I have no doubt in the world that this very building which now costs by contract, $203,000, could have been built for about the sum that the Minister of Finance mentioned. Everyone knows that there has been a large increase in the price of building in the last three or four years, probably 25 to 30 per cent ; that I
am sure will be accepted by the House as an explanation. Considering that the Minister of Finance made his statement without having all the details, and the plans before him. I thin he was wonderfully close in the estimate he gave, taking into consideration the difference in the cost of building. The hon. gentleman laughs. I am perfectly serious, and I am speaking of my own knowledge. In the last two years I have let contracts for buildings that cost 20 per cent more than they would have cost the year before. I do think that any member in the House with experience in building knows that the cost of building is not less than 20 per cent higher than in 1902.
Subtopic: FEBKUAKY C, 1905