May 19, 1908

LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD (Pictou).

Is my friend, Mr. Ames, alleging that in the case "of berth No. 1122 there is any incorrect receipt by the government or that a less amount was paid than ought to have been paid in 1906?

Topic:   SUPPLY-TIMBER LEASES.
Subtopic:   '8811 COMMONS
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CON

Herbert Brown Ames

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. AMES.

I am asking for similar information.

Topic:   SUPPLY-TIMBER LEASES.
Subtopic:   '8811 COMMONS
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LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD (Pictou).

Why are you going behind the account in 1906?

Topic:   SUPPLY-TIMBER LEASES.
Subtopic:   '8811 COMMONS
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CON

Herbert Brown Ames

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. AMES.

For the purpose of obtaining information in the public interest and on my reputation as a member of parliament.

Topic:   SUPPLY-TIMBER LEASES.
Subtopic:   '8811 COMMONS
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LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD (Pictou).

For nothing else, is it ?

Topic:   SUPPLY-TIMBER LEASES.
Subtopic:   '8811 COMMONS
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CON

Herbert Brown Ames

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. AMES.

In the public interest, I think that is sufficient.

Here is another of these extraordinary mis-statements made by the hon. member for Pictou which I have a right to correct because it absolutely misrepresents the position of the hon. member for St. Antoine who, in the public interest, was endeavouring to get such information as the chairman of the committee would permit him.

Now, perhaps it would be wise, in view of the repeated statements of my hon. friend from Pictou, that we could have had a full investigation, to read some of the observations of the chairman and of the hon. member (Mr. Macdonald) in reference to this matter. I refer to page 10 of the evidence :

Topic:   SUPPLY-TIMBER LEASES.
Subtopic:   '8811 COMMONS
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LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD (Pictou).

Has this any reference to the question before the committee ? I would like to ask whether the envelope it came in has anything whatever to do with the question now before the Committee, the question that has been referred to the committee by the House whether the amount paid was correct. My friend, Mr. Ames, started out in a very guileless way to say that he wanted to prove whether thjs amount was correct or not in accordance with the lease.

That is the limit of the investigation and of the rights he wished to give us. But when it suited his purpose, there was no limit to the questions he was allowed to ask and did ask in reference to matters quite extraneous-for instance, what changes

were made in the regulations in 1907. What had that to do with the correctness of the rental? I only mention that by the way, to show not only the unfairness but the inconsistency of the hon. member for Pictou.

My friend, Mr. Ames, started out in a very guileless way to say that he wanted to prove whether this amount was correct or not in accordance with the lease. In the goodness of your heart, Mr. Chairman, you allowed him to go outside the reference and to deal with other matters that have nothing at all to do with it. I submit that the question as to what kind of an envelope the offer was contained or that it was in blue ink or red ink, whether it was open or not, anything of that kind, has nothing whatever to do with the account of 1906.

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CON

Herbert Brown Ames

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. AMES.

I think that the envelope has an important bearing upon the case. It was only the covering of the tender.

And it goes on, at page 55-56 :

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LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD (Pictou).

I was going to say that I do not intend asking any questions as to what took place between solicitor and client. Mr. Eraser misapprehended the obiect of my question.

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CON

Edmund James Bristol

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BRISTOL.

Mr. Fraser has, of course, made certain payments on behalf of clients, and his clients, he says, hare given him leave to give certain information here. Now, if my hon. friend (Mr. Macdonald) desires to go into the whole question of the timber limits which were held by the Imperial Company and by Mr. T. A. Burrows and all matters connected with it, there is nothing that would suit us better so long as it is understood we are to be allowed to follow it up and to investigate it as fully as we can before the committee.

That is our position. Yet the hon. gentleman says we did not want inquiry. These hon. gentlemen wanted an inquiry so far as it suited them, but we wanted a full inquiry : ,

But I do not want Mr. Fraser to be allowed to make what I would say, and very properly say, was a statement for the Imperal Pulp Company, a statement for the defence, without us having the very fullest possible opportunity to cross-examine and call witnesses on the other side.

Then the hon. member (Mr. Macdonald) switches round.

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LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD (Pictou).

This has arisen from a misunderstanding of the object in asking the question. By consent of the committee, Mr. Ames has been allowed to go back to the tender, the chairman laying down certain limitations with regard to the examination upon them.

You see the hon. member (Mr. Macdonald) takes the position that we could not look at anything but the original tender.

I am simply showing Mr. Fraser tenders which were shown to Mr. Campbell, they are in his handwriting, apparently, and 1 am going to ask him about it.

Now, I want to emphasize that, because on that occasion and on every occasion we declared that we want investigation; we wanted to be allowed to call witnesses and to cross-examine them as to these tenders and their correctness and whether there has been fraud or not. And yet, in spite of what the hon. gentleman said in the committee, he has the effrontery, the brazen effrontery, to stand up and say that we had all the investigation we wanted and could have had the fullest inquiry. I do not happen to possess the same command of the English language as my hon. friend-I mean the same picturesque part of it-hut if I had I would use some of his own words to treat the question under discussion. Now at page 60 we have this question by Mr. Macdonald :

Q. Well, now, perhaps you would just tell in detail, in so far as it is possible for you

to do so, the circumstances in connection with the putting up of this berth for tender, and these two tenders that are here.

Listen to that.

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CON

Edmund James Bristol

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BRISTOL.

Mr. Chairman, there is happening now just what we outlined would happen all along-counsel for people who have got timber berths is now asked to make a statement before this committee not in relation to any payments he has made, or the legality of any tender, but an ex parte defence on behalf of the people who have obtained these berths. We have no objection to that provided we are going to be able to call all the witnesses we desire in regard to this transaction. What is going on now is virtually what we have asked for in the House, and that is an investigation into these tenders and we are only too glad to have this investigation go on, but we want to be permitted the fullest rights of cross-examination in regard to this witness and the other witnesses.

And what do you suppose the hon. gentleman (Mr. Macdonald) said? Did he say, 'Certainly'? Not at all:

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LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD (Pictou).

I was asking this witness a question in regard to a certain phase of the question, but if my friends obiect- ,, . , , .

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LIB

Charles Marcil (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

The CHAIRMAN.

I do not think you ought to go beyond what has already been brought out; that is the tenders that have already been put in.

Then the witness interrupts.

WITNESS. I have not been subpoenaed for that purpose. I have not qualified myself for this examination. . , , . ,.

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CON

William Humphrey Bennett

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT.

We are simply asking the chairman if he will allow a cross-examination afterwards.

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CON

Herbert Brown Ames

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. AMES.

We are simply asking that the same privilege be accorded to both sides. There may not be the slightest objection, but we are simply calling attention to the fact in the fullest confidence in your fairness, Mr. Chairman.

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Subtopic:   '8811 COMMONS
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LIB

Charles Marcil (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

The CHAIRMAN.

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Subtopic:   '8811 COMMONS
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W. S. DWINNELL.


Thus the department had specific knowledge at the time of the disposal of 1031 that there was great demand for timber and that a great deal more time should be given. We had a speech not long ago from the ex-Minister of the Interior, in which he said he received no letter in relation to this. He may not have received those letters, but I suppose there is some one in the department who is responsible. We have another limit, 1048, and if the Minister of the Interior did not get two letters, he got a telegram, which is more apt to call the at-



tention of an hou. gentleman to such a matter. I have here a telegram of February 23, 1903, signed by the mayor of West Prince Albert. It is as follows : Canadian Pacific Railway Comany's Telegraph, West Prince Albert, N.W.T., February 23, 1903. Hon. Clifford Sifton, Ottawa. People of Prince Albert protest against sale of timber berths north of river timber limits passing into hands of speculators to the detriment of settlers. (Sgd.) J. F. ANSTULL, Mayor. On February 22 he received a telegram from the president of the board of trade, as follows : Canadian Pacific Railway Comany's Telegraph, West Prince Albert, N.W.T., February 22, 1903. Hon. Clifford Sifton, Minister of Interior, Ottawa. Am forwarding you to-day resolution passed by board of trade re timber limits to be tendered for on March 7. (Sgd. J. H. WILSON, President Board of Trade. Here is the resolution referred to : Prince Albert, February 23, 1902. At a meeting of the Prince Albert Board of Trade held to-day the following resolution was unanimously passed: It has been brought to our attention that in terms of the notice, dated Ottawa, 3anuajy 28, tenders are called for a license to cut timber on Dominion lands in the district of Saskatchewan on the following described berths. Berth No. 1018, comprising 250 square miles. Berth No. 1049 also comprising 250 square miles. We consider that in the interest of the town of Prince Albert and the country at large the area tendered for is too large, as few have sufficient capital to tender for such a large block and respectfully suggest that these berths be withdrawn and new tenders called for in blocks of fifty square miles and that the time for receiving same be extended for six months to enable lumbermen to examine limits for themselves. We also further suggest that action be taken with a view of amending the present Act governing the sale of timber berths. Sgd.) JOHN H. WILSON, President Board of Trade. Here is this wonderful ex-Minister of the Interior, this Napoleon of the West, this man of gigantic intellect, this man who made the west-the others only discovered it-with these facts before him, with notice that the regulations should be changed, with a request from responsible people like the mayor of tne town and the board of trade, saying that a resolution had been passed asking that these 500 square miles be not offered in this way, but that the sale be postponed for six months and that it should be in small lots. Why, he has his office boy write a letter to say that they don't see any reason for changing it at the present time. Here is the letter, dated the 13th of March : In reply we beg to say that as these berths appear to be advertised in the ordinary manner, it was not thought advisable to make any change. And this is a Reform government ! Now, Mr. Speaker, if there had been nothing else in this whole transaction, I say we have a right to condemn the ex-Minister of the Interior and the administration on the fact that away back in 1902, with the facts before him as shown to-night by telegrams and this resolution of the board of trade, he made no investigation, he did not postpone the sale. What happened then ? Why, Mr. Burrows did not have the effrontery to-night to deny the statement of my lion, friend from St. Antoine that it was his pul! with the ex-Minister of the Interior that got him these limits. He made a great many other denials, but he did not have the effrontery to make that one. What we say is this, that the ex-minister thought that under the name of William Cowan it would all be hushed up and nobody would know, and it was not until we got Mr. Fraser in the Public Accounts Committee that we knew for the first time that William Cowan's name was used by him under Mr. Burrow's instructions, and that Mr. Burrows provided the $5,000 cheque, and he never saw William Cowan. So here we have the lion, member for Dauphin sitting around with his $5,000 cheque, and we have the door closed against the possibility of bids by any other people, and we have 500 square miles of timber limits going under these circumstances to the brother-in-law of the ex-Minister of the Interior alias W'il-liam Cowan, and Fraser as his satellite. The bon. member for Dauphin says he has no interest in 1049. I am bound to accept his statement. But in looking at the records we find this receipt : September 11, 1905. Received from Mr. Theo. A. Burrows, of Grand view. Manitoba,, for John McBain, the sum of $1,250, in payment of one year's rent of timber berth No. 1049 to the 1st of May, 1906, and interest to 7th instant with the exception of $22,000 charged for interest. (Sgd.) G. U. RYLEY, Chief Clerk Timber, Mines and Crown Lands Branch, per Frans Loyer, bookkeeper. Well, the lion, member for Dauphin may be a philanthropist, I dare say he is ; but when he says that he had no interest direct or indirect in this limit, I am astonished at the way he spends his money, and I am surprised that he has so much of it. He did say that he acted as agent for the sale of this property ; but I never yet have been able to discover an agent who was kind enough to pay the rent on the property as 1 to which he was merely agent for the sale.


May 19, 1908