By the same process of reasoning my hon. friend might claim-and. he could make the claim with more force, because there is no intervening commission-that a contractor on one of our canals is entitled to get his materials free of duty. But nobody has ever before dreamt of anything of the sort. The contractor is not the government. The law, which has been on the statutes many years with respect to importations by the government, provides that articles imported direct by the government for public use will not pay duty. It would be a matter of little concern if they did, because it would only be taking out of one pocket and putting it into the other. That provision has never been applied to the case of a contractor, and will not.
September 15, 1903 (9th Parliament, 3rd Session)
Topic: NATIONAL TRANSCONTINENTAL RAILWAY.