April 23, 1918

L LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux

Laurier Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX:

Is the minister continuing the policy of the department with reference to the metric system?

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UNION

Arthur Lewis W. Sifton (Minister of Customs)

Unionist

Mr. SIFTON:

I have not really adopted any policy in connection with that yet.

Salaries of inspectors and assistant inspectors of gas and electricity, $85,0'00.

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L LIB

William Costello Kennedy

Laurier Liberal

Mr. KENNEDY:

I notice there is a decrease of $8,500 here. What is the explanation of that?

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UNION

Arthur Lewis W. Sifton (Minister of Customs)

Unionist

Mr. SIFTON:

There are several decreases in connection with these Estimates. It was found that the officers were not absolutely essential. Oocasonally one will even die to help us out of a hole. [DOT]

Provisional allowance of not more than $150 each to officers in Manitoba and west, for gas and electric light, $4,000.

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L LIB

Edmund William Tobin

Laurier Liberal

Mr. TOBIN:

I cannot understand why

the minister allows this increase to men in the West and does not allow it to men in the East. You may have the high cost of living in the West, but the cost of living has increased in the East also.

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UNION

Arthur Lewis W. Sifton (Minister of Customs)

Unionist

Mr. SIFTON:

This is not a new item and it is put in on account of the high cost of living. It has been in for ten. or fifteen years.

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L LIB

Edmund William Tobin

Laurier Liberal

Mr. TOBIN:

I know, but we have a new Government and we expect it to improve upon the methods of the old Government.

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UNION

Arthur Lewis W. Sifton (Minister of Customs)

Unionist

Mr. SIFTON:

You do not expect me to cut down the salaries of these underpaid officials?

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L LIB
L LIB

William Daum Euler

Laurier Liberal

Mr. EULER:

What is the object of making a special arrangement for inspectors in Manitoba-to provide for the higher cost of living in the West?

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UNION
L LIB

William Daum Euler

Laurier Liberal

Mr. EULER:

I would respectfully submit that the cost of living in the East, certainly in Western Ontario is fully as high as it is in the West.

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UNION
L LIB

William Daum Euler

Laurier Liberal

Mr. EULER:

If anything I believe it is in favour of Manitoba to-day.

Export of electric power, $1,000.

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L LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux

Laurier Liberal

Mir. LEMIEUX:

What is the policy of my hon. friend with regard to the export of power? II .see there is a great agitation around Toronto about the hydro-electric and other questions relating to electrical power. The last report of Mr. White, of the Conservation Commission, deals in a very interesting way with this subject. Mr. White says that one of the most effective weapons in Canada's hands, in case, for instance, the United States sought to put an embargo on coal, is our wealth of electrical powef. Mr. White suggests that we should restrict the exportation of power and that the Government should take means to secure for the [DOT] public benefit all the water powers on the river St. Lawrence. I said a word about that the other day to my hon. friend the Minister of Public Works (Mr. Carvell) but he seemed to think that the question was dead and that it had died long ago. Well, I think he is labouring under a misapprehension.

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UNI L

Frank Broadstreet Carvell (Minister of Public Works)

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. CARVELL:

I think my hon. friend must have misunderstood me if he thought I said it was dead. I said that he need not lie awake at nights if he thought we were going to give away Canadian rights.

Mr. LEMilEUX: I am glad my hon. friend has not misunderstood me. At all events, I think the Government should be wide awake on this question. There are interests presently at work at Washington and Ottawa to secure the Long Sault water power. Take the case of Montreal-I think I gave the figures the other day in the House. We have splendid water powers which can be developed and which would give the industries of that city all the power required, and much more. I find that some of the power developed around Montreal is being exported to the United States to the detriment of Montreal industries. Now, there may be some other occasion when we can

discuss this question further, but I wish simply to call the attention of the hon. gentleman and of his colleagues in the Government to the necessity of being very careful not to jeopardize the interests of Canada in those water powers, but to keep for ourselves this effective weapon dn case it may be needed against, say, an embargo on coal.

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UNION

Hugh Boulton Morphy

Unionist

Mr. MORPHY:

From what point thi3 power is exported? The item is for the export of electric power, and represents only a very small sum, but the principle should be considered by the House.

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UNION

Arthur Lewis W. Sifton (Minister of Customs)

Unionist

Mr. SIFTON:

This is purely an item for the cost of operation of that particular branch. It has nothing to do with the power that is actually exported. All the power exported, so far as this department is concerned, is exported from the neighbourhood of Montreal. There is only the' one permit, so far as I know. Does the hon. member for Maisonneuve (Mr. Lemieux) know of any other?

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L LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux

Laurier Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX:

There is a portion of the Niagara power which i3 exported to the United States.

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UNION

Arthur Lewis W. Sifton (Minister of Customs)

Unionist

Mr. SIFTON:

That is done by international agreement, and is a settled policy that this department could not interfere with.

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April 23, 1918