October 23, 1919

L LIB

Samuel William Jacobs

Laurier Liberal

Mr. JACOBS:

What about Mr. Lash?

Topic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY SYSTEM.
Subtopic:   BILL, PROVIDING FOR THE ACQUISITION OF THE SYSTEM BY THE GOVERNMENT.
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UNION

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs and Inland Revenue; Minister of Railways and Canals)

Unionist

Mr. REID:

Mr. Lash is a solicitor like the hon. member himself and is glad to earn any money he can in the shape of solicitor's fees.

Topic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY SYSTEM.
Subtopic:   BILL, PROVIDING FOR THE ACQUISITION OF THE SYSTEM BY THE GOVERNMENT.
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L LIB

Samuel William Jacobs

Laurier Liberal

Mr. JACOBS:

I should like to know-

Topic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY SYSTEM.
Subtopic:   BILL, PROVIDING FOR THE ACQUISITION OF THE SYSTEM BY THE GOVERNMENT.
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Order, order.

Topic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY SYSTEM.
Subtopic:   BILL, PROVIDING FOR THE ACQUISITION OF THE SYSTEM BY THE GOVERNMENT.
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L LIB

Samuel William Jacobs

Laurier Liberal

Mr. JACOBS:

May I ask my hon. friend a question?

Topic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY SYSTEM.
Subtopic:   BILL, PROVIDING FOR THE ACQUISITION OF THE SYSTEM BY THE GOVERNMENT.
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UNION

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs and Inland Revenue; Minister of Railways and Canals)

Unionist

Mr. J. D. REID:

Yes.

Topic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY SYSTEM.
Subtopic:   BILL, PROVIDING FOR THE ACQUISITION OF THE SYSTEM BY THE GOVERNMENT.
Permalink
?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Order, order.

Topic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY SYSTEM.
Subtopic:   BILL, PROVIDING FOR THE ACQUISITION OF THE SYSTEM BY THE GOVERNMENT.
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UNION

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs and Inland Revenue; Minister of Railways and Canals)

Unionist

Mr. J. D. REID:

The hon. gentleman may put his question.

Topic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY SYSTEM.
Subtopic:   BILL, PROVIDING FOR THE ACQUISITION OF THE SYSTEM BY THE GOVERNMENT.
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L LIB

Samuel William Jacobs

Laurier Liberal

Mr. JACOBS:

I should like to know from the minister if Mr. Lash is advising the Government in this transaction?

Topic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY SYSTEM.
Subtopic:   BILL, PROVIDING FOR THE ACQUISITION OF THE SYSTEM BY THE GOVERNMENT.
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UNION

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs and Inland Revenue; Minister of Railways and Canals)

Unionist

Mr. J. D. REID:

Mr. Lash is one of the best railway lawyers in Canada, and is as respectable and honourable a man as the hon. member himself. His word is as good and his honour as unsullied as the hon. gentleman's, and he is advising the Government on this question.

Topic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY SYSTEM.
Subtopic:   BILL, PROVIDING FOR THE ACQUISITION OF THE SYSTEM BY THE GOVERNMENT.
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L LIB

Samuel William Jacobs

Laurier Liberal

Mr. JACOBS:

I asked the question merely to secure information, and not with any intention of reflection on that gentleman's honour.

Topic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY SYSTEM.
Subtopic:   BILL, PROVIDING FOR THE ACQUISITION OF THE SYSTEM BY THE GOVERNMENT.
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UNION

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs and Inland Revenue; Minister of Railways and Canals)

Unionist

Mr. J. D. REID:

Topic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY SYSTEM.
Subtopic:   BILL, PROVIDING FOR THE ACQUISITION OF THE SYSTEM BY THE GOVERNMENT.
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L LIB

Daniel Duncan McKenzie

Laurier Liberal

Mr. D. D. McKENZIE:

We did not manage their road; it was their own management.

Topic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY SYSTEM.
Subtopic:   BILL, PROVIDING FOR THE ACQUISITION OF THE SYSTEM BY THE GOVERNMENT.
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UNION

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs and Inland Revenue; Minister of Railways and Canals)

Unionist

Mr. J. D. REID:

The old Grand Trunk Railway system has not been managed, probably, as well as it would have been if it had been under a Canadian directorate, but even with the management over in England the hon. member knows that the Grand Trunk railway was always able to pay the interest on the debenture stock, amounting to $7,000,000, the interest on the guaranteed stock, and $1,100,000 on the stock to be arbitrated. So even under what my hon. friend terms the bad management of the Grand Trunk it was able to earn those dividends. The only difference between my hon. friend and me, Mr. Speaker, is this.

I say the Grand Trunk people were deceived when they were assured that it would only cost $13,000,000 to build the Grand Trunk Pacific; that is where the bad management came in, and not in the operation of the railroad. If we will just separate the Grand Trunk Pacific from the old Grand Trunk, the latter will not only pay the interest on all of these stocks that I have mentioned and which are the subject of the proposed arbitration, but it will earn a surplus in the future as in the past. In taking the Grand Trunk over, the liability that the hon. member for Cape Breton mentions of some $10,000,000 or $11,000,000 on the capital will be no liability, because that interest was earned in the past and will be earned in the future, and by transferring Grand Trunk traffic to our Canadian Government Railway system and our western traffic to the Grand Trunk we shall effect a saving in operating cost which, I believe, in the next five or six years, as was stated by some hon. member this a-

ternoon, will enable our Government railway system to make both ends meet.

I want to mention once more the Halifax and St. John situation. The hon. member for Cape Breton, more-I believe for political reasons than by way of argument, tried to emphasize the fact that we have spent millions of dollars on Halifax and millions of dollars on St. John, and that all this vast expenditure will be worthless, for we are now going to build up Portland. That is the effect of the hon. gentleman's statements. Let me repeat again, Mr. Speaker, that so far as Halifax is concerned, it was put in the position by the Government of that day that it got no benefit in any way from that traffic agreement with the Grand Trunk railway. By taking the Grand Trunk over we are in a position to give more business than we ever did to Halifax, to operate a fast Atlantic service in connection with Halifax, and to take people to any part of Canada-to Quebec, Ontario or the West, on lines owned, operated and controlled by the people of this country. That is the position we are putting Halifax in. So far as St. John is concerned, the hon. member knows that we have within the last month or two -I cannot remember the exact date-made a connection with the Transcontinental from McGivney Junction into St. John, and we are in a position to carry traffic from Ontario or any other part of Canada right into the city on an equal basis with the Canadian Pacific Railway.

The hon. member and other hon. gentlemen on his side of the House have emphasized the fact that the old Intercolonial has not paid in the past. And by the way, when the hon. member from Cape Breton urged so strongly that we should keep to private ownership, I noticed he did not say to the Government, "Sell the Intercolonial. We are tired of public ownership." He would be the last man to say that, for if he ventured to voice such an opinion he would never be re-elected. But, Mr. Speaker, we have been handicapped in the past by having the Intercolonial railway carrying traffic from Montreal to Halifax on the same basis as from Montreal to Portland, the reason being that the Grand Trunk railway and the Canadian Pacific railway squeezed the Intercolonial into this position : They said, " We can carry freight from Montreal to Portland for so much per mile, and we will give you only the same amount for carrying it from Montreal to Halifax as we would earn to Portland." Now, if a carload of freight starts from [Mr. J. D. Reid.l

Edmonton and goes to Halifax or St. John, the Intercolonial will get its due share of its earnings, in other words, pro rata rates, and it will show a profit probably instead of a deficit.

So far as the Intercolonial is concerned I want to take issue with the hon. member for Cape Breton. He insinuated that the Intercolonial was not run on a basis similar to that of a privately owned road. I want to say that, so far as I can see not only while I have been Minister of Railways, but under my predecessor's regime at least, and I believe still farther back, the Intercolonial has been operated by men who are as good railway men as any on the Canadian Pacific railway or any other railways in Canada, and I want to say that about the Intercolonial railway employees also. _

I say that it is managed as economically and that it is as free from political interference as is the Canadian Pacific railway. There is no doubt about that in my mind.

Topic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY SYSTEM.
Subtopic:   BILL, PROVIDING FOR THE ACQUISITION OF THE SYSTEM BY THE GOVERNMENT.
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L LIB

Daniel Duncan McKenzie

Laurier Liberal

Mr. McKENZIE:

Why didn't you make any money, then?

Topic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY SYSTEM.
Subtopic:   BILL, PROVIDING FOR THE ACQUISITION OF THE SYSTEM BY THE GOVERNMENT.
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UNION

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs and Inland Revenue; Minister of Railways and Canals)

Unionist

Mr. J. D. REID:

I have just explained the reason why; it is pretty hard to get the hon. member to understand anything. I am having the same trouble that the Minister of the Interior (Mr. Meighen) had the other day. He tried in every way to put the hon. member right, but he did not succeed; and when the Minister of the Interior failed in that respect I could hardly succeed.

The leader of the Opposition (Mr. King) came into this House and joined with other hon. members opposite in the complaint that we have brought this Bill in at the end of the session. A few days ago the member for North Cape Breton and Victoria (Mr. McKenzie) pointed out that at a certain stage in the session the Acting Prime Minister (Sir George Foster) had intimated that * we hoped to prorogue at the end of that week or during the following week. Because the Acting Prime Minister said that the hon. member for North Cape Breton said:

" Mr. Speaker, we want to go home; surely you are not going to ask us to sit here another week or two weeks to pass this Bill. We want to go home, no matter what happens; the country and the railways can go to the mischief; please let us go home and do not proceed with this Bill." And the leader of the1 Opposition himself, on the first day that he takes his seat in the House and in his first speech, says to the Government : " I have sat in the House only one day, but we want to go home. It will be

awful if I have to sit here any longer; please let me go home." That was the position of the leader of the Opposition. That hon. gentleman has been here in Ottawa; he knew what was going on, and as he did not have to concern his mind with legislation he had ample opportunity to evolve some policy which he could bring before, the House and say: " There is the policy that I want the people of this country to adopt in connection with the operation of railways." But instead of that, Mr. Speaker, his only policy is this: " Please let us go home; we have been here too long."

There are several other matters that I would like to touch upon, but I have; already spoken much longer than I had intended to speak. But may I point out this in closing: In his first speech to-day the leader of the Opposition made, so far as I can remqmber, only two points. First, he tried to convince hon. members and the people of the country that even though we got all the stock of the Grand Trunk; even though we got the control, management and operation of the road; even though we got complete possession of it and were in a position to sell it or dispose of any portion of it, take up rails or anything we liked, we were really not getting ownership of the road. Second, " Please let us go home." Having answered those two points, I do not feel that I need take up the time of the House in discussing any other points in connection with this proposal. It has been very hard to make the leader of the Opposition and the member for North Gape Breton and Victoria understand anything in connection with this railway other than my reply to the two points which I have mentioned; I think, therefore, that I will now resume my seat.

Mr. 8. W. JACOBS (George Etienne Cartier) : I wish to congratulate the Minister of Railways (Mr. J. D. Reid) upon the lung power which he has shown. After the Tittle trouble that occurred on Monday night in his electoral division, I did not expect him to have such recuperative powers.

Topic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY SYSTEM.
Subtopic:   BILL, PROVIDING FOR THE ACQUISITION OF THE SYSTEM BY THE GOVERNMENT.
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UNION

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs and Inland Revenue; Minister of Railways and Canals)

Unionist

Mr. J. D. REID:

We won in my county; that is the only county I was in, and we won.

Topic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY SYSTEM.
Subtopic:   BILL, PROVIDING FOR THE ACQUISITION OF THE SYSTEM BY THE GOVERNMENT.
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L LIB

Samuel William Jacobs

Laurier Liberal

Mr. JACOBS:

I can now understand why it was that my hon. friend's candidate won; the hon. gentleman has a reputation for winning wherever he goes. In addition to demonstrating his lung power, the minister has shown a woeful want of accuracy in some of the statements which he has made this evening. Of course, these statements

were made for a certain purpose and it seemed to delight the gentlemen on this side of the House, or at least a certain number of them; for I noticed that some of his remarks did not seem to meet with the approval of the erstwhile Liberals who now sit on his side at whose door he wishes to lay the responsibility for the railway complications which we have to deal with to-day. The applause seemed to come from the oldtime Tories, who can understand the hon. gentleman's style of oratory and appreciate it, perhaps more than we can.

The minister made some most astonishing statements in regard to imported matters, which I think ought not to be allowed to go unchallenged. But before I go into that I should like to say a word or two with regard to the anger which he exhibited at the very mention of the name of Mr. Z. A. Lash. Mr. Lash is a gentleman for whom I have great admiration. ,He is a practising member of the Bar in very high standing; he is widely known as one of the most astute lawyers of this country. I asked the minister whether Mr. Z. A. Lash had been consulted with regard to this Bill and his answer was that Mr. Lash was a respectable attorney and that if he had been consulted, he, the minister, could not see that very much damage had been done. Well, perhaps the minister will permit me to read a word or two from a standard work " The Railway Builders of Canada" by Professor Skelton of Queen's university; and in doing so I am not going to make any reference which will impugn the characterof Mr. Lash. This is what I wish the hon. gentleman to hear and inwardly digest. It is at page 184 of this work, speaking about Mackenzie & Mann:

William Mackenzie had also carried through much work for this company. In 1886 the notable partnership of Mackenzie and Mann was formed. The firm built the Calgary and Edmonton, the Qu'Appelle, Long Lake and Saskatchewan, the Canadian Pacific short line through Maine, and many minor railways. They developed capacities which made each the complement of the other-Mackenzie, a master of finance, and Mann as successful in extracting a subsidy from a politician as in driving ahlad the work of construction. Later Z. A. Lash, a * shrewd and experienced corporation lawyer, joined them, and the three, with able lieutenants, carried through their ambitious plans without more than momentary pause, until within sight of the goal.

Topic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY SYSTEM.
Subtopic:   BILL, PROVIDING FOR THE ACQUISITION OF THE SYSTEM BY THE GOVERNMENT.
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UNION

Francis Ramsey Lalor

Unionist

Mr. LALOR:

What is wrong about that?

Topic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY SYSTEM.
Subtopic:   BILL, PROVIDING FOR THE ACQUISITION OF THE SYSTEM BY THE GOVERNMENT.
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L LIB

Samuel William Jacobs

Laurier Liberal

Mr. JACOBS:

That is why I ask the hon. gentleman whether Mr. Zebulon A. Lash had been consulted in connection with that deal, and I gather from the reply that he had been consulted and that he

has been in consultation with the Government ever since.

Topic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY SYSTEM.
Subtopic:   BILL, PROVIDING FOR THE ACQUISITION OF THE SYSTEM BY THE GOVERNMENT.
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October 23, 1919