April 3, 1916

CON

Hugh Boulton Morphy

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. H. B. MORPHY (North Perth):

Being sponsor on the Order Paper for this Bill, I desire to make a few observations. I would have much preferred to speak later in the debate, but I have been suffering from serious complaints affecting my hearing and my throat, and think it better I should speak to-day. The Bill has been before the Committee on Railways on four or five different occasions. Since I entered Parliament I have never seen any Bill that had so much attention given to it, especially by those opposed to it, as has been given to the two Bills in question. Those who favoured the Bill were hardly, if at all, heard. Under these circumstances the committee voted, by the very considerable majority of two to one, in favour of putting both these Bills through. The opposition to the Bill, as is well known, came from the Hydro-Electric Commission of Ontario, and one specific argument put forward in the Railway Committee, as here to-day, has been that the matter is one peculiar to the province of Ontario. That view is not a broad one, and I entirely refuse to accede to it and expressly dissent from it. It is , true that the radial roads in question will be provincial, but it is equally true that the Canadian Northern railway system is a national highway affecting not only Ontario but all the provinces of the Dominion. Therefore, I am of the opinion that this question should be dealt with from a broad and national standpoint. In dealing with the argument put forward, that the Ontario Government have sent here a resolution asking the members of this House to oppose these Bills, had I been a member of the Ontario House-a body for which I have every respect-in the light I now have, I would have stood up, even if I had been the only member to do so, and would have voted against [DOT] any such resolution being sent to this Parliament. To yield to that , argument would be to surrender all the cardinal functions of this House; it would

be to acknowledge the principle that, because of a local situation and of a resolution sent from some provincial House, this Parliament should accede to these requests and recede from its position, whether well taken or not. I can not submit to that myself, and I do not propose to. Some of the members from Ontario are quite inconsistent in this regard, especially those on this side of the House.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Permalink
?

An hon. MEMBER:

Talk about the Bill, and not about the members.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Permalink
CON

Hugh Boulton Morphy

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MORPHY:

Some of the members, I say, are inconsistent-and I am addressing myself to you, Mr. Speaker. I hope that the members who support the commission will not be so arbitrary, or so arrogant that they will not permit a member who takes part in this debate to even mention them- I do not apprehend that it is part of the privilege of members to object to such mention. They say that the principle at stake is one that is provincial, not general. So was the question of free wheat in the West. Yet all these gentlemen who were so glib to-day rushed in to take care of the western farmer upon this question, which is more specific to the western provinces' than this is specific to the province of Ontario. I think the matter of these Canadian Northern Railway Bills is essentially a matter for this House. I equally think that the matter of free wheat was essentially a matter for this House. My view is that members of the Dominion Parliament represent in this House, more than their respective provinces or counties; they represent the whole Dominion. To hold any other view would, in my opinion, be derogatory to the position hon. members hold in this House as representatives of the people of Canada. Hydro-Electric railways are essentially provincial. But the Canadian Pacific, Grand Trunk, Grand Trunk Pacific, Transcontinental, and Canadian Northern railways are Federal railways, for the general advantage of Canada, and upon qutestions affecting all these great roads, I hold, every member has the right to express his opinion from the national point of view, and should do so. The Hydro-Radial Commission and those interested in it knew that these charters existed, and had been renewed, and that the railways proposed to be built under them had been declared to be for the general advantage of Canada. They knew that these charters formed part of the Canadian

Northern railway and were intended as an important feature to that system.

They knew that about $1,800,000 had been invested by the Canadian Northern people in building lines and making surveys and paying for lands for entrance into the city of Hamilton. They knew that bonds were sold to innocent purchasers, and it would be unfair to them if such treatment were handed out to the Canadian Northern people. They knew that this country, through this Parliament, has been committed to a guarantee of $46,000,000' and an advance by way of loan and otherwise of something like $30,000,000; that the provinces of-the West, all of them, I think, have pledged their credit to this great national highway by way of advances or guarantees; that everything that goes from Quebec to the Atlantic in connection with the Canadian Northern railway goes as a national undertaking to which the people of the country are committed. When the Ontario Hydro-Electric Commission sends its steam roller down here with flanges on it to scrape everybody off the road, I am impressed by the fact that that steam roller is on the wrong track. I cannot conceive it as fair that hon. gentlemen here should attempt to twist this matter. The real issue is the national idea which is embodied in this great Tailway; the side issue is the provincial element. That latter element seems to be put above the national element by some people, and to overshadow it in all its phases. There is nothing to prevent the Hydro-Electric railway from going on with its work. It has to compete with the Canadian Pacific railway, the National Transcontinental, the Grand Trunk railway and the Grand Trunk Pacific. Are they afraid of this alleged bankrupt railway, that they cannot compete with it? The confession that this would be a death blow to hydro is the weakest argument that I have ever heard. It seems to he that I am a better champion of hydro than these gentlemen. I do not think that they are living up to the great possibilities of hydro in this country. A national highway of nearly 10,000 miles is surely worthy of consideration; a splendidly built, well-ballasted and well-equipped transcontinental road, a credit to the Dominion, serving the people of the East as well as of the West, handling more than one-third of the wheat crop yearly, having grades unsurpassed by any other Transcontinental road. One engine hauls from Quebec to Vancouver, a train about a quarter of a mile long with fifteen Pullman and

baggage cars, and the same engine hauls it from Vancouver back over the mountains to Quebec. I think that is very creditable. One of these railways will perhaps be the keystone to the salvation of our country when the whole deplorable railway situation comes to be settled.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Permalink
CON

John Hampden Burnham

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BURNHAM:

Do they think that if

they should not get this extension, it would be a blot on their title if they should want to see out the whole Transcontinental system?

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Permalink
CON

Hugh Boulton Morphy

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MORPHY:

I do not know anything about blots or titles; I have not attempted to argue anything about title. If my hon. friend will be content for a while he will probably see a little later what I am leading to. There are $400,000,000 invested in this great Transcontinental system. A serious situation confronts this country. I do not know that it is well for any member to speak of it, but since it is in my mind I purpose referring to it. A serious situation confronts this Parliament and the country upon the whole railway question. Railway conditions constitute the great problem for the near future of Canada. I ask hon. gentlemen: having assisted the Canadian Northern railway, why injure it? Why attempt to pull it down? Would you extend your left hand to a man in the water, pull him to shore and rescue him from drowning, and then hit him with your right and send him back into the water? It is not the ordinary way of doing business, but that is what hon. gentlemen are doing who voted for the grant of $45,000,000; who committed themselves to grants made by this Parliament. A tidal wave of local conditions and local feeling which they cannot resist causes them. to swallow themselves and swallow their votes. I thought better of the province of Ontario than that it would produce men who would do just that thing. The Hydro-Electric Commission wants subsidies from this Parliament, but they do not want any one else to get any subsidies. The Hydro railway claim was based and founded on the proposition of obtaining Dominion subsidies. Can they come back to this Parliament after the attitude they have taken and ask for subsidies? To my mind, the Hydro Commission has made the most egregious mistake of its existence. I believe that Hydro is greater than its supporters in this House or than the Chairman of the Commission believe it to be. I have al-

ways been a supporter of the Hydro; I have 'looked forward to its glorious possibilities. I believe that hon. gentlemen make a mistake when they come here and say that they are not asking for subsidies from this Parliament; that they do not want subsidies; that they will build the roads themselves. I say that they are making a mistake, because I 'believe that Hydro shouM have the support of this Parliament as a great national undertaking, even though it is provincial. I am prepared to go further than friends of Hydro here in that regard. What are the possibilities of Hydro? Lake Superior, with its thousands of square miles of water, is the basin that sends down through the various waterways and channels to our lower lakes-and to the province of Ontario, where the Ontario Government has caught it-a stream of silver which is being turned into a stream of gold, an asset greater in value than all the minerals which have been taken out of the ground and all the minerals yet in the ground, an asset greater than the fisheries or timbers of our country. Why? Because these last are evanescent and will pass away, but Hydro will last forever. Every drop of water in all these splendid watersheds contributes to this great asset to the people of Ontario, who are making splendid use of it. As they have such a heritage as this, I arm not fearful of the lack of Hydro power to pe able to compete with the Canadian Northern Railway, with the Canadian Pacific Railway, or with any other railway. It is a confession of weakness to suggest any such thing. Its ability to compete is undeniable. They have cut power rates in half, as the hon. member for South Oxford has said; they have cut lighting rates in half. The ability to compete is general, and has been of great benefit to thp people of Ontario. But is is 6aid that they cannot compete at Niagara, right at the centre of power, in that district which is industrially the greatest in Ontario. It is said that the Canadian Northern Railway is taking a little piece of right of way in the most densely populated part of Ontario, a district where the hum of industry is heard; a district that will some day require three or four additional railroads. That district will then furnish a splendid paying business to this great Hydro- Electric railway system, to the Canadian Northern, to the Toronto, Hamilton and Buffalo, to the Canadian Pacific railway,

and to the Grand Trunk. Unless I am mistaken that development will occur in spite of the heavy drain of the reconstruction period following the war. This charter is not a new charter. These gentlemen have forgotten to tell the House that since the Canadian 'Northern railway took over this charter under Bill No. 8, within the last six years, they have, within the last two years, built 12 miles of railway, and yet they are referred to as paper charter mongers. They have, as has been stated, built 76 miles of road in that particular section of the country. What for? To be links and feeders to their transcontinental system from the Niagara frontier inwards to Toronto, to tap the lake traffic, to better the trade for their own lines, with their own men, under their own management, so that they can give to the West cheaper freight rates, so that they can receive from the steamers on the lower lake system of the province of Ontario freight that comes cheaper by lake, so that they can get in their coal at different points and to the best advantage. This will benefit the whole Canadian Northern railway system which the Government has pledged itself to support.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Permalink
CON
CON

Hugh Boulton Morphy

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MORPHY:

Who wants somebody

else to run their business? The HydroElectric is a provincial line. What benefit can they be to the Canadian Northern railway that they cannot be to the Canadian Pacific railway? If they object to the Canadian Northern railway, why should they not object to the Canadian Pacific railway running? Is it the case that every charter that is going to be asked for is going to be condemned because the HydroElectric Commission want to take that particular right of way?

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Permalink
?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Hear, hear.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Permalink
CON

Hugh Boulton Morphy

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MORPHY:

I trow not. I hope we have not yet got to that situation in the Dominion of Canada. That being the situation, where do we stand to-day? I do not know if it has appealed to hon. gentlemen as it has to me, that there was no reason that I can clearly see why the HydroElectric Commission should have come to this House. There is no sign of any kind, nor has it been contended, that the Canadian Northern railway is seeking to. gain any advantage over the Hydro-Electric Railway Commission. The Canadian

Northern railway is on this ground, it has spent nearly $2,000,000 and it has committed itself to its bond-holders. There is room for the Hydro-electric to go alongside of the Canadian Northern railway or any place else through the district, to make their own connections with any points they choose. Then why this agitation? I feel that the agitation,, is one of those unkind things that sometimes happen in public as well as in private life, they thought the Canadian Northern Railway was a good thing to hit because everybody has been hitting it, and they chase down here to attempt to stampede this Parliament on the plea that it a death blow to the Hydro. Not one of them has said so.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Permalink
CON
CON

Hugh Boulton Morphy

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MORPHY:

The chairman of the commission endeavoured to appeal to the Railway Committee on that line. Why? Because another railway is in on the ground and is building its lines? It seems to me that the Bill is being opposed on sentiment. There is nothing in the argument against the Bill that appeals to me, or that would appeal to the reason of any *representative who gives fair, honest study to the situation and who tries to act fairly and honestly with his conscience and to the people whom he represents. It is said that the Chairman of the HydroElectric Commission is asking $100,000,000 -he puts it at $80,000,000, but other people say it will take $100,000,000-for the development of this system in welstern Ontario. A friend from eastern Ontario says that they will want another $100,000,000 in their section. There is just $200,000,000 that is being aimed at in this war time. They are very free to say that this railway is bankrupt and cannot finance new lines. But the question of financing' for the Hydro-electric is in the future, and it does seem to me that in

the very near future financing may become very precarious. We do not know exactly where that $200,000,000 is going to come from; nobody tries to tell us. They tell us that the Government are going to guarantee and aid the municipalities which endorse the project. But we must not forget that this is war time. Can any man tell me how far the effect of the war will go in hindering the financing of either that or any other big scheme in this country? I look to one factor in our national life that relates to the period of reconstruction after

the war. Can hon. gentlemen tell me how many immigrants we are going to have, having regard to the wastage in Europe of man power, having regard to the wastage in England, in Ireland and in Scotland, having regard to the upbuilding of the destroyed towns, villages, cities, countries, the very lands of Europe? It is possible that Europe will need all her mem for her own. rehabilitation. Where is our great influx of immigration to come from? Without immigration this country will be thrown upon its own resources. Our railways already constructed will be thrown upon their resources. Is it good policy to throw competition into our national railway systems, either now or just .after the war? I would say to my hon. friends opposing this Bill that they should hold themselves in patience. Our existing railways will have a hard enough row to hoe. I feel that under these circumstances we must carefully guard against inflation; we must carefully guard against undue criticism of established industries; we must carefully conserve the vested interests of this country. I am not at all afraid to use the word "interests." Some people cast it up as a slur; "Oh, he is in favour of the interests." I have met that cry on the platform and in the committee, and I have had the charge made through the press. I pay no attention to it. I stand here as a member of this House, reserving to myself my own good judgment to vote as I think right; and if my constituents feel that I have voted wrongly, it is up to them to say so, and I shall he perfectly content with their verdict. But on this question, as the father or sponsor of this Bill, I ask the Parliament of Canada here assembled to consider the principle upon which they are voting, to consider it in its broad and national scope. If that is conscientiously done, as I know it will be, I have no doubt that this House will pass this Bill as Bills of a similar nature have been passed by it from time immemorial.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Permalink
CON

George Eulas Foster (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir GEORGE FOSTER :

Is the purpose oi these charters which my hon. friend has advocated so well this afternoon, to provide for through traffic?

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Permalink
CON
CON

George Eulas Foster (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir GEORGE FOSTER:

They do not look so much to local traffic as to securing a channel for through traffic.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Permalink
CON
CON

George Eulas Foster (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir GEORGE FOSTER:

Is it impossible that if the hydro-electric has a road, the same object might be gained by getting running rights over that road, and so subserve the through purposes of the Canadian Northern railway?

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Permalink
CON

Hugh Boulton Morphy

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MORPHY:

I should think that would be possible. Conference after conference took place. The Cfenadian Northern dropped one section of the proposed Bill. There are many things that might be done, but I am not authorized to say how far they would go towards carrying out that suggestion.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Permalink
LIB

John Gillanders Turriff

Liberal

Mr. J. G. TURRIFF (Assiniboia):

It has been rather a pleasure for me to be here this afternoon and listen to the discussion, if for nothing else than to observe the coming to life again of our old friend from East Simcoe (Mr. Bennett). Those of us who were in this House prior to 1911 remember him very often dealing doughty blows to his opponents, but from that day until the present we have scarcely heard from him. However, I think my hon. friend sees the trend of public affairs, sees the handwriting on the wall and has come to the conclusion that he will soon be back in Opposition again, and that it is necessary for him to get into fighting trim. Therefore, he comes forward and deals some good blows to those sitting around him. We have spent a good de&l of the time of Parliament in connection with, these Bills. They were up before the Railway Committee for a number of days. My hon. friend (Mr. Morphy) says there has been more time spent on them than on any other Bill since he has been in the House. Why should all this time be spent on these Bills? There is one simple way in which the matter could be decided once and for all. What is the attitude of the Government on this question? The Government is responsible for the legislation that passes through this House and for these Bills going through or not going through. If the people of Ontario are going to be turned down by the passage of these Bills, who is it that is turning them down? The Government of Canada, representing largely as they do the province of Ontario, are the ones who have turned them down. When these Bills were before the Railway Committee there were only two things that prevented them from being defeated there. One was the rather unfortunate manner in which the case was presented by Sir Adam Beck. He had a thoroughly good case, but presented it in such a way that he spoiled it absolutely and he drove a great deal of

support away by his manner in dealing with it. The other thing that prevented the defeat of these Bills by the Railway Committee was the fact that the hon. Acting Minister of Railways and Canals (Mr. Reid) called on the committee to vote the Bills through. He said that the Bills should pass and when the Minister of Railways goes to the Railway Committee and states that a Bill should pass, the general custom is that the Bill goes through. The Government must assume the whole responsibility whether the Hydro-Electric people get what they want or they do not get what they want. In my judgment they will not be very likely to get what they want. Did you ever know this Government, when it came to a question between the people and the big interests to stand by the people as against the big interests?

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Permalink
CON
LIB

John Gillanders Turriff

Liberal

Mr. TURRIFF:

My hon. friend can

call order as much .as he likes, but that will not effect the case, because what I am stating is the absolute fact. If this proposition of the HydroElectric people of Ontario is turned down the people of Ontario will put the blame where it properly belongs and that is on the Government of Canada because they can by one word grant the wishes of the people as presented in the Railway Committee by the unanimous vote of the Legislature of Ontario. The recommendation of the Government of Ontario has the unanimous support of the Opposition.

I quite agree with my hon. friend who has just taken his seat that, because the people of one province ask for a certain thing, even unanimously, we members from different parts of the country are not absolved from exercising our opinions and carrying out our views. I think every hon. member is perfectly right in taking his own course on the matter and voting accordingly. But at the same time, when you find a province like the great province of Ontario asking this House unanimously to take a certain course, it becomes others who are not from that province to think twice before turning down huch a proposition. When the matter of free wheat was up for discussion, I thought that the representatives of those provinces more particularly interested, although I claim the whole Dominion is interested, should have had greater consideration extended to their views by this House. It is the same today. I think that the views of hon. mem-

bers representing the province of Ontario should have special consideration on a question that affects them more particularly th'an it affects the people of any other province.

These charters are fairly old; one of them is 13 years old and the other 16. In justice to Mackenzie and Mann, it must be said that they only owned one of them foi six years, and I am not sure as to how long they have owned the second one. During the first three years that they owned these charters, times were so good, money was plentiful and MacKenzie and Mann could have got all the money they wanted for any legitimate enterprise. They got a good deal of money for the development of enterprises which I would hesitate to put under that name. They could have got all the money they wanted for a proposition of this kind. They did not get it, because they did not want to go on and and my judgment is that Mackenzie and Mann do want to go on with this road to-day but want to hold up the Hydro-Electric and make them pay through the nose. Once this House passes this legislation the people of Ontario, as represented by the Hydro-Electric Commission, will pay, and pay sweetly for these charters. It becomes a question in my judgment, whether or not we should put these charters through. This is not the'first time that I have been called upon to vote against a renewal of charters, not so much against the Canadian Northern as against the Canadian Pacific. In my judgment, when any road allows a charter to hang fire and will only build a few miles just to keep somebody else from building for 13 and 16 years, it would be nothing out of our way if we said to the Canadian Northern: "The 'iLord knows you have charters enough and mileage enough to deal with, more than you have money to handle properly, and if you have any money to spend, put it in the lines that you have in other parts of the country." My hon. friend who preceded me talked about the great Canadian Northern railway from the Atlantic to the Pacific and the magnificent trains they were running. If we had happened to be on one of those through trains in the last couple of months, he would have been tied up in the snow for a month or more because in my own constituency, through which the road runs for some hundreds of miles, they were tied up at one time for 25 days.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Permalink

April 3, 1916