July 27, 1903

CON

Samuel Barker

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BARKER.

I was a member of the sub-committee, and as such, I acquired my information on this subject. I know nothing of the facts, beyond what I heard in committee, but I think I was at every meeting. These 45 miles were constructed by the original company some years ago. That company issued a considerable amount of bonds, which they sold in the United States. The proceeds of the bonds do not appear to have been used to pay the creditors, because Mr. Cooper, of Montreal, had a very large claim for rails supplied, which still remains unpaid ; the Rathbun Company had a very large claim for ties and

# other materials ; and a large number of '.farmers along the route have never been paid for the work they did or the materials they supplied, and I think for some of the right of way. The road was put up for sale by the sheriff, and some gentlemen in New York, having acquired the bonds which were sold in the states, came to Canada and purchased the property for a very low figure, I think something like $119,000 for the 45 miles of road. Under these circumstances they come to obtain a charter, the Bill for which is now before the House, and ask virtually for a confirmation of the sheriff's sale. It appeared before the subcommittee that there are legal proceedings pending at Toronto contesting the validity of the sheriff's sale. It appeared also that no extension of the line beyond Brockville had ever been made. We had a long discussion, we had several meetings, and we heard the different people. We heard Mr. Cooper's storv as to how he became a creditor. 1 think there was no dispute in the committee that these creditors had valid claims to a very large amount of money, and that these claims were equitable, though they were not perhaps in the position to be enforced against the company's property. The minority of the , committee proposed that a statement that these claims existed should form part of the report to the Standing Committee on Railways, but the majority, very unwisely, I think, and perhaps unfairly, refused to insert in the report any reference whatever to these claims. I myself urged that the report should refer to them, if for no other purpose than as a matter of record, so that hereafter, when any application for further legislation might come up, parliament would be seized of all the facts, and the state of the case would be known without having to be gone into again. But the majority of the committee positively refused that, and we had to submit. That was the one point which I think was unjust to the unsecured creditors. As we failed to get a report stating the position of the creditors, the proposition was made and acceded to all round, that we should simply authorize or confirm the purchase of the 45 miles of railway by the company that is being created, distinctly subject to the pending litigation now pending at Toronto in which the validity of the sheriff's sale is contested. Nothing could be more clear than the understanding on the part of every member of the committee, that the report should declare that this legislation should be subject to the pending litigation. I understand that there is not a word upon that subject in the Bill as it stands to-day. It was further understood that the purchasers should be allowed to issue common stock to the amount of the purchase money which they gave for the road at the sheriff's sale. There was some question as to what was the amount. I think one person

Topic:   BROCKVILLE AND SAULT STE MARIE RAILWAY COMPANY.
Permalink
CON

Samuel Barker

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BARKER.

said that it was $119,000 or something like that. But those who represented the purchasers said that there was more than that paid. It was not pretended that more than somewhere abount $119,000 had been paid at the sheriff's sale, but that there were costs and expenses in addition. I never heard, however, any pretense that the total cost was more than $150,000 or $160,000 at the outside. Yet in the amended Bill as reported the capitalization is fixed at $500,000

Topic:   BROCKVILLE AND SAULT STE MARIE RAILWAY COMPANY.
Permalink
LIB

William Alfred Galliher

Liberal

Mr. GALLIHER.

Did the hon. gentleman not agree, as one of the members of the sub-committee to fix the capitalization at $500,000 ?

Topic:   BROCKVILLE AND SAULT STE MARIE RAILWAY COMPANY.
Permalink
CON

Samuel Barker

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BARKER.

I am afraid, looking at the whole of this Bill, that some gentlemen finished up the report after we left

Topic:   BROCKVILLE AND SAULT STE MARIE RAILWAY COMPANY.
Permalink
LIB

William Alfred Galliher

Liberal

Mr. GABLIHER.

I asked the hon. gentleman whether he did not, as a member of the sub-committee, on the last day of its meeting, consent to the capitalization being placed at $500,000 ?

Topic:   BROCKVILLE AND SAULT STE MARIE RAILWAY COMPANY.
Permalink
CON

Samuel Barker

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BARKER.

I distinctly say the contrary. As to leaving before the work .was finished, I can only1 say that before we left the arrangement was made that the chairman would prepare a report according to the understanding we had arrived at. All that was left was for the chairman to prepare the report. Let me say here that I disclaim any intention nf implying that the hon. member for Kingston (Hon. Mr. Harty), who was the chairman, did anything wilfully wrong in making the report. I do not know even that lie drew the report, but whoever made it, I am afraid, omitted things that the committee had agreed to and put in some things that it did not agree to. There is no question whatever that the fact that the report was to be subject to the litigation pending in Toronto, was distinctly understood. I am told that there is not a word about that in the Bill. Four-fifths of the Bill have been struck out and it has not yet been reprinted. In my opinion, -we are not, therefore, in a position to properly consider the measure. It ought not to come before us until the Bill is reprinted. With regard to the stock, I say distinctly that while the minority of the committee wer.e present, there was no arrangement that it should be $500,000. For what possible reason should $500,000 stock be allowed to gentlemen who paid only $119,000 for the property ? In addition, they got permission to issue $10,000 per mile of bonds. I myself proposed that they should be allowed to issue $10,000 per mile in bonds on the forty-five miles, but it was distinctly staled that the proceeds of these bonds should be expended in the betterment and equipment of the forty-five miles. I understand that that is not in the Bill either.

Topic:   BROCKVILLE AND SAULT STE MARIE RAILWAY COMPANY.
Permalink
LIB
CON

Samuel Barker

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BARKER.

Every one of the minority so understood it.

Topic:   BROCKVILLE AND SAULT STE MARIE RAILWAY COMPANY.
Permalink
LIB

William Alfred Galliher

Liberal

Mr. GALLIHER.

The minority members of the committee asked that that be put in, and the majority would not agree. To say that the whole committee agreed that that should be put in is incorrect.

Topic:   BROCKVILLE AND SAULT STE MARIE RAILWAY COMPANY.
Permalink
CON

Samuel Barker

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BARKER.

What occurred was this. In the course of the discussions before the sub-committee, Mr. Holmes, a gentleman from New York, asserted more than once that about $15,000 would complete the road. He said that the whole forty-five miles were practically completed, but that they still required an expenditure, some $15,000. When I suggested allowing this $10,000 per mile, some of those who were opposing the Bill, made the objection that no such sum would be required. I said that it was immaterial what amount we allowed, provided they were obliged to spend the money on the forty-five miles, because they would not spend more on the forty-five miles than was absolutely needed. It is for that reason the majority of the committee were willing that this sum should be allowed in the way of bonds, although in their opinion it was not required because Mr. Holmes had told them that this small sum of $15,000 was all that was necessary to complete the road so as to entitle them to a subsidy if the government chose to renew it. In that particular the report does not appear to have carried out the intention. There was a reason why we were acting in this way. The majority, as well as the minority, wished to leave the matter in such a position that at some time this company would have to come to parliament (for further powers. The Bill iwas to be restricted to the forty-five miles, so that whenever these people saw fit to seek parliamentary powers to extend their line to the west, they would have to come here for the privilege, and then these creditors, who had been unpaid for so many years, would have an opportunity to come before parliament and ask for justice. On no other ground whatever did the majority or minority propose to do away with the other two Bills except that all three-these people, the creditors and the promoters of the third Bill-should be obliged, whenever they wanted to extend that road one mile beyond Westport, to come to parliament and this parliament would hear again the claims of Cooper and all those other gentlemen and do justice in the premises.

. Mr. GALLIHER. Is not that the position now ?

Topic:   BROCKVILLE AND SAULT STE MARIE RAILWAY COMPANY.
Permalink
CON

Samuel Barker

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BARKER.

Yes, but in order that they might be in that position it was most important that they should not use that $10,000 per mile for any other purpose than for the fortv-five miles. It was all im-2334

portant that they should be held strictly to the position they acquired as purchasers and get nothing more than the confirmation of their title at the sheriff's sale. That was the whole object in leaving them there, namely, that whenever they came for more, the creditors would get their dues.

Topic:   BROCKVILLE AND SAULT STE MARIE RAILWAY COMPANY.
Permalink
CON

George Taylor (Chief Opposition Whip; Whip of the Conservative Party (1867-1942))

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. TAYLOR.

I was not here during the afternoon to hear what was said about this Bill, but I have one or two papers in my hands which I would like to lay before the committee. I think, after hearing them, the committee will certainly accede to the amendment proposed, for the self-preservation of Canada. Here is a letter from Mr. Edward Murphy, a gentleman living at Prescott, and I presume well known by lion, gentlemen opposite, for he is a very strong politician and supporter of my hon. friends opposite. He writes from Prescott on the 23rd June to Mr. W. A. Lewis, barrister at Brockville. Mr. Lewis has large claims for many of the creditors. He was my opponent at the last election, and out of all the creditors who have claims against this railway company, there are only two Conservatives. However, a great portion of them are constituents of mine, and I have .always made it a rule to endeavour to represent my constituency irrespective of polities. Therefore, I take a lively interest in this Bill to see to it that these honest men who furnished the right of way, who furnished the labour by contract and so on should have their claims recognized in some way. Now, Mr. Smith writes as follows:-

Prescott, Ont., June 23rd, 1903.

W. A. Lewis, Esq.,

Barrister, &c., Brockville, Out.

Re the B. W. and S. S. M. Ry.

Dear Sir,-In 1902 I bought the bonds and stock for said road, from the Investment Company of Philadelphia, $960,000 bonds, and $960,000 stock, all the holdings of the Philadelphia people, in fact, all the holdings of bonds and stock in the United States.

In my contract for said bonds and stocks, the parties agreed to furnish the charter and all data in connection with said road, and in said contract there was no set time, nor no time limit entered into contract. I was delayed month after month waiting for the particulars and all the details in connection with the road and to this day only part of the information has been furnished as agreed, and my people urging for same during all the delay. I would beg to call your attention to my agreement with the Pacific Trust Company of New York. This is a strong company, and in Said company's charter the directors are all held personally liable for the full amounts and contracts of the company.

Re the New York German Syndicate that are now pushing for said road and trying to get charter. They are unworthy of first consideration in the matter. I was introduced to Mr. Holmes, of Holmes & Smith, and by him to Mr. Cragin, and I placed before these men proposition for said road quite fully, and they expressed a wish to enter into a contract, but informed me they could not pay the money over until they could get the bonds and realize on the bonds,

that they could sell the bonds on the New York market and handle the deal for me. This I refused and negotiated the deal with others and was adjusting the Canadian claims and getting all in line for full settlement of all judgments and outstandings against said road. During this time these usupers by misrepresentation got in league with the bondholders in Philadelphia and by using the bonds in direct opposition to the Knickerbocker Trust Company, who were the trustees of said bonds (see notice of Knickerbocker Trust Company on sale of road), and in contravention of my contract for said bonds did undertake to secure control of said bonds and to defraud the honest claims and judgments and debts against said road. They are applying for a charter to enable said syndicate to successfully rob all these honest claimants and to take over a heavily bonused road, that our government did pay as bonus to said road over $105,000 of the people's money, also the several municipalities paid $118,000 of the people's money, and at this juncture the government will surely, through the committee handling this important matter, see .that heavily bonused roads are not gobbled up by foreigners and the people defrauded out of their honest and just claims.

I placed my contract and all documents in the hands of my attorneys, Watson, Smoke & Smith, Toronto, Ont., who are going on with this matter, and I trust the committee, in their wisdom, will withhold all grants or charters for the present for extension of the road or the road now completed. Please see Trust Company's contract.

Yours truly,

(Sgd) EDWARD SMITH.

Now there is a statement from a gentleman who tells me plainly that

Topic:   BROCKVILLE AND SAULT STE MARIE RAILWAY COMPANY.
Permalink
LIB

William Alfred Galliher

Liberal

Mr. GALLIHER.

Better get him to put it in as an affidavit.

Topic:   BROCKVILLE AND SAULT STE MARIE RAILWAY COMPANY.
Permalink
CON

George Taylor (Chief Opposition Whip; Whip of the Conservative Party (1867-1942))

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. TAYLOR.

He will make an affidavit. He was here and ready to appear before the sub-committee, but the matter did not come up the day he was here.

Now, I see the hon. Minister of Labour (Hon. Sir William Mulock) here. I would ask him if he will be a party to allowitig the honest labouring men who took part in the construction of this road to be defrauded of what is justly due them, if he will allow three Germans to come here from New Y'ork, buy up this road and deprive these labouring men of their honest earnings ? My hon. friend from Cornwall and Stormont (Mr. Pringle) I have no doubt has gone over the precedents for the amendments that we propose and has quoted speech after speech of hon. gentlemen on the other side when a similar case came before parliament, as they argued, as I am arguing to-day, and a clause actually was inserted in the Bill they then discussed to protect the rights of the labouring men, the boarding-house keepers and those who' furnished supplies. In this case, the names of the claimants and the nature of their claims is all set forth in the schedule attached to the Bill. I do not think a Bill ever passed this House without provisions being made to protect the labouring men. and I am sure the Minister of Labour will join with me in saying that Mr. TAYLOR.

in this case the rights of these people shall be protected. I want to read a portion of a letter from Messrs. Hutcheson and Fisher, of Brockville, who appeared before the committee :

Brockville, July 17th, 1903.

Geo. Taylor, M.P.,

House of Commons,

Ottawa, Ont.

Dear Mr. Taylor,-Yours of the 16th Inst, received with copy of proposed amendments to Brockville and Westport Bill inclosed. Also copy your remarks in the House the other night. "We now return you proposed amendments. We think your amendment for reduction in capitalization an important one, and should carry. If this new company is given the right to issue half a million of stock and four hundred and fifty thousand dollars of bonds, you will be placing them in a position to exploit the money market, make a huge profit for themselves on their present advance, and throw the concern on the shoulders of such innocent money lenders as they can unload their scheme on.

Topic:   BROCKVILLE AND SAULT STE MARIE RAILWAY COMPANY.
Permalink
LIB

William Alfred Galliher

Liberal

Mr. GALLIHER.

Is it not the case of any railway charter-they get these privileges and unload them on the public ?

Topic:   BROCKVILLE AND SAULT STE MARIE RAILWAY COMPANY.
Permalink
CON

George Taylor (Chief Opposition Whip; Whip of the Conservative Party (1867-1942))

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. TAYLOR.

But these gentlemen are in a different position from any people who ever came before this parliament. They bought forty-five miles of railway completed and equipped for $160,000, and paid for it with bonds, which, some say, they bought for $80,000. Bonuses have been given by this parliament and by municipalities to the amount of $250,000, to assist in the construction of that road. Is parliament going to allow these three men, who purchased for $160,000 a road so constructed to go to New York and say : We have a Canadian charter, and we have large bonding powers as well as a share capital ? What do they care about the construction or running of the road ? Why did they not carry out the offer that Mr. Barwick made? I will quote what he offered, and afterwards withdrew. Some say that one cause for his withdrawing it was that one of these gentlemen had already got into financial difficulties :

If the House grants bonding privileges at ten thousand dollars a mile the new company should be tied up by some such clause as you propose to add to section number nine.

Now, the amendment that I propose would provide that when the bonds are sold the proceeds of the bonds shall go to the benefit of the road and that only. This road to-day is running under license from the government. It has not passed the government inspection yet, and I think it is high time that the government should ask these parties to put the road in sound condition for carrying passenger traffic. It is true that some $38,000 of the government subsidy has not yet been paid. I think that the Bill shoud be amended as I suggest, so' that the road may be completed up to the government standard. This question was fought out before the transfer of Mr. Hervey's contract. Mr. Hervey states emphatically in

the letter tuat when he assigned it to these people, it was with the condition that they assumed all the liabilities. It looks on the face of it as if these parties had a pull. Mr. Barwick appeared on their behalf and he galvanized the committee

Topic:   BROCKVILLE AND SAULT STE MARIE RAILWAY COMPANY.
Permalink
?

The MINISTER OF JUSTICE.

Hypnotized.

Topic:   BROCKVILLE AND SAULT STE MARIE RAILWAY COMPANY.
Permalink
CON

George Taylor (Chief Opposition Whip; Whip of the Conservative Party (1867-1942))

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. TAYLOR.

But I am satisfied that this parliament will not allow the Bill to go through in this form, and particularly I am satisfied that the Minister of Labour will not give his support to a proposal which will have the effect of practically cutting out $20,000 of money earned by the honest labouring men of the county of Leeds in helping to build this road.

We trust you will be able to have the clause added compelling the new company to complete the road to government standard within twelve months. Perhaps this should be added to section nine.

This is the amendment suggested by Messrs. Hutcheson and Fisher since I sent them copies of the amendments I proposed. That not only would they have the right to sell the bonds, but the proceeds of the bonds should be applied to the betterment of the road and that the road should pass government inspection within twelve months so that it won't run on being unsafe for life and limb, as it has been for years.

Mr. Barwick stated that he would have such a clause put in. We think that the railway committee completely overlooked a statement made by Mr. Barwick, when the master came up on 12.th May last. You will recollect he stated that the new company would have no objection to a clause being inserted in the Bill providing for payment of wages for construction.

Now, Mr. Barwick came before the committee and made that proposition, and why *did not the committee take cognizance of it and recommend it in the report they have submitted ? It is true that later on Mr. Barwick withdrew his proposition, saying he had been down to New York and could do nothing with these people. As I understand, Mr. Barwick is thoroughly satisfied now with the report of the committee, which gives them half a million of capital stock and allows them to secure bonds for $450,000. These gentlemen can then go to the New York market, sell that stock and bonds, and put the money in their pocket. If the amendments are made to this Bill they will do nobody any harm, and they will protect the government, and protect the company, and protect these honest labourers. I am satisfied that the government will, if not now in Canada, at least on the third reading of the Bill, when they come to look into this matter, find it to be in their own interest. in the interests of the country and of the labouring men, to have a clause put in such as was put into the Bill of the Toronto, Hamilton and Buffalo Company. Now, Mr. Buell was solicitor for this trust company. Mr. Smith, whose letter I read a short time ago, appealed to him, and Mr. Buell writes him from Brockville on the 7th of October, 1902 :

October 7, 1902.

Re Brockville, Westport and Sault Ste. Marie Railway.

The Pacific Underwriting & Trust Co.,

66 Broadway, N.Y.

Dear Sirs.-The issue of bonds for the forty-five miles of road completed consists of the 1,125 bonds of $1,000 each, and the issue of stock is $1,125,000. Of these 900 bonds and $962,000 of stock -are held by one party who also have some control (probably absolute) of sixty more bonds.

I have been shown correspondence evidencing a contract by which .the owners of these 900 bonds and $962,000 stock bind themselves .to deliver over these bonds and stock at the Bank of Montreal, Brockville, on payment of the price.

1 am the solicitor for the above mentioned bondholders in t'he suit now pending for the sale of the road under the bonds and1 by the judgment in the suit the road is directed to be sold, and it is expected that the road will be brought to sale shortly. Such sale will be practically controlled by the holders of these bonds and by buying at the sale a good title can be obtained.

That is what Mr. Buell wrote to the Pac-fic Underwriting & Trust Company. Mr. Buell furnishes that to Mr. Smith, of Prescott, and it has been forwarded to me with authority to read it in the House. Now, here is the statement of Mr. Hervey, who was the president of the Brockville and Westport Railway Company. He formed a construction company composed of himself to build the road, and he received all the subsidies obtained from the municipalities, together with the government subsidy voted here. Mr. Hervey was here while the committee was in session, and he wrote this letter on the 20th of May, 1902. Several hon. gentlemen saw him when he was at Brockville; I think he lives in Nova Scotia now :

Re Brockville, Westport and Sault Ste. Marie Railway.

The Brockville, West.port and Sault Ste. Marie Railway Company chartered by an Act it the legislature of Ontario, entered into a contract with Robert G. Hervey for the construction and equipment of that portion of its line extending from Brockville to Westport, forty-five miles, agreeing to pay for such construction and equipment, according to schedule attached to the contract, all of the .stock, bonds and subsidies of the company.

In pursuance .of this contract, work was begun and the line .partially .completed. Rails and fastenings and the wire for fences were purchased from Cooper, Pairm&n & Co., and the Dominion Wire Company ; and a.n assignment of .the subsidy granted by the Dominion of Canada was executed by the railway company to (I think) James Cooper, of Montreal, out of which payment was to be made for such rails, fastenings and wire.

The Investment Company of Philadelphia furnished at different times certain sums of money upon notes made by the railway company and endorsed by R. G. Hervey, and with certain

bonds of the railway company as collateral security. The Investment Company of Philadelphia were familiar with the conditions and transactions of the railway company, and agreed to the assignment by the company of the Dominion subsidy for the purchase of the rails, fastenings and wire above mentioned. In July and August, 1892, an'agreement was made between Hervey and the Investment Company for the assignment by Hervey of the construction contract to the Investment Company, and thereupon Hervey endorsed such transfer upon the original contract, and the directors, who up to that time had been legally qualified by holding each the amount of stock specified in the charter and having paid all calls thereupon, resigned as such directors, and the Investment Company nominated a board of directors, who I am informed and believe have never been legally qualified as directors, and have since acted, not to represent the interests of the railway company, but as nominees of, and to carry out the wishes and instructions of the Investment Company, Hervey's object in making st;ch agreement was that the railway might be completed and equipped and the construction liabilities paid by the Investment Company, who became the contractors ; and the object cf the Investment Company was stated to be that they might acquire a good title to the stocks and bonds under the construction contract.

There were half a dozen gentlemen from Brockville who appeared before the committee who are named as directors in one of the Bills now before parliament, and I am credibly informed and believe that not a man of them has a dollar of interest in the road, and has only lent his name for the purpose of getting this legislation through parliament.

I am informed and believe that, immediately after the appointment of a new board of directors of the railway company by the in vestment Company, the assignment of the construction contract by Hervey to the Investment Company was presented to said hoard of directors, and such assignment ratified and approved by them. Instead of proceeding to complete and equip the Tailway in accordance with the terms of the contract which they then held, they failed and refused to ,pay the construction debts and to complete such construction and equipment, and I am informed and believe attempted to repudiate the assignment of the Dominion subsidy to Cooper above mentioned, and undertook to foreclose the deed of trust or mortgage securing the bonds, and several years litigation ensued ; during which time the directors of the railway company did not act in the interests of the railway company, and did not defend such foreclosure suit, as they should have none, and should have set up that the bonds held by the Investment Company should not draw interest until such contract was completed, and that the stock held by the Investment Company should not be declared fully paid until actually paid for by the completion and the equipment cf the line In accordance with the contract which they had assumed; but.in all the litigation, as I am informed and believe, the so-called directors of the railway company simply obeyed the instructions of the Investment Company.

By reason of the failure of the Investment. Company to carry out in good faith the contract they had assumed, the subsidy of the Dominion government lapsed-or at least such portion of it as had not been paid, but was wi-th-Mr. TAYLOR.

held by the government pending the completion and equipment of the line in acordauce with the specifications. I have always believed that the securities held by the Investment Company should be charged with a lien for the payment of the construction debts and the completion and equipment of the line according t.0 the contract.

Now, Mr. Hervey states that when he assigned to these people they assumed that obligation to pay these construction debts and to complete the road according to the government standard, so that Mr. Cooper could get tlie subsidy. Now, these people assumed that from Mr. Hervey, they became liable to these labourers and these creditors and liable for the completion of the road. They sold these bonds to these parties and now they come forward and repudiate the bargain made by Mr. Hervey and ask parlia-men to back them up in that and give them a charter and wipe out all these claims. These may not be legal claims against them, liut they are certainly moral claims and this government ought to recognize them. The sub-committee, as I am informed, at least the minority of the subcommittee, fully agreed and believed it was understood by the committee that they would simply legislate so as to confirm the title to the property that they had purchased and give them nothing more and nothing less. I trust that when tlie matter is fully explained and understood by lion, members on both sides of this House that the justice of our contention will be recognized and that the government will restrict the Bill to the purpose which I have mentioned, so as not to place these creditors in any worse position than they were in before the road was sold or since. I have given notice of an amendment which reads as follows :

That nothing In this Act shall prejudice the claims of the creditors in a suit now pending in the courts, to test the authority of the courts of Ontario having jurisdiction to order the sale of this railway, it being a railway for the general advantage of Canada.

At six o'clock, committee took recess.

After Recess.

Committee resumed at Eight o'clock.

Topic:   BROCKVILLE AND SAULT STE MARIE RAILWAY COMPANY.
Permalink
CON

George Taylor (Chief Opposition Whip; Whip of the Conservative Party (1867-1942))

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. TAYLOR.

When the House took recess at six o'clock I was reading a statement made by Mr. R. G. Hervey. and I had about concluded reading it. It continues as follows :-

I have always believed that the securities held by the Investment Company should be charged with a lien for the payment of the construction debts and the completion and equipment of the line according to the contract.

While It would seem to me that .a charter should be granted permitting the extension of this railway, it does seem to me only reasonable and fair that such charter should provide for 'he payment within a certain time of the debts incurred under the construction contract which

was assumed by the Investment Company ; or possibly it might be made a condition of the charter that any subsidy that might hereafter be granted by either the Dominion or provincial governments should be charged wiith the payment thereout of the money coming to Cooper (whose security was destroyed by the acts of the Investment Company), and also for the payment thereout of a sum sufficient to settle the other indebtedness incurred under said construction contract, and that the charter should be contingent thereupon and should lapse at an agreed time if such liabilities-which should long ago have been paid by the Investment Company, as above mentioned-were not satisfied.

The above is an accurate statement.

(Signed) ROBT. G. HERVEY. Now, Mr. Chairman, the committee is seized with all the facts in reference to this railway. My hon. friend from Cornwall (Mr. Pringle) has read to the House the action that was taken by this parliament in the cases of the Toronto, Hamilton and Buffalo Railway Company and the Northwest Central Railway Company, and the Hereford Railway Company, in which cases hon. gentlemen opposite supported a proposal similar to that which we make now. When these companies applied to' parliament for extended powers, parliament granted their charters only on condition that the just claims against them should be paid. I am satisfied that now that parliament is aware of the facts in this case, parliament will not perpetuate an injustice against the creditors of this road. One of these creditors, a Mr. Knowlton, who appeared before the committee, furnished a right of way, and although he never gave a title, the road took possession of it, and he has never received a cent. Besides that he has a claim under a contract for construction, the whole amounting to $8,000 or $10,000. I am sure that parliament will not legislate that gentleman out of his just rights. I am glad to see the hon. gentleman for Guysborough (Mr. Fraser) coming into the House, because in the case of the Toronto, Hamilton and Buffalo Railway he moved an amendment in favour of the creditors of that road, and I am glad to say it was adopted by the House. I am sure that his voice will he raised now on behalf of the creditors of the Brockville, Westport and Sault Ste. Marie Railway Company. I ask the Minister of Labour to see that labouring men who worked for days and months on this railway, and who never received a dollar of wages, will be protected now that parliament can protect them. I also ask that in any legislation that is granted, it shall he provided that it will in no way interfere with the case that is now pending in the courts. It is the duty of the government to look to all legislation passing through this House, and I trust they will take measures to see that justice is done to the creditors of this company.

Topic:   BROCKVILLE AND SAULT STE MARIE RAILWAY COMPANY.
Permalink
LIB

Frank Oliver

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER.

I would like to say a word on behalf of one of my constituents who has

a claim against this company for $5,000, for money that has actually gone into the construction of this road. A company was chartered by this parliament to build this road, and in the building of that road they incurred certain expenses for labour and material, and the company being in default the road was sold under an order of the court, and practically the same company bought it in.

Topic:   BROCKVILLE AND SAULT STE MARIE RAILWAY COMPANY.
Permalink

July 27, 1903