Mr. KING (Kootenay):
I do not think there should be any idea in the minds of members of the committee that these boilers which are high pressure boilers under steam are not being properly inspected and taken care of. I have no doubt examinations are being made from time to time to see that they are in proper condition. But as regards even boilers that are looked after, things happen at times, and nobody will undertake for a moment to say that a high-pressure boiler should be under a building in which six or seven hundred people are employed. There is not only the danger that might happen of explosions which are more or less remote, but which, through neglect or some other cause, occur at times, but a very considerable danger from fire. Boilers carrying steam are usually fired to produce the heat required for the generation of steam in quantities, a much greater heat than one finds required in low-pressure boilers for heating purposes, and there is a real risk there, a risk that I do not believe the employees in the Printing bureau should be subject to. They were not originally subject to this, but they have been more recently on account of additions that have been built around this boiler, which at one time was outside of the building. That is a phase of the question that has been brought to the attention of the committee, and I think in fairness to the employees of the Printing bureau, proper inspection should be made from time to time. There is an increased fire risk and some danger that explosions from that boiler might occur, although the latter danger is remote.
The suggestion of the Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding) is quite in accord with my view. I have assured the committee that it is the intention of the department that the Architect's branch and representatives from the bureau will devote considerable time to informing themselves as to what will constitute a proper building for printing purposes, one that will be of service to the government. They will then proceed to design plans and to submit plans to the government. If after careful inquiry, we find that this is going to commit us to a larger expenditure than the original expenditure suggested I have no objection, in fact, I will advise that the matter be stayed over until the House is consulted next session. But I think it is necessary for us to make some progress in the matter. Let us make the investigation; let us have the plans. If necessary, let us secure the site, although I do not. think that will be necessary because the government owns a considerable amount of property, and I believe we can find a location for the plant. Let us go ahead, however, with the reduced appropriation of $150,000, and if it is found by the officials, after careful consideration, that this expenditure is to exceed the estimate as originally placed in the estimates, I will advise that the government hold the matter up and that parliament be consulted next year. In the meantime, I would like that this vote should receive the sanction of parliament.
Subtopic: PUBLIC WORKS-OTTAWA PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS