April 28, 1904

GRAND TRUNK PACIFIC RAILWAY.


House in committee on Bill (No. 72). To amend the National Transcontinental Railway Act.-Right Hon. Sir Wilfrid Laurier. On section 1, 1. The agreement made between His Majesty and the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway Company (hereinafter called the ' Pacific Company,') dated the eighteenth day of February, one thousand nine hundred and four, a copy of which forms the schedule to this Act, is hereby ratified and confirmed and declared to be legally binding upon His Majesty and the Pacific Company ; and His Majesty and the Pacific Company and the Grand Trunk Railway Company of Canada (hereinafter called the ' Grand Trunk Company,') and all others concerned, are "hereby authorized and empowered to do whatever is necessary in order to give full effect to the provisions of the said agreement and of this Act.


CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

Looking at section 1 of this Bill, I observe that it omits certain words

I presume by inadvertence-which were contained in the second section of the Act of last year which is sought to be amended by the present Bill. If my hon.

friend the Minister of Justice (Mr. Fitzpatrick) will look at section 2, of the Act of last year, he will see that it reads as follow's :

The agreement, a copy of which forms the schedule to this Act, (hereinafter called ' The Agreement ' is hereby ratified and confirmed, and declared to be legally binding upon His Majesty and the Grand Trunk Railway Company (hereinafter called * the Company ') subject to the provisions of this Act.

I would suggest that similar words should he introduced into the first section of this Bill and that section 1, of the Bill should be amended by inserting after the word ' company ' where it first appears in line 10, the words ' subject to the provisions of the National Transcontinental Railway Act and of this Act.'

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LIB

Charles Fitzpatrick (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Hon. CHAS. FITZPATRICK (Minister of Justice).

I should not like to amend this Bill which has been very carefully drawn without very careful consideration, but I am prepared to consider the suggestion of my hon. friend. I would like my hon. friend to consider whether or not this is necessary, this being simply an amendment to the original agreement, the terms of the original Act, except in so far as they may be changed by this Bill, will remain and be applicable to the. present agreement.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

I do not know that I quite follow my hon. friend the Minister of Justice. Am I to gather that he suggests that'the words 'subject to the provisions of this Act,' would also be embodied in the amending Act by reason of the fact that they are in the original Act ?

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LIB

Charles Fitzpatrick (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. FITZPATRICK.

Yes. However, I quite appreciate the importance of my hon. friend's suggestion, and if it is necessary to make it clearer, I shall not object. We cannot get through with this Bill to-day, and I shall consider it between now and the next sitting of the House.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

I shall not move it at present, so that the hon. Minister of Justice will have an opportunity of considering it.

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LIB

Charles Fitzpatrick (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. FITZPATRICK.

This Bill has been somewhat carefully prepared and I do not like, without careful consideration, to add or take anything away from the Bill as it now7 comes before the House.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

I realize, of course, that the Bill has been very carefully drawn, but if the insertion of the words I have suggested wTere necessary for greater caution, I would think it possible that there would not be a great deal of objection to them. However, what the hon. Minister of Justice said is satisfactory at the present time. He will take it into consideration.

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LIB

Charles Fitzpatrick (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. FITZPATRICK.

AYould it not oe better to take up in connection with section 1, the agreement, paragraph by paragraph?

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CON
CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

If we have to take up the agreement at some time, I do not see why we should not take it up now.

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LIB

Charles Fitzpatrick (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. FITZPATRICK.

We could not give effect to the clause, without considering the agreement.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

The agreement comes in immediately after section 1, and roust be considered before section one can be passed.

On section 1 of the schedule,

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SCHEDULE.


This Agreement made this eighteenth day of February, 1904, between His Majesty the King, acting in respect of the Dominion of Canada and herein represented and acting by the Honourable Henry Robert Emmerson, Minister of Railways and Canals, of the first part ; and the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway Company, of the second part. Whereas a contract bearing date the twenty-ninth day of July, 1903, was made and entered into between His Majesty the King, of the first part, and Sir Charles Rivers-Wilson and others, acting on behalf of the said Grand Trunk Pacific Railway Company, and providing, upon the terms and 'Sonditions in the said contract mentioned and set forth, for the construction and operation of the line of railway therein described ; And whereas the said contract w7as afterwards confirmed by an Act of parliament of Canada, chapter seventy-one ' of the statutes of 1903, known as The National Transcontinental Railway Act ; And whereas the parties hereto have agreed, subject to ratification by the parliament of Canada, to make certain modifications of the said contract. Now therefore this agreement witnesseth that the said parties have contracted and agreed with each other as follows :- 1. Notwithstanding anything in the said contract contained, the time for completion of the western division of the railway shall be and the same is hereby extended to the first day of December, A.D. 1911, and thb tenth paragraph of the said contract is amended accordingly and by inserting the word ' strikes ' after the word ' floods ' In the seventh line thereof.


CON

William James Roche

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. W. J. ROCHE.

Mr. Chairman, in

reference to this clause which is a clause providing for an extension of time, I desire to oiler a few remarks, and very few they will be. In view of the fact that the right lion. Prime Minister, when he introduced this supplemental agreement practically gave us no reason why the clause contained in the original contract, should be changed so as to grant an extention of time, other than that the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway Company asked for an extension of time, I would earnestly protest against an extension of time as far as it relates, at any rate, to the prairie section. I could understand, that, in view of one year practically having been lost, an extension of time would be asked to cover the mountain section, but I think this clause, if it is designed more particularly to apply to the mountain section,

should specifically say so. It was claimed last year by the Prime Minister that this road was urgently needed to relieve traffic congestion in the west, and that therefore we could not wait for surveys or for information in regard to it. But this year the Prime Minister in introducing the amendment, had only this to say, in connection with section 1, of the amended contract:

The first of these modifications relates to the time within which the line is to he built, and the proposition to which we to-day ask the assent of parliament is in these terms :

Sec. 1.-Notwithstanding anything in the said contract contained, the time for completion of the western division of the railway shall be and the same is hereby extended to the first day of December, 1911, and the tenth paragraph of the said contract is amended accordingly, and by inserting the word ' strikes ' after the word ' floods ' in the seventh line thereof.

By the terms of section 10 of the contract submitted to parliament last session, it is provided that the western section of the line, the portion from Winnipeg to the Pacific ocean, should he built within the period of five years commencing December 10, 1903. The company thought that this limit of time was perhaps a little too short and the only modification which they asked was that in case of failure on their part to comply with this condition of the contract, the deposit of $5,000,000 should not be forfeited. Their application- was in these terms :

Time for the completion of the construction of the western division, fixed as December 1, 1908, is considered short. Failure to complete within the time should at least not create a forfeiture of the deposit.

We did not altogether agree to this, but we provided that the time should be extended by three years so that the company will have until December 1, 1911, in which to complete their line.

These are all of the concessions which have been made except that to the legitimate causes for delay, such as floods, disturbances, &e., strikes are added. I am sure that our hon. friends on the other side of the House will have no objection to agree to this modification of the contract.

The only reason that the Prime Minister assigned for tlie extension of time was, that the company thought that three years was too short. The company did not offer any very strenuous objection to the five year limit, but the Prime Minister thought it well to grant the extension for three years longer, and so he dissipated all his arguments of last year in favour of immediate construction. I, as a western member, am most anxious to see the road constructed to meet the wants and requirements of our people at the earliest possible date ; I protest against this extension of time so far as it relates to the 1,000 miles of the prairie section. There is no reason why the road should not be constructed on the prairie within the time fixed in last year's Bill. The Canadian Pacific Railway did not take five years to construct its line on the prairie, at a time when the facilities for quick railway construction were not nearly so modern 70

as they are now. It may be, that the mountain section would require a longer time to build, but the prairie section through the grain-growing country, can be very well completed by the 1st of December, 1908.

1 wish also to ask the Minister of Justice, if the government can give any information, relatively speaking, as to where this road is going to be constructed west of Winnipeg. The company have had survey parties out during the past year, and we would like to know if reports have been made indicating where the road is going to run ; or is it the intention of the government to leave this an open question until after the general election. Recently the Liberal candidates in Manitoba have been going around with maps pretending to show the proposed location of the Grand Trunk Pacific, and of course as each member points it out as running through his own constituency, the thing is reduced to an absurdity, but nevertheless it is held out as a bribe practically to the electors. Indeed, one of the leading Liberal papers in the west has declared that the electors have it in their power to say where this road is to be constructed, and their opinions on the matter would be largely judged by the result of the elections. That is very candid, but at the same time it is very unjust, very unfair, and very misleading. I protest against the location of this line being postponed until after the general elections, and I hold that this Bill should not pass until the government declares what will be the location of the line west of Winnipeg. Surely they can at least tell us whether it is going to run north or south of the Canadian Northern. Last year when the member for North Simcoe (Mr. MacCarthy) who had charge of the Bill, was asked whether the line would run north or south of the Canadian Northern, he said he was not sure, but he thought it was north : and when we pointed out that the map circulated by the Grand Trunk Railway "located the line to the south, he candidly admitted that until the surveys were made that could not be ascertained. If the government desires to have the time extended for the completion of the mountain section, let them say so, but there is no reason on earth why that line cannot be constructed within five years through the prairie country, where relief is needed at the earliest possible moment.

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LIB

Charles Fitzpatrick (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. FITZPATRICK.

The hon. gentleman will realize that it will be to the interest of the Grand Trunk Pacific Company to have that section of the line constructed at the earliest possible moment, because it has always been described in this House as being the fat section, or the revenue-producing section, so far as local traffic is concerned. Under the original agreement, it is provided that the western section is to be finished within five years from the last of December. 1903, and it is also provided that a sum of $5,000,000 is to be deposited, which will be

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forfeited In case the road is not completed from Winnipeg to the Pacific ocean, and equipped with respect to the whole road. The gentlemen who have put up that deposit are naturally somewhat anxious that no forfeit should take place in the event of non-compliance with the strict terms of the agreement, and the suggestion was made, that we should declare that the deposit would not be forfeited in the event of the non-completion of the road within that time. We thought it infinitely preferable in the interest of the country, that instead of releasing the deposit we would extend the delay, and instead of declaring that the $5,000,000 should not be forfeited if the road were not constructed, we should declare the $5,000,000 should not be forfeited, if the road were completed within eight years. My hon. friend (Mr. W. J. Roche) has referred to the rapid construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway, and I would ask him to bear in mind, that as it was the interest of the Canadian Pacific Railway to construct their road as rapidly as possible, it will be the interest of the Grand Trunk Pacific to complete this part of the line at the earliest possible moment.

My hon. friend will remember that the Canadian Pacific had authority to extend the construction of its line over a period of ten years. As a matter of fact, the first sod on the main line was turned on the 2nd of May, 1881, the last spike was driven on the 7th of November, 1885, and the first eastbound through train arrived at Montreal on the 12th July, 1886, or a little more than five years after the road was first begun ; and I am quite sure that with the facilities for railway building that now exist in the Northwest, this road can be completed within the same length of time. At the same time, it seems to me that it is not unreasonable to expect that the gentlemen who are depositing their $5,000,000 will see to it that such precautions are taken on their part, that that deposit will not be forfeited by the country in consequence of the non-fulfilment of the contract in that respect -that is, if they do not completely construct the road and completely equip it, not partly, but ready for operation within the time specified. Under these circumstances, I think my hon. friend will see that this is a very reasonable request. The location of the line has to proceed in the same way and under the same conditions as any other private railway built by a private company. The company will, in their own interest, endeavour to locate it in such a way as to derive the greatest possible amount of revenue from the local traffic. On the other hand, the government will have something to say with respect to the location ; and it will be the duty of the government to consider the location from the standpoint of the general interest of the country at large as well as from the standpoint of the local interest concerned.

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LIB
CON

William James Roche

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. W. J. ROCHE.

Will the Minister of Justice read that portion of the Bill which says that the government will have the approval of the location of the road in the province of Manitoba. I think it refers to the Northwest Territories.

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April 28, 1904