Hon. ARTHUR SAUVE (Postmaster General) :
On a question of privilege I wish to
give some explanation respecting what the hon. member for Temiscouata (Mr. Pouliot) said yesterday, trying to incriminate me personally as having done something wrong or dishonest in the execution of works on the Riviere Jesus. I wish to establish that nothing is wrong in my conduct and that my conscience is clear. May I be permitted to express my regret that such an insinuation was made against me after my twenty-eight years of public life?
The dredging of the Riviere du Chene was made at the repeated1 requests of the municipal authorities of St. Eustache and of the riparian farmers, and this without opposition, as it appears in a resolution passed by the municipal council of the village of St. Eustache on August 4, 1932, and also in a resolution passed by the municipal council of the county of Two Mountains on August 10, 1932.
The amount of $32,000, of which the hon. member for Temiscouata has spoken, was spent not only at the mouth of the Riviere du Chene but over a mile in the river. The spoil of the river was placed on the adjoining land with the consent of the riparian owners less one: I refused to sign the document with other petitioners, but I did not object.
In regard to the spoil placed on the small island which I bought for $100 ten years ago so that I might cut trees which obstructed the view of the Riviere Jesus, as I had a right to do, it was placed there in the same way as it was placed elsewhere, because it would have been too expensive to carry it further, and this was done without any benefit or advantage to me. I objected to this spoil being placed around the island, which is a small one, because it would have enlarged it and also narrowed one of the outlets of the river. The spoil and the boulders placed on the island have made a confused accumulation which has depreciated the poor value of this little property of half an acre square. Last fall, after the work was done, I myself paid men for many days for the purpose of improving the appearance, but without success. I invite any hon. member to visit St. Eustache where he will be welcome, and see the situation, for I am sure he will admit that I am right and that it is ridiculous and mean to denounce me for such a small matter.
The engineers of the department have reported in view of other dredgings which were to be undertaken by the federal and provincial governments, that the dredging at the mouth of the Riviere du Chene should be undertaken to facilitate the flow of the Riviere du Chene into the Riviere Jesus. Similar works were done in this river nearly thirty years ago.
Knowing the needs of the locality, I considered that in the circumstances I had not to object to the demands of the citizens of the village as formulated by the municipal council and that I had not to sell my property on account of these works or to place elsewhere the unfortunate island.
I ask permission to give Hansard copies of both these municipal resolutions that I have mentioned in the course of my remarks.
Topic: BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE