March 11, 1935 (17th Parliament, 6th Session)


Thomas Gerow Murphy (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Conservative (1867-1942)


As the hon. member has stated, this property was leased to the town of Battleford under the authority of an order in council, P.C. 2380, dated December 20, 1927. This lease was given for an area comprising about seventy-five acres, together with several buildings thereon, and it was

issued to the town for recreational purposes for the term of twenty-one years, from February 1, 1928, at a nominal rental of $1 per annum. The conditions of the lease were briefly these:
1. The lessee to pay the rent as set forth and pay all charges, taxes, rates and assessments during the continuance of the lease.
2. The lessee not to sublet or assign without consent.
3. The lessor to have the right to enter upon the premises for inspection at any time.
4. That the said lands shall be used for the purposes aforesaid, that is, recreational purposes and for no other purpose.
5. The lessee within a reasonable time to repair and keep in repair buildings designated by an inspecting officer to be retained.
6. The lessor may cancel by notice in writing if rental unpaid for thirty days, or for contravention of the conditions of the lease.
7. Manner of notification of cancellation.
The town of Battleford violated the second and fourth conditions of the lease. The second condition was that the lessee was not to sublet or assign without consent, and the other condition was that the lands were to be used for recreational purposes and for no other purpose. The town allowed the iate Constable John Guthrie to occupy one of the houses as caretaker and later allowed H. S. Stewart to use the barracks building to keep cattle, horses and pigs for fattening purposes, and also for housing some of his men. The hon. member must bear in mind that this property was to be used only for recreational purposes. Certain information came to the department in regard to the manner in which the town was allowing this property to be used, and we requested the Indian agent, Mr. S. L. Macdonald, to make an inspection and to report, and this was done. I have before me the details of his report. At a later date the Indian agent was asked to make a further report, which he did, and this report I have also before me. In answer to the last question, as to what is being done with the property at the present time, I may say that the lease has been formally cancelled and there is 'in charge a caretaker in the person of George W. French. The buildings, which have been occupied by certain people to whom permission was given by the town of Battleford, are I believe still in the possession of these people, but notice has been given them to vacate at a certain date.

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