that they were still endeavouring to ascertain the Maritime viewpoint I wish to be permitted to enlarge a little on the question of the confederation pact which was so ably dealt with by the hon. member for Cumberland (Mr. Smith), and other hon. gentlemen from the Maritime provinces. I ask therefore to be permitted to read again section 145 of the British North America Act which is thus worded:
Inasmuch as the provinces of Canada, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick have joined in a declaration the construction of the Intercolonial railway is essential to the consolidation of the union of British North America, and to the assent thereto of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, and have consequently agreed that provision should be made for its immediate construction by the government of Canada:
Therefore, in order to give effect to that agreement, it shall be the duty of the government and parliament of Canada to provide for the commencement, within six months after the union, of a railway connecting the river St. Lawrence with the city of Halifax in Nova Scotia, and for the construction thereof without intermission, and the completion thereof with all practicable speed.
That is the letter of the confederation pact. Does any hon. gentleman here believe that those great Maritime province men who figured among the Fathers of Confederation would have agreed to enter into that pact with the mere promise that two streaks of steel should be laid from Halifax to the St. Lawrence river, through some five hundred miles of wilderness between Moncton and Quebec?
Now, Mr. Speaker, I desire to demonstrate the spirit of that confederation pact, and I want to read a few of the pledges which were given at the time of confederation. They have not previously been given to this House. The hon. member for Cumberland referred to one speech of Sir George Etienne Cartier. I wish to give a quotation from another of that statesman's speeches. Sir George, who was the leading delegate from Quebec at the conference which decided the union of the provinces of British North America in 1864, and which later resulted in the formation of this Dominion, made a speech at Halifax on September 12, 1864, on the necessity of having Nova Scotia in the union. I want hon. gentlemen to mark that without the consent of Nova Scotia at that time there would have been no confederation to-day. This is what he said, speaking for all the delegates:
I have heard since I have been in Halifax, the objection thrown out that you will be absorbed. It will be very easy for me to dispel such fears. I answer them by a question. Have you any objection to being absorbed in commerce? Halifax through the Intercolonial railway, will be the recipient of trade which now benefits Portland, Boston and New York.
If you are unwilling to do all in your power to bring to a satisfactory consummation this great question, you will force us to send all this trade which you
ought to have, through American channels. Will the people of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick be better off because they are not absorbed by commerce or prosperity? It is as evident as the sun shines at noon that when the Intercolonial is built-and, it must necessarily be built if the confederation takes place,-the consequences will be that between Halifax and Liverpool, there will be steamers almost daily, leaving and arriving at the former. In fact it will be a ferry between Halifax and Liverpool. Let me assure you the promises we make in sincerity and good faith- in urging union upon you-we are doing that which will be for your happiness and prosperity.
That, Mr. Speaker, will be found in Whelan's account of the conference, at page 26; the volume is in the library of this building. That speech was sanctioned by all the members of the conference and1 was officially repeated in all the important cities of the four provinces. Is that not a binding condition of confederation? Is that not a compelling statement?
May I go further and refer to the Speech made by the Hon. George Brown, who spoke at that same conference as follows:
But far in advance of all other advantages would be this, that union of all the provinces would break down all trade barriers between us, and throw open at once to all a combined market of four millions of people. You in the east would send us your fish and your coals and your West India produce, while we would send you in return the flour and the grain and the meats you now buy in Boston and New York.
That will be found in Whelan's account of the conference, at page 36. There, Mr. Speaker, you have a definite pledge that Ontario and Quebec would take our fish and our coal. As I sat in my seat a short time ago listening to hon. members representing colliery towns of Cape Breton asking this government to bring from the province of Nova Scotia three or four carloads of coal per day for the next sixty days, in order to relieve the suffering in those colliery towns,
I could not but think of those great men of other days and what they would have thought if they had been sitting in the gallery of this House and had heard the government refuse to carry that coal from Nova Scotia at a rate which another portion of this great Dominion is now enjoying. We have honoured those great men by erecting monuments to their memory, and they stand outside of this House to-day as silent witnesses of those promises made at the time of confederation. The hon. Minister of the Interior (Mr. Stewart) has repeatedly told this House that the government is powerless to lift a hand in order to allow that coal to be moved from Nova Scotia, that the government cannot say a word to the management of the Canadian National railways. I ask you, Mr. Speaker, if that position is a tenable one? I ask the members of this House,
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comprising 245 business men from all parts of this Dominion, would any one of you employ a manager to manage your business and you not be permitted to have some say regarding the managing of that business? Again, Sir Leonard Tilley at that same conference said:
The delegates of the lower provinces are not seeking this union.
You will find that at page 84 of Whelan's account of the conference. Sir George Etienne Cartier at a banquet given in 1864 to the conference enlarged on his Halifax speech as follows:
Canada has population and territory sufficient to make a great nation in course of time. But she wants what the Lower Provinces possess-an outlet to the sea. As the Lower Provinces now stand, they are comparatively weak and powerless-and the wealth, labour, and industry which Canada possesses, go, in a great measure to enrich such cities as New York, Boston and Portland. This must continue to be the case until the intercolonial railway, of which we have ever been an advocate, shall be built; and as soon as the Colonies are confederated, the construction of that work will undoubtedly commence.
Later, at Montreal on October the 28th of the same year, at a banquet, he said:
I must repeat to you what I stated while in the Lower Provinces, that while we possessed the personal and the territorial elements which go to constitute a nation, we were wanting in the maritime element. During six months of the year we had to knock at the door of our neighbour in order to carry on our trade. This cannot be tolerated. This confederation must be carried out.
With OUT prosperity we are enriching the American states, whereas we ought to be enriching our own states. We ought to be enriching such harbours as St. John and Halifax.
He said that what Canada wanted1 was an outlet to the sea, which the Maritimes possess. We all know that one of the greatest problems which had to be settled after the conclusion of the Great war was that all the hinterland countries of Europe were demanding corridors to the sea.
I would also like to refer to what Mr. John A., afterwards Sir John A. Macdonald, speaking at Halifax at the same time, said:
I don't hesitate to say that with respect to the Intercolonial railway, it is understood by the people of Canada-
That was Quebec and OnJtario:
-that it can only be built as a means of political union for the Colonies. It cannot be denied that the railway, as a commercial enterprise, would be of comparatively little commercial advantage to the people of Canada. Whilst we have the St. Lawrence in summer, and the American ports in time of peace, we have all that is requisite for our purposes. We recognize, however the fact that peace may not always exist, and that we must have some other means of outlet if we do not
wish to be cut off from the ocean for some months in the year. We wish to feel greater security-to know that we can have assistance readily in the hour of danger. In the case of a union, this railway must be a national work, and Canada will cheerfully contribute to the utmost extent m order to make that important link without which no political connection can be complete.
That will be found at page 45 of Whelan's account of the conference. I have many other references to what took place in those days, but I shall not weary the House with them. I have quoted enough to show that it was not the laying of two streaks of steel between Halifax and the St. Lawrence river that persuaded those great Maritime men to en-4 pan. ter the union. It was those commitments, those sacred pledges, that persuaded them to enter. Those pledges could not be embodied in the British North America Act, but they form a part of the compact just the same. We in the province of Nova Scotia, if we have one thing more than another to boast about, and that we are always boasting about, it is the brainy men we have produced. We have given to this parliament three prime ministers. We have produced more college professors than any other place of its size on the North American continent; in fact, the only thing we are exporting to-day is brains. If these brainy men of 'the Maritimes of that day drove a hard bargain in regard to having the traffic of this country routed east and west, we must accept it. But we are told that in taking over the Grand Trunk Railway we have taken over their terminals at Portland and elsewhere. In my judgment Canada should not own and operate railways in a foreign country. Its lines in that foreign country should be disposed of, and our own railways made use of, according to the terms of the confederation pact.
The hon. member for Queens-Lunenburg (Mr. Duff), at very great length, endeavoured to show this House that all our railway ills were brought upon us by the Conservative government. We do not care which government was responsible, but we do know that this Intercolonial, which was dear to the hearts of the Maritime people, has been obliterated; by an order in council passed by this government on the 4th October, 1922, it was taken away from us, attached to a take-over corporation, given another name, and its ratefixing given to a commission. I submit that no government has the power to change the name of that railway and destroy its identity without our consent or without seeking permission to have the British North America Act repealed. I have searched the records since coming here, and I have been unable
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