House of Commons, 21 May 1873, Canadian Confederation with Prince Edward Island

May 21,1873 COMMONS DEBATES 639
Hon. Mr. HOLTON said the observations he had just heard were very gratifying to him. Now they had the assurance of the Government that they were going to adopt boldly the view which it became his duty to express; and he had no doubt that the sum he had indicated as the maximum sum for this service, to wit, half a million dollars, would be found to be near the mark. He affirmed that the investigation regarding the administration of the Militia Department had had the effect of bringing the Government to adopt the policy which they had announced that day.
Mr. JONES repudiated the idea that the West Point Military School was superior to that of Sandhurst, England, and advocated the expenditure of more money.
Mr. BOWELL was of opinion that very little good resulted from the annual camps, and referred to the reluctance with which employers permitted employees to attend the camps. He also called attention to the fact that in some of the companies there were four men to each officer, while in one company there were two officers to one man. He hoped the Minister of Militia would consider well before he gave his consent to the calling out of the men into camp, for the present system of camp drill was an utter and useless waste of money.
Mr. ROSS (Prince Edward) did not approve of the camp system of drill, and he thought if the men were called out it should not be until September, for in the present condition of the labour market, it would be a great hardship on the employers. He thought the system which it was proposed to introduce next year would prove to be the proper one.
Mr. BERGlN was also of opinion that it would be criminal, in the present state of the labour market to call out a large body of men for camp drill.
Mr. BROWN expressed views similar to those enunciated by the previous speakers.
Afier some further discussion the items were concurred in.


A message from His Excellency was read recommending the supplementary estimates of expenditure in connection with Prince Edward Island.
Amongst other items was one of $3,000 for expenses in connection with the burial of the bodies recovered from the wreck of the steamship Atlantic, providing coffins, et cetera, and for conferring rewards on the Rev. Mr. Ancient and other inhabitants in the vicinity of Prospect Cape, who rescued and provided for persons saved from the wreck. Also, $20,000 for improvements in ventilation, lighting and heating of the Parliamentary building; also $6,000 to provide for the expenses in connection with inspection and classification of vessels by the Dominion Government.


The House then went into Committee of Supply and passed supplementary estimates $57,300.
Some discussion arose on the item of $4,000 to facilitate the descent of timber on Fenelon River.
Hon. Mr. MACKENZIE pointed out that this was purely a local work, with which the Dominion had nothing to do.
Hon. Mr. LANGEVlN, in reply, stated that the Government had control of those works.
The item was passed.
Mr. SNIDER referred to the neglect of the Government to improve the harbour at Owen Sound, and he hoped the Government would vote a sum for the purpose, and remove from his mind the impression that no member but a Government supporter could get justice done to his constituency.
Hon. Mr. LANGEVlN said they had expended so much money this year that they could not vote any more. Next year he would see what could be done.
The item of $6,000 for the establishment of a Canadian Lloyd's was concurred in.


The estimate of $100,000 for carrying on the negotiations with Prince Edward Island was passed without objection.


Hon. Sir JOHN A. MACDONALD gave notice that on Friday he would move that an humble address be presented to His Excellency, praying that His Excellency might be graciously pleased to give directions that the remains of the Hon. Sir George É. Cartier be interred at the public expense, and that a monument be raised to his memory, and that this House assure His Excellency that they will make good the expenditure attending the same.
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In reply to Hon. Mr. Cauchon,
Hon. Sir JOHN A. MACDONALD said that he hoped the House would adjourn on Friday.
The House rose at 1.30
644 COMMONS DEBATES May 21, 1873


On motion of Hon. Mr. TILLEY, the order that the House go into Committee to consider certain proposed resolutions with respect to the acceptance of a sum of $500,000 from the Northern Railway Company, on certain conditions, was discharged.
Hon. Mr. MACKENZIE was surprised that the hon. gentleman was unable to perpetrate this job.
Hon. Sir JOHN A. MACDONALD said the hon. member would have to account for having prevented Toronto being connected with Lake Nipissing by his opposition to the bill.
It being six o'clock the Speaker lefi the chair.



Mr. WILKES moved the second reading of the amendments made by the Senate to the bill to incorporate the Goldsmiths' Company of Canada.
Hon. Sir JOHN A. MACDONALD said he had read assurances from jewellers and others in all parts of Canada that the bill was intended to create a monopoly, and he was assured that it was simply a job. He therefore moved in amendment that the amendments be read that day six months.
Mr. RYAN and other members spoke of the strong opposition offered to the bill by the jeweller trade in Montreal.
Mr. WILKES explained the motive and object of the Bill and, afier some remarks from Messrs. Mackenzie, Currier, Chisholm, Carter, Young (Waterloo South), Ryan, Hon. Sir John A. Macdonald, and Hon. Mr. Holton, the hour for Private Bills having expired, the Bill was allowed to stand over till Friday.
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Mr. STEPHENSON presented the seventh report of the Printing Committee, recommending that tenders be invited for the Parliamentary printing
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Hon. Mr. TILLEY moved the third reading of the bill respecting the admission of Prince Edward Island as a Province of the Dominion.
The Bill was read a third time and passed.


The House went into Committee on certain resolutions with respect to the authorization of the payment of certain contractors for sections No. 1 to 7 of the lntercolonial Railway.
Hon. Mr. TILLEY stated that the resolutions were made in accordance with the recommendations of the Commissioners and the Engineer, and the amounts were calculated upon the papers he had placed in the hands of the hon. member for Lambton (Hon. Mr. Mackenzie).
Hon. Mr. HOLTON was of the opinion that this matter ought to be allowed to lie over until next session, when fuller information could be obtained to enable them to come to a more deliberate and accurate conclusion on so great a matter.
Hon. Mr. TUPPER said it was admitted that these contracts were of an exceptional character; and as the whole question had come up before the Public Accounts Committee, and circumstances were thus fully known, he did not think there would be any objection to passing this measure.
Mr. JONES agreed with the member for Châteauguay, and thought the precedent a most dangerous one.
Mr. YOUNG (Waterloo South) suggested that the motion should be postponed, or the word "local" in reference to claims made by contractors be changed to "legal".
Hon. Mr. TUPPER defended the course of the Government.
Mr. SCATCHERD thought these claims were equally legal whether made by the original contractor or by some one having bought his claim, but he thought neither of these claims should be given countenance to by this House.
Afier some further discussion, in which Messrs. Holton, Wood and Wallace (Norfolk South), argued that, workmen once paid, the surplus should be distributed proportionately among the other creditors.
Hon. Mr. ANGLlN thought the Government were doing the correct thing this time in submitting the proposal to the House for its approval or disapproval; but he did not know whether the amounts to be paid were what they ought to be, and as this matter had been lying over for settlement for the past three years, he thought the final settlement should be left over for another year.
Hon. Mr. HOLTON enquired if there were any other claims of a similar nature before the Government.
Hon. Mr. TUPPER said there were not, that is to say, not of a nature that would come before this House.
Hon. Mr. TILLEY consented to the amendment proposed by Mr. Young (Waterloo South).


Canada. House of Commons Debates, 1873 First Session. Edited by David Farr. Ottawa: Library of Parliament, 2013. Original scans accessible at: http://parl.canadiana.ca/.



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