Mr. J. W. DANIEL (St. John City).
Mr. Speaker, I have no intention this evening of making a speech. I have not prepared any speech. I have already stated in this House my views, and I believe also the views of the constituency which I represent, in regard to this transcontinental railway. But, Sir, the hon. Finance Minister, in the course of his speech to-night, made such an extended reference to the city which I have the honour to represent that I could not allow this discussion to pass by without saying a word or two, not only to correct the hon. gentleman to a certain extent, but in order that the ideas of the Board of Trade of the city of St. John, which he so largely quoted, should not be misrepresented in this House and all over the country. The hon. Minister of Finance quoted some of the resolutions which had been passed by the St. John Board of Trade ; and if I heard him distinctly, I think he said those resolutions were passed in the month of May. Now, reference has been made to the evolution which takes place in public opinion, and reference was made in that connection to the idea of government ownership. I think the Minister of Finance spoke about platforms being used only to get in on, and the hon. gentleman related a little story in that connection. The hon. gentleman who has just taken his Mr. HAGGART.
seat gave a very effective reply to that, when he made some reference to a platform known as the Liberal platform, which was adopted in the city of Ottawa some years ago. If I mistake not, one of the planks of that platform was that the Liberal party should advocate free trade as it was in England. So when the hon. Finance Minister shows that the government and the party which he represents are abb! to change their opinions very frequently, or as often they think necessary, surely gentlemen on this side of the House and the people of the country have a right to change their views also. As the country advances and education spreads among the people, views must necessarily change. The hon. Finance Minister referred to hon. gentlemen on this side of the House who had voted against government ownership. Suppose hon. gentlemen on this side of the House or hon. gentlemen on the other side have at some time or other voted against government ownership, that is no reason why at this time or at some future time they should not be in favour of it. Government ownership might be all very well at one period of a nation's existence and a very poor thing at another period. These things must be determined by the facts as they are at the time. The hon. Minister of Finance quoted one or two resolutions passed by the St. John Board of Trade, but he did not quote them all, and I intend to fill up that little hiatus which he has left in the history of the proceedings in St. John. When I first had the opportunity of addressing this hon. House I referred to those resolutions, so that the fact that the hon. Minister of Finance has not referred to them is a little more noticeable than it would otherwise have been, because he certainly must have known of them. The resolutions which he read were passed in the month of May ; the resolutions which I will read were passed in the month of August. The people of St. John were beginning to study this transcontinental railway scheme, and while they looked at it in the first place simply from an Intercolonial point of view, they began to think about other things in connection with it. They began to have it driven home to them that as there was nothing in this agreement to compel the routing of freight to maritime province ports, it was necessary to pass some resolutions other than those which the Minister of Finance has referred to ; and the first one brought before the board of trade at the time I speak of reads as follows :
Whereas it is of vital importance to the development of the over-sea traffic of the Dominion that its exports should he shipped via Canadian ports, and
Whereas, under the terms of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway contract now under consideration l* the Dominion parliament routed freight may oe shipped via foreign ports, and
V. lu reas, there is reason to fear that a very large portion of the freight from the west by
the proposed railway may be routed via such foreign ports contrary to the declared policy of the Dominion government, that the products cf the Dominion should be exported via Canadian ports only, both in summer and winter.
Therefore resolved, that in the opinion of the St. John Board of Trade, the contract should be so varied tha,t it be made imperative that all freight originating on the line of the proposed railway or its branches, and carried by the railway for export shall be shipped via Canadian ports.
Further resolved, that copies of this resolution be sent to the senators and members of the House of Commons for the province of New Brunswick.
That was one of the resolutions which was Offered, but not the one which was passed. The members of the St. .Tohn Board of Trade thought that it was not sufficiently strong, and the one which was passed I shall now read, and I think that hon. members will conclude that at all events there is one board of trade in this Dominion which believes in the extension of the Intercolonial to the west and government ownership and operation of that railway. The resolution which was passed is as follows :
In view of the present proposition for a Grand Trunk Transcontinental Railway, and believing that the best interests of Canada would be conserved by the building of a government owned and mana'ged transcontinental line ; and also believing that a subsidy of cash and land grants to a corporation may result in the land passing into foreign control ; and further believing it best for the government of Canada to retain the land for settlers at a fair valuation ; the St. John Board of Trade places itself on record as favouring extension of the Intercolonial Railway from Montreal across the continent through Canadian territory, and the improvement of harbour facilities, particularly on the gulf of St. Lawrence and on the maritime province coast.
That is the position which the St. John iRoard of T*rade took at that time and which it still holds. Therefore I shall find no difficulty in supporting the amendment offered by my hon. leader, a resolution which is entirely in conformity with the views of the constituency X have the honour to represent.
On the question of government ownership, the Minister of Railways and Canals (Mr. Emmerson)-he was here a moment ago, has he gone again ? This is the first time I have had the honour of a seat in this House and I therefore cannot speak from personal experience, but I have understood that the present Minister of Railways and Canals only a short time ago expressed himself in favour of government ownership and the extension of the Intercolonial.
Subtopic: GEO. A. COX, CHAS. M. HAYS, WM. WAINWRIGHT.