April 4, 1918

L LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux

Laurier Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX:

Come back and take your old seat, and you can hear.

Topic:   DOMINION BUREAU OF STATISTICS.
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L LIB

Jacques Bureau

Laurier Liberal

Mr. BUREAU:

Before the resolution is adopted, I should like to know from the minister what the purpose of the establish-

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ment of this Bureau is. A lot of enumerations are contained in the resolution. There is one item which states that in this Bureau the statistics for the census will be taken. I thought there was a branch in the Department of Agriculture charged with the duty of collecting statistics regarding the census of Canada. Every now and then we receive a leaflet purporting to be statistics covered by this particular branch of the Department of Agriculture. This resolution also provides for the compilation and publication of statistical information relative to the commercial, industrial, social, economic and general activities and condition of the people. With reference to the first item, I thought the minister had a bureau or branch in his department, the special purpose of which was to collect statistics of commercial data. I know that we receive from time to time very interesting reports from the Department of Trade and Commerce, explaining the conditions of trade in various countries where the minister has representatives, who seem to report assiduously, and this information is conveyed to the people of Canada through those leaflets which were received monthly or bimonthly, I could not tell you which. I was under the impression, as far as the industrial statistics are concerned, that the Department of Labour had statisticians, whose duty it was to collect all these statistics relating to the industrial condition of the country, to the condition of the labouring classes, to the amount of work that is being performed, and the prices of various commodities, etc. Is the object of the minister to have in his department, and under his control, a Bureau of Statistics wherein all statistics which are now being gathered by the other departments, or by the various branches which are under the control of the other departments, would be collected, and is it the intention to have the whole thing merged into this department, and have a Bureau of Statistics wherein statistics of all kinds, whether relating to our foreign trade, or to our industrial, social, or general activities, would be collected? Perhaps it will not be necessary to deal with our social conditions, because the social columns of our newspapers will supply anybody who wants information along that line.

Topic:   DOMINION BUREAU OF STATISTICS.
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CON
L LIB

Jacques Bureau

Laurier Liberal

Mr. BUREAU:

It might be, but I do not know that I would support the Minister of Trade and Commerce with reference to that particular branch of the statistical bureau.

I want to know whether all the other static tical branches in the various departments will he abolished or merged into this one great statistical department where information can toe had as to any branch of the service, or any statistics with reference to the condition of the country.

Topic:   DOMINION BUREAU OF STATISTICS.
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CON

George Green Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir GEORGE FOSTER:

The thing is not as formidable as it appears at first blush and on reading it on the Order Paper. It was a matter of douibt really as to whether it would be necessary to put a resolution on the Order Paper or not as a foundation for the Bill, tout as that was the course that was pursued when the present Act was introduced, it was thought better to follow the rule on this occasion. Consequently, the resolution was placed on the Order Paper to form the foundation for the introduction of a Bill. My hon. friend (Mr. Bureau) was right in most of the impressions he had with reference to what is being done, tout he was a little bit out in the allocation of the services which _ he enumerated to the different departments. What it is meant to do is to consolidate, and make some few amendments to, the law as it is at present upon the statute book and as it is administered in the Department of Trade and Commerce. The object of the consolidation and ratification of the legislation which is at present on the statute books to make the law more effective. It is designed, as it is provided now under the law, that there shall toe a central statistical board or office. It is proposed to call that the Dominion Bureau of Statistics as being a somewhat more apposite name for the work which is toeing carried on and as being in line with the nomenclature in other countries. The idea underlying the present law, and which will underlie these amendments, is that general economic statistics shall toe under the supervision of, and be issued by, the Dominion Bureau of Statistics. The different departments will, of course, Tetain their administrative, or record, statistics, or such statistics as are necessary for the administration of the department. There will be no change in that respect. Then, again, during the last three years-not to make the story long, 'because I propose to go a little more fully into it when I introduce the Bill,-a great deal has been done to coordinate the work in connection with the Dominion statistics tooth in the gathering, compilation and distribution, with the different provincial statistical departments. By conference and good will, an understanding has been reached with all of these along

certain lines, the idea being to do away with overlapping and to have a uniform basis upon which the information is gathered so that the statistics will have a comparative value and so that there will be no contradiction between them. We have suffered a great deal with respect to the prestige of our statistics by having different computations put forward toy different provinces and by the Dominion almost always arising from the fact that there has never been a uniform basis1 upon which the questions have been issued, on the answers to which the information is compiled. On the introduction of the Bill I shall ask the House to listen a little more at length to an exposition of the measure.

Topic:   DOMINION BUREAU OF STATISTICS.
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L LIB

Jacques Bureau

Laurier Liberal

Mr. BUREAU:

I would assume that in preparing the Bill and talking the matter over with the officials the details bad been very carefully considered. Will this relieve any of the other departments from any work now undertaken toy their statistical branches, or will it leave the other departments, and their statistical branches, in, the same position as they now occupy and with the same work as they now do?

Topic:   DOMINION BUREAU OF STATISTICS.
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CON

George Green Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir GEORGE FOSTER:

My hon. friend

will see that the resolution provides for the co-operation of the central statistical bureau with the departments and if it is found, as it has already be-eir found-and in some cases it is in operation-that the two can work in co-operation with each other and reach .a better result, that co-operation will take place. Provision is made for co-working between the different departments and the central statistical Bureau. The object is to confine the departments to record or administrative statistics ,and leave the field of general economic statistics to the central bureau.

Topic:   DOMINION BUREAU OF STATISTICS.
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L LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux

Laurier Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX:

Is there any provision for collecting data on labour?

Topic:   DOMINION BUREAU OF STATISTICS.
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CON

George Green Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir GEORGE FOSTER:

Yes, to a certain extent. Any central system of statistics must take in capital and wages, labour employed and so on; but the special statistics of labour are under the Labour Department and will remain untouched.

Topic:   DOMINION BUREAU OF STATISTICS.
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L LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Laurier Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

Why not under the same head?

Topic:   DOMINION BUREAU OF STATISTICS.
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CON
L LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Laurier Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

I thought I heard my right hon. friend a .moment ago, when we were in committee, declare that it was his intention to explain the Bill at some length.

Topic:   DOMINION BUREAU OF STATISTICS.
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CON

George Green Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir GEORGE FOSTER:

When I move for the second reading.

Motion agreed to and Bill read the first time.

Topic:   DOMINION BUREAU OF STATISTICS.
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THE VAN BUREN BRIDGE COMPANY.


On motion of Hon. Mr. Reid (Minister of Railways), the House again went into committee on Bill No. 14, to confirm an agreement between His Majesty the King and the Van Buren Bridge Company, Mr. Boivin in the Chair. On the schedule.


?

Joseph Enoil Michaud

Mr. MIIOHAUD:

Mr. Chairman, 1 had

a,n interview with the Miiuiister of Railways yesterday afternoon with reference to this Bill. He informed me that he was going to see the Bill through, and that I could put before the House all 'the objections possible; but he was bound to see it through. From hois remarks when this Bill was last before the committee I noticed that the [DOT]minister did not understand everything in reference to this matter. He .stated to me that we would have an interview and that, no . douibt, the matter would come out all right. As a minister of the Crown, the hon. gentleman seems to :me to be fair. minded, but I am sorry to say that he is a stubborn gentleman; and I am afraid that 'he feels himself obliged to see this Bill through the House. I am very sorry for the public that the Minister of Railways has taken this step, for, after all, we are here to protect the public interest, and the Minister of Railways should 'be the first man to set a good example.

I know the locality where it is proposed to change the site of the union station. The proposed station is altogether outside the town of St. Leonards, a distance of between a quarter and half a mile. We have had petitions and telegrams of protest read to the House. I have also received lettens from business men, and notwithstanding all these protests coming from the whole corporation of the town of St. Leonards, my hon. friend is still under the impression that this union station should be built on the Transcontinental railway. I had from the Minister of Railways yesterday

22i

afternoon promises that the welfare of the public will be looked after.

At the present time, the Transcontinental railway has one train going east and one train going west daily. The train going east passes through the town of St. Leonards at twelve o'clock midnight. The train going west passes through at three o'clock in the morning. The Intercolonial railway train arrives at St. Leonards at three o'clock in the afternoon. The Canadian Pacific railway runs an express reaching St. Leonards at five o'clock in the afternoon, accommodating the public by running a train during the day. Now, if the location of the station is changed, I am sorry to say that the public will be forced to travel from the union station on the Transcontinental railway about half a mile to take the train at the Canadian Pacific railway station, You will not stop the public from travelling over the Canadian Paoific railway.

The day before yesterday I Tead a telegram in the Hous^in reference to the protest of the people of St. Leonards regarding this Bill. I also stated in the House that the people of St. Leonards were strongly against the proposal contained in this Bill unless the terminus of the Intercolonial railway should remain where it is at present. The ex-Minister of Railways, Hon. Mr. Cochrane, promised the people of St. Leonards^ that no change should he made, and I am sorry to see that the present Minister of Railways does not see eye to eye with his predecessor. I, therefore, Mr. Chairman, protest most energetically against the passing of this Bill, and I want to request the Minister of Railways, if he will be kind enough to listen to me, that [DOT]before he commences to move that station from the International railway to the National Transcontinental railway, he come himself to the town of St. Leonards and visit the site where he proposes to build the new station. I am sure of one thing from the good judgment of my hon. friend, that after seeing the proposed site, he will in common with the residents of St. Leonards, be opposed to the site of the new station.

Topic:   THE VAN BUREN BRIDGE COMPANY.
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L LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Laurier Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

Hear, hear.

Topic:   THE VAN BUREN BRIDGE COMPANY.
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L LIB

Pius Michaud

Laurier Liberal

Mr. MICHAUD:

There is a great deal

of territory that my hon. friend has not yet covered as Minister of Railways, and this is a part of the country where he has not the least idea of local conditions. Before passing this Act, or before moving the present station from the International railway .to the Transcontinental railway, I would ask the minister to come when the

session is over and see for himself and thereby convince himself that he is wrong and that I am right.

Topic:   THE VAN BUREN BRIDGE COMPANY.
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UNION

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Unionist

Hon. J. D. REID:

Mr. Chairman, when this Bill was before the committee a few evenings ago, my hon. friend Stated that he understood that the charter given by this House for this piece of railway had a clause in it that the station would not be moved from where it is at the present time. The hon. member (Mr. Michaud) and I have discussed that point, and we have found the objection was not well founded. The situation as it has been laid before us by the officials of the Government railway system is this: the Government operates the Transcontinental railway between Levis and Moncton, which runs through the town of St. Leonards and has a station there. After the Transcontinental railway had been completed the Government purchased what is known as the International railway, running from a point on the Intercolonial line to St. Leonards, a distance of one hundred and twelve miles. The International railway had been in operation for some years and had its own terminal station. Since the purchase of that line the Government has had to maintain two stations in the town of St. Leonards, although it is the owner of both railways. But there was no connection between the International and the Transcontinental railway systems. Therefore, the traffic going over the International line, intended for the Transcontinental, has to be taken over this two miles of railway that we are leasing, and for which we have to pay the owners of the stretch in question, namely, the Bangor and Aroostook Company. The management of the Government railways discussed the matter with me, and we came to the conclusion that a connection should be made between the two railway systems. Negotiations were entered into, with the result that we are leasing the stretch of two miles, as has been shown in the agreement attached to the Bill. The objection raised by the hon. member (Mr. Michaud) is that if we carry out this agreement the Government, as the owner of both railways, will only use one station, that of St. Leonards, .and the International railway will run its trains into the station maintained for the Transcontinental. It must either do that, or else continue running to the station of the International railway. It would be impossible to use the latter station because the Transcontinental could not go around and over to it. Therefore,

as a matter of business, and in the interest of the country, it does not seem reasonable to my mind that we should continue to run the International trains over the two miles in .question to that station, and at the same time .maintain the statioft that has been used by the International railway. The hon. member states that if we do away with the station, as proposed, *people wishing to travel on the Canadian Pacific railway will have to go from the Transcontinental Railway station to that of the Canadian Pacific railway. If I understand the situation, and my facts have been gathered .from our officials, the International station as it now exists and the Canadian Pacific Railway station are very close together, and there is very little distance between them. The Transcontinental Railway station, from the information I have, is not far away, and at most passengers will have to travel but a few hundred feet. Why should the Government operate the International railway and keep up 4 p.m. that station in order that people may have to walk a few hundred feet less to travel on the Canadian Pacific railway? On the other hand, people travelling by the International railway who wish to take the Transcontinental railway have to walk a longer distance to reach the latter railway. The object in leasing this small *piece of line is, as I have stated: First, it is, in my opinion, an absolute necessity that we have a connection between the two railways in order to permit of the carriage of freight on our railways over the Transcontinental. Either we had to build two miles of line or else lease the needed section as we have done. Furthermore, in order to effect economy and save useless expenditure it is intended to only have one station for the two railways. The hon. member (Mr. Michaud) states that if I were to visit that portion o.f the country I would see the necessity of continuing the station which it is proposed to close. All I can say to my hon. friend is that I have gone into this matter very carefully. I believe it is in the interest of the public, and of the great railway systems concerned, that this connection should be made .between the International and the Transcontinental railway. In my opinion, the connection proposed here is the cheapest and best that could be made. Even if we were to build the two miles stretch instead of leasing it, it would still, in my opinion, only be necessary to have the one station. If this Bill passes we will secure the needed' connection and it will be of great advantage for freight

traffic, at all events. As far as making the one .station seryie for the two railway systems, that policy is correct, from the information in. imy possession, and I cannot hold out to the hon. gentleman 'any prospect of letting the two stations remain. When the opportunity of passing through that district is afforded me, if any evidence should toe presented that would justify the retention of the two stations, it will toe taken into consideration. In. the meantime, we are exceedingly anxious to have this connection at the earliest possible moment, even for freight traffic, and I hope the hon. gentleman will not further object to assisting us in facilitating the passage of the Bill for the reasons that I have mentioned.

Topic:   THE VAN BUREN BRIDGE COMPANY.
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L LIB

Pius Michaud

Laurier Liberal

Mr. MICHAUD:

I am sorry to say that I cannot assist the hon. gentleman in passing this Bill. Local public sentiment is opposed to it, as evidenced by the long adverse petition presented toy the citizens of St. Leonards. I know the conditions in that locality, and in view of all the circumstances,, I cannot concur in the minister's decision to close up the station in question. The minister has stated that the question involved is one of business for the Transcontinental railway. In my opinion, it is a matter of business for the people of that part of New Brunswick. When he states that there are only a few hundred feet to be covered between the two stations, I would like to say it is a distance of a quarter or half a mile.

Topic:   THE VAN BUREN BRIDGE COMPANY.
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April 4, 1918