March 26, 1924

LIB

Pius Michaud

Liberal

Mr. PIUS MICHAUD (Restigouche and Madawaska):

I endorse every word that has

been said on this important question. A few years ago I had occasion in this House to bring up a similar subject and I had great hopes at the time that the grievances which I voiced would be relieved. But I never saw any practical result from that discussion. In 1842 a treaty was signed between the United States and Canada in connection with the boundary between the state of Maine and the province of New Brunswick. With regard to this treaty, I may quote from the statutes of the United States Congress, volume 1, under the caption "Constitution of the United States:"

The laws of the United States made in pursuance hereto, on all treaties made and to be made with other countries, including those with respect to boundaries between Canada and the United States, are to be regarded as the supreme law of the United States, and every state in the union is bound thereby, notwithstanding any legislation it may pass.

I may say that by the Ashburton treaty it was provided that, in order to promote the industries of the inhabitants of the state of Maine and of the province of New Brunswick, the waters of the river St. John and its tributaries were to be free for the transportation of the products of agriculture and of the forests. Now, the treaty was signed in 1842, when the river St. John was accepted as the international boundary between the state of Maine and the province of New Brunswick. In 1841 an application had been made in the state of Maine by a private company for a charter authorizing the diversion of waters tributary to the St. John, but that application was refused. In 1846, however, another application was made and it was granted, authorizing a company to dig a canal to divert the waters from one of the tributaries of the

Great Lakes Levels

St. John into a river in the state of Maine. Later on, still another application was made by interested parties in the state of Maine to build dams at the heads of certain lakes in order to provide more water for the Penobscot river, which prevented the waters of these lakes from flowing into the St. John river. As I indicated a moment ago, the St. John river comes within the scope of the treaty, and it is very important that there should be a sufficient quantity of water in the river to facilitate the floating of lumber. Our American friends as a rule claim everything that is coming to them under a treaty, and very often a little more. When the people of New Brunswick found that the Americans in the state of Maine were building a dam at the head of lake Chamberlin they sent a lawyer to Augusta, the capital of the state, to register their protest, and he did so, very forcibly. Unfortunately, howc-er, that protest was of no avail and situft ffiat time we have been suffering from the a.tion of our friends on the American side. Every year, in the months of June and July, a large number of logs have to be floated down the St. John river in New Brunswick, and at that particular time the water is so low in the river that it is almost impossible to drive the logs below the Allegash river in the county of Madawaska. We are therefore obliged to go to the government of the state of Maine and importune them to raise the dam in order that we may have enough water to float our timber. This is an undesirable and an unfortunate condition of affairs. By treaty we have equal rights to the waters of the St. John with our American friends, but they have taken upon themselves to deprive us of our privileges and to-day we are suffering iD consequence of the failure on their part to live up to the treaty that was signed between the United States and Canada. But there are other instances, besides this, in which our American friends have done the same thing. Some sessions ago I heard that the same thing had happened somewhere, I believe, along the boundary of the province of Saskatchewan or Alberta; and a similar situation arose on one occasion in connection with some river flowing into lake Superior,-I think it was a tributary of the Rainy River. My point is that if we leave our big neighbours to the south of us free to trespass on our rights, sooner or later we shall have much more serious difficulties to solve. I would suggest that the Minister of the Interior (Mr. Stewart, Argenteuil) get down to work; the sooner he does so the better, so that we may find out where we stand with our American friends on these important questions, more particularly on one of such international significance as this.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GREAT LAKES LEVELS
Sub-subtopic:   EFFECT OF DIVERSION OF WATER BY CHICAGO DRAINAGE CANAL
Permalink
CON

Edward Guss Porter

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. E. GUSS PORTER (West Hastings):

I have the honour to represent a constituency in the province of Ontario in which there is an important port, and I shall certainly support the resolution that is now before the House. I refer to the port of Belleville, which, according to the fiscal returns, carried the third largest tonnage of shipping in Ontario. I am not so sure that this port has not already been affected by the diversion of waters that has been taking place. We have found, within the last two or three years particularly, that navigation is becoming much more difficult in that port, and during that time I have on different occasions brought to the attention of the government the fact that ships have been stranded in the harbour at Belleville. Incidentally, I might remark that the present difficulty there might easily be removed if sufficient dredging were done in the harbour, but the government does not see fit to undertake this work. I want to express my full sympathy with the resolution; in fact, I would urge it, if it were in my power to do so, in terms much stronger than those used by the hon. member for North (Toronto (Mr. Church). The hon. gentleman has placed the matter forcibly and fully before the House, and this discussion has revealed two facts: the first is that there has been a steady diversion of waters from the Great Lakes; the second is, that the only step taken to remedy the evil is by way of protest. Now, is it possible that Canada is to be put in that position? She may make just as many protests as the government see fit to transmit to Washington, but the only action on the part of the United States is either a telegram or other communication in acknowledgement. Surely there must be some way of remedying the wrong that we claim we are suffering. If there is any question whatever as to' the ownership or the jurisdiction over these waters, now is the time when it should be finally and effectively settled. The very best international relations exist to-day between Canada and the United States, and this being the case it occurs to me that it . would be a wise course and in the interests of both countries to now deal with the question speedily and effectively, otherwise it may eventually develop into a serious international difficulty.

The hon. member for North Toronto (Mr. Church) has perhaps urged sufficient reasons why the government should at this time take action. But it occurred to me during the

Great Lakes Levels

course of his speech that we might well look at the other side of the question for a moment. Those representing the Chicago drainage district have made certain submissions to the authorities in this country, but so far as I have been able to gather, thev have never undertaken to say that the only relief for the conditions that exist in Chicago is the diversion of the waters of lake Michigan. Not one of their representatives has been bold enough to urge the point. So I think we may very naturally conclude that that is not the only means of relief. If it were, from considerations of charity and humanity we might well see fit to forego the strict letter of our rights and grant Chicago some relief through the diversion of this water. But that is not the case at all; it is simply a matter of what are the just rights of Canada and the United States respectively. By the expenditure of money, be it great or small, the Chicago drainage district can very well provide a means for disposing of their sewage, and I think we should see that they proceed in this direction. The United States boast that they have more money than any other nation on the face of the earth. Let them translate that boast into action and provide a sewage system for the Chicago district.

We recognize the importance of our waterways, and we take a just pride in the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence waterway, which we believe to be the finest in the world. We hope that some day ocean-going ships will reach the Great Lakes. For that reason, in addition to others, we cannot afford for a moment to jeopardize our rights by allowing this question to drift any longer. Therefore I strongly support the resolution, and I am satisfied that every hon. member will realize not only the justice of Canada taking action, but the necessity of her doing so at an early date.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GREAT LAKES LEVELS
Sub-subtopic:   EFFECT OF DIVERSION OF WATER BY CHICAGO DRAINAGE CANAL
Permalink
CON

Henry Lumley Drayton

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir HENRY DRAYTON (West York):

Mr. Speaker, I am sure our thanks are due to the hon. member for North Toronto (Mr. Church) for bringing this very important) matter to our attention. It is not often that we are all of one mind as to what ought to be done. I do not know that we will all agree with what has been done so far, but I am confident that we are all in accord as to one thing, and that is that Canada is suffering grievously as the result of the nonobservance of her sacred treaty rights. I inquired of the minister to-day as to whether the government had requested the United States to carry out the terms of the treaty. This question has been in dispute for years,

harm to the country has been increasing all the time, and it has now reached an acute phase. My own view is that if the matter was fairly and firmly placed before the United States authorities, they would be among the first to say that they intended strictly to observe their treaty obligations, and would discipline their citizens when our rights were violated. We have not heard from the government at all as to the breach of treaty obligations alleged by the hon. member for Restigouche and Madawaska (Mr. Michaud). Perhaps the government will tell us something about that.

I do not think this debate should close to-day. A return has been asked for concerning the papers that have to do with this question, and I think my right hon. friend the Prime Minister will agree with me that the proper course to take to-day is to adjourn the debate, so, that we may have the papers before us, and that he should undertake to give the House an opportunity of resuming this very interesting discussion.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GREAT LAKES LEVELS
Sub-subtopic:   EFFECT OF DIVERSION OF WATER BY CHICAGO DRAINAGE CANAL
Permalink
LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister):

I think the suggestion

my hon. friend makes is a very proper one at this stage of the debate. Some days ago the government communicated with Washington intimating that we desired to lay on the Table of the House the despatches that have passed between us. We are awaiting a reply before we bring the despatches down.

I assume there will be no objection to our request on the part of the United States authorities.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GREAT LAKES LEVELS
Sub-subtopic:   EFFECT OF DIVERSION OF WATER BY CHICAGO DRAINAGE CANAL
Permalink
LIB

Hewitt Bostock (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

Is the House ready for

the question?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GREAT LAKES LEVELS
Sub-subtopic:   EFFECT OF DIVERSION OF WATER BY CHICAGO DRAINAGE CANAL
Permalink
CON

Henry Lumley Drayton

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir HENRY DRAYTON:

With the concurrence of the Prime Minister, Mr. Speaker,

I move the adjournment of the debate so that the papers referred to may be tabled and the debate then resumed.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   GREAT LAKES LEVELS
Sub-subtopic:   EFFECT OF DIVERSION OF WATER BY CHICAGO DRAINAGE CANAL
Permalink

Motion agreed to.


BOYD CALDWELL COMPANY


On the Orders of the Day:


PRO

John Livingstone Brown

Progressive

Mr. J. L. BROWN (Lisgar):

I wish to make a correction of a statement I made the other day. It will be recalled that in speaking of the Lanark woollen mills I made a statement that would seem to reflect on the good faith of the Boyd Caldwell Company. I have taken the pains to get the facts of the case, and I find that the particular mill I referred to was burned on the date given.

Half-breed Scrip

I find also, however, that in the same village there was a smaller mill that had been in operation, the existence of which I knew of, but I was not aware that the mill belonged to the company in question. I wish to point out that I was in error to that extent, and I regret that I made a statement that might have conveyed a wrong impression.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   BOYD CALDWELL COMPANY
Permalink

LIFE INSURANCE LAPSED POLICIES


On the Order being called: Resuming the adjourned debate on the proposed resolution of Mr. Church-That, in the opinion of this House, subject to certain reasonable charges including a certain sum for overhead expenses, lapsed policies of life insurance of companies with federal charters should be returned to the insured, and that in the interest of the insured such confiscatory powers of these companies should be further revised.


CON

Thomas Langton Church

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CHURCH:

Mr. Speaker, as the minister has promised that the inquiry being made by the Insurance Department will be continued, in the recess of parliament, I suggest that this motion be dropped.

Motion withdrawn.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   LIFE INSURANCE LAPSED POLICIES
Permalink

CRIMINAL CODE AMENDMENT-HALFBREED SCRIP


House again in committee on Bill No. 5- (Mr. Kennedy, Edmonton)-to amend the Criminal Code. Mr. Marcil in the chair. On section 1-Rights saved and continued.


PRO

Donald MacBeth Kennedy

Progressive

Mr. KENNEDY (Edmonton):

The other day when this clause came up it was found that there was something wrong with the wording of subsection 2. If it is in order I will move that subsection 2 as it appeared in the original bill be struck out and that the following be substituted therefor:

Any offence relating to or arising out of the location of land which was paid for in whole or in part by scrip or was granted upon certificates issued to halfbreeds in connection with the extinguishment of Indian title may be prosecuted as if the said section 20 of chapter 25 of the statutes of 1921 had not been passed.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   CRIMINAL CODE AMENDMENT-HALFBREED SCRIP
Permalink
LIB

Ernest Lapointe (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

I have seen this new draft of subsection 2, and it meets with what my hon. friend had in view and also with what was the general desire of the committee when the bill was first studied.

Section as amended agreed to.

Bill, as amended, reported.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   CRIMINAL CODE AMENDMENT-HALFBREED SCRIP
Permalink

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

EASTER ADJOURNMENT

LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister):

I beg to move:

46i

That when this House adjourns on Wednesday, April the 16th next, it stand adjourned until Tuesday, April the 22nd next.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   EASTER ADJOURNMENT
Permalink

March 26, 1924