October 23, 1945

LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

-we would place it in the

hands of the government-owned railway. In any event, it was treated as a natural monopoly. It has prospered under that direction. I think we have to-day an air line that is as well operated as any air line in the world. I have been interested, in attending the international discussions, to hear the comment;, about Canada's air lines. I have been interested in the requests we have had from other air lines to send men to serve with Trans-Canada in order to obtain the Trans-Canada technique. We are told that our technique of operating an air line is equal to the best in the world.

It is the intention of the government to maintain the service on the main air routes as a government service. It was started that way. The government made the investment, and the original investment has been added to by earnings accruing from the operation of the system. This service has not cost the taxpayers of this country one cent; in fact the taxpayers have profited financially from the operation. We intend to continue that operation and expand it to meet the needs of the Canadian people' for interurban flying.

Then there is a second class of service, which I have referred to as bush service. I have said already that I believed that was better served by private enterprise. In interurban service we are able to maintain very close control. The air line is paralleled by

Trans-Canada Air Lines

telegraph services, teletype services and a communication service which allow those operating the line to be in touch with every plane in the air for every minute of its flight. A bush service is quite different; it depends upon the operator of the plane,'his knowledge of the territory and his ability to take care of himself in case of sudden emergency. As I say, the bush services were developed by private operators. They know their territory, and in my opinion are better able to serve that territory efficiently than the government would be through operating the service as part of a great enterprise. This type of service calls for individual attention, and I believe if we give an operator enough territory so that he can make a living in that territory and can prosper with its growth, provided that he looks after his customers, that is the ideal service for the north.

Then there is the third type of service in Canada, the charter flights. We are licensing quite a number of charter operations. The charter flyer has no scheduled service and no regular route. He is stationed in a city or other centre prepared to take parties who may charter his plane to any point in or near his territory.

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PC

John Ritchie MacNicol

Progressive Conservative

Mr. MacNICOL:

If I may ask a question there, when a chartered plane sets out from a field does it have to get a permit from some operator to take that trip, say from Fort McMurray to Yellowknife?

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

If it is a licensed field the operator is required to check out with the local air authority; the operator of the field is required to make sure that the plane is in condition to fly, but there is no great restriction about it. He must, simply comply with the air rules before his plane leaves a licensed air port.

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PC

John Ritchie MacNicol

Progressive Conservative

Mr. MacNICOL:

What I had in mind was that when one plane is in the air flying north, another plane might be flying south. How do the two planes keep in contact with one another, or how do the fields from which they fly keep in contact with them?

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

Before he leaves the field the operator of the plane must file a route plan, and an effort is made through the available services to inform other planes that this plane is in the air flying a certain route on a certain schedule. The charter plane of course is definitely a private operation. A flyer takes out a licence to do charter work; he performs a necessary service, and is restricted from interfering with those who are licensed to operate routes.

I think I have covered all the points down to subsidized flying in Canada. As I say, I believe if we can restore the individual oper-

ator in the north it will be the duty of the government to see that he can live, provided that his work is satisfactory. When the Air Transport Act was passed by this house it contained a provision that the air transport board might recommend to the government subsidies on northern routes payable out of money appropriated by parliament for that purpose. That provision has not been invoked, but it will be used if necessary to establish proper services in the north country. Starting a new route is expensive; business builds up gradually, and if it is necessary to subsidize a new and desirable route in order to get it into operation, the government will use the powers it now has under the Air Transport Act. The subsidy provision of this amendment to the Trans-Canada act refers entirely to foreign services. In starting a line, we will say from Vancouver to Australia and New Zealand-

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PC

Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. GREEN:

Before the minister goes on to the international field, are we to understand from what he has said already that the policy will be to have seven zones with seven different operators flying those zones?

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

I could not answer that

question. I have given hon. members my idea of a proper arrangement for the north country. Whether that can or will be worked out I cannot say at this time, but I believe it js the best system for the north as I have observed the operation of air transport in the north country over the past ten years.

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LIB

William Moore Benidickson

Liberal

Mr. BENIDICKSON:

When the minister

was referring to bush sendees I take it he was not describing what the hon. member for Vancouver South calls bush services but to what the hon. member calls feeder lines; is-that right?

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

I think in this country the

two are practically the same.

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

No.

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CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

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

Mr. KNOWLES:

That is a distinction I

was going to ask the minister to make.

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

Between bush services and

feeder lines? If a bush service flies from Aklavik to Edmonton and delivers passengers to the Trans-Canada service there, it is a feeder service to Trans-Canada and it is also a bush operation. I suppose a feeder service need not necessarily be a bush operation. A bush operation could be described as a service off the main airway. It can also be a feeder service operating on the main airway, picking up the intermediate stops.

Trans-Canada Air Lines

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PC

Gordon Graydon

Progressive Conservative

Mr. GRAYDOX:

You would not call a

line operating from Fort William and Port Arthur to the main line a bush sendee?

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

Fort William is in the happy position of not being involved in this dispute; it has no such service.

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PC

Gordon Graydon

Progressive Conservative

Mr. GRAYDON:

I am serious about that, for there is a distinction which I believe the minister should clear up. In the minds of some hon. members there is some differentiation between a feeder line and a bush line. "Bush line" would not seem to me to be the term properly applicable, for instance, to that great section of Canada represented by the Minister and his friend from Fort William. I am sure his constituents would not think a line connecting Fort William and Port Arthur with the main Trans-Canada line should be called a bush operation. Perhaps that might be used as an illustration of what we mean and what we think should be cleared up.

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

We are answering the question my hon. friend raises by moving the main line of Trans-Canada to go through Fort William and Port Arthur, so they will be a main line stop.

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PC

Gordon Graydon

Progressive Conservative

Mr. GRAYDON:

That is perhaps solving

a number of problems at the same time.

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PC

George Randolph Pearkes

Progressive Conservative

Mr. PEARKES:

Might I suggest another

example of a feeder line which could not be considered a bush line. I believe applications have been sent in for a service to some of the gulf islands which lie between Vancouver island and Vancouver, so that business men of Vancouver may spend week ends on those islands. I am sure the gulf islands would not like to be considered bush.

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

Well, I would not want to

interfere with the pleasure of those taking such trips, but I would call that a bush line in the ordinary parlance of the trade. All bush lines are feeder lines, but I suppose all feeder lines are not bush lines.

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PC

Gordon Graydon

Progressive Conservative

Mr. GRAYDON:

Perhaps you might call ,hem branch lines.

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October 23, 1945