June 14, 1929

LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Edmonton):

The correspondence must indicate that the road was to be granted before the survey took place; I suppose that is the fact. I want to make it quite clear that however the department obligated itself with regard to that road, that obligation will be carried out.

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PRO

Milton Neil Campbell

Progressive

Mr. CAMPBELL:

I appreciate that, and

I am only sorry the minister could not carry out the other promises of his department.

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Edmonton):

I am not

dealing with that at the moment; I thought I could shorten the discussion in this way.

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PRO

Milton Neil Campbell

Progressive

Mr. CAMPBELL:

It will shorten the discussion very materially, because there are about a dozen letters it will not be necessary to read. However, there is one letter I should like to read, written from the village of Pelly to the Department of Indian Affairs, Ottawa, under date of May 9, 1929:

It seems that we are never going to get cleared up in tips matter, and I feel that most of the difficulty is due to the action of your department. You instructed us to go ahead and have the survey made for the road across section 26, then you disposed of the land without

reservation of this road and consequently threw us in considerable trouble and expense. When a committee of people are endeavouring to act in the public interest in obtaining facilities for a summer resort, and doing the work entirely gratis, at considerable trouble to themselves and also some expense, we feel that we should be assisted instead of hindered by a department of the Dominion government. If you will look up your file in connection with the sale of section 26-32-32-Wlst. you will see that I made enquiry about it and you informed me that it was being used by the Indian people for pasture and it was not for sale, but when it was to be offered for sale I would receive notification about it. The next thing I heard it was sold to MacKay of Verigin. This does not seem a very fair deal either.

We were proceeding to take expropriation steps in the matter of this road, then came a letter from the Department of Highways informing us that your department had written asking for the ten dollars per acre and that you would issue the transfer for this road. We stopped the expropriation proceedings and sent in the $10 per acre. Now after three or four months we get word from the Department of Highways that you have the money and that we are still to reckon with MacKay for his equity. I think a situation like this absurd and that your department has certainly been very unfair. Here it is spring again and we are still held up in the use of this road. It is very discouraging and I certainly think your department should take some steps to assist us out of the difficulty that you have got us into. Kindly let us know the price paid for this property by MacKay, so that we may have some idea of what he may be entitled to over and above the $10 per acre. Trusting you may be able to get this matter straightened out.

Yours truly,

(Sgd.) J. M. Telford.

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Edmonton):

I shall make my answer as brief as possible; I will not need to deal with the question of the road, since I have already answered my hon. friend on that point. First let me say that this dispute with regard to the road was first brought to my attention by my hon. friend; evidently the negotiations have been carried on in the department. I just want to reassure him that whatever the department agreed with the village of Pelly to do will be carried out, regardless of the fact that the sale has taken place.

With regard to the sale itself, there have been one or two instances of this kind recently; there is one pending now, and I have decided that for the future the same system which prevails in the sale of Dominion lands will prevail in these cases, that is, by public auction after being advertised for a considerable period. I am bound to say that the statements made by my hon. friend and the letters he has read with regard to the situation up to 1926 are correct. I remember the circumstances very well, but from 1926 on I had not heard of the matter until my hon.

Supply-Interior-Indians

friend raised the question the other day. I look upon Mr. Caldwell as being one of our most efficient officers, and I look upon Mr. Graham as a man who has always tried to protect the interests of the Indians. These two gentlemen are the ones who handled this sale, and I am not seeking to escape any responsibility when I say that the sale had taken place without my knowledge; I did not know that a sale had been consummated until the other day. They had full authority to conduct that sale, but I am putting into effect a regulation that no sale of land shall take place hereafter until it has been publicly advertised and that it shall be sold at public auction. That will avoid these little charges being brought that more could have been obtained for the land. Upon looking into the file, I found that Mr. Graham decided, as he is in a position to decide, being the Indian commissioner for the three prairie provinces, that this land was not required and could be offered for sale. He put an upset price upon it and the land was sold at that price. If I talked all day I could not say any more than that, but I want my hon. friend to understand that dn the future there will be no Indian lands sold unless they are publicly advertised. If my hon. friend has any suspicion as to political interference by these officers, I would say that Mr. Caldwell was secretary 'to the Hon. Arthur Meighen, and I think Mr. Graham's politics are well known. I have not inquired of either one of them as to their politics, and I am satisfied that these men used their best judgment. If they went wrong in this particular case, then they erred in their judgment, but I am inclined to think that when my hon. friend looks into the matter very carefully he will find that this was consummated in the interests of the Indian department. The fact that others were not notified

I am not offering any excuse because I did not know that that occurred and I cannot discover from the file that a promise was made to the individual mentioned by my hion. friend-is regrettable, but in the future the land will be advertised in the locality in which it is to be sold and the sale will be carried on by an auctioneer.

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PRO

Milton Neil Campbell

Progressive

Mr. CAMPBELL:

There is on my part

more than a suspicion of political interference; I think it amounts almost to a certainty. The activities of the hon. member for Yorkton (Mr. McPhee) are so obvious that one can draw no other conclusion. I am not attaching any particular blame to these officials, and I do not think that Mr. Caldwell's politics enters into the matter at all.

These men are civil servants and have no particular politics, but I do think that political pressure was brought to bear upon them. I had a great deal of business to do with Mr. Caldwell and I have always found him ready to carry out his word, but in this case the fact that he did fail to carry out an obligation which he entered into with these settlers in the Pelly district seems to me to be evidence of political interference. I am very glad indeed to have the assurance of the minister as to the public advertising of these lands, and I am sorry that he had not put this policy into effect a year or two ago, because in that case it would not have been necessary for me to take up so much time of the committee during the dying hours of the session in debating this matter. It would not have caused the trouble and inconvenience to the settlers in the Pelly district, as well as arousing their suspicion of political interference.

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LIB

George Washington McPhee

Liberal

Mr. McPHEE:

I want to satisfy the mind of my hon. friend that there was no political interference in this case at all. The negotiations for the purchase of this land were carried on in a fair, square and aboveboard manner, and there was no personal intervention except by correspondence. I think the following quotation from Pope's Essay on Man expresses pretty well the attitude of mind of the hon. gentleman:

All seems infected that the infected spy,

As all looks yellow to the jaundiced eye.

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PRO

Milton Neil Campbell

Progressive

Mr. CAMPBELL:

I have no desire to

keep this argument going, but I would like to point out that the very fact that the hon. member for Yorkton was so anxious is evidence of political interference. There was nothing to prevent these other gentlemen from corresponding direct with the department. Mr. Telford is a lawyer and real estate man in the village of Pelly, and he carried on his correspondence direct with the department.

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LIB

Joseph-Arthur Bradette

Liberal

Mr. BRADETTE:

Is an amount being

included in this vote to assist the hospital at Cochrane?

Mr. STEWART' (Edmonton): There is

an amount provided for a wing for the hospital.

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LIB
LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Edmonton):

An addition.

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UFA

Alfred Speakman

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. SPEAKMAN:

I would like to ask

the minister for some information with regard to the 815,000 to provide farm working outfits for graduates of Indian schools.

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Edmonton):

When these boys and girls are graduated from the schools the church authorities encourage them to marry and settle down. We have formulated the policy of building a small house, buying a team of horses, a plough, and then, if possible, having a group of them get together and buy a binder which can be used jointly, and the vote is required for that purpose. This means of acquiring farm working outfits obviates a very vicious practice, that of the Indians buying goods on credit.

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UFA

Alfred Speakman

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. SPEAKMAN:

I have no criticism to make of the vote; I simply wanted information.

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Item agreed to. To provide for the expenses connected with Canadian national parks, historic sites, care of indigents in the parks, etc.-further amount required, including an amount to reimburse the provincial Government for the salary of police magistrate at Waterton Lakes Park, $34,698. Costs of litigation and legal expenses-further amount required, $15,000. Amount required to pay salaries and expenses connected with seed grain and relief collections, including half of expenses of seed grain and relief adjustment board-further amount required, $2,400. To provide for expenses connected with the Supervisory Mining Engineer's Office due chiefly to the recent mining activities in northern Manitoba and northern Saskatchewan-further amount required, $27,500. To provide for the payment to the province of Saskatchewan of one-half of the amount disbursed by that province for relief to needy settlers, $47,969.23. To provide for surveys required in the Roseau river watershed in connection with reference re this matter made by the governments of Canada and the United States to the International Joint Commission, $15,000. To provide for the expenses incurred under the Lake of the Woods Control Board Act, 1921, and under the agreement between the Dominion, Ontario and Manitoba, confirmed by the Lac Seul Conservation Act, 1928, for the construction of a dam at the outlet of Lac Seul and its operation by the Lake of the Woods Control Board and for the remuneration, at the rate of $1,000 each per annum, of Messrs. J. T. Johnston and K. M. Cameron, Dominion members of such board, the money expended to be reimbursed to the Dominion by the licensees of developed power sites on the Winnipeg river in Manitoba (revote), $144,091.10. To provide for the expenses connected with Canadian national parks, historic sites, etc.- furtjier amount required to provide for the purchase of the Southwold Indian earthworks site in the county of Elgin, $2,500.-Total, $289,158.33.


CON

George Halsey Perley

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir GEORGE PERLEY:

Could the minister give the committee some information with regard to the item of $47,969.23, to provide for the payment to the province of Saskatchewan of one-half of the amount disbursed by that province for relief to needy settlers?

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Edmonton):

This is a three-cornered obligation between the municipalities, the provinces, and the Dominion government, for relief in the purchase of seed grain. These amounts are required when the municipal authorities are unable to collect any portion of the advances which have been made. From time to time we are served by the provincial government with notice respecting accrued amounts which they are unable to collect, and they ask us to pay our share.

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CON
LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Edmonton):

Yes. In

Alberta matters are being settled very largely by a board.

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LIB

Georges Parent

Liberal

Mr. PARENT:

I desire to commend the minister for publishing J. B. Mandley's report of 1928. This is a very excellent report, but I would like to urge upon the minister the publication in a short time of this report in a more complete form. My information goes to show that titanium ores can be used to-day as a pigment for paint. Tests have been made in European countries demonstrating the feasibility of their use for this purpose. I do not know that the Department of Mines has taken up the question of this particular use of these ores. Would it be at all possible, between now and next session, to have an engineer examine into this matter further with a view to ascertaining whether there is sufficient public interest to justify any expenditure in connection with such an investigation?

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June 14, 1929