January 29, 1917

REPORTS AND PAPERS.


Copy of amendment to sub-section (d), section 104, of the Radiotelegraph Regulations.-Hon. Mr. Hazen. Annual report of the Department of Customs for the fiscal year ended March 31, 1916.-Hon. Mr. Reid.


RAILWAY ACT AMENDMENT.


Hon. FRANK COCHRANE (Minister of Railways and Canals) moved for leave to introduce Bill No. 13, to consolidate and amend the Railway Act.


IND

William Findlay Maclean

Independent Conservative

Mr. W. F. MACLEAN:

I should like to ask the Minister of Railways whether the Government have come to a decision concerning the announcement made by the First Minister the other day, that the consideration of this Bill might be taken up in Committee during recess?

Topic:   RAILWAY ACT AMENDMENT.
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CON

Francis Cochrane (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. COCHRANE:

When the Prime

Minister makes a statement, he means what he says.

Topic:   RAILWAY ACT AMENDMENT.
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IND
CON

Edgar Nelson Rhodes (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPEAKER:

It is not in order to go into a discussion on the first reading of a bill.

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LIB
CON

Robert Rogers (Minister of Public Works)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ROGERS:

You had better read

Hansard.

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Motion agreed to, and Bill read the first time. 'Mr. Turriff.]


RECRUITING.

STATEMENT BY THE PRIME MINISTER.


On the Orders of the Day: Rt. Hon. Sir ROBERT BORDEN .(Prime Minister): Mr. Speaker, during my absence on Friday the hon. member for As-siniboia (Mr. J. G. Turriff) made a statement in the House with regard to myself to which my attention has been directed. I need not read all of his speech, but the statement to which I refer was in effect: that I did last spring intimate to the representatives of the Ontario Recruiting Committee that if I had my way there would be no more recruiting in Canada and that the attention of the Canadian people should be turned to the development of their industries. That statement is on its face so Transparently absurd that I must apologize to the House for making allusion to it. However, my silence might be misunderstood, and therefore I desire to assure the House and the country that neither to the Ontario Recruiting Committee on the occasion mentioned, nor to any other organization or individual on any other occasion, did I ever convey any such intimation as that suggested, or anything that could be tortured into such an intimation. I regret that my hon. friend should have seen fit to make a statement which is entirely inconsistent with every act and word of mine from the commencement of the war up to the present time.


CONFISCATION OF COAL BY RAILWAYS.


On the Orders of the Day:


LIB

Daniel Duncan McKenzie

Liberal

Mr. McKENZIE:

I wish to call the attention of the Prime Minister to a telegram which I have received, as follows:

Have sent Premier Borden to-day a telegram reading as follows: "The Dominion

Atlantic Railway has confiscated coal consigned to the Nova Scotia Underwear Company, Limited, of Windsor, after arrival of coal at Windsor freight yard. The confiscation of Underwear Company coal is serious, as they have military contracts to perform and will be unable to do so if confiscation of any of their coal by railway Is permitted. If you will kindly instruct Dominion Atlantic Railway that coal confiscated must be returned at once, and that coal for the Nova Scotia Underwear Company, Limited, must not be interfered with in future, we feel they will obey. While the Nova Scotia Underwear Company is willing to co-operate with the railway in every reasonable manner, it feels that interference with its coal supply is unwarranted by conditions obtaining in this vicinity, and such interfer-

ence is a matter of serious importance to them. Your kind offices in the premises will be appreciated.

This is a duplicate of a telegram which was sent to the Prime Minister. I sent notice to the Prime Minister that I would bring this matter up, and I trust that he will be able to give some satisfactory information on the subject.

Topic:   CONFISCATION OF COAL BY RAILWAYS.
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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:

The telegram to which my hon. friend refers was received by me, and I at once asked the Board of Railway Cbmmissioners for Canada for any information that they might have with respect to that or like matters. I have a memorandum from the Chairman of the Board, Sir Henry Drayton, which has just been handed to me. It is as follows:-

The practice of commandeering- coal byrailways is the occasion of great annoyance and frequently positive loss to consignees. It is a practice which is not covered by the Railway Act, one way or the other, nor authorized by any regulation of the Board. The practice is very similar to the practice of general average applicable at sea, and the taking of necessary cargoes, belonging, of course, to consignees, in case of emergency. It is justified by the railways in that it is better that some freight should move rather than that no freight should move at all. .

Railway companies, of course, ought to lay in their own coal; they ought to have supplies ; they ought to be able to carry on their business without commandeering coal; but, at the same time, it has to be recognized that the coal shortage is very acute, and that railways in some instances have been entirely unable to obtain supplies of coal which they in due season contracted' for.

The Board has already had up the question of coal confiscation with the railways, andl everything has been done to minimize it. The complaints on this score now are very much fewer than they were, and the situation is being got in hand.

The Board has not been advised of any confiscation of coal belonging to the Nova Scotia Underwear Company, but the matter will be immediately taken up.

My hon. friend will bear in mind that the telegram reached me only this morning, and that the Board of Railway Commissioners, to whom I referred it, have had only a few hours to consider the situation. The hon. gentleman will note the statement in the concluding paragraph of the memorandum, to the effect that the board will investigate the matter at once and give me further information. I am very much obliged to my hon, friend for giving me an intimation in advance that it was his purpose to ask a question in the House upon the subject.

Topic:   CONFISCATION OF COAL BY RAILWAYS.
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WESTERN COAL MINING.


On the Orders of the Day:


January 29, 1917