March 16, 1903 (9th Parliament, 3rd Session)


Mr. W. F.@

MACLEAN (East York) moved for leave to introduce a Bill (No. 5) to amend the Railway Act. He said : The substance of this Bill is that every railway company that gives any facilities to any telephone company shall give equal and the same facilities to any other company applying for them on exactly the same conditions. At the present moment the Grand Trunk Railway Company, the Canadian Pacific Railway Company, and other railway companies in this country have made an agreement with the Bell Telephone Company whereby the latter has a monopoly in telephone entrance to the stations of these companies. I say that is against public policy, it is an unfair discrimination, it is against the spirit of the Railway Act which holds a railway company bound to give ail express companies equal facilities. This Bill simply provides that equal facilities shall he given to all telephone companies or persons who desire access to the railway stations of the various railway companies. I would like to know from the Minister of Bailways and Canals whether he will accept this principle, especially in view of this fact, that if the government were now to say that they would accept the

principle of this Bill a large number of private independent telephone lines would be started all over this country. It would he a great assistance to trade and to the social life of this country if these telephone systems were inaugurated.

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