April 25, 1901

CON

Uriah Wilson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WILSON.

that it is absolutely necessary to have regulations governing the issuing of clothing ; but the department is always ready to put the most lenient possible construction on these regulations *when it can be shown that for" any good cause an issue is required before the time fixed in the regulations. I shall be very happy to look into this matter-it does not come before me as a matter of course, as the hon. gentleman knows-and meet the views of the corps if possible.

Militia-Provisions, supplies and remounts, $130,000.

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The MINISTER OF MILITIA AND DEFENCE.

This vote is to provide rations, forage, fuel, light, water, hospital and veterinary medicine, postage, rent of post office boxes, barrack furniture and utensils, supplies for artificers' shop, &c., and also to purchase 20 remounts for 10 per cent of the establishment. The increase of $5,000 is due to the fact that we have to purchase a few additional remounts.

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CON

Edward Gawler Prior

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. Mr. PRIOR.

Is the clothing all furnished by tender, and the lowest tender accepted ?

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The MINISTER OF MILITIA AND DEFENCE.

Yes.

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CON
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Tiie MINISTER OF MILITIA AND DEFENCE.

During the last year the clothing has been made principally by the Sanford Manufacturing Company. It has also been manufactured by Workman and Company, of Montreal. If there have been any manufacturers outside of these employed, it has only been to a very small extent.

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CON

Edward Gawler Prior

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. Mr. PRIOR.

Were the tenders public tenders, or were a certain number of firms only asked to tender ?

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The MINISTER OF MILITIA AND DEFENCE.

The tenders originally were public tenders, that is, I think, for two years. Then from the lowest tenders received, a certain number were selected, and since that time we have not asked for public tenders. I may say that we found that the advertising for public tenders got us into a great deal of trouble. The first year after I succeeded my hon. friend opposite, as he knows, certain contracts were terminated because the Minister of Justice of that day gave it as his opinion that it was not lawful to enter into contracts for a year or two ahead.

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CON

George Taylor (Chief Opposition Whip; Whip of the Conservative Party (1867-1942))

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. TAYLOR.

How about steel rails ?

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The MINISTER OF MILITIA AND DEFENCE.

I do not know. That was Sir Oliver Mowat's opinion. We advertised in all the leading newspapers of Canada for tenders, and we gave a contract in Sep-

tember or October to the lowest tenderer for $75,000 worth of clothing to be delivered,

I think, before the 1st of April of the following year. Not one single article of that clothing was delivered, nor has it been delivered yet, and we had to go to the old contractors, chiefly the Sanford Company, and ask them to take over the work and do it. 1 learned a lesson then, and I have tried to profit by it since-that it is useless, and worse than useless, to call for public tenders and enter into a contract with a concern which has never had any experience of this kind of work. So that we have as largely as possible adhered to the men who have experience, and who gave satisfaction.

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CON

David Tisdale

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. Mr. TISDALE.

In other words, you have reverted to the previous practice of the department ?

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The MINISTER OF MILITIA AND DEFENCE.

Very much so.

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CON

David Tisdale

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. Mr. TISDALE.

And although you cancelled the contracts when you came into office because of the way they had been obtained, you found that was the wisest plan, and adopted it ?

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The MINISTER OF MILITIA AND DEFENCE.

Practically so, except that we are not making contracts for a year ahead. We are only making them for a single year.

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CON

Edward Gawler Prior

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. Mr. PRIOR.

Has the hon. gentleman had any complaints in regard to the quality of the clothing ? There used to be a good many complaints about the trousers.

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The MINISTER OF MILITIA AND DEFENCE.

No ; on the contrary, from the very fact that we are sticking to the same men, I am happy to say that the clothing is reported to be improving year by year, and so far as I know there are no complaints at all. I had occasion myself to visit some of the smaller regimental stores, and I heard only one report, that is, that the clothing is very satisfactory indeed, both as to the making and the quality of the cloth.

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CON

David Tisdale

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. Mr. TISDALE.

Are you still adhering to the practice of sealing up the sample, so that it is impossible to change It, and it is known whose sample it is ?

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The MINISTER OF MILITIA AND DEFENCE.

Oh, yes, absolutely.

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CON

James Clancy

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLANCY.

I would like to ask the Minister of Militia if he has had any complaints with regard to some of the young men who enlisted to replace those taken from the mounted police somewhat more than a year ago, with regard to having had to pay the charges or a portion of the charges for their transportation, and for some portion of their equipment ? I have had letters from some young men who are now in the service-I think they enlisted at the

city of London-complaining that they were compelled to pay a portion of their transportation to the North-west, and were also compelled, contrary to what they believed to be an understanding, to pay for some portion of their outfit.

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The MINISTER OF MILITIA AND DEFENCE.

The North-west Mounted Police does not come under my control at all, but under the control of the premier. I have heard no complaints at all. There were some complaints on the part of men who came from the North-west, at some distance from the railway, to go to South Africa with the second contingent. The former leader of the opposition, Sir Charles Tupper, brought the matter to my notice, and I looked into It, and sent him a reply to the effect that I did not think the country was liable, and I have heard nothing more about it. I know nothing of any other complaints.

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April 25, 1901