Mr. PUGSLEY moved second reading of Bill (No. 36) relating to the establishment and expenses of the International and Joint Commission under the Waterways Treaty of January 11, 1909. He said: This matter was so fully discussed when the resolution was under consideration by the House in Committee of the Whole that I do not think it necessary at present to go at any lengh into the subject. Hon. gentlemen will find the discussion in ' Hansard ' on pages 890 to 945, 6th of December last.
After the Bill was introduced it was thought desirable, after consultation with the Minister of Justice, that provision should be made in it for the summoning of witnesses and also for giving the subjects of the United States the right to bring actions in Canadian courts for the recovery of damages, the United States giving the same right to British subjects. In the United States it has not been deemed necessary to pass legislation upon the subject because under its constitution a treaty becomes the supreme law and supersedes all state laws. But in Canada the constitution is different, and in the opinion of my hon. colleague, the Minister of Justice, it is desirable that provision should be made so as to make it clear beyond doubt that our courts will have power to summon witnesses to give evidence under oath, and also that the right of action shall be clearly granted.