March 18, 1926

CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Right Hon. ARTHUR MEIGHEN (Leader of the Opposition):

I have observed lately

some very severe and not very thoughtful criticism of the same character as that advanced by the leader of the Progressive party just now. I think all should remember that this House is far beyond the ordinary dimensions of a speaking chamber, and to raise one's voice continually to a high pitch is not a very pleasant process, and not one that a person is likely to indulge in. We all suffer just the same as the hon. member for Brandon and hon. members further down. In fact on Tuesday last when I asked for an explanation of a bill from a front bencher of my hon. friend's party, I was unable to hear his reply.

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IND

William Findlay Maclean

Independent Conservative

Mr. W. F. MACLEAN (South York):

The whole trouble is this wide space in the centre of the chamber. I trust that plans will be made for the reconstruction of this chamber on the principle of an amphitheatre for debate rather than a Gothic cathedral.

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DEPARTMENT OF CUSTOMS AND EXCISE


The House in committee of supply, Mr. Duff in the chair. To provide for expenses of maintenance of revenue cruisers and foT preventive service, $376,510. Hon. GEORGE H. BOIVIN (Minister of Customs and Excise): Mr. Speaker, this item which is subsection 4 of vote 349, was under discussion and had been debated at considerable length the other evening, when hon. members on the other side of the House very kindly consented to allow a change of departments, and passed an estimate of the Department of Public Works. I hope that very little further debate will be required. In the course of that debate several very legitimate requests for information were made by hon. members on the other side and this I promised to give as soon as possible. If you, Mr. Chairman, will allow me to refer to the items passed without re-opening them, I will be glad to do so now. The hon. member for Lincoln (Mr. Chaplin) made an inquiry concerning the bridge at Niagara Falls, and referred to a letter which he had forwarded to the deputy minister.


CON

James Dew Chaplin

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CHAPLIN (Lincoln):

The bridge at Queenston, not at Niagara Falls.

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LIB

Georges Henri Boivin (Minister of Customs and Excise)

Liberal

Mr. BOIVIN:

Yes, that is the bridge. That matter has been investigated and I am sending to my hon. friend the report of the

Supply-Customs

investigator. It will be seen that the facts as submitted by the hon. member are absolutely correct, with the exception that the four cars in question were headed from Canada to the United States, instead of from the United States to Canada. That is not an excuse, and I am not urging it as such. There should be an export entry for any goods exported from the United States; those cars should have reported at the customs, and there was only one man in charge at, the time. I am glad to say that the deputy minister yesterday forwarded to the collector of customs and excise at Niagara Falls, Ontario, the following telegram.

You are instructed to assign two officers to night duty at Queenston bridge on and after tihe 18th instant.

The hon. member for East Essex (Mr. Morand) made an inquiry concerning the appointment of an officer at Tilbury, Ontario, and in reply to his question I informed him that Mr. W. A. Hutton and terminated his services there on December 2, 1925 and that I was under the impression that a relieving officer was in charge of that port. Upon investigation at the department I find that Mr. M. W. Richards was appointed by the Civil Service Commission and took charge of that port on January 5, 1926. I will send over to the hon. member a copy of the advertisement for the position and a copy of all the correspondence exchanged between the Civil Service Commission and the department in connection with the appointment.

The hon. member for West York (Sir Henry Drayton) asked to be supplied with a list showing the retirements under the Civil Service Superannuation Act of 1924, in the Department of Customs and Excise. I have had the list prepared, and am handing it to my hon. friend. It includes both the inside and the outside service.

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CON

Henry Lumley Drayton

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir HENRY DRAYTON:

The question was as to any retirements at all; I did not specify those under any particular act.

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LIB

Georges Henri Boivin (Minister of Customs and Excise)

Liberal

Mr. BOIVIN:

This includes everything.

Then there was an inquiry made by the hon. member for South Essex (Mr. Gott) concerning the appointment of an officer at Kingsville. I have here and will send to the hon. member a copy of the correspondence in connection with the appointment at that place. The hon. member for Fort William (Mr. Manion) urged the granting the privilege to a bus line operating between Fort William and Duluth to take passengers for local points in Canada. The matter has been very thoroughly investigated. There is no provision in the Customs Act or in any of the regulations thereunder whereby it would be possible for the

department to permit a foreign bus upon which duty has not been paid to engage in local traffic in Canada. In other words, unless there is a payment of duty upon the vehicle it is impossible for the department to allow that vehicle to be used in Canada for commercial purposes.

The hon. member for South Wellington (Mr. Guthrie) inquired concerning the appointment of some new officers at Bridgeburg. I promised to Supply him with a copy of the report made by Inspector Busby, concerning the necessity for the appointment of these officers, and that report is ready.

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CON

Hugh Guthrie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GUTHRIE:

I was quite satisfied with the minister's statement, but I will be glad to see the report.

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LIB

Georges Henri Boivin (Minister of Customs and Excise)

Liberal

Mr. BOIVIN:

The hon. member for South Toronto (Mr. Geary) made a request concerning the net customs and excise revenue as shown in the Auditor General's report for the year 1924-1925. A statement has been prepared but we have not yet secured completed particulars concerning the refund of salaries paid out of the different items in the vote under consideration. I will have that information mailed to the hon. member at a later date. I am sending over to him now a complete statement of the customs and excise revenue for 1924-25, showing how the net revenue is arrived at and the difference between the gross and the net revenue.

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CON

George Reginald Geary

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GEARY:

Does that give me information as to what' account that is to be found in in the Auditor General's report?

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LIB

Georges Henri Boivin (Minister of Customs and Excise)

Liberal

Mr. BOIVIN:

That is indicated in the

statement. The only other request was from the hon. member for West York (Sir Henry Drayton), concerning the ports, outports and preventive stations on the Great Lakes that should be patrolled so far as exports are concerned. 'It is very hard to differentiate between those that should be patrolled and those where no patrol is required but I have prepared a complete list of the ports and outports and now send it over to my hon. friend.

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CON

Henry Lumley Drayton

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir HENRY DRAYTON:

Does that include the peripatetic ports of export?-if I may so use the word.

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LIB

Georges Henri Boivin (Minister of Customs and Excise)

Liberal

Mr. BOIVIN:

I will take the risk of saying, yes.

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CON

Henry Lumley Drayton

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir HENRY DRAYTON:

Can my hon.

friend give me a list of the peripatetic ports of export?

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LIB

Georges Henri Boivin (Minister of Customs and Excise)

Liberal

Mr. BOIVIN:

That is just exactly what

I have stated I was unable to do. I may tell my hon. friend that all those ports-I do not

Sup pi y-C ustoms

dare repeat the word for fear of mispronouncing it-are included in the list.

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CON

Donald Sutherland

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SUTHERLAND (South Oxford):

Mr. Chairman, this new method of supplying information may be quite satisfactory to the members who asked the questions dealt with; I hardly think it will be equally satisfactory to those who heard the questions asked but still have no information as to what is contained in the statements. i

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LIB

Georges Henri Boivin (Minister of Customs and Excise)

Liberal

Mr. BOIVIN:

Most of the information was given the other day. Only copies of the reports and correspondence were required. Some are too lengthy to be placed upon Hansard, but if the hon. member for South Oxford would like to have information about any of these reports or letters, I shall be very glad to have the documents returned to me and I shall then read them so that they may be printed in Hansard.

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CON

Henry Lumley Drayton

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir HENRY DRAYTON:

iMr. Chairman, to save the minister the trouble of reading this list, I would suggest that it be handed to Hansard with the consent of the committee.

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LIB

Georges Henri Boivin (Minister of Customs and Excise)

Liberal

Mr. BOTVIN:

I hope the Chairman will

consent.

The statement is as follows:

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March 18, 1926