If the minister does that he will do something which is less necessary than what I want him to do. During that |
year we were threatened with small-pox, because in the expenditure of $94,000 there is included the cost of vaccine and patrolling and other items which indicate that we feared an invasion of the disease. The minister tells us that this year we are spending not only that amount and $15,000 more, but also a great deal more than that. In what particulars have that increased expenditure been made. Now, the question put by the hon. gentleman for Toronto (Mr. Osier) is very pertinent. In the province of Quebec when we are threatened with an invasion of small-pox, we attend to it ourselves, a fact which is borne out by the statement of the minister that although there is smallpox in the New England states, he has not been asked to take precautions in regard to the frontier of Quebec, and he has not done so. The frontier of Quebec is guarded, and I assume it is done by the local authorities. But the minister has guarded the frontier of other provinces. This very fact shows that the correspondence with the provincial authorities is necessary. I want to know if the department follows one rule in oue province and another rule in another province.
I venture to say that the minister cannot tell me how many cases of small-pox have occurred on the frontier during the past month, because so far as I can see from the report of the director general of public health, there is very little reference to that matter. It is not the duty of the department to tell us where the small-pox is located along the frontier. I halve here the Public Health Report of the United States, published according to Act of Congress, and this report shows at a glance the number of cases of small-pox in the frontier states and the date of each case. In Minnesota, for instance, there are 2,676 cases and 12 deaths; in North Dakota, 183 cases and 1 death, and so on. That is a very satisfactory report, and it shows that the authorities in the United States are alive to this important matter, and place before the public the very information which we have tried to get from the minister this evening. If it does cost' the people of the United States money they have something to show for it; but so far as I can find from the report of our department, there is nothing to justify the expenditure that we are making.