May 17, 1916

CON

William Thomas White (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir THOMAS WHITE:

Why does the hon. member say that it is proposed to pay one hundred cents on the dollar for the bonds of the Quebec and Saguenay?

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   LSI 3. II.
Permalink
LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux

Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX:

The Acting Minister of Railways (Mr. Reid) said that yesterday.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   LSI 3. II.
Permalink
CON

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID:

I did not say so. When the hon. gentleman is through I will explain what I did say.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   LSI 3. II.
Permalink
LIB
CON

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID:

The statements made by the hon. member for Rouville (Mr. Lemieux) in regard to this matter are not in accordance with the facts. I said that, under the arrangement made the judge will take up these several roads with a view to ascertaining what actual money has actually gone into them.

First, let us suppose, he will take up the Quebec, Montmorency and Charlevoix

and will ascertain what has been actually and 'legitimately expended on that road. In the same way, he will take the Quebec .and Saguenay, and also the Lotbiniere and Megantic. Then the three amounts will be added together. Assume that $2,500,000, an amount equal to the bonds of the Quebec, Montmorency and Charlevoix, is found to have been expended on that road. Then, assume that an amount equal to $4,039,000 as a maximum is found to have 'been expended on the Quebec and Saguenay. In either case the amount may be less. Then, assume that it is shown that $330,000 has been expended on the Lotbiniere and Megantic. Now, what is the hon. member asking us to do? He has no objection, he tells us, to a loan of $2,000,000 to the Quebec and Saguenay, in order to complete the road. He knows that there ie $4,680,000 of bonds on that railway to-day; the French investors only paid $3,822,000 foT those bonds. He knows also that the contractors have a claim for over $1,000,000 on the road. Besides, there i6 $500,000 to be paid for right of way and other claims. This makes a total of over $6,000,000. Yet the hon. gentleman comes here and tells, us that, instead of getting the whole road for $4,039,000, we should loan the company $2,000,000 and come in behind this $6,000,000 which now stands against the road. If I am not representing his position correctly, I hope he will tell me. We say that instead of loaning $2,000,000, leaving to stand against the road $4,680,000, of bonds with interest, it is much better to pay a maximum amount of $4,039,000 and own the road free of incumbrance.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   LSI 3. II.
Permalink
LIB
CON

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID:

The hon. gentleman's leader (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) has stated in the House that this road is a necessity.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   LSI 3. II.
Permalink
LIB
CON

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID:

We will get a clear title to the road for $4,039,000.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   LSI 3. II.
Permalink
LIB
CON

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID:

We will get a clear title to a road eighty-seven per cent of which has been completed.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   LSI 3. II.
Permalink
LIB
CON

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID:

The engineers say that the road has been completed to the extent of eighty-seven per cent.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   LSI 3. II.
Permalink
LIB
CON

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID:

The hon. member had the papers before him yesterday. Among them was the report of Mr. Beckwith, an engineer of the Intercolonial, which, I think, stated that there were 470,000 ties. We are not only getting the road in its present condition, but we are getting an equipment with the Quebec, Charlevoix and Montmorency road. Tiie engineer said that eighty-seven per cent of the road is completed. I discussed this matter with the contractor who had this work at the time the work stopped.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   LSI 3. II.
Permalink
LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux

Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX:

How many miles of rail have been laid on the Quebec and Saguenay?

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   LSI 3. II.
Permalink
CON

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID:

There are 9 miles in operation.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   LSI 3. II.
Permalink
LIB
CON

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID:

Yes. Supposing there were

no rails on it at all, the contractor who had the work told me at the time that he was willing to complete that road and put it in operation for $700,000. This contractor received nearly all of the $5,000,000 that have been expended up to date. Therefore, for any member to say that the road is not completed to the extent that it really is completed is most unfair. If we pay $4,039,000 for the Quebec and Saguenay instead of accepting the proposal of the hon. member for Rouville, we will save exactly $4,000,000. The hon. gentleman wants us to loan $2,000,000 behind the $6,000,000 that is now against the road. The hon. member claims that this road is only a tramway. I cannot for the life of me see why the member for Rouville wants to belittle that piece of road from Quebec to St. Joachim. From all the information I have that road is as well built as any part of the Transcontinental. It has 80 pound rails, is double tracked and is equipped with an blectric system. There is a good equipment and there are valuable terminals in the city of Quebec. Any hon. member knows that to have the Quebec and Saguenay commence nowhere and end nowhere, not going into the city of Quebec, would be an unreasonable proposition. Furthermore, when it is extended into Quebec we shall be increasing the terminal facilities in connection with the Transcontinental railway. This proposal will be of very material benefit to the city of Quebec, and to that part of the province extending down to Murray Bay. To Murray Bay people

come from one end of the Dominion to the other-yes, from all over the United States. The only way they have been able to get there has been by crossing by ferry from the south shore, or by taking the Richelieu and Ontario steamer. I think that the hon. member is unfair to his native province when he does not help that province as I think he ought to. The hon. gentleman was one of the members of the Government who did their best to have this road proceeded with. He advocated the subsidy; he was -in favour of tying the people of this Dominion up to that great enterprise. After taking that attitude, I do not think the people will justify his making a proposal which would involve the expenditure of $6,000,000 instead of $4,000,000.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   LSI 3. II.
Permalink
LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux

Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX:

My hon. friend has

stated what is true. I advocated the construction of that road; I helped to secure subsidies for it, both provincial and federal.

I am still willing, in the interests of the county of Charlevoix, to vote for a substantial amount in order to complete that line. But that does not justify the Government in buying three roads when only one should be aided. That is what I object to. It would be quite easy for me to vote with the Government in favour of this item. It would certainly be welcomed by the members of the Government and probably by the people in the county of Charlevoix; but I care not. I am here to do my duty. The people of Charlevoix would rather see that road completed than be .taxed as they will be taxed, in addition to the taxa-

10 p.m. tion that they are carrying now, in order to acquire two other roads which have nothing to do with this one. That is my reason, Mr. Chairman, fbr supporting the motion made by the hon. member for South Oxford.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   LSI 3. II.
Permalink

May 17, 1916