Robert Franklin SUTHERLAND

SUTHERLAND, The Hon. Robert Franklin, P.C., K.C.

Personal Data

Essex North (Ontario)
Birth Date
April 5, 1859
Deceased Date
May 23, 1922

Parliamentary Career

November 7, 1900 - September 29, 1904
  Essex North (Ontario)
November 3, 1904 - September 17, 1908
  Essex North (Ontario)
  • Speaker of the House of Commons (January 11, 1905 - January 19, 1909)
October 26, 1908 - July 29, 1911
  Essex North (Ontario)
  • Speaker of the House of Commons (January 11, 1905 - January 19, 1909)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 1 of 239)

May 11, 1911

1. The number of bushels of grain hauled

by the Intercolonial railway during the six months preceding March, 1904, for delivery at Halifax for export was: Wheat, 87,826)

bushels; corn, 59,611 bushels.

2. Proportion delivered each month was:


November, wheat 47,836

December, wheat 23,990)

January, wheat 16,000

February, corn 59,611

3. All of it was shipped from Depot Har- . bour.

4. The rates from Depot Harbour to Halifax were:

Per bush. Cents.

16,000 bushels wheat 5-15

21.836 " "

4-9039,990) " "

5-4025,718) bushels corn

4-9433.892) " "


5. The mileage of each railway over which it was hauled was:


Canada Atlantic railway 346

Grand Trunk railway 34

Intercolonial railway 828

6. The earnings per bushels of each railway was:


C.A.R. on 16,000 bushels wheat.. 2 27) G.T.R. on 16.000 " .. 60

T.C.R. on 16,000 ** 2-27)

The question was asked: Was that a paying rate, and the answer was that, having regard to the return cargo, it was considered a paying Tate. I have always

thought that if we had the Intercolonial railway extended to the Georgian bay it might become a great lever to keep down the freight rates upon other roads. What would happen to the shippers if we parted with the Intercolonial? Any other railway, even the Canadian Northern railway, would seek to raise the rates up to the level of other roads, and the people would pay practically double freight Tates if the Intercolonial railway went into the hands of the Canadian Northern railway. That is to my mind an important consideration. There are two reasons why we ought to keep that road. One is that it is a very desirable lever that we can use to regulate the freight rates on other roads through the same section of country; the other is that while that road is carrying this freight at those low rates the people get the additional advantage. I have thought this matter over many times, and I think that the Intercolonial railway should be pushed as rapidly as possible, especially to the Georgian bay, where it could share in the freight coming from the west down the lakes, and so become a paying concern, which it is not to-day. I think it would be a very unwise move for the government to attempt to dispose of that road either by sale or by lease.

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May 18, 1909



Topic:   SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   EDITION
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May 18, 1909


Any reply to the views expressed by the Minister of Justice or the member for South Essex in that debate should have been made at the time. This appears to be an attempt now to reply to observations made by those two members at that time, and which will have the effect of reviving the discussion.

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May 14, 1909


I would like to suggest to the committee and to the minister an amendment which would come in as section 247a of the Code. Section 247 reads as follows:

Every one who has in his charge or under his control anything whatever, whether animate or inanimate, or who erects, makes or maintains anything whatever which in the absence of precaution or care, may endanger human life, is under a legal duty to take reasonable precautions against, and use reasonable care to avoid such danger, and is criminally responsible for the consequences of omitting, without lawful excuse, to perform such duty.

Under that section and some other analogous sections in the code, there is a recognition of the obligations on the part of the Dominion parliament to protect life against undue risk arising from the introduction of anything whatever which, in the absence of precaution and care, may cause injury or death. The proposed amendment reads as follows:

Section 247 of the Criminal Code is amended by adding thereto section 247a.

Every person w;ho transmits, or is a party to the transmission of electrical current of a higher voltage than 50,000, otherwise than upon a right-of-way not less than 60 feet wide, securely fenced on both sides, and under the exclusive control of such person, shall be guilty of a criminal offence, and in the case of a corporation shall be subject to a fine of not less than $10,000.

Provided, however, that this section shall not apply to crossings of railways, public highways, waterways and farms and other necessary crossings if reasonable precaution and care are used in making such crossings.

This amendment is intended to give some measure of protection against this increasing danger of people being killed or in jured on coming into contact with electric wires. On the 6th of May last, a man was killed near Beamsville as a result of coming into contact with a live wire on one of the transmission lines leading to Toronto, and a few days previously a boy was kill-

ed in Niagara through touching the live wire of a temporary transmission line running across the poles of a company whose works had been disarranged by the ice jam on the Niagara river, and we hear of other accidents from day to day. According to the best electrical experts, no proper device has yet been secured to guard against this great and growing evil. It is a danger which is especially serious during thunder storms, because the lightning is attracted by the strong current along the wires. The only practical safeguard suggested is that where high voltage is used it shall only be transmitted- over a private way properly fenced. Then the only element of risk is the imprudence of people who attempt to get upon such a way. It has been suggested to me that some such amendment as I have proposed would be a very proper one in the public interest.

I may say that the hon. member foT Welland (Mr. German) had intended to introduce this amendment, and I am doing so rather at his suggestion. I would ask the Minister of Justice and the committee to think it over. It seems to me to be one essential in the public interest.

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May 13, 1909


Representations have been made by the Traffic Association with regard to the Detroit river.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
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