Thomas Simpson Sproule
The POSTMASTER GENERAL (Hon. Sir William Mulock) moved for leave to introduce Bill (No. 245) to further amend the Civil Service Act.
Mr. Speaker, the Bill deals with certain officers of the Civil Service. The matter has been pressed upon the attention of the government for some time by one of the hon. members for the city of Ottawa (Mr. Belcourt) and .though the measure perhaps does not go as far as he urges, at the same time it does to some extent meet his wishes. It affects the position of the deputy heads, the chief clerks, temporary clerks or tem-Hon. Mr. COSTIGAN.
porary writers and employees, as they are called, and also the members of the staff in several departments such as the customs, inland revenue and so on. It is a matter of detail affecting the salaries of officials. It will be better understood now that it is before the House, and if the hon. gentleman (Mr. Sproule) will peruse the Bill he will see what it is intended to cover.
Motion agreed to, and Bill read the first time.
Mr. HUGHES (Victoria)-by Mr. Taylor-asked : 1. Who is senior major and who junior major of the 94th Regiment ? 2. What is the qualification of each ? 3. Where does each reside ? 4. Have they each, or has either of them, leave of absence ? 5. Has either one of them been absent for years from the Regimental District ? 6. Was either one or the other appointed to his position over a senior officer ?
1. Senior major-Major R. Gillis ; junior major, Major D. A. McRae.
2. Major McGillis, 1st class certificate (infantry), equitation ; Major McRae, 1st class certificate (infantry), equitation.
3. Major Gillis resides at Sydney, C.B. ; Major McRae (not yet ascertained).
6. Major Gillis promoted over Capt. J. P. McNeil, who was not qualified for promotion.
Major McRae promoted over undermentioned captains, who were not qualified for promotion to rank of major :
McNeil, Capt. J. D. McRae, Capt. J. S. McLean, Capt. A. D. McRae, Capt. R. Y. McKenzie.
1. How many contracts for public works, buildings, &c., have been awarded by the government from January 1st to July 31st of the present year ?
2. Where are such works, buildings, &c., to be located, and what is the contract price in each case ?
The POSTMASTER GENERAL (Hon. Sir William Mulock) in the absence of the hon. Minister of Public Works (Hon. Mr. Sutherland)-I beg to give the answer to his department as follows :
2. Burk's Falls, Out., wharf, $5,400.00 : Toronto, postal station ' O ' heating apparatus. $986.00; Orillia, Out., wharf at the park of, $8,389.00 ; Nelson, B.C., drill shed, heating apparatus, $215.00 ; Oromocto wharf, $6,200.00; Sturgeon Fails, Ont., wharf, $2,810.00; Kamloops, B.O., drill shed, heating apparatus, $365.00 ; Rossland. B.C., post office and building, fittings, $4,950.00 ; Nelson, B.C., post office buildings and fittings, $4,400.00 ; Aricliat, N.S., post office building, heating apparatus, $700.00 ; St. Ir6n6e, P.Q., addition to wharf, $10,399.00 ; Guysboro, N.S., public building, fittings, $1,650.00 ; Marysville, N.B., public building, heating apparatus, $825.00 ; Montreal, P.Q., examining warehouse, fittings, $4,000.00 ; Carnduff, Ass., N.W.T., court house, heating apparatus, $1,078.00 ; Ottawa post office building, elevator, $5,310.00 ; St. Francois, Island of Orleans, P.Q., isolated block, $11,800.00; Sandy Cove, N.S., public breakwater, $13,000.00; Tiverton,N.S., public breakwater, $17,000.00 ; Green Cove, N.S., breakwater, $6,475.00 ; Deseronto, public building, fixtures, $2,800.00 ; Blind River, Out., pile wharf, $9,310.75; Dredge St. Lawrence, construction of 36 buckets,, $1,872.00 ; Tug ' Delisle,' tubular boiler, $2,525.00 ; Short Beach, N.S., breakwater, $8,095.00; Hopewell Cape, N.B., approach to pier, $900.00 ; Herring Cove, N.S., breakwater, $11,475.00 ; Middleton. N.S., armouries, heating system, &c., $946.00 ; Granby, P.Q., public building, fittings, $2,650.00 ; South Bay, Ingonisli, N.S., wharf, $2,485.00 ; Pointe a Paquin, P.Q., supply of timber, $5,515.00 ; Quebec Artillery workshop, shafting for transmission of power, $1,879.00 ; Dundas, Ont., armoury fittings, $1,330.00 ; Cove Head, P.E.I., shear dam, $6,699.00 ; Sussex, N.B., armoury fittings, $4,029.00 ; Clinton, Ont., public building, heating apparatus, $17150.00 ; Arichat, N.S., building, fittings, $1,750.00 ; Cross Point, P.Q., wharf, $9,995.00 ; Kingston, Ont., gymnasium, R.M.C., heating apparatus, $1,910.00 ; D'Escousse, N.S., wharf and warehouse, $4,388.00 ; Huntsville, Ont., work to pile wharf, $320.00 ; Quebec Artillery workshop, electric light wiring and fittings, $442.00 ; Sarnia, Ont., public building, heating apparatus, $1,800.00 ; Washabuck Centre, N.S., wharf and road, $5,860.00; Marysville. N.B.. public building, fittings, &c., $1,300.00 ; Guelph, Ont., post office additions, $30,595.00 ; Carnduff. N.W.T., court house fittings, $269 ; Dundas, Ont., drill hall, veneering and flooring, $5,750.00 ; Tug ' Ottawa,' marine return tubular boiler, $1,700.00 ; Quebec harbour improvements, $198,700.00 ; Berlin, Ont., alterations and post office, $7,316.00 ; Dredge ' J. Israel Tarte,' bow and stern cable winches, $5,700.00 ; Kingston. Ont., gymnasium, R.M.C., electric wiring and fixtures, $575.00 ; Rivifire au Renard, P.Q., additional length to wharf, $41,485.00 ; Fort Lawrence, N.S.. pile wharf, $14,895.00 ; Toronto Junction, Ont., post office building, $23,450.00 ; Kaslo, B.C.. drill hall, fittings, &c., $525.00 ; Portage du Fort, P.Q., masonry, &c., of the bridge, $10,797.00; Edmonton, N.W.T., jail, $50,150.00 ; Fredericton, N.B., officers new stables, $3,110.00 ; Cheti-camp Point, N.S., wharf, $13,880.00 ; St. Hyacinthe, P.Q., inland revenue building, $21,089.00.
Mr. MONK-by Mr. Taylor-asked : 1. At what date was the petition asking for the dismissal of Denis Mayrand, a government employee, at St. Jean, P.Q., sent to the govern-^ ment ? 2. What were the reasons set forth in support of the said petition for dismissal ? 3. What persons signed the said petition ?
1. There was no petition asking for the dismissal.
2. As far back as 1896, the Hbn. Mr. Marchand brought to the notice of the department that Mr. Lord should be appointed, owing to the light being on his property, and any strange keeper attending to the light being very inconvenient to him. A recommendation was also made by the electors of the county of St. John asking for the appointment of Mr. Lord, the present keeper, signed :'J. O'Cain, J. E. Herbert, P. A. Chass6. H. Moreau, M.D., E. J. Paradis, A. U. Deland, N.P., Laurent Moreau.
House resumed adjourned debate on the motion of Sir Wilfrid Laurier for the House to go into committee on a certain proposed resolution respecting the construction of a National Transcontinental Railway.
Mr. HUGH GUTHRIE (South Wellington).
Mr. Speaker, in rising at this comparatively late stage in the debate to offer a few remarks upon the measure before the j House, I shall endeavour as far as possible to avoid any prolonged reference to those points in the debate which have already occupied so much of the time of the House -points which have already been pretty thoroughly discussed by men far more capable to deal with them than I can hope to be. However, Sir, I fear that in the remarks which I have to make it may be impossible for me totally to avoid them, but I can promise that any reference I may make to them shall be very brief. Representing, as I have the honour of representing, one of the interior constituencies of Ontario, a constituency already served by one line of the Canadian Pacific Railway, and by two lines of the Grand Trunk Railway, yet a constituency which will be far removed from the proposed line of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway ; I desire to lay be-
fore the House reasons which are strong enough to convince me that in giving my support to this Bill I am only acting In the best interests of my constituents, but in the best interests of the province of Ontario, and the best interests of the Dominion of Canada in general. Now, Sir, having regard to some portion of the addresses delivered in this debate by hon. members opposite, I feel that there is one point which we cannot too prominently keep before our minds in discussing this measure. That point is, that this question is in no sense of the word local or sectional. It is in no sense of the word provincial; but on the contrary, it is national in every characteristic. For no particular section of the country, for no particular province of the Dominion, would the government be justified in entertaining so vast a proposition or in pledging the national credit to so great an amount.
But, when we view the matter in its true light, when we realize, as I submit we should realize, that it is a matter of national concern, that this measure, when carried into effect, will advance us a long stride, not only in the matter of public convenience-for that is a comparatively minor matter-but that it will advance us; a long stride in national greatness and in national importance ; then, Sir, I* contend that in view of that perfect confidence which, we all share in the future of this country, the mere vastness of the proposal should not cause us to hesitate for a single moment, but, on that contrary, should inspire us with fresh resolution. We all know that in all large assemblies of men there are those whose judgment becomes somewhat unbalanced simply by the magnitude of a proposal. There are men who under normal circumstances exercise an ordinary amount of common sense and judgment, wDose opinions become unsteady simply from the effect of size and outward proportion. Now, after the first blush of this proposal has been submitted to this House, and when any effect which may have been caused by the magnitude of the proposal has passed away, I submit that upon second thought, upon mature deliberation this measure will commend itself to the vast majority of the members of this House.
Among our many differences of opinion as to the propriety of the proposal of the government, as engrafted in the resolution before us, there would appear to be one ground upon which hon. members on both sides can agree, and that common ground of agreement exists apparently from the appreciation of the fact that there is in Canada to-day a most pressing need for increased railroad facilities. The time when this proposition might be looked upon as something merely desirable, as something highly convenient if attained, has passed. The matter has now become a matter of pressing necessity ; a necessity which will Mr. GUTHRIE.
neither wait the time of man nor of parliament ; a necessity which if we do not satisfy may find its own outlet and its own remedy, for necessity knows no law ; may find an outlet and a remedy in foreign channels which in the future may require years of struggle upon our part and the expenditure of vast sums of money on our part, ere we regain ground which we may now lose by procrastination or by delay. I agree thoroughly with the statement made by the hon. member for East Hastings (Mr. Northrup), when he said, that when trade once accommodates itself to certain specific channels it is a difficult thing to reclaim it. That is a very true proposition, and it is a proposition that we will have to face unless we take immediate action to direct trade through our own lines and through Canadian territory. I am aware, Sir, that hon. members opposite are inclined to chide the government with the statement that if this necessity is so great, if the matter is so urgent, why is it that you have taken seven years before you have awakened to the necessities of the situation V Hon. members opposite say to the government, you have had seven long years of power-long years, I suppose, they have seemed to hon. members opposite-you have had seven long years of power, and not until the fifth month of the present session have you decided upon action. I maintain that such a charge or such an insinuation is entirely without foundation ; such a charge or such an insinuation is utterly unfair to the government. I contend, Sir, that it is only within the last year or two that the difficulty has really arisen, that the congestion in western traffic has really become acute. True indeed it is that for many years past the people of Manitoba, the people of the North-west Territories, the people of British Columbia have suffered, and suffered immeasurably through the imposition on them of excessive freight rates ; freight rates which were the direct result of the monopoly clause in the Canadian Pacific Railway contract, a clause which the late Conservative government permitted to be engrafted in that contract. The difficulty up to a year or two ago was one of excessive freight rates. You could generally effect shipment of your goods provided you were willing to take the small amount coming to you after payment of these freight rates. But the difficulty now is rather a double one. It is not only a difficulty in regard to freight rates owing to lack of railway competition, but it is also a difficulty arising from actual congestion of traffic in that western country. Now, Sir, far from chiding the government in respect to this measure ; far from insinuating that they should have realized the situation long before they did realize it; I maintain that the people of the country are to be congratulated upon the fact that they have in power a government, strong enough and bold enough, and pos-
sessed of sufficient knowledge in railway matters, to bring down a measure, large as it may be, difficult as it may be, intricate as it may be ; and a measure which, notwithstanding opposition criticism to the contrary, will be found to be a measure well considered in jorinciple and in detail, and one which when carried into effect will in my humble opinion to a very large extent relieve this country of the difficulties which it is suffering from to-day in respect to railways. .
Now, Mr. Speaker, I have noticed in many of the speeches delivered upon this question by hon. members opposite-in fact in all the speeches since the hon. ex-Minister of Railways resumed his seat, with the exception perhaps of the speeches delivered yesterday-I have noticed in these speeches that they have all been prefaced by the statement, or that they have all contained an intimation that, from their point of view, the ground had been so thoroughly and so effectively covered toy the ex-Minister of Railways, that because everything had been said that could be said in opposition to the Bill, that because every argument had been urged that could be urged in support of their contention, they naturally found themselves in the difficult situation of having to reiterate former statements or to repeat former arguments. That is a difficult position, no doubt, and hon. members on this side of the House sympathize with hon. members opposite in that difficulty. For I believe that when the hon. ex-Minister of Railways and Canals delivered his address in this House at the opening of this debate he did thoroughly exhaust every ground of opposition which could reasonably be urged against this Bill. The hon. ex-minister had an incentive to do so. He had lately resigned from the cabinet. He had differed, and he was the sole one to differ, from the other members of the cabinet upon this question. His resignation caused a great deal of talk and a great deal of newspaper comment throughout the length and breadth of the land. He knew that the task was before him of justifying Ills position before the people oif this country. He knew that he had a difficult task before him, and he exerted himself to the utmost to gather together every jot and tittle that he might use to justify liis position. He exerted every energy and all his great ability in research, in examination and in preparation, if we may judge by the mass of manuscript from which the hon. ex-minister spoke in this debate. He had to justify his position, not only in this House, but in this country. Is it any wonder, then, acting under the incentive which he had that he should have exhausted the subject, that he should have elaborated every argument ? and is it any wonder that hon. gentlemen opposite, who have followed the hon. exminister in this debate, have been compelled for the greater part merely to reiterate
his statements and repeat his arguments ?- uot a pleasant task for any one.
Certain portions of the speech of the hon. ex-minister dealt with matters which were properly within his right to deal with. Other portions of that speech dealt with matters which I maintain he had no right to deal with, which it was pure audacity on his part to deal with. If the hon. member withdrew from the cabinet for any of a great number of reasons which he gave, he was perfectly right in withdrawing, provided he acted under conviction. He had a perfect right to object to this measure on the ground that it interfered with the Intercolonial Railway, and he was free to leave the cabinet on that ground if he so desired. He had a free hand to discuss the financial aspects of the problem ; and if on that ground he differed with the government, he had a perfect right to do so, provided he was conscientious in doing so. If his objections were on the question of mileage or the nature of the country through which the road might pass, the hon. ex-minister had a free hand on all these points ; and on all these points, judging from the speech which the hon. gentleman delivered, I thought he was serious and that he spoke under absolute conviction. But there were some portions of that speech which he elaborated, I'thought at the time, for the purpose of drawing applause from hon. gentlemen opposite, whose applause he had never received before. Those portions of his speech on which I thought he had no right to enlarge were that there was no urgency, no necessity, and no public demand for another transcontinental railway. The hon. ex-minister surely has a memory which will take him back seven or eight months to his memorable visit to the city of Vancouver and to the speech which he delivered on that occasion. If he remembers that speech, and if he was honest in his statements to this House, why did he argue that there was no pressing necessity, no urgency, no outcry, and no general movement in favour of this road ? Why, Sir, if credit is to be given to anybody. that credit must toe given to the hon. ex-minister himself for having first ventilated this question, for having first created this demand, for having first started this movement in favour of another transcontinental railroad. The hon. gentleman spoke at Vancouver. under what circumstances ? He had made a transcontinental trip. He had seen the country and the people, he understood the circumstances ; and at a time when ids mind was charged with all these matters, at a time when he had all the necessary information in his possession, he deliberately told the people of Vancouver that this measure was urgent and necessary-so urgent that not a minute was to toe lost. He also told them that not only one railroad, but in the near future three or four other transcontinental lines would be necessary. Now. I ask the hon. ex-Minister .of Railways and
Canals what has intervened to change his opinion from the opinion he expressed in Vancouver last fall to the opinion he expressed in this House a few days ago ? Has anything intervened at all ? I believe the hon. member spoke at Vancouver with absolute conviction ; and, if nothing has intervened since which could be expected to change the conviction of the hon. gentleman on the subject, then he must have spoken in this House absolutely without conviction, so far as the urgency and necessity of a transcontinental line was concerned.
But, Sir, thefe is a good deal to be gleaned as to the position of the hon. ex-minister from that letter which he himself submitted, and which has now become one of the records of this House. There is no doubt that in that letter he complains, and complains bitterly, that the right hon. leader of the government did not consult him, as he claims he should have been consulted, in regard to the preliminaries of this measure. I offer my humble opinion on that point. The right hon. leader of the government acted properly, did what he was entitled to do as a matter of right, having regard to his position, in the negotiations which took place respecting a great national transcontinental railway. Why, Sir, what more right had the hon. ex-Minister of Railways and Canals to be consulted than half a dozen other members of that same cabinet ? This proposition not only involves the Department of Railways and Canals ; it involves, and to a large extent, the Department of Finance. Surely the hon. Minister of Finance might have had the same right to complain that he was not consulted. It involves the Department of Customs ; surely the hon. Minister of Customs might have the right to complain that he was not consulted. It involves the Department of the Interior ; has not the hon. Minister of the Interior as much right to complain as the hon. ex-Minister of Railways and Canals ? But is it not a fact that none of them had a right to complain ? Is it not a fact that, having regard to the nature of the measure, the man who should conduct the preliminary negotiations was the Prime Minister of this country, irrespective of his colleagues ?
There is ho doubt that the ex-Minister of Railways and Canals is smarting on account of offencled dignity or injured pride. I can imagine no other reason for his conversion from the views he held and the policy he enunciated at Vancouver last fall. Nothing has intervened between that time and this to account for this sudden change of front. The hon. gentleman has not given us any reason for his change of opinion. He has given nothing to show why to-day he finds that there is no urgency, no need, no public demand for this transcontinental line. History, Sir, is full of the records of political conversions, but I fail to find in the record any such sudden conversion as this. So far as I know, all political conversions
have come about through the process of time. They have been the result of an evolutionary process. They have taken some little time. But the conversion of the hon. ex-Minister of Railways and Canals took but a few short months at the most, and during those months nothing happened to justify it. Why, Sir Robert Peel was charged with being a political convert, and lie certainly was with regard to the Corn Laws, but his conversion was a matter of some years' experience. The late Benjamin Disraeli was accused of being a political convert-a man who had entered public life as a Radical and then became leader of the Conservative party. Gladstone was accused of being a convert upon the Home Rule question. Certainly that great statesman did undergo a radical conversion, but that likewise was the process of years' experience and the result of evolution. But for a speedy conversion, without any apparent reason, I can compare the conversion of the ex-Minister of Railways and Canals to no other than that Saul of Tarsus. But there is this difference. Whereas the change of heart of Paul was due to Divine intervention, in the case of the ex-minister there was the intervention of no higher power and the operation of no greater influence than his wounded pride and offended dignity. But, Sir, to a very sensitive man, a wound to his pride or a slight to his dignity may perhaps be the strongest influence which we can bring to bear upon him. To a sensitive man, a slight to his pride will even turn friends into enemies at a moment's notice. It will rankle in his bosom until he loses sight of his former convictions, until he comes to detest anything, be it political measures or otherwise, which by any means of reasoning, he can connect with that which offended his pride or dignity. I believe that that is the secret of the demonstration which the hon. exMinister of Railways and Canals made in this House last week. I believe that he was driven simply by the smart of insulted pride to take the position he did a week ago in this House. Let me remind the hon. gentleman of those words of Holy Writ: ' Pride goeth before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.' Under these circumstances, is it to be wondered that the hon. minister made an exhaustive statement and that hon. members opposite find great difficulty in making speeches, without repeating in great part the statement made by the ex-minister ?
On looking over the addresses delivered by hon. gentlemen opposite, I find that, with the exception of some trifling details and some very minor criticisms, their argument was drawn, until yesterday at all events, exclusively from the statements of the exminister. The hon. member for Jacques Cartier (Mr. Monk) followed first on the opposite side of the House. I have always looked on that hon. gentleman as a man
of some intellectual breadth ; but after assaulting the proposition before the House with nothing short of wholesale condemnation, after repeating the arguments of the ex-minister, what was his main objection ? He spoke of the northern iiortion of the province of Quebec, he pictured to us the settlement going on around the Lake St, John district, he told us of the patriotic efforts of a certain number of men to populate that district, he declared that a colonization road should be built there, and for that reason forsooth this great transcontinental railway scheme should be set aside. If ever a man of broad intellect cramped himself into a narrow confine, if ever a federal member of parliament clothed himself in the garb of pure provincialism, we had that picture in this House, when the hon. member for Jacques Cartier advanced such an argument. He was followed on the other side by the hon. member for Hamilton (Mr. Barker), who seems to have acquired the title or railway expert of the opposition. I do not know what the experience of the hon. gentleman has been with regard to railways. But I think it is confined largely to the legal side. I do not know whether he has had any practical experience or not
If the hon. gentleman will allow me to tell him, the hon. member for Hamilton was for years the general manager of the Hamilton and North-western Railway.