May 17, 1904 (9th Parliament, 4th Session)

LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

That was discussed last night; I do not wish to dwell too strongly upon that aspect of it. But there is another aspect of it to which the hon. gentleman has not drawn attention and which might be considered. and that is the possibility of a through rate being made as between the Grand Trunk Pacific operating that western portion of the road, for utilizing part of the eastern division, and then coming to the Grand Trunk, but using for part of the route water communication by means which might or might not be in the hands of a company with a nominally distinct organization, but controlled by the Grand Trunk. My impressions is that the amendment wThieh my hon. friend has moved would not meet that difficulty, but only the case of the connecting lines, the Grand Trunk Pacific and the Grand Trunk proper. If, therefore, there is any need of additional provision, it should be made to cover not only the mere connection of the two rail lines, but any water line which forms part of their route and over which a commercial through rate might be granted. Our advice is that that is probably covered by the Railway Act, and, for the present, we should take that view. But, if it be found on more careful examination, that there is any doubt on that point, we think the proper remedy would be, not by an amendment to this particular Bill, but by an amendment to the Railway Act which would apply to all such cases and make it clear, if it is not already clear, that the functions of the Railway Commission may extend not only to fixing a through rate but to inquiring into the manner in which that rate is divided between two railway lines. I will not press the point too much that it is covered by legislation, though we are so advised. But, if, on inquiry, it is

found that It is not so, we shall meet the difficulty by an amendment to the Railway Act which will cover not only the amendment which my hon. friend has mentioned but also the difficulty of a through rate part rail and part water. We think it better to amend the Railway Act, if it is necessary than to put it in the form of an amendment to this Bill.

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