June 16, 1908

NATIONAL TRANSCONTINENTAL RAILWAY-ACCIDENT TO WORKMEN.

LIB

Ralph Smith

Liberal

Mr. RALPH SMITH.

Before the orders of the day are called, I would like to ask the Minister of Railways if he has instituted inquiry into the causes of the recent accident on the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway in the district of Kenora.

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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Hon. G. P. GRAHAM (Minister of Railways).

I at first thought that the accident had occurred on the Grand Trunk Pacific . portion of the line ; but finding that it was on the National Transcontinental portion,

I took the matter up with the chairman of the Commission, and he informs me that they have instructed their engineer to make a full report of the circumstances. Up to this morning that report has not yet come.

I see by the press that the provincial authorities have started an inquest, which has had to be adjourned until those in the hospital are able to give evidence. This accident is somewhat different from the others inasmuch as the serious loss of life did not occur to those engaged in the blasting, but was rather the result of a blast blowing a ledge upon some employees working below it The foreman in charge was not seriously injured. As far as I can ascertain, this man is one of the most expert men in that line of blasting, in which he has been engaged for many years, and this is his first accident. I hope to be able to give further particulars, but perhaps full particulars will not come out until the inquest is finished.

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RAILWAY ACT AMENDMENT.

?

Hon. G. P.@

GRAHAM moved second reading of Bill (No. 118) to amend the Railway Act with respect to Telegraph and Telephones and the Jurisdiction of the Board of Railway Commissioners.

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CON

Haughton Lennox

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HAUGHTON LENNOX (South Sim-coe).

Mr. Speaker, before the second reading of this Bill, I desire to call the attention of the government and the House to matters connected with legislation along these lines. Some four years ago the government appointed a special committee to inquire into one of the main matters that are dealt with by this Bill, that is, the question of the ownership, operation and control of telephones. As the House is aware, that committee had many sittings, did a great deal of work, and collected valuable informaftioii. The proceedings of that committee are recorded in two large volumes, but that is as far as the matter has gone. The information obtained was practically without result. It has never got to the public, and no action has been taken in line with it, unless the action of the government in introducing this Bill can be regarded as the outcome of that investigation; but I think not. It is generally believed that Sir William Mulock, as the result of his inquiries, and the investigation of the committee, formed the opinion that government ownership and control of telephones was desirable, and it is surmised, whether rightly or wrongly, that his retirement from the government was due to a difference of opinion between himself and his colleagues in the government in that respect. On his retirement he took a position to which it was well understood he had been up to that time unalterably opposed, that is, he retired from the government direct to a position on the bench. I do not propose to give any very elaborate summary of the results of that investigation, but I propose to refer to some of them with a view to having it considered whether or not the government is taking the proper position now. The propositions that were submitted to that committee may be divided mainly into two classes. One was that the government should own and operate the entire system of telephones ; the other was in the main the ownership of the long distance lines. Among those who sent in petitions or resolutions .advocating government ownership and operation were the Toronto city council, which unanimously recommended that the government should entirely take over and operate the telephone service of Canada. The Owen Sound Board of Trade said ;

The petition of the county council of the county of Bruce said :

There is a close parallel between communication by mail and communication by wire, and if one should be maintained at the bare cost of operation, why not the other? We would, therefore, urge upon the Dominion government the importance of assuming as speedily as possible the management and control of the telephone business of the country, believing that if the idea of profit were eliminated, the cost to the public would be materially reduced, and, as a natural consequence, this means of communication brought within the reach of a much greater number of people.

The city of Nanaimo said :

The council considers that these rates are hiclier than they should be, and they strongly favour government ownership of all telephone lines.

The town of Simcoe recommended the full ownership and operation of all telephone lines by the Dominion government. The township of Pickering sent in a resolution declaring that :

The council wish respectfully to submit that telephones are now as necessary as post offices, and that the telephone system should toe a monopoly in the hands of the Dominion government. The council is of opinion that a better service would then be had, the public better served and at much less cost than now, and that the telephone -system could be made a success if placed under the control of the Post Office Department.

The town of Tort Perry said this :

It wouid be an immense advantage to Canada and certainly to this particular neighbourhood, if the telephone system were taken over by the government and run in connection with the post office.

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Mr. D. W.@

Bole, M. P. for Winnipeg, wrote :

As to the future of the telephone business in Canada, I am strongly of opinion that the whole system should he nationalized.

I do not know whether the hon. gentleman is of the same opinion still. A number of -other bodies sent in recommendations along the same lines. For instance the Regina Board of Trade, the Montreal Chambers of Commerce, the Stratford Board of Trade, the town of Morris, Manitoba, the municipality of Pipestone, Manitoba, the municipality of Batisean, Quebec, the municipality of Matsqui, British Columbia, the municipality of Jordan, the municipality of Maple Creek, Northwest Territory, the township of Rama, the county of Essex, the town of Hespeller and the councils of the towns and county and the trades and labour councils and boards of trade of the county of Waterloo.

These are not nearly all of those who advocated government ownership and operation of the entire system of the country.

In the opinion of this board, tbe time is opportune for tbe Dominion government to assume tbe ownership and control of all telephone systems and lines within the Dominion of Canada.

337J

As I have said there is a large number of representative bodies which do not go so far as this, but advocate the ownership of the long distance lines. From Kelowna, British Columbia, Mr. Melville writes :

The government owns the long distance line which operates here and gives perfect satisfaction.

The Ontario Municipal Association says :

ilt would he still better in the public interest that the Dominion government should own and control all the long distance lines, and permit them to be used by all local telephone systems under a reasonable tariff of rates to be fixed by the government.

The Union of Canadian Municipalities unanimously resoJved at Winnipeg in August, 1905 :

This convention is strongly of opinion that the time has arrived when the long distance telephone should no longer be operated as a monopoly for private gain, and that the service should be owned and operated by the federal government under conditions which will enable every telephone user to have unrestricted intercommunication between all local systems now in operation, or which may be hereafter established.

The town of Peterborough resolved :

The council strongly recommends government ownership of long distance lines, and that municipalities be given control of the streets.

The Winnipeg Printers' Board of Trade resolved :

This board deplores the unsatisfactory service given by the Bell Telephone Company, and we hereby endorse the principle of municipal ownership of telephones, with government ownership of trunk lines.

The significance of this is not so great now except as an expression of opinion because Manitoba has adopted the system of government ownership and control. Recommendations on the same line were sent in by a great number of others, among them the Retail Merchants of Ontario, 5,000 members, the Guelph Board of Trade, the town of Orangeville, the town of Neep'awa, the town of St. Andrews, New Brunswick, the Union. Telephone Company of Florence-ville, the municipality of Gormely, Onta-no, the county of Elgin, the township of York, the town of Weston, Halifax county, Nova Scotia, and the town of Sarnia.

So that we have this strong current of opinion and a great deal more in the evidence taken and matters submitted to the committee all in the line of government ownership. And we have also collected there a number of cases in which the system has actually been established; and in the vast majority, if not in all of these, the system of government ownership and operation has been found abundantly satisfactory Mr. LENNOX.

and profitable. Among these I might mention Great Britain, Denmark and Belgium, that Great Britain operates the trunk lines and some of the local systems. Denmark operates the long distance lines. Belgium the entire system, Germany the entire system, Austria the entire system, and Bavaria, the State of Victoria, the State of Tasmania, the Commonwealth of Australia, New Zealand owns and operates the long distance system and local exchanges, Norway the greater number of the trunk lines, Holland the interlocal lines, Switzerland and Russia nearly all the trunk lines, Glasgow and Brighton, Hull, Portsmouth, Swansea, Sweden, Strait Settlements, Natal, &c., &c., as having adopted telephone systems; and coming home there are the examples of Manitoba and Saskatchewan which have just adopted the ownership of their telephone system and Alberta which is also committed to this scheme.

Now, as to the practical results, for instance let us compare the government-operated lines with the company lines. The figures I am about to quote will nearly all be found in the evidence reported in the proceedings of the committee. In Canada under company ownership and operation, we find that the charge for sixty miles transmission is 35 cents. The following figures show the cost in Canada as compared with government ownership for the same service:

Charge for 3 minutes conversation, 60 miles-

Cents.

Canada

Great Britain New Zealand..

Norway

Denmark.. .. Switzerland..

Bavaria

Belgium

Russia

Australia.. .. *For 55| miles.

18

12!

n

9|

12

19|

26*

24!

The charge for a distance of 300 miles in Canada, according to the evidence of President Sise given before the committee was $1.65. Compare this with the prices in the countries I have just referred to ;

Charge for 300 miles-

Canada $1.65

Great Britain 0.86

Norway 0.33

Denmark 0.54

Switzerland 0.15

Bavaria 0.24

Belgium 0.19!

Russia 0.62*

Australia 0.82

*TJp to 77 cents for 411 miles.

I might also give some special information as regards Australia. The following figures show the rates for three minutes conversation and for each additional three minutes as adopted by the Commonwealth of Australia :

Each

Distance. First additional

Miles. 3 minutes. 3 minutes.

Cinder 15 $0.01 $0.0115 to 20

0.06 0.0620 to 25

0.08 0.0625 to 50

0.16 0.1250 to 75

0.21| 0.1875 to 100

0.32J 0.21i100 to 150

0.15 0.321150 to 200

0.57 0.121200 to 250

0.69 0.51250 to 300

0.82 0.61300 to 350

0.96 0.69350 to 100

1.05 0.80Up to 600

1.22

Dp to 600, after 8 P.M.. .. 0.61

Now, a word as to annual profits. I take my figures on this subject from the latest Information brought down to the time the committee sat.

In Brighton, with a population of 125,000, the total expenditure was $250,000; surplus over working expenses, interest and sinking fund, $2,065.

Portsmouth, with a population of 200,000; total expenditure, $191,098.80; revenue, $15,612.12; total expenditure, including sinking fund and depreciation, $36,008.78; net surplus, $9,603.61.

Guernsey.-Surplus after deducting sinking fund, $1,383.

Swansea.-Net profits, $3,615.

Straits settlements.-Total receipts for 1904, $8,168.31; total expenses, including 10 per cent depreciation, $4,131.17; net profits, $1,031.11.

State of Victoria.-Net profit for 1901, $31,281.80.

Tasmania.-Net surplus, 1901, $28,026.85.

Rotterdam.-Net profits, 1901, $26,621.86.

Transvaal colony.-Net profits, $111,115.

Norway.-Surplus, $137,181.

Germany.-Exact figures not given, hut there was a considerable profit. Germany owns almost the entire system.

Bavaria.-Net profit, 1903, $355,166.

Besides these matters which I collected from the report. I have the following statement from an expert :

Profits of government telephone systems.

The following are the profits from the operation of telephone systems by the undermentioned governments;

Great Britain-Dong distance lines, $45,152; whole system, $92,827. After providing for depreciation and interest- on capital expenditure. (Postmaster General's report, March 31, 1907.)

New Zealand-$38,756.46, or 2.69 per cent on capital expenditure after paying 5 per cent interest on debentures. (Ottawa evidence.)

Norway-Long distance lines, $137,181, or 7 all per cent on capital expenditure. Telegraphs and telephones, $253,233, or 8:04 per cent on capital expenditure. (Ottawa evidence.)

Bavaria-$375,101, 5:05 per cent on capital after providing interest and sinking fund. (Ottawa evidence.) _

Germany-Secretary of 'State in his reply says; ' Since 1880, 5 per cent has been paid on the capital expenditure for the entire telephone system. (Ottawa evidence.)

Belgium-Profit on whole system, $153,923. The 'Minister of Railways, Post and Telegraphs, states that the interest paid by the government amounts to 3 per cent on the capital expended; also that the cost of the lines is paid off in 15 years, and the cost of the apparatus in. 10 years. ('Ottawa evidence.)

Russia-The 'St. Petersburg-fMoscow line, 111 miles in length, which cost $192.10 per mile for two circuits earned a surplus of $36,050 in 1904. The rate for 3 minutes conversation being 77 cents. (Ottawa evidence.)

I am giving here some facts which I have collected in my investigation. There are many matters of great interest in these volumes that I do not profess to be familiar with. As to Great Britain, I would like to say a word or two. Great Britain has been making history in this matter, and has been steadily working towards national ownership and operation. iCoupled with the fact that almost every European country owns and operates its own telephone system, trunk lines in almost all cases, and the whole system in the great majority of cases, it is an example which may be very valuable to us. Dp to 1892 the National Telephone Company of Great Britain, which is not actually a national company but a private company, as the Bell Company is here, controlled the telephone business of Great Britain upon terms of paying a ten per cent royalty. In 1892 the government took over the trunk lines; by Act of 1899 it was provided that municipalities might establish local systems; and in 1905, after certain municipalities had taken advantage of the provision, the government came to the conclusion to own and control the whole system. Therefore they decided in 1905 not to grant any more municipal franchises, and there is a provision in all the franchises they grant, and a definite agreement with the National Telephone Company, that at the end of 1911 they shall take over the entire system and operate it as a government work. The terms upon which it is to be taken over are set out in the agreement, and 1 took occasion to read in discussing a Bill here recently, the exact provisions contained in that contract, showing that they are much more drastic than the provisions we generally adopt in reference to taking over a work regarded as a necessary monopoly in the interests of the people.

The written authorities that were consulted during the investigation, and which are necessary to a thorough understanding of the subject, are collected in the first volume between pages XXIV and XXVII. and they are pretty unanimous in the line of advocating government ownership, and generally of government operation. 1 will only refer to a sentence or so found in the [DOT] Arena,' volume 16, page 194, the language of Congressman Gibson:

The dangers and possibilities of evil resulting from private ownership of all the teie-

graph lines in the United States are appalling when considered in connection with times of financial, social or political peril. No private corporation should have the power to pollute, pervert, or destroy the streams of information on which our people must depend and our government act. The postal telegraph is necessary to the national welfare. A country that allows private ownership of all its telegraph lines is criminally indifferent to the machinations of fraud, the devices of selffisJh-ness, and the possibilities of prejudice, and wilfully tempts fate to strike in the crisis of danger.

What he says here of telegraphs is true to a large extent of telephones, looked at from a national standpoint. Hon. gentlemen will remember that the government employed Mr. Francis Dagger during the progress of the investigation before the special committee, to assist the committee, and that gentleman's utterances I submit as being exceedingly valuable on this question. I may remark that he is now the representative of the Saskatchewan government in connection with the telephone system they have just established. Speaking before the Iowa Independent Telephone Association, he uses this language with reference to Canada.

The problem is not rendered more easy from the fact that in Canada the very air is impregnated with a desire for government ownership, many advocates of which, in their zeal for the cause, do not stop to discriminate between government ownership at any cost and a (rational government ownership, established on a businesslike basis, which will secure to the people an efficient service at the lowest cost. I wish to say that ' government ownership at any cost' is just as sensible as ' peace at any price.'

Having said this, by way of caution, Mr. Dagger adds :

<1 believe it is necessary that the long distance service of any state, province or country should be owned and controlled by one interest, and inasmuch as it is not, from the public standpoint, desirable that such ownership amd_ control should be vested in a private corporation, it is essential that the government should assume such ownership and control. I am convinced that if the long distance lines were in the control of the government the people would get a square deal in the matter of rates and service. Competition would then be (placed upon an absolutely fair and equitable basis, and the evils of the Bell monopoly would disappear.

I believe that even iin your great Republic, the time is not far distant when this problem of government ownership of the long distance service will have to he seriously considered Before the telephone users upon the North American continent can eniov the full measure of the advantage which this great utility is destined to supply, facilities will have to be provided which will enable every citizen to have telephone connection, beyond the limits of his own town, with the lines of every local telephone system, in every other city or town or village; over toll lines of Mr LENNOX.

standard efficiency, under conditions which will admit of no discrimination, and controlled by interests whose policy is not the creation of a monopoly to satisfy the selfish interests of a few, but the (maintenance of a system which will secure to the people an adequate service upon equal terms to all. I know of no other means of effecting this than by a similar policy to that which governs our postal system to-day, viz.: government ownership.

In these few remarks I have merely desired to draw the attention of the House to the fact that personally I do not think the question is at all settled. The proper system for the government to adopt in Canada, taking into consideration the actual conditions, is government ownership and management of the trunk lines at least. I recognize that the government in introducing the Bill which is now before the House, is endeavouring to secure greater control over telephones then we have had. That is absolutely necessary, but I am not at all convinced that the government might not, with great profit, have availed themselves of the labours of the committee to which I have referred, and have taken some means of bringing the benefits of that great amount of investigation before the House 1;o the end that we might evolve a system more in the interests of the public than that provided for in the Bill introduced. I have read the Bill carefully and, while I shall not discuss it in detail, it appears to me that aside from all this it embodies one of the evils that crop up very frequently in our legislation- I fear it displays a disregard for the rights of the provinces, and constitutes an infringement upon their rights, as the sections are framed. I do not think this is from any improper desire, it is probably from a laudable desire to obtain greater control over these lines, but it will be found, I think, that the measure of control attempted in many sections cannot be worked out as a matter of law. My aim would be to deal with both the telephone and telegraph services as they are dealt with in European countries and in Great Britain, as a system closely allied with the postal service. The postal service, as hon. gentlemen recognize, comes into closer contract with and affects a greater number of our people than any other matter with which we deal in this House ; it is essentially a monopoly. The telephone to-day, under the present system of living, is as essential, almost as much a matter of every-day life, as postal communication itself. In many instances where business has to be attended to rapidly it is more essential than is the mail service. The telephone and telegraph are more and more displacing and superseding the ordinary mail communication. My belief is that these three great utilities can he worked advantageously side by side and in close connection, and that incidental to the de-

.TUNE 16, 1908

velopment of greater facilities for the people, greater modern advantages carried to them all, is, of course, the system of free rural mail delivery. At a very early stage in that agitation I spoke upon the question on several occasions; I have not spoken upon it lately, but I have listened with very great interest to the able presentation of that matter by the hon. member for Bast Lambton (Mr. Armstrong), and 1 believe that [DOT] we cannot consider the question of rural free delivery altogether as an abstract question or as it applies to Canada alone, disassociated from the position which we occupy in relation to the United States. They have adopted the free rural mail delivery and almost as a necessity of the case the time is fast approaching when we, by reason of that additional circumstance, will have to consider the question of free rural mail delivery.

X believe, therefore, that the aim of the government should be in the direction of securing control of these three great monopolies which essentially, and so minutely, affect all classes of our people,that they can best be worked in conjunction, and that the aim of the government should be that in Canada, as in Sweden to-day and to a certain extent in portions of the United States, the government, by means of the telephone, the telegraph and the postal system should overcome the isolation of the farm, and that by a judicious management of these great public utilities, controlled and operated by the government, we shall rapidly approach the time when we will have an efficient telephone, telegraph and mail service reaching out to all our people.

lion. GEO. P. GRAHAM (Minister of Railways.) Just a few words in reply to the observations of my hon. friend (Mr. Lennox). The hon. gentleman has referred to the provinces in the west as having taken up the question of the public ownership of telephones. I think if he looks into the matter, he will find that Alberta was the first province to seriously consider the question of provincial owned telephones. Alberta started in to construct lines somewhat in opposition to the Bell Telephone Company and later it bought out that company. The province of Manitoba has recently bought out the Bell Telephone Company within that province at a very large price.

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Mr. BUSTER@

Manitoba purchased the Bell Company before Alberta did ?

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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM.

Yes, and X believe the province of Saskatchewan is now seriously considering the same matter. I understand my hon. friend (Mr. Lennox) approves of that and that being so I presume he would favour the province of Ontario purchasing the Bell Telephone Company in that province. I am not arguing that question, but I merely point out that the western provinces have done so and as my hon. friend

approves, he would not be out of place in urging the province of Ontario to follow their example. The question of government ownership is a large one. There are three distinct propositions in connection with it, namely : Government ownership with private operation ; government ownership and government operation ; private ownership and private operation.

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?

Mr. BUSTER@

What about government control ?

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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM.

There is as a fourth proposition : Private ownership and operation with government control and each of these propositions is fairly discussable. I may say that the fairness of the rate charged by all these utilities depends largely on the density of the population which contributes the business, and it is the same with telephone or telegraph companies as with railways. My hon. friend spoke of public ownership by municipalities and I can understand that the undertaking may have been a success in these municipalities. For myself I would be largely in favour of municipal ownership and municipal operation of the public utilities in our various municipalities and so far as I know it has been quite successful. But, when it comes to the broader proposition of government ownership and government operation there are many things to be considered ; there is the amount of capital needed, the amount of care required for economic and efficient operation, and other cognate questions. We have in Canada at present a government owned and government operated railway and to get the best results from that system of operation one does not occupy a bed of roses. I would not argue for a momont that it would be better not to have a government operated railway. Not at all. But I want to point out to my hon. friend, when he draws a roseate picture of what has been accomplished by government operation that it has its drawbacks as well as its advantages. It has this advantage of course, that, as my hon. friend has pointed out with regard to the telegraph and telephone service, the public got cheap rates in some places. But, it may be arguable whether the public will not have to pay something in the lonsr run for the advantage of cheap rates, in the way of depreciation of capital account and that kind of thing. If we want to get a really thorough view of the question we should not altogether rely on the figures given by my hon. friend, for it would be necessary to have a statement of each case as to the relationship which capital bears to expenditure on income, the amount allowed for depreciation, the efficiency of the service and these other details which we have before us when we are discussing the Intercolonial Railway in this House. It is only with all that information before you that you can come to a conclusion as to whether there is a profit or a

loss, or as to whether the utility is paying its way. What the people need is a good service at a fair price and in my opinion they care not by what means that is best accomplished. If a good service at a fair price can be obtained for the people they will be satisfied. Now, which is the best way in the interests of the public to accomplish that result ? After full discussion of the question the government has come to the conclusion that private ownership with govemment control is the best way to solve the problem. My hon. friend (Mr. Lennox) has taken as a comparison several places where the business is large iand

where the population is dense, but let me point out the position of Canada as compared with some of the states of the Union. The following table will be of interest:

Population

Area. Popu- to lation square mile.

New York

47,620 5,997,858 126Pennsylvania

44,985 5,258,014 117Massachusetts

8,040 2,495,345 310Ontario

220,000 2,182,947 9-8Canada

3,653,946 5,371,315 1-5

My hon. friend will therefore see that the population of Canada is only 15 per square mile as compared with 300 per square mile in some of the states, and considering our great extent of area and the sparseness of our population the question of giving our people as cheap rates covering all that area as prevail in these densely populated communities, is very problematical. But, we all hope and believe that density of population will come to us in the future and then, like rural mail delivery, the question will wear another aspect. In a thickly settled country more business will offer and the people can get these services at a lower rate per capita. The time probably will come in Canada when we will have rural mail delivery. The United States has adopted the system at the expenditure of a vast amount of money but they have a vas,t population to pay that great expenditure. When in Canada we have that large population which we expect, this question will become more practical than perhaps it is at present. I would not of course go the length of saying that the system might not be adopted in some parts of Canada to advantage. In the same way with the telegraph and telephone systems, when we have a dense population in the years to come we could undertake the operation of the trunk lines as a government proposition with more advantage than at present. The government at the present time, has with the consent of parliament adopted the alternative so far as telephones and telegraphs are concerned of private ownership with government control. The Bill, the second reading of which I have moved, provides for Mr. GRAHAM.

more complete control over these utilities than has heretofore existed, and in addition to telephone companies and express companies, it brings telegraph companies under its control. The government hopes that through the operation of this Bill as administered by a Railway Commission with powers that are given to any similar body in the world, the people will get a good service at fair rates, and for the present I think that is what the country requires.

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Motion agreed to, Bill read the second time and House went into committee thereon. On section 1,-interpretation.


CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

I do not desire to delay the House at this stage of the session with any controversial argument respecting the relative merits of government control of lines operated by pi'ivate companies and state ownership. I would like, however, to point out to the Minister of Railways and Canals that the comparison which he instituted between Canada and the United States so far as population is concerned is by no means a fair comparison, as he will perhaps be inclined to admit on reflection. If it were a fair comparison, one would suppose that we would not have any telephone lines in this country at all. He says we have a population of D5 to the square mile, which would seem to indicate that it -would be the utmost folly for any company to operate a telephone system in this country. As a matter of fact, if you compare the state of New York with the province of Ontario, you will find that the older portions of Ontario, so f^r as the rural districts are concerned, has just as dense a population as the state of New York. In New

York there are perhaps three or four millions of people congregated in one great city, and then there is a large rural expanse which I think is not more densely populated than corresponding areas in the older portions of Ontario. The same comparison would hold with considerable portions of the province of Quebec and of the maritime provinces. The objection of my hon. friend on that score, therefore, does nat seem to be a very valid one. We have in Canada a population of six millions at least, scattered over a very considerable area; but we must bear in mind that the total area of Canada as compared with the total population does not give us a really clear idea of the density of population in many of the eastern provinces.

The minister has spoken very fairly of the relative merits of the different systems. The government, as he has said, has adopted the system of private ownership with public control. Of that system it may be said that it is very much better than private ownership without public control. We have always taken that attitude in this House, and apart from saying that

I do not desire to discuss the subject further to-day, except to state that the position I hare taken on this subject outside of this House on many public platforms I still adhere to, although I see, as the hon. minister has done, that the question of the relative merits of the two systems is a debatable one.

On section 2,-jurisdiction of board.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

This seems to be a very long provision to accomplish no doubt some suitable purpose. What is the intention of the section? Does it add something to the general jurisdiction of the Railway Commission in respect to all matters that are under the control of that board, or has it relation specially and solely to the particular subject that is being dealt with by part 1 of this Bill?

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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM.

This whole part 1 takes the place of the section of the Act which applies to telephones, but this is substituted because it includes telegraphs, which the other does not.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

The only objection X have to the section in its present form is that it seems to apply not only to this particular part, but to the Railway Act as a whole, and if you have two different parts of a statute declaring that the board has certain jurisdiction, but in somewhat different terms, it may lead to confusion.

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LIB

Allen Bristol Aylesworth (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. AYLESWORTH.

As I understand this clause, it is complementary to the present clause in the Railway Act as to the jurisdiction of the board. It confers jurisdiction on the board to entertain and determine any application by any one interested, complaining that any company-which by the definition means a company authorized to operate a telegraph or telephone line- has failed to discharge any duty which is imposed upon such company by-first, the Railway Act; second, this particular legislation; third, the special Act; fourth, any regulation, order or direction made by the Governor in Council.

Topic:   RAILWAY ACT AMENDMENT.
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CON

Joseph Gédéon Horace Bergeron

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BERGERON.

Would it not be shorter to say, and just as effective, that telegraph and telephone companies shall fall under the Railway Act ?

On section 2-jurisdiction or board.

Topic:   RAILWAY ACT AMENDMENT.
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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

Is there any appeal on questions of law ?

Topic:   RAILWAY ACT AMENDMENT.
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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM.

There is an appeal to the Supreme Court on questions of law, and matters of fact to the Governor in Council. It is practically the same clause as is in the Railway Act. The provision in that Act as to appeals will be applicable to this part.

On section 3, subsection 2-penalties for violation of regulations.

Topic:   RAILWAY ACT AMENDMENT.
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June 16, 1908