June 7, 1905

LIB

William Alfred Galliher

Liberal

Mr. GAXLIHER.

I suppose that the time granted by the extension has also expired.

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LIB
LIB

William Alfred Galliher

Liberal

Mr. GALLIHER.

My hon. friend (Mr. Thompson) referred to the mining regulations in the Yukon. Of course, were the Yukon a province, it would be entitled, like' other provinces, to make its own mining *laws. But while they remain a territory, with the lands owned by the Dominion government as representing the Crown, of course, the Dominion will make its own laws and regulations. But let me say- and it seems to be an opportune time to approach this subject-that mining does not receive the special attention it should [DOT]receive. Mining matters come under the care of the Department of the Interior. We ail know that that department covers a great variety of subjects-the Geological [DOT]Survey, Immigi-ation, Indian Affairs, Mining. I need not enumerate them all. But, it seems perfectly clear to me that this department involves a greater range and variety of duties than any single minister, no matter how capable he may be, can give proper attention to. And I contend that the mining industry of Canada has reached a stage when it must be regarded as one of our most important industries, an industry that is entitled to have a separate portfolio presided over by a responsible minister. Under this new department, if it were created, would probably come the Geological Survey, which. I believe, is more closely allied to mining than to any other branch of industry. In my opinion, and not only in my opinion, but in the opinion of all those who live in our mining sections, the time has arrived when the government should look to the establishment of a separate portfolio of mines. The existence of such a department would be a great benefit to the country. The minister at its head could give much more careful attention to mining affairs than can the Minister of the Interior who has so many other affairs in his charge. That new minister would be in a position to take the course suggested by my hon. friend from Yukon (Mr. Thompson) or some similar course-he could thoroughly acquaint himself with the laws governing mining affairs. He need not confine himself to the Yukon or to British Columbia, but could consider the mining laws of every province of Canada and those of other countries, including the laws of the mining states of the union, where mining laws were in existence before we had any such laws in Canada. And the framing of regulations by that minister, I .believe, as does the hon. member for Yukon, would be greatly in the interest of the people of our mining regions and of the people of Canada gen-

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LIB

William Alfred Galliher

Liberal

Mr. GALLIHER.

erally. One of the first and greatest results of the existence of a separate department of mines under a responsible minister would be to give confidence in Can-]

[DOT] adian mining investments to capitalists abroad. In my opinion it would do far more to bring about that result than even, the best laws and regulations of any separate province. If you have one federal bureau of mines with a minister presiding over it you can collect data from all the provinces, and it would be presented noli in a sectional way as it might by the representative of one province who is bent; upon upholding that province as the best field of investment. That information, would be from reliable sources and centralized in one bureau at Ottawa it would be a source of information to people outn side. This would give the greatest impetus that has yet been known to the invest-, ment of foreign capital in the mining industries of Canada.

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LIB

Adam Zimmerman

Liberal

Mr. A. ZIMMERMAN (West Hamilton).

I desire to say just a word in relation to the subject so ably dealt with by the hon. member for the Yukon (Mr. Thompson). I wish to congratulate him on the splendid address he gave us this afternoon. It was certainly a very interesting speech. I was dissap-pointed in hearing his statement that although the Yukon has produced $128,000,000 in gold during the last eight years, we have received but $13,000,000 worth of trade from that country. Certainly these figures are out of all proportion, there must be something wrong. I think if the Canadian government purchased the gold produced in that country it would to some extent overcome that difficulty. The fact of all that gold going into the United States and being purchased there, means that the miners must get most of their supplies in that country. I think the time has come when we Canadians should receive the benefit of our own natural weath. The hon. gentleman also spoke with regard to free mining machinery. Now, Sir, I claim that the increase in the business of mining is so great that it should stimulate Canadian manufacturers to enter into the business of making mining machinery. That business has become great, and is rapidly growing. My hon. friend stated that it would probably lissome years before mining machinery could be manufactured in this country that would be suitable, and therefore no duty should be placed on mining machinery, it should be admitted free. I claim, on the contrary, that the longer you leave the duty off the longer will you have to wait to see this machinery manufactured in Canada. Again I thank the hon. gentleman for his statement. It was a great delight to me, and I believe it will do much good in the country. It is to be desired that we hear more frequently in this House speeches of that kind

that have the true Canadian ring about them.

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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Rt. Hon. Sir WILFRID LAURIER (Prime Minister).

The House is undoubtedly very much indebted to my hon. friend from the Yukon (Mr. Thompson) for the very able address with which he has favoured us this afternoon. It was all the more able that it was so temperate and judicial in tone. He has spoken his mind in a manly fashion, concealing nothing, and endeavouring to please no one, but merely to state the facts. He was enthusiastic in describing the character of the country which he represents, though I do not think he was unduly enthusiastic. We knew a good deal of the Yukon and of its possibilities, we know more of them now. If there was one part of his speech that I enjoyed more than the rest, it was the statement he made that the Yukon is not only a gold producing country, but that also it has possibilities for agriculture which few of us had suspected. If it be true that this distant part of our northern continent can produce wheat, that wheat can ripen there, I think that fact should be even more satisfactory to us than its mineral riches. Because after all, the great source of wealth of any country is not its mineral resources, but its agricultural resources ; and if we have in that northern part of Canada a soil and climate in which wheat will ripen, as well as other cereals, and some fruits and vegetables, the future of that country is assured, even when, hundreds of years from to-day, the gold has been exhausted.

(But undoubtedly, the most interesting portion of the address of my hon. friend was his remarks with regard to the reforms which are needed in that country. On the whole the government cannot complain of the manner in which he approached this subject. He has shown that the administration has not been free from faults, but I think on the whole we can reasonably claim that the faults have been very few, having regard to the condition of things we found there seven years ago. One of the important points to which my hon. friend addressed himself was the character of the mining regulations. I did not understand that he complained particularly of the character of the regulations which exist at the present time. One thing w7hich he insisted upon strongly was that these regulations should have the stamp of stability put upon them. He stated that of late changes had been made. I think that is true, but I am not aware that of late there has been any marked change in the regulations. But it was unavoidable that in the early days of the discovery of gold, when miners rushed in there by thousands every year-it was unavoidable, I say, that there should have been mistakes made, and it was at first impossible to give that country the institutions which have been found to be most desirable for t(he development of the gold

industry. I would remind my hon. friend of the conversation, which he himself repeated, that he had with Mr. Murray, the Prime Minister of the province of Nova Scotia. Nova Scotia, I think, has a very satisfactory mining code at the present moment, and he asked Mr. Murray if they had always had that code, and Mr. Murray told him they had not. but it was the result of successive experiments, and of frequent conferences with the miners, and that only after long experience had they been able to evolve a code which at this moment gives so much satisfaction to all the parties concerned. No doubt some improvements can be made in the Yukon, but I do not know7 that at present there is much to be reformed. I noticed that one of the reforms to which the hon. gentleman wanted immediate attention to be given, was the size of the claims. At present the size of the claim is 250 feet by

2,000 feet ; he would have the size doubled, so that a claim should be 500 by 2,000 feet. If I remember right, nothing in the regulations has been changed so often as the size of the claims. They have varied frequently, time and again we have made changes ; but these changes were only made after consultation w'ith the parties interested, after inquiry, and upon representations that the regulations w7ere defective in that respect. In the early days of the Eldorado, in 1897 and 1898, the claims were very rich, and they were not as large as they are to-day. But though they were smaller in size than they are to-day, still representations were often made to us that they ought to be changed, and it was only after a series of changes that they have attained to their present size. I must say to my hon. friend that I have not heard any complaints made as to the present size of the claims, still he desires that some alteration be made in the regulations in this respect and apparently he speaks by authority.

I may say to my hon. friend (Mr. Thompson) that I do not know7 how far it would be possible and proper or that the time has come w7hen we should have a mining law enacted by this parliament. Up to the present time we have not thought it advisable to have mining law7s enacted by this parliament because we thought it would be preferable to vest the power of passing such laws in the Governor General in Council, so that changes might be made promptly where changes were found necessary, but now that the condition of the country is more certain and is better known, and now that we have come to what we should call a condition of practical settlement, perhaps it may be advisable indeed that we should have a mining law enacted by this parliament. But, although this is the case, for my part, I have always expected that we would be informed in this matter some time or other by the Yukon Council. I have been expecting-and in this I have been dis-1 appointed, I must say,-the government has

been expecting that at some time the Yukon Council would he able to send us at least the skeleton of a mining Act which could be taken up by the department here to prepare legislation. If this is not done, I do not know that the government may not profit by the suggestion of my hon. friend of sending a commissioner to interview the miners, to confer with them and report the result of his investigation and make this the basis of legislation say for the next session of parliament. It is a suggestion which is very well worthy of consideration and the government will give it due attention. The next thing to which my hon. friend addressed his remarks is one as to which I must say I hardly think I can agree with him ; it is with regard to what he calls the export duty on gold. The export duty at the present time is simply a royalty. We have given it the form of an export duty for reasons which I shall explain in a few moments but it is with a view of collecting the royalty more easily. First of all should we have or should we not have a royalty on gold ? My hon. friend represented to the government some time ago that the duty should be at least suspended upon all gold produced in the lTukon whether by placer or quartz mining. The government had no hesitation in coming to the conclusion that upon all gold produced by quartz mining there should be a suspension of the duty for ten years, and we have applied a similar exemption also to copper, but I submit to my hon. friend if he has the opinion and will persist in the opinion that there should be a suspension of the duty ou gold produced from the placer mining that if there is a principle which is sound in political economy it is that a moderate tax should be put upon the production of the precious metals. This is done in many countries. My hon. friend stated that in the United States there is no such tax. I was not aware of the fact; I take his word for it, but in most civilized nations of the world there is a small royalty put upon the gold produced. In the province of Nova Scotia which has as was stated by my hon. friend a moment ago a very good system of mining laws, there is a small royalty if I am correctly informed, not only upon placer mining which is not carried on in that province, but upon quartz mining, and for this reason I submit to my hon. friend and I would submit also to the people of the Yukon generally, that in order that they should bear their share of legitimate taxation which all parties have to bear it is not unreasonable that they should submit to a moderate royalty. If the royalty is too large at the present time that is a matter for consideration and debate. In tne enrlv days we imposed a royalty of 10 per cent and I agree that this was a very exorbitant tax. At that time, however, I. do not think it was felt to be too hard, because the production was so abundant, the Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

gravel was so rich, that I think the people submitted willingly to the tax. After a few years we reduced it by one-half and brought it down to 5 per cent, and we again reduced it to 21 per cent. Now, as I un; derstood my hon. friend he did not ask that it should be abolished altogether, but that it should be suspended for a certain number of years even if only for three years. Before I would give assent to this suggestion I think it would be worth while considering again as I said a moment ago, and I would like the consideration of my hon. friend and of the people whom he represents if it is not reasonable and fair that they should bear their share of the taxation which of course they have to bear like all others, and having a particular branch of wealth which is very productive indeed, I do not think it would be unfair for them to consider that after all they should bear that tax if it is too heavy at 2i per cent, I think I would be open to consideration of this, but as at present advised I do not think it is too heavy or too large. My hon. friend suggested that if we are to maintain the export duty it should be applied only to the gold which really goes out of the country and not to the part of the gold which remains in Canada. As to that I do not think I can at all agree with my hon. friend. The export duty is made not for the purpose of discouraging the sale of gold outside the country ; it i's simply to facilitate the collection of the tax because in reality it is a tax and nothing else. At the present time, by putting the tax in the form of an export duty the miner is entitled to go to the bank, sell his gold and get a draft from the bank which he can collect in the east after he leaves the Yukon. It seems to me that in the interests of the miner it is far preferable that he should dispose of his gold before he quits the Yukon and put his wealth in the shape of a draft which is safer, more easy to carry and not so susceptible of loss, and which can be cashed by him whenever he comes out into the outside world again where he can use his wealth. For this reason, I think my hon. friend will agree with me that perhaps if there is to be a tax upon gold this is the best way of collecting it. I sympathize to a large degree if not entirely with my hon. friend as to the suggestion which he has made with regard to the disposition of the gold. He suggests that the gold should be bought by the government and not by the banks. For my part, I sympathize altogether with that suggestion. I think the government should buy the gold if it was in a position to buy it, but I must say to my hon. friend that no government can buy gold unless it has a mint to coin it. Gold is a merchandise like everything else and if we buy it we must sell it. When we have a mint we will coin the gold. Every ounce of gold brought from the Yukon will then be brought to Ottawa

or to an assay office at Dawson, and I think we should have one here, we should have an assay office in the Yukon. Then the miner can take the gold to the assay office and dispose of it there to the government. Then it would be brought here and be coined, it would go into circulation for the purposes of the country and what is not required for the use of the country would have to be exported abroad, like every other merchandise. This is the way it is done elsewhere, this is the way it must be done here. I must say that I could not exactly realize my hon. friend's meaning when he said that we should buy the gold and give treasury bills for it and then treat it as we treat the savings of the country when they are brought to the savings banks. It seems to be a plain business principle that if we buy gold we must buy it simply as merchandise, and I agree that the government is the proper party to buy that merchandise, because the government, having a mint, is in a position to sell it. Otherwise I do not think it would be practicable.

My hon. friend spoke of the hydraulic concessions which have been given. I may say and say in all frankness that I am ready to believe that in this respect the policy which has been followed by the government has not been satisfactory. The motive was good and if the policy was excellent in itself, if that policy has been carried out as it was intended, it would have been of very great benefit to the Yukon. My hon. friend stated and stated truly that the want, if not the chief want of the Y'ukon, is water. Water is almost as precious as gold in the Yukon. One thing which the miner must have and without which he cannot prosecute his industry is water. These hydraulic concessions were in every instance for the purpose of promoting water development. Unfortunately these concessions have not produced the results anticipated, and I believe the policy of the government will be henceforth not to give any more concessions? In obedience to the suggestion which was made by my hon. friend when he came here a few months ago we have sent a mining engineer up to the Yukon to make a hydrographic survey, after which we will be able to resolve a new system of disposing of the water there which, we hope, will give more satisfaction to the people of the Yukon than the system which has been pursued in the past.

My hon. friend has made another suggestion for the develoi>ment of quartz mining which, I am afraid, he will find some difficulty in passing through this House. My hon. friend has suggested that we should have mining machinery and dredging plant made free ; that is to say that the miners should be at liberty to import from the United States the mining machinery and dredges which they require for the prosecution of their avocation. We have a ' law-my hon. friend has alluded to it-which permits at the moment the free introduction of mining machinery of a class not now made in Canada, but the suggestion is that we should confer this privilege not only in respect to machinery that is not made in Canada but also in respect to machinery that is made in Canada. I am afraid that my hon. friend will find very serious opposition to this, because, after all, we have a tariff which has been adopted for purposes which were deemed sufficient by the parliament and people of Canada, and if under this tariff men have been induced to put their money into the production of dredges and into the manufacture of mining machinery, and if they were to be subjected to competition which they did not expect and which deprived them of their market, undoubtedly very serious complications would result and there would probably be very serious representations made to parliament and to the government. I do not think it would be possible to encourage quartz mining in that direction. I am afraid that the miners in the Yukon who, I understand, are now going from placer mining into quartz mining, will have to make the best of their situation, but I believe that quartz producing will be sufficiently remunerative to induce them to put their money into that industry even apart from the advantage which my hon. friend would like them to have.

My hon. friend has also spoken of the extra duty which is imposed upon liquor going into the Yukon of $2 a gallon. If my hon. friend had been here some few years ago he would have been aware of the discussion which took place on that question. There was a movement at that time to prevent liquor from going into the Yukon. There was quite a feeling in the country that the Yukon should be a prohibition country. We did not think it advisable to yield to that request, but we thought that it would at all events be advisable to put a restriction upon the consumption of liquor and it was done in this way. On the whole I think that the Yukon, although it is not a prohibition country, is a temperate country. I do not think there is a greater excess of drinking in the Yukon than there is in any other part of the country. However, we will certainly feel it to be our duty to consider the suggestion that my hon. friend makes that the extra $2 per gallon shall be dropped.

But, the most important part of the observations of my hon. friend to the House this afternoon was what he said about the Yukon Council, and his remarks upon that subject certainly ought to command our best attention. Everybody will agree with my hon. friend that the Yukon, like every other part of Canada, should have representative institutions. But, I ask my hon. friend : Is the government, or is parliament at all derelict in its duty in regard to that matter 1 It is only eight years since

the Yukon was discovered and brought into civilization. Up to that time it was an unknown country. All of a sudden, in 1897, there was a rush of population from all over the world, not only from Canada but from Europe and America, into that distant country. Under great difficulties, in the face of great inconvenience and obstacles, they rushed into that country and things were rather unsettled. My hon. friend will agree with me that it would have been extremely unwise if we had given to this new population coming from all parts of the world representative institutions. Those who came from outside of the British empire would have been voters, but the few who came even from the British empire would have been lost, or would have been mixed with such a large number of the foreign element that it would have been extremely unwise to have given at once an elective council to this new community. We proceeded then to appoint a commissioner giving him an advisory or a legislative council composed of a certain number of officials and one or two elected members. That was sufficient for the time, and X think served the purpose very well. As the country became more settled and as it commenced to have a permanent population the system was changed and the council was constituted of five elected members and five nominated members. At that time it was impossible to do better. My hon. friend has found some fault with the character of the men who are nominated by the government. They are all, as he said, officials of the government. That is very true. At that time, four or five years ago, when this was done, I think it would have been unwise to have had any other members appointed to the council than those who were officials of the government. They had been sent from the east, they were known to the government and therefore, to some extent, the government could rely upon them. But, that time has passed, I am quite prepared to admit. My hon. friend says : I will not say whether or not the government at this moment should make the whole council elective, but if they do not make the whole council elective they should withdraw the present nominated members and appoint members who are absolutely independent of the government. I am quite prepared to consider that. I think It is perhaps a wise suggestion and I am quite prepared to-consider the suggestion in favour of making the whole clause elective. That it must be made elective at an early date goes without saying, that it must be made elective almost immediately I am quite prepared to consider also, hut I submit that if it should be done to-day it should not have been done before, and that the government has not been remiss in the character which it has given to the institutions of the Yukon. Let me remind my hon. friend of the fact, as I said a moment ago, that it is only since Sir WILFRID LAUR1ER.

1897 that there has been a population in the Y'ukon. It was not five years after the commencement of the movement of population into that Territory that the Yukon was given representation in this House, and nothing is better for the Yukon than to have a representative on the floor of this House who can speak for the people of that country and who can perform the duty which my hon. friend has performed so well to-day of informing us what is wanted by them. My hon. friend says : I speak for the Yukon; I speak for the people who are there and who have sent me here, and I say that you must change the character of the executive and legislative council as it exists to-day, you must give it new life and make it more accessible to the people. You must make it more representative than it is at the present time. I am quite prepared to agree to that. All I have to say in defence of it is that we did uot know that it would be advisable to do this at this moment. The government will be bound to consider the observations made by my hon. friend on that subject.

I will uot enter to-day upon another question raised by my hon. friend, as to whether or not the Yukon should be ans nexed to British Columbia. I would not say yes, and I would not say no. Speak-, ing a few days ago on this subject, I stated that there were in our country some territories which in my opinion ought to be aunexed to the older provinces. I spoke for instance of the territory of Mackenzie, the territory of Keewatin, the territory of Franklin and ithe territory of Ungava. So far as we know these districts, they are not of the same character as the Yukon, they cannot have, so far as I know, any agriculture, and where there is no agri->

culture there can be no permanent popu-i lation. Therefore these Territories are not likely to have such a character as to in->

duce any government to make them into provinces. But if the Yukon country is of a different character, if we are to have there a permanent population, it has certainly the space to make a province, andi therefore we can leave this question for future consideration. My hon. friend does not expect or desire that the Yukon should he made a province at the present time ; but what he wants to be assured in advance is that it shall not he annexed to another province, even if it be the good, fair and rich province of British Columbia. I think I can asure my hon. friend so far, that we have no intention of marrying the Yukon to British Columbia, and if it puts, an obstacle to the banns, I may say to him that I have never had that- idea in my. mind at all. I have only again to offer my congratulations to the hon. member for the manner in which he has introduced thisi subject, and for the very valuable information which he has given us, and to assure

him that the government will deem it their duty to give the subject their very best consideration.

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?

Mr. R. L.@

BORDEN (Carleton. Ont.) Mr. Speaker, I would like to join in the congratulations which have been extended to the hon. member for the Yukon for the very full and well informed address which he has given to us respecting the conditions in that territory; and I think we may, also congratulate ourselves that certain me-, thods which were employed to prevent the return of that gentleman to represent the Yukon proved unsuccessful at the last moJ ment, owing to the determination of the people of the Yukon not to permit such methods to prevail as those which had prevailed there previously. I was a little pained to observe that the Prime Minister, did not meet the request for free mining machinery with that generous enthusiasm for free trade which inspired him during his tour of the west in 1894, when he declaimed against protection of any kind as bondage in the same sense that American slavery was a bondage, and declared, that he would not rest in his political career until the full measure qf free trade as it is in England was obtained for this country. I would have thought, from his utterances of those days, that the Prime Minister would have said to my friend from the YTukon that this was a slight instalment of that free trade towards which we have been tendinv so rn-hlly during the last eight or nine. years, and that the request of the people of the Yukon in that regard would be granted at the earliest possible moment. However, it was the ill fortune of my hon. friend from the Yukon to find the Prime Minister in a somewhat unsympathetic mood in that regard. Pen haps he may be less obdurate on some futi ure occasion.

I was glad also to receive from the hon. member for the Yukon an assurance, which has already been given in certain official publications of this government, that that 80 per cent of the trade of the Yukon at the present time is in the hands of Canadians. I am glad of this, because we have had from the Prime Minister on many occasions since what is known at the Mackenzie & Mann deal *was defeated in the Senate, various lamentations that a certain railway proposal of this government to which I have just referred was not carried through, and that bj means of the action of the Senate at that time the trade of this country had been thrown into the hands of the people of the United States. Well, it appears that these apprehensions of the Prime Minister and his colleagues were wholly unfounded ; and I was glad that my right hon. friend the Prime Minister was so well advised as to congratulate the hon. member for the Yukon upon a result 225

which the Prime Minister himself said as few years ago would never obtain unless *the proposed railway was built. The speech of the hon. member for which ha has been congratulated by the Prime Min-, ister is the best possible vindication that}: could be offered of the action of the Senate of Canada in doing what it did at that time.

In regard to the many matters of inter

est which have been alluded to in the speech of my hon. friend-and I regret that I was not able to hear all of it, having been called out of the House during a portion of the afternoon-I would like to say just a word or two with regard to only a few of them. In the first place, as to the concessions to which the hon. member made reference, I see no reason why' the government should not at once accede to the proposal which he has made, and call upon the men who have obtained concessions of gold mining territory in the Yukon, to fulfil the conditions upon which they obtained those areas. Is there any possible reason why that should not be done? We had some discussion on these matters a few years ago, the result of which was that a certain commission was sent by this government to investigate the position of affairs with regard to the Tread-gold concession and with regard to concessions generally. Representations of a very strong character had been made by the miners of the Yukon at that time, charging not only unwisdom in the making of those concessions, but in some cases at least actual fraud. Well, the government propose to issue a commission, taking good care to exclude from the terms o! that commission any opportunity to the commissioners to investigate those charges. They were carefully eliminated, after and in spite of debate on this House before that commission was sent forward. The commission did go forward and their report was delayed for a very long time. We urged the government to bring down the report in order that it might be debated, and eventually a certain member of the administration who has a seat in another House stated that the report would not be brought down at all. His colleagues did not concur in that view. The report was brought down after an announcement had first been* made in the public press that the commission was to be cancelled, and it was cancelled. Well, there are other concessions in the Yukon, and, so far as I am able to gather from the remarks of the hon. member, the present position of affairs permits these areas to be held for future development, and the government is not calling upon those who hold them to fulfil the Conditions which are essential to the proper development of that country. That is a condition of affairs which should not be permitted for a single moment. The re-1 suit of permitting that to continue is tbati

these lands are held for the benefit of men Who may not intend to develop them at alii "but may Intend to hold them in order to bbtain in the future that Increment of profit which will arise from the efforts of the (ordinary miners in the Yukon, and which Will make those properties very much more valuable than they are at present.

My hon. friend from the Yukon referred, 1 think, to the representation fee ?

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CON
LIB

Napoléon Antoine Belcourt

Liberal

Hon. N. A. BELCOURT (Ottawa).

The leader of the opposition (Mr. R. L. Borden) has made a statement of facts-unwittingly I have no doubt-which is entirely disproved by the evidence. He stated that in the commission issued to Judge Britton to investigate certain matters of the Yukon the government had carefully omitted any instructions to inquire into questions of fraud

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

That is my recollection.

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LIB

Napoléon Antoine Belcourt

Liberal

Mr. BELCOTJRT.

The hon. gentleman (Mr. R. L. Borden) is quite mistaken. I would refer him to the commission as printed In the return included in the report of Judge Britton himself as brought down in return to an older of this House dated March 17, 1904. Judge Britton says :

The undersigned commissioner and Benjamin Taylor A. Bell were appointed by letters patent under the great seal, dated 30th day ot July, 1903, to inquire into and report upon certain matters and things more particularly mentioned and set out in certain Orders in Council bearing date respectively the 29th day of May and the 30th day of June, 1903.

These Orders in Council state-

225i

The sections are set out in order, and section 10 is as follows :

10. That it has been alleged that the hydraulic claims granted in pursuance of the regulations for the granting of hydraulic claims in the Yukon Territory have been procured by fraud and misrepresentation, and that the material conditions of the leases, have not been observed, thereby rendering the same liable to cancellation.

I have only had time to look at one or two pages of the report with regard to this point, but I find that, at page 16, in dealing with the hydraulic concessions generally, Mr. Justice Britton says, among other things :

If there has been shown any fraud or misrepresentation by reason of which a concession has been granted, my commission enables me to deal with such. It may he taken for granted that if a hydraulic concession is only of such a mining location as is contemplated by the regulation and if that location is worked as such, it must necessarily be beneficial to the mining industry of the Yukon Territory

And so on. Dealing with the various concessions separately under different heading, Mr. Justice Britton reports, as will be seen at page 17 :

Within the period set out in the public notice given by the commission, protests were filed against the following hydraulic mining leases, and representations were made that these leases had been obtained by fraud or misrepresentation on behalf of the applicants, and that the holders thereof had failed to comply with the requirements of the leases of such concessions.

Then, dealing with the Matson concession, he says page 19 :

It is of considerable Importance in dealing with the question of fraud and misrepresentation that :

1. The application was made before the regulation ; and

2. That everything which could possibly be ascertained by the applicants was supposed to be known by Mr. Ogilvie and Mr. Ogilvie speaks in his letter of 16th of September, 1899, of some of those located as merely speculators. See also his letter of 11th November, 1899.

In the face of what had been done by the holders and accepted by the department, and sentation on behalf of the applicants, and that the conditions of the lease have not boon complied with.

And in dealing with the Doyle concession and the Bronson and Ray concession he refers to the question of fraud :

In the absence of evidence contradicting Mr. Ogilive, commissioner of the territory, or evidence showing bad faith on his part, fraud or misrepresentation on the part of the applicants cannot be found.

I merely rose to call the attention of the hon. gentleman (Mr. R. L. Borden) to a very serious error on his part, imputing to the government something which, I ain sure, he would not have imputed to them had he correctly remembered the facts.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

My hon. friend (Mr. Belcourt) has not convinced me. I remember distinctly the debate that took place in the House and the controversy between the Postmaster General (Sir William Mulock) and myself in regard to the appointment. The Postmsater General made a speech in which he announced that the commission would be issued, and in that speech said that it would be given the widest terms. I do not know the terms in which it was issued-

Mi-. BELCOURT. I have just read them.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

But the proposal which the Postmaster General brought down to the House, and which, I have the right to assume, covered the terms in which it would be issued, was very much narrower than the speech which he made, and we had a .prolonged debate as to the terms of the commission, in which we urged that it should be made wider. I have sent for ' Hansard,' and I think I can satisfy my hon. friend from Ottawa (Mr. Belcourt) that my remarks of a few moments ago were not at all out of place in view of what occurred on that occasion.

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Motion agreed to, and House went into Committee of Supply. Mail subsidies and steamship subventions-a line or lines of steamers to run between St. John, Halifax and London, $40,000. .


LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

This service is now performed by two lines, the Canadian Pacific and the Furness lines. The contract was entered into in November last and expired on the 31st of May. We have asked for other tenders, the time allowed for tendering to end in July next.

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CON

John Waterhouse Daniel

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DANIEL.

Do I understand that tenders have been asked for, and the time not yet elapsed ?

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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

Yes. The service is in operation now', and was last winter. We have asked for more tenders to be received in the month of July.

A line or lines of steamers to run between St. John and Halifax, or either, and the West Indies and South America, $80,700.

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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

This is an old subsidy. Under the present subsidy there are two lines of steamers which are subventioned. One subsidy for which we pay $65,000, now goes to Messrs. Pickford & Black, that is the subsidy for a service between st. John and Halifax and a number of islands in the West Indies, among which are Bermuda, St. Kitts, Antigua, Dominica, St. Vincent, Grenada, St. Lucia and Trinidad. The imperial government also pay them a similar sum of $65,000. Besides. we pay Pickford & Black $15,000 as a subsidy for a direct service between St. John and Halifax and St. Domingo. That subsidy has expired, we have asked for tenders, and have received a tender from

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LIB

Napoléon Antoine Belcourt

Liberal

Mr. BELCOURT.

Pickford & Black. But they have asked for certain modifications in the service, dispensing them from calling at certain islands, and as the imperial government is equally interested in the service, paying one-lialf, we are now in correspondence with them with regard to the matter.

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CON

Herbert Brown Ames

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. AMES.

Wrould the minister be willing to let this item stand over ? Considerable correspondence has been exchanged between various boards of trade on this matter. I did not anticipate it coming up to-night, and have not the correspondence with me.

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June 7, 1905