April 25, 1904

?

Mr TAYLOR.

Then, it would appear athis is an item which was not used as he basis of the estimate, and so we are Int far from finding out what the minister /HI do with $37,500. Before lie gets this brough he will have to give us an approxi-

mate estimate of what he intends to spend this $37,500 for. According to the Auditor General's Report, he only required $33,458. He has told us that he does not expect to repeat this expenditure to Mr. Woodyatt. Does he expect to spend $9.60 for advertising in the St. John ' Globe ' and the St. John ' Telegraph ' ?

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   COO 00 500 00 500 00 500 1,700 900 1,100 1,200 800 600 750 1,100 700 1,000 1,000 1,300 550 550 650 500 600 200 1,000 700 650 550 550 600 550 750 500
Permalink
LIB

William Mulock (Minister of Labour; Postmaster General)

Liberal

Sir WILLIAM MULOCK.

I have had some little experience in this House, and I think I am right in saying that this is the first time since I came to parliament that the examination of any minister has taken place on the lines pursued to-night. There is nothing to guide the minister in his estimate of expenditure but the experience of the past. My hon. friend (Mr. Taylor) is a householder. He has a fair idea of how much he spent last year for the maintenance of himself and his family. He knows what he pays, in bulk to his butcher and baker and candlestick maker-how much it cost him to maintain his house last year. He probably figures on spending a similar amount next year. But if he were asked if he intended to spend the same amounts on the same people he would say: No, I may change my butcher or my baker ; I may change my bill of fare ; I may wear different garments and have different personal expenditure ; but I shall probably spend in the current year about as much as last year. Nobody can tell exactly what items will be incurred gs contingencies in the public service. This sum is voted to cover a miscellaneous collection of expenditure which cannot be foreseen in detail. And if my hon. friend, having had full explanation from the Minister of Customs, threatens this House with obstructive tactics unless he gets certain statements made to him, I think this committee should respect themselves enough not to tolerate the success of such tactics. This is not an unusual thing with the hon. gentleman. In fact, it is part of his programme to declare that nothing shall be done unless his particular demands are complied with.

There is an effort made on the part of the government to be reasonable at all times, it is our desire to do so on all occasions. But when an hon. gentleman persists in asking a question that has never been asked, as far as I remember, during my experience of 23 sessions, I think the committee is warranted in concluding that no public good is going to come from the prosecution of any such inquiry. Now we are told by the hon. member for Leeds that he will not let this item pass until he gets information that cannot be given. He has asked a lot of absurd questions. He has asked the Minister of Customs to state how much he is going to pay for this and for that item, how much he is going to pay this man and that man in the future because similar services were paid in the past-a question I think on re-

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   COO 00 500 00 500 00 500 1,700 900 1,100 1,200 800 600 750 1,100 700 1,000 1,000 1,300 550 550 650 500 600 200 1,000 700 650 550 550 600 550 750 500
Permalink
CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. TAYLOR.

flection he will be ready to acknowledge was not reasonable. He has asked the Minister of Customs to do the impossible, to tell this committee how this item is going to be made up in the various contingencies. Since the hon. gentleman has told us that he will not allow this committee to proceed until that information is furnished, we have come to a deadlock. The hon. gentleman has threatened to obstruct because the minister will not answer a question impossible to be answered.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   COO 00 500 00 500 00 500 1,700 900 1,100 1,200 800 600 750 1,100 700 1,000 1,000 1,300 550 550 650 500 600 200 1,000 700 650 550 550 600 550 750 500
Permalink
L-C

Andrew B. Ingram

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. INGRAM.

When the hon. gentleman talks about the Auditor General's report showing us the expenditure up to the 30th of June last, it was my duty as a member of this House to go through these items and investigate them. If there is anything vie do not understand we come to this commit' tee when these items are under discussion, and ask the minister to explain them to us. Now here is an item of $37,500 the details of which the minister says have not been asked for before. Is that a good reason why the minister should not answer?

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   COO 00 500 00 500 00 500 1,700 900 1,100 1,200 800 600 750 1,100 700 1,000 1,000 1,300 550 550 650 500 600 200 1,000 700 650 550 550 600 550 750 500
Permalink
?

Hon. CLIFFORD SIFTON .@Minister the Interior

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   COO 00 500 00 500 00 500 1,700 900 1,100 1,200 800 600 750 1,100 700 1,000 1,000 1,300 550 550 650 500 600 200 1,000 700 650 550 550 600 550 750 500
Permalink
L-C

Andrew B. Ingram

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. INGRAM.

If the hon. minister had said in the first place that he had not a

itemized statement, that would have ended it, because he could not have given it, but the hon. gentleman led us to believe that he had these diffterent items piarticdlarizted, and if he had given the statement then that would have been an end to any discussion as far as the $37,500 item is concerned, As far as these estimates are concerned, 1 think we made very good headway untii we struck this item of $37,500. When we had passed a million and some odd dollars I think it was time to adjourn. The hon. Postmaster General and the hon. Minister of Customs were both active members of the opposition, and I think I am not saying too much when I say that when it came to aa unreasonable hour and they asked for an adjournment and our friends did not grant an adjournment there was only one method left for them to pursue, and that was to act stubbornly and say : We will not allow any items to pass. Knowing this, these hon. gentlemen ought to have some respect for the opposition now. If we had adjourned at 10.30 or 11 o'clock, I think we would have accomplished just as much as we are doing now.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   COO 00 500 00 500 00 500 1,700 900 1,100 1,200 800 600 750 1,100 700 1,000 1,000 1,300 550 550 650 500 600 200 1,000 700 650 550 550 600 550 750 500
Permalink
?

Mr SPROULE.

I submit to the hon. Postmaster General that the information given us is not the information we are accustomed to have in this House. He will remember that when Sir Mackenzie Bowell occupied the position of Minister of Customs he cape down to this House with a book containing all the details, and as soon as an item was called he read from his book the explanation of how much he wanted for this and how much for that. We have passed the item providing for the ordinary expenditure on civil government salaries. What does it say in the Auditor General's Report ? I asked the hon. Minister of Customs how much he wanted for salaries in the different provinces. He could give no information Whatever. The Auditor General's Report shows that for salaries and contingencies there was an expenditure in Ontario of $324,329. Surely the hon. gentleman had that information. Then I find that there was an expenditure of $261,905 for Quebec, and there is a separate item for each of the other provinces. Yet the hon. minister could give us no information a bop t this item of $1,184,865 under this head. Is it fair to ask an opposition, which is doing its proper duty, to allow items of this kind and size to pass on such meagre information ? It is not an answer to say you have it in the Auditor General's Report. My hon. friena from I.eeds (Mr. Taylor) gave an illustration of the absurdity of presenting this as an argument and of saying we should be satisfied with that. There was no more unreasonable man in this House than the hon. Postmaster General when lie and his friends were in opposition. There was no more unreasonable man in this House than he was. We are doing our duty as we ^ con ceive it, and we shall exercise our own juc gment as to what we conceive to be our duty. The hon. Minister of Customs stands up without any information and says : I want $1 184 865 for salaries and contingencies, and vo'u can find the explanation of it in the Auditor General's Report. I say that we will not be doing our duty by allowing these Rems to pass. No opposition can faithfully discharge its duty without more information qa to what the money is required for than that which the hon. Minister of Customs has given to-night. We are amply justified in the demand that we shall get the information which has been so unreasonably denied

Sir WILLIAM MU-LOCK. I pledge my word that never since the hon. gentleman was in this House was the information he asked for denied or asked for. I say that never since this House has sat, and never since Canada had a parliament, were such details demanded or furinshed to parliament. My hon. friend says that I myself made these demands, and that I was very unreasonable in having done so. Then, why follow such an unreasonable precedent ?

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   COO 00 500 00 500 00 500 1,700 900 1,100 1,200 800 600 750 1,100 700 1,000 1,000 1,300 550 550 650 500 600 200 1,000 700 650 550 550 600 550 750 500
Permalink
CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. TAYLOR.

We have not begun to follow it yet. The hon. Postmaster General lectured me a few moments ago, saying that he had been so long in public life and that he never saw such tactics pursued as those which he witnessed to-night. I have been in this House as long as the hon. gentleman, and I would remind him that the hon. Postmaster General and the hon. Minister of Customs and their friends kept us here from Wednesday until Saturday night at twelve o'clock. I never left the House till Saturday night at twelve o'clock, because these lion, gentlemen talked and talked from Wednesday until Saturday. A strong appeal was made by my hon. friends from Grey and Elgin to adjourn at 1 o'clock this morning, after we had voted nearly $2,000,000, but it was refused. We have been trying ever since to get information. As the minister in charge is not present, I will wait until he returns.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   COO 00 500 00 500 00 500 1,700 900 1,100 1,200 800 600 750 1,100 700 1,000 1,000 1,300 550 550 650 500 600 200 1,000 700 650 550 550 600 550 750 500
Permalink
LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

The hon. gentleman can not detain the House unless he is addressing it.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   COO 00 500 00 500 00 500 1,700 900 1,100 1,200 800 600 750 1,100 700 1,000 1,000 1,300 550 550 650 500 600 200 1,000 700 650 550 550 600 550 750 500
Permalink
L-C

Andrew B. Ingram

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. INGRAM.

In order to save time, I will point out that in the ' Hansard ' for 1895, Mr. Muloclc now Sir William Mulock, and then in opposition, strongly insisted on getting information about certain items, and tlie report in the ' Hansard shows that Mr. Foster then Minister of Finance gave full explanations to Mr. Mulock. We, the members of the opposition, are constantly met in our campaigns with statements by siinnorters of the government, that these ftems are passed year after year without criticism, and they even go so tar as to say that we do not record a single vote against them When reasonable questions are asked by gentlemen of the opposition, the least the

minister should do is to answer them. If he has not the information in his possession he can promise to bring it down, at a later date, and so far as I am concerned it will satisfy me.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   COO 00 500 00 500 00 500 1,700 900 1,100 1,200 800 600 750 1,100 700 1,000 1,000 1,300 550 550 650 500 600 200 1,000 700 650 550 550 600 550 750 500
Permalink
LIB

William Mulock (Minister of Labour; Postmaster General)

Liberal

Sir WILLIAM MULOCK.

There is nothing to warrant the conclusion that we on this side of the House have accorded anything but the most courteous treatment to gentlemen opposite. The Minister of Customs has told the committee that there is uncertainty as to this expenditure, which can only be cleared up with time and experience as the business of the department proceeds. He has also told us that the only guide as to future expenditure is the experience furnished by the past, and hon. gentlemen have got in their hands the record of past expenditure. That is the only guide we have. Under these circumstances, nothing can be gained in persisting in this contention. I may point out that long before a single item was passed an adjournment was asked for, and most of the time this evening has been spent in asking for an adjournment.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   COO 00 500 00 500 00 500 1,700 900 1,100 1,200 800 600 750 1,100 700 1,000 1,000 1,300 550 550 650 500 600 200 1,000 700 650 550 550 600 550 750 500
Permalink
CON

Richard Blain

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BLAIN.

How much of this was spent last year for uniforms ?

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   COO 00 500 00 500 00 500 1,700 900 1,100 1,200 800 600 750 1,100 700 1,000 1,000 1,300 550 550 650 500 600 200 1,000 700 650 550 550 600 550 750 500
Permalink
LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   COO 00 500 00 500 00 500 1,700 900 1,100 1,200 800 600 750 1,100 700 1,000 1,000 1,300 550 550 650 500 600 200 1,000 700 650 550 550 600 550 750 500
Permalink
CON

Richard Blain

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BLAIN.

And how much will be spent this year for the same ?

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   COO 00 500 00 500 00 500 1,700 900 1,100 1,200 800 600 750 1,100 700 1,000 1,000 1,300 550 550 650 500 600 200 1,000 700 650 550 550 600 550 750 500
Permalink
LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

It is estimated that the expenditure will be about the same.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   COO 00 500 00 500 00 500 1,700 900 1,100 1,200 800 600 750 1,100 700 1,000 1,000 1,300 550 550 650 500 600 200 1,000 700 650 550 550 600 550 750 500
Permalink
CON

Richard Blain

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BLAIN.

Are they purchased by tender ?

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   COO 00 500 00 500 00 500 1,700 900 1,100 1,200 800 600 750 1,100 700 1,000 1,000 1,300 550 550 650 500 600 200 1,000 700 650 550 550 600 550 750 500
Permalink
LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

An allowance of $8 is given each officer and they purchase for themselves.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   COO 00 500 00 500 00 500 1,700 900 1,100 1,200 800 600 750 1,100 700 1,000 1,000 1,300 550 550 650 500 600 200 1,000 700 650 550 550 600 550 750 500
Permalink
CON

Richard Blain

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BLAIN.

What officers wear these uniforms ?

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   COO 00 500 00 500 00 500 1,700 900 1,100 1,200 800 600 750 1,100 700 1,000 1,000 1,300 550 550 650 500 600 200 1,000 700 650 550 550 600 550 750 500
Permalink
LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

Landing waiters attending on the arrival of vessels and officers examining baggage at the principal stations.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   COO 00 500 00 500 00 500 1,700 900 1,100 1,200 800 600 750 1,100 700 1,000 1,000 1,300 550 550 650 500 600 200 1,000 700 650 550 550 600 550 750 500
Permalink
CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

The Postmaster General has stated that no such questions were ever before asked in this House, and no such answers given as we desire. I beg to refer the Postmaster General to the ' Hansard ' ot 1884, when Sir Mackenzie Bo well was Minister of Customs, and there it will be found that in reply to Sir Richard Cartwright, Sir Mackenzie Bowell went into the most minute details as to the services for which a vote of $35,430 would be expended. He gave full explanations as to the additional number of employees and their classes, where they were to be employed, and all other particulars. And yet the Postmaster General says he never heard of such information being asked for in this House before. If * went through the various items I could show him that the same principle has been invariably carried out.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   COO 00 500 00 500 00 500 1,700 900 1,100 1,200 800 600 750 1,100 700 1,000 1,000 1,300 550 550 650 500 600 200 1,000 700 650 550 550 600 550 750 500
Permalink

April 25, 1904