May 3, 1910


Hon. RODOLPHE LEMIEUX moved for leave to introduce Bill (No. 234) to correct an error in the Telegraphs Act.


IND

William Findlay Maclean

Independent Conservative

Mr. W. F. MACLEAN.

Explain.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-TRADE RELATIONS WITH THE UNITED STATES.
Subtopic:   TELEGRAPHS ACT AMENDMENT.
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LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux (Postmaster General)

Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX.

When the marine telegraphs were brought under the operation of the Telegraphs Act in 1875 it read as follows:

This part applies to every company (a) hereafter authorized by any special or general Act of the parliament of Canada, or under the provisions of this part to construct or maintain telegraphic wires or cables in, upon, under or across any gulf, bay or branch of any sea, or any tidal water within the jurisdiction of Canada or the shore or bed thereof respectively so as to connect any province with any other province of Canada or to extend beyond the limits of any province.

When the statutes in 1886 were revised parliament used the word * hereafter,' in the first line, and again when the statutes

were revised three years ago the same oversight was committed. If the word ' hereafter,' were allowed to remain here the Telegraphs Act would not apply to cables which had been laid before the date when the Act came into force. So it is only to correct this error that this Bill is introduced, by using instead of the word ' hereafter,' in the first line of paragraph (a) the words ' authorized on the 8th day of April, 1875.'

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-TRADE RELATIONS WITH THE UNITED STATES.
Subtopic:   TELEGRAPHS ACT AMENDMENT.
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Motion agreed to, and Bill read the first and second time, and House went into committee thereon.


CON

John Allister Currie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. J. A. CURRIE.

I would like to ask the Postmaster General if his policy of state-owned cables and telegraphs has been dropped indefinitely?

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-TRADE RELATIONS WITH THE UNITED STATES.
Subtopic:   TELEGRAPHS ACT AMENDMENT.
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LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux (Postmaster General)

Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX.

Oh! State-owned cables. It is a magnificent theory, but we have not yet put it into practice.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-TRADE RELATIONS WITH THE UNITED STATES.
Subtopic:   TELEGRAPHS ACT AMENDMENT.
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IND

William Findlay Maclean

Independent Conservative

Mr. W. F. MACLEAN.

I just want to say this, that the sooner Canada builds, and owns a cable between here and Great Britain the better it will be for this country, and the country will support such an expenditure. The way to sci cneap cable rates is for the state to own its own cable across the ocean, and its own land lines across the continent.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-TRADE RELATIONS WITH THE UNITED STATES.
Subtopic:   TELEGRAPHS ACT AMENDMENT.
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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

Why is it retroactive? It does not affect any litigation or rights, does it?

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-TRADE RELATIONS WITH THE UNITED STATES.
Subtopic:   TELEGRAPHS ACT AMENDMENT.
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LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux (Postmaster General)

Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX.

No. The marine telegraphs or cables were brought under the operation of the Telegraphs Act in 1875, and in 1875 the legislature used the word ' hereafter,' because the first cables came into operation that year. In 1886, parliament in revising the statutes again used the word * hereafter,' inadvertently. As a statute goes into force from the date of its being passed it must be read from that date, so that the cables in operation before that date would not be included under the operation of the Telegraphs Act. The same error was committed a few years ago when our statutes were revised, and this is only to correct that mistake.

Bill reported, read the third time and

passed.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-TRADE RELATIONS WITH THE UNITED STATES.
Subtopic:   TELEGRAPHS ACT AMENDMENT.
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COMBINES INVESTIGATION ACT.


Hon. MACKENZIE KING moved concurrence in the Senate amendments to Bill (No. 101) to provide for the investigation of combines, monopolies', trusts and mergers.


CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

Give us some explanation?

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-TRADE RELATIONS WITH THE UNITED STATES.
Subtopic:   COMBINES INVESTIGATION ACT.
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LIB

George Gerald King

Liberal

Mr. KING.

Sec. 32 setting forth the powers of the board gives the board power to summon witnesses and enforce their ' 278

attendance. The Senate has added the words: ' from any part of Canada ' to make it clear that when the board is holding sittings in one province it can compel the attendance of witnesses from other provinces. Sections 22 and 23 have been amended by striking out the word * unduly ' where it appears before the words ' to restrain or injure trade or commerce.' As the word ' unduly ' does not appear in the Criminal Code before these words, it was thought it should not appear in these sections, that they may be uniform with the sections of the Criminal Code.

Amendments read the first and the second time and concurred in.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-TRADE RELATIONS WITH THE UNITED STATES.
Subtopic:   COMBINES INVESTIGATION ACT.
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SUPPLY.


Mr. FIELDING moved that the House go into Committee of Supply.


SETTLERS' GRIEVANCES IN LABELLE.

LIB

Charles Beautron Major

Liberal

Mr. C. B. MAJOR (Labelle).

(Translation.) Mr. Speaker, before you leave the Chair, I desire to call, for a few moments, the attention of the House and the government on the grievances to which are subjected the settlers living on that part of the river Lievre, extending from a point five or six miles distant from the town of Buckingham, to the townships of Wabassi and Kiamika, which grievances have caused the abandonment of "the land in that part of the county of Labelle.

As is well known, extensive lumbering operations have always been carried on in the Ottawa river and its tributaries, which are the river Rouge, the river Blanche, the river Lievre and the Gatineau river.

Within a few miles of the town of Buckingham these people complain of having no means whatever of communication with the large centres of population, inasmuch as they have no railways and are left with only the water route which is controlled by a powerful company claiming to be the owner of the improvements made for the driving of logs. Moreover, this company controls the prices and which puts these people under its dependency and deprives them of the benefits accruing to people of other parts where communications are convenient. I may point out the mistake made by people who assert that the settler and farmer do not protect the forest. The proof lies in the fact that that part which has been cultivated and worked for more than 80 years has still a forest reserve amounting to at least 35 or 40 per cent of its land considered unfit for cultivation.

This shows plainly that these people have taken good care to preserve that which is of primary usefulness to the country even before anybody had thought of creating a

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   SETTLERS' GRIEVANCES IN LABELLE.
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?

The Right Hon. S@

Mr. Speaker, my hon. friend from Labelle has raised a question to which my attention has been called on several occasions, that is to say, the northern counties, and particularly the constituency represented by the hon. gentleman, have no other communications with the markets than by the Lievre river, and from what he has stated, the passage of the river is obstructed by the works of a private company.

There is one thing I do not understand: why should that private company or any company whatsoever arrogate to itself the right of preventing the other lumber companies or the other citizens from using the river? A river is a public road. True, a company may possess exclusive rights; but, at least, that must be under a special Act granting a monopoly. There is nothing in common law that debars any one from the free use, without obstruction, of any river.

My hon. friend is a lawyer, a man of high standing at the bar and a patriotic member of this House. Let me remind him that in the case of Caldwell against Mac-laren, that question has been tried by the judicial committee of the Privy Council, and the law lords decided that Maclaren, who had built a dam, had no right to close, the river to Caldwell who owned limits further up stream. The lords of the Privy Council most emphatically declared that Caldwell had a right to use the river as a public road.

In the case referred to by my hon. friend, there is a position which I fail to grasp, and I would like to see the charter of the company. I cannot understand how that company can exercise such a monopoly. I do not know whether it is in virtue of a general statute passed by the Dominion or by the province, or even if it goes back to confederation.

The question deserves consideration. As I told my hon. friend who called the attention of the government to that matter, I hope that sooner or later and sooner than later, we shall be able to afford the settlers whom he represents here, the means of facilitating the carrying out of their work.

My hon. friend has stated that those people had applied for a railway charter, which they had been denied. I may tell him again, as I said before, that should a company be organized with a view to the building of a railway in that district, the government will be happy to grant them a subsidy.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   SETTLERS' GRIEVANCES IN LABELLE.
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THE CANADIAN NORTHERN.

LIB

Joseph Pierre Turcotte

Liberal

Mr. J. P. TURCOTTE (Quebec West).

(Translation). Mr. Speaker, before you

leave the Chair, I wish to draw the attention of the government to a state of things which seems to me detrimental to the public interest.

Last session, the Canadian Northern Railway Company was granted, by statute, the right of building a line of railway from a point on its line at or near Hedleyville, in the immediate vicinity of the city of Quebec, thence in a generally easterly direction to a point on the Montmorency river.

That statute was assented to in due course and I presume that the Act was passed, subject to the ordinary conditions, namely that in return for the power of expropriation, the right of way on the property of other people, the company should assume all the liabilities which result from such a state of things.

What happened? Last summer or last fall, the company constructed that line, secured the right of way or made the expropriation. Whenever disputes arose as to the price tendered by the company and the amount asked for by the owner, the sum fixed by the judge was paid into the office of the court, according to law, and there was a temporary right of way. I know whereof I speak, as I served the interests of the company upon that occasion. Thanks to our combined efforts, and in view of the fact that a railway line always results in increasing the wealth of the country thus accommodated, the road was put in operation late in the fall of the year, in November. But, instead of running passenger and freight trains, they kept freight trains in operation, without any stop, from Hedleyville to Montmorency. People said that the road was not in a proper condition to be operated in the winter season. It was only in April that the trains began to run in the same direction, but under similar conditions. The trains leave the main line at Hedleyville and run without any stop to Montmorency; there they take pulp wood and come back to Quebec. The line is out of repair to such a degree that serious accidents have taken place, and trains have been ditched.

Last winter, we made representations to the company, and in view of what had happened last fall, I was urged by my constituents in the parish of Beauport to go and meet them. I heard their grievances and as it was announced that the company did not wish to use that road for anything else but for the lumber operations that are carried out on the Montmorency river, I then formally undertook to communicate with the Railway Commission in order to reach some practical result, so that there should be freight and passengers run by the company, with stations between the termini, and that the railway should be worked not only for the personal benefit of the company, but also for the accommodation Mr. TURCOTTE.

of passengers and the carriage of the goods of farmers on the line.

The answer I got from the commission not officially but officiously, was that they had no power to order the company to build stations on the line nor to give a passenger service. Those lines are called spur lines; they are intended as feeders for the traffic of the main line. I was told, moreover, that the farmers could by no means require from the government or the company that there should be stations built between the termini and that a regular passenger service should be established for the convenience of the public in general.

Well, Sir, I have undertaken to bring the matter to the attention of the government, and in case the Act should not provide for such an emergency, I invite the government to bring down some amendment. At any rate, I have undertaken to leave no stone unturned to reach the desired end.

I should have raised this question before to-day, but as the new service began only in April, the opportunity did not offer before.

Now, I bring this question before the government and before the House. Should it be found that the Railway Commission has no power to order the company to operate passenger and freight trains, for the accommodation of the public, it would mean that under the Railway Act, as it is, a railway company would be entitled to all the powers of expropriation and could vex and annoy the public; that it could take private property and convert it for its own use into money.

I believe that such a situation is abnormal. If the Railway Act is such as one of the members of the Board of Railway Commissioners holds it to be. it ought' to be amended.

I have taken advantage of the occasion to discharge what I deem my duty not only to my constituents but also to the general public. For, should such a construction of the Act be placed on the case I have brought before the House, there is nothing to prevent its being applied elsewhere, and then other sections of the country will be liable to suffer from a state of affairs, things which seem to me quite prejudicial to the general interest.

I hope, then, that the authorities and particularly the hon. Minister of Railways, will see to it that an investigation be held into the facts I have just stated; and should my statements prove true, I trust that means will be taken to force the company to dicharge its duty, or should the Act be found inadequate, iet it be amended in the direction I have suggested.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   THE CANADIAN NORTHERN.
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May 3, 1910