March 17, 1922

CON

Richard Burpee Hanson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HANSON:

Is there anything in the comity of nations to prevent such a thing happening? Does the hon. gentleman know of any precedent against it?

Topic:   THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH ADDRESS IN REPLY
Permalink
LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD (Pictou):

I can find no precedent in history nor any international law whereby one country attempted to operate a railway in the territory of another country. I pointed out that in the case of the Suez canal and the Panama canal, concessions were obtained from the countries through which they ran.

Topic:   THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH ADDRESS IN REPLY
Permalink
CON

Henry Lumley Drayton

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir HENRY DRAYTON:

Has my hon. friend forgotten that the United States has operated railways in Canada?

Topic:   THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH ADDRESS IN REPLY
Permalink
LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD (Pictou):

The

United States Government?

Topic:   THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH ADDRESS IN REPLY
Permalink
CON
LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD (Pictou) :

In war time, perhaps; but my hon. friends know very well that that is no answer to the contention I am making. Many things were done in war time, as my hon. friend knows, by agreement and consent. Will my hon. friend, who wrote a report on the railway question, tell me if he knows of any case in the history of the world where in peace time one country operated a road in the territory of another without having the consent of that other country? No, my hon. friend cannot do it; it is impossible for him to do it. I am only submitting these as reasons why we should give due thought to this matter. The problem is not one that can be solved overnight.

My hon. friend from Cumberland (Mr. Logan) has called the attention of the House to the situation with re-

5 p.m. gard to the railway that runs through the Maritime provinces, and he proved conclusively, I submit, that that was a railroad which was built, not under any legislation of this Parliament, but under legislation passed by the Imperial Parliament, providing for the construction of that railroad and providing also, as a matter of law, I submit, for its operation. Anyway, both political parties have for forty years proceeded to operate that railway in the light of what is claimed to be the intent of the British North America Act. From 1878 down to 1918 that railway was operated on the lines which, we say, the Imperial Act demanded. My right hon. friend's (Mr. Meighen) propensity for Orders in Council is very well

known, and when Messrs. Mackenzie and Mann were given charge of the railways in the western part of Canada he passed an Order in Council on the 20th of November, 1918, providing in part as follows:

His Excellency the Governor General in Council is further pleased to order and declare that the persons from time to time comprising the Board of Directors of the Canadian Northern Railway Company, shall be and they are hereby appointed a Board of Management of the Canadian Government Railways and are hereby given the powers vested in the General Manager under the general regulations of the Canadian Government Railways adopted by Order In Council of the 22nd January, 1914.

That meant that Mr. Hanna and his co-directors of the Canadian Northern Railway were given the powers which are declared and set out in the general Railway Act of the Dominion Government, which are no more than the powers which were exercised by Mr. Gutelius when he was General Manager, and by Mr. Pot-tinger who was also General Manager for many years. But, notwithstanding that their powers were limited, these gentlemen, the directors of the Canadian Northern Railway, proceeded to treat the road as if it were part and parcel of the Canadian Northern Railway. They proceeded to remove all responsibility and authority for matters connected with the road from the Maritime provinces, where it had always been, to the city of Toronto; and the result of that change, for which the right hon. leader of the Opposition was responsible, was that a situation was created which became absolutely intolerable in a business way and every other way-a situation which those of us representing constituencies along the line of the Intercolonial railway have been sent here to tell this House and the Government must be remedied. My right hon. friend is well aware of the feeling that existed in regard to this matter. My opponent in the county of Pictou in the last election was one of the directors that my right hon. friend appointed for the Canadian National Railway, and realizing the feeling that existed in the constituency he issued a statement. Referring to the proposal that the management of the railway should be removed from Toronto back to the Maritime provinces, he said:

This proposal was some considerable time ago placed before the Minister of Railways and the Premier and approved. I have assurance of the Premier that just as soon as the necessary departmental changes are made, and this policy can be arranged, transfer of departmental work will be made from Montreal to Moncton; and the people of the Maritime

The Address

Provinces may expect this within a very short time; I expect before the end of the year to see arrangements above referred to in full actual effect.

My hon. friend who represents Royal in the province of New Brunswick went on record as follows:

I am in favour of restoration of Maritime rights in connection with C.N.R. In fact, it is in my platform which I have put before this constituency.

And the present Solicitor General (Mr. McKenzie) also put the case very well in the public press just before the election.

He said:

In reply to your telegram asking my opinion on Maritime management of C.N.R. let me state that section 145 B.N.A. contemplates Maritime control of operation and freight rates On Intercolonial under control of competent men in sympathy and touch with local conditions.

I could read statements from other supporters of my right hon. friend pledging themselves to do-what? To have an Order in Council passed-and this is what we ask Mr. Speaker, cancelling this Order in Council which appointed Mr Hanna and his co-directors, the general managers of the Intercolonial Railway, and providing for the appointment of men who will be in sympathy with our local conditions, and who will attempt to understand the operation of the road.

Topic:   THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH ADDRESS IN REPLY
Permalink
PRO

Thomas Alexander Crerar

Progressive

Mr. CRERAR:

Would the hon. member

allow me to ask a question?

Topic:   THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH ADDRESS IN REPLY
Permalink
LIB
PRO

Thomas Alexander Crerar

Progressive

Mr. CRERAR:

I desire to thank my

hon. friend for the compliment he has paid me. As a matter of information, will my hon. friend state what advantage would accrue in the operation of a system under his proposals which do not exist at the present time?

Topic:   THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH ADDRESS IN REPLY
Permalink
LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD (Pictou) :

I could begin by telling my hon. friend what disadvantages would he done away with. Probably that is the best way to answer. All that we are asking for is simply what we have had for forty years. Our condition is not the same as that of British Columbia. We are asking simply for the restoration of conditions which existed for forty years under both political parties, who interpreted the Imperial Act along certain lines. Situated as we are at one end of the Dominion, and to a certain extent out of the beaten track of operation of the trunk line railways in Central Canada, more particularly in the summertime, when the whole volume of

trade runs to and from the St. Lawrence, I contend that we should have intelligence and sympathetic management. The conditions of operation to which I refer have been enjoyed by us for forty years. British Columbia never had any such condition as that. There never was any operation along the lines we are asking for. Let me give an illustration. We hear about freight rates. My hon. friend told us that it . cost his constituents out west 50 per cent of the value of their oats to carry them down to Port Arthur.

Topic:   THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH ADDRESS IN REPLY
Permalink
PRO

Thomas Alexander Crerar

Progressive

Mr. CRERAR:

Not my constituentsfurther west, from Alberta.

Topic:   THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH ADDRESS IN REPLY
Permalink
LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD (Pictou) :

Let me tell him that to-day, under the existing management, they charge our coal companies in Nova Scotia 60 per cent of the value of the coal to carry it to Montreal. They charge us more to carry coal to Montreal than they charge to carry coal from Lovett, Alberta down to Prince Rupert, although it is a longer distance, and they have to go over the Rockies. That is an illustration. '

Topic:   THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH ADDRESS IN REPLY
Permalink
PRO

Thomas Alexander Crerar

Progressive

Mr. CRERAR:

My hon. friend proposes that the control of rates should he taken out of the hands of the Railway Commission.

Topic:   THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH ADDRESS IN REPLY
Permalink
LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD (Pictou) :

It has never been in the hands of the Board of Railway Commissioners. That is the situation. I might explain the matter to my hon. friend. The followers of the administration of my right hon. friend (Mr. Meighen) led the people of the Maritime provinces to believe that this railway was under the Railway Commission, and when there wa: complaint about railways his friends down there always said "This is fixed by the Board of Railway Commissioners, and there is no use kicking. This man Carvel], and his associates are bad men, and they are fixing the rates." That is entirely incorrect. It never was under that board at ail. The Minister of Railways under my right hon. friend's administration approved the tariff fixed by Mr. Hanna. That is the way the rates were fixed, and it was in order to clear up the question that we attended the meeting of the board when freight rates were being investigated in the Maritime provinces.

Topic:   THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH ADDRESS IN REPLY
Permalink
CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

Does the hon. gentleman not know that all those schedules are first approved by the Railway Commission?

The Address

Topic:   THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH ADDRESS IN REPLY
Permalink
LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD (Pictou) :

I do not know that, but I will tell my hon. friend that I personally appeared before the Railway Commission in the province of Nova Scotia and asked them to declare where they stood

on this question, and whether they had any right to fix rates or any responsibility in regard to rates, and they said, "No."

Topic:   THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH ADDRESS IN REPLY
Permalink
CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

But they had final

authority.

Topic:   THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH ADDRESS IN REPLY
Permalink
LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD (Pictou) :

My hon. friend is probably not aware of it, but they had a letter from my hon. friend the late Minister of Railways, Hon. Dr. Reid, telling them that whatever rates were fixed for the Canadian Pacific Railway from St. John would be adopted on the other road. Mr. Hanna, the general manager of the road, under the Minister of Railways and the railway department, fixed the rates, and they are responsible for the rates. It is not merely a question of rates. Nothing can be bought along the railway for any purpose whatever, unless it is purchased in Toronto or up in Ontario. Take the question of coal. Here we are in Nova Scotia, the only coal producing province in the Dominion east of the Rockies. These men in charge of the railways purchased over a million tons of coal in the United States, brought it in last year, and hauled it within a measurable distance of the city of Quebec. We could have supplied that coal from our mines, and our miners were out of work at that time. That is an indication of the utter lack of sympathy that has characterized the management of this railway, and I want to say that every man that lived along the line of that railway, whether he sits on this side of the House or on the other side, was pledged in this respect at the last election.

I wanted to put before this House these two situations, which warrant the statement that the Government was going to inquire into this matter, and that there should be due consideration given to the question of co-ordination, having regard to the situation of the Intercolonial and the Grand Trunk. I have no hesitation in saying that if by legislation this Parliament undertook to take away any rights or privileges we have under the British North America Act, it would be the duty of the local legislatures of our provinces to appeal to the Imperial Government to disallow any such legislation. There are two important things in regard to this

rMr. Macdonald.]

matter that are well worthy of the attention of the House and the Government. So far as we are concerned in the Maritime provinces, we ask no exceptional favours. The freight rate problems are general throughout the whole country, and we are perfectly willing to pay our proper share in regard to that, but we do not propose to have the management from Toronto sending down to us Canadian Northern engines and cars, and taking our locomotives away and running them on other railways. We do not propose to sit quietly down and permit that to be done. We do not propose to have these men who do not know anything about our business down there trying to dominate us and our personal interests in our province. That is true of all the Maritime provinces, and I venture to say there is not a man from New Brunswick on the other side of the House who will not support the position I am taking in regard to this matter.

We have given a great deal of care and thought to this question, and the result of all these things I have mentioned shows that the people who have been directing the government-owned railways for the last three years have not been able to produce results that have been satisfactory to the country. I think every hon. gentleman will agree with that. My hon. colleague from Nova Scotia (Mr. Fielding) has a very heavy and grave task before him in dealing with the problem, to obtain the finances necessary to meet the deficit. I do think the solution of this problem is of the greatest possible importance to the whole country. It is a most serious matter for these gentlemen who live in the West, and it interferes with us in the East as well. How to find a way out in the best interests of Canada is the problem, and I sympathize with my hon. friend the Minister of Railways (Mr. Kennedy) on account of the very heavy responsibility that has been placed upon him in dealing with the heritage that comes to him from the maladministration of the right hon. gentleman on the other side of the House. I do not think we can have in this Parliament any pretence from him or from any of his followers that this railway situation was occasioned by any act of the Liberal party. It is here purely and solely on account of the partisanship, the living-from-day-to-day policy, that characterized him and his followers in dealing with all the questions which they dealt with in the past.

Topic:   THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH ADDRESS IN REPLY
Permalink
CON

Henry Lumley Drayton

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir HENRY DRAYTON:

Oh, oh.

The Address

Topic:   THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH ADDRESS IN REPLY
Permalink
LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD (Pictou) :

My hon. friend the ex-Minister of Finance laughs at that. Perhaps he will tell us the way to solve these problems, because we would be much interested to hear what he has to say on the subject. This is not a laughing matter. I have spoken very strongly on this question of the responsibility for the conditions that confront us, and this problem is not going to be got rid of by my hon. friend laughing. The right hon. gentleman (Mr. Meighen) is responsible for taking over the Canadian Northern Railway, for the loans and advances made to it, and for taking over the Grand Trunk, without any consideration of the problem which faces this Government to-day, as to where they stand in regard to international complications with the United States when they approach the question of co-ordination. The problem is before us now. The situation is such that every man of independent mind in this House, no matter on which side he sits, will join in giving the Government every possible consideration and assistance when they come to deal with this question and attempt to find a solution for the transportation problem which will not only lighten the burden imposed upon trade and industry but relieve the pressure upon the overstrained financial resources of the country. To that end, I hope there will be no dissen-tion or division between those of different positions in this country. There should be no antagonism between agriculture, commerce and industry. All should -work hand in hand in order to bring about a solution of these problems. They should not be adversaries, but rather mates and partners anxious to forget anything on which they might divide, glad only to join with every possible ardor for the interest of our common country in the solution of those questions that confront us to-day.

Hon. Sir HENRY L. DRAYTON (West York) : Mr. Speaker, I had hoped to commence my remarks in rather a different atmosphere from that created by the last speaker. I had hoped to commence with a discussion rather of things as they are to-day, than of the things of yesterday to which he referred. I wonder if my hon. friend realises that there has been an election. From the amount of spleen that he has displayed, from the attack that he has made, I rather think the hon. gentleman believes he is still languishing in the shades of opposition. He talks about large issues in the country. What was the big issue that he made in his opening remarks? Why,

the great task to which he set himself was the discrediting of the leader of the Opposition (Mr. Meighen); If it is true that there is this task and it is the most important task which his party is confronted with, we feel that we have a first rate leader, and the more sticks and stones that are thrown, the more we shall be confirmed in that opinion. I do not know whether my hon. friend desires to assume the role of the fault-finder on the Government benches. He seems to be exceedingly qualified for the post. I do not know exactly where his fault-finding is going to end; but if he will not take my advice-and I am quite sure he will not; I would not expect him to do so-I wonder if he will take the advice of the Toronto Globe in its reference to this very question which, after all, is, really t'he one underlying the hon, gentleman's remarks, the belittlement of Ontario and all that Ontario stands for, on the one hand, not, of course, for purposes of injuring Ontario, but for the purpose of Creating favourable prejudice elsewhere or the other. I shall read an editorial from the Globe of March 11, 1922, and it has to say this on the subject of my hon. friend. The article is headed:

Useless Faultfinding. Addressing women at the Montreal Reform Club, Mr. E. M. Macdonald. M.P. for Pictou, N.S., accused Ontario of narrowness of outlook.

He said: For Ontario, Canada, is hounded by the river Ottawa on one side and by Sault Ste-Marie on the other. Everything outside that territory does not count in the estimation of that province. It is an indication of a narrowness of mind unworthy of anyone living in Canada.

That is a quotation of the hon. gentleman's speech as given by the Globe. The Globe goes on:

Mr. Macdonald does not know Ontario at first hand. He is building a wide accusation on a narrow basis, the sayings of a few narrowminded men and narrow-minded newspapers. We have broad and narrow people here, as they have in Nova Scotia. In any case, nothing is to be gained by Nova Scotia making such accusations against Ontario, or Ontario against Nova Scotia. Mr. Macdonald should go up against the Philistines at home.

Again, I say that if the hon. member for Pictou is not willing to take my advice-and I do not expect him to do so-let him at least regard the voice of the chief organ in Ontario of his party; and if again he will have no conception of what that newspaper says, and thinks nothing of it, let him, at least, think of Canada and ask himself whether it would be worth while to continue, at a time like this, to attempt to set

The Address

up provincial prejudice, the one province against the other, or whether, after all, the problems of the day are not sufficiently great and serious to invite the best efforts of a united Canada.

For a moment, I make no further reference to the lamentations of my hon. friend. I shall have, I am afraid, to deal with them in a little more detail later on; but I should like to commence now just where I would have wished to commence, had it not been for what has taken place. Mr. Speaker, here we are with a brand new Government and a brand new Speaker, and I want, in the first instance, to congratulate my hon. friends very heartily on the first-rate victory they have achieved. I cannot agree with some of the methods employed by them in the winning of that victory, but they are happy and contented and I rejoice personally in their happiness and contentment. If the Prime Minister were here I would address a few remarks of personal thanks to him. It is a great pleasure to me, for example, to be able to congratulate him on the appointment which he has made in filling the office of Speaker. The present incumbent of that office I have known for many years as a friend, and I rejoice to see the Chair of this honourable Chamber so ably filled. I should also like to congratulate the Prime Minister upon his selection of the Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding). I am quite sure that out of the many followers of whom the Prime Minister boasts none is better fitted to fill that important position than the hon. gentleman whom he has called upon to assume file office. I am sincere in what I say in that regard.

Something, however, has happened this afternoon that compels me to qualify somewhat these remarks. The Minister of Finance deserves our sympathy as well as our congratulations, but I fear he has exhibited in the past two little failings which at this session of the House may become very important in their significance. He has too little faith in Canada and too little faith in the possibilities of the British Empire when dealing with the question of reciprocity; on the other hand, he has a great deal too much faith in railways and in the statements of railway contractors and promoters. And in view of the remarks made this afternoon I am afraid I shall have to give to the House a few brief quotations to show the misplaced greatness of his faith in the representations of railway contractors and pro-

moters. I regret that it should be necessary to refer to ancient history, but it is impossible for me to refrain from doing so on this occasion. Hansard reports my hon. friend the Minister of Finance, in dealing with the Grand Trunk Pacific matter, as follows, on May 26, 1904:

Last year my right hon. friend the Leader of the Government (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) made the statement that we could provide for the obligations entailed by this scheme out of one year's surplus. The statement which my hon. friend made in that off-hand way was absolutely and literally correct. I showed that by setting aside some $13,000,000 or $14,000,000, which was somewhat less than our surplus, we could provide for the payment of the seven years' interest which we are under obligation to give to the company. By our agreement we gave them seven years' free rental on the eastern division and seven years' free interest on the mountain sction of the western. I pointed out, upon the authority of an actuary, that by laying aside $13,000,000 or $14,000,000 we could provide for the complete payment of that obligation and that, therefore, was the measure of what we would have to pay.

Again, in the same debate, referring to the Grand Trunk Pacific project, he said:

When the project was brought down to Parliament, it was found that the scheme was so bold and comprehensive, so carefully thought out and guarded in the public interest, and entailed so small a charge, comparatively speaking, upon the public treasury, that these hon. gentlemen were amazed that the Government should have been able to negotiate such a scheme.

My hon. friend, I say, has too much faith in the figures of railway promoters. He mentions the sum of $13,000,000 or $14,000,000. Why, Sir, that line already has cost the country hundreds of millions of dollars.

Topic:   THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH ADDRESS IN REPLY
Permalink

March 17, 1922