March 10, 1902

LIB

James Moffat Douglas

Liberal

Mr. DOUGLAS.

I will explain it in this way. You have a spikelet or bar across the grain of wheat. In Wisconsin and Illinois they were formerly accustomed to produce three grains of perfect wheat, but of late years they can only produce two grains on a spikelet and one imperfect grain. Two grains in this case ceased to be productive. In Manitoba we have always been able to produce three perfect grains and this year the exception has been that we have produced four perfect grains on one bar or spikelet. Whilst in Manitoba we have produced three perfect grains almost every

year, to the north, around Prince Albert, in the Saskatchewan district, we have almost invariably produced four perfect grains. The wheat yield in the territories last year ranged from twenty-five to fifty-five bushels per acre. This immense yield has given rise to certain difficulties. These difficulties have arisen in connection with the transportation of the crop. We were assured that up to January the Canadian Pacific Railway moved something like 40,000,000 bushels, while the Canadian Northern moved 11,000,000 bushels. We are informed by the best authority to-day that there are at least 50,000,000 bushels more to be moved before navigation opens, and that will still leave 2G,000,000 bushels for bread and seed for the coming year. You can see how far short the railway facility has come of moving the crop so as to secure the highest price in the market to the producer.

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Subtopic:   WHEAT BLOCKADE IN MANITOBA.
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LIB

John Charlton

Liberal

Mr. CHARLTON.

Does my hon. friend (Mr. Douglas) say that the wheat crop is 127,000,000 bushels ?

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LIB

James Moffat Douglas

Liberal

Mr. DOUGLAS.

I am giving you the statement and I will give you the report of the warehouse commissioner which ought to satisfy every person.

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The MINISTER OP AGRICULTURE.

That is, all grains.

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LIB

James Moffat Douglas

Liberal

Mr. DOUGLAS.

Yes, all grains. With the view of perfect accuracy I wish to put on record the report of Mr. Castle, warehouse commissioner, who was appointed by this government under the legislation of 1900. The report is dated Winnipeg, January 15th, 1902, and addressed to Mr. Tar-melee, deputy minister Trade and Commerce. Waiving the introduction he goes on to make the following statements :

Mr. General Superintendent Leonard of the Canadian Pacific Railway advises me that there are at present in use on the Canadian Pacific

Railway western division 7,000 box cars and

256 engines divisable as follows :

Cars for use for carriage of general merchandise 4,000

Cars for use for carriage of grain 3,000

Engines in use, passenger service (ordinary season) 38

Engines in use, grain season 20

Engines in use, freight trafiic (grain season) 236

It is stated that all grain has to be hauled on an average of 700 miles on western division

while the number of miles an engine runs per day is estimated at 200. Below is given a list of the elevators and their capacity at Port William and Port Arthur :

Fort William C.P.R. Co.'s, elevator (a). 1,250,000" " " (b). 1,250,000* " " " (c). 1,500,000" " (d). 1,500,000Port Arthur, King's elevator

350,000

Total.... 5,850,000 With this equipment worked at highest pressure the following table shows the amount of

grain actually delivered by that company into the Canadian Pacific Railway and King's elevators at Fort William and Port Arthur, each week from the 1st of September to the 28th December inclusive.

I shall not give the deliveries of each week but simply the largest delivery in one week, being 1,335,414 bushels. The total delivery was 14,281,401.

In addition to this up to the 28th of December last there were delivered at Fort William 282,642 bushels of oats and 34,754 of barley, and flour the product of possibly 3,000,000 bushels of wheat ; besides which about 1,000,000 bushels of oats were shipped to Montreal and eastern points, mostly from the Edmonton district, none of which appears in the above weekly elevator reports.

I may state that the facts given us in this report are based upon the condition of things reported to the warehouse commissioner each day and may be regarded as being correct.

From the foregoing it will be seen the Canadian Pacific Railway with their present equipment was unable to deliver at Fort William from Manitoba and Territorial points, more than 1,355,414 bushels of wheat in any one week, while deliveries for the same period at country points were, I should judge, about double that amount. There is not the slightest doubt that had there been proper facilities for handling it, over 3,000,000 bushels of grain would have been marketed weekly at all country points during the last part of October and all of November. Not counting sidings the Canadian Pacific Railway draws grain from 187 points at which there are elevators and warehouses If one and a-half cars per day or nine cars per week (averaging S50 bushels) were supplied to each of the 187 grain points above mentioned, the amount so delivered weekly at Fort William, would be 1,430,550 bushels, that is, nearly 100,000 bushels more than were actually delivered at Fort William and Port Arthur in any one week during the season-exclusive of flour, oats, barley, and flax. In view' of the rapid growth of this western country and taking into consideration the large amount of money, time and energy which have been expended by the government in bringing producing settlers into the country, I consider the Canadian Pacific Railway in its own interests and that of Manitoba and the North-west, should at once take steps to provide equipment sufficient to deliver at Fort William at least 2,000,000 bushels par week. EfTcrts as1 you are aware, have at various times been made to obtain from the railway companies a ten per cent per hundred freight rate on wheat to the lakes. Even if this were obtained the advantages so accruing would be of little or no value to our producers without adequate transportation facilities ; in support of which I would draw your attention to the following facts, viz. :-On the 2nd of November last there were reported to be in store at points on the Canadian Pacific Railway lines 5,306,400 bushels and from the 2nd to the 30th of November there were (exclusive of flour) delivered at Fort William and Port Arthur 5,038,601 bushels or 267,799 bushels less than there were in store at Canadian Pacific Railway country points on the 2nd of November. This clearly proves the lack of proper means of transportation. The following illustrations will show the immense loss this entails Mr. DOUGLAS.

to producers. October purchases having been made on basis of lake and rail shipment, it naturally followed that dealers would during that month, place sufficient orders for cars to ship out grain bought by them during the month. However it became apparent on the first of November that it would be impossible to ship out all October purchases in time to reach Fort William before navigation closed (7th December). Therefore November purchases were made subject to 6 cents per bushel carrying charges, as evidently no grain purchased during that month could be shipped out until after the opening of navigation next spring. It costs per month as follows to carry 50 cent wheat :-

Storage i cent.

Insurance 1 cent.

Interest at 6 per cent equal i cent, in all 1 cent per bushel for one month, and 6 cent3 for six months. Under such circumstances, therefore, the producer selling grain during November would lose almost three times as much money as the government could secure or save for him were the 10 cent rate established.

With reference to the present terminal elevator facilities, I would consider them inadequate, and in my opinion, at least 2,500,000 bushels storage capacity should be added at Fort William at once. Grain traffic will almost be suspended in two or three weeks time, owing to lack of room in terminal elevators at Fort William, and all eastern elevators have been reported to me as filled. While the Canadian Pacific Railway has nominally 5,500,000 bushels storage capacity, their actual working capacity is about 5,000,000 bushels. I do not think that more than 300 cars per day can now be unloaded into elevators at Fort William, while, as I before stated, if on an average of two cars per point per day were delivered at terminals from the 187 grain points along the Canadian Pacific Railway Company's system, it would necessitate the unloading of 374 cars per day, which at 850 bushels per car, would amount to 1,901,400 bushels weekly. With the vast increase in acreage under wheat each year all over the North-west, and the large number of settlers now annually arriving, it is safe to say that from 50 to 70 million bushels of wheat will be exported annually in the immediate future.

My own observations lead me to the conclusion that a scarcity of engines, almost solely, and not box cars as is generally supposed, Is the key note to_the situation. In the year 1895 there was a large crop. The round trip per car was (I understand) then made in eight days, but the reason that was accomplished was that 15 per cent of cars from Fort William coming west were then returned loaded, while 75 per cent were returned loaded last fall, and that precluded the company providing an eight day service, as Mr. Leonard informed me last July, he expected to be in a position to give. In consequenoe of this, it took a much longer time to return cars to country points and it has been frequently reported to me that cars were held over for days at a time at sidings after they were loaded, before engines were obtainable to take them eastward.

(That the Canadian Pacific Railway had and have insufficient equipment to handle as much of the present crop as they should have done this fall and winter, cannot well be denied ; but on the other hand the immense volume of traffic carried by that company east and west this fall with the present equipment certainly re-

fleets the very greatest credit on all the officials of this road. Everything that it was possible to do in this regard, during that time was done.)

When the present terminal elevators were built some years ago, no one could dispute that they were erected ahead of the then requirements. Elevators ' A ' and ' B ' can each load out about 25,000 bushels per hour. Elevators ' C ' and ' D ' about 15,000 bushels per hour. The Duluth terminal elevators can today load out about 60,000 bushels per hour. In my opinion, all terminal elevators built at Port William should be equal to loading vessels at this rate. It is no uncommon occurrence for boats of 250,000 bushels capacity, to call at Port William for Manitoba grain, and if this port is to hold its own, it is evident as rapid handling of grain must be there provided as at Duluth.

There is another very important feature of the Manitoba grain traffic which it is well should not be lost sight of, viz., the grain carrying capacity of the lake marine, now available for transportation of western grain.

The port of Buffalo was congested early last fall owing (I am informed) to shortage of cars at that point ; therefore any surplus of Manitoba grain that should have been transported by rail to Fort William, above what was actually shipped, would have been required to have been taken out of Canadian vessels.

Query.-Were Canadian boats in a position to take care of this increased traffic if offered? If so, are the present facilities at foot of Lake Superior and Huron on Canadian side, now capable of handling such increased traffic. Further, were there cars available at these points to transport this extra grain to Montreal or seaboard terminals ?

It might be well for the government to inquire into the whole question of facilities now available for handling grain between Port William and the seaboard.

In this report I have not had occasion to refer to the Canadian Northern Railway, as shipments from points along that system have to elate gone out via Duluth, which port is out of my jurisdiction.

I have the honour to be, Sir,

Your obedient servant, (Sgd.) CHARLES C. CASTLE, Warehouse Commissioner.

Now, Sir, from this report of the warehouse commissioner it is perfectly evident that the rolling stock, and especially the motive power of the Canadian Pacific Railway is far short of what is required to-day to get the grain to the seaboard before navigation closes. In consequence of this defect the producers are reported to have been subject to serious loss. Considering that the Canadian Pacific Railway has taken out 40,000,000 bushels, say up to January, and that the producer has lost about ten cents per bushel, here is a loss equal to $4,000,000. Then again the Canadian Northern Railway is reported to have moved about 11,000,000 bushels and the loss sustained by the producers on this quantity is said to be $1,000,000, so that the producers have lost in all $5,000,000 by reason of imperfect transportation. Speaking of Assiniboia where the congestion really exists, there was no competition between the roads there, and naturally business men will try to protect their own business and their own pockets, with the result that cars were sent to those points in Manitoba where there was competition and the Manitoba producers have in this way not suffered to the same extent as the people in the territories. The loss in Assiniboia has been great. I could scarcely give you an idea of the congested state of things between Moosomin and Moosejaw. Any one who looked at the ' Globe ' of Saturday last may have noticed photographs showing how things were congested in the town of Wolseley, and the efforts made by the farmers to accommodate the grain they had still on hand. In Assiniboia the total production of grain last year was 15,468,345 bushels. This statement is based on the report of the government, which in turn is based upon reports received from men engaged in threshing the grain. This may be regarded as the quantity reported up to January. It certainly does not represent the total production ; but even on this amount there is a loss to the producer of $1,546,834.

The loss on grain still in hand to be shipped cannot be fully estimated. Those who are acquainted with the country know well that very few farmers have proper gran-eries, fitted to protect the grain against a shower of rain. Then, they are not in a position to keep the grain till the summer ; and, indeed, to haul it in the summer would cost so much, necessitating the taking of their horses and men off their farms when they ought to be occupied in the cultivation of the soil, that it would render the production of grain wholly unprofitable.

Then, there is a great loss to the producers who are off the main line of the Canadian Pacific Railway. Many of them cannot have marketed a dozen loads of grain this season. The result is that they have not been able to pay their liabilities in the town or village, and have been obliged to borrow money at 12 per cent interest to pay their hired labour.

There are heavy losses in all these directions-from imperfect storage, from the paying of heavy interest on loans to meet current expenses, and from the expense of temporary buildings. In every town and village you will find every vacant house or warehouse, every implement storehouse, every baker's shop, filled with wheat. You will find wheat piled up against the elevators, on the side-walks, in front of stores, and in every conceivable place, waiting for transportation.

Then, many, of whom lam one, have been forced to build temporary buildings in order to have the grain hauled during the winter and not to draw on the summer, which should be devoted to other work. This involves a great deal of expense.

I remember contending on the floor of this House during the past few years for the necessity of having flat warehouses. I was

informed time and again that it was a retrograde movement, that the fiat warehouse was antiquated, and that the Canadian Pacific Railway Company were exceedingly liberal when they granted us one flat warehouse at each shipping station. When I tell you that to-day in the town of Wolseley there are 46 flat warehouses, which have been built by private individuals, you will come to realize that there was some point to my argument. Then, at Indian Head, where this season 2,500,000 bushels of grain will be marketed, I personally counted 75 wagons standing waiting to be unloaded, most of them having two loads, while the farmer had been obliged to return to his home with his horses and leave the grain, for days, until it could be unloaded. At Indian Head the people have built 115 small warehouses for their own accommodation, and 35 more are in course of erection. I remember being told on the floor of this House that we would make each Canadian Pacific Railway yard a village of warehouses. Well, what are we doing ? For the very lack of these warehouses a veritable village of temporary graneries is being erected in the neighbourhood of every Canadian Pacific station. And all this indicates that we came far short of realizing that our western country would develop at such a rate as to make the present facilities altogether inadequate. The difference between winter and summer hauling, I do not wish to dwell upon ; but the loss to the country is very great, and will continue to be so.

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Subtopic:   WHEAT BLOCKADE IN MANITOBA.
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The MINISTER OF CUSTOMS.

Are these warehouses erected along the line of the railway ?

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LIB

James Moffat Douglas

Liberal

Mr. DOUGLAS.

As near the railway as they can get. So that you see the elevator system does not meet the needs of the case. 1 have never opposed the elevator system ; but I hold it to be unjust on the part of any government to force the people to deal through the elevator system exclusively. Let me tell you what took place this year all along the line. When a farmer went to the elevator with No. 1 Hard, he was told, 1 We are not buying No. 1 Hard at the elevator.' This was the case, not at one elevator only, but all along the line, as if there were some concocted plan to rob the public. They simply said, ' We are not purchasing No. 1 Hard, we have no means of storing it.' The result was that the producer had to sell his grain as No. 1 Northern, losing on it about 5 cents a bushel. It certainly looked to me like the method of the highwayman.

It is highway robbery. I am sorry indeed to have to make this statement, but the Bill of 1900 provides against such a state of things, and the warehouse commissioner has it in his power to withhold the license from these elevator companies unless they do business along the line of our legisla-

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Subtopic:   WHEAT BLOCKADE IN MANITOBA.
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LIB

James Moffat Douglas

Liberal

Mr. DOUGLAS.

tion. Such action as this by the commissioner would have put an end to the difficulty. But the objection I see is that we are putting upon the commissioner a responsibility that is more than any one individual ought to bear, and I would recommend to the House the appointment of a commission, composed of a representative of the farming community, a representative of the trade, a representative of the railway company, and a good solicitor, to sit during the grain season and adjust all irregularities in connection with the administration of the law. I believe it was within the commissioner's power to have notified these elevator people that unless they did business along the line of the legislation of 1900, they would not get a license- that they must either stop doing business or do it in accord with the Act. But such notice was not given, and consequently the farmers were obliged to accept a lower grade, which was a very serious loss, taking into account the large crop.

I wish, Mr. Speaker, to tax further the patience of the House by calling attention to certain resolutions adopted by what is now known as the Territorial Grain Growers Association. The congested state of affairs led our people to come together and discuss the situation. They formed an organization and drafted a constitution and held meetings at various points. I have on my desk resolutions from a number of associations, but I shall confine myself to the proceedings of the central association, which met at Indian Head and to which delegates were sent from all over the territory, especially from Moose Jaw down the boundary between Manitoba and the Northwest Territories. At this meeting, which was held on the 12th of February, the following resolutions were adopted, and they were forwarded to me by Mr. Miller, the secretary-treasurer, in order that I might bring them to the notice of this House.

Moved by R. J. Phin,-

Whereas the farmers of the North-west Territories have not been able to market thetr wheat owing to the Canadian Pacific Railway Company's refusal to furnish cars to move it.

And that there is still remaining in the farmer's hands one-half of the grain grown during the past year.

And that a large quantity of wheat has been sold to the elevator and milling companies at a less price and on a lower grade that its value, caused by the companies stating that they only have bins to receive wheat of the lower grade, and owing to this the farmers have been forced to take from 7 to 9 cents per bushel less than the value of their wheat at Fort William.

And that there is now an elevator at Port Arthur ready to receive wheat, and also plenty of elevator space at Duluth.

And that it is a well known fact that the Canadian Pacific Railway Company have not at present the motive power sufficient to handle the business of the country.

Therefore, be it resolved that the Canadian Pacific Railway Company be asked to furnish sufficient cars to forward the grain as it is offered, and the shipper be allowed to ship to Winnipeg, thence by Canada Northern to their elevator at Port Arthur, and also to ship to Duluth, both via Winnipeg and the Soo line at the rate of freight charged to Fort William ; and that a copy of this resolution be sent to Superintendent Leonard of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company, the Minister of Railways, the superintendent of the Canadian Northern and the Department of Inland Revenue.

I might say that 1 saw a telegram the other day stating that the Canadian Pacific Railway have undertaken to send grain over the ' Soo ' line to Duluth, and is| thus giving a measure of relief to that congested country.

Moved by W. R. Motherwell, seconded by J. Morrison,-

That the transportation facilities of the Territories has not kept pace with the settlement and productive capacity of the country, with the very natural result that at the present time a complete standstill has been reached in the marketing of our wheat, and with over the half of it yet in our granaries and likely to remain there during the greater part of the coming summer. A tremendous loss to the country even at this date has already been sustained. That never again in the history of our country should such a disastrous occurrence be permitted and that the granting of full provincial powers to the Territories and with it the power to build railways would without doubt be helpful in that direction.

Resolutions passed by the Balcarres and Ken-lis local Territorial Grain Growers' Association.

1. That section 43 of the Manitoba Grain Act be amended in such a manner as will empower

the warehouse commissioner to compel all railway companies to erect every loading platform, approved of by said commissioner, within thirty days after said approval is given, and in default, the said commissioner shall have the power to impose penalties on such defaulting railway companies and collect same through the courts. And further, that this amendment come into force not later than the first day of May, A.D. 1902, and that height of said platform be level with floor of car.

2. That railway companies be compelled to provide farmers with cars to be loaded direct from vehicles at all stations, irrespective of there being an elevator, warehouse, or loading platform at such station or not. And further, that this amendment come into force the first day of May, A.D. 1902.

I shall not weary the House by reading the further resolutions passed by the different associations at different points in the territories. They all point in the same direction, and deal with the same difficulty. While the Bill of 1900 provided for the loading of cars from the farmer's vehicles, and while a number of these platforms were constructed by the Canadian Pacific Railway; yet when the pressure came the Canadian Pacific Railway seemed unwilling to construct further loading platforms and 29

our farmers were denied the use of cars altogether and have been up to date.

It has produced a state of feeling which is not at all desirable or pleasant. Sometimes we men from the west are said to be breezy. I would not like to say anything very strong or injudicious, but were I to interpret the feeling which exists in the west to-day, I would certainly rend my garments and put ashes on my head. It would be much easier to-day to raise a rebellion than to raise the taxes. But the question is : What remedy do you propose? The Canadian Pacific Railway, we understand, are likely to seek an increase of their stock to the extent of $20,000,000, with the view to increasing their rolling stock, extending branches and 'doubling their track from Winnipeg to Fort William. That, certainly is all in the right direction. I am not in favour of doubling their main line through the territories, because it would not relieve the settlers who haul grain a great distance or the new settlements that are continually springing up. But if the track be doubled from Winnipeg to the lakes, it will certainly be an advantage. If the North-west Central had been built two or three years ago, as we North-west members struggled so hard to secure its building, but were defeated, the congestion along the main line in Assiniboia would not have occurred, because the new line would have relieved it. I am glad to state that now the company is prepared to build probably one hundred miles as a branch from the main line out to File Hills. This will largely meet the necessities of the case and will relieve the main line through the territory of East Assiniboia. But there must be a large increase in the storage capacity at the 187 points at which the Canadian Pacific Railway loads grain. The storage capacity at country points in Manitoba and the Territories amounts to something a little over 21,000,000 bushels. We are informed by Mr. Castle, the warehouse commissioner, that at least three million bushels capacity ought to be added to the Canadian Pacific Railway storage at the lakes. I am pleased to see by Saturday's paper, that the Canadian Pacific Railway are taking steps to increase their storage capacity from 5,500,000 bushels to 9,000,000 bushels, the cost of which to them will be about $1,000,000. This is in the direction of relief. But I do not know why this government might not consider the propriety of assisting in building storage capacity at the lakes. Certainly it would only be carrying out the same principle that they have adopted in assisting to build elevators at Montreal. Then we want a large increase in the transportation facilities. We want the government to take into consideration as soon as possible, the perfection of a water way to the sea. The sooner the grain can be got to market in the autumn, the greater the value to the country, the greater the price-and I am sure

the country is worthy the trouble and the expense. I am satisfied there is more gold in the soil of the prairies than in the rocks of the Yukon, and we ought to be willing to spend some money in providing such transportation facilities as the country demands. Wheat is a cash article ; it will pay its own way to the sea. The farmers are not asking for protection. I would like to say a word to our protectionists in the old provinces. The best protection any government can give to you is to attract a large population to the North-west to produce abundantly and make a market for your products. Moreover, you cannot protect the farmer of the North-west-no government, I do not care what its name may be, can protect the farmer of the North-west. Why ? Because he is out in the wide world of free trade with his products ; he must compete with all comers in a market where he has no artificial advantage. You may protect manufacturers, but there is no protection you can give them that will be better than to fill the North-west country with an industrious population of great producing power whose wants will give a home market for home products. I do not wish to take up longer time, but I thought it most important that the resolution I present, and this report and also the important facts I have given, should be placed on record.

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Subtopic:   WHEAT BLOCKADE IN MANITOBA.
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The MINISTER OF CUSTOMS (Hon. Wm. Paterson).

I would like to ask the hon. gentleman (Mr. Douglas) one question, for information. I understood him to say that the elevator people told the farmers that they had no bins for hard wheat. AVas that because they reserved no bins for No. 1 hard or was it that the bins, though reserved, were full ?

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LIB

James Moffat Douglas

Liberal

Mr. DOUGLAS.

No, the answer was : We are not purchasing No. 1 hard.

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The MINISTER OF CUSTOMS.

Did they allege as a reason that the bins reserved for No. 1 hard were already full ?

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LIB

James Moffat Douglas

Liberal

Mr. DOUGLAS.

They had no provision made for it. But you can easily understand why. If they can purchase No. 1 hard at the price of No. 1 northern, they can mix it with a lower grade of a less value and still have it grade No 1 northern. If this be done they make money. They have robbed the public, it is true, but they have made money. That is a line of business that is being practiced very largely. A remedy is provided, however, in the legislation of 1900. But if the law had been strictly carried out. this practice might have been stopped and that suddenly. I am glad to say, so far as I know, our legislation of 1900 has been most effective. It needs some additions. I believe some additional power should be given to the warehouse commissioner, for example. This subject will be brought up in due time, before this session closes. What we want is perfect freedom-access to the market in-

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Subtopic:   WHEAT BLOCKADE IN MANITOBA.
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LIB

James Moffat Douglas

Liberal

Mr. DOUGLAS.

dependently of the elevators. We want neither legislation nor anything else to say to our people : You must go along this line and not along that line. They have a right to perfect freedom in the presentation of their stuff at the railway station, and they ought to have the facilities which the Dominion Railway Act has ensured to all Canadian citizens. This has become very apparent in the trade of this year. The people have been denied cars. I had a telegram no longer ago than Friday from a man who had bought in considerable quantity in Grenfel. He applied for cars to ship the wheat to Brandon. But he was informed by the Canadian Pacific Railway officials that they could not grant him cars-that the Dealers' Association objected. What does that mean ? I sent the telegram with a note to Montreal asking what it meant, but I have not yet heard the explanation. I know there are gentlemen from Manitoba who know, perhaps, as much about the grain trade as I do, and there are other members also, no doubt, who have given this matter attention and who will address the House. In bringing my remarks to a close, I desire to express the sincere hope that before this session closes the government will take this whole situation into its serious consideration and will manifest such an interest in it as will show the people that it is the country's welfare we seek and its prosperity we desire.

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LIB

Thomas Osborne Davis

Liberal

Mr. T. O. DAVIS (Saskatchewan).

I would like to say a few words on this question that has been brought before the House by the hon. member for East Assiniboia (Mr. Douglas) with reference to the grain blockade. There is no doubt at all that we have been seriously troubled in that way in the Northwest Territories and in Manitoba during the last season. But we must take into consideration that we have during the season that has just passed, raised not only one crop in the North-west Territories, but we have raised something like two crops; and the shortage of cars, I fancy, is not so much due to the neglect of the railway companies as it is to their not being prepared to move two crops in one season. However, I think any person who has listened to the speech of the hon. member for Assiniboia must come to the conclusion that it is high time the government of this country did something towards the appointment of a railway commission to settle all these disputes.

Now, my hon. friend has told us this afternoon that the grain Act is very good in itself, but he mentioned some defects in it, and some respects in which he thought it did not meet the wishes of the people of that country* However, so far as I could gather from his speech, he thinks that while the Act itself provided for all the different things he complained of, the commissioner had not enforced the Act. Now, I noticed that in one part of his speech he alluded to thp fact that the commissioner might, if

he so wished, refuse a license to any person that was desirous of providing a flat warehouse or an elevator. I think if the hon. gentlemen will look over the Act, the Grain Act of 1900, he will find that the commissioner has no power to refuse a license to any one. That Act provides that a license should be granted to any person operating a flat warehouse or an elevator, on the payment of a certain fee, and when the party operating an elevator or a flat warehouse has conformed to all the regulations laid down in this Act. That being the case, if the conditions of the Act have not been fulfilled, we must take it, either that the commissioner has neglected or refused to do his duty as provided in this Act, or that the parties who have a grievance have failed to apply to the commissioner for relief, or to make official complaint to him. It is either the one thing or the other. If the parties had officially complained to him that they were not receiving proper treatment with regard to grades, it would be the duty of the commissioner under this Act to take the matter up and to see that the parties were properly dealt with, because the machinery is here for that purpose.

Now, to my mind this whole matter is closely related to a question that has been discussed in this House for many years, and that is the transportation problem. That is the greatest problem to-day that the people of this country have to deal with. There lies the secret of the whole thing. We have not sufficient railway accommodation in the North-west at the present time. We have this year raised something like a hundred million bushels of grains, and when we take into consideration that about 400,000 people all told have produced 100,000,000 bushels of grain, not to speak of the quantity of other grains they have produced, I think the House will agree with me that it is about time something was done to provide better facilities for carrying our grain to market. W'e have had this year only one road from the city of Winnipeg, only one railway for taking away that grain, the railway running from Winnipeg to Port Arthur. Of course, the Canadian Northern line was opened up towards the latter end of November, but on account of not having elevators prepared at Port Arthur the people could not take advantage of it, and it was of very little use to the people of the North-west this year. So we had to depend on the one track, and I am not prepared to say that in every case the railroad company have acted in a right spirit with the people, but they have done well in the whole.

Now, with reference to the flat warehouses and the loading platforms my hon. friend speaks of, there is a provision in this Act. which I have under my hand, that if a pertain number of farmers wish to have a flat warehouse at any point they may send a petition to the commissioner and the 29i

commissioner shall give them permission to build the warehouse, and shall see that the railroad corporation furnishes the necessary facilities in the way of side tracks, &c. If they are not satisfied with one flat warehouse, they can apply again to the commissioner and can get others built, providing they pay 6 per cent on the cost of putting in tli* sidings and pay for the land on which the warehouse stands. If they had made application to the commissioner, I have no doubt he would have seen that they had the privilege granted them of building these warehouses. However, taking the Act as a whole, while I think there are some things in it that could be amended, it has worked out pretty well indeed. But the fact of the matter is we want more railroad facilities ; we must have more railroads to' the lakes. .

The hon. gentleman spoke about canals. To my mind this country has been spending enough money on canals. Of course, I am only expressing my own opinion when I say that I think the time has come that we will have to have a quicker mode of transporting our produce to market than by taking it down through the canals. Under present conditions very little of the wheat crop of Manitoba is taken out in the summer months. It has to cross through the lakes to the canals, and as soon as navigation closes we have to depend on storing it at Fort William or some other place. Now we find that grain that is stored at Fort William over winter depreciates in value something like six cents per bushel; in other words, the farmer loses six cents a bushel on account of having to store his grain over winter, including storage charges, insurance, &c. So if we had some means of sending the grain direct to market, direct to an ocean port, we could take advantage of a rise in wheat when such takes place. But we are not able to do that now because it is stored at Fort William or some other place and has to lie there over winter. However, that is a matter that belongs to the discussion of the transportation problem, and that may come up in the House shortly.

I wish to say again that the remarks of the hon. member for East Assiniboia have demonstrated to this House the necessity that exists for the appointment of a railway commission. No matter how good a man you may appoint as grain commissioner in Winnipeg, when the rush is on in the fall it is impossible for him to deal with everything that comes up, like a shortage of cars. That is not his business. His business is to deal between the farmer and the elevator man about grades, &c. With reference to a shortage of cars, the only way you can deal with that is by a railway commission. Over in the United States, I think, in every state in the union, they have at the present time a railway commission, whose duty it is0to deal with this matter. Other matters that come up such as cattle

guards, would all be dealt with by a railway commission. I hope that the government will take that into consideration, and the sooner they appoint a railway commission to see that all these things are looked after, such as a shortage of cars and everything else, the better it will be for every person interested.

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Subtopic:   WHEAT BLOCKADE IN MANITOBA.
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LIB

William Forsythe McCreary

Liberal

Mr. W. F. McCREARY (Selkirk).

Before this discussion closes, as the two hon. gentlemen who have just spoken have not referred to the province of Manitoba, X desire to say a few words. In the first place, an impression would be conveyed from the statement of the hon. member for East Assiniboia (Mr. Douglas) that the car shortage did not affect the province of Manitoba. As a matter of fact, there are now lying in bins in that province 20,000,000 or 25,000,000 bushels of wheat that could not be moved out to the lake ports this fall. I have an important resolution passed by the Winnipeg Board of Trade at a meeting held in January last. It is quite lengthy, and if the House will permit me, I will hand it to the ' Hansard ' instead of reading it.

Topic:   ST. CATHARINE'S WATER SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   WHEAT BLOCKADE IN MANITOBA.
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS

Read it.

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LIB

William Forsythe McCreary

Liberal

Mr. McCREARY.

Then X will read a portion of it. It sets out the matter so fully that I think it ought to be brought before this House. Mr. Speaker, in my opinion the car shortage and loss that has been occasioned in consequence is one of the most important matters that can be brought up in this House.

The loss in Manitoba alone has been estimated on the car shortage at $7,000,000, sustained by the 250,000 people in that province. If the farmers in the province of Ontario who number ten times those in Manitoba were to make in one year a loss of $7,000,000, we would hear from some hon. members on the other side of the House representing the province of Ontario. I attended a board of trade meeting that was called to deal with this question. On the first day of the meeting a resolution was brought up by three or four gentlemen, one of whom at a former time was a member of this House. It was thought that the resolution had been a little too strongly worded and it was a debatable question. That resolution was subsequently amended by a committee composed of men who are probably among the best citizens of Winnipeg and who are largely interested in the city of Winnipeg and in the province of Manitoba. The resolution reads as follows :

Whereas the Canadian Pacific Railway Company was chartered by the Canadian parliament and large grants of money and land were made to that company as an inducement to their undertaking the construction and operation of a line of railroad through Manitoba and the North-west, with'A view of the development of the country ;%nd,

Whereas, further large ' grants either in money and in lands, or both, have been made

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Subtopic:   WHEAT BLOCKADE IN MANITOBA.
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LIB

Thomas Osborne Davis

Liberal

Mr. DAVIS.

from time to time for the purpose of securing the construction of branch lines and extensions thereof to the same road ; and,

Whereas, a strict monopoly of the carrying trade of this country was for long years secured and has been attempted to be maintained up to the present time ; and.

Whereas, under these circumstances the people of Manitoba and the North-west Territories and the Dominion have a right to expect that the road will provide and maintain adequate facilities for handling the traffic of this country, and especially of the outgoing produce thereof ; and,

Whereas, the said company has failed in the carrying out of the crop of the year 1901 to such an extent that with the elevators at Fort William, as also along the linc-s of the said road in Manitoba and the North-west full of wheat alone, there yet remains in the farmers' hands over and above the quantity required for consumption and for seed an amount which may be reasonably estimated at the present time at twenty million bushels of wheat.

That is in the province of Manitoba alone. -which surplus they are unable to market ; and.

Whereas, a very large acreage was prepared for cultivation during the year 1901 by new settlers, and the prospect for immigration to Manitoba and the North-west during the year 1902 is extremely good, consequently the area of land broken up and to be broken up and brought under cultivation the coming year will materially add to the grain producing area ; and,

Whereas, the Canadian Pacific Railway Company still exclusively possess the carrying trade of a very large proportion of the grain area in Manitoba and the North-west Territories, and with a full knowledge of the increase of acreage under crop, did not provide what was reasonably necessary for the crop of the past year ;

Therefore, be it resolved

And here is what I wish the members of the government to observe that is the remedy, proposed at this large meeting :

-that this board in view of the facts call on the Canadian Pacific Railway Company to relieve the present situation, so far as is within their power, between this time and the opening of navigation, by carrying grain forward, all rail, from Manitoba and the North-west to eastern points, to the greatest extent possible, and at a rate of freight which shall not exceed the rate charged by lake and rail between the same points ;

That with the view of providing against similar difficulties in the future, they should, during the current year, double track their line from the Red river to Fort William ;

That they should materially increase their elevator capacity at Fort William and also afford every facility for the building and operation of elevators at Fort William by private

enterprise ;

That they should provide ample motive power and cars for use on the western division so as to be in a position to handle the traffic of the country during the period of greatest necessity with sufficient expenditure and to get the bulk of the crop out before the close of navigation. As I said, at this meeting of the Board of 1 Trade of the city of Winnipeg, composed

of 200 or 300 of tlie most prominent commercial men of the west, this question was discussed at great length, in fact, for two entire afternoons. Mr. William Whyte, superintendent of the Canadian Pacific [DOT] Railway was present and made out a very able case for the Canadian Pacific Railway. He took credit to the Canadian Pacific Railway for having purchased during the previous year 62 new engines and 1,200 new box cars, and for having hauled out 32 per cent more wheat and 125 per cent more oats than in the previous year, and he pointed out that in fact they had taken every possible precaution to meet the new situation and were doing everything possible to provide new rolling stock to take out the crop in the comparatively short time which was given them to move it. It may surprise some hon. gentlemen to know that the wheat crop begins to move about the first of September and keeps on usually until the first of December. But this year on account of having a considerable rain fall the farmers were not able to thresh their grain, and consequently the total number of days that was given to the Canadian Pacific Railway to move the crop out before navigation closed was forty-three days. As a fair minded man I do not know that the Canadian Pacific Railway could be asked to provide rolling stock, engines and box cars, necessary to move that immense quantity of grain in so short a time. I do not know whether, if it had been moved as rapidly as required, there would not have been just as bad a blockade at Fort William and at Buffalo. Touching upon that question, I may say that the Board of Trade of Winnipeg, in their annual report took up that same question, and, Mr. Speaker, if you will permit me, I will read a clause of the report dealing with that phase of the question :

The tonnage of the Canadian lake vessels is

not keeping pace with the annually increasing tonnage handled at Fort William, and It behooves Canadians to move in this matter with despatch, or an unduly increased percentage of Manitoba grain will seek the Atlantic seaboard via Buffalo and American lines. It is doubtful whether, if all the grain offered to the Canadian Pacific Railway last fall had been taken to Fort William, there would have been Canadian vessels to have taken it across the lakes, even when excluding the quantity actually taken to Buffalo in American bottoms. Late in the fall Buffalo was blocked, and owing to the coatsing laws American vessels were not allowed to carry grain from Fort William to another Canadian port. Either the Canadian fleet will have to be largely augmented or the coasting regulations suspended, for Manitoba grain cannot be held back at Fort William or Port Arthur, because Canadian vessel tonnage is inadequate to handle it.

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Subtopic:   WHEAT BLOCKADE IN MANITOBA.
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CON

Edward Frederick Clarke

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLARKE.

I do not wish to interrupt the hon. gentleman (Mr. McCreary), but may I ask him a question ? I have heard the statement made that when navigation closed there was not a bushel of wheat in

the elevators at Fort William to be taken out. I would like to know if that is a fact.

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LIB

William Forsythe McCreary

Liberal

Mr. McCREARY.

I dare say that may have been the case.

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Subtopic:   WHEAT BLOCKADE IN MANITOBA.
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March 10, 1902