Robert Abercrombie PRINGLE

PRINGLE, Robert Abercrombie, Q.C.

Personal Data

Party
Conservative (1867-1942)
Constituency
Stormont (Ontario)
Birth Date
December 15, 1855
Deceased Date
January 9, 1922
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Abercrombie_Pringle
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=ae857af8-8d19-4f6d-8e3c-ac71e3e1703f&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
lawyer

Parliamentary Career

November 7, 1900 - September 29, 1904
CON
  Cornwall and Stormont (Ontario)
November 3, 1904 - September 17, 1908
CON
  Stormont (Ontario)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 4 of 57)


July 7, 1908

Mr. PRINGLE.

Just one word in connection with the positions of Mr. Stewart and Mr. Sargent. I have objected for some years to Mr. Stewart having absolute charge of the canal. I have nothing to say against Mr. Stewart as a citizen. He is a good citizen, but I do not think that a man |of his experience should have been placed in charge of such an important link in the navigation of the St. Lawrence, and I was very much pleased when I learned from the department that they had made a change. As I understand Mr. Stewart has to-day simply got control of the men, and sees that they do their work properly. Mr. Sargent has absolute control with regard to the maintenance of the canals from Cornwall to the Murray canal. I think that is proper. I have always thought they should be in charge of an experienced man such as Mr. Sargent is. There are doubtless many in the House who will remember that I before brought up the question of Mr. Stewart whom I was bound to speak highly of as a citizen but who, I feel has not the experience necessary to enable him to fill the requirements of this position, a feeling shared by those interested in navigation. I have heard men at the head of our large companies speak in that way in regard to Mr. Stewart. We should have a man with a large experience like Mr. Sargent who has charge of the canal system. As I understand the position Mr. Sargent has absolute charge in so far as repairs, maintenance and works connected with the canal are concerned while Mr. Stewart simply has

charge of the men, of the operation of the canal.

Topic:   SUPPLY-APPOINTMENT OF JUDGES IN QUEBEC.
Subtopic:   190S
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July 7, 1908

Mr. PRINGLE.

I do not intend to resurrect the old lighting contract on the Cornwall canal. But I want to say that I agree with the hon. member for Grenville (Mr. Reid) that Mr. Stewart was not the man who should have charge of the canal, and I am pleased to see that the government has come to that conclusion, and have placed Mr. Sargent in charge of the Cornwall canal, not only of the Cornwall canal, but of all the canals up to the Murray canal. Mr. Sargent has been located in Cornwall for some months, and is residing there, and is a thoroughly competent engineer. Now, to come back to the subject under discussion, the lighting of the Welland canal by electricity, so far as I am concerned, I want to see the money spent

where it can be spent in the best interest of navigation. The expenditure -of a few thousands for electricity on the Cornwall canal has come up here time and time again, it is brought up nearly every year. It may cost a good deal of money, but it is the greatest advantage to navigation we can possibly have. Large vessels are coming down the Cornwall canal carrying G5,-000 bushels of grain, and they do not now use lamps as they did in the old time, when vessels had to tie-up and suffer delays for hours. They go right through now, in the night time as well as in the day time. I do not want to discuss the terms of the contract, that has been discussed over and over again in this House. The government have made a contract that I imagine they will have to stand by. This is what I want to get at. Is this increased cost justifiable, and in what way does it aid navigation ? I understand that these vessels can go through much more quickly to-day, with these modern electrical appliances to operate the locks, than they could some years ago. I do not know whether I am right or wrong, but I think the Soulanges canal was the first one on which the locks were operated by electricity, and I think the plan has been a great success, that a great deal of time has been saved. Now, the minister has with him an engineer who has had a great deal of experience in these matters, and he can tell us whether this plan is going to aid navigation in the Welland canal. Can a vessel go through more quickly, once these electrical appliances are put into effect ? If it can, then it is a decided advantage. We know that late in the fall of the year these vessels are crowding down, every minute is important to them, we have to, in the fall, open our canals on Sunday, so they are operated every day in the week. Now I want to say a word with regard to that break. That is not the first break that has occurred in the Cornwall canal. We must remember that the Cornwall canal was originally built with a depth of 10 feet, and that has been increased to 14 feet. That extra 4 feet has increased the danger to the banks of the canal. There is a long stretch from lock 20 down to the lock at the mouth of the Cornwall canal that is dangerous, and always will remain dangerous. Six or seven years ago in this House I advocated with the then Minister of Railways and Canals the putting in at lock No. 20 another lock to the river. I understand that when the deputy minister, Mr .Butler, came into the department he saw the advantage of it, and that plans have been prepared, and that this will probably become an accomplished fact. If it had been done a few years ago the whole navigation of the country would not have been tied up as it is to-day. In so far as that break is concerned, it was a most unfortunate occurrence. It probably could have

occurred at a worse season of tlie year but it is an enormous loss to this country. 1 say with all the credit to those who are doing the work of repair that it has been rushed as expeditiously as it was possible to rush it. I was on the ground. The next day after the accident work was begun, within nine days water was in the canal and I understand that within three days vessels will be passing up and down. The work has been exneditiously and well done. But, I want to call the minister's attention to lock No. 20. If what I suggest is done it will save an enormous amount to the people interested in navigation and it will prevent a recurrence of navigation being tied up for two or three weeks owing to a break in the canal.

Topic:   SUPPLY-APPOINTMENT OF JUDGES IN QUEBEC.
Subtopic:   THE RECENT CANADIAN LOAN.
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July 6, 1908

Mr. PRINGLE.

The upper wharf in the town of Cornwall is used, I believe, only by the Cornwall and Montreal Navigation Company, and was built for their accommodation. The wharf was constructed at considerable expense and is a great convenience to the community. I would like to know if that wharf is free or whether the steamers using it pay dues?

Topic:   SUPPLY-CANAUIAN NATURALIZATION.
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June 22, 1908

Mr. PRINGLE.

I would like to ask the hon. Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Fisher) if

the commission would have power, under clause 10, to see as to the physical fitness of those applying for admission to the civil service, or whether there will be any provision in the Bill with regard to that. I think it is very important that the examination as to the physical condition of candidates should be such that they should be properly admitted to the civil service.

Topic:   CIVIL SERVICE ACT AMENDMENT.
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May 4, 1908

Mr. PRINGLE.

I would like to ask my hon. friend, the Minister of Labour, when he intends proceeding with the Old Age Pension Bill which has been referred to a committee.

Topic:   OLD AGE PENSION BILL.
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