April 27, 1905



Mr. P. H.@

GERVAIS presented the fourth report of the Select Committee appointed to supervise the official report of the Debates, as follows :-

The select committee appointed to supervise the ofiioial report of the debates of this House during the present session beg leave to present the following as their fourth report :


Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)


Would the bon. member please explain ?


Peter H. McKenzie



This part of the report referred to Is the report of the sub-committee on railway rates appointed by the Committee of Agriculture and Colonization. This report was handed in about two weeks ago, and we are now asking that it be concurred in, so that discussion may take place upon it. I may say that the reason we ask for this report to be concurred in is that the matters affecting railway rates are now before the commission, and we wish to have our say with regard to them as soon as possible.


Archibald Campbell



I understand that these recommendations made by the Agriculture Committee are in reference to rates on railways. I think, from the information that was brought before that committee, it was shown that the rates charged by the railways on products carried lrom one point in Ontario to another point, or from one

point in tlie Dominion to another point in the Dominion, are much higher than the rates charged by railways carrying products from an American port to an American port, or from an American port to a Canadian port. If that is the case, as these railways have been built largely by the money of the people of Canada, I think it is a very important subject, and should be referred to the Railway Commission at the earliest possible date, in order that some steps may be taken to prevent the undue discrimination that is being practiced against Canadians upon Canadian railways. It is in my own experience-I know it is a fact-that the rates on grain and products are very much lower from American ports to Canadian ports than they are from one Canadian port to another. I .think the Agriculture Committee, who have taken up this matter so energetically, and especially the hon. member for East Kent (Mr. Gordon), deserve the commendation of this House for the services they have rendered the country in bringing these facts before the committee. I think that, considering the very-great importance of the subject, it is a matter that should be dealt with at the earliest possible date.


Peter H. McKenzie



Mr. Speaker, I may say that the Committee on Agriculture and Colonization considered this as a matter that very seriously affects the welfare of the people of this country as a whole. We recognize that the question is a very large one, but we confined ourselves at this time to dealing with the case very largely of Ontario, not but that complaints could be brought in from other parts of the Dominion, but the committee dealt more particularly with the railway rates as they affect the farmers of Ontario and the farm products of the kinds especially dealt with in the report which has been presented by this committee. I may say, in speaking for a few minutes upon this subject, that in western Ontario where we produce cattle for export largely we have been complaining a good deal of the rates charged us by the railway companies. The cattle industry of Ontario is on the increase and it is a very important industry not only to the farmers but to the country generally* because a great deal of money is brought in through that industry and on account of the condition of farming in western Ontario we are obliged to increase that branch of our agricultural work. We are quite well aware that the business of cattle raising requires a good deal of attention and a good deal of money, that it is a somewhat risky business and that sometimes the profit to the producer is not very large. We therefore ask the railway companies to assist us in every way possible to foster this industry. We consider that in the past they have not been doing so, and when we contrast the rates received from our own railways in Ontario with the rates given from

points in Michigan we find that the rates are against the Canadian farmer and- in favour of the Michigan farmer. We think this should not be. We find that the rate charged in Michigan is 22 cents per hundred pounds, while just across the Detroit river and as far east as London the rate is 25 cents per hundred pounds. We desire, to direct the attention of the House to the fact that the Ontario farmer, in the matter of rates on cattle, is being discriminated against in favour of the Michigan farmer and all we ask at present is that we be put on an equal footing with the American farmer. We claim that this is necessary in the interest of the cattle industry of Canada. The American farmer produces cattle as we do, and he competes with us in the British market. We are not in a position to compete with him as we ought to be not having such a favourable rate. This matter is before the Railway Commission at the present time, reductions have been made and the railway people are appealing against these reductions. W e

want to appear before that commission in support of the plea that a further reduction should be made in the interests of the Ontario farmer in the rate on cattle. I need not say any more than that. I might give tlie House in detail different rates from different points but I may say that from Toronto the rate is 15 cents per hundred pounds where it used to be 18 cents. The commission has helped us there and they have likewise helped us in regard to the long and short haul with the result that a proportionate rate of decrease must take place as you approach the sea-board. It is a very good thing that the commission has done that and I hope it will stay with it. AVe are pleased that a long and short haul rate has been established by which the rate is reduced in proportion to the length of the haul, but we still claim that we should be put on a par with the Michigan farmer in regard to the rates on cattle to the seaboard.

Without saying any more on cattle at present, I wish to say a word or two in regard to apples. AA'e, in the western peninsula of Ontario, are large producers of apples, and we find that the excessive railway rates charged is one reason why apple growing has not been so profitable as it ought to be in western Ontario. We claim that the railway companies are charging a great deal too high a rate on apples, in fact a rate so high that it is utterly against their own interests because it is decreasing a branch of trade that might be very valuable to them if they would only consider their own interests as well as ours. AATe claim that the commission should deal with the rate on apples. We have an export rate from Buffalo to Aew York, a distance of 446 miles, of 25 cents per barrel. From AVoodstock to Montreal, a dis-


tance of 443 miles, tlie export rate is 38i cents per barrel and the local rate 46J cents. When such an enormous discrimination exists in favour of the American farmer surely it is time that something be done for the apple trade of western Ontario.

\\ e do not want to be too severe on the railways ; we are willing to give them their due, but we want them to assist us in developing the trade of the western portion of Ontario. The railway companies say that it is not fair to calculate rates on the cost of railway building now, that these railways were built at a time when the country was new, that they opened up the country and that they were run at a loss for a considerable length of time. But, we have to say as against that contention that we in Ontario practically built these railways. The Ontario government has given towards the construction of railways in Ontario 89,708,378 in cash ; municipalities have given in bonuses, subsidies and shares $12,294,105, or in bonuses alone over $10,000,000. We say that our interests should be considered by the railway companies. We have largely aided in the building of these roads and we have a perfect right to ask them to consider our interests when it comes to a matter of rates.

- We do say that they have not given our interests the consideration to which they are entitled. There are others to speak on this matter and they will go into other branches of trade as the rates affect these different branches. I will not detain the House much longer. As an agriculturist I consider that the railway companies, in their treatment of the agricultural products of western Ontario are not consulting either our interests or their own. The complaint is made that the railway companies, in their dealings with people, are killing the goose that lays the golden egg by their short sighted policy. We want this House to back us up in getting justice from the railways not with the idea of placing our railways in a worse position than others, but by, if possible, putting us on a par with the producers on the American side of the line having to compete with them in the same market.


David Alexander Gordon



Hr. Speaker, in rising to address a few remarks to the House on the question of freight rates as applied to farm commodities, I am cognizant of the fact that the question is of the greatest importance to the greatest producing class in Canada to-day, a class that supplies the great bulk of the tonnage to our railways from the point of production to the markets of the world. So great is the importance of this traffic that any condition arising to affect it either favourably or adversely is felt in every other channel of trade and commerce throughout the length and breadth of the Dominion.

We have tried to consider this question in a spirit of fairness, and we have endeavoured to arrive at conclusions by c-om-


Peter H. McKenzie



paring existing rates in the United States that is non-competitive and neutral and entirely under the control of the Canadian railroads which operate through that territory, with the rates charged in Canadian territory corresponding to that and through which railroads have been built largely with the assistance of the aid they have received from the people of Canada. If you contrast the rates charged in this way, I think there is no one but who will agree that we are not justly treated by these railroads which operate through the United States and Canadian territory. In order to show how we arrived at our conclusion, it will be necessary to look at the question from the various standpoints which effect it. I trust that I may not weary the House by quoting some ligures which bear upon the case. I first call to the attention of the House the live stock rate from territory in the United States which is non-competitive, viz.: The territory lying between Detroit and Port Huron and which can be reached by no other means than by the Grand Trunk Railway. I may mention that some of the shipments indeed have to come over the electric line to the main line of the Grand Trunk and then be hauled to Detroit or Port Huron as the case may be. From this United States territory the rate on live stock to the sea-board is as follows :

- Cattle. Sheep. Hogs.Cts. Cts. Cts.Chesterfield, Fort Gratiot, Fraser, Lennox, Sit. Clemens, Mt. Olivet, Smith's Creek and West Detroit 22 ' 23i


An hon. MEMBER.

Where to ?


David Alexander Gordon



To the sea-board. The first question we ask ourselves is : Why

under such conditions, the American farmers are granted favours that are denied to Canadian farmers ? In order to look at l.'jat Question fairly let us see how the American people treat our railroads. In the first place they have given nothing towards their construction and in the second place they tax our railroads seven and a half times as much as the taxation imposed in Canada. When we go to Port Huron we And they have to go through the tunnel there and on the American end of that tunnel the taxes paid amount to $29,000 per annum while on the Canadian end the taxes paid amount to only $730. Judging by the treatment extended to our railroads by the Americans it would certainly seem that these railroads should have more consideration for Canadian shippers than tliev now show

Crossing over the Detroit or St. Clair river we find that the rates on cattle, sheep and hogs are as follow :

From the following points in Ontario, tariff : -

Sarnia, Windsor, Chatham, Ridgetown, Highgate, Thamesville, Bothwell, Parkhill, Palmerston, Stratford, Wiar-ton, Lucknow, Owen Sound and all intermediate points


over $40 per car in favour of the American farmer.

Let me next consider for a few moments the rate on grain and grain products. The

export rates are as follows : -


Front U. S.@

privileges tbat are enjoyed by the American farmers. The grain rate disappears and the grain and grain products rate take'the place of the two rates that are in effect in the United States. In the territory between Detroit and Port Huron the export rate to New York, Portland or Boston on grain is 10 cents and on grain products 111 cents. When we cross the river, by the ferry at Detroit or through the tunnel at Port Huron, we find the conditions entirely changed, and a blanket rate of 131c. and upwards is made from Sarnia and Windsor and all intermediate territory for a distance of 500 miles east, or to within a day's drive for a farmer of Montreal. In other words, a man on the banks of the St. Lawrence at Morrisburg or Lancaster has to pay 8e. and a fraction per bushel to get his wheat carried to Montreal, whereas it is carried from Winnipeg to the sea-board at about 12c. a bushel.

Cheese is a commodity in which Canadians are very largely interested, the development of that industry having reached proportions in which we feel a justifiable pride. When the bulk of that trade is considered, we think the railroad companies should have made some allowance for carload shipments and also for shipments that are local in their character, but we find, in comparing Canada with the United States in regard to distances for local shipments, that we are discriminated against to a very great extent. In the United States cheese is carried 283 miles by the Grand Trunk Railway for

,,wh?reas in Canada it is carried 400 miles for 36c. or one-eighth per pound more.

Beans are a product of great interest to the western counties, and particularly to the county of Kent. Last year thev were worth actually less than wheat during the fall in some' localities. The cost of shipment is the same, because beans are packed in Panels or sacks, the same as wheat products ; they weigh the same as wheat; but is costs 6c. a bushel! more to ship beans to the sea-board than it does to ship wheat.

Our complaints are not confined to the export rates alone; we are quite as much interested in the import rates. If the railroads, by making very high rates on exports, can take fifty per cent more from the pockets of the farmers than they should and thus enable themselves to make very low rates on imported commodities, they create an unfair competition witli the home manufacturer and deprive the Canadian farmer of the home market he ought to enjoy- In the United States we find the conditions exactly the reverse. The import rates and the export rates are nearly equal, so that full justice is done to the people and the railroads are aiding in developing the country and increasing the production, and I believe are increasing tlieir earnings at the same time. The following comparisons will show the discrepancies between the import and export rates: *


Peterboro' / Import...

I Export...

Toronto (Import...


Hamilton / Import...

' ' I Export___

Galt /Import...

\ Export____

London /Import....

"* I Export....

Chatham (Import....

I Export....

Fergus and Elora / Import....

I Export....

Wingham f Import....

I Export....

Owen Sound / Import...

I. Export....

Cents per 100 lbs.











24 20 17 1.3433 29 24 1924 20 17 13435 30 25 20264 224 184 1537 32 26 21264 224 184 15444 27 38 234 275 194 234 16"49 39 27J 23432 27 23 19"504 39 274 234264 224 184 15"44 38 28 2432 2S 234 1953 434 304 2633 29 24 2053 444 31 264












So that you see all through the high rates are levied on the great bulk of the commodities that the country produces and exports; and it lias been truly said that the cardinal principal has been to burden the traffic with all the charges which it would stand, regardless of what would be a fair and just charge tor the services rendered.

With regard to export rates, I mav say Mr. GORDON.

that the question is so large a one that the investigations made by the committee have been confined largely to Ontario, simply because it would be an almost impossible'task to deal with the question as it affects tin-whole country this session and do it anything like justice.

When we come to the question of local rates in the state of Michigan as compared

with the rates out of Toronto in Canada the difference is very striking. As an example let us take a shipment from Detroit to Battle Creek a distance of 145 miles, and compare the same with the rates charged for similar shipments for the same distance out of Toronto in Ontario. The comparison is as follows :

Class of Freight.

lsc 2nd 3rd 4th 5thCts. Cts. Cts. Cis. Cts.Chicago to Battle. Creek. . . 28 24 20 134 10Equal distance out of Toronto 30 32 27 23' 18Difference in favour of U.S.. * 8 7 94 8

Let us now take the rates from Detroit to Saginaw, 107 miles and compare them with the rates for similar shipments for the same distance out of Toronto in Ontario.

Class of Freight.*

1st 2nd 3rd 4 th 5thCts. Cts. Cts. Cts. Cts.Detroit to Saginaw 28 24 20 14 10Equal distanceoutof Toronto 34 30 26 20 17Difference in favour of U.S.. 6 6 6 6 7Class of Freight. 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5thCts. Cts. Cts. Cts. Cts.Detroit to South Bend. Ind . 30 26 20 131 uEqual distance west of Tor- 40 35 30 25 20Difference in favour of U.S.. 10 9 10 114 9

Class of Freight.

1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5thCts. Cts. Cts. Cts. Cts.Detroit to Grand Rapids

Equal distance west of Tor- 30 26 20 134 Honto 38 33 29 24 19Difference in favour of U.S.. 8 7 9 114 8

A comparison on a sliding scale of the above rates is interesting. I have selected for comparison the rates between Battle Creek and Detroit and between Toronto and Brantford.' From Battle Creek to Detroit is 145 miles, as compared with 65 miles from Toronto to Brantford, so that in examining this table we must remember that the distance from Battle Creek to Detroit is more than twice the distance from Toronto to Brantford. The rates are as follows :

Class of Freight.

1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5thCts. Cts. Cts. Cts. Cts.Battle Creek to Detroit 26 24 20 13 10Toronto to Brantford 28 25 21 18 14Difference in favour of U.S.. 2 1 1 5 4

Let us now compare the rates from Buffalo to three points in Canada with the rates from Port Colborne to the same three points, on the different classes of merchandise :

Class of Freight.

1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5thCts. Cts. Cts. Cts. Cts.From Buffalo- To Toronto 30 26 20 15 12To Brockville 44 38 30 214 18.',To Montreal 44 38 304 214 184From Port Colborne- To Toronto 32 28 24 20 16To Block ville 50 44 38 31 25To Montreal 60 53 45 38 30

From Port Huron to Chicago, a distance of 335 miles it costs $20.80 to send a car containing a threshing machine and an engine. From Sarnia to London, a distance of 61 miles, it costs $20, or proportionately five times as much as from Port Huron to Chicago. When it comes to the question of shipping a buggy it is found that it costs $1.28 less to ship a buggy from Detroit to Toronto than from Chatham to Toronto, and it costs 71 cents more to ship a buggy from Chatham to Toronto than from Chicago to Toronto.

There is another matter to which I might refer, a matter which I think is more ser-rious in character. That is the fact that certain Canadian territory which should enjoy the benefit of competition has been-denied that competition, I have reason to believe, by our own railroads. The Ameri-

can roads passing through Canadian territory which are willing to accord to Canadians the same privileges that they accord to their own people have been prevented from doing so by the action of our own roads. In other words our own roads claim the right to enter the American markets and carry American products at whatever rate will secure business, but they have taken unto themselves the right to prevent the American roads from entering Canadian territory and competing in like manner. I understand that there is an agreement of this sort in existence which embraces all the railroads interested with the possible exception of one. This is a matter which if it is true as I believe it is, is a serious one. Had the territory through which these roads are operating been accorded the privileges that are given to the people in the United States what would have been the effect in developing these portions of Canada and would not farming and manufacturing have increased in these districts in like proportion as they have increased in the state of Michigan ? Under such competition as this working agreements might be a cause of dispute, but there should be a remedy to meet such a contingency. I call the attention of the House to these facts and we are hopeful now that we have a Railway Commission, that such action will be taken as will put these matters fully before that commission and enable them to do full justice to Canadians.

In answer to the question as to why such extraordinary privileges are given shippers in the United States the Canadian railroads say that they are compelled to do so, first by competition, secondly by the interstate commerce commission, and lastly by the fact that public opinion would not tolerate discrimination on their part in any way.

May it not be asked whether the attitude of our railroads has not had the effect or driving Canadians to Michigan ? The rates they have accorded both to manufacturers and farm producers can be regarded as neither more nor less than a bonus to producers to settle in the United States and develop business in the Territories served by these lines. I think that if it were stated squarely that the effect of this arrangement of railroad rates is to offer a bonus to Canadians to live in Michigan it would not be extravagant, for the facts are as I have stated. One of the questions that have perplexed Canadians for a long time is why farm products in the United States have been worth more than in Canada. I ask you, Mr. Speaker, is it not clear that if we had proportionate freight rates to the sea-board, if we had in our railway rates the advantage to which our geographical situation entitles us, farm products in Canada would be not as high but higher in value than in the United States? I believe that the lowering of freight rates Mr. GORDON.

would not only secure us the advantage to which we are entitled, but would greatly increase the business of the railways by developing the country as it should be developed. I have a number of figures here, but will not read them, as I do not wish to weary the House. But I take a deep interest in this question because it is of financial importance to our farmers. I believe that the opportunity now offers to do a great service to the country in this matter. I believe there are many things that we could do to benefit the farmers, things that, I believe, we might have done during the past two months, when we have done so little else. For instance, the question of car demurrage is a grievous one to producers and shippers. I understand that it is questionable whether the Railway Commission have jurisdiction in the matter or not. The question has not been raised by the railroad companies, but the doubt has been suggested. If the Railway Commission have not jurisdiction, that jurisdiction should be given to them. The conditions framed by the railway companies should be submitted to the Railway Commission and approved, so that the public interest m!ty be protected. I am not going to say that demurrage charges are wrong. I know that in many cases they are a protection to the public. But there are cases in which railroad companies are ready to take advantage of their right to charge demurrage, and this matter should come within the jurisdiction of the commission. There is another thing that I would mention. The railway companies have been empowered to make conditions such as suit themselves. They have forms of bills of lading which protect themselves, but show no regard whatever for the public interest. I think that a uniform Bill of lading is one of the things that should be provided for the protection of the public and of the railroad companies as well. If these grievances can be remedied I believe we shall have done a service not only to the farming community but to all other classes of producers in Canada as well.


George Taylor (Chief Opposition Whip; Whip of the Conservative Party (1867-1942))

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GEORGE TAYLOR (South Leeds).

I am glad that this question has been brought before the House, and that it is proposed to send this report of the Agricultural Committee to the Railway Commission. I had every hope, when the Railway Commission was appointed, that within a very few months matters would be so regulated that the Ganadian farmer, the Canadian manufacturer, and Canadian producer would receive some benefit from the large outlay of public money in paying the expenses of the commission. But, instead of improving, the situation is going from bad to worse, as I understand it. Before I give instances in point, I may mention that a few days ago I submitted a question to the Prime Minister (Sir Wilfrid Laurier)


based upon a statement made to me by a large shipper, that the Armour Company of Chicago, had secured all the space on the steamers from Montreal this season, which steamers are subsidized by this government. If this is the case any Canadian shipper who wishes to send freight by Montreal must deal with the Armour Company.

Some time ago, I made the statement to the Minister of Railways and Canals (Mr. Emmerson) that since the Railway Commission was formed we were paying a higher rate on our goods than formerly. He stated that there had been no advance on the Intercolonial Railway. Now, here is a letter from a gentleman in his own province ; and I hope he will pay particular attention while I read it :

St. John, N.B., March 6th, 1905. Ontario Wheel Company,


Dear Sir,-Inclosed please find freight bill oi wheels shipped to you by Mr. Ed. A. Morgan, Fredericton. We note that you have credited us with $17.95, while the freight bill amounts to $20.48. We have charged you with the difference, $2.51. Kindly send US' credit note for same, and oblige,

Yours truly,

(Sgd) M. E. AGAR.

We ship all goods and credit the party with the freight to the point of destination? We have the tariff rates, and we credit on the invoice the amount shown by tlie tariff. The receiver pays the freight, which is thus credited to him on the face of the invoice. After receiving this letter I went to the railway agent and asked how It came that the tariff had been raised. He explained that tbe rate to Fredericton bad been 58 cents per hundred pounds-a pretty round, full rate, I should say. They billed the goods to Lennoxville, and they went from Lennoxville to Fredericton. But, since my bon. friend tbe Minister of Railways (Mr. Emmerson), acquired the Canada Eastern Railway, tbe Grand Trunk Railway have instructions to ship everything to Fredericton over tbe Intercolonial Railway, and tbe rate to be paid is 06 cents per hundred pounds. If the minister desires to verify tbe figures be will find them in Grand Trunk supplementary tariff D.G.M. 4. page 10.

Another case came under my personal observation. We had tbe misfortune to lose by fire our carriage works at Broek-ville. We bad a contract with tbe Nova Scotia Steel Company for a quantity of tire steel. It happened that a car came immediately after tbe fire. We could not use it at Brockville, so we instructed the railway people to give instructions to have It forwarded to Gananoque, where the tiring had to be done after tbe fire. The rate from tbe works in Nova Scotia to Brockville was 25 cents per hundred pounds. The car arriving at Brockville

was not unloaded, but was simply forwarded thirty miles to Gananoque, and when it arrived there, the rate charged was 37 cents per hundred pounds-or 12 cents per hundred pounds for the thirty-mile haul from Brockville to Gananoque. We have refused to accept the car, and the question is in dispute. A few days ago we received a circular headed ' Canadian Freight Association.' It appears that nearly all the railways in Canada and the United States have joined this combine in freight rates. I see that the Intercolonial, under the direction of the Minister of Railways is a member of this combine for fixing and settling rates. They notified the shippers as follows :

The railway companies regret to say that they find the practice of false classification, false representation of the contents of packages, false report of weights, &c., continues unabated. It is therefore thought desirable that the attention of shippers should be called to the provisions of the law on the subject. Section 279, subsections 2 and 3 of the Railway Act, 1893, are as follows :

These are the late additions to the Railway Act, specifically hitting at shippers.

Any company or any officer or agent thereof, or any person acting for or employed by the company, who, by means of false billing, false classification, false report of weight, or by any other device or means, shall, knowingly, wilfully, or shall willingly suffer or permit any person or persons to obtain transportation for goods at less than the required tolls than authorized and in force on the railway of the company, shall for each offence be liable to a penalty of not exceeding $1,000 nor less than $100.

That is all against the man who ships the goodsi That takes place under the Act passed by this government which came into force less than two years ago, appointing this Railway Commission-everything to hit against the manufacturer, or producer, or shipper, not a word to protect the shipper if the railways overcharge. 1 have had two eases come under my personal observation within the last two months. I received a carload of rim strips from Tennessee, tbe freight bill on which was two hundred odd dollars. Before accepting it I talked with the railway people and told them that the rate was too high. No. they said, the rate was all right, but it was in the weight of the car. This car weighed nearly one-fourth more than any other car we had ever received from these people. I refused to accept it. and asked the agent at Gananoque to take it out and have the strips weighed. There were over 5,000 strips. He did it, and found there were about 8,900 pounds of an overcharge if the weight that was on the bill of lading was correct. 11'e refused to accept the car. and told them they could unload it in the yard. It laid there for three or four weeks in dispute, and finally the railway people put

on a man and I put on a man and we weighed it, and found about 9,000 pounds of an overcharge in the freight rate. They allowed it off, took the proper weight, and I paid it. Had I paid at first I could have had no action against the railway company under this law or any other law. The same thing happened after a fire at Brockville. They had a quantity of tire steel, their agent shipped it to us at Gananoque, and when it arrived we weighed it. and the bill came in from the railway with 1.890 pounds more freight on that lot of steel than we found it weighed, and that is now lying in dispute between us and the railway people. But there is nothing in the Act in this case to allow us to come upon the railway for overcharge. They weigh their cars, and you have to pay the money before you receive the freight, whether the amount is right or not. If you put in a claim you have to wait two or three years for your amount. Now in speaking in reference to freight in Nova Scotia, the rate to Brockville is 25 cents, and I think it is the same rate if shipped as far as Kingston. But we are receiving every day carloads of steel from Pittsburg. Pennsylvania, for 204 cents freight rate. In my opinion 20i cents freight rate from Pittsburg is much less than 25 cents from Nova Scotia to Brockville. The distance is further, more roads to go over. I trust that what has been said already and what may be further said today will appear in the ' Hansard.' and will be brought to the attention of the Railway Commission.


Alexander Johnston



Could the hon. gentleman tell us the respective distances from the Pittsburg fields and from Nova Scoti.a ?


George Taylor (Chief Opposition Whip; Whip of the Conservative Party (1867-1942))

Conservative (1867-1942)


I have not the distances, but I am quite sure it is further from Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, by railway around by Niagara Falls than it is from Nova Scotia to Brockville. But, I rose particularly to refer to a firm of millers who, since the investigation was had by the Railway Committee, have placed this letter in my hands, and I want to put it on 1 Hansard ' so that the Railway Commission may see it and attend to it.

George Taylor, Esq., M.P,


Dear Sir,-Will you be good enough to send ns a copy of the Act passed, we think, last parliament, by the Railroad Commission regarding freight rates on produce ?

We understand it this way : That grain

shipped from, isay Georgian bay ports, to Kingston, or to any station between Georgian bay and Montreal, cannot, in any case, be charged with a rate higher than they would make to Montreal. Since this new law was put in force last year the railroads have succeeded in raising the rates on all local goods, and are falling behind the Act for protection, stating that they must conform with the Act. It strikes us as being strange that parliament Mr. TAYLOR.

should legislate against the people in favour of the railroads.

Corn is now being carried from Chicago to Portland for six cents and a fraction for 100 pounds, delivered to the steamer. Some 500,000 bushels have been contracted for at this rate. This grain can be , stopped off at Montreal by paying the same rate. A contract has gone in force, we understand, to this effect. But if we bring corn from Chicago to Kingston we pay 124 cents per 100 pounds for milling in transit and about 20 cents per 100 pounds for local use.

Now the shipper fit Chicago can ship bis corn to Portland at G cents, but if it is stopped off iu Canada to be milled in transit, the Canadian miller lias to pay 124 cents per 300 pounds freight, and if be sells it for

local use, lie has to pay 20 cents.

' [DOT] [DOT]

It would look to the writer that Ontario was the dray horse for the Grand Trunk Railway and is paying the expenses of hauling this American corn from Chicago to the sea-board, or in other words,* is paying the expenses of hauling this American grain from Chicago to Europe, out of which we get nothing. Would it not be well to get a commission to inquire into this ?

Hitherto the lake freighters made a rate from Montreal independent of any railway rate. Last April the railroads decided to charge a certain rate of freight from Georgian hay to f.o.b. steamer, Montreal, but the lake boats came in and could afford to carry for considerably less money. The consequence was that the railroads, after waiting two or three weeks looking for business, and not getting it, made a rate equal to the lake freight.

However, they are doing better this year; they have succeeded in roping in the lake steamers, what we call package steamers, that are able to come through the Welland canal, and by doing so, they have established a rate of six cents per bushel on wheat from Fort William to the sea-hoard port of Montreal. This is about one cent to one and a half cents higher than they were able to do last year. This is certainly a tax on the Manitoba producer. As there are only a few boats of light draught that can make this trip through to Montreal, the railroads are able to control them, but if the Welland canal were deepened and enlarged, as i{ should be, so that a large steamer that carries 10,000 tons, or even half that amount, could come through to the port of Kingston and be discharged, there would easily be a saving of two and a half cents per bushel on the carrying charge. This is a very important thing for our country, and is more to us than any legislation that is now going through the House.

Now if that is the true state of affairs, and I am certain it is, because these millers are engaged in tlie business, they know what they are doing, they have to pay 124 cents to get corn from Chicago to their mill to be ground in transit, while that same corn can be carried through to Portland at 0 cents, and if they sell any to the Canadian people they have to pay 20 cents freight rate. It is the same thing on every line of goods manufactured in the country. We are paying for the short haul the same as on that carload of steel from Nova Scotia

to Brockville, 25 cents, and 12$ cents after sending it thirty miles further west. So it is on all the short hauls. I think this Railway Commission long before this date should have investigated and settled this matter to the benefit of the Canadian producer and Canadian shipper.


Alexander Ferguson MacLaren

Conservative (1867-1942)


As I went fully into the question of freight rates two years ago, it is not my intention to take up much time of the House at present. I then gave quotations to the House very fully, before the commission was organized. At that time I asked that a commission should be organized to investigate these things, and I am very glad indeed that at last these matters are going to be referred to the Railway Commission. 1 want to speak very briefly with regard to some of the industries with which I am connected myself. As you all know,

I am connected largely with the cheese industry, and many people in my riding and north of the Grand Trunk and west of Toronto are very much interested in the rates on cheese. I may say that they are paying a very much higher rate of freight on cheese north of the Grand Trunk Railway and west of Toronto than they are paying 40 and 50 miles south. I only intend to give the House one or two figures to substantiate that statement. In Listowel, in my own county, where we often ship 10 and 15 carloads of cheese in a day, we are paying 7 cents per 100 pounds more than they are paying 40 and 50 miles south ; in fact, they are paying 7 cents from Windsor to the seaboard less than we are paying from any place north of the Grand Trunk in my county. They can get as much freight carriage from Windsor for 93 cents as we can for $1. The rate from London, Ingersoll and Woodstock is 7 cents Jess ; they pay 31 cents where we pay 38 cents to the sea-board. All we want is fair play, equal rights and equal rates. The farmers in my part of the country are complaining very bitterly in . regard to the very high rates of freight that they have to pay on the produce of the farm, and I think it is high time the Railway Commission was looking into this question. I think it is a very extraordinary thing that we should have to pay 7 cents more to ship cheese from points in my riding, as well as from Wingham, Lucknow, Kincardine, Harriston and other points in that district, -more than they have to pay to ship cheese from Windsor, London, Ingersoll and Woodstock, although about the same distance to the sea-board.

There is one other line that I want to speak about, and that is the cement indus try. I find that we are paying very high rates of freight on cement, and, as we all know, cement is an article that the farmers are very much interested in. I will give an example of some of the rates charged from different points in the province of Ontario :

Belleville and Trenton section

Miles. Rate, cents.

Thorold to Kingston..

238 10Dumfries to Kingston.

226 10Lakefield to Cornwall.

225 9Durham to Belleville

232 101Durham to Trenton.. 10JWe think that rate should be reduced to 10 cents. Oshawa- Miles. Rate, cents.Marlbank to Oshawa..

137 8Marlbank to Lindsay..

144 8Thorold to Port Hope.

138 8Durham to Oshawa..


The rate from Durham should not be more than 8$ cents.

Now, we will take Toronto, which is a very important point. Toronto is to Durham what Montreal is to Lakefield and Marlbank, our largest eastern market. A comparison of the table below will show that an 8-cent rate is no more than equitable:


Lakefield to Toronto.

Lakefield to Kingston Marlbank to Montreal Durham to Toronto..

We think the rate from Toronto to Durham should be reduced to 8 cents. There is no reason why we should be robbed, because we think our dollar is just as good as the dollar of any person in any other part of the country.

Rate, Miles, cents. 293 9

122 71

235 9

119 9

Peterborough. Lindsay, Beaverton, Midland, Meaford, Perietang- /

Rate, Miles, cents.

Marlbank -to Midland

Marlbank to Sutton

Lakefield -to Milverton

Dumfries to Ma&oc

Dumfries to Kingston

Thorold -to Kingston

Durham -to Lindsay

Durham to Beaverton

Durham to Peterborough .. ..

Durham to Midland

Durham to Meaford

Durham to Penetang

219 10

206 10

205 10

203 10

226 10

238 10

188 101

190 11

221 10|

204 12

186 11

189 11

The less mileage the higher the rate, according to this. We think these rates from Durham should be reduced to not more, than 10 cents. .


Owen Sound to Beeton

Owen Sound to Newmarket.. .. Durham to Barrie

Rate, Miles, cents.

168 9

197 9

149 10

The shorter the haul the higher the rate.

Grave;! hurst to North Bay-

Rate, Miles, cents.

Marlbank to Gravenhurst .... 208 101

Marlbank to North Bay

323 121Thorold to Gravenhurst

176 10Thorold to North Bay

291 12Durham to Gravenhurst

197 11Durham to North Bay

312 15

Three cents more than from Marlbank to North Bay, a shorter haul.

Woodstock to London-


Miles. cents.

Thorold to Woodstock . 83 6Durham to Woodstock . 86 8Thorold to London . 112 6Durham to London . 96 8Now. we do not think that is equal rights, or equal rates, or fair' play, else. or anything Niagara Falls to Sarnia Tunnel- Rate,Miles. cents.Lakefleld to Niagara Falls.. . . 184 8Marlbank to Niagara Falls.. . . 253 9Durham to Niagara Falls .. . . 158 SDumfries to Sarnia . in 6Thorold to Sarnia . 171 7Durham to Sarnia . 145 8Dumfries to Windsor . 162 6Thorold to Windsor . 222 7Durham to Windsor . 206 8I am not going to take up a lot of time

giving these comparisons, although I might give them all. I think it is high time the Railway Commission looked into this matter.

Now. I want to say one word in regard to the farmers and the hard work they are doing in producing the commodities of the farm. The farmers of this country send their sons and daughters to farmers' institutes and to colleges to educate them in regard to the best methods of producing these commodities, but I think the farmers are the worst organized class of men for themselves on the face of the globe. I think that if they would meet together and consider what it costs to place their goods on the markets of the world, it would pay them to look into the matter very cai-e-fully and try to get equal rates and fail-play all along the line. The farmers in my section of the country are becoming very much interested, and they are beginning to consider the best means of placing their goods on the markets of the world at the least cost. Probably if we would talk more business in this House it would be better for the farmers of this country. I am very glad to know that this question has been brought before the Committee on Agriculture, and, although I mav be entitled to very little credit for it, I may say that I spoke on the question of transportation three years ago, and that I was the first person to suggest that this subject be taken up by the Committee on Agriculture. Some of my friends objected to it being brought before the Committee Mr. MACLAREN.

on Agriculture, but it is a question that I think properly comes within the sphere of that committee. I think that the lion. Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Fisher) should look into these things, and try to devise means whereby the products of the farm mav be placed upon the markets of the world ill the most economical manner, and that he should see that the farmers of this country are not robbed from the freight-rate standpoint. The farmers in my part of the coun try wonder why their dollar is not as good as the dollar of people in the south. We find people in the south, in our own country, not in the United States, are getting for 93 cents what we are paying $1 for. I think it is time this matter was looked into in the interest of the farming community of this country. What we want is equal rates, equal rights and fair play.


Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)


Mr. Speaker, I am not going to enter into any comparison such as that made by my hon. friend who has just taken his seat (Mr. Maclaren) in regard to the importance of the discussion of the Autonomy Bill and compared with the question of freight rates. They are both important in their own way and their own spheres. Nor am X going to dissent from any proposal that may be made in this House having for its object the reduction of freight rates to the shipper, whether he be a farmer or whether he be a manufacturer. Nor, do I complain that the presentation of this case to the House is inopportune, because to my mind it is always opportune to ventilate a grievance here, and the opportuneness can best be measured by the extent of the grievance. But, I wish to call attention to the fact that the proposal now made to the House seems to me to be somewhat irregular, and I want to ascertain whether any good results are likely to flow from it. The object is to lower freight rates. It is generally admitted that ithe freight rates charged by railway companies in many cases are too high, and that there is not a fair rate charged in proportion to the length of the haul. But what do we expect to accomplish by the proposal now before the House ? We had an inquiry made by the Agricultural Committee which appointed a subcommittee to consider that matter, and the report of which subcommittee is transmitted to the House by the main committee. That report contains a schedule of freight rates which it recommends to the House should be sent to the Railway Commission. As I understand it, the duty of a committee of this House under its order of reference, is to secure all necessary data and information and to present its observations and recommendations to parliament. That is done for the purpose of bringing it to the attention of parliament, and in order that the government may take action upon it. Is not the government abandoning its functions when, instead of taking action on the report of a committee of the House, it

merely makes this parliament the medium for transmitting that report to a comparatively irresponsible body. The First Minister shakes his head at that. Let me ask the right lion, gentleman how far can that Railway Commission of its own mere motion, deal with the question we are submitting to it. Will he be good enough to tell me that. There are different classes of freight rates referred to in this report namely, local freight rates, freight rates from certain localities in Canada to a port of shipment for export, and most important of all a reference to the comparatively low freight rates that railway companies are charging on goods collected outside of Canada and hauled through Canada for export or delivery. If I understand correctly the duties of that railway commission it cannot deal with these rates at all.


Henry Robert Emmerson (Minister of Railways and Canals)



In this respect, that all such tariffs have to be filed with the Railway Commission, and if it were an American railway passing through Canada and carrying goods from an American point to another American point, they cannot carry them through Canada without paying duty unless the tariffs filed by them had first met with the approval of the Railway Commission. If my hon. friend will look at the provisions of the Railway Act, 1903, he will find that pointed out with great particularity.


April 27, 1905