The two other items are repairs to public buildings $15,000 and furniture $5,000. My deputy minister tells me that that makes $93,000 which is more than I am asking in this vote.
I am afraid that the officers of the department have very extravagant ideas in connection with these Yukon supplies, and certain items in the Auditor General's Report at page V-48 seem to bear that idea out. We have an account for two wine _decanters, $10 ; whisky set, $5 ; mirror, $25 ; and there are other supplies of ale, and wine and whisky charged for at page V-47 of the Auditor General's Report. There is also a charge for 12 feet of extra table, $45. I suppose that is an ordinary table. Sheets are charged for at $3 a pair, I am not prepared to say what is the price in this part of the country, but I am informed that they are worth about $1 a pair. I do not wish to be picayune in criticising these things, but if these extravagant prices are paid m the Yukon it is no wonder that the appropriations are so large.
I am sure if I had the pleasure of going into my hon. friend's house, I would find more Mr. SPROTTLE.
expensive furniture than any that Mr. Ross has bought for himself. I do not believe that my hon. friend can buy decent sheets for a dollar apiece; nor do I think that $25 is an extraordinary price to gay for a mirror. I see gentlemen around me who have more expensive furniture in their houses.
They pay for it themselves. They do not pay for it with my money.
That is a very small argument. The governor of the Yukon is not bound to pay for his furniture himself. I may say that I placed $5,000 at his disposal to enable him to buy his own furniture. I thought it was only fair to allow him that freedom. I am sure Mr. Ross has acted prudently.
I gather, from what I have read in the newspapers, that prices in the Yukon have come down to hard-pan, but I see no evidence of that in the government accounts. The profits of miners, the rates of wages, and I believe the prices of supplies have come down; the government also,
I understand, have cut down the rates of transportation; and I think a little care exercised by them would secure hard-pan prices for the government.
I do not think my hon. friend is familiar with the conditions in the Yukon, or he would not say that prices have come down to hard-pan, which I suppose means the same prices that prevail in other parts of the Dominion.
No, I mean hard-pan for the Yukon.
I may say that quite recently I had an opportunity to consult judges who reside in the Yukon and others entirely independent of the administration, who have come from there, and, to illustrate the conditions prevailing in that part of the country, I am told that an ordinary maid servant will not hire for less than $100 a month, and you cannot rent the meanest sort of residence for less than $150 a month. If these are the prevailing prices in the country, it is of course impossible to complain of the rates paid by my hon. friend in connection with the Public Works Department.
May I ask the Minister of Justice if he has read recently an interview in one of the newspapers with Mr. Justice Craig, of the Yukon district, who stated in that interview that all sorts of irregularities were being carried on by officers of the government, and that the charges made by the hon. member for Pictou (Sir Charles Hibbert Tupper) from his place in the House a few sessions ago, were not a bit overstated. In view of these statements made by Mr. Justice Craig, does the Minis-
ter of Justice propose to have an investigation ?
I have not had the advantage of reading the interview to which my hon. friend refers; but I have had the advantage of several personal conferences with Mr. Justice Craig, some of them in the presence of the Auditor General, within the last few weeks, and he never suggested anything of the character mentioned by my hon. friend.
I can only say that it is remarkable that although this statement has been spread broadcast throughout the press, Mr. Justice Craig lias not taken any oiiportunity of contradicting it.
As this interview came to the knowledge of my hon. friend, and as Mr. Justice Craig was here until a few days ago, I think it would have been better to have had him called before the Public Accounts Committee.
Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).
I do not suppose every member of the House has time to keep himself instructed as to the movements of Mr. Justice Craig. I would suppose that the Minister of Justice himself, under the circumstances, would have brought him to the Public Accounts Committee, instead of expecting gentlemen on this side of the House to do so.
I never heard of the statement before.
Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).
Every one who pays much attention to the public press must have seen it. I saw it myself.
In that case the hon. gentleman should have brought it to the attention of the House.
Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).
I took it for granted that the government were alive. My hon. friend does not deny that it was published in the public press. However, I would like the Minister of Justice or the Minister of Public Works to explain to the House on what principle it is that the officials of the Yukon are now paid on a different basis from other officials. Judges or other officials in other parts of the country do not for the most part receive living allowances apart from their salaries. I am willing to concede that in the Yukon the salaries must be higher ; but what I do not understand is, why our officers there are not paid one lump salary, and left to provide their own living allowances. 1 think that is a more satisfactory mode of dealing with such matters than the mode that still prevails.
I may say that in a day or two there will be only one officer of my department remaining in the Yukon district. We are giving him an allowance of $75 a month. All the others will be recalled. The telegraph
line and all our other public works there for the time being are completed.
There is an item on page V-57 of the Auditor General's Report, of which I would ask an explanation from the Minister of Public Works. It is 50 head of eattle, 44,000 lbs., at 30 cents, and $100 paid to a man for killing these cattle.