Yes, my hon. friend (Mr. Foster) has been over the ground and so have I, and we know' the difficulties of it. However, we all have a common desire that we shall encourage our AVest India trade as much as possible and if by a separate service by the St. Lawrence, or if by any arrangement w'e can make with this present line of steamers, we can get a better service I am sure the government will be no less desirous than my hon. friends opposite to accomplish it. Although we are told that this service is not a very efficient one, and that this is a liberal subsidy, we must still bear in mind that there is nobody chasing after it. Messrs. Piekrord & Black are not making a very large sum out of it ; in fact, they have been having a very uphill fight.
My hon. friend is correct in saying that the service originated in St. John, but my information is that the contractors who undertook it from St. John found it so unprofitable that they were glad to get rid if it. It has not been a very big bonanza for anybody. There is not a great deal of money in it.