Will the minister find out for me what rental is paid for the use of the four miles of track between The Pas and Flin Flon junction? I understand that it belongs also to the Hudson Bay railway and is used by the Canadian National.
There is a decrease in this appropriation. I should like to know the reason for that. Is consideration being given to the whole matter of using the Hudson Bay route for the export of wheat? As the minister knows, western farmers have made representations to the government asking that this port be used to the fullest extent, because it will mean that farmers will get from six to eight cents a bushel more for their wheat. Because of the knowledge gained by the government during the war regarding the use of that port, we are anxious that full advantage be taken of it. I suggest that in the future the government make plans to have grain shipped there, so that we can have a real test of the Hudson Bay port and find out whether it is feasible to use it for both export and import, for cargoes coming into and going from western Canada.
The hon. member asks why the decrease. It is because of the increased cost of operation. There was a difference of $25,000 between last year and this year. On the question of traffic moving, I have already dealt with that on two occasions, and my colleague, the Minister of Trade and Commerce dealt with it the other day.
With reference to grain, all I can tell the hon. gentleman is that the chairman of the wheat board has advised the officers of my department that he hopes to fill the elevator with 2,500,000 bushels of the old crop. Any additional movement of the new crop would
depend on crop and harvest conditions at present unknown. I do not know what the position is with regard to lumber. It was thought at first that some lumber could be shipped, but it is doubtful if that can be done. With regard to incoming cargo, I expect that it will be greater this season than last season.
A year or two ago the present Minister of Trade and Commerce informed the house that the capacity of the shipping route in one season from Churchill would be approximately 20,000,000 bushels. It was argued at that time that if 20,000,000 bushels could be shipped from Churchill in one season-
That is the very point I was coming to. Since the property at Churchill is largely owned by the federal government, we would like to see some policy adopted by which the government would make use of these facilities to ship -through the port the amount of grain for which it was designed to handle in one season. If that were done the railroad could be made to pay the cost of operation.
I cannot add any -more to what I already said when the hon. gentleman spoke on this before, namely, that it would require about 25,000,000 bushels of grain to make this a profitable operation. It has not been possible for the wheat board to do this in the past. Actually the wheat board has been asked to move as mudh wheat as it could, and the opinion I have is that it is hoped to fill the elevator to capacity with 2,500,000 bushels this year.
Tomorrow we shall take up two short bills at the outset.
The first one will be Bill No. 339, to amend an act respecting the national battlefields at .Quebec. The second one will be Bill No. 335, to amend the Criminal Code (race meetings). Then we shall go into supply in the departments of-