May 2, 1916

LIB

William Melville Martin

Liberal

Mr. MAETIN:

If the minister purchased on his recommendation he got very good advice. But that does not alter the fact that the Government purchased from this man that property for which no person ip the world would have paid $25,000 at that time. The property purchased by the Government 'of the province of Saskatchewan was purchased in 1913, before the boom in real estate had broken, and there was a vast difference between the values in 1913 and those in 1914. The minister probably knows that by bitter experience in connection with real estate that he has in Winnipeg. Nobody knows better than he that it was in the beginning of 1914 that the real estate boom broke, and he cannot justify the purchase of that site by dragging in the name of the Government of the province of Saskatchewan.

The minister says he has done a great deal for the city of Eegina. ,As a matter of fact, he has done nothing at all for that city. He takes credit to himself for having made Eegina the headquarters of the military district, but he did not do that; it was the Minister of Militia who did it.

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CON
LIB

William Melville Martin

Liberal

Mr. MAETIN:

Apart from that, what has the minister ever done for the city of Eegina during the past four or five years? He has placed two or three items in the Estimates; he has purchased two sites for buildings from political friends in that city. One site was purchased as early as 1913 for a customs examining warehouse, but not a sod has been turned up to the present day, and there is no indication of a building. He purchased from

another political friend a portion of the old Leader building for the office of the Eeoeiveir General, and I see that a large amount of money was set aside to pay for that building. However, I understand that the Exchequer Court has not decided what value should he placed upon it. That is all the Minister of Public Works has done for the city of Eegina. I do not know why he should have his knife out for that city. He does not come to Eegina very often. I rememfoer that he came in [DOT]1912 with a great blare of trumpets. The whole front page of the local Conservative newspaper was filled. with an announcement of what the minister was going to do for the city. It was just before the provincial election, and I presume that if another provincial election comes along the Minister of Public Works will visit Eegina again with a greater blare of trumpets. But since 1912, on only one occasion has the Minister of Public Works deigned to put in-an appearance in the city of Eegina. He passes that way going west to other cities, and I can assure him that if he stopped off he would find the people even more friendly to him than before.

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CON
LIB

William Melville Martin

Liberal

Mr. MAETIN:

I hope that, when the minister comes west, he will not forget to drop off at Eegina. W,e will entertain him as well as any city in the Dominion.

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?

John Ewen Sinclair

Mr. SINCLAIB:

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CON

Robert Rogers (Minister of Public Works)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. EOGEES:

There will be no more than are in the Estimates placed on the Table to-night.

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?

John Ewen Sinclair

Mr. SINCLAIB:

They are all in now for the present session, are they?

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CON
?

John Ewen Sinclair

Mr. SINCLAIB:

The reason I ask is that certain active politicians in Nova Scotia are using the minister's name and the name of his department for the purpose of obtaining political support by promising additional public works. There was a convention of the Conservative party in the county of Inverness a few days ago, and it was attended' by Mr. A. B. Crosby, of Halifax, who is well known to the minister.

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CON
?

John Ewen Sinclair

Mr. SINCLAIB:

On that occasion he undertook to make a speech, and he is

reported in the Conservative paper to have said:

He assured his hearers that the defeat of the Murray Government was an absolute certainty and that Inverness would be in the right column. He gave his pledge to the audience that Gallant and McLean, whose election was a foregone conclusion, would have his cordial co-operation and support in securing subventions in the way of public works and railway construction for this noble county of Inverness.

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CON
LIB
CON
LIB

John Howard Sinclair

Liberal

Mr. SINCLAIR:

Public works. Now, it appears that my hon. friend does not intend to give any public works to the county of Inverness for the present year. Mr. Crosby is depending on subventions; he has no policy. He does not pretend to have any public question to put before the people. The only thing he referred to was subventions, which he expected to get from the Minister of Public Works, but the minister now tells us that he does not intend to give any subventions; so I presume the prophecy will have to go along with the failure to get subventions.

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LIB

Frank Oliver

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER:

Might I draw the minister's attention to a matter of which I spoke on a former occasion? I happen to be a member of the special committee appointed to discuss pensions, and during the discussions of the committee the matter of dealing with permanently disabled men has come up. This will require the establishment of permanent institutions, which means the erection or acquiring of buildings. I suggested to the minister that, in view of the events now occurring, there is every necessity for provision being made at an early date for this contingency that must be faced. I think the minister said that the matter would be taken up and if possible provision would be made in the Supplementary Estimates. I do not see anything in the Supplementaries, and I take this opportunity of again bringing the matter to the attention of the minister and

of urging that it is a matter of very pressing importance, and that there should be no avoidable delay in making suitable provision. I would say that in each section of the country provision should toe made for the care of those who are so seriously disabled as to be a burden on relatives, if they have relatives, and of those who have no relatives, and who would be in an even more unfortunate position.

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CON

Robert Rogers (Minister of Public Works)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ROGERS:

We will appreciate the importance of providing for the returned and disabled soldiers, but my information ai the present moment is shortly this, that the committee who have been looking into that matter find that returned soldiers, when they come to a city like Winnipeg, or Edmonton, generally like to find their way to their own old 'homes from which they started out. While in some of the larger cities there are a number who require special care and provision to be made for their comfort and keep, it is surprising [DOT]how few after all by comparison are in that position. When they land they are always apparently very anxious to go back to the location from which they came and they usually have some friends or connections waiting to receive them and make them comfortable. It is true that in some of the larger cities, and probably this need will increase from time to time, provision is necessary for returned soldiers, but we. have felt that under the present conditions it is possible to secure rented buildings that will be vqry suitable and will provide the necessary accommodation. Every care [will be taken to see that in every single instance provision shall be made for the care and comfort during convalescence of every returned soldier who is not able to find a comfortable home. The various Provincial Governments have taken an interest in this matter and are endeavouring to secure employment for returned soldiers and to assist in every possible -way in cooperation with the Dominion Government. Everything possible will be done in conjunction with the provinces to add to the comfort and care of our returned soldiers.

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LIB

Frank Oliver

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER:

Certain information came to the committee that I fancy has not been put before the House and cannot have reached the Government generally. While it may be in some degree premature, I feel that I shall be excused for placing it before the committee at the present time. It is inregard to those who are afflicted nervously or mentally and who now receive care in

lunatic asylums. An expert appeared before the committee and gave his opinion that such a course was very detrimental and that it was in the last degree important that men suffering in this way should not be in the environment that necessarily surrounds them under present circumstances. It is suggested that there should be accommodation provided for such cases where they would have special treatment and be under special conditions. He advised that under those circumstances there would be a very large proportion of complete recoveries, whereas, under present circumstances, his opinion was that many cases that, under favourable conditions, might recover, would become chronic and therefore hopeless. I am taking this opportunity, possibly somewhat out of order, to bring the matter as pointedly to the attention of the Government and of the Minister of Public Works as I can, as I am sure that everybody will agree that this gentleman's opinion is entitled to very great weight; and, if the opinion he expresses is correct, certainly no action can be taken too quickly or too thoroughly to meet the views that he placed before the committee.

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CON

Robert Rogers (Minister of Public Works)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ROGERS:

I can quite understand

what my hon. friend says in respect to this condition. Let me give him an idea of the situation in the city of Winnipeg, and I am sure that similar conditions will be found to exist in other cities, especially in western Canada. At Winnipeg we have made provision in the immigration shed for the reception of returned soldiers. We have a small hospital in the immigration building with twenty or thirty beds where returned iSoldiere .suffering from nerve trouble receive treatment. That provision was made for returned soldiers for the first day or two after they arrived. The committee in charge of this work at Winnipeg have secured Deer Lodge, which was a hotel previous to the introduction of the prohibition measure in Winnipeg and which is a very suitable place containing about 100 beds, and such invalided soldiers as my hon. friend refers to are being cared for at Deer Lodge. This place has been provided in order that invalided soldiers may find rest and quiet. Those who are strong and do not need as much care remain in the immigration shed at present. But the same condition will apply to the various cities in western Canada. Most of the hotels in different places throughout the western provinces

that are comfortable and suitable for such a purpose, are available at a very cheap rental and my hon. friend and the country can depend upon it that every care will be taken of invalided soldiers and that provision will be made in order that those who are incapable of looking after themselves, and especially those who are suffering from nerve trouble, may have rest and quiet.

St. John Harbour-improvements, $1,000,000.

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May 2, 1916