September 23, 1903 (9th Parliament, 3rd Session)


James Clancy

Conservative (1867-1942)


Of course, I would not charge these gentlemen with saying what is not true. I believe they are responsible men. I have no idea of casting the slightest reflection upon them but they state themselves in their report that they made a very limited examination in many cases. The hon. Minister of Justice declares that these I
men were under oath. While the men who have recently been on the ground swore that there was no timber there. Dr. Ami says that there is timber there. I am going to ask the hon. Minister of Justice whom he is going to believe, the men who swore to it or the man who knows nothing about it. In introducing this amendment there is no question raised as. to the possibilities or resources of the country. I believe that there are great resources in that country both in Quebec and in Ontario, although they are such that they will not be availed of for many years to come owing to the greater possibilities given in other quarters in Canada. However, this is aside from the question I am discussing now, except that it is involved in the sense that we should have complete information as to the resources and character of the country in which such a large expenditure must be made in constructing a railway. When we say that there are muskegs and rocky tracts of country and when we say that there is good land in that region, we say what is true. I do not know anything that has a greater tendency to becloud the question than to say, if one should read from a report of the Ontario government or the geological survey to show that there are most undesirable tracts of land in that region, that he is decrying the country. Surely there should be no attempt on either side to make any temporary gain in that way. We declare that there are some portions of the country in which there is good land, that there are portions in which there are large quantities of pulp wood and that there are other portions which are unfit for agricultural purposes. Now, a word as to the delay. The hon. gentleman knows that this would not delay the eastern section an hour. Does the Minister of Finance say, that if it were found impracticable to build a railway through that country of the character laid down by the government expert (Mr. Charlton), then no matter what the expense and what the difficulties, the government would construct that road. If that be the policy of the government my amendment is useless ; if, it is not the policy of the government then the amendment is apropos. What has the Minister of Finance to say ?

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