Refund the securities if we see fit to do it. If the market were advantageous at that time, I would refund the obligations, relieve the shareholders, and give them something, if we had the opportunity of doing it, dependent upon the condition of the market.
Or buy them out. But I would have a terminable period in connection with the matter. Would the Canadian Pacific shareholders take 7 per cent? I do not know, but I would start negotiations with them and find out what they really wanted. I would say to them: "If *we get the Grand Trunk Pacific, the Grand Trunk, and the Canadian Northern on reasonable terms, and if you do not want to have the opposition of the new consolidated Government lines, now is your opportunity to come in, and what will you take if we take you in?" If they should say, " You are sacrificing our assets, you are confiscating our properties," I would say: " No, we will guarantee you dividends at the rate of 7 per cent for twenty-five years, and we will take you over." I do not come here proposing confiscation of any kind. I would even offer to pay something to the old Grand Trunk shareholders, I would give a reasonable amount to the owners of the Canadian Northern, and I would give guarantees to the Canadian Pacific Railway Company for their railway.
What would happen if we took over one, two, three, or all of these propositions? In any case we have public ownership and we have opened the way into territory where public ownership will justify itself if it can. It never will justify itself by having ragged ends-lines away on the outskirts not coupled up or connected with the great lines of traffic. What is the fundamental error in the railway situation in Canada? The fundamental error is unnecessary duplication in the construction of lines. We have lines running in duplicate all over this country, which never 'should have been allowed. I live in Toronto; I come down here, often, as you do; we go to Montreal, the Montreal people come to us; and what do we see? Every night now there are five passenger trains running between Toronto and Montreal when two or three would do the business, give a better service, and save a lot of money? The unnecessary cost of duplication in construction is aggravated by the unnecessary, criminal, duplication of service. We have lost an immense amount of money by unnecessary duplication in construction. But, realizing that fundamental error, why ishould we aggravate it by insisting on this unnecessary duplication of service? That is something that public ownership will correct. It will not cure the unnecessary duplication of construction, but it will cure the unnecessary duplication of service. There are three lines from Winnipeg to Edmonton and perhaps five to the West. There, are three or five trains for the Pacific going out of Toronto every night. There will be the Transcontinental, the Government-owned system, there will be the Canadian Northern,-its trains will soon start to go out every night- and the Canadian Pacific has two trains going out of Toronto for Winnipeg every day. Two trains would do that service better than it has ever been done.
So much the better for the system if we can have three or five trains every night. I want to see five trains going out from Toronto to Winnipeg and from Montreal to Toronto if the business calls for them; but I do not want to see an unnecessary duplication, something that I can see every morning when I look out of the window. I live near the railway track, and I can see three, fine express trains all coming over the Canadian Pacific to Toronto, and they run what trainmen call a ghost train.
Every other night there is one on the Grand Trunk Pacific and every other night one on the Canadian Northern; so that there are four trains and there will soon be more. There is not enough business for all of them to do. I say that this is unnecessary duplication, and that the train service can be reduced.