April 3, 1902 (9th Parliament, 2nd Session)

LIB

Joseph Alexandre Camille Madore

Liberal

Mr. J. A. C. MADORE (Hochelaga).

I rise to endorse what has been stated by the chairman of the Railway Committee (Mr. Hyman). I made the motion in the committee which killed this Bill, and I see no reason in the world why it should be sent back for further consideration. Speaking for myself personally, as well as for those whom I represent, we have no objection that the Bill should be sent back, because we know very well that when the committee have heard full explanations from both sides they would not for a moment think of passing this charter of the Montreal Bridge Company to extend the time for the building of that bridge. But the question arises : Is there any reason why the Railway Committee of this House should waste its time in reconsidering that Bill which has already been killed ? Mr. Buchan was heard in support of his Bill. Every member of the committee who was present knows that Mr. Buchan spoke twice on the subject, and it was only when he rose to ask leave to speak a third time, and after one o'clock, that the members of the committee expressed the opinion that they were fully informed on the subject, and that they did not need any more information. Mr. Buchan has no reason to complain. He has been very well treated, and every reason he could give has been given by him. The hon. member for Jacques Cartier (Mr. Monk) has stated that the only reason why the Bill was killed was because the name of Mr. Armstrong was mentioned in connection with it. That is not exactly the case. It is not Mr. Armstrong alone who has made application for this charter, but it is the Montreal Bridge Company,, which is composed' of a number of gentlemen. They were granted their charter in 1890, and since that time they have made no serious effort to begin the work. Under the charter of 1890, they bound themselves to commence to build the bridge within three years, and to have it completed within seven years. The three years elapsed and they did not move. They even waited until the expiration of the seven years for the completion of the bridge, and then they came back to this parliament asking for an extension of time. I claim that when in 1897, they got that extension of time their charter had actually lapsed, because they had not complied with the provisions in the charter which required them Hon. Mr. TISDALE.
to commence the bridge within three years. However that may be, this parliament in 1897 granted an extension of five years to the Montreal Bridge Company to complete the bridge. Since that time they have never moved. There is not an inch of work done to-day. My hon. friend from Jacques Cartier (Mr. Monk) stated that they have spent about $50,000, but the fact is that there has not been a cent spent since 1890. Before 1890, plans were prepared and these were the very plans that were produced before the committee. There is not a word of proof that they have incurred one dollar of expense since 1890. In view of the fact that parliament has already granted the Montreal Bridge Company two extensions of time, is it reasonable that parliament should again extend their charter to have it there as an embarrassment in the way of another company who seriously undertake to build the bridge ? We know very well in Montreal the reason why this application has now been made to parliament. We know very well that it is because certain difficulties have arisen between the Grand Trunk Railway Company, the South Shore Railway Company, and the New York Central Railway Company with regard to running rights over the Victoria bridge. These companies do no longer agree with the Grand Trunk Railway as regards the terms on which the Victoria bridge should be used by them, and so the American capitalists interested in these companies have decided to build a bridge of their own. When Mr. Armstrong heard this, then he made an application to have the charter renewed so that he might perpetuate the embarrassment to others which his charter has caused ever since 1890. Had that charter not been extended in 1897, the bridge between Longeuil and Montreal would have been completed long ago by responsible people who are willing and able to build it. But so long as the other charter was in existence the people on both sides of the river expected that the bridge would be constructed, and men who really desired to build a bridge did not like to embark in the enterprise. Now that Mr. Armstrong and some others connected with him see that enterprising people are ready to construct a bridge, they want purely and simply to blackmail them in order to compel them to buy that charter. That is the reason why parliament is asked now to grant a further extension of the charter. I do not believe that this House will be a party to that deal, and that the Bill which has been killed will remain killed.

Topic:   THE MONTREAL BRIDGE COMPANY.
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