April 11, 1916

CON

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID:

It is hardly fair to suggest

that we could have anticipated it. Everything possible was done last year. We ordered cars last year, but we could not estimate that we .were going to have a surplus such as we have had. You cannot order cars and get them in a few days.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Permalink
?

Mr. M ACDONALD@

But you knew these supplies were going to Halifax.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Permalink
CON

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID:

We had no idea of the quantity we were going to get, and we did not know the surplus we were going to have at the end of the year. But we have ordered some equipment during the year, and we are still ordering it. The total amount of the surplus will be expended on the Government railway system.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Permalink
?

Mr. M ACDONALD@

Surely you are not going to take that money from the eastern provinces and put it into the Transcontinental railway?

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Permalink
CON

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID:

No, we are going to use it on the Intercolonial, but t'he cars will run over other roads as well. It is hardly fair to say that we have taken that amount out of the lower provinces. An enormous amount of trade has been received this year from the Western provinces and sent over the Intercolonial. The Canadian Pacific has been forced to send large amounts of freight from St. John to Halifax to be loaded on the transports there. All t'he railways have been sending goods to St. John and Halifax in that way, because hundreds of thousands of tons of freight have come from the western provinces. This traffic has not come from the lower provinces, or from the territory through which the Intercolonial passes, as ip years gone by. Most of the collections in years gone by have been more of a local character, but this year there has been an enormous amount that has gone to our Canadian ports on account of war conditions and which has not been diverted to Portland as in years past.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Permalink
?

Mr. M ACDONALD@

Does not the Canadian Pacific haul any?

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Permalink
CON

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID:

It hauls freight to St. John, but in addition to carrying large quantities to St. John it sends large quantities to Halifax, because the transports go from Hali-

fax. It is not the desire of the people of the western provinces to see a large amount made out of the earnings of the Intercolonial in order that we may participate in any benefits therefrom. We realize that the canals are free. But there has never been a time within my recollection when, if any surplus has been made, it has not immediately been paid out in getting additional or renewed equipment. If there was a deficit, whatever was required for renewal or increased equipment was charged to the capital account of the Dominion, applying the same rule as that which was applied to the canals. However, even if there was a profit, and it all came out of the lower provinces, which, of course, would not be the case, it would immediately be turned over for the purchase of equipment. The very fact of our being able to release 75 engines and a lot of cars to help out the Transcontinental railway shows that we had a fair equipment at that time. No part of this surplus will go into the general fund but it will go into equipment for the Intercolonial in order to put the road in a better position to deal with the traffic.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Permalink
?

Mr. M ACDONALD@

Is the minister going to proceed to deal with the surplus on the lines which he (mentioned on the 9th March? On that date he said that he had transferred the surplus last year to three different accounts, $600,000 for equipment, $400,000 for rail renewal, and $100,000 for fire renewal.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Permalink
CON

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID:

The rule has been that whatever the surplus is at the end of the year, it is transferred to the three different accounts I mentioned the other day. During the year we transferred a million dollars as stated. With respect to this surplus, the same policy which has been carried out since the hon. member for South Renfrew (Mr. Graham) adopted that allotment will be followed. Whatever the final profits are, over and above what has already been transferred, will be transferred to the three accounts mentioned, but what the proportions will be I cannot just say. With regard to the shortage of cars for fertilizer, that matter .came before me not long ago. I forget exactly how it came up, but I will give the hon. gentleman (Mr. Macdonald) the information to-morrow or as soon as I look it up. Somebody brought it to my attention, and I either wired the general manager to say that something should be done about it or I spoke to him while he was here with the view of avoiding any

delay in so far as shipments of fertilizer were concerned.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Permalink
?

Mr. MAGDONALD@

Will the minister tell me if he has called for tenders with the view of making a coal contract for the coming year, or,, if not, what he intends to do?

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Permalink
CON

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID:

I have had that question up with the general manager several times. This year we will, have to purchase coal not only for the Intercolonial railway hut for the Transcontinental as well. We will have to purchase coal for the road all the way from Port Arthur, or Fort William, to Sydney. We will have to purchase a very large quantity, and for the Port Arthur end we will have to purchase American coal, because we cannot take it fronl Sydney as far west as that. At the present time we are dealing with the coal situation with a view to settling the quantities that may be required for the Intercolonial railway, and we are trying to get the matter in such a shape that the coal companies of the east will be able to supply us. There is a difficulty this year Jabout taking coal from Sydney to the St. Lawrence on account of the scarcity of tonnage. Igi addition to that, the coal companies in Sydney and other places are using practically all their coal for hunkering at the present time. I am not in a position to give the hon. member more information this evening on that point, but trust to be able to do so within a few days.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Permalink
?

Mr. M ACDONALD@

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Permalink
LIB

James Alexander Robb

Liberal

Mr. ROBB:

As the minister has brought up the question of the Transcontinental and its equipment, could he tell us what the policy of the department is with regard to the six cents a bushel rate that was put in force by the Government on the 6th of January last on wheat for export from Armstrong to Montreal and Quebec? I understand that that rate expires on May 1st. Is it the intention of the department to renew it, for the benefit of shippers during the summer months?

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Permalink
CON

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID:

The hon. gentleman will remember what trouble the farmers in the West had in getting their grain shipped owing to the congested state of the elevators at Port Arthur and Fort William. The Canadian Northern and Canadian Pacific railway did all they could, and were able to bring out a certain amount,

12 m. but it was thought advisable to assist the farmers along the line of the Grand Trunk Pacific in getting, their grain to market. The only place the grain could be taken was to Eastern Canada, for if it had been taken to the elevators at Port Arthur and Fort William there would have been the double haul, when it had to be taken out again. So I understand the Minister of Railways put in a 6-cent rate between Armstrong and the cities of Montreal and Quebec. Armstrong would be about on the line with Port Arthur and Fort William. Six cents was the allwater rate or the water-and-rail rate for the summer months between Port Arthur and Montreal, and it was thought well to give the farmers along the Grand Trunk Pacific the same rate in order to help them get their grain out. It was also in the nature of an experiment to see how the rates would work out, and I understand was only put in temporarily. When the rate came into force, the grain had to go over the Transcontinental, and then over the Temiskaming and Northern Ontario railway, and then over the Grand Trunk to Montreal-I am speaking of Montreal shipments-and the six cents divided among the three.railways meant a small proportion for each; but all the same the Grand Trunk and the Temiskaming and Northern Ontario were willing to give the matter a trial until " the opening of navigation, until which time hi understand the rate will continue in [force. There will be no difficulty in getting

the- grain that is not already in the

elevators down to Port Arthur and Port William. All the grain coming over the Grand Trunk Pacific and destined for Montreal or Quebec "will be carried at the six cent rate from Armstrong to the -city of Quebec. I do not think the Minister of Railways has taken any further action in this matter.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Permalink
LIB

James Alexander Robb

Liberal

Mr. ROBB:

The minister has not yet told me whether the rate is to be continued during the summer months. The intention of the department in putting that rate into force was probably good, but in practice it has been a gold brick to the farmers. An answer given in Hansard on March 1 shows that all the grain that had been carried up to that time at that rate was 20 carloads to Montreal and 80 to Quebec, and the reason for that was that there was a shortage of engines and cars for carrying the grain. Consequently, grain was worth 3 to 4 cents a bushel more to get it on the tracks, and it paid an exporter much better to buy May wheat and take his chances of getting a low rate at the opening of navigation. The experiment was therefore of no advantage to the shipper; but it would be an advantage if the Government would give the western farmers that ' rate during the summer months; and surely, if it pays to carry the grain to Montreal and Quebec for six cents a bushel in the winter months, it would pay still better in the summer, when the trains would have a clear track and could carry much heavier loads. I hope the minister understands how the rate worked out. An exporter buying May wheat at 4 cents a bushel less would be just about a cent a bushel better off than by using the six-cent rate in winter. The rate was practically of no value either to the exporter or to the western farmer.

While the intention of the Government might have been to relieve the congestion in the West, they did not relieve it to any extent. Up to the first of March they have handled only 100 cars, or about 100,000 bushels of wheat at the six-cent rate out of a 300,000,000 bushel crop. I think the minister ought to take the matter up with the transportation department, and see if they cannot continue the experiment during the summer months, because there is a shortage of vessels on the Upper Lakes this season, and already bookings are being made at rates running from nine cents. Seven cents is the lowest rate that I have heard of from Port Arthur to Montreal. The minister can see that there is plenty

fMr J. D. Reid.]

of freight offering in the West if they want to get after it.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Permalink
CON

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID:

From his remarks, I would judge that the hon. member comes to the conclusion that about 100,000 bushels of grain have passed over the Transcontinental up to the first of March.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Permalink
LIB
CON

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID:

I do not know whether that answer was intended to cover all the wheat that had passed over the railway up to that date.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Permalink
LIB
CON

April 11, 1916