March 10, 1933 (17th Parliament, 4th Session)


James Malcolm



I would ask hon. gentlemen in this house who have been associated with business and financial enterprises if there is anything unusual about the decline that the Minister of Railways is called upon to face. Is it not just about comparable to the decline in other business on this continent? Is the railway problem in these times of international stress any more difficult to solve than the problem that faces the pulp and paper industry, the lumber industry, the coal mining industry or manufacturing industry? I think not. The problem which we as guardians of the national railway and representatives of the people who own it have to face is just the same problem which every board of directors and every manager of business is called upon to face to-day. I do not think that it is a much worse problem than faced us in 1922. In 1922 we w'ere facing the destruction of our previous hopes caused by the great war. In 1933 we are facing the difficulties which have arisen not through any action of hon. gentlemen present, not through any action of the people of Canada, but through the breakdown of the economic system of the world. For my part I prefer to look at this national problem in the same way as I look at a business problem
when I sit with my associates in business trying to solve the problems which come before us.
There was an interesting statement made by the minister with regard to the economies which have been effected. The minister said that S40,000,000 had been saved by efficient management on the Canadian National system during the past year. I want to say to the minister that for whatever part he had in that I congratulate him. I want to congratulate the management of the Canadian National system on being able to meet the conditions with which they are faced by so reducing expenditure as to save this amount of money. But in fairness I want to say to my friend the minister that he is hardly right in saying that had these economies been effected in 1928 we could have paid
840.000,000 on the interest on our obligations to the bondholders.

Full View