February 19, 1912

CON

Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   NATIONAL TRANSCONTINENTAL RAILWAY.
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CON

William D. Staples

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STAPLES.

The hon. gentleman denied a statement the other night and ' Hansard ' showed he was wrong.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   NATIONAL TRANSCONTINENTAL RAILWAY.
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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN.

Perhaps I had better put it this way so as not to wound the feelings of my hon. friend (Mr. Carvell). If you apply a valuation of $30 an acre to the

50.000. 000 acres that were offered by the Mackenzie government you would have a sum of $1,500,000,000. I trust the statement in that form will not offend my hon. friend.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   NATIONAL TRANSCONTINENTAL RAILWAY.
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LIB

Frank Broadstreet Carvell

Liberal

Mr. CARVELL.

I don't object to that.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   NATIONAL TRANSCONTINENTAL RAILWAY.
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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN.

I would like to point out that section 8, subsection 3, of the Act which the Mackenzie government passed through this parliament, provided that a subsidy of $10,000 a mile for the 2,544 miles from North Bay to Vancouver, making altogether $25,440,000. In addition to that the Mackenzie government also offered a guarantee of interest at the rate of four per cent, for twenty-five years from tne completion of the work, on a sum to be agreed upon. As a matter of fact, the arrangement that was made by the government of Sir John A. Macdonald for the building of the Canadian Pacific railway was an infinitely better arrangement in the interest of the people of this country than the arrangement proposed by the Hon. Alexander Mackenzie. Of course to-day, hon. gentlemen on the other side of the House can talk glibly about lands that are worth $30 an acre, but those who know what the actual conditions were at the time the Canadian Pacific railway was commented in 1882 know that the Canadian Pacific railway would have been glad to hand these lands over at that time for fifty cents an acre; it would have been glad to get twelve and a half (million dollars instead of the>

25.000. 000 acres of land. Every ond in this country realizes1 that the conditions were then absolutely different from what they are to-day. It "is true that the lands did become very valuable afterwards, but in considering the fairness and reasonableness of the contract, we must estimate the conditions which confronted the country and the Canadian Pacific railway in 1882 and not the conditions as they are at the present time.

Well, we have wandered a good deal from the line of argument applicable to this Bill and perhaps some of my own observations are not pertinent to the actual question before the House, but I can only say that it is the belief of the government that the course which they are adopting in respect of this commission is in the public interest, and that the road can be effectively completed under the chairmanship and superintendence of Mr. Leonard. No effort will be spared^ to hurry that road on to completion.

and especially that part of it which is necessary in order that there may he a lime from Winnipeg to the east to afford an. opportunity to the people of the western country to get their grain out more effectively in the future than they have been able to do in the winter months in the past.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   NATIONAL TRANSCONTINENTAL RAILWAY.
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LIB

Frank Broadstreet Carvell

Liberal

Mr. CARVELL.

I would like this information .from the Minister of Railways. I do not want to be offensive, but I do hope he will not tell me again that the figures are Mr. Grant's. I know they are Mr. Grant's figures, but the hon. gentleman is here as the responsible head of the department, and we, as members of this House, have a right to ask for further information before the third reading of the Bill. For instance, in the statement submitted to the House, we are told that the rails .and fastenings, including frogs, switches and diamond crossings already completed amounted to $10,214,000, and that there remains to be done of this, work to the extent of $2,995,000, or in other words there is about thirty per cent of that work uncompleted. If you take the total mileage completed of 1,587 as against the total mileage of 1,803, you have only twenty-two per cent of that work to be done and perhaps the .minister will tell u.s wherein tire discrepancy comes. There is only twenity-two per cent of the track to be laid and it will cost thirty per cent of the total cost to do that.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   NATIONAL TRANSCONTINENTAL RAILWAY.
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CON

Francis Cochrane (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. COCHRANE.

I do not admit your statement. There .are the terminals and the sidings. We gave you the actual mileage where there is no track laid.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   NATIONAL TRANSCONTINENTAL RAILWAY.
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LIB

Frank Broadstreet Carvell

Liberal

Mr. CARVELL.

I am not including the 287 miles of sidings. There is also another point on which my hon. friend will probably bring ms further information, and that is in regard to the item of * engineering and expenses.' I find that under that 'head they have .spent already $7,681,000, and that the estimate is given that it will cost $3,850,000, or just exactly half as much is to be expended as has been expended.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   NATIONAL TRANSCONTINENTAL RAILWAY.
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CON

Francis Cochrane (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. COCHRANE.

We won't spend one dollar more than is necessary.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   NATIONAL TRANSCONTINENTAL RAILWAY.
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LIB

Frank Broadstreet Carvell

Liberal

Mr. CARVELL.

My hon. . friend will surely allow me to ask him a question. He states that they assume that they will be able to hand the road over by the 31st of December, 1913, in other words, in two years. The engineering end of this road has been in operation since 1905, that is, between six and seven years. Now, will the hon. gentleman tell us how his department figures that in two years we are going to require just half as much as we did in the last six years. The same thing applies to the headquarters expenditure, which in the last six years has amounted 109i

to $1,732,000, and they expect to spend in two years $1,260,000.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   NATIONAL TRANSCONTINENTAL RAILWAY.
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?

Mr COCHRANE.

The hon. gentleman had better put in the right of way.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   NATIONAL TRANSCONTINENTAL RAILWAY.
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LIB

Frank Broadstreet Carvell

Liberal

Mr. CARVELL.

The light of way has not been settled in the same proportion in which the road has been built; yet I am satisfied that a good deal more than half of it has been settled. I am not finding any fault in regard to that. I think the Minister of Railways should not assume the attitude he does, because we have surely a right to ask for information. I admit that he is not in a position to give it to-night, but probably he will be able to do so when the Bill comes up for the third reading.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   NATIONAL TRANSCONTINENTAL RAILWAY.
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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN.

I would remind my hon. friend that the information he asks for can be easily obtained and will be readily given [DOT]upon the estimates. It is not concerned with the passage of this Bill. We were asked to bring down a statement to corroborate the assertion of my hon. friend the Minister of Railways, that the road was two-thirds or thereabouts completed. He has asked the engineer in charge of the work to make that statement, and it has been given, not only in general form, but in detail. So far as the expenditure of the money is concerned, that is a matter that can be dealt with on the estimates. when my hon. friend the Minister of Railways will be prepared to give the fullest information. We are entitled to rely on the statement of the engineer, appointed not by this government, but by the late government. Therefore I trust that my hon. friend from Carleton will be-content to have the information when the estimates of the Department of Railways and Canals are before the House.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   NATIONAL TRANSCONTINENTAL RAILWAY.
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LIB

Alexander Kenneth Maclean

Liberal

Mr. MACLEAN. (Halifax).

That may be all very well from the viewpoint of the Prime Minister, but it is not satisfactory to the opposition. The Minister of Railways persists in sitting in his seat like a bump on a log, absolutely refusing any information.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   NATIONAL TRANSCONTINENTAL RAILWAY.
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS

Order !

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   NATIONAL TRANSCONTINENTAL RAILWAY.
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LIB

Alexander Kenneth Maclean

Liberal

Mr. MACLEAN. (Halifax).

I did not intend to say that offensively, and if anybody on the other side thinks I did, I shall gladly withdraw it. But at least I wish to intimate to the Minister of Railways that he is not very courteous -or free in giving information that is asked of him by the opposition. He is following the example of the autocratic gentleman who lives in Queen's Park, Toronto, and if he does not look out he will be the exact type of that gentleman.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   NATIONAL TRANSCONTINENTAL RAILWAY.
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CON

Francis Cochrane (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. COCHRANE.

Thank you for that compliment.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   NATIONAL TRANSCONTINENTAL RAILWAY.
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LIB

Alexander Kenneth Maclean

Liberal

Mr. MACLEAN. (Halifax).

The Prime Minister says that the information contained in this statement is irrelevant to the Bill before the House. That is true, but I want to call his attention to the fact that pretty nearly every hon. gentleman on the other side who has spoken on this Bill has urged, as the ground for the dismissal of scone of the commissioners, that the road has cost too much. In fact, after the statement of the minister the other night, the hon. member for St. Antoine (Mr. Ames) took the floor, and, with great indignation and in tones of contempt, declared most vehemently against the commissioners, who he thought were very lucky to secure a mere dismissal and in not having some proceedings, civil or criminal, taken against them. Now, in addition to what is asked for by the hon. member for Car-leton, I would like the Minister of Railways when the Bill is next before the House, to state whether it was intended by this statement to lead the House to believe that the first seven years of interest after the construction of the eastern section which is being handed over to the Transcontinental Railway Commission, was to constitute a part , of the capital on which the government was to charge interest against the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway Company.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   NATIONAL TRANSCONTINENTAL RAILWAY.
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CON

Haughton Lennox

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LENNOX.

The contract says that it does not.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   NATIONAL TRANSCONTINENTAL RAILWAY.
Permalink
LIB

Alexander Kenneth Maclean

Liberal

Mr. MACLEAN. (Halifax).

1 think it is quite clear that it is not part of the capital on which the interest is to be calculated; but I understood, from some hon. gentlemen who spoke this evening, that [DOT]that seven years' interest was to be added to the capital. If the Minister of Railways is satisfied that it is not, I am content with that.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   NATIONAL TRANSCONTINENTAL RAILWAY.
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February 19, 1912