I do not know whether the Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding) is able to give me the information I desire, yet, in case he may be, I will put a question. Is it intended to introduce this session an amendment to the Criminal Law with relation to Art Unions incorporated in the old country, which are at present forbidden by our criminal law to carry on their operations in Canada ? I understood from the Minister of Justice (Mr. Fitzpatrick) that he would
I am sorry I cannot give my hon. friend (Mr. Daniel) a definite answer. I am heartily in sympathy with the view he expresses. I am familiar with the subject, for it was called to my attention when I was in the old country by gentlemen of high standing connected with the Art Union. The difficulty is to draft a clause which will distinguish between genuine art unions having for their object the encouragement of art, and other concerns that are mere lotteries. My hon. friend from St. Antoine division, Montreal (Mr. Ames) will remember that there were a number of institutions operating in Montreal under the guise of art unions which did a good deal of harm. In the effort to suppres these it appears we have shut out bona fide organizations. Now, all over the country there will be found genuine objects of art which have been distributed under their system, and no harm has come, but on the contrary much good, by supplying the homes of Canada with line pictures at a moderate cost. I sympathize with the view that we should endeavour to get a form of words which wTouId allow bona fide art unions to be formed without admitting the mere lotteries. But up to the present time there has been a difficulty in getting a form of words which would serve a good purpose without at the same time admitting evil. I will remind the Minister of Justice of the matter again to see if we can carry out the object which I think the most of us will concur in.
Grant to the imperial government to cover Canada's proportion of probable losses in connection with the operation of the Pacific cable, $125,000.
This cable is a joint concern between the imperial and colonial governments, and this is the proportion of the loss which is chargeable to Canada. This is an estimate made of wbat the loss is likely to be. We had to pay a sum in a previous year, I do not exactly remember the amount, but I think It corresponds with this, and this estimate is based upcfn past experience.
In any case, this item is one which we are in honour bound, at least to pay, whatever it may be. The amount is determined, I understand, at the end of the fiscal year, and we pay directly to the imperial government.
AVe pay to the commission, and the imperial government is the centre. It is an obligation, the proportion of Canada is fixed. The exact amount is not fixed, because that is a matter of business at the close of the year.
Yes, the various colonies pay in proportion to their interest, as laid down in the arrangement. They are to he charged with the sum which will represent their share of the earnings, and of course they would share in the profits, if there were any.
Well, it was thought to he necessary as a part of a large colonial policy in which we must take a little risk. Probably it has been somewhat disappointing financially, but all these important undertakings, in their early stages, are apt to involve some loss. But we hope to do better. My hon. friend Is aware that the Postmaster General has just left for the old country in order to be present at a conference in relation to this matter, and we hope that some better arrangement may be made. However, as my hon. friend from Montreal (Mr. Ames) says, we are obligated to pay our proportion, whatever it may he, and this is the estimated amount required for that purpose.
I do not object to pay anything that we are really and in duty bound to pay. But I would like to have a statement of the whole cost of the business. It would be much more satisfactory, before voting this large amount of money, to have the whole statement on the ' Hansard ' so that members of the House may become familiar with the transaction.