April 27, 1911

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An hon. MEMBER.

Who gave that affidavit?

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CON

Wilfrid Bruno Nantel

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. NANTEL.

Mr. Alfred Douaire; a man that you have dismissed. .

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CON

Mr. NANTEL (reading):

Conservative (1867-1942)

7. That during those trying times, one of the head clerks, in the store of the government was suspended, but he threatened to disclose all what he knew against the other officials and he has been reinstated since three

di7S.

8. That the watch word amongst those who feel that they might he affected by the investigation, is to reimburse as quickly as possible the price of the materials and the wages of the men, and as a man cannot he a good judge in his own case, I know one of them who thinks he is as white as snow, because, a few days ago, he sent a few dollars to the government in settlement of an enormous debt.

9. That in the interest of Justice and of the country an investigation is necessary; if it is not granted the losses will be immense.

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LIB

Victor Geoffrion

Liberal

Mr. GEOFFRION.

Is the hon. gentleman not aware that that affidavit is a forgery?

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LIB

Victor Geoffrion

Liberal

Mr. GEOFFRION.

The hon. gentleman makes a mistake. He is alluding to the witness Lambert. *

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CON

Wilfrid Bruno Nantel

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. NANTEL.

The part I am reading is the one I was not allowed to .read before the committee, because it did not concern the hon. member for Richelieu.

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LIB

Gustave Adolphe Turcotte

Liberal

Mr. TURCOTTE.

I rise to a point of order. I ask for the application of rule 20, of the Rules of this House, which says:

Any member may require the question under the discussion to he read at any time of the debate, but not so as to interrupt a member while speaking.

Mr. Speaker. The hon. gentleman is out of order, and I invite him to take his seat.

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CON

Wilfrid Bruno Nantel

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. NANTEL.

I will now read sections 5 and 6. of the affidavit of Alfred Douaire:

5. That during the time that I was in the employ of the government and receiving good 25,1

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?

An hon. MEMBER.

He had a grudge.

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CON

Wilfrid Bruno Nantel

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. NANTEL.

If nobody had grudges, there would never be any investigation, and it is the grudgers that defeat the governments.

I come now to the affidavit of Hermene-gilde Lambert;

1 That I have been in the employ of the Dominion government at their shipyards, situated at St. Joseph de Sorel, from 1900 to 1930, inclusive, that is to say ten consecutive years, the first four years as caulker, and the six last as overseer of labourers. I have given up that work on December 28 last, and have not taken it up since, although, I have been offered an increase of salary of fifteen cents per day.

2. That while I was thus in the service of the said governement, especially within the last three years, Mr. Alex. Gendron, then and still of the labourers' department, head man, and consequently my superior, has often instructed me to send sometimes one, sometimes two and sometimes three of the men under my orders and in my gang to work at Sorel for private parties, especially for Alfred Baril and Oscar Champagne, two high officials at the time, and still in the same department, and for Adelard -Lanetot, M.P., to carry on works and repairs at various buildings.

3. That on receiving these applications, I sent the number of men required to work for the benefit of these persons, and when each foreman was called to give to the head foreman the time of these men, I said to Mr. Alex. Gendron: 'I have one, or two or three men who have been working at Sorel for the above mentioned.' Then Alex. Gendron, when he was present, and Adolphe Joubert, his clerk representing him, when the latter was away, would say: ' Do not mention the absences which go unnoticed; these men have punched and will be paid by the department.'

4. That Mr. 09car Champagne, employed in the government stores, has had turf taken at St Joseph's Pointe to Sorel to grade his property and embellish the grounds around his house at Sorel, which work was done by Andre Cotnoir, a man in the employ of the government, who worked between three and four days, while at the same time having their

ca ids punched every morning and getting their pay from the government, at the knowledge of'the said Oscar Champagne.

5. That in the course of the summer of 1910,

that same Mr. Oscar Champagne caused to he drawn, by the government teams and by men in the government pay,, iron pipes taken from the government and had these carried to Sorel and utilized for a tunnel in a stream going through his property, and that this whole expenditure has been supported by the government, which is the looser in this last instance of about $200. That to my knowledge instructions have been given to the men entrusted with the drawing of the pipes to do so in' such a way that the great Chief Papi-neau should have no knowledge of it. As a matter of fact, the drawing was effected about seven o'clock in the morning previous to Mr. Papineau's arrival. .

6. That in every instance where time or material was thus embezzled, urgent departmental work was interfered with.

7. I am free to acknowledge that Mr. L. G. Papineau (great chief) of the department, is gn honest man.

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LIB

Louis-Philippe Brodeur (Minister of the Naval Service; Minister of Marine and Fisheries)

Liberal

Hon. Mr. BRODEUR.

Who gave that affidavit?

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LIB

Louis-Philippe Brodeur (Minister of the Naval Service; Minister of Marine and Fisheries)

Liberal

Hon. Mr. BRODEUR.

I might inform my hon. friend that that question came before the department some months ago. An investigation was held, and it was proven that the pipes in question had 'been sold to that man by Mr. Papineau himself. That is all the scandal that there is in it.

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CON

Wilfrid Bruno Nantel

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. NANTEL.

If the investigation had not been held ex parte, we could probably get more out of it.

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Hon. Mr. BRODEUR .@

That man Lambert has been dismissed.

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LIB

Louis-Philippe Brodeur (Minister of the Naval Service; Minister of Marine and Fisheries)

Liberal

Hon. Mr. BRODEUR.

I suppose that the hon. gentleman who has just read that Mr. NANTEL

affidavit takes the responsibility of the charge therein, that a man in the employ of the government has worked for the church of St. Joseph?

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CON

Wilfrid Bruno Nantel

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. NANTEL.

I take the responsibility of what I say, but just now I am reading from affidavits that ought to open the eyes of the minister and of the department and urge them to take immediate action.

I charge J.-B. Page with having sent me, Henri Proulx, to Mr. Pierre Paulhus to paint a carriage with paint taken from the store of the government, during the time I was paid by the government; that I was there in the company of J.B. Page, and when the question of the price came up, J.-B. Page said it would cost Mr. Paulhus nothing, as he, Page, liked to help friends; also

I charge J.-B. Page with having lent brushes belonging to the government for painting a hotel and a house, the property of Mr. J. D. Guevremont; also

I charge J.-B. Page with having sent me, Henri Proulx to Mr. Edouard Gauthier's place, to ' imitate ' and varnish three doors with materials belonging to the government and that I have been paid by the government; also

I charge J.-B. Page with granting at least ten days leave to Omer Fortin, so he could organize a demonstration; and with granting a three days leave to F. X. Page, Theodore Hemond, Arthur Peloquin, Alpheche Champagne, Henri Pronlx and myself, to organize the same demonstration, on the time of the government and during the time we were all paid by the government. The said demonstration was on the occasion of_ the 50th anniversary of the said J.-B. Page.

I charge J.-B. Page with having given paint and gold in sheets taken from the government store for the decoration of the hall in which was held, on the 10th August last, the aforesaid celebration; also

T charge J.-B. Page with giving money to Adelard Letendre and sending him to the town to buy liquors, on the time of the government ; also

I charge J.-B. Page with giving orders to two men to break through a window at the building No. 10, on the government dockyards, expecting to find liquors in the building and and have the keeper dismissed.

Delphis Mongeau declares ;

That during the summer of 1910, I saw men in the employ of the federal government carting away, in a wagon belonging to the government, with a horse belonging to the government a certain quantity of iron pipes and cement; that the said articles were deposited at the further end of the property of Mr. Oscar Champagne, also in the employ of the government; that afterwards, the same men laid the said pipes on the button of a brook on the property of the said Champagne, so as to make a drain, a work of considerable importance for the said Mr. Champagne.

Now, here is what Andronique Senecal has to say:

I. Andronique Senecal, carpenter of the city of Sorel, solemnly declare that I have worked

at. the residence of Mr. Oscar Champagne, time keeper, in the Department of Public Works at Sorel, and that I have been paid by the government as it can be shown by a pass for the ferry, signed and delivered by Champagne, on the 3rd May, 1909. One day, I made repairs to doors and cupboards, at his residence; at another time I made repairs to a fence and installed a wire 70 or 75 feet long, on the said fence. I worked there, at least three days.

I further declare that I worked three days at Mr. Adelard Lanctot's residence, to repair the fence and that I have been paid by the government.

I further declare that I worked once at the residence of Alfred Baril, accountant of the Departement of Marine and Fisheries, when he was living above the store of L. T. Trempe. Later I worked at the house were he presently resides, on George Street; Joseph Berard was working with me. We laid carpets and oil cloths, put on mouldings to hang frames, and built a kennel for his dog. I also set the furnitures in place, in the house. We must have worked at least two weeks. 1 declare that during all the time I worked for Champagne, Lanctot and Baril, I was paid by the government. I remember that when I was working for Mr. Baril, it was pay day, and Baril told us that be would get the money for us, himself. He did so, and Baril and myself signed a receipt on a printed form, furnished by the government, the same as the one we have to sign when we are on sick leave.

One more affidavit; it is from Elie Senecal:

. 2. That during the month of September, 1919, one of my customers told me that he would not buy any more cement from me at 65 cents per bag, as he could buy much cheaper at the government store at St. Joseph de Sorel. I immediately called on M. Norman Masse, an official at the government store and asked him if it was true that they were selling cement, and that they had sold high grade cement for 30, 35 and 40 cents per bag. Though I had put that question politely, M. Masse got very mad and told me that it was none of my business, that as long as a liberal government would be in power, himself and the other liberal officials would do as they please, without having to account, &c., &c. '

Up to 111at: time I had always considered M. Masse as a friend of mine," and when I saw him in such a bad humour, I suspected that he had already been annoyed, or expected to be in trouble about that matter, and that there was some truth in it. I called on several contractors and they admitted that they had bought cement from- M. Mass6 at the government store, much cheaper thru 1 was selling it. I notified the federal government of what was going on, and we exchanged several letters that I did not keep on file, except those herein inclosed.

Mr. Cecil Doutre was sent here and made an informal investigation, but took good care not to examine me nor the contractors that are using cement, although they live quite near fhe government store. A few days after that, Mr. Masse was suspended, but he was soon reinstated, because he was threatening to make 2534

damaging disclosures against the other officials. From the above facts, and from other information I have had since, I am in a position to state and I do state that I would not have lost the trade of several customers of mine, during the summer and fall of 1910, if they had not been in a position to buy cement at the government store at a much cheaper price than I could afford to sell mine.

3. I also declare that I was told by Mr. Alfred Desorcy, known also as ' frere Desorcy ' labourer of St. Joseph de Sorel, that in 1910 lie was in the employ of the government, under Mr. Lindsay, foreman of the labourers, and that himself and seven other labourers had loaded two cars of good timber belonging to the government and taken from the dock yards of the government, that the two cars were afterwards coupled to an engine and sent to Mr. Lindsay's place, at Sorel. That statement of Mr. Desorcy, is corroborated by a great number of citizens who declare that the government have lost the price of these two carloads of timber.

4. I declare further that since Mr. Des-barats left, there is an inconceivable lack of discipline and that the time of the men is very loosely kept. It is to my knowledge that Mr. Masse has supervised and directed the repairs to his house, Augusta Street, at Sorel, and has absented himself from the government store during a considerable space of time, on that account. It is to my knowledge that he has done the same thing, in 1910, when he made repairs to his other house on Ramsay Street, at Sorel. It is also to my knowledge that he is interested in the manufacture of cement blocks, at the corner of Augusta and Acadie Streets, at Sorel; that he represents for several insurance companies, and that by reason of these numerous occupations, he deprives the government of a good portion of the time that he should give to his regular duties. It may be said, also, that several other officials, give a good portion of their time to personal business.

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LIB

Louis-Philippe Brodeur (Minister of the Naval Service; Minister of Marine and Fisheries)

Liberal

Hon. Mr. BRODEUR.

As to that man Senecal, I might say to my hon. friend that he was challenged to make good his charges against Masse. Some correspondence took place, and I can show it in this House. Upon being challenged to prove those accusations, he has never been able to do it. We had- an inquiry and that inquiry has shown the contrary.

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April 27, 1911