May 2, 1904


Mr. KAULBACH-by Mr. Bell-asked : 1. Who was the designer of the lightship Lurcher, now stationed on the Lurcher shoal, Bay of Fundy ? 2. Has the government had another lightship built on the same model as the Lurcher ? 3. If so, where is she to be stationed ?


LIB

Charles Smith Hyman (Minister Without Portfolio)

Liberal

Hon. CHAS. S. HYMAN.

In the absence of the Minister of Marine and Fisheries, I beg to answer :

1. The engineers of the United States Lighthouse Board. We adopted their latest design, considering that their great experience in operating lightships on the Atlantic coast would ensure the best design extant.

2. Yes.

3. Off the east end of Anticosti.

Topic:   LIGHTSHIP LURCHER.
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ROSS RIFLE FACTORY.

?

Mr. BELL asked :

1. Has Sir Charles Ross, or the Ross Rifle Factory Company, or any person on behalf of either of them, applied for more land on the Cove Fields at Quebec ?

2. If so, how much more, and in what direction ?

3. Has the government granted such application ?

4. If not, has the government the intention of granting said application ?

Topic:   ROSS RIFLE FACTORY.
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LIB

Hon. SIR FREDERICK BORDEN (Minister of Militia and Defence) : (Minister of Militia and Defence)

Liberal

1. Yes.

2. A portion of the plateau lying to the north of the rifle factory.

3. No.

4. Under consideration.

Topic:   ROSS RIFLE FACTORY.
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GRAND TRUNK PACIFIC RAILWAY.


House in Committee on Bill (No. 72) to amend the National Transcontinental Railway Act.-Sir Wilfrid Laurier. On section 4, of the schedule, 4. The Grand Trunk Company may enter into an agreement or agreements with His Majesty respecting the guarantee of the second-mortgage bonds of the Pacific Company, to be issued pursuant to the provisions of the scheduled agreements, and also respecting any other matter or thing which the directors deem necessary or expedient for the purpose of carrying into effect the scheduled agreements.


CON

Haughton Lennox

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LENNON.

expense on the country would be, by reason of the amendment in clause 4 of the agreement, and the other clauses which are connected with it ; nor had he made any calculation as to the amount of our increased liability by reason of these amendments. In fact as the matter developed from stage to stage we extracted from the Minister of Finance the admission that no calculation whatever had been made by him as to the expenditure that was involved by reason of these amendments, or as to the increased guarantee that would be undertaken by reason of the changes. I understand that the Minister of Finance was not only speaking for himself, but he was speaking for the ministry, and we therefore have it admitted that the government made these alterations without having gone into any calculations as to the additional amount we would be compelled to pay for interest, or as to the extent of the increase of the guarantee that the country has undertaken. I am prepared to anticipate, in fact it is quite plain, that the government has been to a large extent going it blind in this matter. The only conclusion to be derived from what has been said ; beginning with the Prime Minister ; following through the speech of the Minister of the Interior ; taking up the speech of the member for Annapolis (Mr. Wade) who was put forward in place of the Minister of Railways and Canals, and judging by the statements made by the Minister of Finance, who spoke briefly once or twice ; the conclusion we must arrive at is, that these gentlemen thought that these alterations would only involve a nominal increase of liability, and an infinitesimally small increase in the payment of interest account. In order that I may not be unfair to any of these hon. gentlemen, I will refer to what they have said. In revised Hansard, at column 799, the Minister of the Interior says :

My hon. friend spoke briefly of the change in the contract respecting the removal of the limit of cost upon the mountain section of the railway and upon the alteration in the remedy which is provided in case of default.

The section which the hon. minister is there referring to is, in the first place, the section which we are now dealing with, and, in the next place, the section with regard to our taking possession of the railway or allowing an accumulation of five years' interest before we take possession. In this connection I may say that clauses 4 and 5 of the agreement are to be read together, that is, the clause which deals with the removal of the limit to our guarantee, changing it from a fixed limit of $30,000 a mile to an absolute guarantee of 75 per cent of the cost, and the clause dealing with the implementing of the bonds in order to make them produce their actual face value. There is also clause 1 of the supplemental agreement, which deals with the extension of time. It will be found, Mr. LENNOX.

on investigating-the government have not found it out yet, because they have not investigated-what increase the government has to pay, and what increased liability the country is incurring, that you have to take these three clauses together. If you take clause 1 alone, it is harmless so far as interest and liability are concerned; if you take clause 4 alone, it is pretty serious, but not so serious ; but it is when you take them all in combination, as a trinity, if I may so express it, that the disaster to the country is worked out. It is a kind of machine-and we are getting the machine introduced into politics more and more from time to time. The hon. gentleman to whom I have been referring, after speaking of the alteration in the section, and referring to the shareholders of the Grand Trunk Railway Company, says :

We are prepared to meet these gentlemen, who for their part are afraid, and show our confidence by releasing the old provisions and inserting provisions which can only come into effect in ease of default, which we do not anticipate.

What does this show ? It shows just this, so far as the Minister of the Interior is concerned-and he cuts a pretty wide swath in this matter, I imagine-that he has never put his pencil to paper to ascertain what the cost of this is. If he is speaking candidly, and giving honest information to this House-and I would not assume that he is doing otherwise-he does not anticipate that these payments provided for in this supplemental agreement will cost the country anything. Now, I am not going to quibble-it might be called quibbling by hon. gentlemen opposite, who are accustomed to use that word-by saying that it is the duty of the right hon. gentleman who leads this House, when he hears a supporter of his make a definite and distinct statement, to contradict it if it is wrong. The position the right hon. gentleman may take in that regard must be a matter for his own consideration. It may be said perhaps with a good deal of reason, that when the government puts up a private member of the House as almost the only exponent of the position of the government, and when that gentleman upon a vital matter makes a mis-statement-I will assume an unintentional mis-statement-it would be the duty of the government not to let it pass unchallenged. Be that as it may, that is not the position which the government took in regard to the hon. member for Annapolis (Mr. Wade) when he made a statement, sustaining to the last degree the position which I take against the government today, namely, that they went into this matter of changing and recasting this agreement with the Grand Trunk Railway Company without making any calculation whatever on either of these two points-either

for the purpose of ascertaining how far our liability was increased, how much larger a guarantee of bonds we would have to enter into, or how much more cash we would have to pay by way of interest. This is what the hon. member for Annapolis (Mr. Wade) says on this point :

Under these circumstances the promoters came back to the government and asked for a modification of the agreement. The government is in this position : either the whole scheme must fall through or the concessions would have to be made which have been agreed to. With regard to these concessions, X wish at once to place myself on record as saying that the agreement as amended will not cost the Dominion government one extra dollar.

. Now, if language means anything, that is about as definite as it could be made. If repetition makes it any stronger, the hon. gentleman repeated :

It will relieve the situation, so far as the railway company is concerned.

That is true. I will show that it relieves them to a very large amount. I have made a calculation if the government has not :

It will relieve the situation so far as the railway company is concerned. It will enable the company to finance the project, but will not impose an extra dollar on the people of Canada.

Now, I said that I would not urge the point as to whether it was the duty of the premier to correct a mis-statement of that kind. That the leader of the government would be expected to know what the truth was, anybody will admit; but I leave it just in that position, so far as the hon. member for Annapolis is concerned, emphasizing this point, however, that he was put up as the special exponent of the government in this connection, in place of the hon. member for North Norfolk (Mr. Charlton), the railway expert, who would give us all the information we required-and we certainly have not got very much from the right hon. gentleman who leads the government or from the Minister of the Interior. I will also refer to what the right hon. leader of the government himself says upon the question. The point I am endeavouring to make plain is this, that aside from the Finance Minister, not one member of the cabinet has thought it worth his while to go into the question of how much extra interest we will have to pay by reason of these alterations in the contract, or how much our increased liability will be. Like the ostrich, they prefer to hide their heads in the sand and not look at the statistics. They may have anticipated that if they investigated the result would be very disappointing, but the fact remains that not a member of the government, and as far as we know not one of their supporters, has calculated what difference these changes will make either in the matter of interest or of liability. The right hon. gentleman said, speaking of clauses 4 and 5 :

These are important sections. We undertake also to implement the proceeds of the sales of bonds so as to make the amount actually going into the construction, 75 per cent of the cost of construction. This is to be done on conditions to be further agreed on between the government and the company If the market

should continue as it is, and the bonds have to be sold at a heavy discount, the government will have to advance a little more in order to make up the difference between the face value and the price realized.

It is evident that the right hon. gentleman who leads the government knew nothing whatever as to what this change was going to effect. He says he is not a business man, and has given additional proof of it by showing that he has not even considered how this matter of implementing is to be carried out. He does not know that the most suicidal policy which the government could adopt, even more suicidal than anything it has yet perpetrated, would be to'adopt his suggestion, and advance sufficient to make up the difference between the face value and the price realized. In other words, if this should amount to a difference of $1,000,000, or $2,000,000, instead of issuing bonds to a larger amount and paying interest on them for seven ears, and then have the company assume the bonds and the country be liable merely for our guarantee, we will pay out that $2,000,000 hard cash and will have no recourse for that money. We have been told by the Minister of Finance that he knows nothing as to what that deficit would amount to, and I would again call attention to the position of the Minister of Railways. From day to day we have the Minister of Railways flitting in and out- principally out-without venturing to say a single word on this great transcontinental scheme. In the old days, if a minister of the Crown had signed his name to a contract and then refused to stand up in the House and take the responsibility for everything in that agreement, he might possibly find himself charged with treason. But I suppose we ought to congratulate ourselves on the fact that while the hon. gentleman keeps clear of the question before us, he occasionally makes himself heard on minor questions. The government are giving an extraordinary exhibition of incapacity by refusing to give an estimate showing what this change is going to cost the country, either in interest and increased liability. It seems impossible to arouse the ministers out of the somnolence into which they have fallen. Let me draw their attention to the fact that they have been completely outwitted * by the railway magnates, particularly by Mr. Hays and Sir Charles Rivers-Wilson. This little extension of time, which may be a harmless thing in itself, is of very great con-

23S4

sequence, when we get the whole machinery into motion. It is ' the combination ' that forms the patentable device. Once you get the different parts in combination, as they say in the patent laws, then you have the real thing which is going to put the screws on this country and grind out for the Grand Trunk Railway an additional million dollars or two. Let me illustrate. Take the contract as it was originally, for five years. That would involve the payment of interest for probably two and a half years at three per cent. The official magnates who control the Grand Trunk Railway have told us that the cost of the mountain section will be $50,000 per mile. Three per cent for two and a half years or seven and a half per cent on $50,000 makes $3,750 per mile, or a total mileage rate of $53,750. 500 miles of mountain railway at $53,750 gives $20,875,000. Now we begin to feel the implementing section. To realize this amount, we will have to issue bonds to the extent of $29,861,112. Although we have done that, if there was not this combination of provisions, there is no great harm, so far as the money is concerned, done to Canada. Why ? Because in that event though it costs to build the railway $29,861,112, yet under the clause in the original contract, which provides that Canada is only to pay $30,000 per mile in the extreme, all we would have to pay would be $30,000 per mile and the company would have to pay the balance, $14,861,112. Under the old contract the utmost liability that the country assumed would be $15,000,000 and the utmost amount that we would have to pay for interest, assuming it to be at three per cent, would be $3,150,000.

Now, if, for the purpose of understanding this thoroughly I refer to what it will cost upon the construction period of eight years, it will be found also that the extension of time alone is not what is fatal to the country. With eight years as the period of construction, the cost will be $56,000 a mile, or a total of $28,000,000. To implement that will require $31,111,112. If we had only the extension of time and no other change, Canada would still be protected by the limited guarantee in the old agreement, and, notwithstanding that the figures had increased by the prolonged construction, Canada would still have to guarantee only $15,000,000, and the company would have to provide $16,111,112, a slightly larger sum than the country would have to provide. The interest which we would have to pay would not be increased.

It is then when you come to the increase of guarantee, that the machine begins to operate, as I have said, and it hardly operates in the way my right lion, friend (Sir Wilfrid Laur.ied) says when he tells us that the cost to the country will be ' infinitesimally small sum '-a big word for a very small subject. Now let me say before I deal with the figures here-and

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CON

Haughton Lennox

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LENNOX.

I will make it good-that this little innocent extension, aside from all other questions of interest involved, costs this country $300,000 at least in cash paid out; not a question of * liability,' but extra cash outlay. But, when I say that the extension of time aside from these other clauses will not be injurious to the country as matter of money or direct payment, I do not for a moment want to be understood as allowing it to be inferred that it is unimportant as regards the conditions of things in the west. The extension of time is very important in that regard. The extension of time, they say, they gave for the convenience of the company. I see the company did not urge this at all, but merely suggested that perhaps five years was too short a time. It has an important bearing, for in addition to denying the people in the west the facilities that were promised by the government last session it increases the total cost of the construction of the railway. Whenever a railway is begun, interest begins. You have to provide for interest for, perhaps, half the period of construction. Instead of supplying the interest for two and a half years, you have to provide for four years. It increases the total cost of construction ; and just in proportion as you increase the cost of construction you make it necessary that the railway shall charge higher rates for the transport of the people's goods. And so, the government, in addition to all other things, have put an additional burden upon the people of the west and the people of this whole country by this simple extension of time. There is no use of arguing for a moment that this will not be the effect. When it comes before the Railway Commission, or any other authority it is the total amount that the railway costs to construct including interest, that is going to be the measure of its tariff of rates.

Now, let me refer to what it costs when we construct during a period of five years. Leave out of consideration the extension of time, but give the company the benefit of the implementing clause, which provides that we shall guarantee the bonds to realize the amount desired, and give them also the privilege of a guarantee not limited to $30,000 a mile, but an absolute guarantee of seventy-five per cent of the cost without limiting the cost. Taking these elements alone, and leaving out of account,* for the moment, the question of the extension of time, I wish to show what the expenses will be. And I do this with one principal object-to show what I will venture to say the government did not anticipate, and what I will challenge the government to admit they did anticipate, namely, that when we granted this extension of time we paid the company for accepting it. I say I challenge the government if they dare to take the other horn of the dilemma and say that they did anticipate it. Now, let us see how it works out, assuming that the road is 500

miles long and that the period of construction is five years ; five hundred miles of railway, at $53,750 a mile will cost $20,875,000. Of this, Canada guarantees 75 per cent, or $20,156,250. To produce this sum with bonds at three per cent, selling at 90-and nobody, so far as I kno.w has suggested that better than that will be done-will require an issue of $22,395,834. Now I will ask the government if, before they made this change -this trifling change as they call it-in the contract of last year, and God knows everybody thought that was bad enough, they realized the difference that the change would make. Under the old contract, at the utmost we were called upon to guarantee say $15,000,000. The government will not take that back. They proclaimed it from the housetops last year.

They cannot take it back ; $15,000,000

was the utmost of our guarantee last year lo-day we guarantee $22,393,834, or just $i,395.834 more, without the extension of time, to which I will come later on. We do more than that ; we increase our guarantee by $7,500,000 or 50 per cent on the original amount of $15,000,000, but yet the right hon. gentleman (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) is so content with the condition of things-or is densely oblivious to his position. I don't know which-that he announces it as just a trifling change, nothing of any importance. In fact he said : the changes are so extremely moderate that I shall be surprised if any hon gentleman on the other side takes objection to them, although they are so fond of taking objection that possibly they may. As the right hon. gentleman often says : that is not all.

We have the question of interest. The interest on this $22,000,000 odd for seven years as 3 per cent amounts to $4,603,123. The total interest as I have stated, which we were to pay under the former contract [DOT] was $3,150,000. so that by the mere alteration of the guarantee, removing the limit and implementing the bonds, we have' a net increase of $1,453,225 or, in round numbers. $1,500,000 of increased interest to pay. But that is not all, not by a great deal. We have now to provide for the extension of time, and I said a moment ago, and I will prove, that when the government made this change they did not know that it would involve an additional cost to us in round numbers of $300,000, to get the company to accept this extension of time. $300,000 is not a large amount ; it is a small amount, but it is enough to show that we had a government which either did not know or did not care what they were doing. No government with any regard for the interests of the people would knowingly have made such an arrangement. When these people sought an extension, a careful government would have said : You will be putting upon us an

increased burden of $300,000, and you must provide for that at all events, because 76

it will be rank robbery-that is what 1 think a careful government would say, and 1 could not contradict them if they said it- it will he rank robbery of the people if this country to enter into this arrangement alal not provide for this. Now what is the fact-and it will be for the Minister if Finance (Mr. Fielding) when he gets time, or for the Minister of Railways and Canals (Mr. Emmerson) when he wakes up or gets permission, to show us if they can, that these figures and substantially incorrect. In the meantime 1 regard it as the duty of every n ember, whether he be a cabinet minister or otherwise to go into this matter at once and ascertain to the best of his ability, what will be the increase in liability by reason of these changes. Here are figures -it may be a little tiresome to hon. gentlemen opposite to hear them, but I am going to have them down on ' Hansard ' so they will confront lion, gentlemen in years to come, when they are sitting on this side. Then we will be able to remind them of just what we tell them now, and I fear that our figures will be verified by costly facts within a very few years.

Five hundred miles of mountain section a t $56,000 a mile will cost $28,000,000. Can-fida will guarantee 75 per cent or $21,000,000. If 3 per cent bonds sell at 90, that will require $23,333,334. Under the contract of 1903, the utmost amount that we were called upon to guarantee was $15,000,000. The increase with this little innocent extension, mounts up by $8,333,334 or more than 50 per cent of the amount of the guarantee in the original proposition submitted to parliament a year ago. ' A mere trifle' says the right hon. gentleman;

' nothing worth speaking about,' echo the members who support him and loud applause comes from every seat. But it is not a mere bagatelle so far as the railway company is concerned ; it suits them first rate, and yet, according to Mr. Wade, if the government had not conceded these things, the company would have been out of the field, and would not have entered into the bargain. Does any one believe that ? I certainly do not, and do not believe that any one else does. The government made an ignominious surrender in Ihis, and that is the only way of expressing the situation. If the government had come to this House and said ; This company wants so and so, what do you think about it? you are among the representatives of the people and you have a right to express j our opinion. If this had been done the company would have been standing at the doors and haunting the lobbies in an effort to get the Bill through, and to get such a contract as the House would give them-because no one would ask them to accept an unreasonable contract; if they came here and gave us a chance. It costs us just $8,500,000 more by way of guarantee by reason of the change, not in the whole

[DOT]2387

supplementary contract, but simply in these three sections.

Well, what does it cost us in additional interest ? The interest on $23,000,000 odd at 3 per cent, amounts to $4,090,000, or in round numbers to $5,000,000. That is including the extension of time and the implementing. Tinder the original contract the utmost amount of interest that we were bound to pay was $3,150,000, so that we have an increased payment of interest by reason of the change of $1,750,000, or a million and a quarter. And yet the members of the government echo the statement of the right lion, gentleman who leads the House, when he says in all sincerity and all candour : it is a little thing, it does not amount to anything, a mere trifling change. If there had been no extension of time, the interest we would have to pay would be $4,003,000. Deduct that from the present interest, which we have found to be called for with the extension, and we have $296,875. That is the money we have to pay to the Grand Trunk Company, as a bonus for accepting this additional concession, the extension of three years upon the contract.

I state this as a fact and it will be very much in order for the members of the government to say that it is not a fact if they can. Now, I want to make it perfectly clear, because either intentionally or accidentally hon. gentlemen on the other side of the House sometimes quote part of a statement and say that a certain hon. gentleman said so and so, that in quoting the figures X have given, I am only dealing with the effect of clause 1 extending the time, clause 4 removing the limit to the guarantee and clause 5 providing for the implementing in the supplementary agreement. In addition to those figures we have this possibility, this inevitable result, under clause 32 of the contract of 1903, that we have possibly to pay the interest for a fur ther period of three years in case the company does not realize enough to pay that interest. Then, it has to be capitalized, sc that we have to pay in addition, when capitalized, the sum of $1,890,000. We have to keep in mind too that under clause 6 of the amended contract which we are coming to in a few minutes, or a few days-I do not know which it will be-we have these deferred payments

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LIB
CON

Haughton Lennox

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LENNON.

Weeks and weeks. The more light we have shed upon this contract the more objectionable we find it. We have these deferred payments because it is provided that the company need not pay the interest and still they can defy the government of the country. The present government does not seem to think that the country will object, but I think that the country will get rid of the present government and then we will have an-Mr. LENNOX.

other order of things. These deferred payments, capitalized for four and a half years -you may go as near five years as you like-amount to $2,835,000. This is entirely outside other incidentals that we will deal with later on. I only mention this for the purpose of making it.clear that I confine myself for the present to these three sections. But, that is not all.

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. FITZPATRICK.

Would my hon. friend (Mr. Lennox) allow me to draw his attention to the fact that we are not discussing two clauses ? We have not yet reached the clause that he desires to discuss. If it is the desire of the committee to discuss and pass these all together there will be no objection to that.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

I suppose that for the purpose of making a comprehensive calculation it is necessary to take up the two clauses.

Topic:   GRAND TRUNK PACIFIC RAILWAY.
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. FITZPATRICK.

Either for that purpose or for the purpose of making a speech,

I do not know which.

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CON

Haughton Lennox

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LENNOX.

A little of both. I am quite prepared to say I want to make a speech. I think it is important that we should make speeches. I think it is very important that these matters should go to the country. I think it is most important that the country should be seized of this startling fact that not one member of the cabinet, and in so far as we can ascertain, not one of their slumbering supporters, has made a calculation as to what these obligations amount to. I am not going to deal with that subject further. It is not necessary. In the course of the calculation I have made I have adopted the basis of three per cent, but I think that three per cent is too low and that in order to ascertain just what is the true burden upon the people is we would have to count it at three and a half per cent or possibly four per cent. Sir Charles Rivers-Wilson spoke the other day of four per cent and if you sell the three per cent bonds at ninety the buyer will not get 4 per cent. I think there is good reason to believe that we will not be able to finance this scheme for three per cent. Now, there is just another matter I will refer to and that is in reference to this implementing. I have shown

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LIB

Peter Macdonald (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. DEPUTY SPEAKER.

I think the hon. gentleman will be getting into another clause if he speaks of the implementing of this matter.

Topic:   GRAND TRUNK PACIFIC RAILWAY.
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CON

Haughton Lennox

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LENNOX.

I am not getting into any other clause whatever.

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LIB

Peter Macdonald (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. DEPUTY SPEAKER.

That question does not come up under No. 4.

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CON

Haughton Lennox

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LENNOX.

That is all right; we will take it in another form. The hon.

gentleman wlio leads the House told, us that this was not serious at all that-

If the market is to continue as it is, and the bonds have to be/sold at a heavy discount, the government will have to advance a little more

' .

Of course if it were a low discount it would hardly be worth considering.

-in order to make up the difference between the face value and the price realized ; but if the market shall revert to the condition in which it was six weeks ago the amount to be further advanced by the government would be infinitesimal.

The infinitesimal amount is the difference between $23,333,334 and $21,000,000 or $2,333,334. That is the infinitesimal amount that the right hon. gentleman has referred to. The right hon. gentleman dealt with the 4th and 5th sections and you cannot separate them. The increased liability of the country is this : We have an increased liability to the extent of the difference between ,$15,000,000 and $23,333,334, or $8,333,334, or more than fifty per cent, aye more than fifty-five per cent of an increase beyond our original liability of last year. Instead of paying out $3,150,000 for interest we have to add to that the sum of $1,750,000 more, and we have to pay for the privilege of getting the company to extend the time another three years and so deprive the people of the west of what they stand in such urgent need of, the use of a railway, and in also this way increasing the cost of the railway and increasing the cost of transportation. We have the construction of the railway deferred at a cost to this country of $300,000 ; that is, we pay the railway company a bonus-to deprive us of the privilege -amounting to $300,000. We have the language of the right hon. leader of the House himself to the effect that it was important to have this project go through rapidly. He said last year, although it is somewhat different this year :

Exception has been taken to the immediate necessity of building such a road, exception has been taken to the policy -which we have to suggest for the immediate construction of such a road : but as to the idea 'itself I have never heard a word of opposition.

Let me just pause there. That was all right last year, but I would like to ask the hon. gentleman, if he is accurate, in that statement in view of the memorandum of Mr. Blair, who urged upon every member of the cabinet last year before this measure was ever introduced, a different policy from that of the government. It is one of these little inaccuracies ; nothing untruthful, nothing dishonest, but little slips and inconsistencies which appear conspicuously in the speech of the right hon. gentleman.

Exception has been taken to the immediate necessity of building such a road, exception has been taken to the policy which we have to sug-

764 .

gest for the immediate construction of such a road ; but as to the idea itself I have never heard a word in opposition >nor do I believe that such a word will be heard in debate. The first of these objections that is to the immediate construction of such a road can be disposed of I believe with a single observation. To .those who urge upon us the policy of tomorrow and to-morrow and to-morrow ; to those who tell us wait, wait, wait ; to those who advise us to pause, to consider, to reflect, to calculate and to inquire, our answer is: No this is not a time for-deliberation, this is a time for action.

And even now it is not a time for calculation, and the government do not know what the cost to the country will be. It is peculiar that we should pay the company for delaying the building of this railway, in face of the fervent declarations of the Prime Minister a year ago. The right hon. gentleman was avowing that there was urgent necessity for this road for the sake of the settlers in the west, and also because the abrogation of the bonding privilege would ruin the country, as he said. He indulged in the prayers : Heaven grant that it may not be too late. What is the object of paying this $300,000 now ? Is it done in order to keep the right hon. gentleman praying. He says further : Heaven grant that whilst we tarry and dispute the trade of Canada is not diverted to other channels. .

Topic:   GRAND TRUNK PACIFIC RAILWAY.
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Hon. W@

We are told to pray without ceasing.

Topic:   GRAND TRUNK PACIFIC RAILWAY.
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May 2, 1904