March 27, 1903

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The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS.

If my hon. friend (Air. Hughes, Victoria) had been present he would have heard me express my views on that subject. Of course,' the Mr. SPROULE.

policy with regard to these matters rests largely with the Militia Department. I expressed my personal view that every bat- _ talion should be provided with a good build-' ing for headquarters, and, that to that purpose we should try to reduce the cost of the buildings to some extent. I am not complaining about the cost that has already been incurred in some of the large cities. But I think we should provide in the counties good substantial buildings at the least possible cost as headquarters for these battalions.

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Air. THOAISON@North Grey

The hon. member for AVest York (Air Campbell) gives as a reason for the construction of a public building at a cost of $35,000 for postal puiv poses in Toronto Junction, that the post office receipts last year were $5,000. I may say that, in Owen Sound the receipts of the post office are about $15,000, while the customs collects $40,000. Yet we have no public building. The rents paid by the government for buildings used in connection with the customs, post office and inland revenue, amount to $965 a year, which, capitalized at 3 per cent would give about $30,000. Reference was made the other evening to the promise made to the electors in the recent byelection that there would be a public building put up in Owen Sound. I merely submit these figures to the Alinister of Public Works, and hope that it will enable him to see his way clear to put a sum in the supplementary estimates, so that we may have a building there adequate to the business of the town and of a character creditable to the government.

The A1INISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS.

I have to be consistent. As I have spoken of the necessity of a public building in Owen Sound, I can express my sympathy with the hon. gentleman (Air. Thomson) in agitating for this expenditure. But, of course he would not expect me to make a. promise, because that would be unconstitutional. Though I am not very anxious to be in the government, I would rather leave of my own accord than be kicked out. If I were to announce anything not in accordance with the constitution the hon. gentleman knows what would happen. I can assure the hon. gentleman that the case will have every consideration when it comes up.

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Air. SPROULE.

All over the country there seems to be drill sheds which are going out of repair. The government are doing nothing to preserve them. The hon. Alinister of Public Works speaks of intending to provide headquarters for the different regiments, but how about retaining the buildings already in existence ?

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The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS.

I did not say we were going to provide headquarters ; but I stated my personal opinion in favour of that policy. In many cases, the rural battalions have quarters. The

policy has been recommended to the militia department, and, I believe, is being carried out to some extent, of providing comparatively cheap buildings, but many of them, so that our accoutrements, rifles, etc., may be better taken care of than at present and greater encouragement given to the young men to join. The buildings referred to by the hon. gentleman (Mr. Sproule) are under the management of the Militia Department. We are getting more expensive arms and accoutrements, and it will be a saving to the country to provide buildings where they can be kept free from injury.

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L-C

Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. HUGHES (Victoria).

The drawback to the old system was that the municipalities paid half the cost of these buildings and had the use of them. It was very convenient for the town, but it was inconvenient to the militia companies to have their armouries almost open to the public.

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

Several buildings in ray own county are going to rack. Nothing seems to be done to repair them. I have always thought there ought to be some headquarters for these militia companies, and if these buildings are too expensive, smaller and less expensive ones should be provided. Take the case of Fleslierton, I do not think the municipality has any interest in the building there, and it is all going to rack. If it is government property the government ought to take care of it.

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The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS.

It may be there is some neglect. I will call the attention of the department to it.

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L-C

Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. HUGHES (Victoria).

There Is a little matter I want to bring before the attention of the government, possibly the Department of Justice. I chanced this year to be coming down on the train from Edmonton to Winnipeg. There were four criminals on the train, being brought to Regina ; one was a murderer, and the others were about as tough looking subjects as one could see anywhere. They were in charge of the poiice. These fellows rode first class ; and on the same train there were about twenty young ladies who were coming to the normal school at Regina, and all the way they had to sit in seats adjoining those occupied by these criminals. I want to draw the attention of the government to the fact that I do not think the people of Canada are inclined to pay for criminals riding first-class. In Ontario our volunteers have to ride third-class, frequently in freight cars, when going to serve their country. I do not know whose business it is to look into this matter, but I trust that the coming Prime Minister will take note of it, and give It his serious consideration.

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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

When he comes in.

Some resolutions reported.

On motion of the Minister of Finance, the House adjourned at 10.10 p.m.

Monday, March 30, 1903.

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March 27, 1903