February 23, 1910


Mr. GEOFFRION moved that the third report of the special committee appointed to investigate the Lumsden charges be concurred in.


Haughton Lennox

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. H. LENNOX (South Simcoe).

This report asks that leave be granted the committee to employ counsel for the purpose^ of assisting' them in the investigation of matters referred to them. The question of employing counsel is a very important one, and I propose to offer a few remarks regarding the advisability of adopting this report. We have had in discussion in the committee the question of counsel. Yesterday, Mr. Smith, of Montreal, appeared before the committee as counsel for the commission. The matter to be investigated arises out of statements made by Mr. Lums-den in his letter of resignation. Mr. Lumsden in that letter said that the classifications on the road had not been in accordance with his instructions, and that in effect they were so erroneous that it was quite clear his instructions had been entirely ignored by a certain section of the engineering staff. That statement necessarily reflects upon the manner in which the road is being constructed. The commission appointed by the government is responsible to see that not only competent but thoroughly _ honest engineers are employed; and prima facie if the engineers have not satisfactorily carried out the work, the commission is to blame. The commission would be in a very deplorable position if it should turn out that, with its connivance, the engineering staff had deliberately conspired to defraud the public, but it would still be in an unfortunate position if the fault was due simply to incompetency or carelessness on the part of the staff. The charge, therefore, of Mr. Lumsden, is necessarily a charge against the commission, and it is important to it that it should clear its skirts by showing that there has been nothing wrong at all. On the other hand, it is in the public interest that this matter should be thoroughly probed; and if any wrong-doing has taken place, that it should be exposed and put a stop to, and that those responsible should be made known. The commission has appointed as counsel, Mr. Smith, to represent it. The commission is appointed by the government and is responsible for its engineers just as the government is responsible for the commission.

So the government are responsible for the acts of these engineers who are now charged with wrong-doing in the letter of resignation of Mr. Lumsden. Therefore we have this effect that we have counsel representing the one side and the one side only. It has been suggested that as Mr. Lumsden does not desire counsel, that is therefore an end of the matter. After discussion upon that matter the committee has come to the conclusion that it will be necessary to have counsel. That counsel is to be a counsel, as I understand it, represent-Mr. GEOFFRION.

ing the public and the public alone. Therefore I want to have an understanding before this matter goes any further whether this is, bona fide, a movement on behalf of the people to have a counsel appointed to represent them or whether it is not merely a colourable movement for the purpose of adding another counsel who will fortify the ranks of the commission and in that way the ranks of the government. What is the position now? We have a committee of judges, seven of them, of whom four are the appointees of the government, men in sympathy with the government and with the government alone, interested, as far as politics are concerned, to try and come to the conclusion that this matter has been all moonshine, that there is nothing in it. Now we have the majority of the judges who are to try the government supporters of the government, we have the commission in close alliance with the government employing a counsel at the public expense of course, and without consulting the minority of the committee, and we have a well organized staff, as far as political warfare is concerned in the personnel of the commission and we have all the staff of engineers, who are interested in showing that there is nothing wrong and as against that we have only three members of the opposition to watch that whole matter and try in the interests of the public to elicit the real facts of the case. I therefore, feel that this is only another gold brick added to what we had when this matter was inaugurated a little while ago. If we are not to have a clear and definite understanding that, as has been done on former occasions, the minority of the committee, the persons who are interested in bringing home these charges, the Conservative members of the committee if you like, shall have the selection of the counsel who shall represent the public on this occasion. I have no use for it and no faith in it. I want to make no bones about the matter at all, I want to say that when I make this statement I am not assuming, as I might be quite justified in assuming, that the majority of the committee will force upon the minority. A counsel in in whom the minority have not confidence, but I claim as a distinct right and by reason of precedents which have occurred before as well as upon principle, that the minority necessarily in this case represents the public and the public interests and that the selection should be left absolutely in their hands. Although I might have confidence in this committee, that the majority when we meet would accord to the minority what is manifestly their right and what is manifestly only consistent with fair play, yet as having a public duty

to discharge, I do not feel that I would be right in taking any risks in this matter because we know that risks can be taken in a matter of this kind. Therefore, to put the matter beyond any question, I shall take the responsibility of asking that the responsibility for this shall be placed where it ought to be placed, on the government; I shall ask that the government will intimate at this stage, in order that I shall not have to press this matter to extremities, that the preference of the minority of the committee shall be acceded to and in order that the government may have an opportunity of taking a definite position in this matter, and without referring to cases which have been before parliament on previous occasions and which have been dealt with in the committees, I shall move to amend the motion by adding thereto the following words:

It is further ordered that the members of the opposition upon the said committee shall have the right to select the counsel so to be appointed, and that such counsel shall be instructed to protect the interests of the people of Canada in the said investigation.


Alfred Henry Clarke



As a member of the committee that was appointed to investigate the charges in question I am very much surprised indeed at the amendment which has been proposed by the hon. member for Simcoe (Mr. Lennox). The report which has been presented to the House is one which was adopted to-day by the committee unanimously. It was not suggested then by my hon. friend that there should be any amendment to the report. The motion was made, the committee was not even divided upon it and by the unanimous voice of that committee .the report was made which was presented to the House to-day and which the House has been asked to concur in by the motion of the chairman of the committee. It seems to me that it is a reflection on the committee, a suggestion that they are not competent to appoint counsel who are entitled to the confidence of the public in dealing with this matter. It is a rather singular reversal of the usual order of things that a minority should govern instead of a majority. If the majority of that committee is not entitled to the confidence of the community, to the confidence of this House, I would submit to my hon. friend that his motion ought to be to substitute others for the majority of the committee instead of reversing the established order of things, that the majority shall rule.


Samuel Barker

Conservative (1867-1942)


The motion made in the committee that an application should be made to the House for authority to appoint counsel to represent the public was

declared to be, so far as it went, satisfactory, and so it was. It was in that sense that we accepted it. It would not have been proper to begin the discussion of who the counsel should be, or exactly how he should be appointed by the committee, until we had got permission from this House to make an appointment. I am surprised at the hon. gentleman making an objection of this kind. One would imagine he thought that the minority of that committee would be quite safe in allowing this appointment to go to the vote of the committee as a whole, trusting that the majority would accept our suggestion. Anybody who has been present at the committee so far knows that the hon. gentleman who has made this motion (Mr. Lennox), is strictly within his rights, and is only acting with common prudence. If the hon. gentleman who has just spoken felt that the suggestion made was a reasonable one, all he would have to do was to say: We concede that much to the minority, we regret that they did not ask for it before. The hon. gentleman has not yet given the slightest intimation of his own opinion as to whether or not we ought to nominate that counsel. What are the facts? The committee met and they notified the commission to appear be-for them, as well as Mr. Lumsden. The commission appeared there at once by counsel, a very eminent counsel of Montreal, paid out of the public purse. He is the counsel of tire commissioners, and if anybody is charged, or if there is anybody to whom misconduct has been imputed, it is the commission. They, through engineers appointed by themselves, are charged with misconduct of so grave a character that the Prime Minister was compelled to move for a committee upon it. What does this gentleman tell us. He rises and says: I represent the public, we are going to investigate these grave charges reflecting upon the commission, and I, their counsel, am going to act for the public in the investigation. Could anything be more ridiculous, more monstrous as a matter of public interest. The gentleman said to the committee that the instructions of the Commission were to probe this matter to the bottom, and he would do his duty! We have, in days gone by, heard counsel employed, apparently on behalf of the public, make such assertions and we know what was the result, we know that the inquiry, instead of being probed to the bottom, was stifled, and while I' do not for a moment impute any thing against the character or probity of Mr. Smith, I do say it is a ridiculous thing to think that in an investigation of this character involving the reputation of the government

who appointed this commission, and of the commission who appointed the engineers charged with misconduct, involving all their positions, that the Commission should appoint counsel to act for the public, and that the majority of a committee named by the government should appoint ing counsel on the other side. I am talking to men of knowledge, business men and politicians who sit on both sides of this House. I ask them if they seriously think that a counsel appointed by the majority of that political committee, politicians on both sides, four on one side and three on the other, will be a counsel who will probe to the bottom questions involving the reputation of the government?

I am surprised that the hon. member for South Essex (Mr. A. H. Clarke) would stand up in his place and for a moment give colour to such a pretense as that the majority on the committee have any right to make such an appointment. The hon. gentleman knows that we have questions of this kind again and again in committees, and that there is as straight a party vote as there would be in this House. We have on this committee-^three on one side and three on the other, the chairman's casting vote deciding the question. It is a foregone conclusion when we go to a vote how it will result, and we must either agree to the proposition made or there will be a v(te and the vote is sure to go against us. Why do these gentlemen object? Is it a matter of courtesy or ceremony, that we have not been sufficiently ceremonious to these gentlemen in asking them to let us appoint counsel? We ask here in the House that we, as the minority who are concerned in probing this thing, and are determined to probe it to the bottom, shall name the counsel who shall nrosecute the investigation, and that we shall not have appointed another counsel, like Mr. Smith, who acts only for the commission. We do not doubt that an able man would be appointed by the majority, but we would like to know that the man had his heart in the work as well as his head. We want this thing probed no matter what the consequences may be, no matter who may suffer. We have made no charge. This committee was moved not by this side of the House, but by the Prime Minister. Surely he did not mean to go through a farce in moving for this investigation to be not con' tent with a majority of the committee, but must also appoint all the counsel. Through the commission they have appointed Mr. Smith, K.O., and the majority of the committee wish to appoint Mr. Brown or some one else, and we will be told: Oh, you agreed that counsel should be appointed. you have counsel, this is a thorough investigation and the public is Mr. BARKER.

represented. I would have expected the hon. member for South Essex (Mr. A. H. Clarke) to he the first man to stand up and say: We will hear counsel, we will let you nominate them because you are the attacking parties in this , committee. Does any one doubt that the majority of that committee are on the defensive? Are they not anxious, by every means in their power, to find a verdict of ' not guilty ' as against the commission and against the engineers? Every man on both sides of the House knows that is the fact.

I do not wish to occupy another moment of the time of the House on this question. I say that hon. gentlemen on the other side who refuse this reasonable proposition, that we who are the investigators in fact should have the nomination of the counsel who is to conduct the investigation, are supporting the government in an evasion of the inquiry.

House divided on amendment, Mr. Lennox.



Arthurs, Lennox,

Barker, Lewis,

Beattie, Mac don ell,

Best, McCall,

Blain, McCarthy,

Borden (Halifax), Meighen,

Boyce, Middlebro,

Bradbury, Monk,

Bristol, Nantel,

Broder, Owen,

Burrell, Paquet,

Campbell, Reid (Grenville),

Chisholm (Huron), Rhodes,

Clare, Roche,

Cowan, Russell,

Crocket, Schaffner,

Crothers, Sexsmith,

Currie (Simcoe), Sharpe (Lisgar),

Daniel, Sharpe (Ontario,

Doherty, Sproule,

Donnelly, Stanfield,

Edwards, Staples,

Elson, Stewart,

Eraser, Taylor (New

Gordon (Nipissing), Westminster),

Haggart (Lanark), Thoburn,

Haggart (Winnipeg), Thornton,

Herron, Wallace,

Hughes, White (Renfrew)

Jameson, Wilcox (Essex),

Kidd, Wilson (Lennox

Lake, Addington),

Lalor, Worthington,

Lancaster, Wright.-66.



Allen, MacNutt,

Aylesworth, McAllister,

Beauparlant, McCoig,

Beland, McColl,

Borden (Sir McIntyre,

Frederiok), McKenzie,

Brown, Marcile (Bagot),

Bureau, Martin (Montreal,

Carvell, Ste. Mary's),

Cash, Martin (Regina),

Chew, Martin (Wellington),

Chisholm (Inverness), Mayrand,

Clark (Red Deer), Meigs,

Clarke (Essex), Michaud,

Congdon, Miller,

Currie (Prince Molloy,

Edward), Neely,

Delisle, Oliver,

Demers, Papineau,

Devlin, Pardee,

Douglas, Pickup,

Dubeau, Proulx,

Ecrement, Prowse,

Emmerson, Pugsley,

Eielding, Rankin,

Fisher, Robb,

Fortier, Ross (Rimouski),

Fowke, Roy (Dorchester),

Gauvreau, Roy (Montmagny),

Geoffrion, Rutan,

Gervais, Savoie,

Girard, Schell,

Gladu, Sealey,

Gordon (Kent), Seguin,

Graham, Sinclair,

Guthrie, Smith (Nanaimo),

Harris, Smith (Stormont),

Hodgins, Sperry,

Hunt, Stratton,

King, Talbot,

Kyte, Templeman,

Lachance, Tobin,

Lafortune, Todd,

Lanctot (Laprairie- Tolmie,

Napierville), Turcotte (Nicolet),

Lanctot (Richelieu), Turcotte (Quebec

Lapointe, County),

Lavergne, Turgeon,

Law, Turriff,

LeBlanc, Verville,

Lemieux, White (Victoria,

Lovell, Alta.),

Macdonald, Wilson (Laval).-100.

Amendment negatived. Motion agreed to.



CREW OF DREDGE NORTHUMBERLAND. Mr. STANFIELD: 1. Were any of the officers or crew of the dredge ' Northumberland ' given leave of absence from their work at East river, Pictou county, Nova Scotia, for the purpose of going to vote at election in Lunenburg county on November 24, 1909 P 2. If so, what are the names and positions on dredge of each person who obtained such leave? 3. On what day did each leave the dredge and on what day did each return? 4. Was the dredge working as usual while such persons were absent from duty? 5. Was the work of the dredge carried as. efficiently without the persons in question as when they were on board and working? 6. Were the said persons or any of them provided with free transportation over the Intercolonial railway, or otherwise provided with free transportation from their place of work to the county in which election was being held, or for any part of the distance? 7. Were the said persons paid or will they be paid usual wages for the time they were absent to said election?



reference to the department, and the department, therefore, cannot state, without communicating with the agent, whether or not permits are being granted to these settlers on vacant Dominion lands. 3. This statement was made in a communication recently received at the department. An inspection has been ordered, and if it is found that any of the lands do not contain merchantable timber to such an extent as to make them commercially valuable, they will be withdrawn from the berth.



Conservative (1867-1942)

1. Has the Minister of the Interior received a petition from the residents of township 50, range 27, W. 2nd M., relative to the difficulty of getting dry wood for fuel, etc., and asking for permission to obtain it from timber berth No. 876? If so, what assistance is he able to give them ?

2. Are permits to cut wood being granted to these settlers on any government land? If so, where and to what extent.?

3. Is the minister aware that on several sections comprised in timber berth No. 876 there is said to be not sufficient timber to make them commercially valuable? If so, will he take steps to withdraw them from the berth and throw them open for settlement? If not, will he cause inquiries to be made?


Hon. FRANK OLIVER: (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)


1. Yes. Berth 876 was acquired at public competition, and the department is not in a position to issue settlers' permits thereon.

2. Permits to cut wood for fuel are issued by the local Crown timber agents, without





Conservative (1867-1942)

1. Is the northeast J of section 34, township 12, range 21, west 3rd meridian, province of Saskatchewan, open for homesteading? If not, why not?

2. Has it been entered for homesteading? If so, by whom, and when?

3. Has there been any settlement duties done on it? If so, what is the nature of the duties ?

4. Is it subject to cancellation, and will it be open for settlement?


Mr. OLIVER: (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)


1. Not open for homesteading at the present time. Already entered for.

2. Taken as a homestead by Howard A. Moore, October 27, 1908.

3. According to a declaration filed here

by the homesteader, the following duties are claimed: Residence-Was on homestead part of June, August and September, 1909. Improvements-26 acres of breaking,

1909; 300 fence posts cut and ready for fencing in spring.

4. Cancellation proceedings were instituted on the 23rd of November, 1909, and the homesteader has been notified that by the 1st of April next he must satisfy the local agent that he is in residence with the intention of remaining there and completing the required duties, failing which the agent will cancel his entry summarily and dispose of the land in accordance with the regulations.





Conservative (1867-1942)

1. Is R. E. A Leech in the employment of the government? If so, what position does he hold?

2. When was he first employed by the government, and for what purpose?

3. What years has he been in the employment of the government, and what doing each year ?

4. What salary and expenses has he drawn each year, respectively?

5. What is he engaged in at the present time?

6. Is the government aware that he is said to be spending all his time at Liberal headquarters at Winnipeg?

Subtopic:   R. E. A. LEECH.

Mr. OLIVER: (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)


1. Yes; inspector of Dominion lands agencies for Saskatchewan.

2. On the 1st January, 1905, as inspector of Dominion lands agencies.

3. From 1st January, 1905, to the present time. Engaged in inspecting Dominion lands agencies,-except in 1908 when he was employed for part of the year in connection with seed grain distribution.

4. Salary: 1904-5, 6 months, $1,000; 1905-

6, $2,000; 1906-7, 9 months, $1,500; 1907-8, $2,000; 1908-9, $2,666.66; 1909-10, 10 months, $2,500. Expenses: 1904-5, 6 months, $840.60;

1905-6, $3,676; 1906-7, 9 months, $2,736.02; 1907-8, $3,403.59; 1908-9, $2,766.53; 1909-10,

10 months, $3,350.

5. Inspecting Dominion lands agencies.

6. No.

Subtopic:   R. E. A. LEECH.

February 23, 1910