January 27, 1914 (12th Parliament, 3rd Session)


William Findlay Maclean

Independent Conservative


Yes. A man died recently in the United States, having first made a confession of faith and of his belief in the Christian religion. If any hon. gentleman will refer to recent issues of the New York World he will see it plainly set out that the late Mr. Morgan and Mr. J. D. Rockfeller were at the bottom of a scheme for buying up all kinds of trolley, steamship, or subsidiary lines at the rate of say $8,000,000 each, and the next minute selling them to the New York, New Haven and Hartford railway or the Boston and Maine railroad for $25,000,000. The shareholders of the big road, many of whom are poor people of New England, can ill afford to be looted by schemers unloading such [DOT] worthless propositions and getting four times what they pay for them in paid-up stock of the great company. That is the way it is done, and it can be done here. The President of the United States now says, in the presence of Congress, which will carry out his wishes, that within a very few weeks no railway shall issue any securities without first receiving the approval of the Interstate Commerce Commission. And we want that

here. It is provided by Act of Parliament in some way that the Canadian Pacific railway shall consult the Governor in Council in regard to some of their issues, but they have not done so, and they have gone round the corner and put out this note issue. I do not believe they wanted the money, but they wanted to do some melon cutting for the benefit of their shareholders. I do not think it has been a very successful issue; something has happened since these melons were cut by the Canadian Pacific Railway Company, and it is this: The net shrinkage in Canadian Pacific securities since this melon cutting began,-having regard to all the issues that have been made since-is $150,000,000. It has been ascertained by the investors in these securities that this cutting of melons and unnecessary enlargement of stock is not a good business transaction for that railway. I want to see legislation in this country providing that all our railroads, large and small, must subject the issue of their securities to the control of some responsible body. It is in the public interest that they should be so controlled, because the increasing of the issues is done with a view to imposing greater burdens on the people. That has been established and admitted on all sides, and you will see legislation in the United States this year in that direction.
We have entered upon a policy of great expenditure in the way of ports and terminals in this country. We are to make Montreal a great terminal port, and the same may be said of Quebec, St. John, Halifax, and I think I heard an hon. gentleman say this afternoon that he hoped Sydney would be included also.

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