September 23, 1903

LIB

Hance James Logan

Liberal

Mr. LOGAN.

We have not acted as cowards in submitting this proposition to the people of Canada. The government have asked the people of Canada to have faith in their country and to assist in opening up this great Dominion to the north. And what have our hon. friends opposite replied ? The leader of the party from the province of Quebec has referred to that country as a sub-Arctic region ; and other hon. gentlemen opposite have referred to it as the land of the stunted pine and poplar. We have referred to it, from the reports of engineers and geologists, as a land of wealth, a land of great potentialities, a land which will in the future become as great a part of the Dominion of Canada as the province of Ontario is at the present day. When we do go to the country, we will go with confidence in this issue of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway. My hon. friend from Centre Toronto has said that if we would only swallow his pride of partisanship, we Mr. LOGAN.

would drop the Bill. If that hon. gentleman would only swallow his pride of partisanship, he would be cheering this government at the present time on the proposition they have put before the country. My hon. friend, representing the people of the city of Toronto, should not be a narrow politician; he should have breadth of view, and if he has, he should be supporting this proposition. Hon. gentlemen opposite talk about the expense that the Grand Trunk Pacific is going to be to every family in the province of Ontario. Suppose it were ; is it not worth the sacrifice for the sake of what we are going to gain ? If the present proposition is going to involve a tax on every farmer of the province of Ontario, how much more would the tax be if the proposition of the hon. leader of the opposition were carried out; and what would we have then ? From the Atlantic ocean to the city of Winnipeg not one extra mile of railway, not one additional acre of undeveloped land opened up, no additional population, no additional resources ; but Canada would continue to be charged, as it is to-day, with being only a fringe on the American border. When we go to the country, Mr. Chairman, we will go with the pride of a good measure, believing that we have behind us the loyal hearts of Canadians, who believe that we should develop the northern part of this country, where we have a magnificent territory instead of leaving it to be roamed over by wild men and wild beasts. When we do appeal to the people of Canada, they are going to send us back with an increased majority ; and our friends of the opposition, if they continue this little Canada spirit, will find themselves :

Scattered like dust and leaves when the mighty winds of October Seize them and whirl them aloft and fling them far o'er the ocean.

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

The hon. member for Cumberland twits the member for East Grey of inconsistency. If there has ever been a class of men in the Dominion of Canada who should refrain from mentioning the word consistency, it is the hon. gentlemen opposite. Has not their whole life been one of inconsistency from the cradle to the grave ? There is not a milestone on the way that does not bear an epitaph to the principles that they have buried in the past You talk about their policy ; but their principles before the people are not the principles which they carry out here. There has never been a class of people in the world who are more saturated from the head to the feet with inconsistency than hon. gentlemen opposite. But was there any inconsistency in my conduct in supporting what is called the Salisbury branch ? That line had not been surveyed from .end to end ; but we had knowledge of every portion of the country ; the whole line of railway was not 100 miles long.

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LIB
CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

It was not fully surveyed, Out the country through which it ran was as well known as any portion of Ontario or Quebec. Was it inconsistent that I should support a scheme that involved an outlay, as he says, of $4,000,000, but which was estimated at the time to cost between $2,000,000 and $3,000,000 ? If it was wrong to do that, with the knowledge at my disposal, how much worse is it to commit the country to an expenditure of $150,000,000 to build 3,000 miles of railway without any of the information that we ought to have before we undertake such a project ? The hon. gentlemen says I supported the Canadian Pacific Railway. He forgets that before I did so, over $3,000,000 were spent on surveys to obtain the very information.with regard to that railway that we should have, but have not, with regard to this railway.1 Was it inconsistent that I should support the Canadian Pacific Railway after we had the knowledge which was collected by eminent engineers and railway experts during several years, and for which the country paid somewhere between $3,000,000 and $5,000,000 ?

Nearly $3,000,000 were expended on sur-' veys before the construction of that railway was determined, But even though it were undertaken before all information was available, compare the situation which then existed with the present situation. The building of the Canadian Pacific Railway was part and parcel of the agreement of confederation. It was one of the conditions on which Manitoba, the North-west Territories and British Columbia joined the confederacy. Whether the task was an onerous one or not,we had to carry it out. But even under these circumstances, the government of tliat day took the precaution of having surveys made before beginning the construction of that line. That line had to be constructed without delay. Not only had it to be constructed1 in order to carry out the terms of confederation, but in order to give us a Canadian road into our own north-west. The only road we had at the time was through the United States, and everybody knows that when, in 1885, we desired to send some of our soldiers into our North-west to quell rebellion, we could not take our men, material, equipment and supplies through the Sault Ste. Marie canal, because to do so would involve their going through American territory. There was, therefore, great urgency for the construction of that road. Besides this, the trade of that country was flowing down to Minneapolis, St. Paul and Chicago, and tee eastern portion of Canada was being deprived of tee benefits of that trade. Our immigrants were beset by American immigration agents as they went through American territory, and in many cases induced to settle in the American north-west instead of ours. Was it not, therefore, of urgent necessity that the government of that day should push on that road ? Yet they took the precaution of spending over $2,000,000 on surveys before starting to build it. We on this side were doing our best to keep Canada for the Canadians, while hon. gentlemen opposite were preaching blue ruin, and telling the world that every country under the sun was better than Canada. They were acting as immigration agents for the United States. Why, even the photographs of the leaders of the opposition of that day were used as frontispieces in American ini-migration pamphlets. Of that there can he no doubt. I saw a photograph of the Hon. Edward Blake and a speech lie made against Canada being used in these pamphlets to induce immigrants to go to the United States instead of to the Canadian North-west. While we on this side were doing everything possible to have that railway built, all gentlemen opposite were doing all they could to impede its construction and decry their own country. But is there any such urgency to-day as then existed V We have not one but two Canadian routes to the North-west. Our people can go into that country through our own Canadian territory. We need fear no American interference. The tide of immigration is turning our way. There is none of teat urgency in the situation to-day which then existed, and we are not justified in making that haste which lion, gentlemen opposite are urging us to make. The government is in a position to make haste slowly and act on intelligent lines, and it is because they are not acting on those lines that we are endeavouring to prevail upon them, in the interests of Canada and their own, not to rush blindly into this vast expenditure without counting the cost, but to get every possible information and take every possible precaution before coming to a final decision.

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CON

Charles Eusèbe Casgrain

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CASGRAIN.

My hon. friend from Cumberland (Mr. Logan) tried to convince this House and the country that Sir Sand-ford Fleming had given his complete en-dorsation to the scheme now submitted to the House. It is only right that we should read the opinion of that eminent engineer in order to see whether the statement of my hon. friend is really borne out by the facts. And I must ask the indulgence of the House for a few minutes while I read a few extracts from that opinion which bears immediately upon the question we are discussing.

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LIB
CON

Charles Eusèbe Casgrain

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CASGRAIN.

From the Toronto 'News' of last evening, which reproduces the interview which Sir Sandford Fleming gave some time ago to the Montreal ' Herald.' Here is tvhat Sir Sandford says :

The project is one of great magnitude, affecting the prosperity of the whole country, and the

well-being ol tens of millions of people, who in coming generations are to occupy the vast habitable regions in the interior. It is not surprising that I listened to Sir Wilfrid with Intense interest. The subject generally is not new to me. I have given the best years of my life as a public servant to public works, which go to the opening up of vacant lands in nearly all the provinces. Forty-one years ago I asked myself much the same questions as are now being considered by parliament, and I answered them in a little book edited by Professor H. Y Hind, of Trinity University, Toronto, published by Seobie and Balfour. Toronto, 1862. My theme was : ' The opening of a highway from Canada to the Pacific ocean on British territory.' You will bear in mind that in those days Canada was bounded on the western side practically by Lake Huron, and as I ventured to look beyond the great lakes I am afraid some good people regarded me as a visionary. In less than ten years thereafter the first Canadian transcontinental railway was determined on, and soon thereafter Principal Grant's well read book, ' Ocean to Ocean,' revealed to the Canadian people a first glimpse .of their new a.nd vast inheritance. In another 'decade it was my unique good fortune to lead the first expedition continuously through the mountains on the present line, and two years thereafter I witnessed the laying of the last rail to connect the two oceans by the Canadian Pacific Railway. Such recollections passing through my mind, it may be imagined that it was with peculiar interest and satisfaction I heard, from the gallery of the House of Commons, the Canadian Prime Minister* unfolding the great scheme of the government for the .establishment of a second transcontinental line.

There is not much in that to commend the scheme to the confidence of this House or country.

Sir Wilfrid Laurler made a strong argument in favour of a road connecting the prairie wheat fields with the sea coast, transporting wheat through Canadian .territory. Mr. Charlton, subsequently, on behalf of the government, amplified the scheme and pointed out that the new national highway was to be no ordinary railway, bust one of the highest class with low grades, or no grades, and thoroughly first-class in its construction and equipment, according to modern requirements.

Sir Sanford Fleming, as the committee will see, took for granted what the hon. member for North Norfolk (Mr. Charlton) stated in the House the other day, but he does not give his opinion, as an engineer of experience and reputation, that what the hon. member for North Norfolk said was correct.

I do not think he endorses any of the opinions given to the House the other day by the hon. member for North Norfolk. After saying what I have just read, he proceeded :

This appealed to my warmest commendation

That is, if the hon. member for North Norfolk was correct in the statements he made and the figures he gave to the House.

-believing as I do that if such a railway be established between the prairie region and tide water at Quebec, it will proVe of inestim-

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CON

Charles Eusèbe Casgrain

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CASGRAIN.

able value to the Dominion for all time to come.

That is, if it were possible to build a railway with low grades or no grades at all, a thoroughly first-class railway in construction and equipment, then Sir Sandford Fleming and everybody in this country, would Immediately say they were in favour of such an undertaking. But Sir Sandford Fleming does not commit himself upon that. That is, probably, because he was looking to his reputation. It was, pi'ohahly, because he was afraid to say anything that would hurt his reputation, that he did not endorse the statements made by the hon. member for North Norfolk.

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LIB

John Charlton

Liberal

Mr. CHARLTON.

Is my hon. friend (Mr. Casgrain) aware that, in an interview published in the Halifax ' Chronicle,' Sir Sandford Fleming fully endorsed the scheme ?

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CON

Charles Eusèbe Casgrain

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CASGRAIN.

This is the same interview. I see my hon. friend from North Norfolk has gone off at a tangent, like so many others. On first glancing over the interview, I myself thought that Sir Sandford Fleming fully endorsed the scheme. But when you read the interview, as I am reading it, you will see that it gives no such endorsation. This interview was really got up iu a very captious manner

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LIB

John Charlton

Liberal

Mr. CHARLTON.

My hon. friend does not understand me. I asked him if he was aware that Sir Sandford Fleming had endorsed that position in an interview given by him to the Halifax ' Chronicle,' which is corroborative of the position I took in the matter. I have sent for the paper and will quote it to my hon. friend, when I receive it.

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CON

Charles Eusèbe Casgrain

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CASGRAIN.

I answered the hon. gentleman's (Mr. Charlton's) question by saying that the interview I am reading is a reproduction of the interview given by Sir Sandford Fleming to the Halifax 'Chronicle.' My hon. friend from West Toronto (Mr. Osier) informs me that Sir Sandford Fleming told him that it was he himself that sent this very interview to the Toronto ' News,' after having revised and corrected it. So, I am giving to the House exactly the views and opinions of Sir Sandford F.'eming. And again I say that Sir Sandford Fleming does not endorse the statements, figures and opinions given the other day by the hon. member for North Norfolk. I was saying that, at the first glance over this interview, I thought that Sir Sandford Fleming endorsed completely the scheme of the government. I naturally asked myself what had come over the spirit of his dream, for, if I remember rightly, and if I am correctly informed, when the scheme was first put before the country, he condemned it from the begining.

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The PRIME MINISTER.

The hon. gentleman (Mr. Casgrain) is not correctly informed.

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CON

Charles Eusèbe Casgrain

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hr. CASGRAIN.

I do not know ; my information is pretty good. However, 1 think I am showing the Committee, and convincing the Committee, that Sir Sandford Fleming has never endorsed the scheme as laid down by the government. He has simply taken a proposal laid down by the hou. member for North Norfolk, and which has been proved abundantly in this House to be not correct. Let me continue:

Such a railway will be the means of conveying products as cheap as, or cheaper than, by the present mixed route, part rail and part water and its operation will not be suspended for half the year, as the lake route is, but will claim the advantage of being open for traffic every month in the twelve. I must not be considered, however, as unqualifiedly in favour- of the scheme precisely as propounded. (1.) I do not think there is any urgency for a new rail-way from Quebec to Moncton. (2.) I do not think there is any pressing need for the western section, that is the section through the mountains to Port Simpson.

I hear my right horn, friend say, ' Hear, hear.' Because Sir Sandford Fleming says that on certain specified points he differs completely from the government, the right lion, gentleman Infers that he must be at one with the government on the other part of the line. But take the interview as it is, and lion, gentlemen will see that lie does not give it as his own opinion as an engineer of repute, hut advances the opinions, statements and figures of the hon. member for North Norfolk, without saying that he approves them.

There are reasons for desiring a better line, a first class line, such as Mr. Charlton, describes, from Quebec to St. John and Halifax. Even if it can be had, which I doubt, the Intercolonial, it must be acknowledged, can accommodate all the traffic which may for some years present itself. Again, I am unable to see any urgent necessity for the immediate construction of the mountain section. What concerns us, is not so much the opening of an additional route between Asia and Europe, as the establishment of the best possible means of communication between the interior of Canada and our tidal ports, which command the British market. All sections of the new transcontinental line are not of equal importance. It is of the very first importance to provide a highway to transport cheaply all the products of the prairie to a Canadian seaport. What concerns us chiefly is the middle section, extending from Quebec to the interior, and, until that section be completed, I have the strongest reasons for believing that it would be in the pbblic interest to defer work on the two ends of the project. The knowledge which I possess satisfies me beyond any doubt whatever that any other course will lead to grave disappointment. I do not think I need trouble you now with my reasons at length.

Then, after explaining the needs of the North-west and discussing Die alternative policy-and I am free to say that he is not in favour of the policy laid down by the leader of the opposition-Sir Sandford Fleming proceeds :

It is surely wise policy in the establishment of a new national railway to tap directly the centre of the wheat district not already exploited by railways, and to make the new line fully up to the highest standard. Any other standard would defeat the purposes of the government.

Now, has it been stated by anybody here that any engineer of repute has put before this House any data upon which we could say that the railway could be built, such a road as Sir Sandford Fleming speaks of, a railway of the highest standard-for that is the condition upon which he bases the belief that this line will be of use ? Sir Sandford Fleming says it must be a railway of the highest standard, going even further than the hon. member for North Norfolk ; and he says that if the railway is not of 'the higest standard, you cannot count upon it as giving to this country the advantages which the hon. gentlemen on the other side say it will give.

The cost, of transportation by rail is governed by the gradients and other conditions explained in parliament by the member for North Norfolk. Every railway man throughly understands that in the transportation problem, the length of a road is not of so much Importance as the gradients. Every foot added to the grade per mile increases by a percentage the expense of haulage. With the necessary conditions secured the transportation of wheat to the sea-board by rail in competition with water (in part) is in this instance quite practicable. If it be practicable to carry wheat by rail from Chicago to New York for seven or eight cents a bushel, it must be possible under like conditions to transport it from our prairies to Quebec at proportionate rates. Of course some allowance would be made for difference in climate and fuel.

Now, what does the amendment before the committee ask for ? Perhaps the committee will allow me to read it, because in the discussion it has been somewhat lost sight of :

Provided, however, that the said surveys and plans, showing the most favourable route and the best practicable grades and curvatures that can be obtained, together with an estimate of the cost, based thereon, shall be first submitted to the parliament for approval.

That is all the amendment asks. And is it not fair and reasonable, with such a vast undertaking as this, that the plans and the route should be submitted to parliament before we are called upon to go into this enormous expenditure ? My bon. friend (Mr. Logan), in answer to a question I put, said that the Minister of Finance had given this House sufficient information as to the probable cost of the railway. I have a great deal of respect for the Finance Minister and a great deal of respect for his opinion, especially when he speaks' on subjects which particularly concern his department. I had not the advantage, as has been pointed out, of hearing my hon. friends discuss the question at any length owing to my long ab-

sence but I have read, as far as I could the speeches made in the course of this debate. No man reading the speeches on both sides can avoid coming to the conclusion that the hon. Minister of Finance (Hon. Mr. Fielding) made a most egregious mistake when lie said this road would cost only about $13,000,000. Let hon. gentlemen on the other side give one example of a railway of such magnitude as this which cost only that sum of money. If it were not for the respect I bear to the hon. minister (Hon. Mr. Fielding) I would say that his estimate of the cost of this railway is simply ridiculous. It is contrary to past experience in the building of railways on this continent, in England or on the continent of Europe. We are about to commit this country to an enormous expenditure, for I would rather take the estimate given by the hon. ex-Minister of Railways and Canals (Hon. Mr. Blair) than the estimate given by the hon. Minister of Finance. The hon. ex-Minister of Railways and Canals had naturally, for the last seven or eight years, been obliged to study railway matters and had become an expert on them. He was chosen bv the right hon. the leader of this House (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) as the best man who could be found in this country to take charge of that department, and it must; be remembered that in 1896 he was not a member of this House, he had not been elected, but the right hon. the premier took him from New Brunswick as the best man in the country to conduct the Department of Railways and Canals. That gentleman did not give the low estimate of this railway given by the Minister of Finance. If we had to choose between these two estimates it seems to me that any member of this House would say that the estimate of the ex-Minister of Railways and Canals was more likely to be correct. What is done in ordinary cases ? I will take the case of an ordinary railway for the construction of which a company is incorporated by parliament. Before this railway can be constructed the company have to submit plans, profiles and locations to the Governor General in Council, so that the Governor General in Council may examine the plans and the location of the line and decide whether or not, in the interests of the country, the location is a proper one for the line to run, and here we are with a tremendous railway running from Winnipeg through Quebec to Moncton, 1,500 miles, which at a low estimate will cost from 80 to 100 million dollars. All1 we ask is that when the plans a yd locations for this railway have been decided upon the government shall submit them to parliament so that parliament may be in a better position to judge whether the location which has been chosen is the location which is most advantageous to the country ? Let parliament be the judge of' the location in this instance as the Governor in Mr. CASGRAIN.

Council is the judge, in the case of an ordinary railway.

There are two ways of looking at this line. Some say that it is going to be simply a colonization line, that it is to be built solely for the prrrpose of opening up new lands in Canada, which are not yet settled upon and which it will be to the advantage of this country to people by immigration. Then it will be a colonization road. Others say it is not to be a colonization road but will be a road by which the great traffic of the west will be conveyed to the east and to the Atlantic ports. One great question which has to be decided and which will be decided, is as to whether we are going to build a colonization railway or a railway which will bring the traffic of the west to the Atlantic sea-board. This question is so important that the government should not hesitate for an instant to relieve itself of the responsibility of choosing between two policies and to put that responsibility upon parliament assembled. The only answer we have heard from the other side of the House as to the appropriateness of the amendment now before the Committee is that given by the Minister of Justice who said that we are losing time. Would we lose time by having these plans and locations placed before parliament ? Let us take things as they are, let us be practical. I do not believe that the surveys will be completed within eighteen months and it would be of no importance if we should lose two. or three or four months, for these plans, if they could not be submitted in the next session could be submitted in the session after that, and parliament could pronounce on the advisability of the route and on the plans as located by the surveyors. We would lose probably one, two, three or four months, but I leave it to the committee if the loss of three or four months would be a sufficient answer to those who say : You are going into an enormous undertaking, an undertaking the like of which this country has never seen before-because we have never before gone into such an enormous expenditure for the construction of a railway by the government-just stay your hand for one, two, or three months and submit the location of the line to parliament so that parliament can decide whether it is a colonization road which will promote settlement in unsettled districts or a commercial road which will bring down traffic from the west towards the east and towards our seaport towns.

I think that the government are straining constitutional principles in this Bill. What do we read in section 25 of the Bill ?

The commissioners shall from time to time as moneys are required for payment for work or services in the construction of the said eastern division issue tand deposit with the Minister of Finance and Receiver General a debenture of the commissioners in an amount sufficient, to cover such payments, which debenture shall hear date the day on which it was issued and

shall be repayable in fifty years from the 1st day of July, 1903, and in the meantime shall bear interest at the rate of three per centum per annum payable half yearly on the first days of January and July in each year.

-Section 26 says :

The debentures so issued shall be in such form as the Governor in Council approves, and the commissioners -are hereby' authorized to issue the same as provided by the next preceding section, and such debentures when issued, and the interest thereon, shall be and form a first lien and charge upon the said eastern^ division, and upon all revenue and income derivable therefrom by the government or by the commissioners, after payment of all necessary charges by the government or toy the commissioners.

In another section it will be seen that while tlie commissioners build the line they are appointed by the government to execute contracts with contractors for its construction and they are to pay for it. It is true that in section 32 it ds said that moneys may be paid by the Minister of Railways anil Canals from time to time, provided, however, that no money shall be so'paid until a sufficient appropriation has been made by parliament for the purpose. But it seems to me that this Bill takes from parliament the effective control which it should have over the expenditure of the money of this country. I would ask if any House in England ever gave, or ever would give to a department, the Admiralty Department for instance, a blanc-seign, as it were, to build any number of ships for the admiralty they might Choose to build.

Why, Sir, they are so jealous in England of the control of parliament over the expenditure of money that they almost go so far as to name the ships that it is possible for the Admiralty to build during any one year. Here we are authorizing the government to build this railway from Winnipeg to Moncton, we are giving them a blanc-seign, an unlimited power of attorney.

We are giving them full authority to do it. We are giving them authority to execute contracts for any amount of money, for $100,000.000 probably, upon the only condition that from time to time the government shall come to this parliament and ask that a certain amount of money he voted to pay the sums which have been contracted for beforehand. I say that is taking out of the hands of this parliament the proper control that this parliament should have upon the expenditure of the money of this country. What will happen ? The government will come down to the majority which they have at their command and simply say : We have executed these contracts, we have contracted for these works, $500,000 is due, $1,000,000 is due, $5,000,000, $10,000,000, $20,000,000 is due, and we ask you to vote that this money shall be paid. That will be taking away from this House the control of spending the money of this country which this House should be most jeal-380

ous of. Before committing the country to the fulfilment of such heavy obligations, let us impose upon the government the duty of at least consulting parliament upon the proper location of the line. For these reasons, it seems to me that this is an amendment which should commend itself to the practical sense of this House, and I am sure it will commend itself, at all events, to the practical sense of the electors ot this country.

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LIB

John Charlton

Liberal

Mr. CHARLTON.

My hon. friend from Montmorency (Mr. Casgrain) has presented his view of this case in a very temperate and very courteous way and his argument from his own standopint is a fair one, but. I think the hon. gentleman has neglected to inform himself fully upon the various points which have been dealt with in the argument, and among others as to what the position of that eminent engineer, Sir Sandford Fleming, is. If I understand the drift of the hon. gentleman's remarks in regard to Sir Sandford Fleming's position, it was that he did not endorse the construction of this line of railway through the hinterland of Quebec and Ontario. Now, the hon. gentleman, in support of that position, read copious extracts from an interview furnished by Sir Sandford Fleming to the Toronto 'News.' Sir Sandford Fleming had furnished, previous to this, an interview to the Halifax 'Chronicle,' a more elaborate interview, one in which he went more fully into the question than that furnished to the ' News,' and I wish to call the hon. gentleman's attention to a couple of extracts in that particular interview. It is not necessary to trouble the committee with the whole of it. I will simply read the filial conclusions drawn by Sir Sandford Fleming, and will read what he says in regard to tlie alternative project furnished by the hon. leader of the opposition (Mr. Borden, Halifax) to the government. I shall read the conclusion of his interview first :

Faith in the Policy.

You have asked me to speak unreservedly and I have acc-edeid to your request. I again express the great satisfaction I have in kno.v-ing that the policy of -the government is to establish a great railway, to open up for settlement and human industry the utilized and unoccupied habitable lands of the Dominion. I have faith in the wisdom of the policy. 1 have faith in an all-rail means -of conveying the products of the farm to the sea-board. ' If asked what course s-hould toe followed I would answer ' make haste, tout make has-te slowly and wisely.'

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Some hon. MEMBERS

Hear, hear. Mr. CHARLTON-(reading).

Do not lose a day in proceeding with the cation of such a railway as that specified Mr. Charlton in his speech on the subject the 12th of August last

loby

Oil

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CON

William Rees Brock

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BROCK.

Good advice that

Mr. CHARLTON-(reading).

-a railway that would carry grain trom the distant prairie fields to Quebec cheaper than by any other route. Having secured a location and not till then, employ every man, bend every back, strain every nerve to complete the middle section of the line so much needed. This done, and not tall bheai, proceed as it may seem best to complete from sea to sea the national trunk transcontinental railway.

That is the conclusion of Sir Sandford Fleming's interview with the ' Chronicle.'

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CON

William Rees Brock

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BROCK.

If he were here he would vote for this amendment.

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LIB

John Charlton

Liberal

Mr. CHARLTON.

Not much. In speaking of the alternative proposition, Sir Sand-ford Fleming says :

In parliament, an alternative to the government scheme has been proposed and it is supported by a large and influential party. Its chief features are to double track tile Canadian Pacific Railway from Winnipeg to Lake Superior, to expropriate the Can(11 ail Pacific Railway from Fort William to North Bay, to build a new line from Sudbury to Depot Harbour, to expropriate the railway from Depot Harbour on Lake Huron to Montreal, &c., (the object being practically to adhere to the present system of conveying heavy products by a mixed route, rail and water.

This alternative dees not commend itself to my mind for a number of strong reasons. Notwithstanding the great initial cost it would prove totally inadequate for the half year. It could in no way be compared with an all-rail line established especially for cheap grain carrying from the heart of the prairie region on the main Saskatchewan district to Quebec. Tihe latter would prove in all respects a national communication. If a map be examined it will be seen that this northern route would add breadth to the Dominion, would develop industries and promote settlement in the great hinterland of Ontario and Quebec while the alternative proposal *would not have the same tendency. Taken by Itself, the alternative would distinctly leave the Dominion two separate halves connected merely by two rails along the shores of the lakes, a connection which at any time could easily be severed. Obviously, it is, of political importance in the highest sense that the unity of Canada should not be absolutely dependent on so slender a ligament for hundreds of miles along the frontier. No doubt the lakes will always be used as they are now in conjunction with railways east and west, but there is every reason for establishing a new route inland.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   ROBERT MEIGHEN.
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CON

Charles Eusèbe Casgrain

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CASGRAIN.

What is the date of the interview, and what paper is the hon. gentleman quoting from ?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   ROBERT MEIGHEN.
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September 23, 1903