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.
Topic: BEVISED EDITIQV