April 15, 1901 (9th Parliament, 1st Session)


James Sutherland (Minister Without Portfolio)


Hon. JAMES SUTHERLAND (North Oxford).

This is a very important Bill which differs from most private Bills that come before the House, inasmuch as it involves an agreement between the Manitoba government and a railway company ; and as

we cannot possibly have all the facts before us at this time, I think the Bill might well be referred to the committee with a distinct understanding that in voting for the second reading no member is committing himself to the principle or to the subject-matter of the Bill. We have to hear parties on both sides with regard to it, and we need to take cognizance of a great many documents which cannot be produced at the present time, before we are able to judge as to the merits of certain provisions in the Bill. I would suggest to the House, therefore, and to hon. members who take an active interest in this matter, that it would be better to refer the Bill to the committee for the purpose of making ourselves acquainted with the facts regarding it, but with the clear understanding, as I said, that in allowing the second reading to take place and referring the Bill to the committee, no member of the House is in any way committed to the principle of the Bill.

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