April 20, 1910

LIB

Frank Broadstreet Carvell

Liberal

Mr. CARVELL.

Will the hon. gentleman (Mr. Crocket) be fair enough to put that exactly as it occurred in the committee? He ought to be fair enough.

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CON

Oswald Smith Crocket

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CROCKET.

I am not done with this yet. [DOT]

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LIB

Frank Broadstreet Carvell

Liberal

Mr. CARVELL.

I dq not like the insinuation.

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CON

Oswald Smith Crocket

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CROCKET.

There is no insinuation against the hon. member for Carleton in this connection.

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LIB

Frank Broadstreet Carvell

Liberal

Mr. CARVELL.

I am very sorry that it i3 thought necessary to make the insinuation.

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CON

Oswald Smith Crocket

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CROCKET.

It is not an insinuation, but a statement. I am not in the habit of making insinuations. This is like other

evidence that Mr. Loggie gave. His sworn statement had to be contradicted by the member for Carleton. He was asked and

said that he expected to pay Mr. Carvell. My hon. friend from Peel (Mr. Blain) remembers that distinctly. Then it was that the hon. member for Carleton, apparently thinking that Mr. Loggie had put him in a position of violating the law of parliament rushed out for the telegram. I told the hon. member for Carleton when he became excited over Mr. Loggie's statement that he was putting himself upon trial, that nobody else attached any importance to it. If Mr. Loggie intended that this should be a bona fide transaction outside of the Public Accounts Committee there was nothing that he need be afraid of, but if the hon. member for Carleton interpreted Mr. Loggie's instructions that he should do this as a member of the House, he was violating the law. I merely refer to it to show the lack of good faith with which this whole thing is fraught from the beginning to the end. Mr. Loggie's offer was not a bona fide offer. The hon. member for Carleton stated that he never even made a report to him. This is the telegram from A. & R. Loggie:

Chatham, New Brunswick, January 18.

G. B. Carvell, 51.P., .

House of Commons, Ottawa, Ontario. Having noted in report of evidence of R. O'Leary his willingness to sell his own private wharf property at Richibucto for $2,000, we hereby authorize and empower yon to purchase said property from 51r. O'Leary for us at what he asks or any sum not exceeding $2,500 cash on delivery of deed in fee simple.

A. & R. LOGGIE.

Now, Mr. Loggie, before this telegram was produced, had stated that Mr. O Leary had made a statement in the committee that he did not believe. I asked him what that statement was, and he said it was that Mr. O'Leary would sell his own wharf for $2,000. He said that O'Leary would not sell the wharf for less than $8,000, that it was worth $8,000, and he knew he would not sell it for $2,000. Yet the instruction to the member for Carleton (Air. Carvell) is not under any circumstances to offer more than $2,500, $5,500 less than Loggie said that O'Leary himself knew the wharf was worth. The thing was simply a big bluff. And that telegram was sent the very same day, as I have pointed out, that he was after the sawdust wharf. This business man who had a wharf of his own which had been meeting all his requirements, who never made an inquiry for a wharf of any kind, suddenly blossoms into a wholesale wharf buyer as soon as this matter .comes before the Public Accounts Committee, and tries to buy two wharfs on one day for which he had no use, and one of which, this government wharf, he admitted was not fit to use. Now, Sir, that pretty well disposes of that offer. Then it was necessary for the Minis-

ter of Public Works to go one step further, that offer must be accepted in some way. So they produced before the committee some counter propositions, and informed us that they were selling two-thirds of this wharf at $3,500, and retaining one-third of it for the use of the public. Now that does strike me to be the most absurd and ridiculous proposition that was ever submitted to anybody for consideration. Here is a wharf which the Minister of Public Works will say it was necessary should be bought in 1908. If it was not, what did the Minister of Public Works buy it for? And yet they sell two-thirds of that wharf, thereby providing evidence upon which they at least may say it was unnecessary, and was not in the public interest. But what does Mr. Loggie say to that? He admitted that if the government sold that property to his firm it would defeat the very scheme which the resident engineer had in view when he recommended the purchase, namely, that it would provide a site for a railway station and terminals. Mr. Loggie was questioned upon that point and he admitted that the sale of the property to him would defeat that purpose, and would therefore be subversive of the public interest. Yet we are asked to take that as a genuine proposition.

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LIB

William Pugsley (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY.

The hon. gentleman

must know that is not in the evidence. You will find that Mr. Loggie swears that 200 feet of wharf would give good accommodation.

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CON
LIB

William Pugsley (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY.

Would the hon. gentleman read just a little further:

Q- Is not the original object deflated by selling this portion of the property to you"?

A. I do not think so, because they have reserved 200 feet of it.

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CON

Oswald Smith Crocket

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CROCKET.

There i.i a straight question and answer, it would defeat the object they had in view, that was his first Mr. CROCKET

answer to me. As soon as he saw the point, and the position he had put himself in, he began to hedge, as other witnesses did that were produced on behalf of the Public Works Department.

Now I regret that I Lave occupied so much time of the House. But this has impressed me as a matter of serious importance, not because of the amount of money involved, which is comparatively small, but because it involves as I have said, and as the Toronto ' Globe ' has said, not only the methods, but the honour of the chief spending department of this government. For that reason I have thought it my duty to put upon record, not my statement or interpretation of the evidence, but the evidence just as it was given, so that members of the House may see for themselves, and draw their own conclusions. There is one other matter I want to refer to. In addition to Mr. Loggie there was another witness produced, Mr. J. D. Irvine. He was not called by myself, he was called by my hon. friend from Carleton who was defending this transaction before the Public Acoounts Committee, as he has been called upon to defend so many transactions of the Public Works Department in that committee, and he is deserving of the sympathy of the House in that connection. Now, Mr. Irving was asked as to the valuation, and I will quote from his evidence a line or two page 129:

Q. Suppose that you were in business in Richibucto as Messrs. Loggie are, and you owned that property, what would you sell it for?-A. Well, I do not know if I had it that I would sell it at all, unless I could get another one to replace it.

Q. It has been stated by Mr. Stead in that letter which he wrote, to me in answer to that request for information in regard to the knowledge which he had before reporting on the value of this proprty, that there was a party in Buctouche who said that he would not take $10,000 for it if he owned it, and he said, you are the gentleman to whom he referred. Did you tell Mr. Stead that?-A. Well, I did, I said that if I had it in the town of Buctouche, situated as it was there, I would not take it.

Further on: [DOT]

Q. If you owned that property in Richibucto, would you take $5,000 for it?-A. No, Sir,

I would not, not by any means.

That was the evidence given to the Minister of Public Works. But in cross examination it turned out that J. D. Irving was, like Mr. Loggie, a gentleman who had been drawing large sums of money from the Public Works Department upon the certificate of Geoffrey Stead. He had a scow down there, of which he dared not place the valuation at over $150, for which he had received about $6(10 rent from the Public

Works Department. Here is more of Mr. Irving's evidence in his cross-examination, page 130:

Q. You spoke about having some wharf property yourself at Buctouche?-A. Yes.

Q. I think you said you had about half a mile?-A. In the vicinity of the water front.

Q. How much did you pay for your wharf property in Buctouche?-A. One wharf I bought for $220, somewhere about ten or fifteen years ago, I could not tell exactly.

Q. And you have a half a mile of it on the shore?-A. I have close on to half a mile, 1 think.

This gentleman who said that if he had this property in Buctouche he would "not sell it for $10,000, had actually bought his own wharf at Buctouche with half a mile of shore for $220.

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LIB

William Pugsley (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY.

Which, at page 134, he says is yielding $500 a year income.

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CON

Oswald Smith Crocket

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CROCKET.

That is the evidence that we have adduced before the Public Accounts Committee in support of 'this valuation, the evidence of A. & R. Loggie and J. D. Irving. I think if that evidence has any effect it is only to confirm the abundance of evidence which this record contains that this transaction is, as I said at the outset, a positive fraud, deliberately planned from the beginning, and I say to the Minister of Public Works that if this evidence does not convict him of complicity in this transaction it certainly involves him in the gravest _ suspicion that has ever surrounded a minister of the cabinet with reference to a transaction of this kind. I think the evidence I have quoted establishes what I have said. I, therefore, beg to move:

That all the words after the word ' that ' to the end of the motion be left out and the following substituted therefor:-

The evidence taken before the Public Accounts Committee and submitted to this House touching a payment of $5,000 to T. O. Murray in connection with the purchase by the Public Works Department of the sawdust wharf at Richibucto, New Brunswick, as set out at page V-188 of the Auditor General's Report for the year ending March 31, 1909, discloses that said purchase was a corrupt and fraudulent transaction which deserves the severest condemnation of the House.

On motion of Mr. Carvell, debate was adjourned.

Mr. FIELDING moved the adjournment of the House.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

Shall we go on with this debate to-morrow?

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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

Yes.

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Motion agreed to, and House adjourned at 11.30 p.m.



Thursday, April 21, 1910.


April 20, 1910