November 30, 1909

LIB
CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

Then, better let this item stand in the meantime until the Minister of Customs has made up his mind. For I am ready to fight this thing all winter, if necessary, unless we get the views of the Minister of Customs as to what he wants. This method under which the minister whose work is to be done has no wish, desire or plan as to the buildings to be erected for the work of his department, but leaves it entirely with another minister, is one which we have not recognized in this House, This building, if required at all, is required for the work of the Department of Customs. The Minister of Customs, as the head of that department, is the man who ought to requisition the Minister of Public Works for a sufficient building for the service.

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LIB
?

Mr. POSTER@

Then, does the hon. minister agree that an expenditure of half a million will be required? -

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LIB
CON
LIB

William Pugsley (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY.

I think I can satisfy the hon. member (Mr. Foster). When the estimates were made up and this item of $50,000 put in, the money was intended to repair the custom house building which had been injured by the fire, since that time, we have had this urgent request to remove the custom, house to another site. If we do that, it will necessitate the erection of a new building. In that case, of course, we would sell the present site and building for what they are worth to either the Harbour Commissioners or the Commissioners of the Transcontinental railway. But, before I can properly ask this committee for a vote to erect a new building, I ought to be in a position to state definitely the character of that building and where it is to be erected. Therefore, I would say to the committee that unless we utilize this vote of $50,000 to repair the present custom house we will let the item lapse and come to the House and ask for another annro-priation for the new building.

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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

That is perfectly fair. Now, all we have to look at is the sum of $50,000. Is that sum required to repair the present building?

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LIB
CON
LIB

William Pugsley (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY.

I have not the details of that estimate before me. But I may say that the attic and half the first floor were completely destroyed.

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CON
LIB
CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

If the minister will make it cleaT in the item that this is for repairs, that will make it all right.

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LIB

William Pugsley (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY.

Perhaps the committee will take my assurance upon that. I do not feel competent to alter the estimates.

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CON
LIB

William Pugsley (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY.

Of course, if the Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding) says so, the alteration -can 'be made.

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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

So long as the amount is not changed, or the meaning destroyed, it can be done.

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LIB
LIB

November 30, 1909