We should have to wait and today the oil would still be there; no development would have taken place.
Now I want to speak about those railroads. In 1909-that is a long time ago-the Liberal government in Alberta went into the railway construction business in this manner. We had a great wave of immigration under the Liberal government of Sir Wilfrid Laurier. People were pouring into the western plains, breaking the virgin bosom of the wealthy prairies and beginning this great production which is the marvel of today even in a nation
as rich and as well organized as the United States. But those people needed communication. They needed transportation. The Liberal government of the day made a deal or an offer, guaranteeing the debentures of the railway companies up to $15,000 a mile, in order to bring branch lines from Edmonton and Calgary into this country into which the settlers were pouring. The result was that from Edmonton straight north to Atha-baska 100 miles, from Edmonton to St. Paul, from Edmonton to my own town of Bonny-ville, from Edmonton to Fort McMurray in the riding of Athabaska, Alberta railways were built1 to the Peace river. These guarantees brought those lines to give transportation facilities to these settlers, farmers, and businessmen living there for their production. I wish we had a map large enough. There is your map represented by my extended arms, these lines all going out like the arms of an octopus, bringing trade to Edmonton. But every farmer in my country had to pay the backhaul of 175 or 200 miles into Edmonton and back again if he wanted to reach Winnipeg or the eastern market.
Mr. Speaker, I wish more time were available. I have not watched the clock very closely. I have here resolutions accepted unanimously by the assembly of Alberta with regard to the connecting of these lines to the Saskatchewan and Beaver rivers. This is not just a plan, as I said, it means an outlet and route for all this vast country north of Saskatoon and Prince Albert, north of the Saskatchewan river across the prairie, across the northern part of the province giving access to the Pacific ocean at Prince Rupert.
This is not a dream. Charters were issued. The C.P.R., knowing by that time the value of that north country, came to this parliament and demanded a charter. It was proposed and they received it. They were to build west of Prince Albert through Meadow Lake-this is built now, as those who come from that country know-to near Goodsoil, a place in northwestern Saskatchewan, where they meet the Canadian National Railways line from Battleford-St. Walburg into Cold Lake. According to the regulations laid down by this parliament the C.P.R. received running rights over 55 miles of the Canadian National Railways line from Goodsoil or nearby into Cold Lake in the constituency of Athabaska and began to build.
I have here the dates of the charters and everything. I know time does not allow me to refer to them, but the records are readily available. In 1931 the whole thing was stopped. I see that the Minister of Agriculture is in the house. One of his secretaries at that time was in charge of the removal of the 67509-183J
The Budget-Mr. Dechene settlers from the dry belt in southern Saskatchewan into the interior of northwestern Saskatchewan and northeastern Alberta which were to be served by these railroads and where we had rain, growth and grass, where we had everything. Literally thousands of people came from the south.
Topic: THE BUDGET
Subtopic: ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE