January 26, 1914

PROPOSED INTERNATIONAL WATERWAY.


On the Orders of the Day being called:


LIB

Emmanuel Berchmans Devlin

Liberal

Mr. E. B. DEVLIN:

In the absence of the right hon. the Prime Minister, I should like to ask the hon. Minister of Trade and Commerce, whom we are very glad to see again in his seat, if the Government has had any communication with the Government of the United States in respect to the substance of an article which appears

in a Government organ, the Ottawa Citizen, of this date, entitled: 'Joint Waterway from Duluth to Atlantic Ocean; International Commission discusses plans at Washington and will bring project to attention of the Canadian Government.' I am not reading the whole article, but just a portion of it:

Washington, Jan. 25.-A project for the joint construction by the governments of the United States and Canada of a deep waterway for ocean-going steamers from Montreal to Duluth, Minn., has been inaugurated through the International Joint Commission, which has jurisdiction over the boundary waters of the two countries.

The discussions instituted through the International Joint Commission are the result of a recent conference in Washington, in which Secretary Bryan, Chairman James A. Tawney of the American section of the International Commission, and Senator Charles E. Townsend, of Michigan, participated.

It was arranged that the matter should be taken up first with the Canadian Government through the commission. Chairman Tawney will confer soon with T. Chase Casgrain, K.C., chairman of Canadian section.

The project for an ocean waterway from the head of navigation on lake Superior to the Atlantic has been agitated for many years. It was considered seriously at the time when President Taft entered into reciprocity negotiations with Canada.

Hon. GEO. E. FOSTER (Minister of Trade and Commerce): I have not been in as close communication with the Government lately as I could have wished, and in the absence of the Prime Minister I shall have to ask my hon. friend to repeat his question later when the Prime Minister comes in. I myself am not aware of any communication having been had.

Topic:   PROPOSED INTERNATIONAL WATERWAY.
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FUNERAL OF LORD STRATHCONA.


Hon. GEO. E. FOSTER (Minister of Trade and Commerce): I am sure that the House would like to hear the following cablegram from Mr. Griffith to the right hon. the leader of the Government: London, Jan. 26, 1914. Rt. Hon. R. L. Borden, Ottawa, Ont. The funeral service for the late High Commissioner held in Westminster Abbey to-day was attended by representatives of Their Majesties the King and Queen, Queen Alexandra, the Duke of Connaught, Prince Arthur of Connaught, the Duchess of Albany, Princess Louise, and many members of His Majesty's Government. There were also represented a great number of the leading scientific, educational and other bodies, as well as the Royal Academies of Art and Music. Public sympathy was most marked. The event was a great tribute to Lord Strathcona's outstanding personality, and unmistakably betokened great good-will toward the Dominion of Canada which he so long and so well represented. (Sgd.) Griffith.


BAY OF FUNDY NAVIGATION.

LIB

Frank Broadstreet Carvell

Liberal

Mr. F. B. CARVELL:

I wish to call the attention of the Minister of Marine and Fisheries (Mr. Hazen) to an article that has appeared in a number of papers. I am reading from the Ottawa Free Press of Friday, January 16, which contains a statement alleged to have come from one Captain R. F. Clift, a member of the Dominion Wreck Commission. This article says:

Captain Clift narrowly escaped being a passenger himself on the ill-fated Cobequid, and in recalling with some satisfaction the trouble he had escaped by his last-minute change of plans, denounced with outspoken bitterness the folly of compelling vessels of the type of the Cobequid to travel by the St. John route through the Bay of Fundy in winter.

' It is nothing short of manslaughter, no, it is worse, it is murder,' he said, ' to compel vessels to traverse the Bay of Fundy at a season when such terrifying hurricanes are likely to crop up and when fogs make it almost impossible to be certain of a successful battle with the dangerous racing currents.

' The Bay of Fundy has a rise and fall of tide of thirty feet, the greatest in the world, and the waters swirl through it at a perilous speed, so that when lashed into fury by storm, and obscured by fog, a shipmaster has not a fighting chance.'

The people of St. John, the captain continued, had used every kind of political pull to get the Royal liners to call, and had tried to coerce Sir Thomas Shaughnessy into allowing the Canadian Pacific railway vessels to come to St. John, but Sir Thomas had replied: ' No, I absolutely refuse to imperil my ocean liners by allowing them to go into the Bay of Fundy, with its dangerous cross currents.'

' It is absolutely jeopardizing the lives of captain, passengers and crew to send them across the Bay of Fundy in winter,' concluded the commissioner, * and the captains only do so under protest and agains their judgment. Halifax is the safer winter port.'

I should like to know if this man, Captain R. F. Clift, is a member of the public service of the Dominion and an official of the Department of the Minister of Marine and Fisheries. If so, I desire to ask if this matter has been called to his attention, and if he proposes to investigate it, and, I would say, bring this officer to account for making such libelous statements as are contained in this article,

Topic:   BAY OF FUNDY NAVIGATION.
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CON

John Douglas Hazen (Minister of Marine and Fisheries; Minister of the Naval Service)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. J. D. HAZEN (Minister of Marine and Fisheries):

Captain Clift, whose opinions have been quoted by my hon. friend from Carleton, N.B., (Mr. Carvell) is not an official of the Marine and Fisheries De-

partment. He is a retired sailing master, as I understand, residing in Montreal. From time to time, for a good many years past, the Wreck Commissioner, in investigating wrecks on the St. Lawrence route, is assisted by two nautical assessors familiar with the conditions of navigation. The Wreck Commissioner has on several occasions called Captain Clift in for such purpose and he has acted in the capacity of a nautical assessor. But he is not an official of the department; he is not in the pay of the department. The impression, which, it would seem, he himself tries to create, that he is an official is entirely without foundation in fact. I had read the unfair and unjust statement to which the hon. gentleman refers, and, knowing what a slander it was against the Bay of Fundy, at once called the attention of the Board of Trade of St. John to the matter and suggested that it would be desirable that steps should be taken to place the facts fairly before the public. Inquiry has been made into the wreck of the Cobequid by the Wreck Commissioner, Captain Lindsay, assisted by two nautical assessors. I understand that the report and judgment of that court has been prepared and in a few days will be given to the public through the press. While I have no right to forestall the conclusions which the court has reached, yet, having followed the evidence given at the inquiry with a considerable degree of care, I venture to express the belief that it will be found that the Wreck 'Commissioners are not of opinion that the wreck was due to any inherent danger existing in the Bay of Fundy, but to other causes altogether.

I think it unfortunate, that, in connection with a disaster of this sort, any one should attempt to make capital against any special locality or any special waters over which navigation into Canada has to take place. Charges from time to time have been made with regard to the navigation of the Bay of Fundy. While there are dangers in the Bay of Fundy, as there are dangers to be found in all waters which ships navigate, yet I think it has been demonstrated in the past, time and again, that the dangers which exist in the Bay of Fundy are no greater than those which exist in many other navigable waters of the world. A good many years ago, when the late Senator Ellis was a member of this House, some charges of this character were made on the floor of Parliament when the question

was being discussed of subsidizing

rMr. Hazen.]

steamers from Ports in Great Britain to Canada. This was in 1887 or 1888. Senator Ellis put upon the record of ' Hansard,' where it can be found by any one who is interested, a statement carefully prepared by the Board of Trade of St. John, showing the ships coming to and going from the Bay of Fundy and going in and out of the Port of St. John, and specifying the number [DOT] of casualties occurring over a long period of years. The facts demonstrated beyond question that the Bay of Fundy was not a particularly dangerous water to mariners, and that the casualties during a number of seasons occurring in the Bay of Fundy are less than the casualties in many other ports of the world, upon which no such attack was made. It would be improper for me to reflect on the dangers of navigation of the St. Lawrence; these also have been much exaggerated. Of late years, with the aids to navigation provided and the means taken so far as possible to develop the means of protection to the mariner, a very great improvement has been made. It will be found, I believe, if a comparison be made- and no one attacks the record of the St. Lawrence-that the record of the Bay of Fundy is quite equal, if not superior, as far as casualties are concerned, to the great St. Lawrence route from the sea to Quebec and on to Montreal.

Topic:   BAY OF FUNDY NAVIGATION.
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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPEAKER:

I think this is going

rather beyond what is allowed.

Topic:   BAY OF FUNDY NAVIGATION.
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LIB

Frank Broadstreet Carvell

Liberal

Mr. CARVELL:

It is very important,

Mr. Speaker. Let the hon. gentleman go on.

Topic:   BAY OF FUNDY NAVIGATION.
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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPEAKER:

I think it would be a

rather dangerous precedent to allow this debate to proceed at this stage.

Hon. Mr. HAZEN. I must bow at once to your decision, Mr. Speaker. But perhaps I may take a more fitting occasion to refer to the question raised by my hon. friend from Car-leton, N.B., which was a most proper one to ask. I must content myself now with saying that the casualty under discussion did not occur in the Bay of Fundy. I think that the inquiry by the Wreck Commissioner into the causes of the wreck of the Cobequid will be found to have been of the fullest possible character, and the result will be given to the public as soon as it is possible to do so.

Topic:   BAY OF FUNDY NAVIGATION.
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MARITIME MAIL SERVICE.


On the Orders of the Day being called:


LIB

Henry Robert Emmerson

Liberal

Hon. H. R. EMMERSON (Westmorland):

I invite the attention of the Postmaster

General to the condition of the mail service between Sackville, in Westmorland county, and the eastern portions of the county over the line of the New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island railway. I have just received a telegram from the eastern part of Westmorland, stating:

No train over this route since 19th. No mail 19th to 23rd. Mails now coming by team. Road could easily have been opened 23rd or 24th. Inquiries at railway office meet with no information given no remedy.

The railway referred to runs from Sackville to Cape Tormentine. It connects at certain seasons with a mail service to Prince Edward Island at Summerside. I would ask my hon. friend the Postmaster General if his attention has been called to the fact that the New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island railway is snowbound, that the mails have been interrupted since the 19th of this month. This is a very important section of the country, and naturally the people are very much interested in having a mail service. They have a daily mail service when the trains are in operation, but, apparently, they have no such mail service now.

Topic:   MARITIME MAIL SERVICE.
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CON

Louis-Philippe Pelletier (Postmaster General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. L. P. PELLETIER (Postmaster General) :

These things very often come to the notice of the department. The unfortunate part of the matter is that although the Post Office Department has a contract with the railway companies to carry the mail, it has no means of forcing them to do what they ought to do under certain circumstances. In this case there is a standing order from the department at once to get out teams or employ other means of transportation for the purpose of taking proper care of the mails. The particular point to which my hon. friend refers has not been called to my attention, because, I suppose, the officers of the department have instructions to do at once the next best thing in order to ensure a proper delivery of the mails to the public and it will be done in this case.

Topic:   MARITIME MAIL SERVICE.
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THE OCEAN LIMITED.


On the Orders of the Day being called:


LIB

Henry Robert Emmerson

Liberal

Mr. EMMERSON:

On Friday last the

general manager of the Intercolonial railway sent notices to the newspapers of the Maritime provinces to the effect that the operation of twenty-three trains of the Intercolonial railway system, including the Ocean Limited, would be discontinued on Monday of this week, that is to-day. Has this matter come to the attention of the hon.

Minister of Railways and Canals, and, if so, have instructions been sent out cancelling any such order, and providing that the operation of the Ocean Limited be continued as heretofore? Has the hon. minister any knowledge as to the other trains in question, and if so, what trains running over the Intercolonial railway are to be discontinued?

Topic:   THE OCEAN LIMITED.
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CON

Francis Cochrane (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. FRANK COCHRANE:

I have

no knowledge of any twenty-three trains being taken off. The Ocean Limited is to continue to run, and I shall be able to inform the House to-morrow or the next day as to whether that train will continue to run during the next two months.

Topic:   THE OCEAN LIMITED.
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LIB

Henry Robert Emmerson

Liberal

Mr. EMMERSON:

Do I understand the hon. minister to say he has no knowledge of the discontinuing of the twenty-three trains mentioned?

Topic:   THE OCEAN LIMITED.
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January 26, 1914