April 7, 1905

LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald

Liberal

Mr. E. M. MACDONALD.

I am not in the secrets of the government.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY COMPANY.
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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

I mean from the statements made.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY COMPANY.
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LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald

Liberal

Mr. E. M. MACDONALD.

I think everyone understood that the Minister of Railways announced that the government intended to take certain running powers over this railway from Montreal to Parry Sound and that the exact particulars of what was proposed would be contained in the Bill ' An Act to amend the Government Railway Act.'

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY COMPANY.
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L-C

Andrew B. Ingram

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. INGRAM.

If my hon. friend (Mr. E. M. Macdonald) is satisfied with the statement of the Minister of Railways on Wednesday evening, he is very easily satisfied. Members on this side desire information from the minister as to the government's policy and the minister told us that he would be in a position to give it.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY COMPANY.
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LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald

Liberal

Mr. E. M. MACDONALD.

Will my hon. friend (Mr. Ingram) allow me to ask if he desires to discuss this private Bill and the government measure at the same time ?

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY COMPANY.
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L-C

Andrew B. Ingram

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. INGRAM.

My hon. friend does not understand the rules of the House or he would not ask that question.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY COMPANY.
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LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald

Liberal

Mr. E. M. MACDONALD.

That is what the hon. gentleman (Mr. Ingram) wants to do. I understand the rules.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY COMPANY.
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L-C

Andrew B. Ingram

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. INGRAM.

Will the hon. gentleman tell me how w-e can possibly discuss these two Bills at the same time ?

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY COMPANY.
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LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald

Liberal

Mr. E. M. MACDONALD.

That is what the hon. gentleman is trying to do.

Mr.. INGRAM.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY COMPANY.
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L-C

Andrew B. Ingram

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. INGRAM.

Not at all. What I want is a statement from the Minister of Railways and Canals of the policy of the government on this question. Let the hon. gentleman (Mr. E. M. Macdonald) remember that this question has been up for years. Hon. Mr. Blair, whom hon. gentlemen opposite have declared to be the greatest Minister of Railways Canada has ever had, stated his views with respect to the Canada Atlantic Railway. And, now that the government, apparently do not intend to amend this Bill but to introduce a separate measure, we have a right to know, before this Bill is dealt with, what that policy is. The hon. gentleman (Mr. E. M. Macdonald) proposes that we shall lock the stable door after the horse is stolen. If thq government's policy is satisfactory, the members on this side will have no objection to allowing this Bill to pass ; but we have a right to know what is to be done. We have been here for some years, and we know something of the government's policy in buying railways and arranging running rights, and, to avoid, if possible, another of the blunders that tbey liave made, we should know what the government's policy is. The Minister of Railways agreed on Wednesday to state the government's policy, and he has now an opportunity to do so. If on Monday he introduces the other Bill and states his policy, we shall then be in a position to discuss the tw-o Bills intelligently. In the meantime no interest can suffer if this Bill is not dealt with at once.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY COMPANY.
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?

Mr. I@

My hon. friend from Pictou (Mr. E. M. Macdonald) must know that the policy of his party, or at least, leading members of his party in the maritime provinces for some years has been to acquire the Canada Atlantic Railway as part of the Intercolonial. The hon. gentleman will not say that he is ignorant of that.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY COMPANY.
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LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald

Liberal

Mr. E. M. MACDONALD.

I am not aware that the policy of a portion of the Liberal party is the policy of the party.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY COMPANY.
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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

Does he not regard Mr. Russell the former member for Hants as a prominent member of the party ? .

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY COMPANY.
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LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald

Liberal

Mr. E. M. MACDONALD.

I only recognize one policy as the policy of the party, and that is the policy of my right hon. friend (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) who leads this House.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY COMPANY.
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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

Does not my hon. friend recognize a policy announced by The Minister of Railways and Canals as a policy of the party ? The Minister of Railways and Canals was known to be in favour of that policy. The gentleman who is now Minister of Railways and Canals (Mr. Em-inerson), as a private member, twro or three years ago, advocated the very policy to which I have referred. In my hearing in this House, he advocated the acquisition of

the Canada Atlantic Railway as part of the Intercolonial. And the former member for Hants, in a long and exhaustive letter published in the Morning '-Chronicle ' of Halifax, dealt in a very able way with the future of the Intercolonial and its unfortunate condition of piling up a considerable deficit while not acquiring any portion of the western traffic. I have not his words before me but I think I can state with exactness what he said in that letter. He said : We want to have the Intercolonial

reach up to the great lakes of Canada and acquire a portion of the great western traffic which is rapidly increasing. Then he added : ' If any gentleman in this country knows of any better way to accomplish that than by acquiring the Canada Atlantic, it will be in order for him to take the floor.' So, I have pointed out to my hon. friend that two important members of his party in the maritime provinces, one since elevated to the bench of Nova Scotia and the other elevated to the very important position of Minister of Railways, besides Hon. Mr. Blair, formerly Minister of Railways, were of opinion that it is absolutely essential to the success and prosperity of the Intercolonial and to the development of the maritime ports to extend the Intercolonial to Parry Sound and to extend it by means of the Canada Atlantic Railway. My hon. friend (Mr. E. M. Macdonald) says we have nothing to do with that matter under this Bill. I say we have a great deal to do with it under this Bill. I do not blame my hon. friend for placing, as he appears to do, the question of the corporation far above the interests of the country

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY COMPANY.
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LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald

Liberal

Mr. E. M. MACDONALD.

The hon. gentleman (Mr. R. L. Borden) has no right to draw any such inferences from what I said.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY COMPANY.
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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

Then the hon. gentleman did not intend that-

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY COMPANY.
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LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald

Liberal

Mr. E. M. MACDONALD.

I said nothing that would warrant the hon. gentleman in imputing to me any such opinion.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY COMPANY.
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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

I do not agree with my hon. friend in regard to that. I certainly got that impression from his words-that certainly was the direction of his argument, as I understood him. But he says that is not what he meant, and I accept his disclaimer. At any rate, we on this side must look at the question, not so much from the point of view of the interests of the Grand Trunk Railway, or the interests of the Canada Atlantic Railway, but from the point of view of the whole country. How will that interest be affected by the Bill ? That my hon. friend will ask me, of course, is a very proper question, and one which, taking the stand I do, I am bound to answer. From my point of view the interests of the country as a whole demand that the government shall acquire the Canada Atlantic-not acquire running rights over it, but acquire the railway-and reach out for a portion of the traffic of the great west, which some of the hon. gentlemen on the other side at least have been saying is necessary (for the future success of the Intercolonial. Surely my hon. friend will not say that that policy will not be affected by the passage of this Bill. He surely does not pretend that in the same session parliament shall authorize the Grand Trunk Railway to acquire the whole capital stock of the Canada Atlantic Railway-which I understand is in only a few hands-and so make that railway part of its great system, and, in the next breath, declare that it will expropriate the Canada Atlantic and make it a part of the Intercolonial ? I have heard the Prime Minister (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) ask that legislation be allowed to stand over for much less reason than we suggest in this case to-night. Why, the thing is inconceivable-to give the Grand Trunk Railway power to acquire the stock of this road with a view to making it part of its great system, and then to pass a Bill which shall have the effect of declaring that that action was absolutely meaningless and nonsensical. My hon. friend will surely not take that position. Yet there is no other position for him to take, unless he acquiesces in the view we adopt. , ..

I am speaking on the matter at some length in order to place our position correctly in the mind of my hon. friend, who seems to think that we have some set purpose of defeating this Bill, and that we can accomplish everything we desire by permitting this Bill to pass without further discussion and simply deal with what I think he will regard as an important question, in the government Bill about to be introduced. My hon. friend has referred to our policy with regard to the Canada Atlantic. Well we have made it pretty plain, I think, during last session and the session before. I frankly avowed in this House on both occasions that I thought it would be in the interest of this country to extend the Intercolonial to the shores of the Georgian bay. I went further than that, but it is sufficient for my present purpose to call attention to the fact that I did take that position, and I do not recede from it now. I did not commit myself absolutely to effecting that extension by means of the Canada Atlantic. I said that upon certain data which I presented to this House with regard to the earning power of the Canada Atlantic, I believed so far as I was able to obtain information, that it would be a good thing for the country to acquire that road ; but I said if the government, after due examination, should come to the conclusion that the Intercolonial could be extended to the shores of the Georgian bay by some better means, I would be prepared to acquiesce in that conclusion if it commended itself to my

judgment. These are the reasons why I think it is undesirable to proceed with the consideration of this Bill, at all events, to pass this Bill, until we really know what the proposal of the government is. As the Minister of Railways and Canals has once more returned to the House, might I venture to inquire from him whether he thinks he will be able to make, on Monday, those explanations of the government measure which, on Wednesday last, he expected to make to-day.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY COMPANY.
Permalink
LIB

Henry Robert Emmerson (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. EMMERSOX.

I expect to be able to introduce a Bill on Monday, I was unable to do so before, owing to a press of other matters. I would suggest that this Bill be allowed to go through the committee and stand for the third reading, and it may stand for the third reading until I have made my explanations. I am sure the situation could not be in any way affected by that course, and we will be expediting the business of the House. The company, of course, is not responsible for the action taken by the government, and X do not think that we should put any more obstacles in their way than is possible.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY COMPANY.
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April 7, 1905