April 15, 1935

UFA

Edward Joseph Garland

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. GARLAND (Bow River):

I am speaking from figures I have had analyzed myself. Had the Canadian National Railways reduced expenditures to the same extent that the Canadian Pacific Railway did, in the same period from 1930 to 1933, the Canadian National Railways would have made a saving of 845,000,000. The minister cannot get over the statement made by Mr. Hungerford, which I take to be correct, that there is no need for this equipment at this time, that he has surplus equipment for all normal

Public Works Program

requirements, and that in times of peak requirements he anticipates no difficulty whatever in meeting the situation in the customary way in which all railway lines on this continent meet peak requirements. I am still at a loss to understand this item.

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CON

Otto Baird Price

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PRICE:

Some of my good friends opposite have been talking for months and I want the privilege of saying a word or two in connection with the Canadian National Railways and their attitude, including the hon. member for Bow River (Mr. Garland) whose figures are not always borne out by the facts. I would say a few words with regard to rates quoted by him between Portland and Saint John concerning western points, and in this connection I say that the Canadian National Railways should have the support of the people of Canada generally at the present time. What is the government doing to-day? The government is trying to relieve the unemployment situation and we find gentlemen on the opposite side doing-what? I say this to hon. gentlemen: You are criticizing every government expenditure, everything the government is doing to relieve the depression. That is what you are doing; that is your game. I had an interruption this afternoon from the hon. member for Perth-

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LIB

Frederick George Sanderson

Liberal

Mr. SANDERSON:

No; I had the interruption from you. You got your wires crossed.

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CON

Otto Baird Price

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PRICE:

It was very pretty and I appreciate the hon. gentleman's beautiful remarks. But I say to him: If you have done as much for your constituency as it will be found in the course of a few months that I have done for mine, I do not think anyone will suggest that you have been found sleeping. Where does your record lie anyway in connection with Canadian National Railways? In 1923 Sir Henry Thornton was brought to this country, and what did he do to the eastern provinces? What did he have to say? Why, he removed an audit office with upwards of 200 employees-there were over 123 families-to the city of Montreal, as a first solution, and it was he who was responsible for patronizing Portland as an out-port for our Canadian products instead of Saint John and Halifax. I say to hon. gentlemen opposite: Where do you fit in with the Canadian people at the present time? You are criticizing, and you are suggesting that the Conservative party of Canada is supporting amalgamation of the Canadian National and the Canadian Pacific-an old bogy, possibly motheaten now by some of the

members on the opposition side. But let me say this to the ex-Minister of Justice. He came into my constituency in 1930 and I invite him to come again and see what he can prove to the people.

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LIB

Ernest Lapointe

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

Don't ask me too many times.

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CON

Otto Baird Price

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PRICE:

What a wonderful exhibition he will make of himself. I say to my hon. friends opposite that the Canadian people are averse to the lackadaisical program which the Liberal party are trying to bring forward and to press upon the country. Where are you getting with it? We have in Canada to-day a Prime Minister who is carrying out certain policies which you failed to carry out. What did you do in the nine years you were in power, from 1921 to 1930? You did absolutely nothing; you preached policies, your leader preached policies and put them in a book, but did you put them into practice? Where did they get you, and where are you getting to-day by holding up the business of the country?

I have listened with a great deal of disgust to the discussion in the last few months and the criticism of this administration. I come from a constituency in New Brunswick of which I am very proud. It includes Moncton, which employs probably as many railway men as are employed in the constituency of my hon. friend from South Perth or whatever Perth it is-I do not know and it matters not. But he knows the whole thing, and if I knew as much about some things as my hon. friend knows about everything, I would not be very wise.

Let me suggest to my good friends from Quebec, from St. Malo, from Riviere du Loup and other places in Quebec, from New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, that the program which is outlined by this administration means much to the people of Canada as a whole. I believe some of you realize the present situation; I believe you know this administration is formulating a policy to relieve the unemployment situation in Canada; but what do you do? What is your policy? Your policy is to knock everything this administration brings up in the way of a relief program, something that would unravel the whole present trouble. That is your policy, your only policy. Your policies are productive of nothing. You had nine years in which to prove to this country that you had some policy; that you had something that was really beneficial to the dominion. But you fell down and you were batted out of the box; you fell short and that is where you stand to-day. What a wonderful combina-

Public Works Program

tion standing up against a prime minister who has displayed brains, tact, intelligence, financial genius, a man who has done for this country financial things that neither you nor your leader could do. You fell down; you are not standing up, and you will not be able to stand up in the next election with any degree of success simply because the Canadian people have no confidence in the propaganda that you are trying to put over an intelligent public.

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LIB

Frederick George Sanderson

Liberal

Mr. SANDERSON:

I want to ask the

Minister of Railways a question in order to clarify the situation in regard to the expenditure of this $15,000,000. I take it from his remarks this afternoon that $8,000,000 is to go to the Canadian National and $7,000,000 to the Canadian Pacific. Can he tell the committee approximately-I do not suppose he can do so accurately-the number of employees in both the Canadian National and the Canadian Pacific shops, and how much this $3,000,000 that goes to the two railways, leaving a balance of $12,000,000, will relieve the situation of the employees of those railways? I take it from his remarks this afternoon that .only $3,000,000 out of the $15,000,000 is to go for possible repairs in the different railway shops. I submit to the minister in all seriousness that that is only a bagatelle so far as relieving the situation that exists among the employees of both railways is concerned.

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CON

Robert James Manion (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

I am informed that it

will give some increase in the number of days per month-

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LIB

Frederick George Sanderson

Liberal

Mr. SANDERSON:

How many?

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CON

Robert James Manion (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

I do not know the exact

number, but it will give an increase of a number of days per month to the employees in the shops of both railways. So far as the amount of $3,000,000 for repairs is concerned, my understanding is that .that amount or even $2,500,000 is all that the railways could use for repairs. May I add just one other sentence? This is not legislation to force money on the railway companies; it is enabling legislation for the government, and if either the Canadian National or the Canadian Pacific do not accept, nothing need be done at all.

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LIB

Frederick George Sanderson

Liberal

Mr. SANDERSON:

The minister I presume goes on the assumption that in the shops of both the Canadian National and the Canadian Pacific they have neither the facilities nor the equipment to build cars or locomotives. If so, I take issue with him.

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CON

Robert James Manion (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

I did not say that. I

did not say that they could not build either locomotives or cars in those shops, but without doubt in many, in fact in most of the shops a large amount of capital investment in machinery would be required to carry on those jobs. I said earlier in my remarks that so far as my understanding goes, both railways have in the years that are gone encouraged the coming to Canada of the equipment manufacturing industry and they consider it as not fair to drive that industry completely to the wall as it has been pretty nearly driven in the past four or five years without any work whatever, and to start a new branch of industry in the shops of the two railways. I know my hon. friend will point out to me that a certain amount of equipment building has gone on in some of those shops, and I admit that, but it is relatively a very small amount. When the railways require equipment they go to the car or locomotive manufacturers, and only a very small part of the work is done in their own shops.

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LIB

Frederick George Sanderson

Liberal

Mr. SANDERSON:

Does the minister

think $3,000,000 out of the $15,000,000 is a fair proportion to allot to the car shops of the two roads, having regard to the employment situation among the railway employees? Surely he will agree with me that that is a very small proportion of the $15,000,000.

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CON

Robert James Manion (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

It is all that the railways tell me they could use for repairs. That is the reason that sum was thought of. It is not exactly being allotted in that way; the amount may be changed. But that was what they thought they could use in repairs, leaving the manufacturing to the equipment manufacturers.

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LIB

Frederick George Sanderson

Liberal

Mr. SANDERSON:

How many railroad

shops are there in Canada?

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CON

Robert James Manion (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

I am sorry I connot give that information. There is a large number.

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LIB

Charles Gavan Power

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

How many Canadian National shops ?

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CON

Robert James Manion (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

I cannot say offhand.

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CON

Robert Edwy Ryerson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. RYERSON:

This very legislation will help not only the car shops but other equipment companies that furnish such things as malleable castings. We have in Brantford a firm that employs between 400 and 500 hands working altogether on heavy equipment for car companies, and I know this legislation will greatly please them and will put to work men who have been laid off for a considerable time.

Public Works Program

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CON

Robert James Manion (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

Lumber and steel are

involved.

Mr. MeINTOSH: Before the resolution under discussion is accepted, I desire to make a few remarks. My observations will be not from a national or comprehensive railway point of view, but rather from two points of view concerning the North Battleford electoral area. So far as the resolution is concerned, in my opinion it is very important that I make these remarks at the present time. The foundation for what I want to say will be found simply in the need, first, for branch line accommodation for northwestern Saskatchewan; and, second, for the construction of a bridge at a point called Ceepee over the north Saskatchewan river between North Battleford and Saskatoon. The more important project I believe-although the two are important- is the much needed branch line facilities for the upper end of northern Saskatchewan. I believe that if anything has been messed and- botched in the last five years this branch line construction has been. I am not putting the blame on the Minister of Railways or the railway department, but I say that the providing of these branch line facilities in that part of the province, has been about as badly botched and bedeviled as anything in the history of railroading in Canada.

The resolution is a double barrelled one; one part of it deals with public works and the other part with a railway project. I am not going into the resolution in a minute way, but a resolution of this kind piloted through the house by two ministers of the crown is almost unique; we do not often see it. I hope that the cooperation and consultation and amalgamation which we have seen this afternoon between two ministers in regard to this resolution will also be shown in dealing with the two questions that I have to bring before the committee.

The first part with which I am concerned is the bridge crossing the North Saskatchewan river. The Minister of Public Works will remember that I put a question to him on the orders of the day on February 14. I asked if he could tell the house and the country whether this important project will be included in any government public works program for this year. The minister was reticent. He answered that I would have to await legislation that may be brought down. The main estimates did not contain anything regarding it. Later, on March 12, I put another question to 'the Minister of Public Works. My question at that time was whether he could give the parliament and the country any information as to whether or not this

project would be undertaken, and he told me again that I would have to await legislation, that a bill would come later, and perhaps some information would be found in that bill. Now the bill is about to be brought down, and I would ask the Minister of Railways if he can give me any definite information as to whether this project will be included in that bill. Last year he brought down a public works program involving $40,000,000, and the only money spent in Saskatchewan under that program was qpent in two ridings represented in the house by two Conservatives. Can the minister give me any information on the question I have asked?

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April 15, 1935