The two Bills are mixed up together in a way, and it is a very difficult matter to keep them separate. The conferences which I understand have been held have been in connection with both Bills, I presume, as we have amendments proposed to this Bill as sent down from the Senate. The hon. minister of
the interior speaks of this as a conference between party friends, and he says that hon. gentlemen on this side of the House may have their own meetings just the same as have hon. gentlemen on the other side. But I would point out that these conferences which have, II understand, taken place, have been on a different footing. I have been informed that not only have the members on that side been meeting together, which, of course, they had a perfect right to do, but that they have had before them the chief Inspector, a paid official, to give evidence, and that they have also had before them, I presume on invitation, the representatives of the two great railways in the west, the Canadian Northern and the Canadian Pacific Railway, the two parties most interested in the conveyance of the grain and the representatives of the farmers. That being the case, it seems to me that it partook more or less of the nature of an official conference. However, the minister did not see fit to invite hon. gentlemen on this side of the House to that conference, and, of course, he takes, the responsibility of that. I only express the same belief as that which has been expressed by an hon. gentleman on this side of the House already, and that is that the Bill has been treated from a purely party standpoint and not as a matter in regard to which both parties should do their utmost to agree upon some mutual understanding for the benefit of all concerned in the grain business of the west.