February 1, 1912

LIB
CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk (Minister of Public Works)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

That has been done so often during the last 15 years that I have sat in this House, that there should be no surprise if it is done now. I have seen items appear in the estimates four or five years in succession, and then dropped altogether; I have seen items changed year after year under different ministers. It is not surprising, under these circumstances, that in the estimates of which

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we have only taken a part this session, these items should not appear. When this government is called upon to bring down its own estimates and to initiate all these works, it is not surprising that we should fail to see eye to eye with the preceding government. That happens whenever there is a change of government. The committee will note the large contribution we have had to make this year for St. John; we have provided a sum for St. John far greater than was ever provided before, and that has been due to the urgent necessities which have arisen st that port. I do not think it is fair, because an item has been left out of this year's estimates, to conclude that the work is dropped or that it will not be resumed, or that at another time the government will not make provision for carrying on that work. I may say that in no case where the work was under contract, and where an interruption would have been absolutely prejudicial, has that interruption taken place. We have taken the estimates under review in all the provinces, according to our best judgment, and have done the best we could for urgent works with the means at our disposal.


CON

John Douglas Hazen (Minister of Marine and Fisheries; Minister of the Naval Service)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HAZEN.

My hon. friend (Mr. Pugsley) has referred to the fact that $50,000 in the estimates last year for the purpose of building a wharf for government steamers at St. John is not in the estimates this year. I would point out that there is no necessity for that vote being in the estimates this year. That wharf is no doubt required for the Marine and Fisheries Department, upon which the buoys and material belonging to the government might be stored, and at which vessels might lay up from time to time, vessels that are under the control of the Marine and Fisheries Department to supply lighthouses and to look after the buoys. Incidentally also it might serve as a wharf to which steamers under the control of the Public Works Department might resort. I may say to my hon. friend that it is not at haphazard that this vote is left out of the estimates. I am advised by the officials of my department that at any time we wish to acquire property in St. John for that purpose, we have the funds to do so; and I may say that negotiations are going on now, and I have instructed the engineer of my department to consider different places that have been suggested as available. If the minister should decide to buy a property of that sort we have ample funds at our disposal with which to do it, and which we are authorized by law to expend for that purpose. Under the vote that was made last session, a vote for general purposes

in connection with the Marine and Fisheries Department, I am advised by my deputy minister, and also by the engineer of the department, that we can use the money for this purpose. So that if we determine to buy that property, there are plenty of funds at our disposal.

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LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY.

I am surprised to hear that statement, that under a general vote for fisheries, properly could be bought for the purpose of constructing a wharf upon which to store buoys, and at which vessels might lie. I think that is a new departure. I think this parliament ought to have placed before it the estimates to purchase a property of that character, and also a special amount for improvements.

I know that was the view taken both by the Marine and Fisheries Department, and by the Public Works Department when this matter first came up. There was a vote placed in the estimates by the Minister of Marine and Fisheries, then, as it was thought that the property could be utilized by both departments, the vote was transferred to the Department of Public Works. Now my hon. friend says that without asking parliament for the money the department can acquire the property, which will cost a good deal of money, and build thereon a wharf for the purpose of repairing buoys, and at which vessels may lie. I doubt very much if the Auditor General, in the discharge of his duty, would pass an expenditure of that kind under a general vote.

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CON

John Douglas Hazen (Minister of Marine and Fisheries; Minister of the Naval Service)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HAZEN.

From inquiry I have made I am afraid that $50,000 would not go very far in acquiring such a property as is needed for this purpose. It would take a much larger sum.

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LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY.

I would think, from information that I have, that $50,000 would be

sufficient. Of course, it would depend on where the property was obtained. If some of the rumours I have heard are correct, that parties are getting options on properties which they thought might be suitable, it might be that the minister would have to pay more than it might otherwise cost. But, I have in my mind a property in St. John which, I think, could be obtained for about $50,000.

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CON

John Douglas Hazen (Minister of Marine and Fisheries; Minister of the Naval Service)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HAZEN.

I hope the hon. gentleman will let me know where they are.

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LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY.

My hon friend will find in the Public Works Department a report from the Superintendent of Dredging Captain Howden and Mr Scommell, the engineer of the department, on a property which is admirably suited for the purpose, comprising 45 or 50 acres.

Mr, MONK. Does not my hon. friend think that with the works we have pro-

vided for this year we will have ample room for any vessel of the government?

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LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY.

My hon. friend says that these estimates contain more liberal appropriations for St. John harbour than we made. He is not correct in that. The amount for St. John harbour in the estimates this year is identical with the estimates last year. A million dollars is the amount I put in the estimates last year for the improvement of St. John harbour and my hon. friend has very handsomely come down with a million dollars for the coming year.

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CON

John Douglas Hazen (Minister of Marine and Fisheries; Minister of the Naval Service)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HAZEN.

How much was spent last year?

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LIB
CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk (Minister of Public Works)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

I think the votes last year amounted to $950,000.

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LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY.

Well, that is pretty close. I will give my hon. friend the benefit of the extra $50,000, but I am' bound to say that if my hon. friend goes on with improvements at Courtenay bay it may be desirable to have a further sum in the Supplementary estimates. I do not complain at all of my hon. friend's action in regard to St. John. I do not say that he is not treating us well. He is proposing to do a work which is of great national importance, but, at the same time, it is not new because parliament had appropriated last year an amount equal to the sum which my hon. friend is proposing to place in the estimates for this year. But, I do think it is a pity that these very important works should be neglected. These works at Castalia, Chatham, and other places are, as I have said, of very great importance. I must congratulate my hon. friend upon this, however, that notwith-. standing all the attention he has been giving to public works in New Brunswick, he has not found it necessary to put in a single new item. I find that all the items which he is asking parliament to vote are just those which we, had in the estimates last year.

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CON

John Douglas Hazen (Minister of Marine and Fisheries; Minister of the Naval Service)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HAZEN.

You should have proceeded with the -works last year.

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LIB
CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk (Minister of Public Works)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

As we arp doing now. ,

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LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY.

They were all important and the minister has shown his wisdom in providing for them. But, it is unfortunate that he has left out a few works which, I think, are just as necessary as those which he is providing for.

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LIB

Henry Robert Emmerson

Liberal

Mr. EMMERSON.

I am sorry that in the process of elimination my hon. friend the Mr. MONK.

Minister of Public Works has found it necessary to eliminate the wharf at Beaumont. Members representing constituencies outside of St. John have always experienced difficulty in convincing St. John particularly that it was not the whole province. Apparently my hon. friend from St. John city (Air. Pugsley), and my hon. friend from St. John city and county (Mr. Hazen) have imbued the Minister of Public Works with the idea that St. John was the only place in New Brunswick that required particular attention, and that if there was any elimination to be entered upon the other constituencies would have to suffer. I do not wish my hon friend to be too much impressed with the importance of having St. John alone looked after. I do not wish that Westmorland should be overlooked even though the minister may be impressed with the importance of St. John. The wharf at Beaumont is only a small matter after all, but it affects a very large number of people. It is not a political wharf in any sense. The government will find that its friends are quite as much interested in this wharf as those who supported the former government. This wharf was brought to the notice of the department by myself because of a united people presenting strong and indisputable reasons why there should be a wharf at this point. I simply ask my hon. friend to look into it, and if he does he will see that there are special reasons why these people should be considered. In so far as the 'political standpoint is concerned I make no plea at all, because that is not of serious import, but it is a matter in the interests of the people who have suffered for many years for want of this convenience. They had a wharf in former years. That wharf was continued down to within a very recent period, but change and decay went on and m the course of time it became impossible for business purposes, and now it is required in the interest of the business of that section of the country.

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February 1, 1912