Letter with Enclosed Cheque for Keefer Investigation
Peterboro, Ont., April 3rd, 1915
To the Honourable Frank Cochrane.
Minister of Railways and Canals,
Enclosed herewith please find my cheque for Eleven
Hundred and Fifty Dollars ($1150.00) in payment of the account
of Mr. Chas. H. Keefer, M.S.C., C.E., for making a Review and
Report of the charges made my Mr. H. Holgate, C.E. against me,
on behalf of the Government, in connection with the design and
construction of the Hydraulic LIft Locks at Peterborough and Kirkfield.
As this is the first communication I have had with
you, I desire to say that when the matter was first brought to
your attention by Mr. Porter, M.P. on March 7th, 1912, you yourself
suggested that you would have an expert in your Department make
an examination of the papers and if the report of such expert
warranted it that you would select a Commissioner to make an official
investigation and report to you.
You will understand that I was exceedingly anxious
that the matter should be reviewed by a competent and impartial
judge for the very obvious reason that my reputation as an Engineer
and public servant was at stake. I waited for your expected action
for over two years and then in conversation with Mr. Porter I
asserted that rather than not have the official investigation
I would assume the expense of it personally. In doing so, I felt
positive that the result of such investigation would prove the
injustice that had been done me and would remind you of your original
promise of March 1912 - when no reference to any private contribution
of my part was made.
The rebuttal in toto of the Holgate charges, the
excellence of the work under my supervision and my 23 years' service
to the country as an Engineer in charge of important public works
have failed, it seems, to be in any way a Governmental responsibility.
The honourable vindication of my record by the Commissioner Keefer
has been degraded into a personal or professional favour by imposing
upon me the cost of an official enquiry affecting a government
work and a public servant. An official vindication at the private
expense of the person vindicated forms a precedent that does little
credit to the administration.