Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).
Before the orders of the day are called, I would like to ask the government what is the reason for the delay in granting flats to a number of petitions of right, I believe over thirty in all, which were asked for in the month of September and October, 1907, in regard to claims for compensation for lands taken by the commissioners for the Transcontinental railway in the county of Madawaska in the province of New Brunswick. It would appear that although these petitions of right were filed, and fiats were asked for more than three years ago, no fiat has been granted up to the present time. The right of expropriation involves a certain sacrifice of private interest for the public good. When it is exercised, it seems to me that the subject, whether his claim be against a corporation or against the Crown, ought to have the right to make that claim good in the courts. These claims have been standing for three years, and I would like an explanation as to the cause of the delay in issuing fiats.