July 27, 1903

LIB

Duncan Cameron Fraser

Liberal

Mr. FRASER.

Surely we are not going to begin at this stage to get in a general principle, if it is a general principle, which will destroy this bank. I know some of the men who are in the bank. The very name of Mr. John F. Stairs should be sufficient for hon. gentlemen opposite, and to handicap a bank at the start while all other banks have no such handicap whatever is the wrong,way to get at it. If the hon. gentleman thinks the banking system is not right why does he not submit a general proposition to amend the Banking Act, instead of just at the end of a Bill incorporating a company composed of such gentlemen as these are. headed by Mr. Stairs, proposing an amendment which will destroy the usefulness of the bank.

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CON

David Henderson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HENDERSON.

In answer to the hon. gentleman (Mr. Fraser), I would say that I

am no respecter of persons. Mr. Stairs may

be a very excellent man. I have no doubt he is. I have no doubt he is a very respectable man, but I am not dealing with men ; I am dealing with the principle which I have enunciated, and which I contend I am correct in stating. The hon. gentleman complains that I have moved this amendment to a special charter. 1 may say that I am prepared to support a similar amendment to all other charters, and I shall give the hon. gentleman an opportunity to-morrow if he desires to support an amendment to the Banking Act, of which I have given notice, and which has been on the paper for some time, until I would ascertain how the House would deal with this question. If the hon. gentleman is in favour of applying the same principle to all chartered banks, I would be very happy to give him an opportunity of seconding the Bill which I propose to introduce along lines similar to what I propose to-night, so that I think that objection should be dropped. Now, it is a common plan to establish a principle by attacking individual cases. I think we frequently do that. I do not see any other way in which I can reach it. It is not possible for me to amend the Banking Act unless I have the consent of the government, because the time for moving an amendment of that kind in so far as this session is concerned, is passed, but it is within my power to move an amendment to a private Bill, and declare a principle that I believe is a proper principle in connection with the banking system. Now,

I can only say that if tlie hon. gentleman will secure the support of the government for an amendment to the Banking Act I will be very happy to give him an opportunity of supporting it.

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LIB

Duncan Cameron Fraser

Liberal

Mr. FRASER.

I could not ask the government to support such an amendment, because I do not believe in it. Certainly I am not in sympathy with the hon. gentleman. I think the banking system of this country is the best in the world, and when I heard an hon. gentleman saying that our money goes to the banks of the United States because their banks are better than ours, I thought it was one of the most laughable things I had ever beard in this parliament, because the stability of the banking system of Canada is the envy of the United States, and there is no banking system in the world better than ours, not even that of the motherland.

Amendment negatived, and section agreed to.

Bill reported, read the third time, and passed.

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CITIZENS' BANK OF CANADA.


House in committee on Bill (No. 2131 to-incorporate the Citizens' Bank of Canada.- Mr. Clarke.


CON

David Henderson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HENDERSON.

I beg to move that a clause be added to this Bill in the same

words as the amendment I proposed to the last Bill :

Notwithstanding anything contained in the Bank Act, the said bank ishiall not, either directly or indirectly, lend money or make advances upon the security of, or take as collateral security for any loan made by it, the bonds, stocks and other securities or obligations of any company or corporation or body corporate not incorporated by the parliament of Great Britain, or iby the parliament of Canada, or of a province of Canada, until the consent thereto by the shareholders of said bank shall have been obtained at a special meeting of the isaid bank specially called for that purpose.

.1 desire to say that I never insinuated for a single moment that the banks of this country were not in every respect equal to and far superior in stability to the banks of the United States. I never insinuated that the hanks of the United States were superior in stability to the banks of Canada and the hon. gentleman who insinuated that I had made such a statement, misinterpreted my meaning. I had no such meaning and that was not the object or the purpose of my moving the amendment.

Amendment negatived, and section agreed to.

Bill x-eported, read the third time, and passed

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CANADIAN TELEPHONE AND TELEGRAPH COMPANY.


House in committee on Bill (No. 189) to incorporate the Canadian Telephone and Telegraph Company.-Mr. Birkett. On section 22,


CON

Edward Frederick Clarke

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLARKE.

I gave notice of an amendment to clause 22, which I desire to move. I beg to move :

That clause 22 of this Bill as at present amended be struck out, and the following clause be substituted therefor :-

The company may and shall enter into agreements or arrangements with any other telephone or telegraph companies, now or hereafter incorporated, for the transmission or forwarding of the messages or despatches of such other companies, or of the subscribers to or users thereof, upon the lines of, or by the company to the place of destination of such messages or despatches, and for a division or apportionment of the tolls or rates in respect of such transmission or forwarding, provided such other companies are willing to enter into like agreements or arrangements with the company for the transmission or forwarding of the messages or despatches of the company, or of the subscribers or users thereof, and for a like division or apportionment of the tolls or rates.

In the event of the company being unwilling or failing to enter Into agreements or arrangements with any other such companies so willing as aforesaid, or in the event of any such agreements or arrangements, when made, being unsatisfactory to the Governor in Council, the Governor in Council may from time to time make such reciprocal provisions, applying to the company and such other companies, as he teems Mr. HENDERSON.

eaultable and proper for such transmission or forwarding, and the company and such other companies shall be bound by and shall carry out such agreements or arrangements, or such provisions, las the case may be, and upon any violation thereof shall be liable to a penalty mot exceeding one hundred dollars for each such violation.

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CON

Thomas Birkett

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BIRKETT.

It is quite difficult to understand the persistent opposition of my hon. friend from West Toronto to this charter. Before the Bill was submitted to the committee, he was supplied with a copy of it, so that he might consult with the solicitor of the city of Toronto to see that all its interests had been provided for and safeguarded. The consideration of the Bill was deferred for three or four sittings of the committee to enable the hon. gentleman and the solicitor of the city of Toronto to prepare such amendments as they might think necessary to safeguard the interests of the municipality. Certain amendments were submitted by the solicitor, and they were all agreed to, with the exception of this one, which the company and its promoters felt that they could not accept, as it would handicap the company to such an extent that the charter would be worthless to it, inasmuch as the hon. gentleman proposes to make it complusory on this company to enter into agreements with other companies which have been heretofore incorporated, while there is no compulsion on the small companies now looking for incorporation. It is permissive on the one side, but compulsory on the other. It is jug-handled legislation, which it seems to me is inconsistent with the position the hon. gentleman has taken with regard to the monopoly of the Bell Telephone Company. Here is a company which is represented by its promoters as willing to invest its capital to the extent of $20,000,000 or $25,000,000, and if the committee accept the amendment of the hon. member for West Toronto, it will make their charter of little or no value.

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CON

Edward Frederick Clarke

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLARKE.

The object of this amendment is to provide that, at the option of other telephone companies, this company shall, on such other companies granting it similar terms and conditions, permit connections to be made with its wires, and messages to be delivered over them. It primarily affects only this company, and is not general legislation. This company has not yet any legal status ; and, in view of the experience which the people of Canacla have had with the Bell Telephone Company, which has persistently refused to give connection with smaller independent companies, it has been thought that if we are to have competition in telephony in Canada, we should embrace the opportunity which is afforded by this Bill to ask that this important and much-desired amendment should be made in the charter of this company. Other companies may take advantage of this clause : but they must subject themselves

to its entire provisions before they can avail themselves of any advantages under it; and no jurisdiction is given to the Governor in Council unless there is a dispute between the parties as to the terms and conditions under which the mutual service is to be rendered. I think I can appeal to the sense of this committee that the time has come when there must be some improvement made in the methods by which the telephone companies are conducted. There can be no question of the necessity for some such provision unless competition in telephony is to be an absurd farce. Local telephone companies have from time to time been incorporated in different sections of the country only to fail one after the other ; and the reason of their failure has been that they have not been able to get exchange messages over the trunk lines. There have been a good many objections made to the proposed amendment. It is said that we are adding to a Private Bill a general section which should apply to all companies. But, as I have pointed out, the provisions of this clause affect only this company primarily, and other companies which may voluntarily desire to take advantage of it. The other companies must give a mutual service if they desire to take advantage of the use of this company's wires for the purpose of exchanging messages. They must be prepared to give this company equal facilities over their lines. The matter was discussed a good deal when the Bill was before the committee. I have the greatest possible respect for my hon. friend from Ottawa, and I desire to assure him that the interests of the municipalities generally are what I am trying to safeguard and promote, and not the interests of one municipality in particular. The hon. member will remember that this clause was submitted on behalf of the Union of Canadian Municipalities. It was acceptable to and accepted by them. It has met with strenuous opposition, it is true, from the company which has practically a monopoly of telephony in most of the provinces of Canada. It does not affect that company in the slightest degree directly. It does not affect any other company which is in existence to-day unless that company may desire to take advantage of its provisions. It is meeting with a great deal of objection from the Bell Telephone Company, because, assuming this enterprise to be a bona fide one, if it were obliged to give an interchange of messages with the smaller companies, especially the farmers' companies, for twelve months or two years, the Bell Telephone Company would be obliged to give a similar service, and what is now a grinding monopoly would be practically broken down. Hon. gentlemen who make use of the argument that we should provide general legislation, and should cover all companies under such general legislation, do not need to be reminded that last year and this year attempts have

been made to provide for the case of the Bell Telephone Company and all other companies doing business in Canada. That Bill has not made very satisfactory progress so far. It was introduced in the House and referred to the Railway Committee, and by that committee referred to a sub-committee. We have practically done nothing at the meetings of the sub-committee except listen to the arguments of counsel against the provisions of the Bill. If hon. gentlemen who object to this clause will give us some guarantee that the Bill to which I refer will be taken up by the government and enacted into law, the insertion of clause 22 is not so urgent; but as there is very little hope that that will be done, I propose to test the feeling of the committee. It is essential, in the interest of telephone users, that tne monopoly should be broken down. That great monopoly, the Bell Company, is not affected directly by the operation of this clause. It can be only interfered with indirectly ; and if interfered with at all, that interference will be in the public interest. I ask for this clause the respectful consideration of the committee, not because it is intended to benefit one locality, but because it will be a substantial advantage to all municipalities where local services are in operation, and will eventually compel all telephone companies to give similar service over their lines to that which we seek to compel this company to give.

Mr, LENNOX. I would not oppose the Bill in its present form did I not believe it my duty to do so in the interests of the people generally. While it is desirable to do all we possibly can to encourage the incorporation of this company because it tends to break down an injurious monopoly, yet, on the other hand, we should be careful to avoid being again met with the question of vested rights and should secure all the advantage we can to the people by providing for a free interchange of messages. Therefore I feel bound to support the amendment proposed by the hon. member for Toronto (Mr. Clark). The strongest argument that I heard in opposition to the incorporation of this company was that it would compel merchants and others doing business with the public to have two instruments in their places of business and) pay for two services., That seemed to me a very formidable objection, and therefore I have great pleasure in supporting this amendment, which will, to a large extent, enable us to overcome that difficulty. I have no doubt that this is a Bill which has been pretty fully considered by members of the committee. It has attracted a good deal of attention, and therefore, I need not elaborate at all the reasons why I propose to support this amendment. The hon. member who moved the amendment has not as yet spoken of one portion of it, and I would therefore mention it now. As the clause

74S3

now stands, it reads : * The company may

enter into agreements or arrangements.' The words 1 and shall ' were struck out in committee and I am unable to see any special benefit in clause twenty-two if we strike out these words. In dealing with this, company, which has as yet no special rights, we are entitled to ask for whatever is in the interests of the people and insist upon such conditions as we deem necessary. I see very good reasons why, in granting this charter, we should: make this clause twenty-two compulsory. We should provide that upon request being made for an exchange of messages upon reciprocal or mutual terms, this company will be bound to comply with that request. The junior member for Ottawa (Mr. Belcourt) who made a very eloquent speech on this question, claimed that this was spoliation.

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LIB

Duncan Cameron Fraser

Liberal

Mr. FRASER.

Order, the hon. gentleman cannot refer to anything which took place in the committee.

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CON

Haughton Lennox

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LENNOX.

I understand that I can once a Bill is reported. I am quite willing to take the ruling of the chair.

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LIB
CON

Haughton Lennox

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LENNOX.

The hon. member (Mr. Fraser) compels me to say more. The hon. member for Ottawa made a most violent speech. He claimed that it was an outrage on the rights of the people. After he had read the clause, he had to vary his opinions to some extent. He had to come within the lines of reason, and I trust he will not again advance any such outrageous arguments. This company has only such rights as are consistent with the general interets of the public. The argument that we should embody this, not in a special Act but a general Act, would be very well, if there were a general Act before this parliament; but if we allow this opportunity to go and leave the matter over until another session, we will meet a much more strenuous opposition. We will have the combined opposition of the Bell Telephone Company and this new company, which will probably be a strong organization by that time, and will find much more difficulty in dealing with this question. Some hon. gentlemen are fond of pointing out that this is special legislation, and the hon. gentleman who called my attention to being wrong a moment ago is not one of those who do not, at times, resort to that line of argument. When we find out that a certain system which has prevailed for years is not working satisfactorily and that the consensus of opinion is that a new system should be encouraged, the sooner we apply a remedy the better.

Therefore, on whatever occasion it arises I see no objection. When parties come and ask for privileges which are, to some extent, antagonistic to the general interest Mr. LENNOX.

-that is the time to exact the terms by which those to whom these privileges are given shall be guided. Now, it is said that the second clause proposed in connection with 22 is unfair to this company. We ask in the event of the other company being willing to enter into an agreement to make it compulsory upon this company to enter into an arrangement satisfactory to the Governor in Council: I see no unfairness at all about it. If we were to say that this company must transmit the message of some other company over their line and give them no similar rights against the other companies, or if we were to compel them to carry these messages without being paid, as my hon. friend from West Toronto (Mr. Clarke) suggests, it would be unfair. But we simply provide that they shall make such an arrangement as may be approved by the Governor in Council. Upon the whole, not going into more details, I wish to say that I believe it is wise at this time to have this legislation. And I hope the gentlemen who see the importance of having a general scheme enacted will support this amendment, for I believe we will find that it will be greatly to the advantage of the people generally and that at another session, instead of being confronted by a combination of two large companies, we shall have an illustration of the beneficial working of this new arrangement, and by next session we shall secure it as a general measure governing all telephone companies throughout the country.

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

This company, when it applied for an Act of incorporation, very good naturedly accepted many of the proposed amendments to their Bill. The experience of years have proven the objections to the other company. One of those objections was their forcing their way through municipalities regardless of the rights of the corporations to control or to impose terms. This company very graciously accepted an amendment providing for that, and thereby satisfied the requirements of the representatives of the municipal corporations. They accepted everything till it came to this proposed amendment. Serious objection was raised to this, and it does seem to me that this is the only proposed amendment against which serious objection could be raised. One objection was that if you compel this company to arrange with all other companies, you may compel them to arrange with small companies whose lines are not well built or well maintained, and the large company will be the one to receive the blame for inefficient service. It seems to me that this could be overcome with a little ingenuity. I would suggest a provision to compel this company to exchange messages with other companies having lines built and maintained according to a certain standard. With such a provision, I.think there would be little difficulty in carrying out the main

idea. But if you leave this Bill without amendment, you leave it with the most objectionable feature of the Bell Telephone Company to-day. We have private companies establishing lines in many different places throughout the country. I take as an example the county In which I live.

1 can count, from memory, about eighteen different private lines there, not one of which is allowed to connect with the Bell Telephone lines or exchange messages with it. It would be a great convenience if they could do so, and it is because they cannot that there is such a strong objection to the Bell Telephone Company. That company is regarded as a soulless monopoly. It does not make an effort to serve the wants of the people. It was because of this very objection that we had all the excitement raised over the line in East York, where they would not allow the instrument of the private line to be put in the railway station because of the arrangement giving an exclusive privilege to the Bell Telephone Company. The same difficulty exists all over the country, and it is because of this that there is a burning desire for competition. When this company proposed to secure a charter and establish competition, every one was anxious that the charter should go through. But when they refuse to exchange messages with other companies, we do not look upon the enterprise with the same favour we did before. Without such a condition, it would be very little better than the Bell Telephone Company. An hon. friend says that it is uo better than the Bell Telephone Company. I think it is, and for this reason. This Bill provides that they shall not go into a municipality except upon terms acceptable to the municipal corporation. That is better than the Bell Telephone Company will do. Ihere are many other provisions which this company has accepted which the Bell Telephone Company would not accept. But if they will not give us the advantage of the long distance telephone, we shall be stin in the hands of the Bell monopoly the users of private lines will be no better ott than they are to-day. It is desirable, theie-fore that this clause should become law. If it' does, I would suggest that there might be a limit, that this company shall not be compelled to exchange messages with lines which do not maintain their lines in a cei-tain state of efficiency. _

Amendment negatived : Yeas, 13; nays, 35.

Bill reported.

Sir. BIRKETT moved the third reading of the Bill.

Mr. CLARKE moved that the Bill be not now read the third time, but that it be referred back to Committee of the Whole House with instructions to strike out Clause 22 and insert the following in lieu thereof.

The company may- and shall enter into agreements or arrangements with any other telephone or telegraph companies now or hereafter incorporated for the transmission nr forwarding of the messages or despatches of such ether companies, or of the subscribers to or users thereof, upon the lines of, or by the company to the place of destination of such messages or despatches, and for a division or apportionment of the tolls or rates in respect of such transmission or forwarding, provided such other companies are willing to enter into like agreements or arrangements with the company for the transmission or forwarding of the messages or despatches of the company or of the subscribers or users thereof, and for a like division or apportionment of the tolls or rates.

2. In the event of the company being unwilling or failing to enter into agreements or arrangements with any other such companies so willing as aforesaid, or in the event of any such agreements or arrangements when made being unsatisfactory to the Governor in Council, the Governor in Council may, from time to time, make such reciprocal provisions, applying to the company and such other companies, as he deems equitable and proper for such transmission or forwarding, iand the company and such other companies shall be bound by and shall carry out such agreements or arrangements or such provisions, as the case may be, and /upon any violation thereof shall be liable to a penalty not exceeding one hundred dollars for each such violation.

House divided on amendment (Mr. Clarke).

YEAS :

Messieurs

Ball. Lennox,

Blain, Smith (Wentworth).

Clarke. Suroule,

Gilmour, Wilmot.-9.

Henderson,

NAYS :

Messieurs

Alcorn, MacKinnon,

Belcourt, MacLaren (Huntingdon)

Birkett, Maopherson,

Borden (Sir Frederick), McCreary,

Broder, McEwen,

Brown, McGugan,

Bureau, Mclsaac,

Calvert. McLennan,

Carscallen, Madore,

Costigan, Malouin,

Delisle, Marcil (Bonaventure),

Demers (St. John), Matheson,

Desjardins, Mayrand,

Dugas. Morin,

Eminerson, Mulock (Sir William),

Erb. Paterson,

Fraser, Power,

Gallery, Prefontaine,

Gauvreau. Pringle,

Gibson, Richardson,

Gourley, Ross (Rimouski),

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

Hyman, Scott.

Johnston (Cape Breton) Stewart,

Johnston (Lambton), Talbot.

Kendal.1, Taylor,

Kidd, Tolmie,

Macdonald. Turgeon.-57.

Mackie,

Amendment negatived, motion agreed tof and Bill read the third time, and passed. '

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CONSIDERED IN COMMITTEE-THIRD READINGS.


Bill (No. 168) to incorporate tlie Chicoutimi and North-eastern Railway Company.-Mr. Girard. Bill (No. 160) to incorporate the Stewart River Development Company.-Mr. Davis.


SECOND 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.


July 27, 1903