May 26, 1904

LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

Yes. What we were asked to agree to was, that we would not exercise the power of foreclosure unless the default in the payment of interest should be for five years. As a matter of business between man and man, I think that was a fair and reasonable arrangement and no one in the country is going to be alarmed because we gave the company that assurance. Then as to the manner of foreclosure. In the original contract it was provided that we might take possession of the road in case of default, but in the amended contract it is agreed that as the government and the company would have an interest jointly, then, what I understand is the English system will be adopted, and the road will be pii t into the hands of a receiver, who will act as the representative of both parties and who will distribute the earning in proportion to the interest of the parties concerned. That does not seem to be a very grave or a very serious change in the original contract. Surely, when the Grand Trunk has an interest in common with us, we should be willing to see that the earnings are fairly distributed, and that while we have received our proportion the Grand Trunk Company should receive theirs. Their obligation to pay the interest on the second bonds still remains.

Another amendment is, as regards the running powers over the eastern division after fifty years. Why should we not give them running powers over the eastern division at any time ? Is not the whole design of the scheme that the eastern division should be a common national highway between the east and the west; is not the whole theory that we should give running powers to every railway company who desired them ? And, if the Grand Trunk Company after fifty years are dispossessed ; if the government then determines to take over the eastern division and not allow the Grand Trunk Pacific to operate it any longer, what possible objection can there be to granting running powers to them or to any other railway which is able to utilize the privilege ?

There is another change in the contract as respects branch lines after fifty years ; but we discussed that so recently that I would not be justified in enlarging upon it now. The Grand Trunk may during the fifty years of this lease build branch lines and when the government take over the road these branch lines will be useful to one party or the other. It may be that some of these branch lines would not be profitable to the Grand Trunk Pacific but would be profitable to the government as owners of the main line. I pointed out the other day that in the case of a short branch it would not pay the company to run it as an independent road, and what might then be an unprofitable transaction for the company might be a very profitable one for the

government who would be owners of the main line. In connection with that I may present the view that in this period of great expansion in the Dominion, with the splendid growth of our country, evidence of whch we see around us on every side, surely there is no one so lacking in faith in the future as to believe that fifty years hence any one of these branch lines would be unprofitable. I am sure that on reflection hon. gentlemen opposite will agree with me, that with the rate of progress our country is happily making, and especially our western country, the increase of traffic over all these lines must be such that it is hardly reasonable to conceive that fifty years from this date, any one of these branch lines could be regarded as unprofitable. [DOT]

There are two remaining amendments and they are of some financial importance. One is with regard to the guarantee on the mountain seetion of the western division. In my calculation last year I was advised that 480 miles was the proper estimate of the mountain section, and I shall continue to use that calculation, although I notice that Sir Rivers-Wilson speaks of it in round numbers as 500 miles. As regards the prairie section, we guarantee three-fourths the cost of the road, not exceeding $13,000 per mile, and there is no change in the contract in that respect. But with regard to the mountain section 480 miles or 500 miles, our agreement of last year was that we would guarantee three-fourths of the cost not exceeding $30,000. It was roughly estimated that this part of the road would probably cost $40,000 per mile. We quite understood from the beginning that we would be expected to guarantee three-fourths of the cost, and the limit fixed was supposed to represent that. But we provided that if the road should cost more than $40,000 per mile, the Grand Trunk Pacific people had then to take that risk. The company came to us and said that this was regarded as a difficulty in the minds of some of their people. They said that the cost of the mountain section might prove to be more than $40,000. a mile, and some of their people were afraid that if the government were only to guarantee $30,000 a mile the Grand Trunk's proportion would be larger than they expected, and that prospect introduced an element of uncertainty.

They thought the element of uncertainty should be divided between the government and the company. They thought the government should agree to guarantee three-fourths of the cost, whatever it might be. Both parties will have an interest in seeing that that cost is not an extravagant one. Both parties will have a common object in seeing that the cost is kept down. But they proposed that instead of limiting our guarantee of the mountain section to $30,000 a mile, we should make it three-fourths of the

cost whatever it might be found to be ; and that amendment the government have agreed to make. That amendment involves us in some measure of increased obligation. Precisely what that increased obligation is I suppose must remain a matter of debate.

It was roughly estimated at first that the mountain section would cost $40,000 a mile.

I notice in the discussion that took place before the Grand Trunk shareholders in London, Sir Charles Rivers-Wilson made reference to that part of the road as likely to cost $50,000 a mile, to which he added interest during construction, bringing the cost up to $56,000 a mile. We are inclined to think that is a high estimate. But let us frankly say that if the mountain section of the western division costs much in excess of the original estimate of $40,000 a mile, then to the extent of our proportion of the increased cost we are assuming an additional obligation. I do not think, however, that it is a very great obligation and if it maintains the proportions of three-fourths and one-fourth, we do not think the country will regard it as a very formidable charge.

The remaining clause of financial importance deals with the question of implementing the guarantee on the western division. When this contract was entered into, or perhaps it would be more correct to say [DOT] when the negotiations began about a year ago, the money market was in a fair condition ; and it was estimated in all the negotiations that a government guarantee bearing three per cent interest would probably sell at par. As the months rolled on, by the time the Grand Trunk people came to be in a position to discuss the matter in financial circles, the money market had taken a very unfavourable turn, and the company thought they -would not be able to raise the necessary money on a government guarantee of 3 per cent. They pointed out that if they had to sell the bonds below par, they would be to that extent short of the means to build the road, and they asked us to agree that the amount of aid we had agreed to give them in money should be in some shape made up. After some discussion, because it was a serious aspect of the question, we came to the conclusion that we would meet them in that respect, and would rearrange the financial affairs of the western division, so that they might expect to realize a sum equal to par from the sale of the bonds. The form in which that is to be done is not distinctly laid down in the agreement ; but, as we have pointed out during the debate, a rational and reasonable -way would be to implement the amount of the bonds to be issued, so that by issuing a larger amount of bonds at 3 per cent, the company would realize as a net result of the transaction a sum equal to par of the first amount. That is the way we have all assumed in the debate that the matter should be arranged, and I have no doubt

which in extent, I venture to say>

is unsurpassed in the North American continent, perhaps in the whole world.

*

I am satisfied that It is possible to establish a splendid national railway on the route proposed with the best ocean ports as its terminals. With a Rocky Mountain passage very much lower than that of any railway yet constructed across the North American continent, and with general engineering features even more favourable than those obtained on the Intercolonial Railway, such a line would give breadth to Canada and admit of settlements and profitable industries where such are not now possible.

I have another bit of testimony. My right l.on. friend the First Minister has said there are mountains of information on this subject, but we will be content with only a few hills to-night.

To-day, in the morning paper, I find a report of the evidence before the Transportation Commission by Dr. Bell and Mr. Macoun. Mr. Macoun'. after dealing somewhat with the Peace river country is reported as follows :

Mr. Macoun also gave evidence regarding parts of Georgian bay that he had visited. He stated that he had been with the expedition under Mr. Low that went to Hudson bay from Lake Winnipeg via the Berens river. The country through which the Berens river flows, he said, is very rocky. But at Trout lake, 54 degrees north latitude, a settler of seventeen years' experience had told him that he had never lost any crops through frost. The settler's cultivation extended to all the usual farm crops. Surrounding Trout lake there was an immense area over a hundred million acres in extent which was good agricultural land. Its climate was temperate on account of comparatively low altitude and summer frosts were very infrequent. Most of the country between Lake Winnipeg and Hudson bay, Mr. Macoun said, was practically unburned. He thought that a good deal of the land on the east coast of the bay was suitable for agriculture. At Rupert's bay there was no natural harbour, but at Richmond gulf the harbour was excellent.

In reply to a question the witness said that in the sub-arctic forest belt of Canada there were, approximately, 1,000 millions of acres of agricultural land.

Such is the information given us in general terms regarding that vast northern country. Some portions of this evidence refer to sections through which the road will run, while other portions refer to land lying further north. But if we have, north of our railway, great tracts of land that are good, then, by all means, the nearer we can get the road to these tracts the better. And, inasmuch as we are going to build a road further north than any other in America, we shall do something "to develop these tremendous stretches of land described in the words I have quoted from Mr. Macoun. Sir, one does not need the gift of prophecy to predict that, within the lifetime of men in this parliament to-day, the timber, the land, the mines, the waterfalls in that vast stretch Mr. FIELDING.

of territory will be the foundations upon which will be built villages, towns, and, possibly, cities that will stand as testimony to the wisdom of the policy that sends the railway through that north land.

Now, I have spoken so far of the attacks made by hon. gentlemen opposite upon the country between Winnipeg and Quebec, upon what I may call the western part of the eastern division. But, bad as that enterprise is said to be, bad as the policy of the government is said to be which holds out the hope of railway construction through that vast territory, there is a lower depth still to which this government have descended, for they have actually agreed to build a railway from Quebec down to the city of Moncton. Horror of horrors ! It makes the hair of hon. gentlemen opposite almost stand on end. My hon. friend from West Toronto (Mr. Osier) prayed Heaven that the road might never be built. And up and down the ranks of hon. gentlemen opposite has gone the cry that that road is the iniquity of iniquities. Well, now, we can

make some allowance for hon. gentlemen from Ontario and the west for taking such an ungenerous view of the matter. Perhaps I should rather say we could have made some allowance last year, because they were not expected to understand eastern public opinion ; they were not expected to be as familiar as others would be with the condition of the provinces down by the sea. But, if we could make some allowances last year, we have less right to make allowances now, because, in the meantime, they have had the opportunity of learning a good deal about the matter. My hon. friend from Cumberland (Mr. Logan) last year took a good deal of pains to collect testimony as to the longstanding public opinion in the maritime provinces with regard to that road, and I may have occasion to allude to part of that evidence before I conclude. I say we can make allowances for the hon. gentlemen from Ontario and the west so far as last year was concerned, but not so much this year. But I confess that I have great difficulty in making allowance for my hon. friends opposite who come from the eastern provinces. They ought to have known better ; and, unless they are very much less intelligent than I take them to be-for I know that they are intelligent, able, capable men-I am bound to believe that they do know better. But when they sit quietly in their places and allow hon. gentlemen on their own side to create the impression that this road from Quebec to Moncton is an unheard of enterprise, a thing which nobody wanted and nobody believed in, then, they do not do justice to their own part of the Dominion. Why, Sir, for very many years, as far back at least as 1889, we have had an agitation in the lower provinces for the construction of a short line or railway from Quebec to Moncton. Yet, hon. gentlemen oppo-

site would talk as if it were something that nobody had ever heard of, a wild scheme which recently entered into the imagination of some crazy persons. Down in the maritime provinces, the newspapers, the boards of trade and all the ordinary avenues through which we receive expressions of public opinion have over and over again called attention to the desirability of this road. But my hon. friend the leader of the opposition (Mr. R. Ij- Borden) seems to think that it ife a bad scheme, that there is no good in it whatever. I notice that in the earlier stages of this discussion lie was willing to do something in the west. He was willing to build over the prairies, to build in some shape across to the Pacific ; but, when it came to this section Quebec to Moncton, all he would agree to do would toe to give a gracious consent to inquire into the question whether there was any merit in the scheme. And, in the omnibus amendment he moved some time ago there was no reference to the Moncton road. I think that is a very strange proceeding on the part of my hon. friend. He was ready to build through the west, through the mountains-anywhere but in the maritime provinces. I do not think that is a fair position for him to take. I do not think he should allow his friends from Ontario to drive him into such a position. *My hon. friend said that he would be good enough to kindly inquire-I do not know when, but some time in the distant and uncertain future, after he has built over the prairie and through the rockies-he would take time to inquire whether there was any merit in the Moncton scheme. And, if he could make up his mind that we were to build the Moncton section, it must be as part of the Intercolonial Railway.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

Hear, hear.

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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

Railway can make use of it we have running rights over the road as far out as Winnipeg. I notice, by the way, sneaking of running rights, that only last session lion, gentlemen opposite spoke most contemptuously of the idea of any company using , running rights over a large stretch of line. Nothing of the kind was possible according to them, but I notice that this year they complain bitterly that we did not get running rights over the whole line

to

the Pacific ocean at the end of ttm-fiftT-rcnifi arrangement. If running rigfffs can be utilized in one case I cannot see why they could not in the other. In his reference to the Canada Atlantic my hon. friend is after all only falling back on the water stretches policy of Alexander Mackenzie of 30 years ago. When that policy was advanced the party opposite did not view it with very great favour. There was much to be said in favour of that policy as a temporary measure, but my hon. friends will remember that the Conservative party at that time had no words of praise for the policy of utilizing water stretches. We all agree that although the water stretches might have been useful at the time, an allrail route was necessary. It was necessary for the Canadian Pacific Railway ; it was necessary for the development of this country. If the hon. the leader of the opposition (Mr. R. L. Borden) had his policy respecting the Canada Atlantic carried out, the most that would happen would be that he would have a summer route; he would have connection with the lakes and would have some relation to traffic in summer. But it is not in summer that the maritime provinces expect to get traffic, and I fail to see where we are to get such a very large result from the acquisition of the Canada Atlantic as my hon. friend suggests, because when the winter comes the Canada Atlantic at the Georgian bay has no traffic to give to the maritime provinces and in summer it could only give traffic to Quebec. Thus while the acquisition of the Canada Atlantic has some merit, while it is desirable to have the Intercolonial brought into closer touch with it, and into communication with the steamship lines on the lakes, yet I quite realize that it would not give us the advantage which the Dominion demands. We know that if we have the water stretches policy we must also have the all-rail line, and that is the policy which this government are offering to the House. I have said that this policy of building a road through the maritime provinces from Quebec down to Moncton is by no means a new policy. As far back as 1889 or 1890, a company was formed for the purpose of constructing a line of railway, not from Quebec directly, but from Edmunds-ton, which is the terminal point of the Temis-couata road, running down on the Intercolonial as far as RiviSre du Loup. A company was formed to build that line from Edmundston to Moncton, a line which so far as it goes was precisely the line Mr. FIELDING.

contemplated by the present government scheme. We are making the scheme larger because instead of starting from Edmundston, and using the Intercolonial down to Riviere du Loup our policy is to start fr&m the Quebec bridge, run through the counties of Quebec until you turn the corner of American territory at Edmundston and down through the centre of New Brunswick to Moncton. As far back as 1890, this company was formed and an application was made by parties associated with the Grand Trunk company for a subsidy from the government. It is a matter now of history that the government of the day were well disposed towards that scheme. My information came from a gentleman who, I believe, knew the facts and he assured me that the government viewed the scheme with favour ; at all events the Prime Minister (Sir John Macdonald) favoured it. Ultimately the scheme was turned aside. It was believed that it was turned aside because another railway company objected to it. That is the common rumour, of course I have no special knowledge of it, but my information is that Sir John Macdonald favoured that line, and up to a certain point gave it encouragement though ultimately it was not carried out. That policy found much favour in ,the lower provinces. Public meetings were held, delegations were sent to Ottawa, boards of trade passed resolutions and all the usual methods of expressing public opinion were employed to-support that road, and yet 14 years afterwards hon. gentlemen stand up in the House and treat this as a scheme that nobody ever heard of before. Even more recently, Sir, we have abundant information as to the popularity of this scheme. Only last year when it was announced that the Grand Trunk Company were applying to parliament for legislation with a view of constructing a transcontinental railway, instantly the public opinion of the maritime provinces became aroused with regard to this old project of a new short line on British5 territory. In the various public bodies, in the boards of trade, nay in the very legislature of one province, the importan8eof the scheme was recognized. Pardon me if I read an extract. Hon. gentlemen opposite have derided this eastern division as a wild scheme and something undreamt of, of which no one ever heard before ; what will they say when I remind them, for it has been stated before, that last year when the Grand Trunk made this application and before the government had brought down its scheme, the legislature of New Brunswick by unanimous vote demanded that that scheme should extend down to the maritime provinces ? The motion was made by an hon. gentleman on the government side, Mr. Robertson, it was seconded by Mr. Hazen the leader of the opposition, and it was couched in the most emphatic terms. Here is the resolution :

Whereas the^&ata^-'rrrrrrk-Pftcifl.O- Company is now_jnaiiirg^applioation to the federal ~parlia-nSnt for the granting of a charter enabling the said company to build and operate a railroad, extending from the Pacific sea-board across Canada to the Atlantic coast, and in said application the city of Quebec is named as the eastern terminus of said railroad in summer, and no mention is made as to where the eastern terminus of said railroad is to be during the winter season.

Whereas, in the opinion of this House, not only the interests of the eastern provinces, hut of the Dominion as a whole, imperatively demand that the said road should be an allCanadian route, both in summer and winter, and it is highly proper that all necessary conditions should be attached to the granting of such charter so as to secure beyond question the carrying out of this national idea ;

Therefore resolved, that this legislative assembly do strongly urge upon the federal administration that in any charter so to be granted to the said Grand Trunk Railway Company it be specifically expressed that the winter port of such Transcontinental Railroad line be in the maritime provinces of Canada, and that said railroad be an all-Canadian route from ocean to ocean ; and

Further resolved, that a copy of this resolution be forwarded by His Honour the Speaker of the House, to His Excellency the Governor General through the Secretary of State for Canada.

Well, [Sir, that which the legislature of New Brunswick asked to he done is precisely what the government of Canada have done, and yet hon. gentlemen opposite have not hesitated to stand up and say that this Moncton extension, this new road down to the maritime provinces, is soemthing unheard of, unwarranted and uncalled for. The Grand Trunk scheme originally was to build from North Bay to Winnipeg, and thence to the Pacific ocean. It was proposed after some discussion that the road should go down to Quebec. Then the agitation in the maritime provinces continued, and a demand was made that the road should not stop at Quebec, but that it should go down to the sea-board, and as a result of that agitation we had expressions of opinion in the Railway Committee and in this House. I again say that what the legislature of New Brunswick demanded is exactly what the government of Canada have done. Well, at that time Mr. Blair was Minister of Railways. The Board of Trade of the city of St. John, to show how zealous they were in the matter, how keen ly interested they were, sent this telegram to Mr. Blair :

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?

Hon. A. G.@

Blair, Ottawa.

Grave apprehension is felt here as to Grand Trunk plans regarding maritime provinces. Strong feeling that if Dominion assistance of any kind to transcontinental road is given, stipulation that railway find a terminus in maritime provinces, and further, that all freight originating in Canada, or received along the line, should be shipped through maritime terminus, shall be an absolute condition. Can you assure us that in case of assistance being 114

given, the Grand Trunk will build through maritime provinces and ship freight thence ?

(Sgd.) W. M. JARVIS, Pres.

Mr. Blair, in his reply, advanced a view which was somewhat in line with the policy that my hon. friend the leader of the opposition has taken up. He held out the idea that the Intercolonial Railway, by association with other roads, could do the work. He telegraphed to Mr. Jarvis as follows :

W. M. Jarvis, St. John, N.B.

I believe that in case government gives financial assistance the Grand Trunk Pacific will be obliged to enter into a satisfactory traffic agreement, binding itself to hand over at Quebec Its ocean winter traffic to Intercolonial or build a line through to a maritime port. Have been doing everything possible to bring this about. .

(Sgd.) A. G. BLAIR.

You will observe that Mr. Blair suggests the utilization of the Intercolonial Railway, and that all that my hon. friend the leader of the opposition can hold out to the maritime provinces is that they should utilize the Intercolonial Railway. But the suggestion made by Mr. Blair, the suggestion which is the foundation of the policy of my hon friend the leader of the opposition as respects the maritime provinces, was scouted by the St. John Board of Trade. I have an extract from the St. John ' Sun ' of May 20, 1903, giving a report of the meeting of the board of trade :

On May 19th, the council of the Board of Trade met to consider further action with reference to the extension of the Grand Trunk Pacific through the maritime provinces, and a telegram was sent to Mr. Blair, stating that the signers did not believe that any arrangement could be made between the Intercolonial Railway and the Grand Trunk which should prevent the latter from shipping practically every ton of export freight via Portland. The telegram concluded by saying : ' We urge in the strongest terms that no government assistance be granted to any transcontinental railway that does not undertake to build their line through to some maritime province port.

The idea which runs through the whole project of my hon. friend the leader of the opposition, that this business can be done by utilizing the Intercolonial Railway, was the idea that Mr. Blair advanced in his telegram to the St. John Board of Trade, and the St. John Board of Trade sent that memorandum in reply, signed by a large number of the leading merchants of St. John, including the president of the Conservative Association, Mr. W. H. Thorne.

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L-C

Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. SAM. HUGHES.

They elected an opponent of the government, the hon. member for St. John (Mr. Daniel).

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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

Yes, I am anxious to oblige my hon. friend from North Victoria (Mr. Hughes). I thank thee Jew for teaching me that word. I am dealing now with the value of the Intercolonial Railway in re-

JiEVISED EDITION

lation to the great through export traffic. My hon. friend the leader of the opposition can give no hope to the maritime provinces except as to the use of the Intercolonial Railway. He does not want to see an inch of new railway between Quebec and Moncton. We must use the Intercolonial Railway. Well, let us see what 'is the opinion of some other people as to the value of the Intercolonial Railway in that relation. I have a quotation here of an opinion expressed only a couple of years ago by a gentleman who is quite eminent in railway matters, and whose opinion hon. gentlemen opposite will value. It is that of no less a person than the hon. ex-Minister of Railways and Canals, the hon. member for South Lanark (Mr. Hag-gart). Speaking in 1902, he said :

Any man who knows anything of the commerce of this, country, knows that not a bushel of grain can be profitably exported by the Intercolonial. . . . And I can tell the committee that when I was Minister of Railways-this is a confession-we carried grain from Quebec to Halifax at prices that did not half pay the cost of transport It is an unprofitable business. You cannot compete against nature.

I do not think the situation is quite as bad as that, but I am giving hon. gentlemen opposite the opinion of their expert. I find also that I have a quotation from the Conservative organ of St. John touching on the same point. My hon. friend the leader of the opposition gave us a quotation from a good Liberal paper to-day, and I want to return the compliment by giving him a quotation from a good Conservative paper on this question as to the value of the Intercolonial Railway for winter export business. This is from the St. John ' Sun ' of May 8th last, at the time when we were discussing the question of what form and shape this Grand Trunk scheme should take :

It has been shown

Says this Conservative organ-

-that the Intercolonial Railway route by the north shore cannot by any possibility be a competing line for winter export business. Nearly six years ago Mr. Blair declared he would be prepared in a few years to take winter export business. . . . The scheme is a failure. The St. John end Halifax elevators have been empty, as they were last year. The Intercolonial Railway terminus at St. John has hardly been used at all for through traffic, and would have been used still less if it had not been engaged to accommodate Canadian Pacific Railway freight. The Intercolonial Railway route w'oiild be useless for the winter business of the Grand Trunk Pacific.

That is the statement of the Conservative organ of St. John. That is the scheme which my hon. friend the leader of the opposition holds out as the only hope of the maritime provinces. That is the scheme which the Board of Trade of the city of St. John says is utterly worthless. That is the scheme which the Conservative organ of the city Mr. FIELDING.

of St. John says is utterly worthless. That is the scheme which my hon. friend from Sduth Lanark, the ex-Minister of Railways and Canals, says is absolutely worthless and useless in connection with winter traffic. I have another extract from that esteemed St. John paper, the St. John ' Sun,' dated May 14th :

The strong resolutions sent from the different legislative, municipal and commercial bodies in the east are clear and explicit. They ask one and all that the Grand Trunk Pacific shall get no public assistance unless the company shall build to the maritime provinces and make a terminus at a maritime province port.

I ask the attention of hon. gentlemen opposite to this sentence-

The Board of Trade and other bodies knew that an undertaking to deliver freight to the Intercolonial Railway is no good for the purpose they have in view'.

The editorial goes on to say :

The people of the maritime provinces, and wo believe the people of Canada, do not propose to compromise in a traffic agreement with a road that does not profitably handle the traffic.

They do not propose to compromise on the policy offered by my hon. friend the leader of the opposition.

They insist on one thing and one only. They say that the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway itself must be built to a Canadian winter port. This is the message of Mr. Jarvis, and the St. John Board of Trade. That is the resolution of the city council and the county council of St. John, of the legislature of New Brunswick, of the other bodies which have made declarations on the subject. .

So much for public opinion in the province of New Brunswick and in the city of St. John. Let me briefly call attention to a resolution of the Halifax Board of Trade.

Whereas, objection having been taken to that part of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway scheme which provides for the building of the road from Winnipeg to Moncton

Observe that the Halifax Board of Trade has said that somebody has been objecting to this road going down to Moncton. Who was it, I wonder ?

Whereas, objection having been taken to that part of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway scheme which provides for the building of the road from Winnipeg to Moncton, N.B., this board desires most emphatically to reaffirm its previous declaration (appended hereto) that no scheme of government transcontinental transportation will be either adequate or equitable to each province of t>he Dominion which does not ensure the carriage of Canadian products through Canadian ports in winter as well as in summer, and regards it as imperative that stringent guarantees to carry out that policy should be exacted by the government.

We further maintain that.the construction of the road west of Quebec without ensuring its continuance east through Canadian territory would be manifestly unjust to the maritime provinces.

This board is also of the opinion that the building of the shortest possible line through Canadian territory from Quebec to Moncton, N.B., would be of immense advantage to the maritime provinces, as well as to the rest of Canada, and would secure for the road a large share of through freight and passenger business, which at present is done through United States ports.

That is the verdict of the Halifax Board of Trade, not upon an empty or general principle, but upon the concrete scheme of building this road down to the city of Moncton. As the leader of the opposition knows, the Halifax Board of Trade is composed of men of both political parties. I will not say which of the two parties has the greater number of representatives on that board, but I do know that a good many of the gentlemen who signed and supported that resolution, and who have spoken to me about it, and declared their confidence and faith in this scheme of ours, are amongst the leading supporters of the hon. the leader of the opposition in the city of Halifax.

My hon. friends opposite finding that there own policy in this matter is not receiving much favour in the lower provinces, they set out to try, if possible to decry ours; They have tried to make it appear that the clauses we have inserted in our contract are of no value. But, Sir, I do not think that any clauses you could put into legislation and practice could be more effective than those which we have provided. We have had an opportunity of judging of what hon. gentlemen opposite desired in that respect. They asked us through the voice of the hon. member for King's (Mr. Fowler) to put a clause iu the Grand Trunk charter for the purpose of guiding and directing this traffic down to the maritime provinces. We did not think that was the right place to . insert such a clause, but it is worth while looking up their proposal as an evidence of the way they would deal with the matter if they had the power to do so. When the Grand Trunk Pacific charter was under consideration, Mr. Fowler moved the following resolution, and the hon. gentlemen on the other side of the House all supported it:

That the order for the third reading of Bill No. 64 be cancelled, and the Bill be referred back to the Committee on Railways, Canals and Telegraph Lines, in order that the following section may be added to the said Bill :-

' All freight originating in Canada, and received along the line of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway, intended for export across the Atlantic, shall be shipped through Canadian ports, when the route is not otherwise specially .indicated by the shipper ; and that the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway shall carry all such freight to the eastern Canadian sea-boards as cheaply as to any American port on the Atlantic sea-board.'

The object which hon. gentlemen opposite had in view in that respect is the same as the object which we had in view. With the general sentiment expressed in that resolu-1 114} _

tion we heartily concurred, but we objected to it for two very good reasons. In the first place, we thought it was inadequate in its terms, and in the second place we wished to place it, not in the charter of the Grand Trunk Pacific, but in the contract with the Grand Trunk Pacific so that we might bind them. There are some things which you can properly deal with in general legislation ; there are some things which you can properly put in a company's charter ; but there are other things which might more properly become matters of contract, and we were anxious that this should be made a matter of contract and so we put into that contract the two clauses which have been so often referred to and which I am obliged to read again. Section 42 says :

It is hereby declared and agreed between the parties to this agreement that the aid herein provided for is granted by the government of Canada for the express purpose of encouraging the development of Canadian trade and the transportation of goods through Canadian Chanels. The company accepts the aid on these conditions, and agrees that all freight originating on the line of the railway, or its branches, not specifically routed otherwise by the shipper, shall, when destined for points in Canada, be carried entirely on Canadian territory, or between Canadian inland ports, and that the through rate on export traffic from the point of origin to the point of destination shall at no time be greater via Canadian ports than via United States ports, and that all such traffic, not specifically routed otherwise by the shipper, shall be carried to Canadian ocean ports.

Then, clause 43 says :

The company further agrees that it shall not, in any matter within its power, directly or indirectly advise or encourage the transportation of such freight by routes other than those above provided, but shall, in all respects, in good faith, use its utmost endeavours to fulfil the conditions upon which public aid is granted, namely,-the development of trade through Canadian channels and Canadian ocean ports.

There is not a line in the proposal made by the opposition that is not expressed in these clauses with threefold greater force. There is not a suggestion made by the opposition in this respect, which is not included in these clauses, and which is not expressed with more force and more comprehensiveness than that in which hon. gentlemen opposite proposed to express it in their general assertion of the principle. We bind the Grand Trunk Pacific Company to the solemn obligation under their hand and seal, that they will do all that hon. gentlemen ask, and they further covenant that in good faith they will not attempt to evade it. but in all ways possible carry out the spirit and intention of the provision. In clause 47 of the contract it is provided that if any dispute should arise between the government and the company as to the interpretation to be put on any portion of the agreement, it shall be determined by one arbitrator, or if neces-

sary by other arbitrators to be agreed upon in the usual way. I believe, Sir, that it will be seen that the clause we have inserted in this respect, is as complete as language can make it. But in the face of all that, hon. gentlemen opposite still say that the trade will go to Portland. Again I must draw their attention to something they omitted to quote from that much thumbed report of the meeting of the Grand Trunk Railway shareholders in London. These hon. gentlemen on the other side tell us that notwithstanding all these precautions the trade of the new line will go to Portland. But that Is not the opinion of all the people connected with the Grand Trunk Company. One of the reasons why Mr. Allen resigned from the directorate of the Grand Trunk Company was, because we had bound his company to send the trade through the ports of the maritime provinces. I quote now from Mr. Allen's memorandum, as read at the meeting of the Grand Trunk shareholders in which he gave his reasons for resigning :

If the proprietors will look at the map annexed to the special report they will see how the new line is affected by the Canadian Pacific and the Northern Pacific, which route, no doubt, will compete with the new line at various points. Bearing this in mind, I would point out that the Canadian Pacific-as appears from the ' Stock Exchange Year-book '-was incorporated in 1881, and did,not pay any dividend until 1895, and then one li per cent. That line had enormous land grants and subsidies.

Mr. Allen knew that, but hon. gentlemen on the other side seem to minimize it

The new line has none. (Hear, hear.)

Mr. Allen knew that too, but hon. gentlemen opposite did not emphasize that point:

The new line has none. (Hear, hear.) And the new line will be held by a most uncertain tenure, a lease for fifty years without a proviso for re-entry in case of breach as to part, and subject to a heavy mortgage with a right of foreclosure on the remainder. I do not suppose that any railway of importance was ever made on such extraordinary terms.

According to hon. gentlemen opposite the extraordinary terms were all in favour of the Grand Trunk, but Mr. Allen thought the extraordinary terms were so much against the Grand Trunk that he resigned from the board.

And what is almost worse than anything else, the line-which is to be built to a standard not inferior to the main line of the Grand Trunk- is to' take all the traffic over the line entirely through Canadian territory to Halifax, leaving the Grand Trunk section to Portland, with its expensive lifts and miles of sidings out in the cold. (Applause.) Add to this the right of the government to allow running powers over the line to any company it pleases, to fix the rates, and, in fact, to do practically what it likes.

That is the statement of one of the directors of the Grand Trunk Company. Hon. gentlemen opposite can see nothing in these clauses to send the traffic to Halifax or St.

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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

John, but this director of the Grand Trunk Company saw enough in them to enable him to declare that these clauses obliged the Grand Trunk Railway Company to send the traffic down to the maritime provinces, and for that among other reasons he tendered his resignation and left the board.

We have been speaking of this traffic as between the east and the west, very largely in relation to the handling of grain. The grain traffic is most important, and we hope that much of it will come down to the eastern provinces. But at the same time let me point out that the grain traffic is not the only thing to be considered in this connection. There are a million people in these provinces down by the sea ; they expect to produce something that they will wish to send to the west; they expect to consume the things which the west shall send to them ; their desire is to have a shorter, a quicker and better means of transportation between the east and the west.

Whether we carry the grain or not, we believe this road is going to have a very important effect in developing improved communication between the east and the west ; and Moncton is selected for the reason that it is in the very heart and centre of the maritime provinces. It is in the eastern part of New Brunswick close to the Nova Scotia boundary, and almost within a stone's throw of the point at which you leave the Intercolonial Railway in order to make communication with Prince Edward Island. All the traffic coming from the west to Prince Edward Island or coming from Prince Edward Island and proceeding west, will cross the strats at a point near Moncton -between Summerside or thereabouts and Point du Chene near Sheidiac. There is another crossing between Pictou and Charlottetown, but that does not touch the traffic with the upper provinces. Moncton is selected as a convenient point which will . give access to all portions of the maritime provinces.

Efforts have been made to create a hostile feeling to this scheme in the city of St. John. I undertake to say, from some little knowledge of the affairs of St. John, that the Grand Trunk Pacific scheme had very little to do with the result of the recent election in that city. There were local conditions which people down there understand well which account for the result.

I believe the best minds of the city of St. John recognize the importance of the Grand Trunk Pacific scheme. There is no more intelligent, enterprising, plucky community in the Dominion of Canada than the people of St. John. They have shown great pluck and courage in dealing with the development of their port ; and I give them all honour for it. I say the best and most intelligent men in the city of St. John recognize fully that this. Grand Trunk Pacific scheme is a srood thing for St. John as well as for other places. Of course, in

every community you will find a little knot of narrow, selfish people, who consider the interest of their own place and nothing else. Every community has some of these people. In St. John, in Montreal in Halifax, everywhere, you will find a little knot Of narrowminded men who want to look out for number one, and have no care for any one else. If this government had agreed to send the Grand Trunk Pacific to St. John, you would not have heard a word of opposition to it from that quarter. You did not hear a word of objection to this scheme from the city of St. John on the ground of the large obligations or on any of the other considerations which are distressing hon. gentle-ment opposite now. An amendment was moved in the Railway Committee to the effect that this road, instead of running to Moncton, should run to St. John. If that amendment had carried, you would not have heard a word from any one in St. John against it; but that amendment was unfair to the maritime provinces. This scheme is not for the benefit of only one port in the maritime provinces. It is a scheme which we believe will develop the maritime provinces generally, a scheme which deals with the rival ports fairly. If we had adopted that amendment, we would have been unjust to the maritime provinces as a whole- unjust to eastern New Brunswick, unjust to the great county in which Moncton lies, unjust to Nova Scotia, unjust to Prince Edward Island; and if in order to please any one section of any one province it is necessary to be unjust to all other sections, such a policy will find no favour in the minds of this government. But while this scheme holds out hope to the maritime provinces generally, there is no part of the maritime provinces which ought to regard it with more satisfaction and hope than the city of St. John. When you arrive at Moncton you are much nearer to the city of St. John than to any other important port in the maritime provinces. When in former years a similar scheme was proposed, and some one suggested that it would be hostile to St. John, a distinguished public man in the legislature of New Brunswick said : If you bring the railway to Moncton, which is 90 miles from St. John and 186 miles from Halifax, if St. John cannot make its way under these conditions, St. John does not deserve to make its way. That was the sentiment of a distinguished man in the legislature of New Brunswick, and we might echo it to-day.

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LIB

Henry Robert Emmerson (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. EMMERSON.

Who was the man ?

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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

I understand that it was the Hon. A. G. Blair ; and I thoroughly endorse Mr. Blair's sentiment on that point. The city of St. John has every reason to believe that this scheme is a good one for that port. During the past winter some steamers went away from the port of St. John because they could not get freight

there-because there was only one line of railway into St. John, the Canadian Pacific Railway. That railway has its own line of steamers, and very naturally and properly gave its freight to its own line. It would not give any freight to the Allan line, and the Allan line left St. John because there was only one line of railway to that port. We are holding out to the maritime provinces-to St. John, Halifax and all the new ports that will yet arise-the hope of having a fair chance in these matters ; and, in the language of my friend Mr. Blair, if you give them a fair chance and they cannot fight their own way, we believe it will be their own fault. But we believe that when this scheme is fairly understood, the people of St. John, the people of Halifax, and the people of the maritime provinces generally, will see that it is full of promise for them.

I have a strong hope that through this scheme the maritime provinces will get some of the grain trade of the west. I hope I am not lacking in enthusiasm, but I always try to temper it with caution, and not to promise too much. I know the difficulties in the way of a long haul by rail. I know that when you have a long haul to one port and a short haul to another, the short haul has the advantage, and I quite realize that there are difficulties in sending the grain traffic to the maritime provinces. But we are overcoming difficulties of this kind in the development of this Dominion, and I do not see why we should not do it in this case as in others. But this is not a matter of grain traffic only. In the general traffic of the country, in all that goes to make up an interchange of traffic, I believe hopefully and confidently in the ability of the maritime province ports to overcome difficulties. They look with hope to the people of other provinces to be truly national in their aspiratipns, and to see that a national policy does not end when it reaches the boundaries of the province of Ontario or the province of Quebec, but that a truly national policy looks to the interests of every part of this Dominion, from the great west down to the shores of the great east. But, Sir, this far I will go, while I speak with moderation and caution in view of the difficulties of the long haul, while I recognize the difficulties, still I am going to take this position, that if by this scheme we cannot send the traffic to the ports of the maritime provinces, then by no other scheme proposed in this parliament can you send a pound of traffic down there. There may be difficulties in sending the trade down there by our scheme, but there are much greater difficulties in the way of the scheme suggested by hon. gentlemen opposite. I have prepared some tables of distances, taking Winnipeg as a common point in the west, and dealing with Halifax and St. John in the east. I have given the distances by the opposition plan as defined by my hon. friend the leader of the oppo-

sltion. I find It necessary to mention the particular member who defines the plan, because they have different plans, and I must be careful not to make one set of opposition members responsible for what seems to be the policy of another set.

I find that in the opposition plan, as described by my hon. friend the leader of the opposition, the mileage between Winnipeg and Halifax will be as follows. Perhaps, however, I am wrong in holding my hon. friend too seriously to the proposition he made some time ago. We have not heard much of it of late. That scheme was not received with profound respect by his friends, and in his 'speech to-day reviewing the whole Bill, beyond making allusions to the possible acquisition of the Canada Atlantic, he made no reference whatever to that remarkable policy which he outlined some weeks ago. However, as the policy is still to be found on ' Hansard,' even though it be ignored by the opposition now, I am going to give them the benefit of seeing how it will work out on a mileage basis :

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WINNIPEG TO HALIFAX BY MR. BORDEN'S


From Winnipeg to Fort William via C. P. R 426 From Fort William to Sudbury 555 From Sudbury to Scotia Junction, to be built 105 From Scotia Junction to Coteau, via Canada Atlantic Railway 294 From Coteau to Montreal via G. T. R. .. 39 From Montreal to Halifax via Intercolonial 837 Total 2,256 In contrast to this let me put the government scheme. Frotn Winnipeg to Quebec, estimated .. 1,475 From Quebec to Moncton 400 From Moncton to Halifax 186 Total 2,061 From Winnipeg to Halifax by the scheme of the leader of the opposition 2,256 By the government scheme 2,061 Difference in favour of government scheme * 195 So that if we cannot send the traffic down to Halifax by our scheme, what chance has the hon. gentleman to send it by his scheme, which is 195 miles longer ? Then I take the other opposition scheme, the one described by the hon. member for East Hastings (Mr. Northrup), whose plan was to utilize the old Grand Trunk line and not build east of North Bay. That is the scheme which the hon. member for Hastings said every member of the opposition was in favour of. Now, there ought not to be any misunderstanding about this, and the statement of the hon. gentleman is very clear. He said that the opposition to a man were favourable to the original Grand Trunk policy, which was to build a road from Mr. FIELDING. North Bay to the west. When interrupted by the late lamented member for Selkirk, Mr. McCreary, who, in order to remove any possible doubt, asked him whether he had really said that the opposition were prepared to support a scheme for the railway from North Bay to the west, the hon. gentleman replied that while he was not authorized perhaps to speak officially, still from the dozens of members he had spoken to, from his own personal opinion and his general knowledge of the views of the opposition, he could safely say that the opposition were prepared to support the original Grand Trunk scheme of giving government aid to a road from North Bay to Winnipeg and across to the Pacific. That statement was received with applause, and the hon. gentleman, addressing himself to the hon. member for Selkirk, said: ' the hon. gentleman will see from these manifestations of opinion that I have not misvoiced the views of the hon. gentlemen who sit around me.' So that we have some reason to conclude that that is the true and only genuine opposition scheme ; and perhaps it is because of the very positive assertion of the hon. member for East Hastings and the applause with which it was received, that my hon. friend the leader of the opposition seems to have buried out of sight his scheme of a few weeks ago. Then, taking the scheme of the hon. member for East Hastings, what are the distances :


WINNIPEG TO HALIFAX BY THE NORTHRUP OPPOSITION PLAN.


Miles. From Winnipeg to North Bay, estimated 1,012 From North Bay to Montreal via Orillia and Belleville by the G. T. R.', the shortest possible line over the G. T. R. 496 From Montreal to Halifax by the Intercolonial 837 Total 2,345 From Winnipeg to Halifax by government scheme 2,061 Difference in favour of government scheme 284 Distances to St. John show the same difference in favour of the government plan. Well, if we cannot get any traffic down to the sea by our scheme, what chance have we got of getting it down by the schemes of the opposition, which are of greater length? I think I may very fairly say, without being too confident, that as compared with the several schemes, if there be any doubt whatever of the ability of this government and parliament to send western traffic for export by the ports of the maritime provinces, every difficulty found in our scheme exists with five fold greater force in those of hon. gentlemen opposite. The figures I have given make it absolutely clear that if you cannot send traffic by our plan, there vis not the ghost of a chance of sending it by any plan proposed by the op- position ; and the only hope which the maritime provinces can have of realizing the expectations they have been indulging in for years is by giving their cordial approval to the policy now before the House. We have had this evening another view presented to us-another one of those kaleidoscopic views which hon. gentlemen opposite are presenting of their railway policy. I have shown what the policy of my hon. friend the leader of the opposition was a [DOT] few weeks ago and what the policy of the opposition is to-day, as defined by the hon. member for East Hastings. But in this amendment we have another definition of policy which seems to point towards government ownership. I say ' seems to point ' advisedly. And here I want to congratulate my hon. friend from South Lanark (Air. Haggart) upon the wise discretion he displayed-a discretion we would naturally expect from him-when he refused to permit his name to be given to-day as seconder of this resolution. 'My hon. friend from Lanark is an old public man and an old party man, and as the latter he has become a bit hardened. Men become that way when they are in the party ranks a long time and my hon. friend would be disposed to go quite a long way to stand by his party. We all do something of that, and my hon. friend, being a loyal man, would go a long way to support his leader. No doubt he is a good enough party man to vote for this amendment, but I can well imagine him saying to the leader of the opposition : I must draw the line somewhere ; it is hard enough to ask me to vote for a resolution favouring government ownership, but do not ask me to second it. Consequently, when his name was given as seconder, it was instantly withdrawn. That may have been a mere accident, but we could not help reflecting on it when we knew the position which the hon. gentleman has taken for years on the question of government ownership. That is a big question, one on which men may reasonably differ and one which is engaging more attention every day. We are in our scheme opposed to the principle of government ownership in the fullest sense of the word. We are opposed at all events to the principle of government operation for reasons which we will explain ; but if my hon. friend the leader of the opposition is prepared to take ground fairly and squarely in favour of government ownership and operation of the railways of this country, I admit at once that the question is a big one upon which a line might be drawn and new parties perhaps be formed. But my hon. friend has done nothing of the kind. As I said a moment ago, he has been carrying on a flirtation with this question of government ownership from the beginning of the session. In his earlier amendment he had vague, general allusions to government ownership, but he did not bring down a straight, square amendment declaring in favour of the principle of having the railways of this country owned and operated by the government. Again I say, though we might differ from my hon. friend on that question, yet it is a great question and would be well worthy of being the basis of reorganization of parties in any country. But, what do we find ? The hon. gentleman has drawn his amendment in a very ingenious way. He spoke of the insidious clauses of the Grand Trunk agreement. There is nothing in the Grand Trunk agreement so insidious as the words in which he has dealt with the (question of government ownership. He first describes the scheme that is before the House as an inexpressibly bad scheme ; it is expensive, wicked-no language that can be used within parliamentary privilege is too strong to denounce the scheme. Then the hon. gentleman says that, rather than have this desperately wicked scheme, it might be well to consider whether we should not have government ownership. It might occur to my hon. friend that some people who are interested in the question of government ownership might be inclined to say : We do not necessarily tie ourselves to this scheme. We are in favour of the government ownership as a principle and are prepared to assert it at all times, from this time forth we are in favour of government ownership-no more subsidies of soulless corporations, no more grants to any body ; we are going to stand up for the great principle of government ownership, we are going to have government of the people by the people and for the people in the matter of railways. But the hon. gentleman does not say that. He has drawn his amendment in such a curious form that all he asks his people to decide is that, rather than this desperately wicked scheme of the Prime Minister it might be well to have government ownership. The amendment says : The House is of opinion that instead of ratifying the proposed agreement, it would be more in the public interest- Observe. Not that on the merits it would be worth while, not that government ownership is right or sound, but that it is a little better than this Bill : -it would be more in the public interest that the Dominion should assume the whole obligation necessary for extending across the continent the present government system of railways, thereby completing a transcontinental railway, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, entirely owned by and under the control of the people of Canada. Still, I venture to say, those people in the Dominion-and one can respect them highly -who entertain strong opinions on the question of government ownership will not be misled by the terms of that amendment, especially, in the light of the record of hon. gentlemen opposite on the question of gov-



ernment ownership to which I would ask the privilege of calling attention. I have found, Sir, that the idea of government ownership is a popular one in some respects. There is something attractive in the idea of the municipalization, or, in tlje larger field, the nationalization of great public utilities. There is a growing feeling in that direction. Services that, years ago, were dealt with by private corporations, are gradually being absorbed by the state, and I presume that that will go on. But I am satisfied that public opinion in Canada^ has not reached a point which would justify us in saying that the people of the Dominion are prepared for a general policy of government ownership and government operation of railways^-.)-*- is the 'theory of this thing jsiitoer''man the practice which seems to attract people. My hon. friend from Vancouver (Mr. Ralph Smith) in a speech he made the other night, pointed out that, while all the municipalities in Canada could easily acquire the power to run their tramways very few of them had ventured to take over those services. The theory of the thing looks right, but when the'hard-headed citizen, in his municipal meeting, faces the question of municipal ownership, in nine cases out of ten. he backs out, he is afraid to face the question even within the narrow limits of a municipal organization. Theoretically the scheme receives favour, but it does not seem to receive wide favour in practice. As respects the Intercolonial, I think that if we were starting out afresh I should doubt the wisdom of government ownership. But we have had the Intercolonial built by the government and owned and managed by the government for many years, and I would not be willing to change it to-day. As regards the Intercolonial and any extensions which may be made of the Intercolonial within the ordinary area, having regard to local traffic, I think it should be carried on under the system of government ownership and operation. But I am not prepared to agree with hon. gentlemen, though, of course, I would respect their opinions very highly, who are ready to go the whole figure and adopt government ownership and government operation for a greaDtraascullli neuLa 1 'rail w ay. I think we mighfprofitably look into what has happened in this House on that question. I may remind the House that some years ago, as I have reason to believe, the Conservative party, then in power, not only were opposed to the principle of government ownership being extended, but, to a very large extent they favoured the policy of transferring the Intercolonial to the Canadian Pacific Railway. That is not a matter that anybody could offer any definite evidence about, because these things do not take tangible shape until they are put before parliament. But. in the lower provinces, it is a matter of public notoriety that agents of the Canadian Pacific Railway say Mr. FIELDING. came down there for the purpose of operating on public opinion and trying to create an opinion favourable to the transfer of that road to the Canadian Pacific Railway. And it was well understood that at * any rate, certain members of the Conservative government then in power viewed it with favour, and, if local public opinion could . be worked up in the maritime provinces favourable to the scheme, the government would have been willing to make the change. And, if they did not make the change, it is not because they were not willing but because maritime public opinion was hostile. I do not presume to make a definite statement as regards that, but only give it as current rumour and gossip in the maritime provinces at the time. The objection to government ownership is one that can be considered easily in connection with the Intercolonial. A railway, in these modern times, does not confine itself to railway operation. Most of the successful railways find it necessary to go into other lines of business affiliated or connected with it, lines of business that a government could not well take up. Take a single illustration. The Canadian Pacific Railway to-day has a great hotel system, and I am sure that the managers of that great enterprise would say that they believe that the hotels that are established along the line of the Canadian Pacific Railway have a great deal to do with the development of its passenger traffic. If the Intercolonial were owned by a corporation to-day it would have to establish hotels. But, as it is a government work it cannot establish hotels, nor can it go into various lines of business-wMeh a private corporation jambD-enter upon. One could multiply illustrations of the field into which the Canadian Pacific Railway has entered in all its ramifications but one will be enough. Now, the strongest men on the Conservative party are on record as being against this principle of government ownership. It is not a new question. The people of Canada have had it before them in one form or another for many a year. This parliament has had it before it, and a great many members of the Conservative party have considered it and placed themselves on record with regard to it; and I believe I am justified in saying that the public opinion of the Conservative party in Canada -and, of course, I have no right to speak of it and can only give it as a passing opinion-the best minds of the Conservative party to-day are hostile to the principle of government ownership and operation. I can cite, without having quotations to give, the Montreal ' Gazette,' one of the most highly respected of the Conservative journals. This newspaper is constant in its attacks on the principle of government ownership and its declarations that the government has no business to own and operate railways. And I venture to that that paper represents the best class of public opinion in the Conservative party. We have in the ranks of the opposition an hon. member who is more or less an expert in the matter of railway matters. My hon. friend from South Lanark (Mr. Haggart), and I think I am justified in saying that, in all his past speeches he has never had a word to say in favour of government ownership of railways. My hon. friend to-day will hardly claim that he is in favour of the princple of government ownership, and even in this debate, although allusion has been made generally to the question by my hon. friend in one or two cases, he has never gone beyond what I might call that flirtatious method in which the leader of the opposition is inclined to discuss it. They talk of government ownership but take great care not to give evidence for it. They have quoted the opinion of my hon. friend the ex-Minister of Railways (Mr. Blair). One would think they would attach more importance to the opinions of eminent men in their own ranks. However, since they have quoted Mr. Blair, let me remind them that the last votes which Mr. Blair ever gave in this House, so far as I can see from the records, were two votes which he gave against motions in favour of government ownership. I have said that the strong men in the Conservative party have been against government ownership. We have had at an earlier stage, in the speech of the hon. member for South Essex (Mr. Cowan), a quotation from the speech of Sir John Macdonald which will bear repetition. It was from a speech delivered in 1881 in connection with the Canadian Pacific Railway : The government has every right to use all their exertions in order to relieve themselves and the country of the obligation of building this road, (the Canadian Pacific Railway) and of the still greater obligation of running it. We see this In the Intercolonial and in every public work. Why, Sir, it is actually impossible for the government to run that railroad satisfactorily. The men we put on the road from the porter upwards become civil servants. If one is put on from any cause whatever, he is said to be a political hack; if he is removed, it is said his removal was on account of his political opinions. If a cow Is killed on the road a motion is made in respect to it by the member of the House who has the owner's vote as support. The responsibility, the expense, the worry and annoyance of a government having charge of such a work, are such that, for these catises alone, it was considered advisable to get rid of the responsibility. The bon. gentleman there had reference to the attitude of his governent on the question of the Canadian Pacific Railway. If we are to understand that these gentlemen "have ijo-iday become champions of government ownership, let me remind them that the government of the late Mr. Alexander Mackenzie built many miles of road as a government work and the first thing the opposition did when they came into power was to present that road, to the value of $37,000,000, as a free gift to the Canadian Pacific Railway. That is the record. Sir. of the Conservative party, and 1 have given the opinion of Sir John Macdonald. I have shown you that in carrying out that opinion, where the good, honest Mr. Alexander Mackenzie had built a government road and given the country! the advantage, if it be an advantage, of government construction, these hon. gentlemen opposite came in and presented it as a free gift to the Canadian Pacific Railway. We need not go so far back as the opinions of Sir John Macdonald. We need not rely on the opinions of Sir John. That dis- . tinguished statesman has long since passed away. We may get some information from the old veterans who are still to the fore, and whose opinion still weighs in the minds of the old Conservative party. I am afraid the new Conservatism which presents the many sided view of this railway question they have given in their amendments and speeches will not agree with the opinions of the old Conservaties, Sir John Macdonald and Sir Charles Tupper. At a more recent date, in 1897. during the time of this government we had this question up again. Our government proposed to grant aid to the Canadian Pacific Railway to build what is called the Crow's Nest Pass Railway. In the debate that occurred on that important question. Sir Charles Tupp'r spoke as follows; I learned with infinite pleasure that the government had abandoned the idea or intention of building this railway as a government work. I am quite aware, that a portion of the press giving a considerable support to the opposition has put forward this policy of the construction of the road through the Crow's Nest Pass as a government work. I confess that I was astounded to find that, with the evidence that we had before us of the result of the construction and operation of government railways in Canada, a single intelligent man could be found in this House, or out of it, who was prepared to advocate such a policy in this case. What will the old veteran say in London to-day if the news is carried over the cable that his unworthy successors have brought down a motion and presented it to this House which deals with a principle which he says no intelligent man could be found to support ? We have already solved, we have set at rest for ever, in my judgment, in the mind of any reasonable or 'intelligent man



I wonder whether this has any reference to the hon. gentlemen on your left to-day. Mr. Speaker. -we have already solved, we have set at rest for ever, in my judgment, in the mind of any reasonable or intelligent man, the question whether it is better for Canada to construct a railway and operate it as a government work or by the aid of a private company.



Settled for ever ! Still these hon. gentlemen are trying to resurrect it to-night in a half-hearted way in the hope that they will fool a portion of the people of this country who have taken an interest in this question. Sir Charles Tupper continued : I would deplore in the strongest manner any attempt in this country hy any government, I care not who they are, or who they are opposed to, to construct another government railway. That_is the position I take. I want to ask the Conservatives of Canada, choose you this day whom you will serve, the veteran leader who led you through many a fight to victory, or the new men who have come forward to-day with this kaleidoscopic picture of a many-sided railway policy winding up with something like a declaration in favour of government ownership ? But there is no reason why we should rely on the old veterans. We have the counsel of these venerable men and it is right that we should quote them, but then we may recur to modern times. Let us see in more recent times what were the views of hon. gentlemen opposite. I will coniine myself now to the discussion of this very question. Only a few months ago, after our contract with , this company was signed, after we had presented it to parliament, after we had debated it for several weeks, one hon. gentleman in this House who believed in government ownership, rose in his place and put on record an amendment setting forth that principle, I allude to the hen. member for Winnipeg (Mr. Puttee). Here is the motion which he made in the latter part of last session. By reason of the growth in population and the rapid development in the productiveness and trade of Canada and especially the western part thereof, the time is opportune for the adoption of a definite policy of government construction and operation of railways under a properly safeguarded civil service system, put entirely beyond the influence of partisan politics. - That is the motion which was moved by my hon. friend (Mr. Puttee) several months ago, while this question was before us as a part of the record on this very measure. And what does the record tell us ? I find that that motion was voted down in this House by a majority and I find that among the men who voted against that motion was the railway expert of the opposition the hon. member for South Lanark (Mr. Haggart). My hon. friend from Compton (Mr. Pope) made a two hours speech the other day on government ownership but three or four months before the hon. member in this House voted against government ownership. I see the veteran from Hill ton (Mr. Henderson) is in his seat to-night. We shall hear from him no doubt upon this subject.


CON

David Henderson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HENDERSON.

Certainly.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   WINNIPEG TO HALIFAX BY THE NORTHRUP OPPOSITION PLAN.
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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   WINNIPEG TO HALIFAX BY THE NORTHRUP OPPOSITION PLAN.
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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

And I have to remind him that only a few weeks ago he voted against a straight motion for government ownership.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   WINNIPEG TO HALIFAX BY THE NORTHRUP OPPOSITION PLAN.
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CON

David Henderson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HENDERSON.

Oh.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   WINNIPEG TO HALIFAX BY THE NORTHRUP OPPOSITION PLAN.
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May 26, 1904