March 17, 1938

TRANSFER TO PARLIAMENT OF CONTROL OF EXPORT EXCEPT IN INTERNATIONAL EMERGENCY


The house resumed from Thursday, March 10, consideration of the motion of Mr. Mackenzie King for the second reading of Bill No. 21, to amend the Electricity and Fluid Exportation Act.


CON

John Ritchie MacNicol

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. J. R. MacNICOL (Davenport):

As

I see it, after listening to the very able speech delivered by the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King), the object of this bill is to relieve the government of any responsibility for initiating legislation in connection with the export of power. Just why the government is afraid to take responsibility I do not know.

What is the proposal that is before the house at the present time? The government proposes to turn over to a private member, in relation to a matter so important as this, the right to initiate legislation. Both the Prime Minister and the Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe) have characterized it as legislation of very great importance, and in my opinion it is altogether too important to be

turned over to any private member or to any private bill. Behind a private bill there is always the motive of profit, whereas international amity should be the purpose of the government in a situation of this kind.

I agree with what the leader of the opposition (Mr. Bennett) said. If the government really desires to give parliament the power to pass upon the exportation of electricity, all it has to do is to accept his suggestion and amend the statute so as to provide that before any measure to export power becomes effective it shall have the approval of this house.

It is not my intention to deal with the bill at any great length, but I wish to deal particularly with one aspect of it, namely, the question of the revocability of licences. In the course of the debate so far, three cities have been mentioned, Massena, Niagara Falls, and Chicago, and I will try to show, from our experience in connection with the development of electricity through water diverted at each of these centres, that it is next to impossible to revoke a licence for the exportation of power.

Let us take, first, Massena. During the last year of the great war, in 1918, the aluminium interests at Massena, New York, a branch or subsidiary of the Mellon interests in the United States, were the greatest exporters of that metal to the allies. In 1918, wishing to divert more water from the St. Lawrence, they applied, through the International Joint Commission, I believe, for the right to erect a weir in the south channel of the St. Lawrence river, above the head of the Long Sault. Of course, the government of the day objected. It was a violation of one of our international treaties, the Ashburton treaty, which stipulated that no obstruction should be placed in any international navigable channel between Canada and the United States. But when it was represented to the government of the day that the aluminium company were supplying a very large proportion of that metal used by Great Britain as well as by Great Britain's allies in the prosecution of the war, the government consented to the erection of a weir in the St. Lawrence river on the condition that it should be removed "five years hence," that is to say, in 1923.

What happened? The weir was erected and the aluminium company diverted from the St. Lawrence 25,000 cubic feet of water per second through a power canal over to Massena, situated on the Grass river in New York state, and there from a head of approximately 25 feet they were able to develop from 80,000 to 90,000 horsepower. What was

Electric Power Export

done in 1923? Indeed the company did not wait until 1923, because, before that date, they asked for an extension of the lease, notwithstanding that the war had then been over for practically five years. In 1928 they went after something very much more important, namely, permission to raise the weir another six feet. That is far different from carrying out the agreement to remove the weir at the end of the five years. To-day that company is diverting 25,000 cubic feet per second. It is developing from 80,000 to

90,000 horsepower from 25,000 cubic feet of water, 12,500 of which belongs to Canada.

I should like the Prime Minister when he speaks again to tell us whether that agreement can be revoked. I do not believe it can, because the interests are too strong, not only in connection with the electricity but in the realm of oil. The same interests are behind both, and they have shown great strength. Hon. members may be familiar with what took place in Colombia, South America, when the Anglo-Persian Oil Company, and the Gulf Oil Company-the latter belonging, I am told, to the Mellon interests-were trying to obtain oil leases in that country. The effort resulted finally in the overthrow of the government. The incoming president, Doctor Herrera, tried to obtain a loan, just as the outgoing president had done; and what did he do? He went to Washington and was there given a banquet; and the gentleman who sat beside him was none other than the Secretary of the United States treasury, the late Andrew Mellon, then head of the Mellon interests, who controlled, I am told, the Gulf Oil Company, and the aluminium company on the Grass river at Massena, New York. Well, what was the upshot? Instead of cancelling the lease for oil for the Gulf Oil interests in Colombia, which it was alleged had been obtained illegally, as a result of the president's visit to Washington Colombia extended the lease and obtained its loan of 84.000,000. That is one instance of how revocation did not take place, of oil in that case, of electricity and water in the case of Massena. The second instance is Niagara Falls. Most hon. members are familiar with the situation there. It would seem that Divine Providence, in laying out the course of the Niagara river, knowing that this great territory of Canada has a cold climate and for heating would require a lot of white coal for a large part of the year, and that in Ontario teeming millions of people would in due course be settled, determined that ninety-four per cent of the flow of water in that river should pass over the Horseshoe falls on our side of the line.

In due course it was realized that there were great potential power resources at

Niagara Falls, and in 1909 the two countries blade a treaty to prevent the robbery of the water that flows over the falls. Later came the International Joint Commission, and it was arranged that for the preservation of the beauty of the falls not more than 56,000 cubic feet per second of water should be taken for power purposes, and of that 56,000 cubic feet it was stipulated that 36,000 should belong to Canada and 20,000 to the United States. That was not nearly as generous to Canada as would appear on the face of it; for what was the situation at that time? The Niagara-Hudson interests, which control all or practically all the power in t'he whole of western New York state, had a plant on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls, either in operation or about to operate, known as the Canadian Niagara Power Company plant. They were diverting 10,000 cubic feet per second, and all of the power that they generated with our

10.000 cubic feet of water was exported to the United States, barring a small quantity on which I am told the Ontario Hydro has a call if required.

In determining how much water Canada should have out of the 56,000 second feet this

10.000 second feet diverted by the Niagara-Hudson company or the Canadian Niagara Power Company was charged to Canada, which left us with only 26,000 second feet. Again the Ontario Hydro, or at that time the Ontario Power Company, had a long-term agreement with United States power consuming interests by which these interests were supplied with 60,000 horsepower, requiring the diversion of 3,600 second feet from the Niagara river. In other words at the time the allocation was made of 36,000 feet to Canada and 20,000 to the United States, the United States were already obtaining from Canada 13,600 second feet; so we were left with 22,400 second feet. That was the situation at Niagara Falls. It is a situation which cannot be revoked. The hydro longterm agreement for the exportation of their

60.000 horsepower does not expire until 1950, and I do not know how long the term is of the Canadian Niagara Power Company plant which diverts 10,000 second feet of water. So that at Niagara as well as at Massena we are getting the short end of the stick.

Our power resources are gone from us, whether we would use them or not. Who' does not know what happened during the great war, when the power shortage in Ontario was very acute? At that time I was associated with a large plant which used a great deal of hydro power, and I know that there was great difficulty in obtaining power to run

Electric Power Export

that plant. Why did we not revoke the licence to export the power generated from the 13,600 second feet taken from us? I am not saying we did not agree to do it, but we cannot revoke the agreement.

What is the situation at Chicago, the third instance to which I wish to refer? At Chicago, in spite of anything the premier of Ontario says, Canada does lose a lot of water. I made a speech recently in London, Ontario, in which I discussed the Chicago situation, and later the premier of Ontario said that I must be wrong, because water does not run uphill, and he is reported in the press as saying that on account of lake Michigan being several hundred feet higher than lake Huron therefore no Canadian water can run out at Chicago. But of course the premier of Ontario is not always right; in fact is often wrong, and on this occasion he was very far wrong. As a matter of fact those two great lakes are on the same level, to all intents and purposes one lake, joined by a channel twenty miles wide, the straits of Mackinac. So that the water pouring into those two great lakes pours into one common reservoir. The watershed on the Canadian side from which water flows into those two great lakes is larger than the watershed from which water flows into them from the United States. And of the water diverted at Chicago half is Canadian water.

Now what is the situation there? For the twenty years from 1915 to 1935, the diversion at Chicago for domestic purposes, for power purposes and shipping, has approximated 10,000 cubic feet a second. Thirty-six miles west of Chicago at the town of Lockport, where the Chicago drainage canal drops into theDes Plaines river, Chicago develops 36.000horsepower of electrical energy, half of which is developed from Canadian water because half of the water diverted belongs to us.Prior to 1900 water was diverted at Chicago in small quantities. In those old days they used to pump it over the height of land ten miles west of Chicago, a height of about twelve feet. They pumped the water and

sewage over and poured it into the Des Plaines river. But since 1900 it flows by gravity through a canal twenty-four feet deep and two hundred feet wide, and they can take almost any quantity they want. Up until 1935 they were diverting approximately

10,000 cubic feet per second, and to-day while they are not taking that much they are still diverting about 7,000 cubic feet per second. I am aware that by 1939 they have to reduce the amount taken to 4,000 second feet, but if the bill now before the United States congress passes-and they will move heaven and earth to see that it does-instead of 1,500

second feet plus about 2,000 feet for domestic purposes, the 1,500 will be changed to 5,000.

Canada has protested for years against the diversion of water at Chicago, but can we revoke it? No, we cannot. It has had a disastrous effect on lake levels, apart from the question of power. But the fact is they are developing power with it, and on the rest of the river, the Illinois river, between Chicago and the Mississippi, down which our water flows along with the United States water, there are six other power sites. Some of them develop a small quantity of power, but the whole six, when in full operation, will develop another 70,000, or, plus the one at Lockport, approximately 100,000 horsepower. A large proportion of the water used in the plants down the river will be water diverted from lake Michigan.

If the government of Canada cannot revoke the situation at Chicago and cannot do anything towards revoking the situation at Niagara Falls-and it cannot do anything to change conditions at Massena-what can it do if in a short time it enters into an agreement to export to the United States another hundred or more thousand horsepower? It cannot do anything. I do not believe the government can revoke any contract to export it may enter into with any other government or any organization of producers.

There are the three pictures. May I at this point recapitulate: at Massena 80,000 to 90,000 horsepower has been developed, one-half of which is developed from Canadian waters. If that water were diverted on our side of the line we would have at that point about

40,000 or 45,000 horsepower. At Niagara Falls we receive only that power for ourselves which is diverted from 22,400 second feet; our share of that water should be 36,000 second feet. This is the condition, in face of the fact that 94 per cent of the water at Niagara Falls flows over the Horseshoe Falls on the Canadian side. Canada is getting the wrong end of the stick, if I may use that expression, in connection with each of the three great power developments which have come about from diversions of water one-half of which is from our side of the line.

In the white paper presented to parliament a short time ago I find at page 104 item No. 54, respecting an order in council. In this order in council there are very important statements which bear out my statement to the effect that once power is exported and used in the development of industries on the other side of the line, it is impossible to cut it off without international difficulty.

Electric Power Export

I have known many large industries in the United States which have used Canadian power, and have gained that information from my association in a business way with some of those great industries. I do not see how it is possible to cut off power from large industries which may be using it. For instance, how can you cut off power from the Lackawanna Steel Company, if they are using it? It is one of the largest steel plants in the United States. If they are not using it, then I know that other companies are using power developed from water diverted from the Canadian side of the line. That power cannot be cut off, because they have long term contracts, and those contracts must continue in operation.

Let us now give some attention to item No. 54 in the white paper. We are told that it is a certified copy of a report of the committee of the privy council, approved by His Royal Highness the Governor General on the 25th August, 1914. The text is as follows:

The committee of the privy council have had before them a report, dated 16th June, 1914, from the right honourable the Secretary of State for External Affairs, calling attention to a recent opinion of the public service commission of the state of New York in the matter of the application of the Canadian-Ameriean Power Corporation for permission to import an additional 46,000 horse power of electrical energy from Canada into the United States.

Then, omitting the remainder of the letter, we will read from the middle of page 105, where we find the American opinion with respect to the importation of power.

Without going into details, it seems sufficient to say that the prohibition of exportation from Canada of this present electric power which now comes into this country would paralyse business and industry of many kinds and would deprive numerous localities of electricity for light. American-produced Niagara power is so far from supplying the vital needs of the sections of the state above described that the immediate results of such prohibition would plainly amount to a great public calamity.

How are we going to revoke power, the prohibition of which would cause a great public calamity? I am surprised to find that the government wants to place in the hands of a private member, no matter how brilliant he may be, the introduction of a bill which might bring about a great public calamity, and embroil this country in troubles with the country to the south of us. I am sure the Prime Minister would be one of the last to condone any such action because, I am pleased to say, it would appear that on every occasion he tries to keep this country on an even keel internationally, and out of any possible trouble. I continue the quotation:

The form of securing a licence yearly from the dominion government is required by the dominion law, but such licence lias been granted yearly to the other great producing electrical corporations of Canada, and no reason appears for apprehension that any discrimination would be made against the Electrical Development Company or the Toronto Power Company, lessee. We have nothing before us but the suggestion that the Dominion of Canada may at some future time forbid this exportation. This commission must assume that international relations affecting so important a subject as the means of continuing great industries which have grown up in reliance upon the use of this imported power, and as well the interests of the Canadian producing companies themselves, have become fixed

As I said, they certainly are fixed at Massena; they certainly are fixed at Niagara Falls; they certainly are fixed at Chicago- -and subject only to such changes as will fully protect the great commercial and industrial interests and rights now served by this power brought from Canada. The time has long since passed when governments proceed ruthlessly from pure national rashness or anger to destroy the settled accepted commercial relations and formally vested rights of persons and corporations.

That is just as true to-day as it was when it was written.

In conclusion I will say that if the Minister of Justice, as he intimated on March 10 might be possible, can persuade the Prime Minister to adopt the suggestion of the leader of the opposition, there will not be much need to find fault with the bill.

Topic:   ELECTRIC POWER
Subtopic:   TRANSFER TO PARLIAMENT OF CONTROL OF EXPORT EXCEPT IN INTERNATIONAL EMERGENCY
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CON

Alexander James Anderson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. A. J. ANDERSON (High Park):

Mr. Speaker, this bill is of great importance to the province of Ontario, one of the constituencies of which I represent. I am opposed to the export of electric power. I believe electric power is an asset of which we should not deprive ourselves, and one which we should use to the greatest extent for the benefit of our people.

We have in Canada another asset of very great importance; I refer to gold. Gold enters to a great extent into the monetary and economic life of the country. It has been found necessary to refuse permission to export gold except for purposes of the adjustment of international balances and foreign trade. Gold is a product of the earth just as electric power is a product of the water that flows over the dam. Electric power is necessary for the welfare of Canada and its export is a different matter from the export of cereals, lumber, cattle or such other products. Canada is fortunate in having great water powers; in fact we are congratulated upon having them in such abundance. It appears to me that the duty devolves upon us of carefully

Electric Power Export

guarding these water powers, and the electricity produced therefrom should not be allowed to go out of the country.

The practice followed was established by an act which has been on the statute book since 1907. That act practically prohibits the export of power, except in a few cases where licences are granted. The bill we are now considering deals in the main with the manner in which we may permit the export of power, but I think there is behind it a more important principle, namely, whether we will permit it at all. As I said before, I am against the export of power; I believe we should develop the power in this country. The late Sir Adam Beck spent many years of his life in furthering the development of the water powers of Ontario, and we are all proud of the hydro electric system in that province. It has done a great work in bringing power to the people at rates cheaper than ever prevailed before. Power is being delivered to the people of Ontario at a rate which is probably less than that paid in any other country.

The object of this bill is to permit the exportation of electricity from Ontario to the United States. The question to be decided is who will grant the licence. The other day the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) placed on Hansard a sketch of what had happened in connection with the export of power from 1907 up to the present time. He furnished us with a great deal of accurate information. During the course of his remarks he directed attention to the attempt made by the hon. member for Leeds (Mr. Stewart) in 1928 and 1929 to take away from the governor in council the right to grant or to refuse these permits. The Prime Minister referred also to the fact that Mr. Hepburn, the present Premier of Ontario, was a member of this house when the bill was passed in 1929. I do not know why the Prime Minister referred to Mr. Hepburn in the middle of his speech, unless it was because of the attitude of Mr. Hepburn with regard to this legislation.

The Prime Minister stated that three applications were made to the government in 1937 for the export of power, two being from the Montreal Light, Heat and Power Company, and one from Ontario. The two from Montreal were made to the government prior to November, 1937. The Prime Minister stated quite frankly that the government had come to a decision that it would reconsider who should give the permit for the export of power. This decision was arrived at in connection with the two applications from Montreal, and when Mr. Hepburn came forward with his application, the government had decided to leave it to parliament to decide whether or not export should take place. It

now appears that prior to the opening of parliament, when reference was made to this bill in the speech from the throne, at any rate before the bill was introduced in the house, the Montreal applications had been either abandoned or withdrawn and the only application before the government was the one from Ontario.

For this reason I may be pardoned for referring more or less in detail to the Ontario position. I do so because the Prime Minister, speaking on the second reading of the bill, felt it necessary to place a great deal of detailed information on Hansard. A peculiar position exists in the province of Ontario. When Mr. Hepburn came into office he came to the conclusion that the hydro electric contracts were not profitable or economical. Instead of trying to seek a market for the surplus power, as he is evidently trying to do now, he proceeded to repudiate the contracts under which electricity was furnished to the hydro electric system of Ontario. He threw the whole matter in the air, as it were. Subsequently he made arrangements with some of the companies for reduced quantities of power at reduced prices and in that way stopped any possible litigation on the part of the companies. But he did not succeed in making an amicable arrangement with the Beauharnois company. That company did not take his action lying down; they sued the government and got judgment for something like S600,000 or $700,000. Since the judgment was sustained by the supreme court, the only way out for Mr. Hepburn was an appeal to the judicial committee of the privy council, but he did not take this course, because the judgment had been upheld, I believe unanimously, by the supreme court.

Topic:   ELECTRIC POWER
Subtopic:   TRANSFER TO PARLIAMENT OF CONTROL OF EXPORT EXCEPT IN INTERNATIONAL EMERGENCY
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE (Quebec East):

I think it was by the appellate court.

Topic:   ELECTRIC POWER
Subtopic:   TRANSFER TO PARLIAMENT OF CONTROL OF EXPORT EXCEPT IN INTERNATIONAL EMERGENCY
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CON

Alexander James Anderson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ANDERSON:

Mr. Hepburn then

found that he had to humiliate himself and negotiate with Beauharnois, which he did. He entered into an arrangement with that company for the delivery of a quantity of power, not much less than that covered by the original contract, for a long period at a price of $12.50 per horsepower. The price under the previous contract was $15 per horsepower. Mr. Hepburn took all the advantage he could of this change of contract which reduced the price and extended the period with respect to a smaller quantity of electricity. But he found that he was left with an excess of power, and in order to save the province some money he asked this government to consent to the export of this power to the United States.

Electric Power Export

The export of power is a national matter. It should not be considered a provincial matter, and certainly not a county or district matter. It is something that affects the whole country, and any policy in connection therewith should be the policy of the federal government. Export comes within the jurisdiction of the dominion government. One may ask why, that policy having been followed for over thirty years, the government of Canada should hesitate in 1937 to deal with any of these applications, and particularly with the one coming from the province of Ontario. What has happened in the meantime? We have the assurance not only of the Prime Minister but also of the leader of the opposition that for a number of years no new applications for the export of power have been granted, that the only applications that have been granted are renewals of licences that have been running for some years-and in regard to those I do not think they have been altogether justifiable, because they are not national in character. They have not served to satisfy any particular emergency in connection with the nation. They have been granted solely and only for financial purposes, in order that the hydroelectric commission and companies exporting electric power may have their books better balanced than they would have been without such export of power. That is not a national matter, and personally I feel that the export of power, if it be permitted at all, should be permitted only for purposes which are emergent in their nature or national in their character, and not provincial.

Then we come to the other principle of the bill. There is first the question whether we should allow electric power to be exported, and then there is the question of the method of granting the permit. I have asked, why did the cabinet refuse to deal with the application when it came before them? All I can say is that I look at it very much as the man on the street does. We have to take our information as we get it through the press and otherwise, and rumblings have been heard that our friend Mr. Hepburn, of Ontario, is not particularly enamoured of the Liberal party at Ottawa. In fact, he has gone so far as to say that he is not a King Liberal but of some other branch of Liberalism. I do not know what he means by that, but when a man occupying the position he does makes a statement of that kind against the prime minister of the dominion, it indicates a certain amount of animosity and ill-feeling, and I have no doubt that the Prime Minister and the cabinet were quite aware of the feeling existing between the premier of Ontario and the federal cabinet.

I do not know that the feeling between the premier of Quebec and the cabinet is altogether friendly. I would imagine from statements that have appeared in the press recently that the premier of Quebec cannot be regarded as a very close friend or much interested in the advancement of the Liberal party in the federal arena. The feeling in these two provinces was no doubt well known to this government, as it was to every hon. member of this house or the man on the street, and the question naturally arises: Why did this government hesitate to deal with the application? I cannot say, but after thirty years of experience with the practice that was established under the act of 1907, and in view of the fact that in recent years no new permits have been granted, it appears to me that the power of granting or refusing permits was in very safe hands in the dominion cabinet. Then why should there be any hesitancy in assuming the responsibility that falls upon the cabinet? We have responsible government, and the government were given the power under that act to refuse or to grant the permit. They have the same power with regard to the export of gold, and they do not hesitate to exercise it, and so far they have done very well in controlling the export of gold. Why should they not exercise the same power with regard to the export of electric power? It looks as if they were animated by a certain feeling of fear, a desire to throw off responsibility-I was going to use the word "shirk"; perhaps that is rather offensive. But it looks very much like that, and the man on the street will say that the government are shirking their responsibility in not exercising their power to grant or refuse this permit.

How does the government get over it? By a private bill. I am not going to deal with that, because my leader dealt with it extensively the other day, and showed the absurdity of the position of the government; and it has already been referred to this afternoon by the hon. member for Davenport (Mr. MacNicol). Whenever a matter of public concern is allowed to be brought before the house in a bill sponsored by a private member, it is simply a cover for the government in power behind which they can take refuge and evade the responsibility of deciding the question for themselves; and I am frank in ' saying I think that is what this legislation is for.

Let me go a little further. We are endeavouring to establish the rights of the federal parliament under the British North America Act. Time and again we have heard it stated, and it is true, that the powers of

Electric Power Export

the federal parliament are being reduced or invaded by the provinces. But here we have a bill by which the right to say whether or not power shall be exported is left, not to the cabinet, not to the governor in council, but to the lieutenant governor in council of the province from which the electric power is to be exported. Is it not apparent that the Prime Minister and his cabinet are admitting a great amount of weakness? They are not courageous enough-I do not want to say that offensively; but they have not shown courage in dealing with the matter. And have they not shown, by wanting to throw responsibility on the lieutenant governor in council in the province, that the cabinet of the dominion, the governor in council, is not capable of making a decision that would be acceptable to the people?

When the private bill comes in, what are the conditions that are a sine qua non, which must accompany it? The application must be accompanied by a certified copy of an order in council of the province, in this case, Ontario, that they can do without that electricity, and that its export would not injure the province in any way. But it goes further. It so happens that a large amount of this excess electric power originates in the province of Quebec. It comes into the province of Ontario and is sought to be exported to the United States through Ontario; and in such case the petition and the private bill must be accompanied by an order in council of the province in which the electric power originates. It looks to me like fear of the opposition this government is going to get from Mr. Hepburn of Ontario and Mr. Duplessis of Quebec, and so they seek to put the responsibility upon the province and lift it from the governor in council. They ask that the lieutenant governor in council decide.

When the bill comes here, what will be the result? I have been favoured-I do not know how many other members have-with a copy of a letter sent by Mr. Hepburn to the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Euler) applying for this permit. Mr. Hepburn certainly wants the export of this power, and if he were asked for an order in council or a certificate that the power could be exported without injury to the province, he would certainly grant it. The Ontario government being Liberal-I am not concerned as to whether friendliness exists between the government there and the government here-the request of that Liberal government would be very acceptable to the administration at Ottawa, Liberal as it is to-day. They would not turn

it down, because the electorate which elected the premier and the government of Ontario is the same that elects the members from Ontario to this house, and those members would not wish to offend the provincial government. The same applies in the province of Quebec. But what is the logic of leaving it to the lieutenant governor in council of a province to decide whether it is justifiable to export power from that province, the government of the dominion taking advantage of that position and running to cover under orders in council or certificates of the province? My feeling is that this bill is brought in for the purpose of allowing this government, first, to unload the responsibility upon the provinces, and second, when it comes to the house, to unload the responsibility upon the individual members of the house rather than upon the government itself. This government was elected with a tremendous majority, yet it does not show enough courage to assume the responsibility of making it a national matter.

So far as I am concerned, I am against the export of power at all; and if in the course of the discussion on the bill it should be decided by the house to permit export, I yet believe that the power should be vested in the governor in council; let that body be responsible to the house and to the country for the policy of the people they represent.

Topic:   ELECTRIC POWER
Subtopic:   TRANSFER TO PARLIAMENT OF CONTROL OF EXPORT EXCEPT IN INTERNATIONAL EMERGENCY
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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):

We are debating at this time of its second reading the principle of the bill with respect to the export of power. May I at the outset, remind hon. gentlemen opposite that the principle of the bill which is now before the house is, to all intents and purposes, the same as that of the bill which was introduced by the hon. member for Leeds (Mr. Stewart) in 1929. The principle of the bill which was introduced in that year by the hon. member was that no export of power should be permitted without the approval of parliament. It was a bill intended to give parliament greater control over the export of power.

Topic:   ELECTRIC POWER
Subtopic:   TRANSFER TO PARLIAMENT OF CONTROL OF EXPORT EXCEPT IN INTERNATIONAL EMERGENCY
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

The licence was still retained, though.

Topic:   ELECTRIC POWER
Subtopic:   TRANSFER TO PARLIAMENT OF CONTROL OF EXPORT EXCEPT IN INTERNATIONAL EMERGENCY
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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:

Just a moment. The principle of the bill was as I have set forth. That is the principle of this bill. The present bill, however, goes a little further in the matter of prohibiting the export of power than did the bill of the hon. member for Leeds. The bill of the hon. member for Leeds provided that there should be the approval of parliament, without indicating how that approval was to be given. So far as the export of

Electric Power Export

power was concerned it remained permissible with the governor in council. This is a bill which takes away that permissive power from the governor in council and prohibits the export of power. That is the difference between the two measures. In its terms the present measure specifically prohibits the export of power. That is the principle underlying the general bill. It does, however, contain a provision that, while the general law is that of prohibiting the export of power, exceptions may be made if parliament in its wisdom deems it desirable and right that exceptions to the general law should be made.

My reply, in a word, to all hon. members opposite, who say that the government in the procedure it is adopting is actuated by fear or favour or any other ulterior motive they may ascribe, is that in so saying they are simply passing condemnation on themselves for their support of the bill which was introduced by the hon. member for Leeds. I believe that practically all hon. members who have spoken from the opposite side were in the house when that bill was passed. The measure introduced in 1928 received first and second readings. As re-introduced in 1929, it received first, second and third readings unanimously. They all supported it. I ask the hon. members who have spoken, when they supported that bill, Were they seeking to have the government get rid of responsibility; were they seeking to take away responsibility from the ministry and put it on parliament; or were they trying, as I believe they were, to make it more difficult for the export of power to be made, by requiring that the approval of parliament should be given in the first instance?

Topic:   ELECTRIC POWER
Subtopic:   TRANSFER TO PARLIAMENT OF CONTROL OF EXPORT EXCEPT IN INTERNATIONAL EMERGENCY
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

May I answer the question?

Topic:   ELECTRIC POWER
Subtopic:   TRANSFER TO PARLIAMENT OF CONTROL OF EXPORT EXCEPT IN INTERNATIONAL EMERGENCY
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CON

John Ritchie MacNicol

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MacNICOL:

If the right hon. the Prime Minister will allow me to correct him, I was not in the house at that time.

Topic:   ELECTRIC POWER
Subtopic:   TRANSFER TO PARLIAMENT OF CONTROL OF EXPORT EXCEPT IN INTERNATIONAL EMERGENCY
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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:

Perhaps my hon. friend was not. That was the loss of the house. As between the matter of having the house approve the export of power and of having the governor in council approve its export, might I remind hon. gentlemen opposite, as members of the Conservative party, of the position taken by Sir Robert Borden, who was the leader of the Conservative party at the time the 1907 bill was introduced.

Topic:   ELECTRIC POWER
Subtopic:   TRANSFER TO PARLIAMENT OF CONTROL OF EXPORT EXCEPT IN INTERNATIONAL EMERGENCY
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

Might I answer the

question which was asked by the Prime Minister?

Topic:   ELECTRIC POWER
Subtopic:   TRANSFER TO PARLIAMENT OF CONTROL OF EXPORT EXCEPT IN INTERNATIONAL EMERGENCY
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Order.

Topic:   ELECTRIC POWER
Subtopic:   TRANSFER TO PARLIAMENT OF CONTROL OF EXPORT EXCEPT IN INTERNATIONAL EMERGENCY
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

May I answer the right

hon. gentleman before he proceeds? He asked that the question be answered, and I am ready to answer it.

Topic:   ELECTRIC POWER
Subtopic:   TRANSFER TO PARLIAMENT OF CONTROL OF EXPORT EXCEPT IN INTERNATIONAL EMERGENCY
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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:

Well, all Tight.

Topic:   ELECTRIC POWER
Subtopic:   TRANSFER TO PARLIAMENT OF CONTROL OF EXPORT EXCEPT IN INTERNATIONAL EMERGENCY
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

Section 5 of the act as

it now stands states:

No person shall export any power or fluid without a licence, or any power or fluid in excess of the quantity permitted by his licence, or otherwise than as permitted by such licence.

An absolute prohibition, at the present minute.

Topic:   ELECTRIC POWER
Subtopic:   TRANSFER TO PARLIAMENT OF CONTROL OF EXPORT EXCEPT IN INTERNATIONAL EMERGENCY
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE (Quebec East):

Without a licence.

Topic:   ELECTRIC POWER
Subtopic:   TRANSFER TO PARLIAMENT OF CONTROL OF EXPORT EXCEPT IN INTERNATIONAL EMERGENCY
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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:

Without a

licence.

Topic:   ELECTRIC POWER
Subtopic:   TRANSFER TO PARLIAMENT OF CONTROL OF EXPORT EXCEPT IN INTERNATIONAL EMERGENCY
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

Now we are substituting a private bill for a licence.

Topic:   ELECTRIC POWER
Subtopic:   TRANSFER TO PARLIAMENT OF CONTROL OF EXPORT EXCEPT IN INTERNATIONAL EMERGENCY
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March 17, 1938