You did not use it fairly then. I stand by that speech just as on the day I made it. And I stood by it through my campaign, and it was on account of that speech that I was able to win out against my opponent-and I could do it again to-morrow. I simply arose to explain my position in connection with this matter.
I wish to say just a word with regard to the remarks of the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Foster, North Toronto). It seems to me that in referring to the words of Mr. Fream, who said that the present law on this subject should not be weakened in any way, I understood him to say that it . will not be weakened by this amendment. As I understand the law now, the farmers themselves have the control of placing cars according to the order in which they have been called for. When you givej another body power to do away with the distribution of cars, you are taking away from the farmers the protection they have under the present law. The burden is upon my hon. friend (Mr. Foster, North Toronto), to show that the present law has worked unfairly, that it has caused dissatisfaction, and hardship. Else why make the change? If the law has worked well-and every hon. gentleman I have heard speak on the subject admits that it works fairly well-I do not see why any change should be made. As to the hon. member for Lisgar (Mr. Sharpe), I think he can make his mind easy, for we can take a vote upon the different clauses of the amendment. And, feeling as I do, being in accord with my hon. friend, if there is no other way to take the vote, I will move as an amendment to the amendment that subsection (e) be struck out. Perhaps the hon. gentleman will move that himself. If he does,
I do not wish to delay the committee, but this is perhaps a more important portion of the Bill than the committee has pet appreciated. I should judge from the remarks of the Minister of Trade and Commerce that he has not yet fully appreciated the importance of the section, or the relationship that must of necessity exist between the farmer on the one hand, and those who buy and transport his grain on the other. It is not throwing any suspicion upon the grain dealer or railway company to say that in the buying and handling of grain their interests are not the interests of the farmers. It is an absolute necessity of the case, just as it is that two and two make four, that the farmer, and the railway company and grain dealers are in opposition to each other, and that opposition is apt to be a very strenuous one.
I do not wish to introduce controversial matter into the discussion, but if my hon. friend is not aware of the facts, it is his misfortune. The fact is that there is necessarily and actually a very bitter feeling and always has been-I do not know what it will be in the future, but it exists today-between the two opposing interests. It is no aspersion upon either of them to say that there is such a feeling, and it is not a proper appreciation of the facts to suggest that by any legislation We can do away with that condition. It is a natural condition, it is not an improper condition, except as it may be strained to improper limits. My hon. friend will be the greatest legislator that ever graced this parliament or any other, if he can bring those two interests into amicable conjunction. I want to impress upon the minister that this matter is one the importance of which cannot be exaggerated, that the action taken tonight is going to have far reaching consequences, and the responsibility thereof must rest upon my hon. friend and his colleagues. I want to allude to the argument made by the minister as to the urgency of the provision of sdbsection (e). He painted a picture of the deplorable loss to be suffered by reason of damp grain; and the necessity of rushing cars to the relief of the locality suffering from that condition. But my hon. friend does not appreciate the fact that subsection (e) has no necessary application to that condition. On the face of it, it applies to the locality and the condition where the grain is abundant, and may be as good as it is abundant. It applies to the condition of congestion, and gives authority to the commission to relieve that congestion. He sketched the condition to which clause (b) would be applicable; but I say that is not the condition that clause (e) is intended to pto-
vide for. From the wording of that clause it applies rather to a condition where the grain is merely abundant, and may be just as good as it is abundant. In such a case the board has the authority of this parliament to suspend the provisions of the Act in regard to car distribution, both at that point where it must go for oars, and at this point to which it will send cars. That is a radical change in the provision regarding car distribution. There can be no misapprehension in regard to the construction to be given those words. The member for Portage la Prairie (Mr. Meighen) was insistent that it was right and proper to give authority to the board to order cars forward in special cases. There is no special case in subsection (e). Subsection (e) does not provide for a special case, it provides for a general condition. Take the condition that exists in the west to-day, a general condition of congestion, and the board has the right under that section to order any distribution of cars it pleases in any part of the west.
1 think the hon. gentleman who sits behind him will tell him that no suoh order could be made. The Supreme Court has ruled over and over again in eases much less decisive that no general order could be made under the authority of that clause. It would have to be an order of cars to a special point.
I am saying that under the condition that exists in the northwest to-day the Grain Commission, under the terms of that order, would have full authority to send oars wherever they pleased and whenever they pleased. To-day, if that section were in force, the provisions in regard to oar order booking would be to all intents and purposes suspended throughout the northwest. Those are the actual facts of the ease. I do not suggest that the Minister of Trade and Commerce understands it in that way, but I am giving him my understanding of it, with a knowledge of the conditions.
There is another point. As the law stands at present the farmer who has grain to ship knows what his rights! are, he knows what he may expect. But Mr. OLIVER.
if you introduce the provision of clause (e), or even the provision of (b), but especially (e), then the farmer does not know where he stands in regard to his car order. As long as the law stands as it is be gets [DOT]his order in. his .turn with his neighbours, but give the commission the discretion that you are proposing to them there-they take the cars from here and send them there- and he is out of his calculations entirely as the result of this legislation. I do not want to delay the committee, I do not want to hold back tlhe passage of this legislation, but I want to emphasize to the minister that he is dealing with that part of the Bill that is most far-reaching, that touches most closely the people who are most affected by the Bill, and that in my humble judgment, and I give it for what it is worth, this section will not he limited to the degree that he believes it will be, that it will go so fax beyond that limit that it will have the effect, to all intents and purposes, of destroying the value of the oar-distribution provision in the Grain Act as it stands at the present time.
With regard to the provisions in Bill (No. 96) as to forwarding cars for the relief of localities where there is damaged grain, if there were a few isolated localities where the gram was damaged, it would be possible, as it would be right, to provide that this Grain Commission be given authority to specially forward cars to these localities. It was such a condition, no doubt, that the delegates had in mind when they discussed the matter with the minister, but, to-day, with the condition that prevails throughout the prairie provinces, with respect to damaged grain here, there and yonder in a hundred different locali-_ ties, there is no advantage in giving the right to the commission to send cars to one place or to another place. There are not cars enough available, there is no possibility of them meeting the requirements by any orders, they may give, -and it just reduces the matter to the point that they will send the cars wherever the loudest noise is made, or wherever the biggest pull exists, which is a most objectionable condition of affairs. That is a feature of the case that did not strike me at the time the Bill was going through the House, but it is the absolute condition, and it may be just as well to be understood in thalt way.
I could not say, I am sure; but that is the condition that prevails in the west. The condition of damage is so widespread, that there is no possibility of meeting that condition by any special orders that might be given and to
give authority to issue special orders under such conditions is simply to give authority to abrogate the advantages of the Bill for the man who wants to use those advantages. We have given the privilege of loading platforms to the farmers in the west. They tried to get them for a long time. They were successful in getting them at last. They have handled a large part of their grain over these loading platforms. Those loading platforms are a cause of offence to the elevator man, to the local grain dealer, and to the railway company, and there is no doubt that: do away with the car distribution clause and the loading platforms might just as well disappear from the scene.
The question has been asked: Who are the men who are demanding changes in this Act, with regard to car distribution? There was some question about it put forward. There is no question about it. Three years ago, when the Grain Act was under amendment, notice was sent by the then Minister of Trade and Commerce to all parties interested, to come and be heard, in regard to these amendments. The matter was public, everybody was admitted and we found there the railway man, the grain dealer, the one side, even the banker, lined up on the one side, every one of them demanding the abrogation of the section of the Act relating to car distribution, and the farmer on the other. There is no secret about who is on the one side, and who is on the other. There is no blame to either party, because they are on the respective ' sides, but there never has been any mistake about it, or misunderstanding that on the one side is the producer, and on the other are the interests that necessarily 'handle his product. There is just the same necessary conflict of interest between these two sections of the community as there was between the buyer and the seller in the days of King Solomon, and has been every day since.
I would like to ask the minister whether he proposes having a vote taken upon each clause? The reason I ask it is that members of the committee might not entertain the same view of this clause as they do of others. I think there is quite a cousensus of opinion in favour of the other clauses, but there is a very strong objection to clause (e). That objection has been expressed very strongly on this side of the House, end if my hon. friend will not allow the vote to be taken on the different clauses, I would move that-the proposed new section be amended by striking out clause (e).
The object of the amendment to section 208 is to perfect the erection of Calgary into an inspection division. It follows the provisions with respect to Winnipeg making such changes as are necessary to apply similar conditions to Calgary.
Do I understand that this section would allow the board to declare that elevators not only upon the Great Lakes, at Fort William and Port Arthur, but also upon the eastern side of the lakes and at Atlantic ports, terminal elevators, that these elevators being so declared the government has power to either construct elevators or to take over existing elevators? I am not able to see why the provision should not be general, why elevators might not be taken over and operated by the government to as much advantage on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts and on the St. Lawrence as at Fort William and Port Arthur.
This gives power to the Governor in Council to construct, acquire, lease or expropriate any terminal elevator, if parliament has granted the money for such purpose; and a terminal elevator is an elevator which exists at what has been declared by the board to be a terminal point. The only terminal point at the present time is Fort William and Port Arthur.