I have just read out a firm offer to do this work on a basis where the dominion government will not have to pay one cent if the rock is not removed. How that is a needless waste of public money, I do not know. The hon. member very properly says that I am not an engineer. For any engineering statements I must rely on my informants, but I have an ample file with all sorts of information on this matter, and if the hon. member will hold his peace I will try to get over to the minister what I have to say in as short a space of time as possible. I say again that the hon. member does not aid us in trying to have this matter settled .properly by butting in the way he is doing.
I was describing the difference in the proposed method. I am not going into engineering details. The point I am putting forward is that under this proposal the difficulties which were faced previously-
Certainly. I have, a voluminous file. I have written to the deputy minister on several occasions on this matter and have had replies from him. I was going to refer to some of those communications. I asked the deputy minister, since my assistance had been asked on several occasions, if he would be kind enough to let me know what was holding up the decision on this offer, and on April 9 last he wrote to me, setting out three matters which would have to be dealt with before the offer could be considered. Those three were: (1) that the company's proposals did not include the removal
of rock No. 2; (2) that proof of the company's financial stability would have to be supplied; and (3) proof of their ability to provide experienced personnel conversant with sub-aqueous rock drilling would have to be provided.
I communicated these requirements, which are, I think, quite proper, to the president of the company, and he replied both to myself and, I think, to the minister. An offer was made to guarantee the removal of rock No. 2 for an additional sum of $200,000. This letter I am reading from is from R. G. Lawson, president of the company, dated April 11, 1947, and is addressed to the minister. It gives an assurance that proof of financial stability through a bank would be provided, and the third requirement was some proof that the company had the experienced) personnel necessary to do this work.
I might also mention that the minister said something about the offer on a "no cure, no pay" basis having been withdrawn or that when you came to investigate it, it was not on a "no cure, no pay" basis. But in this letter dated April 11, last, the offer to do the work on a "no cure, no pay" basis is repeated. I will read that paragraph:
If the federal government is prepared to make a tentative offer, conditional on the company producing proof of finances to undertake the purchase of the necessary material and meet any and all other expenses incurred, vve are prepared to uphold our offer on a "no cure, no pay" basis.
I have in my hand the latest letter I have had from this company, dated June 17 last. As the minister knows, this scheme has been given the blessing of Colonel W. G. Swan, who is a very well known engineer.