April 7, 1904

CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

Then to the eastern extension, as at first projected, my right hon. friend added the extension of the Grand Trunk Pacific as far as Moncton. All this was done in a hurry. We know to-day that the ex-Minster of Railways (Mr. Blair), was not consulted with regard to these changes. He said so last session when he gave his explanation to the House. He then said that the project had been matured, that the scheme had received its final sanction, without any previous consultation with him. Under these circumstances, it is not surprising that what the Minister of Railways of that day called a hybrid scheme, concocted to satisfy both the promoters of the Grand Trunk Pacific and the demands of politicians should have received, but an indifferent approval even from the provinces supposed to be benefited. With regard to the Grand Trunk Company itself, it is evident to-day that it never at any time looked upon the eastern section as anything else but a political burden, which it was most desirous to get rid of if possible. There is no doubt that in the province of Quebec grave doubts began to exist, and were even formulated, regarding the sincerity of the government in promising to build the easten section. In a paper which

is not unfavourable to my bon. friends opposite, appeared not many months ago, an article which was significant, stating that if in spite of the arguments in favour of the eastern extension, the government should be influenced to abandon the eastern division, then those who favoured that extension of the province of Quebec would be likely to remember that abandonment.

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LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux (Solicitor General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX.

Would my hon. friend name the paper ?

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CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

It is ' La Presse, ' a paper which has a very large circulation in the province of Quebec, a paper which has always been in favour of the scheme, and which stated at the end of the article that if, as some people pretend, the government was not sincere and the eastern extension would be practically abandoned, then those who had held out this hope to the people and had favoured the project of the eastern extension would call the government to a strict account. Probably my hon. friend remembers that article.

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LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux (Solicitor General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX.

I remember having read the article, but I would like to know the date.

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CON
CON

Charles Eusèbe Casgrain

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CASGRAIN.

Has the hon. gentleman changed his opinion since then ?

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LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux (Solicitor General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX.

I remember the article.

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CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

Another indication, which I think throws a great deal of light upon the disposition and the policy of the government in regard to the extension of the eastern section to Quebec and the maritime provinces, is their total lack of action since the last session. That has already been insisted upon. At the beginning of this session I asked whether any surveys had been proposed and whether anything whatever had been done in regard to the eastern section, and we found out that nothing had been done. Whereas, on the one hand, the promoters of the Grand Trunk Pacific Company and the government have been busy to the last degree in bringing the agreement to its finished form in regard to the western sections, nothing whatever has been done as far as the eastern extension is concerned. Sir Rivers-Wilson, president of the company, does not even refer to it in his speech to the shareholders of the company. He makes no reference whatever to the eastern extension, does not point it out as an advantage or a disadvantage in connection with the operation of the new railway which the Grand Trunk Company is promoting. There is very great significance in what was pointed out' by the leader of the opposition (Mr. R. L. Borden), that at the meeting of shareholders a memorandum, called an official memorandum, was circulated among the shareholders. Whether it came from the government or the directors of the company we do not know, but it referred to the

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CON
LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

The ment has no knowledge of such a men* dum, absolutely none. je0d

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CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

Has my right hon. made any inquiries ? ^Sir WILFRID LAURIER. No ; bU)Upt'hon. friend (Mr. Monk) says we are ^ ey to give explanations. AVe cannot ,e sfi planation of a thing of which we ^jo-knowledge. We never heard of such a randum, and I do not believe in tn ence of such a memorandum either. ^

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CON
LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

No ; stated was that there had been randum. ort o'

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CON
LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux (Solicitor General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX.

That is the description given by my hon. friend.

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?

Mr MONK.

Does my hon. friend assent to that description ? Does he agree that it passes' where it can be of no use to anybody ? It seems to me that we have enough before us to show us as sensible men, with what took place at the meeting of the shareholders of the Grand Trunk Railway in London, that the concessions which the promoters of this railway have demanded and have obtained, with the absolute in-*action of the government since the last session, with no statement whatever from the right hon. gentleman as to what they intended to do at the present moment, when the time has arrived for tracing that line- it seems to me, I say, that we have before us enough to justify a grave suspicion as to what the real project of the government is, and what they intend to do as to that eastern extension. For my own part I entertain no doubt whatever that, apart from the extension to Winnipeg, which is over the most difficult, the most costly, the least remunerative part of that line, and which the government no doubt intend to build, the rest of the construction will be indefinitely postponed. I think we are entitled to have some authoritative declaration from the government on that point.

At six o'clock, House took recess.

After Recess.

House resumed at eight o'clock.

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CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

Mr. Speaker, I was very thankful to you for leaving the chair a few minutes before six o'clock because I had a great desire, when I took the floor of the House, to limit my observations to the view which I think most of us in the province of Quebec would take on this important question, and not to go over the ground which has been so ably covered already by those who have spoken before me. My hon. friend from Annapolis envied my hon. friend from West Toronto (Mr. Osier) in so far as he was a director of the Canadian Pacific Railtvay Company, probably for the same reason that I envy my hon. friend for West Toronto myself. We would all like to be in that position, but, there is another advantage which is that it permits a man of such great experience and knowledge of financial transactions to criticise more clearly than we ordinary laymen can an agreement of this kind. My hon. friend from West Toronto has clone so with sncli great aptness that I am very desirous of not going over the ground that he has covered already, It has taken me a great deal of time to reach the conclusions which he probably reached in one quarter of that time. What I wish particularly to show to the House is that we have just cause for alarm n the older provinces at the aspect of this

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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

I can give the answer at once-the deposit has been made in cash.

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CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

Does tlie receipt state that it is to be handed over to the government without interest after six months' notice V Is the cash actually in the Bank of Montreal at Montreal ?

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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

It is ; it is so certified by the manager of the Bank of Montreal.

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April 7, 1904