February 25, 1909

LIB

William Pugsley (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY.

The hon. gentleman has been misinformed. The Dominion government has contributed one-half the cost of works upon the Fraser and Columbia rivers when those works would not ordinarily fall to the federal government, they not being connected with navigation. But by reason of the importance of the work and the extent of the damage that otherwise would be done, this government has on more than one occasion actually contributed one-half of the cost of protection works in the constituency of my hon. friend. I have never heard this government raise the constitutional objection that it could not assist a provincial government with regard to works towards which the federal government might fairly contribute. Some fifteen years ago the Dominion government agreed to contribute one-half the cost of the wharfs on the tidal waters of the St. John river which the government of New Brunswick might build. That practice has been continued all these years and all the New Brunswick government asks now is that, instead of paying this amount to them for wharfs on the St. John river, it may be extended to other tidal rivers.

Topic:   SUPPLY-TREATY WITH THE UNITED STATES.
Subtopic:   INTERNATIONAL WATERWAYS TREATY.
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CON

Oswald Smith Crocket

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CROCKET.

If the minister makes the change he proposes, does he not think he ought to increase the amount of the appropriation?

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CON

James Davis Taylor

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. J. D. TAYLOR.

The Minister of Public Works has, as usual, an ingenious answer to the question I put, but his answer does not meet the case at all. In the instances on the Fraser river to which he has referred the Dominion government did very reluctantly and after a great deal of pressure make contributions towards works which we claimed in British Columbia we were not responsible for. but to which, in our devotion to the public interest, we consented to contribute one-half in order to avoijd the damage to property that would have been caused by the neglect of the federal government to do their plain duty upon the Fraser river. The federal government resisted the Claim we made, and in every instance in which they helped us on the Fraser river they repudiated responsibility and stated they did so as an act of grace and not as a matter of right. Why, no later than to-day, in answer to an application I made to the Department of Public. Works for the continuation of certain wofks which we were able to get this government to undertake on the Fraser river at Langley, the minister sent me a letter over his own signature entirely repudiating any responsibility for the work which his

department had undertaken and left in an incomplete state. He stated in his letter to me that this work was a matter of provincial and not Dominion concern. When I said that he had one yard stick for British Columbia and another yard stick for New Brunswick I referred more particularly to the doctrine laid down by this government in connection with the bridge over the Fraser river at New Westminster. The answer to our application for a subsidy was that if we would hand over that bridge to a private corporation to exact toll from the people of the Fraser valley for ever, then this government would give a subsidy amounting perhaps to $300,000 for the bridge, but because it was owned by the province, and we proposed to keep it in the public ownership of the people of the province, this government had not a cent to give us. They told us that there was a constitutional objection to giving any bonus to the province except a bonus authorized by the several Acts of confederation, while now we find them giving a direct subsidy to the province of New Brunswick towards the creation of public works. I am not objecting to that subsidy, but I am objecting to one rule being applied to the provinces of eastern Canada and another rule to our disadvantage being applied to the province of British Columbia.

Topic:   SUPPLY-TREATY WITH THE UNITED STATES.
Subtopic:   INTERNATIONAL WATERWAYS TREATY.
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LIB

Gilbert Howard McIntyre (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. DEPUTY SPEAKER.

In regard to the amendment proposed, I fear it might mean a change in the destination of the vote, and I am not sure of the right of the committee to make a change.

Topic:   SUPPLY-TREATY WITH THE UNITED STATES.
Subtopic:   INTERNATIONAL WATERWAYS TREATY.
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LIB

William Pugsley (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY.

In that case I withdraw the motion.

River St. John-survey between Fredericton and Woodstock, with a view of improving navigation, $5,000.

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Subtopic:   INTERNATIONAL WATERWAYS TREATY.
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CON

Oswald Smith Crocket

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CROCKET.

There was an appropriation of $5,000 for this last year. Is that all expended?

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Subtopic:   INTERNATIONAL WATERWAYS TREATY.
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LIB

William Pugsley (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY.

Yes.

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CON

Oswald Smith Crocket

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CROCKET.

And this is an additional $5,000 to continue the work or to pay for the work already done?

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LIB

William Pugsley (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY.

To pay some balance, and to continue the work.

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CON

Oswald Smith Crocket

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CROCKET.

Can the minister say how much the survey of September and October last cost the country?

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LIB

William Pugsley (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY.

The expenditure to November 30, 1908, was $2,976.27. We expect that the further expenditure, I suppose for the payment of the balance, will be $2,023.63. The accounts are not all in yet. That would make a total of $5,000 expended before the close of the fiscal year. The surveys are not entirely completed, and we want to continue the work.

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?

Mr. McALISTER .@

If not out of order, I would like to call attention to a statement which I understand was made on the hustings during the election campaign in regard to that survey by the hon. member for York (Mr. Crocket). He said:

The Grits had had several fake surveys on land up and down the valley of the St. John; but now they were making a fool survey on water.

I would like the hon. member to state what he means by a fake or fool survey.

Topic:   SUPPLY-TREATY WITH THE UNITED STATES.
Subtopic:   INTERNATIONAL WATERWAYS TREATY.
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CON

Oswald Smith Crocket

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CROCKET.

If the hon. member for Kings and Albert will consult his friend, the hon. member for Carleton, N.B., (Mr. Carvell), I think he will be able to gratify his curiosity as to what was meant by the references to the ' fake survey of the land ' and also to the ' fool survey of the water.' The hon. gentleman no doubt still has a recollection of the survey for the Transcontinental railway which was conducted along the banks of the St. John river during the election campaign of 1904 and of his strong denunciation of the character of that survey at the last Liberal convention at St. John. On that occasion the hon. member for Carleton declared that the survey was no survey at all, that there was not so much as even a profile of it to represent the thousands of dollars which it cost the people of the country. This is what I called and what the people of the St. John valley called ' the fake survey.' The expression seemed to sum up the views of the hon. member for Carleton (Mr. Carvell) in short metre. I hope my hon. friend from Kings-Albert now understands the reference. As to the fool survey of the water that was applied to the survey of the river between Fredericton and Woodstock which was made in a tow-boat during the last campaign under the management of a young man named A. E. Hanson, and which the minister has informed us will require another five thousand dollars in addition to the five thousand dollars which was voted last year to pay the bills.

Topic:   SUPPLY-TREATY WITH THE UNITED STATES.
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Mr. McALISTER .@

I would like to ask the hon. member if it was not at the request of two Conservatives, Shaw and Bull, that this dredging was to be done?

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CON

Oswald Smith Crocket

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CROCKET.

I am not aware.

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?

Mr. McALISTER .@

I am informed that the hon. gentleman is aware of that fact.

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LIB

Frank Broadstreet Carvell

Liberal

Mr. CARVELL.

As I do not have any public works in my constituency, and do not ask for any, I did not suppose that I would have to take a hand in these debates about public works in New Brunswick. But as the hon. mmber for York (Mr. Crocket) seems to be somewhat excited over this matter of the survey of the River St. John,

I would like to point out to him, what I have pointed out within a year in this

House, that this survey of the St. John river was done at the request of a public meeting in Woodstock, attended by a number of influential people from his own constituency, including the board of trade from his own city, who came to Woodstock, and joined the board of trade of that town in passing a resolution asking me to use my influence with the government to have this survey made in order to ascertain if it would not be possible to have water communication between Woodstock and Fredericton during a longer period of the year 1 brought the matter before the Minister of Public Works and his department, and they went into it; and I think it comes with poor grace from the hon. member for York to refer to this as a fake survey. No man knows better than he does that there never was a more genuine attempt made to secure a public improvement. The hon. gentleman has referred to Mr. Hansen, who was employed in the work. He would not say to Mr. Hansen's face what he has said tonight; and he would not say with regard to another gentlemen-and a good Conservative at that-Mr. Miles, who was employed on that survey, what he has said to-night; and I do not think he would say in his own constituency what he has said to-night.

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CON

Oswald Smith Crocket

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CROCKET.

It was the hon. member lor Kings and Albert who stated that I had said it. i U

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LIB

Frank Broadstreet Carvell

Liberal

Mr. CARVELL.

It is not very often that we bother calling the hon. gentleman down, but there are times when even the patience of a long-suffering man like myself is exhausted. My hon. friend knows the necessity of that work. He knows that if we succeeded in demonstrating to this government that we could extend the water communication down the river St. John three or four months in the year, it would be one of the greatest boons that could be conferred on that part of the province. I happen to know the nature of the report of one of the gentlemen who made this survey, and he is very hopeful that navigation to a depth of eight or nine feet can be obtained by the expenditure of a very small amount of money. I commend the Minister of Public Works for continuing, this investigation, and hope he will succeed in demonstrating that by dredging the river we can have at a reasonable cost the navigation we desire. While my hon. friend from York may not wish to see anything done by this government that will gain credit for it in the eyes of the people, I can assure him that if the Liberal representatives from New Brunswick can do anything to benefit the people, we will do it, regardless of whether the hon. member from York likes it or dislikes it.

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CON

Oswald Smith Crocket

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CROCKET.

I believe that when this vote was proposed last year, the hon. member from Carleton made a statement Mr. CARVELL.

somewhat similar to the statement he has made to-night in regard to the proposal of this survey being made by the boards of trade of Woodstock and Fredericton. It is quite true that these bodies were very much interested in the improvement of the navigation on the St. John river between Fredericton and Woodstock. I urged that matter several times in the House; but that was the first intimation we had that these boards of trade or any responsible people had asked of this government to make an appropriation of $5,000 or $10,000 to survey the water between Fredericton and Woodstock. I think that the members of the Fredericton Board of Trade will be very much surprised to learn it. There are eight or ten places in the river where dredging is required, and these were just as well known as the post offices along the river. I had correspondence myself with the Public Works Department, which show that they have had for years reports on the matter, sent in by Mr. Shewan, of St. John, a competent authority, these reports gave the department all the inforamtion that could possibly be attained or that was reasonably necessary for the purpose of determining what appropriations would be necessary. I do not withdraw one word of what I said with reference to the perfect foolishness of this vote. It was the subject of laughter during the election campaign wherever referred to by the people living along the river and the people in Fredericton, Bo much so that the gentleman in charge to whom my hon. friend has made reference, became known to his friends as the hydro-grapher. The money was expended, and that seems to be the only object to whom my hon. friend has made reference. If we had one or two of the bars and obstacles dredged from the channel between Fredericton and Woodstock, we would have had some benefit from the expenditure, but to pay out such a sum in such a moment, for the purpose of getting information that the department has and has had for years on the file, is certainly the height of folly.

Topic:   SUPPLY-TREATY WITH THE UNITED STATES.
Subtopic:   INTERNATIONAL WATERWAYS TREATY.
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February 25, 1909