During the whole summer the rate will be kept in force. The situation is not exactly the same in Montreal, because in that city there are two other roads, and it is difficult to d,eal with them in regard to rates. Some one disoussed this question some time ago, and I asked my private secretary to make a memorandum for me so that I would not forget it, and this is the memorandum which has just been handed to me by one of my officials:
You may find it of interest to state that the Transcontinental has to date, April 8, moved
4.000. 000 bushels of grain from Fort William and the West since the close of navigation last fall.
That corroborates the statement that I made a few minutes ago.
1 cannot give any other answer to-night than I have already given, but it is good news to hon. members that, with the shortage of equipment that we have experienced on the Transcontinental on account of taking the road over without any equipment, we have been able to move
Before the minister comes again with his Estimates, will he be good enough to furnish a statement of the receipts and expenditures of the Vale railway, and state whether Any final agreement or lease has been made in regard to it?
It has not been completed. There is some little difficulty; I do not know what it is. I do not think the receipts and expenditures will show a great dividend on the earning power of that road. I will see that that information is brought down.
Can the minister tell me what are the prospects of moving freight on both the Transcontinental and the Intercolonial east of Quebec? There js a large quantity of lumber on both roads, and there has been practically a congestion on both roads, especially on the Transcontinental. You cannot get cars or move the freight. In fact, there is freight that has been on the road for two and a half years.
I bought some wood two and a half years ago, and I cannot get it.
There is a local rate into Quebec or Levis, where the Government road connects with other roads, and then a through rate which makes it prohibitory to ship that class of freight. I would like to know when we may expect through rates from the Transcontinental, and also when we may expect cars to move the stuff that is offered as freignt.
I expect that within a couple of weeks there will be plenty of cars to take care of all the local traffic to which the hon. member has referred. On the opening of navigation the freight goes to Montreal and Quebec, and there will be available the cars that have been used during the winter for carrying munitions, and an enormous quantity of hay, oats and other supplies. The other roads-the Grand Trunk, the Canadian Pacific and the Canadian Northern-have all suffered from a shortage of cars; but as soon as water navigation comes in, I hope we shall be able to supply the hon. member with cars.
I have not gone into the question of through rates with the general freight agent, so I am not in a position to-night to give a complete answer to the hon. member. But he has 'brought it to my attention, and I will be prepared at the next meeting when the Intercolonial is discussed to state exactly what position we are in so far as these two rates are concerned.
If there has been any delay, if they have not been in force, the hon. member having brought it to my attention, I will take it up with the management, and, see what the difficulty is; and, if they are in force, I will give the hon. gentleman an explanation.
The only answer I can give to that is the same that I have given in other cases-as soon as financial conditions will permit, we will take that up.
* Mr. GRAHAM: I am glad to hear that the Transcontinental has moved 4,000,000 bushels of grain. I see that the manager of the Government railways says that it would take the three transcontinental railways 200 days of active operation to move
the grain crop alone. With that estimate, and with the boasting of the hon. gentleman as to what the road is doing, we shall probably hear no more of the uselessness of the Transcontinental railway.
The hon. gentleman has given as a reason for the tearing up of rails in New Brunswick, that' the traffic did not warrant the operation. Will the minister please keep that in mind during the next five or six weeks-that the reason given for not operating a road that the people have had for a quarter of a century is that the traffic did not warrant the operation. Will the hon. gentleman bear that ini mind when other discussions come up-that this Government is getting rid of railways, that- do not pay-and see to it that they do not take on others that are in the same position. The hon. gentlepian for Northumberland (Mr. Loggie) has a stronger case than some bon. gentlemen understand1, who wonder that he speaks so feelingly. Here you have-a branch of the Mirimaehi river with a railway on each side. The road on one side is a through line to Fredericton, and the other a short line. The Government takes up the rails on one side altogether, leaving the people without this railway which they have had for years, and giving them no bridges to cross the river to gain access to the other railway. The Government leaves them in that condition, waiting for the Provincial Government to make some proposition. I say that in this case it is the duty of the Government, which ha3 taken away the only means of comuni-cation that these people have, to replace it with something else which the Government has promised time and again. This is not a question of waiting for the Provincial Government to build these bridges; the ordinary conditions do not prevail.
Now, I will make a suggestion that will startle the minister. With the proviso that we shall be allowed a, general discussion on any of these items, I would suggest that item 102 go>