June 23, 1908

FIRST READING.


Bill (No. 192) to incorporate the Alberta and British Columbia Railway Company.- Mr. Galliher.


TIMBER MARKING ACT AMENDMENT.


Hon. SYDNEY FISHER moved for leave to introduce Bill (No. 103) to amend the Timber Marking Act. He said : This Bill is merely to insert the words ' New Brunswick ' in section 2 of the Timber Marking Act. At present that Act applies only to Ontario and Quebec. I have received application from the lumbermen of New Brunswick that it should be made to apply to that province. Motion agreed to, and Bill read the first [DOT]time.


ACCIDENT TO CORNWALL CANxVL.

LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, before the orders of the day are called, I would ask the permission of the House to make a statement with regard to an accident of considerable proportions that occurred to the Cornwall canal this morning at about five o'clock near lock 18, the first lock west of the town, about a mile from the centre of the town and a little west of the bridge of the Ottawa and New York Railway. In the southern bank of the canal there is a break, which has widened until I understand, from a message just received, it is about 150 feet long. The pier of the swing portion of the New York and Ottawa bridge, which was located just inside the south bank of the canal, toppled over, and the bridge being swung out of place now lies lengthwise along the southern bank of the canal. At last reports the water was pretty well out of the canal ; it was below the bed, and no further" damage will be done, although the damage is very serious. The loss will be heavy, not only to the country, but to the shipping interests. The through traffic on the railway will be stopped, or can only be carried on by a system of transfer if that can be established. Being under the disability of having my chief engineer ill in the hospital, I immediately wired to Mr. Waller, the engineer of the Welland canal, a very capable man, to report at once and to act ns chief engineer, and he has wired me that he is leaving St. Catharines this morning. I have sent Mr. Bowden, of the designing engineering staff, to Cornwall, to look over the ground, so that we will know how matters stand.

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CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. TAYLOR.

Does it interfere *with navigation as well as with the traffic of the railway ?

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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM.

It will stop navigation, so far as west bound traffic Is concerned, until the damage is repaired. There were no boats in the canal at the time, I believe.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

Has the minister any idea of how long the repairs will take ?

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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM.

I am not in a position to say. I have asked the acting chief engineer to meet me at Cornwall in the morning, and will then be able to report how long It will take. It is the purpose of the department to make the repairs with all possible speed.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

What is supposed to have been the cause of the accident ?

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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM.

The overseer passed the snot last night, and there was no indication of anything wrong. The report of the engineer will be necessary, I suppose, to give us any definite information.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

I thought the minister referred to some small break in the bank of the canal ?

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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Sir. GRAHAM.

Of course, it was comparatively small at first, but the rush of water made it wider.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

The hon. gentleman was not referring to any previous indication ?

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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM.

No, there was no indication whatever before.

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INDIGNITY TO CANADIAN CITIZEN.

CON

Edmund James Bristol

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. EDMUND BRISTOL (Center Toronto).

Mr. Speaker, before the orders of the day are called, I wish to bring to the attention of the Trime Minister certain extraordinary treatment which was accorded on Thursday last to a body of Canadian excur-sionis.ts by the immigration officials of the United States at Niagara Falls The facts are stated in an article which appears on the front page of the ' Mail and Empire ' of yesterday, which I will read :

Indignity heaped on excursionists-Naturalized Canadian citizens marched through Niagara Falls streets under police guard and detained three hours by immigration officials.

An episode occurred at Niagara Falls, New York, on Thursday, in which a number of respectable and hard-working citizens of Toronto were subjected to considerable indignity and inconvenience through the over-officious-ness and boorishness of United States immigration officials. On Thursday last the employees of the Standard Cloak Company held an excursion to Queen Victoria Niagara Falls Park. In the course of the afternoon a number of the excursionists, including many women and children, decided to go across the river to spend an hour in Uncle Sam's domains, and they accordingly boarded a car. All the members of the party were of the Hebrew race, but were, with one exception, naturalized Canadian citizens, the exception being M. Taube, who held United States citizenship papers. At the United States end of the

international bridge they were interrogated by an immigration official, who informed them that they could not enter the city of Niagara Falls, New York. It was pointed out to the over-zealous official that all in the party had return tickets to Toronto; that some of the men had left their wives and children on the Canadian side, and that all the men had their Canadian naturalization papers with them. The jack-in-office contemptuously replied that the papers were ' no good ' and would listen to no arguments. The visitors then offered to return to the Canadian side, but this the officers refused to permit, informing them that they would have to see the inspector. The whole party were then forced to alight from the ear, one man, who was accompanied by his wife, and who wished to remain on the car and return to Canada, being roughly pulled off. Guarded in front and rear by policemen, the party of men, women and children, about fifty in all, were marched through the business streets of Niagara Falls, amid the jeers of onlookers. They were placed on another car and run for a short distance of a couple of miles to the outskirts of the city, where the immigration officer proposed to lock them in a small room until the inspector was summoned. At this the men of the party protested, as the day was a sultry one, and they were permitted to remain outside under guard. When the inspector arrived, he listened to the explanations of the visitors, but manifested the same scorn of the Canadian naturalization papers as had his subordinate. Mr. M. Gebirtig, a citizen of Toronto for eighteen years, as spokesman of the party, gave his word that the whole party desired nothing but to get hack to Canadian soil, but the inspector paid no attention to this. When Mr. Taube, the only American citizen with the party, added his assurances, the excursionists were allowed to depart, after having been detained just three hours.

1 would ask the right hon. gentleman if lie thinks it proper to take any action in the matter ?

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LIB

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

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

I had seen the report in the newspapers which my hon. friend has just read to the House and I had thought anil still more hoped that the report was exaggerated; but from information received. not particularly, but so universally from the press, it seems to me that there is foundation for the rumour that Canadian British subjects were subjected to indignities on the Dart of United States officials. It is not possible to conceive what may have been the motives of those officials, for our relations with our neighbours are always cordial and friendly, and we have had no reason hitherto to complain of the treatment accorded to our fellow-subjects when they visit that country. It is possible that they may have been over zealous. At all events, the matter requires some attention, and it will be our duty to ask the British ambassador at Washington to bring it before the American authorities.

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INQUIRY FOR RETURNS.

June 23, 1908