May 18, 1909

CON

William Wright

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WRIGHT.

The minister is practically doubling the grant this year. If he has adopted measures to restrict the immigration of undesirable immigrants, one would naturally expect that this grant would be reduced. But the fact that it is nearly doubled would seem to indicate that we are going to have more epileptic and other people of the classes for whom hospitals are required than we have had in the past.

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LIB

Frank Oliver (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER.

The classes of diseases treated in the hospitals are not those for which undesirable immigrants are excluded.

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Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. HUGHES.

Does the province of Manitoba pay so much per head for every immigrant sent to the hospital in Winnipeg or St. Boniface?

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LIB

Frank Oliver (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER.

Yes. The provincial government pays 27 cents for every patient treated, and the government supplements that in the case of immigrants by paying the difference between 27 cents and $1.

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Mr HUGHES.

Has the minister any check to satisfy him that this money has been paid out for patients who were actually immigrants?

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LIB

Frank Oliver (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER.

When a patient who claims to be an immigrant is taken into a hospital, the hospital is required to notify our agent, and the officer goes and verifies the statement. We pay for any immigrant who goes to a hospital within a year after landing.

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LIB

Frank Oliver (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER.

There are only two which get the special vote; but in many parts of the Northwest we assist the charitable efforts of the local people in their public hospitals.

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CON

John Barr

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BARR.

According to this statement, there must have been treated in the hospitals during the year 19,000 patients.

British Columbia Penitentiary, $56,500.

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CON

James Davis Taylor

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. J. D. TAYLOR.

I wish to say a few words with respect to the condition of affairs at the British Columbia penitentiary. This is a matter which I brought up some time ago but we were then forced to sus-Mr. HUGHES.

pend the discussion because we had not the return moved for giving information as to the incidents connected with the escape of one Bill Miner. Since that time the return has come down, and it seems to me to abundantly justify the suggestion I then made that we should have a thorough inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the escape of that noted desperado. Shortly after the return was brought down, I notified the government that I intended to offer a resolution on this matter on the motion to go into Supply, but on account of the fact that the opportunity was not offered so soon as I expected and that on one or two occasions when I had intended to bring it up, I was asked by the hon. the Solicitor General (Mr. Bureau) not to do so at that particular moment, I deferred the matter until now, when it is out of the question to offer a resolution or take up time at such length as its importance would justify. Therefore without any attempt to offer a resolution or divide the committee, I wish to call attention to some facts brought out by that return. I mention this delay because an hon. gentleman opposite saw fit, a couple of weeks ago, to charge me with having been delinquent in my duty because I had not carried out the promise he said I made it at an early- stage of the session, to make certain charges against the government but as to which he said I had backed down. That assertion was entirely unwarranted, and I am sure it was made by that hon. gentleman in ignorance of the facts. As a matter of fact, ever since the return was laid on the table, I was willing, not to make charges-because at no time did I threaten or promise to make any- but to enter upon a discussion of the subject. My remarks are not directed against the Department of Justice or the Minister of Justice or the Solicitor General or the service generally. I wish to be very specific, as I think I was before; and to avoid any misunderstanding, I wish to say that the point I propose to make is that whereas we are paying money for an inspection service' in connection with the Department of Justice, we are not getting any adequate inspection for the money, especially in connection with the inspection of the penitentiary in New Westminster. In order to establish that, I wish to call attention to some of the facts brought out by this return. But before taking up the return gen-erallyrl would like to advert to the explanation made by the Minister of Justice when the matter was first before the House. His explanation was that the delay in the institution of this inquiry was caused by the extraordinary action of the deputy warden in addressing his telegram to Inspector Dawson personally instead of to "The Inspectors," thereby causing a long delay. The House will remember what great emphasis was laid on this fact, and how the unfortunate deputy warden was held up as hav-

ing been derelict in his duty in giving an incorrect address to liis despatch. That is a trifling incident in itself, but the very fact that the minister was prompted to make so misleading a statement to the House is evidence to me of a disposition on the part of some one-whom it is not my duty to name but who was the prompter of the minister on that occasion-to give the House an impression not warranted by the fact and which would not have been in the mind of the minister had he himself perused the return which now I have before me. From this return I find that, so far from that telegram having been incorrectly addressed, it was correctly addressed. I find that it was addressed to the inspectors at Ottawa, but telephoned from the telegraph office here to the residence of Inspector Dawson. And that, from his residence in Ottawa, the telegraph office got instructions to forward the message to Kingston, when for the first time, the address was changed to Mr. Dawson at Kingston. I find also that the circumstance explained in detail to the Department of Justice by the local manager of the Canadian Pacific Railway Telegraph Company about ten days after the occurrence and is the subject of two or three - letters included m this return, showing that the department was aware of the fact that the telegram was correctly addressed at the beginning and fully seized of the circumstance under which the address was changed when it was forwarded to Kingston.

Now, at the outset, we were told by the Minister of Justice (Mr. Aylesworth) that because of the state of disorganization at New Westminster penitentiary as indicated by_ the numerous escapes and other disquieting circumstances there, he received with great misgiving the announcement on August 8, that four prisoners had escaped. One would think that the inspector of penitentiaries, whose duty it was to visit the institution and keep tab on what was going on there, would share the misgivings of the minister himself. But instead of his lying awake at night, or even going to the expense of sending a telegram, to learn the extent of the disaster, we find from the record that, on the morning - of the 9th, the inspector left Ottawa and went to Kingston. He did not go by express train on which he could have been reached at any station along the line; he did not go by any ordinary mode of travel such as any of us would use if we wished to go from Ottawa to Kingston, but, according to his own statement, he went by boat on the morning of the 9th and arrived in Kingston at six o'clock on the 10th. And it was not until 10 p.m. on the 11th, or three days after the disquieting news from New Westminster had reached Ottawa that he got to his brother-in-law's residence, where, it is presumed, he had ordered his mail delivered,

and got this telegram which was despatched to him on the 9th. I say this shows that, from the very outset, this matter at New Westminster was treated in so casual a fashion as to indicate that the inspector who had charge had no proper appreciation of the gravity of his duty, and was not a fit man to be engaged in an emergency of that kind. With this preface I take up the story from New Westminster. I find that the first reason afforded by the papers that something serious was going on was contained in this official report of Deputy Warden Bourke:

The hole under the fence gives clear evidence of the outside part, having been dug from the outside. As no one would go there during the day, this part of the work must have been done at night. This and other circumstances lead me to believe that Miner has had outside assistance in getting away. I shall forward you another report when' we abandon the search.

There is the direct statement of the deputy warden that there had been a plot, for, of course, outside assistance involves a plot. Upon receipt of this the department, of course, rose to the occasion. Inspector Dawson had not come back from Kingston because of the condition of affairs at New Westminster-a condition which the minister says he recognized and which it is to be presumed the inspector should have recognized-but taking no notice of it, proceeded leisurely from Kingston, where he seems to have arrived by canal boat, to Dorchester at the other extreme of the country. And there he was written to by Inspector Stewart:

Ottawa, August 21, 1907.

Dear Mr. Dawson,-The minister has had under consideration the reports which have been received in connection with the recent escape at British Columbia, and is of opinion that a thorough investigation should be made on the spot. He suggests that you should, if possible, shorten your visit of' inspection at Dorchester and that probably you may be able to return without visiting St. Vincent de Paul this trip. I think that it is his intention to ask you to conduct this investigation, which in his opinion should not be delayed in view of the comments and criticism which the incident has evoked, especially in the west. Perhaps you will be good enough to telegraph me as to the date on which you may be able to reach Ottawa.

In due course, Mr. Dawson reached New Westminster and commenced the investigation. The record of that investigation takes up about 150 pages of this return. I shall read only that part which goes to show that there was a plot engineered from the outside to get this man out of the penitentiary otherwise than by the ordinary method of a pardon from the Governor General. This evidence is contained in the sworn statement of Instructor George McKenzie. As I have personal knowledge of Mr. McKenzie, I desire to say that this

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Mr. J. D.@

were, and he would then know just how to negotiate with the detective.

11. At this point I told Miner to stop. I said to him I was too old in the service to he caught in a trap like that. I would he as guilty as he is if I failed to give up the bonds to the rightful owners when I found them.

I advised him to go at once to the warden and tell him all about it. If the warden sent me I would go. I told him he would he safer to trust to the warden to do what is right than to make any bargain with detectives.

I then went to the warden and told him what Miner had said about the detectives offering to secure his pardon if he would tell them where the bonds were. The warden said he knew about it, so I said no more.

Now, I ask the committee to consider what possible object Miner could have in making such a statement as this to Instructor McKenzie. This House was informed on a previous occasion, that there was no foundation for the bond story, that it was merely a shadowy figment worked up by another desperado in order to secure attention to Miner. These men were both old men, they had been working together on the shoemaker's bench for nearly a year. Miner was not an ordinary desperado. Apart from his weakness in robbing the rich to benefit the poor, as he says, he was a man that an instructor would likely hold iu some regard. We must remember the fact that Miner was not so depraved that he could not win the confidence of the instructor, who was in a position to know whether any credence was to be placed on his words. Now, we find him making a statement to this man and asking him to take up a map and go to a place only 28 miles from the prison gates, and see whether there were hid there three rifles, arid nearby a sack containing bonds. If the instructor had taken his suggestion and found nothing, Miner would have been thoroughly discredited, and he would have had nothing to gain whatever. The story seems to have a certain element of credibility on its face, it seems to have been accepted by the inspector who investigated the occurrence as having a certain amount of reliability. At all events, we find no attempt made throughout this investigation to discount Miner's story by any other inquiry on the part of the inspector. We find it is not followed up at all, except that we have the deputy warden called and asked About Miner's statement that he had this interview with three persons unknown in the warden's office. Here is an essential paragraph which I overlooked:

Miner said he was alone with the lawyer and detective. He said nobody was present but the lawyer and detective. He said they were to he hack in a week.

The only other reference we have to that interview is in the evidence of the deputy

warden Bourke, on page 100 of the return, where he says:

There is no record of the visit of McIntyre, Bullock and another man.

I would like to say here a few words about Mr. McIntyre. That gentleman has lately repudiated any connection with this interview, and has instituted and prosecuted successfully a suit for criminal libel against Deputy Warden Bourke for having *stated in a place where he was not privileged, that Mr. McIntyre was present at that interview Mr. McIntyre has written to the bon. member for Yale-Cariboo (Mr. Burrell) asking that he be set right before the House in this connection, and since his name is so often mentioned in this connection I wish to make it plain, before reading these references, that Mr. McIntyre has established that the use of his name was unwarranted. I will proceed to read Bourke's statement:

There is no record of the visit of A. McIntyre, Detective Bullick and another man. One day last fall or late summer, the guard in the hall told me three men had come to see Miner, that they were in the warden's office, and that Miner was with them. The warden was theii in the accountant's office.

I did not see the men. I know nothing about them except what the guard told me. I. cannot recollect who was on duty in the hall that day.

Inspector Dawson, in his report to the department, makes this reference to that incident, page 46 of the evidence:

I think, without doubt, the convicts were aided by confederates outside. I think the hole was dug from the outside. I cannot account for the total disappearance of all four convicts if they were not skillfully aided when they got out. (See convict Campbell's statement, page 57.) Warden Whyte is very ill. I am forbidden to speak to him respecting any matter that might agitate him. I cannot examine him respecting the visit of McIntyre, Bullick and another man, with whom Miner is said to have been closeted unaccompanied by an officer (pages 49 and 51).

The impression that was made upon the department when they received this report from Inspector Dawson, is shown by this extract I will read from a letter addressed by Inspector Stewart to Inspector Dawson, on the 11th of October, page 127:

Miner was visited by men that had no authority to enter the prison, _ and there is evidence that some of these visits were not recorded. His solicitor had authority to interview him, but only in the presence of the warden, or other officer named by the warden, and there is evidence to show that even this precaution was not enforced. There was no authority whatever for admitting the other visitors named, and the fact that they were admitted and permitted to interview convicts was assuming a responsibility that no officer of the penitentiary possessed. There is ground for the suspicion that the escape was facilitated by these irregularities. Further information regarding the visit and visitors referred to by Instructor McKenzie should be obtained, if it be possible to do so.

223 revised

At page 131 Mr. Stewart returns to the subject, and thus addresses Mr. Dawson:

The minister is anxious to have more information with reference to the mysterious visit of McIntyre, Bullick and the unknown, who were allowed, apparently, to interview the convict without supervision eight or nine months ago. It is not likely that McIntyre will give any information, but, perhaps, if you can obtain the address of Bullock it will be possible to have on file his statement of what their business was, and also whether they were allowed to interview the convict without official supervision. The matter was quite fully referred to in Instructor McKenzie's evidence. If yon desire the file. I will forward it.

We see from that letter that not only Inspector Dawson but also Inspector Stewart and the minister himself attach the greatest importance to Instructor McKenzie's evidence. On one point they were desirous of being informed and that was as to what passed at this private interview between a man supposed to be Mr. McIntyre, Detective Bullick, the outlaw Terry and Miner. It struck me as singular that if so thorough an investigation were made by the inspector, if he were investigating this matter up to the hilt so that there should not be a shred of a doubt as to whether any responsibility could be fixed or could not be fixed, that he should, when he came to a lead like that, abandon it and have to take up the trail two or three weeks after upon the receipt of a letter from the inspector or the minister at Ottawa. It would seem to me that the inspector, if he were capable of making an investigation into a charge like that, being sent to New Westminister to find out whether it was true as stated in the report of the deputy warden upon which this investigation was started, that Miner's escape was facilitated by assistance from the outside, that he would have been keen to follow up the clue given to him by the report of the interview. If he had followed it up one would have felt that the very first man he would have appealed to would have been Mr. McIntyre, although as indicated in this return, it might have been expected that Mr. McIntyre would have refused to have given him any information because if he were there at all it would be in the capacity of counsel for the prisoner and as such anything that passed between them would be privileged. Under these circumstances it was only natural to

suppose that he would have Tefused to give any information as to the occurrence. But, if the inspector had inquired of Mr. McIntyre he would have been able at the outset to have ascertained that the statement was untrue, that Mr. McIntyre was not there at all and then he would have been face to face with the -problem of who it was who entered the penitentiary and was described by

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EDITION


Miner as his lawyer from up-country, because the' committee will notice that Miner does not mention the name of McIntyre, that the name is gratuitously added by some person, but that Miner said that his lawyer from uP-c°untry was there with Bullich and the unknown. It seems to me essential that any inquiry worthy of the name into this circumstance would have gone off on that lead, would first have inquired if Mr. McIntyre were there, and, finding that he was not there, would have set itself to answer the question: Who was it that was described by this man as his lawyer from up-country? Was this a man masquerading as McIntyre, and if so, who was he? Let us find out from Bullick who it was. We would suppose also that the inspector would have turned to Mr. Bullick of the Canadian Pacific Railway who also was well known. It is not hard to find the address of a man like him with the Canadian Pacific Railway office only a few miles from the penitentiary and telephonic communication between the warden's office and the office of the Canadian Pacific Railway. Well we find this extraordinary sequence of events. It would appear that the minister was most desirous that further information should be secured, under three heads set out in a letter to which the answering letter of Inspector Dawson is as follows :- New Westminster, B.C., October 22, 1907. Dear Mr. Stewart,-I have your letter of the 15th instant regarding (1) Piggery Gate, (2) the ladders used in ascending to the guard stands, and (3) the visit of McIntyre, Bullick and another to convict Miner. Then this letter goes on to give a half page on the Piggery Gate, a page and a third to the ladder and two lines to the essence of the whole business, as follows: If I can obtain Mr. Bullick's address I 6hall ask him to inform me regarding the visit referred to in McKenzie's evidence. I ask the committee to consider this in the light of the statement we have had that Inspector Dawson conducted a most thorough investigation into the escape of this man. We find that so far from having an investigation of the statement that three men went into the warden's office and had a private interview with Miner at which it was supposed the plot for his escape was hatched, this inspector took so little interest in it that he did not ask who Bullick was, did not ask what Bullick's address was, knew nothing whatever about him, and even when questioned by his minister made no reference to him beyond saying casually in closing his letter that: If I can obtain Mr. Bullick's address 1 shall ask him to inform me regarding the ' visit referred to in McKenzie's evidence.


CON

James Davis Taylor

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. J. D. TAYLOR.

We find a reply to that as follows:

Ottawa, October 29, 1907.

Dear Mr. Dawson,-The minister was much pleased with your supplementary report of the 22nd instant, with reference to the action you have taken to secure the Piggery Gate.

I would ask if we are to understand from that that Mr. Dawson was sent out to New Westminster and there to spend several months, only to secure the Piggery Gate. If the minister had no reason to be pleased with the reply to his long communication of the 22nd instant, in which Mr. _ Stewart intimates that if he could obtain Bullick's address he should ask him regarding the visit referred to, he apparently had reason to be pleased that his astute inspector had been able to secure the Piggery Gate.

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L-C
CON

James Davis Taylor

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. J. D. TAYLOR.

The Piggery Gate, I will say, for the information of my hon. and inquisitive friend, is a gate that was kept wide open by the penitentiary officials, according to the evidence contained in this return, and upon which the eyes of a sentinel who was supposed to watch it the afternoon that Miner made his escape were focussed on this fatal occasion and whose explanation of why he could not watch the bole through which Miner crawled was that he was watching the Piggery Gate and that he could not see two ways at once. I would ask the committee to say, with all due deference to the Minister of Justice, whether, at this stage of the investigation, if the minister were really responsible for this letter written in his name, he had not lost his grasp of the situation when he said that he was pleased with the action to secure the Piggery Gate and said nothing of the failure to acquire information regarding the plot to liberate Bill Miner. At page 135 of the return we have the sole result of the investigation which the minister so promptly requested, and which Mr. Dawson did not carry out. - Here is a letter of the inspector addressed to - Bullick. By some extraordinary stealth, I do not know how, the address of Bullick was discovered, but it was run down, and as a result we find this letter addressed - Bullick, Esq., special agent, Canadian Pacific Railway offices, Vancouver, British Columbia:

Dear Sir,-Nine or ten months ago a Mr. McIntyre, another man and you visited convict Edwards alias Bill Miner in this penitentiary. I am directed by the Minister of Justice to say that he will be much obliged if you will be good enough to state, for his information, the nature of the business discussed with convict Edwards at that interview, and also whether the warden or any other officer of the penitentiary was present during

tie whole time the interview lasted. Thanking you in anticipation.

Yours faithfully,

(Sgd.) G. W. DAWSON,

Inspector in Control.

It seems to me that there was a superfluity of politeness in that request and not enough of sternness to have brought the answer which might be expected to come from a detective who was under suspicion in the minds of the other inspector and of the minister. There should have been an element of sternness in the demand upon him for a true account of what happened, and to assist "the Department of Justice to fathom a plot by which that man got out of the penitentiary. Instead of that, wre find the inspector writing to this detective that he is directed by the Minister of Justice to ask him if he ' will be good enough to state for his information,' and so forth. In the light of that it is not surprising that we find a very casual reply made by this detective, after seven days of deliberation, although he is only a few miles from the pentitentiary. He says:

Vancouver, B.C., November 5, 1907.

G. W. Dawson, Esq.,

Inspector in Control,

New Westminster Penitentiary.

Dear Sir,-1 am in receipt of your letter of the 29th ult. I think you have been wrongly informed as to me visiting convict Edwards at the penitentiary in company with Mr. McIntyre.

_ I might say the only time I visited Edwards in the penitentiary was on the 9th day of February last in company with Jake Terry. The late Colonel Whyte, was present all the time. The visit was merely to see if Terry and Edwards knew each other, as they were both in the San Quentin penitentiary together. There was a short conversation between Terry and Edwards in reference to the Mission holdup, September 1904.

Yours truly,

(Sgd.) R. E. BULLICK,

Inspector.

And there this most thorough investigation ended.

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LIB
CON

James Davis Taylor

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. J. D. TAYLOR.

Surely it is not the hon. member for North Essex that says carried. I ask if it is not hopeless for any one to expect to impress this House with any misdemeanour by any official of the government when an hon. member of the standing of the member for North Essex can see no other reply to be made in a matter of this kind than to cry carried when the salient facts are being laid before the House. I must say that before I came to this parliament I had a higher estimate of the dignity and the sense of responsibility of the Canadian parliament.

I have known this parliament at a time when a recital such as that contained in this return would not have been met by one of the leading members supporting the government with the cry of carried. I am sincerely sorry if the standard of this parliament has degenerated from the time when I first knew it, if a matter like this is not met with more gravity by the members supporting the government. At this period of the session it would not be seemly to enter upon a discussion which would have been justified at the time I gave the minister notice that I would bring this matter forward; but I have ventured to occupy your time to-night in justice to myself, because I felt it my duty early in the session to raise this question, not on my own initiative, but in consequence of statements made in the public press without any reference to me or without any knowdedge on my part, but based on the annual report of the Minister of Justice. That was the way in which this Miner episode originated in this House. I thought it my duty to take notice of these statements, and I told the Department of Justice that it was due to the credit of this government that when an occasion of this kind did occur, there should be a more thorough investigation than has taken place on this occasion. I am free to repeat that this return bears out to the uttermost my suggestion that the circumstances were very suspicious. I am free to say here that in the light of all the events that have been disclosed, it is not established in my mind whether Miner escaped from that penitentiary in consequence of a plot or whether he escaped by pure accident; but it does seem to me to be established that there was a plot on foot to get that convict out of the penitentiary, and until it is set beyond the shadow of a doubt that no such plot exists, it is the duty of the Department of Justice to follow up this case and to make it clear to all parties concerned that it cannot be tolerated that they can enter upon any mission of this kind-that the Department of Justice will be ruthless in the pursuit of any person who presumes to use the expression I used before, to unlock with a golden key the door of any penitentiary in Canada.

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LIB

Allen Bristol Aylesworth (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. AYLESWORTH.

There is one point at any rate on which the hon. gentleman who has revived the discussion of this question and myself can be well agreed, and that is, in satisfaction that the papers relating to this matter have been brought down, and are open to inspection by every member of the House. He thinks, according to what he has said, that these papers justify what he has done in this matter, and therefore I have no doubt he must feel gratification that they are before the House. I

turn discloses exactly the position of the matter and verifies absolutely every piece of information given by me or by the Solicitor General, the circumstance that Inspector Bourke's telegram notifying the department of the escape was delivered in Ottawa in a different condition from that of the original, as handed in at New Westminster, is referred to as though there were something suspicious or improper in it. It is important in this connection that I should *correct the dates given by the hon. gentleman (Mr. Taylor). The escape took place, not on the 4th of August, but on Thursday, the 8th of August, 1907. On the same afternoon there came to Ottawa a telegram from the deputy warden, Mr. Bourke, in these words:

COIlvicts escaped from the brickyard this afternoon.

The telegram did not say who those con victs were and we had no suspicion that Miner was one of them until a subsequent telegram came, to which I am about to refer. That telegram of the 8th of August was addressed, as su%h telegrams should be addressed, simply ' Inspector of Penitentiaries, Ottawa.' On the following day, Mr. Bourke sent a further message, despatched on Friday the 9th of August, from New Westminster, and addressed, he says, when he handed it in to the telegraph company, in similar fashion. That telegram asked if he would offer a reward and stated that Bill Miner was among those who escaped. Now, that telegram came to Ottawa on Friday night, the 9th of August, but the telegraph night clerk here, instead of copying it as it was received and sending it out to be delivered to Mr. Stewart, Mr. Dawson's senior inspector, who was here in town, telephoned to Mr. Dawson's house, and was told by some member of Mr. DawAon's family that he was in Kingston. On receiving that information, the operator in Ottawa changed the address or added to the address Mr. Dawson's name. The telegram which Mr. Bourke had despatched was addressed simply to the inspector of penitentiaries. The telegram delivered at this end of the line was addressed ' G. W. Dawson, Inspector of Penitentiaries,' and the result was the telegram was sent to Mr. Dawson at Kingston and never came to the knowledge of the office in Ottawa until the following Monday, the 12th of August. Investigation was then made. Mr. Bourke was taken to task for having addressed his telegram in that way, and he asserted that he did not put Mr. Dawson's name on it. The company here put the blame where it belongs. They put it upon a possibly too zealous clerk, who, instead of taking the telegram exactly as it came to him, improved it, as he thought, by putting Mr. Dawson's name on it, and sent it around the country hunting for Mr. Dawson instead of delivering * Mr. AYLESWORTH.

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it to Mr. Dawson's colleague who was here in Ottawa all the time. How any one could suppose that that was evidence of some fraudulent conduct on the part of the Canadian Pacific Railway, conniving at Miner's escape, and deliberately done to give him further time before effort for his recapture could be made, passes my understanding. I hope the hon. gentleman means to be fair, and meaning to be fair, if he would reflect that he is making-not a charge, it is true-but an insinuation, a suggestion of a most serious character against men whose reputations are dear to them, who are under oath of office, who are in responsible official positions, I think he should hesitate before, without one particle of proof, without one reason on the facts of the case as shown by the sworn evidence and the papers before every member for inspection, venturing to say that there is ground for thinking the inspectors have been false to their oaths of office, untrue to their duty, disloyal to the department, and disloyal to the country..

Why, Sir, if any inspector connived at this man's escape, if any inspector did the things insinuated against Mr. Inspector Dawson here, he is not only unworthy to continue for one moment in the office of responsibility and trust which he holds, but he is a man who ought to be where Miner was and ought to serve there for a long period of imprisonment, the penalty of doing that which it is insinuated here was done by these inspectors or by one of them without reason or motive or any cause which can be suggested. I have simply to say that, after some three years' experience with our two inspectors of penitentiaries, I believe that each one of these men is faithful to his duty. I have not been misled by either of them. I should like the hon. gentleman (Mr. J. D. Taylor) or any member of this House to point out to me any respect in which information has been kept back from me by either of these inspectors. I regard each one of them as a trustworthy, honourable and honest official. I make no distinction between them; there is no more reason for imputing dishonour and dishonesty in this matter to Mr. Inspector Dawson than there is for imputing it to Mr. Inspector Stewart. Mr. Stewart remained here with me while Mr. Dawson went out to British Columbia to take charge of the penitentiary and conduct that investigation. It was but the accident of the occasion that Mr. Dawson was chosen for that duty. Mr. Stewart was equally competent; he might equally well have been sent. But Mr. Dawson went; he conducted that inquiry, so far as I can see, so far as anyone can see by examining the papers here, with impartiality, with thoroughness, with care; he reported fully not only his conclusions in this matter, but all the evidence on which those

conclusions had been reached. And I have yet to learn, in connection with all the discussion which has taken place this session about this affair, one piece of news or information that is not disclosed in the papers now before the House, ot that was not at once communicated to me by Mr. Dawson or Mr. Stewart upon that information coming to their knowledge. I think, Sir, the imputations cast upon these gentlemen, or upon either of them, have been most undeserved, have been most unfair, to men who have been doing their duty, and who I say in all earnestness and sincerity, are, in my humble judgment, no more deserving to be treated in this way than I myself. I am not able to understand any respect in which Mr. Inspector Dawson has been remiss in connection with this matter. He was in Dorchester some ten days after the news of Miner's escape had reached Ottawa. He had gone to Dorchester upon his official duty as inspector of penitentiaries. As soon as the written and detailed account of the escape reached Ottawa, and on the 21st of August, 1907, and after a conference with me in regard to it, Mr. Stewart, the inspector who was here, wrote to Mr. Dawson that I thought that he (Mr. Dawson) ought to proceed to British Columbia at once, that he ought to shorten his official investigation at Dorchester penitentiary and return to Ottawa on the first day possible. That letter is among the papers copied and brought down with the others in the return. Mr. Dawson received that letter on the 23rd of August, on Friday, two weeks after the escape. Mr. Dawson immediately telegraphed Mr. Stewart.

Letter received. Leave to-night. See yon at office two o'clock Sunday afternoon.

And post haste Mr. Dawson comes from Dorchester, passes through Ottawa on Sunday, continues his journey to the Pacific, reaches New Westminster on 3rd of September, takes charge of the penitentiary and forthwith enters upon this investigation. Let it be remembered that Mr. Warden Whyte, of the pentitenitary, was at this time upon his death-bed; nobody could even speak to him upon matters of business. He lived for some weeks longer, but during all the time that Mr. Dawson was in charge as inspector, and during all the time this investigation was going on, Mr. Dawson was not able to refer to Col. Whyte at all or have the benefit of a word with him. Now, it has been said, and I understand the hon. gentleman who has addressed the committee said he did not doubt that Miner's escape was plotted in the presence of Warden Whyte in an interview with Bullick in the February before the escape took place.

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CON

James Davis Taylor

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. J. D. TAYLOE.

I do not like to interrupt the minister (Mr. Aylesworth), but I would like to correct that statement.

I do not know anything I said that is capable of bearing that construction.

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May 18, 1909