October 13, 1903

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The PRIME MINISTER.

If my hon. friend will look again at these resolutions lie will see that they do not in any way affect the Treadgold concessions. With regard to the subject of the commission itself, I have seen what my hon. friend has seen in the public press, but I may say that the government have received no official communication upon the subject from any one. The government has not yet received any report from the commissioners.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN (Halifax).

Has the right hon. gentleman any idea as to when the report will be received? With respect to the hearing, of course, we do not know anything officially, but a majority of the public and press in the Yukon seem to find fault with the inquiry, because they think it was unduly restricted, even under the terms of the commission. One grave circumstance is the allegation in more than one newspaper that the commissioners directed the stenographers not to take down certain portions of the evidence, certain things that were said. If that is the case, all that it would be proper to say at present, is that such a matter demands careful consideration, and might make necessary a commission to investigate the conduct of the

commissioners; because, -while the commission was restricted very much, more restricted than a good many gentlemen in this House thought it should have been, inasmuch as it denied the people of that country an opportunity to investigate the circumstances under which those concessions were granted-nevertheless in the restricted form in which it was issued there was no reason why the commissioner's or any one of them should have interfered in the slightest way to prevent the taking down of the testimony which was given. I do not admit this to be the fact at present, for the commissioners have not yet been heard. Nevertheless this particular circumstance is openly stated in more than one newspaper in the Yukon, newspapers which I have received myself.

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The PRIME MINISTER.

My hou. friend will admit himself, interested as he is in the subject, that it would be very unfair to the commissioners, until their report is before the House, to accept any statements of that nature that may appear in the press. The commissioners have not made their report yet, I have no information when it will be made, I suppose it cannot be long delayed, for I think they are at work on it at this moment. But in the meantime I think there is no reason to suppose that the commissioners did not discharge their duties in an able, satisfactory and impartial manner.

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Motion agreed to, and House went into Committee on the resolutions.


CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

I think the right hon. gentleman should go further and give a little explanation in regard to each one of the orders mentioned in the resolution.

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The PRIME MINISTER.

The first order, of the 15th of April, 1902, as I have explained, allows three miners owning adjoining claims to club together and put their work on one claim. That is the tenor of thfi order.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

I think there should .be no objection to that.

The PRiME MINISTER. Then the second order, of the 19th of May, 1902, defines a miner's inch as being an orifice which shall discharge one and a half cubic feet of water per minute. This is a purely mechanical order. Then the third order, of the 19th May, is that:

The Governor in Council is pleased to order that the Order in Council of 31st day of October, 1901, authorizing the Minister of the Interior to dispose of any mining claim whieh may be forfeited under the provisions of section 41 of the regulations governing placer mining in the Yukon Territory, established by Order in Council on the 13th day of March, 1901, shall be and is hereby rescinded.

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

That is just one of the orders that come in under the Treadgold concession. It is contended that once claims 432

were abandoned and the government had power to dispose of them, the persons interested in the Treadgold concession had arranged their affairs so that they could either by themselves or by others get hold of these claims, in order that they might be corralled under one management. While they might not be under one name, they would still practically be under the Treadgold concession. That was one of the claims set forth by one gentleman who wrote to me from Dawson in regard to this matter.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

I think the right hon. gentleman has not stated the effect of this order. It provides that the Order in Council, the effect of which he has already mentioned, is rescinded.

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The PRIME MINISTER.

Yes, I see I was mistaken. It provides that it shall be rescinded.

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

We cannot object to that.

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The PRIME MINISTER.

If we cannot object to that, let us pass on.

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

Then the next is 597.

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The PRIME MINISTER.

This is 749, and I now pass to No. 825. That order provides that:

Section 7 of the regulations governing placer mining in the Yukon Territory, established by Order in Council dated 13th March, 1901, which provides that a person or joint stock company, and every person in his or Its employment, except house servants, shall have a free miner's certificate unexpired, was amended by leaving out the words ' and every person in his or its employment, except house servants.'

The effect is to restrict the application of the regulation.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

Before we pass from this, it seems to me that the existence of such an Order in Council as is now rescinded is the best possible reason why the statute should have been enacted. I cannot conceive any possible reason why the mere fact that a person was in the clerical employment of a joint stock company should entitle him to a free miner's certificate in competition with actual miners, who have to pay a fee for the purpose and who have to devote their attention to the occupation of mining. It would be well to know the reason why this Order in Council should have been passed in the first instance.

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The PRIME MINISTER.

I could not

give this information to my hon. friend at this moment, but I will get it later on.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

I think my right hon. friend will recognize that It is a very strange regulation that any person in the employ of a joint stock company should be entitled to a free miner's certificate. It is time it should be repealed, and it is strange that such a regulation should ever have .been enacted.

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The PRIME MINISTER.

It is repealed as far as my hon. friend has any objection to it.

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

The dangerous feature that suggests itself to my mind is that a regulation was made some years ago to provide for people getting control of timber lands, and after a certain individual had got control of a very important section of timber land the Order in Council was immediately rescinded.

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The PRIME MINISTER.

At all events, if we have rescinded it, so far so good.

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October 13, 1903