April 4, 1922

LIB

Charles A. Stewart (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Argenteuil) :

In reply to the hon. leader of the Opposition, it has occurred to me, although I am speaking largely from hearsay, that there is a large number of Indian schools-rightly or wrongly I have been hearing of some of them-that require some attention. It is not absolutely necessary that a man should be an architect to inspect a building, but there is some construction to be done, and undoubtedly there are many architects in other parts of the service of this Government, and there may be no great necessity for this particular official in this department. Indeed I may say, in enlarging upon what my hon. friend has said with respect to solicitors, that there does seem to be overlapping, if one can judge by a simple glance at the Estimates of the Civil Service. I have forty odd surveyors in the Interior Department, I think, in addition to the assistants. True they do a valuable work, and there is provision in this estimate for them. I am inclined to agree with my hon. friend in the suggestion that something might be done to prevent overlapping. I am somewhat in agreement with the statement of my hon. friend who has just spoken on behalf of the departmental solicitor. He might very well be an official of the Department of Justice, under the control of that department, and I may say for the benefit of my legal friends that in the small province from which I come we had one department under the control of the Attorney General, and did not have solicitors in any of the other departments, but I am surprised to hear them say that lawyers disagree. They should not, on matters of this character, where no very serious questions are involved. I quite understand the necessity for those particular individuals in those particular departments, but I think they should be under the control of the Department of Justice.

Might I answer the question of my hon. friend (Mr. Jacobs) as he is desirous of

having it upon the record? I have made a rough estimate of the Indian population; I am not sure that I am correct, but I will, with the consent of the Chairman, give it by provinces. The figures are as follows:

Number

Province Population of reserves

Nova Scotia 2,031 45New Brunswick. . . 1,846 26Prince Edward Island 292 2Ontario 20,969 138Quebec 13,366 20Manitoba 11,927 68Saskatchewan .. .. 10,431 89Alberta 9,332 61Northwest Territories 3,620

This statement does not give the number of reserves in the North West Territories.

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CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

What about British

Columbia?

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LIB

Charles A. Stewart (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Argenteuil):

The population is 20,744. I cannot say whether the Yukon in included in that or not. I have not the figures for the Yukon.

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CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

The total is, I think, about 91,000.

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LIB

Charles A. Stewart (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Argenteuil):

I made

a rough computation showing it to be a little more.

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Item agreed to. Civil Government-Mines-salaries and contingencies, $514,862 50.


CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

There is a substantial increase.

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LIB

Charles A. Stewart (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Argenteuil):

A very considerable increase will be found in the estimates for the Department of Mines. This is one of the departments in the success of Which, outside of the Department of Agriculture, I am more interested than in that of any other department of the Government. We are continually speaking about the future of Canada, and I think it is well said that if we are to make a success of Canada, we must make our agriculturists successful; but in the same breath I would say that it is necessary that we carry on legitimate research work in connection with the vast stores of minerals contained within the boundaries of this country, and hand in hand with the development and success of agriculture, should go the success of mineral development in Canada. In the province from which I come, the question of mineral development is a very live one, because a great deal of wealth comes from the products of our mines. One

Supply-Mines

need only mention that, of the tonnage carried by the railroads of Canada, 44 per cent represents the products of the mines.

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CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

Is that not mostly coal from the United States?

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LIB

Charles A. Stewart (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Argenteuil) :

Not altogether. A proportion of it is coal from the United States, but the balance is the product of our mines. The products of the mines of the United States travel over short distances in Canada, by rail from Port Arthur to Winnipeg and slightly beyond the latter point, and throughout the province of Ontario. I mention this merely to point out the desirability of proper research work being carried on in this particular department.

I found, on taking charge of this department, that, owing to the very rapid development in Canada during the period of the war, we lost the services of a number of officials of the department, who were very important to its success. We have in the province of Alberta two or three highly skilled men, who should, in my opinion, be in the Mines Department of the Dominion of Canada to-day. One of them is a chemist, who is experimenting in clays with the idea of solving the problem of a mixture of clays that will make a road surface that will stand the weather conditions of our province. He is having splendid success. We have not in that province, as, indeed, in many other parts of Canada, road metal either of gravel or of rock for the purpose of surfacing our roads, and this gentleman is working in the Science Department of the University of Alberta, endeavouring to solve this problem. Alongside of him is Dr. Stansfield, a chemist who is experimenting with the briquetting of lignite coal. He is working there on the problem of the extraction of oil from the tar sands found in the vicinity of Fort McMurray, north of Edmonton, in that province. Speaking of agriculture, I think that, perhaps, no greater benefit has accrued to the Canadian farmer than the development of "Marquis" wheat by Dr. Saunders, and in the same way, I am asking for an appropriation to carry on investigational work in the field of mining, increasing the staff of men who will perform geological field work through this Dominion wherever there appears to be a favourable opportunity. They will map the area and furnish the information to men who are desirous of pursuing the business of mining, in order to attract them to Canada to develop those vast natural resources which

we possess. I dwell upon this because I believe it is an important work, and I believe this money that I am asking Parliament to vote will be well spent and will come back a thousand fold to the people of Canada if it is spent in a proper direction. That is the statement which I have to make in this connection. There is an increase of nine officials, principally young men who will go out on investigational field work during the summer months. The rest of the increases, so far as I know, are statutory increases, a matter over which we have little or no control.

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CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

In general I agree with the minister as to the value of the department from a practical standpoint, and as to the wisdom of not too strictly confining it in the matter of expenditure. But what he says as to the department can be said with equal force of, I should say, 50 per cent at least of the services of the Government, though with less force as to the rest. This is scarcely a year for expanding the overhead charge of any department. Last year, when there was considerable criticism, there was a reduction in the expenditures from the year before. This year the increase is about $18,500 over last year and aoout $17,000 over the year before. This is a pretty substantial increase. I would ask the minister to consider if it would not be possible to obtain the services he requires */vithout expanding the vote. I know there is always a tendency on the part of deputies, indeed on the part of good deputies, to increase the number of their officers. I have no fault to. find with the Deputy Minister of Mines. Indeed, I think he is an excellent official. As a matter of fact, I selected him myself.

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LIB
CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

I say, he is an excellent official; nevertheless the tendency on the part of the very best men is to seek to expand the number of men around them. It is human nature, and if the minister will look down through the estimates I think he will see a few cases where, at the first opportunity, he might very well effect an economy. For example, it will not decrease the mineral output of the country if we did without an ethnologist. I believe that an ethnologist has been added at $3,300. How will he increase our mineral output? I may be wrong but I understand that this persons studies the remains of prehistoric man. Then, why should there be an ornithologist in the Mines Department? In the

S upply-Mines

Interior Department the minister will find that there is a Parks Branch under a very competent official who pays particular attention to the bird life of Canada, which he has taken very practical steps to preserve and increase. He has done admirable work, which is of a practical nature. But why should we study ornithology as a scientific pursuit in connection with the Mines Department? I do not see that any practical service could be rendered that branch by the study of ornithology.

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LIB

Charles A. Stewart (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Argenteuil) :

He is

an addition this year.

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CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

Well, at least the

ethnologist appears to have been added by the minister, that is, if I read the item correctly.

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LIB

Charles A. Stewart (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Argenteuil) :

I do not think that either the assistant or the chief ethnologist is an addition. I agree with the leader of the Opposition in his criticism of the gentleman who looks after the birds, but I think that the ethnologist was in the department when the right hon. gentleman was there.

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CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

I think the minister is wrong. I do not see an ethnologist in the list last year, and if he looks at the item he will see that $3,300 is provided for this officer this year. Further down the list an assistant chemist is added, and on the next page there are added a principal account clerk, principal clerk book-keeper, and a senior translator. Really I do not know what need there is for a translator in the Mines Department. There would be need for one in the Indian Branch, because there is a language to translate, but not in the Mines Department.

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LIB
CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

That might be so, but I do not think that they often find literature among the remains of prehistoric men. Now, at various points down there have been additions, and almost everywhere increases in salary, varying considerably. It seems to me that if the minister would go over this list with his deputy carefully he could come within last year's figure, and at the same time meet all the really practical requirements of the department. *

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LIB

Charles A. Stewart (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Argenteuil) :

The

translator, I understand, is at work preparing detailed reports of the department in French. The additional clerks are in

connection with the Explosives Branch. Perhaps my hon. friend will know more about that branch than I do, but I believe that that branch is a necessary addition to the Mines Department, and they are expanding it this year.

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April 4, 1922