Mr. W. A. GALLIHER (Kootenay).
I shall take up little time in discussing this matter. I shall not follow the wanderings of the hon. gentleman who has just taken his seat (Mr. Robitaille), nor do more than refer to the questionable taste he has exhibited in reading private correspondence and in attacking the private character of individuals. If he is satisfied that is his mission in parliament and his duty to his constituents, then I am not going to question it. He certainly has not confined himself to matters within the purview of the resolution under which this report was brought down and is now before the House. He has gone beyond it to the extent of discussing matters entirely irrelevant and extraneous to it. Furthermore, he has made statements that are not at all facts, but have no other source than his imagination. The hon. gentleman made a speech in this House some time ago, and I had the pleasure of examining him in this committee on that subject, and as a sample of the weight that may be attached to many of his statements I will read one of his answers to my question. In his speech he stated that by reason of certain affiliations and associations of some of the officers of the Quebec Bridge Company, we might expect all sorts of calamities to occur. He hedged on that when it was brought to him directly, and said that he did not say that as a matter of fact. Then I asked him :
Then your speech has really no relation whatever except in the sense that such and such things might happen?-A. Yes.
Q. Now to your knowledge, or so far as you know, they never did occur?-A. Yes, that is why I was asking the government to take the thing under its control, because I was foreshadowing the result.
The hon. gentleman's speeches in this House on that occasion and on this occasion are largely imaginings. Now he tries to convey to this House the idea that one of the reasons why this bridge collapsed was because of the weak financial standing of the company, in other words, they were not strong enough to put such a project through as was necessary for the purpose. I would point out to the hon. gentleman that such is not the case. The Royal Commission, when they went into that matter, found that the financial status of the company had nothing whatever to do with the accident to the bridge. On that point I will read their finding from paragraph (e) :
The failure cannot be attributed directly to any cause other than errors in judgment on the part of these two engineers.
(f) These errors of judgment cannot be attributed either to lack of common professional knowledge, to neglect of duty, or to a desire to economize.
If you refer to the appendix to the report of the Royal Commission where they deal with the financial situation, you will find that the conclusion they arrived at was that in no respect whatever had the financial Condition of the company anything to do with the lamentable accident that occurred. My hon. friend from Quebec county has also made this an occasion to vent his spleen upon the Hon. Mr. Parent. Now, whatever information may have been furnished to the hon. gentleman for Jacques Cartier (Mr. Monk), and whatever the object of that information may have been upon which he felt bound, rightly so I admit, to move in this House for an order of reference that these matters he inquired into, whatever be the object of that information, and whether it was furnished by the hon. member who has just taken his seat or some outside party. I do not know. Evidently, if it was furnished by the hon. member who has just taken his seat, one of his objects at all events was if possible to procure evidence that would discredit in some way the Hon. Mr. Parent. Now, I am not here as sponsor for Mr. Parent or any other man. But having had this matter under consideration, being one of the commissioners who sat on this inquiry, when I hear these statements made regarding that hon. gentleman as chairman of the Quebec Bridge Company, I would refer hon. members to the evidence of the co-directors of Mr. Parent on that company, Mr. Price, Mr. Sharpies and Mr. Dumoulin, and others who were examined before us, and they will
see what confidence is reposed in Mr. Parent by his associates. These are the only two points in the hon. gentleman's remarks that I propose to deal with. I am sure that when he reads his remarks and the Insinuations and imaginings that [DOT] he has caused to be spread on ' Hansard,' he will find a great difficulty in understanding really what he has been talking about for the past hour.
The hon. member for Jacques Cartier (Mi*. Monk) in speaking upon this report, seemed to think that the report of the committee as presented was not full enough, and had not dealt with the matter with sufficient completeness. There were, under the order of reference, three matters which the committee were asked to take into consideration. The first matter was to investigate ' the conditions and guarantees under which this government paid moneys to the Quebec Bridge Company, and indorsed or guaranteed the bonds of the said company.' That, we have set out in the report brought down to-day by the committee. We have not gone into detail or made comments upon it but we have taken the essential parts of the evidence that has been produced in connection with it so that they may be read to the House and the country. In that respect I think we have complied fully with the first branch of this inquiry. The third branch of the inquiry is in regard to, ' what security the government at present possess for the sums already received by and guarantees given to the company.'
As to that my hon. friends who have joined in the minority report differ from those of my colleagues who have joined with the chairman in the report of the committee. There may be an honest difference of opinion as to what the value of these securities is. We, in our judgment, have set out what in our opinion the security is that is held by the government for the money they have expended, so that it becomes a matter of opinion as to what the actual value of this security is. We know what the cost of the substructure, the terminals, the connections with these terminals and the roadbed that has been built was and we know that all these are in existence to-day. We know that there is a quantity of structural material delivered on the ground. All these things are assets that are available and will be available to the government in taking this work over. With regard to the second portion of the inquiry as to what measures were adopted by the government to ensure the preparation of suitable plans of construction and the proper execution of the same,' very little, if any evidence, was adduced before the committee that was not adduced before the Royal Commission. A considerable part of the inquiry in that particular necessarily had reference to matters of a technical nature which no member of the committee is really able to cope with in an intelligent manner, or with sufficient
Topic: ASKED TO BE RELIEVED.