April 7, 1908


William Erskine Knowles



It is too much to go over all my hon. friend's speeches, you must remember that he spoke five hours and twenty minutes a few days ago and I do not know that he said anything worth listening to.



My hon. friend does not substantiate his statement.


William Erskine Knowles



At any rate if this government has sold and is selling land in large quantities I wish to say that Uiey have not my support in that.


William Erskine Knowles



But I am quite sure my hon. friend is away out in the number of acres he has given. We need only look at the records to see that the previous government sold and gave away millions of acres of laud. This government has certainly not alienated any such quantity of land as that. Since I am speaking in regard to the alienation of land by pre-emption, I wish to emphasize what I am saying when I was interrupted that there is every need for the government to exercise a policy of generosity towards the settler. He is going into that country to stay, to raise his family ; and if there is to be an error made on any side, let it be made on the side of giving him a few acres too many rather than restricting him unduly. Any one familiar with the lands which have not already been takeu up will agree that 160 acres are not sufficient for a man to make his home on permanently. Even if 320 acres should be a small number of acres more than he requires, I say it is wise to err on that side, for as time goes on and his family grows up he will want to expand his farm, he will want land on which to put his sons. If you tied him down to a very limited number of acres you will cause the separation of his family which we should avoid as long as possible.

I remember on the occasion of the inauguration of the new provinces, when His Excellency and the Prime Minister and other ministers of the Crown were in Edmonton, the hon. Minister of Customs (Mr. Paterson) made a speech which was extremely popular. Before him were lined up wagon after wagon filled with little children. On each of these wagons there was a motto, ' they will grow.' The Minister of Customs took that motto as the text of his address, and he spoke of the manner in which all through that country growth was manifest on every hand. He spoke of the way the country had grown in the past and was going to expand in the future and as that voice of his carried out over the prairie aud across the Saskatchewan river, the people enjoyed his speech extremely and almost forgave him for the very large amount of money he takes from them in customs year after year. I say that the same motto may be applied to our families in regard to making provision for them by giving them a generous supply of land. If you are going to tie men down to ICO acres of land, not the best kind of land even, you should make provision for the development of that country and for the growth of their families. I wish to place myself on record not as holding the

views of the hon. member for Brandon (Mr. Sifton), but rather as holding the views which were embodied in the R 11 of the government last session.

There are one or two objections that have been raised against the Hudson Bay Railway that I wish to refer to. The objection is raised that the equipment of this railway will be used only three or four months, or, at the most, five months in the year. I do not think that is correct. I think, Mr. Speaker, that there will be the hauling of wheat to the elevators at Fort Churchill month after month and then, taking it at its very worst, whatever railway company operates the Hudson Bay Railway, the Canadian Northern, the Canadian Pacific Railway, or the Grand Trunk Pacific, it will in twenty-four hours, at any time. '* able to take its rolling stock off that new railway and place it on its main line. Therefore, I say it is impossible for people to contend that the equipment would lie idle during seven or eight months in the year. We have also to remember that even at this present day they are carrying to Fort William and Port Arthur many million bushels of grain ; there is storage accommodation at the head of the lakes for about 15,000,000 bushels. Why should not the same be done at Fort Churchill ?

So, Mr. Speaker, without desiring to detain the House further, I wish simply to close by saying that the people of the west, of my own constituency, and I think I can speak for the residents of the province of Saskatchewan, are desirous that this government should take into its immediate consideration the solution of this problem by which they may have readier access to the markets, and by which they will be afforded relief from that great inconvenience which has lain upon them like a burden for the last few years. They ask that the government will come to their assistance by providing greater facilities for the transportation of their grain. I have endeavoured to point out that the scheme which is embodied in this proposition is feasible, that a demand has come from the farmers of the west for a solution of this problem, that it is nothing which will stagger this government, that the west has great claims upon the Dominion government because of the great contribution it is making towards the development of the natural industries of Canada, and I trust that these considerations will weigh with the government and with hon. gentlemen on both sides of the House, so that this question may receive the favourable consideration of the House and of the government.


Frederick Laurence Schaffner

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. F. L. SCHAFFNER (Souris).

Mr. Speaker-, I would ask the indulgence of the House for a short time this afternoon while I place myself on record on this important question that so much affects our western country. During the twenty-five years that


and the men who produce the grain always struggling like the devil to stand off the banks. When a man takes the long end of a government offer which bets him 160 acres of homestead land against $10 that he can't stay on.it three years necessary to prove up and get title, and then makes good and raises a crop of grain, it would seem that he ought to get a fair share of the proceeds of his work.


Aaron Abel Wright



Does the hon. gentleman consider that a reputable authority?


Frederick Laurence Schaffner

Conservative (1867-1942)


The hon. gentleman can judge of that for himself. I am not vouching for the authority ; but it probably tells a good deal of truth sometimes. I lay it down that the character of that western country to-day demands the building of the Hudson Bay Railway. I believe that the opening of the Hudson Bay route, while it may not accomplish all that is desired, will go a very long way in solving the great transportation problem. I go further. A great deal of the opposition to this project has come from eastern Canada, largely from the great corporations ; but I say that the east would be more than compensated for any apparent loss it would sustain by the building of this road. I claim that the trade that would be created by that route is one which the St. Lawrence route could not handle in any case. I do not think it has ever been suggested that the opening of Galveston as an ocean port in the southwest worked any injury to the eastern states, while on the other hand it certainly aided very materially the manufacturing interests of the eastern states. We have heard a great deal of the proposed canalization of the Mississippi and its connection with Chicago. While the difficulties and the initial cost of that project are so much greater than those of the Hudson Bay Railway, we should remember this fact, that after you canalize the Mississippi and connect it with Chicago, the products carried by the canal to the sea-board would be 1,000 miles further from the markets of the world than they were when they started, whereas the products carried by the Hudson Bay Railway will be brought 1,000 miles nearer to the markets of the world. This is a fact that is worthy of consideration. The opening of the Hudson Bay route is a matter of great importance not only to the west, but also to the east. Eastern Canada has for a long time opposed the building of this road, just as some people in the United States opposed the building of the Panama canal. If the great corporations and others in eastern Canada oppose the building of the Hudson Bay Railway, the result will be that the responsibility of building it will fall upon the people of the west. Such a narrow, sectional feeling is contrary to the best interests of eastern Canada. The discussion on this question, in this House and out of it, is no very new7 thing. There has been sermoniz-Mr. SCHAFFNER.

mg, by various governments and individuals. on the building of the Hudson Bay Railway nearly as long as I can remember. The same excuses have been put forwrard from time to time by those opposed to the project, and we have not the road yet. In 1884 the government sent out the 'Alert,' with Lieutenant Bordon in command, to explore the -waters of Hudson bay and straits. For some reasons, it took him a very long time to make a report. When it w7as made it was none too favourable; w7e believe for none too unselfish motives. Those who favoured the building of the Hudson Bay Railway at that time believed the report was purposely adverse. We must remember that the Canadian Pacific Railway was at that time being built, w'hich was probably a greater undertaking for the Dominion of Canada then than it would be to-day. There is no doubt that there was a fear upon the part of governments and financiers that the building of this road would be simply an excuse for another demand on the treasury of Canada ; and so the report of the ' Alert's ' expedition w7as unfavourable to the building of the road and to the navigation of Hudson bay and Hudson straits. In 1S97 the ' Diana ' was sent out. It appears only to have cruised about the straits during the summer, and returned. The report of that cruise was also adverse, and for similar reasons. But a great many years have passed since that time, and we believe the time has come when the proposition is entitled to receive the serious consideration of the government.

I am no great Calvinist or believer in predestination ; but I ask the members of this House to look at the map of North America, with that great inland sea extending so far into the country, and ask whether they do not believe that it w7as placed there for an all-wise purpose. I do

I believe that that great inland sea was purposely placed where it is in order that it might be utilized in the interests of that great western country. There we have a great bay, with its 2,000 miles of sea coast, one half the size of the Mediterranean, in what may be said to be a fairly temperate climate; and all the indications are that before many years the shores of this bay will be peopled with prosperous communities and its harbours will contain large elevators. Hudson bay is geographically to this continent what the Baltic sea is to Europe. Its length Is 1,000 miles north to south and 600 miles east to west, having an area of 580,000 square miles. Perhaps the best idea I can give of its dimensions is to ask you to bear in mind that the length of the bay is as great as the distance from Winnipeg to the Rockv mountains and nearly six times the size of the great lakes separating Canada from the United States.

I want to call attention in this connection to some reports of temperatures. People seem to think that the -weather is extremely

cold out there, but the more one studies the subject the more one is convinced that after all the country around Hudson bay is almost a banana belt. Here is what Dr. Bell says, and in giving you these quotations I do so that you may have some idea of the climate and of the feasibility of navigating the straits. If it can be shown that the building of this road is practicable, as I believe it is, then we ought to proceed with it. If not, we should let the matter drop. Dr. Bell says :

Both the bay and the straits are remarkably free from rooks and shoals, which might interfere with her free navigation. The groups of islands near the east side of the bay are surrounded by deep water, and a wide channel leads up the centre of James bay. Fortunately the main body of the bay, which is the portion likely to be hereafter frequented by shipping is entirely without shoals, reefs or islands. The depth is very uniform over most of the bay, and nowhere does it present any great irregularities. It averages about 70 fathoms throughout, deepening to 100 and upwards in approaching tile outlet of Hudson straits; while in the strait itself the soundings along the centre vary from about 150 to upwards of 300 fathoms. The bottom appears to consist almost everywhere of boulder clay and mud. Near the shores a stiff clay, affording good holding ground for anchors is almost invariably met with on both sides.

As regards the climate, Mr. O'Sullivan says :

The ordinary half-breeds are more easily coaxed to eat than to swim any day. No matter how often you propose lunch they are always ready, but it is not so often you get them to strip and wash themselves. This day, however, I succeeded in getting them all to take a plunge and we enjoyed it immensely. The water was in excellent condition, reminding one of Old Orchard Beach or Chester bay. X have never found the water as warm in any part of the St. Lawrence or in Bay des Chaleurs as we found it on the east main coast in the end of August and beginning of September

I would like bon. members for the east to take note of this statement :

-and I have no doubt that if easy communication could be had by rail, the most northern limit of our province would prove an attractive scene for tourists and health seekers.

Let me give you some information regarding temperatures because there seems to be the idea that the climate is an arctic one. Here is what Dr. Bell says on that point: I

I took the temperature of the sea upwards of 20 times during our voyage which extended over the greater part of July, August and September, and I found it to average 53 degrees of Fahrenheit. I also noted the temperature of the rivers which we visited and found the average of five of them to be 61 degrees Fahrenheit. We bathed in the salt water almost daily and found the temperature agreeable.

He winds up by saying :

The average temperature of the air between July 11 and September 21, from the above observations, would appear to be 621 degrees.

That is better than we have in the Northwest. If we had in September or August such temperature as that, we would not be troubled with frozen wheat.

As most of these observations were taken in the morning or the evening and as the nights were generally warm owing to the prevalence of southerly winds this is perhaps not far from the true mean temperature and it is above the average of the main temperature for these months of ten principal stations from Halifax, Nova Scotia, to Fort Simpson, on the Mackenzie river. About two-thirds of the bay in the south might be .included in this classification with regard to summer temperature.

Now the climate of this vast territory compares very favourably with that of the western territories :

The temperature of the waters in Hudson bay is several degrees higher than that in Lake Superior and Lieutenant Gordon declared that the bay might be regarded as a vast basin of comparatively warm water, a fact which must help to mitigate the severity of the winter in the surrounding country.

My good friend opposite (Mr. Knowles) spoke of the ice being easily kept clear by means of ice breaking vessels. But, as a matter of fact, the bay freezes very little and is besides remarkably free from storms and fogs :

The waters are deep and uniform and the soundings, of 480 feet at many points indicate that its bed is a level plateau. Now as to the opening and closing date of the harbour of Fort Churchill since 1825 can be given.

I am not going to give all the temperatures for fifty years, but I shall give you a few taken at random between the dates I have mentioned. I may say that since I started to make this address, I have heard men saying what is the good of Hudson bay, it is only open two months in the year. Well, I am going to furnish proof that these gentlemen are altogether mistaken: .

1824, open June 12, closed November 18-five months, six days.

1827, open June 24, closed November 13-four months and twenty days.

1834, open June 21, closed November 15-four months and twenty-five days.

1844, open June 24, closed November 23-five months.

1848, open June 19, closed November 6-four months, eighteen days.

1852, open June 13, closed November 28-five months, fifteen days.

1862, open June 7, closed November 5-four months, twenty-nine days.

1863, open June 5, closed November 11- five months, six days.

1892, open June 19, closed November 11- four months, twenty-three days.

1891, open June 6, closed November 19-five months, thirteen days.

What do we find the average to be? The average is from June 19th to November 8th, five months. I have not asked anybody to say off-hand how long the St. Lawrence is open, but I suppose it is not open more than six months. The longest season for Hudson bay and straits was in 1846, five months and eighteen days; the shortest season was from June 14 to November 8. Now this period extended over seventy years and is taken from the Hudson bay officials. And I find no evidence against it, that harbours in Huuson bay and the mouth of the rivers are open about five months of the year.

It is wonderful what great men will do.

T have a great deal of respect for the Deputy Minister of Railways and Canals, Mr. Butler, as a man of ability, but he is a little narrow on this point. They say every one is narrow on some point, and this is the point on which Mr. Butler is narrow. He made an address before the May Court Club jn this city not long ago-about the time my bon. friend from North Renfrew (Mr. White) was talking about the Georgian Bay canal, and seemed anxious that the Georgian Bay canal should be built. I don't stand here to say a word against the building of the Georgian Bay canal, let us have it by all means. But I don't want the Georgian Bay canal or any other canal to be built at the expense of the Hudson Bay Railway which we must have. Mr. Butler, is thus reported :

Transportation, a subject of intense practical interest to all Canadians, was the item last night of a brilliant address before the May Court Club by Mr. M. J. Butler, Deputy Minister of Railways and Canals. In the course of his remarks Mr. Butler said that the Georgian Bay canal was the solution of Canada's transportation problem. I

I say, it is only one of the solutions. The great solution, so far as we in the west are concerned, is to build the Hudson Bay Railway and use Hudson bay and Hudson strait for carrying our products to the markets of the world. Mr. Butler says the Hudson Bay road is 1 in the talkative stage.' Well, how long is a thing to stay in that stage ? The Hudson Bay Railway has been in the ' talkative stage ' as long as I can remember, and I am no kid. It seems to me that when a man like the deputy Minister of Railways and Canals, with all his ability-for which I give him credit-and with all his experience, says that the Hudson Bay Railway is only ' in the talkative stage ' he needs a little educating, and X am trying to give it to him right now.

So far, we have talked about Hudson bay ; we have shown its extent and shown that it is free from shoals and fogs. And, on that point, I would like to make reference to another remark made bv M- Butler, Mr. SCHAFFNEF

He says that insurance was an argument against the building of this road and utilizing Hudson bay and strait. Perhaps it is. But what is the experience ? In the course of a century and a half the Hudson Bay Company sent out 750 vessels through Hudson strait and bay. There were vessels running from 70-gun ships down to ships of ten tons burden. No one will say that these vessels were strongly built. They were rudely built and small. But the records of the Hudson Bay Company show that, out of 750 vessels, sent through, only two were lost. That does not look as though navigation of these waters was very dangerous. We must remember also that these vessels had none of the advantages of the aids to navigation-lighthouses and all the rest, that are provided on every well-travelled route to-day. Well, I have spoken of Hudson bay. What do they say of Hudson strait ?

Markham says :

I have in my possession an official record of the voyages out and home of the Hudson Bay Company's ship '"Prince Rupert' for a period of eleven consecutive years, namely from 1835 to 1816 inclusive. I find that the average time of getting through the straits in the outward voyages during this period ' and it must not be forgotten that the strait is 500 miles in length ' was 16 days. The longest time was 31 days, when there was probably an exceptionally bad ice year. The shortest time was 8 days. But the delays in getting through the strait were caused by calms and adverse winds-

Something that will be absolutely overcome by the navigation of to-day.

-and not by the ice. On the homeward passage no difficulties were met with from ice in the strait, and the vessel usually reached London in about five weeks after leaving York Factory. . . . The ' Prince Rupert ' was 38 days on the passage to London; so that it is impossible she could have had any serious detention from ice in the strait.

And Gordon says :

As to the length of season for practical navigation, if we regard the presence of field ice as the only barrier, the information which we have got would point to the months of July, August, September and October as being the months in which the straits are passable. As a rule, in July there will be delays, not to vessels strengthened and sheeted, there would be no danger in making the passage.

Mr. Low says :

The period of safe navigation for ordinary iron steamships through Hudson Bay strait and across Hudson bay to the Port of Churchill may be stated to extend from the 20th of July to the 1st of November. The period might be increased without much risk by a week in the beginning of the season, and by perhaps two weeks at the close.

In my report last year, I described the ice as consisting of three kinds, viz.: icebergs, heavy arctic ice and ordinary field ice. The icebergs are stated to have come from Fox channel. This conclusion was based on the re-

port of No. 3 station made on the homeward voyage of the ' Neptune' that the icebergs passed the bluff from west towards east. This report was made on the strength of the few observations which the party had been able to make in the interval between the Lwo calls of the 'Neptune' at Ihe inlet. Further and more perfect observations show conclusively that the current sets in the opposite direction and that the icebergs move from east to West.

This is a very important fact.

If further proof of the existence of this set were necessary we have it in the drift of the ' Alert ' when fast in the ice off Ashe inlet and invariably carried to the westward.

It has been said a good many times that much of our grain would have to be stored at Fort Churchill. That is true enough but it Is also true that a large per cent is now stored at Port Arthur and Fort William for the winter. With regard to ice in the straits, we have a good deal of information in the blue-books. Dr. Ferguson, in the Senate, describes four kinds of ice to be found ; first the young or harbour ice, never regarded as serious ; second the rafted ice which has drifted by the wind, one flake piled upon another until it assumes very formidable proportions. All authorities agree that no icebergs are found in Hudson bay or in the waters that flow into Hudson bay. Those that have been encountered by navigators have always been found within 100 miles of the Atlantic, and it seems now to be settled that they are icebergs that have been formed up about Greenland, have been carried into Hudson strait by the current, and, after going a short distance into Hudson strait, are met by another current and returned to the Atlantic ocean. They are formidable enemies to navigation and are treated by sailors with great respect. There is another class called ' growlers.' These are icebergs broken up. They are low in the water and do not appear on the surface. And, like all enemies that we cannot see, they are more to be dreaded than enemies we can see. It is said that most of the losses in the north are caused by coming into contact with these 1 growlers,' but these are seldom found in Hudson straits. The most reliable explorers who have travelled these straits for twenty years for-the sole purpose of investigation, now believe that Hudson bay and straits are now open for safe navigation for at least four and a half months in the year so far as ice is concerned. And, considering that the ship course from Churchill to Liverpool is free from rocks and shoals and that these four and a half months are when the days are very long in the northern region, the sun shining for twenty hours a day, these facts will enhance the rapid navigation to and from the sea. Fort Churchill communicates with the open sea as directly as Halifax. Comparing 201

Montreal and Churchill, the latter is not hampered with the long St. Lawrence navigation.

My good friend on the other side (Mr. Knowles) put on t Hansard ' some distances. To make my story complete, even at the risk of repeating some of his statements, I also wish to place on ' Hansard ' some distances because after all when it has been proven beyond doubt that the straits and bay are navigable and the great obstacle of the ice is removed from our calculations, the great remaining question is that of distance for our prime object is to place our products upon the markets of the world in the shortest possible time. The following tables of distances will be found of interest : . *


Fort Churchill to Liverpool 3,000

Montreal to Liverpool 3,220

New York to Liverpool 3,057

Duluth via New York to Liverpool.. .. 4,201 Duluth oia Hudson hay to Liverpool.. 3,728 St. Paul to Liverpool via New York.. 4,240 St. Paul to Liverpool via Hudson bay.. 4,096

Vancouver to Liverpool via Canadian

Pacific Railway 5,868

Vancouver to Liverpool via Hudson bay 4,568

Saving from Vancouver to Liverpool .. 1,300

From To Montreal. To Churchill. DifferenceMiles. Miles. Miles.Winnipeg 1,423 945 477Brandon 1,555 940 615Regina 1,780 774 1,006Medicine Hat 2,082 1,076 1,006Calgary 2,262 1,256 1,900Prince Albert 1,058 717 1,241Battleford 1,994 876 1,118Saskatoon 1,924 806 1,118Edmonton 2,247 1,129 1,118

Average saving in rail transportation for Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, 1,000 miles.

I have referred to the transportation of products, but there is another way in which the building of that road would be of great benefit to that western country and for that matter eastern Canada as well, that is in relation to immigration. This government and all governments have spent a great deal of money in promoting immigration, in bringing people from Europe and the British Isles to settle in the great Northwest. These people have left their homes to seek fortune in that great country, which was happily described by the Earl of Duf-ferin as a country of indeterminate possibilities. Every member of this House is aware that many of the immigrants who have been induced to come to Canada have drifted into the L'nited States. This was only natural owing to the influences to

which they were subjected on the existing routes of transportation. Canada has lost incalculably in population and in money owing to this fact, and if we had this route these people would not be subjected to the influences of which I have spoken. The tide of immigration to this country continues and we all rejoice at that fact provided some restrictions are placed on the classes that come in. During the last century the United States always had a northwest, the energetic people of the eastern states, the young men and the men of energy were going west and occupying the land in that country that was still unsettled. That condition I am told and believe does not exist to-day, so that these people from the other side are flocking into western Canada, they are crossing the border. Previously they were settling in Manitoba, Alberta and Saskatchewan, but Sir, they are to-day beginning to go forward, they are settling in a great country extending from 70 miles east of Winnipeg to the Rocky mountains, and from the International boundary up to the western shores of Hudson bav. I have no doubt and my opinion is borne out by the information furnished us in the Agricultural Committee that we have not yet begun to know the possibilities of the northern portions of that country which we previously thought was a frozen region, absolutely useless for agricultural industry. We find these people going up there and undoubtedly that country will be thickly settled. We find in Russia a province whose southern boundary is 100 miles farther north than Edmonton, with a population of one and a half million people, producing 65,000,000 bushels of wheat, and 100,000,000 bushels of oats. I think we have reason to believe that our north country will be just as productive and will be almost as thickly settled as this Russian province. Personally I have not the slightest doubt on this point.

I am sure that three-quarters of the members of this House believe that the country through which this railway will pass is nothing but barren rock and almost impassable from, say, the Saskatchewan river to Hudson bay. The facts do not at all accord *with this idea. One engineer, Mr. Adrian Nelson, writing to the directors of the Canadian Northern Railway says :

I beg to submit the following report on the feasibility and construction of the proposed railway to Hudson bay. The country that the railway passes through is of such description as to offer but few engineering difficulties in the construction of it. The whole of the country partakes of the nature of a flat plain. The first half being practically level and the remainder with a slight exception having a gradual and almost interceptible slope to the Hudson bay. There is very little rock work and the country far from being drowned is well drained by a system of rivers and lakes. Besides this there is an abundance of timber and stone.


Mr. W. W.@

Kirkpatrick, another of the engineers who made an exploratory survey of the line to the Hudson bay, says :

There is no difficulty in building a railway through this country; there are no heavy grades or cuttings and very little rock work. Timber and ballast are plentiful in the vicinity while nearly all streams crossed appear to have timber suitable for bridging.

The counti'y is fairly level and about equally divided as to prairie and timber sections and considerably cut up by lakes and hay marshes. The soil on the average appears good, and I believe will prove a favourable country for settlement.

The American people, Sir, are alive to the great importance of this route. Senator Davis, of the Senate of Washington, drew the attention of the House to the fact that if the Hudson bay route was opened up the trade of the northwestern states would be diverted to it and the Canadians would thereby reap the benefits of the large carrying trade from the states adjacent to Manitoba and the Northwest Territories and to check this he advised the enlargement of the Sault Ste. Marie canal. But the United States may enlarge their canals and improve their shipping facilities, but it will be all of no avail. They cannot keep the trade of these states within their own boundaries because they are working against nature. Hudson bay is the natural outlet of the European market to the whole northwest portion of this continent, and just as soon as this route is opened up the large export trade of Minnesota, Dakota and Montana will go through Hudson bay.

I want to give a short history of the legislation which has been going on in connection with the building of the Hudson bay railway. The first measure for provincial aid was introduced by the late Mr. Nor-quay, in 1885 in the shape of an Act pledging the province to give a bonus of one million dollars to the enterprise on the completion of the road within five years from that time. The expectation was that with such an endorsement the promotors would be enabled to float their scheme on the English money market, but they failed, and in the season of 1886 sought from the province a more liberal bonus in the shape of a guarantee of interest on the bonds of the company to the extent of four and a half millions of dollars for twenty-five years at the rate of 4 per cent per annum - a provincial bonus, in effect, of one hundred and eight thousand a year for twenty-five years.

Mr. Norquay appeared unwilling at first to grant this measure and he proposed the appointment of a committee to inquire into the matter, a proposition which was met by a motion on the part of Messrs. Thomas Greenway and Joseph Martin to ask the House to vote the guarantee applied for.

This Mr. Norquay allowed and the Act of 1885 was passed authorizing the government to give such a guarantee for twenty-five years on the completion of the road. Again the promoters of the road were unable to float their scheme on the financial market and in 1887 they once more sought to extend this guarantee.

As before Mr. Norquay hesitated and was unwilling to go as far as his opponents in meeting the demands of the promoters, but a decided declaration of the intention of Messrs. Greenway and Martin to go further than this brought the premier once more to time and the Act of 1887 was passed authorizing the guarantee of four and a half millions of dollars to be given but on more liberal terms than those of the Act of 1887. The scheme was taken up in the succeeding year by Messrs. Onderdonk & Ross, the well known railway contractors, and they proposed to proceed at once with the enterprise. It was at this stage that the new Greenway government declared its unwillingness to give the guarantee authorized by the Act notwithstanding the premier's pledge when in opposition. The ministers rested their objections largely on the view that while the province had, for the sake of procuring a line of railway to compete with the Canadian Pacific Railway proposed to give a bonus equal to $180,000 a year for twenty-five years, it had since that time in the shape of aid granted the Northern Pacific and Manitoba Road, pledging its credit for about $80,000. In return for which it had secured competition.

For that reason the government contended that the government could not now afford or be expected to give more than $100,000 a year at the most to the Hudson Bay Railway, that being the interest at 4 per cent on two million five hundred thousand dollars. Although the promoters state they had obtained means in London to go on with the road if their terms were accepted their negotiations evidently came to nothing.

The Aid Act of 1887 was repealed. However, in 1899, a resolution was passed by the House on motion of Mr. Greenway offering aid to the road to the extent of $2,000 a mile within the province, not exceeding 300 miles; in other words offering at this time aid to the extent of $600,000 to the enterprise. In 1890 the government introduced a Bill which was passed authorizing aid to the extent of $3,000 per mile for 250 miles of line equal to $750,000. Neither of these propositions, however, seems to have been of much service in floating the scheme.

During the season of 1891 another Act was passed not simply containing an offer of assistance but undertaking on the part of the province by formal contract to grant a bonus for one and a half millions of dollars to the company on the completion of the road within five years.

201 i

It came to be generally considered that the necessary means could hardly be raised in the English or foreign markets without an additional bonus from the Dominion government. The hopes of the people in this direction were all greatly encouraged, however, by the scheme of financial aid to the company introduced and carried by the Dominion government in the 1891 session of the federal parliament.

The general opinion throughout the province at that time was that a complete railway to Hudson bay was practically secured. In reality the assistance pledged was not very great, no sum was absolutely granted by way of bonus and the proposed railway was only to extend so far as Saskatchewan. The aid pledged by the Dominion government was simply an undertaking in advance that the government for public service would pay the company a certain specific yearly sum for a definite number of years after the road should have been built. The sum announced was $80,000 a year and it was to be given for twenty years.

The value of this promise in advance was the help it might be to the promoters in raising money to build the road. None of these schemes or legislative enactments has so far come to anything. Now, I have taken up far more time than I expected but I could not very well have taken up very much less and done justice to the subject I could speak for another hour if I wanted to. I quite understand that our eastern friends do not like to hear very much about the Hudson bay route. My good friend on the other side said that he was sad and sorry because my hon. friend the leader of the opposition (Mr. R. L. Borden) had not put something in his platform in connection with the building of the Hudson Bay Railway. He has had this motion on the notice paper for four or five months, and I suppose he has been waiting to see what policy his government would adopt in connection with this question. After waiting for all that time he concluded to introduce his motion advocating the building of this railway. I tell the government from the bottom of my heart that the very best enterprise in the interest of Canada in which they could engage is to take hold, and at once, of the building of this road, and I tell the government further that if they want to have the honour of building this road they had better get busy because after the next election my hon. friend the leader of the opposition will be most decidedly the man to build the road. Nineteen hundred and ten will be the tercentenary of the death of that great sailor Henry Hudson, who gave his name to that great inland sea and that beautiful river that flows through the state of New York to the Atlantic ocean. I "believe that by 1910, the tercentenary year of that great man we will see a railroad built to the Hudson bay, we will see the shores of the Hudson

bay peopled by prosperous communities, we will see elevators built at ports on the Hudson bay, we will see docks there, and splendid system of steam vessels carrying the products of that great country to the markets of the world. I believe in making that prophesy, I prophesy for the prosperity not only of the west, but for the east.


George Ewan McCraney


Mr. GEO. E. McCRANEY (Saskatchewan).

Ever since we have had an agricultural population In the west we have had a transportation problem upon our hands, and our people have been agitating for the building of a railroad to Hudson bay and the establishment of a port there from which to ship their products to European markets. When this proposal was first mooted some twenty-five or thirty years ago the conditions were then much different from what they are to-day, and at the present time we are able to discuss the question altogether in a more favourable light than we could then and with much better knowledge of the conditions. At that time our only outlet was by the Canadian Pacific Railway which was the original Canadian transcontinental line and which had few branches. To-day we have the Canadian Northern a second road across the prairies and which promises In the future to extend to the Pacific coast; we have the Grand Trunk Pacific under construction, and we have the Great Northern road which is likely to become an Important Canadian railway In the near future. Twenty five years ago the proposal to build a railway to the Hudson bay meant the building of a road from the nearest point at which there was railway communication, namely from Winnipeg to Fort Churchill which is the best harbour on the Hudson bay, by way of Erwood and Le Pas, a distance of 945 miles. To-day in discussing the scheme, we reduce that distance by one-half and there remains to be constructed only a railway from Le Pas, 474 miles to the Hudson bay. In addition to having a much shorter route, we have a considerable fund of information with regard to Hudson bay and the country through which the railway would pass, and which was not available at that time. My hon. friend from Souris (Mr. Schaffner) has mentioned the expedition of Commander (Jordon in 18S4 and 1885, of Commander Wakeham in 1897, and I will include the expedition of Mr. A. P. Low in the ' Neptune ' of 1904 and 1905, and the later expedition of Captain Bernier in the ' Arctic,' all of which go to prove that the Hudson straits are open for at least three and a half months In the year. From the figures which my hon. friend from Souris has given it Is quite evident- that this would be probably the shortest period of open navigation in any one year, and that) there are many years in which the navigation period would be* much longer. The Information we have now at hand has also established that Fort Churchill is one of the best and safest harbours on the north Ameri-Mr. SCHAFFNER.

can continent. In addition to our information gathered in this way with respect to Hudson bay and straits we have also information acquired by railway surveyors who have gone through the country, and the valuable data obtained by the staff of our own Geological Survey. These reports all tend to show that there are natural resources to be found in that country which would of themselves justify the building of a railroad there, without any reference whatever to the solution of the transportation problem. There are great quantities of timber and pulp wood in the country, the rivers and lakes abound in commercial fish and there are signs of minerals which would justify the hope that considerable mineral development will take place, and there are also very considerable quantities of land which is fit for agriculture. Before the Agricultural Committee the other day Mr. Mclnnes, of the Geological Survey staff, told us of a clay belt through which the proposed Hudson bay line would pass. He said it was evidently in the bed of a glacial lake, situated in the neighbourhood of the Burntwood river and has an area of some 10,000 square miles. There is a larger view also in this question, not only with reference to the country which is in the immediate proximity to the proposed route of the railway, but we are getting more information all the time as to the available lands of the Northwest. In a speech delivered by the Hon. R. P. Roblin last summer he estimated that there were 180,000,000 acres of agricultural land in the west from which he believed that in a very short time at least 1,000,000,000 bushels of wheat would be produced. From statements made in this House by the Minister of the Interior last session, and recently before a committee of the Senate, there is every reason to believe that such an estimate is quite conservative. The Minister of the Interior told us that south of latitude 52 in Manitoba and of latitude 55 in Saskatchewan and Alberta there were lands available to the extent of 175,000,000 acres. Before the Senate committee, Mr. Bredin, a member of the Alberta legislature made a statement that north of latitude 55 in the province of Alberta there were available about 100,000,000 acres for agricultural purposes, and Mr. Conroy a member of the staff of the Department of the Interior, though he does not commit himself to figures says, that he believes that there is north of the 55th parallel of latitude a quantity of agricultural land which is equal in extent to the agricultural land west of Winnipeg. The other day in the Committee on Agriculture we had the evidence of Mr. R. E. Young, that there was under crop last year 8,600,000 acres of land of which 5,000,000 acres were in wheat and which produced approximately 100,000,000 bushels. So that when we consider the vast amount of land which is available and

the very small proportion which is now under cultivation, it is no stretch of the imagination to see that there will be in the future a volume of production which to-day we can hardly estimate. Immigration is coming into the country; we want to bring in the agricultural people as fast as we can, and the larger the number who come, the more productive will our country be.

Ever since there has been any considerable immigration into the west there have been great blockades, and the call of the western provinces is for more railroads. But while our call is for more roads to relieve the present situation, the roads which we are getting are colonization roads ; and while to some extent they may relieve the congestion of traffic, they are themselves contributing to settle up the country for probably fifty miles on each side. I think the conclusion must be that until our lands are all settled we shall always have the transportation question on our hands, and grain blockades will take place every year. These considerations make us feel that we must not only increase the handling power of our present roads, but provide new outlets. Consequently our people have been looking to the Hudson Bay route. One objection put forward has been that if we make use of Hudson bay, which is open for a period of only four or five months of the year, there will have to be a great amount of grain kept in store for a considerable period eacli year. To one who has had any experience of western conditions the fact that grain must remain in store for five, or six or seven months of the year is not a formidable objection. Most of the crop of 1906, which was a very large one, was marketed in my own town in May, 1907. It would be no hardship to our farmers to have to wait a month or two longer, and perhaps the increased facilities would relieve them so that they might secure a better price for the portion of the crop shipped by way of Lake Superior. No question has been more agitated by the people of the prairie provinces than the Hudson Bay route, because they look to it as a means of shipping out their grain and their cattle. We think that the building of the road would be justified not only on transportation grounds, but in the results which it would produce in the settlement of the country immediately adjoining the road and also in developing and attracting attention to our northern country. We feel that this is a most opportune time to bring the matter to the attention of the government, because, while there may be some differences of opinion as to how the road should be constructed, we are in a position at least to discuss the question as to whether the road should or should not be built out of lands in the west now owned by the Dominion government. I beg to move in amendment to the motion that you do now leave the chair:

That all the words after ' that ' be struck out and the following be substituted therefor : In the opinion of this House the government should, on account of the rapid development of western Canada and the continued inadequacy of existing transportation facilities, take early action towards the construction of a railway to Fort Churchill on Hudson bay.


Mr. M. S.@

McCarthy (Calgary). Mr. Speaker, it is not very surprising to me to find another resolution introduced by one of the Liberal members from the west in regard to the Hudson Bay question, a question that has been before the House for many years, and before the government almost every year since they came into power.

I venture to say that if the pages of ' Hansard ' containing the speeches that have been made by bon. gentlemen opposite on the Hudson Bay question were taken, they would almost reach from the Pas to Fort Churchill. If bon. gentlemen on the opposite side of the House are really sincere in their professed desire to have this road built, it , appears to me that they should bring pressure to bear on the present administration. The road is not going to be built by men coming down here year after year and introducing motions and having them discussed in this House, and letting the matter end at that. The hon. member for West Assiniboia (Mr. Knowles) who first spoke on this question this afternoon, criticised the bon. leader of the opposition for not having put in his Halifax platform an article dealing with this great question. This question was discussed somewhat last session, and we had hon. gentlemen getting up and bowing their acknowledgments ro the hon. gentleman who has made the motion this afternoon, indicating that some speedy action would be taken by the government in the matter. The reason for the delay apparently is that there is not unanimity of opinion on the other side of the House as to which is the proper outlet for the prairie products. Last session there appeared on the Order Paper a notice of motion by the hon. member for West Assiniboia (Mr. Knowles), and side by side with it another by the hon. member for Vancouver (Mr. Macpherson). and I propose to put these notices of motion in ' Hansard.' The first was as follows:

Mr. Knowles-Proposed resolution-That in the opinion of this House the interests of the Dominion of Canada urgently require that every possible effort be made by the government to effect some suitable arrangemnt for the speedy construction of a railway to the shores of Hudson bay.

Practically the same as the motion brought up to-day by the hon. member for West Assiniboia: the only difference is that the motion of to-day mentions Fort Churchill as the desirable port. The notice of motion of the hon. member for Vancouver was as follows :

Mr. Macpherspn-Proposed resolution-That in the opinion of this House it is advisable for the Canadian government to take active steps towards the establishing of terminal elevators at the port of Vancouver, for the better handling of the grain crops of Alberta and other western provinces, whose natural outlet is the Pacific coast. '

So it is quite apparent that there is not unanimity of opinion amongst hon. gentlemen opposite as to which is the natural outlet for prairie products. Nor is there probably unanimity of opinion in the country on this subject. But in rising to speak to the amendment, I have not the slightest hesitation in saying that I am in favour of the government undertaking this work with the least possible delay. X have listened to the reasons advanced for and against the construction of the road to Hudson bay. Those in its favour appeal to me, and I propose to support the project to the best of my ability, believing that in so doing I represent the views of the majority of my constituents. If there were no other reasons in its favour, I would support it for this one. This road would furnish a safety valve at a time when there is apt to be congestion of freight and when there is great delay and difficulty in moving our crop. It would thus relieve any hardship suffered by the people in the west who desire to get their grain to market as speedily as possible. One of the reasons I have heard urged against the building of this road is that we have a short haul to Fort William which suits the greater part of the territories, and another argument used is that we should rather look to opening a market in the orient. It is claimed that in Vancouver we have a port which is open 365 days in the year, and which is frequented by tramp steamers, and that those tramp steamers keep down the freight rates. And it is further argued that none of this class of steamers can go to Hudson bay, because that bay has to be navigated by boats specially built for that purpose. But the great reason which appeals to me in favour of this project is that it would save a haul of about 1,500 miles from the majority of places from which grain is shipped in the prairie section and that it would also relieve the congestion of freight at a time when it is most desirable we should have speedy shipment. There is also this argument in its favour that it would be a much more suitable route both for cattle and grain. But while I am in favour of the construction of this road, I am not In favour of the wording of the amendment to the motion to go into Supply. I think that this notice of motion should rather censure the government for its delay. Although my hon. friend from West Assiniboia (Mr. Knowles) went as close as he safely could to censuring the government, the only fault he had to find was that the present railway Mr. m. s. McCarthy.

facilities are not adequate. If he had followed out the history of this question a little closer, he would have found ample justification for censuring the government because the fact stands out perfectly clear that the government have taken hold of the land grant set aside for the construction of a railway to Hudson bay and given it for the construction of railways which for the most part go away from the bay. They have permitted railway companies to duplicate their lines and have given them out of this land grant subsidies for the construction of railways in very erratic courses and in many instances running in an opposite direction to Hudson bay. For ahat reason I think the government are deserving of censure. They are deserving of censure for what I might term their wilful waste of aid to railways by giving them land grants which were intended to aid in the building of a road to Hudson bay. At the same time I wish to point out that I am not objecting to the aid granted these railways, as they were no doubt built in sections of the country which require railway construction, but what I want to note particularly is that hon. members opposite claim that the Laurier administration have never granted an acre of land in aid of railways, whereas they have on the contrary given large grants but have tried to conceal these grants behind an old Hudson bay charter. Just trace back this question of the construction of a railway to Hudson bay. Some years ago we find that a charter was given to the Winnipeg and Great Northern Railway Company and that company was given the choice of two routes to Hudson bay, either of which it could select. One of these routes ran east of Lake Manitoba and the other ran west of Lake Manitoba to Lake Dauphin. Both joined at Waterhorn lake and then proceeded northerly to Grand Rapids.

The original line of this railway is laid out in a report of the Committee of the Privy Council approved by His Excellency on the 8th April, 1882. Here is the line of location as described in this order in council :

The chief engineer of railways reports that the line of location, as marked out, starts from the city of Winnipeg,* thence northerly to the east of Shoal lake, thence crossing the narrows between Lake Manitoba and Lake St. Martin, thence to the outlet of Cedar lake at the Grand rapids, thence following the shore of Lake Winnipeg, crossing Ross island, a short distance above Play Gren lake and Sea falls, thence following the general direction of the shore of Lake Winnipegosis to beyond the falls, thence in a direct line to its terminus on the Nelson river, a short distance below the Limestone falls.

That was the line originally intended. A short time after that the Winnipeg and Great Northern got the choice of two lines.

Some years after a land grant was given to the Hudson Bay Railway. That company was to obtain 6,400 acres per mile in Manitoba and 12,800 acres per mile in the territories. All these lines became finally a part of the Canadian Northern. I have tried to trace out what has been done with that laud grant since the date of that order in council in April, 1882.

At six o'clock, House took recess.

After Recess.

House resumed at eight o'clock.


Maitland Stewart McCarthy

Conservative (1867-1942)


When you left the chair, Mr. Speaker, I was endeavouring to point out how the present administration had exhausted the land grant originally set aside for the construction of a railway to Hudson bay and had applied that land grant, in many instances, to branch lines running in a direction away from Hudson bay . I was also proceeding to trace the history of some of the old charters authorizing the construction of this Hudson bay road. There was first the Winnipeg and Hudson Bay Railway Company. Then there was a charter to the Nelson Valley Railway and Transportation Company. These two charters, some years after, were merged. Later on, the company was known as tne Winnipeg and Great Northern T?nil-way Company. This road, as I pointed out before you left the chair, had two alternative routes. One runs east of Lake Manitoba, the other west of Lake Manitoba, touching Lake Dauphin. Both join at Waterhern lake and then go north to Grand Rapids. There was also the Lake Manitoba Railway and Canal Company. Their charter, as I understand it, provides for the construction of a line from Portage la Prairie or Gladstone to a point on the Saskatchewan river. All these charters have come into the possession of the Canadian Northern Railway Company, and, in the discussion of the matter they can all be treated as belonging to that company. What X suggested before you left the chair was that the government has simply been playing with this question. The question has been* before them every year since 1896, as a perusal of the orders in council will show. Applications have been made to them to extend land grants, to extend the time of construction, or to extend the time within which the companies would be entitled to land grants set aside for the construction of the railway. They have not shown in this matter the haste which they have displayed in other matters. Only a couple of years ago the Grand Trunk Pacific was being mooted. An agitation was created in that country with the idea of persuading the people that there must be increased transportation facilities. Time, the Prime Minister (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) told us, would not wait. ' Heaven grant that it may not be too late,' he said. But in connection with this matter of the Hudson bay road, he has not shown the same activity that he exercised in order to have the construction of the Grand Trunk Pacific undertaken and gone ahead without delay.

Mr. SPROUT,E. It was Cox who could not wait.


Mr. M. S.@

McCarthy. An hon. gentleman remarks that Senator Cox could not wait. It may, be of assistance to hon. members from the west to point out that Senator Cox is greatly interested in that western country, having extensive investments there. Possibly, if they could secure his influence to hurry on the building of this road, it might be of some assistance.

I also criticised the government, suggesting that they are not only responsible for the delay but also for wilfully wasting the aid in the handling of the grants, that is assuming that the object in view was a road to Hudson bay. I repeat that the government have practically exhausted the land grant set aside for this purpose, anl that they have applied it to branch line* running towards Prince Albert, or in many cases to lines in a direction away from Hudson bay. Not only have they done that, but they have permitted these branch lines to take a very erratic course. If any person interested will look at the map, one moment will be enough to satisfy him that, if the land grant is being applied, it is not being applied to construct a railway to Hudson bay, and that to call this a grant for a railway to Hudson bay is simply a misnomer. The location of the line shows that there are a great many subsidy curves, if I may so call them. If you look back into the order in council, you find these people who had the right to construct a railway under these charters are entitled to a land grant of 6,480 acres a mile in Manitoba and 12,S00 acres a mile in the Northwest. If you figure out the value of that grant on the basis of a reasonable figure per acre, say $6 per acre net at the time the road was constructed, you will realize the significance of the term ' subsidy curves,' and he able to see the reason of the erratic course the road pursues and realize why it is that it wobbles over the country in this way. Now, to be more specific, looking at the map for a moment-not at the map in the Canadian Northern folder, because the line of railway indicated on that map is a line that goes almost as the crow flies. There may be a jog of thirty miles to the west and another of forty-seven miles to the west, but one look at the line in the folder would infer that the line goes practically straight. But look at the map issued by the government and you will observe the jogs in the line and can follow the er-

ratic course of the location of the line throughout. To show the House just what these people have got for the construction of the different branches under these Him son bay charters, X want to refer for a moment to an extract from the report of the Gommittee of the Privy Council, approved of August 10, 1903 :

The order in council continues :

The minister further states that the chief engineer of government railways reports that the mileage of the Canadian Northern Railway Company constructed and placed in running order is :

From Beaver to Gladstone, 18-37 miles.

From Gladstone to Winnipegosis, 124 75 miles.

From Sifton Junction to Mafeking, 125 miles.

From Mafeking to the provincial boundary, 28 -33 miles, all in Manitoba.

And from the provincial boundary to Erwood in the Northwest Territories 22 -16 miles, which entitles the company to a total land grant of 2,180,928 acres for the construction of 320 miles of railway.

We have often heard in this House, we read it in the subsidized organs of the Liberal party and in their campaign literature, and we hear from their speakers on the platform, that the present, administration have never given away an acre of land to aid in the construction of a railway. I have just pointed to one instance where 2,180,920 acres of laud were granted for the construction of this railway between the points I have mentioned.

If any persou will look at the map and observe the locality where this line of- railway is constructed and point out to me wherein it is a railway being built to connect with Hudson bay, I would toe very glad to be enlightened on that point. No person could seriously take that position. The present administration were under absolutely no obligation to revive these land grants if they did not want to do so, and they cannot say that they have never given an aci'e of land to aid in the construction of railways, by trying to hide behind the fence of an old Hudson bay charter. For the construction of 320 miles of railway from Gladstone to Erwood, they have received this immense land grant but at Erwood you are not closer to the Hudson bay by more than 350 miles than you are at Gladstone. That would indicate that the ' subsidy curves' or the jogs in the line enabled the company to get a land grant on 370 miles of railway which was an utter waste of aid in so far as connecting with Hudson bay is concerned. On this 170. miles they received a land grant of 32,800 acres per mile for 221 miles, and 6,400 acres a mile for 147* miles, or a total of 1,229,824 acres of land over and above what was required if the object of the railway was to get to Hudson bay. If the Pas was the objective point why should not the line have gone from Sifton Junction to the Pas direct? I am given to understand by peo-Mr. m. s. McCarthy.

pie who are familiar with the locality that there are no physical features to prevent that. I am not opposed to aiding the construction of railways in these localities, out I wish to point out the hypocrisy of hon. gentlemen opposite when they claim that they have never given away an acre of land to assist in the construction of railways. From Sifton Junction to Winnipegosis there is a little branch line 21 miles in length which surely could not be said to have been aided in order to get to Hudson bay. If they were going to Hudson bay in that direction it was not necessary to give a land grant from Sifton Junction to Erwood and from Sifton Junction to Winnipegosis as it is simply duplicating the line, you have a fork, one line running from Sifton Junction to Winnipegosis for 23 miles and the other from Sifton Junction in a northwesterly direction. If the object was to get to Hudson bay, why was it necessary to swing west in township 35 for 30* miles from Cowan to Swan River, and why was it necessary to swing west again from Baden to Erwood for 42 miles? I am not opposed to aiding these lines, but do they run towards Hudson bay? The answer is simply that when people are getting a land grant of 12,800 acres per mile for some parts of their road, an erratic course pays.


Theodore Arthur Burrows



The reason they ran that line was to avoid the mountain In both places, first the Duck mountain and then the Porcupine mountain. There was no possibility of running the railway over the mountains.


Maitland Stewart McCarthy

Conservative (1867-1942)


The hon. gentleman will have an opportunity to answer me. I am told by people in the locality that there is no reason why the road should not have run from Sifton Junction to the Pas, but it would seem as if the company looked the country over in order to find mountains to get an excuse to run around them, and get 32,800 acres of land per mile.

I might point to another ' subsidy curve.' The Lake Manitoba Railway and Canal Company so far as I have been able to trace their rights when they obtained their charter, were to run a line from Portage la Prairie or from Gladstone to a point on the Saskatchewan river, but I find from the orders in council and memorandum which I have read that a portion of this land grant is applied for the construction of the line from Gladstone to Beaver, about 18 miles of railway running in a southeasterly direction from Gladstone. If any one will figure up this waste of mileage, taking as I have said a land grant of 12,800 acres a mile, and place on it a valuation of $6 per acre, which I take to be a moderate estimate, it will be seen what an enormous amount these people were getting for the construction of these branch lines, in some cases $78,000 per mile if the land netted $6 per acre. When this land grant was origi-

APEIL 7i 1908

nally given, there were certain . limitations on the area out of which they were entitled to select, but when the present administration came into power they allowed them to extend this area and they chose their lands all over Saskatchewan, right up to the 4th meridian. They are selecting lands to satisfy these old grants north of Swift Current and they have not selected 9 per cent of the lauds out of the area originally set aside for selection. It is difficult to understand how this influential corporation can come down and secure an extension of the time within which they should construct these railways, and have the areas of the lands from which they can select enlarged running their line wherever they see fit, selecting lands at their own sweet will. It will be seen that they have received from the present administration as favourable treatment as any company ever got in this country and it does not lie in the mouths of lion, gentlemen opposite to say that the present administration has not given away one acre of land to assist in the construction of railways in the west. If you will take the figures mentioned in the order in council it will be found that from Sifton Junction to Erwood 1,300,000 acres of land have been given to this company for the purpose of assisting in the construction of that part of the road-I say 'assisting': it would more than pay for the whole construction. In connection with the -question which was raised by the hon. member for West Assini-boia that no laud has been given away, let me point out to him that if he would read through the orders in council he would find that there is hardly a year during the last ten years in which the time for the construction of the road, or the earning of the land grant lias not been extended. For example. let me read the following :

Extract from a report of the committee of the hon. the Privy Council, approved by His Excellency on the 19th October, 1899.

The minister further states that the Canadian Northern Railway Company has applied to him for an extension of time for the completion of its lines of railway, for the purposes of its land grant, the period for the completion of such lines, for that purpose, having onlv been extended until the -31st December, 1899, by the order in council of 22nd October, 1898.

The minister therefore recommends that the time fixed by the order in council of 22nd October, 1898, for the completion of the lines of railway hereinbefore referred to be extended to the 10th July, 1904.

Again, on the 20th February, 1900, the following order in council was passed :

The minister, therefore, recommends that as the time for the completion of the company's lines of railway north of the Saskatchewan river was extended by the Act. chanter 57 of the statutes of 1899, 62-63 Victoria, to the 10th July, 1906, the time fixed for the completion of such lines for the purposes of the company's land grant therefor, as provided by the orders in council hereinbefore referred to including the order of the 22nd October, 1898, be extended to the 10th July, 1906. This order in council also shifts the line westerly to the Swan river district.

And so, all the way down the line. That is not the treatment which has been meted out to other holders of charters in the country. I remember that about three years ago an application was made by the Red Deer Valley Company for an extension of time. They also wanted to have the time in which they could construct their road extended and also the privilege of taking advantage of the land grant. That was not conceded to them. They apparently had not the influence with the present administration to secure the same consideration that the Canadian Northern have had for the last eight or nine years. The hon. member for West Assiniboia said that he was opposed to the scheme suggested by the hon. member for Brandon (Mr. Sifton), that it would tie up so many acres of land in the country. He said that the curse of the country had been so many acres of land had been tied up from time to time and that It was depriving the people of the opportunity of having proper schools and, of course, as he usually does, he blamed all this on the Conservative administration and on the Canadian Pacific Railway. Let me point out to him that since his friends have come into power there have been no less than 8,750.000 acres of land set apart out of which this company were to make their selection, and that the privilege has been extended from time to time during a great many years. In conclusion, I repeat what I have said that the whole history of this case shows that the government have only been playing with this question and that instead of this land grant having been used for the purpose of establishing railway conection with Hudson bay the orders in council show that the government have been guilty of wilful waste of the aid in connection with this whole matter.

Mr, E. Jj. CASH (Mackenzie). Mr. Speaker. in undertaking to take part in this debate, I must confess that I do it with a great deal of diffidence, because I realize probably * as fully as any person the importance of what we are undertaking, and the serious consequences that may result if we fail to properly impress not alone this House and the government, but the people of the Dominion as to the necessity, the feasibility, and the advantages to he derived from this undertaking, not alone for the western provinces, but for the whole of the Dominion.

I shall, therefore, undertake to describe as nearly as possible the condition of the agri-cblturists in Saskatchewan, and as they are there, so they are in the other western provinces. and I feel that if I can do this properly. and can then show the feasibility and the advantages to be derived from this proposition, there would not be one member in this House who would oppose our proposi-

tion as such, whatever differences might exist as to the means of its accomplishment.

For instance, I personally believe that the government should undertake this as a national project, and that It might not prove a burden to this country, there is plenty of land in the west on which the scheme could be financed. They should build a line from the main line of the Canadian Northern to Churchill, and this should be built with the idea that it would eventually be double tracked. By making provision for double tracking this line at the time of construction great expense might be saved as soon as it became necessary to put in the extra track, as I can assure you it will not be many years before this will be absolutely necessary. Extensive terminal facilities at both ends of the line, prepared to take cars from all roads and carry them to their destination and return, large storage facilities at Churchill in the shape of elevators and so forth, a line of suitable boats from Churchill to Liverpool, and extensive elevators in Liverpool, would best serve the interests of that part of the country which we are endeavouring to promote.

X, however, am willing to support any feasible measure which has for its object, the building of this line, whether it be by the government or by a private corporation for the route is the one essential thing, and of much greater importance than the manner of its construction.

There is no question in the mind of any thinking man in this Dominion as to the importance of agriculture. It is the foundation of our whole prosperity and, I might almost say, of our existence, and by doing what we can to strengthen this foundation, we thereby are enabled not alone to raise a larger, but a safer superstructure. If we are to become the great nation which we aspire to become, it is well that our foundation be well laid, and in this way we will avoid many of the disasters which have overtaken nations, causing them in time of distress or financial difficulties to topple, and, in some instances, to fall, because their foundation was not broad enough and based upon the earth, from which all our riches primarily come.

The agriculturists in Saskatchewan have not the diversified means of prospering that farmers have in Ontario and the States. They are consumers of tomatoes, and not producers on which there is an extravagant protection. They are consumers of tobacco and not producers, and so I could go on and mention quite a number of other protected products for which our people pay extravagant prices, and, I am pleased to say, usually without a murmur. But they produce staple farm products, such as wheat, oats, barley, flax and so forth, and raise horses, cattle, sheep and hogs, and bitterly complain about having to produce grain which has to compete with all comers in the mar-Mr. CASH.

ket of the world by the use of machinery upon which they have to pay a tariff.

I do not imagine that there is one member in the House who does not appreciate what the importance and value of the development of the west is to the whole Dominion, to the manufacturers of the east, ts the fruit growers of the east, to the carrying trade, new boats on the lakes, new lines of railways ; all these can trace their prosperity, and, in a great many instances, their origin, entirely to the development of the west, and I think that this is the place where we should pause for a moment to say, without any political bias, that this, in a large measure, has been brought about by the wise and energetic immigration policy inaugurated and carried out by the present government.

Now, we, who live in the west, know that even with the utmost straining and most earnest endeavour on the part of the railway companies, that they are not able to take care of in reasonable time, the freight which is offered them by our people which was plainly demonstrated in the fall of 1906 when there was such a demand for more cars from nearly all parts of the west. In my own town of Yorkton, there were over 250 names waiting at one time upon the car order list at the station waiting for their turn to be supplied with cars which they had ordered, and the elevators all filled to the roof. To illustrate the growth that has taken place in the west I would call the attention of the House to the district I represent. I took up my residence there in 1897, and until 1901, I think I am safe in saying that it was emphatically a ranching country. About that time, or shortly after, we began to raise grain-the country began to fill up, and while, prior to the time mentioned, we had no grain to ship out, yet, in the season of 1906, we raised :

Grain. Bushels. Acres.Wheat.;

2,M3,223 81,357Oats

4,316,731 97,500Barley

224,847 8,264

Area under cultivation 275,000 acres ' estimated/

Elevator capacity 931,000 bushels.

Shipments of cattle 2,361.

I refer to those things in order to give hon. gentlemen some idea of the progress that has taken place during the last few years. The following extract from the Toronto ' Globe ' of April 15 of last year, written by their special correspondent from Regina, will show the area under cultivation :

Regina, April 15.-While the farmers are waiting for opportunities to scatter the seed for the crop of 1907 the probable extensions of the grain growing area are receiving consideration. The mathematicians who make calcu-

lations in Winnipeg have usually considered that an increase of 10 per cent in the acreage under wheat was sufficient as an average for the whole west, hut this will not do for Saskatchewan. The total under wheat in Saskatchewan in 1906, according to the figures of the Department of Agriculture, was 1,730,586 acres, as compared with 1,130,084 in 1905, an increase of 53.10 per cent. The total under all crops was 2,501,247 acres, as compared with 1,639,563 in 1905, an increase of .56 per cent. These large increases are sufficient in themselves to show the rapid development of the grain-producing industry, and the record which is constituted by them is difficult to maintain. For instance, another increase of -53 per cent in the acreage under wheat would bring the total in this province to over 2,600,000, and the amount looks very large at this writing. It will probably look normal six months hence, and there are those who say that it may even be exceeded.

I have here an extract from the Department of Agriculture's Report on the grain crops of Saskatchewan for the year 1907 which shows that there were in 1907 produced in the province :

Grain. Bushels. Acreage.Wheat

28,042,106 1,847,708Oats

29,167,964 772,770Barley

1,903,072 60,261Flax

921,043 85,209Total

60,034,185 2,765,948

There was also shipped out of Saskatchewan :

Cattle 27,271

Horses 3,499

Sheep 15,929

Hogs 4,716

This Is a very good showing, when the climatic conditions which prevailed over such a large area of our province are taken into consideration. There was a much larger area prepared for crop, some of which was not put in, and thousands of acres that were not cut, and a great deal that was cut was not threshed.

I bring these things to the attention of the House that you may have some Idea of the progress that we are making. I may also refer to the report of the Department of Trade and Commerce which establishes what I have already stated, that similar progress is being made in Manitoba and Alberta as I claim for Saskatchewan. These are the figures :

government a better condition of affairs as regards transportation. We have all heard of the great railway tie-up we had in 1906, I will read a couple of letters that will emphasize this matter and will then undertake by railway statistics to show that we are liable to be up against a similar condition at any time when the crop in the west is of ordinary proportions to the amount of land under cultivation. I do not wish to find undue fault with any railway company for I realize they are making an effort to supply the country with reasonable facilities for the transportation of grain, but I wish to emphasize that notwithstanding their efforts thev have been unable to cope with the situation and they certainly will not be able to if the country continues to progress as it has in the past. I shall read the following letters, most of which I received last year, bearing on this question :

Rokeby, Saskatchewan, February 23, 1907. E. L. Cash, M.P.,

House of Commons, Ottawa.

Dear Sir,-Iu reply to your favour of 19th instant, I may say that the amount of grain at Rokeby is as follows (grown 1906):


Amount sold up to February 1, 1907.. 210,000

Amount in farmers' hands 190,000

Amount shipped up to above date.. 130,000

Amount yet to ship out 270,000

Total amount for Rokeby market.. .. 400,000

Increase over last season 100,000

Yours truly,



Mr. Black has charge of the Northern elevator at Rokeby. This is another letter sent to me : Yorkton District Board of Trade. Incorporated 1900. Yorkton, Saskatchewan, March 19, 1907. E. L. Cash, Esqj, M.P., House of Commons, Ottawa, Ontario. Dear Sir,-Shipments of grain from Yorkton are as follows: Bushels. From September 1, 1906, to March 18, 1907 951,295 In store in elevators 224,180 Stored in sheds and warehouses about town 75,000 Grain held by farmers 1,000,000 Total 2,250,475 Total grain weighed, Manitoba inspection division. Bushels. 1906-07, 9 months 97,041,653 1905-06 " 130,547,9551904-05 " 77,371,5331903-04 " 68,645,7161902-03 *' 39,442,575 With this growth of the trade of the country, the House will readily understand why our people are demanding from the In addition to above there has been milled 70,000 bushels of wheat, making a total of 2,320,475 bushels of grain, the crop product of the Yorkton distriot, 35 per cent of this amount represents wheat, balance oats. A very large amount of grain has yet to be threshed. The supply of cars is very small and business is at a standstill. In regard to the Hudson bay road, the general opinion here is that the road would prove of immense advantage to this country for the timber, mineral and fish products which would be

carried over it even if no grain could be taken out by the Hudson bav straits. Yours truly,

M. A. EBY,

April 7, 1908