May 5, 1916

PRIVATE BILL INTRODUCED.


Bill No. 100, to incorporate the Mani-toba-Ontario Railway Company.-Mr. Car-rick.


REPORTS AND PAPERS.

CON

William Thomas White (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir TIIOMAS WHITE:

Probably I may be permitted at this stage to lay on the Table two copies of a deed of trust securing an issue of $16,000,000 of Grand Trunk Pa-< cific bonds, guaranteed by the Dominion Government; also two copies of a deed of trust securing $45,000,000 of Canadian Northern securities issued under the legislation of 1914.

Topic:   REPORTS AND PAPERS.
Permalink

COLLECTIONS ON HOMESTEAD PURCHASES. ,


On the Orders of the Day:


CON

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID:

An hon. member asked me to have placed on Hansard n statement with regard to the amount collected on the purchase of homesteads to the 31st March, 1916, including interest. The amount is $1,615,666.13.

Topic:   COLLECTIONS ON HOMESTEAD PURCHASES. ,
Permalink
LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

Ie that the amount of cash received or is it the total amount of sales? Sales would be on the instalment plan, I suppose?

Topic:   COLLECTIONS ON HOMESTEAD PURCHASES. ,
Permalink
CON

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID:

If the hon. member will allow this to go as it is, I will take the additional

question he asks and be prepared to answer it to-morrow.

Topic:   COLLECTIONS ON HOMESTEAD PURCHASES. ,
Permalink

REBUILDING OF PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS.

PAIR WAGES CLAUSE.


On the Orders of the Day:


LAB

Alphonse Verville

Labour

Mr. VERVILLE:

I desire to ask the

Minister of Public Works (Mr. Rogers) or the Minister of Labour (Mr. Crothers) if there is to be a fair-wages clause respecting hours of labour and wages, incorporated in the contracts for erecting the Parliament buildings, and, if so, whether the minister will be kind enough to lay it on the Table early next week?

Topic:   REBUILDING OF PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS.
Subtopic:   PAIR WAGES CLAUSE.
Permalink
CON

Robert Rogers (Minister of Public Works)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ROGERS:

The committee having

charge of the proposed reconstruction of the Parliament buildings is expected to meet this afternoon. We have not given consideration to any of the details up to the present time.

Topic:   REBUILDING OF PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS.
Subtopic:   PAIR WAGES CLAUSE.
Permalink

SHELL CONTRACTS.

ROYAL COMMISSION OF INVESTIGATION.


Mr. F. B. CARVELL (Carleton, N.B.) asked for leave to move the adjournment of the House for the purpose of discussing a definite matter of urgent public importance, namely, the desirability, in the public interest, of immediately enlarging the power of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the contracts regarding fuses, etc., called the Meredith-Duff Commission, by providing for widening the scope of the inquiry into the matters referred to the commission. And leave having been granted, He said: I wish to present to the House certain facts as the result of the investigation of the Meredith-Duff Commission, so called. In doing so it is not my intention to in any way refer to any evidence given before the commission as indicating what has been proven or has not been proven, or anything of that kind. I realize that this is a matter which is really sub judice at the present time, and a matter to be desired by the commission, and that it would be highly improper on my part, especially as I am a counsel before the commissioners, to make any comment or reflection of any kind. Therefore, in the remarks I make, I will endeavour to confine my statements and my arguments entirely to the question of whether or not it is in the public interest to enlarge the scope of the inquiry. And in order to make the discussion as short as possible, I wish to refer to many things generally, without quoting page and date. It is within the knowledge of every member of this House that some weeks ago the right hon. leader of the Opposition moved that a Committee of this House he appointed for the purpose of investigating matters relating to the Shell Committee, which ceased to exist some time in the latter part of November, 1015. That motion was voted down by the House, and two days afterwards the right hon. Prime Minister informed the House that the Governor General in Council had appointed a commission for the purpose of investigating three contracts specially mentioned and one other in case it should come within the purview of the commission, or words to that effect. I am not going to read that Order in Council, 'because it is on Hansard and is a matter of record. Since Wednesday of last week that commission has been proceeding under the terms of the Order in Council, witnesses have been sworn and examined and cross-examined. Perhaps it would not be anjiss if I should take this opportunity of stating publicly that I feel that counsel representing the Government is presenting the case in as fair and as able a manner as is possible- and that is saying a great deal when I am discussing Mr. I. F. Hellmuth. But, Sir, the investigation is developing a condition of affairs regarding the doings and status of the old Shell Committee which was certainly a revelation to every person who had anything to do with the commission, and which, I think, must be a revelation to a large majority of the members of this House. I refer to the fact, brought out before the commission, that at least from and after the first day of October, 1914, down to the day when the Shell Committee ceased to exist, on November 30, 1915, four members of that committee, namely Messrs. Bertram, Cantley, Watts and E. Carnegie, legally occupied the position of contractors with the British Government, as represented 'by the Minister of Militia and Defence. All of these gentlemen have not in any way claimed that they were entitled to any part of the profits which may have come out of the transaction. I want that to be particularly stated, 'because three of them have already been examined and have repudiated the idea of taking profits to themselves. But they all contend that legally they would be entitled to the profits if profits were made, and I think the converse would be true-at least, I know that this was admitted by one of them-that if losses were made they would be responsible for theip. I think they all say that they approached the Prime Minister and brought up the question as to what their position would be in case of losses taking place. The Prime Minister was very careful, they say, not to make any promise; he told them that they would cross that bridge when they came to it. They went on; that bridge was not reached; therefore they were not called upon to discuss it. The substance of it all, however, was this: the Prime Minister said: "We want the shells; go on, and if there are losses we will have to discuss that later." That, I think, would be a fair way of putting it; at least, that is the way the witnesses have placed it before the commission. I shall not go over the correspondence leading up to the first contract, because it was placed on Hansard by the Minister of Militia in an address delivered in this House on the 25th or 26th of January last. However, the sum and substance of it was that a number of cablegrams having passed between the British War Office and the Minister of Militia, we had authority-I say " we;" I mean the Dominion of Canada; I would call that the Government of Canada-had authority to supply the British Government with 100,000 empty shrapnel shells, 18-pounders, at $8.55 each, and 100,000 empty 15-pounder shrapnel shells at $8.30 each. On the first day of October a contract was entered into between the Minister of Militia and Defence, representing the British War Office, and four gentlemen of a committee of seven or eight. I want to read this agreement, as found on page 30 of the evidence taken by the commission :



Witnesseth that the parties of the first part agree to manufacture and deliver to the party of the second pa<rt one hundred thousand shrapnel eight-pounder- That should be eighteen. -*Mark III shells (empty) and one hundred thousand 15-pounder Mark VII (empty) subject to the following terms and conditions, and at the following rates: I do not want to weary the House by reading all the details of this document. I am Tending, as I say, from the official document, and if I could have the whole placed on Hansard it would expedite matters.


CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir ROBERT BORDEN:

What does it refer to?

Topic:   SHELL CONTRACTS.
Subtopic:   ROYAL COMMISSION OF INVESTIGATION.
Permalink
LIB

Frank Broadstreet Carvell

Liberal

Mr. CARVELL:

It proceeds to deal with the drawing of specifications, contract to be fulfilled according to the specification, and things of that kind. (Reading):

The said shells shall be made of such materials and components and in accordance with the drawings and specifications hereto annexed, and signed by the parties hereto.

The parties of the first part agree to deliver the said shell as follows, viz. 18-pounder mark III shells, delivery to be made to the party of the second part or to his authorized officers f.o.b. Montreal to the order of the party of the second part.

The shells shall be subject to inspection and such tests as may be required by the party of the second part during the process of manufacture, and shall moreover, be subject after manufacture completed to inspection and acceptance at the factory by the party of the second part; the approval and acceptance of any one lot of shells shall not be evidence of approval of acceptance of any other lot.

The prices to be paid for the said shells shall be for 18-pounder shells, $8.55 per shell.

For 15-pounder shells, $8.30 per shell, to be paid within ten days after the date of delivery, subject to certification of the invoices by the authorized officers appointed by the party of the second part.

In witness whereof the parties have hereunto set their hand the day and year first herein written.

The signatories to this document are Alexander Bertram, Thomas Cantley, G. W. Watts,. E. Carnegie, Sam Hughes, Minister of Militia and Defence for Canada; and the document is executed in the presence of D. Carnegie.

A second contract dated October 20, was entered into between the same parties for the supply of a certain number of boxes in which to transport these shells, also some cartridge eases. That will be found on page 33 of the proceedings of the commission. I do not think it is necessary to read it, because the wording is almost exactly the same as the one which I have just read, except, of course, as to the quantities, prices and specifications. Then they immediately entered into negotiations for the third lot, and in order to make myself thoroughly understood I feel that I shall have to read the negotiations with regard to this particular lot. This was for 200,000 18-pounder shrapnel, fixed ammunition, and 400,000 empty shrapnel shells. In this correspondence by cable the War Office was always addressed and signed as "Troopers " and the Militia Department of Canada was addressed as " Militia." This is a cable to " Troopers in London, the War Office, " dated November 24, 1014:

Referring to your cable 2025 A-2 and our cable No. 1811-cipher, can undertake supply 200,000 18-pounder shrapnel shells fixed ammunition including propellants but without

>

fuses and packed in ammunition cases delivered f.o.b. Montreal or Halifax by June first. Prices seventeen dollars and sixty-five cents each including boxes.

Can also supply further four hundred thousand 15 or 18-pounder shrapnel shells empty packed in ammunition boxes same delivery, price nine and a quarter dollars each, including boxes, not including cost of inspection. Can also supply fuses and will name price on receipt of specification and drawings. Early decision necessary as price raw materials advancing rapidly.

Please hasten despatch of specifications, gauges, etc., of 18-pounder cartridge cases and fuses and any other ammunition you may require manufactured in Canada will save time.

The answer to that came back on the 26th day of November, from the War Office to the Militia Department, as follows:

Regret that unless price of 18-pounder ammunition without fuse can be reduced to $15 and that of 18-pounder shells to $6, w? cannot place orders.

That was answered on the 2nd of December, 1914, from the Militia Department to the War Office, as follows:

Number 196 cipher. Referring to your cable 2287 A-2, November 30th and our cipher 191 27th November. My committee are proceeding with order, prices being fifteen and six dollars respectively not including wood boxes. Please cable confirmation.

I do not know that we have any evidence of the confirmation, but it was confirmed in some way, and they started out to make the ammunition. Those documents will be found on pages 32 and 33 of the printed report. A number of orders were given from that down to the first day of July. I shall not weary the House by going into the details; in fact, we did not have many details. But we do know that large numbers of orders were given, and that these orders were given out by the Shell Committee, sub-let as they would call it, to different people in different parts of Canada, and I believe that in some cases, when they could not get the parts in Canada, they went to the United States for them, and with that I am finding no fault. Further, they procured material to make shell boxes and things of that kind.

Finally we come to the third contract, which will be found on page 138 of the printed report. As this is a very important contract, I shall take the liberty of reading it:

This agreement made this 1st day of July, 1915.

Between

Alexander Bertram of Ottawa, in the province of Ontario, Thomas Cantley of New Glasgow, in the province of Nova Scotia, George W. Watts of Toronto, in the province of Ontario,

and E. Carnegie of Welland, in the province of Ontario, Manufacturers,

Of the first part.

And

Major General, the Honourable Sam Hughes, His Majesty's Minister of Militia and Defence of Canada, acting for and on behalf of His Majesty's Secretary of State for war,

Of the second part.

Witnesseth that the parties of the first part agree to manufacture and deliver to the party of the second part the ammunition, and deliver to the party of the second part the ammunition specified in attached schedule, which forms parts of this contract, subject to the following terms and conditions, and at the stipulated rates;

1. The said ammunition shall he made of such material and components, and in accordance with the drawings and specifications hereto annexed and signed by the parties hereto.

2. The parties of the first part agree to deliver, as far as possible the said ammunition in accordance with the said schedule. Delivery to he made to the party of the second part or to his authorized officers f.o.b. Montreal or other Atlantic ports, to the order of the party of the second part.

3. The ammunition shall he subject to inspection and such tests as may be required by the party of the second part during the process of manufacture, and shall moreover he subject after manufacture is completed to inspection and acceptance at the factory by the party of the second part; the approval and acceptance of any one lot of ammunition shall not he evidence of approval of acceptance of any other lot.

4. The prices paid for the said ammunition shall he in accordance with the said schedule, same to be paid not later than ten days after the date of delivery, subject to certification of the invoices by the authorized officers appointed by the party of the second part.

In witness whereof the parties hereto have hereunto set their hands the day and year first herein written.

Alex. Bertram,

Thos. Cantley,

Geo. W. Watts,

E. Carnegie,

Sam. Hughes.

Signed, sealed and of

delivered in the presence D. Carnegie.

Attached to this is an exhibit containing a copy of every order given by the War Office to the Militia Department of Canada, after the first 200 rounds mentioned in the first contract I have read, and also excluding the contract for the shell boxes and the few shell cases referred to in the second contract, which I have read. This schedule figuj-ed out really amounts to around $148,000,000, and according to the evidence, which I know I am stating accurately, it was a resume of all the orders given to the Militia, Department or the Shell Committee, either by cable or by letter, between, we will say, the 1st of October, 1914, and the 1st day of July, 1915. Mr. Speaker, 1 should like to have this placed on Hansard

if I could be allowed to do so without reading it. It is a long, technical schedule, but of course if it is thought necessary I shall read it.

Topic:   SHELL CONTRACTS.
Subtopic:   ROYAL COMMISSION OF INVESTIGATION.
Permalink

May 5, 1916