I wish once again to
emphasize what I started with and what the hon.. member for Vancouver Centre (Mr. Stevens) has supported. The reason I do so is because the more I have listened to the discussion of various members of the House, the more I am convinced, and I believe the more the minister is convinced also, that the fourteen-mile proposition is a good one. If you look at any of the railways of this country, you will find what we have all said again and again exists. We have to-day throughout the country too many parallel lines running side by side. Since I made my remarks a few minutes ago, I have looked at a map of the proposed line, and I find that the fourteen-mile line would bring the Canadian National line down to the Canadian Pacific. The forty-one mile line would bring it down on a bias, so that it would gradually get closer to the Canadian Pacific, and at the end1 of the forty-one miles it would join up with the same American line as that with which the Canadian Pacific joins up. What is the difference between having the 'Canadian National run fourteen miles and then join with the Canadian Pacific, and run forty-one miles and join with an American line, even supposing the hon. member for Vancouver Centre (Mr. Stevens) is wrong and the Boston and Maine railway is not controlled by the Canadian Pacific? I think it would be better to construct the fourteen-
C.N.R. Branch Lines
mile line and connect with the Canadian Pacific. In other words, the memorandum says that we would get running rights over the Canadian Pacific and we would have exactly the same rights. I remember in my own city, the old Grand Trunk Pacific line ran a passenger train into Fort William over the Canadian Pacific. In other words, they had running rights, and there was no more opportunity for them to lose cars with those running rights than if they had their own lines. They ran into the Canadian Pacific station, the same station.
There appears to be a certain amount of false pride that makes whoever is advocating this forty-one mile line advocate it, where a fourteen-mile line would bring about the same results. The minister would be well advised to report progress and to come back to-morrow with a bill, whichever one he wants to bring in. If he gives the question serious thought and does what I think he will do, he will decide that it is in the best interest of the country to bring in a bill for the construction of the fourteen-mile line. Every corporation, every municipality in this country to-day, which finds itself overburdened with capital debt, is cutting down capital expenditure. My own city-and I ask the pardon of the House for mentioning personal things, but I know more about my own city than about others-found a few years ago that its capital debt and taxes were pretty high and that it was spending too much money. It immediately did what I think was the wisest thing in its history. About ten years ago, about the time of the breaking out of the war, it began to cut down capital expenditure, and' it has been cutting out capital expenditure as far as possible with very excellent results. That is what every sane business organization is doing; but we have to-day the Canadian National Railways, which has a bigger deficit than any other corporation in the country, coming forward with a proposal to'build branch lines at an estimated cost of about $30,000,000, which, I think, will cost in the neighbourhood of $60,000,000 before they are completed.
Subtopic: BILLS PROPOSED TO AUTHORIZE THE CONSTRUCTION OF BRANCH LINES