April 2, 1909

LIB

Alexander Kenneth Maclean

Liberal

Mr. A. K. MACLEAN.

Yes, I do

was a

very extensive one, it was a very severe one, and as I have said already the crossexamination of witnesses, other than those who were officials of the department, was exceedingly severe and, in manf cases, unfair and resulted in placing upon the records statements that I do not believe were actually correct. The commissioner also, did not consider himself restricted to the terms of the order in council appointing him. He in his wisdom, and I find no fault with that, roamed beyond the powers granted him by the order in council appointing him, and the investigation was sufficient to disclose irregularities and the public interests were amply satisfied by the scope of the inquiry. What was proven? Irregularities on the part of officials were proven. They had been dismised. Incompetency and lack of capacity on the part of certain officials was also amply proven. Some have been dismissed. I think it is quite possible that incompetency has been shown regarding other officials in the service of the Department of Marine and Fisheries, and I think the minister might very well take into consideration certain evidence respecting other officials. The findings of the Cassels Commission also disclosed the regrettable fact that the bribery of officials was not an uncommon

thing. Those who were guilty of accepting bribes have been punished or censured in some form or another. I agree with the hon. gentleman (Mr. Doherty) who moved this resolution yesterday, that we should be more inclined to censure the man who gives the bribe than the one who receives it. We should be fair and lenient, I think, in our view respecting the practice of receiving bribes. It is a fact, although the mover of the resolution will probably question it, that in connection with shipping the giving of gratuities, in this case called bribes, is not an uncommon practice and it may be that a great number of the officials who did accept these bribes believed them to be mere gratuities and that they were justified in accepting them because they were simply acting in accordance with a practice common to maritime ports. There should be a uniform standard or code respecting the giving of bribes. It is not an uncommon thing in commercial life. We must not have one code respecting bribes for the guidance of civil servants and another for bank managers, for the managers of trust companies and other people. We must be fair about these matters. I admit thoroughly that these disclosures were most unfortunate and I am sure that members of parliament and Canadians generally will hope that we have seen the last of them. The commissioner's report also disclosed that excessive prices were paid for goods. Now, I think that has been magnified altogether out of its true proportions. For instance, regarding the purchases made at Montreal, I think that, beyond the Merwin purchases, the evidence amply justifies the conclusion formed by Mr. Justice Cassels that on the whole the prices were fair, and they were, in fact, the ordinary prices. He also makes the same remark concerning the purchases made at Sorel. There is no evidence of improper or excessive charges at St. John, New Brunswick. There is very little evidence of excessive charges at the port of Halifax. True there is some, but it does not amount to a great deal. As far as the evidence taken at Quebec is concerned, it certainly amply justifies the finding of Mr. Justice Cassels that the charges there were exorbitant and unfair.

Well ,what is the Department of Marine and Fisheries doing to remedy this matter of excessive charges? Some time ago, and before Mr. Justice Cassels commenced his inquiry, the Minister of Marine and Fisheries (Mr. Brodeur) appointed Mr. Doutre as the purchasing agent of that department, and Mr. Doutre's duties, so far, have been so well discharged that upon the record we have the commendation of Mr. Justice Cassels. Mr. Doutre himself gave evidence to the effect that a great saving would be Mr. A. K. MACLEAN.

made by reason of his being placed in charge of this portion of the department's business. That is what, the department has done to remedy this difficulty. Now, I admit that many of these practices to which reference has been made were irregular and indispensable. But let us be fair; the carrying on of the details of government is conditioned by circumstances which do not obtain in private business, and on many occasions in the future we shall find disclosures of improper conduct on the part of officials and of those who are selling goods to the departments. This, of course, requires vigilance on the part of the minister and his officials. But I am in the judgment of the House when I say that it can never be expected that any minister, or any official, or body of officials, will be able, at all times and on all occasions, to see that any department's business is so transacted as to be utterly beyond criticism.

Now, the resolution before the House asks that this inquiry be extended to other departments. I say that resolution is illogical; it is not supported by reason, for it is based upon the assumption that if irregularities occur in one department they necessarily must occur in another. If all human conduct and transactions were based upon that reasoning, one can readily see to what ridiculous conclusions we should be led. This resolution should not be supported, because there is no accusation or suggestion of wrong-doing as against any other department. It is true that the hon. member for West Elgin (Mr. Orothers) said, in a moment of counterfeited wrath last evening: 'When the heads of the government are guilty of grand larceny, how can it be expected but that the members of the Civil Service will be guilty of petty larceny?' But I suppose we can regard this merely as political sound and fury signifying nothing, and not intended to prove anything. Another reason why the resolution should not be affirmed is that the proceedings before the Public Accounts Committee during the last four or five years do not disclose irregularities of the magnitude or number of those in the Marine and Fisheries Department. And nothing that has occurred before this committee justifies anybody in making the assertion that inquiry should be made into other departments. The suggestion is further made that this inquiry should be granted because some of the contractors having dealings with the Marine and Fisheries Department and found guilty of irregular and improper practices have dealings with other departments. Supposing that this is absolutely true, does it follow that any other department must concur in this resolution and submit to an inquiry? What was the purpose

of the inquiry in connection with the Marine and Fisheries Department, if the other departments were not intended to receive some lesson from it? The hon. member for Portage la Prairie (Mr. Meighen) referred to the fact-which I noticed only a few moments ago in the Montreal 'Gazette' of this morning-that the Minister of Public Works (Mr. Pugsley) has issued a circular urging the officers of his department to observe great care and caution in making purchases on behalf of the government both as regards price and quality. They are also cautioned against the acceptance of gifts or favours of any kind from persons having dealings with the department. I naturally assume that the heads of all the other departments must take cognizance of the evidence disclosed during the Cassels' inquiry, and they must take cognizance of the names of the contractors dealing with the Marine and Fisheries Department and found guilty of improper practices, and must be, to some extent at least, guided by that evidence. Again, I say this resolution should not be confirmed, because, after all, what this country requires is that the irregularities prevailing in the past in the Marine and Fisheries Department should cease, as to that department and all others. The country is more interested as to the future than as to the past; and I submit that no good ground whatever can he given for supporting his resoluion.

Now, there are a few things in connection with the Cassels Commission report, with which I wish to deal, perhaps at some length; and possibly I may weary the House, but there are matters referred to in this report which have been the subject of discussion in this House for many years, which have been discussed frequently and persistently by gentlemen of the opposition, which have been constantly referred to_ in the press, and have found their resting place in the political campaign literature,- matters which relate to the policies of the Department of Marine and Fisheries, and which, I believe, should he discussed. In dealing with these matters, I propose to take them up almost in the order in which they appear in the report of Mr. Justice Cassels.

One of the severest strictures made by the Civil Service Commission in its_ report two years ago was in connection with the administration of the Lighthouse Board. I think it was in consequence of this particular branch of the Marine and Fisheries Department that the commission of that day made the remark that some people were serving two masters, Scripture to the contrary notwithstanding. Now, this is a very important feature of the work of the Marine and Fisheries Department, and I think that the little time I shall take in discussing it will be justified. The Lighthouse 120i

Board was constituted a few years ago, and consisted of the deputy minister, Mr. Gour-deau, Mr. W. P. Anderson, Commander Spain, Mr. J. F. Fraser, Mr. Hugh Allan, Montreal, representing the Canadian Federation of Shipping, a id Captain J. W. Troupe, of Vancouver, representing^ the Canadian Pacific Railw ly shipping interests on the Pacific coasl, The Civil Service Commission, in dealin j with the Lighthouse Board, severely wnsured them. They say this :

Between June, 1905, and June, 1907, this hoard approved of and passed applications for new and improved aids to navigation amounting to $1,091,813. With the voting away of this vast amount of money the responsible minister had nothing to do. He was simply asked to initial the minutes of the different meetings of this most powerful but irresponsible board. The effect of this state of things is disastrous. It means practically the removing of all responsibility from those to whom extensive powers of administration and expenditures are granted.

When one realizes the enormous pressure being constantly brought to bear on the government of the day in favour of grants and bounties of all kinds, from one end of the country to the other, it would surely seem to be a most unwise thing to create a board with extensive powers which can be and are used in sympathy with this universal outside pressure, and without being accountable to anybody.

The two outside members of this board simply represent the shipping interest, which is their own. They cannot serve the country and themselves equally well in the same matter. The other members of the board are government officials, who, whatever their standing may be, personally or officially, are not independent of political influence or departmental pressure. They are in no proper sense qualified to fill such a position of trust as a seat on this Lighthouse Board should mean-where the most absolute sense of justice, with complete independence, is called for; with a keen desire to administer the people's money with the utmost economy and good judgment, and with all personal considerations sunk.

Mr. Justice Cassels, in dealing with the findings of the Civil Service Commission, commends the improvements in the aids to navigation on the River St. Lawrence. He finds that an injustice was done to the Lighthouse Board by the Royal Commission; that the Lighthouse Board is merely advisory; that the statement that the minister is not responsible is not in accordance with the facts; that the representatives of the shipping interest on the Lighthouse Board were improperly charged by the Royal Commission with serving their own personal interests. J concur most heartily in the finding of Mr. Justice Cassels in respect to the Lighthouse Board. I say that the Royal Commission exhibited gross and unpardonable carelessness and stupidity in making the finding they did, and neither I nor anybody else in this

House can be too severe in condemning their criticisms regarding that board. Inasmuch as very prominent and eminent citizens of this country, such as the Messrs. Allan of Montreal, have been condemned by this report, I think it is only fair that anything they had to say in answer to those charges should be made a matter of public record, and I ask the House to bear with me while I read some of the evidence given by those gentlemen at Montreal before the Cassels Commission. Here is some of the evidence, given by Mr. Hugh Allan:

Q. The Civil Service Commissioners, so-called, made some inquiries and a report, and in that report passed upon the functions and the performance of the duties bv this hoard of which you are a member, and the usefulness, or rather the uselessness of your board? -A. Yes.

Q. I should like to know from you just in a word, what you deem the chief functions of the board?-A. Well, the object of this board is to discuss the recommendations that are sent in to the board by various bodies; and in some cases recommendations, as far as the river and gulf of St. Lawrence, and the coast from Belle Isle to St. John, New Brunswick, embracing the whole of the Bay of Fundy, are concerned, have been made through the Shipping Federation of Canada, an association of shipping men in Montreal comprising all the regular lines of steamships that come to this port, with the exception of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company. These recommendations have to a large extent, if not altogether, been based on an inquiry that was held, I think, in 1900, by the then minister of the department, at which the captains of all the regular lines running through the St. Lawrence were asked to give their views with regard to the improvements required in aids to navigation which had become, to a large extent, obsolete, and not at all suitable to the changed conditions that then prevailed and which have since, of course, grown immensely. These recommendations have all been endorsed bv the Shipping Federation, have been passed upon by them, and after being passed at their meetings, have been forwarded to the Lighthouse Board for their consideration. In like manner the recommendations of the people on the Pacific coast i-I am unable to say exactly what their organization is called, but it is practically the same as ours: that is to say Captain Troupe, I think, is the chairman, and all the interests out there are represented, and he calls them together, and they discuss what is required, and any improvements that commend themselves to this board are forwarded to the Lighthouse Board for their consideration. Sometimes individuals write to the minister or the deputy minister, or some member of the department, and they are put on the docket, and discussed, and if they commend themselves to the board, then they are passed, and if not, they are rejected. That is the mode of procedure at the board, and I may say that at that board a very full discussion is always had as to the advisability of every item before it is passed, but it has always been understood that these were recommendations when passed to the minister.

Q. Then the question has arisen out of the Mr. A. K. MACLEAN,

report of the Civil Service Commissioners as to whether or not the action of the board was independent, whether it was not merely the making of record of the views of the shipping interest including the views of individuals who had personal interests to promote?-A. lhat is absolutely without any foundation in fact.

Q. No foundation for it?-A. No.

Q. How could suoh an idea arise? Ap-iarently it was in their minds and their report is based upon it?-A. From what happened at the board meetings there was no reason why any one should come to such conclusions, and I can only imagine that such a conclusion would be arrived at by people who wanted to find fault and could not give any reason for finding fault. I think it is the most fortunate thing that ever happened for the shipping interests of this oountry that that board should have been established as it was. I think that anybody that knows the first thing about navigation, or shipping interests if he does not know anything about navigation, cannot have gone from Montreal to the sea, or from the sea to Montreal, without having foroed upon his attention, even as a passenger in a steamer, what tremendous strides have been made in navigation and how much good has been done. Take merely the most elementary or the most striking instance; to-day the largest steamers can navigate between Montreal and Quebec by day or by night if the weather is clear, if there is no fog or something to prevent them, and they could not have done that before these lights were established. To talk about this being a thing to be deplored in any way is perfectly ridiculous, absolutely ridiculous; I cannot use wards strong enough to express my surprise that any body of men should ever have said such a thing.

Q. The report says, 'And it certainly has not added to the general efficiency of the Marine and Fisheries Deparment/-A. Well, my experience is that the formation of this board has been the occasion of other organizations in the department being formed whereby the whole service has been systematized in a way that it never was before to my knowledge. There may have been in the internal Department of the Marine and Fisheries a body of men who looked after the thing, but I never heard of it, and now the shipping interests are advised of everything of importance; we keep in touch with the officers of the department in regard to everything. If a light goes out it is reported to our pilots and we report it to them. Not only is the lighting better, but the control of the lights is infinitely superior to what it was before.

Q. That report continues-

' Figuring as an impartial and skilled tribunal, passing upon all demands for government monev under the plea of necessary aids to navigation, they can do so without the slightest sense of responsibility, for they absolutely incur none.'

What do you say to that?-A. Well, I call that a miserable insinuation. If a body of men consisting of the principal officers of the department, that have served their lives in the department, and have shown their work that they have done, and if representatives of two interests, such as the shipping interest of the St. Lawrence, representing an enormous

Dumber of vessels and an immense tonnage and great value, are men that are supposed to stoop to acting without any sense of their responsibility. 1 am very sorry for the people who would think so. I think the business community of this country has not fallen that far. We have always had in this country, we have now, and I hope we always will have a very different moral tone from that.

He is then asked as to the value of recommendations made by the board, and he says:

As I said before it has enabled ships to continue their voyages, and therefore from a shipping noint of view it has made the route more economical. The insurance of cargoes also has been reduced, and will, I hope, continue to be reduced, but, of course, insurance companies, like every other business people, have to recoup themselves for losses in the past and their reductions have been gradual from year to year until they get down to a point where they consider they have gone as far as they can go and that will be gauged by tho results of the steamers navigating the St. Lawrence route. If there are accidents they will have to recoup themselves for the accident, but by guarding against those accidents, we will finally reduce the insurance to the lowest possible point.

Then he is asked:

Q. Then in connection with the functions, the performance of the duties of the board and yourself as a member of the board, did anything ever come to your knowledge as evidence of dishonesty on the part of those officials or of any other officials of the department?-A. I never heard anything of it.

Q. The commission to his lordship calls for a report as to acts of dishonesty on the part of any official?-A. I have no knowledge of any.

In this evidence, which is available for the examination of any hon. gentleman, Mr. Hugh Allan, I think, absolutely justifies the increased expenditures made by the Lighthouse Board. He states, regarding the conduct of officials, that he always found them attentive to their duties, discharging them properly, and that in no instance in his experience did he know of any member of the Lighthouse Board or any official in connection with it doing anything that might be termed improper. The evidence of Mr. Hugh Allan was confirmed by that of Mr. Andrew Allan and another gentleman representing the shipping interest of the port of Montreal. Now, my only reason for referring to this is that a very considerable portion of the increased expenditure of the Marine and Fisheries Department has been in connection with aids to navigation.

I presume that one of the matters which the hon. member for Elgin (Mr. Crothers) had in his mind last night, when he charged this department with gross extravagance,

was its expenditure in aids to navigation, but I am sure every good Canadian must feel proud of the fact that the Department of Marine and Fisheries inaugurated a progressive policy in respect of the navigation of the St. Lawrence and elsewhere. This House, I am sure, will justify every dollar of that expenditure as being entirely in the interests of the country. The findings of the Civil Service Commission were grossly and manifestly unfair. They reached conclusions without having called for any testimony or information from the members of the Lighthouse Board, and they presumed to make findings without having put themselves in possession of the facts. It was suggested further by the commission that some of the officials in the department and some members of the Lighthouse Board were given to serving1 two masters, Scripture to the contrary notwithstanding, and they insinuated strongly also that these officials were in receipt of gratuities or something of that character. Well, the findings of the Hon. Mr. Justice Cassels are in direct opposition. There is no portion of the evidence taken by him which would justify any charge of misconduct or irregularity on the part of any of the officials of the Lighthouse Board.

The next matter to which I wish to refer is the question of the Willson gas buoys, to which Mr. Justice Cassels refers on page 12 of his report. I am not referring to this matter because of any findings against the department by Mr. Justice Cassels. On the contrary, his findings are in every respect favourable to the department and to the gentleman who manufactures and sells these buoys. But I am inclined to discuss this matter for another reason, and that is that Mr. Justice Cassels dealt with it in an altogether different way from that in which he dealt with another subject of a kindred nature, namely, the diaphone fog signal. He found that there was no evidence of any improper expenditure by Mr. Willson or his employees to reward any of the officials of the Civil Service and promote the interests of the company. He found that the buoys are unquestionably of great value. He was furnished with a statement showing the cost of production of the buoys, and he found that the reasons given in support of the contention that these costs should not be made public were well founded and he declined to make any further public disclosure. I would like here to read the statement quoted by the hon. member for Cape Breton (Mr. Maddin) last night as a reason for inquiry into the other departments. That hon. gentleman quoted from remarks made by the hon. member for Grenville and Leeds (Mr. J. D. Reid) some two years ago in this House in which he referred to these particular buoys. And the passage he quoted was . the following:

Up to about two or (three years ago, we had the iPintsch gas system by which we had a permanent light on the gas buoys. It was changed then to the acetylene gas system.

I have not the slightest hesitation in saying, as I see from the Auditor General V Report, that the government have spent in the neighbourhood of $1,000,000 in the fiscal year of 1905 in making these changes, that there has been a very considerable rake-off, say from 25 to 50 per cent. Some one is getting that rake-off.

That was the statement made by the hon. member for Grenville and Leeds more than two years ago charging dishonesty on the pprt of departmental officials, and pretending to know sufficient to justify his making use of the term 'rake-off' and stating even the commission given government officials. But the finding of Mr. Justice Cassels completely disposes of that statement. Well, on statements just as ridiculous, the government are asked to consent to the appointment of another commission to make inquiries concerning the operations of other departments. Returning to Mr. Justice Cassels' report in this connection, what I cannot understand is that Mr. Justice Cassels should have adopted a certain procedure in the case of the gas buoys and another procedure in the case of the fog signals. In the case of the Willson buoys, he decided that it was not necessary to make public their cost. But in the case of the fog signal, he made a contrary ruling and obliged the manufacturer to go into the cost. In the case of the Willson buoys, he held it was not a matter of public importance what profit was made by Mr. Willson, but he found that it was matter of importance what profit the Canadian Fog Signal Company makes. In the case of the Willson buoy he did not invoke his interpretation of the patent law as against Mr. Willson, but he does as against the Canadian Fog Signal Company. I cannot understand this diversity in ruling upon two matters of a very kindred nature. I am inclined to think that his rulings in connection with the Willson gas buoy were the proper ones, and that those made in connection with the Canadian fog signals were not. They certainly could not both have been right.

Hon. gentlemen opposite for many years have had a great deal to say respecting the sale of these buoys to the department. It is a matter which we heard of frequently during the last election and which we often heard of in this House, but strange to say hon. gentlemen opposite, though threatening to investigate this matter in the Public Accounts Committee, have never ventured to make the final plunge and demand an inquiry. It was openly stated that Mr. J. F. Fraser, the commissioner of lights, was undoubtedly profiting by the many purchases of the department from Mr. Willson. The commissioner found there was no jus-Mr. A. K. MACLEAN.

tification for this, also that Mr. Willson did not make any expenditure to government officials for the purpose of securing orders for these gas buoys. He also found that there is nothing in the evidence to justify the charge of excessive prices, and his finding with respect to all the purchases made from Mr. Willson, entirely frees the department from any censure in that direction.

Doubtless the purchasing of these buoys involved increased expenditure by the department, but in a word, I say it was a necessary expenditure, it was in the interest of navigation, and all men interested in shipping or marine matters in this country will justify the purchase of these buoys from Mr. Willson. There is no doubt that the cost of equipping the river St. Lawrence and other portions of our coast line with these gas buoys meant that the department would be obliged to pay a higher price than they were paying for the Pintsch buoys which they had been in the habit of purchasing for some years before. But while the cost of the Willson buoys was greater, it was a more efficient buoy, and the department and the country could well stand the increased expenditure. I submit that it is eminently satisfactory to the Department of Marine and Fisheries, to the members of the government and to tbe friends of the government to find that Mr. Justice Cassels, after an exhaustive inquiry into the whole matter, finds that the prices charged were not excessive, that tbe buoys were a great aid to navigation and their use was in the interest of shipping, that there was no improper conduct on the part of any member of the Lighthouse Board, who recommended the purchase of these buoys, and that no official of the department was guilty of any improper conduct in connection therewith. I say, these findings are satisfactory to the government and to the friends of the government, because, for several years, hon. members oppositive have been crying graft, and charging improper and extravagant expenditure in conection with these purchases. The next matter which I wish to take up is the findings of Mr. Justice Cassels concerning the Canadian Fog Signal. The question that he was considering was whether there had been a * lack of conscience ' in connection with this expenditure of the department by dishonesty on the part of the officials. From this point of view, he refused to allow the company, whose business was under consideration, to be represented by counsel. I am instructed that the Canadian Fog Signal Company asked to be heard by counsel. Mr. Cassels refused this. It does strike me that this was somewhat unfair. If Mr. Justice Cassels thought it proper on his part to inquire as to the cost and as to the price of the Diaphone Fog Signal, it was only proper that he should permit tbe owners or manufacturers of this pat-

ented article to be represented by counsel if they -wished. In the case of the Canadian Fog Signal Company Justice Cassels however, comes to the conclusion that there was no ' lack of conscience ' on the part of the officials, and that the whole course of the business of this company with the government had been absolutely regular and honest. Incidentally, he considered the question of manufacturing cost and the price as to which the manufactured product was sold to the government. I submit that, having decided to go into this, he should have gone further and permitted the Canadian Fog Signal Company to give evidence as to the elements of value that went to make up the cost of this manufactured article, and to explain the apparent discrepancy between the actual manufacturing cost and the selling price to the government. And, if that had been done, there would not have been shown the apparent discrepancy which we find to-day upon the records. The Canadian Fog Signal Company are the patentees, owners and manufacturers, of a sound-producing device as an aid to navigation and known as the Diaphone Fog Signal. Mr. Justice Cassels finds that this device is a great aid to navigation. This instrument was highly spoken of by Mr. Hugh Allan, by Mr. Andrew Allan and other gentlemen representing the Montreal shipping interest, in giving their evidence before the commission. Mr. Justice Cassels finds the cost of the device to have been $220, a figure that has been mentioned two or three times by hon. gentleipen opposite without explanation, one would not be surprised at finding hon. gentlemen opposite or people outside of this House criticising-as they might criticise with some degree of fairness-the great discrepancy between the cost and the selling price. Mr. Justice Cassels finds that the royalty paid on this machine was, on the average, $400, and he allows a profit of 100 per cent on the fog signal costing $220. Thus, he finds the total cost to the department should be $840, whereas the department to-day are paying $4,600 for this instrument. Now, I say that that finding is incorrect, it is not justified by the evidence. I say that the inquiry of the commissioner and the counsel representing the department on this occasion did not elicit, and did not attempt to elicit, sufficient facts, and the finding is therefore unfair and unsatisfactory. These instruments must necessarily be purchased from this company in the future, if they are purchased at all. I trust the Department of Marine and Fisheries will not refuse to purchase more of these fog signals-seeing they are such a great aid to navigation- by reason of the finding of Mr. Justice Cassels. I have made the statement that that finding was incorrect, and I think I can prove that in just two or three words.

Let me premise my attempt to prove this by making the statement, that in only one year did the department buy any great number of fog signals from this company. The average number of sales in every year but one, was seven. Putting the profit at the figure named by Mr. Justice Cassels, viz., $220, the total profits for the year would be $1,540. When I tell the House that the evidence discloses the fact that the Canadian Fog Signal Company paid the government alone $500 a year for the use of their testing plant at Toronto, and when I say that the cost .of fuel for operating this testing plant alone was, for some years, over $250, I have shown that more than half the alleged profit was absorbed, even without reference to any other fixed charges of the business. And, in stating these figures, I think, I amply make good my statement that the finding of the commissioner in this respect was absolutely valueless. Certain statements were filed by the Canadian Fog Signal Company as exhibits, during this investigation, and I wish to put on record one or two. One statement showed the receipts and disbursements of the company from October, 1902, to 1908, a statement prepared by Messrs. Barber and Gardner, chartered accountants, and by them certified. This statement shows that the total amount received by the government was $676,000 during all these years. It shows disbursements of $530,000, leaving a balance of $140,000 to be distributed as profits over the same six years, leaving available for dividends, this statement says, $22,600 per annum. This company also filed a statement showing their fixed charges per year, and I wish to put on record a sample statement for the year ending September 30, 1907, showing what were their fixed charges.

Storekeepers' wages $ 624 00Offices and workshop rent

1,925 04Electric light

55 08Telephone rent and long distance.. 259 87Miss Mathews

624 00Mr. Wadsworth

1,200 00

Stationery, printing, typewriting,

books, magazines

128 53Packing boxes, lumber, &c

84 53S. L. Gibson

1,500 00Office furniture Patent fees Cartage Advertising Insurance and taxes Telegraph Patterns Jigs, tools, gauges, &c Development and testing

Testing boat-

Salaries: 1 engineer, 1 wheelman,

2 deckhands (6 months) 1,140 00

Expenses for 6 months, 4 men, 30c.

per day each ,

Depreciation, 10 per cent 1,200 00

Power account at eastern gap.. .. 93 76

Travelling expenses-S. L. Gib-

270 89

30 00 46 50 118 72 368 90 166 63 136 06 482 34 95 38 2,080 40

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE CASSELS COMMISSION.
Permalink

$12,870 65 COMMONS


Now, the commissioner apparently paid no attention to these statements filed by the Canadian Fog Signal Co., showing what were their fixed charges, and the finding, therefore, that this instrument should have been sold for $840 to the department, is I say, absolutely at variance with the facts, and I think very little apology can be made for the commissioner and counsel for making such an error. The company also filed statements showing that for the year ending September 30, 1906, their profits were $8,244, or at the rate of 161 per cent; for the year 1907, their total profits were $32,743.99, or a profit of 40 per cent on the amount received; for the year 1908, the profits were 20 per cent on the amounts received. These profits are, of course, more than the profits which industrial concerns usually require ; but I submit and I am sure any fair-minded member of the House will agree with me, that proprietors of a patented article having a limited sale, are entitled to a profit somewhere in the region of that which they received during the several years I have mentioned, namely, 20 to 40 per cent. _ There is another feature I wish to mention here in connection w'ith this Fog Signal Co., and I am referring to it solely that it may be placed upon the records; it is a statement showing a comparison of the cost of operation of the English siren which the government had in previous years purchased, and the diaphone at Father Point, Que.: Comparison of operation of English Siren and 3' Diaphone at Father Point. Cost per year of oil for power purposes only. The English siren required for its operations 3-12 II.P. gasoline engines, each using 2 gallons of gasoline per hour. At 600 fog hours per year and 20 cents per gal for oil, the cost was Siren....$720 The length of blast was 2} seconds per minute. The diaphone now in operation requires 1-12 H.P. engine, and at the same figures the cost for power oil is Diaphone. 240 The length of blast is 8 seconds per minute. If the diaphone blast had been kept at 2J seoonds, the cost of oil would be only $75 per year Eiaphone for same length of blasts 75 The actual saving is $480 per year and is sufficient to pay a standard 3 feet diaphone outfit in less than 10 years. Had the blast been kept the same length the annual saving would have been $645, which would have paid for the diaphone outfit in about 7 years, and a complete new plant with diaphone in 124 years.


LIB

Alexander Kenneth Maclean

Liberal

Mr. A. K. MACLEAN.

Now, Mr. Northey, one of the persons interested in the manufacture of this fog signal, presented to the commission a statement which gives considerable information respecting the sales of these dia-phones, and I wish to read a few clauses from this statement, as it will correct some of the errors which the commission fell into:

When the general business of the Northey Company, Limited, was sold in 1902, I retained the fog signal business, including the basic patent for the diaphone with four other patents purchased in the early part of 1902. My personal experiments and development of the diaphone resulted in the issue of the further patent to me in July, 1902. Before the diaphone was developed the Northey Company had furnished siren plants to the government, at that time the most efficient signals known.

In addition to the first patent issued to me in July, 1903, I applied for a patent in Newfoundland in December, 1903, which was issued in February, 1904. This was acquired by the Fog Signal Company by the agreement ot April 13, 1904, covering also all developments, all Newfoundland contracts and all Canadian government contracts to instal plants in Newfoundland.

Now, Mr. Justice Cassels neglects to take notice of the fact that the instrument which Mr. Northey sold to the department was not. the instrument which he purchased from the American patentees. True, that was the basic patent, and he was still paying a royalty upon it, but he improved that instrument by three or four patents which he subsequently took out himself. It was the basic patent that he bought from some gentleman in the United States and which he improved and sold to this department. Mr. Justice Cassels altogether failed to take that into consideration.

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CON

Arthur Cyril Boyce

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BOYCE.

What was the price of that fog signal sold to the government, and the cost of production?

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LIB

Alexander Kenneth Maclean

Liberal

Mr. A. K. MACLEAN.

The average price was $4,600; the actual cost, taking no account of any other consideration, according to Mr. Justice Cassels, was $220. Now, the diaphone before accepted, had been inspected a number of times by the then minister, and by officers of the Marine and Fisheries Department. This statement goes on to say :

The price tendered for the instrument, as would be apparent to any one, was not being based upon the cost to manufacture, looking at the size of the instrument and its general appearance. Its value was never considered in this way, but on the contrary, on the basis of its value as a new and important scientific invention.

Now, Mr. Speaker, it is unfair for hon. gentlemen to urge that the selling price of an instrument of this kind should be determined by the actual cost of manufac-

ture. Mr. Justice Cassels finds that the actual cost of the machinery and labour is $220. Supposing the inventor had devoted 25 years of his life to the development of this machine, supposing he had spent a million dollars in its development, are not these two elements to be taken into consideration in fixing the price of this machine ? Is it not absurd to find that no other consideration was invoked in ascertaining what should be the price except the actual cost of the metal involved in the instrument. The statement goes on to say:

The character of the invention shows that the price is reasonable. It is admitted that the diaphone, as Col. Anderson put it in his evidence before the commission, is the best fog alarm in existence to-day. It marks a distinct advance in inventive science. Its character was explained to the Royal Commission on Lighthouse Administration in England, 1907, by Lord Rayleigh, scientific adviser to Trinity House, i. e., the British Lighthouse Department. In both the diaphone 'and the siren there are elongated apertures through which air is admitted periodically. In the siren these apertures are opened and closed by a revolving drum which passes oyer them. In the diaphone it is a piston which moves backwards and forwards and so alternately covers and uncovers the apertures. The great improvement of the diaphone is in its penetrating power, evenness of pitch, and by the application of certain principles of sound which produce consonance between the diaphone and the horn or resonator.

The commercial value of the diaphone is not to be measured by the cost of the materials and labour that will be required to make the instrument. The cost is excessive, as suggested pnly when the cost of materials alone is considered, but we contend that it is absurd to say that there should be only a profit of fifty per cent on actual materials and labour. This can best be illustrated by the difference in weight of the plant and instrument between the siren and the diaphone. The less effective siren and its plant weighed 9,280 pounds, the diaphone has a shipping weight of only 87 pounds. If the cost of the material is to be the criterion, then the less effective instrument should be entitled to over one hundred times the suggested price of the diaphone. What we contend is that the instrument which with less plant takes the place of the cumbersome instrument which weighs one hundred times as much is on every ground entitled to a higher price than the one it supersedes.

Now, this statement proceeds to make a crmparison of the prices paid by the British government for the siren which this government previously used. The diaphone is, in every respect, a superior instrument. The initial cost is very little more and the annual cost of maintenance and operation is so much less that it more than offsets any difference in the original cost. Mr. Justice Cassels also proceeds to criticise the officials of the department for not knowing the patent law of this country This strikes me as being a peculiar finding, particularly

when it is known that only a few months previous to the time of this examination, the Supreme Court of Canada held, confirming a judgment of the Exchequer Court, in a certain action which was brought in the Exchequer Court by Mr. Justice Cassels on behalf of a client, that a patent could be infringed or lost by reason of the owner refusing to sell. Now, the intepreta-tion of the law, as propounded in this case, was a matter of only recent occurrence. The decision given by the Exchequer Court and affirmed by the Supreme Court was in an action which was brought by a certain client on the advice of Mr. Justice Cassels, then Mr. Walter Cassels. It seems to me that it was unfair to say that the officials of the Department of Marine and Fisheries should have known the patent law, and should have known that it was not what Mr. Justice Cassels thought it was just a few months before that. _ I must hasten on because I find I am taking more time than I intended. But, I wish, very briefly, to refer to a few matters, and one has reference to the purchase of certain silverware by Mr. Coghlin. I will not take time to read the evidence, but I would ask hon. gentlemen, at some time, to read the evidence given by Mr. Coghlin before the commission and also the evidence of Mr. J. M. M. Duff given at Montreal.

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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

Which Mr. Coghlin is it to whom the hon. gentleman refers now?

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LIB

Alexander Kenneth Maclean

Liberal

Mr. A. K. MACLEAN.

Mr. Coghlin, sr., the gentleman who sold the goods.

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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

That gave the evidence?

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LIB

Alexander Kenneth Maclean

Liberal

Mr. A. K. MACLEAN.

Yes. The son also gave evidence. This matter has been referred to by hon. gentlemen opposite as an evidence of improper dealings on the part of some departmental officials. There are some curious facts in connection with this transaction. There is no doubt Mr. Coghlin was obliged to refund to the department $1,100 on account of this purchase. This is the way he puts it:

A. In connection with that I may tell you the Auditor General and the deputy minister imposed upon me, absolutely imposed upon me. They summoned me up here to ask me some questions and they said, ' You have overcharged us on these invoices.' I explained matters to them as best I could from memory and they were not satisfied. Then I said, 'What will you be satisfied with? I don't want my name to be made public in this connection, I am not doing this sort of business.' I said, ' How much will you want ? They said so much. I said, ' Give me a cheque,' and I made it out there and then. On inquiry when I got back to the office I found I had not only returned my profit, but $400 or $500 more than the profit I made on the transaction.

Later on Mr. Coghlin says to Mr. Justice Cassels:

The Auditor General was over zealous.

I always was inclined myself to think, after hearing the evidence of this gentleman in the Public Accounts Committee, that there was something in explanation of it, and I think that in all probability he did give the true explanation there. He did not want to have his name used in the newspapers as Ijaving charged excessive prices for these goods, and so, to escape this criticism, he made this refund of money. At the inquiry in Montreal the commission, very properly, I think, appointed an expert accountant to examine many accounts, and this gentleman's name was J. M. M. Duff. I wish to read a few words from the evidence of Mr. Duff respecting the Coghlin purchase:

Q. And as a result what did you find?-A. X saw the original invoices of the goods purchased, I verified the amount of duty and freight paid from vouchers, and I found the charges to the government, I verified the amount of that from the blue-book, and the result is that 1 find after taking off the refund which Mr. Coghlin made the firm received the sum of $2,320.92 for the goods in question, and they cost them in actual cost laid down on the floor of their shop, $2,043.89. Besides that $2,043.89 there would be other expenses, such as freight to deliver the goods in Quebec and cartage and various things, small items.

By Mr. Watson:

Q. What was the percentage of profit in this transaction?-A. It looks to me as if they made no profit at all after giving back the $1,100.

Q. After giving back $1,100?-A. Yes.

Q. The $1,100 would be about what profit?- A. The $1,100 would be giving them about 40 per cent.

Q. 40 per cent?-A. Yes.

Q. That is a large profit?-A. Well, on some things it would be; not on that class of goods.

Q. Not on that class?-A. No, not extraordinary.

There is an explanation which I think must be accepted by the House concerning this matter. I think it is a very fair explanation and affords another instance to show how easy it i-s to have the actual facts perverted or not truthfully and in detail presented to the House or to a committee of the House. Mr. Duff examined the accounts of one concern in Montreal which sold to the steamer 'Arctic,' at the time of her expedition to the north, some $12,000 worth of goods, and the accounts were very severely criticised in this House and before the committee appointed to inquire into the purchases made for the ' Arctic.' But in this sale of $12,000 worth of good? for the steamer ' Arctic,' Mr. Duff found that the total profits were less than $500.

I wish to refer briefly to two or three other matters and one is in connection with Captain Johnson, of Halifax. At page 48 in this report, Mr. Justice Cassels makes this finding:

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?

William Frederic Kay

Mr. A. K.

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MACLEAN


Captain Johnson, of the steamer ' Lady Laurier ' has to discharge himself from blame in respect of two matters brought to light in the evidence adduced in Halifax. First, in respect to the receipt by him of $1,550, apparently paid him on account of so-called salvage services performed by the ' Lady Laurier ' and the officers and crew for the steamship ' Hestia.' I say that finding is not correct. There is nothing in the evidence to justify it, and it is most inexplicable how the commissioner came to make such an error. Let me preface my statement by two or three explanatory words. On the 12th of May, 1906, the steamer 'Hestia' was picked up off the Nova Scotia coast in a sinking condition. She was overtaken by the steamer 'Lady Laurier' and towed to Shelbourne roads. The towing took about half a day. The 'Lady Laurier,' after towing this stranded steamer to the shore, left her there and proceeded on her work. Later on, acting on instructions from the department, the 'Lady Laurier' was sent to the scene of the stranded ship with instructions to stand by until she was floated. In the meantime the Halifax Tow Boat Company was engaged to raise the steamer. The only service which the ' Lady Laurier ' performed was to tow the sinking vessel to shore and stand by three or four days while she was being raised. The crew of the ' Lady Laurier ' worked in assisting the salvors to raise the ' Hestia ' and the Halifax Tow Boat Company paid the crew-not Captain Johnson-for work performed by them. Later, according to the evidence, the underwriters made a gratuity to Captain Johnson and the officers of the ship and I wish to read a letter respecting this matter sent to Cunard & Co., of Halifax, from an underwriters' association: I oonfirm cable sent you to-day as per copy inclosed advising the payment to your credit with Messrs. Williams Deacons Bank, Ltd., of the sum of 200 pounds, the agreed amount to be allowed as gratuities to the captain and officers of the ' Lady Laurier.' You will no doubt arrange promptly for the captain of the ' Lady Laurier ' to receive the equivalent of 150 pounds as his share of the amount, and will in conjunction with the owners? agents apportion and distribute the equivalent of the remaining 50 pounds among the officers. It will therefore be seen that that $500 was paid by Pickford & Black, the agents of the ' Hestia ' for labour performedby the crew of the ' Lady Laurier,'and merely for services rendered, and that $750 was paid to Captain Johnson by the underwriters as a gratuity and $250 to the other officers of the ' Lady Laurier.'In addition $350 were paid by Pickford & Black for damages done the 'Lady Laurier.' Therefore the findings of Mr. Justice Cassels are not correct. The hon. the leader of the opposition was under the same impression as Mr. Justice Cassels, because he said last night that the 'Lady Laurier' was under contract at the rate of $400 a day to perform a certain service. I can understand anybody being misled by the evidence unless he went into the evidence thoroughly, but I cannot understand the commissioner making a mistake after the matter was explained to him thoroughly, even although he and Mr. Watson, the counsel, apparently did not wish to get an explanation from several of the witnesses. Captain Johnson of the 'Lady Laurier' received a message from the department to assist in towing the wrecked steamer. The Halifax Tow Boat Company objected, but nevertheless there was an understanding that if no other tow boat was available the 'Lady Laurier' was to do the towing at $400 per day. But she never did the towing.


?

Peter H. McKenzie

Mr. MACKENZIE.

Why was that service not performed?

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LIB

Alexander Kenneth Maclean

Liberal

Mr. A. K. MACLEAN.

For the reason that it was performed by the Halifax Tow Boat Company and it was against the policy of the department to allow a government boat to engage in towing if private individuals were ready to do it. Surely Captain Johnson was entitled to the money he received. I think I can safely say that the commander or the crew of a merchant ship is obliged to render salvage service and may claim salvage. If you look on the gratuity of $750 as salvage, I say under our Canadian Shipping Act, Captain Johnson could have recovered that sum as a matter of law. If he was not entitled to it as a matter of law, I think he was a matter of custom. There is precedent f(jr it. On the 10th of July, 1895, a letter was sent to

H. W. Johnson, the agent of the Marine and Fisheries Department at Halifax:

I have pleasure in informing you that by order in council of the 30th ult, the sum of $250 has been allowed you out of the amount of salvage of the wrecked steamer ' Amsterdam,' in recognition, of the valuable services rendered by you ancT the extra labour performed in connection with this matter. Signed on behalf of the deputy minister.

Here is a case in which by order in council the agent of the department at Halifax received $250 and the man who was superintendent of lights occupying at that time the same position as Captain Johnson does to-day, was paid $500. I say that by custom and by law Captain Johnson was entitled without any departmental regulation prohibiting the same.

Then, there is the case in which Captain Johnson received $400 in connection with the wreck of the 'Mount Temple.' A little over a year ago one of the Canadian Pacific Railway steamers called the 'Mount Temple' went ashore near Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, with a large number of passengers on board. On the morning of the disaster

I made it my business to go to the Marine and Fisheries Department'to urge that the ' Lady Laurier ' be sent to the scene, but the department had already sent the steamer. Under instructions from the department, Captain Johnson made three trips from Halifax to the steamer and rescued six or seven hundred passengers. While there he naturally observed the conditions of the wreck. The Halifax Salvage Association undertook the floating of the ship, and eventually succeeded in floating her. During their operations, which occupied several months, Captain Johnson rendered to the Salvage Association, they say, very valuable advice, and gave them the benefit of information he was able to give by reason of the facts that he was an experienced seaman and had visited the wreck and observed the condition of the ship on three occasions; and when they eventually recovered their salvage, they gave $400 to Captain Johnson, as a gratuity, and not, as it would appear from the findings, for the services rendered by the 'Lady Laurier'. Now, the very most that can be said of the acceptance of this payment by Captain Johnson is that it may be an act perilously neaT being censurable. The payment was made to Captain Johnson for services rendered outside of his official duties, and not as superintendent of lights, as the commissioner says.

I feel that I cannot close without saying a word or two upon the findings of the commissioner respecting the charge made against Mr. Boudreau, the accountant of the Department of Marine and Fisheries. The commissioner in his case finds _ the Scotch verdict of not proven. This I think is very much to be regretted. There certainly is no evidence of guilt on the part of Mr. Boudreau, and why the commissioner, after hearing the evidence, should feel justified, in his capacity as a judge, in finding the verdict he did is something I cannot understand. If Mr. Van Felson could not explain clearly every incident in connection with that alleged payment to Mr. Boudreau, the commissioner should have found that Mr. Van Fel-scn was the guilty man. There is hardly an element of evidence in the whole case to justify the shadow of a suspicion against Mr. Boudreau, and I think the finding of the commissioner was both unfortunate and unfair. He should, in clear and unmistakable terms, have acquitted Mr. Boudreau of any guilt in that connection.

There are a great many other features of this report which I would like to discuss, but I find that it would take considerable time, and much to my regret I must conclude my remarks. As I have said, irregularities have been disclosed in the Marine and Fisheries Department. The commissioner, in the concluding portion of hi3 r>-

port, asks what are the remedies for the amelioration of the conditions found to exist, and he makes four very sound and fair suggestions. The first is that the department should have capable and efficient officials. It is perhaps not fair to make! any remarks concerning some of the officials who have been retired; but I cannot help saying that while I entertain for the late deputy minister the most kindly feelings personally, having always found him a kind and agreeable official to have public business with, at the same time I cannot understand how many things could have occurred if he had exercised more than a _ technical responsibility as a deputy minister. It is impossible for a minister of a department, with his time divided by political, parliamentary and executive duties, to have control of the details of his department. Ministers come and go, and I think every minister should always make sure of having in his department a good, able, strong _ man as deputy minister, one who can resist the aggressions of men who operate by corrupt influences, men who at times appear to be friends of the administration, but who are too anxious to do things which easily discredit it. Mr. Justice Cassels also recommends that efficient officials be properly paid. I think that is an excellent recommendation. The government cannot obtain competent men to discharge the public business of a department unless they are prepared to pay them salaries somewhat corresponding to what their capacity and ability would obtain in outside markets. He further suggests that payments to those dealing with the department should be made promptly. I think this a very timely suggestion, and I trust that the Minister of Marine and Fisheries will hereafter see, if possible, that there are not long delays in making payments to those who are the creditors of the government.

In conclusion, let me say that the Department of Marine and Fisheries has for some years been the target of voluminous criticism from hon. gentlemen opposite. It has been a delirious and unbridled criticism. Hon. gentlemen have been very ready to whisper the good points of the administration of that department, and to megaphone the shortcomings of every official of the department. However, this is a good occasion for friends of the administration to be frank with the government and with the Minister of Marine and Fisheries. Transactions occurred in that department which were censurable. There has been inefficiency on the part of officials in the department as well as in the outside agencies. Friends of the Minister of Marine and Fisheries expect that he will make it sure that such things cannot occur again, and the friends of the administration will Mr. A. K. MACLEAN.

expect every minister to make sure that similar transactions cannot occur in other departments. I have sufficient confidence in the private and official integrity, in the capacity and ability as a departmental administrator, of the Minister of Marine and Fisheries, to believe that he will leave nothing undone to correct any irregularities which have characterized his department in the past. From my own personal knowledge, gained by close personal contact with him during the last few years, I am sure has has always been actuated by nothing but the strongest desire to give to this country a progressive and clean administration.

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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. G. E. FOSTER (North Toronto).

Mr. Speaker, I have listened with -more than usual interest to the speech of the hon. member for Lunenburg (Mr. A. K. Maclean). I wondered what line of argument he would adopt and it has been interesting to follow his argument. I do not want to spend too much time upon that argument, for in the larger part of it he was in a far distant and foreign country and I d,o not propose to follow him in those, to him agreeable excursions. The hon. gentleman has of late lost faith in commissions. I wondered what had brought that about. Evidently he has no good will for the Civil Service Commission or for the Cassels Commission. I will leave the House to form its own judgment as to the reason for his somewhat sudden change of opinion. For a young man it seemed to me that he went a good distance when he characterized the three gentlemen who served on the Civil Service Commission as three fussy old gentlemen. Sometimes, you know, the youth thinks that he knows it all and he is not quite well enough on in years to prevent other people seeing that he thinks he knows it all. It is not so much a fault for a young man to think he knows it all but sometimes it is a great indiscretion to let it be publicly known. I almost think that the veteran gentlemen who formed that commission will still live in fair enjoyment of this world's pleasures and opportunities and will still be fairly well thought of by their not very small circle of old and tried acquaintances, even after this thunderous and ponderous condemnation of them which has been made by the hon. member for Lunenburg (Mr. A. K. Maclean).

The hon. gentleman (Mr. A. K. Maclean) went on to show reasons which appealed to him why this resolution should not be carried. I want to criticise just for a moment in all kindness and yet as trenchantly as possible his objections to it. He thought the resolution proposed was illogical and unintelligent. If the hon. member for St. Anne (Mr. Doherty) were here I would sympathize with him for this cutting criticism of the outcome of his public and

legal knowledge and standing. But how is the resolution illogical and how is it unintelligent? If my hon. friend will read it he will see that it is couched in plain English and says what it means. He may disagree with its meaning but in what sense is it illogical? First it says the Civil Service Commission was appointed and that it made certain strictures. Secondly as a result, and I think this comes in logically, the second commission was appointed and the second ^ commission, even according to my hon. friend, has proved that the suggestions made by the first commission were in large measure true, and that the conditions were even worse than the first commission indicated. Now, these two statements are not , illogical neither are they unintelligent. J.he third statement follows from these two. If from a partial investigation in one department there has been all this beneficial exposure, it seems a fair and logical inference to make that if the probe had extended to other departments dealing with the same people we would have equally beneficial results from further investigations. I submit to you, Mr. Speaker, who have an eminently logical mind, that you cannot in any way agree with the hon. member for Lunenburg that this is an illogical and unintelligent resolution. I do not ask you to express a ruling in the matter, but I submit that my hon. friend failed to advance good reasons why this resolution should not be carried. What was his first reason? I hat the resolution is illogical and unintelligent. I have dealt with that, I think, satisfactorily._ He says that it is not necessary to think or it is not thinkable that because certain things occur in one case then under similar circumstances they may occur in another case. I have always understood that similar forces under similar circumstances, will produce similar results. It seems fair to argue that with similar forces at work in other departments, under similar circumstances, there will be similar results. The argument is irresistible. What has gone wrong with the mental machinery of my hon. friend from Lunenburg this afternoon? Usually he does not put himself in such a box as that. Something must be the matter, up late last night, here with the rest of us? He says also that another irresistible reason why this should not be gone on with-and I commend this to the hon. member for St. Anne-is because there have been no suggestions of evil in any other department.

Honestly, let me ask my good friend from Lunenburg to revise that statement of his. Has he been in this House for the last four or five years, and not only in this House but in the Public Accounts Committee of this House, only to come to us from the very thick of the fight of these discus-1

sions to tell us that there have been no suggestions of evil doings in other departments than that of Marine and Fisheries? Why, these suggestions have been so frequent, so insistent, so startling, they have been with us whilst we have slept and whilst we have been awake. So common have they been that the constant practice in dealing with them has made of my hon. friend (Mr. A. K. Maclean) a most successful blocker. Has not the hon. gentleman heard these suggestions, and has he not fought them-manfully, I admit, and according to his lights though on bad grounds -in the Public Accounts Committee? Time and time again he and his valiant brothers in arms-one of whom, we hear, is to be translated to a sphere which will involve him in no more such contests-have stood against these suggestions of wrong-doing. Does not he remember how these three valiant brothers in arms, himself being one, have held the bridge, day and night, against the suggestions-and more than suggestions of wrong-doing in other departments that were made in the Public Accounts Committee? Surely, as I have said, something has gone wrong with my hon. friend's upper storey, or he would never have made such an assertion as that which he made to-day.

. The last reason he gave why this resolution should not be supported is that, while the same contractors are at work for the other departments that were at work for the Department of Marine and Fisheries, yet it is idle to put that forward as a basis for this resolution. The same malign influences of bribe-giving and of getting by means of bribes that which cannot be got by honourable competition, the same contractors and the same system may exist in the other departments that have been shown to exist in the Department of Marine and Fisheries, but that, we are told, is no argument for this resolution. If we must reach a conclusion, and if we are to be led by logical process, surely the conclusion must be that the evils that existed in the Marine and Fisheries Department are likely to exist in other departments also. Why not? Is it because the men of the Marine and Fisheries Department are of different natures from those of the Public Works Department? That is unthinkable. We cannot subscribe to such a view, nor do I believe that my hon. friend really thinks that his objection is a valid one. To me, the logic of the case leads all the other way-that the men in the Marine and Fisheries Department are not worse than those in the Public Works, and that, as some men in the Marine Department have been bribed, have fallen, have forfeited their positions as the result of exposure after examination, men in similar employ in the Public Works Department are not necessarily im-

mune from such influences, though the necessary conclusion of my hon. friend s argument is that their immunity is complete. When the microbe is abroad, it is just as apt to attack a person working for the Minister of Public Works as to attack one working for the Minister of Marine and

Fisheries. .

These are the four reasons according to the hon. member for Lunenburg, why we should not press our resolution. I commend them to you, Mr. Speaker, to this House, to the gentlemen of the press, and through them to the people of .this country, who, I am sure, will value ^ them at their worth. Having exhausted his reasons why this resolution should not pass, my hon. friend took his excursion ticket, and, leaving behind him the last vestige of the question we are discussing, went abroad into a long and interesting disquisition upon the theory of fog signals and their working, their price, and their excellence; he went up and down the St. Lawrence route, and told us how much better that route was than in 1896. He might have made the argument stronger, perhaps, and the explanation more lucid, if he had gone back to 1867 and showed the great advances made in the St. Lawrence navigation from the time of confederation. But what was the hon. gentleman's logical conclusion- and let me present it to my hon. friend from Nanaimo (Mr. Ralph Smith) who has a logical brain. Here is the argument: Because an instrument is good, you must not examine into how that instrument was bought and paid for; because the improvement of the navigation of the St. Lawrence is a desirable thing, you must not examine into the methods by which that desirable thing is attained; you must not consider extravagance, because, forsooth, some good has been accomplished. Do we believe that? Does my hon. friend from Lunenburg himself believe it? I do him the justice of thinking that, when he looks at his speech in ' Hansard ' he will see that all this had nothing to do with the question in hand. It is all in line with the glorification club which has sprung into existence on the other side and which seeks diligently to find good things to say in order to draw attention away from things which are very much the opposite. And so, we have presented to us the excellence of the St. Lawrence route, the great power of the diaphone, the fine light of the gas buoy, and the fact that a treaty has been made between Canada and France-all these things have been trotted out in this argument in order to prove that we should not have an investigation into these other departments. I do not think it necessary to labour the argument. As Mr. Justice Cassels said of a case which was brought before him, and after but little evidence concerning it had been Mr. FOSTER.

taken: ' Let us pass on to something else; there is no use in beating a dead horse.' Now, if I come to a logical conclusion and I hope my hon. friend will admit that I can make a fairly good approach to a logical argument-let me try to show the trend of his argument this afternoon and its necessary deduction. He has spent three-quarters of an hour and more trying to show that Judge Cassels made a faulty, inadequate and, in some cases, an absolutely vicious investigation, and came to absolutely wrong conclusions. Yet ne told us that great good had resulted from this investigation. Well, I think that the only thing left for the hon. member for Lunenburg is to move in this House that some other gentlemen be appointed by the government to go over the work that Judge Cassels did so badly and do it better^ If so much that is good has been attained in spite of the faulty method, and bad deductions, and wrong conclusions, of Judge Cassels, then for pity's sake let us put a better man on, go over the ground again and get still more good results. But the richest cream of the whole on the can of milk was this, when my hon. friend from Lunenburg (Mr. Maclean), with grey hairs streaming over his ample brow, with the marks of age and great experience everywhere upon him, sits in judgment on Judge Cassels' opinion with reference to Admiralty law; and then, after he has sat down on it, suddenly wakes up-if he has waked Up yet-to the fact that the Prime Minister sitting just ahead of him has appointed Judge Cassels as judge in appeal in all Admirality cases in this Dominion of Canada. Putting all these things together, I am going to sit right down close by Judge Cassels in this business, and not take any part in the excursions that_ my hon. friend has invited us to take this afternoon. I advise him not to fake these excursions. Sometimes when you are improperly guided and your impulses are not quite to be relied upon, in strange countries and foreign lands you get into difficulty before you know it, and I am afraid that my hon. friend's excursion into Admiralty law has led him into one of those dangerous and unknown places.

I am not going through the course _ of questioning and answering and conclusion with reference to Captain Johnston's case. Would the minister tell me whether Captain Johnston is still in the employ of the government?

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LIB

Louis-Philippe Brodeur (Minister of Marine and Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. BRODEUR.

Yes.

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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

Then he has an officer who has absolutely snapped his finger in the face of the department and in face of his instructions, put money in his pocket, and has kept it there until this day. Why has he been kept there? Is it true that he has been promoted?

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?

An hon. MEMBER.

Yes.

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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

Why has he been promoted? Is this the stern chastisement that was to purify and make better the department, and strengthen its discipline, when the commander of one of the high admirality ships says: ' A fig for your orders and your instructions!' I am afraid that discipline is very much threatened in my hon. friend's department, and soon, to lack of organization, lack of direction and lack of conscience, we will also have to add lack of discipline. For how can the master and servant walk together unless they be agreed in the way of instruction and carrying out of instruction? Well, we will leave that for the future.

My hon. friend-and I take the argument here just because he made it-has declared that there ought not to be and that there is not any reason for going into the other departments; that what may have occurred in one is not likely to occur in another. I asked the other day the Minister of Marine and Fisheries if he had yet appointed his deputy minister. He said he had not, he had an open mind, he had not decided. Well, there is another point that I wish to bring to his mind. He vaunted himself yesterday for having destroyed the patronage system in his department. Does he mean the system, or the patronage lists? Which is it? When he took the extraordinary _ care of getting his own paid advocate, hired by himself, to introduce into the records of the commission a statement that he had done away with the patronage system so as to gather strength for himself, although it was absolutely foreign to the investigation-when he did that, what is the communication that he sends? Judge Cassels is misled, I think, in making the statement that he has done away with the patronage system. Here is the return to the order, going beyond the scope of the commission and which was obtruded for an obvious reason by Mr. Watson who interrupted the regular work and said:

I desire, my lord, in connection with the matters that have been before your lordship as commissioner in this investigation, to state what I referred to before your lordship at the last sitting at Quebec city. I stated to your lordship at that time that I understood the Minister of Marine and Fisheries had taken official action in abolishing the patronage list. I merely want now to follow that up and to state that I desire to place before your lordship, the offioial notice and statement that I received from the deputy minister, by direction of the minister, showing that that is the fact and that the patronage list has been permanently and absolutely abolished in this department. I will put that upon the record.

Here is the statement sent by Mr. Stanton, assistant deputy minister, to the following effect:

I am, by direction, to inclose for your information a copy of the Hon. Mr. Brodeur's

memorandum to the acting deputy minister, dated the 4th instant, instructing that the patronage files and lists containing names of firms which have been recommended to the department from time to time, are to be disregarded in future.

That is the whole of it. The minister can easily do away with the present files and patronage list and be a thousand miles distant from doing away with the patronage system. But the judge seems to have taken a wrong impression, and to have come to the conclusion that the patronage system was done away with by my hon. friend. Now let me say to him that if he has done or will do, away with the patronage system, fairly and squarely and wholly in his department, he will find no words of commendation moTe hearty from any one than from myself. But I asked him a question the other day, and I put a simple one to the Minister of Public Works, and I find that in each of their answers there are apertures through which you could pass a good sized automobile easily-it all depends on the will of the minister. The patronage system is done away with by my hon. friend, yet his acting deputy, Mr. Desbarets, went down to Halifax, and in the very heat of the election, put on, at the command of Carney & Roche, to aid them in their election, and admitted as such, a hundred extra men that the officers down there state were not necessary. 'Things that occur in one department are not apt to occur in another.' Are they not? What happened in the Intercolonial Department? The very same thing. August of last year saw 1,793 men temporarily employed on the Intercolonial, and the pay-list was $487,000. October saw 2,922 men employed, 1,200 more in a single month, and the pay-roll had gone up from $487,000 to $509,000. The next month the number went down to nearly the normal pay-list, to a little below the normal. In the province of Prince Edward Island the same thing took place on a smaller scale. In the Marine and Fisheries Department, in Halifax County, 92 men were on in August, and in October 288 men were on.

I say again what I have said a dozen times that if the Minister of Marine and Fisheries had a head on him, eyes in his head and a knowledge of the department he must have known that that thing was going on. In the city of Halifax for past years back-I am not going to say how many-the patronage of my hon. friend's department has been almost absolutely in the hands of Messrs. Roche and Carney and the minister knew it and knows it-knew it and' knows it because he mingled with these men. They were here during the session of parliament, he listens to their soft persuasions, and if these do not prevail he gives attentive ear to their menacing threats. But soft persuasion or menacing threat, one way or the other, they get their will. And the Minister of Marine and

Fisheries, but yesterday, paraded his ample skirts as the greatest reformer of the age.

I saw the tinge of shame upon the cheek of my right hon. friend and, although one would have to have a mighty big imagination to assist his vision, I thought I saw it also on the cheek of my hon. friend the Minister of Public Works, when this Luther of party purity paraded himself yesterday as the great reformer. How cruel of my hon. friend! Why could not he have said that the government has reformed things ? Why could he not have linked his colleagues with him? Is he the superior mind in reformation, the only one in the cabinet, as he appears to he the only one and to have been the only one who was perfectly oblivious to the corruption and knavery in the department over which he presided? These men have nothing to reform! but my hon. friend had a lot to reform. Has he done it? What was one of these reforms ? Wonderful ! He plumed himself that he had kept within his appropriation. Why, the law obliges him to do that. He would be convicted at once of lack of conscience if he did not do it. He would have come ' under the ban of the Civil Service Commission and of Judge Cassels as well. What a splendid reform! Have it painted, let it be put up where generation after generation can see it so that they can be told that in the year of grace, 1808, and in the reign of His Gracious Majesty King Edward VII., a great reformer arose in the Department of Marine and Fisheries and that the reform that he actually carried out was that this last year he had kept within his appropriation! Let me clinch this argument. If this sort _ of thing is done in the Department of Marine and Fisheries, and if we have actually proved, out of their own mouths, that it was done in the Railway Department, is there not the very same necessity for an investigation into the Railway Department as there is for an investigation into other departments? I think there is. Let me go back a little farther. What is the whole effort, or rather the double effort, of hon. gentlemen opposite? The first one it to make it appear to the country that the government faced the occasion, was equal to the crisis, instituted an investigation into the working of the departments and punished the malefactors. Is not that what they tried to make us believe? Is not that the gist, is not that the tendency, is not that the purposes of their argument? What is the truth? The simple truth is that for weeks, months, years, we bombarded this government with suggestions, with intimations, warnings, facts, resolutions, Public Accounts investigations going to show that things were not well in the departments, and what reception did we get at the hands of these gentlemen? Did they ever allow Mr. FOSTER.

one of our resolutions to pass? Did they ever grant us an investigation that we asked for? Did they ever fail to block as best they could an investigation in the Public Accounts Committee? Did they ever forward one of our investigations in this House ? No. They met us with the statement : ' It is all froth and fury ;

there is nothing in it; the departments are all right. Peace, peace is the watchword and honesty is the motive. We cannot let you go into this because you are wasting time for nothing, and there is nothing m it. If this accident had not happened you would have had none of this debate here to-day, you would have had no Cassels' Commission and no probing of this department.' I want that to sink Tight into the heart of every man in this House and into the minds of the people of this country. I make the statement once more. If it had not been for the accident, unfor-seen and-oh, pity of pities-unprovided against by the Prime Minister, you would have had no investigation of this department, you would have had no Mr. Cassels and none of the report which we are discussing now. How do I prove that? The Prime Minister stood up in Welland or Niagara and said to the confiding, trustful people: How did the government meet these charges? This is how they met them. We had suspicions that things were not' all right in the Department of Marine and Fisheries, we appointed a commission to investigate them, they found our suspicions .justified; we appointed another commission, Judge Cassels, in order to find out the guilty persons. That is what we did. We did not wait for charges but we did that. What government could do more? That is nearly verbatim et literatim, what my hon. friend said, and every man who listened to him said: 'Laurier is a trump after

all; he did not wait until they made charges before the House; he found out that there was something wrong in the department, he appointed a commission to trace that wrong, it was found that there had been " bad practices, he put another commission to work to find out the bad practisers, and to pick the black sheep out from the white sheep before they would contaminate the whole bunch.' What are the facts? The right hon. Prime Minister refused every resolution, every plea, every argument for an investigation, every fact that we put before him and his government and would not allow us to investigate one of his departments. The Civil Service came to him for an increase of pay. They said: The cost of living has gone up and our salaries have not gone up in proportion. We want more pay. He procrastinated and there is where he fell into the hole. He did not want to meet the question with the knowledge he had as regards the cost of living, and the fact

that salaries had not been raised. Did not the right hon. gentleman know that the cost of living had increased? If he does not know it let him ask one of his officials and he will give him the figures in fifteen minutes. Did not the right hon. gentleman know that salaries had not gone up according as the cost of living had gone up? He had all the knowledge that he wanted, but he procrastinated and he procrastinated by resorting to the medium of a commission. Then he got a commission composed of Messrs. Courtney, Bazin and Fyshe, and he said to them: We are in a great hurry, go and examine into the condition of the Civil Service, the cost of living, their salaries, their system and report to us. Did he ask for any more? Did he tell them in his instructions that he had suspicions that things were going badly in the Department of Marine and Fisheries, and would they be kind enough when they dropped into that department to look carefully into its administration? Look at the commission and see if it is there. Study my hon. friend's first angry statement when the commissioners' report came down, when he declared that they had gone into his department without asking his leave and whilst there had gone beyond the scope of their commission? Did he do so or not? Ask the Minister of Militia (Sir Frederick Borden) who, with all his gallantry, in the full pomp and power of his military surroundings pitched into poor Messrs. Courtney and Fysche, and Bazin, hauled them over the coals and said they went where they had no business to go. The Minister of Justice (Mr. Aylesworth) clenched it all in his own constituency by quoting the words of the commission and giving his legal opinion that they had no right in the world to go into such an examination as they indulged in, in a spirit of mischief, in the Department of Marine and Fisheries. In this House he made the same argument. The commissioners during their investigation into the status of the Civil Service and the working of the system, took it into their heads to lift the lid a little bit. from one of those boiling cauldrons in the Marine Department and, animated if not exhilarated by the stench that came from it, thought they would give a little bit of the perfume to the general public and they did it in their report. Then a critical condition of things arose, then there was peril and crises, then we had the three commissioners backing the opposition charges, then the country pricked up its ears, read the report of a Royal Commission, and the Prime Minister and the other ministers dared not go back of that. But they did not go any further and Mr. Cassels was absolutely restricted. In what way? In his commission what department was at stake? The department 121

of the Minister of Marine and Fisheries. Who appointed the commissioner? The Minister of Marine and Fisheries. Who appointed the lawyers? The Minister of Marine and Fisheries from his own side of politics, in beautiful illustration of the firmness and thoroughness with which he had set his face against the patronage system. Liberal Conservative lawyers there may have been, perhaps just as good as those appointed, but the spirit of patronage was still there, the minister had not quite got the old Satan under and he appointed two Grits instead of one Grit and a Tory. So with his own commissioner, picked by himself, with his own counsel, picked by himself, with his own papers ladled out to these lawyers to set before the commission as they chose, with these lawyers following every bit of evidence watching for every ambush, the investigation proceeded, and when it came up close to a point where it was warm some one cried hot, hot, and they went off upon some other question. I will give one example. A stone-breaker whose name I think was Reid-not a broken reed but a Reid who broke stones-had a big contract, I think about $50,000, bringing up rocks to Sorel, crushing them in his breaker, and selling them to this munificent department. The investigation was being carried on, the lawyers sat there intent, looking for every clue. All at once the man in giving his evidence said: I

had to get or I did get all my stone from the county of Rouville. If the ghost of the middle ages had appeared before these lawyers they could not have been more startled -and they did not follow up that clue. Mr. Power was said to have known a great many things about that famous Halliday contract. Mr. Gourdeau said that Mr. Power knew about it and could throw light upon it. It was understood that Mr. Power was to be called. Was he ever called? So 1 could take you through numerous instances in which they shut off just at the right time for fear somebody would be scalded by escaping steam. That was the genesis of the second commission, that was its method and scope and after all we got something out of it. Now these gentlemen have the shamelessness to pose before the people of Canada and say: 'We, of our own free will and accord, did not wait for charges, we sent a commission and a second commission hunting out the evil things and we have purged the departments of all the black sheep-nearly all the black

sheep at least.' But my right hon. friend who made that solemn promise, did he implement it, did he make an examination in the other departments? Mv hon. friends say there is no reason why that should be done. What were the suggestions, w'hat were the proofs, what were

the allegations, what were the concrete instances that were put before the Public Accounts Committee of this House with reference to the Department of Marine and Fisheries? What was the cry by the Minister of Marine and Fisheries and the right hon. gentleman? Nothing in it, you shall not have your commission, you shall not have your probing and examination. What is the cry to-day with reference to the other departments, the peculiar argument of the Minister of Marine? You should not touch the other departments. Why? Because you might blast reputations and you might hurt feelings and you might brand people as being dishonest. In heaven's name whilst we are to be humane-hearted, whilst we are to be sympathetic, have we ever yet heard a statesman plead that you should not turn a department wrong side out and fling it to the winds of heaven to purify it because you might find some portions of dust and vileness that you have to characterize as such? That argument is surely no argument. Oh what a feast it would have been for these 'three fussy old gentlemen' if they had just got inside of the Interior Department, if they had been at the coat tails of Mr. Fraser when he landed that most profitable transaction at the expense of the public, when they were on the scent of the land deals of the Burrows and the Adamsons and of those other numerous individuals who have grown rich out of the public franchises of this country, grown rich because the departments did not do their duty and officers; of the departments were recreant to their trust. The right hon. gentleman himself has said that the 20th century is Canada's century. For what? For intelligence as to the conservation of our resources-and yet for years, the right hon. gentleman has seemed to be chiefly desirous of taking out of the control of the country in the shape of its finest franchises as much of our public domain as he possibly could and placing it in private hands. Take your Public Works Department; do you mean to say that no ragged ends have . shown there? No man can deny it. What are you going to do, Mr. Prime Minister? May I ask you, just personally between ourselves, what you propose to do with reference to the men who have stolen money from the public treasury? You appointed Mr. Justice Cassels. You at any rate, when you appointed him, thought he was preeminently the man to do this work, and he has done it. What has he told you? He has told you, Mr. Prime Minister, that the man who bribes is more culpable and more dangerous than the man who takes the bribe. To-day Halliday, according to the judge's statement, has $6,600 of the people's money. Do you propose to get that from Mr. Halliday? The Drolets have paid out $9,000 and more in proved transactions, and Mr. FOSTER.

the judge says that all of that comes out of the public till. Are you going to get it back into the public till? If not, why not? It is not your money; it is the people's money. The taxes of the people, piled up in the strong box, gave you that money, and you are the trustee to see that every cent of it is properly spent, or, if a man steals it, or takes it wrongly, to get it back from him. What are you going to do about it? Are you going to pursue Halliday and get that money back? Are you going to pursue Drolet and get that money back? Are you going to pursue McAvity and get that $35,900 back? When the names of the men who have been bribing your public servants, corrupting them, eating into the honour and manhood of your public service, and have been doing it greedily and systematically, have been exposed, are you going to proceed against them for that money? You do not seem to be getting much of a hustle on about it. That report has been before you for months. You have what you call the greatest Minister of Justice this Canada of ours has ever produced; what is he doing about it? You have a most distinguished and able and erudite Solicitor General; what is he doing about it? Why aTe not these two great powers, who represent the justice of the country in the interest of the people, getting their boots on and going out against these malefactors and getting the people's money back? Why don't you do it? Is it because you share in it

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April 2, 1909