March 13, 1914

CON

William Humphrey Bennett

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. W. H. BENNETT:

On some future

occasion, I wish to place before the minister the reasons why a point equi-distant between the Canadian Pacific railway and Grand Trunk railway terminals on the Georgian bay, or rather on Nottawassaga bay, which is an arm of the Georgian bay, [DOT]would be a desirable site for the erection of an elevator.

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LIB

William Ashbury Buchanan

Liberal

Mr. BUCHANAN:

I desire to make

some observations as to the location of an interior storage elevator in the province of Alberta. One elevator has already been located in Calgary. A very strong case has been presented in favour of the erection of another elevator in the extreme southern part of the province; I think the minister is familiar with the arguments that have been put forward on behalf of Lethbridge. I am not entering any objections to the location of the elevator at Calgary, but I would like to point out that the first city in the province of Alberta to make a claim for one of these elevators was Lethbridge, and hope has been held out that that city would be chosen for the site of the first terminal elevator in the province. Last session I was led to believe, by an answer given by the acting Minister of Trade and Commerce, that the selection rested with the Board oi Grain Commissioners. I would ask the minister to let us know whether the board decides on the location of the elevators, or whether that is a matter which is determined by the Government. The argument I want to offer is this: The

elevator supply north of the fifty-first parallel was not used during the past season to the extent it was used south of the fifty-first parallel. The amount of grain shipped from Alberta stations of the Canadian Pacific railway from September 1 to December 31, 1913, over the Crowsnest, Cardston, Coutts, Foremost and Aldersyde

subdivisions, and the Macleod to Cayley branch of the Canadian Pacific railway, was 10,000,000 bushels. This entire volume, which was forty-five per cent of the total shipment from Alberta, had its actual movement through Lethbridge. The total amou it of grain shipped from the province was 21,300,000 bushels, and the proportion shipped south of the fifty-first parallel was 78-8 per cent of that amount, or 16,800,000 bushels. The elevator capacity in the province of Alberta north of the fifty-first parallel is 6,785,000 bushels, while the shipments amounted to 4,500,000 bushels. The elevator capacity south of this line is 4,780,000 while the shipments for that part of the province were 16,800,000 bushels. In other words, the present elevator capacity north of the fifty-first parallel in Alberta is 2,285,000 bushels greater than the shipments in 1913, while the capacity south of the line is 12,020,000 bushels less than the shipments. I point this out to show that the part of the province of Alberta which is most in need of increased elevator accommodation is the extreme southern part, the great grain growing portion of Alberta. North of Calgary there is a large mixed farming community, but in the south, up to the present time, grain growing has been the occupation of the farmer, and will be for a great many years to come, owing to the conditions which exist. That part of the country is developing; new railroads are being built, and I simply want to place before the minister the needs of that particular section of the country. The city of Lethbridge has placed its case before the minister and before the Board of Grain Commissioners, and the minister, in an answer given this year, acknowledged that Lethbridge was one of the places which applied for an interior stoiage elevator. There is a very strong feeling there, brought about by intimations during the early period of the history of the Government policy in connection with the establishment of these elevators, that this elevator should be located in Lethbridge. That feeling was induced by announcements made by some friends of this Government, and I hope the minister will see that when a second elevator is established in Alberta the claims of the extreme southern part of the province will be considered. Is it the intention of the Government to establish another of these interior storage elevators in the province of Alberta? I would be very much pleased if he would state that such an elevator is to be erected in the city of Lethbridge.

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CON

George Eulas Foster (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER:

I would be very much pleased if I were able to satisfy my hon. friend by making either of the statements he asks. He has stated the position, so far as the town of Lethbridge and the district of which it is a central point is concerned, very fully before the House. All these matters have been very fully placed before myself and the department, and, I think, before the Grain Commissioners who visited that section of the country. It is difficult to say that it is not the intention to place an elevator in Lethbridge or in any other place in the Northwest. But I will be perfectly frank with my hon. friend and say that for the present year it is not intended to construct any other storage elevators than those which he has knowledge of, at Saskatoon, at Moosejaw, and at Calgary, and transfer elevators on the Pacific coast and on the Hudson bay coast for ocean shipping. Nobody doubts the fine country of the Lethbridge district; its large grain-raising capabilities; the actual results which have been gained up to the present time, and the possibilities of a much larger future expansion. At the same time I am bound to say to my hon. friend frankly that during this year there is no intention of proceeding with the construction of other elevators than those I have mentioned.

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LIB

William Ashbury Buchanan

Liberal

Mr. BUCHANAN:

Would the minister let me know with whom the selection of the site of these elevators rests, the Government or the Grain Commission?

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CON

George Eulas Foster (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER:

The Publicity Commission of Lethbridge, which my hon. friend knows, has placed this matter very fully before my department, as did, among others from that locality, Mr. Ives and Mr. Stewart, from whom I have received a number of letters, one, only a day or two ago. So that Lethbridge has not lost anything from lack of a pretty complete and thorough representation of its capabilities and desires in respect of a storage elevator. As regards the ultimate selection of sites for elevators, that rests with the Government, as it always must. The Government takes the responsibility and has to shoulder that responsibility. But I have made it a rule that, having established what I consider a competent board of Grain Commissioners, they are the experts and advisers in all these matters, and it is my duty as a minister to carry out the recommendations and views of that commission unless there be something which involves a matter of policy that the Government does not see its way

clear to adopt. But in an advisory capacity I am guided by, and am thoroughly following, the advice of my grain commissioners. I do that not only in the selection of sites and these important matters, but I do it down to the selection and control of all the employees who are engaged in the responsible work of carrying on the operations of that board. The board is held responsible by me and to a large extent by Parliament, for this work. So I think the board should have a very free hand as to who its officers and employees should be. They demand competency, and I have no right to step in between them and the competency they desire, by any wishes of my own, and 1 do not do it.

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LIB

Frank Oliver

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER:

Has the'Government elevator at Fort William been found to pay its way in its operation ? The railway companies, having established elevators, have for one reason or another, preferred to withdraw from their actual operation and to lease them to other parties. What, has the experience of the Government in the operation of this elevator led them to believe is the main reason the railway companies do not themselves wish to operate ?

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CON
LIB

Edward Walter Nesbitt

Liberal

Mr. NESBITT:

Does the Government

charge the same price for storage as do the company elevators?

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CON
LIB
CON

George Eulas Foster (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER:

I have presented to the committee simply the running expenses and receipts. At the end of the year we shall

know how we stand, not only as regards operating expenses, but on the whole business, which means the investment and the carrying of the investment, as well as operating expenses. I cannot prophesy as to how we shall come out in that. I can say, however, that we have built an elevator of 3,250,000 bushels capacity, and as all the accounts have been turned in and paid off, we know that the cost of that elevator reckons out at about 42 cents per bushel of elevator capacity. If my hon. friend will make investigations about other elevators, he will find that that is a very low cost. It must also be remembered that in computing the cost in that way we have taken in the purchase price of the land, $90,000. We have also taken in dredging and a certain amount of other building. If you simply took the construction cost of the elevator, it would be somewhere about 37 cents per bushel of elevator capacity.

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LIB
CON

George Eulas Foster (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER:

The total cost was $1,372,-

000.

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LIB
CON

George Eulas Foster (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER:

I imagine this was gone over last year in the House, but I can give it again. The total cost, as I said, is $1,372,000. That includes $90,000 for the site and $32,000 for dredging. Then there was the building of a revetment wall for protection purposes, and some trestles and such like.

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LIB
CON

George Eulas Foster (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER:

The arcnitects were Woodman & Garey. They were the supervising engineers and were paid $11,845 for supervision.

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LIB

William Erskine Knowles

Liberal

Mr. KNOWLES:

I presume that in the agreement with the contractor, certain matters would be left for the -architect's decision. Was the architect's name mentioned in the contract.

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CON
LIB

March 13, 1914