March 11, 1902

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The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS.

I am sorry to say that the amount which I am asking for here does not represent the whole amount. These estimates were prepared before Governor Ross came down here and if the committee will give me two minutes of its time it will find that there is no extravagance. I was thunderstruck, so to speak, the first time that these estimates were placed before me. I do not understand why things were so high in the Yukon. Mr. Ross is a prudent man, and I have some officers there who are very able and prudent men. I consulted business men from Dawson citv and I have come to the conclusion that there is no extravagance. If my bon. friend will listen to me, I will give him a few details. Tlfe expenditure is divided under the following heads : Fuel, lighting, rents, water, scavenging, janitor, night-watchman, charwomen, repairs to public buildings and furniture. The committee will not ask me to give every detail-

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CON

Uriah Wilson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WILSON.

I think the hon. minister might give each item.

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The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS.

I am just going to give the amounts now. Fuel, administration building, 350 cords of fire-wood at $20 per cord.

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CON
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The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS.

Yes, it cannot be got for less. We buy the wood for the government buildings not only in Dawson but all over that country. I have the details here. In all there was $35,000 for fuel. It is a big sum but I cannot help it. It has to be paid.

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CON

Edward Frederick Clarke

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLARKE.

Is the fuel purchased by public tender ?

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The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS.

They ask for prices.

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CON
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The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS.

I understand they ask for quotations on lists because there are only a few people who can supply wood there. I may say at once that when Mr. Ross went up I gave him to a very large extent-I will not say carte blanche-but supervision over all my officers.

I told him you will have to keep your two eyes open, and if something is going on that you do not approve, wire me.

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CON
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The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS.

He has never wired me because things go on all right.

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CON

Edward Frederick Clarke

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLARKE.

From whom was the wood purchased ?

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The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS.

I do not know. The vouchers are all before tlie Public Accounts committee. The lighting cost $33,235 for the buildings all over ! the country and the rents $6,240. We do not pay much rent now. The water service costs $2,580 ; scavanging, $1,000 ; janitors, night watchmen and charwomen, $21,600.

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Some hon. MEMBERS

Oh.

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John William Bell

Mr. BELL.

Is there no reduction in the wages in the Yukon ?

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IND
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The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS.

I would like if they would go down. I have consulted business men who have come here and they tell me you cannot get a charwoman for less than $5 a day. I cannot be accused of making jobs there. I do not know what is going on and so I cannot do anything wrong. The money has to be paid.

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

I wish to read the following statement to show that these buildings are being used as I have said a moment ago. I have here the Dawson ' Daily News ' of February 14, and it says :

Arrangements have been made for the city council to hold its first session, March 3, in the geld commissioner's court room. Other sessions of the council likely will also be held there indefinitely.

The city clerk and the mayor's offices, according to an intimation given by Governor Ross seme time ago, likely will be in the quarters at present occupied by tax collector E. Ward Smith. It is a large room and easily will accommodate all.

The gold commissioner's court room will be well adapted for the council. The judge's bench will do for the mayor, the court clerk's desk for the city clerk, and the barristers' long table

for the six councilman. All are close together, and on the sides will he ample room for the press reporters tables and the rear will accommodate the public.

It has been deemed much better for the city to accept quarters in the administration building at the outset than to endeavour to provide a building for Itself. The expense attendant on getting the young municipality on Its feet is the prime cause for accepting the courtesies extended by the Dominion government, and through the efforts of Governor Ross the way was first paved.

I have another issue of the same paper and it refers to a question which I wish to bring to the attention of the minister and to ask him if there is any truth in it. It says :

C. M. Woodworth, the barrister, arrived on the White Pass stage at noon. Mr. Woodworth has been absent several months, and for a portion of the time was in Ottawa. While there he was twice the guest of the Governor General and was entertained by two of the cabinet ministers, and met many of the other ministers and officials.

According to Mr. Woodworth, the Yukon will be granted parliamentary representation the present session of parliament, and may be allowed two members.

I would like to ask the minister if that is in contemplation. If so, we have had no information of it so far.

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The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS.

Oh, well, I do not know anything about that. It is asking me too much. I cannot say about that.

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IND

William Findlay Maclean

Independent Conservative

Mr. MACLEAN.

The minister was giving us other information.

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March 11, 1902