economic study that only grain traffic is going to be considered in connection with this Peace river outlet. They seem to rule out altogether the development that would take place in the Peace river country as a result of the construction of additional branch line mileage and the ultimate completion of the outlet itself. I submit that the committee has not given proper consideration to the engineering and economic features, and that the House is not justified in adopting its report. This question is of great importance to Peace river. The report says that all we are going to do in the immediate future is to study and watch the development of the country. I am glad the Prime Minister is in his seat, because he was not present when I spoke on this question before. I do not think we can say that the Prime Minister's statement cannot mean anything in view of the findings of the engineers, or the recommendations of the president of the Canadian National Railways. I am going to read again the statement made by the Prime Minister at Edmonton, and I hope that if he votes against the amendment which I propose to move, and for the report of the committee, he will at least tell the House, and especially the people of Peace River and Edmonton, what this statement meant. This statement appears in the Edmonton Bulletin of 11th October, 1924-I think it should be 12th October-and is headed:
King pledges self to Peace river cause.
Then there is a heading:
Premier promises outlet to Pacific.
Then sub-headings as follows:
Just as soon as humanly possible.
Railway will be built, declares Prime Minister at mass meeting here.
Government has but minority in Commons, says times now are different and everybody must have a little patience, but Liberal party is not falling down on any of its pledges.
The quotation reads:
"It is the policy of the government of which I have the honour to be the head to introduce a vigorous policy of immigration which will people the vast areas of undeveloped country in the great west" declared the Right Hon. W. L. Mackenzie King, Premier of. Canada, when addressing a mass meeting of citizens in the First Presbyterian church last night.
The future prosperity of this country is bound up in the development of its great natural resources, and to develop these resources it is necessary to have a large increase in the population of Canada. There is to the north of this city a great tract of land that is crying out for development. The Peace river country is amongst the richest in Canada, but before the proper development of that country can take place an outlet to the Pacific coast is an absolute necessity. I pledge myself that as soon
as it is humanly possible the great Peace river country will be given that measure of railway relief that will bring to the pioneers of that country the outlet they have been so long denied, and will open up the country for prospective settlers.
"I must however, sound the same note to you here as I did to the citizens of Saskatoon."
I suppose that is in connection with the Hudson Bay railway.
"The times that we are passing through are very difficult, and I would ask you to have a little patience, and in as short a time as possible, a railway outlet will be provided for the Peace River and northern Alberta districts that will open up an era of prosperity for that country which will not be equalled by any other province in Canada."
In view of the Prime Minister's promise, in view of the needs for additional branch line settlement, some of the settlements being twenty, thirty and sixty miles from' the railway, where there has been settlement for sixty years, and in view of the fact that branch line mileage cannot be constructed economically and properly unless we know where the Peace river outlet is going to be, and because I believe that such branch lines should be laid down as a part of the outlet, I am opposed to the adoption of this report and I therefore move the following amendment:
That the said report be not now concurred in but that the same be referred back to the select standing committee on railways, canals and telegraph lines with instructions that they have power to amend it by striking out the three following paragraphs:
"The weight of evidence before your committee indicates that, on economic grounds, much construction should not be commenced forthwith, as set forth in the resolution referred to your committee.
Your committee is of opinion that much greater traffic development is necessary in the area to make the building of such outlet economically sound.
Your committee is further of opinion that potentialities of that area are such as to warrant a continuous study of its development."
And substituting the following three paragraphs therefor:
"The evidence shows that there are four possible outlets but that a complete survey has been made of two only.
"Your committee is of the opinion that a complete survey should be undertaken of the Peace pass. Pine pass, and Monkman pass and that on completion of this survey a definite policy of railway development for the Peace river country should be decided upon.
"Your committee further believes that the potentialities of the Peace river district justify the commencement of a permanent outlet as soon as the best route is definitely ascertained."