June 26, 1925

PRO

George Arthur Brethen

Progressive

Mr. BRETHEN:

The initial selling price

of the property in 1907 was $40,000.

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CON

Henry Lumley Drayton

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir HENRY DRAYTON:

Forty-three

thousand. There has been no work on the property at all. Hon. gentlemen will see now how difficult it is for us to do anything intelligently with this vote. How many hon. members understand the issue now?

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LIB
CON

Henry Lumley Drayton

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir HENRY DRAYTON:

None; there

you have it. I thought the irrepressible member would interject a remark of that kind.

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LIB

Albert Frederick Healy

Liberal

Mr. HEALY:

It seemed clear enough to

the committee until you tried to explain it.

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CON

Henry Lumley Drayton

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir HENRY DRAYTON:

I had expected something of such brilliancy from the hon. member, whose name will be famous in verse. But I was pointing out how ridiculous it is to expect anything like a sensible vote in this House on this question at the present time. Why, the Chairman himself (Mr. Gordon) is absolutely all wrong; and he has studied the question. He says that Sir James Lougheed came to a certain legal conclusion. But with much deference to the Chair I suggest that Sir James Lougheed never did anything of the kind; there was a total absence of anything like a legal conolusion in the matter, for all that was done to send a report to the Department of Justice. The hon. gentleman is absolutely wrong.

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LIB
CON
LIB
CON

Henry Lumley Drayton

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir HENRY DRAYTON:

I apologize to

the hon. gentleman for interrupting the current of his thoughts which I am sure must have been directed towards a proper solution of the question. This claim is not new; it is so old that it is hoary. It has been hanging fire not for months but for years and having been referred to the former government it was rejected. The Prime Minister shakes

his head. But he has not been here during this discussion and he does not know anything about it. He has never gone through the files and he does not realize that to-day he is putting through a vote of $120,000 after the Department of Justice in two opinions ha3 held that there is absolutely no legal liability. That is the opinion of the Department of Justice; yet here we are, in the dying days of the session, with the House knowing absolutely nothing about this matter, being asked to vote this sum of money. If the vote is passed the government must accept responsibility for jamming it through.

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PRO

Robert Forke

Progressive

Mr. FORKE:

When did all these negotiations take place? The matter must have been on the tapis for a long time.

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Argenteuil):

Yes, ever

since I became Minister of the Interior; and as hon. gentlemen have heard, it was under consideration before then.

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PRO
LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Argenteuil):

I cannot

give the exact date.

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PRO

Robert Forke

Progressive

Mr. FORKE:

This is a hard nut for members to crack-$120,000 to two men for a claim we know nothing about.

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Argenteuil):

I was never

willing to give the amount of timber these gentlemen thought they were entitled to. I never questioned our liability to supply them with timber in lieu of their original berths, and as a matter of fact I think I have made a very much better bargain with them by retaining our timber, which will become much more valuable as time goes on. The government never likes to give back money. I have half a dozen cases of a similar character pending and it is not an easy matter adjusting these difficulties. I find it the most difficult thing to accomplish.

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PRO

Robert Alexander Hoey

Progressive

Mr. HOEY:

Was it a private corporation

that was responsible for the flooding of this district in the first place?

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Argenteuil):

It was done originally by the city of New Westminster and municipalities.

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PRO

Robert Alexander Hoey

Progressive

Mr. HOEY:

Would you not have some

claim against the city? Did litigation ever take place?

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Argenteuil):

No, it never did, because we never changed the berth.

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June 26, 1925