May 22, 1935

LIB

Joseph Philippe Baby Casgrain

Liberal

Mr. CASGRAIN:

No, it is not.

Topic:   PUBLIC WORKS PROGRAM
Subtopic:   WORKS, UNDERTAKINGS AND GUARANTEE OF RAILWAY EQUIPMENT SECURITIES TO CREATE EMPLOYMENT
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CON

Hugh Alexander Stewart (Minister of Public Works)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEWART (Leeds):

I hasten to assure the hon. member that no large projects are in mind so far as this vote is concerned. No large expenditures were made out of the vote of last year, and I can give him my assurance now that no extensive works will be undertaken out of this vote. Perhaps I could not do better than to give the hon. member the expenditures by provinces out of the vote of last year. I must add that this vote of $2,500,000 is not made on the basis of having a certain proportion given to each province. Manifestly it could not be done in that way. At the same time however we are endeavouring to maintain a fair ratio of expenditure and to treat all the provinces fairly and alike, ac-

cording to their requirements. Conditions of unemployment in some provinces may be more severe than in others and for that reason would require greater expenditures. The information I have before me indicates that up to the date of this statement expenditures out of last year's vote amounted to $1,494,843.61, and the details are as follows:

Nova Scotia $ 330,062 86

Prince Edward Island

58,290 11New Brunswick

133,790 48Quebec

425,124 47Ontario

331,675 93Manitoba

6,892 10Saskatchewan

218 18Alberta

4,224 52Northwest Territories and Yukon 2.185 29British Columbia

132,317 29

Generally, for services and other

expenditures 70.062 38

The hon. member suggests that in not disclosing this information there must be some ulterior motive. I admit I promised to give information, and I say now that I have given as much information as in the past has been given with respect to similar items. I am giving as much information in connection with a vote of $2,500,000 as was formerly given respecting a vote of only $80,000 or $100,000. My hon. friend will agree the difficulty in deciding how to spend $2,500,000 is much greater than that of deciding the expenditure of $80,000 or $100,000. Yet we could not get any information concerning those smaller expenditures. To-day the hon. member insists upon the most complete and detailed information as to where and how this large amount of $2,500,000 is to be spent. Hon. members want to know in what province, what district or what constituency the work will be done, the amount of money to be spent and the type of work specified. The hon. member suggests that this is an election measure. All I say to him is that if this measure as drafted is an election measure, then it would be a very poor one. If I had anything to do with the preparation of a measure calculated to win an election on the basis of large expenditures of money I would be ashamed of any measure providing for expenditures such as these divided as they are.

Let me refer the hon. member to the estimates of a few years ago-and in passing may I add that I have no faith whatever in the expenditure of public moneys and the carrying out of public works as a means of winning an election.

Topic:   PUBLIC WORKS PROGRAM
Subtopic:   WORKS, UNDERTAKINGS AND GUARANTEE OF RAILWAY EQUIPMENT SECURITIES TO CREATE EMPLOYMENT
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Hear, hear.

Public Works Program

Topic:   PUBLIC WORKS PROGRAM
Subtopic:   WORKS, UNDERTAKINGS AND GUARANTEE OF RAILWAY EQUIPMENT SECURITIES TO CREATE EMPLOYMENT
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CON

Hugh Alexander Stewart (Minister of Public Works)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEWART (Leeds):

My hon. friends opposite tried that.

Topic:   PUBLIC WORKS PROGRAM
Subtopic:   WORKS, UNDERTAKINGS AND GUARANTEE OF RAILWAY EQUIPMENT SECURITIES TO CREATE EMPLOYMENT
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CON

George Spotton

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPOTTON:

Hear, hear.

Topic:   PUBLIC WORKS PROGRAM
Subtopic:   WORKS, UNDERTAKINGS AND GUARANTEE OF RAILWAY EQUIPMENT SECURITIES TO CREATE EMPLOYMENT
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CON

Hugh Alexander Stewart (Minister of Public Works)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEWART (Leeds):

Hon. members opposite tried that in 1930, and we know what happened to them. The estimates in 1930 amounted to $38,074,726 and the expenditures were $32,959,620. In the year 1929 the estimates were for only $30,000,000, in 1928 $27,000,000 and in 1926-27 for only $19,000,000. So we find an estimate of $19,000,000 in the year 1926-27 as compared with one of more than $38,000,000 in an election year.

In the expenditure of moneys hon. members on this side have as high regard for the public interest and the requirements of public service as have hon. members opposite. I believe that in the past year there has been a fair ratio or balance of expenditures among the provinces, and they may expect that balance to continue in the present year. The money will not be used in the unfair manner which has been suggested. I have given all the information I can give, and I do not think I can usefully detain the committee by any further discussion. I trust hon. members will approve the item, or that in the alternative there may be a motion to strike it out, upon which a decision can be given.

Topic:   PUBLIC WORKS PROGRAM
Subtopic:   WORKS, UNDERTAKINGS AND GUARANTEE OF RAILWAY EQUIPMENT SECURITIES TO CREATE EMPLOYMENT
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LIB

Joseph Philippe Baby Casgrain

Liberal

Mr. CASGRAIN:

The minister has indicated, if I understood him correctly, that out of the sum of $2,500,000 no huge amounts will be spent. I have before me a report of what was done under the Public Works Construction Act of 1934, and I find that under that act an expenditure of $24,522.70 was made. Does the minister consider that a small or a large amount? Then there were other expenditures of $6,000, $7,000 and $9,000.

Topic:   PUBLIC WORKS PROGRAM
Subtopic:   WORKS, UNDERTAKINGS AND GUARANTEE OF RAILWAY EQUIPMENT SECURITIES TO CREATE EMPLOYMENT
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CON

Hugh Alexander Stewart (Minister of Public Works)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEWART (Leeds):

The larger item is an expenditure to operate a departmental dredge for a season.

Topic:   PUBLIC WORKS PROGRAM
Subtopic:   WORKS, UNDERTAKINGS AND GUARANTEE OF RAILWAY EQUIPMENT SECURITIES TO CREATE EMPLOYMENT
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LIB

Joseph Philippe Baby Casgrain

Liberal

Mr. CASGRAIN:

No, I must beg the minister's pardon. If he will follow me I shall give him the information. I have no objection to the amount of the expenditure because it was made to continue certain works undertaken by the previous government, to help a locality which needed assistance. I find the item "Baie St. Paul, construction of extension to wharf, $24,522.70." Then there is the item "Petite Riviere Romaine, wharf repairs, $5,997.53," and again "Sault au Mouton, hand dredging, $7,479.32," and "Pentecote eastward, construction of telegraph system, $9,000."

Here I have a report which was tabled some time ago indicating expenditures under

the Public Works Construction Act, 1934. If I remember well, under the bill of last year-

Topic:   PUBLIC WORKS PROGRAM
Subtopic:   WORKS, UNDERTAKINGS AND GUARANTEE OF RAILWAY EQUIPMENT SECURITIES TO CREATE EMPLOYMENT
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CON

Hugh Alexander Stewart (Minister of Public Works)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEWART (Leeds):

If my hon. friend will allow me to interrupt, I do not want any misunderstanding. Possibly my hon. friend is correct and I may be wrong, and if I am wrong I want to hasten to put myself right. Would my hon. friend give me again that item of $24,000?

Topic:   PUBLIC WORKS PROGRAM
Subtopic:   WORKS, UNDERTAKINGS AND GUARANTEE OF RAILWAY EQUIPMENT SECURITIES TO CREATE EMPLOYMENT
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LIB

Joseph Philippe Baby Casgrain

Liberal

Mr. CASGRAIN:

I have here sessional paper No. 333, dated Monday, May 20, 1935, return to an order of the house moved for by myself on February 20, 1935, asking for a statement showing the expenditure authorized in the county of Charlevoix-Saguenay during the year 1934-35; (a) in the regular estimates; (b) under the Public Works Construction Act, 1934, and showing the individual items and the nature of the work in each case. Turning to the items under (b) I find on page 10 of the return an item of $5,769.42 for the construction of protection work at Baie St. Paul, and this amount, was not mentioned last year in the program of items which were set out in detail in the Public Works Construction Act of 1934. There was only the amount of $117,509.50 for the construction of an extension and repairs to wharf at Pointe au Pic. The contract was given for that, and it is mentioned in the list of works on page 10 of this return. I refer to these items in answer to the minister who stated a moment ago that out of this amount of $2,500,000 only small amounts will be spent here and there where work is most urgent and necessary. I do not begrudge the expenditure of these amounts in the district I have the honour to represent in this house. They were necessary works; the expenditure was needed, and in all cases the work was done as a continuation of previous works undertaken at my request and started under the late government. But what I say is that those amounts were not mentioned in the Public Works Construction Act of last year.

The minister now says that he is going to spend only small amounts, and I want to ask him if he considers $5,769 a small amount or does he consider $24,522.70, which was spent for an extension- to the wharf at Baie St. Paul, a small amount? If he really intends to spend such large sums why not put them in the estimates so that we shall know where the money is to be spent? I will give a few other items of expenditure under the Public Works Construction Act,. 1934, listed on page 10 of this same sessional

Public Works Program

paper: Petite Riviere Romaine, 85,997.53; Pointe aux Anglais, 86,340.17; Ste. Anne de Beaupre, 86,000; Sault au Mouton, 87,479.32; construction of telegraph system, Penteeote eastward, S9.000; and there was an item specially provided last year in the main estimates, as well as again this year, for the reconstruction and renovating of the line in the district below the Saguenay river.

As I said before, I do not begrudge the expenditure of these amounts and the undertaking of these works in the county that I have the honour to represent, but I want to point out to the committee and to the country at large the condition that exists when you have such a large appropriation as $2,500,000 and the only safeguard is the statement of the minister that only small amounts will be spent here and there to cover the most urgent cases. We see that some works which were necessary, entirely new works, were undertaken out of the vote last year, perhaps not for large amounts. Some of these expenditures were for continuation of work and some were for entirely new works, although these works had been requested long ago.

When the minister says he is going to spend only small amounts here and there, I would ask him what amount he considers a small amount. Would he consider $50,000 for a new project a large amount, or 8100,000? Or will he limit himself to $15,000 or to $5,000, as was formerly the practice under the previous administration, when any w'ork over $5,000 had to be let by tender and contract? Under this administration that practice has been done away with and works costing large amounts are being done either by day labour or by contract. What does the minister consider a small amount? I should like to have an answer, Mr. Chairman.

Topic:   PUBLIC WORKS PROGRAM
Subtopic:   WORKS, UNDERTAKINGS AND GUARANTEE OF RAILWAY EQUIPMENT SECURITIES TO CREATE EMPLOYMENT
Permalink
CON

Hugh Alexander Stewart (Minister of Public Works)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEWART (Leeds):

An answer to

what?

Topic:   PUBLIC WORKS PROGRAM
Subtopic:   WORKS, UNDERTAKINGS AND GUARANTEE OF RAILWAY EQUIPMENT SECURITIES TO CREATE EMPLOYMENT
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LIB

Joseph Philippe Baby Casgrain

Liberal

Mr. CASGRAIN:

The minister says that

only small amounts will be spent here and there out of this huge appropriation of $2,500,000, and I should like to know how large a sum he would consider a small amount.

Topic:   PUBLIC WORKS PROGRAM
Subtopic:   WORKS, UNDERTAKINGS AND GUARANTEE OF RAILWAY EQUIPMENT SECURITIES TO CREATE EMPLOYMENT
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CON

Hugh Alexander Stewart (Minister of Public Works)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEWART (Leeds):

I would not

want to be too small with my hon. friend. Small and large are relative terms, and when I say large amounts I have not in mind any expenditures such as half a million dollars or $300,000, such as have been asked for in some parts of the province of Quebec, or even $100,000 which together with smaller amounts has been asked for in other places.

I have not in view any half million dollar or quarter million dollar expenditures, but there might be a work that would require a considerable amount, as much as any my hon. friend has mentioned, and still I wtmld consider that a comparatively small amount.

Topic:   PUBLIC WORKS PROGRAM
Subtopic:   WORKS, UNDERTAKINGS AND GUARANTEE OF RAILWAY EQUIPMENT SECURITIES TO CREATE EMPLOYMENT
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LIB

Joseph Philippe Baby Casgrain

Liberal

Mr. CASGRAIN:

Referring again to this

list of works carried on last year under the Public Works Construction Act, may I ask for information as to where this breakwater construction was done at Pointe aux Anglais. 'Was it along the river Penteeote or the river Riverin?

Topic:   PUBLIC WORKS PROGRAM
Subtopic:   WORKS, UNDERTAKINGS AND GUARANTEE OF RAILWAY EQUIPMENT SECURITIES TO CREATE EMPLOYMENT
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CON

Hugh Alexander Stewart (Minister of Public Works)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEWART (Leeds):

I can only repeat the position I have already taken with respect to these items of expenditure last year, and that is that we have already given more information than has hitherto been furnished in connection with the regular estimates in any other year, because not only was a statement of the expenditures laid on the table by the Minister of Finance as the act provides, but returns galore have been brought down for hon. members, from one of which my hon. friend has just been reading.

Topic:   PUBLIC WORKS PROGRAM
Subtopic:   WORKS, UNDERTAKINGS AND GUARANTEE OF RAILWAY EQUIPMENT SECURITIES TO CREATE EMPLOYMENT
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LIB

Joseph Philippe Baby Casgrain

Liberal

Mr. CASGRAIN:

But it does not say where the work at Pointe aux Anglais was done.

Topic:   PUBLIC WORKS PROGRAM
Subtopic:   WORKS, UNDERTAKINGS AND GUARANTEE OF RAILWAY EQUIPMENT SECURITIES TO CREATE EMPLOYMENT
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CON

Hugh Alexander Stewart (Minister of Public Works)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEWART (Leeds):

And orders in council passed under the Public Works Construction Act of last year have been laid on the table practically every day. What I have already undertaken to do is that on the estimates of the department I shall be prepared to give full information in connection with any work that has been undertaken under that act. I submit to my hon. friend that these expenditures have really nothing to do with this schedule. I cannot be expected to bring down every day information on every individual item of expenditure under the Public Works Construction Act of last year because those items ran into hundreds, as my hon. friend knows. I repeat, however, what I have already said, that I shall fee prepared to give on the estimates all the details that my hon. friend requires.

Topic:   PUBLIC WORKS PROGRAM
Subtopic:   WORKS, UNDERTAKINGS AND GUARANTEE OF RAILWAY EQUIPMENT SECURITIES TO CREATE EMPLOYMENT
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LIB

Joseph Philippe Baby Casgrain

Liberal

Mr. CASGRAIN:

On the supplementary

estimates?

Topic:   PUBLIC WORKS PROGRAM
Subtopic:   WORKS, UNDERTAKINGS AND GUARANTEE OF RAILWAY EQUIPMENT SECURITIES TO CREATE EMPLOYMENT
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CON

Hugh Alexander Stewart (Minister of Public Works)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEWART (Leeds):

But what I do say is that the expenditure under the bill of last year is scarcely applicable to the present bill.

Topic:   PUBLIC WORKS PROGRAM
Subtopic:   WORKS, UNDERTAKINGS AND GUARANTEE OF RAILWAY EQUIPMENT SECURITIES TO CREATE EMPLOYMENT
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May 22, 1935