This vote will, I hope, help to end a menace and a nuisance that has existed in Halifax since 1916 when the Fairview subway was built as part of the Halifax ocean terminals project. It is the main exit out of the city of Halifax, and it presents two problems, one having to do with flooding and the other with the passage of traffic. The vote here is for the construction of improvements to drainage works at Fairview. It is quite true that flood conditions there, following torrential rains, render this subway impassable at times, but there is also great danger to traffic moving to and from the subway, in and out of the city. What I wish to inquire about is whether this vote will cover not only drainage and improvements but also improvements to the subway, so that it will help to make the passageway safer for traffic. It is a problem which concerns not only the Canadian government railways but the department of highways of the Nova Scotia government and, as well, the city of Halifax. All three parties should be interested in the work to be done, and I would ask the minister whether he has the approval and concurrence of the provincial highways department and the city of Halifax for the proposed work.
I wish to say a word in support of the representations made to the committee by the hon. member for Colchester-Hants. I would also add that, while the necessity of speeding up the Ocean Limited is obvious, more desirable than that is an improvement of the roadbed between Moncton and Halifax. I think the time has come to consider the question of a double track over that busy roadbed. During the war it was perhaps subject to a greater burden of traffic than any other roadbed in the dominion.
There is one other thing I should like to mention. Recently the regional headquarters of the Canadian National Railways at Moncton issued a directive the effect of which would be to prohibit the unloading of cars into freight sheds in Halifax on Sundays and holidays except in cases of emergency. The result is that, on different occasions since this directive was issued, ships which have arrived in Halifax have been delayed owing to the refusal of the railways to supply working gangs at the request of the shipping agents. This directive works a hardship not only on the longshoremen of Halifax but also on those who
are interested in the shipping activities there and who naturally want to induce as much traffic as possible to go through the port. It is quite obvious that if ships are delayed there is a tendency on the part of shipowners, shipping interests and shipping agents to divert traffic elsewhere. I ask the minister to use his influence and have this directive cancelled.