July 8, 1903

CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

Why is the need so urgent for passing these now ? We have only just reached the 1st of July, the financial year has only ended, and payments for the current year will not require to be made so early.

Topic:   INTERIM SUPPLY BILL.
Permalink
?

The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

The invariable practice is, after resolutions have passed their various stages, to collect them in the first Supply Bill. We do not need the whole of them at once, I grant; if we had one-fifth of the whole it would be ample; but inasmuch as they have passed the committee, they are all included in the Bill. It is the usual course.

Topic:   INTERIM SUPPLY BILL.
Permalink
CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

I regard the principle as an unsound one. The minister says we are adopting the usual course. It is a very unusual course. It is a very rare occurrence to pass a portion of the Supply Bill before the close of the session. I think I remember a few times when a small portion was voted, but it was only when the session was extended far beyond the usual length. You have practically the whole Supply Bill granted except a few items, so that at any time the government might avail themselves of the powers reserved to them without the permission of the House, and even though the opposition were not satisfied. It gives the control of the House into the hands of the government, I think improperly and unwisely for the safety of the country. I think we are establishing a very bad precedent.

Topic:   INTERIM SUPPLY BILL.
Permalink
?

The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

I hope my hon.'friend will find, on examination, that we are not establishing any bad precedent ; and if it will make him any more bappy, I think I may go so far as to assure my hon. friend-though I would prefer that this came from the premier-that this House will not be dissolved before we proceed again in Committee of Supply. But as to the principle involved, it is not unusual to have a vote on account. It has been done time and again when the House has found itself in session after the 1st of July. If we had not passed any items in the estimates at all, we would have asked for one-fifth of everything; but it happens that a certain portion of the estimates had been dealt with, and they are included. Soon after the beginning of July, claims will come in, some of them very urgent, though not in every department; but it is convenient to take one-fifth of the whole rather than submit the

Topic:   INTERIM SUPPLY BILL.
Permalink
LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Hon. Mr. FIELDING.

estimates of the particular departments in which these urgent claims occur. Before this House will complete the Supply Bill, it will be necessary to pay certain claims. Take, for example, the Militia Department; there is urgent need for the payment of the militia now in camp. The course we are taking is with the single desire to meet the convenience of the public service, and there is no such danger as my hon. friend imagines.

Topic:   INTERIM SUPPLY BILL.
Permalink
CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

If only one fifth were taken, it would not be so objectionable; but you have the whole of the supplies for public works, for railways and canals, for customs, and when this Bill goes through you will have practically the Supply Bill for the current year, though one of the main features of your policy, that with reference to the transcontinental railway scheme, is not yet before parliament. We are voting the supplies that will put us under the control of the government for the next year whether we will or not. Suppose we saw fit, after the government had submitted their policy to the House and the country, to refuse the Supply Bill. We could not help ourselves, because we have only held back a very small portion; and I regard it as an abandonment of the proper functions of the opposition to allow that to be done. I could understand the government requiring a small portion to keep the business of the country running; but I cannot understand why they should have practically' the whole of the supplies for the current year for public works, for railways, for canals, for militia, for customs, and other departments. After we have voted them, we are at the mercy of the government.

Topic:   INTERIM SUPPLY BILL.
Permalink
?

The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

My hon. friend is wrong in assuming that we have taken so much of the estimates. As a matter of fact, a very large portion of the estimates have yet to be dealt with. We have not yet taken a penny of the estimates for railways, or for canals, or for the Interior Department, except for the past year.

Topic:   INTERIM SUPPLY BILL.
Permalink
CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

We passed several items yesterday in connection with the Intercolonial Railway.

Topic:   INTERIM SUPPLY BILL.
Permalink
?

The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

My hon. friend is mistaken. The Minister of Railways and Canals has not yet passed his estimates at all. These large spending departments have yet to bring the great bulk of their estimates before the House. The House will have ample opportunity of sitting in judgment on the expenditures of the government, and I have no doubt my hon. friend will avail himself of it.

Bill reported, read the third time, and passed.

Topic:   INTERIM SUPPLY BILL.
Permalink

RAILWAY ACT 1903.


House again in committee on Bill (No. 21) to amend and consolidate the, law respecting railways.-The Minister of Railways and Canals. On section 184, The MINISTER OF RAILWAYS AND CANALS proposed to add subsection 2 to this section as amended : But nothing in this section shall deprive any such company of rights conferred upon it by any special Act of the parliament of Canada or amendment thereof passed prior to the present session of parliament. Amendment agreed to. Mr. HENDERSON moved that the following words be inserted: Af-ter the word * town ' where it occurs in the section as amended, ' or ether municipality.' Amendment negatived, on division. Section as amended agreed to. On section 192-construction of telegraph and other lines on the highway.


?

The MINISTER OF RAILWAYS AND CANALS.

I move that the following be inserted as section 192 :

The company may construct and operate telegraph and telephone lines upon its railway for ohe purposes of its undertaking ; and for the purpose of operating such lines or exchanging and transmitting messages, may enter into contracts with any companies having telegraph or telephone powers, and may connect its own lines with the lines of, or may lease its own lines to any such companies.

2. The company may transmit messages for the public and collect rates or charges therefor, but no rates or charges shall be demanded or taken for the transmission of any message, or for leasing or using the telegraphs or telephones of the company, until such rates or charges have been approved of by the board, and such rates and charges shall be subject to revision by the board.

3. The Electric Telegraph Companies Act shall apply to the telegraphic business of the company.

And also that the heading of the section be amended to read ' Construction of telegraph, telephone and other lines or wires.'

Topic:   INTERIM SUPPLY BILL.
Subtopic:   RAILWAY ACT 1903.
Permalink
IND

William Findlay Maclean

Independent Conservative

Mr. MACLEAN.

Is it intended under this clause to control the telegraph rates of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company ? They have now a telegraph company and are doing a large business. They also have a clause in their special charter, I believe, which takes their rates out of the control of parliament for a certain time. Will those rates be subject to the control of the Governor in Council under this clause ?

Topic:   INTERIM SUPPLY BILL.
Subtopic:   RAILWAY ACT 1903.
Permalink
?

The MINISTER OF RAILWAYS AND CANALS.

We are not dealing only with those lines established in connection with the railways.

Topic:   INTERIM SUPPLY BILL.
Subtopic:   RAILWAY ACT 1903.
Permalink
IND

William Findlay Maclean

Independent Conservative

Mr. MACLEAN.

But the Canadian Pacific Railway Company has a line.

Topic:   INTERIM SUPPLY BILL.
Subtopic:   RAILWAY ACT 1903.
Permalink
?

The MINISTER OF RAILWAYS AND CANALS.

We are not dealing with that, and I would certainly not propose to interfere with any contract made on the subject.

Topic:   INTERIM SUPPLY BILL.
Subtopic:   RAILWAY ACT 1903.
Permalink
IND

William Findlay Maclean

Independent Conservative

Mr. MACLEAN.

I think the hon. minister must have misunderstood me. He is taking control of the rates of other telegraph lines of railway companies doing public business. Does this apply to the telegraph lines of the Canadian Pacific Railway so as to provide that their rates shall be subject to the Governor in Council ?

Topic:   INTERIM SUPPLY BILL.
Subtopic:   RAILWAY ACT 1903.
Permalink
?

The MINISTER OF RAILWAYS AND CANALS.

My own impression is-I do not wish to be understood as speaking positively-that the Canadian Pacific Telegraph Company is a separate and distinct corporation from the railway company. If that is so, we are not dealing with it here.

Topic:   INTERIM SUPPLY BILL.
Subtopic:   RAILWAY ACT 1903.
Permalink

Amendment agreed to. On section 193-telegraphs and telephones,


?

The MINISTER OF RAILWAYS AND CANALS.

I have endeavoured to meet the wishes of that portion of the House who sympathize to some extent with the motion made by the hon. member for East York (Mr. Maclean). I move the following as section 193 :

Whenever any municipality or corporation has the power to construct, operate and maintain a telephonic system in any district, and is desirous of obtaining telephonic connection or communication with or within any station or premises of the company in such district and cannot agree with the company with respect thereto, such municipality or corporation may apply to the board for leave therefor, and the board may order the company to provide for such connection or communication upon such terms as. to compensation as the board may deem just and expedient, and may order and direct how, when, where and by whom and upon what terms and conditions such telephonic connection or communication shall be constructed, operated and maintained.

Topic:   INTERIM SUPPLY BILL.
Subtopic:   RAILWAY ACT 1903.
Permalink

July 8, 1903