Hon. GEORGE P.@
GRAHAM (Minister of Railways and Canals) moved for leave to introduce Bill (No. 197) to amend the Railway Act. He said: This Bill is somewhat lengthy, and I shall briefly refer to the changes it is intended to make in .the existing Act. In the first clause it is proposed to apply the Act so as to require telegraph, telephone, and express, companies to make yearly statements of their business as do the railway companies now. The next paragraph refers to the protection of forests from fire caused by a railway company, and it has been the subject of resolutions by the Conservation Commission, and by the Forestry Association of the Dominion. It was first suggested that the law be made specific and stringent as to what the company should do, but at a meeting between the Chairman of the Conservation Commission, a representative of the western farmers, a member of the Forestry Association, and the Chairman of the Board of Railway Commissioners, this clause was decided upon as meeting all requirements'. It makes clear that the Mr. HAGGART (Winnipeg).
Board of Railway Commissioners can compel a railway company to provide facilities for the protection of property contiguous to a railway, to say how many patrolmen should be necessary, what fences should be provided, and to make general rules in this respect. The next clause is to make applicable to telephone, telegraph, and express companies the existing law with reference to railways which names an agent in any locality upon whom notice can be served. The next clause makes clear certain matters as to the location of railways, and that I shall explain on the second reading. The next clause is to provide that lands even though they belong to a railway company and are not for strictly railway purposes, can be treated like lands belonging to any other individual in the matter of expropriation for, say, another railway. The next clause is introduced by arrangement with the Chairman of the Ontario Railway and Municipal Board, and it makes provision by which a joint board can be formed of a member of any provincial board having jurisdiction over these matters, and a member of the Dominion Board of Railway Commissioners, to compel connection to be made between a provincial road and a federal road, and to make provisions for the interchange of traffic.