Duncan Hamilton MCALISTER

MCALISTER, Duncan Hamilton, B.A., M.D., C.M.

Personal Data

King's and Albert (New Brunswick)
Birth Date
January 18, 1872
Deceased Date
March 6, 1932

Parliamentary Career

October 26, 1908 - July 29, 1911
  King's and Albert (New Brunswick)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 1 of 4)

March 7, 1910


The ' Atlantic Monthly.' Would you like to have it? My hon. friend's question reminds me that there

has always been a lot of suspicion, I have evidence of it myself, among hon. gentlemen opposite. I do not like to see that. It is the worst thing in the world. I do not like to see any individual member or any group of members too suspicious. You know that the fox is the most suspicious animal, and that that rascal is the first fellow to rob a hen-house.

The defence conference saw the importance of the dominions beyond the seas laying the foundations of future dominion navies of their own, which forces would contribute_ immediately and materially to the imperial defence if need should occur. The Canadian ministers then in the old country agreed in that, and the next step was to see what the admiralty would suggest. What did the admiralty suggest?

That certain vessels be constructed as a nucleus of a Canadian navy.

^ To .this the Canadian ministers- then in England agreed, and the proposals now before the House are exactly in accordance with that suggestion. There seems to be some misapprehension in regard to the admiralty's proposals. Conservative members and the Conservative press speak as if the British admiralty suggested a course that had not been carried out by this government. That is not so. I understand that these objections are based on the fact that the British admiralty asked first a direct contribution or the establishment of a fleet unit consisting of a Dreadnought and auxiliaries. A careful perusal of the blue-book shows how closely the present proposal harmonizes with the admiralty's suggestion. The blue-book says:

As regards Canada, it was considered that her double sea-board rendered the provisions of a fleet unit of the same kind unsuitable for the present.

The reason for this must be obvious. A fleet unit to be any good must remain intact, and how can it remain together if it is to be stationed on the Atlantic and the Pacific coasts? To divide it would destroy the object sought and the British admiralty saw the position we were in. Knowing that to create and maintain two units would be beyond the financial position of Canada, they wisely determined to adopt an alternative course:

It was proposed, according to the amount of money that might be available, that Canada should make a start with cruisers of the ' Bristol ' class and destroyers of an improved river class-a part to be stationed on the Atlantic sea-board and a part on the Pacific.

The principle of making a start was here clearly laid down:

Canada and Australia preferred to lay the foundations of fleet units of their own.


The scheme now submitted to the House by the Prime Minister is exactly upon these lines. Canada is making a start, and is making that start not only with the approval of but on the direct lines recommended by the admiralty. I think this reaches the objection raised by the opposition to the non-establishment of a fleet unit. As further evidence that the admiralty approved and recognized Canada's action, I refer to page 24, where it is said:

While laying the foundations of future Dominion navies to be maintained in different parts of the empire, these forces would contribute immediately and materially to the requirements of imperial defence....A simple contribution of money or material may be to one Dominion the most acceptable form in which to assist in imperial defence. Another while ready to provide local naval forces, and to place them at the disposal of the Crown in the event of war, may wish to lay the foundations upon which a future navy of its own could be raised.

I think this should be sufficient to dispose of the suggestion that Canada's action is contrary to the wishes of the admiralty. At page 24 of the report I find:

The main duty of the forthcoming conference as regards naval defence will be, therefore, to determine the form in which the various Dominion governments can best participate in the burden of imperial defence with due regard to varying political and geographical conditions. Looking to the difficulties involved, it is not to be expected that the discussions with the several Defence Ministers will result in a complete and final scheme of naval defence, but it is hoped that it will be found possible to formulate the broad principles upon which the growth of colonial naval forces should be fostered. While laying the foundations of future Dominion navies to be maintained in different parts of the empire, these forces would contribute immediately and materially to the requirements of imperial defence.

In the opinion of the admiralty, a Dominion government desirous of creating a navy should aim at forming a distinct fleet unit; and the smallest unit is one which, while manageable in time of peace, is capable of being used in its component parts in time of war.

Then at page 25 of the conference blue-book, we find:

It has been recognized that in time of war the local naval forces should come under the general direction of the admiralty.

This clearly contemplates that the navy should remain under local control in time of peace.

Great Britain cannot go to war without the consent of the British parliament; Canada cannot go to war without the consent of the Canadian parliament. In both cases they are co-equal. Why not?

Topic:   EDITION'.
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March 7, 1910

Mr. D. H. McALLISTER (Kings and Albert).

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January 24, 1910


If it had been introduced by a member from the west or from the, Yukon district the matter might be explained. I do not believe the government have any mandate to get rid of the Intercolonial railway. They have no right either directly or indirectly through the Department of Railways to lease that road to a private company or syndicate. If this government should take it to be their duty to do so and declare that to be their policy, they should dissolve this House and go before the people to secure their verdict. I am quite sure that if they did so, the members supporting this government from the beautiful little provinces down by the sea would be minus.

Their number would be very different from what it is to-day. If I went before the people of my constituency advocating this resolution, I would not get 1,000 votes from the beautiful united constituency of Kings and Albert.

I would like to read a few newspaper clippings in regard to the Intercolonial railway being handed over to a private syndicate or company. The first is from the Toronto 'Globe1 and purports to be the words of Mr. Kobert Meighen, president of the Lake of the Woods Milling Company. It reads:

I would not stand for the control of the Intercolonial railway being given to any corporation. I don't care whether it is the Canadian Pacific railway, of which I am a director, the Grand Trunk, or Mackenzie & Mann, I think it would he wrong. I could give my reasons, but as a railway director perhaps I had better not.

Another business man of Montreal says:

If it goes into the hands of Mackenzie & Mann or any other company there will be a revolution in the maritime provinces. I spent 25 years there, and I know the feeling such a step would arouse.

The Moncton 'Transcript' quotes from the Toronto 'World', a paper also of some account saying:

The 'World' takes up the question not only in behalf of the maritime provinces, but from the standpoint of the people generally. Replying to those who have been crying out against the Intercolonial, it says:

We have ust two things to say to these ex ploiters-and they are exnloiters for themselves pure and simple:

First, the Intercolonial is owned by the people of Canada at large, noc by the people of the maritime provinces as such; that they've put their good eighty millions of dollars in it, both because they engaged to build it as a pare of the pact of confederation, and because they see that it is or can certainly be made a substantial check on the other roads, and, in an emergency, of the supremest importance to Canada as a state and as a part of the British empire

There have been a great many fallacies in regard to the Intercolonial railway, and one of the greatest of these is that the deficits have been due to party political causes. If that be the case, what caused the surplus when the hon. member for Westmorland (Mr. Emmerson) was Minister of Railways and Canals? If the deficit in 1907 was due to .party political causes, what caused the expansion of its revenues nearly threefold since 1907? No doubt the management of the Intercolonial railway has been defective in many respects, but it is equally undoubted that it has become considerably improved since this commission has had control. I am sorry to find my hon. friend (Mr. Black) jump on the Intercolonial railway commission before that commission has had the opportunity to submit a report of its administration and before, therefore, he is in a position to know what it is doing. I think he should have waited until its re-iptort was submitted (before making his criticism. As regards the resignation of Mr. Butler, that is an event which we all must regret. From what I have known of Mr. Butler's control, he has always conducted the affairs of the Intercolonial railway from a perfectly fair and nonpolitical standpoint; but while I agree with my hon. friend (Mr. Black) that the resignation of Mr. Butler will cripple the commission to a certain extent, I cannot go the length which the hon. gentleman did. I think that if Mr. Pottinger had been allowed the same free hand some years ago the Intercolonial railway would have shown in all probability different results.

No doubt that railway has cost the people of Canada some $80,000,000, but in return we have a valuable asset; and the best proof of the value of that asset is the fact that a number of private corporations are doing their best to get hold of it. In my opinion, a good many of the reports we read about that railway are sprung by individuals who are anxious to get control. It would be very unfair to the people of Canada if, after they had met the deficits on the Intercolonial all those years, they should now, when it has a good chance to make a profitable showing, be induced to hand it over to some private individuals. The maritime provinces are to-day on the eve of a great commercial development. Our new Canadian navy, if we should decide to have one, will no doubt be built at St. John and Halifax and will no doubt start a boom in the maritime provinces, and add considerably to the traffic of the Intercolonial railway. In mining and shipbuilding, I look to see a great increase in the near future, and I have no doubt that those shrewd individuals who are trying to get control of the Intercolonial railway are doing so in anticipation of this turn of the tide. But when people talk of what the Intercolonial railway has cost the country, if they will figure out the land grant of the Canadian Pacific at one dollar an acre they will find that that railway has cost the people considerable more than $80,000,000, and yet the people down by the sea have never complained. Then take the enormous sums that have been expended on our canals, and we have suggestions made for millions more of canal expenditure in the near future. So that if the Intercolonial railway has not been a paying proposition so far, neither have our canals. The policy of the government regarding canals is that of free tolls, so that if you add the interest on the ex-

penditure to the annual cost of maintenance and operation you will find that the amount we have spent on our canals is enormous. Yet the people of the maritime provinces do not complain. They realize that the people who use the canals are getting the benefit, and in the same way the people who use the Intercolonial rail-wav are reaping the advantage. We often hear the Canadian Pacific railway held up as a shining light in comparison with the Intercolonial railway. Weil, no one doubts that the Canadian Pacific is a well organized and a well managed road, but I am going to give you some figures showing the rates charged on the Canadian Pacific railway and the Intercolonial railway which may perhaps cause some people to reflect. There are ten classifications in tariff rates on the Canadian Pacific railway, and from St. John to Woodstock, N.B., a distance of 137 miles, the ten classifications are per 100 lbs. as follows:

No. 1, 10 cents per 100 lbs.

No. 2, 35 cents per 100 lbs.

No. 3, 30 cents per 100 lbs.

No. 4, 25 cents per 100 lbs.

No. 5, 20 cents per 100 lbs.

No. 6, 18 cents per 100 lbs.

No. 7, 15 cents per 100 lbs.

No. 8, 16 cents per 100 lbs.

No. 9, 16 cents per 100 lbs.

No. 10, 13 cents per 100 lbs.

While for the same distance, St. John to Amherst, N.S., the Intercolonial railway charges as follows:

No. 1, 29 cents per 100 lbs.

No. 2, 26 cents per 100 lbs.

No. 3, 22 cents per 100 lbs.

No. 4, 18 cents per 100 lbs.

No. 5, 15 cents per 100 lbs.

No. 6, 14 cents per 100 lbs.

No. 7, 11 cents per 100 lbs.

No. 8, 12 cents per 100 lbs.

No. 9, 11 cents per 100 lbs.

No. 10, 9 cents per 100 lbs.

Taking another point, St. John to Perth Jet., a distance of 184 miles, the Canadian Pacific charges: .42 .37 .32 .26 .21 .19 .17 .17 .17 .15, while from St. John to Wentworth the same mileage, the Intercolonialcharges: .33 .29 .26 .21 .17 .16 .14 .14 .12 .11. Just one more case, St. John to -St. Leonards, a distance of 223 miles, the Canadian Pacific charges: .48 .42 .36 .30 .24 .22 .18 .19 .19 .16, while the Intercolonialcharges, St. John to Brookfield, N.S., the same mileage: .36 .32 .27 .23 .18 .16 .14 .15

.14 .12.

These figures show that from St. John to Amherst, which is exactly the same distance as from St. John to Woodstock, the people pay 38 per cent higher freight rates on the Canadian Pacific railway than they do on the Intercolonial railway. This is a matter which ought to be seriously considered bv the hon. gentleman who Mr. McAlister.

presented the resolution we are now discussing. Does he really think that any private company would build these beautiful hotels he sneaks of to develop this great province of Nova Scotia? No, Sir, such companies aTe looking out for themselves, whereas the government is looking out for the development of the whole country. Does he think that if a private company owned the Intercolonial railway it would haul coal as cheaply from the coal mines of Nova Scotia as the Intercolonial railway does?

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January 24, 1910


My hon. friend knows that the sale or lease of the Intercolonial railway to a private corporation would cause great loss and inconvenience to the large industrial plants in Sydney and other points in Nova Scotia. It seems to me that the object of this resolution is to induce the government to give over $80,000,000 worth of railway to a private corporation without a quid pto quo. and would make the rich richer and the poor poorer. What is wanted in the maritime provinces is population, and those who are advocating the sale of the Intercolonial railway would do much better by urging on this government and the local government of Nova Scotia a more energetic immigration policy as regards that province. What we require is not to get rid of the Intercolonial, but to bring in a larger immigration.

There is_ one thing I have not spoken of and that is the accommodation we get by the Intercolonial railway. Members from the west do not appreciate this, but if they lived along the Intercolonial they would. I may say that in the little town of Sussex where I live, we have an express train that leaves every day for St. John, stopping at every station, and returning the same day, and that service is just as good as any street car service you can find in any city. I would like to ask the hon. member for Hants (Mr. Black) if he thinks we would continue to enjoy that luxury if the Intercolonial was handed over to a private corporation. I do not think so. If the- Intercolonial had been charging the same rates last year in the province of New Brunswick as the Canadian Pacific railway, we would have had to pay $1,874,878 more for freight, and $120,331 more for passenger rates. If we had paid the same rates on the Intercolonial as are charged by the Canadian Pacific railway in New Brunswick last year, we would be $2,000,000 out of pocket. That is a question that needs to be seriously considered. I am surprised at this hon. gentleman advocating the lease or sale of the Intercolonial. I travelled through my constituency last fall during an election

campaign, and in almost every farm yard I saw Massey Harris machines, a Massey Harris reaper, a Massey Harris mower, and what doe3 that mean? It means that the people in the lower provinces are netting the advantage of cheap freight rates on their agricultural machinery that comes from Ontario. Now, I do not think we should denounce a railway that procures us these favours, but we should rather encourage it. To be sure the purchaser of this machinery paid the freight rates, but he g

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April 26, 1909

1. When was W. W. Wells apnointed judge of the Westmoreland county court?

2. On what occasions, for what reasons and for what length of time has leave of absence been granted by the Department of Justice to W. W. Wells?

3. Has the government or the Department of Justice knowledge of W. W. Wells, judge of Westmoreland county court, being absent from the province without leave? If so, when?

. 4- What judges have acted for W. W. Wells, judge of the Westmoreland county court,

when on leave of absence or when absent without leave?

5. Is there an application for leave of absence on file in the Department of Justice from W. W. Wells, judge of Westmoreland county court, at the present time? If so, for what length of time, and on what grounds is the application made?

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