October 22, 1919

CON

Henry Lumley Drayton (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir HENRY DRAYTON:

Apparently the hon. gentleman' is agreeing with me.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY SYSTEM.
Sub-subtopic:   BILL PROVIDING FOR THE ACQUISITION OF THE SYSTEM BY THE GOVERNMENT.
Permalink
L LIB

Lucien Cannon

Laurier Liberal

Mr. CANNON:

If the minister adds these figures together, $15,000,000 and $3,000,000, he will find that they make $18,000,000.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY SYSTEM.
Sub-subtopic:   BILL PROVIDING FOR THE ACQUISITION OF THE SYSTEM BY THE GOVERNMENT.
Permalink
CON

Henry Lumley Drayton (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir HENRY DRAYTON:

Yes, that is all true. But there is more than that.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY SYSTEM.
Sub-subtopic:   BILL PROVIDING FOR THE ACQUISITION OF THE SYSTEM BY THE GOVERNMENT.
Permalink
L LIB

Lucien Cannon

Laurier Liberal

Mr. CANNON:

And the answer given this afternoon was $15,000,000.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY SYSTEM.
Sub-subtopic:   BILL PROVIDING FOR THE ACQUISITION OF THE SYSTEM BY THE GOVERNMENT.
Permalink
CON

Henry Lumley Drayton (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir HENRY DRAYTON:

The hon. gentleman must remember that the question referred to subsidies granted by this House. It did not refer to' provincial subsidies or municipal grants. The only money which the Grand Trunk, as I understand it, 'has ever received from this Parliament is the sum of $15,000,000. That is shown in the r.eport as $15,142,633 and the amount of $142,633 is the interest that has been charged on the investment.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY SYSTEM.
Sub-subtopic:   BILL PROVIDING FOR THE ACQUISITION OF THE SYSTEM BY THE GOVERNMENT.
Permalink
L LIB

Lucien Cannon

Laurier Liberal

Mr. CANNON:

If the minister refers to the book he will see that it says Dominion Government $3,000,000 subsidy and further down loan by Dominion Government $15,000,000 odd; and $15,000,000 and $3,000,000 make $18,000,000.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY SYSTEM.
Sub-subtopic:   BILL PROVIDING FOR THE ACQUISITION OF THE SYSTEM BY THE GOVERNMENT.
Permalink
CON

Henry Lumley Drayton (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir HENRY DRAYTON:

The total should be $28,000,000. There is something beyond til at.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY SYSTEM.
Sub-subtopic:   BILL PROVIDING FOR THE ACQUISITION OF THE SYSTEM BY THE GOVERNMENT.
Permalink
L LIB

Lucien Cannon

Laurier Liberal

Mr. CANNON:

The answer given this

afternoon shows only $15,000,000.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY SYSTEM.
Sub-subtopic:   BILL PROVIDING FOR THE ACQUISITION OF THE SYSTEM BY THE GOVERNMENT.
Permalink
CON

Henry Lumley Drayton (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir HENRY DRAYTON:

I think the hon. member will find that these subsidies were not subsidies of this House but that they were granted prior to Confederation.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY SYSTEM.
Sub-subtopic:   BILL PROVIDING FOR THE ACQUISITION OF THE SYSTEM BY THE GOVERNMENT.
Permalink
L LIB

Lucien Cannon

Laurier Liberal

Mr. CANNON:

Of course. The report

made by the hon. gentleman says the "Dominion Government". There is only one Dominion Government. I know that the Minister of Finance and many other hon. gentlemen think that this is the first Dominion Government we have had, but before this Government there were other governments called "Dominion Government". The Dominion Government granted a subsidy of $3,000,000 and then there ,vas loan of $15,000,000. Now, $15,000,000 plus $3,000,000 makes $18,000,000; yet this afternoon we are told not $18,000,000 but $15,000,000.

' Sir HENRY DRAYTON: I think if the hon. member will look up the statutes he will find that that extra $3,000,000 was a grant made to one of the subsidiaries which afterwards came into the company, and not a direct Grand Trunk grant at all. Bnt the fact remains that the total is shown to be a much larger sum than the hon. gentleman is now making. The hon. gentleman is taking off $13,000,000 because the total shown in the report is $28,145,000.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY SYSTEM.
Sub-subtopic:   BILL PROVIDING FOR THE ACQUISITION OF THE SYSTEM BY THE GOVERNMENT.
Permalink
?

Mr CANNON:

Well, the book reads:

According to Government report the roads now comprised in the Grand Trunk railway undertaking have received aid as follows:

"Grand Trunk railway undertaking".

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY SYSTEM.
Sub-subtopic:   BILL PROVIDING FOR THE ACQUISITION OF THE SYSTEM BY THE GOVERNMENT.
Permalink
CON

Henry Lumley Drayton (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir HENRY DRAYTON:

"Roads now

comprised".

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY SYSTEM.
Sub-subtopic:   BILL PROVIDING FOR THE ACQUISITION OF THE SYSTEM BY THE GOVERNMENT.
Permalink
L LIB

Lucien Cannon

Laurier Liberal

Mr. CANNON:

It was not $15,000,000

but $18,000,000. The question asked in the House was:

What is the amount paid in subsidies to the Grand Trunk railway system during the last sixty-five years?

The answer was $15,542,655.34. In the book containing the report made by the *hon. gentleman who is now Minister of Finance the amount is given as $3,000,000 and $15,000,000, making $18,000,000. I hope the hon. gentleman will explain more fully to the House at a later occasion how this $3,000,000 has disappeared so suddenly.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY SYSTEM.
Sub-subtopic:   BILL PROVIDING FOR THE ACQUISITION OF THE SYSTEM BY THE GOVERNMENT.
Permalink
CON

Henry Lumley Drayton (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir HENRY DRAYTON:

In the report it says $13,000,000 and $15,000,000 malting a total of $28,000,000.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY SYSTEM.
Sub-subtopic:   BILL PROVIDING FOR THE ACQUISITION OF THE SYSTEM BY THE GOVERNMENT.
Permalink
L LIB

Georges Henri Boivin (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Laurier Liberal

Mr. DEPUTY SPEAKER:

I hope hon.

.members will refrain from any further discussion of these figures. The hon. member for Dorchester (Mr. Cannon) has the floor and should be given the opportunity to interpret the figures as he reads them. Any explanation which may be given on behalf of the Government must be given at some later time, because these interruptions are absolutely out of order when the House is not in committee.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY SYSTEM.
Sub-subtopic:   BILL PROVIDING FOR THE ACQUISITION OF THE SYSTEM BY THE GOVERNMENT.
Permalink
L LIB

Lucien Cannon

Laurier Liberal

Mr. CANNON:

I was saying, Mr. Speaker, that the Government should not bring in this legislation because the Prime Minister was away, because we did not have complete information, and also because the famous reconstruction of the Cabinet is not completed. We have ministers vanishing from this House. We have seen, for instance, Hon. Mr. Carvell demobilized and sent to the railway board. We have heard also that an hon. member for British Columbia is waiting to renounce the arduous duties of a cabinet minister for a life of ease, the life of a civil servant, with a comfortable salary. We were told that other ministers would disappear and that the weak timber would be replaced by something more substantial and .more solid. I think the House and the country have a right to ask that the cabinet be reconstructed before we deal with problems of this vast magnitude. There is another reason why we should not consider this Bill to-day. Is this the proper time to assume huge liabilities and responsibilities when the hon. the ex-Minister of Finance (Sir Thomas White) goes before a parliamentary committee of this House and declares that it is a time to have strict economy, that not a cent should be spent unless the circumstances demanded it? He also told us what our national debt was. It is appalling. Last year, while the Budget discussion was on, we asked different members of the Government: "Where are you going to find the money necessary to carry on the business of the country?"

Hon. gentlemen opposite could not answer -the only thing they could tell us was that they trusted in Providence. There is no doubt, Mr. Speaker, that Providence is sometimes very generous and charitable but we must not abuse the kindness of Providence. The advice I give to these gentlemen is: Do not abuse the kindness and goodness of Providence and do not

expect too much from Providence. If hon, gentlemlen opposite were to read a certain old Latin poet they would see a verse which they should ponder over because it is full of food for reflection: Quern Deus vult

perdere, dementat prius.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY SYSTEM.
Sub-subtopic:   BILL PROVIDING FOR THE ACQUISITION OF THE SYSTEM BY THE GOVERNMENT.
Permalink
?

An hon. MEMBER:

Explain.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY SYSTEM.
Sub-subtopic:   BILL PROVIDING FOR THE ACQUISITION OF THE SYSTEM BY THE GOVERNMENT.
Permalink
L LIB

Lucien Cannon

Laurier Liberal

Mr. CANNON:

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY SYSTEM.
Sub-subtopic:   BILL PROVIDING FOR THE ACQUISITION OF THE SYSTEM BY THE GOVERNMENT.
Permalink
?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Oh, oh.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY SYSTEM.
Sub-subtopic:   BILL PROVIDING FOR THE ACQUISITION OF THE SYSTEM BY THE GOVERNMENT.
Permalink
L LIB

Lucien Cannon

Laurier Liberal

Mr. CANNON:

Some gentlemen opposite laugh. It is their usual answer-to laugh. I have seen people in a court room who were accused of murder laugh when declared guilty.

Mr. Speaker, another question: Is this the proper time to press this measure when the Finance Minister is calling upon the people of the country to lend money to the Government. This Government is like an ordinary man who wants money. If he desires to obtain money he has got to inspire confidence in the man from whom he demands it. Last year I went throughout my county and spoke in favour of the Victory Loan, and the contribution from Dorchester very largely exceeded the amount allotted to it by the Victory Loan Committee. This year I went again. Will I go back? I might go back providing the Minister of Finance shows us that this money will be properly spent, and not squandered and wasted in the scheme before the House at the present time. But what I can do is of no importance. I am a private member and do not claim to have much influence. But other people have. I would refer the Finance Minister to a letter which appeared in the Quebec papers; a letter not signed by a politician, not signed by an opponent of this Government, but signed by one of the most influential men in Canada, a former president of the Manufacturers' Association, a man who has built up in the city of Quebec one of the largest industries that we have-I am speaking of Hon. Mr. Amyot. Mr. Amyot subscribed to the last Victory Loan and subscribed generously, and this is the letter he writes:

To the Editor of Le Soleil,

Quebec.

Dear Sir,-

In this morning's Chronicle we are advised that the Ottawa Government has laid before the House the proposition for the purchase of the Grand Trunk railway, and that Mr. Smithers, the president, is prepared to accept conditions laid down by the Government. That is to say, that a pre-arranged scheme is being submitted to the House at the very moment when Sir Robert Borden is absent and when

the leader of the Opposition has no seat in the House, and at a time when the House was called for the unique purpose of ratifying the Peace Treaty, as well as to obtain for itself a second indemnity.

At this time, advantage is taken to rush through in a hurry a law for the purpose of taking over a fourth or a fifth railway system, to purchase the control of shares at a time when the country is staggering under the load of an excessive debt and burdened with all kinds of other troubles.

These gentlemen have the temerity to carry on this purchase at the time when they are endeavouring to float a national loan called a "Victory Loan." Vain words, no doubt, but in any case they call it a Victory Loan. I am of opinion that the country should refuse to subscribe anything whatsoever to this loan if the Government persists in its view that the Grand Trunk railway must *be acquired, and, in so far as I am concerned, I intend to give the example and will not subscribe one single cent. 1 have subscribed to loans made during the war and have done so generously. To the first loan $50,000, to the second $250,000, and to the third $500,000. Consequently I think that I have in the past done my bit, but I refuse to subscribe anything whatsoever to this last loan if it is the intention to administer the country's affairs in this reckless fashion; and if I have any advice to give it is, that my example should be generally followed throughout the country.

Thanking you, Sir, for the publication of this letter, I remain,

Tours very sincerely, George E. Amyot.

This letter cannot be ignored by the Government. As I said before, it is written by one of the most prominent men in Canada; and I think that the sentiments expressed are also shared by a great many business men throughout the country.

There is another reason, Mr. Speaker, why this measure should not be pressed. This Government has not the confidence of the peoplq. I say so, and I support my utterance with proofs that cannot be contradicted. A few months ago there was an election in Prince Edward Island. What was the result? The Provincial Government was defeated. Why? Because it was supported by the Union Government at Ottawa, But what is the use of speaking of Prince Edward Island, Mr. Speaker? I will refer to a province which is far more interesting to the hon. gentlman on the other side- the province of Ontario. The Hearst Government had been in power for many years; it had been supported in one general election; but the moment the President of the Privy Council (Mr. Rowell) lent his support to that Administration it was wiped out altogether. And the night the results came in I thought that my hon, friend the Minister of Railways (Mr. Reid), who always had directed the old Tory machine in Ontario-this gentleman who knew where

to place some oil, for instance, when he went to Kingston to show to the people of that good town the ibenetfits of electing the Minister of Finance (Sir Henry Drayton) by acclamation, as the papers have told us-this old political warrior of many battles would have carried the Tory machine to victory if it had not been for the reckless interference of his colleague, the President of the Council. But the moment the hon. gentleman interfered, like a misguided saint, he ruined the chances of the Hearst party altogether. If the electors of Prince Edward Island and Ontario receive in this fashion any party which is endorsed by the Union Government, can you imagine, Mr, Speaker, the disastrous results of a direct appeal from these gentlemen themselves? If this

* Government had the confidence of the people why did they not put up a candidate in Quebec East, where there is an election this week, to explain to the people of my good province the benefits of their administration? I have not seen in this House for the last tfwo weeks the friendly face of the Minister of Immigration (Mr. Calder). I am sorry he is not here. But I would like to know, Mr. Speaker, if the Union Government has the confidence of the people, as was claimed yesterday by the President of the Council, why did not the Minister of Immigration put up a candidate of his own in the Province of Saskatchewan? They say they have the confidence of the people, Mr. Speaker. Well, the leader of our party was chosen by convention last summer, he offered himself to the electors of the County of Prince, and this Government, which has the confidence of the people, did not dare fight his election.

Mr.-P. McGIBBON: Might I ask the hon. gentleman a .question?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY SYSTEM.
Sub-subtopic:   BILL PROVIDING FOR THE ACQUISITION OF THE SYSTEM BY THE GOVERNMENT.
Permalink

October 22, 1919