March 14, 1911

LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM.

Let me tell my hon. friend that from Fort William or Port Arthur to Winnipeg, although the distance is some miles longer, the rate on coal is 50 cents a ton less than the rate from Duluth to Winnipeg. .

Mr. GR4.HAM,

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-GRANTS TO VETERANS.
Subtopic:   THE NORMANTON GRAIN GROWERS' ASSOCIATION, SASKATCHEWAN.
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IND

William Findlay Maclean

Independent Conservative

Mr. MACLEAN (York).

I have the authority of the ' Free Press ' for saying that the coal rates to Winnipeg and the west from the country to the south are greater in Canada than in the States.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-GRANTS TO VETERANS.
Subtopic:   THE NORMANTON GRAIN GROWERS' ASSOCIATION, SASKATCHEWAN.
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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM.

Winnipeg and the west get their coal largely, I think, by the Great Lakes, and the rate from Port Arthur and Fort William to Winnipeg is $2.50 a ton, while the rate from Duluth to Winnipeg, a shorter distance, and mostly through American territory, is $3 per ton; and the commission has refused to reduce this rate on the ground that it is fair as compared with other rates in American territory. Now, there is a difference in the situation in the United States and in Canada as to capitalization. There is also a difference between Great Britain and Canada in this respect. We are a young country, while these two other countries are comparatively old. In the United States railway charters are granted by letters patent in the various states; in Canada they are granted by Act of parliament; and any dangers there may be from over-capitalization are in the hands of parliament itself. It may be that the time is arriving when other steps ought to be taken; but hitherto the Canadian people and parliament have seen fit to keep in the hands of parliament this question of capitalization when companies are organized. In New York state the capitalization of railways is not for the construction of new lines into new portions of the country; it is for old railways, for the development of terminals, the building of large stations, the changing from steam to electricity, or some such purpose. The conditions are different in Canada, where companies are formed to make the experiment of building new lines into new territories, which may or may not be productive. I am glad to say that they have been productive in the past, and, if we may judge by the course of the Canadian Pacific Railway stock, which is going up every day so that men of ordinary means can hardly reach it, the prospect for transportation companies in Canada in the future is really good. The Canadian Pacific railway 'is in a class all by itself in many ways. This much must be remembered. Although liberal provision was made for the Canadian Pacific railway, although the company got a large grant of land which, owing to the development of Canada, has proved valuable beyond our expectations, no person will deny that in the first place the men who put their money into the Canadian Pacific railway took a mighty big chance.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-GRANTS TO VETERANS.
Subtopic:   THE NORMANTON GRAIN GROWERS' ASSOCIATION, SASKATCHEWAN.
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IND

William Findlay Maclean

Independent Conservative

Mr. MACLEAN (York).

How much did they pay for it?

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-GRANTS TO VETERANS.
Subtopic:   THE NORMANTON GRAIN GROWERS' ASSOCIATION, SASKATCHEWAN.
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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM.

They did not pay a great deal, but my hon. friend will remember that at one time in the early history of the

Canadian Pacific railway, it wa3 on the verge of not being worth anything, and if the government of Canada had not come to its assistance, it would have gone into bankruptcy. .

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-GRANTS TO VETERANS.
Subtopic:   THE NORMANTON GRAIN GROWERS' ASSOCIATION, SASKATCHEWAN.
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IND

William Findlay Maclean

Independent Conservative

Mr. MACLEAN (York).

How much did they pay for their stock? [DOT]

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-GRANTS TO VETERANS.
Subtopic:   THE NORMANTON GRAIN GROWERS' ASSOCIATION, SASKATCHEWAN.
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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM.

They put everything they had as financiers and their individual character behind this road, and they made a success of it. In discussing it we should not forget that. I could make a fair argument by saying that it is not altogether unjust that the men who made this experiment should have the first chance to make what profit there was in the investment. I do not see that we ought to give the Canadian Pacific Tailwav more than its share. I am not arguing for the Canadian Pacific railway; but this must be borne in mind, that the greatest benefit that has come to the Canadian Pacific railway has come througli the increase in the value of its real estate. If we were to confine them solely to the profits of the railway, I am not so sure that they would have such a good story to tell. But Canada has become a great country; we have done a great deal to develop the railways- and other transportation facilities of this country, and the lands in western Canada have become valuable far beyond what any one expected. In discussing such questions as this we are very apt to be guided by hindsight. The Canadian Pacific railway has been a great- success, and we are glad of it; but we must not go to the other extreme, and condemn this undertaking merely because it has been a great success. We should bear in mind that the Canadian Pacific railway has been guided through very dangerous times by the aid of the people of Canada; and while we were doing that-, while we were maintaining the credit of the country and making the Canadian Pacific railway a standing advertisement of the greatness and growth of Canada, three-fourths of the railways of the United States have at some period passed into liquidation.

Mr. MACLEAN (York), because of overcapitalization.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-GRANTS TO VETERANS.
Subtopic:   THE NORMANTON GRAIN GROWERS' ASSOCIATION, SASKATCHEWAN.
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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM.

That may be. If that is the case, the Canadian Pacific railway has not. been guilty, because it has not had the same experience. Seventy-five per cent- of the railways on the continent of America have at some time or other passed into liquidation, and the people who put their money into these railways originally have been wiped out of existence financially. But the Canadian Pacific railway has lost- none of its original stock, and I think it is greatly to the credit of the Dominion of Canada that an enterprise of that kind has been carried through, and that the men and the

women who have invested in it have had a safe investment. I would like to see all the investments made in Canada, whether of foreign or home capital, so successful that we would never have any trouble in getting all the capital we want.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-GRANTS TO VETERANS.
Subtopic:   THE NORMANTON GRAIN GROWERS' ASSOCIATION, SASKATCHEWAN.
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IND

William Findlay Maclean

Independent Conservative

Mr. MACLEAN (York).

Does the minister justify, then, the cutting of these melons?

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-GRANTS TO VETERANS.
Subtopic:   THE NORMANTON GRAIN GROWERS' ASSOCIATION, SASKATCHEWAN.
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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM.

I will come to that. My hon. friend's argument has been made from a state law, not a federal law. The new court that has been established by the Congress of the United States has not been established for the purpose of looking after capitalization particularly, and for a very good reason, that most of the railways of the United States get their charters from state authority and not federal authority. This new court has been established-and I think Mr. Knapp is to be a member and perhaps the head of that- court-in order to provide for a speedy judgment in the case of appeals from the decisions of the Interstate Commerce Commission. That commission, being able to deal only with interstate traffic, does not occupy the same position as the Dominion Board of Railway Commissioners. When our commissioners give a judgment, there are only two things on which an appeal can be made. An appeal can be made on a question of fact to the Governor in Council or on a question of law to the Supreme Court, but they must first obtain the permission of the board. In the United States the position is altogether different. The parties can go from court to court, and the whole procedure is more cumbersome. In order to get over that difficulty, the federal authorities are establishing a new commerce court, to deal effectively and speedily with all such appeals.

It must also be borne in mind that in a now country like ours there are difficulties in financing not experienced in older countries. We have railways which are being constructed by the Grand Trunk railway, the Grand Trunk Pacific, and the Canadian Northern railway, and to-day the complaint throughout the west is that the railway companies are not pushing their new lines nearly fast enough. If we insist however on their going faster, they must provide more capital.

Mr. MiACLEAN (York). That complaint was made with regard to the Canadian Pacific railway.

' Mr. GRAHAM. It happened that the Canadian Pacific railway was up before the Railway Committee to-day. It all depends on whose Bill is before the committee, and we have to be careful not to do anything that may shake the confidence of the financial world in such undertakings

in this country. I am not speaking as an advocate at all of any railway company. It does not make a particle of difference to me what railway company may be affected. I am not in the position of my hon. friend who can attack a railway or anybody else solely on his individual responsibility, and his responsibility of course to those he represents; but in dealing with a question of this kind, and holding the position in which I am placed at present, I consider that I am responsible .to see -that no injustice as done to any part of the community, not even the railway companies.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-GRANTS TO VETERANS.
Subtopic:   THE NORMANTON GRAIN GROWERS' ASSOCIATION, SASKATCHEWAN.
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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

Hear, hear.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-GRANTS TO VETERANS.
Subtopic:   THE NORMANTON GRAIN GROWERS' ASSOCIATION, SASKATCHEWAN.
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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM.

We want to let the world know that in this Dominion men who are induced to make investments shall be treated justly and honestly, and also that the people of the country shall not be imposed upon by these companies to whom we give such great- privileges.

But coming to the question as to the granting to our board of railway commissioners the power to deal with capitalization, as I have said, the two systems are before us. In the United States the States themselves-not the federal authority-grant charters to railway companies by letters patent. In Canada the provinces grant charters to local railway companies and the federal authority grants charters to Dominion railway companies by Act of this parliament, and heretofore we have left in the hands of this parliament the right to deal with capitalization. In Canada the increase of capital is largely for the construction of new lines into new territories. In the United States it is largely for terminals or something in connection with old established lines. The conditions in both countries are different; but as my hon. friend points out, we are growing very rapidly in Canada and must soon be looking to the future, because it will not be long before we shall be unable to class ourselves among the young countries. The question ^ to which he has directed our attention is one certainly worthy of being considered. I have discussed it with some of our leading railway men, I have discussed it with the chairman of our Board of Railway Commissioners, I have discussed it with some gentlemen on the other side of the line, and I tell my hon. friend frankly that I have not yet been able to convince myself that Canada is prepared to take the step he recommends at present. Possibly he may be right and I may be going a little carefully, but with the responsibility I feel, speaking for the government and the people of Canada, I think we_ should go slowly. One of our strong points when asking for money from the financiers of the world is to go slowly Mr. GRAHAM.

and not frighten capital, to do nothing to shake the confidence of the people w7ho hold the purse strings. Our credit must be protected and will be. Let us then be careful in whatever we do so that in the future, as in the past, the capitalists of the world will be prepared to furnish the funds, when asked to do so, for any great undertaking Canada may have on hand.

My hon. friend has brought this motion in a peculiar way; and while I say that the question is one I have been considering, I am not convinced the time has yet come for us to make the move he advocates. I am much obliged to him for the information he has given in a matter for such deep interest, but the government could not accept the motion he has submitted. It is not one which we can amend. It is a vote of want of confidence, and it is asking us to adopt, without the investigation we think necessary, a new departure. I think he would do well not to press his motion to division because we all are anxious to do what is best for the people and to guard all the interests at work in the upbuilding of this country. This matter is under consideration. We are considering it, and wondering if it is the best thing to do. I am not yet convinced that this is the proper time to take such a step in advance, but the government has it in mind, and this, as all other questions connected with transportation in the cheapest way for the people, is receiving serious consideration and will continue to receive that consideration in the future.

At six o'clock, House took recess.

After Eecess.

House resumed at eight o'clock.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-GRANTS TO VETERANS.
Subtopic:   THE NORMANTON GRAIN GROWERS' ASSOCIATION, SASKATCHEWAN.
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PRIVATE BILLS.


Mr. SPROULE moved the third reading of Bill (No. 93) to incorporate the Alberta Electric Railway Company.-Mr. McCarthy.


LIB

John Gillanders Turriff

Liberal

Mr. TURRIFF.

In accordance with the notice I gave, I move that the Bill be referred back to the Committee of the Whole for the purpose of striking out section 14.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-GRANTS TO VETERANS.
Subtopic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Sub-subtopic:   ALBERTA ELECTRIC RAILWAY COMPANY.
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Motion agreed to, and House went again into committee on the Bill. Mr. TURRIFF moved that section 14 be struck out.


CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

The hon. member (Mr. McCarthy) -who is in charge of the Bill, is not present, and it would be too bad to amend it during his absence. I move that the committee rise, report progress, and ask leave to sit again, allowing the Bill to stand until the hon. gentleman is here.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-GRANTS TO VETERANS.
Subtopic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Sub-subtopic:   ALBERTA ELECTRIC RAILWAY COMPANY.
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LIB

John Gillanders Turriff

Liberal

Mr. TURRIFF.

This clause would authorize the company to carry on a coal mining business as well as run a railway. I think such a clause should not be passed. There is no objection to these people taking out a charter for a subsidiary company, and operating a coal mine under that charter, but a law should not be passed authorizing a railway company to own and operate a coal mine. I do not think there is much likelihood that this company will ever start a coal mine, but I do not support in this case, and do not intend to support in any case in the future, the proposal to give a railway company power under its charter to go into the coal mining business.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-GRANTS TO VETERANS.
Subtopic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Sub-subtopic:   ALBERTA ELECTRIC RAILWAY COMPANY.
Permalink
CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

This Bill was allowed to stand yesterday because the hon. member who is in charge of it was not present. I agree with much of what the hon. gentleman (Mr. Turriff) has said. I contended against this feature of the Bill when it was in committee. But power similar to this has been given to other railway companies in that western country where coal is so plentiful, and there seems to be no very strong reason why we should grant such powers to one company and refuse them to another. We ought to treat all alike.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-GRANTS TO VETERANS.
Subtopic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Sub-subtopic:   ALBERTA ELECTRIC RAILWAY COMPANY.
Permalink
LIB

John Gillanders Turriff

Liberal

Mr. TURRIFF.

If it is the desire of the committee to let the Bill stand over until the hon. member who is in charge of it is present, I have no objection.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-GRANTS TO VETERANS.
Subtopic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Sub-subtopic:   ALBERTA ELECTRIC RAILWAY COMPANY.
Permalink

March 14, 1911