March 5, 1909


Bill (No. 91) an Act to incorporate the Prudential Trust Company, Limited-Mr. Macdonell. BiU (No. 92) an Act respecting patents of the Hart Otis Car Company, Limited-Mr. Geoffrion.


STANDING ORDERS COMMITTEE.

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Mr. A. H.@

CLARKE moved the adoption of the first report of the select standing committee on standing orders, as follows :

Your committee have considered that portion of the petition of the Kettle River Valley Railway Company which asks for an extension of time for the completion of their authorized lines of railway, reported by the examiner of petitions for private Bills as not being covered by the notice. Your committee, in view of the fact that proof having been received to the effect that the required notice is now being published and will have sufficiently matured before the Bill can be considered by the Railway Committee, they therefore recommend that the same be deemed sufficient.

All of which is rspectfully submitted.

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A. H. CLARKE,


Chairman. He said: I have been asked to move this report in the absence of the chairman of the committee.


CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

What precaution will be taken to assure the House or some committee that the required notice shall have been given at the time mentioned. This motion is based on the expectation that something will be done, but what guarantee is there that that particular thing will be done. Who will take cognizance of it to see that it is done before the Bill goes on?

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LIB

Alfred Henry Clarke

Liberal

Mr. A. H. CLARKE.

I am scarcely able to answer the question. The chairman of the committee is not here and the report was placed in my hands as a matter of form.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

If some assurance could be given for example, that the chair man of the Railway Committee would take cognizance of the matter and exact proof that the provisions of the rules had been complied with before the Bill came under the consideration of the committee it would be * Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

satisfactory, but in the absence of that assurance the motion does not seem to me to be satisfactory.

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LIB

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

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

The motion had better stand.

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LIB

SUPPLY-FRENCH TRANSLATION OF LAWS.

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Hon W. S.@

FIELDING (Minister of Finance) moved that the House go into committee of supply.

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CON

Eugène Paquet

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. E. PAQUET (L'Islet).

(Translation.) Mr. Speaker, I wish to call your attention to the French edition of our statutes. In perusing the series of volumes from 1867 to 1903 inclusively, that is up to the time of the retirement of the late Mr. Cour-solles, the then chief French translator, one cannot help noticing that the designations of railway companies and others, even of those outside of the province of Quebec are, except in a very few cases, given in French.

It will be noticed on the other hand, that in the French edition of the statutes for 1904 and the years following, the English designations are seldom translated. Moreover, in the French edition of statutes relading to the amalgamation of two companies of two lines of railway, the contract entered into by the two corporations, and included as a schedule to the Amalgamation Act used to be translated into French, so that we had a French edition that was complete, a homogeneous work. Why has this rational system which remained in force during so many years been abandoned?

Let me point out a few striking discrepancies. In the first place we have Bill (No. 8), session of 1908, the French version of which refers to ' The Tobique Manufacturing Company ; ' that company was incorporated in 1898, 61 Viet., chap. 116, under the name of ' La compagnie manufactur-iere de Tobique.' Here then is a company designated in the French edition of our statutes, at times under an English name, and at times under a French name.

In the second place we have Bill (No. 13) for 1908 the French copy of which relates to * The British Columbia Southern Railway Company ; ' while in the statute-book for 1899, the company is designated as ' La ccmpagnie du chemin de fer du Sud de la Colombie Britannique.' That is, we have the same discrepancy as in the previous instance.

In the third place, we have Bill (No. 15) for 1908, the French version of which refers to 'The Esquimalt and Nanaimo Railway Company ; ' while in the statute-books, for 1886, chap. 15, 1888, chap. 89, in 1905, chap.

90 and 1906, chap. 92, the company is designated as: 'La compagnie du chemin de fer

d'Esquimalt a Nanaimo.' Even as far back as 1884 section 3, chap. 6, in the French edition of the statutes, the name of the company is given in French. So that in the statutes for five years we have the designation of a company given in French and then in 1908, after a lapse of 24 years from the date of the first mention of the name of the company in 1884, the English designation is substituted for the French in the French edition of the statutes.

Then again, let us take Bill (No. 16) for 1908, an Act concerning ' The South Ontario Pacific Company ; ' in the statutes for the four years, 1887, 1891, 1896 and 1906, the designation of the company is given in French in the French edition. Bill (No. 19) for 1908, an Act incorporating ' The Bank of Winnipeg ; ' in all acts previous to 1903 the designation of the bank was given in French in the French edition of the Act. Bill (No. 21) for 1908, an Act concerning ' The British Yukon Railway Company ; ' in the French edition of the statutes for 1897, incorporating the company, it is designated as ' La compagnie de mines, de commerce et de transport du Yukon britannique.' In the French edition of the statutes for 1900, 63-64 Viet., chap 53, the name is changed to that of ' Compagnie du chemin de fer du Yukon britannique.' The same designation is to be found in the French edition of the statutes for 1901.

Bill (No. 20) for 1908, the French version refers to ' The Belleville Prince Edward Bridge Company ; ' in the French edition of the statutes for 1899, chap. 95, the designation is given thus : ' La compagnie du

pont de Belleville-Prince-Edouard.' Bill (No. 24), the French version refers to ' The West Ontario Pacific Railway Company ; ' but in the French edition of the statutes for 1885 chap. 87, for 1886, chap. 70, for_1887, chap. 62, for 1906 chap. 178 the designation is in every case, ' La compagnie du chemin de fer du Pacific de l'Ouest d'Ontario.'

Here then are several companies whose designations are given in the French edition of the statutes, at times in English and at times in French. It will be found that in Bills (Nos 25, 28 and 30) introduced at this session and having contracts attached, no translation has been made of such contracts, the original English text having been merely inserted in the French edition, against all reason. The hon. member for Chicoutimi and Saguenay has introduced a Bill (No. 42) incorporating ' The Canadian Liverpool and Western Railway Company.' It deals with the building of a railway in the province of Quebec; nevertheless, the designation in the French edition of the Bill is given in English.

What reason is there for such irrelevan-cies in the French edition of the statutes ? I respectfully submit, Mr. Speaker, that in the fulfilment of your high duties, it would

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be proper on your part to take measures towards preventing the turning of the French edition of our laws into a perfect muddle.

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LIB

Louis-Philippe Brodeur (Minister of Marine and Fisheries)

Liberal

Hon L. P. BRODEUR (Minister of Marine).

(Translation.) Mr. Speaker, the matter brought up by the hon. member who has just taken his seat, is not one under the control of the government, the translation of the laws being effected by officers of the House appointed by the House, and therefore outside the control of the government. However, the House has a perfect right to discuss this question, and I am not objecting in any way to my hon. friend having thought fit to bring up the matter.

I understand that formerly not only the text of any act incorporating a company was translated into French, but the name of the company as well. For instance the English edition referred to the ' Bank of Montreal,' and the French edition to the ' banque de Montreal.' So that the same institution was known under two different names. The same rule applied in the case of the ' banque Nationale de Quebec,' which in the English version was designated as the ' National Bank of Quebec.'

At the time of Mr. Frechette's appointment as chief translator, he, I think, effected the change referred to by the hon. member, which consists in designating companies under the name given by the petitioners themselves in the petition addressed to parliament. I remember perfectly well that when the ' Banque Provinciale ' came up for incorporation, the designation that was given was purely and simply ' La Banque Provinciale.'

To my mind, a great deal may be said in support of the change effected by Mr. Frechette. I for one am not ready to say it was a mistake on his part. As the hon. member is aware, the designation of a company is in fact the name of a person in the moral sense, and that being the case, should a company be known under two different names ?

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CON

Eugène Paquet

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PAQIJET (L'Islet).

(Translation.) If the hon. member will allow me, I have shown a moment ago, that in the French edition, at times, English designations were translated and at others were not. What I am anxious to obtain is uniformity.

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LIB

Louis-Philippe Brodeur (Minister of Marine and Fisheries)

Liberal

Hon. Mr. BRODEUR.

(Translation.) The whole question comes to this : is it desirable, as my hon. friend seems _ to think, that the designations of companies be put in both languages, that is to say that they should appear in French in the French edition, and in English in the English edition ? There may be some well-founded objection to this practice. For instance a company might be sued before the courts under two different designations, although constituting a single person in the moral sense. Is it not better that each company should be

known under one designation only ? I never had occasion to discuss the matter with Mr. Frechette, but I think that is what he had in mind.

I have pointed out the case of the ' Banque Provinciate/ If my hon. friend will peruse the statute-books, he will find that in the English edition, that bank is designated as the ' Banque Provinciate.' However, my hon. friend has referred to a rather serious case, that of a company having obtained its charter under a name which has been translated in the French edition of the Act granting the charter, and which subsequently causes its charter to be amended, while its original designation is not translated in the French edition of the Amending Act, in such a way that the company, in so far as the French edition is concerned, appears to have a double designation. Mr. Frechette may come to the conclusion, after looking into this debate, that it would be better to retain the same designation throughout the French edition, as long as the company exists.

As to the general principle governing the translation of such designations, I am not of opinion as before stated, that Mr. Frechette is wrong.

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CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. F. D. MONK (Jacques-Cartier).

(Translation.) Mr. Speaker, it seems to me that the general principle laid down by the hon. minister is fraught with great danger. If I understood him aright, he contends that in the translation of our statutes, English designations of companies should not be translated for the French edition. And why ? Because petitions having for their object the incorporation of a company are, as a rule, written out in English, and accordingly the designation is given in that same language. He bases himself on a ruling made by the chief translator, Mr. Frechette, a good many years ago. Does the hon. minister know as a fact that such is the interpretation Mr. Frechette puts on his duties as translator ? It would be a matter of surprise to me. I have known Mr. Frechette for some time, and it does not seem likely to me that he would endorse such a proposal.

Whenever we adopt a Bill incorporating a bank or any other kind of company, that Bill is supposed to have been passed in French as well as in English. The firm which we are incorporating receives its designation in both languag vs. If we were to dispense with translating such designations, where would that lead us to ? If the principle laid down by the hon. minister were to prevail, as most petitions seeking incorporation are sent to parliament in one language only, all expressions of a sacra-mentl nature-if I may be allowed to use the expression-used in these petitions, might be considered untranslatable for legal purposes. That is a dangerous principle to lay down, and I doubt that a man of

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LIB

Louis-Philippe Brodeur (Minister of Marine and Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. BRODEUR.

Mr. Frechette's ability has ever dreamt of establishing it.

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LIB

Louis-Philippe Brodeur (Minister of Marine and Fisheries)

Liberal

Hon. Mr. BRODEUR.

(Translation.) To say the truth, I mentioned Mr. Frechette's name, for the reason that the member for L'lslet had stated that this change in the way of effecting the translation became noticeable only after Mr. Coursolles' retirement ; I inferred that the change had been effected by Mr. Frechette but I am not positive about it.

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March 5, 1909