February 23, 1909

CON

John Allister Currie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. J. A. CURRIE (North Simcoe).

Before the motion for supply is adopted, I wish to make a few remarks on a subject of great importance and as a young member would crave the indulgence of the House in what I am about to say. The subject which I wish to discuss is the boundary treaty between Canada and the United States. It is not necessary for me to go at any great length into this question of treaties between this country and the United States. All students of history and the children in the public schools are well aware of the fact that since the War of Independence Canada . has lost territory and ground continually. After that war Canada contained an area which is now a portion of the United States, consisting of the states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan. By treaty we lost this, the richest portion of the United

States. It is unnecessary for me to discuss the various means and methods by which we have lost at various periods portions of this country by treaties. The result has been that there is a spirit of antagonism amongst Canadians against the negotiation of treaties on our behalf by Great Britain. Recently the treaty-making power has been vested in the Canadian government which has been consulted in the preparation of our various treaties. As soon as the treatymaking power was vested in the Canadian government that government proceeded to carry on and make treaties with other nations. One of the first treaties made was the Japanese treaty and it strikes me that this treaty was made rather hurriedly and that Canada suffered by its terms.

Another treaty that was concluded was the boundary treaty between Canada and the United States. There are still two treaties hanging in the air, the French treaty and the waterways treaty with the United States. My reference will be particularly to the treaty concluded with the United States with reference to the boundaries. I had an idea that possibly our government would be as shrewd and as wide awake in treaty making as the American government. We all know how we have been ' euchred ' in respect to these various treaties, how by tricks of phraseology and terms and the substitution of maps in the making of treaties, we have lost territory. It struck me as very strange indeed if on this occasion the same thing had not occurred if we had not been gold-bricked in some way. A close perusal of the drafts of the treaty discloses to me the fact that we have been gold-bricked. The first draft, November 26, 1907, in article 5. contains a reference to the boundary between Canada and the United States from the mouth of the Pigeon river to the Lake of the Woods. You will find there that the boundary shall be a water line and shall not intersect islands along its course. That is identical with the wording of the Ashburton treaty. Wherii the Ashburton maps were prepared, a line was drawn on the map by the commissioners of the two powers. One side of this line was shaded red and the other blue, and there was a matter of give and take in regard to the islands along this boundary line. The first draft of this treaty of 1908 followed the idea and spirit of the Ashburton treaty. The second draft treaty was prepared on March 9, 1908, and that second draft is identical in wording with the first draft in providing that-

The line shall not intersect islands lying along its course.

The reason for the provision that the line should not intersect the islands was that there is one very large island, probably twice the size of the county of Carleton, which occurs in the river along this boundary line, Hunter's island. About fifteen Mr. J. A. CURRIE.

years ago the state of Minnesota set up a claim to this island. Prospectors and diamond drill operators had ascertained that it is very rich in iron ore, being a continuation of the Vermilion range, one of the richest in the United States, and it is also rich in timber. Minnesota claimed that as the river ran around this large territory the island or at least a portion of it should belong to that state. At that time the public discussion went as far as Washington and the Washington authorities, on consulting the Ashburton maps, ascertained that the boundary line was south of Hunter's island. Now we find in the last draft of the treaty, a copy of which I have here printed by order of this House, that the word 'not' has been dropped from that clause of the treaty which now reads:

The line shall intersect islands.

The result is that about one county of this province will be given to the state of Minnesota or to the United States. The consequence will undoubtedly be dissension and trouble. I do not see why there should be this wild rush to negotiate a treaty with the United States about the boundary. The Ashburton treaty should have been the last word on that question. As far as we are concerned, we should have as little to do with the United States in the making of treaties as possible, because any loss we have made has been incurred by virtue of such agreements. What I would like to find out from the right hon. the leader of the House is whether the intention of this treaty id to be found in the exact wording of it as published in the sessional papers, and whether it is the intention to change by this treaty the Ashburton line, to make the boundary line intersect these islands, and give a vast and valuable portion- of the province of Ontario to the state of Minnesota and the United States?

I am not in favour of treaties being made by this government for the reason that when we enter into diplomatic negotiations with other countries, we must do so without having at our disposition men who are trained in the highest art of diplomacy. Had we men who knew their business, had we men fitted to conduct these negotiations, such deceptions, as we have been forced to submit to, would not have risen, and we would not have found this country rushing madly into trouble as it has been doing during the past four or five years. We all regret the' treaty we made with Japan, but we forgave the government for that because we felt that they were inexperienced or would do better the next time. But now we have a treaty under which this country is going to lose a vast amount of territory, if the wording of that treaty, as published in the sessional papers, be accurate. I have nothing further to say except to express the hope that the published version of that treaty is not correct. In my opinion, when the treaty

lines are drawn, we will have no difficulty with the United States whatever. We do not wish to have any difficulty with the United States or Japan, because those of _us, who watch the current of public affairs, know that the mother country has at present the shadow of a great war hanging over her, and we, as loyal Canadians and sons of the empire, should do everything in our power to facilitate peace between Great Britain and every other nation for the next four or five years at least.

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LIB

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

Liberal

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

My hon. friend will permit me to express my regret that he did not give us any notice of his intention to bring this question before the House. He will readily understand that when no member of the government has had the opportunity of looking at this treaty for the last six or seven months, it will not be possible to give an answer to the question he has put, but I shall have an opportunity of refreshing my memory and looking over the documents on another occasion and then be able to give him the information he seeks. But let me tell him that I think his criticisms are not warranted by the facts. Had he been here last session he would have remembered that when we made the treaty with Japan we had an understanding about immigration, which was for the moment forgotten, but which, when brought to the attention of the Japanese government, was at once accepted and has been lived up to ever _ since. Under the circumstances his criticisms are hardly warranted, and no one regrets our treaty with Japan supplemented by this understanding. That treaty has preserved to us the trade of the countries and has given to our friends on the Pacific coast what they are looking for, namely, a restriction of Japanese immigration. With regard to the waterways treaty, that treaty has to a certain extent leaked out, and the public is now pretty familiar with its main provisions, and it will be found, I believe, in the opinion of all impartial men, that it is a fair and reasonable treaty, not an agreement in which one party has tried to take advantage over the other, but in which each has endeavoured, as far as possible, to give even justice to both. On a later occasion I shall endeavour to give my hon. friend the' information he has sought.

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Motion agreed to, and House went into Committee of Supply. Ottawa buildings for testing of fuel by Department of Mines.


LIB

William Pugsley (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Hon. WM. PUGSLEY (Minister of Public Works).

I have some information furnished me by the department which is rather interesting. It is a memorandum re fuel testing plant, by Dr. Haanel, and which, with the permission of the Committee, I shall have published in ' Hansard.' The memorandum is as follows:

Ottawa, December 9, 1907.

Memorandum re Fuel Testing Plant.

The high prices of imported coal in the middle provinces of Canada, the depletion of our forests together with the increasing value of the forests for other purposes and the suffering induced on account of scarcity of fuel in recent years consequent upon labour conditions, are causes which have again prominently brought forward the question of utilizing our peat bogs and lignite deposits for the production of marketable fuel and other purposes.

The estimated area so far reported distributed over the different provinces of the Dominion is 37,000 square miles. The following table shows the areas covered by peat bogs in the different provinces:

Square Depth.

miles. feet.

Nova Scotia , 050 8 to 10

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Prince Edward Island ..

10 8 to 10New Brunswick 250 8 to 10Quebec . 500 8 to 10Ontario . 10,450 5 to 8Manitoba . 500 6 to 10Alberta and Saskatche- wan . 25,000 5 to 10

British Columbia and Yukon Territory.. No data.

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Approximately ..

due principally to laok of knowledge. The successful working of peat bogs and manufacture of the raw peat into marketable fuel depends on:

1st. The proper classification of the different peat bogs, since the peat occurring in one bog might be suitable for peat fuel manufacture while that from another might not be.

Bnd. The treatment of the raw material and the apparatus used for its combustion either for domestic or industrial purposes.

These facts, upon which the whole success the industry depends, can be determined only by experiments carried out on a commercial scale and..in an intelligent manner.

In several European countries peat and lignites are largely used both for domestic and industrial purposes with satisfactory and economical results and as conditions in Canada are quite as favourable for the manufacture of peat fuel and the use of lignite, there is no reason why, with the employment of proper methods and latest ideas, peat fuel manufacture and the use of lignite cannot be successfully introduced into Canada.

To accomplish this, a government testing and experimental plant should be established where the values of these fuels could be demonstrated and investigations made as to the machinery and apparatus best suited for their utilization.

This plant should be under the supervision of special officers who can give to this work their undivided and continuous attention. The functions of such a plant would be:

1st. The determination of the best methods and *y-chinery to be employed in working in the different bogs.

2nd. Investigation of the most efficient means of manufacturing the raw peat to be used for domestic or industrial purposes.

3. The investigation of the most economical method of using peat and lignite for domestic or industrial purpose.

4. To make complete analysis and fuel value determination of the different peat bogs and lignite deposits.

5. To distribute the results obtained.

Upon the completion of the tests now being

carried on at McGill University on about fifty Canadian coals, this plant, which is the property of the government, will be transferred to Ottawa and will he used to test the new coals which may be from time to time discovered.

The United States government has established a fuel testing plant where all kinds of fuels are tested and their suitability for various purposes ascertained. This plan constitutes a branch of the Geological Survey, called the ' Fuel Division ', and is under the supervision of special officers.

The investigations so far have demonstrated that an enormous waste of fuel takes place and that by suitable arrangements and the adoption of proper methods this waste can be materially decreased. So important is this question considered to be, that the United States government appropriated $250,000 to continue the experiments started at St. Louis during the Louisiana Purchase Exposition and for which work $60,000 were appropriated, making a total appropriation to date of over $300,000.

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LIB

William Pugsley (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY.

qualities of the peat. The results obtained will be published from time .to time and it is hoped that these investigations will help to place the peat industry in Canada on a sound basis and prevent the useless spending of large amounts of money, which in several cases already has been done on bogs more or less unsuitable for the purpose in view.

Parties desiring to have their bogs investigated, or the peat analysed, can have it done by applying to the director.

In order to demonstrate the practical use of ordinary air-dried or briquetted peat fuel for power purposes, a gas producer plant is row under erection in Ottawa. At this plant, which will consist of a 60 h. p. gas producer and accessory apparatus and a gas engine of Gebriider Korting's type (see plan), interested parties can ascertain for themselves the suitability of such an installation.

Lately power plants combined with necessary apparatus for the recovery of by-products, especially ammonium sulphate, are coming to the front. Such plants, however, can only be run with a profit in large units and at the present time such an installation cannot be undertaken by the department.

The advisability of having an experimental plant for the production of the peat fuel itself in charge of the department has been strongly urged, and if satisfactory arrangements can be made the establishment of such a plant is probable. The object of such a plant will be not only the manufacture of sufficient peat fuel for the gas producer plant already under erection, but also for the testing of promising methods and machinery invented from time to time, and to ascertain their practical value.

In view of the enormous deposits of peat which exist in Canada, and in view also of the fact that it seems to have been pretty well demonstrated that it will be possible to utilize peat, lignite and other kinds of fuel which are not now marketable, even certain kinds of wood, for the production of gas, which can be used economically in the operation of gas-producer engines, the Department of Mines seems to have been moving in the proper direction. The matter was brought before parliament last session, and an appropriation was made for the purpose of procuring land and erecting a building for the purpose of these experiments. We have gone thus far that we have purchased half an acre of land on Concession street in the southern part of the city, and Dr. Haanel has purchased the plant, which is on the way to Ottawa and will be ready to be installed as soon as the building is constructed. I therefore hope that the committee will approve of the amount which is being asked to complete the building and to get it ready for the reception of the plant which the Department of Mines proposes to establish.

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CON

John Allister Currie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. J. A. CURRIE.

When this item came before the committee the other evening, I asked the minister to defer the discussion of it until the members had an opportunity to examine further into the question. I may say that every member of the House who has given the matter any study is sat-Mr. PUGSLEY.

isfied that it is essential that . efforts should be made by the government to test various fuels. The importance of the gas engine and the producer-gas engine is to-day greatly pressing itself upon the attention of the Canadian people, owing to the fact that fuel is becoming dearer all the time. The question simply resolves itself into this, whether it is better for the government to expend this money for an experimental plant to be operated by the Geological Department of the government, or whether it might not be more satisfactory for the government to use the money in having these tests carried on in the technical departments of some of our universities, such as Queen's and Toronto, or in the technical school of Nova Scotia. The government spent a large amount of money to test the question of the manufacture o.f steel by electrical power. That demonstration has been made possibly to the satisfaction of Dr. Haanel and his assistants in Ottawa; but these tests should be carried on for many years, and the best place to have the work done would be at one of the technical schools, where the machinery would be in constant operation, and where it would not cost the government anything to operate it. It is well known to everybody connected with fuel industries that peat has been used for the manufacture of producer-gas for many years in Germany.

There are two or three remarkable problems that remain unsolved in reference to the manufacture of producer gas, and it is becoming very important to Canada, with its vast areas of soft coal, that these problems should be solved. It is an easy matter to manufacture producer gas from hard coal. There are thousands of horse-power now in operation in England and in Europe, and also in Canada, operated by producer gas from hard coal. The difficulty is to eliminate the tar from the producer gas, made either from peat or from soft coal, and various devices have been suggested and are now in operation in Europe, whereby the tar is fixed and made into gas without any difficulty, and is used in engines, I have no doubt that the minister is doing what he thinks best, and that the government, with the best intention, is giving large sums of money to Dr. Haanel to squander on these experiments. To my mind they are useless, because an experiment conducted in this way must be useless to Canada, or to the working people who have to operate these plants. I would therefore suggest that if the minister-of course the item being in the estimates I suppose it cannot very well be withdrawn -but I would ask the minister to consider if it would not be better to have that machinery installed at the new technical school in Nova Scotia, and use it permanently there for testing fuel gas of various kinds, that woulfi become useful to

Canada as a whole. The Geological Department m Ottawa has a great deal of other work to do, besides spending money on these tests. McGill University, I understand, does a great deal of work for the government in connection with the Intercolonial, and I think the government could wisely extend its generosity to the technical schools by granting to each of them yearly $25,000 or $50,000 for experiments in connection with the various departments of scientific industry. One school might deal with experiments in electrical science; another might deal with fuel, and this school in Nova Scotia might be devoted to that purpose; another might deal with textiles and dyes, another with electrical apparatus, and other matters of that kind, that would help to improve the industrial condition of the people of Canada, and keep us up to date in technical science and knowledge with other countries. To my mind it is worse than useless to squander this large sum of money on experiments, and on a plant here in Ottawa which will be not readily accessible to students of technical science, except at large cost in fares coming here, and which, moreover, may prove a total failure. A cheap machine has not yet been devised to manufacture producer gas from peat or soft coal that will do this work successfully. Expensive plants can be built and operated to do the work. They are in operation, such as Monde plants, that can manufacture fuel without any doubt, and cheap producer gas from lignite, or from soft coal, or from peat, but they take a large sum of money for gas tanks and various other apparatus to clear the tar out of the gas. I have thought it necessary to make these criticisms of the proposals of the government to spend money for testing fuel, and I desire to remind the minister that if anything of this kind comes up again, to remember that we have technical schools and colleges in this country, attended by thousands of students, where any tests of this character would be beneficial to students and the money should be spent at these schools and not on the Geological Department in Ottawa.

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CON

George Henry Bradbury

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BRADBURY.

Before this item carries I would ask the minister if he is aware that we have a large peat plant situated in the eastern part of Manitoba? There is a plajit thereon which I think the promoters have spent about $80,000. I do not desire to criticise this expenditure at all, I think perhaps it is wise that something should be done to make a test of this fuel. But I would ask the minister if it is not possible to give some assistance, by lending the services of Dr. Haanel or some one else, to go out there and advise them how to operate this plant successfully. There has been a large amount of monev spent there, they have a large peat bed," and I think if a government official who is qualified and understands the manufacture of peat into fuel, was sent out there to lend his assistance, the minister would be doing a public service.

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LIB

William Pugsley (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY.

I shall be glad to bring the suggestion of my hon. friend to the attention of the Minister of Mines, on his return. I shall also be glad if, when the items for the Department of Mines come under discussion, my hon. friend will call the attention of the Minister of Mines to his present request. The suggestion is worthy of consideration, and I am sure, in view of the interest that is now being taken in the question of utilizing peat for fuel, the Minister of Mines will be only too glad to do anything he can to stimulate that industry in any part of Canada.

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LIB

Alexander Kenneth Maclean

Liberal

Mr. A. K. MACLEAN.

The suggestion which was made a few moments ago by my hon. friend from Simcoe (Mr. Currie) is well worthy of consideration by the Department of Public Works. It will be a difficult matter to make technical schools in Canada successful for some years to come, owing to the fact that there will not be sufficient original work for students to do, and it will be difficult for them to obtain opportunities to carry on original research work with advantage to themselves and the country. Nova Scotia will shortly be equipped with a splendid technical school, and if work of this character could be assigned to that school, I heartily concur in the suggestion that it should be done. It would be a considerable encouragement to the students, and the interest of the Department of Public Works would be as well served there I think as by making a separate and special expenditure at Ottawa.

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CON

Herbert Brown Ames

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. AMES.

I understand the minister has purchased a plot of land for the erection of this building. Would he tell us where it is situated, who was it purchased from, and at what cost?

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LIB

William Pugsley (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY.

It was purchased on Concession street, in the southwestern part of the city, from the Ogilvie estate of the city of Montreal. I cannot give the price just now, but I think it was in the neighbourhood of $2,500 for half an acre of land.

, Mr. AMES. Generally speaking, I think it is to be regretted that the government has not adopted the principle of laying out its buildings according to some fixed plan. The practice of purchasing sites all over the city of Ottawa, here, there and everywhere, on which to erect public buildings, is not calculated to make Ottawa, the capital of the north, from an architectural point of view such as we would like to see it. I hope the minister will tell us whether his department has in view any general scheme whereby the buildings that will be erected from time to time can be grouped

in one locality, and so arranged as to make their cumulative effect and their general appearance a beautification to the city of Ottawa. We are spending a great deal of money in purchasing lots in different parts of the city and erecting buildings that no one who comes here ever sees unless he makes it a special point to find them out, whereas, if some such method as has been adopted in Washington, where a distinct plan is being followed year after year, and where with each succeeding year, the number of beautiful buildings that can be seen from a given point is increasing, were followed, we would be working for the future of Ottawa better than we are to-day.

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LIB

William Pugsley (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY.

I am afraid that my hon. friend is rather influenced by a feeling, which, I am sorry to say, influences a great many of us; we are apt to think that things away from home are better than they are right here. My own idea is that the arrangement of public buildings in Washington is not one bit better than our arrangements here. I think that some of our buildings are more striking than they are in Washington. In Washington the buildings are not all grouped together ; they are scattered over the city. Even the building which has been most recently erected seems to have been erected as if it were the only building there. It is by itself and does not form part of any group of buildings. But there, as here, regard must be had to the purpose for which the building is to be used. As far as this building is concerned, we could not put it near the parliament grounds. There were several things which we had to keep in view. In the first place we wanted railway connection. We wanted it to be right close to the railway so that we could have a siding where cars of peat could be brought at the least possible expense. As there would be considerable smoke, we wanted to put it in a part of the city where there would be the least objection from that cause. But, speaking, generally, I think that the buildings in Ottawa have so far been built and located with exceedingly good judgment. Nothing could be better than the location of this building. The same applies to the east and west block, to the Langevin block, and in continuation of these buildings a large tract of land has been purchased upon the other side of Major's Hill park. That building will have two fronts, one upon the park and one upon Sussex street. It will be quite convenient to the parliament buildings and to the other departmental buildings, and I am sure that the building, which is to be of a very superior character and of very handsome design, will add materially to the beauty of the capital. The Museum and the Mint might possibly have been brought nearer to the parliament buildings, but I am of the opinion that the location of these build-Mr. AMES.

ings is very good. With regard to the observatory, we could not very well have it anywhere else than where it is. We wanted to locate it where there would be plenty of room, where it would be separated from other buildings and where there would be a considerable elevation. I am inclined to think there is no good ground for criticism as to the past and I shall heed the warnings or suggestions of my hon. friend in future.

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CON

Herbert Brown Ames

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. AMES.

It seems to me that in this particular case the explanation of the minister is quite sufficient. The necessity for a railway siding and for putting this building where the smoke will not be a nuisance to the residential portions of the city may be a sufficient excuse for erecting this building where it has been put. But, speaking in a general way, I think _ there has been too much scattering here in Ottawa, not only with regard to some of the buildings which we own, but with regard to many of the buildings which we have rented, and I believe that it would add to the facility with which business could be carried on as well as to the beauty of Ottawa were the plan to be followed of as far as possible erecting new buildmgs in the same neighbourhood, keeping in view a general scheme, and the architectural features of the buildings themselves.

Toronto Drill Hall-additional accommodation for new corps and armouries, $25,000.

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CON

Angus Claude Macdonell

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MACDONELL.

Will the minister explain that?

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LIB

William Pugsley (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY.

An addition was made some time ago to the large armoury in Toronto and this vote is to put in all the fittings.

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CON

Angus Claude Macdonell

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MACDONELL.

Will this complete the work?

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LIB

William Pugsley (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY.

Yes, it is expected this will complete it.

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February 23, 1909