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Canadian Pacific : a national institution Smith, J. Harry; Canadian Pacific Railway Company 1935

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A National Institution
An Address Delivered to
the Company's Officers
In the Fiftieth Year
of its History  1                                                             V-"
Canadian Pacific
A. JS[ational Institution
^y         DELIVERED   AS   AN
At Craigellachie, B.C., November 7, 1885, the final hammer strokes in the building of the Canadian Pacific echoed through the mountains
as Donald A. Smith, later Lord Strathcona, drove the last spike proclaiming to the world that Canadian Confederation
was effectively sealed by a ribbon of steel extending from Montreal to Vancouver.
page two The Canadian Pacific «—>
A National Institution
JHE history of the Canadian Pacific Railway has been termed a tale of gallantry,
honesty and steadfastness, and one of
which all now associated with the company might well be very proud. It is a
tale that will not grow stale with frequent
telling, nor is there any more precious
thing in the possession of the company than the fine
tradition of inspired personal sacrifice and effort that went
into its building as a great national work. It is impossible
in so short a review as this to mention more than the outstanding leaders in the colossal struggle that resulted in
the successful building of the railway, but there were many
thousands of men of varying ranks in the army that followed
these leaders. They all have their place in that tradition
and they have left it as a heritage to those whose duty and
privilege it is to carry on.
The older men of the system are well acquainted with
this history—not a few of them having been actors in it—
and there are hundreds of retired veterans whose proudest thought is that
they have taken a part in the building
of this institution and have made their
unforgetable contribution to its development.
This history and this great tradition
must not be allowed to fade into oblivion. The on-coming generation of
Canadian Pacific people must have it
for their inspiration, and for that reason
we are spending a short time in turning
back the pages of history to rediscover
for ourselves something of that which
the Canadian Pacific has accomplished
and contributed to Canadian nationhood. It is interesting to review what
events brought about its original
organization and what forces were
brought into play for its building and
later development.
To understand the place which the Canadian Pacific
was originally designed to take in the Canada of the time
of its inception and the place in the national structure it
has since taken, it is necessary to glance back to the Canada
E. W. Beatty, K.C., LL.D.
Chairman and President
of those days and see why the railway was projected and
what was the state of the country at that time.
Britain Rediscovers Canada
In the decade prior to the year 1880, there had been
some growth in the population of this country due to
immigration and it was, perhaps, about then that Canada
first came to be looked upon in Great Britain as a natural
homeland for large numbers of departing colonists.
Confederation of Ontario, Quebec and the Maritime
Provinces had been effected in 1867, and during the intervening years the new Dominion had become politically
established and was setting out upon the path of economic
progress, the full development of which awaited the creation of some such nation-building agency as the Canadian
Pacific Railway later proved to be.
The imperative need for a railway to open up the West
and to connect the Pacific Coast with the East had become
obvious almost as soon as the Confederation pact had been
signed  and  sealed.    National  leaders
envisioned not only the  growth  and
development   that   must   follow   the
successful   carrying   out   of  such   an
undertaking,   but   they   also   realized
that failure to go forward with that
enterprise   might   endanger   Canada's
continued possession of the West and
would certainly nullify the full measure
of Confederation which could only be consummated by the opening up of a rail line
between the East and the Pacific Coast.
Gradually the Canada of Confederation days had come to be served by
railroads.    The Grand Trunk and the
Intercolonial   linked  up  Halifax  and
Southwestern   Ontario,   but   as   time
passed the need for the invasion of the
Canadian West by steel rails became
more and more imperative.    A scattered   population   had   taken  up  its
habitat in Manitoba, and the growingly important settlement at the Coast had in 1872 come into Confederation on
the understanding that their province of British Columbia
would be connected up with Eastern Canada.    As time
Under the protection of the law, the rails of steel moved steadily towards the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Ocean.    The Mounted
Police gave valuable help as the construction gangs pressed on over the prairies.
passed and the vast physical difficulties that lay in the
way of building the railroad seemed to continually postpone its construction, British Columbians became restive
and threatened to secede from the Dominion.
Canadian West Threatened
The matter of safe-guarding Canadian interests on the
western prairies was also pressing. Just how much so
may be gathered from a letter written as early as 1870
by Sir John A. Macdonald to C. J. Brydges, managing
director of the Grand Trunk Railway.    Sir John wrote:
Ottawa, January 28,  1870
My dear Brydges—
It is quite evident to me not only from this
conversation, but from advices from Washington,
that the United States government are resolved
to do all they can short of war to get possession of
the western territory, and we must take immediate and vigorous steps to counteract them. One
of the first things to be done is to show unmistakably our resolve to build the Pacific Railway
... it must be taken up by a body of capitalists
and not constructed by the government directly.
Canada can promise most liberal grants of land
in alternate blocks and may perhaps (but of this
I cannot speak with any confidence) induce
Parliament to add a small pecuniary subsidy.
No time should be lost in this and I should think
that we had made a great stride if we got you to
take it up vigorously . . . The thing must not be
allowed to sleep, and I want you to address yourself to it at once and work out a plan. Cartier
page four
and I will talk it over after conference with you
and push it through.
Yours faithfully,
John A.  Macdonald
The Grand Trunk directorate were not to be persuaded
to undertake the task at any price. They viewed the
scheme as impractical and, to say the least, doubtful of
successful accomplishment. The much-worried government looked about for other means of getting the railroad
built and in 1871 a company was formed to undertake it.
The following year the government was defeated on
charges arising out of the bargain to be made with the
group of men who proposed to build the line, and Alexander
Mackenzie succeeded Sir John A. Macdonald as Prime
Minister of Canada.
Pressure for the building of the line grew steadily stronger, British Columbia would accept no modification of the
terms under which it had entered Confederation, and the
new government entered office faced with Canada's first
major railway problem—how was it going to get the transcontinental line built?
Government Attempts to Build Railway
Mr. Mackenzie went to work on a scheme of his own,
and his government eventually set about building a line
which should cross the country partly by rail and partly by
water route, using the Great Lakes in order to avoid the
formidable engineering difficulties along the north shore
of Lakes Huron and Superior. Contracts were let
foi construction of the easier parts of this route, one of the
first to be started being a line from a point east of the Red
River in Manitoba to where Fort William now stands. 188 5
No thought was for the time given to the terrific task of
crossing the Rocky Mountains.
Progress was slow over the four or five years that
followed and the government found itself handicapped in
every direction by those evils which later experience have
shown to be the common lot of all governments when they
invade the field that properly belongs to private initiative.
The country grew to be thoroughly dissatisfied and when,
in 1878, Sir John Macdonald came out with proposals for
what was known as the "National Policy" and vigorous
action in the building of the transcontinental railway, he
swept back into power with a decisive mandate to go forward.
Task Appears Hopeless
For two years Sir John's government did their best to accelerate
construction along the lines proposed by Mr. Mackenzie, but the
difficulties previously referred to
continued to harass and to delay
effective progress. In the meantime the dangers of United States
invasion of the West was becoming
more imminent as railroad building
in that country extended in every
direction, and British Columbia's
threat of secession was also becoming more and more insistent. Something had to be done, and done
quickly, and, in 1880, Sir Charles
Tupper, Minister of Railways, took
the plunge and started construction
of a line eastward from the Coast
through the mountains. This was
done in the face of much political
and other opposition, and as the
work went forward the difficulties
that had been foreseen made themselves most evident. The
prospect for a completed line across the country seemed to
grow no brighter. Pieces of the line constructed had both
their ends in the air and nowhere in either the East or the
West was there any confidence in the ultimate success of
the project. The cost, too, was alarming. It was proving
greater than the Canada of that time could hope to be able
to afford, and a large section of the country was far from
persuaded that it could ever be justified by financial
Most of the country and apparently the government
itself was sick of railroad building under government
auspices, and the opinion was fast gaining ground that the
problem should properly be relegated to private enterprise
and some responsible company should be secured to take
over the task on some fair terms. Eventually the government unanimously came to this view.
Great Britain was naturally looked upon as the source of
the capital that should undertake the tremendous project.
For obvious reasons there was no desire that it should be
financed from the United States.    It was to be a British
project with every safe-guard that Canada's interests
should in all things be protected. Sir John Macdonald
accompanied by Sir Charles Tupper and the Hon. John
Henry Pope journeyed to England to interest British
capitalists in the scheme, meeting, however, with but a
cold reception. No one there wanted to have much to
do with it. Its difficulties were too apparent and the
promise of even reasonable returns on the huge investment
required was by no means encouraging. The three Canadian statesmen returned home with little to show for
their journey.
Canadians to the Rescue
But courage and faith in this country's future existed
in Canada, even if it were at that time a doubtful quantity
in the Empire's capital. It was
then that there arose a small group
of men who well knew the difficulties surrounding the project but
knew nothing of dismay or faintheartedness when they faced its
doing. Had they foreseen the full
measure of trial and repeated disappointment with which they were
later to be confronted before the
last problem connected with the
building had been settled and the
last physical obstacle had been
overcome, it is perhaps possible that
they would have hesitated before
putting their hands to the task, but
the syndicate was composed of
gallant, adventurous souls who saw
only the successful completion of
the task and were prepared to fight
their way to it at whatever cost of
effective effort and personal sacrifice it might entail.
The group was headed by George Stephen, later Lord
Mount Stephen, the first president of the then formed
Canadian Pacific Railway Company, and with them Sir
Charles Tupper completed the bargain that turned over
the whole project to that company. The terms of the
bargain were then considered most reasonable, and in the
light of similar bargains that had been made for the building
of railways in the United States, the government was
called upon to give comparatively small assistance to the
project. When we consider what other Canadian railways
have since cost the people of Canada, the terms under
which the Canadian Pacific was built appear all the more
favorable to the Canadian government. The railroad
had to be built; the physical difficulties that lay before
the builders were of such formidable description that
the government itself had failed in its attempt to overcome
them, and it was apparent that capital regarded the whole
enterprise as hazardous and the promise of even reasonable
financial return far from satisfactory.
page five
Hon. Lord Mount Stephen, G.C.V.O.
President, 1881-1888 1885
193 5
The efficient manner in which these troops were rushed to the scene of trouble in the West awakened the world to the great services which the
Canadian Pacific was destined to play in the development of Canadian national life.    Much of the opposition to the
construction of the new railway died down at this point in the company's history.
Powerful Opposition Arises
It was not only in England that opposition to the enterprise was rampant. In the first place it was the proposal
of a political party in power and naturally it met in
Parliament with political opposition. There were others,
too, in Canada who opposed it for many and varied reasons.
It will be remembered that "London Truth," a periodical
of considerable standing and influence, voiced these views
when it published, in September, 1881, an exceedingly
strong article stating that "The Canadian Pacific, if it is
ever finished will run through a country about as forbidding
as any on earth . . . British Columbia is not worth
keeping. It should never have been inhabited at all. It will
never pay a red cent of interest on the money that may be
sunk in it. In Manitoba those who are not frozen to death
are often maimed for life by frostbites. Ontario is poor and
crushed with debt. It is certain to go over to the States
and when that day comes the Dominion will disappear."
At this time a deliberate and powerful campaign was
carried on against the project. In Canada it was the subject of bitter political strife while in England the Grand
Trunk Railway and other powerful influences united to
oppose its successful flotation.
Political stump speeches, editorials, official documents
and magazine articles, all more or less in line with "Truth,"
were employed at home and overseas from 1871 to 1885.
page six
One celebrated statesman declared the C. P. R. would
never pay for its axle grease; another that the cost, $300,-
000,000, would exhaust the resources of the British Empire;
and still another, the Hon. Edward Blake, that never in
the world's history would a ship's cargo of wheat be conveyed to the Atlantic for trans-shipment to the European
markets .... The entire West from the eastern end
of the Great Lakes was described as wilderness, populated
by Indians and fur traders. British Columbia was cate-
goried as a sea of mountains, that would never pay for
itself in Confederation ... It was not only liberals
that held these views but many conservatives. The
Hon. Mr. Hazen in the Senate and Sir Alexander Gait were
among numbers who opposed the scheme, which was put
through Parliament only through the lash of party discipline.
Grand Trunk Influence  Obstructs
It took a long time to dissipate this idea about British
Columbia and the Canadian Pacific, and even Sir Richard
Cartwright seemed to think that the C.P.R. bargain was
in some way or other a national disaster. It may not be
generally known that, when Sir Hugh Allan in 1871-1872
went to England to raise the money for the railway he
proposed to build, on the basis largely of a huge land grant
subsidy, he was opposed by Grand Trunk influence,
then a large factor in London finance. The same was true in
1880 when the syndicate, formed to build the present C.P.R.,
was launched. The Grand Trunk people could say with a
strong appeal to the money market, "If we, operating in the
most populous part of Canada, have never been able to pay
a cent of interest on our common stock, how is it possible
for a railway running through a wilderness to do so?"
People who travel for the first time over the Canadian
Pacific line marvel at the courage of the group of men who
undertook its building. What must be said of the indomitable pluck and determination of the builders when
we consider the equally serious opposition of this kind
which they had to face practically throughout the entire
period of the railway's construction.
But they were dauntless, and the names of the group
must be accorded a lasting place in Canadian history.
They were George Stephen, Duncan
Mclntyre, Richard B. Angus, John
S. Kennedy and James J. Hill. The
latter shortly retired from the group.
Mr. Hill insisted that the line should
be built through the States between
Ontario and Manitoba while both
the government and his associates
in the group insisted that it should
go north of the Great Lakes, and
should thus be entirely a Canadian
railway, crossing the country only
through Canadian territory. The
group later was joined by Sir Donald
Smith, afterwards Lord Strathcona,
whose indomitable Scottish determination was a tower of strength
throughout the difficult days that
lay ahead.
Most of you who are engaged in
the company's affairs know something of what those difficulties were.
Some of you have had close association   with   rugged   men   of  tough
frames and strong wills who contributed their strength
and courage to the task. You can do no better service
than passing the knowledge they have given you on to the
younger men who are growing up around us and who
look to you for inspiration to help them in their work of
carrying on the tradition. It is a long story and can only
briefly be touched upon here. \
Canadian  Pacific  Receives   its   Charter
In 1881 the new company formally undertook the task
of building a transcontinental railway, receiving a charter
which called for the completion of the line to the Coast in
ten years, and giving the company the right to hold its
properties and imposing upon it the obligation to operate
its affairs in perpetuity.
Mr. Stephen became the company's first president, and
it was a portentous day for the progress of construction
when he called to his assistance William Van Horne to
whose amazing resourcefulness, energy and strength of
character much of the credit must go for the successful
Sir William C. Van Horne, K.C.M.G,
President, 1888—Chairman, 1899-1910
surmounting of the difficulties that lay in the path of construction. Obstruction after obstruction was overcome
or swept aside and the road was completed in five years,
instead of the ten that had been allowed by the charter.
In a country sparsely populated and so comparatively
poor as Canada then was, it was natural that the cost of
building a transcontinental railway should be so great as to
cause grave apprehension among all those directly concerned with the country's future welfare. On the various
occasions upon which it received the attention of Parliament it was the subject of keen debate which lost nothing
of bitterness by reason of the fact that party politics were
always tremendously involved.
Each of the schemes proposed for the building of the
railway had its own estimate of costs, and it is most interesting to note the amount that the
Alexander Mackenzie government
proposed to spend on the scheme
that would have gone through had
not Sir John A. Macdonald returned
to power and made a vastly different
contract with the Canadian Pacific
A Comparison of
Speaking in the Senate on Feb.
3, 1881, Sir Alexander Campbell, in
laying the Macdonald proposals
before the House, briefly summarized and compared the estimated
costs to the country of the two
proposals. Referring to the Mackenzie scheme of 1874, he said:
"If they had had the opportunity and constructed the road, we
would have had an express cash
subsidy of $27,970,000, and $20,-
977,500 under the four per cent
guarantee, making a total cash subsidy under the
plan of 1874 of $48,947,500 and a land subsidy of
55,940,000 acres.    Valuing the land, as I have said,
at $1 per acre this would give the total cost under
the Act of 1874 of $104,887,500."
Sir Alexander then proceeded to point out that under
the contract then being debated the government gave the
Canadian Pacific syndicate partially constructed railroads
to  the  value  of $27,700,000,  $25,000,000 in cash, and
25,000,000 acres of land.    Estimating the value of this
land also at $1 per acre, the syndicate received a total of
$77,700,000, for which, as Sir Alexander pointed out, the
company bound themselves to build the railroad, operate
it in perpetuity and to populate the western prairies.
In the same speech Sir Alexander Campbell said of the
Canadian Pacific syndicate and its obligations:
"I should rather be disposed to consider that
the construction of the railway was not the
greatest part of their undertaking. They have
undertaken, in addition to constructing a railway,
to people a continent. If they do not send settlers in
page seven 1885
August 28, 1883, was a notable date in the history of that young and enterprising city.    It saw the arrival of the first passenger train,
and the local militia forces and Mounted Police turned out to greet the flower-decked engine and the short string of cars.
very large numbers into the Northwest, it
is impossible that the lands could be of any value,
and the railway would be less than valueless;
it would be an insupportable burden. The
success of their scheme depends upon their
being able to send a large number of settlers
into the Northwest. The expense of so doing,
which has not been dwelt upon, will entail a
very great burden upon this company. To
send settlers into that country in such numbers
as would give traffic to the railway would require
an enormous expenditure of money, and of
intellect. It will require the establishment of
agencies all through Europe, expensive advertising, subsidies to the papers, subsidized passages,
arrangements for conveying emigrants from
Europe to the Northwest and a thousand details
which must involve great anxiety and an immense
expenditure of money. It will be an enormous
tax upon the resources of those who have entered
upon this undertaking."
New Difficulties Arise
If physical difficulties were great, and political and other
opposition strenuous, there came into existence a more
deadening handicap arising, in a sense, out of these two.
As work progressed it became more and more difficult to
raise capital for the prosecution of the enterprise. The
men who had set their hands to it made great personal
sacrifices. They threw their fortunes into the scheme and
there came more than one time when it looked as though
they were to lose all they had ventured. It became increasingly difficult to raise money by bond issues, and
public subscription to the company's stock lagged woefully. At times it was offered at a fraction of its value
and found few buyers. Men alive today will tell you
how hard it was to secure the needed materials and labor,
and how at times men went unpaid for weeks together.
page eight
But they did not falter. They won through, and well
before the great work was finished every cent of back pay
owing had been paid up. The opening of construction
had started a boom in western lands, but in a year or two
this petered out as all booms do, and by the end of the
second year of building the country had entered a period
of deep depression even more disastrous although shorter-
lived than that which we have lately experienced. This
was another handicap and serious cause of difficulty.
Through it all Van Horne pushed on the work, ably
backed by the late I. G. Ogden, a financial genius who
made every available dollar do the work of several, but
even at that the company had twice to appeal to the government for a loan or to guarantee its bonds. At one
such time, when assistance was slow in coming, it looked
as though ruin had overtaken the project. Told of the
almost hopeless situation, Lord Strathcona replied, "It
may be that we must succumb, but that must not be as
long as we individually have a dollar."
This was the spirit that eventually carried them through,
but success did not come without their entire fortunes
having been jeopardized. The loan from the Canadian
government was guaranteed by the company's directors
individually, and there are those alive today who tell of
the inventories made of the personal effects of some members of the syndicate, in at least one case even down to
household linen and furnishings which were pledged to
cover the loan. They backed the project with everything
they had and stood face to face with ruin on more than one
The Railway Saves Canada
Then came the second Riel Rebellion. The peace of
Canada and the safety of Manitoba's white settlers demanded the instant despatch of troops from the East. 188 5
With the speed and efficiency that later characterized
the company's work in the Great War it took over the
entire job of moving the troops, and, although he had
only a partly constructed railway through North Ontario,
Van Horne landed the forces in Winnipeg in fewer days
than General Wolseley had taken weeks to make the same
journey at the time of the first rebellion.
At once the picture changed.    The country had been
saved from what very likely would have developed into
wide-spread massacre and ruin.    Powerful opposition to
the Canadian Pacific Railway at home had received a
blow from which it did not recover.    Even in England,
where   vigorous   influential   opposition   had   not   ceased,
opposition in which the powerful directorate of the Grand
Trunk had taken the lead, it began to be recognized that
the Canadian Pacific was going to
get   itself  successfully   built,   and,
what was more important, that it
had to be built as a link of Empire
which   would   continue   to   become
more    imperatively    necessary    as
Great Britain's overseas Dominions
and   responsibilities   continued   to
develop and expand. British money
for construction came forward more
freely, and eventually on November
7,  1885, came that driving of the
last spike which put the finishing
touch to Confederation, effectively
made   Canada   a   Dominion   and
opened the West to the settlement
that    finally    established    British
dominance   throughout   the   entire
country.    The hammer that drove
the spike was in the hands of Lord
Strathcona    whose    courage    and
granite-like   strength   of  will   had
so   often   brought  victory  out  of
defeat  in  the  trying  days now  happily  past.
The completion of the railway gave Canada an entirely
new aspect in European eyes, and when, within a year of
its completion, the company by sound financing was able
to pay every cent of its indebtedness on loans from the
government, its own credit abroad and that of the country
was firmly established on the sound footing it has since
enjoyed. In Great Britain particularly was there a
change of attitude towards the Dominion. The driving
of the last spike had brought a message of congratulation
from Queen Victoria and the eyes of all Britain were
turned towards Canada as a land of wide opportunity for
settlers and for investment.
A Builder of Empire
It then began to be generally realized, also, that this
new land had in it every promise of one day becoming an
important unit in the Empire that had been little more
than a dream of far-seeing Britishers, while, above all, the
Canadian Pacific Railway had opened a new all-British
route to the Far East.
Rt. Hon. Lord Shaughnessy, K.C.V.O.
President, 1899—Chairman and President, 1911-
1918—Chairman, 1918 to 1923
In was in June, 1886, that the first Canadian Pacific
train reached tide-water on the Pacific Coast amid welcoming scenes that will long be remembered, and it may
well be imagined with what pride and relief those who had
been responsible for the completion of the work greeted
that day. But there could be no sitting back with folded
hands to admire the finished task. The company had a
railway, but it had to be operated and it had to be operated
profitably. The next thing to be done was to build a
country around it so that it might earn its living.
Immediately after the opening, Van Horne and the able
associates who surrounded him set out to populate the
western plains with settlers, and to induce travellers
from home and abroad to visit the magnificent scenic
features of its route. The organization had been thorough
and the work throughout had been
well done. The auxiliary organizations, such as telegraphs, express
and sleeping and dining-car services
had been retained as integral parts
of the parent company, a practice
not always followed in the United
States somewhat to the detriment
of the best interests of the railways
there. The foundation of the world's
future largest transportation system
had been solidly laid, but the task
of erecting the superstructure was
only less formidable than that which
had preceded it. Happily the president and his executive officers had
about them an army of tried and
proven men whose loyalty to the
institution and what it stood for
was not even exceeded by their outstanding capabilities. Together they
tackled the new task and right well
they performed it. It was not
long before the Canadian Pacific was telling the world
about Canada, the new land of promise, with the result
that settlers poured into the country, and the West began
to assume the look of a populated land. In earlier years
young Canadians had gone south to the States in their
quest for new fields and opportunities. Now the West
beckoned and the response was whole-hearted. Some
of the twenty-five million acres that had come to the
company as part of the government's payment for work
done began to produce wealth. Worthless in the days
before the railway had made them accessible, they had
been sold at modest prices and on generous long terms.
The land was without value to anyone until occupied
and worked. To induce settlement it was put on the
market at a flat price of $2.50 per acre and sold under
a contract providing that at least one half the area must
be broken and cultivated, while, to encourage the purchasers, the company granted a rebate of half the purchase price, $1.25 per acre, for all land so put to the
plow. Even in those days the country had many ups
and   downs.    When   the   boom   that   had   followed   the 1885
June 30, 1886, saw the first through train arrive at the head of the Lakes.    It went on to Vancouver and at every little
settlement along the line its advent was an occasion of public celebration.
first definite start of railway construction came to its
disastrous end, western farmers were in trouble. Wheat
went to 37 cents a bushel and many hundreds of settlers
abandoned the land they had taken up. For by no means
the first time, the company again came to their rescue.
Until the panic was over it bought all the wheat offering
along its line and paid 50 cents per bushel.
For the first two or three years of its operation, the
company's revenues were naturally small, and vigorous
efforts were made to create and increase traffic. The
settling of the West was an expensive task. Large
advertising in Europe and the United States was an expensive matter and it was its own money that the company
was spending. The matter of immigrant fares was of
minor importance—it was settlement that was desired.
This national work of colonization has not ceased since
it first began, and up to the end of 1933 the company's
expenditures of its own money in this connection totalled
An Era of Development Construction
It is not possible here to follow in detail the progress of
the company through the years that have intervened since
construction, and only the high points can be touched
upon. Progress and development was continual. Branch
lines were extended through the West where new communities had sprung up. In the East, too, rapid and solid
progress was made. In 1887 the Lachine bridge over the
St. Lawrence River was completed and the line to Farn-
page ten
ham, Quebec, was opened and in 1889 the railway to
Saint John, N.B., was built and consolidated and put into
operation, thus completing the company's transcontinental
route from ocean to ocean. Here again tremendous enthusiasm greeted the new railway and the old city of
Saint John set out upon its career as one of the country's
great seaports and began to replace Portland, Maine,
for the Atlantic shipment of Canadian freight which for
years had gone through that United States port.
By this time the Canadian Pacific had already become a
sea-going concern. One of its main objectives was the
development of Canadian commerce abroad as well as at
home. Domestic traffic was important but it was not
enough to satisfy the growing needs of the young company.
Branch lines built were needful for the up-building of the
country, but they seldom proved profitable during their
earlier years. Then, too, Canadian trade abroad had to
be fostered if the country were going to attain a full
measure of prosperity. It may truly be said that no other
agency has contributed so much to that development as
has the Canadian Pacific.
The C.P.R. Goes to Sea
It was in 1886 that the company first took to the sea.
That year the "W. B. Flint," a clipper sailing ship, was
chartered to bring a load of tea across the Pacific from
China for movement east over the then new line. Traffic
agencies were opened up in the Orient and Australia, and
in 1887 three steamships were chartered to handle freight THE    CANADIAN    PACIFIC—A    NATIONAL    INSTITUTION
and passengers west from Vancouver. In 1891 the British
government, again recognizing the place the Canadian
Pacific now held as a link of Empire, granted a subsidy for
a regular trans-Pacific service and the company's fleet of
Pacific "Empresses" soon after took up their work. The
next step of major importance to be considered was the
conquest of the Atlantic Ocean. Empire trade was beginning to be talked about and it was the natural ambition
of the Canadian Pacific to take a large place in this development. In 1903, therefore, the company purchased fourteen ships from the Elder-Dempster Company, and, putting these into its regular service, it established itself as a
system extending more than half way around the world.
Another most important step forward was made when in
1916 the company acquired the Allan Line fleet from which
date its progress as a maritime
organization has been uninterruptedly forward. Its passenger and
freight steamships on the Atlantic
today form the most important
trade link between Europe and the
Dominion, while on the Pacific the
fast "Empresses" are the pride of
that ocean and form the only all-
British connection between this
continent and the Far East, and
the fine ships of the Canadian-
Australasian line, associated with
the Canadian Pacific, are the only
all-British passenger connection between North America and Australia
and New Zealand.
These two ocean services could
not exist without exerting a tremendous influence in the development of Canadian trade overseas.
Towards that end the company and its agents at home
and abroad continue to work, thus carrying on the
tradition laid down at the beginning by those who had
vision clear enough to foresee what the establishment
of the company might eventually mean to Canada.
In every important country of the world the Canadian
Pacific is a well and favorably known institution reflecting
honor on its homeland and perpetually advertising Canada
and Canadian products, while our company's cruising
ships carry the Canadian flag into practically every important world port at least once a year.
Three Great Citizens
The above reference to the steamships is a digression
from the orderly course of this brief outline of the company's history. We must go back to the year 1888, an
important date, since it was then that Lord Mount Stephen
resigned the presidency. By that time he had seen long
years of bitter struggle crowned with success and the
company well and truly established as a profitable going
concern. But the hard years had taken their toll. Continuous and arduous work had affected his health and he
felt bound to retire from the presidency.    His natural
Rt. Hon. Lord Strathcona and Mount Royal
G.C.M.G., G.C.V.O.
successor was Sir William Van Horne whose qualifications
for the high office had been so eminently apparent. Sir
William brought to the office all the driving force that had
built the railway and his great administrative powers
carried its development forward year by year and brought
it far along the way to that stature the company has since
achieved. Among Sir William's associates were strong
men many of whose names are well remembered by most
of us and among them Thomas Shaughnessy stood out.
As purchasing agent for the company through the years
of building, he had been a source of great strength to
Van Horne. He had been solidly grounded in the Van
Horne tradition of self-sacrifice for the institution, to which
quality was added a vast knowledge of human nature and
a tremendous genius for financial administration. In
1899, therefore, when Van Horne
decided that the time had come for
him to relinquish some of his labors,
it was Sir Thomas, later Lord
Shaughnessy, who became president.
The Shaughnessy regime is too
recent to require lengthy treatment
here. It is enough to say that his
qualities of heart and mind rendered
him worthy to follow in the presidency the great men who had preceded him, and that under his
leadership the company continued
to go forward on its progressive way.
His life was entirely bound up in
that of the company and the spirit
that animated him will be understood when we recall his last words
in life, spoken to Mr. Beatty,
December 10, 1923 —"Take good
care of the Canadian Pacific—it
is a great  Canadian property."
These three great men whose qualities had inevitably
brought them to national leadership had much in common.
Each sprang from humble origins and each by force of
his own character set a never-to-be-forgotten mark upon
the history of the country of their adoption. They had
been more than great builders and great administrators,
they had been great citizens, and their contribution to
the standards of Canadian life and thought will long continue to have an influence upon on-coming generations.
Beatty Assumes Presidency
There is a story told to the effect that one day someone
asked Lord Shaughnessy a question about the company
which, for a wonder, the then president could not at the
moment answer, or perhaps did not choose to answer. He
replied, "Go and see Beatty, he knows more about the
C. P. R. than anyone else around here." In that remark
we find one of the reasons why, when Lord Shaughnessy
came to the time of laying down the presidency, he chose
the present holder of that high office as his successor.
There were other reasons and most of them are clearly
apparent to all who see the president at work or who are
in any way in touch with the broad influence he exerts
throughout the whole Dominion. The task that has come
to him with the presidency has so far been in no sense
lighter than that which confronted his predecessors.
They built the company and established it successfully.
Its very success has made it a shining target for attack
from organizations and individuals of whom it can fairly
be said that they were animated by a distrust that would
seem to have no other basis than jealousy and hatred of
that success.
Disregarding the company's many great contributions
to Canadian nationhood, they claimed to see in its position
of dominance something of menace to the country's
best interests. At no time, probably, was the number
of Canadians great who so thought of the C.P.R., but
what they lacked in numbers they made up in vigorous
effort to spread their views. Happily this spirit of
opposition and distrust has over the past few years been
steadily dying down, and to Mr. Beatty must be accorded
the credit for the change. He has interpreted the Canadian Pacific to the people of Canada as perhaps no other
man could have done. Himself the soul of frankness and
straightforward dealing, he has seized upon the imagination of the Canadian people and has clearly shown them
that this institution, like himself, has no other purpose to
serve than the accomplishment of its daily task in the
simplest and most effective way possible. This has not been
done without great effort and unceasing thought and care.
Government Competition Takes Form
Events of so recent happening as to be more or less
familiar to you all have served to make the path of the
company and its president still more difficult. It followed,
perhaps, as inevitable when the Canadian Pacific was
steadily progressing in the successful and profitable accomplishment of its aims while the other railways of Canada,
through unwise planning at their inception, faulty management or political interference, were moving towards the
financial chaos which they later entered, that distrust and
animus against the Canadian Pacific should be accentuated,
particularly among those sections of the community where
the less fortunate companies exerted their influences.
When, in an endeavor to save these companies, they
were gathered together into what then became the Canadian National Railway, such opposition as had existed was
focused to one point and was all the more vocal and
effective. At once the Canadian Pacific Railway was
placed in competition with the Canadian government,
and, encouraged by political expediency based on the temporary popularity of "public ownership" as a panacea for
economic troubles, the new competing railroad set out on
its impossibly extravagant course to destroy the position
which the Canadian Pacific had been called upon to make
for itself in the country's economic structure. Faced
with such a condition the task of the president of the
Canadian Pacific was made immeasurably heavier. Backed
by the loyal co-operation of Canadian Pacific men and
women throughout the system, Mr. Beatty led a vigorous
fight for the maintenance of the company's position. It
page twelve
was a costly battle. Government resources were squandered in the effort to make the new railway the greatest
transportation system on earth, and this with no regard
to possible financial returns on investments made or to
the amount of business available. The Canadian Pacific
held its own throughout the fight, but it could not do so
except at an inevitable expense that, had it been long
continued, would have threatened its solvency.
Such a condition could not be forever endured, and the
arrival of the depression brought it to a point where most
sensible people saw that something had to be done about it.
Beatty Offers A Solution
In the meantime Mr. Beatty had evolved the plan he
has proposed for the rectifying of the situation by unified
management of both railways. He has presented this
plan as president of the Canadian Pacific and, perhaps to
an even greater extent, as a Canadian citizen with a highly
specialized knowledge of the inevitable dangers of the
situation and of the possibilities of remedy. It may as
well be said here that he believes heart and soul in the
efficiency of his proposed plan for unified management and
is convinced that it offers a generally satisfactory solution
for the establishment of both railway companies on a
sound basis profitable to their owners. In reaching this
decision he neither has been guided nor directed in any
way by outside influence, and he is equally convinced that
as the future welfare of Canada's railways depends upon its
adoption, so also does the permanent welfare of all railway
employees throughout the country. He is sincere, as
always, when he says that the process of unification can be
effected without serious dislocation of railway labor, and
it is obvious that, in the end, labor of all classes must be
far better off in the employ of a joint company doing its
work along well-ordered and profitable lines, paying its
way and able to raise money for extensions and development which will call for the employment of greater numbers of people.
Short of unified management he does not see that either
of the companies can hope to achieve this position, while
he foresees in the working out of his plan the probability
that the joint company will eventually employ more men
on a full-time basis than they both now can. His proposals
have been favorably received by a large and influential section of the community and as they are given more exhaustive
and wider-spread consideration the opinion among all
classes is growing that they offer the only logical solution
for the problem that lies before the country.
It is fortunate for the Canadian Pacific and for Canada
that the company's leader at this time is a man actuated by
the strongest sense of duty as a citizen and unanimously
credited with the high ideals that go with such impulses.
Of his powers as an executive there is no reason to speak to
a gathering of Canadian Pacific people, nor need one
remind you of the human side of his nature, the strength
of which is ever evident in his dealings with those with
whom he comes into contact as well as in the various
important works for public welfare to which he gives time
and strength.    To whatever he sets his hand he gives 188 5
The Empress of Britain; 2800-passenger locomotive; Empress Hotel, Victoria; Royal York in  Toronto and Windsor Station building, housing
the company's headquarters, all constitute sound evidence of steady and useful development.    The pictures provide a comprehensive
glimpse of the company's manifold services to Canada, to the Empire and to the world.       The subjects are all
examples of the latest word in their respective fields.
himself to the full limit. He lives for the Canadian Pacific
Railway as a national institution and in so living he is
facing the brunt of the battle for every Canadian Pacific
As more than once Mr. Beatty had hastened to say, he
has been encouraged and strengthened by the loyal and
hearty co-operation of the company's rank and file, even
in those recent days when adverse conditions called for
sacrifice from all of you. The difficulties show signs of
lightening, but they have by no means passed and never
was the active loyalty and confidence of our people more
necessary than it is likely to be over the next few years.
The Company's War-Time Effort
The history of the Canadian Pacific Railway contains
no more thrilling page than that telling the story of the
company's effort as a unit in the Great War, and there
could be no greater justification of statements made at its
inception that the organization was to be an important
factor in Imperial development and a powerful contributor
to Imperial defense. Its war work began on the first of
those days when the dread threat of conflict broke over
the shocked world. It ended only when the last living
Canadian participant had returned to his home and the
last job of cleaning up had been finished. When Britain's
actual declaration of war came, the company was well on its
way to complete organization of forces and rolling stock to
meet the struggle that lay ahead. It proved a long hard
struggle, and both railway and ships were called upon time
and again to achieve the apparently impossible with
almost unbelievably short notice and time allowance.
But Canadian Pacific people accepted the task cheerfully
and carried it through in Canadian Pacific style. Special
troop trains and war materials moved over the system
swiftly and in order, while the company's ships kept moving
to and fro across the oceans despite submarines and mines
which took their toll. Throughout the war the company
moved approximately a million men and women on war
business and over twelve million tons of war material.
On January 11, 1915, came word that Great Britain
needed shells. By the end of that month the first machine
to be set up in Canada for this work had been designed and
erected at the Angus Shops, and shortly afterwards a
steady stream of munitions were pouring out to the aid of
the Allies.
The company granted six months' full pay to each
employee voluntarily enlisting and undertook that every
man should be taken back into the service upon his return.
The total number of men joining up was 11,340 of which
1,116 made the supreme sacrifice and 2,105 were wounded.
Approximately 8,000. came back into the service. Of the
company's ships, thirteen were lost by enemy action, two
through accident at sea and nine were taken over by the
British government. Another C.P.R. contribution to
the allied cause was of outstanding importance. By
loans and guarantees of one form and another it came to
the financial support of Canada, Great Britain and the
Allied Nations to the extent of upwards of one hundred
page thirteen 1885
million dollars,  probably the largest contribution made
by any one industrial institution in the British Empire.
Leads all America in Wage Agreements
It was impossible to adequately complete even this
brief survey of the high points of the company's history
without mention of the present railway situation and the
place the president has assumed therein. The review
would be equally incomplete without reference to the fine
spirit of mutual understanding that has practically always
existed between the company and the people in its employ.
When the Canadian Pacific started operation there were
few railroad employee unions or other organizations, and
what few there were had but a struggling existence. The
early evinced willingness on the part of the company to
make agreements with its men set a pace for other railroads on this continent. The first-known wage agreement
in collective bargaining made by a railway in either Canada
or the United States was made February 1, 1886, between this company and its engineers along the line between
Montreal and Port Arthur and ever since that date conciliation and collective bargaining have been the established principles upon which the company and its men
have settled their joint affairs. At the time of his turning
over the presidency to Mr. Beatty, Lord Shaughnessy
"He takes over the property in its splendid condition,
physically and financially. He takes it over with something that may be of even greater value than either of
these, with what I consider to be the best organization in
the world, an organization founded upon discipline
without fear, discipline that was based upon fair dealing
and justice, discipline that had as one of its main ingredients the loyalty of the men who were under discipline,
discipline that knew and declared to the men that every
man was safe in his position if he were safe himself."
Not long since the Hon. Gideon D. Robertson, sometime
Minister of Labor, and for many years Vice-President of the
Order of Railway Telegraphers, took occasion to say that
the Canadian Pacific was the first railway in Canada to
extend general recognition of the principle of collective
bargaining and union recognition to its employees and that
the company had been foremost of all railroads in extending
them courteous, reasonable treatment. He added that
the spirit of co-operation existing between the company and
its men had commendably contributed to their mutual
benefit and to the nation's advancement.
C.P.R. Loyalty a Tradition
The existence of conditions calling forth such a statement undoubtedly played its part in the creation of the
tradition of C. P. R. loyalty and service which has come
to be the admiration of all who are brought into contact
with the company's workings. That tradition today
stands as much a thing of vital life as at any time over the
past half century and it must continue to stand unimpaired
as' time goes on. Its continued unsullied character depends now upon the continued unswerving loyalty of the
Canadian Pacific people of this present generation. At
times like these, when the country has over a period of
years been passing through an era of economic depression,
it is inevitable that unrest and criticism of established
things should come to the surface and be more vocal than
under happier conditions. Wrongs, the perpetration of
which arise out of inordinate greed and unscrupulous
covetousness, assume unusual prominence and incite a
measure of social dissatisfaction which tends to turn to
unreasoning criticism of organizations whose clear records
are not too generally known but whose prominence makes
them brilliant targets for abuse. By its very eminence the
Canadian Pacific is placed in such a position. Its most
effective defence, other than its record, is to be found in
the active loyalty of Canadian Pacific people. It is their
company, in a large and special sense. Their life and their
work is bound up in its continued successful progress.
That progress can only be assured by their energetic and
unceasing co-operation with the president and the executive
officers who work under him in the task of maintaining
Canadian Pacific tradition and defending the institution
from those who out of malice or thoughtlessness would
seek to impair its efficiency or discredit its reputation, and
so weaken its power to take care of its employees.
The present physical condition of the company is up to
high standard; indeed, it is questionable if at any time it
was better equipped to carry on the great work for which
it was organized and built; and the personnel of its rank
and file is of tried and proven ability to carry it through
any storms that may arise ahead. The storms may at
times seem dangerous and the going heavy but there exists
no reason why we should not win through by the application of that spirit that time and again has carried the
institution over rough spots in the darker days of the
company's history. Even now the outlook for the future
is brightening and we can see ahead the hope of better
economic conditions and resultant happier days for the
company, and for those who are employed in its service.
page fourteen 1885 - THE    CANADIAN    PACIFIC —A    NATIONAL    INSTITUTION
v C^/V^/d^T-   m „ , ,**/// / *i   'o   ,1   » ,   > f?Avf        un < nr     w   n    rna   t   rri^r wa/a &oo7  / s^w plants;&   >
77*0 Canadian Pacific as depicted by A. G. Racey, cartoonist, in the "Montreal Star," March 3, 1931,
fifty years after the company's charter had been granted.
page fifteen   


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