$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.
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.