April 9, 1915

LIB

Médéric Martin

Liberal

Mr. MEDERIC MARTIN (translation):

Before this item is passed I would like to ask the hon. Prime Minister a question. Has he received a letter from the mayor of Montreal in which I requested him to do something to help the " out of works " in that city?

I do not know whether the Hon. Prime Minister has received that letter, but this I can say, it remains without reply to this day. I should very much like to know why.

I have spoken in French because my right hon. friend understands that language. I have had no answer to that letter which, as mayor of Montreal, I wrote to my right hon. friend.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir ROBERT BORDEN:

I remember receiving it, but, as my hon. friend had pub-

lished it as an open letter, I did not understand that he expected any reply; and for that reason, and without the slightest de-.sire to be discourteous, I did not reply.

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LIB

Médéric Martin

Liberal

Mr. MARTIN:

I think the least thing

my right hon. friend could have done was to answer. I was rather surprised at not hearing from him, because every letter calls for an answer.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir ROBERT BORDEN:

I did not really understand it in that way, because my hon. friend published it as an open letter. It appeared in the papers, I think, before I received it. So I suppose it would be proper for me to regard it in that sense, and not as an ordinary letter written from one gentleman to another, and which of course would demand a reply.

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LIB

Médéric Martin

Liberal

Mr. MARTIN:

The object of the letter

was to induce the Prime Minister to do something for the unemployed of Montreal.

I am 4G years of age, but this is the first time I have written a letter to a gentleman, especially the Prime Minister of Canada, without getting a reply.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir ROBERT BORDEN:

I would also

say that this is almost the first time that I ever received a letter which had first been published in the papers of the country.

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LIB

Médéric Martin

Liberal

Mr. MARTIN:

My letter contained a

suggestion to the Prime Minister to bring . down some legislation to help the unemployed of the city of Montreal, where there are 50,000 men out of work. If I could be here every day I would have brought the matter up in the PIou.se myself.

(Translation.) I would like to mention here, that in my official position as mayor of Montreal, I am the representative of one-seyenth of the entire population of Canada and it seems to me that I am at least entitled to a rejoly from the hon. Prime Minister. ,

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir ROBERT BORDEN:

I appreciate the importance of any communication from my hon. friend acting in his capacity as Mayor of Montreal. Because I 'did not make a reply to the letter, for the reason already mentioned, I do not wish him to think that I did not give my best consideration to his representations. I have been in communication with the Harbour Commissioners of Montreal, and also with my hon. friend the Minister of Public Works, for the purpose of endeavouring to provide as far as possible any work for the unemployed in Montreal. I am sure my hon. friend realizes the difficulties of the situation-one which has been experienced not only by

municipalities, cities and provinces, but generally, under the difficult financial conditions which have prevailed since the outbreak of the war.

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LIB

Médéric Martin

Liberal

Mr. MARTIN:

Another open letter was

sent to the Prime Minister by Commissioner MacDonald, and according to the newspapers it was answered, although perhaps we should not believe all that the newspapers say. This was two or three days afterwards.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir ROBERT BORDEN:

I think my hon. friend's letter was the first.

Militia and Defence-Gratuities to professors of the Royal Military College on retirement, $15,190. .

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LIB
CON

Robert Rogers (Minister of Public Works)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ROGERS:

This is simply following the usual practice. Professor Butler and one or two others have retired this year.

Special allowance to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, to cover travelling and other expenses in connection with his services while acting as Deputy to His Excellency the Governor General-Omitted from Main Estimates, $2,500.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir ROBERT BORDEN:

This is necessary on account of the item in the Main Estimates not being the usual amount that has been granted of late years. I think the amount has bean $5,000.

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LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

I have never understood that $5,000 was allowed. I understand that the duties of deputy to His Excellency the Governor General simply mean, attending the opening and closing of Parliament. I think $2,500 is the usual amount, but possibly it may be more.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir ROBERT BORDEN:

I will get the

Estimates of last year, and endeavour to look it up.

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LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

Let the item pass, and my right hon. friend find out afterwards.

To provide for the salary of a private secretary, and clerical services to the Hon. J. A. Lougheed, a member of the Cabinet and leader of the Senate (payment may be made to a member of the Senate staff notwithstanding the Civil Service Act)-further amount required, $600.

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LIB
CON

Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir ROBERT BORDEN:

It seems to be the $600 which is usually allowed to private secretaries in addition to their salary as clerks.

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LIB

George Perry Graham

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM:

Perhaps before we rise

the Prime Minister would give the explanation he promised in reference to the Northwest Mounted Police?

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir ROBERT BORDEN:

The amount of $60,000 is explained to me by the Comptroller of the Royal Northwest Mounted Police as follows. It consists of three items: The first item of $40,000 is to provide for the expenses of the Baker lake expedition undertaken to inquire into the murder of Messrs. Radford and Street by Eskimo in 1913. The sending of this expedition was not decided upon until after the Estimates for the current fiscal year had been prepared and passed, and the expenditure, including the purchase of a schooner, amounted to $40,000. I made some explanation in regard to this matter last year. These two men were murdered in the North, and after a good deal of consideration of the subject, and after I had consulted with my right hon. friend the leader of the Opposition (Sir Wilfrid Laurier), we decided to adopt this course instead of undertaking to arrest the Eskimo. There was evidence which had come to us from reliable quarters that the men who unfortunately met their fate there had contributed probably to the result by undertaking unusual punishment of some of these Eskimo. I have looked into the report of the Royal Northwest Mounted Police as to the expedition but it does not seem that any report has yet been made; at all events it is not in this year's report.

Then there is an item of $10,000 for transport. Owing to the outbreak of the war and to looking after the alien enemies in the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan, the item of $50,000 for transport, included in -the current year's Estimates, was found insufficient and a further sum of $10,000 is required to complete this service. There is another item of $10,000 for billeting, subsistence and forage. The price of provisions both where men are billeted and for those living in barracks, has increased considerably owing to the outbreak of the war and the failure of the crops in certain portions of the provinces has caused an increase in the rate of both hay and oats. The sum of $10,000 is required to complete this service. These three items make up the total of $60,000 which is asked.

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April 9, 1915