April 26, 1905 (10th Parliament, 1st Session)


David Henderson

Conservative (1867-1942)


The very Bill that is before us certainly shows to us the absolute necessity of having the hon. Minister of Justice (Mr. Fitzpatrick) in his place while these private Bills are being passed through. We had a considerable discussion on this question in the Railway Committee, and I think the question arose as to whether we could pass a Bill authorizing the amalgamation or purchase of a local railway, or a railway chartered by the legislature of Nova Scotia, by enacting a Bill in this House. To my mind there is a nice legal question and the hon. Minister of Justice should be here in his place to solve that question, to tell us that his officers had looked into the whole matter and that he is satisfied that the Bill is all right in that particular. I would go farther than my hon. friend the leader of the opposition (Mr. It. L. Borden) in this matter. I would suggest to the hon. Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding), who is leading the House tonight, to ask the promoter of the Bill to allow it to stand over until the hon. Minister of Justice is in his place to give us that assurance. I think it is hardly fair to ask the committee to pass legislation of this kind on a mere assumption, on a mere venture. It may turn out that it is all wrong, Mr. HENDERSON.
it may turn out that the charter that we are giving this company is of no value, and I think the promoter of the Bill would act wisely if he would wait until the hon. Minister of Justice finds it convenient to be in his place and say that he has investigated the matter, that his officers have gone into it thoroughly and that he is satisfied that the Bill itself will work out all right. I merely throw out that suggestion. The promoter of the Bill may or may not accept it, but I think that is the proper course to pursue. There are more of us interested in this Bill than the promoter. We want to know that legislation, once it goes through this House, is complete, that it is without flaw, that it is something that may be relied upon, not something that would simply end in litigation, and I trust that the promoter of the Bill will wait the convenience of the hon. Minister of Justice until he can find an opportunity of being in his place and giving us his assurance that he regards the Bill as being perfectly correct.

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