July 17, 1908 (10th Parliament, 4th Session)

CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

These shareholders were heroic men, but they took care to protect themselves in every way. Hon. members will find, on reading the agreement, that there was' a provision for the payment of subsidies by the Quebec city and Quebec province after everybody has been paid. There is nothing in the position of these shareholders which obliges us to make such a sacrifice as is proposed. People suffer every day. When I arose in this House years ago to ask the gentlemen to give assistance to the depositors of the Yille Marie Bank under circumstances which I thought justified the giving of that assistance, my right hon. friend (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) told me that the government was not an eleemosynary institution, that there were sufferers in business and sufferers in banks. As a result of this, the labours of this board, in which I have confidence-for I hope the company will appoint none but able men-if they find that these piers can be utilized, or some valid ground for dealing with the company in such a manner that those who have cash in the enterprise-those who have put cash in the enterprise and those only-I

shall be the last man to object. But to start at this poiut, without any necessity for it, upon this vast additional expenditure, I say is altogether unjustifiable. The government can go to work and build this bridge without any legislation whatever- there is no doubt about that. But, in any case, why take the action here proposed?
X was speaking the other day with a very eminent engineer, one whom I would like to see employed on this work, if that could be possible, and I mentioned that it would take at least three months to prepare the plans. He scoffed at the idea and assured me that it would take a much longer time than that. In three months another session will be near at hand. Then there are tenders to be called for and contracts to be made. Why should we then pass a resolution which will involve us more and more in this disastrous and unbusiness-like way of carrying out a great national work.

Topic:   THE QUEBEC BRIDGE.
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