The only way to get at a company is to know the directors. The only way to indentify a company is through their board of management. I should think
it very essential for parliament to know to whom we are granting this money. We want to know what the character of the company is, and whether this company has a line of boats or not. My own idea is that you are handling this money over to some so-called company, and that, that so-called company charter a boat to go to Annapolis and load a cargo of fruit. They charter that boat whenever they have a cargo of fruit ready for it. The right hon. Prime Minister shakes his head; if he can give me some information on that point I will be very glad.
Sir WILFRID LAURIER, The names of the vessels that are to carry the fruit are mentioned in the contract. This contract has been made with the Acadia Steamship Company of Annapolis Royal.
I do not know the board of directors, but I have a statement in my hand that in the contract the company bind themselves to carry out its terms, and to ship these fruits by the steamships ' Atlantis,' ' Katinka,'
' Katie,' and ' Ada.' The boats are not merely hired for this purpose; the names of the boats are mentioned in the contract itself.
I do not know' anything of the Acadia Steamship Company of Annapolis. I have sent for Lloyd's Register, and we will be able to ascertain in a short time whether they have any such boats or not. But, in the meantime, I will undertake to say, from my knowledge of shipping, that the Acadia Steamship Company of Annapolis do not own any such boats, and I do not know any company which does own any boat which can bo used for the transportation of apples from Annapolis to the old country. Therefore, the company must charter boats to go and make a trip at certain seasons of the year when boats are available for that work. This money can only be handed over to a company, calling themselves by what name they may, and if we hand it over to them we ought to know to whom we are handing it over even if we do not follow the money any further. The hon. Minister of Militia and Defence (Sir Frederick Borden), who is right beside the First Minister, must know the Acadian Steamship Company of Annapolis. I have some men in my mind. For instance there is Mr. Chase who is a large exporter of apples and potatoes from that country. If you could say that Mr. Chase is at the head of any such company I would say it was all right because I know Mr. Chase as everybody does. But not knowing the names of any of the men associated with this company, we are simply voting money when we do not know exactly for what purpose it is going to be used. It may be done with all good intentions.
Then we had better arrange so that I can get that $5,000. I do not know that I am particularly anxious to have it. But, we should know who is going to get this money. To whom did you pay it last year? There must be some man who received this money, and gave a receipt for it. If you give us the name of somebody who got it last year we will have somebody to talk to.
The principal thing we should be anxious about is as to whether this service is a deserving one, whether the people who are performing it are earning the money and whether it is in the public interest. The hon. gentleman (Mr. Crosby) has referred to me. I know there is such a company. I think that one of the men interested in it is Mr. Whitman of Annapolis, and the company is duly chartered. Mr. Whitman is one of the most respectable business men in Nova Scotia, if he is interested, and I think he is. The people in the western part of the Annapolis valley are very much interested in this service. It is beneficial to them. I cannot understand why my hon. friend is so strongly opposed to the people of western Nova Scotia getting some benefit from it.
of the Annapolis valley. I believe that the money paid is earned, and I wish to say that not a dollar of it is paid until it is earned. A contract has been made, that contract is open to tender and it is open to other companies, if they wish to perform this service, to put in tenders. I cannot quite understand why this item should be opposed.
I am neither supporting nor opposing it. I believe in subsidies if they are in the right direction, and if the results are such as to benefit the trade of the country. I see the hon. member for Annapolis (Mr. Pickup) here; he certainly must know who is behind this steamship company. I hold in my hand Lloyd's Register of shipping which has all the ship owners of the world in it. I will hand it over to my hon. friend, and see if he can find this company registered or if he can find them registered as owning any steamers. As a matter of fact I know they do not own any steamers, and I am saying that in the presence of the Minister or Militia, and the representative of the county of Annapolis, and I say without fear of contradiction that this company do not own a single steamer. If that be so is it not fair that we should ask to whom we are paying this money, and to whom this company are going to pay the money. In making reference to the conditions in Halifax I have no desire that anything shall be done detrimental to any other part of the Dominion. I am desirous that everything shall be done to facilitate trade in every part of the Dominion. I referred to the Furness line of steamers which runs from Halifax- I have no doubt that that company could send a steamer to Annapolis to accommodate the apple trade of Nova Scotia, and the western part of Nova Scotia particularly. I know Mr. Whitman to be a very decent and respectable man, and I have not a word to say about him. The Dominion government have bonused more than one man to form a company, but it is not a fair thing to us to vote $5,000 to a so called company. The First Minister tells me that he does not know anything about it although this subsidy has been given for a year or two past. Still, we cannot tell anything about the company.
Perhaps it is well I should explain that this company is composed of farmers, with Mr. Whitman as their secretary, and they charter boats during the season and have done so for the last ten years, on which to ship their apples to Europe. Only a proportion of the subsidy is drawn each year, there being $1,000 allowed for every boat that comes in under charter, and in consequence of this subsidy the farmers in western Nova Scotia, including the counties of Kings and Annapo-Sir FREDERICK BORDEN.
lis are enabled to obtain a cheaper rate for the apples they ship from that part of the country. As low as forty and fifty cents a barrel have been paid as freight, when the rate from Annapolis and Kings county by rail via Halifax to English market was 85 to 90 cents per bbl., thus saving the farmers who avail themselves of the opportunity 30 to 40 cents per bbl. on each cargo of 10,000 barrels which, I think, would justify granting this subsidy. This subsidy is for the purpose of assisting the farmers of that part of the Dominion to get a cheap rate to the old country, They have chartered one or two vessels during the season,-I think four boats is the greatest number they have used in any one year,-and they draw $1,000 for each boat they charter-to the old country. Under this system they have shipped as many as 8,000 or 10,000 barrels on each-boat, so that it only has cost the government ten cents a barrel to grant this very valuable assistance. I do not think any objection can be made to this vote at all. It is as justifiable a subsidy as is granted by this government to any service whether it be from Halifax or St. John or anywhere else.