Sir. G. W. FOWLER (King's, N.B.).
When the hour for Private Bills expired on Wednesday last, I was pointing out the advisability of extending the proposed branch line of the Grand Trunk Pacific to St. John by way of the St. John river valley rather than by the proposed route by Oliipman. The advantages which I stated existed in 261
favour of the former route were that it would be much shorter than the proposed route by way of Chipman, very much shorter to the nearest Atlantic port, and at the same time the grades would be very much easier than could possibly be obtained for the route by way of Chipman. I pointed out that the Chipman route would carry the road to the interior part of the province of New Brunswick, that part which forms the watershed of the rivers Tobique and Mira-michi, and that that part of the country is very rugged and mountainous, and abounds in lakes, which would necessitate very wide detours, thereby largely increasing the mileage. It is beyond question the fact that the road, if carried by way of Chipman, would be at least 50 or 60 miles longer than by the St. John river valley route. Going from Edmundston the road would be shortened by not following the western sweep of the St. John river from that point to Fredericton, but striking off and making a straight line direct from Edmundston to Fredericton, and then following the valley of the river down to the city of St. John. This would give not only a much shorter line than the proposed line, but very much easier grades, which is the most important consideration perhaps in selecting a line for the transcontinental railway. The grades upon the other route proposed would be very difficult indeed, and much greater than they are at the present time upon the line of the Intercolonial. I do not suppose, Mr. Speaker, it is necessary for me to dwell any longer on these points at this stage. If we may judge from appearances, it is evidently the intention of the government to force this route by the way of Chipman. It is said to be by way of Chipman, but, as a matter of fact, following the route outlined by the Prime Minister, the main line will run some 30 miles from Chipman, which, of course, will place St. John at a still greater disadvantage than if the route went direct to Chipman. But the interests of St. John do not appear to be much considered by this government, nor do I think the interests of the country generally appear to be very much considered, because in considering the interests of St. John the government would be at the same time considering the best interests of the country with respect to this transcontinental railway. I therefore move this amendment :
That the said Bill be referred back to the Committee of the Whole, with instructions that they have power to amend the same by providing that a branch line be built from the proposed main 'trunk tine of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway, beginning at a point at or near where said trunk tine orosseis the Nashwaak river, and thence extending, by way of Fredericton and the valley of the Sit. John river, to St. John city.