I am authorized to do so, and it is my definite understanding.
That was in May of 1947; hon. members will notice that there was to be no application for increased rates unless extraordinary conditions arose. I believe the telephone company officials went right back to Vancouver and started preparing an application for an increase in rates. At any rate they were not very long in applying for an increase. When counsel for the city of Vancouver tried to bring in that assurance as evidence before the board of transport commissioners the chairman ruled him out of order and would have nothing to do with it. He ruled that what had been said in the House of Commons was not evidence, that it was of no importance whatever, and went right ahead to hear the presentation by the company. In other words right there the board ruled for the company; it agreed with the submission of counsel for the company that this assurance could not be brought in as evidence, and I do not believe the board gave the people of British Columbia a fair run for their money. If we are to have a board of that type, in such a great hurry to hear the representations of these big companies and not giving the little fellow a break, I think it is time something was done about the board itself.
I suggest to the minister that he had better not be so sure as he was when he last spoke on this amendment that the board of transport commissioners is perfect. I admit that it has plenty of problems, but I am afraid it is far from perfect. Certainly some of its actions recently have shaken the confidence of the people in its wisdom. I would hope that the minister will take steps quickly to see that the board is strengthened.
Subtopic: DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORT