March 20, 1903

CON

John Graham Haggart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. Mr. HAGGART.

I mean in the parliament of Canada, in the people of Canada, in the Dominion of Canada. When I say ' we ' I am speaking in that sense. When I said ' they ' had the power, I referred to hon. gentlemen opposite as representing the majority and exercising the power of legislation and government.

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L-C

Andrew B. Ingram

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. INGRAM.

I may have misunderstood the hon. Minister of Railways and Canals in his explanation and in some of the answers given to questions that have been asked. We know perfectly well that one of the chief reasons why the people have demanded this commission is the exorbitant character of the rates charged by certain railways. In answer to a questiou as to the long and short haul, the hon. minister has stated that this commission will have the power to remedy grievances with respect to exorbitant rates. But, in answer to a question by the hon. member for South Lanark (Mr. Haggart) the hon. minister was not clear as to whether this commission would have the right to interfere as to the rates on certain local railways. How, then, can they effectively remedy grievances with respect to rates ? We had every reason to hope that this new Bill would cover not only railways but tramways as well. There is a strong belief throughout the country that a large number of tramways will be con-

structed to accommodate the farming community and to serve as feeders for the trunk lines. But this Bill does not give the commission power to deal with the rates on the tramways. Next we find the hon. minister stating that, though this parliament is the highest in the Dominion, and clearly has the right to grant charters to railway companies, yet, even after parliament has granted such a charter, this commission may take the company by the throat and say : You shall not construct that railway until we furnish you with a certificate authorizing you to do so. I for one, as a member of this House, would not feel like so stultifying myself in matters of that kind. Parliament should retain the right to grant or refuse charters, but, once the charter has been granted on the condition that the railway shall be commenced within a certain time and finished within a certain time, the company should be free from interference with regard to that matter by any of the parties whatever. This and other objections, I think, will fairly be raised to this Bill as I find it now. I have not read the Bill, but have only listened to the explanations of the hon. gentleman, and consequently I am not in a position intelligently to discuss it qt this stage, but I hope at a later date to have something more to say about it. In the meantime I may say to the hon. gentleman that he has his hands full in promoting a Bill of that character in this parliament. He will find a great many serious objections to it, and a great many differences of opinion. So far as I am concerned, however, I should be glad to assist the hon. gentleman in any way that I can, though my assistance may not be worth much, in making this a workable Bill.

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Motion agreed to, and Bill read the first time.


CHINESE IMMIGRATION.


The PRIME MINISTER (Rt. Hon. Sir Wilfrid Laurier) moved that the House go into Committee on Tuesday next to consider the following proposed resolution That the House resolve itself into Committee of the Whole on Tuesday next, to consider the following proposed resolution :That it is expedient to amend the 32nd chapter 63-64 Vic., " An Act respecting and restricting Chinese immigration," by providing : 1st. That a tax of $500 shall be imposed on every person of Chinese origin entering Canada. 2nd. That the person in command of, or in charge of, any vessel or vehicle, bringing Chinese immigrants into Canada shall be personally liable to His Majesty, for the payment of the said tax, with respect to any such immigrant carried by such vessel or vehicle. Motion agreed to.


THE MANUFACTURERS' DELEGATION TO THE GOVERNMENT.

L-C

Andrew B. Ingram

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. A. B. INGRAM (East Elgin).

Before the Orders of the Day are called, I would like to ask the Minister of Finance a question ; and in order to make my question

plain I will quote from the government organ in the city of Ottawa, the ' Free Press.' I notice a report in that paper that a deputation of manufacturers waited upon the government and asked for higher protection. I will quote a short paragraph

The Prime Minister promised full consideration of their request. He advised them, however, that they allow their proposed tariff schedule to be made public. Mr. Fielding informed them that any other course would injure their case. He had letters from many manufacturers warning him against the request of the association, and urging that the tariff be left as it stands at present.

I ask the Minister of Finance if he has any objection to lay those letters on the table that he received from manufacturers.

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The MINISTER OF FINANCE (Hon. W. S. Fielding).

In the first place, I desire to point out to my hon. friend that the only organ which the government has in the city of Ottawa is that valuable publication known as the ' Canada Gazette.' For whatever appears in that quarter we are willing to be held responsible. In regard to the other matter, there were some of the papers referred to which I will be pleased at a later stage, or perhaps at an early date, to lay on the Table of the House. The report is not exactly in line with what I said. I said I was aware that a number of letters had been written, some of which I had seen in the hands of members of parliament, taking exception to the proposed action, or what was supposed to be the intended action of the Manufacturers' Association. I stated that I also had some communication myself adverse to what was understood to be the proposals of the Manufacturers' Association. Some of those papers that are not of a confidential character I shall be glad to bring down at once.

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L-C

Andrew B. Ingram

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. INGRAM.

In the words of the hon. gentleman, why are some of them confidential ?

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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

I have received a great many representations from different parts of the country on the tariff question, from time to time, which have been offered and received in confidence. Where the representations relate to the material facts of a man's private business, it might be very inconvenient to have such things made public. In many such cases we have received information in confidence and have kept it accordingly. But where a proposal is made to impose a particular rate of duty on a given article, I think that is not a matter that should be received in confidence, and that we should be free to make it public. That is the view I expressed to the Manufacturers' Association.

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SUPPLY-CANADIAN CATTLE IN GREAT BRITAIN.


The MINISTER OF FINANCE (Hon. W. S. Fielding) moved that the House again go into Committee of Supply.


CON

Adam Carr Bell

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. A. C. BELL (Pictou).

Before you leave the Chair, I wish to give notice that I will move on Tuesday next, or on the first day thereafter when the House is moved into Committee of Supply, the following amendment :-

That in the opinion of this House there is no justification for the application of the Diseases of Animals Act of Great Britain to Canadian cattle.

That Canadian cattle at the time of the passing of said Act and ever since have been free from all contagious diseases.

This House is of opinion that the application of the said Act to Canadian cattle has an injurious effect upon the cattle trade of this country.

This House regrets that the representatives of Canada at the colonial conference utterly failed to obtain any redress or promise of redress for this grievance.

This House further regrets that this government has not succeeded by more vigorous protests, or by other effective steps, in finding means to obtain the removal of the existing unjust restrictions on the sale of Canadian cattle in Great Britain.

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The MINISTER OF FINANCE (Hon. W. S. Fielding).

I would suggest to my hon. friend, though that is a question for him to consider, whether it would be wise to move that as an amendment to Supply. The whole subject is likely to come up, and by bringing it up in the form of an amendment to Supply, unless he has some special purpose in view, he restricts the discussion and obliges us to coniine ourselves to that particular form. If that is his purpose, I cannot object. But if the object is to broaden the whole question, he can find another form of bringing it up. Still, if he proposes to put it as an amendment to Supply, I cannot object to it.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN (Halifax).

The hon. gentleman forgets that last year this very course was adopted, and the government acquiesced in the proposed amendment. I do not know if my hon. friend has any special purpose in view further than that which the hon. gentleman had in view who made a similar motion last year. He is adopting exactly the same course as was adopted last by an hon. gentleman opposite.

_The MINISTER OF FINANCE. But my hon. friend forgets that when the motion came from this side of the House, possibly the hon. gentleman who moved it was more likely to accept an amendment to his amendment, But, if an hon. gentleman moves a similar amendment on the other side of the House, I am not sure that he would be so ready to accept any kindly advice we might give him. However, that is for my hon. friends opposite to consider.

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Motion agreed to, and House went into Committee of Supply. Department of the Interior-Salaries, including E. Deville at $2,800, W. F. King at $2,500 and Otto J. Klotz at $2,300, notwithstanding anything in the Civil Service Act, $119,029.


LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Hon. Mr. FIELDING.

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The POSTMASTER GENERAL (Hon. Sir Wm. Mulock).

The hon. Minister of the Interior (Hon. Mr. Sifton) is not able to be present. He is arranging to go to England, and he asked me to take his estimates for him.

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March 20, 1903