March 31, 1944

NAT

Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. GRAYDON:

Perhaps the reason why the minister, who comes from Ontario, may

War Appropriation-Transport

feel keenly about this matter, is that he is afraid of losing his seat, and the same would apply to * the hon. member who was going to rise-

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?

An hon. MEMBER:

Haldimand-Norfolk.

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NAT

Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. GRAYDON:

-and to the hon. member from the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation who has just spoken, that the Haldimand-Norfolk seat was just taken from his party, too. May I say to the government whip, over there, that he is representing Norfolk, and must know what his situation is in relation to that seat.

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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Munitions and Supply)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

This whole thing is political, is it not?

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NAT

Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. GRAYDON:

Let me say this, that when the minister talks about irresponsibility, that is a reflection not only upon the premier, but also upon his legislature and upon his government. More than that, it is a reflection upon the people of Ontario who sent the Minister of Munitions and Supply to this house.

I want to say this, that when we talk about a contribution, and the position taken by the premier of Ontario, and when the minister says he has been damaging Canada, then I say that the record of the premier of Ontario is of such a character both in war and in peace that no one can stand up honestly and draw the interpretation, as the minister has done to-day that George Drew is not a patriotic, honest and well-meaning citizen, one who is trying to do his best, and has tried his best through all these years to prod a very dull, stolid and slow government into war-time action.

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SC

Frederick Davis Shaw

Social Credit

Mr. SHAW:

Mr. Chairman, now that there is a lull in the Ottawa-Ontario battle, I hope to be able to direct attention back to civil aviation. On March 17 the Minister of Munitions and Supply gave to the House of Commons the government's views regarding civil aviation, both domestic and international. At the conclusion of his presentation he placed upon the record a draft of an international air transport convention, which I judge was the government's contribution to future international discussion. As I approach the question of civil aviation I consider it imperative that I bear in mind that the minister indicated that the views which he expressed and the convention which he tabled must be regarded as tentative or preliminary, and may be rejected at a future date-this is my view and perhaps not the minister's-by the partners in the commonwealth or by any of the allies with whom we are now associated. During the

short time at my disposal I shall try to place some of my views before the committee.

Upon more than one occasion I have stated in this chamber that I condemn centralized monopoly control, whether by a private corporation or by a government, whether on land or in the air. I consider it to be totalitarian in nature and anti-democratic in operation. Of the two I fear government monopoly more than I fear private monopoly. So far as private monopoly is concerned, there is always the hope that the government, which should be the supreme authority in the state since it is the people, may legislate or act under existing legislation to break a private monopoly. As I say, there is always that hope. On the other hand, so far as government monopoly is concerned, there is no force within the country, unless the people reach the stage where they rise in revolution, to break the monopoly. I repeat that I fear government monopoly more than I fear private monopoly, but I have absolutely no use for either.

I do not think I am going too far when I assert that anyone who subscribes to a form of state monopoly is extolling the virtues of countries such as those against whom we are warring to-day. The Minister of Munitions and Supply, I judge-I have the right to my own opinion-was making a complete denunciation of the principle of competition. I would assert that as a result of the minister's declaration the government has gone on record as favouring at least a degree of state monopoly. It is strange for one sitting over here to understand how a minister of the crown or a private member of the government party can stand up and criticize, let us say the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation party, for advocating state control and then, by approving the action of the government with which he is associated, take rapid strides in that direction.

I do not know by what reasoning or calculation it can be argued that a government which, either through lack of vision or through lack of energy of management, cannot manage an enterprise in competition with another enterprise yet hope, after the elimination of the competitive enterprise, to render to the people, of the country a superior type of service at prices which would be established by competition or which would satisfy the public interest to a greater extent. I am not sure that I have made my point clear. Let me repeat. If we have a government owned enterprise and a privately operated enterprise, and the government, because of the nature of its operations, cannot compete with the private enterprise and render the necessary

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service, then I cannot see how they can eliminate the other and hope to render a higher type of service.

The Minister of Munitions and Supply re-* ferred to our airmen and many hon. members have referred to our airmen on previous occasions. We have a great deal of admiration for their magnificent accomplishments and we look forward to the day when they will return. We realize that they have had considerable training and naturally when they return will be intensely interested in civil aviation. Their exploits demonstrate that they have been properly trained. There is also the fact that the commonwealth air training scheme has been in operation in this country. This has instilled in the minds of the Canadian people a great enthusiasm with respect to post-war aviation possibilities. Added to this we know the Canadian people are fully aware of the extent and development of transport services during the war. We know they recognize that all services have been speeded up as a consequence of the utilization of air transport.

When these lads return after the war they are going to look for opportunities to engage in aviation. After the last war this was true. Many of our pilots, mechanics and others returning at that time undertook the carrying on of their interests in the northland, but so far as I have been able to ascertain these boys in almost every instance were financed or at least employed by mining companies, petroleum companies and other companies interested in the development of the northland, and these enterprises themselves were also assisted by the government by the granting of mail contracts. I am not aware that many of these young men returning from the last war were able to finance the establishment of any air routes in any part of Canada.

After this war we look, according to the minister's statement, to a rich new opportunity for our airmen so far as branch air routes are concerned. I am sure that these boys when they come back will not have very much money, and I am sure they will look for assistance if they engage in aviation. I wonder if it is the government's intention to finance the establishment of companies in which these boys might be interested, operating over unprofitable routes. I wonder if we may have in civil aviation after the war something comparable with what happened in land settlement after the last war, when many men were put on unproductive land, placed upon farms on which no one should have been placed. I wonder if we shall have a repetition of that so far as civil aviation is concerned after this war. In other words, is the government going to purchase unprofit-

able feeder lines or establish new lines of an unprofitable nature? If it purchases unprofitable feeder lines or establishes new lines that are unprofitable, I fear, too, that we shall have a situation where ultimately privately owned lines will be taken over by the government at an over-capitalized valuation. We have had that experience in connection with the railroads. The government undertook to engage in that enterprise and purchased overcapitalized railways which plunged the countiy into debt, where incidentally it remains. Surely if we are not careful in regard to civil aviation, the Canadian people are in for a most disillusioning experience.

As I said a few moments ago, Canadians are intensely interested in post-war aviation possibilities. The present working range of transport aircraft fascinates the Canadian people. I recall reading only a few days ago about the transport aircraft recently manufactured by the Glenn L. Martin Aircraft Company of Baltimore. Many have no doubt read about this machine, known as the Mars, with a wing spread of two hundred feet and a capacity equal to almost fifteen rooms of a dwelling, a craft which is able to lift a load of seventy-four tons, including the weight of the ship, the crew, the gas and the cargo. Only recently this aircraft flew non-stop to Brazil and returned non-stop, a total distance of 8,972 miles. That and other experiences and other knowledge in connection with air transport developments have interested our people greatly.

The Canadian people also know that the most economic air routes to Europe and Asia will traverse Canadian territory and/or the British possessions, namely, Labrador and Newfoundland. We know that the much discussed great, circle route over the north polar regions to Europe and Asia also crosses Canada. It has been suggested by some that from a geographical point of view the city of Winnipeg will become the aviation centre of North America. But I prefer to look upon Edmonton as the logical jumping-off point, so that naturally I see a greater future for that city so far as civil aviation is concerned.

*Our Canadian people know that after this war we shall have in this country those vast installations, many of them in the northwest, which have been established by the United States government but become the property of Canada after the war. This ground apparatus throughout the northwest is on a direct route to Europe and Asia.

As I have already said, the British commonwealth air training plan will turn out for us approximately one-quarter of a million young

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men who will have developed aviation skills. That number is exclusive of aircraft construction employees.

There are a number of difficulties in the way of developing our civil aviation, and these are matters to which we should give consideration and about which the minister should make an explanation. My observations lead me to believe that Canada has not, I think it is fair to say, what might be called an integrated aircraft industry. I am not familiar with the fact, if it is a fact, that we are manufacturing anywhere in Canada aircraft engines which by the wildest stretch of imagination could be used in commercial aircraft. Moreover, I think it is quite true that we have had no experience in the commercial construction of such aircraft, or in connection with their designing. We shall have to look to other countries in order to secure at least parts of the aircraft which we shall find it necessary to use if we are to play any part at all in commercial aviation immediately after the war.

That brings me to this question. I have heard some people say: We will go to Britain and get our aircraft engines and our aircraft there. Others say: We will go to the United States and get our aircraft engines and our aircraft there. But what is the situation in Britain? Let me quote a short item which I read not long ago in connection with Britain:

The British realize that unless they secure a position in the air commensurate with the position which they have held on the seas, the systems of communication binding them to their colonies and dominions must rapidly deteriorate.

In Britain they have developed a tremendous aircraft industry, but their manufacture of aircraft has been confined largely to the bomber and fighter types, types which will not be of value in commercial aviation after the war. Moreover, the need for bombers and fighters, as we all realize, will continue until the last day of the war. Therefore, when we pass into the day following the cessation of hostilities Britain is not going to be able to step out and undertake extensive commercial aviation projects without help herself. I think it is only reasonable to suppose that Canada will not be able to look to Britain for the aircraft which she will of necessity need in order to engage in commercial aviation on an international scale, yes, even on a domestic scale, at least for some years. Some say: We will get the aircraft in the United States. Anyone who has read at all will realize that in vast urban sections of the United States the people have seen their lives violently changed during this war by the growth of the aircraft industry. It is said that over two and one-quarter millions of

young people in that country have been trained as pilots, navigators and maintenance crews.

Here is the important feature: the United States has specialized in the construction of modified commercial aircraft during this war. In other words, the United States has already a five year lead in the manufacture of commercial aircraft. I do not believe it is large enough to absorb the entire production of the aircraft industry which has been developed there during this war. There is going to be economic pressure applied because of wartime investments in this industry in the United States, and a concerted effort made to force it beyond the bounds of the country. In making this statement I do not want to be misunderstood. If they utilize the facilities which they possess there will not be business enough in the country to occupy more than a part of those facilities. Therefore they will look elsewhere with a view to broadening out and utilizing the commercial aircraft which they will have the day the war ends. In passing, may I point out that under the united nations relief and rehabilitation administration the United States is granting SI-35 billions worth of food stuffs and other materials to nations that will require her help, every dollar of which, do not forget, will be a calling card in connection with the development of United States commercial aviation ojitside its own country. Is it or can it be considered fantastic for me to assume that the United States will hasten.to establish a type of air supremacy after the war which it did not hold on the set before the war? Would it, on the other hand, be fantastic for me to assume that Great Britain, in an endeavour to break what I may call a monopoly which it is quite conceivable the United States will undertake to establish, will abandon any connection or association with a policy such as that to which Canada is at present committed?

The hon. member for Lake Centre, during the course of his remarks the other day, referred to Russia. I also am intensely interested in the attitude of mind which Russia may have towards Canada's proposal. It is certain that the government has in mind some indication of the feelings which may be expected in that quarter, because it can hardly be possible that Canada would advance a proposal for international aviation unless she was reasonably assured as to the reception it would have in other important countries.

The whole matter of civil aviation, domestic and international, should be most carefully scrutinized. We must have a complete picture. From time to time, I am sure, representatives of the government will meet with

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others in regard to the matter, not only those representing the nations of the commonwealth and the allies, but the neutrals.

Moreover, it is difficult to anticipate the possibilities either under this proposal or any other, because any policy we lay down will develop only as world circumstances permit. If there is to be war after war, or threat of war after threat of war, it is futile for us to deceive ourselves into believing that any country which feels itself threatened will permit foreign aircraft to fly over its land at will or pick up passengers or any private cargo.

One wonders, too, what consideration has been given to this question in its relation to those countries which now are our enemies. I know it is stated in the convention that it is assumed that an overriding treaty of peace will determine the obligations and rights of the defeated powers under this convention. Well, the thought which comes to my mind, as we try to build a picture of this whole thing is, what is the attitude toward Germany and Italy likely to be after the war? There are some, of course, who foolishly believe that it is possible completely to exterminate a nation. No matter how bitterly one may feel toward a nation, it is utterly inconceivable that anyone who has given it a thought would believe extermination possible or desirable. I do not want to have that statement misunderstood. But if these countries are to continue to exist after tbe war, as they will, most careful consideration must be given to the' parts they may play in such a scheme. If you are not going to let them take part they will force their way in, and as soon as they undertake to do that we shill have a repetition of the conditions which we have already experienced.

We believe firmly in cooperation among the nations. We believe firmly that without cooperation we cannot succeed in any international aviation policy. We are opposed to coercion and to the imposition by any power bloc of its will upon other countries, because there will be no cooperation as far as some nations are concerned once they realize that such a power bloc is endeavouring to impose its will upon them. Every possible avenue should be explored to encourage cooperation. I think that as the days and months go by we shall be able to form a better picture of the degree of cooperation which may be expected. But what we are intensely interested in is the possible reaction of the United States and Great Britain' to this Canadian proposal. We read a good deal, but we do not always believe what we read. Men make observations, but of course we do not always know who these men are or whether they speak with authority. [DOT]

Let me repeat, Mr. Chairman, we are intensely interested in the development of domestic civil aviation after this war. We are very much opposed to the government endeavouring to establish any monopoly. We are very much opposed to any private enterprise establishing a monopoly in this or any other field. In the international field we believe there should be the utmost cooperation. We realize that it is imperative for the countries to get together in connection with this matter; but at the same time we are opposed to power tactics in an effort to impose upon certain weaker countries conditions which ultimately will lead to rvorld conflict.

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NAT

Howard Charles Green

National Government

Mr. GREEN:

Mr. Chairman, in rising to

take part in this discussion on Canada's air policy I must say that I feel this to be one of the most important subjects that could be considered by the Canadian House of Commons, and I have no doubt that thought- is in the minds of all other hon. members here to-day. We on the Pacific coast are particularly concerned about air policy. Out there Trans-Canada Air Lines has meant a great deal, because it has drawn us so much nearer to the centre of Canada. The air line from the coast into the Yukon, now operated by Canadian Pacific Air Lines, also has meant a great deal to us; and the different routes that have been flown along our coast and into our hinterland have aided a great deal in developing our province. ,

For many years we have been particularly concerned about the establishment of an air route that would run from British Columbia to our sister dominions of Australia and New Zealand, so that to-day I was pleased to see a press report to the effect that the Prime Minister of New Zealand was ready and willing to negotiate an agreement with Canada, Great Britain and Australia, under which an air route would be established across the Pacific ocean to those dominions. He even went farther and stated that his dominion would be willing to have the United States a party to any such agreement. That is a significant development and means a great deal to Canadians not only on the Pacific coast but also in other parts of our country.

This whole question of our air policy lies very near to our hearts, as the hon. member for Red Deer has so aptly said, because young Canadians have taken so well to flying. We all know the record they made in the last war; we know the large number of Canadians who belonged to the Royal Flying Corps and the wonderful deeds they performed. Then, when they came back they opened up our north country by their bush flying. In fact, at the time Trans-Canada Air Lines was established Can-

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ada flew more freight and express, and I think more mail, than any other nation. Practically all that flying was into our northern country, and it was all carried on by these bush pilots. In the present war the young men of this generation have carried on the traditions of the young men of the last war, and perhaps have even exceeded the wonderful deeds of those who took part in that war. Flying seems to be in line with the courage and initiative of the Canadian people. Therefore I suggest that any air policy to be adopted by this nation must be a bold policy first and last, whether it be in the domestic or in the international field.

With that thought in mind, that a Canadian air policy must be first of all a bold policy, I should like to turn to the policies that have been announced by the government, dealing first with the domestic air policy. I have been surprised and disappointed to find in this domestic air policy signs that the government is becoming hesitant about flying, that the policy is becoming ingrown and petty. I say that for these reasons. In the first place, throughout his statement the minister stressed competition. He seemed to be very much afraid of competition in Canada, afraid that Trans-Canada Air Lines could not compete with Canadian Pacific Air Lines. Right through the picture there seemed to be the fear that there would be too much flying in Canada, more than we could stand; and really I thought he displayed an inferiority complex in discussing flying within our own country. Then he emphasized the danger o' letting our railways have anything to do with air travel. That was really amazing, for it was a direct reversal of his statement at the time Trans-Canada Air Lines was set up. I have in my hand Hansard for March 25, 1937, where the minister dealt with this very point. At page 2216 he said:

In my view it is only reasonable that the railways should have a part in the development of air transportation. In the first place they are in the transportation business; and in the operation of air lines there are problems in common with the operation of railways. For instance, both must have ticket offices; both must have facilities for soliciting express and passenger business. The legal problems of both are more or less on a par, and a legal staff trained to railway transportation matters would be valuable in air matters. I could set out many other points where the services are more or less parallel.

The next year he shepherded through the house what was known as the Transport Act, which set up a board of transport commissioners for Canada. One of the main features of that act was that it gave what had formerly been known as the railway commission jurisdiction over the air lines. In section 3, subsection 2 of that act we find these words:

It shall be the duty of the board to perform the functions vested in the board by this act and by the Railway Act with the object of coordinating and harmonizing the operations of all carriers engaged in transport by railways, ships and aircraft and the board shall give to this act and to the Railway Act such fair interpretation as will best attain the object aforesaid.

In other words, the position then was that it was wise to have a transportation company handle air transport, and I suggest for the consideration of the committee that nothing has happened in the interim to change that position. Another sign of hesitancy was that the minister stressed the danger of letting feeder or pioneer lines become strong. As reported at page 1573 of Hansard for this year he said:

The government believes that feeder line operations, and pioneer lines into our northland, can best be developed as small operations.

Apparently the minister is no longer satisfied that the board of transport commissioners should be in charge of the airways, for he wants to have what is to be known as an air transport board. It all looks as though the minister were afraid of his own transport board. Then he proposes to push the Canadian National Railways out of the air picture. So far as I know they have done a grand job in operating Trans-Canada Air Lines, but now they are to go out of the picture. He proposes also to smash Canadian Pacific Air Lines. Again at page 1573 of Hansard he said:

Steps will be taken to require our railways to divest themselves of ownership of air lines, to the end that, within a period of one year from the ending of the European war, transport by air will be entirely separate from surface transportation.

I thought the minister showed a vindictive spirit towards the Canadian Pacific Air Lines in several parts of his speech. Frankly I do not believe that a sound, stable policy of government can be based on spite or vindictiveness. Yet altogether too much of that appeared throughout the minister's statement. For example, he said that the Canadian Pacific Railways had not been willing to come in when Trans-Canada Air Lines was formed. He said that they had been getting more equipment than Trans-Canada Air Lines, although he did go on to explain that probably the reason they were able to do so was that they had been doing so much flying into the Yukon and the Mackenzie river basin, helping the Americans in the development of the Alaska highway and the Canol project and got planes through the United States Army to do that work. However, he seemed to be very much hurt and very vindictive because they had been able to get planes. He then said

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they were competing too much and challenging Trans-Canada Air Lines. Well, we have the Transport Act and the board of transport commissioners whose duty it is to prevent things like that. Surely all the minister had to do was to see that the board carried out its duties. There is an atmosphere of spite throughout the whole thing which I greatly deprecate.

In fact the domestic air policy of Canada as announced by the minister the other day is a government monopoly of all routes in Canada except the small operations. Anything that looks like a real airline or an efficient company is not to be allowed to exist under this policy. Therefore I repeat that the domestic air policy is becoming ingrown and petty and, I think, also dictatorial. I do not believe the Canadian people will approve it when they understand what the policy means.

What is the picture of flying in Canada at the moment? Trans-Canada airways, as the name implies, was founded to fly the Trans-Canada route. That was made very clear at the time the line was set up. The Trans-Canada Air Lines Act was passed in 1937 and is chapter 43 of the statutes of that year. It sets out in several places that the line is to extend across Canada; that it is to be a coast to coast line. The minister also made it clear during the course of the debate in that session. I refer to page 2042 of Hansard for 1937, where the minister used the following language:

This company will fly only the main artery of traffic across the country, and such other arteries of traffic as are designated by the government as being of national importance. It is not the intention to interfere with any existing operations. The company will not undertake other than interurban services.

The Prime Minister in announcing Canada's

air policy a year ago repeated in effect the statement made by the minister in 1937. At page 1777 of Hansard of 1943, the Prime Minister said:

The development of supplementary routes will continue to be left to private enterprise, unless considerations of public interest indicate that certain of these routes should be designated by the government as routes to be operated by T.C.A.

And again at page 1778 he said:

There will remain a large field for the development of air transport in which private Canadian companies may participate, and, while preventing duplication of services, the government will continue to encourage private companies to develop services as traffic possibilities may indicate.

Apparently that policy has been changed within the last year. Trans-Canada has gone on as was intended, and has made great

progress. It has extended its lines by flying to the United Kingdom and one line to the United States. It is doing a grand job under the supervision of the Canadian National Railways. There seems to be no reason why it cannot continue to progress as it has done in the past. In the meantime the Canadian Pacific Air Lines are operating strong feeder lines, I hold in my hand the annual report of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company. A map appears in this report showing the air lines, and shows practically all of them are north and south lines. They are operated by some of the leading bush pilots of earlier days; some of these young men who showed the courage and the initiative to go out and fly these bush routes are now air executives of the Canadian Pacific Air Lines. It may be that the directors of Trans-Canada Air Lines have not given a similar chance to their bright young flyers. It might be a good idea for the minister to check that to see whether old age is not holding back the energy of the boys who fly in his own Trans-Canada Air Lines. In any event the Canadian Pacific Air Lines are providing an efficient service. These lines have meant a great deal in the development of northern Canada and in the war years to the construction of the Alaska highway and the Canol project. Most of the lines were formerly flown by Canadian Airways Limited, which was the great pioneer in the air routes of the north. Incidentally that line was developed by the late James Richardson of Winnipeg who perhaps deserves as much credit as any other business man of Canada for the development of flying in this nation. So much for the Canadian Pacific Air Lines.

As far as the pioneer lines are concerned I realize that there are very few small bush lines in operation at the present time. The reason for that is that gold mining is down. Very little gold mining is being done and therefore there is very little work for these bush pilots to do. But as soon as gold mining revives there will be more scope for operations of that type.

In the air picture as it exists at present we also have the board of transport commissioners, an independent board set up as a judicial body. They are not supposed to be influenced by the government and I do not think they are. I sometimes suspect the fact that they are not sufficiently under the government's wing is one of the reasons why the minister wants to get a new board. Section 5 of the Transport Act sets out how this board of transport commissioners must treat an application. It reads as follows:

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Before any application for a licence is granted for the transport of goods and/or passengers under the provisions of this act, the board shall determine whether public convenience and necessity require such transport, and in so determining the board may take into consideration, inter alia,-

(a) any objection to the application which may be made by any person or persons who are already providing transport facilities, whether by rail, water or air, on the routes or between the places which the applicant intends to serve on the ground that suitable facilities are or, if the licence were issued, would be in excess of requirements, or on the ground that any of the conditions of any other transport licence held by the applicant have not been complied with;

(b) whether or not the issue of such licence would tend to develop the complementary rather than the competitive functions of the different forms of transport, if any, involved in such objections;

(c) the general effect on other transport services and any. public interest wrhich may be affected by the issue of such licence;

(d) the quality and permanence of the service to be offered by the applicant and his financial responsibility, including adequate provision for the protection of passengers, shippers and the general public by means of insurance.

In other words, the board of transport commissioners have power to see that all these companies are fair in their operations. Even Trans-Canada Air Lines has on occasion run foul of the board of transport commissioners. About a year ago_ they applied for a licence to fly passengers from Vancouver to Victoria, and the board held at that time that public convenience and necessity did not require further air transportation facilities for carrying passengers or goods between those two points, there having been for some years a line operated, first of all by Canadian Airways, and then by Canadian Pacific Air Lines. It may be that the board of transport commissioners require more power to meet present-day conditions. If so, let us give it to them.

But I do suggest that in the domestic field there is plenty of room for all three. If we have any kind of bold air policy for Canada, then I say there is plenty of room for all three-for Trans-Canada Air Lines, for strong, well-run feeder lines and for pioneer lines. And by the way, the pioneer lines might very *well be helped by the industrial development bank being set up at this session. The policy should be that of helping each of those to expand, the board of transport commissioners keeping each in its proper sphere. If that is done, if a policy of that kind is attempted, I am sure Canada will be far better served than she would be under the domestic air policy which the minister has offered the nation in the last few days.

Then, to come to the government's announced international air policy, we note that that policy paints a very rosy picture. In that regard it is just like my good friends in the C.C.F. They are always experts at painting rosy pictures over the river, but they never say how we are to get across.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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NAT

Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. GRAYDON:

You might get drowned.

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NAT

Howard Charles Green

National Government

Mr. GREEN:

The international air policy is much like that. Unfortunately the rosy picture it paints is a long way off. Not only is it after the war, but also it is after an international air transport authority has been set up. Perhaps it may not be in effect until after an international security organization has been established-in other words, some sort of league of nations. That is probably decades away from the present time. There will be a period of years in which all that will be done will be the building up of a protecting wall behind which some world peace organization can be established; but the government's policy is good only for a time after a world-wide organization has been established.

I do not suppose there is a member in the chamber who does not favour this rosy picture; or who is not in favour of some such sort of plan. But in the meantime I suggest the government should come down to earth, and give Canadians a little guidance, give us some policy for the present so far as international airways are concerned, and for the period from the cease-fire until the setting up of this international air transport authority.

We have got down to earth only in our dealings with the United States. No doubt it was the Americans who forced the government to get down to earth-and quickly-on that subject. With the United States we have bilateral agreements covering routes between the two nations. As the minister said the other night, under these agreements Canada has one route, and the Americans have eight. Up to the present they are not doing badly. Canada has a route from Toronto to New York, and the Americans have routes from Moncton to Bangor, New York to Montreal, Buffalo to Toronto, Buffalo to Windsor, Fargo to Winnipeg, Great Falls to Lethbridge, Seattle to Vancouver, and Fairbanks and Juneau, Alaska, to Whitehorse. In addition the minister said there was a war-time agreement with the Americans by which they got permission to fly an air route from Seattle to Juneau. Canada, on the other hand, is proposing to ask some day

apparently she has not yet done so-for a route from Whitehorse to Fairbanks.

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That is the position between Canada and the United States, brought about by these bilateral agreements. Under the international air policy now advocated by the government, air traffic between Canada and the United States has been carefully excluded from the proposed convention. It will still be arranged by bilateral agreement. There is in the convention a provision for what are known as contiguous states, and the minister mentioned the example of Canada and the United States as contiguous states, under the convention.

There is no provision in the convention for dealing with the empire. At page 1576 of Hansard the minister said that Canada was scrapping the north Atlantic agreement, which was negotiated between the United Kingdom, Canada, Ireland and Newfoundland in 1935 and 1936, and provided for the flying of that route. That agreement is to be scrapped. This is what the minister had to say on the point:

In view of the fact that the joint-operating company envisaged in the 1935-36 agreement was never set up and in view of the material changes in circumstances which have already taken place since the agreement was drawn up, the Canadian government is of the opinion that the agreement can no longer be considered applicable to present conditions. The other parties to the agreement have been notified of our views.

There is no mention of any agreement being negotiated to replace it. Actually there are certain key routes in the empire which are of vital interest to Canada. For example, I have in mind this north Atlantic route between Canada and the United Kingdom. Then there is the Pacific route, about which I spoke, extending between Canada and Australia and New Zealand. In January of this year Australia and New Zealand negotiated a treaty in regard to civil aviation under which they provided that-

In the event of failure to obtain a satisfactory international agreement to establish and govern the use of international air trunk routes the two governments will support a system of air trunk routes controlled and operated by governments of the British commonwealth of nations under government ownership.

And as I have mentioned yesterday the Prime Minister of New Zealand went farther, and said that he would be glad to have Canada join in such an arrangement.

Then there are the routes from Canada to the West Indies and from Canada to South America. With regard to these three routes, namely the Pacific route, the Canada-West Indies and the Canada-South American, it would be necessary for us to make some sort of agreement with the United States. I suggest that in return for an agreement by which

they get into Alaska, Canada should be able to get across to Australia and New Zealand, and also to the British West Indies and South America. Agreements with respect to these key routes are fundamental, and we should not have to wait for the setting up of an international air transport authority, which may take decades. We should be negotiating now for these agreements.

Neither should we have to obtain the approval of an international authority before we can fly those routes. I suggest to the minister that the routes to the British countries mentioned should be treated in the same way as those between contiguous states. In other words, so far as Canada is concerned, Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand should be treated as contiguous states, and our services to those fellow British countries should be excluded from the provisions of the convention. It is most important that we get in on these key routes as quickly as possible. If we have an agreement with Great Britain we could then share in the British business. We could fly British passengers across Canada, whereas under the convention, as I read it- the minister can correct me if I am wrong- Great Britain would have the right to fly her own planes right across Canada without any Canadian planes appearing in the picture. She would have the right to drop passengers from Great Britain anywhere in Canada and to pick up Canadian passengers for Great Britain. Looking at it from the practical point of view, I think Canada would be well advised to have a bilateral agreement with Great Britain.

If, as and when the convention becomes effective there are certain features of this government international air policy of which the Canadian people should be made fully aware. Every opportunity should be given to the Canadian people to understand exactly what this plan means because it is of great importance to them. The first thing that should be explained to them is that an all red British route would be difficult to establish under this convention. It would be almost impossible because the international air transport authority would have exclusive jurisdiction over such air services.

Another point that should be explained is in connection with routes from Canada to the United Kingdom. If they are to come under this convention these routes would have to be granted by what is known as the regional council. This regional council grants licences, sets rates and conditions, determines how many times a route may be flown and how many planes shall fly from each country. Canada and the United Kingdom would be

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given the same terms, would have to be on an equal basis with Sweden, the Netherlands, Spain or any other country interested in flying that route.

Under the proposed plan Canada would be in the north Atlantic region. It includes Canada, the United States, Great Britain, the northern part of Europe and the Soviet Union; in fact nearly all of the civilized population or advanced population of the world. The council of a region is to be composed of from six to nine members, one-third of whom would be appointed by the international air transport board and must not be nationals of any nation in the region; two-thirds of the members would represent nations in the region. Of course the council would be controlled by representatives who were not nationals of countries in the region and those from the United States and Russia. One-half of the membership of the council is to constitute a quorum; in other words, if there were six members, three would be a quorum; further the majority of votes are to decide, which means that two members of the council could decide what is to be done as between Great Britain and Canada. I submit that that situation should be carefully considered by the Canadian people before they agree to these terms.

The decisions of the regional council are subject to appeal to the international air transport board, but the same rules with regard to quorum and majority apply there. This board is to be composed of twelve members, six constituting a quorum, four of whom could reach a decision.

Another thing to be remembered is that any negotiations with Australia and New Zealand for air routes under this convention can be carried on only through the international air transport board. There is no regional council in this case because Australia and New Zealand are in another region. Where two regions are involved, action must be taken by the international transport board. A licence can be granted subject to all the conditions and terms just as in the case of a regional council. In effect it would be very difficult under this plan for Canada to deal directly with Great Britain or with Australia or New Zealand; those latter countries would have had great difficulty dealing with each other in January if they had been working under a convention such as is now proposed. We would have to deal either through a regional council or the international board.

Some attention should also be paid by the Canadian people to the provisions of the draft international air convention dealing with contiguous countries, such as Canada and

the United States. Services between two such countries are to be dealt with by direct agreement between the nations. There is no jurisdiction in the international air transport authority. There is a clause in the convention providing for a fair distribution of routes. Article I, section 2, reads:

The authorities shall plan and foster the organization of international air services so as

(c) to ensure that, so far as possible, international air routes and services are divided fairly and equitably between the various member states.

Canada could not take advantage of that provision because she and the United States are contiguous. We would have to make the best deal we could with the United States. As I have mentioned before, the results of such deals in the past seem to have been not very good for Canada. Perhaps it would be better if dealings with the United States were brought under the international transport authority as far as Canada is concerned.

Another point to be kept in mind is that no definite provision is made for enemy countries. The only thing I can find is a note at the beginning of the convention which reads:

It is assumed that an overriding treaty of peace will determine the obligations and rights of the defeated powers under this convention.

Before the Canadian people can decide wisely what terms they will agree to, they must have some idea just how easy it is going to be for German or Japanese planes to fly over Canada. We are entirely in the dark at the moment with regard to such provisions and yet they are among the most important.

We must realize that if we are to work under an international air transport authority we shall have to give up some of our rights. I am not saying that that is a bad thing because I think every nation that adopts this convention should be prepared to give up something. But Canadians should know just what they are giving up in going into any such arrangement. Under the proposed convention the licensing authority, whether it be the regional council or the international board, may review routes designated by a nation. For example, Canada might say that all outside planes had to fly along the present Trans-Canada route. If any nation flying that route complained to the international authority, that authority would have the right to step in and say whether those planes had to fly that particular route or had to use the airports Canada had designated. The international authority would have the power to step in and make Canada open up certain ports or routes which she might not want to open to

War Appropriation-Transport

planes flying in from other countries. The board might go farther than that. When a complaint is made by another country whose planes are flying over Canada, the board may request Canada to expand her facilities. The board may decide that the facilities we are supplying are not adequate and may order us to extend them, under certain conditions advancing the costs. It may also require a reasonable share in supervising the construction, and not only that but actually share in control of the airports and other facilities. It may demand a share of the revenues derived from flying. In other words, this international authority can, under certain conditions, step in and assume some control of certain of Canadian airports.

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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Munitions and Supply)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

Only if they pay the cost of building them.

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NAT

Howard Charles Green

National Government

Mr. GREEN:

I may have misinterpreted the provisions, but that is the way I read them.

There is a further provision in the convention that once an international security organization is set up-it does not say a united nations organization, but an international security organization, which I presume would be some sort of league of nations-if it decides that world security is involved it may order the international air -transport authority, which under the convention is made subject to the world-wide security organization to withhold licences in certain cases. That must be done immediately and without any formal hearing. It also has power to set up an operating organization which under certain conditions could, as I understand it, actually operate planes flying across Canada without Canada being able to do anything about it. The reason for that, of course, is to secure world peace, and it may very well be wise to agree to some provision of that type.

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LIB

James Joseph McCann

Liberal

The ACTING CHAIRMAN (Mr. McCann):

I must remind the hon. gentleman that he has already exhausted his time.

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NAT

Howard Charles Green

National Government

Mr. GREEN:

I was just going to sum up, Mr. Chairman.

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?

@Acting Chair(man)? of Committees of the Whole

With the consent of the house.

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NAT

Howard Charles Green

National Government

Mr. GREEN:

To sum up, firstly, in her air policy, domestic and international, Canada cannot be too bold. Secondly, at home we need strong trans-Canada lines, strong feeder lines and many pioneer lines. Let us encourage them all. Thirdly, we need an international policy for the period from the "cease fire" until the setting up of this international air transport authority, and in that connection we must be more realistic. Fourthly, certain agreements with other British nations are

absolutely fundamental at this particular time. Fifthly, Canadians should study the proposed convention and be given time to decide where they stand in regard to it. The whole question of air policy is so vital to Canada; it means so- much to us, for I believe Canada can be a leader in the air among the nations of the world, and I urge that we keep that objective continually before the Canadian people. I thank the members for giving me these few extra minutes.

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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

Mr. Chairman, this is a

draft international air transport convention. I leave aside the fine speeches that have been made by members of all parties concerning this important matter. It is so wide in scope that it is most difficult to deal with it completely in the short time we are allowed to express our views. This afternoon I have listened to my hon. friends from Broadview, Red Deer and Vancouver South, and I congratulate them warmly on the efforts they have made to make useful suggestions for the future. I thought that the little interlude between the Minister of Munitions and Supply and the leader of the opposition was refreshing.

But, sir, we are in Lent and it is an appropriate time to make an act of humility, the more so because there is a reference in the draft to the importance of the various nations. Who will decide upon the importance of nations? And what is the importance of our own country? Here we think, and rightly so, that Canada is an important country. But what will the international air transport authority think of the importance of our country? Who will compose that authority? I am not impressed by big names-hon. gentlemen must know that. The minister has mentioned Lord Beaverbrook, a former Canadian citizen, and Mr. Churchill, and responsibility for the coordination of post-war civil air transport authority. Those are two great names. But unfortunately in his last broadcast Mr. Churchill mentioned all countries of the world except Canada, which shows that in his mind at the time Canada was not so important as Australia, New Zealand and any other country. By the way, it is unfortunate that the censor did not act with his scissors to cut out the whole speech, because if Mr. Churchill thought it proper to mention some countries of the world, Canada deserved a place on his lips and he had no reason to omit Canada. It shows the importance of our country. One day Canada is told that she is an important country, and the next day she is ignored. We must take it as it is. It is an act of humility which may not please proud people. But we must get down to facts. On Sunday last Canada was not important in the mind and on

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the lips of the Prime Minister of Britain. It may be some day. I do not say that what happened last Sunday will happen again, just because it is being mentioned in the House of Commons right now, but it may.

What I find strange is that this draft is considered as if it were a contract. It is discussed as if it had been accepted by some other states. Was it submitted to any other state? We have the pronouncement made by the Prime Minister last year on civil aviation, and here we have a plan. What is the reaction in the United States? What is the reaction in Russia? What is it in Great Britain? No one knows. If this draft is approved by parliament it will bind no one except those who find it satisfactory, and if they do not find it satisfactory we 'shall have to accept their amendments before they can bind us. That is an elementary principle of law. Is it not of the utmost importance to know what are the views of the states which are considered important in the field of aviation, before discussing in this chamber a draft which no speech of any private member will ever change? I know very well that whatever suggestions are made by any member of parliament, the time spent in making them will be pure waste. If I rise to-day to speak on this matter, it is not in the hope that the minister will agree to change his draft, but that hon. members will awake to their full responsibility and will advise the minister to be very careful about this agreement and to keep it in the cupboard, or in a drawer of his desk.

I have tried to find in this draft any mention of Canada. I do not see it. Perhaps it is somewhere. I complain of the fact that this important draft is printed in very small type. Usually agreements or similar papers are published as an appendix or schedule to the Votes and Proceedings, and in type sufficiently large that we do not need a magnifying glass to read them. Hon. members who have read that draft as it is printed in Hansard deserve special credit; I wonder if they will not have to consult an eye specialist, for their eyes must be very tired. I confess that I did not read it all, but I read enough of it to warn the minister of the danger of suggesting such a policy. That does not mean that I am opposed to international aviation; for I am not. But this is devised for post-war trade with all nations, including the enemy- who I hope and have every reason to believe will be defeated. There are commodities which it will not be possible to carry by air. Coal will not be transported by air, and it is more than doubtful whether aviation will serve for the transportation of grain and

timber. I do not see telegraph poles on aeroplanes. We shall continue to need ships. But according to news in the press the ships we shall have after the war will not be so fast as those owned in competitor states, particularly the United States. Ours will be much slower and therefore will transport less. And where will our aeroplanes come from? How long will it take to get back those which are now in Great Britain and other parts of the world? That is another problem. We need more information before we are in a position to discuss this post-war aviation scheme.

Looking at the convention, one observes in the first place that it establishes an "international air transport authority". It is the first time I have seen the word "authority" used with this meaning in any piece of legislation or in our Hansard. It is an English term, used, for instance, in the title of the "Port of London Authority", which is the Port of London Incorporated or the Port of London Corporation. It is never used here in that manner. That shows that the convention has been drafted by someone who has an English training and who has been at some time either at Oxford, or Cambridge, or Edinburgh. But that is not the question. The question is, what will be the powers of such authority? It seems to me that this air draft convention is very "draft-y". First, it establishes an international air transport authority. Second, it gives it a constitution. Third, it endows it with powers. And what is that authority? It is an assembly representing all member states. Then there is a small executive committee with a board of directors; and there is a regional council. What is a "region"? It is not defined. A region is supposed to be a district, a smaller area, but according to this draft convention it may comprise several states. Quite a region 1

And then there is the regional council. What are the duties of the authority? It is to make the most effective contribution to the establishment and maintenance-" maintenance," mark you-of a permanent system of general security, a new league of nations, as the hon. member for Vancouver South has aptly said. Is it to be expected that guns will be placed on the aeroplanes which carry passengers and freight, to maintain security and to chastise all those who infringe upon such security? That is the first thing. The second purpose is to meet the needs of the peoples of the world -mark you, sir, "the peoples of the world"- for efficient and economical air transport. It is not for Canada; it is for the peoples of the world. I have enough of "the peoples of the

The Royal Assent

world"; I want Canada to be served first and then to see what can be done by Canada with the other peoples of the world. Canada should be on a sound basis first. It is a new league of nations which we are launching in the air.

And the third purpose is to ensure that so far as possible international air routes and services are divided fairly and equitably between the various member states. Everybody remembers the difficulty which arose at Westminster over the United States aviation scheme. It was denounced in England, I remember, by Lady Astor, who is a member of the British parliament. Trouble arose especially in connection with aviation. The United States and the U'dtish schemes regarding money, the sterling area proposals and so forth, did not cause so much resentment as the suggestion that the United States were to lead the world in the domain of aviation. The reaction came at once from Westminster, and then we did not hear of it again until the Prime Minister mentioned that scheme last year. Now we have it in writing. Why not let those big countries, Russia, Great Britain and the United States, come to an understanding about this matter?

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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Munitions and Supply)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

If my hon. friend will permit me to interrupt, we are to be called to another place shortly, and I wonder if he would object if I asked the committee to rise, report progress, and ask leave to sit again.

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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

I never object to going to the Senate to attend the sanctioning of bills.

The ACTING CHAIRMAN vMr. McCann): Shall the resolution carry?

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

No.

Item stands.

Progress reported.

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THE ROYAL ASSENT

March 31, 1944