant should now be taken away.
Mr. Fergusson (Simcoe) could easily understand the motion of the member for Waterloo, and he agreed with the explanation given by the member for Cornwall as to the introduction of this grant, along with two others – one to St. Michael’s, and the other to Bytown College after the formation of the coalition, and when the Hon. Mr. Brown being then looked upon as already a member of the Government, was excused from voting. The member for Waterloo was brought to book by some of his constituents on this subject, and pretended that he had voted against, while in point of fact, though he had shown some opposition to it in one of its stages, and be now brought up this clap-trap motion to satisfy his constituents of his sincerity on that question.
He (Mr F.) has opposed those three grants as he always opposed all sectarian grants without distinction, believing that all should be free to worship God according to their conscience. But when he had moved to strike out these items, it was very little support he had received from these parties who formerly professed opposition to these grants. All the Reform member then had to excuse themselves – “Oh they had promised to support the Government,” the coalition must be sustained,” and so on and now they were bringing up clap-trap motions to set themselves right with their constituents.
Hon. Mr. MacDougall thought that the hon. member for South Waterloo was scarcely obnoxious for the charges preferred against him by the member for Peel and South Simcoe. It was well understood that the member for South Waterloo, and those who had acted with him, had been always opposed to these grants, and they had only connected on a former occasion to allow the items to [sic] without discussion, owing to the peculiar circumstances the House was then placed with regard to Confederation. He (Mr. D) thought as this was the last session of the Parliament of Canada, the same course might be pursued this year, and hoped his friend form South Waterloo would withdraw his motion.
Mr. McKenzie said, as the hon. member for Peel appeared to act as the special representative of the Church of England, he had a proposition to make which he hoped would meet his hearty support. It was well knows that Trinity College was not the only one in connection with the Church of England; there was Huron College, London, which at all events was the College of that Diocese, and deserved as much encouragement as that of Trinity. He would therefore more that the item of $4,000 be equally divided between Trinity College, Toronto, and Huron College, London.
Hon. J. A. MacDonald, after a few humorous remarks on the course of the member for Lambton, said he had risen to remove the imputation which had been erroneously cast upon the member for South Oxford in having had anything to do with the first introduction of the grant into the estimates. The Attorney General West then explained the circumstances connected with the placing of Trinity College on the estimates, and after further discussion, the member for South Waterloo consented to withdraw his motion, Mr. McKenzie’s amendment having been ruled out of order, and the item was passed.
The remaining items were concurred in and the House rose at 6 o’clock.
The Speaker took the chair at half-past seven o’clock, and the House went into Committee of Supply, Mr. Shanly in the chair.
On the item of $50,000 for Paris Exhibition of 1867
Hon. Mr. Galt stated the desirability of securing a creditable display of Canadian products in Paris, but that since the item was put in the estimates, the sad new of the breaking out of war in Europe had reached us, and as it was impossible to say how far that might spread and interfere with the Exhibition, in […]
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[…] which case the appropriation would be discretionary with the Government.
Hon. Mr. Holton asked the Minister of Agriculture to explain how it was proposed to conduct the representation of Canada at the Exhibition.
Hon. Mr. McGee said it was not now the time to enter upon details as to the arrangements for the representation of Canada, but he would mention one fact which he thought ought to satisfy the House of the propriety of the appropriation. The exhibition of Canadian minerals at the Dublin Exhibition had been the means of inducing a number of capitalists, some residing in Ireland others in England, who before that time were entirely ignorant of the existence of minerals in Canada, to make an offer in the Dublin Exhibition Building for the purchase of a large quantity of Canadian mineral lands. This result had followed, though the appropriation towards assisting in the representation of the country at that exhibition was but $5,000. It had been considered that the Paris Exhibition would be a most favorable opportunity for the illustration of the resources of this country before all the nations of Europe.
He hoped if the matter was to be left, and he might say without violating confidence, that it had been left in his department, he felt bound to say that he wished to have nothing to do in it unless it were well understood that the country should be represented in a manner worthy of its great resources, and of the representation it made in the London Exhibition of 1862, and the Paris Exhibition of 1855. The London Exhibition had cost the country almost $70,000, and the Paris Exhibition $35,000, so that the amount put down for expenses towards our representation at Paris in 1867 could not be considered beyond what would be actually required to maintain the position of our country.
In reply to Mr. Holton,
Mr. McGee stated that the Boards of Arts of Upper and Lower Canada would be invited to co-operate in carrying out the details.
Mr. Jones (North Leeds) had very great doubts of the wisdom of the proposition of the Minister of Agriculture, for the number of emigrants we were getting was small, and he considered it of far more consequence to devise some means to keep the emigrants here when we got them.
With reference to the Dublin Exhibition, he (Mr. J.) would like to get some information concerning the proceedings towards its close. There had been newspaper reports about a certain Capt. Cuff, who had got into collision with the police of Dublin, and he should like to hear the Minister of Agriclture’s explanations in reference to what took place.
Mr. McKenzie said he considered that if a practical man were appointed to select the articles to be sent to the exhibition, a far better representation would be secured than by trusting to the official Secretary of the Board of Arts and Manufacturers. He belived that it was more than useless to send specimens of our exhausted woods, which we could not supply if we got the demand. AN order has been received from France for two cargoes of red cedar, when the truth was that there was not a signle ship-load or that wood in the whole Province. It was manifestly wrong to mislead the world as to the existence of woods here such as cedar and walnut, which he believed were almost exhausted. As to the appropriation he trusted it would not be found necessary to expend the whole of it.
After further debate the item was carried.
On the item of $6000 for the importation of Riga flag seed,
Mr. D.A. Macdonald asked the Minister of Agriculture for explanations.
Hon. Mr. McGee replied going into a statement of importance of the flax crop, and of the circumstances which had induced the government to import the seed for the benefit of agriculture in Canada.
The item was carried.
On the item for salaries and contingent expenses of the Emigrant Department, and for maintenance of the quarantine establishment at Grosse $62,400.
In reply to Messrs. Dorion and Holton, Hon. T.D. McGee explained that in former years the estimate for this branch of the public service was put down at $50,000 but this year on account of the apprehension of the probably prevalence of Asiatic Cholera during this summer it had been deemed prudent to add some $12,000 to te ordinary estimate to be expended if necessary, though he hoped as the danger had been postponed that it might be averted altogether. In former cases of visitation from this disease the first attack had occurred at one time on the 1st of June, and in the other towards the end of that month, so that there was a reasonable hope that this expedition might not be required.
Messrs. Dorrion and J.S. Macdonald assailed the Emigration Department as costing more than the value of its services of the country.
Hon. Mr. McGee replied that whatever may have been the errors of the past, in the great Confederation Scheme, of which he was a warm partisan, the duties appertaining to his office were made both local and general, so that whatever might be the course followed under the constitution, it was pretty certain that in voting for it, he was voting away his own office. With regard to the emigration of the present year, he was happy to say, that the returns, up to the 10th of last month, shewed a very considerable increase over the same period of last year. It was true that we had no great public works going on at present as an attraction to the laboring man, such as had been going on in former years, and such as the American States had to offer.
Besides population would accumulate population, just as Capital accumulated Capital, and the population of 30 millions would in the ordinary nature of things draw towards it ten times as many as we could do. He denied that we had no good lands to offer to emigrants; and maintained that on the contrary there were very large tracts of valuable agricultural lands yet open for settlement. As to reforming the administration of the departmemt, what was the use of making a change to-day if you were to make another and greater change to-morrow, and why attempt a remodeling of one department if you leave the other in the old condition? He thought that the addition of 20,000 adults to a population of a young country like this, in the course of a few months, was an advantage that ought not to be altogether disregarded.
Mr. McKenzie expressed his conviction that they could not provide for a very large emigration, and he did not believe that we gained more than half of twenty thousand of an increase of population last year. He believed the only way to settle the large tract of country yet open to us was by opening up the Ottawa river (Hear, hear.)
The country needed a backbone, and the way to provide it was to open up the country which could only he reached by the Ottawa. He believed that after Confederation, measures might be matured that would lead to a much faster increase of population than anything which can be done under the present system.
The remaining items were agreed to and the Committee rose and reported, concurrence to be taken to-morrow.
The House adjourned at half-past 10 o’clock.