On the Orders of the Day:
Mr. A. DeWITT FOSTER (Hants-Kings): I asked another question in reference to the purchase by the Canadian National Railways of an electric line running from about Moreau street to Bout de File, to which the minister replied that the railway has been acquired for general railway purposes, but that the management considers it not in the public interest to publish the price. Am I to understand that information as to the price will be given at a later date, in committee or at some other time, or is this a final refusal to give the House this information?
Hon. CHARLES A. DUNNING (Minister of Railways): It is my practice, and has, I believe, been the practice of former ministers to refer inquiries relating to Canadian National matters to the management of that company. Many questions have been asked and are being asked about which it has not been considered in the public interest to give detailed information. I think the House is fairly familiar with past practices in that regard. However, I have on the order paper a notice of motion regarding the appointment of a special committee with respect to government railways. When that committee is sitting the officers of the Canadian National Railways will be present and any question which has not been previously answered satisfactorily may then be directed to the officials of the railway. I cannot guarantee that an answer will be returned in every case, because everyone knows that in a great business institution it is not always the part of wisdom to make public all information and details regarding its operation. I feel sure the committee will straighten out matters of that kind, and my hon. friend will be satisfied.