we should yield to that last appeal, but I think we should point out one or two things first. I really do not like to see such a mind as that of the hon. member for Lotbiniere (Mr. Vien) labouring under such a sad delusion as to freight rates on pulp and pulpwood. If he had noticed what the railways are doing, he would have found that in a year of sliding tonnage they were carrying more of pulpwood on our railways, to the United States, of course-
I do not care where it is from. Of course, they cannot carry it from Matane because hon. gentlemen are making sure the railway cannot get the business. They are making sure that the business will be taken away from the railway and be carried by water. The fact is the railway records show, and we all know it 'if we pay any attention to the country's business, that there has been a big increase in this traffic. My hon. friend the genial member (Mr. Pelletier) has really a splendid procession here. He says this year, last year, for four years we have gone over all this. Yes, we go over it every year. It is a regular procession. We say there is something wrong with this wharf, although it is such a new wharf. As my right hon. friend ha3 said it is rotting, more or less, and each time it gets a punch from a storm, more of it goes. The hon. gentleman says the wharf is made from plans, and we know how these plans work out.
my hon. friend would not make sure that improper plans were used. It is the ordinary plan, and we have been voting money for this work year after year. The hon. member, of course, will do what he can to further the interests of his district. The item reads:
To pay Messrs. J. R. & J. E. Boulanger, contractors, for construction of wharf, their claim for damage to the uncompleted work, caused by a storm of unprecedented severity on 9th December, 1924, notwithstanding anything to the contrary in the contract as originally entered into.
This declares that the damage is due to an unprecedented storm; but every hon. gentleman who has been in politics any length of time knows that there is a reason for items of this kind. Every now and then some favoured contractor is let off; if anything goes wrong he gets special relief. In these contracts there are clauses protecting the country on the one hand and the contractor on the other, and it is provided that, when the work is in the hands of the contractor, if there be any damage he shall be responsible. If that were not so the contracts would not be so worded. They are framed in this way so that irrespective of what his competitors might tender every contractor knows just what the terms are. Otherwise we might as well not have a contract.
Suppose the department was responsible for the delay? My hon. friend says that the Canadian National Railways will be losing on the transportation of pulpwood; but are we not making up the difference in having a harbour at Matane to accommodate traffic coming from the north shore? The traffic is better now than it was prior to the time the work was begun.
goods and passengers. The hon. member referred to the amount paid to the Boulangers. There is no doubt whatever that the damage was due to the storm we had last fall. But who is to blame? It was simply an act of God and the damage must be repaired.
general explanation of the necessity for this long list of wharf repairs. I presume that these supplementary estimates are based on the recommendations of the departmental engineers, and apparently the main estimates are based upon the investigations of the engineers last summer. At what time did the engineers cover the ground and make their recommendations in regard to these particular affairs? Was it done in the summer?