May 12, 1916 (12th Parliament, 6th Session)


William Findlay Maclean

Independent Conservative


-and he propoeee to hand it back to the Canadian people if they will repay him all the money his company have invested in it, and if they will relieve that company from the agreement by which they are bound. I claim that the argument is a double-edged one. Mr. Smithers drunk or Mr. Smithers sober is anxious to put this burden on the shoulders of the people of the country. My main object to-day is not so much to argue that the bargain was bad, as to. bring this Parliament to a recognition of this fact disclosed by this company, notwithstanding the conditions attendant upon the war, that the system we have been following in the past, of using the public treasury, and the legislatures and the Parliament of this country, to carry out the ambitions of ambitious men in connection with railways-, is bad, is irretrievably bad, and must end here and! now. This contention is proven toy the words which I have just read from the. letter of Mr. Smithers. I ask the ex-Minister of Railways (Mr. Graham) to read the Globe these days on the mistakes which have been made in connection with railways-, and to note the attitude it assumes towards the railway situation. As I have said, I do not intend to hand out criticisms, especially in the way of blame; perhaps nearly all of us are more or less to blame in this matter. But the facts have disclosed a situation that cannot be justified, and the facts have done more; they have brought about-and I wish to say this in the way of advice to the Minister of Finance-they have brought about the psychological moment to administer a cure for this condition. There never will be such an opportunity as this to administer the cure, whatever it may be, to -this railway situation.

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