October 24, 1945

VETERANS AFFAIRS

OPENING OF PETERBOROUGH HOSPITAL


On the order for motions: Hon. IAN A. MACKENZIE (Minister of Veterans Affairs): I wonder if I might have the consent of the house to reply to a question asked yesterday by the hon. member for Peterborough West (Mr. Fraser), since we will not reach the orders of the day to-day. Defence Projects



The department will admit patients to the Peterborough hospital on Friday, the 26th instant. The hospital is of 250 bed capacity and will be used exclusively for the care of cases suffering from tuberculosis. Admissions to this hospital will be confined as far as possible to those suffering from pleurisy -with effusion and minimal involvement of the lung. The more advanced cases, and those requiring surgical interference, will continue to be hospitalized in provincial sanatoria. The arrangements for the operation of this institution have been made in consultation with the provincial health authorities. The hospital is fully equipped with laboratory, X-ray and operating room facilities. No arrangements have been made for any official opening, but if my hon. friend and his good friend the senator from that district would care to visit the institution officially I shall be glad to cooperate with them as far as the department is concerned.


DEFENCE PROJECTS

STATEMENT AS TO FUTURE OF FACILITIES CONSTRUCTED IN NORTHWESTERN CANADA


On the order for motions: Hon. L. S. ST. LAURENT (Acting Secretary of State for External Affairs): I should like to make a statement to the house with regard to the future of a nurriber of defence projects which were built in northwestern Canada during the war. The record of Canada and the United States in developing communications throughout the northwest during the war is one in which both countries can take justifiable pride. Starting from rudimentary beginnings a series of important defence projects was created which it is hoped will greatly influence the development of northwestern Canada. The major part of the construction work was undertaken by the' United States, since they were able to make resources and men available at a time when the Canadian war effort was being concentrated overseas. Apart from the Alaska highway, however, Canada assumed the cost of construction of everything deemed to be of permanent value, so that the combined result represents a sound and logical programme of cooperation between Canada and the United States. I do not propose to go into a detailed history of these defence projects, which are a matter of public record of the last five years. Rather I would mention the outstanding results which are inherited, as it were, as a by-production of the joint defence efforts during the war years. A chain of airfields stretches from Edmonton to Alaska. Connecting these fields there is the Alaska highway. To supplement [Mr. Mackenzie.} these communications by road and air there is a land-line system comprising telephone, telegraph, and teletype facilities extending along the length of the highway. Other supplementary facilities were developed as needed. The United States army has been responsible for maintaining the highway and operating the land-line communications system. ' The airfields on what is known as the northwest staging route are under the control of the R.C.A.F., but many facilities are operated by the United States military authorities. With the war'over, the United States government is anxious to withdraw from the responsibility which if assumed in northwestern Canada, and wre must determine what use shall be made of these joint defence projects. Two sets of considerations must be borne in mind: future defence needs and current civil uses. With respect to the first category, it may be some time before we can- reach definite conclusions; there are many factors to be taken into account. As regards civil uses, we must estimate what is best adapted to assist in the development of the country. The two aspects cannot be separated, and each-must affect the other. With respect to our international obligations we are free to follow whatever course seems to us best. The agreement with the United States on the Alaska highway provides that at the conclusion of the war that part of the highway which lies in Canada shall become in all respects an integral part of the Canadian highway system, subject to the understanding that there shall at no time be imposed any discriminatory conditions in relation to the use of the road as between Canadian and United States civilian traffic. We have repaid the United States the costs of construction for the airfields and the land-line system, so that there is no question that the decision as to their future rests with the Canadian government. Having in mind problems both of defence and of civil use, the government has decided upon the following course. With regard to the airfields on the northwest staging route, the R.C.A.F. will assume responsibility for United States facilities upon the withdrawal of the United States military authorities. The question of eventual civil control is one which will have to be carefully studied in the light of future developments. For the time being, however, it has been decided to place the responsibility on the R.C.A.F., who already control the fields and can take over from the United, States more readily and efficiently than any other agency. The United States government has been informed that it is agreeable to the Canadian Allied Control Council government that the United States withdraw from the operation of the land-line system from Edmonton to the Alaska border on June 1, 1946. On that date responsibility for the system will be assumed by the Department of National Defence for Air. Whether an adequate system of radio communications can with advantage be substituted for the present system of land lines is a question that is being actively explored by the departments concerned. In the meantime, however, there is need for continued use of the land lines, and the R.C.A.F. is better situated than any other agency in the matter of personnel trained in this technical field. The United States government has been informed that it is agreeable to the Canadian government that the United States withdraw from the Alaska highway on April 1, 1946. The Canadian army will assume responsibility, for maintenance on that date. Again, as in the ease of the airfields, the matter of eventual civil control is one for careful consideration in the light of developments. For the immediate future it is believed that the most suitable initial step is for the Canadian army to take over from the United States army and to continue maintaining the highway as a military road. These provisional arrangements under which the army and the R.C.A.F. will cooperate closely should provide adequate means for continuing collaboration with the United States and at the same time for assisting in the future development of northwestern Canada. On both counts we should strive to make the wispst use of the facilities which were provided for military purposes during the war. Until the future is clearer it would be unwise to decide on rigid and unchangeable policies, but the steps which I have outlined will, in the opinion of the government, provide satisfactory arrangements for the immediate future and can be altered when necessary in the light of future development.


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Mr. COLD WELL@

I should like to ask the Minister of Justice a question arising out of his statement regarding the arrangements in northwestern Canada. I understand this road will be maintained by the army. Will facilities be provided for tourists who wish to pass along the highway, and will the government give some consideration to the type of accommodation? Sometimes there are complaints from the United States tourists about the type of accommodation offered in Canada. It seems to me it would be well if the government, through its own bureaux, gave some consideration to the problem, and to the possibilities of a condition under which considerable revenue may be brought to Canada.

Mr. ST. LAURENT: With respect to the first part of the question, nothing has yet been determined as to what tourist use may be made of the highway, beyond the fact that it is agreeable to the Canadian government that the United States army withdraw on April 1, and it has been decided that the most effective and expeditious method to facilitate that would be for the Canadian army to take over. For the time being we have not gone beyond that. However, consideration will certainly be given to the best possible use, in the interests of the development of the country, of the facilities which have thus been provided during the war.

Topic:   DEFENCE PROJECTS
Subtopic:   STATEMENT AS TO FUTURE OF FACILITIES CONSTRUCTED IN NORTHWESTERN CANADA
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IND

Jean-François Pouliot

Independent Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

Now it is a bush line for tourists.

Topic:   DEFENCE PROJECTS
Subtopic:   STATEMENT AS TO FUTURE OF FACILITIES CONSTRUCTED IN NORTHWESTERN CANADA
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SC

Solon Earl Low

Social Credit

Mr. LOW:

Does the minister know whether the slides-rather bad ones, I believe they were-which occurred at various points on the highway, have been cleared?

Topic:   DEFENCE PROJECTS
Subtopic:   STATEMENT AS TO FUTURE OF FACILITIES CONSTRUCTED IN NORTHWESTERN CANADA
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LIB

George Alexander Cruickshank

Liberal

Mr. CRUICKSHANK:

The one in Nova Scotia, do you mean?

Topic:   DEFENCE PROJECTS
Subtopic:   STATEMENT AS TO FUTURE OF FACILITIES CONSTRUCTED IN NORTHWESTERN CANADA
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SC

Solon Earl Low

Social Credit

Mr. LOW:

I was not referring to that one, but rather to two or three bad slides which did occur on the highway at different places, and which almost stopped traffic. Have they been cleared?

Mr. ST. LAURENT: I cannot give specific information to the hon. member about the clearing of slides, but the information we have, and which was provided us when the matter was under consideration, is that the highway is at this moment in excellent condition.

Topic:   DEFENCE PROJECTS
Subtopic:   STATEMENT AS TO FUTURE OF FACILITIES CONSTRUCTED IN NORTHWESTERN CANADA
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ALLIED CONTROL COUNCIL

MILITARY MISSION TO GERMANY TO PROTECT CANADIAN CIVIL AND MILITARY INTERESTS


Hon. L. S. ST. LAURENT (Acting Secretary of State for External Affairs): Mr. Speaker, I think I should at this time announce to the house that a small Canadian military mission to the allied control council in Berlin is being sent to Germany for the purpose of protecting Canadian interests in Germany in civil as in military matters. On June 5, 1945, the governments of the United Kingdom, the United States of America, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the provisional government of France issued a statement on the subject of the control machinery set up by these governments in Germany, which included a provision to the effect that liaison with the other united nations governments chiefly interested would be established through the appointment by



Judges Act such governments of military missions (which might include civilian members) to the allied control council. The Canadian government has now received and accepted an invitation to send such a mission to Germany. Major General Maurice Pope, C.B., M.C., has been named head of the Canadian mission with the acting rank of Lieutenant-General. General Pope, as hon. members know, has for some time been military staff officer to the Prime Minister. He is to be assisted by an appropriate staff, including representatives of the Department of External Affairs and other civil departments concerned. General Pope has left for the United Kingdom, where he will consult with Canadian military authorities before proceeding to Germany.


JUDGES ACT

JUDGES NOT TO ACT AS COMMISSIONERS OR ARBITRATORS-TO BE BOUND BY DECISION OF COURT OF FINAL APPEAL


Mr. T. L. CHURCH (Broadview) moved for leave to introduce bill No. 22, to amend the Judges Act. '


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Some hon. MEMBERS:

Explain.

Topic:   JUDGES ACT
Subtopic:   JUDGES NOT TO ACT AS COMMISSIONERS OR ARBITRATORS-TO BE BOUND BY DECISION OF COURT OF FINAL APPEAL
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October 24, 1945