Mr. H. H. McLEAN (resuming):
It seems to me that every one who knows Sir Henry Drayton, who made this report, knows what a careful man he is in making statements, knqws also the advantages that he has had from having presided over the Board of Railway Commissioners, and when he and Mr. Acworth, the great English authority who was associated with him, made that statement, we have a right to assume it is correct.
I wish now to draw the attention of hon. members to a statement made by Mr. A. H. Smith, President of the New York Central Railway Company and Chairman of this Royal Commission. He stated, concerning what we call the Drayton-Acworth report, that the plan proposed by Sir Henry Drayton and Mr. Acworth of taking over the railway would add about $1,000,000,000 to the debt of Canada. The interest on this, he says, would be about $40,000,000. He also points out that the fundamental defect of their plan is in placing the Government in the railroad business in which they would be operating railways not only in Canada but in the United States where they would be subject to both Federal and State regulations. That will be found at page ci. Mr. iSmith as we know is a man of great experience. He is the head of one of the greatest railway systems of the United States. He and Sir Henry Drayton went over every part of this system and made a careful personal examination. Mr. Acworth came later and did not go over the system.
There you have the opinion of a railway expert with a thorough knowledge of United States conditions, and in his opinion the amount required would be $1,000,000,000. He further points out the fundamental defect of a plan under which the Government of Canada would endeavour to operate a system of railways with such a large mileage in the United States where they would be subject to Federal and State legislation. Mr. Smith proposes, at page cii, a plan or scheme by which this operation could be carried on. As I remember it, without troubling the House by reading the report, briefly it was that the Government should get the Canadian Northern and Grand Trunk Pacific in the West, that they should make a traffic arrangement with the Grand Trunk in the East and that with the Grand Trunk they should operate these systems. Then we have an alternative plan proposed at page civ. It is to form a private company and to give the company an opeiating lease to induce private enterprise to undertake the management with a profit sharing plan which would give the public a share in the profits. You will of course under-
stand that Mr. Smith was against government ownership. His alternative scheme was to get a private company to take over the properties. They would be under the control and subject to the regulations and orders of the Railway Commission; they would be induced, of course, by the agreement that would be made, to embark capital in this enterprise, and any profits made would be shared with the Government. That seemed to me to be a practical scheme, a good scheme, and one that I think it would have been wise for Canada to adopt -it would have been wise for this country to take Mr. Smith's advice on that point.
I will not detain the House with any further figures in connection with these enormous obligations, and interest obligations, that we will have to assume on taking over this road. The figures are so big that a person can hardly grasp them. We are accustomed now to speaking about millions, and then we get up to billions, and we toss these figures about as if they were merely dollars. Really, Mr. Speaker, it is difficult for a man to grasp or to take account of the enormous sums of money which we have expended, and which we will have to raise in the future to meet further obligations.
Subtopic: GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY SYSTEM.