May 11, 1928

CONSIDERED IN COMMITTEE-THIRD READINGS

LIB

John Frederick Johnston (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

The CHAIRMAN:

There are quite a number of unopposed divorce bills. Will it serve the purpose of the committee to give the numbers of the bills and the names of the persons interested?

Bill No. 158, for the relief of William James Wall.-Mr. Jelliff.

Bill No. 159, for the relief of George Rubin Sanderowich, otherwise known as Rubin Sanders.-Mr. Geary.

Bill No. 160, for the relief of- Kathleen Elizabeth Hedges.-Mr. Lennox.

Bill No. 161, for the relief of Lotus Henderson Conover.-Mr. Geary.

Bill No. 162, for the relief of Marguerite Trelawney Buller Allan.-Mr. McPhee.

Bill No. 163, for the relief of Alexander Graham.-Mr. Garland (Carleton).

Bill No. 164, for the relief of William Henry Phillips.-Mr. Young (Toronto Northeast).

Bill No. 165, for the relief of Marjory Elgin Burch.-Mr. Young (Toronto Northeast).

Bill No 166, for the relief of Frances Helen Renison.~-Mr. Casselman.

Bill No. 167, for the relief of Katie Abramo-vitch.-Mr. Jacobs.

Bill No. 168, for the relief of Daisy Myrtle McPherson.-Mr. Pettit.

Bill No. 172, for the relief of Claire Ellen Burke.-Mr. Anderson (Toronto High Park).

Bill No. 173, for the relief of George Edgar Gooderham.-Mr. Young (Toronto Northeast).

Bill No. 174, for the relief of Pearl Hazel Clement.-Mr. Arlhurs.

Bill No. 175, for the relief of John Arthur Towers Irvine.'-Mr. Church.

Bill No. 176, for the relief of William Henry King.-Mr. Clark.

Bill No. 177, for the relief of John Pepper. -Mr. Garland (Carleton).

Bill No. 178, for the relief of Caroline Mildred Totter.-Mr. Edwards (South Waterloo) .

Bill No. 179, for the relief of Fanny Alrheta Schaefer.-Mr. Clark.

Bill No. ISO, for the relief of Ivy Ethel James Sergent.-Mr. Robinson.

Bill No. 181, for the relief of Angelo Spada-fore.-Mr. Garland (Carleton).

Bill No. 182, for the relief of Lena Zimmerman Staples.-Mr. Hocken.

Bill No. 183, for the relief of Audie Bertha Stewart.-Mr. Pettit.

Private Bills

Bill No. 184, for the relief of Gertrude Aileen VanderVoort.-Mr. Casselman.

Bill No. 185, for the relief of Roy James Vollans.-Mr. McPhee.

Bill No. 186, for the relief of John Young. *-Mr. Clark.

Bill No. 266, for the relief of Victoria May Cameron.-Mr. Bowen.

Bill No. 267, for the relief of Laura Esther Phillips Fortune.-Mr. Jacobs.

Bill No. 268, for the relief of Claude Frederick Gibbs.-Mr. Arthurs.

Bill No. 269, for the relief of Lillian May Gill.-Mr. Jelliff.

Bill No. 270, for the relief of Ruth Gray.- Mr. Arthurs.

Bill No. 271, for the relief of Isabella Muriel Holland.-Mr. Church.

Bill No. 272, for the relief of Lily Leona Letheren.-Mr. Casselman.

Bill No. 273, for the relief of Sarah Jane Pinkney.-Mr. Sinclair (Wellington North).

Bill No. 274, for the relief of Gwendoline Proctor.-Mr. Hoeken.

Bill No. 275, for the relief of Frances Evelene Ross.-Mr. Hoeken.

Bill No. 276, for the relief of Hazell Scelena Shaw.-Mr. Clark.

Bill No. 277, for the relief of Amy Simmons. -Mr. Boys'.

Bill No. 278, for the relief of William Charles Worley.-Mr. Casselman.

Bill No. 279, for the relief of Gladys Ham. -Mr. Hoeken.

Bill No. 280, for the relief of Arthur Joel Cox.-Mr. Casselman.

Bill No. 281, for the relief of Mary Ellen Gussie Edwards.-Mr. Casselman.

Bill No. 282, for the relief of William Henery Leonard Gale.-Mr. Church.

Bill No. 283, for the relief of Harriet Louisa Gates.-Mr. Ross (Kingston).

Bill No. 284, for the relief of Duke Mulloy Gordon.-Mr. Ross' (Kingston).

Bill No. 285, for the relief of Victor Edward McPherson.-Mr. Ross (Kingston).

Bill No. 286, for the relief of Annie Schreiber.-Mr. Garland (Carleton).

Bill No. 287, for the relief of James Retson Watt.-Mr. Bell (St. Antoine).

Motion for third readings agreed to on division, and bills read the third time and passed.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS
Subtopic:   CONSIDERED IN COMMITTEE-THIRD READINGS
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GREAT LAKES AND ATLANTIC CANAL AND POWER COMPANY, LIMITED


The house resumed, from May 9, consideration of the motion of Mr. Denis (Joliette) for the second reading of Bill No. 152, respecting the Great Lakes and Atlantic Canal and Power Company, Limited. [The Chairman.]


CON

Thomas Langton Church

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CHURCH:

I would like to ask the promoter if he would kindly explain the bill.

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?

Jean-Joseph Denis

Mr. DENIS (Joliette):

I have already

spoken once to the bill. I have no objection to giving an explanation if I am permitted to speak again.

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LIB

Hewitt Bostock (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

The hon. gentleman (Mr. Church) has already spoken on the bill and so has the hon. gentleman who has moved the second reading, so that both are precluded from again addressing the house.

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CON

Thomas Langton Church

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CHURCH:

I had not finished my remarks the other night.

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LIB

Hewitt Bostock (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

The hon. gentleman has already spoken.

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UFA

William Irvine

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. WILLIAM IRVINE (Wetaskiwin):

Before the motion passes, I want to offer a suggestion. We do not know anything about what is involved in the bill. The sponsor of it did not explain it and we have had this year the spectacle in parliament of bills being reported out of committee without the consideration of a single clause in them.

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LIB

Lucien Cannon (Solicitor General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. CANNON:

Will my hon. friend permit me? If the motion passes the bill will be sent not to the committee of the whole but to the railway committee, where it will be fully'- examined.

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UFA

William Irvine

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. IRVINE:

I quite appreciate that; but it is t'he privilege of the house to discuss the bill on the second reading and before we endorse the principle of the bill to that extent, we should know what it is about. I am not going to insist on that if we are assured that none of the closure tactics which have been practised during the last week in the house will be applied to the bill until we know what it is about.

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LIB

Hewitt Bostock (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

I am informed by the

hon. member for Toronto Northwest (Mr. Church) that he had not completed his speech the other night; that he intended to move the six months' hoist. Under those circumstances he should be allowed to speak.

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LIB

Charles Avery Dunning (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

How long did he speak the other night?

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LIB

Hewitt Bostock (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

He did not speak forty minutes. The hour of adjournment struck and he had not completed his speech.

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CON

Thomas Langton Church

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. T. L. CHURCH (Toronto Northwest):

I move, seconded by Mr. Tummon:

That Bill No. 152, respecting the Great Lakes and Atlantic Canal and Power Company, Limited, be not now read a second time but that it be read a second time this day six months' hence.

Great Lakes and Power Company

I wish to raise the question whether the second reading of this bill is in order inasmuch as it is within the four corners of a reference to the supreme court on the St. Lawrence waterways question by the following order in council which the Prime Minister laid on the table on the 31st January, and the issues covered by this bill are sub judice and relate to the jurisdiction of the federal and provincial authorities over navigation- the surplus waters, who owns the bed of these streams and the banks and rapids, and generally the power question as follows:

The committee of the privy council have had before them a report, dated 17th January, 1928, from the Minister of Justice, submitting that at the Dominion-provincial conference, held at Ottawa in the month of November, 1927, the premiers of certain of the provinces questioned the right of the Dominion to dispose of water-powers brought into being by the erection of Dominion works for the improvement of navigation, and asserted a right on the part of the province to dispose of any such water-powers within the limits of the provinces.

This bill is largely a power proposition and it also proposes to give over to a private company a canal running from Cornwall through Montreal. If the bill goes through there will be no St. Lawrence waterways. It will mean that t'he Canadian section will be out of the question for all time. The bill deals with the very questions which are now before the supreme court. All the questions involved in the preamble of it and indeed in the whole bill are now sub judice and I should like hon. members from Ontario to understand that if this particular proposition goes through, we shall have no St. Lawrence waterway. This is the question involved in the reference to the supreme court:

The committee, therefore, on the recommendation of the Minister of Justice, advise that, pursuant to the powers in that behalf conferred by section 60 of the Supreme Court Act, Your Excellency may be pleased to refer to the Supreme Court of Canada for hearing and consideration the following questions.

If hon. members will look at the questions involved in this particular bill they will see that it involves the very question of the jurisdiction of the province as regards not only water powers but the construction of a canal. Therefore it covers questions that are now before the supreme court. It has been announced by one of the provinces that it is going to carry the matter to the privy council, the court of last appeal. There was a debate in the house on the 10th April in connection with the iSt. Lawrence waterway and the Prime Minister suggested that the bill should stand until the papers were brought down. If hon. members will look at the correspondence between Mr. Kellogg, Secretary of the United States, and the Ambassador at Washington of the government of Canada, and the government of Canada, they will see that it covers the very questions that are involved in this bill, namely, the right of the federal authorities on the one hand and the right of the state or province on the other, the international question, the federal division of authority with the provinces', and other questions regarding the canalization of the new St. Lawrence waterway. Further they are starting to divert water at Chicago right down to the Mississippi river for a canal there. Then there is a canal proposition at Ogdens-burg going down to Albany. The third is the proposition before the house to-night for a canal running from Cornwall through the deep sections of the Canadian waterway to Beauharnois and right down to Montreal, and they propose to construct a private canal and upset all the settled canal policy of Canada for the past fifty years. I do not know what is to become of the port of Montreal if this bill goes through and if everybody is to have the right to divert water right from lake Michigan all the way down the great lakes to Montreal for canal and power purposes. Among the questions referred to the supreme court was this:

]. Has the province any proprietary interest in flowing waters within the province-

In this case the water is wholly within the province of Quebec:

-and if so, what is the nature of such interest?

That is covered by the preamble of the bill and the sections that follow. The next question submitted to the supreme court was:

2. Does the ownership by the province of the bed of any stream whether such bed be level or sloping, give to the province the ownership of water-powers?

It has always been upheld that subject to the rights of navigation, the surplus waters, the bed of the river, the banks and rapids belong to the provinces. The question raised by this bill is already sub judice before the supreme court and no doubt it will be appealed to the privy council. This same question came up in this house two years ago in connection with the Morrisburg dam. The province of Ontario wanted to build a dam at Morrisburg and develop power wholly within Ontario, and the Minister of the Interior read an opinion in the house in the year 1926 to the effect that there was no doubt that so far as navigation was concerned the interest of the Dominion in international streams was paramount, but that the surplus waters and the bed of the river and the banks

Great Lakes and Power Company

arid rapids belong to the province after the rights of navigation were satisfied. The province applied under the Boundary Waterways Protection Act for power to build that dam, and plans were filed by Sir Adam Beck on behalf of the Ontario Hydro Commission and the Ontario government, but the application stood for three or four years, and never was granted. If that dam had been built, it would have been of benefit to the whole of eastern Ontario. It is true that the power to be developed under this bill which is now before us is from a river that is wholly on the Canadian side in Quebec, but what about the rights of the people farther up the lakes? What about the several other canals? And if the province of Quebec is to have this right, Ontario will also claim the same right, and so will the state of Illinois, New York, and other states, and you will find yourself on very dangerous ground. To continue with the questions referred to the supreme court:

2. Does the ownership by the province of the bed of any stream, whether such bed be level or sloping, give to the province the ownership of water-powers:

(a) created thereupon by dominion works for the improvement of navigation; or

(b) existing thereupon by nature?

3. Has the province any proprietary interest in or legislative control over:

(a) the canals, with lands and water-power connected therewith, and the lake and river improvements which were conveyed to the dominion by section 108, schedule 3, of the British North America Act, 1867, or in or over the disposal of any water-powers created thereby or existing thereupon from time .to time; or

_ (b) water-powers created by works for the improvement of navigation constructed by or under the authority of the dominion since confederation; or

(e) works constructed wholly for power purposes by the dominion out of moneys appropriated by parliament for such purpose?

Part of this canal is for navigation purposes :

If so, what is the nature of such interest or control ?

4. Has the dominion exclusive legislative power to regulate waters for the purposes of navigation:

(a) in navigable waters; and

(b) in non-navigable waters?

5. Where the dominion, for navigation purposes, expropriates or uses any part of the bed of any stream vested in the province, is the province entitled to any compensation for such expropriation or use?

6. Has the dominion the exclusive legislative control over and proprietary interest in water-powers brought into being by works authorized by parliament to be erected in an international stream for the purpose of carrying out an agreement between Canada and any foreign country looking to the creation of joint works for the improvement of navigation in such streams?

If not, what are the powers and rights of the province with regard to such water-powers? [Mr. Church.1

That is the very question whicn this bill brings up. To continue:

7. Where the bed of a navigable stream is owned by the province or by a private individual, is the title of such owner subordinate to the public right of navigation, and to the provisions of any statute which may be enacted from time to time by parliament, within the powers conferred by section 91 (10) of the British North America Act, 1867?

In conclusion, I wish to quote May's Parliamentary Procedure, at page 709, in regard to what principle is involved in the second reading of a bill. He says:

The second reading of a private bill corresponds with the same stage in other bills, and in agreeing to it the house affirms the general principle, or expediency, of the measure. There is, however, a distinction between the second reading of a public and of a private bill, which should not be overlooked. A public bill being founded on reasons of state policy, the house, in agreeing to its second reading, accepts and affirms those reasons: but the expediency of a private bill, being mainly founded upon allegations of fact, which have not yet been proved, the house, in agreeing to its second reading, affirms the principle of the bill, conditionally, and subject to the proof of such allegations before the committee. Where, irrespective of such facts, the principle is objectionable-

As it is in this case, because the question is sub judice:

7 the house will not consent to the second reading; but otherwise, the expediency of the measure is usually left for the consideration of the committee.

The time to enter a protest against the principle of a bill is on the second reading, and I am opposed to this bill in principle. I say further that in view of the order in council which I have read, this bill should not be gone on with on grounds of law and of public policy, and in view also of the exchange of correspondence between Washington and Ottawa on the whole question of the St. Lawrence deep waterway. The interests of navigation are paramount.

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LIB

Hewitt Bostock (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

On the point of order, if the question before the courts was exactly the same as the one that is being debated by the house, I would have no hesitation in saying, as I have said in similar circumstances, that the question, being sub judice, was not debatable before the house. But it is not the same question.

As regards the general point raised by the hon. gentleman, I find, according to Bourinot:

The Speaker will not give a decision upon a constitutional question, nor decide a question of law, though the same may be raised on a point of order or privilege.

That disposes, I think, of the question of the point of order.

Great Lakes and Power Company

The question now before the house is that this bill, respecting the Great Lakes and Atlantic Canal and Power Company, Limited, be read a second time, and in amendment thereto Mr. Church moves that the said bill be not now read a second time, but that it be read a second time this day six months hence. The question is on the amendment.

Hon. CHARLES A. DUNNING (Minister of Railways and Canals): Just before the

question is put, while my views on the bill would probably coincide with those of the hon. member who has moved the six months hoist, it is customary to allow petitioners for private bills to appear before a committee of the house and there state their views, what they want, and why they want it, and the normal course to follow in the case of a bill of this character would be to refer it to the select standing committee on railways and canals. While I cannot predict the outcome, the very fact that the six months' hoist has been moved indicates that the bill would be very carefully scrutinized by that committee, and I submit that that work can be done very much better by a committee of the house than by our summarily disposing of the matter on the second reading of the bill. I think we would all agree that we reserve our right to destroy the bill on the third reading even if it does come back from the committee. The work of the house in connection with a bill of this kind can be done much more conveniently by one of the standing committees, and for that reason I am opposed to the six months' hoist.

Mr. G. R. GEARY' (South Toronto): I

think one would not take exception as a general rule to what the minister has just said. The ordinary course is to allow such a bill to be passed on to a committee in order that it may be explained there by its promoters, but that, of course, is subject to consideration of the general situation which follows the passing of the second reading, that thereby the principle of the bill is more or less adopted. It seems to me that this bill can have no possible chance of success. On principle it is wrong in the circumstances, because we have the very recent declaration of the government that the whole question of the St. Lawrence waterway is to be considered; that not only have negotiations been entered into and correspondence passed between Washington and Ottawa, but that the government has the matter under consideration. I have forgotten the exact language used, but that is the effect of it. This bill is diametrically opposed to any fair consideration of the St. Lawrence waterway proposition. If this bill were passed granting the promoters power to construct the projected canal, it would be an absolute bar to the deepening of the St. Lawrence waterway as a national undertaking. One has only to look at the powers contained in section 17 and the other powers scattered throughout the bill to realize that it is not at all the sort of measure which the house should consider at the moment. It is directly opposed to ownership by the Dominion of the deepened waterway when and if it be completed. The bill is studded with provisions that will interfere with and endanger action by this house on the St. Lawrence waterway project.

Now, we have not reached the position where the St. Lawrence waterway deepening can be discussed, but I think I may express it as the general feeling of the house that this great undertaking will come eventually. So the right hon. Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) has put it, and so most of us in the house believe. But to place in the hands of private owners navigation rights through the St. Lawrence is beyond belief. I do not know of a case where such rights have been granted, either by the federal or the provincial authorities, to private individuals. Nor should they be so granted, because as a highway on land should be free to the passerby, so should the road by water be free to those who seek to use it. No private corporation is entitled to come to this house and ask to be given powers which will override the natural rights of the people to the ownership of their own water courses.

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LIB

Charles Avery Dunning (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

Might I interrupt my

hon. friend just there? He says that no private interest should have the right to come to this house and ask. I think it is- the fundamental right of every citizen to come and ask. To receive is another matter, but to come and ask is the undeniable right of anyone.

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CON

George Reginald Geary

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GEARY:

I accept the hon. minister's correction. I may not have stated the position in apt terms, but my meaning is surely evident. Perhaps a private person has the right to come and ask for anything-

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LIB

Charles Avery Dunning (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

That is right.

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May 11, 1928