When the Finance Minister is in his seat he will give the explanation.
Amount required to refund to Messrs. H. A. Nelson & Sons, of Montreal, duty paid by them in the month of May, 1892, on seventy-nine packages of fancy goods destroyed by fire in sufferance warehouse after payment of duty, $1,395.25.
The firm had paid the duty on a quantity of goods and on the 6th of May, 1892, these goods which had just been landed from the steamer were burned in the sheds of the Hansa Steamship Company. The consignment consisted of 178 cases; 52 had been removed and 7 sent to the examining warehouse. The law is that when duty is paid on goods it cannot be returned. If the duty had not been paid the firm would have been
all right. The claim has been under consideration and it has been thought but equitable that the duty on the destroyed goods should be refunded. They, of course, had to import other goods to replace those that were destroyed, and the duty was paid again on these goods.
Amount required to pay Jas. Gibson tor services as customs officer at Windsor, Ont., for 360 days ending March 29, 1894 (subject to T. H. Mann's claim of $279.21 for advances on collector's order to Jas. Gibson), $340.
The services of Mr. Gibson were dispensed with by order of the former Controller of Customs, but he was not notified by his superior at Windsor and he continued to discharge his duties for several months. The collector paid him out of his funds, and by orders on Mr. Mann. The services of Mr. Gibson were finally dispensed with. A short time ago he asked for a fiat and the Department of Justice, after considering the matter fully, decided that Mr. Gibson was entitled to this amount in equity as well as in law.
Of course this was not during my administration of the department, but I think the House will be satisfied with the report of the Department of Justice.
Department of Customs-Amount required to pay extra and permanent officers of the statistical staff of the Department of Customs, for extra work in preparing the trade and navigation tables for the fiscaf year ending June 30, 1900, consequent on re-arrangement of the Customs statistical service, notwithstanding anything in the Civil Service Act, $3,218.50.
About ten. This expenditure became absolutely necessary in order to get our Trade and Navigation Returns in time for the meeting of the House. We had to avail of our permanent staff as well as the more capable of the new officers to do this work at night. There was no other way of getting it done. Careful account was kept, and the 29 or 30 officers worked in the aggregate 6,437 hours. They are paid as usual at the rate of 50 cents an hour. The system is now in working order and we will not require to ask for this special amount again.
Of course I will have to ask for something in the sup-plementaries for next year. I must be given a little latitude in this because the requirements of trade occasionally demand a new officer. It is not so much in view of the fact that we have to estimate for salaries and contingencies running into the millions.
In regard to the complaint respecting the paper combine, the information furnished by the Canadian Press Association seemed to be sufficient to call for an investigation in the manner prescribed by what might be called the Combine Clause in the Tariff Act of 1897. A reference of the matter was made in the terms of tlie Act to Mr. Justice Tas-chereau of the Superior Court of the province of Quebec. He has been in Ottawa to make some arrangement in the matter and has intimated that he will be prepared to enter into the inquiry within a very few days. Due notice will be given by publication in the Canada Gazette in order that the matter may have an official stamp, and no doubt the gentlemen who made the complaint will be prepared to bring forward witnesses.