This amount of $5,800 is required for staff maintenance and repairs in connection with the Burlington channel bridge which is to provide a crossing over the ship channel for vehicular traffic and the cars of the radial railway from Hamilton to Oakville and intermediate points. There are repairs, renewals, painting, staff, bridge tender and three assistants, etc. These items make up the total of $5,800.
Telegraph and telephone lines-land and cable telegraph lines, lower St. Lawrence and Martime Provinces, including working expenses of vessels required for cable service,
There is a place called White Point in Victoria county, a very considerable fishing village, and it is about nine miles from the nearest telegraph line. They have never been able to get connection with the Government telegraph system. In summer time they can come from White Point in a boat five miles to a place called Dingwall, but in winter time they have to travel around the mainland about nine miles before they can send a message. For years they have been trying to get the line extended from Dingwall to White Point.
There are scattered farming settlements and the village is out on the point. They have been writing to me. When we had power ourselves, I made an effort to get this thing done, but I did not succeed. I had always hoped that I would be able' to overcome the difficulty. This must appeal to the minister. Here is a little community placed out on this point and it is desired that they shall have communication with the outside world. A very small amount of money would string a line along the shore down to White Point and give them a telegraph office.
It is very hard to resist my hon. friend's pleading, but I could not make any promise. I want to remind him that this vote is not for construction purposes, it is purely for maintenance. This illustrates the statement I made sometime ago when I said that it is costing this country $766,000 to operate these telephones. Of course there is some revenue, I do not know exactly how much, but nothing like sufficient to meet operating expenses, let alone interest on the investment. However, I will take into consideration what the hon. gentleman states.
(Mr. McKENZIE: The expenditure involved is very slight, considering the accommodation it would afford to a deserving community.
Mr. CAiRVBLL: It would involve the expenditure of about $1,000, I think.
Mr. DECHENE I see that last year the District Superintendent, Mr. G. B. Poulrot, received $1,000 for salary, (and there was also a payment made to him of $129.47. Apparently Mr Pouliot draws two salaries.
This vote will probably have to be expended this year, but we intend to have a pretty careful investigation of the telegraph system of the Yukon made by competent authority, and various suggestions made with a view to effecting economies will he taken into consideration. In the first place, the line from Fort George to,
I think it is, Fort Fraser, a distance of about one hundred and fifty miles, is now paralleled by the Grand Trunk Pacific. It would seem unnecessary that there should be two telegraph lines running through a country with as little settlement and business in-it as that district has. Then from Fort Fraser to Atlin, a distance of over three hundred miles, I am told, there is only one place where there is any business whatever, I think, on the Skeena river, a small trading post with only one or two merchants, and it requires an enormous amount of money to keep up that line. It is not so much the pay of the operators-although they have to have special residences built and stations are needed every twenty miles with a rest station between them again- but in the spring-time, when the ice and snow come down the mountain sides the poles are carried away and need renewing practically nearly every year over a large part of the line. Surely there must be some way of getting rid of a large amount of this expenditure and placing these lines on a business basis, and therefore I am going to have the whole matter thoroughly investigated.