That the name of Mr. Wallace be added to the Select Standing Committees on Agriculture and Colonization and Railways, Canals and Telegraph Lines, to take the place of that of Mr. Edwards.
Bill (No. 210) respecting the Nipissing and Ottawa Railway Company.-Mr. Campbell. Bill (No. 213) to incorporate the Citizens' Bank of Canada.-Mr. Clarke. Bill (No. 210) respecting the Midway and Vernon Railway Company.-Mr. Galliher.
SELECT STANDING COMMITTEES.
Motion agreed to.
RAILWAY ACT, 1903.
House again in committee on Bill (No. 21) to amend and consolidate the laws respecting railways-The Minister of Railways and Canals.
Sir WILLIAM MULOCK.
On section 271,
I would like to ask the Minister of Railways what provision is made iu this Bill to insure that the privileges now enjoyed by commercial travellers as to fares, shall be continued? There is apparently a misapprehension existing among these gentlemen respecting the effect which this Bill would have on their existing privileges.
That would come under section 275. These gentlemen sent a delegation to meet me and I had the opportunity of hearing them. I told them that when the Bill came before the committee I would propose an amendment in accordance with their wishes, and I purpose doing so when we reach that section.
That is quite satisfactory. These gentlemen laboured under a misapprehension in regard to the matter, and that is why I brought it to the attention of the minister. -
The hon. member for Lincoln (Mr. Lancaster) told me when he was leaving on Friday night that he had an understanding with the minister that this Bill would not be proceeded with. While the hon. gentleman did not ask me to do anything in the matter, I think it right to mention it to the minister.
The hon. gentleman (Mr. Lancaster) spoke to me concerning certain clauses of the Bill which have been left in abeyance ; particularly the cattle-guard clause. I tokl him I would not take up these clauses in his absence, and I do not propose doing so. I hope, however, to get along with some clauses that are not controversial, and if any clauses should be passed which the hon. gentleman (Mr. Lancaster) wishes to deal with, I have no objection that they should be returned to.
I have no doubt that that arrangement will be satisfactory. As regards this clause 27], I do not find that there is a precedent for it in any existing legislation, and I would submit with all due deference that the word ' reasonable ' can have no reasonable place in that clause.
The word ' reasonable ' occurs in the existing law, and practically the same provision as this has been in operation for a great many years and has caused no trouble or inconvenience.
I would suggest to the minister that there should be a reference printed in the Bill to show whether or not these sections are in the existing law.
We could do that.
If the word ' reasonable ' appeared in this enactment for the first time it would be necessary to give it very careful consideration.
On section 273-filing and publication of joint tariffs,
Hon. Mr. HAGGART.
This section seems to introduce a new principle into the Act, that is, not allowing a company to charge lower rates than the rates approved of by the board. I think the companies ought to be allowed to charge lower rates provided they do not discriminate against individuals or places. If the company think it is to their interest, perhaps at a particular season of the year, when they are competing with water transportation, to charge lower rates than those fixed by the board, why should they not be allowed to do so ?
i.M) CANALS. In cases in which it is necessary that the company shall act promptly, that is to say, in all cases where the rates require to be fixed for competitive purposes, that is allowed. But where there is ample time, it has been deemed proper and reasonable that the company should prepare their tariff, notify the board, and give them a copy of the tariff. The board is thus put in possession of the intentions of the company. It is to enable the board to keep close supervision over, the railways, and to have always before them knowledge of what is going on, that this provision is made. There is ample opportunity in ordinary transactions for them to do this. In extraordinary and emergency cases there is not, and therefore we have made it permissible for the railway companies, under what they call the competitive tariff, to make their tariff on the instant; and all they have to do is to forward that tariff at once, so that it may be known to the board that such a tariff on a competitive basis has been made.