August 28, 1917 (12th Parliament, 7th Session)


Edmond Proulx



The paper is Le Devoir of Montreal and the writer is Mr. Henri Bourassa. If the hon. member for North Perth (Mr. Morphy) understood the article the must .admit that the writer must have studied the question very fully.
Some of my colleagues have pointed out that it was a daring injustice towards the province of Quebec to hold her conjointly liable, with the other provinces, for the obligations the latter have assumed: towards the Canadian Northern. And this remark is justified, when we find that obligations to the total amount of $107,514,642.27 have been guaranteed by the different provinces, while the province of Quebec did wisely stand .aloof.
It has been suggested, the other day, that instead of entrusting .an arbitration committee with the estimation of this capital stock, it would be better to submit the matter to the Exchequer court. Last year, when the Government wanted a maximum valuation fixed for the Quebec and Saguenay, the question was laid before the Exchequer court; but, as the latter did not render a decision favourable to the Government and, more particularly, to the. member for Montmorency .and Charlevoix (Sir Rodolphe Forget), the Government dad not think it wise to go back to the same sign. Now, they want us to believe, that this arbitration will be absolutely fair, for all the interested par-ties, because Sir William Meredith, the (Chief Justice of the province of Ontario, shall be asked to give his decision upon that transaction; when actually, the Government's object is to favour tbe holders of these. 60 per cent of the capital stock, the greatest part of which is in the hands of the promoters of this. line. It might perhaps be relevant, at this point, to recall the. fact that the latter will also have the choosing of the other commissioner. When, the Government have had an important commission to .appoint, they have always, like the Ontario Government, resorted to the Chief Justice of the province, Sir William Meredith, may be possessed of a deep legal science, he may thoroughly know the jurisprudence of the country, but when, it comes to a railway matter, would not another party, another railroad president, Lord Sh.aughne.ssy, for instance be more competent to determine the value of the capital stock of any company whatever, for, in such a case, he. must rely upon the present and the future receipts of the company? There are other considerations I would, like to offer to this

House, but I find myself compiled to omit them, for I am told that my allotted time is up. Tn the name of my constituents, in the name of the province of Ontario, I strongly protest against this measure, because it is a legal brigandage, because it will cost, from the start the sum of $30,000,000, $40,000,000, even perhaps $50,000,000 and we shall receive capital stock which, according to the Government's commission, represents no value -at .all. [DOT]
I was forgetting, Mr. Chairman, that in this House to-night, might overrides rght, therefore I will speak no longer on this subject.

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