No, but you co-uld not
in a bill give any form or shape to a policy if you limited its application to a particular period of time. I think the hon. member is too familiar with business not to say that is so; particularly when dealing with a large public utility, that one of the dangers in endeavouring to limit the time in which a policy is to be operative is that by so doing you defeat your own end. But the main concern of this board of trustees, I would once more urge upon the committee, which the commission had in mind was to endeavour to secure such administration of this property as would relieve the taxpayers of Canada from paying one million dollars a week.
The other side of it, the humanity side of it which has been mentioned, is left largely to be dealt with by the president and the various officials of the road in conferences with the unions, such as have always taken place and at which adequate measures have been taken for safeguarding the interests of all who might be concerned.
But the great concern of this legislation is to endeavour to provide a body of men of such competence as will ensure that these continuing deficits will vanish. That is the story as I appreciate it and as it has been put to me, and as I understand the whole purpose for which the commission was created and the action taken.
Coming back to the amendment, I submit that it is not the proper form of an amendment to be moved in this house because it asks to put a charge on the revenues of the dominion. The leader of the opposition says that you cannot sharply divide where deficits begin and surpluses end, but we all know the difference between operating revenues and operating expenses, and included in the operating expenses are the salaries of the transportation officials, not. only transportation in the narrow sense but of all those who constitute the personnel operating the railway. It would be an anomalous situation if we appointed a board of trustees and provided that they shall be paid by parliament although operating a system whose revenues under the law they control. I think it is not only out of order to suggest that an amendment be moved by a private member which charges the Finance minister with introducing in parliament an estimate, which is altogether improper as I understand the constitutional workings of our law, but it goes further and would precipitate into this house a discussion from time to time as to whether or not we shall vote to these men every year a sum of money for salaries. Their salaries will undoubtedly be known to everybody. The government under the statute must take the responsibility for fixing those salaries. If they are too high the house will censure the government; if they are not adequate we shall not be able to get the trustees.