April 4, 1910

LIB

Air. OLIVER: (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

1. No; title issued to the city of Brandon on the 17th of May, 1909.

2. The east half of section 28,' township 10, range 19, west of 1st meridian, which was revested in the Crown by the city of Brandon.

3. In exchange, under the authority of an Order in Council dated 9th August, 1900, for the east half of section 28, township 10, range 19, west of first meridian, which the municipal authorities of the city of Brandon purchased from the then owner and had conveyed to the Crown, to be used for the purpose of an Indian industrial school, as section 6, township 5, range 7, west 1st meridian, which had been set apart for that purpose, was found to be unsuitable.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   LAND PURCHASED BY CITY OF BRANDON.
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EXCHEQUER COURT ACT AMENDMENT.


Bill (No. 159) to amend the Exchequer Court Act.-Mr. Aylesworth-read the second time, and House went into committee thereon. On section 1,


LIB

Allen Bristol Aylesworth (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. AYLESWORTH.

This is a Bill which has been passed by the Senate in amendment of the Exchequer Court Act.

Topic:   EXCHEQUER COURT ACT AMENDMENT.
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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

Would this extend to any such line, leased line, or line taken over by the Intercolonial? The Bill refers to the Prince Edward Island railway explicitly, thus making a distinction there. But we have passed an Act giving the power to take over other lines. Would the Bill cover these lines also?

Topic:   EXCHEQUER COURT ACT AMENDMENT.
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LIB

Allen Bristol Aylesworth (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. AYLESWORTH.

I can only say that if these lines fall within the description of the Intercolonial or Prince Edward Island railway, the liability would exist, but not otherwise. This Bill is limited to the construction, maintenance or operation Mr. AYLESWORTH.

of the Intercolonial railway and the Prince Edward Island railway.

Topic:   EXCHEQUER COURT ACT AMENDMENT.
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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

Suppose, for instance, that, by the leasing of some line, the Intercolonial were extended to Georgian bay. That leased line would become part of the Intercolonial system, but would it be a part of the Intercolonial railway under this Bill? It seems to me there might be a difference.

Topic:   EXCHEQUER COURT ACT AMENDMENT.
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LIB

Allen Bristol Aylesworth (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. AYLESWORTH.

I am afraid I am not able to say what view the court might take of the position of a leased line. Much might depend on the special terms of the lease under which the road was being operated. One line might be held to fall properly within the description of the Intercolonial railway, and another might not. The special circumstances in each particular case would have to be considered by the court if the question arose.

. Mr. SPROULE. Why would it not be proper to apply it to the whole system as well as to a portion of it?

Topic:   EXCHEQUER COURT ACT AMENDMENT.
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LIB

Allen Bristol Aylesworth (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. AYLESWORTH.

I can only say that I did not frame this Bill. It has come from the Senate, and has been the result, from what I have seen of the proceedings there, of a good deal of discussion. It was introduced in quite a different form, and ultimately took the form in which it is now before us. I have not had the advantage of any discussion with the gentleman who introduced it in the Senate, but simply have taken charge of it when it came to this House, because it was a measure relating to the disposition of legal matters.

Topic:   EXCHEQUER COURT ACT AMENDMENT.
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CON

Haughton Lennox

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LENNOX.

I would like to have an explanation of the position which this Bill occupies as regards the government. It is introduced as a government measure, and is listed here under the head of 1 Government Orders.' I understood-and I do not know whether other members of the committee have understood it in the same way -that all the Bills that come to us in this way are government measures, though they may not have been introduced in parliament by the minister whose names they respectively beaT. For instance, I imagine that when we had a Bill under the name of the Minister of Justice, that meant that it was a government measure originating with the government and particularly, as a matter of actual detail, originating with the Minister of Justice. I was going to ask about that before any statement had been made by the minister. The minister said this Bill was passed by the Senate with certain objects. He further makes that clear by saying in the end:

I have not framed this Bill: it was introduced by a gentleman in the Senate.

I think he said in effect that it was nut in his name. That may be a proper prac-

tice, I will not say it is not, because I have not had sufficient experience to pronounce upon it, but I am prepared to give my idea about it. I would not have thought it was a proper practice. I do not understand that it is proper or can be proper that a Bill should be presented to this House to all intents and purposes marked as a government measure,, as something that has originated, say with the Minister of Justice, be brought in as a government measure, get its place in this committee as such, have precedence as a government measure, and yet not be a government measure. That is what this is. It originated with some individual in the Senate more or less responsible'-probably less- and it is then fathered by the Minister of Justice for better or for worse. It evidently does not fill the condition it ought to fill for the reason that,, as the minister admits, it may not cover, it probably does not cover, the whole government system of railways. As my hon. friend (Mr. Sproule) has pointed out, there is no good reason why it should not cover the whole system; if it is a good measure it ought to apply to the whole system. So we have the minister putting through a Bill that is not his own, except for the accidental circumstance here adverted to. It is not as bad as the minister forcing through, for instance, the St. Lawrence Power Transmission Bill, but it does not seem to me to be right, and I would like to have an explanation and to know if that is a proper practice. It is not tlje only Bill placed under similar circumstances among the government orders. Whether the others are in the same condition or not I do not know. There are one or two in the name of the Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding).

Topic:   EXCHEQUER COURT ACT AMENDMENT.
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LIB

Allen Bristol Aylesworth (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. AYLESWORTH.

The remarks I made a moment ago were in answer to the question of the hon. member lor East Grey (Mr. Sproule) as to whether this Bill did not extend to other lines of railways than those mentioned on the face of the Bill. I gave the exact and accurate answer to that inquiry. I did not frame the Bill, the Bill was introduced into the Senate,, not as a government measure, but by a member of the Senate who is not a member of the government. It was passed by the Senate in its present shape after much discussion. I have moved the second reading of it and adopted it as a measure which I am quite prepared to father and for which I am quite prepared to take the responsibility. If any hon. gentleman thinks it does not go far enough he is at liberty to move an amendment, and if that amendment is carried by this House it will go back to the Senate as an amendment so made for the consideration of that body. But this Bill as it stands is one that I present on behalf 197

of the government as an extent to which the government is prepared to go in this matter.

Topic:   EXCHEQUER COURT ACT AMENDMENT.
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CON

Haughton Lennox

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LENNOX.

This does not meet the case. The point is that there must be some fair treatment of members of the House and of the Senate. A private member introduces a Bill very much in the public interest, recognized at least by the public as in the public interest, or a senator may do so, but he cannot get it through. Is it right that fish should be made of one and fowl of another, and that the Minister of Justice or another minister of the Crown should take up a private Bill and give it that precedence that it has by reason of being a government Bills, introduce it into this House, put it among government orders and not say a word about it unless such words as may accidentally fall from him in the course of discussion. It seems to me that this kind of thing will lead to a very serious abuse. It is not treating the House fairly to introduce a Bill in that way without an announcement to that effect, and the mere statement that the minister is prepared to assume responsibility for it does not meet the whole question. Supposing that the government have a perfect power to do this kind of thing, I doubt the expediency, the propriety or the fairness of such a course. I do not think it is giving a fair chance to members of the House and of the Senate to stand on equal terms. If the government will say that they will take every Bill introduced by a private member and put it through the House after the time at which public Bills introduced by ordinary members can be put through, well and good, but to leave it in the position that supporters of the government, members who have the sympathy of the government, can get Bills through and others cannot, is not fair.

Topic:   EXCHEQUER COURT ACT AMENDMENT.
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LIB

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

Liberal

*Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

my hon. friend will not be surprised if I tell him that measures which might have merit in his eyes might have no merit in mine.

Topic:   EXCHEQUER COURT ACT AMENDMENT.
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CON
LIB

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

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

This is a measure which has merits in the eyes, 1 believe, of my hon. friend and of the government also, and for that reason it has been adopted by the Minister of Justice, who thought he was doing a good thing in adopting it. I think my hon. friend from East Grey (Mr. Sproule) is the first to agree with him. The only criticism of that hon. gentleman was that the measure did not go far enough. I am prepared to say there is a good deal to be said in favour of the contention of my hon. friend from Grey, but the Minister of Justice did not consider whether or not it went far enough; so far as it goes-, it is satisfactory to every one in the House, and I think for that reason it ought to be adopted.

Topic:   EXCHEQUER COURT ACT AMENDMENT.
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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

I think it unfortunate that we should leave the measure with the anomaly that an action may be brought in the Exchequer Court with regard to damages on one portion of the Intercolonial Railway system and not with regard to damages on another portion, so that there is redress for a sufferer on one portion and not on another.

Topic:   EXCHEQUER COURT ACT AMENDMENT.
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LIB

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

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

The criticism of my hon. friend (Mr. Sproule) is right; for my part, I agree with him. My hon. friend the Minister of Justice (Mr. Ayles-worth) has said nothing to the contrary. He said that he would not be prepared to say that the Bill would not cover the case put forward by the hon. member for East Grey. I am giving my own judgment. I would not put my opinion against that of the Minister of Justice, but, as I understand it, the moment a line of railway is leased by the government and brought under the administration of the Intercolonial railway, it would be covered by this legislation. The Minister of Justice has had more experience in these matters than I have had, and he would not go as far as I in expressing his opinion, but if it were to turn out that I have taken too sanguine a view of the matter and that this Bill does not cover the point of my hon. friend, I see no reason why we should not extend it later on.

Topic:   EXCHEQUER COURT ACT AMENDMENT.
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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

I think we should make it plain now.

Bill reported, read the third time, and passed.

At one o'clock, House took recess.

Topic:   EXCHEQUER COURT ACT AMENDMENT.
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LIB

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

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

House resumed at three o'clock.

Topic:   EXCHEQUER COURT ACT AMENDMENT.
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CURRENCY ACT AMENDMENT.

April 4, 1910