May 3, 1916

LIB
CON

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID:

Since this Government came into power, it has, through the influence of the Minister of Marine and Fisheries, done more for St. John than the hon. member did during the whole time he was a minister in the late Government. The Minister of Marine and Fisheries has looked after St. John, and this Government has done everything possible to improve the facilities and assist in the upbuilding of the port of St. John. The Government has been doing that ever since it came into power, and it intends to continue that policy. Evidence of it is that we are now starting to build an elevator and that we are trying to get a connection with St. John. The hon. member is one of those who object to the paralleling of railways, but to-day he advocates the building of another road side by side with the Canadian Pacific railway between Andover and Grand Falls. Can any one say why we should parallel that road, or why we should have another road running to Grand Falls when we can just as well do the work over the road from McGivney Junction, and so save the people of New Brunswick, whom my hon. friend claims to represent, from spending more money? The hon. member tries to lead the people of New Brunswick to believe that this road between McGivney Junction and St. John-

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LIB
CON

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID:

It does, just the same as

any other road over which we have running rights. If we have running rights over that portion of the Canadian Pacific railway to St.' John, the connection is completed, and we can run through our Transcontinental trains. But if there should be' any difficulty, as soon as we can build a line between Westfield and St. John wo

will do so. The connection we are

making with St. John will be of

the very best in the interests of the Transcontinental and of the whole Government railway system, and will be with the view of up-ibuilding our terminals and elevators and carrying out the improvements that have been contemplated. I do not think it is fair for the hon. gentleman to try to give the people of New Brunswick any other impression when, sitting in this House, he has seen that that has been the po.lioy of the Government right through and the policy that is being carried out at the present time.

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LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

I am very much surprised to see the unusual heat displayed by the minister.

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CON

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID:

I am not in any heat.

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LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

The minister has not told me what -the grades are on the railway between McGivney junction and Fredericton. -He does not know much about that country, because he speaks of that connection as one between McGivney junction and -St. John. It is between McGivney junction and- Fredericton.

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CON

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID:

And from Fredericton to St. John.

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LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

This is a branch line which this Government bought for $8,000 a mile, and it is not a first-class road. It is only a branch line running now between Newcastle and Fredericton, and that is owing to the construction of another piece of road. The 'Government took 14 or 15 miles of the Canada Eastern which had been accommodating the people there, because it did not think it was worth while operating, apparently. I would like to have something to say with reference to that great outrage by and by; but what I want to know now is what is the grade of the portion of the Canada Eastern between McGivney junction and Fredericton. I say that it is to-day not only a second-class road but a third-class road. I say that the total cost of that railroad which the Government bought was only $8,000 per mile, which shows that it could not have been in very great condition. The rails are light, and -it is not suited to be operated as a part of the Transcontinental. The minister says he is not supposed to keep the grades in his head; but when he comes to us and asks us to undo what this Parliament did six years ago-, when he asks us to justify breaking faith with the people

of New Brunswick, surely he ought to know whether this piece of road can be operated with advantage as a connection between the Valley line and the Transcontinental. Does the minister not think so? Does he not think that he ought to allow this discussion to stand over until he can give some information on these grades? I am not speaking here merely for myself; I am speaking as the representative of a very important section of this country. Before I can express my satisfaction, and before this committee can express its satisfaction, with the very extraordinary departure which is being -made from what -haa been the settled policy of the Government, durin-g all these years, we ought to know what is the condition of this line that it is. proposed to operate as part of the Transcontinental railway.

My hon. friend the Acting -Minister of Railways and Canals says that my hon. friend the Minister of Marine and Fisheries (Mr. Hazen) has done more for the port of St. John sin-ce he has been in office than I ever did. Well, I am not disposed to detract one iota from what the Minister of Marine and Fisheries has done for the port of St. John. All I desire to say is that the port of St. John deserves everything which the Minister of Marine has done, or can possibly do, for it, because St. John stands to-day in the position of having put its hand into its pocket and -spent a very vast sum of money in order to put Canada on the ri-ght track as far as having its business done through Canadian ports and Canadian channels is concerned. St. John stands to-day before this country as the only city in Canada that has made sacrifices for the purpose of demonstrating and carrying out a great national ideal. Therefore the Minister of Marine deserves credit-I will grant that-for doing what he has done for St. John; but I do not propose to-day to -be drawn into a discussion as to what the Minister of Marine has been able to do. The Acting Minister of Railways and Canals will not lead me away from the present question for the purpose of getting me into a discussion as to general improvements which have been made at St. John. No matter how much has been done by the Minister of Marine and Fisheries for the port of St. John, that affords no justification for the wilful and deliberate breach of faith between this Government and the (people of that community.

The minister says that he has no doubt that he will be able to get into St. John and have a much better connection than

the one which I have suggested, and that they 'will get in quickly instead of having to wait. If the Government had done its duty and started to build-the bridges after the legislation of 1912, these bridges would have been built already-in fact, they would have been built within two years- and the whole line might have been operated into the city of St. John and Courtenay Bay. But now the minister says that if they do not make satisfactory arrangements for running rights

. 4 p.m. over the Canadian Pacific they will build into St. John-or is it they may build into St. John. Will they build in? I would like to ask the ininister if they will build into fit. John.

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CON

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID:

I said to the hon. member that we would endeavour to secure-and I havie no doubt that we will succeed-running rights from Westfield into St. John, and if we cannot we will build from Westfield to St. John and make our connection with the Intercolonial railway system. The railway will run from McGivney Junction via Fredericton to the terminals of the Intercolonial railway.

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LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

I am glad that the minister says " will."

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CON

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID:

I am also considering, with reference to grades-, and such information as my hon. friend wants I shall be glad to get for him and have here before we go on with the Bill. The only object I have today is to- get the resolution through, so that I can introduce the Bill. Then we shall have the matter in committee again, and I will be able to give all the information at that time.

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LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

I shall be glad if the minister will bring the information. One thing I want to find out particularly about this Canada Eastern line from McGivney Junction to Fredericton is with reference to the grades; I am told that the grades are quite heavy. Of course, it is quite true that the minister says it is down hill and in the right direction.

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CON

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID:

That is. what I understand.

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LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

I suppose they can go up the hill with a pusher engine, or extra locomotive power. It will be an interesting change for the people after the long journey on a dead level over the Transcontinental railway, when they come to McGivney Junction and find that they can slide down hill without using any motive power. They

[Mr. Pugsley.J

will be able to speak of that as an interesting feature when travelling down to the Maritime Provinces. Has the minister estimated at all what it will cost to get into east St. John if the Government had to build instead of getting running rights over the Canadian Pacific and from the St. John Bridge and Railway Extension Company? Remember, it will mean a new bridge across the St. John river, a new track parallel with the track of the St. John Bridge and Railway Extension Company, the acquiring of land through the city, and getting connection with Courtenay Bay. Has the minister any estimate of what that will cost?

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CON

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID:

I have not the information

to-day' that the hon. member asks for, but I will try and have it when the Bill comes in. My whole object in taking this matter up was this. We have a railway started from Centreville to Gagetown, and I have been anxious that we should get into St. John at the earliest possible moment. The hon. gentleman said that we should have gone on with these bridges. I was not referring to the bridges originally intended to be built. It was the bridge company that was to build1 those bridges, not we.

Mr. PUGSLEY'; But this Government guaranteed the bonds.

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CON

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID:

Yes. The hon. gentleman

asked why, having guaranteed the bonds in 1912, we did not proceed with the bridges at once. We were only to guarantee tne bonds, and the Bridge Company could have let the contract and gone on with them at once, but it did not do so. We were not to blame for the bridges not being proceeded with as originally intended, if I understand the Act aright.

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LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

My hon. friend is right as to the Act of 1912; but this is the curious thing: I am charging both the Provincial Government and this Government with conniving-conniving is a strong word, but when you have the evidence before you-

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CON

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID:

I do not think you would be accused of that.

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LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

I do not know; I would be sorry to be. The minister is so pleasant and genial that one would hardly believe that he would be a party to such an outrage 'as that which has been perpetrated against the province of New Brunswick in connection with this railway. There is no question about it that after years of humbug, after years of deceit-I do not charge individual

deceit-that would be unparliamentary-but collective deceit-after years of collective deceit they come back and try to put us just where the Canadian Pacific said they had Mr. Fleming in 1912. It would simply be a branch road of the Canadian Pacific, beginning at their station at Andover and terminating at their station at Westfield.

There is another difficulty. How is the minister going to utilize the Courtenay Bay terminals coming in from the west side? All the engineers of the Grand Trunk Pacific say that it would be very objectionable. My hon. friend will see that if the road were built crossing the Kennebecasis river, coming to Rothesay, and in by the Intercolonial railway, the approach to Courtenay Bay terminals would be the most natural and easy. In coming from the west side, and coming through the city, you would have to run on past and have a switchback to bring the trains and cars around the docks at Courtenay Bay. It would involve an enormous expense to approach the docks coming from the western side. That is what the engineers say. Only the other day Mr. Bouillon, the engineer of the Grand Trunk Pacific, expressed that opinion, and I know that Mf. Hays expressed that opinion in the very strongest way possible. Has the minister given any thought to that?

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May 3, 1916