The language reported as just quoted by the hon. gentleman (Mr. Foster) is not precisely the language I used, or, at any rate, is not what I
intended to use, for there is very little meaning in the words as reported. The following is what is reported :
I would like this House to consider whether at its worst it is to be compared for one moment with the position of a man who succeeds in placing himself in a position of trust in a company and then succeeds in placing himself in another position connected with another company, and then engages in the delightful occupation of selling out the company of which he is a director to himself in another com, pany, and taking a commission
And so on. I did not say that, or I certainly did not intend to say it. What I intended to say was :
A man who succeeds in placing himself in a position of trust in a company arid then succeeds in placing himself in another position connected with another company, and then engages in the delightful occupation of buying lands for the company of which he was manager, and accepting a commission and putting it in his pocket in that connection
And so on. That is what I intended to say, and the revised 'Hansard' will show the words so corrected. And my authority, if the hon. gentleman wants it, are the proceedings of the Royal Commission wbieli investigated this particular case which was discussed thoroughly in this House during the last session, and I quoted particularly, and I mentioned it, from the speech of the Minister of Justice which I happen to have before me at this moment. I had not the pleasure of hearing the speech which was delivered by the Minister of Justice, as I was away, but I read it after my return from England, and in that speech I find the following :
The other transaction of a similar character perhaps deserves one word of additional notice, and for the simple reason that in regard to the $5,000 transaction, the verbal evidence which witnesses gave before the commission is contradictory. One witness gives in his testimony-which I need not say is equally sworn evidence-a statement of the transaction directly at variance upon this crucial point with the statement of the hon gentleman. It is not for me to judge between the two, it has not been the part of the commission to judge between the two. They have stated simply and frankly upon the face of the report what was the evidence of one and what was the evidence of the other, and leaving that evidence for comparison and for perusal, and leaving those who read to form their own judgment upon it. The commission left it at that and discussed the transaction from either of the different points of view, according to the different evidence which any reader may choose to accept.
But with regard to the subsequent transaction-
Tile one to which I referred.
-in respect to which a commission of small amount was paid, there is not, because there cannot be, variation in the testimony of witnesses, it resting upon written documents. This is a transaction, in essence of precisely
the same character. The syndicate is purchasing lands with the money of either the Foresters or of the Trust Company, with money which is furnished to it, borrowed by it, if you please, upon the security of the lands that are being bought, and the syndicate so making its purchase and so making its payment, we are again treated to the proposition that there is to be paid a commission out of it. And in this instance, it is upon the letters which are in evidence. Exhibit No. 665 is a letter dated December 23, 1903, from Mr. George E. Foster to Mr. Pritchard, at Winnipeg. He says:
I have talked the matter of these lands over with some parties. The price is too high as it was asked, and I can get no one to take any interest at any such price. My clients are filled with lands, and the offerings of men who have got lots and have to make payments and have not the money, are numerous. This flattens the price. Now, if the following is of any use to you I will, on receipt of answer, go into it further, and give you an early decision, to wit, $5.25 per acre for the land with twenty-five cents per acre as commission, thus netting you $5 per acre. This will depend upon the amount of cash down required-$1.25 certainly, and $1 say in four months, and the remainder in four yearly instalments with note, and option to pay the whole amount at any time without bonus. One trouble is the inability to inspect lands at this time. This, I am aware, is not as good as you expect, but you have no idea of the .amount of land offered here and parties here are filled up. Kindly let me know if this will be acceptable. I see no way of doing anything better at present, but I think I can get the above through.
The answer on December 28, in Winnipeg, from Mr. Pritchard, is as follows:
Dear Mr. Foster,-I am in receipt of yours of the 23rd, and have read your offer with some little regret, as I had hoped that you would be able to handle these lands at a better price in view of their choice location. As I pointed out when I saw you in Toronto, the Canadian Northern are putting their branch through from at or near Swan river to the Thunder Hills, which will make these lands convenient to railway facilities. However, as you cannot do any better, I accept your proposition with the following slight modifications. There is $2.48 due the Canadian Northern on these lands which runs for eight years at thirty-one cents an acre per year, with interest at six per cent. The whole of it can be paid off at any time without bonus, which I expect you to assume. As regards the cash payment, $1.25 down, seventy-five cents in three months and seventy-five cents in six months. The cash payment in that way will secure the equity, all being met within six months. I trust you will be able to meet me in this slight change.
Tours very sincerely,
The answer is a telegram of December 31, 1903, to A. W. Pritchard, Winnipeg, Manitoba:
Send contract terms your letter for part due Canadian Northern and amounts due vendors. The Union Trust Company, Limited, in trust is purchaser. Cash payment will be made on signing contracts.
On January 2, 1904, Messrs, Macdonald, Hag-gart and Whitla, of Winnipeg, solicitors for the vendors, wrote to the Hon. George E.