September 15, 1903 (9th Parliament, 3rd Session)


William Findlay Maclean

Independent Conservative


We have had the statement made here to-day that this transcontinental railway project is not a solution of the transportation problem. The acting Minister of Railways (Hon. Mr. Fielding) lias made that statement here to-day, if I understood him aright. On what ground, then, do the Prime Minister and the government justify the commitment of this country to an expenditure of $100,000,000 or $150,000,000 on this project ? Under the doctrine of responsible government, they must justify it. But they are seeking here to provide a commission behind which they will entrench themselves, and so evade the responsibility which properly belongs to them. If we have a ministry of railways which costs us a good many hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, why are we spending that money ? Why have we a responsible Minister of Railways, if not to advise parliament and the government as to how transportation problems ought to be dealt with ? But in this single session, we have three commissions created and the corollary of what is said to-day is that ai fourth commission should be created to administer the Intercolonial Railway. If we have it in connection with this branch 'of the Department of Railways why should we not have it in the others ?

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