Hon. GEO. P. GRAHAM (Minister of Railways and Canals).
There is an increase of $21,000 made up as follows: Made up
of the increased cost of labour and materials and extra repairs to the Lachine, Sou-langes, Cornwall. Williamsburg, Welland, Rideau, Carillon and St. Peter's canals, St. Andrew's locks and to dredge vessels. As against this there is a decrease of $23,475.
I would like to ask the minister if he will not lay on the table of the House the report of Mr. Boyer, on the Sou-langes canal? There was a series of irregularities on that canal and the government saw fit to name a commissioner to make a full investigation. There were complaints against the superintendent of the canal.
It seems to me that when we are voting Supplies we are entitled to know what the result of that inquiry has been in order to suggest a proper remedy of a public nature. It was held publicly down there and there is no reason why, when the public were admitted to the sittings of the inquiry and everybody in the vicinity, although not as much interested as we are, knows the results, we should not be made conversant with them when we are going to vote Supplies. My hon. friend stated a few days ago, in answer to a similar request I had made, that the government had not yet taken any action with regard to the findings of the commissioners. That should be no obstacle to our becoming acquainted with these findings at this moment. I think my hon. friend will make no objection to laying the report on the table.
I see the reasonableness of the request from the standpoint of my hon. friend, but it is a question whether the report of the commission should be laid on the table before we come to a decision upon it. It is not a matter of very great moment in this case. The complaints were not against the superintendent but against the overseer who is practically the foreman over the men under the superintendent. An investigation was held and the findings have been brought in. I tried to get time to go through them thoroughly and I wanted to tell the committee what I intended to do before these Estimates came up but it has been impossible. There is not a sufficient number of hours in the day to do it. The evidence shows, generally speaking, that a good many of the complaints were trivial, some of them more serious, but it was more
an arraignment with respect to discipline than anything else on the whole. I am free to say that the commissioner suggests, if I remember correctly, that from the point of view of the discipline of the staff, it would be a good idea to have a new overseer. Of course, we do not always act on the findings. I want to digest the evidence myself because I am always loath to dismiss anybody without giving him a chance. If my hon. friend insists I will bring down the report, but it is not customary to lay on the table a report until we decide the action which is to be taken upon it.
OIr. MONK. I suppose we will have Supply Estimates connected with this matter later on ?
Is there, nothing on the Trent canal for repairs and salaries ? The minister has a whole lot of officers running up and down the country and we want to know what some of them are doing. How many men are looking after the head waters of the Trent canal in connection with the waters taken over from the Ontario government ?