February 21, 1905

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Mr. POSTER@

What has the minister to say about paying $30 a thousand for timber that a practical man says he never could get so high a price for ?

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LIB

Henry Robert Emmerson (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. EMMERSON.

Of course, this was a year previous to my incumbency in office. I am advised by the chief engineer that all the material was purchased by tender and contract.

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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

But if tenders are called for and all of them seem high the minister is bound not to accept any of them.

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LIB

Henry Robert Emmerson (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. EMMERSON.

In any such cases coming under my own notice I certainly hesitate to accept any tender, and I am satisfied that is the course pursued by the department generally.

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CON

George William Fowler

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOWLER.

Was it because of extraordinary size of this timber that so high a rate was paid ?

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LIB

Henry Robert Emmerson (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. EMMERSON.

The chief engineer tells me that for the kind of timber purchased $30 a thousand was not out of the way. I cannot give dimensions but I can furnish a statement later on if the hon. gentlemen desire it.

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CON

George William Fowler

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOWLER.

This was spruce and hemlock timber and, it was charged for at this high rate. There could have been no justification except its size and quality.

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LIB
LIB

Henry Robert Emmerson (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. EMMERSON.

The length I include in the size. It would need to be extraordinary in some way to be worth $30 a thousand.

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CON

David Henderson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HENDERSON.

I understand this would be the ordinary timber used in crib-work. I do not suppose there would be much difference between that and cribs constructed elsewhere. My recollection is that in my county where some work was done constructing a pier, hemlock timber was bought for about $17 a thousand from a mill on the Georgian bay, delivered on Lake Ontario. Certainly $30 a thousand seems to be an extraordinary price.

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LIB

Henry Robert Emmerson (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. EMMERSON.

I think I am right in stating that this timber was bought by competition, and that was the lowest tender

for that class. It certainly could not be very much out of the way, because where there is competition the tenderers are not very apt to make the price unreasonably high if they have any hope of geting the contract.

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CON

George William Fowler

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOWLER.

Some departments have a peculiar way of bringing about competition. They invite two or three of their friends doing business to send in tenders.

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LIB
CON

George William Fowler

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOWLER.

As I understand, this was piling, and piling is not usually bought by the thousand feet.

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LIB

Henry Robert Emmerson (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. EMMERSON.

I have not referred to the Auditor General's account;. Will the hon. gentleman state what kind of timber it was that we paid $30 for ?

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CON

George Halsey Perley

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PERLEY.

Page 123-timber, spruce and hemlock, per thousand feet, $30. It does not say what size.

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CON

George William Fowler

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOWLER.

Surely the minister can tell what work was done there, whether it was piling or not.

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CON

George Halsey Perley

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PERLEY.

I would call attention to this fact. The minister says he advertised for tenders. I would like to know how he managed it, because there is no newspaper in that county except one, and that is miles away from the spot. If tenders are asked for from private parties, as I understand is sometimes done, and people are asked to tender, that is one tiling entirely different from asking for tenders in a large city where newspapers are numerous.

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LIB

Henry Robert Emmerson (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. EMMERSON.

Tenders were asked for by advertisement, as I am advised by the engineer, in the papers of Ottawa and Montreal, and in local papers if there are any in the county. That is the usual way. But it was all by newspaper advertisement.

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CON

George William Fowler

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOWLER.

If this was ordinary crib-work, it is the very roughest kind of timber that is used for that purpose, and the price charged here is at least double, no matter what the length, because knotty, rough timber is used generally for that purpose.

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February 21, 1905