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

PRO

Levi William Humphrey

Progressive

Mr. HUMPHREY:

My remarks are addressed to the statement made by the hon. member for Vancouver South that this railway rates question was made the subject of politics last year. I repeat that in my opinion the matter is being handled now as nothing more or less than a political question, and the result is only to prejudice the interests of the people of British Columbia and to bring about a state of chaos so far as their attitude on this question is concerned-and their opinion is now a unanimous one. They are unanimous in their opinion on this question and are giving united and loyal support to those who are taking a sincere and genuine interest in it. But I feel it is not right for any member to bring this question into parliament at this time to be made a political football of at the expense of the people of British Columbia. My experience as a member of this parliament has been short. Perhaps I have not contributed, as much as many others to the debates. Nevertheless I have endeavoured as far as I could in my humble way and to the best of my ability to follow the questions that have arisen and to give my best judgment upon each, and particularly with respect to the questions affecting the Dominion. I compare this question to one that arose in the Chamber something like a year ago respecting the returned men of whom I am glad to say, without boasting at all, that I am one. Certain interests of the returned men were under consideration at that time, and I place this particular question on a parallel with that. I think this resolution has been introduced simply to further certain political interests. It has been brought in at this particular time and in this particular way not to further the interests of British Columbia because, however it is decided, it would not do that. If this resolution was carried by the House, we as residents of British Columbia would not gain anything. On the other hand would we gain if the resolution was not carried? I cannot see how in either event, from the point of view of those favouring the resolution, anything is to be gained. The question is entirely in the hands of the powers that have it under their consideration. I do not treat it as a want of confidence motion in any shape or form. I have little concern in that respect for the position of the government on this question, but I have a great deal of concern 125
regarding the people whom I am endeavouring to represent to the best of my ability upon each question as it arises, and taking that stand I cannot in any way support this resolution as it has been brought forward by the hon. member for Burrard.
Amendment negatived.
Motion agreed to and the House went into Committee of Supply, Mr. Gordon in the chair.
Progress reported.

Topic:   EQUALIZATION OF RAILWAY RATES
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