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Photograph of the interior of the Library of Parliament 1898
Menu and list of toasts for the dinner in honour of Hall Caine, held at Russell House, Ottawa, November 25, 1895
In this section:
In the nineteenth century, the association between cultural progress and agricultural development gave the Department of Agriculture a remarkably broad mandate. Among the department's educational and cultural responsibilities was the administration of copyright. Published works -- everything from poetry to political theory -- were submitted to Agriculture's copyright branch. Orders-in-council provide evidence of the government's early efforts on behalf of Canadian authors and publishers who were disadvantaged by international copyright legislation. Later copyright conventions negotiated between Great Britain and the United States failed to resolve Canadian concerns and, as a result, copyright legislation remained a preoccupation of departments such as Agriculture, Customs and Finance throughout the nineteenth century. When the English author Hall Caine (1853-1931) toured Canada and the United States to discuss international copyright in 1895, he dined with leading Canadian writers and government representatives in Ottawa.