February 17, 1910

CON

Mr. WORTHINGTON:

Conservative (1867-1942)

1. Has the government any further information, reports or correspondence that was not brought down in reply to a question on the Order Paper of February 11, 1909, ' Hansard ' p. 1176, vol. I., 1909, re woollen industry by John Costello? If so, what is the nature of the correspondence, and when will it be brought down?

2. Has the government any information concerning a report made at the same time for the United States government by United States government agent W. Graham Clark?

Topic:   MR. THOMAS COSTELLO.
Permalink
LIB

Hon. WM. TEMPLEMAN: (Minister of Mines; Minister of Inland Revenue)

Liberal

1. The government has no further reports or correspondence to be brought down in

1. What is the nature of the military buildings, the erection of which the government has under consideration at or near St. Lambert, Quebec, and for what purposes are these buildings intended?

2. By what corps or regiments will they be occupied ?

3. Has the site for these buildings been purchased? If so, from whom and at what cost?

4. When is it intended to commence the construction of these buildings, and what is the estimated cost?

Topic:   MR. THOMAS COSTELLO.
Permalink
LIB

Sir FREDERICK BORDEN: (Minister of Militia and Defence)

Liberal

1. Barracks for the permanent corps to accommodate a school of instruction for Montreal and vicinity.

2. Answered by No. 1, but the actual details of the units have not yet been settled.

3. No; it is expected that these buildings will be erected on land already vested in the Crown.

4. The surveys and plans have not yet been completed, and, until this has been done, it will not be possible to say when construction will commence, or what the cost will be.

Topic:   MR. THOMAS COSTELLO.
Permalink

THE NAVAL SERVICE OF CANADA- EXPLANATIONS.

CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

Before the orders of the day are called, I would like to ask a question of the Minister of Militia (Sir Frederick Borden) concerning a statement forming part of his recent speech, pages 3415 to 3418, of the unrevised ' Hansard' What I particularly desire to ask is concerning the cost of the 'Rainbow,' which does not seem 'to be included although the ship is mentioned.

Topic:   THE NAVAL SERVICE OF CANADA- EXPLANATIONS.
Permalink
LIB

Frederick William Borden (Minister of Militia and Defence)

Liberal

Sir FREDERICK BORDEN.

Topic:   THE NAVAL SERVICE OF CANADA- EXPLANATIONS.
Permalink
CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

I desire to know also what is included under the term 'upkeep?' For example, does it include interest and depreciation?

Topic:   THE NAVAL SERVICE OF CANADA- EXPLANATIONS.
Permalink
LIB

Frederick William Borden (Minister of Militia and Defence)

Liberal

Sir FREDERICK BORDEN.

In the statement I gave, these are not included.

Topic:   THE NAVAL SERVICE OF CANADA- EXPLANATIONS.
Permalink
CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

What does 'upkeep ' include? May we count it as including practically everything else besides interest and depreciation?

Sir FREDERICK BORDEN Yes, everything outside of interest and provision for sinking fund.

Topic:   THE NAVAL SERVICE OF CANADA- EXPLANATIONS.
Permalink

QUESTION OF PRIVILEGE.


On the orders of the day being called:


LIB

William Pugsley (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Hon. WM. PUGSLEY (Minister of Public Works).

Mr. Speaker, I desire to bring before the House a matter of privilege. On the 14th instant, the hon. member for York, New Brunswick (Mr. Crocket) read an extract from the Toronto ' Globe ' of a day or two before, as follows:

By reading extracts from some documents and carefully refraining from reading others he sought to convey the impression that money was being taken from the public treasury and spent upon a wharf at Pink Rock owned by a company managed by a political friend of the Minister of Public Works.

Hon. Mr. Pugsley destroyed Mr. Crocket's pretty little piece of political patchwork at one blow by producing an agreement which showed chat the wharf had passed from the hands of the company referred to by the member for York into those of the Crown, and that the expenditures complained of were for the improvement of a public work in the public incerest.

The hon. member for York is reported as making the charge that the statement in the Toronto ' Globe ' was untrue, and stating also that the Minister of Public Works (Mr. Pugsley) knew it was untrue. It is with regard to the latter assertion of the hon. member that I feel it my duty to bring the matter before the House as a matter of privilege. I may say, as the hon. member appealed to me, that 1 am unable to corroborate in the slightest degree his statement that the report in the ' Globe ' was untrue. I think that, if one takes the whole report, one must conclude that the reporter did give a true account of the state of affairs, so far as the Pine Rock wharf is concerned. It is necessary to read the whole report in the ' Globe ' in order to form a correct opinion of the truthfulness or otherwise of it. I will read it more fully, including the paragraphs quoted by the hon. member for York, which I have just referred to:

By reading extracts from some documents and carefully refraining from reading others he sought to convey the impression that money was being taken from the public treasury and spent upon^a wharf at Pink Rock owned by a company * managed by a political friend of the Minister of Public Works.

The impression which I received from the statement of the hon. member for York (Mr. Crocket), and I think it was an impression fairly to be received from his language, was that the Public Works Department were expending money on a private wharf which was owned by the Albert Manufacturing Company. The facts of the case are that nothing of the kind has been * Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

occurring. Not one single dollar of public money has been expended upon a private wharf. The wharf which is being constructed is wholly the property of the Crown. My hon. friend from York may not have intended to create that impression, and I trust he did not intend to do so, but that was the fair inference to be derived from his language, and it is the inference which the hon. member for South Lanark (Mr. Haggart) also drew from hi.s language, because that hon. member made the statement that money was being expended on private property. Therefore, I think that the reporter of the ' Globe ' was clearly warranted in drawing that inference from the remarks of my hon. friend. Then the article proceeds:

Hon. Mr. Pugsley destroyed Mr. Crocket's pretty little piece of political patchwork at one blow by producing an agreement which showed that the wharf had passed from the hands of the company referred to by the member for York into those of the Crown, and that the expenditures complained of were for the improvement of a public work in the public interest.

I think that the agreement which gives to the Crown the absolute right to collect wharfage tolls, both side wharfage and top wharfage, and which gives to the public the right of way over the property which had been originally constructed by the Albert Manufacturing Company, over that property, to the work which the government was itself constructing beyond the length of the wharf originally built by the Albert Manufacturing Company, entirely justified the reporter of the * Globe ' in stating that the control of the property had passed from the Albert Manufacturing Company into the hands of the Crown, because that is the effect, not only substantially but wholly the effect of the agreement, subject simply to the right of the Albert Manufacturing Company to have its own vessels lie at the wharf free of tolls. Then the reporter further proceeds:

That the expenditures complained of were for the improvement of a public work in the public interest.

That statement was also absolutely correct. Therefore, for these reasons I, as I have said, am entirely unable to agree with the member for York (Mr. Crocket) that the report appearing in the Toronto ' Globe ' was in any way inaccurate.

Mr. 0. S. CROCKET (York, N.B.). The

Minister of Public Works has apparently felt it necessary to do some more explaining, a thing that he has been very frequently called upon to do in this House. He states that he is not able to corroborate the .statement of the hon.,: member !for York on Monday last, that the statement in the ' Globe ' newspaper was untrue. If

the minister is not able to corroborate that statement, I am able to corroborate and confirm the statement I then made, from a return furnished to me by an officer of the minister's own department. Although the minister started with the statement that he was not able to corroborate the statement I made, he ended by practically confirming the statement, inasmuch as he admitted that the wharf had not been conveyed to the Crown. The statement to which I took exception in the ' Globe ' was the statement that this wharf, to which the government is building an extension, had passed from the hands of the company into the hands of the Crown. I said the other day that the statement is untrue. I reaffirm it to-day. And the minister

Topic:   QUESTION OF PRIVILEGE.
Permalink
?

Some hon. MEMBERS

Hear, hear

Topic:   QUESTION OF PRIVILEGE.
Permalink
CON

Oswald Smith Crocket

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CROCKET.

It is all very well for the Minister of Public Works to talk about this being in the public interest. That is an expression we very frequently hear from the Minister of Public Works. [DOT] I suppose the many expenditures that have taken place in St. John, and important places in New Brunswick, have been, of course, primarily in the public interest, according to the Minister of Public Works.

Topic:   QUESTION OF PRIVILEGE.
Permalink
LIB
CON

Oswald Smith Crocket

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CROCKET.

But there are very many works in the province of New Brunswick for which the Committee of Supply of this House has voted thousands and thousands of dollars which are not primarily in the public interest, and which have manifestly been for the improvement of private property. The minister says that the wharf which is being constructed is the property of the Crown. The wharf which is being constructed by the vote which passed the Committee of Supply is for an extension of the private property of the Albert Manufacturing Company, of which Mr. Osman is the managing director; and the agreement that has been referred to, which the minister states is practically a conveyance of the property to the Crown, is nothing more or less than a colourable arrangement providing, as I stated the other day, that Mr. Osman, or the Albert Manufacturing Company, would very graciously allow His Majesty to charge wharfage upon all vessels other than their own, or vessels chartered by the company, that might use the wharf. The fact is, and the minister knows it to be true, that there is no other shipping at that wharf except the shipping of the Albert Manufacturing Company, and will not be for some years to come. I have the documents here, and I challenge the Minister of Public Works to contradict a single statement I have made to this House with reference to this subject.

The very second document on the return which was furnished to me by an officer of the Department of Public Works states that the wharf is intended for the shipment of gypsum, which is the product of the Albert Manufacturing Company, the only gypsum that can be shipped from that wharf. There is the statement from a return brought down by the officers ol his own department. Furthermore, it is not only to the fact that this wharf had not been conveyed to the Crown that I took exception in this case, it is to the fact that the expenditure which has been made and which has been entered in the Auditor General's Report for one year's work on this wharf, was made by Mr. Osman, under his own management and direction, without any supervision or direction from the Department of Public Works, and that the bills which Mr. Osman contracted were simply forwarded to the Department of Public Works, and the whole of that expenditure, amounting to over $2,000, was paid and entered in the report of the Auditor General as if the expenditure had been made by the Department of Public Works under its supervision. That fact is abundantly proved by the Teturn which I have.

In order that the House may understand the matter fully, and may understand particularly that the statement I made the other day was absolutely true, I have here a letter signed by Mr. J. C. Osman, and dated at St. John, New Brunswick. September 7, 1907, from which it appears that although an officer of the department suggested that this wharf should first be transferred to the Crown before any public money was expended on it, Mr. Osman declined to do that, and he suggested this beautiful colourable arrangement which the Minister of Public Works has represented as complying with the requirements of the case. The letter is as follows:

I am in receipt of a letter from your secretary in reference to the extension to the Pink Rock wharf, Westmorland county.

In regard to the suggestion that our company should convey the wharf which we have already built to a length of about 250 feet to the Crown, I do not see how we could properly be asked to do this, and I do not think that it was the intention of parliament that we-should do so. The appropriation, as you know, is for the extension of the wharf. We would, however, be willing to give to the Crown, for the use of the public, a free right of way over our property from the highway to the wharf, and will make a good road and keep it in repair, and we will also undertake to give to the Crown, for the use of the public, a right of way over our wharf to the proposed extension, and will undertake to keep onr wharf in repair, and for vessels other than ours or those chartered by ns coming to the wharf

And, as I have stated, no other vessels than those of the company, or those char-

tered by the company, do use or will use the wharf.

-we will allow the Crown to collect wharfage, both in respect to such portion of our wharf as the vessels may occupy and the government extension, without ourselves making any charge for its public use, and as an equivalent for vessels chartered by us and our own vessels having the use of the government wharf, we will undertake, at our own expense, to keep the whole wharf in repair.

Now, Mr. Speaker, if it were not for the very firm conviction that I have that the Minister of Public Works would be absolutely incapable of doing such a thing as dictating a letter to himself to be signed by somebody else, I would be disposed to remark that that letter is couched in such smooth and skilful terms as to be almost worthy of the fine Italian hand of the hon. genius who presides over the great spending department of the government. The _ suggestion comes to me the more readily because of a subsequent letter of September 10, written by Mr. Osman, in which he refers to a very pleasant interview which he had had with the minister at St. John a few days before. This letter is dated September 10, and it was written from Hillsboro. The last was September 7, and written from St. John.

Hon. Wm. Pugsley,

Ottawa, Ont.

Hear Dr. Pugsley,-Referring to the matter of the extension of the wharf at Pink Rock, the details of which we fully discussed during the pleasant interview I had with you in St. John, I now beg to confirm on behalf of the Albert Manufacturing Company and the New Brunswick Gypsum Company the proposition I then made to yon.

I think that these letters not only confirm the statement I make, but they show that it wa3 suggested to the minister by an officer of the department that this wharf ought properly to be transferred to the Crown before a public expenditure could be made upon it, and that that was a suggestion which Mr. Osman refused to comply with.

Topic:   QUESTION OF PRIVILEGE.
Permalink
LIB

William Pugsley (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY.

I rise to a point of order. The hon. gentleman (Mr. Crocket) is entirely in error. There was not one single dollar of public money expended upon this wharf.

Topic:   QUESTION OF PRIVILEGE.
Permalink
CON

Oswald Smith Crocket

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CROCKET.

I cannot understand the hon. gentleman's statement. He took an appropriation from the Committee of Supply the other day of $10,500, or something of that kind, to complete an extension of the Pink Rock wharf upon which nearly $5,000 had already been expended.

Topic:   QUESTION OF PRIVILEGE.
Permalink
LIB
CON

Oswald Smith Crocket

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CROCKET.

Is it independent of the old wharf? I would ask the hon. Minister Mr. CROCKET.

of Public Works if he could name another case in the history of the Public Works Department where a private wharf has been extended by the government for private or public purposes without the department first acquiring the wharf to which the extension was being made?

Topic:   QUESTION OF PRIVILEGE.
Permalink

February 17, 1910