Mr. J. R. MacNICOL (Davenport):
Mr. Speaker, I can heartily endorse what the hon. member (Mr. Isnor) who has just taken his seat has said about the Canadian banking system. He paid it a well-deserved tribute. Our money is perfectly safe in the hands of the present banks throughout Canada. I endorse also what he said as he resumed his seat, that this proposed bank, if it carries out what I interpret from the bill to be its purpose, will to a large extent act as a competitor of the present banking system.
I am not on the banking and commerce committee, but if I were I would feel grateful to most, I should say all, of the members who have participated in this debate. I do not endorse what all of them have said, but I endorse a great deal, and so far as that which I do not endorse is concerned, if I were a member of the committee it would be like a watch-dog.
Most hon. members who have spoken have proceeded along two or three different lines. Some have made the burden of their remarks the fact, as they say, that the establishment of the bank would result an decentralization. I am afraid very few understand what decentralization would mean in business. For instance, how could you decentralize the steel company in Sydney, Nova Scotia? I do not think it could be done. AVhen big manufacturing concerns are established they take into consideration all the factors-where the raw product comes from, where power is to be obtained, the market, and so on-and then they decide, with all these factors before them, exactly where to set up their business. I do not believe it would be possible to decentralize the Ontario hydro electric commission, because they produce vast quantities of power where a vast volume of water is obtainable. There are perhaps businesses that could be decentralized, but most folks talking about decentralization either have not had much experience in business or do not fully appreciate the ramifications of the term.
I am going to direct most of my remarks to the second section entitled "interpretation", and specifically, indeed almost wholly, to the words "generating or distributing of electricity is carried on". Much has been said in this
Industrial Development Bank
debate about starting business, and I believe that if the bank is properly operated it can serve a purpose in setting business in motion. However, one fundamental that lies at the bottom of any manufacturing business is power; so thait in starting up businesses throughout the country I hope-at any rate I am going to interpret the measure in such a way as to warrant the hope-that this bank will permit, of assistance to provincial governments or to private power companies to enable them to produce power on a large scale. If this is done throughout the country new businesses can be set up, and there should be thousands of them when the war is over, so that those who wish to invest money, including the bank itself, will at least have the fundamental, which is cheap power, to start with.
I a.m glad to say that in Ontario our great hydro electric power commission, of which we in this province are all proud, and to which the province owes in largest measure its great industrial development, is ready to take advantage of any business being offered where power is required.
Most hon. members know that not so long ago, last summer I believe it was, the DeCew falls power plant was opened in the Niagara peninsula. I do not know what would have happened to a great number of businesses had that power plant not been put in operation. If tills bank does not provide for the production of power under this clause, then it will lose much of its possible use from my point of view. I repeat, I do not know what would have happened had it not been for the DeCew power plant.
What has happened recently in northwestern Ontario? An iron mine is to be put in operation. There was a power plant not far from the mine, on a river that had to be diverted. The water had to be allowed to go from its reservoir. I believe the plant was generating 10,000 horse-power. It belonged to the Ontario and Minnesota Pulp and Paper Company, which was a power-producing concern also. Fortunately the Ontario hydro electric commission was able to purchase the immediate power rights of the concern by being able to deliver 10,000 horse-power to the said company by merely installing one more generator on the Nipigon river at Alexander Falls.
I should like to see other provinces placed in the same position. I am one of those who believe that the more business there is in a province, the more manufacturing companies that are set up in that province, the better it will be for all the other provinces.
I cannot for a moment subscribe to the assertion that by advocating, as I do, the production of power in other provinces and
the introduction of more business in those provinces, this will take business away from Ontario. I believe that, on the contrary, it would greatly increase the business activities of Ontario. I want to be in a position, therefore, to help other provinces to get on their feet, as in these two instances I have mentioned'.
The Ontario hydro electric commission at the moment is developing, from its own plants, 1,630,000 horse-power. That is a large volume of power to be developed by a power commission belonging to a province. It buys another 910,000 horse-power. It has, therefore, under its control a total of 2,540,,000 horse-power, so that it is in a position to take advantage of the supply of power to companies wishing to start up if the bank will advance the money. Outside Quebec, what other province is in, that position? Quebec has a great deal of power which is produced cheaply. I should like to see the maritime provinces enabled to deliver [DOT] power in large blocks and cheaply, and if the province of New Brunswick, for example, is not able to do this from its power plant on the St. John river at Grand Falls, I should like to know why it is not. Perhaps this bank might come to the rescue of whoever controls that power plant at Grand Falls by bringing about some agreement with our cousins to the south so that the head waters of the St. John river could be stored in reservoirs to provide a large source of power. If that were done New Brunswick would have more cheap power and on a larger scale, and many industries could be started in that province. So far as the Petitcodiac power potentiality is concerned, I dt>
not know what development could take place there. That is a tidal proposal which has been mentioned for many years. I do not know of any tidal electric power plant of any magnitude anywhere. I believe there is a small one in Nova Scotia, but what I am thinking of is a large plant that could deliver large volumes of power, and if Petitcodiac can be developed, so much the better.
Those who have been observing the advertisements of the Ontario hydro electric commission will know that they are right up to the minute in preparations for delivering vast volumes of cheap power and circulating it throughout the province. They have at present 120,000 users in rural communities, of whom 65,000 are farmers. That places the farmers in a position to enter into many little industries in the rural areas to make material they could sell. Why should not every other province be placed in the same position with regard to cheap power? I con-
Industrial Development Bank
tend they should be. This bank may enable them or their power commissions to get into that position. I hope it will. They will then be in a position to start thousands and thousands of businesses, which they could not start in any other way; because anybody entering into a business wants to know, first, the cost of power; second, where are the raw products; third, where are the markets and fourth, where can the operators be obtained to work the plants, big or small? Ontario is in that position. The Ontario . hydro electric power commission is in a position to deliver any amount of power to thousands of small businesses which I hope will start up as a result, not particularly of the amount of money mentioned in this bill, because I take that only as a start. If 1100,000,000 can be voted this year there is no reason why the bank could not expand and be voted another 8100,000,000 next year, and continue in that way from one year to another. After all, 8100,000.000 will not go very far in thousands of industries. We have to be in a position to have thousands of industries to take care of our great heroes when they come back from overseas.
The Ontario hydro electric power commission has cut down the price of power delivered to the farmers until to-day a farmer can buy 420 kilowatt hours in three months for 810.68. In some of the small communities many people will be able to operate a one-eighth horse-power motor, or a one-quarter horse-power motor, or a one-half horse-power motor and make many things and be monarchs of all they survey. There are dozens of people, with many of whom I am acquainted, who make things and sell many small products to the big stores and others throughout Canada. There is no reason why we should not have thousands of new industries established throughout the country, but we must first have cheap power. Ontario is in a position to increase its power production very rapidly to a very large volume. It could increase it another million. There is a plant about to be established on the Ottawa river, not far from [DOT] here-the name has slipped my mind for the moment-where they are making preparations to produce another 400,000 horse-power. At many other points Ontario is in a position to do that. That is in addition to the proposed development of 1,000.000 horse-power on the St. Lawrence waterways. I hope that is carried through. It will mean that 1,000,000 horse-power in the international section of the St. Lawrence is developed for us and 1.000.000 horse-power for the United States; I am glad to see that the President of the United States is moving in that direction. When that is done everything will be electrified and electricity will come into its own as never before.
I am convinced it will provide hundreds of thousands of jobs. There is nothing like it.
I wish to say a word about our western provinces. I have a very warm feeling for the western provinces. I want to see them get on their feet in the power production field. The province of Manitoba uses at the present time about 395,000 horse-power and has a surplus of 25,700 horse-power. As I said a few moments ago, under the hydro electric power commission Ontario is producing and buying 2,540,000 horse-power. Manitoba has only a small part of what we produce here, but they can have a lot more power in Manitoba. They can produce it cheaply. I hope this bank will be so organized that if the Manitoba hydro power commission wishes to get some of this money to create more cheap power it will be able to get it. In any event, if it does, the bank's money will be safe.
To-day Manitoba has a surplus of about 25,700 horse-power; that is a total of 420,700 horse-power. That surplus would not much more than serve the little plant which was recently started in northwest Ontario. It would supply sufficient power for such iron mines and so forth. If Manitoba were called upon to supply 30,000 horse-power to develop more mines-and they have lots of mineral resources to start with
they would require more power. They have ample opportunity to generate it. There is a splendid falls in the northern part of your province, Mr. Speaker, on the Nelson river. It is called White Mud falls and is down river east of lake Winnipeg where the river drops about thirty-five feet, and where the volume is about
35,000 cubic feet per second. It could be easily harnessed. There would be no difficulty in developing a power plant there. The minimum capacity of that plant would be over 100,000 horse-power. The maximum would be two or three times that. If the level of lake Winnipeg were raised by a dam on the Nelson river it would be still more. If a power plant were established there it would in time open up scores and scores of industries in that part of Manitoba which is overflowing with natural resources. These resources are waiting for cheap power.
If this bank can advance money to the Manitoba power commission under this clause to make more power and cheaper power available, it would be a fine thing for Manitoba, would it not? That province is now proposing to go into the electrification of farms. I hope it does. I have recently read that the government of Manitoba proposes within a period of -I am not sure how long the programme is-
Industrial Development Bank
ten years to electrify 30,000 farms. The Ontario power comission has a programme in mind to spend $6,000,000 for the further extension of power in this province. That will result immediately in orders to the electric equipment companies in Ontario and elsewhere up to the amount of $4,000,000. That will mean a lot of employment in electric manufacturing plants in Ontario, apart from the provision of cheap light and power to farms for grinding their fodder, and it will increase the possibility of enlarging the stock population and so forth. If this bank can do for Manitoba what we have been able to do in Ontario, so much the better for Ontario as well as for Manitoba, because every additional thousand dollars made in Manitoba means more business for Canada from Victoria to Halifax.
I wish to say a word or two about Saskatchewan. This is one province that certainly deserves the help and support of this bank, and I now have in mind what was said by two or three speakers who preceded me about the industrialization of Saskatchewan. There are two or three things that can encourage industrialization in that province. Saskatchewan should be industrialized; but what chance has that fine city of Regina and- that fine city of Moose Jaw to secure their due of industries? If you ask me why, I shall say the lack of water. There are scores of fine industries that would like to start in those cities, but they cannot start because there is no water for industries requiring large quantities of water. They have hardly enough there to supply their domestic needs, quite apart from the vast quantities that are used in many industries. [ shall not take the time of the house to name industries. Perhaps the hon. members know them. But there are many of them. I hope this bank will come forward and help the province of Saskatchewan and help the cities on the plains to get water. If the bank can help provide water for them and at the same time provide power, they will revolutionize the whole centre of that province.
Subtopic: PROVISION OF ADDITIONAL CREDIT FACILITIES FOR FIXED AND WORKING CAPITAL