March 10, 1933

CON

James Arthurs

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. JAMES ARTHURS (Parry Sound):

The hon. member for North Bruce will pardon me if I do not follow him through all his very strenuous effort to gloss over, shall I say, or to defend the action of the government of which he was a member. The hon. gentleman spent about thirty minutes of his first speech in defending the actions of the late government as far as the Canadian National is concerned, and spent about five minutes in attacking the financial policy of this government. Outside of that, I have not observed anything very constructive in what he said, no matter how eloquently and brilliantly his speech was delivered.

I would like to say that the people of this country at the present time are watching very closely this legislation, and the action of this house. And it is perfectly right that they should. In the first place the citizens of Can-

ada are interested in the matter as taxpayers of this country. They are the people who in the past have paid and who in the future must pay the bills or deficits of the Canadian National Railways. Then we must consider that they are also the shareholders of this railway system, and if the road succeeds they hope in the future, and I believe have reason to hope, that they will ultimately get back some return for the money which has been spent, perhaps recklessly, upon the system. There is another reason why they should be interested which I do not think has been brought forward in this house as prominently as it should be, namely that the people of Canada are the customers of both these railroads. The people of this country are entitled to value for the expenditures they make, whether for passenger service or freight service or anything else. Then another class of men interested in this legislation is the men who are at the present time employed by either of the great railroads, or those who have been for some time out of work on account of the cessation of such employment. All these should be considered in this connection.

In times of depression people are always looking around for some one or some thing to blame. In this particular case the blame has been largely placed upon the railroads. I agree entirely with the previous speaker, the hon. member for North Bruce, that our railways have not lost business in as large a proportion as many other trades. It is true our railway business has fallen from

8477,000,000 per year to 8260,000,000 per year in three years, but I would like to inquire what business has not fallen off more than that. Especially the external trade both of this country and every other civilized country has fallen in a much greater proportion. The previous speaker instanced the pulp and paper industry. Before the depression it was a good industry, distributed over the country at various places, and making money. Unfortunately like our railways it was exploited, we had mergers, plants were purchased by the syndicate and closed, far larger plants were built than were required at that time or than will be required for many years to come, and as a result the investing public in Canada lost hundreds of millions in that enterprise. Take the steel industry or the lumber industry, you find that in those trades there is less than 15 per cent of the business there was in the boom time, whereas the railways still have 54 per cent.

I might state, from a non-political viewpoint, the situation as it appears to me. Previous to the amalgamation of the roads in the national system, I was a member of

C JV R -C .P.R. Bill-Mr. Arthurs

this house. I remember well previous to the war we were forced to find scores of millions of dollars almost every year, if not every year, to keep two of the railroads afloat, I refer to the Grand Trunk and Canadian Northern. Very large amounts, my recollection is about 830,000,000 a year, were being voted by parliament as loans, never repaid, to these two roads in order to keep them afloat. This went on during the war, until as has been pointed out very ably by the Minister of Railways and the Prime Minister, these investments became larger and eventually we were forced to take over the roads. And this expenditure has gone on ever since. I am not talking politically when I say that during the last ten years very large amounts of money have been expended upon this system, which were unwisely spent, very unwisely spent. As a result the interest charges have been mounting from year to year, and you have the present situation. Personally I believe it is only a question of time, we hope a short time, until this road will be in a very different position. There is no doubt we have a good railroad, there is no doubt that even in less than normally prosperous times the road would pay, and the people of Canada instead of going into their pockets to pay deficits would have some little surplus. There is no question in my mind that that will be true in time to come.

Some people believe, and the view has been strongly urged in some sections of the press, that there should be a recapitalization of this railway. I submit that this would make practically no difference to the public. It makes no difference to us as Canadians whether the capitalization of this road is 81 or $1,000,000 or $1,000,000,000. We are the sole stockholders; the benefits, if any, and the trouble, if any, will be ours in any event. For bookkeeping purposes probably it is desirable to fix some capitalization, but it would have no effect on present circumstances.

As I said, we know that during the past years there has been extravagance, both on the-Canadian Pacific and the Canadian National. Wages reached a veTy high level, salaries were high, we know that in the case of the Canadian National there were a score of men who received a greater salary than the Prime Minister of Canada, and some of them a larger salary than the President of the United States of America. Those were the circumstances. Then, as I said before, we had the hotels, the steamship lines and the large terminals which were not necesasry either then or now.

Lately, Mr. Speaker, the cry has changed; both the railways and the public demand 53719-1845

economy. I should like to point out that the first economy practised was one which was highly undesirable in many ways; it was the cutting down of railway services even before the last crash. Then we had the cutting down of wages, which was opposed by many people, and perhaps it was unfortunate that the railways should have been among the first to take that action. The next step was the dismissal of many men, and I believe that in many cases the number of employees was reduced unnecessarily. No one can convince me that two section men can do as much work as four meq, or that two men can look after seven miles of track as well as four men could look after five miles. Before the reduction in staff we had four section men to every four or five miles of track, on the average. First that number was reduced to three and ultimately to two. As a result we have thousands of men out of employment and we are gradually losing the permanent effectiveness of our railways. That was what occurred during the war. We did not have enough men to keep our tracks in good shape; as a consequence the ties over whole sections of the road became rotten, and ultimately they had to be replaced at a cost of millions of dollars. The roads are alike in this regard. I should like to point out that when trade revives and traffic increases we should not expect these expenses to be kept down. Twenty trains cannot be run with ten crews. These railwaymen will be reemployed as traffic increases, and the same is true of the men who look after the maintenance of the road-beds, the men in the shops and so on. We hope the expenses of the railways will be heavier to-morrow than they are to-day and still heavier next year, because that will show that business is reviving and traffic increasing.

I think it would be very desirable to impress upon these trustees not only the necessity for making every possible saving- and no doubt a great deal can be done in that way-but also that this saving should not be made at the expense of the working men to a greater extent than is necessary, because I believe it is well to keep these men at hand.

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IND

Alan Webster Neill

Independent

Mr. NEILL:

May I interrupt? If we pass this legislation it will be impossible to impress anything on the trustees; they will be entirely independent.

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CON

James Arthurs

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ARTHURS:

That is my hon. friend's opinion, but I think probably they will be human, and if matters are represented to them in a proper way I think action will be taken.

C.N.R,-C.P.R. Bill-Mr. Arthurs

Now I should like to say a word or two with regard to the amalgamation of these roads. In common with most hon. members who have spoken during this debate I am entirely opposed to any amalgamation. I am opposed also to unification of any kind. In my own mind I am quite satisfied that there is no demand for amalgamation by the people of Canada; on the other hand I believe they are quite opposed to it. I am even more sure that it is opposed by the employees of both railways, from the men in charge at the top down to the men who work along the tracks. I should like to read just a few words from the evidence given before the commission by Mr. Hunger-ford, the present head of the Canadian National Railways, who has been a railway man for over forty-five years. In reply to a question by Lord Ashfield, Mr. Hungerford said:

... I think it is in the general interest, in view of the fact that these two railways exist at the present time, that they should be continued as separate institutions and allowed to compete, one with the other, with a certain measure of restriction against unreasonable development, but still maintaining the principle of competition.

Later on, speaking of the appointment of the trustees, he said: .

. . . the appointment of somebody-or at least some commission being endowed with power more or less to supervise and to prevent ridiculous developments.

Evidently he believed there had been ridiculous developments in the past. Later on he said:

I believe a very large proportion of all the real economies that can be secured at all can be secured under separate operation; and the comparatively slight difference between the degree of economy that can be secured from separate operation as compared with that under amalgamation would be more than offset by the obvious disadvantages of amalgamation which I have referred to.

Now I should like to say a few words with regard to the question I raised in my opening remarks; I should like to speak on behalf of the customers of these roads. It is very easy for a man to get up in this house and say there .are six or eight trains daily between Ottawa and Montreal and to say they are necessary because two are transcontinental trains, two are express trains and the other two stop just here and there, that they take different routes and so on. I know of a case in the province of Ontario where there was good railway service for many years, with an express and a local train each day. Now they have a train twice a week, consisting of one

car attached to a way freight. I imagine this car has been in the service for from fifty to a hundred years, at least. It has no lighting system except oil lamps, just enough to let you know daylight from dark; it has no heating system but an old stove in the centre, and you have to keep your overcoat on if it is at all chilly.

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LIB
CON

James Arthurs

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ARTHURS:

I guess there are some.

The point is that these passengers must pay exactly the same rate for tickets that is paid by the man who travels between Ottawa and Montreal. On the one hand, however, you have the very best accommodation and the most up-to-date rolling-stock, while on the other hand the accommodation is practically non-existent. I quite agree that in some cases we have had greater Eervice than was required, but in many cases they have gone too far in their desire for economy. You cannot blame these men if, when they have a chance to ride on a bus, they inevitably do so in preference to the railway. The same thing is true with regard to short freight hauls. I have been in business for many years. Even in the old days when we had a good way freight service it took from two to three days to get a parcel of goods from a place perhaps twenty miles away. I see no reason why the railways could not give us decent accommodation, perhaps by attaching one or two freight cars to a passenger train. In that way they would keep in with their customers and would do something at least to check the inroads of the motor trucks.

I am entirely in favour of this bill, Mr. Speaker, but I do think one or two amendments might well be made. Later on when the bill is in committee I will direct attention to one or two improvements I think might be made in the bill whereby these trustees shall not have the power either to tear up any branch or to lease any part of the Canadian National Railways for over five years without the consent of parliament. I think that is a very necessary clause to insert in the bill. We have roads right in Ontario, the old Great Western, a part of the Grand Trunk railway, which is practically owned by them under a ninety-nine year lease, and there are many other roads throughout the continent of America w'hich are practically in the same condition, and I do not believe that any men, one, three or twenty, should have the power to sell the assets of the Dominion of Canada without the consent of parliament. There is another thing to which I would direct attention. In the

C.N.R.-C.P.R. Bill-Mr. Motherwell

case of any dispute coming before the tribunal, in which the public are interested, as manifestly they will be in some of these cases, they should have the right to appear before the tribunal and state their case.

With these two exceptions I am in favour of the bill and I will certainly vote for the second reading.

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell

Liberal

Hon. W. R. MOTHERWELL (Melville):

The excellent example in moderation given this afternoon by the hon. member for North Bruce (Mr. Malcolm), and the equally excellent example set the other day by my right hon. leader (Mr. Mackenzie King) and, previously, by the Minister of Railways (Mr. Manion), I will endeavour to follow in discussing the bill now before the house. I will try to be as moderate and temperate as may be consistent with bringing out the facts as I see them. I am sure the Minister of Railways will sympathize with me if I do not attain to that high eminence reached by the hon. gentlemen to whom I have referred, because it must have taken one of them-the Minister of Railways-at least an effort to reach that commendable height.

Let me say at the outset that I do not like this bill. The more I think of it the less I think of it, and that is not meant to be a paradox at all. I should like to support it though, just the same as I should like to have supported the Anglo-Canadian agreement; but I cannot do so. There is one good feature about it which I would mention, and that is the reduction of the board of directors to three-call them what you like, trustees, directors or anything else. There was never one appointed from Saskatchewan or Alberta on the old board, and I think we should be given some credit for not- having made the board nineteen instead of seventeen. There was a weakness in too large a board, and there is almost as great a weakness in one that is too small. As someone put it, out of seventeen men you might find three who were all right, but it you got three dubs or violent antipublic ownership men to start with our position would be rather unenviable. If you could get one man to perform the duties of the office, a man in whom all the people of Canada had confidence, it might be better still than having three; it would be a shorter cut anyway. However, no such super-individual exists that I know of. I have no faith in all this talk about super-men; to use an old expression, there ain't no such crittur. I have no objection to three; I think it is a move in the right direction. Apart from these preliminary remarks, Mr. Speaker, I am afraid

that my encomiums on behalf of the bill will be very limited.

As regards the Duff commission, that was a good move; it was an evidence that both the great presidents realized that there was something ahead which they had to prepare for. Naturally Sir Henry Thornton and Mr. Beatty would know more about the financial situation of the railways than we do, and in anticipation of the worst happening they were both favourable to a commission being appointed to investigate all phases of the situation in the hope of bringing about reductions in operating costs and so on, in the light of rapidly disappearing tonnage. I think that was all right. No doubt the first object of the commission was to set forth the situation as they saw it in their, report, and in the second place I do not doubt that they entertained the hope that a certain educational value would be derived from the investigation, whereby the people of Canada might be guided to an acceptance of the best possible solution and one which would justify the investigation. A commission of any kind, even if its object is only to bring out the facts with a view to guiding the people along the best path, is worth while. The people of this country, however-and I suppose the same thing is true of other countries-will not take kindly to too much guidance, and when there is cause for suspicion they refuse to be guided at all. All the pamphleteering and all the after dinner speechmaking and such like seemed to tend to some form of amalgamation or joint operation, and the people of Canada were so irrevocably opposed to amalgamation that they did not take some features of the Duff commission very seriously, although the advice and information given by the commission were well meant. If we do not travel along the direction of the Duff commission they must not think it is a reflection on them. They did good service, as they saw the railway situation, and I have no reason to doubt their bona fides. Nor is any opposition to this bill to be regarded as a reflection on the Senate. We have often disagreed with the Senate before, and it seems to have been coming to life recently. I believe there is another bill under consideration there, a bill of some nine hundred sections, and I can only express the hope that they do not throw it at us this session.

There seems to be a disposition in some quarters to make a sort of goat of Sir Henry Thornton and a martyr of the Canadian Pacific. There is no necessity for anyone taking either of these extreme positions. Some people are blaming the Canadian Na-

C.N.R.-C.P.R. Bill-Mr. Motherwell

tional Railways for almost everything; yet that railway system is in a better position relatively than most of us sitting in this chamber compared to what we were three or four years ago. I question whether the status of the Canadian National is not better relatively than that of the Canadian Pacific today. I am an admirer of the Canadian Pacific Railway; I think it is the best-managed and equipped privately operated road in the world. I never had a dollar's worth of stock in this great railway enterprise, although I have often wished I had, so that anything I might say in the way of criticism of that system should not be regarded as being prejudiced one way or the other. I have great faith in its ability to come back if there is nothing inserted in this bill to hinder it. What I object to very much, however, is the practice of singling out the Canadian National system as if it were the chief sinner and making it carry all the sins of the many. And that is what is being done. Nothing is said about there being too many cotton mills in Canada; too many paper mills; too many mines; too many motor car factories, although a great many such concerns are closed down; too many agricultural implement manufacturers, notwithstanding that many warehouses and shops are largely closed. And, by the way, no one talks about too many branch banks, a number of which have for lack of business been closed, to the great inconvenience, it is true, of those who were locally served, while some bank managers are operating two or three banks running along a line of railway. Nothing is said about all these but we hear a good deal about the Canadian National Railways having built too many hotels and branch lines. The commission even thought that it was bedevilled by local public opinion and pressure. But how are you to smother public opinion and the right of communities to be heard on railway and other matters?

Let me refer for a moment to branch lines. I do not believe that this country is overbuilt with branch lines. I am one who suffered for twenty years for the want of a branch line, and when I came to this parliament one of the first objects to which I dedicated myself was to help those who were situated as I had been for some twenty years and to tiy to get them the branch line service they so badly needed. I did not confine my efforts to the Canadian National. Before I entered any legislature I spent much time with my neighbours trying to prevail upon the Canadian Pacific to provide a branch line for our district. This was long before I was ever heard of outside of my own community.

I well remember that noble old railway friend, the late Sir William Whyte, the greatest railway friend the farmers of the west ever had, Whyte by name -and white by nature. We went to him and placed our case before him knowing that if there were any good in it, and traffic present and prospective permitted it, he would do everything possible to meet our wishes. Are we to be denied that right? Are we going to shut up the Canadian National in a hermetically sealed box where no one can see it or appeal to it? The men who are operating this railroad should be strong enough to resist pressure not warranted by the facts or the traffic or the particular request made. We cannot put anyone or any great public service in seclusion and have it be of proper service to the country. We have to be a part of the world if we are going to be of full usefulness to it.

People are harping about too many branch lines, but I want to say that I struck out in 1882, four hundred miles ahead of any railway. There was not a foot of railway line west of Portage la Prairie when I struck out with a yoke of oxen towards the setting sun for four hundred miles. We had the main line, of course, that fall, but we had to wait twenty years before we got our branch line. How much longer should I have waited before making representations for a branch line? Should I have been so modest as not to look at a railway magnate? I found them to be quite approachable when I did become acquainted with them. That applies not only to Sir William Whyte but to many other officers of the Canadian Pacific Railway. I found them to be rational and reasonable men, and the same applies to the officers of the Canadian National. All this balderdash which we hear about the evil of community pressure is simply the bunkum of people who have not suffered as I and thousands of others have suffered on the prairies and elsewhere. Many of these frontier people are still waiting for branch lines. If I am spared long enough I intend to do my utmost to help the man on the frontier, the man who has blazed the trail for those who will follow. Does not all Canada, does not Australia, does not South Africa owe its development to the pathfinders and the trail blazers who went to the frontiers to build homes? These men are worthy of the very best of attention and service.

We will pass on to some other fallacies. Sir Henry Thornton's name has been mentioned as one to be honoured. The hon. member for East Hamilton (Mr. Mitchell) said that the time would come when he would be honoured,

C.N.R.-C.P.R. Bill-Mr. Motherwell

and the hon. member for North Bruce said that doubtless he was honoured now. I do not know what others are going to say, but the way Sir Henry has been treated reminds me of Mark Antony's speech when Julius Caesar was murdered by Brutus and a few others like him. Yesterday Sir Henry was sought after by the foremost men of the land, he was welcomed in any company; to-day " there are none so poor to do him reverence." Yesterday he was sought as the guest speaker for the finest banquet of the land; to-day he and the National railway are looked upon by too many as " the old man of the sea." Yesterday the Minister of Justice (Mr. Guthrie) was wanting to claim the Canadian National as his own baby; to-day the evidence is not lacking that the government would like to get rid of the Canadian National as expeditiously as they got rid of its head.

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CON

Peter McGibbon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. McGIBBON:

We have $922,000,000

more debt than you had.

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

My hon. friend

was quite moderate in his speech and he should let me try to be the same.

It is pretty hard to touch new ground in discussing this bill as it has been mauled around so much, and quite properly so. My conception of the Canadian National is that it is the people's railway. No less an authority than the Prime Minister (Mr. Bennett) says that it is the bondholders' railway, but I should like to know when the foreclosure took place. As long as the interest is paid by the government, the mortgage cannot be foreclosed. I wonder what we would call this statement of the Prime Minister if we were not trying to be moderate? I have no name to suggest and I leave it to every hon. member to think out for himself.

I do not like the idea of these two dictatorial boards. If you get into trouble with one it will be like jumping from the frying pan into the fire to go to the other for redress. The arbitral board will consist of practically one man, the chairman of the board of Railway Commissioners. He may prove to be such a biased arbitrator that those who appear before the trustee board will never appear before the arbitral board. Imagine going with a dispute to a one-man biased board! I do not know the chairman personally, all I know is that he is not necessarily a railway authority. He will have to rely upon the evidence adduced before him by the two railways, who will have the best lawyers they can possibly obtain. His decisions must be based upon the evidence. I have been a magistrate a long time and I know that decisions must be given according to the evidence and the value that

can be placed upon such evidence. I pity anyone who is placed in the position of adjudicating upon a technical question about which he knows nothing. I do not know whether or not the present head of the railway commission is a practical railwayman, but if he is not there will not I think be many references made to that arbitral board.

Why do we object to the appointments to the trustee board being made by the government? With the appointment history of the party opposite we know that only such men as will carry out the will of the government will likely be appointed. That is possibly only natural. Certainly they will not be appointed to go contrary to the will of the government. What is the will of the government in connection with the Canadian National? Many hon. members present will remember the Prime Minister's first budget speech when he held forth with all the eloquence at his command upon the alleged terrible condition of the Canadian National. He grew quite red in the face, almost as red as a bubbly-jock, if the house knows what that is. He spoke with vehemence and almost with venom, and then pretended that his words were the words of a friend. I cannot imagine anyone speaking about an institution with which he was friendly and using the tone of voice the Prime Minister used at that time. Hon. members can read Hansard of that day-June 1, 1931. I do not take particular exception to the facts as recited, although it was assembled in the worst possible manner for the Canadian National Is that a friendly attitude? Not then nor since then have I heard any words from the Prime Minister which could be construed as being friendly to the Canadian National.

What about the branch line building programs for the Canadian National which the Liberal government brought down when We were sitting on the other side of the house? I draw the attention of the house particularly to the building program presented by the Hon. Mr. Dunning when he was Minister of Railways. No complaints were ever registered by the then opposition against the proposed expenditures; if there was any criticism against the programs of the Liberal government, especially during its later years, it was because we were not building more branch railway lines. It will be recalled that Mr. Dunning played a big part in controlling both railways in their attempt to build lines in Alberta and Saskatchewan which would be duplicating lines. The present government wants to absolve itself from all this responsible work by handing everything over to a board about which we do not know anything except that it will be appointees of a government in which

C.N.R.-C.P.R. Bill-Mr. Motherwell

there is little public confidence left. After these Liberal branch line railway programs were brought down and fully discussed and approved unanimously in this house, invariably in another place that we cannot name the bills were slaughtered without the slightest hesitation whatever in 1924 or 1925. I have travelled over the route of these proposed railways during the parliamentary recess and have seen them for myself. I motored for several hundreds of miles along the route of one in which I was not personally interested whatever except as a citizen of Saskatchewan, and at that time I was the only representative from Saskatchewan on the Liberal side of the house. But all that railway legislation was slaughtered in another place, and naturally that stirred my ire against that other place. It showed me not only where that other place stood but where the then leader of the opposition in this house stood, the gentleman who is now in that other place as the bull moose thereof. That is the reason, Mr. Speaker, we are afraid of this board, because the record of the Conservative party has always been against the National railways with one notable exception, and that is when they started first to take over the Canadian Northern and Grand Trunk Pacific, and they left the roads with two heads and two staffs quarrelling for preference. If anyone ever performed a superhuman task it was Sir Henry Thornton in bringing the two railways out of the miry clay in which they were foundering and setting them on a solid rock foundation looking to a better day, and he did introduce a better day for the National railways until the world calamity befell the National railways like it befell everything else. Why, Sir Henry Thornton was not long enough in the saddle to warm it before the then leader of the opposition (Mr. Meighen) had his harpoon into him up to the hilt. You remember, Mr. Speaker, what he said about the Scribe hotel in Paris, which afterwards turned out to be a good investment. The present leader of the government has nothing on the then leader of the opposition for scathing denunciation of the National railways, for there was nothing left unsaid against Sir Henry Thornton and the National railways, and this in spite of the fact that the then leader of the opposition had claimed the Canadian National Railways as his own infant at the outset, but denounced it when it seemed to be under a cloud.

What further reason have I for doubting the personnel of this board of trustees? The government has thought it wise to call them trustees, because they say the condition of

the roads is tantamount to being in a receivership. How is that ever going to help the market for Canadian Pacific Railway shares? See the suggestion contained in that! It is not fair to the Canadian Pacific Railway. I have no interest in the Canadian Pacific Railway except that I am a great admirer of it. It is well said that a tree is known by its fruits, not by its blossoms and leaves, although both are necessary to fruition; and we must judge of the appointments that are about to be made by the government by the ones which it has made in the past. I know I am getting on delicate ground for a moderate address, and I will go easy. All I will ask the house to do is to recall some of the earlier major appointments by this government and the very last appointment. In view of those appointments, are we likely to consider that the government will set up an impartial trustee board? By their fruits ye shall know them, and we know their fruits, and we know the government, by this time, and that is the reason we are suspicious. Yes, I am suspicious. I am not so simple minded as to put all that uneviable record to one side and expect that everything is now going to be all right. It may be that we shall get a surprise when this board is appointed. Maybe it will be composed of three fair-minded, impartial men, whom all will approve, and just because there is about one chance in a thousand of that happening I am less severe at this time than I otherwise would be. I hope we shall get such a surprise. Assuming that we get such a board, the three best men available in Canada, without any prejudices at all, I do not ask that they must be predisposed towards the National railways, like some other hon. member has suggested. All I ask is that they be fair to the Canadian National Railways. But assuming that we get such a board, how much better is the situation going to be from the government's standpoint than obtains now with voluntary cooperation between the two roads?

This question of compulsory cooperation is one upon which people differ honestly. If I recollect aright, a number of the officials of the Canadian National Railways opposed strongly the idea of compulsory cooperation, on the ground that it was impossible, that the two words "compulsion" and "cooperation" were antagonistic to each other. The same question arose in connection with the wheat pools, where the first question that we came up against was whether we should have a compulsory or a voluntary pool. Compulsory cooperation? Well, Mr. Speaker, I have seen decisions of judges of the western courts that there was no such animal as com-

C.N.R.-C.P.R. Bill-Mr. Motherwell

pulsory cooperation, and that there could not be, that compulsion was antagonistic to the conception of cooperation, that they were not in any sense complementary to each other, but that one was the very antithesis of the other. That is the position that I have taken for twenty years, and it is the position that Saskatchewan and the west generally takes to-day. Compulsory cooperation would be a very dangerous experimental step to take and might have the very opposite effects from those hoped for.

I was delighted to hear the minister express his belief in a better day coming, and then he went on to say how finely our two railroads were getting along with voluntary cooperation, and what economies were being made. He said that he did not believe that there was a road on this continent which could make a better showing than these two railway systems in Canada had done in the matter of effecting economies during the last two or three years. Well, there are times when good enough should be left alone. It is not a very good slogan, in normal times, I admit, but just now it is a good slogan. I wonder, Mr. Speaker, if in your pioneer days you ever had the experience of driving oxen, or a horse and a mule, or a pony and a cow. Well, you have some ma'nouevring to get them to go together at all, and if you finally do get them to work together satisfactorily, just leave them that way and don't be monkeying with them any more. Here are two great rivals in the railway world, and if they are cooperating voluntarily and to , good purpose, my advice would be to just let them be until they show some evidence of not wanting to cooperate. Why are they cooperating? Wild horses could not keep them from cooperating now because adversity is driving them to it; their very life depends upon it; and as long as they are bringing about these economies by voluntary methods, I say it is much better to let them go along that way and wait until they show some disposition not to cooperate before we step in and try to compel them, a change that in my opinion might only be for the worse. It will not take long to find that out, but it will be quite a while before this depression is over and they cease cooperating by voluntary methods. Necessity, I repeat, will compel them to do so for several years, as well as public sentiment. Therefore I am absolutely opposed to this absurd idea of compulsory cooperation, particularly when it is admitted that no one can hope for anything better under compulsory cooperation than we are getting to-day under voluntary cooperation. Then why disturb the present relationship between the two railway systems? They are cooperating now voluntarily because it is mutually necessary and beneficial and they cannot afford to do otherwise. We find throughout Canada a replica of the same condition among our people. Men who years ago held old grudges, against other men are to-day shaking hands with each other, neighbouring with each other. They are saying, "If there is anything wrong with your binder come over to my junk pile and you may have anything you can root out of it." We are doing that for each other, to save buying repairs. So far as I know, that condition runs all through society to-day. It certainly obtains among the farmers, and we see it even between our competing railways although it is not quite so much in evidence.

Therefore I am opposed to all the features of the bill to which I have referred,-both boards and that feature concerning compulsory arbitration.

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CON

Robert James Manion (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

Outside of that you agree with it?

Mr. MOTHERWELL ? Yes, outside of that I agree. I tell you right now, my major regret in connection with this bill is that I have not a thousand votes to record against it.

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CON
LIB

William Richard Motherwell

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

I believe it will be a disturber of the peace. In respect of the people's railway we are abdicating in favour of two boards; thus betraying the trust reposed in us as the real trustees of this railway property. The whole country is being advertised as bankrupt, in order to justify this legislation, and as if this depression were to be permanent.

I have a few words to say concerning the surgical operation to which the Prime Minister referred. The hon. member for North Bruce said the Prime Minister's illustration was not very apt. According to the Prime Minister when a disease is deep seated, in order to get the cankers out by the roots the operation must be correspondingly deep. Well now, the government began its operation by taking Sir Henry's head off; what further necessity was there for sending him to a hospital. I think my own colleague's simile was a little out of line, because certainly when Sir Henry had his head off he did not need further hospital care. In my view that is the tragedy; don't make any mistake about it. If there ever was a superman on this North American continent, it was Sir Henry Thornton. I had not been in the 1921 election cam-

C.N.R.-C.P.R. Bill-Mr. Motherwell

paign very long before I found there were two classes of people on whom I had to keep my weather eye. I dare not discuss railway matters with either of them without getting into trouble with the other one. One was the Canadian Northern staff and the other was the Grand Trunk staff. That condition entirely disappeared long ago, thanks to the leadership and prestige of Sir Henry Thornton. If there is another man in Canada who could have done that, I don't know where he is. He did it in very short order, inside of three or four years. We make no apologies for the selection of Sir Henry Thornton; we were and still are proud of him. Why? Because he has shown the Canadian National Railways can be put on their feet; we have shown the way to do it. We responded to the demand for no political interference. In response to public appeal we exercised as little as possible interference, consistent with good business. But, do not make any mistake about it; in nearly every railway building program laid before the Liberal Minister of Railways something had to be cut out before the money was asked from parliament.

I make that statement because the Prime Minister indicated in one of his speeches- not the one he made yesterday-that there was not a capital outlay asked for by the Canadian National which was refused by the old government of that day. That Is not correct. Lots of them were cut out. There were many adjustments also in regard to the program of building lines that the public knew nothing about, and some the public did know something about. Supposing we get this super-board, what will be the result? Results will depend on the attitude the board adopts. Good results could come from a super-board such as the one suggested, if they are brought about by conciliation and not by compulsory measures. However that, I repeat, depends entirely on the personnel of the board.

Mr. Speaker, I ask the house to take it from me-I don't know whether they will or not- that in matters of administration by the board of stewards there are a hundred ways of throwing favours to the one railway and against the other. Indications are at present that freight is switching from the Canadian National to the Canadian Pacific. In that connection I should like the Minister of Railways to make an investigation so that he may make a statement thereon when we are discussing his estimates. I have been making some inquiries, and although I do not like to make definite statements, because my information may not be accurate, I have learned that whereas in 1930 the freight per mile

carried by the Canadian National System surpassed that carried by the Canadian Pacific, to-day the Canadian Pacific is very considerably ahead. The same applies to passenger traffic. Has that occurred by accident, or by design? That condition has arisen without a board.

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CON

Robert James Manion (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

If the hon. member will

permit me I should like to reply that I do not believe the Canadian Pacific is ahead of the Canadian National in regard to any type of traffic. The Canadian National has been handling the greater proportion of the traffic throughout, and is still handling about the same proportion.

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

I wish the minister would get the index figures.

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CON

Robert James Manion (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

I will.

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

I know business can be thrown one way or the other. Ministers and their friends and staffs can give a fair share of their personal travel to the Canadian National; that has been done. It could have been thrown the other way, if we had liked. The same applies to freight. There was one condition with which I was never quite satisfied when the late government held office, namely, the relative amount of cross-Canada mails carried by these two great transcontinental railways.

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CON

Robert James Manion (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

I have the figures now, if the hon. member would like to hear them.

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

It all depends on what time I have left to speak.

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CON

Robert James Manion (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

The figures bear out what I said, namely, that the Canadian National does the greater business.

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

I should like to

have it on Hansard, but I do not know how much time I have left.

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CON

Robert James Manion (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

I shall ask the Speaker to allow the hon. member as many more minutes as he wishes to have.

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March 10, 1933