April 24, 1901

CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

ing officer not only solicited the preparation of the new lists, but-and I join issue with what the Solicitor General said-I do not think we have satisfactory proof before us that the allegation contained in this motion, that the elections were really held on the old lists to which objection had been taken, is not well-founded. I find in the record of the evidence in the case referred to by the Solicitor General, that this question was put to the returning officer-Question 456 :

Q. So that you did not have any lists even at the time Mr. McCool was nominated, on the 28th of November?-A. No, I had not.

At the time of the nomination he had not those lists, and there might have been men there who were not in a position to place a candidate in nomination. There are other allegations in the motion which to my mind call for investigation by the committee. Now, I do not think the Solicitor General is right in saying that this question of vthe return of the writ and the issue of a new one lias been decided by the court. I think what the judges decided was that they could not go behind that writ-that it was a matter for investigation by the House of Commons.

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The SOLICITOR GENERAL.

The judges did not decide that question at all. If I said that, I made a mistake. The question was put to the judges by counsel, and counsel was about to argue the question, but the judges said it was not a matter for them to decide.

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CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

I think the Solicitor General is mistaken in saying that the object of referring this matter to the committee is merely to obtain evidence. Matters of this kind have been referred to the committee time and again, not only to obtain evidence and to lay the facts before the House, but on questions of law. I think there are precedents'for that. I do not think it is fair either to my learned friend to say that there is some question here of Mr. Ivlock. Mr. Klock, who is not a lawyer, and who seems to have been advised, considered his nomination was perfected by what he did at the time of the first nomination and that he was not called upon to take any steps on the second writ, and the position he took would be affirmed if this House were to find-as to my mind it should-that the second writ was illegally issued. I do not think that the hon. the Solicitor General is well advised in saying the position this House would take, if this motion were affirmed, would be a step towards disfranchising the electoral division in question. We have delegated our powers to the courts to decide upon certain questions in contested election cases, and delegated them with great caution. I think it is admitted that this certainly is not one of the questions which could be entertained by the courts upon a contestation of election. But there remains the jurisdiction which always continues in this House. We

are still seized of the question, and, supposing, after having referred this to the Committee on Privileges and Elections and having ascertained the facts to be as stated in this motion and having precedents in law laid before parliament, the House came to the conclusion that that election was improperly held and that the second issuing of the election writ constituted a violation of the privileges of this House, surely the Solicitor General will not deny that it would be in the power of the House to declare the seat vacant and order a new- election.

There are noi authorities absolutely bearing on this point, but I wish to call attention to a passage in Hearn's Government of England on the Independence of the House of Commons. On page 518, I find a passage which bears on this case :

Lord Coke observes that the substance of writs of summons ' ought to continue in their original essence without any alteration or addition unless it be by Act of parliament, for if original writs at the common law can receive no alteration or addition but by Act of parliament, a multo fortiori, the writs for the summons of the highest courts of parliament can receive no alteration or addition by act of parliament.' This principle seems to date from the latter part of the reign of Edward III., the period at which the development of the House of Commons becomes distinct.

For my own part, outside of any other considerations whatever, I would urge that this matter be referred to the Committee on Privileges and Elections, because I consider that if we allow these proceedings to pass without investigation, the ultimate result will be to lay the foundation for serious invasions of rights which have been acquired to us by the people of England after struggles, the ,importance of which I am afraid we do not fully realize.

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IND

Leighton Goldie McCarthy

Independent

Mr. LEIGHTON MCCARTHY (North Sim-coe).

In dealing more particularly, Mr. Speaker, with what my hon. friend has said in concluding his remarks, >it appears to me that the question which touches the very heart of the subject under discussion is this. Ho we or do we not recognize the responsibility which we, as a House of; Commons, have in connection with the elections of members to this House ? In 1873 the House of Commons saw fit to divest itself of all authority in respect' of certain matters. And in doing so, it delegated to the courts certain jurisdiction in connection with controverted elections. What powers did we exactly delegate ? They are contained in section 5, chapter 9 of the Revised Statutes of Canada, which reads as follows :

Petitions complaining of the undue return or undue election of a member, or of no return, or of a double return, or of any unlawful act by any candidate not returned by which he is alleged to have become disqualified to sit in the House of Commons at any election, may be presented to the courts by any one or more of the following persons:

That created the jurisdiction which our courts possess. Are the words of the statute sufficiently comprehensive to enable the courts to dispose of the question we are now discussing ? To decide this question, we must put aside controverted facts, and analyse this resolution so as to determine what are the questions which come before us to be disposed of. It seems to me that there are but two questions. One is : Was the writ issued on the 10th November a valid one or was it not ? If the writ was a valid one, there is no doubt that the gentleman who occupies a seat in this House as representing Nipissing was properly returned.

The other question is : if the writ was not valid, where is the relief to he obtained ? Where should we place the right to obtain that relief ? I submit that under section 5 of the statute I have quoted, the courts are vested, beyond the shadow of a doubt, with jurisdiction in the matter and are competent to give relief. If there was not a valid writ issued, then there was an undue return and the election of Air. McCool could he attacked in the courts under the section I have quoted in the Controverted Elections Act. His election was not attacked, and his election by acclamation went pro confesso, so far as the Ontario courts are concerned. Under these circumstances, are we going to adopt the principle that every election in which any question with regard to the return of a member of this House comes up, is to be investigated by the Committee on Privileges and Elections ? If we are, then any hon. friend from Hastings is right, but if we are not, then we must support the position taken by the hon. the Solicitor General. If we are to constitute ourselves an election committee or a forum for the investigation of election cases, although such cases come dearly within the jurisdiction given our courts by the Controverted Elections Act, then my hon. friend has made out a case. But if we should do this, we would be clearly acting contrary to our own legislation. We have given the courts jurisdiction in these matters. We did so advisedly, and in this we followed the policy adopted in England, which policy has worked satisfactorily in both countries. That being the case, and these hon. gentlemen not having brought the matter before the courts and there contested the return of Mr. McCool, they are debarred from asking this House to enter upon an investigation. If any dishonest irregularity appeared, committed by the returning officer, who is an officer of this House, that would he a question competent for ns to discuss, and with that I will deal later, hut we have here the statement of the court that it would not deal with the matter on a petition presented to it, because the question submitted was one within the proper competence of the House of Commons and not of the court. What then was the question before the

court on that occasion and with what did the court decline to deal ? It was a petition brought by Mr, Klock against the returning officer, Sheriff Varin. The judges pointed out that that petition asked that the seat be given to Mr. Klock and they said : ' But if we should do this, where is Mr. Klock going to sit ? Is he going to sit in the lap [DOT]of Mr. McCool ? Because until the seat of Mr. McCool is vacated, Mr. Klock cannot be seated.' That seems reasonable, and it was the pronouncement of the learned Chancellor of Ontario, and I give his dictum at all events as being worthy of the most serious consideration. It is a dicta from two judges who constituted that court, for what it is worth. The proper proceeding was to attack the [DOT]election of Mr. McCool on the ground that it was an undue return which gave him the seat he at present occupies. If that is so, the position of the hon. member for East Hastings (Mr. Northrup) is absolutely untenable. There cannot be, so far as that petition is concerned, any adjudication by that court as against the sitting member, because the sitting member was not a party to that petition ; he was not served, he was not named. Had he been named, and had the proper proceeding been taken by the gentleman, it is possible that Mr. McCool's seat might have been vacated ; or it might not, according to the decision of the judges. But, they have not seen fit to do that. They say : 'We will let that- go; we might have attacked the seat within forty days of Mr. McCool's return by acclamation, but we would rather proceed with what has since proved an abortive proceeding, because it was not instituted properly in the first place. They chose their remedy, they decided to proceed in this way in the hopes of doing what ? In the hopes of acquiring the seat for Mr. Klock by acclamation, and not to acquire it by a fair fight. There is no doubt, it cannot be disputed-in fact, my hon. friend from East Hastings, I believe, stated it in opening his case-that up to the 31st of October, when nominations would have been properly had under the first writ, Mr. McCool was in North Bay with his money and papers prepared to be nominated. Mr. Klock also was there with his money and his papers, prepared to be nominated. For some reason, namely, as alleged, that the returning officer was concealed in his house, the nomination could not be properly effected. The courts held that there was, in fact, no nomination, either of Mr. Klock or Mr. McCool on that day. Now, we look to the next step. We find that the returning officer makes a return of that writ. We find that a new writ was issued. The proclamations are posted and a nomination is had. Mr. Klock would not have prejudiced his position if he had been nominated on the second writ to enter the field and fight it out with Mr. McCool, as Mr. Scrlver did in Mr. McCarthy.

the election in Huntingdon, which has been referred to.- But, he preferred to go on with what has turned out to be an abortive proceeding. But if it had not so turned out, it is possible he (Mr. Klock) would have been returned by acclamation. The court has held that they cannot seat Mr. Klock until the seat of my hon. friend (Mr. McCool) is vacated. Now, what is sought here? It can be but one thing in the first instance, viz., to have it declared by this House that the second writ was invalid, and that the seat now held by Mr. McCool is, therefore, vacated. Does any hon. gentleman in this House mean to allege that section 5 of chap. 0 of the Revised Statutes of Canada does not give jurisdiction to the courts to settle that question ? And, if it does give that jurisdiction, are we not now being asked to do something which we should not be asked to do, viz., to investigate something the power to investigate which we have delegated to the courts and so divested ourselves of ? When I say that we have divested ourselves of that power, I do not wish to be taken by any hon. gentleman as saying that the House has not jurisdiction, for I hold that we have jurisdiction-we are all powerful in such matters. But if, after a general election, this House should undertake to refer to the Elections and Privileges Committee every election concerning which any hon. gentleman chose to move a motion, we should do nothing but try election petitions. No deposit is required to go to that committee ; none of the machinery is provided that is necessary under the Controverted Elections Act in the trial of petitions. You go there without expense. It has been thought, in the wisdom of this parliament, that a limit should be put to petitions against members who have been elected. In their wisdom-whether rightly or wrongly, and if wrongly we should amend it-a deposit is required, and safeguards are thrown about the men who are elected, as against what might be termed persecution by persons who, for reasons of their own, might decide to persecute them in this House. The hon. gentleman says that you go to the Election and Privileges Committee to have a judicial investigation. I trust that if this case should reach the committee, there will be a judicial investigation. But, we have had investigations before committees of this House where we have been told that the rules of evidence did not apply ; we have been told that you may let in everything regardless of the rules of evidence adopted by the courts. If that rule were to be adopted in an investigation of this kind, is there any hon. member who would like to have his seat attacked in that way ? Would not any hon. gentleman whose seat is so attacked say : You had your remedy in the courts, you might have filed a petition within forty days and put up your deposit ; and. in that case, you would have been bound by the rules of evi-

deuce, and the way that witnesses are called wonld have been limited by the rules of the court ? That is the way we have limited the right to contest elections

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CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

Is my hon. friend (Mr. McCarthy) of the opinion that the courts wonld have the right to investigate the right of the Crown to recall the writ ?

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IND

Leighton Goldie McCarthy

Independent

Mr. MCCARTHY.

They have the right, under section 5 of chap. 9, Revised Statutes of Canada, to investigate whether the writ under which an election has been held was valid or invalid. If the writ is invalid the election is void or voidable, and can be voided by proceeding in the regular way. That being so, the courts certainly had jurisdiction, and I do not think we should interfere with their rights, or we shall open a door that will let in upon us some very dangerous practice. But, my hon. friend (Mr. Northrup) may say : We want you to investigate the action of the returning officer. The returning officer is a servant of this House-that has been put beyond any shadow of doubt by the courts in Ontario, in the cases referred to by my hon. friend : re Centre Wellington, reported, I think, in 44 U.C., Q.B., and McLeod vs. Noble later on, where it was held that the court had no jurisdiction to restrain the returning officer from returning ballots, &c., to the Clerk of the Crown in Chancery. But, what are we asked to do here ? We are asked to question, not a dishonest act of the returning officer, not to declare that he had made a false return or improperly counted ballots, or anything of that kind, his proceeding upon the writ is alleged to have been erroneous _ or wrong. It is entirely a legal proposition, one that requires no more evidence to dispose of. Either the writ was regular and right and he proceeded properly, or it was not. As a legal question, we have sufficient evidence adduced before the court and now before this House in the return of the evidence brought before the Hon. Chancellor Boyd and Mr. Justice McMahon, to dispose of that question. [DOT] Why should we be called upon to go a step further ? We have the remedy as against any returning officer who does not do his duty* or who exceeds his duty-or, to put it more distinctly and clearly, who works a wrong. Section 19 of the Dominion Elections Act. 03 and 04 Vic., chap. 12, gives you a remedy and a right in these words :

Every officer and clerk who is guilty of any wilful misfeasance or any wilful act or omission in violation of this Act, shall forfeit to any person aggrieved by such misfeasance, act or omission a sum not exceeding $500, in addition to the amount of all actual damages thereby occasioned to such persons.

Now, if any person, by reason of the conduct of the returning officer in this case, has suffered damage, he may appeal to the proper courts in Ontario and recover Hint damage, plus $500 penalty.

116* '

Mr. LaRIVIERE. The hon. gentleman speaks about privileges accorded to the province of Ontario. Are they confined exclusively to that province ?

Mr. MCCARTHY, i did not speak of any privileges accorded to the province of Ontario, I said that this parliament has provided that a penalty of $500 and all actual damages may be recovered, and as this alleged damage was suffered in the1 province of Ontario, your cause of action would have to be tried in that province. I thought the hon. gentleman would be astute enough to observe that as I passed.

Mr. LaRIVIERE. Thanks for the compliment.

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IND

Leighton Goldie McCarthy

Independent

Mr. MCCARTHY.

Now, since any elector or any person injured has, under that section of the Act, a remedy and a right to recover any damage he may have suffered plus the $500, why should we investigate ? If it is for the purpose of ascertaining whether that writ was illegally issued, we require no investigation. The facts are before us, undisputed and admitted, that a writ was issued for an election to be held on the 7th of November, the returning officer did not carry that out, but made a special return to it, and subsequently another writ was issued, a proclamation was made, the nomination took place and an election was made by acclamation. In order to dispose of that legal proposition and to protect our rights, no investigation, it seems to me, is necessary. These being the only two points, I submit, that come before this House upon this resolution, I am forced to the conclusion that it is the duty of every hon. member to vote against the resolution. In coming to that conclusion I am largely impelled by the fact that if the hon. gentleman from that constituency (Mr. McCool) who occupies the seat in this House, does not represent the true sentiment of his constituency, why do not the aggrieved parties file a petition and contest his seat ? But no elector has come forward to do that. Therefore, the rights of the electors of that constituency have not been jeopardized, and that hon. gentleman, in my humble judgment, must be considered as representing the true sentiment of that constituency. And if he does improperly represent his constituency, the defeated candidate, the gentleman who filed the petition, the gentleman who spent money in contesting the seat, likewise under our Act had a right to contest that election, and he did not do it. Now, we are asked by this resolution to have an investigation under these circumstances in order to protect the rights of the House of Commons. It seems to me that we would be much more effectually protecting our rights, having delegated to the courts the right and duty of investigating just such cases as this, if we were to say to these gentlemen who say they have "a

grievance : We liave provided courts for the especial purpose of trying these cases, you must go to those courts for auy relief you may he entitled to, and which in my humble opinion, ought not to be obtained in any other way.

At six o'clock House took recess.

After Recess.

The House resumed at eight o'clock.

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CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY COMPANY.


House in committee on Bill (No. 26) respecting the Canadian Pacific Railway Company.-Mr. Fortin.


LIB

Thomas Osborne Davis

Liberal

Mr. DAVIS.

Mr. Chairman, before the preamble is adopted, I want to say that some of the members of the House were not at the Railway Committee when this Bill was passed, because, I think there had been a change in the time when the committee was called. We were, therefore, not in a position to place our views before the committee when the Bill was up for consideration; otherwise we would not now depart from the -usual custom by bringing this question before the Committee of the Whole House. We have asked from time to time to have this Bill stand over for the purpose of moving an amendment. I understood that the parties who are promoting the Bill had agreed to the conditions that we had asked to have inserted in it, and before it goes any further I would like to ask the hon. gentleman (Mr. Fortin) who has the Bill in charge if he lias any knowledge of anything of the kind.

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LIB

Thomas Fortin

Liberal

Mr. FORTIN.

I do not understand exactly to what the hon. gentleman (Mr. Davis) refers. If he refers to the amendment which was proposed in the Railway Committee and which was adopted at the suggestion and at the request of the hon. Minister of Public Works (Hon. Mr. Tarte), I may say that the amendment is embodied in the Bill as reported to the House. I would be glad if the hon. gentleman would explain if he wants anything further.

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LIB

Thomas Osborne Davis

Liberal

Mr. DAVIS.

It was generally understood that we were to have an additional amendment to the Bill, and I will read the amendment which we propose to have added ;

And has also constructed and put in operation from its main line at or near Moosomin, or from the present western terminus of the Great North-west Central main line, sixty miles of railway towards Fort Qu'Appelie.

While this may appear to the committee to be a little foreign to the subject under discussion, I may say that the principle was adopted in the Railway Committee the other morning in connection with the Crow's Nest Pass Railway Bill of the, what I may term

Mr. McCarthy.

1 holding up ' process. This charter that was under discussion is a charter in which the Canadian Pacific Railway is asking for leave to build a branch to Sifton's Landing. No person lives in the neighbourhood, or if there are any settlers there they are very few in number. Members from the Northwest are greatlv interested in this Bill, and they take the position that when the Canadian Pacific Railway is asking for new charters it is the time to try to do something to secure relief for the settlers by means of the charters that have already been granted by this House. In the Railway Committee the other morning the principle was laid down by some of the ministers and by some of the members, and it was adopted, that when a company was applying for privileges to parliament was the time to hold it up and have the grievances of the people redressed. We are only carrying out the principle as it was laid down by the committee. Take the case of the Crow's Nest Pass Bill which was passed by the Railway Committee the other morning. There was nothing in common between the Crow's Nest Pass Railway Company and the Crow's Nest Pass Coal Company. The railway company was asking for a charter to build a railway from the Crow's Nest Pass coal fields to the boundary line. The coal company is a commercial company, that is dealing in coal the same as auy person would deal in any commodity, but, when this Bill came before the committee the principle was laid down that as the promoters were asking for this power, and as they were interested in both the coal and the railway company, we should hold them up and make the coal company sign an agreement that there should be no discrimination against the interests of the people of British Columbia. I claim that as the Canadian Pacific Railway is asking for a charter for which it has no necessity at the present time, because it is not getting this charter for the purpose of building a road to Sifton's Landing at all, but for the purpose of keeping other companies out and of preventing them from taking up the work, now is the time to demand terms from it. This charter has been asked for by the Canadian Pacific Railway for the express purpose of preventing any other company from floating its bonds, because it is a well known fact that when another company is in possession of the territory and a company wants to build the road and gets a charter, if it wishes to float its bonds in order to secure money for the construction of the road, it would be met by the fact that the Canadian Pacific Railway had a charter for this same ground and it would not be able to float its bonds. I take it that the Canadian Pacific Railway is getting this charter for the express purpose, not of constructing the road, because there is no necessity for the road in the meantime, but for the express purpose of preventing

other parties from getting money for the construction of the road to Sifton's Landing. This is a portion of the Mackenzie & Mann system from Winnipeg to Sifton's Landing, and is on the direct main line of that great transcontinental route. When these people want to get this charter they should be prepared to give the settlers a railway in the territory where they already have a charter. We are asking that they build sixty miles of the Great North-western Central road, and we are asking it on these grounds. We are not asking anything unreasonable at all. When they got an amendment to their charter in the committee room the other morning they agreed to build twenty miles a year for three years, but, we are asking them in place of doing that, to build sixty miles this year in order to give the settlers relief. I have in my hand a petition, sent to me by the settlers in the locality at the head of the road, asking the members representing the west to take up this question and see if they cannot do something to get the Canadian Pacific Railway to extend that road. The Canadian Pacific Railway came down to the House and got a renewal of its charter. I think this road has been under charter for something like eighteen or nineteen years. That time has elapsed since the first charter was granted to the Great North-west Central road. It was handed down from one party to the other. Mr. Charlebois had the charter in the first place. He constructed fifty miles of road and then it got into litigation. People had gone out ahead of this fifty miles and settled for 150 miles beyond the terminus, taking up land on the strength of the charter that had been granted to this company, and on the strength of the clause in the charter which directed the company to build at least twenty miles of the road a year. These settlers have been waiting for years for the building of this road. The facts of the case are that the Charlebois syndicate, or company, came down and got an extension of time and the settlers were, in the meantime, hoping that something would turn up and they would get relief. After Mr. Charlebois, the Canadian Pacific Railway came in and followed out its line of policy in the west, that is the dog-in-the-manger policy of getting hold of railway charters all over the country and not building any roads but preventing other people from building them. The Canadian Pacific Railway acquired this road. When it acquired the road it had no right to assume that it would come here and get an extension of time, but it did assume that, and it got the extension. It came back to this House again and asked for another extension of time. It has been holding that charter for several years, and all it has done is to build twenty miles of road, and we had to wring that twenty miles of road from the Canadian Pacific Railway the same as we have to do in every other case.

It is within the memory of some hon. members in this House, that on a certain occasion when a Bill came up, the western members took strong ground. It was near the end of the session and we had to take the Canadian Pacific Railway by the throat by saying that we would talk the Bill out if we did not get the necessary legislation to compel it to build twenty miles of road. It built twenty miles of road, but, in the meantime, it should have built sixty miles to give settlers relief. If it is not prepared to go on and build that sixty miles it has no right to come here and ask for a charter until it does something with the charters it has got. It is a well known fact that the Canadian Pacific Railway, not only in Manitoba, but in the North-west Territories and also in British Columbia, has charters for thousands of miles of road covering the whole country, or, as we call it in the west, blanket charters. It got a blanket charter from Manitoba last session covering practically the whole of that province. It has this year come down to the House to get an extension of time for the construction of some of its roads in the province of British Columbia. It is coming here continually and asking for extensions of time and is not building the roads. Surely it is not an unreasonable thing, surely no person can be accused of an antipathy to the Canadian Pacific Railway if, in the interests of the settlers of the west, which are opening up, developing and building that country, when he comes here and asks that a company which holds all these charters, covering the whole country, should do something to give the people relief where it is absolutely needed. I have a petition which was sent to me, and I presume to other North-west members, asking us to exert ourselves to get fifty or sixty miles of this road completed this year. I do not like to trespass on the time of the House to read this petition.

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Mr. ILEYD@

Tell us what it is, and do not read it.

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LIB

Thomas Osborne Davis

Liberal

Mr. DAVIS.

I will read it, and you will know more about it. This is it:

The petition of the undersigned humbly showeth :

That we have been petitioning the Ottawa government for railway relief at various times during the past fifteen years.

That, nothing daunted by our former experience, we again approach you with the same object in view, as follows :-

That settlers in the Saltoun, Balcarres, Aber-nethy, Kenlin, Chickney, Lorlie, Pheasant Porks and many other districts have from fifteen to thirty-five miles to freight their wheat and other produce to market ;

That some of the old settlers have been here nineteen years next spring undergoing hardships that only those similarly situated can fully realize ;

That we have been braving it out from year to year in the hope that the near future might hold something in the way of further railway accommodation for us ;

That many farmers throughout this district have an average of at least 5,000 bushels of wheat to market (see names appended) each year, and taking the average distance to market at twenty miles, and the average load fifty bushels, this would total the enormous aggregate mileage for one such farmer to travel in one year to market his 5,000 bushels, up to 4,000 miles ;

Here are some of these farmers raising 5,000 bushels of wheat a year, situated as they are away ahead of the railway, and when they find this company asking for more charters, they naturally think the line should be continued to accommodate them.

That at this rate we would individually travel around the earth in a little over six years, or the aggregate mileage of six and one-half of us would girdle the globe in one year ;

That notwithstanding this enormous drain upon our resources, we are prospering fairly well, showing the splendid natural advantages of the district ;

The country must be remarkably good where people can prosper fairly well under such conditions.

That we notice with pleasure, by your speeches in and out of parliament, that the policy of the present government is to continue assistance to such lines of railway as will open up important new districts, and thereby bring the residents thereof within reasonable access of the world's markets and a multitude of other social and commercial advantages ;

That we look to the extension of the old North-west Central Railway (or some such located line) for relief;

That we are growing old and at times thoroughly heartsick looking and longing for a railway.

Therefore, we respectfully urge upon you our claims for railway relief as above enumerated, and with our hopes again buoyed up by your before-mentioned outlined railway policy, we pray, yes, beseech you to not again dash them to the ground by further delays and postponements.

And your petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray.

This petition is signed by a large number. I suppose nearly a thousand names of actual bona fide farmers and settlers. There is appended to the petition the name of each farmer, the time he went into the country-some of them as far back as 1875-the particular location each is on and the quantity of grain each raised this present year, which totals up to half a million bushels. There are a thousand names, and I venture to say that along the whole of this line they ask a charter for now they cannot find fifty settlers. Surely, it is not too much that we should ask the Canadian Pacific Railway to grant relief to these people. The signers of this petition live outside of my riding, but I presume that they remember that I advocated the extension of twenty miles some years ago, and they have sent me this petition as to some other members. However. I am directly interested in this proposition for the reason that it is chartered into the Saskatchewan district up to Battle-Mr. DAVIS. -

ford, which is the original capital of the North-west Territories, and the country around Battleford has been settled since away back in the 70's. These people are growing old; this original charter was granted eighteen years ago, and the people have been living in hopes of railway communication since. They naturally expect that the North-west members should protest against any more charters, or against any more extensions of time being granted, until the Canadian Pacific Railway extend the lines which they have already charters for. That is not an unreasonable proposition. We like to see the Canadian Pacific Railway building roads, but we do not like to see them holding charters and playing a dog-in-the-manger policy for the express purpose of keeping other people from covering the ground. In place of asking for new charters like this they should extend existing roads. They should take up the Manitoba and North-western, which is on a par with this. Notwithstanding that they absorb the Great North-west Central; they have leased for 999 years, which is tantamount to buying it, the Manitoba and Northwest Railway. That road is in exactly the same position as the Great North-west Central. The people are living ahead of the railway sixty miles, waiting year in and year out for the Canadian Pacific Railway to extend and give them relief. People cannot haul their produce to market fifty miles and farm at a profit. In the interests of this country as a whole, something should be done to compel the extension of these roads before other charters are given. Nearly all the fertile lands have been taken up and we must of necessity open up new lands for the settlers. When new settlers see the history of the railways in that country, when they know that people have gone in ahead of the railways after charters were granted and expecting that these railways would be extended ; when they see those people waiting for twenty-five years and suffering because these railways were not extended, these new settlers will hesitate before they allow themselves to be treated in the same way. I claim that before we renew any charters for this or any other company, we should compel them to work on the charters they have. There are a great many settlers interested in it, and they have asked the members of this House who are supposed to speak in their interest to look after this matter. It is all very well for the company to say that they want time to finance the work; but when two, three, and in some cases four extensions of time have been given. I think it is time in the general interest of the countrv that we should call a halt.

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The MINISTER OF PUBDIC WORKS.

They do not ask for any extension of time.

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LIB

Thomas Osborne Davis

Liberal

Mr. DAVIS.

For the benefit of the bon. Minister of Public WTorks, I want to say that

if the principle announced in the Railway Committee the other morning of holding up a company is to be carried out to its logical conclusion, then it is right to hold up this company as well as others. The Crow's Nest Pass Coal Company had no more to do with the British Columbia Southern Railway Company than night had with morning ; but if it was right in that case to hold up the British Columbia Southern people until some concessions were got from the Crow's Nest Pass Coal Company, surely it is equally right that we should hold up the Canadian Pacific Railway in the interest of over a thousand settlers who have signed that petition, and ask that these people should get some relief before this Bill is passed. There are people settled not only for fifty miles along that road, but there are settlers away off a couple of hundred miles beyond Bat-tleford who have been anxiously waitiug for twenty years for that road, and we should now see that some of it is built. The company have already agreed to build twenty miles of the road in three years ; that I think is embodied in the charter passed the other day. All we ask them now to do is to agree to build sixty miles in one year, so as to give these settlers relief. That is not an unreasonable proposition. Surely a great financial concern like the Canadian Pacific Railway Company, if they are well disposed towards the settlers, will not find at hard to finance that extent of road. In the Bill they are asking for large bonding powers. They have already large bonding powers as well as large land grants for other roads. 1 bolieve a portion of the land grant of the North-west Central has been cancelled ; but they have acquired the Manitoba and North-western by lease, and at the same time I suppose they acquired the land grant of that road. Instead of locating the land, they got land warrants which enabled them to blanket whole districts, so that the asset in the shape of land with which we expected to construct railways in the future has been handed over to these people. If the company would agree to build these sixty miles this year, we would have no objection to letting this Bill go through ; but we strongly object to their getting this charter until they do something for the people in that district. When the Bill was before the committee on the first morning, there was a very wise amendment moved in the interest of the settlers by the Minister of Railways, to the effect that this company should not exercise the right granted under this charter until they built a railway to Gimli, and that amendment is now embodied in this Bill. It was explained that large numbers of Icelanders have been settled in the neighbourhood of Gimli for many years, and that there was no railway there and they toad no means of getting their products to market. The hon. member for Selkirk (Mr. McCreary), who represents that constituency, spoke strongly

in the interest of the settlers, and the Minister of Railways moved that amendment in order to give those people relief, before the company build the extension to Sifton's Landing, for which there is no more need than there is for a railway to the moon, as ittoere are no people living there, and the land is swampy. As the Minister of Railways gave his assistance to secure relief for the Icelanders around Gimli, I hope he will do the same for the people in whose interest I am speaking. I understood that the Canadian Pacific Railway people had agreed to sign an undertaking to build the sixty miles of .road this year, instead of spreading the work over three years ; but when we come to the House to-nigtot, we find that no such undertaking has been signed. We are naturally suspicious of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company, as the Minister of Public Works was of the Crow's Nest Coal Company the other day, and I think we are perfectly justified in holding up this Bill until an agreement to that effect is signed. I would like to ask the member in charge of this Bill if he can tell us whether the Canadian Pacific Railway Company have intimated that they are willing to agree to this proposition.

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LIB

Thomas Fortin

Liberal

Mr. FORTIN.

This Bill was fought by the hon. member for Saskatchewan (Mr. Davis) and some other members from the North-west when it was before the Railway Committee. Suggestions and requests were made, and finally, after a great deal of discussion, an amendment suggested by the hon. Minister of Railways and supported by the hon. Minister of Public Works, was accepted and is embodied in the Bill. Without admitting for one moment that there is not an answer and a good answer to all that has been said by the hon. member who has just taken his seat, I may say that there is reason to believe that an agreement might be reached between the interested parties. Therefore, reserving the opportunity to answer what has been said by the hon. member, I would simply move that the committee rise, report progress, and ask leave to sit again.

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The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS.

Before this question is put, I want to say a word. This Bill was thoroughly threshed out in committee after a long discussion. An amendment was moved by my hon. colleague, the Minister of Railways, to which I agreed. The preamble of the Bill was carried. The gentlemen from the North-west, my hon. friend from Selkirk (Mr. McCreary) and others, although the preamble of the Bill was adopted, insisted in the committee that the Canadian Pacific Railway should build a certain line of railway. Although it was a very unprecedented proceeding, that was agreed to, and the Bill was passed with this amendment. Now we are confronted with another amendment asking that the

Canadian Pacific Railway build another railway in another direction this year-sixty miles, nothing less. X do not know whether the Canadian Pacific Railway has agreed to tills or not, and I do not particularly care, but I must remind my hon. friends from the North-west that they are asking us to adopt a proceeding which has never before been adopted by this parliament. I am speaking to them in a most friendly way, but they must not forget that it is impossible for us to put aside all the rules that have been so far followed in this parliament. The North-west is a very great part of the country indeed, but there are other parts of the country which have every possible interest in maintaining some rules and some law. They are asking us to put aside our invariable rule. I have been a long time here, and have never seen anything like this before. My hon. friends are very jealous for the settlers, and to that I do not object, but when a Bill has been adopted and passed by the Railway Committee, it is customary here to let it go through without any more debate. What are our friends doing ? They are simply trying to annul the verdict rendered by the Railway Committee. They are asking the Canadian Pacific Railway to build, not only the branch line that was agreed to before the committee. but another railway, before they can get this Bill through. Whether the Canadian Pacific Railway agrees to this or not, I do not know, but our friends from the Northwest are going very far indeed. My hon. friend has used words that I must resent, and resent at once. He has accused those of us who have been insisting that the Crow's Nest Pass Company adopt, as a condition of its charter, that the Canadian consumers shall be supplied with coal without any discrimination in favour of the Americans, of holding up that company. I am one of those who have insisted with some energy on that point, and have never held anybody up yet, and those who share my view-and they are the great majority of the House-are not people who would hold up anybody. We do our duty to the best of our ability, and in this case I do not feel that we are holding up anybody. Nor do I accuse my hon. friends of holding up any one. They are doing what they believe to be their duty, but they must not forget that there are rules which cannot be violated, even when the Canadian Pacific Railway is in court. I cannot understand why our hon. friends from the North-west are always so hostile to the Canadian Pacific Railway. It is a great corporation which the Canadian nation has built for the benefit, to a very large extent, of our friends in the Northwest. WTe have imposed on ourselves great sacrifices in the past, and while we must not give this great corporation any privileges, it is not in the public interest, it is not in the interest of this Canadian nation, that the only great transcontinental railway we Mr. TARTE.

have, should be always accused and traduced as it is in this parliament.

Coming back to this Bill, I see that my hon. friend from Laval (Mr. Fortin) has agreed to let it stand. I suppose he has been authorized to do so, but for my part I am very sorry he has agreed to that, because it is time for us to know whether, when a Bill like this has been adopted by the Railway Committee, it is to be rejected by the House.

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LIB

Thomas Osborne Davis

Liberal

Mr. DAVIS.

I just want to say in reply that the same extraordinary course which the minister accuses us of taking in connection with this Bill, was taken in the Railway Committee the other morning. I do not say whether it was wise or unwise to hold up the Crow's Nest Pass deal. I believe it was wise, but I was merely following out the precedent there set, and I think it is all right that we should ask the Canadian Pacific Railway to do something to protect the settlers when they come to us and ask for something. The hon. gentleman says that the Canadian Pacific Railway has been traduced in the North-west Territories.

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The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS.

I did not say that.

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April 24, 1901