Yes. There were representatives at the committee of the Boom Company, the riparian owners, the anglers and the fishermen. There was one change made at the request of some of the members of the committee, but all the others were made at the request of the interested parties, and when the Bill left the committee there was a thorough understanding among all the parties concerned. I may state that after consulting with Mr. Speaker, in whose county these works will be located, I propose to make two very slight amendments. One is to provide that there shall be no question that the man who rafts his logs will have the right to run them down the river without interference, and will not have to pay any charges, and the section 26 dealing with the expropriation of lands and rights. With these two slight amendments the Bill is now perfectly satisfactory to all parties concerned who are represented, and I think that all parties imaginable were represented before the committee either in person or by counsel.
I do not think those words were necessary, because the works are on both sides of an interprovincial river. But it was thought best by the committee to insert those words to avoid any question of jurisdiction. I may explain that for a great many years the lumber has been driven down the Restigouche river and has been boomed and rafted on the New Brunswick side. Ten years ago fifteen or twenty million feet of lumber came down the river. This year there will be at least 125,000,000 feet, and the booms are wholly inadequate to take care of that enormous quantity of lumber. Last year a large quantity went out to sea and some of it was lost. It is proposed to have all the lumber rafted down and boomed by the same company both on the Quebec side and on the New Brunswick side, so that I submit that this parliament alone will have jurisdiction without the insertion of those words.
I am not finding any fault with the project. I dare .say if may be a very useful one, as I understand that a combination is proposed of the various interests concerned in driving logs on this river for the purpose of doing the work more effectively than it has been done in the past. It is a perfectly legitimate proposition provided the rights of the public are preserved; but I do not think that the declaration that this is an undertaking for the general advantage of Canada ought to be lightly made. I have been of the opinion that on a good many occasions it has been too lightly made by this parliament. If it is not essential in this case, I would think it far better to omit it.
While the incorporators might possibly get all they are with-
out these words in the Bill, yet certain works must be performed wholly within the province of New Brunswick and others wholly in the province of Quebec. I have discussed the question with the solicitor of the company, and it is at his request that the words are left in the Bill.
I would like to ask the Minister of Public Works, who has paid some attention to this Bill, what he understands to be the meaning of these words in this section, ' nothing herein contained shall affect any action heretofore taken pursuant to the powers in such act contained.' Is that intended to refer to a legal action or an ordinary action?