(Translation. I doubt very much whether the Canadian Pacific Railway would be willing to give up that road for a less amount than it cost them ; especially when it is considered that the Canadian Pacific Railway stock which a few years ago sold at 25 cents is now quoted at $1.25.
From Fort William to Winnipeg, the distance is 425 miles, and the expenditure on that section would not be less than $15,000,000. From Winnipeg to Edmonton, the plan would he to build a road by means of a subsidy, as stated by the hon. leader of the opposition. That subsidy should not be less than $33,000 per mile, and the distance being 1,000 miles, that scetion would entail an expenditure of $13,000,000.
From Edmonton to Port Simpson, on the Pacific coast, the distance is GOO miles.
These six hundred miles would have to be constructed. According to the estimate of the hon. member for Lanark (Mr. Haggart), that section would come to $30,000,000 at least. These various amounts total up to $104,S00,000 ; and in case the section of the Canadian Northern from Fort William to Winnipeg had to be acquired, as hinted by the leader of the opposition, $10,000,000 more would have to be added, which would make the total amount $114,800,000.
That is the lowest figure at which the scheme propounded by the Conservatives could be carried out. It may not be out of place, Sir. to mention right here that should the proposal of the hon. leader of the opposition be taken up, the country would have to buy existing lines to the amount of $07,000,000. Will the Conservative lender say to whom the $07,000,000 would go ? Would they be spent for the benefit of the people, the labourers, the manufacturers ? No, the country would pay that enormous amount to great railway corporations.
We have figured out the cost of the opposition scheme at $114,800,000. But that is not all. At this point of his statement the leader of the opposition, noticing, no doubt, some signs of surprise on the part of his neighbour, the member for Jacques Cartier, a surprise mingled with sadness and verging on despair, must have said to himself : My colleague from Jacques Cartier should have his sop, and what did he offer him ? A short colonization railway from Quebec to Winnipeg, covering only 1,400 miles. And thinking that might be heavy to stomach, the leader of the opposition was careful to state that such a road should be built cheap. I assume he means by that about $20,000 per mile. That would be $28,000,000 for the section from Quebec to Winnipeg, to be constructed cheap, piecemeal, at the rate, say, of about twenty miles a year, and which it would require seventy years to complete.
(Translation.) Will my hon. friend allow me to inquire whether he has not a colonization railway in his own county ? Why are not railways needed to open up the country in the county of Beauce ? Since he is making inquiries from me, I may be permitted to put a question myself.
(Translation.) I am very glad the hon. member for Jacques Cartier made that inquiry ; and my answer is : Yes. In further explanation I may state, not only do I take an interest in the general affairs of the country, but I also look after the specif 1 interests of my constituents. My hon. friend may be surprised to Team that before long the government will grant assistance towards extending a certain section already in existence, and which will run through new settlements. My hon. friend has gone through Beauce county recently ; he addressed the people there. It was his right to do so, although perhaps not his duty. My hon. friend went through the
whole length of the county of Beauce, from Tring Junction to Lake Megantic, ana he probably noticed that the line goes through a new country ; but there is another branch line running 'from Beauce Junction to St. Francois, and it is on behalf of that extension that we are applying to this paternal and co'oniz'ng government. Will my hon. friend be willing to support our application?
Now let us return to the scheme under discussion. The hon. leader of the opposition, after granting a smallish colonization road 1,400 miles long to the hon. member for Jacques Cartier, turned to the maritime provinces. After carefully considering what would be the effect of the statements he had just made in opposing the government plan to build a line from Lfivis to Moncton, he stated that perhaps it might be proper to build a line from Levis to Moncton. For the sake of accurateness, I shall quote the very words of the leader of the opposition :
I say that if there is a better line between Levis or RiviSre du Loup, or any such port on the Intercolonial, and Moncton, a line' the construction of which will give to Halifax and St. John a better fighting chance for western traffic than that which they have at present, I will support the construction of that line.
As may be seen, the leader of the opposition is not stinting in any way. He has provided a transcontinental from Montreal to Port Simpson ; now, to satisfy the requirements of the Conservative party and relieve the situation of the hon. member for Jacques Cartier, in the province of Quebec, he is prepared to construct a colonization road from Moncton to Winnipeg. That is not all ; let me quote again from the hon. leader of the opposition, and it will be seen that there is nothing too good for him. Referring anon to the colonization road from Quebec to Winnipeg-he said :
Not only build that line, but operate it as a government line. A government line, it seems to me would be peculiarly suitable to that country for colonization purposes, and I see no reason wby the problem should not be solved in that way. If within a certain number of year3, a practical route he found, then extend that road to the Pacific coast ? Build it as a government road from Quebec to the coast.
The plan is no longer to stop at Winnipeg ; he has in hand a second transcontinental line clean through to the coast. Well, Sir, I shall not proceed further in criticising the scheme of the hon. leader of the opposition. But I believe that estimate of $20,000 per mile for a colonization road, offered to the bon. member for Jacques Cartier, is not excessive; and If that road is to be carried from Moncton to tlie coast, as I have just pointed out in that quotation, we reach a total amount for the two transcontinentals of $205,000,000. I was not surprised, Sir, when I heard, the other day, the leader of the opposition say that he was not afraid of spending money. Here are his very words :
There .is no reason to be afraid of spending money, x am not afraid of spending money. And the country is not afraid of spending money.
X think the estimate given a few days ago by the hon. member for Jacques Cartier, in his speech at I.,ake Megantic, of $100,000,000 as the probable cost of the government scheme, although greatly exaggerated, is left far behind.
But I did not take into account, in my calculation the expenditure entailed by tbe equipment of these lines of railway. Neither did I mention the cost of equipping the Atlantic and Pacific ports, as well as those of Georgian bay ; nor the cost of elevators and barns referred to a moment ago by the hon. member for Saskatchewan (Mr. Davis)-all things rendered necessary by the plan of the leader of the opposition. If we were to take into account all the items of expenditure involved in the carrying out of that reckless scheme, I think we would easily reach the figure of $300,000,000.
On the other hand, the plan of the government is simple. The line extends from Moncton westward. It runs from Quebec to Ivfivis, or Quebec ; from Quebec to Winnipeg ; from Winnipeg to Edmonton, and from Edmonton to Port Simpson. It goes through a very fine region, and particularly through tbe counties of Rimouski, Temis-eouata, ICamouraskn, L'Islet, Montmagny, Bellechasse, Dorchester and Levis.
(Translation.) No, Beauce county is not to be crossed by that line, and if I am in favour of the government scheme, it is not for motives of sectional interest, but because I am satisfied that it will further the progress of industry, commerce and colonization throughout Canada. That is the broad view I take. I support tbe measure because it is bound to open up and develop an immense and exceedingly fertile territory, well adapted to colonization and agriculture, abounding, besides, in resources of all kinds : pulp wood, minerals and so forth. From Quebec to Winnipeg, that line will go through a magnificent country, a region which, as regards natural wealth, stands second to no other in Canada, to no other south of James bay and Lake Nepigon. It contains minerals and pnlp wood in almost limitless quantities. and these resources will be turned to usefulness by the building of the national transcontinental.
As regards the section from Winnipeg to Edmonton, is it necessary that I should take up the time of the House to show how extremely- fertile and suitable to the growing of wheat, are the prairies which this road will cross ?
The Rocky Mountains sections is not a very advantageous one ; but to reach the Pacific it is necessary to cross it.
Now, let us see what will be the cost of that railway. The scheme brought forward by the hon. leader of the opposition would cost $205,000,000, without taking into account the equipment of the ports, canals, building of elevators, and so forth. On the other hand, the scheme of the government, according to the wildest estimate made by a certain member of the opposition would not come to more than $100,000,000, in round figures. I think the hon. member for Jacques Cartier stated that that railway might he built for less, for about $00,000,000, in round figures. The hon. member for Both-well (Mr. Clancy) placed the cost at $83,000,000. What does the hon. Minister of Finance say ? He says the cost will not exeeed $54,000,000, and that the total amount which the country will have to pay o t as interest on the capital invested (that capital coming back to us in the shape of ownership of the railway), will not exceed $13,000,000 in all. I think the estimate made by the hon. Minister of Finance is correct, and that we are safe in going by it, as we know with what care and prudence he made his calculations and how exactly his financial estimates tally with the actual results.
Here we have two policies before us. The Conservative party also favours the building of a transcontinental railway ; they reject the government scheme. They advocate another, devised to suit their views, and the probable cost of which will he $205,000,000. On the other hand, the government propose building a new transcontinental railway, at a cost which, according to hon. members of the opposition themselves will not cost more than $100,000,000, that is less than half the amount needed by the alternative scheme. But that is not all. What is the difference between the government scheme and that of the leader of the opposition ? There is one, and it is very noticeable. Under the government plan, the transcontinental line will go through a new country, fertile lands, rich in timber, pulp wood, water powers and mineral deposits. It will give a new impetus to colonization, especially in the province of Quebec; and I venture to say that, if the government measure carries-and it will- from the city of Quebec to the western boundary of the province, and in northern Ontario as well, two hundred thriving parishes, to say the least, will spring into existence on either side of the road, and within twenty-five years.
I see I have gone beyond the limit I had assigned to myself at the beginning of my remarks. The hon. member for East Sim-coe (Mr. Bennett) stated, the other day, that the speech of the right hon. Prime Minister had been printed by tens and hundreds of thousands and distributed all over the country, evidently, for purposes of gaining votes. I think the speech delivered by the right hon. leader of the government is a most admirable one, a monument of elo-
quence which both as regards substance and form has not perhaps its parallel in Unparliamentary records of this country. But, notwithstanding my admiration for it, I must say that if my object was to induce my constituents to support the government proposal, I would preferably put in their hands the speech of the leader of the opposition. I do not think a more hybrid, more mistaken, more nefarious policy could be concocted ; it is, to my mind, an unsightly mass of solids, liquids, and gas, especially the latter.
Before closing my remarks, I wish to draw the attentioni of the House to an insinuation made by a leading member on the other side, the hon. member for Both-well (Mr. 'Clancy). In the course of his remarks that hon. gentleman tried to lay to the charge of the member for Bonaventure a most unfortunate insinuation. I regret that the hon. member for Bothwell should not be present. At all events, he insinuated that the hon. member for Bonaventure had branded his ETeneh Canadian compatriots as hewers of wood and drawers of water. I do not think a more trivial designation could be used in speaking of any nationality. Is there any one in this House or outside of it who, knowing the hon. member for Bonaventure and his loyalty to his people, would for one moment believe that he would have decried them in this House ? Surely no hon. gentleman, not even the member for Bothwell, believes it to be so ; but this insinuation had to be cast on the shoulders of the hon. member for Bonaventure. Does the hon. member from Bothwell think for one moment that the member for Bonaventure would brand as ' hewers of wood and drawers of water ' the race of which I belong and which I am proud ? Such an insinuation is uncalled for, and whatever may have been the,object of the person who made it, I deem it my duty to protest energetically against the use of such expressions, and to protest not only in my name and in that of my county, but also in the name of English speaking members of this House. I am satisfied that not one of them is in sympathy with the hon. member for Bothwell on that point. There is a form of disease known to physicians as prurigo which is characterized by severe itching. I have often wondered whether there did not exist a corresponding mental disorder to be called francophobia, the main symptom of which would be an instinctive impulse to scratch at French Canadians.
(Translation.) In the absence of the hon. member for Bothwell, 1 think it is incumbent on me to ask my hon. friend whether the member for Bothwell did not state that the expressions referred to had been used by the hon. member for Bonaventure. I think my hon. friend should accept the correction.
(Translation.) What I have stated will be recorded in the ' Hansard.' I spoke with care, as I realised it mis a delicate subject to deal witn, and I shall repeat what I said for the benefit of my hon. friend.
I said that the member for Bothwell had placed on the shoulders of the member for Bonaventure
(Translation.) 1 shall try to make myself clear. I say that the member for Bothwell insinuated that my hon. friend for Bonaventure had branded his people as drawers of water and hewers of wood, when, in truth, he never uttered such words.