GRAND TRUNK PACIFIC RAII
the The House resumed adjourned debate proposed motion of Sir Wilfrid Laurier, tj,e Mr. Speaker do now leave the Chair, f° ceI-House to go into committee to consider a tj,e tain resolution concerning the ratification aBa agreement between His Majesty the Wins the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway foni 0-dated the 8th day of March, 1904 ' ; and tn - ;n posed motion of Mr. Borden (Halua amendment thereto. . Mr. BENJAMIN RUSSELL (Hants)-?,,' Speaker. T occupied such ail " uncoBS0 able time " last session in discussing ,j. main contract which is the subject of " tjie fication by the amendments now ^ef01 to House, that I shall do all in my P°". at 1 atone for the past by compressing 'v,jjrlits have to say to-day within as narrow re!l-as possible ; and that will be partly 3M-V^r0iii son for not following my hon. friend East Hastings (Mr. Northrup) in his 11 tj,js scopic analysis to which he subject''1. Ji|gt contract in his remarks o f0i-evening. The points which he broug ^,(>re ward were in the main not new. Tb®? o''er points which had been fully dealt wn' jgjit and over again, during the seven o months o'f the last session of tin? ,y ah' and if they have not been conchisi'. " alid swered by the hon. Minister of <R,H ,)V the the hon. Minister of the Interior pceh e'*e11: .eB Lild learned counsel whose opinions ha eVe* $ given to this House, I am afraid tBa one should rise from the dead, the B '^-piiK1 bers on the other side of the H°u®.niitt®®' not be convinced. I may be P jn t* however, to refer to some fallacies with hon. gentleman's method of t*eaIl0r' those points. He holds up the t*eeh fications of the contract which wBa introduced, and asks you to P0'?V coaI)tSa *- in them for the benefit of this ^ lie *3f' Everything he discovers in thenb 'tpei'ehe is for the benefit of the compa'H0f t nothing in them for the Benen , country. Of course, that is P*®. My lcn0 we should expect; because every Posed't1611 tlle oriSinal contract was pro-cessi Pie company, they asked for con-'hodifi118' [DOT] an<^ very Pul'l>ose of the this !Sati°ns which have been presented to obif,r.t!Use 's to meet the difficulties and e°nina °nS tllat llave been raised by the Yon any to the contract in its original form, con,.. w?l,'(l not expect to find in these c°iintrS-10ns anything in favour of the in jit'5"' 1)ut you would expect to find of various modifications in favour iiinp ? company. So that it is an extremely iacjo,, 8 ancl Plausible, but utterly fal-the ,s an(l unfair mode of presenting this Datt?r to the House, to hold up to flna,10cViie,I contract and challenge us fit 0f !. *n it any points for the bene-Uiothni e country. The fair and proper as a(-|a Would be to take the main contract road i . by this House last session and then t 0 if; these modified provisions, and entirety .say whether this contract in its iic-cen+n 18 or is not a fair contract for the That i!rlce of' the people of this country, ized mvn6 of 't-fre fallacies which character -this eoJ' aon' friditl's method of presenting ancl ni.ff t° the House. It was ingenious ed more of the 'nest rnetorician ' than of the fair and , st critio ,. Another and ni ,° the House. It 1 soniii„a!lstfrle. but it savore hon(,st tical rhetorician ' than . °st critic. *ented fallacy which my lion, friend pre->0n!s 'vas this, lie took Sir Rivers-Wil-L'Un]. pCch to the directors of the Grand said that Way. In which Sir Iiivers-Wilson hartiip,. 1 the Grand Trunk Railway was a with ____________________________... «* i)r°Ject 'Vl<:,J the government in this great therefor an(* then he exclaimed : You are "It UiV(f, resPonsible, as a partner, for what hon'8}'.il80u Presents to liis company, tt'oin tho triend picks out one statement as, tuany made by Sir Rivers-Wilson, htetation Us to accept that as a fair inter-?lltse ?, °*' this modified contract. Of ,'6nt of ^ one WH1 see that that state-k.etor}P„, tr Rivers-Wilson was merely a o fanev nourish. In the exuberance of !:°§aize 10 used what every one will re-Partno .a .taetaphor, when he said: We * ht of eft's in this matter with the govern-®aSe, I uada. And, in a metaphorical i^e. Partus pos? we might concede that they / ^ is not Sr with the government, but sure-,11*t gravp, to take a rhetorical flourish fm, gal „ y found upon a figure of speecli j *°Wed .fe,,tnent. Yet that is the method Qi.^iH no/ tlle fr°n- member for Hastings. Jfrte 8o say that my hon. friend was dirt frer fnl°"S 1,1 this direction as the hon. hot „v, west Toronto (Mr. Osier). He l3o 6 of „r ®° far. He did not say that be-boo ah(l <>-o ,e r®cent change in the law of fj,, 1 sain ,vei'ninS companies, what had L\ys. in n„o ®iu Rivers-Wilson and Mr. Of oors 0f ."abating their case to the share-tt,p uch a oh Gran(l Trunk Railway, was fiw Sovcrmo''U'''S.Cte1, tllat it absolutely bound it , , from , . and prevented the governaiight ot, *Slsting upon tlio rights which her wise have insisted upon as contained in the terms of the contract between it and the Grand Trunk Pacific. Surely that is the most absurd contention ever offered to any parliament under heaven. If it were so easy as that to get rid of the obligations of a contract, nothing would be simpler than for the company to put up a director-and the more stupid the director they could find the better-to give his interpretation of the contract, and by that interpretation bind the other party, and discharge themselves from their obligations and liabilities under the contract. Surely the hon. gentleman could not have been serious in presenting such an argument, and I acquit him of any such imputation. Of course, when the hon. member for Hastings (Mr. Northrop) quoted the statement of Sir Charles Rivers-Wilson and suggested that tlie government was bound by it, he was only speaking in a facetious way, and did not seriously mean to present that as a legal argument. It was only the hon. member for West Toronto (Mr. Osier) who ever dreamed of presenting that statement as an argument to control tlie action of this House with reference to this contract. There was one important admission made by the hon. member for Hastings (Mr. Northrop) witli reference to an argument which had been made by my bon. friend tlie Minister of Justice. Referring to the argument of the Minister of Justice last session, that the mortgage of the Grand Trunk Railway came after that of the government and was an additional guarantee therefore for the payment of tlie government mortgage, he admitted that that was a perfectly good and sound argument at the time, blit that it had since been swept away by the provisions of this modified contract. Of course, it has to a certain extent, but what I want to call attention to is the fact that my hon. friend made tlie admission that the argument of the Minister of Justice last session was in this respect a sound one, and I would ask why did not tlie hon. gentleman make that admission last session ? He was very careful not to do so then, nor would he make it now did he not think that the admission now could not hurt his case. I am reminded by the course taken by our lion, friends opposite of an incident said to have occurred when the commission was sitting in England to revise the new testament. One of tlie dignitaries was asked whether a certain disputed text should be retained or whether it was not spurious. He was so anxious about tlie matter that he sent a despatch to higher authorities asking for an opinion, and received the reply : Probably spurious, but it is not to be surrendered without a fight That aptly represents the attitude taken bv our hon. friends on tlie other side. Ther admit to each other that their contentions are probably spurious, but none the less they are not to be surrendered without a fight And while tlie contentions of the
Minister of Justice were probably correct, still they should be careful not to recognize their correctness until such recognition could do them no harm. I have no doubt that if it were conceivable that we should come back to this House next year with another modification of this contract-
$25,000,000 of cash subsidv.
25,000,000 acres of land of an estimated value of $3 an acre, making $75,000,000.
This gives a total of $135,000,000 given to the Canadian Pacific Railway for the building of a road the estimated cost of which he tells us was $91,500,000. That is a case where the government stood to lose and has lost all that money, no matter whether the company is brilliantly successful or hopelessly a failure. They have that money and we have no right of controlling the rates of that company ; we have given concessions to it which we have given to no other company, and yet we stand to lose in any event no matter what might happen, all the magnificent sums given to that company by the government. Of course the heart of my hon. friend (Mr. Osier) was bleeding when that transaction was put through, but it bled iu sileiice and in secrecy. He gave no vocal expression to the grief he experienced when that iniquitous transaction took place. We in this parliament have subsidized and guaranteed one enterprise after another, all parties agreeing, and the proposal to subsidize this railway from North Bay to the Pacific ocean would have been adopted unanimously in this House if the government had agreed to it. The opposition we are told by. the hon. member for East Hastings (Mr. Northrup) was prepared to unanimously support such a subsidy if the government had made such a proposition. But the government said : No, we do not projiose to accept your proposal in its nakedness ; we do not propose to accept it and guarantee your bonds out and out without any conditions being attached for the construction of that road from North Bay to the Pacific coast; It is true that the old Grand Trunk Railway has done much for the development of Canada, but it has also received much from this country and is an old and established concern with power and connections in this country, with an established business here and you can well afford to undertake somewhat heavier responsibilities than those undertaken by other companies which we have guaranteed. We have here a great country to develop, we have a vast northern country which needs railway facilities, we have forest regions to be opened up and utilized, we have mines which must be exploited and developed, we have industries of all kinds that must be promoted. We have maritime ports struggling to secure some share in the prosperity that has come to the Dominion of Canada, especially in recent years. We will not allow you to take the guarantee and continue to send your freight by American ports. We will charge you and burden jmu with the operation of a road from Winnipeg to the Atlantic coast, for the benefit of Canadian ports. We will impose that burden on you in return for the large concessions we are making in the guarantees we are giving for the construction of the road from North Bay to the
And still say so.
I would like to ask the hon. gentleman (Mr. Russell) if that was the single reason for rejecting the original contract ?
Will the hon. gentleman (Mr. Russell) permit me ?
The hon. gentleman (Mr. Russell) knows that the president of the Grand Trunk Railway and all the others declared that Mr. Allen had based his criticism entirely on the old contract and not on the new one.
I am entirely aware of that, and I had partially referred to it before the hon. gentleman (Mr. Clancy) opened his mouth.
Sir Rivers-Wilson or Mr. Hays pointed out that Mr. Allen had based his* criticisms upon the contract of last year, without having reference to the modifications. I was proceeding to say, when I was interrupted, that the hon. member for Toronto (Mr. Osier) told us that Sir Rivers-Wilson had pointed out that Mr. Allen's criticisms were based upon the original contract, and not upon the contract in its modified form. Tlie hon. gentleman (Mr. Osier), in the exuberance of his feelings, and in the excitement of the moment, when he was speaking, offered to give us the draft of the shorthand notes of this meeting which lie had in his possession. I was very anxious indeed to have a copy, but I have not yet succeeded in getting a copy, and so I do not know all that took place at that meeting except what I find in the ' London Times ' and the ' Economist. ' In the ' London Times ' I do find a reference to the circumstance that Sir Rivers-Wilson called attention to the'fact that the figures whicli had been given by Mr. Allen had been changed in the modified contract, but Sir Rivers-Wilson did not say-and if he did he would not have spoken the truth that ther >
was any change whatever made In that modified contract, in respect to these larger and more serious and exacting provisions >f that contract, as Mr. Allen presented them to the meeting of the shareholders. I would be
very much surprised indeed to learn that Sir Rivers-Wilson or Mr. Hays was able to give any answer at all to the criticism made by Mr. Allen, with reference to these very exacting conditions which have been imposed upon this company in respect to the operation of the eastern section; the providing of proper shipping facilities for carrying the goods to Canadian ports ; the regulation of the rates by the government; the running powers that are to be given to other companies, and all the other onerous conditions which Mr. Allen refers to in this memorandum which I have just read.
Mr. Hays could not possibly have said anything in regard to these onerous conditions being modified, because they have not been modified. They are there in their integrity and entirety, just as they were in the contract which Mr. Allen was criticising before its terms were modified. It would have been a very fine thing, no doubt, if Mr. Hays had been enabled to say to the stockholders of the Grand Trunk Railway Company : That is all moonshine ; there is nothing in it. The eastern section is not going to be built, and all that talk about Halifax and St. John is pure rubbish. Just listen to what the speakers of the opposition in the House of Commons say, and you will see that there is nothing in it. Pin your faith to them, stockholders ; do not be in the least alarmed by tiffese onerous conditions about which Mr. Allen seeks to terrify you, because they are purely mythical and are only put in for effect, to gull the electorate of Canada and to hoodwink the people of that silly country. How delighted Mr. Hays would have been if he had been able to present anything of that sort to that meeting of stockholders. But he presented nothing of the kind, nothing of the kind has been read here to-day, and nothing of the kind, I undertake to say, will be read here ; because if anything of the kind had been in existence, our lion, friends on the other side of the House would have enjoyed only too much the luxury of reading it to the House amid such a pounding of desks and uplifting of hearts and exaltation of feelings as we did not see even during the triumphant acclaims that accompanied the speech of the hon. leader of the opposition
Might I ask the hon. member one question 1 If the Grand Trunk Pacific Company is responsible for putting on these steamship lines, would he be good enough to point where that is provided for, and what the penalty is if it does not choose to do so ?
My hon. friend is trying to take me three or four miles away from the question I am discussing.
You are dealing with that part of the contract.
In reference to the hon- *e^,e
tleman's remark about my promising
him a copy of the report of the meetn = .j the shareholders of the Grand Trunk way Company, I would like to say that I came to the House this morning I arra " j, to have a copy sent to the hon. gentlej and a copy to each of the ministers, jf have just been out of the chamber to * that had been done. ,