May 20, 1914

CANADIAN NORTHERN RAILWAY AGREEMENT.


Consideration in Committee of resolutions respecting the Canadian Northern railway-iMr. Borden-resumed from Tuesday, May 19; Mr. Blondin in the Chair. Constituent companies ' means such of those companies mentioned in the first schedule to the following resolutions, and such other companies, hereafter declared by the Governor in Council to be comprised in the Canadian Northern system, as own or operate railways, terminals, bridges or other railway facilities.


LIB

Alexander Kenneth Maclean

Liberal

Mr. A. K. MACLEAN:

May I ask the Government if they have conferred with the provincial governments as to the taking over of equities of redemption of Mackenzie, Mann and Company, Limited, in provineially chartered railways which are mortgaged by such provincial governments? I have in mind the case of the Halifax and Southwestern railway, which

is mortgaged to the government of Nova Scotia.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN:

I assumed, of course,

that the provincial Governments were thoroughly aware of the nature of these proposals; up to the present time no suggestion of protest has been received from the Government of Nova Scotia in that regard. I shall be very glad, however, to address a letter to the Premier of Nova Scotia making an inquiry in the matter.

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LIB
CON

Arthur Meighen (Solicitor General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

The Niagara, St. Catharines and Toronto railway is to be transferred to the Canadian Northern system. It occurs to me that the reason -although I am not certain of it-why it does not appear in the first part of the second schedule is that it is to be transferred to the Canadian Northern Ontario instead of to the Canadian Northern, and if it were in the first part of the second schedule it would go direct to the Canadian Northern.

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LIB

William Manley German

Liberal

Mr. GERMAN:

That is not an explanation at all. If the stock of these companies is to go to the Canadian Northern, why should not the Niagara, St. Catharines and Toronto railway be put in exactly the same position as the other companies?

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CON

Arthur Meighen (Solicitor General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

I do not give the explanation with certainty, hut this railway is to be a part of the system, and if it is not to become attached to the Canadian Northern proper, it would not do to have it in the first part of the second schedule.

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LIB
CON

Arthur Meighen (Solicitor General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

Because it would then have to be transferred to the Canadian Northern. The reason for having it annexed to the Canadian Northern Ontario railway, if I am right in my explanation, is this: the Canadian Northern Ontario has a certain power with regard to its 4 per cent perpetual debenture bonds which the Canadian Northern itself has not, and if that additional power is the acquiring by imeans of those bonds of these roads, that is, the payment of the debt against them by means of these bonds, the Canadian Northern Ontario, not the Canadian Northern itself, would have to

purchase the Niagara, St. Catharines and Toronto road.

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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

The stocks of all the companies which go into the system are pledged as security for this $45,000,000, but the stock of the Niagara Company is not pledged. What is the reason? My hon. friend says he thinks that this stock is to go to the Canadian Northern Ontario, but I would point out that all the stock of the Canadian Northern Ontario goes to the Canadian Northern. Whether it goes to the Canadian Northern directly or indirectly, the stock of the Niagara Company ought to be pledged, and according to these resolutions it is not pledged.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
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CON

Arthur Meighen (Solicitor General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

If the right hon. gentleman will let the matter stand I will promise to answer him immediately after dinner. My right hon. friend inquired yesterday as to why a distinction was necessary between subsidiary and- constituent companies. If my right hon. [DOT]friend will look at section 18 of the resolution he will find that it runs this way:

That without limiting: any power now possessed, it be enacted that any constituent company which is now or may hereafter be subject to the legislative authority of the Parliament of Canada, may, under the provisions of the Railway Act, amalgamate. . .

And so on. The right hon. gentleman will see at a glance that it would not do to have all the companies united, (because then each of them would have power to amalgamate, and we do not want to give land companies and others, which, of necessity, should not be made part of a railway company, additional power to amalgamate under this Bill.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
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LIB

William Manley German

Liberal

Mr. GERMAN:

In the first part of the second schedule, the Canadian Northern Railway Company is put down as having an issue of stock of $10,000,000 and that is all the stock which can be mortgaged under these resolutions. If the Niagara, St. Catherines and Toronto railway is absorbed in the Canadian Northern Ontario, that will increase the capital stock of the latter to the extent of the stock which is issued on the Niagara, St. Catherines and Toronto.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
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CON

Arthur Meighen (Solicitor General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

I will answer my hon. friend's question after lunch, and we can then discuss the matter.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

I observe also that the Canadian Northern Transfer Company is in the same position; it is one of the companies which comes into the agree-

ment but the stock of yvhich is not mortgaged.

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CON

Arthur Meighen (Solicitor General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

The Canadian Northern Transfer Company is and has been for some time the property of the Canadian Northern Railway Express Company; consequently, its assets come in with the assets of the Canadian Northern Railway Express Company.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
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CON

William John Macdonald

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MACDONALD:

I think that the Solicitor General will agree with me that this and the following clause should stand until we have more information regarding these companies, and that the clause relating to contractors should stand until he lays on the table a memorandum showing when and where this company was incorporated, its objects, the amount of its capitalization, the bonds and stocks, if any, of a preferential nature that have been issued by it and its assets and liabilities. I submit that the committee is entitled to know the whole history of the financial status of the contractors who are making these covenants with the Government.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
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CON

Arthur Meighen (Solicitor General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

I have no objection to the clause standing, pending the consideration of what my hon. friend asks, a great deal of which I see no objection to bringing down. [DOT]

Clause stands.

' Minister ' means the Minister of Railways and Canals.

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Clause agreed to. ' Guaranteed securities ' means the securities to be authorized to be guaranteed by the Act to be based upon these resolutions.


CON

William John Macdonald

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MACDONALD:

In order that there may be some definiteness about that, would the Solicitor General, for convenience sake, point out any of the securities referred to here that are in existence.

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May 20, 1914