August 18, 1903

LIB

John Costigan

Liberal

Hon. Mr. COSTIGAN.

and second that after that company was organized, entered upon its contract, made its financial arrangements, and commenced operations, it had to come back to parliament and say : We cannot go on, we are at the end of our resources; the whole thing is up unless we get a loan of $30,000,000 from the Canadian parliament. That staggered the Canadian people, the members of parliament and even the members of the government. But, Sir John Macdonald found that it was a necessary and safe investment to make. He made the loan. It secured the construction of this great work, and every dollar of the loan was paid pack. I feel proud of having contributed to that great work. I feel proud to have lived long enough to give my vote, and as I intend to do, in favour of the great work which is now proposed. And, while I would not like to hear an hon. member decry the result or the terms of the policy of building the Canadian Pacific Railway, I am going to try to do what is fair by this policy in a comparison of the two. When that land was given to encourage the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway, it was worthless. It has become of great value now. When the contract was entered into the faith in the future and the confidence of success was more limited than the prospects of the success of this enterprise. Cannot this government go to the people of Canada to-day and say : You endorsed the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway originally to develop the North-west and British Columbia. You did not know what you were undertaking at that time. It was a courageous undertaking. But to-day you have the country partially developed, and when I say partially developed, I have in view the almost boundless extent of that country. You propose to build another line there. Why ? Because the lands that were unknown then are known now, not only to the Canadian government and people, but to the civilized world. Those lands are known now to be capable of producing enough bread to feed not only Canada but millions of people across the Atlantic. They are known to be valuable lands, bringing good prices.

One good feature about this scheme is that it will pass through undeveloped portions of that territory and will increase the value of the lands just in the same proportion that the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway increased the value of the lands in the sections through which it passes. But there will be this difference, that while the Canadian Pacific Railway were entitled to the lands that they earned, they are at the same time reaping a rich harvest in the value of these lands that were of unknown value twenty years ago. The lands which will be increased in value by the construction of this road will not pass into the hands of the Grand Trunk Pacific Company, but will remain the property

of Canada for Canadian settlers. I think you should not underestimate that one feature of this contract. I do not say this for the purpose of making a contrast to the prejudice of the former contract. You could not have constructed the first line in that way, because there was no such guarantee of the future value of the land as there is now. Therefore you are fully justified in undertaking tills expenditure, which is moderate after all compared with the results to lie achieved.

Some one has said : Who has asked for a transcontinental line ? Where is the hurry for this line ? Why, Sir, three years ago this question was discussed in this parliament, and it has been discussed since ; it has been discussed by the press throughout the country. Now this question of transportation is no doubt at the present time the chief question before the Canadian people, and it is worthy all their attention. It should be considered, as my hon. friend who preceded me suggested, on broad Canadian lines, independent of party considerations. This great question is coupled with another one of great importance. The solution of the transportation problem also carries with it a development to the largest possible extent of the Dominion of Canada. You cannot introduce a scheme into this country and call it a Canadian scheme if it leaves any portion of the Canadian people out in the cold, let them be little or big, few or numerous. That was the policy at the bottom of confederation, that is why the Intercolonial was built, that is why the Canadian Pacific Railway was built later- to cement together all the provinces between the two oceans. Therefore I say the scheme promises not only to solve the transportation question, but to do for Canada more than could be done in any other way by developing all the provinces of the Dominion. In the west you develop new lands all through that enormous region, you develop trade for British Columbia, you develop a hew field for the mining industry of British Columbia, you develop a new outlet for timber industries, you develop agricultural lauds that so far have been inaccessible. You do the same to a considerable extent for the province of Manitoba. Then you come down through northern Ontario and develop sections there of immense value to that old province, and without a cent of cost directly to that province except its proportionate share of the general cost. You come to Quebec, and you develop the northern portion of that province. I have heard some hon. gentlemen from the province of Quebec say that this is a barren country through which the railway is to run. Well. I would advise them not to say that too often, because the reports do not justify the statement, and we may conclude that the argument is used more for political effect than in the interest of the province.

Now, Sir, the name of the ex-Minister of Railways and Canals is used, and his authority is given for the assertion that the part of New Brunswick to be developed by this line is a barren waste. Well, I am going to make a statement on my word as a member of parliament, and I know more of that country than any other man inside this House or outside of it, and that is saying a good deal, though I am not given to boasting. I have travelled through the most of that country, I have surveyed part of that country for farm lots, in the county of Carleton adjoining my own constituency. I have fished, I have hunted, I have cruised. I have lumbered through that country, and I make the statement defying contradiction, that this country is a valuable section of country. I do not say that it will compare with the prairie section, I do not say that it will compare with the Niagara peninsula, but I do say that we cannot find in the Dominion of Canada an equal extent of wilderness lands still unsettled of greater value than this very tract that is decried to-day. I make that statement knowing whereof I speak. The upper portion of it will compare favourably with any highland in Canada, no matter how fertile it is. It has some of the finest land you can imagine. In the county of Victoria and the Mada-waska region you will find highlands and bushlands of the greatest value. After that country had been surveyed into lots, you could tell a man : Go to the Crown lands office and take a map, and pick out any number you like ; you cannot miss it, they are all alike. Now you cannot do that in every country, for you would be liable to get a waste lot, to get a swamp lot. That extends down through the counties of Madawaska, Victoria. Carleton and York. From York across to Moncton the land will not average as high, but it is good agricultural land, and it is well timbered. When I say well timbered I do not mean to contradict one statement that was made especially by the hon. ex-Minister of Railways and Canals. One of the points made by that lion, gentleman was that the valuable timber had all been taken out of the country. There is a good deal of truth in that, but there are gentlemen here who know something about the lumberman's business, gentlemen who have not been engaged in the business but who will easily understand that when lumbering operations are carried on in territories adjacent to streams and natural watercourses which are convenient for transporting the lumber from the country the lumber can be floated down these streams and they get the benefit of these watercourses, but beyond the region of these streams there is no other outlet and the timber remains there. Practical business men in this House and in the country well know that under the conditions in a country like that where the best lumber

has been taken out of the country and where the streams have been utilized as highways down which the raw material in the form of logs is taken, if you have a railway beyond that country you will develop new industries as important as the ones w7hich have been nearly exhausted, because you are reaching a point in the country which has hitherto not been reached by these lumbering operations and you are giving opportunities to do the most important work that can be done, that is to produce the finished article, or if not the absolutely finished article to add to its finished condition, or to approach the finished condition and to ship it in this form over the railway thus develoifing new interests in that section of the country besides developing the agricultural interests and these two interests combined are necessary one to the other in creating a trade for the railway that is running through the country. Fifty years ago there was talk of railway construction. You could not talk with the view of interesting any capitalist in a railway enterprise unless you brought before him statistics of good character, statistics that were undisputed that would show the probable trade that the road would do. Now it is a pretty generally accepted idea and principle that given an undeveloped country with any mineral resources, or lumber or agricultural capabilities, and put a road through it that road will develop new industries and thus bring the country into a condition of usefulness. X was very much struck also by the fact which was developed during the discussion that a man may even be led too far by Ms enthusiastic impulses. When the hon. ex-Minister of Railways and Canals was talking of the capabilities of the Intercolonial Railway he used one argument that to my surprise was received with wonderful applause on this side of the House. I would not applaud it and for the reason that I would not have applauded it it should not have been applauded on this side of the House if it had been thoroughly understood. What was it ? In 1883, I think, Sir Charles Tupper came to this parliament and proposed a vote of $170,000 for a guarantee for 15 years to the Canadian Pacific Railway for the purpose of joining Montreal with St. John and Halifax. The project did not mature, but next year, in 1884, Sir Charles Tupper came down to the House again with a proposition to give $250,000, speaking from memory, or $280,000 for 20 years.

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LIB
LIB

John Costigan

Liberal

Hon. Mr. COSTIGAN.

$250,000 for 20 years instead of $170,000 for 15 years. It was

not this time to join Montreal with St. John and Halifax, but this guarantee was given to' secure the construction of a road starting from the south side of the St. Lawrence, opposite Montreal, passing down through the townships to Moose Head Lake, Mat-tawamkeag, Fredericton and then to Salis-Hon. Mr. COSTIGAN.

bury. It was a wTell defined route as far as it appeared in the resolution. What was the explanation which Sir Charles Tupper gave for paralleling the Intercolonial Railway, even if he had to go through a foreign country to do it ? Sir Charles Tupper stated that the Intercolonial Railway had been built for military purposes and for considerations other than commercial purposes and that it had done more than was expected of it by its friends and opponents, but on account of its mileage, the ports of St. John and Halifax could not be expected to compete against American ports unless some way was found to shorten the distance to St. John. It wras in order to shorten the distance to St. John by giving these better facilities for getting to St. John that the Intercolonial Railway was paralleled and it was intended that it should compete successfully. That was the point. We gave that large guarantee for this new road. It was built to St. John and not to Salisbury. What did the hon. ex-Minister of Railways and Canals prove the other night and which I think was so strangely cheered ? He proved that Sir Charles Tupper's justification for giving $250,000 for 20 years for a short line was a mistake and then he said that Sir Charles Tupper was all wrong. After saying that Sir Charles Tupper was wrong in asking parliament to provide this, guarantee and that parliament was wrong in aiding the building of a short line as a successful competitor with the Intercolonial Railway he said : I know that when the

cattle embargo was on the Intercolonial Railway carried cattle down to St. John quicker and cheaper than the short line could after all the expense they have gone to. What does that mean ? I think that Sir Charles Tupper's reasoning was good. What I am complaining of is the argument that Sir Charles Tupper having asked parliament to make this expenditure and having given reasons which are logical the fact which the hon. gentleman stated proves that the building of a short line was not a success. If it was not a success in this instance, it was because the grades and curvatures were too great. Now, I perhaps have spoken too long-half an hour-but I do not think half an hour is very long compared with the speeches that have been made on this side of the House, and I promised my hon. friends that I would not take the floor until short speeches became the order of the evening.

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An hon. MEMBER.

The order of the morning.

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CON
CON
LIB
CON

IS, 1903

LIB

John Costigan

Liberal

Hon. Mr. COSTIGAN.

I think the hou. gentleman is about as near the mark as he is in regard to this railway contract.

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

The hon. gentleman commenced speaking at half past eleven and it is now half past twelve.

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LIB

John Costigan

Liberal

Hon. Mr. COSTIGAN.

I will not take up much more of your time. We had hopes In the west of the province that at the time Sir Charles Tupper made the proposition some line like this proposed line would he found through Canadian territory shortening the distance to St. John. And our hopes were reasonably well founded, and I think they would have been realized had it not been for the fact of existing lines constructed then, reaching towards Mcose Head lake, and leaving the shorter distance to be constructed. To our western friends I would say that the transportation problem after all arises in that country. There is no doubt that the future welfare of Canada depends on the successful solution of that question. What the people of the west want is a cheaper outlet for their products, and no Canadian would be patriotic if he did not endeavour to secure for them that cheap outlet. We want their produce to come through Canadian territory to build up our ports in the east, as we will endeavour to help building up their country in the west. In that way the people of the west and the people of the east will have a common object in view. One hon. gentleman stated to-day that he took a broad position as a Canadian, and that he -spurned the idea of sectionalism. But he complained that the government were by this sclnin" pro itling a through line for freight so that the labourers along the route would get no toll out of it, and he pointed out to the member for Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy) that Collingwood was going to be destroyed by this policy. Well, that was not a very broad view of the case, because the proper Idea is to get as little toll as possible out of the western grain as it passes through Canada, and the labourers will be compensated In other ways than by* taking this toll.

In conclusion, I wish to say, Mr. Speaker, that I have spoken on this subject chiefly because I know that there will be an effort to misrepresent this scheme, especially that part cf it which passes through the central part of New Brunswick, and which s me pretend to regard as the weak spot in the project. Well, Sir, I am sorry we have not the help of the ex-Minister of Railways (Hon. Mr. Blair) to promote the interests of New Brunswick on this'occasion. I am quite sure, however, that these gentlemen on the Conservative benches who now praise him so highly, would pepper him just as hotly if he were to open his mouth in favour of this project, or in favour of his province. He has risen high in the estimation of our friends of the opposition

very suddenly. He deserves their respect and good opinion. He is a capable and able man, but their attitude towards him has very quickly and very materially changed. I must express my deep sympathy however, with one old friend in this House, I refer to the energetic and talented member for St. Mary's (Hon. Sir. Tarte). When he ceased to be a minister of the Crown he was deified all at once by his former opponents, and instead of being in their eyes an avowed traitor to his country as they had termed him, he became the ablest minister that ever sat in the Laurier cabinet. His stock went up wonderfully ; he was received with open arms ; he was courted and complimented and flattered. But since-the ex-Slinister of Railways (Hon. Mr. Blair) has appeared upon the scene, I notice that my hon. friend (Hon. Mr. Tarte) seems to have dropped into oblivion There is not half the importance attached to him now that there was a few months ago, and lately the affection of the members of the opposition has been centred upon this greatest man that ever was at the head of the Railway Department. But, Sir, remember that these very same gentlemen are those who denounced the hon. gentleman (Hon. Mr. Blair) not so long ago as anything but honest or moral. I have to say that the hon. gentleman (Hon. Mr. Blair), has been a strong man in his province. The hon. member for East Grey (Mr. Sproule) made it a leading feature in his speech to attack the hon. member for Westmoreland (Mr. Emmerson) who is an old personal friend of mine, and a gentleman whom I have known for a great many years. The member for East Grey dealt with the member for Westmoreland without gloves, hut if he did not hurt the member for Westmoreland any more than he hurt the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway scheme, the member for Westmoreland will long survive.

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CON
LIB

John Costigan

Liberal

Hon. Mr. COSTIGAN.

I do not suppose that the hon. member (Mr. Sproule) had any desire to injure my hon. friend physically, but I can tell him that any private member in this House might feel well satisfied to enjoy so highly the confidence of his constituents as does the hon. member for Westmoreland. It was also stated by some one that the hon. member for Westmoreland was the pupil or the protege of the exMinister of Railways: Let me say that the hon. member (Mr. Emmerson) is a strong man in his. county, and a strong man in his province. He is well known all through the province of New Brunswick, and is highly respected wherever he is known. Let no one make any mistake about the standing of the hon. member for Westmoreland in the province of New Brunswick. He is a gentleman of long experience, a gentleman with a good record, and a gentleman who is trusted among the people ot New Bruns-

wick. No one would be less disposed to minimize the good qualities of the ex-minister (Hon. Mr. Blair) than I, but after very considerable experience I can say that there is no man so strong that he can do without his friends, and whatever strength that bon. gentleman (Hon. Mr. Blair) had in this parliament he owes it to the good friends who have stood behind him. If they stand behind him yet, he is as strdng as ever, but if they do not support him, he will be very weak indeed, so far as federal influence is concerned. I myself have been pretty strong in my own county. I have fought a great many elections, and I have represented it a great many years. I suppose that even my opponents will say that I am a strong man in that county, but I would like to know how strong I would be if I lost the confidence of the men who make me strong. There is where the whole question comes in. I feel, Mr. Speaker, that I can speak for my own constituency, as there are other men to speak for theirs, and I can say unhesitatingly that so far as I can judge of other constituencies, without speaking officially for them, this scheme is well viewed in New Brunswick and will receive cheerful and strong support in that province.

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LIB

Hance James Logan

Liberal

Mr. LOGAN.

On behalf of the bon. member for South Wellington (Mr. Guthrie), I move the adjournment of the debate.

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Motion agreed to, and debate adjourned. On motion of the Minister of Finance, House adjourned at 12.40 a.m., Wednesday.



Wednesday, August 19, 1903.


August 18, 1903