April 5, 1904

?

Some hon. MEMBERS

Hear, hear.

Topic:   P. 8569.)
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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

Hon. gentlemen on the other side applaud. We are to incur obligations to the extent of $150,000,000 to accomplish a certain object, and then we are to rely in the end on the patriotism of the Canadian shippers. That is the position in which the government finds itself. Would not Canadian patriotism be just as great if we did not incur this obligation to the extent of $150,000,000 ? How does the expenditure of this money in that way increase the patriotism of Canadians ? Fhe patriotism of Canadians is great; no one respects and values it more highly than I do, but these corporations will carry this freight just where they are making the most money out of it ; and the Minister of Finance has admitted [DOT] distinctly in the quotation which I have read, that the Grand Trunk Railway Company will make more money by carrying this freight to Portland. And it they will make more money by carrying that freight to Portland, and if there is no stipulation in the contract to prevent them from carrying it to Portland, where do yon think it will be carried ? Can there be any two answers, to that question in the mind of any hon. gentleman in this House ? There being no stipulation to I>re vent them and they making more money by carrying it to Portland, then to Portla" if will go in the future exactly as it has gone to Portland in the past.

When the Minister of Justice tells us that you cannot carry freight to Halifax and St. John on a profitable basis, I take issue with him. The records of the operations of the Intercolonial Railway within the past six months have demonstrated the contrary, if the truth has been told us in the answer given recently to a certain question by this government. The government has been experimenting-let me say it was when a general election was believed to be imminent-in sending certain cargoes of grain to Halifax, and a question was asked the House with regard to that, and an answer given, and here are the question and the answer :

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CON

Mr. KENMP asked :

Conservative (1867-1942)

1. How many bushels of grain have been hauled by the Intercolonial Railway during the six months preceding March 1st, 1904, for delivery at Halifax for export ?

2. What was the proportion delivered in each month ?

3. What lake ports was it shipped from ?

4. What was the rate per bushel from such lake ports to Halifax ?

5. What was the mileage of each railway over which it was hauled ?

6. What were the earnings per bushel of each railway ?

7. What was the estimated cost per bushel for the service the Intercolonial Railway performed ?

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LIB

Hon. JAMES SUTHERLAND (Minister of Public Works) : (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

1. The number of bushels of grain hauled by the Intercolonial Railway during the six months preceding March, 1904, for delivery at Halifax for export was : Wheat 87,8264 bushels, corn 59,611 bushels.

2. Proportion delivered each month was :

Bushels.

November, wheat 47,836

December, wheat 23,99025

January, wheat 16,000

February, corn 59,611

3. All of it was shipped from Depot Harbour.

4. The rates from Depot Harbour to Halifax

were:

Per bushel.

16,000 bushels wheat 5 T5

#1,836 bushels wheat 4-90

39,9904 bushels wheat 5.40

25,7184 bushels corn 4 "94

33.892J bushels corn 5"00

5. The mileage of each railway over which It was hauled was :

Miles.

Canada Atlantic Railway 346

Grand Trunk Railway 34

Intercolonial Railway 828

6. The earnings per bushel of each railway were ?

Cents.

Canada Atlantic Railway on 16,000

bushels wheat 2 271

Grand Trunk Railway on 16,000

bushels wheat -60

Intercolonial Railway on 16,000

bushels wheat 2 [DOT] 27J

Canada Atlantic Railway on 31,836

bushels wheat 2 15

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

carried forward any more speedily than were the surveys during the last six months; what will be the result ? The Grand Trunk Railway will have its project exactly as that company proposed it to the government in the first instance. Something has been said, I think, about a portion of the line being probably premature. A whisper of that kind, it is said, is contained, in a circular which was passed among some of the Grand Trunk directors before the recent meeting, and probably further reference will be made to that before this debate is over. My remarks have extended so far that I shall not stop to consider it at present.

With regard to paragraph 4, that certainly is a most valuable concession to the Grand Trunk Railway ; and as we examine one after another all these paragraphs, we are met everywhere with the same situation-concessions to the corporation and none to the country. With wearisome monotony, we see that idea expressed all through the amended contract. Every concession is made to the corporation, but where does the country come in ? We have not so far seen any concession to the country, but perhaps we may strike one before we are through.

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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

I did not catch something my hon. friend said about some circular distributed to the Grand Trunk meeting. Would the hon. gentleman be kind enough to repeat what he said ?

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

I say there had been mention of a certain circular or memorandum referred to by some of the Grand Trunk shareholders at their general meeting. I have seen a reference made by Mr. Allen, in his speech at that meeting, to a a circular which had been sent, I think, to the directors, and I think it was made known to some of the shareholders, and in that circular a certain portion of this line, amounting to some 500 miles or hereabouts, was spoken of as probably premature.

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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

Of that line which the Grand Trunk Railway was to build ?

Topic:   P. 8569.)
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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

No ; the line which the government are to build.

Topic:   P. 8569.)
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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

Does the hon. gentleman know from whom the circular came ?

Topic:   P. 8569.)
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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

I only know that I saw this reference to it.

Topic:   P. 8569.)
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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

My hon. friend said somebody would produce it.

Topic:   P. 8569.)
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?

Mr. I@

I will give my hon. friend, before this debate is over, everything we have in our possession with regard to it. There was a reference made to it beyond doubt. I can assure my hon. friend of that, if the report we have of the meeting is correct, and I have every reason to believe It is. As to exactly what the circular was or its terms, I do not know, but the expression which caught my attention was the reference to a statement in it that a portion of

the line was probably premature. We nia.v have an opportunity of discussing that late on.

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LIB
CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

We have not got tfce circular. I thought I made myself plain 1 my hon. friend. We have not the circuia < but it can be produced by the Grand Trun Railway. I am not in their confidence, uw hon. friend is, and he can produce it it a sees fit.

Topic:   P. 8569.)
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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

My hon. friend has referred to a circular. It was not I who } ferred to it, and if there is any obligatl to produce it, it is on his part.

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CON
CON
CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

No. But I understand that this gentleman is a responsible man. I do not know that publishing it in any newspaper would add to its authenticity. But if my hon. friend thinks otherwise^ "it could be published In a newspaper during the week.

In the course of my remarks I have examined the provisions of this supplemental agreement as far as section 5. I come now to that section. It provides as follows :

The government may and shall, preserving always the proportions in the said contract provided as between the prairie and mountain sections of the western division, implement for the purposes and subject otherwise to the provisions of the said contract, its guarantee of the bonds of the said company to be issued for the cost of construction of the said western division, in such manner as may be agreed upon, so as to make the proceeds of the said bonds so to be guaranteed a sum equal to seventy-five per centum of the cost of construction of the western division ascertained as provided in the said contract, but not exceeding in respect of. the prairie section, thirteen thousand dollars ($13,000) per mile.

As I have already remarked, this obliges the government to increase the guarantee to a somewhat Indefinite extent and it opens up means of manipulating the bonds so as to secure great profits. There does not seem to be any check on the commission to be charged for placing the bonds-the section does not contain any direct provision of that nature. Under this section, it seems to me, the road could be very largely constructed at the expense of the government, even as to that portion intended to be provided for out of the bonds of the Grand Trunk. The government, apparently, has no control over the rates at which the bonds shall be placed-there is no express provision In the contract to give them that control. Can they control the commissions to be charged for placing the bonds ? This section seems to be enormously in favour of the corporation, and the checks, if any have been provided to control the placing of these bonds, are altogether insufficient.

Now, I come to sections 6, 7, and 8, which, I think, may be considered together. They have been quoted by my right hon. friend the Prime Minister. They relate to

the period of time which shall constitute a default on the part of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway Company in meeting the bonds guaranteed, by the government, and they also deal with the remedy of the government if that default proceeds to such an extent as to justify the government in taking action. Bast year, very great stress was laid by the members of the government, and particularly by my hon. friend the Minister of .Justice (Mr. Fitzpatrick) upon the provision that, if default was made ir respect of these bonds the government could at once enter into possession. " could do more than that-it could foreclose .

Topic:   P. 8569.)
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COMMONS '60

April 5, 1904