The cable companies must understand and I have weighed my 'words-that this country intends trading with the mother country. Canada has said so, in a solemn manner, lately. One means of facilitating trade between the two coun
tries is to have an inexpensive means o*f transmitting not only postal matter, but cable matter, and this is most important to the business man of this country. We are a self-governing colony, but we are part and parcel of the British Empire, and it is essential that this premier colony, Canada, [DOT]should have cheap means of cable communication. The cable companies are a monopoly
Topic: SUPPLY.-PASSES ON THE INTERCOLONIAL.
Subtopic: EXTENSION OF THE PARCEL POST SYSTEM.
Mr. PELLETIER-and American companies. I think it is the bounden duty of this government to do something in this respect. I have been asked, as the head of the Post Office Department, to give my views on this matter to a certain number of important newspapers in London, England. I have put it over my signature that we are not satisfied with the present system, and rates although they have been reduced to a great extent, and that we expect better for this country .in future, and that we must and are bound to get a cheaper means of cable communication. My words may appear strong, blit they are not any stronger than I think they ought to be.
On all these important questions I am happy to see that both sides of the House agree in believing that the government will endeavour to, and will succeed in doing its full duty.
Amendment, Mr. Maclean (South York), agreed to.
Mr. MONK moved that the House go into Committee of Supply.
Topic: SUPPLY.-PASSES ON THE INTERCOLONIAL.
Subtopic: EXTENSION OF THE PARCEL POST SYSTEM.
I would call the attention of my hon. friend to the fact that an item which was in the main estimates of the past year for Bathurst harbour improvements has been omitted. I would say to the hon. gentleman that Bathurst harbour is one of very great importance, and T would like to ask whether it has been struck out advisedly.
It was not taken out with the idea of discontinuing the work, but Mr. PELLETIER.
there were a great many demands for improvements, and I believe I suggested^ its taking out myself. It may be taken into consideration for the supplementary estimates. There is no idea of abandoning it completely.
Bathurst harbour is the centre of a very large lumber manufacturing district. I think there are five rivers emptying into it, and each one of these rivers is a source of lumber supply, there being large forest areas on each of them. There are quite a number of mills at Bathurst, in fact, I believe one of the most modern mills in the eastern provinces, if not in the whole of Canada, has been built there recently. At the present time there is very great expense attendant upon the shipment of lumber. The sawn lumber has to be lightered out of the harbour to some distance outside on the roadstead. I believe the cost is something like 75 cents per thousand, which could be saved if the harbour were dredged out so that vessels could come in close to the mills and the lumber be conveniently placed on board.
There is also another very important consideration and that is that within about 18 miles of Bathurst there is a very valuable iron deposit which is being operated by a company formed by the Drummonds. They are shipping their ore at the present time from Newcastle, some 40 or 50 miles away. It has been represented by the company that if Bathurst harour were improved a very considerable portion of the ore would be shipped from there, as it could be done with considerable less expense. I do not think [DOT] the idea is to abandon the shipments from Newcastle altogether, but rather to ship ore from both places. For two years we have been doing dredging in Bathurst. During the past season a government dredge was continuously employed, a special vote being put in for Bathurst harbour. I am glad to hear my hon. friend state that it is not the intention to discontinue the work, but that it will be considered with the supplementary estimates.
It is not intended to abandon the work, because the harbour is an important one, but we have large demands for harbour improvements in New Brunswick, particularly at St, John, consequently we have been obliged to cut off some of them for the present.
I desire to call the attention of the Minister of Public Works (Mr. Monk) to an item in the estimates of last year for a new wharf at Beaumont. I do not know whether tenders for this work have been called for or not. I had some assurance from. the department that, as soon as the plans could be completed they proposed to ask for tenders. Beaumont is in Westmorland county, and the proposed wharf is to be constructed on a site on the Peticodiac river near a very important
building-stone industry, that was in operation at one time, but is not in operation now. In addition to the desirability of having a w'harf there for that industry when it should be revived, there are many other reasons why the people of that locality feel the need of a wharf. The money was voted last year, and I do not recall that it is dropped out of the estimates now before us. The hon. minister knows that timber can be provided for construction more economically in winter than in summer, and therefore it is desirable that tenders should be called for soon.
I can only repeat the fact that an item that appeared in the estimates last year is not in the estimates this year, does not necessarily mean that the government has abandoned the work. We hope, in most cases, even if we do not provide for these works in the supplementary estimates, to take them up as soon as possible. The hon. gentleman (Mr. Emmer-son) knows that it is impossible for successive governments to coincide _ exactly with regard to the urgency of a given list of works. In the case of New Brunswick especially, we have had very large demands, and we are obliged to make considerable provision for the main port, that of St. John. The remarks of my hon. friend (Mr. Emmerson) will not be forgotten, and the work will be taken up as soon as possible.
The practice has been in the past to put in the main estimates items for all works provided for previously and not yet proceeded with, and in the supplementary estimates, items for new works. In the estimates now before us there is n-ot a single new item for New Brunswick in the harbours and rivers vote chargeable to consolidated revenue. On the contrary, whereas during the current year the total vote was $868,390, the total vote for harbours and rivers for New Brunswick chargeable to consolidated revenue for the coming year is $286,925. So, my hon. friend (Mr. Monk), by diligent and, perhaps I could say ingenious, use of the pen, has reduced the vote for New Brunswick in respect to this vote by nearly three-quarters. It is regrettable that these items should be omitted because they had already been provided for, and it would have been so easy for my hon. friend to have proceeded with these works. For instance, there was a vote for a breakwater at Oastalia. This is a very important place in Charlotte county, a thickly settled section which carries on a Large fishing business. A breakwater is needed there for the protection of the fishermen, and I am surprised my hon. friend should have struck out this item. It must have been done without his having his attention called to it; for, if he had
considered tire matter, he would have concluded that among -the smaller works of the province, none is more important than a breakwater at this place. Then $100,000 had been voted for a wharf at Chatham. This is a very important work. Of course, my hon. friend may intend to have that work done by the Department of Railways and Canals, as the work is in connection with the extension of the Intercolonial railway to the waterfront. But the amount was provided for in >the estimates of the Public Works Department. Whichever department builds the wharf, the work is absolutely essential in order to reap the full benefits from the contemplated extension of the railway. The Miramichi river is a splendid river and a very large business in done in Chatham, which business no doubt, with proper accommodation, will greatly increase. Another important work is Gooseberry Cove breakwater. The amount for the dredging of the St. Croix river is struck out. That dredging is very important. It was intended to dredge from the Calais side of the river in the state of Maine across to St. Stephen, New Brunswick, to provide a channel for the steamers that frequent that river, and then to make the channel down the river, affording the necessary depth of water. The matter was taken up between the Department of Public Works and the representatives of the government of the United States.
. As the larger vessels, and I think the larger portion of the tonnage, belongs to the Americans, we came to an agreement under which they would contribute a much larger sum towards the dredging than this government. We put a small amount, I think $7,500, in the estimates last year, which my hon. friend has re-voted in the present year, but is omitted from the present estimates for next year. That work surely is not to be dropped. A binding agreement has been come to between the two governments, under which the United States is prepared to go ahead with the work, and we have agreed to contribute onr share. I would ask why the amount has been dropped in the estimates. Then there was an amount of $50,000 for the purchase and improvement of a property at St. John for buoys and for the accommodation of government vessels. That has also been dropped. That accommodation is very much required, both by the Marine Department and by the Public Works department. There is no suitable wharf accommodation there belonging to the government where the buoys of the Marine department may be repaired, where government vessels may lie and be repaired, and where dredges and scows belonging to the Public Works department may be repaired. St. John is wholly unequipped Mr. PUGSLEY.
in that particular, and that is why I had an amount placed in the estimates. On the whole, my hon. friend will see that he has reduced considerably the amounts for New Brnswick. There is another item of some importance which has been omitted. For a number of years past there has been an arrangement between the two governments under which certain wharfs were constructed by the provincial government, and this government has been paying half the cost of construction. There has been some criticism of that arrangement. I would like to know if my hon. friend has decided to put an end to it, and to make no further payments to the provincial government of New Brunswick with respect to the wharfs that are being constructed upon the tidal waters of the St. John river, and other rivers. .
I do not think we were tied down as to the manner in which we would make that contribution. If the obligation has to be satisfied during the year, there will be provision made in the supplementary estimates. But I do not think there is anything of a rigid character in that arrangement which would oblige us to put a vote in the main estimates.
Under the ruling of the Auditor General there will have to be a special vote for that purpose. The works are constructed by the provincial government, and some two years ago he refused to allow payment to the provincial government under an item for improvements, holding that there must be a special vote.
My hon. friend naturally goes back to works which he, in his wisdom, thought at that time, to be urgent. I am better prepared to defend the works for which I ask estimates myself. But he is mistaken when he says that we have not generously provided for public works in that province.