and Telephone Companies. He said : As
appears by the title of this Bill, it is applicable to telegraph and telephone companies. So far as telegraph companies are concerned, it is a mere consolidation of the law now in force with reference to these companies ; and the only change with respect to telegraph companies is a provision for the control of the rates of telegraph companies by the Privy Council. This is a new feature in this Bill. The Bill, I may say, was prepared several months ago by my predecessor, and the intention was to introduce it in the early days of this session, but because of changes that took place, it was necessary for me to have some consultation in order finally to fix the terms in which the Bill is now introduced. In a word, the Bill makes applicable several of the provisions of the Railway Act to telephone and telegraph companies, and it also makes applicable to telephone companies certain provisions of the existing Telegraph Bill. The new features of the Bill are controlled by the Railway Committee of the Privy Council, of the operations of the company and by the Governor General in Council, of the rates to be charged both by telegraph and telephone companies ; and also, regulations for the exchange of business between the different companies. In order to make the Bill one of general application it was necessary to make special reference to existing telephone companies ; that is to say, as the law now stands there is but one telephone company in Canada that is at the present time under the legislative jurisdiction of the Federal parliament, that is the Bell Telephone Company. My desire, as I said a moment ago, is to make this law one of general application, applicable as far as possible to all telephone companies in Canada, and provision has been made in the Bill for that purpose.