March 11, 1910

CON

John Graham Haggart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Air. J. HAGGART.

I want to know the amount paid out to the contractors, and what the amount of the contract would be on the original estimate?

Air. GRAHAA1. We will take No. 1 as a sample. The chief engineer's estimate on No. 1 was $1,017,051.43; the estimate on the basis of the lowest tender $989,895.96; gross amount of progress estimate to December 31, 1909, $1,664,410.07; less the

draw back of 10 per cent.

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CON

John Graham Haggart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Air. J. HAGGART.

The original contract was let for $900,000, and the lowest tender taken on the estimated quantities. Your engineer's estimate was $1,000,000, but you have already paid to the contractors $1,600,000. You say that in the revision of the contract it may be corrected, and that it may possibly be not in excess of the original tender. Where is your money to guarantee that?

Air. GRAHAA1. I am frank to confess that I do not think it will ever be reduced on the original estimate.

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CON

Samuel Barker

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BARKER.

How much have you held back on that contract now?

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?

Duncan Graham

Air. GRAHAAI.

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CON

Samuel Barker

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BARKER.

And when you have pocketed that you are over half a million dollars short.

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?

Duncan Graham

Air. GRAHAAI.

I have not pocketed anything that I ever heard of.

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CON

Samuel Barker

Conservative (1867-1942)

Air. BARKER.

I am speaking of the government, and not you. You have already paid over half a million dollars in advance of your estimate.

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?

Duncan Graham

Mr. GRAHAAI.

On that contract there are no objections to the classification.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Air. R. L. BORDEN.

On contract No. 1 for example, is the engineer who was responsible for the estimate in the first instance the same engineer who is responsible for the classification in the final payment?

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?

Duncan Graham

Mr. GRAHAAI.

No, Mr. Dunn is now with the Grand Trunk Pacific.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

In how many cases and on what contracts is the engineer who made the original estimate of classification the same engineer, who has certified the classification which seems to have been adopted? If that information is not at hand it would be better to produce a statement later.

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?

Duncan Graham

Mr. GRAHAAI.

I will take the district engineer, he is responsible for the whole district.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

I do not know who is responsible, but the minister will understand exactly what I want. I want to know in respect to every mile from Moncton to Winnipeg, in what cases the same man is responsible for the original estimate, and for the final result which is so absolutely different from it.

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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Air. GRAHAM.

I will get that for my hon. friend.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Air. R. L. BORDEN.

There are some other things I would like to know. I do not know whether this information will be available to-night, but I want to get it some time-I want to know exactly the character of the investigation that is made upon which these estimates of classification were founded; I want to know at what distances these pits were sunk where theTe was need of sinking pits; I want to know at what distances borings were made; I want full and complete information as to the character of the investigation which was made before this estimate was handed into the government. Then I want to know something more about the engineers. I

want to know what steps the commission have taken up to date in the way of seeking information from the engineers who made this original estimate which has been so absolutely falsified in the result. I

want that information in respect to every mile of the line from Moncton to Winnipeg. I think the minister will agree, in view of the remarkable situation that has developed that I am not asking any too much.

To put this matter in plain terms, unless there has been the most extraordinary and inconceivable incapacity and negligence in the first instance, then there has been perpetrated on the public treasury of this country one of the most gigantic steals ever heard of. This dilemma the government must face in connection with this matter: the one or the other of these two things must be true.

The minister, then, wall be good enough to give us this further information with regard to contract No. 1, contract No. 2, or whichever one first developed this situation. When it became apparent to the commissioners, who, I assume, were attending to their business, either that the estimates presented to the government in the first instance were absolutely worthless, or else that some one was getting money from the government t.o which he was not entitled, what explanations did the commissioners ask, what investigation did they make, what steps did they take to get to the bottom of this matter? I am not disposed to blame the minister too much, except that I do not think that he has been prompt and vigilant in demanding an explanation from the commission. He has the duties of a great department to attend to outside of this. But these men were there, paid by the people of this country to look carefully into matters of this character, and I would like very much to know, when this situation first developed, what steps they took about it. I have heard some very curious statements made on. the authority of reputable men as to ' what the action, not of all, but of some of the commissioners, was in that regard; and if I should repeat the statements here, which I do not propose to do to-night, or until I verify them a little further, I think every hon. gentleman in this House would be startled by them. But whether these statements, which have been rather free of late, be true or not, certainly this House is entitled to the fullest possible information as to what was the action of the commissioners in this connection-whether they conceived it to be their duty at all to investigate the astonishing ' condition of affairs which has been disclosed by the information afforded to this committee by

the minister. I -would like to know further what is the rate for solid rock, the rate for loose rock and the rate for common excavation on every one of these contracts, in respect to every mile of the line from Moncton to Winnipeg.

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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM.

I can give that now. I will give it by the numbers of the contracts, starting at Moncton and going west:

Common

Contract. Solid rock. Loose rock. excava- tion.No. 1 .. .. $1 50 $0 55 $0 25

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Mr. R. L.@

BORDEN. Now, would the

minister be good enough to have a statement prepared, showing the cost of the entire line from Moncton to Winnipeg, based upon the estimates of classification which were made in the first instance, for the purpose of comparison with the estimates which have been certified by the engineers in respect of the work done up to the present time?

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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM.

I could give my hon. friend now the estimated cost, and then I could give him exactly what has been paid up to date on each one of these contracts.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

The estimated cost of course, is for the whole?

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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM.

The estimated cost of solid rock, loose rock, and common excavation Does my hon. friend want it for the whole?

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March 11, 1910