p.1 Board of Trade - Annual Meeting - (part)
Harbour Improvement - The subject of the improvement of the harbour occupied considerable time and was fully discussed. A deputation was appointed to wait upon the Government to ask them for aid, the Board considering that the deepening and protecting of the harbour should be considered part of the general plan for improving the highway from the west to the ocean. The Government engaged to send an engineer for the purpose of examining and reporting on the necessary improvements, relative to which the Board have had as yet no official report. They also agreed to send a dredge at their earliest convenience which has been done.
Your Council have not lost sight of this important question, as is evinced by their making it one of the subjects to be strongly urged upon the attention of the Dominion Board.
Welland Canal - We are pleased to see that tenders for the enlargement of the Welland Canal have been called for, and we trust that the work will be prosecuted with vigor, as we consider it a great national benefit, which when completed, will largely increase the volume of trade finding its outlet to the ocean by the River St. Lawrence.
p.4 County Court - Important Case Arising Out Of The Burning Of The Steamer Kingston - This action is brought to recover from the Canadian Navigation Company the value of luggage of the plaintiffs destroyed by fire on board the Kingston last summer. The defendants (denying negligence which, as a question of fact, must be tried before a jury,) set up as matter of law the provisions of the statute, 26 George 111, chapter 86, exempting ship-owners from liability for "goods or merchandise" destroyed by accidental fire, not attributable to the fault or negligence of the captain and crew. The defendants further claim that the law of Quebec must determine the question of their liability, and that by such law they are not liable to answer the consequences of a fortuitous accident. To these pleas the plaintiffs demur, as disclosing no sufficient answer in law to the claim. Messrs. B.M. Britton and J.M. Machar, for the plaintiffs, contended that the statute in question does not apply to the inland navigation of the St. Lawrence River, and that at all events its provisions do not relieve from responsibility for personal luggage, but apply merely to cargo. They also contended that the law of this Province was alone applicable, the defendant's contract being to deliver at Kingston, and the loss having also happened within Ontario. The following authorities were referred to on behalf of the plaintiffs: Hunter vs McGowan, 1 Bligh, Morewood vs Pollock, 1 E. & B. 743, Story on Bailments 511, Ross vs Hill, 2 M.G. & S.877, Deconteur v. London North-west Railway, E.L.R. 1 Q.B. 54, Addison on Contracts. Mr. J.P. Gildersleeve, for the defendants, insisted on the benefit of the statute as applicable both in letter and spirit to the navigation of the St. Lawrence and the Great Lakes, and contended that the Quebec law must be resorted to to interpret a contract made at Montreal. He also urged that personal luggage is in the legal technical sense "goods," and therefore within the statute. He cited, (among other cases), Fraser vs Smith, 3 U.C.C.P. 411, Hearl v. Ross, 15 U.C.Q.C. 259, Abbott and Lees on Shipping. Judgement reserved.