May 22, 1905

CON

David Henderson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HENDERSON.

I have certainly a great deal of confidence in Cajitain Bernier's ability to sail those northern waters, or to sail waters in almost any part of the world.

I think it is a great pity that the government did not avail itself some years ago of the services of Captain Bernier ill exploring the northern regions of the continent of America. Even had they granted him the assistance which he came and pleaded for year after year, with a view to make that final effurt to discover the North Pole, and thus advertise Canada all over the world, I think the government could have spent $100,000 with a great deal of satisfaction in that direction. We are now spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in surveying a portion of the coast of North America, which I think will bring very much less of interest to the people of this country than would have resulted from an expedition toward the Pole with a view of making that long coveted discovery. Now, here is $65,000 this year. If I mistake not, this expenditure already has gone up to the hundreds of thousands. As I said, I am not complaining about it. I think perhaps it may be money well spent, if it will be the means of preventing complications between ourselves and our neighbours to the south of us, who are also pushing out in that direction with a view to claiming something in these northern regions which we may not have laid our hands upon. I simply express my regret that the services of Captain Bernier were not obtained years ago, and that he was not placed at the head of an expedition that would once for all have settled the question of who was entitled to the sovereignty of those islands lying between the North Pole and the presently known continent of North America.

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROTJLE.

This is an item of $65,-

000. Will this be in addition to the amount which we voted last year for the same ex pedition ?

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CON

David Henderson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HENDERSON.

This is supplementary.

5Ir. SPROULE. Yes.

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LIB

Joseph Raymond Fournier Préfontaine (Minister of Marine and Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. PREFONTAINE.

The sum of $170,000 was transferred from the Northwest Mounted Police to the Department of Marine and Fisheries for the Hudson bay expedition. Out of that amount the department paid $29,018. balance due the High Commissioner in London for the purchase of the steamer ' Gauss.' afterwards called the * Arctic.' The total sum paid for the ' Arctic ' was $70,000 and $40,982 was paid out of the appropriation for 1903-04. The balance of the amount transferred from the Northwest Mounted Police was expended in fitting out the ' Erik ' as a relief steamer for

the ' Neptune.' The ' Erik ' was charted from Job Brothers & Company, St. John's, to take coal and supplies to the ' Neptune.' The ' Arctic ' was fitted out and provisioned at Quebec and it was found that the funds at the disposal of the government were not suflicient to meet the expenditure. Besides the ' Arctic,' the department had to make repairs to the ' Neptune ' after it returned to Halifax. The ' Neptune ' unfortunately met with an accident coming out of Hudson bay and the department was obliged to place the ship on the marine slip at Halifax for repairs. It was found besides damages to the bow that part of the keel was knocked off and other damages were sustained which required to be renewed. The amount asked for is required to meet all liabilities in connection with the expedition up to the 30th June.

As regards the remarks made by the hon. member for Halton (Mr. Henderson) that we should have given charge of the expedition to Captain Bernier, I beg to disagree. The question of these expeditions was discussed two years ago and the first expedition was sent out under the charge of Mr. Low. It was composed of a certain number of members of the Northwest. Mounted Police, because the government thought they should establish a post up there. Mr. Low made a report of the work he did and a certain number of mounted police were left there. While he was up there we thought we would send a boat, the Arctic,' up for three years to survey and visit the different points in Hudson bay, to go as far north as possible under the orders of Major Moodie, establish posts at different places, make researches, gather information and establish customs offices at different points because there is a great- deal of fishing by Americans going on there. The instructions issued to Major Moodie were published at the time. They left in the month of September. They wintered at Fullerton bay-We received some letters and information from them by land during the month of April. The information that we received from Major Moodie was to the effect that some of the men would have to come back.

Nobodv had died, but some of the men were sick, some were unfit for service and a certain number of mounted policemen would have to be sent out to relieve them. In order to carry out the plan which was adopted by parliament another boat will have to be sent up there to take in coal and provisions as well as the men who are required to replace those who will have to be brought back I think, after all, the best mode of asserting the authority of Canada ju Hudson bay is bv establishing posts in different places under resident officers of the government and by having our organization completed as much as possible with due regard ir. the via-iit of the people who may be up

there.

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COMMOXS

CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

What has been the experience in regard to the navigability of Hudson bay and Hudson straits? I saw some time ago in some of the papers that the conditions had been found to be much more favourable than had been anticipated.

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LIB

Joseph Raymond Fournier Préfontaine (Minister of Marine and Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. PREFONTAINE.

They were not specially charged with that because there is in some departments of the government a report made some years ago by Captain Wakeham who was sent specially to ascertain the possibility of navigating the bay and the straits and the length of the season of navigation. I have not the report before me, but_I know there was such a report made about five years ago, and there was also the report of Lieutenant Gordon made in 1881.

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

Is this expedition not charged with the duty of making observations as to that?

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LIB

Joseph Raymond Fournier Préfontaine (Minister of Marine and Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. PREFONTAINE.

Yes, they are charged with the duty of making observations and of obtaining all the information possible. We have no report yet as to that specially, because all we have received are some letters making urgent demands and not going into details.

(Mr. INGRAM. How many officers are employed in connection with the ' Neptune' ?

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LIB

Joseph Raymond Fournier Préfontaine (Minister of Marine and Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. PREFONTAINE.

There are none.

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L-C
LIB

Joseph Raymond Fournier Préfontaine (Minister of Marine and Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. PREFONTAINE.

There is no ' Neptune.' There was one sent up, but she has returned. That was the boat obtained in Newfoundland which was sent up there previously to the purchase of the ' Arctic ' to explore the northern part of Hudson bay. She was under the command of Mr. Low whose report is to be found at page 116 of the Department of Marine and Fisheries.

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L-C

Andrew B. Ingram

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. INGRAM.

I have here quite a lengthy report signed by A. P. Low.

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LIB

Joseph Raymond Fournier Préfontaine (Minister of Marine and Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. PREFONTAINE.

Yes.

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L-C

Andrew B. Ingram

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. INGRAM.

This expedition appears to have taken place in the summer of 1903.

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LIB

Joseph Raymond Fournier Préfontaine (Minister of Marine and Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. PREFONTAINE.

Yes, that was the first expedition that was sent up.

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L-C

Andrew B. Ingram

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. INGRAM.

Exactly, and he speaks of some small repairs to this boat. I understood the hon. minister to say that there were very extensive repairs made to this boat. '

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LIB

Joseph Raymond Fournier Préfontaine (Minister of Marine and Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. PREFONTAINE.

They were found to be extensive afterwards when they put her on the slip.

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L-C

Andrew B. Ingram

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. INGRAM.

I know they put her on the slip, but it says here that the repairs were very .small.

The ship was immediately placed in dry dock at St. John, where a few small repairs were Mr. PREFONTAINE.

made to her underbody, after which she was speedily sent to Halifax, arriving ihere on the 20th.

That would indicate that the repairs were very small.

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LIB

Joseph Raymond Fournier Préfontaine (Minister of Marine and Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. PREFONTAINE.

That was before she sailed. The repairs to which I have reference were made at Halifax after Mr. Low had left the boat, I think.

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May 22, 1905