November 3, 1919 (13th Parliament, 3rd Session)


William Findlay Maclean



I am trying to get away from the condition of things that the hon. gentleman and his friends helped to impose upon this country-a condition of things that has come to be a disgrace and a scandal to Canada. I ask the hon. gentleman to come into my constituency as I am willing to go into his, and be prepared to show that it was not the maladministration that went on in connection with our railways that created this deficit. But we are now going to stop these deficits, we are going to stop these scandals, and we are going to trust the Canadian people, not only to pay the obligations but to maintain and operate their railroads. I know it is a hard thing to show a way out of the trouble that has arisen-it is a hard problem that is put up to us-but what constructive scheme has my hon. friend to submit to get us out of the trouble? Has he any scheme to submit? Did the hon. gentleman, (Mr. Copp) who spoke for an hour and a half this afternoon substitute, an alternative proposition? I have not heard one, excepting this from the papers in -Montreal that were quoted here to-day: Give it to another private company; pay all the debt that has been created, give them another subsidy, and aggravate the evil that now exists-for it will only aggravate the evil. That is doctrine I have heard in the House today and that must come to an end. I do not want to pass reflections on hon. gentlemen opposite, because I could pass reflections with respect to mistakes that have

been made on this side of the House in connection with railways, there have been mistakes and they have been great; but they must end and the people of Canada say they must end. Never again will a dollar of money go through this House to private-owned railways to aggravate the condition of affairs that now exists.
I want to draw attention to another thing. Let us pass from democracy and let us come to something that prevails to-day and that is the question of the coal supply of this country. A great strike threatens in the United States, and that strike is based on what? The fact that the coal measures of the United States many years ago passed into the hands of private owners and into the hands of private railways, and coal has been made a monopoly in the United State -a monopoly in something that God gave the people for their fuel for all time to come. Now that awful monopoly in coal that exists between the coal owners and the coal railways in the United States has produced a condition in which the men who operate the railways are on strike to-day and ever since this war-[DOT]

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