June 14, 1920

L LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux

Laurier Liberal

Hon. RODOLPHE LEMIEUX:

I notice in the Montreal Gazette of this morning a long editorial concerning the appointment of a United States firm to investigate the Post Office and Customs Departments of Canada, which firm, it is said, has been engaged at a figure of $10,000 per month. Is that a correct statement? If so, for what purpose is that investigation to be held?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   POST OFFICE AND CUSTOMS' DEPARTMENT.
Sub-subtopic:   RUMOURED INVESTIGATION BY A UNITED STATES FIRM.
Permalink
UNION

Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Unionist

Sir ROBERT BORDEN:

My hon. friend the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Sir George Foster) has a motion on the Order Paper in regard to the matter. I think it would be undesirable to enter into a discussion in his absence and in advance of the motion itself.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   POST OFFICE AND CUSTOMS' DEPARTMENT.
Sub-subtopic:   RUMOURED INVESTIGATION BY A UNITED STATES FIRM.
Permalink

PICTOU HARBOUR.


On motion of Hon. C. C. Ballantyne (Minister of Marine and Fisheries) Bill No. 121, respecting the harbour of Pictou in Nova Scotia, was read the second time, and the House went into committee thereon, Mr. Boivin in the Chair. On section 1-Short title.


L LIB

Jacques Bureau

Laurier Liberal

Mr. BUREAU:

I understand that this harbour used to be administered by a commission the same as the harbour of Three Rivers-

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   PICTOU HARBOUR.
Permalink
L LIB

Georges Henri Boivin (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Laurier Liberal

The CHAIRMAN:

The hon. member's remarks are not in order on clause 1, which is merely the "short title" of the Bill.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   PICTOU HARBOUR.
Permalink
L LIB

Jacques Bureau

Laurier Liberal

Mr. BUREAU:

For once you are right, Mr. Chairman, I apologize. I thought it was clause 2.

Section agreed to

On section 2-Property and rights vested in His Majesty.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   PICTOU HARBOUR.
Permalink
L LIB

Jacques Bureau

Laurier Liberal

Mr. BUREAU:

1 understand that the harbour of Pictou has heretofore been administered by a commission in the same way as the harbour of Three Rivers, and that hereafter all liabilities and! expenditures are to be assumed by the Government, and that a department of the Government is to administer the harbour. Will there be any particular officer in Pictou to look after that administration? Will the Government hereafter eharge any wharfage or dockage dues

to ships using this harbour, or will it be treated the same as our other harbours? Or is the fact? that it is going to be administered by the 'Government an indication that the Government will assume the responsibility of improving the harbour without charging the expenditure against the harbour itself, this expenditure being paid from the Dominion Treasury? If that be the case, I would ask tke minister to put the harbour of Three Rivers in the same position, because we require a lot of improvements there.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   PICTOU HARBOUR.
Permalink
UNION

Charles Colquhoun Ballantyne (Minister of Marine and Fisheries; Minister of the Naval Service)

Unionist

Mr. BALLANTYNE:

My hon. friend has judged the situation correctly. The revenue from the port of Pictou has been decreasing year by year until at the present time the expenditure is about $450 in excess of the revenue. It is not the intention of the Government to undertake any new work there; the purpose of this Bill is simply to transfer the administration of the port from the Harbour Commission to the Department of Public Works. There have been many precedents for this action, and the transfer will not involve any extra expense to the Government that I can see. The question of liabilities was raised when the resolution was under discussion some weeks ago, and I have since ascertained that the Harbour Commission does not owe any money, but will be turning over to the department, if this Bill passes, about $186. With regard to the very important port of Three Rivers, I shall be very glad to give every consideration to the suggestion made by the hon. member for that constituency (Mr. Bureau).

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   PICTOU HARBOUR.
Permalink
L LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux

Laurier Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX:

Have you an estimate of how much money will be required to put the harbour of Pictou in good shape?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   PICTOU HARBOUR.
Permalink
UNION

Charles Colquhoun Ballantyne (Minister of Marine and Fisheries; Minister of the Naval Service)

Unionist

Mr. BALLANTYNE:

As far as I understand, no expenditure will be necessary, the wharves being in a sufficiently good state of repair at the present time.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   PICTOU HARBOUR.
Permalink
L LIB
UNION

Charles Colquhoun Ballantyne (Minister of Marine and Fisheries; Minister of the Naval Service)

Unionist

Mr. BALLANTYNE:

None.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   PICTOU HARBOUR.
Permalink
L LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux

Laurier Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX:

I accept my hon. friend's word, for I know he is a business man and understands the value of figures. But, Mr. Chairman, I view with alarm the taking over by the Government of any of these public works. I have been surprised of late to receive from a firm of brokers a circular wherein the name of the Dominion is being paraded as endorsing the scheme for the improvement of the harbour of St.

John. It will be remembered that this harbour was taken over by the Government, but how I do not know.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   PICTOU HARBOUR.
Permalink
UNION

Charles Colquhoun Ballantyne (Minister of Marine and Fisheries; Minister of the Naval Service)

Unionist

Mr. BALLANTYNE:

It has not been taken over yet.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   PICTOU HARBOUR.
Permalink
L LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux

Laurier Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX:

Bonds are being issued to meet the expenditure on the harbour works, and those bonds are endorsed by the Government.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   PICTOU HARBOUR.
Permalink
UNION

Charles Colquhoun Ballantyne (Minister of Marine and Fisheries; Minister of the Naval Service)

Unionist

Mr. BALLANTYNE:

Would the hon. member allow me a question?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   PICTOU HARBOUR.
Permalink
L LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux

Laurier Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX:

I will conclude if my hon. friend pleases. I notice that those bonds are endorsed by the Dominion, and the name of the President of the Privy Council (Mr. Rowell), as Acting Minister of Public Works, is made use of in that circular. I have the greatest possible objection to the credit of the Dominion being used to assist enterprises of this nature. The public will be surprised when it. becomes known that the treasury is being involved to the extent of millions of dollars for the St. John harbour improvements. I do not know if this has escaped the attention of the Government, but I was appalled when I saw that our national credit was being pledged in that way.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   PICTOU HARBOUR.
Permalink
L LIB

Georges Henri Boivin (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Laurier Liberal

The CHAIRMAN:

Before the hon. minister replies-and I think a reply would now be quite in order-I take it for granted that this reference to the harbour of St. John is only by way of comparison.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   PICTOU HARBOUR.
Permalink
L LIB

June 14, 1920