May 27, 1935

CON

Hugh Alexander Stewart (Minister of Public Works)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEWART (Leeds):

I should like to say just a word in answer to my hon. friend as to why the $15,000 is adopted instead of the $5 000. It may be interesting to the committee to know that up to some little time ago the number of orders in council passed under the Public Works Construction Act of last year was 566 and that the number of orders in council for amounts between $5 000 and $15,000 was no less than 166. We have been criticized both in and out of this house for not getting on more rapidly with the expenditure of this money. I think my hon. friend will appreciate that it makes very little difference whether the amount is $6 000 or $15,000. If it is safe to entrust the minister of a department with responsibility of dealing with an expenditure of $5,000 it ought to be safe to entrust him with the responsibility in connection with an expenditure of $15 000. Surely you cannot measure his capacity up to $5 000 and say it stops there. But the main object in making this change is to enable us to get on with the work more rapidly. There were 166 times when we had to go to council for these little works costing between $5,000 and $15,000. My hon. friend knows that very often that involves unexpected delay. Much of this work is seasonal in its character, particularly in connection with small works in harbours and rivers, and the result is that in many cases the work has run into bad weather and we have not been able to complete it during the current season. Some of the work has had to be carried over, resulting in inconvenience and added expense to the contractor. That is why we are asking that the amount be $15 000 instead of $5,000.

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

John Campbell Elliott

Liberal

Mr. ELLIOTT:

I just want to say that I think that is the poorest explanation I ever heard.

Topic:   PUBLIC WORKS PROGRAM
Subtopic:   WORKS, 'UNDERTAKINGS AND GUARANTEE OP 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. friend has said that with' respect to every explanation I have made.

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

John Campbell Elliott

Liberal

Mr. ELLIOTT:

I think there is a good deal of force in it with regard to them all. Let me just analyze the answer of the minister. First of all I think he said there were 166 orders in council passed for works costing between $5 000 and $15 000. That means that the iniquity is just one hundred and sixty-six times as great as if only one order in council

Public Works Program

had been passed in this way. It is less trouble for the minister and the officials of his department to have it so that they have to take the proper precaution in respect of all buildings over $5,000 than if the limit is left at $15,000. Then he states, "If $5,000, why not $15,000?" Why did he stipulate $15,000 at all, if $15,000 is just as good as $5,000?

Topic:   PUBLIC WORKS PROGRAM
Subtopic:   WORKS, 'UNDERTAKINGS AND GUARANTEE OP 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 thought it would satisfy my hon. friend.

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

John Campbell Elliott

Liberal

Mr. ELLIOTT:

The minister knew very

well it would not satisfy me or any other person who knows how the work is done. If he had followed his argument a step farther, he might have said, "If $15,000 why not make it $50,000?" I have heard him make some pretty thin arguments but without doubt this one holds the least weight of any I have heard him make.

The next part of his argument is just a little worse, namely that there was so much money to be spent and such a short time in which to spend it that certain things could not be done. I am telling the minister that he knows perfectly well that the reason they did not start these orders in council until the last season was .practically over was that there was no election in sight.

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

Hugh Alexander Stewart (Minister of Public Works)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEWART (Leeds):

Oh, no.

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

John Campbell Elliott

Liberal

Mr. ELLIOTT:

That is the reason. He

said it was getting along late in the season. I agree with him this far, that he could not have had them passed in time to have the work done last season if he did not pass the order in council for them until this year. That is what happened in connection with a great many of them.

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

Hugh Alexander Stewart (Minister of Public Works)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEWART (Leeds):

No.

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

John Campbell Elliott

Liberal

Mr. ELLIOTT:

Yes, a great many of them. I have gone over the orders in council; they have been streaming in in the last couple of months.

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

Hugh Alexander Stewart (Minister of Public Works)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEWART (Leeds):

Yes, because plans and specifications had to be prepared and tenders invited. The bill was not passed until June, and the hon. member must know very well that it takes months to have these things done. Then the winter season comes along. That is another bad explanation, I suppose.

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

John Campbell Elliott

Liberal

Mr. ELLIOTT:

Yes, another terrible exT

planation, one so flagrantly poor that no one would pay any attention to it. The minister knows perfectly well he did not begin to put the estimates through last season until the season was well along. I am familiar with

the orders in council, and the suggestion that he and his officials did not have time to get them through within a reasonable period is no excuse whatever. However, I am not going to debate the point further. If he is willing to take the responsibility of leaving it at $15,000-and I had hoped he would make a change; in fact I understood he even suggested a change-

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

Hugh Alexander Stewart (Minister of Public Works)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEWART (Leeds):

No, I did not

suggest a change.

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

John Campbell Elliott

Liberal

Mr. ELLIOTT:

His alleged reasons are

just excuses. There is nothing in them. And the idea of raising the limit from $5,000 to $15,000 because the great bulk of the buildings come between those two amounts, so that he had to pass one hundred and sixty-six orders in council, is just a further evidence of how bad the measure is as it stands.

Amendment negatived.

Topic:   PUBLIC WORKS PROGRAM
Subtopic:   WORKS, 'UNDERTAKINGS AND GUARANTEE OP RAILWAY EQUIPMENT SECURITIES TO CREATE EMPLOYMENT
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Section agreed to. Section 8 agreed to. On section 9-Power to guarantee equipment securities of C.N.R. and C.P.R.


CON

Hugh Alexander Stewart (Minister of Public Works)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEWART (Leeds):

There are amendments to this section, which the Minister of Railways believes will make it more workable.

At six o'clock the committee took recess.

After Recess

The committee resumed at eight o'clock.

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

Robert James Manion (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

This is the section in connection with which I submitted two amendments some weeks ago. The results of these amendments are simple although the amendments themselves are perhaps a little complicated. The first amendment is in connection with subsection 1 and is to change the word " improvement " to the word " repairs." This makes the section a little more correct from a standpoint of the railways. The next amendment is to add to the end of subsection 1 the following words:

-and provided further that the governor in council may authorize the Minister of Finance to reimburse the Canadian National Railways out of any unappropriated moneys in the consolidated revenue fund of Canada, the amount of any further interest payable on account of any of its securities issued under the authority of this section for the purpose of repairs of railway equipment.

In short, this amendment is made necessary because of the fact that repairs cannot be charged to deficit. The effect of the amendment will be that the government may

Public Works Program

choose, in the case of the Canadian National Railways, to pay outright for the repairs. In other words, the Canadian National Railways would get the repairs as a gift whereas the Canadian Pacific Railway will owe the money for the repairs. There is another amendment to add a subsection 4, the effect of which is to permit the Minister of Finance, instead of guaranteeing the securities, to purchase the equipment, sell it to the railways and take back a lien. The bill as drawn provides that the Minister of Finance on behalf of the government may guarantee the securities for these equipment orders, but after consultation with the railways it may be decided that the government will purchase the equipment and take a lien upon it instead of guaranteeing the securities. There are technical difficulties in connection with equipment trust liens and this amendment will enable the Minister of Finance to do what I have just explained.

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

Charles A. Stewart

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Edmonton):

I think

there is some justification for the difficulty in which the minister finds himself. In the case of the Canadian Pacific Railway, would the mortgage taken be only on the equipment itself?

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

Robert James Manion (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

Yes.

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

William Daum Euler

Liberal

Mr. EULER:

What form of security would the government exact from the Canadian Pacific Railway? Would it be the same as we had in connection with the $60,000,000 loan?

Topic:   PUBLIC WORKS PROGRAM
Subtopic:   WORKS, 'UNDERTAKINGS AND GUARANTEE OP RAILWAY EQUIPMENT SECURITIES TO CREATE EMPLOYMENT
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May 27, 1935