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


William Findlay Maclean



Some day. I am not afraid now to say, yes; bring it on, the sooner the better. The crime was that the Canadian Pacific Railway company, by the aid of this Parliament, so entrenched itself by -wiping out its bond issue and substituting therefor an immense stock capitalization of over $300,000,000, that it is almost an impossible thing to do as the hon. gentleman suggests. It cannot be said that I did not enter my protest against the Canadian Pacific Railway company in the past. And yet the Canadian Pacific is a well-administered railway and the Canadian Pacific organization, to my mind, would be the (best organization of all in this country to administer national railways, and there is not a man in the company who would not gladly work with the nation in connection with our railways. I do, however, object to the Canadian Pacific Railway company interfering in this matter, and they have interfered. I want to tell the Canadian Pacific, and the people, of Montreal, something, and it is this: there has been more Canadian money lost by speculation in Canadian Pacific stock than all our railroads have cost us in Canada. They have led' the Canadian people into that speculation, and they would like to get them back if they could. Millions and millions of Canadian money have been squandered in New York and here more or less, speculating in Canadian Pacific stock. While the company boasts of the great achievements of the Canadian Pacific and of the splendid service they have given the Canadian people, they have caused more losses to Canadians than' any other institution -we ever had here.
That road will be a real success only when it gets out of the hands of the magnates and stock dealers and is made a public proposition. The people of all Canada would be prepared, if we have the men who can combine these railways, to nationalize the whole system. But that is not quite the issue; the issue is what are we going to do with the Grand Trunk? How are we

going to get out of this scrape? Are we to put more money into this road? Are we to try to save it? By electrifying it, not only can we save it, but we can get rid of all this unnecessary duplication. There are thousands of miles of railway in this country which can be dispensed with or used to better purpose. It is absurd to see the railway passenger services that are carried on between certain cities in this country. We do not want this duplication. The defy after we take over the Grand Trunk the people of Canada will have the real national railway between Toronto and Ottawa, as well as the best service; it will consist of the Grand Trunk and the portion of the Canadian Northern that we now use. Moreover, we will have the greatest transcontinental railway system in Canada-the Intercolonial to Montreal, the Grand Trunk to Toronto, the Canadian Northern to within a short distance of Lake Nipigon, the Transcontinental to Winnipeg, thence onward via the Canadian Northern and the Grand Trunk, and perhaps via the Canadian Northern to Vancouver. I cannot commence to tell you what improvements can be made in Ontario by co-ordination and co-operation; and in many other ways great benefits will result from our taking over this system.
Hon. gentlemen have spoken about the enormity of the commitpients that Canada is making in taking over the Grand Trunk. Now, the House has not been told by these same gentlemen what we get when we make that commitment. Is the Grand Trunk worth nothing? The greatest railway property in America to-day that I know of, outside the Pennsylvania railway, is the Grand Trunk; the greatest assets that any railroad in Canada has are the assets of the Grand Trunk in Ontario, in Montreal and in the leading cities of our western country.

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