Mr. W. T. GOODISON (West Lambton):
presented the third and final report of the select standing committee on railways and shipping as follows:
The select standing committee on railways and shipping owned, operated and controlled by the government, beg leave to present the following as their third and final report.
Tour committee to which was referred for consideration and for report to the House the estimates of the Canadian National Railways and the Canadian Government Merchant Marine, Limited, held five meetings, in the course of which it examined sundry witnesses, including;
Sir Henry Thornton, K.B.E., President and Chairman of the Boards, Canadian National Railways. [DOT]
S. J. Hungerford, Vice President, Operation and Construction Departments, C.N.R.
W. D. Robb, Vice President, Departments of Land, Colonization, Development, Insurance and General Matters, C.N.R.
K- A. C. Henry, Director, Bureau of Eeono-. mies, C.N.R.
T. H. Cooper, General Auditor, C.N.R.
R. B. Teakle, General Manager, Canadian Government Merchant Marine, Limited.
J. P. Doherty, Traffic Manager, Canadian Government Merchant Marine, Limited.
F. Davidson, Auditor, Canadian Government Merchant Marine, Limited.
Canadian National Railways
Tour committee has had under consideration item 408 of the estimates, which provides for loans or guarantees of $22,500,000 of the Canadian National Railway Company for the fiscal year ending March 31st, 1928, and has in the course of its deliberations, examined the operating statements of the company for the year ending December 31st, 1926.
(Mr. C. A. Stewart.]
Your committee notes that the results of the operations of the Canadian National Railway System, which includes for the first time the operations of the Central Vermont Railway, show a substantial improvement in the volume of business handled and a continued improvement in operating methods, resulting in an increase of $21,861,000 in operating revenue accompanied by an increase of only $7,079,000 in operating expenses.
While not providing for interest charges due the government on capital advances your committee notes with considerable satisfaction that for the first time, the net earnings of the railway for the year are more than sufficient to pay all fixed charges due to the public.
Your committee is lead to believe that the properties embraced in the system have been maintained to a standard commensurate with the traffic requirements.
Your committee agrees that the estimate of $22,500,000 (being a reduction of $8,500,000 from the amount asked for last year) is necessary for the purpose of the company during the coming year, and should be voted by the House.
Canadian Government Merchant Marine
Your committee has also had under consider-ition item 409 of the estimates, which provides tor a loan of $18,500 to the Canadian Government Merchant Marine, Limited, and has in the course of its deliberations examined the operating statements of the company for the year [DOT] ending December 31st, 1926. YTour committee notes with considerable satisfaction that the operating deficit has been reduced to $90,159, an improvement over the previous year of $858,893, and it is recalled that the improvement in 1925 in comparison with 1924 was $492,826.
From the evidence given, it appears that there has been an improvement in the earnings on the business handled in the ease of practically all the routes operated and that this improvement has been accomplished at a relatively small expense. The increase in operating revenue was $1,114,735, while the operating expenses only increased $256,841.
Your committee draws attention to the fact that the amount of the appropriation for last year on account of the Canadian Government Merchant Marine, Limited, was $600,000, whereas for the coming year, the sum of $18,500 is asked. Your committee is of the opinion that this amount is necessary for the purposes of the company during the coming year and should be voted by the House.
Your committee notes with satisfaction that the Canadian National Railways continues to hold the confidence and goodwill of the public through the excellence of the service rendered and the courtesy extended to patrons.
Your committee further desires to express its appreciation of the manner in which the President of the Canadian National Railways and the officers assisting him gave their evidence to the committee.
A copy is attached hereto of the minutes of the proceedings and evidence of the attending officers.
Harbour Commissioners' Acts
Your committee further recommends that its proceedings and the evidence adduced before the committee be printed as an appendix to the Journals of the House and that rule 74 in respect hereto be suspended.
All of which is respectfully submitted.
Mr. Goodison moved that the report be concurred in.