February 15, 1901

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Mr. THOS@

BIRKETT (Ottawa) moved for: ,

Copies of all applications, documents, papers and correspondence by or between the Canadian Pacific Railway Company and the government, or the Minister of Railways and Canals, whereby the Canadian Pacific Railway Company applied for and obtained permission to cross, or continue to cross, certain streets in the western part of the city of Ottawa.

Topic:   OTTAWA AND THE C.P.R. STREET CROSSINGS.
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The MINISTER OP RAILWAYS AND CANALS (Hon. A. G. Blair).

There is no objection to the motion passing. But I am not aware that there has been any correspondence on this subject. Applications, I apprehend, would come in the regular course. But any papers there are in the department will be brought down.

Topic:   OTTAWA AND THE C.P.R. STREET CROSSINGS.
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Motion agreed to.


ADJOURNMENT-BUSINESS OP THE HOUSE.


The PRIME MINISTER (Rt. Hon. Sir Wilfrid Laurier) moved the adjournment of the House.


IND

William Findlay Maclean

Independent Conservative

Mr. MACLEAN.

Before we adjourn, 1 would like to ask the Minister of Finance (Hon. Mr. Fielding), whether it is his intention to move the House into Committee of Supply to-morrow ?

The MINISTER OF FINANCE (Hon. W.

S. Fielding). Some hon. members requested, and I thought it reasonable, that we should not proceed with supply until the Auditor General's Report was placed on the table. On the assumption that that report would be presented on Friday, I said that on that day we would proceed with supply.

I still anticipate that we shall have the report to-morrow. And if it is likely that some matter is to be brought up for discussion on going into supply, we might proceed. If the report be laid on the table after the House opens, perhaps hon. members would not be willing to proceed with business in Committee of Supply. But, as it seems that any discussion might be proceeded with, I would say ' yes ' to the hon. gentleman's (Mr. Maclean's) question.

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LIB
CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

But the hon. minister (Hon. Mr. Fielding), does not propose to make any progress in supply V Otherwise, I would ask, what particular portion of the estimates he intends to deal with ?

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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

I would be pleased to make progress, but possibly objection might be taken to proceeding in supply at the same moment that the Auditor General's Report is laid on the table. Otherwise we might go on with supply, beginning with civil government.

Topic:   ADJOURNMENT-BUSINESS OP THE HOUSE.
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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

Then the report will not be laid on the table till after we meet to-morrow ?

Topic:   ADJOURNMENT-BUSINESS OP THE HOUSE.
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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

Perhaps not.

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CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

If we are to meet to-morrow only to adjourn, I am sure there are a number of members who would prefer to be absent. The report of the Auditor General should be in our hand for a little while before we go into supply. Under the statute, it ought to be before the House the first week of the session

Topic:   ADJOURNMENT-BUSINESS OP THE HOUSE.
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LIB
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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

No ; the hon. member for Jacques Cartier (Mr. Monk) is right.

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CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

I have verified it but recently. If we receive the report of the Auditor General late in the sitting to-morrow, what progress shall we make ? We shall merely meet and adjourn.

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The PRIME MINISTER.

The government is in no way responsible for the fact that the Auditor General's Report has not yet been placed before parliament. 1 think it would be a bad example, if we wish to have a short session, to commence adjourning. We must adjourn over next Wednesday in any case, as that is Ash Wednesday, and a legal holiday.

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

It does seem to me that the contention of the First Minister can hardly be sustained, when he says that the government is in no way responsible for this report. Though the Auditor General may not be an officer under the government, still, he is under the supervision of the government, and this is a departmental report which parliament needs before it can intelligently do its work. It is the duty of the government to see that the House is in possession of these reports before the business to which they relate is gone on with.

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CON

David Tisdale

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. Mr. TISDALE.

It seems to me that we might as well not sit to-morrow, thus allowing many members, even those who live at a considerable distance, to return home.

I am willing to sit to-morrow if there is I business to be done. But as we see by the

Order paper that there is no work that we can go on with, we might as well adjourn until Monday. There is no use in meeting merely to adjourn. I hope the Prime Minister will reconsider the matter.

Topic:   ADJOURNMENT-BUSINESS OP THE HOUSE.
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CON

Nathaniel Clarke Wallace

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WALLACE.

Speaking for myself, I am not much in sympathy with the proposal to adjourn over to-morrow. We have met to do business, and we should be ready to do it. But, when the First Minister tells us that the government are not responsible for the Auditor General's Report not being down, I cannot agree with him-and for two reasons. In the first place, the Auditor General's Report will be prepared promptly if the ministers present their documents to the Auditor General in good time to give him the opportunity of going over and revising them. And when the Auditor General's Report is prepared, it is a matter for the printer ; and the printers are under the direct control of the government. If the Auditor General has no control over the limiting of the documents that he presents, the ministers have. There must be control somewhere, and where is it V The Printing Department is in the control of the ministers themselves. We hear today that the government are sending part of their printing down to the city of Montreal ; and I am told by printers who know what it means, that the printing of the Trade and Navigation Returns is most profitable, because it is printed in both languages, and the same figures are retained for both the French and English edition, so that it is a doubly profitable transaction for the printers. That was sent down to the favoured newspapers, giving them enormous profits, though the ministers state at regular rates. Well, the regular rate is double the rate for column work, and it is double rate again for printing in English and French, though as a matter of fact it is printed in the one language only, the figures being the same for both languages. And still we are waiting for the Trade and Navigation Returns that should have been in the hands of the public many months ago.

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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

As regards the Auditor General's Report, of which alone I care to speak, the hon. gentleman is entirely mistaken in assuming that it is under the control of the government. The Auditor General is not an officer of the government ; he has been purposely made an officer of this House.

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February 15, 1901