PRISONS AND REFORMATORIES ACT AMENDMENT.
Mr. DOHERTY moved for leave to introduce Bill No. 236, to amend the Prisons and Reformatories Act.
Mr. DOHERTY :
This Bill relates to three matters in connection with prisons and reformatories. The first clause amends the law relating to Ontario and enables an indefinite sentence to be inflicted of not more than two years. It is most important that there should be power in the case of persons sentenced to reformatories to either shorten or extend the sentence in accordance with the condition of the prisoner, so that where a person is speedily reformed
he may be at once released and put in a position where he can establish himself as a good citizen, and in other cases that the sentence should be prolonged within reasonable limits so that reform may be effected. The principle of this has already been established, for instance, in the case of British Columbia in the Act of last session 1912, chapter 43, section 146.
The next amendment relates to the province of Prince Edward Island. In that province there is no reformatory, and this clause is" to enable the province to make an agreement with the adjoining provinces of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick for the care and custody of offenders sentenced to a reformatory.
The next clause is the addition of part 9, which is to cover the case of a Protestant reformatory for girls which is on the point of being established jointly for the provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. This legislation does not provide anything with respect to this reformatory that has not already been established with respect to the reformatories for other provinces.
Motion agreed to, and Bill read the first time.
Bill No. 234, for the relief of Lenore Power. -Mr. MacNut-t. Bill No. 235, to incorporate The Evangelical Lutheran Joint Synod of Ohio, and other States.-Mr. Fripp.
PENITENTIARY ACT AMENDMENT.
On motion of Mr. Doherty, it was ordered that the House go into committee to-morrow to consider the following proposed resolution : That it is expedient to amend The Penitentiary Act, ana to provide that the salaries payable to officers and employees of penitentiaries shall not exceed the rate in the following schedule, namelyWarden, with quarters heated aiJl lighted, $2,800: deputy warden, with quarters heated and lighted, $1,800; surgeon.. $1,700; superintendent of insane ward, $1,000; accountant, chief clerical officer, $1,600; clerical assistants, $1,200; chaplains, to give exclusive service to the prison, $1,200; chaplains, with permission to take outside work, $900; chief keeper, $1,200; chief watchman, $1,200; steward, $1,200; assistant stewards, $900; hospital nurse, $1,000; assistant hospital nurse, $900; matrons, with quarters heated and lighted, $700; engineer and electrician, $1,300; assistant engineers, $1,000; chief trade instructor, $1,200; industrial guards, to act as instructors, $1,000; watchmen, $900; guards, $800; day firemen, $800; night firemen, without uniform, $900; temporary and probationary officers $100 less than the schedule rate for permanent officers. Provided, that the above schedule shall not affect _prejudicially the existing salary, or the eligibility to gratuity ,of any officer in the
penitentiary service at the date of its adoption.
On the Orders of the Day being called:
Has_ the Government
any information respecting the fifty-five Russians who were ill-treated at Moosejaw?
In replying to the hon.
member for Moosejaw, who referred to this some time ago, I inadvertently fell into an error. I stated that no communication with respect to the matter had been addressed to me. I found afterwards on inquiry that a day or two before, a resolution had been sent to me, and it had been transmitted at once by my secretary to the Department of Labour for inquiry as to what they knew about it, and whether there had been any investigation. I have since learned from my colleague, the Minister of Labour, that the department did make some investigation through their officials as to the facts alleged, and I believe the circumstances as detailed in the resolution are, according to the information which has come to me from the Department of Labour, exaggerated. I shall' ask my colleague, the Minister of Labour, to make a statement to the House with regard to it to-morrow. I regret that I have been guilty of inadvertence in replying to the hon. member for Moosejaw, but the fact that the resolution had come to me was not present in my mind; as a matter of fact, I think it was sent at once to the Department of Labour without having been specially laid before me.
EQUALITY OF FREIGHT RATES.
On the motion of the Right Hon. R. L. Borden for Committee of Supply:
Mr. W. F. MACLEAN (South York):
I intend to bring before this House a matter of supreme importance to this country and especially to the people of the West; that is, the present inequality of freight rates that exists as between the West and the East. I have spoken on this matter three or four times this session, and I had expected that a Bill amending the Railway Act would have been brought down and that an opportunity would there be presented of having an amendment, declaring for equality of railway rates and of other railway charges, within the jurisdiction of the Board of Railway Commissioners, inserted in the Act. I had also hoped that probably some of the members from the West might have made a proposition in this direction on going into supply. But, as the House is now approaching prorogation, and as the question is of supreme importance to the people of the West, I propose not only to bring the attention of the House to this condition of affairs but to ask the House to declare that it is of the opinion that there should be no discrimination as between the East and the West. I am not going into Mr. DOHERTY.
the details of the question now, for they have been presented to the House time and again. I have presented them on many occasions, and so have other members, and the journals of public opinion in the West have expressed their views, and a very prominent declaration of opinion has recently been put on record by the Board of Trade of Winnipeg.
I think I can bring the matter to the attention of the House in a very few words by saying that in my view legislation and progress are sometimes a matter ot strategy, and that inasmuch as the Canadian Pacific railway has taken advantage, as I believe, of Parliament, and advantage of the Government in increasing its capital stock as it did last year; and inasmuch as the Grand Trunk railway have been here for relief, and inasmuch as I believe there may be a proposition in connection with the Canadian Northern this session, to my mind in such opportunity Parliament should assert itself and secure from these great companies concessions in the direction of equality of railway charges in the West with the charges now imposed in the East. The Canadian Pacific railway is enormously rich; its charges are high and it can well afford to reduce them. The Grand Trunk Pacific railway wTas built for the very purpose of creating competition and reducing rates; the same policy was announced in connection with the construction of the Canadian Northern, and when we have them before us in Parliament, asking favours of one kind or another, we should demand that they should give some concessions to the people. The people of the West feel that they are not getting justice because the railway rates in the West are higher than they are in the East. Our railroads are national roads; they have been subsidized by all the people and therefore all the people should be treated equally. To my mind, even if the cost of operation were higher in the West than in the East, I would still be of the opinion that there ought to be equality of charges. These people have contributed as much in the West as they have in the East; all the proposals for relief that may go through this House will have to be made good by the people of the West together with the rest of the people of Canada. Citizenship in Canada ought to involve equality of treatment in a national proposition, and especially where the national funds are called on or have been called on to aid any proposition. If the proposition is within the jurisdiction of Parliament, if it is subsidized by Parliament, if it is relieved time after time by Parliament, then I say Parliament should say that that corporation ought to give equality of treatment to all the people of Canada. To make that clear I shall read from an article in the Winnipeg Free Press of Friday last. I am also going to read a short extract involving the declaration of
the Winnipeg Board of Trade. The Winnipeg Free Press of last Friday says:
The Free Press has all along contended that as the first step towards the remedying of the injustice of the railway rates in the west the Dominion parliament should in a formal enactment establish the principle that there must be equality in the rates in all parts of the Dominion, save and except where the railway companies show that in any section of the country there are differences of density of traffic and of costs of maintenance and operation, justifying higher rates. This applies equally, of course ,to express and telegraph rates.
I do not accept that principle of the Winnipeg Free Press that because there is density or absence of density of traffic there should be discrimination. I have already stated there should be equality of treatment, inasmuch as all the country contributes to these railways and that citizenship should involve equal treatment throughout the entire length and breadth of the Dominion. The Free Press then goes on to deal with the matter that I brought up in this House a short time ago, namely, the proposal of the Minister of Railways to increase the salary of the Chief Commis
sioner of the Railway Board. I said that I was in favour of that; but I took the opportunity of drawing the attention of the House to the inequality of railway rates. The Free Press goes on to say:
The laying down of the principle of equality would not be a complicated business at all. ft would be simplicity itself. The thing could be done in a couple of dozen words. All that would be necessary would be to draft a declaration of the principle of equality and have it incorporated in the Railway Act. The principle has been set fortb several times in the Free Press during the past few years.
It is very well set forth in the closing paragraph of the resolution recently passed by the Winnipeg Board of Trade in regard to the reported application of the Canadian Northern to the Dominion Government for further financial assistance to the extent of some $35,000,000. That resolution, after stating that the rates in the West are higher than the rates in the East, and are excessive charges for the services performed and constitute a heavy burden on the people of the West, concludes as follows:
I want to direct the attention of the hon. Minister of Public Works (Mr. Rogers) and the members from the West to what the finding of the Winnipeg Board of Trade is in regard to this inequality of treatment:
Therefore, be it resolved that the Winnipeg Board of Trade hereby petition the Government of Canada and respectfully urge (without expressing any opinion as to whether aid should be given by the Government or not) that in the event of it being considered expedient by the Government to grant the Canadian Northern Railway Company financial aid in connection with the construction of its lines, such assistance be given only on the
condition that the rates charged for the carriage of freight between points upon the Canadian Northern west of Port Arthur be reduced to an equality with rates charged by railways in Eastern Canada for similar services, except in so far and to such extent as the railway company may be able to establish higher cost of operation in the west.
That is the resolution of the Winnipeg Board of Trade. While it specifically deals with the case of the Canadian Northern railway, it asserts the principle that there should be equality. The Free Press goes on to say:
What the member for South York urged on the Miniver of Railways and the Government was simply the insertion in the Railway Act of a clause in general terms, declaring that the priniple enunciated in the closing lines of the above closing paragraph of the Winnipeg Board of Trade resolution in regard to Canadian Northern rates shall apply to all railway rates. It would be no Herculean labour to draft such a clause. There would be no need to consider a single item in a single railway rate, much less 230,000 railway rates.
I believe this resolution expresses the views of all the people of the West. The western roads have been built at smaller cost rather than at higher cost. I do not believe the cost of operation in the West is greater than in the East. If this resolution expresses the opinion of the people of the West, it ought to be put before the House, and the opinion of the House taken on this great question.
I have no faith, nor has the Winnipeg Free Press faith, in any general relief coming from the Board of Railway Commissioners. They are engaged in examining 230,000 individual tariff rates; they are taking months to do so, and they will take months more. If they do anything this year, all that they will give will be small measure of relief. Parliament ought to come to the assistance of the Railway Commission and declare that there shall be equality as between East and West. When the Board are in possession of that principle, they can easily find what fair and equitable rates should be, and then they can apply them to the whole country without discrimination. The railway policy of this country is not to be framed up by the Board of Railway Commissioners. The jurisdiction is in Parliament and Parliament ought to lay down this principle of equality in treatment. When that principle is declared by Parliament, it may be necessary for the Railway Commission slightly to increase rates in the East in order to give fair treatment to the West If that is to be done, it should be done immediately. Why should this stigma rest upon the people of the West that they must pay higher rates than the people of the East pay.? No member from the West will say that it is fair treatment for the West to be under the bondage of paying higher rates than the people of the East pay. My motion does not involve any loss of rev-
enue to the railways, but it says that the railway rates as imposed shall be e(R*ai 7 distributed as between East _ and west. Therefore it involves no unfair treatment to the railways. This principle of ity in charges applies not only to
telegraph and telephone charges but to
express charges as well as other tolls. Railway passenger rates to-day are on an equality. The maximum rate to-day by a declaration of the Railway Board is three rents 9. mile. Why not have the same thing inserted in regard to freight and all these other charges? The railways are making more money at the present time m the West than in the East. None of them are complaining of lack of business^ they are all overworked. I am not arguing for lower rates in the West; but, if it should be the case that the two weaker roads would be at a loss by a reduction of rates in the West, Parliament ought to find some means of making up the loss to these roads in order to work out this principle of equality.
I cannot put the case more clearly before the House than I have done. I have spoken about it time after time and session after session. I have been waiting to see the relief come, but it does not come. The question of freight rates has been sent to the Board of Railway Commissioners and they are probably dealing with it as best they can, but they are dealing with it without the guiding principle before them. _
We have delegated to them the question of dealing with railway matters in a large measure, but we have not delegated to them the right to frame the general policy of the Railway Act and of the Railway Commission in regard to equality of treatment. _ I trust to have the support of the entire House in this declaration of equality of treatment in connection with railways. My motion is very short. I have made no arrangements with anybody, and I do not know whether I shall get a seconder or not. I hope some member from the West will second .my motion. It is a hard thing for a member in my position to bring up a question, which has such a widespread interest, and on which there may be a wide divergence of opinion between the two parties. I beg to move:
That all the words after ' that ' be struck out, and the following substituted therefor: ' That in the opinion of this House there should he no discrimination as between Ease and West in the tolls for freight or any other service within the jurisdiction of the Board of Railway Commissioners for Canada.'
Hon. RODOLPHE LEMIEUX:
I shall be glad to second the motion.
Mr. MICHAEL CLARK (Red Deer):
I quite appreciate the courage of my hon. friend in ploughing a lonely furrow so far as his own side of the House is concerned. As he knows, I have been supposed to have done some little work in that line myself Mr. MACLEAN (S. York!
and it is not always an agreeable position. He says it is a hard thing for him to move an amendment like this in his present situation. I have always thought my hon. friend's situation was a little illogical, because he is a natural born radical. He reminds me of the "well known character of one of Moliere's plays, Jourdain, who was talking prose all his life without knowing it. I can quite appreciate that it is a hard thing for him to have come to the help of the western farmers in his own present-political Egypt. We are, as he recognizes, suffering under a disability in the West in. this matter of freight rates. I would point out that it is not the only disability under which we suffer, and I am afraid that we are -so used to being called on to make bricks without straw that- we shall cease to repine from sheer inanition if we are not stirred up occasionally by some radical like .my hon. friend. I have great hope of my hon. friend, he is a man with his eves wide open and watches the turn that political events have taken. He has good blood in him. I believe it is a, fa.ct that his father was the pioneer, from his point of view, of the protective policy in this country. He saw what they were -doing in the United States and he said: from our nearness to the United States, protection, if it is a good thing there, must be a good thing here. I am* quite sure my hon. friend has his eyes open and sees that United States are going the other way now and h-e will not be dishonourable to his father's memory if he becomes the pioneer of free trade in Canada because United States are going in that direction. I interject these remarks in the question of railway rates in order to point out that there are more kinds of bondage than one. We may be in bondage to the railway companies, but we have another kind of bondage and I want my hon. friend to give free play to his radical proclivities and show that he is a man of independence and a good Canadian, and to cross the floor of the House and join another radical like himself and then we radicals will go all abreast like the horses of the sun. . .
At this stage of the session I do not wish to hold up the House for any length of time, but I should say it was so plain that a wayfaring man, though a foo-l, may see the truthfulness of it, that there ought not to be any -difference between freight rates in the East and in the West, there should not be any discrimination. The way to build up a great empire is not to divide Canada whether on a naval question in the provinces or a fiscal and railway question in the provinces. The wray to get imperial unity is by means o'f Canadian unity, and if we can have Canadian unity in re-o-ard to freight rates I am sure the western
members will give my hon. friend any credit that is coming to him for having been the pioneer on the subject. I wanted to say these few words to encourage my hon. friend in the development of very hopeful symptoms which I see breaking out in him.