October 7, 1903

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The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS.

As I stated, the commission have no;t met and organized. But some sum will be allowed. I do not expect that it will be paid, except as I have stated. This is to cover the expenses of the commission, and it is not my intention to incur a large expenditure in connection with it without further consulting parliament.

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

But the trouble is that we commence the expenditure. If, later on, we object, we shall be confronted with the argument, as we have been over and over again in other matters, that we should have objected before. That being the case, this is the time to endeavour to stop this expenditure. The minister says he does not intend to allow the commissioners any salary. To use a common expression, that is entirely too thin.

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The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS.

My hon. friend (Mr. Sproule) misunderstood. I said that no doubt an allowance should be made in accordance with the services rendered. These men would gather certain information and prepare the report.

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

The country never employs men for such work without paying them handsomely, and no doubt these men will be remunerated on a scale commensurate with that given for similar work. We might as well recognize that at the beginning. But the question with .me is as to the wisdom of paying out this money after having dealt with the transportation question as we have done. It is simply a vote of $25,000 as the beginning of an expenditure that will run up to $100,000. We might as well recognize that that is what we have to face.

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CON

John Dowsley Reid

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID (Grenville).

I do not think that any member would object to this or a larger sum if it were necessary to have a commission on the transportation question. But we know that the government have been telling us for months that they have solved the whole transportation problem. If so, what is the use of this commission ? It cannot change the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway Bill ; that is settled. I cannot, for the life of me, see what there will be for the commission to do. I believe that this item was put in to hood-wink the people and make them believe the government are carrying out the promise they made early this session to have a commission to solve the transportation question. They think that if they did not put this in they would not be able to defend their action on the Grand Trunk Pacific. Under the circumstances, I have no hesitation in moving that the item be struck out. The motion may not carry, but I believe that it is not fair to vote this item now that the Grand Trunk Pacific legislation has passed this House.

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LIB

Thomas Murray

Liberal

Hr. MURRAY.

This is a preliminary provision for the transportation commission. Hon. gentlemen on the other side of the House laid great stress on this commission, and said that the Grand Trunk Pacific Bill should have been kept back until the report of the commission was received. Surely, these lion, gentlemen will not say that the only transportation question for the country is the Grand Trunk Pacific question ? Is there not the question of transportation by the St. Lawrence water-way ? Is there not the question of transportation by railways other than the Grand Trunk Pacific ? Is there not the question of the Ottawa and Georgian hay canal, in itself sufficient to occupy the attention of a commission ? For my part, I must say that I never took much stock in the idea of a commission, for it seems to me that the people's representatives should settle questions. But the strong opinion of the House seemed to be that there was a need for a commission. Good men have been selected, and this is a preliminary vote to pay for their services. It is not a large amount, considering the character of the work expected of them.

Amendment (Mr. Reid, Grenville) negatived ; yeas 22, nays 40.

Government of the Yukon Territory-additional amount required for expenses in connection with the administration of the Territory, $15,000 ; amount required for the maintenance and construction of roads and bridges in the Territory, $113,490 ; grant to administration of Yukon Territory for construction and maintenance of public buildings for local purposes and settlement of claims in connection with the construction of roads, $113,500-$241,990.

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The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS.

The latter item of $113,000 is really that for which I am asking a vote here. The money of these three items is paid out through the local council of the Yukon.

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CON
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The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS.

No. This is an allowance to the Yukon council for constructing the works set forth here. My hon. friend will remember that an arrangement was made by which we voted this money to the council, with the understanding that it would be administered better under the local authorities, since the council has become partly appointed and partly elected, than by the department here.

Pelly river bridge at Lethbridge-reconstruction of-to recoup the government of the North-west Territories, $55,000.

Old Man's river bridge at Maeleod-reconstruction of-to recoup the government of the North-west Territories, $29,000.

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The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS.

Both these bridges were carried away by a freshet in May, 1902. and application was made to the department to rebuild them. An examination was made by the engineer, and

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CON

John Dowsley Reid

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID (Grenville).

it was thought better to erect more permanent structures than had previously existed. There was some correspondence between the local government and the Dominion as to how the money should be charged, and it was understood that the bridges were to be built by the Dominion.

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

The item says : ' To

recoup the government of the North-west Territories.'

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The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS.

'The construction of these bridges was urged upon us by the local government as a matter of immediate necessity, and they agreed that we should expend the money out of their vote, to be recouped by this government.

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

On another item I asked a question this afternoon for a statement of the various items which appear in the different estimates of grants of money for the North-west Territories. We do not know what we are voting in the aggregate, and it is time that we should know that.

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The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS.

The hon. gentleman's request is a very proper one. The deputy made a memorandum, and to-morrow he will have this account made up.

Telegraph lines, British Columbia-working expenses-additional amount required, $2,500.

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

Are the telegraph lilies self supporting ? Excepting this amount for working expenses, what is the original amount ? What are the telegraph lines costing to-day for maintenance over and above their earnings ?

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The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS.

1 will give that information on the Yukon vote. Mr. Chairman, we have done a little work at any rate, and perhaps we had better rise.

Some resolutions reported.

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ADJOURNMENT-BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE.


The MINISTER OF FINANCE (Hon. W. S. Fielding) moved the adjournment of the House.


CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

Before the House adjourns I would like to state that when the House goes into committee, either to-morrow or on some future day before long, a motion will be made in regard to the expenditure in connection with the taking of the last census. What business does the minister intend to take up to-morrow ?

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October 7, 1903