Or in any other province-who objects to any item in the Public Works' estimates which have been presented to this parliament. When I ask him to suggest the name of any person in that province who objects to the estimates that have been brought before this House, he says it is none of my business. It is my business, and it is the business of this committee, and I challenge my hon. friend from South Wellington to name a man from the province of Nova Scotia who objects to the estimates that have been brought down by the Minister of Public Works.
Has any policy been arrived at with respect to the question of provincial wharves on tidal waters in New Brunswick? If I understand the matter aright, the scheme adopted by my hon. friend's friends of the provincial government of New Brunswick is to unload upon the Dominion treasury the maintenance and upkeep of all the public wharves that have been built in that province since the beginning of time, and thus relieve themselves of a burden which they voluntarily took upon themselves in days gone by. If the minister will question the officials of his department, he will find that a very prodigal policy has been pursued in the past by both governments with respect to building public wharves in New Brunswick in tidal waters, which wharves, for the most part, have been built purely for political purposes. This was especially true on the river St. John during the regime of the Laurier government down to 1911 when a former member of this House represented that constituency as a supporter of that government. If you will travel up and down the river St. John in the counties of Queen's and Sunbury, you will find two or three wharves in the same locality, one built by the Dominion, one by the province and another by one or the other as a high water wharf or a low water wharf, as the case may be. At the present time, all are in a state of disrepair, and the provincial government have refused to carry out the policy which was instituted twenty-five or thirty years ago with respect to building these wharves, and to keep their wharves in repair. Similarly, during the war, owing to the exigencies of the finances of the country, the Dominion authorities allowed many of their wharves to fall into disrepair-one could very well understand that. But lately, an effort has been made on the part of the provincial authorities by the Foster government to unload on the Dominion all the upkeep and maintenance of these provincial wharves in tidal waters. Just the other day, Hon. Mr. Foster was a visitor to Ottawa. I do not know that his visit to the capital synchronized with the vacancy which has recently occurred in the Senate or not, but he paid a visit to Ottawa, and on his return to New Brunswick he announced that the Dominion authorities had agreed to take over from the province all the provincial wharves in tidal waters. I should like to have from the minister a
statement as to what policy has been decided upon in that regard. I would point out to him also the duplication of services by the two governments in the past, and, having regard to that, would ask what is proposed to be done in the future. While I am on my feet I should like to point out to the minister that, in this appropriation of $66,700, there is not one dollar for the repair of a single Dominion wharf in the water of the St. John river or its tributaries, although many important wharves are to be found in that locality.
If I had time, I could recall them; but at the very least, there must be a dozen. In my constituency of Sunbury, there is one at Oromocto, one at Mangerville, one at Burton and one at Sheffield, a very important wharf.
I will not take any back seat to the hon. gentleman. I have already pointed out four in the county of Sunbury, and if I had time to think of them, I could point out half a dozen more. There is a public wharf at Gagetown, a very important point on the river St. John, where during the season of navigation, a very large quantity of produce and lumber is shipped each year. That is a Dominion wharf. I know that because I was instrumental in having some minor repairs done to that wharf last year by the Dominion authorities.
In these estimates there is not a dollar for a single wharf on the St. John river, although there are at least a dozen in that locality. There is not a single dollar for a wharf in the bay of Fundy waters, except at three points in the county of Charlotte. The entire vote is being appropriated for the north shore counties, and that is not a fair distribution. With respect to the appropriation of $40,000 generally for harbours and rivers in New Brunswick, I do not object to the principle of that blanket appropriation, except to make this observation-that, in times gone by, a very much larger appropriation was [Mr. Hanson.J
inserted in the estimates, and it was used as occasion required, not altogether on business principles. I do not, however, object to the amount of $40,000 in the estimate this year, if the minister will say that attention will be given to those Dominion wharves where, I know, attention is required.
My hon. friend misunderstands me. The wharves in the other provinces have not been taken over by this Government; they have been maintained by the Dominion government for many years, and the province of New Brunswick is the only province in the whole Dominion that has been compelled to keep up wharves in tidal waters. Does my hon. friend object to the province of New Brunswick being treated in the same manner as the other provinces?
that to be the case. If my hon. friend will, on his authority as a minister of the Crown, state that that is the case, then I would submit that New Brunswick should be placed in no different position from that of any other province. But if that be not the case, I will object to hon. gentlemen opposite loading on to the Dominion the burden which the province of New Brunswick voluntarily assumed, and which it should keep up because it voluntarily assumed the burden.
Representations have been made during the last two or three years to the Dominion government by the provincial government of New Brunswick, asking that this government take over and control the wharf service in New Brunswick. Heretofore there has been a dual service, which apparently came into vogue many years ago. The matter was under consideration by the late government and, I believe, it had reached a certain stage where an order would probably have been presented with that idea in view. The policy was not adopted; but for the information of the committee, I may say that recently I have had representations from the government
of New Biunswick following up the representations which they made in 1919 and 1920; the matter is receiving consideration, but the final decision has not been reached.