July 7, 1908 (10th Parliament, 4th Session)


Robert Abercrombie Pringle

Conservative (1867-1942)


Just one word in connection with the positions of Mr. Stewart and Mr. Sargent. I have objected for some years to Mr. Stewart having absolute charge of the canal. I have nothing to say against Mr. Stewart as a citizen. He is a good citizen, but I do not think that a man |of his experience should have been placed in charge of such an important link in the navigation of the St. Lawrence, and I was very much pleased when I learned from the department that they had made a change. As I understand Mr. Stewart has to-day simply got control of the men, and sees that they do their work properly. Mr. Sargent has absolute control with regard to the maintenance of the canals from Cornwall to the Murray canal. I think that is proper. I have always thought they should be in charge of an experienced man such as Mr. Sargent is. There are doubtless many in the House who will remember that I before brought up the question of Mr. Stewart whom I was bound to speak highly of as a citizen but who, I feel has not the experience necessary to enable him to fill the requirements of this position, a feeling shared by those interested in navigation. I have heard men at the head of our large companies speak in that way in regard to Mr. Stewart. We should have a man with a large experience like Mr. Sargent who has charge of the canal system. As I understand the position Mr. Sargent has absolute charge in so far as repairs, maintenance and works connected with the canal are concerned while Mr. Stewart simply has
charge of the men, of the operation of the canal.

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