March 22, 1938


On the orders of the day:


CON

Ernest Edward Perley

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. E. E. PERLEY (Qu'Appelle):

I

should like to direct a question to the Minister of Mines and Resources (Mr. Crerar). It is based on a report that I have received setting out the unfortunate situation facing the halfbreeds of the Marieval district north of Broadview and tributary to the Crooked Lake reserve. The report states that these people have no land and no prospect of employment. Such relief as they have been receiving will be cut off at the end of March, and they claim that they are now facing starvation. Has the minister been made acquainted with this situation, and will he have an investigation made and action taken?

Topic:   MARIEVAL, SASIC, HALFBREEDS DISTRESS OF PEOPLE IN DISTRICT NORTH OF BROADVIEW AND TRIBUTARY TO CROOKED LAKE INDIAN RESERVE
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LIB

Thomas Alexander Crerar (Minister of Mines and Resources)

Liberal

Hon. T. A. CRERAR (Minister of Mines and Resources):

I have no information on

the question which the hon. member has raised. I might remind him that the halfbreeds are not a responsibility of the federal government. They are wholly separate from and outside the federal government's obligation to Indians, and are in the same category as any other class of citizens who may be in need.

Topic:   MARIEVAL, SASIC, HALFBREEDS DISTRESS OF PEOPLE IN DISTRICT NORTH OF BROADVIEW AND TRIBUTARY TO CROOKED LAKE INDIAN RESERVE
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JAPANESE IMMIGRATION

QUESTION AS TO PERSONNEL OF INTERDEPARTMENTAL COMMITTEE


On the orders of the day: Mr. A. W. NEILL (Comox-Alberni) r Might I ask a question of the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King)? I am sorry I have not under my hand the appropriate Hansard, but no doubt the matter is within his knowledge. Some weeks ago, in answer to a question from, I think, the hon. member for Vancouver South (Mr. Green) he announced the setting up of two bodies, one a board of review and the other a committee, in connection with the oriental situation in British Columbia^ We have had an announcement of the personnel of the British Columbia body. I should! like to ask now whether the Prime Minister can give us the names of what I think he called the interdepartmental committee that was to be appointed here, and whether he can tell us when they will be appointed.


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):

The interdepartmental com-

Electric Power Export

mittee was appointed some time ago, in fact before the board of review, as it is termed, was appointed. It is composed of officials of different departments of the government. I may happen to miss one or two in enumerating them, 'but as I recall at the moment there is on the board a member of each of the following departments: External Affairs,

Mines and Resources, National Revenue, National Defence, Justice, Labour, Trade and Commerce. The gentlemen who represent these different departments are officers of the departments who are most familiar with the questions which the interdepartmental committee has to consider.

Topic:   JAPANESE IMMIGRATION
Subtopic:   QUESTION AS TO PERSONNEL OF INTERDEPARTMENTAL COMMITTEE
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IND

Alan Webster Neill

Independent

Mr. NEILL:

The Prime Minister is not prepared to give their names?

Topic:   JAPANESE IMMIGRATION
Subtopic:   QUESTION AS TO PERSONNEL OF INTERDEPARTMENTAL COMMITTEE
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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:

If my hon. friend had told me he was going to ask this question I should have been very pleased to give the names. I shall do so to-morrow, if that is his wish.

Topic:   JAPANESE IMMIGRATION
Subtopic:   QUESTION AS TO PERSONNEL OF INTERDEPARTMENTAL COMMITTEE
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ELECTRIC POWER

TRANSFEB TO PARLIAMENT OF CONTROL OF EXPORT EXCEPT IN INTERNATIONAL EMERGENCY


The house resumed from Thursday, March 17, consideration in committee of Bill No. 21, to amend the Electricity and Fluid Exportation Act-Mr. Mackenzie King-Sir Eugene Fiset in the chair. Section 3 agreed to. On section 4-On export of power.


LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE (Quebec East) moved:

That section 4 be amended by adding the following subsection:

(4) Every such private act shall, unless it is otherwise expressly provided therein, be read and construed as including provisions that,

(a) the quantity of power to be exported thereunder shall, notwithstanding any provision therein fixing the quantity of power to be exported, be always limited to the surplus power in excess of that required for distribution for use in Canada;

(b) the power exported shall not be sold [DOT]outside of Canada at a price less than the price of power produced and sold under substantially similar conditions for use in Canada;

(c) the said private act may be repealed by proclamation of the governor in council, at any time, upon such notice as the governor in council shall prescribe, or, if the governor in council is satisfied that the conditions imposed by paragraph (a) or (b) of this subsection are not being complied with, without notice.

Topic:   ELECTRIC POWER
Subtopic:   TRANSFEB 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:

All licences for the export of power granted prior to the passing of this bill will expire each year on March 31, whereas power which might be disposed of under a

private act would be for a term fixed by the private act. I should think that in all conscience this bill should provide that every private bill shall be subject to the control which we now exercise, namely, that the licence shall expire on the thirty-first day of March. The private bill should be based upon the same principle as that which has governed us heretofore in granting such permission to export power. The other evening the Prime Minister brought forward the Canadian Power Company case as indicating a licence to export power. I confess that at that moment I was not aware of the fact that this was the present Ontario Power Company, but that private act did not contain in any part of it a provision for the export of power. It merely provided that they could carry the wires across the bridge and connect them up; in no place in that act did it say that any power was to be exported. So far as I have been able to find out, nowhere in the Canadian statutes is there any private act that authorizes the export of power.

In support of that position all you have to do is look at the white book, where you will see that this very company has had to take out its annual licence, and the footnote indicates that the rights of the old Canadian Power Company under chapter 120 of the statutes of 1887 were acquired by the Ontario Power Company, the rights of that company in turn being acquired by the hydro-electric commission. As I say, the provisions of that statute did not contain a single reference to the export of power, but they did contemplate the connecting up of the Canadian company with the American company, and it provided that they might make an arrangement to work the said electric light or other power jointly. But they were very careful not to say anything about the export of power.

Should we not maintain a measure of uniformity in connection with this matter? Here are the licences for the export of power, at pages 97 and 98 of the white book. Those licences, as I say, are allowed to run for only a year and expire, I repeat, on March 31, as I understand it. But they are renewable in the terms of the licences, in the absence of any understanding or event that might make it undesirable so to do. I put this point to the Minister of Justice. Yesterday the United States declared that they do not desire to import power from Canada. That relieves this situation very greatly. So far as this bill is concerned it can have no bearing in relation to the United States, and I do not know of any other country to which we would export power. Under the circum-

Electric Power Export

stances is it desirable to have one statute under which licences expire on the 31st day of March in each year and, assuming that conditions changed, another set of exports or sales in connection with which the term is fixed by private acts? I think not. I strenuously object to the export of a part of Canada being provided for in a private act brought in by a private member. The very theory itself is contrary to our system of government; that is, that a private member should introduce a private act by petition under which a part of this dominion may be exported out of this country, fixing in the terms of his bill-not the general act-the provision as to how long this is to be done.

Topic:   ELECTRIC POWER
Subtopic:   TRANSFEB 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):

It is parliament that does that.

Topic:   ELECTRIC POWER
Subtopic:   TRANSFEB 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:

Of course parliament

passes every private act.

Topic:   ELECTRIC POWER
Subtopic:   TRANSFEB 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):

It is not a private member who will decide on that.

Topic:   ELECTRIC POWER
Subtopic:   TRANSFEB 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:

But the private member introduces the measure and indicates to the house his idea as to what should be done; and that bill, as it is presented to the house, necessarily will contain a statement as to the period of time during which that power can be exported. If it is important that we should have these other provisions in what you might call a regulated plan, then is it not more important still that we should have a period of time fixed within which these exports can be carried on, especially having regard to the observations made by the utilities board of New York, and the order in council passed in 1914 against the acquisition of vested rights in connection with any such exports? It may be purely academic now in view of the dispatch from the United States, but obviously should not the standard be set in the enabling statute and not in the private act?

I mention that because, I repeat, in the act as it will leave this house we shall have provided that the sales now authorized shall be renewed only from year to year, unless, in view of the dispatch from the United States indicating that they do not desire to import power from Canada, these licences will not be renewed. In any case it is distinctly provided that there is no acquisition of a right by reason of the licences now in existence. I say this in no contentious or controversial sense, but I do think that in order to prevent the possibility of a vested right being acquired under any private act fixing a period of time during which power may be exported, it would be desirable in the enabling statute, if I might call this such, not only to provide what we

have provided with respect to surplus power, the price at which it can ibe sold, and the punishment or penalty or sanction, if I may use the word, for disregard of the terms of the private act-loss of the right to export; we should do also what we do in the Bank Act or the Railway Act or the Trust Companies Act or any of the other acts which deal with the essential point of the period of time, and indicate in the standard enabling act, which this will now become, the period during which the export could take place. For, as I say, on the one hand we will have a licence and on the other a private act, both authorizing the export of power. One will be for the term fixed by the private act and the other will be for the term fixed by the enabling statute, which makes it clear beyond peradventure that no vested rights are being acquired and that on the 31st day of March in each year there must be a termination of the right to export; and that a new right arises only as it is confirmed by the renewal of the licence, or, in the case of a private act, as might be thought desirable by reason of there being no controversy as to surplus power or price or as to the performance by the selling company of all the obligations placed upon it by the statute.

Topic:   ELECTRIC POWER
Subtopic:   TRANSFEB 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):

Of course the suggestions made by my right hon. friend relate rather to a question of policy. I may say that the three alternatives have been considered in the preparation of the bill, namely the one which is now before the house, leaving it to parliament to fix the number of years during which this permission to export will be granted, but with subsection (c) of section 4, which allows the governor in council to repeal it at any time.

Topic:   ELECTRIC POWER
Subtopic:   TRANSFEB 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:

Upon giving notice.

Topic:   ELECTRIC POWER
Subtopic:   TRANSFEB TO PARLIAMENT OF CONTROL OF EXPORT EXCEPT IN INTERNATIONAL EMERGENCY
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March 22, 1938