Mr. H. H. McLEAN:
According to the Drayton-Acworth report the Grand Trunk paid dividends-a great many million dollars, I forget the exact amount-which they should not have paid, which money should have been put into the road. That means that -for a great number of years past the Grand Trunk Railway Company have practically been bankrupt. If that company is not bankrupt, if they can go on as they have been going on without assistance or help, what is the necessity for our stepping in and grabbing that road from the shareholders'-paying them back part of their stock investments and carrying on the railway as a government concern? Further than that, we know that the reason
the Canadian Northern was not successful was its unlawful ambition, so to speak, to parallel other lines of railway in order to get a terminus on the Pacific coast. And it is the same with the Grand Trunk Pacific; they have made enormous expenditures in order to be able to say that they went to the Pacific coast. That is also the reason why we are assuming these great obligations at the present time-simply to say that we have got a road from the Atlantic to the Pacific owned by the Government of Canada. I will speak a little later as regards one aspect of the case, the Grand Trunk terminus at Portland, Maine, but now let me resume where I left off when my hon. friend (Mr. W. F. Maclean) interrupted me to ask a question.
Subtopic: GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY SYSTEM.