(a) Assumption, through government action, of liabilities of insolvent railway systems for reasons of national credit.
In passing let me remark that it has been said that the government has advanced to the national system something like $1,000,000,000 which is added to the railway debt of the country and on which we do not receive interest. Some people are going about this country, quoting stupendous figures of the public and private debts of this country, and frightening people into the belief that they can never be paid. Take this particular item; here is $1,000,000,000 that the people of Canada borrowed first, and it was added to the national debt; then they lent it to the railway companies and it was added to the railway debt, and these people say the debt is $2,000,000,000, but $1,000,000,000 will pay it. If these people who are so busy stampeding the people would consider the duplications and triplications, yes, multiplications, involved in the figures they quote with respect to our debts, the amount would not look so stupendous.
Then, passing over item (b) and turning to (c):
Political .and community pressure on the management arising out of direct government control.
Much has been said about what the railways are costing the government. I sometimes think it would ibe interesting to know what the government is costing the railroads. This political pressure to which it is said here the national is exposed is also exerted on the Canadian Pacific. We are told that in the last three years the railways have spent some $25,000,000 on relief. Why did they do this? The government persuaded them to do it. The government persuaded these railways to make improvements and extensions which they did not require and could not afford. The government said: "Do this in order to relieve the unemployment situation and we will pay the interest on the money until such time as you require these improvements." The debt of $25,000,000 is hanging over the railways in the meantime. I have no quarrel with that method of dealing with unemployment; perhaps it was the most economical method possible at the time, but when we ask the railways to shoulder $25,000,000 of a government obligation in order to relieve unemployment it is hardly fair to turn around and say the railroads are millstones about our necks.