April 21, 1910

FIRST READINGS.


Bill (No. 213) respecting the Brandon, Saskatchewan and Hudson Bay Railway Company.-Mr. Sifton. Bill (No. 214) respecting the Alberta and British Columbia Railway Company.-Mr. Herron. Bill (No. 215) to incorporate the Buctouche Railway and Transportation Company.-Mr. Carvell.


DISALLOWANCE OF PROVINCIAL LEGISLATION.

CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

I inquired of the Prime Minister a few days ago whether or not the government would lay upon the table of the House the papers in connection with the petition for disallowance of certain legislation of the [DOT] province of Ontario. May I again bring the matter to the attention of the government ?

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LIB

Allen Bristol Aylesworth (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. AYLESWORTH.

There is no objection, and the papers will be laid on the tabls as soon as they can be copied.

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SUPPLY-THE RICHIBUCTO WHARF.


House resumed the adjourned debate on the motion of Mr. Fielding ' That Mr. Speaker do now leave the chair for the House to go into Committee of Supply, and the proposed amendment of Mr. Crocket thereto.


?

Mr. F. B.@

CARVELL (Carleton, N.B.) Mr. Speaker, I desire as briefly as possible to review some of the facts in this case, which my hon. friend from York (Mr. Crocket) discussed for three hours and a half yesterday afternoon; and it seemed to me that just before he closed he was attempting to take away from the hon. member from Selkirk (Mr. Bradbury) the distinction which he holds of having made the longest speech on record during the present session. If the hon. member for York could have held out for another 40 minutes, I think he would have carried off the palm; and as he spent three-quarters of his time in reading disjointed portions of the evidence, if he had read a little more, he could have occupied four hours and ten minutes and could have gone back to New Brunswick with a record equal to that which he established last year. It is remarkable that his record of last year was made in an attempt to besmirch the character of the Minister of Public Works, and he attempted to make his record this year with the same object in view. If he does not succeed any better on the present occasion than he did last year, he will have spent a lot of energy and wasted a

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great deal of the time of this House in a very useless way. My hon. friend spent four hours .last year on a subject to him of so much importance that he divided the House upon it-a subject which had been investigated by an arbitration in the province of New Brunswick under the direction of the provincial government at a cost of from $12,000 to $15,000, and which his own friends in the provincial legislature had not the courage to refer to when the report was laid on the table of the House, and the matter has not been referred to in the province of New Brunswick from that day to this. Now. he has used three hours and a half of the time of this House in the closing days of this session to discuss a matter which is so paltry that it seems to me even the hon. member for York might have been ashamed to have discussed it in the manner he has done. I am sorry that the labour of my hon. friend for the past year has come to naught to the extent that it has in this case. In a political sense we know of nothing that the hon. member has looked after during the last year except this sawdust wharf proposition. This matter came up in the House of Commons last year on the Estimates, and my hon. friend got some information; but that only whetted his appetite for more, and as soon as he got back to New Brunswick he started off on the search. It is well known that in the month of October he spent about a week in Richibucto and the vicinity in company with Mr. Richard O'Leary for the purpose of obtaining whatever information he could on this subject, and it is very strange that he went to no one els? for information. It is within the memory of many hon. members of this House who are members of the Public Accounts Committee that on the very day the committee was organized my hon. friend was so anxious to give the public the benefit of his year's research that he demanded that the committee be called together for the very purpose of giving him a chance to have subpoenas issued to certain people in New Brunswick to give evidence on this subject. I do not want to impute unfair motives to my hon. friend, but I want to state the facts, because to my mind they are an indication of the spirit with which my hon. friend has approached this matter from the very beginning down to 12 o clock last evening. He knew that in the following week the Minister of Public \\orks would be in the city of Washington and I would b? in New Brunswick attending court. He had this knowledge, because I sent a note to his desk mate, the hon. member for the city of St, John (Mr. Darnel) asking for a pair, and when he called for the investigation of this matter the next week I asked him if he could not Mr. CARVELL.

as a matter of courtesy delay it until after Christmas. He said that it was impossible, because certain of the witnesses could not come after Christmas; and it was only after pleading with him that it was put off for another week. The Minister of Public Works went to Washington and I went to New Brunswick to attend court, and came back for two or three days for the purpose of being at the meeting of the committee. The only witnesses he brought from beginning to end v->re Messrs. Murray and O'Leary, and they came before Christmas and gave their evidence, and could have come after Christmas notwithstanding the statement of my hon. friend that he had to bring this mat-tar on before Christmas, otherwise he could not get these witnesses.

Now that is the spirit in which my hon. friend approached this matter. That is the spirit in which he conducted the examination of the witnesses. That is the spirit in which he approached the matter last evening, and that is the spirit in which he has discussed the matter from the very beginning. As I understood him last evening the case resolved itself into two branches. The first is whether there was any collusion between the Minister of Public Works or any official of his department, and Mr. Murray, in the purchase otf this wharf, and the second is, though my hon. friend tried to slide over it, the value of the property. It may be interesting to some members of the House who have not been members of the committee and who have not followed the discussion, to give a short history of the transaction from the beginning. The village or town of Richibucto is a town of about 1,000 people. It is the shire town of the county of Kent. It is the centre of a large lumbering industry and the centre of the most important fishing industry in the province New Brunswick. There is one railway which enters the town, the Kent Northern railway. It is an independent railway which should be and will be, I hope in the near future, a branch of the Intercolonial railway. The railway enters the town in the rear, and at a point probably a quarter of a mile from the water front. For a number of years there has been a spur running down to what is called the municipal wharf to the water front, but the municipal wharf was only 129 feet in width and when a car was sent down to the wharf, it was impossible to turn it around and lay it alongside the wharf, and any freight to he transhipped from a vessel had to be placed on the wharf and carried around to the car. There is no doubt, however, that the people of Richibucto, the owners of the railway, everybody concerned, were anxious to have these wharf facilities extended for the

transhipment of freight between the water and the railway, and with that object in view, in the month of March, 1908, the Department of Public Works purchased from tire municipality of Kent this wharf that is called the municipal wharf, for which they paid $1,500 and on which they have already expended $5,000 to place it in proper condition. My hon. friend did not hesitate to say yesterday that this wharf was a wharf in a splendid condition, all equipped with a railway track upon it for use, and thought it had only cost $1,500. He used the argument in order to show that the other wharf property with which I will deal later, was not worth nearly so much as the municipal wharf. Now, if the wharf was fully equipped, if it required nothing more to make it a workable wharf, is it reasonable that the Department of Public Works would have spent $5,000 already in order to bring it up to the condition in which it ought to be. More than that my hon. friend made this statetment with the fact staring him in the face that the resident engineer submitted a report that it would require $11,000 to rebuild this *wharf and place it in the condition in which it ought to be. Then there is no doubt that the owners of the Kent Northern railway, with which Mr. T. O. Murray is connected, wanted further accommodation. I am not going to discuss Mr. Murray. He is only a human being and he is doing exactly what hundreds of other people all over the country are doing. He realized that in order to make this railway profitable he must be able to tranship freight from the water to the railway in order to benefit the town of Richibucto. It was necessary to have more wharfage facilities in the town of Richibucto and there is no doubt that he did what he could to secure the additional accommodation. He bought this wharf, this property we are discussing, from Mr. O'Leray, for the sum of $700. Now my hon. friend says because he got this property for that amount of money, and sold it for $5,000 that that is evidence of collusion between him and the department, and evidence of bad faith on the part of every person connected with this transaction, from the minister to Mr. Murray. I do not propose to discuss the question of good or bad faith. So far as the Minister of Public Works is concerned, he is perfectly capable of looking after himself. I do, however, propose to discuss this matter to some extent along the lines of what the evidence adduce in that connection, and then I want to discuss it to some extent along the line of value. My hon. friend contends in the first place that Mr. Murray first went to O'Leary and

wanted to buy the wharf, and then hied himself off to Ottawa and made a trade with the Minister of Public Works. Well, Sir, I am not going to read the evidence as my hon. friend did; I am only going to show-we have on page 6 of this evidence-the positive statement of Mr. Murray that he never spoke to Mr. O'Leary in his life before he went to Ottawa and that what Mr. O'Leary stated about that is untrue, or rather it is a case of bad recollection, if you want to put it in that way. I know my hon. friends will say Murray is a perjurer and therefore that we should not endeavour to give his evidence any credence. Well, before I am through I will try to show without any spirit of animosity to Mr. O'Leary, that Mr. O'Leary's evidence is not worthy of any more credence than is the evidence of Mr. Murray, or half a dozen other gentlemen who have given evidence in the matter. I am sorry Mr. O'Leary finds himself in an unpleasant position at the present time; I am very sorry that Mr. O'Leary has been dragged into the net of my hon. friend (Mr. Crocket) and his friends over this transaction. I can only say that if Mr. O'Leary wishes to hunt with the member for York he must take his share of the game, no matter what it may be. In the province of New Brunswick Mr. O'Leary and my hon. friend (Mr. Crocket) are not getting any sympathy. In fact this matter has become so much of a laughing stock that one witness referred to it as the Richibucto novel.

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CON
LIB

Frank Broadstreet Carvell

Liberal

Mr. CARVELL.

Andrew Loggie. It is called the Richibucto novel because in the opinion of this witness it had a great deal more fiction than fact in it, and I think it is well named. Mr. Murray did go to Ottawa to see the Minister of Public Works on other matters, and he says this question of the wharf was never referred to at all. Later on he bought this property from Mr. O'Leary for the sum of $700 and he at once entered into negotiations with the department to sell it to them. Now, I am not trying to slide that over in any particular whatever. I want to make that just as plain as I can make it, that as soon as he got this wharf he started out to sell it to the department. I have no doubt that when he bought this wharf he bought it in the hope that he might sell it to the department and get better wharfage facilities for the transhipment of freight from the water to the cars. I am not holding up Mr. Murray as immaculate in this transaction.' No man can read the evidence without admitting that Mr. Murray was working for

himself, but I do deny that there was anything corrupt in the transaction so far as the department is concerned. Now I come next to the value of the property. My hon. friend read the evidence last night, as I have already said, for nearly three and a half hours, but it is a remarkable thing and it must have taken a great deal of research on his part to have been able to read so much evidence and studiously avoid referring to the value of this property, except in the evidence of Mr. O'Leary. It is another remarkable fact-my hon. friend had the whole resources of the government at his back in order to bring witnesses from any portion of the Dominion to prove the value of this property if he wanted to, and yet he never brought a solitary individual here except Richard O'Leary, and I think his brother, to give a word of evidence. There were seven or eight gentlemen from the county of Kent brought here, most of them by my hon. friend. Among them was Mr. James, who was Mr. O'Leary's'personal attorney. And my hon. friend examined, and cross-examined and re-examined every one of these gentlemen, and not one of them gave any | evidence to support his theory except Mr. O'Leary. And, in the case of Mr. James, who was his own witness and who, no doubt, to a very large extent is under the control and influence of Mr. O'Leary, he never dared ask him one question as to the value of the property. And Mr. James gave evidence and left the witness box without having been asked a question as to the value.

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CON
LIB

Frank Broadstreet Carvell

Liberal

Mr. CARVELL.

My hon. friend (Mr. Meighen) I think has had enough experience in law never to fool with a bumble bee. If you have a witness who, you are pretty sure, is against you, it is good enough tactics to leave him alone. I am not giving away any secrets of the profession, I think, in making that statement. The hon. gentleman (Mr. Meighen) will understand pretty well why I did not ask him. But I might retort, why did not my hon. friend (Mr. Meighen) ask him ?

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CON
LIB

Frank Broadstreet Carvell

Liberal

Mr. CARVELL.

That was his neglect- he should have been there. Now, we have the evidence of five or six gentlemen some of whom my hon. friend (Mr. Crocket) will say, are prejudiced, but some of whom he cannot say are prejudiced. And I propose to refer briefly to the evidence of these gentlemen as to the value of this property. The first is Mr. Wm. D. Carter. Now, Mr. Wm. D. Carter is a friend of Mr. Murray. He is a prominent Liberal in the countv of Mr. CARVELL.

Kent, and is not ashamed of it. He is a member of the executive committee of the Liberal party in the county of Kent. But Mr. Wm. D. Carter is as independent an attorney as is at the bar of New Brunswick to-day and a gentleman whom even my hon. friend from York (Mr. (Crocket) would not dare to besmirch in his native province of New Brunswick, and whom, I am glad to say, he did not say very much against in his tirade against almost everybody connected with this transaction. I refer especially to page 104, and I will read very briefly from this evidence. Mr. Carter was. asked about the value of this wharf :

Q. If you wanted it for business purposes, you would consider it worth $5,000 ?-A. I would, it is a wharf that could not be built for that if a man wanted it.

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CON

John Dowsley Reid

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. J. D. REID.

That is no evidence of its present value.

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LIB

Frank Broadstreet Carvell

Liberal

Mr. CARVELL.

I think that if the hon. member (Mr. J. D. Reid) will read this evidence carefully, he will get enough to satisfy him as to his present value. I refer also to pages 106 and 107, where Mr. Carter gives a description of the wharf :

With the facing I should say that it is a good wharf.

Q. With the facing you would say that it was a good wharf ?-A. Yes, with the repairs that would naturally have to be made and the facing.

Q. Do you tell me that, Mr. Carter ?-A. I do.

Q. That that wharf is a good wharf to-dav with the facing?-A. I said with repairs and facing it would be a good wharf.

Q. Have you been on that wharf this last year?-A. Oh, yes, I have.

Q. Is not that wharf full of holes? Is it not composed of decayed sawdust, so that if you step on any part of it you are not certain that you may not go through?-A. No, I do not say that. Inside where the old saw-mill was filled in between the crib-work with decayed sawdust. On the outside, as far as I can remember-I have not examined this particularly in order to tell 3ou-but my recollection is that outside it is ballast.

Q. Outside?-A. Yes, and what is more, it was stated here, as I understand it, that the outside

(J. That is under water?-A. No. It is the highest wharf in town, the outside of it

Q. The highest wharf in town?-A. Yes.

Q. Did you hear Mr. Stead yesterday state that he had reported to the department in his official statement that this wharf was washed away ?-A.' That would be down

My hon. friend (Mr. Crocket) as usual, interrupted.

Q. Down to low water level?-A. That is not so. Along the edge may be, but there is a place inside where they 'keep boats and that sort of thing. In high tide-and we

had the highest tide there probably a couple of mouths ago that we have had for some time-the other wharfs were submerged, and that inside was submerged, but the part outside was above the level.

There is the 'evidence of Mr. Carter, a gentleman who will not prejure himself and has no interest in doing so, who states facts which any man can prove by going there-that this is the highest wharf in town, that the outside is a solid gravel bank which is washed away down to low water, and, as I will read in a moment, below the water there must be crib work, because there is ballast which has been discharged for years from vessels coming with lumber, so that all you have to do is to dredge away the ballast in front of the wharf and you have a wharf with thirteen or fourteen feet of water, filled with ballast, and extending soma hundreds of feet. Here is the evidence at page 109, the answer being to a question by the hon. member for Northumberland (Mr. Loggia):

Q. And you ooulld bring vessels drawing a considerable depth of water and load them there when within reach of the wharf with 15 or 18 feet of cribwork-originally there must have been 15 or 18 feet of water there?-A. I could not say as to that, but originally it must have been built up with cribwork or the ballast would not have been there.

Q. The ballast has fallen out over the ether portion of the cribwork, and it woull appear as the shore?-A. Yes, that is it.

Q. But if you look below the water, why you have 13 or 14 feet of cribwork along 600 or 700 feet of water front?-A. I could not tell you anything about it, all that 1 know is that the cribwork must have been there, because the ballast is there, and the crib-work could not get away while the ballast is there.

Q. And if it were washed away by easterly storms in a block it would show up along the shore farther up?-A. I would t hink so.

Q. Did you ever see any portion of it along the shore after a storm?-A. No, I do not remember doing so.

Q. There is no evidence, except that it is not in sight at low water, but that it is there still?-A. I think so.

There is the evidence of a gentleman, whether interested or not, as to the condition of the wharf at that time.

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CON

Richard Blain

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BLAIN.

Was not the wharf in the same condition when it was sold for $700 ? And why did not the government buy if for $700 ?

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LIB

Frank Broadstreet Carvell

Liberal

Mr. CARVELL.

It was practically in the same condition, except that Mr. O'Leary, after the sale, had carted away some hundreds of loads of ballast and put it on his own wharf. Why did not the government buy it for that ? Surely, the hon. member is not sincere; he knows they could not buy it for that.

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CON

April 21, 1910