Alfred Henry CLARKE

CLARKE, Alfred Henry, K.C., LL.B.

Personal Data

Party
Liberal
Constituency
Essex South (Ontario)
Birth Date
October 25, 1860
Deceased Date
January 30, 1942
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfred_Henry_Clarke
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=b02b1df3-ac36-4951-8ffe-b33051e3f142&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
lawyer

Parliamentary Career

November 3, 1904 - September 17, 1908
LIB
  Essex South (Ontario)
October 26, 1908 - July 29, 1911
LIB
  Essex South (Ontario)
September 21, 1911 - October 6, 1917
LIB
  Essex South (Ontario)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 53 of 53)


January 30, 1905

Mr. ALFRED H. CLARKE (South Essex).

I entirely agree with the object of the Bill which has been introduced by the hon. member for Lincoln (Mr. Lancaster), and if there were no existing provisions to protect the public otherwise than by this Bill, I would be strongly disposed to support it. But it appears to me there are two or three reasons why this question can be better dealt with bv the Railway Commission than

by laying down one uniform rate of speed at all places in the same town. I come from a constituency where we have two or three trunk lines, and where there has been a good deal of complaint about the rate of speed at which trains have run in going through some of the towns. The difficulty we find is not so much, or not altogether, the rate of speed, but that at some of the crossings there are obstructions, there are buildings in some places which obstruct not only the sound but the sight of trains. It seems to me proper that in those cases there should be a different rate of speed. I do not think ten miles an hour is slow enough at some crossings in some towns and cities; in others ten miles may be a sufficient protection. I think therefore that inasmuch as varying conditions exist, the Railway Commission can better deal with this question, and fix a low rate of speed where there is a dangerous crossing, as they have a right to do. and perhaps another rate of speed at another crossing, in order to do complete justice according to the circumstances which may arise. Another difficulty frequently arises in determining whether or not a particular crossing is in a thickly-peopled part of a city, town or village, so as to have tlie benefit, of the protection contemplated by the Act, and persons suffering damages are uncertain as to their legal rights.

One jury may say that a certain crossing is located in a thickly peopled part ; another jury may say that it is not a thickly peopled part. The Railway Commission may say that at a certain crossing a certain rate of speed may be established and that at certain other crossings a certain other rate of speed may be permitted, and if there is any grievance in respect to any particular crossing there will be no trouble in bringing the matter before the Railway Commission. My experience with the Railway Commission has not been that it is a difficult matter to get before them. We had a difference with the Fere Marquette Railway Company in regard to their service, a letter was sent to the hou. the Minister of Railways and Canals and immediately the matter was taken up by the commission and relief given. Its proceedings were prompt and expeditious, and it is a body that can do complete justice to every case. I think it is better, until we find that the Railway Commission does not afford the remedies to the public which they are entitled to, that we should not depart from the course which this House has so recently committed itself to, of leaving these matters to be disposed of by that tribunal.

Mr. DAVID HENDERSON I Dalton). Mr. Chairman, I do not propose to continue the discussion of the question along the legal lines. That feature has been very well dealt with by the hon. member (Mr. Lancaster) who has introduced the Bill. I shall

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January 30, 1905

Mr. CLARKE (South Essex).

simply content myself by pointing out to the committee and to the government that conditions prevail in the country, in the rural sections as well as in the incorporated towns and villages, that may require the attention of those in authority. I will give an illustration * with which I am familiar, taken from the county I have the honour to represent, where, between Toronto and Hamilton, as has been referred to by my hon. friend from Peel (Mr. Blain), there are a great many trains passing every day. I know of one crossing where, I was informed, during the time X visited that section of the country, that as many as from 75 to 80 trains cross the public highway between two villages inside of 24 hours. It does seem to me that, if. in the outskirts of iilcorporated villages and towns, additional precaution is required, those in the country are fairly entitled also to protection. From 75 to 80 trains a day Is a large number, and there is nearly as much risk to the public on a rural highway that is very frequently travelled as there is in the towns and villages. My object in rising is simply to say that if the matter is to receive more careful consideration from this House, the hon. Minister of Railways and Canals (Mr. Emmerson) and the government, there are many sections of the country that demand similar protection to that which would be afforded by this Bill in villages and towns.

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