May 4, 1922 (14th Parliament, 1st Session)

CON

Donald Sutherland

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DONALD SUTHERLAND (South Oxford) :

I have given as close attention as possible to the resolution and have endeavoured to arrive at the object of the Government in submitting it to the House. I have listened to the two addresses delivered by the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King), and I recall the fact that in the speech from the Throne reference was made to the matter; and nearly a month ago the Minister of Railways (Mr. Kennedy), in dealing with the railway situation, stated that it was to be referred to a committee of the House. Some time before that it was intimated by the Railway Commission that a reduction in transportation rates was to take place. It has since been made known that the reason why no action was taken was because of the uncertainty as to the course the Government would pursue. It is a somewhat remarkable thing that nearly two months of the session have elapsed before we have reached the present stage when this resolution is submitted to the House with a view to appointing a committee to ascertain certain facts which the Prime Minister has just told us the Government have at their disposal and are already satisfied about. A special select committee is to be appointed, named by the Government, to carry out the Government's wishes. The Government will have a majority on that committee and we may rest assured that that majority will carry out the conclusions which they have arrived at. Did not the Prime Minister in his address on the main motion inform the House that, after numerous conferences with the executive of the railways, the executive had concluded to reduce the rates on basic commodities, but had deferred doing so pending the action of the Government with regard to the renewal of the Crowsnest pass agreement? I think the Prime Minister made that clear. Is it possible that the Government are a party to deferring a reduction in railway rates in this country? Is that the object they have in view in holding up the matter for months when every one knows that the business of the country is absolutely paralyzed owing to the excessive rates that are being charged at this time? As the leader of the Progressive party (Mr. Crerar) points out, the demand is being made in western Canada that railway charges shall be prepaid for fear that the cargoes will not bear the expense to which they are subjected in the matter of railway rates. During the past few weeks I have experi-
Crowsnest Agreement

The list of pairs as furnished by the Chief Whips is as follows:
Messrs.
Malcolm,
McMurray,
Kay,
Blackadder,
Clifford,
Power,
Jacobs,
Maclean (Halifax), Low,
Kyte,
Walsh,
Chew,
Forrester,
Fielding,
Hatfield,
German,
Delisle,
Laflamme,
Duncan,
Ryckman,
Wilson,
LeSueur,
Stansell,
Mewburn,
Bristol,
Guthrie,
Stewart (Lanark), Boys,
Clark,
Manion,
Porter,
Hocken,
Hanson,
McLaren,
Chaplin,
Sheard.
Crowsnest Agreement

The House divided on the main motion (Mr. Kennedy) which was carried on the following division:

Topic:   CROWSNEST PASS AGREEMENT
Subtopic:   PROPOSED INQUIRY INTO EFFECT UPON RAILWAY RATES
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