Hon. H. H. STEVENS (Vancouver Centre) :
Mr. Speaker, before the Orders of the Day are called I wish to ask one or two questions of the government, based upon a very important despatch which I see in the press. I must apologize for not having notified the minister, but I think he will be able to answer the question without the usual courtesy of a notice. The despatch is from Victoria and, in part, reads:
The Vancouver Harbour Board in future will control the Kitsilano Indian reserve, announced Hon. J. D. MacLean, Acting Premier. A telegram was received from Premier Oliver at Ottawa advising acceptance of the sum of $500,000 for the property and the Executive Council ratified the agreement.
And then it says further-I do not wish to read more-that an unstated amount over the half million will go to the Indian fund, the province retaining the customary reversionary rights. I wish to ask the Minister of the Interior: Has the transfer been agreed to as indicated in this despatch; is the sum of
8500.000 correctly quoted; what is the amount to go to the Indians, referred to in the despatch ; does the arrangement allow to the province its contention for reversionary rights?
Hon. CHARLES STEWART (Argenteuil), (Minister of the Interior): That is a very difficult question for one to answer from memory. All the despatch indicates that is new in the matter is that when Mr. Oliver was here I succeeded in getting him to agree to accept
8500.000 as the amount claimed by the province in the settlement of this dispute. True, the harbour board are desirous of obtaining the reserve. I have just forgotten the sequence in which this thing runs, but at all events there was an arbitration the terms of which the federal government refused to accept. No price has yet been fixed as the amount that the harbour board would pay for the island. But the 8500,000 mentioned in the despatch is the amount that the provincial government, as announced by the premier, would be walling to accept as settlement of their interest.