April 3, 1916

CON
LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald

Liberal

Mr. E. M. MACDONALD:

May I ask a question for information? I was not at the committee meeting when this question was up. Has the Dominion Government given any assurance of aid to rural tramways in Ontario of $3,200 a mile? Is there any legislation or other Act which commits the Government to that offer?

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CON

William Humphrey Bennett

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

I am not in the secrets of the Government, but I can tell the hon. gentleman this: a couple of years ago a deputation of about two thousand people waited on the Prime Minister, and he gave an emphatic statement to the contrary. He said the matter would be considered, but that, having regard to the fact that every province would be on a parity with the province of Ontario, and that the undertaking of providing electric railways all over the country would be so enormous, he would not make a pledge. And no pledge was given, nor has any been given since, as I understand it. In committee the other day Sir Adam Beck would not make the statement that any pledge had been given. It is hard to tie Sir Adam Beck down. But we will take his own statement:

There is not one precedent or reason why the Dominion Government should not give us a subsidy of $6,400 a mile.

That is the statement of Sir Adam Beck at Stratford, as reported in the Toronto Telegram. He will not deny that. He now tells the people throughout the province that there is no reason why the Dominion Government should not give a subsidy, of $6,400 a mile. A meeting was held at Toronto, I think in January last, when these gentlemen who are admirers of the Hydro-Electric assembled from different parts of Ontario, and a resolution was passed. I am sorry I have not a copy of the document with me; but it was a declaration in favour of asking the Ontario Government to indicate when they would be prepared to hand over their grant of $3,200 a mile. Yet at the meeting the other day, Sir Adam Beck, in the blandest way, said he had never heard of it. Alderman Maguire, who was also at the meeting, was appealed to by me, and he would not go that far. When a direct contradiction was given to myself by Sir Adam Beck-and that is one reason I am speaking on this matter, by way of personal explanation- when he denied that what I said was true, as detailed in that document, I offered, and I offer again to-day, to give $200 to the Bed Cross Society if my statement was not true, provided he would give $200 if it was true. And he very properly, and very gingerly, backed down from that position. These meetings are addressed, as they were in South Ontario, by Sir Adam Beck and others, who gave assurances and promises to the people that they were going to get $6,400 a mile-that is $3,200 a mile each from the Dominion Government and the local Government.

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CON

Joseph Elijah Armstrong

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. J. E. ARMSTRONG:

The hon. gentleman cannot name one place where any such statement has been made.

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CON

William Humphrey Bennett

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

Will the hon. gentleman listen again; I quote:

There is not one precedent or reason why the Dominion Government should not give us a subsidy of $6,400 a mile.

I am reading from Sir Adam Beck's own speech.

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CON
CON

William Humphrey Bennett

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

I just wanted the hon.

gentleman to drop into the pit. Here is what Sir Adam Beck said in addition:

154i

At this stage Sir Adam Beck referred to the statement of a previous speaker with reference to the Provincial Government being approached for a subsidy. We expect a subsidy from the Dominion Government, he declared, and we expect some assistance from the Ontario Government. As a member of the Ontario Government I am not prepared to say that the Government of the province should subsidize hydro-radials.

That was in 1914. Since then, these gentlemen have grown stronger, and the result is that they are making the statement, as my [DOT] hon. friend from South Ontario (Mr. Smith) heard Sir Adam Beck himself make it, that they had the pledge and the assurance that they would have $3,200 a mile. When this' matter came up in the Railway Committee I dared to take a stand in defiance even of the Mayor of Toronto, that great potentate who last year was opposed in the city of Toronto by a man whom he described as a second-hand dealer off York street, and yet 10,000 independent electors in the city of Toronto said: Although it is a proper thing to give the mayor a second term, anything, even a second-hand dealer off York street, is better than Church. That is a mighty poor compliment to Mayor Church. However, Mayor Church came down to tell us how we should vote. The reason I took the view that I did in the committee was: This railway is a transcontinental railway; in the riding of Simcoe we have the terminus of the Canadian Pacific railway, one of these transcontinental railways. At Port MeNicoll day after day during the summer months you can see 50, 60 or 75 cars of bonded freight, which are brought through the city of Toronto by the Canadian Pacific railway and the contents loaded on boats and sent up the lake. Is that good business for Canada, or not? Do my hon. friends from Toronto object to it? If it is good business to have a transcontinental railway with an American connection which brings through to Canadian railways day after day 50 or 60 cars of bonded freight, would it not be equally good for the Canadian Northern railway to have a good connection in the United States so that it might bring through 50 or 60 carloads of freight day in and day out? The Canadian Northern line runs through my riding within 30 miles of the waters of Georgian bay. It is the aim and ambition of the Canadian Northern railway to duplicate the system of the Canadian1 Pacific railway from Orillia to a point on the Georgian bay somewhere near Midland, and thus be in a position to go through to the

United States and bring freight from there through Canada, even to the city of Toronto, much, I suppose, to the objection of these gentlemen who so hate tihe Canadian Northern that they cannot stand even the name of it. What ie all the trouble in the Niagara Peninsula? The Canadian Northern have built or acquired by purchase 73 miles of railway there; you may call it tramway, because they are electric roads. The city of St. Catharines, the largest city in that district, passed a resolution asking the Railway Committee to allow this charter to go through for the building of this road from St. Catharines on to Toronto and from St. Catharines to a point wthere it will touch the American border. Why should I set up my judgment against the city of St. Catharines?

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CON

John Hampden Burnham

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BURNHAM:

Why set it up against the whole province of Ontario, as represented by the Government of Ontario?

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CON

William Humphrey Bennett

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

I do not know that the Government of Ontario represents the whole province of Ontario in anything in particular. Of course, the Government of the province of Ontario are entitled to their view with respect to the hydro business.

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CON
CON

William Humphrey Bennett

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

What did St. Catharines do? The mayor of St. Catharines came here with a resolution of the City Council begging that in the interests of the city this Bill should pass, and with another resolution that the mayor should not come to 'the meeting as opposing the Bill unless he came in his private capacity. The mayor of St. Catharines, a most estimable gentleman, frankly admitted that he represented himself, and not the city; and,, according to the minutes of their meetings, the St. Catharines Board of Trad,e and the City Council were unanimously in favour of the line going through. Other roads run through that section of the country; the Canadian Pacific railway runs through there, in amalgamation with another road known as the Toronto, Hamilton and Buffalo railway; the Grand Trunk also is there. All the city of St. Catharines is asking is that this line pass through there, so that there may be a bridge at the border, and so that trade may be brought in from the United, States. How will that interfere with the Hydro-Electric if they want to build a railway line through that district? The Hydro Commission says to the Cana-

TMr. W. H. Bennett-3

dian Northern Railway Company: we will build a line from the border to Toronto, and as you are only a transcontinental line, we will make arrangements with you to run over your line. Whoever heard of a transcontinental line being superseded by an electric railway? There is an electric railway running from Grimsby to Hamilton, and this Government-owned road-because the Hydro-Electric will be municipally owned-is going to duplicate that system. In the next breath they say: save us from the competition of the Canadian Northern. I would ask gentlemen who did not live in the province of Ontario not to be carried^ away with the idea that the hydro is such a sacred thing in the province of Ontario that the people will not lay their hands upon it. AH they want to do is to lay their hands upon it in the different municipalities. The people of the city of Hamilton are not objecting to this road. I understand that many citizens of Hamilton are anxious that this railway should, pass through their city. In view of the fact that the city of St. Catharines, the chief city in that district, says that its people are practically unanimous in their desire to have this road built, I am not going to take an opposite view simply because Sir Adam Beck, the hydro people, and the city of Toronto desire to oppose the building of the road.

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CON

Joseph Elijah Armstrong

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. J. E. ARMSTRONG:

Would the hon. gentleman tell the committee how long ago it is since the city of St. Catharines sent in that request, and how many protests have come from that district since the request was received?

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CON

William Humphrey Bennett

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

I will make with the hon. gentleman the same sporting bet that I made with Sir Adam Beck-$100 or $200 -in support of the statement that he cannot produce any protest from the city of St. Catharines against the construction of this railway. I thought that Sir Adam Beck would take up the challenge when he had such an excellent opportunity of making good, instead: of falling down in a most lamentable way before the committee on that question. I have no interest in the Canadian Northern, good, bad, or indifferent. My only interest in the matter is that I see the advantages for the riding of East Simeoe of a transcontinental railway having its terminus on the Georgian bay. I invite Sir Adam Beck or any of these gentlemen to come into the riding

of East Simcoe and- attempt to put me on the pillory for having voted for this Canadian Northern Bill.

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CON

Edgar Nelson Rhodes (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Conservative (1867-1942)

The CHAIRMAN:

The hon, member for South Oxford proposed a motion that the committee do now rise. I have taken the trouble to look up the authorities, and I find that there is no such motion. Am I to take it that the hon. gentleman means to move that the Chairman do leave the Chair? .

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CON
CON

Edgar Nelson Rhodes (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Conservative (1867-1942)

The CHAIRMAN:

That being so, I have to refer the committee to Rule 17-A, which reads:

Every motion heretofore debatable made upon routine proceedings, except adjournment motions.... shall be debatable; but all other motions shall be decided without debate or amendment.

And in Bourinot I find at page 524 that this motion in committee is equivalent in its effect to a motion for the adjournment of the House. It is therefore my ruling that further debate cannot be had until the motion of the hon. member for South Oxford is disposed of. The.motion is that I do now leave the Chair.

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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

Before you finally rule, I beg to take exception to your ruling, respectfully. I think the motion of the hon. member for Oxford is quite in order. The rule that you have just stated applies not to a committee of the House but to a motion in the House itself. We are not in the House, but in a committee of the House, and I call your attention to the rule which you have just cited:

Every motion heretofore debatable made upon routine proceedings, except adjournment motions and every motion standing on the order of the proceedings for the day, or for the concurrence in a report of a standing or a special committee, or for the previous question or for the third reading of a Bill, or for the adjournment of the House when made for the purpose of discussing a definite matter of urgent public importance, or for the adoption, in Committee of the Whole, or of Supply, or of Ways and Means of the resolution, clause, section, preamble or title under consideration shall be debatable; but all other Motions shall be decided without debate or amendment.

This rule applies exclusively to proceedings of the House, not proceedings in committee, and therefore it seems to me that the iriotion of my hon. friend is quite in order.

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CON

Edgar Nelson Rhodes (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Conservative (1867-1942)

The CHAIRMAN:

My ruling was given, I may say, after consultation with the Clerk of the House, and, with all due deference to

the hon. gentleman who leads the Opposition, it is still my belief that Rule 17-A quite clearly applies to the committee. My understanding of the rule and its effect, as laid down by Bourinot at page 524, is that the motion that the Chairman do now leave the Chair is equivalent to an adjournment motion, and I have so decided. That being the case, the motion must toe put, I submit, without debate.

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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

My contention is that Bourfnot's comments were written long before the amendment made to the rules in 1913, and applies only to the old rules. This amended rule from which you are now quoting was made in 1913 at the time of the Naval Bill, and therefore Bourinot did not write at all about this question. The rule which you have stated applies to every motion made with the Speaker in the Chair. There is nothing in that Section 17-A which applies to any committee of the House. All rules which restrict the liberty of discussion are to be construed very strictly; and, unless there is something which says that the same rule shall apply when in committee as when the Chairman is in the Chair, I think the ruling is wrong.

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CON

Edgar Nelson Rhodes (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Conservative (1867-1942)

The CHAIRMAN:

While it is quite true that the volume of Bourinot from which I have quoted was written before the present rules of the House were adopted, I referred to it only on one point, that a motion that the Chairman do rise is equivalent to a motion for adjournment. I must submit that on that point it is quite competent for me to quote Bourinot, notwithstanding that the rules which we now have were adopted in 1913. I may still further point out to the committee that it is, I believe, a settled practice that the rules laid down for the guidance of the House apply to the Committee of the Whole unless especially restricted. But if the right hon. gentleman will refer to rule 17^A he will see that in the second last line reference is made, among some of the exceptions, to the Committee of the Whole, theretoy implying that the very rule in question does apply to proceedings in the committee. Under those circumstances I must rule that the motion of the hon. member for South Oxford is not debatable.

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April 3, 1916