January 20, 1911

LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

I could not catch the name of the newspaper which my hon. friend quoted, but I noticed it said that at present the government were very busy with very large questions affecting the tariff, reciprocity, the preparation of the naval service and so on. All this is true, and therefore, my hon. friend should not be surprised that when the government has to deal with such important questions, the appointment to the Senate should have been overlooked.

Topic:   SUPPLY-CLOTHING OF DISCHARGED CONVICTS.
Subtopic:   VACANCIES IN SENATE AND SUPREME COURT, PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND.
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CON

Austin Levi Fraser

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FRASER.

But it is nearly two years since.

Topic:   SUPPLY-CLOTHING OF DISCHARGED CONVICTS.
Subtopic:   VACANCIES IN SENATE AND SUPREME COURT, PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND.
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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

The delay has been long, and my hon. friend, therefore, may have some cause for his remarks. So far as the Supreme Court vacancy is concerned it is only within the last few weeks that the resignation of Judge Hodgson has deprived the province of the valuable services of so able a judge. I can assure my hon. friend that the appointment will be made at a very early date.

Topic:   SUPPLY-CLOTHING OF DISCHARGED CONVICTS.
Subtopic:   VACANCIES IN SENATE AND SUPREME COURT, PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND.
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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

I do not think that for many years I have heard a more effective, a more sensible, and in a way a more cutting appeal made to the leader of the government than that made by my hon. friend from Prince Edward Island. In 1 language well chosen, and simple in its form, without any shadow of exaggeration or party bias, the hon. gentleman (Mr. Fraser) placed the grievances of one of the provinces of this country before the House and the Prime Minister. If the purpose of having a Senate in this country is the one generally supposed, namely, to protect the minority provinces, all the greater oare should be taken not to deprive the smaller provinces of that protection which the constitution meant to guarantee them. And, yet in the province of Prince Edward Island its senatorial force has been cut in two, and the place of one of its ablest

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senators taken away nearly two years ago has not been filled by the government. The services of the late Senator Ferguson were of great value to the island,, and the services of a worthy successor to him would also be of great value. The Prime Minister read his own condemnation when he said that the best reason that was given why the vacancy had not been filled was that important and weighty questions were before the government. That excuse might avail if he thinks that the government has to do altogether with legislation, and that the House of parliament have no part in it. But the greater the gravity of the questions before the government, and which must afterwards come before the House, the greater the reason why the provinces should not be shorn of their rightful representation. That was a very suggestive paragraph in the extracts read by my hon. friend (Mr. Fraser) which stated that in the days of Rome seats in the Senate were put up at auction, and the question was asked how much better is it to-day? Has the Prime Minister given any good reason why the senatorship has not been filled in the province of Prince Edward Island? If for instance you have a battalion, and a certain part of it is for any reason shorn of a portion of its strength, and there are vacancies in another part of the battalion is not the weakness in one part an added reason why the vacancies in the other part should be filled. So it is with this present case. Prince Edward Island is vitally interested in the question of the fisheries and vitally interested in the question of our trade policy, and yet its representation in parliament is depleted. The Prime Minister was appealed to by my hon. friend and no answer has been given by the Prime Minister for neglect of his constitutional duty. He has a little more reason in the matter of the judgeship because the resignation of Justice Hodgson is recent, but in the matter of the senatorship, is there any other reason at all than that the warring elements in Prince Edward Island have not yet come to a conclusion as to whom the spoil should be given. Is not that the reason, and is there any other reason at all?

Topic:   SUPPLY-CLOTHING OF DISCHARGED CONVICTS.
Subtopic:   VACANCIES IN SENATE AND SUPREME COURT, PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND.
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CON

Austin Levi Fraser

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FRASER.

I wish to ask the Prime Minister if it is the intention of the government to also appoint the senator in a very short time?

Topic:   SUPPLY-CLOTHING OF DISCHARGED CONVICTS.
Subtopic:   VACANCIES IN SENATE AND SUPREME COURT, PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND.
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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

Yes.

Topic:   SUPPLY-CLOTHING OF DISCHARGED CONVICTS.
Subtopic:   VACANCIES IN SENATE AND SUPREME COURT, PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND.
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NEW DEPARTMENTAL BUILDINGS.

CON

Richard Stuart Lake

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. S. LAKE (Qu'Appelle).

The following item appeared in the Ottawa ' Citizen ' of yesterday which I think is worthy of consideration, and as to which I wish to ask for some information :

Topic:   SUPPLY-CLOTHING OF DISCHARGED CONVICTS.
Subtopic:   NEW DEPARTMENTAL BUILDINGS.
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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

The work of demolishing the buildings on Sussex street where the new departmental block is to be located is progressing. It was stated at the Department of Public Works today that the new plans are practically finished and at present the specifications are in course of preparation. It is intended to call for bids within a few weeks or in good time to allow for the commencement of operations in the spring. A substantial vote for the purpose appears in the main estimates. The plan has been altered materially through a story being taken off the building, while it has also been made narrower. The tower and top ornamentation has also been changed. The total cost will likely be about three and a half millions and big contractors from all over the Dominion have been making inquiries with a view of submitting tenders.

This indicates most important alterations in the new plans for the new departmental buildings. I do not profess to have any particular knowledge on a question of this kind, but I think we all look upon these public buildings in Ottawa as a national asset, and desire to see them worthy of this great Dominion. We aro very proud of the buildings in which we sit at the present moment ; they constitute a beautiful block, and are well worthy their position as the seat of legislation for this Dominion. But, since the days in which these buildings were erected it appears to me there has been a gradual deterioration. The Langevin block is a dignified structure although it is not in harmony with the other buildings on these grounds, but from the parliamentary block down to the mint, and the archives buildings there is a very great descent indeed. The archives building with its cardboard battlements, and its altogether flimsy appearance is in no way worthy of the Dominion. Even the Victoria 'ipuseum, although it has considerable dignity on account of its size, appears to lack many details which might have been supplied had competent expert architects passed upon the designs. I consider that the architects of the present day, generally speaking, are on just as high a level as those of the past, and we have a pretty good example of modern architecture in the splendid building which is being erected by the Grand Trunk Railway Company in Ottawa. I cannot help but think that with a proper effort the new departmental buildings could be made just as well suited to occupy the position they will hold in the Capital of the Dominion, as are the parliamentary buildings. Some years ago when this question was first brought up the House understood that following the precedent adopted elsewhere a competition was to be held for the purpose of obtaining the best designs possible from architects all over the world, but the prizes offered were hardly large enough to bring out the very best efforts of able architects. A year or two ago when the Lon-

don county council purposed erecting new buildings they offered an enormous prize, and I understand the designs submitted provide for buildings quite worthy of the purposes for which they are intended. What has been done in connection with this competition? Have the prizes been awarded, and is the successful competitor to be entrusted with the new building?

Topic:   SUPPLY-CLOTHING OF DISCHARGED CONVICTS.
Subtopic:   NEW DEPARTMENTAL BUILDINGS.
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LIB

William Pugsley (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY.

Prizes were awarded by the committee entrusted with the consideration of the plans and awarding of prizes, but the department did not decide to accept any of the plans, and plans have been prepared by the architectural staff of the department under the direction of the chief architect.

Topic:   SUPPLY-CLOTHING OF DISCHARGED CONVICTS.
Subtopic:   NEW DEPARTMENTAL BUILDINGS.
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CON

Richard Stuart Lake

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LAKE.

Are these designs to be submitted to a body of experts before tenders are called for, as indicated by this article?

Topic:   SUPPLY-CLOTHING OF DISCHARGED CONVICTS.
Subtopic:   NEW DEPARTMENTAL BUILDINGS.
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LIB

William Pugsley (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY.

No, except to the experts of the department.

Topic:   SUPPLY-CLOTHING OF DISCHARGED CONVICTS.
Subtopic:   NEW DEPARTMENTAL BUILDINGS.
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CON

Richard Stuart Lake

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LAKE.

This is a most important matter, and it is due to this House and this country that some more inspection should be made of these plans than apparently is proposed by the Minister of Public Works. However good, and however able his architects may be, I do not think it is sufficient simply to put this matter into the hands of one body of men, wo ought to have these plans on exhibition, so that the public at large may see them, may *criticise them and a body of experts should be appointed to look into them. The members should also have an opportunity of seeing the plans and understanding the nature of the building for which they are asked to appropriate this enormous sum of money. As I said, it seems to me, that the last buildings constructed in this city entirely from the designs of the department are not of such a character as in my humble judgment the great public departmental buildings of the Capital of Canada should be.

Topic:   SUPPLY-CLOTHING OF DISCHARGED CONVICTS.
Subtopic:   NEW DEPARTMENTAL BUILDINGS.
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LIB

William Pugsley (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY.

As I have explained, some years ago, before I became minister, competitive designs were invited from Canadian architects. A number of designs were submitted and the committee of architects to whom the plans were referred, decided upon three sets of plans to which the first, second and third prizes were awarded. The plans were all exhibited in the Railway Committee room. After careful consideration, the department decided to adopt none of these plans for reasons which seemed good to the department.

Topic:   SUPPLY-CLOTHING OF DISCHARGED CONVICTS.
Subtopic:   NEW DEPARTMENTAL BUILDINGS.
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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

Was that on the question of style or of cost ?

Topic:   SUPPLY-CLOTHING OF DISCHARGED CONVICTS.
Subtopic:   NEW DEPARTMENTAL BUILDINGS.
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LIB

William Pugsley (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY.

On the question of style of the plans. In the opinion of the department, and I and other members of

the government who saw the plans, entertained the same view, none of these plans were the best that could be devised and it was decided to direct the chief architect to prepare new plans. These plans were exhibited last session.

My hon. friend has referred to an article in the ' Citizen ' about an alteration in the plans. An alteration has been made, and I regretted this, but it was necessary, in view of certain improvements in the nature of a driveway by the Ottawa Improvement Commission. Owing to this driveway it was thought better to preserve Mackenzie avenue as a public highway. In the previous plans, a building was provided to encroach upon or entirely take up Mackenzie avenue. Upon consideration and after hearing the views of the Ottawa Improvement Commission, the government decided that it would be better to leave Mackenzie avenue open as a public highway, as a part of the driveway. That necessitated narrowing the building. Then came the question whether we should leave the building of the same height. It will be understood that in erecting a departmental building of that size, it was desirable to have a well in the centre to afford light to the inner offices.

Topic:   SUPPLY-CLOTHING OF DISCHARGED CONVICTS.
Subtopic:   NEW DEPARTMENTAL BUILDINGS.
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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

What is the width from Mackenzie avenue to Sussex street ?

Topic:   SUPPLY-CLOTHING OF DISCHARGED CONVICTS.
Subtopic:   NEW DEPARTMENTAL BUILDINGS.
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LIB

William Pugsley (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY.

About 200 feet. As we had to narrow the building by about 40 feet in order to leave Mackenzie avenue vacant, it became necessary, in order to give sufficient light to the offices on the well, to reduce the height of the buildings by at least one story. This will greatly improve the building so far as the lighting of the inner offices is concerned. The original plan provided for 7. stories on Sussex street and 6 on Mackenzie avenue. Under the changed plans there will be 6 stories on Sussex street and 5 on Mackenzie avenue.

A word in regard to the architecture of the buildings recently erected by the government. I do not profess to be any more skilled in architecture than by hon. friend, but I think I can safely say that opinions differ very much if my hon. friend's opinion reflects the views of any considerable number of people, because I have heard a good many people speak in terms of high praise of the Archives Building, of the Mint, and more especially of the Victoria Memorial Museum, which is spoken of as being of very beautiful design and one of which the country may well feel proud. My hon. friend speaks of the Grand Trunk hotel, which I think is a very fine building. But I am sure that if it were a public building if would receive a lot of criticism. Many people would say that there is not sufficient ornamentation about it, that it is too plain, and altogether unattractive, and yet

it is a very fine building. I can point my hon. friend to many buildings around the city which are being erected by private individuals under architects of skill and experience, and yet if these were public buildings I am sure they would be strongly criticised. I will not mention any one, but non. gentlemen who have been about the city will no doubt have remarked some of them. At all events, we have thought it best, under all the circumstances, to place the responsibility for this work in the hands of our own staff. I may say to my hon. friend that before we reach the items for public buildings chargeable to capital account, I hope to place the plans upon the table for the inspection of the House.

Topic:   SUPPLY-CLOTHING OF DISCHARGED CONVICTS.
Subtopic:   NEW DEPARTMENTAL BUILDINGS.
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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

The minister might give us an idea of the style of architecture.

Topic:   SUPPLY-CLOTHING OF DISCHARGED CONVICTS.
Subtopic:   NEW DEPARTMENTAL BUILDINGS.
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LIB

William Pugsley (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY.

I have not seen the plans as finally adopted by the chief architect. He has promised to have them ready for me in the course of a few days, when I will bring them before the House.

Topic:   SUPPLY-CLOTHING OF DISCHARGED CONVICTS.
Subtopic:   NEW DEPARTMENTAL BUILDINGS.
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January 20, 1911