September 30, 1903 (9th Parliament, 3rd Session)


Albert Edward Kemp

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. A. E. KEMP (East Toronto).

I desire to say one word in reference to this resolution, which appears to me to be one of the most reasonable that has been placed before the House in connection with this transcontinental railway project. The resolution asks that the information obtained by the government from time to time in regard to the surveys and estimates of cost shall be placed before this House. It is evident that this railway cannot be built before the House meets again; the surveys and the reports of the engineers cannot be completed before that time. Is it not, therefore, as reasonable a proposition as ever was made in this House that the information thus obtained should be placed before the House before we pass final judgment ? The government, perhaps, might not then be disposed to adhere to what they j had stated in regard to building a first-class railway, with one-half or four-tenth per cent grades' through this country in order to carry the products of the west to the seaboard in a more economical way than by the existing routes. This country, under such circumstances, would not be under any ob-*igatiou to the Grand Trunk Pacific, because parliament would have an opportunity to say whether the road shall be constructed or not. The only reports that have been placed before this House are reports of geologists, who were not instructed to investigate the regions through which^ they travelled for the purpose of building a modern railway, and I submit that then report is of no value when it comes to building a modern up-to-date railway. We have absolutely no information before the House from first-class competent engineers as to the suitability of that country for the building of a railway for the purpose foi which this is being built. I would not have spoken on this resolution, but I wisnea to ask the Prime Minister a question. I read to him the other day a report from
one of the Toronto newspapers that the Grand Trunk Railway themselves were making surveys between Winnipeg and the Que-< bee boundary. The right hon. gentleman will remember the contents of the article to which I am now referrng. I asked, why did not the government make the surveys for this government road, instead of the Grand Trunk Pacific, and also asked why it was that the information obtained by these surveyors was given to the press before it was submitted to this House. I think the Prime Minister would have replied to me the other day were it not that the chairman called ' carried,' and the resolution was hurried through. Surely^ the Prime Minister can give the information to the House now.

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