HC Deb 09 March 1871 vol 204 c1673

asked the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies, Whether, in completion of our engagements to Canada, the works at Quebec are being armed and the north works in progress; whether Canada, on her part, is fortifying Montreal, for which her Parliament voted a loan Imperially guaranteed; what progress has been made with the Canadian Militia; and, how soon the Intercolonial Railway may be expected to open their communication between Halifax and Quebec?


said, that the Estimates for the present year would contain an item of £9,000 for the completion of the fortifications of Quebec. The guarantee for the loan passed the House in August last, and he had not received any information of any steps that had been taken by Canada, as to entering upon the fortifications of Montreal. The condition of the Militia was very satisfactory. In March of last year the number of active Militia was something over 43,500, which, by this time, had risen to about 45,000; and if any emergency should arise—which he was far from anticipating—to call for their services, the Commander-in-Chief would only have to give the order, and in a few hours upwards of 40,000 thoroughly efficient men would be able to take the field, and they would be hourly augmented by a large number of Reserve Militia. There were six or seven training colleges for the Militia, which were in an excellent condition. With regard to the last Question, he was able to state that the works—extending over about 400 miles—were in a most satisfactory state of progress. More than half the line would be completed before the end of the year, and they had every reason to hope the whole would be finished before the end of 1872, or within a period of only four years from the commencement of the undertaking.