farmers' organizations in western Canada for over twenty years, and in all that time I never heard a demand for the Welland ship canal until I arrived in Ottawa. I am convinced that this project was commenced only at the instigation and on the request of the lake shipping companies. It is just like the deepening of our waterways-of the St. Lawrence, for example. We are deepening the St. Lawrence, spending some twenty to thirty millions before we get through, to satisfy an obsession on the part of the shipping companies who wish to build greater and greater boats. The same is true of the Welland ship canal. A number of us visited the Welland ship canal a few weeks ago and we were amazed at the extent of the project. The hon. member for Prince Albert (Mr. Knox) was well within the mark when he said that $50,000,000 more would be spent upon it. The engineer informed us that $60,000,000 would be required, and on the basis of former estimates in connection with the project, that will mean that the canal will cost us $130,000,000. I think the original estimate was $55,000,000. It has now reached $110,000,000 and will probably go to $125,000,000 or $130,000,000 before it is completed. The minister made some reference to contracts. Of course he was very careful not to mention the contract that was made with the western people for the completion of the Hudson Bay railway. There surely must have been a contract to complete that ninety-two miles of road where the grade was all built and the material was all on the ground for its completion. Eminent railway men have frequently stated that three months would have completed the road to the bay. In 1919 we had two debates on the Canadian Government Merchant Marine, for which this parliament voted $8,000,000, the excuse being given that the government must continue the merchant marine in order to give employment in and around Montreal. Sandwiched in between these two debates was the debate on the Hudson Bay railway, where the excuse given for the course adopted was lack of labour. At that time the deputy minister, whom we have with us to-day, stated that
$1,750,000 would complete the Hudson Bay railway, yet this parliament voted $8,000,000 for such a wild-cat scheme as the merchant marine. I wonder sometimes just what has happened in the last few years. What influences have been at work? I have before me a clipping from the Manitoba Free Press of 1890, which states:
The Manitoba members waited on Sir John Macdonald at Ottawa and presented a petition signed by 130 members of the House of Commons, asking the government to aid in construction of the Hudson Bay railway; Sir John promised to lay the question before his colleagues at the earliest possible date.
I have another clipping here from the Manitoba Free Press of 1895 which states that it was announced that the Dominion government would grant $2,500,000 for the Hudson Bay railway.
a point of order. We are not debating the Hudson Bay railway, and I do not think any member of the House should get up and make a statement such as the hon. member did without the Chair calling him to order.
The minister again will refer to the matter of contracts. The Welland ship canal was only started at that time. A few survey parties were on the ground in 1913; some work was done in 1914 and 1915 and then work was suspended until 1919. At this date the Hudson Bay railway was practically completed. It has been questioned in this House whether the west has actually paid for the Hudson Bay railway.
quite within the rules to refer to the Hudson Bay railway for the purposes of comparison, to support the argument that this item may be greater than it should be in relation to some other item. But the hon. member is not in order to make extended remarks with regard to some matter that has not to do with this item, which is for a specific purpose.