January 25, 1910

CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

^On what principle Joes my hon. friend a"rgue that the substitution of one tribunal for another takes away any rights from this parliament in respect of investigation?

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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM.

I have tx-ied to explain to my hon. friend that -this parliament is paramount and it can exercise its rights now if it likes. Parliament exercised its right to name an independent tribunal, it exercised its right fully.

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CON

Samuel Barker

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BARKER.

Then why has the right hon. gentleman moved his resolution?

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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM.

The right hon. gentleman has moved his resolution to inquire into a charge made by the chief engineer against some of his subordinates, he not having named them or named the crime of which he says they are guilty. But let me follow the hon. gentleman on. If this case were in arbitration or in the Exchequer Court today, being decided, would hon. gentlemen think they should investigate the evidence being taken before the Exchequer Court?

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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LALTRIER.

Hear, hear.

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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM.

Take it on that ground. This case is now under arbitration.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

The point the hon. gentleman is now referring to is a question between the Grand Trunk Pacific and the government, but there is another question altogether and that is the question between the government and the people or the government and parliament representing the people. I come back to my starting point.

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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM.

My hon. friend the leader of the opposition has evaded my question. I asked him if, taking his view, this case were before the Exchequer Court for investigation and adjudication, he would think it advisable that a committee of this House should undertake to go through the evidence and form a decision on the very case submitted to another tribunal.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

With an expenditure so outrageously in excess of the government estimate in 1903-04, I would say at once that parliament ought to do it.

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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM.

I am glad to get that reply because it may come in useful at some other time.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

My hon. friend is perfectly welcome to it.

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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM.

Let me emphasize this point again. It was not the Prime Min-

ister, or the chairman of the Transcontinental Commission, or the chief engineer, but this parliament which decided that this case should go before a tribunal outside the Exchequer Court and outside of parliament. Parliament passed a statute, they made it part of the contract that this tribunal was to be formed and how it was to be formed, to decide on such questions as those now under discussion. Having exercised its right to take these matters from the Exchequer Court to another tribunal, parliament ought to leave them where it placed them after due thought and consideration.

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CON

Arthur Meighen

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN.

Would the hon. gentleman explain how' the Transcontinental Commissioners can be said to represent the people as against the railway company in a case of over-classification, and illustrate his explanation by an example.

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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM.

I submit that that is a little out of my line of argument, but I shall try to satisfy my hon. friend. In the first place the commission represents this parliament and this parliament represents the Canadian people. This parliament said to the commission selected by it: go on and build this railway; a chief engineer is to be appointed, and if there be any difference or dispute between the Grand Trunk Pacific and the Transcontinental Commission, then a tribunal must be formed to consist of our chief engineer, Who is the engineer of the people, and the engineer of the Grand Trunk Pacific, and these two shall select a third; or if they cannot agree, then the Chief Justice of Canada shall select a third on behalf of the people.

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CON

Arthur Meighen

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN.

Will the hon. minister give us an example to show how the chief engineer of the Transcontinental Commission can represent the people in a dispute with the Grand Trunk Pacific regarding over-classification ?

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LIB
?

Hon. S. N.@

Parent in the chair.

Correspondence in regard to the request of the vice-president and general manager of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway Company for certain information to enable that company to, jointly with the Commissioners, supervise the construction of the eastern division of the National Transcontinental Railway, was submitted, and it was

' Resolved that the information requested be furnished to the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway Company, and that their engineer assigned to the eastern division be given access to the records of the commission's district engineers, so as to enable them to become acquainted with the situation.'

The following was also passed on the 25th day of August, 1906:

Resolved that the chief or acting chief engineer be authorized to consult from time to time with the chief engineer or assistant chief engineer of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway Company, in compliance with clause No. 7 of the schedule of the National Transcontinental Railway Act.

On October 3, 1907, Mr. Morse, in a letter to the chairman, requested that copies of all cross-section notes governing payments that had been made be sent to him, and that hereafter this information be sent monthly together with a copy of the detailed monthly estimates.

The chief engineer, Mr. Lumsden, on October 9, 1907, wrote the board stating that he had instructed district engineers, where construction is in progress, to make duplicate copies of cross-section notes for use of the Grand Trunk Pacific engineers, and discuss fully with them any matters pertaining to the economic and eflicient construction of the line, and to give them every facility to examine the estimates, etc.; and further, that copies of such had been sent to the Grand-Trunk Pacific as soon as received.

Now in so far as carrying out the arrangement for joint supervision, in so far as carrying out the instructioins of parliament were concerned, everything was done by the government that could have been done by any incorporated company to protect itself

Now, let me turn to some points in the history of the case. As my hon. friend (Mr. Lennox) pointed out, Hogan & MacDonell got the first contract west of Quebec, 150 miles. This was assigned to Macdoneli & O'Brien, who assigned fifty miles to the Davis Company. McArthur got the section from Winnipeg to Superior Junction, approximately 245 miles. The work of construction was begun. I find that Mr. Woods, acting chief engineer of the Grand Trunk Pacific, wrote letters on October 7, October 8 and November 4, 1907, discussing the question of classification and objecting to certain things, some on general principles, and some in more detail. I desire to read a part of one of his letters. This was fully dealt with in the Hodgins investigation, but I wish to call the attention of the House

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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM.

to it again, as it forms part of the present record, and to point out one or two things in connection with it to show that Mr. Woods was altogether in error in the assertion he made. I quote from the letter of October 7, 1907:

As before stated, these over-classifications are not made through error in judgment nor upon the decision of the resident or division engineers, who are fully acquainted with the character of the work, but by arbitrary orders from their superior. To such classification as mentioned above, increasing the cost of the work to such an alarming extent, we most seriously protest and respectfully request chat either yourself or the assistant chief engineer visit the work and pass judgment upon the classification as made. Please note that the percentages given above indicate the work done to August 31. We are not advised what the September estimate will be.

Now, the point I wish to refer to in that is that of engineers not being allowed to go on their own initiative or their own knowledge. After I received this return, No. 42a, I sent this message from Brockville to the Secretary of the Transcontinental Commission:

In a letter of II. A. Woods, assistant chief engineer, Grand Trunk Pacific, dated October 7th, 1907, last paragraph, I find these words:

As before stated, these over-classifications are not made through error in judgment nor upon the decision of the resident or division engineers but by arbitrary orders from their superiors. If you have any idea as to his meaning, kindly explain.

In reply to that, I received a letter calling my attention to certain evidence given in the Hodgins investigation, pages 398, 399, 400 and 401. You will find there certain statements over the name of one of the divisional engineers. And, in a letter signed by Mr. Lumsden himself as chief engineer (page 402) occurs the following:

An interview was held on the car after our return at which ourselves, engineers and contractors were present, and, from the conversation which took place and the statements of Mr. Doucet, Messrs. Grant, Heustis and llervey, confirmed by letters from Messrs. Bourgeois, Macthews and Girdwood, it appears Mr. Woods must have been in error when he stated that * the specification had been entirely ignored and an excessive allowance made, not by reason of an error in the judgment, but, as I understand, by special instructions from the assistant district engineer, or, as stated by him in the latter part of his letter, by arbitrary orders from their superiors.

Thus we see that they got together and, after a full conversation and discussion of this point, Mr. Lumsden came to the conclusion-as, I think, was pointed out in the

evidence in the Hodgins investigation- that, whatever Mr. Woods may have thought at that time, he was absolutely incorrect in his statement that these engineers were influenced by their superiors in making their report.

At six o'clock, House took recess.

After Recess.

House resumed at eight o'clock.

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SECOND READINGS.


Bill (No. 110) respecting the Algoma Central and Hudson Bay Railway Company.-Mr. Tolmie. Bill (No. Ill) respecting the Dominion Millers' Association.-Mr. Harris. Bill (No. 112) to incorporate the Independent Order of Rechabites.-Mr. Verville. Bill (No. 113) respecting the Manitoulin and North Shore Railway Company.-Mr. Tolmie. Bill (No. 114) respecting the Richelieu and Ontario Navigation Company.-Mr. Forget. ' Bill (No. 115) to incorporate the St. Lawrence Power Transmission Company, Limited.-Mr. Pardee. Bill (No. 116) to incorporate the Toronto and Eastern Railway Company.-Mr. Fowke.


January 25, 1910