March 3, 1944


On the orders of the day:


NAT

Thomas Langton Church

National Government

Mr. T. L. CHURCH (Broadview):

I hope the Prime Minister will pardon me" for not giving him notice of the question I am about to ask. Would he care to clarify the answer he gave to the question regarding the national flag asked by the hon. member for Quebec-Montmorency (Mr. LaCroix) on Monday last? In reading the answer I find that it goes much farther than the answer which was given to the same hon. member last June; and it has been accepted as a declaration by parliament, which it is not. I think the Prime Minister is quite right in saying that these matters should not be brought up during war, but I think he will agree with me when I say that the last reply goes much farther than the previous one. Would he care to look into the question again and clarify it?

Topic:   NATIONAL FLAG
Subtopic:   REFERENCE TO ANSWER TO QUESTION ON FEBRUARY 28
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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):

I have nothing to add to what I have said already. I thought what I said the other day, in addition to what I had previously said, was in the nature of a clarification, and I should not wish at this time to attempt to clarify the clarification.

Topic:   NATIONAL FLAG
Subtopic:   REFERENCE TO ANSWER TO QUESTION ON FEBRUARY 28
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NAT

Thomas Langton Church

National Government

Mr. CHURCH:

There is only one national flag and one national anthem.

Supp ly-A griculture

The house in committee of supply, Mr. Bradette in the chair.

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE . 1. Departmental administration, $130,106.

Topic:   NATIONAL FLAG
Subtopic:   REFERENCE TO ANSWER TO QUESTION ON FEBRUARY 28
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NAT

William Earl Rowe

National Government

Mr. ROWE:

Mr. Chairman, it is not my purpose to hold up the estimates of the department, or to deal with them in as great detail as has been my practice in other sessions. I observe with interest, of course, that these estimates are substantially larger than they have been in other years. I can recall that not so many years ago the agriculture estimates were little more than a third as large as they are at the present time; and in addition to what has been spent on agricultural services, as was pointed out not long ago in reply to a question asked by the hon. member for Haldimand, in the last two or three years we have spent on Canadian agriculture something approaching a quarter of a billion dollars. It may be said, and with some truth, that much of this money has had to be spent because we have not progressed as far as we might have in connection with scientific agriculture, or indeed because we have never had an over-all national agricultural policy. It has been a more or less haphazard policy, and now we seem to be paying the penalty. Just to what extent bonuses and subsidies will have to be carried on is not known even to those who may feel optimistic of the support that has been given to agriculture during these difficult years.

I notice that included in the estimates is some $50,000 or $75,000 to be spent by the entomological branch for the protection of forests, which I suppose would include the distribution of insecticides to deal with all sorts of forest diseases, and I wish to draw the committee's attention to the relative importance of the forest industry of this country and to indicate what little attention has been given it in this parliament. I think I can say that during the last twenty years the estimates of the Department of Agriculture have been more thoroughly discussed than those of any other department of the government. On many occasions we have discussed wheat; we have dealt with live stock and dairy products, plant diseases and everything else that comes under this department. I believe that in many cases the money spent by this department has been spent wisely, but I do not believe the estimates of any other department have received anything like the attention and discussion that parliament has given the estimates of the Department of Agriculture. On the other hand

*Mr. Mackenzie King.]

we have all the great industries associated with our forest resources, to which we have given no attention in years gone by and on which very little money has been spent. I suggest to the minister that the government should give some consideration to the reorganization of the various services involved, to the end that the great forest industry of this dominion may be given more national attention.

We look at the estimates and find that all the forestry services furnished by the federal treasury cost a total of only about $300,000. This is only thirty per cent of what is spent annually on our national parks. Then we see that $1,875,000 annually is spent in order to provide the services of the fisheries department. I know 'the Minister of Fisheries will not want that amount reduced, nor will the fishermen throughout this dominion, because it is a very valuable resource which I believe produces some $50,000,000 to $70,000,000 annually for that industry. On the other hand the forest resources of Canada return to this country's treasury approximately $79,000,000 in tax revenue alone each year, of which less than one-half of one per cent is spent in the protection and conservation of our great forest wealth.

During the last few weeks we have done a good deal of talking about the post-war period. Indeed, it has seemed to me that we spent a great deal of time talking about post-war rehabilitation problems when we should have been spending more time considering how to win this war, because it is not won yet. With the single exception of agriculture no industry contributes more to the favourable trade balances of this country than does the forest industry; none produces more of the things necessary to carry on the war; none contributes more to the employment of our people. To-day the products of our forests are contained in the parcels that go to the battle fronts, in the waddings used in the hospitals, and in hundreds of new commodities which have been developed during the last five years. Long ago Germany and other countries which are now our enemies planned constructive forestry policies and gave their great forest resources a prominent place in their national considerations. Other countries, such as Sweden, have considered their forest resources-

Topic:   NATIONAL FLAG
Subtopic:   REFERENCE TO ANSWER TO QUESTION ON FEBRUARY 28
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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

On a point of order, Mr. Chairman, I have no objection to my hon. friend discussing the expenditures made in connection with entomology so far as our forests are concerned, when we come to that item, but I submit that the discussion he is

Supply-Agriculture

carrying on now should come under the estimates of the Department of Mines and Resources. We in the Department of Agriculture have nothing to do with forestry as such; that is a matter which should be brought up on the estimates of another department.

Topic:   NATIONAL FLAG
Subtopic:   REFERENCE TO ANSWER TO QUESTION ON FEBRUARY 28
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NAT

William Earl Rowe

National Government

Mr. ROWE:

I would draw the minister's attention to his own report on forest insect investigations and services, which indicates that substantial sums have been spent on this work.

Topic:   NATIONAL FLAG
Subtopic:   REFERENCE TO ANSWER TO QUESTION ON FEBRUARY 28
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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

On entomology.

Topic:   NATIONAL FLAG
Subtopic:   REFERENCE TO ANSWER TO QUESTION ON FEBRUARY 28
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NAT

William Earl Rowe

National Government

Mr. ROWE:

On forest insect investigation, carried on by his department. I understand that we had a perfect right under this first item to discuss anything dealt with in these estimates, and I see no particular point of order at the moment. When the minister raised the point of order I* believe I was emphasizing the importance of the industry, and the fact that it is highly indigenous to this country. I submit that I have a perfect right to proceed.

Topic:   NATIONAL FLAG
Subtopic:   REFERENCE TO ANSWER TO QUESTION ON FEBRUARY 28
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LIB

Joseph-Arthur Bradette (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

The CHAIRMAN:

I believe the point of order raised by the Minister of Agriculture is well taken. The item under consideration certainly has not much to do with forestry. The minister points out that the estimates of other departments will be before the committee, at which time forestry can be discussed.

Topic:   NATIONAL FLAG
Subtopic:   REFERENCE TO ANSWER TO QUESTION ON FEBRUARY 28
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PC

Mark Cecil Senn

Progressive Conservative

Mr. SENN:

I do not often speak on a point of order, but I must point out that page 26 of the report of the Department of Agriculture deals with forest pathology. Reference is made to investigations which have taken place in connection with the decay of poplar, and it is stated that some of the pulp and paper companies have been adversely affected by forest conditions. There is reference to disease in red pine plantations, and so on. Certainly in my judgment the question asked by the hon. member is a proper one. My understanding is that any of the estimates in the Department of Agriculture can be debated when the first item, the item for administration, is called.

Topic:   NATIONAL FLAG
Subtopic:   REFERENCE TO ANSWER TO QUESTION ON FEBRUARY 28
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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

If we are to follow, the procedure of discussing every item in the estimates on the general administration item, then I am sure we shall have this discussion on another occasion. The rules of the house are intended to prevent just that. There is no reason why questions having to do with the preservation of forests, through expenditures on entomology, and also studies of diseases of trees, should not be discussed under the proper item. But to discuss forestry

under the general item of administration is not, in my submission, in accordance with the rules.

Topic:   NATIONAL FLAG
Subtopic:   REFERENCE TO ANSWER TO QUESTION ON FEBRUARY 28
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NAT

William Earl Rowe

National Government

Mr. ROWE:

Speaking again to the point of order, it is on the very feature to which the minister has referred-

Topic:   NATIONAL FLAG
Subtopic:   REFERENCE TO ANSWER TO QUESTION ON FEBRUARY 28
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LIB

Thomas Bruce McNevin

Liberal

Mr. McNEVIN:

The chairman has already given his decision. This is all out of order.

Topic:   NATIONAL FLAG
Subtopic:   REFERENCE TO ANSWER TO QUESTION ON FEBRUARY 28
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LIB

Joseph-Arthur Bradette (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

The CHAIRMAN:

We will hear the discussion, if it is brief.

Topic:   NATIONAL FLAG
Subtopic:   REFERENCE TO ANSWER TO QUESTION ON FEBRUARY 28
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NAT

William Earl Rowe

National Government

Mr. ROWE:

It is the fact that we have our forest insect service under the item for entomology, in the Department of Agriculture, to which I am directing my remarks. If I am given the time to do so I will suggest to the minister ways and means by which he may be relieved of forest insect investigations. I am endeavouring to do this in a constructive way, not in any spirit of criticism of this or any previous government. This is a neglect which is apparent to many people, and a condition which has been given too little attention in committee. I am not referring particularly to the service which has been given, because, as the minister knows, it would not take us long to discuss that. I have in mind departmental rearrangement. In view of this fact I submit it is proper that we discuss the general set-up of the estimates on the administration item.

Topic:   NATIONAL FLAG
Subtopic:   REFERENCE TO ANSWER TO QUESTION ON FEBRUARY 28
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NAT

Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. GRAYDON:

May I say one word? I happen to know that the hon. member for Dufferin-Simcoe has given much research and study to the point involved, and the subject is one of very great importance. Having given some thought to the matter myself it is my view that he might discuss his thesis on this item.

Topic:   NATIONAL FLAG
Subtopic:   REFERENCE TO ANSWER TO QUESTION ON FEBRUARY 28
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LIB

John Gordon Ross

Liberal

Mr. ROSS (Moose Jaw):

He may not be here later.

Topic:   NATIONAL FLAG
Subtopic:   REFERENCE TO ANSWER TO QUESTION ON FEBRUARY 28
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NAT

Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. GRAYDON:

The hon. member for Moose Jaw enters into this now. I can understand why he would make that remark. It was not a very becoming one, at that-

Topic:   NATIONAL FLAG
Subtopic:   REFERENCE TO ANSWER TO QUESTION ON FEBRUARY 28
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LIB

John Gordon Ross

Liberal

Mr. ROSS (Moose Jaw):

Is that so?

Topic:   NATIONAL FLAG
Subtopic:   REFERENCE TO ANSWER TO QUESTION ON FEBRUARY 28
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March 3, 1944