June 24, 1922

LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

With reference to this contract which my hon. friend says is being repudiated-

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CON
LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

-will he tell us the date at which the contract was entered into, and by whom?

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CON

John Arthur Clark

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLARK:

Yes. The first contract was entered into in October, 1920. That contract was with Coughlin. It was afterwards surrendered in consideration of a contract for the same subsidy. The Wallace Company being added to the consolidation. It was a contract under which two shipbuilding companies joined together, but a change was made in the kind of dock. It had been intended to build a graving dock but I think they came to the conclusion that that was impraticable because of the cost. The subsidy was for a second class dock and would not have enabled them to float their bonds and so on, and then the project would be financially impossible. These two companies were negotiating for a period of some six or eight months and finally consolidated their interests and surrendered the contract in consideration of the execution of a new contract. I canot give you the exact date. I think the contract was signed very shortly before the election, but the consolidation was completed and the surrender of the old contract was given only on the distinct understanding that the new contract would issue in consideration thereof.

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

My hon.

friend says the contract was signed very shortly before the general election. Is it not a fact it was signed about six days before the election?

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CON

John Arthur Clark

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLARK:

I do not think it matters at all. I said "very shortly" but I cannot give you the exact date. It does not matter whether it was before or after the election; it is a necessity-that is my point.

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PRO

George Gibson Coote

Progressive

Mr. COOTE:

Does the hon. member think this Parliament would be justified in authorizing the building of two dry docks as close together as Esquimalt and Vancouver?

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CON

John Arthur Clark

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLARK:

In the first place this Government is not building the dry dock. This is a matter of private enterprise, subsidized under a public statute. Any person can come along, make odt a case, and get the subsidy. A case has been made out

repeatedly, as I say, for over a period of ten years and now we have got private enterprise to complete the undertaking. These two ports are eighty miles apart, and a dry dock in Victoria will never be of any use to the shipping industry of Vancouver. For this reason: Vancouver is a terminal point. The ships will come into Vancouver and unload, and if they have to turn round and go eighty miles to have very extensive repairs made, unless such repairs are an absolute necessity. They will reload and go back to Hong Kong and have them made there or else go down to Seattle.

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PRO
CON

John Arthur Clark

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLARK:

I do not admit that at all. I say that the shipping in and out of Victoria is absolutely sufficient and more than sufficient to justify a dry dock there. As I pointed out before, the ports of Montreal and Quebec have four dry docks between them. These two ports have none and yet the shipping tonnage through them is much greater than through the ports of Montreal and Quebec.

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Item agreed to. Public Buildings-Ontario, $132,580.


PRO

Alan Webster Neill

Progressive

Mr. NEILL:

I just wish to suggest to the Government that under the item of Dominion Public Buildings some amount of money might be spent, and some attention paid, to the matter of the acoustics of this Chamber. The conditions that prevail here are a travesty on common sense. The man who erected this building and left it as it is should be crucified. Can you conceive of a church in any of our big cities, or a theatre, with accommodation for nearly 250 people as to which one-third of those who attend might almost just as well be outside the building. It is of no use to say that an improvement cannot be made, because there can be an improvement. If you send a plumber to do the work he will not be able to do it; but if you send an expert-and there are experts in the business-the needed work can readily be done. Members from British Columbia will recall the former legislative chamber, only this is worse than that because in the provincial chamber there were only forty-two members. However, they could not hear in that chamber and they did some peculiar stunt in connection with the roof. I forget whether they tore out the former ceiling and put in a new one-* but it does not matter, they did something

Supply-Public Works

to the chamber and made it practically all right. A little care and a little study by an expert would surely convert this Chamber into something approximating the purpose for which it was intended.

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Item agreed to. Public Buildings-Alberta, $27,000.


PRO

Andrew Knox

Progressive

Mr. KNOX:

Do I understand that the vote for public buildings in Saskatchewan has been carried?

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LIB
PRO

Andrew Knox

Progressive

Mr. KNOX:

I did not think the item was read. Is it so small for Saskatchewan that it is not worth paying any attention to?

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?

An hon. MEMBER:

There are others.

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Item agreed to. Harbours and Rivers, Nova Scotia, $258,740.


CON

Henry Lumley Drayton

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir HENRY DRAYTON:

These look more like main estimates than supplement-aries.

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LIB

George Newcombe Gordon (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

The CHAIRMAN:

Is it the pleasure of the committee that I read the different items embodied in this vote?

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June 24, 1922