May 14, 1903

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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

There is no change whatever in the words of the Act in that respect.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   CONSTRUCTION OF DRY DOCKS-GOVERNMENT AID.
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CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

Is it contemplated that the government itself will not in future build any dry docks ? I speak of this, because for a long time we had expected that the government would construct a dry dock in the vicinity of the port of Montreal. Would we be met by the objection, that now that this system has been inaugurated it would be incumbent upon some private parties to organize themselves into a dock company in order to come under the provisions of this resolution ; or, would the government still persist in what has been promised to the port of Montreal, and build a dry dock there ?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   CONSTRUCTION OF DRY DOCKS-GOVERNMENT AID.
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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

I must not discuss the question of any promise to any particular port; but under this Act any body corporate, which would include the Harbour Commissioners, if they should see fit, could come in and obtain the benefits of this Act. Whether or not the government will in any case or in no case build or not build a dock in the future ; that is too definite a question for me to answer. In the present instance, the wording of the

Act is such that if the Harbour Commissioners of Montreal desire to come in under the operations of this Act, they would receive the aid. As to whether or not the government will in that case, or in other cases undertake the construction of the work as a government dock, that is a matter that would have to be considered hereafter. I am not at present able to say anything more definite.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   CONSTRUCTION OF DRY DOCKS-GOVERNMENT AID.
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The MINISTER OF RAILWAYS AND CANALS.

This is not a new policy at all. It is simply the extension in a small way of the existing policy which has been in force for over twenty years. The inference which the hon. gentleman (Mr. Monk) fears may possibly be drawn from this Bill, is an inference that could as well be drawn from any previous Bill.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   CONSTRUCTION OF DRY DOCKS-GOVERNMENT AID.
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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

I should have added that though the resolution before the House only deals, as the parliamentary rules require, with the money side of the question ; in the Bill to be founded thereon, provision will be made that the tolls to be charged on any dock to be constructed hereafter shall be subject to the approval of the Governor General in Council. That has not been so in the past, but that restriction will be placed upon any docks constructed hereafter under the terms of this Act.

Mi-. BENNETT. In considering an application to aid in the construction of a dock under this Act, would the first consideration be that there would have to be a certain amount expended for the work to be constructed ?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   CONSTRUCTION OF DRY DOCKS-GOVERNMENT AID.
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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

We have made no rule in that regard. We have rather taken for granted that docks of large size would be undertaken. The only limit is that we shall only pay the 3 per cent on the fair cost of construction ; and though the cost may be very much larger than the limit fixed, the amount of the subsidy cannot exceed $30,000. In the case of the Halifax dock the cost was very much larger than the estimated cost on which the government subsidy was paid.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   CONSTRUCTION OF DRY DOCKS-GOVERNMENT AID.
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LIB

Joseph Israël Tarte

Liberal

Hon. Mr. TARTE.

I do not say that private enterprise must not be encouraged in cases of this kind. I think that what has suggested the present Bill is the case of the dock at St. John, N.B. Some very energetic citizens took up the proposal to erect a dock there. I understand that they received some encouragement or had some hopes of aid from the imperial government. Those hopes did not materialize. If I am not mistaken, they also received some help from the provincial government and from the city of St. John ; but they could not get along without some further help. I quite agree with my hon. friends that the measure before the House to-day is worthy of ap-Hon. Mr. FIELDING.

proval. I may say also that the dock at Collingwood is being built by very energetic men. But we must not rely too much on private enterprise in large transactions of this kind. There is no country in the world which is more lacking in dock accommodation than Canada. The United States have many small docks, but they have not one large dock. During the last season there were in the St. Lawrence at one time four or five large ships which suffered damages and could not get accommodation either at Montreal or elsewhere. Suppose an accident happened between Belle Isle and Quebec ; there is only one dock at Quebec, and one at Montreal, a very small one, belonging to a private firm. 1 would call the attention of my hon. friends on the treasury benches to the great importance of equipping our harbours with this necessary improvement. Graving docks are essential to-day, and they will become more and more essential as. our fleet increases in size and number.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   CONSTRUCTION OF DRY DOCKS-GOVERNMENT AID.
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John William Bell

Mr. BELL.

What about the dock at L6vis ?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   CONSTRUCTION OF DRY DOCKS-GOVERNMENT AID.
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LIB

Joseph Israël Tarte

Liberal

Hon. Mr. TARTE.

The dock at L6vis can only accommodate one ship at a time, and it is too narrow for the largest ships that ply in our waters. The boards of trade of Montreal and Quebec have applied for a second dock at Levis. We should also have one at Montreal. I only say these few words in passing, in order to call the attention of my hon. friends to this important question.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   CONSTRUCTION OF DRY DOCKS-GOVERNMENT AID.
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CON

William Humphrey Bennett

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT.

While I do not propose to offer any objection to the resolution, per-ferring to wait until the Bill is brought down, it seems to me, on the face of the resolution, that unless the Bill goes further, a great deal of difficulty will arise. Since the case of the Collingwood dock has been instanced, let me call the minister's attention to the fact that there is also a dock at Owen Sound. I think the Collingwood dock was originally larger than the one at Owen Sound ; but if this Bill goes into effect, the people of Owen Sound will no doubt come and ask that the dock there which has been enlarged at the expense of the company who own it, probably with the aid of the town, be assisted by the government. To my mind the government should lay down a hard and fast principle as a starting point, to the effect that the docks to be subsidized shall be placed at a certain distance from each other, or that only one dock shall be aided in a particular water. I am not in a position to state what was the original cost of the Collingwood dock ; but unless a very large amount is expended in improving and enlarging it, it seems to me that $30,000 will be a very large grant towards it. Under the wording of the resolution, the $30,000 might be a greater inducement to the company than 3 per cent of the amount invested.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   CONSTRUCTION OF DRY DOCKS-GOVERNMENT AID.
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The MINISTER OP FINANCE.

But they can only get 3 per cent on the cost of the dock, and In any case the amount must not exceed $30,000.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   CONSTRUCTION OF DRY DOCKS-GOVERNMENT AID.
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CON

William Humphrey Bennett

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT.

I did not notice that it was optional. When the Bill comes down, I think there should be some provision inserted in it as to the size of docks to he aided and the distance that they must be from each other. Otherwise assistance will be asked for very small docks, and the result will be a multiplicity of small docks instead of the establishment of a few large ones.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   CONSTRUCTION OF DRY DOCKS-GOVERNMENT AID.
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L-C

Andrew B. Ingram

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. INGRAM.

Did the hon. minister say that if this Bill becomes law, it will apply to the Collingwood dock ?

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Subtopic:   CONSTRUCTION OF DRY DOCKS-GOVERNMENT AID.
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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

What I said was that I supposed the Collingwood company would expect to come under this Act in the same way as the company which built the dock at St. John. As not much progress has been made with the work at Colingwood

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   CONSTRUCTION OF DRY DOCKS-GOVERNMENT AID.
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The POSTMASTER GENERAL.

Oh, yes.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   CONSTRUCTION OF DRY DOCKS-GOVERNMENT AID.
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CON

William Humphrey Bennett

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT.

The dock has been there for twenty years.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   CONSTRUCTION OF DRY DOCKS-GOVERNMENT AID.
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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

But I understand that the whole dock is to be reconstructed.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   CONSTRUCTION OF DRY DOCKS-GOVERNMENT AID.
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CON

David Henderson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HENDERSON.

As I read the resolution, the aid is to be granted towards the construction of new docks, but not towards the enlargement or improvement of existing docks. I would like to know from the minister what the intention is in that respect ?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   CONSTRUCTION OF DRY DOCKS-GOVERNMENT AID.
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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

If the Collingwood dock in its original construction had been subsidized by the government, then anything done later would be an enlargement ; but as it did not receive any government aid in its original form, all the work done on it now is practically new construction. I understand that there is none of the small original dock remaining, but that the whole dock is being reconstructed ; and, as in the first place it received no government aid, it will be treated as an entirely new construction.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   CONSTRUCTION OF DRY DOCKS-GOVERNMENT AID.
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The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS.

The old dock at Collingwood was simply a hole and nothing else.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   CONSTRUCTION OF DRY DOCKS-GOVERNMENT AID.
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May 14, 1903