June 7, 1905

LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

The country is getting along so happily, that if by chance we missed the budget speech, I thina the country would still prosper. I cannot think we are dependent for the prosperity of the country on the budget speech, although budget speeches do sometimes help that prosperity. I think an understanding was reached some time ago that the budget would not be brought on until the Northwest Bills were disposed of. I hope that at an early day we shall dispose of whatever blocks the way, and then the budget will come on.

Topic:   THE BUDGET SPEECH.
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THE PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE.


Mr- BERGERON. I desire to ask the [Minister of Finance -when we may expect a meeting of the Public Accounts Committee ? Last week we had a meeting, which was postponed for lack of a quorum, and it was then understood that we would have a meeting to-day. I understand that my hon. friend the Finance Minister has been absent. Now that he is back, would he be kind enough to say when we shall have a meeting of the committee ?


LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

I came to-day expecting to find a meeting, and I came up this morning at some inconvenience to myself to find that there was none. So many members are absent that we camnot apparently have a full meeting at present; but I think we should have a meeting next week.

Topic:   THE PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE.
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CON

Joseph Gédéon Horace Bergeron

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BERGERON.

My hon. friend understands that the chairman is away. He said last 'week that he would not be here today, and I thought my hon. friend might be in a position to authorize the calling of a meeting in the chairman's absence.

Topic:   THE PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE.
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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

As a matter of courtesy I have sometimes been consulted, but the chairman would be quite free to modify the arrangements. I am reminded by one of my hon. friends that the chairman will toe here on Monday, and I think a meeting should then be called immediately.

Topic:   THE PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE.
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THE TREADGOLD CONCESSION INQUIRY.

CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

Before the Orders of the Day are called, I would like to refer to a difference of opinion which I had yesterday with my hon. friend from Ottawa (Sir. Belcourt) as to a matter connected with the Treadgold Commission of 1903. The instructions to which I referred in speaking yesterday are to be found on pages 4486 and 4487 of ' Hansard ' of 1903. There was not only a debate upon the character of the instruction. But Mr. T. Chase Cas-grain, then the member for Montmorency, moved a resolution in regard to them ; and in the second last paragraph of the resolution attention is specially called to the fact that the provision which the opposition thought should be inserted in those instructions had not been inserted. It is possible that some further instructions were sent to the commissioners afterwards, because I observe, in the pamphlet which the hon. gentleman was good en.ough to hand to me, [DOT]reference to an Order in Council of July 30.

Topic:   THE TREADGOLD CONCESSION INQUIRY.
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LIB
CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

That Order in Council was never before the House. The instructions 1 referred to were those set forth in the speech of Mr. Casgrain.

Topic:   THE TREADGOLD CONCESSION INQUIRY.
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LIB

Napoléon Antoine Belcourt

Liberal

Mr. BELCOURT.

I understood the hon. leader of the opposition to say distinctly yesterday afternoon that the government had refused to instruct the commissioners to inquire into the question of fraud and misrepresentation in the obtaining of the concessions. I called my hon. friend's attention to the fact that the return brought down and printed and distributed among the members of this House for some time, showed clearly that the instruction's contained in paragraph 10 were distinct and e'ear instructions to the commissioners to investigate questions of fraud and misrepresentation, and I pointed out to my hon. friend, that the judge, in various parts of his report, had referred to those instructions, and had stated distinctly when the commission opened, that he was empowered to investigate questions of fraud and misrepresentation. I pointed out also that he had heard evidence in several cases tending to prove or to disprove that there had been fraud and misrepresentation. I pointed out that in every oue of the cases referred to him in which charges were made, the judge reported that no fraud or misrepresentation had been proved. So I think the hon. gentleman owes it to the House to say that he was mistaken when he said that it is hot fair on his part to say that there were no such instructions.

Topic:   THE TREADGOLD CONCESSION INQUIRY.
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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

I repeat again that the instructions which were brought down and in respect to which the debate took

place in this House, did not contain any such instructions to the commissioners.

Topic:   THE TREADGOLD CONCESSION INQUIRY.
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LIB
CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

May I say further than that, that the Postmaster General, upon the resolution moved by the hon. member for Montmorency, distinctly said that the government would not insert any such instructions to the commissioners. Not only that, but a division was taken on the resolution, and the members of the government, and my. hon. friend himself, voted that no such instructions should be inserted. The words of the resolution which was moved by the hon. member for Montmorency were these :

This House regrets that by the Instructions given to the commissioners to be appointed to investigate this subject 'and which were laid on the table of the House on the 8th of June instant, the proposed investigation is limited to the question as to whether the grant or concession to A. N. C. Treadgold and his associates of the 21st April, 190'2, and other similar concessions are likely to be beneficial or injurious to the mining interests of the Yukon Territory.

That was the shape in which the instructions were presented to the House, and upon which the division was taken, and it was to that I referred in my remarks of yesterday.

Topic:   THE TREADGOLD CONCESSION INQUIRY.
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LIB

Napoléon Antoine Belcourt

Liberal

Mr. BELCOURT.

Mr. Speaker, with the permission of the House, I want to say that I was clearly within my right in calling the attention of the House last night i j ,the fact that my hon. friend's explanation was not satisfactory to me if it was to other members of the House. My hon. friend stated distinctly that the government had refused to instruct the commissioners to investigate the question of fraud and misrepresentation in connection with these 'concessions.

Topic:   THE TREADGOLD CONCESSION INQUIRY.
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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

So they did on that occasion and changed their minds afterwards.

Topic:   THE TREADGOLD CONCESSION INQUIRY.
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LIB

Napoléon Antoine Belcourt

Liberal

Mr. BELCOURT.

I say that these were not the instructions of the government. The instructions were distinctly and clearly to investigate all questions of fraud and misrepresentation and I have proved that.

Topic:   THE TREADGOLD CONCESSION INQUIRY.
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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

Does my hon. friend say that any such instructions as those he has just mentioned are contained in the instructions laid on the table ?

Topic:   THE TREADGOLD CONCESSION INQUIRY.
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LIB

Napoléon Antoine Belcourt

Liberal

Mr. BELCOURT.

I say that the return-

Mr R, L. BORDEN. I am not talking about the return but about the instruction.

Topic:   THE TREADGOLD CONCESSION INQUIRY.
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LIB

Napoléon Antoine Belcourt

Liberal

Mr. BELCOURT.

I say that the return laid on the table of this House, and which has been for months in the possession of hon. members, shows clearly that these instructions were given to the commission-

ors, and that the commissioners had acted upon them in every case, and reported in every instance that there was no fraud or misrepresentation in connection with these concessions. It is du,e therefore to the House that my hon. friend should say he was mistaken.

Topic:   THE TREADGOLD CONCESSION INQUIRY.
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June 7, 1905