May 18, 1939

LIB

Thomas Alexander Crerar (Minister of Mines and Resources)

Liberal

Mr. CRERAR:

In what way, for instance?

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Subtopic:   MINES AND KESOURCES
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SC

John Charles Landeryou

Social Credit

Mr. LANDERYOU:

In dealing with the

importation of oil from Montana and other

foreign oil-producing fields. Surely steps can be taken to make available to the oil producers of Alberta, markets in the adjoining provinces, if not the servicing of British ships on the Pacific coast, and extending a pipe line as far east as the great lakes, so that Alberta oil can be made available to consumers in eastern Canada. Would the minister indicate the degree of cooperation there has been between the federal government and the department of mines and resources of Alberta. Has there been any cooperation?

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LIB

John Gordon Ross

Liberal

Mr. ROSS (Moose Jaw):

The hon. member asked what amount of money had been spent in Alberta in the last year. Only a few field parties were out there, and $17,500 was spent on these parties last year. But the hon. member must remember that the natural resources belong to the provinces, and for any work the dominion government do in that direction they should be commended. They have made available to us perhaps the best geologist on the north American continent, and he has done exceedingly valuable work. His work has been followed by those who have had money to invest in drilling wells and endeavouring to find oil. His work has been carried to the point where there is enough known about the Turner valley to-day to enable a pipe line to be put through to the coast. Credit for that should go to this dominion government and former dominion governments for supplying the men they had in the field doing that work. The reason why I spoke in the first place was that with the tremendous oil area there is, with its possibilities of oil and gas, if we continued with just the few parties we have had up to date it would take from thirty-five to forty years to cover the territory, and I was glad to hear the minister say that more parties will be put in the field. The dominion government and the federal Department of Mines and Resources deserve every credit for what they have done. They have shown the way and have done most valuable work in connection with Turner valley and other fields, in order that money might be invested and further discoveries made. As a matter of fact, the work of the geologists has been so good that they have been able to call within a few feet where oil might be found six or seven thousand feet below ground. All this work was done by the dominion government.

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SC
LIB

John Gordon Ross

Liberal

Mr. ROSS (Moose Jaw):

All the exploratory work was done by the dominion government. Alberta and Saskatchewan have done

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very little, although they are doing what they can. But they have not men of the calibre of the officials the dominion government has in that field; nor can they get them; and I believe we should give all credit to the minister and his department for what they have done.

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SC

John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. BLACKMORE:

Let us hear you name the men.

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LIB

John Gordon Ross

Liberal

Mr. ROSS (Moose Jaw):

Doctor Hume.

There is no better geologist in this or any other country.

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SC
CON

Thomas Langton Church

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CHURCH:

Under the agreement the natural resources revenues belong to the province. I understand that the minister was at the last meeting of the council of mining and metallurgy. Has he received any requests with reference to this item, the bureau of geology and topography, from the mining departments of the universities or from the national council of mining and metallurgy?

The government of Canada is spending a great deal of money on roads and on other agencies, and providing health service and tax relief benefits for the mines of this country. It appears in the minister's own annual report, page 10, that the receipts of the bureau of geology were only $8,465.75; and the total expenditures during the year for the purposes of that bureau are shown at $850,269.94. In the large universities of Canada at the present time, owing to the rapid development of our mines, there is a great increase in the number of students of mining. They go through the course of training in the fall and in the spring; and in the summer months it should be the function and the duty of the department to utilize the services of these students to develop the natural resources of the country, in relation not only to geology but to all branches of mining. That is what Germany has been doing for the last twenty years. In this respect we are marking time and standing still. I have read the reports for the past ten years. Here are a few lines from the last one:

The value of production from Canadian mines in 1937 reached a new record of $457,359,092, an increase of 26 per cent over the previous peak year, 1936. This production was made up as follows: metals, $334,165,243, an increase of 29 per cent, fuels, $65,828,879, an increase of 9-7 per cent, other non-metallics, $22,495,271, an increase of 34 per cent, and clay products and structural materials $34,869,699, an increase of 34 per cent.

In the light of these developments the minister will agree, I think, that students in our universities are selecting the right course.

Their preference used to be for electrical and mechanical engineering and other departments of science, but now mining is at the top. Has the minister received any recommendation from the council of mining and metallurgy favouring a national forward policy of development in view of what could be done in the mining industry for the people of Canada? I think the department has a duty in this regard. I know that those who go to the department from the universities find it hard to get anything done for them in the summer time. It seems to me that, instead of these appointments being handed over for distribution by the professors in charge of these universities to their bright students, they are handed out on the recommendation of government members. I do not care to say that this statement is wholly correct, but I have found it to be so on three or four occasions in my own experience. I do not say that the department is idle; far from it, it has made a great deal of progress; but I plead with the minister, as I have pleaded for the past ten years, that we should take a leaf out of the book of Germany, go to work and develop the natural resources of this country. Reference has been made to twenty-six metals and to the progress which has been made in mining. It seems to me that the department is too top-heavy in the city of Ottawa. Look at the details of this item on page 103 of the estimates; it is nearly all headquarters-brigadier generals, generals, ordinary captains, lieutenant-colonels and all these dignitaries at the top of the department, leaving the privates in the field to go out and make surveys, develop the country and find out what is going on, with their salaries making up a comparatively small part of the item.

I have been reading the annual report of the university of Toronto, which is one of the leaders in this particular department of science. Some of their brightest students are in the mining school of the university. Before the war Germany utilized in practical work all of its students; so did the Czechs. The result was that their countries became among the most highly industrialized in the world, whereas we are spending in this branch of the administration only $144,000, a thousand dollars less than last year. The same tendency is to be noted year after year; we sit here and pass this item, and I can see no forward policy to deal with what might be done from coast to coast to develop the activities of the department and utilize the services of these capable students. The mining school of the university of Toronto is, I believe, the largest in the history of the university. There are chances for these young men if they will go

Supply-M ines-Geology

out and do hard work throughout the country, and they are doing it every year. Some of the members of the varsity football team are now going north to get some practical experience in the mines; and if the department would employ also some of the high school students in the summer, it would be doing a good service. In Germany they take care, in the branches I have named, not only of university students but of high school students, and in that way they have contributed to make their country one of the world's great industrial states. I think the minister should inform us if he has received suggestions along this line,, and what is being done about it.

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SC

John Charles Landeryou

Social Credit

Mr. LANDERYOU:

I do not want to

detract from any credit which is due to the federal government for what they have done for the development of the oil industry in Alberta. But may I point out that it was not until October, 1930, that the province gained administrative control over its natural resources. It was in 1914 that the first oil developments took place in Alberta.

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LIB

Thomas Alexander Crerar (Minister of Mines and Resources)

Liberal

Mr. CRERAR:

Not oil.

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SC

John Charles Landeryou

Social Credit

Mr. LANDERYOU:

Well, speculation in oil. There was great gambling in oil leases, oil shares and that sort of thing-possibly some of them were sold as far away as Vancouver-and I conclude that this was the only thing which developed from whatever contribution the federal government made to the oil industry in Alberta. We cannot give this government credit for developing Alberta's oil industry, because all the development which has taken place there has been since the natural resources were turned over to the province. How the hon. member for Moose Jaw can claim credit for this government for the development of the oil industry, I do not know. Its development has now proceeded to such an extent that we have sufficient proof of the oil structure: something should be done in the way of extending the markets rather than in making more extensive surveys. I should like to know from the minister what cooperation has been given by his department to the department of lands and mines of Alberta in the development of the oil industry-

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LIB

Thomas Alexander Crerar (Minister of Mines and Resources)

Liberal

Mr. CRERAR:

I shall endeavour first to answer the hon. member for Calgary East; then I shall address a few remarks to the hon. member for Broadview.

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?

An hon. MEMBER:

Do not waste any

time on him.

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LIB

Thomas Alexander Crerar (Minister of Mines and Resources)

Liberal

Mr. CRERAR:

The hon. member for Calgary East has rather an active imagination this evening.

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CON

John Ritchie MacNicol

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MacNICOL:

We have plenty of evidence of that.

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LIB

Thomas Alexander Crerar (Minister of Mines and Resources)

Liberal

Mr. CRERAR:

He criticized the Department of Mines and Resources for not doing something, or for not doing more, about finding markets. Practically everything that has been done in the study of oil structures in Alberta has been done by the federal government-either this or preceding administrations. It is true the university of Alberta has on its staff a gentleman who has given a good deal of study, although, I believe, more or less incidental study, to oil structures in that province, and with quite useful results, but the main work has been done by the federal department. I would point out further that we get no revenues federally from the production of oil in Alberta apart from the revenue we may receive indirectly from corporation profits tax, or sales tax and the like.

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SC
SC
LIB

Thomas Alexander Crerar (Minister of Mines and Resources)

Liberal

Mr. CRERAR:

The royalties on the oil go to the province, and properly so. I suggest, therefore, that some responsibility rests upon the province of Alberta for finding markets. We are cooperating in every reasonable way we can. At present, as is generally known, there is a small delegation in Great Britain taking up the matter of interesting British capital in the furthering of development. They have in mind the possibility of a pipe line to Vancouver, which was referred to by the leader of the opposition. We have given every assistance we can in supplying data and information. More than that, at the request of the minister of lands and mines of Alberta, the Hon. Mr. Tanner, we sent over to that delegation, at our own expense, Doctor Hume, who has been studying oil structures in the Turner valley, so that there would be available to the delegation any technical information which he might be able to supply with regard to the geology of the area and its possibilities.

The hon. gentleman apparently lays the whole responsibility on the federal government for finding markets. In this contention he is really going a little too far. If we controlled the resources and obtained the royalties on production, we might perhaps in a way be fairly criticized along the line of the hon. gentleman's observations to-night; but I

Supply-M ines-Geology

am confident that the industry itself, if it gets the sympathetic support of governments-I do not necessarily mean financial support-will be able to solve the problem of markets within a comparatively few years. After all, I repeat what I stated a short time ago. This development has taken place only within the last few years. If any one had said five years ago that there was a potential field in the Turner valley capable of producing several hundred million barrels of crude oil, he would probably have been laughed at.

The additional information that has been made available through drilling and the study of the structure as revealed in the cores that come from the drilling, has enlarged the area of the available data, so that experienced oil geologists, the best on the American continent, as the hon. member for Moose Jaw has said, have been able with a good deal of certainty to estimate the potential production of the Turner valley. This has happened only in the last year, as a matter of fact. This information is all available. It was not available two years ago, and on the basis of this information I have no doubt that capital can be interested to develop the pipe lines, which appear to be one of the chief necessities in getting this product on the market.

So far as the hon. member for Broadview is concerned, he has not been fully alive to what _ is being done in the department. He criticizes the department because it does not employ university students. As a matter of fact the parties that are sent out by the federal Department of Mines and Resources to do geological work in the field are composed mainly of university students, who are taking courses in mining engineering and geology, and I think I am within the mark when I say that this very year about 150 students from the universities of Canada will find places on these field parties. Why are we doing this? We wish to give all the encouragement we can to the young men in our universities who are specializing in geology or in mining and engineering. It is worth something to young men who are taking these courses to have the opportunity of going into the field under experienced chiefs of parties and doing the actual field work under their direction.

Let me say to my hon. friend that his suggestion is not a new one. It has been followed by the department for a number of years, and it is producing results that are useful not only to the department but, as well, to those students who are getting practical experience in the work that they

[Mr. Crerar.3

have chosen for their future careers. I should like to see more money spent in enlarging our fund of information on the geology of Canada. After all, Canada is a vast country. We do know enough now, however, to be certain of the fact that over immense areas we may reasonably expect to find not only precious minerals but base or commercial minerals as well; and while the hon. gentleman criticizes the expenditure at headquarters, as he puts it, and points to the revenue that is obtained, I would suggest to him, what I suggested to the hon. member for Winnipeg North, that while we do not get results directly in dollars and cents from this expenditure, we do indirectly benefit greatly. For instance, gold production in Canada has increased greatly. In 1935 it was about 8118,000,000; the next year, over $131,000,000; the next year, over $143,000,000.

In 1938 the total gold production in Canada was $168,000,000; and I venture the prediction to-night that in 1939 it will probably be $185,000,000. What does that mean? It means that all these companies engaged in all this development, are making their contributions to the national revenue through the taxes levied on their profits, and through the sales tax not only on the large amount of materials and supplies that they require but through the wages paid to their employees. In addition, many individuals are paying income tax to the federal and provincial governments as a result of this development. In these ways, while we do not directly get dollars back for the expenditures we are voting here to-night, we get them back indirectly. I doubt if there is anything today that has fertilized public revenue in this country more effectively than the mining development that has taken place from one end of Canada to the other. I am sure that the vote we are discussing is a very necessary expenditure if that development is going to continue.

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Subtopic:   MINES AND KESOURCES
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May 18, 1939