August 31, 1903

LIB

Thomas Walter Scott

Liberal

Mr. SCOTT.

Is it not perfectly fair, Mr. Speaker, that in considering this proposition we should compare it with the legislation placed upon the Statute-books of this country in years gone by by the Conservative government '? Now, as I pointed out, on these two little deals, these two little railways, comprising about 550 miles, somebody was allowed to get away improperly with $16,303,891. I am reminded that my hon. friend from West Elgin (Mr. Robinson), one evening since the commencement of this session, expressed some curiosity to see that individual who is frequently termed a grafter. My hon. friend from West Elgin will remember that one evening here he read a letter from some one in Vancouver, I think, and said he would like to see one of these individuals spoken of as grafters. It seems to me that if we could put our finger on the gentleman who got away with these $16,000,000 we would find a grafter under our finger. Now, I would advise my hon. friend from West Elgin to cast his eye down to the seat just four rows in front of him, t >

the seat of the hon. junior member for West Toronto (Mr. Osier) and he will see -or he would see, because the seat is vacant

at the present moment-he would see, if the seat was filled by its member, one of these grafters who, by himself and his associates, got away with this sum of $16,000,000 odd dolla rs.

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CON

Albert Edward Kemp

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. KEMP.

I rise to a point of order. Is it in order for an hon. gentleman to call another hon. gentleman in this House a grafter ?

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LIB

Thomas Walter Scott

Liberal

Mr. SCOTT.

Mr. Speaker, if you will permit me, before you give your ruling, 1 make haste to withdraw the appellation, and I leave it to my hon. friend to apply the term that he thinks will best suit any man who, with his associates in the railway business, manages to get away with a matter of $16,000,000.

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CON

Samuel Barker

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BARKER.

Quite apart from the rules of the House, it strikes me that, instead of insinuating charges that are very grave indeed if true, the hon. member should come out straight and fair and charge my hon. friend frcm West Toronto with what he insinuates.

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LIB

Thomas Walter Scott

Liberal

Mr. SCOTT.

I cannot imagine that there is any ambiguity in my words. I have stated here that somebody, some persons in this country, got into their pockets, through Conservative ' railway legislation, a matter of $16,303,891, which would not have got into their pockets under proper legislation.

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CON

Samuel Barker

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BARKER.

What has that to do with the particular gentleman he picked out ? He might as well refer to me or any other gentleman.

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LIB

Thomas Walter Scott

Liberal

Mr. SCOTT.

I will make a further statement, and make it upon my responsibility, that the hon. member for West Toronto- I do not want to make any mistake, I will name him-Mr. Osier, is one of the gentlemen who is implicated in this matter. I do not blame him at all. Individuals in this country are not expected to work for their health. When they go into railway enterprises they are going to make all the money they can out of them. I am not throwing any aspersion upon the hon. member for West Toronto ; but I am calling to the attention of this parliament and the people of this country the kind of legislation that the Conservative party put through when they were in power, and the kind cf legislation which enabled their friends to get away with an amount of money like this. They were perfectly right to take the money when they got the opportunity. But I am pleased to say that in the legislation brought down by the Liberal government no person is going to have an opportunity to make away illegally or improperly wdtli any amount of money, or legally and properly with any illegitimate amounts of money.

Now. Mr. Speaker, I am afraid that I am exceeding the time which I had allotted myself. But these are two notorious deals that I have mentioned, and I venture to say

that no lion, gentleman opposite will defend them, or endeavour to defend, further than I myself have done, the position of the hon. member for West Toronto in relation to those deals.

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CON

James Clancy

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLANCY.

I would like to ask the hon. gentleman if, speaking from his place in this House, he is prepared! to say that the hon. member for West Toronto (Mr. Osier), to whom he has referred to-night, profited to the extent of one cent by the transaction, whether it be good or bad?

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LIB

Thomas Walter Scott

Liberal

Mr. SCOTT.

Really, I am not prepared to say what final disposition was made of the money, but I am stating these things as facts. Let the hon. gentleman look at the returns in the Department of Railways and Canals and see whether the statement I have made is not true. I say on my responsibility as a member of this House, without taking back a word of what 1 have said, that the hon. member for West Toronto is one of the persons who was implicated in this matter, that he is one of the gentlemen who profited by the building of these roads, as a result of notoriously indefensible legislation passed through this parliament by a Conservative majority when the Conservative party was in power in this country. But I was going to say that these deals were little worse than the main deal. The total cash aids granted to the Canadian Pacific Railway by the Conservative government, as they were summed up by Mr. Blake in 1S81, amounted to $104,310,000, to which there must be added 25,000,000 acres of land, making, at $2 an acre, a very low estimate-the Canadian Pacific Railway are not selling any land at $2 an acre now- $154,310,000. The cost of constructing the whole line, according to the company's own estimate, was $83,500,000, and the cost of tlie equipment $8,000,000, making a total of $91,500,000, and the whole road, which became the absolute property of the company, was made over as an absolute gift. Then, there were the monopoly provision, the tax exemption, the right of free importation of materials, and the ten per cent clause, securing the company against being compelled to grant reductions in freight rates. I have occupied so much time, with the assistance of my hon. friends opposite, who appear to be very uneasy when these odd deals are being looked into, that I am afraidi that I wiW not have time to go into some of the other aspects of this railway question that I wish to deal with. I vTas really amazed to hear any hon. member of this House take the position that there was no urgent call for a new transcontinental railway. That position, I am sorry to say, was taken by the ex-Minister of Railways and Canals (Hon. Mr. Blair), and that position was also taken by several hon. gentlemen opposite who come from the province of Ontario. I particularly have in mind the hon. member for Peel fMr. Blain), who put the question to me : Mr. SCOTT.

Have the manufacturers of this country any trouble in getting their goods to Manitoba, the North-west Territories and British Columbia ?

I answered :

Yes. .

And the hon. gentleman (Mr. Blain) replied :

Why, such a statement is unworthy of the hon. gentleman or of any representative of the west.

I have simply to say that my statement is absolutely and categorically true. There is not a manufacturer doing business west of Lake Superior who has not had trouble during tlie i>ast two years in getting his goods into that country. Sir William Yan Horne has been quoted as being opposed to the idea of a transcontinental railway. I have here the report of an interview published in the New York ' Post ' in November last, in which Sir William Yan Horne is quoted as saying :

The position of the Canadian Pacific Railway Is absolutely unassailable. For that reason, it is our policy never to oppose anything. The Trans-Canadian road has started with better prospects than the Canadian Pacific had once. When the Northern Pacific road was built, everybody thought it was way up north beyond nowhere. Then the Great Northern was built, and people promptly forgot thinking of the Northern Pacific as far north. Then came the Canadian Pacific, and that seemed to run through the Arctic regions. We would hail with delight a parallel route from Atlantic to Pacific to help us develop the country. There Is enough of it up there for us all.

I am sorry that Sir William Van Horne's delight seems to have been short-lived. Just as soon as a practical scheme is put Before this country, he comes out in an interview which is no doubt published with the intention of throwing cold water on the project. Where have my hon. friends been who say that there is no call for another transcontinental railway? Have they been asleep? Surely they cannot have heard of the resolution passed by the Winnipeg Board of Trade in December last, which I myself placed on record in this parliament in May, and which I believe the hon. Minister of the Interior (Hon. Mr. Sifton) again placed on record, and in which they say that the farmers and entire community were suffering enormous losses, and that individuals were experiencing personal hardship and suffering, not to speak of long-continued inconvenience, and which called upon parliament to take immediate action to remove the grievous disabilities under which the people of Manitoba and the North-west Territories labour, and prevent a recurrence of sueh conditions.

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CON

Albert Edward Kemp

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. KEMP.

That does not refer to a transcontinental railway. That refers to the congestion of freight on the railways that exist.

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LIB

Thomas Walter Scott

Liberal

Mr. SCOTT.

If my hon. friend thinks that the meaning of the resolution is not

ns I have said, that we require more railway facilities than can be got from tlite Canadian Pacific Railway, he is mistaken. The Winnipeg Board of Trade resolution furnishes the very strongest reasons why a new railway should be provided at the earliest possible moment.

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CON
LIB

Thomas Walter Scott

Liberal

Mr. SCOTT.

When the right lion. Prime Minister said in his magnificent and patriotic presentation of this scheme before parliament and country, that this was not the time for deliberation, but for action, he voiced the sentiment of every man, woman and child in Manitoba and the North-west Territories who does not allow himself to be influenced by the partisan sentiment which I am afraid the hon. member for Centre Toronto (Mr. Kemp) sometimes permits himself to be blinded by. Every man, woman and child between Lake Superior and the Rocky mountains who has to depend on the service given by the Canadian Pacific Railway agrees with the right lion, gentleman in that sentiment. Do lion, gentlemen ever stop to reflect upon the meaning of the terms of the Winnipeg Board of Trade resolution, upon such terms as enormous losses, personal hardships and personal sufferings ? Do they ever reflect what is the meaning of these terms ? Is it not apparent to hon. gentlemen opposite that the people of Manitoba and the North-west Territories are calling upon parliament to relieve them from the disadvantage under which they are suffering from the lack of railway facilities ?

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CON

William Rees Brock

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BROCK.

How will the road from Quebec to Moncton relieve the congestion the hon. gentleman is speaking of ?

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LIB
CON
LIB

Thomas Walter Scott

Liberal

Mr. SCOTT.

I will tell the hon. gentleman later on. but in good time. I told the House in May last that the half million people out there were in 1902 robbed of not less than $10,000,000 by reason of the lack of railway facilities, $5,000,000 on wheat and fully $5,000,000 otherwise. My statement at that time was challenged by the hon. member for Montreal, St. Mary's (Hon. Mr. Tarte), who said that the statement as to the depression in the price of wheat was a ridiculous statement. I said that T believed the average depression in the price of wheat was not less than ten cents a bushel. If lie were here I would bo pleased to quote to him an authority whom he respects very highly, the authority of SirThos. Sliauglinessy, who, writing to the mayor of Wolseley in December last, said that:

That there has been a demand for ears beyond our ability to supply them, and advantage has been taken of this fact by grain buyers to squeeze prices down, cannot be denied.

Hon. gentlemen will recollect that I said at an earlier stage of my remarks that the officers of the Canadian Pacific Railway themselves admitted their failure to give an efficient service to the people of this country. That is the statement of Sir Thomas Sliauglinessy. The secretary of the Grain Dealers' Association came out in a long letter in reply to the statement of Sir Thomas Sliauglinessy. I.refer to Mr. If. O. Fowler, of Winnipeg, who said :

Tho plain fact of the matter is that the inability of the railway companies to handle the crop has cost this country seven and thirty-five one hundredth cents per bushel.

That is between seven and eight cents per bushel on the enormous crop of Manitoba and the North-west Territories of last year; our 64,500,000 bushels of wheat were depressed in -price by reason of the lack of facilities to no less an extent than between seven and eight cents per bushel. That particular statement is entirely corroborated by the reports of Mr. Castle, the warehouse commissioner, which lion, gentlemen will find on file in the Department of Trade and Commerce. Mr. Castle fully corroborates the statement made by Mr. Fowler, that on account of the congestion in traffic owing to the lack of railway facilities there was a depression in the price of wheat that averaged from seven to eight cents per bushel. I believe that these figures are below the mark. I have personal knowledge of one case in which the difference between the street price and the track price, that is, the difference between the price which a farmer was offered at the elevator and the price which he got when he had a chance of shipping his grain down to Fort William was 17 cents per bushel. I believe that ten cents is not too high an estimate to place on the amount per bushel which the farmers of Manitoba and the North-west Territories lost last season by reason of the lack of railway facilities. Is it any wonder that those people are calling for relief, calling for new lines of railway? Were my hon. friends asleep when I read here on the 5th of May a memorial passed by the North-west Assembly, 35 gentlemen representing all parts of the North-west Territories, who adopted and sent down to the Governor General in Council a resolution dealing with the subject ? In that resolution they said :

The practically continuous freight congestion of the last two years has abundantly demonstrated that the Canadian Pacific "Railway has absolutely failed to provide adequate facilities, and that.

The prospective increase in the volume of traffic will further tend to congest traffic between the North-west Teritories and the eastern provinces and unless it is held desirable to divert part of such traffic through foreign channels, adequate facilities for its transportation must be immediately provided.

My hon. friends must have knowledge of the fact that since the beginning of this session the farmers of Moosejaw went to

tlie trouble and expense of sending a delegate down to Ottawa with a memorial to present to the government and the members of this House. That delegate was Mr. O. B. Fish, and some of my hon. friends must remember his visit which I think was in May. One clause in the memorial which he carried was this :

Every assistance and encouragement should be given to any system of transportation that would relieve or meet the needs of the country.

This memorial was signed in behalf of the whole community of Moosejaw district farmers by S. K. Itathwell, William Watson, and E. N. Hopkins, I may say, three strong adherents of the hon. gentlemen opposite.

My opinion is that this project has been brought on just a year too late. I know that last year when 1 went home to my constituents I had to make an apology because there was no provision for relief to tile railway situation. The only encouragement I had to give was the promise of the Prime Minister during the last days of the session that the subject would be taken up and praqtically dealt with during this session. The time for delay has in my opinion long gone by. It has gone by a year ago. We have been told since the project was brought down that ' Senator Cox could not wait.' I do not suppose that Senator Cox had anything more to do with framing or bringing tills proposition before tlie parliament of this country than had a thousand other individuals, but if lie had, if lie is to bo credited with this action, then the Winnipeg Board of Trade would say : All honour to Senator Cox. And the western commercial travellers who last year were brought to tlie verge of desperation on account of the total disorganization of the passenger service, would say : All honour to Senator Cox. 1 believe that every man woman and child between Lake Superior and tlie Rocky mountains not blinded by partisanship would say : God bless Senator Cox, if lie is responsible for the bringing down of this proposition. It is a proposition which, as 1 said. John Hawkes, a good friend and supporter of lion, gentlemen opposite, characterizes as the best and most encouraging tiling that has ever crossed the horizon of the people of tlie prairie country. Let my hon. friends take counsel. Their appeals to the right hon. Prime Minister to wait, to wait, to wait, are very unwise. They say we ought to wait until the transportation commission brings in a report. Let me say in connection with that transportation commission that when the people of the west saw the announcement in the speech from the Throne at the beginning of the session that a commission was to he appointed they received a chili: they thought it meant the postponing for another year of the dealing with this great project, of giving relief in regard to the lack of railway facilities, i received many letters from tlie west about it and not long Mr. SCOTT.

after the commencement of the session with a number of other members from Manitoba mid tlie North-west Territories 1 waited on tlie Prime Minister in connection with it. We were satisfied with the Prime Minister's explanation that the transportation commission was intended to deal with waterways, with our canals, terminals and harbours and not with the railway question. Like every other Canadian I recognize the importance of improving and utilizing tlie canals and waterways of this country and, therefore with that explanation, we were perfectly well satisfied. Had it been otherwise, had it been that this commission was intended to deal especially with tne railway problem, the name of Sir William Van Horne which was at that time suggested in connection with the chairmanship of the commission would not have created in tlie minds of tlie people of the Northwest great confidence because of Sir William Van Home's connection with the Canadian Pacific Itailway. Otherwise Sir William Van Ilorne possesses tlie respect and confidence in a very high degree of practically i imagine tlie whole people of this country, but in any case of tlie people of Manitoba and tlie Nortli-west Territories.

I repeat that relief is wanted immediately. I have just one other quotation that I Wish to read in that connection. It is from a newspaper published in my own town which is a very strong supporter of hon. gentlemen opposite. This newspaper had an article on tlie 5th of May last which said :

It is all right for Liberals to denounce the Canadian Pacific Railway.

My hon. friend may take note of the fact that I state on my responsibility in this House that this paper was assisted in its inception by the hon. junior member for Toronto (Mr. Osier) and therefore it often finds it necessary to apologize for the deficiencies and the delinquencies of the Canadian Pacific Railway.

It is all right we suppose for Liberals to denounce tlie Canadian Pacific Railway, it is all right to denounce the Canadian Pacific Railway, but it would be a good deal more sensible and a good deal more to the point if they would get to work themselves and evolve and enforce a policy which would give relief. What we say to the Liberals is, quit denouncing the Canadian Pacific Railway and employ your energies towards getting us more railways. Talk less and do more. Unless there is something tangible in the way of a competing railway before long (we should have had it long ago) then denunciation of the Canadian Pacific Railway won't go far. The people want a new railway. What we suggest is : A policy of immediate construction of a competing railway.

Hud it not been for certain statements made on Friday night by the hon. gentleman from Macdonald (Mr. Boyd) I might not have deemed it necessary to take part in this debate. I regretted to hear any hon. gentleman from the prairie country make

disparaging remarks about any portion of this Dominion of Canada. It is a very unusual thing to find any person from the great North-west attempting to belittle any oilier part of his country. The hon. gentleman devoted some time to an endeavour to prove that the country in northern Ontario and northern Quebec was of such a character that a railway could never be constructed that would-pay-he did not say tlie axle grease but that is what he meant. I felt like asking my hon. friend what he thought of his leader's proposition to build over that same territory, not a competing railway but

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An hon. MEMBER.

When V

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CON

Nathaniel Boyd

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BOYD.

Probably the hon. gentleman will tell to this House before he sits down how his party proposes to make that particular portion of this road pay.

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LIB

August 31, 1903