June 2, 1908 (10th Parliament, 4th Session)


Frank Oliver (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)



The opportunity for investigation was given and it was not taken advantage of on a paltry lawyer's quibble. Our lion, friend has traversed a great deal of ground during his harangue of to-day, from the question of the general administration of the Yukon to the private conduct of certain individuals connected with it. The character and propriety of the comment that has been made may be brought out by one or two instances in the quotations that he has given. The letter of the Rev. Mr. Pringle, dated May 27, 1902, contains the views of the reverend gentleman in regard to the administration of the mining business in that country. He says :
In one notorious case, Treadgold, the most important water privilege in the Yukon has been handed over to a corporation. I do not hesitate a moment to say that this concession is an in'qmty and the people will some day reap the bitter fruits of its government's wrongdoing. The Klondike water should be used directly by the government of Canada in the interests of the people.
My blood boiled, when, standing on the Arkansaw creek divide, I saw the great and beautiful river issue from the foothills, and remembered that it was in the grasp of capital, that the people had been disinherited; and that everything in this great rich district was to be food for the maw of a greedy and government favoured corporation.
My bon. friend (Mr. Foster) could not have improved on that language, and I am sure he read it to-day with a great deal of gusto. This letter was written six years ago and necessarily we know more to day than we did then. The Klondike river still flows out of the foothills ; it is not in the grasp of government favoured corporations and to this date its water has not been utilized for the purposes that the Rev. Dr. Pringle desired it to be utilized for, and declared it would have been utilized for if it had not been for the action of this government. The reverend gentleman says the water at that time was in the grasp of the notorious Treadgold concession. There is no Treadgold concession to-day, there is no Treadgold water privilege ; whatever water privilege Treadgold got upon the Klondike river he never exercised it, for the good and sufficient reason that it was not any good. But Mr. Treadgold has utilized another water privilege on another river and as a result of Treadgold's personal efforts capital has been induced to come into the Yukon so that there is to-day in process of construction, a scheme for the purpose of mining completely the remaining gold bearing gravels of that country on a scale that does not exist in any other country in the world. An expenditure is being made there for this purpose under the supervision of this man Treadgold in the way of building flumes and in the purchase of claims to the extent, I am credibly informed, of $10,000,000. And it has not utilized in any way, shape or manner the water of the Klondike river which the Rev. Dr. Pringle has announced to the world was tied up from beneficial use in the development of that country. Now, the Rev. Dr. Pringle was mistaken at that time ; he was absolutely and utterly mistaken in that.

Subtopic:   JOHN PRINGLE.
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