Sir GEORGE FOSTER:
Every steamship company which is subsidized is under contract to perform certain services; otherwise they are subject to a reduction- of the amount paid them. Generally; we hear from places which are not touched at and we take the matter up. If there be any reason -why steamers have not called at these places the steamship company is given an opportunity to explain. The weather might not permit of their calling, or there might be some other Teason. The freight rates are controlled. The -company must file its schedule of rates, and is obliged to follow that schedule, and rates cannot be increased without the permission of the department. The subsidy is given for the encouragement of the service, and is not simply to take the place of freight rates, which have to be paid in any event. During the last two years costs and charges have gone up, -as my hon. friend knows, so that, in most of these cases, demands have been made for a certain -rise in the rates of freight. The demand was taken up by the officers of the department, and reported upon; the department fixes what it considers to be a fair rate, and refuses to sanction -any rate that is considered unfair. In some cases a partial increase is granted.