January 30, 1914

THE STEAMER ALERT.


On the motion of Mr. Borden for Committee of Supply:


LIB

William F. Carroll

Liberal

Mr. W. F. CARROLL (Cape Breton South):

Mr. Speaker, I wish to read the following article dated North Sydney, January 27, 1914, which appeared in the Sydney Record:

The Government revenue steam tug Alert, which is owned by a Sydney real estate broker and incidentally' receives the princely sum of $18,000 per y'ear of the people's money, was pressed into service yesterday to convey Tory organizer Hayes and Tory candidate Philip McLeod from North Sydney to the northern parts of Victoria county. The primary object of establishing this branch of the preventive service was to put a stop to the traffic of contraband liquor into Cape Breton seaports. Prohibition is one of the planks of the Tory platform. It is also an offence punishable by fine and imprisonment to carry intoxicating liquor from one part of the province to another. Notwithstanding all this some of the barrels placed on board of the Government boat on its northward journey looked uncommonly like vessels containing ordinary booze. But although taken from a bonded warehouse and conveyed on board the ship by a teamster employed by a wholesale liquor dealer, they might have contained nothing more harmful than tomatoes of the Colchester county brand. In any event it is safe to say that the Government never intended to furnish Mr. Philip McLeod with a private yacht for electioneering purposes, even if he is the Tory candidate for Victoria county.

For the information of the House I may say than an election for a member for the local legislature of the piovince of Nova Scotia is taking place in that county and the election will be held on the i2th day of February. My only intention in reading this article is to bring it to the attention of the Government, or I suppose, more particularly of the hon. Minister of Marine and Fish-eiies (Mr. Hazen). He is not in his place at the present time, but I would be glad if he would tell this House whether or not the tug Alert, which is in the Government service, has gone to either one of the ports of Victoria county on an electioneering service and whether or not she has been ordered there by the department. If the hon. gentleman does not know these facts, I would ask him to have an investigation made and to give an answer to the House later.

Topic:   COMMITTEE OF SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   THE STEAMER ALERT.
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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN:

Topic:   COMMITTEE OF SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   THE STEAMER ALERT.
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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

And there has been no change whatever since the change of Government.

Topic:   COMMITTEE OF SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   THE STEAMER ALERT.
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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN:

I think there has been a change; at least I hope the e has been. I am free to admit there ought to be a change.

Topic:   COMMITTEE OF SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   THE STEAMER ALERT.
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PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND RAILWAY.


On the mot on of Mr. Borden for Committee of Supply:


LIB

James Joseph Hughes

Liberal

Mr. J. J. HUGHES (Kings, P.E.I.):

I call the attention of the Prime Minister and of the Minister of Railways to the very large increase which has taken place recently in the freight rates on the Prince Edward Island railway. I undirstand that the matter his been brou ht to the attention of the Minister of Railways by the supporters of the Government, and by dele a ons from my province, but so f r no red ess has been obtained. I a so under tand, there s very litt e hope that there will be any relief given. The increase in the rates on the Prince Edward Island railway is twenty-five to thirty per cent over the former rates, which were in the rs Ives auite onerous. In the judgment of the people of my province the exist ng railway rates are not in t e best interest of the ra.lway, and they certainly are not in the interest of the people. On some commoli-ties the rates have been increased to such an extent that they are actually prohibitory, the increase raag.ng from sixty to one hundred per cent.

Topic:   COMMITTEE OF SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND RAILWAY.
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CON

Francis Cochrane (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. COCHRANE:

Keep on, you are doing well.

Topic:   COMMITTEE OF SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND RAILWAY.
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LIB

James Joseph Hughes

Liberal

Mr. HUGHES:

I can give you an instance of that. From my o.m p< rsonal knowledge, the r ite on fire vood or c rd-wood, haul d from New Ze .land s ation, Harmony station, and New Harmony station to Souris, was formerly $3 and $3.50 and it is now $7. Tnat rate is prohibitory.

Topic:   COMMITTEE OF SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND RAILWAY.
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CON

Francis Cochrane (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. COCHRANE:

That means $7 a car.

Topic:   COMMITTEE OF SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND RAILWAY.
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LIB
CON

Francis Cochrane (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. COCHRANE:

How many miles.

Topic:   COMMITTEE OF SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND RAILWAY.
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LIB

James Joseph Hughes

Liberal

Mr. HUGHES:

Between five and ten miles.

Topic:   COMMITTEE OF SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND RAILWAY.
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CON

Joseph Elijah Armstrong

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. J. E. ARMSTRONG:

I wish we

could get it hauled in On ario for that.

Topic:   COMMITTEE OF SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND RAILWAY.
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LIB

James Joseph Hughes

Liberal

Mr. HUGHES:

The people engaged in that traffic are hauling by team rather than by railway.

Topic:   COMMITTEE OF SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND RAILWAY.
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CON

George Henry Bradbury

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BRADBURY:

It would cost double that in the West.

Topic:   COMMITTEE OF SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND RAILWAY.
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LIB

James Joseph Hughes

Liberal

Mr. HUGHES:

I am addressing my re-ma ks to the Minister of Railways. I h ve letter^ irom the most reputable and largest business men in the province asking me to bring this nia.ter to the a.tention of the Government. Carvell Brothers, the largest wholesale business men in Charlottetown, and who I th.nk are supp rters of tie present Administration communicated with me on this matter, as have also M ssrs. Poole and Thomp on of Montague who do a large produce business. I quote a paragraph from a letter rec.ived f.om this firm:

In addition to the above we are informed that all freight rates on the Prince Edward Island railway have been advanced, except on Mussle mud, and the rates on cordwood, lumber, coal, hay and straw, lime, limestone, cement, brick, sand, gravel, stone, live stock, fertilizer, &c., are practically prohibitive, and will certainly result in loss of business for the railway as well as tying up the commerce of the country.

That is a condition of affairs that ought to be looked into. I am surprised that the Government did not take more heed of the representations made by their supporters in this House and by the delegations that have come from Prince Edward Island to interview them on this subject. The Prime Minister will remember that he visited Prince Edward Island shortly before the last Dominion election, and he held meetings there which were largely attended. There was a meeting held at Souris, the town in which I live, and the day being fine the meeting was held in a field, and it was largely attended by farmers and others. The Prime Minister referred to the grievances under which the people of the province were labouring in the matter of transporting their products. The right hon. gentleman stated that if he should come into power, one of the first things to which his Government would address its attention would be to redress these grievances. Well, there has been no redress in the line of reduction of rates, but on the contrary the rates have been increased. That is why I make a special appeal to the Prime Minister. I am quite sure he made that statement and that promise in good faith, and I am also sure the people who listened to him thought

it was in good faith. And yet we see the result. I do not think the Prime Minister would wish to have a result of that kind, I would ask him whether we may expect these grievances to be remedied and what action the Government will take.

I want further to call the attention of the Minister of Railways to the fact that last autumn, in Christmas week I think, about one-third of the trackmen were discharged, temporarily, as I understand it. At all events, one of the permanent men from each section of the road was discharged. That was a cruel thing to do right at the beginning of winter. The wages received by these men is barely sufficient to support themselves and their families, and yet right in the beginning of winter, in Christmas week, the Government dismissed them for the winter season. The men could not get any other work at that season of the year. From what I know of the Minister of Railways, I do not think that personally he would approve of conduct of that kind, but, nevertheless, his department did it. Possibly the man responsible for that is the General Manager, who is receiving a princely salary, I understand $20,000 a year. That man is in a position in which he is not obliged to feel the necessities of men who are earning a bare living wage of from $1.50 to $1.70 per day. Why, if you had a horse which had served you faithfully during the summer season, you would not turn him out at the beginning of winter to starve; if you did you would be put in prison at the instance of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to animals. I repeat that I do not think the Minister of Railways would personally do a thing like that, but being the head of the department he must be held responsible. I would now ask the Minister what redress these poor men are going to get. So serious was the matter that the trackmen held a meeting amongst themselves, and the men who had not been discharged agreed to work only alternate weeks so that they would thus share their wages with the men who were thrown out of employment. They knew thier comrades could not support their families during the winter months. That is a condition of things that is quite serious. Now, will the Minister of Railways take steps to reinstate these men, and to prevent the issuing of an order of that kind in future? I believe that personally his better nature would prompt him to take action of that kind.

!0

I also wish to ask whether we may expect any redress so far as decrease in rates- which are excessive and which were certainly not contemplated-on the Prince Edward Island Railway. I am satisfied that if the present Prime Minister, when he went before the people of Prince Edward Island previous to the last general election, had told the people that if he were placed in office he would raise the rates on the Prince Edward Island railway to the extent they have been raised, he would have received very few votes indeed in that province.

I wish that the minister would give me an answer on these points.

Topic:   COMMITTEE OF SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND RAILWAY.
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CON

Francis Cochrane (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. COCHRANE:

As to the raising of

the rates, the increase has taken place just as on the main line of the Intercolonial railway. I may say, however, that before I came into office, and continuously for a long time, there has been a deficit on the Prince Edward Island railway, and that deficit is still about $100,000 a year.

Topic:   COMMITTEE OF SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND RAILWAY.
Permalink

January 30, 1914