The MINISTER OF RAILWAYS AND CANALS.
The hon. gentleman must see the importance, the absolute necessity of the board being advised of changes in rates, if it is to exercise proper supervision over these rates. No one imagines that any railway commission would lie averse to a railway company carrying its traffic at the lowest possible rate, and there will be no fault found with any tariff which a railway company may propose because the rates are too low unless it be a discriminatory tariff. But unless you have some sort of control over
tlie tariff which they make, how are you to juuge whether or not the company are discriminating ? The hoard will then he at a great loss to form a judgment and to deal with the question of discrimination in an efficient manner. If you are to allow a railway company, without the knowledge of the railway commission, to reduce tins rates, you will be undermining one of the safeguards provided in this Bill for the public protection. I have listened carefully to the objection made on behalf of the railways, but I do not see that I could abolish this principle in the Bill without greatly weakening and impairing the control of rates by the board. With these tariffs before it, the board will be able to see whether or not: rates are being lowered in one direction or another for the purpose of discrimination, One ol' the things that the people most complain of is discrimination, and wherever it exists it ought to be stopped, and we are moving in that direction.