September 30, 1903

L-C

Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. HUGHES (Victoria).

I can tell the hon. gentleman that lake Pohenegomook comes within one inch of the Maine border. The road will have to cross at the lower part of the lake in order to get round. Now. I come to the hon. gentleman's (Mr. Bmmerson's) own province. Between the Salmon and Tobique rivers the line proposed by the hon member -for Annapolis (Mr Wade)-though I believe the hon member (Mr. Emmerson) takes the same route-rises in five miles from an elevation of a little more than 366 feet to 1,000 feet, to the

summit pass of Tobique mountains, a rise of 634 feet in five miles. If, instead of climbing straight up the mountain you allow for one-half per cent grade you must cover a distance of 25-66 miles in order to make the same elevation. How will the hon. gentleman get the one-lialf per cent grade in any other way ?

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LIB

Henry Robert Emmerson

Liberal

Mr. EMMERSON.

I do not wish my hon. friend to misrepresent me. I said that in the choice of routes there, if the grades did not permit me to cross the divide, the road will necessarily take the valley of the St. John which is the route I personally prefer.

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L-C

Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. HUGHES (Victoria).

I am delighted with that explanation. Then there is no quarrel between us. The hon. gentleman must admit that the road will be, as I am convinced it will be, longer. It will certainly be longer from Quebec to Moncton by the St. John valley if he secures one-half per cent grades. That five miles is drawn out to 25-66 miles. Then, on the other side between the summit and the Tobique river with a fall of 684 feet, that stretched out so as to give the one-half per cent grade instead of nine and a half miles it makes 27'36. miles. The hon. gentleman cannot avoid it. He does not propose to go through the mountains, so he must go around them or over them. I am following point by point the line proposed by the hon. member for Annapolis. I believe that the hon. member for Westmoreland (Mr. Emmerson) and the hon. Minister of Finance (Hon. Mr. Fielding) have lines of their own.

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Subtopic:   NATIONAL TRANSCONTINENTAL RAILWAY.
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LIB

Henry Robert Emmerson

Liberal

Mr. EMMERSON.

The line will be located by engineers.

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L-C

Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. HUGHES (Victoria).

The hon. member for Annapolis was the only gentleman who undertook to give definite points, and I understood that he voiced the opinions of the hon. member for Westmoreland. From the Tobique valley to the next summit easterly to a distance of only ten miles it passes to a height of 1,206 feet. In order to secure the half per cent grade you would have to extend that to 33-64 miles. And yet, in the estimates furnished by these hon. gentlemen, they counted only ten miles. Going down on the other side of course involves a corresponding extension. We do not object to the road going through. Hon. gentlemen who sat on this side, years ago voted for bonuses for the road from L6vis out through the Etchemin valley through the Pohenegomook district to Edmundston and on through New Brunswick. We are quite prepared to support that policy but wo are not prepared to have these hon. gentlemen deceive the House and the country, willfully or otherwise, "by saying that there will be a saving of 140 miles, or even ten miles, as compared with the Intercolonial. I trust the hon. member for Westmoreland will live to see the survey made. But I am sure that Mr. HUGHES (Victoria).

he will never see this proposed line from Levis to Moncton with a much less mileage than the Intercolonial. Such a line does not exist and cannot be made unless you tunnel the mountains.

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LIB

Onésiphore Ernest Talbot

Liberal

Mr. TALBOT.

I will read from a report made to the Commissioner of Public Works of the province of Quebec, 1891, to prove that the figures given by the hon. member for North Victoria (Mr. Hughes) are all wrong, and that I was right when I made the correction. These figures are given by Mr. E. A. Hoare, the engineer who went over that part of the country several times :

From Chaudiere via Intercolonial Railway and Quebec Central Railway, via St. Anselme, 2071 miles ; from Chaudiere direct via St. Anselme, 205J miles ; from ChaudiSre via Intercolonial Railway by St Charles, 2021 miles ; from Levis via Intercolonial Railway and Quebec Central Railway via St. Anselme, 2091 miles ; from Chaudi&re via the Intercolonial Railway and Quebec Central Railway via Etchemin valley, through the state of Maine, connecting the St. Francis branch of the Temis-couata Railway, 190 miles ; from ChaudiSre via direct line

*

This is the line which is now proposed.

-186 miles.

That is not 209 miles.

From Chaudiere to Edmundston by the Intercolonial Railway and Rivibre du Loup and Te-miscouata Railway, the distance is 199 miles.

Further on Mr. Hoare quotes Mr. Henry O'Sullivan's report, in which the latter describes a favourable route for the railway between Quebec and Edmundston. Mr. O'Sullivan says :

That line would give access to a vast area of cultivable and well-timbered lands in ihe counties of Bellechasse, Montmagny, L'lslot and Kamouraska, and by touching the River St. John at its confluence with the St. Francis would bring the forest wealtL of 3,000 square miles of United States territory, drained by the River St. John and Allaguash, a tributary, to Canadian markets, and to the port of Quebec. The distance between Quebec and Edmundston by this route is estimated at 156 miles, or 30 miles shorter than by the Etchemin valley.

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L-C

Edward Hackett

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. HACKETT.

I wish to make a few observations

At one o'clock, House took recess.

House resumed at three o'clock.

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L-C

Edward Hackett

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. HACKETT.

Mr. Speaker, before you left the Chair at one o'clock I was endeavouring to explain some features of the great undertaking proposed by the government and was endeavouring to show that this large expenditure of public mouey would be forced upon the country without any knowledge of what would be obtained in return for it or whether this country through which it is intended to build will be a country available for settlement. We have received no information from the government in that regard ; they simply say : We will go on

and build this railway

and the people of

the whole of Canada are asked to pay $125,000,000 for its construction. I desire to say a word in reply to the statement of the hon. gentleman from Westmoreland (Mr. Emmerson) that this railway will open up a large area for settlement in the province of New Brunswick. That was replied to pretty well by the hon. member for Carleton, N.B. (Mr. Hale). There is no gentleman in this House for whom I have a higher respect than for the hon. member for Westmoreland, but we have before us the fact that an hon. gentleman who represented the province of New Brunswick in the cabinet the late Minister of Railways and Canals (Hon. Mr. Blair) was forced to resign an important seat in the cabinet, carrying with it much influence, because he could not accept the proposition of the government, and yet we now have a gentleman who has been a protege of the hon. the ex-Minister of Railways and Canals coming forward and saying that he approves of everything. Can it be true that the hon. member for Westmoreland, who is living in expectancy and is hoping to be a member of the government, at some future day, will endorse everything, while the hon. ex-Minister of Railways and Cauals resigned his position because he could not accept what was proposed by the government. I desire to say a word or two in connection with the petitions that are being presented to this House. 1 have presented many of these myself and I accept the responsibility, of saying, as a member of this House, that every petition presented by me, having my name endorsed on it is a right and a proper petition. In addition to that, while I take the responsibility of endorsing these petitions, I say that it is an insult to the people of Canada to say that they would send a petition to this parliament which is not properly and correctly signed. The hon. gentleman for Bellechasse (Mr. Talbot) made a remark this morning in connection with a petition presented by my hon. friend from East Prince (Mr. Lefurgey). I can assure the hon. gentleman that his statement is not correct.

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LIB

Onésiphore Ernest Talbot

Liberal

Mr. TALBOT.

I beg the hon. gentleman's pardon. I referred to the hon. member for Prince Edward (Mr. Alcorn), not to the hon. member for East Prince.

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L-C

Edward Hackett

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. HAGKETT.

I accept the hon. gentleman's apology. I would not for one moment have stated that the people of East Prince or of West Prince who attach then-names to any petition of this kind are doing it by fraud. They are honest and straightforward, and I would say in addition to that that there is not one man whose name appears on the petitions either from East Prince or West Prince or from Queen's or from King's who is not the equal of the hon. gentleman (Mr. Talbot).

Now, Mr. Speaker, I have no desire to delay the proceedings of this House. We 3994

have been here for many months threshing out as far as possible the rights of the people and endeavouring to ascertain the views of the government. We have been charged by our friends on the other side of the House with obstructing public business. Sir, what are the facts ? During a period of four months and a half, from the 12th of March until the last day of July, although the House was in session this important measure was not placed before parliament. Can you blame the representatives of the people, who are charged with doing their duty to the country, because they opposed by every means possible a measure which is brought down four and a half months after the opening of the session when it would be supposed that we were to prorogue and go to our homes ? The hon. gentlemen, for some reasons of their own, withheld this proposition until the last day of July when the House had been in session four and a half months, and then they charge hon. members on this side of the House with obstruction. I heard the hon. member for Selkirk (Mr. McCreary) make a charge a feu-days ago that the opposition were obstructing.

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LIB

Lawrence Geoffrey Power (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER.

Order. The hon. gentleman has no right to refer to a previous debate.

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L-C

Edward Hackett

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. HACKETT.

It was in connection with this debate ; it was part of this debate.

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LIB

Lawrence Geoffrey Power (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER.

I am afraid that this discussion of delay is not germane to the question before the House. The subject now before us is the third reading of this Bill, with the amendment thereto proposed by the hon. member for Peel (Mr. Blain).

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L-C

Edward Hackett

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. HACKETT.

Mr. Speaker, I accept your ruling, 1 submit to it, and I trust that the amendment offered by the hon. member for Peel (Mr. Blain) will be accepted by this parliament, because it is an amendment in the right direction. It is an amendment that will not allow the passing of this Bill until full information has been obtained by the people of this country ; until after 'he people have had an opportunity of raising their voice and speaking through their representatives in parliament, and have had submitted io them at the polls this question of building a railway, costing over $100,000,000, from Quebec to Moncton. My first intention was to say one word in connection with the remarks made by the hon. member for Westmoreland (Mr. Emmerson) who has gone back on his benefactor and who has not acted fairly by the hon. ex-Minister oT Railways and Canals (Hon. Air. Blair). I want to say in connection with the late Minister of Railways and Canals and fo say it honestly and fairly that so far ns the province from which I come is coneejnrd, I found the hon. ex-Minister of Railways and Canals progressive and up to date and

I believe that when he found it his duty to resign as a minister of the cabinet he was conscientious and that he felt he was doing his duty to the people of this country.

Some eight months ago, before the meeting of parliament, a meeting of the electors of West Prince was lieldi in the town of Tignisli, and they unanimously passed a resolution congratulating the ex-Minister of Railways (Hon. Mr. Blair) on what he had done for the opening up of that part of the country, and especially for running two trains a day between Summerside and Tig-nish. I desire to convey to the hon. gentleman (Hon. Mr. Blair) the thanks of that meeting, and at the samei time I trust that the acting- Minister of Railways (Hon. Mr. Fielding) will continue the good work initiated by the ex-Minister (Hon. Mr. Blair). Now, Mr. Speaker, I desire to say that, before the government undertakes such a large and expensive project as is included in this Bill, proper surveys should be made, and estimates of cost should be obtained and we should not have to rely on explorations made 25 or 50 years ago for another purpose altogether. I am in favour of opening up our country, but I do believe that while we have in the North-west 150,000,000 acres of the most fertile lands in the world awaiting settlement, it is a mistake to throw away the money of the people of Canada on such an undertaking as this.

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CON

John Dowsley Reid

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. J. D. REID (Grenville).

Had it not been for the member for Westmoreland (Mr. Emmerson) and the member for Belle-chasse (Mr. Talbot) prolonging this debate this Bill would have passed the House before one o'clock. I have a question to put to the Prime Minister, which has not yet been answered so far as I know. It is reported that the reason why the Winnipeg-Moncton section is tacked on to this project by the government, is, because the member for Victoria, N.B., (Hon. Mr. Costigan) is interested in a railway from Quebec to Ed-mundston, part of which has been built, and that pressure has been put upon the Prime Minister to absorb that line of railway. It is also reported that the Quebec Bridge is to be absorbed, and that the government intend bringing down a subsidy of some $4,000,000 for that Bridge Company, of which Mr. Parent, Prime Minister of Quebec, is the president. In addition to that, there is the Trans-Canada Railway from Quebec to Winnipeg, of which Mr. Parent is also president, and that also is to be absorbed by the government, and these parties are to i-eceive a large amount for their charters.. Perhaps the Prime Minister could give ns some information as to these rumours.

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?

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

I have no objection at all to answering my hon. friend. Although we do not share all ideas in common perhaps the hon. gentleman (Mr. Reid) will Mr. HACKETT.

take a piece of advice from me, and that is, that he will do well not to be too credulous, and especially not to credit reports which are without even a semblance of foundation or common sense. The member for Victoria (Hon. Mr. Costigan) is, I believe, interested with other parties, in a charter for a railway over the territory which will be traversed by the government line from Moncton to Quebec. His charter which I think had some value some few months ago, will in consequence have no value whatever to-day. As to the rumour that the Prime Minister of Quebec is president of a transcontinental railway company to which some subsidies are to be given ; this is the first information I have had on that.

I am not aware that the Premier of Quebec is interested in any such road, and at all events the government has no such intention, nor has it received any application with regard to it. There is a company known as the Trans-Canada, which had a charter, and wanted to build a railway practically over the same ground which is to he covered by the railway contemplated by this Bill. As to the Quebec Bridge Company, there Is an application for further aid to that company. It was assisted by the government some two or three years ago, and there is an application for further aid.

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CON

John Dowsley Reid

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID (Grenville).

That bridge would be absorbed by the new road ?

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?

The PRIME MINISTER.

Well, legislation will be necessary on that subject.

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CON

George William Fowler

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. G. W. FOWLER (King's, X.B.).

I would not have spoken further in connection with this Bill, were it not that the member for Westmoreland (Mr. Emmerson) has I am told attempted to cast a reflection upon the members for New Brunswick- especially those who sit on this side of the House-by saying that they were not doing their duty to their province in opposing this railway.

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LIB

Henry Robert Emmerson

Liberal

Mr. EMMERSON.

If the hon. gentleman understood that, he certainly was misinformed. Those who heard me will acquit me of having made any reflection whatever upon any hon. member from New Brunswick or any other province.

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September 30, 1903