March 11, 1910

HENRY HUMPHRIES.


H. W. Foulds, A Commissioner. This is declared to by Henry Humphries before Mr. Foulds, a commissioner. I have also a declaration which I will not take time to read, from a mill man up there, who says that he has cut green timber on some of these lands, and if you find large standing green timber on the lands there can be no more cogent evidence that it is not a case of flooding any more than a temporary flooding that may occur in the springtime. Now, what are the conditions? This vallev of the Ouse is mainly timbered land, and in a case of that kind there is always more or less temporary flooding in the spring; but the point Mr. Humphries makes here is that he has known of this since his boyhood days, and that it has always occurred independently of any dam that has been erected on the river, and long before the high water on the Trent, the flooding has subsided. In order to ascertain what induced the government to settle these claims, and whether they have taken any proper step to ascertain whether these parties were entitled to payment or not, I thought the proper course was to get a return of the levels of these lands as compared with the high water level where the Ouse flows into the Trent. You will hardly imagine that these claims would be settled without levels being taken. But, yet if I understand the meaning of a telegram submitted to me the other day-the minister' furnished me a copy of it-no levels were ever taken. It is suggested now that it will cost five hundred or six hundred dollars to take them. But I said I did not want the levels now. Since no levels were taken I am not anxious to add greater injury to what the eountrv has already suffered bv insisting on levels being taken now. I have inquired of the minister, and I find that these cheques, in the eases of the several parties mentioned here and those mentioned in the answers obtained on the 17th February, were all paid jointly to the owners and Mr. Clarry, as in the case of the other return brought down. Speaking on behalf of Mr. Humphries he feels_and he- says he expresses the opinion of a great many in that neighbourhood-that the government should not settle these claims in a hole and corner way, but should appoint two or three men to investigate the whole question and deal with it on a business basis. I hope that before any other moneys are paid out, the minister will bring this matter up himself in the Public Account Committee and have it investigated, and particularly will examine Mr. Clarry, Mr. Dickson and any other parties who have been acting on behalf of the government.


LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Hon. G. P. GRAHAM (Minister of Railways and Canals).

If I understand my hon. friend, his chief attack is upon one of his fellow lawyers, Mr. Clarry, for some connection he may have had with some of the men who had claims. As to any connection that Mr. Clarry had with these men, this is the first intimation I have of it. My hon. friend knows well that so long as there are claims to be paid, the men who do not get all they want are convinced that other people got more than they should. They are all inclined to take that view. They think that others get too much and that they do not get enough. That is the foundation of the entire complaints, I am afraid. The department has nothing to fear in this matter. My hon. friend went so far as to say that these settlements were made in a hole and corner manner. He has no ground for any such statement, he insists that the department should have engaged engineers to take levels before making any payments, and he bases his whole argument on the word of one man who never pretended to take a level. What is the method adopted by the department?-a simple business method. A man highly recommended such as Mr. Dickson was asked to make these valu-

ations and he did so under instructions. Here is a quotation from the instructions:

It is necessary for the surveyor to ascertain, first, the area of the property actually submerged, and secondly, the area injuriously affected in consequence of the increased height of water. Claims for land over 3 feet above the level of the water cannot be considered. The valuator should submit a fair price, having regard to special conditions of each case, and he should know or ascertain, the fair value of the lands in the immediate vicinity of the property affected, this being the way that Commissioner Ayles-worth always fixed his valuations. It is not of eoiirse necessary that an actual measurement and traverse should be made in every case, as any land surveyor can approximately arrive at the several areas affected.

Be pleased to inform Mr. Dickson accordingly.

And Mr. Dickson is a surveyor, although my hon. friend would lead us to believe that he was just an ordinary individual who would not make a fair valuation but would be governed by party proclivities. It was according to these instructions that Mr. Dickson went and made his valuations. Mr. Henry Humphries, an old and respected resident, I understand, and Mr. Dickson did not get along harmoniously. Mr. Dickson, as I am informed, contended that he was asked by Mr. Humphries to put a valuation on some property, which did not belong to him at all. My hon. friend from Simcoe (Mr. Lennox) can easily understand how this might affect the valuation; but after Mr. Humphries had cast some reflection on these valuations, another surveyor was sent out to make a valuation on the' same properties, so that no injustice would be done either the public or the department. I have the valuations of most of these properties in the various townships made by Mr._ Fitzgerald, and in nearly every case his valuation was higher than Mr. Didksori's', showing that Mr. Dickson's valuation was within the mark. Mr. Fitzgerald did not know Mr. Dickson's valuations on these properties. The valuations of Mr. Fitzgerald were not taken but the claims were settled on the valuations of Mr. Dickson. As a rule members of parliament come to me to urge that we do not pay enough, but my hon. friend urges that we have paid too much.

Topic:   SUPPLY-RECIPROCAL USE OF CANALS.
Subtopic:   HENRY HUMPHRIES.
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CON

Haughton Lennox

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LENNOX.

I do not know anything about whether the minister has paid too much or not, but I said that, in cases I have mentioned, the minister should not pay anything because no levels were taken and they were not flooded lands.

Topic:   SUPPLY-RECIPROCAL USE OF CANALS.
Subtopic:   HENRY HUMPHRIES.
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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM.

Then we must have paid them too much. But such is not the case.

I have pointed out that valuations can be made without a survey. A man who is not Mr. GRAHAM.

a surveyor can go on to a property and easily tell the high water mark in order to have a fair idea of the quantity of land flooded. But a surveyor was engaged as a protection to the public, and then a second surveyor was appointed, and the second surveyor gave in every case a higher value. That this was a proper precaution will be admitted by any reasonable man, and I would not take the responsibility of casting a reflection of two members of the land surveyors association, merely because some one has complained that he' did not get as much out of the government as he thought he should, he raises the question of suspicion-and this is the main body of his charge I thought-in connection with Mr. Olarry. The method adopted is that w^hich has been followed for years and years, between the departments. My hon. friend from South Lanark (Mr. J. Haggart) will bear me out. I think that any hon. member who is familiar with the working of the Department of Justice will bear me out. The Department of Railways gets a valuation. We do not settle a single claim until the Department of Justice authorizes the settlement of that claim. Thev have to look into the title to see that tne man owning the land is the one who makes the claim in the first place. For that purpose, the Justice Department engaged a solicitor in the locality to do the work. In this case, Mr. Clarry-though my hon. friend (Mr. Lennox) was careful not to explain that- was the agent of the Department of Justice, and not of the Department of Railways and Canals. When we get the valuation of the lands, that valuation is handed over to the department for them to make a thorough investigation as to the titles, and to see that we are paying the proper parties. I am informed by the Justice Department that the cheques being made out to two parties is the custom between legal firms doing a large business. That is, when a legal firm, say in Toronto, has an agent acting for it in a case on all fours with this, that legal firm invariably makes out its cheque payable to its own agent, and the other party.

Topic:   SUPPLY-RECIPROCAL USE OF CANALS.
Subtopic:   HENRY HUMPHRIES.
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LIB

Frank Broadstreet Carvell

Liberal

Mr. CARVELL.

And an insurance company in the case of a mortgage the same.

Topic:   SUPPLY-RECIPROCAL USE OF CANALS.
Subtopic:   HENRY HUMPHRIES.
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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM.

Yes, I understand insurance companies do the same thing. It is a matter of business; it is done every day; my hon. friend (Mr. Lennox) knows that as a lawyer. There is no suspicion attached to such a transaction; it is a clear matter of business, and has been done by this government ever since there was a government. These two names on the cheque make it necessary, in order to have the cheque cashed, that both signatures shall appear upon it, the agent of the depart-

ment and the person to whom the money is to be paid. It is a safeguard, as I have said, used by large legal firms in dealing with their agents, and which the Department of Justice has adopted for many years, and a proper safeguard in the interests of the public. When both parties must sign the cheque, there is no possibility of the money being paid to other than tlie proper party. The hon. member says that Mr. Clarry was acting as the agent of other parties. That is a matter between Mr. Clarry and the other parties. I have not heard of it, but it ought not to exist if it does exist. I trust the hon. member will see to it, that Mr. Clarry, if he has been guilty of unprofessional conduct shall be chastised by that other great organization of monopolists, the bar association. There is another law under which you could get -at him, I should think. Under the new statute, he has been guilty of taking secret commissions, if what is stated of him be true. I am not sure, but it strikes me as a layman that he would be liable under that statute.

The department is not afraid of investigation, it courts investigation of this or any other transaction, to make clear to ail how it manages its business. This matter having been brought to my attention, I will see what there is in the charge that Mr. Clarry has been acting in the double capacity. As to other matters, they are above board, perfectly fair business transactions, that can be defended on1 business principles.

Topic:   SUPPLY-RECIPROCAL USE OF CANALS.
Subtopic:   HENRY HUMPHRIES.
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CON

John Graham Haggart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. JOHN HAGGART.

The explanation of the Minister of Railways is the most extraordinary I have ever heard in answer to such charges as have been made by the .hon. member for South Simcoe (Mr. Lennox). What are the facts? The agent of the government goes to value lands alleged to have been overflowed by reason of the existence of a government dam. As the minister (Mr. Graham) properly said, his department is, to a certain extent, not liable, because, in the first instance, before they pay out a cent, they get the report, of the Justice Department as to the title and the valuation. But, in this case, the agent of the Minister of Justice becomes also agent for the claimant against the government. And the government valuator assists the agent of the Minister of Justice by bringing a request from him to the claimant and saying, in effect: Give me twenty per cent of what you get for your claims and I will see that you^ are properly looked after. And the minister says there is no harm in that. No harm in the agent of the Minister of Justice looking after the business also of the claimant against the Crown for damages? No harm in the agent of the department taking these documents down to the claimant against

the Crown and urging upon him to make the attorney of the Minister of Justice, acting for the Railway Department also, the attoi'ney of the claimant?

Topic:   SUPPLY-RECIPROCAL USE OF CANALS.
Subtopic:   HENRY HUMPHRIES.
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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM.

I do not understand the hon. member for South Simcoe (Mr. Lennox) to say that Mr. Dickson urged anybody to engage Mr. Clarry.

Topic:   SUPPLY-RECIPROCAL USE OF CANALS.
Subtopic:   HENRY HUMPHRIES.
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CON

John Graham Haggart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. JOHN HAGGART.

He carried a letter

Topic:   SUPPLY-RECIPROCAL USE OF CANALS.
Subtopic:   HENRY HUMPHRIES.
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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM.

I know my hon. friend (Mr. Haggart) wants to be right with me.

I did not understand the hon. member for South Simcoe (Mr. Lennox) to say that it was charged that Mr. Dickson himself requested that this man appoint Mr. Clarry agent. That would be serious.

Topic:   SUPPLY-RECIPROCAL USE OF CANALS.
Subtopic:   HENRY HUMPHRIES.
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CON

Haughton Lennox

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LENNOX.

I said that Mr. Clarry is your agent, as you admit

Topic:   SUPPLY-RECIPROCAL USE OF CANALS.
Subtopic:   HENRY HUMPHRIES.
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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM.

No, agent of the Department of Justice.

Topic:   SUPPLY-RECIPROCAL USE OF CANALS.
Subtopic:   HENRY HUMPHRIES.
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CON

Haughton Lennox

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LENNOX.

You can separate the departments if you like. He sends a letter and a blank retainer, and sends it with your, agent, Mr. Dickson, and says: Settle with Mr. Dickson, and it will be perfectly satisfactory; but put in a good stiff claim.

Topic:   SUPPLY-RECIPROCAL USE OF CANALS.
Subtopic:   HENRY HUMPHRIES.
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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM.

That wms, as I understood it, said about Mr. Dickson, not about Mr. Clarry.

Topic:   SUPPLY-RECIPROCAL USE OF CANALS.
Subtopic:   HENRY HUMPHRIES.
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CON

John Graham Haggart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. JOHN HAGGART.

He carries the document; takes it to the party who has the claim-that is, the party whom you appoint for the purpose of settling takes the document to the claimant and makes an arrangement

Topic:   SUPPLY-RECIPROCAL USE OF CANALS.
Subtopic:   HENRY HUMPHRIES.
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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM.

No.

Topic:   SUPPLY-RECIPROCAL USE OF CANALS.
Subtopic:   HENRY HUMPHRIES.
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CON

John Graham Haggart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. JOHN HAGGART.

That is the statement. I am taking the statement of the hon. member for South Simcoe.

Topic:   SUPPLY-RECIPROCAL USE OF CANALS.
Subtopic:   HENRY HUMPHRIES.
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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM.

As I understand it, he did not make that charge. It would be very serious if he did make that charge, but I do not understand him to say that Mr. Dickson made an arrangement with this man. He carried a letter. If he were a party to that, it would be very serious, t will investigate and find out what there is in that. But that is not the charge that has been made. He carried the letter

Topic:   SUPPLY-RECIPROCAL USE OF CANALS.
Subtopic:   HENRY HUMPHRIES.
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CON

John Graham Haggart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. JOHN HAGGART.

But what are the *contents of the letter? The minister has heard it read. It says: That this solicitor advises the party to make an arrangement with Mr. Dickson and to ask a large price. Mr. Dickson knew what was in the letter.

Topic:   SUPPLY-RECIPROCAL USE OF CANALS.
Subtopic:   HENRY HUMPHRIES.
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March 11, 1910