March 11, 1910


ment of this board, has been consistently and persistently to prevent an inquiry in this matter. In the return which has been brought down on the motion of the hon. leader of the opposition (Mr. R. L. Borden) every page where there is a line written by the commission is a page and a line showing a desire to prevent a full and thorough investigation of -this matter. That is the action of that commission, and I say to the minister he is the one more than all others who is responsible, and that if he wants to keep his reputation up, to do justice by the people, to see that this railway does not become a perfect scandal from one end of this country to the other, and before all countries, he should take this matter in hand and take some measures by which the people will be protected and this system will not be continued. I believe every word I say in this matter. I have given a good deal of time to it and I intend to give a good deal more to it if necessary, hut I do say that this is becoming one of the most iniquitous works ever carried on on this continent- and some years ago they had some pretty bad ones to the south of us. The minister has not as yet become so deeply immersed in it as some others, but I say to him that he should look at the action of this commission critically and impartially, and if he can believe that this commission is acting in the interests of the public then he should go on; but I have read the records in connection with this investigation, by these arbitrators, these experts, and I can come to no other conclusion, nor can any one who reads the evidence, than that systematically, persistently, and determinedly, the members of this commission-the chairman, perhaps, more persistently than any others-have endeavoured to block this inquiry and to confine it within the narrowest possible limits. I have talked warmly on this, let me come down to calm pleading with the minister. It is up to the minister, it is essentially his duty not to allow this matter to run on any longer, but to take some active, definite action to protect the rights of the people as regards the expenditure of money on the Transcontinental railway.


LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM.

I shall not take up the time of the House following up my hon. friend, and I hope he will not think it discourteous on my part. He said what he said before in discussing this matter and what I would say in reply would be what I said before.

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CON
LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM.

The hon. member spoke with a good deal of heat some weeks ago and I answered at some length. The situation in short is this: When this Act Mr. LENNOX.

was being passed, the House unanimously decided on the method by which any differences as to classification would be adjusted and settled for. It was understood, of course, that in all works there would be differences of opinion, or you may call it something else if you like, that there would be differences in the classification as between the commission's engineers and the engineers of the Grand Trunk Pacific who had to take over the work. Parliament understood that would occur, and, without one dissenting voice, appointed a board to settle all these differences, a board of experts, not like my hon. friend or myself who has to take other peoples' word absolutely for it. They named a method by which a tribunal would be appointed.

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CON
LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM.

As a matter of fact there was a great deal of difficulty and a good deal of cross-firing in getting the board finally appointed. Some work has been done but a report has not been made. As soon, however, as the snow is gone this spring this board, fully equipped with authority will go out and do this work, all precautions will be taken. My hon. friend will agree with me that he would not be a good man to judge of this?

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CON
LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM.

Not a good man to judge impartially, he gets too enthusiastic, as I do myself sometimes, in trying to convince people that mine is the only view and that there is no other view that possibly could be right. But the parliament of Canada, including my hon. friend, mapped out the way in which these things should be settled and that is the way they are being settled and will be settled, I hope, to the satisfaction of the country and even of my hon. friend.

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CON

Oswald Smith Crocket

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CROCKET.

Are payments being made to the contractors on certificates furnished by these engineers who have made the over-classification, who have been objected to?

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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM.

My hon. friend asserts that there has been over-classification. Progress estimates are paid to the contractors on the certificate of the engineers.

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CON

Oswald Smith Crocket

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CROCKET.

The same engineers who have been objected to?

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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM.

My hon. friend starts out, of course, with the idea that the engineers are guilty.

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CON

Oswald Smith Crocket

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CROCKET.

The classification has been objected to by the Transcontinental

engineers and by the chief engineer of the commission.

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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM.

My hon. friend will understand that engineers are not discharged because some person objects to their classification.

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CON

Oswald Smith Crocket

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CROCKET.

Is the government continuing to make payment on certificates furnished by these same engineers just as before?

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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM.

Progress estimates are paid to the contractors on the certificates of engineers approved by the chief engineer, and subject to revision.

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CON
LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM.

Some are, and perhaps all. The amount of security held back from each one of these contractors is as follows: On 'A,5 $1,133,583.81; on ' B,'

$1,701,308.91; on ' C,' $12,942.90; on ' D,' $656,668.07; on ' E,' $193,914; on ' F,' $1,218,143.85, or in round numbers $4,915,742.69.

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CON

John Graham Haggart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Air. J. HAGGART.

What form of security ?

Air. GRAHAA1. Cash security.

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CON

John Graham Haggart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Air. J. HAGGART.

Is not the most of it the 10 per cent retained by the government on the progress estimates?

Air. GRAHAA1. Alost of it is. Of course as the work goes on these amounts increase rather than decrease.

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March 11, 1910