September 7, 1945

MAIN ESTIMATES, 1945-46


A message from His Excellency the Governor General transmitting estimates for the financial year ending March 31, 1946, was presented by Hon. J. L. Ilsley (Minister of Finance), read by Mr. Speaker to the house, and referred to the committee of supply. Mr. ILSLEY said: Mr. Speaker, these are the estimates that were laid on the table of the house and referred to the committee of supply in the last session of the last parliament. No change has been made in them. Five-twelfths of the estimates were voted at that session and the government will ask this house to vote the remaining seven-twelfths at a later date. May I add that on Tuesday next I shall ask the house to vote interim supply, that is, one-twelfth of the main estimates that have been placed on the table of the house today, and at the same time I shall ask the consent of the house to the introduction of a resolution, notice of which has already been placed on the order paper, for voting a portion of the appropriation that is required for war and demobilization purposes. That I propose Mutual Aid to ask for on Tuesday as well. Both these interim votes are necessary if the expenditures which are falling due from day to day are to be met.


MUTUAL AID

MEANS OF ENSURING FLOW OF ESSENTIAL SUPPLIES TO ALLIES FOLLOWING END OF HOSTILITIES

LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Hon. J. L. ILSLEY (Minister of Finance):

Mr. Speaker, I believe it is desirable to take this first opportunity to inform the house of the action the government has taken in regard to Mutual Aid and to means of ensuring the continued flow of essential supplies to our allies following the end of hostilities.

It has been understood from the beginning that Mutual Aid was purely a war-time measure, intended to make possible the most effective prosecution of the war and to end when victory was achieved. The government has always endeavoured to make this clear to parliament and the Canadian public, as well as to the allied nations receiving Mutual Aid.

Immediately upon receiving word of the readiness of the Japanese government to surrender on the terms offered them, the Canadian government notified the governments of countries receiving Mutual Aid from Canada that transfers of supplies as Mutual Aid would cease at the end of hostilities. These recipient governments were asked if they wished to continue to receive foodstuffs and other civilian supplies which they had expected to receive as Mutual Aid, had hostilities continued, and we indicated our willingness to continue to ship such supplies on the understanding that any of those transferred after the end of hostilities would be paid for. In order to avoid useless and wasteful activity, the production and delivery of munitions and other military supplies were halted immediately it was evident that Japan was going to surrender, although the governments which were to receive such supplies were informed of our action and given an opportunity to say that they would like production to be continued for their account. Exceptions to the policy of immediate cancellation were made in a few instances where manufacture was nearly finished and it was considered more sensible and economical to complete production in the hope of being able to sell the finished article for some useful purpose. There was no interruption in the production, procurement and shipment of foodstuffs and other civilian supplies during the course of these rearrangements. I should also add that the provision of supplies to UNRRA for relief and rehabilitation has not been affected by the termination of hostilities.

47696-2J

The date of the end of hostilities for the purpose of terminating the transfer of supplies as Mutual Aid has been taken as September 2, the day of the actual surrender of Japan.

Under the provisions of our Mutual Aid agreements the Canadian government may decide whether supplies which have been transferred as Mutual Aid and which are still in Canada or in ocean transit at the cessation of hostilities shall be repossessed by Canada or allowed to go forward to the countries to which they were transferred. The government has decided it will retain title to such supplies as had not been loaded on ship board before September 2, but will not repossess supplies which were in ocean transit on that date.

The end of Mutual Aid transfers will not end or delay the flow of essential civilian supplies to our allies. The government has offered to continue to buy such supplies for allied governments if they request us to do so and undertake to reimburse us for the costs so incurred on their behalf. Already several governments have made such requests and purchases and shipments are continuing.

Most of the countries which have been receiving Mutual Aid from Canada will require credits if they are to continue to obtain what they need from this country. Negotiations are proceeding with several with a view to the provision of credits under the Export Credits Insurance Act, passed by parliament at the last session. It would be out of place for me to make public the nature of these negotiations until a later stage.

The United Kingdom and the sterling area generally constitute a special case, because of the magnitude and complexity of their trade and financial transactions with Canada. There will be a problem of some difficulty in working out satisfactory means of financing the deficit of the sterling area in its trade and other transactions with Canada during the period of the next few years when Britain is rebuilding and developing her export trade, which has been sacrificed almost entirely to war production in recent years. A similar problem, of course, will exist on a larger absolute scale between the United States and Britain and other parts of the sterling area. Lord Keynes, representing the British government, has been in Ottawa for several days, discussing with other ministers and myself the financial and trade problems arising from the sudden conclusion of hostilities. We have not endeavoured at this time to devise arrangements or negotiate terms for the financing of Britain's trade and that of the rest of the sterling area with Canada over the whole period of transition, which undoubtedly will last for several years. Full discussion of that problem must

Prisoners of War

be deferred until later. Our conversations have so far been confined to the problem that will exist over the next few months until more definite agreements can be worked out. Fortunately it appears that, as a result of the settlements still to 'be made in respect of past transactions, as well as the continuing expenditures of the Canadian forces overseas, Britain and the sterling area will be receiving sufficient Canadian dollars during the next few months to finance all or nearly all of their requirements in Canada. Consequently we anticipate that the question of providing for a deficit will not arise during this interim period. If there should be a small deficit, it might be covered simply by postponing for a few months payment by the United Kingdom or other sterling area countries for supplies received during this period through Canadian government procurement agencies, or possibly by other purely temporary expedients. These would be simply interim arrangements made in anticipation of a definite agreement which has not yet been considered.

Topic:   MUTUAL AID
Subtopic:   MEANS OF ENSURING FLOW OF ESSENTIAL SUPPLIES TO ALLIES FOLLOWING END OF HOSTILITIES
Permalink

PRISONERS OF WAR

INQUIRY AS TO LIBERATION OP CANADIAN FORCES AT HONG KONG


On the orders of the day:


PC

John Bracken (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. JOHN BRACKEN (Leader of the Opposition):

I have two or three questions I should like to ask the Prime Minister. One of them has already been very well answered by the Minister of Finance (Mr. Ilsley). It had to do with Mutual Aid. If I may I should like to thank the minister for his very fine statement on that matter. I am sure it will be taken by the public as an assurance that no serious interruption of trade will be permitted.

My first question is: In view of the anxiety of Canadians generally regarding the liberation of the Canadian forces taken prisoner at Hong Kong, would the Prime Minister make a full statement to the house at the earliest opportunity, giving all information in the possession of the government?

Topic:   PRISONERS OF WAR
Subtopic:   INQUIRY AS TO LIBERATION OP CANADIAN FORCES AT HONG KONG
Permalink
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 may say to the leader of the opposition that the government has made it a practice of giving out just as quickly as it is received any information with respect to those who have been prisoners of war in the far east. At the moment I have not a comprehensive statement that I could give to the house, but as soon as information has been received of a character which will permit of that, I will have the statement made.

'Mr. fish v.i

Topic:   PRISONERS OF WAR
Subtopic:   INQUIRY AS TO LIBERATION OP CANADIAN FORCES AT HONG KONG
Permalink

EMPIRE PREFERENCE

PRESS REPORTS OF UNITED STATES DESIRE FOR ABANDONMENT


On the orders of the day:


PC

John Bracken (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. JOHN BRACKEN (Leader of the Opposition):

Press reports indicate that the government of the United States is seeking to induce the United Kingdom to abandon the empire preference system. Would the Prime Minister advise the house whether any representations to this effect have been received from the government of the United States or from the United Kingdom, and if so, what attitude the Canadian government has taken?

Topic:   EMPIRE PREFERENCE
Subtopic:   PRESS REPORTS OF UNITED STATES DESIRE FOR ABANDONMENT
Permalink
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):

No such representations have been received.

Topic:   EMPIRE PREFERENCE
Subtopic:   PRESS REPORTS OF UNITED STATES DESIRE FOR ABANDONMENT
Permalink

FORT McMURRAY OIL

DESTRUCTION OF BUILDINGS AT ABASAND PLANT- INQUIRY AS TO RECONSTRUCTION


On the orders of the day:


PC

John Ritchie MacNicol

Progressive Conservative

Mr. J. R. MacNICOL (Davenport):

May I inquire from the Minister of Mines and Resources or from the Minister of Reconstruction, whichever one is directly in control, whether in view of the destruction of the oil separation mill and adjacent buildings of the Abasand plant at Fort McMurray the government proposes to reconstruct the destroyed buildings or to return the property to private interests?

Topic:   FORT McMURRAY OIL
Subtopic:   DESTRUCTION OF BUILDINGS AT ABASAND PLANT- INQUIRY AS TO RECONSTRUCTION
Permalink
LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Reconstruction; Minister of Munitions and Supply)

Liberal

Hon. C. D. HOWE (Minister of Reconstruction) :

I may say in reply to the hon. member's question that discussions leading to a decision are now taking place between the government and the Abasand company who wish to take over.

Topic:   FORT McMURRAY OIL
Subtopic:   DESTRUCTION OF BUILDINGS AT ABASAND PLANT- INQUIRY AS TO RECONSTRUCTION
Permalink

September 7, 1945