August 27, 1903

BILL No. 235.


An Act respecting the construction of a National Transcontinental Railway. Whereas, by reason of the growth in population and the rapid development in the productiveness and trade of Canada and especially of the western part thereof, and with a view to the opening up of new' territory available for settlement, both in the eastern provinces and in the west, and the affording of transportation facilities for such territory and for other reasons, the necessity has arisen for the construction of a national transcontinental railway to be operated, as a common railway highway across the Dominion of Canada, from ocean to ocean and wholly within Canadian territory; and whereas an agreement has been entered into bearing date the 29th day of July, 1903, between His Majesty the King of the first part, and Sir Charles Rivers Wilson, C.B.. G.C.M.G., and others, representing therein and acting on behalf of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway Company, a company incorporated by an Act of parliament of Canada passed at the present session thereof, of the second part, making provision for the construction and operation of such a railway, a copy of which agreement forms the schedule to this Act ; and whereas it is expedient that parliament should ratify and confirm the said agreement, and should grant authority for the construction in manner hereinafter provided of the eastern division of the said railway between the city of Moncton in the province of New Brunswick, and the city of Winnipeg in the province of Manitoba. Now therefore His Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows :- There we have the matter before us. We have had the subject dealt with by sixty members of the House, including the Prime Minister, who presented till the points in connection with the Bill so well and forcibly. It will be noticed that the preamble begins : ' Whereas by reason of the growth in population.' We are quite sure that in the early eighties and up through the early nineties the growth of population in this country was very slow. It was very slow for various reasons. We, as Liberals thought that the fiscal policy of the Conservatives, then in office, had a tendency to retard the growth of the country. We saw that the industries whch had been promised did not spring up, and we attributed this fact to the fiscal policy which had been adopted. We saw that our young men had gone to the other side of the line, that a large population from French Canada had gone into the eastern States, that everywhere our people were leaving us and that our growth in population was not at all satisfactory. But I am glad to assure you, Sir, that since the advent of the Liberal party to power the growth has been rapidly increasing. We have had a natural growth of the country and have also had an immigration into Canada which has been a surprise to everybody. We have talked about the matter in the House and the records show that the immigration into the country has been far and above anything ever known here, and that it is likely to increase. Indeed, the immigration into this country during the last fiscal year was about 125,000 people. That is very significant, when you remember that for many years the immigration did not exceed 5,000 or 6,000 per annum. That immigration is likely to increase. Why V Because we have the country to attract them; because the country is well governed and has a policy which is suitable to immigrants making life pleasant and easy for them. Under these circumstances, we are sure the immigrants will come into this country and will come in very fast. The second portion of the preamble says : ' And the rapid development in the productiveness and trade of Canada and especially of the western part thereof.' Let us consider, for a moment or two, the growth of trade which is the second reason why we are asked to vote for the Bill. When the Premier puts forward this resolution he does not say to us ; You are my servile followers; vote for this. He gives us reasons. And the second of these reasons is the rapid development of our trade. We find that in 1882, when the first transcontinental road was built, our total trade amounted to $221,356,703; and in 1902, twenty years later-just, two decades, the lifetime of one individual-it. had increased to $467,000,000. That is, it has doubled in the last twenty years and most of that increase, I am assured, has come in the last seven years. The total revenue of the country in 1882 was $33,383,455, and the revenue for 1902 was $66,500,000. We find a great increase in the bank assets also. The government are not by any means the only people to whom the increased business of the country is to be credited. There are the business people besides. The banks have a hand in practically all the business of the country, and they get a rake-off for the work they do. The total bank assets in 1882 were $227,426,835. In 1902, the total bank assets had grown to $041,985,372, more than keeping pace with the growth of the trade of the country. And if hon. gentlemen say that the government did not do it all, we quite agree with them; we say that the country grew independently of the government. The money in the savings banks including the post office savings banks in 1882 amounted to $21,786,661. This has grown until in 1902 it amounted to $59,147,226. These figures show the growth and expansion of our trade generally. But we know, independently of the figures that all our industries have been growing. In my own riding we have a smart little town. The industries of my own riding have grown rapidly. We can see them grow. New additions are being put upon factory buildings, more men are being hired, and new stuff being turned out. We have enormous factories in our town now, and what we see there is only indicative of what is going on



all over the country. In my travels I meet with gentlemen engaged in the manufacturing industries. They tell me that business was never better; their trade in many cases, is overdone; they cannot get the hands to do the business that offers. Our mines have been very productive. We have heard the hon. members for British Columbia telling us of the productiveness of their mines. The coal mines and other mines operated in the east have been operated largely, as also have the coal mines in the west on this side of the Rocky mountains. The price of lumber has advanced, the enormous cut of logs has produced a great quantity of lumber and not only has the home trade in lumber been good, owing to the activity in the building trade, but the export lumber trade has also been highly satisfactory. The agricultural and live stock industries have felt this prosperity, and the farmers in the county of Ontario, which I have the honour to represent, are doing well to-day. They receive high prices for their live stock, good average prices for their grain, and they have large crops. Only the other day I had a letter from one of my constituents who said he ha'd been farming for thirty-five years and that this was the best crop that he had ever had ; he had oats running as high as 100 bushels to the acre. These are the things that tell the growth in trade. This government have observed this growth all over the country. We see an enormous development of trade in the North-west. A few years ago they grew ten million or fifteen million bushels of No. 1 hard wheat; to-day they grow sixty to seventy-five million bushels and some of us who are here will live to see them grow hundreds of millions* of bushels. These things show that the trade of the country is growing. The next reason we are asked to vote for this is that it will open up a new territory which is available for settlement. We are not asked to vote blindly : reasons are given why we should vote for it. Is this country peopled as it should be, this enormous country with three and a half million square miles of territory ? We have opened up simply a fringe of our country along the United States border, but it is now proposed to go farther in and open up the country and say to the people : Come and take the resources that lie here. This railway will pass in its progress of 3.500 miles across the continent through one territory and five provinces. It passes through the province of New Brunswick with 28.200 square miles of territory, through Quebec with 298,900 square miles, through Ontario with 222.000 square miles, through Manitoba with 73.956 square miles, through British Columbia with 383.300 square miles, and through the North-west Territories, through a very rich and fertile part of them, with 906.000 square miles of territory. This is a vast area of country Mr. ROSS (Ontario). to be opened up. There is not much more to be opened up except Nova Soctia and Cape Breton and the unorganized districts which are estimated at about one and a half million square miles of territory. As you think of the vast extent of this country you wonder why the attention of the world has not been tinned to Canada before this, Canada with its enormous territories of valuable arable land. Are they productive these territories and provinces ? What have the members who represent them said ? What did the hon. member for Westminster (Mr. Morrison) tell us of the enormous development and riches of his territory in British Columbia ? What did the hon. member for Vancouver (Mr. Mae-pherson) say with regard to the wealth of the district from which he comes ? These two members have spoken for British Columbia ; they have said that there is a practically inexhaustible supply of minerals in that country ; that the forests of that country, which some of us have seen and know to be of immense wealth and size, will be sources of wealth for many years to come ; that they have great fisheries, while the valleys although small, lying between the enormous hills that reach into the skies, are wonderfully productive. Then there are the territories. In previous sessions we have heard more than one member tell of the boundless resources and vast wealth of their districts and we know the productiveness of the fertile prairies. The member for Alberta (Mr. Oliver) has spoken of that during this debate ; he has told us of the resources and the needs of that country-and its greatest need is a new railway. The hon. member for North Renfrew (Mr. Maclde) who is a practical lumberman and has gone through a great part of northern Ontario, told us the other day, and I have it from his own lips, that it is not by any means all water and rock ; that there is a great deal of arable land there and that it is not impossible to run a railway across the route projected. The hon. gentleman I may say as a lumberman keeps a man employed constantly to bring him reports of that country so that the information which he gives to the House is of additional value. We know too from the result of the explorations made by the Ontario government that north of the height of land, between that and .Tames' bay. there is a large section of arable land, estimated at anywhere from sixteen to twenty million acres, which is very favourably situated and through which this railway will run. Besides that, does not New Ontario contain a vast amount of minerals ? Gold, which is one of the most valuable minerals in the world, is found there. Iron of all kinds is found in great abundance on the north shore particularly in the section of the country which was stated by the hon. Minister of the Interior (Hon. Mr. Sifton) and again by one of the members to-day, to be practically not a farming country. This then will be a mineral country. We had a report in the newspapers the other day that the explorers who are working in that country have found a vein of lignite coal. This would be a wonderful boon to the great manufacturing province of Ontario. We have heard also from the province of Quebec. The ho.n. member for Gaspfi (Mr. Lemieux) and the hon. member for Bona-venture (Mr. Marcil) have told about the wonderful resources of Quebec and we know that the northern sections of that province are very similar to the northern sections of Ontario. This northern part of Quebec must indeed be very rich, not only in farming lands, but in timber. There is a crop there now all ready to cut, a crop of fir, spruce, pine, birch and the various woods ready to be manufactured into lumber and into pulp. The hon. member for Victoria, N.B. (Hon. Mr. Costigan) said in this House a few nights ago that this railway will pass through his county, the county of Victoria, N.B., and he has told us about the wealth of the section of the country through which it will pass in that province. He tells us it will not be by any means through a mountainous country, that it will be through a rolling country andl that it will have streams and rivers ; that it will be rich when it is opened up and that the reason it has not been settled before is simply because it is inaccessible. To secure settlement you must have a railway ; that is the thing to attract people and if you put a railway in there, he is sure that the country will be filled up in good time. He says that this is a feasible route for a railway and that there is timber there. It is true that this has been cut over but there is still a great deal qf it left besides the new crop. He also * stated that there are minerals there and a little further down large quantities of coal. But tof these we have heard from the hon. member for Westmoreland (Mr. Emmerson). Then we have here an important reason. He tells us about the wonderful riches of that country and he tells us that in his capacity of commissioner of roads he had to travel over a large part of the country and that he knows its wealth. If time would permit I would be prepared to present to this House any quantity of information that I have had from books which I have read npon the various sections of this country, the reports of botfinists, reports of geologists, reports of engineers, reports of exploring parties, reports of hunters and reports of travellers who have travelled over the route which this railway proposes to traverse and they say it is a good country.


CON
LIB
CON

Uriah Wilson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir. WILSON.

I did not mean to interrupt the hon. gentleman, but I understand him to say that he would give us these reports if we wanted them, but that he did not want to take up the time of the House in reading them. It would be very' interesting if we could have them.

Topic:   BILL No. 235.
Permalink
LIB

William Ross

Liberal

Sir. ROSS (Ontario).

I will not give them to you just now. I would rather do something else. I prefer to take the statements of men who represent these constituencies, of men who know something of the country of their own personal knowledge and when they upon their honour and standing in their places as members of this House report these things to me, I am in honour bound to believe that they are so. That satisfies me of the productiveness of the country through which this railway is to pass. The next reason why I am going to vote for this measure is that it will afford necessary transportation facilities. Have hon. members asked for this ? Has the country asked for this ? Yes, the members of this' House have demanded it. The hon. member for Saskatchewan (Mr. Davis) has had a motion on the Order Paper for two years to say that he believes that it is in the interest of this country that more transportation facilities should be given the people of the west, and other western members have voiced that need time and time again. We have listened to them very patiently as they have told of the needs of the country as thev exist to-day. Now. you will find that settlement has gone in advance of the railway in many cases. The railway should go in some respects in advance of settlement, but in this case settlement has gone in advance of the railway. Of the 125,000 settlers who have gone into that western country this year as immigrants, some thirty odd thousand are Americans. These people have come from a country where they know what railways are, they have come from a country that has been served by railways, and to ask them to go into the North-west without railway facilities is not a wise thing to do. If they do not have railway facilities they will become discontented, and if they become discontented they will look again to their homes in the south, and if they do get railways from that country connecting with the sections of the country where they are now located they will exchange their trade with the people of the south, while, on the other hand, if this railwav is built the trade of these peo-i pie will naturally be drawn down towards ; eastern Canada. They will be able to ship their grain down over this line. I need not state here the advisability of encouraging the development of such a trade as that The point has been already ably argued in this House. With this railway these set-i tiers will be able to trade with the great : industrial provinces of Ontario and Quebec.

Their national sentiment would draw them

to the south, but if they can make use of this road then we shall overcome that great difficulty of the settlement of New Ontario and bring these people into touch with the industries of Ontario and Quebec. The Grand Trunk Pacific Railway Company are in the best position to handle this scheme because they already have their feeders in eastern Ontario, they already have their trunk line and I believe these people can handle this scheme better than any one else. We have by our vote in parliament given large sums to different parts of the country to remove the congestion in trade. We have done wonderful things in connection with providing facilities for the people. We have built the Intercolonial railway at a cost of $75,000,000, which does not practically pay its way, according to the records which have been given to this House by different hon. members. In the construction and deepening of the canals and waterways we have expended $80,000,000 in round numbers and we do not collect a dollar from them. They do not bring us any revenue, but it costs us $450,000 a year to keep them up. This is what has been spent in the interests of the country. We have spent $150,000,000 or $160,000,000 to aid and assist In the development of this eastern section of the country, and besides that there has been the large expenditure of the Dominion upon the Canadian Pacific Railway, to which I shall not advert at the present time. This being the case, it shows that the necessity is very great for the construction of a national transcontinental railway. This government took the first step and resolved to help Canada. That was its resolve. I believe it to be an honest resolve notwithstanding what others may say to the effect that it is an election dodge, or that it is iu the interest of certain senators, or that it is in the interest of a certain clique. I cannot bring myself to believe that fourteen or fifteen men in the cabinet council would consent to support a scheme such as that and practically take their lives in their hands in order to present it to this parliament. Hon. gentlemen may say that I am simple, that I am gullible, but I ask them to bring on the evidence before I shall believe it. I have confidence in the government of this country. Hon. gentlemen may say what they like regarding it, but until they bring the evidence to the contrary I for one shall not believe it. What manner of agreement have they made ? They have set forth the various reasons why they think we should build this railway. They have stated that they think the railway is necessary. They say to us : If you think with us, kindly consent to this agreement. Here is the agreement which is given to us attached to this Bill. Suppose we examine this agreement. Whom are they dealing with ? Are they dealing with promoters, are they dealing with men of straw ? Who is the president of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway Com-

Topic:   BILL No. 235.
Permalink
LIB

William Ross

Liberal

Mr. ROSS (Ontario).

pany ? Is Sir Charles Rivers-Wilson a man of straw ? I looked up his record the other day in the library. I found that in 1856, the year I was born, he was appointed as; a clerk in the treasury. He was private secretary to two secretaries of the treasury* he was private secretary to the Earl of Bea-consfield when he was Chancellor of the Exchequer. He was afterwards appointed controller of Great Britain and he held thatj position for many years. During this time he was appointed on the International Coinage Commission in the interest of Great Britain. When the British government had important matters to be attended to in' Egypt they chose Sir Charles Rivers-Wilson. controller of the national debt, to go to Egypt. He went to .Egypt and took the position of finance minister, being associated with a French gentleman from Paris, who, in the interests of the French government, acted as minister of public works. Sir Charles Rivers-Wilson held that position for three years. He then returned to England and took his position again as controller of the national debt. He afterwards went back to Egypt, and if any hon. members have read the history of the recovery of Egypt from its financial distress under the guidance of the British government, they will know that this was in a great measure due to the Anri neial genius of Sir Charles Rivers-Wilson. This gentleman has also been on one of the Royal Commissions to make a treaty between England and France. You would not call a man like that an adventurer, you would call him a distinguished financier and a gentleman to whom it would be safe to entrust a scheme of this kind. Sir Rivers-Wilson, I need hardly say, is now the president of the Grand Trunk Railway. I am not acquainted with all the members of the board, but we all know the name of Chas. M. Hays as one of the greatest railway men in the world to-day. We have railway men iu Canada of whom we are proud. We have Sir Wm. Van Horne, and we have Sir Thomas Saughnessy who have done wonderful things for the Canadian Pacific Railway, but perhaps a greater accomplishment than any they achieved, was when Hr. Hays succeeded in bringing the Grand Trunk Railway to the high position it occupies to-day. We who live upon the line of the Grand Trunk Railway knew its condition when Mr. Hays took hold of it. He has completely reorganized its forces, and its credit which was then very low has to-day been established on such a firm basis that the securities of )the Grand Trunk Railway have been enhanced in value on the market to the tune of $75,000,000. That is the kind of man whom the government presents to us as an associate in the carrying out of this national project. Then connected with the Grand Trunk Railway we also have Mr. Wainright. Mr. Wainright occupies a position of responsibility in connection with this

railway company and he has in the past done excellent service. Mr. Wainwright is known to every one in this House, and I am safe in saying that we all have confidence in his opinion on any railway question. He is not heard of a great deal, but his judgment is good and his counsel will lie valuable. The government did not submit to us a lot of adventurers as their associates, but they gave us a contract signed by men of ability and responsibility. For my part, I think all the more of the contract that it bears such names. I desire to keep my remarks within reasonable limit, Mr. Speaker. If I entered into all the details which a study of the subject has placed at my disposal I might speak for hours as some other gentlemen have done, but I shall be brief. With another member of this House I went through the contract the first day it was issued, and we both came to the conclusion that no better contract under the circumstances, could be offered for the approval of the Canadian people. For myself, I do not see how the government could make a better contract without tying up the hands of the other party altogether. Let me run briefly over the provisions of this contract which parliament is asked to approve of. The government and the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway will build a standard road from Moncton to the Pacific coast which shall be upon Canadian territory. Does that not appeal to the sentiment of every Canadian. The company shall deposit ,85.000.000 in cash or bonds as security for the faithful fulfilment of their contract. The western section shall be commenced forthwith and built in five years. The government will build the eastern section and lease it to the company. The company will maintain and operate the whole road. The government will guarantee the bonds of the company's western division, the prairie section to the amount of three-quarters of $13,000 per mile and the mountain section to the extent of three-quarters of ?30,000 per mile. The company shall have $45,000,000 capital, and shall equip the whole road, and under sections 14 and 15 the cost of construction and the working expenditure on the eastern division are defined so that there shall be no friction at all between the two parties to the contract. Should the company default in interest, the government alone pays it and that is important, because as it is to be an all-Canadian road, if the company defaults in paying its interest coupons, the government steps into their place. The Grand Trunk Railway of Canada shall guarantee the extra cost of the western section, and the company shall give the government a mortgage on all its interest in the property. The company shall buy all their materials and supplies in Canada where possible and shall see that all just claims against them are paid. The company shall operate the road to the satisfaction of the government and all rates and tolls shall

be subject to government control. That is a most important thing in connection with this great transcontinental road. Ever since I have been in this House I have heard the members from the west complain that in the case of the Canadian Pacific Railway there is no government control over the rates which they charge. In the present instance tills government has taken precaution that the rates of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway shall be under their control. Then the company contracts to do their best to keep Canadian trade in Canadian channels, and encourage shipment through Canadian ports. The company shall provide terminal facilities on both the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans, and provide vessels for the transport of the traffic. Then again the company shall allow a director on their board lo be appointed by the government. That is the practice in all great financial institutions. You find that where an industry has borrowed money from a bank the bank puts a representative on the directorate, and that is what the government is doing in this case. The company shall in all cases of dispute submit to arbitration. Now, Sir, I think that every public interest is guarded in this contract. I am not a lawyer, I am only an ordinary layman, but I know what a contract means. I believe that there are many laymen in this House who can read a contract sometimes just as well or perhaps a little better than a lawyer, not denying lawyers all the credit that is due them. The contract I maintain is a good one. Its provisions are all properly hedged and surrounded with safeguards in the public interest. It is a wise provision in this Bill that no member of either House shall have a contract on this railway. Now, amongst other things, it has been urged against this project that we do not know the country through which the railway is going to run. For myself I am satisfied that we have a general idea of the country, sufficient at all events for our purposes until we actually commence the work of construction. It is said that we have no information on record, but anyone who wishes to go to the. library may find any amount of information there. At any rate, hon. gentleman opposite say there is no necessity for haste ; in fact, it is all wrong, and there Is nothing good in it at all. That is about the size of their argument. I have not heard anybody say outright that this is not a good scheme. I have listened to nearly all the sixty speeches which have been delivered in this debate, I have heard the arguments pro and con, I have tried to take them in, and I have heard absolutely no serious objection to the scheme of the government. True, the hon. leader of the opposition has put up an alternative scheme ; but he does not father it. He does not present it to this House in the shape of a motion. I do not wish to impute motives to any man in this House. I have tried to find a motive, however, for

that proposition. It seems to me that if that alternative scheme were so good a scheme as it is heralded by hon. gentlemen opposite, the leader of the opposition should put it in the form of a motion. But we have no motion from the opposition at the present time. We have the motion moved by the hon. member for Winnipeg (Mr. Puttee). This motion is :

. That all the words after ' that ' he struck out and the following substituted :-

By reason of growth in population and the rapid development in the productiveness and trade of Canada, and especially the western part thereof, the time is opportune for the adoption of a definite policy of government construction and operation of railways, under a properly safeguarded civil service system, put entirely beyond the influence of partisan politics.

The hon. member for Winnipeg in this motion speaks of the growth and development of the country. Western men never forget that the west is growing. Talk to a western man, and he will give you fifty reasons in five minutes why you should go and live in the west. Some of our eastern people think that the western people are a little too free. We have a good country in the east. I do not give up old Ontario for any other province ; I was born there, and I love it. But we have many good provinces, and I like to hear western people talk well of their own country. Then, the hon. member for Winnipeg says in his motion that the time is opportune. I think it is opportune that this railway should he built as proposed by the government, and the motion does not express any serious objection to it. But I do not know how it is possible in this country to carry on a government railroad or anything else entirely beyond the influence of partisan politics. Sou cannot eliminate politics from the business of this country. Some party must do that business, and there will be another party opposed to their policy. The question of operating railroads by commission is not yet settled. Indeed, there are many people who are opposed to that policy, and I am one of them. I could not vote for that resolution, because I do not think the country is ready at the present time for the government ownership of railways. I may change my views on that question, because I have advanced views. My conviction for some time has been that the government had better get ready to own the telegraphs and telephones. These have become a pressing need in this country, as much so, especially the telephone, as the post office. But I cannot favour the government ownership of railways at the present time.

The scheme of the hon. leader of the opposition was discussed so fully by the hon. Postmaster General last night that it would be useless for me to spend much time in showing that it is not as good a scheme as that proposed by the government. I do not

Mr. ROSS (Ontario!.

think it is, mainly for this reason, that it will not open up or develop any new country. That is, I believe, the strong feature of tills new government railway, that It will open up a new section of country for settlement, which will be of very great advantage to the people of Canada. The hon. leader of the opposition is not afraid to spend money, and he said that the people of this country were not. I am glad he said that, because I sometimes think that hon. members of this House are afraid of spending money. I am not. I think the money of this country, as rapidly as it comes in, should be spent in the interest of the people of Canada.

It has been said that the scheme of the government is a gigantic and monstrous scheme which will plunge this country in debt and ultimately in ruin. I do not think so. Since I have been in this House I have followed with a great deal of confidence the hon. leader of this government, and only once have I been compelled to vote opposite to him-I will not say against him. I am not sorry that I have followed him, because I believe that on every occasion I was right. He comes down with this scheme and practically fathers it. He says : I

commend this scheme to the House as a good one, for the reasons I have advanced ; and I have no reason to go hack on his judgment on this occasion, though I also use my own judgment.

There is another member of the government in whom I have always felt and placed a good deal of confidence, as he has never been mistaken in his statements regarding the financial affairs of the country. I refer to the hon. Minister of Finance. He has told us what the cost of this railway will he-that the surplus of this government for one year would pay the total cost of this railway to the people of this country. I am not denying the fact that the national debt will be increased ; but if you increase the national debt, you wUl have a national asset to set off against that increase ; and is it not reasonable to suppose that if the Canadian Pacific Railway has almost doubled in value in twenty years, this other transcontinental railway, including that part of it which belongs to the government, will also double in value in twenty or twenty-five years ? If it does, our asset will be worth, not one hundred 'cents on the dollar, but one hundred and fifty or two hundred cents on the dollar. Under these circumstances, I am satisfied that the money will be properly spent, and that the amount stated by the Finance Minister is the proper one.

Topic:   BILL No. 235.
Permalink
CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

Does the hon. member pretend to say that the amount stated by the Minister of Finance, $13,000,000, is to be actually the cost of this railway ?

Topic:   BILL No. 235.
Permalink
LIB

William Ross

Liberal

Mr. ROSS (Ontario).

Yes, that is all the outlay. I am prepared to back my reputa-* tion on the Finance Minister. That has no

reference to the maturity of the bonds ; but when you take up the bonds you own the railroad.

Topic:   BILL No. 235.
Permalink
CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

But if you buy something, don't you pay some consideration for it ?

Topic:   BILL No. 235.
Permalink
LIB
CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

Is not the consideration which you have to pay for it standing against you ?

Topic:   BILL No. 235.
Permalink
LIB

William Ross

Liberal

Mr. ROSS (Ontario).

If I buy a farm and mortgage it for all it is worth, I do not own the farm until I pay off the mortgage; but when I pay off the mortgage, do I not own the farm 1

Topic:   BILL No. 235.
Permalink
CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

If the hon. gentleman borrows $2,000 to buy a farm, does he not owe the $2,000.

Topic:   BILL No. 235.
Permalink
LIB
CON

William Humphrey Bennett

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT.

But if the farm is no good ?

Mr. ROSS (Ontario;. Well, I think that we know something about finances on this side as well as members of the opposition.

I am prepared to take the statements made by the right hon. leader of this House and many members on this side, who have spoken in connection with this matter. 1 think, Sir, that I have gone as rapidly as I could over the main features of the subject before the House, but of course I did not expect to convince hon. gentlemen opposite, who have already made up their minds against it. I have simply given the reasons and the facts as they have presented themselves to my mind, and what I have said to-night has been the subject of mature consideration and the outcome of my honest conscientious convictions, and under these circumstances I am prepared to support this resolution.

Nations, as well as individuals, should have the courage to grapple with great problems. In this connection, I am reminded of a quotation from Lord Macauley, which appeared on the outside of the transportation building at the World's Pair : ' Of all

inventions, the alphabet alone excepted, those that have bridged distance have done the most for mankind.' That truth is particularly applicable to transcontinental railways. Look around and see what the world has been doing in that connection. Look at Russia, which for twenty-five years has been building a railway 3,600 miles long, across a country exactly similar to this country, which hon. gentlemen opposite term a sub-arctic region. Russia has built this railway through the region of Siberia. It was an undertaking which practically staggered the empire at first, but it has been successfully accomplished, and Russia has now her sea-ports on the Indian ocean. She accomplished it many years before it

was absolutely necessary, but her policy is to-day justified. People are flocking into that country, rich in hard woods, farm lands, water powers and all these things, and they have practically reduced the distance from London to Shanghi, so that when they put on fast trains they expect to shorten the time of travel between these two cities by ten days, which is half the time taken by the fastest vessels. I am told that railway magnates on this continent are looking' particularly into that question and are fearing the competition they will have to meet in that direction. Look at South Australia, offering 75,000 acres per mile to build a road 1,200 miles long, so that they will be giving 90,000,000 acres for the construction of 1,200 miles of railway over a country which is not the equal of this country, which is noted perhaps more for its minerals than anything else, but more particularly for its drought. What are they doing on the continent of Africa ? The British government are building a railway practically from Egypt to Cape Town, all the way down through dense forests of jungle. They are doing this to help the country and the individuals that are going to it. Shall we be behind in the race ? I say no. I am a Canadian, I feel the national blood tingling in my veins, I feel that this country shall not remain a nation of five million people,

I look to see the day when this will be a nation of twenty-five million, yes, fifty million people. We have the country, we have the resources, we have our vast prairies, we have our mountains filled with minerals, our rivers, our water powers, [DOT] our lakes, which this great transcontinental railway which we are about to build will open up to commerce, and give this country that greatness and prominence which are its manifest destiny; and when this great enterprise is brought to a successful completion, I shall be glad that I was one of those who had some share in its inauguration and promotion.

Topic:   BILL No. 235.
Permalink
CON

David Henderson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. D. HENDERSON (Halton).

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member for South Ontario opened his speech with the well known remark that the trade of Canada is growing. I wonder did it occur to him that the trade of China is growing perhaps in larger proportions than even the trade of Canada '! But what that had to do with the subject before us is something I am utterly at a loss to understand. The hon. gentleman told us that the revenues of the country were increasing. I can see the connection between the Bill before us and the growth of our revenue, because, from the very nature of the question with which we are dealing, very large revenues indeed will be required. But when under the fiscal policy of this government, we have a system of hign taxation and low protection, how can we expect that the revenues of the country will do otherwise than increase. The people of

Canada to-day, notwithstanding anything which the hon. gentleman has told us, are paying higher taxes than were paid during the last six or seven years of Conservative regime, comparing the term of seven years of Liberal rule with the previous five or six or seven years of Conservative rule. The hon. gentleman attempted to congratulate himself that the exodus was decreasing and that immigration was increasing. He was glad that a large number of agriculturists were coining into this country to engage in farming. I should rather think that he would have regretted that the artisans, the workingmen, those who are consumers and not producers, were leaving the country, because, had he taken five minutes to investigate, he would have found in the Trade and Navigation Returns a very large amount of settlers effects going out of this country to the United States, proving conclusively that the people were going along with them.

It is not my intention to follow the hon. gentleman through the somewhat interesting speech-interesting to himself no doubt from his own standpoint-which he made, and I congratulate him on having made a very nice speech but a harmless one I am sure. There was not much in it to encourage the government in the course it is taking. He did not put forward any very strong reasons why this railway should be constructed through what has been called an unknown country.

Mr. Speaker, when we came to this House on the 12th day of March last, we were delighted to learn from the government, through the speech from the Throne, that they had determined upon a policy of better transportation facilities for this country. His Excellency informed us, through the speech from the Throne, that a commission of experienced men would be appointed for the purpose of looking into this whole matter. Special reasons were given why that was necessary, and I propose to read to yon from the speech from the Throne what these special reasons were. For I shall endeavour to keep close to the subject that we are dealing with. I want to state these reasons in order that I may build an argument upon them. His Excellency said : The great influx of population into our North-western territories and the very large additional areas of fertile land which are being brought under cultivation combine to further press upon us the need for increased transportation facilities for the forwarding of our grain and other products to the markets of tile world, through Canadian channels. 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.

When this House was asked to concur in the resolution, it was urged upon us that the most important question was to afford railway facilities for the new settlers, and for the old setters, for that matter. We Mr. HENDERSON.

were told by the hon. gentleman who moved the address in reply to the speech from the Throne that this was the great question before the House. He said:

To what end the raising of 200 million bushels of wheat in the west unless the farmers there can get that wheat to market in reasonable time and at a reasonable expense to them.

Note the words, 'in reasonable time and at reasonable expense.' And, as I proceed, I wish you to apply these words and see whether the scheme propounded by the government will serve to take the products of the west to the markets ' in reasonable time ' or ' at reasonable expense.' If not, then this great scheme would fail to meet the purpose that His Excellency had in view when he presented us with the speech from the Throne. The mover of the address also told us :

And the very same remarks apply to the mixed farmers of older Canada. These men must get their varied products to the seaboard quickly and inexpensively, or forfeit the markets of Britain and Europe. Therefore it is with great pleasure indeed that we heard the announcement in the speech from the Throne, that the government of His Excellency will immediately appoint a transportation commission to deal with this very intricate question, for the purpose of its betterment.

For a considerable time, however, this important matter was lost sight,of, as we all remember. It was not until the 19th of May last that we heard any more about this commission which was to investigate the question of better transportation facilities. Then an announcement was made that the commission was appointed, to be composed of Sir William Van Horne, John Bertram and Harold Kennedy, to' report on questions affecting the transportation of Canadian products to the markets of the world through and by Canadian ports, &c. In this announcement it was also stated- and I read now from the Order in Council which has been placed on record in ' Hansard ' more than once, but some portions of which, I think, well deserve further attention :

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.

Further, the Order in Council says :

That the questions to he considered are complicated and involved, including among the objects to he sought the transportation of western products from place of production to the markets of the world involving the consideration of their transportation : -

From place of production to Canadian seaports.

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

From the western ports of Lake Superior to Canadian seaports.

This Order in Council especially declares-

That ill making such investigation attention should not be confided to routes and facilities which are at present utilized, but, if necessary, new surveys should be made to determine whether any more economical and satisfactory channels of transportation by land or water can be opened up.

X would ask if the new surveys have been made? If so, where are the maps and reports ? Or, is the government simply taking a leap in the dark, regardless of the interests of the people of Canada, either in the east or in the west? We have been told that there are ' mountains of information.' Where are these mountains of information? I have failed in my efforts to put my hands upon anything at all that would give me the particular information that I would require before being able to decide the question as to the feasibility of the project that is before us. True, we have been told that some two hundred years ago Champlain crossed this- country. I think La Salle, another celebrated explorer, was referred to by the Prime Minister, and Alexander Mackenzie also-not lie whose monument we see on the grounds to the west of this building, but a man who died a hundred years ago, long before railways were thought of, and whose explorations were made at a time when it could hardly be said the question of whether a railway from Moncton to Winnipeg would carry the products of the west cheaply to market had been taken up for consideration. These are parts of the ' mountains of information ' to which we are referred. Then, we are told by this Order in Council :

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, anc! 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.

Very true. Then, as if to complete the solemn farce-for this commission had never met (it was not completed until to-day), and I cannot call it anything but a farce-the minister recommends the appointment of a commission composed of Sir William Van I-Iorne, Mr. John Bertram and Mr. Harold Kennedy, of whom Sir William Van Horne is to be chairman and convener, for the purpose of making any such inquiries, obtaining such information and making such reports and recommendations as, in their opinion the exigencies of the case may require.

My object in reading these extracts from this Order in Council is to show where the government have been derelict in their duty towards this House and towards the people

of this country. Here we have an emphatic declaration by the government of their own absolute want of information. They were in search of information ; they knew nothing more about the country, according to their own declaration than did hon members of this House outside of the government. They were in absolute want of information concerning the country and its needs, the best means of affording relief, whether by a new railroad, an all-rail route or by improving existing routes by rail and lake and river or by other means. The mind of the government was a blank on this question and they were in search of information according to their own declaration. They were in fact utterly helpless. A government of business men confessed their absolute inability to cope with the whole situation. Very early in July the Ho.use was informed that Sir William Van Horne, an able and competent man, was not able to act upon the commission, and I may here say that we on this side of the House join with the government in expressing regret that so able a man was unable to give attention to such an important question. Notwithstanding the lack of information, no new appointment was made by the government and on the 19th of May as I said, we find the government with their minds still an absolute blank, without hope as it were- hope was abandoned-and they did not appear to he able to secure another man to act upon the commission. On the 30th of July, notwithstanding the declaration they had made that information was necessary, that they could not proceed without it and that they were in search of it, they launched at once this gigantic scheme. The scheme was launched by the Prime Minister who made a solemn declaration that there was no time for deliberation, and this was done in the face of the solemn protest of the minister of the Crown whose duty it was to take charge of every matter pertaining to railways. He was the member of the government above all others who was best able to judge as to what was right and proper. He entered his protest, he declared against the mad haste with which the First Minister was proceeding to waste public money. X shall read his own words :

I am not in favour of impetuously rushing into the construction of a transcontinental line from Quebec, through an unknown country to Winnipeg and the west, until we know something about it-until we have the fullest Information about it. The project is one of very great magnitude, and should be dealt with only after the maturest deliberation.

The hon. ex-Minister of Railways and Canals (Hon. Mr. Blair) sealed his protest by placing his resignation in the hands of his leader, surrendering office, surrendering emoluments, surrendering social position, surrendering as I believe promotion, because I have regarded the ex-Minister of Railways and Canals as one of the

ablest men, if not tbe ablest man, in that government, and a man wiho was destined, bad he remainel in the government to play an important part in the future of this country. But since his resignation, members sitting on your right, Sir, have one after the other had nothing but ridicule and condemnation to offer to the ex-minister who dared to act on his own conviction and to do what he considered right. Why, they say, should he have been consulted. Only a few days ago the hon. member for South Wellington (Mr. Guthrie) in a lofty voice, said : Why should the ex-Minister of Railways and Canals have been consulted any more than any other member of the government ? What right had he to be taken into the confidence of the Prime Minister ? The Prime Minister did not think it beneath his dignity to take into his confidence certain senators and railway projectors who are not responsible to the people of this country for their actions. And yet, Sir, hon. gentlemen tell us that the Trime Minister was justified in refusing to accept the advice of the minister, who was better able than he was himself or than any other of the colleagues who surrounded him, to decide this matter. I say this is an important matter, when we consider that we are dealing with a project which might launch this country into an expense of anywhere from $100,000,000 to $150,000,000. The hon. gentleman approved of the fact that this man was ignored, that he was kept in blissful ignorance and I say it was unfair to that hon. gentleman (Hon. Mr. Blair) and we on this side of the House and hon. gentlemen on that side of the House need not be surprised at all that a man of the feelings of the ex-minister of Railways and Canals should under such circumstances consider it his duty to withdraw from the government of which he had so long been a member. The hon. ex-minister said ;

I think I might justly complain that so important a matter of policy, arising within the sphere of my own department, should have been adopted and continued in this way behind my back and without my knowledge.

And such, Mr. Speaker, is liberalism, the boasted policy of hon. gentlemen to your right.

Well no report from the commission had been obtained ; in fact tbe commission bad not met as I said before. The opinion of Sir William Van Horne had been obtained notwithstanding tbe fact that he had declined to accept a position on the commission. We find that on August 5th he made known to a ' News ' reporter in Toronto his views on this question and although these views have been cited here time and again, I think it is a proper thing for me, even at this late hour, to occupy a few extra minutes to again cite these views, because they have had weight, and will have weight, not only with the members of the opposition but with supporters of the government. Sir

Topic:   BILL No. 235.
Permalink
CON

David Henderson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HENDERSON.

William Van Horne when interviewed in Toronto, said :

The Canadian Pacific Railway, the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway, or any other all-Canadian route will never voluntarily carry a carload of wheat by the all-railway route around the great lakes to an eastern Caudian port for shipment abroad, for the simple reason that it will never pay any road to do so. Nor will the transportation problems in the west ever be solved by the construction of an all-Canadian route from coast to coast.

Now, this is the advice of the very gentleman whom the government sought _ to place at the head of their commission. Notwithstanding the fact that be did not find it convenient to accept that position, why should they refuse to accept the information, to accept the advice which he has tendered even though not a member of tbe commission ?

Sir William Van Horne stated that the Canadian Pacific Railway shipped every carload of wheat that it was possible to ship by their steamship line on the great lakes from Fort William to Owen Sound, and thence east by rail or else by way of Buffalo and the Erie canal. The long haul around the great lakes was dreaded, because it was unprofitable, and the bulk of the grain brought by that route was carried during the winter months, and used by the millers of Ontario to keep their mills in operation during the cold season. There was altogether too much talk of an all-Canadian route by people who were entirely ignorant of the situation.

And be added :

I state this emphatically that no all-Canadian line, I care not by whom it is built or run, will voluntarily draw a single carload of wheat east of Port Arthur over its tracks. We occasionally take one when the traffic by boat is congested, in the winter, when any special need arises.

Had the government accepted tbe advice of Sir William Van Horne, I fancy that today we would not be sitting here in tbe sixth month of a long session considering a project which Sir William Van Horne says can never profitably carry a bushel of wheat from tbe North-west Territories to a seaport. Of course, we will be told that Sir William Van Horne is an interested party, but bis standing in this country is such that notwithstanding his close alliance with tbe Canadian Pacific Railway, his advice would be accepted, bis counsel would be accepted, liis opinion would be accepted by the people of this country. Well, we are told this is not a time for deliberation. The right lion. Prime Minister was emphatic upon this point. Why not? We are spending $100,000,000 or $150,000,000. Why not deliberate? An bon. gentleman on my left says more than that. I am inclined to agree with him. Why not deliberate ? Are the government afraid of public opinion? Do they want to rush this mad scheme through tbe House and crystallize it into law before tbe people become seized of its enormity, when for ever it will be impossible to re-

voke it? Is this why the government are not anxious to deliberate ? I fail to find practically any other good reason for this extraordinary desire to rush the Bill through the House at the present time. In fact, the right lion, gentleman, in his address, grows frantic over his desire for Immediate action, and invokes the aid of heaven to avoid disaster and delay. Let me read his prayer :

It is not of to-morrow, but of this day, of this hour and of this minute. Heaven grant that it be not already too late ; heaven grant that, by reason of delay, the trade of Canada is not deviated to other channels, and that an ever vigilant competitor does not take to himself the trade that properly belongs to those who acknowledge Canada as their native or their adopted land.

Only last week I took up a reliable Montreal paper and I found this report. It showed me how quickly the answer to the right lion. Prime Minister's prayer had been given. The report is this :

Chicago, 111., August 21.-Lake shipments of corn for the port of Montreal have aggregated

1.000. 000 bushels during the past few days, 'file gain of the Montreal ports is due entirely to the action of the government in making the Canadian canals free.

Iii making the Canadian canals free. Why then should we stop at the canals ? Why not make the port of Montreal free, and increase the business of that port ? I visited the port of Montreal a short time ago in company with many lion, members of this House. I went on board the vessel and after going over this port and viewing its surroundings, if there was one single thing that I became convinced of more than another during my visit there it was the fact that the port of Montread should be a free port.

Grain can now be shipped from Chicago to Montreal for export to Liverpool three cents a bushel cheaper than it can be routed by part-rail, part-lake, through Boston. When it is known that a fraction of a cent a bushel will divert all the grain that can possibly go through a port, the advantage that Montreal has over American ports will be readily seen.

Then comes au important announcement as to trade.

During the first seven months of the present year over 9,000,000 bushels of wheat, and almost

4.000. 000 bushels of corn have passed through the port of Montreal, as against a trifle over

1.000. 000 bushels of wheat, and 4,000,000 bushels of corn through the port of Boston.

What are we to be alarmed about ? If we utilize our water-ways, if we utilize our ports and run them properly we can command the trade of the country, and we need nof be alarmed about the Americans taking it from us. Lake Superior is the key to the whole situation. What was Lake Superior put there for? Was there no object? Why was it not a rocky promintory or why was it not an agricultural country ? Lake Superior is there for a purpose. It is the

key to the whole situation between the great west and the east, and it will be the means of regulating transport for all time to come and of levelling the rates charged from the west to the east.

Has the government a mandate from the people to construct this road, and this is an important question ? We know now that those who criticised most severely at that time, now acknowledge the wisdom of the men who constructed the Canadian Pacific Railway. I only wish we could hope, that twenty-five years hence the same con-mendation will be given to the men who will construct this new transcontinental road, if ever it should be constructed. Is there any immediate demand for another transcontinental road ? Is there an immediate demand for it, and will the proposed road fulfil the requirements of increased transportation facilities ? These are grave questions. Let us hear from those who are interested and those who have knowledge on that point. We have not been able to hear from the transportation commission, but we have heard from others who have studied the question and who are able to speak from practical knowledge. The exMinister of Railways has spoken with no uncertain sound in condemnation of this scheme. He says it will not meet the requirements of the case and that therefore the country should not be plunged into a huge expenditure in order to secure this road. Sir William Van Horne has voiced his opinion that the a-oad will be no good for the purpose for which it is designed. It is not sufficient that that road shall carry pulpwood from Lake Abitibi to Shawinigan Falls and Grand-M6re, and carry pulpwood from Grand-M6re and Shawinigan Falls back again to Lake Abitibi. I submit that is about all that those gentlemen tell us is the local trade that will be found in that country. They are simply proposing to carry coal to Newcastle and then carry it back again. Premier Roblin, a man now of railway fame ; a man who has made railway transportation a successful study, because he has done more for the people of the North-west in railway legislation than all the governments that preceded him in Manitoba ; he is not backward in pronouncing his opinion, and he says :

The people of Manitoba and the west are strongly opposed to the Canadian government granting one dollar of public money or an acre of land to the construction of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway as an allCanadian route from coast to coast because they do not see any material advantage in its construction to the people of western Canada.

Later on he says :

Where is the demand for the construction of this road ? I fail to find it anywhere. Manitoba to-day needed no more railways, for the average distance from the farmer to the railway in Manitoba was but five miles. The Canadian Pacific Railway and the Canadian

Northern Railway would be quite able for the next twenty years to supply all the railway necessities, whereas what was wanted was an increased equipment especially in rolling stock.

These opinions are worth their weight in gold at this juncture. Men who have made this question a study, men who are able to give an opinion to those who only two months ago, or just before launching this * scheme on this country acknowledged that their minds were a blank upon the whole question; they condemn the scheme. We were told that the government could not wait a day, nor even an hour, nor even a minute. But it is the government alone that insists upon hasty action. The Prime Minister told us that Canada is commercially dependent on the United States, and that to secure our independence we must have a new transcontinental railway. I confess it was news to me to hear that we were not commercially independent of the United States. I admit that had the Liberals led by the First Minister to-day, had their way in 1891, we would not be commercially independent of the United States to-day. But thanks to the loyalty of the Canadian people, we maintained our commercial and political independence and we will maintain that independence to the end. I will read an extract from the speech of the Prime Minister, because I think it is proper that the minds of the members in this House should be refreshed from time to time on what leading members of the administration have said. The right hon. gentleman said this :

What are your minds running to when you have facts staring you in the face which show you that at this moment Canada is not commercially independent of the United States. What is our position to-day ? From the early days of railway development in this country we have been dependent on American good-will for the transportation of our goods across American territory. From the early days of Canadian railway development we have been allowed to make use of American territory and harbours ; the American government granted us the bonding privilege, they granted us the privilege of using their harbours for our imports and exports without paying them tolls and customs duties.

Again he said :

We cannot take steps to better our position, to improve our trade, but we are told from the American side that we had better look out because forsooth the bonding privilege will be taken from us.

Then he quotes Andrew Carnegie, and the President of the United States and the New York ' Sun,' to show that these threats were held out to us dating from the year 1888. Let me say to the Prime Minister of this country, that there is an old adage which says : barking dogs never bite, and that is as true to-day as it was a hundred years ago. The Prime Minister need not be afraid of the barking of the United States with reference to the bonding privilege, because Mr. HENDERSON.

they have no intention of biting. The Prime Minister knows well that we too can abrogate the bonding privilege. We have just as much power in that matter as the United States has, because for many years we have had an all-Canadian railway on Canadian soil. You can to-day get on board the Canadian Pacific Railway at Vancouver, transfer to the Intercolonial Railway at Montreal, and you are landed in Halifax without touching anything but purely Canadian soil. When this Grand Trunk Pacific transcontinental railway is constructed1 what better off will we be ? Why, you will be landed at Moncton, but still you would have to transfer to reach the seaboard. To-day we are just as independent of the United States as we can possibly be when this new railway is built. If we are interfered with at any time, then, to paraphrase the words of the Prime Minister, we can say :

Take off your bonding privilege whenever it suits you, we are commercially independent.

Here is another statement which was made by the Prime Minister :

We consider it the duty of those who sit within those walls by the will of the people to provide immediate means whereby the products of these new settlers may find an exodus to the ocean at the least possible cost.

To move the products of the west to the east seems to be the primary object of this new government railway, according to the Prime Minister.

The smallest cost and the immediate necessity-these are two points which I desire hon. members to keep in mind. An immediate and cheap grain route is what we are seeking to bring about. Will the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway from Winnipeg to Moncton be immediate ? Will it be cheap ? Will this all-rail route be as cheap as rail and water ? There is one thing certain-it cannot be immediate ; because five years is the shortest time which the government have given us any assurance of that it will take to construct that road. Consequently the right hon. First Minister is defeated in his first proposition ; it cannot give immediate relief to the congestion of the west. It will not be as cheap as rail and water, which I shall show you very conclusively before I sit down, and which has been demonstrated time and again by hon. members on this side of the House. This is the crux of the whole matter. If this road will not at once give us relief, and give it to us cheaper than it can be obtained at the present time, it will accomplish the purpose which we have in view. AVhy not, then, extend and improve the existing system if by so doing we can furnish a route that will accomplish the purpose that we have in view ? Let us proceed to extend out existing system of railways in the east, to improve our water-ways, and to extend ail our great existing railway systems into the west with as convenient speed as possible.

Tliat, associated with our water-ways, will to my mind accomplish the purpose. It will be the means of providing us with an immediate outlet for the crops of the west and a cheaper route than can he provided in any other way. In this way we shall he able to utilize the Intercolonial Railway, the Grand Trunk Railway, the Canadian Pacific Railway and the Canadian Northern Railway. Let us utilize to the fullest extent all the railway systems which we have at the present time, by bringing them into connection with each other and into connection with the great water-ways of this country, and we will solve the problem of transportation, concerning which this commission was founded to give us the fullest information. We have now plenty of railway lines from the west to the east; I am convinced of that. What is wanted is more complete equipment. There .is no question in my mind, and I think in the mind of any hon. member of this House, that the two railways running at the present time between Winnipeg and Port Arthur, will carry all the products of that western country for the next ten, fifteen, or twenty-five years. But these railways require to be more fully equipped. They must be provided with more haulage power ; they must be provided with more cars ; elevator accommodation must be increased. If all this is done it will provide a means of taking all the grain of the western country from the hopper that was spoken of by Sir William Van Horne through the spout, which I understand to be the country lying between Winnipeg and Port Arthur. Enlarge the spout, and you accomplish your purpose, and in the easiest possible way.

The hon. leader of the opposition has outlined a scheme which to my mind will meet what is desired at the present time very much better than the proposition made by the government. I desire to refer to that scheme, because I think it has not been discussed by hon. members at your right in a fair spirit; and, in order that I may make no mistake, I propose to read the language of the hon. leader of the opposition, so that it may again go on record and be read to the people of this country. The hon. leader of the opposition, referring to his plan, and contrasting it with that of the government, says : 1 2 3

1. It combines prompt action with deliberation and caution.

2. It developes and does not throttle the Intercolonial.

3. It takes account of the expenditure upon the Intercolonial and upon the inland waterways, and brings those great national highways in harmony with our project. The lake route, the St. Lawrence and other canals are joined by the policy I propose in one harmonious whole, whereas the policy of the government, which cuts off the water-ways, which cuts off the lake communication-cuts off the very Intercolonial Railway on which this country has spent $70,000.000-and on which this government have spent $15,000,000 for the purpos-' of doing the very thing which I am advocating in this House.

4. It develops transportation along the lines of least resistance, that is to say. by water and by water and rail.

5. While connecting at the same time all the great railway systems in Canada, it controls in the only effective way the carriage of Canadian products through Canadian channels, by enabling the people's railway to compete for this traffic.

0. It affords immediate relief to the congestion of the west by bringing the Grand Trunk Railway into Winnipeg without delay. And

7. It insists that further railway development in tile west shall not only give necessary competition in settled districts, but shall open and develop new country.

I do not desire to enlarge upon that scheme. The language is clean-cut and speaks for itself. I leave it to the House to judge as to the plan which he has propounded. It refers to the immediate action that is called for at the present time. The cry comes from the west for better equipment. more haulage power, more ears, more elevators, more rapid transit from the place of production. I believe this scheme will furnish all these requirements. But another important factor must be combined with it, that is, the factor of cheapness. I care not what route you may construct or devise, unless it includes the element of cheapness, you will find it impossible to force grain or any other product over it. Now, can an all-rail route combine all these qualities that I have mentioned-cheapness and immediate .results. .

Let us look elsewhere to see how the traffic rates compare. From Chicago to New York by rail is 900 miles. By lake and rail it is 1,400 miles. Rail competition is keen from Chicago to New York, because there are fully half a dozen railways running between these two points, provided with extra good haulage power, running through a well settled country and able to pick up freight along the way-just the very kind of railway that would be able to produce the best results, so far as cheapness of rates is concerned. But let us compare the two. I take my figures from the Chicago Board of Trade reports. In 1890 the lake and rail rate from Chicago to New York per bushel was 8-52 and the all-rail rate was 14'30 on wheat, or an increase of 70 per cent. In 1895 the lake and rail rate was 6-96 against an all-rail rate of 11-89. or an Increase in the latter of 70 per cent. In 1901, the last year of which I am able to find any report, the lake and rail rate was 5-54 and the all-rail rate 9-88, showing an increase in the latter over the former of 78 per cent. The average increase of all-rail over lake and rail rates, during the periods I have mentioned, was from 70 to 78 per cent, although the rail and water route is much longer than the all-rail route. I propose to take some actual rates, because we can find actual charges to guide

Us. From Winnipeg to Fort William, on the 1st day of September next, the rate on the Canadian Northern will be 6 cents per bushel. From Fort William to Montreal, by way of Depot Harbour, we are informed-and the statement has not been contradicted-that wheat was carried for 3J cents, making the rail and lake rate from Winnipeg to Montreal Of cents per bushel for wheat. From Winnipeg to Fort William the rate is 6 cents per bushel ; and we are told that with proper elevators at Port Colborne and other ports grain could be carried from Fort William to Montreal by rail, lake and canal at 3 cents per bushel, or at a total cost of 9 cents per bushel. The average rate for the past five years, I am informed, by rail from Fort William to Montreal is 12 cents and from Winnipeg to Fort William it is proposed to make it 6 cents, so that the allrail rate route from Winnipeg to Montreal, per bushel of wheat, will be 18 cents. If we take the evidence of Mr. Wainwright, to whom the hon. member for South Ontario (Mr. Ross) referred to-night, given before a committee of this House in 1898, we will find that he then said that one-half of one per cent per ton per mile was a satisfactory rate on long distances, such as 500, or COO, or 1,000 miles. If you make the calculation, you will find that the rate on a bushel of wheat from Winnipeg to Montreal or Quebec on this new transcontinental railway will be 21 cents. We are told that there is a company which will carry wheat at present, or has been carrying it, from Duluth to Montreal for 31 cents. 'Taking the rate from Winnipeg to Fort William as 6 cents, and taking the comparative distance, the rate from Winnipeg to Montreal or Quebec by the transcontinental line would be 20 cents. To my mind that Is conclusive Evidence of the absolute impossibility of discovering an all-rail route which will convey the products of the west to the ports in the east anything like as cheaply as they can be carried by lake and rail route or rail, lake, river and canal route, or any route that combines water and rail. In the face of these facts, can we conclude that the congestion in the west can be relieved by the proposition submitted to us by the government. The hou. the Minister of the Interior, in order to demonstrate the possibility of carrying grain from Winnipeg to Montreal for about 11J cents, gave a case where grain had been carried from Kansas city to Chicago, a distance of about 500 miles, for 5 cents per 100 pounds. I draw attention to this fact, because I think it is unfair for the hon. minister to build up an argument on what the hon. member for Peel (Mr. Blain) so well designated as a bargain-day rate, a rate that might never be repeated, and which to-day is not in force, but instead of which there is a rate in force of about 14 cents per 100 pounds. I say it was not fair on the part of the hon. minister to base an argu-Mr. HENDERSON.

ment on such a frivolous and unsatisfactory foundation in order to convince the people that we are doing right in voting $100,000,000 or $130,000,000 for this scheme.

With reference to the character of the country through which this road is to pass, I propose to say a word. I have nothing of my own to say that will discredit the country. Should I say anything that does not present the country through which this road is to pass in such a favourable light as we would like, I shall not use my own, but the language of others. I hope that we have a fine country to the north of us. It is a large country but is not yet required for the purpose of colonization, and I say now-and I say in all good feeling towards the government and in perfect good faith-that the government are making a fatal mistake. I say it is a shame to induce young men to go from Ontario and Quebec to settle in northern Ontario or northern Quebec, so long as we have the prairies in the west waiting simply for the plough to be put in and the crop to be reaped the following year.

Why, Mr. Speaker, it would simply be consigning a man to prison as compared with going to the North-west. If a man undertakes to hew out a home in northern Ontario or Quebec, be the country ever so good, he would not find himself so well oft' in twenty years as the man who goes to the prairies of the west .will find himself in from three to five years. And I say that the government will make a sad mistake if they induce the young men of this country to settle in the northern regions of these older provinces. Retain that country for the future, it will be time enough to colonize it when it is wanted. Why should our sons go into the forests while the immigrants from the old land come in and reap of our very best ? If a man wants to move from Ontario or Quebec and build up a new home, let him go to Manitoba or the North-west Territories. But do not advise him to go, do not spend a dollar for the purpose of inducing a man to go into New Ontario or New Quebec at the present time. We have heard glowing accounts of that country and I would be only too glad if they were all absolutely true. I am referring now to the country through which this road is to pass from Moncton to Winnipeg. We are told of the vast stretches of agricultural land in these two provinces, rich in spruce and poplar and with fine, arable soil. The report of the exploration and survey of northern Ontario in 1900 has been profusely read from. I am going to read something from it too. What I do regret is that hon. gentlemen opposite, yes, and even Ministers of the Crown read part and left out part. 1 propose to supplement their selections with something which they did not feel at liberty to read to this House. I think we ought to be perfectly honest and fair in this matter. I do not say they were dishonest

995S

I would not attribute that to them. Perhaps their attention was not drawn to it by the president or manager of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway, or perhaps this scheme might not have gone through. 1 will take this little extract and the hon. gentleman will find it in exactly the same volume from which they were reading. This is where it makes reference to a tract of G,000 square miles, * sixty per cent of which would cut five cords of spruce wood to the acre.' 1 need not ask you, Mr. Speaker, what kind of land it is that would produce five cords of spruce to the acre. Would you like to live on it V Or induce your son to go and settle on it ? There Is only one conclusion we can arrive at as to the character of land that grows five cords of spruce wood to the acre. I do not think that this fact indicates a high degree of fertility. We were told the other day that the government has mountains of information with regard to this country, and the Prime Minister said that from 1872 to 1880, twenty-eight exploration parties had been sent into that country. This was about the time the Canadian Pacific Railway was to be built and he told us that $5,000,000 had been spent at that time in exploring this country. Surely all that ought to make some mountains of information, even if only small ones. I am going to give you the opinion of a gentleman who had access to these reports, a gentleman who had the honour of a seat in this House and took part in the discussion when a charter was granted for the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway, the gentleman who now occupies the high and honourable position of Prime Minister of Ontario. And I am going to ask you what you think of his opinion of that country after he had investigated these mountains of information. He spoke in this House on the 10th of January, 1881, and he not only spoke with reference to Ontario, but also with reference to Quebec, New Brunswick, and, I believe, Prince Edward Island, and if 1 am not mistaken, Nova Scotia as well-a large portion of the country through which this road is to pass. The ' clay belt ' of 15,000,000 acres of land existed there as it exists now. It should be worth more now than it was then, but perhaps the difference would not be very much. Let us see what Hon. G. W. Ross thought of this country after he had perused this $5,000,000 worth of information about it. He said :

Sir, 1 look upon ths North-west as the right arm of this Dominion. The other portions of this country are tolerably well occupied now. We have a very small portion of land in Ontario for sale. There is a small area of good land in Quebec for sale, and with regard to the provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island there is very little cultivable land for sale. Now, the increase of our population requires that so far as agricultural pursuits are concerned, room should he found for [DOT]our surplus population. Where are these 3124

homes to be found ? Not in Ontario, because in order to provide homes for young farmers, somebody else must be bought out.

This is his opinion as to whether it would be better to send our young men to the northern regions of our older provinces or send them to our North-west. He said further :

I say this contract involves the immediate construction of that length of road, which is not required in the interest of colonization or settlement. We certainly are not building the Lake Superior end of the road, what is called the eastern section, for the purpose of colonization. We have no evidence that the land is of great value ; we know the climate is unfavourable, we know the soil is somewhat barren. True, there may be some valuable timber in that country, but we do not require to build a railway into it for the sake of timber.

He was lumberman enough to know that we bring timber by way of the river, That is the country of which we have heard so much. I have not said a word to discredit it; I am simply telling hon. gentlemen opposite what their friends say about it. And I hope that, even at this late date, the question may be reconsidered whether the country is worth the immense expenditure of $100,000,000 to $150,000,000 to colonize it. I think we are driven to the conclusion that the Grand Trunk Pacific will not be a grain route. Then if it is not to be a colonization railway, what, under heaven, are we spending the money for '!

But there is one Other phase of this question that I would like to refer to, and I shall do so as briefly as I can. It is not at all the most unimportant part of the whole matter-the cost of the road _to the country. The Prime Minister told us it would cost exactly $13,000,000 and no more. The Minister of Finance was a little more extravagant, and he raised that sum to $13,725,703-just see how exact he was to the dollar. That was to be the entire cost that this country would have to meet for the road from the Pacific Ocean to Moncton. The Winnipeg to Monoton section I understood from the hon. gentleman is to cost this country only $8,853,502. The hon. member for North Norfolk (Mr. Charlton), no doubt desirous of pleasing the First Minister, exactly coincided with him, there was not a whit of difference between the two gentlemen. That is not always the case, but they generally come together.

Topic:   BILL No. 235.
Permalink
?

An hon. MEMBER.

Pre-arranged.

Topic:   BILL No. 235.
Permalink

August 27, 1903