January 26, 1912

LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY.

Still my hon. friend used to condemn that very strongly. He

used the words ' that there should be no question of party favour so far as public works are concerned.'

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CON
LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY.

The hon. gentleman is an excellent fighter and I suppose would present that very strongly to his colleagues and have that principle applied absolutely in reference to these estimates.

Mr. MONK I would like to.

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CON

John Stanfield (Chief Government Whip; Whip of the Conservative Party (1867-1942))

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STANFIELD.

Look at the difference between Pictou and Yarmouth.

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LIB

William Chisholm

Liberal

Mr. CHISHOLM (Antigonish).

It is pleasant to hear the minister admit that politicians may have had some influence on the government in the allotment of these works, but we are glad to hear of his desire not to have politics enter into such matters because we all know that he is eminently fair and magnanimous However evil associations have undoubtedly influenced him. When I look at the long list of items dropped in the county of Antigonish then I must conclude that the minister felt that other counties had a stronger claim upon him and upon the consideration of the government and therefore those good Conservative friends in these various districts who have been expecting these works begun by the late administration to go on will have to take the stone instead of the bread and will have to be content with nothing this session. I admit that in new work the minister may have good reasons for delaying undertakings until some more opportune time when the * hungry horde ' is first satisfied, but when you have works already begun and practically completed, it would surely be a wise policy to spend the small amount of money required to complete them. The amounts for these little places in Nova Scotia amount in the aggregate to trifling sums in comparison with the large expenditures on other matters. The minister should be a little more generous in preparing his estimates in reference to these small matters. In the estimate for last year we found a number of works that were not new but works on which a small amount had been expended from year to year to maintain them and improve and make them more useful and these have been dropped. I shall read some of them. I have mentioned Bayfield where $15,000 was voted last year, none of which was utilized because as I 'Said before, only five twelfths of the appropriation was available. At Breen's Pond some work was done but it is not of . much practical use without a slight extension. I have no doubt there is a report from the engineer that a slight extension would be required to give the

fishermen enough water, It would not cost much to continue this work and thus afford a very much needed accommodation. At Cribbin's Point a small amount, $1,000, required t-o complete repairs to the wharf has been dropped. At Delorey's Beach a small amount was voted to carry on a contract for the erection of a breakwater to cost $14,000. The nec-eessity of the work was clearly pointed out in the report of the engineer. But this is left where the present government found it. At Livingstone's Cove there is a provision of $2,000, the second item in Anti-gonish county that has not been dropped. At McNair's Cove for the extension and repairs to the 'breakwater wharf there was a vote of $5,400 but that has been dropped. This, is an important port at which the subsidized .steamer between Pictou. Antigonish and Inverness calls, and there is quite a good deal of fishing and trading done there, and the extension is a real necessity. Not even the appropriation made by the late government is however now available for improviments there. At Malignant Cove $1,341 was to he expended to complete the extension of the channel piers, but that has been dropped. The piers that are there will simply be wiped out before the fall storms are over. At McAra's Brook $991 was to be expended but this has been dropped. At Southlake, $4,000 was to be spent. Some money has been spent there since the change of government, some stones and material provided.

What are they going to do with all the stone which the faithful have hauled there .since September 21? This really is an important work and I cannot understand how this item was dropped from the estimates by the minister. It would only have cost $2,000 or $3,000, I would have supposed, to have extended the piers so as to

I aim not at all insinuating that they are treated too generously or that they are getting appropriations and advantages that they ought not to get, but I cannot under-Mr. CHISHOLM (AnHgoni?vd.

stand the minister, finding these items in the old estimates and having no report from the engineer which would justify him in dropping them, no evidence to show that the work is not as necessary or urgent to-day as two years ago, dropping these votes without consulting (Somebody. If he does not choose to consult the representative of the county, he could consult those who give him advice in some other matters, for instance those who give him advice in the matter of dismissals. I would urge with respect to the items that I have .referred to, that he make provision for them in the Sujpplanentary Estimates. All I ask is that he shall procure a report from the engineer and I am quite satisfied that the engineer will tell him that these works are just as urgent as they were a year or two ago and that they should be completed at the earliest opportunity.

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CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk (Minister of Public Works)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

My hon. friend must not imagine that a minister must have the authority of the district engineer to enable him to go on with the work. 'The minister decides that himself from what he knows the government will authorize him to spend in a locality. The minister has a certain sum' which he knows he can spend and he is obliged to divide it as equitably as possible. I did not follow all" that my hon. friend has said, but he spoke about McAra's Brook-

Mr. CHISHOLM

Nair's Cove.

(Antigonish). Mc-

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CON
LIB

William Chisholm

Liberal

Mr. CHISHOLM (Antigonish).

No. I referred to Me At a ,s Brook ais one of the items that had been dropped.

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CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk (Minister of Public Works)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

Was that an urgent work?

Mr. CHISHOLM (Antigonish L I would not say that it was a particularly urgent work, but it is as urgent as it was a year ago. It would be a great convenience to the fishermen .and the .amount is very small.

. ^r. MONK. The district engineer says in his report:

Application was made to Mr. Chisholm, M.P., for the name of a foreman to expend the amount voted, but as no name was given the work was not undertaken.

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LIB

William Chisholm

Liberal

Mr. CHISHOLM (Antigonish).

If a request of that kind was made on the eve of the election certainly I did not name any foreman because there was only five-twelfths of the grant available and the engineer was not desirous of going ahead with the work unless the whole sum was available. It would be a very unfortunate thing if, after an expenditure of five-twelfths had been incurred, no more work could -be done for want of further funds

because the work which had been begun would be carried out to sea. I have no doubt that I did not make any recommendation on the eve of the election. I know that after the election the work was going on and and I was not asked to name a foreman. T know nothing at all as to who the foreman is, but I know money was expended then. The place was of sufficient importance after the 21st of September to justify the expenditure of wuat money was available.

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CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk (Minister of Public Works)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

It is impossible to suppose that a government coming into poweT would absolutely take all the estimates or all the works of improvement of the preceding government. There must be differences of opinion and these differences come out in the estimates.

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LIB

William Chisholm

Liberal

Mr. CHISHOLM (Antigonish).

The minister refers to McAra's BiuoK. I do recall that there was a request made for a foreman down there but it happened that there was no road, no means for the public to get from the main road down to this wharf, although the wharf had been begun under the late Conservative auministration. 1 refused to recommend a foreman until such time as the road was obtained.

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LIB

John Howard Sinclair

Liberal

Mr. SINCLAIR.

I would like to ask the minister if he takes the . advice of the defeated candidate on his own side with regard to the requirements of constituencies as to wharves, breakwaters, and improvements of that kind.

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CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk (Minister of Public Works)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

We are glad to get advice but we are guided largely by the district engineer. We receive representations from all who make them.

Mr. MAC'LEAN (Halifax). At an earlier date in the session I made inquiry of the Minister of Public Works regarding an expenditure of public money at Chester in the county of Lunenburg, and this is an instance in which the minister has allowed himself to be moved by improper influences. This is a public work, what is known as Chester canal and it is a cutting between the front and back of the harbour forming a small boat channel. The canal was supposed to facilitate the passage of boats from one harbour to another a distance of only a few feet. The expenditure of this money was commenced in the month of September, after the Dominion election. The provincial by-elections took place in Lunenburg and polling day was the 15th November. Two or three days, or possibly a week before polling day, on instructions from the department, work ceased and I have not the slightest doubt in the world that this was done upon representations of influential supporters of the Conservative party in Lunenburg that the continuance of this work during this particular period would operate against the Conservative candidate in the election. The work was stopped notwithstanding the fact that only $200 or $300 remained to be expended. That, in the first place, was small politics. Since then nothing has been done. At that time some money was due the men who were working on the canal for wages and up to this day they have not received all their claims. I do not propose to waste very much time over this, but I would like the minister to take it up. It is a case he cannot defend as the administration of his department. There was absolutely no excuse for the cessation of the work and there should not be any delay in the completion of it and the payment of such sums of money as are due the men for wages.

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CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk (Minister of Public Works)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

When I came to office I found a great many useless works being carried on and a very large number of men employed for whose services there was no necessity. When I saw the condition of things I gave a general order to stop, and it may be that in some cases the order operated unjustly. I will have much pleasure in looking into the work to which my hon. friend has referred. There is no doubt room for improvement in the harbour of Chester Cove, but I think the opinion of the sitting member is that the dredging as projected is not sufficiently deep. I will have a special report made by the District Engineer to see if anything can be done.

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LIB

Alexander Kenneth Maclean

Liberal

Mr. MACLEAN (Halifax).

Some reason had to be given for stopping the work, I suppose, but in my opinion the work as contemplated is sufficient for the place. I trust the minister will at once take steps to pay these men for the work they performed last November?

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LIB

George William Kyte

Liberal

Mr. KYTE.

There were three items in the former estimates and omitted from these estimates which were for works of quite an important character, and 1 trust the minister will restore these votes in the supplementary estimates. I refer to the breakwater at Petit de Grat, the repairs to Poulamond wharf, and the improvement at Little harbour. The breakwater at Petit de Grat is in great disrepair and to preserve it money should be expended upon it at once. The Poulamond wharf is absolutely unsafe for handling freight, and vehicles cannot trust themselves upon the rotten covering. These are important works in the locality and a little money expended now would put them in repair. With respect to the Little harbour improvements a foreman was appointed last year and the lumber was purchased and conveyed to the site of the work. If the work is not

proceeded with this year that timber will be useless and considerable loss will be entailed on the department. I trust the minister will provide for these works in his supplementary estimates.

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CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk (Minister of Public Works)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

I will give the request of the hon. member consideration. I am told that the lumber can be stored and used in the work later. There appear to be very few constituencies in which I have given full satisfaction as regards expenditure. We can only do the best we can.

Mr. KYTE I am not criticising the action of the minister; I am simply calling his attention to these important works the repairing of which will not be costly. I may tell the minister that there are no facilities there for storing the timber and there is a chance of it being lost during storms, it is difficult to secure it m its present position.

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LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY.

The minister told us he found a great many useless works going on when he entered the department.

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CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk (Minister of Public Works)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

I found a great number of works going on under conditions of extravagant expenditure. I did not say useless works.

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January 26, 1912