Louis Alfred Adhémar Rivet
Mr. L. A. A. RIVET (Hochelaga).
(Translation.) Mr. Speaker, before the orders of the day are called, I wish to call the attention of the House, and at the same time enter my protest against an editorial published in ' La Presse,' yesterday, February 25, entitled, ' Les Surprises d'un projet de loi,' which states, partly at least, as follows:
The hon. member for St. James, Mtre Hono-re Gervais, has rendered a signal service to the city, in drawing the municipal authorities' attention, before it was too late, on the Bill of the ' Canadian, Liverpool and Western Railway Company ' now before parliament for sanction.
' La Presse ' has more than once contended that the parliament at Ottawa had no control whatever over the streets of a city, a matter which is altogether under provincial jurisdiction. Montreal has every interest to watch the Bills which are presented either before the provincial legislature, or the federal parliament. Is that done to-day with sufficient diligency?
The city of Montreal could organize, easily and with profit, a vigilance service which is needed to-day. Special agents-most probably these would be lawyers-should reside permanently during sessions either at Ottawa or at Quebec, so that the city could be notified of any measure being presented in which she would have interests of some sort.
But this service should be conducted with the utmost regularity, as a detective agency. We submit the idea to the wisdom of our aldermen; it rests to them now to perfect it and put in operation.
As I have said in the beginning, I think it my duty to protest in my own name and in behalf of my colleagues of the metropolis, who are particularly aimed at in that
editorial, against the false and unjust assertions against the hon. members of this House and of the Railway Committee.
In justice to the promoters of the proposed bill, to the members of the Railway Committee, and particularly to those who in that committee are more directly charged which the interests of the city of Montreal, I must protest against the double injustice of this article.
It is not true, as it is asserted, that the interests of Montreal have been at a particular moment in a serious and imminent danger, that if it had not been for the intervention of the hon. member for St. James, these rights and privileges would have been sacrificed. Every member of the Railway Committee knows what are his rights and duties, and I must immediately state that on the very first time that this bill came before the committee, Tuesday last, the promoters were disposed, in compliance with the request of several members, to add to their bill a clause having for object to safeguard the autonomy, not only of the city of Montreal, but of every municipality through which the company intended to construct its lines and distribute electrical energy.
It was thus entirely unnecessary and supremely unjust to say, as some Montreal papers, and especially ' La Presse,' did say, that the rights of the city of Montreal were in danger.
I protest once more in the name of the members of the committee against the false assertions of ' La Presse ' and other papers in which appeared sensational articles upon this question. I will add only one word as to that part of the editorial of ' La Presse ' where the creation of a vigilance service is suggested. For my part 1 state here that I am opposed to it. As a representative of the city of Monteral I know well enough my duties and the interests of the city of Montreal to dispense with this sort of guardianship to watch over me.
I believe that the interests of Montreal will be well guarded by the hon. members from that city whenever it will be necessary.
Subtopic: MUNICIPAL RIGHTS OF MONTREAL AND 'LA PRESSE.'