The letter of Lord Strath-cona proposing this arrangement was written on the 23rd May, 1903. There was nothing paid, because the organization of the institute was not completed. It has only been completed within the last few months. I forget the exact date upon which I received information that it was absolutely completed, and that we could go ahead. I have not, therefore, paid anything to the institute under this arrangement.
The High Commisisoner describes how he reached this amount. It was arranged altogether by the High Commissioner in London, and the government confirmed his action, but I took no part in the arrangement.
I would understand that the Imperial Institute as it was once known, is now swallowed up by the Imperial Board of Trade, and the question appears to have arisen as to whether these exhibits would be thrown into the junk shop or maintained without any view as to their value in future. I think it is a great mistake that the Imperial Institute should be put under the control of even a department of the Imperial government, because the result is that we lose our identity. If the Imperial Institute is to have any interest for us in future it ought to be maintained by the different colonies, or abandoned altogether. I regret very much to hear of this reorganization, because if we ever hope to make this exhibition worth a dollar, it is my personal opinion that we should have an Imperial Institute in fact as well as in name. Even if it is necessary for us to make a larger contribution to have a real Imperial Institute, I think we should do so. I do not know whether the minister was consulted as to the reorganization, but for my own part I cannot help thinking that it was not a wise move.
The reorganization was dealt with by the authorities of the Imper-
ial Institute, but we were not consulted as to its advisability. Lord Strathcona was one of the directors, and his report would seem to show that he was in favour of the transference. We were asked whether we would continue to be represented and have an exhibit in the Imperial Institute, and we thought that we had better do so. I understand that an advisor}' committee representing the different colonies has been appointed and Lord Strathcona is a member of that committee. I would assume that the Board of Trade manages the Institute on the advice of this committee.
My deputy minister _ has brought it in just now. I find that this is not the annual report of the Institute, ,but a journal that is published by the Institute, and from a hasty glance at it I do not think it contains the information the hon. gentleman has asked.
I think censure is due somebody in Canada for the condition of this Imperial Institute. I do not think the committee wish to place the whole censure on the Minister of Agriculture, but the hon. gentleman is the duly person to whom we as a committee have to look for the proper expenditure of the money and the taking care of our exhibit in the old country. I notice that the hon. gentleman has the same story to tell this year that he had Hvo years ago, when he informed the committee that this institute had been handed over to the British Board of Trade.