Quebec or Ontario, it was a bridge, just the same. An hon. gentleman this evening quoted some of the prices paid by the Minister of Public Works for timber. The Minister of Public Works does not understand prices and qualities and quantities of timber. I must say I understand these matters very. well. The Minister had some doubts about the prices paid. I can say to the hon. gentleman that I have no doubts at all. I can give him a case. I do not speak from hearsay, but what I say-it is so. There was a man near Quebec-I do not propose to mention his name in this House, he was a strong Tory. Remember that. As he was a strong man, the Grit party bought him.
Yes, Sir. And after they had bought him, they had to feed him, or he would slip away from them. And what did that gentleman do 1 Some three years ago, he came to me and said : I have the contract to furnish the government with some timber, round timber and hewn timber. He asked me if I would kelp him to get it. I said : ' No, I am out of that business.' ' Well,' he said, ' will you help me by telling me where I can get it ? ' I said I would. I went home and saw the men who live about me and told them of the matter, and they said they would hew some timber. The gentleman came down, and 1 took him around, told him this man would get some timber for him, and the other would get him some more, and so on. They made a bargain before me. The price that this man gave to them was 6 cents for round timber. Bear that in mind. The Auditor General's Report shows that the government paid that man 12 cents for that same timber. For another class of timber, he agreed to pay these people 12 cents a foot-the report shows that the government paid 18 cents a foot. Do not you tell me I am mistaken, for it won't do. This gentleman never bought an ax, he never bought a cant hook, he never bought a tree. The people did all the work, and, as the government paid him he paid them. Now, the lumberman has to send his men up to the timber limits, cut the logs, drive them, saw them, put the lumber away for a year and then sell it. He is out of his money for two or three years.
And if lie gets two or three or four dollars a thousand profit, he is well satisfied. So, if a gentleman can clear six cents a foot without doing anything and without risk, why should he not be satisfied. This shows just what I say-first you bought him, and then you had to feed him or he would slip away from you. Now that is all.
Riviere St. Maurice-channel between Grandes Piles and La Tuque, $8,000.
Will the minister give us an explanation of this most extraordinary item ? I heard a startling statement made a little time ago by the hon. member for Dorchester (Mr. Morin), although it was not new to me. It was that the government from time to time are constructing along the St. Lawrence river these docks for the accommodation of steamboat companies. Let me tell the Minister of Public Works that the Richelieu and Navigation
line, if I am not mistaken, ply into the city of Toronto. The government does not build docks for them in Toronto. They go into the province of Ontario where business is done on business principles, and where the thing would be nothing short of an outrageous scandal were it exposed. Consequently the Richelieu and Navigation Company go to some private individuals who own a dock in the city of Toronto, and make an arrangement by the year for the use of the dock, paying rent therefor. Yet-here to-night-I suppose this may be news to some hon. gentlemen opposite. I am astounded that some of those gentlemen from Ontario do not rise up and ask any questions in reference to these matters. ,1 see the Minister of Customs (Hon. Mr. Paterson) sitting before me. I will be bound to say that had he attempted to defend any one of these items in the riding of West Durham when he was there a few weeks ago, his friends would have got a worse black eye in the rural districts than they did get there. The whole province of Ontario, the -whole Dominion, know that the government down in the St. Lawrence river are taking the money of the people of Canada by thousands and thousands to construct docks for the purpose of affording accommodation to a wealthy company. Now, may I ask the minister this question in connection with this dock at Sorel ? What is the expenditure intended on the construction of this dock, has the contract been let, and is the dock to be constructed on property already acquired by the Crown7 The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS. The dock is being constructed now on property acquired, a deed of which we have in our possession. Let me tell my hon. friend that the Richelieu Company has nothing at all to do with that work, it will not be used by them. They have their own wharfs in the Richelieu river. This work is at the junction of the Richelieu and the St. Lawrence, and is being built for the accommodation of trade. My hon. friend may happen to know that the New York Central interests have bought lately the South Shore Railway. There are two railway companies at Sorel. The work we are doing there is for the accommodation of trade, for the same purpose for which we have built and are building to-day, wharfs, piers and harbours in every province, Ontario included. It is useless for my hon. friend to say that we are doing that work in Quebec while we are neglecting Ontario. He has only to look at the figures in the estimates to find that Ontario has the lion's share. We have done in the past, all governments have done in the past, large harbour improvements in every province, Ontario included. Meaford, Owen Sound, Collingwood, all these harbours have cost a large amount of money. In Collingwood the government has spent over $400, 000. The money is well invested, we do
not complain. Collingwood Is not more important than Sorel, Owen Sound is not more important than Sorel.