August 9, 1904 (9th Parliament, 4th Session)


William Rees Brock

Conservative (1867-1942)


We have been given to understand that the Grand Trunk Company are making surveys for a road which is to be built and paid for by the government of this country. We have been told that the Grand Trunk Company have no arrangement with the government under which they are to be recouped for the expense of these surveys. I would ask the government to be very careful in dealing with men who are willing to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a transaction of this kind, without having an agreement about it. It is not a business-like way of proceeding and there must be some ulterior motive in it. We were told at the inception of this scheme that haste was absolutely necessary, and yet for two years the government has done nothing, while it now appears the Grand Trunk Company have been going on with the survey. We are not told that they are yet approaching Moncton, and I think the member of Cumberland (Mr. Logan), who forced this. extension upon the government and upon the Grand Trunk Railway Company, should be able to explain how it is that Grand Trunk surveyors and not government surveyors are surveying this line. If the thing is a failure it will be a disaster to Canada now, because we will have advertised through the world that Canada has a government of incompetents.
. Mr. BARKER. We shall be able to save discussion if the Minister of Finance will give us the assurance that no part of this 8500,000 for surveys shall be used to pay the Grand Trunk or any other company for doing work which has been carried on without the authority of parliament. If the Finance Minister will assure us that this money is for surveys yet to be made, we on this side of the House will be content. But, if the. government wants to use what is voted for surveys in the future, to pay for surveys which the Grand Trunk have already made, then I want it distinctly understood that we shall discuss the question so long as we are able to stand here and discuss it. Neither the Grand Trunk Company nor any company has authority from parliament to make surveys. If the minister has any idea of using this money or any part of it to recompense the Grand Trunk for work they have done in the past we should know the fact. We should have a distinct statement from the Minister of Finance. He should be explicit whether or not he intends to use this money for any past work.

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