We have; the best and noblest women in this broad Dominion. I am serious in what I say, and I do not wish any honourable member to think I am drawing on my imagination. If some of my hon. friends should have the good fortune and judgment to visit Prince Edward Island and see for themselves they would be convinced as well as I am. I 'shall not pursue the case further for the moment. I *wish simply to impress most earnestly upon the minister the great importance of carrying out these matters whi'dh are so necessary to us at the earliest possible date that he may find (himself able to give them attention.
Mr. Chairman, the hon. member for Charlevoix-Montmorency (Mr. Casgrain) wishes me to say a few words in French, but, unfortunately for me, my colloquial knowledge of this language is extremely limited, and I fear, if I attempt to say a few words, that I will only cause laughter. However, the subject I have treated is so near to my heart, so important and so necessary to my province, that I shall risk making a short speech, though it may be full of mistakes. I think, Mr. President, that there are some hon. members, on the other side of the House, who have already visited my province, and I hope that o'hers, all, if possible, will come on a visit, whether it be on an excursion or on a pilgrimage, as you please.
Before the minister replies,so as to economize time, I rise just to remind him that at a previous session I asked him for some information as to mail contracts: throughout Canada. If .the minister has the information, which I imagine may be somewhat lengthy, perhaps by unanimous consent it might be arranged to place it upon Hansard so that we would be able to see it to-morrow. That would be quite satisfactory.
I have something to say about the railway situation, and if my hon. friend is agreeable, I shall not be long and he will thus have the whole case before the committee and can make a general answer.
Mr. J. D. REID: Yes. The
only thing I wanted to say before I answered' the other hon. members was this. My hon. friend (Mr. Robb) asked me two questions in a previous debate, first the amount paid to each transportation company for the carrying of mail from Halifax, St. John, N.B., Quebec, Montreal, Toronto and Winnipeg, West, and in the case of all except Halifax, also to points East. I have the reply to that question, and as it covers two pages, II should like, with the unanimous consent of the com-
mittee, to place it on Hansard. My hon. friend also asked me the mileage of branch lines in this year's Bill, that is the Bill that went through the House, and I promised to have that answer and also put it on Hansard. The mileage of the Branch Lines referred to is as folows: .
Prince Albert northerly 50
Maryfield extension (From Ben- _ gough) 155
From point on main line between crossing of North Saskatchewan river and Radisson northerly to _ point near Meeting lake '50
Preliminary surveys have been made and the approximate cost is $35,000 per mile. Complete surveys are being gone on with and when completed final estimates of the cost will be prepared.
Each of these sections have been settled for a considerable time, and a great deal of the land is already under cultivation, and particularly so in the case of the Prince Albert north line, a lot of returned men have taken up land on the assurance that the line would be built. The 'Country is splendid for mixed farming, and at present is absolutely without railway facilities. That is the information the hon. member wants.
to allow any document to be printed in Hansard unless it has been read' in the House; but under the circumstances, the committee may give its unanimous consent. I now ask: Is it the unanimous consent of the committee that this document be placed upon Hansard?
Sir,-Why should the fishermen on the Gaspe coast he discriminated against on their shipments of fresh fish, when competing with Halifax shipments ?
Owing to our long and close relations with the Gaspe coast, we feel the matter should be placed before the public. Perhaps it may be one of the many reasons why the railways are losing so much money.
As is well known, shipments of fresh fish are sent by express, it being necessary to get them on the market as fresh as possible. The Nova Scotian fishermen, shipping through large firms, are charged on the nett weight only, whilst the Gaspe fishermen are charged on the gross weight; in other words, the Gaspe fishermen pay for 25 per cent more weight.
Thus a shipment of fresh fish from Halifax, say, to Toronto, of 10,000 lbs. of fish, would be charged $1.75 per 100 lbs. on 10,000 lbs., whilst the same shipment when shipped from the Gaspe coast would have to pay on 12,500 lbs. weight. The rate from Montreal to Toronto is $1.50 per 100 lbs. the distance from Halifax to Toronto about 1,100 miles, and from Montreal to Toronto about 340 miles. The difference in the weight means that, to ship 1,100 miles, costs less than to ship 340 miles. In other words, from Halifax the fresh fish Is carried about 750 miles for nothing.
Now this discrimination is, to our mind, unconstitutional, as well as illegal. No public carrying company has the right to make one firm pay on 10,000 lbs. and then turn around and make another firm pay on 12,600 lbs. on identically the same class of goods, with identically the same weight.
Is it to be supposed the Railway Commissioners are not aware of this underhand competition? We can hardly think they would countenance such an unjust proceeding against the fishermen of the Gaspe coast, who have to work just as hard as the Nova Scotian fishermen to make a living.
The next question is: Does the Minister of Railways know of it? It is evident some one is at the bottom of it, but who? One thing is certain, the fishermen on the Gaspe coast, when they learn how they are handicapped, will want to have it changed.
Cheap food is a great necessity these days, and everything should be done to put competition on a fair footing and show no favor, so that prices may be kept down to reasonable figures.
I call the attention of 'the Minister of Railways to this discriminatory rate which exists as between the coast of Gaspe and Nova Scotia. I stated a moment ago that the reason why the railway situation in that district was at a low ebb was due to the original interference of 'the great fish firm of Robin. Quite a change has -taken place since the completion of the railway in 1910. When I was elected for the county of Gaspe in 1896 I met not tens tout hundreds of people on the coast who never had seen a Ted cent in their lives. They were paid in effects toy the firm. There were thousands of my electors who had never travelled even as far as New Brunswick. The town of Camptoellton, the town of Dalhousie across
the bay, were mere geographical expressions to them, because they had no means of transportation. They were kept undter the yoke by the powerful firm, just as the trappers in the West were kept under the yoke of the Hudson Bay Company in days gone by. The situation has changed and to-day I can say that I represent a free community. But in 1896 'they were not free and independent electors. They were not free subjects of His Majesty the King. There is a book which some day will he written on the relations of that big firm with the fishermen of 'Gaspe. It is said that reality is sometimes stranger than fiction. No one knows the misery that was endured toy the fishermen of the Gaspe coast. As far back as the Conquest in 1759, because that firm came from Jersey about the time of the Conquest, it practically owned the land and the sea; indeed it owned the people. Transportation and commerce is after all the great avenue of civilization, and the construction of a railway in the 'Gaspe peninsula has been the means of bringing that population within the confines of civilization. I am proud to say that I represent to-day a highly educated population-I mean highly educated in so far as elementary education is understood. We have schools, we have convents, we have' high schools. We have to-day a fine hardy 'type of Canadian on the coast- of Gaspe. I 'say to the Government in all sincerity: Complete that work, take over that railway and make it a part of the National Railways system, where it belongs, and where it was intended to toe from the beginning at the 'time of Confederation. Then, 'Sir, the Government of the day will have done its duty towards one of the most remarkable sections of the Dominion, rich beyond de.-scription of natural wealth. I speak this evening as a Canadian, and I say it is not pleasant to find that big American firms have laid their hands on the peninsula of iGaspe. They are doing it on the quiet. They are taking our natural resources. Yes, American companies and syndicates are operating and exploiting the resources of that fine territory. I say to the Government it is within their power to give our people the rights which appertain to them ias members of the great Canadian family.
Mr. W. S. LOGGIE (Northumberland, N.B.) (Translation):
Mr. Chairman, before speaking in English, I wish to say a few words in French on the subject of the railway situated in my constituency. I regret very much my inability to speak fluently the French language. I beg therefore to be excused if I continue my remarks in English.
and I do it with some pleasure, of referring to the first speech that I made in Parliament. The theme of that speech was the construction of a branch line railway starting at Newcastle, N. B., and ending at Tracadie in the county of my hon. friend from Gloucester (Mr. Turgeon). Let me first of all point out that Newcastle is a point on the main line of the Intercolonial forty miles south from Bathurst. At the present time there is what is known as the Caraquet and Gulf Shore Railway,
starting at Bathurst and running like a half moon, if you like to say so, about sixty miles down to Tracadie, following the course of the Baie de Chaleur and then going through the peninsula and ending at Tracadie. The line that is asked for proposes to start at Tracadie and end at Newcastle. Thus you will have a half moon, as it were, of railway commencing at Bathurst running east around the coast back on the other coast, and then ending at Newcastle, N.B. I take this opportunity of reminding the minister that he has a petition in his office from the residents of the thriving villages that are located between Newcastle and Tracadie. From time to time it has been my privilege as well as my duty to draw the attention of the department to this very important project of railway construction. [During the last two or three years I have not urged it, as we were not investing any money in building branch lines of railways, in the East at any rate. It seems to me, however, that the time is now very opportune to impress upon the minister the importance of the construction of these few miles of railway. Hon. gentlemen will remember that in the Estimates some two years ago $200,000 was provided for the taking over of the branch line of railway that runs between Bathurst and Tracadie. The rumour now is that the owners of the railway-who at that time refused to accept an offer for it-are now willing and ready to sell, and I hope for good news in that regard from the minister in the near future. I desire to point out to him that the piece of road which he proposes to take over will not be complete until he extends it to Newcastle.
-and also representing an agricultural constituency ias well as one that is very largely interested in the lumbering business. If one starts at Newcastle the first lumber mill encountered will be the Buckley mill. Going down three miles you come to the Miramichi Lumber Company's mill-a large band mill cutting a great quantity of lumber. Going about a mile farther you come to the Frasers Pulp Mill, Limited, and then farther down the coast you touch at Tahusintac and Burnt Church
where there are lumber mills. In the winter season the bay abounds with fish. We are acting wisely in providing branch lines in the Prairie Provinces, so that the farmers can haul their wheat to the railway. But let me tell you that in the district on the Miramichi in New Brunswick which would be served by the railway whose construction I am advocating, in the winter season, for a distance of approximately forty miles, you may see teams on top of teams, as it were, hauling smelts from the lower bay to Loggieville, the nearest railway point. I urge this matter now because I imagine the Government will be operating the Caraquet railway in the very near future. The owners having accepted the offer, I hope that the necessary appropriation will be made in the .Supplementary Estimates. I want to impress upon the minister the importance of connecting up the end of that road with Newcastle. We will then have a sort of half-moon line, starting at Bathurst on the Intercolonial railway, running iounl the shore and across the peninsula to Tracadie, thence on to Newcastle, forty miles from the starting point. The minister has this petition in his office; it has been there for some time. I have from time to time directed his attention to the matter and urged its favourable consideration. I can only leave it in his hands; I am sure 'he will not forget it when the proper time comes.
preparation for railway construction in the . West-to which I am not objecting-involving many millions of expenditure, and when several hon. gentlemen are making proposals for other enterprises which would also involve large expenditures, I am sure that it will be a relief to the Minister of Railways to have his attention directed for a moment to an exceedingly modest appropriation which I desire to be made down in Nova Scotia. As we are adopting a system of national railways we shall no doubt in due time have to provide for extensions in the East and in the West, and other projects will be advanced later. But I ask my hon. friend, even at the risk of being deemed too persistent, to give attention to a modest claim for an extension of some three or four miles from the Halifax and Southwestern railway which will give immediate railway connection with Lockeport, a thriving and important fishing town. I have spoken of the matter on several occasions and I do not intend to enlarge on it now. I am aware that representations are being made to the minis-
ter by a committee of citizens of Looke-port. I realize that nothing can be done at present, but I think it is not unreasonable that I should ask my hon. friend to give me an assurance that during the recess an officer of his department will visit that place and make a proper investigation so that at the next session the minister will at all events know the merits and utilities of the project. I hope he will be able to give me that assurance.