HYMAN (London) presented the report of the special committee to whom was referred Bill (No. 66) to readjust the representation in the House of Commons.
REPRESENTATION IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS. FIRST READING.
Bill (No. 231) to confer on the commissioner of patents certain powers for the relief of the Keller Heater Company of Canada, Limited.-Mr. Mclsaac.
MANITOBA GRAIN ACT, 1900, AMENDMENT.
The MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR (Hon. Clifford Sifton) moved for leave to introduce Bill (No. 232) to further amend the Manitoba Grain Act, 1900. He said : This Bill proposes to ameud what is kuown as the Manitoba Grain Act, which is an Act of very great importance in regard to the transaction of the grain business and the shipment of grain in Manitoba and the North-west Territories. It has been the subject of a good deal of consideration in this House and it has been found an extremely complicated subject and one in regard to which it was very difficult to reconcile the conflicting interests and conflicting views of different parts of the community. However, further discussion and experience have rendered it possible to bring the parties who are interested, the shippers, the buyers and the railway companies, rather more into harmony in their views. During the present session the Grain-growers Association of the west sent delegates to the city of Ottawa and they discussed the subject here during my absence with representatives of the grain dealers and the railway companies, and the result has been that they have practically arrived at an arrangement as to what would be fairly satisfactory mutually in the way of an amendment to the existing law. I may say that there is little doubt that the law as it stands at the present time is capable of improvement. I think the Bill which I am about to present and which represents something of a compromise arrangement entered into by the parties concerned will be a very great improvement in the direction of bringing about harmony and general contentment. The specific details of the Bill will, of course, be discussed further on the second reading and in committee, but in the meantime I will give a brief statement of what the Bill purposes to do. Sections 1 and 2 deal with the interpretation of the terms used in the Bill. Section 3 provides for the appointment of deputy commissioners. There is now a grain commissioner who has very considerable duties to perform under the Act and it has been found quite impossible for one man to do all tne work. Of course the work, owing to he rapid increase in the production anu shipment of grain from Manitoba and the North-west Territories, has enormously increased. It is generally admitted that more than one officer is required. Section 4 makes provision that what are known as track buyers of grain shall take out licenses. Section 5 makes provisions regarding the duties of
weighmasters. It requires the weignmasters to keep a record of the fact when a car is leaking or in bad order. Section 6 deals with the time of rendering statements by warehousemen owning terminal public elevators. Section 7 gives the commissioner power to deal with disputes regarding applicants for elevator sites. Section 8 removes the provision which gives the commissioner discretion respecting the keeping of an account of the grain received, stored and shipped. Section 9 provides that the Act shall not require the receipt of grain where there is not sufficient accommodation in the elevator. Section 10 repeals the provision which in the present Act makes the holder of a receipt not liable for storage charges after the expiration of seven days from the giving of the notice requiring his grain to be shipped. Section 11 deals with the power of any person having grain stored in the elevator to order a car to be placed at such elevator. Section 12 amends the provisions relating to the duty of the warehousemen when grain is out of condition. Section 13 deals with the duty of the warehousemen in furnishing statements to the commissioner. Section 14 provides for the erection of flat warehouses. Section 15 defines the time within which any person who has procured a site is required to commence the erection of his elevator or warehouse.. Section 16 makes provision for the erection of loading platforms and the furnishing of cars at such platforms. Section 17 regulates the duties of grain commission merchants. Section 18 provides for the application of fees collected. Section 19 requires the officers mentioned in section 50 of the Manitoba Grain Act to make certain reports to the commisisoner. Section 20 provides penalties for infraction of the Act. Section 21 deals with the distribution of cars and makes provisions respecting the business of track buyers. Sections 22 and 23 deal with the question of storage charges. Motion agreed to, and Bill read the first time.
CORRESPONDENCE WITH THE GOVERNMENT OF THE NORTH-WEST TERRITORIES.
Referring to the request made by the leader of the opposition for a further return in reference to copies of correspondence with the North-west government and the members thereof, on the question of provincial autonomy, I beg now to present a supplementary return to the Order which was passed, and in compliance with which a return was presented to this House some time ago. I may say to my hon. friend (Mr. Borden, Halifax) that there are some of the letters which were mentioned in the list which he read to the House which cannot be found. There were letters which passed between A. L.
Hon. Mr. SIFTON.
Sifton and myself, which were upon the file that I had in the council chamber and which have been mislaid. As soon as that was ascertained, I telegraphed to the Northwest government to send down copies of the letters from their files. They will be here probably in a day or two.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN (Halifax).
I may say that I have a print of some correspondence from the North-west Territories' legislative assembly which contains copies of these letters, and I can furnish it to the hon. gentleman if it is desired that they should be printed at once.
Then there are the following letters : one
dated March 15th, 1902, from Mr. Haultain to Sir Wilfrid Laurier ; one dated March 18th, 1902, from Sir Wilfrid Laurier to Mr. Haultain, which cannot be found at the present time. Sir Wilfrid informs me that he thinks these can be got, but the result of an inquiry from his secretary brought the reply that they could not be found.
Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).
I have copies of all these that are mentioned on the list that I read to the House, and which can be furnished for the purpose of being printed. I think they are probably correct as they were printed by command of the territorial legislature.
I wish to mention the letters that are not in the list as presented so that there can be no mistake. There was a further letter from Mr. Haultain to myself, dated 2nd April, 1902, and another letter dated December 17th, from A. L. Sifton to myself. There is a letter dated January 31st, 1903, from Mr. Haultain to myself ; one dated February 9th, from Mr. McGee to Mr. Haultain ; one dated April 15th, from Mr. Haultain to myself ; one dated April 17th, from Mr. Haultain to Mr. Fielding, and one dated July 25th, from Mr. Pelletier to Mr. Forget. These letters have not been found up to the present time, although the clerks in charge of the files have been busily engaged searching for them. They appear to have been mislaid ; possibly they may have been taken to council. There may be some mistake about the date? which were transmitted to my hon. friend, and these mistakes may result in there being letters which are actually on the file, but which are not indicated by the exact dates. For instance, there is one letter which is stated to have been received by myself from Mr. Haultain, but I think there must be some mistake about that, it is supposed to have been received while I was away, but neither my private secretary nor any one else in the department has any record of it being received.
Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).
If the hon. gentleman would send his secretary to look over the papers I have, I think he could
get copies of all these which are referred to in the list which I read to the House.
I shall do that, and if there are any that are not comprised within this return we will have them presented in the form of a supplementary return, so that it may be complete. In the meantime, I will leave this return on the Table of the House.
QU'APPELLE, LONG LAKE AND SASKATCHEWAN RAILWAY.
I beg to present a return that was moved for by the hon. member for Provencher, asking for all copies of papers, &c., with reference to the land grant to the Qu'Appelle, Long Lake and Saskatchewan Railway Company ; also a list of papers, &c., in connection with the Saskatchewan Land Company with reference to their acquisition of the land grant to the Qu'Appelle, Long Lake and Saskatchewan Railway, and also a return as to the land sections in connection with the said railway. I present the return so far as it relates to the transfer from the railway company, because members on the other side of the House are desirous of having these papers. The rest of the correspondence is very voluminous, and the clerks are at work on it now, and we expect to have it ready shortly.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN (Halifax).
I would like to ask the Prime Minister whether or not the personnel of the Treadgold Commission has finally been settled ?