February 3, 1905 (10th Parliament, 1st Session)

CON

George William Fowler

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. G. W. FOWLER (King's and Albert).

With the major portion of the resolutions before the House I have no fault to find. They are not in accord with my views respecting these matters, but they are in accord with the custom of the country as it has been ever since the Canadian colonies acquired the right of self government. But to the first portion of the resolutions I do object. I fail to understand why a resolution of this kind should be brought down to this House, 'particularly in view of the very explicit statements made to this House and to the country when the Bill to establish the Railway Commission was under discussion. ' I do not see why, because the chief cornmis-sionership is to be given to a judge of the Supreme Court, he should be treated differently from any other person who might bo chosen for that exalted position. And I fail to see why it is necessary to take a judge from a Supreme Court bench to fill this office. Surely it speaks but ill for the talent and ability within the ranks of the Liberal party, if it is necessary for the government to go to the Supreme Court for a chief commissioner. There are hundreds of men within the Conservative party as well qualified for the position as is Mr. Justice Killam, however high his attainments may be. I have not a word to say against Mr. Justice Killam. I have not heard all this debate, but I believe I am right in saying that no member on this side of the House has made any attack upon him in any way. Mr. Justice Killam's character or legal attainments are not in question here. But what is in question is the proposal to make an exception of Mr. Justice Killam's appointment to the chief railway commlsslon-ership, and, as already pointed out it seems to me that great danger lies along this line. It would be rqucb better if he were placed upon the same footing as any other person who might be offered this appointment. My own belief is that any judge appointed as puisne judge should have no opportunity ;even to become a chief justice, to say nothing of receiving political appointments. However, as I have said, it has been the custom to allow these promotions ever since this *was a self governing country, so I do not quarrel with that part of the resolution.
1 would not have spoken on this subject, had it not been for matters being dragged into this discussion which really have no place in it, though, perhaps, incidental to the subject. The hon. member for Cumberland (Mr. Logan), who spoke last, tried to connect the Conservative party with what he alleged to be a plot or conspiracy to defeat the Liberals in the late election. I wish to give a categorical denial to the charges that the hon. gentleman hurled at this side of the House. There is not one atom of truth in any of these statements. Not an ex-member or a member of this House on Mr. LOGAN.
the Conservative side, or anybody having authority to speak for the Conservative party was mixed up in any way with a scheme, plot, conspiracy or whatever these hon. gentlemen choose to call it with Mr. Blair or any person on his behalf. They ask why did Mr. Blair resign his chief commission-ership ? Why Mr. Blair has told us. He says he resigned in order to reiterate his strong opposition to that most iniquitous scheme, the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway. But I would ask hon. gentlemen a question: Why did not Mr. Blair reiterate his strong objection to that Grand Trunk Pacific scheme ? Let hon. gentlemen on the other side answer that particular question.

Topic:   BOARD OF RAILWAY COMMISSIONERS.
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