September 7, 1903

L-C

Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. HUGHES (Victoria).

If the minister would suggest that course should be pursued, I can indicate a good many other monopolies in Canada that a military force could break up.

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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

My hon. friend would not do anything of the sort, because he is always on the side of the monopolies in Canada.

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L-C

Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. HUGHES (Victoria).

I have been attacking that monopoly over there for seven years now.

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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

Which one '!

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CON

Edward Frederick Clarke

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLARKE.

Who compose the company ?

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L-C

Edward Hackett

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. HACKETT.

It is called the Anglo-American Telegraph Company, but I do not know who the directors are. Anyway, they have a monopoly. When the government

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L-C

Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. HUGHES (Victoria).

The government.

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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

Yes, and my bon. friend will have to keep on doing that with the same faith and the same

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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Hon. Mr. FIELDING.

hope, and in the same hopelessness, as in former years. My hon. friend must remember that in If) cases out of 20, the people of this country are supplied with telegraph facilities by private corporations in the ordinary way of business. The government has only established a service where the population is sparse, or for the benefit of tlie fishing industry, or the protection of life and property, and considerations of that character. Whether the whole province of Prince Edward Island could be held to come under this designation is a debatable question. I would not have my hon. friend rush to the conclusion that because tlie people of Prince Edward Island have not an adequate telegraph service, it is tlie duty of the government to supply it. There is many a town in Canada where tlie telegraph office closes at 8 o'clock at night, and yet the people do not come to the government of Canada and say : You have to wake the telegraph operator up.

I am not saying that against the" request of my hon. friend (Mr. Hackett), for I am disposed to do everything to help him, but I want him to be reasonable, and not to be always seeking to lay every grievance at the door of the government. My hon. friend should look for a remedy to the ordinary telegraph service as far as possible, and only when that fails to supply a remedy, should the government interfere, if interference is possible.

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CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

I do not think it would be necessary, as the Minister of Finance suggests, to invoke the service of Col. Hughes with an armed force to stop this monopoly, because probably terms can be inserted in this Bill which would compel the existing telegraph company to give the benefits of this service to Prince Edward Island. I am perfectly sure that the association which is to receive this grant could bring sufficient pressure to bear on the telegraph company to cause them to extend to the province of Prince Edward Island the same service as is given to the rest of the Dominion.

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L-C

Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. HUGHES (Victoria).

So far as monopolies go, the Minister of Finance was found battling against the rights of Prince Edward Island when he opposed this telegraph Bill to which he has referred.

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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

I never said a word against it.

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L-C

Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. HUGHES (Victoria).

If my memory serves me right, the whole outfit over there were opposed to this Bill, and doing their best to crush the efforts of the people of Prince Edward Island to get rid of the monopoly.

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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

Not at all.

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L-C

Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. HUGHES (Victoria).

The Minister of Finance stated in that bland and eloquent manner which is characteristic of

him, that this is merely a grant to the Canadian papers, but as I read the Bill, it is a grant to an association, and should that association, which is getting .$15,000 a year, make a profit on the business, will that profit be distributed among the Canadian newspapers? I want to see that the Canadian newspapers get that profit and not an organization headed by Mr. Brierly and Mr. Atkinson, in whom I am free to say I have no confidence whatever.

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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

It is the great misfortune of my hon. friend from Victoria (Mr. Hughes) that he has no confidence in some of the very best men in this country.

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L-C

Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. HUGHES (Victoria).

I have some little confidence in the Minister of Finance.

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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

My hon. friend is ungenerous enough to express lack of confidence in the gentlemen who sit on this side

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L-C

Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. HUGHES (Victoria).

Most of you.

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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

How could lack of faith go further ? As to my opposing the telegraph Bill to which the hon. gentleman has referred, I do not think I was present in the committee when it was being discussed, but at all events I certainly never opposed it. I think my hon. friend from Victoria (Mr. Hughes) is getting two or three things mixed up together. Every newspaper in Canada has a right to be a member of this association and share the benefits in common and on even terms. But each newspaper must pay its shot ; it cannot come in and get the benefit of this service for nothing when other newspapers are paying for it.

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September 7, 1903