March 10, 1902

LIB

Frank Oliver

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER.

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.

Topic:   ST. CATHARINE'S WATER SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   WHEAT BLOCKADE IN MANITOBA.
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The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS.

Would the hon. gentleman (Mr. Oliver) allow me to ask him if the Canadian Pacific Railway has any elevators at Duluth ? Is my friend aware that the Canadian Pacific Railway was in a position to make arrangements at Duluth ?

Topic:   ST. CATHARINE'S WATER SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   WHEAT BLOCKADE IN MANITOBA.
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LIB
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The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS.

That is the point.

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Subtopic:   WHEAT BLOCKADE IN MANITOBA.
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LIB

Frank Oliver

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER.

I cannot say whether the Canadian Pacific Railway was in a position to make arrangements to get elevator capacity at Duluth on the 1st of January, but it has been given here on authority that the Canadian Pacific Railway is in a position now to make arrangements for elevator capacity at Duluth and it is making arrangements.

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Subtopic:   WHEAT BLOCKADE IN MANITOBA.
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The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS.

Very well, that is the point.

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Subtopic:   WHEAT BLOCKADE IN MANITOBA.
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LIB

Frank Oliver

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER.

They have made the arrangement quite recently. Now, navigation was closed in Duluth on the 1st of January, just as it was closed at Fort William on the 1st of January. Therefore, it is not reasonable to suppose that they were less able to make arrangements for that elevator capacity on the 1st of January than ou the 1st of March. There was no means of relieving any elevating storage there might be in Duluth in the meantime. If the capacity was there on the 1st of March it was there on the 1st of January, and the arrangement was not made simply because it was not wanted to be made. It was quite practicable for the company to have put up flat warehouses at Fort William of sufficient capacity to hold all the grain there is in the North-west, if they had seen fit to do so. It may be said, that would not be a good business proposition, but in passing through Winnipeg I saw that the Northern Elevator Company had a large flat warehouse alongside of their elevator at the station to hold one-quarter of a million bushels. If it paid the Northern Elevator Company to do that at Winnipeg which is not a terminal point, why would it not pay the Canadian Pacific Railway to do it just as well at Fort William, which is a terminal point ? I say that to my mind it is simply a case of dog in the manger. They did not have to and therefore they did not; and they were

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Subtopic:   WHEAT BLOCKADE IN MANITOBA.
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LIB

Frank Oliver

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER.

so shortsighted that they did not see that the country at large and themselves, as well as the North-west farmers would suffer. As long as it was only the farmer who was going to lose-why he could lose. But when it came to their attention that a good many other people were going to lose as well, then the situation was changed and the outlet was secured by way of Duluth.

In regard to the combine and the Grain Bill, let me say this: It has already been said, and I back up what was said, that in order to break the combine it is absolutely necessary to have absolute freedom in the delivery of grain, either to flat warehouses oi' directly to the railway cars.

Some lion. MEMBERS. Hear, hear.

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Subtopic:   WHEAT BLOCKADE IN MANITOBA.
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LIB

Frank Oliver

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER.

There is no other way whereby the combine can be broken. A combine exists. That combine is skinning the farmers of the North-west to-day to the extent of from three cents to ten cents a bushel on their wheat. I ask you, is that a condition to be submitted to by this parliament and by this country ? Is it a sectional matter ? Is it something that we beg for from this House and from this couutry ? Is it a thing that is costing somebody else something ? We are only asking for bare justice and that we be not robbed in our own houses. We are asking for nothing but the most ordinary protection to our ordinary rights. The fact that so many small warehouses have been built in the different towns along the line for the temporary holding of the farmers' grain, is all the evidence that is necessary of the propriety of permitting the erecting of such warehouses at switches on the railway right of way, for the prompt leading of the farmers' grain or any other man's grain who desires to load it there. The question at issue in the Grain Bill when it was up, was whether the companys right of way should be taken from them so to speak, for the purposes of allowing these flat warehouses to be built. I say that the company's right of way was given to them for the purpose of carrying on their business as common carriers, and that when and whenever it is necessary that right of way should be used for the purpose of facilitating the business they are engaged in; for the purpose of enabling the better shipment of products on the railroad; then and then always the right of way is entitled to be used for that purpose. There is no confiscation; there is no trespass in the matter.

We ask then that this government shall take such measures as may be necessary, at the present time, and without delay to secure the breaking of the blockade in the grain business of the Nortli-west. We then ask that the grain combine be broken by Insisting ou the spirit as well as on the letter of the Grain Act, and in compelling the railroad company to permit the erection of flat warehouses on their right of way for direct shipment to the cars, and compelling

them to accept grain from anybody who offers it by any means he may choose to offer it. That is the inherent right of the citizen, that is all we ask. As was said by my hon. friend from West Assiniboia (Mr. Scott) matters have got into a very serious state when it is possible for a railroad company, specifically to set aside an Act of parliament as they have done once and again this winter, by issuing orders to their employees to refuse cars to anybody but elevator men in certain cases.

Now, Mr. Speaker, I just want to emphasize the point; that in bringing this matter to the attention of the House, we are doing it not as sectionalists, but as nationalists. We are asking neither money nor favour from anybody. We demand our elementary rights as citizens of this country, and as producers to get the best returns the markets allow from the result of our year's labour.

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Subtopic:   WHEAT BLOCKADE IN MANITOBA.
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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN (Halifax).

I have not the local knowledge in regard to these matters in the North-west which is possessed by a great many of the gentlemen who have addressed the House to-day on this subject, and for that reason I do not profess to speak with any authority on the question. I would like to say, further, that while gentlemen on both sides of the House from the North-west very often put their demands emphatically, I do not think that we should necessarily conclude from that, that there are not legitimate grievances in the Northwest which should be redressed. In listening to this discussion, I have been impressed by the necessity that some action should be taken by the government of this country with regard to the combine which is said to exist among the men who are engaged in the business of warehousing in the North-west. If the facts are as stated by hon. gentlemen on both sides, I do not think there can be a doubt that it is a situation that urgently demands the action of the government. The sooner we have that action the better. For my part, I hope that action will be taken far more promptly than has been the case in regard to similar matters in the Northwest, the delay in reference to which it seems to me has raised a legitimate case for complaint against the government. I might mention by7 way of illustration, that we have not heard a single word during this session with regard to the question of the taxation of the lands owned by the Canadian Pacific Railway in the North-west. A year ago we were told that that matter would be referred to the courts promptly and would be dealt with. I made a suggestion to the government at that time which seemed to me reasonable, and which I had hoped the government might have seen its way to act upon, namely, that the government should inquire promptly and at once as to what the cost would be to this country of removing these lands from the exemption from taxation to which they are said to be subject. I suggested that the government should investigate the question of what it would cost this country if parliament should at once promptly declare that these lands are not exempt from taxation, in case it should afterwards turn out that under the charter of the Canadian Pacific Railway they are not subject to taxation.

I ventured to suggest to the House last session that I thought it would be a statesmanlike proceeding on the part of this government, in view of the great interest which the whole of the country has in the North-west, to remove that exemption from taxation, to let the whole country bear the cost, and to indemnify the Canadian Pacific Railway Company for any interference with their vested rights which would be occasioned by taking that proceeding. Although I made that suggestion to the government last year, and promised to give any measure in that direction which they might bring down my most favourable consideration, we have not heard this session that any progress whatever has been made towards having that vexed question settled by the courts, or that any action has been taken on the line of the suggestion I made a year ago.

Coming back to the immediate question before the House, I venture to think, as I have said before, that the existence of this alleged combine is a matter which should at once, during the present session, engage the attention of the government. It should not be left, as the matter of taxation has been left, from year to year, to be brought up by members from the North-west each session, and to have these gentlemen answered with some vague promise by the government that the matter would engage their consideration during the recess. If the state of affairs is as these gentlemen allege, it is one that should be dealt with during the present session, and not left over to the recess or to next session.

There is another question which I think might legitimately engage the attention of the government, that is, whether or not, having regard to what these gentlemen state, it would not be advisable for the government to take under their control the system of warehouses in the North-west, deal with them as government warehouses, and put an end to the condition of affairs which, if it be as these gentlemen state, is a disgrace to this country and a great detriment to the development of the Northwest.

My hon. friend the Minister of Public Works, in the remarks he made to the House to-night, went very far afield. He succeeded, for example, in calling tip my hon. friend from Victoria (Hon. Mr. Ross), on the question of protection; and I presume that if the hon. Minister of Trade and Commerce (Hon. Sir Richard Cartwright) had been in his seat to-night, that hon. gentleman would also have been found

protesting against the pronounced protectionist principles enunciated by the hon. Minister of Public Works. We know that the hon. Minister of Trade and Commerce has only recently announced that he is for a revenue tariff only, first, last and all the time; and he could not have retained his seat in the House-possibly he would not have retained his seat in the cabinet-if he had heard the hon. Minister of Public Works announcing on behalf of the government the policy he did to-night.

There is just this to be said about the views which my hon. friend enunciated, that when he talks about a national transportation system for jCanada, he announces in a general way a policy which no gentleman in this House would for a moment disagree with. But the difficulty with the propositions of the hon. Minister of Public Works is that they were not definite enough to enable us to judge whether they should receive the support of every man in this House or not. The action of this government in the past has not been such as the hon. gentleman lays down for our guidance to-night. Their action a few years ago with regard to the Grand Trunk Railway did not look in the direction of a Canadian port.

The hon. gentleman speaks highly of the port of St. John, and I for one rejoice that the port of St. John has succeeded to a considerable extent in becoming a winter port of Canada. I was glad to see, in passing through that city in the mouth of November last, that it was doing a splendid business in the freight coming over the Canadian Pacific Railway, and I hope that business will increase from year to year; but I do not know of any action of this government which has contributed to any great extent to that success. I think it is rather due, in the first place, to the enterprise of the people of St. John themselves in putting their own money into their terminal facilities and thus inducing the Canadian Pacific Railway Company to engage in that business; and, in the second place, to the enterprise of the CaiUtdian Pacific Railway in building elevators there and in making an attempt to establish an export trade from Canada through that port. Instead of the railway policy of this government contributing to that result, it has been the very reverse; and when the Minister of Public Works speaks of ' even Halifax ' in this connection, I venture to think that that port has some expectations with regard to the export trade which need not be thus qualified. It is true, that port was put aside by the Minister of Railway and Canals (Hon. Mr. Blair) in dealing with the export trade. It is true, he did not pay much attention to the arguments we presented and the showing we made that by carrying the freight ninety miles further from Moncton to the port of Halifax, it would have the advantage of a splendid Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

harbour and 250 miles of ocean carriage over the port of St. John. It was therefore pointed out that Halifax stood at least on equal terms with St. John in seeking that export trade. But as far as those two cities are concerned, there is not, nor will there ever be in the future, the slightest jealousy. I can say as a Halifax man that we rejoice that St. John is meeting with such splendid success in its enterprise, in establishing itself, to some extent at least, as a winter port for Canada.

It did not seem to me that the hon. Minister of Public Works dealt with the main difficulty in this case when he addressed the House to-night. The difficulty is not so much in regard to the freights over Lake Superior as in moving the grain in the short season of transportation from the harvest fields to the lake ports. There is no use of providing means of transport, on the lakes, unless you provide proper means of transport from the west to Fort William and sufficient elevator accommodation there. When the minister has once accomplished that, and met the difficulties pointed out to-night by the gentlemen from the Northwest, it will follow as a corollary that we should provide a means of transport on the lakes, in order that we should retain the transportation over Canadian lines to Canadian ocean ports; and when the hon. gentleman brings down any reasonable scheme for increasing the means of Canadian transportation-any scheme by means of which the grain grown in the Canadian Northwest shall be assuredly carried over Canadian lines to Canadian ports and shipped thence to Europe-he will have my support and I believe the support of every other man on this side of the House. But we want something definite; and we want some remedy for the immediate grievance so well placed before this House to-night by the members from the North-west who have spoken. I do not mean by that, that I agree with every idea or suggestion which every one of these gentlemen has put forward; but I do realize most clearly that a great grievance exists there, and I feel as fully, I trust, as any of them does, how great an inheritance Canada has in the North-west, and how absolutely important it is to us all that every grievance of this kind which may put back the settlement and the development of that country should be dealt with, not from any party standpoint, but in a broad national spirit, and dealt with promptly, by the government today.

Topic:   ST. CATHARINE'S WATER SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   WHEAT BLOCKADE IN MANITOBA.
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The PRIME MINISTER (Rt. Hon. Sir Wilfrid Laurier).

There is no objection whatever to bringing down the papers called for. The discussion we have just had on what is certainly one of the most important questions that can engage our attention, has revealed a condition of things between Lake Superior and the Rocky Mountains which

is not at all satisfactory. It lias, however, this redeeming feature, that it is due to an excess of prosperity. It is because we have had in the liast year in the North-west Territories a two years crop In one, that our transportation facilities have been found inadequate to move that crop to the markets of the world. This is perhaps not at all to be wondered at. We are glad to believe that of recent years the prosperity of the North-west has exceeded all our expectations. Up to last fall there was only one single track from the prairies to Lake Superior, and the government has not been oblivious of the fact that this single track was not sufficient to meet the development expected and which has taken place. My hon. friends from the North-west are aware that three or four years ago the government did not hesitate to subsidize another line of railway which will tap the prairies and bring the crop of the North-west to Lake Superior. The government did not hesitate to subsidize that railway at a very heavy cost, and the money for which we asked parliament was cheerfully given and has been well applied. Unfortunately however that railway was completed too late in the season to be of any advantage to the settlers of the North-west, but it is to be hoped that it will be available for next year's crop, and then we shall have two rival roads competing to Lake Superior. But even this addition will not be sufficient. There has been this year a car shortage in the Northwest Territories, and should we have as abundant a crop next year as we had this, even with two competing roads, there may be another car shortage: I would remind

my hon. friends in the North-west that they are not alone the sufferers. There is not a portion of Canada which is not clamouring for more cars, and all the resources of Canada at present are inadequate to move the products of the Canadian people. This is indeed very satisfactory in one way, but it renders the duty of government and parliament all the more imperative to try if possible to grapple with the situation and furnish an adequate relief. My hon. friends on both sides will credit us with having done all we could, with the means at our disposal, during the present year. The Canadian Pacific Railway themselves have not been oblivious of the difficulty and intend to remedy the situation as far as they possibly can. They propose to increase their stock by $20,000,000. They propose to raise their present capital of $65,000,000 to $85,000,000. They applied to the government, and the government cheerfully gave their sanction to the proposal, but at the same time stipulated that a large part of that expenditure should be applied in doubling the track from the prairie section to Lake Superior and in providing for a large increase in their rolling stock. This will be done, and done shortly, during the present year, and when it is done, when the Canadian Pacific Railway have doubled their

track and perhaps more than doubled their rolling stock, and when there is also the competition of the Canadian Northern, something will have been done to materially relieve the present situation. But I am not sure that even then sufficient will have been done, because I believe that the development of the North-west will continue at such a rate that there will still be a shortage of cars for the removal of the crops. The only method that can be devised to remedy the evil is one rather difficult to grapple with. The only way after all is to provide more transportation facilities-not so much to Lake Superior as to Eastern Canada. The idea has been thrown out by hon. members who addressed the House to-day, that it is not sufficient to have the crop moved to the head of Lake Superior there to remain during the winter, and be shipped the following spring, but that some method should be devised to have it moved to the seaboard in winter as well as in summer. To this proposition every one will readily agree. It is the most practical that has been submitted today. If we could possibly have the grain of the North-west removed from the prairie to the seaboard during twelve months, we would do a great deal to relieve the present congestion. But so long as the wheat is only brought down to Lake Superior and there stored until the opening of navigation, there will never be that adequate relief given which must be provided some time or other. If we had a continuous prairie section all the way through from Winnipeg to the seaboard, there would be no difficulty at all, but unfortunately there is a rugged section along the shores of Lake Superior, which hardly admits of wheat being commercially carried through. That is the difficulty. How that is to be overcome is a problem of great magnitude, which I am not prepared to solve at present. No doubt new lines of transportation must be found to bring the wheat down to the seaboard every month in the year. That problem, I am afraid, is not capable of immediate realization, but in the meantime what is to be done ? It has been stated repeatedly that one of the things from which the settlers have suffered most is their unfair treatment by the Canadian Pacific Railway-that there has been a combine which has made it impossible for the Canadian Pacific Railway to ignore the demands of the settlers and leave the wheat where it is to-day. Well, that is a difficulty which ought to be capable of being remedied and which must be dealt with. I am not prepared to say whether that be really the case or not, but if there has been a combine, the result of which has been to prevent the storing of wheat in the elevators along the railway line, this is the first intimation of it which has been officially made to the government.

Nothing has been done yet to acquaint the government of Canada with the condition of things which has been revealed to-day

by the discussion. It is therefore for bon. gentleman who have spoken not merely to call attention to this very important condition of things but to suggest a remedy. The great question of grain transportation and of the inspection of grain in the North-west is one which was frequently under discussion in the last parliament. Two years ago an Act was passed, the Manitoba Grain Act, which, I understand, has done a great deal to remove the grievances that existed. And, perhaps, if old conditions had continued, if the crop instead of being phenomenally large, had been an ordinary crop, that Act would have been sufficient to deal with the situation. But, fortunately, Providence has been kind to us; there has been a phenomenal crop. The remedies provided by the Act have been inadequate to meet the circumstances. That being the case, I would ask lion, members from the North-west to suggest a remedy. The hon. leader of the opposition (Mr. Borden, Halifax) made a speech to-night the tone of which I heartily commend, in which he says that the government should deal with the question. The government is ready to do its share. But the hon. members from the North-west should be ready to admit that, in a matter of this kind, technical knowledge is required, knowledge which they possess, and which we are not supposed to have. At any' rate, whatever may be our knowledge it cannot be as complete or as accurate as theirs is. We have, therefore, a right to expect them to point out what the remedy is-whether new elevators should be built, or whether there should be government ownership of railways, or what course should be taken. I have understood also that some complaint has been made as to the working of the Act. I think it was my hon. friend from Alberta (Mr. Oliver) who made the statement that not only the spirit of the Act but the letter of it had been systematically violated by the company. I should imagine that, if that is the case, we ought to be able to find within the terms of the statute itself, a remedy-that is, there ought to be means provided by the statute to compel the company to conform to the law. If the letter and the spirit of the law have been violated, and if that is the only complaint, the remedy is in the hands of the people, because the law provides means of compelling the railway company to comply with its terms.

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Subtopic:   WHEAT BLOCKADE IN MANITOBA.
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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

The right hon. gentleman will pardon me, I hope, but I understood that there was a combination among the warehouse men themselves, and that is what I was dealing with.

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Subtopic:   WHEAT BLOCKADE IN MANITOBA.
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The PRIME MINISTER.

That may be, but I am dealing with the statement made by my hon. friend from Alberta (Mr. Oliver). He stated that the letter of the law had been violated, and I am sure that the hon. leader of the opposition will agree with me that if that is the only evil to be complained of, Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

the statute itself will afford a sufficient remedy, and it will only be necessary to compel the company to conform to the terms of the statute. But I imagine that the evil is greater and deeper than a simple violation of the letter of the statute. For, as I understand the case, the provisions of the Act would have been sufficient to cope with the condition of things brought about by the enormous crop we have had in the North-west. But while the yield per acre this year may not be as'great, the total yield will probably be as large, because there will be a far larger acreage under cultivation this year than there was last year. Therefore, we must expect the same evil- or rather the same good, for ' evil ' is not the proper word to apply to abundance-as we had last year. If, therefore, the Act is not adequate, it is only for our friends from the North-west to point out the remedy and the government will be only too glad to give them every possible assistance to make the Act as effective as it can be made.

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

Frank Oliver

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER.

I ask permission to ask a question of the right hon. Premier. I think my friends from the North-west will bear me out iu making the statement that the letter of the law has been violated by the company by issuing orders to their subordinates to refuse to allow the farmers to load their cars. That is a violation of the spirit and the letter of the Act as we understand it. We make that statement on our responsibility as members of parliament ou the floor of this House. We think-perhaps I should say I think-I have discharged my duty by making that statement. I do not think the responsibility rests upon me of taking the part of a detective or officer of the law in such a case.

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

The PRIME MINISTER.

I have only to say that the morneut particulars of this kind are given, it will be the duty of the government to have the fact investigated, and to apply to the Department of Justice, if the facts are so, to see what remedy can be applied.

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

Nathaniel Boyd

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BOYD.

If I may be permitted, I would like to correct a wrong impression which the House would receive from the remarks of the leader of the government in regard to the Canadian Northern Railway. Speaking of that road the Premier said that it did not help to relieve the grain blockade. Now, there has been no blockade on that road during the season. Any blockade that has taken place has been on the Canadian Pacific Railway. Evidence was produced at the Agriculture Committee at the local legislature to prove that, at all times, the Canadian Northern road, throughout their system, had been able to handle their crop this season.

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

William Forsythe McCreary

Liberal

Mr. McCREARY.

Perhaps I may be allowed to explain that that grain did not go over the trunk line to a Canadian port, but

to an American port. If the Canadian Pacific Railway were to take to shipping to American ports, they could move a great deal of grain, just as the Canadian Northern has done.

Motion (Mr. Douglas) agreed to.

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

MOTIONS AGREED TO WITHOUT DISCUSSION.


Tracing showing the principal railway lines in operation in New Brunswick, and showing the railway lines, or portions of such lines, over which postal cars are run.-Hon. Mr. Costigan. List of the names of all permanent and temporary officials of the several branches of the Department of the Interior, date of appointment and their salaries, on the 1st July, 1896 ; also a similar list on the 1st July, 1901.-Mr. LariviSre. List of the names of all permanent and temporary officials employed in the Winnipeg Post Office since the 1st of July, 1896 ; date of appointment, length of service, and salary up to the 1st of January, 1892.-Mr. Lariviere. On motion of the Prime Minister, the House adjourned at 10.35 p.m.



Tuesday, March 11, 1902.


March 10, 1902