Mr. Chairman, I was interested in the statement made this afternoon by the hon. member for Gloucester (Mr. Veniot) in connection with the financial history of the Intercolonial railway both before and after its inclusion in the Canadian National Railway system'. I think this statement is well worthy of being recorded in the journals of this house. I was also interested in the remarks of the hon. member for Quebec South (Mr. Power). I always enjoy the hon. gentleman's speeches, whether they be in earnest or otherwise, but in my judgment the speech he made to-day was purely partisan propaganda and rather unworthy of him. Both the hon. member for Quebec South and the hon. member for South Perth (Mr. Sanderson) took full advantage of the lack of relative responsibility which attaches to hon. members of the opposition. I would direct the attention of both hon. members to the statement which appeared this morning in the press with regard to the quantity of rolling stock, originally costing about $27,587,106, most of which will never again be put in
Public Works Program
service. This statement is attributed to the general manager of the Canadian National Railways. It is stated that from Sydney to Vancouver there are distributed some
16,000 to 20,000 cars which will never again see service. There are- a number of derelict locomotives which are useless and should be scrapped. Many of the locomotives in service to-day are expensive to operate because of the low boiler pressure under which they work.
While I do not claim that all the equipment referred to should be replaced at once, much of it must foe renewed if the Canadian National system is to maintain the service which it is exacted to give. The hon. member for South Perth was quite within his rights in acting as champion of the shop employees of the Canadian National Railways, but I would point out that none of these shops are in a position or ever were in a position to build locomotives or rolling stock in competition with the private shops. These shops are located in Nova Scotia, Quebec and Ontario, and with their private initiative they are able to produce rolling stock at a lower cost than can the ill equipped shops of the Canadian National and the Canadian Pacific. This has been proven time and time again. It is my well considered opinion that tihe equipment program now being presented by the minister is entirely inadequate. In the interests of the country I think it should be doubled, because this is the time to bore with a really big auger.