No, these facts are well known. If the hon. gentleman (Mr. Pugs-ley) will come with me to the place I will show him that it is quite evident that the work was done for private purposes. The hon. gentleman must remember also that dredging was done around some of the islands in Vaudreuil to benefit men politically important, friends of the hon. minister, who owned islands in that locality. They wanted their islands enlarged by dredging the lake and placing the dredged material on the island. In fact the.domain of these owners has been extended by my hon. friend's dredging. And I think dredging of the same kind was done in Nicolet.
No, not long ago. In fact, my right hon. friend (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) knows that it is going on now. Thev are dredging across the river St. Lawrence opposite the county of Nicolet, in quicksand or clay, at a point where the current of the St. Lawrence is so rapid that, as everybody in that section knows, the trench dug by the dredge is filled up in forty-eight hours. But the dredge returns every year and continues digging in this trench which is filling up as it is made. This, no doubt, has emboldened my young friends of the Cartierville Boating Club to think that, if dredging is done in the way I have indicated, it might be done for the purpose of affording facilities of navigation for their club and the residents of the locality. This is the letter of the club:
Cartierville Boating Club,
Montreal, Sept. 23, 1909. Mr. F. D. Monk, K.C., M.P,
Dear Mr. Monk, as you are doubtless aware, the Riviere des Prairies is shallow and rocky in many places between Cartierville and Lake of Two Mountains and has practically no navigable channel for anything larger than a canoe in many places and at low water not even a canoe can be pad-died up the worst of the shallows.
Your two hundred and fifteen fellow-members of the Cartierville Boating Club, many of them owning motor boats as well as canoes and skiffs are thus restricted from using the upper portion of this beautiful river and the Lake of Two Mountains except at highwater, and I have been asked to write to you saying that they earnestly request that you will bring to bear all the influence possible.
Very little influence, I am afraid, with my hon. friend or his government.
In order to have our government take the necessary steps to have the river made navigable under low water conditions for boats of say four to five feet draft.
There is no solid rock, and to deepen the river to five feet would not be very costly, while it would enable motor boats and small craft to go up that river to the Lake of Two Mountains which affords access to great stretches of navigation. Certainly there is more water there than in the Newmarket canal.
Our club may now be considered a body of some importance in aquatic matters about the Island of Montreal. Its members consist for the most part of rising young business and professional men of Montreal and West-mount, and the summer residents of Cartier-ville, together with some of the well-known men of affairs in the vicinity, such as:- Hugh Paton, president, Shedden Forwarding Co., .T. C. King, of Warden, King, Limited, E. W. Barlow, of Barlow, Mongenais & Co., J. A. Bremner, of Alex. Bremner, Bleury St., C. E. Hanna, secretary of the Dominion Textile Co., Limited, S. C. Jones, of S. C. Jones & Co., Importers, H. F. Stearns of the Dominion Wadding Co., and many others.
The Club stands for clean sport in its best sense, and is doing everything in its power to further the interests of boating particularly, and, in its small way, the welfare of Canada generally.
We would ask you then, as one of its -members, as well as the county's official representative, to put the club's request before parliament at your first opportunity and to do your utmost to have this matter put through.
Will y-ou please be good enough to write to me saying what we may expect you to do for us.
Awaiting your reply, I am, sir,
Yours very truely,
F. B. Brown, Honorary Sec.-Treasurer.
Now, I will send my reply as s-oo-n as my bon. friend the Minister of Public Works (Mr. Pugsley) states that, as this work is not very costly, as he has all the information necessary in his department, and as the interests are worthy of consideration, he will have that work executed next summer and give satisfaction to this large number of interested parties.
I do not think I can properly allow the remarks of my hon. friend (Mr. Monk) to pass without some observations from me, especially in view of the fact that he has made the statement that this work will be one of very trifling cost and suggests that therefore I ought to do it as a matter of course. I am quite sure that my hon. friend has been misinformed with regard to the cost. The river, at the point at which the department is asked to dredge it, is very rocky and is full of boulders. As the petition states-and I think my hon. friend (Mr. Monk) stated also-at present at times, there is scarcely water enough to float a canoe. The department is asked to dredge so that there shall be a navigable channel with four or five feet depth of water. I may say, I am having the matter
inquired into. I have been very strongly pressed to do this work, not only by my hon. friend, but by the hon. gentleman representing the constituency of Laval (Mr. Wilson). But I may say to my hon. friend from Jacques -Cartier that, if the doing of this work had to depend entirely upon the fact that it would be of some advantage to the boating club to which my hon. friend refers, and whose members have appealed to him so strongly as a fellow-member, I am afraid I should not be able to look upon it favourably. I do not think that the money of this country should be expended, in very large amounts at all events, for the purpose of improving navigation in order simply to accommodate those who are members of boating clubs and -desire to use small motor boats, rowboats and the like. But the hon. member for Laval has put the case upon a very much stronger ground. He stated that in the locality and along this river for a number of miles there is a community of very prosperous farmers who would find it of very great advantage in getting their produce to market if there was navigation upon this river.
That is an argument that has impressed me, and by reason of that argument having - been presented, I have directed the resident engineer to make a report; and, if it is found reasonably possible, at a moderate expense, to give navigation which will enable the farmers better to take their produce to market and thus cheapen the cost of transportation. I shall be very happy indeed if I can meet their request. Of course, I can make no promise until we have the report of the engineer and a very complete estimate of the cost of the proposed dredging work.
My hon. friend is very impatient, it seems to me. There is no business on the paper that could dbrne before'the House at the present moment. There was a motion to be introduced by the Minister of Inland Revenue, which will come up to-morrow.
This is government day, and for my own part I am ready for business, and anxious to advance it. It is only half past four o'clock. There is not a single
piece of government business ready for us to attend to; I think that fact ought to be insisted upon. For my own part I am not satisfied, and I would like to proceed with the business for which we have been summoned to parliament.
Before the House adjourns, I wish to bring before the House a matter which I consider urgent, and of considerable public importance. It affects more particularly the Department of the Interior, and I am sorry the Minister of the Interior is not in his place; he is probably not far away. He is aware of the fact that I was going to bring this matter up. It refers to the disposal of some Indian lands in the province of Alberta.
It is not quite regular for the hon. member to introduce a discussion on this question. We have laid down the rule that it is only in cases of urgency that a matter can be brought before the House on a motion to adjourn. If we allow a discussion to a motion to adjourn, another rule requires a formal motion for the purpose of bringing up the question. I would like the opinion of the House on this point.
I think the amendment you refer to was one restricting the rule that a motion to adjourn is always in order. That rule was found to be somewhat subject to abuse, and it was therefore restricted. Thus, the right to move a question for the discussion of a particular subject on a motion to adjourn the House, is qualified; it exists only on certain conditions. I do not think that that particular restriction has any bearing on a debate which may take place when the Prime Minister or member of the government who is leading the House, actually moves that the House shall adjourn.