Mr. A. H. CLARKE.
A case has arisen in the courts of Ontario in regard to marsh hay which has been baled. The contention has already been set up that this does not come within the definition of crops, and the courts held that it does. But the case is still subject to appeal, the words are capable of some misconstruction. I therefore move that these words be struck out, and that the section as amended shall read as follows:
Whenever damage is caused by a fire started by a railway locomotive, the company making use of such locomotive, whether guilty of negligence or not, shall be liable to such damage.
So whatever property is damaged, the company will be liable for such damage. The section was introduced last year by the then member for New Westminster and was referred to the Railway Committee, and passed in almost the very words of the Bill I am now proposing. The only difference was that instead of leaving the question of liability entirely at large the Railway Committee inserted words making it read 'damage to any property.' I have no particular objection if the House thinks it proper to add these words, but I would prefer to have them omitted. For instance, damage might be caused to a human being, a house might be set on fire and the inmates injured. But if it were limited to property there would be no liability in that case. It seems to me there is as much reason to make it apply to injury to human beings or, say, to live stock, as to property, and, as it has been fully considered by the Railway Committee, I think the House might pass it through the Committee of the Whole without sending it to the Railway Committee.
Topic: RAILWAY ACT AMENDMENT-FIRE CAUSED BY LOCOMOTIVES.