March 19, 1928 (16th Parliament, 2nd Session)


Alan Webster Neill


Mr. A. W. NEILL (Comox-Albemi):

I desire to ask a question, and to make it intelligible I shall read a single sentence of a resolution passed unanimously by the British Columbia legislature on the 29th of February last. Divested of whereases, it reads:
Be it resolved that this legislative assembly of the province of British Columbia, now in session, believes it would be in the interest of the Dominion of Canada to grant and pay a subsidy to the railroad for the carrying of coal from each province, on a graduated scale to

Transportation of Coal
be regulated by the railroad commission, as per the distance of each province from the markets of Ontario and Quebec.
That was passed unanimously. Saturday's press contained an announcement that the Minister of the Interior had issued an order in council to the effect that a rate of $6.75 per ton for carrying coal from Alberta to Ontario has been established, with the understanding that any difference between that and a fair profit rate to the railways would be paid by the Dominion government. In view of that statement I would ask him a question, or more properly two questions; or as that is not allowed, I will dividte my question into two sections. The first section is: in the order in council has the minister made provision for extending the arrangement to the coal fields of British Columbia, with of course a pro rata increase according to the extra distance ; secondly, as a number of the most important coal fields of British Columbia are located on Vancouver island, where there are no ready means of shipping in trainloads, but very conveniently situated wharves, will the minister undertake to see that the same arrangement is made as regards ships of the Canadian Government Merchant Marine, so that we can ship our coal at a proportionately low rate and possibly-I say possibly-compete in the central1 provinces, markets on the same basis and the like terms, and be accorded the same measure of assistance as that chimed by Alberta?

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