Hon. R. B. HANSON (Leader of the Opposition):
I desire to ask a question of the Minister of Munitions and Supply (Mr. Howe).
The press of Canada yesterday carried a report of an announcement made on Monday last by the minister of munitions of the immediate construction of twelve munitions plants at a total cost of approximately $19,000,000. I make no observation with respect to the place of announcement. I think it is the sort of thing which ought to be done in parliament. I have consistently maintained that such announcements should first be made here.
The report indicates that the largest of these plants will be located "somewhere in western Canada", where existing facilities are being extended to produce a large tonnage of ammonia and ammonium nitrate. It is further indicated that some of these expenditures are for the account of the British government. Nowhere in the statement is it indicated that any one of these plants will be located in the maritime provinces.
I hope I am not sectional in my outlook. I have tried to avoid anything of the sort, but the people of the maxitimes, and in particular the people of my own province, are beginning to think and to give expression to the view that the government in establishing new projects of the kind indicated is entirely overlooking the maritime provinces.
May I ask the minister if any of the proposed new plants are to be established in the maritimes, and if so, which and at what points? As a substantial portion of the products of these new plants must necessarily be for export to the United Kingdom, it would appear to me to be of advantage, especially with respect to transportation, if some of these plants were to be established near tidewater in these Atlantic coast provinces. If some consideration is not given to this point of view, there will be continued dissatisfaction down there when unemployment is acute, especially in the city of Saint John.
Subtopic: PROPOSED CONSTRUCTION OF TWELVE MUNITIONS
Sub-subtopic: PLANTS-QUESTION OF REGIONAL ALLOCATION