April 7, 1905

LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD.

My hon. friend, as I understand, does not offer any objections to the provisions of the Bill now before the committee, and unless he desires to obstruct* I submit that he should not delay the progress of this measure to which he has no objection. If the hon. gentleman thinks that the policy of the government with respect to this other Bill requires elucidation he has the fullest right to deal with it when it comes before the House.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY COMPANY.
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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

The policy outlined by the Minister of Railways was, that the governiment proposed to engage in the carrying of through freights from the lakes to the maritime ports

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY COMPANY.
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LIB

Henry Robert Emmerson (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. EMMERSON.

What I stated was that we proposed to acquire running rights over this railroad. I apprehend that my hon. friend would not deem that an Impossibility ; because to-day, under running rights the Canadian Pacific Railway runs over the Intercolonial Railway between St. John and Halifax. In this instance arrangements could be made not inimical to the interests of the country and certainly not inimical to the interests of the maritime ports. Our great object is not only to have cheap and expeditious transportation, but to have that transportation to the maritime seaports in winter particularly, and through the St. Lawrence route in summer. The details of the Bill on the order paper will come up for discussion and until then it will he prema-* ture for me to enter into details. The Bill

now before the House has been thoroughly discussed in the committee, and the usual course is to allow it to pass. The hon. gentleman from Hamilton, in saying that all this must be contingent upon the character of the rates which we may charge, is travelling very far from this Bill now before the House.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY COMPANY.
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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

What I wish to submit to the hon. member for Pictou is this. If the government has a proposal which is in effect to carry through freight from the lake ports to the maritime ports of Canada, might not parliament, in considering that proposal, come to the conclusion that it could be carried out with greater advantage to the people of this country by the acquisition of the Canada Atlantic Railway? And would it not be rather late to discuss the matter contained in the proposed Bill of the government if parliament had already given its assent to legislation which authorized the vesting of that very line in the Grand Trunk Railway Company ? That is the consideration that has appealed to me throughout the discussion of this Bill, and I would be inclined to think that it would commend itself to the logical mind of my hon. friend from Pictou, and that he would see that there is some justification for our asking that the details of the government's proposal should be placed before the House. My hon. friend the Minister of Railways will remember that on Wednesday he promised us that we should have a full expla-* nation of the government's proposals to-day; he expressly mentioned to-day.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY COMPANY.
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LIB

Henry Robert Emmerson (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. EMMERSON.

No ; I think not.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY COMPANY.
Permalink
CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

Yes ; I will read what my hon. friend said :

On Friday when the Bill is introduced, I will explain all the details and give my hon. friend the information which he asks.

My hon. friend has forgotten that.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY COMPANY.
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LIB

Henry Robert Emmerson (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. EMMERSON.

No ; I have not forgotten it-when the Bill is introduced.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY COMPANY.
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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

But my hon. friend mentioned Friday. My hon. friend has changed his mind for some reason, and we have not all the details of the government's proposal.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY COMPANY.
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LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald

Liberal

Mr. E. M. MACDONALD.

In reply to the hon. leader of the opposition, let me sug gest that if the government comes to the conclusion at any time to expropriate what is called the Canada Atlantic Railway, it would certainly be open for them to do so ; and if the simple proposition that the Grand Trunk Railway Company shall have the right to purchase a certain amount of stock in a certain other railway company is accepted by this committee at this time, it would not prevent that being done. The J proposition to take over the line of railway \ from Coteau to Parry Sound, in the in- * Mr. MACDONALD.

terest of the country, is a proposition entirely apart from that contained in this Bill. The Bill is merely an empowering one, and the principle contained in it was not questioned for one moment in the Railway Committee by the hon. member for Hamilton (Mr. Barker), nor by any other member of the committee. When this company asks for ordinary and reasonable legislation, why should it be refused or delayed because, forsooth, it may be thought in the interest of the country that the government should be given power to expropriate certain railroads which are not affected by this Bill, except in so far as the purchase of stock relates to them ? I fear that my hon. friend the leader of the opposition is more concerned in a question which is foreign to the merits of this measure than he is in the merits of the measure itself.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY COMPANY.
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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

What does my hon. friend mean by that ?

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY COMPANY.
Permalink
LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald

Liberal

Mr. E. M. MACDONALD.

My hon. friend is more interested, for instance, in considering the Bill on the order paper entitled an Act to amend the Government Railways Act than he is in the Bill respecting the Grand Trunk Railway Company of Canada. The legislation contained in these two Bills is of a character that has not been subjected to any criticism in the past. Two years ago this parliament gave to the Canada Atlantic Railway Company practically the power asked for In section 1 of this Bill ; and, on behalf of the companies interested, I submit that it is not fair for this committee to refuse to agree to a proposition which a committee of this House considered carefully, and to which no objection of the slightest kind was taken by anybody, simply because there is a Bill on the order paper relating to an amendment or the Government Railways Act, which will be discussed here, if not on Friday, then on the first day that the Minister of Railways moves his Bill, when the subject which is of so much interest to the hon. leader of the opposition and the hon. member for Hamilton can be fairly threshed out. I submit, therefore, that this measure should not be considered on the basis of the government's Bill.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY COMPANY.
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CON

Samuel Barker

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BARKER.

I wish to make quite clear the ground upon which I desire that the whole subject relating to this Bill or connected with it shall now be fully discussed, and I think I can point out to the Minister of Railways, a railway manager, as he practically is, why it should be discussed. I am not looking at it from the point of view of the hon. member for Pictou, who is pressing this Bill on behalf of the Grand Trunk Railway Company ; but I am trying to present the interests of the people of Canada on this question, and I am sure that ill what I am about to say I shall have the sympathy of the Minister of Railways, whether he agrees with me or not. The proposal in the clause now before the com-

mittee is that the Grand. Trunk Railway Company shall be enabled to acquire control, by the purchase of stock, of a connecting railway, the Canada Atlantic Railway. That Canada Atlantic Railway is a most important connection and feeder for traffic-purposes of the government railways, and here is the hon. member for Pictou (Mr. E.

M. Macdonald) deliberately asking -parliament to sanction the acquisition by a rival company of that valuable connection ; and the hon. member for Pictou (Mr. E. M. Macdonald) would have us believe that we, representing the country at large, have nothing to say to it ; that this is merely a private affair between the Grand Trunk and the Canada Atlantic companies. If the hon. gentleman would just for a moment fancy himself the owner of a very considerable portion of stock of the Intercolonial Railway, and would suppose that he were asked to consider whether he should remain absolutely quiet in the face of an attempt of a rival company to the Intercolonial Railway to acquire control of an important connecting road, would he have nothing to say '! Would he say it was none of his business, and that he must sit quiet and allow the two companies to complete their agreement, and then see what could be done with the combined company ? Surely the Minister of Railways, will not accept that kind of an argument, short as the time has been during which he has been the railway manager ? His predecessor, after many years of experience in railway matters, thoroughly understood the importance of this Canada Atlantic Railway, and he wanted the government of Canada to own every inch of it. The hon. member for Pictou would ask us to sit here quietly and let this Bill go through, and enable this company which is in deadly rivalry, so far as commercial interests are concerned, with the government railways, to acquire the Canada Atlantic. Well, any ordinary business man who would do that sort of thing would be fit to go to a lunatic asylum. I do not say that offensively, and the hon. gentleman quite understands what I mean, j I mean that If the hon. gentleman were connected in a commercial way with a business concern, and he were asked to remain quiescent while such a transaction was going on ; if somebody suggested to him that he should not say anything till his competitors had their plans complete, he would say : ' Do you think I am an ass ? Do you think I am a proper candidate for a lunatic asylum ? Now is the time for me to intervene, and if by any possible means I can prevent this combination against my interests, prevent it I will.' That Is the position I am presenting to the hon. gentleman, and I am quite sure the Minister of Railways will be with me in that.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY COMPANY.
Permalink
LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald

Liberal

Mr. E. M. MACDONALD.

Then I am to understand'that the hon. member for Hamilton (Mr. Barker) is opposing this Bill ?

Mr. BaRIvER. I am opposing this Bill until I know what protection the government is obtaining, what protection the Minister of Railways contemplates in the public interest against what will be the result of this combination. Does the hon. gentleman object to that ?

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY COMPANY.
Permalink
LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald

Liberal

Mr. E. M. MACDONALD.

If the hon. gentleman is desirous of opposing this Bill, I think he should say ,so frankly to the committee, because my hon. friend understands very well that the government have on the order paper a Bill which is intended to deal with the question of governmental rights in relation to this railway. If my hon. friend has any policy on that question, if he has any views upon the government's attitude on that question, he can oppose that Bill and take whatever course he likes, and he kuow-s as an old railway man that the power rests in the government-and he can move in this parliament to have this power exercised-which would enable the government to take this railway if it is thought in the interests of the government to take it.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY COMPANY.
Permalink
CON

Samuel Barker

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BARKER.

My policy would be that the government should settle its own position first, and then consider what it would ask parliament to empower these two companies to do. But to just stand quietly by and let the horse be stolen and then go in and lock the door, is something of which I do not approve. I desire, now that we have had shown to us what is going on and what is contemplated, to know what the government is going to do for the protection of the people. Is there anything unfair in that ? It seems to me that the government and the companies have put their heads together and that they are getting the cart before the horse. Let us know all that is to be done and what the outcome of all it will be, what effect the Bill is going to have on the Intercolonial Railway, then we will see just how much, in our judgment and discretion we, representing tile people, can afford to do for the companies.

.Mr. E. M. MACDONALD. Is the hon. gentleman's attitude that this Bill should not be passed at the present time, and that lie proposes that the government railway Bill should be considered by the House before this Bill should be allowed to pass ?

ilr. BARKER. I propose-and that is tlie reason I asked that tile minister should be present before we began the discussion-I propose to ask the minister what is going to be the effect of the Bill before I vote for it.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY COMPANY.
Permalink
L-C

Andrew B. Ingram

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. INGRAM.

This Bill stood on the order paper for some time at the instance of 'the Prime Minister. On the 3rd of March the First Minister asked that the committee rise and report progress. This is only the 7th of April, and next Monday

private Bills will be up before tlie House again, and in the meantime the minister will have an opportunity of introducing the Bill that is on the order paper and of giving a statement in connection with that Bill. The hon. gentleman says that in the Railway Committee there was no objection and practically no question in connection with these two Bills, that passed through without any question. I think we have the word of the ex-Minister of Railways and Canals that there was an understanding- when the Bills passed through the Railway Committee, that when this Bill was before the House the Minister of Railways would make a statement as to the government's policy on this question.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY COMPANY.
Permalink
LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald

Liberal

Mr. E. M. MACDONALD.

At any rate my hon. friend was here on Wednesday when the statement was made.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY COMPANY.
Permalink
L-C
LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald

Liberal

Mr. E. M. MACDONALD.

How much more statement do you want ?

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY COMPANY.
Permalink
CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

Does my hon. friend fully understand the policy of the government ?

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY COMPANY.
Permalink

April 7, 1905