the contract for this work was let to a gentleman by the name of Boone, whom I know very well. I understand that the work involved very considerable difficulty and that the department took over the work. I should like full information on this item. Mr. Boone is a very competent contractor. He has done a very great deal of work in the province of New Brunswick; he happens to be one of my constituents, and I know him very well. I am wondering just what the trouble was and how the government proposes to use him. Some of the workmen, I might point out, have not been paid. One of them came to see me just before I left home, and told me that the government engineer at Halifax, who was then in charge of the work, which I understand has been suspended1 on account of the season, had assured them that they would all be paid. I know that some of these men have not been paid, and I think that the government ought to see that they are paid. That is only one phase of the situation.
I think we ought to have a very full explanation from the minister as to the position of this contract.
The contract was let on September 22, 1928, to Mr. Boone, an order in council f\Tr. Mackenzie King.]
having been passed accepting his tender for the construction of pier No. 5. The work did not proceed in accordance with the contract, and it was taken out of Mr. Boone's hands and proceeded with by the district engineer. As far as the sub-contractors are concerned, when a contract gets into that position, it takes a little time to make all the necessary adjustments, but I understand that these matters are being looked after.
The minister has not quite covered the ground. I have no brief for Mr Boone. He has not retained me or consulted me, but I have been consulted by some of the men who have not received their pay for the work they did previous to the government taking over the contract. I am very much surprised to hear that Mr. Boone has fallen down on this job, and I would like to know what the trouble is. The minister said that he did not proceed in accordance with the contract. Mr. Boone is a very capable man. He has plant, machinery and equipment; he has experience and he has capital. How was Mr. Boone used? Was he simply shouldered off the job? I would like the details. I do not question the minister's word as to anything he said, but he has not said anything, and that is the fault I have to find. For a lawyer I am rather surprised that he is so sparing of information. If there is anything damaging to Mr. Boone in connection with the contract, let us have it, because I am satisfied that he will have an answer.
I can give the whole particulars if my hon. friend wishes them, but I have not them at hand. My information is that Mr. Boone took the contract, started upon the work, quit it, was notified to proceed at various times and did not proceed, and it was not until he had been notified and bad omitted to proceed with the contract that steps were taken to have the work carried on under the direction of the engineer.
I would like to know what you. are going to do about the unpaid workmen? Are they to be allowed to starve? The men worked up to the time the contract was taken over by the government. I am not saying that it was taken over wrongly or improperly; I do not know; I am looking for
Supply-Harbours and Rivers, N.S.
information. But I do know that one man at least needs the money that is owing to him. He has waited all winter for it. I told him that he had better get after Mr. Boone, who is quite capable of paying these men.