Henri Sévérin BÉLAND

BÉLAND, The Hon. Henri Sévérin, P.C.

Personal Data

Party
Liberal
Constituency
Beauce (Quebec)
Birth Date
October 11, 1869
Deceased Date
April 22, 1935
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henri_Sévérin_Béland
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=50634114-351e-4c08-8b61-8698a41f8814&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
physician

Parliamentary Career

January 8, 1902 - September 29, 1904
LIB
  Beauce (Quebec)
November 3, 1904 - September 17, 1908
LIB
  Beauce (Quebec)
October 26, 1908 - July 29, 1911
LIB
  Beauce (Quebec)
September 21, 1911 - October 6, 1917
LIB
  Beauce (Quebec)
  • Postmaster General (August 19, 1911 - October 6, 1911)
December 17, 1917 - October 4, 1921
L LIB
  Beauce (Quebec)
December 6, 1921 - December 29, 1921
LIB
  Beauce (Quebec)
January 19, 1922 - September 5, 1925
LIB
  Beauce (Quebec)
  • Minister presiding over the Department of Health (December 29, 1921 - April 14, 1926)
  • Minister of Soldiers' Civil Re-establishment (December 29, 1921 - April 14, 1926)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 627 of 629)


August 31, 1903

Mr. BELAND.

(Translation. I doubt very much whether the Canadian Pacific Railway would be willing to give up that road for a less amount than it cost them ; especially when it is considered that the Canadian Pacific Railway stock which a few years ago sold at 25 cents is now quoted at $1.25.

From Fort William to Winnipeg, the distance is 425 miles, and the expenditure on that section would not be less than $15,000,000. From Winnipeg to Edmonton, the plan would he to build a road by means of a subsidy, as stated by the hon. leader of the opposition. That subsidy should not be less than $33,000 per mile, and the distance being 1,000 miles, that scetion would entail an expenditure of $13,000,000.

From Edmonton to Port Simpson, on the Pacific coast, the distance is GOO miles.

These six hundred miles would have to be constructed. According to the estimate of the hon. member for Lanark (Mr. Haggart), that section would come to $30,000,000 at least. These various amounts total up to $104,S00,000 ; and in case the section of the Canadian Northern from Fort William to Winnipeg had to be acquired, as hinted by the leader of the opposition, $10,000,000 more would have to be added, which would make the total amount $114,800,000.

That is the lowest figure at which the scheme propounded by the Conservatives could be carried out. It may not be out of place, Sir. to mention right here that should the proposal of the hon. leader of the opposition be taken up, the country would have to buy existing lines to the amount of $07,000,000. Will the Conservative lender say to whom the $07,000,000 would go ? Would they be spent for the benefit of the people, the labourers, the manufacturers ? No, the country would pay that enormous amount to great railway corporations.

We have figured out the cost of the opposition scheme at $114,800,000. But that is not all. At this point of his statement the leader of the opposition, noticing, no doubt, some signs of surprise on the part of his neighbour, the member for Jacques Cartier, a surprise mingled with sadness and verging on despair, must have said to himself : My colleague from Jacques Cartier should have his sop, and what did he offer him ? A short colonization railway from Quebec to Winnipeg, covering only 1,400 miles. And thinking that might be heavy to stomach, the leader of the opposition was careful to state that such a road should be built cheap. I assume he means by that about $20,000 per mile. That would be $28,000,000 for the section from Quebec to Winnipeg, to be constructed cheap, piecemeal, at the rate, say, of about twenty miles a year, and which it would require seventy years to complete.

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August 31, 1903

Mr. BELAND.

(Translation.) 1 shall try to make myself clear. I say that the member for Bothwell insinuated that my hon. friend for Bonaventure had branded his people as drawers of water and hewers of wood, when, in truth, he never uttered such words.

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August 31, 1903

Mr. BELAND.

(Translation.) Why ? I say that my hon. friend from Bonaventure never used those words, and I would like to know what was the object of the hon. member for Bothwell in saying that lie had used them.

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August 31, 1903

Mr. BELAND.

Now, let us see what will be the cost of that railway. The scheme brought forward by the hon. leader of the opposition would cost $205,000,000, without taking into account the equipment of the ports, canals, building of elevators, and so forth. On the other hand, the scheme of the government, according to the wildest estimate made by a certain member of the opposition would not come to more than $100,000,000, in round figures. I think the hon. member for Jacques Cartier stated that that railway might he built for less, for about $00,000,000, in round figures. The hon. member for Both-well (Mr. Clancy) placed the cost at $83,000,000. What does the hon. Minister of Finance say ? He says the cost will not exeeed $54,000,000, and that the total amount which the country will have to pay o t as interest on the capital invested (that capital coming back to us in the shape of ownership of the railway), will not exceed $13,000,000 in all. I think the estimate made by the hon. Minister of Finance is correct, and that we are safe in going by it, as we know with what care and prudence he made his calculations and how exactly his financial estimates tally with the actual results.

Here we have two policies before us. The Conservative party also favours the building of a transcontinental railway ; they reject the government scheme. They advocate another, devised to suit their views, and the probable cost of which will he $205,000,000. On the other hand, the government propose building a new transcontinental railway, at a cost which, according to hon. members of the opposition themselves will not cost more than $100,000,000, that is less than half the amount needed by the alternative scheme. But that is not all. What is the difference between the government scheme and that of the leader of the opposition ? There is one, and it is very noticeable. Under the government plan, the transcontinental line will go through a new country, fertile lands, rich in timber, pulp wood, water powers and mineral deposits. It will give a new impetus to colonization, especially in the province of Quebec; and I venture to say that, if the government measure carries-and it will- from the city of Quebec to the western boundary of the province, and in northern Ontario as well, two hundred thriving parishes, to say the least, will spring into existence on either side of the road, and within twenty-five years.

I see I have gone beyond the limit I had assigned to myself at the beginning of my remarks. The hon. member for East Sim-coe (Mr. Bennett) stated, the other day, that the speech of the right hon. Prime Minister had been printed by tens and hundreds of thousands and distributed all over the country, evidently, for purposes of gaining votes. I think the speech delivered by the right hon. leader of the government is a most admirable one, a monument of elo-

quence which both as regards substance and form has not perhaps its parallel in Unparliamentary records of this country. But, notwithstanding my admiration for it, I must say that if my object was to induce my constituents to support the government proposal, I would preferably put in their hands the speech of the leader of the opposition. I do not think a more hybrid, more mistaken, more nefarious policy could be concocted ; it is, to my mind, an unsightly mass of solids, liquids, and gas, especially the latter.

Before closing my remarks, I wish to draw the attentioni of the House to an insinuation made by a leading member on the other side, the hon. member for Both-well (Mr. 'Clancy). In the course of his remarks that hon. gentleman tried to lay to the charge of the member for Bonaventure a most unfortunate insinuation. I regret that the hon. member for Bothwell should not be present. At all events, he insinuated that the hon. member for Bonaventure had branded his ETeneh Canadian compatriots as hewers of wood and drawers of water. I do not think a more trivial designation could be used in speaking of any nationality. Is there any one in this House or outside of it who, knowing the hon. member for Bonaventure and his loyalty to his people, would for one moment believe that he would have decried them in this House ? Surely no hon. gentleman, not even the member for Bothwell, believes it to be so ; but this insinuation had to be cast on the shoulders of the hon. member for Bonaventure. Does the hon. member from Bothwell think for one moment that the member for Bonaventure would brand as ' hewers of wood and drawers of water ' the race of which I belong and which I am proud ? Such an insinuation is uncalled for, and whatever may have been the,object of the person who made it, I deem it my duty to protest energetically against the use of such expressions, and to protest not only in my name and in that of my county, but also in the name of English speaking members of this House. I am satisfied that not one of them is in sympathy with the hon. member for Bothwell on that point. There is a form of disease known to physicians as prurigo which is characterized by severe itching. I have often wondered whether there did not exist a corresponding mental disorder to be called francophobia, the main symptom of which would be an instinctive impulse to scratch at French Canadians.

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August 31, 1903

Hon. Mr. BELAND.

(Translation.) Can it be assumed for one moment that the member for Bonaventure wished to insult his compatriots ?

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