May 18, 1911


Motion agreed to.


LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING moved:

That towards making good the Supply granted co His Majesty on account of certain expenses of the public service for the financial year ending the 31st March, 1912, the sum of $7,934,806.56 be granted out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund of Canada.

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Motion agreed to. Resolutions reported, read the second time and agreed to. Mr. FIELDING moved for leave to introduce Bill (No. 225) for granting to His Majesty certain sums of money for the public service for the financial years lending respectively 31st March 1911, and 31st March 1912. Motion agreed to, and Bill read the first and second time, considered in committee and reported (without amendment. Mr. FIELDING moved the third reading of the Bill.


CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

If it is possible to keep any check upon the accuracy

of the figures, I take it for granted, as is always the case in such matters, that the computation has been accurately made, and in accordance with the resolutions which have been passed.

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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

I have no doubt that it is correct. The officials are very careful.

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Motion agreed to, and Bill read the third time and passed.


INTERCOLONIAL-BRANCH LINES.


Mr. GRAHAM moved that the House go into Committee of the Whole to consider the following resolutions: Whereas, by chapter 25, of the Statutes of 1910, it was provided that the Minister of Railways and Canals might, subject to the terms and couditions therein contained, lease lines of railway connecting with the government railways and operate them as a part of the government railways, but no leases have been made under the said Act: And, whereas, it is deemed advisable to make the provisions hereinafter contained for the leasing of the undermentioned line of railway. Therefore, it is resolved that it is expedient that the Minister of Railways and Canals be authorized, with the approval of the Governor in Council, to lease for a term not exceeding 99 years the following line of railway, namely:-The Bale railway, prc-perty of the Acadia Coal Company, Limited, extending from New Glasgow to Thorburn, iu the province of Nova Scotia, a distance of about six miles, upon terms and conditions to be approved of by the Government Railways Managing Board; provided, however, that the consideration by way of ren tal for such line of railway shall he an annual rental of one dollar and the carriage of the traffic of the company, its successors and assigns, upon the line of railway to be leased and upon the government railways, and between points to be designated and at rates not in excess of maximum fixed rates for such carriage between such points, such fixed rates to he subject to a provision for revision of such rates at the end of each period of 10 years during the continuance of the lease. Such railway so leased shall become and be operated as a part of the government railways. He said: Of course I do not hope to get these resolutions through to-night; but as we have a few moments to wait, I think it would be the part of wisdom for me to say a few words about these branch lines, so that hon. gentlemen can find them on ' Hansard,' and have an opportunity of thinking the subject over during the recess, and he able more intelligently to take it up again when the House reassembles. The great majority of the lines that might be available under lease to the Intercolonial are placed under two resolutions. The first "one referred to as the Vale railway, is a short road a little over five miles long, running out of New Glasgow, and owned by the Acadia Coal Company. It really does its own traffic, and it is very desirable from the standpoint of the Intercolonial that, if reasonable arrangements can be made, that road should come under government control, and be leased as part of the government railways. The Acadia Coal Company owns the railway, and owns the 'Coal mines, and really does its own business, and little else. Just beyond the property of the Acadia coal mines there are other coal areas that might, so it has been represented to me, be well developed. But as one coal mine or coal company owns the railway, it does not at all encourage the development of the other coal areas by assisting them to carry their traffic. It has been represented to the department, and to the board of management that this road could he secured, not by the payment of any cash, but merely by an arrangement with them for a term of years as to the freight rates on their coal. Of course the Intercolonial would get all the traffic, as it does now, but it would be in the interest of the railway as well, to acquire that line. The Teason it is put in a separate resolution is, as I have said, that it can be acquired without the usual terms of lease, by an arrangement as to freight rates, and without the payment of any cash. The other lines can hardly be said to be paying in themselves, apart from the government railway system, if we take them as single entities. The majority of them have a surplus of receipts- over expenses now, hut if we were to lease them, and pay interest on a certain amount, probably there would not be any surplus, probably there would be a deficit, treating them as mere entities, each line by itself. But this much must be borne in mind, I say it on behalf of the state owned railway, that it will not be long until other railway lines must have certain rights over the Intercolonial, or they will have to build a line from St. John to Halifax themselves. The Grand Trunk Pacific has running rights, under its contract, over the Intercolonial from Moncton to St. John, and from St. John to Halifax. Merely looking at these lines as entities in themselves, as not paying much, or not paying at all, should some other line secure any of these branches that now feed the Intercolonial, it would be a very serious thing for the state owneld railway. That is one side of it. The other side is the interest of the people. Now, leaving out of the question what detriment it would be to the state owned railway, and the decrease in the value of our property if these branch lines with their traffic were to be diverted to some other private owned road, there is another aspect.' Some of these roads governments have aided, and their operation is unsatisfactory. I will give an extreme case, the Salisbury and



Albert road has ceased operation over a certain portion of it, the department has been advised. The people who for years have had railway facilities given them by this line, are at the present moment without any railway facilities. The government of Canada has aided that line, although it has I think a provincial charter. I presume the provincial government has also aided it, and the county itself gave aid. But notwithstanding all that, the people along that line of railway are now deprived of all railway facilities. I am bold enough to take the ground that it is the duty of some government to afford facilities to those people that formerly had them, even if it should cost some money. That is one class of line. The other class will come into the category I mentioned a few moments ago. It will be an immense detriment to the Intercolonial if they pass into other hands. I am not going into details at all, but I want the members of this House during recess to think over the situation of those lines, and ask themselves whether it is not advisable to give the Department of Railways power, under the terms outlined in the resolutions, which are very much restricted, to secure these lines, or a portion of them at least, for the reasons I have stated. On the other hand, where people are likely to be deprived, and have been deprived in some instances, of the railway transportation they have enjoyed for years, is it not our duty to do something in that respect? I submit the resolutions for the consideration of the House during the recess, so that when they come back they will be able, I hope, to support the measure.


CON

John Waterhouse Daniel

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DANIEL.

I would like to ask the minister what position those lines will be in whose bonds are guaranteed by the provincial government, and I think where the provincial government holds a mortgage on the railway? What position would that railway hold after it was leased by this government?

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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM.

That is a question to be investigated by a judge of the Exchequer Court. _ My hon. friend will see in this resolution that the present condition of a line of that kind, its indebtedness, -where it is, and what the remuneration ought to be, will be investigated by a judge of the Exchequer Court. It strikes me that in a case of that kind probably some arrangement might be made, but at least on most of the _ lines I imagine interest is not being paid to any one on the bonds.

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CON

John Waterhouse Daniel

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DANIEL.

What is the meaning of the words ' present owners ' in one sentence, and then in the next sentence, 'owners thereof as of date of April 1, 1911.' Do they refer to the same person's!* Do Mr. GRAHAM.

* present owners ' mean owners of date of April 1, 1911?

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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM.

As I understand it, when this Bill was introduced, if a date had not been fixed it might be possible to have the ownership revert to the original owners in order to have the conditions of taking over bettered.

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CON

John Waterhouse Daniel

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DANIEL.

Is that the explanation of the present wording? What is meant by the first of these two sentences when it speaks of ' present owners '?

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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM.

Those are the owners of April 1, 1911.

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CON

John Waterhouse Daniel

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DANIEL.

In regard to the owners of April 1, 1911, the judge has only to make a report, but he makes a valuation with reference to what the present owners have paid for the Toad?

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LIB

Henry Robert Emmerson

Liberal

Mr. EMMERSON.

Mr. Speaker, I would not for a moment, at this stage, attempt to discuss the resolutions, but I have taken considerable interest in this matter. Indeed, I have had the honour of first bringing to the notice of parliament and the government the whole question of the absorption of the branch lines of the Intercolonial railway, and I think it is due to myself that I should say some few words in respect to the resolutions. If I were to evince a little exaltation with regard to the government having met my views, at least measurably, perhaps, I would be pardoned. However, my hon. friend, the Minister of Railways and Canals (Mr. Graham), has thrown out some ideas which he wishes hon. members to consider during the adjournment. There are a_ few things that I would like him consider during the adjournment, and one is this, that _ in an undertaking of this character it is well-and I suppose we all recognize it-that two interests should be considered; first, the interests of the Intercolonial railway, second, the interests of the communities served by these several branch lines, and you might say, third, the interests of the whole country. But, as I understand it, the Intercolonial railway interests are representative of the interests of the whole of Canada. Now, I regret that there are one or two omissions with respect to railways in the province of Nova Scotia. I refer to the coal railways in the county of Cumberland. There is an omission of the power of expropriation with respect to some of these roads, or in respect to all of them. In a word, I would like to make my meaning clear in this regard. I hold that if there were power of expropriation given the government of Canada to take over some of these roads it would only be protecting the interests of the Intercolonial railway, and therefore, the interests of Canada, and it would enable them to secure lines of rail-

way which they might not be able to secure under the provisions of these resolutions. For instance, the coal railways in the county of Cumberland are so situated. One is the Maritime Coal and Railway Company, and the other is the Cumberland Coal and Railway Company. The first named is known as the Joggins road, or coal mine. The Maritime Coal and Railway Company have a line running from Maccan to Joggins mine a distance of 12 miles, and it is known as the Joggins railway. There are five distinct coal mines on that line of railway, tout the Josrgins mine so called is owned by the railway company. The other mines are owned by separate corporations. One is the Strath-cona mine, another is the Jubilee mine, another the Minudie mine, another the Fundy mine, and I think that there is still another tract or area known as the Boston area. These five companies, other than the coal and railway company, are placed at a very great disadvantage by reason of the fact that the railway company operate a coal mine on that same line of railway to the detriment of the other mines, and the result is a depreciation in the value of the coal mined by these separate corporations. It seems to me that in the interest of the Intercolonial railway the government should be in a position to secure that line whether the coal and railway company desire it or not. The Tight of eminent domain should apply and the powers of expropriation should be given, in the interests of the whole country, and in the interests of those several mines that are lying along the same route. The same condition applies to the Cumberland Coal and Railway Company which operates in connection with the Springhill mine. This js a railway running from Springhill Junction on the Intercolonial railway to tide-water at Parrsboro, in the county of Cumberland. That company operate lines, they own the railway, and there are several coal mining areas which are absolutely precluded from being developed by reason of the conditions resulting from the ownership of that railway. If the government had the power of expropriation they could secure these lines. The coal and railway companies as owners are not interested in parting with thesp roads. They make large dividends out of the operation of the railways, and while provision is made with respect to some of these railways there are many of them which will not take advantage of the opportunity of leasing or even selling their roads to the government of Canada in order that they might become a portion of the Intercolonial railway system. Then, theTe is the New Brunswick and Prince Edwrard Island Tail-wav, which, to my mind, commands the traffic of Prince Edward Island and is the key to the situation with respect to that

traffic. The Minister of Railways has said very clearly and distinctly that to the extent to which any of these branch lines are secured by any great private railway corporation the valuable asset of the government in the Intercolonial railway is thereby depreciated. We must look forward to the fact that as the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway Company have running rights over the Intercolonial railway from Moncton to Halifax, and from Moncton to St. John, so must the Canadian Pacific Railway Company secure those rights. So must the Canadian Northern in time secure those same running rights, and if one of these railways in the meantime were to step in and secure this New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island railway, secure the Albert railway, and secure some others of these branch lines the main trunk line would be depreciated in value. If the Canadian Pacific Railway Company have it in mind to secure any portion of the Intercolonial railway, either by purchase or by lease, or if the Canadian Northern have any such idea in their minds, naturally, as a business proposition, they would secure some of its main feeders, and securing them they would depreciate the value of the government asset, the value of the Intercolonial railway, and, therefore, they could derive a better bargain.

They would be in a position to say to the government of Canada: We have control

of the branches which supply traffic, and to that extent the Intercolonial railway would be depreciated in value, and that would be a very easy way for any railway corporation to secure for practically a song the Intercolonial for their own use and benefit. Therefore, as a matter of protection the government should take power of expropriation. There are measures before parliament to-day to build new branches ' for the Intercolonial railway, and power of expropriation is given with respect to the right of way, and in order to protect the interests of the people, and of the Intercolonial railway the same principle should apply with respect to these branch lines. I already have evidence that one of these railways was secured by private individuals within the last six weeks for speculative purposes; in my judgment, for the mere purpose of holding it as against the Intercolonial railway, and playing off the Canadian Pacific railway, or the Canadian Northern railway as against the Intercolonial railway. Having secured this road they would have the Intercolonial railway and the government at a disadvantage in the event of any attempt on their part either with respect to securing running rights or leasehold interest on any particular portion of the Intercolonial railway. I ask the Min-

ister of Railways to consider during the adjournment, if, in self-protection, it would not be advisable to incorporate in this resolution a clause to secure powers of expropriation. If there were a clause giving the minister power to expropriate and exercise the right of eminent domain, we would be in a better position to deal with the owners of these several branch lines. I strongly urge upon him the advisability of carrying out this idea. It seems to me that the minister should by all means add to the list of railways to be secured the railway known as the Maritime Coal and Railway Company's road, and also the Cumberland Coal and Railway Company's road, the one 12 miles long and the other 30 miles long, speaking from memory. I know the value of many of these roads. The possibilities of the road formerly known as the Baie des Chaleurs railway are immense. The great fishing and lumber resources of Bonaven-ture and Gaspe counties cannot fail to make that railway in years to come one of the best paying roads the government could secure. Then the International road running from Campbellton to the St. John river protects the Intercolonial railway in its American traffic, it being a short line by which to convey to the New England market the stone and fish and great natural resources of that territory. Then, the Cara-quet road running from Bathurst to Shipe-gan and Tracadie traverses a country second to none in Canada as it runs through the county of Gloucester rich in mineral, lumbering, fishing and agricultural resources. That railway would add very materially to the value of the Intercolonial railway. Then there are the Kent Northern, and the Moncton and Buctouche railway in the county of Kent which are valuable pieces of line. Then the Albert railway traverses a district, the richest in mineral resources in eastern Canada. The great shale district, the rich natural gas and oil district of the county of Albert, and the great plaster industry predict for the future of that road as well as for the Salisbury and Harvey line great prosperity. The Intercolonial railway should secure that, and it should not be left to the whim of owners or speculators as to whether the people of Canada should or should not have these railways. It is a business proposition in the interests of the property of the people of Canada, and it should be so managed that no band of speculators, and no little corporation, or no aggregation of corporations should be allowed to hold up the people of Canada in securing leasehold rights in these railways. From a business standpoint there should be the right of expropriation, in justice to the Intercolonial railway, and to the communities which are served by these branch lines. I could give other reasons in support of my contention, Mr. EMMERSON.

but I shall reserve them until, if it is the will of Providence, we shall meet again.

I earnestly beseech the Minister of Railways and the government, and the hon. members of this House to study this question during the recess. I am not advocating it from a party standpoint; I advocate it because I believe it to be in the best interests of the Intercolonial railway and in the best interests of affording facilities for the interchange of interprovincial trade. I believe it is an absolute necessity from a business point of view that expropriation proceedings should be taken

Motion agreed to and House went into Committee on the resolution.

Progress reported.

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McLEOD POST OFFICE.

May 18, 1911