April 18, 1901

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The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS.

In the middle of the lake there are 25 or 30 feet of water, or 40 in some places. But near the shore the water is very shallow ; there are at least three miles where there is not much water. I am glad that my hon. friend from North Renfrew (Mr. Mackie) asked me how the grain would be carried to Montreal. Our North-west grain to-day is carried to Port Arthur. More grain and more traffic generally will be carried when the Canadian Northern is completed, a work that we all expect will be prosecuted to a successful issue. There will be a greater amount of trade there. Nearly all the Canadian grain that is carried to Port Arthur and Port William now goes to Buffalo in American ships. When that improvement is completed, the Canadian Pacific Railway would make their road between North Bay and Montreal as good as the New York Central have made their road between New York and Buffalo. Then instead of seeing our Canadian grain carried to American ports, the whole grain of the North-west would be carried to Montreal and Quebec.

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LIB

Joseph Israël Tarte (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. TARTE.

Notv, It has been very properly said that unless we have a Canadian winter port the transportation question will not be solved. I fully agree with that proposition. When the Canadian Pacific Railway was initiated the promoters of that railway were forced, much against their will, and perhaps against their immediate interests, to build a line to the maritime provinces. Prom Montreal to St. John by the Canadian Pacific Railway is a distance of 480 miles. I hope and I trust that nothing will be done to impair the usefulness of the Canadian Pacific Railway in carrying trade from the Pacific Ocean to the ports of the maritime provinces. I think that Halifax and St. John, will benefit by the solution of the transportation question as much as Montreal, Quebec and other ports. The Intercolonial Railway, I hope, will play its part in that question, but the Canadian Pacific Railway Is the only railway to-day that can give to our winter ports an export trade. I am always sorry when I hear members of parliament, unwillingly, I am sure, striking at the Canadian Pacific Railway, often for the benefit of American transcontinental roads. The Canadian Pacific Railway has been built by the Canadian people, or largely with the money of the Canadian people. That transcontinental railway cost this country $100,000,000 in round figures. We have spent that large amount of money in order to unite the different parts of the country one with the other. I am not a friend of monopolies, but I am favourable to Canadian monopolies against American monopolists. I stand strongly upon that point. I say that it is our duty to strengthen the hands of the Canadian Pacific Railway as against their American competitors. Let us have competition amongst ourselves, but when the big American transcontinental railways try to strike at us, try to destroy the strength of the Canadian Pacific Railway it is our duty to stand up like men for them.

We speak of having a fast line. I am for a faster line than the ones we have had in the past. We will never have a fast line, or a faster line, until the Canadian Pacific Railway is strengthened. You cannot get a fast line unless you have an export trade. I say it again that unless you have an export trade you cannot have a fast line. Where is your export trade going to come from except from the Canadian Pacific Railway which has its western connection ? The hon. member for Bast York (Mr. Maclean) is suggesting to us to buy the Booth system and build a railway to the west. Well, the time may come when we may have two transcontinental railways, but I do not believe the country is prepared now to go into such a vast scheme. We have one great transcontinental railway ; let us take advantage of it. I would not be ready to say that the Intercolonial Railway should

be worked strictly on national lines, that we should be prepared to lose money by adopting a very low scale of rates. The Intercolonial Railway has not been a very paying concern in the past. I am very much afraid it is not a very paying concern now.

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An hon. MEMBER.

Hear, hear.

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The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS.

Oh, well, there is no secret about it; the Intercolonial Railway has never paid dividends. I do not remember that even with the ability of the ex-Minister of Railways and Canals (Hon. Mr. Haggart) we have ever had very much money to the good. The Intercolonial Railway has not been able to earn large dividends, but I do not see how the Intercolonial Railway can be a carrier of western freight to the same extent as railways having western connections. It cannot be so. There is no doubt the Intercolonial Railway can carry grain that will be gathered in the port of Montreal for it. I believe it will. To gather grain it is necessary to have elevators. The hon. member for Welland (Mr. German) has said in his able speech that he would favour a policy by which the government would build elevators at Port Colborne and in the port of Montreal. I may say that I have favoured in the past the very same policy. It has not been adopted but, all the same, I am on record. In 1899, when I left for the other side, there was a sum of $500,000 in my estimates for the erection of an elevator in the port of Montreal, and I also insisted upon having the same sum for the purpose of erecting another elevator at Port Colborne. Bygones are bygones, and we have to face a new state of affairs. I am not ready to-night to say what is the policy of the government on that point. All I have to add is that we must have elevators, as we have other accommodation, as we have other facilities. The elevators will come. When we have improved our waterways, when we have better accommodation, elevators will come by themselves. They must come, and if they do not come the government will see that they do come, I suppose. My hon. friend the Solicitor General (Hon. Mr. Fitzpatrick) has spoken of the accidents that happen occasionally on the St. Lawrence route. I invited him to look at the figures. He will find that most of the costly accidents have not happened between Quebec and Montreal. In point of fact there cannot be any serious accident between Quebec and Montreal. I hope that less accidents will happen in future between the gulf and Quebec and Montreal. We are improving our system of buoys and of lighthouses every year. We are deepening and widening our channel every year, and as a consequence accidents will be less and less numerous. Now, the ex-Minister of Railways and Canals has suggested that

perhaps the time is not far distant when we should have free canals. I share his views. I also share his views when he says that the port of Montreal should be a free port, but, it is a' question of money to a certain extent. The Montreal Harbour Commissioners have borrowed money to carry on the improvements that are going on now. They must pay the interest on that borrowed money. Before the port of Montreal becomes a free port it will be necessary for the government to assume the debt of that port as we assumed it in 1S88, and as we have practically assumed the debt of the port of Quebec.

X repeat that we have practically assumed the debt of the port of Quebec, for they have not paid a dollar of interest on their bonds, which we have in our hands. The government of Canada have carried out the work of improvements in nearly all the harbours of the country, and it would be only fair, I think it would be a very wise policy, if at some day in the near future the parliament of Canada would make up Its mind to have free canals and to have free ports in Quebec, Montreal, St. John and Halifax. Our canals give a revenue of about $300,000 a year. That is not a large amount of money. The debt of the harbour of Montreal is about $4,000,000. That is not a large amount of money either. We are spending very much larger sums, as my hon. friend (Hon. Mr. Haggart) has reminded us, on the Intercolonial Railway. It is an important railway ; an important transportation route ; but, nobody will deny that the Canadian canals, that the port of Montreal, that the port of Quebec, and the St. Lawrence route, as a whole, is a more important means of communication than the Intercolonial Railway. Putting the matter on that ground- and it is not a party question at all-I say that the question of having the canals free, of having the port of Montreal and the port of Quebec free, is a question that deserves most serious and earnest consideration at the hands of all those who have given attention to this important subject. It is, in my humble opinion, the question of the day. Transportation by rail, transportation by water, Canada for the Canadians on land and at sea.

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Some hon. MEMBERS

Hear, hear.

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The MINISTER OP PUBLIC WORKS.

If we stand firm on that ground, we can accomplish great results! indeed. It is no use in recriminating. There are some people who believe we have lost time. Well, as I said in the beginning, we have been going on fairly well. This young Canadian nation with a population of five millions, built the Canadian Pacific Railway. There is no other nation of the same size which would dare to go into such a vast undertaking. The result of that work has been tremendous, from a national standpoint. If we go on Mr. TARTE.

with the same energy in improving our waterways, in improving our harbours, in completing our transportation system, as we have commenced, we cannot but expect the best possible results. My hon. friend the Solicitor General (Hon. Mr. Fitzpatrick) has called the port of Montreal an ice-bound port. We cannot deny that we have some ice and snow in Montreal, but it is a sure fact that we have managed so far not to be snowed under'too much.

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Some hon. MEMBERS

Hear, hear.

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The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS.

We have not been snowed under, commercially speaking.

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LIB
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The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS.

The port of Montreal is open about seven months in the year. I wish to God it were open longer. Let us hope the port of Montreal will be open the whole year round.

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LIB
LIB
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The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS.

Let us say ten months. There is not a representative of the city- of Montreal or the district of Montreal who is not ready to help our Quebec friends to keep the channel open ten month's in the year. We are prepared to help them in every possible way, because we quite understand that if the port of Quebec was open for ten months in the year, not only Montreal, but Canada as a whole, would be greatly benefited. There is in this no question between city and city; no question between Montreal, Quebec and Halifax ; the interest of Canada as a whole must be supreme. Mr. Speaker, the House is, perhaps, tired of this discussion.

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Some hon. MEMBERS

No, no.

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The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS.

I believe that this debate will have good effect, because the more the attention of the Canadian people is called to the vital importance of the transportation, the better is will be for all Canada.

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Some hon. MEMBERS

Hear, hear.

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CON

Albert Edward Kemp

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ALBERT E. KEMP (East Toronto).

I do not intend to take up the time of the House, at this stage of the discussion, for more than a few moments. Like the Minister of Public Works (Hon. Mr. Tarte), I am glad that this matter has been brought to our attention again. It was dealt with in the earlier part of the session, but I must confess that I was somewhat disappointed then, because I, like other members of the House, had been led to believe that Montreal is our chief national port; not the national port, but our chief national port. It seemed to me, on that former occasion, that the representatives from the district of Montreal were not enthusiastic

enough in advocating the claims of their port upon the people of Canada. I remember that the hon. member for St. Lawrence division (Mr. Bickerdike), when he referred to the Grand Trunk Railway making its summer terminus at Portland instead of Montreal, said that, perhaps it was not an unmixed evil, because it might waken up the people of Montreal. I pointed out, on that occasion, that steamship company after steamship company was removing to Portland. I am glad now that the representatives from Montreal and district have shown more interest in this question than they did on the former occasion. The improvement of the St. Lawrence route seemed to be going along all right until the question of marine insurance was brought to the attention of the public, and the difficulties have been aggravated from the fact that the Grand Trunk Railway has changed its summer terminus to Portland. I have been surprised during this discussion to hear so little reference made to this fact, which I think is a most important matter. The marine insurance question could, in my opinion, have been very easily solved after due deliberation, and after improvements had been made in lighthouses and in buoys, and in those aids to navigation to which the attention of the Minister of Marine and Fisheries (Hon. Sir Louis Davies) has been directed. I think that some attention should be paid to this magnificent report which has been framed at the instance of a few gentlemen' and at their own personal expense. I do not think the Minister of Marine and Fisheries (Hon. Sir Louis Davies) is justified in treating it in the way he does, by simply criticising it. We were told by the hon. member for St. Lawrence division (Mr. Bickerdike) that no less than five steamship companies had recently gone to Portland, and were now making Portland their summer port instead of Montreal. I inferred from the remarks of the hon. gentleman, the reasons for this were the difficulties pointed out in this report, and the difficulties in regard to marine insurance. But, I do not consider that one of those vessels went to Portland for any such reason.

So far as the transportation problem is concerned, the chief matter of interest that has taken place in the last few years has been the acquisition of the Dominion County Railway, and the extension of the Intercolonial Railway to Montreal. Through the carrying out of this transaction by the government, the Grand Trunk Railway have been enabled to make Portland its summer terminus, and it will take the expenditure of a very large sum of money to counteract the effect of that action by that magnificent corporation-a corporation of which Canadians should be proud, as well as of the great Canadian Pacific Railway to which the Minister of Public Works (Hon. Mr. Tarte) has so well referred.

It is a matter of regret and discouragement to us, as Canadians, that something could not have been done some years ago, when the Grand Trunk Railway Company stated that they intended carrying out this policy, in order that the influence of this great railway might have been retained for Montreal during the open season of navigation, for all time to come.

We are glad to have this question before us, because we have heard what the policy of the government is-or their policies, because it appears that the members of the government are not agreed on this question. We have heard the question discussed from the standpoint of Montreal and the standpoint of Quebec and the standpoint of carrying Canadian products through Canadian channels to uanadian ports. But how is it that in the discussion of this question the most important matter that we should consider has been entirely overlooked. The exports of this country come largely from the province of Ontario. If I understand the transportation question properly, the intention in the past has been to endeavour, not only to build up great cities like Montreal and Quebec, but to reduce the cost of transportation to the farmers of this country; and the farmers who are largely producing the products which we send abroad are the farmers of Ontario. I think, therefore, that these people should to some extent be taken into consideration in the discussion of this question.

I need not refer any further to what trade has been lost to Montreal, more than to say that I have noticed in the last few days numerous items in the press referring to the way in which the Grand Trunk Railway is spending money in Portland, and the way in which trade is being taken from Montreal. In the early part of this session the government were asked, what steps they had taken to find out from the Grand Trunk Railway Company how far they were going to pursue this policy; and in the discussion of this question I am disappointed that we have not heard more from them on that point.

We have also heard in the discussion of this transportation question, various schemes put forward which to my mind should not be up for discussion at the- present time, and upon which we ought not to he led' to believe that the government are going to spend any considerable sum of money, until we see how far we are going to utilize those works ou which we have spent so much money; I refer to the Wrelland and St. Lawrence canal systems. I do not think this is the time to consider the question of paralleling these canals in the shape of the letter V. I do not think the Georgian Bay canal is a project that will be feasible in this generation. If it is considered necessary to build another system of canals to cut off the detour around Lake Erie, to my

mind the least expensive and the most feasible project is to ascertain the shortest route between the Georgian Bay and Lake Ontario, and when that is ascertained, to build a canal by that route. It has been said here this evening by the hon. Minister of Public Works, that the distance from Montreal, via the proposed Georgian Bay and Ottawa Elver canal, is about 940 miles. I venture to say that if the canal which I speak of were built, if it were found in the interest of the country to build it-I do not say that it is-then we would have the use of the St. Lawrence canal system, and the distance would be only about 40 or 50 miles further, but the time of passage would be no greater -as there would be more open water navigation.

Now, I have been very much Interested in reading in the Toronto Globe of this morning, an article on the question of making Toronto a seaport. I am not going to advocate such a project, because if i undertook to do so, many lion, gentlemen would suppose that I intended to urge the expenditure of a very large sum of money to deepen the St. Lawrence canals to a still greater depth. I do not advocate that policy just now, but in view of the fact that the Grand Trunk Railway have seen fit to seek a port in the United States, we are justified in asking ourselves, can we not bring the centre of the province of Ontario nearer to the seaboard ? I think that is a question which would appeal to the people of the province of Ontario, the farmers especially; and I think we ought to consider it fairly on its merits, apart from political bias. The Globe points out, what 1 did a few days ago, that the people of Chicago are considering the possibility of sending to Great Britain, Germany and other European countries the products of the west by direct steamships ; and the question is asked, if Chicago can embark on such an enterprise-and it is going to do it-why cannot cities on the Canadian side of the great lakes do the same V Chicago has four steamers which are going to ply through the Canadian canals to Europe this season. Between 1S60 and 1865 there were ships going directly from the city of Toronto to Liverpool, and bringing cargoes back. We have also had ships going frorn Toronto to the port of Natal in South Africa, and 1 hope to see the day when we will have vessels taking the produce of our farms and factories direct to Europe from Toronto and bringing back merchandise. If that cannot be accomplished on a very grand scale, surely we should be able to take the products of Ontario to the great centre of Toronto-at present the greatest shipping centre in this Dominion, so far as tonnage is concerned- from Toronto to Montreal or from Toronto to Europe.

In the discussion of this question. I was Interested in what the hon. the Minister of Mr. KEMP.

Public Works said regarding the amount of money spent in the port of Quebec. He thought that the government had not always been unfriendly to Quebec and that Quebec should not be jealous. He showed how the government were now contributing a million of dollars to the building of a bridge at that city and how it had previously forgiven a debt of that city amounting to $1,500,000, the interest on its bonds. These are very large figures, which we do not understand In Toronto, because we do not get anything from the government. It is utterly hopeless for Toronto or Ontario to expect to participate in the St. Lawrence canal traffic by bringing steel and iron and coal from the maritime provinces to Ontario and of sending out its manufactures and farm products -and you can realize the extent of that export when according to the article in the Globe, to which I have referred one firm of manufacturers in Toronto who sends out 1,500 cars a year-it is impossible for Toronto to expect to participate in; that trade, because we cannot get a vote of the paltry sum necessary to dredge out the harbour, and the government have not shown any disposition to do that work. In the discussion which has taken place of this important question of transportation, that point has not been referred to at all. We have to fairly beg for our rights and then cannot get them. But I hope that the Minister of Public Works will take this matter into his consideration. He has told us that there are no politics in this question, and we must accept his word as true, and I again venture to express the hope that he will not allow his colleagues to keep him from making such improvements as are necessary in Toronto Harbour.

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The MINISTER OP PUBLIC WORKS.

I am sure the hon. gentleman will not contend that because there lias been a little filling in tbe port of Toronto, any trade has been prevented from going there. He will not say that. The filling that has taken place in Toronto has not interfered at all with its trade, so far as I have been able to see. It certainly cannot prevent coal go? ing there from the maritime provinces.

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CON

Albert Edward Kemp

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. KEMP.

What I claim is this, that the ports on the great lakes should be able to participate in the traffic which comes through the Sit. Lawrence canals, and that vessels of the capacity of the St. Lawrence canals should be able to come to those harbours. We are opening up great industries in the maritime provinces and hope to get iron and steel from these provinces, but if boats of the capacity of the St. Lawrence canals were to come to Toronto with cargoes of coal, iron and steel, they would have to stop outside the harbour ; and yet while we have had a discussion lasting two days on what is practically a quarrel between the cities of Montreal and Quebec, that section of this country which sends the largest

amount of exports out of it, can get no attention whatever. I hope that 1 have not overstated the case, and 1 do not think il have. I am sure that the hon. the Minister of Public Works will see that we get what is fair. We are told that there is a surplus of $8,000,000 in the treasury, and when we hear about surpluses, we naturally look upon them as gold in the banks. Why not then give some better treatment to the port of Toronto than it has had in the past. If the government will expend the money necessary to clear the harbour of Toronto from the silt and clay which has flown into it all these years, it will have the support of our people in that policy. I would like to point out to the Minister of Public Works, who was not here when I gave the figures -the other day, the fact that Toronto is a greater shipping point than Montreal. This fact is not generally known, and I am not mentioning it in order to disparage Montreal. In 1898, figures were obtained from the Grand Trunk Railway Company, which showed that in the month of January in that year the freight shipped from Toronto over the Grand Trunk Railway system amounted to 103,754 tons, against 58,091 tons from Montreal. Take the previous month of September, which is the month when Montreal gets the benefit of the ocean steamer traffic, the freight sent out from Toronto over the Grand Trunk Railway system was 105,000 tons, as against

96,000 tons from Montreal, and the passenger receipts at Toronto far exceed those of Montreal. I hope the government will take steps to see if it is not possible to bring back the Grand Trunk Railway influence to Montreal and get that great corporation to help us in developing the St. Lawrence route.

I believe that in carrying out the plans of developing our canal system and the cities and towns along Lakes Ontario and Brie, we will also add to the importance of the St. Lawrence route. I need not go into the question, which has been so well discussed, as to whether Montreal or Quebec is to be the great port. My impression is that there are certain large steamers which in the future will make Quebec their terminus, but there is a class which will always go to Montreal and come as far inland as possible. If it only takes an expenditure of $2,000,000 to deepen and complete the channel between Montreal and Quebec to 30 feet, that is not a serious matter and the government should not hesitate to make that expenditure. I do hope that the government will study this matter carefully and come to some agreement among themselves on some definite line of policy and not keep dangling before us all the time new schemes. I do not think it is necessary to consider some of the schemes that have been advocated during this debate. Let us go ahead and improve our great canal system, let us have the whole project before us, and let us decide what is best to be done in the interests of the country.

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LIB

Jacques Bureau

Liberal

Mr. JACQUES BUREAU (Three Rivers and St. Maurice).

I have listened, Mr. Speaker, with great interest to this debate, which is certainly one of the most important that we have ever had in this House, and I cannot allow it to close without making a few suggestions which, as a representative of Three Rivers, I deem it my duty to offer. After listening to the discussion, I have come to the conclusion that we are all agreed on one point. We are all agreed that the St. Lawrence river ought to be our main avenue for exporting our commodities to the old world. Some hon. members have contended that this route requires considerable improvements, but the hon. the Minister of Marine says that it is in very good order. The question now seems to be, where shall we locate the head of deep water navigation, and what improvement should we make in that port. It has been said that most of the grain raised on the western plains goes to American ports.

Now, if the St. Lawrence river is in good order, how is it that western grain does not come to our ports for export. The only conclusion must be-which is the fact-that our ports are not properly equipped for the loading of steamers or for the receiving of grain. But we must also bear in mind that wheat is not the only export of our great Dominion. We must bear in mind that of late years new industries have been begun and new resources developed. We must bear in mind that, for instance, in the riding I represent, within the last four or five years, millions of dollars have been invested in the industry of pulp or paper. Now that that is being done, we ought to look to the best interests of the whole community and apportion the improvement of our harbours, so that Canada at large will benefit. There seems to be a kind of rivalry between Montreal and Quebec. That seems to be an old feud. If I remember well, history shows us that when the question came before the people of locating the capital of the Dominion the same feud broke out and, as the result the capital came to Ottawa. Now, I want to offer a compromise ; I want to offer a port located half-way between Quebec and Montreal, a seaport that is at the lower end of Lake St. Peter. If you want to make it the national port, you are welcome to do so, and you will save the dredging of Lake St. Peter, which seems to be a matter of a good deal of anxiety to economical members of this House. All hon. members know where Three Rivers is located, at the mouth of the St. Maurice. There is no dredging to do. When the ships go up from the ocean to Montreal or down from Montreal to the ocean, they come within 50 or 60 feet of our docks. Now, in Three Rivers we have had new industries developed. This year there will be cut in the St. Maurice region about 3,000.000 logs. These will be sawn into deals or into pulp wood, or turned into pulp and paper, and sent across the ocean. Now, of all the in-

dustries, the only share we get in Three Rivers is 10 per cent, according to the report of our harbour commissioners, dated as late as January, 1901. Why is this ? Because we have not the dockage facilities that will allow us to take these products which are manufactured within twenty-one miles of deep water and bring them to Three Rivers for export. Ninety per cent of these products must go to the harbour of Montreal or to the harbour of Quebec and crowd these harbours, and make it more difficult to handle the freight that comes there. As has been stated, distance cuts no figure now, it is time that we look to, and time is gained by the facility with wdiich you can handle trade. Everybody knows that the more you handle bulky freight the more it costs. If we had money to develop the port of Three Rivers so that we could provide for our own demands and export what is produced within a radius of 80 miles, including the $2,000,000 worth of pulp and paper manufactured by the Lau-rentide Pulp Company, of Grand Mere, and also the paper that will be manufactured by the Belgo-Canadian Company, the port of Montreal would be relieved. Moreover, the manufacturer would work at a less cost, because, instead of a transport of 127 miles, he would have only 27 miles to get to deep water. Another thing is that these people use material which they must import. They use coal, they use brimstone and marble : and the want of proper accommodation at Three Rivers makes it necessary that these things should come by way of Quebec and Montreal, encumbering the docks there, and making the handling of freight more difficult. There Is another trade I wish to refer to ; and my hon. friend from the St. Lawrence division of Montreal (Mr. Bicker-dike), in spite of his love for Montreal, will bear me out in what I say with regard to it. I refer to the cattle trade. At Three Rivers we have no tide, and we have a fine prairie which is used as a grazing ground. We can bring the cattle to Three Rivers, get them out of the cars, turn them out on the grazing ground and get them in good condition and then put them back on the ship for export. There is no place better located for the export of cattle than the port of Three Rivers. When I talk on this line, I always talk of these ports as summer ports. Now, taking this other line of argument that, by saving these new industries that are being developed on freight expenses, we are helping our producers, the men who cut down the trees that produce the pulp wood, pulp or paper. The freight that these corporations have to pay they must charge up to somebody, and generally it is the man who has to work to produce these articles that gets his wages diminished in proportion to the increase the trade have to pay for their export. It has been stated in this House that this is a non-political question, that it is a patriotic question.

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April 18, 1901