March 24, 1936

GRAIN COMMITTEE


Hon. W. D. EULER (Minister of Trade and Commerce) presented the first report of the special committee appointed to investigate and report upon the marketing of wheat and other grains, and moved that the report be concurred in. Motion agreed to.


FIRST NARROWS BRIDGE


On the orders of the day:


LIB

Gerald Grattan McGeer

Liberal

Mr. G. G. McGEER (Yancouver-Burrard):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to direct a question to the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King). I should like to ask what is the status of the application for leave to construct a bridge over the first narrows near Vancouver, and if the government is aware that if the delay continues a fund of some 812,000,000 of British capital now available for development in and around Vancouver may be withdrawn.

London Naval Treaty

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LIB

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

Liberal

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

May I say to my hon. friend that the approval of plans for the construction of the first narrows bridge project is one to which the government has been giving very careful consideration indeed, with a view to seeing that all technical and engineering requirements are adequately met and also fully to protect the public interest in every respect. When the present administration came into office we ascertained that the previous government had had under consideration an application for the approval of the plans but had not seen fit to approve them. Since we came into office there have come to our attention circumstances which seemed to require investigation, and very full investigation, before any approval of the plans should be given.

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

More so now than then.

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

My right hon. friend the leader of the opposition (Mr. Bennett) says "more so now than then." May I say to my right hon. friend that I should welcome very much an opportunity of discussing the whole situation with him. I do not think the government would be justified in withholding approval of plans of a project which may be very much in the interests of the city of Vancouver and in the interests of the country unless there were substantial reasons for so doing. I believe it will be possible to satisfy the house that every precaution has been taken in respect to the engineering and technical features. With respect to other phases which have required consideration, I shall be glad to discuss them with my right hon. friend, if he is agreeable. Unless the government is fully satisfied that the public interest in all particulars is being adequately protected, approval will not be given. I hope, however, matters have arrived at a stage where it will soon be clear that such protection has been achieved.

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PUBLIC SERVICE

SICK LEAVE FOR TEMPORARY EMPLOYEES


On the orders of the day:


IND

Alan Webster Neill

Independent

Mr. A. W. NEILL (Comox-Alberni):

I would like to ask the Secretary of State (Mr. Rinfret) if he can give any information as to the progress in regard to obtaining a certain order in council-I understand that is all that is needed-to allow the heads of departments to grant sick leave to people employed under them. At present those who are not regular civil service employees, although they may have been ten or twenty years in the service, if they are off two hours

or half a day are docked the time, and that is held not to be desirable. The minister promised some consideration.

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LIB

Louis Édouard Fernand Rinfret (Secretary of State of Canada)

Liberal

Hon. FERNAND RINFRET (Secretary of State):

This is a question of long standing. Employees in the government service not employed on a permanent basis do not come under the civil service commission. As my hon. friend has properly stated, some of them who for a period of years have been employed on a so-called temporary basis do not enjoy the privileges of the permanent civil servants who are under the civil service commission. Under the previous government one of the ministers introduced an order in council to deal with the matter in relation to employees in his department. The order was returned expressing the desire that a fuller order should be made extending its terms to all departments. I have not been able to trace any further action in the matter at the time. I have had some correspondence on the subject with the hon. member who has just spoken, and after giving it some study have made a recommendation to the government. The matter is now being given consideration, and I hope that in a short time I shall be able to report favourably.

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LONDON NAVAL TREATY


On the orders of the day:


LIB

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

Liberal

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

Yesterday the hon. member for St. Lawrence-St. George (Mr. Cahan) referred to the naval treaty to be signed at London to-morrow. With the permission of the house I should like to reply to my hon. friend in the form of a statement which has been prepared, and which sets forth the essential features of the matter.

As a result of the naval conference which has been sitting in London since the beginning of December last, it is now proposed to sign a new naval treaty to-morrow, Wednesday, March 25.

The present conference was convened, and the government designated a representative, the high commissioner in London, to attend, because article 23 of the London naval treaty, 1930, which was signed for Canada by Colonel J. L. Ralston and Mr. Philippe Roy, April 22, 1930, required such a conference to 'meet in 1935 to frame a new treaty to replace and carry out the purposes of that industry. A further reason was that, Japan -having in 1934 given notice of termination of the Washington naval treaty of 1922, article 23 of that treaty required the contracting powers to meet in conference within one year.

Unemployment

Ja,pan having withdrawn from the present conference, and Italy having indicated that she is not yet ready to sign, the new treaty is to be signed this week only on behalf of His Majesty the King, the President of the United States, and the President of France, The hope is entertained that all other naval powers will accede later with or without amendments.

The 1922 and 1930 treaties expire on Decern-ber 31, 1936, and the object of the present conference is to preserve as much of them as possible.

An outstanding feature of those treaties was that they achieved an important measure of quantitative limitation, that is to say, a limitation of the total tonnage of the capital ships and certain ships of other categories in each of the navies concerned. Unfortunately as statements given out by the conference have already made clear, it became impossible to maintain this feature. There are two main features upon which the conference has made progress and which are expected to be embodied in the new treaty. The first concerns qualitative limitation, that is to say, a limitation of the tonnage and gun calibres of individual ships of certain categories. The second provides for advance notification of annual building programs and exchange of information as among the signatory powers. These it may be hoped will afford a safeguard against surprises in respect of new or revolutionary types of ships or of unusual building programs. It is expected that the treaty will be signed by the high commissioner on behalf of Canada, and as soon as the text arrives a copy will be laid on the table.

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CCF

James Shaver Woodsworth

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. J. S. WOODSWORTH (Winnipeg North Centre):

May I ask the Primp Minister what obligations are placed upon Canada by the signing of that treaty?

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

The obligations are all in the nature of helping to place a qualitative limitation upon the tonnage and gun calibres of ships, and to give to and also to receive from the signatory powers information with respect to what may be intended in the way of future programs. It is an obligation which is intended to relieve the countries concerned of what otherwise might be in the nature of a surprise or a burden.

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CCF

James Shaver Woodsworth

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

There is then no

obligation, direct or indirect, that Canada participate in Great Britain's naval program?

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

No, it has

nothing to do at all with participation in any building program, or with participation in other respects than those I have mentioned.

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March 24, 1936