He is not, and I
would ask the hon. member for Athabaska (Mr. Kellner) to withdraw that statement, because I see by Hansard that there was a mistake made in that connection when the hon. member was discussing the question.
The early history of the Woodward elevator is as follows: A man by the name of Mr. Woodward went to Vancouver and started to build an elevator. He failed financially and the elevator was considered a white elephant on Burrard inlet. The people of Vancouver insisted that the harbour commissioners complete the elevator and put it into operation to handle grain from Alberta, because they had handled 54,000,000 bushels of grain through elevator No. 1 that year and there was a blockade; the permit system was put into effect, embargoes were placed up and down the railway line, and grain could not be moved. We needed more elevators. They made overtures to different grain companies-including the Alberta Pacific, the company of which the hon. member for West Calgary (Mr. Bennett) is a director, and here is what the report says:
Woodward and Company, Limited, were unable to finance to its completion the building of the elevator, and work was stopped with the completion of a working house but without the provision of any storage accommodation. Later the building was looked over by James Richardson and Sons, the United Grain Growers' Grain Company, Limited, and the Alberta Pacific Elevator Company, with a view to taking over Woodward's lease.
They turned down the proposition. Then overtures were made to other people on the prairies who might be able to handle this matter. I was asked to form a company and take it over, which I did. The commissioners were to have the plant completed for operation, grain to be handled by a lighter system in sixty days. We then bought a boat from the United States government and equipped it with the most modern machinery for transferring and handling grain, with oil burning engines and all modern equipment, at a cost of over $80,000 capable of handling 20,000 bushels per hour, with a capacity of 100,000 bushels, and that boat is still lying idle on the Pacific coast. Then I was notified two years later-after making thirty trips to Vancouver in attempts to have the plans agreed upon-that the building would be ready on June 29, and that I could take possession
Vancouver Harbour Commission
on June 30. This I could not agree to; the shipping season was over and the plant was yet unfinished. That agreement originally provided that the plant would cost $660,000 with the storage capacity, the pier, and the belt conveyors to handle grain, and we were to pay a rental of 9 per cent. When the building was completed the cost was just $10,000 less than $1,000,000 which meant that our rent jumped from about $58,000 to about $90,000, and I refused to pay it. I told them I could not function under those conditions, so they gave me forty-eight hours in which to accept the proposition or they would cancel the agreement, which they did. Immediately they closed with the United Grain Growers', for $45,000 per year, the same people who had turned it down in the first place, and who had made overtures to me before the lease was cancelled. We were left with all the cost of incorporating the company, of defending our case before the royal grain commission, of equipping the lighter and many other incidentals, but when we asked for ou* money back there was strong objection. Not a nickel of the settlement money will be left after the bills are paid. We took the matter to our legal advisers, who advised us to enter suit and accordingly we sued for $250,000. The harbour commissioners consulted their solicitors, who advised them to settle; they went to an independent solicitor, Mr. Davis, who also advised them to settle; they brought the matter before the Minister of Justice, and he advised them to settle also. I want to make it clear that I have never lobbied nor have I ever spoken to a single member of this government or of this House in connection with this bill. I met the Minister of Marine and Fisheries once when I went to see his deputy; I asked him if he intended to pay or if they wanted to fight, and the Minister said he would refer it to the Minister of Justice and let me know, and this is the first I have heard of it. .
Topic: VANCOUVER HARBOUR COMMISSION LOAN OF $4,000,000 FOR TERMINAL FACILITIES