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112   DAYS OF PREPARATION

these necessarily preceded most other kinds of permanent structural undertakings, for, before any other industry on a large commercial scale is possible, there must exist the means of getting in the raw material and getting out the finished product. The period in question saw the addition of two transcontinental roads to the nation's transportation, and an immense increase in the mileage and capacity of the original transcontinental, the Canadian Pacific Railway. No less than $74,000,000 a year was expended on the structure and equipment of railways during the seven years from 1907 to 1913. In the case of the Canadian Pacific there was no doubt as to the ability of the road to earn immediately the sums necessary to meet additions to its fixed charges; indeed most of the cost of the expansion of its system had been met out of the proceeds of stock sold, this not entailing any addition to fixed charges. In the case of the Canadian Northern and the Grand Trunk Pacific, the whole cost of the roads had been met by the sale of government-guaranteed bonds, and although construction was more or less completed the process of building up business for the new lines was yet to be begun, and the prospect of earning even the interest on the bonded indebtedness was decidedly remote. Owing to the numerous guarantees by the federal and the provincial governments the national credit was very heavily involved in these roads, and their completion, together with the financing of their operations during the unprofitable years, became, next to the war, the chief problem of the Dominion Government.

It would be a mistake to assume that the newer rail-ways of Canada contributed only to the wrong side of the ledger during the early period of the war. While a source of considerable cost and worry to the Government, both lines performed notable services (though not of course comparable with those of the older-established Canadian Pacific) in the transportation of troops and munitions of war; and still more to their credit is the


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