March 17, 1922 (14th Parliament, 1st Session)


Edward Mortimer Macdonald


Mr. MACDONALD (Pictou) :

In war time, perhaps; but my hon. friends know very well that that is no answer to the contention I am making. Many things were done in war time, as my hon. friend knows, by agreement and consent. Will my hon. friend, who wrote a report on the railway question, tell me if he knows of any case in the history of the world where in peace time one country operated a road in the territory of another without having the consent of that other country? No, my hon. friend cannot do it; it is impossible for him to do it. I am only submitting these as reasons why we should give due thought to this matter. The problem is not one that can be solved overnight.
My hon. friend from Cumberland (Mr. Logan) has called the attention of the House to the situation with re-
5 p.m. gard to the railway that runs through the Maritime provinces, and he proved conclusively, I submit, that that was a railroad which was built, not under any legislation of this Parliament, but under legislation passed by the Imperial Parliament, providing for the construction of that railroad and providing also, as a matter of law, I submit, for its operation. Anyway, both political parties have for forty years proceeded to operate that railway in the light of what is claimed to be the intent of the British North America Act. From 1878 down to 1918 that railway was operated on the lines which, we say, the Imperial Act demanded. My right hon. friend's (Mr. Meighen) propensity for Orders in Council is very well

known, and when Messrs. Mackenzie and Mann were given charge of the railways in the western part of Canada he passed an Order in Council on the 20th of November, 1918, providing in part as follows:
His Excellency the Governor General in Council is further pleased to order and declare that the persons from time to time comprising the Board of Directors of the Canadian Northern Railway Company, shall be and they are hereby appointed a Board of Management of the Canadian Government Railways and are hereby given the powers vested in the General Manager under the general regulations of the Canadian Government Railways adopted by Order In Council of the 22nd January, 1914.
That meant that Mr. Hanna and his co-directors of the Canadian Northern Railway were given the powers which are declared and set out in the general Railway Act of the Dominion Government, which are no more than the powers which were exercised by Mr. Gutelius when he was General Manager, and by Mr. Pot-tinger who was also General Manager for many years. But, notwithstanding that their powers were limited, these gentlemen, the directors of the Canadian Northern Railway, proceeded to treat the road as if it were part and parcel of the Canadian Northern Railway. They proceeded to remove all responsibility and authority for matters connected with the road from the Maritime provinces, where it had always been, to the city of Toronto; and the result of that change, for which the right hon. leader of the Opposition was responsible, was that a situation was created which became absolutely intolerable in a business way and every other way-a situation which those of us representing constituencies along the line of the Intercolonial railway have been sent here to tell this House and the Government must be remedied. My right hon. friend is well aware of the feeling that existed in regard to this matter. My opponent in the county of Pictou in the last election was one of the directors that my right hon. friend appointed for the Canadian National Railway, and realizing the feeling that existed in the constituency he issued a statement. Referring to the proposal that the management of the railway should be removed from Toronto back to the Maritime provinces, he said:
This proposal was some considerable time ago placed before the Minister of Railways and the Premier and approved. I have assurance of the Premier that just as soon as the necessary departmental changes are made, and this policy can be arranged, transfer of departmental work will be made from Montreal to Moncton; and the people of the Maritime

The Address
Provinces may expect this within a very short time; I expect before the end of the year to see arrangements above referred to in full actual effect.
My hon. friend who represents Royal in the province of New Brunswick went on record as follows:
I am in favour of restoration of Maritime rights in connection with C.N.R. In fact, it is in my platform which I have put before this constituency.
And the present Solicitor General (Mr. McKenzie) also put the case very well in the public press just before the election.
He said:
In reply to your telegram asking my opinion on Maritime management of C.N.R. let me state that section 145 B.N.A. contemplates Maritime control of operation and freight rates On Intercolonial under control of competent men in sympathy and touch with local conditions.
I could read statements from other supporters of my right hon. friend pledging themselves to do-what? To have an Order in Council passed-and this is what we ask Mr. Speaker, cancelling this Order in Council which appointed Mr Hanna and his co-directors, the general managers of the Intercolonial Railway, and providing for the appointment of men who will be in sympathy with our local conditions, and who will attempt to understand the operation of the road.

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