If my hon. friend will
allow me first to answer my hon. friend from Victoria and Carleton (Mr. Caldwell), who asked me the total amount paid on account of retirements and superannuation from the department during last year, one of the officers of the department has made a rough calculation, which is, of course, subject to correction, which shows that the total superannuation allowance of officers at ports retired under the Calder Act during the last year was $49,551.57. This is, of course, subject to correction. I do not want to bind the officers to a hasty calculation made on the floor of the House.
Replying to my hon. friend from North Toronto (Mr. Church): He has put three questions. First, what was the revenue derived from the port of Toronto during the last fiscal year; secondly, what is going to be done to the building on Wellington street; and thirdly, what
is going to be done about new office accommodation in Toronto. I may say that a more important question than either of the ones I have enumerated, and one that I was going to ask him to answer, and this goes really to the root of the whole trouble, is why was the old customs house in Toronto tom down? Part of it is left standing, and as my hon. friend has said, it has been my privilege to visit Toronto and examine the offices to see if there was any way of improving conditions and facilitating the service, with a view to securing greater efficiency from proper accommodation. From what I have seen df the exterior of the old custom house, the part that is left, I deplore that the building was ever tom down, because the part that is left, which is now used by the express, is one of the best buildings for the custom house officers in the whole city of Toronto. I do not see how you could justify the tearing down of that building, and am I to assume the burden of the difficulties which have followed from tearing it down? I do not think it would be fair to blame me for that. I admit that the conditions in Toronto are bad, but I must say that it is due to the fact that the old building, which was a good and substantial building, was tom down. My artistic taste may not be as good as that of others, but judging by the carvings and stonework on the part that is left, it struck me that the old building must have been a very fine one, and I do not see how you can justify tearing it down.
Topic: CUSTOMS AND EXCISE