Mr. Speaker, coming from a constituency in which there is a good deal of coal mining, I wish to support the hon. member for Bow River (Mr. Johnston) in what he has said. For the most part, however, my constituency is engaged in mining bituminous coal, and perhaps the situation there is not as acute as it is in the Drumheller mines. Nevertheless in certain parts of my territory we find mines producing domestic coal. It has been brought to my knowledge that many of those local mines have closed down, and the miners have either moved away or had to seek some other type of employment.
I know the problem is not an easy one, particularly when the weather has a habit of playing pranks on us. But the fact that we have had a mild winter does not make any difference to the situation described by the hon. member for Bow River. The fact is that conditions are such, for one reason and, I believe, one reason only, namely, that the government have not yet determined on an adequate and proper national fuel policy. They never have had one; they have never seemed to be trying to get one, and I do not know that there is much hope of the present government ever getting one.
We have unemployment in a time of war. The telegrams referred to by the hon. member reminded me of depression days. That was the kind of telegrams we used to get in those days, and it seems strange that in a time of war, when industry should be working at full capacity, there should be such unemployment in those industries. I support the hon. member, and I say the time is long past due when the government should have announced something of a permanent nature in respect of a fuel policy for Canada.
Topic: LABOUR CONDITIONS-UNEMPLOYMENT IN ALBERTA COAL MINING AREAS-STATEMENT OF HON. MEMBER FOR BOW RIVER