Right Hon. J. G. Diefenbaker (Prime Minister):
Mr. Speaker, hon. members will recall that on January 7 I informed the house of the action taken by the government to defer the application of an order of the board of transport commissioners authorizing an increase in rail rates pending consideration of an appeal to the governor in council by the various provincial governments against that increase, and the answer of the railway companies to the petition of the provinces.
The governor in council has now received a petition from a number of municipalities in Ontario and Quebec appealing to have rescinded the order of the board of transport commissioners authorizing an increase in telephone rates charged by the Bell Telephone Company of Canada. We have also received an answer to that petition from the company. The appeal in question involves the same major question of principle that is involved in the railway rate case, and it therefore will be necessary to consider the two at the same time.
Consequently the government has deferred the implementation of the order of the board on the telephone rates in the same way and manner that it did in connection with the railway rates. I table herewith a copy of the order in council of January 24, P.C. 1958-111.
Subtopic: TELEPHONE RATES
Sub-subtopic: DEFERMENT OF INCREASE