Hon. DAVID TISDALE (Norfolk).
If there is any truth in this report-and I apprehend there is, because this is not the first case ofi the kind of which we have read t-it is quite evident that something! is wrong. There are other public works going on, on the Canadian Pacific Railway and on the Grand Trunk, under Larsen and Foley, where explosives are much more extensively used and in which such a state of facts does not exist and cannot exist. The Minister of Railways speaks of the protection afforded by the coroner's inquest as a means of making known the facts in these cases, but it is evident that this machinery is deficient, because this loss of life goes on continually and increasingly, according to what we have heard to-day. I must say I had no idea of it before, and I do not believe the people of the country had any idea of it either, but it is an intolerable condition. AVe have the Minister of Railways and also the Railway Commission, and these are the people most blameworthy for allowing this condition to continue. I am glad to hear that the Minister of Railways has stirred up the commission, but apparently he has not stirred them up enough. But we have another department that boasts of what it has done, and that is peculiarly in charge of the interest of the working people. I refer to the Labour Department. I have not heard that the Minister of Labour (Mr. Le-mieux) and his department has taken any interest in this question. Yet the settlement of it is a simple matter. In the first place, only proper explosives should be used ; and, in the second place, they should
be handled only by experienced people. No contractor should employ an inexperienced man for the handling of explosives, and no government should allow such a thing to be done. There is no need for using poor explosives, because there are so many excellent kinds that I cannot believe the contractor would purchase the inferior. But the fact remains that we have two departments and a railway commission directly interested and directly responsible and yet this terrible loss of life seems to go on and to increase. I think it is time that parliament said something about it and that the minister-both ministers-should move in the matter. It is well enough to speak of coroner's inquests, but where do the jurors in these inquests come from ? They are probably interested, or prejudiced or indifferent. I would not insinuate that these men would wilfully render improper verdicts, but if these inquests are held in places where there are no people except the workmen of the contractors, with the boss over them, that is enough reason for saying that an examination should be made by one of these departments to find out whether there is negligence in these cases. It ought to have been done before this time and it cannot be gone about too soon.
Topic: SUPPLY-STATUTES OF THE PROVINCE OF SASKATCHEWAN.
Subtopic: TRANSCONTINENTAL RAILWAY-ACCIDENTS ON CONSTRUCTION.