August 3, 1903

IND

William Findlay Maclean

Independent Conservative

Mr. MACLEAN.

The municipalities are not trying to block the great railway companies ; what they are trying to do is to prevent tramways being forced upon them through a general Railway Act, without their consent. No municipality ever yet tried to block a railway in the manner suggested

here to-day. They have not done it, and until such a case arises, I think we might just as well accept the clause as it is today.

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CON

David Henderson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir. HENDERSON.

I move in amendment to the amendment to strike out the words or any branch thereof ' in the third line of the amendment.

Amendment to the amendment negatived.

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Amendment agreed to, and section as amended agreed to. Sir. SIcCARTHY moved to amend section I by inserting therein the following names : Sir Charles Rivers-Wilson, C.B., G.C M G * w W%, 8.c,a; A. Olutten-Brock! St nf ^Alfred W. Smithers. all of the city of London, England. *


?

Hon. S@

or in substitution ?

Is that in addition,

Sir. SIcCARTHY. Yes, in addition.

I

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IND

William Findlay Maclean

Independent Conservative

Mr. SIACLEAN.

Now, Sir. Chairman, am quite in order in passing any remarks choose to pass in regard to this Bill.

sir. SIcCARTHY. Will not the hon. gentleman wait and speak on the motion to

I. CjJUl t 4

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IND

William Findlay Maclean

Independent Conservative

Sir. SIACLEAN.

No, I would like to say now what I have to say. The whole principle was brought up by the names that are here proposed. We know now the men we are dealing with and we have the proposal the government made the other day. bo, I am quite in order in going into the whole question, and I am going to do it. The cry of the west to-day is in regard to transportation. The cry of the west is: Help us to move our crops; we have abundant crops, more than can be handled bv existing routes, and wte ask the people of Canada to afford us relief from the present condition of things.

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LIB

Peter Macdonald (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Sir. DEPUTY SPEAKER.

Will the hon. member (Sir. Slaclean) allow me to put the motion?

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IND
IND

William Findlay Maclean

Independent Conservative

Sir. SIACLEAN.

As I was saying, Sir. Chairman, tlie cry of the west is'for help to solve the transportation problem. They say : We cannot move oiy freight; there are not sufficient elevators; there is not sufficient rolling stock; in every way things are not as they ought to be, and we appeal to the parliament of Canada for relief. In answer to that appeal a proposition lias been made by the government, and this Bill has been introduced in the House. I do not think this Bill should be allowed to pass, for the reason that neither this Bill nor the proposed measure of the government deals with this difficulty in the right way. What the people want is relief in regard to transportation, and most

of all they want relief by * means of a government-owned railway. The people of Canada say : If we pay for a railway, If we supply all the money to build It, let that railway be our own. In no way let that railway pass from us into the hands of private parties. And this is in accord with the cry of the west for relief from their transportation difficulties, and relief by a road owned and managed by the government. But the proposal involved in this Bill, the proposal brought down by the government gives no immediate relief to the people of the North-west. The proposal is to build a road through the wilds of New Brunswick, a road through the wilds of the Laurentian country in Quebec, a road through the wilds of Ontario, through the so-called clay belt, and so across the prairies and through the mountains to the Pacific coast. Outside of that part of the road in Manitoba and the North-west, there is not a single proposition in the whole scheme that aids in the solution of the transportation problem, or gives relief to the people of the Northwest.

Now, in wbat way can relief be given to the people of the North-west under present circumstances? In one way and one way only, and that is by adopting the principle of government ownership. If the government were alive to the situation, the first thing they would do would be to build a railway to be owned and operated by the government from Port Arthur on Lake Superior to Winnipeg and so into the west. Some years ago when a proposition was made in this House to subsidize very heavily a railway called the Rainy River Railway and now a portion of the Canadian Northern, and owned by Mackenzie and Mann, I appealed to the government to nationalize that road. I pointed out that not only was a large grant being made by the Dominion, but large grants had been made by the province of Manitoba and the province of Ontario, the public moneys thus granted being, as I believed and contended, sufficient to build the road. And, as the public were paying for the road, I appealed to the government to nationalize the work. But they ridiculed the idea. And now we are told we are having government ownership. Within six years of the time when they ridiculed the idea of government ownership, they boast of adopting it. And I must say that the late Minister of Railways (Hon. Mr. Blair) ridiculed the idea that I then brought forward, but he has sincie seen the light, and I hope he will support me in

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LIB

Andrew George Blair

Liberal

Hon. Mr. BLAIR.

If the bon. gentleman (Mr. Maclean) will permit me a word, I think that what he was then proposing was to nationalize all the railways in Canada. I raised no objection to the building of a railway through that country by the government-never in my life.

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IND
IND

William Findlay Maclean

Independent Conservative

Mr. MACLEAN.

What I say is that, when the Rainy river proposition went through, and the late Minister of Railways and Canals endorsed it, I appealed to him and to the government to nationalize that road in the interest of the country. At that time I entered into correspondence with Mr. Hays, who had recently come to Canada, and told him that, so far as I could see, the great aim of the Grand Trunk should be to get an entrance into the Canadian North-west, and the way to get in was to make such representations at Ottawa as that the government would throw out these subsidy proposals and would nationalize that road from Port Arthur to Winnipeg, and to permit the Grand Trunk to get into that country. Mr. Hays at that time said he was seized of the idea, but he had other propositions before him and that he must defer dealing with the matter for some time.

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The MINISTER OF JUSTICE (Hon. Mr. Fitzpatrick).

How did the bon. member (Mr. Maclean) intend that the Grand Trunk should get into the North-west?

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IND

William Findlay Maclean

Independent Conservative

Mr. MACLEAN.

The Grand Trunk today is at Midland. The Grand Trunk could, to-morrow, by a fleet of steamers, be at Port Arthur. Nationalize the Canadian Northern, as I say, or if necessary, nationalize the Canadian Pacific from Port Arthur to Winnipeg. Do this, and you have solved the problem. You can then extend a government-owned railway out into the prairies, or you can nationalize the Canadian Northern, and so reach through to Manitoba and the North-west Territories, and, shortly, clear across the continent. That is the way to give immediate relief to the North-west. That is the way to give the people cheap transportation. It is simply a matter of nationalizing the ' spout.' Sir William Van Horne very aptly called that portion of the country between Winnipeg and Port Arthur the 'spout,'. and my idea is that that portion at least ought to be nationalized, all other roads should be allowed equal right of way over it, and the tolls should be reasonable. Is there any other way to solve the transportation question except on the principle of ' the King's highway' ? A great mistake was made in England when the railways were first built there by allowing those railways to become private roads. Like any other roads, they should have been retained as 'the King's highway.' The step that was then taken has been deeply regretted, and an effort is now being made in England to retrieve that mistake. We also could have saved ourselves by recognizing the principle of 'the King's highway.' If we had this road from Winnipeg to Port Arthur as a public highway, we could run the Grand Trunk over it, we could run the Canadian Northern over it, wie could run the Canadian Pacific over it, and, best of

all, we could run the Intercolonial over It. We could have the four great systems working for the Canadian North-west, handling the traffic of that country, and, with the competition that would be assured, we should have a lowering of rates.

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The MINISTER OF JUSTICE.

By way of information, would the hon. gentleman (Mr. Maclean) permit me to ask how he would get from Port Arthur to Midland over the Grand Trunk?

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IND

William Findlay Maclean

Independent Conservative

Mr. MACLEAN.

For the present, I would get there by a line of boats.

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The MINISTER OF JUSTICE.

Not otherwise ?

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IND

William Findlay Maclean

Independent Conservative

Mr. MACLEAN.

I might go this far- nationalize the Grand Trunk to North Bay, and, if the Canadian Pacific would not make terms, I would nationalize their line from North Bay to Port Arthur.

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The MINISTER OF JUSTICE.

Then the nationalization of the line would be from Winnipeg to North Bay?

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IND

William Findlay Maclean

Independent Conservative

Mr. MACLEAN.

It might be. But the way to give speedy relief is to invite these great railways to a conference, and tell them plainly what we propose.

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August 3, 1903