CANADA'S FINANCIAL CONDITION 113
fact that they had opened up to settlement, and rendered productive, an immense area of agricultural territory, from which the Canadian Northern alone carried in its fiscal year 1914-15 no less than 58,575,520 bushels of grain and 741,04 2,000 pounds of flour, enabling Sir William Mackenzie, its president, to boast that his line carried one-third of the whole amount of the grain moved to the head of the Great Lakes. Both lines had shops which they were able to employ for the production of munitions of war, and the Canadian Northern's steamships on the Atlantic were of much assistance.
The contribution made by the Canadian Pacific Railway to the cause of the Empire in the great struggle which began in 1914 was probably greater in scope and efficiency than that of any other single corporation. The company was able to place at the disposal of the Imperial Government an immense fleet of fast steam-ships on both oceans, a railway system of nearly 19,000 miles of track for the transportation of men and supplies, a telegraph system of over 100,000 miles of wire, and vast workshops which could be readily fitted up for performing everything of which metallurgical science is capable. Not the least of its contributions was its organization, by which all these manifold mechanisms and activities were gathered up under one control and rendered instantly responsive and effective. The purchasing department alone rendered services to the Imperial Government which have been estimated as worth many millions of dollars.
Typical of the ease and promptitude with which a civilian and commercial undertaking such as the Canadian Pacific can, under efficient direction, be converted to military uses, was the romantic war career of the steamship Empress of Russia, whose wildest adventure prior to August, 1914, had been the carrying of a royal traveller and his suite across the Pacific, or a brush with the tail-end of a tropical typhoon. Sailing from Vancouver in August on her normal occasions, she was slated