April 20, 1904 (9th Parliament, 4th Session)


Samuel Barker

Conservative (1867-1942)


trivial. Why, they were so trivial that it was a wonder these lion, gentlemen took any trouble to explain them at all. I believe that the right hon. the First Minister did say that the opposition were so perverse they would try to find some ground for objection, but he did not think we should find any. We should have swallowed the whole thing. That 1,000 miles of railway, built by the country, with the hard cash of the country; we should give free to the Grand Trunk Pacific for six or seven years, or whatever period elapses before the whole 1,900 miles are completed ; and then, when we come to make a lease for the whole division, they will have it for seven years more for nothing and three years after that on the same terms, because, according to the hon. member for Haldimand (Mr. A. T. Thompson), capitalization does not count. And this is the marvellous third section of the supplemental agreement. I think that the Grand Trunk Railway must have laughed in their sleeves when they got that clause accepted by the government. I would like to see the private correspondence between Mr. Hays and the directors of the Grand Trunk Railway. If we could, by an order of the House, have Mr. Hays brought up here with his letter-book, it would be delightful reading to have his view of how successfully the government had forced the company to accept the use of this line during seven years for nothing. But that is only a trifle to what is coming. Take clause 4.
Well, Sir, the change made by this clause is highly important. And, read with clauses 5 and 6 of the supplemental agreement and with section 32 of the original agreement it is so far-reaching that not one gentleman on the other side has understood the effect of it. By the old agreement the government was to guarantee the bonds up to 75 per cent of the cost of the prairie section and the mountain section also, the maximum guarantee for the prairie section fo be $13,000 per mile and for the mountain section $30,000 per mile. But some notable changes have been made. The limitation of $30,000 per mile has been wiped out. Then the guarantee is to be not merely 75 per cent of the cost, but a guarantee of bonds to an amount that will produce the money on the market. I think that applies also to the $13,000 per mile of the prairie section. That point has not been discussed, and the charge was not made in the statement of the leader of the opposition. But I have no doubt at all tint the government is bound to guarantee the bonds that will produce that $13,000 per mile, which will mean a million and a half more-another little addition made by these trifling alterations. The Grand Trunk people say that the mountain section will cost $50,000 per mile. Let me call your attention to the fact that Sir Charles Riv-ers-Wilson had every motive not to add a dollar unnecessarily to the estimated cost.

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