The MINISTER OF MARINE ANI) FISHERIES. On this question of transportation, 1 ruay say that I am not going to make a lengthy speech, nor am I going to make any remarks upon the main or general transportation question. As to whether tlip canal system or the railway system is the better one, I do not intend to speak. 1 recognize fully the importance of this question. but 1 am not satisfied that we have sufficient data before us either to discuss it intelligently or to come to a conclusion upon it. Nor am I going to say anything about the rival claims of the cities of Montreal and Quebec. I could not help but be struck by and appreciate the statements made by some hon. gentlemen yesterday as to the magnificent natural advantages which the harbour of Quebec possesses; and I do think that those natural advantages have not yet had that fair play in the carrying trade of the country which I believe they will have in a short time to come. But, as between the two cities, I dare say the question will be discussed with better knowledge and information by other hon. gentlemen. 1 propose rather to say a few words in reply to my hon. friend from the St. Lawrence division of Montreal (Mr. Bicker-dike). Now, I do not think, if that hon. gentleman will permit me to Say so, that he strengthened his case very much by the repeated assertions-in' which he was followed by some other hon. gentlemen-that not a dollar has been spent by this country on the harbour of Montreal. The inference that a reader of the speech would draw is that the enormous expenditure which has taken place for many years back in the River St. Lawrence between Montreal and Quebec has been borne by the city of Montreal. As a matter of fact-and we may as well deal with the facts as they are-a sum of nearly $6,000,000, the exact sum being $5,019,320, has been spent by this country In deepening the channel between Montreal and Quebec. I am not complaining of it in the least, I have not a word of criticism to offer upon that expenditure: I merely desire'that the facts should remain upon record. and that we should not becloud the question by assuming that this very large expenditure has either been borne in whole or in part by the city of . Montreal. As a matter of fact, it has been borne almost entirely by the Dominion of Canada.
Now, I do not think my hon. friend has strengthened his case either by the extreme manner in which he placed it before the House. If his statements are literally true, if the lighthouse service and the buoy service of this Dominion in the River St. Lawrence and in the Gulf of St. Lawrence are the old, antiquated, worn-out systems that !he says they are, then I think he has fully justified the claim of the underwriters to charge these ruinous prices for insurance to the city of Montreal. The hon. gentleman says, Hear, hear ; therefore, I assume he still adheres to the extreme statements he made. Now let me call his attention to, the fact that I think he has accepted many of these statements without proper consideration or research. For instance, he mentions a matter about which I have personal knowledge. He stated among other things that the lighthouse service in Prince Edward Island is essentially bad, in fact, that all the lights, to use his own language, 'All the lighthouses there were no good.' Now,
I know the lighthouses of Prince Edward Island, I have known them very well for thirty or forty years ; I have gone in and out. of the harbours by day and by night; I have seen all the lighthouses there, I have witnessed them, sailed past them, sailed into the harbour and sailed out of the harbour, conversed with the captains who were daily leaving these harbours by night ; I know the captains of the ferry boats that travel between Pictou and Charlottetown and between Summerside and Point Du Chene, who travel that route every day and night, who pass these lighthouses at ten or twelve o'clock at night, and I never heard a sea captain in my life complain of the lights in Prince Edward Island. There has never been a single complaint filed in the office of the Marine and Fisheries Department against one Prince Edward Island light. I know the lights are good, I know there is no foundation for the charge ; therefore I simply say to my hon. friend that if the other statements he has made are so utterly wide of the mark as those he lias quoted from this book with reference to the lights in Prince Edward Island, I would be inclined to discount his statements very largely.
Now, the hon. gentleman has alleged that the lighthouse system which we have in operation is old and antiquated