The Syndicate Business.
Once more the report comes through Government channels that a syndicate has certainly been formed to build our Pacific Railway. We have been treated to the same story so often before, only to have it contradicted again next day, that the theme has assumed all the charms of a kaleidoscope. It is very like the old game "now you see it, and now you don't." To-day, we are gravely informed that everything is settled, and all the arrangements are perfectly lovely. To-morrow, it appears that there is just one slight hitch. And the next day, the whole fabric is knocked to pieces, and a new process of reconstruction is announced to begin. It reminds one of children building houses of cards just for the fun of blowing them down again. So, while we are now told that a syndicate has at length been formed, we are still afraid that, in another day or two, the announcement may come that an "unexpected difficulty has arisen." These simultaneous proclamations, for the use of the Government press exclusively, are losing their novelty, and we must be pardoned if we desire something more authentic before we are quite convinced that a company has been secured.
There is another point to which it appears necessary that we should call attention. Invariably, when making these premature announcements, the Government press fall into the error of describing the mission as "successful." We suggest to them that it would be the part of both prudence and public duty to delay pronouncing upon the success or non-success of the mission until it is definitely known upon what terms a bargain has been made. There are many factors, very important to the future welfare of the country, to be considered before any sensible man will venture to commit himself to the assertion that the mission has been a success. However willing we all are that the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway should be placed in the hands of a company upon proper terms, surely no one will sanction a bargain based upon improper terms. We fully believe that no captious objection will be taken by the Liberal Opposition to any reasonable arrangement between the Government and a syndicate. The failure of the Government to make any decent show of construction, together with the monstrous corruption which necessarily follows control of the road by the Government, will readily reconcile all classes to the prospect of an independent company building the road—upon terms which are anything like fair to the country. But we submit that it is neither policy nor patriotism on the part of the Government press to endorse the "success" of the mission before they know their security. Let them possess their souls in patience as we all have to do in this matter. Let them first ascertain positively that a syndicate has been formed, and then let them find out accurately the terms upon which an arrangement has been arrived at. Then, and not till then, will there be some tangible basis upon which to determine whether or not the mission has been a success.