May 29, 1914

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John William Bell

Mr. CARY ELL:

I am afraid that is a pretty serious statement, namely, that you will make the Intercolonial management do anything.

Mr. REiID: Of course we will. As I understand it, a train leaves Moncton, goes up the line one day and back the next. If there were sufficient traffic to justify the operating of a daily service, or more than one train a day each way, there is no doubt at all that the management would have the necessary service put on. I understand, however, that the train that is now doing the work does not have a full load either way each day, and that, therefore, the running of more trains would only increase the loss now being suffered each month under the present service. The delay in not having the road completed is not the fault of this Government. The contracts were let some years ago. The contractors have been pushed and pressed by the commission, the Minister of Railways and Canals and myself, while I was acting during the absence of the Minister of Railways and Canals, to get them to complete the road at the earliest possible date. There are other parts of the road between Winnipeg and Quebec where the contractors have not finished their work. The original contracts were let, I think, in 1907 or 1908.

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LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

But this portion from

Edmundston to Moncton was completed long ago.

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CON

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID:

But my hon. friend is complaining that the other portion of the road between Edmundston and Quebec is not completed.

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LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

I am complaining that the portions of the road that are now completed are not being operated by the Grand Trunk Pacific in accordance with the terms of the statute. Parliament expressly provided for this several years ago, and I want to know why the Government is absolutely ignoring the provisions of the Act of Parliament. The deputy minister ought to be able to inform the acting minister whether or not, since this pledge was made to Parliament last session, the Grand Trunk Pacific has been approached with a view to operating the line between Edmundston and Moncton. If there is correspondence on the subject, it ought to be brought down; but the acting minister ought to be informed, as to why this extraordinary state of affairs exists to-day, namely, that a solemn pledge given to Parliament at the last session has been apparently wholly ignored. The acting minister does not profess to have any knowledge on the subject at all, and simply says that he believes that the Grand Trunk Pacific has been approached. His only reason for believing that is that he thinks they would not be anxious to operate the road. There is the fact which I state as an ex-minister, namely, that the president of the Grand Trunk Pacific met with my right hon. friend, then leader of the Government, the ex-Minister of Railways, ex-Minister of Finance and myself at a conference at which he distinctly offered to operate portions of the Transcontinental, as completed, on the terms which I have mentioned, so that the country would not be obliged to sustain a loss as it is doing now by the operation of the Intercolonial, but that any deficit in the operation would be charged up to capital account of the Transcontinental, and upon that the Grand Trunk Pacific would pay interest just as they are to pay interest upon the cost of the line when it is fully completed. iSurely my hon. friend should give the committee the information. If he cannot do it now, I think this item should stand until after recess. The people of St. John, the people of New Brunswick, are anxious to see the Grand Trunk Pacific

trains coming down through the province; to realize that their expectations are about to be fulfilled and that the Grand Trunk Pacific is to operate all the eastern portions of the line as well as the western portions. They are anxious to see an enterprising corporation that is interested in the future development of the road taking hold of it and operating it. My hon. friend says the Intercolonial management would be anxious to develop traffic over the Transcontinental, because they have the Government behind them. The boast has been made that the management is to be non-political, non-partisan; and we find that, when the management does things which are horribly unpopular, which are very much against the public interest, and which have aroused the people of St. John and the people living all along the line of the Intercolonial, and made it so that, if the people could realize that the Government are responsible for what the management has done, the Government would not be able to get any support in the counties through which the Intercolonial runs, the Government hide themselves behind the statement that the management is independent of the Government and that the Government is not responsible. Take that famous-or infamous-agreement between Mr. Gutelius, the general manager of the Intercolonial, and Mr. Bosworth of the Canadian Pacific railway. That matter was put up to the Minister of Marine and Fisheries (Mr. Ha^en) in St. John. His friends* apologized; they said: It is an outrageous and indefensible agreement; but Mr. Hazen had nothing to do with it; it was done behind his back; Mr, Gutelius had power to do what he liked, and neither Mr. Hazen nor the Government could prevent that outrageous agreement coming into operation. I say' the management of the Intercolonial is entirely opposed to the development of traffic upon the Transcontinental, if you look upon it as a business proposition, because the Transcontinental is going to compete with the Intercolonial.

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CON

Louis-Philippe Pelletier (Postmaster General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PELLETIER:

Whose fault is that?

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LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

It is nobody's 'fault.'

It is to the credit of the late Government, for the reason that it gives competition. We want the Transcontinental to compete with the Intercolonial and hope that the result of having the two roads will be to give to the people advantages which they did not enjoy before. I might as well ask the Post-

master General whose ' fault ' it was that the Canadian Pacific railway was built from St. John to Montreal. We had the Intercolonial before, and it was the ' fault ' of the Government, but very much to their credit, that this competition was established with the advantages it involved in competitive rates and otherwise.

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CON

Harry Fulton McLeod

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. McLEOD:

Does the hon. gentleman, say that the National Transcontinental give's competitive rates?

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LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

Of course it will. Today it does not give competitive rates, nor a competitive service; it gives a wretched service, one that is entirely- unsatisfactory. But what we want

I presume that the people in the various portions of the Dominion where sections of this road are completed are alike in wanting it-is to get the Grand Trunk Pacific at work, to get competition, to get them interested in the development of eastern Canada. The day when the Grand Trunk Pacific trains go through the central part of the province to Moncton and St. John and Halifax the people will have new heart and new hope, because they will see that a new day has dawned. The Intercolonial is ignoring the Grand Trunk Pacific and is giving this wretched and inefficient service.

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Sir WILFRID LAURIE R@

The acting Minister of Railways said that there was still some work to be done to complete the section from Edmundston to Moncton, tnat there were a number of station houses to be built. Could he give us information now .as to how many station houses are tp be built, and when they will be completed?

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CON

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID:

I have not that information, but I will have it before we go through any of the Transcontinental Estimates. The information I have as to the condition of the road is gained in part from discussing with the contractors two or three times within the last month or two the question when the road will be ready to hand over to the commission. The contractors stated that they expected to get to work about the 1st of May, and that there would be about two months' work in finishing up a number of little things that are to be completed. I will have the details when we meet after dinner.

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LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

Will the hon. gentleman also bring the information I asked for?

iMr. REID: Yes. I have no objection to this item standing, but there is another item as to the operating of the road, and-

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John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID:

There is this other item of the operation of the line from Moncton to Levis.

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John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID:

I have no objection to letting this item stand.

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LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

We want to know what communication has been had with the Grand Trunk Pacific?

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LIB

Charles Arthur Gauvreau

Liberal

Mr. GAUVREAU:

I want to say a few words before we leave this item. Do I understand the acting minister to say that if the Grand Trunk Pacific does not take over the operation of this line from Edmundston to Levis, it will fall into the hands of the Intercolonial railway management?

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CON

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID:

What I said was that if the Grand Trunk Pacific refuses to take it over, then it falls into the hands of the Government to arrange for its operation in some other way. It could be put under the management of the Intercolonial railway, or an arrangement could be made with some other parties to operate it.

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May 29, 1914