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GBEAT^EEGH 



HON. GEO. W. ROSS 



RElUa IF lilTAHO 



DELIVERED AT WHITBY, NOVEMBER, 1899. 



GOVERNMENrS POLICY, 










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GREAT SPEECH 



-BY 



HON. GEO. W. ROSS 



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PREMIER OF ONTARIO 



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DELIVERED AT WHITBY, NOVEMBER, 1899. 



GOVERNMENrS POLICY. 




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GREAT SPEECH 



• • • Dm • • • 



Hon. Geo. W. Ross 



PREMIER OF ONTARIO 



Delivered at Whitby, Nov., 1899. 



COTERNHENT'S POLICY. 

In reply to the address, Hon. Mr. Ross, who was received with 
loud cheers on rising, said : — " Mr. President, members of the execu- 
tive, ladies and gentlemen : I thank you very sincerely indeed for 
this very complimentary address. You hav« estimated my talents 
and attainments, I fear, far too high. True, I have had a length- 
ened experience in public life in connection with the House of 
Commons and with the Legislative Assembly. While I do not think 
in my judgment I have reached that lofty pinnacle on which, 
through your kindness of heart, you have placed me, I thank you, 
nevertheless, for the kind words you have spoken of my career. I 
sincerely trust that you will find the Liberal party continuing to 
uphold the honor of the country with the same earnestness and zeal 
pnder my leadership as it hm done under the leadership of my pre- 





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decessors. I have not an easy task before me. Those whom I 
follow were such men as the Hon. Edward Blake, Sir Oliver Mowat, 
and the Hon. A. S. Hardy, men of talent, of great experience and 
of high character, and to follow in their footsteps is no easy task, 
(Applause.) Allow me first to express my sincere regret on the re- 
tirement of my predecessor, the Hon. Mr. Hardy, who for twenty- 
aix years was a conspicuous figure in the Legislative Assembly of 
his native Province. Mr. Hardy was pre-eminently a Canadian, 
with a strong strain of United Empire Loyalist blood in his veins — 
a very good strain, as we all know, by which to make Canadian 
blood, if possible, more thoroughly British. Mr. Hardy gave the 
full vigor of his manhood to the service of his country, and as the 
administrator at different periods of three important portfolios, 
established beyond cavil his capacity as an administrator and. as a 
legislator. For sixteen years I had the honor of being associated 
with him in the Government, and I can truthfully say that for re- 
sourcefulness, regard for the public interests, and integrity as an 
officer of State, he deserves to rank with the best men ever called to 
serve her Majesty as one of her executive counsellors. (Applause). 
The failure of his health is not a loss to the party simply, but a 
great public loss, a loss to Ontario, a loss to Canada. To hold him 
in grateful remembrance as a large-hearted and progressive public 
servant should be the duty not only of every liberal in the Province 
but of every Canadian who appreciates loyalty and fidelity in the 
discharge of public duties. (Cheers.) 

Forming the Crovernmeiil;* 



J- 



On the retirement of Mr. Hardy and by right of his advice I 
was called by His Honor the Lieutenant-GovQrnor, to form a new 
Government. To be called to the leadership of the Liberal party of 
a great Province like Ontario is no ordinary distinction, and yet 
when I reflect upon the high standing and pre-eminent abilities of 
my predecessors you will not charge me with using terms of self- 
abasament whea I say that I would readily have allowed the honor 
to pass by were it not for the assurances of my colleagues in the 



Government and in the House that the call wm one which com- 
manded their heartiest approval. And now, having formed a Gov- 
ernment, as required by the constitution of the Province, I may say 
without any undue feelings of exultation that the wider public 
opinion, which I was unable to consult at the time, has, with a 
unanimity and cordiality far beyond my expectations, justified my 
more immediate advisers in the support so kindly proffered at the 
outset (Applause.) More than this, I have reason to believe that 
many who consider themselves comparatively free from the acknow- 
ledged obligations of party ties look upon my accession to the lead- 
ership with consMerable favor. 



Portfolios Exchaiif «d« 

You have already been informed through the public press of 
the composition of the new Government. I say new Government, 
because in a business sense, with one exception, every portfolio has 
been changed. You have a new Attorney-General, a new Com- 
missioner of Crown Lands, a new Commissioner of Public Works, a 
new Provincial Secretary, a new Treasurer, a new Minister of Edu- 
cation and a new leader of the Government. The only man whose 
portfolio was not changed was the Minister of Agriculture. (Cheers.) 
His long experience in that department, his eminent fitness as a 
practical farmer and his administrative ability have pointed hira out 
as the best available man for that position, and we have taken him 
accordingly. (Renewed cheers,) I thank you to-day for the very 
cordial nomination of Mr. Drydcn as the candidate in South Ontario, 
and I believe he will be elected. 

As to the personnel of tke new Government, very little may be 
said. They are all, or nearly all, trained legislators and eminently 
successful in their various spheres in life. The Hon. Mr. Gibson 
brings to his position legal attainments that command the respect 
of the whole profession. The ability with which he administered 
the two departments of the public service which he previously held 
is a guarantee of success in his new position. The Minister of Bdu- 
ca'.ion the Uou. Mr. Harcourt, as a teacher, inspector and a graduate 



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of our Provincial university, aoi well as bj experience as a Parifft- 
montarian, cannot fail to bo acceptable to the teaching profeaeioa 
and the public generally. The Commissioner of Crown Lands, the 
Hon. Mr. Davis, has shown in the successful management of his own 
business and as Provincial Secretary that he ii a man of judgment 
and capacity. 

Tli« Mew Hliilstenk 

» 
With regard to the Ministers who hold a portfolio for a firii 

time, a word or two will suffice. Hon. Mr. Stratton, the new Pro- 
vincial Secretary, has held a seat in Parliament since 1886, and has 
taken an active part in discussions in the House and in committee 
work. As a business man he has been most successful and will un- 
doubtedly prove an able and honest administrator. The other new 
Minister, the Hon. Mr. Latchford, to whom I have assigned tke 
portfolio of Public Works, though new to Parliamentary life, has 
for some years been regarded as well fitted for the distinction just 
conferred upon him. Of Irish extraction, Canadian bom, educated 
at Ottawa University, able to speak French or English with facility, 
a trained lawyer and a man of high character, no one who knows 
him will doubt his fitness for his new position. My only regret in 
calling him to the Government was that it involved the retirement 
of Mr. Harty from the active duties of a department which he filled 
to the complete satisfaction of his colleagues and of Parliament, and 
from which under no circumstances would he be permitted to retire 
did his health warrant his continuance in office. That kia ripe 
judgment and business aptitude might not be entirely lost to us, I 
have asked him to retain his seat in the Cabinet, and I am glad to 
be able to say that he has assented to this request. 

Frem L«k Schssl ts FreMi«r« 

As is myself, one of the greatest regrets I have m. asswamf 
the leaderahif ef the party is thai ft nesessitaied my sevesaaee» 



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directly at least, from the educational work, from whiek I hare 
taken so much pleasure, and in which, in one form or another, I had 
been en/^raged from my early experience as a t«achor in a log school- 
house down to the day I was called upon to form a Qovemment. If 
I did not repay the log schoolhou^.e, whilt ' 'nieber of Education, 
for what it did for me, I hope to square th ^ account before my 
leadership comes to a close. (Loud appl', 3e.) 

From this preliminary statement you hav^ sua idea of how a 
QoveiiiiAA^nt is formed, and vhat a simple y\&. ^ej.' it is when consti- 
. tional usages are strictly followed to t.rant>i;er the Government of 
the country from one leader to another, H,ud <,o rearrar^e the whole 
Cabinet. There was a time in the hi'^oory of Canada — thanke to 
the Liberal party that it is now almosi, ancient history — when such 
changes could not have been accomplished without the most peril- 
ous agitation. 

TIctorles to be Won. 

Now, w« ar« entering upon a pretty extensive campaign as a 
new (Government. Some of my opponents thought I would not have 
the courage to face the musia We have courage as Liberals to face 
anything if we know we are right. (Cheers.) We have courage 
as Liberals to stand by the policy of the party, no matter how 
numerous their foes may be. It is not in the nature of the Liberal 
party to shrink from diflEiculties. We have, for instance, this 
South Riding of Ontario to dispose of That will be done very 
soon. We have a contest in West Elgin. That is easy ; we have a 
Liberal majority there ; all we have to do is to poll it. We will 
have another contest in East Elgin ; for since I came upon this 
platform I have received a message that the Court of Appeal has 
opened the constituency. This will give another seat I expect, «id 
80 we hope to go on conquering, and to conquer, until w« have a 
Qoyemment strong enough to legislate tor this country m I am 
■ore the Liberals of Ontario desire to be legislated for. 



-I'f"^''™ 



Klcntoral CormptUa. 

Now, I wcnid suppose from some observations made hmn and 
frwn what I notice in tie press that the Conservative party intend 
to make this a campaign in which the principal eiock in trade will 
be the alleged corruption of the Libi^ral party. Such a eampaign in 
my judgment would neither be savoury nor instructive, and I do 
not propose as leader of the Government to occupy much time in 
retailing political scandals nor dwelling upon the weaknesses of 
either party. I think there are more important matters to con- 
sider. Not that I fear a comparison of the record of the Liberal 
party with that of the Conservative party. Our career is pure and 
clean compared with the record of our opponents. Nevertheless it 
is our business, as a party, to see that our own skirts are clean, and 
simply aay to the Conservatives, " Go ye and do likewise." 



Panbh the fiiiilty. 

Now let me tell you what we propose to do. As already an- 
nounced, it will be our first duty to proceed against those reported 
by the Judges for corrupt practices. Instructions have already 
been issued to that effect, and so far as we are concerned the strong 
arm of the law will be allowed to reach out for Liberal and Con- 
servative alike. In thus invoking the courts to punish oflfences of 
this kind we are not following precedents but rather making prece- 
dents. For instance, in 1886 eleven persons were reported for cor- 
rupt practices. In 1890 seven persons were reported after election 
trials for corrupt practices, and in 1 895 six persons were also re- 
ported. That is, in the three general elections antecedent to the 
elections of 1898, the Judges reported certain persons for corrupt 
practices, and in most cases the majority of such persons were 
reported in connection with the unseating of a Conservative candi- 
date. No action was taken in any one of these cases ; it remained 
for the Liberal party in power at the present time to take the first 
step that has ever been taken to deal through the constituted courts 
of the land \7ith irregularities in connection with elections. As a 
Liberal Government, we claim credit for this. It is an earnest that 
the Liberal party is disposed to have purity of elections ; and I aak 
you : " Did you ever hear of a case where the Conservative party at 
Ottawa, although I can give you name after name of persons re- 
ported by the Judges in Oie various election trials in the Dominioa, 
where the leader of the Conservative party, whether Sir Joka Mao- 



donald, or Sir John Thompson, or Sir John Abbott, or Sir Mackenzie 
Bowell, or Sir Charles Tupper, took action against any person re- 
ported for corrupt practices in Dominion elections ?" Now, if the 
Conservative party was so determined to eradicate these irregulari- 
ties, why do they not give us some evidence of their sincerity. I 
will not allow any man to say that the Liberal party is a corrupt 
party. In comparison with the Conservative party the Liberal 
party is certainly not corrupt, and that I say without attempting in 
the slightest degree to condone or justify any irregularity in our 
own ranks. That we cannot do — we cannot be true LiberaJa and 
do that (Applause.) 



A History of Parity. 

Let me give you two or three illustrations on this point. 
Which is th ■ party that from time immemorial, I may say, advo- 
cated, in Parliament and out of Parliament, the holding of elections 
on one day ? There may be men here who remember when an 
election lasted a week, and who know the consequences. I remem- 
ber when elections continued two days. In 1867 that was the law, 
and every house of refreshment was open, and food and drink were 
furnished free to the electors, and there were open and frequent 
irregularities in connection with all those elections. Who was it 
that contended for the elections to be held on one day ? Was it 
not the Liberal party. Then we contended for trial of controverted 
elections before the Judges of the country. The old way of trying 
an election case was before a committee of the House of Commons, 
and men have been known to hold seats for two years who at the 
end of that time were found to -iave no right to them. Well- 
known examples of this are the Russell case and the Quebec case. 
Who was it that opposed that mode of trying election cases ? Was 
it not tho Liberal party. 

Then we contended for election by ballot in order that no man's 
independence might be imposed upon, that, for instance, an employer 
might not coerce his employees. The whole history of elections 
from the beginning of constitutional governmeiit in Canada down 
1 ^ the present time shows that the Liberal party are the opponents 
of corrupt practices and the advocates of pure elections, or perfect 
independence on the part of the voter and a fair trial for the candi- 
date if his election is contested. So with this history at our backs 
we will not allow our opponents to say that 'the Liberal party is 
not, historically and actually and at the present day, the paxty of 
purity in elections. (Hear, near.) 




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S5,0d0 Officer!. 

Another illustration. Since 1867 there have been 927 elections 
in the Province of Ontario. For these elections there have been 
appointed by the Crown, mostly by the Liberal party, 927 returning 
officers Out of these 927 returning oflScers appointed by the 
Liberal Government not one has to this hour been reported as hav- 
ing been guilty of any corrupt irregularity o/ having used his posi- 
tion to favor the Government candidate, and no evidence has been 
given in court to sustain a suspicion of such a thing. Compare this 
record with that of the other side if you want to go into details. 
Now, take the deputy returning officers, 30 in each constituency, or 
27,000 in all, and 27,000 poll clerks. No fewer than 56,000 officers 
in the last 33 years have been employed in Ontario, appointed by 
the returning officers mainly from the Liberal party, and there has 
been no suspicion against these deputy returning officers. How 
does that compare with what is on record as to the conduct of the 
other side ? 1 mention these strong substantial facts because it has 
been suggested that in the past, by malice aforethought, or by 
arrangement with the Government, the officers of the Crown have 
been used to aid the Liberal party. K that were so, then it could 
be said that the Liberal party is corrupt. No Government that 
ever existed can suppress or eradicate human perversity, but it is a 
proud boast, and I make it with feelings of true generous satisfac- 
tion, that our officers have been impartial and faithful to their 
trust and that without a single exception to the contrary. 



West Elgin CommiaiAoB* 

Take the next point. We determined at the first meeting after 
the Government was formed, to issue a Royal Commission to inquire 
into the iregularitiea in the West Elgin election. This too is the 
first case where any Government in Canada proposed to enquire 
into election frauds in which its own friends were said to be con- 
cerned. Greater irregularities occurred in other places under 
the Dominion Government, greater irregularities occurred in the 
Manitoba election, but did you ever hear of the late Dominion 
Government appointing a Royal Commission to inquire into an elec- 
tion of their own ? It means that the Liberal party in Ontario 
with the public opinion of the whole party behind them, are deter- 
mined to invoke the strong hand of the law, and by proper investi- 
gation p«t a stop to irregularities. Mr. Whitney will kav« a good 



deal to my here to-mort'ow night about corrapt practieet. At 
Arnprior he scouts the idea of this commission being of any use. 
For a number of months the Conservative party has been anxious 
to have a commission. We have decided to appoint a commission, 
and now he speaks of that commission in the most offensive terms. 
He is reported in the Mail and Empire of to-day m saying "The 
commission to investigate the election scandals was a f£u*ce, and an 
impartial decision was not to be looked for." 



Rough on the Jndgei. 



The commission has not yet been appointed, ladies and gentle- 
men. We announced that it was to be a commission of Judges. 
Mr. Whitney is kind enough to say that a commission of Judges will 
be a farce. That is his estimation of the Judges ; that an impartial 
decision is not to be looked for. I want Mr. Whitney to explain 
that when he comes here to-morrow night. It is the first time in 
the history of this country that a leader of any party has cast such 
a reflection on the Judges on the bench. We have a similar reflec- 
tion cast by him in reference to the unseating of Mr. Calder. H© 
says that was a Grit conspiracy, put up for the purpose of unseat- 
ing Mr. Calder. We thought it was the Judges who unseated him. 
When a Conservative is unseated it is a Grit conspiracy. Was it a 
Conservative conspiracy that unseated Mr. Breithaupt in Waterloo ? 
Some people thought it was, that the evidence indicated that, but 
we do not take that ground ; but we say we are going to give a 
commission that will investigate these matters in a disinterested, 
honest and fair-minded way. Wo don't believe the Judges wiU 
allow themselves to be associated with anything farcical. 

' The judges of Ontario have not so far played the partizaa and 
we have no fear that they shall do so in this case. 



The Progr; 



Having disposed of election matters, what do we propose t 
What ' our policy on public questions ? I suppose you are very 
anxious to know what the new Government are going to do. Well, 
we hope to do many things, some not altogether a departure in any 
special sense, but others more specifically outlined tibian heretofore. 



u 

First, then, it is proposed that wo shall have a commission to 
ascertain the financial position of the Province. It has fallen to my 
lot, in the ttdjustment of portfolios, to take the Treasury Depart- 
ment. Since Confederation the Treasury Department has spent one 
hundred millions of money. We have a revenue of between $3,000,- 
000 and $4,000,000, and we spend about all w© receive, although 
Bome people say we spend more. I want to know how our finances 
stand. Our opponents say we have never had a proper audit I 
do not believe that. We have an Auditor who is not an oflScer of 
the Government, but an oflficer of the Legislature, and who, presum- 
ably, does not pay a single dollar for any purpose unless the expendi- 
ture is authorized by the House. I believe our Auditor has faithfully 
discharged his duty. Then there is a Public Accounts Committee 
of the Legislature that has authority to call for every account, every 
check and every bill, and to examine witnesses under oath as to 
whether certain goods were sold and whsther a certain amount of 
money was received for them. That committee sits for four or five 
weeks each session. The strongest men in the Conservative ranks 
are members of it, and they examine the public accounts very care- 
fully. But still our Conservative friends say they do not know how 
the accounts stand, and perhaps they do not. (Laughter.) Perhaps 
they are not good accountants. I propose to remove that complaint 
from them, and with the consent of my colleagues to appoint three 
of the most distinguished financiers in the City of Toronto to 
examine the public accounts since Confederation. These gentlemen 
are : Dr. Hoskin, President of the Toronto General Trusts Company ; 
Mr. B. E. Walker, Manager of the Bank of Commerce, and Mr. 
Angus Kirkland, Manager of the Toronto branch of the Bank of 
Montreal. Thev will be free to examine the records to their hearts' 
content, and make a report as to where we stand. When that report 
is received, I think you will find that our expenditure has not 
exceeded our revenue, I cannot prejudge the matter, except as a 
Parliamentarian familiar with the public accounts, but I think you 
will find we have kept within the revenue of the Province fairly 
well. I think you will also find that this Province is not in debt, 
as our Conservative friends say it is. (Applause.) It is a remark- 
able thing, that of all the Provinces of the Dominion Ontario seems 
to be the only one that has escaped a large burden of indebtedness. 
For instance, the Province of Quebec has a gross debt of $35,450,- 
548. Nova Scotia, with about half a million of people, has a debt 
of $3,711,802; New Brunswick, $3,198,869 ; Manitoba, $5,701,950; 
British Oolumbif, $7,425,262. and Prince Edward Island. $468,757. 
We say that the Province ^f Ontario, altiiough it carries a small 



IB 

debt, has intertst-beariug assets that would discharge these debts at 
almost a moment's notice, or at any rate a reasonalale notice. We 
have interest-bearing assets imounting to about $5,000,0 0. That 
is a matter on which, probably, these financial men will report. 
Then we have railway scrip and railway annuities which, it' paid at 
the present moment, would take up about $3,000,000. 



Sarplus of Two nillions. 

4 

So that if you take our indebtedness at its present value from 
our assets at their present value we would have at the present 
moment a surplus oi $2,000,000. That, we believe, is our financial 
position. (Cheers.) 

Our Conservative critics say that is not the case. We main- 
tain they are wrong in that statement. I think it is well that this 
question should be settled, and I have particular interest in having 
it settled, as you will observe from what I say as I go along. It* 
Ontario is not in debt, if we have ample resources, I think there are 
certain things we should do. 



Deyelop Xew Ontario. 



I think we should address ourselves and apply our surplus 
means to the development of the country— fit st to the development 
of New Ontario, and secondly to the development of old Ontatio. 
For instance, if we can afford it, why not give Mr. Drytlen more 
money for the educational work that is carried on by means of Far- 
mers' Institutes, county fairs, dairy schools and agricultural col- 
leges. Little Belgium, much smaller than Ontario, has several 
agricultural colleges. Belgium, Denmark, and ail the central divi- 
sions of Europe know that their existence depends practically upon 
instruction in agriculture and in the education of their artisan 
classes. If our finances warrant it, why not increase our grants to 
these institutions, and why not increase our grants to the public 
and high schools, and our grants for the improvement of roads, and 
so on ? We live in a progressive p -riod. No true Liberal, no true 
Canadian, will now stand idle with folded haudd, neglect! ngr to pny 
attention to the development of this country ; and I f iropose that 
the Government, so far as our means will allow, sh ill apply their 
energies, so long as they may have the confidence of the people,,to 
the developmeut of this Province. (Applause) 



y. 



T 



^HmmumMH ii'itHiiMlm 



u 



Poiitloii of Ontario^ 



Why do I Bay that ? Ontario is to-day the first Province of 
tii« Dominion. It has more weight in the councils of the Dominion 
than aay other Provinae because of its population and its wealth. 
Do you want Ontario to shrink iato a minor positicHi in the coun- 
cils of the Dominion^ or do you want it to hold its present status ? 
All my colleagues are natiyos of this Province, or nearly all. We 
are all of the opinion tiiat if the Dominion is to prosper, th^i On- 
tario should prosper adl the more, and be the first Province, and lead 
the other Provinces for all time to come in wealth, political influence 
and educational activity. (Cheers.) That is the position we pro- 
pose to take. Now, looking at the map of Ontario, what do you 
fijad? Tofi find\«.that Ontario contains 140,000,000 acres, or in 
round numbers 200,000 square miles. Of that area only 23,000,000 
acres, or 45,000 square miles are occupied. In other words, only 
one-sixth of the area of the Province to-day is actually in the hands 
of individual owners, leaving practically five-sixths in the hands of 
the Crown. Only 12,000,000 of the 140,000,000 acres of land in 
Ontario are under cultivation to-day. Actually, we have scarcely 
touched the fringe of the great agricultural wealth which this Pro- 
vince possesses. I think it is our duty to see that these latent re- 
sources are made available for settlement, are placed within the 
reach of our sons and daughters, and developed. Some years ago 
we found that our young men were going to the United States. 
There are t<o-day a million Canadians in the adjoining republic. Of 
these the greater number were natives of Ontario. To-day we are 
sending our sons to the northwest and to British Columbia, but to 
that I do not so much object, so long as they remain under the flag. 
But do we, the people of O-^ario, not owe it to ourselves that we 
make reasonable provision lur the s(^tlement of our sons within our 
oVm Province, and thus reap the benefit which is brought about by 
its development! (Applause.) 



Kailwayi— CelonlzattoH Boads. 



Ai a preliminary step, however, we think it is important thai 
we should make a practical survey of the lands lying north of the 
Canadian Pacific Railway up towards Hudson Bay. We have 100,- 
000,000, acres of land in that district that have not yet been sur- 



If 

veyed or explored. Nobody knowi their value «griciiliarally ; 
nobody knows the timber wealth and mineral resourcea which they 
contain. It will be the first duty of the GoTemment when Parlia- 
ment meets to ask for a reasonable sum of money— $40,000 or $50,000 
will suffice — to make a preliminary exploration of that magnificent 
country and see whether it would not be in the interests of Ontario 
to have that country openel up for settlement. You know Hudson 
Bay is nearer Toronto a good deal than is Port Arthur, -uid we 
might have a port on the northern limit of the Province. Those 
who are familiar with the internal waterways of the northern half 
of this continent say that in their opinion the trade route to the 
Klondike will be by way of Hudson Bay. Be that as it may, I 
think it is our duty now, as we own that great country to the 
north of us, to open it up and make available for the settlement of 
our sons and daughters from the older parts of the Province 
(Applause.) We shall find out if the lands are any good for agricul- 
ture purposes. Beyond question Uie country possesses great tim- 
ber wealth, and we believe minerals will be found there also. We 
propose, as in the earliest days of settlement in Ontario, to build 
trunk oo)oni2sation roads into those parts of the country which we 
know to be good for settlement, and my argument m, it will be far 
more pr^table for the peofde of South Ontario to sit down and 
consider the propriety and the desirability of developing the waste 
resources of the Province than to indulge in discussions as to the 
relative political purity of the two great parties. One gives you 
satisfactory results ; the other leaves nothing but heartburnings and 
political animosities, and makes you feel you are less a man than 
you would be if you were discharging your duty to the Province. 
So much in relation to the development of new Ontario oa the lines 
I have indicated. 



^neitteB of Land ISnuito. 

lliere is another question which will (K>me up at a veiy early 
date, and that is how we are going to open up the country to the 
north. Supposing that we have not the money with which to do 
it, shall we apply towards the ocmstruction of these railways a cer- 
tain proportion of the waste lands o£ the Province ? Some people 
say no laxid grants should be made to railways. I admit this is 
an important question, and I shall be very glad if you discuss it 
during the next election. We have already given in Canada over 
thirty-niiie miilions of acres of land for r^way purposes. The 




mm:gm 



le 



TVfi^'S'^'" 



I 



main line of the Canadian Pacific Railway received 18,200,000 aures 
of land. That is a very large amount, and I do not suppose that 
any Conservative is prepared to f-ay that Sir John Macdonald. was 
at fault when he recommended such a large grant of land for the 
construction of the C. P. R. We had not money enough at that 
time with which to build the line, and we supplemented our limited 
resources by a grant of land. The United States have been very 
generous also in giving grants of land for railway purposes. I 
believe that the railways of the United States have received 
83,907,673 acres of land, or about four times the land occupied in 
the Province of Ontario. Some of the States have likewise been 
very generous. Michigan has given 3,259,708 acres, Wisconsin 
3,660,784, Minnesota 8,274«,577 acres. Now, the effect of these large 
grants of land has not been bad. I believe grants of land might be 
given in such a way as to estal/iish monopolies like that of the old 
Canada Company, a monopoly from which my native county 
Middlesex suffered in my early days. 

There is no reason, however, why land grants should not be 
made on condition that if the land is not occupied or disposed of it 
will revert to the Crown. One thing you may be assured of is that 
if such grants of land were made, the Government would require the 
railway company receiving them to concede the most favorable 
terms in regard to the transportation of settlers and their effects. 
We certainly would hold in our own hands such control over lands 
and railways, as we would not lead to the establishment of a mon- 
opoly or interfere with the interest of the settler. At the present 
moment the land is valueless. If a railway is built our land would 
be valuable, and the railway land would be valuable. Minnesota 
hns increased its population three times as fast as Ontario by the 
opening up of the country by railways. So has Michigan ; so has 
Wisconsin, 



We Want Popnlatlon. 

As the Hon. Joseph Chamberlain said in Canada a few years 
ago, "what tliis country wants is population." Timber is of no 
value compared with population. Wild land is of- no value com- 
pared with population. If we could put five millions, two millions 
even, in this Province what a position we could attain to I If we 
could settle northern Ontario to the same extent as old Ontario we 
would have nine millions instead of two and a half millions. The 
object is wor&y o£ the ambition of any Government I remember 



1 

1 



I 

I 



Miii 



m^ 



fnm^' I 



! 



17 

when the Canadian Pacific Railway was constructed that we 
thought Sir John Macdonalil was undertaking a herculean enter- 
prise, one that' would crush the country, one far too expensive for 
the resources of the country. I think perhaps he was right and we 
were wrong. I think perhaps he builded more wisely than he 
knew. No one to-day would say that the building of the railway 
was a mistake. Canada to-day would be weaker in the councils of 
the empire, would scarcely be a federated Dominion, as ic is, were 
it not for the Pacific Railway. If the lands of the Northwest could 
properly be used in the construction of the C.P.R. why not use 
part of the waste lands of Ontario for opening up the northern parts 
of the Province. 

In addition to this we could perhaps afford to spend a reason- 
able sum of money for railway development. The Dominion Gov- 
ernment has spent SI 60,623,357 in aid of railways. That is an 
immense sum. The various Provinces have spent $33,682,654. 
Ontario has given about seven millions, Quebec about twelve mil- 
lions, while tne various municipalities, in addition to the Provinces, 
have given $18,200,615. In all, Canada has given for railway aid 
two hundred and twelve million dollars. 



The Great Ciyillzer. 



These railways may not always pay a dividend ; that is not so 
much our concern. See how they have opened up the country ! 
See all the towns and villages that are being built everywhere ! 
See how the raw material has been made valuable by the railways ! 
You have burned up on your farms in Ontario county timber that 
would buy these farms twice over, hardwood that was, perhaps, worth 
more even than the whole farm was .worth. Wherever these rail- 
ways run they carry the pulpwood, minerals and other raw material 
to the market, while our produce goes to feed the miner, the lum- 
berman and to assist in building up towns and villages. 

Rat Portage, situated among the rocks, with a population of 
five or six thousand, has to get all its supplies from Winnipeg or 
the East ; so with Port Arthur and Sault Ste. Marie, their supplies 
coming more from older Ontario. It is only by such a policy we 
can maintain the position we now occupy as a people, and it is just 
such a policy as the progressive spirit of this country will respond 
to. We have had enough of complaints about delays in developing 
tlie country, and enough of partisan and political qtiarre]«. I woold 




"*•— " • — 'i' utM'liMitmiamtm 



sstrr 




It 

be wining to form eyen a coalition if the development of the oonntry 
could not be got in any other way. I am confident, however, there 
is energy enough in the Liberals, and force enough and foresight 
enough to do this single-handed, and it' our opponents will resist we 
will simply appeal to the people of the Province, with the utmost 
confidence of their suppori (Cheers.) 



Beveloping Old •iitwrl*. 

Now, having dealt with New Ontario, what do wa propose in 
old Ontario ? Have we any new policy there ? And, firstly, I 
would say that we must endeavor to develop the latent resources of 
old Ontario by means of the Agricultural Department of the Pro- 
vince. If Mr. Dryden is not prepared to give his whole energies, 
if he is not prepared to throw all his force into the agricultural 
development of the Province of Ontario, let me tell you — and it is 
no secret — I will have to get a new Minister of Agriculture ; no 
doubt about it. The secret of our prosperity is in the development 
of the agricultural resources of the Province. That is the philos- 
pher's stone, that is the Midas touch which will turn everything 
mto gold. We may have mineral wealth and forest wealth, but the 
broad foundation of the wealth of this country is its loamy farms 
and. its skilled agriculturists, and you will allow me as an old school 
master to say that we want to put a skilled, intelligent, well- 
instructed farmer on every farm in the Province. Mr. Dryden says 
you must change your methods of farmings Tou have changed 
them. We cannot hold our own, we cannot make the most out of 
the soil, we cannot make the most out of raising stock or raising 
grain, or raising fruit or dairy products without intelligence, and 
a still higher degree of intelligence. Tou all admit thai 



V 



To Reclaim Waste Laate 



I 



We ought to deal with the waste lands of the Province. We 
have in old Ontario three million acres of swamp lands. They are 
a nuisance, they are pestilential. We hope to project a system 
whereby these three million acres may be properly drained, and 
when you drain your swamp lands you restore to the farmer what 
is Uie beet meadow land he can possibly have. Think of three 
loiUioQ aeres of swamp lands 1 If we can change what is to-day 



If 



i 



I 






worth three million dollars into property worth thirty millions, 
don't you think that would be money well spent ? Besides this we 
hope by the methods adopted by Mr. Dryden so to improve the 
agricultural condition of the people of this country as to get better 
results even on the same area. Now, I think no man can estimate 
how much Mr. Dryden's management of the Agricultural Depart- 
ment has added to the wealth of this country. I will give you a 
figure or two that struck me as effective in some investigations I 
have made. For instance, in 1888 we sold 4,415,381 pounds of 
butter to Great Britain, a trifling, insignificant quantity. That was 
ten years a^o. Last year we sold 11,263,787 pounds of butter to 
Great Britain. This is a very satisfactory increase in ten years. 
How has this been brought about ? By means of the dairy schools, 
the Farmers' Institutes and through improvement in live stock. In 
1888 we sold 84,163,267 pounds of cheese to Great Britain ; last 
year this had risen to 196,703,723 pounds, worth seventeen millions 
of dollars. Twenty years ago the United States sold more cheese 
in the British market than we did ; now we sell four times as much 
as all the United States put together. No, we have not been idle. 
Mr. Whitney will tell you when he comes here to-morrow night that 
we are corrupt. Does he discuss any of these practical questions to 
which I have referred with the people of this country ? I never 
heard him express an intelligent idea in regard to agriculture or the 
development of this country. (Cheers.) You may take his policy 
from beginning to end, examine it with a microscope, and you will 
not find a plank on which a full sized man can stand. ([Renewed 
cheers.) It has no existence ; it is mere invective, declamation 
and denunciation. However, you have always substantial proof of 
the utility of the Department of Agriculturje. We propose to aid 
the farmer in raising more crops on the same quantity of land if 
skilled agriculture will produce them, and to give him better live 
stock if a better selection of stock will give it to him ; a larger 
income from every department of agricultural industry than we 
now have if skill and intelligence will bring it about That is one 
thing. 

nr« Whitmey Apposes ProgreM. 



Another very important department of work to which atten- 
tion must be immediately given is the question of transportation. 
Mr. Dryden deserves unstinted praise for the appointment of a road 
commissioner to give instruction as to road-making in tiie Province, 
and I am bound to say that in all these movMoents he has reoeivMl 




yg^ 






20 

the active opposition of Mr. Whitney and his allies. In face, in this 
^reat agricultural country, would you believe it, that when Sir 
Oliver Mowat proposed some years ago the appointment of a 
Minister of Agriculture Mr. Whitney opposed it? This is the 
farmer's frienu; this is the man who would make this country 
rich I As if the thousand millions you have invested did not require 
the guiding hand of one Minister as much as our forests or any 
other department of State ! Then, when we wanted a road com- 
missioner he voted against it. So, that you see, whenever we pro- 
pose anything progressive you may be sure to find Mr. Whitney and 
his followers will vote against it, simply because they do not under • 
stand the genius of our people or the wants of the Province. How 
can the farmer reach the markets of the country or sell his pro- 
ducts to advantage unless he is provided with proper transportation 
facilities ? 



Cold Storage Stations. 



In conjunction with our system of transportation I think we 
might very well consider the establishment of collecting stations, of 
cold storage stations, where the produce of the farm could be put in 
cold storage for a convenient time until, perhaps, a surfeited market 
is relieved. 

• In Australia they have cold storage stations, or collecting sta- 
tions, as they call them, at reasonable intervals, where the farmer 
places his butter and where it is perfectly safe and preserved until 
he wishes to sell it or take it out for the use of his family. Poultry 
is stored in the same way. At certain seasons of the year butter is 
a glut on the market, and, as a consequence, is sold at half its value. 
By means of cold storage it could be safely kept till the market was 
relieved and thus a better price obtained. The same with apples 
and other fruit. In the fall, the buyer comes to your orchard, he 
says, " I will give you a dollar a barrel for your apples," that is the 
market price, and you cannot make better terms with him. You 
must either sell at the buyer's terms or allow your apples to rot on 
the ground. By cold storage stations you can bide your own time. 
This is a matter to which the Government proposes to give its 
attention, and to follow up, to a certaiii extent, the action of the 
Dominion (Government in connection with cold storage for creameries. 



11 



Traniportatlon. 

Another important matter is the transportation of farm products 
to the English market. We are not connected with getting goods to 
the Englis'' maiket. The Ontario Government luis nothing to do 
with the )ntrol of railways. The control of railways has been 
taken from us. I was in the House of Commons when that change 
was made, and 1 regrd; that it was made. We want to get into the 
British market, and I pledge my word as leader of the Government 
that the Ontario Government will lend all the assistance in its 
power to encourage the Dominion Government in providing quick 
and cheap transportation for our produce to England, The Domin- 
ion Government cannot afford to turn a deaf ear to our representa- 
tives in the Ontario Legislature. When the Ontario Legislature 
asks they must move, because more than one-half of the influence 
of this country lies in Ontario. It shall be my early duty to see if 
there cannot be a reduction of freights to ocean ports on agricul- 
tural produce. There ought to be fast express trains that would 
bring these products, as in the case of Armour ^*^. quickly to the 
seaport, ana thence by an efficieub <-»*U gtorage o^. .!^ to the 
English market. 



Cblllell Hf ea«; inraau. 



1 1 



A -wftml ea to cold storage. You send your cattle to England 
aXkr^ xn Australia they have long abandoned that. They send 
their chilled meat there, and, as a consequence, their trade in this has 
grown enormously in the last few years. In 1880 the exports to 
Great Britain were 400 carcasses from Australia. In 1897 the 
^^^traliansjsent 1,394,500 carcasses of chilled mutton to the English 
inarket — very nearly a million and a half carcasses. New Zealand in 
1897 sent 2,696,000, the Argentine Republic 2,680,000, that is, a 
total of 6,770,000 carcasses sent by cold storage process across the 
line via the Suez canal through the heated climate of the Mediteran- 
nean and landed at Liverpool or London in perfect preservation. 
We will see if some means cannot be devised whereby a chilled meat 
market of that kind cannot be established for the benefit of the 
farmers of Ontario. There were also 77,000,000 pounds of fresh 
beef sent in the same way. There are enormous facilities in the 
Dominion for a trade of that kind if we would only avail ourselveii 
of the advantage. 




i^'WtK 



Let me give you a fifijure or two to show the extent of the Eng- 
lish market for the food products of Canada. Last year, that is 
1897, England imported $6,104,562 worth of horses, and we only 
sent $1,364,891 worth. England imported $50,910,181 worth of 
cattle, and we only sent $9,953,350 worth, or one-fifth of the sup- 
ply. England imported $4,472,934 worth of sheep, and we only 
sent $465,263, or half a million dollars* worth. England imported 
$61,075,752 worth, of bacon and hams, and we sent of this only 
$3,000,000 worth. England imported $34,065,440 worth of beef, 
and we orly sent $207,012 worth. England imported $77,462,329 
worth.of butter, and we sent only $2,164,995. England imported 
140,317,540 dozen eggs, and we sent only 5,678,690 dozen. England 
imported 117,115,003 bushels of wheat, and we sent of this only 
8,998,267 bushels. Of barley England imported 44,237,013 bushels, 
of which we sent only 158,597 bushels. Of oats England imported 
53,090,668 bushels, of which we sent only 5,780,355 bushels. Of 
flour England imported 10,461,174 barrels, of which we sent only 
857,186 barrels, and of apples England imported 4,199,971 bushels, 
of which we sent only 1.020,929 bushels. Out of $855,987,300 im- 
ported into England, Canada sent only $62,125,056 of these pro- 
ducts. That is to say, John Bull bought in Canada only 7^ per 
cent, of the breadstuffs which he consumed, the other 92| per cent 
he bought in the United States and other countries. So that we 
have by cheap transportation and such opportunities as lie in our 
hands for opening up trade with the English market, facilities to 
develop to any extent we please the native energy^ of the people of 
the Province. That is one way in which wfe propose to develop old 
Ontario. 




To be Made in Ontario. 

I will tell you another way. We propose so far as we can to 
insist that all the raw material of Ontario shall be manufactured 
in Ontario. For instance, after a great deal of trouble we succeeded 
in getting through the House an amendment to the Act respecting 
the sale of timber which requires now that all logs cut on Govern- 
ment lands be manufactured into lumber in the Province of Ontario. 
That is a very good provision, and the eflfect of it is apparent even 
now. There have sprung up on the Georgian Bay and on the west 
side of Ontario large lumbering industries in the way of saw-mills^ 
etc., that had been extinguished owing tc circumstances that I need 
not wait to discuss at this moment. The basis of this movement in 



1 I 



28 

this : that we want to give employment to the people of Ontario in 
Ontario. The thousands who left Ontario left not because they 
disliked the Government or the country, but because they could get 
better employment or better wages in the United States. We want 
to remedy this. We want to take the lumber, copper, nickel, all 
our mineral wealth and all our raw material and see if we cannot 
in some way or another encoura<^e the manufacturing industries in 
the Province of Ontario. Wliat has built up Sheffield, Manchester, 
Leeds ? Was it not that the merchant marine of England traversed 
the whole globe and gathered cocoons from the south of France and 
India, and woods and dyes from various countries and brought 
them to England, where the skill of the English artisan made them 
into goods which commanded the approval of the world. We have 
surely intelligence enough to take our lumber and make it into 
manufactured goods instead of sending it to the old country and 
having it manufactured there. We surely have intelligence enough 
to take our own raw wool and make woollen goods of it. We 
surely have intelligence enough to convert our wheat into flour, and 
send the manufactured product abroad, and in the same way why 
not take our nickel or copper, or iron ore and encourage the manu- 
facture of these into the tinished article ? 



The Iron Indastry* 

The v/orld's demand for iron amounts to about 36,000,000 tons of 

Eig iron. This is needed to keep the industries of the world 
umming. How much of this do we produce ? Less than 40,000 
tons. Sf6 what room there is for the development of our mining 
industries ! We consume 140,000 tons of pig iron in Ontario, and 
produce aboui 40,000 tons. This Government some years ago pro- 
posed a small bounty of one dollar a ton on all iron made of 
Canadian ore in any place in Ontario. One blast furnace was 
established in Hamilton, and is now making a considerable quantity 
of iron out of Canadian ore. We give.some assistance to Mr. 
Eathbun of Deseronto to enable him to make charcoal iron, and 
last year he made 10,000 tons of ire. . This year his output will 
be much greater. He employ t: 300 men in the woods cutting wood 
for the charcoal ; a great numbt?" of teamsters to haul it to the 
railway ; men at the iron furnaces i>nd in that way there is a hum 
of industry about the place that >voald never have existed but for 
the encouragement we have gi^en Lim. Our policy will be a 



24 

erery reasonable way we possibly can to encourage the manu- 
facture of raw material in order to find employment for our own 
people and develop the latent resources of the country. We hare 
millions of feet of hardwood in Ontario that would make excellent 
furniture, and we have iron and corrundum, and other minerals 
that will yield a handsome revenue and employ thousands of people, 
if only reasonably encouraged. 



School Policy* 



Two other points I wish to refer to. In education I am unable to 
propound a new policy. Generally, it will be that the children 
attending the public and separate schools shall receive the particular 
attention of the Government. I say they have always done ik) ; 
but if we caD exceed the standnrd of the past we shall do so by 
more particular a^ttention in the future. I am glad to be able to 
say that we have raised the separate schools of the Province of 
Ontario and improved them till tiiey have obtained the same 
standard now in a general sense as the public schools. That was 
not done without an effort, and without many reproaches being 
cast on us by our opponents. But we had the good conscience of 
the people of this country at our backs, which says that in the eye 
of the law no creed or nationality shall be deprived of the full 
privileges of a British citizen because of his creed or 
nationality. 

At this point in Mr. Boss' address, Mr. Jeremiah Long rose in 
the body of the hall and said : " I mi^jt say that so far as your law 
regarding the school question is concerned it is simply disgraceful." 

Hon. Mr. Ross — I wouid be very glad to give the gentleman an 
opportunity to ask any questions. That mmple observation is very 
sw eeping, and does not mean anything. My contention is that the 
schcol laws of Ontario are equal if not superior to the school laws 
of any Province in the Dominion of Canada. We have proven 
what our school system is -in competition wiih the school systems 
of the world at Chicago. 

Mr. liOng again interrupted, but his words could not be heard at 
the""front of the hall, and he was offered an opportunity to speak at 
the close of Mr. Ross' address. 

^( The premier continued : What I started to say was that wo 
sro^d make it our special business in the future, aa in the post, to 



25 

naintaiii the effidenej of our public and separate schools, because 
they are the baSis of our high schools and higher education. The 
point 1 wanted to make, however, is this : that in the line of a 
general education I think we have gone about as far as we need go. 
AH we need to do is to maintain the efficiency of the teaching pro- 
fessioH. 



Technical Edncatloa. . 

I do not see that we need any material changes in the course of 
study or text books, or in our methods of training teachers, but I do 
see .that we ought to make a special effort to introduce into the 
Province a system of technical education for the training of the 
artisan classes and the working men of Ontario. I have for many 
years been endeavoring to arrive at that point. For instance, we 
made drawing in our schools cooipulsory, and that is the basis of 
technical training. That was done fifteen years ago. We have 
made the teaching of agriculture compulsory in our schools as the 
basis of agricultural education. But we want something more than 
that. We want to take the intelligent working man of this Pro- 
vince and in a technical school fit him to be useful in adding skill 
and intelligence to the value of the raw material in every depart- 
ment of industry. For instance, if you have establishments where 
high-class furniture is manufactured, you require technical skill in 
order to enable you to produce it. In all the higher departments of 
industry, whether it be in weaving, dyeing, woodoork, ironwork, or 
in ornamental work of any kind, you require technical skill. We 
have the intelligence, but I doubt whether we have as much of the 
technical skill as we ought to have, and I hope you will see in this 
Province in a very short time, as they have in the large cities of the 
United States and England, a system of technical schools wherein 
your son, if he does not wish to enter a profession, can obtain the 
education that will fit him for earning a livelihood in some other 
department. We want varieties of occupation. We cannot all be 
profet^nonal men, and it would be a pity if we attempted it. We 
want a variety of industrial pursuits so as to retain our own Kbor 
in the natural development of this country. (Applause). 



PrevlDcial Biskte* 

And now I come to my last point The Government under 
the new leadership may be depended upon to insist upon the rights 




mim 



mmm 



of Ontario, either as against the Dominion j^ovemment or against 
any of the neighboring Provinces. (Cheers.) We are going to be 
good neighbors with Manitoba on the west and with Quebec on the 
east, and we are going to do our whole duty aa a loyid member of 
this great confederacy. It has been said that a Conservative Qov- 
emment should prevail in the Province if a Liberal Government 
rules at Ottawa, the suspicion being that the Provincial Govern- 
ment would surrender some rights of Ontario in order to keep on 
good terms with the Dominion Government. That is simply a Con- 
servative argument or pretence with a view of alienating the affec- 
tions of the Liberal party from the Provincial Government For 
instance, Quebec was Conservative almost since Confederation, and 
unfortunately for us, we had a Conservative Government at Ottawa 
almost since the union of the Provinces. Did you hear any Con- 
servative say in Quebec that one Government should be Liberal and 
the other should be Conservative in order that the two Adminis- 
trations might not be alike ? No ; our friends on the other side of 
politics will take all that they can get in the way of office and, like 
Oliver Twist, ask for more. (Laughter and cheers.). 

Our contention is that it is possible for Ontario to maintain her 
integrity and to maintain all her rights intact with a friendly 
Government at Ottawa if we are loyal to ourselves. In fact, while 
there was an unfriendly Government at Ottawa we had to fight for 
our Jrights. Do you know that we spent nearly $100,000 on 
constitutional questions during the last twenty years. Mr. Mac- 
kenzie's Government gave us 100,000 square miles of land, known 
as the disputed territory, by arbitration. Immediately Sir John 
Macdonald came into power he declined to ratify the award of that 
arbitration, and we had to fight the matter in the courts until we 
got to the Privy Coimcil, and there at the foot of the throne our 
rights were recognized after enormous expense on the part of the 
Province. (Cheers.) Had there been a friendly Government in 
power at Ottawa we would have been saved that expense. In the 
same way an unfriendly Government at Ottawa laid their hands on 
our tavern licenses, that yield us to-day a revenue of $300,000, and 
sought control of those licenses. We do not want Governments at 
Ottawa that will encroach upon our rights. We do not believe the 
present Government will do that. I do not need to give you the 
assurance, but as the question may be raised I want to say as far as 
the present Government is concerned that every right which Ontario 
has under the ^crr \iitution will be preserved. (Cheers.) Wt ask 




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27 

for nothing more ; we make no demand ; we want what the con- 
stitution gives us and we will insist upon having it. We shall not 
need to insist upon having it, for we have confidence that the 
Government at Ottawa will do justice by us. (Cheers.) That is 
our position. But we want to go a little further. 



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Crowing Respoiisiblllties« 



We want to feel more and more the growing responsibilities 
upon us— shall I say the growing responsibilities upon the Domin- 
ion of Canada, of which Ontario is the most important part ? W. 
T. Stead says in his character sketch of Cecil Rhodes that some men 
think in parishes, some men think in nations, and some men think 
in continents. I want the people of Ontario to think as a part of 
the British Empire, as an integral part of the great empire, whose 
flag we all recognize, and of whose Queen we are loyal subjects. 
(Cheers.) Let me say that one of the most pleasant features erf my 
administration as Minister of Education is this fact : that I believe 
I was able to instil into the half million of school children of the 
Province a greater love for Ontario, for Canada and for the empire 
than they previously entertained. (Cheers.) That was done in 
two ways. When I came in as Minister the history of Canada was 
not studied in our public schools, except in a desultory way. I 
made instruction in (ja-nadian history compulsory. The history we 
had was purely a history of the Province. I organized a committee 
and placed myself in communication with the Superintendents of 
Education in all the Provinces, whereby we get a history of the 
Dominion not only in the schools of Ontario but in those of every 
Province from the Atlantic to the Pacific. I do not want the peo- 
ple of my native Province to be parochial. (Cheers.) 



Fntare of Canada. 

We must rise to a conception of the magnitude of our position 
as Canadians. Canada as owner of half a continent is destined to 
have a future, the brilliancy of which and the success of which no 
one can- anticipate. Why, at the beginning of this century the 
population of the United States was only 5,000,000. Scarcely a 
hundred years have flown away, ancl today their population is 
estimated at 76,000,000. In 20, 30 or 40 years what will the popu- 




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28 

latiom of Canada be ? It will be just what our energy in derelop- 
ing the latent resources of the country, in encouraging settlement 
and in improving the social condition of the people will make it. 
And shall we in the Province of Ontario lag behind and be unfaith- 
ful to our duty in this great competition ? I would that all Can- 
adians would realize the great possibilities that lie before them. 
Another thing I did in the same line as that already indicated was 
to establish Empire Day, so that on the day preceding Her Majesty's 
birthday nearly one million children assemble in the schools of 
Canada — not of Ontario, mind you — and give attention to the his- 
tory of Canada and to her relations with the British Empire. We 
have not, shall I say, enough confidence in ourselves. We have not 
confidence enough in ourselves as Canadians. We are looking to 
the United States, to the Washington^, Websters and Lincolns, and 
seeing in these names the elements of greatness, forgetting that on 
Canadian soil we have their equals in the Browns, Baldwins, Blakes 
and Mowats of the present day. (Cheers.) Let us display our 
loyalty to our own men. Let the children of Canada know that 
Canadian soil will produce men the equal of any other soil. We 
think of the great expanse of the United States, lorgetting that we 
have a still greater expanse. We talk of the constitutional develop- 
ment of England, forgetting that we have made even greater 
development constitutionally than England. There is no land more 
free, there are no institutions more stable, no people more intelli- 
gent than ours. No Premier of any country can properly indulge 
in greater feelings of pride than I can indulge in,ili being the first 
Minister of this great Province. (Cheers.) 

If there is any one feeling in my heart stronger than another it 
is that I — a native Canadian, educated in her schools, trained in her 
institutions, having the confidence of a constituency for twenty- 
s ;ven y'o.<! : nnid now apparently having the confidence of the whole 
Pro'"'' - ^''U devote all my energies, not simply to the develop- 
men * country, but to the moral improvement of the people. 

" Rigjicyi r iii'i33 <^xalteth a nation." Tennyson says that the limit of 
a man's gieaairsa m the limit of his moral perception. You cannot 
make a people nobler in character or purpose than they are in heart 
or conviction. Let us strengthen the moral foundations of this 
country, let us purify elections, where they are impure — not elec- 
tions only, but let us do what we can to purify the whole atmos- 
phere of the country. I'he way to do this is not by making farcical 
I retensions as to our virtues, but by living noble, manly lives, as 
Canadians, and showing to the world and those who come into oon- 






29 

tact with us that we have convictions founded on the principles of 
morality. The result will be to secure for Ontario its pre-eminence 
as the home of an intelligent, well-educated people. The Govern- 
ment will, without any pretensions, without any blowing of trum- 
pets or any exhibition of virtues,go to work as straightforward. hon- 
est men, develop the country on the lines I have indicated, and wo 
trust to show to the younger men that we are not unworthy of 
their confidence. (Loud cheyrs). 

The meeting concluded with cheers for the Queen, the Roes 
Government and for the Minister of Agriculture. 



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