February 5, 1923

PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARY, PRINTING AND RESTAURANT

LIB

Hewitt Bostock (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

I have the honour to inform the House that a message has been received from the Senate informing this House:-

That His Honour the Speaker, the Honourable Messieurs Bennett, Bolduc, Chapais, David, Gillis, God-bout, Gordon, Griesbach, Hardy, Laird, McHugh, McLennan, Poirier, Taylor, Turriff, and Webster (Brock -ville), have been appointed a committee to assist His Honour the Speaker in the direction of the Library of Parliament, so far as the interests of the Senate are concerned, and to act on behalf of the Senate as members' of a joint committee of both Houses on the said Library.

Also,-A message acquainting this House that the Honourable Messieurs Chapais, Dessaulles, DeVeber, Donnelly, Farrell, Forget, Green, Legris, McCall, McDonald, McLean, McLennan, Pardee, Pope, Ratz, Robertson, Sharpe, Thibaudeau, Todd, White (Inker-man) and White (Pembroke), have been appointed a committee to superintend the printing of the Senate during the present Session, and to act on behalf of the Senate as members of a joint committee of both Houses on the subject of Printing of parliament.

The Address-Mr. Graham

And, also,-A message acquainting this House that His Honour the Speaker, the Honourable Messieurs Blain, Green, Hardy, Lougheed (Sir James), Sharpe, and Watson, have been appointed a committee to assist His Honour the Speaker in the direction of the Restaurant of parliament, so far as the interests of the Senate are concerned, and to act on behalf of the Senate as members of a joint committee of both Houses on the said Restaurant.

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FRANCE-CANADA CONVENTION


Hon. W. S. FIELDING (Minister of Finance) presented a message from His Excellency the Governor General, which was read by Mr. Speaker, as follows: Government House, Ottawa, February, 1st, 1923. The Governor General transmits to the House of Commons a copy of a Convention of Commerce between France and Canada, entered into at Paris on the 15th day of December in the year 1922 between His Majesty the King and the President of the French Republic.


REPORTS AND PAPERS


Annual Report of the Department of Health, and copy of Regulations under the Proprietary and Patent Medicines Act.-Hon. Mr. Beland. Report of the Department of the Secretary of State for the fiscal year ended March 31, 1922.-Hon. Mr. Copp. Ordinances of the Yukon Territory, passed by the Yukon Council, second session 1921, and in the year 1922.-Hon. Mr. Copp. Report of the Public Archives for the year 1921.-Hon. Mr. Copp. Order in Council dated June 29, 1922, under the Soldier Settlement Act.-Hon. Mr. Stewart.


RAILWAY ACT AMENDMENT


Hon. H. H. STEVENS (Vancouver Centre) moved for leave to introduce Bill No. 2, to amend the Railway Act.


LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM:

Will the hon. member please explain the bill?

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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

Briefly, the purpose of the bill is to correct what appears to be rather an awkward and anomalous situation that exists by virtue of certain words in the Railway Act. The Railway Act provides that the Board of Railway Commissioners shall determine the question of freight rates and contains certain clauses against discrimination. But in every case in which the word "discrimination" appears, it is preceded by some qualifying word such as "unfavourable," "undue," "unjust." This bill proposes to remove these qualifying words, so that the effect will be an absolute provision against discrimination in the matter of freight rates.

Motion agreed to and bill read the first time.

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LAUSANNE CONFERENCE


On the Orders of the Day:


LAB

James Shaver Woodsworth

Labour

Mr. J. S. WOODSWORTH (Centre Winnipeg) :

Has the government any information regarding the failure of negotiations at Lausanne?

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister):

Such information as the government has in respect of the proceedings at Lausanne is to all intents and purposes the same as what has appeared in the press.

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THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH ADDRESS IN REPLY


Consideration of the motion of Mr. Putnam for an Address to His Excellency the Governor General, in reply to his Speech at the opening of the session, resumed from Friday, February 2. Hon. GEORGE P. GRAHAM (Acting Minister of Railways and Canals): Mr. Speaker, in addressing myself to the motion before the House I cannot but feel that in dealing with the question which will form the greater part of my remarks I am speaking for another who is not now with us. The words I am about to utter will be in confirmation of his businesslike management of the department over which he so ably presided. I would not for one moment, Sir, mar the effect of the eloquent tributes to the departed, delivered by the three leaders, by any commonplace words of my own. Never in all my life have I heard more eloquent tributes more thoroughly deserved, and I concur in everything that was said in recognition of the personal worth and ability of our former comrade. To those young members who have just entered the House of Commons I, with other speakers, tender my hearty congratulations and welcome. Young men can enter no better school for the development of their sum of knowledge and their intellect than this House; and, Sir, notwithstanding criticisms that we often hear of the calibre of the men in the Canadian parliament, as a man who has been in public life for some years, I believe that the membership of our two Houses will compare favourably with the membership of any other legislative body in the world. The two members who moved and seconded the Address in this House, as is usual, brought to their task both eloquence and information, and we look to them to be in the future a great strength not only by their debating ability, but for the quota of The Address-Mr. Graham information which they will impart to this House and to the country. I would not for a moment, Sir, forget to congratulate my good friend from Brandon (Mr. Forke), who is not the leader of the "peculiar angle," but the leader of the second largest group in this House. His speech, to my mind, was fair in every respect, well reasoned and temperate. We all join with him in believing that the legislation enactef by Parliament ought to be for the welfare of all classes, and that the nearer we can arrive at one viewpoint on matters of controversy by each giving and taking a little, the closer we shall be passing legislation that will beneficially affect the whole nation. Now, Sir, I want to direct the attention of the House to the railway problem that confronts this country. I do not hope to add anything to the information of the older members of the House who have been here since 1911, and I do not flatter myself that I can add much to the information of the younger members, but I think it not unwise that the sequence of events leading up to the present situation should be placed before the House and the country, not by way of argument, but as a statement of fact, so that those of us who were not here throughout the earlier sessions, and have not had an opportunity of becoming conversant with the conditions then existing and which eventually resulted in the problem that now confronts us, will be in a position hereafter to grasp that problem in a comparatively succinct form. Let me first try to impress the House with the magnitude of the problem that our people are undertaking to solve. The National Railway System, as it will be in a few months, is the most extensive railway system in the world, and Canada in entering upon the experiment of public ownership is undertaking the solution of the greatest rail transportation problem that has ever been attempted by any company or by any country. The effort is worthy of a young country like Canada, and we will be judged, to a certain extent, as to our ability to grapple with great undertakings by the way we work out this problem. The Canadian National Railway System comprises a total of 22,646 miles, made up as follows: Canadian Northern Railway, 9,900; Canadian Government Railways, 4,682; Grand Trunk Railway, with owned and controlled lines, 5,308 (this includes 1,164 miles in the United States); Grand Trunk Pacific Railway, 2,756. The Government lines of which I have spoken are: The Intercolonial, 1,670 miles; the National Transcontinental 2,006; the Prince Edward Island, 2,076; Branch lines, 730; and the Hudson Bay Railway. [DOT] The value of this property as appearing on the books of the various companies is: Canadian Northern Railway, 8681,822,115; Canadian Government Railways, 8415,438,153; Grand Trunk Pacific, 8256,768,407; Grand Trunk Railway and subsidiaries, 8512,687,252; Central Vermont Railway, $25,861,823. The consolidated system owns 3,476 locomotives, 3,583 passenger service cars, 122,362 freight cars, and 7,719 work and company service cars. The total earnings in 1921 were $235,789,000, and the working expenses $247,509,000; the operating deficit, therefore, was $11,720,000. The magnitude of this system and its possibilities may be judged from a comparison of its working expenses with the total revenues of the Dominion of Canada. The working expenses of the system in 1921- it included then, of course, the Grand Trunk- were $247,509,000, while the entire Dominion revenue was $381,271,000. So that in the working out of this great railway problem we are facing a task which is second only to the task of administering the affairs of the Dominion of Canada. The number of employees in 1921 was 102,454, the operating pay-roll for that year amounting to $149,426,849.59. I place these figures on record in order to give an idea of the great task involved in the administration of this system, and to impress on all the people- because the system is theirs-the necessity of giving it, without political preference or political prejudice, a fair chance under government ownership. Government ownership is on trial in respect of the largest scheme that man has ever devised for the purposes of transportation, and it rests with the people, the government and the parliament of Canada to allow the Canadian National Board to try this experiment untrammelled. I wish to direct the attention of the House to the transactions which led up to the acquisition by the country of the various units that go to make up this system. We will take first the acquisition of the Canadian Northern Railway, which, as we all know, is made up of many subsidiary companies. Aid was given to that system by the federal authority as well as by the provinces. I may point out in passing, as it is a live question, that that part of the Canadian Northern which lies within the province of British Columbia was constructed with the assistance of and under a charter granted by the government of that province. Under the agreement entered into in respect to that road- The Address-Mr. Graham



which connected with the Canadian Northern main line at the British Columbia boundary- the province had control of the rates. Later, when aid was given by the federal authority, that portion of the Canadian Northern system in British Columbia was declared by parliament, on the recommendation of the government of that day-the head of which wa£ Sir Robert Borden, I believe-to be a work for the general advantage of Canada. The whole line of the Canadian Northern was thus made one complete system. There has been a good deal of discussion about the propriety of that action, but I want just to deal with the facts so that we may know exactly how we came into possession of all these roads. Many advances had been made, much aid had been given to the Canadian Northern by the federal as well as by the provincial au. thorities, and as a result the government of Canada recommended to parliament in 1917 that the stock of the Canadian Northern should be acquired by the people. An act incorporating this recommendation was assented to on September 20, 1917. Prior to that date the majority of the stock of the Canadian Northern system had passed into the hands of the government on acount of aid having been given, and this act provided for the acquisition of the balance of that stock.


CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

Not the majority-forty per cent.

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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM:

A large portion of the stock, anyway, passed into the hands of the government on account of the aid given to the Canadian Northern. A board of arbitrators was appointed to determine what the balance of the stock was worth. When aid had been given to the Canadian Northern on a former occasion an act was passed by the House and approved by the Senate under which, in the event of default, the property of the Canadian Northern should come into possession of the government without process of law and without further remuneration. But the parliament of that day thought it better to provide that the value of that stock should be determined by arbitration. The board met, and on May 31, 1918, they made an award of $10,800,000. Then, under authority of an order in council, dated November 20, 1918, the Canadian Northem board was appointed a board of management of the Canadian Government Railways, which would include the Transcontinental, the Intercolonial, the Prince Edward Island Railway, and, I think, the Hudson Bay Railway. On December 20,* 1918, an order in council authorized and

directed the board of directors of the Canadian Northern Railway to use a collective and descriptive designation- "Canadian National Railways" - for the lines of railway and railway properties controlled or operated by the board. But up to last October the Canadian National Railways as such had had no legal existence. As I say, the system which included all the lines I have mentioned-not then the Grand Trunk -was designated by order in council as the "Canadian National Railways," but there was no Canadian National board; this group of lines was under the management of the Canadian Northern board. [DOT]

My right hon. friend the leader of the opposition has asked the question why these railways, all these lines, were not amalgamated sooner, and I think he had particular reference to the Grand Trunk. Well, up to last October there was no board under which to amalgamate them, because the Canadian National board was only appointed on the 4th of October last. The name "Canadian National " previous to that time was really only a sort of advertising nomenclature, a billboard, so to speak, for the Canadian National had no existence until the order in council of October 4 was passed. I imagine the ex-Minister of Finance, Sir Henry Drayton, knows exactly why the Canadian Northern with all its ramifications was not brought in. Why, the act to amalgamate all these lines was passed in 1919, and the government of which he and my right hon. friend were members was in power until December, 1921, and up till that time there was not a foot of any of these lines amalgamated with the Canadian National system.

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CON

Henry Lumley Drayton

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir HENRY DRAYTON:

There was no difficulty whatever, no reason for delay at all, in connection with the Canadian Northern. There was only one reason for the delay in our case and that was that we could not very well act until the Grand Trunk arbitration was over. That was the reason we delayed. I know of no reason for delay after that was concluded.

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February 5, 1923