February 5, 1943

LIB

Thomas Vien (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

With reference to the remarks made by the minister, I would point out that at the moment there is no motion before the chair for discussion. On the question of privilege, any member who thinks that there has been a breach of privilege is entitled to speak. I am allowing the hon. member who has now risen to proceed, because he has stated that there are two matters which have not beeen discussed and to which he wishes to speak on a question of privilege.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. LAPOINTE (LOTBINIERE)-REFERENCE IN DEBATE ON FEBRUARY 4 TO MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT SERVING IN ARMED FORCES
Permalink
LIB

Walter Adam Tucker

Liberal

Mr. TUCKER:

In reference to what has been said, the suggestion was thrown out very distinctly by a member of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation party, as follows-Hansard, page 162.

With all due respect to those who are in uniform, I think a decision should be made one way or the other as to whether they belong here or in the service, because no man can do both jobs.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. LAPOINTE (LOTBINIERE)-REFERENCE IN DEBATE ON FEBRUARY 4 TO MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT SERVING IN ARMED FORCES
Permalink
CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. COLDWELL:

Read the next sentence.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. LAPOINTE (LOTBINIERE)-REFERENCE IN DEBATE ON FEBRUARY 4 TO MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT SERVING IN ARMED FORCES
Permalink
LIB

Walter Adam Tucker

Liberal

Mr. TUCKER:

All right:

It is done in England, some will say. It is all right in England, because the armed forces in Britain are in the front line, and when you are in London or in any other part of England you are at the front.

I wonder if there is not a danger of attack on our west coast, on Alaska and parts of the west coast of Canada just as there is a danger of attack on England. If it is all right for people to go from the parliament of England to defend their country, it is all right for a Canadian to go to defend his country and to have a seat in the House of Commons. Every hon. member in the forces who comes to attend this house, unless he is on leave, gets no pay or allowances from the army while he is sitting here. It is a strange state of affairs that it should be suggested that a man can continue in business, or continue in a profession, or continue to earn his income in any other line whatsoever, but that if he dares to enter the forces of his majesty to defend his country he is to be excluded from this House of Commons. I hope that the leader of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation, and the leader of the C.C.F. in the province of Saskatchewan, who desired, as I did, to get into the armed services and serve his country, will absolutely repudiate on behalf of their party the suggestion that merely because a man wears his majesty's uniform he should be prevented from sitting in the House of Commons.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. LAPOINTE (LOTBINIERE)-REFERENCE IN DEBATE ON FEBRUARY 4 TO MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT SERVING IN ARMED FORCES
Permalink

FRENCH LEGATION

VACATING OF LEGATION BY FORMER MINISTER- PROVISIONS FOR CUSTODY AND MAINTENANCE OF PROPERTY


On the order for motions:


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 house will be interested in 'having information with respect to the position of the former French legation and matters surrounding the closing of the legation. I should therefore like to make a state* ment at this time.

When, on November 7, 1942, forces of the United Kingdom, the United States of America, and others of the United Nations, including certain Canadian naval forces, commenced landing operations in North Africa, the government at Vichy ordered resistance

French Legation

and took other measures which made it obvious that it could not longer be recognized as an independent government representing the French state. Accordingly, on November 9, 1942, a statement was made by me to the effect that, following the resistance by the French in North Africa to the British and United States forces landing there, "there no longer exists in France a government that has any effective independent existence-in other words . . . there no longer exists in France a legal or constitutional government in any sense representative of the French people, but only a German puppet government," and that, accordingly, diplomatic relations with the Yichy government were terminated by Canada.

On the same day, November 9, this information was communicated by me to the French minister personally. The formal note conveying the attitude of the Canadian government was sent on November 11.

The effect of the above measures was to withdraw any recognition that had been accorded to the Yichy government and to end all relations with it. This did not mean that France was to be in any way regarded as an enemy.

Immediately following the communication of the attitude of the Canadian government to the French minister, the position of the minister as representative of a French government in Canada ceased.

Following the severance of diplomatic relations, the normal course of action is to place the affairs of the government with whom relations have been broken in the hands of a protecting power. In this case, however, relations had been terminated and a declaration had been made that the Canadian government did not consider that any government any longer existed which could be considered to represent the French state. Consequently, there was no government which could designate a protecting power. Moreover, the possibility that at some later date a real French government might be recognized made it seem unwise to place the handling of affairs in the hands of a third power which might cause difficulty at the time that it was desired to hand over matters to whatever new government might arise.

The former French minister has vacated the legation. Inasmuch as no protecting power has taken over the control of French interests in this country, it has been necessary to make special provision for the custody and maintenance of the French legation property. Special provision has been made by which the property has been placed in the custody of the Capital Trust Corporation Limited, which has accepted custody in accordance with the terms of a letter dated January 22, from the

Secretary of State for External Affairs. The custody and administration by the trust company is subject to the direction of the Secretary of State for External Affairs and must be handed over at any time to any agency which is designated by him to receive the property. Expenses in connection with the maintenance and administration are to be paid out of French funds held by the custodian.

In order to ensure that the legation property will fee subject to constant care and attention, it has been arranged that Mr. Anfossy, formerly French vice-consul, will reside on the premises, along with his wife, to supervise the day to day maintenance which is to be carried out by a caretaker. Certain offices in the chancery part of the legation will continue to be used for the administration of war pension payments to persons formerly in receipt of pensions from the French government. With these exceptions, the French legation is now empty. These persons are subject to the arrangements made with the Capital Trust Company whidh may be altered at any time by order of the Secretary of State for External Affairs.

There have been, hitherto, pensions to the amount of approximately $4,000 a month payable by the French government to veterans of the last war and a few other French citizens in Canada who 'had been recognized as deserving of assistance by the French government. It would obviously cause very great hardship and injustice if these pensions ceased to be paid and, therefore, provision has -been made for their payment out of French funds in the hands of the custodian. It has been decided that the administration of these payments will be by the Canadian pension commission, who wil receive assistance in the technical aspects of the work from three subordinate members of the former French legation staff. By this means it has been ensured that Canadian residents who have hitherto received pensions payments from the French government will continue to receive them.

It will be recognized that the arrangements which have been made with respect to the various aspects of French interests in Canada are of an interim nature only. As soon as a government appears which is recognized by the Canadian government as being capable of independent action and as truly representing the French people and the French state, all aspects of French affairs in this country will be turned over to the control and administration of the representatives who may be established here by that government.

In taking this action it will be recognized that a position exists in which there is no

French Legation

government or authority recognized either by *the Canadian government or by others of the united nations as entitled to speak as the representative of the French state. The enemy occupation of a substantial part of France is not recognized in any way, neither is any puppet government which is in fact subject to enemy domination. At the same time we must all hope that in the not too distant future there will again be a French government which can be recognized by the governments of the united nations as entitled to speak for France. It will then be possible to hand over to such a government the property of the French state in Canada. In the meantime, the Canadian government regards itself as in a position analogous to that of the negotiorum gestor under the principles of French civil law. The application of such principles to the present position would justify the Canadian government in taking measures for the preservation of the property of France and for the discharge of clearly established obligations in Canada of the French state out of French property. These principles would require the government to exercise the utmost good faith in a position closely analogous to that of a trustee under the common law.

I am tabling the following documents which, for the convenience of the members of the house, might be printed in the Votes and Proceedings:

(1) A statement by the Prime Minister of Canada, November 9, 1942.

(2) Letter from the Secretary' of State for External Affairs to M. Ristelhueber, November 11, 1942.

(3) Letter from the Secretary of State for External Affairs to the Capital Trust Corporation Limited, January 22, 1943.

(4) Letter from the Capital Trust Corporation Limited to the Secretary of State for External Affairs, January 26, 1943.

Topic:   FRENCH LEGATION
Subtopic:   VACATING OF LEGATION BY FORMER MINISTER- PROVISIONS FOR CUSTODY AND MAINTENANCE OF PROPERTY
Permalink
NAT

Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. GORDON GRAYDON (Leader of the Opposition):

I have only a word or two to say with respect to the statement which the Prime Minister has just read. One is this. I fancy that most members of the house will be anxious that the Prime Minister give some indication as to where M. Ristelhueber is now, if that is not an embarrassing question with respect to the relations of this government with M. Ristelhueber. Another point that occurs to me offhand is this. Are these steps which are contemplated similar in all respects to the steps taken by the United Kingdom government under similar circumstances?

Topic:   FRENCH LEGATION
Subtopic:   VACATING OF LEGATION BY FORMER MINISTER- PROVISIONS FOR CUSTODY AND MAINTENANCE OF PROPERTY
Permalink
LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

With regard to .M. Ristelhueber, he is residing in Ottawa,

though not at the legation, and as a means of enabling him to continue to live he receives as a temporary arrangement, moneys out of French funds that are in the hands of our custodian. to pay the customary salary which he had been receiving. I am informed that both M. Ristelhueber and members of his staff have offered their services to General Giraud, but beyond that I have no further information. As to the second question, the situation which arose in Canada had not been paralleled in any other country, so far as I am aware, at any' other time. So far as the British government is concerned, France was an ally of Britain from the beginning of the war. When the British embassy was closed it was because every one of its occupants had left France and relations were completely severed. The British embassy in France was placed under a protecting power, first, the United States, later, Switzerland. Our termination of relations took place at a time when, in our view at least, no independent government continued to exist in France.

Topic:   FRENCH LEGATION
Subtopic:   VACATING OF LEGATION BY FORMER MINISTER- PROVISIONS FOR CUSTODY AND MAINTENANCE OF PROPERTY
Permalink
NAT

Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. GRAYDON:

Has there been any

French government that has been officially recognized in recent times by the United Kingdom?

Topic:   FRENCH LEGATION
Subtopic:   VACATING OF LEGATION BY FORMER MINISTER- PROVISIONS FOR CUSTODY AND MAINTENANCE OF PROPERTY
Permalink
LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

There has not

been a United Kingdom ambassador in France for some considerable time past.

Topic:   FRENCH LEGATION
Subtopic:   VACATING OF LEGATION BY FORMER MINISTER- PROVISIONS FOR CUSTODY AND MAINTENANCE OF PROPERTY
Permalink
CCF

Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

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

Mr. DOUGLAS (Weyburn):

May I ask the Prime Minister what liaison is maintained between the Canadian government and the fighting French organization in London under General de Gaulle?

Topic:   FRENCH LEGATION
Subtopic:   VACATING OF LEGATION BY FORMER MINISTER- PROVISIONS FOR CUSTODY AND MAINTENANCE OF PROPERTY
Permalink
LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

I should like to have that question stand as notice, to be answered later.

Topic:   FRENCH LEGATION
Subtopic:   VACATING OF LEGATION BY FORMER MINISTER- PROVISIONS FOR CUSTODY AND MAINTENANCE OF PROPERTY
Permalink

SHORTAGE OF COAL-MEASURES TO DEAL WITH PROBLEMS OF PRODUCTION AND DISTRIBUTION


On the orders of the day:


NAT

Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. GORDON GRAYDON (Leader of the Opposition):

Yesterday I directed an inquiry to the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenize King) seeking information as to any steps the government had in contemplation to meet the serious fuel shortage in Canada, and the right hon. gentleman was good enough to inform the house that he expected that the Minister of Finance (Mr. Ilsley) would have an announcement for us this afternoon. I should be very glad to hear that announcement if the Minister of Finance is in a position to make it now.

Topic:   SHORTAGE OF COAL-MEASURES TO DEAL WITH PROBLEMS OF PRODUCTION AND DISTRIBUTION
Permalink
LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Hon. J. L. ILSLEY (Minister of Finance):

This matter was raised by a question which the hon. member for Lake Centre (Mr. FEBRUARY 5, 1943

Coal Shortage

Diefen'baker) asked last Friday, and I believe that the hon. member for Peterborough West (Mr. Fraser) intimated that there was a situation in Ontario as well as in the west.

Before dealing with these specific questions I think I should outline to the house the magnitude of the problem involved in furnishing adequate supplies of coal for domestic use and the difficulties that have been encountered. Prior to the war Canada produced 15,000,000 tons of coal annually and consumed 27,000,000 tons, the difference being met chiefly by imports from the United States, though appreciable quantities were also brought in from the United Kingdom. In 1941 Canadian production reached 18,200,000 tons, but, owing to the enormously increased demands for war purposes, consumption increased to nearly 40,000,000 tons. Meanwhile shipments from overseas had practically ceased, and we had to make up our deficit by imports from the United States, where war demands were also placing a strain on production facilities.

Up until midsummer of 1942, production in Canada continued to increase, but after that date the rate of production began to slip, chiefly owing to labour leaving the coal mines, some to other industries and many into the armed forces. Those that left were largely from the younger and more active age groups, resulting in a decline in output per man.

Consumption of coal, on the other hand, has continued to rise, estimated coal requirements for 1943 being placed at 43,000,000 tons, 3 millions more than in 1941. The United States, because of its own expansion of industry, its own railway congestion and its own coal mine labour problem, will hardly be able to increase its shipments to Canada. For a short period in January the strike in the anthracite mines of Pennsylvania resulted in an almost complete cessation of shipments.

To make matters worse, we have had one of the most severe winters in many years, some say the worst in fifty years, with extremely low temperatures and heavy snow conditions which added to the strain on already congested transportation facilities.

These are the underlying facts of the present coal situation, and I think they will enable members of this house to grasp the magnitude of the problem with which we have been faced.

Difficulties were foreseen, however, and the government has been actively engaged in coping with them. Last summer the coal administrator of the wartime prices and trade board issued emphatic and repeated warnings of a possible shortage, urging consumers to

take delivery of their winter coal during the summer months and offering through the banks special arrangements for financing such purchases. Many thousands of people followed this advice, thereby relieving the strain on transportation facilities, and ensuring that they would be warm during the coming winter.

Topic:   SHORTAGE OF COAL-MEASURES TO DEAL WITH PROBLEMS OF PRODUCTION AND DISTRIBUTION
Permalink
NAT

Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. GRAYDON:

Was that a large percentage?

Topic:   SHORTAGE OF COAL-MEASURES TO DEAL WITH PROBLEMS OF PRODUCTION AND DISTRIBUTION
Permalink
LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ILSLEY:

Of the coal users? No, a small percentage availed themselves of the facilities. Unfortunately, others ignored the warnings, including many who are now suffering hardship. I believe that while the financing arrangements offered by the government were not taken advantage of on a large scale, the dealers, as a result of the arrangements offered by the government, themselves offered arrangements which were taken advantage of on a fairly large scale.

Realizing that the fuel situation presented one of the most serious threats to the war effort, the government on November 23 last formed an emergency coal production board, naming the coal administrator of the wartime prices and trade board as chairman. Mr. Graham Towers, governor of the Bank of Canada, and Mr. Charles Payne, of the United Mine Workers, were appointed as the other two members of the board. This board was directed to stimulate increased coal production by all available means with a view to reversing the downward trend in output and, if possible, establish new high records in Canadian production. One of the immediate tasks placed before the board was to deal with production problems in western Canada, where the most serious local shortages have developed.

In the brief period of the board's existence active measures have been taken to prevent further losses in production, particularly in cooperation with the Department of Labour and the armed forces. Arrangements were made under which men experienced in coal mining already in the armed forces might be released on leave. In western Canada this has resulted in 285 experienced men returning to the mines, and others are being approached.

From November 1 to January 14 about 2,300 men were placed with mines through the employment and selective service officers, including a number of certified coal miners. Arrangements were made in early autumn to provide deferments under the military callup to men working in specified coal mines. Steps were also taken to withhold work permits to those working in coal mines who wished to enter other employment.

Coal Shortage

In western Canada arrangements were made for provincial governments to issue emergency certificates as a war measure, to allow qualified men to work underground at coal cutting, without having to serve the full probationary period. In the three prairie provinces arrangements were made under which provincial officials might, consistently with selective service regulations, recruit men for the coal mines. Farmers especially were solicited, and some were secured. Farmers generally, where not needed on the farms, were urged to take work in the coal mines during the winter, and a considerable number responded.

In British Columbia 280 former coal miners were taken back to coal mining from other industries. Through employment and selective service offices, coal mines have been asked to provide lists of former employees, and these men are being approached with a view to their returning to the coal mines.

The acute shortage of domestic fuel resulted in special appeals to mine operators, and more especially to miners, to speed up production, which in the main meant asking miners to work harder and longer hours, to cut down absenteeism and certainly to avoid stoppage of work through strikes. During December and January, while we were not entirely free from stoppages due to strikes, in the main the men responded to the appeal very well, and the strikes that did occur were minor, of short duration and quickly settled.

Another side of the coal production problem is the financial ability of the mines themselves to remain in operation. The emergency coal production board was given power to direct the production policy of mines and, where necessary, to provide financial assistance to mines which' find themselves financially unable to continue in maximum production. This has been one of the major aspects of the board's work since its formation, and it is hoped that the measures taken will be reflected in increased output.

In so far as this is a distribution problem it is under the jurisdiction of the coal administrator of the wartime prices and trade board, and I am informed that every effort is being made to distribute available supplies to the best advantage. Foreseeing the coming Shortage in the west, the coal administrator, as long ago as last September, prohibited the movement of Alberta coal into the Ontario market. More recently, Alberta coal which usually moves into Manitoba was diverted to Saskatchewan, and coal from the United States was brought from the head of the lakes to fill up the resulting deficiency in Manitoba. Instructions have been issued that deliveries to consumers in western Canada are to -be limited to

those actually in need. In connection with the fuel situation in western Canada, I should point out that due to the shortage of labour, wood fuel supplies upon which many areas are dependent were greatly curtailed, further accentuating the demand for coal.

Within the last few weeks, regional representatives of the coal administrator have been appointed for Winnipeg, Calgary and Vancouver to regulate and allocate distribution of coal.

In eastern Canada there have been no serious difficulties with the possible exception of isolated shortages of anthracite coal due to the strike in the Pennsylvania fields during January, and some difficulties in distribution due to lack of labour and severe weather conditions.

Topic:   SHORTAGE OF COAL-MEASURES TO DEAL WITH PROBLEMS OF PRODUCTION AND DISTRIBUTION
Permalink

February 5, 1943