May 27, 1921

NAT L

Fleming Blanchard McCurdy (Minister of Public Works)

Nationalist Liberal

Mr. McCURDY:

This is a float that

takes the place of a pile wharf that was destroyed by storms. In one sense it is a new work, but as it takes the place of a structure which has been serving the business of the district, my hon. friend will admit that it is hardly in the category of new undertakings.

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L LIB

Ernest Lapointe

Laurier Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

There are works in

the city of Quebec which were stopped when the war broke out. They are still unfinished, and it is not fair for this House to vote money for new construction when works already begun are not being completed.

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L LIB

Henri-Edgar Lavigueur

Laurier Liberal

Mr. LAVIGUEUR:

I endorse the remarks of the member for Quebec East (Mr. Lapointe). In Quebec we have been asking for repairs to a wharf destroyed by the flood in 1918, but the Government has always stated that they had no money. If they have no money for Quebec, how is it that they can afford expenditures somewhere else?

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NAT L

Fleming Blanchard McCurdy (Minister of Public Works)

Nationalist Liberal

Mr. McCURDY:

If my hon. friend will

refer to the Estimates he will find that there is provision for works in the province of Quebec. The task of keeping up structures is a difficult one; it is not easy to determine exactly when repairs should be gone on with and when works .should be allowed to stand over for another year. The officials of the department are very often put to it to correctly draw the line.

I can assure my hon. friend that every effort is being made to care for the works that are in urgent need of attention throughout the country, and if he will look at the Estimates he will find that his province has not been neglected.

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L LIB

Item agreed to. \ Carroll's Landing-wharf, $11,000.


L LIB
NAT L

Fleming Blanchard McCurdy (Minister of Public Works)

Nationalist Liberal

Mr. McCURDY:

Those members of the House who were present last year when the Public Works Estimates were under consideration will recollect that the acting minister stated that the appropriations then voted were to be expended. The item under discussion is a revote, and acting on the policy which was outlined last year tenders were asked for this work-it has been advertised and we have received very reasonable tenders to construct.

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L LIB

Alexander William Chisholm

Laurier Liberal

Mr. CHISHOLM:

I accept the minister's word, but I must call his attention to the fact that there were certain amounts voted in the Estimates last year for works in other parts of the country, and I do not find them in the Estimates this year -urgent works too. I have in my mind's eye at the present time an appropriation that was in the Estimates last year, but, so far as I can see, these Estimates do not contain that item.

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L LIB
NAT L

Fleming Blanchard McCurdy (Minister of Public Works)

Nationalist Liberal

Mr. McCURDY:

Yes, but it is a revote.

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L LIB
NAT L

Fleming Blanchard McCurdy (Minister of Public Works)

Nationalist Liberal

Mr. McCURDY:

Yes, tenders were called for and the contract has been awarded.

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L LIB

Alexander William Chisholm

Laurier Liberal

Mr. CHISHOLM:

Tenders were called

for in the case to which I have reference, but, for some reason or other, the contract was not awarded. The appropriation in question was revoted several times.

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L LIB

John Howard Sinclair

Laurier Liberal

Mr. SINCLAIR (Guysborough):

Will

the minister say when the tenders were called for?

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NAT L

Fleming Blanchard McCurdy (Minister of Public Works)

Nationalist Liberal

Mr. McCURDY:

Tenders for this work were called for more than once. Tenders were first invited in August, 1920, and in the opinion of the chief engineer of the department they were all too high-they were above his estimate. In January of

this year tenders were again called for, and a tender $3,000 lower than the lowest tender on the previous occasion was received.

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L LIB
NAT L
L LIB

Andrew Ross McMaster

Laurier Liberal

Mr. McMASTER:

I hoped to have been able to discuss these questions of expenditure on wharves and harbours with some idea of the public service that these different works were given to our people, and two months ago I put a question on the Order Paper which was passed as an Order for Return. The schedule which should have been prepared, and which I should have had long ere this, would have given the expenditure for the last five years on capital and on operating account of these different wharves, the amount of upkeep which the Government was obliged to expend year Jby year, and the amount of tonnage which these wharves serve. If I could have had, and the House could have had, the advantage of this information we could have discussed these Estimates with considerably more benefit, I think, to the people, and I deeply regret that the Government was not able to give me this information. It is very hard for us, Mr- Chairman, to really criticise these works as they should be criticised, because we cannot tell just how much public benefit each wharf affords to the people of Canada.

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NAT L

Fleming Blanchard McCurdy (Minister of Public Works)

Nationalist Liberal

Mr. McCURDY:

The return which my hon. friend asked for is, as he knows, a voluminous one which necessitates going into the departmental records for the past five years of all public expenditures on harbours and rivers. I am sure he quite underrates the amount of clerical work necessary to produce the figures that he asks for. I will make inquiry of the department and expedite the compilation of the return in every possible way consistent with the carrying on of the other duties with which the officials are charged.

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May 27, 1921