September 15, 1903 (9th Parliament, 3rd Session)

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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

That is all the more reason why the hon. gentleman should not have allowed that monstrosity to pass this House without protest. If the Bill was burdening the country unnecessarily to the extent of $100,000 a year, how does the hon. gentleman propose to answer to his constituents for having allowed that Bill to pass without any protest ? I think he takes a great responsibility in rising at this late day to attack that Bill. With regard to the question of a commission for the construction of this railway, my hon. friend thinks that the work should 1 e carried on directly by the government, and that the intervention of a commission, as proposed by this Bill, is not a convenient and satisfactory method. I can find no fault with his taking that stand. If he sees fit to propose an amendment declaring that it is not expedient to appoint a commission, and that the government should carry on that work itself, that is a fair position to take. But I take exception to liis statement with regard to an independent commission. He thinks that if a commission is to be appointed, it should be independent of the government. But to be independent of the government means to be

independent of parliament, and that means to be independent of the people ; and I say that in the ease of a commission charged with the expenditure of vast sums of public money, it is not constitutional doctrine, but the very opposite, to propose that it shall have the power to spend these vast sums and yet not be responsible to the government, to parliament and to the country.

Topic:   NATIONAL TRANSCONTINENTAL RAILWAY.
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