Mr. HENDERSON asked :
1. What was the total amount of duty collected on tobacco for the year ending 30th June, 1902 ?
Subtopic: TOBACCO DUTIES.
1. What was the total amount of duty collected on tobacco for the year ending 30th June, 1902 ?
Sir WILLIAM MULOCK.
Mr. G. TAYLOR (South Leeds).
Before the Orders of the Day are called, I wish to call the attention of the House and particularly of the Minister of Public Works, to what I think every lion, member will consider a grievance. I am not going to say anything with reference to the city of Ottawa-I leave it for the electors of the city to deal with the corporation at the proper time. I understand that this government is paying a large sum annually to the city of Ottawa for the purpose of carrying on some permanent improvements, and in return, they are to receive all the water required for the use of the parliament buildings and grounds, together with other considerations that may not amount to much. What I would like to ask is why the government are not making better use of the water by having the grounds sprinkled. To-day it is only at the risk of a man's life almost, that he goes from this House to the main gate of the grounds. As I passed down just before dinner, some of the new loam which has been put on the roads, but which is now turned into dust, came in a cloud and practically blinded me. If the government are entitled to use all the water they require, there are certainly men enough around the departments idle who could use that water to sprinkle the roads and lay the dust. I know that it is only necessary to draw the attention of the Minister of Public Works (Hon. Mr. Sutherland) to this matter and he will see that the necessary steps are taken.
All will admit that we have a dust nuisance on the grounds at this time. Moreover, I should be glad to take any action I could to remove the dust from the eyes of my hon. friend (Mr. Taylor) for he needs light very badly. But, seriously speaking, I know that, for many sessions, we have suffered here owing to die conditions of the grounds in this respect. Not only is it very disagreeable, but it does great harm in the House, and in the government offices, as well as injuring the beautiful grounds.
Can the hon. minister give us any temporary relief in the meantime ?
As soon as I noticed the condition of the
grounds, the water carts were put on, and they are at work this afternoon. I think it would he better if we had an appropriation and could provide some better cover for the roads immediately around the building, in place of the sand and dust wo have there. Even the sprinkling that is now going on seems hardly to afford relief. I will bring the matter to the attention of the proper officials and have the difficulty remedied, I hope.
Before the Orders of the Day are called, I wish to ask the attention of the government to a matter which seems to me of importance. We see it stated in the press that in August nest, there is to be an excursion party of seventy-five members of the imperial parliament and twenty-five Peers who will arrive in Quebec and work their way westward through Canada. I would like very much if these public men could be notified that there is a section of Canada which we know as the maritime provinces, and if some of our visitors could be led to turn their faces eastward as well as westward. I am well aware, that the government cannot control the movements of these distinguished visitors. Still, certain influences might be used which would lead to some of them finding their way to New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward'Island. If things go on as they are going at present, the public mind will be so exclusively directed to the west that people will forget that this Dominion has an eastern portion at all. I hope the government will succeed in using such influences as will induce some of these distinguished personages to. visit the maritime provinces.
With regard to the question put by the hon. member for Victoria, N.S. (Hon. Mr. Ross) that the party composed of members of the British parliament, Cords and Commoners, who are to visit Canada in the month of August next, should not forego a visit to the maritime provinces, I would suppose that the maritime provinces required no advertisement. I should presume that they jvould not visit Canada without going to the maritime provinces also. The government, as my bon. friend knows, has nothing at all to do either officially or unofficially with this visit. But if by any word of mine or of my colleagues, we can further the end of my hon. friend, I would be glad to do so.
Mr. FRANK OLIVER (Alberta).
Before the Orders of the Day are called, I desire to draw the attention of the government to
the very remarkable rumours that have been in circulation during the last twenty-four hours as to earthquakes and volcanoes in the vicinity of the town of Frank, in the district of Alberta. Apparently, these rumours of disturbances of that nature are absolutely unfounded, as also the reports of the immense destruction of life and property. I take the liberty of putting the matter before the government and the House in this way, because the circulation of such unfounded reports disturbing the public mind and causing anguish to relatives as well as doubts as to the values of property is a crime which should be punished. I would suggest to the government that, if it is possible to fix the responsibility for the circulation of such reports, measures should be taken to fix that responsibility and mete out the proper punishment. I would like further to draw attention to the fact that, although the reports were so greatly and unpardonably exaggerated, there still has been a serious loss of life arising from such a cause and under such circumstances, as, it appears to me, would very well warrant thorough investigation. Apparently, according to the latest reports, a landslide occurred which had the effect of displacing the drifts in the mine in actual operation. Before the mine should properly be put in operation again, it seems to me, means should be taken to satisfy all concerned that another slide of like nature or worse is not likely to occur. That is to say, I would respectfully suggest that an investigation should be held on the ground, as to the cause of the trouble which did take place, as to its results, and as to the probability of further trouble occurring.
The information which the government has received on this subject is of such a character, unfortunately, as to convey to us the fact that the disturbance which has taken place at Frank, though not as bad as at first reported, still, is very serious, and has had very serious consequences. My attention was first drawn to the matter by a telegram that I received yesterday, as follows :
Frank, N.W.T., April 29, 1903. Sir Wilfrid Laurier,
Terrible catastrophe here. Eruption, Turtle Mountain devastated miles of territory. One hundred killed. Must have government aid quick to clear passage for river which is dammed hundreds feet high, and danger to life and property from flood most imminent. Not over one day distant at most. Answer quick.
(Signed) S. W. CHALMERS, MARK DRUMM,
President and Secretary, Board of Trade.
Upon the receipt of this telegram, we gave orders at once to the Mounted Police and the Department of the Interior to send such relief as it was possible to' send, and
we exchanged the following telegrams with our officers in the west:
Ottawa, April 29, 1903.
Serious disaster reported eruption, Turtle Mountain, near Frank, Crow's Nest Railway. Number people killed and river blocked by matter thrown from mountain. Instruct officer commanding McLeod to proceed there at once with all men he can take and arrange for up to strength of twenty-five drawn from most convenient detachments to follow with extra tents and facilities for rendering assistance. Further instructions later. There will likely be a special train from Calgary to McLeod by which police from there would travel. Instruct Sanders to communicate with Mr. Pearce.
(Signed.) FRED WHITE.
Mr. Pearce is the inspector of surveys in the North-west.
Regina, N.W.T., April 29, 1903.
Received 7.30 p.m.
North-west Mounted Police,
Instructions re accident at Frank being carried out.
(Sgd.) A. B. PERRY.
Ottawa, April 29, 1903.
Conditions at Frank much more serious than at first reported. Mr. Pearce goes to Calgary to take charge of government relief work. Keep yourself in touch with requirements and render every possible police assistance.
(Sgd.) FRED WHITE.
At the time, Mr. Smart, the deputy minister of the Interior put himself in communication with the Canadian Pacific authorities. This morning, the following
communications were placed in my hands : Frank, N.W.T., April 30, 1903. James A. Smart.
Eighty-three killed, of which about fifteen women and fifteen children. It i3 thought there will be no trouble from damming of river. Rock slide about 4,000 feet long extending to highest point of Turtle Mountain westerly; end of slide thirty-three feet west of mouth of tunnel extending across the valley, and up opposite bank for one and one-quarter miles from front of Turtle Mountain, and spread out fan shape so that at extreme end slide it was nearly two miles wide. No trace of river for one mile, but water now going through rock as fast as coming down. Place very orderly this morning. Not probable there will be further slide of any consequence. Twelve police and two officers here, plenty to maintain peace and order, necessary purposes. No earthquake or volcano, all working in mine except two escaped.
(Sgd.) WM. PEARCE.
Then Mr. Smart received from Mr. Mc-Nicoll, of the Canadian Pacific Railway, the following telephone :
The trouble on the Crow's Nest branch at Frank was caused by a huge rock slide. There Sir WILFRID LAURIER.
was no explosion, but the slide was of such large dimensions that the cloud of dust was taken for smoke. Minor slides coming down were taken for inside explosions. The whole east end of the mountain extending from the mouth of the French mine has slidden into the valley. The mountain was 4,400 feet high, and the slide blocked the entire valley, about three quarters of a mile wide and a mile and a-half long.
A waterway is being cut so as to avoid flooding. The loss of life not yet estimated. Thirty miners said to be in the mine but every reason to think that they are alive. Party now trying to remove rock from the mouth of the mine. About ten houses in the east end of the village destroyed, some entire families. One of them were Mr. Leech's, three of his children escaped, parents and four children killed. The youngest child was thrown out of the house in some miraculous way and not injured. All passengers too and from the Kootenay are being forwarded by the old route via main line and Revelstoke.
Sir Thomas Shaughnessy also received the following telegram which he placed in my hand :
Report from Frank is that there is a huga slide, no explosion. Was of such large dimensions that cloud of dust taken for smoke and minor slides coming down taken for explosions. Whole eastern end of mountain extending from mouth of mine has gone out. It was 4,400 feet high and slid across entire valley blocking our track to the Frank mine track which is forty feet higher than our track. The slide extends from a point 200 feet east of Frank station, one and one-half miles and is three-fourths of a mile wide. The track is covered with rock of all sizes up to that of a double deck boarding car. Out of question to transfer trains at present. Loss of life not yet estimated. There are 30 miners still in mine and every reason to think they are alive.
Parties trying to remove the rock from the mouth. Ten houses in east end of town destroyed, some entire families. Taylor reports no reason why more o? the slide of the mountain west towards Blairmore should not come down. Many new slides coming down. Only place now where line could be run quickly is from mouth of mine down the creek, but so many new slides coming down there men will not go near it. Taking passengers back to Macleod and Nelson to work via Revelstoke. McHenry and Dennis will be there this forenoon to report fully.
(Sgd.) D. McNICOLL.
It appears from these telegrams that they have explained the rumour which was spread yesterday that there was an explosion. No doubt the rumour was spread in good faith, with no malicious intent. With regard to the advisability of having a further investigation upon this subject, perhaps it is premature to give any opinion. We have some very able men on the scene of action. Mr. Pearce is a very able man, as those who are acquainted with him will testify. Major Perry of the Mounted Police is also a very able man, and so is the agent at MacLoed a man of superior ability. It is probable that when these men have cleared away the debris and performed the duties with which they are now entrusted, they will give such a report as may make it unnecessary to have
any further investigation. Then we will he -able to decide whether it would be advisable to follow the suggestion made by the member for Alberta (Mr. Oliver).
Mr. T. CHASE CASGRAIN (Montmorency).
I wish to call the attention of the government to the incompleteness of the return made some days since of the papers in connection with the establishment of the Ross factory at Quebec. The return laid before the House does not contain a petition by some of the prominent citizens of Quebec against the granting of the site. I would like that petition to be included in the return.
I will look into that.