May 26, 1943

LIB

Humphrey Mitchell (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Hon. HUMPHREY MITCHELL (Minister of Labour):

The hon. member and the

house will realize that the movement of coal miners from any industry must proceed in conformity with the terms of the order in council recently passed after consultation with labour organizations and employers. It should be pointed out that some criticism has been expressed by hon. members of this house with respect to the principle of compulsory transfer, in that the government has not gone far enough in this regard. I need hardly repeat that a grave emergency confronts the country so far as the coal supply is concerned, and of course coal mining in itself is an important basic industry, particularly in this country where we are on an import rather than an export basis. Without coal we cannot have ships, and it is essential that all members of the House of Commons lend their support to the government to face up to the fuel problem that confronts us at the present

time and, I might say further, will confront us more particularly when the cold weather comes next fall.

Topic:   TRANSFER OF COAL MINERS FROM SHIPBUILDING PLANTS
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CCF

Clarence Gillis

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

Mr. CLARENCE GILLIS (Cape Breton South):

Mr. Speaker, I sent notice to the

Minister of Labour of a question similar to the one asked by the hon. member for North BattLeford (Mrs. Nielsen). What machinery is being provided for the moving of employees from other war industries back to mining? At the plant in question .there are 200 miners who were specially trained in shipbuilding. But many of those men are not physically able to return to the occupation of coal mining. If they are to be moved en bloc the net result will be a good deal of unemployment, and this will affect men who are now doing an essential service. Are special precautions being taken against this condition?

Topic:   TRANSFER OF COAL MINERS FROM SHIPBUILDING PLANTS
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LIB

Humphrey Mitchell (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. MITCHELL:

I am sure the hon. member will appreciate the difficulties faced' by national selective service. In the course of the last two weeks I have listened to many speeches in the house respecting the principle of selective service. It has been suggested that we are not moving with expedition. I said a year ago, when this responsibility was placed upon my shoulders, that you had asked for total war and you would get it. In connection with any development there must be sufficient machinery1 to do the work. One cannot overload a machine, or load it to capacity until it is incapable of taking care of the tremendous load placed upon it. My hon. friend can rest assured that selective service will use common sense and good judgment in the moving of men and women from one industry to another.

I know the difficulties confronted by hon. members, and I am sure they appreciate mine, particularly when we have to uproot people and put them into a basic industry, where they are absolutely necessary. May I repeat that coal mining-and I speak for myself- is infinitely more important in this country at the present time than shipbuilding. Perhaps the hon. member is more familiar than I am with the coal mining industry. He knows the climate of this country as well as I do, and will realize that it is far better to take these precautions now than to wait until next fall, and then be faced with the kind of emergency with which I was faced in the western provinces at a time when the temperature was down to forty-two degrees below zero, and the people did not have enough coal for the following day.

Passports

I repeat that I think it is the duty of all of us, when dealing with these 'basic industries, to lend every possible support to the government and to face up to our difficulties.

In further answer to the question may I say this will be undertaken by selective service. I am contemplating setting up a special organization to deal with the problem, headed by a man who understands industry to direct affairs. As the hon. member is no doubt aware, in Pictou and various other towns and cities in his province we have selective service machinery which, in my opinion, is quite capable of undertaking this work.

Topic:   TRANSFER OF COAL MINERS FROM SHIPBUILDING PLANTS
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PASSPORTS

PROCEDURE IN OBTAINING APPLICATION AND RENEWAL FORMS


On the orders of the day:


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):

Yesterday the hon. member for Lincoln (Mr. Lockhart) raised a question about the distribution of passport application forms, and said at the time that he did not attach much importance to the waste of paper that was involved.

Topic:   PASSPORTS
Subtopic:   PROCEDURE IN OBTAINING APPLICATION AND RENEWAL FORMS
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PC

Norman James Macdonald Lockhart

Progressive Conservative

Mr. LOCKHART:

Not in view of the way it is circulated around this House of Commons; divorce bills and the like.

Topic:   PASSPORTS
Subtopic:   PROCEDURE IN OBTAINING APPLICATION AND RENEWAL FORMS
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

The Department of External Affairs is trying to set an example to the other branches of the government.

In reply to the hon. member I would say it has been found that the old practice _ of sending bulk supplies of blank application forms to post offices, railway ticket offices, banks, law firms and travel agencies across the country for the use of potential applicants resulted in the waste of hundreds of thousands of application forms which were never used. Such a practice, while a convenience for the public and justifiable under the easy conditions of peace, would, it is felt, be unnecessary as well as wasteful under conditions of war, when the demand for passports is greatly reduced. It seems doubtful also whether it *is a sound practice for transportation companies and other interested parties to fill out application forms for passport applicants. For the information of hon. members I may say that the government of the United States requires applicants to apply on their own behalf for application forms and charges a fee of $1 for each blank application form.

Under the new arrangement application forms are kept in stock at the passport office, Ottawa, and will be available on the personal application or written request of the person desiring to apply for a passport or a renewal. An exception is made, however, in the case of companies who desire to send any considerable number of employees to the United States, provided they indicate the actual number of employees they are sending for whom passports are required. There should not be any real trouble or delay in having applicants write in for an application or a renewal form. For short trips to the United. States passports are no longer required. Longer trips under war conditions require extensive preparations and consequently there is ample time for applicants to secure an application form and a passport. If stocks of passport application and renewal forms are made available at some points, as the hon. member suggests, in fairness they woidd have to be made available right across the country. The result would be a return to the old system which, as I have said, was found to be somewhat wasteful.

Topic:   PASSPORTS
Subtopic:   PROCEDURE IN OBTAINING APPLICATION AND RENEWAL FORMS
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PC

Norman James Macdonald Lockhart

Progressive Conservative

Mr. LOCKHART:

I suggested yesterday that the post office might be the medium through which this could be done. I do not see why that would not be possible, because every postmaster is a civil servant in the employ of the government of Canada. Emergencies do arise when people require passports, and it takes time to write to Ottawa and get the necessary form. It seems to me the post office should be a satisfactory medium through which to issue these forms.

Topic:   PASSPORTS
Subtopic:   PROCEDURE IN OBTAINING APPLICATION AND RENEWAL FORMS
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SEED POTATOES

RETAIL PRICES AND POSSIBLE SHORTAGE OF POTATOES NEXT FALL AND WINTER


On the orders of the day:


SC

John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. J. H. BLACKMORE (Lethbridge):

I should like to direct a question to the Minister of Agriculture, or to whatever minister is representing him in the house at the present time. Has the attention of the Minister of Agriculture been directed to the fact that the price being charged for seed potatoes to-day by retail stores in certain parts of Canada is most unusually high; and considering this fact, does not the minister fear there is grave danger of such curtailment of potato seeding in Canada as may Result in a serious potato shortage next fall and winter? Will the minister tell the house what precautions are now contemplated by his department to guard against such a serious potato shortage?

War Appropriation-Army

Topic:   SEED POTATOES
Subtopic:   RETAIL PRICES AND POSSIBLE SHORTAGE OF POTATOES NEXT FALL AND WINTER
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LIB

Thomas Alexander Crerar (Minister of Mines and Resources)

Liberal

Hon. T. A. CRERAR (Minister of Mines and Resources):

I am not familiar with the question raised by the hon. member, but I shall endeavour to have an answer to-morrow.

Topic:   SEED POTATOES
Subtopic:   RETAIL PRICES AND POSSIBLE SHORTAGE OF POTATOES NEXT FALL AND WINTER
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SC

John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. BLACKMORE:

I gave notice of the question.

Topic:   SEED POTATOES
Subtopic:   RETAIL PRICES AND POSSIBLE SHORTAGE OF POTATOES NEXT FALL AND WINTER
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DEFENCE OF CANADA REGULATIONS

REQUEST FOR THE LIBERATION OF MR. CAMILLIEN HOUDE


On the orders of the day: Mr. LIGUORI LACOMBE (Laval-Two Mountains) (Translation): Mr. Speaker, I should like to put a question to the hon. Minister of Justice (Mr. St. Laurent), or in his absence, to the hon. member for Mercier (Mr. Jean), his parliamentary assistant. Has Mr. Camillien Houd'e, former mayor of Montreal and member for Ste. Marie in the provincial legislature, applied for release from internment camp to the advisory board which hears petitions concerning liberations of this kind? In the affirmative, has a decision been reached or judgment rendered1, and what are the findings?


LIB

Joseph Jean (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General)

Liberal

Mr. JOSEPH JEAN (Parliamentary Assistant) :

Mr. Speaker, I have not the information requested by the hon. member for Laval-Two Mountains. I will endeavour to get it for him.

Topic:   DEFENCE OF CANADA REGULATIONS
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR THE LIBERATION OF MR. CAMILLIEN HOUDE
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May 26, 1943