March 23, 1944

LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Munitions and Supply)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

The plant was in production last November.

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PC
LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Munitions and Supply)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

In production before that. Full production means, of course, every unit operating at capacity, and it is not up to that now. As Time magazine stated-and it was quite correct with regard to one feature- butyl production turned out to be a very difficult process. As I stated this afternoon, we planned these plants before buna-S or butyl rubber had ever been produced on this continent outside of a laboratory. It was believed in the early stages that it would be easier to make butyl than buna-S. It turned out in practice that there were difficulties in large scale operation in connection with butyl, but those have been overcome and butyl production is stepping up very satisfactorily.

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PC

Alfred Henry Bence

Progressive Conservative

Mr. BENCE:

Last year the minister stated that he anticipated the production of butyl would be eight thousand tons. The other day he said four thousand tons. Is that because of the difficulty that we have run into in connection with the production?

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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Munitions and Supply)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

No, I do not think so. I am not sure whether the figure is four thousand or eight thousand. Perhaps the eight thousand figure was wrong. Whatever we planned originally will be produced.

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PC

Alfred Henry Bence

Progressive Conservative

Mr. BENCE:

According to the minister's statement of last year eight thousand tons were planned originally. I was wondering why four thousand tons were mentioned in the statement the other day.

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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Munitions and Supply)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

I do not think the unit was dropped. It may have been dropped, but I do not think so. I shall get the answer and give it to my hon. friend. I think I was correct in the first statement that we shall

eventually have eight thousand tons of butyl, but sometimes changes are made. I do not recall a change in that particular capacity. Sometimes we slip from one product to another while we are building the plant, but I shall look into the facts of the matter as to butyl. *

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PC

Agar Rodney Adamson

Progressive Conservative

Mr. ADAMSON:

Has the minister any information about the plant at Sutton-Horsley?

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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Munitions and Supply)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

Yes, Sutton-Horsley was a small operation stepped up into a very large operation. We had a need for a large number of instruments for trainer aircraft and a contract was given to Sutton-Horsley. Considerable advances of working capital were made and it was found that the finances of the company were being badly handled. The inventory on hand did not represent the advances made. We therefore put in a controller in the person of Mr. Pinchin to straighten out the operation, and particularly the finances of the company. He succeeded in doing that. All the operating capital put in by the government was recovered and the receivership was ended. The fact that the work has dropped off recently is on account of the falling off in the production of trainer planes. They have dropped sharply as a result of the curtailment of the air training programme, and the future of the existing contracts depends entirely on the future production of trainer aircraft in this country.

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CCF

Joseph William Burton

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

Mr. BURTON:

Would the minister care to discuss the question to which I referred?

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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Munitions and Supply)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

Yes. We had representations from this cooperative. The representations were turned over to the crown assets allocation committee. The difficulty at the moment is that no department of government has declared agricultural implements or anything resembling them a surplus; therefore we have nothing to send to the cooperative at the moment. Their request is on file, and as soon as we have the type of implement in which they are interested we shall be glad to have their help and the help of other cooperatives in distributing the production in the area in which they operate.

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CCF

Alexander Malcolm Nicholson

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

Mr. NICHOLSON:

On page 5 of the report made available to members to-day appears an item for Frost and Wood of $281,146. I understand that this company at Smiths Falls has recently received an order for a thousand reapers and some work has been done on retooling. I wonder if an order of that kind would come through Munitions and Supply and, if so, what country at this stage of the world's history is going back to the reaper? Are we to make it possible for tight materials

War Appropriation-Supplies

to be made available for the making of reapers? Has the minister any information about that?

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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Munitions and Supply)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

I may say that Frost and Wood had a contract through my department for making gun carriages, I think it was. I believe that contract has been completed. I am sure that if they have a contract for reapers it is a contract they received through the ordinary channels of trade. My department does not buy reapers.

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CCF

Alexander Malcolm Nicholson

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

Mr. NICHOLSON:

Is there not a department concerned about the releasing of tight materials for the manufacture of an article like the reaper? Surely it should be a matter of government concern as to whether or not Canadian workmen and Canadian materials are to be used for the manufacture of reapers?

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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Munitions and Supply)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

There is no tight material situation associated with that type of production.

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CCF

Alexander Malcolm Nicholson

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

Mr. NICHOLSON:

Farmers across the

country are being told that there is a serious shortage of all the materials used in the manufacture of farm implements. If we can release materials for the manufacture of reapers I should imagine that those materials should be made available for other much more necessary instruments of production. I have not seen a reaper in operation during my lifetime. It seems a pity that workmen and materials should be used, if my information is right, in the manufacture of reapers.

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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Munitions and Supply)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

I really cannot say. That contract was not placed by the Department of Munitions and Supply. I do not know the story.

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PC

Agar Rodney Adamson

Progressive Conservative

Mr. ADAMSON:

Has the minister any information about the cost of aircraft?

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SC

Robert Fair

Social Credit

Mr. FAIR:

Are we to understand that there is no longer a shortage of material used in farm implements?

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LIB

March 23, 1944