EMMERSON (Minister of Railways and Canals) moved for leave to introduce Bill (No. 157) respecting the payment of certaiD railway subsidies. He said : This is a Bill to make it possible to fix the amount of a subsidy before the work is completed. Under the present law a subsidy of $3,900 per mile is contracted for, and under the terms of the Subsidy Act, if the cost of the
railway exceeds $15,000, an additional subsidy can be paid not exceeding $6,400 per mile. This Bill seeks to make it possible, at the request of the railway company, to have a contract entered into, upon the report of the chief engineer, for the payment of a fixed amount. The $3,200 would be paid on progress estimates, as at present, and 70 per cent of the cost above $3,200 would be payable, the remaining 30 per cent being held until the final completion of the work. The operation of the present' Act causes very much difficulty to the department and also to the Auditor General. He favours fixing the amount beforehand, upon a survey and report of the chief engineer, by the Minister of Railways and Canals under the authority of the Governor in Council.