May 5, 1904

CON

Samuel Barker

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BARKER.

I wish to call the attention of the hon. Minister of Justice to the last five lines of the clause :

And any agreements heretofore made by the Grand Trunk Company for providing the deposit mentioned in the scheduled agreements, and the pledge of certain stocks and securities of the Grand Trunk Company for the purposes thereof, are hereby confirmed and declared valid.

If there are any such agreements they have not been produced. I understood that there had been no deposit of stocks. I understood that there had been some tajji of a deposit of stocks but that arrangement was virtually cancelled and I do not see what these words apply to. At all events I think we; should not be called upon to confirm agreements that we do not know anything about. It seems to me that these words may have been put into the Bill at the time that the old deposit was thought or but that seems to be abandoned. There is a purely cash transaction, or a book entry transaction in the Bank of Montreal, and if there have been any agreements affecting transactions in which the company is concerned I think we ought not to confirm them without seeing them. I therefore move that these words be struck out.

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LIB

Charles Fitzpatrick (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. FITZPATRICK.

I think my hon. friend is quite right up to a certain point ; that is, that agreements affecting the country ought to be before the House for consideration before we give effect to them and bind the country, but if the agreements referred to are agreements which affect the Grand Trunk Railway Company and the Bank of Montreal, I do not see that his argument appplies. They do not affect us and in so far as the country is concerned we have the result of the agreements in a cash deposit. All that is asked for is to confirm these agreements between the bank and the company which agreements have given the deposit which we have. I do not know that

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we are concerned in the domestic arrangements of the Grand Trunk Railway Com-' pany in so far as we are not affected by them. These agreements between the bank and the company do not affect our deposit because the deposit is absolute. It is only fair to the Grand Trunk Railway Company and to the Bank of Montreal that the agreements, as to the validity of which there may exist some doubt, should be ratified so as to give effect to them as between the company and the bank.

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CON

Samuel Barker

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BARKER.

I think it is very unusual for parliament to be asked to confirm agreements that they do not see or know anything about. I have never known an instance of it. I do not think that we ought to make them public, but I think the right hon. leader of the government might show them to my hon. friend the leader of the opposition. I do not think it is right that we should confirm agreements affecting transactions in which the country is concerned and not know what they are. Hereafter, if there is something in that affecting the relationship of either of these parties to the country, we are supposed to have known these agreements when we confirmed them, and we will be taken to have approved of this, even though it may be contrary to the interests of the country.

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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

We have no other agreement than those which have been laid upon the table of the House, and of which the House is cognizant. Outside of j that we have nothing at all. We have the result that the deposit was made, but how the money was obtained and what agreements were made between the company and the bank we have no knowledge of at all.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

Parliament should not be asked to confirm something which is not before it. If there is any agreement which requires ratification it should be laid on the table and scheduled as part of the Act. I do not think any precedent can be found for a clause of this kind.

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LIB

Charles Fitzpatrick (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. FITZPATRICK.

This seems to be a clause that ought to be applied for by the Grand Trunk Railway Company itself. It might be considered as an amendment to the charter of that company. It is not absolutely out of place where it is, because after all it is necessary to give effect to the agreement entered into with us, that the company should have this power. We may consider the point taken by my hon. friend, with other suggestions which have been made, and when the matter comes up for further consideration the Prime Minister will, no doubt, be able to make a statement on the subject.

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CON

Jean-Baptiste Morin

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. J. B. MORIN.

I desire to move the following amendment :

That section 8 of chapter 71 of 3 Edward VII., is repealed and the following substituted therefor :-

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LIB

Mr. FITZPATRICK. (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

8. The eastern division of the said Transcontinental Railway extending from the city of Moncton to the city of Winnipeg, shall be constructed by or for the government, during the same delays as those given for the construction of the western division, and the work of construction shall commence at Quebec to be simultaneously pursued in a north-westerly direction to Winnipeg, and in a south-easterly direction to Moncton, the said road crossing the St. Lawrenec on the Quebec bridge and running in a south-easterly direction through the counties of Ldvis and Dorchester, following the course of the Etchemin river up towards Etche-min lake, and thence easterly through the province pf Quebec towards the city of Moncton.

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LIB

Peter Macdonald (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

The DEPUTY SPEAKER.

We will take it as a notice of motion.

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CON
LIB

Charles Fitzpatrick (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. FITZPATRICK.

There has been no location of this line at all made by the government.

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CON

Jean-Baptiste Morin

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MORIN.

The hon. minister will remember that at the outset I stated I was speaking according to a map, showing the location of the line, which was given me by the government. If the map is wrong, it is not my fault.

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LIB

Charles Fitzpatrick (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. FITZPATRICK.

I must confess it is news to me that the government have published a map of the location.

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CON
LIB

Charles Fitzpatrick (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. FITZPATRICK.

We are far away from Manitoba just now.

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CON

Jean-Baptiste Morin

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MORIN.

My hon. friend can see the book if he is very anxious to look at it. Let him speak to the hon. member for Bellechasse and he will find that no one cares in that county whether the road runs on the north side of the Alleghanies or the south, but we all know it would serve the people better if built on the south side, because the south side is not opened up. There is a great deal of timber on that side, which the people cannot sell except to the Yankees, at whatever price they can get. If'the road were built there, you would have one road on the north side of the Alleghany mountains and one on the south. That would be dividing matters fairly and would serve everybody. There is one thing I do not like. Last year from the 31st of July, when the leader of the government made his motion, to the 3rd of September, when the vote was taken, I did not address the House, and this year since the 5th of April, when the resolution before the House was submitted, until to-day, I have not said a word, because I did not want to take up the time of the House. But now I want to speak plainly.

In the speech from the Throne, we are told that this is to be a colonization road. But if you build it on the north side of the mountains, how can it be a colonization road ? You will have to build it on the south side, if you want that kind of a railway. But the great evil in this whole transaction consists in the fact that the government is not the boss in it. M hy does the government give the Grand Trunk a charter and furnish the money and then let the Grand Trunk Railway do as they please?

I am only a man, but I will not let anybody else handle my money. If the Grand Trunk Railway want to build a road with their own money, I have nothing to say, but when the government is practically furnishing the money, it should not let the company lead it by the nose. I know that if the Grand Trunk Pacific or the Grand Trunk Railway had nothing to say in the matter, this road would be located where I want the government to build it. I have that much confidence in the government. I am working for the people, but the Grand Trunk Railway are working for themselves. Just look at the public accounts of this country. In 1818 the Grand Trunk Railway received $15,000,000 in cash and they owe the country in cash and interest $25,000,000, on which they have never paid a cent, either principal or interest. And after paying that company $25,000,000 of our money, we are going to give them the balance for ev.er. If you are love-sick with the company, you will go ahead, but I have more love for my people than I have for the Grand Trunk Railway.

I know that the Grand Trunk Railway will take care of themselves, for I have had experience with these companies. I have one thing to ask of the government, and it is not very hard to grant. If the government desire to locate that railway from the Quebec bridge east, all I have to say is that, if they have any faith in me, let me know, and I will show them the route they should follow. And after I have shown their engineers and surveyors that route, the government can adopt any one they please. I have guided railway survey corps through the Alleghany mountains before this for weeks and months, and I know what I am talking about. I know that it is very useful for any "body of engineers who are going through a wild country and a strange country to have a guide to guide them right, and I am one of those who can do it. Well, Mr. Chairman, I will not take up more time, but will sit down and let somebody else take a whack at it.

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LIB

Charles Fitzpatrick (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. FITZPATRICK.

As I said a moment ago to my hon. friend (Sir. Morin), the government have not located this line either east or west of Quebec, in any part that I know of. I am quite sure that when the time comes to locate the line east of Quebec- that is the line which will go through the county of my hon. friend-the en-

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CON

Jean-Baptiste Morin

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MORIN.

gineers or surveyors who will be charged with that duty will be glad to avail themselves of the local knowledge of my hon. friend and of his good sound sense in matters of this kind. I ought to say, with respect to the amendment he has suggested, that I have a clause to be added to the Bill which, I think is as complete as the amendment he has proposed and, perhaps, goes a little further. It will read about in this way :

The work of construction on the eastern division of the Transcontinental Railway shall be commenced as nearly as may be, simultaneously at Moncton, Quebec and Winnipeg, and carried on westward of Moncton and Quebec and eastward of Winnipeg in such manner that the section between Winnipeg and Quebec and the section between Quebec and Moncton shall be completed, as nearly as practicable at the same time.

I presume that that will meet the object my hon. friend has in view ; and I shall move that later on.

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CON
CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

We have at least one amendment to that clause, which will be as follows :

That section 3 of the Bill be amended by adding thereto the following words :-

Every such agreement shall be subject to the approval of the Governor in Council, and a certified copy of every such agreement shall forthwith be deposited with the Secretary of State for Canada.

I-understand that the Minister of Justice (Mr. Fitzpatrick) would like a very brief statement of the reasons for each of these amendments. The reasons which influenced us in suggesting this amendment are that, as these agreements will be made between companies which are practically controlled by the same directors-or may be so-and as these agreements will relate to matters that will be of public interest to the whole country, it is only a fair and reasonable stipulation that such agreements shall be subject to the approval of the Governor in Council, and that a copy of them should be deposited with the Secretary of State, in order that they may remain on record for the use of the government and parliament of Canada. There was another amendment which has been sent across the floor of the House by my hon. friend from Hamilton (Mr. Barker) to the Minister of Justice (Mr. Fitzpatrick), relating to section 1 of the Bill. My hon. friend from Hamilton has not given the reasons in support of that, because he was not able to do so very briefly, as he tells me. But there would be no objection to stating them privately to the minister, if he desires that the reasons for the amendment be suggested, in order that he may consider the question more fully.

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May 5, 1904