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CANADIAN RAILWAY TELEGRAPH HISTORY-Canadian Telegraphic Historical Newspaper Accounts

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Article Thirty-Nine
"Great North Western Telegraph Company Court Action"
Announced 21 May 1899

Much interest has been taken recently in the High Court in 
Toronto, Ontario. Two Boston brokers have gone to the Court
to annul the lease of the Montreal Telegraph Company's lines
by the Great North Western Telegraph Company.  The lease was
granted in 1881, and was for a period of 99 years, the
rental being paid of $165,000.  The plaintiffs in the case
are Hugh M Morrow and William A Clark, Jr., who, as holders
of 750 shares in the Great North Western, claim that the
company has no power whatsoever to enter into such an
agreement, nor had the Western Union Telegraph Company power
to guarantee the rental, as they really did.

The plaintiffs add, that the Great North Western Telegraph is
in reality the Western Union and that Mr HP Dwight, who
holds most of the GNWT shares and is president of the company,
is really an agent of the Western Union.

They further claim that the agreement in dispute is "... an
attempt by a foreign corporation, through possession of the
majority stock of the Great North Western, to exercise and
use the statutory powers and franchises of that company,
solely in their own interests, an attempted misuse and
abuse of statutory powers and franchises."

In their statement of defense, the GNWT insists upon the
validity of the agreement, and the power of the Western
Union to guarantee the rental.  They claim the agreement
was made in the interests of all parties, and has for more
than eighteen years been faithfully carrying this arrangement
out. The holder of the shares, now alleged to be held by the
plaintiffs at the time of the entering into of the agreement, the
defense say, was Erastus Wiman, a Canadian by birth, who
was one of the most active shareholders in procuring the
assent of the companies to the agreement. 

The shares were used to vote upon, and by them the agreement
was entered into.  The GNWT submits that such shares
cannot now be used for the purpose of invalidating the
same agreement.  The other parties to the defense, the
Montreal Telegraph and Western Union Companies, and Mr
Dwight, should the court consider him a codefendant, set up
the same pleas, with one or two additions.

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