Mr. Chairman, if the house will permit, my remarks will not take too long.
Since I was talking about construction, I have before me a document which could assist the minister. It is an article written by Mr. Jean Cote in La Semaine Illustree, in the June 5-11 issue, where he refers to the picnic car, and I quote:
In order to enlighten the public with regard to the extravagance of the C.N.R., determined also to bring about an inquiry, we shall deal with the specific case of the picnic cars or the private cars of the privileged few of the company. After describing the situation, we shall see that it would be possible to reduce the deficits if the PASHAS, integrated within an overall policy of restraint, did not live in style at government expense.
When referring to style and all the rest, Mr. Cote illustrates his article with some revealing pictures.
Throughout Canada, there would be more than 75 picnic cars, of which 25 are in Quebec. They are available to a small group of lucky people, vicechairmen, foremen and other officials, and are being used for various purposes.
Those luxurious cars, the building of which cost half a million dollars or more, are real palaces on steel wheels. By means of a masterly arrangement, all the modern-life advantages were gathered under the same roof, showers, kitchen, bedrooms, parlours, and so on.
About 15 persons can sleep there comfortably, and a hundred of meals may be served every day without the guests being obliged, on account of the lack of space, to keep their hands in their pockets.
The picnic car is a skilful version of the luxurious cars of the regular lines where, for a few dollars, you can take it easy whenever by chance you board a train for a restful trip to a distant city.
Of course, the marquess' friends will spend unforgettable hours as guests on fishing or hunting trips in the most remote areas of Quebec.
We are told that the cars are not entirely new. The old can be made new.
Today, palaces on wheels are no longer made. Rather the old is made new, that is to say existing cars are converted into picnic cars, which is just as costly.
There is not enough space to give details on this scandalous situation, to give some names to our readers, to tell about some nice fishing parties amongst people who appreciate comfort and some spicy adventures that would be the talk of the town.
I do not intend to linger on this subject. I only wanted to show the minister that old cars could be made quite modem without adding all that was added to those picnic cars.
Mr. Chairman, since I would speak for ten more minutes, I would point out that it is six o'clock.
[DOT] (6:00 p.m.)