I propose to make a slight amendment to subsection 3, by inserting. after the word ' river,' in line 11, the following words: 'or the floating down the same of rafted logs.' There was a question in the minds of certain gentlemen in the county of Bonaventure as to whether they would have free access to float their logs down the river if they chose to do so themselves. Under the provisions of the different sections, all the logs that are turned into the river and are floating in the river, must be driven by the company paying the company whatever rates or tolls are levied according to the bylaws. But in order to make it sure that the owner of the logs can raft his logs and take care of them himself, -we have suggested this amendment.
No. But I may say that I do not think it is of sufficient importance to require notice. It has been drafted by Mr. Speaker and myself. The member for Restigouche (Mr. Reid) who is not here -at present, is interested on one side of the river and Mr. Speaker on the other side of Mr. CARVELL.
the river, and they have agreed that this amendment should be inserted. I do not think that the committee will feel that the matter is of sufficient importance to require the necessary notice. It is only done for the further protection to the small owner along the river who may have a few thousand feet of logs which he wishes to bring down himself, and not be subject to the tolls of the boom company.
I would ask the Minister of Public Works if he has given attention to this section to see that it properly protects the interests of the public on this navigable river; I am not prepared to say that it does not. I see there is a provision in it that it should be submitted to the Department of Public Works for approval.
Mr. PUGSLEY". I think the clause is in the usual form, which has been adopted in incorporating boom companies. A provision is made for handling logs by the company, and the tolls are to be submitted to the Governor in Council for approval. The amendment which the hon. member for Carleton (Mr. Carvell) proposes, reserves the right to individaul owners to take care of their own logs if they wish to do so.
I may explain for the benefit of the committee, that this enterprise up to the present has been carried on entirely under a charter of the New Brunswick legislature. The increasing importance of the lumber trade in that district has rendered it necessary to utilize both sides of the river. It is expected that this year 125,000,000 feet of lumber will be floated down the Restigouche river, and application has been made to this parliament by this company for better facilities under a Federal charter. I have received an important petition signed by some 400 residents of the * county of Bonaventure asking that the rights of the public and the rights of the riparian owners along the river should be protected. I went to the Private Bills Committee and asked that a sub-committee be appointed to discuss the Bill. This was done and clauses 24, 25. 26, 27 and 28 were inserted at my request for the protection of the riparian owners and the free navigation of the Restigouche river. This amendment which is now under consideration was inserted at my request to remove all doubt that the main channel of the Restigouche river would remain open to the public, that no obstruction of any kind will prevent the free navigation by all
interested parties. This company is practically a combination of all the large lumber merchants of that district. The lumberman who commands 100,000 feet of timber becomes de facto a member of the company. The small farmer cannot become a member, but by this Bill his rights_are protected under the understanding that his logs are rafted under the same rules as any other logs. Three points were insisted upon by me and were assented to by the member for Carleton: first, the free navigation to the public generally; second, payment by the company of all damages incurred by the riparian owners either to their property or fishing rights, because the Restigouche is probably the most valuable salmon fishing river in eastern Canada, (the payment of damages is well protected, because the company cannot enter into any works of any kind without first giving security in the courts of the district for damages that may occur); third, the initiative in the arbitration proceedings would have to be taken by the company so that the farmers in the district would not have to face a powerful organization. I think that all things considered, although we do not obtain all we ask, we have a fair protection for the people of the district. I have several letters from people on both sides of the river, saying that as far as they can judge at present the rights of the public are fairly protected under this Bill.
No. If any owner of logs drives logs on the river within the driving limits, that is from the mouth of the Red?wick river down to the boom limits, they must be driven by the corporation, and the owner must pay tolls.
I understand that the member for Carleton (Mr. Carvell) explained that the object of the amendment which he inserted this morning was to reserve the right to any person to raft and drive logs provided the logs were rafted and not set loose. No operations are to be carried on in this river without some uniform system. If the farmer will raft his logs he is allowed to drive them, but if he wishes to have them driven that must be done by 'the company and he must pay the company.
This is only to provide in case the owner of the logs fails to take away his logs in proper time. The hon. member (Mr. Lennox) will understand that if twenty-five or fifty million feet of logs are left on the hands of the boom company after being rafted, the company would be practically out of business, for they would have no storage room. To compel owners to take away their logs within seven days., it is provided that the company should have the right to sell them on giving due notice, and to take from the proceeds sufficient to pay rafting, booming, and incidental charges. But I take it that these are all covered by the section providing that the by-laws are to be approved by the Governor in Council.
I thought that, under this section, they were given the right to charge for delay. The Bill says the company may-
-sell so mucli of the said logs as should be sufficient to pay the amounts due upon such assessments together with the extra cost of storing the said logs and the expense of keeping them and of the sale thereof and all other incidental expenses. -
I think the provision is a proper one, so far as 1 know, but I fear there is danger that exorbitant charges might be made. Is it not possible they might keep the logs longer than seven days, and make the charge accordingly? And would this be covered by the provision with regard to the regulation of tolls generally?
I can only say that the question has never been raised. Section 19 provides for an agreement or arbitration between owners and directors as to assessments. So, practically all the cost after the logs go through the boom are provided for under this section.