There was so much confusion that I did not understand it. I think the chairman will not take advantage of that-I am sure he will not. The minister moves to reduce the item by $5,000, and 1 wish to move an amendment. It may be that the chairman declared the motion carried, but I did not hear it, and I think he will not take advantage of my misunderstanding.
Here is the authority to which I refer. I quote from Bourinot's Parliamentary Procedure, page 592 :
The Committee of Supply cannot increase a grant which has been recommended by a message from the G-overnor General. It is also irregular to increase any item in a resolution. But any motion to reduce a grant or to strike it out of the estimates altogether will always be in order. The advisability of increasing a grant may, as a matter of course, be discussed so as do inform the government as to the sense of the House on the qustion. The ministry alone can move in the matter, and another message will .be brought down to increase the grant.
The minister has given us the reason why there should be no objection to this vote. He says there can be no politics in it because the money is to be expended in the unsettled portions of the Northwest Territories. But the persons who will perform the labour on this trail will be taken from the settled portions of the Territories and their employment will be made conditional on their voting for the government candidate.
Will the hon. gentleman (Mr. Fowler) allow me to ask him a question ? Would he prefer that only labourers should be employed on this work who are not voters ? My hon. friend (Mr. Fowler) ought not to allow this government to spend any money, because we are hiring people who are voters in Canada and we might make a condition that they shall all vote for the government.
I am surprised to hear the member for Saskatchewan (Mr. Davis) speak in this way. He sits here and listens to the minister who represents his section of the country state that he himself would not trust the legislature of his province to spend this small amount of money. The hon. gentleman (Mr. Davis) allows the minister to discredit his province and himself.
I repeat that the minister said that he would not trust the legislature of the Northwest Territories to spend this money for the reason that in the past a certain amount of money had been placed at their disposal and they did not expend it for the work for which it was voted. And he made practically the same statement with regard to the province of Manitoba-
be would not trust the legislature of that province either. Will the minister tell us what money the territorial government received and expended tor the purpose for which it was not voted?