Hon. FRANK OLIVER (Minister of the Interior).
Mr. Speaker, before the orders of the day are called I desire to read an Ottawa dispatch which appeared in the Toronto * World ' of Friday morning last. The dispatch is as follows:
Ottawa, April 27 (Special).-The sensatioaal charges made by a Toronto newspaper against one of the ministers of the federal government Mr. FISHER.
at Ottawa was no surprise here. The facts of the case have been pretty well known for some time and it is expected that the matter will come up in parliament at an early date.
It is understood that Hon. Frank Oliver Is the minister against whom the charge is made. The story at Ottawa is that Mr. Oliver had an order in council passed on May 8, 1907, giving the Canadian Northern railway the power to select in Saskatchewan the whole of the land granted by the government to the Manitoba and Southeastern, which is the Canadian Northern in Manitoba, in 1890, in all 600,000 acres. In 1907, there were no lands left in Manitoba, it was alleged, and the company was given the right to select its lands in Saskatchewan. ,
In the same year, $50,000 was deposited from the Manhattan Bank of New York to the Imperial Bank at Edmonton in the name of Mr. Oliver. The exact date was October 3, 1907. About one year later, just before the general election of 1908, the sum of $19,000 was deposited from the Manhattan Bank in the name of Mr. Oliver at the Imperial Bank at Edmonton. It is known that he chequed out this money for campaign purposes.
It will be observed that without making a direct statement the dispatch- gives currency to two separate rumours or reports, one relating to a transaction affecting the land grant of the Manitoba Southeastern Railway Company, and the other relating to an account kept in my name in the Imperial Bank of Edmonton. No connection between the land transaction and the bank account is alleged or inferred in words, but there can be no doubt that the two paragraphs have been placed together for the purpose of creating an impression in the public mind that there is some connection -and an improper connection-between them.
So that there may be no misunderstanding of my position I desire to state without qualification that there is no foundation for such an insinuation. In regard to the land transaction mentioned, I desire to say that the action taken by the government was on my recommendation, and that I made the recommendation in pursuance of what I believed to be sound public policy and with due regard to the public interest, and that I received no money, or other consideration for having made that recommendation, or in any way in connection with it. Although no specific charge has been made, I desire that the fullest opportunity shall be given to lay such a charge. I would, therefore, respectfully ask that a special committee may be appointed to hear and inquire into any charge that may be made in connection with the transaction mentioned.
Subtopic: FRANK OLIVER,