March 16, 1933

LIGNITE COAL TARIFF


On the orders of the day:


CON

Edmond Baird Ryckman (Minister of National Revenue)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. E. B. RYCKMAN (Minister of National Revenue):

Yesterday the hon. member for Assiniboia (Mr. McKenzie) directed a question to me as to whether or not the tariff on lignite coal entering the United States had been reduced recently. I have

C.N.R ,-CJP.R. Bill-Mr. Mackenzie

made inquiries, and1 I am informed that lignite coal entering the United States is free, and has been for some time.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   LIGNITE COAL TARIFF
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DREDGING-DETROIT RIVER


On the orders of the day: Mr. ECCLES J. GOTT (South Essex): I should like to direct a question to the government based on complaints which have come to me by letter and telegram with regard to extensive property damage being done in the township of Anderton and near the town of Amherstburg because of the dredging operations being carried on by the George Mills Construction Company. I should1 like to make a brief explanation.


?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

No.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   DREDGING-DETROIT RIVER
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CON

Pierre Édouard Blondin (Speaker of the Senate)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPEAKER:

The hon. member must

put his question.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   DREDGING-DETROIT RIVER
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CON

Eccles James Gott

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GOTT:

I should like to ask the

government if they will intercede and request the construction company to use smaller blasts than they are using at the present time in order that more property may not be destroyed.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   DREDGING-DETROIT RIVER
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CON

Hugh Alexander Stewart (Minister of Public Works)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. H. A. STEWART (Minister of Public Works):

I am not sure whether the work

to which my hon. friend refers is being carried on by the Department of Public Works. If that is so I will make some inquiries and see what authority or supervision we have over the company.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   DREDGING-DETROIT RIVER
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CON

Eccles James Gott

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GOTT:

The work is being carried on in international waters by the United States government.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   DREDGING-DETROIT RIVER
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CANADIAN NATIONAL-CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY BILL


The house resumed from Wednesday, March 15, consideration of the motion of Hon. R. J. Manion for the second reading of Bill No. 37, respecting the Canadian National Railways and to provide for cooperation with the Canadian Pacific railway system, and for other purposes.


LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie

Liberal

Hon. IAN MACKENZIE (Vancouver Centre):

Mr. Speaker, in my judgment this

has been a very excellent debate, and I think its duration has been more than warranted by the transcendent importance of the problem to this house and to the Canadian people. At the outset may I extend my con-

gratulations, with certain reservations which will become manifest as I proceed, to those who have participated in this debate thus far. May I be allowed to extend to my hon. friend the Minister of Railways (Mr. Manion) my personal felicitations upon the studied moderation of his presentation of this resolution. I trust and hope that after having been subjected for two weeks to the slings and arrows of the outrageous Grits on this side of the house, my hon. friend) will maintain that same degree of studied and constructive moderation when he concludes this debate to-day. If he does that he will have convinced us that he has experienced a remarkable change of heart since the days when he sat on this side of the house.

As I said before, this is to me one of the most important debates which has ever taken place in this house. At the outset of my remarks may I suggest that the Canadian transportation problem is affected by both national and international factors. The national factors lie largely in the policies of the present administration for which they must accept direct and final responsibility. The international factors are of two kinds. First, there are the factors which affected our railway system during the great war, from 1914 to 1918; second, there are the repercussions of these factors upon our Canadian national life and structure.

May I summarize briefly three of these great world factors. I would remind the house of the tremendous cost of the great war to the participating nations. The great war cost Great Britain and her allies $43,000,000,000; it cost the Germanic allies, $15,000,000,000, a total of $58,000,000,000. This amount was expended largely in the destruction of property and human life within the brief period of four and one half years. May I also refer the house to the tremendous expansion which took place in world trade between 1913 and 1928. From the dawn of civilization up until the year 1913, the total export and import trade of the world amounted to $35,000,000,000. Within fifteen short years, all within the lifetime of everyone of us present in this house, the trade of the world increased from $35,000,000,000 to $08,000,000,000. This increase was not due to the expansion of the gold reserves of the world because they increased only from $7,489,000,000 to $10,500,000,000. The trade of the world practically doubled in fifteen short years. Let us consider next the

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

national debts of the various countries of the world. Next Tuesday, when the Minister of Finance (Mr. Rhodes) presents his budget, we will probably hear something of the public debt of Canada. The war cost this country something like SI,700,000,000. In 1688, the year of the revolution, the British debt was only $3,320,000. In the year of the first jubilee, 1887, this debt had increased to $3,690,000,000. Just before the war it was $3,255,000,000 but by 1920 it had increased to $39,390,000,000. There had been an increase in the British debt of $36,000,000,000 in six short years. In the United States there was a similar increase from $900,000,000 to $16,000,000,000 during the same six years. There was also a corresponding increase in Germany and France. In 1870, at, the time of confederation, the debt of Canada was only $78,000,000. Before the war it was $336,000,000 but last year it had reached a total of $2,504,000,000. This is our national debt apart from other obligations which must affect us. I mention these things at the outset of my remarks to show the house the tremendous obligations which confront us at the present time.

Our railroad problem has been affected by these international factors; it has been affected by world considerations and yet we are attempting to solve this great problem with a mere administration bill which is now before the house. There is nothing within the four corners of this bill of a constructive nature to meet the quintessence and fundamental needs of this transportation problem. One of the most essential recommendations made by this commission is in connection with our canal structure, but what do they say? They say that water-borne competition does not affect in any way the transportation problem of this country. I should like to direct the attention of the house, of the government and of the Minister of Finance, if he were here, to some of the figures showing the investment in our canal system. Up to March 31, 1932, the total investment in our canals amounted to $245,000,000. For operation and maintenance there had been expended up until last year a total of S81,000,000, or a grand total of $326,000,000. In 1931-32 the operations and repairs amounted to over $3,021,000, while interest at five per cent amounted to $16,300,000, or a total in round figures of $20,000,000. The revenue for 1931-32 amounted to $976,845, so that in one year there was lost to the Canadian treasury a total of $19,000,000.

I suggest to the Minister of Railways that the time has come when we should impose tolls for the use of our canal system. This

would be in the interests of the Canadian people and the Canadian treasury. What happens in connection with this water-borne traffic? We have Norwegian tramps, Danish tramps and German tramps coming over here during the summer months to enter into competition with our own steamers and our own transportation systems. These boats do not pay one cent into the Canadian treasury, while the Canadian steamship companies pay income taxes as well as direct taxes to the Department of Marine. I suggest that this government should immediately meet this problem of wateT-borne competition. I am immediately suspicious of the recommendations of the Duff commission when it says that the development of our waterways will not be prejudicial, deleterious or injurious to our railway systems. I believe there is in that recommendation an implied approbation of the policy of this administration in signing the St. Lawrence waterways agreement with the great republic to the south. That paragraph apparently is inserted in the Duff commission report as a justification for the signing of an agreement which is unfair to Canada.

Your Honour knows as well as I do the conditions which now prevail in western Canada. Ships going through the American Panama canal are subject to an average toll of one dollar per ton. An average sized ship pays a toll of $8,000 going backward and forward through the canal. We have an expensive canal system representing an investment of $326,000,000 and there is nothing in any of the treaties now in effect with the United States to preclude us establishing a toll against American ships similar to one to be charged against our own. There is not a single word in the Duff report to show how this situation could be met.

There is nothing in this bill. A board of trustees and an arbitral tribunal is the concrete result of an expenditure of $62,000, by the Canadian people. There is only the prospective establishment of two Tory triumvirates. I am quite certain the Minister of Railways will agree with me. He has read the report of the Drayton-Acworth commission of 1917 very carefully and he knows its provisions. He has also read the Duff report very carefully. I can find in this poor and pallid Bill No. 37 which we have in front of us now, but three things, part of them the recommendations of the Duff commission, part of them the recommendations of the Drayton-Acworth commission of 1917, and the most insidious features of them the reeom-

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

mendations of neither one commission nor the other, evidently written in by the fine Machiavellian hand of some member of the present administration.

Topic:   CANADIAN NATIONAL-CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY BILL
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Oh, oh.

Topic:   CANADIAN NATIONAL-CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY BILL
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LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver):

Before I conclude I think I shall be able to satisfy my hon. friends that what I say is true. Before I come to a detailed consideration of this bill, I should like very briefly to refer to railwaj' development in the Dominion of Canada. One of the speakers said the other day that the history of railway legislation in this country was not a happy story. I should respectfully like to disagree with that statement. To my mind railway development in this dominion is the story of Canada herself since the year 1853; it is the story of the great struggles of statesmen on both sides of political life, the story of the enterprise of great financial men throughout this country and, above all, the story of the vision, energy and genius of great engineers who were able to overcome the tremendous difficulties of the Rocky mountains, and under handicaps almost insuperable, to bring these lines of steel to our Pacific coast. So I do not think it is right for the Prime Minister or anyone else in the house to condemn any former leader of a party for the vision that inspired that gigantic program after 1903.

May I say this in regard to the Prime Minister's observations: It ill behooves him, in the time of this nation's financial and economic peril, to be constantly indulging in those Cassandra-like wails in which he indulged in this chamber the other day. He attacked members of the opposition, accusing us of being the people who were trying to undermine the integrity of our country. What about his own Toronto speech delivered just before the house convened, when he made that tragic and tremendous blunder in regard to our maturing obligations in the United States? And when that had to be recalled and corrected in the press within two or three hours after it was delivered, what about the fact that exchange went down four per cent the day after the right hon. gentleman made that address in Toronto? What about his interview with the labour men a few days after when he told them that we were on the brink of the abyss, on the verge of disaster? It is no wonder that Canadian exchange suffered. I take issue with him in this hour of our country's need and peril, if such it is. What we need is not pessimism, and yet we had in his speech nothing but a

gospel of despair proclaimed by the man who should lead this house and country to greater courage, faith, optimism and belief in this Canada of ours.

Let us take the story of our railway development and I shall deal with it only incidentally. The wonderful story started between 1850 and 1860 when the Grand Trunk group went over to London in 1853 to project the development of 1,200 miles of railway. In 1850 we had only sixty-six miles of railway and in that decade we increased the mileage by 2,000. Take the period of the Canadian Pacific development between 1880 and 1890 and it is a story of achievement and endeavour of which the Canadian people may legitimately be proud for all time to come. Take the story of the Transcontinental development, these same costs that are affecting Canada at the' present time. It was the great war that compelled the Canadian Northern and the Grand Trunk Pacific to come clamouring to the treasury for help. Who gave them the help, the grant, to extend the Canadian Northern from the Yellowhead pass to Vancouver? It was the Conservative administration of that day. Who gave them the guarantees of 845,000,000 in 1014? It was the Conservative administration of that day, and yet the Prime Minister had the effrontery, during the course of this debate, to tell the house that his party was not responsible for the present situation. If you study the history of railway obligations; if you consider the financial obligations incurred before 1922, to what do they amount? Since confederation there was expended on the Canadian National system as a whole the sum of $2,487,000,000 from the federal treasury and $2,045,000,000 were expended before the Liberal government came into power in 1922. Still these hon. gentlemen tell us: Our party did not cause the trouble. These were not the words which the present Prime Minister used in the debate of 1914 when he said that both parties were equally to blame. I would advise the Minister of Railways to read that remarkable address delivered in 1914 by his present leader. In it will be found strange words: "receivership," others with reference to "equity of redemption." We have there ideas that caused the address the other day by the Prime Minister.

Topic:   CANADIAN NATIONAL-CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY BILL
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?

An hon. MEMBER:

The precedent.

Topic:   CANADIAN NATIONAL-CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY BILL
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LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver):

Yes, that is the precedent, and of course there are some unusual things in it too. He referred to his former colleague, who is his present leader in another chamber, as "an impertinent young

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

man." That gentleman was roundly condemned by the present Prime Minister, and yet to-day we find these two confederates piloting this bill'-

Topic:   CANADIAN NATIONAL-CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY BILL
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Oh, oh!

Topic:   CANADIAN NATIONAL-CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY BILL
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LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver):

-through first the Senate and then the House of Commons. This Bill No. 37 means what? It means the destruction and annihilation of public ownership and control of railways in the Dominion of Canada.

Topic:   CANADIAN NATIONAL-CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY BILL
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CON

Ira Delbert Cotnam

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. COTNAM:

How about the Vancouver Sun?

Topic:   CANADIAN NATIONAL-CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY BILL
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March 16, 1933