The question whether they have the land grant is of the utmost importance, and possibly we might let the matter stand over until we find out. But if they have the land grant, though I would be sorry to do anything to deprive the settlers of the railway, I think this is a most dangerous precedent we are endeavouring to set. In the Railway Committee the other day, the preamble was adopted, after full discussion, by a good majority. After that, without force, the Canadian Pacific Railway agreed, at the request of the hon. member for Selkirk (Mr. McCreary), to build a road into the Gimli territory. Now on the second reading of the Bill, the hon. member for West Assiniboia (Mr Scott) comes and says: We have got so much ; but we will ride this willing horse to death by asking still more, by demanding that the company build in another part of the country. And the hon. member for Labelle (Mr. Bourassa), on the same principle can say: You must build another road in my constituency. If all the members in whose constituencies the Canadian Pacific Railway runs demand of their representative that before he votes in favour of any proposal made by the Canadian Pacific Railway in this House, the company shall build branch lines in their consti tuenei es-
-APKIL 29, 1901
Mr. OLIVER, And why not, if they are under obligation to build them ?
The fact that they have a charter does not preclude anybody else from getting a charter. But it is a monstrous proposition that a company, because they hold a charter shall be compelled to build whether the road is likely to pay or not.
I am surprised at the position taken by the hon. member for Alberta (Mr. Oliver). It is only the other day that he stood godfather to a Bill to charter a line to build to James Bay, which was being promoted by a gentleman by the name of Harvey. He wanted not only a charter to James Bay, where there were two charters granted already, one of which had been granted to himself and sold by him for a fabulous sum of money, but also a charter from the edge of Hudson's Bay at Chesterfield Inlet right across to the Mackenzie River basin-a line that will not be built foi a thousand years, for there is nobody there, never was and never will be. I am surprised that the hon. member for Alberta should come in and commence to lecture hon. members after the position he took with regard to that matter. This whole question was threshed out thoroughly in committee. I put up as hard a fight as I could with the hon. gentleman for the benefit of the people in the Qu'Appelle valley. The matter was referred to a sub-committee and they reported and I submit that the matter is at an end. I trust that this Bill will be allowed to go through. I have [DOT]lust one amendment to suggest, and that 126
is, that Icelandic River should be substituted for Gimli as the place to which the road is to be built. This change would make very little difference as the two places are near together, and I believe that the Canadian Pacific Railway would as soon build to Icelandic River as to Gimli.
I fear the debate is drifting away from the real question at issue. To the question that was asked by the hon. member for Lisgar (Mr. Richardson), as to the reason advanced by the company in support of their request for five years' extension of time for the building of this road, I am not able to give the hon. gentleman an answer. If there is any person in the House who is prepared to speak for the Company, I would like to hear what the reason was, for I cannot conceive of any reason for such a course except that which I have stated-that the company are financially unable to go on with the building of the road. For the benefit of my hon. friend from Cumberland (Mr. Logan), who, probably, has not been in the House all the afternoon, I might repeat-
Well, I will repeat for the benefit of the hon. gentleman what I said before, that the statement made by the Canadian Pacific Railway to the delegates from the district north of the Qu'Appelle valley is, that they admit that from the very first day this line is built it will be a paying road. There are many settlers there; the production of wheat reaches about half a million bushels a year, and the people have about fifty thousand acres under cultivation and probably under crop at this moment.