This is a Bill to ratify a lease made between the government of Manitoba and four railway companies operating in that province under one system. The names of the companies are: The
Northern Pacific and Manitoba Railway Company, the Winnipeg Transfer Railway Company, Limited, the Portage and Northwestern Railway Company, and the Wask-ada and North-eastern Railway Company. These four railways operate in the province of Manitoba under one system. They originally obtained provincial charters from the Manitoba legislature, and subsequently came to this parliament and obtained legislation declaring these roads to be for the general advantage of Canada. The lease which these four companies made -with the Manitoba government is shortly this : They agree to hand over for a period of 999 years the combined system at a rental, for the first ten years, of 8210,000 ; for the next ten years, of 8225,000 ; for the third ten years, of 8275,000 ; for the balance of the term, of 8300,000. The conditions of
the lease place an estimated value upon the whole system of $7,000,000. There is a provision in the lease that at any time during the existence of that lease the government of the province of Manitoba may purchase these roads for $7,000,000, and can assign it to any company or corporation. These are the principal provisions in the lease, which section 1, the only section in the Bill seeks to ratify and confirm.