April 29, 1901

CON

David Tisdale

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. Mr. TISDALE.

I think some reply should be made to the hon. gentleman (Mr. Maclean), because it is a serious thing to take the position he does in connection with a Bill of this kind. He talks about the hon. member for Lanark (Hon. Mr. Haggart). If we had adopted the strict rule we would have been long before this doing some business that I think requires, at this period of the session, more attention.

Topic:   THE CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY.
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IND
CON

David Tisdale

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. Mr. TISDALE.

It does not matter whether the hon. gentlemen are right or wrong ; if they think they have a grievance, in season and out of season, in spite of the rules of the House, they will ventilate it. If we stood by the rules, and it is usually the wisest way to stand by the rules, we would not possibly have had this discus-

Topic:   THE CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY.
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IND

William Findlay Maclean

Independent Conservative

Mr. MACLEAN.

sion, notwithstanding the fact that hon. gentlemen adopt this way of answering an argument and charge those who differ from them with resorting to technicalities. The rules of the House would not have allowed this discussion if they had been applied, because the hon. gentleman did not give notice.

Topic:   THE CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY.
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LIB
CON

David Tisdale

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. Mr. TISDALE.

If you apply the strict rules of the House, you must speak to the motion, and as there is no notice of an amendment there is nothing before the Chair.

Topic:   THE CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY.
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LIB
?

The PRIME MINISTER.

The motion is to carry the clause.

Topic:   THE CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY.
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IND
LIB

Thomas Barnard Flint

Liberal

The CHAIRMAN (Mr. Flint).

The motion is that the preamble of this Bill be adopted.

Topic:   THE CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY.
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IND

William Findlay Maclean

Independent Conservative

Mr. MACLEAN.

Certainly ; you may discuss anything on this motion.

Topic:   THE CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY.
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CON

David Tisdale

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. Mr. TISDALE.

There is no notice of the amendment given. You may discuss anything in connection with the Bill, but I think I am right if the technical rule were adopted. I will ask for a ruling on that, anyway.

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LIB

Thomas Barnard Flint

Liberal

The CHAIRMAN (Mr. Flint).

I will give the ruling that on the motion to adopt the preamble the discussion is very broad indeed, and it is very difficult to limit it.

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CON

David Tisdale

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. Mr. TISDALE.

That does not settle the matter very well, either way. I was always under the impression that when an amendment is offered, notice is required, which is outside of the broadness of the preamble. However, whichever way that may be, I was going to say that as far as I am concerned, I desire to give the hon. gentleman all the latitude necessary, but I think it is hardly fair, when we take the position as the hon. member for Lanark did, that we should confine ourselves to the merits of the matter before the committee, to be immediately accused of being railway men or of having some particular feeling about the Bill. That is no argument. The reason I rose to speak, was that the hon. member for East York said that the only way to remedy the grievances was for hon. members to band themselves together and to air their grievances. In the first place, that presumes that there is a grievance. I do not see any possible grievance. I think it is a grievance ' upon the members of the House that there should be this unnecessary delay when the matter, as has been explained by a previous speaker, has been absolutely delegated to the largest committee of the House, fully discussed, and voted upon. When that is done that should settle it, at

all events, for one year. The grievance is that after the legislature and that large committee have dealt with the subject that we should be kept here a whole afternoon discussing this matter. Hon. gentlemen

talk about grievances. We are asked now to deal with a matter that has nothing to do with the Bill under consideration. We are asked to change the Act of parliament that has actually gone through after full discussion this session. Hon. gentlemen

stand up in this House and propose that hon. gentlemen should band themselves together. Why should not hon. gentlemen have the courage to get up and express their opinions about what is a grievance and what is not ? I feel that when a large committee and this House have come to a conclusion, when a matter becomes law between individuals, or between individuals and corporations, it should be maintained. It would be ridiculous and humiliating in legislation, if after we make a solemn contract we should be asked to repeal it before that contract is cold. That really is what these hon. gentlemen want to do. A few days ago we passed that charter and we had the parties before Us and we heard the facts. It appeared that some people who had for a long time made no progress under that charter lost the land grant. Some hon. gentlemen here talk as if it were easy to raise money to build roads, especially in new districts, but let them try. Some of these gentlemen from the North-west tell us that the Canadian Pacific Railway Company is so unpopular, that to advocate even their rights

Topic:   THE CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY.
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CON
CON

David Tisdale

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. Mr. TISDALE.

But, the argument advanced is to take away their rights, and if the Canadian Pacific Railway were a thousand times as unpopular as these gentleman say they are, I am one of those who would stand up for the rights they have acquired. I am willing to go out of the House of Commons, and feel I would be more honoured in doing that, than to remain here and give my voice in favour of changing contracts that have been solemnly entered into by this parliament. Let me ask these gentlemen who have so many grievances : Where would Canada be without railways ; where did the money come from

Topic:   THE CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY.
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IND

William Findlay Maclean

Independent Conservative

Mr. MACLEAN.

Where would the Canadian Pacific Railway be without Canada ?

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CON

David Tisdale

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. Mr. TISDALE.

That is dragging a herring across the trail. I hold, Sir, that we should keep good faith with these corporations. no matter what occurs. I am not so much interested in what people think of me, but I do say that I look upon a contract as a solemn thing that is not to be slightly tampered with. If the majority decide against my views, I must accept their opinion, because legislation not only binds the people in favour of a thing, but the people against it as well. I am tired of hearing these contracts spoken of in a joking manner in this parliament. When we make contracts of the greatest importance, it is no joking matter that we should be asked to change them before these contracts are cold. That is a very serious matter. When you talk about railways failing to carry out their contracts, I am with you every time, but I am never with you in trying to break a contract entered into in good faith. Do not give a charter unless you think it is right, and then stick to it. It is a bad way to maintain the credit of Canada for this parliament to break contracts solemnly entered into. In this case you do not say the Canadian Pacific Railway is in default, and yet you seek to add a burden upon a new project of theirs without any argument against the project itself, but because of something that happened in another place. If a railway or other corporation does not carry out its pledges to the country, I would be the first to compel it to do so, but, when it does carry out its agreement, I will always be against you when you seek to deal unfairly with that corporation.

Topic:   THE CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY.
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Some hon. MEMBERS

Hear, hear. '

Topic:   THE CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY.
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CON

David Tisdale

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. Mr. TISDALE.

I would have no objection to be ' hear, beared ' for standing up to advocate the maintenance of what we have agreed to. These hon. gentlemen think they have a grievance-

Mi-. SCOTT. What agreement is the hon. gentleman referring to ?

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April 29, 1901