August 25, 1903

LIB

Joseph Israël Tarte

Liberal

Hon. Mr. TARTE.

Yes. The hon. gentleman (Hon. Mr. Sifton) has made a mistake, unwillingly no doubt. The regular rates between Kansas city and Chicago are nineteen cents per 100 pounds. Let me say immediately that the rates from points on the western Canadian side and the American side are about the same. A good deal has been said in this parliament as to the hign rates charged by the Canadian Pacific Railway and the Canadian Northern. Without quoting the figures, let me say, in a general way, that the rates are practically the same for the same distance. Or rather, I should say that the American railways, the Northern Pacific and the Great Northern, for instance, have a shorter haulage than the Canadian Pacific Railway has. Yet, their rates for that shorter haulage are about the same as the rates of the Canadian Pacific Railway for about double the haul.

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LIB

Joseph Henri Napoléon Bourassa

Liberal

Sir. BODRASSA.

If the hon. gentleman (Hon. Sir. Tarte) wiil permit me, may 1 ask if he is speaking of the through rates from the west or the local rates V

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Hon. S@

I speak of the rates from the wheat fields of the American west and of the Canadian west to the outlet on the lakes. The rates are about the same. Well, I ask again, what are we going to do ? Are we able to compete with our American friends ? In my humble opinion we can, by taking the proper means. If Hon. Mr. TARTE.

we want to compete with them, I think we must take our lessons from them and from our own experience. Some of our hon. friends on the other side of the House have often told us and some have repeated the statement during this debate, that the present cabinet never did much for transportation. Well, I am, to a certain extent responsible for what has been done and what has not been done. All that I wanted done has not been done. I will refer to that later on. But the question of what we have not done is, after all, of less importance that the question of what we ought to do. In what position are we ? We are joint owners of the great lakes, except Lake Michigan. Now, here are some figures showing relative distances :

Miles.

Chicago to Depot Harbour, via lakes.. .. 579

Depot Harbour to Port of Montreal, via rail 379

Total 958

Chicago to Buffalo via lake 889

Buffalo to New York via New York Central 440

Total 1,329

Difference in favour of the St. Lawrence route and the port of Montreal, 321 miles.

Miles.

Duluth to Depot Harbour via lake 644

Depot Harbour to Montreal via rail.. .. 379

Total 1,023

Duluth to Buffalo via lake 997

Buffalo to New York via New York Central 440

Total 1,437

Difference in favour of Montreal, 414 miles.

Miles.

Port Arthur to Depot Harbour 510

Distance to Midland about the same.

New York to Liverpool 3,105

Montreal to Liverpool 2,821

Difference in our favour 284

Sir, nothing is better fitted to educate us than facts. Let us see what Mr. Booth is doing to-day. Mr. Booth is a simple individual, a gentleman of large means, but he is only one man. He has built a railway. He started it as a colonization railway, and a railway to serve his own lumber business, but to-day he is carrying a vast amount of grain. I shall never forget an occasion when I was making an address at a banquet in the city of Montreal. My neighbour to the left happened to be a railway magnate. I had studied with some care tiie location of Mr. Booth's road and had given a good deal of attention to our geographical position. In my address I said that in my opinion Mr. Booth's road was destined to a great futrue, that it would before long carry millions and millions of bushels of grain. I was interrupted by my

neighbour in a voice loud enough to be heard ' rot.' I kept cool, but I felt that 1 would have my revenge by and by. A couple of years after, Mr. Booth published a statement saying that he had handled 20 million bushels of grain by the Canada Atlantic Railway. I took the statement to the railway magnate, one of my best friends, and I said to him ' rot.' He asked me what I meant, and I reminded him of his interruption. Mr. Booth is competing to-day with the great American railways, not only for the grain trade and the flour trade, but for trade of all kinds. He has a fleet on the iakes of six boats ; four are under American register, for the good reason that he is handling not only Canadian trade but a larger volume of American trade, and is consequently obliged to use American registered boats. Mr. Booth will carry this year over twenty million bushels of grain from Depot Harbour. He would handle fifty million bushels of corn and wheat if he could get accommodation in Montreal or elsewhere. That simple but eloquent fact is the strongest evidence of what we are capable of doing if we only do the right thing and do it now.

Lake Superior is the headquarters of the trade, but at the same time all the lakes are tributary to the St. Lawrence route. The distance from Milwaukee, from Chicago, from Duluth is shorter to Canadian ports, to the port of Montreal, than to the ports of Buffalo and New York ; in other words, a bushel of grain can be carried cheaper from those ports to the Georgian Bay ports than it can be carried to the port of Buffalo-It cannot be carried, at any rate, at the same rate, because the distance is longer than by our route. Depot Harbour is not the only harbour on the Georgian bay, all the harbours on the Georgian bay can be trade centres for grain and traffic. There are to-day, Midland, Colling-wood, Meaford. Owen Sound, and on Lake Huron, Goderich-all these harbours are reservoirs of grain. A large quantity of grain is carried, not only from Canadian points but especially from American points, to these Canadian harbours. Why is it so ? Because they are located in such a way that they offer more advantages. If they were equipped as the American harbours are equipped, they would handle a great deal more trade.

To help us to compete with the Americans we have two systems : The all-water system through our lakes and canals, and the lake and rail system. I had the honour of being Minister of Public Works six years and a half. A year ago last January, I presented to the right hon. gentleman, then my leader, and to my colleagues, a memorandum which was the result of my investigations on the transportation question. Before the estimates were discussed I thought it my duty to place before my colleagues a report expressing my views, and giving

the result of the attention I bad bestowed upon the transportation question. I then advised my colleagues to take up energetically the question of the waterways from the head of Lake Superior down to the sea. Starting by the all-water system I advised the equipment of Fort William and the further equipment of Port Colborne. Fort William and Port Arthur are the natural and necessary outlets of our North-west domain. It would be necessary in my humble opinion to spend a pretty large amount of money to place those two harbours in a proper condition to handle trade.

The Department of Public Works is carrying out a certain amount of work now. The Mission river, which is the outlet of the Kaministiquia river to the lake should immediately be widened and deepened to a depth of 20 feet for the reason that the ice accumulates at the entrance of Port Arthur harbour. By deepening the Mission river we would certainy get two or three weeks' additional navigation in the fall months which would mean a good deal indeed. I suppose a half a million dollars could accomplish that particular work at Fort William. I beg to call the attention of my former colleagues to the statement I am making now. I have studied the question carefully,

I have been to the spot on several occasions and let me tell them that 1 know what I am talking about. Then, following our way down the lakes, I would say that all the waters should be overhauled. We should have on the lakes testing machines, as we have on the St. Lawrence, so as to be sure that we have the depth of water that we say we have in our reports, and so as to be sure that there is no obstacle to navigation. At Port Colborne a couple of million dollars should be spent, and I will tell the House how, in my humble opinion, it should be spent. The Public Works Department is completing the breakwater on the north side of the harbour. That breakwater will not be sufficient. That port cannot be used by ships for loading and unloading unless there is another breakwater on the other side. The waves on Lake Erie are nearly as big as on the Atlantic ocean, and unless you protect the ships you cannot possibly handle the trade there. I was advising my colleagues in the memo, which I hold in my hand, that an elevator and warehouses ought to be built at Port Colborne, and that the port should be equipped as a national harbour. Before I started for the Paris exhibition my colleagues were good enough to permit me to place in the estimates of the Department of Public Works the sum of $250,000 for an elevator at the port of Montreal. I had advised, and my advice had been accepted by my former colleagues, the building of an elevator at Port Colborne, at the port of Montreal and at I.Ovis. I Will explain later on why I gave thnt advice then. At Port Colborne we should ' immediately make the necessary expenditure

to provide a harbour that would allow the large boats in the carrying trade on ,tlie lakes to load and unload. On the American side, Buffalo, with its 22 elevators, with its magnificent improvements, with its good and safe harbour; on the Canadian side, nothing. We are in that position. We are public carriers. We have spent $80,000,000 in building our system of canals. It is not surprising that we are not handling more trade in our canals. We have no equipment. It would be necessary to spend a couple of million dollars to make Port Colborne what it should be. There is an obstacle at that point to which I have called the attention of the House. When a ship loaded too heavily to go through the Welland canal arrives at the entrance it is obliged to light its cargo. The Grand Trunk Railway Company has a small elevator at Port Colborne and another one at Port Dalhousie. The Grand Trunk Railway charges 2 cents a bushel to carry grain for 27 miles ; in other words, it costs more to carry a bushel of grain between these two points, 27 miles apart, than it costs to take it from Chicago to Buffalo, Port Colbourne or to Depot Harbour. That state of affairs should be put an end to immediately. The government should either acquire that piece of railway or take some means to give relief to the trade. If we want our water-ways to compete with the American water-ways we must take means to bring about that result. The distance between Port Colborne and Montreal is 807 miles, out of which there are 63 miles of canals, and the balance is composed of lake navigation. As I have said, that part of our Canadian system of navigation should be overhauled with the greatest care. The Department of Railways and Canals has had charge in the past of these water-ways.

I do not want to make any unfair reproach, but I know that our water-ways have not been overhauled and taken care of as they should have been taken care of. The government should overhaul them without delay. The channels should be made wider, they should be made deeper-, and they should be made as safe as American waters are. Now, we have reached the port of Montreal.

I advised my former colleagues in the same memo, to make in that important harbour the necessary expenditure to make it free as far as it is possible to do so. Montreal is not a local port. It is the head of navigation. It is the centre where the trade from the lakes accumulates and it is also the centre where ocean navigation comes up. AVe have, in the port of Montreal, been borrowing money on which the harbour commissioners have paid interest so far. The trade is increasing and there is no doubt whatever that the harbour commissioners will be able to continue to pay their interest. They will honour the obligations that they are incurring. There is no doubt as to that, but that is not the point. If by not making the port of Montreal as free as Hon. Mr. TARTE.

it can be made, we oblige the trade to pay tolls, that is an impediment in the way of the development of our trade. The debt of the port of Montreal, with the advance that parliament has allowed this year, will reach the very large amount of $10,000,000. Bet me ask my former colleagues in the House to weigh my humble words. This is a mistake that parliament Is committing. The St. Lawrence route, if we want to compete with the American route, must be made as free and as cheap as it is possible to make it. I do not mean to say that there shall be no charges at all in our national harbours. But we should only exact tolls sufficient to enable us to pay the cost of maintenance and nothing more. Let us make our national ports free as we have made the canals free. It would be necessary to spend in the port of Montreal at least $7,000,000 or $8,000,000 to properly equip that port. The warehouses that must be built, if we want to handle trade, will certainly cost $3,000,000. The wharfs that are being built to-day are not sufficient to give accommodation. The Grand Trunk Railway, the Canada Atlantic Railway and the Canadian Pacific Railway will tell you that they cannot direct more trade to the port of Montreal because they have no accommodation there. That fact is indisputable. I had advised my colleagues in that memo, to expend the money necessary to build an elevator, to build new wharfs, to equip the port with cranes and every other modern implement that we find in every well equipped harbour in the world. Since that memo, was handed to the right hon. gentleman, the harbour commissioners of Montreal, under the direction of the Department of Public Works, have started to build an elevator with borrowed money. Sir, the government should lose no time in assuming the debt of the port of Montreal to the extent at any rate of every future expenditure including the advance that has been made this year. 1 am not speaking from a Montreal standpoint ; I am speaking from the standpoint of the St. Lawrence route from beginning to end.

In speaking of the elevators in the west I forgot to mention that it cost four cents a bushel to store grain the whole winter season in Duluth, Chicago, Minneapolis and St. Paul. I make this statement now because it will be necessary to refer to it later on.

AVe should not, I say, lose any time in carrying out the necessary policy to make the port of Montreal as free as it can be made. Let us not borrow any money. Let the government assume not only the debt, but the management of the port of Montreal. Alontreal is the terminal of our Canadian canal system. Is it reasonable that this country, having spent $80,000,000 on canals, and spending large sums of money to-day to equip our harbours on the lakes and to deepen and widen the St. Lawrence

river; is it reasonable that the terminals should not be in our own hands ? Is it a good policy ? I have nothing to say against the Montreal harbour commissioners, but I do say that the system is bad,' I have been long enough a minister to know that the system is thoroughly inefficient. Twelve or thirteen men meet there a couple of hours a week ; business men who have their occupations waiting for them. They discuss matters in a very light way at times. I do not make any personal allusions, for I speak of the past commissioners just as I do of the present ones. The work costs at least 30 per cent more than it should cost, and the work is not attended to as it should be. There is nobody responsible. I am speaking within hearing of friends from Montreal who know that I am speaking the truth, and not all the truth either. The commissioners are men of good-will, but they are not competent for that kind of business. A minister is responsible to this parliament; the government is responsible to this House; you can lay your hand on them when they make a mistake, but the harbour commissioners are irresponsible, and you cannot do anything with them. They do the best they can, but I repeat that they are not competent to handle a large proposition like the most important harbour of this country. Last year the trade of the Montreal harbour reached the wonderful amount of $191,000,000, being nearly half the total trade of this country. Is it reasonable that such a harbour should not be under the control of the nation itself? ,

I had advised my colleagues to equip the ports of Three Rivers and Quebec; the St. Lawrence route for me is all the one thing. I had advised the building of elevators at Three Rivers and at Levis. The government lias reduced the plans that my department, under my direction, had prepared for the harbour works at Quebec. I believe they made a mistake in reducing these plans, but nevertheless they are doing a useful work. In Quebec they are perhaps a little better off than we are in Montreal; they are, of course, not handling the vast quantity of trade that Montreal handles, but nevertheless the port of Quebec is not eqpip-ped as it should be.

I had also advised the beginning of what is called the Georgian Bay canal. I do not advise the whole project immediately, but I did advise the immediate improvement of the French river. The distances have not perhaps been given the attention that they should receive, and I propose to state what they are here. From Fort William to Buffalo tlie distance is 750 miles, and from; Fort William to North Bay the distance is 543 miles, difference in favour of North Bay of 207 miles. The distance from Duluth to Buffalo is 857 miles, and from Duluth to North Bay 575 miles, a distance in favour of North Bay of 282 miles. The

distance from Milwaukee to Buffalo is 716 miles, and from Milwaukee to North Bay 463 miles, a difference in favour of North Bay of 253 miles. The distance from Chicago to Buffalo is 733 miles, and from Chicago to North Bay 520 miles, a difference of 213 miles in favour of North Bay.

That work from the mouth of the French river to North Bay would cost in the neighbourhood of $5,000,000. It has been represented to me on several occasions that the distance to Midland, another Georgian Bay port, is about the same as to North Bay, and there is something in that point.

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CON
LIB

Joseph Israël Tarte

Liberal

Hon. Mr. TARTE.

friend the Prime Minister himself to the immediate necessity of better buoying and better lighthouses and better fog signals on the St. Lawrence from the straits of Belle Isle up. Let me tell him that after the numerous trips I have made on the St. Lawrence route from Belle Isle up, 1 have come to the conclusion that the St. Lawrence route has not been attended to as it should have been and that it is not to day receiving the attention it should. The Prime Minister himself should take that matter in hand. The Department of Marine and Fisheries should be strengthened.

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Some hon. MEMBERS

Oh, oh.

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LIB

Joseph Israël Tarte

Liberal

Hon. Mr. TARTE.

Well, I mean strengthened as far as officials are concerned. We had better have strong officials ; let us have officials who would listen to instead of resisting arguments. I have nothing to say against the present officials. I know one thing, that when the minister does not travel himself he is making a mistake. Now, we have accidents-we will have accident after accident, unless better attention is given to the St. Lawrence. The pilotage system should be attended to without any delay ; it is bad. The St. Lawrence, I say it again, is not attended to as it should be and what is the result 1 The result is that the insurance rates are higher from the ports of Montreal and Quebec than from American ports. There is no great danger between Quebec and Montreal ; if a boat grounds it only scratches its bottom a little, that is all. But if unfortunately a boat is grounded in the gulf, well, the scratch is a little deeper, the ship is lost and then up go the insurance rates. .

We should have a system of elevators at Port Colborne. at Montreal and at Levis. How do the Americans handle their business ? First let me remind the House and the Prime Minister, there is not one single American transcontinental line which goes from ocean to ocean. They go to the Pacific ocean but their terminals are at Omaha. St. Paul, Duluth and Chicago. They carry the products of the west, of the wheat belt and the corn belt, to the outlet. They load their elevators with this grain that they hare not been able to carry in the summer months, during the seasons of navigation. In winter the manufactures mill it and flour and grain are carried to the seaports : New York, Boston, Portland, Newport News, Philadelphia and Baltimore, and a certain quantity of grain to fill the boats. My hon. friends from the maritime provinces will perhaps be kind enough to give some attention to what I am now saying. When I was Minister of Public Works I always endeavoured to study their case and their position to the best of my ability.

Now, what are the Americans doing ? They carry grain to Buffalo, to Duluth, to Chicago and in winter months they ship it to their winter ports. Between Buffalo and

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LIB

Joseph Israël Tarte

Liberal

Hon. Mr. TARTE.

New York the distance is 440 miles by the New York Central ; between Levis and St. John it is only 578 miles on the Intercolonial and it will be only 500 miles on the new railway which my hon. friends are asking the House to allow them to build. We will be able to compete with our American friends if we carry the wheat by our waterways as the Americans are doing. What I suggested nearly two years ago not only stands good to-day, but stands better than it did then. Our policy must be a policy of cheap rates, otherwise we will not be able to compete. My hon. friend the Minister of the Interior was reminding us the other day that a few steps from the Canadian frontier the American system of railways is working. My hon. friend is perfectly right and the distance between Winnipeg and American ports is not very great. From Winnipeg to St. Paul is only 500 miles ; from Winnipeg to Duluth is only 450 miles ; from Winnipeg to Port Arthur is 440 miles by the Canadian Northern Railway and 425 miles by the Canadian Pacific Railway. From Chicago to New York is only 912 miles. Now we have to be careful. For if we do not provide cheap means to carry our traffic the Americans will get it in the future as they have done in the past. St. John and Halifax, our Canadian winter ports, will get more grain and flour traffic by the waterways than they ever will by any all-rail project. What the Americans have accomplished is clear evidence of what we could do. Let us not lose sight

of one thing. We have to compete, not only as regards distances, but we have to compete against strongly entrenched rivals. Those ports of New York, Boston, Philadelphia and Baltimore are great centres of trade. The railways are always sure to get there return cargoes, but the ports of St. John and Halifax have not so far been pro-. Stable centres in that respect. The Canadian Pacific Railway have taken a good quantity of traffic but the east-bound traffic has been always about ten times larger than the west bound traffic. Of course, conditions will improve and they will improve more if we take the means to give to our harbours and winter ports better equipment. Let us equip the St. Lawrence route in the way I am now suggesting. Let us accumulate a grain trade in the St. Lawrence in the fall months, and Halifax and St. John will have more trade to handle. There will always be a certain quantity of through trade handled in the winter months. Cattle will be handled by rail, and the winter months are fairly good for that trade. These are in resume my views on the question of waterways and transportation. I think that there is urgent necessity for us to apply o'Ur energy and our financial means to improving our waterways immediately, otherwise we will lose trade. Holding these views, I awaited with a great deal of interest and anxiety the ministerial explanation on the project before us. I

stand in this happy position that I have no party purposes to serve. I am speaking for myself and without any bias or prejudice.

What is the project we have to discuss to-day ? The Grand Trunk Railway applied during this session for a charter from Quebec to the Pacific ocean. When the Bill was discussed before the Railway Committee, Sir Charles Rivers-Wilson and Mr. Hays positively declined to agree to build the eastern section at the same time as the portion in the North-west Territories. Their views was to build a railway from Gravenhurst or North Bay to the Territories. We had a vote on those points. The Grand Trunk Railway positively, declined to agree to build the eastern portion of this project simultaneously. X quite understand that position in which the government was placed.

I am not going to impute to them any improper motives. That is not my way of discussing questions of broad policy. I quite understand their position. When the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway declined to build the eastern portion, the government were urged by their followers to build the eastern portion from Quebec to the west ? Then our friends from the maritime provinces appeared on the scene and insisted on having the line extended to their territory. The government could not induce the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway to take up the scheme. The Minister of Trade and Commerce told us to-day very frankly that the Grand Trunk Railway credit could not build the whole enterprise, and in that my right hon. friend was right. No private company could safely build that part of the project. Then the government made up their minds to build it themselves. Let me say here that I do not share the views of those who believe that there are not good agricultural lands in the territories through which this road will go. I cannot possibly agree in the views expressed on that point. I happen to know some parts of that country well. I lived eighteen years in the city of Quebec and took special interest in the Lake St. John district. That was a great colonization district, and at its inception X took a great interest in connection with my newspaper in that part of the province. I can assure the House that from Roberval towards the west there is a magnificent fertile district, splendid lands, lands just as good as any in this country. I see some of my hon. friends nodding no, but let me tell them that I am speaking of what I know. I had properties there, not very extensive, and X have been out there fifty times at least so that I know the country pretty well.

I know that part of the country well, and it was because I* know it well that I urged, with tlie help of my right hon. friend-that we urged upon our colleagues in 1900 to give to the Lake St. John Railway Company a subsidy on sixty miles, from Roberval towards James Bay. I think the government would have done well to increase the distance covered by that subsidy and also^ to increase the rate of subsidy itself, for 33,200 per mile cannot possibly build a road there.

It is a fine district. The Lake Temiskam-angue district is also a very fine country.

I was there some years ago, and I was there again last year. It is a fine district, capable of giving to settlers all the advantages that the best lands can give. The region of Lake Nipissing is also a good district. There are fertile belts, there is no doubt about that, and there are also barren lands. Behind Quebec, on the Ste. Anne river there are some lots fit for colonization, but there is no very great extent of good land. In my younger days I have often been on hunting and fishing expeditions over the height of land, across the Laurentian range. X know that part of the country fairly well. The road will pass through a country, so far as the province of Quebec is concerned, in which there are large stretches of cultivable land. Below Quebec, I happen to know the country. Mv hon. friend from Bellechasse (Mr. Talbot) made a statement as to the region below Quebec through which the line will pass. I have had the honour to represent L'lslet in this House, and I know the parishes through which the road will pass. They are very, very fine settlements. The whole of that district is good land. The settlers to-day are at a distance of from thirty to forty miles from the Intercolonial Railway. As to this part of the project, I believe that it is wrong to say that the-lands are not good. We have no interest in saying that the lands that we possess are not good when they are good. I will not discuss the project of the government on those lines. Now, having said that much, I will discuss the question from another standpoint.

My right hon. friend the Prime Minister, in introducing this Bill, told us that the project was imperative, that it was necessary not to lose any time. Well, I shall not say that we have no survey, no information at all, but I would ask my right hon. friend whether we could not have had more information than we have now, whether before embarking on this project it would not have been the part of prudence to get more information? We know that there are good lands through which this road will pass, but no survey has been made for the construction of a railway. We do not know what obstacles are to he met. Nobody knows. Then, nobody knows the financial aspect of the project. It is very well to say that the road will not cost more than $35,000 or $30,000 a mile, but I ask my right hon. friend whether he is sure that it will not cost more ? I am not afraid of spending money. In point of fact I have been accused of being a spender of money. But I find myself a very moderate man indeed in the face of the schemes of the leaders on either side of this House. It is evident that I am not so progressive as these hon. gentle-

men are. Why was this scheme imperative? Was it from a transportation point of view ? I do not think it was imperative, and when my right hon. friend thinks it over, I believe he will agree with me. The road will be useful. I am glad, for one, that the Grand Trunk Railway Company gets into the North-west. I should like to see them there for good. I will deal with the position of the Grand Trunk later on. But the government have resolved to build a railway from Winnipeg to Moncton. For local purposes, it will be a useful road. I never knew of a railway that was not useful. It will develop the part of the country through which it passes-there is no doubt about that. The questions are, first, what would be the cost ? And, second, could we have done better ? As to the project being imperative, I think that the House has made up its mind that it is not so urgent as my right hon. friend said it was. It is not imperative, but the project is an attractive one from certain standpoints. This road will not afford us the means of competing for the trade of the west. It will not cheapen the rates on wheat or any other commodity by a fraction of a cent. Nobody on either side has tried to show that the rates will be made cheaper. It is simply out of the question that the road can have that effect. Let us compare the figures. Mr. Wolvin, to-day is taking grain from Duluth and Chicago to Quebec for less than 3 cents in the summer months. This road will not carry grain at that rate, will it ? It is out of the question. The season of navigation lasts for more than seven months. On the American side very little grain is handled in the winter months. Some is brought down during those months, just as some is brought down over the all-rail route of the Canadian Pacific Railway. But nobody pretends that this new road will cheapen the rates by a single fraction of a cent. No business man, in this House will contradict me on that point. From that standpoint, then, the scheme is not imperative. Would it have been better for the government not to make an arrangement with the Grand Trunk ? What is going to be the result of our policy? The government has made the agreement, and, of course, the House will support the proposal of the government. For that proposal was submitted to a ministerial caucus, and it must be carried now. We may as well discuss things as they are. The scheme is to be carried-it will be carried. There are members of parliament who are not enthusiastic, but, of course, party government is party government.

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Some hon. MEMBERS

Hear, hear.

Topic:   NATIONAL TRANSCONTINENTAL RAILWAY.
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LIB

Joseph Israël Tarte

Liberal

Hon. Mr. TARTE.

Yes, and when my Conservative friends are on this side of the House the government will be a party government, as it always has been. We are here to talk business, and not to make theories. Well, now, we have no infor-Hon. Mr. TARTE.

mation, the government has no more information than I have to enable them to reach a definite conclusion as to the cost. It may cost $40,000 a mile, it may cost more. The Grand Trunk Pacific is going to pay 3 per cent interest after seven years, and is exempted for three years more in certain contingencies-I think we may safely call it ten years. When the ten years are over, if the road is not paying, then the government will be approached by the Grand Trunk Pacific and will be urged not to exact interest. That is the ordinary course of affairs. It is just as well to look these things in the face. We are undertaking an enterprise that will certainly involve the credit of the country for a large amount of money. It is 1,500 miles from Winnipeg to Quebec, if that cos'ts $40,000 a mile-it may cost more than that- there will be $60,000,000. Add $15,000,000 for the road from Quebec to Moncton, and you have $75,000,000. Well, we must make allowance for contingencies, and I think we may say $20,000,000 without hesitation for interest, &c. We are not very far .from $100,000,000. Now, the country is rich and prosperous, and if the money is well invested we can stand it. But is it a good investment ? Are we sure ? Are my hon. friends on the treasury benches sure that the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway will pay interest ? They are no more sure of it than I am. We are undertaking, as I said, an enterprise that will involve the credit of the country to the extent of nearly $100,000,000. What I fear is that we are embarking in an enterprise that will prevent us from doing something else that is more necessary. If the government are sure, if my hon. friends who support the government do feel confident that the government are making a safe calculation, I think their duty is to join me in using ail legitimate constitutional pressure on my right hon. friend and his colleagues to induce them to go on with our waterway development immediately. We cannot cheapen transport by the new project, we cannot cheapen rates for our western territories. With the waterways w.e can certainly do it, that fact is indisputable. Our friends from the maritime provinces would derive more benefit for their winter ports through a waterway policy than they will from this railway policy. They will not get any trade from this railway, they would get a vast amount of trade through a good waterway policy.

Hon. Mr. ROSS (Victoria, N.S.) What about the winter trade?

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LIB

Joseph Israël Tarte

Liberal

Hon. Mr. TARTE.

I am glad of the interruption. The Canadian winter ports will be served just as the American winter ports are served, through the accumulation of trade at certain points, let us sav pur Georgian Bay ports, and Montreal, Quebec, L6vis-these will be fed in the same

way as the American ports are fed. The American ports are fed from Buffalo, most of them.

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LIB
LIB

Joseph Israël Tarte

Liberal

Hon. Mr. TARTE.

The land is frozen, but the railways are not frozen. If my hon. friend will give me his attention for a few minutes he will agree with me. During the fall months Americans are carrying grain to Chicago, Buffalo and other points, a vast quantity of grain that cannot he shipped to the seaboard. In the winter months they take that grain and carry it to their winter ports. I suggest the same policy for ns. That policy succeeds with our American friends. They could have built through railways from New York to the Pacific Ocean; they have not done so. They carry very little grain in the winter months by railways. In the winter months they feed their ports with the grain accumulated in the fall months. I suggest the same thing. The two projects are not antagonistic. If this project did not cost more than $25,000,000, I would stand it; I would not be afraid of that. But it seems to me the' government are making a big mistake, a tremendous mistake, in overlooking our waterways. Of course, the right hon. gentleman may not have said his last word. Indeed, his attention has been called over and over again to this question of transportation.

Now, what would be the result of a waterway transportation policy ? On the lakes there are 22,000 American vessels carrying, not only grain, but trade of all kinds, developing the North-west and all that region west of and around the lakes. They have easy and cheap water communication between the different states. I suggest the same policy for ourselves. The same thing is being done to-day. What do we see in the St. Lawrence? Every day in Montreal we see ships bringing coal from the maritime provinces. The railway does not carry much coal, the St. Lawrence route carries it. In the winter the St. Lawrence is frozen up, so is the Erie canal, so is Lake Superior. But there is an accumulation of grain before the freezing takes place. [DOT] Now, what would happen if the suggestion that I made to my colleagues formerly, and that I make again to-day, were carried out ? What would be the result? There would be an accumulation of grain in Montreal, in Three Rivers, in Quebec, in Ldvis, in all the ports to which ships come loaded with coal from the maritime provinces. These ships would simply take down the grain to the sea. We would build up a big merchant marine on the St. Lawrence and on the Atlantic Ocean. If we were true to ourselves, if we would only look carefully at the maps, we would realize the great possibilities that are before us. Not only can we command our Canadian trade, but we can

command a large volume of American trade. In spite of the very inferior accommodation we have, we are commanding to-day a large American trade. We are attracting to our shores large volumes of trade of all kinds. Perhaps my hon. friends, and even my hon. friends on the treasury benches, have no conception of the volume of trade that Mr. Booth is carrying, not grain only, but trade of all kinds. We could do the same thing. We could establish a trade that would simply create a revolution. I am afraid that my hon. friends are embarking on a project that will prevent them from attending without any delay to the most pressing needs of this country. Are the government sure of the date at which the eastern portion of the project, that is to say, the road from Winnipeg to Quebec, will be completed ? There is no date mentioned. I would like to have some information upon that point before I give my vote. The contract says that the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway Company will have to approve of the grades, that the plans must be submitted to them and that surveys will have to be made. Of course, surveys wiil be made. I grant that the government will not embark upon the construction of that road without making surveys. They mast do it. When will the road be completed ? I would like to have a clear statement on ihat point ? The government are building the road from Winnipeg down to Quebec. Winnipeg is not a wheat centre. It is a big city, a city that is growing bigger every day, but it is not a wheat centre. Will the government have control of the rates that they think they will have ? I have never known as yet of a railway company which has been fully controlled by any government as to rates. After a very long experience I have some doubt as to that. Of course, government ownership would have settled the case. I would like also to have some explanation as to the location of the road in the North-west Territories. I hold in my hands a map of the North-west Territories and of Manitoba. There are already two railways in that country without taking into account the Northern Pacific. These two railways have about 4,000 miles all told of rails laid down. The House, no doubt, would like to know before the vote is taken, from the government, if they are in a position to tell us, where the location will be. That is a very important poiut because we are told that the new enterprise will give additional value to a large quantity of land. There is already a pretty large quantity of land available in the North-west Territories. I think there are about 80,000,000 acres available inside of the two railways. I would like to know what the location of the road will be if the government are in a position to tell us.

I shall be glad to deal shortly with the motion pf the hon. member for Winnipeg

(Mr. Puttee), The hon. member for Winnipeg is asking the House to state that the time has so come for the government to assume the ownership and management of railways. In Europe nearly all the countries are the owners of their railways and I am surprised-I confess my former ignorance-to find out that the statistics prove that the railways managed by the governments are managed cheaper and better than tlie railways managed by private corporations. That is the case in Belgium, it is the case in Holland, it is the case in Germany, it is the case in almost every country of Europe. France is, perhaps, the only country where that statement cannot be applied but the case of France is a peculiar one. In France the government owns only 1,600 or 1,700 miles of branch lines. All the other railways are in the hands of private companies but with this condition that all the railways will come back to the state in 1950. The government has given a guarantee to tdie different railways amounting to lour and one half per cent with a sinking fund. In 1915 the sinking fund will have extinguished part of the debt, and under the system in force in France in 1950 the railways will come back to the state. But, France has taken good care to have the system of transportation controlled by the state. There are 12,000 miles of canals, small streams and rivers which are under the direct control of the French government and competing with the railway companies as to rates. In Germany state ownership has simply accomplished wonders. Not only is it a great military organization, but it is a great commercial organization. The railways are managed in a more democratic way because the people are consulted as to their wishes and requirements. When it is found that certain German commodities are undersold in certain markets of the world, the German management of railways comes in immediately and lowers the rates so as to enable that merchandise to compete. That is business. Well now, before embarking on the scheme that we are discussing, would it not have been the part of prudence to have the commission that has been announced to us take charge of that matter and see what we can do ? I know the feeling on both sides of the House. There is no reluctance to vote all the money necessary to be used in developing this country. The feature of this debate which will tell well in the country and outside of it, is the tone of confidence that we have heard from both sides of the House. An admirable confidence has been expressed in the future of the country. But would it not have been the part of prudence to have paused and to have had the whole matter submitted to a commission instructed to see what we can do and what is the best thing to do. The project will be useful. I hope that nobody, even the strongest opponent of the government, will claim that a railway is not a useful thing.

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LIB

Joseph Israël Tarte

Liberal

Hon. Mr. TARTE.

It may be expensive but it is a useful thing. Perhaps it would have been better from a colonization standpoint to have done something else. Perhaps it would have been better to have built railways from colonizing centres. Perhaps that would have accomplished much. I express my views just as I feel them. The country has the right to have the views of those who have given some attention to a great question like this. There is a good deal in that, but for all that, the scheme will be carried out. Now, I have only one word more to say as to the Grand Trunk Railway. The position of the Grand Trunk Railway is a peculiar one. It is partly an American railway system and partly a Canadian railway system. Portland is their chief port; it has been always their winter port and it has often been their summer port. I cannot blame them too much for that, because they could not find accommodation in Montreal or elsewhere in Canada, and they had to ship their goods somewhere. They have not spent much money in Portland itself ; not more than $2,000,000, but they have spent $25,-OCO.OOO in their system between Montreal and Portland. They have a railway from Chicago to Buffalo which is a large carrier of freight and especially of cattle, and where is their future trade going to go ? We will not live long ; even those of us who live to a good old age will not live for a great many years. The same thing is true of the representatives of the Grand Trunk Railway who are negotiating with us. They will leave this world, but the geography of the country will remain the same. The Grand Trunk Railway will never be able to carry grain during the winter months in any large quantities over that new road. What is the Grand Trunk Railway going to do in the future ? Under the administration of Mr. Reeve, the Grand Trunk Railway was altogether an American road. I had several more or less friendly quarrels with him. He was a Portland man. Fortunately, Mr. Hays succeeded him, and wide-awake man as he is, he saw that the Grand Trunk Railway Company would require some friendship or attention from this country and he looked to the port of Montreal. It was I who negotiated with him as to the Grand Trunk Railway settling in Montreal. At my request my colleagues upheld me in declining to give to the Wolvin syndicate the site at the Windmill Point and the Grand Trunk Railway to-day have that site and are building warehouses and elevators on it. Bast year the Grand Trunk Railway carried about 10,000,000 bushels of Canadian grain, and during the last six months ending the first of June they carried 6,000.000 bushels of Canadian grain to Portland. In point of fact we have fed the port of Portland all through, because only an indifferent quantity, say 1,000,000 bushels of American grain, was shipped from that port. The Grand Trunk Railway did this because

they had no accommodation at Montreal, and moreover they are bound to support that part of their system. It is not a question of love with them, it is a question of business, and as they are business men they must support that part of their line. They go all through Ontario and they take pease and oats, &c., and they take wheat from Midland and they ship it via Portland. The government are going to build a line from Winnipeg. The Grand Trunk Railway will not come straight to Lake Superior but they must find an outlet somewhere. Has the government provided for that point ? There will no doubt be a branch line from the government line, but is it sure that the Grand Trunk Railway will ship their trade through Canadian channels-I don't speak of to-day ; I speak of things that may happen in five years or in ten years. If we improve our waterways, if we do our part on a sufficient scale, they may come through Canadian channels, but if not they will not do it. If we do not improve the spout they won't use it, they cannot use it. If we do not improve the port of Montreal, and the St. Lawrence route, and give accommodation on the lakes, the Grand Trunk Railway will not come our way, but they will go to the American seaports, as they are going now. Let me call the attention of my right hon. friend to that point, which is an essential point, and to which I am very much afraid the government has not given sufficient consideration.

My hon. friends on the treasury benches have gone fast. I do not like to lose time. I am not slow myself, but-1 believe they have gone fast. It would have been better for them to wait for another year to give more consideration to this scheme. However, they have not done so, and I therefore call earnestly their attention to these important points. The Grand Trunk Railway will develop the North-west. It is my wish that the North-west should remain Canadian from the transportation standpoint, as well as from the fiscal standpoint. I have always advocated the two policies side by side. Let us do our part from the fiscal standpoint and from the transportation standpoint as well, and then we can rest assured that our country will march rapidly in the path of progress and prosperity.

I have to apologize to the House for having spoken so long, but the question is of great importance. In expressing the hope that before the debate closes the Prime Minister will give us more positive information, especially as to the eastern portion of the project, I am sure that I am expressing the feeling of many members of this parliament. We have not received sufficient assurances to make up our minds. We have no idea as to the location in the North-west, we have no assurances as to the future of the policy of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway. And the Grand Trunk Railway being both an American and Canadian concern we have 303

to take more precaution than would perhaps be necessary in another case. I resume my seat, Sir, thanking the House for the indulgence it has extended to me.

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LIB

Joseph Henri Napoléon Bourassa

Liberal

Mr. HENRI BOTJRASSA (Labelle).

Mr. Speaker, I have followed with a great deal of interest the speech of the member for St. Mary s (Hon. Mr. Tarte), and I must regret from a psychological standpoint, at all events, that the hon. gentleman has failed to tell us whether he was in favour of the policy of the government or not. On that point, however, I do not feel disposed to reproach him very much, because up to the last few days I will candidly admit that I had no very clear mind as to which way I would vote myself. I may say at once to the hon. gentleman (Hon. Mr. Tarte) that if I have made up my mind to vote for the project of the government it is not because any influence has been brought to bear upon me, as he seems to think is the main reason of all those who support this Bill.

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LIB
LIB

Joseph Henri Napoléon Bourassa

Liberal

Mr. BOURASSA.

I admit that this question is of such* magnitude that for any man with a will of his own, any man who has an intellect of his own, it is not an easy thing to decide immediately. At the same time I think that a man of the position of the hon. gentleman, a man who has made this transportation question his own question for five years, should, when he comes before the parliament of Canada and the people of Canada to express his views on it, be able to tell the people whether the scheme is good or not. If be cannot make up his mind as to all the good qualities or all the difficulties of the proposal I submit that he might very frankly tell the House that there are some features of the scheme of which he does not approve and some of which he does approve; but at the same time he should be in a position to tell us whether he is going to vote for the scheme or not. Perhaps the hon. gentleman is hoping that as the leader of the opposition is of somewhat the same turn of mind as he is, no vote will be taken, so that if the scheme turns out all right he will be free to say that he was favourable to it and if it turns out all wrong that he was against it.

I am not going to follow the 'm gentleman in his lengthy review of our waterways system. I admit that the hon. gentleman has in the past given to this question a good deal of attention, that he has proposed to the government and to the country at large a good many improvements to our waterways, but I do not think this is the time to discuss that part of the transportation question. As the hon. gentleman has said we have now to decide whether we are going to approve of the Grand Trunk Pacific scheme or whether we are going to disannrove of it. The questions of elevator's at Port Coiborne. improving the harbour of

Montreal, deepening the channel of the St. Lawrence, are questions that are not germane to the subject of this debate. Of course when the hon. gentleman discusses the question of the wheat trade I perfectly understand that he may make a comparison between the carrying of wheat by water and by rail ; but I am surprised that a man of the breadth of mind which the bon. gentleman generally displays on political questions, has discussed this question tonight from the narrow point of view of carrying grain. Certainly if the government had come before parliament and asked this House to ratify a proposal by which the credit of this country would be largely involved simply for the sake of carrying wheat I would be inclined to take the position the hon. gentleman has taken, but X would carry it to its logical conclusion and I would say ' I am going to vote against the scheme.' I have been struck during all this discussion with a remark which I may recall to the hon. gentleman, the words once uttered by a man for whom he has a great deal of admiration, whose policy he is now recommending to the people of Canada, a -man for whose intellectual capacity I myself have a great deal of admiration, Mr. Chamberlain. Mr. Chamberlain was once explaining to the people of Great Britain his idea as to the change that should take place in the imperial policy of Great Britain and just in the midst of a sentence, interrupting -even the grammatical construction of that sentence, he said : ' Oh that the lack of

imagination should always be the drawback of Englishmen.' X am surprised that the hon. gentleman, who cannot be accused of any lack in that respect, has not realized that a -scheme like this cannot be seen only from one point of view, cannot be studied only from the point of view of the actual requirements of this country. I may say tliat when the discussion on this resolution commenced fifteen days ago X was myself so convinced that this road could not carry wheat that I hesitated a great deal before I made up my mind to support the project. But the more I looked at the question from a broader point of view, from the point of view of the general trade of Canada, and especially from the national point of view of the general benefit of this country, from the point of view of the development of the northern districts of the province of Ontario and the province of Quebec, and from the broad, general, national point of view that it is better for the government to lend the credit of this country, to expend the money of this country, upon one large national enterprise, than to expend it piecemeal upon small enterprises, the more decided I became-and I am going to express my decision although I still entertain some doubts as to some features of the measure-that X would support the Bill. I might say that the arguments advanced by the hon. Minister of the Interior (Hon. Mr. Sifton) and the hon.

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LIB

Joseph Henri Napoléon Bourassa

Liberal

Mr. BOURASSA.

Minister of Agriculture (Hon. Mr. Fisher) as to the possibilities of general trade being carried by this railway, had some influence upon my mind; but if a deep impression was made on my mind I must say that the touch of light did not come either from the caucus of the Liberal party or from any expression of opinion from the treasury benches, notwithstanding all the respect I have for the ministers of the Crown ; the one speech which induced me most strongly to uphold the government policy was the speech of my good friend the leader of the opposition. After all, on a business matter of this kind, although I find myself as does the hon. member for St. Mary's -division, Montreal (Hon. Mr. Tarte) quite often in the deep sea between the two parties, we have to choose between the policy of the government and the policy of the opposition. I do not know if my hon. friend the leader of the opposition is going to offer to this House an amendment in which he will give a material form to his policy, and by which he will tell the people of this country that he has a policy of his own and that he will stand by it. If he does not do so, even if I should come to the conclusion that the government's scheme was not a good one and that I should vote against it, I would have to vote to put the accomplishment of this object into the hands of men who profess to a policy but who will not dare to formulate it, even in the mild form of a motion. If the hon. gentleman was sincere and serious in his speech, as I have no doubt he was, he is bound, before this debate is over, to put his policy in the form of a motion, and to have that motion framed on the lines of his speech of the other day so that the people of Canada can choose between the two policies. Therefore, I assume that in the speech of the other day we find the policy of the opposition on the transcontinental railway question ; and it is by making a comparison between the two schemes that I have come to the conclusion that, not being able to find an ideal scheme, I will certainly support the better of the two and to my mind the government's policy is by far the better.

As to the amendment offered by the member for Winnipeg, it is most probably going to be snowed under. At the same time there is no doubt that the hon. gentleman is putting before the House and the country a question which is going to grow in importance from day to day. I can well remember the days when my good friend from East York (Mr. Maclean) was speaking in the desert, when he was laughed at by nearly all the speakers on both sides because he was advocating the principle of government ownership. Now, however, that principle is making its way. I may say at once that I am in favour of it. First, because all the large avenues of trade belong by right to the people just as much as the King's road and the water-ways. We have no right to alienate them for ever.

Secondly, because when the trade and population of the country will have increased to a large figure, our railways might become one of our greatest sources of revenue. My third reason is because the ownership of railways by the government Is the best means of regulating rates. No law we can try to put in force against a company having sovereign right over its property, will be as effective as a right which a government will have that owns the road against a company that merely operates it. In the case of Canada there is special reason why we should stand by the principle of government owership. The geographical conditions of our country are such that it is only by the building of railways we can make one country of it. Without these connecting links, the different parts of our country would be utterly divided from each other ; and it stands to reason that we should protect our integrity as a nation by assuming the ownership of what might be at certain times used as the greatest disruption of the unity of this confederation.

But to adojtt the principle proposed by the hon. member for Winnipeg (Mr. Puttee) would be going too far, and for a number of years government ownership should be limited to the right of ownership and not be extended to construction and operation. The hon. member for St. Mary's (Hon. Mr. Tarte) made a. comparison with different European countries. Comparisons are always more or less deceitful, but we must admit that continental European countries have given the railway problem much more attention than we have. They have tried different systems and if the hon. member for St. Mary's had gone to the root of the question, he would have found out that government operation of railways has been successful only in cases where you have two things. The first condition is that there should be such an immense amount of traffic that the railways are paying' by themselves, without government support, that the local traffic is such that there is almost no war of rates between the government and other railway companies. The second condition is that you must have a civil service entirely free from any political influence. In Germany the railway service is conducted just as the army is : political influence has nothing to do with it: but it will be a long time, whatever party be in power, before we can adopt such a policy. My hon. friend to my left reminds me that in those cases I have given, the country owns practically all the railways, which is different altogether between the government owning some of the railways and competing with private companies. Besides, in a new country like this, I would not be in favour of closing up immediately the avenues of railway enterprise for the investment of private capital. We should, on the contrary, invite private 303i

capital to come and aid in the operation of railways.

Coming to the present scheme, I would prefer that the government should keep the right of ownership from the Atlantic to the Pacific, that they should give a contract for the construction and a lease for the operation of the line to one private company, under one system of administration from east to west, instead of the dual system which has been adopted. To my mind the lease should have been longer, and a smaller, rather than a larger rate of interest should have been levied from the company as a rental ; or, as an alternative, the company should have been required to invest a portion of its capital, and the state reserve its right to redeem it within a number of years. Anyhow, whatever, might have been the details, what I would have preferred above all would have been unity of system. The reason given against that unity of system is this, that the state cannot go into the building of hotels and branch lines, and equipping ports and fitting up steamers. But that reason applies just as much to the eastern section as to the western section. If the government are sincere in making the eastern section a colonization railway, they will have either to do these things themselves or have the Grand Trunk Railway do them. I know something about colonization. I represent a constituency where colonization has been carried on for twenty years, I have myself opened up lands for settlers, and sold them lands, and I know what arguments attract the settlers. The settler has to be directed, he has to be guided. If you leave him to himself, if you simply open a large tract of land and build a railway, and tell that settler to go there he will choose every time the worst land. He will choose that which is easiest to clear. But the good lands in Quebec and Ontario are thickly covered with wood and these do not attract settlers. You will have to build houses for the settlers, and have government agents to take them to the good land. You will have to build branch lines down the valleys you cross, otherwise you will repeat the mistake made in some districts of the province of Quebec. By settling the country across the valleys and not along the valleys, you will then have the settlement along the line poor and deprived of good land, while the settlers, who went into the valleys along the waterways. will have no railway facilities. To be complete as a colonization scheme, it will have to include the building, not of expensive hotels, but houses of refuge, such as were established by the federal government in several districts of Quebec several years ago. And you will have also to build steamship lines to give communication to the settlers along the water-ways which this road is going to cross.

It has been stated that the line from Winnipeg to Quebec should be built as a national

railway because it would be used as a great highway and a regulator of rates for the carrying of trade from western Canada to the east. But the same reasons that were given as far as the principle is concerned, for state ownership of the eastern will apply as well to the western section. _

It seems to me that we very often ignore the real facts of the geography of our country. We think of' this line as being a great national highway, and as destined to act as a regulator of rates between the west and the ea'st. But, as proposed, it will simply affect that part of Canada from the centre to the east. Why should not the same principle apply to the carrying of freight from the centre to the west? I have great hopes of the future of British Columbia. I think British Columbia is one of the finest provinces of the Dominion. Certainly, the day is not far distant when there will be as much trade between the prairie country, the wheatgrowing region, and British Columbia, as there is to-day between the wheat-growing region and the east. The Prime Minister has said that we are not legislating for a few years, but for a long time to come. Therefore, I regret that the principle having been adopted of having a national highway and regulator of rates between the centre and eastern parts of Canada, we do not also have a great national highway and regulator of rates between the centre and the west, and that the whole line should not be undertaken and built as a great national highway and regulator of rates for all time to come from the Atlantic to the Pacific. This is enough to show that there are things in this project Which I do not like. On the other hand, there are features that I like. I take the same position as my hon. friend from Alberta (Mr. Oliver)-not being able to get all that I want, I take what is given to me. I accept this as a great improvement upon the railway policies of all past governments. I take it as a great improvement upon the time when we were giving lavishly the money of the people and the lands of the people also to assist railway companies that were not only free to do as they liked in the opening up of a country and in the carrying of trade, but that were free at any time to connect their railways with American railways and sell the future of this country from a commercial as well as a political point of view. And, when I see that the only alternative presented to the House is the scheme of the leader of the opposition (Mr. Borden, Halifax), I am bound to say that it takes a great deal from the remorse I should have had, perhaps, in voting for this project.

I have no doubt that, during my absence from the House-I have been absent for some days-a good deal of attention has been given to the project of my hon. friend from Halifax (Mr. Borden). I have not

followed the discussion. But, in order to make my views quite plain, so far as the financial phase of the1 question is concerned,

I have had some work done for me by a very competent engineer who was, I may say, one of the resident engineers of the Canadian Pacific Railway for the building of that part of their line north of Lake Superior, which is the very part which the hon. leader of the opposition proposes that the country should take over. I suppose the figures have been given to this House, but if I take the liberty of wearying the House once more with a list of figures it is because this estimate that I shall read has been very carefully prepared by this engineer, who overlooked the building of the Canadian Pacific Railway line north of Lake Superior, who knows thoroughly the Canada Atlantic system and the Canadian Northern system, and who has himself made two explorations in the district in which the road here proposed is to traverse. Therefore, I think he is the one engineer in Canada who is most competent to speak both on the project of the government and on the project of the opposition.

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CON

James Clancy

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLANCY.

To whom does the hon. gentleman (Mr. Bourassa) refer ?

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LIB

Joseph Henri Napoléon Bourassa

Liberal

Mr. BOURASSA.

I refer to a gentleman who is now the manager, I believe, of the Quebec and Lake St. John Railway, and who was resident engineer of the Canadian Pacific Railway on the section north of Lake Superior, Mr. Doucet. I have asked that gentleman to make an estimate of the proposed scheme of my hon. friend, and here are his figures. The first proposition of my hon. friend is to buy the Canada Atlantic Railway and connect at Montreal. His estimate is, first, to construct a railway from Jacques Cartier Junction to Co-teau, 37 miles, at $35,000 per mile, $1,295,000. To purchase the Canada Atlantic system, which cost about $17,000,000, would undoubtedly require $19,000,000. I think this is $1,000,000 less than an estimate that has been placed before this House.

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August 25, 1903