And until the Japanese fleet is destroyed, we are not justified in taking chances. I would suggest that the minister ask for sufficient money to complete the road. It does seem foolish to leave a fourteen-mile gap which cannot be used in certain seasons of the year. Where on earth is the business sense in that?
Probably if there were heavy rains, and muddy conditions, there might be some difficulty with traflic. But it is a passable road. It was not included in the first recommendation by the chiefs of staff.
That covered only from Terrace to Prince Rupert. Later on, the additional stretches between Terrace, Cedarvale and Kitwanga were included. Now the demand is that another stretch from Kitwanga to Hazelton be included. Do that, and someone else comes along and says, "Well, there is another stretch of a hundred miles down this way, which is not in good shape, and which should be included." The government wishes to be perfectly fair in the matter, but we have not an inexhaustible supply of money, as hon. members know. The provision of money is for the Department of Finance.
Since this road is in my riding I think I can give the committee some information about it. From Vancouver, British Columbia, this road is approximately 1,200 miles. The provincial government have built the road from Vancouver to a point fifteen miles west of Hazelton, or a distance of about 900 miles. The federal government undertook to build the road to link up that road to Prince Rupert. According to the minister, the government has spent something like $11,000,000. There is fourteen miles of this road which is passable at certain times of the year, and I understand that it will take about $100,000 to link these sections up. If a business man or a corporation spent a thousand dollars on a project and then needed to spend only $10 to finish it, I think they would complete the job. The minister says that there is some responsibility on the provincial government,
War Appropriation-Mines and Resources
but when the provincial government has built something like 900 miles and the federal government undertakes to build 200 miles, I do not think they should stop at mile 178. As I say, -this section of the road can be gone over with a model T Ford which has a sufficiently high clearance. If this road were linked up it would provide transportation from Prince Rupert to Vancouver. If it were necessary to evacuate troops from Prince Rupert they would not be able to take them over these fourteen miles of road except in a model T truck.
They are playing the middle against both ends. Boards of trade and other interested bodies have appealed to the government to complete this road. I also know that the officers commanding have recommended that the gap be closed up. The provincial and dominion governments should get together and complete this gap. It is absolutely impossible to convince any layman that it should not be completed. I should like to ask the minister the total amount spent on the road up to the present time and what would be necessary to complete it to Kitwanga.