Mr. DAVID HENDERSON (Halton).
I do not feel that I would he justified in allowing this clause to go through the committee at the present time without entering my protest. So far as I am aware, the city of Guelph, as a municipal corporation, has never pronounced upon this, amendment. An amendment was introduced by the hon. member for South Wellington (Mr. Guthrie) to the Bill entitled An Act respecting the Guelph Junction Railway Company. That hon. gentleman supported that amendment by a petition from the city council of Guelph purporting to be passed by the city council and attested by their seal. That amendment the hon. gentleman withdrew, and, so far as I am aware, without the consent of the corporation of the city of Guelph, and without the consent of the directors of this railway company, he has submitted another amendment which I contend ought not to receive the sanction of this House until all the parties interested have been heard from. Certainly, we have not heard from the municipal corporation of the city of Guelph. Now, I want to say a
few words in respect to this matter further, and I shall endeavour to give the committee something of the history of this legislation. A short time ago a resolution was brought down to the council by the railway committee of the city council of Guelph, in which the matter of a change in regard to the directorate of the Guelph Junction Railway was referred to. I desire to say that that report, when presented to the committee, was vouched for by the chairman of the committee, who informed his colleagues on the committee as to the nature of its contents, but carefully kept back all the salient points contained in the report, leaving them to understand that it was a matter of very minor importance. The members of this railway committee of the city council, having confidence iu the chairman of the committee, signed the report of the committee, and allowed it to pass without investigating for themselves. Just to show the truthfulness of this, I desire to refer the committee to a letter which I think fully bears out all I have said upon the matter. The letter is signed by Mr. James Anderson, alderman of the South Ward of the city of Guelph, and it is addressed to the editor of the Guelph Mercury, a paper which supports the hon. gentleman who has introduced this resolution. It says :
Dear Sir,-As I signed the report of the Railway Committee and also voted in the Council authorizing His Worship the mayor and Alderman Dunbar to proceed to Ottawa to look after our interests in the Guelph Junction Railway question, and as I subsequently signed a petition with, I understand, nine other aldermen, requesting the Committee on Railways, etc., to ignore the request of the Council, I think some explanation is necessary to the ratepayers of the Sounth Ward whose interests I represent at the Council board. When Mcl.-rmin Dunbar called the committee together to consider the question, I, as well as two others of the committee, understood, as he certainly represented to us, that it was to appoint an auditor and other matters regarding the city's interests in the Guelph Junction Railway, but not until I read Col. McCrae's letter and the Guelph Junction Railway directors' statement in the Mercury did I comprehend that the scheme was to oust the old directors of the road and appoint fresh ones in their place. Now, if Alderman Dunbar had the interests of the city and the Guelph Junction Railway at heart, as he says he has, he would have explained things a little better to the committee. I am confident there were not more than two or three in the Council understood the question they were voting on, as subsequent revelations have proved, when ten of the aldermen have since signed a petition to let things remain as they are. Now, Sir, as the poet Burns says, ' The best laid schemes of mice and men gang aft aglee,' I think Aider-man Dunbar's little schemes will meet the same fate, which it richly deserves. I spoke to Aider-men Taylor and Hamilton and they said they never understood, when signing the report, the object was to elect directors from the ratepayers of the city and throw the old ones overboard, I, for the future, will sign no report until I
am perfectly satisfied that I understand what I am doing, and will not take Alderman Dunbar's or any man's word for it.
Thanking you for inserting this explanation, I am,