May 9, 1904

PETITIONS.

LIB

Andrew Thorburn Thompson

Liberal

Mr. A. T. THOMPSON (Haldimand and Monck).

Mr. 'Speaker, I beg to move that the petition of Charles G. Curtis, the Canadian General Electric Company, Limited, and others, be permitted to lay before the House their petition that they be allowed to import into Canada, for a period to the end of 1905, certain turbine machinery covered by certain patents of which they are the owners.

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LIB
LIB

Andrew Thorburn Thompson

Liberal

Mr. A. T. THOMPSON.

The reasons have arisen since the time limit for the presentation of petitions has expired. The reasons are very fully set forth in the petition, which I shall be pleased to read if the House cares to have it read.

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LIB

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

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

My hon. friend (Mr. Thompson) had perhaps better give the reasons.

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Mr. A. T.@

-THOMPSON read the petition.

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Motion agreed to.


SEED GRAIN SHORTAGE.

LIB

Thomas Walter Scott

Liberal

Mr. WALTER SCOTT (West Assiniboia).

Before the Orders of the Day are called, I find myself under the necessity of again alluding to a serious state of affairs that exists in a portion of the Northwest Territories, and if necessary I shall conclude with a motion.

About ten days ago I received a message from the village of Davidson, on the Regina and Prince Albert branch railway, which I placed before the government and the House. That message set forth that the settlers in that locality were entirely unable to obtain seed for their fields this year on account of the breakdown of the railway service. My hon. friend the Minister of the Interior (Mr. Sifton) on that occasion, ten days ago, gave me definite assurance that he would make an attempt to have such steps taken as would ensure to these settlers a supply of seed grain. I stated at that time my apprehension that possibly other localities on the same line of railway were labouring under the same difficulty. I find that my fears in that respect were only too well justified, because I have now received another message from another town on that line-Hanley. That message is as follows :

We are short of provisions, seed grain and farm implements. Situation is serious and immediate relief is prayed for. Can get no information from local officials and desire you to take the matter up in earnest. Reply and give Mr. FIELDING.

us some information that we may know what we have to face.

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K. B. BIRKELAND,


On behalf of citizens. I do not need to say to the House that this is a most serious condition of affairs. There are thousands of people who have gone into that section of the country within the past year and who find themselves to-day not only deprived of implements and seed grain, rendering them unable to go on with the seeding operations, but, if we are to believe the words of this despatch, which, I may say, has come from Mr. K. B. Birkeland on behalf of the citizens, they are actually face to face with starvation because they are short of provisions.


LIB
LIB

Thomas Walter Scott

Liberal

Mr. SCOTT.

past ; (and as has been the ease every few months for years ;) to have in prospect as at the present time, a famine in seed grain, and a famine in agricultural implements ; to be actually face to face with starvation because of dearth of provisions ; to have as has been the case last winter and during previous winters, actual famine in fuel supply for weeks at a time ; all these things mean that the people were better off before they had a line of railway at all. As mv hon. friend from Saskatchewan (Mr. Davis) pointed out the other day, before this line was built from Regina to Prince Albert, the people who lived in the country then were far better off in the matter of transportation than the people are now. The old stage line running from the village of Qu'Appelle to Prince Albert in the earlier days, gave more regular and more secure service, than is given at the present time, or than has been given for many years by this railway company. I have, on previous occasions, alluded in pretty strong language to the transactions which have brought about the results of which I am complaining. and to call these transactions rascally is not putting the matter in too strong language. I would say that the rascality which was perpetrated in the financing of these railways has produced great damage, not only to the people who immediately suffer the lack of railway service, but to the people of the whole Dominion of Canada. It has retarded the development of this immense section of the country for practically a decade ; it has condemned northern Alberta and Saskatchewan and the whole district of Assiniboia north of the Qu'Ap-pelle valley, to the poorest apology for a transportation service that can possibly be described. In the case of Saskatchewan, that unfortunate condition is not yet ended, and will not be ended, I fear, until the Canadian Northern and the Grand Trunk Pacific get into these districts. I venture to say that these two railway transactions have done more to damage the credit of Canada on the money markets of the old country than any other railway transaction that can be mentioned. We have had in connection with the Grand Trunk Pacific debate, the suggestion made by our friends of the opposition, that it would be far better policy for the opening of the newer parts of Canada to run railways from the north to the south. For instance, seme of our Conservative friends from the district of Montreal, contend that a lateral railway from the east to the west should not be constructed, but that a railway should be built from Montreal up into the northern part of Quebec

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CON
LIB

Thomas Walter Scott

Liberal

Mr. SCOTT.

I will tell my hon. friend in a moment. Others have contended that a road built from Toronto up through the northern part of Ontario, would serve the Mr. SCOTT.

interest of the Dominion much better than a lateral road from the east to the west. That is just the policy which our hon. friends opposite pursued when they were in power and the Calgary and Edmonton and the Regina and Prince Albert roads were built in furtherance of that policy. I can tell my hon. friends from Ontario and Quebec, that if they are wise they will never consent to a continuance of any such policy, because we have the unfortunate results of it in the Northwest at the present moment. My hon. friends opposite will not be surprised. I imagine, if I am compelled to allude to one of their colleagues in connection with this enterprise.

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CON

David Henderson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HENDERSON.

I rise to a point of order. The hon. gentleman rose to state a grievance with respect to seed grain and provisions and agricultural implements, and instead of confining himself to the subject, he proposes to wander all over the field and discuss all kind of questions. I submit that the hon. gentleman must confine himself to the question he proposed to discuss when he rose to address this House. I ask your ruling.

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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.

The hon. gentleman (Mr. Scott) moved a substantive motion to adjourn, such as is usually moved when it is desired to bring any important matter before the House.

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CON
LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. DEPUTY SPEAKER.

He said he would move it.

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CON

May 9, 1904