February 22, 1938

LIB

Thomas Alexander Crerar (Minister of Mines and Resources)

Liberal

Mr. CRERAR:

The old Alberta and Great Waterways, now operated by the Canadian Pacific and the Canadian National. From Waterways by boat down to Fitzgerald; from Fitzgerald by portage for sixteen miles to Fort Smith; that is over the rapids on the Slave river.

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CON

Grote Stirling

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STIRLING:

No; but the minister is now describing the way in. I thought he spoke of a new field to the north, again, of this one.

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LIB

Thomas Alexander Crerar (Minister of Mines and Resources)

Liberal

Mr. CRERAR:

No; I am coming to that. From Fitzgerald to Smith on the Slave river; down the Slave river to Slave lake, and across Slave lake to these mining areas on the northern side.

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SC

René-Antoine Pelletier

Social Credit

Mr. PELLETIER:

Does the minister mean the Peace river instead of the Slave river?

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LIB

Thomas Alexander Crerar (Minister of Mines and Resources)

Liberal

Mr. CRERAR:

No; I am speaking about the Athabaska and Slave rivers. It may be of interest to the committee to have this information about the development which has taken place in that country. I should suppose that five years ago the total amount of freight moved from Waterways down the Athabaska river probably did not exceed 350 or 400 tons. Last year 22.000 tons of freight moved down this river.

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SC

René-Antoine Pelletier

Social Credit

Air. PELLETIER:

I did not think it was under this item that transportation facilities to the north country would be discussed.

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LIB

Thomas Alexander Crerar (Minister of Mines and Resources)

Liberal

Air. CRERAR:

No. M3r hon. friend is

quite right. It will come up under another item. I am merely giving the information in response to a question.

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CON

Harry Gladstone Clarke

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLARKE (Rosedale):

I see that "sundries" have risen considerably, from $2,733 to $4,030. "Sundries" seem to be a place where considerable increases can be put in without exposing anything. Can the minister give details of how this larger amount has been made up?

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LIB

Thomas Alexander Crerar (Minister of Mines and Resources)

Liberal

Mr. CRERAR:

That is an unallotted vote; it is a sort of general blanket vote put in for contingencies. I stated a moment ago that a considerable development had tak'"- place

Supply-Mines and Resources

in this territory. It is not possible to foresee every item of expense that may be required, and consequently we thought it wise to increase this sundries vote rather more than a thousand dollars so that we would have something to fall back upon in case there arose the need for expenditures that at the present moment cannot be foreseen. It is difficult to tell what may arise in a district which is eight hundred miles north of Edmonton, to say nothing of the distance it is from the capital of the dominion.

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CON

Harry Gladstone Clarke

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLARKE (Rosedale):

That is quite all right, but the item considered as a percentage seems to be a large amount. Here we have an increase from $2,733 to $4,030, or nearly fifty per cent added to the amount expended last year under sundries. I think this item deserves more attention, and I should like to have a little more information about it.

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LIB

Thomas Alexander Crerar (Minister of Mines and Resources)

Liberal

Mr. CRERAR:

I suggest to the committee that an increase of $1,300 is not an unreasonable amount. Of course, $1,300 is $1,300.

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CON

Harry Gladstone Clarke

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLARKE (Rosedale):

That is right. When one is talking in millions it does not mean much. I quite understand that.

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LIB

Thomas Alexander Crerar (Minister of Mines and Resources)

Liberal

Mr. CRERAR:

But when one is talking of the development of a vast area of country it does not, I think, mean very much. I repeat that it is quite impossible to foresee every item or kind of expense that may arise in the next year; and we thought it wise-and I trust the committee will approve our judgment-to increase the item by the amount that my hon. friend has mentioned. After all, $1,300 is not very much when one considers the responsibilities that may arise there.

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CON

Harry Gladstone Clarke

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLARKE (Rosedale):

I ask again,

Can we be given any idea of the principal items of which this vote will be made up? That is all. It is $1,300.

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LIB

Thomas Alexander Crerar (Minister of Mines and Resources)

Liberal

Mr. CRERAR:

My hon. friend is referring to the sundries item?

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CON
LIB

Thomas Alexander Crerar (Minister of Mines and Resources)

Liberal

Mr. CRERAR:

No; I cannot at the moment. We may have an epidemic of smallpox, or measles, or something of the kind which will have to be looked after. It might be that a number of people will go crazy in that country and will have to be brought out to a mental institution. Any one of half a dozen things of that general sort might happen.

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CON

Harry Gladstone Clarke

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLARKE (Rosedale):

It is too bad that the minister did not think of that last year when he brought down his estimates.

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LIB

Thomas Alexander Crerar (Minister of Mines and Resources)

Liberal

Mr. CRERAR:

We may have erred last year.

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CON

Howard Charles Green

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GREEN:

In the last few months there have been various statements by the premier of British Columbia to the effect that he was going to extend that province to include the Mackenzie river basin. Would the minister tell the committee whether there have been any negotiations with this end in view or negotiations of any kind dealing with the matter of that province taking over the Mackenzie river basin?

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February 22, 1938