May 6, 1925

LAB

Mr. IRVINE:

Labour

1. Is there a Miss McDonald in the employ of the Immigration department, as Canadian agent at Inverness?

2. Was she chosen by the Civil Service Commission, after examination?

3. If not, how did she receive her appointment?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   MR. HENSHAW
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LIB

Hon. Mr. ROBB: (Minister of Immigration and Colonization)

Liberal

1. Yes.

2. In view of Miss McDonald's special qualifications, her appointment as agent at Inverness was made by the Civil Service Commission without examination.

3. Answered by No. 2.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   MR. HENSHAW
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UNOPPOSED MOTIONS FOR PAPERS

CON

Alexandre Joseph Doucet

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOUCET:

For a copy of all correspondence, statements of investigation, court proceedings, reports, documents and other papers in the possession of the Department of Customs and Excise and the Department of Justice relating to alleged violation of law in regard to intoxicating liquors in or upon any bonded warehouse at Halifax, Nova Scotia, which the Franco-Canadian Import Company is permitted to establish and conduct, or by any person interested or engaged in the business of said import company.

C.N.R.-Minister's Statement

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   UNOPPOSED MOTIONS FOR PAPERS
Sub-subtopic:   NOVA SCOTIA TEMPERANCE ACT
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MATANE WHARF

CON

Richard Burpee Hanson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HANSON:

For a copy of all correspondence passing to and from the Department of Public Works relating to the wharf at Matane, including copies of contracts, if any, or other documents or agreements relating to 6uch wharf.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   MATANE WHARF
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CRUDE OIL BOUNTIES

PRO

Burt Wendell Fansher

Progressive

Mr. FANSHER:

For a return showing (a) the total amount paid in bounties to producers of crude oil in Canada for each and every year since the passing of legislation providing bounty on crude oil, and (b) the names of persons and companies who received bounty in each of the years that said bounty was paid, together with the amount each person or company received.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   CRUDE OIL BOUNTIES
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CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS-VICTORIA BRIDGE, MONTREAL

CON

Robert James Manion

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. Mr. MANION (for Hon. Mr. Stevens):

For a copy of a report made during the year 1924, by Mr. H. McLeod, chief consulting engineer of the Canadian National Railways, regarding the possibility of operating street cars over the Victoria bridge, Montreal.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS-VICTORIA BRIDGE, MONTREAL
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CECIL R. SMITH


On the Orders of the Day:


LAB

James Shaver Woodsworth

Labour

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

Since the Supreme court has ruled

in the case of Cecil R. Smith, admitted bootlegger, that an income tax cannot be levied on the gains derived from illicit business or from the commission of crime; and since this judgment thereby definitely classes bootlegging as a crime; what action does the government propose to take to recover the illegal gains and punish the criminal?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   CECIL R. SMITH
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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):

I should be glad if the hon. member would put that question when the Acting Minister of Finance (Mr. Robb) is in his place. He is giving the matter consideration at the present time.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   CECIL R. SMITH
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LAB

James Shaver Woodsworth

Labour

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

This would seem to me to be a matter for the Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe) and not for the Minister of Finance.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   CECIL R. SMITH
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LIB

Ernest Lapointe (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Hon. ERNEST LAPOINTE (Minister of Justice):

The matter has not yet been considered; I understand that judgment was delivered yesterday.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   CECIL R. SMITH
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CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS


Hon. GEORGE P. GRAHAM (Minister of Railways and Canals) moved that the House go into committee of Supply. He said: The discussion of the railway situation is at best dry and somewhat uninteresting, and this year I am inclined to think that it will be even dryer and more uninteresting than ever, for the reason that almost every man who spoke on the budget spoke practically exclusively on the railways for the most part and not on the budget itself. The figures connected with the railways have been discussed on all three, I might say all four, sides of the House and there is comparatively little left for me to say that has not been already said, in some cases perhaps said better than I can say it. However, I shall endeavour to place the situation as fairly as I can before the House. If I violate the rules of the House in referring to a past debate I hope, Sir, that you will not be too critical of my conduct, because I shall be no greater sinner in doing so than were those who spoke on the budget in infringing on my realm of railways. They really answered my speech before I had a chance to make it, and I am sure that if I deal with some things that have been touched upon in the budget debate concerning the railways hon. gentlemen will forgive me and not call me to order. One of the difficulties in dealing with the railway situation during a budget debate is quite evident to hon. members in the fact that, unless the very closest scrutiny is made by one competent to make it, the attempt to fit the Canadian National finances into the budget must fail. And it must fail for this reason, that- whereas the railway year ends on December 31, the fiscal or government year ends on March 31, so that it is almost impossible, without the closest scrutiny by one fully conversant with the handling and weighing of figures, to fit the one into the other. A common error occurred in relation to some figures that I brought down myself regarding additions to the railway debt during the calendar year. The information I gave was absolutely accurate so far as the public were concerned-$90,000,000; but when that came to be fitted into the fiscal year and made a part of the budget debate tio show the financial position of Canada, these figures were altogether meaningless, that is, they did not set forth the right Situation. I will give an example. Suppose the Canadian National Railways between January 1 and March 31 borrowed $50,000,000; and suppose that after March 31 they borrowed $50,000,000 more: in the calendar year they would have borrowed $100,000,000 but in the fiscal year only $50,000,000. Consequently when the $100,000,000 is taken in order to size up the situation so far as Canada herself is concerned, the figures are



C.JV.R.-Minister's Statement $50,000,000 astray, inasmuch as the first $50,000,000 related to the previous fiscal year. Now, I gave the sum of $90,000,000 and that was for the calendar year; but several gentlemen made the mistake of trying to fit it into the fiscal year. When this $90,000,000 was clarified it really was reduced to $64,000,000, and that amount could have been reduced further by taking into account figures which I think might well have been considered. I am not making this argument to show that there were any discrepancies but merely to point out to hon. members that they cannot well, unless they are accountants, or unless they have accountants to advise them, fit in the federal finances with the railway finances. I am going to discuss the situation from the standpoint of railway accounting, which is the standard for all railways on the continent of America authorized by the Interstate Commerce Commission of the United States. Another hon. gentleman asked me a question that looked very simple: How many men per hundred miles are employed on the Canadian Pacific Railway and the Canadian National Railways respectively for the year? The answer to that question indicated that there were a greater number of men on the Canadian National Railways than on the Canadian Pacific Railway, but the figures were meaningless although strictly accurate. The Canadian National Express is part of the Canadian National Railway system, and in the answer given the employees of the Canadian National Express were included, while in the information regarding the Canadian Pacific Railway the employees of the Dominion Express were not considered. If the figures were taken on the same basis there would be very little difference between the two in the number of employees per hundred miles; indeed, my study of the figures would indicate to me that what difference there was would be in favour of the Canadian National Railways. This goes to show the difficulty of applying figures unless you have the entire explanation before you. Let me point out another reason why answers of this kind may be absolutely meaningless although accurate. One railway in 1923 may have some extraordinary repairs to make on account of conditions that may not exist on the other railway. For instance, one of the things that occur on the Canadian National railways, although not to so great an extent in the east, is the handling of snow. Last year, if I remember correctly, the Canadian National expenditure for handling snow and kindred work was one million dollars less than the year before. One railway may em- ploy a thousand men for this purpose, while the other railway, owing to different conditions throughout its territory, may employ only one hundred men. Then, one railway may have its ballasting done by contract, while the other railway, right beside it, may do this work with its own staff. The railway that ballasts its line by contract does not have one single man on its payroll as these men work for the contractor, while the other line doing its own work may have thousands of men on its payroll. So it is impossible to make any comparisons with these figures unless a full explanation is made concerning them. Now, Sir, I want to deal with the railway situation, not in a pessimistic way at all, because I say at the outset that the showing made by the Canadian National Railways is, under all the circumstances, phenomenal, and I am prepared to sit down and compare the management of the Canadian National system, with all its intricacies, with the management of any other railway in the world. In dealing with the figures I want to have a kindly word for my friend from Vancouver South (Mr. Ladner). He was wrong in his figures; I am not going to argue with him why, but I am going to show that he was wrong. He mentioned the juggling of figures in the fact that a certain amount-I think it was about fourteen million dollars-had been in the Receiver General's hands, and that a goodly portion of it had gone out. He did not think the money had gone astray, but he thought the accounts were juggled. This is the situation. Certain securities were sold, to the extent, if I remember correctly, of twenty-six million dollars. All the money was not needed at the time. It could have been deposited in the bank or placed in the hands of the Receiver General. The latter course was taken and the money was drawn upon as required. This was really a banking transaction as between the Canadian National and the Receiver General, as it would have been had the money been deposited in a bank. Everything is as plain as it can be made. The Canadian National would not hold this fourteen million dollars and be without the interest when the money was not required immediately. As I 6ay, the money has been drawn upon as required, and now as a fact at the end of the fiscal year I think it has all been drawn out but $3,000,000 odd. Then my friend made another mistake. He gave $913,913,000 as the guaranteed railway debt. This is not so serious, but it is not correct, and I think he would not like it to go unnoticed. Of that amount, only $652,447,283.77, or roughly two-thirds, is guaranteed. C.N.R.-Minister's statement Now, in the meeting of interest charges of the Canadian National Railways, due the public, the company makes no distinction; the interest is paid whether guaranteed or not, but, as a matter of accuracy, a third of these securities are not guaranteed by the government at all.


CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

That was the amount to January 1 last?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS
Sub-subtopic:   ANNUAL STATEMENT BY THE MINISTER OF RAILWAYS AND CANALS
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May 6, 1925