March 8, 1915

CON

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID:

The hon. gentleman confirms what I said a few minutes ago, that in so far as the Department of Agriculture is con-

cerned the inspectors were taking every precaution to see that no potatoes left Canada except in proper condition. When Mr. O'Halloran. the Deputy Minister, brought this to my attention on Wednesday or Thursday of last week, I instructed him to send an inspector to Boston, to examine the potatoes thoroughly and make an official report. I do not see that I could have done other than that. At all events I gave instructions to do everything possible, to have them examined again thoroughly by an independent inspector and to make a report accordingly.

Topic:   FRANCO-CANADIAN STEAMSHIP SERVICE.
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DISTRIBUTION OP SEED GRAIN.

LIB

William Melville Martin

Liberal

Mr. W. M. MARTIN:

I would like to draw the attention of the hon. Minister of the Interior (Mr. Roche) to thajact that information has come to me to the effect that certain agents of the Government from Saskatchewan are refusing to accept applications for seed from men who are on patented lands and also that the Dominion lands agents at Wadena, Battleford and Big-gar are refusing to take any applications from men who have received their patents. I would like to ask the minister if, in view of the statement he made to this House on February 10 in which he agreed that every application should be given proper consideration, he has instructed the agents to receive and consider every application properly, whether the land of the applicant is patented or not.

Topic:   DISTRIBUTION OP SEED GRAIN.
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LIB

William Roche

Liberal

Mr. ROCHE:

The policy which was announced here by myself is being followed out, I believe, to the letter. Instructions were sent to the Commissioner, of Immigration, who has charge of this matter of the distribution of seed grain, to deal with cases coming from the holders of patented as well as unpatented lands in all deserving cases. Of course, there have been several thousand applications of cases that do not come under the enumeration that has been laid down, and they have therefore been refused. Mr. Bruce Walker was in the city on Saturday, and he told us that outside of the drought-stricken area 7,000 applications had been favourably acted upon.

17TH NOVA SCOTIA REGIMENT.

Topic:   DISTRIBUTION OP SEED GRAIN.
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CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir ROBERT BORDEN:

I would like to say to the hon. member for Richmond (Mr. Kyte), who asked me to lay upon the table of the House some telegrams from Mr. H. C. Crowell of Halifax, that I expected to have them ready to lay upon the table of the House to-day; but I find that there are some [Mr. J. D. Reid.I

more to be filed and I will lay them on the table of the House to-morrow. I would like, however, to explain that it appears that the interview which was alluded to in the telegram from Sir George Perley was an interview with General Guy Carleton Jones, director of the Army Medical Service. The mistake occurred in this way, that the code word which was translated by the decoding clerk in this telegram as " Alderson " appears twice in the code book, and the decoding clerk selected the particular word which worked out as " Alderson." A further telegram from Sir George Perley explained that he had used the code word which appears elsewhere in the code book and which worked out as " Jones," and this was the word he intended to use. Therefore, Mr. Crowell is quite right in stating that he did not have an interview with General Aider-son, but nevertheless there was an interview with Surgeon General Jones, Director General of the Army Medical Service in England. It was he, as I am informed, who had the interview with Mr. Crowell in which Mr. Crowell expressed the opinion that has already been communicated to the House.

Topic:   DISTRIBUTION OP SEED GRAIN.
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PRIVATE BILLS.

CONSIDERED IN COMMITTEE-THIRD READINGS.


The House in Committee on Private Bills. Mr. Sevigny in the Chair. Bill No. 8, respecting the Edmonton, Dun-vegan and British Columbia Railway Company-Mr. Green-in committee. On section 1-extension of time for construction :


CON

Robert Rogers (Minister of Public Works)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ROGERS:

When this Bill was up on Friday night we had under discussion the time during which the company should have the right to start work, the provision being that it must be started within a period of two years. There was no disposition, as far as I understood the matter then under discussion, on the part of any person, to delay in any way the passing of the Bill, but in view of the fact that this railway company have already sold their bonds and have the money on hand, and as there is a pressing necessity for the construction of this line of railway, at all event from a point known as Smoky river to a point known as Spirit river, a distance of some fifty miles, it was thought that it might be well to make a reduction in the extension of time allowed for commencing the work from two years to a lesser period by reason of the fact that the conditions are favour-

able and also by reason of the fact that, as I understand it, those who are in charge of the work are not anxious for an extension of two years but are willing to carry on the work as soon as spring opens in so far as this fifty miles in particular is concerned. I think that perhaps the Chairman of the Railway Committee will be disposed to amend that clause and provide that work shall be commenced within a period of six months instead of two years. I think that would cover the difficulty, taken with the assurance we have from the railway people that they are going to go ahead with the work and that they propose to complete as speedily as possible the line from Smoky river to Spirit river.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   CONSIDERED IN COMMITTEE-THIRD READINGS.
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CON

Edward Arthur Lancaster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LANCASTER:

Under the circumstances, I do not see any objection to the suggestion of the hon. gentleman who has just taken his seat (Mr. Rogers). As I said on Friday night, we granted a time for commencing the unconstructed portions of these roads because some of the charters are already expiring. If we haa been sure in the railway committee that none of these franchises would run out before His Royal Highness would give his' consent to this Bill we would not have needed to have worried about the commencement. We would simply have said that they should be allowed five years to complete the uncompleted portions of their road. But the better opinion among lawyers is that when charters are expiring, or have expired, it is necessary to also give a time for commencing. Some of these franchises would expire in three or four days from now and it was necessary that we should resuscitate them. That is why the clause is worded as it is. The hon. member for St. John (Mr. Pugsley) remarked on Friday night about the peculiar language, and that is the explanation. If it were not so we would not have said anything about what is contained in the first five or six lines; we would simply have dealt with the time when they should complete the uncompleted portions of the road. In view of what was said on Friday night and, with the unanimous consent of the House, I will move to amend this clause by striking out the words " two years " and inserting in lieu thereof the words " six months " for commencement. T am assured by counsel representing the company that they propose going right on at once or as soon as this Bill is passed and the company do not object to this change. They will not object to being required to hurry on within six months. Therefore, in accordance with 46 '

the suggestion of my hon. friend the Minister of Public Works, I move to amend section I, by striking out the words " two years " in line three and inserting in lieu thereof the words " six months."

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   CONSIDERED IN COMMITTEE-THIRD READINGS.
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CON

Robert Francis Green

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GREEN:

1 am sorry I was not in my seat on Friday evening when this Bill came up for discussion. I am not rising now particularly to object to the shortening of the time to six months. This Bill was discussed very fully in the Railway Committee, and it seems strange that it should for some reason or another have met with opposition, not only there but in the House. I wish to point out that this Bill is one that should receive every encouragement in this Parliament, because these people are railway builders; they are not people who are asking for anything unreasonable; they are in the business of building that particular railway, as evidenced by the fact that they have already built and have laid the steel upon 262 miles of that railway. Their charter expires oh the 17th day of March, a few days hence, and it is necessary, as the Chairman of the Railway Committee pointed out, to have the extension granted at this particular time, so as to prevent its expiration, and inability to reinstate it if it is not signed by the Governor General before the date of expiration. These people have not only built the road so far, but they have the money on hand to continue construction. The line of railway is northerly from Edmonton to mile 131 where the railway crosses the Athabasca river. The bridge over this river is of steel on concrete piers. The route from the crossing of the river is generally westerly along the south shore of the Lesser Slave lake, and through the settled district just west of Lesser Slave lake. From the end of steel, grading has been done to a point a short distance east of Smoky river, and it is proposed when the frost goes out of the ground to continue the grading and lay the steel in a westerly direction. The intention is to construct the line of Tailway to Peace River block, where it will join with the Pacific Great Eastern railway, a line of railway which is being built through the province of British Columbia. Bonds for 350 miles of the railway, to the extent of 820,000 per mile, were guaranteed by the province of Alberta, the Tate of interest being 41 peT cent. It is the intention of the company to push work vigorously for the obvious reason that the company is anxious to obtain all available

freight from Spirit River and from Grande Prairie. The company is seeking legislation at the present session to enable it to forthwith construct a line of railway from a point on its main line near Spirit River settlement through Grande Prairie, with the object of giving relief at as early a date as possible to the settlement in Grande Prairie.

When this charter was before the Railway Committee, objection was taken by some members of the committee that the government of Alberta, being interested as guarantors of the bonds, should be consulted. They were consulted by telegram by the Hon. the Minister of Railways, and he had a reply from the Premier of that province saying that they had no fault to find with the Bill as it was, and that under the contract for the guarantee, they were in a good position to protect the province from any attempt on the part of these people to forego construction at the present time. There is no desire at all on the part of the contractors to retard construction, because the line already built is of no service until it is extended to meet the requirements and to get the trade of certain districts which are settled. The country through which the line is already built is not settled to any great extent, and therefore these people are particularly desirous of continuing the work, so as to reach the settled districts. I repeat that I have no desire to oppose the amendment offered by the Chairman of the Railway Committee, that the period be reduced from two years to six months. I think, however, it would have been better to give a year, but six months is quite satisfactory to the promoters of the railway, and I think by the time this House meets again we will find that the railway has not only been completed to the confines of the province of Alberta, but that it has probably been connected up with the Pacific Great Eastern railway of British Columbia.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   CONSIDERED IN COMMITTEE-THIRD READINGS.
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LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

My hon. friend (Mr. Green) says he cannot understand why there is opposition to this Bill, both in the committee and in the House. I desire, as a member, to protest against any hon. gentleman saying it means opposition to a Bill, simply because a member wants to have it put in proper form. The Bill in its present form is decidedly objectionable. It is all very well to say that the gentlemen who are building this road are railway builders. I know they are. I know that Mr. Macdonald, who is the principal party concerned in the

building of the road, is a gentleman of the very highest character and may be expected to push the road forward as Tapidly as possible. But, every time we pass a Bill in this House we are forming a precedent for future legislation, and under this legislation as it is, the company need not strike another blow, even on the portion of the road on wfhich the steel has been laid, but which may not be completed because it is not ballasted or because station-houses have not been built. I cannot for the life of me see why it is necessary to put any provision in the Bill as to the commencement of construction upon the uncompleted portion. The road lias been commenced under the provisions of the charter, and all that would be necessary would be to provide a time for completion, but under this Bill the company can lie down to-morrow and not strike another blow for two years, and not complete that portion of the road which may be practically constructed. That is why I took objection to the form of the Bill. I had no idea of opposing the measure, nor had I any idea of throwing any obstruction in the way of the company. I am quite sure that the Minister of Public Works, in the views he expressed in the committee, had no such thought either. But what I wanted was to endeavour to have proper legislation passed so that in regard to the road which is under way the company should be compelled to go right ahead with as reasonable speed as possible.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   CONSIDERED IN COMMITTEE-THIRD READINGS.
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LIB

William F. Carroll

Liberal

Mr. CARROLL:

I fail to see how an

amendment to this Bill, making it incumbent on the railway company to commence construction within six months, is going to assist in the speedy construction of the road. I would point out that the policy of the Railway Committee of this House, in recent years, has been to have some uniform time fixed, to which charters should be extended. I think the chairman of the committee will bear me out in saying that until last year the policy of the Railway Committee for the two previous years had been that where a railway company had not commenced the construction of a road to give it two years to commence and five years to finish, if it was an ordinary railway. Last year an innovation was made in the Railway Committee, and instead of granting two years, the policy of granting one year was adopted.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   CONSIDERED IN COMMITTEE-THIRD READINGS.
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CON

Edward Arthur Lancaster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LANCASTER:

My hon. friend can

hardly call that a policy. What we concluded was that each tub should stand on its own bottom, and that each Bill should be

dealt with on its own unique facts and particular merits, believing that there might be cases in which in the interest of the public and not too harmful to the progress of the company, they should be cut down to one year. We did that in some cases and refused to do it in others. So far as I was concerned, I advised in the committee-perhaps advised is too strong a word to use-but I suggested that each Bill should be treated on its own special merits. And where one company might get two years to commence and five years to finish, another company might get only one year to commence, and, in fact, in some cases, it might not be found desirable to extend the charter at all. It was not a policy for any fixed time exactly that was laid down by the com. mittee.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   CONSIDERED IN COMMITTEE-THIRD READINGS.
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LIB

William F. Carroll

Liberal

Mr. CARROLL:

Until last year the policy of the Railway Committee was to give companies which, had not commenced , com struction two years to commence and five years finish. Last year some of the members of the committee thought that was too long, and in some instances the time for commencement was cut down to one year. When the extension of time for this railway was challenged in the Railway Committee, I took the ground that if we were going to cut down the time in which to commence to construct the uncompleted portion of the road, we should also reduce the time for completion; that is, if we gave the company six months in which to commence construction, we should give it three years instead of five years in which to finish, because it is not going to help out the completion of the road to limit the time in which the company may commence operations and to let it have five years in which to complete. I am sure that every hon. member, whatever part of Canada he may come from, is anxious to see this road built; and if this amendment calling for commencement of construction within six months is to go through, another amendment should be made that the road should be finished within three years.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   CONSIDERED IN COMMITTEE-THIRD READINGS.
Permalink
CON

Edward Arthur Lancaster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LANCASTER:

My opinion is that it does not necessarily. follow, that because you cut down the time for commencement of construction to six months, you should also cut down the time for completion from five years to three. When a company has commenced construction and has spent and is spending money on its road, for its own sake it will endeavour to complete the road as soon as possible, because it gets no 46i

revenue until the jpad is completed. Obstru-tions may arise preventing the completion of the road within the three years; and there is no harm in giving the company five years, so long as it is going ahead with the construction.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   CONSIDERED IN COMMITTEE-THIRD READINGS.
Permalink
LIB

William F. Carroll

Liberal

Mr. CARROLL:

Why not give the company two years in which to commence construction?

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   CONSIDERED IN COMMITTEE-THIRD READINGS.
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CON

Edward Arthur Lancaster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LANCASTER:

That is a different matter entirely.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   CONSIDERED IN COMMITTEE-THIRD READINGS.
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LIB

William F. Carroll

Liberal

Mr. CARROLL:

The hon. Minister of

Public Works is anxious for the completion of the railway, and he is right in taking the stand that he does. He will not, however, accomplish his purpose by giving the company a short limit in which to commence operations and five years in which to complete the road.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   CONSIDERED IN COMMITTEE-THIRD READINGS.
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CON

Edward Arthur Lancaster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LANCASTER:

He will accomplish it by forcing the company into an undertaking on which it will lose interest and from which it cannot possibly get any profit or revenue until the road is completed.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   CONSIDERED IN COMMITTEE-THIRD READINGS.
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March 8, 1915