May 31, 1939

LIB

Pierre-Joseph-Arthur Cardin (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. CARDIN:

The question my hon. friend raises is within the competence not of the Department of Public Works but of the Department of Transport. Communication at sea comes under the Department of Transport. The Department of Public Works has to do only with telegraph and telephone services on land.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS
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CON

Thomas Langton Church

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CHURCH:

I asked the minister to table the correspondence with the British admiralty.

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LIB

Pierre-Joseph-Arthur Cardin (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. CARDIN:

So far as my department is concerned there is none.

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CON

Thomas Langton Church

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CHURCH:

We cannot depend on the Sorel canal for protection.

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LIB

Pierre-Joseph-Arthur Cardin (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. CARDIN:

There is no canal at Sorel.

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Item agreed to. Telegraph branch. Telegraph and telephone services-operation and maintenance. Si5. Telegraph and telephone services generally, $5,000.


SC

René-Antoine Pelletier

Social Credit

Mr. PELLETIER:

From time to time there have appeared news dispatches, particularly in the Edmonton papers, to the effect that the federal government had undertaken to link up the Peace River country with the city of Edmonton by telephone communication. What steps have been taken so far by the government, and when will the project be completed?

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LIB

Pierre-Joseph-Arthur Cardin (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. CARDIN:

I have no recollection-of representations having been made to this department for telegraph or telephone, service to be established between the Peace River country and Edmonton. As I said a moment ago, we are only pioneering in providing these services for certain sections of the country which do not justify private capital or the provincial government making the necessary expenditure to have, the line built. We are dealing with telegraph and telephone services only in a very limited way compared with the service that is being given to Canadians all over the country: I am under the impression that a project such as my hon. friend mentions would be within the scope of either private enterprise or the provincial government.

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SC

René-Antoine Pelletier

Social Credit

Mr. PELLETIER:

The federal government provides telegraph service out of Edmonton into the northern parts of Alberta as far as the northwest territories. It was stated in the dispatches to which I referred that the federal government had undertaken to provide telephone communication, but I personally thought that was within the field of .provincial operations, and I wanted to know if it was the intention of the federal government to provide such a service.

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LIB

Item agreed to. Telegraph branch. Reconstruction, repairs and improvements. SiG. Maritime provinces afid Lower St. Lawrence, $12,000.


CON

Hugh Alexander Stewart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEWART:

There is an increase of $4,000 in this item. Where is the additional expenditure likely to be made?

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LIB

Pierre-Joseph-Arthur Cardin (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. CARDIN:

This amount of $12,000 is required to take care of general repairs that are necessary and will become necessary on the telegraph and telephone lines of Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia and the north shore of the St. Lawrence. It will be necessary to do nine miles of construction work in the Pointe Lebel area. As the cost of all this work cannot be borne by the general maintenance vote, it is necessary to ask for an increase of $4,000 in this appropriation to carry out the work of rebuilding and reconditioning the lines in Cape Breton Island and along the north shore of the St. Lawrence. [DOT]

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CON

Thomas Langton Church

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CHURCH:

I had a return, tabled by the Prime Minister with reference to this item. Has the government received any additional advice from the President of the United States since that return was tabled? The president in his speech at Washington yesterday referred to the St. Lawrence improvements. Has the minister received any correspondence on the subject, and if so will he table it?

4822 COMMONS

Supply-Public Works-Telegraph Branch

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS
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LIB

Pierre-Joseph-Arthur Cardin (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. CARDIN:

That question is not within the competence of this department. The department has received no such correspondence. Any such correspondence would be found in the Department of External Affairs.

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CON

Thomas Langton Church

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CHURCH:

What is the policy of the government with reference to the St. Lawrence river in respect to navigation and power? President Roosevelt in his speech yesterday said that he was waiting for Canada to reply with respect to the St. Lawrence river improvements.

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LIB

Pierre-Joseph-Arthur Cardin (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. CARDIN:

I frankly admit that I cannot give an answer which will be satisfactory to my hon. friend on such a question. I cannot make any statement of policy with regard to the St. Lawrence waterway. It is not for me but for the Prime Minister to make such a declaration. I shall submit the question of my hon. friend to the Prime Minister and even to my good friend the acting Prime Minister.

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Item agreed to. Telegraph branch. Reconstruction, repairs and improvements. SJ/9. British Columbia-Vancouver Island district, $9,000.


SC

René-Antoine Pelletier

Social Credit

Mr. PELLETIER:

I understand that certain changes have taken place in the position of the employees of the government telegraph service; some sort of superannuation or pension scheme has been put into effect within the last twelve months or so. Will the minister explain what provision is being made for pensions for these employees?

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LIB

Pierre-Joseph-Arthur Cardin (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. CARDIN:

At the moment I cannot give my hon. friend the answer he would like to have. My understanding is that our employees in the telegraph service are under the superannuation scheme at present and have been for some time. If my memory serves me aright, there is some difficulty about the position of telegraph employees in the Department of Transport, but I believe that all the employees in the telegraph service of the Department of Public Works are under the superannuation act.

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May 31, 1939