Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):
Yes; I am coming to that. I may as well deal with the two statutes at once; I want to be as coherent as possible and not take up too much time.
A moment ago I stated that there were two statutes, and I have given the house the substance of the first, together with what appear to be the reasons for that statute. At the same time parliament passed a second
statute, which is chapter 20 of the statutes of that year, the preamble of which deals with the question of jurisdiction. This has to do with inland navigation, and I think it was upon that basis that the act was passed. At all events that was one of the reasons. The preamble states:
Whereas the improvement of inland navigation by the development of a deep waterway, which is now in progress, from lake Superior to the sea-
I might interject that we were then either finishing or had just finished the great Welland ship canal.
-through the great lakes and connecting waters and in part in, over or along the St. Lawrence river, requires that the canal now being constructed or to be constructed by the Beauharnois Light, Heat and Power Company, Limited, should hereafter be under the legislative jurisdiction of the parliament of Canada and be made available for navigation for vessels of such size and draught as may use the new Welland canal upon its completion-
This company having been given the right to divert 53,000 cubic feet per second, the effect on the flow of water for purposes of navigation will be appreciated at once. My information is that the canal was designed, constructed and in fact conceived to take the whole flow of the river, about 250,000 cubic feet per second; and it was because of the idea that eventually this company might gain the whole flow of the river that it was deemed desirable that the canal should be vested in His Majesty the King, while built at the expense of the company, so as to take the place of that portion of the St. Lawrence river bed which would be denuded of water by the entire diversion of the river.
I understand that the canal cost 816,000,000. Anyone who has seen the canal must be impressed with the magnitude of the whole undertaking. This statute, chapter 20, was designed to vest the canal in His Majesty the King, and to declare that the work was for the general advantage of Canada, so as to give jurisdiction over the canal to the government of Canada, having regard to the appropriate provisions of the British North America Act. Section 3 contains a provision empowering the governor in council to acquire such lands and works as may be deemed necessary or useful for the improvement of navigation by means of said canal between the two lakes, and finally section 4 contains a provision safeguarding the rights of the province of Quebec, whatever they may be. I recall very well the discussion backward and forward at that time between Mr. Cahan, who was in charge of the matter, and my right hon. friend
Beauhamois Power-Mr. Hanson (Sunbury)
the Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe). Certainly the rights of the province of Quebec are adequately safeguarded, and no question arises out of that.
One point further in this brief history of the undertaking. I understand that subject to the passage of legislation in 1931-and I have not the exact date before me-the Beauhamois company secured from the Quebec government of the day the right to use an additional thirty thousand cubic feet per second of water, and I understand the company were made to pay pretty well for that right, too. I do not know just what right and proper rentals should be, but I thought that if a company were receiving a public franchise from a province it was only right and proper that that company should pay proper compensation.
Subtopic: BEAUHARNOIS POWER COMPANY
Sub-subtopic: PROPOSED APPROVAL FOR DIVERSION OF ADDITIONAL 30,000 CUBIC SECOND FEET