May 27, 1935 (17th Parliament, 6th Session)


Robert James Manion (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Conservative (1867-1942)


I certainly do not wish
to see any private company go bankrupt because the bankruptcy of any company is not particularly good for our country. I would point out to the committee the statements of Mr. Coleman and Mr. Hungerford who stated that if these companies were allowed to go bankrupt they would be forced to rely on foreign manufacturers for equipment. I did not discuss the question particularly myself; I took my statement from them. There is another side to this question. These private companies have not been able to give employment to their workers for four or five years, and these workers have the same rights as the workers in the railroad shops. The shareholders of these companies are also entitled to some consideration. I have not looked into the matter but I assume that these shareholders are largely Canadians. Many of them are taxpayers in a large way and along with the rest of us they have helped to keep the Canadian National Railways from going bankrupt. That company certainly would have gone bankrupt had it not been supported by the Canadian government and by the people who pay the taxes.

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In justice to the Canadian Pacific Railway I must say that we have not given any money to that company. We have advanced some money in order to keep their shops open but this is supposed to be repaid. Some time ago we guaranteed a loan of $60,000,000 but I understand a good deal of this is clear at the present time. Generally speaking we have not been giving direct assistance to the Canadian Pacific Railway.
I do not think there are any more points brought up by my hon. friend with which I should deal. He has a better command of the English language than I, and I am quite sure he understands that the word "subsidy" is not applicable to what we are doing in an effort to give employment to those engaged in the heavy industries. We are only trying to stimulate the upturn of business which we were all so glad to realize a year or so ago.

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