But, occasional references are made to a former Minister of Rail-
ways on this side and to what he said, so, I think I can be doing nothing wrong in treating my hon. friend (Mr. Haggart) as the best authority on railway matters on the other side of the House. Therefore, I wish to call public attention to the fact that the idea, so widely prevalent that it was the policy of the Conservative party, if returned to power, to acquire the Canada Atlantic Railway, and that the failure of this government to acquire it was a grave mistake in the interest of the lower provinces-it is well to understand that this is all a delusion and that it was not the policy of hon. gentlemen opposite to acquire the Canada Atlantic Railway, inasmuch as their railway expert says that neither on exorbitant terms, nor on any other terms, would he agree to the acquisition of the Canada Atlantic Railway. And he objects to acquiring running powers over it. We have no reason to complain on that score. This Bill is a simple one. Many men in Canada -have thought that it .would be in the interest of the Intercolonial to acquire the Canada Atlantic Railway, or acquire running powers over it, or in some way use it as the western extension of the Intercolonial. A Bill having been introduced to transfer the Canada Atlantic to the Grand Trunk Railway-for that is what it means in effect ; though there will be two corporations, the Canada Atlantic Railway will be practically a part of the Grand Trunk Railway-it has been suggested, in deference to the opinion of many people who think we may be able to utilize the Canada Atlantic Railway as the western connection for the Intercolonial, that in passing that legislation we should reserve power to have running rights over that road, which power can be used if deemed expedient and practical. How far we may be able to use that power, how far it may be profitable-these are fair matters for consideration. We are not deciding that we shall use running powers, hut are simply reserving to the government and people of Canada power to have these running rights if, in the interest of the country, it be deemed expedient to use them ; and we provide that the terms and conditions on which we may claim that power shall be determined by the Railway Commission in the same way as a similar question would be determined if application were made by a private company. Now, I do not think there should be any opposition to that policy by those of hon. gentlemen opposite who believe in the policy of using the Canada Atlantic Railway as an extension of the Intercolonial. They should be pleased that we are acquiring, if not the road as they might desire, the running powers. And the hon. member for South Lanark (Mr. Haggart) need not be alarmed because we are simply reserving a power by legislation, leaving it to be considered hereafter whether that power can be profitably used. I agree with that hon. gentleman to a considerable extent that the argument in favour of securing running rights is that it puts the railway in whose favour tlie running rights are granted in a good position to claim a reasonable traffic arrangement. Even from that point of view, the taking of these powers might be of advantage to the Intercolonial. This is an empowering, permissive Bill. It secures to the government and people of Canada the right to use the Canada Atlantic Railway if it be found, at any future time, to be advisable.
Subtopic: RIGHTS OYER CANADA ATLANTIC RAILWAY.