September 21, 1903

CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

Will my hon. friend pardon me ? I do not think I raised any new point. I endeavoured to make it plain that I had made this point when I addressed the House a week ago.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   NATIONAL TRANSCONTINENTAL RAILWAY.
Permalink
?

The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

It was a new point at this particular moment, though it is one which at earlier stages of this debate has been very fully discussed. What I imagine is the difficulty is this. My hon. friend finds that this contract is being compared in the public mind with railway contracts which have been made by Conservative governments in the past. He sees that the public are appreciating the fact that the guarantees contained in this contract are matters of great importance. He sees that the public are comparing the absence of exemptions in this contract with the exemptions granted in previous contracts to a favoured company. He sees that the people, looking back, realize that great exemptions from customs duties were granted under the contract with the Canadian Pacific Railway Company, while there is nothing of the kind in this. He sees that the people remember that while great grants of land were given under that contract, there is nothing of the kind in this. He sees that the people remember that while great privileges of one kind and another were given to the Canadian Pacific Railway Company, there is nothing of the kind in this contract. He sees that the people are comparing all these things, and are comparing them to the advantage of the present contract and the present government. He sees particularly that the people of the maritime provinces are comparing this contract with the 1 history of past transactions in respect to

railways. He sees that the people there are noting the fact that when the Canadian Pacific Railway arrangements were going through this House, the maritime provinces were humbugged by the Conservative party with assurances which that party never intended to carry out. He sees that the people there remember to their sorrow that assurances were given by the Conservative government that the Canadian Pacific Railway Company-though it appears that the company never gave such an assurance-were going to build a short line on Canadian territory to assist in developing the trade of the maritime provinces; and that the people remember that that pledge was not carried out. He sees that the people remember how the government of Canada in later years undertook to carry out that pledge by introducing a measure for the construction of the Harvey and Salisbury line, and had it thrown out in the Senate. He sees that the people of the maritime provinces, as well as the people in other parts of Canada, are making these comparisons. My hon. friend knows that the people in the maritime provinces realize that guarantees are given in this contract for the first time that the trade of the west will pass through maritime province ports. We know that throughout the maritime provinces today there is the knowledge and the conviction that the interests of the maritime provinces on this great question have been considered in the framing of this contract as they never were considered in connection with any previous contract. Knowing all this, and knowing that the people of the maritime provinces are fully, cognizant of all these things, my hon. friend thinks that he can draw a red herring across the scent, and try to make it appear that this contract is not sufficient to secure this purpose. Well, Sir, if this contract were as bad, or half as bad, as my hon. friend represents it to be, it would be vastly better than previous contracts which pretended to advance the interests of the maritime provinces, but never served them in any degree whatever. I would like him to compare the guarantees in that respect provided in this contract with the guarantees, if there are any, in the scheme which he has presented to this House. What guarantee have we that under that scheme a pound of freight would pass down through the maritime provinces ? We have in this contract for the first time recognized the right of the maritime provinces to share in the trade of the west, so far as it can be carried by rail, and we believe that the Grand Trunk Pacific Company will accept this contract in good faith, and carry out the assurances which they have given. We are not regulating the old Grand Trunk Railway by this contract; but we are giving aid and help in the construction of a new road, and we are taking a reasonable guarantee that the traffic originating on all that line of railway from Winnipeg to the Hon. Mr. FIELDING.

Pacific coast shall be brought down over this road to the maritime provinces in the proper season. I do not mean that it will all be brought there, but that we have secured guarantees that at any time when grain or any other product is coming from the west by rail, the same rates shall be given from points in the west to points in the lower provinces as are quoted by way of United States ports. That, Sir, I think is a reasonable, a proper and a sufficient guarantee. What my hon. friend is asking by his amendment is that we should go much further and ask the Grand Trunk Railway Company to give guarantees in matters which are entirely beyond the proper scope of this agreement. We have confined ourselves in this contract to the new road which is to be constructed, and we have given every reasonable and proper assurance by the contract placed before the House and by the explanation given of it, that as respects that new road, the Grand Trunk Pacific Company will take whatever export freight is coming from the west by rail at the proper season and will quote the same rates for that trade to ports in the lower provinces as they quote to ports in the United States. If that be done, then, Sir, we are prepared to trust to the people of the west, to the shipper of freight and to all who are interested in our western country, to give the preference to the maritime ports. In that respect we think that every reasonable assurance has been given, and I believe that the people of the whole Dominion will regard these provisions with approval, and that the people of the maritime provinces particularly will appreciate the efforts, now made for the first time, to secure for them some share of this western business.

At six o'clock, committee took recess.

After Recess.

The committee resumed at eight o'clock.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   NATIONAL TRANSCONTINENTAL RAILWAY.
Permalink
CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

Mr. Chairman, I did not observe in the remarks of my hon. friend the Minister of Finance (Hon. Mr. Fielding) any attempt to answer the arguments by which I showed that it was even more desirable to have certain stipulations now contained in the contract made binding on the Grand Trunk Railway Company than upon the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway Company, if the purposes expressed in the preamble of the Bill and in the agreement itself were as important as the government states, and as we all believe. My hon. friend contented himself with going over some ancient history. I do not know whether he was desirous of obstructing the progress of this Bill or not, but he went over a lot of ancient history that taight naturally be expected to give rise to a discussion of some hours, while he did not attempt to answer- one single argument that I addressed to this committee. What is

his answer to the point I made, that even if the contract does call this a National Transcontinental Railway, there is not a line in the Bill or in the contract to prevent the Grand Trunk Railway Company from carrying the freight of the west from Montreal or Quebec to Portland ? He says that the people of the maritime provinces have been deceived in the past by some former administration, and, therefore, the logical conclusion is, that it is undesirable to provide any safeguards now. I would like him to tell the House why the government hesitates to put in this contract, or in the Bill, if it is too late to put it in the contract, a provision which will make that impossible in respect to traffic gathered by the Grand Trunk Railway by reason of the building of this railway in the west. Is there any possible logical reason which the government can advance to the people of this country why that should not be done ? I know of none, and I have pointed out, and I again point out to the government, that when the Grand Trunk Railway takes possession, as it may take possession, of that freight, either at Quebec or at Montreal, it will be in a position to carry it to Portland, instead of to St. John or Halifax, and in doing so it will not violate a single stipulation contained in this Bill. My hon. friend asked me a question in the course of his remarks. He said : You propose an alternative scheme, and in that scheme I would like to know what provision you make for this ? His recollection is short ; if he turns to my speech, he will see that I distinctly stated that the stipulations which, under the terms of the contract, are binding upon the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway, should be made binding, and would be made binding, under my scheme, upon the Grand Trunk Railway as well. Bet me give him another safeguard which I suggested. I advocated the extension of the Intercolonial Railway to a point on the Georgian bay, and pointed out that by such an extension a very considerable portion of this traffic would undoubtedly be secured to the people of the maritime provinces, by reason of the government having that traffic in its own hands, so that it could see that that traffic would be conveyed in the winter months, not to Portland or to any other United States port, but to St. John or Halifax. These are two important differences between the proposal which I have made, and the proposal which the government is noW_ making to the House. My hon. friend is desirous of inviting comparisons at this stage between these two alternative proposals. I repeat again, that there are danger points all along this line on account of which, in the absence of any stipulation binding on the Grand Trunk Railway Company, we may expect to see that this railway, to which the aid of the people of Canada is being given, may be used to carry traffic to American ports,

and not to Canadian ports at all. I pointed out then, and I point out now-and my hon. friend has not answered me-the danger that will exist when traffic gathered in the west is brought to Georgian bay ports. It is perfectly clear that the Grand Trunk Railway, having the advantage of controlling the policy of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway, can secure that traffic at the Georgian bay ports and carry it to Portland or to any other United States port, and the government of Canada will be absolutely powerless to lift a single finger against such action. I pointed out, in the second place, that if this freight, instead of being taken to Georgian bay ports, is taken, for example, to North Bay or Gravenhurst, the Grand Trunk Railway, owing to the advantage it possesses of controlling the policy of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway, can take possession of that freight at these points and carry it to United States ports, and there is not a single line or a single word in this contract that would prevent the Grand Trunk Railway Company from so doing. And I pointed out, in the third place, that there is a danger which has been referred to by my right hon. friend the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Right Hon. Sir Richard Cartwright), in the most distinct terms, that connection may be made by the Grand Trunk Railway Company with Winnipeg, and by that means the traffic coming over the Grand Trunk Pacific from the west can be carried over American territory and to American ports, and there is not the slightest safeguard in this contract against that being done. Under these circumstances, what is the real reason why the government hesitates to adopt the policy of insisting that the Grand Trunk Company, being the real company aided by this proposal, although it is aided in the name and in the guise of the Grand Trunk Pacific Company- what is the reason the government hesitates to impose upon that company the conditions and stipulations it has imposed on the Grand Trunk Pacific? As I pointed out before, and as I now desire to emphasize, the danger of sending traffic to American ports is not in the Grand Trunk Pacific at all, but in the Grand Trunk, which has its terminals in Portland and its interests largely centred there. While I do not blame the Grand Trunk Railway Company in the slightest degree for looking after its own interest in any contract it makes with the government, or for seeking to utilize to the fullest extent its property, including its terminals at Portland, I do say that, while the Grand Trunk is properly vigilant for its own interest, the government of this country should be properly vigilant for the interest of this country, and, when it aids the Grand Trunk, as it is virtually doing, to build a railway into the North-west, it should see to it that that aid is accompanied with such conditions and stipulations as will render it impossible, as far as condi-

tions and stipulations can render it impossible, for tliat company to divert to American channels one pound of the traffic gathered by the Grand Trunk Pacific in the North-west. That would seem to me a reasonable proposition, but either that proposition has absolutely escaped the attention of the government, or the government, for some reason of its own which it has not seen fit to disclose to the House, disregard it. They insert certain stipulations which sound well, so far as the Grand Trunk Pacific is concerned, and leave it open to the Grand Trunk to divert traffic to Portland or any other port of the United States of America, as it may think best. My hon. friend the Minister of Finance (Hon. Mr. Fielding) thinks he answers this by talking to me, and to the House, and to the country, about the disadvantages of contracts made with railway companies in the past. We are not dealing with these now ; we are dealing with the contract which is before us. If these contracts in the past have been disadvantageous to the interest of this country, surely that ought to afford all the more reason why, in making this contract, which will pledge the credit of the country and tax the resources of the country to an enormous amount, we should provide, beyond peradventure that the interests of the country in all these important respects are most fully and sacredly safe-guarded. The Minister of Finance thinks that he can set aside these conditions with the statement that a Conservative administration, fifteen or twenty years ago, did not make as good a bargain with regard to some railway com-panv as it might have done. I think it is idle'for the Minister of Finance to attempt to dismiss the matter in this way. I do not wish to go into that matter of ancient history, and take up the time of the House, as he seemed to wish to do, with a discussion of a matter of fifteen or twenty years ago. 1 propose not to waste the time of the .House, but to discuss the contract that we have before us. And, in discussing it, I find these points to which I have referred, and I ask the members of the government one after another, what they have to say with regard to it; and, one after the other they give me answers which, in no offensive sense, I would be inclined to regard ns absolutely flippant. My right lion, friend (Kt. Hon. Sir Wilfrid Laurier) when I suggested the danger which was made apparent by the words of one of his colleagues, seemed to think that he dealt satisfactorily with the matter when he showed that the argument of his colleague on the whole was in favour of the proposition before the House. We all knew that. But is that an answer to the suggestion of danger, plain to be seen and clearly pointed out by a member of the government, and not guarded against in the contract ? And when I repeat these suggestions, with other suggestions, my hon. friend the Minister of Finance thinks he gets rid of that

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   NATIONAL TRANSCONTINENTAL RAILWAY.
Permalink
CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

difficulty at once by saying that some contract of fifteen or twenty years ago was not as advantageous to the people of this country as it might have been. I do not regard that as a satisfactory answer. I have yet to hear one single argument or suggestion from the treasury benches of any value which would prevent the government from accepting this amendment. My hon. friend the Minister of Finance says it is not advisable to go so far with restrictions upon the Grand Trunk. Why not, pray? Is it, or is it not the desire and intention of the government to prevent the traffic gathered by the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway in the Northwest being diverted to United States ports? If that is the intention of the government, what possible reason can there be for rejecting this amendment, what possible reason for not insisting that the Grand Trunk Railway Company, the real party to this contract though not formally bound, shall be subject to exactly the same conditions and restrictions as the government lias thought it wise to impose upon the Grand Trunk Pacific ? Are these restrictions of any value so far as the Grand Trunk Pacific is concerned ? Does the government lay any stress upon them? My right hon. friend (Rt. Hon. Sir Wilfrid Laurier) when lie introduced this measure to the House, laid the greatest possible stress upon the very provisions of the contract to which I am referring. These were heralded throughout the length and breadth of this country, as the very acme and climax of statesmanship. That is the attitude the government assumed with regard to this measure at that time. But, when they are face to face with a proposition which they cannot deny, that there is much more danger from the Grand Trunk, the real, though not the nominal party to this agreement, they simply dismiss the suggestion with some such remark as my hon. friend the Minister of Finance makes this afternoon, or with the suggestion that they do not think it advisable to put restrictions of that kind upon the Grand Trunk Railway Company. My hon. friend the Minister of Finance told us, in a recent speech that frequently he had sought to convince the Grand Trunk that it would be to their interests to become more thoroughly a Canadian railway in the proper sense of the term than they had been in the past, and that he had selected every proper occasion to convince them of the necessity of doing so. I desire to point out now that he has the best opportunity of convincing them that it is so in their interest by inserting these restrictions and conditions in the contract, as he has the right to do ; by saying that the government shall not be bound by the provisions and conditions of this contract, that the government shall not grant any aid to this undertaking, unless and until the Grand Trunk Railway Company shall become bound by the very stipulations in the contract contained which are de-

signed to prevent the diversion of Canadian traffic to United States ports. If the government are in earnest with regard to this matter, they can very easily put that clause in the Bill and call upon the Grand Trunk Railway Company to fulfil its obligations in that regard. If they are not in earnest, they can vote this amendment down ; they can say that it is not advisable; they can say that contracts made twenty years ago were not to the advantage of the country ; they can say that the speech of my hon. friend the Minister of Trade and Commerce, though it pointed out a grave danger, was, on the whole, a speech favourable to this project; they can make all manner of irrelevant remarks of that kind. But they will not make remarks of that kind or dismiss this amendment in that summary manner, if they are in earnest in desiring to impose proper safeguards to provide that Canada's traffic shall not be diverted to American ports.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   NATIONAL TRANSCONTINENTAL RAILWAY.
Permalink
L-C

Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. HUGHES (Victoria).

When I was speaking before recess at six o'clock there were a couple of points more I proposed touching upon. The earnings of the Canadian Pacific Railway this last year have been upwards of $40,000,000. The earnings of the Grand Trunk Railway via Chicago and Minneapolis in connection with the Grand Trunk Pacific from Winnipeg to the Pacific ocean, once that road gets into fair working order, without the slightest extravagance, I should imagine, would be $60,000,000 a year, or say $50,000,000. Five per cent of that would be $5,000,000. The Grand Trunk Pacific Railway in connection with the Grand Trunk therefore could easily lose in one year the $5,000,000 on old rolling stock, or the guarantee they have to give for the rolling stock on the eastern section of the road. Now, in connection with the mileage and the hauling of freight over the road, as has been pointed out on many occasions, the eastern section, or the government section, will not be completed at the very nearest calculation short of seven or ten years from to-day. It will take two or three years to get the surveys made ; and when the spokesman of the government said to-night that instrumental surveys had been made of three-fifths of the route from Winnipeg east, he was stating what he should have known was untrue. There have been no instrumental surveys made of that eastern section whatever. But the point I want to make is in connection with the Grand Trunk Pacific and the Grand Trunk, and the hauling of freight over that route north of Lake Superior. The Grand Trunk will guarantee 25 per cent of the bonds of the Grand Trunk Pacific, that is from Winnipeg to the west. The Grand Trunk passing through Chicago and Minneapolis and joining the other road in Winnipeg, will find it to its advantage to take, the freight of the Grand Trunk Pacific, in

which it has a 25 per cent interest and direct that freight over the Grand Trunk route via Minneapolis and Chicago. We will take two cars of freight starting from the city of Toronto for the Pacific ocean ; we wiil send one via the new road north of the lake on the eastern division. The Grand Trunk own the line as far as North Bay, say 200 miles. Then they will have another 200 miles over the Ontario government railway, and then 1,000 miles over the eastern section to Winnipeg, and 1,600 miles onward to the Pacific ocean, that is in all about 3,000 miles of road. The Grand Trunk Railway Company's share of the freight, say $200 on that car, would only be two-thirtietlis of the whole amount, they would only have; 200 miles out of the

3.000 miles, in other words, they would have one-fifteenth of the entire freight of that road, speaking now of the freight from Ontario points, not of the freight that goes to the ocean at all. The Ontario government road would have its share of the 200 miles of haulage, the eastern section from Lake Abitibi to Winnipeg would have its

1.000 miles, or two-thirtieths, and the Grand Trunk Pacific would have the other 1,600 miles, or sixteen-thirtieths of the haul and freight rates on that railway. Take the other car that goes via the oid Grand Trunk Railway proper through Chicago and Minneapolis on to Winnipeg. That way it is about 1,400 miles from Toronto to Winnipeg via Chicago, that is about 1,400 miles, and 1,600 miles on to the Pacific ocean. Via Chicago and Minneapolis the Grand Trunk Company then would have fpurteen-tliirtieths of the freight rates, and the Grand Trunk Pacific, its associated road, would have the balance. Why, take a car of any produce over the line east of Winnipeg and north of Lake Superior, and in every case it is to the advantage of the Grand Trunk Railway to haul it through the United States route and onward. Now, supposing the Grand Trunk, as the leader of the opposition has pointed out, were to operate this road after it is completed from Winnipeg east, what share of that freight would the Grand Trunk Pacific get ? Where would it touch the Grand Trunk Pacific at any point between Winnipeg and the city of Quebec or Moncton ? Not a mile of the Grand Trunk Pacific would be traversed by a solitary car hauling freights, and not a cent of passenger rate would be evolved over it. I fail therefore to see where the government expects that the Grand Trunk Pacific or the Grand Trunk Railway, either of them, will ever operate this north shore road for an hour. As it has been pointed out repeatedly in this House, the Grand Trunk Pacific from Winnipeg to the Pacific ocean will probably be built at the end of five years, and the eastern section or the government section will not be completed undoubtedly for many years thereafter. And what is the Grand Trunk Pacific going to

do with all the freight ? To whom is it going to be handed over, to the Canadian Pacific Railway, to the Canadian Northern, or to the new American line, to be brought down to Duluth, through United States routes and onward into Canada ? I am satisfied there is only one solution to this question, and the more it is looked into by the public the more certain they will be that this is just another means of getting the Grand Trunk into the west, giving it a transcontinental line which in every sense ought to be a magnificent road, and that this line through the northern part of Canada is merely something which the government are dangling before the electors in order to help carry them once more to victory. I am satisfied, however, that in that scheme they will ignominously fail.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   NATIONAL TRANSCONTINENTAL RAILWAY.
Permalink
CON

William Rees Brock

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BROCK.

We are engaged at the present time in discussing probably the most important question that has come before this parliament during the last thirty years. We are face to face with a very serious question indeed, and we should therefore approach this subject seriously. We are not here to find fault with what was done thirty years ago, we are here to make the best arrangement we possibly can make for our country at the present time. A question was asked by the leader of the opposition this afternoon, a definite question, in which he called upon the hon. gentlemen opposite, both those sitting on the treasury benches and those behind them, to make a definite reply. We then saw, Mr. Chairman, I must say, one of the most lamentable spectacles this House has ever observed, a gentleman of the greatest influence on the other side of the House, the Finance Minister of this great country, getting up and, instead of replying to the question asked him, making a very weak stump speech. What have we to do with the bargain that was made thirty years ago ? We are now desirous of making the best arrangement we can under the circumstances in which we find1 ourselves today. Do the government think they are not responsible to this country 1 Axe they merely responsible to the Grand Trunk Railway without consulting the House ? Having made that arrangement which has almost culminated in a contract, they now say to this House : You must swallow

it holus bolus, we cannot change it. If this House were true to itself it would be changed. If the members of this House would come here definitely determined to do the best they could for Canada and for their constituents, that arrangement would be changed, or better still-and this is still open to hon. gentlemen opposite-time might be taken to consider this matter. I myself am very susceptible to argument. I have listened with the greatest care to the arguments from the other side of the House. I am very sorry that more do not come Mr. HUGHES (Victoria).

from hon. gentlemen from back benches on the other side of the House. It is very strange that hon. gentleman sent from all parts of Canada should come here and place their opinions and the interests of the country entirely in the hands of the few hon. gentlemen on the treasury benches. That is not what they were sent here to do. They were sent here to show some little independence of opinion. If they have any arguments, they were sent here to make those arguments in this House in their own way. I have a suggestion to make which I think would not be a bad idea for the government to take into consideration at the present time. Originally the Grand Trunk Railway Company did not apply for a charter to build a road from the Atlantic to the Pacific. They wanted another charter altogether. Would it not be well for hon. gentlemen opposite to go before our friends of the Grand Trunk Railway Company and say : We find this scheme very objectionable ; we find difficulty in passing it ? In fact, hon. gentlemen opposite can only put it through by calling upon their subservient majority. They cannot allow their followers to have any independence of opinion, but they must come here and swallow the whole Bill. Under these circumstances, I think that the government might very well go to those with whom they have been consulting and say : You only want a charter to build a road from North Bay to the Pacific. We will give you a charter to build that road. Build it yourselves with your own money, own it and control it yourselves. Then, we have the scheme which has been propounded on this side of the House. They might adopt that scheme and carry it out because it will give a road to the Atlantic ocean which will be independent of the circumstances that are surrounding the present proposition and it will be a road that will be in the interests of the whole country. I would like to ask those members who come from Huron, from Bruce, from Perth, and western Ontario, what possible interest they have in a road between Winnipeg and Moncton. The proposition made, first of all, by the Grand Trunk Railway Company would connect the whole Grand Trunk Railway system of Ontario and Quebec with the North-west, and by allowing the Grand Trunk Railway Company to build their road from Winnipeg to the wheat fields we would give the relief to the North-west Territories that they are asking for at a very much less expense to this country than that which is involved in the present scheme. The Grand Trunk Railway Company would be only too glad to get a charter to build a road from Winnipeg through that magnificent country by way of Edmonton and out through the Peace river country to the Pacific, and they *would be only too glad to build that road without making any demand upon this country. Think of it for a moment. This respectable company has been

organized for the purpose of building n road from Winnipeg through the Northwest Territories. What are they getting? They are getting $13,000 per mile, guaranteed by this country. Why should we guarantee that? The government say that it is not costing anything, but when they argue on the other side they say it is costing $15,000,000. This question is at present an issue between the two sides of the House. For goodness sake let us not have so much politics to the square mile in Canada.

Some lion. MEMBERS. Hear, hear.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   NATIONAL TRANSCONTINENTAL RAILWAY.
Permalink
CON

William Rees Brock

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BROCK.

I am delighted to hear hon. gentlemen on the other side of the House say ' hear, hear.' I have no doubt the same will be said from this side of the House. Let the Grand Trunk Railway build their road and let them own it.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   NATIONAL TRANSCONTINENTAL RAILWAY.
Permalink
?

Some hon. MEMBERS

Hear, hear.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   NATIONAL TRANSCONTINENTAL RAILWAY.
Permalink
CON

William Rees Brock

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BROCK.

1 can understand that there is no rake-off in this proposition, but there is a great deal more for Canada in it. What objection have you, or what objection can this country possibly have, to the proposition made by the hon. leader of the opposition ? Why should we not extend the Intercolonial Railway to the Georgian bay ? If we extend the Intercolonial Railway to the Georgian bay we are the masters of the situation. The great bulk of the grain will go down in that direction. It may not go to Halifax or St. John, because we will have to consider the interests of the Northwest Territories. The North-west Territories cannot afford to have to sell their wheat for from 5 to 30 cents a bushel less for the sake of sending it by way of Halifax or St. John. That is the difficulty you are met with at once. If you are going to force this grain by an all-rail haul to Halifax or St. John, the farmers of the Northwest Territories must take from 5 to 10 cents a bushel less for their wheat. It can be carried for from 5 to 30 cents a bushel less either by the adoption of the proposition made by the hon. leader of the opposition or by the all-water route. One thing we have been forgetting is the importance of the all-water route. I do not hear half enough said about the desirability of spending money on our water-ways or harbours, because if we deepen our water-ways, nine-tenths of the grain coming from the Northwest for ail time to come will go down by way of the all-water route. We can provide for a route which will be self-sustaining, and it will not take four or five years, nor yet two years, to make that route available for traffic. In less than two years the work may be completed. This is too serious a matter to be shoved through this House in the way it is being shoved through. I notice that there is an attempt being made to choke off this debate. I tell you the country is listening to it with a great deal of interest. I hope I will not be accused 373

of abuse, even by the hon. Minister of Public Works (Hon. Mr. Sutherland), if I follow the example of the Minister of Finance (Hon. Mr. Fielding), who spoke of a proposition which was made as being humbug. I assure you that in all the years that this parliament has been in existence, in all the years we have deliberated on questions which have been deliberated upon in this House, there was never a more glaring humbug than the railway from Winnipeg to Moncton, which is put forward as a national railway at the present time. The hon. member for North Norfolk (Mr. Charlton) made a most extraordinary statement about the capabilities of the road and our ability to build the road. I have looked through a book that has been given to me very carefully, and I do not find) any justification of what he says. I do not find the report of a single engineer to bear out what he states. He talked about certain grades and certain curves. I do not find anything of that kind at all in this book. These are the mountains of information we were going to get on this subject. I would suggest-I do not do so in any bumptious sense, but simply as giving some good business advice-that as this contract has so many defects, and as it has been so terribly pulled to pieces, the manly course for the right hon. leader of the government to pursue at this time would be first of all to consult with his followers and to consult with the Grand Trunk Railway Company, but in the meantime to withdraw this Bill and to bring down a Bill which is more likely to give more satisfaction to the country, not only at the present time, but for all time to come.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   NATIONAL TRANSCONTINENTAL RAILWAY.
Permalink
LIB

John Charlton

Liberal

Mr. CHARLTON.

It seems to me, Sir, that at this stage of the discussion, it might be proper to present the House with some data with regard to railway rates. I am impressed with this belief, because of the statement made by my hon. friend (Mr. Brock), who tells us that it would cost us from five to ten cents a bushel more to lay down wheat at sea-board from the west, by this rail route than by the present method of transportation, or by the scheme propounded by the leader of the opposition. It would be well to give careful consideration to this question, because it is always folly to argue from false premises, and to assume things to be correct which prove to be fallacious. The developments in railway construction in late years are not very generally understood, and the low cost of transportation on first-class lines with low grades will perhaps hardly be credited. I am almost certain that my hon. friend (Mr. Brock) will not credit what can be proved to be the fact with regard to this matter. When I spoke upon this question nearly a month ago, I made a statement with regard to the advantages possessed by a line with low grades, as compared with the kind of roads that are usually constructed, with grades of one per cent or 52 feet to the mile, and some-

times grades in excess of that. 1 made a statement subsequently, with regard to the cost of transporting grain over a road with four-tenths per cent grade, in answer to the hon. member from St. Mary's (Hon. Mr. Tarte). That statement was necessarily imperfect; it was made on the spur of the moment; it was made from data which had not been thoroughly worked out, and some only of the leading points with reference to this transportation problem were presented. Since that time, I have been accumulating information upon this question, and the outcome of my investigations has been, to convince me that a transcontinental line, the Grand Trunk Pacific, built from Quebec to Winnipeg, north of the height of land, will positively out-distance all competitors in transporting wheat from Winnipeg to the sea-board. This is something I was not aware of on the 24th of May last; it is something I was not perhaps aware of 30 days ago. It is a statement which will be, I think, warranted by transportation conditions, and by facts which I will present. I received a communiction from Mr. Scott, of the Great Northern Railway, shortly after my speech on the 12th of August in which he endorsed the position I took at that time, and in which he stated that upon one section of the road upon which they were operating with six-tenths grade, or 32 feet to the mile, they were able with the mogul engine they used,-weighing 75 tons without tender-to haul trains of 2,000 and 2,220 tons gross weight, which would give a weight in freight of 1,350 tons. Upon the basis of a six-tenths grade with train mileage eleven cents per mile higher than Mr. Scott quoted, wheat could be transported from Winnipeg to Quebec, on that kind of a road, cheaper than it is at present transported. However, the plan that I advocated on August 12th was the construction of a road with four-tenths per cent grade, or 21-12 feet to the mile. I communicated a few days ago with Mr. Ledyard, the president of the Michigan Central system, asking him what was the cost per train mile for transporting freight on the Canada Southern portion of their road, between Detroit and Buffalo. That road has a grade of 19 feet to the mile. Mr. Ledyard, replied to me ; perhaps I had better read his letter in order that I may not be accused of misunderstanding his position or of misstatement. The letter is dated September 9th :

Dear Mr. Charlton.-T have your letter of September 7th. With the new locomotives which we are now using to replace those of lighter power on the Canada Southern, it will he easily practical to haul trains consisting of from sixty to seventy cars of grain, each car carrying forty tons, from the Detroit to the Niagara river.

Mr. Ledyard goes on to state the diflicul-ties that surround the separating of trains cost per mile between freight trains and passenger trains, and he expresses regret that he was unable to give me definite in-Mr. CHARLTON.

formation upon that point. But this is definite information in regard to loads. The information is, that upon the Canada Southern with practically a four-tenths per cent grade, with the locomotives that are about to be introduced, they are capable of hauling from 2,400 to 2,800 tons of grain per train.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   NATIONAL TRANSCONTINENTAL RAILWAY.
Permalink
CON

William Rees Brock

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BROCK.

Does that take Into account anything about return freight, or is that merely one way ?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   NATIONAL TRANSCONTINENTAL RAILWAY.
Permalink
LIB

John Charlton

Liberal

Mr. CHARLTON.

It does not. They can haul just as much return freight as they can going down. [DOT]

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   NATIONAL TRANSCONTINENTAL RAILWAY.
Permalink
CON

William Rees Brock

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BROCK.

They do not get the return freight.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   NATIONAL TRANSCONTINENTAL RAILWAY.
Permalink
LIB
CON

William Rees Brock

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BROCK.

And if not, does it increase the cost ?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   NATIONAL TRANSCONTINENTAL RAILWAY.
Permalink
LIB

John Charlton

Liberal

Mr. CHARLTON.

That is a perfectly fail-question to enter into consideration. The hauliug back of the empties, if you cannot, get return freight, must be considered and my hon. friend is quite right in that. But, that is the capacity of the locomotives on this road, or will be, for haulage of grain from the west to the east. Now, Sir, the train mile cost of moving loads is : 89 cents to the mile on the Great Northern-that is for all trains, passenger and freight-it is 87-31 on the Canada Atlantic ; 92-2 on the Grand Trunk, and 91-87 upon the Intercolonial Railway. We are therefore making due allowance if we call the train cost per mile one dollar. Upon the assumption that the train cost per mile is one dollar-which is considerable above the returns given by these four roads-then with an assumed distance of 1,475 miles between Winnipeg and Quebec, and assuming that the loads will be, not 2,400; tons or 2,800 tons per train, but 2,000 tons per train (which is a moderate estimate on the class of l-oad that I am dealing with) the cost per bushel would be, for 00,000 bushels pea- train, two and a quarter cents per bushel to Quebec. But first of all, we will take the calculation on the basis furnished by Mr. Scott, with a six-tenths per cent grade, and with loads of 1,350 tons instead of 2,000 tons. With one dollar per train cost of loads and train loads of 1,350 tons per train, on a six-tenths grade, the cost of transporting 45 cars with a thousand bushels to each car or 45,000 bushels, which is about 1,350 tons, would, be three cents and three mills per bushel from Winnipeg to Quebec. Add to this 50 per cent for net earnings, 1-7 cents ; and we have a total cost, with 50 per cent added, for transporting grain from Winnipeg to Quebec, of 5 cents per bushel. Now, it is fair to deal with the question of the empties. That must be dealt with in this connection, as my ' hon. friend from Toronto suggests. There may be return freight or there may not be. I assume that the empties returning without freight will cost one-half of what the loaded" cars cost to bring them down. That would be 1-7 cents per bushel.

That would leave the cost of transporting wheat from Winnipeg to Quebec, with the allowance for hauling back the empties without freight, and with 50 per cent, profit on haulage of the wheat, of 6-7 per bushel.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   NATIONAL TRANSCONTINENTAL RAILWAY.
Permalink
CON

Hiram Augustus Calvin

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CALVIN.

Will you put that in the contract ?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   NATIONAL TRANSCONTINENTAL RAILWAY.
Permalink
LIB

John Charlton

Liberal

Mr. CHARLTON.

No, we will not put that in the contract. We will put it in the Statement of facts before the Committee. We will set this against the wild and reckless statements that it will cost ten cents a bushel more over this lime than it will over any other route.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   NATIONAL TRANSCONTINENTAL RAILWAY.
Permalink
CON

William Rees Brock

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BROCK.

Over a route carrying a large number of passengers.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   NATIONAL TRANSCONTINENTAL RAILWAY.
Permalink
LIB

John Charlton

Liberal

Mr. CHARLTON.

That does not make any difference in the carrying of freight. We are dealing now with the question of the cost of transporting wheat from Winnipeg to Quebec. The passenger traffic may play some part in this business; but that road is to be built primarily for the purpose of moving the millions of bushels of grain, the cattle and the other products of a great agricultural region, increasing in its productions year after year; and of course passenger business as well as return freight will follow.

Now, Sir, if we were to start at a point 1,200 miles west of Winnipeg, say at Fort Dunvegan, on the Peace river, and suppose we have a 6-10 per cent grade, and the distance from the starting point to Quebec is 2,675 miles; what would it cost to transport wheat ? The cost on the train mileage at $1 per train mile, would be six cents per bushel; add to that fifty per cent for net earnings, three cents more, which makes nine cents per bushel; and to that one-half the cost of transporting the loaded cars down to Quebec, for hauling the empties back, without any reference to the return freight that might be secured, three cents more; which makes twelve cents per bushel as the total cost of moving wheat from Dunvegan to Quebec, including 50 per cent, profit on hauling of the wheat.

Let us now figure on the basis of a 4-10 per cent grade, 21-12 feet to the mile, and what will be the result ? On that grade, if Mr. Ledyard is right, it is far within the mark to put down 2,000 tons or 66,600 bushels of wheat to the train. To remove that from Winnipeg to Quebec, on an estimated mileage of 1,475 miles would cost for hauling, on a train mileage of $1 per mile, 2i cents per bushel; add 50 per cent for net earnings, 1-13 ets. per bushel; add one-half the cost of hauling the loaded cars down for hauling the empties back, 1:13 cts. That gives4'51 cts. as the cost of hauling wheat from Winnipeg to Quebec on a modern road with 4-10 per cent grade, such as the Canada Southern has, and with 50 per cent profit on the cost of hauling. Add to that, if you choose, one-fourth to cover the cost of any deficiency and contingencies, that is, 1-13 cts., making a 3734

total of 5-64 cts. per bushel for hauling wheat from Winnipeg to Quebec, with 50 per cent profit on the cost of hauling. Does my hon. friend realize that there may be some things about this proposition that have not been understood ?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   NATIONAL TRANSCONTINENTAL RAILWAY.
Permalink

September 21, 1903