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and oppressed the people of that Province. Equality of religious denominations before the law and free tenure of land in Lower Canada were established as the result of the union which took place between the Liberals and Conservatives in 1854, and are among the achievements of the LiberalConservative party.
Well, gentlemen, these questions being removed, the agitators who had broken up their own party and who have now ventured to assume the name of the party broken up started new questions of agitation.
The first one was the question of “No Separate Schools." Realizing that in Lower Canada the union of the old Liberals and Conservatives had secured in that Province a majority to the government, they set themselves to work in the west for the purpose, if possible, of bringing from this Province a large majority against the administration of the day, and thus provoking sectional strife. They started this question of no separate schools, coupled with the Protestant cry, as one of the most effective ways of doing this; and for upwards of eight or ten years every hustings in Upper Canada rang with the cry, "No Separate Schools."
The Liberal-Conservatives, although they went to the elections and suffered defeat in many parts because of these cries raised against them, because they acted upon the principle that the man who believed that religion and education should go hand in hand was as much entitled to have his conscientious opinions respected as the man who was a Secularist in the matter of education, yet lived long enough to see their opponents acquiesce in the wisdom of their course and consent to separate schools being made a constitutional enacto ment, embodied in the British-American act.
Then the cry of representation by population was taken
up; and a more dishonest cry-and I am prepared to prove what I say by words from the mouth of its chief advocate was never raised in the country. It was declared throughout Ontario that the man who would not go for representation by population was a traitor to his country; it was declared that the ininisters who refused to accept it were traitors to their country; and in every public assembly the discussion was as violent as discussions well can be.
It is something for us to know that the leader of the Conservative party, a man whom I am proud to acknowledge as a leader, throughout the whole of the discussion opposed strongly what he believed to be the impracticable scheme of representation by population, and that he lived to find his opposition to it vindicated out of the mouth of his chief opponent. He suggested as a means of solving the question and meeting the demands which were made for representative reform, a union of the different Provinces, and he made the suggestion almost in the very terms of the constitution which we now possess.
Then, gentlemen, the Liberal-Conservative party, in addition to the settlement of these great questions, and undoubtedly they were great questions, brought about law reform, extension of the municipal system, improvement of the school laws, and such other measures of legislation in the old Province of Canada before confederation as left us at the time of confederation with only one question to be solved by the Parliament of the country.
And what has been the career of the country since? Although not until 1864 was the question of confederation even discussed, although only in 1867 was the question of confederation finally carried, yet when the Liberal-Conservative government left office they handed to their successors a
united British America, with the single exception of tho colony of Newfoundland.
Contrast, sir, these performances with the most ardent hopes of the most enthusiastic speakers on the subject of confederation. Mr. Brown, and I prefer to refer to him because he can hardly be said to be a partial witness on behalf of Liberal-Conservatism, in his great speech in Parliament, after describing the extent of territory and the different Provinces which it was intended to include in the union ultimately, said:
“Well, sir, the bold scheme in your hands is nothing less than to gather these countries into one-to organize them all under one government, with the protection of the British flag and in heartiest sympathy and affection with our fellow subjects in the land that gave us birth.”
When?" shouted the incredulous member for North Hastings, Mr. Wallbridge.
“Very soon,” answered the impetuous Sir George E. Cartier
But Mr. Brown was more cautious and gauged with a keener eye the difficulties of the work:-“The honorable member for North Hastings asks when all this can be done? Sir, the whole great ends of this confederation may not be realized in the lifetime of many who now hear me. We imagine not that such a structure can be built in a month
What we propose now is but to lay the foundation of the structure, to set in motion the governmental machinery that will one day, we trust, extend from the Atlantic to the Pacific."
There was the statement of Mr. Brown as to the work before them a statement which showed that he had no hope even within his lifetime that that could be accomplished
or in a year.
which the skill and statesmanship of the Liberal-Conservative party have already accomplished. A confederation extending from the Atlantic to the Pacific was the dream of the far-off future for Mr. Brown. To-day we have that confederation; we have representatives from all the Provinces except one-the Province of Newfoundland-taking part in the legislation of the Dominion of Canada.
I ask you, therefore, whether, looking at the past political record of the Liberal-Conservative party of the countrylooking at the important questions they have settled-we have not reason to be proud of the name and to determine to stand by the old flag whatever others may say of it, or however others may traduce it. . i.
Now let us look at the progress which the country has made in those twenty years of Liberal-Conservative administration. For the purpose of comparison I take the Provinces of Ontario and Quebec, and for this reason, that I have not been able to get access to the trade and navigation returns of the Lower Provinces previous to 1867; but, at any rate, as they were not part of Canada and as the policy of the Liberal-Conservatives had no effect upon them, they are better left out for the purpose of comparison and to show the progress made during the twenty years. In 1854, when the Liberal-Conservatives came into office, the aggregate trade of the Province of Canada was $63,548,515. In 1872, the last year for which we have full returns, the aggregate trade of the two Provinces of Ontario and Quebec amounted to $153,990,704, an increase of upwards of 142 per cent. That is progress of which any people may fairly be proud.
Then take the aggregate trade of the whole Dominionand I give you the statement as made by the finance minister last week at Ottawa. For the year ending on the 30th of June
last it amounted to $216,000,000, which, assuming the population at four millions rather more than the population really is represents $54 per head of the population. Well, gentlemen, the aggregate trade of the United States, which we have been in the habit of looking upon as a wonderfully prosperous country, for 1870 was $961,420,145, which, taking their population at thirty-eight millions, equals $25.30 per head for the trade of the whole of the United States, as compared with $54 per head for the aggregate trade of the Dominion of Canada.
I am aware, gentlemen, that the common answer to these statements is, that the prosperity of the country springs from the industry and enterprise of the people, and is in no way due to the government. I should be sorry to take from the people of Canada, in the slightest degree, the great credit which is due to them as an enterprising and progressive people. I am too proud of my country as a native Canadian to do that.
But in a country like Canada, situated as we are in close proximity to the United States, the great element of prosperity must always be confidence in the political institutions of the country. That confidence has been more than once shaken by the political agitations of unthinking men; and only by the removal of those questions of agitation, by their solution in a manner satisfactory to the public at large, can we secure that political quiet which is the best guarantee for public confidence, and the best incentive to the introduction and investment of capital among us. To the settlement of the great questions to which I have to-day referred is due the confidence of the moneyed men of the world in the future stability of our political system, and the great prosperity which has followed that confidence. And as to the