Sir CHARLES HIBBERT TUPPER.
That was a long time ago, and conditions were very different. The hon. gentleman knows that as well as I do. But supposing that we did all wrong, then if he is a fair and
sincere representative of the interests that elected him to this parliament what on earth have the shortcomings of the Conservative party to do with him, or how do they fortify him in opposing the interests of labour in a question of this kind? Why should he fall back on that old heresy of : Ton should
leave this to general legislation. Now is the time to secure the interests of labour ; and the interests of Canadians in connection with the huge expenditure which is involved in the ratification of this supplementary contract, now or never. The hon. gentleman knows that as well as I do, I can understand the Liberal position, even though I think it is weak, even though I think the interests of the public are not safeguarded, but I do quarrel with the position of the hon. gentleman from Vancouver Island (Mr. Smith) whu got into this parliament as a representative of the labour interests, sheltering himself under these general arguments of expediency on the part of the Liberal party. That is my quarrel that is where we differ and it is only necessary to say a word in order to expose him, so that he must perforce take shelter under the Liberal party, and stand or fall as they do by the position they take in regard to this question. Consequently I say in connection with this that it is no use to hark back to the conditions of an entirely different contract and a different set of conditions in regard to the labour market and in regard to confederation generally. The government appreciate the ground taken. It is idle to deny after the speech of the Postmaster General, that the interests of Canadian engineers and Canadian labour should be safeguarded in a vast expenditure like this in the construction of public works in our own land.
They appreciate that and though their interests are not safeguarded in this contract they dare not for a moment amend the contract, knowing that the ultimatum has been pronounced by the Grand Trunk Railway Company. They have to take that contract as it stands ipsissima verba without any alteration whatever. But, they appreciate the force of public opinion and they tell us that the matter was mentioned to the Grand Trunk Railway Company and that they have reason to believe and expect that when all these very serious statements have been categorically made, names and addresses given, the Grand Trunk Railway Company will perhaps explain. They have not explained yet. They hope that that condition of affairs does not exist. What is the remedy ? That is the proposition that is before us. The government have been helpless, existing by the grace of the people who are over them. This corporation hold them in the hollow of their hand. That it as clear as the sun at noon-day. That is the answer of the government to an ambitions people. This is the government of a young race of engineers, of workman, and of all classes growing up with a great
and proper idea of the resources and future of this country. The government hope that Mr. Hays will make this all right. They dare not and they cannot tell the committee that, if Mr. Hays is not in a position to give a satisfactory answer to the questions which have been put from this side of the House i;\ the interest of Canadian labour, in the interest of Canadian engineers and in the interest of the graduates of universities in this country, the government will see that justice is done under these [DOT] circumstances. That is absolutely clear. It is pitiable, it is absolutely contemptible and yet the so-called representative of labour weakly attempts to back them up in that business.
Topic: G.T.P. RY-ALIENS AS SURVEYORS.