Would the minister say on what principle the improvement of air brake valves is chargeable to capital? I do not wish to be discourteous nor do I wish to limit the minister in his answer, but I would rather he would net tell me that the old Government did the same as this. I know that. I am asking for information, and I would like to know on what ground or principle the previous Government and governments before that Mr. ROGERS. -
and the present Government have charged (these things to capital. It seems to me it would be a great consolation to the people of Canada if they really could know what is the condition of the Intercolonial railway. The minister comes down to the House and says : I have a surplus of $500,000; or he comes down and says there is a deficit of $300,000 or $400,000. During the last three or four years there have been what are called surpluses. But we know that there has been no surplus in fact. If all were charged up that ought to be charged up against income, there would be a deficit, as a matter of fact. The minister may say that other roads keep their books in the same way. That may be
true. But I would like to know on what principle such expenses a3 these are charged to capital. If he would tell us that, we should have a better chance to judge of what is the real position with regard to the Intercolonial railway. It .will not make any difference to the people; they have to pay it anyhow, whatever it is; and if they could know what the actual position is, it would be so much the better. In many cases it is claimed they are not paying high enough rates on the Intercolonial railway. I think that that is not true. But it seems to me it would be better to understand the basis of these so-called surpluses, and if the minister would give us this information it would help.