April 17, 1923 (14th Parliament, 2nd Session)

CON

Henry Lumley Drayton

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir HENRY DRAYTON:

Of course it is only a matter of amusement to my hon. friend the Acting Minister of Railways. He can laugh about it; I do not suppose he is at all concerned about this tremendous increase that I have referred to in Ontario.^ We had that principle declared in 1903. Before that principle had been declared and before we had a method of general rate regulation, we had attempted-not only in this agreement; hon. gentlemen can find other agreements if they want to look for them- to make partial rate regulations. That is all we could do at the time; we had no general rate regulating facilities. Partial regulation was attempted in the Crowsnest pass agreement. Now, what does my hon. friend think would be the right and proper position? Where you have a general declaration of fairness, ought the government to be a party to the preservation of special privileges here and special privileges there, or should it be a case of general fairness everywhere? Should the people as a whole get anything like a square deal in railway matters, or is it right that the government should have special favourites here or there or anywhere? Does my hon. friend think it would have been right in 1917, 1918 and 1919 to increase further the rates on agricultural products everywhere else and leave them untouched so far as the Crowsnest rates are concerned? Was parliament wrong in saying that these necessary advances should be treated on the same basis? Why, they were not even then treated on the same basis, because it was recognized that the increases on the entire haul ought to be somewhat less on grain and flour than they were on those products. And they were- increases of 35 per cent, 50 per cent, as against increases of 80, 81 and 82 per cent; so that they were kept lower. But does my right hon. friend think there should have been no increases at all during that period and that the Crowsnest pass rate should have applied throughout the \tar? If as a matter of fairness he does not object to that-and I pause for an objection-

Topic:   EQUALIZATION OF RAILWAY RATES
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