April 17, 1905 (10th Parliament, 1st Session)

L-C

Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. SAM. HUGHES.

The minister 1 frankly confess has made the best possible explanation he could of the situation ; he has talked all round the question and never touched it once. Let us look at the situation. An advertisement was sent out dated the 7th from the department to the newspapers and on the 11th this advertisement appeared before the public. On the 14th the tenders for which this advertisement calls for contracts at Port Arthur and Fort William, some hundreds of miles distant from here, were to be in. Any one knowing the .circumstances and looking at that advertisement will see at once that it applies to only one linn, the Aim of Conmee & Bowman. What are the conditions ? They must own the dredges on the 14th of April. You might as well publish an advertisement to the world and say the Department of Public Works of the Dominion of Canada hands over to the firm engineered by Conmee and Company the dredging of that harbour. Then contractors must be ready to begin work within ten days after being notified of the acceptance of their tender. No man in Canada could get a dredge there within ten days. You might as well write the words ' Conmee and Company ' on the tenders. The amended tender is no better. It extends it to the 1st of May next and says :
* Only dredges can be employed on the work which were registered in Canada at the time of the filing of the tenders with the department.' The tenders must be in the department at this time. It would be impossible for a firm to buy a dredge in the United Mr. HYMAN.
States or in any part of Canada and have the papers passed through by the 1st of May. Why should not the minister let the tenders be accepted and give the tenderers until a certain date, say the 1st of June or the 1st of July, whenever he wishes the work to be commenced, to register the dredge in Canada ? The dredges that are there now, I believe, were made in the United States. Therefore what harm could come to the Dominion if we again used dredges made in the United States so long as the country is getting good value for its money. In this connection I would ask if the minister has taken any precaution that the men working on the dredges shall be Canadians ; that is the part that Canadians are interested in,, and I venture to say that the great majority of men-at least I am so informed, I will not make the statement positively-employed on these dredges last year and in previous years have been men from the United States who are not Canadian residents, not ' registered in Canada.' Will the minister place that in his contract and require that Messrs. Conmee .V Bowman will employ only Canadian men ?

Topic:   DREDGING CONTRACT AT PORT ARTHUR AND FORT WILLIAM.
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