A message from His Royal Highness the Governor General, transmitting Estimates for the year ending March 31, 1916, was presented by Mr. White (Minister of Finance), read by Mr. Speaker to the House, and referred to the Committee of Supply. ,
William Thomas White
(Minister of Finance and Receiver General)
build armouries. That is not considered capital expenditure; it is met out of the consolidated revenue fund. My hon. friend from South Renfrew referred to newspaper comment. I would point out to him that there is usually newspaper comment of a critical character in connection with any large colonial loans which are being floated in the London market. Such comment is not unnatural and may be expected until money conditions are much easier than they are at present.
Hon. J. D. REID (acting Minister of Railways and Canals):
The commission decided that the $8,000,000 in the Main Estimates was not sufficient, and thought it advisable to put another million dollars in the Supplementary Estimates in case it might be required.
The matter of grades was thoroughly discussed here last night and on previous occasions. Prom a point 100 miles west of Cochrane to Winnipeg, there
is no complaint about the grades. Any grades west of Cochrane, in regard to which there might be any complaints, would be within 100 miles of Cochrane, on what is known as the Fauquier contract. East of Cochrane, any grades in regard to which there might be any complaints would be within 200 miles of Cochrane. From the 200 mile limit to Moncton, there are no complaints whatever about the grades. From Cochrane east for 200 miles the work has not been completed. Therefore if any sags or grades are to be brought to the proper level, as suggested by the hon. member for St. John (Mr. Pugsley), there is no reason why the contractors cannot complete that portion, so that the grades between Cochrane and Moncton will be of such a standard as has been mentioned. For 100 miles west of Cochrane the line is completed and ready for opera. tion, and there are a few sags, not very heavy grades, that can be remedied at very little expense.
With regard to the operation of the road, it is the desire of the Government and, I believe, of every hon. member, that the operation of the portion between Winnipeg and Moncton should take place at the earliest possible moment. As I have stated, that portion will be ready for operation this fall; and if there are a few sags in the 300 miles, the Grand Trunk Pacific, if they take over the road, can remedy them, and the work will be added to the cost according to the terms of the contract. As long as any portion of the road is in the hands of the contractors, such as is the case in regard to that portion of the road from Cochrane 200 miles east, it is impossible to have a through operation by the Grand Trunk Pacific or in any other way that the Government might arrange. Therefore I think it is advisable to try to get the road completed at the earliest possible moment; and, if there are a few sags, they can be remedied in another season. In that way the public would have the benefit of the operation of the road at an earlier date than if the sags were remedied now.
On contract No. 13, there are six; on No. 14, ten; and on No. 13, sixteen; making a total of thirty-two. The hon. member must hear in mind that, where there are any sags, the work has not been taken out of the hands of the contractors,
and they can all be remedied before the road is taken over. On the Canadian Pacific and the Grand Trunk main lines, the railway companies are all the time using ballast trains for the purpose of improving the levels or filling the sags without any interference with the traffic as a whole. On this new road, I think this could well be done without interfering with the traffic, and it would be much better to get a regular train service at the earliest possible moment than to wait for the remedying of the sags before taking over the road.
As I understand from my hon. friend, all these so-called momentum grades cover a distance of 300 miles, namely, 100 miles west of Cochrane and 200 miles east of Cochrane; that is to say, there is a continuous portion of the road in which these grades are to be found. My hon. friend says, if it is found advisable these sags can be filled, as the work is still in the hands of the contractors.