Mr. OLIVER moved for leave to introduce Bill (No. 187) to confirm and declare the rights of the Crown with respect to water and water-power and relating to the diversion, acquisition ana use of water in the railway belt in British Columbia. He said: As the House is aware, the proprietary rights in a belt 20 miles in width on each side of the main line on the Canadian Pacific railway, where it passes through the province of British Columbia, has, under an arrangement between the Dominion and the province, become the - property of the Crown in the right of the Dominion. Up to a time, it was assumed that the province administered all water rights within that area as well as throughout the rest of the province. However, a couple of years ago, a case was entered in the Exchequer Court for the purpose of deciding definitely whether the jurisdiction in regard to water within the railway belt resided in the Crown in the right of the province or in the Crown in the right of the Dominion. The Exchequer Court gave a decision that the right rested with the Dominion. Since then, I am given to understand, the Supreme Court, on appeal, has confirmed the decision of the Exchequer Court. Of course, in order to reach a final conclusion tne matter will have to be carried to the Privy Council, and that decision will be the one that will rule. In the meantime, the rights to water which have been granted by the provincial government are in a state of uncertainty. The provincial government having been declared to have no right in this matter, grants issued by that government have not-to put it mildly-a satisfactory legal status. The purpose of this Bill, then, is, first to declare, in accordance with the decision of the court, that the right to the water rests in the Dominion, and, second, to make provision for carrying forward the rights which have been granted by the provincial government until they can be readjusted or until a final decision is reached. It is for the purpose of preventing or avoiding a practically chaotic condition in regard to water rights in the railway belt so as to put them on a definite basis during the interval which necessarily occurs between the first decision of the Exchequer Court and the final decision of the Privy Council. At the same time, there is a demand for development in the railway belt, and it is proposed in the same Act to make provision for authorizing development as the circumstances may require, so, that in the first place, the rights granted shall not be in a state of chaos, and, in the next place, development need not be tied up awaiting the decision of the Privy Council.