July 28, 1911

LIB

Morley Currie

Liberal

Mr. CURRIE (Simcoe).

The hon. member for Centre York (Mr. Wallace) read that part along with the rest of this return of correspondence of E. J. Walsh and the minister of the Department of Railways and Canals in regard to the Newmarket canal. At page 24 and 25, it says :

The only approach to politics was in connection with a certain appointment to the survey parties, wherein I was officially instructed to apply to the person controlling the 'patronage' for any local appointment; when, for instance, the party was being organized for the survey of the Trent canal route from Rice lake to Trenton, in October, 1904, I was told to apply to Hon. G. P. Graham of Brockville (' organizer of the Liberal party for eastern Ontario '); and having done so was referred by him to Messrs. D. O. Lott, of Anson, Ont., and John Douglas, of Warkworth, Ont., liberal candidate for West Hastings and East Northumberland, respectively, &c.

Here we have the grand sultan of the party, who dispenses the patronage, the Liberal organizer for eastern Ontario, the Hon. G. P. Graham. And here is his grand vizier, Byron O. Lott, who is now a fugitive from justice for bringing into this country bogus ballot boxes , and endeavouring to steal the franchise of the people. When the people, and especially the people of Ontario, vote upon the record of this government, they will have in mind this famous Newmarket canal, and will deal out to the Minister of Justice the justice to which he is entitled. And I feel confident that the verdict will be ' guilty,' and there will be no recommendation to mercy.

At one o'clock the House took recess.

The House resumed at three o'clock.

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LIB

Morley Currie

Liberal

Mr. CURRIE (iSimcoe).

When the House rose, I was referring to the question of the influence 'and the work of the Minister of Justice (Sir Allen Ayles-worth), and was giving a brief biography of his political life. It would not be fitting did I not add a gem to the collection, which has been presented to the public in the form of a letter written by Mr. H. H. Dewart, entitled "The. Political Situation-A Study in Cause and Effect." This letter appeared in the ' Toronto Globe ' of Wednesday, April 27, 1910. Mr. Dewart is a colleague of the honourable Minister of Justice (Sir Allen Ajlesworth), and he is to be a candidate,-yes, and a victim, in 'Central York. He was one of the disgruntled members of the Liberal party, and on this occasion he broke loose, somewhat violently, in the columns of the * Globe,' and in the course of his letter, he paid his compliments to the Minister of Justice. I do not think I can do better than place on record what Mr. Dewart has to say Mr. CURRIE (iSimcoe).

of the Minister of Justice. I will not read the beginning of the article, because it has no reference to the Minister, but I will take it up where he begins to speak of my hon. friend:

Yet the Liberal party in Ontario to-day, while strong in its constructive policy, is lamentably -weak in the matter of organization. Take the district of which the city of Toronto is the centre. Of sporadic and spasmodic activity at election times we have plenty; of the systematic organization that results in local educational work we have next to nothing. Victories cannot be won by shouting and bustling about for four weeks before an election. We need the organized and constant application of directed energies. Now, with regard ito the men who have done their best to galvanize the Liberal workers into an organization at election times and who have accepted office in the Toronto Reform association, often against their will and at considerable personal sacrifice, I protest against their being pilloried now. They have done their .best. The fault does not lie with them. They have done wonders in a centre of active Conservative organization and society influence like Toronto.

Where then must the responsibility be laid? It must surely be laid at the door of those ministers of the Crown who have failed to provide the directing power. A commander in chief, even if he be as brilliant and skilful as Sir Wilfrid Lanrier undoubtedly is, cannot be expected to achieve the success that he should without able tacticians between himself and the men in the ranks. Hon. Charles Murphy and Hon. Mackenzie King have not had a chance to earn their spurs as organizers, but they will be expected to do so It is a notorious fact that in the campaign of 1908 there was not a solitary minister of the Crown in the province of Ontario west of Brockville who was of the least value to the Liberal organization as an informing, energizing or directing force. In the Toronto district our only representative in the Commons is the Minister of Justice. None of our six senators can now be reckoned on in the matter of organization.

We find a different state of affairs in the provinces to the east. Their ministers of the Crown, and even senators, not only perform their administrative and parliamentary duties as well, but also 'take charge of their districts, feel the pulse of the people, bring informed minds to the consideration of political issues and see that the latent forces of Liberalism are brought into a political organization that means something. Analyse the returns in the province of Quebec and you will see that behind the personality of Sir Wilfrid there is the organized effort that spells out success in close ridings.

Constituencies in western Ontario can figure out this problem for themselves and make their own application. But I know that in the city of Toronto and surrounding ridings we have suffered and are suffering as a party because the minister^ who is supposed to represent this district is not a political force or even a factor in organization. A district or even a constituency may be lost if featherweight advisers are the main sources

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from which knowledge of political conditions is derived. The local minister should be at least the mouthpiece through which the political views or needs^ of the district are expressed. There are important views relating to the immigration policy, as it affects us locally, to be expressed. Large questions relating to the expenditure of moneys on public works have to be considered. Other departmental matters of importance require solution. The consideration locally that these matters have received and to which they are entitled is due in nearly every instance to the direct representations made by active Liberal workers to the minister in charge of the department interested. Surely the public at large are justified in expecting the directing force of the Minister of Justice in these matters of local policy, just as much as Liberals are in matters of political organization. If our policy is sound and our views are right, as we believe them to be, the party leader who sees to it that organized effort and wise direction are brought to bear to achieve success performs a public as well as a party service.

I am not now entering into the arena to discuss the rightness or wrongness of the attitude of the Minister of Justice regarding matters that more particularly concern his own department. No one questions his pre-eminence 'as leader at the bar of the province or his comprehensive knowledge of the difficult problems of law it has been his duty to consider. The Minister of Justice can maintain and justify his opinions on these matters, stubbornly if need be, and no man better than he. But in view of his recent declaration that he is a ' partisan/ by which I understand him to mean a man of party views in the best sense, every party man has the light to ask why the Minister of Justice does not give effective party service. I maintain that we have the right, both from the political and public point, of view, on ibe ground that I have pointed out, to receive effective direction in public matters and organizing ability in party business from those who are chosen the responsible ministers of the Crown. I have hesitated for some time before expressing these views, but some one should speak out, even at the risk of incurring hostile criticism.

The history of Canada, even since confederation, is not without its political lessons. Sir John Macdonald retained weaklings in liis cabinet that no party could successfullly carry after his decease. Even strong men in the province of Ontario made the fatal mistake of failing to introduce much-needed new blood in time to avert a fatal ending. Politics, after all, should be like any other business in life. It is imperative that the fittest should survive. The country is entitled to the best service of the best men, and political prescience as well as sound executive ability is needed.

That is the opinion of Mr. Dewart on the hon. Minister of Justice (Sir Allen Ayles-worth). I hope the hon. minister likes it.

I might say that recently the hon. minister decided to retire from public life altogether, but a change has come over the spirit of his dreams, and now he seeks to tempt the fates again, and to test the oracle in North York. I want to tell him that 331*

when he does so at the coming election, he will find the answer will be that they do not want to have any more to do with a man of his capacity, narrowness of mind and meanness of spirit.

If the Minister of Justice had had the fairness politically, and the honesty to stand up and take his share of blame for this Newmarket canal instead of seeking to pass the odium on to a man whose shoe laces he is not fit to fasten,, like Sir William Mu/lock, I think even the best sports in North York would be willing to give him some support; but seeing that he is doing nothing but crawling on the question, and at the same time spending vast sums of money there to secure votes, the best minds in that riding are against him, and will record their verdict against him on election day. We all know that in ancient times public men sought public favour by the erection of enormous works of art and beauty with which their names would be forever associated. I would refer to the great monuments of Egypt, the public arches, and other works of art in the ancient city of Rome, and the great works in Constantinople. But I have also observed that the great men who have erected those notable public works with which their names have been associated went down into 'their own pockets and paid for them. Here we find a new rule on the part ox the ministers of the Crown in Canada. They make the public pay for these monuments. The name of the Minister of Justice will go down to posterity associated with a great public work of no use whatever, except as a monument and which will for all time be known as the Great Ayles-w-orth Ditdh.

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CON

Samuel Simpson Sharpe

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SAMUEL SHARPE (Ontario).

that this canal is not a commercial enterprise. It was organized purely for political purposes. The people would tneveT have heard of the canal had' it not been that Herbert Lennox defeated Hon. E. J. Davis, a member of the provincial government when Mr. Davis' normal majority was 700 or 800. When Mr. Lennox succeeded in redeeming that old reform riding of North York in the Obnisexvative cause, then they had to devise means for spending the people's money in order to preserve the constituency to the ranks of the Liberal party. The clouds were gathering and the Liberal party workers in North York had to exercise their brains to devise means of spending the people's money in order to keep the old reform constituency of North York in the party lines. Everybody knows it was not a commercial but a political public work, and we find that notwithstanding the money that was spent in that oonnectioi, public opinion had become aroused over the matter, that the reform party, instead of gaining strength, is going back in that constituency not alone on account of the strong sentiment against reciprocity, but on account of this illegal, extravagant ana criminal expenditure on this public work. When the Minister of Justice announced his withdrawal from public life, and said he would not likely be a candidate in the next election, the executive of North York .met and .selected Mr. T. C. Robinette, a defeated candidate in Toronto and 'an excandidate in Centre York, but they found tfhe sentiment in connection with this illegal expenditure and on reciprocity .so strong that they had to drop Mr. Robinette, and they had to trot out the old war horse again, and keep the Minister of Justice in harness in the vain hope, and expectation of still holding that old time constituency of North York which has a normal Liberal majority of 700 or 800. Now, we find that Mr. Robinette has been side-tracked, he is not a strong enough candidate, and I venture the opinion that even such a prominent man as the Minister of Justice in harness in the vain hope position, with all the laurels he has won in public life, according to the story of his friends, and the expenditure of a great deal of money, weighted down by the opprobium of the Newmarket canal, and the unpopularity of reciprocity, has not the slightest hope of retaining that constituency which will be redeemed in the next election by a young Conservative candidate named Armstrong. The expenditure on the Newmarket canal is condemned not alone in this House, but on every public platform in York. Does anyone imagine for a moment that the hon. member for Centre York would dare to mova a resolution condemning this ex-Mr. SHARPE (Ontario).

penditure in his own county if it was of any use to the people? The mere fact that he brought in a resolution condemning the government in connection with this expenditure proves conclusively that the expenditure is improper, and Contrary to the public interest. We have no less a person than Mr. Archie Campbell, former member for Centre York, and now senator, at a Liberal convention in 1909 condemning this expenditure in no measured terms. What did Mr. Campbell say:

Some of the money was probably not expended in the best interests, he said, speaking generally.

The Conservatives point to the canal at Newmarket and call it the 'Aylesworth ditch' and say it is monstrous.

I'm free to say that if this should take place now, and with the knowledge that we have now, we probably would not have gone into it.

What kind of administration Is it that will launch ithe country on an expenditure of from one to two million dollars, burdening this country annually with a charge of $100,000 or $150,000 without first getting 'an estimate iais to the expenditure on a public nuisance such as this? It has been suggested by

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And Mr. T. C.@

Robinette was there, and Dr. McLean, ex-M.P., was there, and Mr. F. G.. Inwood, Liberal organizer was there, and fifty other Liberals were there, and not a man eaid him nay, and no sound of the waters rushing through the Newmarket canal was heard in the land.

One of the most .serious aspects, and features in connection with this monstrosity is seen when you consider the damages which were paid, and the expenditures from year to year. The expenditures, unlike Hie water in the Newmarket canal, ebb and flow, not with the tide, but with the dates of the elections.

We find in April, 1908, in. which year the election was held, that the money spent amounted to $400; in May, $10,000; in June, $2,000; in July, $10,000; in August, $10,000. Then when the election approached we have in September an expenditure of $26,000, and in October, the month in. which the election was held, $43,000; in November it drops to $22,000, and in December still further to $20,000. This absolutely improper undertaking cannot be characterized by any other terms than as a great breach of trust on the part of the administration. They are supposed to be administering the affairs of this country in the interest of the people, not in the in-

teres! of their political followers. But we find in connection with the land damages that the greatest injustice is being done, not only to the people ol this country by the excessive payments made for the land but by the political partisanship that characterized the assessment of these damages. We find the political supporters and workers of the -government are receiving excessive amounts for their lands, whereas Conservatives 'are receiving imfiinitessimally small am'ounts. There is not the slightest doubt, ini the light of the report of the engineer read by the hon. member for Centre York, that there ought to be a commission of investigation appointed to bring out the true inwardness of this whole rotten institution. I find, in speaking of the ebb and flow, not of the water in the canal but in the expenditures from year to year, that in June 12, 1908, the deputy minister of Railways and Canals', Mr. Butler, writes to A. J. Grant, superintending engineer, and wants to know if he has made any soundings to see if there, is any water for the canal. Whoever heard tell of a government beginning a great public work by the construction of a canal, spending thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars before they ascertain whether there is going to ibe any water to supply the canal?

Dear Mr. Grant,-What gaugings have you for the water supply for the Newmarket canal? If yon have not already taken a number, I would like you to run a series of them over the whole of this season to make sure of the water supply that will be available on tbat canal. [DOT] [DOT]

This was months after the work had been inaugurated and expenses incurred on this farcical undertaking. Then we have Mr. Grant's report of June 17, 1908, which is a marvel of its kind. He sa/o:

Water measurements taken during 1907, south of Newmarket, on the east branch of the Holland river: July, 369 cubic feet per minute; August, 315; September, 654; October, 477; November, 885.

Now when you consider that the average water wagon that is driven on the streets contains about 150 gallons of water, you can Imagine the terrific force of this current. So much for these reports, so much for this business administration, and so much for the quality of statesmanship that we see exhibited, the same kind as we have seen exhibited in the negotiations for reciprocity with the United States. If this is a sample of the business acumen which characterizes the present administration, no wonder the people suspect the reciprocity pact. I would respectfully suggest to the Minister of Public Works, to the Minister of Railways and Canals, to the Minister of Finance, and even to- the Prime Minister himself, that it would be a splendid diversion if they would organize a picnic up there, and take the whole House of Commons up to the Newmarket canal in order to exhibit this great public work. I can assure you, Mr. Speaker, that the members would not require long rubber boots, nor life preservers, nor even bathing suits, because there is not sufficient water in that canal with which they may even moisten their lips. Such an excursion would relieve the weariness of our efforts here, and give us a day of needed recreation. And while the members of the House of Commons who participated in that excursion would not find any water, or any prospects of traffic, they would see stone heaps. They would see no stones on the farms adjoining this canal, because they have all been purchased within a radius of twenty-five miles, at so much per cord, and piled up along the canal, purchased during election time. It has been suggested that this bulwark of stones was placed along the canal in- order to prevent it from floating away. I do not, however, attribute that motive to those who purchased the stone, but I do say that if the members of this House will take the trouble to go there they will see municipal steel bridges -constructed in the different municipalities on the roads adjoining the Newmarket canal. Why the necessity for municipal bridges? Do these municipalities want public money spent to relieve them from building their own bridges? They were built in conjunction with the canal, although not necessary for the canal. These bridge's were constructed for the benefit of the various municipalities', three or four beautiful bridges, beautiful in design, beautiful in structure, beautiful iron bridges, which cost upward of $30;000 each. That is the reason why this expenditure has been incurred, in order that the people residing in that constituency might be relieved of their proper and reasonable expenditure on their own public undertakings.

I said that I was going to say something about the land damages. I have a report in my hand made by a reporter of a Toronto newspaper who went up to Newmarket to investigate the conditions surrounding this canal. It is dated June 9, and he says:

When the happenings of the federal elections last October were being chronicled, North York was not given the attention that it warranted. Perhaps it was because there were over 200 others in Canada at the time that a most interesting side line of Hon. A. B. Aylesmorth's campaign was overlooked. This was unfortunate, as it threw a strong light on the kindly, helpful impulses that determines the conduct of the Minister of Justice in those days of political stress.

Speaking of land damages and prices paid for holdings along the canal banks, he says:

Sometimes they were prompted to soothe the damaged feelings hy recompensing the owner for his loss hy allowing him as much for twenty acres as he had paid for eighty.

And I want to tell you, Mr. Speaker, that the damages were assessed by two partisan political supporters of the Minister of Justice. They went from place to place, from farm to farm awarding damages, and one of -them was the defeated candidate. The defeated candidate had the cheques with him, I presume with a view to influencing the owners of property before they received their cheques. One man who had thirty acres received more than double what he paid for it, clearing $1,500.

Feelings seemed to rule, and so it is not surprising that when some Conservatives were being dealt with, try as they would, generosity could not be called so suddenly into play. They had to struggle against life long convictions, many of them longer, for they were hereditary.

Accordingly it happened that when the farms of Mr. W. C. Howard, one of the most prominent of Liberal workers, and Mr. Henry Hulse, one. of the most prominent Conservative workers, stood side hy side, the damages must needs be different. For 18.97 acres Mr. Howard's damages were set at $1,725; for 20.07 acres, Mr. Hulse's, at $300. Mr. Howard accepted his award, Mr. Hulse did not.

The Liberal received about six times more for his holding than the Conservative was offered for about the same area.

Herein might the moralist find a text to discourse upon the painful strength that party affiliations exert upon the conduct of human beings.

And so on. There are other examples to which I would direct the attention of the House as they are most interesting. The Toronto 'News' sent its reporter out and he made several reports. He said that the valuators were either dishonest or the assessors wrong.

Startling Difference in Official Evidence of Value of Land.

Here are some of the comparisons.

Below are given some of the assessment figures with the price paid by the government valuators:

No. acres. Value.

Sarah Deene-

Assessment 216 $7,900

Sold for right of way. 40.2 5,000

J. W. Bramuer-

Assessment 60 2,300

Sold for right of way. 6.26 812

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Mrs. E.@

Bramner-

Assessment 88 2,700

Sold for right of way. 5.92 600

The next is Mr. C. E. Lundy, and this is a most remarkable case. Mr. C. E. Lundy who was one of the assessors appointed to fix the values of land and the damages in Mr. SHARPE (Ontariol

respect to other people's property received an extraordinary price for his property and an extraordinary amount for his damages. They called in an engineer of the engineering department to fix the value of his land and estimate the damages in respect to his property. I direct your attention to the extraordinary figures:

C. E. Lundy- No. acres. Value.

Assessment 34 $ 500

Sold for right of way. 26.1 3,100

Can you imagine such a state of affairs existing? Is in any wonder that this paper is characterizing the valuator's conduct as being dishonest or the municipality's assessor 'as beitag wirong in. his 'assessment? Mr. Lundy, one of the party workers in North York and one of the assessors to assess the damages and fix the value of the land of other parties, has 34 acres upon which he is assessed $500, and he sold for the right-of-way 26 acres and received $3,100 for those 26 acres.

No. acres. Value.

Marv Williams and W. C.

Howard- Assessment 166 200Sold for right of way. Frank Kelly- 20.2 2,400Assessment 95 3,000Sold for right of way. Henry Hulse- 16.07 2,000Assessment 166 6,000Sold for right of way. John Ritchie- 20.2 2,000Assessment 8 400Sold for right of way. 6.9 1,200

This gentleman has eight acres assessed for $400 but he sells for right-of-way, and the cheques are delivered on the eve of election 6-9 acres for $1,200. Can language be found that is adequate to characterize such administration? The expenditure is monstrous and the work is a gigantic farce. I had occasion upon the date of Mr. Lennox's picnic in the constituency of North York to characterize it as a gigantic farce. It is nothing short of criminal. I could show instance after instance where you have the same kind of political partisanship characterizing the assessors in their assessment of land damages and land values. But, I think, Mr. Speaker, the last stage of public condemnation is reached when the newspaper men start to write limericks about any undertaking. Public opinion upon being aroused finds expression in various ways but the last ditch is reached- Some hon. MEMBERS. Oh, oh.

Mr. SHARPE (Ontario)-the last ditch is reached when the writers commence to pen limericks:

A dear little maiden named Sal Strolled along the Newmarket canal.

She fell in with a thud, ;

And stuck fast in the mud,

That smothered the life out of Sal.

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CON

William Henry Sharpe

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. W. H. SHARPE (Lisgar).

Mr. Speaker, I do not intend to say anything on this subject, but if the Minister of Public Works had been in his place I would like to have asked him a few questions in connection with some public works in Western Canada. In 1904 they started to build a wharf at St. Laurent in the province of Manitoba and I would like to know why this work was started. I would like to know how many people it will serve or who will be benefited by it in any way, shape or form. I do not wish to take up the time of the House in connection with this matter of the Aylesworth ditch as it has been gone into very fully, but there were a few remarks dropped by the hon. Minister of Justice (Sir Allen Aylesworth) in connection with the impending elections. He grew very furious, made a very vicious threat across the floor of the House, and said that in a very few days we would he face to face with the people of Canada. I suppose he meant by that that we would be brought to an account before public opinion throughout Canada. I wish to say a few words in connection with Western Canada. I do believe that if the idea of the right hon. First Minister (Sir Wilfrid Laurierd had prevailed in the Cabinet, and that at the moment this reciprocity question was launched they had gone to the people they would have swept western Canada, but I want to tell the government to-day that after the people of western Canada have heard the other side of the question we from western Canada are ready for the fight at any time. I have no hesitation in predicting right now that in so far as western Canada, and in so far as the western members are concerned west of the lakes, we will come back with a bigger majority than we have at the present time.

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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

Mr. Speaker, Canada is a big country, and when public works are .being carried on in different parts of the country it is not possible that every member of parliament or every minister of the Crown can have a personal knowledge of them. So I must frankly say that I have no personal knowledge about the Newmarket canal. I do not rise for the purpose of attempting to contribute to the House any information based upon my own knowledge. I only rise for the purpose of placing on 'Hansard' one or two newspaper extracts. We have been allowing our hon. friends opposite, or they have been claiming, the privilege of occupying very many hours in delving into the newspapers in the library and perhaps, that being the case, they will not object if I should occupy about five minutes as the result of a similar study.

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Some hon. MEMBERS

No objection.

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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

I am obliged to my hon. friends. The complaint about the Newmarket canal is not merely that too much money has been spent, or that some one got too much money for his land, but that the canal never should have been constructed. And to use the words of one hon. gentleman opposite: it was simply a scheme of the Liberal workers of North York to keep the Liberals in power. Now,

I hold in my hand an extract from the Toronto ' Globe.'

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An hon. MEMBER.

That's good.

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LIB
?

An hon. MEMBER.

Hang on to it.

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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

The 'Globe' will do some hanging for my hon. friend.

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CON
LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

If my hon. friend will be patient, the ' Globe ' will help him through in that. This extract is from the Toronto ' Globe,' February 23, 1905. The first head line is: 'For the Waterway.'

The second heading is ' North York Deputation Interview the Government,' ' Advantages of the Scheme ably Presented,' ' The boon of Competition in Rates.'

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An hon. MEMBER.

Where to?

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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

I will give the hon. gentleman the information later, but just now I am only reading what the ' Globe ' reporter says.

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CON
LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

That was not when the editor of the ' Globe ' was doing vood work in Washington, but he does good work in many places.

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CON

July 28, 1911