March 13, 1916

PRIVILEGE.

SHELL. CONTRACTS-THE SHEET METAL PRODUCTS COMPANY.


On the Orders of the Day:


CON

Albert Edward Kemp (Minister Without Portfolio)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. A. E. KEMP:

Mr. Speaker, I rise for the purpose of discussing for a moment or two a personal matter. In his remarks to this House a few days ago, the hon. member for Carleton (Mr. Carvell) referred to me as being connected with a concern known as the Sheet Metal Products Company of Canada, Limited. I am connected with that concern. I desire first to read to the House a letter I received from that company: t

Toronto, March 10, 1916.

Hon. A. E. Kemp, M.P., P.C.,

Ottawa, Ont.

Dear Mr. Kemp :

We are in receipt of a, marked copy of Hansard of the 7th instant, in which we find certain references made by Mr. Carvell to this company.

The facts in relation to our transactions with the Shell Committee, briefly, are as follows:

All of the business offered has been through regular channels. No one, except a regular official of this company, has either directly or indirectly, had any negotiations whatever in connection therewith.

Shortly after the war broke out we were asked to make certain articles which were particularly in our line of business, and which we understood were component parts intended for use in making shells for the British Government. We congratulated ourselves on being able to be of some service in this connection, and as opportunity offered we rendered what assistance we could by giving information to other manufacturers, whose experience in a similar class of work was not as broad as ours, resulting, we believe, in increased production on their part, which was most desirable.

We eo-operated with the Inspection Branch of the Shell Committee in affording facilities for training inspectors, whereby they familiarized themselves with their work, thus enabling them to inspect similar work which was being done in many other places, and this service was publicly acknowledged. It was also stated that this plant had been of immeinse value in overcoming difficulties in connection with the manufacture of articles referred to.

The total amount of business received from the Shell Committee, to which reference is made by Mr. Carvel!, is considered small from two standpoints. First, in respect to the total amount of the class of articles required by the Shell Committee, which were distributed through many factories in different parts of the country, and second, it is also unimportant from the standpoint of the volume of our regular business, being approximately but three per cent in the years for which delivery was expected.

We do not know that any useful purpose can be served by making reference to that part of the speech which assumed to deal with the technical side of the question, as those who have not an intimate knowledge In respect to manufacturing processes would scarcely appreciate this phase of the subject. Suffice it to say that what are commonly called " tin cups " are made from twenty-two gauge steel tinned. The articles called " clips " arts made from either brass or steel, in respect to both of which the combined operations, before completion are not less than thirty, all of which require to be of the most precise and exact character, and which fact, as those who know will understand, is common to the manufacture of all classes of ammunition.

The foregoing has reference to two articles. The third article, to which reference has been made, is what are known as " sockets ". We accepted this business for the reason that the information which came to us was that the production of shells was being considerably retarded for lack of this particular part.

The execution of the Shell Committee orders necessitated special concentration and attention of our chief mechanical experts and factory executives, and, to a large extent, impeded operations in connection with our regular business, which under other than war conditions we should have viewed from a different standpoint, being always convinced that breaking into the manufacture of new and intricate articles tends to a condition of affairs which gives unfavourable results.

We remain.

Yours very truly,

The Sheet Metal Products Co.

of Canada, Limited.

* F. S. Corrigan,

General Manager.

So much for that. So far as the personal remarks of my hon. friend are concerned, I wish to quote from Hansard. On March 7, Hansard, page 1606, my hon. friend from Carleton, referring to me, made this statement :

I And that the Shell Committee purchased from a member of this Government $300,000 worth of goods.

And on Hansard, page 1607, he made the following statement:

I think the Shell Committee wlm were appointed by this Government, for this Government, and acting under the instructions of this Government, surely ought to exhaust every means of purchasing supplies before resorting to the members of the Government themselves.

Then, on page 1634, my hon. friend, still debating the same subject, on his responsibility as a member of this House made the statement that I was the manager of, or managed, this company. In the first place,

I desire to say that i have never at any time in my life received any favours from this Government or from any other Government of Canada. Secondly, for many years before becoming a member of this Government, I had taken no active part whatever in the management of this company. If all the time that I have given to the consideration of the affairs of this company since the war broke out was added together,

I am quite sure it would not amount to as much as half a day. I have not even been in the works of this company since the war broke out. The first specific information I had in regard to these shell contracts, so-called, was when I read the remarks of my hon. friend from Carleton in Hansard. I do not want anything that I am saying, or shall say, to be considered in any sense as an apology because this company accepted this business. If they had refused to accept this business because I was a member of this Government, such action on their part would have received my condemnation. I want to say further, that if I had been the means of having this company refuse to assist in making, munitions for the British Government, I would consider myself an object of contempt in this country,, and I would not, I believe, be considered a decent Canadian or a decent British subject.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE.
Subtopic:   SHELL. CONTRACTS-THE SHEET METAL PRODUCTS COMPANY.
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PRIVATE BILLS.

CONSIDERED IN COMMITTEE.


The House in Committee on Private Bills, Mr. Rhodes in the Chair. Bill No. 23, to incorporate the Ontario Niagara Connecting Bridge C°mPany-Mr. German-in Committee.


CON

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID:

Section No. 11 was struck out by the Railway Committee, and I would like to have it reconsidered. The section reads:

The said bridge shall be constructed and located under, and be subject to, such regulations for the security of navigation of the saifl river as the Governor in Council prescribes,

and to such end the company shall submit to the Governor in Council, for examination and approval, a design and drawing of the bridge, and a map of the location, giving the soundings, accurately showing thebed of the stream and the location of other bridges, and shall furnish such other information as is required for a full and satisfactory understanding of the subject; and until the said plans and location are approved by the Governor in Council the bridge shall not be built or commenced, and if any change 'is made in the plans of the said bridge during its construction, such change shall be subject to the approval of the 'Governor in Council, and shall not be made or commenced until it is approved.

This is the standard section which is to be found in the Railway Act. I believe it was the late Mr. Blair who first had it inserted, and I do not know why it has been struck out of this Bill, because the committee will understand that, with this section in the Bill, before the company can build their bridge, they must submit their plans to the Governor in Council and have them approved. As I understand, they intend to build a bridge across the Niagara river, and there is a possibility of their wishing to go through a beautiful park owned by the Ontario Government. I therefore give notice that I shall move to have section 11 reinserted.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   CONSIDERED IN COMMITTEE.
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LIB

Edward Walter Nesbitt

Liberal

Mr. NESBITT:

The section which the

minister has read is not the same as section 11 in my copy of the Bill. The section, as I understand it, makes the company refer the matter to the Railway Board, whereas the section which the. minister has read makes them refer it to the Governor in Council.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   CONSIDERED IN COMMITTEE.
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LIB

George Perry Graham

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM:

Section 11 in my copy

refers to the amalgamation or agreement with a United States Company. Section 9 begins as follows:

The company shall not commence the said bridge or any work thereunto appertaining-[DOT]

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   CONSIDERED IN COMMITTEE.
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CON

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID:

My hon. friend has a copy

of the original Bill, but the copy which I have is the reprinted Bill as it came from the Railway Committee, and section 11 in this Bill is the section that has been struck out.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   CONSIDERED IN COMMITTEE.
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LIB

Edward Walter Nesbitt

Liberal

Mr. NESBITT:

It has been the custom

for the last two or three years to refer these matters to the Board of Railway Commissioners.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   CONSIDERED IN COMMITTEE.
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CON

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID:

No, to the Governor in Council. The section which' I have read compels the company to submit their plans for approval to the Governor in Council before

they can commence work. That is the point I wish to cover.

Mr, GRAHAM: Perhaps the Chairman of the. Railway Committee can tell us why the changes were made.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   CONSIDERED IN COMMITTEE.
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CON

Richard Blain

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BLAIN:

Section 11 of the Bill as it left the Railway Committee was struck out because an official of the department said that the section was covered by the Railway Act and therefore unnecessary. I think that is correct. I do not, however, wish to interfere with the minister if he desires the Bill to go back to the Railway Committee for reconsideration. The Bill was very generally discussed in the committee.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   CONSIDERED IN COMMITTEE.
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CON

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID:

I have given notice that I

shall move to have section 11 re-inserted.

Progress reported.

Bill No. 28, respecting the Kettle Valley Railway Company, and Vancouver, Victoria and Eastern Railway and Navigation Company-Mr. Green-in Committee.

On section No. 1-extension of time for construction : '

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   CONSIDERED IN COMMITTEE.
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CON

Edgar Nelson Rhodes (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Conservative (1867-1942)

The CHAIRMAN:

Section 1 has been

amended at length, and I read the amendment to the committee at the last sitting. Is it the wish of the committee that I shall read it again to-day?

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   CONSIDERED IN COMMITTEE.
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CON

Robert Rogers (Minister of Public Works)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ROGERS:

I think it would be well to have the amendment printed and distributed.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   CONSIDERED IN COMMITTEE.
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?

Mr. CHAIRMAN@

It'is printed. '

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   CONSIDERED IN COMMITTEE.
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CON

Robert Rogers (Minister of Public Works)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ROGERS:

It is not in the copies of the Bill that we have.

Progress reported.

Bill No. 26, respecting the Corporation of the City of Brantford-Mr. Cockshutt- in Committee.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   CONSIDERED IN COMMITTEE.
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LIB

March 13, 1916