March 11, 1902 (9th Parliament, 2nd Session)


Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. T. S. SPROULE (East Grey).

Before you leave the Chair, Mr. Speaker, I wish, for a few moments to direct attention to the ' Hansard ' reporting of the House for the present year. In the past I have always recognized that we have had very accurate work on the part of the ' Hansard ' staff; but I regret to say that it is not up to its usual efficiency this session. My attention was drawn, a few days ago to a report in ' Hansard ' of February 27th. In Committee of Supply the item for ' rewards for saving lives, including life-savings stations ' was under consideration, and

I asked a question with regard to it as to what this money was to be used for. I drew attention to it.
I notice an item for life saving in connection with one of the vessels on the upper lakes.
That is what appears in ' Hansard.' But I did not speak of it in that way, but said that, in connection with this item for lifesaving service, I desired to draw the attention of the minister to what had happened in the way of life-saving in connection with one of the vessels on the upper lakes, and I asked if anything had been done to reward the captain of the vessel for his meritorious conduct. I asked the list of those to whom awards had been given for saving life, so as to find if this captain's name appeared among them. The minister read the list, and when he had finished, I drew attention to the fact that the name of the captain in the case I have referred to did not appear. I was not, at that time, able to give the name of the steamship, but said it was captain Geo. McDougall, of the steamship ' Athabaska,' wlio, on the 29th of June, 1901, saved the lives of twelve out of thirteen of the crew of the American barge ' Preston.' I stated that I mentioned the case so as to draw the attention of the Minister of Marine and Fisheries to it; that, in the event of deserving men being rewarded, the highly meritorious services of Captain McDougall might receive due recognition. I also stated, at that time, that there had been given to this captain a very handsome testimonial, in the form of a gold watch, by the President of the United States. Now, there is not a word referring to all that in ' Hansard.' I pass on then to the report of next day. I had, on a previous occasion, asked the minister for information with regard to the hydrographic survey chart of Georgian Bay. The minister, referring to my question stated where these maps could be had. And he referred also to the case of Captain McDougall in these words, according to ' Hansard ' :
With regard to the question put by the hon. member for North Grey-
That is wrong, for it was not the hon. member for North Grey-this is mixed up in every way, it seems to me.
[DOT]-as to whether any awai'd has been1 made to Captain McDougall, who had saved a number of lives from an American barge or steamer, and who had been given a very handsome testimonial for his conduct by the United States, I beg to say that l have looked up the records in the department and cannot find record of any application for an award to Captain McDougall.
That was in answer to what I had said in bringing the case to the notice of the hon. minister, for the purpose of having him take note of it so that Captain Mr. SPROULE.
McDougall might be suitably awarded, but concerning which there is no mention in ' Hansard.' This kind of reporting is unjust to hon. members of this House. And, as this occurred on Friday evening, and I was not in the city on the following day, the necessary correction could not be made ill time, and so it appears in this erroneous form in the revised ' Hansard ' as well. I draw attention to this in order that there may be more care taken in the reporting, for, otherwise, ' Hansard ' will be of little use.

Full View