August 18, 1903

NATIONAL TRANSCONTINENTAL RAILWAY.

CON

Uriah Wilson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WILSON.

Before the Orders of the Day are called, I would like to ask if there has been a sufficient number of copies of this Bill printed with reference to the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway, so that members may distribute them in their various constituencies. I sent up the other day for half a dozen and only got one. I think it is desirable that we should have sufficient quantities printed so that it may be freely distributed.

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The PRIME MINISTER (Rt. Hon. Sir Wilfrid Laurier).

The usual number of copies of this Bill have been printed. I am not aware that the government has any authority over this question, though I am not sure. I think the House itself is the party to manage that.

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CON

Uriah Wilson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WILSON.

I want to say another word, I do not want to cast any reflection upon the gentleman who is at the head of that department, for I have always found him courteous and willing to do what he could to accommodate members, but I do think we should have a sufficient number of these Bills, so that we may distribute them among our constituents.

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPBOULE.

The House ought to take it up, because we have had several applications for copies of this Bill that we could not supply. It seems to me the House ought to give its consideration to this matter, and order an additional number printed. It would not be very expensive.

House resumed adjourned debate on the motion of Sir Wilfrid Laurier for the House to go into Committee on a certain proposed resolution respecting the construction of a national transcontinental railway.

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LIB

Benjamin Russell

Liberal

Mr. B. RUSSELL (Hants, N.S.).

I referred last night to the views of Mr. Hudson, an authority on railway questions, who had advanced the theory of the railway highway as a remedy for the difficulties which have been experienced by shippers to the United States. I took care in doing so, to say that I was not prepared to agree with his proposition to the whole extent to which Mr. Hudson carried it. I did not put it forward for the purpose of expressing agreement with it, but for the purpose of saying that this view had been seriously adopted by a man who had given a great deal of thought to the subject, and his views had been confirmed by ex-Governor Larrabee, another high authority, so that it can no longer be considered as a mere crotchet, but as a subject that is worthy of fair consideration. Now the government in this Bill do not go anything like so far as Mr. Hudson proposes, and as ex-Governor Larrabee endorses. We do not profess to say that this railway should be a highway for all the roads in the Dominion, but that it will be possible for several lines to use it if neces-saiy for them to do so. There cannot be at the utmost more than two or three railroads that will require to use it, perhaps in the fifty years which is the lifetime of the lease which is to be made.

When you go into a depot such as the Fitchburg in Boston, before the consolidation of the northern depots, or into any of the great depots in England and find trains going out from these depots in rapid succession, almost like bullets out of a rifle, and when you come down to the proposition of two or three freight trains creeping along a road 1,800 or 1,900 miles in length, perhaps 25 miles apart, you cannot say that there is anything remarkable or unsafe or impracticable about that. I could easily conceive that a short line of railway, such as the portion of the Intercolonial Railway running into Halifax, where two distinct systems of trains are accommodated, might be a more dangerous Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

contrivance than a railway 1,800 miles long built for the accommodation of through freight. I think this is all I have to say in reference to that subject and I only mention it because incidentally it came up in connection with the remarks I made last night.

A question was put to me last night, which at the time I did not apprehend the meaning of. I was emphasizing the point made by the hon. gentleman who preceded me, that that which appears in a smaller distance to be a large quantity, appears in a greater distance to be a disproportionately smaller quantity, and that what may be, speaking of the railway system as we have it in the maritime provinces, a matter of importance as affecting a railway some hundreds of miles long, when you get down to the question of a transcontinental railway 4,000 miles long, is practically a negligible quantity. The question was put to me, which I did not at the moment apprehend the meaning of : Why not then use the Intercolonial Railway. I thought the question was the one which has often been agitated in Halifax. Why do we not have western cargoes coming over the Intercolonial Railway, and the answer which has often been made by the Halifax Board of Trade to the suggestion is that as long as the Intercolonial Railway is destitute of western connections it is impossible for it to be a through road, and the very thing that is necessary to make it a through road is to afford it a connection with a western system of railways. It has been suggested tliht this was not the question that was asked me, but the question was, why, if a hundred miles is a negligible quantity, is it necessary to decrease the mileage of the Intercolonial Railway by constructing another railway through the central part of the province of New Brunswick? That is a fair question, but the hon. gentleman who asked it, and I do not know who it was, will see that it is a question that applies equally well to the American railways of the present day. Why is it, if the railway line to Baltimore is shorter than the railway line to New York, and if by virtue of the principle that in a long haul such a difference in distance between the two lines of railway is a negligible quantity, that the New York Central straightens out its curves and reduces its grades ? It is because of that which has been pointed out by one of the highest railway authorities on the continent-I refer to Mr. Fink, who is cited by all the railway authorities who discuss this question-the rate on through-freight is made up not merely to the S'\n-board, but the through-rate is made from the source of supply to the markets of the old world. It is because the through-rate is made from Chicago to Liverpool by way of New York, Baltimore or Portland, and not from Chicago to New York and New York to Liverpool, and the ocean rates adjust themselves to the land freights. If the hon. member takes that into consideration,

he will see why it is we want the Intercolonial Railway to be a through-road, to be in a position to carry traffic from Winnipeg to the Atlantic ocean. It is because we want to put our maritime ports on the same footing as the ports of Portland, Boston, New York, Baltimore and other American ports ; it is because we want to enable our ports to get the benefit of their natural advantages for ocean traffic ; it is because we want our roads in so far as we possibly can secure it, to get the land carriage in order that our superior ports, as we conceive them to be in the long run, will have the benefit of the ocean carriage, and in order that we may be able to give a rate from the ports of the Dominion of Canada, and particularly from the Atlantic ports, which will enable us to obtain the business in competition with the great arteries of commerce which flow through United States to Liverpool and the old country. If any hon. gentleman will take section 45 of this contract which I read last night and which I will not repeat this morning, he will see that this company undertakes to provide ocean tonnage upon both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans for the purpose of taking care of and transporting all its traffic both inward and outward at such ocean ports in Canada, and if he will read that in connection with section 42, which was not read in full last night by the hon. member who preceded me, and who very carefully abstained from reading it in full, he will see that the contract makes ample provision for safeguarding the interests of Canada in this matter. The full purport of this section has not even been grasped by a great many hon. members on this side of the House who are the warmest partisans and the most earnest advocates of this contract. The company agrees:

That the through-rate on export traffic from point of origin to point of destination shall at no time be greater via Canadian ports than via United States ports, and that all such traffic, not specifically routed otherwise by the .shipper, shall be carried to Canadian ocean ports.

That means that the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway Company will not be able to make a rate from Winnipeg to Liverpool through Canadian ports higher than it makes the rate from Winnipeg to Liverpool via Portland or any other port. What on earth any contract could do more than that, and what any government could do more than to stipulate that when the freight is carried through Canadian channels across the ocean and to the ultimate point of destination the rate shall be the same by Canadian ports as by American ports, even though the haul may be longer through Canadian ports than American ports is something that I cannot understand. I do not see what else could be done to secure to our maritime ports the benefit of the natural advantages which they possess, or to secure to the people of this country the commerce that now flows

through the United States and across the ocean to the markets of the world.

Now, I am not sure that I should have considered it necessary or desirable to delay the vote on the question before the House with another speech, if I had not some few years ago advocated a proposition which has been mentioned in the course of the discussion as a possible alternative to the policy propounded by the government. Shortly after the acquisition of the Drummond County Railway, a report obtained currency that the government was about to purchase the Parry Sound road for the purpose of still further extending the Intercolonial Railway, and pushing it forward in [DOT] the direction of the grain fields of the west. It seemed to me at the time that this was a logical sequence of the steps already taken in the extension of the road to Montreal, and I publicly advocated the adoption of the policy in the interest of the maritime provinces and of the city which I then had the honour, in conjunction with the hon. leader of the opposition, to represent in parliament, and in the interest also of the Intercolonial Railway itself. If it were not for the immeasurable superiority of the proposals now before the House, I suppose I might still be advocating the extension of the road to Parry Sound, but I am sure that I would do so with some very great misgivings.

In the first place I should be inclined to despair of ever securing the assent to such a proposal of the other provinces of the Dominion. The construction of the Intercolonial Railway was a fundamental condition upon which the provinces of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick entered into union with their sister provinces, and without which there could have been no such political unit as the Dominion of Canada. The other provinces, and especially I speak of the province of Ontario which had least to gain from the construction of the Intercolonial road, have accepted that condition in good faith, and there is no man in Nova Scotia or New Brunswick who can lift up his voice to say that the terms of that compact have not been lived up to in a fair and honourable spirit by all the parties to the arrangement.

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LIB
LIB

Benjamin Russell

Liberal

Mr. RUSSELL.

I do not say whether Ontario gets a greater benefit than Quebec, it is immaterial ; at all events I would think it extremely doubtful if the province of Ontario and the province of Quebec which have faithfully and loyally lived up to the terms of that compact under which the Intercolonial Railway was built for the benefit of all the colonies and more particularly for the benefit of the maritime provinces ; I would not think it very singular if the provinces of Ontario and Quebec were willing to enter upon a further experiment in the operation of a government

road. We of the maritime provinces might have considered it desirable, and we should have been within our rights In urging e.very argument, by which such a proposition could be supported. But how would the argument have stood ? If it be true as the hon. member for South Lanark has informed the House that the Intercolonial Railway is responsible for a capital expenditure of $43,000,000. if there is any semblance of truth in his further statement that during the past six years the road has been run at a loss to the people of Canada of $2,500,000 a year ; if we regard this statement as misleading and extravagantly pessimistic, and strike off fifty percent of the deficit as stated by the hon. member for South Lanark (Hon. Mr. Hag-gart) ; if we go still further and accept the statement of the ex-Minister of Railways and Canals that the road during the term of the present administration has notj only held its own from year to year, but has been earning a substantial surplus, but bear in mind that these may be years of exceptional prosperity, that the road may have been having the benefit of an exceptionally prudent and progressive management, and that it is entirely beyond dispute that in former years and under other management the road was being run with annual deficits of a quite substantial not to say serious and alarming character, I ask, Sir, taking all these circumstances into our consideration, and putting ourselves in the position of hon. gentlemen who are not primarily interested in the maritime provinces, whether it would have been reasonable to complain if the other sections of the Dominion, which had honourably redeemed every obligation resting upon them in connection with the Intercolonial Railway, had been unwilling to take upon themselves the burden of another extension by the government road with all the risks that such an undertaking would involve, of a further series of deficits, differing from those they had been accustomed to only in the greater scale upon which they must be reckoned. Will the hon. leader of the opposition be prepared to present such a proposal for the acceptance of his friends in number 6 as an alternative to the proposals of the government ? If so he will be met by all the cogent and, I fear, controlling considerations to which I have referred, but he will also have the still further objection to dispose of which I may have to refer tomore fully in another connection. He will have to deal with an objection

based upon a proposition which I venture to put in the forefront of this discussion as one that cannot be controverted and one that controls the situation in which we find ourselves to-day. My proposition is this: That there is not now, there never was, and until the nature of human beings and of human society undergoes a miracul-Mr. RUSSELL.

ous change, there never will be in any democratic state a case of a line of railway owned and operated by a government in successful competition with a railway owned and operated by private capital. If we had extended the Intercolonial Railway to Parry Sound; if we had made the best bargain imaginable with the owners of the Parry Sound road, a better bargain by far than any that was ever made by any government with any individual for the purchase of a piece of property ; if we had been able to operate the system with entire freedom from the waste and leakage that everybody except the hon. member for South Lanark (Hon. Mr. Haggart) regards as the inseparable accompaniment of government operation ; if all these impossibilities had been concurrently accomplished in the case of the Parry Sound purchase, we should yet have been obliged to compete with other lines of railway operating in the same field with ourselves and competing for the same traffic. Now the right hon. gentleman who introduced this Bill has given in a most strikingly familiar and convincing manner one of the reasons why a government cannot enter into competition with a private individual or company in the operation of a railroad system. I will not repeat his words for they were altogether too striking and vivid and convincing to need restatement. But I refer to them by way of noticing that a very zealous advocate and champion of government ownership affects to make merry with what he pretends to consider the simplicity of the view presented by the Premier upon this aspect of the question. The versatile editor of the Toronto 'World' writes:

It was pitiable in the extreme. He stood on the shore of Parry Sound and after Mr. Booth had shown him his new road to that point, the thought came to him that not only had Mr. Booth to build the road but he would have to find traffic for it and perhaps have to build hotels for travellers over it, and even to send envoys to other lands to seek commerce for the project.

Now whenever anything of this kind appears in the columns of the ' World ' we may rest in the confident assurance that we will sooner or later have it all over again from the place of an hon. member in this House. A traveller ini Europe who went to see the miracle-play at Ober Am-mergau once gave a very interesting account of the performance, mentioning among other drolleries the circumstance of Adam crossing the stage preparatory to being created. The hon. member for East York (Mr. Maclean) in like manner in his capacity of statesman and economist makes his daily appearance on the stage of the Toronto 'World' preparatory to the miracles of creative genius that he displays from time to time to the wonder and admiration of the House of Commons. Now, I do not know whether to refer to him as the

honourable editor of the Toronto ' World ' or the hon. member foe East York. .

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LIB
LIB

Benjamin Russell

Liberal

Mr. RUSSELL.

Well, I could hardly put it that way either. However, the hon. gentleman in his capacity of economist continually rehearses his performances in the columns of the Toronto ' Globe '-

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Some hon. MEMBERS

The ' World.'

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LIB

Benjamin Russell

Liberal

Mr. RUSSELL.

Yes, of course ; God forbid he should have anything to do with the editorship of the ' Globe.'

It was no surprise then to hear in the course of the speech of which the hon. member was in such a hurry to disburden himself that he pumped it into the House under a motion to adjourn, when he could not ask us to receive it in the usual way under any of the regular methods of procedure, the very same line of criticism with *which we had been favoured through the columns of the Toronto ' World ' and the very same ridicule of the Prime Minister's illustration. It was no surprise, let me repeat, as coming from the hon. member for East York, but it was certainly a very great surprise to hear his hollow laugh reechoed by the ex-Minister of Railways and Canals, who Is usually a sensible person, and this in a serious speech delivered under most serious circumstances as a serious indictment of the policy of the government. There is a kind of laughter that a wise mau has said is like the crackling of thorns under the pot, and the laughter of thei exMinister of Railways and Canals at this point will help the House to appreciate the importance of his sneers at the expense of his former leader in connection with other aspects, as well as this of the argument presented to the House on the introduction of the measure. We do not need in this House or in this country any proof of the political genius of the right hon. gentleman who leads this House and who for many years to come is destined to lead this country. But if any illustration were needed, I would not ask for a better one than the fact that the very same idea that flashed itself upon his mind in a moment of insight is reduced to the form and terms of a definite economical proposition by one of the most luminous economic writers of the present day. I refer to a work on ' l'Etat moderne et ses fonctions,' by Paul Leroy-Beaulieu, a member of the Institute and professor in the College of France. In the chapter in which he states the arguments pro and con on the question of the operation of railways by the government of the country, he points out the difference between the operation of a railway and the conduct of those undertakings such as the post office and the telegraph, which mad be hopefully undertaken by the state. His words might almost have been taken

for those of the Premier himself. The idea and the argument ;s exactly that of the right hon. gentleman. He shows how necessary it is for the railway manager to cater to the variety of tastes that he finds in the community which he attempts to serve, how entirely different is the operation of a line of railway from the uniform and routine services performed by the telegraph or the post office and how absolutely essential it is that there should- be an individual and personal initiative such as it is entirely unreasonable to expect from a government official. ' It is not sufficient for the road to wait for traffic. It must hunt it up, must create it, must attract it. Experience proves that the profits of a line of railway depend on all these conditions.'

The ' young lions ' of the Conservative press may find amusement in the convincing illustrations of the Premier, and the hon. ex-Minister of Railways may display his ignorance by joining them in their fool's laughter; but I can assure them one and all that the men who know what they are talking about and who have had experience or profited by the learning of those who have had experience will be struck with its appositeness and cogency.

The ex-Minister of Railways really has no excuse for joining in the laugh, for he has himself had experience of the very difficulties connected with the administration of a government road to which the premier has called attention. How often have I heard him bewailing his impotence in this very matter of commanding freight for his road ? Has he forgotten the speech he delivered in the immigration building in Halifax a few years ago, when the organs of my hon. friend the leader of the opposition were denouncing him as the bitter and malignant enemy of Halifax who spent his days and his nights devising means to compass our destruction ; when his picture appeared in the ' Morning Herald ' as the destroyer of the city, and his name was coupled with the name of Judas Iscariot. He will recall with what painful conclusiveness he demonstrated the impossibility of the Intercolonial Railway ever, under its present conditions, handling any considerable portion of the traffic of the west. The Canadian Pacific, he told us, would not give him any freight. They would carry their freight by their own road over the short line to St. John. The Grand Trunk would give him none. They would carry theirs all to Portland. And I remember well how amusingly and graphically he pictured himself in the absurd performance of climbing into a tree at the western terminus of his road, and shouting over the land for freight to swell the receipts of the Intercolonial. Now the question that presents itself is whether he would have been any better off if he had secured the road to Parry Sound. Suppose he had bought this road from Mr. Booth ; suppose he had gone further, and built or

purchased elevators at Parry Sound to operate In connection with the road, would he not still have been left open to the proposal to climb into a tree, If there are trees upon the barren shore of the Georgian Bay, and send out his imploring cries over the blue waters of Lake Huron ? He might indeed in this way seek to call spirits from the vasty deep ; but we may be permitted to be as skeptical as Hotspur as to the prospects of their coming when he called them. He would find that he must have his line of steamers in connection with the road; and after all this had been done, which is surely the farthest limit to which by any conceivable possibility public opinion would have permitted him to go, the question still remains whether he would have been in a position to compete with a company like the Canadian Pacific for example which can swell its receipts by promoting the construction of mills as at Lake of the Woods, by the erection of palatial hotels, as at Quebec, Vancouver and Banff, and which can enter into almost any line of business that it finds conducive to the creation of a freight or passenger traffic for its line. I greatly fear that we never could have successfully' competed, that the acquisition of the Parry Sound Road, strongly as I was inclined to favour it with my own natural bias in favour of my own city and province, might have proved a failure, might have resulted in continuous and increasing deficits, might have subjected the maritime provinces to the criticism of the other members of the union and created a feeling of hostility towards them which must have materially militated against their comfort and self respect as consistent members of confederation.

I am very glad that the experiment has not been tried, and that the undertaking in a wiser and a better form has been unloaded upon the company that is to operate this national transcontinental line. I regard this portion of the scheme as one of the strongest features by which it is recommended to the favourable consideration of the House. When this subject was first discussed in connection with the resignation of the Minister of Railways, a letter from that hon. gentleman was read in which he described the government measure as a scheme by which the government was to build and own the lean section of the railway and provide a company with government credit to enable them to build and operate the fat section. It was a striking and a plausible statement of the case, and it was at once picked up by every unthinking critic and every Tory newspaper in the country. With his habitual shiftiness, the hon. gentleman had no sooner got them all committed to this view of the situation than he threw them all overboard, and he now presents the argument that neither the western nor the eastern section affords assurance of a paying traffic. Possibly he may have Mr. RUSSELL.

discovered on reflection the obvious fallacy of the way he was presenting the case in his letter. But this was the way he stated it, and the Tory papers have been ringing the changes ever since on the text that he has given them. Why, it has been asked, should the government give the Grand Trunk Pacific Company the end of the pudding containing all the plums, and reserve to itself the end containing nothing but the dough ? Well, Sir, if the government had proposed under this Bill to operate the road from Winnipeg to Moncton, as the hon. Minister of Railways now argues that they ought to have done, it is quite possible that the criticism would be just. In the hands of the government, I am very much afraid the line from Moncton to Winnipeg would have proved a far from profitable line to run. In the hands of the Grand Trunk Pacific, I believe that it will easily be made to pay. The reasons for this belief would not be relevant at this point or to the course of argument that I am now pursuing. On the contrary, I am taking the opponents of the measure on their own ground with respect to "this eastern section of the road, and I so far agree with them in their opinion as to quite freely and fully concede that it is not this section of the road that would offer any inducements or attractions to a company. If there Is a burdensome section of this great transcontinental project, it is the line from Winnipeg to Moncton, and not the end from Winnipeg to the western coast. The hon. ex-Minister of Railways in his letters assumed this to be the fact, the opponents of the measure take it for granted that it is the fact, the hon. member for South Lanark goes even farther than the rest, and demonstrates to his own satisfaction that the road frbm Winnipeg to Moncton will not and cannot be made to pay a profit but must result in continually recurring deficits. He has discovered that the whole country through which this railroad is to run consists of northing but mountains and muskegs. But the men who have been over the country and know it best, the missionaries and hunters and surveyors, all tell a different story from that of the hon. member whose accuracy in such matters has never been regarded as one of his strong points. In this case he has certainly excelled himself in discovering impassable mountains and fathomless muskegs. where the officers of the Geological Survey find arable and cultivable land sufficient to support a large population, and furnish an abundant traffic. It is in this way that history always repeats itself. When George Stephenson projected his road from Liverpool to Manchester, it was the same old story, not so old then as it is now. It can be read in Fanny Kemble's introduction to the book in which she has recorded her impressions. There were the same sort of ' parliament men ' in those days as the two ex-Ministers of Railways, with their

mountains and muskegs to prove the utter absurdity and impossibility of a railway from Liverpool to Manchester. ' There is a rock to be excavated to a depth of more than sixty feet, there are embankments to be made nearly to the same height, there is a swamp of five miles in length to be traversed, in which, if you drop an iron rod, it sinks and disappears. How will you to do this ?' Well, if the parliament men had had their way, it would not have been done at all. But it was done, as this will be done, in spite of all the gloomy pictures and dismal prophecies of the member for South Lanark.

But for the purpose of my present argument, I take him at his word and accept his demonstration that the road will be so expensive a one to build and so unprofitable to operate that it cannot ever be expected to be run without a loss. What, then, in view of his demonstration, is the proposition we are called upon to consider ? Is it a proposal by which, as the ex-Minister of Railways and Canals has most unfairly, uncandidly and perversely represented, we are handing over to a company the fat end of the road and retaining the lean end in the hands of the government ? Surely it is nothing of the kind. It is a scheme by which the government, in consideration of the support that they are giving to this company in the construction of the road from Winnipeg to Port Simpson, and which they might well have given without any consideration whatever, as they have this very session given similar aid to another company, and as the French government has given similar aid to all its great railway companies, has loaded the company down with an obligation to operate, for the benefit of the older provinces, the eastern and more burdensome section of the road. The hon. member for South Lanark has very frankly admitted this to be the nature of the scheme. Whether he made the admission intentionally or in a moment of unconscious frankness, I have no means of determining. But, that there may be no mistake about the matter, I take his words as reported in the official record :

The Grand Trunk Pacific want the road from Winnipeg to the Pacific ocean ; they want also the road from Winnipeg to Lake Superior, and they may arrange for connection with their North Bay or Montreal system of roads. But it is no interest to them, it is a drag and a load upon them to compel them to accept the road from Winnipeg to Quebec and from Quebec to Moncton.

These are the words of the hon. member for South Lanark (Hon. Mr. Haggart). What is it that they prove ? Do they prove the proposition upon the strength of which the ex-Minister of Railways and Canals surrendered his portfolio, or do they not prove the very opposite of his proposition ? Surely, if the hon. member is correct and the acceptance of the line from Winnipeg to 280

Moncton is a drag and a burden upon the Grand Trunk Pacific, it is a drag and a burden which the government have imposed upon them and compelled them to accept as the consideration for the valuable franchises and substantial pecuniary assistance which they secure from the government under the provisions of this Bill.

There is only one possible answer to this presentation of the case. It may be argued that the road will be so unprofitable that it will not pay the company to operate it, and that the contract is so weak that the government will not be in a position to compel its operation. If both these propositions can be shown to be well founded, the bargain is indefensible. Even should the last of them alone be true, the bargain is not as good a one as it should have been. What then are the guarantees that the country will hold for the efficient operation of the road ? Well, Sir, there are two distinct and separate kinds of guarantee, the one intentional and express, the other undesigned entirely as a matter of guarantee, but to my mind more effectual, if that were possible, than the one that is expressly * nominated in the bond.' To my mind the best possible guarantee and the all-sufficient guarantee for the continuous and satisfactory operation of the road is the fact that it is in the covenants under which the company takes its franchise, and subject to the performance of which it will hold every mile of its road and every right that under this measure it will possess. This contract has been represented to the country as one of enormous value to the company. The government, we are told, has been gold-bricked into making such an improvident and thriftless bargain wih the promoters of the scheme. The concessions to the company were, in the judgment of the ex-Minister of Railways and Canals when he was prepar-' Ing the statement of his reasons for surrendering his portfolio, so enormously valuable that he would compel the company to hand over perhaps a half, at all events, not less than a third of the net earnings of the enterprise as the price of the concessions. He appears to have changed his mind since then, or to have two minds upon the subject. In fact he has not been of one mind on any point connected with the subject for twenty-four hours together since he delivered his ultimatum. What his mind may be at this date as to the value of the franchise, it would be useless for me to conjecture ; but, everybody who has attacked this measure has agreed that it is enormously valuable and, we are told that it is to give us a new crop of millionaires.

Now, Sir, I should like to have it pointed out to me by what method of manipulation the company will be able to hold its franchise and realize all this affluence without continuously and efficiently performing its covenants for the operation of the road from Winnipeg to Moncton. Breach of cov-

enant results In debt, debts ripen into judgments, and judgments are followed by delivery into tbe bands of the receiver. The breach of the covenants in the lease does not merely operate a forfeiture of the lease. The company has no option to surrender Its lease and he excused from the performance of the covenants. It is under covenant to continuously and effectively operate the road, and if it fails to do so it must also abandon the hope of earning the dividends which are the sole object of the company in entering upon the undertaking. It cannot continue to earn its dividends from its western traffic without continuously performing its covenant for the operation of the eastern end. In the nature of things, what better guarantee could the country ask for, and what more effective guarantee could possibly be given ? Is it not clear beyond controversy that the company will be obliged to operate effectively every mile of the road from Winnipeg to Moncton in exact accordance with the standard efficiency demanded by the contract ?

Now, what follows from the performance of this obligation ? I venture to say that the exacting of this requirement is pregnant with consequences of the greatest possible importance to the seaports of the lower provinces. The hon. leader of the opposition said a very wise thing in connection with this matter ; or if he did not quite say it, he came so near the mark that it would be a pity to deprive him of the credit of having hit the nail upon the head. He virtually admitted that no mere stipulations in a contract or a statute could divert the course of traffic from one channel to another. Be it so, you cannot by legislation or by contract make Halifax, for instance, the terminus of the Grand Trunk Railway in place of Portland. But what you can do is to locate your great arterial lines of transportation in such a way that it will be natural for their traffic to seek its outlet in your own ports, and that is what the government have done in the location of this road. They have kept it well to the north, they have by its means sought to broaden and deepen the area of the eastern provinces. This road, when once its traffic is established, and its local trade developed, will turn as naturally to Quebec in summer and to the Atlantic ports in winter as the Grand Trunk now turns to Portland in winter and summer alike.

They have obliged this company to operate the road throughout its whole extent continuously and efficiently. It cannot afford to run empty cars. It is driven by every impulse that can be brought to bear upon a company to find traffic for its road. It must and will see that the forests are felled, that farms are settled, that industries are established throughout this new Quebec and new Ontario, so that its traffic may be developed and improved. The local Traffic originating in these new centres of Mr. RUSSELL.

industry will make a through-traffic profitable that could not otherwise be made to pay. I am no expert in railway economics, but, I think it is a matter of common knowledge that a through-traffic and local traffic over the same line may both be made to pay where either through or local traffic standing by itself would make a loss. In conversation with one of the officials of the Intercolonial some years ago as to the prospects of that road, he assured me that if he were free to handle the road according to his own ideas it would not be impossible for him to carry grain to Halifax for nothing. It seemed to me to be a paradox, but he elaborated his view in such a way as to make it seem entirely plausible. The present trains he said are running at a profit. Increase the power of your locomotives, double or treble the carrying capacity of your trains, and you add somewhat, erf course, to the expense for fuel and to the wages of your men, but you gradually approximate the point at which the ratio between the increase in the expense and the improvement in the returns is so small that the increased expense account becomes a negligible quantity. All this was given me in good faith and seriousness by a former official of the road, who is one of the brightest and most clearheaded railway men in this country. I do not pass judgment on his views. It is not my business to understand railway administration. But when I hear the hon. gentlemen opposite, whose knowledge is not better than my own, predicting with brazen confidence that this road can never carry its through freights across the continent, I bethink me of the equally confident and pessimistic ' parliament men ' that tried the soul of George Stephenson, the equally confident and pessimistic prophets of the early failure and ruin of the Canadian Pacific, and all the long and dismal succession of croakers and groaners who have stood in the way of every progressive movement that has ever been inaugurated.

If the opponents of this Bill are right in their predictions, if this policy does what the hon. leader of the opposition says that statutes and contracts cannot in themselves accomplish, then it is because no policy that can be adopted by this parliament can ever accomplish the task. It is a counsel of despair that our opponents offer us. The task is beyond the resources of statesmanship. Our dream of a national life realizing itself in conscious and genuine community of interests is destined to remain forever unfulfilled, and the soooner we acknowledge that our confederation is a failure and a blunder, the better will we be able to reconcile ourselves to the inevitable alternative. Now, I am not ready to adopt such a conclusion as this. I have said already, it is a counsel of despair. It is of a piece with the dreary pessimism of the ex-Minister of Railways and Canals.

It lias no placq in the new life and the new hopes that are springing in the heart and soul of this young Canadian commonwealth.

I believe the day is bound to come when the cities of Halifax and St. John, each with its own peculiar advantages, and contending in friendly rivalry, will hold the same relation to the Grand Trunk Pacific that Portland now holds in relation to the old Grand Trunk, and that this will be brought about in good part by, if it is not almost wholly dependent upon, those provisions of the measure which I am next called upon to discuss.

The extension of the road beyond Quebec, eastward into the maritime provinces and to connect with the city of Moncton, has been attacked by the opponents of the measure as an unnecessary and improvident expenditure. As to this contention, let me point out, in the first place, how preposterously the relative importance of this expenditure has been overstated by the opponents of the Bill. If you will look at the map of Canada, you will see that the line from Moncton to Quebec is, roughly speaking, about one-fifth of the whole distance from Moncton to Winnipeg. (I rely upon dimensions as measured on the map.) It is about one-tenth of the whole distance from Moncton to Port Simpson, the western terminus of the road. Now, does it not appear to the House to be a question of small potatoes, when you are providing for a great transcontinental line from ocean to ocean, and there is a distinct national object to be served, a great national hope to be realized, a clear and strong national aspiration to be gratified, by the undertaking-does it not, I ask, seem to the House, and will it not, on due reflection, seem to the people of this country, to be a very small matter indeed, to cavil over the question whether we shall or shall not extend the railway a tenth part further than in the opinion of some of us it-may be absolutely necessary. It is a matter of three hundred and fifty or four hundred miles of railway out of three or four thousand miles in all. It may involve an expenditure of perhaps ten million dollars. The ex-Minister of Railways and Canals even does not state it at more than $15,000,000, and his figures are extravagantly high. It may impose an outlay in interest of $300,000 or $450,000 a year. The government will have to pay this interest for seven years, when the load will be lifted from its shoulders by the company. The present value of these deferred payments may be less at the completion of the road than two million dollars, and cannot be more than three millions. And it is this expenditure of two or three million dollars that is going to bring ruin and disaster to the Dominion of Canada. The farm of every man in this country our opposition friends may be conceived as saying, is going to be mortgaged from this date; while grass grows and water runs.

for the sum of fifty cents for the building of this road from Quebec to Moncton. Is it not a terrible outlook ? Why the whole expenditure is less than we have made upon the mere terminal facilities that have been provided at Halifax and St. John. This expenditure is to be made, as the Premier has well shown, to redeem the faith of parliament pledged to the people of this country. The people of the maritime provinces have always held, the people of Halifax more particularly have been persistent in the contention, that the abandonment of the Harvey-Salisbury link of the short line railway was a clear breach of faith with the people who were interested in its construction. Now, surely, it will not be said that two or three million dollars of the money of Canada, a sum equal to from thirty-three to fifty cents a head of the population is an exorbitant sum to pay to redeem the honour of this parliament, and surely it is not an unreasonable sum for this House to vote, even if there were no question of honour in the matter, and the only question at stake was the hope of making the maritime provinces in fact, what they are now largely In form alone, an integral portion of the Dominion of Canada. Sir, if there were but one chance in twenty that this expenditure might result in giving the cities of St. John and Halifax the same position in this Dominion that Boston, New York and Philadelphia hold in the community of states that constitutes the American republic, there is no Canadian worthy of the name who would begrudge his portion of the outlay, and I fail to understand how any hon. gentleman from the provinces beside the sea can oppose this portion of the scheme without being untrue to the interests of the people that he represents.

But the hon. ex-Minister of Railways and Canals has objected to this part of the arrangement because it is proposed to parallel the Intercolonial Railway. Now, I do not wish to repeat any part of the argument that has already been addressed to the House; but I cannot refrain from referring in this connection to the exceedingly sensible and apposite comment on this part of the hon. gentleman's argument on the morning after the ministerial explanations were given to the House. The Morning ' Citizen,' speaking of the reasons given by the ex-minister for his procedure, said :

The ostensible reason given, is the objection of the minister to the clause in the Grand Trunk scheme which provides for the paralleling of the Intercolonial from Moncton north. Nobody who knows the Minister of Railways well would take seriously the report that he would object to the national expenditure of money entailed by the building of another government road from one end of his province to the other. There has been a good deal of talk of double-tracking the Intercolonial to increase its capacity so as to enable it to handle a transcontinental traffic. But "the financial difference between double-tracking an existing

road and building a new line is not of such an extent that it may not be justified on the ground that a separate line will afford additional facilities for the province through which it operates.

I do not quote these words for the purpose, with which they were written, of prying into the motives of the ex-Minister of Railways and Canals, or discrediting the account that he has given to the House of the actual reasons for the steps that he has taken. I have no doubt that he has given us a truthful statement on that matter. We know, however, that he was smarting under a sense of the slight that he imagined had been put upon him. He felt this keenly enough to place it in the forefront of his letter to the Premier, when every possible consideration of policy would have counselled him to leave the facts to be revealed, if at all, by his biographer. We may well discount the value of a political judgment on a great national question when the mind of the judge was obscured by such a cloud as this. One of the greatest of poets has given us the picture of the wrath that can animate even a celestial mind under the sting of a wounded self-admiration; and the whole demeanour of the hon. gentleman since he abandoned his colleagues has been such as to confirm the skepticism of the ' Morning Citizen ' as to the simplicity and singleness of the motive by which the hon. gentleman has been impelled. It may well be that no mere differences of opinion could have inspired the ferocity of his attack upon his former leader, or betrayed him into the mistake of sneering at the man whom this country delights to honour, and whose shoes' latchets the hon. gentleman might well consider himself honoured in being permitted to unloose. Nevertheless, I do not quote these words for the purpose of throwing doubt upon his motives ; I quote them for their intrinsic value, for their great significance, having regard to the source from which they come, and for the sagacious view that they present, as to the comparative unimportance of the difference between the proposals of the government and proposals which it is understood the ex-Minister of Railways and Canals would not have been unwilling to entertain. They show that even to the mind of a convinced opponent of the scheme, the point on which the ex-minister has staked his political existence is not a vital point, nay, more, that it is in fact a meritorious element in the arrangement. Surely nobody in this country would have been thrown into convulsions of terror and alarm if the proposal had been made to double-track the Intercolonial as part of a scheme for a national transcontinental line of railway. Then, as this writer very properly points out, the difference between the cost of double-tracking and the cost of building an additional line of railway may well be compensated by the additional facilities afforded for local traffic to the portions of

Topic:   NATIONAL TRANSCONTINENTAL RAILWAY.
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LIB

Benjamin Russell

Liberal

Mr. RUSSELL.

the country through which the road will be constructed.

But this is by no means all that can be said for the proposal. Everybody knows that when the Intercolonial road was built there were serious differences of opinion as to the proper line for its location. A writer in the ' Morning Chronicle ' of Halifax, who is vouched for as a railway expert, and who certainly writes from copious and exact information on the subject, has given us the history of the dispute between Mr. Wilkinson, the government engineer of the province of New Brunswick, and Major Robinson, who was appointed by the imperial government to report upon the route. Mr. Wilkinson recommended a route through the centre of New Brunswick. Major Robinson favoured the present location of the road. Now, the hon. member for South Lanark (Hon. Mr. Haggart) has told us that the road recommended by Mr. Wilkinson was and is impracticable. He has read from the report of Sir Sandford Fleming to that effect. But as the hon. member for Westmoreland has clearly established, he has, I do not assume intentionally, distorted utterly the effect of that report. Moreover, even if this had not been shown, the hon. member should have noticed that Sir Sandford Fleming's report is largely based upon the surveys of Major Robinson, and Major Robinson was expressly commissioned to locate a military road. Mr. Wilkinson, who was the government engineer of the province of New Brunswick, never concurred in Major Robinson's opinion, and never ceased to contend for the central as against the northern road, which eventually, for military rather than for either commercial or engineering reasons, was the one adopted. Now, let us imagine that the views of Mr. Wilkinson had, in fact, prevailed, and that the line had been constructed through the centre of New Brunswick as he had recommended that it should be. Does any hon. member believe that we would have endured to this day without another line of railway running along the north shore of New Brunswick and the south shore of the River St. Lawrence ? Does any hon. member imagine that the prosperous and thriving settlements along the present line of the Intercolonial Railway would have given this parliament any rest until they were afforded the same railway accommodation that other sections of the community were enjoying? A line of railway would certainly have been constructed corresponding substantially with the present line of the Intercolonial. It would have been constructed without criticism and with universal concurrence, and the condition of things would have become precisely such as will be brought about under the operation of this Bill. Why, then, the alarm and clamour ? Why all these groans and lamentations over a proposal to bring about a condition of affairs

Which would have been established with universal acquiescence it the course of history had only been a little different from that which it actually happened to pursue?

There is still another method of testing the propriety of this expenditure. Study the maps of New Brunswick and of the lower portion of the province of Quebec. This section of country will compare favourably in soil, in climate, in natural resources, and in everything that goes to make the home of a happy and contented population, with any of the New England states. Apart from the greater density of population, there is no reason why it should not furnish traffic for a railway mileage equal to that of any of the New England states. Now, what do you find to be the fact? Outside of the state of Maine,

I believe you could not travel in a direct line in any of the New England states for more than twenty miles without crossing a railroad track, and in many places you would cross a number of them. How is it in New Brunswick ? From the line of the Intercolonial on the north shore of New Brunswick across the province to the state of Maine, there is an immense area of country, from eighty to a hundred miles in width, without a single mile of railway. Why should this country not be opened up by a railway, even if the construction of such a road were not in the least degree essential as a link in a transcontinental road from ocean to ocean ? I consider that this is a most important aspect of the question. Standing alone it might not, in the' estimation of some bon. gentlemen, be sufficient, as it certainly would be in the minds of others, to justify the expenditure. But, taken as part of the consideration for the outlay, it is surely a most important element in the case. The older provinces of the Dominion have done much for the development of our national heritage in the west. We have voted our millions, not only without a murmur, but with unfailing cheerfulness and alacrity. The lower provinces in particular have derived hardly any material benefit from the heavy expenditures that they have been called upon to make for these great undertakings. With them it has been very largely a matter of patriotism and national sentiment alone. They have cheerfully seen their sons go forth from their midst for the peopling of the western lands, though the movement of population should leave their own fields unfilled that once laughed with the harvest, and result in the reversion to forest of lands that were cleared a hundred years ago. These results of the opening up of the west were clearly foreseen, and there was a time when even Sir John A. Macdonald himself looked upon the movement with misgivings and apprehensions as to its effects upon the older provinces. But we have, all of us, *outgrown these views.

Nobody in these days regrets what has happened in this respect or would wish that

the course of events had been other than it has been. But it is not for the interest of the country as a whole that this movement of population should go beyond what is reasonable. We of the lower provinces desire most keenly to retain our relative position in the Dominion as long as it is possible to maintain it. It is in the interest of the country as a whole that the balance should not be needlessly or greatly disturbed. We desire to retain a strong, a vigorous and a continually increasing population within our borders, and it is certainly to the interest of the Dominion as a whole that we should do so. To my mind nothing in the whole history of the United States is more pathetic, and few things are more lamentable, than the extent to which the descendants of the original population of New England have given place to the children of alien races. The statues of the old Puritan founders are in their parks and gardens, their streets and market places. Their memorial tablets are in their churches and public halls, and their names are immortalized in towns and villages and hamlets throughout the old colonies. But the descendants of these men are, many of them, no longer there, and those that are there no longer control the destinies or direct the spirit of New England. Another race has come to fill the tenantless houses and occupy the abandoned farms, a people that,, as Matthew Arnold says, does not strike its roots down lovingly into the soil and that has little in common with the ideals on which the New England commonwealths were founded. Now, if we can do anything to prevent the history of New England from repeating itself in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, I am sure it is well worth while to make the effort. The construction of this road will be a step in this direction, and a step of the very greatest importance. Every railroad that is constructed, every new industry that tstablishes itself along its line, every new mail route that is opened up, every new church and school house that are built, help to make the country more attractive and more habitable, more likely to retain in our midst the population, without which we cannot hold the position which it is in the interest of the country as a whole that we should occupy as members of the confederation.

I think, moreover, that the hon. ex-Minister of Railways has been unduly alarmed as to the extent to which the building of this road will militate against the interests of the Intercolonial. Not that I concede for a moment that if it should have that effect it would be any the less our duty to proceed with the undertaking. The hon. gentleman has watched over the Intercolonial so long and, I may concede, so tenderly and efficiently as well, that it may have become a hobby with him, or, like golf or billiards, it has developed into a passion. Indeed, in his particular case, it seems almost to have assumed the appearance of a

new kind of disease, and certainly it has assailed him in a particularly acute and aggravated form. He naturally would be inclined to look with fear and suspicion upon anything that would threaten the sources of its trade. But for the rest of us the Intercolonial must not be a fetish. The railroads, as the Premier well said, are made for man and not man for the railroads. The Intercolonial, I suppose, was built to serve the country. The country was not formed primarily for the purpose of feeding the Intercolonial. Therefore, even if it had to be conceded that the Intercolonial was to be destroyed by the Grand Trunk Pacific, we would be only pursuing the policy that has, we are told, 'been the secret of the immense and marvellous progress of the manufacturing industries of the United States. When their actual machinery and appliances were not up to the highest standard of perfection they pitched them into the junk heap, no matter how recently purchased or installed, no matter how expensive. If the Intercolonial Railway is over a hundred miles longer than it need be, if its use involves unprofitable expense and unnecessary delay, if a shorter and better route can be adopted, then we must insist on its adoption, even if it should make scrap iron of the present road.

But on this point, as on others, the hon. gentleman has altered his views essentially since he stated the excuses for his desertion of his colleagues. If I understood his speech at all, he demonstrated that the superiority of the Intercolonial Railway was so great over the Canadian Pacific short line to begin with, and over any possible line that could be constructed through the province of New Brunswick, that no matter what the Grand Trunk Pacific might do it could not take away its traffic from the Intercolonial. Why then, under these conditions, he should have shed such bitter, scalding tears as he did and drop them in such profusion over the fate of the people along the line of the Intercolonial, because its traffic was going to be destroyed and the road dismantled, perhaps he would explain some other day when he experiences another of those sudden and incomprehensible changes of opinion that he has been so frequently undergoing ever since he left the safe anchorage of his position as a loyal minister of the Crown. I agree as to the merits and position of the Intercolonial more nearly with the opinions in his speech than with those of his letters. When he left the government because of his fears for the Intercolonial I believe he was unduly alarmed. He failed to consider, as he has since been evidently led to consider, that the Intercolonial will still have some resources left with which to meet the competition of the proposed new road. That road will simply cross the Intercolonial at Quebec. It will come to Quebec on the west through a wholly different territory from that tra-Mr. RUSSELL.

versed by the Intercolonial, and it will proceed eastward through a wholly different country. What reason is there for assuming that it will take any part of the traffic of the Intercolonial beyond that which originates in the vicinity of Quebec and Levis ? All the conditions of the situation as they exist to-day will remain unchanged, with the exception of this transcontinental road crossing the Intercolonial at a single point and reaching out both east and west through a country that the Intercolonial does not touch. Now, the traffic originating in L6vis and its vicinity and the traffic from the maritime provinces destined for Levis and vicinity yields the Intercolonial Railway a Very small proportion of its actual earnings, and whatever will be lost from this source of income to the Intercolonial will be more than compensated, will be compensated ten times over, by the traffic developed over the new line both west of and east of Quebec which must be carried over the Intercolonial to seek its outlet at the Atlantic ports.

Before I leave the subject of the Moncton section there is just one further remark I wish to make, because of the diversion which some hon. gentlemen in this House, and some very wise newspapers in the country. have derived from the argument of the Prime Minister with reference to the bonding privilege. I must, in all candour, say that there is hardly any other branch of this case on which the opponents of this measure, including the hon. ex-minister, who certainly is capable of better things, have talked more nonsense than they have on this phase of the question. The hon. leader of the opposition quoted from an old speech of his former leader to show that the bonding privilege could not be cancelled, because it was held under a treaty. But he had, just a few moments before he read this passage, been listening to the reading of a message of President Cleveland, in which he recommended that Congress should pass legislation for the express purpose of placing this matter in the arbitrium of the executive. And if ever a man was in earnest it was President Cleveland that was in earnest when he made this recommendation to Congress. My hon. friend was not leader of the opposition in those days. He was not then in joarliament. He was, like myself, in his political short-clothes. I know not whether he read the newspapers then or not. But if he ever did, and if he took any interest whatever in the public affairs of the country, he must remember the apprehensions that existed throughout this country lest the threat of President Cleveland should be carried into execution. [DOT]

The hon. gentleman, who has been followed in this contention by the hon. exMinister of Railways, has argued that the bonding privilege will never.be cancelled, because it is in the interest of the United States as much as it is to our advantage that it should be retained. Sancta simplici-

tas ! Did anybody ever bear sucb an answer to a suggestion of grave national peril ? As if nations, when tlieir blood is up, ever pause to consider their material interests. Was it in the material interest of the United States a few years ago to plunge into a war with England for the delimitation of a boundary line in Venezuela ; yet we were about as near to a war as nations ever go without the actual exchange of blows. Was it in the interest of the Boer republics to go to war with England over the question of the Uitlanders' franchise ? What is true in this respect of wars that are waged with rifle and bayonet thrust, is equally true of those that are fought with tariffs and trade privileges. Men do not ' pause on passion's fiery wheel to count the measure of their pulse.' The lion. ex-M inis ter of Railways did not xiause to consider the tangled web of self-contradiction and self-stultification in which he was about to involve himself when in a moment, whether of keen resentment or of high conviction, it is not for me to judge, he threw up his portfolio, turned his back upon his colleagues and slammed the door in their faces. And nations are no wiser than individuals are. They do not pause to weigh the question of material or pecuniary interest when the national spirit is aroused over some real or imaginary grievance. If we had stopped to consider our pecuniary and material interests, I am not sure that we would have imposed the surcharge on the goods of Germany. But we did impose it. The national spirit called for the measure, and the national spirit will sustain the government, no matter whether it is conducive to our material interests or not.

Should the day come when the national spirit of the United States is aroused over any real or supposed unfairness, in the conduct of this country, the bonding privilege may be cancelled with as little regard to questions of material and pecuniary interest ns there wras when the reciprocity treaty was abrogated. No truer note was ever sounded in this House than that in which the Premier asked this House to sanction this measure for this, among other reasons : to secure the independence of the country and render it indifferent to the whims and caprices of our neighbours. True enough, we are not absolutely at their mercy as it is ; we have the Intercolonial Railway. But every lion, member must have reflected that the Intercolonial Railway, under present conditions and in such an emergency would simply be a raft in a shipwreck. I well remember in a general way, what those to whom this line of reading and study is a specialty, will recall with fuller accuracy, the discussions that took place when the Intercolonial Railway was about to be constructed, and how it was even at that day represented by wise and high authorities that its chief use would be, not as a road for actual traffic purposes, but rather as a

lever to keep the road open to Portland for the service of the people of this country. This very idea finds expression in the report of Sir Sandford Fleming, which has already been more than once referred to in this debate. The suggestions of the opposition on this subject are in accord with this line of policy. But we have reached a more advanced stage of public opinion and a more truly national conception of the proper attitude of this country. We do not simply want a little bit of national road with no effective connections and no continental trade. So long as we continue under those conditions the fear of the dislocations of business and the infinite loss and suffering that must follow the cancellation of the bonding privilege will for ever be a handicap to the government of this country, no matter of what its political complexion, in any contest for the rights of this country where their assertion may threaten the cancellation of the privilege. Neither the friends nor the enemies of this measure will do it justice if they fail to recognize it as a bona fide effort, a heroic effort, let it be conceded, but a well-meant effort, and one that is full of promise, to make this national transcontinental railway a main artery of commerce between the inland and the sea, and to build up within our own borders the cities through which the commerce of the nation shall flow to the great markets of the world.

I am afraid that I have dealt at somewhat inordinate length with the questions that I have been discussing. I have certainly done so, if the views are correct which are expressed by the editor of the Toronto [DOT] World.' In his judgment all these questions that I have been considering are mere trifles. He has given us a description of a kind of criticism which nobody can read without realizing that it was meant for a summary of the reply delivered by his leader to the speech of the right lion, leader of the House in introducing the Bill, and he says that this sort of criticism is of no value. This, he says, is a great proposal and the criticism of it must be on big lines. The picayune criticisms of the hon. leader of the opposition he pronounces a failure. The opposition, he says, must discover an alternative to the government proposal, and that alternative is government ownership of the road. The hon. member for South' Lanark appears to agree with him, and the hon. exMinister of Railways has told us that his first choice would have been as to this matter at all events to row in the same boat with the hon. member for East York and the hon. member for South Lanark. The hon. leader of the opposition has not quite made up his mind about the matter. He has heard a good deal of irresponsible chatter about government ownership of railways just as he has heard of free silver and faith healing and innumerable other fads and crotchets. But he is a prosaic and common-

sense sort of person with little imagination and no sentiment; and while these imaginative enthusiasts, like the two exMinisters of Railways and the hon. member for East York, are ready to put to sea, ne shrinks into himself. He * lingers shivering on the brink and fears to launch away.' I must confess that I am with him in his misgivings. When I heard the hon. exMinister of Railways read from his letter to the Premier the passage in which he expressed his first preference for ' a government-owned and government-operated railway ' based upon the exploded theory of its * equalizing and regulating influence upon all the other railways ' with which it would come into competiaion, I must confess that his words produced the effect of a sudden shock. If they had been spoken by some raw young person like the former member for Lisgar (Mr. Richardson), I would not have been surprised. If they had come from the light-hearted visionary from East York who elaborates his theories of state policy on the wing, in the course of his hitherings and thitherings between his seat in parliament and his desk in Toronto, there would have been nothing in the circumstance to astonish the House of Commons. It would simply have been another illustration of what Mr. Ackworth has said that the movement for government operation is like the scarlet fever. It is liable to attack any community and at irregular intervals to become epidemic, but its attacks as a rule are severe, only in the case of the younger and more impressionable portion of the population. But when a hard-headed and practical person such as the hon. ex-Minister of Railways, who has had seven years' experience of government ownership and operation, and who must be presumed to have given some serious consideration to the subject, concurs in the views of the hon. member for East York and seems to be supported by the hon. member for South Lanark, the time has surely arrived for a calm and careful consideration of the question.

Now, I must admit at the outset, that I have a great degree of sympathy with the views those hQn. gentlemen have presented to the House. I have been at times seriously threatened with the symptoms of the disease with which they are afflicted. When the theory of government ownership was broached in the Railway Committee by some lion, gentlemen in the discussion of the Grand Trunk Pacific Bill, my heart went out towards them, and if I had been able to dispose to my own satisfaction of the very serious difficulties and objections by which the proposition is beset, I certainly would have been pleased to find that I was able to join them in the advocacy of such a measure. I started with a very strong bias in favour of the proposition and I have on more than one occasion indicated my preference for some such solution of the railway question if it could be safely brought Mr. RUSSELL.

about. But I am compelled to admit that the authoritative voices are for the most part opposed to the proposal for which the hon. ex-Minister of Railways has expressed his preference. I have quoted parenthetically the views of Mr. Ackworth, whose position and authority will be recognized by everyone who has read the literature of the question. A more scientific writer is the one I have already mentioned, M. Paul Leroy-Beaulieu. In his work on ' the modern state and its functions ' he has a chapter devoted wholly to the presentation of the arguments for and against the proposition under discussion. He shows that the two countries in which a moderate and qualified success has been achieved in the state operation of railways are not really modern states at all. They are not moulded on the democratic model. In Prussia the central power is practically independent of parliament, if not absolutely so, in the general direction of political affairs, at least it is so in the choice and conduct of the personnel of the administration. Even Belgium, although it approaches more nearly to the democratic model, differs in two essential particulars from a real democracy, namely, in the narrowness of its suffrage, and in the relative permanence of its administration. The political conditions in both countries are so entirely different from those prevailing, as he suggests, in France and the United States, and let me add, so entirely different from those prevailing in the Dominion of Canada, that it is utterly impossible to argue from the partial and qualified success of government operation in Germany and Belgium, that we would enjoy any similar exemption from failure and disaster here.

The analogy of the post office and the telegraph, he rejects as being inapplicable. The post ahd telegraph system in France represents a receipt of 180,000,000 francs. The corresponding figure for the railways in France is ten or twelve hundred million francs. In Great Britain and Ireland he states the gross receipts of the post office and telegraph system as a little over nine million pounds sterling, while the receipts of the railways amount to over seventy-one millions. Because in the narrow and restricted sphere of the post office and the telegraph the government has successfully taken possession, it does not follow that a staff of state officials would be found competent to conduct a business infinitely more extended. But this is not the only difference between the cases. The service of the post office and the telegraph is of a simple and elementary character. That of a railway is complex and difficult in the extreme. The question of tariffs, as we all know, is an exceedingly complicated one, requiring the highest quality of expert knowledge and experience. It is so difficult that the House will remember one occasion when the exMinister of Railways could not make his

predecessor, the hon. member for South Lanark, understand even the meaning of the terms used in the Railway Commission Bill to define the different classes of tariffs, with which the commission will have to deal. Whether it was from want of lucidity in the explanations or from defectiveness in the ' uptake,' it would be invidious to say. Possibly there was a little of both ; but out of respect for such high authorities we will assume that the trouble was due to the intrinsic difficulty of the subject.

The expenditures for material' of every kind required for a railway call for a business knowledge that a political department cannot be expected to possess, and expose the minister to the constant suspicion of the country on the score of favouritism and boodling. Every political party when in opposition believes its opponents on the treasury benches to be guilty of these offences, and a large percentage of the commoil people believe both parties guilty. Even the high character and lofty integrity of Alexander Mackenzie did not exempt him from charges of this nature in connection with his purchases of rails for the road that was afterwards handed over to the Canadian Pacific. And if charges of this nature could be brought against Mackenzie, and be believed for'a time by one-half of the people of Canada, what must be the suspicions that will rest upon public men whose reputations do not stand so clearly out as his, beyond the reach of any reasonable suspicion ?

The writer next refers to the enormous army of employees which under the system of government operation must be subject to the control of the administration of the day. In Great Britain, at the date of his writing, there were three hundred thousand of these employees ; in Prance about two hundred thousand. * of whom the number is bound to be increased.' The smaller the number of state functionaries, the better the chance of preserving the precious boon of political liberty.

When the number of employees of the state goes beyond five or six per cent of the electoral body political liberty is greatly endangered. When the state functionaries form ten per cent of the electors it ceases to exist.

Nothing could be better than his statement of the injurious political consequences that must flow from the great extension of political power which the government ownership of railways would involve. Let me quote his very words, or at least present a fair translation of them :

The modern state, which belongs in a precarious fashion to a party, the personnel of which is changed from time to time as the chances of the ballot may determine, would be strongly tempted to transform the operation of the railways into an instrument of electoral corruption. It would have no power to resist the multiplication of trains, the increase in the number of employees, the. removal of political opponents and their replacement by others. The modern state is almost completely delivered

over to considerations of political expediency. This is a condition that applies to every branch of the public service, and for this reason it is well that the sphere of government operation should be as restricted as possible.

Such are some of tbe considerations, altogether apart from those derived from actual experience which he presents in opposition to the system of government operation. Coming down to actual experience, his demonstration is equally if not more cogent. Taking the system of government operation as he finds it at its best, in Germany and Belgium, he affirms it as a proposition not even open to debate that the system of government operation is more costly, less punctual, and more liable to accident than the system of company roads. Convincing statistics are presented on these points which it would be tedious to quote, and the author supports his argument in many of its details by citations from the reports of M. LeHardy de Beaulieu to the Belgian Chamber of Representatives.

I know that a question of this kind is not going to be determined by the marshalling of authorities, but I cannot forbear to cite the words of another writer who has made a more comprehensive presentation of the science of railroading than any other that I know of. I refer to Marshall J. Kirkman. I do not know how his authority is appraised by those who do not know, but he is described as one of the foremost railway men of the world, having spent his whole life in the service, besides having been, throughout his life, a diligent student of the railway question in its every phase. It should be a sufficient testimony to the value of his work that it has gone through at least five editions. How many more there may have been I do not know. He has presented the question in no less than twelve volumes, covering the whole service from the organization of the companies down to the coupling and uncoupling of the cars. His general remarks on the subject of state ownership are as wise as they are witty :

When anything goes wrong In the world or seems to go wrong, the ignorant and thoughtless everywhere rise up and call upon the government to interfere, as if a perfunctory body made up of agents loosely selected at best were more trustworthy than the mass from which it derives its life. Government interference is ' the sine qua non ' of young people, the hopeful, confiding and simple. It is the fancy of cranks and schemers.

I cannot undertake to assign to these several classes the hon. members who have advocated the policy in this House. They include the young and confiding, the cranks and the schemers. The ex-Minister of Railways will not be included among the young and confiding, and he has not heretofore been counted as a crank. Yet I will not draw the conclusion. Let me, rather, proceed with the quotation :

It is never fully adequate. It lacks in intelligent interest, energy and adaptability. It more-

over has the effect of weakening personal interest and individual effort. Its substitute for private effort is to trade off the practical experience and enthusiasm of the nation for the service of hired men. Government management lacks the spirit of alertness and desire to please. It is at once meddlesome, slow, cumbrous and bumptious. In no case has the train service of railroads managed by governments kept pace with that of lines operated by private corporations either as regards safety or efficiency.

These I am aware are only opinions, and I freely concede that the ex-Minister of Railways could confidently present his management of the Intercolonial Railway as a set-off to some of the accusations that have been brought against this system of state ownership and operation. He has given us a brilliant illustration of the capacity of the governent road to compete with a company road in the case of the cattle that went over the Intercolonial after the embargo prevented them from going through the United States. It shows what intellectual paralysis may come upon even a clever person when he gets on the wrong track. Did it never suggest itself to the hon. gentleman that it was not very conclusive as to the competing capacity of the Intercolonial that it should be able to beat the Canadian Pacific when its hands were tied behind its back by an embargo ? The fighting must usually take place under normal conditions, and under normal conditions the ex-minister, as I have said, has time and again bewailed his impotence.

I will refer to this point more fully in another connection, but in the meantime let me deal for a moment with the proposal that has been made by way of obviating the very palpable objections to. the proposition that the roads should he operated directly by the government througa a minister it-sponsible to this House. 8cme lion, gentlemen have advocated the idea that the government should own the roads, but should not directly operate them. Let them be built by the government, they say, and operated by a commission. In this manner we secure the rights of the public, and at the same time avoid the political dangers resulting from the direct control of the roads by the administration. I am afraid that even this proposal offers no satisfactory solution of the question. We have had the suggestion made that we should place this continental road in the charge of Mr. Hays, or Sir Thomas Shaughnessy, or some railroad man of equally eminent position and ability. But the question immediately occurs, what money would we have to pay to secure the services of an efficient manager ? The companies pay without compunction and without wincing, salaries as large as forty or fifty thousand dollars. Do you think the sovereign people would ever consent to install such a nabob as that, and pay for his services at such a figure ? Every editor of a paper in this country.

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LIB

Benjamin Russell

Liberal

Mr. RUSSELL.

who gets one or two thousand dollars a year, would lift up his voice against the outrage. Every barnstormer in the back country would inveigh against the extravagance of the provision for the luxury of such a railway dictator. Fancy the hon. member for East Grey (Mr. Sproule) in the back concessions of his riding, with such a theme as this to dilate upon ? What hurricanes of vacuous eloquence would he not bring to bear upon the devoted head of the unfortunate official ? Would he not demand, with much show of reason,

that his salary should at the highest not exceed that of the Premier ? How long would a democracy, that thinks its first minister well paid at ten thousand dollars and its judges overpaid at salaries ranging from two to seven thousand, be willing to pay forty or fifty thousand dollars for the services of a railway magnate ? We may be well assured that such an official would speedily become the most unpopular person in the country. His position would become intolerable. His powers would be assailed as an encroachment on the rights of the people, and the demand for direct and immediate ministerial control would become as clamorous and insistent as it was in Victoria, and would be followed by the same disastrous consequences here as there. We should pass through a period of wild and senseless experiments such as have brought disaster and virtual bankruptcy upon some of the Australian colonies until we were ready to call in the railway commissioner again, as Victoria has done within the past few months.

I have referred in passing to the railway question, as it has presented itself in the Australian colonies. Let me deal a little more fully with the history of the matter on the continent of Europe. I do so for the purpose of establishing two propositions first, that while government operation may not be feasible, government ownership is feasible, and the best method of managing the business, under a system of government ownership, is the method that has been adopted in the measure now before the House; secondly, that, as to government operation of the railroads, no matter what conclusion we may come to on the general question, it is well established that no system of government operation can be successfully undertaken excepting under two conditions, neither of which exists in the Dominion of Canada. The first condition is that the government must not simply possess itself of a single line of road to be run in competition with a number of other roads; it must have the whole or none. The second condition is that there must be a complete and perfect organization of the civil service, making it absolutely independent of political parties and absolutely free from the dictation of the government of the day.

Let me discuss these propositions briefly,

in the light of the actual railway experiences through which the European countries have passed. It will he no information to those who have made a study of this question, that in 1844 Mr. Gladstone secured the passing of an Act, under which the railways of the country might be acquired after the expiration of twenty-one years from the date of the enactment, under the conditions and by means of methods fully set out in the Act of parliament. In 18G5 the time arrived when the option of the government could be exercised, but public opinion was not ripe for the adoption of the plan, and a commission of inquiry was appointed, under the headship of the Duke of Devonshire. It sat for many months and examined many witnesses. Its report is embodied in no less than seven huge volumes, which may be found in the library of parliament. I do not suppose that any lion, member of this House has ever read the whole of this report, and I doubt if life would not be too short to warrant one in undertaking such a task. But happily it would not be necessary, for the whole matter is summed up with the utmost lucidity in the conclusions arrived at by the commission. The argument against the proposal is embodied in the report of the majority. The argument in favour is presented in the strongest possible form by Sir Rowland Hill in a minority report. I do not propose to refer to either class of arguments. My purpose, in mentioning the matter, is to refer to the striking and convincing fact that neither the majority nor the minority of the commission ever dreamed, apparently, of any kind of government operation. beyond such as is provided for in the measure now before the House. They do not seem to have considered it thinkable that the government should itself directly enter upon the experiment of running a system of state railways. I suppose it would have seemed to Sir Rowland Hill to be the wildest sort of midsummer madness to propose, as the hon. ex-Minister of Railways and Canals seems, from his own statement, to have proposed to his colleagues in the cabinet, that the government should own and operate this transcontinental road. They assumed that what the government would do would be to acquire the railways just as we are building the road from Winnipeg to Moncton and lease them to companies, as we are leasing this road to the Grand Trunk Pacific.

The experience of Italy is full of instruction also on this part of the question. It is nowhere better presented than by Mr. Hendrick in his essay on the subject of ' Railway Control by Commissions.' a monograph published by the Putnams, of New York, in their series of economical studies on questions of the day. Mr. Hendrick is described as a Ricardo Prize Fellow of Harvard University, and nobody can read his book without appreciating its lucidity and sobriety of statement.

No country, he well says, has had an experience with railroads more worthy of study than Italy. . . . The working of government control in Italy has not only been clear but it has been brought into relief by the contrasts of the various systems she has tried one with another. She has tried the method of private enterprise with aid from the government, then the guarantee of interest to private companies in imitation of the system still prevailing in France, together with state construction of roads to compete with the private lines it was supporting

This is the method submitted as-his preference over all others by the hon. exMinister of Railways and Canals.

-then for a period of five or six years, from 1879 to 1885, the state owned and operated all the roads, when this system in turn was abandoned in favour of the system now in operation.

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While the roads were being operated by the state, a commission was sitting which had been appointed by the Italian government for the express purpose of determining what was best to be done for the settlement of a difficult problem. It was composed of fifteen members, six being senators, seven deputies, and the remaining two engineers. Its work, as Mr. Hendrick says, was without a parallel in railway history. The commissioners began by circulating throughout Italy among all classes who had any interest in railways, a series of nearly two hundred printed questions. Answers, oral and written, were invited to any or all of these questions, and they were made so explicit and precise that each who had a special bit of information might find a category for it. The commission sat in every large city of the peninsula, took oral testimony and invited essays from all who had, or claimed to have, any understanding of the question. So bulky was the information obtained by the commission that it was not until 1881 that it was ready to report. The gist of its report is given by this writer in the following words :

That it was well for the state to own the railways but unwise for the state to operate them ; that it was wise to leave the whole railway system to private corporations. Their arguments were that this was the best way to strengthen the finances of the government and insure efficient public service, that by this arrangement two great evils would be done away with, the first, the demoralization caused by the appointment and control of an army of railway officials, the second, the centralization of the vast power of appointment and the burden of constant supervision to prevent its abuse.

The evils of government operation, as they developed themselves in Italy, are presented by Mr. Hendrick in striking colours. ' The railway system, according to the commissioners. had become a sort of general hospital for friends, relatives and hangers-on of the local deputies, and in the matter of rates there was the same situation. Annually a general scramble took place to fix the tariffs to suit local and special in-

terests. Tlie rates came to resemble a congressional river and harbour appropriation/

1 will not go so far as to say that we have had a taste of these very evils in connection with the Intercolonial Railway. It is a comparatively small piece of government road. It has the exclusive attention of an able minister of the Crown, and unlimited liberty to call upon the taxpayers of Canada when it is in difficulties. It might be hoped that it would be administered witli comparative freedom from the pressure of localities for concessions, of hangers-on for employment, and of political supporters for the privilege of furnishing supplies. We know, however, that every party that is in opposition believes the actual administration of the road for the time being to be characterize)! by all the evils described by Mr. Hendrick as attending the management of the state railways in Italy. Small as it is comparatively, it seems to have been impossible for the minister to secure a manager to his satisfaction or to retain the services of a manager once he has been selected. One after another they have come and gone, the Harrises and the Rus-sells, and I know not how many others. They have come to the task with high personal hopes and large public expectations, but one after the other they have gone their way, leaving the old reliables in undisputed possession of the field; and I certainly have no fault to And with the present heads of the official staff or the present administration of the road. But let its proportions be extended to embrace a transcontinental system instead of a comparatively small piece of road connecting the maritime and inland provinces, and I fear it would require more than all the energy and ability of even the outgoing Minister of Railways and Canals to save it from the fate that has befallen other government roads in other countries. Even under the present conditions great resistance is required to keep up the staff. There is not a man who has broken down in other walks of life or proved his complete incapacity for effective work of any kind who does not look upon the Intercolonial Railway as the heaven-ordained sphere for his activities. 1 The blind, the lame and the lazy ' are all applicants for the privilege of serving the country in one capacity or other in connection with the government road. They may be resisted for a time, as I believe they have been effectually resisted by the ex-Minister of Railways and Canals, and the staff may be kept, as I believe it is at present, a competent and efficient staff. But the pressure is there and it will continue. Eternal vigilance is the price of safety. It is a good deal to hope that this vigilance will always be continued, even under present conditions. With the area enlarged, as I have suggested, I must confess I should despair of the situation. It would not be within the pos-Mr. RUSSELL.

sibilities of human nature to resist the importunities of members, each in turn under pressure from his constituents, for employment for which the applicant was unfitted, for patronage to which the applicant was not entitled, for concessions which were opposed to the interests of the community at large. The road would become ' a general hospital,' not perhaps as in Italy, 'for the friends and relatives and hangers-on of the local deputy,' but certainly for all manner and degrees of official incompetency, backed up by political pressure upon the local representatives. No wonder that the Italian commissioners rejected this proposal, and adopted in lieu of it the method which the government has adopted in the present Bill for the management of the road from Winnipeg to Moncton.

This branch of the government proposal then, let me conclude as to this part of the case, is in line with the only system of government ownership regarded as worthy of consideration by the Duke of Devonshire's commission, the only system that seems to have been thought feasible by Sir Rowland Hill, who was a sincere and able advocate of government ownership. It is the very system hit upon by the Italian commissioners after the most uniquely thorough and comprehensive inquiry instituted by the Italian commission, and I may say that it is the system which I understand to have been recommended by a railway authority in this country, who has given a great deal of study and consideration to this question, who has been pronounced by the late leader of the opposition a profound and thorough student of the subject, and whose writings on this question, although not widely known, are known to Some hon. members of this House as constituting a very careful, learned and thorough study of the problem. I refer to Mr. Powell, of Saekville, New Brunswick, who represented Westmoreland in the last parliament, and who, it was generally assumed, was to be the Minister of Railways and Canals in the cabinet to be formed by my hon. friend from Halifax (Mr. Borden) in 1900, had it not been for the little accident that befel him in his county and the greater accident that befel his party in the general elections. I believe that the former member for Westmoreland is almost the only public man in Canada who has ever made a serious study of this question, and I understand that his conclusions are in line with those adopted by the Italian commission, which, in turn, are exactly in line with the plan adopted by the government for the operation of the road from Winnipeg to Moncton. I will certainly have a right to be surprised if that gentleman is not an enthusiastic supporter of this portion at all events, of the measure now before the House.

The question has been very fairly asked by some hon. gentlemen : If this is a government system for the section from Win-

mpeg to Moncton, why is it not equally applicable to the road from Winnipeg to the Pacific coast ? Nothing could be easier than the answer to this inquiry. It is conceded on all hands, that there is not at present business, and there may not for years be business, for more than one new line from Winnipeg to Moncton. The whole stress of the argument of hon. members opposite is that there is not business for even one new line. West of Winnipeg the conditions are altogether different. It is almost universally conceded that there is practically no limit to the number of lines that will be wanted. The fertility of the westeru lands and the swelling tide of business in the western country warrant the government in two assumptions ; first, that private enterprise, at all events when aided with the usual modicum of government assistance, will be found sufficient to secure all the railroads that are required ; and, secondly that business will be found for all the railroads that are likely to be built. In the eastern section, the conditions are notoriously and admittedly different. If the government were to hold aloof, it may be that no company would be willing to undertake the task, and, in any case, as one road is sufficient for all the business, it is more economical that there should be but one line, with adequate provision for its use by all the others that may require an outlet. It does not in the least advance the argument to speak of this combination of methods as a hybrid scheme. It was a saying of Lord Beaconsfield's that the English people were governed by phrases, and the hon. ex-Minister of Railways and Canals seems to labour under the delusion that he is making an argument when he invents a nickname. He might as well call bis costume a hybrid costume, because he puts a coat on his back and a pair of trousers on his legs. He adapts his garments to the purposes they are to serve, and we adapt our systems of administration to the different conditions and circumstances of the sections to which they are to be applied.

At one o'clock, House took recess.

House resumed at three, o'clock.

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LIB

Benjamin Russell

Liberal

Mr. RUSSELL.

Mr. Speaker, I am almost ashamed of having occupied so much time in discussing the motion before the House, and I will promise not to be long in presenting the remainder of my remarks. Let me proceed with the consideration of my second proposition. I have said that the government cannot successfully operate a road in competition with a system of company roads, and that if it is determined to go into the railway business it must possess itself of the whole of the roads in the region in which it operates. The hon. ex-Minister of Railways and Canals has presented a most attractive theory which I presume he has borrowed for the occasion from the repertory of the hon. member for East York

(Mr. Maclean), as to the great utility of a government owned and government operated road in the way of equalizing the freight rates on the company roads with which it would come iu competition. Perhaps I do him an injustice. Perhaps he has had in mind the railroad history of the kingdom of Belgium in which this theory controlled for a time the railway policy of the country. Great praise has been given by almost every railroad authority to the wisdom and sagacity of Leopold I, who happened to be an exile in England at the time when George Stephenson was successfully accomplishing his great undertaking of making his railroad float upon Chat Moss. King Leopold was able to study the conditions of railroad enterprise in Britain, and apply the lessons that he learned to the situation in Belgium. He rejected the policy of private construction and was able to secure for the state at the very inception, the control of all the best paying territory in the kingdom. Undoubtedly his policy was brilliantly successful for a time, and it was exactly the policy described by the ex-Minister of Railways and Canals of having one central line of railways owned and operated by the state in such manner as to secure a controlling effect upon all the other railways of the country. If we had begun in this way there might have been some hope for the success of such a programme. If we had adhered to the policy of Alexander Mackenzie, I suppose this would have been the actual condition of affairs to-day. But I lay no stress on this, for I am well satisfied that next to the occupation in which the two hon. exMinisters of Railways and Canals have been engaged, of predicting the probable effect of a policy to which neither of them is capable of doing justice, there is no more futile occupation for the human mind than that of endeavouring to conjecture how things might have been if they had been otherwise than^ as they are. So many occult and incalculable factors enter into the case that it would require omniscience to determine what would have been the result if a different course had been adopted in any important particular from that which actually was pursued. We know what has happened. As to what would have happened under other than the actual conditions it. is perhaps not easy to conjecture. In Belgium, as I have said, the policy which Mr. Mackenzie was working out for us was brilliantly successful. So enamoured of its success was Mr. Adams, the great railway commissioner of Massachusetts, that lie at one time desired the state of Massachusetts to purchase the Fitchburg road for the purpose of running it in competition with the company roads of that state. But his proposal never was adopted, and Mr. Hadley tells us that he had good reason later to reverse his earlier opinion on the subject. The fact of the matter is, as Mr. Hendrick puts it, that whenever the state attempts to enter into

competition with the companies it is bound to get the worse of the competition. The time would fail me to refer to all the authorities that might be cited as to this contention. There are many of them, and so far as I am able to recall, they all speak with one voice. I will content myself with the remarks of Mr. Hadley, because he is the most fair-minded and the best informed of all the really competent authorities who have endeavoured to deal with railway problems in an unbiassed and scientific spirit. His testimony on this point is clear and conclusive :

It Is a curious fact, that in any such competition the State is not stronger than private companies, but weaker. Theoretically, it may have power to forbid private companies engaging in such competition. Practically, public opinion will not allow it to exercise, that power. NOr can the State railroads exercise a dignified reserve. If the private railroads are run to make money, and succeed in doing so, the State railroads must be run to make money too, or else the authorities will have to face the criticisms of an indignant public. And in this money-making race it is impossible for the government to have the same quick elasticity of action as a private company. Thus it happened that in Belgium the competition was not quite even. The State had somewhat better routes, but the advantages possessed by private companies in a business fight just about offset this difference.

In another place, the same author, referring to this very proposition of the hon. exMinister of Railways and Canals says :

The idea of government ownership of one among several competing lines attracted undue attention, owing to its supposed success in Belgium. The earlier reports of the Massachusetts commission, deservedly high authority, favoured the idea, but it was never carried to a successful conclusion in Massachusetts, and it was abandoned in Belgium, the government purchasing a large part of the private railroads. The competition with the private lines had been too onerous for the Belgian government, and had left it too little independence of action. The private lines regulated those of the government 'rather more than the government regulated the private lines. Experience is against the probability of success in the attempt on the part of the government to regulate either railroads or telegraphs in this way. To do anything efficient it must control not a few lines, but the whole system.

Now, Mr. Speaker, if even in Belgium, where everybody agrees that this system advocated by the ex-Minister of Railways and Canals and his leader in this matter, the hon. member for East York, could be tried with better prospects of success than in almost any other country in the world, in which the wise foresight of King Leopold secured for the government all the best paying territory and enabled it to enter into the competition with all the chances of the game in its favour, with a restricted suffrage and ft government acting in comparative independence of the whims and

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LIB

Benjamin Russell

Liberal

Mr. RUSSELL.

caprices of the multitude and even the deliberate criticisms of those who knew, if, I repeat, even in Belgium it was found that instead of the government regulating the company railways, the company railways regulated those of the state, and the experiment had to be abandoned by the state taking to itself the whole system, as it was also found to be necessary to do in Prussia when the same influences operated to bring about the same results, I ask what hope would there be for us with our line of railway planted in the midst of keen competitors such as the Canadian Pacific and the Canadian Northern, with the greater elasticity and plasticity of their management, with their far more carefully selected staff, with their better paid officials, and with alert and active agents in all parts of the country, with all the immense advantages that a private company has already been shown to have in such a competition, and all the handicaps under which it is necessary for a government railroad to enter upon the race ? Does it need any very great acumen or anything more than a little modicum of common sense which was one of the distinguishing characteristics of the hon. exMinister of Railways and Canals before he surrendered his judgment to the control of the hon. member for East York, to see that the result of the competition here would be ten-fold more disastrous than it was in Belgium or in Prussia. In both those countries the testimony is complete that the government found it impossible to compete successfully with the private companies and was obliged in consequence to take over practically all the railroads of the state. If we are prepared for that issue, we may hopefully adopt the proposals of the ex-Minister of Railways and Canals. If we are not ready for so desperate a plunge let us adopt the sound and rational and truly conservative policy that is now before us for our acceptance.

It only remains to me to consider some views which I honestly believed before I heard the speech of the hon. member for Jacques Cartier (Mr. Monk) had no representatives in this House. I knew that those views, although I never had heard them voiced within these walls, had nevertheless obtained some currency throughout the country, for besides the hon. member for Jacques Cartier there are some people in the country who are opposed to the idea of government assistance in any shape or form. They do not oppose the present measure merely because of its particular provisions, but because they consider that the business of railway construction should be dealt with in the same way as every other line of business and left to shift for itself as best it may. They oppose this measure as they would oppose any other measure or any possible measure involving the assistance of the government because they object to the principle of state aid

to railway construction in any form whatever, whether by land-grants, or money subsidies, or guarantees of interest. It may well be that this class of objectors is not numerically important, but it is a class whose reasoning is not to be despised and whose contentions are not to be disposed of with a sneer. Its views are presented with great energy, with very considerable ability, with infinite pertinacity and with every appearance of deep and sincere conviction. I have seen these views from time to time presented in substance in an ably conducted journal, which I believe is mainly supported by the farming industry of Ontario, a journal which must be of very great utility to that industry, and which were it not for its prevailing note of pessimism and its occasional devotion to fads and crotchets, would be one of the most readable of Canadian organs of opinion. It seems to have imposed upon itself the mission of persuading, if possible, the farmers of this country that whatever may be the actual condition of their minds, they ought to be profoundly miserable, because, although they may delude themselves into the belief that they are among the most happy and comfortable people on the face of the earth, they are in reality an exceedingly oppressed and down-trodden portion of the community who are being put upon by every variety of imposition that the malice and craft of their representatives in parliament are able to devise for their destruction.

Hardly a single number of this able and influential journal comes from the press, in which we are not invited to contrast the policy of this country with respect to railway bonuses and railway taxation with the policy of the United States. Here, it is said, we bonus the construction of railways, sometimes with land, sometimes with money, and sometimes with land and money both. There they allow the roads to get along as best they! can upon their own resources. Here our railways are for the most part exempt from taxation. There the taxation of the roads affords a substantial relief to the ordinary ratepayer. The contrast is certainly a striking one and I do not see how it can fail to make a strong appeal to the readers of the ' Farmers' Sun ' who must, I should think, be among the most intelligent and influential members of the farming community of the province in which it circulates. If there were nothing to be said on the other side of the question it would certainly seem that we in this country have been pursuing an indefensible policy and that we should reverse it at the earliest opportunity.

But it is only fair to ask at the outset whether the comparison is just. Are the circumstances of the two cases at all to be compared ? Is the problem of railway construction and railway extension in this country the same as in the American republic ? Now, I venture to affirm that no such comparison can justly be presented. It is the comparison between the growing boy and the grown-up man. If the United States were in the circumstancesi in which we find ourselves to-day their policy would be the same as ours. It was the same as ours long after they had reached the stage in their national development at which we have arrived and I venture to predict that this country will have given its last subsidy for railroad construction, its last land-grant if it has not already done so, and its last guarantee of bonds long before we have secured either the population, or the wealth, or the condition of national development to which our neighbours had attained before they abandoned the policy of government assistance to their roads.

When this country is inhabited by seventy millions of people, when Quebec and Montreal are cities like New York and Philadelphia, when Winnipeg has the wealth and population of Chicago, when our fertile valleys and expanding plains are peopled to such a degree that we shall discourage instead of welcoming the immigration on which we now expend so liberally, when in other words our wealth and population are the same as those of the United States are now, our policy will be the same as theirs. Instead of running after the railway-builder or seeking to attract him to our projects with bonuses or grants of land as the United States did long after they had reached the present condition of this country, we may be demanding payment for our railway franchises or subjecting the exercise of them to taxation for the support of local and municipal burdens. The United States, as the right hon. Prime Minister well said, are in, this position to-day. But they were not always so. Would anybody who reads the ' Farmers' Sun ' believe that in 1850 when the population of the United States was-not barely six millions, as ours is now-but a shade over twenty-three millions of inhabitants, congress granted to the state of Illinois for the Illinois Central Railway, 2,595,000 acres of land. Ex-Governor Larrabee, of Iowa, in his work on the railway question, states that the total number of acres of land granted by congress to aid the construction of the Iowa roads was 4,069,942, and he estimates the total) value of the gifts made to the roads of Iowa state, including railroad taxes voted by the counties, townships and municipalities, grants of right of way and depot sites, and public and private gifts of money at $50,000,000, or enough to build forty per cent of all the railways of the state. Between 1850 and 1871 there were granted for railway construction 197,000,000 acres of land, of which 35,000,000 were forfeited by subsequent legislation, leaving 162,000.000 acres, equal to 253.000 square miles, which is more than the area of the whole province of Ontario. The value of these lands has

been estimated by competent authority at $300,000,000 at the time when they were granted. What amounts they yielded to the companies at their improved values it Is impossible to say, but the late Mr. Blaine estimated the total amount of advances to the United States railway companies, including gifts by towns, counties, states and the United States at $1,000,000,000. When we reflect for. a moment upon these tremendous figures, so large that we can form no real conception of their meaning, whicli are in fact almost as bewildering to the ordinary intellect as astronomical magnitudes, and when we still further remind ourselves that the United States did not abandon the policy of making land-grants in aid of railway construction until after they had three great transcontinental railways assured, I think it will occur to most of us that we have not much to reproach ourselves with from this point of view and that no very powerful argument against the policy of aiding the construction of railroads with the capital or credit of the country can be drawn from the example of the United States. Having assured with national assistance the construction of three great continental roads, having secured a population of thirty or forty millions, the people of the United States might very well abandon the policy of government assistance and leave the railroads for the rest to work out their own salvation ; but the comparisons in which the ' Farmers' Sun ' indulges between the United States and Canada and which I have no doubt have made many converts to its views on this question, are none the less, for the reasons I have mentioned, the shallowest of fallacies. The doctrine of laissez-faire in the matter of railway construction may be a good one for the United States to-day, or for a densely populated country like England, with its teeming millions to afford a passenger traffic and its vast and diversified industries to swell the freight receipts. One would have supposed that the same thing would be true for France and that private enterprise without the assistance of the state would have been found sufficient to secure an adequate system of roads. But even in France, private enterprise was not found sufficient to cope with the situation. When France began effectively to enter upon the work of railway construction its population was six times as large as the present population of Canada, while as to the territory over which our present population is spread, which constitutes the very essence of the problem to be solved, there is absolutely no comparison whatever to be made. Yet Mr. Ackwortli, whose name will be familiar to, and whose authority will be recognized by every one who has ever seriously studied the railway question, states that the French government has paid nearly two hundred million pounds sterling, equal to about $1,000,000,000 in capital outlay and is con-Mr. RUSSELL.

tinuing to pay some millions annually in the form of guaranteed interest for the railway companies, and Mr. Hendrick writing at a later date says that up to 1895 the great companies had received from the state 22,800,000,000 francs. Mr. Ackworth's figure is the same as that stated by Mr. Blaine as the contribution of the United States to the railroads owned and operated by the railway companies. True enough, there is a difference between the two cases. The French policy contemplates a term of years, after which the roads are to become the property of the state. But the period is remote and no human being can pretend to say how much the government will still be called upon to pay before the reversionary interest of the state will become an estate in possession.

Now, if it be the case that a great and flourishing state like France with its compact and fertile territory and its population of thirty or forty millions, in the years of its great railroad activity, was unable to secure a satisfactory system without contributing in one form or another a thousand million dollars, if even the United Kingdom found itself compelled to subsidize the construction of railroads in Ireland, if the United States, down to the time when its population was in the neighbourhood of forty millions, continued the policy of aiding the construction of railways with the grant of lands and its people>

expended for this purpose in one form or another, as Mr. Blaine has stated, $1,000,000,000, I do not think it need be very surprising that we in Canada, with a population less than six millions, spread over half a continent, should have found that we could not have the roads that were demanded as the indispensable prerequisite to natural unification and the continuously progressive development of the country without either a liberal subsidy from the public treasury, or a generous tender of the public credit. Our government has chosen the latter alternative and I believe it has chosen wisely. We give this Grand Trunk Pacific Company a guarantee which costs us nothing but our good-will, and saves the company a large amount of money that must otherwise be wasted so far as this country is concerned in the payment of interest to foreign investors and capitalists. We enable them in this way to build their road on the most advantageous terms, we place its whole undertaking as we do all other railroads that we are allowed to control, under the regulation of a com'r mission which has the power to prevent all unfairness and extortion ; we avoid the difficulties and the perils that have been encountered in other countries by daring and dangerous experiments, we widen and enlarge the boundaries of old Canada, we relieve the congestion of traffic in our western country, we open up a new hope of enlargement to the maritime cities of the Atlantic seaboard, we bind the lower prov-

inces to the inland and the western to the eastern by the new and stronger tie of material interest and) interprovincial trade, and we open up to the whole Dominion unlimited possibilities of expansion which the most sanguine among us could not find it possible to exaggerate.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN (Halifax).

Mr. Speaker. Let me in the first place thank the Minister of the Interior (Hon. Mr. Sifton) for bringing to my attention an unintentional misstatement which I made to the House in speaking very hurriedly after the Prime Minister. a few days ago. I then said, that only 2,500,000 bushels of grain had been carried out during the past year by the all-rail route from Fort William and Port Arthur. I made that statement on the authority of a gentleman who was in possession of the facts. Since the error was pointed out to me by the Minister of the Interior, I communicated with that gentleman to whom I had written for information in the first instance, and he sends me in reply the following letter :

We have been asked by several different members as to the all-rail shipments eastbound from Fort William ; in some eases the inquiries applied to wheat only, and in other cases to grain of all kinds. X may say that this led to some confusion, and that the figures given to you by me were not entirely correct. Our records show that during last year the all-rail shipments of grain of all kinds amounted to 5,697,695 bushels. Of this quantity about 3,100,000 were for export, and the balance went to local points in Canada. I intended to give you the quantity shipped for export, because local shipments play no part in determining the practicability of an all-rail route to the sea for grain. The expansion, if there is to be any, must be in the carrying by rail of grain for export. Apparently, I gave you the local figures, instead of the export figures, so that your statement was about 600,000 bushels under the mark. You may use this letter to correct error, if you choose to do so.

It is desirable that any statement of facts in the House should be correct, and therefore I am obliged to the Minister of the Interior for attracting my attention to tills, and I take the earliest possible opportunity of correcting the statement which I then made.

Let me say further, that I am also informed that the circumstances under which some 5,600,000 bushels of grain went out last winter were altogether exceptional. The Canadian Pacific Railway required stiffening cargoes for their vessels, and there was also a pressure that the elevators at Port Arthur and Fort William should be cleared out, and in consequence grain went out last winter by the all-rail route which we could not reasonably expect would go out in that way under other conditions.

I would also like to say, that while I am thankful to my hon. friend the Minister of the Interior for correcting me in this respect, I am not particularly thankful to him for the manner in which he quoted my re-281

marks of the 30th of July. He attempted to make it appear that in some way I misled the House as to the meaning of section 12 of the contract. I read that section to the House at the time and I made some observations which the Minister of the Interior quoted only in part. I corrected him as to one mistake he made-or one oversight-in regard to my remarks of the 26th of May, and I desire now to correct him with regard to his misquotation, no doubt unintentional, of my remarks of the 30th of July. I quoted section 12 on that occasion and 1 followed that quotation up by these words :

Therefore, the company guarantees by the deposit of $5,000,000 to do something without which its enterprise would be of absolutely no moment at all.

That is to say, having built the line, of course the company might naturally be expected to equip it, and as the guarantee of $5,000,000 is for the building of the line and the equipping of the line, you are not very far from the mark when you say that it is1 practically a guarantee to do something' without which the enterprise of the company would be of no moment at all. Then I continued :

In other words, the company guarantees to build a railway as to which it receives a guarantee 'of $13,000 a mile for one portion of it, and $30,000 a mile for the rest, and it deposits with the government $5,000,000 as security that it will use for the construction of the railway the moneys derived from the bonds guarantee)! by this government.

And practically, that Is all that this) guarantee amounts to; and I did not observe then what has been noted in this debater that this very sum of ?5,000,000 can be paid out to this company practically on progress estimates from time to time as it proceeds with the work. Then I continued :

That is certainly a most remarkable piece of statesmanship, and I am not surprised at the plaudits with which the announcement of this clause was greeted by the right hon. gentleman's supporters. It is quite evident that they were kept as much in ignorance of the real nature of this clause as were the hon. gentlemen on this side of the House.

Permit me to say, before I go further, and before I forget it, that I would like to reassure my hon. friend the Minister of the Interior with regard to the people of the maritime provinces. That gentleman, in the course of his remarks, was good enough u>

say. in effect, that the people of the maritime provinces were a mean spirited and a weak-kneed people, or they would have had a railway through the centre of New Brunswick long ago. He told us in effect that if they had the spirit of the men of the west, we might have expected that they would have arisen in their might and demanded this railway years ago. I want to tell my hon. friend the Minister of the Interior, who of all men has the least cause to complain of plain speaking from the people of the

maritime provinces, that liis own department has been somewhat in question down there, not only among the Liberal-Conservative papers, but among Liberal papers as well. There is a newspaper published in the city^ of Halifax called the ' Morning Chronicle,' which is owned by thre; gentlemen, of whom one is the agent of the Deputy Minister of Justice at Halifax, a very prominent Liberal, another is the Liberal member for the county of Colchester in the provincial legislature, and the third is president of the Liberal Association of the county of Halifax ; and I have before me some plain speaking from that paper in regard to the hon. Minister of the Interior, so forcible and so personal in its character that I will not read it to the House to-day ; but if any hon. gentleman wants to see whether the people of the maritime provinces are incapable of speaking out plainly and forcibly, let him consult the columns of the ' Morning Chronicle,' of September 27, 1902. If the hon. Minister of the Interior consults the editorial columns of that paper of that day, he will find something that suits even his craving for strong language in regard to the conduct of the government.

I must apologize to my hon. friend the member for Hants (Mr. Russell), because I shall not be able, I fear, to give very .special attention to his remarks. I was unfortunate enough not to hear the whole of them. A greater part of what I did hear consisted of a personal attack upon my hon. friend from North Victoria (Mr. Hughes), which consumed about an hour of the three hours and a half in which the hon. gentleman condensed the remarks he made to this House. The other portion consisted very largely in somewhat slighting remarks with reference to his late leader the ex-MInister of Railways and Canals (Hon. Mr. Blair), and the imputation of unworthy motives to that hon. gentleman for his resignation from the government. But, in passing, let me ask my hon. friend why he is so extremely optimistic in regard to the prospects of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway, and so extremely pessimistic in regard to the prospects of the Intercolonial Railway ?

I was under the impression, until I heard the hon. gentleman speak, that he was one of those who had voted for an expenditure of some $15,000,000-that is what in the end it amounted to-to extend the Intercolonial Railway to Montreal. We have been treated this afternoon to a long lecture, a long historical review of every country which has attempted the state operation of railways. The hon. gentleman, in dealing with the question, does not seem to realize for one moment that it is not a question of theory in Canada at all ; it is a question of what we are going to do with the Intercolonial Railway. We have 1,600 miles of state-owned railway in Canada ; what does my hon. friend propose to do with it ? What does he mean by asking whether or not we

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax),

shall enter into the state ownership of railways in Canada ? Let me read, for his information, if he is not aware of it, a portion of a folder which is issued by the government which he supports, through good report and ill, and which points out that there is government ownership of railways in Canada at the present time ; and that, to use a common expression, it is a condition and not a theory that we have to deal with in this regard :

Perfect travel means good road-bed, good equipment, good secenery, which you have on your own line. The Intercolonial Railway of Canada is, in more senses than one, the people's line. As a government road, it is owned by the people, and in the operating of the line this principle is ever kept in view, so that the best available service will be given. In another sense it is the people's line, because it is popular, as the great all-Canadian system and the only all-rail line from Montreal to the extreme points of the maritime provinces. It is equally popular as the great tourist and sportsman's route, and that by which the desirable places in the provinces by the sea can be most conveniently reached.

What is the logical outcome of the argument of my hon. friend from Hants ? The logical and the only inference you can draw from his argument is that we should sell or give away the Intercolonial Railway at once. He has made a long-drawn out argument against undertaking government ownership in this country, when in fact we have government ownership now. I would like my hon. friend to go back to the people of Nova Scotia and tell them whether or not his argument means that the Intercolonial Railway is to be given to the Grand Trunk Railway Company, or to the Canadian Pacific Railway Company, or to some other railway company, and is to be no more the people's railway, and that state ownership in Canada is no longer to exist. It was somewhat amusing in this connection to hear my hon. friend giving a lecture to the ' Farmers' Sun ' because it opposes the granting of subsidies to railways. Was not the song of hon. gentlemen opposite, of whom my hon. friend was one, through many weary years in opposition, that no railway subsidies should be given ? To have my hon. friend stand in the House and discuss editorial articles in the 'Farmers' Sun,' and endeavour to bring that paper back from the supposed error into which it has fallen, an error in which the hon. gentleman himself participated and believed in in days gone by, is a spectacle that would have been more refreshing than it is if fortunately during this summer session we were not blessed with cool weather.

I do not propose, Mr. Speaker, to deal any more in detail with the argument of my hon. friend from Hants ; but I think I shall, during the course of my remarks, answer two or three of the arguments which he, in common with other hon. gentlemen on

the other side of the House, have put forward in regard to this scheme. I do not know that we might expect that a policy such as this is, evolved by the government, as we are told by the kon. ex-Minister of Railways and Canals, without any assistance from experts, without any assistance or advice from the officers of the Intercolonial Railway, would be likely to commend itself to the country at first blush. The record of the government in the past with regard to these matters is not a very striking one in point of success. We know their proposals with regard to the fast Atlantic service. We know the story that was told throughout the country at that time, a story quite as glowing as that which was presented to the House by the Prime Minister the other day. We were told that the fast Atlantic service was absolutely accomplished. My right hon. friend the Prime Minister received a telegram at Toronto in the nick of time, for the purpose of reading it to a Toronto audience, stating that the fast Atlantic service was a fait accompli at last. Month after month and year after year have gone by, and we are no nearer the accomplishment of a fast Atlantic service than we were on the day he read that telegram. If you look at the record of hon. gentlemen opposite with regard to the Crow's Nest Pass Railway, you would not be inspired with any confidence in any project they may bring before the House, without advice, particularly when you realize that the policy they are bringing down is one that has led to the resignation and retirement from the government of the only man among them who during the last seven years has been studying this transportation problem, the man who during the past seven years they have been hailing as- the ablest railway administrator that ever presided over the department. It is amusing-it is more than amusing, it is delicious-to see these hon. gentlemen, after cheering the ex-Minister of Railways and Canals for his administration of the Intercolonial Railway for seven years past, after supporting him by vote and speech on every occasion, now standing up in the House and belittling him as a statesman, and imputing unworthy motives to him ; and when the hon. gentlemen on the treasury benches do not care to do that themselves, they put up some one like the hon. member for North Norfolk (Mr. Charlton) or the hon. member for Westmoreland (Mr. Emmerson), the pupil in political life, if I am rightly informed, of my hon. friend the ex-Minister of Railways and Canals, to show that that hon. gentleman never was a statesman, never was a man of broad views or a man of courage, and that he had not resigned from the cabinet on a question of policy, but really because he was subjected to some personal slight. Well, as I have said before, there have been rumours in this House that there were other gentlemen in the cabinet who were not one whit 281}

better pleased with this project than the Minister of Railways and -Canals, the only difference between them being that he had the courage of his opinions and they had not.

The transportation problem of Canada beyond doubt is a very complex problem. Having had to give some special attention to this subject during the past four or five weeks, I have realized, more than ever I did before, the very great complexity which surrounds this question in Canada and the very great importance indeed of our not acting too hastily or not taking any leap in the dark, but procuring, before taking any action, the very best expert advice and assistance that can be obtained. In speaking on this subject in the city of Winnipeg, in October last, I used this laguage :

It Is the policy of the Liberal-Conservative party to grapple with this transportation problem from a national standpoint. We would not do it hastily, but would do it after taking the advice of experts and others familiar with railway problems and after fully investigating as to what would be the best course to pursue. In this the party should commend itself to the people, for railway transportation and other matters of this kind require the very best expert advice and assitance that can be secured.

I am glad to know that the Winnipeg Board of Trade endorsed that opinion by resolution during the past year in this language :

That a thoroughly qualified expert in the management of railways be appointed to make a report on existing conditions, and what in his opinion would make the Intercolonial a paying concern and of the greatest benefit to the country, and also to study and make recommendations on the following alternative schemes for the consideration of the government and the people.

At the beginning of the session, a policy of that kind was promised by the government. It was not necessary that an announcement of that kind should have been delayed until the opening of this session. During last autumn, or immediately after the closing of last session, the government should have appointed that commission which they proposed this year in the speech from the Throne, and should have had* the report of that

commission ready for this House when it began to sit this year. If this government had, during the phst year, taken the best advice which this continent can afford, we might have had a very different proposal submitted by the government this session; but this so-called businesslike government, with its unbusinesslike methods, procrastinated and dallied with this question until the session opened and then came down with a speech from the Throne, in which they used the following language-good, sensible, rational language. The only fault to be found with the government, in that respect, is their delay in taking the step which, in

the speech from the Throne, they promised to take :

The whole question of transportation and terminal facilities continues to occupy much attention, and my government will immediately appoint a commission of experienced men to report on the subject.

A good, sensible, proper view to take of the question, considering that it involves problems in Canada of a most complex character.

Well, Sir, the session opened on the 12th of March. Nothing was done from that time until the 19th of May, when an Order in Council was passed, which was subsequently brought down to this House, and which contains language startling in its character, when contrasted with the speech of the Prime Minister made on the 30th of July. Let us observe what that language is. This is the language of the government, affirmed by His Excellency, and put in the shape of an Order in Council brought down to this House, declaring the policy of the government on the 19th of May last:

That the development of North-western Canada has manifested the inability of existing Canadian transportation agencies to take care of Canadian products.

That our agricultural exports can only command the prices over seas to which their natural excellence entitles them when they cease to be confounded and confused with the inferior and often adulterated articles produced elsewhere ; and to preserve their separate identity they must go through Canadian channels.

The minister further states that the questions to be considered are complicated and involved, including among the objects to be sought the transportation of western products from place of production to the markets of the world.

This involves the consideration of their transportation :-

Prom place of production to Canadian seaports.

Prom place of production to the western ports of Lake Superior.

From the western ports of Lake Superior to Canadian seaports.

From Canadian seaports to Europe.

Prom place of production through Canadian ports on the Pacific.

As it affects the products of the eastern provinces of Canada it involves their movement:-

To the seaports.

From the seaports to Europe.

I call the attention of the House and country to these words :.

It is obvious that before any satisfactory conclusion can be reached upon these questions a thorough and comprehensive inquiry should be made regarding :-

The conditions of original shipment and the possibilities of improvement in the conditions surrounding such shipments.

The storage requirements of lake, river and ocean ports.

The harbour facilities of the inland lakes, rivers and Atlantic and Pacific ports.

The conditions with regard to the navigation of the St. Lawrence route, and, generally, any improvement, enlargements, or other matters

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

affecting the more economical and satisfactory uses of any Canadian channel of transportation by land or wrnter.

Taking in, by those comprehensive words, the whole system of transportation in Canada :

The minister further states that in making such investigation attention should not be confined to routes and facilities which are at present utilized, but, if necessary, new surveys should be made to determine w'hether any more economical and satisfactory channels of transportation by land or water can be opened up.

The forces operating against the attainment of all Canadian transport, namely :-

Competition by United States railways ;

Competition by United States vessels from Lake Superior ports ;

Diversion of Canadian products through eastern outlets to Boston, Portland and other United States ports, should be investigated, and the best and most economical methods used by our competitors should be carefully studied and reported upon.

The minister apprehends that in these circumstances it devolves upon the Dominion government to consider and adopt the best possible means of promoting such measures as may enable Canada to control the transportation of its own products, and it is thought that the most efficient method of conducting such an inquiry and obtaining the required information is by means of a commission of competent and experienced experts who may be appointed and authorized under the provisions of chapter 114 of the Revised Statutes of Canada.

That was the attitude, the carefully thought out, well considered attitude of the government on the transportation question on the 19th of May. It was also the attitude of the government later than that, because there was no recession from that attitude, when I brought the matter to the attention of the House on the 26th of May. I would like the hon. gentleman on the other side of the House who is to follow me in this debate, to tell me what occurred which altered the opinion of the government on that point between the 26th of May and that day in June, when the government press, for the first time, announced that the government would bring down a policy of its own and that the reasons for the appointment of any such commission as I have referred to, had ceased to exist. What was the reason which caused this change of policy ?

On the 19th day of May, this question is one which requires the most careful consideration and deliberation. Words of caution are used by the government with regard to this subject. On the 30th day of July, the Prime Minister speaks in a tone of panic, telling us that a crisis has developed. What crisis developed, Mr. Speaker, between the 19th day of May and the 30th day of July ? Was there any crisis with regard to the bonding privilege on the 30th of July that did not exist on the 19th day of May ? It is true the Minister of the Interior (Hon. Mr. Sifton) came home in the

latter part of May, and it may be suggested that lie had something to do with the crisis -brought it with him, perhaps. But there has been no suggestion of that kind up to the present time. Now, a grave change of attitude on the part of the government with regard to a question of such transcendent importance to this country as the transportation question requires some better explanation than any that has been given up to the present time. I will endeavour to examine, later on, the reasons which the Prime Minister gave on the introduction of this measure. In the meantime, if my right hon. friend, or the hon. gentleman who is to follow me, can tell me what crisis existed on the 30th day of .July with regard to the transportation question that did not exist on the 19th day of May, it is only right and proper, and it certainly is desirable that the House and the country should be informed with regard to it.

Mr. Speaker, there is no use wasting words about it. We know that no such crisis did exist. We know that the Prime Minister, when he came down to this House on the 30tli day of July, knew of no crisis before this country. He knew that the conditions were exactly the same on the 30th day of July as they were on the 19th day of May. He came down to this House with a bogey with which he might frighten some people with regard to the bonding privilege, and might appeal to certain national sentiment in Canada, which he was wont to condemn very much in days gone by, when he used to speak-I do not know whether on this side of the line or on the other-of his pre-< ference for the American dollar over the British shilling, and to point out to the people of this country that their natural interest would lead them to trade with the people of the United States rather than with the people of Great Britain.

The Prime Minister, in introducing this measure, rested his case mainly on three grounds, which I want to state fairly before the House. The first was that a transcontinental railway such ns this is required to save Canada from the effect of the repeal by the United States of the bonding arrangement ; second, it will have the effect of diverting to Canadian channels traffic which now passes through American channels and to American ports, particularly to Portland ; third, a road built in the manner and along the route proposed is necessary for the development of the country. Now, I want to take up these grounds one by one and examine them.

First, let us deal with the question of the bonding privilege. I observe that, as this debate has proceeded, my right hon.- friend has not received very much support from any of his colleagues who have spoken with regard to the bogey he raised before the House. In answering the right lion, gentleman on the spur of the moment after he had spoken, I took the ground, which I still

believe to be the true ground, that the people of the United States are as much concerned and Interested in the bonding arrangement as are the people of this country.

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CON
CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

An hon. gentleman near me says that they are more interested, and I would be inclined to go even to the length of that hon. gentleman's opinion, and say that the people of the United States are even more interested in this bonding arrangement than are the people of Canada. And I pointed out, as I still desire to point out to the people of this country, that it is an undignified thing for the Prime Minister of Canada to stand in his place in this House and practically tell, not only the people of Canada, but the people of the United States, that we are at the mercy of the United States in this matter. I say again, as I said then, that we are not at the mercy of the people of the United States. We can do without' this privilege if need be, as well as can the people of the United States, and we can work out our destiny and our political future even if the United States should go so far as to commit the unfriendly act of repealing this bonding privilege. But how does the right hon. gentleman propose to save us from the effect of the repeal of this privilege ? By building a Ihie from Levis to Moncton which passes within two or three miles of the American boundary. This will save, according to the right hon. gentleman, a distance of from 120 to 140 miles. My hon. friend from Alberta (Mr. Oliver), who has evidently not made much of a study of the question, went a little beyond that-he saw the right hon. Premier, and went a little better-saying that it would save 200 miles, I believe. The hon. member for North Norfolk (Mr. Charlton) says it will save 110 miles. The Minister of Finance (Hon. Mr. Fielding) says it will save 9G miles. Other hon. gentlemen say it will save from 50 to 70 miles. My hon. friend from South Lanark (Hon. Mr. Haggart) and my hon. friend from Hamilton (Mr. Barker), after having studied the reports of Sir Sandford Fleming, and after having discussed the subject with that gentleman, who is well informed on the question, say that it will save nothing at all if you build the road in such a fashion as to give the grades which are required for economical hauling. That is the way in which the right hon. gentleman proposes to save the people of this country. My hon. friend the Finance Minister does not go quite so far as the Prime Minister. He says that we shall build it-well, as an object lesson. Practically, that is what he says. We shall build this line so that the people of the United States, when they look across the border to ascertain the effect of repealing the bonding privilege, will say : Alas ! it. is too late ; it is no use to repeal the bonding privilege; the Canadians have built

a short line from Levis to Moncton, and we might as well leave the bonding privilege where it is. But, Sir, the Minister of the Interior really excelled himself with regard to this subject ; and, in order that I may not do injustice to that hon. gentleman- whose absence to-day I very much regret-let me quote his mode of supporting the right hon. Prime Minister with regard to this point. I think that my right hon. friend (Rt. Hon. Sir Wilfrid Laurier), who has, even with regard to matters that are controversial in this House, a very excellent sense of humour, will enjoy this very much:

The Grand Trunk Railway has a line from the city of Montreal to the city of Portland. It is a magnificent line of railway, well equipped in the best modern style, and it has terminal facilities which I am credibly told have cost from $20,000,000 to $25,000,000.

By the way, this is the line that the Minister of Finance proposes to nationalize in some not very easily understood way.

We are told by the Grand Trunk people that the facilities which they have for doing business between Montreal and Portland are not sufficient now to cope with it.

Now what is the proposition of the member for Hamilton. It is that the Intercolonial, with its .barely sufficient equipment to do the business which it has now, shall take the three or four times as great business of the Grand Trunk, that it shall take the business of the Canadian Pacific Railway, and that the business of these three railways shall be suddenly precipitated upon the Intercolonial Railway, and that that railway shall be expected, with its insufficient facilities, to do the business of the whole three. And my hon. friend says that that is a consummation to be desired. He says we should not he alarmed at a prospect of that kind, that it is something which will help the Intercolonial and which does not at all call for any action upon the part of this government for the purpose of preventing the consequences which might flow from it. Why, Mr. Speaker, has he considered for half a moment what would happen in such a case as that ? Why, we would have in the traffic of Canada confusion worse confounded, we would have a blockade which would throw into the shade the wheat blockade which took place during the last couple of years in, the Northwest; we would have the railway business of the country disorganized, because the business of Canada depends upon its export trade, and we would have millions upon millions of money of the people of Canada annually wasted on account of our inability to do the business which ought to be done over these railways. That, Mr. Speaker, is the contribution to the discussion of the railway question which is made by the railway expert of the Conservative party.

Well, how opposite are the views of the right hou. gentleman and the Minister of the Interior ? The right hon. gentleman wants to divert the trade of Canada into Canadian channels, and the Minister of the Interior pictures the horror and dismay which would overtake Canada if the trade from Portland should be diverted to the Intercolonial. Why, Sir, imagine the peo-Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

pie of the United States considering Whether or not they should repeal the bonding privilege. They would look over into Canada and they would say : There are some idle, good-for-nothing railways in Canada which are hardly employed at all; there is the Intercolonial Railway, which according to the statement of the gentleman who has been operating for seven years, could do four times the traffic which it does at present. Here we have railways which are actually overloaded, let us relieve our railways and send our surplus traffic over to the Canadians, and so punish them in that way, by means of repealing the bonding privilege, we will send all this traffic over to Canada.' But my hon. friend the Minister of the Interior, I suppose, had more particularly regard to the question of congestion. We would all deprecate any congestion of business in Canada. And what would be the logical way of dealing with this question if we -were confronted with any suon difficulty as that? Would it be to build more railways? No, but to equip the Intercolonial so that it could do four times the business it is doing at prjsent, a business which the officials of that railway say it is easily canable of handling.

But when the Minister of the Interior gets as far as Moncton, I do not know how he would relieve the situation there. In the first place, how would he relieve the situation before he got to Moncton ? Is he to keep the present Intercolonial up to the standard of a through railway, and is he to have two such railways from LCvis to Moncton ? If so, he is going to run this country into a pretty big expend!t ire; if he does not do that, he has just one railway to Moncton as we have to-day, and after he gets to Moncton, what about the congestion? Is there any duplication of the line from Moncton to St. John ? Is there any duplication of the line from Moncton to Halifax ? None whatever. So the congestion so alarmingly pointed out by the Minister of the Interior would only be transferred from L6vis, or Quebec, to Moncton. There is one possible explanation, and that is that the Minister of the Interior, being misled by the Minister of Finance, thinks of equipping Moncton as an ocean port. My hon. friend the Minister of Finance, with great gravity, stood vp in this House and stated that this was a true transcontinental railway, because :t extended from the Pacific coast to Moncton: end he pictured the great number of passengers that were going to travel over that railway for the purpose of viewing the celebrated ' bore ' of Moncton. Now, I know that the town of Moncton is an enterprising, active and progressive town inhabited by splendid, enterprising, progressive and industrious people ; but I do not think the town of Moncton has ever claimed to be capable of doing business as an ocean port. Cer-

tainly, if it is to be equipped as an ocean port, I would expect my hon. friend from Cumberland (Mr. Logan) to put in a similar claim for Amberst, and my bon. friend from Colchester (Mr. Gourley) to put in a similar claim for Truro. As a matter of fact, this bogey about the repeal of the bonding privilege does not amount to anything at all. There is no danger of it, as was point ?d out by my hon. friend from Hamilton (Mr. Barker). The very men who stand as the backbone of this undertaking, the men who are controlling the destinies of the Grand Trunk Railway to-day, are the men who are putting their money into enterprises which depend to a great extent for success upon the existence of these very bonding privil-' eges.

Now, my hon. friend the Minister of the Interior was somewhat exercised with regard to my attitude concerning the Quebec-Moncton line. He had evidently been somewhat misinformed with regard to the condition of affairs in the maritime provinces, because he seemed to think that I was in a somewhat embarrassing position concerning that line. Let me assure my hon. friend the Minister of the Interior and the House, that I feel no embarrassment on this subject whatever. As he has invited me to state my view with regard to that, I will state it at once, though I might have left it to a later period in my speech, wh-*re it would more properly belong. But I will say at once what my attitude is with regard to that line. I say that if there is to be found a better and shorter line between Rivi6re du Loup, or any other point on the Intercolonial, and Moncton, a line the construction of which will give to Halifax and St. John and the Maritime Provinces generally a better fighting chance for western traffic than that which they have at present, I will support the construction of that line. But I will not support it with the object for which this Bill provides. I will tell my hon. friend how 1 will support it. I will support the construction of that line as part of the Intercolonial Railway. I do not believe in constructing that better and shorter line for the purpose of handing it over to the Grand Trunk Pacific or any other railway company; but I do believe in constructing it and keeping it for the people's railway. That is my position and it is a position which I am ready to discuss in the maritime provinces or anywhere else, with either the Minister of the Interior or any other hon. gentleman in this House. For what reason should we, having found a better route through the province of New Brunswick, having found a route by means of which another railway might compete with the Intercolonial, as the Intercolonial exists at present, for what reason ffiouid we conslrm t another railway there and hand it over to a competing company for the purpose of destroying the Intercolonial Railway which

belongs to the people of Canada? Build a railway, if it will give to the provinces of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick a fighting chance for the trade of the wTest, and when you have built it, keep it for the people of Canada, as part of that system which we have at present, and which I hope to see some day extended further west than at present. In all this, act reasonably, survey your country, consider the grades to be secured, consider the distance to be saved, consider the cost of haulage to be saved. Do not plunge into the thing rashly, do not undertake to build it upon a survey made 30 or 40 years ago when railway conditions were different from what they are at present. Go into the enterprise sanely, and after having obtained information which would justify you in believing that it would give a better chance for trade to the people of the maritime pro-, vinces, and. to the cities of Halifax and St. John; build it, as I said before, by the people of Canada, for the people of Canada, and for the people's railway.

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August 18, 1903