April 17, 1923 (14th Parliament, 2nd Session)


Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)


The hon. member has not quite understood me. Legally the agreement was in effect-that is to say legally it existed

Railway Rates
-but it had no practical effect at all until 1917. In 1917 it came into practical effect because the time had come when rates had to be raised. Consequently then was the time, and the only time when if there was any need for it to be dealt with it would have been dealt with and dealt with by parliament. Because, I say again, I do not believe for a moment it was ever intended by the Railway Act of 1903 giving the Railway Commission this power, ever intended that there should be any exception under the Crowsnest pass agreement or any other agreement inconsistent with the provisions of the act. Remember I wholly agree that under the Railway Act by reason of another clause which had been always in effect-another clause intended to apply to legislation incorporating companies, the Crowsnest pass legislation was saved. It actually did save the Crowsnest pass agreement legally. However, I am now at the year 1917 when the suspension took place, the intention being at that time to remove the agreement so that the Railway Commission should be free. Then came the expiration of the suspension of the rates in 1922. Now I come to the argument advanced by the Acting Minister of Railways.

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