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

UFA

Alfred Speakman

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. SPEAKMAN:

And had the Prime Minister stated otherwise I certainly would have strongly resented any such statement, but the fact remains that the only members in this House who have suggested the abrogation of that agreement have been the hon. members to my right, as a camouflage for securing the differential freight rates as existing over the mountains to British Columbia.
I promised I would only speak about five minutes, but I felt it was necessary for some member in this House speaking for Alberta to take exception to that attitude, and that is why I have spoken to-night. I am not reflecting on the bona fides of the hon. member who introduced the motion. I believe he is sincere in his wish to have that differential removed, but I certainly do not think his judgment was equal to his sincerity in that respect. I believe that had it been the intention on the part of hon. members on my right to have this matter definitely accomplished, to have these differential rates removed, to have trading permitted to be carried on freely and equitably between one province and another, to relieve the province of British Columbia from the disabilities under which it laboured in consequence of that differential, to assist the province of Alberta which is the partner with them in this matter in securing access to the sea, and the use of the port of Vancouver on the most favourable terms, they would have brought forward a resolution worded in a different manner, because the resolution mixes up two distinct questions, first calling for the removal of the differential, calling for the reduction of freight rates over the mountains, to bring them in line with the freight rates existing in other parts of the country, and, second,
attempting in a most peculiar manner to discredit the Crowsnest pass agreement.
That is all I need to say, all I wish to say, except that every Alberta Progressive in this House has been, is now, and ever will be, as far as I am aware, solidly behind those two provincial governments which are doing their best to have justice done to those two provinces. At any time in which this matter is brought forward in such a way, you will find us solidly in its support; but when an attempt is made, under cover of a proposed removal of the differential, to attack the legislation passed last year, when an attempt is made to take away from us the benefits of the Crowsnest pass agreement, we will oppose that attempt in this House and out of it at all times. .

Topic:   EQUALIZATION OF RAILWAY RATES
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