February 25, 1902

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The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE.

We have not attempted to do it. That information is published in the reports issued by our provincial authorities, who have charge of such matters within each province. We are only supposed to deal with the importation of the disease across the frontier, and in our report you will find the number of cases that our quarantine officers have dealt with.

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CON

William Humphrey Bennett

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT.

I understand the minister to say that in the appointment of these doctors in the Algoma district, he acted on the representations of the member for Algoma (Mr. Dyment).

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The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE.

Speaking from memory, 1 think so.

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CON

William Humphrey Bennett

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT.

I think so too, and I think it is rather creditable to the hon. gentleman who represents that district, that he seems to have passed the word to his medical friends-for I assume they are his medical friends-that they had better start at this calling on a certain date; because it is a very odd coincidence that Dr. Baxter of Thessalon, started on his duties on July 1st, and ended them on the 31st of October; that Dr. Hamilton, of Fort William, started on the same date and ended on the same date; that Dr. Gibson, of Sault Ste. Marie, also started on the same date, and ended on the same date. It seems that the word was spread about that these gentlemen might give their services to the government at the very fair salary of ?100 a month. I find also that Dr. Aylesworth, of Colling-wood, started on the 1st of July, and ended on the 31st of October. It is absurd to argue that they were all on the look-out for vessels, because Dr. Parker, of Bruce Mines, started on the 5tli of March, long before navigation opened. I would ask the hon. minister specially to bring down the correspondence which relates to the appointment of these medical gentlemen in the district of Algoma at the points which I have referred to.

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LIB

George Stephens

Liberal

Mr. STEPHENS.

I may state for the information of the committee in regard to the health officer at Rondeau, that in some winters the boats run all winter, and in others they only run to the 1st of January. This year they stopped running in Decern-ber, and of course the officer quit work when the boats stopped running.

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CON

James Clancy

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLANCY.

Did the hon. gentleman recommend the appointment, and was it solely upon his recommendation that Dr McCullough was appointed at that port V Mr. STEPHENS. I did not recommend the appointment at all. I think the appointment was recommended by the Ontario Health Department-by Dr. Bryce.

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CON

James Clancy

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLANCY.

I think Dr. Bryce has quite as much zeal in a party sense as the hon. gentleman himself.

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LIB

George Stephens

Liberal

Mr. STEPHENS.

I have no doubt it was a good appointment, because I understand that he found men who actually had smallpox, and sent them back to Cleveland. On the whole, it strikes me that it would be very hard for any minister to do what the opposition recommends. One man gets up and complains that he is spending altogether too much money, while others recommend that more money should be spent.

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CON

James Clancy

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLANCY.

I had no iutention of referring to the appointment, which I believe was made on the recommendation of the hon. member for Kent. I prefer to discuss the question on its merits. So far as 1 can learn, there was not a case of small-pox in that quarter ; but I ask the hon. member for West Lambton (Mr. Johnston), who represents a constituency where people may come across at all times, whether it was not reported on good authority that there were a good many cases of smallpox in Marine City on the River St. Clair. That lion, gentleman, I will say it to his credit, did not load physicians on the public service, although he is a physician himself. My hon. friend from Kent knows perfectly well that the object was simply to take care of Dr. McCullough. I would have preferred to be spared making any reference to the appointment, for which there is no defence whatever. If Dr. Bryce made the recommendation, he had better turn his attention to the frontier along the River St. Clair or to Windsor, which escaped his vigilant eye.

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The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE.

The hon. gentleman has spoken of Rondeau.

I may say that boats run direct to that point from Cleveland, which was one of the places most infested with small-pox. In regard to what the hon. member for Simcoe (Mr. Bennett) has said, there is a very simple explanation. The fear of small-pox existed in the month of June, and there was a very general demand for the immediate appointment of health officers. These appointments all commenced about the 1st of July, because that was when the fear arose and the demand was made, and they ceased on the same date, because that was the date when navigation on the lakes ceased.

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LIB

George Stephens

Liberal

Mr. STEPHENS.

The hon. me'mber for Both well (Mr. Clancy) tries to make out that the appointment of an officer at Rondeau was all my doing. I say openly and above board that I never recommended it.

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CON

James Clancy

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLANCY.

I am glad the hon. gentleman repudiates it.

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LIB

George Stephens

Liberal

Mr. STEPHENS.

I did not know the government were going to place an officer there until I was told so by the department here. The hon. gentleman knows that Rondeau is seven or eight miles from any town or any medical man. It is far different in that respect from Windsor, where

there are many doctors, sflid also a medical health officer, wTio could prevent any person with small-pox from coming into the country. At Rondeau boats come from Cleveland every day, and on some days there are two or three boats. As soon as the boats start again, if the department does not appoint a man there, I will ask it to do so, because I think it is really necessary.

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Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. HUGHES (Victoria).

Does the minister keep himself posted as to the prevalence of small-pox in the large centres along the boarder V

The ailNISTEIt OF AGRICULTURE. The director general of public health does. 1 do not.

air. HUGHES (Victoria). The minister is the Minister of Public Health. There is no need of quibbling.

The ailNISTER OF AGRICULTURE. There is no intention of quibbling.

air. HUGHES (Victoria). What are the steps which the minister takes ?

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The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE.

The director general of public health receives the reports of the local health officers, as I have already stated to the committee.

air. INGRAai. Is there a health officer at Port Stanley, from which a boat runs to Ashtabula, Ohio V

The ailNISTER OF AGRICULTURE. 1 cannot say whether there was an officer there during the summer or not. There is not now.

air. BENNETT. I think the minister's reason why the services of these men in Algoma were discontinued in October is a very poor one, because I am informed that small-pox assumes a worse phase as the weather gets colder, and instead of the boats stopping running on the 31st of October, they often do not stop until November, and sometimes December. I am afraid that the fact is that the pressure on the minister was too great for him to resist, and that after a time the appointments were swelling so much that the gentleman in charge of the department called a halt. However, when the reports come down, they will show who recommended the appointments of all these doctors in Algoma. It appears they were appointed for very different reasons. At some places, where a large vessel called, they were appointed on account of the vessel; in other cases, where there was superior zeal on the part of the doctor in applying for the position and on the part of the member in recommending him, the doctors started their duties before navigation opened at all. When the minister brings down the papers, I hope he will bring down those respecting

the appointment of Dr. Aylesworth, of Collingwood.

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Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. HUGHES (Victoria).

Did these officers give certificates or clean bills of health to persons coming on the trains ? What charge per head was made for the certificate ?

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The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE.

There was no charge and no certificate.

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Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. HUGHES (Victoria).

Certainly the doctors issued certificates and there was quite a rivalry among them. In some instances, in the absence of the doctor, their wives made out the certificates. The usual charge was a dollar, but finally they got it down to 50 cents each.

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February 25, 1902