March 27, 1914


Steamboat Inspection Report^-Hon. Geo. H. Perley. Documents relating to tne Constitutional History of Canada, 1791-1818.-Hon. Geo. H. Perley.



Bill No. 124, for the relief of Lenore Power.-Mr. Bradbury.


Consideration of the proposed motion of Hon. W. T. White (Minister of Finance) for Committee of Supply, and the proposed amendment of Mr. Graham thereto, resumed from March 26.


Joseph Elijah Armstrong

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. J. E. ARMSTRONG (East Lambton):

Mr. Speaker, I have listened with a great deal of attention to the numerous speeches delivered on this subject, and I am sure that we cannot help feeling that the Opposition have been doing their utmost to becloud the issue. They have not dealt with many of the important features of the report; in fact, they have dealt with very few of the statements contained in it. The one object of practically every man on the Opposition side of the House who rises to speak on this question is to becloud the issue, and to condemn the men who had charge of bringing forward this evidence. Hon. gentlemen opposite seem to think that the members of the Investigating Commission deserve the severest condemnation, when they know full well that practically every statement in this report is founded on facts gathered through a thorough investigation into the whole matter. They condemn Mr. Gutelius because he is an American citizen. One man will be doing that, and before he sits down, like the hon. member for South Renfrew (Mr. Graham), he will quote page after page of statements made by Mr. Berry, another American citizen. These gentlemen must realize that Mr. Gutelius has been a very great success in the business in which he has been engaged, not only in connection with the Canadian Pacific railway and other railways, but in connection with the business of this Government in respect to the Intercolonial. We find that Mr. Staunton is condemned for being a Conservative, and yet hon,. gentlemen opposite must know full well that practically all the prominent positions under the present Government are occupied by appointees of the men who left office a few years ago. The great industrial affairs of Canada under the present Government are largely conducted by men appointed by

the present Opposition when they were in office. I was surprised last night to hear the hon. member for Welland (Mr. German) making the statement he did with regard to Major Leonard, the man at the head of the Transcontinental Commission. These are the words he used:

Major Leonard is a very estimable gentleman whom I know exceeding well and I have not a word against him, but is it not unfair to him to say that he never built or operated a railroad in his life and knows no more [DOT]about operating and building railroads than I or any other man in this country. Why put him up as a paragon of perfection in the construction and operation of railroads?

That is certainly a reckless statement for a man to make who, I am satisfied, is thoroughly conversant with the fact that Major Leonard has had much to do with the building of different railways in Canada, and in addition has held important positions in charge of water-powers. Major Leonard is not in town, but I was able to gather the following information: He has

been chief engineer and manager of construction on a number of different railways. He was on the original construction of the Canadian Pacific railway north of lake Superior in 1884, as assistant engineer. About 1887 he was assistant engineer of construction on the Canadian Pacific railway between Montreal and Smith's Falls. About 1895 he was chief engineer of construction on the St. Lawrence and Adirondack railway, which joins the Canadian Pacific railway south of the St. Lawrence river, near Lachine. Subsequent to that he was chief engineer of the Rutland railway, and then chief engineer of construction on the Cape Breton railway. In 1896 he was manager of construction and in full charge of the building of the Canadian Pacific railway short line between Montreal and Ottawa. These are only a few of the facts that we might gather in connection with the successful life of Major Leonard. I am surprised that a man knowing Major Leonard as well as the hon. member for Welland must know him, should try to belittle that gentleman, occupying the important position which he does occupy. No matter what this Government may do, or what appointments they may make to positions of emolument under the Crown, hon. gentlemen opposite will take direct issue with their policy and manifest opposition to their appointments. They even go so far as to criticise the actions of their own men who continue to serve under the present Transcontinental Railway Commission. There are men employed upon the

construction of this railway, notably those in charge of the Quebec bridge, who were appointed when hon. gentlemen opposite were in office.

The hon. member for South Renfrew (Mr. Graham) who, I am sorry is not in his seat, appealed to the business men of this House to look upon this project as a business proposition and to 'consider it from a business standpoint. I appeal to the business men of this House to take a general view of this whole undertaking and in this connection I desire to call attention to the fact that the Minister of Finance in the former Government, in 1904, made the statement that the Transcontinental railway would only cost $61,000,000, while today it has actually been shown that it will cost at least $234,000,000. Hon. gentlemen opposite, because , of the reckless and extravagant manner in which they conducted affairs in connection with the building of this road, have been largely responsible for the difference between these two amounts. Had these hon. gentlemen considered some of the statements that were placed before them by their former Minister of Railways and Canals (Mr. Blair), they would have exercised greater care and more carefully considered their position before launching forth upon this extravagant project. Mr. Blair was for seven years Minister of Railways and Canals under the Government which recently went out of office, and he told the right hon. gentleman who now leads the Opposition (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) that it was not only unsound policy for him to attempt to build this road without satisfactory information and without proper plans and specifications, but it was most unwise for him to attempt such an undertaking involving such an enormous expenditure without a more thorough investigation of the conditions surrounding the project.

The man responsible to the people of Canada to-day for the putting through of this measure in the first place is the right hon. leader of the Opposition. The right hon. gentleman drove the Hon. A. G. Blair out of public life when he brought this Bill down in 1904, forced it through Parliament, and compelled the building of this great railway without sufficient information or data. Do you wonder that the present Government are compelled to take into consideration the enormous expenditures that are necessary in connection with the building of this road? Is it not a proper and a wise thing for us, who are connected with this Government, to ask


Henri Sévérin Béland



In how many instances

did the contract exceed the estimates of the chief en^ineeer of the commission?


Joseph Elijah Armstrong

Conservative (1867-1942)


If my hon. friend will turn to the report of tihe Transcontinental Investigating Commission, he will find that the men who estimated the cost of the Transcontinental railway had no data, plans or specifications on which to base their estimates, nor had they any accurate knowledge of the character of the country through which the railway was to be built. The result is that the road has cost nearly sixty per cent more than the estimated cost prepared by the engineers in the first instance. The hon. gentleman shakes his head, but let me give him one or two specimens of what occurred. 'In the case of contract No. 1, the amount paid the contractor to December 31, 1911, was

$1,224,000 in excess of the estimated cost. On contract No. 2, the engineer's estimate was $376,000, and the gross amount of progress estimates paid to the 31st December on this contract amounted to $587,000, or nearly double the estimate of the engineers. In another contract, the

engineer's estimate was $933,000, and the gross amount paid to the contractors was $1,042,000. The hon. gentleman can go

through the whole list, and he will find that the engineers made these estimates without having plans or specifications or data, and apparently they simply guessed at it haphazard.

Were it not that the Government is forced to needlessly turn into this sinkhole, on account of original cost and maintenance, ten3 of millions of dollars, the Government could have undertaken other necessary works for the development of Canada. We had here yesterday, as I said, an influential delegation, urging assistance in the line of subsidies to hydro-radials in Ontario, so that the development of that province might be advanced, but the Prime Minister had to tell these gentlemen that the Government had to face such enormous expenditures in connection with the Transcontinental railway, and other works, that, while he would not say it was practically impossible to assist radial railways, he did not see that the necessary money would be available at the present time.

Hon. gentlemen opposite know that there are other projects of great concern to the Dominion that might be undertaken, were it not that this money has been foolishly and extravagantly thrown away on the Transcontinental railway. I, personally, would be very glad to urge on the Government the necessity for build trunk telegraph and telephone lines, but I have not the heart to do so, because the late Government has pledged the present Government to such enormous public works, undertaken far and away in advance of the needs of the country, that heed must be taken to our provincial demands. The hon. member for Edmonton realizes that. He was one of those who urged on the Government the building of the National Transcontinental railway, and he knows as well as he knows anything, that in view of the enormous cost of that road, and the money squandered in its construction, it will be impossible for the farmers of the West to obtain reasonable freight rates. The hon. gentleman knows that while the National Transcontinental railway cost the people of Canada over $100,000 per mile to build, the Canadian Pacific has only, cost $38,000 per mile. He knows also that the Intercolonial railway, in which we have $97,000,000 invested, and which we have been improving from year to year, has only cost, up to the present, $66,000 per mile. He knows also that the Prince Edward railway has only cost $31,000 per mile, and the Temiskaming and Northern Ontario $33,000 per mile. These are Government railways, but they were built with due consideration as to the return they would give on the actual investment. No one knows better than the hon. member for Edmonton that the Government of which he was a member were not justified in undertaking the building of a transcontinental railway, without first having furnished themselves with data and information as to its cost, and as to the service it would be able to render to the public, based on that cost

I remember the maps placed before us in 1904. The hon. member for Edmonton (Mr. Oliver) knows, and we were able to show that this railway was compelled to cross the streams and rivers in this north land instead of following them up from Montreal and passing through other places that were proposed. If the proposition laid down by the right hon. the leader of the Government of the present day had been followed out, we would have had from ocean to ocean a national railway of which every foot of ground, every tie, every rail,

every telephone and telegraph pole would be owned and controlled by the Dominion of Canada, and we would have had a successful undertaking which would have been a great benefit to the people of Canada. Hon. gentlemen opposite say the Intercolonial railway is not a paying proposition. How can they expect it to be a paying proposition when they have paralleled . it with another line costing $35,000,000, which will take away a large portion of the trade that would otherwise

come to it? .

What do we find in regard to the railway situation in Canada? I will merely give the round figures in my statement. In 1896 the money invested in railways in Canada amounted to $697,000,000. In 3 911, itamounted to $1,528,000,000; in 1913, to

$1,531,000,000. From 1896 to 1913, our population has only increased by about 1,500,-

000. We have under survey, under contract and completed at the present time about 18,600 miles of railway. The details, which I have carefully ascertained, are as follows: Under survey, 6,557 miles; under contract, 8,591 miles; completed, 2,956 miles; in operation, 541 miles; total, 18,600 miles. This mileage is not included in the 29.300 miles already recorded in our books. When it is all completed, we shall have 47,900 miles of railways in Canada. It will be realized that we shall then have a much greater railway system than any other nation on the face of the globe, except the United States.

Let me give. the House a few more facts in regard to railway facilities in Canada. Our population is 8,000,000. When the present mileage under survey and under contract is completed, we shall have 47,900 miles of railway. The capitalization will be about $2,000,000,000; passenger revenue, $74,000,000; freight revenue $177,000,030; other revenue, $5,000,000; total revenue, $256,000,000; passengers carried, only

46,000,000; freight tons carried, 106,000,000.

The United States have twelve times our population and only five times our mileage. The United Kingdom has five and a half times our population and only half our mileage. Argentina has the same population and one-third the mileage. The German Empire has eight and a half times the population and will have 10,000 miles less of railway than has the Dominion of Canada. Therefore, I feel that, so far as railway transportation facilities in this country are concerned, it is time that we had a general stocktaking. We ought also to take into consideration transportation facilities on our

waters an dour great lakes. We have already invested $135,000,000 in our canals. The Welland canal will increase that by $50,000,000 and we shall soon have $200,000,000 invested in our canal system. In addition to that we are compelled to build the Hudson Bay railway and to buoy and light the Hudson Bay strait in order to protect the ships that will go in and out of that great channel. These matters are receiving the attention of the present Government, and the people of Canada should realize that they have in this Government a wise, sane and sensible body of men who are determined to conduct the affairs of Canada in a businesslike manner.

Let me go back to this report for a moment o.r two. It states that the actual cost or the interest is to be paid by the lessees. That statement has not been refuted. Hon. gentlemen opposite know that statements have been laid before them in regard to advertising for tenders, which statements have not been contradicted or refuted. In regard to the method of awarding. contracts, hon. gentlemen opposite say that, as far as M. P. and J. T. Davis were concerned, they were perfectly justified in receiving the amount of money that they did, namely, $740,000. The hon. member for Welland (Mr. German) supported that proposition in the strongest language possible. Yet these gentlemen know full well that, had these contracts been let at the time when operations were com: menced, when both ends of the road were carrying the material with which the contractors could construct that portion of the line, the commission would have been perfectly justified in obtaining for the people of Canada a saving of at least $700,000 or $800,000.

Hon. gentlemen opposite do not dispute the over-classification. The only statement I have heard in that regard is by the' hon. member for South Renfrew (Mr. Graham), who stated that Mr. Berry would support their contention in this regard, that-after a year or two, when the material had been removed, it would be practically impossible for any man to come to a decision as to this over-classification. They did not dispute the fact that solid rock was classed as assembled rock and that large amounts of money were made in that way.

In regard to the ploughable clay, the statement made by the commissioners has not been refuted. The same is true in regard to overbreak and grades. Hon. gentlemen opposite have devoted a great

amount of time to momentum grades, when they know full well that the Canadian Pacific railway has to-day eighty-five momentum grades between Port Arthur and Winnipeg, and that these momentum grades are not causing any serious interference in the traffic on that road. They have devoted a great deal of time to the curvatures, and have said that it was a wise policy to make these great, sweeping curves instead of curves of reasonable size which would have saved so much to the people. They do not dispute the fact that had they used shorter curves no less than $2,400,000 would have been saved. We have heard a great deal also about the wooden trestles. But it has been shown that the Grand Trunk Pacific were ready to fill these trestles at 25 cents a yard after the road was in operation. But, no, this Transcontinental Commission said: Fill them in the most expensive manner; this country has unlimited resources, and we are willing to help the contractors in every way. Then, on the subject of the buildings and stations, these hon. gentlemen do not attempt to refute the arguments used against them. Nor do they attempt to deny that two prices were paid for handling the materials in many of these contracts. These were also the high embankments, the enormous amount of material unnecessarily removed,-the pictures in this report and the pages of evidence simply go to show that the statements made in their own defence by these hon. gentlemen are unjustified and unreasonable. They make no attempt to justify the expenditure of $61,000 for fences in a part of the country where there was not likely to be anything to interfere with the railway. Nor do they begin to refute the statements in regard to the Transcona shops. Those shops were built at the end of the line, where they could not possibly be of as great benefit to that railway as they would have been had they been built at a point to which the stock to be repaired could be brought by a reasonably short haul. The shops cost $4,500,000. There is not a doubt in my mind that the Grand Trunk should be compelled to pay-or at least they should have been compelled to pay- -a large portion of that cost, for they will make a great deal of use out of these shops in time to come. Imagine a body of business men spending $4,500,000 on shops for a new railway on which they knew there could not be more than a small amount of business done and providing for this new railway shops so large that the Canadian

Pacific railway could have had practically all their repairs done in these shops, with room left for all the repairs likely to be required on the Transcontinental. Then there was the Winnipeg entrance. You have heard how this entrance was built in such a manner that the country is compelled to pay tribute to the Canadian Northern railway in connection with the entrance to Winnipeg for practically all shunting and freight going in or out of that great city.

Now, just a word or two about the New Brunswick section. As these commissioners have said:

Large sums of money in interest have been lost by the premature construction of the New Brunswick section of the railway. In our opinion this section should not have been constructed at all. If one-third of the money had been expended on the Intercolonial railway it would have provided all the trunk line facilities for the province of New Brunswick which would be required for many years.

Construction was away in advance of the requirements of the people, and on the money thus expended the people of Canada are paying interest, while the rails are rusting and the ties rotting. .

Is it not dear that we were justified in *taking the position we did in 1904? The leader of this Government (Mr. Borden) when leader of the Opposition, in 1904, urged the Government to extend the Intercolonial to the west and the coast and give us a Government-owned railway, and, in the eastern provinces, to extend the branch lines so as to assist materially in developing the country. This was a wise, *sound policy; but instead of adopting that policy hon. gentlemen opposite persisted in a proposition that has saddled upon the people of Canada an enormous expenditure. The leader of this Government has been right on all these great national undertakings. I am proud and glad to be the follower of a man who has shown such business ability, straightforwardness and strength of character. I remember well the seven long months we spent in this House in attempting to show the Government of that day the necessity of investigating this whole question and oi *securing full information before undertaking it. I remembeT the position taken by our leader at that time, and the long days he spent in placing before Parliament the figures connected with this undertaking in the effort to prevent the people of Canada from being saddled with this unjustifiable expenditure. And in the years since then we have seen practically

every statement made by our worthy leader justified and established. Look at the statement he made with regard to wihat this railway would cost. He was ridiculed throughout the length and breadth of Canada as a man who could not look ahead and see what was necessary for the development of our great Dominion. Hut the outcome is that practically every word he has uttered in support of his position has been justified. We are doubly proud to have as our leader a man of such statesmanlike foresight.

The hon. member for South Renfrew (Mr. Graham) made the statement time and again in the course of his remarks that we should look upon this as a great business undertaking and regard it from the business standpoint. While I condemn the hon. member for Teckless expenditure of the people's money in this great undertaking, and believe him to be worthy of special condemnation of the people for what he has done, yet I say that the man on whose shoulders rests the main responsibility for this whole undertaking, the man who committed the greatest blunder, was the man who attempted by this means to create a monument for himself, the right hon. leader of the Opposition, Sir Wilfrid Laurier. Instead of that monument being a work which will win for the hon. gentleman the approval of the people, it will prove to be, in fact it has already proved to be a monument of folly. If hon. members on both sides of this House will carefully examine the pages of this report, they can come to no other conclusion than that the present Government were justified in ordering this investigation, which they had promised before the last general election in the event of their being returned to office. In spite of all the talk that hon. gentlemen opposite have indulged in, there will be found within the pages of this report sufficient to condemn any body of men who will attempt to support it.


George William Kyte


Mr. G. W. KYTE (Richmond, N.S.):

Mr. Speaker, the hon. the Solicitor General (Mr. Meighen) introduced his speech in the House yesterday afternoon by giving the members a dissertation upon royal commissions. He referred somewhat facetiously to the appointment of commissions by the late Government and the alleged dissatisfaction of that Government with their findings. The hon. gentleman might, however, have found food for his facetiousness and for his philosophical

observations very much nearer home if he had confined himself to a review of certain commissions appointed by the present Government. We all remember that it was announced a few months after the present Government came into office that a commission was to be appointed to investigate the various departments of the late Government. A commission was appointed under the name of the Public Service Commission, whose duties it would be to investigate the expenditure of money by the large spending departments of that Government. The members of that commission were Messrs. A. B. Morine, formerly of Newfoundland; Mr. G. N. Ducharme of Montreal, and Mr. R. N. Lake, a former member of the House of Commons. After the commissioners had begun their work, items of news filtered out through the Conservative press, from time to time, intimating that gross mismanagement had been discovered in the various departments of the Government. Newspapers supporting the Conservative party gave information to the public that in the Department of Public Works great extravagance and unjustifiable expenditures had been discovered. Naturally the public mind was being prepared for the report of this commission which was going to result, as was fondly hoped by hon. gentlemen supporting the present Government, in driving certain prominent members of the Liberal parfy out of public life. The report of this commission was anticipated just as that of Messrs Lynch-Staunton and Gutelius was anticipated by the 4 p.m. Conservative press, as information from time to time was given out to the press by the commission appointed to investigate the National Transcontinental railway. But the Public Service Commission has not, so far as I know, up to this hour, presented its report to Parliament and I shall tell the House why. It may be remembered that in the House of Commons, in the month of April, 1912, the hon. member for Carleton, N.B. (Mr. Carvell) brought to the attention of the First Minister certain charges that had been made against Mr. Morine, the leading member of the Public Service Commission. Certain documents were placed on ' Hansard ' by the hon. member for Carleton which hal the result of speedily terminating the service of Mr. Morine as an investigator of the public service and of the different departments of the late Liberal Government. Mr. Morine, who was described by his former leader in Newfoundland as the 'greatest scoundrel who ever entered the Narrows,' had been appointed by the First

Minister to investigate the -conduct and the expenditure of public money by members of the former Administration. That report has not yet come down because the revelations and the disclosures made by the hon. member for Carleton as to the conduct of Mr. Morine in Newfoundland were such that his services were terminated by this Government, and no one was appointed to carry on the work which he had commenced. If the First Minister of this Government appointed a scoundrel to investigate all the departments of the late Government, is it reasonable to suppose that he would select angels to investigate the Department of th-ex-Minister of Railways and Canals? Mr. Morine was a former candidate of the First Minister in the county of Queens-Shelburne, N.S., in the general election of 1904. He took up his residence in Ontario, in the city of Toronto; and if reports be true, after he had completed his work as a commissioner to investigate the conduct of the exMinister of Public Works and other members of the late Government, he was to have been selected for high honours carrying with them great emoluments. We no longer hear of the Hon. A. B. Morine and the report for which the taxpayers of this country had already paid many thousands of dollars has not been brought down to this House.


Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Conservative (1867-1942)


The hon. gentleman

asserted that the report of the Public Service Commission had never been presented to Parliament. The statement surprised me very much and I examined the Votes and Proceedings of last year. If he will look at page 172 he will find that that report was presented on the 9th day of December, 1912. It was ordered to be printed forthwith.


George William Kyte



Inasmuch as the primary

object of the inquiry was to present a report to Parliament which would reflect upon the conduct of the members of the late Government, and inasmuch as we have heard nothing of that report from hon. gentlemen opposite, we have reason to assume that there was not very much in it.


Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Conservative (1867-1942)


I was not discussing

what was in it; I merely wanted to correct the hon. gentleman as to a statement of fact. I am sure that he would desire to be corrected in such a statement. It would be most undesirable had no report been presented, and I felt confident that one had been presented.


George William Kyte



makes the statement that no member of the old commission had any railway experience, he is stating what is not within the facts.

When it comes to appointing men to occupy great positions in the railway or industrial world, on this continent at all events, it is not the rule to select those persons from men who have had any extraordinary or intimate association with those particular industries. For instance, it will be remembered that when the United States Steel Corporation lost its president, W. E. Corry, by resignation, they did not confine their choice of bis successor to men who had had intimate experience in the business of manufacturing steel and iron, but they selected for the head of that great corporation Judge Carey, an eminent lawyer in the city of Chicago. When E. H. Harriman, who was the head and front of the largest railway system in the United States, died, and it became necessary to appoint a successor, they did not go to the railway operators of the United States, but they selected Judge Lovitt, a lawyer, to carry on Mr. Harri-man's work. When the Dominion Iron and Steel Company wanted a president to carry on the work that had been conducted so successfully by the late James Ross they did not seek the services of a man particularly familiar with the manufacture of iron and steel, but they selected a very competent and excellent gentleman who was a banker in the city of Toronto, Mr. J. H. Plummer. When the Nova Scotia Steel and Coal Company required a president some years ago to take charge of the management of that large and important corporation in the province of Nova Scotia, did they confine their choice to men familiar with the steel and coal business? No. It is well known to the right hon. leader of this House that they selected his colleague at the Bar in the city of Halifax, Robert E. Harris, a distinguished lawyer in that city. Therefore, when the acting Minister of Railways criticises the Government because the men whom they appointed as commissioners were not railway builders, surely it is not a criticism that ought to have any weight in view of the practice that is followed by all the great corporations on this continent.

We are sometimes asked to compare the operations of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company with the operations of the Commissioners of the Transcontinental. To hear hon. gentlemen opposite

talk, one ' would imagine that when the Canadian Pacific railway was first conceived its original directors must necessarily and naturally have been men familiar with railway construction and operation. I have under my hand a list of the original directors of the Canadian Pacific railway, the men who carried out the construction of that railway in its earlier stages. The names of these directors are: George Stephen, Montreal, merchant; Duncan McIntyre, Montreal, merchant; John S. Kennedy, New York, banker; R. B. Angus, St. Paul, Esquire; James J. Hill, St. Paul, Esquire; Henry Stafford Northcote, London, Esquire; D. P. Grenfell, London, merchant; Charles Day Rose, London, merchant; Baron J. de Reinach, Paris, banker. Not a single practical railway man or engineer was to be found in the first directorate of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company, so far as I have been able to ascertain from the records in the Library of Parliament. If the construction of that road could be carried on successfully and to the satisfaction of the men who put tneir money into the road, by men not railway builders or operators, is it not folly to suppose that in this day of our history, business men, bankers and professional men cannot be found to carry on a great and important undertaking.

But, Mr. Speaker, the acting Minister of Railways, in making the criticism that he did against the personnel of the former commission, had not in mind perhaps that certain criticisms more trenchant than he made against the late commissioners, had been made against the person who now occupies the position of commissioner. I have before me criticisms directed against the person occupying that high and important position, Major Leonard, that make the criticisms of the acting Minister of Railways appear by comparison like the recitation of a school girl in the second form of a kindergarten. I have here an editorial from the Winnipeg Telegram. It is not necessary for me to tell the members of this House that the Winnipeg Telegram is the leading Conservative paper in western Canada. It is the personal OTgan of the hon. Minister of Public Works and any observations that it makes in regard to public matters it makes on behalf of the Conservative party. From the Winnipeg Telegram of January 3, 1914, I read:

The growing dissatisfaction through the West, over the slow progress being made in

the construction of the National Transcontinental railway is being reflected in the animated newspaper comment of the press, regardless of party affiliation. In the East there is a similar echo of restlessness over the unsatisfactory state of this huge enterprise. This continued delay, inaction of those responsible for the work, and the fact that the project has already cost $55,000,000 more than the most exaggerated estimates called for, has provoked a feeling of uncertainty in the public mind, that is rapidly reaching explosive proportions.

Who is responsible for this extraordinary condition?

After the overthrow of the Laurier regime, the country hoped and expected the work would be prosecuted with vigour and ability. Frankness requires the acknowledgment that all the public has a right to expect in this direction has not been accomplished. The old commission responsible for much of this trouble, was dismissed, and new men appointed, but there was no improvement in action and efficiency. This is too clear, Mr. Borden's Government deserves the support of the people, and they have confidence in him, but there can be no question that a mistake was made in the selection of Major Leonard as Chairman of the Transcontinental Commission. This, Mr. Borden's warmest supporters to-day freely admit. The only virtue the commission can claim is honesty.

There is no dishonesty charged against the ex-members of the Transcontinental Railway 'Commission even in the biased report of the special 'Commission appointed to investigate the subject.

This is an excellent quality, but it does not tunnel mountains, bridge rivers, and construct railways. In the interests of the people, especially the people of western Canada, and with no desire to damage Major Leonard's reputation, the Telegram desires to affirm that his work, as head of the commission has been a distinct failure. The Telegram believes a mistake was made in choosing Major Leonard for this responsible position. He is not a railway builder, however good he may be in locating mining propositions. It is a pity, therefore, to spoil an excellent * prospector ' at the expense of the National Transcontinental project.

It is not necessary to go into details to indicate Major Leonard's unfitness for the position he occupies. The impression is growing that more progress could be made on the work, if the youngest engineer in the employ of the commission were in charge.

Hon. Frank Cochrane, the Minister of Rail-w'ays, is a busy man. He is an overworked minister, and he will continue to be overworked as long as he is burdened with incompetents like Major Leonard, in .control of great undertakings like the Transcontinental. The suggestion is freely made, that either Mr. Cochrane should take over this important work, or a commissioner be appointed with the ability and skill to expedite the work. The East as well as the West is vitally interested in an immediate improvement and will be satisfied with nothing less.

Then, on the 14th January, 1914, the Winnipeg Telegram returns to the attack: 136

But the Telegram reiterates Its statement that the people are tired of the inaction and incompetence of the Transcontinental Commission. Major Leonard's services have proven distinctly disappointing. The public have confidence in the Minister of Railways, and if Mr. Cochrane will take over the work, it will be handled expeditiously, and with intelligence. He enjoys a reputation for service; hut with Major Leonard as the head of the commission, to perfect the work on this huge public utility, he is practically helpless. The West wants to see something done, and the Telegram believes the East has equal wisdom. At the present rate, another private Transcontinental railway system will be completed before the National Transcontinental railway is ready for traffic. Yet the peoples' millions are backing this great enterprise, and all the resources are at hand to employ the genius of the railway world. Under these circumstances, it seems a pity that action is not taken at Ottawa along the line of public demand for more expedition in this undertaking.

I have looked through the report of Messrs. Lyneh-Staunton and Gutelius, in which they criticise the conduct of the late Transcontinental Railway Commission, I have read the evidence from one end of the volume to the other, and nowhere do I find a criticism so far-reaching, or so deadly, as that which the newspaper of the hon. Minister of Public Works has directed against Major Leonard, the present commissioner. The excuse given by the Minister of Railways and Canals for disbanding the old commission was, that the members of the old commission were incompetent because there was not a practical railway builder among them. It was said that the expenditure upon the construction of the road would be materially reduce! if a change were made. The Minister of Railways and Canals got up in this House and gave a certificate of character to Major Leonard as being the one man in Canada in whom he had confidence to carry out that work in the way it should be carried out. We have had a test of Major Leonard's competence and I do not desire to express any personal opinion as regards that estimable gentleman. It is my duty to put the report of Messrs. Lynch-Staunton, and Gutelius as to the capacity of the members of the late commission, and the criticism of the Minister of Railways and Canals of the members of that commission, side biy side with the criticism of the Winnipeg Telegram with regard to the com-pent-ence, the fitness and the ability of Major Leonard, the present commissioner.

The hon. member for South Renfrew, in the course of his observations the other evening, pointed out that in hi? opinion the report of the special commission was partisan and biased. Of course, it was open to hon. gentlemen opposite to throw

back the charge in the face of my hon.

friend from South Renfrew. I am not going to quote the opinions of members supporting the Liberal party, but I desire to place on record the opinion of a prominent member of the Conservative party in the city of Montreal as to what he thinks of the impartiality of the report presented to this House by these two special commissioners. I am going to put on ' Hansard ' a statement made by Mr. C. H. Cahan, K.C., an eminent lawyer of Montreal and who was prominent for many years as leader of the Conservative party in the province of Nova Scotia. Mr. Cahan was for some time editor of the Halifax Herald, a thick and th'in supporter of the Conservative party in good and evil report. Mr. Cahian was one of the candidates of the right hon. the First Minister (Mr. Borden) in the province of Nova Scotia in the election of 1904. This is what Mr. Cahan says in regard to the report of this commission :

I expressed my views very clearly at the recent dinner of the Maritime Province Association of McGill. In Canada we are apt to go to the extreme of condemning a whole political party not only for the frauds secretly perpetrated by individuals, but we also represent, as fraudulent and corrupt, alleged mistakes in policy and in details, in regard to which expert advisers may, in good faith, entertain .entirely different views.

No great engineering project was ever carried through to completion, in which large sums of money might not have been saved if the foresight of the engineers directing and controlling the expenditures had been equal to their hindsight. Most valuable knowledge and experience is always gained in carrying through a great undertaking which is utilized by amateur critics to condemn the works of engineers and others who are, in fact, more competent and equally as honest as those who criticise and condemn the completed work.'

In the matter of the Transcontinental railway construction, there were many questions of routes, of grades, of standards of construction, of main lines, sidings, shops, station houses, etc., in regard to which equally competent engineers may and do honestly differ. All expenditures of this nature should be eliminated in considering the charges and counter-charges of fraud and corruption with which the party press is now filled.

An honest opinion either upon general policy or in regard to details of construction does not and should not place a person or a political party in the criminal dock.

It must also be borne in mind that the inquiry which has been held was ex parte. It is similar to a preliminary inquiry and investigation before a magistrate. It should have no more weight than is usually given to the evidence taken at an ex parte inquiry. Individuals should not be condemned by Star Chamber proceedings. If evidence has been obtained by the Gutelius commission, which is sufficient, in the opinion of the Government, to place any contractors or others on trial, they

should be tried by and before a tribunal at which they can appear, with their witnesses, and be heard by their counsel. We must play the game of politics fairly, if we are to preserve the whole country from utter discredit. As it is, the press of one party now seeks to overwhelm their political opponents with indiscriminate charges of fraud and corruption, based upon an ex parte report, upon ex parte evidence, even before the persons charged have had opportunity to prepare and present their defence. We prefer to cast odium upon our political opponents, rather than to take effective means to bring individual culprits to the bar of justice.

And with what result ? The world at large accepts Canada at Canada's appreciation of herself. The unmerited opinion has been created in England and elsewhere that public affairs in this country are permeated with fraud and corruption. The financial credit of the country is impaired, and our material progress is seriously deterred. It would be far better for this country if we played the game and played it fairly, discriminating clearly between matters of honest difference of opinion, and fraudulent and corrupt dealings, and sparing no reasonable effort to bring those persons guilty of fraudulent acts before the courts of justice which are properly constituted for that purpose.

There is the opinion,, not of a Liberal, not of an ex-member of the Government which was defeated in 1911, and not of a partisan of the Liberal party or of my right hon. friend the leader of the Opposition.

That, Sir, is the unbiased statement of a leading Conservative in the city of Montreal, a man who knows whereof he speaks.

I stated a moment ago that Mr. Cahan, waB ' an eminent lawyer of the city of Montreal; he is more -than an eminent lawyer, he is an eminent financier. Through Mr. Cahan's enterprise and energy he has done much to develop the latent natural resources of the Dominion. In British Columbia, in Ontario, in Nova Scotia, in far distant South America, Mr. Cahan has organized corpora-' tions to develop public utilities, and he is obliged, from time to time, to go to the money market of Great Britain to raise capital for his great enterprises. No man, therefore, knew better than Mr. Cahan the deadly blow dealt to the credit of Canadian enterprises by this partisan report presented to Parliament by Messrs. Gutelius and Lynch-Staunton.

One of the important criticisms directed against the wisdom of the late Government in respect to the construction of the National Transcontinental railway, is, as to the building of the line from Quebec East to Moncton. It has been pointed out by the ex-Minister of Railways, and also by the hon. member for Carleton (Mr. Carvell), that when Messrs. Gutelius and Lynch-Staunton undertook to condemn the construction of the railway from Quebec East

to Moncton, they were passing upon a question of policy which had had the approval of the electorate of Canada in two separate and distinct general elections. In 1903, when this project was before the House of Commons, I do not think .the present Prime Minister was so convinced of his opinion that another railway ought not to be built through the province of New Brunswick.

I quote from ' Hansard,' 1903:

Mr. Borden: I say that If there is to be found a better and shorter line between Riviere du Loup, or any other point on the Intercolonial, and Moncton, -a line the construction of which will give to Halifax and St. John and the Maritime provinces generally a better fighting chance for western traffic than that which they have at present, I will support the construction of that line. But I will not support it with the object for which this Bill provides.

I will tell my hon. friend how I will support it. I will support the construction of that line as part of the Intercolonial railway. I do not believe in constructing that better and shorter line for the purpose of handing it over to the Grand Trunk or any other railway company; but I do believe in constructing it and keeping it for the people's railway. That is my position and it Is a position which I am ready to discuss in the Maritime provinces or anywhere else, with either the Minister of the Interior or any other hon. gentleman in this House.

The right hon. gentleman would not then approve of the construction of a railway through New Brunswick as a part of the Grand Trunk Pacific system, but with one eye on the province of Ontario and the other eye on the province of Nova Scotia, having in view the general election which would take place a few months later, he would not undertake to say that he was not in favour of a railway through the province of New Brunswick, but he wanted it built as part of the Intercolonial xail-

and the right hon. gentleman himself, for the first time in the history of Nova Scotia, a leader of a great party, had to go outside his province to find a constituency, [DOT] . in order that he might continue as leader. In the province of New Brunswick, the Tesult of that election was almost equally decisive, there being nine Liberals elected to four Conservatives.

In 1903, another distinguished member of the Conservative party spoke on the proposal to build a railway through New Brunswick, as part of the National Transcontinental railway; I Tefer to Mr. Bell, who then represented Pictou. While Mr. Bell was speaking, the Hon. Mr. Ross, then member for Victoria, N.S., asked him this question:

Is the hon. gentleman opposed to the road running to Moncton?

And Mr. Bell replied:

Mr. Bell: I am criticising this scheme. I say this, that if the hon. gentleman who has just spoken, wants the road to go to Moncton, it is not because he is very anxious to see grain shipped by Halifax or St. John, but because he wants to have some kind of an excuse to offer his people for supporting such an absurd proposition.

Mr. Johnston (Cape Breton) : Then the hon. gentleman is opposed to it?

Mr. Bell: The hon. gentleman is prepared to stand by the declaration made by his leader.

No leading member of the Conservative party in this House at that time had the courage that Mr. Gutelius has, ten years afterwards, to condemn the construction of the railway through the province of New Brunswick; on the contrary, they all left it to be understood that they were in favour of such a project, because they felt that the people of the Maritime provinces would demand its construction.

But the idea of building a railway through the centre of New Brunswick was not first conceived by the members of the late Administration, when they gave birth to the scheme to build the National Transcontinental railway. Away back in 1887, to my own knowledge, Sir Charles Tupper, who at that time was taking an active part in the support of the Conservative party in the federal election, made a public announcement in the city of Halifax in which he stated that the last act he did before he left England was to confer with his friend, Lord Revelstoke, who had agreed to underwrite the bonds for the construction of a railway from Harvey to Salisbury, across the province of New Brunswick. Sir Charles Tupper was always ready to back

up his argument with the inevitable telegram, and the statement was scarcely out of his mouth when a telegraph messenger rushed up to the platform and handed him a telegram which he read, amidst the plaudits of the Tory party, confirming his statement that Lord Eevelstoke had undertaken to finance a railway to be built through the heart of the province of New Brunswick. Again, in 1891, the Conservative party reiterated their pledges to build a railway across New Brunswick, and the fact that they had not carried out the pledge made by Sir Charles Tupper in 1887 presented the most awkward situation which they had to face in- that campaign. Never was there a time when the leaders of the Conservative party were not willing to pledge their faith and their honour to the construction of a railway across New Brunswick, but they forgot to implement that promise once the elections were over. The difference between the Conservative party and the Liberal party in this regard is, that whereas the Conservative party promised to build a railway through New Brunswick, and failed to do so, the Liberal Government and the Liberal party kept their promise, and built the railway.

I have, here speeches made by other members of the Conservative party in 1904, when the amendment to the agreement between the Government and the Grand Trunk Pacific was under the consideration of this House. The present leader of the Government (Mr. Borden) then stated:

The Government have kindly and generously consented to bear the greater part of the liability necessary to build about 2,000 miles of railway in the Northwest Territories and they have refused during the past session to insert one single stipulation binding the Grand Trunk railway not to carry the traffic of that railway to Portland. We moved amendments for that purpose, they voted them down and when the agreement was opened up they still saw fit to withhold their hand from imposing on the Grand Trunk Railway Company one single syllable which would make it necessary that they should carry that freight to Canadian ports Instead of to Portland. Indeed, 1 understand that those who are interested in the welfare of Portland are not very much disturbed about the outlook. They have had the Grand Trunk railway freight before, and they expect to have it again. They have a sublime and earnest confidence that the building of the Grand Trunk Pacific railway through the Northwest Territories of "Canada will in no way interfere with the interests of Portland, but that all the traffic there gathered will go to swell the trade of Portland and that the ports of Halifax and St. John will be relegated to the same position that they have occupied in the past.

You will observe that the right hon. gentleman had no confidence in the good faith of the late Government in their proposal to build a railway across the province of New Brunswick, and that he wanted to make it appear that their lack of good faith in that regard would result in our freight going by way of Portland. The right hon. gentleman goes on to say:

Why is it that my right hon. friend's utterances now lack the earnestness which so char acterized them last year? He possibly may also remember that although the flood-tide was upon us last year, although time would not wait last year, not one single step has been taken by the Government to survey this eastern division. If the flood-tide was then upon us, if there was a crisis, if time would not wait, why has the Government paused during these six or seven months and taken no steps ro secure a survey of the country through which the eastern division is to pass? It has been whispered in some parts of the country where the eastern division is not popular, is it because the eastern division is to be dropped?

On that occasion the right hon. gentleman had not only very grave doubts but fears that the right hon. the Prime Minister of that day did not seriously and honestly intend to build a railway which Mr. Gutelius and Mr. Lynch^Staunton now so strenuously endeavour to condemn.

Mr. J. W. Daniel, member for St. John, spoke as follows:

Rver since that election my opponents have been giving all kinds of reasons for the result. I have heard it spoken of as an accident. I have also heard it stated that there were two gentlemen each of whom wished to be the candidate of the Liberal party, apd that the trouble which ensued when one of them w'as not selected was the cause of the overturning of the great majority which the late Minister of Railways had, and giving me my majority. Well, Mr. Speaker, I am quite willing to give full credit for all the results which these, or any other circumstances which were peculiar at the time, had on the election ; but after giving them all due credit, I must make the assertion which is absolutely correct, that all these things put together would never have produced such a result as happened in the city of St. John, unless there had been something of a more close and intimate character with which all the people of the city had to do. There is no doubt in my mind whatever, Sir, that the result of that election was caused by the city of St. John with the policy of the Government, as crystallized more especially in the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway Bill. Because, while they did not believe that it was going to be of any special advantage to the country generally, they certainly came to the conclusion that it was going to be an absolute harm to them instead of a benefit. That feeling was general throughout the city of St. John. As far back as last August the merchants of S'. John met together and talked over this matter. They wanted to know what effect it would

have upon them; because this is an immense undertaking for Canada, as it would be for any country; and if there are going to be spent in this country some $139,000,000 or $149,000,000, it is impossible to say how many millions are going to be spent before this scheme is carried into effect. If all this money is to be spent in the whole of Canada where are the Maritime provinces to come in? That is what we were saying in St. John-where were we to come in. We found that we did not come in at ail.

There is no doubt, Mr. Speaker-I come to this point with some diffidence because people might think that I was trying to boom my own constituency a little too much-but I must say that so far as this extreme eastern section is concerned, there is no doubt that the business and commercial solution of the matter would be to build from Edmundston, or some practical point near Edmundston, right down the valley of the river St. John to the port of St. John. In that way you would get the shortest line and if there is any possibility of doing business on the line after it is built, you would have an opportunity of doing that business and getting some satisfactory results.

You will observe that Mr. Daniel was very strongly in favour of building the transcontinental from the town of Edmundston, but naturally he preferred that the terminus of the road should be in the city of St. John rather than in the city of Moncton. Mr. Daniel proceeded as follows:

Some of the changes made by this supplementary agreement seemed to be made for the very purpose of facilitating this action of the Grand Trunk railway and helping them to take their freight out of this country entirely to the port of Portland, Maine. If not, why should the Government ask Parliament to release this deposit of $5,000,000 as soon as the western section is completed? 11 the Government intend to carry on the building of the eastern section pari passu with the western section, why should we be asked to put this clause in? Because, if they really intend to build in that way, the eastern section would be built as rapidly as the western section, ana there is no reason whatever for asking Parliament to release that deposit as soon as the western section is built.

Them Mr. Gourlay, Conservative member for Colchester, spoke as follows:

Your mistake is not to have chartered a new company. If you are hound to build this railway, make the interest of the whole line one from the Pacific ocean to Halifax, so that when vour company gets a pound of freight in British Columbia, it will he bound to take it to Halifax or St. John. But you did not do that. You have, instead, amalgamated this project with a railway whose interest is to take the freight to Portland.

I have said that the Quebec-Moncton sectiop must be built, and I wish to put myself thoroughly on record on that score. I am for that section from beginning to end. If a mile of this crooked bottled-up railway is to be built, then build the Moncton section, because if Quebec is to he benefited at the expense of the

whole Dominion, we should have a little of the overthrow down in the Maritime provinces.

I will not hesitate to say on behalf of the Maritime provinces, that no line that does not go below Quebec, can ever benefit us. Once locate a line below Quebec, and then there is a straight course across the continent to Halifax, or to Country Harbour, or to rit John, and once the products of the great west are put upon this line and sent down there, they cannot go to Boston or to Portland, hut must go out on the Atlantic from Canadian harbours to the great markets of the old country. That is my ambition, and I believe it is the ambition of some of the gentlemen opposite, if they could only throw away their narrow party trammels and stand up like men, and proclaim what they really believe.

An attempt is made to delude us again, hut we know now, that a line making its terminus at Quebec will never benefit the Maritime provinces.

I wonder if Mr. Gutelius and Mr. Lynch-Staunton read the debate in the House of Commons on the subject of this great railway before they penned the report which condemned the policy of the late Government, thinking no doubt that they were condemning the policy of one party alone, whereas they were condemning the policy of both parties at that time.

Mr. R. D. Wilmot, another member for the province of New Brunswick, spoke as follows:

When it reaches the province of New Bruns-wick-^as I suppose it will by some means I consider that the easiest and most natural route for a railway would he down the valley of the St. John river to Fredericton, and from that point by a branch to Moncton via Shipman. That country has already been surveyed, it is. a level country and well suited for a railway Another branch could be built to the city of St John. The Prime Minister's proposition to build a straight line through the province of New Brunswick, I do not consider it at all practical. It would he very expensive and, from the knowledge we have of that section of the country, I do not think it could he buih without a vast expenditure of money. If you follow the valley of the St. John river, you have a natural road bed and the most direct route to tide waters.

There we have the opinion of the Conservative members of the House of Commons as expressed in that debate, and their opinion is strongly in favour of building the line through the province of New Brunswick.

I have here a resolution passed by the Board of Trade of the town of Truro on the 14th of February, 1890, as follows:

Resolved, that the Truro Board of Trade learns with interest of the proposed extension of the Grand Trunk railway system to the Maritime provinces connecting with the Intercolonial railway at or near Moncton, thus giving a competing line to the west as well as a short


George William Kyte



clay fill in a particular place: ' you are dodging; you aTe not working with me in this.' Working with him, for what purpose? Not working with him to condemn the Transcontinental railway and the late Government, and to slander the Liberal party; but, more than all, he was not working with Mr. Gutelius to assist him in getting a job of $20,000 a year for running the Intercolonial as a result of this report on the Transcontinental. I am willing to let the last quoted evidence go, and leave it .to the judgment of the acting Minister of Railways and Canals as to whether or not Mr. Gutelius was an unbiased, impartial judge with whom to entrust the examination of these witnesses, .and to make a report of censure on the late oom-missSoneirs of the Transcontinental railway.


Avard Longley Davidson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. A. L. DAVIDSON (Annapolis):

Mr. Speaker, I desire to tender to the acting Minister of Railways and Canals (Hon. J. D. Reid) my congratulations on the very satisfactory statement and the very progressive programme which he has outlined in respect to the Intercolonial railway. We in the lower provinces entertain the view- and I think we are justified in entertaining it-that only just now is the great experiment of public ownership of railways in Canada receiving a fair and impartial trial. We are not afraid of the result of that test, and we believe that this great experiment, conducted by an honest and efficient Government, will absolutely justify itself, and that the great development which is going on in connection with the Intercolonial railway will have the result of tremendously booming and developing the eastern part of Canada. It is not, however, to discuss the Intercolonial railway that I rise on this occasion. I intend to devote the few moments at my disposal this afternoon more particularly to the discussion of a report the publication of which a few weeks ago threw the people of this country into indignation, and threw hon. gentlemen opposite into panic -and alarm.

Before passing, however, to that phase of the question I desire to refer very briefly to the remarks of my hon. friend from Richmond (Mr. G. W. Kyte) who has just resumed his seat. I was somewhat surprised at the complaint of my hon. friend in respect to the non-appearance of a report which was prepared some time ago in reference to the Civil Service. My hon. friend evidently was ignorant that that

report had been filed, and of course he has not read its contents. He excused his ignorance in this regard by saying that he had heard no noise about this report, no cry of wrongdoing on the part of the Liberal party, and therefore he thought no report could have been made. I take it for granted that the hon. gentleman ought to have a pretty shrewd idea of what the nature of that report should have been. I am not going to discuss that report; I will merely say if my hon. friend would [DOT] read it he would find very many things therein contained not at all to the credit of the late Administration which he supported. I think, however, the Opposition have all the reports of commissions on their hands that they need at the present time, and I do not think they need discuss the report of any other commission just now. It seems to me that if they would bring to the discussion of this report their prayerful and repentant consideration, they would be doing all that this country expects of them.

The hon. gentleman also quoted at length a newspaper published in the city of Winnipeg which he claimed was reflecting upon Mr. Leonard in connection with the construction of the Grand Trunk Pacific. The complaint alleged in the report was particularly with reference to the delay that had been caused in the building of this' road. The hon. gentleman was good enough to read to this House a section which expressly absolved Mr. Leonard from any dishonesty but accused Him of delay. It occurred to me while the hon. gentleman was reading this quotation that this Winnipeg paper must be very unfair if it blamed' Mr. Leonard mainly for the delay. It occurred to me that the party to which my hon. friend belongs was in power from 1903 to 1911 and that, therefore, if there was delay, certainly the 'blame was more with the late Administration than with any person else. I thought when listening to the quotation that the paper must be doing an injustice to the parties concerned and that it should have placed the blame more on the late Government than on the present Government. Imagine my surprise to learn that the hon. gentleman did not read the most vital part of that newspaper article. He read only a section or two sections of it, while in the very article from which he quoted there appears the following:

Who is responsible for this extraordinary-condition? Tears have passed since the date mentioned by the Laurier regime on which the system would be completed. The late Govern-

ment for years marked time on the work east ot' Winnipeg through incompetency or in order to afford greater opportunities for graft; but, whatever the cause, the fact is obvious that up to 1911, years of time and colossal sums were wasted by the Liberal Government on the eastern section of the National Transcontinental railway.

Of course, the hon. gentleman could never have perused the whole or he would not have been unfair enough to make such an omission in quoting it to th'e House; .but it is a curious coincidence that he quoted both ends of the article, but left out this very important middle. If the hon. gentleman's reading has extended to newspapers published in the city of Winnipeg, I would like very much to refer him to the columns of another newspaper published in that city, not a Liberal-Conservative paper but a paper edited by a gentleman who, for a number of years, sat in this House as a Liberal member and who, a little more than a year ago, contested the constituency of Macdonald in the Liberal interest. I just picked up one of these papers casually and ran across this almost by accident. The Winnipeg Tribune, in its issue of March 20, 1914, has this to say in reference to the matter:

If there is not either colossal bungling or blundering in connection with the enterprise, the public will be surprised. The whole business looks like such a colossal blunder, particularly in view of the fact that we have one or two transcontinental railway lines too many, that the Canadian people will yet be forced in sackcloth and ashes over the blundering railway policy of the former Government.

Is it not surprising that when my hon. friend's vision was scanning the columns of the Winnipeg press, that this article should have escaped his attention altogether?

Mr. Speaker, I am not one of those who would blame or censure the hon. member for South Renfrew (Mr. Graham) for devoting over seven hours of the time of this House to an attempt to excuse and explain away the findings contained in the report of the commission appointed to inquire into the construction of the Grand Trunk Pacific. I think it was very much up -to the hon. gentleman to make a defence and to explain away, if it were possible, the very serious charges made by these commissioners. The people of the country would have gladly given him not only seven hours but seven weeks if necessary in order that he might have full opportunity to present an ample defence to these serious charges. But the trouble is not that he took so much time; the trouble is

that, notwithstanding the time that he took, notwithstanding the labour that he must have expended upon his defence, notwithstanding his known talents and ability as a debater, he was not able to dispose of the very serious implications cast upon his Administration and that of his Government, in this report.

The contention is put forward by hon. gentlemen opposite that this report should not have been published or circulated at a time when there is a money stringency in the markets of the world. They say that the circulation of this report, showing so much waste and extravagance, is calculated at this critical juncture to prejudicially affect the credit of Canada and credit of the Grand Trunk Railway Company, which is seeking to borrow money in the markets of the world. That is a very extraordinary complaint to make, a very extraordinary theory to advance. It is a strange argument to put forward that we must not have disclosures, that we must not look carefully into the transaction of public business, or the conduct of public institutions at any time when there _ is financial stringency, for fear of injuring the credit of the people of this country. You might as well say that if you had an 'acquaintance, whom you were suspicious of having stolen your money, you should not bring the matter into the police court, or you should not institute an ihvestiga-tion for fear of injuring that man's credit. That is a very absurd and extraordinary position to take. .

The credit of Canada is too high to be affected by anything of this kind. If this report had not been published, if the evidence of wrong-doing had not been made public, it would have more injuriously affected the credit of Canada than the publication of the facts. It has been very evident for a number of years that there were irregularities in connection with the construction of this road. Business men and railway men all over the world have been advised of it, and if these irregularities had been winked at, it would have much more seriously injured the credit of Canada than bringing to the light this wrong-doing. But if the argument of my hon. friend is correct, if the publication of these facts is damaging to the reputation of Canada, and if we are to be blamed for making this report public, what is to be said of the Administration which made possible the evidence which we have disclosed? Very serious strictures have been

passed upon the personnel of the Commission-which has conducted this investigation. Every one of the hon. gentlemen opposite who have spoken has, in some portion of his speech, roundly denounced and criticised the personnel of this commission. My hon. friend from Richmond referred to Mr. Morine, who was appointed by the present Government to investigate the Civil Service, and he informed the House that Mr. Morine was dismissed because a certain charge had been made against him. Well, herein is illustrated the difference between the methods of this Government and the methods of the late Government. Mr. Morine was not proven guilty in this Chamber; the evidence against him was of a very flimsy character but the Prime Minister held that a man appointed to hold an investigation, or to occupy a position of trust under this Government, must, like Caesar's wife, be above suspicion. And even though Mr. Morine was not proven guilty, our respected leader said that his services were no longer desirable because even the shadow of suspicion against him had been raised. I want to say right here that if Mr. Gutelius had been a Morine, or if Mr. Lynch-Staunton had been a Morine, we would have heard very serious complaints from gentlemen opposite about their past records. There is no doubt at all that hon. gentlemen opposite have been just as anxious to study the records of Mr. Lynch-Staunton and Mr. Gutelius as they were to study the record of Mr. Morine, and the fact that they were not able to place their finger on a single black spot in the records of these gentlemen, proves pretty conclusively that they are of the right kind. And, why should they not be proper persons to conduct such an investigation? I think hon. gentlemen will agree with me that it is very appropriate to have on this Commission a practical railroad man; I do not think there is any doubt about that. That being so, where should the Government look for a practical and efficient railroad man? That he must have had practical experience on some great railway, and a Canadian railway at that, is very evident. Surely, hon. gentlemen opposite would not wish the Government to go to the United States to get a railway expert; the hon. gentleman from Pictou (Mr. Macdonald) would vehemently protest against that. There are, as we know, only three great railway companies in Canada; the Canadian

Pacific railway, the Canadian Northern, and the Grand Trunk railway. Manifestly it would be improper to select an officer from the Grand Trunk railway, and manifestly it would -also be improper to select an officer from the Canadian Northern railway. Had the Government selected an official of the Canadian Northern to conduct this investigation, what a howl would have gone up from the hon. gentlemen opposite. Why, they would have said,- this railway corporation is on its knees before the Government asking for financial aid, and this creature of theirs dare not make an independent report-Therefore, the only railway from which the Government could properly make a selection was the Canadian Pacific railway, the one independent company in Canada which is not begging alms from the Government at the present time. We were told by the hon. member for South Renfrew (Mr. Graham) that the Canadian Pacific railway is the best managed railroad in the world, and where could we get a -more competent man than from among the officers of that well managed railroad.

Why these objections from hon. gentlemen opposite to Mr. Lynch-Staunton? Manifestly, it is desirable to have an investigation of this kind, conducted 'by a barrister of repute, a man who knows how to weigh evidence, who knows how to crossexamine, and who knows how to get at the facts, and make proper deductions therefrom. But the great trouble with Mr. Lynch-Staunton is, not that he is a lawyer, but that he happens to be a Tory lawyer. The members of the legal profession, to which I have the honour to belong, hold, almost without exception, very strong poh-tical opinions; it is difficult to meet a lawyer who is- not a Grit or a Tory. The Government, therefore, had to select either a Liberal lawyer or a Conservative lawyer. It was, in my opinion, an act of kindness on the part of the Government not to select a Liberal lawyer for this particular work, because the past experience of hon. gentlemen opposite with Liberal commissioners has been so painful that the- Government was certainly considerate in securing the services of a Tory in this instance.

The hon. gentleman who is most concerned in this investigation, the late Minister of Railways, devoted a great deal of attention to comparing the relative value of a filled road and trestle road, and the relative value of a trestle bridge and a steel structure. I am quite sure the hon. gentleman did not intend to do the commissioners

an injustice in this respect, but it seems to me that all who listened to his remarks, without having previous knowledge, would conclude that the commissioners laid down the theory that a trestle road was better than a filled road, and that a trestle bridge was better than a steel bridge. But, you can search the report from beginning to end, and you cannot find any such statement. There is no doubt at all that a filled Toad is better than a trestle road, and [DOT]there is no doubt that a steel bridge is better than a trestle bridge, but the whole point, according to the commissioners and according to the evidence, and according to the intelligence of any thoughtful person, is that it is much more economical to employ trestles in the first place, and, later on, after the engineering difficulties are understood, and when you have some traffic on your road, when you have idle trains which you can utilize, when you understand the nature of the country through which the road passes, to replace these trestles with permanent structures. The hon. gentleman (Mr. Graham) claims a great deal of credit for this road, because it has been constructed with fillings instead of trestles. Well, if this is something to be proud of, it is not the Liberal Administration who is responsible, because we have the pronouncement of Mr. Fielding in the House of Commons, when the Grand Trunk Bill was introduced, which contradicts that. It was his intention not to build the road as the *ex-Minister of Railways says, it has been built, but to build it just as Messrs. [DOT]Gutelius and Lynch-Staunton have recommended it should have been built. I quote the remarks of Mr. Fielding at page 8574 ' Hansard,' 1903:

Now, we know that in the construction of a road, in the anxiety to get a railroad built, some things are done which may be regarded as almost of a temporary aharacter. In one place you put in a trestle which five or six years later you will fill - up, and make a permanent road. In another place you put in a small wooden bridge; in time when it commences to weaken, you put in a steel structure, and so on. The road is not finished when its nominal completion takes place, but it may be finished as time progresses.

Further on he says:

We will give them a completed road so far as any new road can be made so; but as years roll on, if the Government, being in the same position as the landlord to whom I referred, desired to make improvements on that road, if they desired, having regard to the permanency of the road, tot take out a wooden bridge and put in a steel structure; if they desired to fill up a trestle, or do one of the many things which hon. gentlemen opposite who are familiar

with railways will understand better than I do, then the Government will have the right to do that in the way of betterment.

So it is very evident that, if this road is so much better than other roads in Canada are when first completed, that result has been attained entirely against the original conception which Mr. Fielding had when he introduced the measure under the terms of which the road was built. Furthermore, the engineers appointed by the commission to construct this road never had any such purpose, because the first tenders called for made no provision whatever for filling of this character. When the first tenders were called for, it was assumed that the road was to be built just as every great railway builds its road-first, by building trestles, and subsequently filling them in. Consequently in the first tenders that were advertised for there was no provision requiring the tenderers to give any figures at all for filling.

I will read now a quotation from a letter of Mr. Lumsden, as recorded at page 76 of the report. This letter was written in reply to some inquiries made to Mr. Lumsden by certain engineers who had been approached by contractors with questions as to the price that would be paid for filling. Mr. Lumsden wrote as follows:

It was not the intention that the present contractor should be called upon to make very heavy fills, the material for which would have to be hauled by train, but that he should put in standard trestles in such places. Of course, if the contractor prefers to make up a fill by train-hauled filling, rather than put in the standard trestle, he can do so with your approval, and in such cases he must provide the necessary temporary trestle at his own cost.

It was not Mr. Fielding; it was not the late Administration; it was not the engineers orginally employed who were responsible for this great. improvement of which the hon. member for South Renfrew (Mr. Graham) boasts. The evidence herein contained shows conclusively that this change was made in deference to the wishes of the contractors; that they found it very profitable to do the filling when they could make use of the overbreak and could make fabulous sums by so doing. If this road is better than our other roads were immediately after construction, it is due to the fact that the contractors insisted upon that work in their own interest and that they benefited by it to the tune of over $3,000,000. The more this whole scheme is considered, the more evident it will appear that the whole railway policy of the late Government in this particular has been a colossal blunder. I do not want

to approach the subject in any partisan spirit or with any unfairness to hon. gentlemen opposite, but I think that any person who seriously reads Canadian history aright is driven to the conclusion that in this country of ours the record of the Liberal-Conservative party has been a record of constructive statesmanship. The great big things in Canada, the great national undertakings to which people of this country look back with pride, are the handiwork entirely of the Liberal-Conservative party. There has been levelled against the work which has recently appeared from the pen of that venerable statesman, Sir Charles Tupper, criticism to the effect that his book attributes all the great things in Canada to the Liberal-Conservative party. That is not the fault of the historian; it is the fault of history. Everything that has been worth while in Canada has been done by the Liberal-Conservative party, and the record of the Liberal party has been-and I say it without any partisan spirit at all- largely the policy of weak imitation of the poiicy of their opponents. In so far as they have succeeded-and in some respects they have succeeded-they have succeeded by following slavishly the policy of their opponents.

We will take for example the question of trade. For eighteen years they condemned the great fiscal policy of their opponents. When they got into power they followed that policy and by following it they managed for a while to continue to obtain the confidence of the people of this country; but when they departed from that policy, when they struck out for themselves, when they conceived the idea of mixing our fiscal policy with that of a country whose ambition was to make Canada an adjunct to itself, then -it was that they discovered that it was very much easier to copy than to construct. Undoubtedly it is a safer policy for a party to imitate than to construct. .


Charles Arthur Gauvreau



Is that in the report?

Mr. DAVIDSON-Evidence of that is in the report in a very conclusive way. It is -manifestly easier to imitate than to lead, but there is a very apparent objection to this policy, namely that it usually takes the ability, the acumen, the strength of the originator to carry out that which the originator conceives. None but an Achilles can wield Achilles' sword; you cannot gain the powers of a giant merely by imitating his movements, and you cannot

acquire the statesmanship of a great statesman merely by -combing your hair in the same fashion in which he combs his. It is a dangerous thing for a country like Canada, with many new works to be constructed, many great things to be done, to commit that work to a party of imitators. You want originators to handle the destinies of Canada, You never had a better illustration of the weakness of the policy of imitation than you have in the experience which the Liberal party have had with railways in this country. That proves conclusively to my mind that a party of imitators is a very dangerous party to which to entrust the administration of affairs. After -all, this wretched railway bungle is due almost entirely to the vanity of our opponents, who thought -that they could safely gain glory by imitating the tactics and policy of their opponents. There is no doubt that the Liberal-Conservative party in Canada reflected great credit upon itself by the construction of the Canadian Pacific railway. That was a great undertaking. The great statesmen who led the Liberal-Conservative party in those days, despite the misgivings of friends, and the strenuous opposition of opponents, went forward and -built that great work and won for themselves great glory and credit. They found themselves at last in the very fortunate position where even their opponents who had condemned them were obliged to grant them reluctant praise. Mr. Fielding himself in introducing this very Bill gave them rare praise, and he also gave away the secret as to the construction of this road. Let me read from bis speech as recorded in ' Hansard ' of 1903, at page 8591. This is what Mr. Fielding said:

*Perhaps there were some mistakes of location, perhaps some mistakes in the land policy, and in the clearer light of to-day we may be able to see that things were done then which had been better left undone. I am disposed to think that perhaps those thing's may after all have been only incidental to the difficulties of the time and to rapid construction. I do not hesitate to say, in the light of experience, that the Liberal party did entertain alarm and anxiety, which have been proved in the end not to have been fully justified. I for one have no disposition unfairly to criticise to-day. T frankly admit, as one who was then a young-man, that I was lead to entertain alarm and anxiety. To-day I say the policy of the Conservative party, subject to these qualifications which I have mentioned, has been justified, and in that respect the Conservative party has made a record which they can look back to with pride.

But while there was some excuse for doubt and hesitation in 1871 and 1887 there is none today. Are these gentlemen to learn nothing? We Liberals have learned something- by experience.

What was the experience ?


Frederick Laurence Schaffner

Conservative (1867-1942)


The country has had experience.


March 27, 1914