I would limit it entirely to branch lines of the Intercolonial, because it is in respect of those that Parliament is already committed by a resolution just as strong as this one would be if it
were put through in this emasculated form It would simply be a declaration that this House is in favour of leasing or purchasing or building any line of railway which the Government may hereafter be authorized by Parliament to lease or to purchase or to build. It is simply an academic resolution, which gives no authority whatever to take any action. My hon. friend must see that he cannot move hand or foot if the resolution is passed with this prohibitive clause in it, because he must still come to Parliament and get this special authority. What I would do would be this: I would authorize the Governor in Council to lease for a long term of years any of the branch lines of the Intercolonial on terms to be approved by the Governor in Council, with the provision that the lease shall be submitted to Parliament at the next session after it is entered into. I am willing, and I have no doubt this House is willing, to trust the Governor in Council in regard to the leasing of the branch lines. There could not be any mistake as to that because the Government have a record of its past earnings and they could get a report of the board of management and of the engineers of the Intercolonial. If any branch lines are to be purchased, I would leave that entirely as a matter of appropriation, or I would provide in the Bill that, if it was decided to purchase any of the branch lines, a board of arbitration should be appointed by agreement to determine as to what was a reasonable price. If there was any difficulty so far as a lease was concerned, the same provision might be made. We would then be taking a step forward instead of, if this resolution were passed, being in exactly the same position as we were before.
Subtopic: PRINCE ALBERT HOMESTEAD ENTRY.