April 17, 1923

CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

The provincial government of Manitoba has the contractual right to fix rates. As between that railway company and the Canadian Northern Railway Company, which is still a corporate company to-day, the government of Manitoba can force the railway company to put whatever rates in effect it wants, unless restrained by the parliament of the Dominion of Canada.

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LIB

Lucien Cannon

Liberal

Mr. CANNON:

Does the hon. member contend that a party to a contract can grant power to any party, outside the powers conferred on that first party by the constitution?

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CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

The province of Manitoba has the absolute right to exercise those powers unless restrained by this House. This House has the full right to remove the control it assumed by the act of 1903 and give complete effect to that agreement of 1901.

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PRO
CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

Because we do not believe in special agreements at all. I spent twenty minutes of my address endeavouring to show that the late government set its face against all special agreements and believed them inconsistent with the proper working of the Railway Commission.

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PRO
CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

An excuse?

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PRO
CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

If the hon. member

thinks it is an excuse, I would like to know what he thinks is a reason. I do not understand the hon. member.

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PRO

Robert Forke

Progressive

Mr. FORKE:

The right hon. gentleman knows quite well that the province of Manitoba would like to put that agreement over; but it could get no help from the Dominion, and the Railway Commission fixed those rates over the head of the province of Manitoba altogether. Manitoba has now power to enforce anything the Railway Commission would agree to.

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CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

The hon. gentleman has not made himself quite clear.

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PRO
CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

I am trying to understand the hon. member. I fully admit that this parliament has power to fix rates or to authorize as it did in 1903, the Railway Commission to fix rates irrespective of this agreement of 1901 but this parliament also has power to establish this agreement as a binding agreement to enable Manitoba to get the full value of the consideration which it gave just the same as it did in part at least^in. the case of the Crowsnest arrangement. That very thing I call now on the government to do.

At six o'clock the House took recess.

After Recess

The House resumed at eight o'clock.

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CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

A matter was mentioned before six o'clock by the hon. member for Dorchester (Mr. Cannon) the exact purport of which I was not sure that I caught. I think though he was endeavouring to make the point that the agreement between the Canadian Northern Railway Company and the Government of Manitoba was beyond the jurisdiction of that government to enter into; that is to say, that the government of Manitoba constitutionally could not fix rates on Dominion railways. True, the legislature of no province can, as a legislative act, fix rates on Dominion railways; that is very clear. Similarly a town council could not do things with a company by general by-laws unless it had a contract with that special company. Perhaps this illustration will not add to the clearness of my argument and I will not pursue it.

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LIB
CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

The hon. gentleman need not smile. I do not think it would be clear to him no matter what I did.

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LIB
CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

I mean to say the hon. gentleman is hostile, that is all.

Railway Rates

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LIB
CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

Yes, it is clear to me

all right.

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April 17, 1923