Mr. J. D. REID:
That is a judicial position.
. Mr. ARCHAMBAULT: Well, call it
judicial if you like; it is a government railway position, nevertheless.
I have said that the acquisition of this railway creates a huge political machine dangerous to the State. Imagine a strike for higher wages of one hundred thousand employees of a railway. If the strike is in a private concern the Government can interfere as conciliator-even in certain cases with a strong arm. But if they are government employees, what Government will take the risk of antagonizing one hundred thousand employees from all over Canada, probably- enough in each riding of the country to elect a representative one way or
the other? No Government wall take any such chances. The demands although perhaps unreasonable, will be met; the deficits will be greater and the poor taxpayer will again be the worse off.
What are the prospects of the elimination of patronage under the present Government? The railways do not com% under the control of the Civil Service Commission; there is no question about that. On every occasion when the Civil Service Commission or anything pertaining to it has come up for discussion in the House, scores of members on your right, Sir, have protested vigorously against the bone being taken out of their mouths and have demanded eagerly a quick return to patronage. These are not very encouraging signs of the death of patronage. But, Sir, recently I had occasion to bring before the House a most glaring case-a sad case-of political patronage, not a case where a job was in question, but a case where the whole system of the Canadian National railways in one district was tampered with in order to aid political propaganda. I was not allowed to disclose all the facts at the time, but I am now in possession of further information and it may be interesting to my hon. friends to know what kind of political patronage is permitted to thrive under the present Government. On the 17th of September, 1919, 1 received the following letter from one of my constituents:
Dear Sir:-I enclose herewith clipping dated September 6 with regard to alleged misuse jf Canadian National railway train between Hybla and Toronto for the benefit of a political Picnic.
This charge is very serious, too serious to pass unchallenged, and I would thank you to inquire into same, on the floor of the House if necessary, to see if things of this nature are
allowed to happen.
Here is the clipping:
Slain by Politics.
The Romans used to have a proverb " Butchered to make a Roman holiday " In Canada we do better. We kill children in order to make a political picnic.
The other day R. H. Thompson of Hybla Ontario, boarded a Canadian National railway train at his local station, with his little girl, who was critically ill, jn order that she might be taken to the hospital for sick children, Toronto. The time table called for the arrival of that train in Toronto at nine o'clock that evening and the father depended upon reaching the city at that time, as it was a case of desperate hurry. When the train got to Bancroft the child became much -worse, and to his dismay the father found from the railway conductor that the train would not proceed any farther that day, because all the cars were needed to take good followers of the Union and Hearst Govern-
ments to a picnic at Marmora given by E. Gus Porter, a Unionist M.P. for West Hastings.
Mr. Thompson consulted a local doctor and was told that the only thing to be done was to take the child to an hotel for twenty-four hours until the Canadian Government would be ready to fulfil its contract to carry the father and child to Toronto. This was done. The next morning the train was taken to Toronto. On arrival in the city,, 24 hours after the time she should have arrived, the child was hurried to the hospital and was operated upon. But ;t was too late, and she died in a few hours, leaving behind a broken-hearted father, who was compelled to go home and tell his wife that their child had died, because the Government allowed a political picnic to suspend the schedule of their National railway.
I immediately sought to bring the matter up on the Orders of the Day, but I was stopped the moment I mentioned the name of the paper, namely, Jack Canuck.
Subtopic: BILL PROVIDING FOR THE ACQUISITION OF THE SYSTEM BY THE GOVERNMENT.