February 5, 1909

FIRST READINGS.


Bill (No. 40), to incorporate the Great West Permanent Loan Company.-Mr. A. Haggart. Bill (No. 41), respecting the Tilsonburg, Lake Erie and Pacific Railway Company.- Mr. Schell. Bill (No. 42), respecting the Toronto, Niagara and Western Railway Company. Mr. Calvert. Bill (No. 43), respecting the Hudson's Bay and Pacific Railway Company.-Mr. Cash. Bill (No. 44), to incorporate the Canadian Liverpool and Western Railway Company. -Mr. Girard.


SUPPLY-CANADIAN RAILWAYS.

?

Hon. WM@

PATERSON moved that the House go into Committee of Supply.

Topic:   SUPPLY-CANADIAN RAILWAYS.
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IND

William Findlay Maclean

Independent Conservative

Mr. W. F. MACLEAN (South York).

Mr. Speaker, before you put that motion I again must trespass on the time of the House for a few moments to refer to the question of what I might call the delinquencies of Canadian railways in connection with their capitalization. I wish to point out, in view of the wide powers that have been given to the Canadian Pacific Railway in the matter of capital that when such powers are given, the service accorded to the people ought to be considered, and I think I will

bring it down. I contend that it would not be wrong, in view of the facts I have given, to recall and reconsider that order in council, calling upon this great railway to show that it cannot raise the money it requires for the extension of its line other than by the issue of stock at 100 when its stock is bringing 160 or 170 in the open market. I have not a word of criticism to pass on the Canadian Pacific as a railway proposition. We are all proud of it. It has opened up the country and will do a great deal for the country. But a railway is something that concerns the people; it is part of the administration of the country, and it ought to seek to serve the people quite as much as to make its investments attractive to the capitalists of the world. It is all very well to speak of maintaining a reputation in the money markets of the world, but it is also important to do justice to the Canadian people. In that connection I would like to ask the Minister of Railways and Canals whether or not the provision in the original charter of the Canadian Pacific Railway, under which we are not to interfere with their freight rates as long as they do not exceed ten per cent, has been commuted. I was told by a previous Minister of Justice in this House that that clause had been commuted, but I am not sure as to that, and I would like to know the facts now or later at the minister's convenience. I know that the feeling in the Canadian west is in favour of regulating the issue of securities by these railways, and we are only beginning to realize that this is the keynote of the regulation of freight rates. I have already told the House, and I tell them again, that the reason the great capitalists of Europe neglect American railway securities is that they distrust them. Within a few years these securities have heen sent back to the Americans, and the trust companies and savings banks who had loaned money on these shares have had to take them over. The investors of the United States are not taking them, and the people of Europe refuse to take them. Why? Because these railways have been over-capitalized. We read in the papers that the American roads are moving to exclude the Canadian Pacific from their territory on the ground that the Canadian Pacific carries freights at less rates than they can-I am a little doubtful about that-due to the fact that the American railways have such enormous fixed charges through over-capitalization. So we see there is real danger in over-capitalization, and the only way to take charge of the traffic rates is to take charge of the issue of capital. I leave this subject for the present, but I intend to return to it until we have some assurance that the regulation of the capital of railways is a matter of public concern that must pass some form Mr. W. P. MACLEAN. *

of public inspection with a view to making the railway charges as low as possible.

Topic:   SUPPLY-CANADIAN RAILWAYS.
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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

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

I will not detain the House with any lengthy remarks, for the hon. gentleman (Mr. W. F. Maclean) and I discussed the matter pretty fully the other day. I am afraid I should have to repeat what I said then. But, even though it be a repetition, I may say that the question of rates and the question of service, as to both freight and passengers, have been handed over to the Railway Commissioners, and I stand to my opinion that, having adopted this course, we should follow it until it proves a failure-which I think it will never prove. I think that the Board of Railway Commissioners have done a work as good as any like body in the world, perhaps better. As to the order in council to which the hon. gentleman refers, I will have pleasure in bringing it down. I overlooked it.

Topic:   SUPPLY-CANADIAN RAILWAYS.
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MARINE DEPARTMENT INVESTIGATION.

CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

If the discussion which has gone on is not to be continued- and, so far as I am concerned, I will reserve my remarks for another occasion when my hon. friend (Mr. W. F. Maclean) proposes to bring it up-I would like to mention two matters. The Secretary of State (Mr. Murphy) yesterday gave an explanation- or what he seemed to consider an explanation-of the extraordinary and unusual delay that has taken place in the printing of the evidence taken before Mr. Justice Cassels. He told us, what we already knew, that one volume of about 325 or 350 pages had been printed or distributed early in October. He promised another volume next week, and the third volume in two or three weeks from now-I have forgotten the exact date. He told us also that a fourth volume would be out at some time in the future, which he did not undertake to define. Now, I want to tell my hon. friend (Mr. Murphy) that I regard his explanation as the most extraordinary statement I ever heard in this House in regard to the printing of a public document of so much moment as the one to which I have alluded.

Let me point out to him why I regard his explanation as extraordinary. Every day we have debates in this House from three to twelve or one o'clock, which debate takes up more space in print than a single day's evidence before Judge Cassels. That debate is printed and ready for examination by any hon. member in this House by ten o'clock on the following morning. Yet my hon. friend comes to this House, when evidence taken in September last has been withheld from us in a printed shape for four months, and seems to imagine that his statement is an explanation which the House ought

to accept. I say that that evidence, with ordinary diligence such as is applied in the printing of Hansard, could have been ready for distribution the very next day after it was given, yet four months after that time we are told in a very philosophical way that we will get part of it some time next week, another part in three or four weeks, and another some day in the future, which the hon. member does not name. My hon. friend said that the delay is partly due to the fact that a portion of the evidence was taken in French and there was some delay in translation. If my hon. friend will apply the analogy of Hansard to that, he will find that Hansard is translated into French and printed and is not more than ten days behind the English edition. The translation need not cause a delay of over a week or two at the outside. My hon. friend had better look into the matter and give some reason why the distribution of the evidence is delayed. I am not disposed to accept that which he is pleased to call an explanation; and I shall venture to treat this matter as of sufficient importance to engage the attention in a considerable debate at no distant day, unless we have an investigation made into this delay in the Printing Bureau.

Topic:   SUPPLY-CANADIAN RAILWAYS.
Subtopic:   MARINE DEPARTMENT INVESTIGATION.
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LIB

Charles Murphy (Secretary of State of Canada)

Liberal

Hon. CHARLES MURPHY (Secretary of State).

I do not know that at the moment I can add anything to the information given yesterday. Like other ministers in charge of departments, I am dependent for information upon the officers who are charged with the actual carrying out of the work. In the main I think it will be found that the work at the Printing Bureau is done with as much expedition as is possible in work of that character. Speaking with the diffidence and lack of experience of a new member, may I say that I do not see the analogy between the printing and the issue of Hansard and the getting out of something altogether outside the regular line of work, such as the collection of evidence and the issuing of it in pamphlet form. If there be any means of expediting the work, I shall see that such means are adopted.

Topic:   SUPPLY-CANADIAN RAILWAYS.
Subtopic:   MARINE DEPARTMENT INVESTIGATION.
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THE INTERNATIONAL WATERWAYS TREATY.

CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

With respect to the dispatch which was read in the House yesterday by my right hon. friend the Prime Minister, from the Secretary of State for the Colonies, I wish to make a few observations: The dispatch is as follows:

London, January 29, 1909.

I am in receipt of your telegram of January 28, and from your telegram of January 9, I gather that your responsible advisers have the full text of the treaty before them.

According to press reports there seems to be some misunderstanding as to the presentation of the treaty to the Dominion parliament.

this country the treaty-making power is with the Ring, acting on the advice of his responsible ministers, who in cases of treaties which affect the Dominion, acts of course in full consultation and accord with the government of the_ Dominion concerned.

In the United States the treaty-making power is with the advice and consent of the Senate, and until the Senate of the United States of America approve of any treaty it is not the practice to publish or present to parliament either in this country or in Canada, or to publish in the United States or to present to congress. The fact that the Senate ot the United States see the treaty before the parliament of the Dominion, but not before government of the Dominion, is therefore en-tireiy due to the terms of the constitution of the United States.

I am in hopes that your responsible advisers will clearly exMain this to parliament, and will point out that the relation between the parliament of the Dominion and the government of the Dominion in this respect is practically analogous to that between the Imperial parliament and the government of His Majesty the King.

(Sgd.) CREWE.

There seems to have been a misconception created m Great Britain, and evidently the same impression is in the mind of the Colonial Secretary, that some remarks which have been made in this House were directed against the action of the imperial authorities, and that the government of Canada was not held responsible by this- parliament tor any action taken in connection with this treaty, bo far as any remarks of mine may have created any such impression, I desire to say that they have been absolutely misunderstood. In respect of a question of this character, I hold the government of Canada responsible to the parliament of Canada for its policy and action, whether in relation to negotiations with the United States or in relation to upholding the rights of this country m any communication or negotiation between the government of Canada and that ot Great Britain.

I appreciate what the Secretary of State for the Colonies has said resrard-ing the practice by which the Senate of the United States deals with treaties in secret session. Before the arrival of his dispatch I looked at the United States authorities and I found that the practice in the United States is exactly as he states. But it is only a practice. I have under my hand the constitution of the United States, and that constitution imposes no obligation on the Senate of the United States to deal with treaties in secret session:

Art. 2. Sec. 2 of the Constitution of the United States, as contained in the Principles of Constitutional Law by Principal Cooley, is as follows:-

The presidents have the power, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to make

liament of these four treaties in 1865, in 1870, in 1871 and in 1873 ? Mr. Todd does not point out that any unfortunate results were observed as arising from the communication of those treaties to parliament on those occasions. I venture to think that the communication of this treaty to parliament in the meantime would have been attended with no detriment' to the public interest, and no embarrassment to the executive, and would have been a more desirable course to follow than that which has been pursued. I sincerely trust that the treaty may be laid upon the table of parliament at a very early day. I do not know what length of time may elapse before the Senate of the United States may come to a conclusion upon the subject. So far as my information goes they have not yet ratified the treaty. Am I right in that understanding ?

Topic:   SUPPLY-CANADIAN RAILWAYS.
Subtopic:   THE INTERNATIONAL WATERWAYS TREATY.
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LIB

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

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

I understand it has met with constant opposition in the Senate.

Topic:   SUPPLY-CANADIAN RAILWAYS.
Subtopic:   THE INTERNATIONAL WATERWAYS TREATY.
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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

So at the present time we do not know whether or when it will be ratified. Of course my right hon. friend will understand that it might take a very long time. It might not be determined by the Senate this year, it might not be determined until next year, _ it might not be determined until the following year.

Topic:   SUPPLY-CANADIAN RAILWAYS.
Subtopic:   THE INTERNATIONAL WATERWAYS TREATY.
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LIB

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

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

Perhaps not at all.

Topic:   SUPPLY-CANADIAN RAILWAYS.
Subtopic:   THE INTERNATIONAL WATERWAYS TREATY.
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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

Well, are we for ever to remain in ignorance of the terms of this treaty ? Is that the result ? It seems to me an undesirable and unfortunate result, and one which should not necessarily follow from observing diplomatic usage; because in the four instances which were adduced by Mr. Todd up to 1887, the number of which might be increased no doubt by further research, we find several treaties communicated to parliament before ratification, and we have not observed that any detriment to the public interest has resulted from pursuing that course. Under the circumstances I conceived it to be my duty to make my views known to parliament and to the country, as I had introduced the matter in the first instance.

Topic:   SUPPLY-CANADIAN RAILWAYS.
Subtopic:   THE INTERNATIONAL WATERWAYS TREATY.
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LIB

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

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

I have no fault to find with the remarks of my hon. friend, nor with the spirit which has inspired them. In my opinion, however, he has not rightly anprehended the spirit of the communication which I laid before the House yesterday, coming from the Earl of Crewe, the Colonial Secretary. The spirit of the communication is not to make it clear to this country that the Canadian government ought to be held responsible to the people, and that they are either to be blamed or commended for the treaty they have negotiated. That responsibility we Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

fully assume. The Canadian government was represented in the negotiation of that treaty by a gentleman appointed by ourselves as one of the commissioners, namely, Mr. Gibbons, of London, who has been for some years chairman of the Waterways Commission, and whom we considered, from his experience in that capacity, was eminently qualified to look after Canadian interests. I may say at once that we accept full responsibility for the treaty. If blame is to be attached to it, we would be responsible; if credit is to be attached to it, we should be equally the beneficiaries. The despatch of the Earl of Crewe was the result of an inquiry made by His Excellency the Governor General to have the treaty placed at once before parliament, and therefore before the Canadian people. The answer of the Earl of Crewe has been commented upon by my hon. friend a moment ago. My hon. friend has, I think, brought in soms matters which are not immediately connected with the subject in hand. He has, for instance, suggested the question whether the treaty-making power in this instance should be supplemented by the parliament of Canada, or whether in such a matter the prerogative of the Crown is paramount. My interpretation of parliamentary law in this matter has always been, that in all treaties except treaties of commerce and treaties affecting the revenue, the paramount treatymaking power is vested in His Majesty.

Topic:   SUPPLY-CANADIAN RAILWAYS.
Subtopic:   THE INTERNATIONAL WATERWAYS TREATY.
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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

I did not question that, my observations were directed to the practice rather than to the power.

Topic:   SUPPLY-CANADIAN RAILWAYS.
Subtopic:   THE INTERNATIONAL WATERWAYS TREATY.
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LIB

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

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

I think the argument of my hon. friend dealt with the treaty-making power. In my humble judgment the treaty-making power is vested in the King, except in matters affecting the revenue. My hon. friend also brought forward an instance to the effect that if the treaty involved a cession of territory, the paramount power resided in parliament. That is the proposition of my hon. friend.

Topic:   SUPPLY-CANADIAN RAILWAYS.
Subtopic:   THE INTERNATIONAL WATERWAYS TREATY.
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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

My right hon. friend is quite right; I did take that position as one supported by considerable authority.

Topic:   SUPPLY-CANADIAN RAILWAYS.
Subtopic:   THE INTERNATIONAL WATERWAYS TREATY.
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February 5, 1909