March 15, 1926

CON

Robert James Manion

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

Has my hon. friend any

figures on the cost of handling coal from the head of the lakes to lake Huron and other ports?

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CON

Ernest Frederick Armstrong

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ARMSTRONG (Lambton):

I have

given that information in a definite statement to the effect that it should not cost one dollar per ton to all the ports along lake Huron, and that it should not exceed one dollar a ton to all the ports along the St. Clair river and lake Erie. Coal could be taken through the canals to Toronto for very little over one dollar per ton. Does that answer my hon. friend's question?

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CON
CON

Ernest Frederick Armstrong

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ARMSTRONG (Lambton):

The manufacturers of the United States and Canada have partly solved their fuel problems by transferring the business of supplying power from the industrial manufacturers to the great electric power companies. The result of this move has been highly satisfactory. The great electric companies can manufacture and deliver power far more economically than the industrial plant because of the magnitude of their operations. Many of the great power

fMr* J. E. Armstrong.]

companies in the United States are deeply interested in the coal mining business.

In the United States to-day there is a movement towards consolidations within the industry. Within the past few weeks a merger of fourteen big coal properties in eastern Kentucky, southwestern Virginia and west Virginia has been formed into a $10,000,000 combination-small compared with other mergers, but a straw which shows the direction of the tide.

Then there is a growing tendency in the United States for the users of coal to make sure of their own supply. It is apparent all along the line, from steel mills to the latest combinations, that of electric companies which produce electricity by the use of coal. This may in the near future bring about a complete dismemberment of the industry and its apportionment in amounts large and small to the industries to which it furnishes power.

Another question we should take into consideration is that industrial expansion in the United States is making a problem of transportation. The western states are becoming more industrialized and populated. These states in the future will require more coal and will be up against a similar problem to that of Canada in transporting fuel long distances.

It is possible that the consumption of coal could be reduced by extending hydro electric power to replace some of the present uses of coal. But it must also be taken into account that the hydro electric situation in the province of Ontario is acute, and that in the near future, unless the coal users can take off the peak power, there will not be sufficient available power, especially in western Ontario. For some years past the Hydro Electric Power Commission of the province has had under consideration the building of coal burning plants in order to assist in furnishing additional hydro electric power. Should the manufacturing industries of Ontario increase their output to any great extent within the next year or two, the hydro electric power situation would become more serious and the commission would be compelled to establish coal burning centres in order to supply the needs of the people and their industries. The water power used in 1924 in Ontario represented 7,800,000 tons of coal, which would have added to the complicated fuel situation if coal alone had been the source of power.

The Dominion government at the last session passed an act granting a subsidy on coke manufactured from Canadian coal. While this legislation has only been taken advantage of to a limited extent, it is a question that should be considered by this committee.

Fuel Supply

Nearly all the large coke producing plants in the cities of Ontario and Quebec at present use United States bituminous coal. I have asked several gentlemen connected with these firms why they are not using coal from Nova Scotia or the west. Their answer has been that they have not been able to obtain a sufficient supply from Alberta at prices which they considered reasonable; and from what I can understand the coke producing plants, such as the gas companies in Quebec, Montreal and Ottawa claim that the coal produced in the province of Nova Scotia contains too much sulphur for them to manufacture a suitable gas to be consumed in the cities before mentioned. This question should also be investigated, as it has been a somewhat easy matter for the sulphur in natural gas to be eliminated before it is passed on to the consumer. This condition might be overcome in a similar way by the gas companies.

In several of the states of the Union gas companies have been active in developing the coke market. If this product is skilfully produced, handled, sized and marketed, coke can be sold at nearly the same price as anthracite. If the full possibilities of this market in our cities were developed and the proceeds of coke sales deducted from the cost of gas, the consumers of gas would be greatly benefited.

The Nova Scotia coal has I understand, received several criticisms at the hands of the gas companies in Montreal, Quebec, and some Ontario cities, owing to the fact that the gas has a large amount of sulphur in it. In western Ontario we produce natural gas in large quantities.

A few years ago the gas company that supplies most of the small cities in western Ontario with gas, installed a purifier near the source of production of natural gas. This purifier has been capable of eliminating practically all the sulphur from the gas, adding greatly to the comfort of the users of this product. I have wondered why the cities using Nova Scotia coal could not carry out a similar idea in regard to the eliminating of sulphur from the gas produced from Nova Scotia coal.

There are world-wide symptoms that competition in the business of mining and supplying coal for industrial and domestic uses is producing many evils and that some measure of public regulation is necessary. I am convinced that before the Dominion government can get command of a proper supply of coal from both the eastern and western provinces it will be necessary to receive from the local governments of these provinces

some definite assurance that the coal mined for sale in the central provinces shall be of a certain standard and carefully analyzed, that these standards shall be regulated and complied with by the mine owners, and that regulations of the most stringent character shall surround the mining and delivering of this coal. Some effort should be made to stabilize these industries and see that the people in the central provinces are supplied with the best grades of coal available at the lowest possible cost. The coal mining and coal distributing companies could continue to operate and compete much as they do now, but their market should be stabilized and the public should know the name and grade of coal they are using. In this way profiteering could be controlled.

The transition of central Canada from the using of anthracite coal to bituminous coal as-its source of domestic heat can thus be brought about. It seems almost inevitable therefore that as we shift from hard coal to coke and bituminous coal that we should learn to buy coke by measure and not by weight. This is a question that will require legislative actiou. Coal has been almost exclusively sold by the ton. It is the method to which we are accustomed, and it would inconvenience us to be forced to change it But if the idea which I .have suggested should be carried out, it would be found that the capacity of coke to absorb moisture is so great as to make it practically impossible for anyone to sell it by weight with commercial honesty. Let this investigation have as its aim a desire to help and not to criticize. These should be some of the purposes of the inquiry.

While it is true at the present time many homes in Eastern Canada are being heated by by-products taken from crude oil, the time is not far distant when commercial conditions and costs will outlaw these products as not economically serviceable for heating purposes. When that time comes the western states will be as badly in need of coal as central Canada is now.

Another important question for the committee to investigate would be an anti-dumping law, as to whether it would stabilize the Canadian industry by eliminating the bargain sale tactics of the coal exporters of the United States. Another question to be investigated would be the wisdom of revising the scope of the Dominion Fuel Board, giving it a national viewpoint instead of a sectional one as at present. Make it or somebody responsible for the development of the policy which the government would enun-

15S0

Fuel Supply

ciate. Give this board a commercial object instead of a technical one; make it the distributing centre for educational work. Hydro electric has been devolved into what it is in Ontario under provincial control. A Dominion fuel board should be able to function likewise and show equally profitable results on a fuel policy.

We as legislators have a vital interest in this question, and it is the duty of every member to lend a helping hand in order that this committee should proceed with its labours with despatch and a determined effort to solve this great problem. The citizens of this Dominion are tired of paying the United States $120,000,000 annually for fuel. There are people, and I believe them to be in the majority, who have expressed themselves very strongly, that they do not believe in sending millions of dollars into American coal fields and leaving our own mines undeveloped, thus increasing unemployment in our own Canadian mining districts. These same people have a strong desire to use Canadian as well as foreign capital to develop Canadian industries and to utilize as much as possible Canadian raw material, Canadian labour and Canadian transportation in the developing of the same. By following out some of the ideas which I have suggested the time is in sight when the present demoralized condition in the coal industry will end.

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IND

William Findlay Maclean

Independent Conservative

Mr. W. F. MACLEAN (South York):

Mr. Speaker, I am very much interested in the question now before the House, first of all by reason of the discussion brought about by some of the representatives from the Maritime provinces. Among the grievances to which they drew the attention of this Blouse was the question of their coal mines, and the necessity of having this parliament or someone do something for the development of those mines. No sooner did I hear their speeches than I addressed myself to a very prominent gentleman in Nova Scotia. I am not going to name him to-night but later on I may do so after obtaining his consent. I told him something that had been impressed upon me in connection with what Ontario had done in the way of producing electrical energy from water power. I gave him something of a suggestion which I made to Ramsay MacDonald when he came into office in England a few years ago. During the course of some correspondence I had with Mr. .MacDonald I suggested that if he could not produce electrical energy in England for the industries there was another thing he could do, and that was to generate electrical energy by batteries of boilers at the pit heads. He

could produce in this way electricity by steam and distribute it ail through the kingdom. He was impressed by that idea, but other work came along; he had to assume a great responsibility when he became Prime Minister and he passed this question on for the time being. But Mr. Baldwin, when he came into power, took up this proposal of generating electrical energy by steam plants at the pit heads, and he is going to make a great success of it.

This gentleman in Nova Scotia to whom I wrote replied to my suggestion last week. He said, "I have long thought of that, and we should have had- it years ago. We have not got it yet, but have wasted our time trying to develop electrical energy from the watersheds of Nova Scotia, which do not amount to anything." He said they had spent thousands and millions of dollars m trying to develop water power from those useless watersheds. But this gentleman did not say he was prepared to take it up. However, I made that suggestion to him and I make it now to the people of Nova Scotia. Wnai Nova Scotia ought to do to-morrow is to say that it is going to develop enough power by steam plants at the pit heads to supply every farm and city house with light and every industry with energy. They could develop that power almost as cheaply as it is generated by water power in Ontario, and in that way they could make themselves independent of all the world, so far as power is concerned. I believe this gentleman is thinking it over now and talking about it with some of his friends. I went on to tell him that everyone knew they had great coal mines in Nova Scotia, but that they had made a mess of them to date. I suggested1 that those coal mines be nationalized as water power has been in Ontario. The moment that is undertaken the people of Nova Scotia should! get in touch with the other provinces. I make this pledge on my own a'ccount and for my own province of Ontario, that we are ready to-day to make a contract with the coal mines of Nova Scotia for a large amount of coal, provided Nova Scotia mines it and gives employment to her own people, with fair pay and good houses to live in, and1 provided the coal is delivered in the season of navigation by boat to Toronto, not only for Ontario but for Quebec as well. We aa'e the two nearest provinces, and I think I could almost pledge that Quebec would join with Ontario to-morrow in making contracts with Nova Scotia for a supply of coal for these two provinces. And what goes with it? If you undertake to mine the coal and have it ready for sale, you can do another thing. Coal is worth twice what it is worth

Fuel Supply

to-day if you coke it before you ship it. The by-products from the treatment of coal to-day are of enormous value, with the dye industry and several other industries dependent upon them. Nova Scotia could1 get on her feet immediately if she started to develop what she has got at home. She has enough coal at home to supply all the demand of Ontario and Quebec for years, and Quebec and Ontario are ready to buy from her. But she has to find out what she can do. She has to make negotiations with these two provinces west of her, and I believe Nova Scotia will be able to ship this year sufficient coal to Ontario and Quebec to supply the whole demand of these two provinces. But the coal must be moved during the season of navigation. It is no good to bring coal from Nova Scotia by train -when you can bring it at one-third the cost by water.

Do you know what science is doing to-day with frozen rivers? Science is finding a way that will enable us within five years to keep open the Welland canal and the Soulanges canal for at least ten months in the year.

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CON
?

Mr. MAODEAN@York

say. I am not criticizing the previous speaker at all, but the thing for parliament to do is to act and get the evidence, and when we get the evidence, to make a report. Let that committee be made up of men from all sides of the House. Do not make it a party question at all, but a national question. Let parliament find a national solution for this national problem, and if we solve this problem we shall be able to solve many others: I urge the Prime Minister before

this debate is over to tell the House that he is prepared to take the responsibility of naming a committee that will investigate this problem, and will call together representatives of the miners of Nova Scotia and of the operators of the mines, and representatives of the provinces of Ontario and Quebec, and later on deal also with the question of bringing Alberta coal to the relief of Ontario, so that we can make ourselves independent of our neighbours to the south. They have shut us out of everything. They are taking our raw products over there and manufacturing them. Let us keep our own industries at home, and supply ourselves with our own materials, and when we begin to do that we shall see Canada go ahead and prosper once more.

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LIB

Charles A. Stewart (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Hon. CHARLES STEWART (Minister of the Interior):

Coal and the transportation of coal to central Canada is always a very interesting subject in this parliament, and a great deal has been said about it; but I imagine there is no subject we discuss here about which there is more misinformation then there is uppn the coal problem of central Canada.

Let me say at the outset on behalf of the government that we will welcome an investigation, because it will clear up, I think, a great many of the misconceptions thait exist with respect to this question. I do not know that I can agree with my hon. friend from South York (Mr. Maclean) thait the time has arrived when the coal mines of Canada should be nationalized, but undoubtedly a great deal of information can be gathered by the committee that will be helpful in arriving at a solution of this problem.

No one will deny, Mr. Speaker, that if it were possible to supply the whole of central Canada

and I do not say it is impossible to do that-with coal from eastern and western Canada, it would go a long way to solve some of our most difficult problems. -The department over which I have the honour to preside have been giving a great deal of attention to this question, and they have tried on various occasions to find, I do not say a complete

solution, but a partial solution of the difficulty. One of the things we have always endeavoured to keep in mind is the fact that after all the consuming population have to pay for the coal consumed. Coal is almost as great a necessity in a cold country like this as bread, and any increase in price will have a detrimental effect upon the consumer. It must always be borne in mind, as my hon. friend has sa/id, that the development of water power has cut into the whole consumption tremendously. If it were not for the development of water power in central Canada, a great deal more coal would be consumed heTe, and as i Canada continues to grow the development of ' water power will still further cut into the consumption of coal in this part of the country. The recent development in oil burning devices has also had its effect in the domestic field; it has still further cut dowm coal consumption not only on land but on shipboard. A great many steamships which formerly burned coal are now using oil; so that substitutes have undoubtedly usurped to a certain extent the place which coal used to occupy.

However, that is all beside the question. My hon. friend has raised the issue whether something cannot be done whereby the consuming population in Ontario and Quebec can be served by the coal mines of Nova Scotia and western Canada. This winter, -owing to the strike in the United States, it has been possible to move seventy-five thousand tons of bituminous coal at the rate of $7, and I think without any increase in price to the consumer, which is the important thing after all. The feasibility of transporting western coal by rail and water has not been demonstrated to any considerable extent, and I rather welcome the suggestion of my hon. friend that we should go into ian investigation of the possibilities of that method of bringing down Alberta fuel.

With respect to the movement of bituminous coal from Alberta to Ontario, that has not been investigated to any considerable degree. If this coal can be moved by rail and water, and it can be done, there is no question about the possibility of making it an active competitor with the American fuel. As regards the movement of bituminous coal from Nova Scotia, there is no question in my mind that if better methods were employed -some method such as suggested with respect to the loading and unloading of this fuel say at Montreal where it would have to be transshipped into smaller vessels-this coal could be transported, at least to the city of Toronto,

Fuel Supply

15S3

in competition with the American product. I may say this to my Nova Scotia friends: Our investigation has shown us that while there is very great difficulty ahead of the transportation of Nova Scotia coal as far as Toronto, and further westward, and the supply of the surrounding market from Toronto, there is no problem connected with the moving of Nova Scotia coal to the province of Quebec. When the shortage period existed there was always one hundred thousand tons of banked coal in the dumps at the city of Montreal. It never has been a problem to bring coal to Montreal from the coal fields of Nova Scotia, The serious problem was the interruptions that were continuous owing to strike conditions in those fields; and as hon. gentlemen well know, when a market is temporarily lost it turns to a new source of supply and it is difficult to get that market back again. With the addition of the subvention of fifty cents a ton which we gave two years ago, coal was moved westward from Montreal as far as Brockville, if I remember rightly, and then into the northern portions of the province in open competition with the American fuel. So I see no serious difficulty in supplying the eastern portion of Ontario with Nova Scotia coal if the supply remains uninterrupted.

It is useless to say that there is nothing to be learned in connection with this fuel problem. I agree with my hon. friend from East Lambton that there is a great deal to be learned, and I rather welcome the suggestion of my hon. friend from South York (Mr. Maclean) that the committee should investigate the whole question-the question of transportation, the question of costs, and so on. Of course we are going to have an investigation so far as transportation is concerned before the Board of Railway Commissioners, when experts will disclose the results of their inquiries. No doubt that investigation will be thorough and far-reaching, and the reports of the railway commission on the matter should be worth a great deal to us, as to the prices which are charged for the movement of this commodity.

Unfortunately, we have an interruption just now in the movement of coal from western Canada owing to the fact that we do not appear to be able to agree as to just what price should be charged, or on what basis the adjustment should be made. The government of Ontario, the government of Alberta, and the federal government were prepared to pay any amount that was found to be in excess of the rate of $7 per ton for the movement of Alberta coal to Ontario. The railway company had moved seventy-five thousand tons at a rate of $7 per ton during a period of crisis

or emergency, but they undertook to prove that it could not be profitably done for less than 89 per ton. However, by way of compromise, Sir Henry Thornton agreed with us the other day that while the rate should be fixed at $9 a ton, he would be prepared to refund to the three governments concerned any amount less than $9 a ton found by the board when they brought in their report. So far I have not had confirmation from the other governments concerned with respect to this movement, I do not know whether it is going to be carried out or not. It is a fact that next month the hearing will take place before the railway commission when evidence will be presented on behalf of the operators in the mining industry from both ends of Canada as well as on behalf of the railway companies. The railway board will bring in a report on the question of the rate to be charged for the haulages of this commodity. There is a very wide field to inquire into, including mining costs, the difficulties that from time to time crop up between the operator and the employee, and the question -and I think it is very important one-of the cost of distribution. This is something that would stand a considerable amount of inquiry throughout the central region of Canada, because if the cost of distribution say from the car to the consumer amounts to practically the same as the cost of mining the coal and putting it on the car, it would seem to be just a little too much for that service.

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PRO

Edward Joseph Garland

Progressive

Mr. GARLAND (Bow River):

Would the minister be prepared to give this committee power to investigate the mining cost, and how would he give the committee that power?

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LIB

Charles A. Stewart (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Edmonton):

The committee might very well have the power to investigate mining costs. I think it is rather an important factor, because we must bear in mind that they mine coal under more favourable conditions in the United States. I think I am safe in saying that in nearly every bituminous mine in the United States they mine their coal one dollar cheaper than we mine ours, and that is a very important factor in costs. Officers of the Department of Mines who have to do particularly with fuel will be prepared, I am sure, to come before the committee and give them very enlightening information. So far as the distribution cost is concerned, we have little or no information because we did not investigate that end of if. I think it is worthy of consideration, though, because it is an important factor.

Fuel Supply

It seems to me that we need not worry a great deal about the provision of a continuous supply of anthracite coal for the central region of Canada. I think we have gone far enough in the investigation of the production of coke to prove that we will have a substitute that will supply our needs throughout the whole of central Canada. At the plant in Hamilton they make a very splendid quality of fuel. There was a time, only about two years ago, when it looked very doubtful whether that plant would succeed. It is now a great success, and there is no reason why plants cannot be established in all the large centres where there is a market for the gas that will be produced and manufactured, say in this city, in Montreal, in Toronto, Quebec, Sherbrooke; in fact, in any large centre that is capable of using a reasonable supply of gas. There is no reason why the bituminous coal of Nova Scotia cannot be manufactured into high grade coke and sold for domestic purposes; thus supplanting at least three-fourths of the supply of the anthracite coal now coming into this market.

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CON

Henry Lumley Drayton

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir HENRY DRAYTON:

In connection

with what the minister is saying in reference to the gas plant-and I am in sympathy with much of what he has stated-does he propose to bring in similar legislation to that brought in last year, which would have made it possible for these plants to be operated, but which legislation was unfortunately withdrawn ?

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LIB

Charles A. Stewart (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Edmonton):

That is a

matter that will come up later. I am not prepared to speak about it to-night, except to say that I think some further technical investigation will be carried on along the lines that we have now adopted for the treatment of this coal, and I am confident it will demonstrate that a product can be manufactured which will be quite as acceptable as that from high grade bituminous coal from the United States. That has been the practical difficulty so far, and we have been bending our energies to the solution of that problem. If that problem can be solved, there is no reason, to my mind, why plants cannot be established in this city and every city eastward without any assistance in the world. I think I am safe in making that assertion, but I do say that at present they are under some handicap in comparison with the high grade fuel manufactured into coke in the Hamilton plant to-day. If it is possible to effect carbonization at lower temperature which would produce gasoline, our whole problem would be solved and we would have a much

cheaper fuel. Instead of turning it into gas, we would turn it into gasoline and oil. Hon. members will see how important a part technical investigation and research play in these important problems so far as the fuel supply of Canada is concerned. It is along those lines we are bending our energies, and I am confident that with a little further investigation of the bituminous fuel of Nova Scotia they may discover a much higher grade of bituminous coal than they are using at the present time. However, as I said to my hon. friend, that is a matter that will come up later; it has no direct bearing on this question.

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CON

Charles Hazlitt Cahan

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CAHAN:

Just what does the minister mean by the statement that they may discover a higher grade of coal?

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LIB

Charles A. Stewart (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Edmonton):

I am told

that there are possibilities of a higher grade of bituminous coal yet untapped in that province that can be mined and brought into the market. I have no inside information as to that, but that is the information I obtain from that quarter. Quite apart from the investigation that will be held by the railway board, I can see a splendid opportunity for the committee to obtain information that will be valuable in the solution of this very important question, and I welcome the suggestion of my hon. friend.

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IND

Alan Webster Neill

Independent

Mr. NEILL:

The minister has talked

about the solution of the question by the manufacture of coke in cities where there is a market for gas. Will he consider the subject of coal mines located in British Columbia where we have no local market for gas, and what could be done for those mines? Would he not consider further investigation along the line of finding a carbonization at a lower temperature which would produce gasoline which would be a solution of the question?

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LIB

Charles A. Stewart (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Edmonton):

'In Germany they have carried this problem a little further than in any other country in the world, but they have not as yet, nor have they in the United States, nor have we who have been working along these lines, been able to say that we have a commercial process. We are all hoping, however, that we will discover a commercial process in low temperature carbonization. Then instead of having gas we will have gasoline and fuel oil. I say therefore, Mr. Speaker, that we welcome the suggestion of a committee for the discussion of the matters I have outlined, leaving the question of rates for investigation before the railway board. However, there is no objection to the

Fuel Supply

committee delving into that if they can be of service and bring to light any new information in connection with the matter.

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CON

Edmund James Bristol

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. EDMUND BRISTOL (Toronto East Centre):

There is no question that a committee of this kind would be of great value and would result in benefit to the country. So far as coal mining in Nova Scotia is concerned, the miners there labour under a great deal more difficulty than the miners in the United States, because they have to go under water one or two miles, and it takes six or seven men to take out a ton of coal as against two men in the United States. That is one of the reasons why I fancy Nova Scotia requires a certain amount of protection in reference to coal mining, because unquestionably the cost of mining coal in Nova Scotia is at least two dollars more per ton than it is in Pennsylvania. When the minister said there should be an investigation into the cost from the car to the consumer, I think he struck a very important point, because when you come to Toronto I do not fancy you find any Nova Scotia coal being sold. The dealers there no doubt get their coal from the United States, and they have theii methods of distribution and sale in Toronto It is hard to break into a proposition of that kind when the United States can beat us by $2 a ton on the price of coal.

As regards western coal, about which we hear a great deal to-day, every one, irrespective of politics, is anxious to see Canada use its own product and thereby become independent of the United States. If a scheme for the utilization of Canadian coal could be successfully worked out, as I believe it could, we should have $100,006,000 more distributed in Canada instead of being sent to the United States to help to develop that country. It i3, however, a matter of some doubt as to what the quality of this coal would be upon delivery. Whether the transportation would take from its value is a question to be considered, and there are other problems of importance to be taken into account in connection with the proposal. In my humble judgment the most important thing for this country is to turn all its available water power into actual energy. It is an established fact that 1,000,000 horsepower is equivalent to 13,000,000 tons of coal so that it can readily be seen what the available electrical power in Canada would mean to the development of this country.

I will not discuss just now the question of Niagara development, in regard to which I have a resolution on the order paper. Possibly it is not desirable that I should deal with that

matter at this juncture, but I would point out that, according to the advice of engineering experts, there is about 3,000,000 horse power available for division between the province of Ontario and the state of New York. You can realize, when you think of the enormous waste of power which is going on from day to day, from hour to hour, what it would mean to the working population of Canada and to everybody interested in the province of Ontario if this power were utilized. On the basis of thirteen to one, it means that 39,000,000 tons of coal per annum are being wasted at the present time.

The beautification of Niagara Falls is a problem which can be carried out, and it is one of great importance not only from the point of view of the scenery but for the purpose of preventing the destruction of the falls themselves. So far as Quebec is concerned, I do not think it will be questioned that that province possesses the greatest available waterpower of any country in the world, particularly in proportion to its size. In the St. Lawrence there is within sixty miles of Montreal, 2,750,000 available horse-power which is not being used. There is a great area of level land in that vicinity where there could be built another city the size of Montreal and there is no lack of power capable of development. The sooner Ontario and Quebec realize their potentialities in the matter of water power, and turn that power into an active force, the sooner they will acquire something of great value not only to the provinces themselves but to the nation.

I sometimes regret that this water power does not belong to the Dominion, in view of our tremendous national debt, but at all events I am sure -we are all glad to know that the province of Quebec possesses a resource which if properly developed would prove of the greatest value to her. We in Ontario hope to get a share of the Niagara Falls development and we hope also to share in the St. Lawrence development. Every day we allow all this water to flow unharnessed we are sacrificing something of great national value. The suggestion has been made that if we sold power to the United States we should thereby do a great injury to this country. Now we have been trying for some time to get United States factories to operate in Canada and it is not any consideration of power that prevents them from doing so; it is a question of the tariff, of which we have had considerable discussion during the past year. We have factories in Canada, and if the tariff were where it should be those factories would be working to capacity and others would be established as well. We are buying coal from the United States and I

Fuel Supply

cannot understand the argument that if we sold them power which we could turn off at will we should run the risk of going to war with the United States. That there should be any danger in selling to the United States power that we cannot at present use in this country is something I cannot understand. I appreciate the argument that we do not want to sell power to United States factories, but there are cities across the line which use power for a great many purposes apart from the operation of factories, and in any case the chances are that by the time we could develop our power in Canada it would be needed in this country for light, heat and power.

I am glad that we have found coal in the northern part of Ontario and I believe that in the coming summer the people of that province will be surprised at the high quality of it and the great value it will prove to them. I trust that the committee will be appointed; I am sure that it would be of great service.

Topic:   FUEL SUPPLY
Subtopic:   IS, 1926
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LIB

Charles Marcil

Liberal

Hon. CHARLES MARCIL (Bonaventure):

In the years that preceded the war Canada attracted considerable attention throughout the world because of the assertion that had been made in this House and elsewhere that this was a cheap country to live in. That statement is no longer perfectly true. In listening to the remarks of the hon. member for 'Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Woods-worth) this afternoon while he was discussing the cost of living, my memory went back a few years to an occasion when I had the pleasure of meeting in Montreal the President of Brazil who was then on a visit to Canada. In discussing the condition in Brazil and Canada respectively, he made the statement that the three problems that had to be solved in this country, if we wanted to make Canada a cheap place to live in, were those relating to fuel, clothing and food.

To-day the- citizens of Ottawa are paying from $19.50 to $20 a ton for Welsh coal, and $17 for what is called newly mined anthracite coal which is supposed to have come from the mines in Pennsylvania since the strike -there was settled. This coal is of an inferior quality; most of it is slate, and it does not give the most satisfactory results. Fifty years ago, away back in the National Policy debates, this coal question was discussed and a duty was imposed under the National Policy itself, on coal coming from the United States, for the purpose of helping the miners of Nova Scotia. This question has remained with us ever since, and it is to-day one of outstanding importance with the poor consumers of the country who comprise the majority of the people. The consumer must overcome the

cost of fuel, but matters instead of improving are going from bad to worse. We have been told session after session that the miner is poorly paid and poorly clad and that charity must be raised throughout the country to assist him and his wife and children. And all this notwithstanding, the price of coal keeps going up. There is a gap between the cost of production of coal in the mine and the cost to the consumer. What is responsible for that? That is a question which might well be looked into. Two or three years ago we had two committees sitting, one in the Senate and the other in the House of Commons, investigating the coal question, and we have to-day a standing committee on Mines and Minerals which is waiting for an opportunity to tackle the problem.

This is one of the most important questions that could be dealt with by this House. We have in Canada a long winter of from five to six months; it is particularly severe in eastern Quebec, in northern Ontario and in the north generally. No greater boon could therefore be conferred on this country by parliament, nor could parliament, sooner earn the everlasting gratitude of the Canadian people, than by bringing about a solution of this problem. We are sending $100,000,000 a year to the United States for coal wliile we are ourselves in possession of an enormous supply of both black and white coal. Hon. members who have spoken have referred to the water powers of Ontario and Quebec. These water powers are yet undeveloped; certainly they are not developed to the extent that they should be, and a great work remains to be done at Niagara Falls. Considerable activity is also in progress in the lake St. John district where hundreds of thousands of horse-power are being developed.

The coal question will remain with us for a long while to come. We may develop this white coal-this hydro-electric power-but we must still rely on coal. As the Minister of the Interior (Mr. Stewart) recently stated, coal has a double value; not only has it a value as fuel, but an even greater value for its by-product of oil, which eveiy day is becoming more and more important, until eventually I imagine it will exceed coal itself in importance as fuel.

I for one, Mr. Speaker, would be delighted if this motion moved by the hon, member for East Lambton (Mr. Armstrong)-who already has several times spoken on this question in past parliaments, if my memory serves me rightly-were referred to a select committee for thorough investigation with a view to reaching a solution of our fuel problem, for

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I think no more vital question could be settled by this parliament.

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Subtopic:   IS, 1926
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CON

Thomas Cantley

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. THOMAS CANTLEY (Pictou):

Mr. Speaker, it is certainly encouraging to hear members from Ontario devoting time to the question of Nova Scotia coal. I was particularly interested in some of the advice given to the coal operators of Nova Scotia. We were told of the advantages which would accrue if the mines of that province were nationalized. Well, the fact is that those coal mines have been owned and controlled by the provincial authorities for sixty years or more. It is true they are leased by the provincial government to private companies who operate under license and subject to royalties payable to the province. I do not think that at the present time any one in Nova Scotia is prepared to advocate that the government of Nova Scotia should operate those mines.

From some of the remarks made it might be gathered that we in Nova Scotia are somewhat backward in our coal handling methods. Well, I may tell the House that boats have been regularly discharged at the port of Montreal at the rate of over one thousand tons an hour. Steamers have been regularly coming to the port of Montreal from Sydney during the summer months with eight thousand tons of coal each, and arriving at six or seven o'clock in the morning they have been able to leave again the same evening. They are loaded at the Cape Breton ports at about the same rate. So I do not think very much improvement can be effected in the rapid turning round of coal tonnage at either one end or the other.

Reference has been made to the conditions under which we operate our coal mines, and the remarks are very close to the facts. The cost of operation in practically all our Nova Scotia mines is very much greater than it is in a large proportion of the American coal mines. And the reasons are not far to seek. Briefly, it is due to the fact that our coal seams are fairly high-pitched, and a good many are submarine, involving very serious water problems. Taking Nova Scotia mines as a whole, you will find that the quantity of water pumped per ton of coal raised runs from 2\ to 7 tons. So it is quite as much a pumping problem as it is a mining problem.

Then our coal in practically all our mines gives off large quantities of inflammable gas. During the short recess I returned to Nova Scotia and a few days ago I was down one of our oldest and deepest collieries, the Princess at Sydney Mines, which was opened originally in 1863 and has been operated for practically fifty years, during which time some

ten million tons of coal has been mined. Now, to-day we are passing through the workings of that colliery 45,000 cubic feet of air a minute to give the necessary ventilation. On Friday* last, which was by no means a summer day, the temperature was 72 degrees -in the working levels.

Now, one hon. member referred to the suitability of Nova Scotia coal for the production of gas, and intimated there were difficulties in its use because of its high sulphur content and the purification process which this involved. Well, practically all bituminous coal used for gas production, if it is high in volatile matter-as it ought to be if it is to be satisfactory for that purpose-usually contains very considerable amounts of sulphur, some coals more, others less. I have under my hand a piece of coal taken from the Princess colliery within the last three days at a point two and a half to three miles from the shore where there was a fourteen hundred foot cover between it and the ocean bed. I have not a complete analysis of this coal, but I know it will run about .68 per cent in sulphur-less than three-quarters of one per cent. That coal is quite satisfactory for gas making, with very little purification. Therefore the presence of sulphur should not present any great difficulty in the adoption of this coal for gas production.

The hon. Minister of the Interior (Mr. Stewart) referred to low temperature distillation. That, of course, as he said, has not yet been developed to the point where it can be considered to be entirely satisfactory. Great things are looked for in that connection, but until desirable results are obtained we can continue to produce, as they have been producing in Hamilton and also in Sydney, a domestic fuel from Nova Scotia coal-or from any fair quality of bituminous coal-which will replace with advantage any anthracite coming into this country to-day. It will give a very much better class of fuel than can be imported either from the United States or from Great Britain. I have already referred to the question in this House. There is no possible reason at all why Canada should be dependent on any foreign country for the prime necessity of fuel.

Forty or fifty years ago over a thousand vessels per year were loading coal in the port of Pictou for United States ports, and about 750 vessels in Sydney. W'hy did we lose that trade? Simply because the Americans put a duty of $1.75 per ton on our coal, and under that policy they developed the enormous coal industry which they have to-day, and which has supplanted our own industry in their

Fuel Supply

markets. From that country we have brought in about 17,000,000 tons of coal, both bituminous and anthracite, during the last few years. Reference has been made to the coking of coal at Hamilton. We made in Canada last year 1,471,116 tons of coke and imported 825,000 tons. For the making of coke we used of Canadian coal 660,000 odd' tons, and of imported coal 1,500,000 odd tons, or a little more. Why? Simply because we have not a proper national policy so far as coal is concerned. If this countrj' is content to remain dependent on a foreign country for what is a prime necessity both for domestic use and manufacturing purposes, it will not be very long until Canada is brought up with a round turn and finds itself in serious difficulties. All that can be cured by a very simple method, the same method as that adopted by our friends to the south, with results such as I have referred to.

I have briefly referred to the difference in the cost of producing coal in Nova Scotia as compared with the United States. The same thing, to a very large extent, could be said in regard to the cost of producing coal in Alberta. At Drumheller I saw one day a few years ago some 9,000 tons of coal loaded and despatched. That coal came from quite a number of collieries, but I venture to say that the entire cost of installation of the collieries producing that 9,000 tons of coal per day was not greater than the amount expended in one colliery in Cape Breton producing about 500 tons a day. I am referring to the hoisting plant, the pumping plant and the ventilating plant. I have already made some reference to the expense regarding ventilation, and the enormous volumes of air which must be driven through these collieries to make them safe from gas. I have also referred to the amount of water that requires to be pumped. These are factors we have with us all the time and of course as our mines get older and deeper that cost will increase. Coal costs a little more to-day than it did yesterday.. to-morrow it will be a little higher than to-day, simply because additional air has to be forced in; additional airways have to be constructed; additional roadways have to be built and additional wire rope has to be put on. In the colliery to which I referred a moment ago there are 27,000 feet of wire rope on the hoisting engine drum. Figure out what that means, and the distance we are hauling it. Why are we doing it? We are doing it because it is undoubtedly the best coal in the Dominion of Canada. It is the oldest

colliery worked by the General Mining Association of London, which took that property over from the Duke of York in 1826. Just a hundred years ago to-day these collieries first operated, and I hope they will go on for a long time yet. I am certain they will, so far as quantity and quality of the coali are concerned. The old Sydney may not extend undersea to Newfoundland; but after a descent of seventy feet to the pit bottom I went seaward well on to three miles northeastward to the Newfoundland shore. Could I live long enough I might dig my way through coal a considerable portion of the way to the shore of the ancient colony.

I am glad to have this opportunity of supporting the proposed resolution which has been 'submitted by the hon. member for East Lambton (Mr. Armstrong) in regard to a committee. I hope that committee will be appointed, and I do hope also that when the committee meets and returns an answer to this House in regard to what the difficulties are and what can be done as to the further development of the coal industry not only in Nova Scotia but in the other provinces which have large supplies of coal, some action will be taken which will result in Canada being made entirely independent of any source of foreign supply. I think that could be done within ten years.

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Subtopic:   IS, 1926
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CON

Thomas Langton Church

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. T. L. CHURCH (Toronto Northwest):

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member for East Lamb-ton, who brought forth this resolution, deserves considerable credit for doing so. I want to say to him, however, that I have little faith in the appointment of a committee by this House. The text of the resolution is practically a declaration in favour of a national coal supply, and this question has been before this House since 1922, when I introduced a similar resolution. We have all the information now about the resources of this country; we have all the facts and figures. The coal question is. 95 per cent a question of transportation, and this parliament has made nothing but a football of the whole problem. The municipalities have now taken the matter in their own hands and Alberta coal has found a market in Ontario, as has coal from Nova Scotia and Wales. Five hundred thousand tons of coal were imported into Montreal last summer from Wales, in view of the contemplated strike and the expected coal shortage. Nova Scotia and Alberta coal have scored a triumph in Ontario. The time has come when this parliament and the provincial legislatures should decide on legislation grading coal, and no longer allow the American rail-

Fuel Supply

ways, the American coal trust, the American coal barons and the American capitalists to sell rubbish and cheap stone and dust for $15 and $20 a ton in the large centres of this country.

We have a railway commission which is supposed to regulate the railways of its own volition; the commission is not supposed to wait until the damage has been done. By the Bailway Act the railway commission is sworn to do its duty, and one of the main clauses of that act provides that the railway commission, of its own volition, shall go up and down this country and see that there shall be no unjust, undue and unfair discrimination between provinces or between localities as to rates and tolls. This exists to-day. If we had an absence of unjust, unfair and undue discrimination in the carrying of coal from the Maritime provinces, Alberta and Wales the coal problem would be solved. Where has the railway commission been during the last four or five years? It has done nothing to solve Canada's national coal problem or check things up.

This resolution asks for a committee. We had a committee appointed in 1922, 1923 and 1924, and that committee made a report. Sir Henry Thornton and all his experts appeared before the committee and it was proved that $7 was a fair rate for the carrying of coal from Alberta, and it was laid down that Nova Scotia should get similar treatment. It was also stated that coal should be brought from Wales and the Maritimes, which would benefit the Canadian National Bailways and enable the merchant marine to use some of the boats which were scrapped and tied up to the dock for certain months of the year. What became of that report? The government accepted the resolution which I had before the House in 1922 but struck out the last and most important clause in favour of an embargo; a clause which said that every pound of coal used in Canada should be mined and coked under the British flag, whether in Alberta, the Maritime provinces or Wales. The report of the committee of parliament was accepted by parliament in 1924, but up to this hour not one thing has been done to carry it out. On the government of the day is the responsibility for this coal embroglio which we have in Canada, a country which .has spent two billions of dollars on the National railways. Where are they to-day, and where is the railway commission? They are sitting down and doing nothing, letting Canada become the happy hunting ground for the coal barons of Pennsylvania, who can call a strike in twenty-14011- 101 '

four hours and freeze this country out. On the government of the day is the responsibility There is no use in the Minister of the Interior (Mr. Stewart) getting up in the House day after day and telling us what has been done about coal. Nothing has been done about it, except to make a political football of it and Shunt the problem off on the provinces of Ontario, Alberta and Nova Scotia, Cheap American rubbish has been sold as coal .in Toronto at $20 a ton in bag lots. An investigation has already been asked for in this House, but nothing has been done. What has become of Mr. Murdock's Combines Act? Why have there been no prosecutions; why have you not got after the American coal barons in order to protect the working classes ' in the constituency I come from, which is a workingman's constituency? Where are the two gentlemen from Winnipeg representing Labour in this House? What have they to say about conditions in the larger centres in this country where people are lined up at the coal offices all winter to try to get coal, and all they can get is cheap American rubbish?

Sir Henry Thornton is responsible very largely for not having solved this problem. He was before the Bail way committee in 1923 and 1924 and agreed to this $7 a ton rate. Why should Ontario pay one dollar a ton for the province of Alberta to advance her coal to central Canada Alberta is asking us for one dollar a ton to-day to pay the freight charges; to-morrow it will be Nova Scotia and New Brunswick asking us to contribute one or two dollars a ton. The thing is inequitable. The Canadian National railways are carrying grain and flour at preferential cut rates eastbound, and Ontario and central Canada have to bear their share of the charges. Why cannot coal be carried at preferential rates? The Canadian National Bail-ways can help develop Michigan and Illinois, as I pointed out in the House the other evening; they can help develop the state of Maine and other states over the line, but when it comes to solving a national coal problem in this country-oh, no; that is a different state of affairs. The action of the railways in raising the rate on Alberta coal from $7 to $9 is but one more victory for the United States coal barons, under the present administration we have at Ottawa. That is what it is, and that is what Canada thinks. The people of Ontario are disgusted at the way this coal problem has been treated by this House, by the railway commission, by Sir Henry Thornton and the Canadian National Bailways, and by the Canadian Pacific Railway. We were told in the Railway com-

Fuel Supply

mittee that $7 a ton was a fair rate for bringing Alberta coal to Ontario, that it would meet all charges. That was more than $2 a ton higher than the rate for carrying grain and flour eastbound, and now the rate is to be raised from $7 to $9 a ton. The railways might just as well quote a rate of $20 to $25 a ton to Ontario. The people of central Canada now know where the railways stand on this question. They have decided to do nothing to solve this problem and provide Canada with a national coal supply to make us independent of the United States. Canada's railway system, according to statements of railway magnates the past few days, is not to be used for the creation of a Canadian market for the output of Canadian coal mines. Our railways are to be preserved, as they have been in the past, to make Canada the happy hunting ground for the coal barons of Pennsylvania, and that is what this country will be no doubt so long as this government continues in office.

What are Canada's freight rates for, if our railways are to be used to advance the prosperity of Pennsylvania instead of Alberta and Nova Scotia? We have always had in my opinion a political rate structure in this country. The basis of our rate structure was the Crowsnest pass agreement, and the rates have been constantly changed, new rates being put on and others taken off. The railway commission has absolutely fallen down and failed to carry out its statutory duties under the act and regulate freight rates in this country. Sir Henry Thornton has also fallen down, and is very largely responsible for the fiasco he has made of this coal situation.

I endorse the stand taken by Premier Ferguson of Ontario in refusing to have the people of Ontario taxed one dollar a ton to bring Alberta coal down to this province when Ontario is already carrying the peakload of taxation in this country, from 45 to 46 per cent of all the taxes. Central Canada is already paying in freight rates to give the prairie provinces preferential rates on grain and flour. Ontario might as well ask Alberta to pay two or three dollars a ton for the carrying of grain and flour down here, because the prairie provinces, through the decision of the railway commission, with the approval of this parliament, have placed on Ontario and central Canada extra tolls for the carriage of grain and flour at cut rates.

In my opinion there is no use appointing a committee to make another political football of this question. There is only one way to solve the problem, and that is by adopting a national policy. See that every pound of coal used in Canada is mined under the

British flag, whether in Wales, the Maritime provinces or Alberta. Secondly, place an absolute embargo on American coal, and adopt a national policy for the development of our own coal mines. In addition, help the industry by bounties, subventions and bonuses. In the Old Country the government under the Right Hon. Stanley Baldwin voted in bonuses $210,000,000 last year to help the coal industry, and I venture to say that it will have to spend $300,000,000 to put that native industry on its feet for 1926. This parliament should also be prepared to help along similar lines our native industry. We should adopt a national policy. In 1923-1924 $200,000 in bonuses was voted to help bring Maritime and Alberta coal to central Canada. That bonus should be increased. It should run into two or three or five or ten million dollars if necessary. That amount could be well spent to put this native industry on its feet in Alberta and the Maritime provinces.

Let us utilize the National railways and the merchant marine. What are the National railways for if not to solve some of the great problems that confront the people of this country? So, while I appreciate the motive of the hon. member who has brought forward this resolution, I can tell him from practical experience that if a committee is appointed you will never get a solution so long as this government remains in office. They have made a political football of this problem; the railway commission has fallen down and so have the National railways. The people of this country are disappointed with the administration of the National railways to-day. In the early months of spring and summer thousands of cars lie idle at the head of the lakes and many boats of the merchant marine are tied up at the docks doing nothing which could be used in helping to bring coal to central Canada from Alberta and the Maritime provinces. The whole problem is one of transportation, and you will have to get somebody else to handle the problem before you get any solution from the powers that be in charge of the National railways and from the railway commission. They have increased the rate on Alberta coal from $7 to $9 a ton to give the Pennsylvania coal barons more and more business in Canada. By that act they are continuing to preserve Canada as the happy hunting ground which it has always been for the Pennsylvania coal barons and American coal trusts.

Topic:   FUEL SUPPLY
Subtopic:   IS, 1926
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March 15, 1926