Richard Stuart LAKE

LAKE, The Hon. Richard Stuart

Personal Data

Conservative (1867-1942)
Qu'Appelle (Saskatchewan)
Birth Date
July 10, 1860
Deceased Date
April 23, 1950
farmer, public servant

Parliamentary Career

November 3, 1904 - September 17, 1908
  Qu'Appelle (Northwest Territories)
October 26, 1908 - July 29, 1911
  Qu'Appelle (Saskatchewan)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 5 of 170)

May 8, 1911

Mr R. S. LAKE (Qu'Appelle).

Mr. Speaker, before you leave the Chair I wish to call the attention of the Minister of the Interior in his capacity as Superintendent General of Indian Affairs to a matter that has been brought to my notice quite recently. It has reference to certain damage done by a fire caused by a steam threshing machine operated by government officials


on Pasqua's Indian Reserve, which is situate! near Fort Qu'Appelle, on the 29th of October, 1910. At the time the threshing was taking place the wind was blowing a perfect gale. Practically all the machines in the neighbourhood shut down though another fire was caused by one of the machines which continued threshing that day. The fire, according to my informant, burned the separator, and was allowed to run out over the country, doing damage which was estimated by the North West Mounted Police to amount to between $8,000 and $10,000. Mr. Nichol, the Indian Agent, who at the time was in charge of the machine, was summoned by the North West Mounted Police for allowing the fire to run at large. He appeared before a justice of the peace at Fort Qu'Appelle, and was fined the sum of $25 for the offence. My informant informs me that the inspector of Indian Agencies, Mr. W. M. Graham, took occasion to go through the district and inquire as to the amount of damage which had been caused by the fire which took place after the burning of the machine. It is stated that he made an estimate of the losses, and sent that estimate to Ottawa. Several settlers made application to be reimbursed for the losses they sustained; and the only word they had from Ottawa was to the effect that the department did not consider themselves responsible. Now, it is well known all through the North West that it is a very dangerous thing to continue threshing with a steam threshing outfit when there is a very high wind blowing. On such occasions very few farmers will allow threshing to go on, as the number of accidents that occur from that cause are very numerous; but when such accidents do occur, the responsibility is placed on the owner of the threshing machine to see that all damages which result to the people are paid. In the same neighbourhood as the case I mention a fire starting from a threshing machine of Mr. Guy May got away and burned several bins of wheat and oats belonging to his neighbours, and he had to pay for the damages done. Mr. May had some excuse, perhaps, for threshing on that particular day. It seems that he had only five acres of crop to finish his whole season's work, and on such occasions men will try to finish their threshing. But I am rather at a loss to understand why a government official should consider it necessary to take risks under such circumstances, and to continue threshing on a day on which the wind was so extremely high. The fire in question burned out a number of settlers in the neighbourhood.

I have a list of some of them, but not a complete list. Three of those settlers have written to me asking me to try to get the government to consider the losses they ' Mr. LAKE.

have sustained and to reimburse them. It seems to me that when a fire of that sort is caused by the recklessness or carelessness of a government official, the government who employ that official should be in the same position as the owner of a private threshing machine, who in .similar required to reimburse those who suffer loss in consequence of his recklessness or neglect. One of my correspondents writes me to this effect: "

I have practically lost all my grain and buildings, and it seems strange that I cannot get common justice from the Interior Department, when it was proved that it was their employees who caused it. This is the second time that I have lost grain and buildings by fire from the same cause. I came to Canada from England with a little capital and bought this farm. Now I have nearly lost it all by these fires.

Another man wrote to me that he had lost two-thirds of his crop, which was threshed and in the granaries. Yet another writes about the considerable losses that he sustained. I know that settlers living in the neighbourhood of Indian reserves frequently suffer very seriously from fires which accidently or carelessly start on these reserves. I presume this is due mainly to the fact that there are very few settlers on the reserve, and a very small amount of land is broken up, and the fires get great headway before they are brought under control. In this particular case the fire started from a threshing machine which was being operated by an employee of the government, who was threshing the grain of the Indians. The fire must have been a terrible one because it jumped across both railway tracks at a point where there is a siding and continued unchecked on the other side of the line. I thought, it necessary to bring this matter up to-day as rumors are current that the government are likely to move an adjournment or prorogation before very long; and it is only within the last day or two that the facts have come into my possession and the sufferers have asked me to bring this matter up. This fire occurred in the end of last October, and it is very desirable that the payment of damages should not be delayed. If these people have suffered these losses owing to the fault of the government, they should be reimbursed immediately. A great deal of hardship has been inflicted on a number of innocent individuals, and they consequently are perfectly entitled to compensation just as much as they would be, had the fire been set by the owner of a private threshing machine or some one in his employ. I hope the Superintendent General of Indian Affairs (Mr. Oliver) will have the matter looked into and give orders that the government pay whatever damages have been inflicted.

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May 8, 1911


Would not the fact that a high gale was blowing at the time be sufficient evidence of negligence? Any one knowing that country would say so.

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May 1, 1911


What was the average price of beef, mutton, butter, and eggs for export at Buenos A>

res, Bahia Blanca, Sydney, Melbourne, Christchurch, Dunedin and Auckland, respectively, for each of the months of October, November and December, 1910, and January and February, 1911, or at such of these ports for which information is obtainable?

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March 22, 1911


About a fortnight ago, when the question of the coronation contingent was brought up, I asked how many men of the Northwest Mounted Police would be sent. Is not the Prime Minister (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) prepared to make a statement as to the number and as to the method of selection?

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March 21, 1911

Mr. R. S. LAKE (Qu'Appelle).

Mr. Speaker, my attention has been called to a statement made referring to me by the member for North Cape Breton (Mr. McKenzie), in his speech on reciprocity on the 14th instant, when I was not present in the House. He said:

I received from a member from the west this afternoon some evidence that seems to me very striking. In the great province of Saskatchewan they have 51 members local and Dominion, and I am told on the authority of an hon.


member from that province that out of the 51 there is only one man who is opposing this pact and that man is the hon, member for Qu'Appelle in this House. A11 the rest are in favour of the agreement.

The hon. member (Mr. McKenzie) has been already taken to task by the hon. member for East Hastings (Mr. Northrup), because of a serious misrepresentation of that gentleman's attitude made in the course of the same speech, but his statement regarding me has been quoted outside of this House where the hon. gentleman (Mr. McKenzie) is not so well known as he is inside or I would not take the trouble to call attention to it. He had no warrant whatever for making the statement he did. I have so far refrained from expressing any opinion one way or the other. When I have a statement to make I will make it myself, and will not ask the hon. member for North Cape Breton to make it for me. He is one of the last men in the House to whom I would make that request. This is a matter of immense importance, and while the government supporters had no difficulty in endorsing the proposals the moment they were laid before the House and the country, and the moment they heard the barest outline of them, or even before they heard it at all, I have felt it my duty to carefully weigh every bit of information available before coming to a decision. That information has been meted out to us in a most niggardly way. It has had to be dragged out of the government item by item like drawing teeth. The House has a right to complain of the meagre information supplied, in such marked contrast to that supplied to Congress by the American government to enable them to study the question from every point of view. In some respects we are even now dependent on information supplied by the American government which our government should have supplied. But we want more information still than the American government has supplied, and along lines which it was not necessary for them to give. We want information in regard to the trade and prices in Australia and New Zealand, and the other British colonies and in Argentine and the other favoured nations which are to have free entry to our markets which is denied to us in their markets. I am justified in saying that no one in the House has yet had the information necessary to enable him to make a satisfactory study of the full effect of the agreement. It is only within the last few days that important statements have been made on the subject by the Prime Minister, and the Finance Minister which alter in a material degree the bearing of this whole question; and while it will no doubt still further add to the satisfaction of such manufacturers as

are endorsing these proposals-and there are many of them-it will on the other hand be received with bitter disappointment by those farmers who are also supporting it in the hope of getting a square deal.

On Friday last the attention of the House was called by the hon. member for Dauphin (Mr. Campbell) to a report appearing in the ' Globe1 newspaper of a speech delivered at Woodstock, Ontario, by the hon. member for North Oxford (Mr. Nesbitt). The hon. member for Dauphin used these words:

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