I should be glad to give my hon. friend the information, but as the Prime Minister has just come into the Chamber, he is the proper channel of information of that kind. I may explain to the Prime Minister that, in connection with the penitentiaries, the hon. gentleman (Mr. Maclean) wishes some information about a court for the empire.
The Solicitor General (Hon. Mr. Fitzpatrick) was on his feet, and in connection with an item relating to his department, I asked him whether he was in a position to tell the committee what truth there was in the report of an extension of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council-
The only truth in the statement is, that the government of this country, as well as those of the other self-governing colonies, have been invited to a conference in England to consider that matter, and we shall send a delegate some time in May or June.
I am not sure that he is satisfied, but he is obliged to accept. He proceeded by petition of right, claiming $4,000. After his petition had proceeded a certain way in the courts, it was decided to refer the case to a referee, the understanding being that all parties should abide by his award. Mr. Lussier has protested, but the amount, I think, was reasonable. It is true he has suffered some damage, but I do not think he has suffered anything like the amount claimed.
Administration of Justice-Dominion Police- Canal Protection Service-Further amount required, $12,000.
This is required to continue the service of protecting the canals, at its present strength. We have maintained this service for the last two years. I may say that the cost of protection has been heretofore about $4,000 a month, and the rate of pay of constables has varied from $1.50 to $2. It is the same service that was inaugurated two years ago at a time when hon. gentlemen will agree it was prudent to adopt this system.
The Mounted Police Department reports that the rate heretofore allowed of $1 per day for maintenance of prisoners is too small, and they ask for $2 per diem. This necessitates doubling the present vote.
It is a very extravagant estimate. In our jails throughout the province of Ontario prisoners are well maintained on from five to ten cents per day. $2 a day is a most extravagant estimate for the support of a prisoner. They must be provided for very lavishly indeed. I think they must feed them on the same fare that they provide for the high court judges out there.
The hon. gentleman must be mistaken when he says that prisoners are maintained for from five to ten cents per day. That will not supply food that will maintain a man in health in any country in the world.
I think the Minister of Agriculture must not have read the report of the Minister of Justice very lately, or he would have found that such is the case. I am speaking entirely from memory, but I am confident that in my own county it does not cost anything like ten cents a day to maintain a prisoner, and they are well fed, and get fat.