April 26, 1921

L LIB
UNI L

John Flaws Reid

Unionist (Liberal)

Hon. Mr. REID:

It is just as urgent as any other work and I put the item in.

Topic:   REVISED EDITION. COMMONS
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L LIB

Thomas Vien

Laurier Liberal

Mr. VIEN:

About two years ago there

was a tidal wave which destroyed most of the wharves along the St. Lawrence front, from about ten miles below Quebec up to Montreal, or at least to Three Rivers. In my riding of Lotbiniere there were two wharves, one of which was a government wharf at St. Croix. I urged the Government to rebuild that wharf and to give some accommodation to the population of the County because at least ten or twelve parishes used the wharf to go to the market at Quebec. The Government did not find their way clear to do so. They said the war was on, and there were so many other expenditures that had to he met. The Government indeed were too poor to spend any money in the county of Lotbiniere although the interested parties offered to give a piece of land for a deep water wharf. The Seigneur of Lotbiniere had made plans and offered to maintain the wharf if the Government

would only rebuild it. The Department of Public Works sent a special engineer down to investigate the matter. His report was favourable and the only drawback was the lack of money. A few months afterwards I received a letter from the Minister of Finance asking me to go over the county of Lotbiniere and encourage the people to subscribe as largely and generously as possible to the Victory Bonds, to the loan that the Government were then raising. I did my best, and the county subscribed $180,000 towards the management of the affairs of the country. They came to the Government and tried to induce them to spend some of that money in the riding, because many parishes thirty miles from the railroad had no other access to the market in Quebec than that afforded by the wharves at St. Croix and St. Antoine. It was of no avail-the Government (did not find their way clear to grant any money. These poor devils are still there without any wharves and without any access to the market, but the minister comes here to-night and says "General Plughes, my friend, pressed the matter so much on me that I had to put that item here. It is of course, a very urgent need for the riding of Victoria and Haliburton. The work was put off during the war but now that General Hughes is pressing so much for an item to appear in the Estimates I could not refuse that to my friend." Well, I say this is an illustration of how the money of the people of 11 p.m. Canada is spent. It is spent when friends of the Government urge it. When they press it on the ministers then the purse is opened, then the public exchequer is opened, then the public money flows freely into those ridings where it is best to let it flow, for political purposes and political aims. But I say that in circumstances like the present when the country is face to face with bankruptcy, Vhen the present administration cannot present better financial statements than the one we had from the Minister of Railways at the opening of the session, I say that it takes some-[DOT] what shall I say?-cheek, nerve, or audacity for the minister of the Crown to assert "This item was pressed on me by my good friend General Hughes". Not only this item but a great many other items have been pressed on the Government and to-day they are spending the money freely despite the dire financial

conditions that the country is faced with. They spend money freely when they see some political advantage to be derived from it. Well, I maintain that such a state of affairs should be put clearly before the public of Canada, and it seems to me that under the circumstances this item of $10,000 for a wharf at Lindsay might easily stand. Of course for the minister,-who, since the war, is used to spending millions and talking in hundreds of millions-it is a trifling amount, but $10,000 is $10,000 and if the minister would refrain from expending such sums here and there, and even larger amounts, he might find his way clear to financing his railways and canals in a more successful manner. For my part, Sir, I would be willing that the item should be struck out.

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UNION
L LIB
LIB

Joseph Philippe Baby Casgrain

Liberal

Mr. CASGRAIN:

I second the motion. I have a few words to say in reference to this item.

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L LIB

Georges Henri Boivin (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Laurier Liberal

The CHAIRMAN:

A motion that the item be struck out is certainly not in order. There is a motion before the committee that the item carry, but the hon. member has the fight to vote against it-

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L LIB
L LIB

Georges Henri Boivin (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Laurier Liberal

The CHAIRMAN:

-or to reduce the item.

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L LIB
UNION
L LIB

Thomas Vien

Laurier Liberal

Mr. VIEN:

Not carried. Question.

Item agreed to on division: Yeas, 31, nays 21.

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L LIB

Georges Henri Boivin (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Laurier Liberal

The CHAIRMAN:

Item 125-

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UNI L

John Flaws Reid

Unionist (Liberal)

Hon. Mr. REID:

Mr. Chairman, it was understood we would close about eleven o'clock. Therefore I move that the- committee rise and report progress.

Progress reported.

On motion 'of Hon. Mr. Reid the House adjourned at 11.10 p.m.

Wednesday, April 27, 1921.

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April 26, 1921