That is all right. There are to-day over a million people of Canadian birth in the United States, enough to have populated that North-west with loyal Canadians, enough to have furnished a market for your woollen manufacturers and your implement manufactures, and every other manufacture that you have in this country, to have helped pay your taxes, to have helped build up this country, as we hope yet to see it built up. But they are in the States because they did not have faith in this country, because you had not faith in that North-west country. And the proof that you had not faith is the fact that tonight you stand up here in the House ; one after another, and express surprise, you are astonished, you marvel at the progress that has taken place, progress that, had this country been true to itself, had the leaders of public thought in Canada been true to Canada, would have occurred fifteen or twenty years ago instead of occurring only now. You are surprised. That is proof that you did not know what was coming, that you did not believe in the future of that country. You put that forward as an apology for a condition of affairs that exists to-day. You say that no one could tell. Well, if no one could tell, everybody should have been able to tell that, with such oppor-Mr. OLIVER.
tunities and with an energetic people, such a result must come.
I was astonished to hear the hon. member compare the conditions of pioneer life in this country with the conditions in the North-west. The conditions in this country were those of hardship, they were conditions of struggle, but of triumphant struggle, and the result has been creditable to those who took part in that struggle, and will redound to the credit of their children and their children's children for untold generations. But if any man thinks that settlement in the North-west has not been a tragedy, a tragedy repeated year after year, in settlement after settlement, then I say he is badly mistaken. The people who went to the North-west went there with higher hopes, with greater expectations, than the people who settled in this country, and they suffered in many cases greater disappointments. Do not think, because to-day we can boast of a yield of 100,000,000 bushels of grain in the North-west, of having contributed to the wealth of this country between $25,000,000 and $50,000,000, that it has all come about by chance, that it is an accident. Sir, it has come' about by hard struggle, by privation, by energetic exertion, by the exhibition of all those qualities that make men strong and a country great.
But I did not get up on this occasion to talk generalities. I did not get up to talk tariff, transportation, or nationalism, or the advancement of special interests. I got up to talk on this fact, that to-day a large part of the products of the North-west, of the wealth of the North-west of last year's production, is lying useless, is today lying unused ; and if to-day my hon. friend is receiving apologies from the Northwest instead of remittances, it is largely because of the condition of affairs that we are complaining of. That condition we seek to have remedied to-day-not tomorrow or next day, or next year, or year after next, but to-day, in this House, and now. That is what is wanted. Certain facts have been brought out in this discussion. One is that there is a wheat blockade, another, that there is a grain combine, another that the people of the North-w'est have suffered certain serious financial loss already because of that blockade, and because of that combine, and that the loss is not yet ended, that in fact is only begun. What is the loss ? It has been said here to-day that wheat is being sold throughout the North-west at about 10 cents a bushel under its value. Now, if that statement is correct, and those who make it speak with authority, on a saleable product of 50,000,000 bushels of wheat, at an average price of 50 cents a bushel, a 20 per cent loss would mean $5,000,000. That means $5,000,000 of a loss on one season's operations of 400,000 people as a result of existing conditions ; and that is not by any means the total loss. There
is also the loss caused by the fact that about one-half, or one-quarter of the grain is still in the farmers' hands, is still where it cannot be turned over to pay those bills that my hon. friend speaks about, to go into the general circulation of trade in the country. The people of the west are losing it, and the people of the east are losing it, as well. There is still a further loss, the loss of a large part of the grain by actual damage from weather, as it cannot be got forward for shelter and transport. There is still another loss in consequence of the fact that people will have to be hauling grain in the spring when they should be putting in next season's crop.
This, I submit, is a serious condition of affairs. It is a serious condition for you of the east as well as for us of the west, because, if the money does not come from that crop you cannot handle the money; and let me tell you that every dollar that comes from that crop you do handle in one shape or another. That is the difference between the meaning to this eastern country of the crop of the Northwest and the yield of gold from the Yukon. Suppose the yield is equal in both cases, $25,000,000 worth of crop in the west and $25,000,000 worth of gold yielded by the Yukon; of the gold from the Yukon possibly not one-quarter of it enters the ordinary trade channels of this country, while, of the $25,000,000 worth of the produce from year to year of the crop of the Northwest, every dollar enters the trade of this country and is turned over and over and over again. So that, when it has been pointed out in this House, ns it has been, that this loss is occurring this year on the crop to the people of the North-west Territories we point out to you that the loss is occurring to the trade of this eastern country as well as to the western country, and it is not in any spirit of sectionalism but in a spirit of the broadest nationalism that we call upon the House and the government for assistance in this matter.
In regard to the Canadian Pacific Railway and the wheat blockade; I am prepared to admit, as I think we are all prepared to admit, that as soou as the threshing began so soon the Canadian Pacific Railway put forward every effort to send the wheat to market, and that state of affairs continued until some little time after the close of navigation. We have no complaint at all up to that time beyond a complaint that possibly a little more foresight might have been shown by the company. There was no lack of effort on their part, but we do complain that as soon as the lake elevators were full there began an absolute deadlock; and that since that time they have practically not rolled a wheel to carry grain to market. For over two months the grain blockade has existed and there has been no effort to break it on the part of the railway company. While that condition of
affairs has existed, and which is the cause of all this loss that is occurring, the company has come to the government and secured authorization for the issue of $20,000,000 more stock. They have raised the price of their land in the North-west Territories by a dollar an acre; by one sweep of the pen they have added $10,000,000 to their capital and added $20,000,000 to their stock. I take the liberty of saying that when they did one or the other of these things-they were allowed to do one, the other they could not be prevented from doing-was the time that means should have been taken to compel them to roll their wheels and break the blockade. It may be said that it was impossible for them to do so. We have information here to-day, that to-day they are doing so. They are doing to-day what they should have done two months ago. We do not know to what extent they are doing it; perhaps it is only in a half-hearted way, but the fact that they are doing it to-day is proof that they could have done it and should have done it two months ago. The fact is this; they said : ' Our elevators are full, the
grain is there, it is our meat any way, we will haul it when we get ready and the country can take care of itself.' That is the position, and you say : Why not ? The company is an independent corporation and it is not under government control. But a railway company, from the nature of things, is necessarily a monopoly, and being a monopoly, is necessarily brought under government control ; and there are, and there must be means taken, to provide that it shall not be in the power of any railway company or any corporation whatever its name may be, to simply sit back and say : ' There is a blockade in trade,
in grain, in everything and it can just stay until we get good and ready to lift it.' That is the condition that the North-west Territories have been in for the past two months. It is an intolerable condition, it is a condition that if there is nothing on the statute-books, if there is no precedent for administrative action in regard to it, then, a condition has arisen that requires a precedent to be created, or requires a statute to be put on the books, that will meet that strange condition, that condition which requires something to be done, so that the people of the country shall not simply be thrown backwards for such a large proportion of their earnings during the past year.
It was said by the hon. Minister of Public Works (Hon. Mr. Tarte) that the means of breaking the blockade is by sending the grain by Duluth, but Duluth is not a Canadian city and therefore it is not desirable to break the blockade in that way. I quite agree that it is not desirable to break it in that way if anything better cau be done. We would all wish it to be done, in another way, but if nothing better can be done, then we want the blockade broken
any way. But, let me say that if it is a business proposition for the farmers of Indian Head, Wolseley and the farmers all over Manitoba and the North-west Territories to build small warehouses to store their own grain in, to hold that grain until spring, it is just as good for the Canadian Pacific Railway to build flat warehouses at Fort William of a sufficient capacity to contain the grain and keep their wheels rolling during January and February filling these warehouses so that the grain shall be shipped through a Canadian port.
Subtopic: WHEAT BLOCKADE IN MANITOBA.