April 25, 1917

CON

Richard Bedford Bennett

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

My hon. friend said

that he was of German extraction; I took the words down at the time.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT RAILWAYS-PROMOTION OF EMPLOYEES.
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LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD:

I said that he was a German-American.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT RAILWAYS-PROMOTION OF EMPLOYEES.
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

He is not a German-

American, and never was. The ancestors of Mr. Gutelius lived in the United States and have lived upon the American continent for a longer period of years than the ancestors of the distinguished gentleman from Pictou. They have been on this continent something like three hundred years, I am advised. Well, not that long; 250 or thereabouts.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT RAILWAYS-PROMOTION OF EMPLOYEES.
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LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD:

Take another hundred or two off.

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Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT RAILWAYS-PROMOTION OF EMPLOYEES.
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LIB

Daniel Duncan McKenzie

Liberal

Mr. McKENZIE:

He must be Indian.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT RAILWAYS-PROMOTION OF EMPLOYEES.
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT RAILWAYS-PROMOTION OF EMPLOYEES.
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LIB
CON

Richard Bedford Bennett

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. B. BENNETT:

Fifty feet of

snow.

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Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT RAILWAYS-PROMOTION OF EMPLOYEES.
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LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

Was that on the level?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT RAILWAYS-PROMOTION OF EMPLOYEES.
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. B. BENNETT:

That was not on the level. According to hon. gentlemen opposite, one would neveT expect to find anything on the level so far as the Intercolonial is concerned. But the climatic conditions under which that road has to be operated in northern New Brunswick -and Quebec makes it most difficult, and no gentleman knows better than the hon. member for St. John wh-at those difficulties are. The general manager has during the last year been operating his system under exceptional difficulties. First of all, he has had cast upon his line a greater burden than any single line was ever expected to carry. Now that the United States is in the war, our troops and war supplies can be carried by the Canadian Pacific Railway through the state of Maine; prior to that time, however, they could not be, and thus there was thrust upon the Intercolonial a greater burden than any single line ever carried before except some lines west of Lake Superior in the wheat season in the fall of the year. The Intercolonial has discharged that duty fairly well. I have it from the words of an important transportation man in this -country that what has been done by Mr. Gutelius since the outbreak of the war in relation to the management to the Intercolonial has been most commendable, and should merit the commendation of thoughtful Canadians vho know the conditions. It is so easy to criticise. The hon. member for North Cape Breton has been fair about that. As long as the road is operated in the way it is, I suppose it will be criticised, but there is no appreciation on the part of the people of the enormous volume of traffic that road has handled.

The hon. member for St. John (Mr. Pugsley) spoke this afternoon about the suburban trains being taken off and there not being the same service. I should like to remind him that on the Canadian Pacific, the Grand Trunk, and the Canadian Northern, by order of the Board of Railway Commissioners last fall, their train services were curtailed, because it was necessary in the public interest that it should

be so. If that be so, and Mr. Gutelius has followed that practice on the Intercolonial, who is this high-souled and1 high-minded patriot who has spoken this afternoon in order to make a little political capital? If the 'hon. gentleman seeks to know what is the matter with the Intercolonial, one of the difficulties it suffers from to-day is that there is no . appreciation on the part of members of Parliament and others throughout the territory which it covers of the enormous difficulties it has had to overcome in the matter of handling the business of the country during the last eighteen months. How many hon. members have visited Halifax and seen the freight handled by the Intercolonial there? How many have seen what that road has done in relation to traffic handled since the war broke out? Let them ask the representatives of the British transport system what they think of it.' I prefer their judgment to that of the hon. member for St. John who, for a little cheap clap-trap political capital, has spoken in this House today-and he is not one of those who do not know. He has eyes, but he sees not, and ears but he hears not, lest seeing or hearing he might he converted by the truth. We listened this afternoon to the speech of that hon. gentleman condemning the service and in that calm . way of his talking of wrecks-he did not talk of wars, but of wrecks; he did not talk of the sawdust wharves of by-gone days, but he said there was bad track. It was not the Leary wharf, but bad track. When I hear an hon. gentleman of the years, experience, training, and knowledge of the hon. member for St. John, in a deliberative assembly like the House of Commons of Canada, condemn a railway because there is a wreck, I know that one of two things has happened: either he has a false perspective or he is lacking in the essential elements of patriotism to his country. It is either one of the two things. In this case it is both. With a lack of perspective that is not what I would expect of him in the days that I knew him, he speaks of wrecks as indicating negligence on the part of the Minister of Railways. The Pennsylvania railroad lost in killed and injured 55 passengers the other day, the first they have lost for many years, although they have steel equipment, 90 pound rails and the finest locomotives in the world, because in the last analysis you have to depend upon the human equation, and humanity is frail; it

may fail in relation to up-keep or to the handling of the locomotive; it may fail in any way. Appliances may fail. Therefore, a man, who, for the sake of cheap political capital, will endeavour to make the people believe, especially in the middle of a great war, that he is speaking in their behalf when he criticises the operations of a railway which has handled hundreds of thousands of his fellow Canadians without the loss of one, and millions of tons of freight for the Allies, is unworthy the name of a Canadian ex-minister of the Crown. He says that the public service has failed. If there has been a lessening of the public service, why should there not be? If the Canadian Pacific, the Grand Trunk and the Canadian Northern are ordered by Sir Henry Drayton to cut down their service, why should the general manager of the Intercolonial not cut down his service. Speaking for my constituents, I voice their .protest with my own when I say that we object to pay unnecessary deficits to keep up the .service on the Intercolonial in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. The hon. member is criticising the service because it may influence a small vote in some suburban neighbourhood round about the city of St. John, and the voters may think, how great and glorious is my hon. friend. That is false perspective and false patriotism.

One word more and I shall have concluded. The hon. member for Pictou (Mr. Macdonald) was interested in a family quarrel, as he called it. He was more interested in the house of Stanfield than in the house of George, and he was much more interested in the change in the fortunes of the house of Stanfield than he was in the administration of a great public utility. As one hon. gentleman beside me says, he was much more interested in the unshrinkables than in the dye-hards. I do not know just what that means. Now I put it to my hon. friend, who after all is a fair-minded Scotchman-some of my hon. friends doubt whether he is fair-minded, but I can assure them that beneath that somewhat rough exterior there beats a very kindly heart; he can be fair-minded although he does not always show it. I should like to ask my hon. friend from Pictou if he does not believe that the Intercolonial during the last twenty-four months has discharged very great public duties in a manner of which any Canadian might well be proud?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT RAILWAYS-PROMOTION OF EMPLOYEES.
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LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD:

I know a great deal more about the Intercolonial than my hon.

friend does, for he has only travelled over it once or twice, and I would say in all seriousness that the Intercolonial has absolutely failed to perform its national duty in this the greatest crisis in our history.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT RAILWAYS-PROMOTION OF EMPLOYEES.
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. B. BENNETT:

And the hon.

gentleman beside him (Mr. Pugsley) applauds. It fills him with great glee to think that a public utility operated by this Government is not discharging its duty. He rejoices in it. Let me ask my hon. friend from Pictou what he has done for the Intercolonial? What word of encouragement has he spoken to the men toiling eighteen hours a day to make it successful? What word of comfort has he

offered to the general manager whom he has vilified and slandered to-night? What effort has he made in the public weal to make the Intercolonial a greater national asset than it has been? That is the question. What constructive

suggestions have we heard from him this evening? We have heard a long tirade of criticism and violent denunciation of the nationalities of the men charged with high responsibilities, but we have not heard a word of constructive suggestion; or of help or comfort for those who have toiled in season and out of season to enable the road to carry 300,000 of our fellow-citizens to the sea.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT RAILWAYS-PROMOTION OF EMPLOYEES.
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LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD:

My hon. friend will find that in the session of 1915-1916, standing in my place in Parliament, I called the attention of the railway officials to the extra duty that would be imposed upon them in connection with the war, and pleaded with them to provide in advance the necessary equipment to meet the conditions; but they absolutely failed to do so.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT RAILWAYS-PROMOTION OF EMPLOYEES.
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. B. BENNETT:

The equipment was ordered. But a single track railway cannot do the impossible, and you cannot doubletrack the Intercolonial railway in war time. But if we had had the rails and the money that have been uselessly sunk between Quebec and Moncton on the National Transcontinental-

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT RAILWAYS-PROMOTION OF EMPLOYEES.
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LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

Will my hon. friend allow me to ask him a question? Does he deny what I state as a fact, that a very large proportion of the traffic properly belonging to the Intercolonial has been carried over the Transcontinental between Moncton and Quebec?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT RAILWAYS-PROMOTION OF EMPLOYEES.
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. B. BENNETT:

The hon. gentleman states it as a fact, and his statement of a

fact is always entitled to the consideration it deserves.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
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LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

The Minister of Railways also knows it to be a fact.

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Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT RAILWAYS-PROMOTION OF EMPLOYEES.
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. B. BENNETT:

That.will make a difference, but he has not so told me.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT RAILWAYS-PROMOTION OF EMPLOYEES.
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LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

Is this a double-track road between those points?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT RAILWAYS-PROMOTION OF EMPLOYEES.
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. B. BENNETT:

I wish it were a double-track road, because a double-track road means that traffic going in one direction travels on one line, and traffic in the other direction on the other.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT RAILWAYS-PROMOTION OF EMPLOYEES.
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April 25, 1917