We get into a far better position, and therefore there is all the more reason for accepting it, and it would be all the more disgraceful if we retired from it. Because it is better for us is surely not a reason why we should retire from it. Would the leader of the Opposition (Mr. McKenzie) have us say to the Grand Trunk: We made you an offer in the month of July, 1918; we let it stand open until now; now you come forward and accept it and give us a little better terms. If you had accepted it before, we would have taken it, but as you did not accept it before, and now that you give us a little better terms, we will not accept it. [DOT]
It is, unless they know that we are keeping it open, and they knew it by the negotiations. The hon. gentleman knew that, and I will tell him why. In the speech of the Minister of Finance of that day, he made it clear that the position of the Government at that time was
represented in the letter of July 11, and ithat was months .afterwards. Therefore, the hon. gentleman knew that the offer was open.
Now that that point is settled, will the minister allow me to revert to my question of a moment ago, in answer to which he said: We are not going to transfer any of the stock that the Government is going to acquire. Did I understand him to say that?
That the value, if any, of the first, second and third preference stocks and the common or ordinary stock of the Grand Trunk now issued and outstanding to the face values above mentioned (hereafter together called the "preference and common stock"), shall be determined by a board of three arbitrators, one to be appointed by the Government, one by the Grand Trunk, and the third by the two so appointed, or, failing agreement, by judges to be designated in the said agreement. No guaranteed stock, to an amount not exceeding the value, if any, so determined, carrying a dividend as hereinbefore authorized shall be distributed among the holders of the preference and common stock, upon the transfer to or vesting in the Government of such stock, in proportions which shall be determined by the arbitrators.
Then by a subsequent clause the Government may call in at par, after thirty years and1 upon six months' notice, any of the stock it desires. 'The purpose of the Government in taking over this stock is simply to turn it into a new form of stock to be called the new guaranteed stock, which the Government intends to guarantee and1 then transfer it to the holders of the common, first, second and1 third preference stocks.