September 11, 1903 (9th Parliament, 3rd Session)


James Moffat Douglas


Mr. J. M. DOUGLAS (East Assiniboia).

Before the Orders of the Day are called, I wrish to ask the attention of the House to a very serious advance in the rates upon wheat in the elevators, that has been announced by the officials of the Canadian Pacific Railway and of the Canadian Northern Railway. I wish to read from a special despatch to the ' Globe ' of September 9th :
Winnipeg, Sept. 9.-A sensation was caused in grain circles to-day when it was announced that the Winnipeg Grain Exchange had been notified by C. C. Castle, warehouse commissioner, that he had been served with a notice

by the Canadian Pacific Railway and the Great Northern Railway companies that they intend to increase the present rates for storage of grain in their terminal elevators at the lake front to the following Elevating, including fifteen days' storage and insurance against loss by are, per bushel, 3 cents ; storage for each succeeding thirty days and insurance against loss by are, per bushel, 3 cents. No charge for cleaning and storing.
The railway proposition is considered by the grain men to be the most extortionate, and in their opinion may be summed up in the following statement by a prominent exporter, who stated that with the information at present in his hands the situation is about as follows :-
' In the exporting season the average time of *wheat in a terminal elevator would be seven days, for which \ cent per bushel is proposed to be charged, or at the rate of 1 cent per bushel per month, or 12 cents per bushel per annum. Taking wheat at an average of SO cents per bushel at the terminal, this would be 15 per cent. The actual rates of insurance at present are three-quarters per cent per annum on the wooden terminals, three-quarter per cent on the steel tanks, and one-half per cent on the little elevators. The excess proposed to be charged amounts to from six times to thirty times the present actual cost.'
A meeting of the exchange ha3>
been called for to-morrow to consider this move on the part of the railway companies. The exchange has for some time past asked the railway companies to themselves insure the grain stored In the terminal elevators, in order to prevent the great loss and waste of insurance which results from owners of grain not knowing in advance into which elevators their grain will be unloaded, necessitating the carrying by them of share insurance in the several elevators at Lake Superior.
It is charged by several members of the trade that the increased rates are the direct result of decreased rates insisted upon for carriage of grain between Manitoba points and Port Arthur.
I do not wish to weary the House by reading any further on the subject. I read this to show the necessity of something being done in the near future to correct an evil like this, wihere the whole trade is absolutely in the hands of those two railway companies. In this connection I would call the attention of the House to the fact that while large sums of money have been expended upon the harbours and rivers in the old provinces, a mere item lias as yet been expended by the present government in Manitoba and the North-west Territories. I would call attention to the fact, for example, that this government has spent $829,147 upon harbours and rivers in Quebec ; in Ontario, $1,206,315 : whilst in Manitoba, only $66,209.80 have been spent, and in the North-west Territories, $13,486. These are the total amounts which this government has expended on harbours and rivers since 1896 to 1-901. This might form an argument whereby we might reasonably ask this government in the near future to provide better elevator accommodation in the North-west so as to counteract the evil which at present exists at the lakes.

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