June 2, 1908

LIB
CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

I will not, because I have no doubt that my hon. friend who is making the interruption is probably listening with both ears wide open.

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LIB
CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER (reading) :

There seems to be no limit to the number of licenses. The saloon men in Bonanza village, six in number I think, asked the license commissioners to grant no more licenses. The acting commissioner and the person known as Ikey Rosenthal-

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LIB

Alexander Johnston

Liberal

Mr. JOHNSTON.

What's the matter with Ikey?

'Mr. FOSTER. That is a gentleman that I will introduce to the hon. member for Sydney. He will probably be quite familiar with such-

-drove to our village with the result that at least four additional licenses are to be granted. I make the foregoing statements advisedly, for I have the very best reason for believing that Mr. Hinton the license commissioner was forced against his judgment to grant the additional license.

But the worst feature of the licensed houses here is that a very large percentage of them are houses of prostitution. Many of them run it is true, by people of good character. But a large number of bawdy houses with a government license to prey upon the public.

I have wondered since coming north why the permit system was adopted. Was it to restrict the sale of liquor P Or to make it respectable? Or to make money for government exigencies? Or to make money for men with a pull? J

Pardon this plainness, it is the wav the people talk about it here. If either of the nrst two ends was sought, the permit system is a failure. If the last two, it has been an unqualified success. Of all the debauching influences which touch our private and our public life, the whisky permit and its possessor are the worst. Of it, almost all other evils are begotten.

\\ hat the officers of the Northwest Mounted 1 olice think about all this, 1 do not know. But the rank and file do not hesitate to say that when they do their duty, they are praised as the finest force on earth, and then to use their own expressions, are r buffaloed/ thrown down/ Again and again have they raided places running in defiance of the criminal law of Canada, only to be told by some official friend of gamblers, that they have exceeded their duty. The law is systematically manipulated- not to protect the public, but to protect and nurse the gambler and shame honest men. It is enough to degrade any force, however fine, to know that

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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

where immorality is concerned, it is useless to do their duty that the law itself will be used to thwart them, and defeat the ends of justice.

I have written in plain terms. If I am asked what right I have so to address the government of Canada, I answer: That I am a Canadian and love my native land. I hold that we have a right to expect that the men who represent our government, the officers of the law and of departments, should not only do justly, but live rightly. I have said publicly here, and I repeat it, that there is a conscience in the east, and I shall do my best to arouse and invoke it for the overthrow of wrong. That I shall refuse to be silent, when I know that men who are public servants, are renegades from righteous and purity; and that I snail protest against the outrage put upon us, of having to look upon men as our superiors, who are hand-in-glove with crooks and gamblers and apologists for immorality, men who are not so much concerned about tire enforcement of the law, as they are about finding excuses for the evasion of it.

Two years ago I refused to believe stories I heard about the scandalous lives of Yukon officials. These stories were used for party purposes, those using them not so much concerned about the interests of the country, as about the interests of their party. For this reason they were willing to exhibit their country's shame exaggerated greatly, I then believed before the world. I refused to believe these stories, and my statements concerning them were made use of on the public platform from Halifax to Victoria to rebut statements made by our opponents. I was largely in error I fear. If things then were worse than they have, been during Mr. Ross' ab-cense this spring. I was certainly in error, I should at least have been silent.

I write this not as a minister, but as a citizen. I wrote it as one who has the greatest confidence ill Mr. Ross' ability and integrity, and my strictures do not touch him personally.

Brit I have been so overwhelmed with the stories of lewdness and injustice, especially since his departure for Ottawa, that though I have never heretofore taken a public part in politics, I shall certainly use my influence in every legitimate way, to cast out of our public life the principles which are a menace to our life as a people and the men who are their exponents and apologists and the illustrations of their power.

I am, sir,

Yours in sincerity,

(Sgd.) JOHN PRINGLE.

P.S.-I have sent this only to members of the cabinet and to Mr. Ross.

You, Mr. Speaker, and the House, will remember that this was written by a friend to friends, by one of the Liberal" party to the chiefs of that party and written, as he expressly states, that the facts might be brought before the Prime Minister and his government in order that by that knowledge of the facts efficient measures might be taken to redress the grievances and to do away with the evils as far as they could be done away with. Well, Sir, "to that communication of 1902, the Rev. John

Pringle received no answers from some of the ministers at least, at least I do not find on these files an answer from any of them. The government went on with that astonishing statement before the face and eyes of the First Minister who is the representative of the government of this country. That state of things went on ; not only was no heed given to it personally by the First Minister, as it would appear from these papers, but it does not appear that any step was taken at Ottawa to inquire into it or remedy it. It would seem to me that the first thing that the Prime Minister should have done on such an explicit statement being put into his hands and from the source from which it came, was to have instituted a searching and full inquiry; for two reasons, first for the reason of justice to his own officials and representatives if these stories were unfounded and, secondly, for the reputation of his own government and the people of Canada part of whose territory the Yukon, with its quite large population, was. But, neither of these things was done. Those conditions continued and the Rev. John Pringle remained in the Yukon, travelling from one place to another, going ultimately to' Dawson City and, at last, seeing that nothing was done, he again adressed himself to the Prime Minister, on the 3rd of January, 1905. I shall ask the House to listen to the second letter written three years after the first as nothing had resulted from his first attempt at redressing the matters complained of:

Bonanza, Yukon Territory, January 3, 1905.

The Right Honourable

'Sir Wilfrid Laurier, Ottawa, Ontario.

Dear 'Sir,-A little more than four years ago I was asked by Mr. E. M. Macdonald, of Pietou, Nova Scotia, to write him my opinion of the Liberal administration of the Yukon Territory. Not suspecting the purpose of the request, ignorant, indeed, of the political faith of Mr. Macdonald, I replied to the effect that the charges had been largely trumped up by the enemy; that the administration of the Yukon was, on the whole, good. My letter was used in campaign literature all over Canada, especially in the maritime provinces. I had not then been in the northern mining district or at the administrative centre, Dawson, In October, 1901, I was transferred to Bonanza, 13 miles from Dawson. On May 27, 1902, I 'sent a statement of the situation here, as it then appeared to me, to each member of the federal cabinet and to Mr. Ross. Referring to my letter to Mr. Macdonald, I said I feared that I was .mistaken when I wrote my letter to ihim ; that I should iat least have kept silence. For I found that the administration had been a disgrace to the Canadian name- such as no seif-respecting Canadian would excuse. There was marked improvement during Mr. Ross' tenure of office. But things have gone from bad to worse under Mr. Cougdon's administration. He has shown such a lack of moral strength in his relation to the public service and the public interests while commissioner, and in lids relation to the political interests of ou-r people, before his appointment, and since his resignation to run for parliament, that there has been a general uprising .against him. It has resulted in the election of an independent Conservative. His election is significant not as a condemnation of the Liberal government or of its general policy. The (real significance of Mr. Congdon's defeat may be read in the fact that it was made possible by -the efforts and votes of loyal Liberals, who refused to recognize as true Liberals the man and .the gang he had gathered around him, who had trampled upon the principles and traditions of the Liberal party, and .made your administration of Yukon interests a stench in the nostrils of our people.

I need not speak of 'the character and loyalty of the dissentient Liberals in Dawson who refused to swallow -the dose Mr. Congdon offered. I prefer to speak of the Liberals of the mining districts whom I know as no other man does, and to assert that the votes which elected Dr. Thompson were Liberal votes; that the men whose organization and utterances made the victory possible were Liberals-Laurier Liberals. The gang which Mr. Congdon gathered about him for the campaign-men who were the creatures of his administration and his political methods-were such as would damn any cause. All that the speakers in opposition had to do was to name them in connection with Air. Congdon's candidature, and the work of getting votes for Thompson was done.

The fight was won by men who had their hearts in it, against men who had their pockets onilv in it-.patriots against mercenaries. The issue was not, from the firing of the first shot, doubtful. Permit me, even at the risk of being thought tiresome, to refer to the course of affairs since my letter of Maw, 1902. It may be assumed to start with., that officials called to 'serve their country on the frontier, especially in a frontier mining camp, should represent in the highest degree the moral sense of the Canadian people. No lustful, drunken, grafting misfits should he found, or if found, retained in office here. In July, 190^, Mr. Ross practically compelled the passage of an ordinance suppressing the dance halls, t.lie women in which were r the most dangerous class of prostitutes/ and absolutely excluding lewd women from licensed liquor houses. In September of the same year, Mr. Ross lying unscoluscious at Whitehorse, the ordinance was amended at the instance of the legal adviser, now Judge Newlands, so as to render the ordinance abortive. But under Mi. Congdon's lead we have legalized the dance halls. Some government officials are their habitues, and an official here, Mr. Pepin, in the gold commissioner's office, mays nightly in the Dominion dance hall, getting $60 per week for the exalted service.

He goes on to mention others, but I will lot read their names.

The inclosed affidavits concerning Mr. Girouard, the registrar, are sufficient, it leerns to me, to ensure his permanent removal from office in this territory, at least.

Then follow certain remarks with reference to Mr. Girouard which for the time being I will not read.

Did the government know of these and similar doings 'by others ? If it did, what words of condemnation 'are too severe for such neglect of the moral welfare of cur people? If it did not, then I think such ignorance is almost criminal. The names of the controller of this territory and others whom the government can locate without difficulty, are coupled publicly with not very desirable persons.

The dance halls of Klondike City, the home of the abandoned women boldy advertise their dances in Dawson before the eyes of our wives and children by poster, and in their ears by megaphone. All 'this seems 'to accord with the moral sense of many whom the government has sent to guard our interests. We are bringing our wives and children into this territory, making homes here, and it is an outrage that we should have an executive who permits these things, that he should practically pander (to vice. Here is one point at which the government must work a radical reformation before it can accomplish the contentment of the great mass of our people, or gain their confidence in the administration.

Then he goes on to state that without set purpose he was the means of bringing to the notice of the executive the steal and the postal service, and claims that the investigation was not a real investigation, and that the utmost leniency, amounting even to wrong, was shown in the matter.

The campaign for (Mir. Boss' election began m the autumn of 1902. The 'representative of Mr. Boss in the .territory, chairman of his executive committee, was P. T. Gongdon. I am a Liberal and with other Liberals and Conservatives had the greatest confidence in Mr. Ross. We had the best grounds for our confidence. But was there ever such a dirty campaign .in the interest of a good man? Mr. Boss would have had a larger 'majority if a man of unbluruted political moral sense had been the leader in his interest. Scores of good Liberals refused (to vote (because of immoral methods adopted by the Boss executive. Bribes were given, money was paid out of the road fund 'hundreds of dollars on one creek-to men who had not done a day's work on the roads. The Baldwin affidavits -prove this, and the controller now knows it to be true, though he was not responsible for it. Lewd women were promised money to dope Clark men over election day. One hundred and twenty-seven votes were cast at Caribou crossing

one hundred and eight of them for M-r. Boss-where the legitimate vote numbered not more than ten.

That sounds familiar ; it has been heard of in other places.

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CON

George Taylor (Whip of the Conservative Party (1867-1942))

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. TAYLOR.

Hear, hear : that is what they want this Bill for.

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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER. (Reading) :

One hundred and seventv-iwo at-Glacier and Miller where there were not half that num-Mr. FOSTER.

her. It was a carnival of corruption which Perhaps the people might have forgotten but

for two things.

First, that -thousands of dollars, promised road house people for board, and others for money lent for the fight, are yet unpaid. The Gold Hill road built for votes cost $7,800. It ought not to have cost more than $1,500. It is a peirpetual reminder of the election of 1902, and of the man who engineered it. The original bluff road near Dawson, which I am told cost to build about $3,000, cost to widen, on tho eve of the election, about $26,000, another reminder. Scores of men hired ostensibly to work on the roads were fed at points on the creeks, never worked on the .roads at -all, and were fed at the expense of confiding citizens. The Minister of Public Works had better, I would respectfully suggest, look into the road expenditure, wood expenditure, &c., with ft degree of thoroughness which has surely been lacking in the past.

Second, I prophesied at the beginning of the Thomjpson-CongdoiL campaign that the man who was responsible for such dirty work would not let the people forget it, that it would be worse than duplicated when his own political -life was at stake. We have had a reminder which has amounted to a ' jolt ' all around.

He then goes on to describe what he calls the McAulay deal with reference .to some tenders and others things in connection with that election, which I do not propose to read at the present time, except to state that one Pierre Leduc, a returning officer, refused to give the people cognizance of the lists, and Judge Dugas refused to advise Leduc to yield to the people's demands for their rights. As a matter of fact, there was a charge of conspiracy which was brought up later in an action, but I shall take another opportunity to bring that before the House.

The attempt to disfranchise the people succeeded, for not less than 500 of our best people found on election day, that Mr. Congdon and his band of political thieves, had robbed them of their franchise. It was such an apparent iniquity, that scores of men who had never voted for a Conservative were driven to vote for Thompson. I need not enlarge further, Majors Wood and Cuthbert can tell the story of the refusal of, and the struggle for, the admitted and most sacred rights of British subjects. We want a commissioner who will give us a clean, businesslike administration. Our party here must have it, or it will be dead. Surely the kind of thing we have had during the last two years must come to an end. We want a commissioner who will commend officials who act in accordance with the regulations of the civil service, and censure those who make themselves offensively partisan. The man of whom-and may I not say, of whose retinue also-this territory has purged itself, bullied the first, and took to his heart the second. A large part of our officials here are the right kind of men, and took the right attitude in the campaign, however they voted. Telegraph, customs, post office, police, refrained from any expression of partisanship. A large number of officials, in and con-

nected with, the departments in the Administration building also refrained. But there were many in the building and in the outside service who were an offence, and will never be anything but an offence to the people of this territory.

I have, we all have, our ideals; but life in the west teaches us, that all we can do is to move towards our moral ideals. X am not extreme. But I represent thousands when I say that I will not keep quiet, about officials, who are whore-mongers, when officials spend the people's money for party or private purposes. Give us an official body clean in public and private life, and the government will find the people of the Yukon not less intelligent, or moderate or less easily contented, than the people in older Canada. The alien people here, other than the moral scum which always gravitates to a frontier mining camp, or moderate or less easily contented, than the subjects of Britain whose home is here. Give us your best men, and you will find that we are not far from ranting with your best people.

I took a public part in this campaign because of its appeal to the moral sense in me. I never took part in a political fight before, never spoke on a political platform in my life until now. The unusual course has been justified. I began with some doubts as to the wisdom of my course, I ended it with none. X have written, as I have written, because I am a Canadian and also because I am a Liberal. Mr. Congdon and his party deny me the name. To me Liberalism is a synonym for progress and purity, and when I stand for these, I am a Liberal if I stand alone. Investigate. Investigate. It can be done quietly and yet thoroughly. Purge the public service of unclean and incapable men; get rid of the parasitic class; give us, as our executive, a Liberal, who is also a sane and upright man, and at the end of the five years, the appeal of the government to the electorate of the Yukon will not be in vain.

It is evident that Mr. Pringle has not yet forgotten his party allegiance because it breathes out in every line. What he is particularly anxious to do is quietly, by investigation and action, to purge the life of the Yukon of its evil elements and replace them by decent conditions. Mr. Pringle sends with that letter a list of affidavits. The affidavits I shall not read just at present. There is a series of them referring to J. D. Girouard, the registrar of land titles for the Yukon Territory. The facts set forth are sworn to by R. H. S. Creswell, T. D. Patullo, Robert McKay, Dan Currie, Frank E. McNeil, H. W. Sillars, Emil Poyza, Ben Johnson, Wm. J. Kendle, David T. Evan, Richard Rossmossur, Gus Lindbam, Chas. Stevenson, John Cameron, George J. Locke, Henry C. McLeod, William A. Munroe, Andrew E. Greenman, T. G. Wilson. T. James. E. Gordon, all of Dawson. The affidavits affect very vitally Mr. Girouard the registrar, both as an official and as a man. The occurrence took place at the time these elections were going on. When the parties wanted the lists of certain polls and were told that Girouard had them, they went to his office. There they were told that Girouard was not in but they routed him out from where he was concealed, chased and collared him, and brought him to his own office and made him deliver up the lists.

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L-C
CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

He had a hard run for it but could not run with sufficient rapidity to outrun the men who were after him.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

He was pretty well winded.

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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

Maybe he was somewhat winded before he began to .run. That letter and the accompanying affidavit was acknowledged by the Prime Minister in these words ;

Ottawa, February 6, 1905.

Dear Sir,-I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your favour of January 3, last. I have to inform you that all the charges which you bring to the attention of the government relating to the administration of public affairs in the Yukon territory, will receive immediate attention from the different departments interested.

Yours respectfully, WILFRID LAURIER.

Thus three years ago the right hon. gentleman received that appeal from a friend of his own, and yet up to this time no action has been taken and no remedy applied. Again in 1905 the same information, with other information added, was brought to his attention. Then he acknowledged the letter and promised that matters would lie attended to. Matters, however, were not attended to, so that later on, in 1905, the Rev. John Pringle addressed a letter to the Governor General of Canada, inclosing a copy of the one he had sent to the First Minister, thus bringing the attention of the head of the administration in this country, to what he considered intolerable abuses in a portion of the Dominion. He received an acknowledgement to the effect that the matter would be brought to the attention of the ministers of the Crown. That letter of 1905, which I have just read, was, it appears, handed by one of the ministers to Mr. Frederick Tennyson Congdon who appears at that time to have been in the city of Ottawa, and Mr. Frederick Tennyson Congdon wrote a memo, for the ministry, I suppose, on the letter and allegations of Mr. Pringle of the 3rd day of January, 1905. I am not going to read the whole of that memorandum of Mr. Congdon. It is a heated and I should say a partisan reply to the Rev John Tringle. But there are certain parts of it which it probably would be well to read. He commenced by saying :

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S595 COMMONS


Mr. Pringle commenced writing letters containing positive statements in regard to Yukon matters before lie had entered the territory or knew anything in regard to its affairs. The first of his letters was written about four years ago to M. E. M. Macdonald, of Pictou, Nova Scotia. Now if that was his first letter written to Mr. Maeflonald. of Pictou, as Mr. Congdon says, what does Mr. Congdon mean by the statement that he' had begun to write letters on Yukon matters before he had entered the territory or knew anything in regard to its affairs ? because when he wrote to Mr. Macdonald four years ago he was in the territory. With respect to this, Mr. Pringle since has claimed that in spite of the positive terms of the letter he was ignorant and ill-informed. His ignorance and lack of information in regard to any matter have never in the slightest degree affected the assurance with which he spoke. In 1902 it became in the interest of Mr. Pringle to write once more. In this letter he expressed the opinion that he was mistaken when he wrote formerly and that he should have kept silence. This was during the term of office of Mr. Ross. No doubt later he will come to the . same opinion with regard to the present letter. If it comes to his advantage to withdraw every statement he now makes he will have no hesitation in doing so. I read that to show the nature of the purported answer of Mr. Congdon to the allegations of Mr. Pringle. He goes on : In the winter of 1902-3, Mr. Pringle became a candidate for the Yukon council and was elected. During his candidature nothing was too severe to say against the administration of the Dominion government, of the Minister of the Interior and of Mr. Ross as commissioner. Here is Mr. Congdon replying to charges of evils which had occurred under his administration. The first thing he attempts to do is to raise a spirit of prejudice against Mr. Pringle, alleging that he had spoken against the Minister of the Interior and against the government at a previous time. What on earth would it have to do with the facts of the case whether he had or had not so spoken ? But Mr. Pringle's letter and ids assurances are to the contrary, that he was an ardent believer in the Liberal party and a defender and supporter of the government. He goes on and states whom Mr. Pringle opposed, how he spoke of them, and the like of that. Then he states that : He had been elected to the council as an opponent of the government. He for a time supported the territorial government. He worked for the Liberal nomination. He failed to get it. In once more condemning the government, he was venting the spleen engendered by his disappointment and pursuing the only course by which he hoped to rehabilitate himself with his former supporters. His new policy was adopted as the only feasible mode of escaping from the intolerable position of being disliked and despised . alike by friends and opponents of the government.


CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

While Mr. Ross was labouring to reform and improve administration Mr. Pringle was busy scandalizing and condemning him. He continued to condemn until in order to strengthen his criticism of my administration it became necessary to praise that of Mr. Ross. Undoubtedly there was a marked improvement in every way and in the social life particularly, in the Yukon territory, under the administration of Mr. Ross, but there is no one in the least fairininded who will not say that there has not been a continued improvement in later times. T claim no credit for this, although I have endeavoured in every way to aid it. As far as I am aware, Dawson is socially as free from vice as Ottawa. A lady is as safe from insult and from witnessing anything offensive on the streets or in public places of Dawson, as in any part of Canada. The men in the public service there will compare favourably in efficiency and character with similar officials elsewhere.

I do not propose to say anything in regard to Mr. Pringle's comments on my lack of moral strength. I do not acknowledge him to be a competent judge of moral strength or any other moral qualities. It is one of these sanctimonious expressions with which he endeavours to lend colour to the slanders he delights to spread. If he were possessed of common honesty he would have coupled with his condemnation of me the statement which I compelled him to make upon the public plat-, form that while I lived in a country in which according to himself the besetting sin is that of alcoholism, I have continued to be a total abstainer, that while as he claims lust has prevailed, I have lived a quite, clean and decent life and while grafting in his estimation is the most common practice I have never made a cent by improper means and am as poor today as when I became commissioner of the Yukon Territory. It is not pleasant for me to mention these matters, and probably Mr. Pringle failed to do so, because they do not entirely support his theory of lack of moral strength. The reverend gentleman thinks it is sufficient condemnation for him to speak of my supporters as a 'gang,' as ' creatures of mine ' and as ' boosters ' to ensure their condemnation. Most of the men whose names he enumerated are as intelligent, as upright, as pure in life and as respectable in every way as the Rev. John Pringle. If the reverend gentleman wishes to make a comparison between his life and my own, I am quite ready to undergo the test. If it is condemnation of a public man that some of his supporters are not perfect in virtue, I am quite ready to compare my supporters with the men with whom Mr. Pringle delights to associate and who are supported by him.

With regard to the matter of the dance hall ordinance, it is somewhat surprising that neither in the council of which Mr. Pringle was a member, nor upon the public platform has he ventured publicly to condemn that which he now desires secretly to criticise. The Yukon ordinance, to which he refers, was passed unanimously by the council and was assented to by myself as a matter of course. It has never been criticised by any one publicly in the territory. It is a matter within the authority of the Yukon council and may safely be left to the decision of that body.

He then accuses Pringle of stumping with dance hall associates and says that he there-

fore found it difficult to condemn them. With regard to Mr. Pepin he says that Pepin had a perfect right to play where he pleases. He says that Pepin was playing in the dance hall because his salary was not large and he had to make money and whilst playing there he simply was the player and nothing else. That is a statement which may very well have its weight. The employment in that respect did not in the least interfere with the discharge of his official duties.

It has been the delight of Mr. Pringle to circulate private slanders with regard to every man from whom he differs. It is in this spirit that he speaks of Mr. Girouard.

I have not deemed it my duty as commissioner of the Yukon territory to act as a spy upon the private life of the officials of the territory. With resoect to Mr. Girouard, I know him to he an efficient registrar and useful member of of the council. The statements made by Mr. Pringle in regard to him and the facts set out in the affidavits accompanying the letter deal with matters of which I know nothing . . .

The notices of the deponents to the affidavits accompanying Mr. Pringle's letter will appear clearly to any one who makes inquiries into their modes of life.

He says their modes of life are not correct. and therefore their affidavits cannot be trusted.

The controller of the territory is one of the best officials in my humble judgment to be found in Canada.

The controller at the time, I think, was Mr. Litligow.

His integrity and his efficiency in the discharge of his public duties are well known and recognized by everybody. It is in the discharge of these duties that I have had to do with the controller, and I have this to say in regard to him that his word would be accepted where Mr. Pringle's would be despised. Mr Pringle does not like the controller, and he therefore, according to his wont, indulges in low slanders against him.

I repeat once more that the social conditions of Dawson are as good as in most parts of Canada and that Mr. Pringle only pretends to be shocked at them in order to make a point against an opponent. Undoubtedly there is vice in Dawson, but I have yet to discover the community that is free from it.

He goes on to take up the question of the post office and alleges that Mr. Pringle did not discover the defalcations, and states also that everything was done by the Postmaster General that could possibly be done; that the trouble was that the clerk was insane and committed this theft during the period of his insanity, and, instead of being incarcerated and punished, he was put in charge of his brother and taken out of the territory as an insane person.

With respect to the charges affecting the election of Mr. Ross they are the usual ones made by irresponsible persons. He pretends to be a Liberal but did not work for Mr. Ross

and he is ready to make a finding with regard to the election against myself without the slightest evidence either of the misdeeds or of my connection with them. I had no more to do with any corruption in that campaign than had Mr. Pringle. And Mr. Pringle knows this. _

The evidence of Mr. Pringle with regard to election promises is not very trustworthy unless he himself were a party to the promises or were present when they were made.

With reference to the enumerators he claims that most of them were honest and did their work well, though there may have been some of whom this could not be said. And he goes on to say:

I may also mention the fact that I was not commissioner of the Yukon territory nor a member of the Yukon council during that election and was not in any way responsible for the expenditure of public money. . . .

The spoils system was never put in operation by me. I never dismissed an official on account of his politics, although there were many Conservatives in the government employ in the territory. I did endeavour in ail proper cases to see that public patronage went to supporters of the government.

He says their modes of life are not cor-charges made by Mr. Pringle, but as I have uot read those charges in the House I will not read Mr. Cougdon's answer.

With regard to Mr. Pringle's statements as to enumerating the lists, the polling divisions, &c., I -have only to say that I had no more to do with it than had Mr. Pringle. I did not appoint the enumerators and I did not nominate a single one of them. There were half as many enumerators in number as at the previous election, or even a less proportion. This was necessary on account of the enormous expense. The smaller number necessitated giving each a larger territory and as far as possible each ^enumerator fixed his location for the purposes of enumeration in the most central point within his district. This of course enabled Mr. Pringle and others to appeal to prejudices in certain localities necessarily ignored.

It is easy for an irresponsible individual like Mr. Pringle to say that five hundred of the best people were disfranchised but it is a different thing for him to prove anything so absurd. Most of the enumerators I believe did their work fairly and well. The other to appeal to prejudices in certain localities necessarily ignored.

Now, I have read the chief parts of the reply of Mr. 'Congdon, because I had read the charges made by Mr. Pringle, and thought it but fair to place on record also Mr. Congdon's reply. Now, a peculiar thing took place. Mr. Congdon had Mr. Pringle's letter placed in bis hands as soon as it came here. Concerning his former letter, that of 1902. Mr. Pringle says that, though it was written to the ministers and marked ' private,' it got into the hands of the Yukon officials and he had to meet it on every occasion. The letter of 1905 was at once given to Mr. Congdon, who made

Topic:   SUPPLY-ADMINISTRATION OF THE YUKON.
Subtopic:   S595 COMMONS
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REVISED


evidence. But, Mr. Pringle begins to find out the authority that Mr. Henderson had and he comes up against this fact that it is simply to be an examination, that Mr. Henderson is not a royal commissioner and that he has no power to summon witnesses and to examine them on oath. Immediately when this comes out the Rev. John Pringle says that he cannot undertake to carry on an investigation in the Yukon, bring his witnesses and face all the opposition that he will have there unless these witnesses are to he examined under oath and he can be protected as a royal commission or a commission appointed to examine under oath alone could protect him. On the 2nd of October, 1907, he says, writing to Alex. Henderson, commissioner, Yukon : . Dear Sir,-I am prepared for the investigation which you have been instructed to hold into the charges which I have made of scandalous living on the part of J. T. Lithgow and [DOT]1. E. Girouard, prominent public servants in the Yukon. He specifies his charge against both of these gentlemen and continues : I have to complain that similar charges have been made by myself and others during the past four or five years, and that the. government has until now ignored the charges and palliated the evils. I shall give the names of my witnesses as soon as the date and place of investigation are fixed. (Sgd.) JOHN PRINGLE. Then the date and place were fixed. Then comes the refusal of Mr. Pringle. I think I can best show that by reading a letter which he writes to Hon. Frank Oliver, as follows : Dawson, Yukon Territory, October 18, 1907. Hon. Frank Oliver, Minister of the Interior. Sir,-Inclosed is a copy of a letter sent by me to Commissioner Henderson with reference to the investigation into the scandals connected with the names of Messrs. Lithgow and Girouard, controller and registrar of this territory, respectively. . I think that the position which I take therein is reasonable. When the government appoints an investigator with the power to subpoena, commit and protect witnesses, I shall be ready with overwhelming proof of the truth of the charges I have made. To us, who have lived here for years, whose moral sense these officials have habitually outraged, it seems almost ridiculous that the government should require any formal investigation. The kind of thing against which we pro'est, in the public service has had a very impressive illustration here in the last few More than two months ago nearly $40,000 in gold in transit from the American side was stolen from the post office in i . %"a principal in the robbery and who died at is believed by his own hand, while under arrest,


EDITION


had been for years a frequenter of saloons and dance halls and the slave of the women who swarm in them; and at the same time an employee of the Public Works Department, with keys in his possession which gave him entrance to every public building in Dawson. His pay $10 a day-did not suffice for the demands of his life and therefore he stole to make up the deficiency. A dance hall .employee decoyed a post office employee from his place and the Public Works Department employee used the department key to gain entrance to the post office, and abstracted the gold. . It is useless to expect morality in the public service when immoral men are nursed and protected therein. I am, yours in sincerity, (Sgd.) JOHN PRINGLE. Mr. Henderson writes to Mr. Oliver : Dawson, November 8, 1907. Dear Mr. Oliver,-I am inclosing herewith a copy of the correspondence relating to the charges of the Rev. Dr. Pringle against Messrs. Girouard and Lithgow. You will see from Dr. Pringle's letter to me of the 23rd ultimo, he declines to appear as a party in what he calls an informal investigation. ' I would suggest, if agreeable to you, that I he appointed a commissioner to investigate the charges under the provisions of the Inquiries Act, chapter 101, Revised Statutes of Canada, Yours faithfully, (Sgd.) ALEXANDER HENDERSON. Commissioner. Hon. Prank Oliver, Minister of the Interior, Ottawa. I have here the minister's reply to Mr Pringle : Ottawa, November 14, 1907. Dear Sir,-Yours of October 18 to hand inclosing copy of your letter to Commissioner Henderson m which you decline to offer evidence as to the correctness of the statements made m your former letter regarding Messrs. Lithgow and Girouard. I note that you say when the government appoints an investigator with the power to subpoena, commit and protect witnesses, I shall be ready with overwhelming proof of the charges that I have made. I take it from this that you are not ready to offer evidence of -those charges to Commissioner Henderson in the investigation which he is instructed to hold. This is a matter tor your own consideration. For my own part I see no necessity for an appointment with tlie powers you suggest. On the strength of your statement I have as already said instructed the commissioner to investigate with a view to arriving at the tacts. He has communicated with you in order to fix the investigation, to suit your convenience As you do not intend to appear the investigation will have to proceed without your assistance, and the commissioner has been so instructed. If for lack of the evidence which you say you are able to furnish the investigation -should not establish the facts which you desire, I beg to point out to you that rhe fault is your own, and not mine.


?

Mr. POSTER@

The minister seemed to forget entirely that there is any public side to this question and seems to be making an attempt to throw the whole onus upon Dr. Pringle if he does not come to time before the insufficient tribunal.

I note -in your letter of the 18th you say ' it seems almost ridiculous that the government should require any formal investigation.'

And here the native justice of the minister bursts into a flame :

I can only say in regard to that, that it is an inherent right of every British subject that he should not be condemned without evidence; that he has a right to hear the evidence against him, and has a right to he heard in his own defence. I might remind you that Canada is not Russia of the present day, not Spain of the time of the Inquisition.

Having delivered that splendid burst, which he might have thought of when he shortly before this told Rev. John Pringle that he had not a copy of Mr. Congdon's criticism of Mr. Pringle's letter, although the government had had it in their possession for six or eight months-and by the way Mr. Pringle did not secure a copy of it until more than a year and a half afterwards, when he had to beg for it. It was very like being in Spain or Russia for a mau to be unable to get a criticism of his own statement. The minister concludes:

I w,11! tf-ke Die liberty of saying that while tne Canadian government cannot do the impossible, it is admitted by all unprejudiced people who have had the opportunity of observing that so far as the support of law, order and morality is concerned, the Canadian Yukon, under the administration of the Canadian government, compares most favour-woridWltJl any other gold mining camp in the

Yours truly,

(Sgd.) FRANK OLIVER.

That about ends the letters which I shall read except that I shall note that Commissioner Henderson on December 17 1907 sends out a report and in it he includes a telegram he had sent a little before, as follows :

I can unhesitatingly affirm that the Yukon including Dawson is as moral in all respects as any other part of Canada. The report follows by mail.

The report is found on page 29 of these papers. He accompanies this also with reports from Major X. T. Wood, assistant commissioner and from Capt. Wroughton commanding 'B' Division, Northwest Mounted Police. His own report and the testimony of these two men is directed to establish the statement that at the present time the moral conditions of tbe Yukon as regards dance hails and tlie sale of liquor and the like of that are tolerable at least and as tlie commissioner says probably as

good as anywhere else in the Dominion of Canada. They are very long and I make that statement as to their Qiirports in order that it may appear without putting them upon ' Hansard.' If it is thought best however we can have them read so that they shall go on ' Hansard.' If the minister thinks I had better read them I shall do so. Very well I shall do so.

Topic:   SUPPLY-ADMINISTRATION OF THE YUKON.
Subtopic:   EDITION
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June 2, 1908