July 14, 1903

OTTAWA VALLEY RAILWAY COMPANY.

CON
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The PRIME MINISTER (Rt. Hon. Sir Wilfrid Laurier).

Explain.

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CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

I wish to give some explanation in regard to this motion. These explanations are somewhat useless to those members of the Railway Committee who have attended the discussion of this Bill ; but I must give the explanation in order to enlighten the House and obtain the favour of this motion. The Ottawa Valley Railway Company was incorporated several years ago, somewhere in the seventies, I think or 'eighties, and began operations by constructing a line from Lachine to St. Andrews. It operated that line for a certain time, when the line was found not to be a paying one and the railway was subsequently transferred, I believe, under some agreement, to the secretary-treasurer of the municipality, who operated it for a certain time. The company applied this year to parliament for power to extend this line from St. Andrews down through the county of Argenteuil by St. Placide, St. Benoit and St. Eustache, crossing a part of the county of Laval and part of the county of Jacques Cartier into the city of Montreal. When the Bill, which was a very simple one- for the line of railway does not extend for more than about forty miles-came up for consideration, several objections were raised. One was that there was a previous charter in favour of another company. But the merit of that objection was not very long sustained. There was, in fact some time before confederation-in 1856, if I mistake not-an Act passed by the old province of Canada, which was subsequently am'ended in 1859-having reference to the Mr. WILSON.

Carillon and Grenville Railway Company, giving that company power to construct a line through the county of Argenteuil, thence to some point in the county of Jacques Cartier near Point Claire or Lachine. The objection based upon this charter was not discovered to be well founded for two reasons. In the first place, the charter has become obsolete. There is no doubt about that. The company organized when the late Sir John Abbott was a young man. and never prosecuted its work and had manifested no intention of carrying the line down in the direction of Montreal. Furthermore, what rights it might have were possessed by the Ottawa River Navigation Company; which Jiad only availed itself of these rights in order to make the connection between Grenville and Carillon and enable the navigation company to overcome the obstacle in its route between Ottawa and Montreal offered by the Grenville rapids. I say that that objection was easily disposed of. Well, the line contemplated, even in 1859 or 1856, as the case may be, went in the direction of Pointe Claire, or in the direction of Lachine, and not at all along the line contemplated by the present statute, which was through St. Placide, St. Benoit, St. Eustache, across Rivifire des Prairies, through the counties of Laval and Jacques Cartier, and into the city of Montreal itself. I will not further detain the House with that objection, which, as I understood, was disposed of at once.

A more serious objection was raised founded upon the Canadian Statutes of 1894. In these statutes, under chapter 63, is found an Act respecting the Atlantic and Lake Superior Railway, and without going into details of that Act, it is sufficient to say, for the purpose of my present argument, that that Act sanctions an agreement entered into between what I may call the celebrated Atlantic and Lake Superior Railroad, and this very railway company, the Ottawa Valley Railway, and under the terms of that agreement, which is schedule D of the Act, chapter 63, of 57-58 Victoria, it would seem that the Ottawa Valley Railway Company had transferred all its rights, powers and franchises to the Atlantic and Lake Superior Railway Company in order to form one of its lines. When that objection was raised I was not prepared to meet it, but delay was given in order that the matter could be looked into as to whether the Ottawa Valley Railway Company really existed any more. In the agreement there were various conditions. The Atlantic and Lake Superior Railway was to transfer, within a delay of sixty days to the Ottawa Valley Railway, as a condition of its acquisition by the first named railway, a certain amount of bonds, a certain amount of shares and a certain amount in cash; failing which transfer within sixty days the agreement, to use the very terms of the schedule, would be null and void, and of no effect. It there-

fore became important to know whether that part of the agreement had been carried out, failing which the whole agreement became null and void and ceased to be in any way an objection against obtaining the powers which we sought by this Act. Proof was given that the agreement had not been carried out, and that therefore it was null and void and could not be invoked against our present application. It is necessary for me to point out that the proof was very complete. It consists in a certificate of the secretary treasurer of the Atlantic and Lake Superior Railway, a party to that agreement, and formulated in the present terms : I hereby certify that the Atlantic and Lake Superior Railway Company did not within the delays mentioned in the agreement entered into with the Ottawa Valley Railway Company, on April 16. 1884, or at any time since making any payment or tender of payment on account of the purchase price mentioned in said agreement, either in cash, shares or bonds or otherwise, nor has the Atlantic and Lake Superior Railway Company ever claimed or had possession of said Ottawa Valley Railway or any part thereof.

Then there was a letter from the president of the Atlantic and Lake Superior Railway to the Hon. J. P. B. Casgrain, who is the attorney of the trustees and of the bondholders of the Atlantic and Lake Superior Railway. In a letter dated the 2nd of July instant, he writes as follows :

Dear Sir,-The question having arisen as to the title of the Ottawa Valley Railway, I am desirous of learning from you at the earliest possible moment whether the trustees which you represent intend to take any steps towards claiming possession of that line.

As you are aware, the line was purchased by this company in 1894, but the conditions of purchase were not carried out by this company and nothing has been paid to the Ottawa Valley Company. Our company has always wished to carry out its obligations but circumstances have prevented it from doing so. Possession has never been taken of the Ottawa Valley Line, and the principal holder of the bonds of the Atlantic and Lake Superior Company assures me that they have no intention of taking any steps towards claiming the property as he does not consider that under the circumstances such steps would in any way benefit the bondholders, if you do not intend to take immediate steps towards claiming possession, the company will do what is considered best in its interests by cancelling the agreement of purchase or as it may be advised. Yours truly,

J. R. THIBAUDEAU, President, Atlantic & Lake Superior Railway Co. On behalf of the Hon. J. P. B. Casgrain, on the 2nd of July, to the Hon. Mr. Thi-baudeau, the following letter was sent: Dear Sir.-We are instructed by the attorney and representative of trustees for the bondholders of the Atlantic land Lake Superior Railway Company, to acknowledge receipt of your letter of this date, and to inform you that he has no instructions from the trustees to act in the matter of the Ottawa Valley Railway Company. Yours faihfully,

McGIBBON, CASGRAIN, RYAN & MITCHELL,

Acting for the trustees for the bondholders.

Mr. McMullen, I may mention, Mr. Speaker, is the president of the Ottawa Valley Railway Company, and on the 2nd of July instant, being in Montreal, he also wrote to the Hon. J. P. B. Casgrain, representative of the bondholders of the Atlantic and Lake Superior Railway Company. These letters were addressed to the Hon. Mr. Casgrain, because he Is at present the only representative of the Atlantic and Lake Superior Railway Company, acting, as he does, for the bondholders. This letter says :

Dear Sir,-A statement having been made before the Railway Committee of the House of Commons that the Ottawa Valley Railway was the property of the Atlantic and Lake Superior Railway Company, under virtue of the deed of agreement between the two companies ratified by the parliament of Canada in 1894, I wish to call your attention to the last clause of that agreement, which provides that the agreement shall be null and void if the purchase price was not paid within sixty days of the ratification of the agreement. No payment of any kind in shares, bonds or cash was ever made and the agreement became null and void and no possession was ever claimed by the Atlantic and Lake Superior Company.

The Ottawa Valley Railway Company would be pleased to transfer its line even now if the Atlantic Company were prepared to pay for it. but without, such preliminary action you can well understand that neither the Atlantic and Lake Superior Company or its bondholders will be allowed to take possession or be in any way recognized as having any rights whatever in connection with this railway.

Yours truly, edgar mcmullen,

President, O. V. R, Co.

On the 2nfi of July an answer was sent on behalf of the trustee for the bondholders in the following terms :

Montreal, July 2, 1903.

Edgar McMullen, Esq.,

President Ottawa Valley Railway Company, Montreal.

Dear Sir,-We are instructed by the attorney and representative of the trustees for the bondholders of the Atlantic and Lake Superior Railway Company to acknowledge receipt of your letter of this date and to inform you that he has no instructions from the trustees to act in the matter of the Ottawa Valley Railway Company,

We remain, faithfully yours, McGIBBON, CASGRAIN, RYAN & MITCHELL.

This was more than sufficient to establish that this agreement entered into in 1894 by the Ottawa Valley Railway Company, or this offer, because it was only an offer practically, to transfer these assets and this franchise to the Atlantic and Lake Superior Railway Company never had any force or effect. There could he no doubt about that anyway, because, upon the allegation made by us that the transfer was never carried into effect, that the cash was never paid, that the bonds or shares were never handed over it would have been the duty of the opponents of this measure to establish that the agreement invoked against us was in

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LIB

Charles Marcil

Liberal

Mr. CHARLES MARCIL (Bonaventure).

I deem it proper to explain why I took objection to this Bill from the very begin-ing. I find in the annual report of the Department of Railways and Canals the statement that the Atlantic and Lake Superior Railway comprises the Baie des Chaleurs Railway; the Montreal Bridge Company; the Great Eastern Railway; and the Ottawa Valley Railway Company. The Baie des Chaleurs Railway runs through my constituency, and its history is familiar to this House, familiar to this country and more especially to the electors whom I have the honour to represent. The scandalous transactions in connection with the Baie des Chaleurs Railway in the past are too numerous to be rehearsed now. The Atlantic and Lake Superior Railway is merely a new name for the old concern. There is at the present time as far as we can ascertain, some $300,000 due to the people of Bonaventure, both Conservatives and Liberals, for right of way, labour and material supplied, and this money is due to poor people for the most part. When I saw that an application was made to this House to revive the Ottawa \ alley charter which is comprised in this Atlantic and Lake Superior scheme,

I thought it was my duty to my constituents to see that this Ottawa Valley line was not taken out of the Atlantic and Lake Superior system and put into another corporation, for the reason that the claims which the people of Bonaventure have are against the entire Atlantic and Lake Superior system which, as I have stated, comprised originally the Baie des Chaleurs section, the

Great Eastern Railway section, the Montreal Bridge section, and the Ottawa \ alley section; the whole forming links in a chain of railway which was to extend from Gaspd Basin to Sault Ste. Marie. The charter has lapsed; this House has refused with full knowledge to revive the charter of the Atlantic and Lake Superior Railway Company. These debts remain unpaid and now an attempt is made to take out portions of this road, to give it new life, to turn it into an electric railway and to give it an entrance into the city of Montreal. The arguments advanced to the House by the member for Jacques Cartier (Mr. Monk) have been laid before the committee by him on two occasions. To-day, seventy-two members were present in the committee when the vote was taken, and by yeas and nays the majority declared that the case presented for this application was not a favourable one. I protest in my own name and in the name of the people I represent against the taking of the Ottawa Valley section out of the Atlantic and Lake Superior system until that concern has satisfied the legitimate debts which are due to mv constituents. As long as this official report of the Railways and Canals Department of Canada shows that the Ottawa Valley section remains a portion of the Atlantic and Lake Superior system, no letter from Mr. Globensky, the secretary of the Ottawa Valley Company, and no letter from Senator Thibaudeau of the Atlantic and Lake Superior Railway Company has weight against the official document which is in possession of members of this House.

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Some hon. MEMBERS

Hear, hear.

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LIB

Charles Marcil

Liberal

Mr. MARCIL (Bonaventure).

So far as Mr. Armstrong is concerned, I may say that if X were to undertake to sketch before this House his doings in the county of Bonaventure, I would occupy most of the afternoon. But I consider that above him I owe a duty to my county, and it was for that reason that I took the stand which I did, and which I was glad to see ratified by the majority of the Railway Committee.

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CON

Joseph-Édouard-Émile Léonard

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. J. E. LEONARD (Laval.) (Translation).

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The MINISTER OF MARINE AND FISHERIES (Hon. Raymond Prefontaine).

There were more than sentimental reasons which guided the committee this morning in deciding as it did on this measure. There are legal objections which in my mind are fatal to the Bill. The first objection is this, that by 55-56 Victoria, chapter 54, the Ottawa Valley Railway Company was incorporated. Under the general Railway Act the company had two years within which to commence its operations and seven years to finish them. This time has expired, and only seven miles of the railway are built, between St. Andrews and Lachute. These seven miles are not in operation, but quite the contrary ; they have been stripped of the rails, and there is only the roadbed left. The first section of that Act of incorporation gives the names of the incorporators : Charles N. Armstrong, W. C. E. Phillips. Robert Watson. Archibald Campbell and A. C. AVurtele. These gentlemen were constituted a company to construct the road. Section 3 provided :

The company may lay out, construct and operate a railway of the gauge of four feet eight and one-half inches from St. Andrews to Carillon. and from Grenville to a point at or near Calumet on the Canadian Pacific Railway, and the undertaking hereby authorized is declared to be a work for the general advantage of Canada.

It is clearly shown by this Act that the construction of this railway was purely and simply a local matter. It is a piece of railway situated entirely in the province of Quebec, and mostly in the county of Ar-gentenil. As I have stated, seven miles of the railway were built between St. Andrews and Lachute, with money received from the parish of St. Andrews, 810,000, and subsidies received from the provincial government and the federal government. In IS94 an Act was passed by this parliament, 57-58 Victoria, chapter 63, by which an agreement entered into between the Atlantic and Lake Superior Railway Company with the Ottawa Valley Railway Company, by which all the rights and privileges of the Ottawa Valley Railway Company were transferred to the Atlantic and Lake Superior Railway Company, was ratified by parliament. Section 2 of that Act provides :

The agreements made and entered into by the Atlantic and Lake Superior Railway Company, for the purchase or lease of the Baie des Chaleurs Railway, the Great Eastern Railway, the Ottawa Valley Railway, and the Montreal bridge, and which are set out in the schedules to this Act, are hereby confirmed and made valid, so far as the respective parties thereto are concerned, and shall in all courts and places be taken and be held to be legal, valid and binding in all respects whatsoever upon the respective parties thereto.

The agreement is incorporated in the Act ns schedule D. So that by that Act the Ottawa Valley Railway Company ceased to exist. It would have ceased to exist according to the genera] Railway Act in seven years after incorporation, that is to say, in 1899. Well, what was to be done ? If these gentlemen who bought out the rights of Mr. Armstrong had really intended to construct this railway it would have 'been very easy for them to have asked for a new Act or an Act to revive the Act of 1892. They are not doing that by this Bill

quite the contrary. They assume by the Bill which was thrown out by the committee this morning that the Ottawa Valley Railway Company is still in existence. They assume, therefore, that they can go on and build. By the first clause of the Bill it is clearly shown what their intention is :

The Ottawa Valley Railway Company, hereinafter called ' the company,' may extend its line from St. Andrews to the city of Montreal, passing through the counties of Argenteuil, Two Mountains. Laval and Jacques Cartier ; and may also build branch lines to St. Cdme and to connect with the Canada Atlantic Railway.

It may be asked, what is the reason that, instead of asking for an Act to revive the charter of 1892, they have proceeded in this way ? The reason is very clear. It is this, that by the original Act, 55-56 Victoria, Chapter 54. the Ottawa Valley Railway Company was authorized to buy the Atlantic and Lake Superior Company, and instead of that, it was the Atlantic and Lake Superior

Company that bought the Ottawa Valley Railway Company so that by assuming to keep this charter in force, they make it appear that the Ottawa Valley Railway Company will buy the Atlantic and Lake Superior Railway Company. These facts seem extraordinary, but they are not extraordinary to anybody who knows anything about Mr. C. N. Armstrong, who is the mainspring of this fake charter. It is not stated in the Bill where the railway is going to run except in a general way. All that is given is the indefinite information that it is to run through these counties. But everybody knows well that the counties of Argenteuil, Jacques Cartier, Two Mountains and Laval are provided with railways. Of course there is not a railway through every parish, but traversing these counties are the Canadian Pacific Railway, Canada Atlantic Railway, Great Northern and the TJnion Jacques Cartier. Besides these, there are electric roads to Montreal from points nearest that city, such as the county of Jacques Cartier. These reasons no doubt had some weight in the opinion of the committee this morning, since it rejected the Bill. But my hon. friend from Jacques Cartier (Mr. Monk) says that the agreement of 1894 was never carried out, and he bases that statement on a certificate to that effect by Mr. Globensky. Well, whether it was carried out or not is a legal question, which, in the opinion of the committee, will have to be decided by the courts. What we have before us is the fact that in the reports of the railway department since 1894, the Ottawa Valley Railway has always been considered as having been merged in the Atlantic and Lake Superior system, and the proof of that is the sworn declaration made year after year by the Hon. J. R. Tliibau-deau, president of the Atlantic and Lake Superior Company. Against this evidence we have only this certificate of Mr. Globensky. Such a certificate is not the best proof. Surely there should be minutes of the meetings of the board of directors of this Ottawa Valley Railway Company, surely there should be some documents to show that they put the Atlantic and Lake Superior Railway Company into default to carry out the agreement stipulated in the statute 57-58 Victoria. But no such proof has been produced before the committee. For these two reasons, this Bill has no legal standing before the House. Such was the decision of the Railway Committee this morning. You cannot take away the rights of the Atlantic and Lake Superior Company to this property, nor can you take away the rights of its creditors. Since 1894 the Atlantic and Lake Superior Company have issued bonds on which certain people have advanced money. These people have not been paid, and a part of their security consists in this privilege of continuing this piece of road and in the seven miles constructed. They are also a guarantee to the creditors who are not

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LIB

Joseph Raymond Fournier Préfontaine (Minister of Marine and Fisheries)

Liberal

Hon. Mr. PREFONTAINE.

bondholders. It is well known that there are in the hands of the Railway and Canals Department at present outstanding claims by labourers, boarding-house keepers, contractors, &c., to the amount of $300,000 against this comjiany. How could it be possible, after the Atlantic and Lake Superior Company have bought this Ottawa Valley Railway Company and issued bonds on that part of the road and contracted debts- how could it be possible for parliament to take away this Ottawa Valley Railway from the system of the Atlantic and Lake Superior, constitute it an independent company, and give it the right to buy back the Atlantic and Lake Superior ? Under the circumstances, there is no cause at all for complaint. If the gentlemen interested in building a railway in that part of the country want to get a charter, it is easier for them to get it by coming to this House than by going to Mr. Armstrong and buying his pretended rights.

As regards Mr. McMullen, I have nothing to say against him, but he has told me that he bought out the rights of Mr. Armstrong, conditionally on a charter being granted, so that Mr. McMullen will not pay anything, because the shares which he has got are worth nothing. But if he wants a charter himself, all he has to do is to make a regular application just as anybody else would do. Reference has been made to my relations with Mr. Armstrong. The hon. member for Jacques Cartier has said that I have been Mr. Armstrong's intimate friend. I beg to deny that in toto, unless you would call an intimate friend a man who tries to ruin you. I, however, am not disposed to call an intimate friend a man who takes my money and will not pay it back. My connection with Mr. Armstrong consists in this, that I was dragged into endorsing a paper for railway enterprises in which he was interested, and beginning with $1,000 and $2,000, I got dragged into the extent of over Vio,000.

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CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

How much did he lose with the hon. minister ?

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The MINISTER OF MARINE A.

,.) FISHERIES. He could never lose anything. He never had a cent to lose in his life. To my knowledge he has judgments against him to the extent of $900,000. He is a very clever man, who can fool men who consider themselves more clever than they are, and he has taken in many people in that way. I am one of his victims, and I am still trying to recoup myself some $25,000 or $26,000 due me by him.

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CON
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The MINISTER OF MARINE AND FISHERIES.

The connection I have with him is due simply to what I have said and I do not want to have anything more to do with him. I wish I had never had anything to do with him, and a great many people

are in the same position. The people of the Baie Des Chaleurs and the south shore of the St. Lawrence wish they had never anything to do with him and his fake enterprises.

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CON
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The MINISTER OF MARINE AND FISHERIES.

What does the hon. gentleman mean ? He had nothing to do with the South Shore. He had something to do with the Montreal and Sorel Railway. He built that railway with subsidies from both governments and money borrowed in England, and never paid anybody. That railway was finally sold by the sheriff. I had nothing to do with it except to try and get the farmers paid for the land he had taken from them to make farm crossings. That Montreal and Sorel line was bought by the South Shore Railway Company, in which company I was not even a shareholder. So I do not know what the hon. gentleman wishes the House to infer when he speaks about the South Shore. That is a railway from which I am trying now to collect legitimate debts for which I have a judgment. For these reasons, and not at all because Mr. Armstrong is connected with it-though that would be sufficient, but the other reasons are stronger than that-I think the House will stand by the decision of the committee.

House divided on motion of Mr. Monk.

TEAS :

Carbonneau.

Champagne,

Charlton,

Copp,

Costigan,

Davis.

Delisle.

Demers (Levis), Emmerson,

Ethier,

Fielding,

Fisher,

Fitzpatrick,

Fortier,

Fraser,

Gallery,

Gauvreau.

Geoffrion.

German,

Gibson,

Girard,

Gould.

Harwood,

Heyd,

Holmes,

Hughes (King's, P.E.I.), Hyman,

Johnston (Cape Breton), Lang,

Laurier (Sir Wilfrid), Laurier (L'Assomption), Law,

LeBlanc,

Lemieux,

Lewis,

Motion negatived.

Malouin,

Marcil (Bagot),

Marcil (Bonaventure), Matheson,

Meigs,

Mignault.

Monet.

Morrison,

Mulock (Sir William), Oliver.

Paterson.

Prefontaine.

Proulx.

Puttee.

Reid (Restigouche), Roche (Halifax),

Ross (Ontario),

Ross (Rimouski),

Ross (Victoria, N.S.), Russell.

Schell.

Scott.

Sifton.

Smith (Vancouver), Stephens.

Sutherland (Essex), Sutherland (Oxford), Talbot,

Thompson (Haldimand and Monck),

Tolmie,

Tucker.

"Wade.

Wallace.

Wright.-87.

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FISHERIES ACT AMENDMENT.


Messieurs Alcorn, Kaulbach, Ball. Kidd, Barker, Lancaster, Bell, Leonard. Bennett. MacLaren (Huntingdon) Blain. MacLaren (Perth), Borden (Halifax), Maclean. Brock, McGowan, Broder, McIntosh, Bruce. Monk. Cargill, Morin. Christie, Northrup, Clancy, Osier, Clare. Pope, Clarke. Richardson. Culbert, Robinson (Elgin), Dugas, Rosamond, Earle. Sproule. Fowler, Tarte. Gilmour. Tisdale, Gourley, Tolton. Hackett, Vrooman. Haggart, Ward Hale. Wilmot, , [DOT] Henderson, Ingram, Wilson.-51. NAYS : Messieurs Angers, Logan, Beith, Loy, Belcourt. Macdonald, Bernier. Mackie. Borden (Sir Frederick), MacKinnon, Bourassa, Macoherson. Bruneau. McGugan, Calvert; Mclsaac, Campbell, McLennan, The MINISTER OF MARINE AND FISHERIES (Hon. Raymond Prgfontaine) moved for leave to introduce Bill (No. 224) to amend the Fisheries Act.


CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN (Halifax).

Will the hon. gentleman (Hon. Mr. Prefontaine) be good enough to state briefly the purport of the Bill ?

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The MINISTER OF MARINE AND FISHERIES.

The Bill has three purposes. The first is to allow the use of explosives in the killing of whales and animals of that kind; the second to provide that the Minister of Marine and Fisheries shall be authorized to license the use of purse seines in the waters of the Pacific ocean; and the third to allow, by Order in Council, the use of trap-nets. This is the result of the work of a commission which was appointed a year or so ago.

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July 14, 1903