May 5, 1914

CON

Richard Bedford Bennett

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. B. BENNETT:

I should like to

inquire, before the debate on the Canadian Northern Railway resolution is proceeded with, whether the Government is in a position to furnish the House with particulars of the $38,000,000 a'neged to be in hand. This amount is supposed to be the proceeds arising from the sale of the securities of the Canadian Northern Pacific, Canadian Northern Ontario, and the Canadian Northern Alberta railway. I should like to know how this sum is made up.

Topic:   THE CANADIAN NORTHERN RAILWAY RESOLUTION.
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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:

Information will be laid

on the table of the House with regard to that. The amount is constituted not solely of the proceeds from the sale of securities, but of subsidies yet to be earned as well.

Topic:   THE CANADIAN NORTHERN RAILWAY RESOLUTION.
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ST. LAWRENCE SHIP ACCIDENTS.


On the Orders of the Day being called:


LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux

Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX:

I would invite the attention of the Minister of Marine and Fisheries to the fact that there has been another accident on the St. Lawrence. The Saturnia met with an accident somewhere around the Traverse below Quebec, and I see from the newspaper report of the invesigation which is taking place that the accident was due to the lack of equipment on the part of the marine agency at Quebec. It appears that the lightship was not placed there in due time and that if the lightship had been towed to position by the

proper vessel it would have arrived in time to avert the accident. Strict investigation should be held into this matter, because since the opening of navigation only a few days ago, this is the third accident on the St. Lawrence route.

Topic:   ST. LAWRENCE SHIP ACCIDENTS.
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CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HAZEN:

I have a memorandum

regarding the matter which I shall read to the House in a moment. I do not think that any report of the nature mentioned by my hon. friend, from Rouville (Mr. Le-mieux) has been made by the wreck com- , missioner who is investigating the disaster with the assistance of two nautical assessors. Their report will no doubt place the blame where it belongs. I may say that while the lightship was not at the Traverse, every step was taken that could be taken by the engineer of the department at Quebec and the agency at Quebec, whose business it is to look after matters of this kind. As the hon. gentleman is aware, the aids to navigation on the St. Lawrence, or any other river which is infested with ice1, cannot be placed until the ice is out of the river. I understand that this year, through an attempt to place buoys at an earlier date than ice conditions justified, seven or eight buoys were destroyed. If the buoys and lightships and aids to navigation are placed at an earlier date than ice conditions will permit, great loss occurs and no benefit is derived. I saw the newspaper report to which my hon. friend refers, and asked the officials to furnish me with a memorandum stating exactly the facts so far as the department knew them. This is the statement placed in my hands by the officials of the department; it bears the initials of the inspector of lights, Mr. McPhail:

In the matter of statements in the Montreal Gazette of today, respecting absence of buoys and the Lower Traverse lightship, the usual arrangements were made this spring whereby all equipment would be in readiness to place in operation as soon as ice conditions would permit.

Accordingly, about the 15th instant, the buoys in the wider part of the river, from Hare island downward, were placed.

Immediately the statements in the Montreal Gazette came to my attention, I telephoned to the superintendent of lights at Quebec with respect to those statements and learned that on the morning of Monday, the 27th instant, the Druid left Quebec with the buoys to be placed between Quebec and Portneuf, to stand by against the time that the ice would pass down, which was expected to occur on the following day, namely the 28th. As a matter of fact ice did not go out on the 28th and the buoys were accordingly placed, and the work downwards was followed up with all possible despatch, and is at the present time proceeding. It is unfortunate that the Montcalm is out of commission this spring, as the work of placing the buoys cannot be completed as expeditiously as

usual. In any case the work in that section between Portneuf and the Traverse could not have been commenced earlier than it was, for the reason that had the buoys been placed in the narrow part of the river below, which was open, they would surely have been carried away and the lanterns would have been destroyed by the lake St. Peter ice when it passed down. We had an example in the Montreal Agency the day before yesterday and yesterday of eight lanterns being damaged by running ice, on account of the buoys having been placed earlier than nature ordained. It is true the buoys in the clear part of the river below Quebec might have been placed before the lake St. Peter ice went out, but not only would the lanterns have been destroyed but the buoys themselves would have been endangered and would certainly have been dragged from their proper positions and thereby constitute a menace to navigation.

As to the Lower Traverse lightship, the same arguments apply, to a lesser extent, to her as to the buoys with respect to running ice. 1 learned by telephone that she was cut out of the Louise basin last week by a tug and prepared for commission against the time that it would be safe to place her. It was considered safe to despatch her on Sunday, hut unfortunately, when preparing to get under way, it was discovered that the rudder was still frozen and had to be thawed out by them. She left Quebec at 9 a.m. on Monday morning, arriving at the Pillars in the evening at the turn of the tide and, not being able to proceed against flood tide, anchored there and took up her station on Tuesday morning. The pilots were advised that it was uncertain whether or not the lightship would he on her station Monday night.

As stated in the Gazette article, the channel was suitably marked for day navigation byspars, which are not in danger of being destroyed or deranged by running ice.

The superintendent of lights will report in detail on these several matters.

Ottawa, 30th April, 1914.

My hon. friend will see, therefore, that we are taking steps to ascertain all the facts, and no doubt the Wreck Commissioners' court, which is now sitting in Quebec, will place the blame, if any exists, on the proper shoulders and report the facts so that they will be known to shipping men generally, and to the House.

Topic:   ST. LAWRENCE SHIP ACCIDENTS.
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HALIFAX NAVAL COLLEGE.


On the Orders of the Day being called.


LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD:

I saw an announcement in the press the other day with regard to the Naval College at Halifax which, if true, should be made to the House. I would like to ask the Minister of Naval Affairs what changes the department proposes to make in regard to the future operation of that college, the basis of the changes, and whether or not the college is to be con, tinued.

Mr: HAZEN: The regulations have been laid on the table of the House and have been published in the Canada Gazette in full;

more clearly and briefly, perhaps, than I could give the information.

Topic:   HALIFAX NAVAL COLLEGE.
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LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD:

What, in brief, is

the policy of the Government in regard to the college?

Topic:   HALIFAX NAVAL COLLEGE.
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CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HAZEN:

Students entering the

Naval College in future will be trained there . to a certain extent-as in the Military College at Kingston-not only for naval work, but for work in civil life; as, for instance, for the Hydrographic Survey, Tidal Survey, and other scientific work of that description. A change has been made in the curriculum to provide for this. The course of study has also been changed from a two-year course to a three-year course.

Topic:   HALIFAX NAVAL COLLEGE.
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THE SAN FRANCISCO EXHIBITION.


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


CON

William George Weichel

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. W. G. WEICHEL (North Waterloo):

Before the House goes into Committee of Supply I wish to refer to a very important matter that is to-day attracting great attention throughout Canada and the empire, namely, the opening of the Panama canal and the San Francisco exposition.

Great Britain's refusal to participate in the Panama exposition to be held in San Francisco in 1915 was received with regret by many business interests throughout the empire. Many urgent requests have been made by commercial bodies, and petitions have been sent by over half the members of the British House of Commons, for the Government .of Great Britain to reconsider her decision, but so far they have not been successful. The reason given by both Great Britain and Germany, who also refused to participate at that time, was that it entailed too great an expense for any possible commensurate returns, especially in view of the almost prohibitive United States tariff which prevailed at that time. To the ordinary observer, however, it was apparent that these two countries resented discrimination against them in the Panama tolls legislation, which was considered by them a breach of the Hay-Pauncefote treaty regarding the use of the Panama canal. These were the conditions obtaining when invitations to participate were extended and, at that time, refused. Since then the high tariff of the United States has been considerably reduced; in fact, it is almost on a par with that of the Dominion of Canada, and this reduction is of the greatest moment to European countries as well as to our own Dominion. The people of this country, as well as

those of other countries, watched with interest the magnificent fight waged by President Wilson in the House at Washington for the repeal of the legislation in question. He has succeeded in carrying through the House of Representatives, by a majority of 86, a Bill to repeal the Panama tolls legislation of last Congress. Therefore, I am of the opinion that it is not unlikely that the British Government will reconsider their refusal, and signify by their action that they appreciate President Wilson's courageous and honourable course. I might here refer to an article which appeared in the Chamber of Commerce Journal in April last, from which I extract the following:

In answer to a question by Mr. I-ynch, Mr. Harcourt said that Canada would participate and New Zealand, and he understood in some degree Australia, but not South Africa. He forwarded the invitation of the United States Government to the self-governing dominions in May, 1912, and had been in communication with them ever since, but he was not informed of what they proposed to do in detail. Some of them had applied for information at different times as to the attitude of His Majesty's Government, but none of them had expressed a desire that we should reconsider our decision.

We in Canada are participating in the exposition, and as we are in closest proximity to the United States and friendly in our intercourse with that great nation, I believe it would strengthen the bonds of friendship existing between Great Britain and the United States if the British Government could be persuaded to reconsider their decision, and to participate in the San Francisco exposition. It is desirable because the event synchronizes with the very important celebration of the centenary of peace between the two nations, and it would strengthen and cement the existing friendly relations. It would come with great force from the Dominion Parliament, and would create a great response of good feeling from the United States. If Great Britain reverses her decision, Germany may follow, and thus strengthen the ties between these three great countries. Many Canadians intend visiting San Francisco during the exposition in 1915, and participation by the mother country would be hailed with delight by many of us who are anxiously looking forward to a visit during that time. The exposition is creating a good deal of interest throughout Canada. I have in my hand a resolution which I received from the Berlin Board of Trade, dated March 23, 1914, and which reads as follows:

Moved by Mr. D. B. Detweiler, seconded by Mr. W. D. Cleghorn:

Whereas the completion of the Panama canal, a work of world-wide significance, will be commemorated by the Panama exposition at San Francisco in 1915, in which exhibition the United States has invited all friendly nations to unite;

And whereas participation in the exhibition not merely by Canada, but by the Empire as a whole, is especially desirable because the event synchronizes with the very important celebration of the Century of Peace between the two nations, and will not only strengthen and cement the existing happy relations, but will sustain British prestige in the Americas and the Orient, an object of special moment to Canada as the portion of the empire in closest proximity to these nations:

Therefore, be it resolved that the Berlin Board of Trade respectfully request the Parliament of Canada to urge upon the Imperial Government the great desirability of reconsidering the present decision not to participate in that exhibition; and that a copy of this resolution be forwarded to W. G. Weichel, M.P., for North Waterloo, for transmission to the Canadian House of Commons.

Topic:   THE SAN FRANCISCO EXHIBITION.
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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 am sure that we all

appreciate the observations which the hon. member has just addressed to the House with regard to the subject of participation in the great exposition which is to be held next year in San Francisco in commemoration of the opening of the Panama canal. When the question arose as to whether or not this country should participate in that exhibition, we had no difficulty whatever in arriving at the conclusion that it would be desirable to do so from eveTy standpoint. My hon. friend and colleague the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Burrell), to whose department such matters appertain, has made and is making very effective and thorough preparations in order that Canada may be adequately represented at that exhibition and take no small part therein. We should all be glad, I am sure, if the mother country had seen fit to take the same course, but we have not thought it at all necessary or desirable that any representations should be made by Canada in that regard, inasmuch as the question is one for the Government and Parliament of the United Kingdom just as Our own participation is a matter for the Government and Parliament of Canada.

I shall give my best consideration, however, to what my hon. friend has urged and to the representations which are set forth in the resolution from the Berlin Board of Trade which he has placed before the House. I am thoroughly confident, and indeed we had the pronouncement in Parliament by the Prime Minister and other ministers of the United Kingdom, that the failure of the

mother country to take part in the exhibition is not induced by any feeling of resentment or otherwise in connection with any of the matters which have been alluded to. Full explanations and statements have been made in that regard in the Imperial Parliament, to - which I am sure every hon. member, every citizen of this country and of the empire, will give full credence and credit. I agree most heartily in what my hon. friend has said in regard to the desirability of maintaining and strengthening in every way the existing cordial relations between the great empire of which Canada forms a part and the great neighbouring republic. I am sure we are all happy beyond measure that these relations were never more cordial or more friendly than they are at the present time. On both sides of the House hon. members will agree that everything possible for the pur-

4 p.m. pose of strengthening the friendliness of those relations, if that friendliness can be increased, ought to be done. I cannot say more at the moment than that the suggestion which my hon. friend has placed before the House will receive the best consideration of the Government.

Topic:   THE SAN FRANCISCO EXHIBITION.
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MANAGEMENT OF THE INTERCOLONIAL RAILWAY.


On motion of Hon. W. T. White (Minister of Finance) for Committee of Supply:


LIB

Henry Robert Emmerson

Liberal

Hon. H. R. EMMERSON (Westmorland):

Mr. Speaker, we were favoured about a month ago with the annual Budget delivered by the acting Minister of Railways and Canals (Mr. Reid) in connection with the department over which he now presides, in which considerable reference was made to the Intercolonial railway. My hon. friend gave a statement of the affairs of that railway but apparently his words on that occasion in that regard at least have been entirely lost sight of. I assume it was because of the lengthy discussion which occurred in connection with the Trancontin-ental Railway report brought to the notice of the House by my hon. friend at that time. The Intercolonial is a subject that has received considerable attention in times past. I myself I think, have been guilty on many occasions of dealing with the subject, if guilt there is connected with it at all. I want to make some few observations this afternoon relating to the management of that road. I shall conclude my remarks with a motion.

I do not wish to repeat anything that

has been said in the past in respect to the historical phase of the Intercolonial or the part played in our Canadian commerce or nationality. I want to deal with the situation of . the Intercolonial as it presents itself to me, and, as I think, it presents itself to the major portion of the inhabitants of eastern Canada. I shall deal with the subject under three heads practically. First, I shall endeavour to show, and I hope I shall be able to succeed in so doing, that the present management of the Intercolonial railway is detrimental to the successful and satisfactory operation of the road in the interests of the people; second, that the management, in violation of the law, makes the railway subservient to other competitive railway interests, thereby discriminating against the general public and patrons of the Government railway system and causing a disturbance and diversion of its legitimate traffic; and, third, that the management of the Intercolonial railway is manifestly unfair to those trained upon the system and who are familiar with the conditions and needs of its patrons.

I shall deal with the first, having regard to the situation of the railway, as to what it is at this moment, as to what I think it should be, and in relation to its financial condition Let me remind the House of some of the utterances of my hon. friend the acting Minister of Railways and Canals on the 24th March last. On that occasion he mentioned the fact that there had been a change in the method of managing the road; that is to say, that the management by means of a board of managers had been dispensed with and that there had been substituted therefor a one man management in the form of general manager, he claiming that the substitution of a general manager for the board of management made it much more direct and satisfactory. I concur in this conclusion. I have always favoured the management of the road directly by a general manager in preference to a board of managers. Others differ from me in that respect, but I think the results justify not only the prophecy I made in respect to it, but the contentions which I put forward as regards the actual results. Rut my hon. friend seemed to put this focward as if the management by a board had not continued under the present Government, but that the change had been made at the time of the change of Administration.

I am sure my hon. friend did not wish to create such a false impression, because he *knows that for a year and a half after the present Administration came into power, that board of management was continued. My hon. friend went on to say that previous to the change in management the board had decided to increase the rates and it was their intention to do so, thus implying that the present management were not responsible for the increased freight charge under the present tariff. I have always contended that no matter how you manage the Intercolonial railway no government can free itself of responsibility for the management of that railway, and if after the change of administration the board of management concluded to increase the freight rates, it could not be done without an Order in Council. No minister of railways, no general manager of the Intercolonial, could add one cent to the freight charges of that railway except by Order in Council, thus making the whole Government fully responsible. My hon. friend went on to speak of the financial condition of the railway, and estimating a certain revenue for February and March he figured out that there would be a surplus of $300,000, which he claimed would be appropriated to the renewal of equipment account. The Hon. Mr. Cochrane, Minister of Eailways, who was present last session, and whose absence now we regret and particularly on account of his illness, took great kudos for the fact that on the 31st of March, 1913, the surplus of earnings on the Intercolonial railway over expenditure would amount to $770,000. I naturally, in common with others, shared in the congratulations that were properly due on account of that financial result, assuming the statement to be correct, which unfortunately it was not. The railway statistics for the Dominion of Canada for the year ending June 30, 1913, which have been placed on the table of the House are prepared by direction of the Government for the fiscal year beginning the 1st of July and ending the 30th of June, in accordance with the practice of railways generally throughout the Dominion. From the railway statistics I find that the total operating expenses of the Intercolonial for the year ending 30th June, 1913, amounted to $12,510,311.7.3; while the earnings and income for the same year amounted to $12,349,296.06, or an actual deficit of $161,015.16. Now, how did that occur? It occurred simply because, in order to make a more favourable balance sheet for the year ending

31st March, 1913, there must have been withheld from the accounts of that year expenditures that properly should have been charged to the year ending the 31st March, 1913. It would appear that work that should have been paid for out of the operating expenses of the year ending the * 31st of March, 1913, was projected into the succeeding year, and that between the 1st of April and the 30th day of June these expenditures incurred in the previous fiscal year had to be paid. This demonstrates that the operation of the Intercolonial railway for that year resulted in a deficit instead of a surplus. I regret this very much indeed. I am willing to give to this Government to any minister of railways all the kudos he is entitled to if he can successfully manage the Intercolonial in the interests of the Dominion, and when I heard the Minister of Eailways make the statement I felt like congratulating him and the people of the country on that fact. But unfortunately the surplus did not exist and in its stead there was a deficit on the year's operation. In times past ministers of railways have been charged with so arranging the accounts of the Intercolonial railway that at the end of the fiscal year a surplus was shown where, if the bills had all been paid for the year, and the work done that ought to have been done, there would have been a deficit I remember that some years ago, I think it was in 1905, there was demonstrated to this Parliament a great deficit on the operation of the Intercolonial railway. How did that occur? Because we seized the opportunity to pay off all liabilities, to bring to an end all outstanding accounts and to have the year close clean and clear with the payment of every dollar. Unfortunately it showed to our disadvantage for that year, but in the years that followed the equilibrium was restored. Meantime, it was at least demonstrated that the accounts were properly managed and all bills paid at the proper time. Now, my hon. friend would have us believe that on the year's operation ending March 31 last, the excess of revenue over expenditure on the Intercolonial railway was $300,000, which, he claims, is to be applied to the renewal of equipment account. He explains as follows:

I might explain tor the benefit of the members of the House, as I dare say .there are many who do not understand the statement, that it is proposed to transfer this, to the 'renewal of equipment account.'

The change to which the hon. gentleman refers was made, and I think it was made

during the time I had the honour to preside over that department. But the account was a suspense account, and these charges were first made against it, and whatever surplus was shown was over and above these charges. Had my hon. friend acted in accordance with the practice of the past he would have charged up that $300,000 before he mentioned surplus. But had he done that, there would have been no surplus for him to speak about. That money was necessary to provide renewals of equipment, that should be charged to revenue and not to capital account. So that he stands in this position-that for the year ending 31st of March last there was no surplus, if he follow the practice of book-keeping inaugurated five or six years ago, and continued, as I understand it, down to the present time.

Topic:   MANAGEMENT OF THE INTERCOLONIAL RAILWAY.
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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 desire to follow the hon. gentleman's argument. Does he mean that there never could be a surplus, because in any case the income over expenditure would have to be transferred to that account before the accounts were made up?

Topic:   MANAGEMENT OF THE INTERCOLONIAL RAILWAY.
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LIB

Henry Robert Emmerson

Liberal

Mr. EMMERSON:

No, what I mean is that there was a provision made by the opening of this account whereby a certain sum should be applied yearly-

Topic:   MANAGEMENT OF THE INTERCOLONIAL RAILWAY.
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May 5, 1914