April 18, 1933

CON

Samuel Gobeil

Conservative (1867-1942)

The CHAIRMAN (Mr. Gobeil):

May I

remind the committee that the proposed amendment reads:

-shall abandon the operation of any line

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CON

Robert James Manion (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

I was going to point out

that this W'ould apply only to the abandonment of lines that were in operation, but the chairman has just pointed out that fact. I know the line to which my bom. friend is referring, the Sunny Brae-Guysborough branoh, which is in his riding, and in that of my hon. friend from Piotou. There is no reason why this amendment would place that proposed line, which is partially constructed, in any different position than it is in to-day, because it is not in operation and therefore would not be affected by the amendment. The

question of the completion of that line would remain in the hands of the Canadian National Railway Company, as it is to-day; it will be completed when they think it wise to do so.

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LIB

James Malcolm

Liberal

Mr. MALCOLM:

Would this legislation, if adopted, override existing contracts with muneipalities which subsidized the construction and operation of branch lines?

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CON

Robert James Manion (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

No.

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

I understood the minister to say that he was not going to move this amendment just now.

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CON

Robert James Manion (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

The only reason I did not move it was that we happened to be dealing with section 3, but if the committee wishes to do so we can go back to section 2, and I will be glad to move it.

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

I would prefer not to have that done, because I should like to consider the amendment first.

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CON

Robert James Manion (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

I laid it on the table because I thought it might save a good deal of discussion; several times my hon. friend from Quebec South proposed that we should lay our amendments on the table in order to give hon. gentlemen time to consider them. While I am on the subject of amendments there is another point with which I might deal. There has been a good deal of discussion with regard to the possibility of amalgamation, and my right hon. leader and I have both told the house and the committee that it is not the intention of the government to permit amalgamation. We have both stated that an amendment would be moved designed to prevent any amalgamation, and perhaps since I am laying one amendment on the table so that hon. members may have an opportunity to study it, with the hope of curtailing unnecessary discussion and perhaps shortening the time we must spend on this bill, I might read to the house the amendment dealing with amalgamation, a copy of which I shall send across to hon. gentlemen opposite. Probably this amendment will be moved as the last clause of the bill, so that it will apply to the whole act. The proposed amendment is as follows:

Nothing in this act shall be deemed to authorize the amalgamation of any railway company which is comprised in national railways with any railway company which is comprised in Pacific railways, nor to authorize the unified management and control of the railway system which forms part of national railways and the railway system which forms part of Pacific railways.

That sounds a little complicated, but in view of the many acts which have been passed by this house at various times with regard to the organization of the Canadian National rail-

C.N.R.-C.P.R. Bill

way system it is necessary to put this amendment in this form. To show how difficult it is to get an amendment fully covering the intention of the government may I say that this morning there was a good deal of difference of opinion among those of us who were considering the matter, with regard to two different amendments, the one I have read and another, both drawn with the intention of preventing amalgamation. Finally, after the matter was submitted to the Department of Justice and considered there, with the object of getting an amendment which would prevent anything in the way of amalgamation of the two companies in any manner whatever, this amendment was approved by the Department of Justice.

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

I should like

to direct my 'hon. friend's attention to some ivords appearing in one section of the bill which I suggest might very properly be added to the proposed amendment. I would suggest that at the end of the amendment my hon. friend might add the words found in subsection 4 of section 9, preceding them by a reference to the section so that it would read as follows:

The provisions of this act, in so far .us they may be inconsistent with the provisions of this section, shall be read in the light hereof and be construed so as to conform herewith.

If that additional clause was incorporated in the amendment proposed by the minister, it would make the meaning wholly clear.

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CON

Robert James Manion (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

I will take that suggestion into consideration; of course I cannot decide upon it at the moment. I do not think the words would make the amendment any stronger, because it says very distinctly that nothing in this act shall be deemed to authorize amalgamation, so I think the point is amply covered. But I will give consideration to the suggestion of my right hon. friend and discuss it with my legal advisers a little later. I do not know that I could pass an opinion upon it at the moment.

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LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley

Liberal

Mr. ILSLEY:

I should like to ask the minister whether it will be necessary still for the governor in council to approve certain abandonments. As I understood the argument of the Prime Minister a week ago last Friday night it was that section 23 of the Canadian National Railways Act is still in force and that the trustees merely have the powers of the directors with regard to the abandonment of portions of the Canadian National railway system. If the Prime Minister was correct in that contention it would appear to me that even if we pass this amendment the position will be that with regard to parts of the Cana-

dian National system it will be necessary to have the approval not only of the Board of Railway Commissioners but also of the governor in council. Is that the understanding of the administration?

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CON

Robert James Manion (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

The whole question is so

complicated and involved at times that I do not like to answer too definitely. If I may speak subject to possible correction a little later, though I think I am right, I would say that in regard to the government railways such as the Intercolonial, for example-since the Intercolonial has been entrusted to the Canadian National for operation, by order in council-I do believe that before any part could be abandoned, in addition to the approval of the Board of Railway Commissioners, which is covered by this proposed amendment, the approval of the governor in council would be necessary also.

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LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley

Liberal

Mr. ILSLEY:

Under section 23 of the

Canadian National Railways Act?

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CON

Robert James Manion (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

Perhaps. This is a very

complicated matter and I do not know that I wish to say specifically that it would be under that section. As I pointed out the other evening, so far as my information goes section 23 applies specifically to the Grand Trunk, which was the only road to be amalgamated with the Canadian National Railway Company. I do believe as well that with regard to the government railways, such as the Intercolonial, the National Transcontinental and the Prince Edward Island railway, in addition to the approval of the Board of Railway Commissioners there would have to be further approval by order in council. They have been entrusted to the Canadian National for operation; that was done by order in council, and therefore I think any abandonment would require to be approved by order in council as well.

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

In the event of the Hudson Bay railway being incorporated with the Canadian National for administrative purposes, it would apply to that also?

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CON

Robert James Manion (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

The Hudson Bay railway

has never been incorporated with the Canadian National. It is merely operated bs' the Canadian National as agents for the government.

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

I prefaced my question with the words "in the event of." In the event of the Hudson Bay railway being incorporated with the Canadian National, it would be in the same position?

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CON

Robert James Manion (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

Yes.

C.N.R.-C.P.R. Bill

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LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley

Liberal

Mr. ILSLEY:

Do I understand that an

amendment is to be proposed to take away from the tribunal the power to order the abandonment of lines?

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CON

Robert James Manion (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

That is right.

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April 18, 1933