March 10, 1902

CON

William James Roche

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ROCHE (Marquette).

Not to the same extent, possibly.

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Subtopic:   WHEAT BLOCKADE IN MANITOBA.
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Mr. C. B. HE YD@South Brant

Well, to the same extent.

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CON

William James Roche

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ROCHE (Marquette).

The hon. gentleman (Mr. Heyd) speaks as he does because we are in the habit of buying a portion of

our agricultural Implements from the Americans. The hon. gentleman must remember that the hon. member for West Assiniboia (Mr. Scott) has given a very good reason, and that is that, to-day, the agricultural implement makers of Canada are exporting implements and selling them cheaper in the commonwealth of Australia, than they sell them in the Dominion of Canada. That is a fact that has been stated by the Minister of the Interior (Hon. Mr. Sifton), whom the hon. gentleman (Mr. Heyd) is fond of calling one of his leaders. I do not desire to make any unreasonable charges against the Canadian Pacific Railway for their inability to move the crop in the short space of time between harvest and the close of navigation. We know that, with their present facilities, it would be impossible for three Canadian Pacific Railways to move the crop we have there in that length of time. But we say that they could have anticipated the great crop which was gathered as early as the month of July. Our provincial government issues a crop bulletin every month. I have here a copy of the bulletin for July, and in that bulletin it is stated that there was a prospect of fifty or sixty millions bushels of wheat alone being raised in that country. We ask why it was that the Canadian Pacific Railway did not take care, in anticipation of that crop, to prepare the facilities to move the grain and so give the farmers relief ? Now, of course, in one way that is not an unmixed evil. In fact, it is a splendid advertisement for us that we in the province of Manitoba alone have been able to raise 65,000,000 bushels of grain and have harvested far more than the railway can carry away. But, as we look to the future we see the prospect of a rapidly-increasing crop year by year. The hon. gentleman from South Brant (Mr. Heyd) stated that it was unreasonable to expect the Canadian Pacific Railway to load themselves up with rolling stock to move our extra big crop, because in other years, we might not have any grain to move. That condition, I believe, has not arisen in the past, and assuredly it will not arise in the future. Population is flowing into that country, and every year we are bound to require additional facilities, because our crop will be increased each year. To-day we find this condition of affairs-not only are the terminal elevators at the head of navigation full, but so is every elevator in Manitoba and the North-west. Every elevator and flat warehouse, every place where grain can be stored is full to overflowing. And not only that, but we find that at each little station, not only along the main line, but on the branch railways, are piles of grain in bags standing out exposed to the weather for two months past. Had the Canadian Pacific Railway taken precautions, they might have had sufficient rolling stock to relieve this congestion. One portion of our population is dependent on the other, and when the hon. member states that the

farmers of the east are not particularly interested in the moving of the wheat from the west, he must remember how far this chain of interdependence runs. If a farmer of the North-west cannot sell his grain, he cannot pay his debts. Then the merchants and other trades people who are doing business with him cannot make their collections and cannot pay the wholesale men. It is largely to the wholesale men of the east that we have to look for our supplies, as the west is not a manufacturing country, and we have to import largely from the manufacturers of eastern. Canada. So it is absurd to say that the people of the east are not interested in seeing that the western farmers have facilities for moving their crops, for we are all one people dependent on each other in that respect. Times are not so good in that country this winter as they should be, as they would have been had the farmers been able to dispose of their immense crop. We have found great stringency in the money market, comparatively speaking, in consequence of the farmers having had their grain tied up; indeed much of it is in their hands even at the present time. So that everything that can be dSne by this government to bring pressure to bear upon the transportation companies to increase their facilities, will be welcomed by the people of the west. At this time especially when the Canadian Pacific Railway is making an application to pariament for a loan, I believe, to assist them in the construction of their lines-

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The MINISTER OF TRADE AND COMMERCE.

The hon. gentleman is mistaken.

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CON

William James Roche

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ROCHE (Marquette).

To increase their stock, the government should take advantage of the opportunity to bring pressure to bear upon that line before these favours are granted, and they should insist that something more shall be done in the future than has been done in the past to assist the farmer in moving his grain from year to year. So far as the province of Manitoba is concerned, owing to the agreement that was made between the Manitoba government and the Canadian Northern Railway during the past year, we do not expect that in the future we will be tied up to the same extent as we have been during the past year. Notwithstanding the wail and the lament that was made by many who opposed that bargain last year, it has turned out to be one of the most popular measures the Manitoba government has ever undertaken. As a result of that agreement additional facilities have been afforded during the last few weeks by the Canadian Northern elevator at Fort William to an extent of 1,000,000 or 1,500,000 bushels. But the Canadian Pacific Railway and the Canadian Northern will have to quadruple or at any rate treble their rolling stock in order to move the succeeding crops of that country. The Winnipeg Board of Trade, I believe, have

recently waited upon the Canadian Pacific Railway authorities and asked them if they would divert some of their grain to the line of the Canadian Northern until this elevator at Fort William was filled up, but the Canadian Pacific Railway have absolutely refused to do so, they have absolutely refused to have any interchange of traffic; but they have declared, I suppose merely for the purpose of putting the people off, that it was their intention to enter into negotiations, and I think they say they have completed negotiations, by which they will divert some of their grain via the Great Northern to Duluth and other American ports. However, we are not very particular at the present time to what port the grain goes so long as we can get it to market in proper time, and the farmer gets bis money for it.

I was pleased to hear from the hon. member for Selkirk (Mr. McCreary) that it is the intention of the hon. Minister of the Interior, upon his return to the House, to introduce some amendments to the Grain Act. There is no doubt that our farmers have been compelled, because of lack of facilities during the past year, to take very much less for their grain than tfley would have otherwise received. It has been proved by investigations made by the local legislature of Manitoba during the past few weeks that a combine has existed in the grain trade in that country, and this Grain Act has largely assisted in rendering that combine possible, and as a result the farmers have had to take much less for their grain. I have no doubt that the Minister of the Interior, during his campaign in the constituency of Lisgar, brushed up against many farmers who pointed out to him the great opportunities afforded in the present Grain Act for fraud, and I am pleased to hear that it is his intention to bring in amendments to make this Act more perfect.

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LIB

Thomas Walter Scott

Liberal

Mr. WALTER SCOTT (West Assiniboia).

I agree with most of the remarks made by the hon. member (Mr. Roche, Marquette) who has taken his seat, and with the larger portion of the remarks made by other hon. gentlemen this afternoon. But the hon. member for Brant (Mr. Heyd) and the hon. member for Russell (Mr. Edwards) gave some advice to the people of the North-west, based possibly upon imperfect information. My hon. friend from Russell contended that the farmers of the Northwest themselves should provide sufficient warehouses to safeguard their wheat crop.

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LIB
LIB

Thomas Walter Scott

Liberal

Mr. SCOTT.

I am referring now to some advice which was given by the hon. member for Russell, if I recollect his remarks aright.

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LIB

William Cameron Edwards

Liberal

Mr. EDWARDS.

Entirely wrong.

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LIB

Thomas Walter Scott

Liberal

Mr. SCOTT.

At all events, who ever made the remark, I think it will have to Mr. ROCHE (Marquette).

be admitted by hon. gentlemen who were in the House two or three sessions ago, that the contention the member for East Assiniboia made was that liberty should be given to the farmers of the North-west Territories to build warehouses along the line of railway where they are demanded-

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LIB

William Cameron Edwards

Liberal

Mr. EDWARDS.

May I be allowed to correct the hon. gentleman ? I made no suggestion at all about building warehouses. I merely suggested that in view of the short time available for moving the crop in the autumn, it was in my opinion detrimental to the farmers themselves to force their crop upon the market. I said nothing at all about building warehouses. I said I considered it advisable, in the interests of the farmers themselves, to make some provision whereby they could hold at least a portion of their crop for a time, and not force it so rapidly upon the market.

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LIB
CON

Nathaniel Boyd

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BOYD.

May I ask the hon. gentleman (Mr. Scott) if he is not aware, and if the country is not aware that a month before the date he mentioned, the Manitoba government had advertised for 20,000 men to take that crop out ?

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LIB

Thomas Walter Scott

Liberal

Mr. SCOTT.

I believe that is a fact and that of the 20,000 men, or whatever number of men came up, all were required and that more would have got work had they come. Even had everybody known that we would have had that amount of grain, I think it is quite likely that the Canadian Pacific Railway would have found it impossible to provide more facilities than they did when they came to handle the crop. But, this is the complaint we have against the Canadian Pacific Railway ; up to the close of navigation they did the best they could with their facilities. Navigation closed some time

about the end of November, or early in December, and before the first of January every terminal elevator and every elevator in the country was full to the brim of wheat and since the first of January the blockade has been complete. Practically everybody in the wheat section, boards of trade, town councils and governments, have been exercised over that question and have been passing resolutions. I have here a large number of these resolutions but I will not detain the House by reading them. In these resolutions it is urged that pressure should be brought upon the Canadian Pacific Railway to do whatever is possible to relieve the situation. One suggestion made by the Minister of Agriculture in the Territorial government was that grain might be taken over the Soo line via Minneapolis and Duluth. At Duluth they had storage capacity open for 10,000,000 bushels during January and February, but the Canadian Pacific Railway refused to take any grain over the Soo line and refused also to hand grain over to the Canada Northern Railway Company, which had space for 1,500,000 bushels at Port Arthur. It might be said that it was open for the farmers to ship over the Soo if they desired to do so, but the grain rate from Moosejaw to Fort William is twenty cents a bushel and to Duluth thirty cents, so that it would be unreasonable to expect farmers on their own account to endeavour to ship their grain over the Soo line. The fact that this suggestion was a feasible one is proved by a telegram which was published in the Toronto Globe ' on Saturday last, and which is as follows :

Wheat, shipments in the west are again lively. Along the C.P.R. points yesterday there were 110,000 bushels of wheat marketed and the company claim that they will ship from now on, so that wheat can be stored at country points at the rate of over 100,000 bushels a day, or 1,000,000 bushels a week. Shipments are now nearly all being made over the 'Soo' line. The freight department have discovered that it is good policy to allow shipments to go over this route to Duluth. There is an enormous amount of wheat still in western farmers' hands, which will have to be delivered at elevators at stations along the C.P.R.

Had tbe Canadian Pacific Railway been ready to make shipments to Duluth, during January and February, if this statement Is true that from now on they can remove

1,000,000 bushels a week by that route, they might have taken 8,000,000 bushels more wheat out of the country and the congestion would have been relieved to that extent. It is not alone because of the liability of their grain to destruction that the farmers have been losing. They have not of course lost in that way yet, but there is a great likelihood that the farmers will lose very largely by the spoiling of their grain in the spring when wet weather comes, because very much of it is stored in places not weather proof. In several ways there have been serious losses. One of the Mr. SCOTT.

most serious has been the depression of the price, about which there has been so much discussion this afternoon. There cannot be any doubt at all about this depreciation in price. The existing conditions have enabled a grain combine to be formed there. I quite agree with remarks made by the hon. gentlemen opposite to the effect, that there was this year a hard and fast grain buyers combine in Manitoba and the North-west Territories. I agree in that opinion entirely. There is no question but that this is a fact. The possibilities of a grain combine have been brought about by the congestion, and that of course was because the railway company was unable to take out the grain in proper time. In my own town of Regina, at present, I believe that the conditions are depressing the price to the extent of eight or nine cents a bushel, and that means a tremendous loss indeed. The day before I left Regina, last week, a farmer who lives about four miles from the town and who is one of our largest farmers, growing a considerable amount of Wheat, showed me a letter which he had received from a commission dealer in an eastern city, offering him in Regina 58 cents for No. 1 Northern, while the street price in Regina at that time was only 49 cents. There is no question at all but that the difference of nine cents a bushel was brought about directly by a combine among the dealers, and indirectly by the congestion.

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

What is the aggregate capacity of the elevators in Manitoba and the North-west Territories.

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LIB

Thomas Walter Scott

Liberal

Mr. SCOTT.

It was stated by my hon. friend (Mr. Douglas) that it is between

21,000,000 and 22,000,000 bushels. That is in addition to the space in the terminal elevators.

At six o'clock the House took recess.

After Recess.

House resumed at eight o'clock.

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LIB

Thomas Walter Scott

Liberal

Mr. SCOTT.

Mr. Speaker, when you left the Chair at six o'clock, I was pointing out the serious losses entailed on farmers of Manitoba and the Territories during the past season by the want of transportation facilities-the loss through the depreciation in price and through the degradation of the grade. This was alluded to by my hon. friend from East Assiniboia (Mr. Douglas), who stated that the elevator men refused to buy No. 1 hard wheat. At Regina and other points with which I am familiar, I am not aware that the elevator men stated that they were not buying No. 1 hard wheat: but what did occur was this : When a farmer arrived at the elevator with a load of wheat, which would grade No. 1 hard, or possibly No. 1 northern, he was told by the elevator manager that the bin for that grade was filled, but that if he was willing to sell it as a lower grade, it could be taken. For weeks

farmers at Regina were obliged to sell No. 1 northern as No. 2 northern, at a loss of three or four cents a bushel. Then, there was serious loss occasioned to the farmers after the middle of December and during the months of January and February by their total inability to sell their grain. A farmer might have 3,000 or 4,000 bushels, and he might be obliged to purchase some articles in town. If he was unable to dispose of his grain, he had to borrow money at a high rate of interest to procure his necessary supplies, or else go into debt to the merchant, in which case he was obliged to pay interest on his debt, and the merchant in turn was obliged to pay interest to the wholesaler. In this way serious loss was occasioned to the whole country; and this condition of things made money tight and business not as good as it would otherwise be.

Whatever the farmers ought to have done, there is no question that up to the present time they have not made provision for storing grain on their farms, and it is my opinion, from what I know of the conditions in our North-west, and from what I have found the conditions to be in the western states, that this will never be feasible in the west, as it is in Ontario. Imagine such an instance as I mentioned this afternoon- that of one family that raised 70,000 bushels of grain. Imagine their making provision for the storing of the grain in the straw, or even the threshed grain, on their farm, some miles from the railway. The conditions of farming in the west are such that to carry on the business the farmers are obliged to get their grain to the nearest railway point as speedily as possible. The usual plan is to draw it from the thresher to the warehouse on the line of railway. Then, there is the liability of loss by destruction of unprotected grain by spring rains, due entirely to the inability of the railway company to carry the grain out. The loss through depreciation in price and the degradation of the grade was due to the operation of the grain-dealers' combine. Some of our hon. friends opposite declared there was a combine, and in my remarks before six o'clock I agreed with that statement. There has been a grain-dealers' combine in operation during the last season, notwithstanding the existence of the Manitoba Grain Act. That combine was made possible through the congestion of the traffic. The Manitoba Grain Act has not yet had a fair trial. In the year 1900 we had a light crop, and the Act worked very well; but in that year it had not a fair test. In 1901 conditions were at the opposite extreme; compared with other years we had two crops in the one season. I believe-and the farmers of my acquaintance with whom I have talked and who are willing to be fair about the matter, believe-that the Manitoba Grain Act in principle is a fair Act, and will under ordinary conditions remove to a large extent the grievances that

existed before 1900. Last year there was an absolute congestion of traffic, and the railway company was unable to furnish cars to be loaded by the farmers at their pleasure; so that the farmers had not that freedom which the Manitoba Grain Act contemplated they should have in the disposal of their wheat. I quite agree that some changes in the Grain Act are required to make it more perfect in its operation. While I am quite willing to admit that it would have been totally impossible for the Canadian Pacific Railway Company last season to furnish cars to every farmer who wished to load on the cars, still it is a bad commentary on this government and this parliament that they should pass an express provision declaring that the railway company should furnish cars to certain people on request, and the company should disregard that provision and state openly that they would not obey it. The Canadian Pacific Railway Company last season more than once issued instructions to their agents not to furnish cars to farmers; and these were cases in which they could have done so. For instance, a farmer would go to an agent at a station where cars were standing idle, and the agent would tell him that he had instructions not to allow farmers to load their grain on to the cars. The railway company denied that they had issued such instructions; but I have good reason for stating that at the present time there exists an order issued from the headquarters of the company at Winnipeg to their agents throughout the North-west Territories, not to give a car to a farmer to be loaded with wheat. That being the case, it behooves the government and parliament to take some notice of the matter. Is this railway company strong enough to flaunt its refusal to obey an Act of parliament in the face of the government and parliament ?

Contrary to what an hon. gentleman opposite said this afternoon, I have been pleased to see the interest taken by the House in this question. While the views of some gentlemen from Ontario do not coincide with mine or with those of other gentlemen from the North-west, still we are glad to see our friends from the other provinces taking an interest in this very important matter. I was glad to notice this afternoon the interest which the members of the government were evincing in the question. I do not remember that last session on any subject more members of the government occupied their seats for a greater length of time than was the case this afternoon; and I thought it was a little unfair for the hon. member for Macdonald (Mr. Boyd) to choose a moment when the Prime Minister was called out of the Chamber for a few minutes, to call attention to the fact that his seat was vacant. This afternoon nearly every one of the government seats was filled during the discussion of this question. Now the points on which I wish to lay emphasis are these ;

First, tlie grain warehouses for the accommodation of the prairie settlers must necessarily be on the line of railway. This is one respect in which I think it is possible to improve the Manitoba Grain Act. At the present time there is some restriction placed on the farmers in regard to the building of grain warehouses. To be most convenient they should be on the line of railway. My hon. friend from Bast Assiniboia spoke of the number of warehouses built by farmers in the attempt to relieve the congestion-in Wolseley, 64, and at Indian Head 115. 1 came through there a little later than my hon. friend, and I was told that at that time there were 127 erected and a number of others in course of construction. These small warehouses or granaries are all off the line of railway, not being permitted by the Grain Act to be built on the line of railway. The result is that the farmers will have to load the wheat on wagons and drive it to the railway and load it on to the cars. I think the Grain Act should be amended so as to remove that restriction, and to permit all needed warehouses to be built on the line of railway, so that farmers will be enabled to load their wheat direct from these granaries to the cars.

Some hon. members say that it is unreasonable to expect the railway companies to have facilities to move the tremendous crop in the short time at their disposal. Now no one expects them to move the entire crop. That tremendous crop will never be all offered for shipment during the season. This year, not more than one-third-certainly not more than one-half-was offered before the close of navigation, and after the close of navigation people do not expect to have their wheat carried away. They do not wish to pay the extra freight necessary to have it carried all rail. This year, however, when a great deal of their wheat is lying unprotected, ready to be spoiled by the first rain, they are willing to pay any price in order to escape from that unfortunate position. They do not expect to have all their wheat moved before the close of navigation, but they expect to have facilities provided so as to enable them to sell sufficient during the season of navigation to give them the money they require to carry on their operations during the winter. That is all they ask, and they can wait until the spring to ship the balance. In the United States the railways have facilities to accept and satisfactorily handle all the wheat offered, and no other condition will be satisfactory to our people or conduce to the progress and prosperity of the country. What is absolutely required is the necessary facilities to handle all the wheat offered and thus avoid the congestion of traffic which has existed during the past season and still exists.

I do not wish my remarks to be misunderstood. I do not wish to be understood as making a complaint-very much of a com-Mr. SCOTT.

plaint at least-against the railway companies. I am not complaining of the railway companies for not having had the necessary facilities. I do not think it is reasonable to say that they should have had them. No one of us could have foreseen or did foresee the crop we have had, and even had we foreseen that crop, the conditions were such that no railway company could have procured the equipment required. The unprecedented yield made a car shortage inevitable. I may say the term ' car shortage ' is a misnomer. What was lacking was not railway track or cars, but locomotives, motive power. But what I do complain of is the refusal of the Canadian Pacific Railway to send out wheat by the Soo route. According to the despatch I have read, it might have taken out seven million or eight million bushels by that route during January and February.

Nor do I wish to be understood as making any serious complaint against the government. The government were powerless to order the Canadian Pacific Railway to purchase so many cars and locomotives. But when I refer to what a government can do, let me say that a poor weak government did succeed in doing something for the people by exercising what persuasive influence it had and prevailing on the Canadian Pacific Railway, as the Commissioner of Agriculture of the North-west Territories did, to send out wheat by the Soo route. Well, if the Commissioner of Agriculture of the Northwest Territories could bring that amount of persuasive influence to bear on the Canadian Pacific Railway, it is just possible that had the powerful influence of this government been exercised, the decision of the Canadian Pacific Railway to carry grain by that route and thus relieve the congestion, might have been reached sooner than it was.

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. T. S. SPROULE (East Grey).

The hon. gentleman who has just spoken has referred to the condition of things which, I was going to say unhappily-but I will not say unhappily because the reverse is the case-the condition of things which happily existed in Manitoba and the Northwest during the past year. It was fortunate for the people of that country that they had such a very large crop, and that the difficulties of which they complain were due to their good fortune. The crop in that country was much larger than expected, and proper provision had not been made for the handling of it as rapidly as the necessities of the country required in order to obtain the best results. There was consequently a congestion in the elevators and a shortage of cars which prevented the railway companies from handling the traffic as effectively and rapidly as the necessities of the case demanded. There was a shortage of elevators, not only in that country but outside as well-in Port Arthur and the various ports on Georgian Bay. At

present, liowever, a vigorous effort is being made to remedy that shortage. We see by the reports in the press, a few days ago that the Canadian Pacific Railway are beginning already to build a very much larger elevator at Port Arthur, and no doubt the various companies are now undertaking the construction of a large additional number of elevators in Manitoba and the Northwest Territories, which will help to improve the situation. But the hon. member for West Assiniboia (Mr. Scott) endeavoured, at the outset of his remarks, to fasten upon the previous government the responsibility for the unfortunate conditions that exist to-day. In my judgment, he did not succeed very well in- his attempt. He said that the previous government had fastened shackles on trade. I would like to ask him what shackles on the trade of that country did the previous government fasten. What would that country be today, what would the condition of its farmers be, had it not been for the conduct of the previous government in building the first railway that traversed that country and really the only railway service which it has had practically up to within a few months. There may have been some conditions that prejudicially affected the situation, but the hon. gentleman forgot that his friends had pledged themselves to remove all hampering conditions as soon as they got into power. Well, they have been in power nearly six years, they have had every opportunity to bring their great ability to bear on the situation, and yet we to-day have complaints made on the unfortunate condition of the farmers in that country. Evidently the hon. gentleman's friends have not been very successful In their efforts to remove all evils and all cause of complaint. My hon. friend referred to the Grain Act that was passed a few years ago, and gave this government credit for some important provisions in that Act which have inured to the benefit of the farmers. Well, I believe there are some good provisions in that Act, but when it was under discussion the very provisions which, in the judgment of many members of Manitoba and the North-west-especially the hon. member for East Assiniboia (Mr. Douglas)-and which that hon. gentleman endeavoured to get incorporated in to that Act to meet the requirements of the situation, were the very ones which the Minister of the Interior (Hon. Mr. Sifton) and the present government fought against.

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LIB

Thomas Walter Scott

Liberal

Mr. SCOTT.

Was the hon. gentleman not with the Minister of the Interior then ?

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

No, I supported the contentions put forward by my hon. friend from Eastern Assiniboia, because I believed they were in the interests of the country. It is the hon. gentleman's own friends who are responsible for the present condition of affairs. It was they who pledged them-30

selves to redress these grievances and give the people the advantage they were entitled to, and it is their failure to carry out this- as they have failed to carry out all their other jdedges-to which is due the difficulties now complained of.

Now, could the present government have remedied the situation ? Well, what are the troubles complained of ? The first is that a railway company will not allow to farmers the same use of cars that they allow to the large grain buyers and elevator owners-in fact, the railway, it is said, discriminates against the small buyer, and the small shipper. The government has power to remedy that evil. The Railway Act provides that there shall be no discrimination as between shippers, and the Railway Committee of the Privy Council was especially established to enforce these rights when application was made to It. Had that body fulfilled its duty, we should not hear the complaints we do to-day. The government, then, has the power to remedy the evil and if the evil is not remedied, the government and the government alone, must be held responsible. The hon. member stated, as also did one of the previous speakers-and I believe correctly, that there was some sort of combine or understanding among the grain buyers. Are these hon. gentlemen not aware that the present government asked to be returned to power to fight these combines, and declared that if the people would give them their confidence, they would make it one of their first duties to break the combines and prevent the dangerous results of their operations ? These hon. gentlemen have been in power nearly six years. And have they broken the combines? Not at all; we have these complaints as much now as we did five years ago. These hon. gentlemen who support this government, and who, I suppose, speak by the book, declare that these combines exist today, to the detriment of the farming interest in the North-west. If these grievances are not redressed, the government must be held responsible. The farmers complain that they have not the freedom to load on cars from the platform. Who could give them that right ? The government, certainly, The farmers say that they should have the right to build small elevators along the railway. Who could secure to them that right ? The Railway Committee of the Privy Council. Yet, they have never done it nor, so far as we know have they ever even made the effort to secure this right to the farmer. It is said that the people of the country require more railway facilities. We know they do. That grievance is being remedied very rapidly. Another road has reached that country, and the people of Manitoba and the North-west will soon be in the position of not being obliged to depend upon one road. I have no doubt that both the railways that are operating in that country to-day desire to extend their lines as

rapidly as possible so as to enable the people of that country to carry on their operations to advantage, and also to gain success for themselves. The hon. gentleman tells us that the farmers require the same freedom that has been secured to the farmers of the United States. There is no power in this country to secure for the people their rights except the government; and if the farmers still complain, they must hold to responsibility those who have the power to remedy grievances, but do not use it. No doubt the hon. Minister of Public Works (Hon. Mr. Tarte) will tell us that the great remedy is to make the French river canal and allow the grain to have an outlet by water to North Bay. That would be a remedy, but it is for the minister to show us that it is wise to spend so much to accomplish so little. But that would not directly meet the wants of the farmers of the North-west. No doubt, the operations going on to-day in the ports of Georgian Bay are calculated largely to help the people of the North-west. Take the elevators that are going up at Midland, Owen Sound? Collingwood, Meaford and Kin-kardine. All these improvements are designed to assist in handling the products of that country. The number of these elevators is increasing every year. Last year, just before the close of navigation a large elevator was built at Meaford, and a splendid harbour and other facilities provided, and a large amount of trade was actually handled in the short time between the completion of these works and the close of navigation. X say this to show that conditions are changing and that, in the future, large, if not ample provisions will be made to handle the trade which we may expect in a successful year to originate in the North-west. The people of that country require more railway facilities. These, I say, are being rapidly provided. They require greater elevator facilities at Port Arthur-double, or even treble what they have to-day. They require a large number of elevators throughout the country. And they require the greatest freedom to every farmer or combination of farmers to build elevataors along the track, and the right to load their cars from the platform. And, I say that the government should force the railway company to concede that right. They have the power to do it, and if it is not done, it is because the government refuses to exercise the power with which it is clothed. If the government will do their duty in these matters, they will soon relieve the glut and do away with all the trouble that exists. So far as the members from Ontario can assist in accomplishing these reforms they are anxious to do so. For we feel interested, knowing that the progress of Manitoba and the Northwest is of great advantage to us. None of us are living for ourselves alone or for the locality alone in which we reside. We have an earnest desire to remove all obstac-Mr. SPROULE.

les from the prosperity of the people of the North-west, knowing that their prosperity will bring the best results for us. So far as these grievances can be remedied, the government of the day must be held responsible for them, for, by an exertion of their power, they could relieve the farmers of the grievances of which they complain.

Topic:   ST. CATHARINE'S WATER SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   WHEAT BLOCKADE IN MANITOBA.
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March 10, 1902