April 10, 1923

CON

Richard Smeaton White

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WHITE:

In view of the statement made by the Mininster of Labour (Mr. Murdock) I would like to know if this bureau was not subject to the inspection of the factory inspector, and if'the boilers are not regularly inspected by the inspectors of the insurance companies, and whether any complaint or any condemnation has been made in either case.

Topic:   SUPPLY-DISMISSAL OF JOHN J. HAYES FROM POSTAL SERVICE
Subtopic:   PUBLIC WORKS-OTTAWA PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS
Permalink
LIB

James Murdock (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. MURDOCK:

I do not know whether any inspection has been made. I think not, and I do not want to convey the impression that the boilers are not safe. I do not know as to that. It is the location and the general way in which the wing has been built over, and the number of years that have elapsed since some of the work has been done and added to, that makes the structure, particularly in the centre, appear to me to be entirely unsafe and as though we might expect something serious to happen.

Topic:   SUPPLY-DISMISSAL OF JOHN J. HAYES FROM POSTAL SERVICE
Subtopic:   PUBLIC WORKS-OTTAWA PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS
Permalink
CON

John Babington Macaulay Baxter

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BAXTER:

What is the matter with taking a recess, getting the architects and the chief of the Printing bureau and all the other necessary persons together, and coming back

next session with a definite knowledge of what is the matter with the old building? The doubts of the Minister of Labour will be relieved by that time, and he can find out whether there is really a peril or not. We can have a plan made for a building, and know exactly what its floor space, height and cost will be, as accurately as any of these estimates can be made, and then parliament will be furnished with the information it should be asked to pass upon. I do not see there will be very much economy in time by putting the estimate through now, as all these things will have to be done, or I presume they will be done, before the government enters upon the construction of the building. It is only a question whether we will pass the estimate after the government has the information or before. I think perhaps the Minister of Public Works (Mr. King) might enlighten me a little more as to what they are going to do with the old building? Are they going to put the old Bureau in the Senate?

Amendment (Mr. Beland) agreed to.

Topic:   SUPPLY-DISMISSAL OF JOHN J. HAYES FROM POSTAL SERVICE
Subtopic:   PUBLIC WORKS-OTTAWA PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS
Permalink
CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

I move that the item be further reduced by $150,000.

Topic:   SUPPLY-DISMISSAL OF JOHN J. HAYES FROM POSTAL SERVICE
Subtopic:   PUBLIC WORKS-OTTAWA PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS
Permalink
LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING:

One suggestion on the part of hon. members opposite impressed me, and that is that this building will cost $1,000,-

000. The leader of the Opposition suggested the old building cost $2,000,000.

Topic:   SUPPLY-DISMISSAL OF JOHN J. HAYES FROM POSTAL SERVICE
Subtopic:   PUBLIC WORKS-OTTAWA PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS
Permalink
CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

No.

Topic:   SUPPLY-DISMISSAL OF JOHN J. HAYES FROM POSTAL SERVICE
Subtopic:   PUBLIC WORKS-OTTAWA PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS
Permalink
LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING:

I thought he said it probably cost $2,000,000.

Topic:   SUPPLY-DISMISSAL OF JOHN J. HAYES FROM POSTAL SERVICE
Subtopic:   PUBLIC WORKS-OTTAWA PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS
Permalink
CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

No, $1,000,000.

Topic:   SUPPLY-DISMISSAL OF JOHN J. HAYES FROM POSTAL SERVICE
Subtopic:   PUBLIC WORKS-OTTAWA PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS
Permalink
LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING:

I think if this building is going to cost $1,000,000, before

we go on with it the minister should come back to parliament and inform us. I think the request that we should know what a building is going to cost before we enter upon its construction is a reasonable one. I have been impressed with the representations as to the urgent need of the building, and if we are going to do anything this appropriation of S150,000 is not too much to make a beginning. If the minister finds on investigation that the building is going to cost about $1,000,000, I think he should not go on with it, but that he should stop operations, and come back and lay his plans before the House. Subject to that, I think the appropriation might properly pass.

Topic:   SUPPLY-DISMISSAL OF JOHN J. HAYES FROM POSTAL SERVICE
Subtopic:   PUBLIC WORKS-OTTAWA PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS
Permalink
LIB

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

Liberal

The CHAIRMAN:

This is a direct vote against the item, because it will reduce it tr. nothing.

Supply-Public Works

Topic:   SUPPLY-DISMISSAL OF JOHN J. HAYES FROM POSTAL SERVICE
Subtopic:   PUBLIC WORKS-OTTAWA PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS
Permalink
CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

That, is what I intended.

Topic:   SUPPLY-DISMISSAL OF JOHN J. HAYES FROM POSTAL SERVICE
Subtopic:   PUBLIC WORKS-OTTAWA PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS
Permalink
LIB

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

Liberal

The CHAIRMAN:

I do not know that the hon. member can move to reduce the whole item to nothing. He can move to reduce it by a certain sum.

Topic:   SUPPLY-DISMISSAL OF JOHN J. HAYES FROM POSTAL SERVICE
Subtopic:   PUBLIC WORKS-OTTAWA PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS
Permalink
PRO

Oliver Robert Gould

Progressive

Mr. GOULD:

Listening to the remark of the Minister of Labour, I was impressed with the thought that, seeing that he had gone down and, in his judgment, proved the building to be unworthy and unsafe, he might have followed up that idea by getting an engineer to investigate and make a report, and submit that report to the House. It seems to me that it would be more authentic, and we would have more to go on, if an engineer would submit a report and state that the building was unsafe or that portions of it were unsafe, and it would not in any way depreciate the ideas or the sentiments of the Minister of Labour. It seems to me the committee here has a right, if buildings are alleged to be unsafe, to have reports from some competent authority in regard to them.

Topic:   SUPPLY-DISMISSAL OF JOHN J. HAYES FROM POSTAL SERVICE
Subtopic:   PUBLIC WORKS-OTTAWA PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS
Permalink
PRO

John Warwick King

Progressive

Mr. KING (Kootenay):

I do not think there should be any idea in the minds of members of the committee that these boilers which are high pressure boilers under steam are not being properly inspected and taken care of. I have no doubt examinations are being made from time to time to see that they are in proper condition. But as regards even boilers that are looked after, things happen at times, and nobody will undertake for a moment to say that a high-pressure boiler should be under a building in which six or seven hundred people are employed. There is not only the danger that might happen of explosions which are more or less remote, but which, through neglect or some other cause, occur at times, but a very considerable danger from fire. Boilers carrying steam are usually fired to produce the heat required for the generation of steam in quantities, a much greater heat than one finds required in low-pressure boilers for heating purposes, and there is a real risk there, a risk that I do not believe the employees in the Printing bureau should be subject to. They were not originally subject to this, but they have been more recently on account of additions that have been built around this boiler, which at one time was outside of the building. That is a phase of the question that has been brought to the attention of the committee, and I think in fairness to the employees of the Printing bureau, proper inspection should be made from time to time. There is an increased fire risk and some danger that explosions from that boiler might occur, although the latter danger is remote.

The suggestion of the Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding) is quite in accord with my view. I have assured the committee that it is the intention of the department that the Architect's branch and representatives from the bureau will devote considerable time to informing themselves as to what will constitute a proper building for printing purposes, one that will be of service to the government. They will then proceed to design plans and to submit plans to the government. If after careful inquiry, we find that this is going to commit us to a larger expenditure than the original expenditure suggested I have no objection, in fact, I will advise that the matter be stayed over until the House is consulted next session. But I think it is necessary for us to make some progress in the matter. Let us make the investigation; let us have the plans. If necessary, let us secure the site, although I do not. think that will be necessary because the government owns a considerable amount of property, and I believe we can find a location for the plant. Let us go ahead, however, with the reduced appropriation of $150,000, and if it is found by the officials, after careful consideration, that this expenditure is to exceed the estimate as originally placed in the estimates, I will advise that the government hold the matter up and that parliament be consulted next year. In the meantime, I would like that this vote should receive the sanction of parliament.

Topic:   SUPPLY-DISMISSAL OF JOHN J. HAYES FROM POSTAL SERVICE
Subtopic:   PUBLIC WORKS-OTTAWA PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS
Permalink
CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

On the undertaking of the minister that if, after the plans are fully provided, they know what the cost is to be of the land and of the building, and if they find that that is likely to be over $500,000, then he will not proceed to make any expenditure, I am prepared to withdraw the amendment. The result will be just the same.

Amendment (Mr. Meighen) withdrawn.

Item as amended agreed to.

Progress reported.

On motion of Mr. Fielding, the House adjourned at 11.35 p.m.

Wednesday, April 11, 1923

Topic:   SUPPLY-DISMISSAL OF JOHN J. HAYES FROM POSTAL SERVICE
Subtopic:   PUBLIC WORKS-OTTAWA PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS
Permalink

April 10, 1923