Yes. This is the very section which is quoted, and I do not see how the minister can take any relief from it. He is doing exactly what the law forbids. The law says that he can only lease or grant lands under the general regulations which govern all the subjects of Her Majesty, so that any man who complies with these regulations and conditions is entitled to the benefit of them. But until he does comply with them, the Governor General in Council is powerless to grant, concede or sell any part of these mineral lands. Let me however refer to the second statute quoted in the preamble of the Order in Council and see whether the hon. gentleman can take any relief from it. This statute is section eight of the Yukon Territory Act, as amended by 62-63 Victoria. I call attention to this section because I cannot see how the Minister of the Interior could have gone before his colleagues and quoted to them this law as authorizing him to make this concession. I cannot come to any other conclusion than that this grant was put through council hastily and carelessly, and that none of the hon. gentleman's colleagues could have looked at the statutes or realized the enormity of the concessions which they were asked to give. Section eight of the Yukon Territory Act, as amended, says :- *
Subject to the provisions of this Act, the Governor in Council can make ordinances for the peace, order and good government of the territory, and of Her Majesty's subjects and others therein ; but no ordinances made by the Governor in Council or the commissioner in council, shall-
(c) Appropriate any public land or other property of Canada without authority of parliament, or impose any duty of customs or any excise.
So that the very statute which the hon. gentleman quotes in the Order in Council says that the Governor in Council shall have no right to appropriate any public land or other property of Canada without the authority of parliament. The very authority which the hon. gentleman quotes is against him. It is an authority which says that he cannot do what he proposes to carry out. I await the explanation of the government on this point with a great deal of interest. Of course I know that we can sometimes drive a coach and four through any law, but it will certainly require great skill to overcome these two statutes cited in the Order in Council. It seems to me that these concessions should be immediately repealed. They are certainly against the interests of the miners and other citizens of the Yukon. They will certainly prove prejudicial to the interests of Canada as a whole, and I beg therefore to move :-
That all the words after ' that ' in the proposed motion be struck out and the following substituted therefor :-
This House regrets that by an Order in Council of date the 21st day of April, 1902, the government for the ostensible purpose of establishing hydraulic works to supply water for the efficient working of auriferous deposits have granted to one A. N. C. Treadgold, of London, England, and his associates, vast powers, franchises, and concessions in and upon the beds, banks, valleys, slopes and hills of the Klondike river, Bonanza, Bear and Hunker creeks, and in and upon the waters of Rock creek, in the Yukon Territory, with the right to establish for the benefit and advantage of the concessionaires in and through the region and district through which these rivers and creeks run, hydraulic, electrical and other systems, and to enter and to take up and operate mining and other lands :
This House is of opinion that the said powers, franchises and concessions constitute in favour of the said Treadgold and his associates a gigantic monopoly, which, while depriving the treasury of enormous revenues, is most detrimental to the mining industry of the Yukon : And that in so making the said grants and concessions by Order in Council, the government have exceeded their authority and have committed a gross breach of the duty entrusted to them under the constitution.
Subtopic: WHAT IT MEANS.