May 23, 1919

L LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux

Laurier Liberal

Air. LEMIEUX:

I quite agree with the

statement of the minister as to the isolation of Ottawa from the rest of the country, and I think it is extraordinary that the capital of the Dominion should be so isolated. We are not isolated from a railway point of view, for Ottawa is a good railway centre. But if you leave Ottawa by automobile, when you have reached a certain radius you cannot go further. It seems to me that the good-roads policy has made such steady progress in all parts of the world, and especially in America, that the Provincial Governments of both Ontario and Quebec should see that transportation by way of good roads should be available from Ottawa eastward and westward. I am informed that it is the policy of the Quebec Government to have a new road betwen Montreal and Ottawa.

I am not at liberty to say whether it will be on the north or south bank of the Ottawa river, but the Prime Minister stated not very long ago in my presence that he did not understand why there should not be as good communication by highway, between Ottawa and Montreal, for instance, as there is between Montreal and Quebec. The good-roads policy adopted by the Quebec Government eight or nine years ago has undoubtedly produced excellent results in our province. It has attracted a large number of tourists and has improved our country hotels. It has proved for the farmer as well

as the resident of the city a source of comfort, and for the farmer a source of wealth. Coming back to Ottawa, it is incredible that this city should be isolated as it is. I am not speaking for myself. Sitting on this side of the House, I can not claim to have the privileges enjoyed on the other side. I have no automobile, but I say that the capital of the Dominion should have allround excellent communication, and in view of the improved highway system that is being advocated in every progressive province, it is not fair that our capital should be isolated.

Telegraph and Telephone Lines-Nova Scotia -Pictou Island-Telephone cable, $5,000.

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L LIB

John Howard Sinclair

Laurier Liberal

Mr. J. H. SINCLAIR:

I wish to congratulate the minister on the fact that he is doing something to put Pictou Island in touch with the rest of the Dominion. Pictou Island is situate in Northumberland Straits between Prince Edward Island and the mainland. It is of considerable size and is inhabited by a hardy race of Scotchmen and if my hon. friend will go there at any time I am sure he will be accorded a right Highland welcome. These people have never had the advantage of communication with the mainland and I am very much pleased that the minister is taking this step which is urgently needed. A friend of mine, the Rev. Allan Simpson, D.D., a retired Presbyterian minister, living in New Glasgow, was engaged in preaching the gospel to the people of this island last season when he observed the isolated condition of the place. He noticed that they had no telephone communication with the mainland and that they were at a serious disadvantage in case of sickness, or when there was any urgent necessity for communicating with points outside. I think he had a good deal to do with creating an interest in this matter and starting the agitation to obtain this telephone connection, and I am quite sure it will Cheer his heart very much to know that the minister is taking the necessary steps to bring it about. The cable, when completed, will be a great boon to the people of the island not only in connection with the fishing industry but also in their social and business relations with the rest of the country. I have been informed that the department has some wire on hand that could be utilized without incurring any great expense. I trust that the work of laying the cable will be commenced at once and that the people will have the advantage of it during the present season.

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UNI L

Frank Broadstreet Carvell (Minister of Public Works)

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. CARVELL:

I can assure the hon. member that there are no votes in these Estimates that are not serious. When I asked Parliament to vote $5,000 to lay that cable I expect to lay it, that is, if the steamship Tyrian ever gets into the water; it has been in dry dock now for a year. When we get it out the crew will want more pay. They have been kept there without doing anything and I do not know whether we will get the boat going again or not. We intend anyway to lay the cable. I accept all my hon. friend says about the good qualities of these people. I think they must be good people. I was just wondering whether this was the island that my hon. friend was telling me about last summer where one of those good thrifty Scotch people parted with some $3,000 or $4,000 for white paper. Some sharp chap came down there. If so, I think they need a telephone to wake them up.

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L LIB

John Howard Sinclair

Laurier Liberal

Mr. J. H. SINCLAIR:

Some care will require to be exercised in order to avoid the ice m the winter season. I do not know much about laying cables but I nave heard it said that some investigation should take place to see that the best spot is selected so that the cable will not be swept away in the winter time.

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L LIB

Daniel Duncan McKenzie (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Laurier Liberal

Mr. McKENZIE:

I was sorry to hear the minister give such a bad reputation to the Tyrian. She must have got into bad company. We had her in Sydney.

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UNI L

Frank Broadstreet Carvell (Minister of Public Works)

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. CARVELL:

That is where she became demoralized.

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L LIB

Daniel Duncan McKenzie (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Laurier Liberal

Mr. McKENZIE:

No, she was a respectable boat and she was always on time whenever there was anything to be done. But some evil genius thought that Halifax was the centre of the earth and that everything had to gravitate there. Immediately after the change of Government they took the boat away from North Sydney to Halifax, and they have of course manipulated the Tyrian ever since for their own purposes.

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UNI L

Frank Broadstreet Carvell (Minister of Public Works)

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. CARVELL:

Is it a fact that my hon. friend stole her away from Halifax some few years ago?

' Mr. McKENZIE: She was in the market for a proper dwelling place, and, having the best harbour in the world, the Tyrian being a stranger, we took her in. But she was led astray by those bad influences at Halifax. I think the trouble is not with the Tyrian, but with the people who are trying to make too much money out of her.

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L LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux

Laurier Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX:

If you maintain a cable system such as we have in the gulf of 6t. Lawrence, how can you do it without a cable boat?

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UNI L

Frank Broadstreet Carvell (Minister of Public Works)

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. CARVELL:

I would get rid of the

cable boat and establish wireless stations. Here we are spending $60,000 a year on a boat that does not get into the water for more than about two months in the year. The fault may be in the department officials at North Sydney or at Halifax, but it is something I will not stand as long as I have anything to say about it, and I do not think that any Minister of Public Works ought to stand it. Something must be done to limit it.

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L LIB
UNI L

Frank Broadstreet Carvell (Minister of Public Works)

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. CARVELL:

Yes, there are a good

many of such stations.

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UNI L

William Stevens Fielding

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. FIELDING:

In the meantime there are several cable lines which are broken, and the people interested are clamouring to have them repaired. If the Tyrian cannot do it what provision has the department made to meet that situation?

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UNI L

Frank Broadstreet Carvell (Minister of Public Works)

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. CARVELL:

We have managed to

repair them during the past year by fitting up scows for small works. I think the Lady7 Laurier is a ship that is capable of being fitted with cable-laying apparatus, and the apparatus is stored at Halifax. Whether we can do that or not we are not going to keep the Tyrian going under present conditions. If we have to get rid of the cables we will do so and we will adopt the wireless.

In connection with the Magdalen Islands I think the cable might be entirely abolished and that we might rely on the wireless. The same thing applies to Anticosti. They have the wireless to Anticosti during the summer season and it is closed down during the winter. There is no reason why it should not be kept going continuously. There is Pictou island, Scatari, Deer island and Grand Manan off the coast of New Brunswick, and some others, were cable connection must be maintained; but we can dispense with the cable if it is necessary, in order to maintain this ship, to spend $60,000 a year.

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UNION

Samuel Hughes

Unionist

Sir SAM HUGHES:

Does not the great

advantage of cables over wireless lie in the fact that you can utilize the cables for telephone purposes?

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L LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux

Laurier Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX:

It is all very well to

talk about getting rid of the Tyrian. I do not care whether the minister takes advantage of the Tyrian or the Lady Laurier or of any other steamer, but the cables are there and unless you have a perfect system of wireless stations you cannot do away with them as easily as my hon. friend thinks, because in the interest of navigation these cables must be maintained. My hon. friend spoke of the Magdalen Islands. They are isolated from the mainland for four or five months in the year. You have Bird Rock, which forms part of the Magdalen islands group. It is the first station in the river St. Lawrence seen by the mariners as they come up the river. It is connected with the group of islands and with Cape Breton by cable. You have your station on the rock. You have Bryan island, which was the first island sighted by Jacques Cartier when he discovered the river St. Lawrence. For navigation purposes you must maintain these cables unless you get a perfect system of wireless stations. If you can substitute that I have no objection. I do not know anything about the Tyrian, but I do know that, on account of the very rough weather in the gulf of St. Lawrence, it happens very often that the cable is broken. I have experienced some very serious troubles myself by reason of being out of touch with my electors for weeks and weeks during the winter because the cable had broken and they were awaiting the return of the Tyrian early in the spring to repair it. I do not know what my hon. friend will do but he must not forget that ocean navigation is interested in maintaining these cables.

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UNI L

William Stevens Fielding

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. FIELDING:

I am, like my hon. friend (Mr. Lemieux), not concerned in the Tyrian, but I am interested in the cables. There are a couple of cables that have come within my observation and knowledge which have been broken and for some months they have been waiting for something to be done to repair them. They have been brought to the attention of the minister, and the Tyrian cannot do the work some other means should be devised for doing it. It may be that the dropping of the cables and the substitution of wireless is the proper policy, and I have no objection to it; but in the meantime I hope my hon. friend will do whatever he can to help out the situation to which I have called his attention.

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UNION

Samuel Hughes

Unionist

Sir SAM HUGHES:

I might make a

statement about these wireless stations. These are largely isolated positions and there are a great many posts, so that you would have to have a day and night operator at each place and it would be a bill of expense. I remember this was all gone into before the House some years ago. The great advantage of cables is that anybody can use them for telephone purposes. If the telegrapher is absent one could use the cable as wireless. I have no special interest in the matter other than the general welfare. I think it would be short-sighted to deprive these people of their cable stations.

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UNI L

Frank Broadstreet Carvell (Minister of Public Works)

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. CARVELL:

I quite agree with all that has been said. I do not propose to take service away from anybody. In most of these cases there is no telephonic communication. They rely entirely upon the telegraph.

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UNION

May 23, 1919