A year ago I took a few moments of the time of the committee to present the case of the Six Nations Indians on the reserve at Tuscarora, in the county of Brant. I pointed out that, these Indians always having been wards of the government, like other Indians of the dominion, funds belonging to the Six Nations Indians and in possession of the government of the day were improperly diverted, in breach of trust, for the purpose of building or helping to build a canal known as the Grand River navigation canal. The moneys then misappropriated, as I say, together with interest and other moneys advanced from time to time by the government of the day, amount in the aggregate to over $1,000,000. I am told that the contention of the Department of Justice is that this matter is outlawed or that the present government of Canada is not responsible for what was done by a previous government of this part of Canada. I cannot see it in that way. I do not wish to repeat the arguments I advanced last year, but I shall call to the attention of
the committee the concluding words of the reply the minister was good enough to make following my observations. He said, as reported at page 2416 of Hansard for 1934:
I wish to assure him-
And the minister was referring to me.
-that so far as I am concerned, within the limits imposed upon me I shall endeavour to see that justice is done.
I find nothing in the estimates to cover the expenditure I have suggested. I have not asked for an appropriation of a million dollars. I recognize that there is some merit-not very much-but some merit in the contention that the present government is not responsible for this expropriation of funds. I wish again to suggest to the minister that a substantial sum be placed in the supplementary estimates for the purpose I have suggested. Such an expenditure would go a long way towards wiping out the dissatisfaction which exists among the Indians who were wrongfully deprived of money. I would not expect the amount to be charged this year against income; it is really a capital expenditure which should be charged against capital. The expenditure should not interfere with the financial position of the government, so far as the revenues for the year are concerned. Again I ask the minister to consider the matter and if possible to place a substantial sum in the supplementary estimates for the purpose I have indicated.
Topic: DEPARTMENT OF INDIAN AFFAIRS