April 12, 1901 (9th Parliament, 1st Session)


The PRIME MINISTER (Rt. Hon. Sir Wilfrid Laurier).

I am sorry to be obliged to say that, for my part, I cannot agree to the hon. gentleman's motion. The question has been brought to the attention of the House, and, in the ordinary course of parliamentary procedure, has been referred to the Railway Committee, where it has been considered, with the result that the proposal has been rejected by the committee. The position that the government have always taken in matters of this kind is to support the decision of the Railway Committee, unless very strong reason is shown to the contrary, unless substantial injustice has been done or gross error has been committed. AVhen the question has been considered in all its aspects in the committee to which it has been referred, and a conclusion has been reached, I have always thought it safest for the House to uphold the decision of the committee. If we review the judgment of the committee in these matters; we are apt to be led into error. Without looking into the merits of the motion, since it revives,' even though in modified form, a question already decided by the committee, I shall feel it my duty to oppose the motion and maintain the decision of the committee.

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