« ForrigeFortsett »
I think it desirable to give you, as promptly as possible, all the information I can bearing upon this subject as, if the service is to go into operation on the opening of the St. Lawrence navigation two years hence, no time must be lost in getting in the tenders in response to the invitation of the Canadian Government.
I am confirmed in the opinion that the success of this measure depends upon obtaining the closest co-operation of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company. Without the responsibility of the management and the results being thrown upon that Company in such a way as to secure the most complete co-operation, notwithstanding the large subsidy proposed, it would, I believe, be very difficult to obtain the necessary capital unless the Government itself became responsible, and I do not see how that could be done safely unless the Canadian Pacific Railway Company was committed in the fullest manner to secure the success of the steamship line.
I hope you will be able to cable me the general terms of the specification as soon as possible in order that Mr. Chamberlain's approval—which is essential—may be obtained without delay, and the tenders invited at an early day.
Be good enough to inform the Premier that before the receipt of his cable of the 18th instant I had informed Mr. Huddart of the determination at which Her Majesty's Government had arrived in this matter. Believe me, yours faithfully,
(Sgd.) CHARLES TUPPER. THE HON. THE MINISTER OF TRADE AND COMMERCE,
SPECIFICATION OF PROPOSED VESSELS. Four steamers built under Admiralty supervision for use as fast cruisers, the material, workmanship, and finish of cabins and general outfit of these vessels and their machinery to be equal to any first-class Atlantic steamer afloat. The principal dimensions of the vessels : Length, 500 feet; beam, 57 feet; depth moulded, 40 feet; load draft, 27 feet; on which they would carry 5,000 tons dead weight. Engines, twin-screw, triple expansion; diameter of cylinders, 41 inches, 66 inches, 106 inches, by 60 inches stroke. Supplied with steam by ordinary cylindrical boilers capable of developing about 17,000 I.H.P., which would give a 21-knot speed on six hours' trial, or 20 knots across the Atlantic when loaded. Passenger accommodation : 300 first class, 120 second class, 900 steerage.
For your information I give you about the relative sizes, etc. of the Teutonic, the steamers proposed in this letter for the fast Atlantic service to Canada, and the Parisian :
Teutonic: 565'5 feet long, by 57 feet 8 inches beam, by 39 feet 2 inches depth moulded; twin screws; diameter of cylinders, 43 inches, 68 inches, 100 inches, by 60 inches stroke. Tonnage: gross, 9,984; net, 4,269.
Proposed steamer for fast Atlantic service : 500 feet long, by 57 feet beam, by 40 feet depth moulded; twin screws; diameter of cylinders, 41 inches, 66 inches, 106 inches, by 60 inches stroke. Tonnage: gross, 8,500 ; net, 4,000.
Parisian : 440:8 feet long, by 46 feet 2 inches
beam, by 25 feet 2 inches depth moulded; single screw; diameter of cylinders, 60 inches, 85 inches, by 60 inches stroke. Tonnage : gross, 5,508; net, 3,265.
Then I came to Canada to arrange the details with Sir Mackenzie Bowell, at that time Prime Minister of the Dominion, and when leader in the House of Commons I submitted a resolution authorising the Government to subscribe £150,000 annually towards a 20-knot service, and to enter into a contract, subject to the approval of Parliament. The resolution was adopted.
Then I awarded a contract to the Allans, of Glasgow, but Lord Aberdeen, the Governor-General, in defiance of constitutional procedure, withheld his assent, despite the fact that Parliament was to meet three weeks later. When Sir Wilfrid Laurier attained power his Government refused to ratify the contract, and made several unsuccessful attempts afterwards to carry out the same policy. In view of the rapid development of Canada in recent years, I am to-day heartily in favour of the establishment of a 22-knot service, which I hope to see shortly accomplished.
WHILE the confederation of British North America in 1867 was sustained by both parties in England, there is reason to believe that many public men of both parties regarded it as a stepping-stone to getting rid of any responsibility connected with Canada. Now, after the lapse of years, it is very gratifying to know that at this moment an overwhelming change has taken place in the sentiments of their successors, and the time has come when all parties in Great Britain recognise the vital importance of maintaining the solidarity of the Empire.
I confess I cannot understand the recent difficulties encountered by the Unionist party in England in relation to the taxes on food. opinion the question was effectually disposed of by the proposal to limit the impost on foreign food-stuffs to two shillings a quarter. All the statistics available at Mark Lane established beyond controversy that no such impost on flour and wheat, while giving a preference to the Dominions and tending to stimulate settlement of agricultural areas and increase the production of bread-stuffs, would ever adversely affect the price of bread in Great Britain.
This preference would be of inestimable advan
tage to Canada in one other respect. I mean that it would remove any annexationist sentiment that might linger in the minds of the thousands of Americans who are pouring into Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta.
While it is impossible to say what the political result may be, when at no distant day the population of Canada is going to exceed that of the Mother Country, the movement toward the complete solidification of Great Britain and the great outlying Dominions will steadily increase. Looking at the climatic conditions, resources, and the geographical situation of Canada, I cannot but think that the future will show that the men of the north will be the dominating power on the American continent.
Coal is a great factor in national greatness. Unlike our neighbours, we have inexhaustible areas of it, not only on the Atlantic and Pacific, but inland in the western provinces, from the boundary line to the shores of the Arctic. We likewise have an abundance of natural gas and a wide distribution of the precious metals, with vast regions scarcely prospected.
In her fisheries Canada has also an unrivalled asset. We have a wheat-growing area which is being steadily extended north to the Mackenzie River basin, and a fertile soil adapted to the production of all other kinds of cereals and grains, as well as boundless forests. Our natural resources, in a relative sense, have scarcely been touched. Profiting by the experience of older nations, I am glad to see that conservation methods are being adopted.