April 7, 1903

CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

Will this be done by day's work or by tender ?

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The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS.

By day's work.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

Why not by tender ?

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The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS.

Because it consists of general repairs, which can better be done by day's work.

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CON

Matthew Henry Cochrane

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. COCHRANE.

How are the materials obtained ?

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The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS.

By the foreman of the work under the superintendence of the engineer.

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CON
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The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS.

The resident engineer is at Halifax.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

You have all through the system a conductor and a foreman. What does the conductor really do ?

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The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS.

He buys the material and generally oversees the work.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

He is down in the accounts for one hundred and fifty-nine days and the foreman is down for one hundred and twenty-two days. It would not take the^conductor one hundred and fifty-nine days to buy the materials.

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The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS.

I explained yesterday that the conductor bought the material and had charge of the whole work and kept the time, &c.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

Is this a new system ?

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The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS.

No, that has been the system ever since our present engineer has been in office. So the chief engineer tells me.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

Does the chief engineer report that it is necessary to have

a conductor as well as a foreman ? To an ordinary layman it would not seem that they were both necessary.

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The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS.

The chief engineer thinks it necessary to have a practical man continually at the work.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

What is the conductor doing all the time.

The MINISTER OB' PUBLIC WORKS. He is time-keeper, and he has to purchase materials. There are a great many different kinds of materials required in these repairs, and the purchase of these, with time keeping and general charge and superintendence of the work should keep him pretty busy. He makes his report to the local engineer, who holds him responsible for the general condition of the works.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

I should think the foreman, the practical man, would be held responsible for the conduct of the work. So, outside of the purchase of the material,

1 should think the foreman would have nothing to do but smoke or engage in some light occupation of that kind. Possibly there may be something else he has to do, but the minister seems to be as much puzzled to tell us what it is as we are to conjecture.

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The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS.

Seriously speaking, I think that probably the man put in charge of the work is a practical man, probably a carpenter. He could not be away from the work for the necessary time looking after men, and also purchasing the various materials required for these repairs, and, also act as foreman. Of course, if the local engineer resides there, he could do this. But the man in charge of a work like this could hardly be the foreman, unless he had also a business capacity, and then the work would probably suffer by his absence when buying material. I have had no experience, but the chief engineer tells me that it has been the practice of the department for many years to conduct these works in this way. I shall be pleased to look into this matter. If two men are unnecessary, there is no reason why one should not be dispensed with.

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Andrew B. Ingram

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. INGRAM.

Who is the representative of the constituency in which this, work is ? I am afraid the hon. gentleman has been taking some lessons in Ontario.

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April 7, 1903