June 14, 1917

CON

William James Roche (Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs; Minister of the Interior)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ROCHE:

Just at the time the collectors were out on the road?

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LIB
LIB

William Roche

Liberal

Mr. ROOHE:

And because a collector

showed his'nose in a constituency where there was a by-election, the hon. gentleman jumps on the department for allowing a homestead inspector to go into that county during a by-election to collect seed grain accounts.

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LIB
CON

William James Roche (Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs; Minister of the Interior)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ROCHE:

The system that we had adopted a year ago last winter by means of which we were to collect through the elevator companies was not a success, and therefore last summer we opened an office in Moosejaw and established a chief inspector of land agencies there who engaged a staff, largely utilizing the existing staff of homestead inspectors, in order to keep down expense. These men were alloted certain districts, and before there was any thought of a by-election in Moosejaw, they were instructed to collect seed grain personally from the farmers who had got seed grain relief and had failed to pay within the time promised, and no doubt these men were doing certain collections in Moose-jaw county, because there'was a very large amount put out in Moosejaw during 1915. I am not in a position to say whether those men kept diaries that tney sent into the department as to what they did from day to day; in fact I would not be surprised if they did not keep diaries, although in their ordinary work as homestead inspec-

tors they do keep diaries. I will make inquiries in regard to that.

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LIB

William Erskine Knowles

Liberal

Mr. KNOWLES:

The minister has surely misunderstood what I said. I told him what I thought about the men who had camped in Moosejaw county in order to intimidate the farmers, and the minister says that the Government has lent so much money there and tries to put me in the position of saying that the money should not be collected. I did not say that at all. The money is lent and is repayable and will be repaid. I did not object to any one representing the Government putting his nose into the Moosejaw district; I objected to these men interfering in the by-election. I was speaking about the introduction of petty politics under the guise of those men doing their work in their capacity of collectors. I am not criticising the system of collection at present; I may have something to say about that at the proper time. It is necessary to collect that money, and the minister is making a defence out of the fact that the money should be collected. My point was that the men who should have been busy collecting that money in the proper way were all centralized at one pivotal point, namely, the Moosejaw county seat, whence they could intimidate the farmers of the district into voting for the Conservative candidate.

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CON

Charles Joseph Doherty (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

We will take up the Post Office Estimates.

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LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD:

As the Post Office Estimates have not been brought up before, the minister cannot take them up on a Thursday. Where is the regular Postmaster General? I understand he is in Ottawa, and if so, why should he not be here?

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CON

Charles Joseph Doherty (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

The Postmaster General is at present on active military service. I am the acting Postmaster General, and I do not know that the hon. member is in order to question my right to introduce these Estimates.

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LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD:

It is not in order to take up any Estimates on Thursdays or Fridays unless they have been begun on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday.

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CON

Charles Joseph Doherty (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

The Estimates of the Post Office Department have been taken up and, as regards the Inside Service, have been passed, so that I am quite within the rule. I am only proceeding to continue to deal with Estimates already begun.

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LIB

George Perry Graham

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM:

It was distinctly understood that, when the Estimates were allowed

to be taken up, it was not to be held that they had been taken up under the rule. Before the long adjournment we allowed certain Estimates to go through on the understanding that no minister would claim that his Estimates had been taken up under the rule.

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CON

Charles Joseph Doherty (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

My information from

the deputy minister is not that merely one-fourth of the Estimates which were passed, as I understand it, under the arrangement, have been passed, but that the entirety of the Estimates for the Inside Service of the Department have already been passed. If what the hon. member says is correct, I, of course, do not want to break any understanding that has been arrived at, but my information is that with the exception of this one Estimate, the Post Office Estimates have all been passed:

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LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD:

If the minister will . iook at Hansard of February 1 at page 353, he will find that the statement of my hon. friend from -South Renfrew (Mr. Graham) is verified. The report reads:

Supply-Interim Vote.

The House in Committee of Supply, Mr. Rainville in the chair.

Sir Wilfrid Laurier: We will not go into

any particular estimates, hut we will give you what you want; we will give you a quarter of the total amount in these estimates.

Sir George Foster: They are just the same

as the usual estimates.

Sir Wilfrid Laurier : Ves.

Sir George Foster: We have usually put

through the vote for civil government.

Sir Wilfrid Laurier: I have no objection to

your putting through the estimates that you want to put through, but you know there is a rule that on Thursday and Friday the Speaker leaves the chair without any motion, and the House can only take up such Supply as is to be taken into consideration. If we were to pass all the estimates to-day, when we begin after the adjournment we could not take up any of the estimates upon any day, and therefore we cannot consent to that. But if it is understood that the rule will not apply, then we will pass the estimates.

Sir George Foster: I think that can easily

be understood on both sides of the House.

Sir Wilfrid Laurier: All right; go on.

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CON

Charles Joseph Doherty (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

If that is all that was done, I do not claim that these Estimates were begun, but my information-and I have sent to make quite sure-is that [DOT] all the Post Office Estimates for the Inside Service have already been passed, and that there remains but the Outside Service. If that be correct, it means that these Estimates have been proceeded with otherwise than under that arrangement. Of course, if any information is shown to be mistaken,

I do not want to insist upon going on with these Estimates.

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LIB

George Perry Graham

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM:

If no Post Office Estimates have been put through since the two months' adjournment the minister would not be in order in going on with these Estimates, and my recollection is that no Post Office Estimates have been put through since the adjournment. Certain Estimates were put through before the adjournment to enable the Prime Minister to go to England, on the distinct understanding that no advantage would be taken of that technical violation of the rule.

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CON

Charles Joseph Doherty (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

All I can say is that

the officer tells me he understands that the whole of the Inside Service Estimates were put through one evening by the Minister of Finance. I cannot undertake myself to say positively whether that was so or not, and if objection is taken I suppose I shall have to yield to it.

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LIB

George Perry Graham

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM:

The members of the

House have certain rights in regard to moving resolutions on going into Committee of Supply, and we shall be deprived of one opportunity of moving a resolution on the motion to go into Supply if the minister goes on with these Estimates to-night. The whole object of the new rule was to give members an opportunity to move a resolution on the motion for Supply. My recollection is that the Post Office Estimates have not been before the committee, technically speaking, and consequently they cannot be taken automatically on a Thursday or Friday.

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CON

Charles Joseph Doherty (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

In the Votes and Proceedings of the 20th of April it appears that Post Office Estimates were passed as follows: Salaries $842,820, Contingencies $125,000. That seems to confirm what the officer told me. I am not invoking the fact that before the two months' adjournment

10 p.m. one-quarter of the Estimates were passed.

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LIB

June 14, 1917