Hon. J. D. CHAPLIN (Lincoln) moved for concurrence in the third and final report of the select standing committee on railways and shipping, owned, operated and controlled by the government.
Mr. JOHN T. HACKETT (Stanstead): Mr. Speaker, before this document is relegated to the limbo of things futile I should like to say a few words about its subject matter. The Canadian government is engaged in a rather large way in the business of transportation both on land and sea. On land the Canadian National Railways own and operate 23,668 miles of first track steam mileage in which are included 3,342 miles of eastern lines. Eastern lines are defined by the Maritime Freight Rates Act of 1927 as those lines lying east of Levis, Quebec. From July 1, 1927, the rates on those lines have been reduced by 20 per cent, and the government has made up the difference. The Canadian National Railways also operate 187 miles of electric lines. At sea they operate a coastal service on the Pacific coast of six vessels; three of them in the triangular service between Vancouver, Victoria and Seattle; two other ships are in the island service; two ships, the Dalhousie City and the Northumberland, on lake Ontario are operated under the name of the Niagara, St. Catharines and Toronto Navigation Company. They operate also two vessels plying between Chicago and Depot Harbour, a car ferry between Chicago and Milwaukee, a car ferry between Piotou and Mulgrave and two car ferries between Borden and Tormentine. The Canadian Government Merchant Marine owns a fleet of thirty vessels; a few years ago there were 60 vessels. The total tonnage at the present time is 239,170 tons. The Canadian National (West Indies) Steamships Limited operate twelve ships between Canada and the West Indies with a total tonnage of 60,592 tons. The government owns and will soon operate the Hudson Bay railway with a mileage of 510 miles.
My purpose in reciting these facts is to acquaint the country with this great enterprise and its cost during the last twelve years. The amounts which I shall give are disbursements which have been made either in cash or credit by the Canadian people since April 1, 1919. I may say that at the moment those disbursements amount to $1,663,675,517.61. I have before me the details of this sum. In cash we advanced to the Canadian National Railways between April 1, 1919, and March 31, 1923,
$389,743,789.34. From April 1, 1923, to December 31, 1930, we advanced $57,482,652.91, making a total of $447,226,442.25. We guaranteed the bonds of the Canadian National Railways to the extent of $569,609,027. Included in that amount are $77,000,000 of retirements. In addition to this new capital we have secured to the railways $216,207,141.67, by guaranteeing the interest in perpetuity on the Grand Trunk railway guaranteed and debenture stock. Moreover we have guaranteed as to capital and interest Canadian National Railways debenture stock, of which there now remains outstanding $30,559,114. There has also been purchased equipment, for which equipment trust notes have been issued and remain outstanding to the amount of $94,680,000. These notes are not guaranteed, but the conditions under which they were issued make the country entirely responsible for them if the railways continue to operate. Under the Maritime Freight Rates Act there has been paid to the Canadian National Railways $7,897,360. The requirements of the Canadian National Railways for deficits, acquisitions and betterments for the present, year are $120,000,000. I wish to say on that score that the amount estimated was $104,000,000. It was admitted, however, by the railway management when before the committee that although the estimates were prepared in April they were already $13,000,000 short. I think in view of present conditions it is a conservative estimate to place those requirements for the present year at $120,000,000. Furthermore we are pledged for $48,250,000 after this year's program of construction is completed; that includes branch lines, terminals at Montreal and the hotels at Saskatoon, Jasper and Vancouver.
With regard to the Canadian Government Merchant Marine, we were told that if this business were wound up to-day it would have cost the people of Canada $81,222,769.90, without allowing anything for interest. The 'deficit on the Canadian Government Merchant Marine, if we assume that it will be this year what it was last year, will be $588,500. We invested in the Canadian National (West Indies) Steamship Company $9,804,715. The deficit on that service last year was $523,136.98, and it is fair to assume it will not be less this year. This makes no allowance for interest.
Our investment in the Hudson Bay railway is something like $45,000,000, but since 1919 we have put into the Hudson Bay railway and terminals $31,756,417.