You can cut out a lot of unnecessary train services, and you can improve the construction. Take, for instance, the traffic out of Toronto. The Grand Trunk has .the worst grade of its system at Scarborough going out of Toronto. Four miles north there is what is called the Wexford grade on the Canadian Pacific. It is one per cent grade at the steepest part and it takes the line over the same elevation. But, strange to say, the Canadian Northern, following in the steps of some of the Canadian Pacific engineers, four or five years ago found between these two lines four miles apart, a one-half of one per cent
grade over Scarborough Heights; they have located it, and ultimately it will be built. If there were a consolidation we could wipe out these two expensive grades; we might even transfer the rails and build on this new grade, which would save the situation there forever. All over the country you could make improvements in this way.
Now, I will tell you how a public railway would work with respect to both freight and passenger service. You would get the Intercolonial railway, which is a Government-owned railway to-day, at Halifax, and come to Montreal; you would come to Ottawa and go on to Toronto by the o'ld Grand Trunk; from Toronto you would want to use the best transcontinental railway, and you would take the Canadian Pacific to Sudbury; from Sudbury you would go to lake Nipigon by way of the Canadian Northern; you would build 25 miles from lake Nipigon to the Transcontinental railway; on the fine grade of the Transcontinental you would go on into Winnipeg. Then you would go from Winnipeg to Edmonton over either the Grand Trunk ot the Canadian Northern, and you would certainly go to Vancouver by the Canadian Northern. In addition, if you had public ownership, you could link the systems up so as to get the advantages that linking up or grouping would give you, and you would have a real solution of the transportation problem in this country.
Germany operate their systems and how do we operate the system we have? I would put them all together in charge of a board of three or five of the ablest railway men in this country, and we could pick them up in Canada to-day. I know where the men are; we could get them; and these men would run that system as it should be run. There might be a proposition to take the men employed on the road out of politics and deprive them of their votes.
railways administered * in the public interest. I would take off any unnecessary trains and link up the systems with a view to giving the best service. In that way great savings would be effected and an improved service would be given at lower rates. It may be said that it is impossible to
carry out such a scheme, hut I do not think so. Now is the time to take advantage of the situation, and the Government say they are going to take advantage of it. They may come to public ownership. At all events they are going to appoint a commission of three to consider the matter, and, if we can read how others interpret that, we are almost sure to have public ownership if the commission report in favour of it. But I do not propose to surrender my judgment to any three men on this subject; nor will the people of Canada. They have come to the conclusion to have public ownership, and they are going to have it; it is in the air. The success of the Hydro in Ontario is something we can look to with pride, and the success of public ownership in a great many ways leads me to believe that it can he successfully applied to the railway situation, if only we will alter our political system in this country.
In the presence, of this war the day has come when we must stop patronage in connection with our public institutions1. We must reform our public service, and banish the member of Parliament and the politician from the door of the Minister of Railways, or whoever it may be has to administer the railways of this country. And we can do these things. If there is anything I resent it is a man in public life in Canada saying to me and to this House: "You cannot trust the
Canadian people with a railway -franchise of their own." The Canadian people are just -as -big, just as good, and just as dlean as the people of any other country. It ie we public men who are in the wrong in this country. The people are all right, arid I will trust them with the railways. I am not going to put a etigma upon ,my fellow-countrymen in connection with railways in this- country. That is the one thing I have always noticed in these political discussions; it is the answer that is always given to me. Imagine the answer yesterday of the Montreal- Gazette, that paragon of political virtue, that we are such a corrupt lot of people that we could not run our railwaysI believe we can.
I do not know so much about that. It is certainly the spokesman of the Grand Trun-k Railway and of the Canadian Pacific Railway; I am sure of that, but I think I have seen the Gazette turn the Government down on occasions. I have every confidence in my fellow-countrymen. I have confidence that the -Canadian people could effect greater economies in the roads, give an improved service, and in that way help to settle the West. By taking over these railways we should remove the greatest dan-
3 p.m. ger from our political life, because we should be putting the owners of private-owned railways out of politics in this country. The present system is wrong. I am not going to pass much criticism of what has happened in the past. The charge that has been made is that the owners of railways and railway promoters have broken into our politics and more or less demoralized us. I am not going to repeat that charge now. But I believe our public life would be -better and purer, and certainly we should have a better railway service, if we applied public ownership to our railways, and applied it in a proper way. But we do not want any more public ownership of this kind: of the Intercolonial taking up all the lame ducks of the East; helping to build roads and then taking them over because they Tun through a new 'country where there is not much local traffic. I do not believe in the policy of taking over the weak spots in the Canadian Northern or any other railway. Let us go the whole hog or none; let ns get the productive ends as well as the weak ends, and link the various systems up. The salvation of the Grand Trunk Pacific, and something that will add to the glory of hon. gentlemen opposite, for this road is their child, is to incorporate it into a great public system.
American continent, the most able lawyers and capitalists, the able administrators of public services of one kind or another, have gone into the employ of the great corporations, and made money for them and fortunes for themselves. But a strange thing has been happening in the last twenty years in the United 'States, and I begin to see it coming in this country. They are developing men over there, and we are beginning to do the same here, who see that the greatest opportunity that can come to any man is public service. I know young men in our universities who have had experience as railway men, experience in the financial institutions of this country and with business corporations. I could find you twenty men about thirty-five years of age who have this passion- and it is a grand passion-for devoting their lives to public service. And life is not worth living these days if we have not the vision and the disposition to give ourselves to public service in a great cause. I would have a commission in this country. Yes, I would have Baron Shaugh'nessy. I do not think, Sir William Mackenzie is a railroad operator, although he is a Napoleon in building; but he has two men in that system both of whom are great railroad men. Mr. Bury is a great operator who would serve thie state. Has any one objection to Mr. Gutelius as a great railroad man? Take the roads out of politics and put them in charge of three or five men of this calibre. Take the roads out of politics-