Province of Canada, Legislative Assembly, Scrapbook Debates, 8th Parl, 5th Sess, (9 July 1866)
By: Province of Canada (Parliament)
Citation: Province of Canada, Parliament, Scrapbook Debates, 8th Parl, 5th Sess, 1866 at 36-37.
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MONDAY, July 9th, 1866.
The Speaker took the chair at 3 o’clock.
A large number of petitions were received and read.
Several bills were reported from the private bills, and other Committees.
The following bills were introduced and read a first time:
Hon. M.C. Cameron.—To amend 25th vic. cap. 40, entitled an act to confirm and establish certain roads in the Township of Reach and to extend the provisions of the said act to certain other roads.
Mr. Lajoie.—To render valid certain acts of decreased notaries.
Mr. Irvine.— To remove doubts as to the legality of Canon of the Synod of the Diocese of Quebec, respecting the Chaplains within the parish of Quebec.
Mr. Knight. —To incorporate the Crystal Lake Cemetery Company.
Mr. Wallbridge—To amend chapters 114 and 124 Consolidated Statutes of Upper Canada, respecting appeals in and returns of cases of summary convictions before Justices of the Peace.
On the orders of the day being called,
In reply to Hon. Mr. Holton,
Hon. Mr. Galt said it was intention to move the House into Committee of Ways and Means, on the resolutions imposing the tariff, on to-morrow (Tuesday,) at 3 o’clock.
Mr. Cornellies—To amend the Municipal Act of Lower Canada.
Dr. Parker—To amend the Medical Act of Upper Canada.
Attorney-General Cartier—To incorporate the Institute of Canadian Artizans, of ht e City of Monrreal.
Mr. McGiverin gave notice that it was his intention to test the policy of the government, both in reference to their monetary scheme, and the tariff, as well as with regard to the excessive expenditure proposed.
Hon. A.T. Galt thanked the hon. member for the timely notice given (a laugh.)
The following bills were read a third time:
To enable the Trustees of St. Paul’s Church, Montreal, to sell certain Real Estate. —Hon. Mr. Rose.
To Amend the Act incorporating the Mercantile Library Association of Montreal. —Hon. Mr. Rose.
To attach a part of the Townshup of Alymer, in the Parish of St. Vital de Lambton, in the County of Beauce. —Mr. Taschereau.
To attach a part of the township of Broughton to the Parish of St. Frederick, in the County of Beauce. —Mr. Taschereau.
To incorporate the College of St. Jerome in the town of Berlin. —Mr. Bowman.
To divide the Township of Wawanosh into two separate Municipalities. —Mr. Dickson.
To confirm the will of the late Robert Jackson of the Township of Scarborough. —Hon. Mr. Cameron.
To incorporate the Montreal Club House. —Hon. Mr. Rose.
The following bills passed through Committee at the whole and ordered to a third reading for another day;
To authorize William John Bickell to construct a Bridge over River St. Charles (and amendments.) —Mr. Huet.
To incorporate the Town of St. Ours (and amendments) —Mr. Perault.
To amend the Act 27-28 Vic., chap. 71, intitled “An Act to incorporate the Board of Trade of the City of Hamilton” (and amendments) —Mr. Magill.
To incorporate the Rossin House Hotel Company (and amendments) —Mr. Macdonald (Toronto).
To incorporate the Canadian RubberCompany of Montreal (and amendments) —Hon. Mr. Rose.
To amalgamate the Western Counties for [text missing] Building and Savings and Society with the Huron and Erie Savings and Loan Society, or with any other society of a similar character and amendments) —Hon. Mr. Carling.
To incorporate the Ottawa City Passenger Railway Company (and amendments). —Mr. Currier.
To incorporate the Bothwell Tram Road and Bridge Company (and amendments) —Hon. Mr. Carling.
On the motion for the second reading of the Hon. Mr. Roses bill, “To legalize a certain agreement between the Buffalo and Lake Huron Railway, and the Grand Trunk Railway Company of Canada,” several members desired it to be delayed until the evening, to allow the unopposed measures to be disposed of. This was opposed by others, and,
Hon. Mr. Rose, in moving the second reading briefly explained the provisions of the bill, which he said he understood to be the same as those of the bill pn the same subject introduced last Session. This he said was not the time to enter on a discussion of the bill, as that would properly take place before the Railway Committee.
Mr. McFarlane said he would assume the responsibility of opposing the second reading of the bill, finding as he did that there was a strong feeling against its principle, both in the House and in the country. After a few further remarks he moved, seconded by Mr. McKenzie that it be read a second time this day six months.
Hon. M.C. CAMERON said the principle of railway amalgamation had already been sanctioned by the solemn action of the Legislature, an he saw nothing in the particular case before the House that should cause this bill to be denied the common courtesy of going before the Railway Committee. It after that it should be found to contain anything contrary to the interest of the public he for one would be ready to oppose it; but it ought not to be refused the opportunity of being fairly discussed in the Railway Committee, where he understood amendments were to be introduced to protect several interests hitherto supposed to have been in jeopardy. He regretted to have heard the hon. mover of the six months, hoist, object to the bill because it did not contain something which he thought it should contain.
He did not like to see measures treated merely because of their robable effects upon certain interests of particular friends, without reference to the justice or injustice of their provisions. Influences were at work, and perhaps, on both sides, which he did not approve, to sway the decision of the House, but he hoped that a measure to legalize an agreement which has already worked for two years ought not to be condemned merely because one of the parties to it was the Grand Trunk Railway. The hon. member for South Oxford who would now oppose the second reading of the bill had given his consent to its second reading and going before the Railway Committee last session at Quebec, and he (Mr. C.) knew of no reason why that hon. gentleman should change his course on the question, except that he had crossed from one side of the House to the other.
The province had paid a large sum of money towards the construction of that road, yet it has received advantages which more than repaid it for the cost, and he felt sure that it the choice were now set before the country to get the money back and surrender their advantages, the country would rather let the money go. He hoped his hon. friend from Perth would not press his motion for the six months’ hoist.
Mr. McKenzie took the floor, but it being six o’clock, the Speaker left the chair.
The Speaker took the chair at eight o’clock.
Mr. McKenzie resumed the debate on the Grand Trunk Railway Amalgamation Bill. He said were the bill one against which there was no objection to the principle, he could see the justice of the demand that the bill should be allowed to go before the Railway Committee. But when the principle was the chief objection to the bill, and when the second reading was to be made a test of that principle then it was quite proper that the second reading should be resisted by the opponents of the bill. He objected to it because it have the Grand Trunk Railway Company, a large and wealthy Corporation, the absolute control of another railway.
He was opposed to placing more power in the hands of large Corporations as a general principle and they had already had sufficient experience of the influence wielded by the Grand Trunk Company. Should it unfortunately pass the second reading he should consider it his duty to endeavour to the best of his ability to make the best of a bad bill. They had found the Grand Trunk Company very powerful in this House, and throughout the country as well in Municipal matters as in contests in the electoral divisions. It was entirely on the ground of opposition to the strengthening of the influence of this Company, and not to the [text missing] the bill, that he resisted its second reading.
He admitted now as he had two years before, that the Grand Trunk had been a blessing to the country, and he believed it had repaid, or it would hereafter repay all the money it had cost. He was not opposed to the company but he did object to increasing its present powers, for if this bill were passed the next step would be a bill amalgamating with the Great Western, and so on until it absorbed all the railways in the Province. He thought at all events the bill should have been held over, to be dealt with by the Local Legislature.
Mr. Dickson said the mover of the six months’ hoist gave three reasons, first that the travelling community would not be so well accommodated, second that the interests of Brantford would not be protected, and the third in regard to the principle. As to the first, the amendments to be proposed would meet, the second might be satisfactorily arranged before the Railway Committee, while with regard to the third he was astonished to hear the remarks of the member for Lambton at this stage of the bill, when last year a very similar bill had been sent to the Railway Committee unopposed.
As to the question of amalgamation, he felt sure that if carried out properly and with a good arrangement for interchange of cars between the different roads, he was sure the people of the counties he represented would be greatly benefited by getting off their produce with more punctuality. He was sure the agricultural community would be glad to see the bill go before the committee, with the view of securing hgreater facilities for the removal of their produce.
Dr. Parker said he had almost learned to oppose the bill from the hon. gentleman who had just sat down, and now to his surprise he found him speaking inf avor of it. He had also learned that the hon. gentleman could make an admirable speech on both sides. He (Dr/ P.) did not think, however, that te House would take form the hon. member for Montreal Centre a bill that it had refused last session, when it was in the hands of the member for Montreal West. He did not oppose the bill in the interests of the Great Western, nor in opposition to the Grand Trunk Company, but he opposed it in the interest of the people of Western Canada, which would be injuriously affected by its passage. He believed it would be detrimental to the interest of the commercial and agricultural classes in the section through which the Buffalo and Lake Huron road passes, and he opposed it also on the general principle that he disapproved of the Grand Trunk Company obtaining the control of the whole carrying trade of the country. Another reason for resisting the increase of power in the hands of this Corporation, was the political power which it had been known at times to wield to a degree that it had sometimes overshadowed the Government. For the reason he had stated he should consider it his duty to oppose the bill in all its stages.
Mr. Woods said that if the bill were opposed on the principle of amalgamation, he desired the hon. gentleman who ahd last spoken to point out the clause.
Dr. Parker entered into explanation.
Mr. Woods said he had not answered the question. His speech was certainly a very good one, but it would do just as well against any other bill; in fact it was quite clear that the hon. member had never read the bill at all. (Laughter.)
He (Mr. W.) had discussed this subject in all its bearings, and he found the truth of the adage frequently illustrated among its opponents
“That a man convinced against his will,
Is of the same opinion still.”
As to the circumstances which had led to the arrangement between the Grand Trunk and Buffalo and Lake Huron, the latter Company had been carried on for years at an immense annual loss to the shareholders, amounting in the aggregate to £1,250,000 sterling, and at last they had got tired of it and stopped the road. A proposition was then made to the Great Western to work the road, but that was objected to because it would have established a monopoly on the Western peninsula. By this agreement with the Grand Trunk Co. what was the result?
Why, that between Buffalo and Detroit were two distinct lines, open for travel and traffic. There was the Great Western from the SUspsension Bridge to Detroit, and there was the amalgamation companies from Buffalo to the same oint, a clear case of healthy competition, and if the hon. member who had last spoken, were really opposed to monopoly, he would support the bill. I had been held in terrorem over his head, that if he did this, that, or theother thing, for the Grand Trunk, he would suffer all sorts of opposition at another election, but he considered the bill for the interests of the country, and he would support it. As to the political influence of the Grand Trunk Company, he would be better pleased to have its opposition than its support […]
- (p. 37)
[…] in any constituency, with the exception, perhaps, of some of the large cities. He again challenged the hon. member to point out the amalgamation clause in the bill, and said there was no such clause in the bill. (Hear, hear, and laughter.)
There was a clause which said that the Companies might work together for twenty-one years, but there was no provision for amalgamation. If hon. members would look to the Statute book they would find that amalgamation had been provided for by the Legislature, and had been in ioeration for the past sixten years. As to the interests of the town of Brantford, if he thought they would be injuriously affected by the bill, he should consider it his duty as its representative to vote against the bill, but he feared no such result.
Mr. Street said every member of the House was well aware of the power of amalgamation which existed in the Statues, and he did not see hwy these companies could not ahvae made their arrangement under the existing la,w without troubling this House for new powers. He was not afraid of the great power of the Grand Trunk Company which had been spoken of, and he should be sorry to see any misfortune befall it, but he did not wish to permit other railway interests to be injured by combinations of the kind which they were now called upon to consider. The hon. member for Brant had urgded the passage of the bill, because there was a clause in it to enable the Grand Trunk Company to raise money tp build the International Bridge.
But did anybody believe that the Grand Trunk could find the means for carrying out every enterprise in he country? The International Bridge Company meant to raise the means themselves, and would no doubt succeed in building their bridge, but their name was only used in this bill as a blind o help to carry it through this House. If the Company could raise money he desired to see it expended in completing and improving their own property, and he should be sorry to see it saddled with another undertaking which would further draw upon its means. It was not as a question of interest to one company or te other, but to that of the people at large, that they as the people’s representatives should look, and he contended that the best way to serve the people’s interest was to leave the several railways precisely as they are, and allow each to work out its own fortune by its own means. He hoped the bill would be rejected on the second reading.
Hon. G. Brown said the hon. member for Ontario had pressed very strongly the point that amalgamation had been provided for already by statute, and could not be objected to in this bill, whereas the hon. member for Brant denied that there was any amalgamation between the companies.
Mr. Wood—I said not in the bill.
Hon. G. Brown read a clause shewing that the act vested all the rights and powers of the Bffalo and Lake Huron company in the Grand Trunk company, and it that was not amalgamation he knew not what it was. The act clearly authroised an agreement between the two companies which gave one of them the whole control of the other for a period of no less than a thousand years, and surely that was equivalent to amalgamation. H e had been exceedingly surprised to hear the hon. member from Huron and Bruce speaking in favor of this bill, for he had been one of its most strenuous opponents.
Then, again, that hon. gentleman had said the people of these counties were not opposed to the principle of amalgamation, when there was before the Huse a petititon from the United Conties’ Council of Huron and Bruce, which the hon. member himself had presented, which stronglhy objected to the passage f the bill. The people of Brantford were also said to be in favor of the bill, but it was in a very particular way—provided they could make a profit out of the money which they had borrowed out of the Muncipa; Loan Fund. With regard to the principle of railway amalgamation, he did not care whether it was on the statute book or not, it was a bad principle and ought to be abolished at once.
Mr. Ferguson (South Simcoe) said that to his knowledge, no attempt had ever been made to amalgamate the Northern wih the Grand Trunk. Another charge that had been made against the Grand Trunk was, that it had interfered with municipal as well as parliamentary elections. Now, in fact, it had been seen that along the lines of Grand Trunk, opponents to that Company had been returned—at Cornall, Bronckville and Toronto. As to the present arrangement of the Grand Trunk with the Buffalo and Lake Huron road, he had been assured by many of the cnstitnets his hon. friend, who had moved the six months’ hoist, that their interests were much better served now than they ever had been by the Buffalo road before the amalgamation had taken place.
He (Mr. F.) knew the wants of his hon. friend’s constituents, better than that hon. member did himself. All the stations north of Stratford profited largely by the arrangement; they were making 10 cents a barrel of flour more than they did before, and they would not thank their member for trying to wrest these ten cents from them.
Mr. McFarlane asked how was that the case.
Mr. Ferugsson—Because, since the amalgamation, as everybody knew, the charge for the transhipment had been absolished. As to the general subject of amalgamation; —already several companies had been amalgamated and no injurious results had yet taken place. He trusted that the Ottawa and Prescott Company would enter into some arrangement with the Grand Trunk, so that the travelling community might not be detained four hours at Prescott. (Hear, hear.)
He had also been very much surprised to hear the member for North Wellington speak as he did, on the subject of amalgamation. He had always considered that hon. member consistent in his views, but he thought he had been very inconsistent to-night, and would have been very much at a loss to know the reason of his conduct had he not heard that his friend had got anew office he was now a Director in the Great Western Railway, (laughter) and therefore he must come here to speak against the Grand Trunk. The hon. member for South Oxford had also been very friendly with that Company, if not a Director he had been a contractor.
Mr. Brown denied it.
Mr. Fergusson continued to explain the advantages the Grand Trunk conferred on the country, and the benefit to parties shipping produce on the line of the Buffalo and Lake Huron, by being relieved of the charge for transhipment, since the arrangement between the two companies came into force.
Hon. A.T. GALT would like to ask gentlemen opposed to this bill, into what position do they wish to throw the Buffalo and Lake Huron road? Do they wish to throw it back to the condition in which if was before the arrangement was made, a condition of insolvency? If they mean anything, they must mean that that road should be made insolvent and sold to the highest bidder. There was no new principle involved in the bill, which had passed a second reading in this House last year, with the consent of the hon. member for South Oxford, who was then on this side of the House.
At that time hon. members on the opposite side had n reason to oppos the second reading of the bill; they allowed it to pass and go before the railway committee. It was carried through that committee and brought back to the House, though now they refused it even a second reading. This was not the time to discuss the principle of the bill, it was the practice always to send private bills to a Committee, and afterwards to discuss the principle when they came up for a third reading.
Hon. j.s. macdonald said the position of the Buffalo and Lake Huron had been in such a position that it must fall either into the hands of the Great Western or of the Grand Trunk. The Great Western was more of an American Company; it gave a daylight passage to travellers and freight from one point in the States to another, whereas the Grand Trunk was essentially a Canadian road, and so far had his sumpathy, but he confessed it hasd not been worked to the satisfaction of the country. It had enjoyed great power over the Government of the Country, every Ministry had been its friend, his own had even tried to do something for it. (Laughter.)
He would follow the same course this session as he had done with regard to the amalgamation bill he once introduced himself, allow the bill to go before the Railway Committee to have its errors corrected and its objectionable features exhcnaged.
Col. Haultain addressed the House against the second reading.
Mr. Gibbs spoke in favor of the second reading. He argued that there was a struggle between the Great Western and the Grand Trunk, as to which of them should get possession of the Buffalo and Lake Huron road, and that it was the interest of Canada that the Grand Trunk should get it. (Hear.)
The members were then called in, and the vote taken, when the amendment was lost. —Yeas, 44. Nays, 68.
Mr. Morris did not vote, having paired with the member for Argenteuil.
The bill was read a second time on the same division.
The following bills were also read a second time:
TO amend the Act to amend and consolidate the provisions contained in the Acts and Ordinances relating to the incorporation of and the supply water in the City of QUebec. —Hon. Mr. Cauchon.
To amend the Act incorporating the Quebec Marine Insurance Company. —Hon. Mr. Alleyn.
On motion of Hon. Mr. Cameron the House went into Committee on the bill to incorporate the Canada Vine Growers’ Association Committee rose and reported the bill.
Mr. Dickson’s bill to legalize BY-Law No. 7, approrpriating a certain sum of money for the construction of several roads and harbors in the County of Bruce was read a second time.
On the motion for the second reading of Hon. Mr. Cameron’s bill, “To provide for the sale of the Rectory Lands of this Province,” a long discussion took place, Hon. Gen. Brown opposing, and Hon. J.A. Macdonald and J.H. Cameron, and Messrs. Dunkin, Fergusson, (S. Simcoe) Irvine and other supporting it.
Hon. Mr. Brown moved the three months’ hoist. —Lost.
Yeas, Messrs. Brown, McKellar and McKenzie. Nays. 77.
The bill was read a second time on the same division.
Hon. Mr. Holton asked the Minister of Finance when the House might expect the report of the Trade Commission.
Hon. Mr. McDougall replied that the matter was now in the hands of the printer, and would be brought in as soon as possible.
In reply to Mr. Holton,
Hon. Mr. Galt said the education bill was in a toward state of preparation, and would be submitted at an early day.
Hon. J.S. Macdonald addressed the House on the subject of the recent calamitous fire at Portland, and suggested that the House should express its sympathy with the sufferers in some marked and formal manner.
Hon. J.A. Macdonald agreed with the hon. member, that it was the duty of every one to sympthasize with the sufferers.
A few unopposed private bills were read a second time, and the House adjourned at half past 12 o’clock.