The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), April 21, 1885

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The M.T. Company Offends But They Won't Do It Again.

The special committee, appointed to consider the communication of B.M. Britton, solicitor for the Montreal Transportation Company, in respect of the lawsuit between the city and the company, presented their report about 11 o'clock last night to the city council. Ald. McKelvey handed in the document and about sixty pages of evidence. The report read as follows:

"That the committee heard the evidence herein submitted and attached to this report, and have consulted with the city solicitor in respect of the same; that in their opinion the object to be attained is not so much the recovery of a money penalty as the fulfillment of the conditions of the by-law as regards the carrying on of the company's business within the city; and as the managing director and the outside manager of the company, resident here, have given their assurance that they will use every effort to induce the company to increase its facilities at this point, your committee recommend that proceedings in the suit, now pending, be stayed to give the company the opportunity of increasing its facilities for the building and repairing of vessels within the city, so as to avoid the recurrence of cases similar to those now at issue."

The mayor read the resolution placed in his hands for the adoption of the report.

Asking About The Effects.

Ald. Thompson asked what effect the report had on a previous report presented to the council.

Mayor Smythe said that the present report was not a reconsideration of the question. The recommendations of the former report had been acted upon, and the present report was calling for a stay of the proceedings taken.

Ald. Thompson then wanted to know what would be done with the other report so far as its clauses referred to other companies.

The Mayor said each company stood upon its own merits.

Ald. Gildersleeve said the committee had only considered Mr. Britton's letter and the legal conditions of the affair as they stood at present. The stay of proceedings was not a surrender of the law suit.

Ald. Thompson asked if the agreement still existed between the city and M.T. Company.

The Mayor said it did.

No Ground For A Law Suit.

Ald. McKelvey said that after hearing the evidence the only conclusion of the committee was that there were not grounds for a law suit.

Alds. Bermingham and Harty arose almost together and said that if such was the decision of the committee they desired to have their names erased as signers of the report. They thought Ald. McKelvey had gone outside of the views of expressed by the committee.

Ald. McKelvey spoke personally. He did not express the views of the committee. He would go further and say that the suit should be withdrawn. He was opposed to any dispute between the city and a company employing so many men as the M.T. Co. It was his opinion the M.T. Company had not knowingly violated their agreement. Such was the conclusion any sensible man would come to.

Ald. Bermingham - Thank you.

Ald. Gildersleeve - The report does not press such a conclusion as that stated by Ald. McKelvey.

Expressing A Strong Opinion.

Ald. Bermingham said he had signed the report on a clear understainding of the nature of the conclusion reached. He thought it unfair of Ald. McKelvey to state that the evidence could only lead to his conclusion and that any one who differed from it was not a sensible man. The majority did not have the pleasure of thus agreeing with Ald. McKelvey. The speaker pointed out that the evidence at the second examination was curtailed, and yet there was not a particle of doubt as to the violation of their agreement by the company. If the evidence was read to the council they would agree in his statement. The only excuse offered by the company was that their facilities were limited and that they had a press of work. The company having promised to increase their facilities he was agreeable to a stay of proceedings, and in fact would prefer to lose the money indemnity if they could get the company's work done in the city. He again repudiated the idea that the company had not violated their agreement. He was possessed of the strongest conviction that they had.

Ald. Harty concurred in Ald. Bermingham's remarks. He did not believe the corporation desired to exact the pound of flesh for the errors the company had made so long as they agreed to such a compromise as would ensure all the company's work being done in the city in future.

Ald. McKelvey still held that the agreement had not been violated, and when he asked the city solicitor if he thought the city would gain the lawsuit that officer refused to answer.

Ald. Bermingham said any lawyer would do the same. He would not stake his reputation on a chance.

Ald. Gildersleeve said that the committee had not considered the question on its legal merits. They had simply endeavoured to secure such an arrangement as would prevent a recurring violation of the company's agreement.

The report was then adopted.

The Shovellers Have a Meeting - Capt. Gaskin called a meeting of the shovellers last evening and addressed them. On behalf of the M.T. Co., he stated the terms on which he intended to employ them during the season. They are said to be the same as last year - for shovelling on vessels, $2.50 per thousand bushels, and for shovelling on propellers $3.00.

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April 21, 1885
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Rick Neilson
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Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
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British Whig (Kingston, ON), April 21, 1885