August 13, 1903

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The MINISTER OF JUSTICE.

Not for the $20,000,000 of equipment.

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CON

John Graham Haggart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. Mr. HAGGART.

Not to the extent of the $5,000,000?

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?

The MINISTER OF JUSTICE.

Not to the extent of $20,000,000.

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CON

John Graham Haggart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. Mr. HAGGART.

Then, I would judge from what has been said by the exMinister of Railways and Canals that they can do it to the extent of $15,000,000.

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The MINISTER OF JUSTICE.

They must be in a position to give on that $20,000,000 of equipment a first charge to the government. They may get the property as they choose, so long as it is once on the road, it is liable to the first charge of the government.

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CON

Seymour Eugene Gourley

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GOURLEY.

How could it be unless they owned it?

Topic:   THE NATIONAL TRANSCONTINENTAL RAILWAY.
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The MINISTER OF JUSTICE.

That is the answer.

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CON

Seymour Eugene Gourley

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GOURLEY.

You are putting a supposititious case.

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The MINISTER OF JUSTICE.

If I am the owner of equipment or rolling stock and lease it to a company and agree to waive my charge in favour of the government, I have a perfect right to do it. It is a very simple thing.

Mr. GOURLEY'. But the owner would not waive it.

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CON

John Graham Haggart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. Mr. HAGGART.

Then we are to understand from the Minister of Justice that the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway have to put $20,000,000 worth of equipment on that road free from any mortgage, lien or anything else to any other company. If not. I am correct in my statement that they need not put on one cent of rolling stock

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CON

John Graham Haggart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. Mr. HAGGART.

except the $5,000,000 worth which will be liable to the government lien.

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The MINISTER OF JUSTICE.

If my hon. friend be correct, then the contract is badly drawn. That was not the intention of the parties.

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CON

John Graham Haggart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. Mr. HAGGART.

The intention of the parties is another thing. The Minister of Justice says that under this clause the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway or transcontinental railway, have to put $20,000,000 worth of stock upon that road, which will go. without any other incumbrance, as security to the government.

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?

The MINISTER OF JUSTICE.

That is right.

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CON

John Graham Haggart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. Mr. HAGGART.

I am glad to hear that such is the case, because that is a further security for the expenditure of $13,000 per mile and $30,000 per mile. I have no doubt that that was the intention, but I doubt very much whether the agreement covers it. We may take it for granted that the Grand Trunk Railway are obliged to put $20,0000,000 of stock upon the road, which will be security to the government for the loan of $13,000 per mile from the prairie section to Winnipeg and the loan of $30,000 per mile upon the mountain section. Then I see another clause- which provides that $24,000,000 of common stock, shall be taken by the Grand Trunk Railway, for which they may not pay a dollar, and be held by it as security for any advance or any endorsation or any agreement which they enter into. They get that stock for nothing, and it may be necessary to be held by them for the purpose of controlling the stockholders of the transcontinental railway. I hope that the government will take proper means to see that every dollar the company expends is accurately shown, so that the government guarantee will not cover more than 75 per cent. But that is a very difficult undertaking, for we know how railway companies and contractors whip the devil around the post, to use a popular expression. The government have no security at ail that the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway will carry out its agreement except the guarantee of the Grand Trunk Railway. The hon. Minister of Finance has said that the old Grand Trunk Railway, with its enormous properties, with its assets to the extent of $250,000,000, is at the back of the concern. Weil, the obligation of the Grand Trunk Railway to the government of this country is to be valued by the measure of the Grand Trunk Railway stock. What does it sell for in the market? Does this bargain have a preference over the stockholders, the debenture-holders, and the bondholders? Not at all. You have no security, therefore, with reference to any part of this agreement. All you have is the promise of the Grand Trunk Railway, whatever the value of that may be. Long

ago we advanced a sum of money for the purpose of constructing the old Grand Trunk Railway, which that company was to return. Our claim was superior to everything else on the road, but we found it necessary to put it behind all the other securities except the common stock. To-day the Grand Trunk Railway owe the people of this country a sum, with interest, in the neighbourhood of $30,000,000. That sum we never intend to collect. It is a virtual gift ito the Grand Trunk Railway. We could not collect it if we wanted to, and might just as well make it a present. If we could not collect this sum, of what value is the promise of the Grand Trunk Railway ? I hope and expect that the Grand Trunk Railway will carry out its agreement. It has an' excellent agreement. It will have a road from Quebec to Winnipeg which will cost it nothing for the first ten years and from Quebec to Moncton, and it will have nearly all the money required for the construction of the prairie and mountain sections. All it will have to raise is sufficient money to build a branch from its main line to Lake Superior, and I suppose it may build a line to North Bay, or it may connect with the Temiscamingue road, which is being built by the Ontario government. That portion of it is a good investment. I think they will have no trouble in raising money on the security of that portion of the road from Winnipeg to Lake Superior. I hope the Grand Trunk will be in a position to carry out that part of their contract. Their original proposition for a connection with their Ontario system and the making of a transcontinental road in that way would, I believe, have been in the interest of the country. But, I must protest, as I said before, against the enormous expenditure into which the government seeks to force us. My hope is that when the engineering parties examine the New Brunswick section and the Quebec section, their reports of the cost of building a commercial road there will be so alarming that the government will be compelled to back out of that portion of the scheme. And, if that should occur, I am sure that none will be more rejoiced than the Grand Trunk Railway Company. It would take two years to locate the line from Winnipeg to Moncton, before a dollar can be spent in construction. Hon. gentlemen speak of having the road built within five years after it is located. If the expenditure is to be in the neighbourhood of $35,000 per mile, and if the work is to be carried on under government supervision in a country where they can only commence the work at the two ends- taking the supplies up the Canadian Pacific and commencing construction near the Montreal river, and, on the other hand commencing construction at Quebec-it will require, under the system of contracts and with the contractors which the government can employ, not less than seven ygars to 273

build that section of the road. So, it will be nine years and possibly more before the road will be in a condition to be handed over as part of the Grand Trunk transcontinental line. Interest must be paid on the money used on construction during that time. The parts that are built must be kept up, and, if possible, used. It is an enormous undertaking ; and, as I have said, I hope the the government, on looking into it, will grow alarmed and that the road will not be built. And when the facts are known to parliament and to the people of this country, I feel sure they will never allow such a gigantic expenditure for so useless a purpose.

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LIB

Henry Robert Emmerson

Liberal

Mr. HENRY R. EMMERSON (Westmoreland).

Mr. Speaker, I should be loath to interject myself in this discussion after the very able and exhaustive speeches to which we have listened, were it not that I come from a province that has been represented for a long time in the councils of the country by the gentleman who has the leadership of the criticism of the project, now before the House. And I would the more hesitate to take part on account of the fact that that lion, member has been for many years my political leader, not merely in the arena of Dominion politics, but in the more restricted arena of provincial politics in the province of New Brunswick. However, I must deal with this question. I trust I shall deal witli it briefly, and I hope to deal with it on broad national lines. I shall endeavour to deal with it from the standpoint of Canada and not merely from the standpoint of the province from which I come. And, in so dealing with it, I shall not have reference to persons, except in so far as they may have relation to facts stated, principles enunciated and conclusions drawn. We are told that this scheme has been precipitated upon the country, that it has been forced headlong into the arena. I think that before dealing with that, I should, for a moment, refer to the speech of my hon. friend (Hon. Mr. Haggart) on that question of precipitation, I shall be called upon to cite one exMinister of Railways and Canals against another ex-Minister of Railways and Canals. It will be a case of the city of St. John vs. the riding of South Lanark. We have listened to a long, a somewhat long, discussion of this subject by the hon. member for South Lanark (Hon. Mr. Haggart). In arising to address the House that hon. gentleman said he proposed to briefly give his reasons for opposing the Bill. I would not wish to say anything derogatory of that hon. gentleman, but I am sure that his speech showed a poverty of argument, while it was resplendent with affirmation and assertion. [DOT] On the question of precipitation, at the very outset I would invite the attention of hon. members to a speech delievered by the hon. gentleman himself. We are told that there should have been delay, that

there should have been deliberation, and then more deliberation, that the country is not prepared for this scheme, that parliament receives it' unprepared, and that the scheme itself has not been matured as it should have been before being brought before the House. In the speech to which I refer, delivered in this House on the 26th of May last, the hon. member for South Lanark made this statement:

The Grand Trunk Railway has done a great deal towards the development of this country, and the stockholders of that concern have had m but meagre return on the amount they have ' invested. Anything the Canadian people can do in return for the great benefits that that company has yielded to this country ought to be done, other things being equal. If they propose to build a road which will open up a new territory in the North-west and make a connecting line with Quehc, I would rather see it assisted than any other scheme I hear proposed.

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CON

George Taylor (Chief Opposition Whip; Whip of the Conservative Party (1867-1942))

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. TAYLOR.

I rise to a point of order, the hon. gentleman is referring to a previous debate. The Prime Minister applies that rule every time he gets an opportunity to lion, gentlemen on this side of the House, and I ask that you apply it now.

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LIB

Peter Macdonald (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. DEPUTY SPEAKER.

The rule is well known to the House that no bon. member can quote from a previous debate. We are all quite conversant with that rule.

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CON

John Graham Haggart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. Mr. HAGGART.

Would you allow him nevertheless to go on and make his quotations ?

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LIB

Henry Robert Emmerson

Liberal

Mr. EMMERSON.

I think it would save time if I were permitted to read the extracts which I have before me, they are iu print. Perhaps I could state from recollection what the hon. gentleman said, but as he has given me permission, I will read it, because it will recall to his mind what he did say, and said very well at that time.

There is no necessity for a commission as to railways. That commission might have been appointed before this session and the government might have formulated some policy, because now is the time to formulate a policy and to build the works that are necessary. The day of depression may come within a year or t.wo, because this country cannot always be in the position which it is at present, and it should take advantage of the tide. A few years is a great deal in the history of a country, as it is in the history of a manufacturing enterprise We should take advantage of the opportunity at the present time to divert the traffic into this section of the country while the routes are being formed, because once you have traffic going in a certain direction it is almost impossible to turn it into another channel. Take advantage of the present tide in our favour. Canada is in a better position now than she will be for a number of years to come to adopt a definite transportation policy, because'this is a state of affairs that cannot continue for a number of years. Take advantage of the present, formulate some policy which is destined to build up this country, take advantage of the opportunity which nature has afforded us, because we are now in the best possible position to secure for ourselves a place amongst the foremost peoples on the face of the globe.

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August 13, 1903