February 14, 1916

REPORT.


Report of the Auditor General for the year ended 31st March, 1915; volume IV.


EXTENSION OF THE TERM OF PARLIAMENT.

?

Right Hon. S@

That a message be sent to the Senate to acquaint their honours that this House hath agreed to their Address to His Royal Highness the Governor General, respectfully requesting that His Royal Highness will be pleased to transmit the joint Address to His Most Bxj-cellent Majesty the King, most humbly praying that he may graciously be pleased to give his consent to submitting a measure to the Parliament of the United Kingdom to amend certain provisions of " The British North America Act, 1867 " by filling up the blank therein with the word " Commons."

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Motion agreed to. *


APPOINTMENT OF OFFICIAL.

CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir ROBERT BORDEN moved:

That the recommendation of His Honour the Speaker respecting the appointment of Mr. C. W. Boyce as Clerk of Votes and Proceedings be concurred in.

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Motion agreed to. '


INDEPENDENCE OF PARLIAMENT.


On the Orders of the Day:


CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir ROBERT BORDEN (Prime Minister):

The hon. member for South Renfrew (Mr. Graham) inquired as to the possibility that a subscription to the Government loan might come within the provisions of the Independence of Parliament Act. I have had that matter looked into, and have received the following memorandum on the subject:

Section 19 (c) of the Senate and House of Commons Act (Revised Statutes, chapter 10), in dealing with the independence of Parliament, enacts as follows:

19. This Act shall not extend to disqualify any person as a member of the House of Commons by reason of his being...

(c) a contractor for the loan of money or of securities for the payment of money to the Government of Canada under the authority of Parliament, after public competition, or rem

specting the purchase or payment of the public stock or debentures of Canada, on terms common to all persons.

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DAMAGE TO PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARY.


On the Orders of the Day:


CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir ROBERT BORDEN (Prime Minister):

Inquiry was made a few days ago as to the damage to the Library. I asked for a report from the Joint Librarians, and the report reached me to-day. I think.it desirable to read it for the information of members:

Library of Parliament,

Ottawa, February 14, 1916.

Sir,-In response to your request for a report on the condition of the Library and the losses sustained by the fire of Thursday night, February 3, we have the honour to report as follows:

Some exaggeration prevails as to the extent of the loss sustained. During the night of the fire, in accordance with instructions from the chief of the fire brigade, a large number of volumes were removed by the library staff, and by the troops kindly and promptly offered by Colonel Street, of the 77th.

These were stored in various places and the volumes that had to be left partly in the open were protected by the men of the Public Works Department as well as was possible.

Later in the night the removal was countermanded by chief of the fire brigade. The last load of these books so removed was returned on Thursday, February 10. There has therefore not been time to re-arrange the books and ascertain the loss in removal and the damage by water.

Our actual total loss by fire is certainly large, but is confined to books in the reading room and gallery above, as follows:

1st. An extensive collection of rare editions of the Bible.

2nd. A very large collection of English pamphlets.

3rd. A still larger collection of reviews magazines and periodicals of various kinds: Quarterly, monthly and weekly, both French and English.

4 th. A valuable collection of ecclesiastical literature and law covering more than a century.

5th. Some valuable scientific encyclopedias and dictionaries in the French lan-[DOT] guage.

6th. A great number of valuable donations from the Imperial Government such as the Rolls series, etc.

7th. A fine collection of the reports of the American Bar Association obtained at considerable cost not long ago.

In the course of time, and when space can be available again, the Librarians consider that the most of these losses can be repaired, through the usual library agencies, without departing from the customary routine of business, and without making undue, if any, demands on the Treasury.

Especial attention is directed to the little damage done by water. Though many millions of gallons of water covered the floor and poured out through the doors from Thursday

night to Sunday afternoon, hardly any found its way to the basement, a testimony to the honest work done by the contractors in 1876, when the Library was constructed.

Those volumes that were at all damaged by water have been placed in a position to be dried; and little fear is felt that many will be destroyed. Some rich volumes of illustrated works of the 18th century may be soiled, but at-present we know of none that will be ruined.

If exaggeration prevails as to our losses, no praise can be exaggerated in being bestowed on the work bf the Library staff on the occasion of the fire.

Mr. Hamlyn Todd, whose name is traditionally associated with the Library, was fortunately able to force his way through the cordon of military and police, and got access to the Library by the side door, in time to exhibit his usual energetic disposition and capacity in raising the lower tiers of books from the water and in directing the operations of the removal of the books by the military and messengers.

Mr. MacCormac, who was present at the outbreak of the fire, promptly had the iron doors leading into the corridor - closed against the on-rush of smoke and flame. He was probably instrumental in saving the lives of some members who were in the Library by refusing to open the doors and by sending them safely through the side door, usually kept locked and bolted since the police took charge of the buildings.

Two others of the staff, Messrs. Meiklejohn and Argue,-, who were present rendered most valuable and intelligent service on the occasion ; and since the fire and after access was had to the Library, all the staff have been most industriously and intelligently engaged in restoring order.

The clerks in charge on the occasion personally desire that credit should be given to the firemen, to the soldiers of the 77th and to the. police for the effective assistance volunteered and rendered.

The librarians are requested by Mr. Todd to particularly thank Mr. Controller Fisher and Mr. Harry Stewart who were at once able and willing to render service on the occasion.

At such a time of terror and confusion, it is gratifying to report that all who were present on the occasion, or who were able to obtain access to the Library were able to be of service in an unaccustomed and nerve-racking emergency.

Some complaint was felt and made concerning the strictness of the cordon which was kept about the Library preventing the access of those who might have been of some use. But on reflection, the librarians are bound to say that the soldiers and the police could not have been expected to discriminate among persons they did not know, and that in carrying out their orders to the best of their knowledge, they were but doing an obvious duty.

We have the honour to be, sir,

Your obedient servants,

A. D. DeCelles,

General Librarian. Martin J. Griffin,

Parliamentrry Librarian.

To the Honourable the Prime Minister.

[Sir Robert Borders.^

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DISTURBANCES AT CALGARY AND CAMPBELLTON.


On the Orders of the Day:


LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

Has the right hon. Prime Minister any information to give -the House respecting the riots which are reported to have occurred at Calgary?

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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 do not think that any report has been received in the matter; I will consult the Minister of Militia. ,

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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

I shall repeat the inquiry to-morrow.

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LIB

Charles Marcil

Liberal

Mr. MARCIL:

May I ask the Prime Minister if the Government has taken any measures concerning the control of enlisted men in places where liquor runs freely? In Campbellton last pay-day no less than twenty or twenty-five enlisted men were put under guard; the conditions would seem to be somewhat similar to those at Calgary.

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February 14, 1916