SPROULE (East Grey) moved for leave to introduce Bill (No. 64) to amend the Dominion Lands Act. He said: This
Bill is to correct what appears to have been an error which crept into the Bill as it passed last year. When the Dominion Lands Bill was before the Senate on July 17, 1908 -three days before the closing of parliament-an amendment was there moved to the following effect as appears by the minutes of the Senate:
The order of the day being read for the third reading of Bill (No. 181) entitled an Act to consolidate and amend the Acts respecting the public lands of the Dominion, as amended, the Hon. Mr. Scott moved, seconded by the Right Hon. Sir Richard Cartwright, that the said Bill, as amended, be now read a third time. The Hon. Mr. Lougheed in amendment, moved, seconded by Hon. Mr. Perley:
That the said Bill be not now read a third time but be amended by restoring to section 42 in the 6th line thereof before the word ' schools,' the word ' public ' so as to read ' public schools ', as now in the present law respecting Dominion lands. The question of concurrence being put thereon, the same was resolved in the affirmative. The question of concurrence being again put on the main motion, the same was resolved in the affirmative. The said Bill, as further amended, was then read a third time accordingly. The question was put whether this Bill as further amended, shall pass. This was resolved in the affirmative.
Ordered, that the clerk go down to the House of Commons and acquaint that House that the Senate have passed this Bill with several amendments to which they desire their concurrence.
The message was taken down to the House of Commons on the same day, as appears from the Votes and Proceedings, July 17, 1908, page 1454. The minute is as follows:
A message was received from the Senate agreeing to the Bill (No. 181) to consolidate and amend the Acts respecting the public lands of the Dominion with an amendment which is as follows:
Page 8, line 21-after ' provide ' insert the following as subclause 9 of clause 15:
' Every one is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to two years imprisonment, who buys, trades or sells, or professes to buy trade or sell land, or any interest in or control of land open to homestead entry, or for which homestead entry has been - granted, before patent therefor has been issued.
The House then adjourned at 1.55 o'clock a.m. until 11 o'clock a.m. this day.
It will be seen that the amendment moved by Senator Lougheed and adopted by the Senate did not appear in the message sent to the House of Commons and therefore that amendment did not come before the House for concurrence. Who was responsible for this omission, and whether it was the result of accident or design is to me unknown. In any event it never came before this House. This House agreed to the one amendment sent down, as appears from the following entry in our Votes and Proceedings of July 18 last, page 1464:
The amendments made by the Senate to the following Bills were taken into consideration and agreed to, namely Bill (No. 189) to amend the Civil Service Act, and Bill (No. 181) to consolidate and amend the Act respecting the public lands of the Dominion.
The result is that the clause, as it now stands, in the statutes of 1908, materially changes the law, as the word ' public ' is omitted and the words now are: ' organized and carried on in accordance with the law of such province.
That was a material change in the Act. And, right here, I wish to draw attention to another thing. When the first Dominion Lands Bill was brought down, it had explanatory notes after the several clauses. The clause to which I now refer contained an amendment which appears in the Bill of 1908, and the note at the foot of it refers only to another amendment of the law which was properly brought to our attention by that explanatory note. But, when the Bill of the succeeding year was brought down, which purports to have the same explanatory notes at the foot of each clause, and where this important amendment was made_ in that clause, there is no reference to it in the explanatory note, but there is a reference to another change which was made in that clause. It was clause 42. In the Act of 1906-7, the clause is practically the same as in the old law and provides as follows :
All moneys from time to time realized from the sale of school lands should be invested in Mr. SPROULE.
securities of Canada to form a school fund and the interest arising therefrom, after deducting the cost of management, should be paid annually to the government of the province within which such lands are situate toward the support of public schools therein.
The explanatory note says:
This provision is the same as in the present law, except that the words ' or territory ' have been struck out, as the territory referred to has been divided into the new provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta, and there are no school lands beyond.
In the Bill of 1908, in which the important amendment I have referred to is made, there is no explanatory clause, except the one in the former Bill which I have just read. It makes no reference to the other very important ohajige introduced into this Bill of 1908. Therefore reading the explanatory notes, as one naturally would, and finding no statement to the effect that this important change was to be made, in all human probability, a few of the members, when the Bill was going through, read the clause as it is now in the law. The Bill which I now introduce is to amend the Act so as to make it read as it was heretofore. The section now reads:
All moneys from time to time realized from the sale of school lands should be invested in securities of Canada to form a school fund, and the interest arising therefrom, after deducting the cost of management, should be paid annually to the government of the province within which such lands are situate, towards the support of schools organized and carried on in accordance with the law of such province.
The words of the old law were:
-toward the support of public schools therein.
My amendment would restore the wording of the original clause before this amendment was made in 1908.
TURRIFF (Assiniboia) moved for leave to introduce Bill (No. 65) to amend the Railway Act. He said: Mr. Speaker, this Bill is, word for word, the Bill I promoted in this House last year. The Bill, after being introduced and read the first and second times, was sent to the Railway Committee, and there amended into the shape in which it now is. It passed the Railway Committee and came to this House, but was so late in getting through the Railway Committee that the session ended before it could be reached. The Bill provides that every railway company that receives a charter from this parliament shall be compelled not to spend fifteen per cent within the first two years as provided by the present law, but shall be compelled, if the railway is under 250 miles in length, to build ten per cent of the mileage during the first
two years, an additional ten per cent in the third year, another ten in the fourth year, and to complete the road in five years as at present; if the road is over 250 miles in length, the company shall be compelled to build at least one-twentieth of the mileage in the first two years, an additional one-twentieth in each of the third and fourth years, and to complete in five years as at present. I believe that something along this line is absolutely necessary. I speak with some experience of how these matters work out, in the western country at all events. The constituency I represent is an old-settled constituency-settled since 1882-and there are many settlers in that country who have been waiting year after year for a road to be built; charters have been granted eight or ten years ago, and yet nothing has been done toward extending ^these lines of railway. The companies come before this House and before the Railway Committee, and, on one excuse or another, they get an extension of time. We have seen it this year in the Railway Committee that, almost every time an effort is made to force a railway company to build so much of its line each year, the excuse is made: You cannot pick out one railway company and treat it differently from the others. I agree with that; it would not be fair to treat one differently from the others. But I believe that it would be in the interest of the country generally, and especially of the west, that all railway companies should be compelled to build a certain proportion of their roads every year or forfeit the charter. It has been stated, time and again, that the possession of a charter does not prevent another road from getting a charter and going on and building. That may be well enough in theory, but it does not work out that way in practice. When one big company has the charter, it can play the dog in the manger to the fullest extent, not building its own proposed road and yet preventing other railways from building. We have had that to contend with for years in my own constituency. One of the big companies, the Canadian Pacific Railway, has a charter. They will not build the road, but the moment the Canadian Northern, or the Grand Trunk Pacific, gets a charter, and proposes to build, the Canadian Pacific Railway will go on and grade a few miles. Only yesterday, in the Railway Committee an hon. member from British Columbia gave us an instance in which one of the big railway companies- the same company-in order to keep out the Jim Hill system graded a portion of the road and laid the rails, but as soon as they had shut out the building of a competing line they not only ceased working, but actually took up the rails they had already laid. Is that a state of things we ought to tolerate in this country? I claim that the time has come when some change ought to be made. The railway companies are doing exactly as they like. We have no say as to where they
shall build the branch lines; in the western country at all events they do not consult the wishes of the people, but build with a view to cutting out competing companies. What we want is a law that will compel them, when they get a charter, to go on and do something with the road. I have understood my right hon. friend the leader of the government (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) to state on several occasions that whenever the Railway Committee take a certain line of action, it is not his policy or the policy of the government to go contrary to the wishes of that committee.
Well, those, Mr. Speaker, are the reasons I have for introducing this Bill, and those are the provisions of the Bill. If it is thought desirable to send it to the Railway Committee. I have not the slightest doubt that the Railway Com mittee will do again this year as it did last year, pass the Bill and send it back here to be dealt with by the House.
1. Has the attention of the government been drawn to the announcement that the British government has contracted for large quantities of canned meats for the army and navy, with firms in foreign nations?
2. Were efforts made by the British government to have these supplies furnished by Canada, Australia or South Africa?
3. Is it the custom of the British government to favour foreign nations with whom it wishes to cultivate friendship, and persons other than those loyal to Britain and her institutions, to the detriment and exclusion of those loyal and true to Britain and her institutions?
Subtopic: CANNED MEATS FOR THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT.
1. The attention of the government has not been drawn to the fact that the British government has contracted for large quantities of canned meats for the army and navy with firms in foreign countries.
2. On this the government has no informa tion.
3. The propriety of this question seems to be questionable, as it implies a censure on a matter which is not of the competence of this House. But this government has no doubt that in any business relations the British government would, wherever possible, favour British countries in preference to foreign countries.
Subtopic: CANNED MEATS FOR THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT.
I regret that we are not able to answer all the questions on the paper. I have had a statement prepared which gives all we are able to afford in the way of reply. As it involves a great deal of detail, perhaps the hon. member will consent, with the permission of the House, that I hand this in to the 'Hansard.'
Statement showing the Value of the undermentioned Articles, together with the Duty collected thereon. entered for Consumption at each Port in Canada during the fiscal Year ended March 31, 1908.