My hon. friend is extravagant in that as in other things, but we will let that go. We come back to this question of the ferry service. It is a matter for serious consideration whether the ferry service should not be made part of the transportation system. Possibly it is a service which ought to be placed under the control of the Department of Railways and Canals which deals with the transportation problems of the country, but I would not like to undertake the winter service if the summer service should not be placed under the same management. If we proposed to go exclusively into a ferry service winter and summer we would be confronted by the hon. gentlemen who are urging the construction of a tunnel, if it would be wise at the present time, that the government should incur another large expenditure in securing steamers while perhaps in a few years they would have to be discarded for the construction of a tunnel ? It opens up the question as to the advisability of making a thorough investigation with reference to the matter. I had hoped before this session is over, and*I still hope, to lay upon the table of the House a report in connection with it. I am not prepared to say how much information it contains. I have had a considerable amount of discussion on this question with the chief engineer of the department, Mr. Butler, and as I stated in a previous debate, he promised to send down some information with reference to the construction of a tunnel. I had hoped to have had it on the table of the House, or in my hands, before this debate came on, but in that I have been disappointed. There is another question involved in this and it is the question of a car ferry. Sometimes it is suggested that the whole difficulty can be solved by the construction of a ferry service across the straits that will carry cars
as they are carried at Detroit. Of course the distance is much greater but that would not make any difference except that the cost of transportation would be greater and the capital involved would be locked up during the longer time that it took to carry cars across the strait. That would involve the necessity of changing the gauge of the Prince Edward Island Railway from a narrow gauge to a standard gauge and it would involve the changing of the rolling stock from narrow to standard gauge and the expenditure would be very heavy. In connection with that it will at once be perceived that the project would be increased in cost to the extent of changing the Prince Edward Island Railway from a narrow gauge to a standard gauge. The connection cannot be made by rail without always taking into consideration the question of the different gauges of the Intercolonial Railway and the Prince Edward Island Railway. The two roads must be made one, that is the Prince Edward Island Railway must be brought up to the standard and in figuring up the cost of making the connection, either by a ferry or a tunnel, this must always be taken into consideration. I am not prepared to say that the government ought to plunge into this without giving it the most serious consideration. The connection between the Canadian Pacific Railway at Vancouver and at Victoria has been referred to. But, the conditions there are altogether different. The Canadian Pacific Railroad boats leave Vancouver outward bound and call at Victoria ; on the inward passage they call at Victoria and then proceed to Vancouver. These are two ocean ports, more to be compared with St. John and Halifax, although they are scarcely in that position, at which the Canadian Pacific Railway steamers stop. The Canadian Pacific Railway have worked out that part of their transportation problem and it is not probable that they will make any change in it. But, if we were confronted by a transportation problem of smaller magnitude such as we have down at Prince Edward Island, I think that the management, even of the Canadian Pacific Railway, would possibly charge as high a price for that accommodation. I am willing to make a comparison between the Intercolonial Railway and the Canadian Pacific Railway rates, having reference to the accommodation afforded, at any place on the continent. This is not a question to be brushed aside lightly as being of no importance. I do not look upon it, as an hon. gentleman has suggested, as a joke ; I look upon it seriously.
I do not know of anything having been done or said to affect elections. It is a matter of business and not of politics. It is in the interest of Canada, looking to the compact of confederation, looking to the interest of the people of Prince Edward Island as being part of the Dominion of Canada, that we should endeavour to provide good Mr. GRAHAM.
transportation facilities and better connection between the island and the mainland. I think, however, that it is the duty of the government, or any other government, even though this question has stood on the Order Paper for years, to look into the matter, and I feel assured that no government has any idea of treating this matter lightly, but, believing that this is a matter for serious consideration, I would suggest to my hon. friend, that, having secured the object of his motion in bringing this matter to the attention of the House and having had it discussed and ventilated, he should withdraw it for the present, leaving it in the hands of the government to make further inquiry.
Topic: NATIONAL TRANSCONTINENTAL RAILWAY-QUESTIONS IN DISPUTE.
Subtopic: GOVERNMENT RAILWAYS.