They are supplying it in Belleville to one concern that I know of, at $13 per horse-power, and I am told by the same man who is receiving that power from the development on the Trent Valley canal at $13 that he formerly paid $23 per horsepower for power furnished him by steam. This revenue that is being derived from the water-power already developed would be very largely increased and I have no doubt, in fact I am informed by those who have given the matter careful study, that the price at which power is now being supplied in Belleville. $13, could be very materially decreased if the corporations who are interested in this matter along the line of the Trent Valley water-way, were allowed to develop the water-power that exists there. If I am correctly informed that cannot be done under existing circumstances. 1 am informed that the government some time ago expropriated all the lands along the line of that Trent water-way and all the water-power for the purposes of this canal, so that an individual or a corporation going in there and desiring-as one corporation that I know of, the Trent Electric and Water Company, desires-to develop greater water-power would not be able to do that without the sanction of the government. We can all readily see that it would not be the policy of the government, if it has in contem-Mr. PORTER.
plation the completion of this canal, to allow private individuals to acquire the right to develop water-power upon that route, because it would, as every one sees, create rights, which might upon the determination of the government to push this canal scheme through, involve the government in a very large expenditure of money to buy up rights that had been so acquired. Just in that connection, let me point out that it seems to me most unfair- and this is one of the strongest arguments, parliaps, that I can urge upon the government to be more energetic in building the Trent Valley canal-that this immense water-power is practically tied up there. I am told upon very good authority that if the government were willing to-day to abandon this project and give it over to private enterprise, there is any amount of capital ready and waiting to go into the enterprise, and develop it not only for. the purposes of the canal, but simply for the revenue that would be derived from the water-power. It seems to me that it is a dog-in-the-manger policy on the part of the government to refuse to private individuals or to corporations the right to develop this power and yet not go on and develop it themselves. What I have said in regard to the development of power in Trenton, is perfectly true in regard to the village of Frankford, the village of Campbellford, the town of Hastings, the city of Peterborough, and all the other towns and villages along the line of this Trent water-way. The development of cheap power is desired by all for the promotion of manufacturing industries. I have taken pains to ascertain some of the facts concerning the development of water-power, I find that on the portion of the canal from Peterborough to Trenton, that is, merely the southern portion of the canal, it has been carefully estimated that
100,000 horse-power could be developed. If that is so, the lease of such an extent of water-power would furnish a more than handsome return on all the money that would be required to be spent by this country in the completion of the canal. Let me refer to some further remarks in this connection by Mr. Gilmour. In summarizing his investigation he says :
Trent canal route is some 1,454 miles shorter to Liverpool and return and to the European markets than the Erie canal, and over 500 miles shorter than our present St. Lawrence canals that actually captured a good part of the American trade this year, .1903.
He emphasizes what I have already pointed out to this House, that by reason of the Erie canal not being able to compete with the improved conditions of the railways the Erie Canal lost the control of the traffic and the railways captured it. That traffic which was then being captured by the railways- Mr. Gilmour does not say so but it is the fact-by reason of the policy inaugurated
by the Liberal-Conservative party in enlarging the canal system of Canada has been largely acquired by Canada.
The most economical barges, carefully figured out for cheapest carrying capacity, of the tn-larged Brie canal have a capacity of about 33,333 bushels each barge. Trent canal barge capacity, each barge 25,000 bushels and can easily increase or double canal if wanted.
The whole American and Canadian grain trade adjacent to the Great Lakes would be at the command of the Trent canal when completed on account of its shortness and cheap carrying capacity to large European markets, and could be absolutely contracted for when canal is completed in spite of anything that can be done by any other route.
Safety of Trent canal is assured as it is all inland water from Midland on the Georgian bay to Montreal and Quebec and no objections to open lake same as Erie canal had in discussing advantages that might be had in their using Lake Ontario.
Barges with independent propelling power can easily be used for local trade going and coming, and the whole length of canal and St. Lawrence route stopping at any and all towns and villages, afterwards joining through towing fleets.
Now, let me for a moment refer to the evidence of another eminent gentleman who has given this matter very careful consideration and who, I venture to say has given that consideration under the direction of this government of which he is an employee. I refer to the statement of Mr. It. B. Rogers, C.E., He says :
The estimated cost of transhipping at Midland is from I to h cent per bushel. The depth of water in the water-way when completed will be 8 feet 4 inches. The present barges on the Erie canal are about one-third the capacity of those intended for use on the Trent. The distance from Georgian Bay to Trentotn will be about 200 miles, of which only about one-tenth of this distance will be actual canal. The Erie canal is about 352 miles long from Buffalo to Albany, about all of which distance is actual canal, and 150 miles of river navigation from Albany to New York. In comparing the length of time required to go from Midland to Montreal, and from Buffalo to New York, many different points have to be taken into consideration-but a single steam barge from Midland to Montreal would take 69 hours, and from Buffalo to New York, the Erie canal about double this time. Regarding freight rates by rail or by water of course the rate on the Trent canal can only be arrived at by comparison with the rates on other barge canals, for instance on the Erie canal. The distance from Midland to tide-water at Montreal is 445 miles. From Buffalo to tide-water at New York is 503 miles. Freight is delivered now at Midland from the western ports at 1 cent per bushel, and at Buffalo at 1'42 to 2 cents per bushel. By the new Erie canal, Major Symonds, who is perhaps the most expert barge engineer in the United States, calculates that wheat can be taken from Buffalo to New York at 8-10 of one cent per bushel. Now if they can do that on the new Erie we can do it on the Trent canal, being, as I hav mntioned above, a water-waj', not a canal. This 8-10 of a cent added to the
1 cent rate to Midland and J cent for transhipping charges will make a rate of 2'3 cents from the western ports to Montreal. Rates from western ports to Montreal via Depot Harbour 5 cents, via Midland 5 to 6 cents. Rates from western ports to New York via Buffalo by water and rail 6| to 7 cents ; by water about 5i cents..
Regarding the difference in distance from Port Arthur to Liverpool, that via" the Trent canal is 757 miles shorter than via the Erie canal, which on the return trip amounts to 1,514 miles.
I repeat that no one can consider the evidence of these eminent men, one of them an engineer in the employ of the government, and fail to realize the very great advantage that Canada has, if she will only use it by the improvement of the Trent ivater-way, over any means of transportation that the United States can offer against us. Besides the Important advantages which will accrue to the Dominion as a whole through the completion of the Trent Valley canal there are very many other advantages that will accrue to the cities, towns, villages, municipalities and individuals directly affected, by providing cheap freight rates.
It is estimated that to fully complete this section of the canal, including what has already been expended by previous governments and by this government will cost about $10,000,000, which at ordinary rate of interest, 3 per cent, would' involve an annual charge of about $300,000. Now, as to the revenue from power. I am 'confining my presentation of this part of the case to that portion of the canal between Peterborough and the Bay of Quints, and it has been shown beyond any reasonable doubt that at least 100,000 horse-power can be got between these two points. The income derived from this hundred thousand horse-power sold or leased at the rate that it would be hound to command, would pay not only the interest upon the total investment of $10,000,000 necessary to complete the canal but it would be sufficient to provide a sinking fund that in a very few years would wipe out the capital expenditure upon: this whole enterprise.
Suppose this hundred thousand horsepower sold at $13 per horse-power, a rate at which it is being sold between Trenton and Belleville, any hon. gentleman can see that it will not only pay interest upon the investment but that it will provide a sinikng fund that in a few years will wipe out the whole obligation. But, that is only part of the possible revenue.
Take it from Peterborough to Midland; the water-power, if developed all along the r,bute, would increase the revenue of the government from day to day and year to year and enable them to pay off the capital expenditure entailed by the completion of this canal very much earlier than the date that I have shown by the figures that I have given. There is another very great advantage that it occurs to me would accrue to the people by the completion of
this water-way, perhaps it is one of its most important results and that is the competition that will be created between transportation by means of water and, transportation by means of the railways. As I have already taken occasion to remark, I do not think that any question exists to-day in the mind of any man who has given the matter study but what transportation by water is really the regulating power or regulator so to speak of the rates that will be charged on railways. Railways now charge the very highest rate that commerce can endure and live and the construction of this canal would have a very important bearing upon this important proposition. The limit of rates for transportation would then be regulated or controlled by the cost of transportation by this water route, and every shipper would derive permanent relief and protection against railway monopoly. A very small saving per ton per mile when we consider the immense quantities of trade that will be carried over this route and the saving in distance will amount to a sum that is almost inconceivable. If one would sit down and figure it out the saving in distance and freight would be simply enormous and it is one of the reasons which to my mind should appeal to the government to lay down at this time a definite and positive policy and energically enter upon the carrying out of that policy for the advantage of the people of Canada. Last year 28,000,000 bushels of grain were shipped to Midland and Depot Harbour and this would be very largely increased by the development of the western country and by the attraction of cheap transportation by means of this water-way. It is to my mind impossible to adequately conceive what the extent of that growth will be. The freight carried from points along the route of this canal already assumes very large proportions. Peterborough last year alone shipped in and out by rail over
290.000 tons of freight, Campbellford over
36.000 tons, Trenton over 100,000 tons, Hastings, Lakefield, Bobcaygeon, Fenelon Falls, Cambridge, Barrie, Orillia and other smaller towns and villages along the line shipped freight in proportion and all of these figures are sure to increase, and the trade is of proportionate advantage to the people resident in these particular districts. Added to these facts that by the Trent Valley waterway to Liverpool there would be absolute saving in distance of over 1,500 miles, that being the difference in distance in favour of this route as against any other route either through Canada or the United States, I think one cannot fail to see the many jgreat and permanent advantages to the people of Canada to be derived from putting into useful form this natural water-way ; nor can any man doubt that to allow local political or sectional difficulties to impede the construction of this great work would justly merit the condemnation of the Canadian people. So far I have endea-
Subtopic: TRENTON-FRANKFORD SECTION.