November 3, 1919

GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY SYSTEM.


Consideration of the proposed motion of Hon. J. D. Reid (Minister of Railways) for the third reading of Bill No. 33, respecting the acquisition of the Grand Trunk Railway system, and the proposed amendment thereto of Mr. Fielding, resumed from Friday, October 31.


L LIB

Arthur Bliss Copp

Laurier Liberal

Mr. A. B. COPP (Westmorland):

Mr. Speaker, I concur in- the opinion expressed by the hon. member for London (Mr. Cronyn) on Friday evening, when he said that this measure had been so thoroughly discussed in committee and on the second reading that it was almost impossible to advance any new arguments or reasons for or against it.

Fully realizing this, I feel that I would not be doing justice to my constituents

whom I have the honour to represent, if I did not take up a few moments of the time of the House in discussing the measure that is now before us. I do so more because during the discussion of this measure so far, I was, along with a number of other members, unable to attend the sittings of this House, being engaged on the work of an important committee that was sitting while the House was in session. Otherwise, I might, during the progress of the Bill through committee, have had an opportunity of discussing it more or less, and in that ease I would not have to take up the time of the House on the motion for the third reading.

It has often been said that it is the duty of an Opposition to oppose. I do not quite concur in that statement; but I feel it is the duty of an Opposition, when a measure of great importance is being considered by Parliament, to endeavour to elicit all information possible from the Government who are standing sponsors for the Bill, not only in order to enable themselves to consider properly the advisability of the acceptance or non-acceptance of the measure, but to give through Parliament an opportunity to the people of the country, who are interested in all Parliamentary measures and particularly , in this one, to consider wisely and carefully, after all the information has been gleaned from all sources possible, whether or not the measure is in the best interest of the country. While, during the progress of this measure until it has reached this stage, wre have, by questioning in committee, received at least some information of importance to Parliament and the country, some of the information that we have received reminds me of what I once heard one brother attorney say of another. Some one remarked that a certain attorney had a great fund of information, and the reply was: "Yes, he has a great fund of inaccurate law." While, during the course of this debate, we have had a great deal of information, both accurate and inaccurate, there is some information which we have not yet received and which the people of this country are demanding. I would first ask the Government if they have sufficient and proper information upon which 'they can reasonably ask this Parliament to endorse this measure and to assume the obligations that will have to be assumed if we take over the Grand Trunk Railway system, to be operated in future under governmental control. If they have that information, have they given all the information they have to this Parliament? Have we on this side of the

[(Mr. Copp. ]

House, have hon. members on the other side of the House who are supporting the Government all the information in the possession of the Government so as to enable us to decide whether we will assume the responsibility of putting this measure through Parliament? I think we all agree that unless it is shown absolutely and conclusively by the Government who are pressing this measure through the House that it is for the general advantage of the people of Canada, it should not he proceeded with. The responsibility for bringing before us all the reasons and giving satisfactory evidence rests entirely upon the shoulders of the Government who are now forcing this measure through Parliament. That leads me to inquire what reasons have really been given by the Government for the course which they are pursuing and which will place upon the people of the Dominion of Canada this added financial burden and responsibility. Some reasons have been given, I am prepared to admit, and one of the first reasons came quite early in the discussion of this proposition when the resolution upon which this Bill is founded was in committee. The Minister of Railways (Mr. J. D. Reid), who introduced the resolution and the Bill and who must assume the responsibility of bringing this measure before Parliament and of seeing it through, stated that he purposed laying all the facts before Parliament and asking a complete investigation and a thorough examination and discussion of all its details, and he wanted to be very frank and in all candour to lay the facts before Parliament. At the very outset of his remarks he gave a reason why this measure should be proceeded with, and as he continued with his address on that occasion, he gave a reason that I believe is the real reason why this measure is being brought before this House at the present time. As he stood there, surrounded by the officials of his department and other members of the Government, he made a statement to which I wish to refer if I may, and to my mind that was the first reason that was in his mind and that he gave to Parliament why this measure was being introduced and why the Government sought to have it adopted at the present time. I do not purpose reading the whole of his remarks; but speaking of the different bond issues and the guaranteed stock of the Grand Trunk system, he wound up by saying:

Surely it is to the advantage of the shareholders and debenture holders in England to be able from this time on, without any worry or anxiety, to know they will receive annual

dividends they have enjoyed for so many years in the past.

He made that statement, and he was about to let the proverbial cat out of the bag; the string was untied. But some of his prompters on his side seized his coat tail, and he pulled the string again and the bag was tied. That, however, was the statement made by the minister and expressed the feeling in his mind. He had in mind, not the people of this Dominion whose guardians and trustees the Government are, but the shareholders and others who have money invested in bonds and stocks of the Grand Trunk Railway Company. Shortly after this, the hon. member for Shelburne and Queen's (Mr. Fielding) drew attention to the fact that, because of the action of the Government, the value of these stocks had been enhanced! in value on the London market at a probable cost to the people of this country of $25,000,000 to $30,000,000. When you come to consider and realize and figure that out, you will find that his statement was a very conservative one. What reply was made to -the remarks of my hon. friend? The hon. member for Red Deer (Mr. M. Clark), who is not in his seat at present, arose and said: Oh, what difference does it make, if it does cost $25,000,000 or $30,000,000 or even one hundred -and twenty millions, to the people of Canada; these bonds and stocks are held by the people of old England, and a number of them by widows and orphans of the old land?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY SYSTEM.
Sub-subtopic:   BILL PROVIDING FOR THE ACQUISITION OF THE SYSTEM BY THE GOVERNMENT.
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UNION

William Findlay Maclean

Unionist

Mr. W. F. MACLEAN:

Hear, hear.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY SYSTEM.
Sub-subtopic:   BILL PROVIDING FOR THE ACQUISITION OF THE SYSTEM BY THE GOVERNMENT.
Permalink
L LIB

Arthur Bliss Copp

Laurier Liberal

Mr. COPP:

My hon. friend from Red

Deer and my hon. friend (Mr. W. F. Maclean) who say " hear, hear,'' may dry their tears of compassion for the widows and orphans in England, for if an examination were made of the company's books we should find that the stocks and bonds which were held perhaps by widows and orphans in the old days have been sold on the market in the last few years owing to the stress of war, and have been snatched up at a low price by gamblers on the stock market *who are now unloading them on the Government. Have we no compassion for the widows and orphans of our own Canada? How many times during the war, and more particularly recently, have our widows and orphans and those who have been left dependent on account of the war been knocking at the doors of this Parliament for as* sistance? What has been the Government's reply to them? Nothing can be done, but the widows and orphans in Old England

must be given $120,000,000 to help them out of a difficulty, to use the language of my hon. friend from Red Deer.

Another reason in support of this legislation was given by the President of the Privy Council (Mr. Rowell). Referring again to Hansard, I find he used these words:

I say to my hon. friend that to suggest that we should liquidate the Grand Trunk Pacific and to ascertain, when it is liquidated, the amount of obligations, is to suggest that one of the crowning achievements of Sir Wilfrid Laurter's political career, as he always claimed, should he discredited and the railway sold on the market.

The thought came to my mind as I read that argument, that if by a miracle the stone could be rolled away from the tomb and the late Sir Wilfrid Laurier appear in the flesh he would be as much surprised as any hon. gentleman in this House at the President of the Privy Council trying in impassioned eloquence to perpetuate his memory and carry out the ideals he stood for in his lifetime. What would have been his views on this measure I cannot say, but during his lifetime, so far as I have been able to follow his career, he had but one aim both in business, in politics, and in his spiritual life, honesty and straightforwardness characterized him in all his business dealings. His whole political life was spent on behalf of the interests of the people of Canada, and in his spiritual life he followed the Light as he saw it. Therefore, I am inclined to think that if he were here to-day he would set himself four-square against this legislation, because I think he would see, as we see, that this Government is attempting to force through Parliament-legislation which is against the interests of the common people of the country.

Another reason why we should adopt this legislation was given by the Minister of Railways. I had not the opportunity of being present when he spoke, but I see by Hansard that he said- that the taking over of the Grand Trunk and incorporating it in the national system, of railways would be of advantage to the Intercolonial railway. Let us just examine that argument. If I understand the English language at all, it is the intention of the Government to form one great system of the Grand Trunk and its subsidiaries, together with the Grand Trunk Pacific, the Transcontinental and the Intercolonial. If that be so, of what-advantage will it- be to the people of Canada if the Intercolonial pays and the Grand Trunk does not pay, or whether any one unit of the system prospers at the

1G38

expense of the rest? It would simply be taking money out of one pocket and putting it in another. So the long and laboured argument of the Minister of Railways made the other evening on that point is without any foundation whatever. He also said that at present the Intercolonial is forced in winter to carry western Canadian traffic to the ocean ports of Halifax and St. John at a loss, because otherwise the Grand Trunk would carry that same freight to Portland at a lower rate. Now what must happen when the Government owns and operates the Grand ' Trunk? It will mean that freight from the West for the seaboard will be carried to Portland instead of to Halifax and St. John. What becomes, then, of the Government's boasted loyalty to the ports of Halifax and St. John, when freight that might have gone to those ports is diverted to Portland in the interests of the National Railway system? The freight will naturally take the shortest route, and will go to a foreign port in the winter instead of to St. John or Halifax.

Still another reason was given why we should take over the Grand Trunk. We were told that the credit of the Dominion would be adversely affected if the Grand Trunk was forced into liquidation. In reiply to that, I can only repeat what I said a few moments ago in regard to stocks and bonds held in England. Surely it is not necessary for the people of Canada to load themselves down with the liability the taking over of the Grand Trunk will involve, simply for the sake of maintaining the credit of Canada in the eyes of financial men in England. There might be some reason in that argument if the taking over of that road did not involve such huge liabilities, but those liabilities do not stop at a few hundred thousand dollars but run up into the hundreds of millions of dollars. In spite of that, the Government asks us to take over the Grand Trunk to maintain the credit of the Dominion in the eyes of the Mother Country.

Another reason given was that if we did not take over the Grand Trunk another great railway corporation in this country would take it over.

Much has been said in the course of this debate concerning the attitude of the Canadian Pacific railway. I do not think, Mr. Speaker, that it is necessary for me to affirm that I hold no brief whatever for the Canadian Pacific Railway Company. I know nothing about their intentions or beliefs, but I am constrained to say that while the Grand Trunk Railway system has been in financial difficulties for some years, until

now I have heard nothing of any attempt on the part of the Canadian Pacific railway to open negotiations with a view to securing control of that system. We have some evidence in support of this assertion. I grant you it is not absolutely unquestionable evidence, because we are all doubting Thomases to a certain extent and cannot always credit everything we hear and read. But we have the very direct and emphatic statement made, by the president of the Canadian Pacific railway a few nights ago in Montreal, when he was speaking in furtherance of the Victory Loan campaign. He informed the people of this country that the great Canadian Pacific railway had never contemplated or considered the possibility of attempting to acquire the Grand Trunk, which wrnuld be of no advantage to the system of which he was the president. Indeed, Mr. Speaker, knowing what little I do of that great corporation and the officers who direct its affairs, I should be inclined to think that they would rather do as they are doing now, namely, buying Victory Bonds at five and a half per cent interest from the Government and taking the securities of the Dominion of Canada and loaning the money to the Government to carry on this railway enterprise that they are putting through this House to-day. The manage'-ment of that great concern realize that it is far better for them, from the money-making standpoint, to operate their road in competition with the world, and when they make their money to hand it over to the Government and take Canada's securities bearing interest at five and a half per cent. I think, Sir, that my hon. friends opposite are merely putting up straw men and knocking them down with considerable ado when they attempt to introduce the Canadian Pacific railway into the discussion of this subject, and to express altogether unwarranted fears . that that great corporation will take over the Grand Trunk to the detriment of the country. The question whether or not the Canadian Pacific Railway Company requires this road is one that does not in the least perturb me, and I do not believe that the people of the country have any fear that they would attempt to acquire it. The only tangible and serious reason that the Government have advanced for taking over the road is that of necessity. They say that it is essential to acquire the road in order to complete their transcontinental sytem so that the system may be of the highest advantage to the people. I do not know just all the connections the Grand Trunk Rail-

way system has, nor have I any precise knowledge as to what advantage will accrue to the Transeoptinental system as a whole by reason of this undertaking. To be perfectly fair, however, I must admit that if any substantial benefit can be proved there is some argument in defence of the acquisition of the road. But we must consider all the surrounding facts in connection with the whole matter. The Grand Trunk Railway Company in 1903 entered into an arrangement with the Government of that day for the building of the Transcontinental railway divided into two parts -one was the Grand Trunk Pacific from Winnipeg West, and the other, the Transcontinental from Winnipeg East, having its terminus at Moncton. They entered that contract after very careful consideration and with their eyes wide open, and they must have realized the extent of the obligation they were undertaking. This work was carried on till 1911 when present Government took office. Shortly after the completion of the roads the Grand Trunk Railway Company at once threw up their hands and said they could not operate them. Now, if the Grand Trunk, with its experience of fifty or sixty years of railway operation in Canada, found themselves, with the Grand Trunk Pacific in the West and the Transcontinental in the East, unable to operate their system as a paying proposition, the question naturally forces itself upon us, how do the Government expect to take exactly the same lines and make them pay? If the Grand Trunk, with their wealth of railway experience, could not do it how will the Government do it? As a matter of fact, the company absolutely threw up the sponge and refused to attempt the operation of the road, and it strikes me that there is very flimsy ground for argument on the part of the Government that exactly the same railway system, with all its branches and terminals, which the (Grand Trunk found it utterly impossible to make a profitable enterprise, will be operated on a paying basis by the Government. Now, I submit, Mr. Speaker, that all the facts in connection with this proposition should be ascertained and made public, and before the country is pledged to this enormous undertaking it should be proved beyond the slightest possibility of doubt that the acquisition of the road will not only be a means of assisting the Grand Trunk Pacific and the Transcontinental but that it will help to put the entire Government system of railways on a paying basis, and that as a result no incubus will be placed on the shoulders of the Canadian

people. That is the only fair ground for the Government to take in attempting to acquire this road. The railways should be made to pay and not create a deficit year after year. I venture the assertion that if not all, at least a large number of- hon. gentlemen supporting this measure do not fully realize the liability that we are assuming. We on this side have sought for information. I do not know what private information the Government have vouchsafed their followers, but from what I can gather from Hansard no two statements byministers have been identical in regard to the liability we are undertaking at this juncture and until we have absolute knowledge in that respect and know that this legislation will not impose a financial burden upon the country, then I say that it behooves every hon. member to vote circumspectly and not be led blindly to support this measure merely because it has been introduced by the Government. Surely we ought to know exactly what our obligation will be. But instead of getting that 'information. my hon. friends opposite are brought blindly to the standard oi the Government and will support this Bill whether it is a proper solution of our railway difficulties or not.

The question has been asked: Why the

great haste? My hon. hon. friends opposite say there has been no haste, that this has been in the air for sometime; that the negotiations have been proceeding and that therefore there has been no haste. But that does not bear out the statement made by the hon. the President of the Privy Council (Mr. Rowell) the other night in reply to my hon. friend from Shelburne and Queen's (Mr. Fielding) when he said that the reason why they wanted to put this Bill through this session was that if it were delayed the people of the country would become aroused. Why? I grant you there are occasions when the people become aroused unnecessarily and if they had not become aroused unnecessarily in 1917 hon. gentlemen would have not been in power to-day to force this measure through Parliament and to impose on the people this awful burden. But after all it is pretty safe to trust the people and instead of rushing this measure through Parliament in such great haste it would be well to allow this matter to rest and to let the people have an opportunity of considering it and realizing what their responsibility is. It would be well for them to realize that we are placing upon their shoulders a larger obligation than the country had prior to 1914. We are placing upon the shoulders of the people an added

debt of anywhere from $600,000,000 to $700, 000,000. My hon. friends say: We do not want the people to understand the situation or they will become aroused and their attitude will be changed if we wait until another session of Parliament. The people would become aroused and their feelings would be reflected in the votes of their representatives. Necessarily the Government are afraid to have the people speak as they should speak on this question as well as on many other great questions that come before this Parliament.

I said a few minutes ago that I believed there was a very large percentage of hon. members supporting this measure who did not realize, or know, what the liability of the people will be under the measure which they say they are loyally supporting on this occasion. I tried my best here one evening to get a statement with regard to that liability from the Government. I interrogated the President of the Privy Council who at that time had charge of the measure in committee. After he had beclouded this issue hour after hour, telling us about the guaranteed bonds, the preferred stock, the common stock, the guaranteed stock apd all the other kinds of stocks, I said to him: "If you were going to draw your cheque to pay all the liabilities that Canada is assuming under this measure, what would that cheque amount to?" He said "I cannot tell." Then he referred to the amount of stock that was to be arbitrated upon. I said "Leaving out of consideration altogether the amount of stock that must be left to arbitration under this agreement, what will the liability amount to?" He said "Then, there is a question of the $60,000,000; I cannot tell exactly; it may he large, or it may he small." I said "Give as nearly as you can what the exact liability will be," and he gave it. I took down the statement of the liability as given to me and it will be found in Hansard. The total, as given by the President of the Privy Council, amounted to $527,931,074.32. Now that is outside altogether of the $180,000,000 which is the par value of the stock that is to he arbitrated upon. What the result of that arbitration will be I cannot tell and my hon. friend the President of the Privy Council naturally could not tell. But the whole liability taking the $180,000,000 at par will amount to $707,931,074. Therefore I feel that I am well within the mark when I say that this liability and obligation which we are laying upon the shoulders of the people will at least be between $600,000,000

and $700,000,000. Would the people of Canada, if they knew the facts, really support such a measure to place upon their shoulders an additional liability of between $600,000,000 and $700,000,000? I do not believe they would. Would they assume that debt for the satisfaction of enabling the Government to say "We own the greatest mileage of any railway corporation in the world?" They must realize that this enterprise has been a losing speculation from the very start. Before we undertake this new responsibility it is only fair that we should halt, consider and realize what it means to the country to place this additional burden upon the shoulders of the people.

The ex^Minister of Finance (Sir Thomas White), in the statement he made to this House when the resolution upon which this Bill was founded was in committee said: "We grant that this is a great liability but we must realize that it is only a marginal liability." That is a mere play upon words. The man in the street must understand it. Although this may be a marginal liability, it means that we must pay the interest for five years, now that the-Bill has been .amended, or in perpetuity on this whole amount. While it may be a marginal liability and we may never be called upon to pay more than the interest, (nevertheless the liability is there and the people must he responsible for the annual interest on this huge amount of money in addition to all other amounts to which we are obligated and eventually they must pay this amount out of the treasury of Canada to the Grand Trunk Railway system or whoever owns the stock and bonds when that payment is made. Our hon. friends say that they have based then-whole case, that they have drafted this Bill, are putting it through Parliament and are acquiring the Grand Trunk railway system, upon the recommendations contained in the Dxayton-Acworth report. If that is so, and if they are as particular in carrying out the terms of the report as they profess to be, immediately they secure control of the Grand Trunk they must expend $51,000,000 for betterments and improvements before the railway is in a position for successful operation. Let us look at that report for a moment. We will find1 on pages 33-34 a statement of the amount that must be expended for betterments and equipment and the commissioners wind up by saying:

Putting together revenue and capital expenditure, we find that the Grand Trunk railway, in

the opinion of its own officers, requires over $51,000,000 spent upon it to put it in a Position to meet the requirements of its to-day's business. We see no reason to expect that under existing conditions this neecssary money will be provided.

To put that road into a proper operating condition the Drayton-Ac-worth report s-ays that there must be an expenditure of $51,000,000

That at least is not a marginal liability; that money must be raised and taken out of the revenues of the Dominion and placed at once in betterments and improvements of that railway to bring it up- to the standard where it will make effective the very reasons given by the Government for taking the system over at the present time. Naturally, the next question one would ask is, what .are we getting for this liability we are assuming? In other words, what is the system really worth? There can be only one answer and that answer must be given in a straight businesslike way. The only straight businesslike way to find the worth of a railway is to take stock or an inventory of the physical assets of the road- the condition it is in and the state of the -cars, the engines, and all the equipment of that road; and upon a valuation of it find out what the assets of the road are worth. When that is ascertained, what is the next thing to do? What would any ordinary commonsense business man do if he wanted to purchase the Grand Trunk system? He would go with railway experts of recognized ability in whom he had confi-[DOT] dence and inquire into and put in black and white what the assets of this road were worth. Having done that, what would his next duty be? He would-if the company were indebted to him as they are indebted to the Dominion Government-take the company's liabilities, and everything on .which they must be responsible. He would then deduct those liabilities from the physical value of the enterprise and the balance would be the amount that was due to the Grand Trunk system. I tell hon. gentlemen opposite that has not been done, and until it is done you cannot get the proper value or the proper worth of this system. That is the only fair, reasonable and proper course to follow and that is what is suggested by the amendment of my hon. friend (Mr. Fielding). We must have this information, and we must get it in a reasonable way, before wq, as members of this House, can honestly cast our vote in support of a measure such as this. I contend we have not at present that information upon which we can base a proper opinion and acting

upon that opinion cast our votes intelligently in this matter.

Having pointed out to the House the financial burden this transaction means to Canada and to the people who have to pay the taxes and meet the interest on this obligation, I am naturally brought to the question of the present financial situation in Canada. Hon. gentlemen have a pretty good general knowledge of what this financial situation is; but the people of the country have not the same general knowledge. The financial standing and the debt of Canada, and the obligations this country has to meet have been discussed many times in this House and in the press, but it is only discussion after all. To-day, we are fortunately in a different position, and for the first time,, so far as I have been able to gather, we have an authoritative statement of Canada's financial situation made-not by a member of Parliament merely, not by any politician, not made by a Minister of Finance who politely glosses over some of the Government's shortcomings-but made

under oath as to what our financial burdens are at the present time. The Chairman of a Special Committee that has been sitting for the last four or five weeks thought it the proper thing, in reaching findings and coming to conclusions regarding the matter submitted to that committee, to have a financial statement presented and he called the ex-Finance Minister as a witness. That hon. gentleman came there and made his statement under oath. He told us that the gross debt'of the Dominion was far above $2,500,000,000. He estimated what the assets were and placed them against the gross debt and then told us that the net debt of the Dominion a few months ago was $1,950,000,000. He also told us that we were indebted to the banks to-day to the amount of $225,000,000 on short term notes; and that the sum of $300,000,000 expected to be derived from the Victory Loan, now being floated would be practically all used and would go to pay our present short term indebtedness to the Canadian banks. The ex-Minister of Finance went further: he told us that between now and the 31st

believe will be the case-on 31st March, 1921, to $2,750,000,000. Now, just as an illustration and a comparison, let us go back to the year 1914. Our net debt then was about $350,000,000 but it has since been increased to $2,400,000,000. Deducting the available assets it shows we have increased the public debt of Canada in six years by $400,000,000 per year, or over a million dollars per day. Yet hon. gentlemen opposite, and those who are responsible for this measure, lightly talk about assuming an added burden of $700,000,000 and treat it as lightly as though it were -only 700,000 cents. I may be over-pessimistic but I realize what this awful burden upon the people of Canada means, and I protest sincerely and in the strongest manner possible against this Parliament adding to the present financial obligations of the Dominion a further sum of seven or *eight hundred million dollars to satisfy a few gentlemen who are ambitious to unload their stock and obligations upon the people of this country in the interest of the English stock and bondholders of the Grand Trunk Railway Company.

I want to refer for a moment to the question of public ownership. A great deal has been said during the course of this debate about public ownership and private ownership. I gather from the remarks of hon. gentlemen opposite that they wish to place upon members of this side of the House the responsibility of being opposed to public ownership. Well, Sir, if the question of public ownership was involved in this issue I would be very glad to grapple with it and to take what I believed to be a proper stand upon it, just as I take what I believe to be a proper stand on the question now before the House. But there are two kinds of public ownership and of private ownership. There is a vast difference between the public ownership and operation of a tram line, an electric light plant or a telephone system in a city, town, village or municipality, and . the public ownership and operation of a transcontinental railway with twenty-two thousand miles of rails and thousands upon thousands of employees. I contend that the operation of railways by the Government has not proved successful. I regret to have to say that, Sir, because I have always been in favour of the operation of the Intercolonial railway as a government-owned system. At the time of Confederation it was promised to the people of the Maritime Provinces that we should have this railway and that it should be owned and operated by the Government in the interests of the people of

tMr. Copp ]

that part of the country. But I am bound to say that during all this time the Intercolonial railway has not been so operated as to make it a paying proposition. True, in some years there have been fairly large surpluses, bub if we follow the railway statistics from the beginning of the operation of the road down to the present day we shall find that there have been more deficits than surpluses; moreover, no interest has been paid on the original capital expenditure involved in the building of the road. Who is to blame for that? The evidence that we have in connection with the Intercolonial is against government ownership of the Grand Trunk. We have had fifty years' experience in the government operation of the Intercolonial, under both forms of Government, Liberal and Conservative-yes, and we have had it under a Union Government, and God knows that the conditions have been worse under that Government than they ever were. One man said to me: "It was bad enough when we had a Tory Government or a Grit Government, but when you get the worst of both together, the common people have a mighty poor show." This combination, made up of bon. gentlemen, who, in their modesty, term themselves the very best of both parties, has failed to make the Intercolonial a success, and if I may be allowed to venture a prediction, Sir, we shall find that in the years to come they will make a greater failure of the operation of the system that they are now taking over and amalgamating u ith the railroads at present under Government ownership to make a transcontinental system. I say that they will meet with greater failure and that greater disadvantage to the people of Canada will be involved than was the case in connection with the operation of the Intercolonial.

Much has been said by hon. gentlemen opposite as to the responsibility for the present railway situation. I believe that no session of the House has passed since I first became a member of it without somebody saying that the Liberal party was responsible for this railway tangle. That assertion has been put forward many times during the progress of this debate, in strong and emphatic language. I do not propose to take up the time of the House in any attempt to refute these statements, but if I may be allowed I would like to refer to some remarks made in this House by the exMinister of Finance (Sir Thomas White) when he discussed this question. I think that the ansvrer which he gave to this argument is much better than any I could give.

Speaking of Canada's railway systems, lie said, Hansard, page 1111:

In the first place, I think every one in this House would be disposed to agree with the general proposition that Canada has been seriously over-built with respect to transcontinental railways. That is abundantly evident in the duplication of extensive and expensive lines which have been constructed during the past fifteen or more years. One has only to consider the situation from Winnipeg west t# the Pacific coast, or for that matter, from Toronto to Montreal in which three lines parallel each other /or great distances, almost within a stone's throw of each other, to reach the conclusion without doubt or hesitation that there has been most serious duplication in the construction of Canada's transcontinental railway systems. It is idle to inquire what political party, if any, is responsible for that state of affairs. It is also idle to inquire what share of responsibility should be borne by political parties, and I have said in this House before that a share of the blame, if blame is to be imputed, rests upon both political parties in this country.

The ex-Minister of Finance, who recently parted company with these same gentlemen who denounce members on this side and attempt to place upon them the blame and the responsibility in connection with the present railway situation, says that it is idle to talk in that way, because both political parties are equally to blame, if blame there be in regard to the overbuilding of railways and tire serious situation in which we find ourselves to-day.

I am not particularly familiar with the situation in regard to that part of the Transcontinental system known as the Grand Trunk Pacific, which extends from Winnipeg west. I am not here to say whether or not it was the proper thing for this country to build the Transcontinental railway; I do not know. But I do know this, Sir, that in the early part of the war, at the time when the United States remained a neutral country, we would have found it impossible to transport our troops, our ammunition and our munitions of war from the West through to the winter ports of Halifax and St. John had we not the Transcontinental railway to assist us in that great work.

If it cost $150,000,000, that amount was well expended in the assistance which it gave to the Government and the country in transporting troops and munitions during the first two or three years of the war.

May I be permitted for just a moment to refer to the effect that this propesition will have upon the ocean ports of the Maritime Provinces? I may be accused of being sectional, but I am prepared to accept that responsibility. We of the Maritime Provinces are possibly somewhat jealous of the few little favours that we have received

from the Government during the fifty years of Confederation. We have in the Maritime Provinces, two great natural ports in particular of which we are very proud and which we hope to maintain and develop as we believe they ought to be maintained and developed. A few evenings ago the Minister of Railways (Mr. J. D. Reid) referred to this matter, and the hon. member for Guysborough (Mr. J. H. Sinclair) asked him a question in regard to the operation of this road and as to the effect it would have. The answer made by the Minister of Railways was that in the operation of this system we must get the very best railway operating men possible, it does not matter where they come from, and this railway must be operated along business lines without political or other interference. That being so, if this system is to be operated in a business way by business men, by railway operators of wide knowledge and experience, what conclusion must we arrive at? If I may be allowed to repeat the illustration again, if it is going to cost more to take freight originating in any portion of the western country and coming down to Montreal, to Halifax for shipment from that port than to Portland, what must the business railway operating men say? They will say: We cannot take it to Halifax, we we will take it to Portland because that is a shorter haul and the cost will be less. That being so, the ocean ports of the Maritime Provinces must necessarily lose a large volume of the business, and the money expended by the Government in the development of those ports to date must be to a large extent rendered unnecessary as they will not be used, and those ports will suffer as a consequence. I realize that the operation of this road through American territory must of necessity draw trade away from the ports of the Maritime Provinces, and we shall find our produce, our products and our ocean traffic going through foreign country channels by the operation of this road, according to the statement of my hon. friend.

The Minister of the Interior (Mr. Meighen), the other night in quite a heated discussion, referred to this matter, and he made some suggestions or insinuations as to what was prompting the Opposition in opposing this Bill. May I refer to Hansard, and I have been somewhat at a loss, in reading this, to understand just what the minister means? Personally, I do not desire to engage in acrimonious debate or to make suggestions or insinuations in reference to hon. gentlemen opposite; nor do I

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY SYSTEM.
Sub-subtopic:   BILL PROVIDING FOR THE ACQUISITION OF THE SYSTEM BY THE GOVERNMENT.
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UNION

William Findlay Maclean

Unionist

Mr. W. F. MACLEAN (York South):

I trust, Mr. Speaker, that the House will bear with me for a short time while I address myself to the question at present under consideration, namely, the acquisition of the Grand Trunk railway by the Canadian Government, for the Canadian people, for the purpose of creating, in connection with the railways that we already have, a great national system of transportation. During the brief time that I shall occupy the attention of hon. members I shall speak from the standpoint of one who believes in the public ownership of railways, and I think that my position will be borne out by the indication of the times, for this is the age of democracy. While my hon. friend (Mr. Copp) is of the opinion that it is undemocratic to take over the railways, I am convinced that the trend of present public opinion in this great country, as indeed throughout the world, is that democracy is ready

to assert its conviction that there, is no way of satisfactorily handling the transportation problems of any country except from the [DOT] standpoint of national convenience and expediency. This position is being taken everywhere to-day, and in the Old 'Country this democratic tendency is shown in the fact that legislation is now before the Imperial Parliament for the purpose of establishing a great National Department of Transportation which will take over and control transportation not only by rail but also on the sea and in the air. This new department under the direction of Sir Eric Geddes has evidently caught the spirit of these democratic times and realized that it is absolutely essential in the interests of the Empire to bring the various means of transportation under public control. The people in the Mother Country are also in favour of public ownership. Labour is favourably disposed to the principle, and I have no doubt that the business interests will take the same attitude. The same is true of the United 'States. It is all very well to assert that experience of public ownership in the United States is against it, and that the government administration of the roads since the war has been expensive and unsuccessful. But it must be borne in mind that if it was expensive the fact was attributable directly to the war, and if the administration of the railways in the United States under government control has not been the success it ought to have been it is because the railway systems there were muddled and wrecked as a result of private control. In the United) States a proper policy has been outlined. In that country there is a body known as the Council of Agriculture, very much similar to the Council of Agriculture in western Canada, an organization which, by the way, is now established in Ontario. The Council of Agriculture, representing the farmers of the United States, at their last meeting in Washington, declared in favour of the public ownership of railways, and the great brotherhoods of the United States, who operate the railways, speaking from their experience, have gone on record in support of the principle. In our own country we have a Council of Agriculture, representing tlfe farmers of all Ganada, who will meet in the West probably within the next two weeks. I have no doubt that that council, representing the farmers, not only of the West, but of Ontario, will express themselves in accordance with the views of the grain growers of the West, in favour of public ownership. Another democratic reason why there should

be public ownership in Canada is the fact that the people have paid for the railways over and over again. Their attitude is this: " If we found the money to pay for these railways, in God's name it is time that the people themselves ran the railways and not outside magnates." In other words, the feeling is that the railways ought to be operated in the interests of the people who pay for them. That is the new doctrine of democracy in this country, and it is the doctrine that is shaking Canada from one end to the other. It is what is at the bottom of the farmers' movement that we witnessed in Ontario the other day. The farmers feel that if they have paid for these railways they ought to have something to say in their management. They are the people who not only paid for the railways and will have to continue paying for them, but who helped to win the great war and make the world safe for democracy. They contend, and rightly so, that if they could shed their blood in order that the great principles of democracy might prevail on the face of the earth-and Canada did her noble share in this high duty-they should administer the affairs of these railways for which they have paid so much. And if it is possible under public ownership to counteract and obviate many of the mistakes that have been made under private ownership, it is their intention to endeavour to effect a remedy. Year after year the people have voted money in this Parliament for the support of one decrepit railway or another. They have given millions of dollars at a time, but the railways have not succeeded, and the people are convinced that they never will succeed, and they intend to see if something better cannot be done. This is the attitude of the people, and I am prepared to go on any platform whenever I have the opportunity and justify the propriety and efficacy of public ownership. Public ownership is being instituted throughout the world, and you cannot satisfactorily deal with transportation otherwise. Adequate transportation also demands more than railways, and we are building ships. England is taking full control of her ships, having created, as I said a moment ago, a great Department of Transportation. She is re-organizing the country and the Empire through the control of transportation in order to off-set to some degree German aggression which was made possible by State control not only of land but of sea transportation. It is palpable to every nation now that public ownership of transportation systems is not only democratic but highly essential in the

interests of the people. We have spent considerable sums of money in the past and enacted legislation for the regulation of our railways, and we must also give our attention to maritime transportation.

If we have not got control of transportation by sea, it must end in failure. All the advantages that we have gained hitherto by reason of building additional roads and by the making of loans to existing roads have been taken away from us by the excessive charges of the shipping monopoly that did control transportation before the war. There was no way out of the war, or to win the war or to succeed in the war. except by the national control of transportation. That was the lesson of the war. To win the war we had to have national control. For the reconstruction of the world and for the reconstruction of Canada to-day there is no other device open to us. If we are to achieve a proper reconstruction, we must have public ownership and public control of the transportation system of the country. That may be a broad proposition to lay down, but that is the line upon which the world is moving.

We have been told about transportation in the United States. It has been said that conditions are bad over theje and that the reason for the failure of the transportation system is that it is being managed as a public proposition. That is not so. If the railway administration of the United States is failing it is largely due to the men who had control of the railways in their hands. They used that control for purposes of exploitation; they used it for securing profits for their companies; they used it for speculation in Wall Street and all things of that kind. Those who are opposed to public ownership in the United States to-day are the Wall Street operators and the magnates who heretofore controlled these railways. Who is it that is demanding public ownership in the United States? The demand is coming from the people who have their money invested in the railways. They see that there is no hope for their investments hereafter unless the administration of the railways is taken away from those so-called railway magnates and from Wall Street and something more in the interest of the public is put in the place of speculation in railway stocks and contracts.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY SYSTEM.
Sub-subtopic:   BILL PROVIDING FOR THE ACQUISITION OF THE SYSTEM BY THE GOVERNMENT.
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UNION

John Hampden Burnham

Unionist

Mr. BURNHAM:

Would the hon. gentleman advocate the public ownership of all means of production?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY SYSTEM.
Sub-subtopic:   BILL PROVIDING FOR THE ACQUISITION OF THE SYSTEM BY THE GOVERNMENT.
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UNION

William Findlay Maclean

Unionist

Mr. W. F. MACLEAN:

No, I will let the

hon. gentleman discuss that when he comes

to it. I am discussing a question that is now before the people of Canada. We are now faced with the railway question, it has been forced upon our consideration and that is the question that we have to deal with at the present moment. The question of production will come up later. We are here to deal with the question of transportation. We are compelled to do so by the condition of affairs that prevails. I am, not going into the question of which party is the more responsible for the condition that has arisen. In some way we have to deal with this condition and we have - to meet it if we can. In the United States, as I say, the people who are asking for public ownership are the people who have their money invested in the roads. True the men who operated the roads, the railway magnates and the Wall Street people-would like to see the old times back but the people of the United States, the people of Europe and all those who have these problems of reconstruction before them see no way out of the difficulty except by the public ownership of railways.

Then, I want to come to another point which I have referred to in this House before. People who are opposing public ownership, and a good many of them are connected with the press of Montreal which has been mentioned by the previous speakers, say that a democracy is not able to administer its railways. That is the charge that is being made against democracy-a democrary that has done the greatest thing that ever was done in the history of the world in connection with this war. It has made the world safe for democracy and yet we are told that the people who helped to win this war, who put all the money that has been put into the railways of this country, are not competent to administer these railways. I have every confidence in my fellow-countrymen and I believe that they will find a way, once we establish public ownership, to carry out the duty that the adoption of that principle involves. I hate to see newspapers, such as the papers in Montreal that have been quoted here to-day and have been quoted before, saying that the Canadian people are not fit to run their roads, that they are a corrupt people, that they will succumb to corruption. If there has been any corruption in the past in connection with the railways, it has come from the railways and not from the people. I repeat I have every confidence in my fellow-countrymen. I believe that through Parliament and through leadership they

will work out a system of public ownership that will inure to the advantage [DOT]of the country. The man who says that the people are not fit to manage their own railways is not worthy to claim any credit for this country or for what we have done in this war. What Canada did she did before all the other democracies of the world. Canada was the leading democracy that came to the lelief of the struggling people of the world against autocracy. We went over there, we did achieve something, and we did help to make democracy safe. We put our money into the struggle, we have come hack home now, we are undertaking the duty of reconstruction in this country and we believe that the public ownership and control of railways and of transportation by sea are necessary if we are to deal successfully with the problems now confronting us. Not only must a scheme of public ownership apply to the railways but to transportation by sea as well. Our whole effort in connection with transportation, whether by sea or land, must be consecrated to service and achievement and not to profit. The great difference between private and public ownership is that under public ownership all the resources of a country are devoted to service in regard to transportation and not to profits to individuals.

Then, the opponents of public ownership say that we are not only a corrupt people hut that we cannot get the best men to run a national system of railways. 1 repudiate that. We have men now and we are training men in Canada to run railways efficiently. The only thing to do is to give them an opportunity; Take politics out of the railways-and we are gradually doing it- and success will attend our efforts. We .are going to tell our young men what the privately owned companies have been telling their young men who have risen in their service, that if they give the best service they can to the people of Canada under public ownership they will go to the top. I repudiate this attack which is made by the opponents of public ownership who say that our railwaymen cannot run a publicly owned line. If this road is left to the men to administer the Grand Trunk they will make a success of it, if they are put in charge of it for the people and if they are not interfered with. In the past under private ownership they have been interfered with and they have been made to let unjustifiable contracts in connection with construction and supplies for the sake of [DOT]making profits for certain' people. Not

IMr. W. F. Maclean.]

only do our people believe in public ownership, but they believe that we have men in our own country who can run these roads and they have confidence that these men are prepared to give as good service to the country as they would be to a private company.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY SYSTEM.
Sub-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:

Now that the hon. gentleman is on his hobby perhaps it would do no harm to ask him a question.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY SYSTEM.
Sub-subtopic:   BILL PROVIDING FOR THE ACQUISITION OF THE SYSTEM BY THE GOVERNMENT.
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UNION

William Findlay Maclean

Unionist

Mr. W. F. MACLEAN:

Is it not a good thing to have a hobby? I wish my hon. friend had one; it would do him good.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY SYSTEM.
Sub-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:

This is my hobby just now.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY SYSTEM.
Sub-subtopic:   BILL PROVIDING FOR THE ACQUISITION OF THE SYSTEM BY THE GOVERNMENT.
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UNION

William Findlay Maclean

Unionist

Mr. W. F. MACLEAN:

AH right.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY SYSTEM.
Sub-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:

It is admitted, Mr. Speaker, that this year we will have a very heavy deficit-possibly $50,000,000 on the Government owned railways. How does the hon. member propose to get away from that condition of things and have a paying proposition?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY SYSTEM.
Sub-subtopic:   BILL PROVIDING FOR THE ACQUISITION OF THE SYSTEM BY THE GOVERNMENT.
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UNION

William Findlay Maclean

Unionist

Mr. W. F. MACLEAN:

I am trying to get away from the condition of things that the hon. gentleman and his friends helped to impose upon this country-a condition of things that has come to be a disgrace and a scandal to Canada. I ask the hon. gentleman to come into my constituency as I am willing to go into his, and be prepared to show that it was not the maladministration that went on in connection with our railways that created this deficit. But we are now going to stop these deficits, we are going to stop these scandals, and we are going to trust the Canadian people, not only to pay the obligations but to maintain and operate their railroads. I know it is a hard thing to show a way out of the trouble that has arisen-it is a hard problem that is put up to us-but what constructive scheme has my hon. friend to submit to get us out of the trouble? Has he any scheme to submit? Did the hon. gentleman, (Mr. Copp) who spoke for an hour and a half this afternoon substitute, an alternative proposition? I have not heard one, excepting this from the papers in -Montreal that were quoted here to-day: Give it to another private company; pay all the debt that has been created, give them another subsidy, and aggravate the evil that now exists-for it will only aggravate the evil. That is doctrine I have heard in the House today and that must come to an end. I do not want to pass reflections on hon. gentlemen opposite, because I could pass reflections with respect to mistakes that have

been made on this side of the House in connection with railways, there have been mistakes and they have been great; but they must end and the people of Canada say they must end. Never again will a dollar of money go through this House to private-owned railways to aggravate the condition of affairs that now exists.

I want to draw attention to another thing. Let us pass from democracy and let us come to something that prevails to-day and that is the question of the coal supply of this country. A great strike threatens in the United States, and that strike is based on what? The fact that the coal measures of the United States many years ago passed into the hands of private owners and into the hands of private railways, and coal has been made a monopoly in the United State -a monopoly in something that God gave the people for their fuel for all time to come. Now that awful monopoly in coal that exists between the coal owners and the coal railways in the United States has produced a condition in which the men who operate the railways are on strike to-day and ever since this war-[DOT]

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY SYSTEM.
Sub-subtopic:   BILL PROVIDING FOR THE ACQUISITION OF THE SYSTEM BY THE GOVERNMENT.
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L LIB

Andrew Ross McMaster

Laurier Liberal

Mr. McMASTER:

Does the hon. gentleman mean the operators of the railways or the operators of the coal mines?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY SYSTEM.
Sub-subtopic:   BILL PROVIDING FOR THE ACQUISITION OF THE SYSTEM BY THE GOVERNMENT.
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UNION

William Findlay Maclean

Unionist

Mr. W. F. MACLEAN:

The coal mines- and ever since the war began we have been in danger in respect to our coal supply in this country. At times we could not run our railways; and we had not fuel for our people; the railways had so run down that they could not transport the coal to the people. But there is a great relief in sight. Science has found something for us that so far has not been degraded. Many of the great discoveries in science have been utilized in the recent war for the destruction of humanity; but science has given us one thing and that is, it has discovered a way of converting the hydraulic energy of our rivers into a supply of power. If we have not coal and if we are dependent largely on the United States, especially here in the East, for the fuel to drive our railways, we have an unlimited supply of water-power in this country. We propose, in connection with the nationalization of our railways, to nationalize these water-powers, and by that alone to put transportation on its feet in Canada and make our country independent of the United States. The only way that we will ever have the use of these immense powers of electrical energy in Canada, especially for transportation, will be by the state taking control of them and developing the power. We have started that policy in the province of Ontario and we have had marvellous success in connection with the development of the power for the use of the farmers and the use of our factories, and the people there would not part with it now for anything. The people there are insisting, as I believe the people of Canada will insist, that in connection with transportation there must be electrification of the railways. Nobody can do it so well as the state can do it. The state can and ought to do both-produce power and make us independent of the United States and use that power for the transportation interests of the people of this Dominion. That is in the minds of the people of Canada. After their experience, after the knowledge they have gained, and after what they have suffered from the coal barons and the coal railways of the United States, they do not want to see the last great asset. we have got, our water powers, pass into the hands of private corporations, and not to be used as it ought to be used for the solution of our transportation problem. As I have said, the people of Ontario have got a certain distance in that direction, and they have achieved success. And now, when I come to speak of Montreal, I want to put myself straight. While I have condemned what seemed to be the Montreal attitude, I do not accept it as being the real view of the people of Montreal. But I do say that Montreal is the last refuge of the so-called railway magnates-magnates who want to maintain their ascendency and do not want to see the Grand Trunk pass into the hands of the people but remain under some kind of private ownership. Well, the people of the province of Quebec, as a whole, do not take that view. They want to see the great water-powers of the St. Lawrence used for the benefit of the railway transportation of Canada; and if it has got to be a question of creed and nationality it is all Englishspeaking exploiters who are at the head of this movement in Montreal. Those exploiters would like to keep the water-powers away from our railways and keep the Grand Trunk away from public ownership; they would like perhaps to give the Grand Trunk to the Canadian Pacific Railway company. The Canadian Pacific has had its opportunity, it has got its railways; it has had its immense votes from the people of Canada, it has got the use of the ports and harbours that were created for them. Let that company work out their own problems

as -well as they can; but let them not interfere with the Canadian people in their determination, in connection with this work of reconstruction to run their railways and to electrify those railways.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY SYSTEM.
Sub-subtopic:   BILL PROVIDING FOR THE ACQUISITION OF THE SYSTEM BY THE GOVERNMENT.
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L LIB

Andrew Ross McMaster

Laurier Liberal

Mr. McMASTER:

May I ask a question?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY SYSTEM.
Sub-subtopic:   BILL PROVIDING FOR THE ACQUISITION OF THE SYSTEM BY THE GOVERNMENT.
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UNION

William Findlay Maclean

Unionist

Mr. W. F. MACLEAN:

Yes, two.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY SYSTEM.
Sub-subtopic:   BILL PROVIDING FOR THE ACQUISITION OF THE SYSTEM BY THE GOVERNMENT.
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L LIB

Andrew Ross McMaster

Laurier Liberal

Mr. McMASTER:

Would it be in the mind of the hon. gentleman that It would be wise to nationalize the Canadian Pacific also? [DOT]

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY SYSTEM.
Sub-subtopic:   BILL PROVIDING FOR THE ACQUISITION OF THE SYSTEM BY THE GOVERNMENT.
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UNION

William Findlay Maclean

Unionist

Mr. W. F. MACLEAN:

Some day. I am not afraid now to say, yes; bring it on, the sooner the better. The crime was that the Canadian Pacific Railway company, by the aid of this Parliament, so entrenched itself by -wiping out its bond issue and substituting therefor an immense stock capitalization of over $300,000,000, that it is almost an impossible thing to do as the hon. gentleman suggests. It cannot be said that I did not enter my protest against the Canadian Pacific Railway company in the past. And yet the Canadian Pacific is a well-administered railway and the Canadian Pacific organization, to my mind, would be the (best organization of all in this country to administer national railways, and there is not a man in the company who would not gladly work with the nation in connection with our railways. I do, however, object to the Canadian Pacific Railway company interfering in this matter, and they have interfered. I want to tell the Canadian Pacific, and the people, of Montreal, something, and it is this: there has been more Canadian money lost by speculation in Canadian Pacific stock than all our railroads have cost us in Canada. They have led' the Canadian people into that speculation, and they would like to get them back if they could. Millions and millions of Canadian money have been squandered in New York and here more or less, speculating in Canadian Pacific stock. While the company boasts of the great achievements of the Canadian Pacific and of the splendid service they have given the Canadian people, they have caused more losses to Canadians than' any other institution -we ever had here.

That road will be a real success only when it gets out of the hands of the magnates and stock dealers and is made a public proposition. The people of all Canada would be prepared, if we have the men who can combine these railways, to nationalize the whole system. But that is not quite the issue; the issue is what are we going to do with the Grand Trunk? How are we

going to get out of this scrape? Are we to put more money into this road? Are we to try to save it? By electrifying it, not only can we save it, but we can get rid of all this unnecessary duplication. There are thousands of miles of railway in this country which can be dispensed with or used to better purpose. It is absurd to see the railway passenger services that are carried on between certain cities in this country. We do not want this duplication. The defy after we take over the Grand Trunk the people of Canada will have the real national railway between Toronto and Ottawa, as well as the best service; it will consist of the Grand Trunk and the portion of the Canadian Northern that we now use. Moreover, we will have the greatest transcontinental railway system in Canada-the Intercolonial to Montreal, the Grand Trunk to Toronto, the Canadian Northern to within a short distance of Lake Nipigon, the Transcontinental to Winnipeg, thence onward via the Canadian Northern and the Grand Trunk, and perhaps via the Canadian Northern to Vancouver. I cannot commence to tell you what improvements can be made in Ontario by co-ordination and co-operation; and in many other ways great benefits will result from our taking over this system.

Hon. gentlemen have spoken about the enormity of the commitpients that Canada is making in taking over the Grand Trunk. Now, the House has not been told by these same gentlemen what we get when we make that commitment. Is the Grand Trunk worth nothing? The greatest railway property in America to-day that I know of, outside the Pennsylvania railway, is the Grand Trunk; the greatest assets that any railroad in Canada has are the assets of the Grand Trunk in Ontario, in Montreal and in the leading cities of our western country.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY SYSTEM.
Sub-subtopic:   BILL PROVIDING FOR THE ACQUISITION OF THE SYSTEM BY THE GOVERNMENT.
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November 3, 1919