February 25, 1902


departments are just in the same position. I do not see very well therefore how, with due consideration for the progress of the work of the session, we can delay taking up the estimates. I will ask the hon. gentleman to allow them to proceed, of course, With all necessary discussion which he and liis friends wish to give to them.


CON

James Clancy

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLANCY.

I think there is a disposition on this side of the House to take as little time as is absolutley necessary to have some intelligent discussion. I hardly thought for a moment that the hon. gentleman (Mr. Fisher) would urge, that the reports having been placed for three or four days in the hands of hon. members on this side of the House was a reason for proceeding at once. Unless they are more apt than 1 think hon. members of this House are, we will be able to have nothing like intelligent criticism. Time would be saved if a reasonable opportunity were given to members to look into these reports. We are in the early days of the session, and while I value the importance of doing some work each day, yet it would be better to have the criticism an intelligent one.

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The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE.

I fully appreciate the necessity for an intelligent understanding of the details of the department, but I would suggest with a view of expediting the business of parliament that there are many items which have never been the subject of very great criticism.

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CON
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The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE.

They might be now, and the hon. gentleman is fully within his rights in criticising them. However, the argument of the hon. gentleman amounts to the contention that under no circumstances can estimates be taken up early in the session, because the reports can only be laid upon the table of the House at the opening of the session. We went into Supply last week and no objection was taken. I do not think we should call a halt to-day and practically suspend the business of the House. I hope the hon. gentleman (Mr. Clancy) will appreciate the reasonableness of this suggestion. Should any controversial item come up, I will be glad to allow it to stand ; and if there is any information which the hon. gentleman wishes and which I cannot supply at the spur of the moment I will be very much pleased to let the item stand until I get that information. If the hon. gentleman's contention is maintained, it would mean that no work would be taken up to-day and that would be rather unfortunate.

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CON

James Clancy

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLANCY.

The members on both sides of the House should have a reasonable time for consulting these reports, and if the work of the House cannot go on by reason

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EDITION


of no other business being ready that is the fault of the government. So far as I am concerned, and in order to facilitate business. I will give the minister notice in advance, so far as I can, of what information X may require so that it will be on hand when needed. I confess that I have not had time to open a book. When the minister says that these items usually have gone unchallenged, that is no argument, because reasons may present themselves this year why they should be sharply criticised.


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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

The argument of my hon. friend (Mr. Clancy) means not merely that we should not proceed with these estimates, but that we should not proceed with any estimates, because his criticism would apply to all others.

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CON

James Clancy

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLANCY.

I have not been discussing the other estimates. I speak particularly of these.

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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

But the same reasons given by the hon. gentleman will apply to all the other departments as well as to the Department of Agriculture.

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CON
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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

If they are good reasons they should have been given at the beginning when we commenced Supply last week. Hon. gentlemen opposite, with the object of proceeding as rapidly as possible with the estimates, did not take that objection. The leader of the Opposition asked me last evening what estimates would come up to-day, and I told him that we would take the estimates of the Department of Agriculture. Every reasonable provision has been made to meet the wishes of hon. gentlemen opposite, and when the minister states that he will allow any controversial items to stand over until he can supply the information required, I think that ought to commend itself to the fairness of lion, gentlemen opposite.

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CON

James Clancy

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLANCY.

Although there is no increase in this vote I hope the minister will give us some information as to the nature of the expenditure. There are some new members of the House who probably have given this only a passing notice.

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The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE.

I am very happy indeed to meet the desire of the hon. gentleman (Mr. Clancy). This vote is for the purpose of carrying out the work whieh has been entrusted to Mr. Brymner, Dominion Archivist. He issues every year an annual report dealing with the historical documents and incidents in the history of Canada. This report is considered by students, and by every one who is interested in the history of our country, to be of the utmost value. Numerous endor-sations of this work have come to my predecessors as they have come to me. About Hon. Mr. FISHER.

half of the vote, roughly speaking, is expended to pay the salary of the Dominion Archivist and his small staff at Ottawa. A great deal of the work is done in Europe, and about $4,000 is expended in the investigation of W'orks in the British Museum and the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris, and in the transcription of documents relating to the history of Canada. The Archivist himself, from his knowledge of these libraries, indicates what works and documents ought to be copied, and we have in Paris an officer whose duty it is to search in the records there for papers and items connected with the early history of Canada. The expenditure is represented by the salary of that gentleman and the expense of copying in London and Paris. The work here is carried on by Dr. Brymner, with a clerk, a binder, and a young lady who answers letters and makes copies. We also have to buy standard periodicals to keep up the record from day to day, and occasionally books, which are available and useful in connection with Canadian history.

Mr. LaRIVIERE. For how many years has the copying of these documents been going on in London and Paris ?

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The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE.

I could not state the exact time, but practically ever since the archivist has been at work. There was an assistant archivist for many years, a Mr. Marmette, who died some time ago, and I appointed as his successor Mr. Richard, shortly after coming into office. There was a slight interregnum during which there was no person in Paris, but the copying went on. When I came into office I found that there was a large mass of material which Mr. Marmette indicated ought to be copied. The work must have been going on for about 15 years.

Mr. LaRIVIERE. By this time I should think whole libraries might be copied.

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The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE.

Oh, no ; there are hundreds of thousands of volumes.

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L-C

Andrew B. Ingram

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. INGRAM.

How many of these reports are circulated, and to whom are they given ? Does the department furnish them free to the different historical societies ?

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The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE.

This report is a supplement to the report of the Minister of Agriculture, and is printed by order of the House, as are all other documents which are laid on the Table. I could not say off-hand just how many are supplied to the department. The department has a certain number given to it, which the archivist distributes to certain scientific and educational bodies in the country regularly, and there are a number of copies available for persons who are interested in these subjects, and frequently apply for them.

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L-C

Andrew B. Ingram

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. INGRAM.

The different historical societies would be very glad to receive this report, and if they are not supplied with them now, I think the department would do well to supply them.

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February 25, 1902