April 26, 1904

CON

Adam Carr Bell

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. A. C. BELL (Pictou).

Mr. Speaker, the importance of this measure will he a sufficient justification for resuming for a short time the discussion of its provisions at this stage of the Bill when it is most proper and convenient to discuss it in its entirety. Generally speaking it must unquestionably be admitted by the people of this country and the members of this House that; ,this is a measure of the very utmost importance. It is really a very great measure. Judging it by its financial character it is very clear that it is the most important measure that has ever been submitted to the parliament of this country by the present administration and one of the most important that has ever ffieen submitted to the Canadian parliament. Hence, it is well at this stage of the proceedings, that is on taking the motion for the second reading of this measure, to discuss it in a manner which would not be proper when we come to consider it in detail in Committee of the Whole House. Now, I should think the first thing that would strike members of this House and the people of this country in considering this measure is its very great extent and the very great burden that, unquestionably, will be imposed upon the finances either of the country, or of the company if it is carried to completion. A transcontinental railway we have achieved already. The building of the Canadian Pacific Railway from the point at which it started, I may say a long way towards the centre of the continent, was a very great work of its kind. Still, this was not an undertaking spanning'the whole continent as this proposition now before the House is. so that, even as compared with the Canadian Pacific Railway, the Transcontinental Railway Bill which the right hon. Prime Minister (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) has proposed to this House is a measure involving a work The SPEAKER.

that is more extensive and even greater than the Canadian Pacific Railway, a work which we all know to have been so much for the general advantage of Canada. We have not been standing still in Canada in the matter of railway construction. While we had the Canadian Pacific Railway with its connections and branches in eastern Canada and particularly its connection with the branch which reaches the Atlantic at St. John, while we had what was in very truth, in its last stages a transcontinental railway from the Atlantic to the Pacific, a railway uniting the waters of the two oceans, the greater part of which was constructed on Canadian soil, we were not confined to that altogether, because in the Canadian Northern, a road which has been under way for some years, although it did not commence, perhaps, with the ambitious title of a transcontinental railway, nor did its owners and those who were promoting its interests and driving along the project reveal to the people of Canada or to the world, in the first instance, that they proposed to commit themselves to the construction of another transcontinental railway, we have a railway which is very rapidly assuming the character of a transcontinental railway, of the second transcontinental railway line in Canada. It is now approaching Edmonton and has its plans, as I am informed, arranged for the extension of the road from Edmonton to a point on the Pacific somewhere in the vicinity of the point which it is proposed to be reached by the road to be constructed under the Bill now before the House. In eastern Canada the Canadian Northern Railway has large connections and has actually at the present time, as I am informed, reached the port of Quebec, one of the objective points of the great work which it is proposed to accomplish by the Bill now before the House. Hence, we have actually one Transcontinental Railway in full operation and we have another which, with a reasonable amount of assistance on the part of the government, will become a second transcontinental railway at a very early date. That being the case it is a little difficult to explain to the people of this country wherein lies the urgent necessity of providing for what I may call a third transcontinental railway for a people numbering six millions as the right hon. Prime Minister describes the people of this country to be in his opening speech on this subject. It seems, to me that six millions of people might be satisfied with less than three transcontinental railways and it would also seem as if it might be difficult for six millions of people, occupying an enormous extent of territory and only partially and ineffectively occupying that territory, to furnish the business which would properly utilize the means of transportation afforded by three railways of the , class and character of these which we'have been engaged in building and which we are

engaged, in the case of this last measure, m projecting.

The consequence is, that to the people of Canada, the proposition to spend $175,000,000 on the construction of this road, will excite the question : For what purpose

is this road being' built, and is there any urgent necessity that requires the people of Canada at this time, to impose upon themselves this enormous burden ? Now, 1 am proud to be able to say that $175.000,000 is not a crushing burden for Canada, in view of our prosperity and our future prospects. If that sum were expended wisely upon a measure which would furnish adequate returns, such expenditure need not necessarily alarm the people of Canada, no matter how conservative they may be. If it were expended on the national defence ; or expended to guarantee national security ; or expended in order to secure an opportunity that was passing, I would feel warranted in supporting a measure that might imply a cost of even $175,000,000. But, at the same time I would require to have very very strong arguments adduced, io persuade me that such an expenditure should be undertaken for the purpose of constructing what will practically be a third transcontinental railroad in Canada, the advantage of which and the necessity of which at the present moment, is very doubtful indeed.

The most peculiar feature of this measure is, that while it imposes this enormous obligation upon the people of Canada, it does it in such a way that the property to be constructed, passes out of the hands of the Canadian people, and into the hands of a private corporation. That being so, we are naturally disposed to inquire, what is the relative magnitude of such a sum as $175,000,000. Let us remember that the tola] net debt of Canada is about $250,000,000. and that this net debt represents every dollar of indebtedness that has been accumulated in British North America ; from the time the first white man placed his foot on the soil ; that it includes the debts of all the provinces that had been contracted previous to confederation and the debts that have been contracted by Canada since confederation ; that in fact it m a debt that has been accumulated during a period extending over hundreds of years. Therefore when we come to compare the net debt of Canada with the sum which it is proposed to expend by the right hon. gentleman's measure, it will be seen that the building of this line of railway entails an expenditure, equal to about three-fourths of all the obligations that have been contracted by all the provincial governments, and by the Dominion government, from the very first settlement of the country to this date : less such deductions as have been made by the sinking fund. It will be

seen, therefore, that even though the country is prosperous, it is an enormous obligation to assume. Nothing but the most absolute certainty that the measure is urgently necessary, and that it is sure to be of great value to the country, would justify us in proceeding with it. I regret to say that the reasons that have been advanced ii' support of this measure are such, as would fail to convince any reasonable person that the construction of this work, at this time, is necessary or that it is likely in the near future to remunerate this country for the expenditure that it will necessitate. Last year, when the right hon. gentleman introduced this measure, he mentioned certain reasons which he said were of national importance, and which partook of the character of urgency. The right hon. gentleman, with the utmost degree of earnestness, announced that every hour of delay, almost every moment of delay was dangerous. His argument was that this measure would preserve us from a source of great danger to our commercial interests by the possible suspension of the bonding privilege. He left the impression on the House, and on the country, that in his opinion the bonding privilege was liable to sudden interruption ; and that the friendly arrangements which had existed between the United States and Canada for many years, might at any moment be severed, fi did not strike me at the time that the right hon. gentleman had made out a good case. We all know that this bonding privilege is a great source of convenience ; that it exists as an instance of the comity of nations, which results to the wellbeing and advancement of both. It occurred to me, that there could be no danger that the privilege that was extended to us by the United States, was in any immediate danger of being interrupted. I could indeed see a great many reasons which induced me to think that there was no such danger. This privilege had existed uninterruptedly for a great number of years. We had reason to believe that the enormously important and valuable privilege enjoyed by the citizens of the United States in trading to the ports of the West Indies, was enjoyed entirely in consequence of the fact that they maintained these friendly relations with us, and allowed our vessels to come into their ports and allowed our goods to be transported across United States territory.

I observe that my right hon. friend (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) does not entirely agree with me in this matter, but I think i may be able, although I am not at present provided with the authorities, to recall to his notice a convention which existed under which the privilege of trade on equal terms was guaranteed. Then again there is the unquestioned fact that the bonding privilege is of enormous value to the people of the United States. The men of the New England cities

to-day are commercially and politically the most influential community in the United States. On every occasion when there has been any proposition to interrupt the friendly relations between Canada and the United States, we have found the. merchant classes of Boston and the New England States awake to the fact that nothing could be more injurious to them than an interruption of these privileges. Then we know that over the Canada Southern Railway which is now under the control of the Michigan Central an enormous traffic is carried which enables us to measure the tremendous advantages the people of the United States enjoy under the bonding privilege, and the great benefit to the merchants of Boston and the New England cities of being able to have their freight hauled over that air line. All these things being considered, it struck me that there was not very great danger of the interruption of the bonding privilege. But still it was only becoming that 1 should keep in mind the fact that there might be reasons known to the right hon. gentleman (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) which were not known to me or to the House. Owing to 'his position as leader of the gevern-meut of Canada he is in immediate and close communication with the home government and must know of matters affecting the foreign office, matters that are of importance in connection witli the relations between the people of the United States and Canada. Perhaps at the very moment the right hon. gentleman was speaking he may have had knowledge which led him to believe that in the Alaska botmdary question, which was not then settled, there were matters which might set up unfriendly feeling and lead to the repeal of the bonding privilege. If that were so-and I was not disposed to shut my eyes to the fact that these conditions might exist-strong as were the reasons that induced me a year ago to think there was no danger of the interruption of the bonding privilege, by so much stronger are they to-day when I remember that the only source of possible trouble between the governments bas been removed. Consequently it seems to me tbe right hon. gentleman himself in view of tbe fact that another year has passed without any sign of the people of the United States wishing to abandon the bonding privilege must see that his argument of the urgency of this matter is not one which should influence the members of this House or of tbe country. Tbe bon. gentleman laid stress last year upon the want of railway facilities in tbe west, and he stated the people of tbe west were injured and hampered in their business, subjected to inconvenience, and he supposed to a certain measure of loss, on account of insufficient railway connection. Having visited the west and having obtained all the information I could from members from that country who can speak with adequate information, it appears to me that there is no Mr. BELL.

immediate necessity for the construction of another line of road. We know that during the two years preceding the introduction of this measure by tbe hon. gentleman in 1903, there had been a great many complaints from the west as to the inadequate facilities for moving goods into the west and more particularly for the carriage of grain from the west eastward. While that was true for the two years preceding the introduction of this measure, it would seem that the inconvenience which existed in the west was not caused by the need of more miles of railway, but by the want of roiling stock on the existing lines. I am not going to say at all that there are not many hundreds of men, possibly some thousands, who are further from a railway line than they would like to be, but these men would be served not so much by tbe construction of another trunk line as by tbe extension of branch lines now in existence or proposed. I believed then and I believe now that witli sufficient rolling, stock upon these lines all the crops could be handled not only this year but for some years to come. The result of this last year has gone to show that this opinion was correct. JThere has been no complaint during the past year of difficulty in moving the crop as rapidly as it should be removed.

Mr. MeCREARY. It was a very light crop.

Topic:   GRAND TRUNK PACIFIC RAILWAY.
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CON

Adam Carr Bell

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BELL.

My hon. friend (Mr. McCreary) reminds me of a very cogent argument ; it has been a comparatively light crop. I would imagine that in proposing to spend the $175,000,000 the right hon. gentleman should have in mind the fact that it was possible you might have light crops, that it was not necessary to provide for a bumper crop every year. The fact of the matter was that the years preceding the introduction of this measure were exceptional, that the yield of grain was enormously large. These years in which some people might imagine that necessity existed for further railway communication were years of exception and plenty, years in which the crops were at least fifty per cent in excess of the average, and therefore it was not safe or prudent or wise to argue that because in years of enormous and overflowing plenty the railways could not handle tbe traffic of the country, we should at once proceed to expend a sufficient amount of money to equip the country with sufficient railways capable of handling all its enormous crops in bumper years. But there are other reasons. As long as the country was new, as long as the men going in had to recoup themselves for their expenditure and reimburse those from whom they bad procured supplies, the chances were they would want to make immediate sales of their crops. It would lie the policy of almost every farmer to turn his crop into cash at once. But with the growth of well-being in that western

country, with the increase of prosperity and independence, there will be none of that terrible rush to get a crop out in short time between the harvest and the close of navigation, and the people will be quite content, and even anxious, to hold their crops so as to take advantage of a rising price. No one will deny that that has been the experience in that country. Instead of every man being forced to market his crop at once, the conditions at present are such that every farmer considers his wheat an asset, as a counter in the game, out of which he wants to make the largest amount of profit, and he is not going to throw it on the market at a time when all the products are thrown in the hands of merchants at once, but will hold it with the view' of such advantage as may come from a rise in prices. Again, we all know that on account of the extension of banking facilities in the west, it is just as easy to borrow cash against wheat in warehouse there as it is in Chicago. Warehouse receipts will be accepted by any bank. Consequently no man is forced to throw his crop on the market the moment he gets it into his hands. All these circumstances go to show' that if any one believed there was an absolute necessity to build a road in the west for the purpose of bringing out the crops at a very hurried rate, he would be labouring under a mistake. We must remember that while the people of the w'est in August and September are harvesting their crops, all the crop is not going to be used up at once. It is going to last for twelve months. It is grow'n for the purpose of supplying bread and food to communities, either here or abroad, during a period of twelve months. Why then should it be considered absolutely necessary that that country should be equipped with a system of railway capable of moving the w'hole crop in a few months ? Why should the people, considering the matter from their own viewpoint, considering it from the point of view of the advantage to accrue to them, insist upon throwing upon the market at once twelve months supply, which is to go gradually into the possession of consumers during the entire year? I could not see for my part at any time any adequate reason why this road must be built at once to relieve pressing necessity in the Northwest. If it could be shown that our people in that part of Canada were suffering, and that their suffering W'ould be mitigated by the construction of this road in the west, then I would be perfectly w'illing to join with the government in giving it to them at the earliest possible moment; but in such case I would imagine some system might be devised that would give the same measure of relief in a much shorter time than the measure before the House. For instance by building a line from Fort William or Port Nipigon-because I do not think it would be any injury to us to have two ports at the western end of lake Superior-to Winnipeg and thence to-661

wards Edmonton-which would be a work almost of insignificance compared with the project now before the House-all that advantage which could possibly be conferred on the people of the Northwest by the present scheme would be conferred on them in a very short time. But the measure before the House contemplates a great deal more than that. It loads down that scheme, which might be carried out in the course of a very few years to the advantage of the people, with conditions and attachments which are going to make it a work which can only be executed in a very long time and at enormous cost. There was another reason advanced by the right hon. gentleman why this road in its entirety, with its eastern connections, should be built over the route which he indicated rather indefinitely as lying about the height of land in the central parts of the provinces of Quebec and Ontario, hundreds of miles north of the large settlements and the great cities in these provinces. The tight hon. gentleman, and those who followed him, argued that the government scheme will provide a great colonization road and fill up the at present unoccupied parts of these older provinces. For my part, I have never been able to satisfy myself that that is likely to be realized. We know from experience that in the northern parts of Ontario and Quebec, in the parts not far removed from the older settlements, the conditions existing are at least as good and possibly better than those which prevail along the line of the proposed railway. We know that there are millions of acres of land in these districts similar to that which is to be found in the north and perhaps better-certainly not worse-which have railway communication to a certain extent-through which pass the lines of the Grand Trunk Railway and the Canadian Pacific Railway and to a certain extent the government railway, and we do not find these portions of the-older provinces becoming filled up by population in such a way as would lead any one to believe it would he profitable or advisable to spend any $50,000,000 on a colonization road through the northern parts of Ontario and Quebec at this time. There is another reason why we should not be so anxious at this moment to fill up those tracts and by special inducements persuade settlers to go into them. To my mind the proper policy of Canada is to fill up her public domain in such a manner as to give her greater strength at the moment. Her proper policy would be to develop that portion where she will receive the largest share of reward. Every dollar expended in the better parts of Canada must strengthen our country with increased population and increased wealth make us eveyy day more and more advanced upon the road to greatness and national wealth and strength.

If it were in the power of the right hon. gentleman to divert any considerable por-

lion of the immigration now coming into Canada, whether from European countries or from the United States, to the northern parts of Ontario or Quebec, this laud of which we know nothing, would he consider it a good and wise act in the interest of the country to do so ? Would he not consider it infinitely more to the advantage of the country, infinitely more a public service for which he could claim the gratitude of the people, if he should prevent the attention of settlers being directed to these less advantageous situations, and turn their attention and their steps towards those portions of Canada which are so desirable for the incoming settlers as we know the prairies to be? That country is already opened up by railways. We are told on the authority of the ex-Minister of Railways and Canals, Hon. Mr. Blair, that it is capable of receiving a population of five or six million souls ; a population equal to that of all Canada to-day could find homes and could prosper and be served by the railway connections that already exist in the Northwest. In that public domain you have one of the estates belonging to this country, an estate upon which the public money has been spent in order to make it profitable ; an estate that will add to our national wealth and strength. Every settler who is sent, whether by government interference and assistance or otherwise, to make a home in northern Quebec and Ontario, as compared with one who goes to the prairie land, to the Saskatchewan country in the Northwest Territories or Manitoba, would be a most unprofitable subject to Canada. Place the settler upon the rich lands of the west and he becomes a prosperous citizen ; at once he begins to accumulate wealth ; and every dollar that he accumulates goes to swell the aggregate wealth of Canada. The man who takes up a farm on the prairie, is able, within a year or two, to export $1,000 worth of wheat. He swells the exports of the country, and the effect of his work is to increase the imports to an equal amount, possibly a larger amount. On the other hand, the settler in the forest, in the country along the line of the eastern section of the proposed transcontinental railway, might support himself but. unquestionably, he could not have a surplus to swell the exports and imports of the country and attract more and more the favourable attention of the financiers of other countries and the people of the world at large to the wonderfully favoured land in which we live. To my mind, the highest considerations of patriotism should have led the right lion. Prime Minister to devote the attention of his government and the resources of the country to exploiting, in the first place, the profitable-estates of Canada that lie in the west, and leave these less profitable, these worse lands-we will not say ' bad ' lands-which may well be left until the good lands of the country have been fully occupied. Now. to Mr. BELT,.

a certain extent, it seems to me clear that the course that the right lion, gentleman is pursuing is really unpatriotic. He is using the resources of this country in order to divert the attention of incoming people, to secure tvliom we are expending large sums of money, from portions of Canada in which they can add almost at once and enormously to the wealth of the country to other portions in which they would fail to become wealthy or to add to the country's wealth, and to a country in which they would fail to become contented citizens. It is a misfortune when men come here who have connections abroad and who are likely to send back to the friends they have left any expression of opinion that they have injured their prospects by coming to this country. Every consideration would seem to indicate very clearly that, in respect of the bonding privileges in respect of the alleged lack of traffic in the Northwest, in respect of the alleged developing of colonization roads in the less desirable parts of Canada, anything like a fair consideration of the argument must lead one not to the conclusion that the right lion, gentleman has come to, that he should build this transcontinental railway, but that he should do nothing of the kind. I cannot satisfy my own mind that a single one of these arguments is cogent in the direction in which he applied them. To my mind the whole force and effect is in an entirely different direction. Now. having the opinion I have of the enormous capacity and capabilities of our Northwest I should say that nothing that the government could undertake in the way of railway extension in the west could be too great humanly speaking. That a certain railway extension is unnecessary up to this moment is no argument, because, the population is going into that country at a rapid rate. To say that a railway extension will not be needed before ten years is an indication that it is time we were commencing to provide for it. The right hon. gentleman. in the amendments he has introduced to this contract shows that he does not contemplate the completion of the road in the west in less than seven years. It is evident that he thinks that even longer time may be occupied, because we have a provision in the Bill that the company shall not he held by any obligation to complete the road in that time under certain contingencies. So, we may fairly assume that it will be ten years before that work is completed. Therefore, so far as that is concerned. it would seem to me that we should be well in advance of the work of necessary railway building in the more fertile parts of Canada. As to the other parts of the scheme, in so far as the construction of the eastern extension of the road is concerned.

I must admit that I am not persuaded nor do I see how it is possible for any public man to persuade the people, or for any citizen of Canada who studies the question

with an unbiassed mind to be convinced, that the right hon. gentleman has made out a case for the eastern part of this road. To a certain extent, I have been disposed to fear from the discussion that this road might fairly be designated a political railway-or, rather not a railway but a railway project. I have always suspected that it was a railway project of a decidedly political character. And, listening to the speeches made by some hon. gentlemen from the maritime provinces, I could not be unaware of the fact that they were exceedingly anxious to impress me with the idea that there was great danger in any man from the maritime provinces opposing the construction of this road. And why ? Because, these hon. gentlemen assume and assert, without proof but with a great deal of confidence and glibness, that the right hon. gentleman is going to bring to the ports of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia enormous quantities of the products of the west. If my hon. friends could prove these things, they need scarcely hesitate for a moment to believe that I should be found supporting them.

Because while I think we owe everything in the way of work and construction to the west, I cannot consent to the idea that we do not owe everything as well to the east. If we are to do all we can to make the citizens prosperous in the west, we ought to do all we can that is likely to make them prosperous in the east.

But what reasonable ground is there for believing that the construction of this road from Fort Simpson to Moncton is going to divert anything like a large part of the grain traffic of the west to the ports of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia V For my part, I cannot make myself believe that it is possible. We have direct rail communication now with these ports over two lines of railway, over the Canadian Pacific Railway and the Intercolonial to St. John, anil over the Intercolonial to Halifax ; and yet we know that grain is not carried to these ports in such quantities as to make it of much value to the merchants of those ports or to the citizens of those cities. I need not proceed to prove that the grain has not gone there. My right hon. friend knows that the administration of which he is head constructed an elevator in St. John and there are other private elevators. To what extent has the government elevator in St.

' John been of use in handling the crops of Canada ? Then this government constructed the large elevator in.the city of Halifax, it has been there for years available, a modern elevator, but to what extent has that elevator handled the crops of the west ? If it is going to be possible in the future to send this grain from the west into Halifax and St. John in such large quantities as the right hon. gentleman and his supporters would make us believe, how is it that this grain has not gone into those elevators in the past ? We have had railway connections. we have the Intercolonial, this year not limited in its operations by the usual business considerations, a line which has developed those ports, and which can carry grain and heavy products to them at rates which no private road could undertake to meet. For instance, in the course of last year we know that the Intercolonial, for nine-hundredths of a cent per ton per mile, one-eleventh of a cent per mile, has carried grain from Montreal to Halifax. That experiment has not continued. A certain amount -of grain did go at that price, but it has not continued, and why ? Because the government would not carry any more at the same price ? Probably not. Very probably the government would go on carrying grain at the same price, and that price is so low that it is very evident no company road could compete with it. But the fact of the matter is, that the grain so far has been delivered in some other direction in such a way as to make it more advantageous to the men whose business it is to market the grain products of this country than it would be to send them to these ports.

Now, when the right hon. gentleman and his friends assert that by the construction of a new line of road 1,900 miles in length, which will run through a territory which must be, in the first place, absolutely unproductive, that it is going to carry grain to Halifax and St. John which he cannot at this moment carry by the government line, then he is asking me to believe something which, to my mind, is incapable of belief. What company road operated under the usual conditions, what road operated as the property of private persons who must receive some return for their investment, could possibly carry freight at the prices the Intercolonial carries it for ? It is clear that no company could do it. We have the evidence given by Mr. Wainwright, of the Grand Trunk, a road which is to have control of the policy of this new road who in giving evidence before a committee of this House, asserted that a profitable rate at which companies could carry freight was one-half cent per ton per mile. He said that under certain circumstances in carrying freight by train loads, and not by car loads, a rate of four-tenths of a cent pier ton per mile might be given, and even leave a small margin of profit. But what relation has a rate of four-tenths of a cent per ton per mile, which Mr. Wainwright says is the practical cost' of carrying freight over the Grand Trunk, what relation does that bear to a rate of nine-hundredths of a cent per ton per mile ? Why, it is more than four times, it is four and a-half times as much. The Grand Trunk management says it is necessary to get a rate four and a-half times as great in order to clear themselves and to avoid loss, ns has been received by the government road, and yet this government road has not succeeded in diverting any large amount of grain to the port of Halifax. But the right hon. gentleman would ask us

to believe that a company road, a road owned by a company under the management of Mr. Wainwright, who very probably would have the same relation to this road he has to the Grand Trunk now, a gentleman who says he must have four-tenths of a cent per mile per ton to clear himself, is going to carry wheat to the port of Halifax at less than nine-hundredths of a cent per ton, and I presume the Intercolonial cannot carry freight to-day at nine one-hundredths of a cent without loss ; why, it is asking us to believe what is incapable of belief.

Therefore, I cannot avoid the suspicion which I hold with great regret, that there is a strong tinge of political character in connection with the project which the right lion, gentleman has laid before the country. I am afraid it was more for the purpose of carrying elections than for carrying wheat that the right hon. gentleman introduced this measure, and I have a strong conviction that it is going to have that effect, but it will be the return freight that will be realized, the return traffic. Instead of carrying elections for the government, it may have the effect of carrying the elections against the government; and if the project were really conceived and introduced in that spirit, it would be only a fitting condemnation to be pronounced by the people upon the government if the government were defeated on this measure. If it were a matter of great national importance, if it were for the welfare of Canada, if it could be shown that it would add a dollar to the wealth of Canada, or be of any advantage to a large portion of the citizens in any part of the country, then I would say that it deserves support and the government deserves commendation for having courage enough to propose so great a scheme. But if it be what it appears to be now, a project conceived for the purpose of influencing the people to support an administration which felt they must go to the country with some project, which felt that its record as it stood at that moment was not sufficient to commend it to the country ; then, Sir, I cannot, for my part, support that measure, nor can 1 conceive how any man can support it. As I have said, it involves an expenditure by this country of what is really an enormous expenditure even if Canada were a wealthy country. It involves at one stroke an addition to our debt of $175,000,000, to a debt which is already over $250,000,000, which has been created in the course of over 100 years. It is, relatively speaking, an enormous addition to our debt, and we are not likely to realize any good results from it. The consequence must be that if the matter presents itself to the people as it presents itself to my mind, they cannot assent to it. To a certain extent I believe, from the manner in which the right hon. gentleman introduced this measure, he had a hope that the greatness of the scheme would attract support, that the younger, the more adventurous and Mr. BELL.

the more daring spirits of' this country would say : Yes, this a great scheme"; this is a thoroughly Canadian scheme. It shows boldness, it shows continental powers, a conception of continental courage in undertaking such a scheme, but, when the younger men or the older men come to look at this measure in its details they will surely; hesitate to believe that it is always and throughout going to maintain that character. It is launched with a good deal of eclat, it is launched with a great deal of what I might call demonstration on the part of the right hon. gentleman and his administration, but it is not proceeding, so far, to maintain that character in which it made its appearance in this world. When left to itself, when left to stand upon its own merits this scheme has failed. It is practically a failure up to this point. It was not defeated by the action of the opposition in this House. It was criticised by the opposition but it passed safely through this House, it left this# House exactly as it came into it, but when left to itself, when it had to take its place before moneyed men, when it had to take its place in the money markets, when it came to find the capital that would enable the whole scheme to be realized, it became a failure and practically collapsed. Now, the scheme comes back to this House certainly no better, certainly not improved, as far as the people of Canada are concerned, and still, if the members of this House pass this measure again, if again it should through them receive the assent and support of the people of Canada, what guarantee is there, what probability is there that even then it will be a success ? If it failed before why should it not fail now, and if it be that this measure has not found itself with the strength that would enable it to continue its existence after it passes out of the protection of the government why should this country be called upon to vote for this measure this year when no additional argument has been advanced from the government benches, or no satisfactory explanation given of the fact that the measure as conceived by them last year and perfected by them last year when left to itself promptly and summarily developed into an absolute failure ? That character is stamped upon it, to my mind, and the right hon. gentleman and his associates bring to this House a measure in which are concessions made to a company every one of which goes to show that the company upon whose strength they depended for the completion of this measure and for its realization was incapable of the task which it undertook to perform. Every concession made to the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway is virtually a concession made to the Grand Trunk Railway Company and if the Grand Trunk Railway Company were unable last year at a time when matters

certainly were no worse than they are now to finance their scheme, what really satisfactory reason have we to believe that they are going to meet with any better success when they go into the money markets of the world with the amended measure we are now about to put into their hands ? To my mind there is every reason to believe that if they could not float the scheme last year they cannot float it this year. But. if this project contains the enormous advantages for Canada which the right hon. gentleman claims for it, and if it is likely to become a failure in the hands of the Grand Trunk Railway Company should he really jeopardize this enormously valuable scheme by putting it into such incompetent hands ? If it be true that the construction of this road will add a new Canada to the old Canada that we know and will practically give us a new nation would it not be better for the right hon. gentleman to keep this scheme in the hands of the government which has financial strength, which certainly can command the best railway ability, in whose hands it will not be likely to fail ? Is it not a mistake on the part of the right hon. gentleman, instead of keeping this matter in the hands of himself and his own administration and sending it on the way to success with the strength and force that can be given to it by the government, lo send it into the hands of a corporation whose record) is failure ? They have not succeeded in doing what they undertook to do. they have to come back to the government as suppliants with a confession of failure. If the interest of the country in this matter is so great and important as the right hon. gentleman led us to believe last year why should he entrust a matter of such importance to the hands of the Grand Trunk Railway Company? It is not on account of the expenditure. That is very clear, because, if Canada can afford to expend, at a moderate estimate, $150,000,000 in order to carry this scheme to completion it can very well" afford to supplement that sum of money with the $14,500,000 which is all that the Grand Trunk are going to contribute. If the government can raise $150,000,000 for this purpose it certainly can provide one hundred and sixty-four and a half million which addition, as far as the burden on the country or the difficulty of financing the scheme is concerned, will be infinitesmal. It will not be required to be considered or measured. Then, I say in so far as the financing of the scheme is concerned the argument is ten to one in favour of the government of Canada going on and building this road itself. If the right hon. gentleman believes and lias persuaded his colleagues into believing that this road is so important to the people of Canada as he has assured us it is, he should not jeopardize such a scheme by placing it in the hands of men who are not in a position to carry it to a

successful completion. He should keep it in his own hands. But, reading over the very important amendments which have been made to this contract, not one of these amendments can recommend the scheme to this House, not one of them can recommend it to the country, not one of them can recommend it to the taxpayer. They are great concessions. They are all made, without exception, for the one purpose of keeping the Grand Trunk in this scheme. Now, why is that ? These amendments have been criticised from this side of the House. The fact has been pointed out that in every instance there are concessions to the contracting parties, the parties of the other part who are contracting with the government of Canada. That has been pointed out on this side of the House as an objection, as a reason why they should not be favourably considered, why they should not receive the support of the representatives of the people in this House. What has been the reply from the government ? Has that objection been controverted by any speaker on the government side of the House ? The right hon. gentleman, himself, in introducing this measure admitted that these were all concessions and his defence of them wms to endeavour to belittle them and to make them appear trifling, small, of no very great importance and not really very objectionable. But the right hon. gentleman did not say that they were not objectionable. He had to admit that they were objectionable, but the whole of his argument was directed to the endeavour to show that they were not as objectionable as they might have been. I think I am not doing the right hon. gentleman an injustice when I place his argument in such a light. These things are not so bad as they look. We have certainly cut down the security of the people, we have lightened the burdens of the company, we have eased their obligations in several respects, when we might have done more. They wanted more, we were assured. We were told that we ought to be grateful, that we ought to receive this arrangement with thankfulness because the concessions were not greater than they were. When the matter came to be dealt with by hon. gentlemen who support the right hon. Prime Minister what was their attitude ? It was practically the same. One hon. gentleman of ability on the other side of the House, the hon. member for Hants (Mr. Russell) said : What are the

opposition talking about ? They are all expressing regret and surprise at the fact that these concessions are made in favour of the company. What else would they expect ? It is no matter to be discussed ; it is no matter to be considered lightly. The hon. gentleman, proceeding with his argument asked : Is it to be supposed that the company would come to the government and ask for harder conditions ? They were

intended to be concessions, the company were looking for concessions, and therefore, what are the opposition speakers talking about ?

The government say they are concessions. Of course they are concessions, but the extraordinary thing is that the answer made by the government to the criticism from this side of the House is, that they cry : peccavi, mea culpa. They appear to believe that an open and full confession is not only good for the soul, but that it should be accepted in perfect satisfaction of all penance. But the government have not repudiated the charge made against them : that this measure was put through parliament eight months ago, after months of consideration ; on the assurance of the government that it could not be touched or altered because it was a binding contract, that the concessions were made for the sole purpose of getting the Grand Trunk Railway Company into this contract, and that this measure could not achieve success unless the Grand Trunk Company were kept in it ; and, that notwithstanding all this, the same government should return to parliament within a few short months, and present to this House a weaker contract, and consider that a full answer was made to all criticism, by the simple confession that the new contract was not as good as the old one. That is one of the most extraordinary positions in which any government lias 'ever been placed in the history of the parliaments of this world.

When the people of the older provinces come to look at this matter carefully ; the people of Prince Edward Island, the people of Nova Scotia, the people of New Brunswick ; they will ask : what is to be given to us by this measure. The supporters of the government have promised enormous traffic to maritime ports. I never saw any men so willing to promise immense advantages as the government and their supporters, except it be Mr. Hays, who when he was before the committee, was prepared to promise anything that was asked of him. But, Sir, when you find such remarkably good promisers as the manager of the Grand Trunk Railway and the government, you are likely to find in the end that these promises are very much contracted in their performance. The people of the older provinces in the east, will be burdened by this measure with a debt of from $25,000,000 to $30,000,000, or $30 per head of the popoulation, or $180 per family ; and they will want to know what return is coming to them. The Prime Minister cannot satisfy any business man in these provinces that it is possible for him to throw tile trade from the west into the eastern ports to such an extent as to recoup the older provinces of Canada for the expenditure of $30,000,000. In view of the fact that in summer time the grain of the west will come over the lakes, I do not think that the Prime Minister will find it

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Adam Carr Bell

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BELL.

easy to turn a very large percentage of that traffic into these maritime ports. He will need to explain to these people, what was meant by the president and by the manager of the Grand Trunk Railway, when they assured their shareholders, that their purpose in supporting this scheme was to increase tile traffic over the old Grand Trunk system, and to earn greater profits upon it. The right hou. gentleman will have to explain to them, what was meant by the further statement of these two representatives of the Grand Trunk Railway, that they could not hope to maintain dividends if they could not increase traffic over the Grand Trunk system. Botli Sir Rivers-Wilson and Mr. Hays assured their shareholders, that if it were not positively expected to bring the traffic gathered by the Grand Trunk Pacific over the line of the Grand Trunk Railway, they would not recommend this measure for their endorsation, and the right hon. gentleman will find it hard to explain these statements. How is the Grand Trunk Railway going to realize increased earnings, and at the same time divert the traffic from its own line to the ports of St. John and Halifax ? We know that it is an utter impossibility to have the grain traffic gathered by tlie Grand Trunk Pacific in the west, going over the Grand Trunk Railway to Portland and at the same time to send the same grain over the Grand Trunk Pacific to St. John and Halifax. There are a great many other considerations in connection with this subject. but in view of the fact that so little has been volunteered for our information from tbe government side of the House, I think it only reasonable that I should desist from my argument at this moment and leave it to the government to advance some satisfactory reason why we should accept this arnended contract, and why we should put it in the power of the government to give another opportunity to the Grand-Trunk to go to the financiers of tlie world, and make a failure of this scheme, thus further delaying tlie realization by the people of Canada, of the benefits which the right hon. gentleman says his scheme will confer on them.

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Matthew Kendal Richardson

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. M. K. RICHARDSON (South Grey).

The hour being somewhat late, I would move the adjournment of the debate. .

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Wilfrid Laurier (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

It is too early to adjourn ; it is not 11 o'clock. My hon. friend (Mr. Richardson) must go on with his speech this evening.

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Matthew Kendal Richardson

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. RICHARDSON.

Although I ventured to speak on this subject once before this session, and although there have been a large number of speakers since that time,

I feel to-night that the subject is one which is arousing increased interest in the country and in this House. It is quite pleasing to us on this side to see the effect this debate is Laving in the House, as shown by the vote that was taken a short time

ago, and I believe that the more the subject is discussed and the more light there is thrown upon it, the more opportunity the public have of investigating it, the more public sentiment will take the turn the House is taking and that the public will say we are going a little too fast in this matter. It has been said again and again that it is a very important subject. and its importance will justify the lengthened debate which has taken place upon it. It is one of the most important matters which has been brought before the public since confederation. I venture to say that no subject of equal public importance has ever attempted to be put through the House by force as is being done in this case, without the electors at large having some opportunity of expressing themselves upon it. It has been sprung upon the electors and they are only now, through the medium of the newspaper press and other means, obtaining a little opportunity to look into it. I feel satisfied that the more light there is thrown upon the subject the less chance there is of this measure being carried with the consent of the electorate of the country. We on this side of the House are not opposed to expenditure for the development of this country. We have as much faith in the future of Canada as any one on the other side of the House. If we may judge from our history in the past we may claim that we have always had more faith in the future of Canada than has been possessed by the party on the government side of the House. However. we are pleased to note the growing feeling, the growing sense of loyalty to Canada, which is even permeating the ranks of the great Reform party of Canada. It is not matter of congratulation to us on tliis side of the House to see any spirit contrary to that. We believe in the development of Canada and in any reasonable expenditure, provided it is a wise expenditure, for that development. The enormous sum which is proposed to be added to the public debt of Canada is not the sole or the main objection that we have to this scheme which is being forced through the House. We are prepared for expenditure, having faith in the future of this country and having faith that at no distant period we will require extensive development and extension of railways in the west and a better transportation system than we have at present. There are abundant opportunities and avenues for expending money. The most important question we have to deal with in Canada to-day is, as has been often said, transportation. But it is not necessary that there should be any undue haste in this matter. It does not follow that we should rush unwisely into enormous debt and expenditure but rather that we should be sure we are right and then be prepared to go ahead. That is a good motto to use in

individual life, aud in small enterprises ; it is a good motto to adopt for the administration of the affairs of a young country like Canada. The mountains of information which were to have been brought before us have dwindled down to very small, almost invisible mole hills. It is evident that we are very lacking in the information which we should have before entering on a scheme such as this. We are delighted to know that we have in the great Northwest such a magnificent area for the production of cereals ; that we have what is now commonly termed, not only here on this continent, but in Europe as well, tiie granary of the world. We are delighted with this, hut there is no need on that account that we should rush into unwise expenditure. We have been going steadily in that regard. A very large amount of mileage is now under contract and construction for the development of the country. To build railways into areas which are not at all settled at present, for which there could be no local traffic, is to say the least an unwise expenditure, especially when we see that we already have a country served with railways either built or under construction that would provide homes for per- * haps five times as many people as are now settled there. It would he much better for the interest of the country and much to the advantage of the settlers, that settlement should he of a regular consecutive character, where railways have been already constructed and where lands are available for settlement either on free grant or reasonable terms in order that the settlers may have municipal government, social life and all the advantages which flow from these conditions. If anything is said depreciating any particular section of Canada we know that it is regarded as a sad thing to give a black eye to that part of the country, but it is of much greater importance that we should see that no attempt is made in bringing in settlers to place them in districts not suitable for settlement, where they cannot eke out a reasonable livelihood. Mistakes of that kind have already done infinite damage to Canada. Men have been induced to go into districts where they could not raise crops or even cattle and when these men who were as badly off as if they bad been transported to Tasmania have returned to the old country, their accounts of their experiences have been a very bad advertisement for Canada.

What will they say of Canada as a whole ? They judge of it by the miserable experience they have had in districts not suited for settlement. Hon. gentlemen opposite talk about encouraging colonization in this country between here and the North Pole- north of Quebec and Ontario, in those wilds of which so little is known. I do not think I need tell agaiu the story of that wonderful rose bush discovered some 250 years ago.

I suppose the roses are growing there yet. But that is no guarantee that the country is a fit place for settlement. What we have pointed out all along is that we should have a reasonable knowledge of the country before proceeding to build a railway through it. In the first place there should be a reasonable exploration of it, we should know something about its topography, its climate and all thes matters. Then if the exploratory reports be satisfactory, we should have regular surveys made, before attempting to go into a large railway enterprise such as this, involving such an enormous expenditure. Should this scheme prove a blunder, no one will live long enough to see its worst results. We do not claim that it is a barren country, unfit for settlement, or that it is all rocks or impracticable in its topography for the building of a road, but what we say is that we know nothing about it. We were promised a lot of information, but we have not had one iota added to the meagre, scanty data given us when this House rose last October. If any has been obtained, it lias not been imparted to the House or the country.

Last year we were assured again and again that the bargain was closed, that no suggestion, however good, no amendment, whatever might be its merits, could be received or entertained for one moment, because the agreement had been made with the accredited representatives of the Grand Trunk, and simply required to be ratified by the Company in Great Britain, which ratification was bound to follow. Consequently no amendment could be entertained, no matter how desirable, nothing could be accepted which was not in the bond We were told emphatically that the agreement was of such a character, made with reputable men, with a strong company, of such repute, that there need not be the least doubt of its being carried on their part, and that they would be held to their bargain. My hon. friend the Minister of Finance told us that, if there should be any attempt or any appearance of any attempt not to keep the bargain, the government would find means of holding the company tight to the agreement. But where is that bargain to-day ? We were told that we would be surprised at the very insignificant nature of the changes to be made. We were not told however, that all these changes were to be made in the interests of the Grand Trunk. But when the whole thing is unravelled and laid before us. what do we find ? Not a word to our advantage. Not a word which will strengthen the guarantees placed in that agreement to protect the rights and privileges of this country. But we find every word in the interest of the Grand Trunk Railway. It seems as if in some way we cannot fully understand the government were tied to the Grand Trunk Railway. We cannot understand why we should

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Matthew Kendal Richardson

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. RICHARDSON.

be so bound to them, but after having been told most emphatically again and again that the bargain was - closed and would certainly be ratified by the company in the old country, we are confronted with these changes, which we find are most important. They take from the agreement nearly everything of a guarantee that the rights of Canada would be respected. In my opinion it will be only necessary that this matter should be discussed a little while longer, that it should permeate throughout the country, that the people should be set thinking and talking about it, in order that they may decide on entirely repudiating it and the government which' fathered it. Here is an enormous expenditure estimated as low as $8,000,000, $0,000,000, $10,000,000 and $13,000,000 by the government and their supporters, but estimated at $139,000,000 by the greatest railway expert in this country. And if you add the changes made by the concessions to the Grand Trunk Railway, the road will certainly cost not less than $150,000,000. This is the estimate given by the man who is credited by the premier with being the one best fitted to offer an expert judgment on a matter such as this. The government are condemned by their own expert and out of their own mouth. All that we want is that the country shall have an opportunity of *giving its judgment on the question. We shall be quite satisfied on this side if this matter is intelligently discussed throughout the whole country. Here is an expenditure of an enormous amount, not less than $150,000,000 ; or at any rate obligations incurred to that amount, and which may amount to $50,000,000 more and very probably will. Out of all that, all that the Grand Trunk Railway, according to the assurance of its president given at the annual meeting of the shareholders, can be liable for is $14,500,000 or less than 10 per cent of the whole. Would anybody of common sense endorse such a policy ? If we are to incur such a large expenditure and such enormous obligations,' we might as well go $14,500,000 more and own the road ourselves. But instead we are practically giving to the Grand Trunk Railway the whole transcontinental railway from ocean to ocean at a cost to them of about one-tenth what it is going to cost the people of Canada.

When this comes fairly before the ratepayers of this country I feel that thoughtful men throughout the length and breadth of the land will repudiate it with their voices and with their votes also. Men are not going to be tied to party to-day, whatever they have been in the past. I believe there is a large measure of independent intelligence in this country than there ever was in our history before. And it is an intelligence that ought to be brought to bear upon a great question like this in order to make sure that, if we are to undertake such an enormous expenditure we shall get some-

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thing in return for it. We must consider that we are putting it out of our power to give to the people engaged in the production of grain in 'this country the great advantages which we ought to give them by reducing the rates of freight. This road will not bear comparison with the construction of the Intercolonial Railway. That road was a political necessity, decided upon as a means of confederating and actually joining together the provinces of the original confederation.

It had no commercial basis. But this Grand Trunk Pacific Railway claims to have a commercial basis ; and if it has, I do not see why it cannot be managed as well by the government as by a company. At any rate, I think we ought to seek the means, which other foreign countries have found, not only of building but of running our great transportation system. They have succeeded well in other countries, and I believe we have the ability in Canada to make our railways a benefit to the people at large. If a profit can be made in this work, that profit should inure to .the people who are producing the wealtli of the country. It may be true that there is not a profit in it at once, but I do not see any reason why there should not be a profit in the future as the country develops, and as it comes it should be used to lessen the rates to farmers shipping grain over the road, which is supposed to be the greatest item of freight that the road will carry. So, there does not appear to be any immediate necessity for rushing into a matter like this, especially the construction of the eastern section of the road. As has been pointed out before, we were quite as desirous as the government that the Grand Trunk Railway Company, that large company, having its 'ramifications throughout the province of Ontario and Quebec, should have access to the wheat fields of the Northwest. It is not a matter of surprise that the Grand Trunk was seeking an entrance to the Northwest. But they had no such scheme as that which the government now places before us. Their scheme if entertained by the government would have been infinitely less expensive to Canada. Had they been given a charter and the right to run into the wheat fields, there would have been no necessity to give a government grant for the building of the railroad in that section of the country, for it would be built at small expense and would bring a ready return. But it was quite to be expected that the line through the less productive sections of the country, for instance, the line around the north shore of Lake Superior or through the Rockies and Selkirks would have deserved, and I have no doubt would have received, reasonable assistance from the government. But that assistance probably would not exceed $10,000.000 to $12,000,000 at most. It has been estimated at a lower amount than that on the basis of the usual grant given to railways in that territory. Even giving all the grants that could reasonably have been asked it would not have amounted to more than $15,000,000. For that we should have had practically another transcontinental road, for the Grand Trunk has connections already with the Atlantic ports, and would have had through connections to the Pacific coast. Compare this with the enormous expenditure that Canada has entered into in this undertaking-$150,000,000 for a service which the Grand Trunk was ready to give us for not more than $12,000,000. But the route chosen is imposed upon the company by the government. The company were told : We will not give yovT~a-enaavrer unless you agree to build a road through the norrh-ern territory from Winnipeg to Moncton, and in that way run through a territory practically unknown. When, it is built, as is proposed, at the cost of the taxpayers, the question is whether it would not be profitable-fee-tha__people to run it as well ns build it. Going through the ~country as it does, it could not get a local trade. The company, therefore, were in a position to make great demands upon the government. A bargain was supposed to be concluded, but now they make further demands. And we have no assurance that when they go back to the shareholders of the company they may not say : We will not agree to this ; we will have more concessions. We cannot but be surprised that the government should be so supine ns they have been, being prepared, apparently, to give the Grand Trunk all they ask.

I take the liberty, again. Mr. Speaker, of moving the adjournment of the debate.

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Some hon. MEMBERS

Go on.

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Matthew Kendal Richardson

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. RICHARDSON.

If it is the pleasure of the House that I should continue, I have still something more to say on this very important subject. It is one that will bear talking about, and the time may come when we will look back, and, if we have a keen interest in the welfare of the country, we may wish that we had said more and had used every argument to prevent an unwise bargain being carried out. We appeal again to the government not to press the matter at this juncture with the scanty information it possesses as to the territory through which it is proposed to build the road. There are many other reasons. One thing was brought out in the debate very markedly, and it seems to be growing upon the intelligent thought of the community, that the time has come when we should give serious consideration to the idea of the government taking control of the large services of the country especially that of railway transportation.

I believe the feeling is widespread that even with respect to the smaller franchises, and that is quite evident with regard to the franchises in our cities, we should have

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corporate ownership, for the people, in the interests of the people, for the profit of the people, ownership of all franchises, whether they relate to telegraphs, telephone communication, water, light and all these other various things that are controlled largely by companies at present; and above everything else that the government of the country should control the railway systems, at least that this government should build, own and administer a great railway for the benefit of the people in such a manner that if a profit can be made out of it that profit shall accrue to the people. This country can now undertake such a great work fit a time when our credit is so good-and we may favourably contrast the attitude of the present opposition on the subject of Canada's credit with the attitude of the Liberal opposition when the Canadian Pacific Railway was being built. No man on this side of the House has done anything in any wav to discredit Canada either at home or abroad ; no man has written a line that would Injure the credit of Canada, no man has spoken a word that would reduce the good standing of this country in the money markets of the world. We have faith in Canada, as much faith as anybody else or any other party. But that is no reason why there should be this irresistible haste for the construction of this road. That is no reason for plunging the country into the waste which must result from going into a scheme like this without any adequate knowledge. That has been well pointed out by Mr. Blair, the government expert, that gentleman who is credited by the government. We have nothing to say against him. He is a man who, from his experience, from his intelligence, from his attention to these matters, is capable of giving an intelligent judgment on a matter of this sort, and he points out very well that this scheme is one that might end in dire disaster to this country ; and if it does, if it goes to that point, the present generation will not live to see us rid of the results. It will hang like a cloud on the prospects of this country for two or more generations to come. The government should give further consideration to this scheme, they' should get more accurate knowledge of the territory through which it is proposed to build this road, and they should not attempt to build faster than the absolute requirements of the country will warrant them. Wre must not lose sight of the fact that we have an immense area of country fit for settlement that is already supplied with railways, and in which there ale yet only scanty settlements. These areas ought to be filled up before other large aieas are attempted to be opened, areas of which little is known and where settlers may be encouraged to go in only to meet with disaster. If this scheme has the result of settling up sections of this country which aie not fit for settlement, it will militate against not only that region itself but Mr. RICHARDSON.

against Canada as a whole, and will be used by our neighbours across the line to our detriment. We ought first to direct our attention to bringing in settlers for the lands already fit for settlement, instead of making dangerous experiments and bringing settlers into a country half way between here and the North Pole, a country we know practically nothing about. I hope this policy will appeal to the good sense of the government, because I give them credit with having some good sense if they would only use it, and that they will pause before plunging Canada into such an enormous expenditure on such very scanty information as they possess at present.

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William Humphrey Bennett

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. W. H. BENNETT (East Simcoe).

It is not often the House evinces such a disposition to listen to a debate, and under these circumstances I think I would be unwise not to avail myself of the opportunity presented. Perhaps even at the risk of wearying the House in the course of the next two hours, I may refer to some of the circumstances connected with this arrangement. I think the mercantile part of the community were rather startled last year when a number of gentlemen asked, as a businesslike proposition that certain rights and privileges might be granted to them, and were refused. No person expressed a great deal of astonishment when they saw appearing in the ' Canada Gazette,' the ordinary vehicle of information of that kind, a public notice that the parliament of Canada would be asked to charter a railroad upon certain terms and conditions. Now what were the -terms and conditions mentioned bv these gentlemen ? First there was the proposition that this railway be constructed in Canada, that there should be certain commencement points and certain ending points. The commencement point showed the enterprise was looked upon as a business proposition, because I think it is clear that the Grand Trunk Company and the Grand Trunk Pacific, which for the purposes of the whole matter may be treated as one, were well know to act in unison. It was a notorious fact to any person conversant with railway life in Canada that the Grand Trunk Company had a splendid equipped railway system extending over the whole province pf. Gid^T-in, in it . mi.. pni-i^nn/j jjs

western parts, and northwards as far as North -ttiyr- Therefore, when the Grand Trunk and the Grand Trunk Pacific Companies joined-forces asking that their system might be connecte3MTtNorth~T?ay and continued to the west, no one professed any surprise. But when parliament did meet, much, I have no doubt, to the consternation of the Grand Trunk Pacific people and to the disgust of the people of Canada, there were these gentlemen held up by a lot of politicians, a great many of whom had some axes to grind, and the result has been that the country is face to face with a political

rather than a businesslike proposition. It could not be expected that an enterprise like the Grand Trunk Pacific could be projected without its being generally known. SO when it became generally known that this railway was to be constructed to the city of Quebec, having its head and centre at that place which has always been noted for peculation and surrounded by a crowd who have always been known for peculation of the'funds of the province, why, Sir, it was the first intimation we had that there were a lot of political buccaneers starting out from the city of Quebec with a great enterprise on their hands, that was practically a dead horse, upon which nothing could be realized, a bridge that had to be in some way or another forced upon the ununwilling shoulders of the Grand Trunk Pacific people.

It is well known who some of the principals in that bridge were. It is well known that some gentlemen who were very close to some of the ministers were interested in that bridge and it is well known that the bridge in which some $0,000,000 had been invested, was an insolvent concern, and bid fair to become actually so unless it could be unloaded on the Grand Trunk Railway Company. When one reads the minutes of the meeting held by the Grand Trunk Railway shareholders in London one cannot help but sympathize with them in the pathetic wail that went up at the opposition which was given to their rights. What were they asking for ?-simply that they might have a charter to build from North Bay to the westward. But, they were at once held up by these buccaneers against whose action they complained so bitterly according to the printed minutes of that meeting. They diet not anticipate their opposition, but we saw at the meeting of the Railway Committee here that it was a question of holding up the directors of the Grand Trunk Railway Company and that if they did not come down there was . no prospect of their receiving what they were asking for. First, and foremost came along the contingent from the province of Quebec who were behind this so-called Trans-Canada Railway and also the contingent that was behind the bridge. These gentlemen held up the Grand Trunk people. Feeble remonstrances were made by Sir t.uarles Rivers-Wilson and Mr. Hays, but they were obliged to succumb to the brute force and to the bludgeons placed at their heads. They were forced at the point of the bayonet to consent that the railwnv should be extended from North Bay to Quebec. Whether that railway is ever to be extended or not will remain to be seen. But there cannot be a doubt about it that when the Grand Trunk directors wished their shareholders to consent to an acquiescence in the proposition now before the House, it was openly stated by the directors

that it was not in contemplation that this line should ever be built east of North Bay. When I say east of North Bay I should perhaps modify that by saying that it wtu entirely premature to suggest that the Grand Trunk Railway Company would be forced into the user or the leasing of this line fi'om the government of Canada. But, when the gentlemen interested in seeing this railway driven on to the eastward, saw the success met with by the Quebec contingent, the maritime contingent loomed up. I wish I had the exact words of the hon. member for Annapolis (Mr. Wade) who, in addressing the- House a few days ago, expressed himself in language which practically meant that when there was to be a distribution of public money as far as he and those associated with him on the other side of the House were concerned, they asked that the maritime provinces should participate in that distribution to the greatest possible extent. I remember particularly well that Sir Charles Rivers-Wilson, when the demand was made upon him that the railway should be extended from Quebec eastward, made this answer . We have no necessity, we have no desire, we have no wish to extend the road eastward owing to the fact that we have an excellent arrangement concluded with the Intercolonial Railway for an interchange of r.ny commerce that we may take eastward. Under these circumstances there is no rea*-son why we should be asked to consent to an extension of this railway. Hon. gentlemen who are members of the Railway Committee will remember then what happened. I do not know whether it was the bludgeons or the bayonets that were presented at the heads of the Grand Trunk Railway people, but we know that when the maritime province people had forced the Grand Trunk to consent to an extension of the railway farther eastward still, there, occurred, day after day, that unseemingly wrangle between the maritime Liberals from the province of New Brunswick who asked that the, eastern terminus should be St. John, and the maritime Liberals from Nova Scotia who asked that it should be Halifax. A compromise was arrived at by which it was agreed that Moncton should be the terminus with the privilege of having branch lines running both from Halifax and St. John. Now, there is the position to-day of this political railway, this railway that the right lion, premier fondly hopes is going to be handed down to posterity as his handiwork, so that he may he adjudged, some day when the history of this country comes to be written, as a nation-builder like the late Rt. Hon. Sir John A. Macdonald. Well, posterity will have to be the judge of that. I can hardly find fault with the members of the government and the right lion, gentleman who lends the government if they are anxious

by the country's money, which may make their line unprofitable-although I hope it will not do so.

That is demonstrated by the fact that when parliament met and the government announced its policy, the First Minister declared that he had seen fit not to take into his confidence the ex-Minister of Railways (Mr. Blair). The whole project had been arranged without the cognizance of his excolleague. Hon. gentlemen who were in the House last year must have heard the speech of the ex-Minister of Railways on that occasion. In the recollection of the oldest parliamentarian in Canada, I do not think there was ever such a scene enacted in this House as on that occasion. No man could possibly have spoken in a more bitter, sceptical and even insulting way than did the ex-Minister of Railways concerning this scheme of the government. Any lion, gentleman who sat in this House and watched the countenance of the First Minister could not have failed to notice the keenness of his annoyance at hearing the invective which came with such force from his ex-colleague. Yet. the ex-minister has had all he wants out of it. Instead of being turned into outer darkness, he forced the hands of the government to such an extent that, in spite of the acrimony of the language he used, despite all the insults he heaped on his former colleagues and the First Minister in particular, the First Minister was compelled to give him the fattest office in the gift of the government. Although the position is one which will be most trying, because of the conflicts there will" be between the railway interests and the interests of the public, yet the government have placed in that position an lion, gentleman whom the hon. member for North Norfolk (Mr. Charlton), speaking as the mouthpiece of the government denounced as practically a dishonest man. Did not the hon. member for North Norfolk last year say openly and above board that the paramount reason why ihe ex-Minister of Railways could not see eye to eye with the government was because he was not going to have the giving of the contracts on the road, thus insinuating that had Mr. Blair been permitted to handle the contracts, there would have been dishonesty on his part. Yet this same Air. Blair is to-day in a position where he has to hold the scales of justice between the public and the immense corporations.

Again this government had to confess its inability to deal with the transportation question. It has said openly and above board that it is incapable of dealing with that question. A year ago the First Minister declared that the government, feeling their inability to clenl with the trnnsportci-lion question, found it absolutely necessary to call in certain gentlemen and report to parliament. They announced that they intended to call into their assistance a board of experts who would formulate a transpor- 1 Mr. BENNETT.

tation policy. I do not think it was any too soon for them to do it when one looks upon the huge expenditure made on the canal system. But before this board of experts could report and while the ex-AIinister of Railways was announcing to the government the cause of its inability to deal with the question as they should, what did we see ? The government took everything out of the hands of this board of experts and these three gentlemen are peddling about the country asking information here and there, not on great questions of transportation from one side of the continent to the other, but pertaining more particularly to local affairs. In the meantime this government was plunging the country into certain large expenditures, which will be rendered practically inoperative if their present scheme be carried through. I am sorry the Alinis-ter of Railways is not in his place to-night because we might get some information from him as to what the government propose doing with certain public works when completed. For instance, we are having a huge expenditure^ at Port Colborne at the entrance to the Welland canal. How many millions of dollars are to be expended there the Lord only knows, It has been stated in this House that $5,000,000 are to be expended, and we are to have not only the grain of western Canada but of the western states also carried that way. What proposition was advanced by the government when asking us to vote $5,000,000 for that harbour ?

I think the hon. the Minister of Finance was acting as Minister of Public Works and he will remember that $5,000,000 was anticipated for the expenditure at Port Colborne.

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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Air. FIELDING.

Anticipation on whose part ?

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CON
LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Air. FIELDING.

I think there is no warrant for that.

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CON
LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Air. FIELDING.

The government did not commit themselves to any such sum.

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CON

William Humphrey Bennett

Conservative (1867-1942)

Air. BENNETT.

What has been the expenditure already at Port Colborne ?

Topic:   GRAND TRUNK PACIFIC RAILWAY.
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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Air. FIELDING.

I have not the figures,, but they were nothing like that.

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CON

William Humphrey Bennett

Conservative (1867-1942)

Air. BENNETT.

I have not ' Hansard ' just now under my hand, but I may refresh the hon. gentleman's recollection. When the hon. member for St. Marys (Air. Tarte) was Minister of Public Works, one evening there appeared on the table a very large plan, which was not objected to by any other member of the government. And the proposition was this. First the depth of water at Port Colborne was inadequate, and huge breakwaters were to be placed at that point. After these breakwaters were erected, on

the outside edge, ingress would be then gained to the inside harbour. Then solid docks were to be constructed by the government, and it was expected that private enterprise would in due course erect large elevators on these docks. It was understood that certain capitalists were to invest their money in that business. To-day there is a company formed, of whicli the hon. member for West York (Mr. Campbell) is .a member, and which has in contemplation. according to the prospectus of the company, the construction of elevators. If the hon. member for West York were here, perhaps he could enlighten us as to how much stock was sold in that company and what it has done.

The hon. the Minister of Finance and other members, of the cabinet know that .$2,000.000 has been expended at Port Col-borne ; and if the hon. member for Welland (Mr. German) were here. I think he would back up my statement that double $2,000.000 has been openly spoken of as the amount to be expended at that point. I am not going to argue that it was unreasonable. It was pointed out that every year Canadians have the mortification of seeing fifteen or twenty millions of bushels of grain from the Northwest going through Buffalo and passing on to New York, or other Allantic ports. Port Colborne being an exposed harbour and not a deep water harbour, the large carriers could not get in there. The government said that if the harbour were deepened, if break-waters were provided, and docks constructed on the inside, capital would be forthcoming, as companies, -or at least one-had already been organized for the purpose, to build elevators. The great freighters on the lakes carrying 250,000, or may be. 300.000 bushels, instead of passing on to Buffalo, would wheel into Port Colborne. There the grain could be placed in elevators and then loaded into carriers with a capacity of, say 60,000 bushels, and sent to Montreal or Quebec. Perhaps, when the question of the expenditure for Port Colborne comes up in the House, it will be found that a very large amount has been spent there. But if the style of transportation contemplated in this Bill is to supersede others, it means that .you have practically thrown into the lake, the millions spent at Port Colborne, and the money might have been used to reduce the public debt instead of increasing it, as it has been increased for years past ? I am not sure the government were not right in regard to Port Colborne. I am not sure but that, had they followed out some of the measures promoted by the ex-Minister of Public Works (Mr. Tarte) it would have been better in the interests of the whole country. What is the reason they did not go on with these prospects of the ex-Minister of Public Works ? It was a notorious fact that the principal opposition came from the ministers and members from Ontario. And

why ? Because it was anticipated that if the channel were extended from the mouth of the French River through to North Bay, grain would be conveyed to North Bay and would there be transferred to the cars of the Canadian Pacific Railway and would be carried to Montreal or some other point. And so it was a notorious fact, that one or the reasons for that not going on was the opposition of Ontario members and ministers and of the Grand Trunk Railway to the Canadian Pacific Railway interest. When the ex-Minister of Public Works was stopped in that respect, what next proposition was enunciated by him ? It was one that, if carried out, would have been of great advantage to the country. I think it was in the fall of 1902, that it was openly announced in the public press, that the president of the Grand Trunk and the president of the Canadian Pacific Railway had come to an arrangement by which the companies were to unite on the basis of what would give the great west, and even some parts of the western states great advantages in the matter of transportation. What was that policy ? It was to give running rights over the Midland division of the Grand Trunk from Midland to Port Hope and on to the main line of the Canadian Pacific Railway. What would have been the result? By an expenditure of money which would have been made by the Grand Trunk Company themselves, this line would have been placed in a most favourable position. The Canadian Pacific Railway people would have brought their grain to Midland and shipped it over this line, which, by being doubletracked. and having the gradients and curves taken out, would have been so improved that fifty cars could be hauled by a single locomotive. It could have offered effective competition on favourable terms to lines between Buffalo, New York and other points on the sea-hoard. But. for some reason, that plan was not carried out. It was a plan that would have been better for the western people and the people of Canada as a whole, a business proposition that would have been on all fours with the plan now carried out as between the Canadian Pacific and the Grand Trunk, over the line between Toronto and Hamilton. What happened in that case ? The Grand Trunk had a line between these two points. The Canadian Pacific Railway wished to reach Hamilton, in order to go westward to the bridge and make an American connection. When the Grand Trunk saw that the Canadian Pacific were going to parallel their line, they agreed to an arrangement by which both lines were to run over the Grand Trunk track. And so that line is run without competition, and on a paying basis to both companies. And so the Grand Trunk and the Canadian Pacific Railway would have made a common ground of the Midland division. They could have taken care ot all the grain that could be brought to

them front the head of the lakjes and transported in their own cars to Montreal, Halifax or St. John. At the same time the Grand Trunk would not have had the same spcwer that they are asking for to-day. Had parliament allowed them to build a line l'rosn Winnipeg, they could have built or 'Secured running rights to the head of Lake Superior, and the people would have the advantage of the Canadian Pacific, the Grand Trunk, and the Mackenzie and Mann roads In competition, and practically it would not have cost the country a dollar. But that is a position that the gentlemen behind the Grand Trunk Pacific did not want. Why ? Because it meant nothing in the way ol railway construction. The Grand Trunk Hallway Company would have taken in charge,* itself, the work of betterment on Its Midland division. There would have been no construction between the head of Lake Superior and Winnipeg. Then, they would have done what Mackenzie and Mane did, build over the prairie country without having anything from the government in money or in land. But there was nothing in that for the exploiter or grafter, nothing in it for the hungry railway contractor.

So we find looming up this proposition of Senator Cox and Senator Gibson and these other gentlemen. When the Grand Trunk people, Mr. Hayes and other gentlemen, saw they could not get a railway from North Bay westward they were driven into this alliance against which their own stockholders in the old country remonstrated, and they had to assure their stockholders in the old country that it was only a myth, something that would never be carried into effect. I am here to say now that in the light of the past, in view of the fact that water carriage transportation has been a success, if this road is ever built-and I am going to take the assurance of the Grand Trunk directors to their stockholders that practically it never will be built-if it ever is built, there would hardly be a bushel of grain carried over it. We will accept the statement of the Minister of the Interior that the bulk of the grain that is to be carried out of the Northwest will be carried over a mixed system of land and water transportation. Now in face of the fact that that grain is to be carried out of the Northwest by lines to the head of Lake Superior and there to come down by water in boats either to the Georgian Bay ports or Lake Huron ports, to be carried thence through the Welland canal on to Montreal, what is the sense, for what reason are the government embarking in such a gigantic enterprise as the expenditure of all these millions ?

One thing is certain, that the government hope that this is going to tide them over the election. They are going into a fight which is announced for this year on the same principles that they fought the Remedial Bill in 1896. In the province of Quebec they gave the assurance that they were go-Mr. BENNETT.

ing to have a very strong Remedial Bill, a much stronger than the other administration could give ; and in the province of Quebec it will be announced that this railway is going to be built beyond a doubt. In the province of Ontario it was announced that there would be no Remedial Bill ; and so in the province of Ontario it will be announced next fall that there is to be no construction of this line beyond a point north of North Bay. That will be the policy adopted. In confirmation of that statement all the Liberal candidates in Ontario will point out that' not a single cabinet minister from Ontario has had the temerity to rise in this House and advocate it. Of course it would not be expected that the Minister of Customs would rise, because the Minister of Customs went through two campaigns lately in the province of Ontario. He went into the riding of East Bruce and expounded to the people the benefits of this Grand Trunk Pacific. He got an answer there not to his liking. Then the Minister of Customs went into the riding of Lambton and endeavoured to justify the attitude of the government. Well, the answer he obtained there was equally distasteful to the Minister of Customs. and equally distasteful to the government. So my word for it, when the general campaign comes on in the province of Ontario every Liberal candidate will be announcing on every occasion that this railway is never going to be built any further than a point north of North Bay, and in justification of their statement they will say : did not you read the debates in the House ? While it went on the Postmaster General was as mute and immovable as a sphinx. The Minister of Customs never opened his mouth ; the Minister of Public Works was never heard from, and the Minister of Trade and Commerce never uttered a sentence or a syllable that would possibly tie him down in defence of this proposition. If they go a little further they will advance the argument the Postmaster General made the other day when he was confronted with some of his past utterances, that no government was bound by the utterance of any one member of it, that no cabinet could be bound by the utterances of any individual member. While on the one hand you see in the province of Ontario, at public meetings and on public hustings, the statement' of the premier that this road is to be built through to the maritime provinces, these gentlemen will point to the fact that none of the ministers from Ontario ever advocated that proposition. The people will be told, too : If this government is sustained the Ontario ministers, when they go down to Ottawa, will assert themselves and will see that the line is not built any further than a point north of North Bay.

The other night, in closing the debate, the Premier made a little bid for his own support. I imagine that some of the ministers

from Ontario must have remonstrated with him, I imagine some of the members from Ontario must have remonstrated with him, those of them who have not received the promise of government positions, because I do not think many of the present crowd intend to make the fight again ; I expect these gentlemen must have appealed to the Prime Minister and said to him : Can't you offer

a little grain of comfort in your speech that we can show to the people of Ontario. What did the Premier give them ? I have not the page here to refer to at present, but the right hon. gentleman will remember that the grain of comfort he gave them was in pointing to the fact that there was not a town, or a village, scarcely a hamlet in the province of Ontario, that was not invaded by the Grand Trunk Railway Company ; that the Grand Trunk's ramifications in Ontario were so extensive that there was not a manufacturing enterprise in any town, or city, or village in that province that would rot be benefited by the construction of this Grand Trunk Pacific. See what it would do to build up these manufacturing interests, because they would be enabled to ship their merchandise by the Grand Trunk Pacific into Manitoba and the Northwest. Now I am going to ask any business man or any man of common sense to apply his reasoning to such a statement as that. Is it to be expected that the Grand Trunk Pacific are going to carry grain from the west through to Moncton and on to Halifax and St. John and bring their empty cars back to North Bay, then bring their empty cars from North Bay down to Galt, for instance, and load them with merchandise to take up to North Bay and on to the west ? Why, on the very face of it is a preposterous absurdity. But what the Grand Trunk Pacific people intend to do is this : They propose, in the summer months, to carry their grain to the head of the lakes, and a certain amount of grain may be carried to North Bay. These cars will come down from North Bay and distribute that grain through the province of Ontario to the local millers, and after that, the cars having been emptied, they may be loaded up with merchandise for tiie Northwest. But no man with common sense can imagine that loaded cars are to be carried from the far west to the far east and to be brought back again to a point two or three hundred miles north of North Bay, that then they are to be brought down empty to North Bay and then to the towns and cities of Ontario to be loaded with merchandise. On the very face of it is an absurdity that no man would entertain for a moment. Therefore the Liberal candidates in that province will say : Don't you see ? We are not going to build this road any further than a point north of North Bay, because not only is no minister from the province of Ontario on record ns in favour of it, but there were moreover a couple of by-elections in the province of Ontario a short time ago, and (ITS

you could not get a minister from Ontario to take part in them except the pack horse of this government. The unfortunate Minister of Customs is made the pack horse of the party in the province of Ontario, and I do .lot say that in a disparaging manner because a pack horse serves a very good purpose. A great many hon. gentlemen must have accustomed themselves to the kindly services of the pack horse. There were miners, very bold and courageous, willing to do all that they were asked to do, but they could not do it ail. and the pack horse was pressed into the service. However, in the province of Ontario, the right hon. leader of the government is unhappy in the possession of a lot of ministers who are not to be found when the by-elections come along and unfortunately when they do come along the hon. Minister of Customs has to be the pack horse of the party. Where was the hon. Postmaster General (Sir Wm. Mulock), when these by-elections were going on in the province of Ontario? He cannot be found on record as having said one word in reference to this Grand Trunk Pacific Railway. He knew that that would be a burning question there. He knew that that would be an important subject and a subject that the farmers would like to hear from him upon, and why should they not well ask to hear from that hon. gentleman upon that subject, because it involved an expenditure of millions when, in the past, he was solicitous for a few thousands of dollars? Did not the hon. Postmaster General assure the farmers of this country that he was an economist? Did not he tell them about the expenditures that went on at Rideau Hall, about how the public funds were dissipated, about how the Governor General was paid $50,000 a year, and as a proof of the honesty of his intentions, did he not move a resolution in this House that the salary of the Governor General should be reduced to $30,000? Well, he has had an opportunity of carrying that out as a member of the government, but be has not done it. But, the farmers of Ontario, hearing these statements from the hon. Postmaster General, naturally expected, that, when it came to an expenditure of $150,000,000, the hon. gentleman would be heard from on the subject. But, the hon. gentleman has not gone into that province to denounce this Grand Trunk Pacific scheme, and I assume that when it does come up for discussion in that province, if the hon. gentleman feels that he can move out of the riding of North York for a day or two, he may go into some of the ridings. I think he will tell the people in these ridings that there is the report of the Grand Trunk directors, whose meeting was held in London, and that they were assured solemnly that the building of this line eastward from North Bay was premature and that it would not go on. The hon. Minister of Public Works (Mr. Sutherland), had an opportunity to go into these

ridings and place himself on record, but he did not do it. Neither did the right hon. Minister of Trade and Commerce.

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CON

William Humphrey Bennett

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT.

The hon. Minister of Justice does not belong to the province of Ontario, and he was not called to go into that province. I did not see the hon. Secretary of State invading either of these ridings on this occasion. So, we find that these members of the government from the province of Ontario have barricaded themselves and placed these great strongholds about themselves so that when the general election conies on in the province of Ontario they will be able to go there and say: We said nothing in favour of the

extension of this railway beyond North Bay at all. Don't you see what it is going to do for Ontario ? We got a little pointer in this regard in the city of Toronto the other day. because this line is to be bonused liberally by the local government and the province of Ontario is to prove the great milch cow. The hon. Mr. Ross is bon using these lines very liberally connecting with this system, and he tried to justify his position in the local legislature the other day. He said that the Grand Trunk Railway is practically and pre-eminently an Ontario system. He said: Look at what we are

going to do for the great province of Ontario. In the first place we are going to build up Ontario. There has been a great cry always for Mr. Ross to build up Ontario. Are we not, he asked, going to build up all the lake ports of Ontario? Experience proves, and time will justify the belief that the real carrying trade of the west has to come to the head of Lake Superior and from the head of Lake Superior it has to come down the great lakes to different points on the Georgian Bay and Lake Huron. That will be a great line for these hon. gentlemen opposite to exploit. Take for instance, the hon. member for West Huron (Mr. Holmes). The hon. member for West Huron will go into his constituency this fall and say: It

is true that this railway is going to cost a lot of money, but you must not believe the story about $150,000,000. It may cost $150,000,000 if the road is built clean through to Moncton. But, do not let any man run away with the idea that it is going to be built to Moncton. It is expected that the great bulk of the grain is going to be carried by vessel from the head of Lake Superior. Then he will say: Do you not see what the result will be? We, here, are on the line of commerce. Goderich can be built up and will become a great place. We have the promise of hundreds of thousands of dollars from this government to be spent in im-jn'oving our harbour. As soon as this Grand Trunk Pacific Railway is built you will see millions and millions of bushels Mr. BENNETT.

of grain coming into Goderich. Do not believe the story that there is ever going to be a bushel of grain going through by rail. That is simply a myth. Then the hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy), will go to the people of Collingwood and assure them that it is an absurdity to believe that there is ever going to be a bushel of grain carried down to the east by rail. In confirmation of that he will instance the statement of the hon. Minister of the Interior (Mr. Sifton), that all the grain of. the Northwest Territories will be water-borne, and then he will point to the fact that the harbour of Collingwood is to have a few more hundreds of thousands of dollars spent upon it to deepen it. Then they will come to Midland. Probably the hon. Postmaster General will come back there. He had an experience there which did not prove very pleasant to him. I hope the hon. gentleman will come back to Midland and make one of those promising speeches of his. What is the promise that will be made there? Don't you see, as the hon. Minister of the Interior has said, that not a bushel of grain is ever going down over this railway system? It is the height of folly to say that this grain will be rail-borne. It is going to be water-borne and borne by the way of Midland. Do not run away with the story that they are repeating in Nova Scotia. New Brunswick and Quebec about the carrying of grain down there by rail. They never intend to do it. And so through every part of the province of Ontario the representation will be made that they are going to bring this grain down from the Northwest by the water route. Then, the hon. member for Essex (Mr. Cowan), will make the same appeal to the people of his constituency. I suppose the hon. member for Kent (Mr. Stephens), 'will make the discovery that by dredging the river Thames they will be able to bring down these boats from the head of Lake Superior and that these boats will be taken up this river. Every hon. gentleman in the province of Ontario will be going through his constituency with the assurance that they are going to build up every port of Ontario. What is to be said in the other provinces? They will have the statement of the right hon. .Prime Minister that this line is going to go through to the maritime provinces. On the face of it the whole thing is a government political railway, backed up by government friends, and the essence of the agreement as to the Jetting of contracts shows conclusively that there is a great scheme of graft at the public expense in this arrangement.

I really feel flattered to know that there are so many ministers present while I am addressing the House, for it is seldom that such a compliment is paid to one of us. Why, there are more ministers here to-night than when the hon. the leader of the oppo-

sition spoke, and I hope be will not be jeal ons of me in that regard. Surely it must be that tbe ministers are getting anxious. The Minister of Agriculture, the Minister of Inland Revenue and the Minister of Justice are here from Quebec. Do they fear that, owing to the strong arguments that we are advancing, the First Minister is weakening, and that he is going to throw up the whole scheme ? Are the maritime ministers here to see that the Prime Minister retains his backbone ? Are the Ontario ministers here to hope that our persuasion on the Prime Minister may prevail ? Any way, I cannot believe that the government is serious in their intention to carry out this project, be cause, judging from the experience of the past, it is bound to be a failure. Last yea: grain was carried from the head of the lakes to Montreal and Quebec for three cents a bushel, and how does the First Minister imagine that his transcontinental railway can compete with that ? The Minister of Justice admitted that vessels carried grain from the head of Lake Superior to Montreal and Quebec for three cents per bushel apd that they returned with cargoes of pulp-wood, but he said that was exceptional and that the vessels lost money. My information is that these boats earned good incomes for their owners and that next year more of them will be engaged in that trade. Does the Minister of Justice think that the pulp-wood of Quebec is so inferior that no more of it will be used by the manufacturers at Niagara Falls ? I regret that he will not answer my question in the negative, because it may be assumed that the pulp-wood of Quebec is of inferior quality. May I ask the member for Shefford (Mr. Parmelee), who is entering the chamber, if the pulp-wood of Quebec is of an inferior quality ?

Topic:   GRAND TRUNK PACIFIC RAILWAY.
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April 26, 1904