March 18, 1903

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The PRIME MINISTER.

I am not prepared to say what date we will be ready with that Bill, but it will likely be at an early date. Perhaps to-morrow I will introduce a resolution with regard to the Chinese Bill, and my right hon. friend the Minister of Railways will introduce at an early date his Bill with reference to the Railway Commission.

Topic:   SUPPLY-GOVERNMENT BUSINESS.
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COST OF CENSUS OF 1901.

CON

George Taylor (Chief Opposition Whip; Whip of the Conservative Party (1867-1942))

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GEORGE TAYLOR (South Leeds).

When I put my question which is on the Order paper to-day, the Minister of Finance asked me to move for a return. I asked for that information in order that I might be able to base some remarks on it this session. I do not see why the hon. gentleman should ask me to move for a return wherr I simply want to know what is the expenditure on account of taking the census up to the 1st of March, 1901, and the estimated expense further. That is a very simple question and the minister should answer it without asking me to move for a return.

Topic:   SUPPLY-GOVERNMENT BUSINESS.
Subtopic:   COST OF CENSUS OF 1901.
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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

My remarks were not intended in the slightest degree to delay the information getting to the House. I can assure the hon. gentleman that when his motion is made there will be no delay in bringing down the return.

Topic:   SUPPLY-GOVERNMENT BUSINESS.
Subtopic:   COST OF CENSUS OF 1901.
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CON

James Clancy

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. JAMES CLANCY (Bothwell).

I will call the minister's attention to page 44 of the Public Accounts and he will find there, that the information with regard to the cost of the census expenditure has all been included under one item instead of being in a separate column as in the past. That is all the greater reason why the question of my right hon. friend (Mr. Taylor) should have been answered.

Topic:   SUPPLY-GOVERNMENT BUSINESS.
Subtopic:   COST OF CENSUS OF 1901.
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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

If there is any departure from the usual mode I will inquire what the reason is and I will let my hon. friend know.

Topic:   SUPPLY-GOVERNMENT BUSINESS.
Subtopic:   COST OF CENSUS OF 1901.
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THE SOUTH SHORE RAILWAY.


Mr. VICTOR GEOFFRION (Chambly and Vereheres.) Mr. Speaker, before you leave the Chair, I wish to call the attention of the hon. Minister of Railways and Canals to a state of things which he will agree with me demands immediate attention. We have a railway running from St. Lambert through the counties of Verchgres, Chambly, Ya-maska and Richelieu. That railway has lately been sold to some speculators from New York and other cities of the United States. They paid for it and commenced to operate it, but soon afterwards they became engaged in a lawsuit before the courts in regard to the ownership of the road, and ever since the road has been so neglected that it has become dangerous for the public to travel on it. Some of the employees of the road I know have not been paid for five or six months, and the result is that some sections of the road are left entirely unattended. I received telegrams and letters two or three days ago, and again yesterday, calling my attention to the dangerous condition of the road and bridges, especially at this season of the year. People who have examined it say that if it is not attended to immediately, some very disastrous accident may happen. I need not quote the law to the hon. Minister of Railways. He is familiar with that section of the Railway Act which says that the Minister of Railways and Canals, on being informed that any railway is in such a state as I have described, may send an engineer to inspect the road and make a report, and if the report is unfavourable, the minister shall have power to close the road. I am told also that the engines have not been cleaned for several months. In fact, the whole railway is in such a condition that the public are afraid to travel on it, while the owners are fighting among themselves, and in case of accident we do not know whom to apply to. We have been very unfortunate with that road. The gentleman who first promoted it, got the charter and had the first administration of it, expropriated lands belonging to some well-to-do farmers, and a good many of these farmers have not yet been paid. There is not a better locality in the province of Quebec. This gentleman ran the road for a certain time, not to suit the public, but to suit himself. Afterwards it was taken hold of by Mr. Beauchemin and other gentlemen, who gave satisfaction to the public. We had nothing to complain of so long as they managed the road; but unfortunately they sold it, and since then it has been going from bad to worse. I do not know whether or not there are any subsidies due to this railway; but if there are, I hope the hon. minister will see that those subsidies are not paid until the poor people who have been working for the road without wages for some time, are paid. I would especially mention the manager of the road, Mr. Lalonde, who has done wonders with the little means at his disposal. I hope the hon. minister will see that not a cent of subsidy is paid to the road until justice is rendered to these people.


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The MINISTER OF RAILWAYS AND CANALS (Hon. A. G. Blair).

I understand that my hon. friend from Chambly and Verdures complains that the railway from St. Lambert to Sorel is not in a safe condition for traffic, and wishes that an engineer of the department should, in accordance with the law, be sent to go over the road and make an examination of it, and report to the department whether or not the information which has reached us is well founded. I understand that is my hon. friend's desire.

Topic:   SUPPLY-GOVERNMENT BUSINESS.
Subtopic:   THE SOUTH SHORE RAILWAY.
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LIB
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The MINISTER OF RAILWAYS AND CANALS.

If the hon. gentleman would be kind enough to give me in writing at his earliest convenience a memo, of the particulars in which he has been informed the road is in the condition he states, so that the attention of the engineer would be called to those particulars, when he goes to look over the road, I would be glad to take immediate steps to have the inspection made. The information given to me in that form would be a matter of record, and I think the law contemplates that there should be a written complaint to facilitate the work of the officer in making the examination. I assure him that the department will give the matter its immediate attention.

Topic:   SUPPLY-GOVERNMENT BUSINESS.
Subtopic:   THE SOUTH SHORE RAILWAY.
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LIB

Victor Geoffrion

Liberal

Mr. GEOFFRION.

The whole plant is in bad order; but I will, as the hon. minister suggests, give him all the particulars I have in writing.

Topic:   SUPPLY-GOVERNMENT BUSINESS.
Subtopic:   THE SOUTH SHORE RAILWAY.
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INQUIRY FOR RETURN.

L-C

Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. SAMUEL HUGHES (North Victoria).

Mr. Speaker, for two years in succession I have moved in the House of Commons for the return of certain papers relating to the late general officer commanding in Canada. In my absence certain garbled and distorted extracts were brought down to the House, while the papers I moved for were reported

not to have been found in the Militia Department. For two years in succession the House has ordered these papers to he brought down, and I would like to ask the lion. Minister of Militia why the order of the House has not been obeyed.

Topic:   SUPPLY-GOVERNMENT BUSINESS.
Subtopic:   INQUIRY FOR RETURN.
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The MINISTER OF MILITIA AND DEFENCE (Hon. Sir Frederick Borden).

I can only say that the return to which my hon. friend refers was, I believe, prepared under the direction of the then general officer commanding. Last year I gave directions that a further return should be prepared and brought down, and I am surprised to hear that it has not been brought down. I will make inquiry, and be prepared to make a further statement to my hon. friend as to why the return has not been brought down.

Topic:   SUPPLY-GOVERNMENT BUSINESS.
Subtopic:   INQUIRY FOR RETURN.
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Motion agreed to, and House went into Committee of Supply. Governor General's office including salaries, $10,900 ; contingencies, $15,100.


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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

The increases are the usual statutory increases.

Topic:   SUPPLY-GOVERNMENT BUSINESS.
Subtopic:   INQUIRY FOR RETURN.
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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

Are these statutory increases given generally or only in isolated instances ?

Topic:   SUPPLY-GOVERNMENT BUSINESS.
Subtopic:   INQUIRY FOR RETURN.
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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

They are general. There is no exception where the party is eligible.

Topic:   SUPPLY-GOVERNMENT BUSINESS.
Subtopic:   INQUIRY FOR RETURN.
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L-C

Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. HUGHES (Victoria).

Does that apply to all the departments ?

Topic:   SUPPLY-GOVERNMENT BUSINESS.
Subtopic:   INQUIRY FOR RETURN.
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March 18, 1903