The sub-structure is completed, but not the superstructure. There is a question as to the entrance into St. Boniface, and I have heard the parties interested once or twice, and on account of the level crossings and the crossings of the Canadian Pacific railway there, it is possible we will have to make an overhead entrance through St. Boniface, which will increase the cost.
The chief engineer has reported that the line already constructed -it will hardly include the northern entrance into St. Boniface-will be in condition to take over in time for the handling of next year's crop, probably early in the autumn.
It was ready for traffic as I have outlined, and traffic could have been carried over that line for the entire season by the' contractors had the Grand Trunk Pacific desired to make such an arrangement with them. It could be carried by the Canadian Northern bridge over the Red river, connecting with that Dundee branch and running through. The Grand Trunk Pacific, as I understand it, did not care to make that arrangement with the contractors, but traffic could have been carried as contractors do carry on transportation along many lines before they hand their work over as complete.
The statement of the minister is very different from the statement in the speech from the Throne. The speech from the Throne does not say there is still $1,000,000 to be expended upon it, and that by using the Canadian Northern bridge some trains could be run over jt- had the Grand Trunk accepted the offer of the contractors. The speech from the Throne is much more direct:
The eastern division is now open for traffic from Winnipeg to Lake Superior Junction.
Why is it that so absolutely a misleading statement-not to use any harsher term- was placed in the mouth of His Excellency by the government?
I think my hon. friend from Marquette would say that the prairie section was open for traffic, although it is being run under the construction company yet. But, it is open for traffic and running through to Wolf creek.
But this does not even fulfil that condition. I am not concerned with what my hon. friend from Marquette would say, but I am concerned with what His Excellency the Governor General has said, and in this connection the government made him say something that is absolutely untrue. I am inclined to think that His Excellency would be perfectly justified in dismissing all his ministers.
I do not think he would make anv mistake. This section never was open for traffic, and could not have been open for traffic until the government took it over and leased it to the Grand Trunk Pacific. It never has been operated by the contractors; they offered to operate it, but the offer has not been accepted.
If the Minister of Railways considers that a fair interpreta-
tion of the language of His Excellency, 1 will not argue any more with him. He knows perfectly well that the people of the country who read* the speech from the Throne understood that the line was- open for traffic in the ordinary course, and in that sense such a statement was absolutely and wholly mendacious and. the Governor General has been led into a very unfortunate position. No fault is to be attributed to His Excellency, because I suppose he is obliged to place confidence in the representations of his ministers in matters of this kind. But why the trouble was taken to put these words into the mouth of His Excellency, when it must have been perfectly apparent that the truth would be discovered within a very short time, is more than I can understand.
When this matter comes up again, I want the minister to give us all the items of expenditure that are not included within these contracts, so that we can add the amount of the contracts together, and these other items, and see what the expenditure, so far as estimated to the present, has been on that 1,800 miles.
It is well to have that statement, but that is not exactly what I wanted to know. I want to get from the minister a statement of the estimated expenditure outside of the contracts, necessary to complete the whole work; for instance, the cost of the Quebec bridge, and the terminals, and everything not embraced in the contracts.
I gave the estimated cost of the Quebec bridge several week3 ago. Outside of the information I have given here. I am not clear as to what my hon. friend wants. The contracts include everything along the line except the steel rails and fastenings, and the steel bridges, and I have given all these.