June 24, 1925


Item agreed to. Port Nelson terminals-Hudson Bay railway-revote, $10,000-$35,000.


PRO

William John Ward

Progressive

Mr. WARD:

I notice that $25,000 was

spent at Nelson harbour last year. What was it spent for?

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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM:

We have at Port Nelson, on account of previous construction, machinery, vessels, boats and a good deal of other property. We have to keep quite a number of men there in order to preserve the property from going to destruction.

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PRO

Arthur John Lewis

Progressive

Mr. LEWIS:

Is it not about time the government started to reconstruct rather than to keep it in repair?

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PRO

Robert Alexander Hoey

Progressive

Mr. HOEY:

Has the minister considered

the advisability of moving some of these boats, particularly the large dredge, from Port Nelson? What is the object in keeping them there to deteriorate if there is no intention of going ahead with the port?

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LIB

Item agreed to. To provide for the payment of salaries and expenses in connection with the St. Lawrence ship canal surveys and investigations, including the Canadian National Advisory Committee and its employees and including E B. Jost, $2,500, as assistant to chairman of engineering board, and G. W. Yates, $1,200, as secretary (revote $25,000), $150,000.


CON

Thomas Langton Church

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CHURCH:

Why is this St. Lawrence ship canal vote holding up the Morrisburg application of the Ontario government and the Ontario Hydro Electric Commission for

Supply-Railways and Canals

power which is so badly needed? I understand the government has taken the position that nothing will be done until this money is voted and a report made. It may be a year or two, or three or four or five years, before a report is made. In the meantime, the reports and the applications are all in, and I see no reason why the application of the Ontario Hydro Electric Commission and the Ontario government should not be granted. A joint report was made by the commission on this work from the financial side, the engineering side, the navigation side and the transportation side. It is a very good report. I cannot see what object will be gained by appointing a new commission. In addition to this, the appointment of this new commission is, holding up a very important power development for eastern Ontario. About a month ago the minister promised that when this vote was up, he would make a statement as to the Morris-burg proposition.

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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM:

This item is larger than it was last year, but that is accounted for by the fact that heretofore we have been carrying an item of $50,000 in the estimates of the Railways and Canals department for this work, and now it is all put under the one head and made $150,000 instead of $100,000. My hon. friend has asked a question and it will take me a few minutes, perhaps, to explain the matter. As a matter of fact, the duty of this government is [primarily to look after the requirements of navigation. The question of an enlarged St. Lawrence waterway is viewed from three angles: First, those who want it developed for power purposes and have little interest in navigation; second, those who think altogether of navigation; and third, others who take into consideration both the development of power and the improvement of navigation. The federal authority must make navigation its primary care. Some years ago a joint board of engineers was appointed by the United States and Canada. That commission was composed of Mr. Wooten, representing the United States and the late Mr. Bowden, representing the Dominion of Canada, he being chief engineer of the Department of Railways and Canals.' This committee made a comprehensive study of the question and brought in a report. Without going into details, I may say that that report was favourable to this project.

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CON
LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM:

I think it was 1921, but I am not sure. The hon. member for North

Toronto (Mr. Church) asks: Why is this not proceeded with, after that report has been made? Let me point this out. Owing to the many questions that arise between Canada and the United States involving interests in water in streams, international and otherwise, the two governments arranged by treaty, some years ago, to name an international joint commission, to which is referred all questions concerning boundary waters. This question of the development of the St. Lawrence waterway was referred to the commission and the report of Messrs. Wooten and Bowden was submitted, if I remember rightly to it. While the engineers were studying the problem the International Joint Commission toured Canada and the United States, taking evidence as to the advisability of entering into an arrangement in regard to the St. Lawrence waterway, both countries being deeply interested. I appeared among others before the commission and gave what evidence I thought ought to be given. The International Joint Commission itself, after consideration of the report of the board of engineres decided that the scheme was practicable. It made a report recommending the project, but in that report the following significant paragraph appears:

The commission is convinced that in a matter of such unusual magnitude, involving engineering factors that are more or less debatable, and affecting the interests of many millions of people, too much care cannot be taken to ensure the adoption of plans that will be beyond reasonable criticism both as to the general scheme of development and the working out of its details. It is therefore desirable that before any steps are taken to carry out the commission's recommendation the plans of the engineering board, together with such comments or criticisms or alternative plans as have been filed with the commission by other engineers, should be referred back to the board and enlarged by other leading members of the engineering profession, to the end that the whole question be given that further and complete study that its magnitude and importance demand.

In view of that very positive recommendation the governments of both countries decided to proceed with a further investigation. There was a good deal of correspondence between the United States and Canada as to the questions which should be referred to the enlarged joint engineering board. That board included, in its Canadian section, D. W. McLachlan, of the Department of Railways and Canals, Oliver O. Lefebvre, chief engineer of the Quebec Streams Commission, Montreal, and Brigadier General Charles H. Mitchell, of Toronto; and in its United States section, Brigadier General Jadwin, Colonel Wm. Kelly, and Lt.-Colonel George E. Pillsbury. Mr. McLachlan was appointed chairman of the Canadian section and Brigadier General Jad-

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win of the United States section. The other two members of each section, Messrs. Lefehvre and Mitchell and Kelly and Pillsbury were appointed technical officers for the consideration of the term of reference which should constitute the instructions to the enlarged joint engineering board. Several meetings of the technical officers were necessary, and much correspondence between the respective governments before the terms of reference could be recommended by the national advisory committee for adoption by the Canadian government.

One difficult question arose between the two countries and it required a good deal of correspondence to get it straightened out. Everyone understands or has some knowledge at least of the difficulties in connection with the diversion of water at Chicago, and while the actual diversion did not perhaps properly come within the scope of the investigation of the engineers, the Canadian government felt that the joint engineering board Should consider the effect which the lowering of the water through this diversion would have on the St. Lawrence project. The American government was of the opinion that the question of the diversion of water at Niagara Falls should also be considered by the engineers. The Canadian government took the view that the Niagara diversions did not affect the St. Lawrence scheme; we pointed out that the diversion of water there had no influence on the depth of the St. Lawrence or the works involved, for the simple reason that practically all the water used at Niagara returns to the Niagara river or into the waterways that flow into the St. Lawrence, while at Chicago the water which is diverted goes into the Mississippi watershed and is lost both to the Niagara and the St. Lawrence rivers. It Will be seen, from the terms of reference Which, with the consent of the committee I beg to place on Hansard, that the joint board of engineers will give consideration to the effect of the Chicago diversion on the St. Lawrence project and that the question of the division of water at Niagara is not involved:

Instructions to Joint Board of Engineers on the St.

Lawrence Waterway

The governments of Canada and the United States have accepted the recommendation, made by the International Joint Commission in its report dated 19th December, 1921, that the question of the development of the St. Lawrence river for navigation and for the supply of power be referred to an enlarged joint board of engineers.

It is desired that the new board should review the report dated 24th June, 1921, made by the late Mr. W. A. Bowden and Colonel W. P. Wooten, and that it should extend its enquiries to certain additional

matters with a view to supplying the technical information likely to be relevant to the proposals made in the report of the International Joint Commission above referred to. The new board is therefore charged at this time with reporting upon the following:

1. Is the scheme for the improvement of the St. Lawrence waterway, presented by the board in its report of June 24th, 1921, practicable and does it provide to the best advantage, at this time and ultimately, for the development of the capacities and possibilities of the waterway?

2. What alternative schemes, if any, would be better adapted to secure the ends desired, due consideration being given-

(a) to any special international or local interests having an importance justifying exceptional consideration, and

(b) to the extent and character of the damage through flooding and the probable effect of the works upon the formation of ice and the consequent effect on the flow of the river?

3. Should the estimates of cost be revised and, if so, what are the revised estimates of cost having regard to alternative schemes?

4. In order to assist either government to allocate the amounts chargeable to navigation and power, what would be the respective estimated costs for improving the river for navigation alone and for power alone?

5. To what extent may water levels in the St. Lawrence river at and below Montreal, as well as the river and lake levels generally, be affected by the execution of the project?

6. (a) To what extent and in what manner are the natural water levels in the St. Lawrence river and on the lakes affected by diversions authorized by license by either Canada or the United States, from or in the St. Lawrence river watershed?

(b) By what measures could the water levels or navigable depths affected by the diversions referred to in section 6 (a) be restored, and what would be the cost thereof?

(c) How much power could be developed on the St. Lawrence river with the water diverted from the watershed referred to in section 6 (a) under:

(1) The plans recommended.

(2) Alternative plans providing for a full practical development of the river.

(d) Without considering compensation by the present relative diversions of water from the Niagara river and from lake Erie, and without prejudice to a future consideration thereof, what works, if any, could be constructed to recover on the St. Lawrence river the amount of power determined under section 6 (c), and what would be the cost of such works?

7. Having regard to economy of construction and maintenance, expedition of construction and efficiency of operation-

(a) Which of the works should be constructed under the technical supervision of an international board and what other works, if any, might advantageously be constructed under such supervision?

(b) Which of the works should be maintained and operated by an international board and what other works, if any, might advantageously be so maintained and operated ?

8. What, if any, readjustments in the location of the international boundary are necessary or desirable lo place power structures belonging to either country within its borders, as recommended by the International Joint Commission?

9. If the board is of the opinion that it would be advantageous to provide in the first instance for channel depths other than 25 feet, but less than 30 feet, for what draft of vessel should provision b* made?

Supply-Railways and Canals

10. Having regard to the recommendation of the International Joint Commission that the new Welland ship canal should be embodied in the scheme and should be treated as a part thereof, and to the fact that if a greater depth than 21 feet be adopted for the initial project depth of the St. Lawrence, such greater depth would not be available to the upper lake ports without further work in the navigation channels in the lakes, what would be the cost of improving the main navigation channels between and through the lakes, so as to provide, without impairing the present lake levels for (a) a depth of 25 feet and (b) for such other depth not exceeding 30 feet, as may be determined by the board to be that for which it would be most advantageous to provide on the St. Lawrence river ?

11. What is the time required to complete the proposed works, the order in which they should be proceeded with, and the progress which should be made yearly towards the completion of each in order to secure the greatest advantage from each of the works and from the development of the waterway as a whole?

It is desired that the report be accompanied by such drawings as are necessary for showing the location and general character of the works proposed.

It is also desired that in the preparation of the report, due regard should be had to any diversions from or in the St. Lawrence river watershed, which, at the date of the report, are authorized by license by either Canada or the United States.

It is desired that the board report, from time to time on the matters referred to it as the progress of its enquiries permits, and that these enquiries be so prosecuted that, if practicable, the board should have reported on all such matters by the end of April, 1926.

The Canadian government and the United States government have worked out plans for carrying on an investigation outside of the engineering investigation that is being conducted by the joint engineering board and its technical officers. To consider generally whether or not the project would, if completed, be beneficial to Canada, the government has appointed a national advisory committee for the Dominion, which is composed of your humble servant as chairman, Thomas Ahearn, Ottawa; Hon. W. E. Foster, St. John, N.B.; Beaudry Loman, Montreal; Edward D. Martin, Winnipeg; Dr. Wilfrid L. McDougald, Montreal; Hon. Sir Clifford Sifton, Toronto; Major General John W. Stewart, Vancouver; Hon. Adelard Turgeon, Quebec. The United States advisory committee is composed of Hon. Herbert Hoover, Secretary of Commerce, chairman. William C. Breed, attorney-at-law, New York city, former president New York Merchants Association; James E. Davidson, Bay City, Michigan, vice president American Shipbuilding Company, Bay City; James P. Goodrich, Winchester, Ind., formerly Governor of Indiana; James R. Howard, Chicago, III., formerly president American Farm Bureau Federation; James D. Noonan, American Federation of Labour; Stephen B. Davis, Washington, D.C., counsel; Charles P. Craig Washington, D.C., executive secretary. I

might point out that the secretary of the Canadian board is Mr. George W. Yates, Assistant Deputy Minister of Railways and Canals, and formerly private secretary of the late Mr. Cochrane. In the estimates is included an amount to be paid him, in addition to his regular salary, for performing this work, because we could find no man as well qualified for four times the money.

In order to facilitate the gathering of data for the information of the government and the consideration of the national advisory committee which is to advise the cabinet, the government has thought it wise to select representatives from the several departments which come into contact with the project. A committee which we have called the interdepartmental committee has therefore been formed for the co-ordination of the views of the technical officers of these various departments. It is composed of Colonel Biggar, chairman; Finance, J. A. Russell (alternate R. B. Viets); National Defence, Brigadier-General A. G. L. McNaughton; Public Works, K. M. Cameron (alternate C. R. Coutlee); Interior, J. B. Challies (alternate J. T. Johnston-Mr. Challies having left the service, his place has been taken by Mr. Johnston; Marine and Fisheries, W. J. Stewart-we all regret that he has been taken away-(alternate V. W. Forneret); Railways and Canals, E. B. Jost; Trade and Commerce, Gordon Wrong. This committee meets regularly and has done splendid work quietly and silently. It has rendered available data that could not have been secured in any other way, and if there is never any St. Lawrence development this country will be the richer for the information they have compiled.

To date the joint engineering board has had several meetings, and each section is also at work upon national aspects of the project.. Our national advisory committee has had two meetings. Its chief work to date has been the consideration and approval of the terms of reference submitted to the joint engineering board. This committee will also study the recommendations and suggestions of the interdepartmental committee, and when their work is completed I believe they will present a report to the government that will be of very material assistance to us in reaching a decision as to whether this project in all its bearings should be proceeded with, and how.

As to the development of power on the St. Lawrence, I think all Canada will agree with me it would be contrary to the recommendation of the International Joint Commission if any work for the development of power were proceeded with until this investigation

Supply-Railways and Canals

is completed, because any work undertaken, say, at Morrisburg, might be altogether at variance with the report which may be made by the joint board of engineers as to where and how that power should be developed. I should like to see the water-power at Miorris-burg or elsewhere on the St. Lawrence developed at once, but as the duty of this government and this parliament is primarily to protect the interests of navigation, it would be unwise and altogether out of harmony with our treaty obligations with the United States and contrary to the recommendation of the International Joint Commission if we did not stay our hand until such time as we have-the report of the men appointed by international arrangement for the full investigation of the St. Lawrence waterways project.

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CON

William Anderson Black

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BLACK (Huron):

How long will it

be before that report will be issued?

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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM:

I think the time suggested is April, 1926, but I hardly think the board will have the work completed by that time.

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CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

Mr. Chairman, I would

think that if the project ever works its way through this maze of machinery it will be past 1926, before it emerges at the other end. We have first of all the International Joint Commission, which of course has. the superintendence of the matter by treaty, and whose approval must be procured before any project can go through. Then, if I followed the intricacies of the organization, there is a joint engineering board, the duty of which, I presume, would be to advise as to method. Then there is another advisory committee, and so far as I got an idea of its functions it is to tell the engineering board what subjects they must investigate and report upon.

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LIB
CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

Well, what matters they must make subjects of reference to the engineering board.

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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM:

The technical officers

selected by both countries are members of the joint engineering board. Two were taken from each section to act together and make recommendations as to what should be referred.

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CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

That is wrhat I said.

That is number three. Then there is a national advisory committee, which the hon. member for Bow River (Mr. Garland) described as looking very much like a Liberal campaign committee; however, the names are certainly distinguished. Apparently it

has met twice and approved what some other committee did. This is number four. Then there is an interdepartmental committee gathered from all the departments under the chairmanship of Colonel Biggar, and this is pumber five. If the purpose was to keep the matter constantly between heaven and earth I think the proper devices have been adopted.

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PRO

Leland Payson Bancroft

Progressive

Mr. BANCROFT:

Would "between wind

and water" not be a better expression there?

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CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

I fancy that in the real prosecution of the enterprise there has been a lot more wind than water. I have no particular objection to any of the men who have been named on any of these committees, but really I would not have thought anything quite so complicated was necessary. Under the late government we had a board, one single committee, which had arrived at very definite conclusions as to the general lines of the venture, as to where the dam should be, the nature of its construction and so on, and had compiled data which seemed very amply to support its view. I refer to the Dominion power board. Nominally it sat under my chairmanship, although I never was there; actually it was under the chairmanship of Mr. Challies, who now is on this interdepartmental committee. This is a question that the government has not attacked de novo at all. It has been under review departmentally for years. When the government came into office the Railway department had a most pronounced view on the subject. They had an engineer there by the name of Mr. Bowden, who is since deceased. Mr. Bowden was a member of the Dominion power board. He was most persevering in his own opinion. He never could be got to agree with the other members of the board; he had his plan which differed from the rest. Aside from that, however, there was no difference. Why we should have a committee of great political dignity and a galaxy of others, all filling the heavens at the same time, debating this matter year in and year out, I really do not know. I would not like to see any mistake made as to the development, but with the plans which the Dominion power board had worked out the Hydro-Electric Commission of Ontario were in accord, and the Hydro Electric Commission of Ontario, from the practical standpoint, with the experience they have behind them, would appear to me to be the body best entitled to speak as to how the whole thing should be managed. Of course I am aware that the responsibility of the Dominion is primarily from the standpoint of navigation. The navigation feature of this

Supply-Railways and Canals

enterprise is a big feature, but I do not think I could ever be persuaded that it is the major feature. The major feature is the power development, however we may cover it up under the lee of better navigation and so forth. Great advantage will come from better navigation of the St. Lawrence in the territory affected by the development, but it is comparatively meagre when compared with the commercial harvest that is expected to be reaped from the great potential power. I feel that the utmost consideration should be given to the views of the Hydro Electric Commission in this matter. They have undoubtedly made a success of the pioneering in power enterprises in this province. What they have done is to-day the outstanding example to the whole world of what can be achieved in the matter of great power development. I would be very sorry to see, in the first place, any plan adopted which is not in full harmony with the experience and matured opinions of that body, but I would be equally disappointed to find that by the interposition of a hopeless complex or endless devolution of machinery the aspirations of the people of Ontario for power from this enterprise are indefinitely postponed.

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June 24, 1925