I would suggest to my hon. friend (Mr. Guthrie) that he do not press this motion to-day, but that it stand as a notice for future consideration..
PAYMENT OF FEES ON PRIVATE BILLS.
Mr. HUGH GUTHRIE (South Wellington) moved that the Fourteenth Report of the Select Standing Committee on Railways, Canals and Telegraph Lines be concurred in. He said: As this is a special report recomending some changes in the rules, I might offer a word of explanation. There is apparently some anomaly in the rules of the House of Commons in respect of private Bill legislation, as they stand at present. The clerk of the committee, who is very familiar with these rules, and a very capable and experienced officer, drew the attention of the committee to the fact that a difference exists in regard to private Bills originating in this House and those originating in the Senate as respects the payment of fees. If a private Bill originates in this House, by rule 88, subsection 3, it is provided that certain fees
shall be paid having regard to the capitalization of the proposed company; and by subsection 5 of the same rule, other fees are chargeable in respect to the borrowing powers or bonding powers of the company. If the same Bill happened to be introduced in the Senate, fees would only be charged in respect of the capitalization and no fees would be required in respect of the borrowing powers. This difference arises by the peculiar wording of subsection 8, of section 88, which provides: The additional charges provided for in section 3 of this rule shall also apply to private Bills originating in the Senate. But section 3 of the rule only applies to fees payable on the capitalization of the company, and not in respect to the borrowing powers of the company. The other amendments to the rules which the report mentions are merely to conform with the main objection which I have now submitted to the House, except in regard to section 87 of the rule. Section 87 provides that: Petitions for private Bills shall only be received by the House within the first six weeks of the session. It so happens that as a petition has to lie on the table for two days before being received by the House, the time allowed is really six weeks less two days. No doubt the intention was to allow the full six weeks, and the proposal of the committee is that me rule should be amended by inserting the words ' if presented ' after the word ' House ' in the second line of the rule, which would allow a clear six weeks after the sitting of the House for the presentation of a petition for a private Bill. There is one other change also recommended in regard to companies who seek to increase their capital stock, it being provided in the Bill of incorporation that if at any time they so desire they may increase it. There have been instances where companies have come forward with practically a nominal capital and have asked for power. In that case they pay a very small fee and subsequently increase their capital to what sum they see proper and escape the payment of the fees on the increased capital. The report proposes that in such cases the amount of the increased capital that a company desires at any time to have shall be stated in the Bill and the fees shall be paid in respect thereof.
Stands as a notice of motion.
Bill (No. 157) for the relief of John Denison Smith.-Mr. Guthrie. Bill (No. 158) respecting the Bank of Winnipeg.-Mr. Guthrie. Bill (No. 160) to incorporate the Canadian Red Cross Society.-Mr. Macdonell. Bill (No. 161) to incorporate the Equity Fire Insurance Company of Canada.-Mr. Macdonell.
CONSERVATION OF NATURAL RESOURCES.
Hon. SYDNEY FISHER (Minister of Agriculture) moved for leave to introduce Bill (No. 159) to create a permanent commission on the conservation of the Natural Resources of Canada.
Mr. Speaker, this Bill is introduced for the purpose of the formation of a permanent commission on the natural lesources of Canada. Hon. gentlemen will no doubt remember that there was a conference held in Washington at an earlier stage of this session at which Canada was represented, and that the report of that conference recommended and urged strongly that the countries taking part in it, namely, Mexico, the United States and Canada, should each of them establish a permanent conservation commission for the purposes of considering, investigating and recommending in regard to the development of the natural resources in their own countries. The government has judged that it is wise to accept that recommendation and has entrusted me with the duty of drawing up a Bill for that purpose. I will just say shortly that the Bill provides for a commission, which shall be an honorary commission, of thirty-two members, twelve of whom shall be ex officio members, three members of the government at Ottawa and one representative of each of the provincial governments in Canada, that representative to be, as a general rule, a minister of the province in charge of the lands, forests and mines. That will depend, of course, on the duties assigned to the different provincial ministers. That would provide for twelve members of the commission. It is proposed to provide that the twenty other members of the commission shall be appointed by order in council. The government will appoint one of these commissioners as chairman. The commissioners shall not be paid at all, but shall receive their travelling expenses when they attend a meeting of the commission. There will be one annual meeting in the month of January and other meetings shall take place at the call of the chairman of the commission. The work of the commission shall be conducted by a small office at Ottawa which
office shall be included in the inside service here and be in charge of one officer who shall be called the secretary of the commission. I think this outlines the chief details of the Bill. The Bui, which is a very short one, outlines these details and defines the objects and intentions of the commission.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN.
Is there just one similar commission in the United States or does each state have its own commission?
There is a commission appointed by the President and then most of the states-I do not remember exactly how many, but I think some thirty of them -have also created commissions. The Pres-dent has appointed one federal commission, which is not appointed under any law of congress but upon the initiative of the President.
Motion agreed to, and Bill read the first time.
GRAND TRUNK PACIFIC-LABOURERS FROM SIBERIA.
On the orders of the day being) called:
Mr. J. D. TAYLOR.
I would like to inquire from the hon. Minister of Labour (Mr. Lemieux) with respect to an answer given yesterday to a question on the Order Paper regarding labourers from Siberia. The minister's answer was that:
The Department of Labour has received no report as described by the hon. gentleman on this question. The only notice we have had on this matter is the mention that was made of it in the House.
I wish to inquire as to the significance of this answer whether the minister does not consider that a report is made to the department when a member, from his place in the House, reads the details to him and asks the department to be good enough to investigate the statements there contained. That is what I did, and I would like to ask the minister to make clear to us what our standing is in that connection.
Hon. RODOLPHE LEMIEUX (Minister of Labour).
I might just say to my hon. friend (Mr. J. D. Taylor) that my remark of yesterday was not intended to hurt the feelings of that hon. gentleman. I merely wished to state then that the first notice the department had received that any Siberians had come to Prince Rupert was through the remarks made the other day in the House by the hon. gentleman. The department, since these remarks were made by the hon. gentleman, has endeavoured to find out whether the statement made on the authority of a newspaper by the hon. gentleman, is true or not. As soon as we get any precise information I will let the hon. gentleman know. But I meant to say that the
only notice received of any Siberians coming to Canada was from the hon. gentleman's remarks. There is nothing in the Department of Labour to make us acquainted with any such state of things. We have written to the president of the Transcontinental Railway.