May 19, 1942

SC

Charles Edward Johnston

Social Credit

Mr. JOHNSTON (Bow River):

The Minister of Munitions and Supply has just drawn to the attention of the house a certain aspect of the gasoline situation, and in his remarks he referred to the situation in the United-States, which I think needs commenting upon. The minister's remark was to the effect that the gasoline situation in Nova Scotia and the maritime provinces was about the same as in northern New England. I have here an item taken from the Ottawa Journal of May 15, 1942, being a dispatch from Washington, dated May 14, as follows:

Senator Sheridan Downey (Dem.-Calif.), asserting the United States is "approaching a desperate condition on gasoline and rubber," told the Senate to-day that all tankers normally plying between Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic ports had been ordered into harbours.

Downey did not say what was the source of his information and there was no confirmation from the navy that tanker movements along the east coast had been halted.

Axis submarines apparently have made tankers a primary objective of their campaign.

In peace time, tankers transported about 95 per cent of the east's oil requirements.

I think it is important to realize that the oil situation is becoming desperately acute, and unless we give a great deal of attention to the gasoline and oil supplies of this country I greatly fear that conditions will become much worse than they are at present. I remember speaking at some length on this question of oil production away back on

[Mr. Gillis.l

March 14, 1941, when I pointed out that the oil situation at that time was very dangerous. I said that the oil supplies in the far east, in the Persian fields, in Iraq and Iran, were in great jeopardy, and that it was not beyond the realm of imagination that we should lose those oil fields, and the oil fields of Burma as well. I made that statement as early as 1939, and it seems now that I was right, in part at least. The situation is extremely grave, because both the British fleet and the United States fleet may become desperately in need of oil supplies, and we are not in a position to assist them. It is a shame that we are not in a better position than we are in to-day as regards gasoline and oil, because the facts were quite clear to all of us when the war first broke out. I pointed out then that consideration should be given to building a pipeline from, say, Turner Valley to the head of the lakes, and from Alberta to the Pacific coast. We had the materials and the labour then, and had that been done our present transportation problem would not be nearly as serious as it has been stated by the minister to be. A tremendous amount of gasoline is being used, and the situation is such that I think even to-day the whole field should be reviewed with a view to taking drastic measures to build up oil resources. I have an extract here from a Fort Erie paper, in its issue of January 8, 1942, which I think would be of interest to hon. members. It is headed "Gasoline a Vital Necessity," and reads:

Although recognized in a general way, the vital importance of gasoline supplies in modern mechanized warfare is better realized when figures of consumption are taken into account.

Army cooking for each 9,000 men involves the use of gasoline stoves which burn up 720 gallons of fuel a day. An army of 1,000,000 men would need some 80,000 gallons daily for cooking purposes alone.

Big tanks-such as the 12-ton models-con-, sume a gallon per mile. For every mile traversed, a mechanized brigade uses 100 gallons for its 112 small tanks plus 615 other motor vehicles.

Planes, especially when in combat action, are huge consumers of gasoline. One with a single motor might operate under cruising conditions for an hour on 45 gallons; but it will eat up more than twice that much while in actual combat.

A big bomber consumes as much as 240 gallons in a single hour when flying at top speed. A five-hour raid by 600 bombers would use up

720,000 gallons.

In a single hour 500,000 gallons would be burned by a modern air armada, consisting of 2,400 bombers and 1,600 fighter planes.

Available supplies of petroleum may yet prove to be a deciding factor in this war; for, if it lasts long enough, the side which exhausts its supply first will be compelled, automatically, to acknowledge defeat.

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That was written on January 8, 1942. The last paragraph of it points out quite clearly that the "available supplies of petroleum may yet prove to be a deciding factor in this war." I think when that article is read by all the members, and they realize the tremendous amount of gasoline that is being consumed every day, the importance of new production will be thoroughly impressed upon their minds. Gasoline and oil supplies will be the vital factor in this war, because clearly this is a mechanized war, and one much different from any other we have had. Time is possibly one of the greatest factors contributing to our success.

I remember back in 1940 having asked the question:

What steps are being taken by the government to increase the production of oil in Alberta and other parts of Canada?

This was the answer from the Minister of Mines and Resources:

Mr. Crerar: Production of oil can be increased only by drilling and by finding new oil fields, or the extension of old oil fields. The finding of new fields and the extension of old fields is in a large measure a geological problem, and field parties of the bureau of geology and topography are attacking this problem in the two main producing regions.

There is probably some room for criticism, when the emphasis is laid on the fact that the oil fields could be got only by drilling. I realize that the drilling of holes in the ground is probably much more inexpensive than some other processes by which oil may be obtained. But that was away back in 1940. What increase in production has there been in Canada since then? I think there has been a very small amount of actual increase in production. There has been a good deal of survey work, but so far as actual increase in production in oil wells is concerned, I think it is rather negligible. Probably there has been a good deal of ground and survey work, but no real practical results have been achieved.

The next question was:

Is anything being done by this government to construct a pipeline from Alberta to the Pacific coast or the head of the great lakes?

The answer was:

Officers of the department have conducted an investigation into the economic feasibility of the pipeline movement of Turner Valley oil to Ontario, and this is now being studied.

I do not think anything has been done on that score. It was under consideration at that time, so the minister pointed out. But again

there was procrastination, and nothing has been done. I am sure that if we now had a pipeline from Alberta to the head of the lakes or to the Pacific it would be of great assistance to the Minister of Munitions and Supply. I say that because I imagine oil supplies would be more necessary along our coasts than in the central provinces, because of the proximity to the danger zone.

The next question I asked at that time was:

How much additional survey and exploration work will be carried on in Alberta and other parts of Canada in an earnest endeavour to increase our oil output?

This was the answer:

The increase of effort this year has been made in Alberta and bordering parts of Saskatchewan where the geographical and topographical field parties have been increased from six to seventeen.

While these questions were asked of the minister, and while he said that investigations were being made, so far as actual increase in production is concerned nothing of real importance has developed. The time has come when we have to do something more than merely investigate. If thorough investigation was made at that time the minister should now be in possession of sufficient information to start immediately something worth while in this regard. I can well realize the minister's attitude with respect to the development of further fields, from the point of view of its being more economical to drill wells than, say, to develop the tar sands of Alberta. But I take it the main concern should not be the expense involved, but rather the question: Can we get the production?

I believe I was not far wrong in the statement I made a while ago to the effect that the actual output of production did not increase to any appreciable degree, that it was practically the same. Especially I believe is this true in Alberta. There is an increase of a few thousands of barrels a day. When the war started it was something like 26,000 barrels- the minister will correct me if I am wrong-and it was increased by a few thousand.

I have an article before me which makes comment on that situation. This is taken from the Monetary Times of January 3, 1942. Under the heading "Crude Output Stays Constant", it says:

The output of crude petroleum and natural gasoline from Canadian wells maintains a fairly constant average as disclosed in reports covering operations for the months of September and

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October, yet at the same time showing a sizeable increase over production one year ago. The Dominion Bureau of Statistics reports the output of crude petroleum and natural gasoline for October last as 871,491 barrels; for September the total was 878,782 barrels.

There is not a great deal of difference there.

In October, 1940, the output of the wells was 817,596.

Again it is practically the same.

Taking the aggregate for the ten mouths ended October 31 the totals are: for 1941, 8,370,968 barrels; for 1940, 7,086,161 barrels.

Alberta's contribution to this yield was 856.191 barrels of which 844,407 came from the Turner Valley field. 991 from Bed Coulee field. 1.302 from Wainwright-Ribstone field and 6,900 from other fields.

As a new source of supply it is recorded that 2.591 barrels of crude oil were extracted from the tar sands of northern Alberta during the month of October.

I believe that statement fairly well bears out what I said. I suggest it reveals that the tar sands present a great potential source ox supply. It may be said that production irom those sands would involve too much time, and that too great an expenditure would be required to get an appreciable amount of production. But no matter whether that be true or not, if we can increase production, that is the thing we should make every effort to speed up. My information leads me to believe that there is a tremendous amount of fuel oil there.

On February 18, 1942, I raised the following

question in the house, as reported at page 686 of Hansard:

I should like to ask a question of the Minister of Munitions and Supply. In view of the serious situation in the far east, and the possibility of our losing our far eastern oil supply, what is the government going to do to cause an actual increase in Canadian production of oil?

Hon. C. D. Howe (Minister of Munitions and Supply): Various steps have been taken. The tax structure was revised at the last sitting of the house to encourage drilling for oil throughout Canada. That revision had a very stimulating effect in the direction indicated. At this time steps are being taken to develop small oil areas for specific uses.

Those negotiations are going on at the present time. I do not know that we have gone further than that. But I can say that we think we are developing considerably the production of oil. I have no suggestions to make to the government to enlarge our operations in that respect.

Mr. Johnston (Bow River): Is anything

being done with the tar sands?

Mr. Howe: I have a very exhaustive report on the subject of tar sands, and I should be very glad to let my hon. friend have a copy of it. It indicates, however, that the location of the sands and the possibility of development is too remote to be of any great use in this war.

The Minister of Munitions and Supply made available to me the report to which he referred. I read it, but I must say I was not very much impressed by the recommendation or the suggestion which would be left to the minister in that regard. The report was confidential, and I have no intention of referring to its terms. However, the fact that there has been considerable production from these tar sands and that the minister knows definitely that oil is there makes it imperative that something should be done, and without dalay. In fact, it should have been done a long time ago. As the minister said:

It indicates, however, that the location of the sands and the possibility of development is too remote to be of any great use in this war.

The minister has possibly changed his views, at least to some extent, since that time, because when he was speaking in the house the other day he had this to say, as reported on page 2478 of Hansard:

The position of oil development within Canada has, of course, been changed considerably by the events of recent months. I think most people had looked upon the tar sands of Alberta as a great reserve of oil for some future period when the more easily accessible oil resources would have been exhausted. But to-day we think of that same area as a source of immediate oil production.

I am pleased that the minister has apparently changed his views and now is of the opinion that something should be done immediately with the tar sands in Alberta. He continued:

-provided the problems connected with its development can be solved rapidly and with some degree of certainty.

An intensive study of the tar sands is under way at the present time. That 6tudy was organized by my department, and we have interested in it the leading oil engineers of this country, not noly men in the public service and on the staff of the national research council, but also oil engineers from industry. We have interested Consolidated Mining and Smelting, who have had a good deal of experience in meeting mining problems in that area.

I may say that the mining of the sand itself is one of the major problems that has not yet been fully worked out. We have asked all these interests to prepare a report for the government and advise whether a devlopment should be undertaken at this time and the extent of development which the conditions would warrant, whether we should proceed with a pilot plant or whether the situation is such that we can immediately develop on a considerable scale. I am expecting the report shortly, and appropriate action will be taken.

There are two suggestions there which I think are worth mentioning. The minister

War Appropriation-Supplies

has in mind the possibility of starting a pilot plant. I believe the plant already there has been doing good work in that regard, but the minister may have in mind the starting of a government pilot plant. Surely the work which the Abasand people have done in that area should be sufficient to indicate definitely to the minister whether or not it would be practicable to start a plant. His views seem to have changed, and it would be a shame if even at this late date the minister should not decide to go in there, even though it was necessary to put up a government plant. I think that idea is quite commendable. It will probably cost a lot of money to establish a plant which can make speedy production of this greatly needed fuel, but the minister would be well advised to continue to keep in mind the possibilities of putting up a plant.

There is also the suggestion which I made to the Minister of Mines and Resources (Mr. Crerar), that a pipeline be laid to the Pacific coast, either from Turner Valley or from the tar sands themselves. A military road is now being put through that part of the country, and it might prove to be of great assistance either to bend the road a little so that it would touch the tar sands or to build a feeder road from the tar sands to the main road. Airports are being constructed all through that northern country, and something should be done immediately with these tar sands so that the fuel required for the planes using the airports may be provided by these sands. The time is long past when this development should have taken place. Even though we are three years late in doing it, I hope the minister will see the urgency and the necessity of starting something immediately.

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NAT

Percy Chapman Black

National Government

Mr. BLACK (Cumberland):

I should like to make one or two inquiries of the minister with respect to the tourist situation in Nova Scotia and with respect to the position of the garages in the maritime provinces. I think I speak for most of the people of Nova Scotia and the maritime provinces when I say that as a war necessity they are willing to submit to any inconvenience and do without gasoline if necessary, but they naturally do not want to be discriminated against as compared with the rest of Canada. During this session we have heard a great deal about parity prices and so on, but there must of necessity be a feeling in the maritime provinces that there is not a parity of sacrifice or inconvenience when they are reduced to two-fifths the quantity of gasoline allowed to the people in other parts of Canada.

The tourist business is very important to the maritime provinces, but as things stand at present this business is practically ruined for the coming season, unless the minister can make an announcement within a reasonable time indicating that the situation has been eased and that gasoline will be available for tourists to enable them to visit Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia. New Brunswick is also affected, but not to the same extent. If the minister cannot do this, he should make a definite declaration as soon as possible that the situation will not improve,

I am sure the people interested in the tourist business will submit and make their plans accordingly.

The next appeal I have to make is with respect to the garages in the maritime provinces. Their car business has been destroyed, their tire business has been restricted almost to the vanishing point, and their gasoline sales amount to hardly anything. I appeal to the minister to extend his programme of "bits and pieces" so that some war business may be assigned to the garages. There is a feeling in these outlying parts of Canada that they are not getting a fair share of the enormous war expenditures such as are being made in central Canada. I suggest to the minister that he assign some senior official or outstanding business man to a study of the requirements of the bits and pieces programme in order to determine what business can be allocated to the garages in the maritime provinces. This would compensate them in part for their regular business destroyed by present war conditions. They have splendid workmen in most of these garages who would very quickly adapt themselves to different processes of manufacturing. I feel, Mr. Chairman, that this is due these people in the maritime provinces who find themselves on the verge of ruination. The Department of Munitions and Supply will receive a gratifying response and get excellent value for any business so placed.

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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Transport; Minister of Munitions and Supply)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

Answering my hon. friend's question about equality of sacrifice, I might emphasize again that it is not a question of levelling out supplies across the country; I wish that could be done. For example, in the United States, Texas, Louisiana, Indiana and Illinois are flooded with gasoline and oil, whereas the eastern seaboard is down to scratching the bottoms of the tanks. That, of course, is a matter of transportation. We might have all the gasoline in the world in the Turner valley and yet be short in the maritimes; in fact, it would probably be much easier in the ordinary course of events to get gasoline from Louisiana than from Alberta.

War Appropriation-Supplies

It is simply a situation which has arisen unexpectedly. Who in this country would have believed that tanks could not ply between Halifax and the gulf of Mexico? Yet for a considerable period of time they did not travel that route; they were all tied up.

We believe that the situation is temporary. In the meantime we are using all the railway equipment that is available to serve that territory. I believe that every tank car that can be mobilized is in service between Sarnia and Montreal and the maritime provinces. The pipeline from Montreal to the seaboard has been closed down completely for a very considerable period. Added to that is the fact that in the maritime provinces are located our most important seaports; the demand there is heavy for the navy and the armoured services, and we are bending every effort of course to protect these needs.

The department has had a great deal of concern for the garages. We appreciate that their situation has been made difficult. I might point out, however, that since the sale of automobiles has stopped the repair business of most garages has risen considerably, and probably it will continue to rise. As cars get older they will require more repairs. But where a garage has some equipment and desires to get into war work, to the exclusion of other work-naturally we cannot mix war work with repairs of automobiles-we have provision under which in most cases something can be done for those establishments.

Mr. MaelNNIS: The hon. member for

Bow River (Mr. Johnston) discussed] the question of oil. I want to discuss for a few minutes the subject of another kind of production.

The united nations at this time are at a stage of the war in which we shall have to put everything we have got into it if a decisive result is to be achieved this year. So far the obstacle to better military results has always been a shortage of materials. We are now reaching the point of attaining a superiority in war equipment, yet most people will agree that equipment remains our great lack. I have in my hand a statement made by Lord Sherwood, Joint Undter-Secretary of State for Air, in the House of Lords last January. It is true that that is four months ago, but I believe that what he then said still holds true. Winding up a debate on air defence, the under-secretary said:

I he British authorities believed their defence system to be better than that of the Germans.

"Of course there is the difficulty there always has been about weapons in this country, because

we are still a long way behind what you would properly call a real preparation for a war. We are short of weapons but we shall get these weapons."

I believe we have made very material progress, and I do not want the minister to construe anything I say to-day as criticism either of himself or of his department. I have criticized him and it on occasions, but never with relation to his ability, his energy and his capacity to organize andi get production under way; I believe those qualities of his are recognized throughout the country.

But there are obstacles to greater production in Canada which only government action can remove. Our industries are not producing to capacity.- They have not done so since the war began. As I mentioned in this chamber the other day, there has been much ado about the slowing down of industry by the workers, but I expect to show before I sit down that that has not been a great factor in curtailing production.

I have before me a brochure on steel production in Canada, prepared by the executive director of the steel workers organizing committee, Mr. C. H. Millard. The figures which I am going to give the committee will be based on information contained in this publication.

For the year 1939 our production of steel was 1,384,870 tons, or 68 per cent of capacity. In 1940 there was an increase; our production was 2,012,294 tons, or 85-1 per cent of capacity. In 1941 there was a still further increase, the production being 2,280,000 tons or 93-3 per cent of capacity. The estimated production for 1942 is, I believe, 2,800,000 tons, or 90-7 per cent of estimated capacity. The figures for 1940 and 1941 are taken from a bureau of statistics publication-.

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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Transport; Minister of Munitions and Supply)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

As my hon. friend knows, steel comes in various ways. I suppose he means billet steel.

Mr. MaelNNIS: I imagine this is the steel in its raw state.

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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Transport; Minister of Munitions and Supply)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

Forged billets.

Mr. MaelNNIS: Yes.

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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Transport; Minister of Munitions and Supply)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

Because the pig iron figures are somewhat larger.

Mr. MaelNNIS: Yes. At this rate of production, in 1940 we produced some 375,000 tons of steel less than our capacity; in 1941 we produced some 250,000 tons less than we could have produced; and according to the estimate for 1942-and production, judging from what has already taken place, will I think likely be larger than the estimate- we shall be short some 300,000 tons of our

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capacity. These 300,000 tons translated into tanks, ships, corvettes, and other war equipment of the kind make a presentable array of material. Members of the committee who have made any study of these matters are aware that there is a definite shortage of steel in Canada for our war production.

H. R. MacMillan, President of Wartime Merchant Shipping Limited, was reported in the Financial Post of February 6 of this year as having said:

Within another six months construction on the current shipbuilding programme will reach its peak. Greater speed would be possible were it not for the shortage of ship plates of which Wartime Merchant Shipping is currently using

15,000 to 20,000 tons monthly.

On February 27 of this year the steel controller said:

The shortage of steel is now' so acute that its use for articles required by the Department of Munitions and Supply and the armed services is being curtailed wherever possible.

The acuteness of the situation has been developing since the war began. The Canadian Press carried a statement by the Minister of Munitions and Supply (Mr. Howe) under date of November 24, 1941, in which he said:

Since the outbreak of war Canada has added considerably to its steel production but the expansion programme has not kept pace with the demand of war-time industry, one reason being a disinclination to spend time and money on plants that would be uneconomic in peace time. During 1942 Canada will require two million tons of steel from the United States, it has been estimated here, to supplement its own production. Most of this tonnage represents types that are not rolled in Canada.

I am not at all sure that we are taking advantage of all our resources for steel production in Canada any more than we have taken advantage of our capacity for producing oil. I will show that there are at least possibilities that should be investigated. But the fact of the shortage of steel is curtailing production not occasionally but almost continuously. The member for Weyburn (Mr. Douglas) put some questions on the order paper which were answered on March 4 of this year. He asked:

I. Has the shell shop of the National Steel .Car at Hamilton been closed?

2. If so, for what reason?

3. What type of shell wras being produced at this shop?

The answers given by the Minister of Munitions and Supply are:

1. The National Steel Car Corporation Limited, Hamilton, is making four types of shell.

He states the kinds of shells, and then he goes on:

A section of the 4-5 A A shell shop was closed from February 12 to February 23, 1942.

That is a shutdown of eleven days. In answer to the second question he gives the reason for this shutdown, namely, lack of steel billets and the difficulty of securing tonnage of steel to the extent required. Since that date employees in the National Steel Car plant have been idle again. My information is that in the first three months of this year they have not worked more than two-thirds of the time. Possibly that is not true of all sections of the plant, but I am told that they lost thirty days in the first three months of the year.

I think we should pay some attention to the statement I quoted from the Minister of Munitions and Supply, or at any rate the statement that was attributed to him on November 24 last, that one reason for the shortage of steel is a disinclination to spend time and money on plants that would be uneconomic in peace time. I submit that we cannot carry on the war while thinking of what may happen to industry when peace comes. If we do not win this war it does not matter much what happens to industry when it is finished, because we shall have nothing to say about it. I am convinced that we should not allow persons with vested interests to retard the war effort by thinking of what is going to happen to this or that industry when the war is over. There has been far too much of that already and it has had disastrous effects on the war industry of the allied nations.

When I saw this item attributed to the Minister of Munitions and Supply I thought of the statement made by him in the house on May 22, 1940. We were discussing then, as we are now, the war appropriation resolution, and the minister-then minister of transport-said this, as reported on page 128 of Hansard:

In the last war, Canada's chief production was shell cases. We are now tooled up to produce this type of equipment far in excess of our own needs, but to date British orders have not been forthcoming in a quantity proportional to our industrial capacity. . . .

This has been disappointing to our manufacturers, who have been building on the precedent of the last war. I can only say that this war bears little resemblance to the last one in the nature of the requirements from Canada. The fact that to date Britain and France have been satisfied to rely largely on their own production and mechanical equipment and have not been disposed to encourage Canadian production of heavy equipment to the extent of furnishing up to date plans and specifications has undoubtedly prevented Canadian industry from playing its full part in mechanical warfare. I am happy to say that there are now indications that this will not continue.

This was on May 22, 1940, when the German armies were riding roughshod over France. Evidently it took that event to bring the

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private capitalists of Great Britain and France to their senses. But it was too late to save France. We had better learn a lesson from what happened in France. It happened to a large extent because war production in those countries was under private control, and they were thinking far more of the profits they would make and the state of their industries than they were of building a machine to overcome Hitler's army.

The president of the Steel Company of Canada, Ross H. McMasrter, is reported in the Globe and Mail of March 19, 1942, to have said :

It was felt that further outlays, designed to expand capacity far beyond any discernible future needs, could only be undertaken in the national interest-

Evidently these people in normal times are not working in the national interest.

-and, therefore, the company should be supported in such expenditures by the dominion government.

He went on to report that the government was financing the construction of a new blast furnace and additional open hearth furnaces. But at that time there were in one of our steel plants in Canada both blast furnaces for the production of pig iron, and a rolling-mill; but the capacity of the blast furnaces was some 20,000 tons more than the rolling-mill could handle. In about a year from that date the government I understand came to an agreement with the company and the rolling-mill facilities in that plant have been increased.

Now we have the same story in Great Britain, in Canada and in the United States. See the information brought out by the Truman committee of the United States senate and the Tollen committee of the house of representatives. It is high time this parliament took steps to see that we no longer allow private interests to interfere with Canada's war production. We have taken complete control of the lives of the young men of this country. They cannot move around without permission; they can be picked up anywhere, at any time, and ordered to report for military service; their lives may be snuffed out at any moment. Since we are doing that with human beings, surely it is time we should see to It that industry is brought under the same or even more effective control.

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LIB
CCF
CON
CCF

Angus MacInnis

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. MacINNIS:

I have heard plenty about that $1.30 a day. If one takes into account the pay and other things that a soldier receives, dependents' allowance, et cetera, you will find that he is receiving more than the average worker in industry. I hear a lot about the $1.30 a day but I do not hear much about the officers' pay. It is always the $1.30.

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CON
CCF

Angus MacInnis

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. MacINNIS:

Well, what are they getting? In the first place they are not getting it every day, and in the second place those are largely the higher paid workers. We might as well be clear on this. If my hon. friends refuse to conscript industry, and continue to allow industry to interfere with and slow up our war effort, that is their affair; but it is time the people of this country knew it. It is time the people of this country knew that my hon. friends opposite put steel and coal and lumber before human life.

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Oh, oh.

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CCF

Angus MacInnis

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. MacINNIS:

All right; you asked for and you got it. Now find your way out of it.

I want to say a few words in regard to the possibilities of the production of steel. In 1937, I think it was, the government of British Columbia made a sale or lease of an ore mine to a Japanese syndicate. I think it was on one of the Queen Charlotte islands. The last I heard of it was that this syndicate was running a railroad from tide water to the mine.

I do not know whether any development work has been carried out, but if the minister's department has not investigated the matter this would be a good time to do so, because I believe there are possibilities for a steel industry in the province of British Columbia.

An item appeared in the News Herald of Vancouver, of January 28, 1942, reporting Doctor J. F. Falker, deputy minister of mines for British Columbia, as follows:

Certain eastern interests oppose establishment of a steel smelter here, but several others are definitely interested. We could be rolling steel from scrap within 15 months in a coast plant, and within two years we could be producing from B.C. pig iron. The industry could be established for $20,000,000. No. 4 seam at Comox produces coal which would provide ade- . quate coke, and there is lots of lime at Texada and elsewhere. A British Columbia steel industry could be established in time to be of definite aid in the war effort and would be of great value in post-war reconstruction, serving as far east as Alberta and western Saskatchewan.

I suggest to the minister that if his department has not already looked into this matter it is well worth investigating. My opinion is that some development work has already been done there.

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I want to say a word or two about the slowing down of industry, caused not by the workers going on strike but by employers simply closing their plants. On my way east I stopped off at Winnipeg. I met a young man who was working in one of the aircraft plants there, Macdonald Bros. Aircraft Limited. He told me that that plant [DOT] had been closed down from 3.30 p.m. on April 2 until 3.30 p.m. on April 5, and that some parts of the plant didl not reopen until April 6. I was interested, because when I was on the coast there was a dispute over overtime in the shipyards at Vancouver and the press was strongly condemning the workers for the shutdown on Good Friday. Inquiring into the reasons for the shut-down at Macdonald Bros. Aircraft Limited I found in the Winnipeg Tribune that the president of the company said) that the shut-down over the long week-end was because the plant was ahead of schedule. I cannot understand what "ahead of schedule" means in war time.

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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Transport; Minister of Munitions and Supply)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

Perhaps I might explain.

Macdonald Bros, is largely an overhaul plant. I presume they had caught up on their overhauls. It is not a manufacturing plant.

Topic:   MUNITIONS AND SUPPLY
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CCF

Angus MacInnis

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. MacINNIS:

It does not say here. As a matter of fact the person who was talking to me said that there was plenty of work to be done there. According to the Winnipeg Tribune, Mr. Macdonald went on to say that some employees had been working seven days a week and needed a rest. I do not believe, Mr. Chairman, that you can get the best results by working employees seven days a week for more than a couple of weeks at the most, because a person needs a day of rest to recuperate after five or six days' work.

As I said before, I am not bringing these matters up particularly by way of criticism of the minister, but because they are matters which this committee and parliament must heed if we are to get a full-out war effort this year.

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LIB

Vincent-Joseph Pottier

Liberal

Mr. POTTIER:

I think it is generally realized that we are facing a very perilous situation in regard to rubber and gasoline. Hon. members will, I am sure, agree with me that we have seen the shadows approaching of what is going to take place in the very near future. We have seen our gasoline supplies dwindling, then a rationing system established, and we are faced to-day with a cut in the unit value. More than that, we see that in different parts of Canada there is to be a further cut for one reason or another. Every day we read in the newspapers of some new regulation to take care of the growing shortage of rubber. We also learn from the press that

the people of the United States are taking a very serious view of what is happening and are afraid of what is going to happen. I read in the New York Times last week that one of the members of a committee of the United States senate made the following statement in regard to the tire situation:

One year from to-day there will be no rubber available for general civilian use, and those in essential civilian pursuits will have to take what they can get.

I think that accurately reflects our Canadian rubber situation. Here we have in this country some 1,300,000 to 1,400,000 automobiles, each with four tires weighing anywhere from twelve to twenty pounds. Each tire has a substantial portion of reclaimable rubber. Yet every day over our highways, here there and everywhere, this rubber of which we are short, perhaps not acutely short at the moment but of which in the future we will be acutely short, is being burnt up by motor cars speeding along at rates even above the government regulation of forty miles an hour-and for what purpose? For pleasure and other non-essential purposes. And that is being done in the face of the best information we can get that we have no further supply of mbber to draw upon. Some people may say "Oh, but what about synthetic rubber? That is coming." I am afraid that too many people are looking to substitute for rubber. Let us see what the possibilities are. I quote again from the evidence given before the United States senate committee only last week-and I take this to apply to our situation in Canada:

Those motorists who look hopefully to the operation of synthetic rubber plants to supply them with tires later, Senator Reynolds said, were simply indulging in wishful thinking. All rubber for the United States, as well as every pound that could be made available, he asserted, must go to the army.

I am afraid that that is our position here; yet we are burning some of this rubber for purposes that have nothing to do with our war effort. It may be said, "You are just burning some of it; you are just using a small proportion of it-the outer thread." I realize that, and I have discussed it with officials. But notwithstanding that fact, we are using some, and in fact we are using a substantial quantity of it. Then, further, the older a tire gets and the more it is worn, the less value there will be in the rubber one gets from that tire. When we take all this into consideration it seems to me we are facing a perilous situation, and one we have to be prepared to meet, not only in shadow but in fact.

Coupled with that is the gasoline situation. With respect to automobiles generally, what do we find? At the outset I referred to

War Appropriation-Supplies

changes made from one month to the other, if not indeed from one day to the other. There is restriction and cutting down as time goes by. Why? Because the supply is getting shorter and the situation is growing more serious.

Let us understand what the men who bring in gasoline by tankers have to go through. Let us realize the hazards they have to face in order to bring gasoline to people who travel the roads for no purpose other than their own entertainment. I have heard of a letter from a man on a tanker travelling along the Atlantic coast, in which he said: "We followed the coast night after night, and we could see automobiles going back and forth, and their lights travelled while we, in the tankers, were risking our lives just because it was thought that we should keep them on the move." This particular tanker was torpedoed; some of the members of the crew were lost, and the survivors had a most distressing time.

I do not think a gallon of gasoline which might be used for pleasure or for non-essential purposes should be brought by tanker. I urge upon the minister and the government that they give this matter serious consideration with a view to bringing about a change in that regard. Let us see what the benefits would be. To begin with, it would save money which could be diverted into war loans and used to defray our war expenditures-money which is now used for no useful purpose at all. We would save space for railway transportation by making railway facilities available for the carrying of munitions and the like. We would save the loss of tankers and thereby cut down our shipping losses. We would eliminate the necessity for some of our naval patrol, which could then attend to other spheres of battle. We would have more gasoline for our own military purposes-for the army, the navy and the air force. We would have more rubber, and that surplus rubber could be taken to supply our armed forces. In addition we would save a certain number of lives hazarded by bringing this oil, gasoline and other supplies to Canada.

Taking all these points into consideration I say the time has come when the Canadian people, who have been living in what I believe can be truly said to be the best country in the wTorld, having in mind our food supplies and our liberty of movement and action, are prepared to do away with private cars for pleasure or non-essential purposes. A few selfish ones might criticize, but this is not a time when we can think of selfishness, or when selfishness can be tolerated or listened to. If we lose this war-and I do not mean that we are

going to; I do not think we are; in fact I am convinced we are not-what would be the value of motor cars and the like? Let us throw them on the altar of sacrifice, and be prepared now-not wait for a year -to adopt a policy under which all pleasure and non-essential driving shall be done away with.

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NAT

Gordon Knapman Fraser

National Government

Mr. FRASER (Peterborough West):

The hon. member for Vancouver East (Mr. Maclnnis) mentioned the great need for steel and the shortage of it. The minister knows about that shortage, and that is why we are asked to take part in salvage campaigns to collect steel, iron and scrap. Is it true that anyone wishing to erect a building in which steel is used must have a permit?

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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Transport; Minister of Munitions and Supply)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

Over $5,000.

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NAT

Gordon Knapman Fraser

National Government

Mr. FRASER (Peterborough West):

If that is so, would it be possible for a firm, say in Toronto, to ship steel beams to some other plant, and have them cut there to specifications and sent to a building which had not a permit?

Topic:   MUNITIONS AND SUPPLY
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May 19, 1942