Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister):
I should like to make a statement of the policy of the government on civil air transport. First with respect to domestic aviation:
1. During the war a remarkable expansion of Canadian aviation has taken place-in the training of air and ground personnel, in the construction of airports and air navigation facilities, in the manufacture of aircraft, and in the extension of air transport services. Details of this expansion in aviation cannot be revealed at present, and therefore its magnitude is not generally appreciated. The Canadian government is aware of the importance of the developments in aviation now in progress and intends that the people of Canada shall benefit from them to the fullest possible extent.
2. The expansion of air transport services during the period of the war has been confined to war requirements. Canada has concentrated on the development of the British Commonwealth air training plan and on combat flying and, as a result, by agreement with our allies, military air transport in the
Civil Air Transport
northwest has largely been undertaken by the United States army and on the northeast ferry routes by the ferry commands. When war necessities permit and suitable equipment can be obtained, the government will encourage the further development within Canada of air transport services, to supplement and form part of an up-to-date transportation system for Canada by land, water r and air. Transport by air requires close 1 supervision on the part of the government.
] The board of transport commissioners will be ; responsible for regulating traffic matters and 5 for allocating new routes apart from the lines brought under the Trans-Canada Air Lines Act. The civil aviation branch of the Department of Transport will be responsible for the administration of traffic and safety regulations and for the physical development of airways. The government intends to plan a number of routes suitable for post-war air services and offering traffic possibilities that [DOT] will warrant a service. These routes will make use of aerodromes that have been developed for war purposes. The government will also continue to develop airports and other facilities for weather reporting and communications, which will contribute to the expansion of Canadian air transport.
3. While the employment in a peace-time air transport service of all the air and ground personnel of the Royal Canadian Air Force and all the men and women now employed in the aircraft industry in Canada will be impossible, a considerable number will be absorbed into the peace-time aviation industry. To this end the government has undertaken the design of distinctive Canadian types of transport aircraft suitable for post-war industry, in the hope that, when the war ends, a part at least of the equipment for Canadian air transport will be furnished by Canadian factories.
4. Trans-Canada Air Lines will continue to be the instrument of the government in maintaining all trans-continental air transport services and in operating services across international boundary lines and outside Canada. The government will encourage the company to obtain modern aircraft which will keep present services up to modern standards and will expand these services to the fullest extent that post-war conditions permit. The development of supplementary routes will continue to be left to private enterprise, unless considerations of public interest indicate that certain of these routes should be designated by the government as routes to be operated by T.C.A. The operations of T.C.A. will continue to be limited to important services
of a mainline character, where the volume of passenger and mail traffic would justify it.
With respect to international aviation:
5. Canada has a geographical position that will enable it to play an important part in the development of international air transport routes. During the war, the development of international civil air routes must be deferred in favour of military aviation. Canada to-day is the fourth greatest military air power among the united nations, and in the postwar period Canada can make an equally great contribution to civilian air transport.
6. The future of international air transport will be determined in large measure by negotiations between the governments of the united nations. The policy of the government at the moment in dealing with all questions which affect international air transport is to make temporary arrangements, leaving the issues open so that Canada may be able to support, in international negotiations when they take place, whatever policy appears best at that time. The government, however, intends to press vigorously for a place in international air transportation consistent with Canada's geographical position and progress in aviation. All concessions and privileges that have been granted by Canada to other countries as part of the war effort will terminate at the end of the war or almost immediately thereafter.
7. T.C.A. has by its charter the right to operate international air transport services and has already been designated as the instrument of the Canadian government in air transport service across the north Atlantic, and in Canadian services to the United States. The fact that international negotiations of great importance must shortly take place confirms the wisdom of government policy under which its freedom of action in international negotiations is not limited by the existence of private interests in international air transport services.
8. The government has established an interdepartmental committee on international civil aviation to advise it on all matters of international air transport which affect Canada, and particularly on the attitude which Canada should adopt towards post-war developments. This committee has already been at work for a considerable time.
9. The problems of international air transport are, of course, immense and cannot be solved by one country. We are determined, however, that our influence on the course
Civil Air Transport
of events will be in the direction of international co-operation and collaboration. The Canadian government is in complete agreement with the United Kingdom government that "some form of international collaboration will be essential if the air is to be developed in the interests of mankind as a whole, trade served, international understanding fostered and international security-gained."
10. The policy of the Canadian government on air transport may be summed up as follows:
(a) The government sees no good reason for changing its policy that Trans-Canada Air Lines is the sole Canadian agency which may operate international air services.
(b) Within Canada, Trans-Canada Air Lines will continue to operate all transcontinental systems, and such other services of a mainline character as may from time to time be designated by the government. Competition between air services over the same route will not be permitted whether between a publicly-owned service and a privately-owned service or between two privately-owned services. There will remain a large field for the development of air transport in which private Canadian companies may participate, and, while preventing duplication of services, the government will continue to encourage private companies to develop services as traffic possibilities may indicate.
(c) In order to prepare for forthcoming international negotiations on air transport, the government is studying carefully the problems which will have to be dealt with in the negotiations.
(d) The Canadian government strongly favours a policy of international collaboration and co-operation in air transport and is prepared to support in international negotiations whatever international air transport policy can be demonstrated as being best calculated to serve not only the immediate national interests of Canada but also our overriding interest in the establishment of an international order which will prevent the outbreak of another world war.
Subtopic: STATEMENT WITH RESPECT TO POLICY AS TO DOMESTIC AND INTERNATIONAL AVIATION