I understood the hon. leader of the opposition to say distinctly yesterday afternoon that the government had refused to instruct the commissioners to inquire into the question of fraud and misrepresentation in the obtaining of the concessions. I called my hon. friend's attention to the fact that the return brought down and printed and distributed among the members of this House for some time, showed clearly that the instruction's contained in paragraph 10 were distinct and e'ear instructions to the commissioners to investigate questions of fraud and misrepresentation, and I pointed out to my hon. friend, that the judge, in various parts of his report, had referred to those instructions, and had stated distinctly when the commission opened, that he was empowered to investigate questions of fraud and misrepresentation. I pointed out also that he had heard evidence in several cases tending to prove or to disprove that there had been fraud and misrepresentation. I pointed out that in every oue of the cases referred to him in which charges were made, the judge reported that no fraud or misrepresentation had been proved. So I think the hon. gentleman owes it to the House to say that he was mistaken when he said that it is hot fair on his part to say that there were no such instructions.
Pickford & Black. But they have asked for certain modifications in the service, dispensing them from calling at certain islands, and as the imperial government is equally interested in the service, paying one-lialf, we are now in correspondence with them with regard to the matter.
Topic: SUPPLY-THE YUKON TERRITORY.
Subtopic: ROBERT BELL.
Mr. Speaker, with the permission of the House, I want to say that I was clearly within my right in calling the attention of the House last night i j ,the fact that my hon. friend's explanation was not satisfactory to me if it was to other members of the House. My hon. friend stated distinctly that the government had refused to instruct the commissioners to investigate the question of fraud and misrepresentation in connection with these 'concessions.
I do not hope, after the discussion we have had, to shed any new light on tlie interpretation of section 11 of the Act of 1875, but perhaps I may be permitted to give the committee my interpretation of that section. The House is face to face with two interpretations ; one given by the leader of the opposition and concurred in by the hon. member for North Toronto (Mr. Foster), and the other interpretation given by the Minister of Justice this afternoon. I shall endeavour to state briefly any reasons for adopting the opinion of the Minister of Justice. The interpreation given by the leader of the opposition and by his hon. friend (Mr. Fostei') is what I would term a strictly narrow, judicial interpretation of the statute. It is the interpretation which a court of justice might give, and I think I am stating the case fairly when I say that the leader of the opposition informed the House that his interpretation is that which would be given by a judge if that section were brought to a court to be interpreted.