House of Commons, 27 January 1905, Canadian Confederation with Alberta and Saskatchewan

261 JANUARY 27. 1905
Mr. CLEMENTS. While I think a port is necessary in that district, I think it is in the wrong place. I think the town of Wheatley, about five miles from there, is the proper place. I would ask the hon. minister to take that into consideration.
Mr. PATERSON. I shall be very glad to inquire as to that. I judge, from the small amount of revenue returned that it must be largely a preventive station. Does the hon. gentleman say that Wheatley would be a better point to prevent smuggling than where the office is now ?
Mr. CLARE. What increases of salaries were made at the Galt customs house ?
Mr. PATERSON. The salary of Mr. Denis, the preventive officer, was advanced from $600 to $650. The collector has asked for an increase, but it was not given last year. It is under consideration.
Mr. WM. WRIGHT. I represent a large district, the district of Muskoka, in which there is no custom house at all, and we find it very inconvenient in getting goods in. I am sure that the revenue of that district is much larger than that of many others   which have custom houses.
r. PATERSON. We have had strong representations from portions of Muskoka on that subject, among others from Bracebridge, a large and thriving place. During the summer months, when there is a good deal of traffic, we have an office at Gravenhurst. We have had applications for new offices from thirty or forty places, but it is difficult to accommodate them all. The opening of every new port means an additional expenditure. Then, while we are very anxious to oblige the business community as far as we can, we are not able to secure the same judgment with reference to values and as to whether invoices are correct, at many of these points that we can at larger points, where we can afford to pay larger salaries and have men especially delegated for the work. In the United States there are only a few very large ports. I believe it is a fact that for their 80,000,000 people, they have not as many ports as we have in Canada—not relatively, but absolutely. But the people of Canada have been accustomed to having conveniences nearer home. I can well understand what the hon. gentleman says as to the strong claims of the district he represents; but the department feel that the fewer ports we can have, with due convenience to the people, the greater uniformity in values we can secure.
Mr. WM. WRIGHT. Have you any system for opening new offices. with reference to size or population ?
Mr. PATERSON. When we get applications of that kind, one of the inspectors makes inquiry personally, then the depart 262ment gets a statement from the office at which it is probable the entries were made. For instance, we would get from the collector at Orillia a statement of the goods entered for consumption in the town of Bracebridge, and in that way arrive at the amount of revenue that might be expected.
Mr. BARKER. Does the hon. gentleman propose to make any increases in the staff at Hamilton ?
Mr. PATERSON. I do not think there is any pressing demand for increases there. I think we are pretty well manned there.
Mr. BARKER. I think so. too ; but there will be a great deal of disappointment if some appointments are not made.
Sir WILFRID LAURIER. Would it be a disappointment to the sitting members ?
Mr. BARKER. No. but to some very strong supporters of the right hon. gentleman who expect offices.
Mr. FOSTER. In the United States, where there is a small number of ports comparatively, taking into account its population, how do they overcome what seem to be great difficulties to us ?  
Mr. PATERSON. I suppose the business is done through brokers, with power of attorney.
Mr. FOSTER. That system is also in vogue here.
Mr. PATERSON. Yes. in the larger cities. but we are under no responsibility to the brokers.
Mr. FOSTER. I see there are very large increases in Nova Scotia compared with New Brunswick. How does my hon. friend account for that?
Mr. PATERSON. In New Brunswick the officers were better paid, and in raising the pay in Nova Seotia we are bringing the offiers there on a footing more nearly equal to those of New Brunswick.
Some resolutions reported.


Sir WILFRID LAURIER moved the adjournment of the House.
Mr. FOSTER. Can the Prime Minister give us any information as to the probable time when the Bill for the establishment of the Northwest province, or provinces, will be ready ?
Sir WILFRID LAURIER. I cannot give any definite information to-day.
Mr. FOSTER. I suppose it will be as soon as possible ?
Sir WILFRID LAURIER. Yes ; I am very anxious to do so. I suppose that next week we shall commence a more regular course of business than we have had up to this time. I should think that the bill referred to could be introduced probably during the second week in February.
Motion agreed to, and House adjourned at 6 p.m.


Canada. House of Commons Debates, 1875-1949. Provided by the Library of Parliament.



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