The Finance Minister, in answer to the hon. member from Jacques Cartier (Mr. Monk) claimed that the creation of the transportation commission was not for the purpose of dealing with this railway. The hon. member for Jacques Cartier said- or at least I inferred from what lie said- that the government had claimed to solve the transportation question by the building of this transcontinental railway. And I think it is fair to hold that the government did, really and in effect, claim to have solved the transportation problem by the building of this road. The Prime Minister, in introducing the Bill in this House said : We consider that It is the duty of all those who sit within these walls by the will of the people, to provide immediate means whereby the products of the new .settlers may find an exit to the ocean at the least possible cost.
It seems to me that if this transportation commission are able to report other routes as available through which the traffic of the North-west can be transported more cheaply than by the all-rail route to St. John or Quebec, the government null find themselves in a very awkward position. The Minute of the Privy Council, as the leader of the
opposition has said, was very broad. It said :
If necessary, new surveys should be^ made to determine whether any more economical and satisfactory channels of transportation by land or water can be opened up.
Why do not the government wait until they get the reports of this commission as to whether it would be practicable to carry the produce of the west to the sea-hoard by the all-rail route ? I do not think that any explanations have been given that make that clear to this House or to the country. It seems to me that, even now, the government should look into the question, and wait until they have found what is believed to be the most feasible route before proceeding with this construction.