Another Railway Bill.
Last week Mr. Walsh moved the second reading of a Bill to construct a Railway from Fort Erie to Windsor. The motion occasioned some little dissension, some members thinking that, unless there was some prospect of the road being completed, a charter should not be granted. For ourselves, we can say that we are heartily sick of bogus railway companies, and the country would be vastly benefited if Parliament would put a stop to operations which appear to have no other object in view than to swindle municipalities and private individuals out of their money. We do not mean to say that the Company for which Mr. Walsh asks a charter is one of the kind mentioned. It may be that the charter is asked for in good faith, and that the road will be proceeded with as soon as it is obtained. We hope it may be so; but the experience Simcoe, Woodhouse, and Windham have had in matters connected with the Woodstock and Lake Erie Railway company causes a feeling of suspicion to exist which nothing but the whistling of a locomotive or the rattling of the car wheels will dispel. We trust that Mr. Walsh will furnish those of his constituents who are interested in the matter with the names of parties who "would be found to provide the means at an early day," should the charter be granted. If the promoters of this scheme are in earnest about building a road let them come boldly forward and make their intentions known.
We give the Globe's synopsis of the debate which occurred on Mr. Walsh's motion:—
Mr. Walshsaid this was a bill to charter a company for constructing the Southern Railroad. It was a new project and not a revival of the old charter, and it would not in any way be encumbered with the past proceedings of the persons who had held that charter. He believed if the charter were granted parties would be found to provide the means at an early day.
Mr. Sandfield Macdonald said this Bill authorised the format of a company with a capital of seven millions, and with power to issue bonds to half that amount. He would ask the member of Norfolk if he had the least idea that seven millions of dollars could be raised for that purpose. He hoped the House would not sanction bogus undertakings. Those who had invested their capital in the Grand Trunk and Great Western ought to have some repose, and should not be threatened with an other rival road. The House ought to frown down anything of the kind.
Mr. A. Mackenzie said there were some extraordinary work in connection with this matter. He knew, as a fact, that some of the Grand Trunk authorities had been endeavoring to induce members to support the Buffalo and Lake Huron Bill, promising them that in return they would support the Southern Bill. It appeared we were never to be done with these railway intrigues. The name of a director was not mentioned in the Bill, and the whole thing was evidently bogus. If no one else did, he was prepared to move the six months hoist.
Mr. Burwell thought the Bill was not being treated fairly. He believed the capital would be provided and that the increasing trade of the West was sufficient to justify the construction of another road across the Western Peninsula.
Mr. Brown, while agreeing very much with the general remarks of the members for Cornwall and Lambton, thought they went a little too far when they said that no competing line should be established. He thought the section of country in question had as good a right to a railway as any other, and that if parties were found willing to put their money into a railway, for the benefit of particular section of country, the Legislature should not object. His constituents were interested in getting a railway through that section, and if any fair scheme was brought forward for making it, they would be very ill used if it were stopped at the outset, merely because it was a competing line. At the same time, if the people who asked this were not prepared to show the practicability of going on with it, the legislature should hesitate before again placing this great scheme in a position to be made a mere battle-door and shuttle-cock in the hands of speculators. The member for Norfolk should be able to assure the House that there was a reasonable hope of the stock being taken up. The petition in this case was from Mr. George McBeth, a man of property and position; but large as that gentleman's means might be, no one would say that he could himself construct a railway requiring a capital of seven millions, and the honorable gentleman who had charge of the Bill ought to state frankly how he expected the road to be built.
Messrs. Dunkin and Stanet spoke in opposition to the Bill.
Mr. Walsh replied. He said the scheme was a genuine one, and that the charter, when obtained, would be placed in the hands of parties interested in that section of the country. After the Bill had been read a second time, he promised that, before it was considered in Railway Committee, names would be inserted in the Bill which would command confidence throughout the country.
Mr. Magill opposed the Bill and moved the six months' hoist.
It being six o'clock, the debate was adjourned.
Local and District News.
The Great Western Railway.— The attention of intending exhibitors at the approaching Provincial Exhibition is directed to the advertisement of the Great Western Railway. It will be seen that the arrangements made for the conveyance of animals and articles to and from the exhibition are very liberal.