Mr. H. B. MORPHY (North Perth):
Being sponsor on the Order Paper for this Bill, I desire to make a few observations. I would have much preferred to speak later in the debate, but I have been suffering from serious complaints affecting my hearing and my throat, and think it better I should speak to-day. The Bill has been before the Committee on Railways on four or five different occasions. Since I entered Parliament I have never seen any Bill that had so much attention given to it, especially by those opposed to it, as has been given to the two Bills in question. Those who favoured the Bill were hardly, if at all, heard. Under these circumstances the committee voted, by the very considerable majority of two to one, in favour of putting both these Bills through. The opposition to the Bill, as is well known, came from the Hydro-Electric Commission of Ontario, and one specific argument put forward in the Railway Committee, as here to-day, has been that the matter is one peculiar to the province of Ontario. That view is not a broad one, and I entirely refuse to accede to it and expressly dissent from it. It is , true that the radial roads in question will be provincial, but it is equally true that the Canadian Northern railway system is a national highway affecting not only Ontario but all the provinces of the Dominion. Therefore, I am of the opinion that this question should be dealt with from a broad and national standpoint. In dealing with the argument put forward, that the Ontario Government have sent here a resolution asking the members of this House to oppose these Bills, had I been a member of the Ontario House-a body for which I have every respect-in the light I now have, I would have stood up, even if I had been the only member to do so, and would have voted against [DOT] any such resolution being sent to this Parliament. To yield to that , argument would be to surrender all the cardinal functions of this House; it would
be to acknowledge the principle that, because of a local situation and of a resolution sent from some provincial House, this Parliament should accede to these requests and recede from its position, whether well taken or not. I can not submit to that myself, and I do not propose to. Some of the members from Ontario are quite inconsistent in this regard, especially those on this side of the House.