Hon. Lionel Chevrier (Minister of
Transport): Mr. Speaker, I thought I should advise the house on a matter which has received much publicity in the newspapers during the past week, the question of railway box car shortage. It is a problem which is ever recurring at certain periods of the year and at this particular time it has been aggravated by the strike of railway switchmen in the United States, which was settled some ten days ago.
The Canadian railways through their railway association have been in constant touch with the interstate commerce commission and the association of American railroads on the car shortage problem. Complete co-operation exists between the railways here in Canada and in the United States. Every effort is being made to return to Canada box cars of Canadian ownership now in the United States. As a matter of fact, beginning tomorrow morning, February 20, all Canadian cars on United States lines must be returned empty. This will mean quite a loss in revenue traffic, but that is the extent to which the railways are prepared to co-operate in order
to meet the requirements of Canadian shippers. I can assure the house that no stone has been left unturned by the managements of our Canadian railways to ease the present shortage.