HC Deb 01 June 1869 vol 196 cc1098-128

rose to call attention to the result of the negotiations of the Government with the Hudson's Bay Company and the Government of Canada. The most opposite accounts as to the value of the territories of that Company are to be found in the Papers presented to Parliament. In some it had been stated that the territory between Lake Superior and the Rocky Mountains consisted entirely of uninhabitable regions frozen during half the year, where cereals could not grow, and where settling, without costly protection, was impossible owing to the enmity of the Indians; but others, disinterested and conversant with the facts, stated that the country west of Lake Superior was likely to become of very high importance and value; that large portions of the district were very fertile and capable of producing cereals; and that the Indians were friendly, thanks to the fair dealing of the Company, and ready to work for adequate remuneration. The approach to the Rocky Mountains from Lake Superior was said to be excellent—travellers from the East could tell when they had reached the height of land between the Atlantic and the Pacific only by the flow of the water to the West, so gradual was the ascent, and it would be an easy thing to make laud and water communication between Lake Superior and the Rocky Mountains. But as these points were in dispute he desired to have the authoritative statement of the Under Secretary for the Colonies upon them. Up to this time there had been a friendly feeling between the Hudson's Bay Company and the Indians, for both had the same interest, and both desired that the land should be the resort of the trapper and the hunter; but it was not certain that when Canadians and Americans and our own countrymen re-sorted there for the purpose of settling that the Indians would view the newcomers with favour. Arrangements ought to be made for respecting native rights, and regulating their legal position and dealings with the Europeans. It was certain that the Americans had an eye to the country. They had sent Commissioners thither, who had declared that out of the Hudson's Bay territory four or five first-class American States might be formed. It was also alleged that the Commissioners said that it was a country worth fighting for, and had made some offer which had been entertained by the authorities of the United States. If the favourable reports which had reached us were true, this vast territory might afford a solution of some of the difficulties which created anxiety among us from time to time. It was stated on high authority that there was land in this territory extensive and fertile enough to maintain a population as large as that of England and Wales, and that railway communication might easily be established. It was of great importance that encouragement should be given to the commerce of Europe and Asia passing through British territory; and he entertained a hope that we might yet see that country inhabited by an industrious, well - conducted population, which might spread the honour and the influence of England. There was a class of politicians who were of opinion that our colonies were of no value to us. To that opinion he could not subscribe. He held that they greatly enhanced our power, our influence, and our ability to do good to the world. Those who had never left their own home were little aware how affectionately the old country was viewed by some of those who had located themselves in America and other of our possessions, and how jealous these people were with regard to all that affected the honour and the welfare of this country. He entertained sanguine hopes that rapid communication might be established in a short time with Vancouver's Island and with British Columbia. That district contained a great amount of mineral wealth, but in the mining part sufficient food could not be grown for those who arrived there. On the one side of the Rocky Mountains, however, there were millions of acres which might be cultivated, and which would afford food to those who worked the mines to the west. He trusted the Government of Canada would take up this question in the way it ought to be viewed, and that the right hon. Gentleman the Under Secretary for the Colonies would be able to inform the House that the Parliament and Government of Canada, as well as the authorities of British Columbia and the Hudson's Bay Company had come to some agreement, so that those vast territories might be utilized. He begged to move for any Papers on the union of British Columbia with the Dominion of Canada.


, in seconding the Motion, said, he would take that opportunity of making an appeal on behalf of the Indians resident in the Hudson's Bay territory. The Hudson's Bay Company had never recognized the Indian title; but as they had never been a colonizing company, and had always discouraged colonization, that was not, practically, a point of great importance. The question now, however, was about to assume a different aspect; we were going to annex that country to Canada, and we all hoped that colonization would go on. Under these circumstances it was most important that, the question affecting the Indians should be carefully considered both by the Home and Colonial Government. On this point he might quote Professor Hinde, who said that when he asked an Ojibbeway chief at the Lake of the Woods whether he would permit one of his tribe to guide him through a swampy district, said—"It is hard to deny your request; but we see how the Indians are treated far away. The white man comes, looks at their places, their trees, and their rivers; others soon follow; the lands of the Indians pass from their hands, and they have nowhere a home." Such was, he could not help thinking, a very natural feeling on the part of the Indian; looking at the wav in which colonization had driven the Indians into the far West in other parts of the American continent. A Petition of Indian chiefs was presented to that House in 1860. The petitioners complained that the Hudson's Bay Company had sold their lands in the valley of the Red River and the Assiniboine, and they prayed the House to take the matter into its serious consideration; to "grant to them and their people the customary native title to their lands, and ordain facilities for conveying the same to each other, and to their children's children." The House had now an opportunity of answering that Petition. He earnestly hoped that before the negotiations which were now going on were terminated. Her Majesty's Government would make due provision for protecting the rights of the Indians. The question was not rendered difficult by there being a very large number of them. Sir George Simpson, in reply to a question put to him by a Committee of that House which sat in 1857, stated that his estimate of their number was 55,570. Since that period he understood there had been an emigration of Indians from the United States into the Hudson's Bay territory, and therefore the number might be further increased. The Duke of Buckingham, when Secretary of State, in conjunction with the right hon. Gentleman near him (Mr. Adderley) contemplated an equitable settlement of the Indian title. In a Paper dated the 1st of December last the Duke of Buckingham proposed that— Such lands as Her Majesty's Government shall deem necessary to be set aside for the use of the native Indian population shall be reserved altogether from this arrangement, and the Company shall not be entitled to the payment of any share of receipts or any royalty therefrom or right of selection thereof, under previous articles; unless for such part, if any, of these lands as may be appropriated, with the consent of the Crown, to any other purpose than that of the benefit of the Indian natives. Canada had always been honourably distinguished for the course it had taken towards the Indians, and he did not wish to speak as distrusting the kindly intentions of the Canadian Government. But in others of our colonies and colonial Parliaments he feared there had often been a disposition not to deal kindly towards the natives. He would appeal to the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Monsell) to make provision for the protection of the Indians before the power over the Hudson's Bay territories passed altogether out of the hands of that House, as that was probably the last occasion on which the House would have an opportunity of discussing the affairs of the Hudson's Bay Company. On the 6th De- cember, 1867, both Houses of the Canadian Parliament forwarded an Address to the Queen, in which they promise— That upon the transference of the territories in question to the Canadian Government, the claims of the Indian tribes to compensation for lands required for purposes of settlement will be considered and settled in conformity with the equitable principles which have uniformly governed the British Crown in its dealings with the aborigines. He hoped Her Majesty's Government and the Canadian Parliament would carry out the spirit of that address. On this subject he would read two extracts from a letter which had been written to him by Mr. Isbister, a gentleman who had long been connected with the Red River Settlement, but who now resided in this country, and was the head master of the Stationers' School. That gentleman was considered an authority on this question. He was examined as a witness before the Committee of 1857, and in a former debate he had been quoted as such by no less a person than the right hon. Gentleman opposite the First Minister of the Crown. Mr. Isbister said— The fundamental principle in the history of the colonization of Canada is thus referred to in the Report of the Commissioners appointed to investigate the Indian affairs of the Province in 1847—'Although the Crown claims the territorial estate and eminent dominion in Canada, as in other of the older colonies, it has ever since its possession of the Province conceded to the Indians the right of occupancy upon their old hunting grounds, and a claim to compensation for its surrender, reserving to itself the exclusive privilege of treating with them for the surrender or purchase of any portions of the land. This is distinctly laid down in the Proclamation of 1763, and this principle has since been generally acknowledged, and rarely infringed upon by the Government.' The Proclamation here referred to, extending the sovereignty of Great Britain over Canada (so far as relates to the Indians) is as follows—and, considering the important, results it has been the means of securing for the province, is well worthy of attention at the present juncture, when we are entering upon an experiment in colonization in many respects analogous to the early settlement of that great and prosperous colony:—'And we do further declare it to be our Royal will and pleasure, for the present as afore-said, to reserve under our sovereignty, protection, and dominion, for the use of the said Indians, all the lands and territories lying to the westward of the source of the rivers which fall into the sea from the west and north west as aforesaid. And we do hereby strictly forbid, on pain of our displeasure, all our loving subjects from making any purchases or settlements whatever, or taking possession of the lands above reserved, without our special leave and license for that purpose.' What I would venture to suggest is, that the terms of this Proclamation, or something equivalent to them, should be embodied in the Proclamation annexing the Hudson's Bay territory to Canada, in order that there should be no misunderstanding from the outset as to the principles on which the settlement and administration of the country are to proceed. As the Indians could not protect themselves, he thought it was the duty of Her Majesty's Government to make such arrangements as would secure the rights and interests of these our fellow-subjects on the handing over of the Hudson's Bay territories to the Dominion of Canada. There was another point in connection with this matter—there was a large native population of Indian origin inhabiting these territories. They had not lost their sympathy with the Indian race, and might be made of great use in facilitating the new arrangements. He hoped Her Majesty's Government would endeavour to secure, in the negotiations that were going on, that ample reserves of land should be given to the Indian population.

Motion made, and Question proposed, That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, that She will be graciously pleased to give directions that there be laid before this House any Papers on the Union of British Columbia with the Dominion of Canada."—(Sir Harry Verney.)


said, he did not believe, whatever ends might be answered by the negotiations between the Government and the Hudson's Bay Company, that they would produce any results beneficial to the people of this country. As to the acquisition of new territory, we had already more than enough territory to last us for 100 years to come in North America. Australia, and the Cape of Good Hope; and he believed that the opening up of new countries to colonization under those circumstances would only tend to increase the patronage of the Ministers of the Crown. He wished to know from the Under Secretary for the Colonies whether the Government had any intention to ask the House to sanction a guarantee of money to be raised by Canada for the purpose of purchasing the rights of the Hudson's Bay Company, or for in any way facilitating the changes which were to be effected; and, if so, whether the matter would be brought before the House before the Session had drawn towards its close? Of all the bad modes in which the public money could be disposed of, he thought guarantees were the very worst possible; and at a time, when they were receiving intelligence that the money raised under the Canada Loan Act of 1867, for the express purpose of being applied to the construction of the Intercolonial Railway, was being expended by the Canadian Government in paying the old debts of the Canadian Dominion, it became doubly important that the House should have timely intimation from the Government of any such intention as he had referred to being entertained by them, in order that hon. Members might be in their places to oppose any such proposal.


said, he thought the hon. Gentleman seemed to be in perpetual terror of guarantees as applied to colonial interests. The real question before the House related to the state of the negotiations between the Hudson's Bay Company, the Government, and the Canadian Dominion, which was a matter of Imperial interest. He thanked the hon. Member for Falmouth (Mr. R. N. Fowler) for bringing forward the present position of the Indians, and, he must say, to the credit of the Hudson's Bay Company, that never in history was there a case in which the aborigines had been treated better, or in which more had been done in every way for their comfort than had been done by that company in a very inhospitable climate; and he earnestly hoped that the Colonial Office would take care that the Indians should not suffer by the proposed transfer of territory, and their condition not be deteriorated by it, but that ample reserves of land and proper protection would be secured to them. Referring to another point, the shortest route to China lay through North America; and we ought to remember what the United States were doing in that matter. They had now completed the new route from New York to San Francisco, and the journey could be completed in seven days and nights in the most comfortable manner, by means of sleeping cars, restaurants, &c, which were provided for passengers. He should like to inquire how we should have stood in regard to railways in India without guarantees? He hoped, therefore, that the Government of this country would sanction guarantees in order to develop the route referred to by the hon. Baronet the Mem- ber for Buckingham. (Sir Harry Verney) and that they would not be deterred from doing so by the alarm of the hon. Member who had spoken last.


said, he was much disposed to sympathize in the alarm of the hon. Member for Kirkcaldy (Mr. Aytoun) as to guarantees. We were now pledged to thirteen or fourteen guarantees and were obliged to pay the interest on some of them, the parties to whom those guarantees were given being unable to do so, and ultimately we might be obliged to pay the capital. The extension of the guarantee system was highly impolitic, mischievous, and contrary to the wishes of a great part of the people of this country. As to a short and direct route to China through the Rocky Mountains or through Canada, he was afraid the views of the hon. Member for Perth (Mr. Kinnaird) were a little visionary.


urged that it was impossible for them to be too jealous about guarantees, and submitted that the case of India could not be justly quoted as a precedent in the case under consideration. In India, our dominion being despotic, we were directly responsible for the good government and for the development of that country. But the case was altogether different in respect to any of our Anglo-Saxon colonies. The time had come when we ought to endeavour to free ourselves as much as possible from any expenditure on behalf of those colonies. They were well able to take earn of themselves; and the labouring man out there earned a much larger income, with no more fatigue, than his fellow-subjects of the same grade in the mother country. The hon. Baronet (Sir Harry Verney) had given a very fair account of the country in respect of which we might be hereafter called upon to incur great expense. It appeared that we knew very little about the country, except that it contained a tract of fertile land about the size of these kingdoms. That of course could not. be compared with the vast tracts of land which our own countrymen wore cultivating in the Western States of America. The question which the hon. Baronet had brought forward might be extremely interesting to the Canadian Parliament or the Royal Geographical Society; but in his opinion the House of Commons ought not to give itself too much concern about it. The more we considered our position with regard to Canada, the more we should he led to hope that the bonds between Canada and this country might be still further loosened, and that Canada might ultimately become entirely independent of the mother country. We ought to be especially careful to keep clear of all difficulties in connection with Canada, not only on account of the proximity of that colony to the United States, but also because we had not found in our North American fellow-subjects any great disposition to be grateful for our interference with their affairs. Within the last few Sessions, Petitions had been presented from Nova Scotia to that House, and powerfully supported by the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Trade, complaining that that colony had not been consulted on the subject of the consolidation of the Dominion of Canada. The prayer of those Petitions was supported by politicians of mark in the colony, and yet in a short time these very men turned completely round, and now approved the arrangements which were then entered into. We had, in fact, no sure means of ascertaining the real state of public opinion in the colonies, and therefore the less we meddled with questions of this kind the bettor. It was evident that our connection with Canada could only be a source of anxiety both to the Canadians and ourselves. In the event of a dispute with the United States, we should not be able to render the Canadians prompt and efficient assistance, and they would therefore have to bear the brunt of the contest. The mere attempt on our part, fruitless as it was, to defend Canada would involve an expense during the present year of £300,000 sterling, and if the cost of stores, the transport of troops, and all the items of the non-effective service were added, the total cost would be nearly double the amount he had mentioned. If war broke out between this country and the United States to-morrow, every soldier in the Dominion would probably be taken prisoner if he were not speedily withdrawn. He was glad the hon. Member for Kirkcaldy (Mr. Aytoun) had called attention to the possibility of our being called upon to give guarantees on behalf of some scheme of communication which might be hereafter proposed; and he trusted the right hon. Gentleman the Under Secretary for the Colonies would not only be able to give an assurance that nothing of the kind was intended, but that he would also be able to announce that it was the policy of the Government to withdraw as far as possible from all connection or interference with Canadian affairs. The hon. Gentleman who seconded the Motion (Mr. R. N. Fowler) wished this House to become a great Aborigines' Protection Society, and to provide that in any arrangement between the Hudson's Bay Company and the Dominion of Canada, reserves should be made for the Indians. But surely the result of our dealings with the natives at the Cape—in New Zealand—and elsewhere, was such as ought to make us extremely cautious in interfering in such matters. At all events the Dominion of Canada would be perfectly competent to take care that the Indians of the Hudson's Bay Company were properly protected. He hoped it would not go forth to those tribes that we were about to pledge ourselves to make war for their defence against the United States, or that we intended to interfere in any way with the measures which the Government of Canada might deem sufficient for their protection against those who settled within the territory. The main stream of emigration flowed to the United States, and in his opinion it would be impossible to divert its course by a system of bounties and guarantees. At all events the more this country abstained from all such attempts at the expense of the tax-payers, the better.


said, he hoped the hon. Gentleman who had just sat down would pardon him ii' he confined himself chiefly to the question of the Hudson's Bay Company, instead of entering into those general questions of colonial policy to which the hon. Gentleman had directed his remarks. He might, however, state at once that it was the policy of Her Majesty's Government to throw on the colonies, as far as was possible, the cost of their own self-defence. They had already taken steps in that direction, which had saved a considerable amount of public expenditure. They also meant to extend that course still further in the ensuing year, and to make arrangements that, where it was absolutely necessary that Imperial troops should he kept in any self-governing colony, the colony should pay the whole cost of the troops. He would now return to the question put by his hon. Friend who had brought this subject forward, and, in the first place, he must sincerely thank his hon. Friend for the great courtesy he had shown to him in so often postponing the subject during the progress of the negotiations between the Hudson's Bay Company and the Canadian Commissioners. The result of those negotiations had, he believed, been altogether satisfactory; for, although Her Majesty's Government had not at present received any official account of them, yet, as the Canadian Parliament had consented to the arrangement approved by the Commissioners and accepted by the Hudson's Bay Company, and also taking into consideration the addresses presented in Canada to Sir George Cartier, and his replies to them, he had no doubt that the arrangement was regarded in Canada as a satisfactory one, and that it would be ratified by the Canadian Parliament. He entirely concurred with his hon. Friend in his estimate of the importance of this question. It was not a mere question, as the hon. Gentleman who last spoke seemed to suppose, of some few hundred thousand acres of land being conceded; it was a question of opening a great and fertile territory, from which colonization and civilization had been entirely excluded by the proceedings of a fur trading company; of opening the way to civilization; and of satisfying the just and legitimate ambition of the Canadian Government to extend their dominion from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and, in addition, to remove a source of considerable inconvenience from the Imperial Government, which had to be responsible for the acts of Her Majesty's subjects in a district where there was no sufficient guarantee for law or order, and where, as he should show in the course of his remarks serious, difficulties arose within the last four or five years with the neighbouring American Government on account of the absence of any proper control within the Hudson's Bay territory. His hon. Friend had asked his opinion as to the value of the different statements he had quoted as to the fertility of the Red River Settlement and the district which extended from the Saskatchewan to the Rocky Mountains. The Government had the highest possi- ble authority on the subject, the authority of Colonel Palliser, who was sent out specially to investigate the matter, and the high authority of the noble Lord the Member for West Yorkshire (Viscount Milton) who had written a most interesting volume with respect to that country. They stated, and the statement was amply confirmed, that there were millions of acres of the very richest land, producing several products which in this country we could not produce—maize, for instance, and wheat—in the greatest abundance, and that there was, besides, the most excellent meadow and grass land, and that in every way the country was one that invited colonization. But there was another reason why there could be no doubt at all on the subject. The neighbouring territory of Minnesota was on the average less fertile than the Red River Settlement, and proved what could be clone in a few years by the exertions of energetic men. The point was one, indeed, upon which it was rather painful for us to reflect. When the present subject had been brought before the House, some twenty years ago, for the first time in recent years, by his noble Friend the late Duke of Newcastle, there were in Minnesota only 2,000 inhabitants, while there were now 400,000. There were also 562 manufacturing establishments there; more than 500 miles of railway constructed or in the course of construction; and in a very short time all the prominent parts of the State would be brought into communication by railway with Chicago. Contrast that state of things with the position of the Hudson's Bay territory. In its case there had been no advance, or, at all events, a very small advance in population; there had been no colonization and no progress of any hind. The absence of any system of government in the Hudson's Bay territory had also, he might add, led to very serious international complications. In 1864, the inhabitants of the Red River Settlement, in order to obtain protection against the Indians, were obliged to ask the American Government to send troops to take care of them. In 1867, an application was made by the American Government for permission to send American troops into the Hudson's Bay territory for the purpose of preventing it being made a resort by Indians who were carrying on war against the Government of the United States. Not only, therefore, colonial, but Imperial interests were mixed up in the matter; for it was not desirable that there should be any portion of Her Majesty's dominions in which she should not be able to preserve law and order, or do that which was necessary to keep on terms of amity with a neighbouring State. His hon. Friend had asked him a question with respect to British Columbia. There had been several indications by means of public meetings and by addresses to the Legislature, of a great desire on the part of the inhabitants of British Columbia to become connected with the Dominion of Canada. The most recent information was to the effect that they had undergone a change in that respect; but whether they had changed their minds or not, he was quite sure they would change them back again, for it was perfectly obvious that it was to the advantage of British Columbia to be connected with Canada, and that the rich valley of the Saskatchewan was almost a necessary complement to her territory. There was in British Columbia vast mineral wealth, and also in Vancouver's Island the finding of coal was going on very rapidly. Of that fact there could be no better proof than that the dividends of the Vancouver's Coal Company had risen from 2 or 3 to 20 per cent, at which price they stood at present. In Vancouver's Island, too, and in Queen Charlotte's Island, the best bed of coal was to be found which could be found in that part of the Pacific—a matter of great importance in the development of the resources of a country. The proposal which had been made by his noble Friend (Earl Granville), and which had been accepted by the Hudson's Bay Company, and which he hoped and believed would be accepted by the Canadian Government, would, of course, in no way touch British Columbia. This question, so far as it affected them, the inhabitants of British Columbia would have to decide for themselves; but the Government would afford them every facility should they wish to join the Dominion of Canada, and he entertained very little doubt that they would very soon adopt that course. The subject to which his hon. Friend had called attention was one which had now been under the notice of the Government for many years. Ever since the Committee of 1857 successive Governments had endeavoured to arrange terms between the Canadian Government and the Hudson's Buy Company. It had been held that that was the only true solution of the quest ion and the only way of opening the Hudson's Bay territory to civilization. When, however, the present Government came into Office they were almost reduced to despair in the matter. In a letter dated the 9th of February last Sir George Cartier, addressing his noble Friend (Earl Granville), expressed it to be his opinion that no money which might be offered by either the Canadian or the Imperial Government, and which they might deem reasonable, would be accepted by the Hudson's Bay Company. His noble Friend, however, was not discouraged, and the result of the negotiations had been the success which he had to state to the House, His hon. Friend took a great interest in the guarantee, and asked whether any promise of a guarantee had been given. There was an engagement that a sum of £300,000 which was to be paid by Canada to the Hudson's Bay Company was to be guaranteed; but that matter would be brought before the House, and the fullest opportunity of discussing it would be afforded. His hon. Friend had unintentionally misrepresented the steps which had been token by the Canadian Government with regard to the money raised under the guarantee given two or three years ago. His statement, as he understood it, was that the Canadian Government had appropriated that money to the payment of certain debts of the Dominion. What, however, they had really done was, that, finding they had £1,500,000 which had been raised under the guarantee at a very low rate of interest, and that they were paying a very high interest for debts due by the Dominion, they paid off those debts with the money, securing at the same time by means of the credit which they had with Messrs. Glynn and Baring for £250,000 or £300,000, and another credit they had with the Montreal Bank, that when the money was required for the purposes of the railway it should be immediately forthcoming. He did not express any opinion upon the matter; but it was due to the Canadian Government that the true facts of the case should go forth, and that it should not be supposed that they had deliberately taken the money to pay the debts of the Canadians. He felt with his hon. Friend (Mr. Fowler) that they had a duty to perform with regard to the Indians, and he might say that the Hudson's Bay Company had always discharged that duty in a way that reflected the highest credit upon them. The Government had communicated their opinion upon this to the Canadian Government, and had expressed their conviction that the Canadian Government would not forget to bestow due care upon the Indians. He believed that this was a perfectly wise course to take, and they had received the assurance of those distinguished men who had negotiated the matter that the rights of the Indians should be carefully attended to. He thought that it was better to rely upon the Canadian Government to pursue the same course of conduct which they had hitherto pursued towards the Indians in their own dominion, rather than endeavour to bind them down by any stringent conditions. He hoped the proposed arrangement would be brought to a satisfactory conclusion, because He believed that it would result in the great territory of the Hudson's Bay Company being civilized by colonization, and that it would be beneficial to Canada and redound to the honour of the British Empire. There Mould be no objection to produce the Papers.


wished to say a few words in consequence of an observation made by the right hon. Gentleman the Under Secretary for the Colonies, and which, He thought, was open to be understood in a way not intended by the right hon. Gentleman himself. Speaking of the country in question, the right hon. Gentleman said that there were fine territories, which were capable of development, but that civilization and colonization had been hitherto excluded from them by a fur-trading company. No doubt the expression was not used to cast blame upon the Hudson's Bay Company, but still it might lead to misunderstanding. It was quite true that a very appreciable proportion of this enormous district was, by its natural advantages of soil and climate, capable of sustaining a large population—that was to say, it would yield a very considerable produce. This, however, was not all that was required to render a country capable of settlement by colonization. It was also required that there should be convenient means of access; and, moreover, it was required, when settlers were invited to go to a territory, that they should be certain that when they got there they would have the advantage of a regular form of government; that they would have protection, and the means of carrying on their affairs. Until a comparatively recent period this had not been the case with the territory to which reference had been made, and that, not owing to any fault on the part of the Company, but owing to the comparatively slow progress of the neighbouring countries. The right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Monsell) had contrasted Minnesota with the Red River Settlement, but it should be borne in mind that Minnesota had immediate connection with the United States, and that population had been advancing to Minnesota with comparative case; whereas to get to the Red River Settlement a very difficult country had to be traversed. There was also the question as to what was to be the position of the settlers when they did get there. In Minnesota there could be no difficulty, for the American Constitution provided for the case; but with regard to the Red River Territory there was a difficulty because of the peculiar position and powers of the Company. It was a Company which had been formed for the purposes of trade; it had certain rights, and powers to administer government, but those rights were very imperfect, and it was improbable that a proper settlement of territory could be made unless the powers of the Company were extended, or unless the Imperial Government took the matter in hand, and formed a colony there; or lastly, unless there were some arrangement for annexing the territory to a British colony. The administrators of the Hudson's Bay Company had always expressed themselves ready to aid the Government in the adoption of any measures which might be taken for the settlement of that portion of their territory capable of settlement; but there was an enormous tract of country which never could be made suitable for settlement, and in which the fur trade would continue to be carried on. The directors of the Hudson's Bay Company had always been ready to co-operate with the Imperial Government; but the uncertainty which had existed during the last six or seven years in relation to the proposed Confederation of the American Provinces had kept things back. And further, it was at the request of the Imperial Government that the Hudson's Bay Company had abstained from coming to arrangements to develop the country, and they were very pleased to find that arrangements were now being made to open up the country. They thought that it was far better that these arrangements should be made through the instrumentality of the Government than by giving to the Company a character that would be foreign to them, or than by the Government establishing a Crown colony, though something might be said for this latter course. Those who were best informed Mere convinced that it would be for the advantage of Canada that she should have this territory connected with her, and at the same time he believed that such an arrangement would be the best for this country, and the best calculated to develop the territory of the Company. Feeling that this was a matter in which the honour and interests of the Imperial Government were concerned, he thought that the Government should facilitate the arrangements which Canada was making, and which arrangements would tend to relieve this country of responsibility. For instance, there was this question of our relations to the Indians, in which we should be relieved of responsibility. The Hudson's Bay Company had always done the best they could to preserve the Indian tribes with whom they came into communication. They had done a good deal to prevent the introduction of spirits, and had done other things to promote the welfare of the tribes. He believed that it was owing to the great skill with which the noble Lord (Earl Granville) had managed this matter that there was a chance of a satisfactory settlement. No doubt that when the question of guarantee was raised in such a form as that it could be discussed in that House the matter would be more thoroughly gone into; but at present he would content himself with thanking the Government, and more especially the noble Lord (Earl Granville), for the patience with which they had dealt with the matter, and in their not having despaired of the settlement when there seemed very little hope of its being brought about. He felt certain he was only correctly representing what was the right hon. Gentleman's meaning in saying that he (Mr. Monsell) had no intention of casting any reflection on the Hudson's Bay Company.


said, that his right hon. Friend was correct in assuming that it was not his intention to cast any reflections on the Company.


said, he had taken for many years past great interest in this territory. He had not anticipated any discussion on the Motion before the House, because he had understood that the Papers asked for would be presented, and he believed that little now remained beyond expressing satisfaction at the termination of a long and tedious dispute that had for years existed. In spite of what had fallen from the right hon. Baronet the Member for North Devon (Sir Stafford Northcote), he maintained that the Hudson's Bay Company had shut up the territory from any possibility of development, and had kept it entirely to themselves. He was glad that this peaceful solution had been brought about, and had it been otherwise He should have been prepared to argue that the claims of the Hudson's Bay Company wore untenable and indefeasible. He trusted the Canadian Government would see that they would be incurring great responsibility by throwing obstacles in the way of a peaceful solution of the difficulty. They were, no doubt, of opinion that the rights of the Hudson's Bay Company, if they existed at all, had been very much exaggerated; and they might perhaps think it unfair that the £300,000 which they were called upon to pay should come out of their pockets, or be a charge upon them. As one who agreed with the Canadians in the main, he nevertheless trusted that they would not raise such an objection, but that they should take the long tenure of the Hudson's Bay Company as a guarantee that their rights did exist in some way or another. At all events, if he were a member of the Canadian House of Assembly, he would not raise such an objection, but would accept the settlement now arrived at as the best that could be devised. The right hon. Baronet who had just sat down had pleaded very strongly in favour of the Company, and he seemed to argue that the Company had done the best they could for the Indians. He (Viscount Bury) did not think that was the case. The Hudson's Bay Company, of course, wanted people to procure the furs for them, and for this purpose they employed the aborigines. But they took little care of them. They always discouraged any attempt to educate the Indians, and the backwardness of the country was entirely due to the course they pursued. As the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government said some years since, they placed a "No Thoroughfare" board at the entrance to their dominions, and prohibited all access to them. There was enough fertile land to afford a farm and homestead for every man, woman, and child in the British dominions, and it was that which they were about to obtain for the £300,000 to which allusion had been made. The only way into it had been through the Red River, and there the Hudson's Bay Company established a military post for the purpose of cutting off communication with the interior. That post was established in 1812 by Lord Selkirk to prevent the North-west and Canadian Companies' hunters from entering the Hudson's Bay territories, who interfered with their fur-bearing animals, and that post had been maintained ever since. So far, however, from the establishment of that post being a friendly act towards the Indians, he regarded it solely as showing that the Company had determined to hold the territory as long as they could. The hon. Member for Banbury (Mr. B. Samuel-son) had expressed a doubt whether emigration could be attracted into this country—because the tide of emigration was exclusively turned towards the United States—from their being no access to this land. He (Viscount Bury) hoped that now easy access would be given to the interior, in which case there would be as vast and as rapid a tide of British emigration into that country as there now was into the West of the United States. A man when he landed in America was forwarded on to the fertile prairies of the West, but if he went to Canada he had to hew down a vast forest before he could plant his first crop. A man did not like to encounter such labour and toil when he knew that by going a little south of the 49th parallel he came on a vast tract of prairie land, where he could at once commence his ploughing and sowing operations, and in the course of a year reap a harvest. If Canada did her duty—as he was sure she would—they would hare a fair and free access to laud as fertile as that which was so eagerly sought after in the United States. No man who had not seen this country could form any conception what wealth nature had placed there. A great deal had been said about the barrenness of the country. It had been compared to Siberia and the rocky regions around the North Pole. Some portions, undoubtedly, were inaccessible to colonization; but others were equal to any part of Europe in the abundance of crops that they offered in return for moderate labour and moderate tillage. He hoped, too, that by-and-by we should through this territory have an excellent route to our possessions in the East; and he believed that within the lifetime of many now living there would be established, by ship, canal, railroad, and telegraph, direct communication between the Atlantic and the Pacific. The navigation required improvement he believed only in throe places in order to admit of their taking a ship straight from England to the foot of the Rocky Mountains without discharging cargo. The land, too, could be easily adapted to the laying of railways, as the gradients to be overcome were very few and very slight. The enterprize was a magnificent one in an engineering point of view, but apprehensions had been expressed that it could never be a good commercial speculation, since being constructed in part upon the slopes of the Sierra Nevada, it could not be worked during some months in winter. Another line somewhat lower down had been designed, but not yet constructed, and, if carried out, this, he believed, would be a route in every way suited to the traffic of which he had spoken. But there was another line passing through Canada, and lying, as it were, ready to our hands, and our Canadian fellow-subjects were not the men to let slip an opportunity without improving it. Having held the office of superintendent-general of the Indian tribes during the time that he was in Canada, He had to a certain extent studied the Indian question and felt considerably interested in it. He hoped the Government would not fall into mistakes similar to those which had been committed on former occasions. The practice of setting aside reserves of land for Indians he believed to be an erro- neous policy; for if the lands were well placed, and suitable for purposes of settlement, in time they became mere baits to attract the cupidity of squatters, who must be displaced in favour of the Indians if faith were to be kept with them. There had been a painful illustration, already of the mode in which engagements entered into with the Indians had been dealt with. When the lands were taken from the Indians and apportioned among the settlers the Indians were promised British protection, and told in the figurative language of their own treaties, that as long as grass grew and water ran they should receive certain annual presents from the British Government. These were given to them for many years, till a time came when the British Government grew tired of the payments, and, supposing, apparently, that, being savages, they were incapable, as a mass, of civilization, proceeded to act upon the principle that the faith of treaties need not be kept up with them. At the time when he himself was in Office he was instructed, as his predecessor had also been, to prepare a scheme by which, once for all, those presents from the British Government should be discontinued. They had been discontinued, and a great breach of faith with the Indians had been committed. It was one of those things that were gone and past, but he could not, when he looked back, but lament it. He had been often asked by the Indians themselves, whether their great mother across the Atlantic—as they called the Queen—really knew of the fraud which, they said, had been committed upon the children of those who had faithfully served her fathers in former years. This question was one which he could not answer, and he had felt the shame of being obliged to hold his tongue before these untutored savages. He hoped that we should avoid these errors in future, and, while extending to the Indians the protection of British Law, we should no longer keep them under perpetual tutelage, teaching them to look to the Government for the food they ate and the plough they tilled the land with. We had made the property of the Indians not that of the individual, but of the tribe; we had made them incapable of being sued for debt, incapable of even running up a tavern score. He himself had seen a new plough left in the soil, a new seine left on the bank of the river, simply because no one was responsible for the care of their implements, which belonged to the tribe, Had the Government acted towards them on a different principle, the Methodists—who were by far the best, missionaries—would soon have taught them the value and the duty of protecting property. Some of the native Indians were quite capable of civilization—he had known one who was a barrister, and a very able one, too—but, he was bound to confess that, as a general rule, they were not up to the mark of the average of the population. In Lower Canada they were more nearly on a level as regards intelligence, but in Upper Canada the comparison was not quite fair, for the average intelligence there was much greater than amongst the rest of the population. The separation in point of language between the Indians and the English-speaking population was the real difficulty in the way of the progress of the tribes. He would not discuss the question of the rights of the Hudson's Hay Company. If they were merely sitting round a table, some one possibly might advance the opinion that the Company had no rights at all; but he thought it most undesirable that any such question should be raised, and He conjured the Government to let it alone. He could not sit, down without protesting against the doubt which had been thrown out by some hon. Members in the course of this debate, as to the loyalty of the Canadians and their attachment to the Queen and British institutions. Putting the matter on the lowest ground of self-interest, he could see no reason why the Canadians should wish to join the Confederacy of the United States. Why should they who possessed complete autonomy, be anxious to throw themselves in the arms of that democracy? The yoke of the Queen did not press heavily upon the Canadians, and they escaped from finding themselves every four years involved in the throes of what resembled the sublimated essence of a general election—the election of a President,—which was no sooner decided than they were thrown afresh into the turmoil of canvassing for his successor. Canada, moreover, in place of diminishing her taxation, by joining the United States, would have to take over a share of the existing debt. On the other hand, by remaining as she was, with one half of the continent of America in her hands, her future prospects were not inferior to those of the United States. The Canadians had been brought up under the British flag—they were attached to our form of government—they revered our beloved Queen, and he was persuaded that nothing would induce them to change the form of government under which they had commenced such a happy era of prosperity.


concurred to the fullest extent in all that his noble Friend (Viscount Bury) had assorted respecting the loyalty of the Canadians, but wished that even a part of his great expectations, as to the future progress of the North-west territory, might be fulfilled. He thought that the Government had taken a proper step in the settlement they had made with the Hudson's Bay Company. He agreed that a trading company was the worst possible body to do the work of colonization; but, at the same time, he did not think that the past management of the Hudson's Bay Company had been open to all the criticisms of his noble Friend. The North-west territory was the only British colony where there had been a considerable expenditure of British capital, which had not cost the taxpayers of this country a single sixpence. With respect to the Indians, it was the interest of the Company, supposing they were influenced by no other motive, to nurse and to maintain them; and it was perfectly well known that if the Company were to be withdrawn tomorrow from that territory, the Indians would starve. They bad given up their primitive habits in hunting for the service of the Company, and by the Company they were supported. He agreed with the noble Lord that reserves were of no use for the Indians. It was useless to shun the fact that the Indians and civilization were incompatible with one another, and that, as civilization advanced, so, in Canada, as in the United States, the Indians would disappear. As long, however, as the Hudson's Bay Company existed, as a fur-trading company, they could not do without the Indians; and it was to that Company that the House must trust for their future protection and maintenance. With respect to the settlement proposed by the Colonial Office, it was, upon the whole, fair and equitable, and beneficial to this country; because, as long as there was an independent territory in America having no means of protecting itself, and claiming protection from this country, there was always an element of danger in the connection. Now that it was united to Canada, the Government of that country must take charge of it, and this country would cease to be responsible. He trusted that the Colonial Office had received a guarantee from the Colonial Government for the establishment of a proper Government in the Red River territory. He thought it wise on the part of the Colonial Office to give the guarantee of £300,000, if it succeeded in effecting a settlement with the Hudson's Bay Company, and relieving this country of all responsibility with regard to the settlement; but the Colonial Office ought to insist that a Government should be placed by Canada in the Red River to enforce the law, and maintain good order in the settlement.


said, that as the House might not have another opportunity of discussing this question, he was anxious to make a reply to one or two of the points raised by the noble Lord (Viscount Bury). When the noble Lord represented it to be a matter of vital importance that there should be a communication through the British territory from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and drew an analogy with the case of the United States, he (Sir Charles Dilke) desired to point out that this communication—in the case of the United States—was mainly established for political, and not for commercial reasons; whereas, in the case of Canada, if the consideration there was also political, then it was for the consideration of the Colonial and not of the Home Government; or, if it was to be alleged that the through communication, was desirable for commercial purposes, then he took exception to that statement altogether. In the first place, the American line had got. the start; and further, he was convinced that no line of railway, whether English or American, could ever compete, in the China and India trade, with water carriage. The main articles of that trade were tea and silks, and both suffered great damage from repeated transhipments the time occupied by the journey was of no great importance, but it was strictly necessary to avoid the four shipments and transhipments that would be needed if the goods were sent from the Pacific to the Atlantic by land. It might, perhaps, be said that the railway was required for the purpose of opening-up the country to emigration from England, but he much doubted the truth of that representation, because European emigrants generally remained in the cities and large towns, and the natives, whose labour they displaced, sought the plains of the West. He made these remarks because he was afraid that an opinion prevailed in Canada that this country would be inclined to guarantee an extension of the Intercolonial Railroad.


said, he was glad attention had been called to this subject, because what had been stated by the Under Secretary for the Colonies, by the noble Lord the Member for Berwick-on-Tweed (Viscount Bury), and the discussion which had followed, would spread abroad in the country a knowledge of the great resources which the fertile belt in the Hudson's Bay territory would offer to colonization. It was a misfortune to this country that so much ignorance should prevail among the people with reference to the space of country which belonged to them. It had often struck him that in our primary schools every geography was taught but that of our colonies. Americans who visited this country were astonished that so little attention was given to this subject in the primary education of the great mass of the people. Our colonies ought to be as valuable to us—as a means of relieving over-population and the pent-up industries of the kingdom—as the Far West was to the United States. They should be almost a guarantee against the prevalence of chronic poverty among us; but for want of information and familiarity their advantages were never looked to as a provision for the poor and enterprizing, if, indeed, they had not purposely been kept in mystery not to use the horrors of transportation. Representing, to a certain extent, the late Government, he offered his congratulations to Her Majesty's Ministers on the successful termination of the negotiations with the Hudson's Bay Company. The late Government had conducted the negotiations from the time of the Confederation of Canada upon the foundation of the previous negotiations commenced by the Duke of Newcastle. The negotiations had extended over a great number of years and had, by the intricacy of claims, and doubtfulness of rights, become a great deal too complicated; but their complication had been very much curtailed, and he had to compliment the Government on the simpler arrangement which had been made with the Company. He thought the payment of a sum of £300,000 down, instead of a sum gradually accumulating by instalments over a number of years, was greatly preferable; the reserves of land were also simpler, and the position of the Company for the future was improved. Canada undertook at once both the territory and its government. He said this particularly with reference to the observation of the hon. Member for St. Andrew's (Mr. Ellice), who said he hoped that some stipulation had been made with Canada as to government. They handed over the reins to Canada, and, of course, Canada was to govern; if not the negotiations would fall through. Canada would undertake the promotion of all those objects which had been alluded to in the debate connected with the opening up of the country. As to reserves of land for Indians, the late Government had made no stipulations, Scrupulously avoiding laying down any specific recommendations as to the treatment of the Indians, they had expressed a hope that they would be scrupulously considered, as they should, and. no doubt, would be, but leaving it entirely to the wisdom of the Canadian Government how they should be treated for the Canadian Government were as good judges of the interests of the Indians as We could be, and so far much better, because they would have to suffer by any unwise arrangement they might make. These things were left to Canada, and all we took on ourselves in the negotiations was the guarantee proposed for the loan by which the £300,000 was to be raised. If that was all, the liability we incurred in so successful an arrangement as this, he must say a great object had been gained for the country at very little cost or risk to ourselves. He quite agreed as to the general impolicy of offering guarantees. He had himself had the misfortune to have the task of proposing to the House the guarantee in connection with the Intercolonial Railway, and he had pledged himself never to do anything of the kind again. In the present instance he acquiesced in the proposal as special and exceptional, because they gained an enormous advantage at very little cost. He quite agreed with the Under Secretary that this was not simply a Canadian question; it was one of very great Imperial interest. There could not be a doubt about it. England had a great interest in making this arrangement as easy, speedy, and perfect as possible. We had to stand out of the way of a great country's growth, impeded by an old charter of one of our Kings. We were removing that barrier We had ourselves created; and, having done so, we undertook no more than to unite with our fellow-countrymen in Canada in opening up the resources of this vast tract, and rendering it as available to those who emigrate hence as to those who live on the spot. When it was said that recent expressions of opinion, especially in British Columbia, had run in favour of annexation to the United States, it was well to remember that the reason was this—that the greater part of the present population of Columbia—98 per cent—had come from the United States, and therefore it was natural that their inclination should be stronger for their own country than towards Great Britain; but when once the intervening territory was opened, the tide of population from this country would be greatly increased, an English population would spread over it; English connection and attachment would supersede the alien sympathies, and a territorial provision would become available for every family in England that chose to go there.


agreed in the desirability of making known in this country facilities for communication with other parts of Her Majesty's dominions, but he also thought it desirable that no delusive hopes should be held out. He understood from the resident Governor of the Hudson's Bay Company that the settlement from Canada of the fertile tract of territory which had been alluded to was almost impossible. If that settlement were effected it must be from the overflow of population from Minnesota, and not from Canada.


There are one or two topics that have been mentioned in this debate on which I wish to make a few remarks. I cannot but say I am exceedingly glad that the time has at length arrived when a very difficult problem has reached its solution. Twenty years ago, when discussions took place in this House having in view the very object that is now about to be attained, I was one of those who, at the time, feeling a very lively interest in the question, entered keenly into the matter, and, perhaps, did somewhat less than justice to the Hudson's Bay Company, to whom now everyone would wish that the fullest justice should be done. At the same time I think that, fundamentally, we were right in the policy we then endeavoured to recommend, because it has been frankly admitted in this debate, and is now generally conceded, in the first place, that the Hudson's Bay Company, as a company with exclusive privileges, and constituted for the purpose of fur trading, neither was nor possibly could be a good steward of the great interests involved in the government of a large continent; and, in. the second place, that it was not possible for this country to take upon itself and to administer directly the responsibilities that were then incumbent upon the Hudson's Bay Company. Canada evidently was pointed out by nature and by circumstances as the proper person to come into that position, and that position she is about at length to adopt. My hon. Friend the Member for St. Andrew's (Mr. Ellice) asks us whether we took an engagement from Canada for the government of this territory, and I shall repeat on the part of the Government the answer made by my right hon. Friend the Member for North Staffordshire (Mr. Adderley), that it would be neither becoming nor possible to ask Canada to give such an engagement. Canada would be senseless unless she entertained the fullest sense of her responsibility and duty in this matter, and her interests are as much connected with the fulfilment of this duty as in any possible case they could be. There was a remark that fell from my noble Friend the Member for Berwick (Viscount Bury) that I am loth to pass without some qualification. I must thank him—and I think I express the general feeling—for the interesting and able speech which he delivered. I am sure he will excuse me if on one point I venture to say a word for the honour of this country, though in apparent opposition to what he said—I mean with respect to that very animated censure which he passed upon the course taken by the British Parliament in regard to the presents made to the Indians, and which he did not scruple to describe as a gross breach of faith, of which the undivided responsibility lay with this country—if with this country, then necessarily and exclusively with this House. The ground of my noble Friend's charge was this—that a covenant had been made with the Indians that these presents should be annually given to them "so long as the grass grew and the water ran." I will not attempt to escape from the stringency of that covenant; but this I will say, that I do not think it necessary for me to attempt to defend England against a charge of gross breach of faith by shifting the responsibility elsewhere. But this I do say, that that covenant to give presents to the Indians was strictly and essentially an incident of the position which we then held in regard to Canada. At the time when We entered into that covenant we held Canada not so much for the benefit of Canada as for the benefit of this country, and Canada was managed, not according to her own will and discretion, but according to ours. In process of time that state of things was fundamentally changed. Every power that we had exercised over Canada for our own use or supposed advantage was successively given over into the hands of Canada. With these powers the people of this country practically came to the conclusion that it was necessary that the incidental costs and burdens should be likewise handed over, and among those incidental costs and burdens that of the annual presents to the Indians. That is the real ground on which this House proceeded. I do not think it was any part of our duty to determine whether the covenant with the Indians was liable to change in consequence of the; altered circumstances. The question to which we looked was whether we could fairly and justly, under this covenant, continue to ask the tax-payer of this country to pay a sum of, I think, a good many thousands a year for the purpose of these presents to the Indians, when Canada became a country for every practical purpose perfectly independent. The House of Commons arrived at the conclusion that it was not reasonable or just to make that demand upon the people of England. I notice this part of my noble; Friend's speech, because nothing can be more unworthy of an Assembly like the present than to have it supposed that, in respect to the engagements we concluded, we adhered to them less faithfully when dealing with a weak people than when stipulating with a strong country. With regard to the other topic of debate, I must say it certainty is a question of the greatest interest to consider what will be the course of events with respect to the future settlement of the great valley of Saskatchewan. There is very conflicting testimony on the subject; and probably it is affected by so many circumstances of which as yet we have no experience, that the soundest judgment and the most extensive knowledge cannot speak with confidence upon it at the present time. When Sir George Simpson published that interesting account of his voyage round the world he spoke in the most sanguine terms of this territory; but subsequently when he gave evidence before a Committee of this House, he very much qualified and almost contradicted his former statements. The future alone can tell what are the capabilities of this territory. I think it necessary to say a word with regard to continuing colonial guarantees. I believe that in the private relations of life it often happens that a man who is ready to undertake an engagement on the part of somebody else, by the fact of his undertaking such engagement, instead of leaving on the mind of the other party the impression that he ought not to apply to him again, leaves, on the contrary, the impression that he is an accommodating person, and that nothing but a succession of pertinacious, or at least energetic applications is required in order to extend the process of entering into engagements. I hope our excellent Canadian fellow-subjects are not under an impression of this kind; but whether they are or not, I feel content to bear my testimony to what the right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Adderley) has said on colonial guarantees. I cannot adopt an absolute rule on this subject. It is impossible to say that there will be no such thing proposed to this House as a colonial guarantee. But whenever a Government, has proposed a colonial guarantee in the past, this House has always expected that Government to show that the proposal was made with a view of escaping from the kind of relations under which alone such a guarantee was required, and of establishing freer relations under which our colonial fellow-subjects would bear their own burdens and leave us to bear ours. In conclusion, I thank the hon. Member for Chelsea (Sir Charles Dilke) for having given the House the benefit of his experience with regard to the difficulties with which this portion of the subject is beset.


apologized if he had used too strong expressions with regard to our treatment of the Indians; but he had had in his mind at the time a covering despatch from Sir Edmund Head, who said that he approached the subject with pain and misgiving, never having been able to persuade himself that the conduct of this country towards the Indians had been consistent with good faith.


said, it was strange that the opportunities for emigration which these vast regions presented were so much neglected by the English people. While those regions were inviting settlers, England was over-run with population, often hard driven to find employment. He regretted greatly that the sons of our aristocracy, instead of remaining at home to fill up all the places which they could obtain in the army, the navy, the church, or the law, did not follow the examples of their ancestors, and set themselves the task of colonizing fresh regions of the earth. He had heard it said that the reason why the younger sons of the aristocracy remained at home was because they did not wish to leave the luxuries of their fathers' tables. It was a poor reason; and he thought that the teeming population of this country ought to be better instructed as to the position and advantages of our colonies as fields for emigration.

Motion put, and agreed, to.