August 13, 1903 (9th Parliament, 3rd Session)

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The MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR.

We are going to have business done in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick upon a scale and upon lines that have never been attempted before. And, Sir, what is going to be the first institution that is going to

prosper by the increase of business, and by tlie increase of general prosperity in these provinces ? Why, Sir, the railway is the very first institution that will prosper, and I venture to say that the first effect of this prosperity and this increased business in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick will be to benefit the Intercolonial Railway. I am not in the habit of making predictions, and I am not generally very sanguine in matters of this kind, but I venture the statement-and time will show whether my statement is correct or not-I venture the statement that the inauguration and carrying out of this enterprise will be the first step which will go towards placing the Intercolonial Railway on a paying basis and making it a good and a revenue-producing property. I have never been able to comprehend the position of my hon. friend (Hon. Mr. Blair). I have never been able to follow his argument; I have never been able to see that there was any argument of any kind whatever in a business way, in the contention which he advanced with respect to the Quebec-Moncton line.
I want to say upon that point just another word, and if I speak at such length on this question of the Quebec and Moncton line, it is because of the fact that it has been made the point of resistance, the point upon which the attack of our friends of the opposition, and their press all through Canada-with the exception of the press of Nova Scotia and possibly a part of New Brunswick-it is the point upon which they have centred their attacks. I would not say anything further were it not for the fact that as a representative of a far distant portion of the country, I wish to express my view on the proposition to construct that line. I entertain the view in the first place, that it is very surprising to me that the people who are going to be served by this new line should have stood being treated as they have been treated, so long. I express the opinion very emphatically, that if these people were animated by the same spirit as the people that I have the honour to represent in this House, and that my hon. friends from the -west have the honour to represent, they would have had that railway before now.

Topic:   NATIONAL TRANSCONTINENTAL RAILWAY.
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