I am supporting both
of them. I believe the Peace River outlet is a particular problem and ought to be given special attention, and perhaps if it were, something might be done. The unfinished part of what is practically equal to a main line between North Battleford and Edmonton, north of the North Saskatchewan river, is also a particular railway problem and ought to be given special attention.
May I say again that although seventy miles of that railway line has been graded, during the last four years not a tap of work has been done on it and the grading is falling to pieces. Although 10,000 settlers from southern Saskatchewan, southern Alberta, southern Manitoba, indeed, from all parts of western Canada and many from the east, have gone into that very productive area and have been trying to hew out homes for themselves, not a thing has been done in the last four years to finish the sixty-nine or seventy miles of road that could be completed without difficulty or much cost to the country. In 1930 we had relief camps in that part of northern Saskatchewan and with seven or eight experts in laying steel, all the government would have had to do would have been to hire a few of those men and there was enough labour there to have those seventy miles steeled, yet it was not done. The steel that could have been used to complete that line has, I understand, been taken out of that district entirely; the ties are there, rotting by the wayside, and the grading is falling to pieces; yet 10,000 settlers are calling out for railway relief and for four years a policy of vacillation has been pursued with nothing accomplished. That is not fair; it is not playing the game; it is not doing what could be done, because that road, when built, will return to the exchequer of Canada every cent that is required for the building of it. There is no question about that road being a paying one. Not a single official of the Canadian National Railways can produce in the House of Commons facte to prove that any line of railways that has been built in northern Saskatchewan has not been a paying road during normal years. Those branch lines have also helped to make a paying proposition of the
* Peace River Outlet-Mr. Bury
main line of the Canadian National between Winnipeg, Saskatoon, North Battleford and Edmonton. There is no argument that the road would not be a paying one. Not only have we seventy miles of grade ready for the steel -and it will not be in that condition very much longer if it is allowed to remain as it is for many more years; in fact, a great deal of work will have to be done on it now to put the roadbed into proper shape-but about forty miles of that road have not been graded. I would like to see those forty miles graded and the seventy miles that are graded, steeled. When those jobs are done, we shall have railway facilities for the people in that part of northern Saskatchewan and they will be encouraged to go ahead and open up more fully that splendid, productive area out of which will come a great deal of trade. The best class of hogs and of cattle are raised there; there are lumber and timber, fish and fur, and further north there are mineral areas. All in all, the districts tributary to this road have a great future and the people who have settled in them could make that future still brighter if they had the necessary railway accommodation.
In conclusion, may I say that I believe we have been told in the house time and again by the Minister of Labour (Mr. Gordon), who is also Acting Minister of Immigration, and other members of 'the cabinet, that the government has a wonderful back to the land policy. They want the people to go back to the land. Where were the people to go in western Canada but largely into these northern areas? Much of the land there had not been taken up, they took the government at its word, they went north, they have started their settlement duties, they have a prodigious job on their hands, and the least [DOT]the government can do would be to come to the rescue of those who have taken them at their word with regard to this land policy and have settled in these northern areas, and who must have railway accommodation if they are to make the best of life in that part of Canada. So I hope many hon. members will give this resolution their support; and that the government will find it possible in the coming months to take some of the money that they propose to make use of perhaps in building public works, and apply it to railway construction in northern Alberta and northern Saskatchewan. I think i,t would be the worst kind of folly for the government of the day 'to spend fifty or a hundred million dollars in building bridges and roads and public works all over Canada where many of them would not need to be built and have 74726-66J
in the northern parts of western Canada thousands of settlers crying out for railway relief and nothing be done in the way of railway construction. I would say that the construction of branch line facilities opening up these new areas is the question of the hour, and if any money is to be spent on public works during the summer months it should be spent on railway construction.
Subtopic: PROPOSED CONSTRUCTION OF RAILWAY FROM DISTRICT TO PACIFIC COAST