February 21, 1901

CON

John Graham Haggart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. JOHN HAGGART (South Lanark).

I would like to hear from the Minister of the Interior (Hon. Clifford Sifton) in what form licenses are granted by the Indian Department to cut timber, and whether they are

renewable from year to year. Has the hon. minister the power to alter, by regulations, after the licenses are granted, the amount of duties to be paid and the conditions under which the duties should be levied ? Has he reserved the power, as the Ontario government has done, of renewing the licenses on such altered conditions as he may choose ? I do not remember on what conditions the licenses are issued-whether by statute of the Dominion, which gives the Minister of the Interior power to issue licenses, or whether the hon. minister only acts as the ward of the Indians and gives licenses without any special power to do so.

For the proper consideration of the whole question, it is well that the House should know in what form the licenses are granted -whether renewable from year to year, and whether the power is left in the hands of the minister to alter the regulations in the direction suggested by my hon. friend from Simcoe.

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The MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR (Hon. Clifford Sifton).

The licenses issued to cut timber on Indian lands are issued by the Department of Indian Affairs, under the authority of the Indian Act, which gives the Governor General in Council power to make regulations for the disposal of the timber upon these lands when they have been surrendered by the Indians. First of all, the Indian lands have to be surrendered to the government for the purposes of sale, and then the government disposes of the timber under regulations prescribed by the Governor in Council, and, except in special cases, public tenders are invited. I could not say whether, in respect of the licenses issued, there is such an implied contract as would prevent our altering the terms. There are very extensive timber lands not disposed of at all-Indian lands- and as to them we can make what conditions we please. But, as to lands on which licenses have been issued, my recollection is that there has been no change in the form of license adopted in former years. The hon. gentleman will remember that when the policy now in force in Ontario was first adopted, there was very serious question as to the power of the Ontario government to alter the terms of the licenses. I think the point raised was, that there was an implied contract on the part of the government to renew the licenses annually on the same terms or without substantial change and without looking particularly into the question and examining the licenses, I would not be in a position to express an opinion at present.

I suppose my hon. friend from East Simcoe (Mr. Bennett) desires the fullest information, and if he wishes I will bring down a full statement on this point, and, if necessary, get the opinion of the Department of Justice on the power of the govern-

ment to alter the terms, so that the House may be in full possession of the facts.

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IND

William Findlay Maclean

Independent Conservative

Mr. W. F. MACLEAN (East York).

The principle adopted in Ontario, namely, the right to change the conditions of the leases, has been vindicated, not only in the courts of Ontario, but before the Privy Council in England. Since that principle has been vindicated, it ought to apply to all the licenses granted by the Indian Department here as well as by the province of Ontario.

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The MINISTER OF MARINE AND FISHERIES (Sir Louis Davies).

What Privy Council decision does the hon. gentleman (Mr. Maclean) refer to ?

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IND

William Findlay Maclean

Independent Conservative

Mr. MACLEAN.

It went to the Privy Council within the last two years.

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The MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR.

Of course, my hon. friend (Mr. Maclean) will understand that while the principle may, to some extent, apply under the Ontario leases, it does not follow that it would apply under our leases.

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IND

William Findlay Maclean

Independent Conservative

Mr. MACLEAN.

The principle having been vindicated now, the government could use it for the protection of the country in these cases.

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CON

William Humphrey Bennett

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT.

As the motion has been on the Order paper for over two weeks- for I believe it was put on the first day of the session-I am surprised that the Minister of the Interior comes down to the House now not able to furnish the least information as to what would be the effect of passing the resolution. I am only speaking from recollection, but I have had something to do in getting these licenses renewed for friends in my own riding, and my recollection is that they stand on all-fours with the Ontario licenses in this-that the Crown reserves to itself the right, at all times, to do as it pleases. That was the ground of interposition by the Ontario government. They took high ground that they had the right to interpose at any time ; and I submit that this government has the same right. However, as the resolution might produce the result I stated at the outset, of causing high duties by way of reprisal, and as there is not a great amount exported,

I will not press the motion to a division. But I hope and trust that the government will, during the present session, and at the very earliest opportunity, announce to those who are now taking away these logs, that they cannot take them out of the province as logs, but must manufacture them in Ontario. As they have had notice from year to year that this power was held in reserve, the step might well be taken now. Mills in Michigan are dependent upon these logs to a certain extent ; and. as the Ontario government has intervened and stopped the exportation of the logs of the Ontario licenses, it is humiliating to find that the Dominion government will not follow Mr. SIFTON.

their lead. I beg leave to withdraw the motion.

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The PRIME MINISTER (Rt. Hon. Sir Wilfrid Laurier).

Before the motion is withdrawn, i would observe that the motion which the hon. gentleman (Mr. Bennett) debated to-day, and very properly, is not the motion which he gave notice of. The motion of which he gave notice was one in favour of an export duty, which involves a very large question ; but, in the address he delivered, he restricted himself to the subject of a change of regulation, which is a very different question.

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CON
CON

James Clancy

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. JAMES CLANCY (Bothwell).

I would like to call attention to the fact that the government, in 1897, took power to deal with just such cases-that is, they asked and were given authority to impose duties

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The MINISTER OF RAILWAYS AND CANALS.

That was confined to minerals, was it not ?

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CON

James Clancy

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLANCY.

No, it gave the government power to deal with all such cases as my hon. friend (Mr. Bennett) has brought up.

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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

But the question brought before us to-day is one of regulation.

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CON

James Clancy

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLANCY.

The question raised simply is whether the government would be taking a proper step in dealing with a portion of the case-that of the logs upon Indian lands-and leaving the other points involved in the same position as before. Motion withdrawn.

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MOTIONS AGREED TO WITHOUT DISCUSSION.


Copies of all correspondence, telegrams and reports that have passed since March, 1900, between the Dominion government and the Imperial government, and between the Dominion government and the provincial government of British Columbia in regard to Mongolian immigration into Canada.-Hon. Mr. Prior. Return of all papers, reports and other data relative to the lowering of the waters of Lake Simcoe, with a view towards reclaiming certain flooded lands.-Mr. McLeod. Return of copies of each of the hydraulic mining leases mentioned on page 65 of the annual report of the Department of the Interior, 1900; also showing what conditions or terms of these leases have been complied with, respectively ; also, copies of all reports, letters and communications respecting each lease.-Hon. Sir Charles Hibbert Tupper. Copies of all correspondence, papers, tenders, returns and other documents relating to tha government wharf at or near the ferry, Bast River Sheet Harbour, in the county of Halifax, N.S., showing the title of the Crown, if any, to this wharf, and the use which has been mado thereof since January 1, 1897. The person or persons in charge of the wharf on behalf of the government since January 1, 1897. The moneys which have been expended by the government thereon since January 1, 1897. The dates when the sums were so expended, whether the same were expended by public contract or how otherwise; also, all such papers aforesaid as show the amount collected or received by the government, or by any person or persons on its behalf, for use of such wharf since January 1, 1897.-Mr. Borden (Halifax). Copies of all orders in council, reports, correspondence, papers and documents relating to real estates at St. John, N.B., purchased by the government or by the Department of Railways and Canals for the intercolonial Railway since January 1, 1897, and relating to claims for payment or compensation therefor, including all orders in council, correspondence, documents or papers showing what action has been taken or is proposed to be taken with respect to such claim or claims.-Mr. Borden (Halifax). Copies of all despatches, letters, telegrams, correspondence, reports, respecting the subjects included in the following telegram of August 2, 1900: - ' Ottawa, Ont., Aug. 2, via Bennett, Aug. 7. F. C. Wade, Dawson,-Sir Wilfrid has handed me your message. Am endeavouring to remove difficulties caused by delays in answering communications addressed to other departments. Superintendent Tache, of the Public Works Department, is now en route to Dawson with orders for the construction of trails and public buildings. government considering plan of readjustment of royalty which will lighten tax and, we think, prove generally satisfactory. Order granting representation in local council takes effect immediately. Ryley, of mining branch, en route to Dawson. Will report amendments to mining laws. Careful consideration, letters and petitions received here, convinces me every reasonable request regarding mining laws can be met in near future. Impossible for me to visit Yukon now. Hope to get there before many months. ' (Sgd.) CLIFFORD SIFTON. -Hon. Sir Charles Hibbert Tupper. Return showing the names and addresses of all parties tendering (where tenders were called for) for coal and wood, or either, for the use of the government of Canada since July 1, 1899; copy of the tender put in by each party tendering, copy of the specification issued in each ease where tenders were called for, name and address of the successful tenderer in each case, together with the kind, quality and quantity of coal and wood, or either, tendered for ; also the kind, quality and quantity of coal and wood or either, for which tenders were accepted in each case, and the prices paid; also, the location of each government building or institution supplied with coal and wood, or either, the quantity and quality and sizes of coal and wood, or either, supplied to each, and the price in each case. Also, the names and addresses of all parties supplying coal and wood, or either, without tender, since the above date to the government of Canada, the kind, quality and quantity supplied in each case by each person, the prices paid in each case, and the location of the building or institution supplied.-Mr. Clarke. Copies of the complaints, pleas, convictions, notes of judgment and all other papers, correspondence, &c., relating to the case of Cinqmars vs. Senecal, decided by the Court of Queen's Bench (Crown side), on December 17, 1900.-Mr. Fortin.


MANUFACTURE OF BINDER TWINE.

CON

Richard Blain

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. RICHARD BLAIN (Peel) moved :

That in the opinion of this House it is expedient that all binder twine now held by the government, together with all twine that may hereafter be manufactured by them, shall be sold direct to the farmer at a price to cover the actual cost of raw material and manufacture only, with 1 cent per pound added, and that no twine manufactured or paid for out of the Dominion treasury shall be sold or disposed of in any other way.

He said : In rising to make this motion 1 want to ask the kind indulgence of the House, which is usually extended to new members. I am aware that this is not a new question. It is a question that has been up for consideration in this House for a number of years ; but as there are a good many new members in the House, I will give a very brief review of the sale and manufacture of binder twine as carried on by the government in the Kingston penitentiary. In 1894 the late government for the first time introduced the manufacture of binder twine in the Kingston penitentiary, and installed a plant for that purpose. In 1894-5 they adopted the policy of placing a traveller upon the road and selling the twine directly to the retail merchant, and the retail merchant sold it to the farmer. The then government entered into a contract with a Mr. Kelly, of Montreal, which contract ran for five years, and expired on September 1, 1900. But in June, 1896, that government was defeated, and a new government came into power. One of the first acts of the new government was to cancel altogether the agreement made by the former government with Mr. Kelly, and to adopt a new plan for the sale of binder twine. On coming into power they found on hand at the Kingston penitentiary all the twine that had been manufactured by the government the year before, amounting to about one million pounds. They sold that twine to Coll Bros. & Co. for the average price of $4.25 per hundred pounds. That twine had cost the country an average price of $4.66 per hundred pounds, but they sold it to this firm of political friends for 41 cents per hundred pounds less than it cost this country to manufacture it. In the year 1897 they sold the twine that had cost this country an average price of $4.43 per hundred pounds to manufacture, to another firm of their friends, the Ilobbs Hardware Manufacturing Co., of the city of London, for the average price of $4.64, or 21 cents per hundred pounds over the cost of the twine during that year. In 1898, continuing the same policy, they sold the twine to H. N. Bate & Sons, another firm composed of their friends; the twine cost an average price of $4.72 per hundred pounds, and they sold it to this firm at a gain of 12 cents per hundred pounds over the cost. In the following year, 1899, the twine cost an average price of $6.25 per hundred pounds to manufacture.

and tliey sold It to Hobbs & Co. for an average price of $6.51, or 26 cents per hundred pounds over the cost. The government then decided to make a change in the manner of disposing of the twine made in the Kingston penitentiary. In looking over the 'Hansard' I find that on May 9, 1900, a question was put to the Rt. Hon. the Prime Minister by Mr. Clancy, in these words :

What was the quality and price ot each class of hemp or other fibre purchased at the Kingston penitentiary between June 30, 1899, and January 1, 1900?

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The PRIME MINISTER.

Pending the sale of the output, it nqver has been the policy of the department to make public the price either of the raw material or the manufactured product.

But that year they decided to advertise the twine, and announced publicly that the farmer could purchase his twine directly from the Kingston penitentiary. Now, I ask the House to notice the kind of advertisement they put in the newspapers. The hon. member for South Leeds (Mr. Taylor) asked this question in the House :

Has the government sent out a schedule of prices at which binder twine will be sold at Kingston penitentiary up to March 1, 1900.

The Prime Minister answers :

Tes ; as follows :-

Per lb.

Lots of fifty tons and upwards-Manila.... 124 e.

" " " Mixed 9Jc.

Car-load lots less than fifty tons-Manila.. 13c.

" " " Mixed... 10c.

Lots of one ton-Manila 13|c.

Lots of less than one ton-Manila 14c.

Mixed 11c.

Now, you will notice that the twine that the government advertised could be purchased by the farmers in quantities less

than one ton for 14 cents per pound for manilia and 11 cents per pound for mixed, was manufactured by the same government at an average price of $6.25 per 100 pounds. Thus, in their announcement that they were prepared to sell twine direct to the farmer, they asked the farmer to pay, for what cost an average price of $6.25 per 100 pounds, $14 per 100 pounds for manila and $11 pel-hundred pounds for mixed, which seems to be rather a large percentage, but that was the announcement that was put in the newspaper. In looking over the Auditor General's Report. I notice that the actual output of twine from the Kingston penitentiary, in 1899. was $34,292.45 worth. It was sold, $7,258.63 worth to H. N. Bate & Sons, and $26,085.55 worth to the Hobbs Hardware Co., making a total of $33,344.18 worth. The balance was sold to the farmers. the balance being $948.27, and it cost the government of this country to advertise that $497. In coming forward to the Auditor General's Report for 1900, I notice that the total output of twine at the Kingston penitentiary was $59,481.71. They sold the largest proportion of that to two friends of Mr. BLAIN.

their own. The Hobbs Company got $35,072.57 worth, and one, John Connor, got $15,753.53 worth, making a total, purchased by these two friends of the government, of $51,426.10 worth, and the farmers just got $8,055.61 worth. It cost them to advertise that to the farmers of this country, according to the Auditor General's Report, $725. Now, the motion that I have before the House has two or three simple requests. One is that the cost of the twine manufactured by the government in the Kingston penitentiary shall first be made out, and that when the cost is made out there shall be 1 cent per pound added for expenses of shipping out the twine to the farmers. If, for illustration, in 1899, the cost of twine being an average of $6.25 per ton, according to their own report, they had added 1 per cent per pound to it and advertised to the farmers, that they could buy the total output of the Kingston penitentiary at $7.25 per 100 pounds, instead of $14 per 100 pounds for manila and $11 per hundred pounds for mixed, the government would have sold every pound of it direct to the farmers. Then, of course, as my hon. friend (Mr. Brock) says, Hobbs would not have got it. but we cannot help that. The government promised to sell it direct to the farmer, and we want to find out whether they are fulfilling the pledges they made. In answer to a question the other day, placed upon the Order paper by myself, the hon. Solicitor General (Mr. Fitzpatrick) said they would not tell this parliament the cost of the raw material for the manufacture of the binder twine that was made in the Kingston penitentiary last year. I say that this is not fair to the people of this country. If my hon. friend (Mr. Brock) were the president of a company, and I was a stockholder, and if I went to him as a stockholder and asked him for prices in respect to the purchase of goods he was selling and in which I was interested, if I asked him after one year had expired from the time he purchased the goods and he refused to tell me, I would think that 1 had a fair grievance against the president of my company. So, I think when the people of this country, through their representatives, ask the government what the raw material cost that was paid for out of the public treasury, the government have a right to give the people a fair and simple answer, and tell them the facts of the case. I notice one or two things in the report of the hon. Minister of Justice (Hon. Mr. Mills) that are worthy of the attention of this House in discussing this matter. A. Bal-lantyne received for services as arbitrator, $500 in 1899. I suppose that was for arbitrating as to whether an amount ought to be paid or not. If the House would adopt the principle laid down in the motion I have submitted here, there would be no $500 to be paid for arbitration. The price would be so fixed, and it would be so low. that

tlie farmers would willingly take up the full amount of twine manufactured, and there would be no charge of $50U to be paid by the country for arbitrating disputed accounts between the government and those who purchased the twine from them. I have here the statement of a former supporter of the government, Mr. McMillan, as reported in ' Hansard ' of 1899, page 7213, Mr. McMillan says :

I understand that in the state of Michigan, where I have friends living, binder twine is manufactured by the government of that state. The first thing they do is to advertise, and they allow the farmers to send in for a certain quantity and send the money with the order.

Mr. McMillan, on the same page, says :

I believe the government should advertise and allow the farmers to send in their orders, taking at least 500 pounds of binder twine and sending the money along with the order.

That is a principle laid down by a former supporter of the government, and it seems to be a principle that they were unwilling to adopt and did not adopt. The motion that 1 submit for the consideration of the House, and I do not wish to detain hon. gentleman longer, is that the government shall sell the twine direct to the farmer for cash. They say, of course, the quantity is small that is manufactured, being only 500 tons each and every year, and that the country consumes a much larger quantity of twine. The government through their representatives have said to the farmers : The quantity of twine we manufacture is so small that we cannot supply all the farmers and therefore it would not be wise to supply any of them. I contend that the policy of the government should be that so far as the twine which they manufacture will supply the wants of the farmers, they should supply it to the farmers direct and abolish the system of first giving it to their political friends ; as for instance once in a while by advertising in the public press, and then advertising through circulars which are sent to the friends of the government who purchase twine throughout the country. X have no disposition to embarrass the government upon this small question, and when I call it a small question I mean that the amount involved is not very large, but at the same time it is of great importance to this country, and the farmers of the province of Ontario expressed themselves upon the question on the seventh of November. It was one of the most important questions for discussion in the late election, and I am quite certain that many of the Ontario electors voted against the government, because the government did not adopt the policy laid down in the resolution now before the House. Although I was elected a supporter of the Conservative party. I made the promise in my county that if the government would adopt the policy of selling the twine direct to the farmers, doing Si

away with middlemen altogether, and giving to the farmers all the advantage that the supply of twine would warrant, that X would support the government upon that question. I am here to repent that statement in the House as the representative of my constituents, and X am most anxious that that policy should be adopted. It is a policy that will remove altogether whatever suspicion surrounds the government in connection with the sale of this binder twine. I also wish to express my opinion that the government should furnish information to parliament, especially when that information is a year and a half old, when it is required by this House in the public interest. I wish now to refer to the quantity of manila that was purchased by the government in 1899 and 1900, and I refer to it because the Hon. David Mills in a pamphlet which I have here makes the statement that the farmers paid more for their binder twine last year because the government were compelled to pay more for the manila. I take the report of the Minister of Justice ending June 30, 1899, and I find that all the manila they purchased during that year was 125,000 pounds at 53 cents a pound. I would call attention to the fact that that is marked ' seconds.' I do not know that that means that the government has been selling pure manila made out of second quality, but it certainly stands there in the report that the Minister of Justice purchased second quality manila and when the government come to sell it they do not sell it as second quality, but as pure manila. It is a problem for the government to solve as to how they accomplish that. Then again I find from the report of the Minister of Justice that in the year 1900, they purchased 140,335 pounds of manila at 5} cents; 123,344 pounds at 51 cents, and only 8.320 pounds at 9 cents. In view of these figures I do not think that the people of Canada will agree in the statement that the reason why the farmers had to pay so much for their twine last year was that the government had to pay so much for their manila. I thank the House for their kind attention, and I am most anxious that this motion should be adopted, which I move, seconded by Mr. Johnston, of Cardwell.

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February 21, 1901