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CANADIAN RAILWAYS AND THE WAR 261

 

transport of commissariat supplies from the Dominion for the Expeditionary Forces in France. The Hon. Robert Rogers, then Minister of Public Works, was chosen for this difficult and responsible task. A keen business man, he realized that, for the successful carrying out of his duties, the first essential was the assistance of practical transportation officials. His first step was to consult with leading railway men, among whom was Sir Thomas (afterwards Lord) Shaughnessy, president of the Canadian Pacific Railway. Sir Thomas, with characteristic generosity, placed at the disposal of the Government, without cost, the service of Mr. A. H. Harris, special traffic representative of the C.P.R., with some twenty of the company's staff. On December Q4th, the Canadian Gazette, published in London, England, in commenting on this matter, remarked:

"How well Mr. Harris and his staff have accomplished the work is illustrated by the speed with which the supplies were shipped to France; indeed, so rapidly were these forwarded that the British authorities found it necessary to cable to Canada to `go slow,' as the goods were arriving faster than they could be properly handled. Mr. Harris and his assistants have established a record in transportation of this nature. From September 1st to the closing of navigation on the St. Lawrence, flour, War Office supplies, and French army blankets to the total amount of 1'20,000 tons were shipped. Since the advent of ice on the St. Lawrence the War Office supplies have been shipped and are continuing to be forwarded via the ports of the Maritime Provinces under the super-vision of Mr. Harris.

"Moreover, through the expert knowledge of the company's officials, vessels were chartered on a minimum charter rate; thus an average freight of 25 cents per 100 lbs. and on hay of $7.50 per gross ton were maintained during the three months' period. Owing to the scarcity of tonnage, Atlantic freight rates have risen rapidly since September, but in the case of five vessels


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