April 6, 1904

LIB

Clifford Sifton (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. SIFTON.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK PACIFIC RAILWAY.
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CON

John Graham Haggart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HAGGART.

My hon. friend talks of two securities on the rolling stock. Cannot the seller to the railway company make the conditions of sale and take a security on the rolling stock which will be prior to any other security ?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK PACIFIC RAILWAY.
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LIB

Clifford Sifton (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. SIFTON.

We had that up last year at considerable length, and if my hon. friend will look at section 35 (a) of the contract he will find :

35. (a) A mortgage which shall be a first charge upon the railway undertaking, equipment and property, tolls, rights and franchises of the company, including all equipment and property to be thereafter acquired by the company .... to secure the payment of the said issue of first jnortgago bonds guaranteed by the government.

They have to put an equipment of twenty million dollars upon this road ; and this Act requires that they shall give the government a first mortgage. They cannot

give the government a first mortgage if j they only borrow the equipment, or only buy it under a lien note in which the property does not pass. If my hon. friend (Mr. Haggart) will discuss the matter with lawyers upon his own side of the House, ne will have no difficulty in convincing himself.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK PACIFIC RAILWAY.
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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

Does the Minister of the Interior say that they would not be. satisfied by giving to the government a first charge upon their interest in the rolling stock ?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK PACIFIC RAILWAY.
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CON
LIB

Charles Fitzpatrick (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. FITZPATRICK.

Not at all.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK PACIFIC RAILWAY.
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CON

John Graham Haggart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HAGGART.

The Minister of Justice gave that opinion last year.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK PACIFIC RAILWAY.
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LIB

Clifford Sifton (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. SIFTON.

My hon. friend (Mr. Borden) puts that point in the form of a question and not in the form of an assertion, because I doubt that my hon. friend (Mr. Borden) would make the assertion as a lawyer; that they could give us a first mortgage upon a leasehold property, upon a property which they did not have the ownership of. The Minister of Justice discussed the subject at length last session, and he cited at length the opinion of the counsel who prepared the contract for the government, and to whom this point was specifically and particularly referred ; and counsel gave the unqualified opinion that there could be no possible doubt upon the question, and that it could not be debated. Under these clauses of the contract there are two mortgages to be given upon the rolling stock. The government therefore, having two mortgages upon the rolling stock, a third mortgage would not be a very good security upon which to borrow money. Having therefore no power to charge up the payment of the principal to working expenditure, there is absolutely no security whatever for the borrowing of money upon which the rolling stock could be supplied.

I may say, Mr. Speaker, that in so far as the question of the charging the principal of rolling stock bonds to working expense is concerned, that was a point that required very careful consideration. I do not make a statement on that point as a lawyer, because it is not my business In this House to act as legal adviser to the government; but I make the statement after having referred that matter to the Minister of Justice, and after having referred it to Mr. Shepley and to Mr. Chrysler the counsel for the governmet in the preparation of the contract, and I hold the written opinions of Mr. Chrysler and Mr. Shepley, as well as the opinion of my hon., friend the Minister of Justice : that there is no possible doubt about the question ; that there is no possibility of this rolling stock being charged up to working expenditure under the provisions in this contract.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK PACIFIC RAILWAY.
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LIB

Clifford Sifton (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. SIFTON.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK PACIFIC RAILWAY.
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CON
LIB

Clifford Sifton (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. SIFTON.

I say footed and emphatic way

tiF

erally careful of what he says, ^ 0( ^ sirous of misleading the House, ing a position which is absoiut gtat^bjoP tirely untenable, according to t ^es of reputable counsel to whova had been submitted. toucl1 *

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK PACIFIC RAILWAY.
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CON
LIB

Clifford Sifton (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. SIFTON.

I never was elected to parliament, Mr. Speaker, by supporting a tiling that I thought was humbug, and I do not desire to be. 1 know just as well as I know I am standing here that the proposition to take government money and build lines of railway all through the Northwest is an impracticable and absurd proposition, and that the lion gentleman (air. R. L. Borden), if he were in power to-morrow, could not carry it out; that we could not carry it out ; that nobody could carry it out. Therefore, I do not propose to stand in this House and give countenance to an idea, simply because I think that with some people it might be temporarily popular.

I have extended my remarks, Sir, to a much greater length than I had intended. Last night the leader of the opposition, in making as strong a presentation of his case as possible, extended to us an invitation to draw back and to hesitate in the carrying out of this great enterprise to which we have put our hands. I have to give my hon. friend {Mr. R. L. Borden) his answer upon that point, and I have to say that, so far from drawing back, so far from hesitating in connection with this enterprise, this government desires it to be understood that the Liberal party of Canada pledges its political existence on the carrying out of this enterprise.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK PACIFIC RAILWAY.
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS

Hear, hear.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK PACIFIC RAILWAY.
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LIB

Clifford Sifton (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. SIFTON.

Yes ; and if we have any weak-kneed brethren in the Liberal party, let them understand that so far as the government is concerned, and I think so far as the gentlemen behind me are concerned, we have not any doubt upon the subject.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK PACIFIC RAILWAY.
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS

Hear, hear.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK PACIFIC RAILWAY.
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LIB

Clifford Sifton (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. SIFTON.

We have inaugurated this enterprise. We have, we think, exercised all the care that we could in connection with the various difficult and embarrassing ahd troublesome questions that necessarily arise in such an enterprise; but we have no doubt of the necessity, and we have no doubt of the value, of this enterprise to the people of Canada.

[DOT]lust one word in conclusion. If you will turn for one instant to the map and look at the position in which Canada finds herself : if you will think what is going on to the south of us ; if you will consider that lines of railway are being run from the Gulf of Mexico north for nine hundred, and one thousand, and twelve hundred miles, for the purpose of carrying the products of the northwestern states down to the Gulf of Mexico and thence to the markets of Europe; if you will consider that the Erie canal is being deepened, and that every possible facility for transportation southward, not northward, is being, given by the great resources of the people to the south of us : if you consider all this, surely it will be clear that every possible thing that the peo-

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK PACIFIC RAILWAY.
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LIB

Clifford Sifton (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. SIFTON.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK PACIFIC RAILWAY.
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?

Mr. SI FT ON@

The government and parliament will be governed by the terms of Mr. HACGART

the contract and not by what the president of the Grand Trunk Railway says.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK PACIFIC RAILWAY.
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CON

April 6, 1904