May 14, 1917

FINANCIAL ARRANGEMENT BETWEEN BRITISH GOVERNMENT AND C.P.R.


Hon. Sir THOMAS WHITE (Minister of Finance) moved for leave to introduce Bill No. 47, to facilitate certain financial arrangements between the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and the Canadian Pacific Railway Company, and for other purposes. He said: The object of the Bill is indicated in the title which I have just read. I may explain further, for the information of the House, that the Government of the United Kingdom, for the purpose of making financial provision for the prosecution of the war. has taken over and acquired, and proposes to take over or acquire, by compulsory purchase or otherwise, from persons resident in the United Kingdom, certain securities of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company and of the companies whose lines are leased to that company. The purpose of the British Government in so taking over these securities is to make them available for raising money on this side of the Atlantic; in other words, to assist the exchange situation, which for a considerable time has been adverse to Great Britain. In order that the British Government may have securities which can be sold on this side of the Atlantic, they have requested the Canadian Pacific Railway Company to issue collateral trust bonds of the company payable in United States currency. These collateral trust bonds are to be exchanged by the Canadian Pacific Railway Company, if and when requested by the Government of the United Kingdom, for the consolidated debenture stock and other securities payable in sterling which shall have been acquired by the Government of the United Kingdom in London. That, in brief, is the transaction, and it is in order to empower the Canadian Pacific Railway Company to issue these collateral trust bonds to an amount sufficient for the purpose of exchange with the British Government for these consolidated debenture and other sterling securities that this. Bill is introduced.


LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

As I understand the Bill as outlined by my hon. friend, it contemplates not to add to the liabilities of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company, but simply to substitute one class of security for another?

Topic:   FINANCIAL ARRANGEMENT BETWEEN BRITISH GOVERNMENT AND C.P.R.
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CON

William Thomas White (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir THOMAS WHITE:

That is the object of the Bill. The Canadian Pacific Railway Company has asked that the Bill be introduced in order to facilitate arrangements which it has been specifically requested by the Imperial Government to enter into.

Topic:   FINANCIAL ARRANGEMENT BETWEEN BRITISH GOVERNMENT AND C.P.R.
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LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

I am under the impression that in the report of the proceedings of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company the president is reported as having stated that, owing to the entry of the United States into the war and the loan to Great Britain by the United States of $7,000,000,000, the carrying out of the proposal as originally made was not now contemplated. Perhaps my hon. friend will be able to inform the House whether or not that is so.

Of course, if it is so, it would not be necessary to proceed further with this proposed measure.

Topic:   FINANCIAL ARRANGEMENT BETWEEN BRITISH GOVERNMENT AND C.P.R.
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CON

William Thomas White (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir THOMAS WHITE:

When I first

placed this Bill upon the Order Paper the matter was quite urgent, because an issue of these bonds was about to be made in New York. On account of the financial situation which developed by reason of the entry of the United States into the war, it was found inadvisable to proceed. No such issue is now in immediate contemplation, but I know that the British Government has asked the Canadian Pacific Railway Company to proceed with this legislation in order that it may be available if required.

Topic:   FINANCIAL ARRANGEMENT BETWEEN BRITISH GOVERNMENT AND C.P.R.
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Motion agreed to, and Bill read the first time. -


PRIVILEGE.

STATEMENT BY MR. J. D. TAYLOR.


On the Orders of the Day:


CON

James Davis Taylor

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. J. D. TAYLOR (New Westminster):

I rise to a question of privilege and to call attention to an unusual episode which occurred during the debate in this House on the 1st of May., the speaker being the hon. member for Qu'Appelle (Mr. Levi Thomson), who is reported in Hansard, page 1021, as follows:

I would not like to charge any man with disloyalty, not even those political colonels who strut around our country in the King's uniform, drawing big pay, and who have been on a free trip across the Atlantic to England or France, but who, the moment they smelt gunpowder, turned tail and skipped back home, leaving their men to go to the front without them.

If the audience to whom this is addressed, that is, the Canadian public,- had been present in the chamber and could have visualized the scene, it would not have heen necessary to make any remarks in answer to the hon. gentleman; but unfortunately, such is not the case, and his remarks, going to a public uninformed as to the source of a statement of this kind, are very mischievous and insulting to the commanding officers m Hie Majesty's army, of whom 1 have the honour to be one. I am sure, Sir, you will Tecognize that this statement is doubly out of order; in the first place as a flagrant breach of Rule 19 of this House, and in the next as a breach of that most particular rule of parliamentary debate which prohibits any reflection on the honour of officers of the naval or military

forces'. The hon. member for Qu'Appelle has not been present in the chamber since I arrived from British Columbia a week ago. but on a later occasion, when he is present, I purpose, with the permission of the House, making a motion which I think will he in order, namely: that that hon. member be ordered to withdraw these remarks and that they be expunged from the Hansard for the day named.

In the meantime, however, I think I am in order in making a personal explanation- at least personal to myself-as to how I, one of these political colonels, who no doubt was referred to (because the passage is meaningless if it does not refer to colonels who are members of the House of Commons) come to be here to-day.

I may say that I had as clear an understanding with the Department of Militia in this country .as any commanding officer could have, that I was raising a battalion with which I would serve at the front so long as the battalion served. As I have said in the House before, I recognized that military exigencies, when we arrived in England, made it seem necessary to break up the .battalion and to remove, not the commanding officer from the battalion, but the battalion from the commanding officer, which is the real process there. The brigadier in a case like that takes command of the whole battalion, calls out the officers, directs his sergeant-major to march away the men in accordance with the notice already given that those men are to be attached to a reserve battalion to go forward as drafts, and the commanding officer is left to wind up the affairs of the battalion. That is what occurred to me and to several other members of Parliament in command of battalions who arrived in England at the same time as I did. Subsequently we received, through military headquarters, a specific invitation from the Government of Canada to return to Canada to attend to our parliamentary duties. When that invitation was extended to me I replied in writing that I would be pleased to accept it provided that I was not required for military service. The rejoinder to that was information to me that my passage had been booked on a .steamer sailing a couple of days after I received the notice, and I think the same explanation applies to every other of those so-called political colonels. May I suggest, in conclusion, that if we desire to have His Majesty's uniform respected in Canada, by the people of Canada, it would not be out of place for the House of Commons to give the lead.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE.
Subtopic:   STATEMENT BY MR. J. D. TAYLOR.
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SHIPBUILDING IN CANADA.

CONTRACTS BY IMPERIAL, MUNITIONS BOARD.


On the Orders of the Day:


?

Hon. W@

I had not (he pleasure of being present in the House on the 11th instant when my right hon. friend, the Minister of Trade and Commerce and acting leader of the Government (Sir George Foster) made a statement with regard to the building of ships, in particular, of wooden vessels, a matter which is of very great importance and which is exciting a great deal of interest, more especially in the Maritime Provinces. My right hon. friend is reported to have made this statement:

As to wooden ships, an arrangement is now completed and is being carried out whereby any body or any company that can undertake in a bona fide way to build wooden ships and to deliver them within a certain time, will get the opportunity of building the ships and will be assured that the ship will pay for the cost of construction, with a reasonable profit.

It would be desirable in the public interest that certain details, which are wanting in the observations of my right hon. friend, should be given to the House and to the country. As my right hon. friend is aware, there are in New Brunswick a large number of places, for instance, in the city of St. John, and ait other points along the St. John river, the Kennebecasis, the Mirami-chi, the Restigouche, and other points in the counties of Kent and Gloucester where in former days wooden shipbuilding was carried on very extensively, and where there are admirable sites for the building of ships. 1 think the only thing that is wanting is that definite information should be given to people who are interested as to the terms upon which contracts would be let and as to the standard of vessels which would be required, in order to induce quite a large number of persons to engage in wooden ship building. At present they have no information upon the subject; they do not know to whom to apply; they do not know the standard of vessels required, and it is desirable that such information should be made public. My object in bringing this matter to the attention of the House and particularly to the attention of my right hon. friend is that that information should be furnished as early as possible.

Topic:   SHIPBUILDING IN CANADA.
Subtopic:   CONTRACTS BY IMPERIAL, MUNITIONS BOARD.
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CON

George Eulas Foster (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir GEORGE FOSTER:

It is not an unreasonable demand that proper publicity should be given in relation to the question

which has been brought up by my hon. friend. In the first place I may say that inquiries addressed to the Munitions Board will bring all the information of the kind hinted at by my hon. friend. In the second place if it should seem advisable to make an announcement to the public in a fuller ox perhaps a more speedy way the Government. will confer with the Munitions Board as to such an announcement.

Topic:   SHIPBUILDING IN CANADA.
Subtopic:   CONTRACTS BY IMPERIAL, MUNITIONS BOARD.
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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

I would presume that in a matter of this importance there must have been correspondence between the Imperial authorities and the Dominion Government. Perhaps the best way of making the announcement would be to bring down the correspondence.

Topic:   SHIPBUILDING IN CANADA.
Subtopic:   CONTRACTS BY IMPERIAL, MUNITIONS BOARD.
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CON

George Eulas Foster (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir GEORGE FOSTER:

Such correspondence would foe between the British Government and the Imperial Munitions Board, which is entirely under the British Government. If any correspondence in reference to this matter has passed between the British and Dominion Governments, that of course could be brought down.

Topic:   SHIPBUILDING IN CANADA.
Subtopic:   CONTRACTS BY IMPERIAL, MUNITIONS BOARD.
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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

One would not suppose that correspondence is taking place between the Imperial Government and the Munitions Board, of which this Government have no knowledge whatever; it would not pass over the head of this Government.

Topic:   SHIPBUILDING IN CANADA.
Subtopic:   CONTRACTS BY IMPERIAL, MUNITIONS BOARD.
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CON

George Eulas Foster (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir GEORGE FOSTER:

Bless the heart of my right hon. friend! Surely he does not adhere to the position that the British Government either through an agent or otherwise cannot make a purchase or close a contract in this country without coming to the Dominion Government.

Topic:   SHIPBUILDING IN CANADA.
Subtopic:   CONTRACTS BY IMPERIAL, MUNITIONS BOARD.
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May 14, 1917