§ 1. Mr. HERBERT WILLIAMS
asked the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs whether his attention has been drawn to the losses inflicted on British shareholders due to the fact that the Toronto Suburban Railway Company is unable to pay interest on its 4½ per cent. first mortgage debenture stock; and whether, in view of the relationship of this company to the Canadian National Railway Company, which is under the control of the Canadian Government, he is prepared to make representations on the matter to His Majesty's Government in the Dominion of Canada?
The SECRETARY of STATE for DOMINION AFFAIRS (Mr. J. H. Thomas)
I have no information on the matter to which the hon. Member refers.
I am not quite sure whether it would be my duty to do so. 160 It is not for His Majesty's Government to interfere in any way in this matter. To make inquiries would be to presuppose some intervention, and I do not propose to intervene.
§ Mr. WILLIAMS
But surely it is the duty of His Majesty's Government to safeguard the interests of any of His Majesty's subjects in this country which are prejudiced in another part of His Majesty's Dominions in a matter where His Majesty's Government in that part of the Empire have an influence over the matter under consideration?
I think the facts in this case are that certain people invested their money in a particular concern, and it has not turned out satisfactorily. That might happen in this country, as well as in many other places, and, if the Government are to be held responsible to intervene, a very serious state of affairs might arise.
§ Mr. WILLIAMS
Is it not the case that the failure of a concern in Canada under the control of the Canadian Government to make certain payments is the cause of the failure of the railway company in question to pay?
I do not know that it is, but in any case it is an investment by a private individual or individuals, and the Government must be very wary about interfering with the affairs of another Dominion.