March 2, 1909

CON

Haughton Lennox

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LENNOX.

He was the ohief spokesman in favour of this scheme to promote the general interest and prosperity of Canada through his own riding and through his own supporters. The hon. gentleman (Sir Wm. Mulock) seems to have been the ohief person on that occasion, as we would naturally ex pect him to be.

Since that meeting government engineers have made careful survey of the territory

Mark you, my hon. friend, the Minister of Justice tells us to-night that this scheme originated in a deputation coming down and waiting upon Sir William Mulock in the city of Ottawa, but I will point out to you, Mr. Chairman, that Sir William Mulock on this occasion, invites me to attend with the deputation.

It would need to be careful if it favours the putting through of this canal.

The Minister of Justice seemed to think that I used to be in favour of this scheme. I thank God I never was.

-and, although no official report has yet been made, it is pretty well understood that the engineers will report favourably upon the matter.

They have their instructions, in other words, I need not take up much time over the intervening part. I appreciate that it might be said that this newspaper item may not be correct. Surely it cannot be that the engineers were actually on the ground surveying it before the deputation came down at all. Let us see as to that. Turning over a few pages I find this:

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CON

Haughton Lennox

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LENNOX.

The hon. gentleman is very funny.

That was referring to Sir William Mulock.

He tries to get away from the point. Does the hon. gentleman deny, as is stated in the paper, that he was present at the meeting and spoke in favour of the scheme? I read it, not only in the paper but I read it in other papers, amongst them the Newmarket 'Era,' 1 think.

The Newmarket ' Era ' was a liberal paper.

While I was travelling on the train I met a gentleman who had just come from the meeting. I know it was discussed broadcast

throughout the last general election, and 1 am calling attention to it here because I think it does not become a cabinet minister, on the ove of an election, to make promises to the electors which may influence their votes.

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?

William Mulock

Sir WILLIAM MULOCK.

An abstract declaration of principle may be a very good thing. I attended the meeting in question, I addressed myself to the meeting as other citizens did, and I was saying what I am saying now, that the district would be advantaged by the construction of such a work, but the question of its cost and the question of its feasibility were matters entirely in the future, and the determination of the work must depend upon these considerations. That is ray view to-day. I hope the result of the inquiry will show that the work is feasible, and that the prices come within a reasonable figure or as reasonable as will commend itself to support at the hands of this House.

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CON

Haughton Lennox

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LENNOX.

Is it a fact that engineers or surveyors were put on?

Sir William Mulock does not evidently want to answer that question because he says:

When we come to discuss that question, the way it happened to come up at that time will be made clear.

I assert here and now that the way that the matter happened to come up was that Kane Bros., the most influential men in the riding of Sir William Mulock, wanted it to promote their own industry, and that they were the originators of this scheme. Continuing Sir Wm. Mulock said:

It grew out of the decision of the Railway Commission seriously affecting a great enterprise in our district. The people were seriously intending to move away because of the railway freight rates. The matter came up in that way, and the people of our district were extremely uneasv lest this large enterprise should move away on account of the iates of freight charged by the Grand Trunk Railway Company on the commodities used and exported by that enterprise.

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CON

Haughton Lennox

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LENNOX.

The hon. gentleman has not answered me, but probably he will tell me now ?

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?

William Mulock

Sir WILLIAM MULOCK.

About the engineers?

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CON
?

William Mulock

Sir WILLIAM MULOCK.

The engineers have been in the field ever since, and I think they are in the field yet.

Mr. LENNOX I do not want to prolong this matter; if the hon. gentleman will tell me now, that is an end of it-what large enterprise was it that was about to leave?

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?

William Mulock

Sir WILLIAM MULOCK.

Messrs. Kane & Sons.

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CON
?

William Mulock

Sir WILLIAM MULOCK.

Of Newmarket.

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CON

Haughton Lennox

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LENNOX.

Yes, the gentleman who is named in this paper as the promoter of this scheme.

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?

William Mulock

Sir WILLIAM MULOCK.

He is one of the firm.

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CON

Haughton Lennox

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LENNOX.

By what authority were these engineers sent into the field?

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CON
?

William Mulock

Sir WILLIAM MULOCK.

By the authority of the Minister of Railways.

So we have it established as clear as anything can be established that this transaction originated in the way that it is here described. Then we go on and discuss the matter and Sir William Mulock tells me that a deputation is coming down within three or four days from the riding of North York; he understands that some of my own constituents will be here with that deputation and he invites me to attend it. I did go and listen as he had invited me. He said that I would be convinced, but I was not convinced, and I am not convinced yet. I think I will not be convinced as the time goes on because it has demonstrated more and more the utter uselessness and absurdity of the scheme. The Minister of Justice thought it was worth while to refer to the personnel of that deputation. I cannot say that I am surprised at the Minister of Justice. I have been here since 1905 when he came in and I am not a bit surprised that he thought it magnificent argument to put up, that T. Herbert Lennox, representative of the riding, at the request of people who wanted money expended in the riding, came down as one of the deputation. Where have we drifted since then? What was the amount that was said to be the total expenditure for the scheme ? I understood from some members of the deputation that it was then said that it would cost $350,000. What is it to cost now ? I do not know whether it was for the purpose of influencing votes during the last election, but it was reported during the election that there was going to be $.3,500,000 expended upon the work. The Minister of Justice has thought fit to refer to the fact that I have advocated the digging of a trench from the Holland river proper up to the railway station at Bradford. In that he is entirely mistaken. My constituents at Bradford have felt that inasmuch as the government carried away the wharf which they should have built in South Simcoe and put it across on the other side of the river so that they have to cross the river in order to get to the wharf which should serve them on Holland river, they were entitled to have a cutting made up to the railway station and they sent in a petition in regard to the matter. As representative of that riding I had the honour to present that petition, as I shall be happy to accede to any proper request which my constituents make to me. The hon. gentlemen will not find that I have advocated the scheme further than to represent the wishes of my constituents in that regard. But, there is a thousand miles of difference between that scheme of cutting a trench up to the railway station, if it can be done for a moderate expenditure, and this mad-cap scheme of

spending one million dollars or two million dollars for a cutting which has already demonstrated itself as an absolutely indefensible scheme. Last summer in going through _ that county * two or three times a week in the dry season-and I want to say that it was a particularly dry season last year and could not be taken as a fair average-but in going through that district last year I never could detect that any water was escaping beyond the pond or dam in the village of Newmarket. In other words, all the water of that stream appeared to be evaporating from the surface of the pond, and scores of people passing up and down noticed the same fact. This is an absolutely indefensible expenditure of public money and notwithstanding the fact that so much money has been squandered already on it I believe it would be wise at this point to stop.

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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM.

The request of my hon friend to allow the item to stand until the return is brought down is a fair one and I

am ready to accept it.

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CON

Samuel Simpson Sharpe

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SAMUEL SHARPE.

Will the min ister divide the appropriation so that we will know the expenditure on the different parts- of the work?

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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM.

I will tell my hon. friend approximately what will be expended on each.

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CON

Samuel Simpson Sharpe

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SAMUEL SHARPE.

It is not what

the minister purposes doing but what he will do when he gets the item through that we would like to know.

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March 2, 1909