March 16, 1921

UNION

Hugh Guthrie (Solicitor General of Canada; Minister of Militia and Defence)

Unionist

Hon. HUGH GUTHRIE (acting Solicitor General) :

Mr. Speaker, in reply to the

hon. member (Mr. Casgrain) who has brought this matter to the attention of the House, may I be permitted to say at the outset that it is my duty to absolve the Minister of Justice (Mr. Doherty) from all knowledge and responsibility in connection with the matter? As a matter of fact, I think that the Minister of Justice was not in Canada at the time action was decided upon in connection with this case. My hon. friend who has moved the motion is fully aware of the practice which has obtained in this Parliament, I suppose I am safe in saying, since the days of Confederation down to the present time, namely, that

documents are not laid before Parliament relating to criminal cases where clemency is sought, or in cases where clemency has been exercised by the Crown. It has been stated, and I believe the statement is accurate, that only in three cases since Confederation- very important and outstanding cases-has Parliament seen fit to order that papers be produced. The reports made in connection with such cases are of a highly confidential nature. If they were not treated with the strictest confidence it is very doubtful whether reports could be obtained in many instances.

Now, in the particular case under consideration, representations were made that cast very serious doubt upon this man's guilt in connection with the charge upon which he was sentenced to a term of imprisonment of thirty years. The crime was a most revolting and abominable one. Certain public bodies in the city of Montreal took action in the matter, among others the Salvation Army, which, I suppose, was the most active of the participants in this case. The man's two sons, who had served nobly in France, one of them wounded, and the other coming back without a leg, on their return to Canada also took a deep interest in the case. The chief witness, in fact the only witness in the case, absolutely withdrew the whole evidence given at the trial upon which the man was convicted. This evidence was withdrawn in a sworn statement by the only witness in the prosecution. Explanations were given as to why the original evidence had been given in the prosecution against this man, and one very prominent body in Montreal, as I have said, the Salvation Army, went fully into the matter, making an elaborate report, and the officers of the department likewise investigated the case as exhaustively as possible, with the result that there is very grave doubt as to whether the man was actually guilty of the crime with which he had been charged. He had served, including remission earned under our law, some seven years of his term in penitentiary, a very substantial period. His conduct had been good, grave doubt existed as to his guilt and under all the circumstances it was considered a proper case in which to make a recommendation to his Excellency the Governor General, that he be granted a ticket of leave-not that he be free, but that he be permitted to serve the rest of his sentence under the ticket of leave system, which imposes upon him very strict conditions with which he must comply for the next twenty-three years of his life; otherwise, he is liable at any time to be rearrested and made to serve the rest of his term.

My hon. friend's motion asks that this man be rearrested and sent back to penitentiary. When ticket of leave is granted under the Ticket of Leave Act, it is absolutely forfeited and the man must go back to jail if he commits any indictable offence. An indictable offence involves absolute forfeiture of ticket of leave. Revocation of his ticket of leave takes place upon his conviction of an offence punishable on summary conviction under this or any other Act. If he commits an indictable offence, forfeiture takes place immediately; if he commits a minor offence, revocation may take place forthwith; and, in either case, he goes back to prison. But in addition to these facts, if he violates any of the conditions of his ticket of leave, he is liable to go and serve the balance of his term. In connection with all tickets of leave granted, the following conditions are imposed:

1. The holder shall preserve his license and produce it when called upon to do so by a magistrate or a peace officer.

2. He shall abstain from any violation of

the law. ...

3. He shall not habitually associate with notoriously bad characters, such as reputed thieves and prostitutes.

4. He shall not lead an idle and dissolute life without visible means of obtaining an honest livelihood.

And he must comply with any other conditions which His Excellency the Governor General may impose. Then there is the other clause of the statute referred to by my hon. friend, which imposes further conditions. Section 12, subsection 2, provides as follows:

If it appears from the facts proved before the justice-

That is, in the event of the man being rearrested or charged with any offence.

that there are reasonable grounds for believing that the convict so brought before him is getting his livelihood by dishonest means, such convict shall be deemed guilty of an offence against this Act, and his license shall be forfeited.

The law is particularly plain upon this point, and the procedure in such cases is exceedingly simple. If the man whose case is now under discussion is guilty of getting his livelihood by dishonest means, his ticket of leave is forfeited and he goes back to prison. But the fact that he is living dishonestly must be established. From what I have learned from the statement of my hon. friend who moved this motion, this man seems to have been a money lender

who holds certain judgments against certain debtors. They are apparently judgments of the court, and so long as they stand I assume they are valid judgments; and I do not think that any one would suggest that a creditor in pursuing his rights under a judgment could be held to be getting his livelihood by dishonest means. I know nothing of the circumstances or conditions in regard to the debts which led up to the judgments. All that my hon. friend has to say on that score may be absolutely true, but this is the question that confronts us: Is the man living a

life in accordance with his ticket of leave or his license? Is he free from crime? If he is he will not be molested. Is he obtaining his living by dishonest means? If he is, he will be arrested. There are courts in the city of Montreal competent to try such matters and reach a proper conclusion: I am sure the House is not

such a tribunal.

My hon. friend's motion simply asks that the license, or ticket of leave, granted to this man be set aside, and that he be arrested and sent back to the penitentiary to finish his term. The motion asks us to do something in this House contrary to the plain meaning and effect of the Ticket of Leave Act. The Act declares-that is, this Parliament has said-that under these conditions this man shall be permitted to serve the balance of his sentence at large so long as he lives up to the conditions imposed upon him under his ticket of leave and under the Act of Parliament. My hon. friend's motion seeks practically to set aside the provisions of this Act of Parliament, and the license granted under that Act, and re-arrest this man. I think when the matter is clearly placed before my hon. friend, he will see that the position which he has taken is hardly a sound one, much room as there may be for comment upon the actual condition which exists in regard to this matter in Montreal. I know nothing of these facts, but from my hon. friend's statement I take it that the man has obtained judgments in respect of debt against some people in that city, that he is a pretty ardent creditor and is pursuing the debtors unduly or with great vigour as the case may be. But the law gives him that right. If the judgments are wrong they will be set aside in the civil courts. If he is breaking the law, bring him before the magistrate and have him re-committed; but so long as he lives up to the license that has been granted him

under the Act of Parliament that man should not be molested.

Motion negatived.

Topic:   THE CASE OF W. H. TAPLEY
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QUEBEC RIOTS OF 1918


On the proposed motion by Mr. Cas-grain, That, in the opinion of this House, the proper measures should be adopted in order to insure to the citizens who sustained any losses on account of the so-called Quebec riots in 1918, proper indemnity for such losses.


L LIB

Pierre-François Casgrain

Laurier Liberal

Mr. CASGRAIN:

I am ready to proceed with the motion, but I am informed that there are other members on this side who would like to be heard in connection with the matter. They are not here at present, however, and for that reason I would like to have the motion continued.

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UNION

Edgar Nelson Rhodes (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Unionist

Mr. SPEAKER:

The resolution stands. I take it that the resolution next in order, in the name of the hon. member for West Quebec (Mr. Parent), is practically the same motion. Perhaps under those circumstances the hon. member would consent to drop that resolution.

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L LIB

Ernest Lapointe

Laurier Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

Resolution No. 15 of the hon. member for Charlevoix and Montmorency?

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UNION
L LIB
UNION

Edgar Nelson Rhodes (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Unionist

Mr. SPEAKER:

The hon. member could not debate it until the preceding resolution is disposed of. As a matter of fact he could not debate it this session at all.

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L LIB
UNION

Edgar Nelson Rhodes (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Unionist

Mr. SPEAKER:

Resolution 15 (Mr. Cas-grain) dropped. Resolution 16 (Mr. Parent) stands.

HUDSON BAY RAILWAY Mr. J. A. CAMPBELL (Nelson) moved:

That, in the opinion of this House, work on the Hudson Bay railway which was commenced in 1910 and continued to the end of 1918 should be resumed as early this year as possible, and the project completed without any further delay.

He said: Mr. Speaker, you will recollect that in 1911 an important election campaign was fought in Canada. The main issue during that compaign was the question of reciprocity. In the West, however, there were a few other questions which were very important, in fact not much less im-

portant, than the issue alluded to. These were the transfer to the Prairie Provinces of their natural resources, and the completion of the Hudson Bay railway which at that time had been started. Owing to the fact that the Conservative party at that time were not prepared to submit a policy upon the question of reciprocity which met with the approval of the western [DOT]eople, they laid particular emphasis upon the other two issues referred to and gave them much prominence in their platform and in their speeches. I shall not now discuss the question of the transfer to the provinces of their natural resources; that matter is dealt with in another resolution which stands on the Order Paper in my name. However as to the Hudson Bay railway and its completion, I wish to read a clause or plank in the platform of the Conservative party at that time. It is known as the Halifax platform and clause 3 of the document reads as follows:

Construction of the Hudson Bay railway and its operation by an independent commission.

That was a plank or pledge, in the platform of the late Prime Minister, Sir Robert Borden who, during his western tour in that campaign, had this to say about the project.

The Conservative party has been committed to the construction of the Hudson Bay railway since 1896. The road will be built by the next Conservative Administration without one day's unnecessary delay. It will be operated by an independent commission on behalf, and in the interests, of the people, with full control of rates.

It is hardly necessary for me to say, Mr. Speaker, that that pledge has not been implemented, that the road has not been built, and that delays-both unnecessary and otherwise-have taken place. In brief the situation is as follows: For a period of almost half a century the Hudson Bay Railway project has been before the people of Canada. The history of the enterprise is most unique. There never has been, nor is there now, any party or party leader opposed to the undertaking. On the contrary the construction of the railway has been advocated and promised by all political parties and leaders from the time of the government of Sir John A. Macdonald to the present, the only point of disagreement being as to what party or what government could best and most expeditiously construct the road. The feasibility and practicability of the Hudson Bay route was investigated by different expeditions and commissions. Reports were duly presented and on the strength of these the Government of the day, that of Sir Wilfrid Laurier, decided to build the railway and were strongly

supported by the then opposition, under the leadership of Mr. (now Sir) Robert Borden. The work was commenced in 1910. On the change of Government in 1911, operations were stopped pending further investigation by the new Government, and re-commenced in 1912, the announcement then being made that the road would be finished in 1915. The outbreak of the war caused no cessation in operations, in fact the work of construction was even accelerated. Most of the work on the road and nearly all that on the terminals was done in the years, 1915,1916 and 1917. An item of $1,000,000 was in the Estimates of 1918 to complete the road but practically no work was done that year except the small amount to complete the bridge over Kettle rapids.

The war ended in 1918 and so did the work on the railway. The situation was then, and is now, as follows: The grade

is completed from the Pas to Port Nelson, a distance of 424 miles. Steel is laid 332 miles involving the construction of two steel bridges at a cost of over $700,000. The total cost to date is approximately $14,000,000 for the railway, and work on the terminals has cost over $6,000,000. It is necessary to lay only 92 miles of steel to connect the railway with the terminals, and the estimated cost is $1,700,000. And now after all these years, after carrying on the work throughout the war period, after about $21,000,000 has been spent, and just when the end is in sight, it would appear that the Government has abandoned, for an indefinite period, the project to disuse, deterioration and decay while deciding to go on with other public works, mainly in the East, an action that on the face of it passes my comprehension.

This project has been before the people of Canada for over half a century. It came up at the time of the entrance of Manitoba into the Confederation in 1870. I well remember when a very young boy in Winnipeg being interested, as everybody was, in the election campaign of 1887, the candidates there being Hugh Sutherland and William B. Scarth, the latter the candidate of Sir John A. Macdonald's Government. The only question at issue was the construction of the Hudson Bay railway, and the only point of interest to the people was which one of the candidates could best bring about that desired end. The Government of the day made a strong bid for support, and as a result their candidate won out by about twelve votes, I think it was, purely and simply on that issue.

In 1896, before the general election was held, the then leader of the Conservative

party and Prime Minister of Canada, Sir Charles Tupper, had this to say re the proposed construction of the Hudson Bay railway:

I cannot understand why any lion, gentleman should be Induced to denounce and endeavour to hold up to ridicule, as impracticable, a work upon which not only the sentiments of the people of Manitoba and the Northwest are centred to-day as upon no other question, but a work that X believe, having studied it carefully for many years, is of the most vital consequence to the progress and development of that great country. Now, Sir, I have always been recognized in this House as one who believes thoroughly in Manitoba and the Northwest. Indeed, I may say that, in my judgment, the rapid development and progress of Canada as a whole depends more upon the development of that great prairie region between the Red river and the Rocky mountains, than upon any other scheme that can be devised.

All hon. members will recollect the result of that general election. The matter came up in the second session of 1896 by a question from the gentleman who is now member for Springfield (Mr. Richardson), and in reply Sir Wilfrid Laurier said that an investigation would be proceeded with, as it was the duty of the Government to do so, and afterwards the matter would be gone on with at the earliest possible date. That investigation was proceeded with in various ways during the next few years. In 1906 the matter again came up in this House on a resolution by Mr. W. E. Knowles: That in the opinion of this House it is urgently necessary that the Government should take all possible steps for the speedy construction of a railway to the shores of Hudson bay. The hon. Thomas Greenway, speaking to the motion, mentioned the fact that thirty years before he had been a member of a committee that took evidence in this connection. The right hon. Minister of Trade and Commerce (Sir George Foster)-who I am sorry to see has left his seat-had some very pertinent remarks to make on the question at that particular time. He spoke as follows:

With reference to the special one which has been brought up to-day, I believe the time has come-[DOT]

That was in 1907.

-when the Hudson Bay railroad should be more than an academic question, just to be talked of sympathetically. I believe it ought to be built, and it cannot be built now any too soon. I believe the best plan for building it would be to add the sympathy of the Northwest provinces to the sympathy of the Dominion Government as the central power, join all these sympathies together and make the sympathy praotical, and have the road built on fair conditions up to the great northern port of Canada. I think without doubt that the prophecy that was hinted at by the mover

of this resolution, and the sentiment expressed by myself, cannot be held to be true until it is actually put into experiment; but I believe that a four months' season is perfectly feasible for that northern route. If the old Hudson Bay company, a hundred years ago, got their punts in there through the ice and storms, and made their ports with great regularity, and had an average season of between three and four months for a long-period, what can be done with modern foroes of invention, with vessels built of any degree of strength you wish, and with any amount of motive power you want to put into them, in comparison with those early pioneers? So I believe it is perfectly feasible to have an open route there and a commercial route as well for four months and possibly a good deal longer period, if the proper attempts are made for oarrying out the experiment to a practical conclusion.

A little later he said:

The opening up of this route may work as great changes in that section as the Tehuantepec railway which has just been opened across the Mexican peninsula and the Panama canal, ten or twenty years hence when it is completed will work in connection with Atlantic and Pacific trade routes in the central part of this continent. X should like to see Canada get her short line in the north built as quickly as possible, and I believe that it will greatly enhance the value of Canadian products and of Canadian lands and the wealth of the Canadian nation as a whole.

Sir Wilfrid Laurier in that debate said:

I agree with every sentiment which has been uttered here that there could be no difference of interest between the East and the West. What is doing good for the West is doing good for the East, and vice versa.

In 1908 there was what might be called a full dress debate in this House in connection with that resolution. Fourteen hon. members, both of Conservative and Liberal complexion took part in it. The West, of course, was represented, as was also Ontario, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, and the result of the debate showed the House was practically unanimous in the conclusion that the work should be gone on with. If you permit me, Mr. Speaqer, I shall read a few brief quotations from the speeches made at that time. The gentleman who is now Sir Richard Lake, the late Lieutenant-Governor of Saskatchewan, spoke as follows:

Let me also say that which I think has not been called attention to this evening, namely, this route will be most useful from a military standpoint.

I intended to discuss the question from that standpoint myself, but I am going to let the words of Sir Richard Lake suffice:

Should unhappily we ever be in a state of war in Canada, such a line of railway would be most invaluable to Canada and to the Empire, and it would also be invaluable as affording a safer trade route than any now existing for the food

supplies of the Mother 'Country. Even if we look at It from a certain point of view, it would give us an immense advantage over any rivals we may have in the furnishing of that food supply, because there can be no doubt that the northerly route would be the safest for the transport of food products to the United Kingdom. It would afford a short route also, the shortest of all routes, by which Imperial troops could be quickly and expeditiously and safely conveyed to the Far East. . . . We do not look upon

that as an enterprise in the ordinary acceptation of the term ; we look upon it as an absolute necessity to the continued development of our great provinces in the Northwest.

Mr. A. A. McLean, the then member for Queen's, spoke as follows:

It really seems to me in looking at the map that every man east of the Baie des 'Chaleurs ought to hold up his hand for the construction of a railway to Fort Churchill, provided they are convinced of the navigability of Hudson straits for even five months in the year. The industrial communities of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island would thereby secure easy access to the northern part of this continent for their manufactured products by securing direct water shipment and avoiding the heavy tolls charged on the different railways, while so far as regards the agricultural interests of Prince Edwad Island and Cape Breton, contiguous to the route, there is every reason to suppose that they would be able to find a ready market among our own people for all they have to sell.

Mr. George W. Fowler, then representing King's and Albert, and now in the Senate, and who recently presided over a committee that investigated this project and made the last report in connection therewith, said:

The question of the Hudson Bay railway is a very important question to the people of the West. I do not believe that a more feasible route for a new transportation line can be found than by way of Hudson Bay. For my part, though coming from the extreme East, I am strongly in favour of the construction of this road.

The late Prime Minister, then Mr. R. L. Borden, made these remarks:

In regard to the general question, the subject is one of intense interest to the people of the West. That perfectly apparent to any gentleman who has gone to the West and who knows how thoroughly the people of Manitoba and the two other provinces are convinced that the Hudson Bay route will give to them an outlet which is absolutely necessary to the full and complete development of their country.

Mr. McCarthy, who then represented Calgary, spoke along the same lines. And I need not read the speech made by Hon. Dr. Roche, who subsequently occupied a position in the Cabinet of Sir Robert Borden. Dr. Schaffner, now Senator Schaffner, who has been a consistent and persistent advocate of this route all along, also spoke to the same effect. I wish to read in this connection an extract from the speech of Mr. J. Herron, of Alberta, Which refers particularly to the benefit that the establishment of such a route would confer on the cattle industry. He said:

I would like, however, to say that one phase of the Hudson Bay route which especially commends lit to the favour of the people of Southern Alberta, lies in the advantage that it will offer In connection with the shipment of cattle from that range country. Our wild Stock raised on the prairies do not take kindly to transportation by rail. It is the long railway journey from Alberta to the sea-ooaist that takes practically the cream off the business of cattle raising on the western plains; and if we had a railroad to Hudson Bay, it would give us the advantage of a shorter railway journey by 1,000 miles. For that reason alone the people of Southern Alberta are (specially interested in the building of that railroad. I would be glad to see the Government take up the question in a practical *way andi carry it to a termination Instead of simply using it for political purposes from year to year, and letting it end' at that. With these remarks I merely wish to state that I will support the resolution.

As I have intimated, we have statements there from six different provinces, all emphatically in favour of this project; and the statements are made by gentlemen on both sides of the political fence.

In 1910 the work was commenced by the Government of Sir Wilfrid Laurier by the construction of a bridge over the Saskatchewan at The Pas. The question, however, again came up in this House in 1911 on motion of Mr. D. B. Neely, then member for Humboldt. I refer to this as I wish to give two or three more quotations, one of which is from the remarks of the Minister of Railways and Canals at that time, the late Hon. Frank Cpchrane-and this is very emphatic and definite:

I want to tell him now that this Government will carry out the promises they made when in Opposition. There has been no change of policy in reference to the building of the Hudson Bay railway... There will be no further delay than is absolutely necessary for the checking up of these surveys.

Sir Robert Borden, then Mr. Borden, Prime Minister, said on that occasion:

We expect to proceed with the construction o>f this road, to ipreceed with it as soon as we can .possibly do so, having regard to what is demanded by the interests of the country both east and west, namely that the very best route shall be selected. *

The only question raised at that time it will he noticed was the checking up of surveys and the location of the route. The House will be interested, I am sure, to hear a quotation in this respect from the remarks of the present Minister of Militia (Mr. Guthrie) on that occasion, he was somewhat doubtful as to the Government's bona fides in the matter. He said:

But the attitude of the present Government with regard to the Hudson Bay railway now appears to be that this road is going to be changed, to be delayed, and perhaps indefinitely postponed. That is not a satisfactory condition of affairs.

If, Mr. Speaker, it was not a satisfactory condition in December 1911, it is certainly no less unsatisfactory at the present time. After the conclusion of the election campaign of 1911 the work was stopped, the reason given being that what had been done by the previous Administration needed investigation, and that the question of the route would have to be looked into further. This was done, and in 1912 the work was recommenced. During 1914, 1915, 1916, and 1917, the war years, the greatest amount of work was done on this road. It has always been difficult for me to understand how it was that when we were straining every effort to bring the war to a successful conclusion the greatest amount of work was done and the most money was spent on this project. I can only explain that by the assumption that the Government thought the war might last a considerable length of time and that it was necessary to get the Hudson Bay railway finished in order that it might furnish one important link in the chain of preparations that were being made for the successful conclusion of the war. A great many people thought that if the Hudson Bay railway had been completed when the war broke out, supplies and reinforcements could have been got over much more quickly and thus have materially assisted in bringing about the desired end. However, without going into the details, I may say that approximately three-quarters of the total amount spent on the project was spent during those years.

In 1918 the Estimates contained an item of $1,000,000 for the completion of the road, and it was intimated at that time that by the use of certain material which the Government had on hand the road could be completed for that amount. At the beginning of 1918 all there was to do before going on with the laying of steel was the finishing of the bridge over the Nelson river at Kettle Rapids which bridge cost approximately $400,000 but the completion of this bridge was all the work that was done that year; the money voted was not expended. Some of us in the House at that time urged that if the work was not completed it should at least be gone on with and the rails laid eighteen miles further on in order to connect up with a couple

of trestles over the Limestone river and thus prevent their being washed out by spring freshets. Nothing, however, was done, and these trestles have since been lost.

In 1919 the opinion began to prevail out in the West that the Government did not intend to go on with the railway, and as everyone out there was interested, resolutions were passed by various public bodies and delegations came down to Ottawa from Provincial Governments from boards of trade, from Municipal Councils, from Grain Growers Associations and other public associations throughout the West. Delegations from the Provincial Governments of Manitoba and Saskatchewan, the Winnipeg Board of Trade, the Saskatoon Board of Trade, from Boards of Trade of the Pas, Moosomin, Belford, Yorkton, and other places interviewed the Government. I might say that at this time the western members got together and in a caucus which they held passed a very strong resolution urging on the Government that no further delay be incurred in connection with the completion of this project. I shall not read the resolution in toto; I quote simply a couple of clauses from it:

Therefore, It is resolved that in the opinion of the subscribing members of the House of Commons that to leave the road incomplete is to waste a great part of twenty millions of dollars, and that this and not preceding Governments will be held responsible for such waste.

Further down it says:

That the railway is a national undertaking long overdue and until the enterprise is complete, it will be a disturbing element in western thought and Canadian politics. That the experience gained when in Manitoba the Canadian Pacific monopoly was broken and southern railway connections brought added traffic will be repeated, and the resources to be developed by this railway should assure an increase of traffic on existing systems.

This was signed by all but two of the western members, on all sides of politics who were then present.

To sum up, Mr. Speaker, I may say that the construction of the Hudson bay railway was a plank in the platforms of all the Dominion parties. It was a plank in the platforms of the parties of the western provinces of Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Alberta. It was supported by all the leaders of both parties from the time it first became a public question until the present, including the present leaders of the three parties in this House; yet in the face of this we have the unsatisfactory condition which exists.

I do not propose to go into the question of the feasibility or the practicability of the route; that would appear to me to be simply a work of supererogation. Investigations have taken place; expeditions have been sent out; evidence has been taken by commissions; committees of this House and of the Senate have reported at different times during these years, all practically with the one result as summed up in the last report of the Senate, which was submitted last year, and which, in epitome, said that the Hudson Bay route was feasible and practicable and urged that it be gone on with. One government commenced the work; another government stopped the work in order to envestigate certain features of the project and the procedure in general. Then, after some delay, the work was again resumed rather briskly, but after a number of years, without any reason whatever being given, the work was stopped.

The West is solid for this project, and I am satisfied that the bulk of opinion in the East is favourable to it. The situation in the East has probably changed, in recent years, and I know personally that newspapers which formerly opposed this project are now in favour of it. There is no reason whatever why the East should oppose it in any way. Some say that the territory through which the Hudson Bay railway passes is a barren waste and the idea of its being an overseas route is impracticable. We well remember however the statements made when the Canadian Pacific railway was under contract and construction in the first instance, how papers in the East said that it would never pay and how they generally ridiculed the idea that there would ever be any settlements on the western plains. The same statements are now being made as regards the Hudson Bay railway and the north country generally, with the same reason. The arguments adduced at the time the work was started are still good. The western plains are still 1,000 or 1,500 miles nearer to the markets of the world by this route than by any other. It provides an additional route, as was argued at that time. It also provides a natural and exclusively Canadian route, as was also argued then. The evidence brought out shows that cargoes can be shipped over that route by rail and water; that return cargoes can be obtained, and that the straits can be navigated. A casual glance at the map will show that Hudson bay is

62J

still in the same position, and it looks as if it were providentially placed there in order to be a great outlet for the products of the West.

Not only are the old arguments good, but since the Hudson Bay railway has been started, additional arguments and reasons for its completion have come to the fore. It is now known that there are in that district resources of which we had not dreamed at the time the Hudson Bay railway was first projected. And the bay itself is an important asset. A few years ago the Timiskaming and Northern Ontario railway was projected and constructed by the Ontario Government to tap the clay belt in northern Ontario. By means of that railway, discoveries have been made which have put Ontario on the map as a mining country, and the benefits of that railway cannot be overestimated. Some such situation as that may occur, in fact is taking place, with regard to the Hudson Bay railway. There is, within fifteen miles from Mile 82 on the railway an important gold deposit which is rapidly coming into prominence and which may yet take its place as a producer alongside that famous district of northern Ontario. I might say also, to give another instance of what the Hudson Bay railway has done for that northern territory, that one of the engineers on the railway, along with a companion in the year 1915, while on a prospecting expedition in that territory, discovered a body of copper sulphide ore from which 26,000 tons have already been shipped to Trail, B.C., at an expense of approximately $50 per ton, the amount realized being over $100 per ton. Thus it was, that the Mandy mine was discovered and brought to the attention of the public. Within a few miles of that mine, there is a deposit of copper, a similar sulphide ore, not nearly so valuable per ton, but much more extensive, which after two or three years of diamond drilling at an expense of probably half a million dollars, has proven up to the extent of sixteen to twenty million tons of an average value of eight to ten dollars per ton. These are a few items showing the situation with reference to the mineral resources up in that country.

Topic:   QUEBEC RIOTS OF 1918
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L LIB

William Daum Euler

Laurier Liberal

Mr. EULER:

Is the hon. member

favouring the construction of the Hudson Bay railway because of the resources that may be developed in that northern country and for transportation inland, or because

of the facilities for transportation overseas?

Topic:   QUEBEC RIOTS OF 1918
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UNION

John Archibald Campbell

Unionist

Mr. CAMPBELL:

The original argument for the Hudson hay route was that it would facilitate transportation overseas. But since the road has been under construction, it has been shown that the natural resources, not only in the district, but in the bay itself, are such as would' fully warrant the construction of the railway, simply for the purpose of developing those resources by opening up the country, and connecting with the bay itself if the other questions were left out of consideration altogether. Thus, instead of one argument, we have now three arguments for constructing and completing that route at the earliest possible date.

Topic:   QUEBEC RIOTS OF 1918
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L LIB

William Daum Euler

Laurier Liberal

Mr. EULER:

Will the hon. member state definitely for how many months in the year one can count on the Hudson strait being open? Is it not the case that it will be open for two months only?

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UNION

John Archibald Campbell

Unionist

Mr. CAMPBELL:

As I said before, I did not purpose going into the question of navigability of the straits and the feasibility of the route generally, on account of the fact that so many commissions have taken evidence on this matter and there is so much evidence that I could take up the time of the House from now until late in the evening going into this question. But as the hon. member asks me what I think, I will tell him, that from the evidence submitted, it is safe to say that the strait will be open for navigation for a period of four months in the year, and that with modern aids to navigation which were not possible in years past, such as the aeroplane, wireless telegraphy and various other instruments that have been discovered within recent years, that period might readily be extended to five months. Personally, I think I am safe in saying that. There are gentlemen who know the situation, who have lived up in the district, who have investigated the matter thoroughly, who will go further than that. There are others who will not go quite so far. If I were to go into this question fully, I would take up more time than I think would be necessary, and I take it for granted that the Government were fully satisfied on this point before they expended $20,000,000 on the project.

In that northern country, in addition to the resources that I have mentioned, there are extensive water-powers. Those on the Nelson are estimated to amount to between

two and three million horse-power. The Hudson Bay railway runs for a great distance almost parallel to the Nelson river, and some of those water-powers could be used in connection with the railway itself. There are great areas of pulpwood in close proximity to . the water-powers. Besides- and I just wish to mention this fact-notwithstanding statements that have been made otherwise, there are immense areas of land which are suitable for agriculture and which will eventually be developed. In a government publication issued by the Natural Resources Development Branch of the Department of the Interior, this statement is made:

One of the principal factors in bringing It into prominence, however,-

That is the district and its resources.

-was the construction of the Hudson Bay division of the Canadian Government railways.

The House is familiar to some extent with the writings of the Messrs. Tyrrell who have travelled that country extensively during the last twenty-five years, and in a book issued by them a statement is made that the Hudson bay itself will be looked upon in the future as a national asset; that it contains immense fishing resources and in the surrounding lands are to be found iron, galena, graphite, mica and other minerals.

The construction of this railway is of paramount necessity to the West.

Canadian Finance is an independent financial journal published in Winnipeg. It is non political and is edited by men who look upon matters from a sound sensible, and practical standpoint. It says:

The development of the untold resources of the North is dependent to a great exteht upon the railroad facilities which the Hudson's Bay Railway will provide.

For this reason, if for no other, the railways should be proceeded with energetically. Western Canada needs it and desires no unnecessary delay in its completion.

That is another statement that will furnish an answer to the question of my hon. friend from North Waterloo (Mr. Euler). The Hudson Bay railway is to the Western Provinces what the Intercolonial was to the Maritime Provinces and what the Canadian Pacific was to British Columbia. With this difference, that not only were definite promises made but agreements were entered into between the Government of the day and the Maritime Provinces and British Columbia respectively regarding these two railways, whereas in connection with the Hudson Bay railway

we have simply the statements of different governments and their leaders regarding its construction. Is the word of this Government as good as its bond? If so, this railway will be constructed just as these other railways have been. But if tfie promise made to the people of the West is not as binding as the promises made to the people of these other parts of Canada, then presumably the project will be allowed to lapse and nothing further be done. We take it, of course, that the Government has regard for its promises and will go ahead with this railway as it is in duty bound to do.

The West and the Government itself appear to be increasingly confident in the success of this railway. If hon. gentlemen will look at the map which used to hang in the Railway Committee room, hut which I have not seen since the new Railway Committee room has been opened, they will find that nearly all, or a great many at all events, of the branch lines which have been constructed recently and are being constructed in the West have been projected with the idea of ultimately connecting up with the Hudson Bay railway. Delegations were here during the last two years from the different parts of the West, one from Moosomin and Yorkton, with the idea of getting a line from the Estevan coal fields almost straight north to connect up with Hudson Bay Junction and the Hudson Bay railway. The line running out of Melfort northeasterly from that point it intended eventually to link up with the Hudson Bay railway, and Saskatoon, and Calgary. I might quote other instances but these are sufficient for the time being. Hon. members will find by the map I have referred to, that fourteen charters have been granted for railways to the Hudson bay, most of them from the west side, but one or two from the east side. Before concluding I might say that as far as I can make out no real reasons have been given for abandoning this project. The only reason that is put forward at the present time is the matter of economy. You may recollect, Mr. Speaker, having read the statement of Artemus Ward, who intimated that he was at the time of the Civil War, ready to sacrifice all his wife's relations on the altar of his country. That seems to be the attitude taken by the Government at the present time. They are prepared to sacrifice this project but they are not prepared to sacrifice other things

nearer home. In view of the lavish expenditure of 1919, and of the proposed expenditures in the Estimates which have recently been brought down, wherein provision has been made for Toronto Harbour works, the Welland canal, the ever present Trent canal, a new dry dock at Esquimalt and St. John Harbour works it would seem that one particular undertaking is being sacrificed in the interests of economy, and other new ones brought forward.

I had intended to take up the question of providing rails and ties for this railway but shall defer doing so, except to say that the course of the Government in the last few years has shown some of us conclusively and emphatically that there does not appear to be any intention on the part of the Government to go on with this project, but rather to let it lapse into deterioration and decay. I think I am safe in saying that every year the work is allowed to stand as it is will mean the loss of 81,000,000 at least and possibly more. Hon. gentlemen will readily understand that a railway with 324 miles of steel completely laid, and 92 additional miles of a dump, will, if left to the by no means tender mercies of the elements, soon suffer great depreciation and loss.

In conclusion I wish to say, what perhaps is not generally known, that the West itself is paying for this road. In 1909 in a discussion on an item of Supply there appears in Hansard the following:

Mr. Lake: It was understood by this House, I think, that the money to be expended on the construction of the Hudson Bay railway was to come from a special fund to be created by the sale of pre-emptions.

Mr. Graham: Yes.

It would appear to me unnecessary to read any more in this connection. I made inquiry last year, and got a statement to the effect that approximately $28,000,000 of these pre-emptions had been sold in Western Canada up to that time. Unfortunately, I have not the statement with me, but that is the amount in round figures. Of that $28,000,000 approximately one-half had already been collected. This money, according to the statement I have just read, is intended to be applied to the construction and completion of the Hudson Bay railway.

If ever there was a case made out for any public work in Canada it has surely been made out for the Hudson Bay railway. If ever solemn promises and definite pledges have been given by any political party or its leaders, they have been given

in connection with this railway; but these solemn promises have been broken, and not even a plausible excuse has been given. The only conclusion that some of us can come to is that there must be behind the Government some special interests who are opposed to the construction of this road and are preventing further work being done, such interests being, for reasons best known to themselves, not in position to show their hand at the present time. I now beg to move the resolution seconded by the hon. member for Prince Albert (Mr. Knox).

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UNION

Arthur Meighen (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Unionist

Right Hon. ARTHUR MEIGHEN (Prime Minister):

Mr. Speaker, I rise not to discuss the resolution, but rather to raise at this juncture a point of order. It seems to me a resolution of this character comes within the category of those which the rules of the House provide cannot be submitted by a private member. It must be manifest to every hon. member that if the resolution passes, it involves at once either the expenditure of public money or the introduction of an appropriation for the purpose. It virtually amounts to a direction by the House for large immediate commitments. It would occur to me that if it is competent for a resolution of this character to be introduced by a private member, it should be just as competent for a Bill involving the same result to be so introduced. In fact, I do not see any value whatever in the well-known reservation that financial commitments are to be initiated by the Government alone, if resolutions of this character can be introduced and discussed. At all events, I submit that thought to yourself, Mr. Speaker, for consideration. I know that no one will be disposed to dispute the wisdom of the rule that acts of Parliament or resolutions involving expenditure of public money should be introduced only at the initiation of the Government, because otherwise there seems to me to be no restraint which the Government, as those fundamentally responsible, can exercise over expenditure. Furthermore, the members of the House themselves are put in a very difficult position if the House is to be committed, either by resolution or by Bill, to large expenditures at the initiation of a private member.

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UNION

Edgar Nelson Rhodes (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Unionist

Mr. SPEAKER:

The Prime Minister has raised a very intricate point of order, and one on which I would not care to give a decision off-hand. The hon. member whose name has been submitted as the seconder of the resolution has risen to speak, and I would prefer that for the present he go

on with his discussion of the resolution. I would prefer to reserve my decision on the point of order in the meantime, and perhaps I shall be able to give it later on in the discussion.

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UNI L

William Stevens Fielding

Unionist (Liberal)

Hon. W. S. FIELDING (Shelburne and Queen's) :

If I might be permitted on the point of order, while the general ground as stated by my right hon. friend is correct, I think the rules of the House permit an expression of abstract opinion that does not in itself call for public expenditure, and I am inclined to think, and I submit it for your consideration, Mr. Speaker, that the resolution of the hon. gentleman comes within that rule

that it does not call for an expenditure of public money. On the merits of the question I do not wish to say anything at all. I just wish to submit that thought for your consideration on the point of order.

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UNION

Edgar Nelson Rhodes (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Unionist

Mr. SPEAKER:

It would be quite competent for any hon. member to discuss the point of order, but I would prefer that discussion to come a little later on when I am prepared to give a ruling. In the meantime I would like the seconder of the reso lution to proceed with his address.

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PRO

Andrew Knox

Progressive

Mr. ANDREW KNOX (Prince Albert) :

Mr. Speaker, in seconding this resolution I wish very briefly to deal with one or two points which I consider of vital importance to the people of the West, and incidentally to the people of the whole Dominion. The hon. member for Nelson (Mr. Compbell) has gone into the matter very fully, and brought out a number of very important points as to why this project should be completed. He has shown that a great asset of the Dominion of Canada exists in this route up to and through the Hudson bay, and I think there can be no question that this asset is at the present time deteriorating and being allowed to go backward instead of forward. I am intensely interested in the development of the natural resources of this country, and particularly of those resources in the great Hinterland of the Northwest more or less tributary to the Hudson bay. I cannot think of anything that would tend to the development of those resources more than the opening up of that country by the Hudson Bay railway. There is one other reason which impresses itself upon my mind as to the necessity of doing something along the line of opening up this route, and that is'the fact that at the present time the West is carrying a very heavy burden in the shape of high freight rates. These freight rates have the effect of causing trade and production to stagnate, in that

supplies shipped into the West have to be carried over a most expensive system of transportation, and the products of the West have also to be shipped out over that same system. I- believe that the development of the Hudson Bay route would overcome that difficulty to a certain extent.

The belief prevails very strongly throughout the West that eastern interests are in some way opposed to the opening up of the Hudson Bay route. Consequently, we believe that the delay in completing the project has been inspired by those interests. That belief does prevail very strongly throughout the West. The people of the West have been looking forward for this railway for a great number of years. I might state that at the annual meetings of the Saskatchewan Grain Growers' Association we have dealt with this question year after year for probably 15 years. A resolution has been passed at every meeting after discussion, and in every case carried by a unanimous vote.

As to the difference in distance for supplies going into the West or produce coming out of the West, if we take some point in the middle West, say the town of Kinder-sley, which is a prominent central point, we find that the difference in distance to the ocean outlet from Kindersley is almost 1,100 miles in favour of the Hudson Bay route via Nelson as compared with a point such as Montreal. In the constituency I have the honour to represent, which produces a great deal of produce in the shape of both beef and grain, the difference in distance from almost any point in the constituency is over 1,200 miles. This is something which should surely appeal not only to the people of the West but to the whole Dominion, for the more prosperity we have in the West, the more prosperity we have in the whole Dominion. As to the present state of the road, I have not seen it personally, but I have discussed it with people who have been over it, and I wish to quote a short extract from a western newspaper written by a man who is thoroughly conversant with the road and has been over it. He says:

The ties under those 333 miles of finished track from The Pas to Kettle Rapids are rotten, so rotten that a slow moving train which creeps out twice each month is derailed time after time from spreading rails. The writer was on this train two trips out this past summer, and saw the box cars turned over on their sides, the ties shattered into rotten bits and the rails warped out of shape, because the track is not being taken care of. It is a disgrace to the railway department to so neglect a priceless asset of the Canadian people, and the time will come when somebody must be called to account for this condition of things.

Hon. members from the West have on many occasions drawn the attention of the Department of Railways and Canals to the state of this road, and are anxiously pressing that some attention be paid to it, so that the present conditiop shall not continue.

I do not intend to go into the question of the feasibility of the route because that has been conceded by both the old political parties, and has been pointed out by my hon. friend from Nelson. I should like, however, to refer to the fact that a Senate committee was appointed last year, consisting of 12 members and in their final report I find this:

The committee had in view the securing of information on the following points:

(1) The length of the season during which the bay and strait were reasonably navigable, having in view the presence of ice, the occurrence and persistence of snowstorms, the advantages to be gained by aids to navigation, such as wireless telegraphy, lighthouses, fog signals, and hydroplanes.

(2) The style and size of vessels to be used for the carrying trade.

(3) The relative merits of the two ports, Nelson and Churchill, and the relative cost of the development of each port.

(4) The fishing resources of the bay and strait and of the rivers emptying into the bay.

(6) The mineral resources of the country tributary to the bay.

(6) The utilization of the country for the production of meat and furs to be obtained from the reindeer and musk ox, which would subsist upon the extremely nutritious grasses grown [DOT] there.

This committee was appointed on April 22 of last year, and, after holding fifteen meetings and examining twenty-one witnesses brought from different parts of the Dominion, who had a knowledge of conditions, they submitted their report on June 4. I shall not read the whole report because it is rather lengthy, but I desire to quote the following:

Tour committee makes the following findings upon the evidence adduced before them:

(1) That the Hudson Bay route is feasible and will probably in time be profitable.

(2) That the season of navigation under present conditions is at least four months in length and may by reason of improvements in aids to navigation be considerably increased.

I would draw the attention of the hon. member for North Waterloo (Mr. Euler), who made inquiries as to the length of the season, to the paragraph I have just read.

(3) That in the opinion of this committee sufficient care was not taken in the selection of Nelson as the terminus of the railway, and that the Government should not make further important expenditures upon this port without first making a new and thorough examination into the relative merits of Churchill and Nelson as a terminus of the railroad.

(4) That the waters of the strait and rivers tributary to the bay teem with fish and valu-

able marine animals, and we believe that the bay is equally well stocked but there has not yet been sufficient data collected as to the extent of the fisheries of the bay to enable an authoritative statement to be made as to their value.

(5) That the mines already discovered in the Hudson bay district are of sufficient number and richness to indicate the existence of great potential mineral wealth.

(6) Tour committee feel that they cannot too strongly endorse the value of the suggestion of Mr. Stefansson as to the cultivation of the reindeer and musk ox, and would urge upon the Government that the Department of the Interior be empowered to take hold of this matter, earnestly taking advantage of what has been done in this regard by the United States Government.

(7) Tour committee, although it is somewhat outside the scope of their mandate, cannot close this report without making some reference to the national value of the explorations of Vihljalmur Stefansson. He has completely revolutionized our ideas of the region within the Polar Circle. He has demonstrated that it is possible for white men to live and thrive in that northern region though drawing from no other resources than those afforded by the country itself, and he has proven that those lands which were looked upon as barren and utterly worthless will eventually be a valuable asset to Canada. The committee ventures the hope that the Canadian Government will not be unmindful of the great services performed by Mr. Stefansson, whose reward so far has not been commensurate with the national importance of the work he has accomplished.

(8) Tour committee expresses its thanks to the gentlemen who have voluntarily come forward and given valuable evidence upon the important matters under consideration.

(9) Tour committee submit herewith an extract in narrative form of the evidence given before the committee, and beg to recommend that one thousand copies of this report and the extract of the evidence be printed in pamphlet form for general distribution.

All which is respectfully submitted.

Geo. W. Fowler,

Chairman.

I do not wish to detain the House any further, but I would say that we recognize the necessity of economy at the present time. In looking over the Estimates one is struck by the fact that the Government seems bold enough to put an item there for $5,000,000 for the Welland canal, a project which cannot have any immediate result. Such being the case, surely it is not out of place to request that they consider the completion of the Hudson Bay railway.

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March 16, 1921