May 14, 1914

LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

The question is, when will it become necessary?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OF HIGH COMMISSIONER.
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CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN:

That will be announced in due course.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OF HIGH COMMISSIONER.
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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

And the announcement will make it necessary.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OF HIGH COMMISSIONER.
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THE UNEMPLOYED IN MONTREAL.

LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux

Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX:

I desire to ask the Prime Minister if he has received the following letter:

To the Right Honourable R. L. Borden,

Prime Minister,

Ottawa.

Honourable Sir,

No doubt you are aware of the conditions which actually prevail in Montreal. There are thousands of men applying to the city for work and although we have done all we possibly could do, we cannot supply them with what they want.

I appeal to you as head of the Government of the Dominion to help the city in relieving the present conditions by hastening the works which the Government intends to carry out in the city in the course of the next summer.

I beg to remain, Honourable Sir,

Yours faithfully,

Mdderic Martin,

Mayor of Montreal.

Has the right hon. gentleman received that letter, and if so will he say what he intends to do?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE UNEMPLOYED IN MONTREAL.
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CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN:

I have received that letter,

_ but I judge that I did not receive it as soon as my hon. friend did, for it only reached me at half-past ten this morning. I understand that the Mayor of Montreal has already professed his ability to provide employment for all persons who should make application to him. Apparently, he may have overestimated his ability in that-regard, hence the letter which has been addressed to me.

I have already-although, as I say, the letter only reached me at half-past ten this morning-dictated a reply in which I informed him that his communication had been submitted to the heads of the several departments.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE UNEMPLOYED IN MONTREAL.
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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

In justice to the Mayor of Montreal, my right hon. friend should correct his statement. The Mayor of Montreal did not pTofess his ability to provide work for the unemployed, but his desire to do so, and I hope my right hon. friend is animated by a similar desire.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE UNEMPLOYED IN MONTREAL.
Permalink
CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN:

The statement appeared in the public press, but if I have misapprehended it, I desire that my statement should be corrected. My recollection of it when I spoke was, and is now, in effect what I have stated, though I have not seen it for some time.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE UNEMPLOYED IN MONTREAL.
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THIRD READINGS.


Bill No. 84, to amend the Export Act-Mr. J. D. Reid. Bill No. 138, to amend the Irrigation Act. -Mr. Roche.


CANADA TEMPERANCE ACT AMENDMENT.


Hon. C. J. DOHERTY (Minister of Justice) moved the third reading of Bill No. 180, to amend the Canada Temperance Act. He said: With regard to the question that arose as to the applicability in Alberta and Saskatchewan of the provision of the Temperance Act under which cities are not included in the county in which they are situated, I find, upon looking into the matter, that there is no room for question that that provision will apply in Alberta and Saskatchewan without any amendment to this Bill being necessary. Motion agreed to, and Bill read the third time and passed.


CANADIAN NORTHERN RAILWAY AGREEMENT.


Consideration of the proposed motion of Mr. Borden that the House go into Committee to consider certain resolutions respecting the Canadian Northern railway, resumed from Wednesday, May 13.


LIB

Georges Henri Boivin

Liberal

Mr. G. H. BOIVIN (Shefford):

lutely nothing, because the Canadian Northern Railway Company possesses absolutely nothing to-day. And what is his answer to the objection urged by the right hon. leader of the Opposition with regard to clause (b) of section 6 of the third schedule, concerning the control of the Railway Commission over freight rates? His answer is that the Canadian Northern Pacific railway is situated in one end of Canada and the Government railway in the other, and that consequently there is no danger of any agreement ever being made between those two companies. But in the same breath he is obliged to admit that if any such agreement or arrangement were made between those two companies, the right hon. leader of the Opposition's contention would be absolutely correct. Is it possible that an agreement may be made between the Government railway and the Canadian Northern Pacific railway? I contend that it is. I contend that freight may be shipped from British Columbia to points on the Government railway in the Maritime provinces, that freight may be shipped from points in the Maritime provinces on the Government railway to British Columbia, and that, therefore, such an agreement may possibly be made between the two companies. If any such agreement is made, the Railway Commission will be able to assert its powers only in so far as they will not contravene that clause of the resolution which says:

Provided always that every agreement respecting the interchange of traffic shall be subject to the agreements now existing with any other company or companies.

But, Mr. Speaker, before reviewing in detail the attempted answer of the Solicitor General to the able address delivered by the right hon. the leader of the Opposition, let us see why this resolution has been placed before this House and what this discussion is about. The people of Canada, informed through the Conservative press before this resolution was laid upon the table of the House, were under the impression that the Canadian Northern railway had come rapping at the door of Parliament and begging for aid. Since the very beginning of this session it has been no secret that Sir William Mackenzie, Sir Donald Mann and their friends have been frequent visitors to Parliament Hill, they have frequently called at the offices of the members of the Government in power seeking aid for the Canadian Northern Railway Company from the Dominion of Canada.

Time after time members on this side of the House have asked the Minister of Finance if any request had been made, if any aid was to be given; and every time the Minister of Finance has replied; ' no request has been made, mo aid is to be given.' It was rumoured that the Minister of Finance was unable to arrive at any understanding between the Government and these gentlemen and that he finally was obliged to give up the task and pass it on to our good friend the Solicitor General. Then the Conservative press published throughout the length -and breadth of this land the statement that an agreement had been arrived at, that there was to be an amalgamation of all the Canadian Northern railway companies, that there was to be a reduction of the stock to $100,000,000, that Canada was to receive $40,000,000 of common stock for the guarantee of -a loan of $45,000,000 and that $15,000,000 of common stock would be placed in the hands of a trustee, to revert to Canada if the Canadian Northern railway did not carry out their obligations. That is the agreement which was heralded from one end of Canada to the other. That is the agreement that was published in all the Conservative papers of Canada. That is the agreement the party in power tried to impress on the minds of the Canadian electors before they dared place this resolution on the table of the House-and that is not the agreement at all. There is absolutely nothing in this agreement which says that the Canadian Government will have $15,000,000 of common stock placed in the hands of a trustee which will revert to the Government of Canada if the Canadian Northern railway does not carry out its obligations, absolutely nothing. The Canadian Government gets $40,000,000 worth qf common stock, and what is the common stock worth to-day? Absolutely nothing. $40,000,000 of water is given to the Government for the guarantee of a loan of $45,000,000 of cold cash. The position is this: Messrs. Mackenzie and Mann come to the Canadian Government and they ask for further aid to this railway. They hand us a statement showing how much money has been expended, showing how -much money has been received from the Dominion of Canada and from the different provinces, showing how much more xnoney they require to complete their road. They placed this statement upon the

table of the House and the Government said to them: All right, we will take that statement as the absolute truth, we will give you $45,000,000, or we will guarantee a loan of $45,000,000, which means absolutely the same thing, because in the long run it is the people of Canada who will have to pay the $45,000,000. I find in the statement the ajnounts of money received from the different provincial Governments by the Canadian Northern Railway Company and the subsidiary companies, I find the amount of money received from the Dominion of Canada by the Canadian Northern Company and the subsidiary companies. I find the amount of money expended and I find the amount of money still due. But what I do not find in that statement is the amount of money that Sir William Mackenzie and the amount of money that Sir Donald Mann took out of their own pockets and put into this enterprise. That is not mentioned in the statement, and I fear, that if it was to be mentioned the page which would bear that heading would be absolutely blank. These gentlemen, it is true, deserve something from Canada. They have foresight, they have ability, they have skill, they have courage; I am willing to admit all that. But before attempting to build a railway which is to be a transcontinental railway and extend from one end of Canada to the other, they should have had more than skill and more than courage and more than ability-they should have had a few dollars in money. Instead of that they form a company known as the Canadian Northern Railway Company. Who is the Canadian Northern Railway Company? Messrs. Mackenzie and Manin. In order to get aid from this country they form eighteen or more companies, called subsidiary companies and who are the principal stockholders in the subsidiary companies? Messrs. Mackenzie and Mann. They come to the Canadian Parliament, they go to the different legislatures, and they get money for these different companies; and in getting this money they are getting money for Mackenzie and Mann. They then form a construction company under the name of Mackenzie, Mann and Company, Limited, and the money they have received from the federal Government and the Governments of the provinces for Mackenzie and Mann acting as the Canadian Northern Railway company they pay over to Messrs. Mackenzie and Mann acting as Mackenzie, Mann and Company, Limited, construction agents. So that all the money that is paid out still remains in the pockets of Messrs. Mackenzie

and Mann. Of course Messrs. Mackenzie and Mann, construction agents, get rich and make money, but the Canadian Northern Railway Company gets poor because it gives all its money to Messrs. Mackenzie and Mann. Messrs Mackenzie and Mann, as the Canadian Northern company, come back to Parliament and ask for more aid. They should tell us, if they want to be absolutely fair: We have two money bags at home, one belongs to the Canadian Northern Railway Company, the other to Messrs. Mackenzie, Mann and Company, Limited. We have taken all the money out of the money bag belonging to the Canadian' Northern Railway Company and we have placed it in the money bag belonging to Mackenzie, Mann and Company, Limited. There is no more money in the first bag, it is all in the second; kindly fill up the first. And the Government says: Give us a statement of youT affairs. Did the Government say: We will have an investigation of your affairs, we will find out who got this money, we will find out if your contracts have been given at a reasonable figure, we will find out whether Messrs. Mackenzie, Mann and Company, Limited, when they got these contracts, got them by means of a tender and whether they were the lowest tenderers? Oh, no.

The statement is laid upon the table of the House, and so they print the copies which were handed to the different members two or three days before the resolution was brought down. In that statement, we find that Messrs. Mackenzie and Mann did not get any actual profits; but that they did get common stock in lieu of profits. That is the statement contained in this blue book,

' Documents relative to Government Guarantee ' (printed by order of Parliament). But where is the proof that they did not get any money? Where is the proof that every cent they received-and nobody denies that they received money to pay their labourers and to pay for the material, ties, rails; etc. -was paid out? There is no proof in this blue book. Where is the proof that Mackenzie and Mann did not get any cash profits? There is none at all. There is the affidavit of Mr. Alfred J. Mitchell, who is the comtroller of the Mackenzie-Mann Company, Limited. In that affidavit, he says that according to the books and to the best of his knowledge and belief Mackenzie and Mann received nothing but common stock in lieu of profits. Then there is also the affidavit of another Mr. Mackenzie, and another Mr. Mann of the Northern Construction Company of British Columbia, to the effect that under cover of this company

Messrs. Mackenzie and Mann did not get any cash in lieu of profits. Both of the declarations just mentioned may be absolutely true, but I ask the Prime Minister to-day where is the affidavit of Sir William Mackenzie, and of Sir Donald Mann, that they made no money out of those enterprises? They say they require $41,000,000 more to complete the road. Where is the proof that they can complete it for that amount? There is absolutely none. Every one agrees that the cost of construction of railways in this country has increased and is - increasing by leaps and bounds. They give us a statement, found on page 10 of the blue book, that to complete the railway ' will cost $100,000,000, but that they can raise $58,473,982 by proceeds of securities which will be issued in respect to he above expenditures, and cash in trust accounts, for construction, leaving a balance of $41,905,117 still required. Where is the evidence that they can complete the road for $100,000,000? Where is the proof that they can obtain $58,000,000 from the proceeds of these securities? Parliament is asked to accept the statement of the two men that come begging at the door, and who tell us that they need the money; and we are asked, to give it' without any further investigation. I claim-and I am speaking for myself only, I do not pretend to express the views of my party-that an investigation should have been held to ascertain exactly what these gentlemen have received, and why Canada is obliged to give them more-an investigation where they could have been called as witnesses and examined . under oath, and where the evidence of their employees could also have been taken under oath. Parliament would then have known what was required in the way of aid, and would have been justified in making an agreement to provide the aid required. But, even if every statement in this blue book is absolutely correct, even if the Canadian Northern railway needs the sum of $45,000,000 to complete the construction of their road, Canada is not getting any security for the guarantee which we are asked to give. Let us see what that security is. First of all, it is a mortgage upon the stock of eighteen constituent companies-a mortgage not upon all the stock of these companies, but upon only a certain part of the stock of the companies detailed in the first part of the schedule attached to the resolution. We would like to know who owns that stock to-day, and how it i? that this stock [Mr. Boivin.1

can be placed in the hands of the Canadian Northern Railway Company? Who is going to give that stock to the Canadian Northern? Messrs. Mackenzie and Mann, Limited?-perhaps. Sir William Mackenzie?- perhaps. Sir Donald Mann?-perhaps. Nobody knows. And a very curious thing is that the stock which is mortgaged to the Dominion of Canada as security for this guarantee is worth very little on the market, at the present time; in fact, it is worth nothing to-day. Messrs. Mackenzie and Mann own other stock, they are interested in other companies. Why do they not give us a mortgage on stock of other companies which are worth something, and which are paying dividends to-day?-the Toronto Street Railway Company, for instance. There are many other paying companies in which these two gentlemen are interested, but they will not give a mortgage on the stock of those companies because it is worth something. Another proof that these companies are worth nothing was given by the hon. Solicitor General himself last . night, when in answer to the argument of the right hon. leader of the Opposition that this was no amalgamation, he said:

' No, it is not an amalgamation, and it is a great deal better for Canada that it should not be an amalgamation; and the first, reason is that perhaps some of these companies are worth nothing and may never pay their running expenses; perhaps some of them will be left to rust and decay, and in that case we will not be obliged to keep them; we can cast them off.' But still the Government takes a mortgage upon the stock of those companies, without knowing whether they will ever be worth anything or not. His other argument against the amalgamation was that in order to amalgamate these companies, to make one great system which would reality be a factor in the commercial life of Canada, it would toe necessary to enact confiscatory legislation. Then, in the next breath, he says that it is not necessary that any shares should be deposited in the hands of a trustee, because, if, in three or four years, the companies do not pan out well and the Canadian Northern Railway Company is unable to pay its interest on its bonds, Canada can take it over, confiscate everything it has, form a new board of management or turn the road over to some other corporation. If there is to be confiscation in three years from now why not confiscation to-day? What is the difference? The Soli-

citor General knows very well that this is not the 'last request that the Government will receive from Mackenzie and Mann. My right hon. friend the leader of the Opposition showed us yesterday very clearly that within a year from now they will be obliged to come back here, knock at the door and ask us for the $7,000,000 which is not provided for. In answering that argument the Solicitor General only makes the case a great deal stronger; he says there is also an item on page 43 of $21,262,000 for construction, equipment, terminals and. branch lines which is still due, which must be paid and which is not included. So that next year, instead of it being $7,000,000, there will be $28,000,000 more that the Canadian Northern Hailway Company wild come and ask us to guarantee our loan to them.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   CANADIAN NORTHERN RAILWAY AGREEMENT.
Permalink
CON

Arthur Meighen (Solicitor General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

The $21,000,000 is inincluded in the statement.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   CANADIAN NORTHERN RAILWAY AGREEMENT.
Permalink
LIB

Georges Henri Boivin

Liberal

Mr. BOIVIN:

It is not included in the

statement given on page 10 of the blue book distributed to the members of this House.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   CANADIAN NORTHERN RAILWAY AGREEMENT.
Permalink
CON

Arthur Meighen (Solicitor General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

Yes, it is included in

the amount of $100,000,000 for their requirements.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   CANADIAN NORTHERN RAILWAY AGREEMENT.
Permalink
LIB

Georges Henri Boivin

Liberal

Mr. BOIVIN:

If the $21,000,000 is included in the $100,000,000 for their requirements, will the Solicitor General tell me how the Canadian Northern railway will be able to spend that $45,000,000 on entirely new lines and still pay a debt of $21,000,000?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   CANADIAN NORTHERN RAILWAY AGREEMENT.
Permalink
CON

Arthur Meighen (Solicitor General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

There is $100,000,000 to be 'expended. The hon. gentleman has not even given casual consideration to what has been laid on the table. The sum of $58,000,000 will be available as it is earned and the $45,000,000 will be available as it is earned, and these will take care of the $21,000,000 along with all the rest.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   CANADIAN NORTHERN RAILWAY AGREEMENT.
Permalink

May 14, 1914