One last word before leaving this subject. I should like very much if the government would take into serious
consideration the idea of endeavouring to obtain offers from some responsible steamship company for a service between Montreal and the principal commercial points in the West Indies. I believe that the amount of trade now offered and that will offer at Montreal for a service of this kind, and which now passes to American ports, would be sufficient to induce responsible lines to put on a good service. For a great many years we have been carrying on via Halifax and St. John this service to the West Indies, and our steamers have been stopping at many points at which there is little more than mail matter to be left off. That is an accommodation train service accomplished by boats that have been in this trade for 30 or 40 years. It seems to me that the time for such a service is about over, and that we should now consider the establishment of an express service from the principal shipping port of the Dominion to the most important shipping ports of the West Indies. Just by way of ascertaining what may be done in that respect would it not be advisable for the department to put themselves in communication with some possible tenderers to ascertain whether a new line of this character might not be established largely as a commercial enterprise without such immense assistance from the government as the minister has intimated may toe necessary ?