January 25, 1910


this railway. We have an hon. gentleman on this side of the House, who, in the interests of the public, is endeavouring to lengthen the day and bring more daylight to the people, but God knows, if there is anything we need in this matter it is not so much the lengthening of the day as a flood of light let in on these transactions so that the people of Canada may know what is happening.


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Haughton Lennox

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LENNOX.

You recollect what I said as to the statement of engineers as to reasonable error, a matter of probably twenty per cent.

On the first section from Moncton, fifty miles, the contract for which was, I think, let to the Grand Trunk Pacific, the total estimated cost was almost a million dollars. It was said that there was absolutely no solid rock and only 130,000 cubic yards of loose rock. That would appear to be pretty nice country. Hear how it worked out. The total quantity excavated was 1,460,000 cubic yards. The rates for the three classes of material were $1.50, 55 cents and 25 cents. The section was estimated to cost $531,000. The estimated average rate for excavating was 26 cents a cubic yard. I got returns down to December, 1908, and I found that 5,000 cubic yards odd of solid rock had been taken out and

4,000 odd remained to be removed, making a total of 10,000 cubic yards of solid rock. Where there wa3 to be 130,000 cubic yards of loose rock, it grew into 850,000 cubic yards, and where there was to be 1,900,000 cubic yards of common excavation it shrank to 600,000 cubic yards. The average cost of that, as I said, was 26 cents a cubic yard. The result is that we saved on common excavation apparently $310,000, we removed three-quarters of the total estimated quantity and we added, notwithstanding that, $100,000 to the total cost.

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Haughton Lennox

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LENNOX.

I am not aware of that. I asked for a return showing how much work had been done and how much remained to be done. They gave the quantity done and the amount remaining to be done and adding the two it gives this total amount. On this section the solid rock rose from nothing to 10,000 cubic yards, the loose rock from 130,000 into 850,000 cubic yards, an increase in the latter case of 556 per cent. Engineers call anything above common excavation classified material. In that contract we had fifty-two per cent of classified material, whereas the estimate of classified material was Mr. LENNOX.

only seven per cent. We are paying for

1,500,000 cubic yards at 43 cents a cubic yard; we should be paying for the same quantity at 26 09 cents, or we are overpay ing $238,000, or at the rate of 60 per cent beyond what we should pay. The increase on the whole contract is $600,000 or more than 70 per cent.

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Haughton Lennox

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LENNOX.

I think it is the Grand Trunk Pacific, but I am not absolutely sure; I did not mark it. I have some Grand Trunk Pacific contracts. Mark you they are returned as Grand Trunk Pacific, not as Grand Trunk Pacific Construction Company. Yes, this is a Grand Trunk Contract.

Mileage from 50 to 58 was contracted for by T. W. McManus. The total estimated cost was $289,000. It was estimated that there would be no solid rock that there would be 58,000 cubic yards of loose rock costing $29,000, and 529,000 cubic yards of common excavation, costing $111,000. It has increased from 58,000 cubic yards of loose rock to 247,000 cubic yards, and that class is costing instead of $29,000, $123,000. Common excavation was estimated at 529,000 cubic yards and it is now 93,000, The result is that while the estimated cost was $140,000, the actual cost is $273,000 for a less quantity. The average cost at the original estimate would be 24 cents per cubic yard. The rate of the expenditure has actually increased by 166 per cent, or, in other words, we are paying at more than two and a half times the estimated rate of expenditure. It works out in this way:

Material. Estimate. Actual Quantity. Estimated Cost. Actual Cost.Solid rock c. y. 85,000 $ $ 128,100Loose rock 58,000 247,000 29,000 123,800Common excavation.... 529,000 93,000 111,000 19,000

In other words we have it in this way. The estimate allowed for no solid rock, less than ten per cent of loose rock, and more than ninety per cent of the estimate being for common excavation. As it turns out it becomes twenty per cent solid rock, fifty-eight per cent loose rock and twenty-two per cent common excavation. We were to have had classified material amounting to less than ten per cent. As it works out, we have classified material at the higher

price to the extent of more than seventy-eight per cent.

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Haughton Lennox

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LENNOX.

Yes, but the chairman of the commission is proud of the fact that we have practically the same engineers on the work now as at the time when the contract was let.

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William Barton Northrup

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. NORTHRUP.

I suppose they are equally proud of him?

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Haughton Lennox

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LENNOX.

Yes, I suppose they are. Take mile 58 to mile 96. There had been expended on that piece of road up to December 31, 1908, $584,000 and there was then to be expended $639,000, making $1,224,000 against an estimate of $767,000, an increase of $456,723, on a matter of twenty-eight miles. The common rock estimate ill that case was 29,000 cubic yards, but it increased to 75,000 cubic yards. The loose rock was estimated at 492,000 cubic yards and was increased to 545,000 cubic yards. Therefore the solid rock was increased by 240 per cent and the loose rock by eleven per cent.

'District ' A ', mile 96 to 164 from Moncton. The contractors are the Grand Trunk Pacific. Estimated cost $1,898,124. The increase in solid rock on that section was ninety-five per cent. That is only one instance in many to show that we cannot depend on the Grand Trunk Pacific to fight our battles in this matter. The increase there was as great almost as on any section of the road, yet naturally there was no kick over that from the Grand Trunk Pacific. What I claim is that it is the duty of the commissioners-and if they neglect it, it is the duty of the Prime Minister-to see that we have an investigation, no matter whether the Grand Trunk Pacific complain or not. In view of the startling increase in expenditure over the estimate, we should have an investigation by a committee of this House, a thorough and exhaustive investigation into every thing connected with the building of the road, so as to determine the cause of this extraordinary expenditure, which bears on its face every evidence of dishonesty on incompetency.

Take the district ' A ', mile 96 to 164 from Moncton. There is an increase of ninety-five per cent in the solid rock under that contract. The result is that on this one item of solid rock out of loose rock we have 68,367 yards at $1, or $63,367 increased expenditure over estimate. We have also an increase of 231,299 cubic yards of solid rock out of common excavation at $1,18, or an increase of $272,983, giving a total increase on this one item alone of $341,300.

Take the contract district ' A ', from 164

mile to 195 mile, let to Willard Kitchen & Company. The estimated cost was $1,646,000. The estimated quantity of solid rock was 253,000 cubic yards, but the actual quantity turned out to be, it is said, 525,850 cubic yards, or more than double. The estimated cost of the solid rock was $376,000 but it actually cost $783,000. There was a decrease in the loose rock and also in the common excavation, but the loose rock was all run into solid rock which is very significant. On the whole 21 contracts, there are only two cases where loose rock decreased, but in each case it went into solid rock. What is the significant point behind this? Take the whole list of tenders and none of them came near this figure of thirty-five cents for loose rock. They ranged as high as 55c. It looks as if this firm of Willard Kitchen & Company-and I believe they are pretty well known to some of the right hon. gentleman's political friends-by some unfortunate accident got inside information. At all events the matter is one which demands investigation. It was estimated that the total quantity to be removed would be two and a half million cubic yards, but the actual quantity was 1,155,137, or a difference of 1,293,000 cubic yards. How do you account for that difference when there was so much competent engineering skill at the service of the government, and when the government had mountains of information, as the right hon. gentleman told us? What was the result? They moved only forty-seven per cent of the estimated quantity, but we paid ninety-seven per cent of the total estimated cost. On one and a quarter million yards less material moved, we saved a paltry $28,000, but we jumped our price from an average of forty-one cents to eighty-five cents per cubic yard, thus increasing the cost to the country by $580,000, and we saved on the part not removed one and a quarter million yards at the rate of two and one-quarter cents per yard.

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George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

That is on a thirty-one mile contract?

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Haughton Lennox

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LENNOX.

Yes. Solid rock increased by 107 per cent; the common excavation, which was said to be one and a quarter million yards, becomes 196,000 cubic yards, or an over-estimate by competent and honest engineers of yards, 1,027,599 cubic yards, or at the rate of 522 per cent.

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Haughton Lennox

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LENNOX.

The net estimate on actual quantity was $1,116,015 and there has been expended $905,000, and there is yet to be expended $1,327,793; or this contract has increased by $1,116,000 or more than double.

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George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

Pretty nearly $75,000 a mile-where is the Minister of Finance?

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Hugh D.

I/umsden in tendering his resignation as chief engineer of the National Transcontinental Railway has made grave chages touching the expenditure of public moneys in the construction of the said railway, which charges ought, in the public interest, to be thoroughly investigated.

And whereas the cost of the eastern division of the said railway, according to the latest estimates of the government, will be so enormously in excess of the estimates submitted to parliament in 1904 and 1905 as to arouse the most serious alarm and to call for the fullest inquiry.

Therefore be it resolved that a committee of seven members be appointed to investigate the said charges and all other matters connected with or relating to the construction of the eastern division of the said railway and the expenditure of public moneys thereon.

That the said committee shall have power to send for persons, papers and records, to examine witnesses on oath or affirmation and to report from time to time.

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January 25, 1910