Resolved, that it is expedient to bring in a measure to provide for the construction of a Canadian National Railway line from Turtleford, in a generally southeasterly direction, to a point at or near Hafford, in the province of Saskatchewan; mileage already graded, 23 miles; estimated mileage including existing grading, 102 miles; estimated cost, $2,313,000.
He said: The other day an hon. gentleman on the other side of the House asked me if it was the intention of the government to submit these bills to the Railway committee. I think the answer given was that it was not the intention to do so. Several hon. members have suggested that we would be expediting matters by placing the Canadian National Railways to a certain extent at least in the same position as a private company, in the matter of appearing before the Railway committee.
I have considered the matter carefully, but I am not sure what will be gained by it. Government measures are not usually submitted to a committee; but if this would expedite business at all, I would have no objection provided that, first, I would be allowed to take up those bills that have had a first reading, give them a second reading and submit them to the Railway committee. This much would have to be understood, in fairness to the opposition, of course, that opportunity would have to be given on the second reading of some of these bills to discuss the principle involved as to the three-year programme. I imagine the Railway committee might not want to deal with that entirely, although they would discuss it. Therefore, if this is agreeable to the House, I might be permitted to move these other bills a second reading and then move that they be referred to the Railway committee. I will do so as the first order of business and let the Railway committee deal with them.