I take this opportunity,
and I do it with some pleasure, of referring to the first speech that I made in Parliament. The theme of that speech was the construction of a branch line railway starting at Newcastle, N. B., and ending at Tracadie in the county of my hon. friend from Gloucester (Mr. Turgeon). Let me first of all point out that Newcastle is a point on the main line of the Intercolonial forty miles south from Bathurst. At the present time there is what is known as the Caraquet and Gulf Shore Railway,
starting at Bathurst and running like a half moon, if you like to say so, about sixty miles down to Tracadie, following the course of the Baie de Chaleur and then going through the peninsula and ending at Tracadie. The line that is asked for proposes to start at Tracadie and end at Newcastle. Thus you will have a half moon, as it were, of railway commencing at Bathurst running east around the coast back on the other coast, and then ending at Newcastle, N.B. I take this opportunity of reminding the minister that he has a petition in his office from the residents of the thriving villages that are located between Newcastle and Tracadie. From time to time it has been my privilege as well as my duty to draw the attention of the department to this very important project of railway construction. [During the last two or three years I have not urged it, as we were not investing any money in building branch lines of railways, in the East at any rate. It seems to me, however, that the time is now very opportune to impress upon the minister the importance of the construction of these few miles of railway. Hon. gentlemen will remember that in the Estimates some two years ago $200,000 was provided for the taking over of the branch line of railway that runs between Bathurst and Tracadie. The rumour now is that the owners of the railway-who at that time refused to accept an offer for it-are now willing and ready to sell, and I hope for good news in that regard from the minister in the near future. I desire to point out to him that the piece of road which he proposes to take over will not be complete until he extends it to Newcastle.