That may be;-and he may find it necessary to get home as fast as he can. There ought to be no reason in the world why the two railway companies should not get together and provide a convenience of this kind for passengers. It is purely in the interest
of the passenger that I present the bill, and not for the convenience of the railway companies. The bill might reasonably be sent to the railway committee and there be threshed out. I understand that the railway companies in the past have retained counsel to oppose such a bill, and from 1921 to this date I am sorry to say, they have been successful. At any rate, I submit that the bill should go to the railway committee. I am inclined to think that the intellectual calibre of the house is a little higher than it has been in the past, and for that reason I hope the bill will go through.
Hon. CHARLES A. DUNNING (Minister of Railways and Canals): I do not desire
to oppose the hon. member's suggestion that the bill be referred to the committee on railways, canals and telegraph lines. I do not oppose it, for the reason that such a reference would give to the railway companies and to the officers of the companies an opportunity to put forward all the reasons why, in their opinion, the bill should not pass. The information I have regarding the matter indicates that more difficulty and more expenses would be involved than my hon. friend appears to believe would be the case. With regard to the statement he made respecting British practice, my information is that during and shortly after the war it was possible for a time in Great Britain for persons to travel by one road on a return ticket of that railway and to come back by another road, as my hon. friend intimates. I am also informed, however, that a number of years ago this practice was discontinued in Great Britain and exists to-day only under special permit conditions where the rail service, by reason of the financial difficulties in which the transportation companies there find themselves at the present time, has been curtailed. There has been a reduction in train service, and in such cases, where the curtailment operates to make it difficult for the holder of a return ticket conveniently to return on the same line, he may obtain a permit to use the ticket over another road. My hon. friend would not desire to have his bill so amended as to involve the necessity of securing a permit before one could use the ticket over another line. My advice is that this is the condition that prevails in Great Britain at the present time.
The objections advanced by the railway companies-with which objections the hon. member, in view of the previous experience he has had with a similar bill in other sessions, is reasonably familar-rest broadly upon the
basis of the confusion which would result, and the difficulties surrounding contractual relations of this kind as between the passenger on the one hand and the company which has entered into the original contract on the other, and also a third company which might under the law be compelled to assume part of that contract notwithstanding that it had not been a party, in the first place, to such contract. I am merely re-stating in this connection the objections registered on former occasions by the railway companies themselves to the proposed arrangement. However, in view of the convenience to the public which my hon. friend urges would result from the adoption of such a measure, the government will be perfectly content to have the bill pass its second reading in order that the possibility of the suggestion may be thoroughly examined by the railway committee.