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

CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MURPHY:

I think the hon. member has very well answered himself. He quoted to the committee a statement that certain of the buildings might be demolished, which demolition was carried out, and that the proceeds were to be used for the repair of the other buildings; that certain of the material was sold and that there was a balance remaining of $238.68, which was not used for the purpose of repairing buildings, which has not been turned over to the Department of the Interior, and which remains unpaid until the present moment. Further-and this is what I wish to draw to the attention of the committee-the hon. member has made a plea that this site should remain with the town of Battleford, because it is an historic site and the Battleford council are the best
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people to administer it. They were given the administration of that area for one purpose only, namely, that it was to be used solely for recreational purposes. They did not so use it; the hon. member admits that himself. Certain of those buildings were used by Mr. Stewart to house cattle, sheep, pigs; stacks of feed were placed on the ground, and of course the grounds would be covered with the litter from the stables in which the various animals were housed. In developing his theme, the hon. member stated that this was an historic site and that the town was therefore the best instrument to be used to perpetuate its memory. I have related to the committee how those grounds were used. I put this question to the committee: Is that a proper and fitting way to use an old historic site-to utilize the buildings for the housing of animals and to have the grounds covered with litter, especially in view of the terms of the lease that the area was to be used for recreational purposes only. I have before me the detailed evidence, the report of the agent as to the condition of those buildings. I do not make any apology for the action taken, and were the matter to be dealt with to-morrow, I would take the same action with the town of Battleford or any other community which had violated, in the manner in which this was done, the terms of an agreement entered into.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR
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