This is for the purpose of meeting any possible additional subsidy that may be required under our contract with the Allans. We pay by steamer, and the rates vary, therefore, it is not always possible to ascertain in advance exactly how much will be paid. Of late, I may say the service has considerably improved. The ' Tunisian ' and the ' Bavarian ' have been making, during the last three or four months, very fail-rates of speed from Rimouski to Moville and back.
Motion agreed to, and House went into Committee of Supply. Mail subsidies and steamship subventions- additional to service between Great Britain and Canada, $25,000.
What is their general rate of speed ?
The general rate of speed by the steamers I have referred to is about 14 knots ; the others about 124 knots.
The contract seems to be on a sort of sliding scale. Is it according to the number of trips made ?
According to this, I assume that the minister has not made provision for the maximum outlay ?
Heretofore there has been a sum which has been available for this service- about $25,000, under the head of service from St. John to Liverpool. That has been dropped. So, this is practically no increase, because, in the past we were able to use this $25,000 in addition to the $150,000 voted for this service.
Are we correct in understanding that the vote heretofore given to vessels by St. John via. Newfoundland to the old country has been dropped ?
The MINISTER OF TRADE AND COM-'MERCE. No, there was no vote for exactly that service. There was another vote. That vote to which my hon. friend refers is a vote of $20,000, not from St. John's, if my memory serves me, but from Halifax to St. John's, Newfoundland, and thence to Liverpool. That vote remains. When that was originally granted there was no calling at St. John's. It remained for a considerable time, and was not nearly used, except for the purpose of supplementing the vote to the Allan service.
Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).
I suppose it is through not clearly understanding the circumstances that I do not comprehend the necessity of the additional $25,000. Is it occasioned by putting on another boat, or is it occasioned by the fact that the sum paid to the Messrs. Allan is on a sliding scale ?
Yes, on a sliding scale, dependent on the speed and quality of the boat. Two of their boats receive a much better sum than the other. The ' Bavarian ' and the ' Tunisian ' are paid very much more than the inferior vessels employed. But of late they have been employing better vessels. The close of the South African war released a number of those craft, and we are now getting a better service.
Additional for steam service between St. John, N.B., and Glasgow, during winter of 1903-4, $7,500.
Hon. gentlemen will observe that a similar sum is in the main estimates for the service heretofore run. We propose to
double that service, and give a corresponding sum, the total of which will be about $15,000. That service has been of considerable use in bringing us into communication with Glasgow and the population round about.
How many vessels are they giving ?
We have a fortnightly service instead of a monthly service. They carry mails if any are tendered by the post office, but, of course, the mail service is not a very important portion. To all intents and purposes they are freight boats.
Have they cold storage apparatus "!
They have summer accommodation. But the hon. gentleman will observe that this is a winter service. There is not much of a perishable nature carried by them during winter.
Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).
What is the character of the freight, and is there any - return freight ?
It is of a very mixed character, all sorts of general cargo. They fill up with deals if they can get nothing else. They also carry large quantities of produce of various kinds. The return cargo is not large. It consists chiefly I am told of articles of iron and things of that kind. But the great difficulty we have to contend with, and the reason for giving more money in these subsidies, lies in the fact that the return cargo is generally very small. Still this service is of use in that it brings us into direct communication with a large and important centre of population in Scotland. In Glasgow and the surrounding district there is a population of a million and a quarter. It is a matter of considerable moment to us to have direct communication with these people for the purpose of facilitating the sale of Canadian products. I think the money has been pretty well spent.
Do American exporters make use of these ships to send their produce in competition with our own ?
The MINISTER OF TRADE AND COMMERCE!. That its chiefly in (Connection with the Canadian Pacific Railway. I am sorry to say they are not very much overburdened with cargoes. They take what they can get.
Is there any contract made with this company which prevents them from discriminating in freight rates ?
The MINISTER OB' TRADE AND COMMERCE. There is some regulation of that kind.