April 29, 1910

OCEAN CABLE COMPANIES.


Mr. LEMIEUX moved concurrence in amendment made by the Senate to Bill (No. 104) to control the rates and facilities of Ocean Cable Companies, and to amend the Railway Act with respect to Telegraphs and Telephones and the jurisdiction of the Board of Railway Commissioners. He said: It -was enacted in the Bill as presented to the House that it should come into force upon a proclamation of the Governor General in Council. As it will not come into force unless there is concurrent legislation in the imperial parliament or provision of a similar nature made by the British government, the Senate has amended the Bill to insert on page 2, line 5, after the word 'force,' the words 'upon similar provision being made by the proper authority in the United Kingdom.' Motion agreed to, and amendment read the first and the second time, and concurred in.


TELEGRAPHS ACT AMENDMENT.


Mr. LEMIEUX moved concurrence in amendments made by the Senate to Bill (No. 105) to amend the Telegraphs Act. He said: This Bill should be read with Bill (No. 105). The amendments are the following: On page 1, line 8, after 'direct1 add 'and at such rates as may be determined from time to time by the said board for the different classes of messages, or hours of the day or night during which such messages are transmitted, without discrimination within each class.' The explanation of this amendment is that it will give a better understanding of the section. When I introduced this Bill to the House I explained that the object was to give the three classes of messages, urgent messages, deferred messages and press messages. Now there is a section in the Telegraph Act which forces under a penalty the companies to transmit messages as they receive them. If there is a differentiation between the classes of messages the companies according to this amendment and according to the Act which was introduced, the amendment making it clearer, will be under the same penalty obliged to transmit them as received. That is the first amendment. Then, another amendment leaves out section 4 of the Bill in order not to confiscate any rights which have been acquired by the cable companies. The next amendment is in the last section, line 19: After ' Council ' insert ' and simultaneously with the coming into force of the Act of the present session, intituled: ' An Act to control the rates and facilities of Ocean Cable Companies, and to amend the Railway Act with respect to Telegraph and Telephones and the jurisdiction of the Board of Railway Commissioners.' That is to say if we do not obtain from Great Britain the necessary provision to put into operation this legislation, then that amendment in the Telegraphs Act shall not come into force. The one is dependent on the other. Motion agreed to, and amendments read the first and second time, and concurred in.


VOLUNTEER BOUNTY ACT AMENDMENT.


Mr. OLIVER moved that the House go into committee to further consider Bill (No. 163) to amend the Volunteer Bounty Act, 1908.


CON

George Taylor

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GEORGE TAYLOR.

The hon. minister received a lot of suggestions the other night. Perhaps he might just explain which, if any of them, he has accepted.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   VOLUNTEER BOUNTY ACT AMENDMENT.
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LIB

Frank Oliver (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER.

The other night the Bill stood over in order that I might have an opportunity to consider a number of suggestions that were made. I have them before me, and will refer to them in detail. Before doing so, however, I may say that after giving them the most careful consideration I have not been able to agree that it would be well to add them to the Bill or to adopt them in the Bill. Taking them in the order in which they came up in the debate, there was the; amendment suggested by my Ron. friend from Assiniboia (Mr. Turiff). He suggested as an amendment to section 4:

That section 4 of the Volunteer Act, 1908, chapter 66, be amended by adding to it the following words: ' Every such grantee or his substitute may within six months after the date of entry, abandon the land so entered and may thereafter, within the time limited for selection and entry by subsection 1 of this section, or within six months after such date, make a second entry; provided that nothing in this subsection shall authorize or entitle any grantee or his substitute to make any further entry in place of the land abandoned as aforesaid.'

My view with regard to that is that volunteer scrip cannot in fairness to the administration be treated differently from other scrip, that is half-breed scrip, and everybody agrees that it would be entirely improper to allow a location of scrip to-day and to allow it to be exchanged to-morrow. Besides that, the amendment would practically give an additional six months, that is to say that instead of the time limit terminating at the time set by the statute it would be extended by the operation of this provision for six months longer in the cases of those who desired to speculate in this scrip. To put the matter shortly, it would he an undesirable addition to the speculative element which necessarily enters into the dealing with this scrip. Moreover, I do not think it} would be fair to the ordinary settlers that these scrip holders should be allowed to take part in a rush for entry, thereby tending to displace the ordinary homesteader, and afterwards to. have the right to exchange their location. Another suggestion was made by the hon. member for St. Anne (Mr. Doherty) in the fallowing words :

That section 4 be amended by inserting in the second line, after the word ' Act,' the following words:

Or any bounty certificate that has been, prior to the passage of this Act, sold or transferred to any person acquiring the same for purposes of speculation or resale.

That amendment is intended to meet the view that has been expressed by a number of members that it would be desirable while giving an extension of time to the present holders of their own scrip

not to give it to the men who had 'bought scrip. In regard to that I would observe that the fundamental principle of the Act as it was first passed was to put the substitute or buyer on an equal footing with the original holder, the view being that by doing so the original holder who did not wish to locate would get a higher value. The purchasers bought in the belief that this principle having been affirmed by parliament would be adhered to. Volunteers who have sold have had the benefit of this belief on the ipart of the purchaser. This belief was further warranted by the action of parliament in dealing with the scrip of 1885 in regard to which extensions were given. On that point I might mention that there have been a number of previous issues of scrip. There were issues to the veterans of the first Red river expeditions between 1870 and 1873, of 1,559 military bounty warrants for 160 acres of land without settlement duty. There was no limitation of time as to the location of those warrants, and to-day we are advertising in the newspapers hundreds of those warrants, giving notice to the public that there are such and such warrants that have not been located which are just as good to-day as they were when they were issued nearly 40 years ago.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   VOLUNTEER BOUNTY ACT AMENDMENT.
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CON

Edward Arthur Lancaster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LANCASTER.

Because there was no limit, I suppose?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   VOLUNTEER BOUNTY ACT AMENDMENT.
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LIB

Frank Oliver (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER.

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Subtopic:   VOLUNTEER BOUNTY ACT AMENDMENT.
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CON

Richard Stuart Lake

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LAKE.

I am very sorry that this Act has been introduced at all by the Minister of the Interior. Even now there are still some eight months within which persons who have received this bounty will have time to locate their land. It is very much against the washes of the farming community throughout the Northwest that there should be any extension of time. However, the minister seems determined to force this Bill through the House. That being the case, I think it would have been wise on his part to accept some of the suggestions which have been made on this side of the House, and especially that suggestion which was made by the hon. member for St. Anne, Montreal, namely, that the extension of time should be made applicable only to the veterans themselves, those who intend personally to locate their scrip. I regret that that suggestion has not been accepted by the minister. I would urge him especially to accept one other suggestion which has been made by the hon. member for Macleod. I hope the minister will think that over again, and that he will change his mind. The principle is generally recognized everywhere, I think, in regard to giving war medals, that the man who sets as far as the seat of war becomes entitled to a war medal, even though he never saw a single shot fired in anger. That principle is certainly recognized in the mother country, and it should be equally applicable to those men who volunteered from Canada to serve the empire in South Africa. They started in on their duty, but either through illness or through accident, they were not able to reach the seat of war in South Africa, and they or their legal representatives, in cases where they have died, are now going

to be deprived of the benefits which I think they are Tightly entitled to. I am sorry the minister has not come to the conclusion to accept the principle that those men who enlisted and started on their way, but through illness contracted owing to their service, or through accidents which have happened to them during that service, were unable to reach South Africa, should receive the benefits of the Act.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   VOLUNTEER BOUNTY ACT AMENDMENT.
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LIB

Frank Oliver (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER.

The question as to who should receive the benefit of this bounty was discussed very fully at the time the Bill was passed. For good or bad reasons, parliament came to a certain conclusion. It was not my wish, in introducing this Bill, to raise any question of that character whatever. It seemed to me that if you raised the question, you opened a door that it would be difficult to close. There was a request made to us by certain representative volunteers for an extension of time, and they seemed to give good reasons for that. We agreed to give them only a part of what they wanted, thinking it would not be unreasonable, and would not do any great harm to any one, and might do good. But I did not wish, in bringing that position before the House, to raise any other question, nor do I desire to do so at the present time. There is no doubt that a good case can be made out for certain men whose circumstances have been brought before the Houise by different members. But I ask the House to consider the position. You have to put a limit somewhere, you have to put a limit some time, and where-ever you fix that limit, there is somebody going to be just outside of it, and somebody else going to be just inside of it. It is as if you drew a circle: somebody is going to be just inside that circle, and somebody is going to be just outside it; and the man who is just outside of it feels that he has a grievance, and his friends feel that way also. You proceed to enlarge the circle and take in a few more. Do you reach a conclusion by that means? No; the more you enlarge the circle, the more you increase its circumference, the more people you find are beyond, on the outside of that circle. You have satisfied those who are included in this enlarged circle, but you have created dissatisfaction in the minds of the larger number of people who are still outside the larger circle. I quite appreciate the feelings of my hon. friends, and I quite appreciate their arguments. But 1 want to assure them, and I ask them to realize the fact, that there is no way a line can be drawn that won't leave people just outside of it who have nearly as good a right to be inside as the people who are inside. Now, in order not to raise the question at all. I would think it advisable in everybody's interest not to open the Bill. There Mr. LAKE.

is one particular class that appeals to me very strongly, and that is those who died on the way to South Africa; but even in that case, if the House should see fit at a later date to do something for them, it would be better to do it by way of a money grant than to open the question of an increased grant of land scrip. There is no doubt that the sentiment of the country is against any further grant of land scrip for any reason whatever. That being the case, I think it would be well for us not to put ourselves in the way of increasing the number who would become liable for land grants under this. ,

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   VOLUNTEER BOUNTY ACT AMENDMENT.
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CON

Richard Stuart Lake

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LAKE.

Would the minister be personally in favour of such a measure as he suggests might be introduced in the future, if such a measure were introduced next year, that is to make a money grant for those who died from injuries received on the way to South Africa?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   VOLUNTEER BOUNTY ACT AMENDMENT.
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LIB

Frank Oliver (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER.

If I could dissociate my personality from my responsibility I would say yes, the case appears to me so strong; but I do not think it would be wise in the interests of these people, to change the present limitations of this Bill.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   VOLUNTEER BOUNTY ACT AMENDMENT.
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CON

John Allister Currie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. J. A. CURRIE.

I know that in my district the rule was absolute that no young man who was married or had parents or others dependent on him was permitted to go to South Africa. In my own corps there were two or three hundred volunteers for South Africa, but they were weeded out if they were married or had any one depending on them. It seems hardly in keeping that after such care in the selection of men claims should be put forward on behalf of their heirs.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   VOLUNTEER BOUNTY ACT AMENDMENT.
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CON

Richard Stuart Lake

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LAKE.

There are one or two cases in which scrip for the 1885 volunteers has not yet been located. Could not the minister under this Act provide for an extension of this scrip in cases where the volunteers are still anxious to locate?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   VOLUNTEER BOUNTY ACT AMENDMENT.
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LIB

Frank Oliver (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER.

I do not think it would be wise to bring that under this Act. I read a list of the extensions given to the 1885 scrip. It was extended up to 1908, and it was supposed that would bring everything in. If there are any outstanding scrips of 1885, I would prefer to propose a special Act to cover them. It is not our wish to cut out any man from the reward to which he was considered to be entitled.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   VOLUNTEER BOUNTY ACT AMENDMENT.
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CON

Thomas Chisholm

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. T. CHISHOLM.

I know of one of these 1885 scrips that has not been located. The party was not aware that these'extensions had been made, and he is bntStled to every consideration. I shall draw his attention to this matter. In listening to the debate so far I think the minister is not

very far wrong. I know the west fairly well, and I think he has the interest of the west pretty well at heart in the way he is trying to administer this scrip. My sympathies are considerably with the minister in the way he is handling this subject.

On section 3, extension of time.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   VOLUNTEER BOUNTY ACT AMENDMENT.
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CON

David Henderson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HENDERSON.

The minister referred to the case presented by the hon. member for Hamilton the other night, although he does not appear willing to accede to the request of the hon. member (Mr. Barker). I thought that was a case of extreme hardship, and that the minister would do something in that particular case. Is there no way, say by order in council, in which a special case of that kind could be" dealt with? The government seems to do a great many things by order in council, and to my mind a case of that kind, which appeared to be one of extreme hardship, might well be treated in that manner.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   VOLUNTEER BOUNTY ACT AMENDMENT.
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LIB

Frank Oliver (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER.

There is no provision whereby the privilege asked for could be granted even by order in council, and if my hon. friend will remember when the Bill was up for consideration in the session of 1908 that question was raised, and it was decided by the House at that time that the privilege which we gave in the case of the man who sold his scrip would have to be the consideration that he would get, that is to say, we gave liberal consideration in regard to the sale of scrip so that the man who could not himself, in his own bodily person, go into residence on the land, would be able to realize as much as his scrip was worth from the man who would actually go on the land. That was the position at that time, and I do not think it would be well to revise it. The principle of the homesteader being on his own land is the very foundation of our whole system in the settlement of the west, and I do not think it would be well to deviate from it.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   VOLUNTEER BOUNTY ACT AMENDMENT.
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April 29, 1910