May 14, 1902

CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

If there is no arbitration it would be interesting to the House to know what there really is in regard to this matter. Is it merely the fact that the chief engineer has been so impressed by the difficulty of the situation that he has had to call to his assistance three other engineers ? The chief engineer of the Department of Railways is a man of great experience, a man who has never been afraid to deal with a question of this kind, in the past, as far as I know, and I find it difficult to believe that he has been so impressed by some difficulty in regard to this claim that he has called upon other engineers in the country to do work which he declares himself to be incapable of doing. If it is not that, what is it ? Has there been any reference of the claim, and if so what are the terms of the reference ? As to what has been done, we are entirely in the dark.

Topic:   SUPPLY-CONCURRENCE.
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The MINISTER OF RAILWAYS AND CANALS.

You have had all the papers before you.

Topic:   SUPPLY-CONCURRENCE.
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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

I do not know that we have had any papers before us disclosing these matters. Occasionally papers are brought down by hon. gentlemen and, handed to some hon. member of the House, not printed, not placed before the House in a way to convey information to most of us.

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CON

John Graham Haggart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. Mr. HAGGART.

I did not get them and I do not think they were brought down to the House.

Topic:   SUPPLY-CONCURRENCE.
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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

I have not had them and the hon. member for South Lanark (Mr. Haggart) says he has not had them.

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CON

John Graham Haggart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. Mr. HAGGART.

They were not brought down to the House.

Topic:   SUPPLY-CONCURRENCE.
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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

I do not know who has had the advantage of perusing these documents. The hon. member for South Lanark says that the hon. Minister of Railways and Canals has told us that he proposes to go to Council-

Topic:   SUPPLY-CONCURRENCE.
Subtopic:   MAT 14. 1902
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CON

John Graham Haggart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. Mr. HAGGART.

He said that he had gone to Council but that the order had not been passed yet.

Topic:   SUPPLY-CONCURRENCE.
Subtopic:   MAT 14. 1902
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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

The hon. Minister of Railways and Canals attempted to obtain an order for the payment of this money without obtaining the certificate of the chief engineer. That is the position attacked by the hon. member for South Lanark and that is the position which the right hon. leader of the government seems to think is the correct one.

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Subtopic:   MAT 14. 1902
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The PRIME MINISTER.

No, I have told the hon. gentleman that I did not remember that the matter had been brought up at Council. I am quite sure it has not.

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Subtopic:   MAT 14. 1902
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CON

John Graham Haggart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. Mr. HAGGART.

The bon. Minister of Railways and Canals stated that he had prepared a report to Council recommending the payment but that Council had not acted upon it.

Topic:   SUPPLY-CONCURRENCE.
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The PRIME MINISTER.

That may be so.

Topic:   SUPPLY-CONCURRENCE.
Subtopic:   MAT 14. 1902
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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

The right hon. gentleman may find that there is more for him to consider in this matter than he thinks. As far as the Auditor General is concerned, he has been overruled a great many times, and we have even had occasion to consider, during this very session, the appropriation of moneys voted by parliament to purposes that seemed somewhat foreign to the vote. I have pointed out in connection with the expenditure of money voted for Yukon buildings that large sums went to pay really for the living expenses of officials out there. Attention has been directed to sums, not great in amount, it is true, but still public money of this country, voted for the purpose of taking the census of 1901 and applied to other purposes. These are matters which are clearly the subject of criticism from this side of the House and matters which I think the right hon. gentleman ought to thank us for bringing up in order that he may direct the members of his cabinet to be a little more careful in future and not subject the government to the criticism which they so richly deserve in this case. I would have supposed that the right hon. gentleman would have been inspired by feelings of gratitude towards the hon. member for South Lanark for referring to these matters in the terms in which he has done, and I say again that I think this is a subject which will demand the careful consideration of Council when the hon. Minister of Railways and Canals brings it up for further consideration.

Topic:   SUPPLY-CONCURRENCE.
Subtopic:   MAT 14. 1902
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CON

Haughton Lennox

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LENNOX.

I am sorry that this session is so nearly at an end, as matters which are of great importance are crowding up very rapidly at the close. The right hon. leader of the government (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) intimated that he took from the statements of the hon. member for South Lanark (Mr. Haggart) sufficient information upon which to form an argument in answer to that hon. gentleman. Now, I do not possess, of course, any measure of the ability of the First Minister, but, I think, all the same, that he, in the course of his remarks, has raised a question which it is very important the government should in future take seriously into their consideration and as has been suggested, I hope they will take it in the most kindly spirit. The fact is that' the Deputy Minister of Railways and Canals is acting under a delegated authority. He is acting under a statutory authority and beyond the provisions of the statute he cannot go. He is the person pointed out by the statute who has to decide certain questions in cases of contract.

It is well known as a universal principle of law that if a person possesses delegated authority he has no power to delegate that authority to another. Therefore, I suggest to the government and to the hon. Minister of Railways and Canals that it is not competent to delegate to these three engineers the power which can be exercised by the Deputy Minister of Railways and Canals alone. Therefore, if this course is pursued I submit, of course, with a great deal of deference, but with a certain amount of confidence, that unless there is an express provision in the statute to the contrary, this delegated authority must be exercised hy the Deputy Minister of Railways and Canals alone, and that without any enlightenment to be brought about by the instrumentality of the gentlemen who have been appointed in the matter, however eminent they may be.

Topic:   SUPPLY-CONCURRENCE.
Subtopic:   MAT 14. 1902
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CON

Charles Eusèbe Casgrain

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CASGRAIN.

Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to withdraw the motion.

Motion withdrawn.

The PRIME MINISTER moved the adjournment of the House.

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CON

John Graham Haggart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. Mr. HAGGART.

There is only Bill (No. 161) respecting the incorporation of joint stock companies by letters patent, remaining 1

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Subtopic:   MAT 14. 1902
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The PRIME MINISTER.

That is all.

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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

And the Supply Bill.

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The PRIME MINISTER.

Yes, and there are also the amendments made by the Senate to the Bill about the remission of penalties.

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Motion agreed to, and House adjourned at 10.20 p.m.


May 14, 1902