October 1, 1903

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The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS.

We are dealing with the one that has been carried out.

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CON

Albert Edward Kemp

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. KEMP.

Which one is that ? Does it include the cribwork and the sheds and the dredging ?

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The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS.

I will read again what the chief engineer says about it :

This is a wharf which is being built parallel to the south shore of the St. Lawrence, opposite the town of Sorel, immediately below the mouth of the Richelieu. The structure consists of ballasting and crib-work 700 feet long, 20 feet wide at top, 40 feet at base, 46 feet deep, and stands in 30 feet deipth at low water.

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CON
CON
CON

Albert Edward Kemp

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. KEMP.

With regard to the observations made by my hon. .friend from Cliam-bly and Verchfires (Mr. Geoffrion), I do not see the force of his argument as to these counties being tributary to Sorel rather than to Montreal. There are two of these counties that lie adjacent to Sorel and border on the St. Lawrence, but the others are farther to the south, and their southern portions are nearer to Montreal.

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LIB

Victor Geoffrion

Liberal

Mr. GEOFFRION.

But they are separated from Montreal by the Richelieu and the St. Lawrence. It is more natural for them to come to Sorel 'down the river with the current, or even by the railways that come to Sorel.

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CON

Albert Edward Kemp

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. KEMP.

I quite understand that that argument would apply very strongly in the early days, when there were no railways. But all the produce is transported in these days by the railways. There are no boats of any account on the Richelieu carrying grain and

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LIB

Victor Geoffrion

Liberal

Mr. GEOFFRION.

My hon. friend (Mr. Kemp) is mistaken, there is a great deal of grain trade on the Richelieu river. All the produce comes by steamers on the Richelieu river through the canal-they are obliged to-and there is an immense amount of trade in butter, cheese, hayf, grain and other things, coming to Sorel by the Richelieu river. If they' go to Montreal, they have to come to Sorel and around the point to Montreal.

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CON

Albert Edward Kemp

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. KEMP.

I understand that those villages that lie on the river find it more convenient to send iby boat. But that trade is limited. When you go back from the river a few miles, it is more convenient for the people to put their produce on the trains and let it go by the usual way of transport. That is the way the traffic goes in these counties. The natural thing is for it to go to Montreal, the port we have already made.

I am sure that the railways will find it more to their advantage to carry it to Montreal and ship to Sorel. I have no desire to criticise this matter from a narrow standpoint. I have thought that too much money was being spent for the results which could be expected. We are told now -for the first time that there is an idea of making the Canada Atlantic terminal at Sorel. But when this expenditure was at first proposed we were told that the New York Central would make its terminal there. Are we more certain that the Canada Atlantic will go to Sorel than we were that the New York Central would do so ? In any case, is it necessary that this money should be expended for this purpose ? The hon. leader 408

of the opposition has spoken of twenty-five harbours in Nova Scotia which could be compared with Sorel. The hon. member for East Northumberland (Mr. Cochrane) has referred to a harbour in his constituency, a very important one, and one that could be used with advantage for the trade of a considerable area of country, if it were improved so that steamers plying on the lakes could reach it conveniently. There is another harbour lying alongside a city in Ontario, with a population of 250,000 people, on which the government of this country has never spent a single cent. We have asked for improvements, and have protested time and again. The centre of population to which I refer is known Iby the name of Toronto, and to it an enormous amount of produce finds its way. It would be a benefit to a great area of country if we could get our harbour properly equipped. But we have never been able to impress this government with the idea that it should be equipped. Since the St. Lawrence canals have been deepened to 14 feet, it can be easily seen what an advantage it would be if the harbour of Toronto were improved-

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The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS.

But you will not give me time to attend to it. I am anxious to look into that matter and see what ought to be done.

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CON

Albert Edward Kemp

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. KEMP.

As the hon, minister wishes time, I will not extend my remarks if he will promise to provide proper facilities for Toronto. But, at the same time, I cannot withdraw anything I have said with regard to Sorel. I cannot see that the government's theory is correct in regard to this matter.

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

I wish to refer to some remarks of the Prime Minister (Rt. Hon. Sir Wilfrid Laurier) in answer to what I said. I suggested that it was not the best way to build harbours first and then hunt for trade for them. The Prime Minister cited Parry harbour as an illustration of the truth of his colleague's contention-because it was the contention of an hon. gentleman behind him-that trade might be expected, and so it was wise to build this harbour. He said : There was no trade at Parry harbour, but the business foresight of Mr. Booth led him to build the railway, and afterwards the trade came. But there is no analogy between that case and this. Mr. Booth built for a trade already in existence. And, before building, he either had made, or knew he could make, commercial arrangement with men in the western states and the eastern states to supply his route with trade ; and it was to handle that trade that the railway was built. Then, in order to enable him to handle the trade, the harbour had to be built. Mr. Booth merely arranged to handle a trade that was already waiting. He established himself, as it were, upon a great artery of trade. But it is entirely different in this case. I speak from personal knowledge when I say

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RE"VISED EDITION


that when we in our part of the country have asked the government for money to improve our harbours, the first question asked was as to the trade to be handled- what was the population of the town; what trade was waiting to ibe handled; what district was to be served ? And if we suggested -that we should have the harbour first and would look for trade afterwards, we were told that it was time enough to spend money on harbours when the trade was there waiting to be handled. This is true of all the ports on the Georgian bay, Collingrwood, Parry Sound, Goderich, Kincardine and the others. But here it seems to be for an entirely different purpose. First, you expend the money and make a harbour, and then you hunt up trade. I regard that principle as radically wrong. There is another feature wrong as well. This harbour must either be, as the item in the estimate says, a deep water harbour, that is an ocean port, or it must be for local purposes. Now, if it be for local purposes only it would not require to be arranged on the large lines that would be necessary if it were for ocean purposes, and the expenditure would not require to be as large as if it were meant for ocean purposes. But we are told that this was first intended for local purposes, and afterwards it can be developed for ocean purposes. While I admit that it would be necessary to provide for the needs of local traffic, I do not agree to the opinion that it would be wise to map out a scheme upon that principle if it were ever expected in the future to be an ocean port. It might be proper to construct it on an extensive plan if it were intended to accommodate ocean freight. Most of our local boats require only eighteen feet of water as their greatest depth, but that would not accommodate ocean going vessels. They want not less than twenty-five or thirty feet. But if you make your harbour eighteen feet for local needs, then you will have to change it almost entirely if you propose to provide for a depth of twenty-five or thirty feet. We found that to be the case in the Georgian bay. At first we only required fourteen or fifteen feet, but afterwards we required a greater depth. But when you come to dredge down to a greater depth it was found that the crib work had not been put down deep enough, the piling had to be torn out, you had not your docks, crib work and your other structures put down deep enough in the first place, and the consequence was that when you dredge down to a greater depth you undermined your own work. From a business standpoint it is important to decide at first whether you want your wharf for ocean purposes or for local purposes. There is another thing that we cannot overlook. It is said that this trade goes to Montreal when the railway is built. But why should it go to Montreal ? The trade belonging to that portion of the country


CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

ought to go eastward instead of going to Montreal. The trade of that country must ultimately find its outlet towards Europe, and we are shipping it back towards Montreal. Is it not a fact that a large percentage of the produce that is shipped, even from Nova Beotia and a part of 'NewBrunswick, is first brought to Montreal, thence to be shipped to Liverpool ? I am told by men who have

been in business for years that trade practically travels first to Montreal and then goes to Liverpool; that people who sell their produce in those provinces find it advantageous to take that route, because there are greater conveniences for shipping at Montreal and a greater number of commercial men who are competing for the trade. When these roads were built they were useful to transport freight to the great emporium of Montreal. It may be that trade did not take the direction which we desired it to go, but that is because people did not find it to their advantage to send that trade by way of Montreal. Trade is taken to the larger centres with a greater population, where there is a larger number of shipping people to compete for trade, and therefore they pay larger prices. I complain that in the first place that was not intended to be a terminal of the Canada Atlantic Railway for the purposes of an ocean port to handle the trade going to Europe; I complain that the design was not mapped out for that purpose in the first instance. I say it was not wise to begin an expenditure of that amount, an expenditure which was going to reach to one or two million dollars, without having that information from the first, in order to lay out your design for that purpose. But to commence an expenditure upon the assumption that it would only involve an outlay of two or three hundred thousand dollars, and that it was necessary for local purposes, and then to say that it was only a beginning of an undertaking which was to be developed into an ocean port-I say that does not show the highest type of business intelligence. I think the government should always be ready to submit their plans and specifications to the House, with a report of an engineer, before they commence an expenditure.

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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

As I have another matter which I would like to submit to the House after recess, I move that the committee rise, report progress, and ask leave to sit again this day.

Some resolutions reported.

At one o'clock, House took recess.

House resumed at three o'clock.

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MESSAGE FROM THE GOVERNOR GENERAL-FURTHER SUPPLEMENTARY ESTIMATES.


The MINISTER OF FINANCE (Hon. W. S. Fielding) presented a message from His Excellency the Governor General. Mr. DEPUTY SPEAKER read the message as follows : Minto. The Governor General transmits to the House of Commons, further supplementary estimates of sums required for the services of the Dominion for the year ending 30th June, 1904, and in accordance with the provisions of * The British North America Act, 1867 ' the Governor General recommends these estimates to the House of Commons. Government House, Ottawa, October 1, 1903. The MINISTER OF FINANCE moved that the message of His Excellency together with the estimates be referred to the Committee of Supply. Motion agreed to.


SUPPLY.

October 1, 1903