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(Coote's Paradise) to London, and then from Burlington Bay to Toronto, built in the same way; the Danforth Road built on contract by Danforth, an American, in 1799-1800 from York to the Bay of Quinte.
The neglect of municipalities led to the formation of companies to build toll-roads, plank or gravel, of which many were incorporated in the 30's and 40's—and their works do follow them even to the present. Perhaps there is nothing which pays a country better than good roads; and it is to be regretted that for so many years road building was neglected.
But everything cannot be done by a poor country, and perhaps no better solution offered itself to our first legislators. And when all is said, they certainly have earned the admiration and gratitude of all who have lived in the Province since their time.
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The judgment recently given out by the Railway and Canal Commission, consisting of Mr. Justice Lawrence, Mr. Gathorne-Hardy, and Sir James Woodhouse, in the National Telephone Co., Ltd. v. His Majesty's Post-Master General, (England), is of peculiar interest at the present moment, when the question of the ownership by the public of public utilities, is one of the moot questions of the day. The judgment will serve as a possible guide in all cases of a similar nature and will be of inestimable value to municipalities the length and breadth of Canada.
The report of Sir William Meredith, K.C., M.G., Com, missioner appointed by His Royal Highness, the GovernerGeneral, to make investigation into all material and relative facts in relation to the Farmers Bank of Canada, and its organization and failure, is in this issue of the LAW TIMES, printed in full. A careful perusal of the report will impress upon the mind of every reader the absolute necessity of the appointment of independent Government inspectors, as one of the principal amendments of the new Bank Act. There can be no possible doubt, had the Department of Finance been free to act, when the question arose as to whether money had been borrowed to make up the necessary $250,000 required by the Government as a deposit, instead of relying upon the word of Travers, an interested party, a Government inspector had been sent to investigate on his own account, the charter of the bank, in all probability, would never have been issued, and the dire calamity to many of the shareholders which subsequently happened would have been avoided.
With the question of taxation everywhere up for discus. sion, in the Legislature, municipal councils, boards of trade, debating societies, and, in fact, every possible place where live issues are considered, the article in this issue, entitled “Taxation and Prosperity,” by Almond Shepard, is particularly apropos. The article exposes the defects of the present system of taxation in Canada and the United States, and the inequalities of assessment, and suggests a remedy. Though short, the article is to the point, and will amply repay perusal.
In view of the present discussion of the grant of $35,000,000 made by Canada, to be used in the construction of three Dreadnoughts, the following statement recently made in the German Reichstag by Admiral von Tirpitz, and that by Herr von Jagow, will be particularly interesting as setting forth the exact condition of affairs existing between Germany and Great Britain, since it was on account of the German peril that the money grant was made instead of the offer of ships to be built and maintained as a Canadian unit of the British navy.
GERMAN AND BRITISH NAVIES.
The Budget Committee of the Reichstag has produced official minutes of its proceedings at the time of the discussion. The main statement of Grand Admiral von Tirpitz, which attracted so much interest, is now described in the minutes as having been made “in reply to the reproach that his utterances betrayed a strong feeling (cine starke Abneigung) against England.”
‘The Question of Competition.
The published text is as follows:—
“I must protest against the view that my utterances have a ring of feeling against England. I cannot understand how Herr, Ledebour (a Socialist Deputy) has heard that in them. I am the first who would welcome gladly the arrival at an understanding with England. To make comparisons about proportionate strengths is very difficult. The numbers of ships do not alone afford any correct comparison. There are also the type of ship, the age of the ships, and Other factors which can hardly be compared. Last year the English Minister of Marine, Mr. Churchill, made such a comparison. But in doing so he left gaps open. He stated that the English Dreadnoughts are at present to the German Dreadnoughts in a ratio of 1.6 to 1. In my opinion this ratio is for the battle fleet acceptable. It expresses the fact that we do not intend, and also have not intended, to enter
into competition with England. It gives us a measure of
The Foreign Secretary's Speech.
It will be remembered that the committee still expressed a desire for a statement from either the Imperial Chancellor or the Foreign Secretary, and that on the following day
Herr von Jagow was present. The published text of his statement is as follows:—
“One of the last statements—the very last, if I am not mistaken—which my predecessor delivered in the Reichstag referred to our relations with England. Herr von Kiderlen then pointed out that during the whole of the recent crisis Our relations with England had been relations of peculiar confidence. He referred to the good service rendered to the cause of an understanding among all the Powers by the frank conversations conducted in complete confidence between London and us during all phases of this crisis. He expressed the expectation that the conversations would continue to render this service. It gives me particular satisfaction to be able to state, on the first occasion offered to me for speaking in this place, that this expectation has been completely fulfilled. The intimate exchange of opinion which goes on between us and the English Government has contributed very considerably to the removal of difficulties of many kinds which had arisen during the last few months. We have now seen that we not only have with England point of contact of a sentimental kind, but that common interests exist as well. I am no prophet, but I indulge in the hope that, on the ground of common interests, which in politics is the most fruitful ground, we can continue to work with England and perhaps reap the harvest. But I should like to point out to you, gentlemen, that we are dealing with tender plants, which we must not by premature treatment or words prevent from coming to flower.”
The question of the Panama tolls still looms large on the political horizon of both Great Britain and the United States. Great Britain, through her Ambassador, Mr. Bryce, has demanded that the question be arbitrated. The British note embodying the demand is printed in this issue, as is also a speech in the Senate by the Honourable Elihu Root, upholding the contention of Great Britain, as against the position advocated by President Taft, which caused such a wide difference of opinion among American statesmen. A report to hand advises that President Wilson has intimated that he favours the Root amendment repealing the provision exempting American coast-wide ships from the payment of tolls.