I do not say that it has not been placed on the Table of the House. I got the whole of the papers, but I did not know that the order in council was amongst them. I handed them to the hon. Solicitor General.
The hon. Minister of Railways and Canals has been asked for the order in council, we have been unable to procure it, and we are told now that the hon. Solicitor General has it. Why should it not be printed and distributed amongst the members ? Surely an important document like that, having reference to a vote of $671,000, should be available for the members of the House instead of being given to any one member to look at. It is not the $671,000. It is the fact that further claims may be made upon this parliament upon the strength of the payment of this $671,000, because other provinces may bring in claims equally as strong if not just on all fours with this one which is a complicated arrangement. They may be able to bring in much stronger cases probably than is presented to us on this occasion. We are spending the money-$671,000 to Nova Scotia, $285,000 to New Brunswick. making about $1,000,000, and $30,000 a year to Prince Edward Island, the interest on a million dollars at 3 per cent. The province of Ontario may come in on the strength of this, and inay present claims to the amount of $1,000,000. The province of Quebec may come along with its claims in the same way because the door has been opened.
May I suggest to the right hon. leader of the government that when papers relating to important matters of this kind are laid on the Table of the House a little care should be taken by some officer of the government to see that the necessary documents are brought down and printed ? It turns out that this order in council is a most important document.
I have searched the statutes of 1883 and 1884 to find it, and I have not been able to get it. However, it turns up now.
Never mind about it now ; I am only stating that in the future I think some competent person might be instructed by the government to look after papers and see what are necessary for thet purpose of an intelligent discussion of the subject dealt with, and let these be printed and placed in the hands of hon. members.
The papers were brought down and they were ordered to be printed. I supposed they contained all that was necessary for an intelligent discussion of the case, but now it ajjpears that is not the case. I do not blame my right hon. friend, but, I say that in future some competent person should look over these papers beforehand, and see that everything is included which is necessary for an intelligent discussion.
The proper question for discussion is, whether this government acted rightly in submitting this matter to arbitrators. There was a contract between the Dominion government and the province of Nova Scotia, and if disputes arose in reference to this contract, surely that is a proper subject for arbitration. I rise in order to dissent, and to put on record my dissent, to the propositions laid down, not very strongly indeed, but rather intimated, by the leader of the opposition. He stated that the door is opened to municipalities to claim from the government because of subsidies they have granted. Well, there is no contract between these municipalities and the Dominion government, and, therefore, there is no ground on which they can make a claim against the Dominion government. The leader of the opposition also stated that there is an open door left for a claim for interest, but he rather withdrew' that, although it was repeated by his first lieutenant (Mr. Wallace) and sometimes leader, who sits to his right. I dissent from that proposition as strongly as I can. The whole claim of the province, whatever it may be, wTas referred to the arbitrators, and they have decided on that whole claim. There is a finality in reference to these awards, and in some respects they are even stronger than the decisions of the courts. It seems to me altogether wrong to intimate that there is any chance of Nova Scotia coming back here and claiming interest, Of course, it goes without saying.
that if the Dominion government agreed of Its own accord to refer anew a claim for interest, arbitrators might have the power to deal with it, but no one supposes that when governments have submitted a matter for arbitration and an award has been made, that they are going to make another reference of a claim for interest. It is rather amusing to hear these gentlemen opposite say that they are not opposing this on party grounds, and especially so in the case of the member for Toronto (Mr. Brock). Why, every question is a party question with him.
When the hon. gentleman (Mr. Brock) -was a candidate in Toronto, he had the temerity to say that all the Liberals were hypocrites, and it took him all the rest of the campaign to explain that statement.