January 25, 1926 (15th Parliament, 1st Session)


Thomas Cantley

Conservative (1867-1942)


I know of no rate being asked for except on the quantity that I refer to: 6,000 tons a month for the next two and a half months. I do not admit the railway cannot haul that coal for that money, for this reason: They are hauling hundreds of cars down to Cape Breton which are coming back light. Those cars have to be hauled back in any case. This amounts to only four carloads a day hauled over the railway from Sydney Mines to Montreal at a rate of $3.25 a ton. Further, Mr. Speaker, if there were a loss, the government could easily have provided for it. There was in the estimates of 1024-25 an item of $200,000 covering assistance towards the shipment of coal from the Maritime and western provinces, and only about $50,000 was expended. The balance lapsed on the 31st March, 1025, and it was not revoted. If I am correct in my understanding of the situation, that amount was available by Governor General's warrant as being an unexpended part of a vote, and it could have been devoted to making up any shortage, if there were a shortage, in the cost of moving that coal.
As regards the character of the men who are working in the collieries of Cape Breton, and particularly those of North Cape Breton, Sydney Mines, I had the proud privilege of being their general manager for twenty years, and there is no finer body of men in this country, either ,in the houses of parliament or amongst workers on the farms, in the mines or anywhere else. We have men there who, on occasions of danger following explosions and fires, have exhibited heroism unexcelled by any other men in any country, at any time, or in any war. These men deserve some consideration from this House. Are we going to balk on a question as small as the pittance represented by the loss, if there be any loss, in hauling this coal for $3.25 a ton? At any rate, this loss will not exceed a few thousand dollars. The House and the country should take this matter into consideration and deal with it promptly and effectively.

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