I shall state in general terms the object of this vote and then if any hon. members desire any further information the item may stand. Generally speaking the increased cost of the franchise lists is due to the large amount of work that had to be done and the King's Printer reports that the amount is not sufficient under the previous appropriation. The electoral atlas is a book published from time to time containing maps of every constitutency in Canada. As there has been some readjustment of the constituencies, a new edition is necessary, and this vote is for that purpose.
No. It is in course of preparation. The other item is a general one owing to the larger amount of work caused by the printing of the voters' lists for the general election. I would like hon. gentlemen to intimate the points on which information is wanted, and I will have it when the item comes again.
The only point on which I would like information in connection with this is as to the preparation of the voters' list for the recent election in Edmonton. I made some inquiry with regard to this list from the King's Printer. I received an answer, the exact purport of which I forgot, but I could not very well understand what it meant. He said they were not strictly speaking voters' lists, but lists of electors, prepared, I think, for the information of the enumerators. I want to ask some
questions with reference to that when the matters comes up again.
There was no vote for this service, because it is a new service undertaken by the department because of the British government having withdrawn their service from both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. These surveys used to be made by the British government, with their own officers and steamers, and they notified us last year that they had ceased that service. Therefore we are obliged to undertake it.
Last year $40,000 was voted for hydrographic surveys, but not for these. What was provided for was the lakes and part of the St. Lawrence. The upper part of the St. Lawrence is almost finished. Two months' work will complete the surveys between Montreal and Quebec, and Lake St. Louis will be finished this season. The surveys on Lake Superior and the other upper lakes will take two or three seasons. On the Atlantic coast and the Pacific coast nothing has been done yet.
The work that has been done by the British government went to a certain point of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, I think only as far as Belle Isle. So we have all the Atlantic coast to survey and to prepare charts for navigation. The present charts are quite unreliable in many ' respects. For instance, the chart of the River St. Lawrence was so unreliable that it was reported to the department for a couple of years that steamers had touched in the centre of the channel opposite Murray bay. Surveys were made, and for one season we could not discover anything, because the surveys were made not continuously but only occasionally. But towards the end of last season, after a thorough search we discovered a shoal about three-quarters of a mile long where there was only twenty feet of water at low tide. Fortunately the channel is about a mile wide at that point so that it was only once in a while that steamers would touch. Nobody knew anything about Mr. R. L. BORDEN.
[DOT] it; it was not marked on the charts. This shows the importance of the service and the importance of having these charts prepared with great care. The British government have abandoned doing this work, as they have abandoned doing many things for Canada, because, they said, we have gone far enough, and this work belongs to Canada. The service falls on our shoulders, and we are obliged to take it up. This $30,000 will provide for the organization of the service until the 1st of July, including boats, provisions, and so on. Every member of the commission will appreciate the importance of having these surveys made with all possible diligence. There are two pr three important lines on the Atlantic, especially the Canadian Pacific Railway line, and the navigation is developing very fast. In a couple of years there will probably be large steamers plying between Vancouver and Port Simpson, carrying provisions, materials, &c. There is such a deficiency of charts for the Pacific coast that when the boat which carried the expedition which visited Port Simpson and the North Pacific coast last fall ran on a rock which was never suspected. Fortunately, the captain of the government boat was very careful, and the boat not going very fast at the moment, there was no loss of life and no serious damage to the boat. These surveys are very important in the interest of navigation.
On the Pacific coast they rented a boat, an old one, but a very good one ; and they had engineers and all the necessary organization to take the soundings, and make a general survey of the bottom of the sea, showing the gulfs, bays, &c., around the coast. They did very good work, which will help us in carrying on our work ; but it will serve only as an indication. The work they have done on the Atlantic coast dates back forty or sixty years. That coast will all have to be resurveyed, and for that purpose we are going to use a boat which we used to have for the tidal service. This year we were short of a boat and we suspended the tidal sur' veys on the Atlantic coast. We will use the ' Gulnare ' which will save the renting of another steamer, and we will try to execute that work regularly and properly. I took over the work last from the Department of Railways and the Department of Public Works. The survey between Montreal and Quebec is almost completed and the work is very nicely done. The charts are being engraved and will be distributed to mariners as is done in every other country.
The charts which are being engraved are from Montreal to Quebec, except a small portion near Que-
bee -which will be completed in about two months. Between Montreal and Kingston will be completed this summer. The work on the Great Lakes commenced two years ago is now well advanced, but it will take at least one year more before we can publish the charts.