April 17, 1946

CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. COLDWELL:

He is a private member of the organization. We do not smother people's views if they want to express them.

Topic:   SUPPLY OF FOODSTUFFS TO INDIA
Subtopic:   MINERAL RESOURCES
Sub-subtopic:   PROPOSED GOVERNMENT CONTROL AND OPERATION
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IND

Jean-François Pouliot

Independent Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

Yesterday evening it was not the same thing.

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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. COLDWELL:

I did not smother his views; I repudiated them.

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LIB

Joseph-Arthur Bradette

Liberal

Mr. BRADETTE:

Here is another statement by the C.C.F.:

We cannot definitely state how much land a man will be allowed to hold. We propose that land .socialization shall be voluntary.

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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. COLDWELL:

Who said that?

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LIB

Joseph-Arthur Bradette

Liberal

Mr. BRADETTE:

That is from the C.C.F. Saskatchewan farmer-labour group hand book, 1933. Then the following statement was made at the annual convention of the British Columbia C.C.F. on April 17, 1943:

Collective agriculture by the institution of methods of collective farming, such as have featured Soviet Russia's system, and by the creation of a provincial government monopoly in the purchase, processing and wholesaling of farm products, both those grown here and those imported.

These are definite words. I am just quoting them to the house to make hon. members realize that, once you get started you cannot

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stop half-way. Natural resources belong primarily to the provinces. If the resolution were adopted by the government there would immediately be conflict with the provinces. The provincial premiers, the premier of Ontario, the premier of Quebec and the premier of Saskatchewan, who are always ready to fight for provincial rights, would be among the first to protest against such nationalization. I know the ability and energy and honesty of purpose of the premier of Saskatchewan because I have listened to him for years in this house. No one can doubt his sincerity of purpose but even he has not honesty of purpose of the premier of Saskatchewan. He has picked out a few industries but has not extended the field of socialization to mining. He has not even yet expropriated land for collective farming. I know enough of the -western farmers to know that the moment any government sought to introduce collective farming there would be a terrific revolt because every farmer wants to own his own farm. No one can tell me that the western farmers are ready for socialization of farming.

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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. COLDWELL:

They do not have to be socialized because in this country a few people do not own all the land. The land is already socialized through individual ownership.

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LIB

Joseph-Arthur Bradette

Liberal

Mr. BRADETTE:

That is only a relative statement. The hon. member, who is so capable, knows that I may have a mortgage on my home or a farmer may have a mortgage on his farm, and while the law might compel me to pay the mortgage, no government has the right to interfere with the property.

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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. COLDWELL:

Nobody wants to.

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LIB

Joseph-Arthur Bradette

Liberal

Mr. BRADETTE:

The same principle

applies to farms owned by the farmers of the west. They may have obligations on their land; but the land is theirs; their home is theirs, and even the King of England has no right to enter without permission. But under socialization it would be entirely, different. Let us be fair. You cannot call it fish at one time and flesh at another; it must be the same at all times. Our problems are great and difficult, but I believe in the intelligence of our people. I believe that in this parliament and in our provincial legislatures it will be possible to find a solution of all our problems.

In conclusion, I just wish to say how grateful I am personally-and this applies to my section of the country

for the spirit in which the premiers of the provinces met with the dominion last year to discuss dominion-provincial relations. No part of this country is

greater than the whole. Every member of this parliament is primarily a municipalist; that is, we believe in our own little town or big town, as the case may be, in our rural sections. Secondly, we are provincialists. But over and above all that, we stand for this wonderful country which is Canada, and I hope that when the premiers meet the dominion again the same spirit will animate them which prevailed' -in the last two conferences. That will be one of the best signs that we are going to develop into a still greater and better Canada.

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PC

John Ritchie MacNicol

Progressive Conservative

Mr. J. R. MacNICOL (Davenport):

Mr. Speaker, I am not going to follow the argument of the hon. member for Cape Breton South (Mr. Gillis) because he dealt with coal mining. The resolution however, distinctly refers to the mineral resources of Canada, and that is the subject with which I wish to deal.

In my time I have had a lot to do with minerals of one kind and another, and I am familiar with all the difficulties experienced by prospectors, geologists and engineers in the discovery and opening up of our mineral resources. If what they have done could be written up it would be a romantic saga of their achievements.

The mining industry has been one of the great industries of Canada. I do not say that it is the greatest but it is one of our very great industries. It is one industry that has done a major job in opening up this country. If I may turn to the resolution for a moment it says:

Whereas private enterprise in the development of the mineral resources of Canada has not operated in the best interests of all of the people of Canada either in time of peace or in time of war . . .

That is a very broad statement which could not possibly be proved in any way. I am opposed to the resolution because I am in favour of private enterprise and private initiative. I have seen in my lifetime the marvellous achievements of private enterprise and private initiative, and my opinion based on that experience is that it would be impossible to have much initiative or enterprise in the mining industry if it were taken over by the government. The achievements of the mining industry are the result of private enterprise and private initiative. I think of the men I have met in the far north, the prospectors, and what they went through, how they had to endure the black flies, or bulldogs as they called them, and huge mosquitoes, grandfather and grandmother mosquitoes as they called them, when there

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was no such thing as Stayaway and other such liquids for protecting the human race against these pests; and when I think of all they went through and of what they achieved my hat goes off to them on every occasion. They never would have done it had it not 'been for private enterprise and private initiative. No man living would have endured what they endured if they were working for the government and had no chance of obtaining something for themselves through their own enterprise and initiative.

The resolution goes on to say:

Therefore be it resolved that, in the opinion of this house, the government should consider the advisability of bringing the developed and undeveloped mineral resources of Canada under government control and operation.

Your honour, that is such a stupendous order that, in my opinion, it is absolutely impossible for any government to undertake it. Think of the capital invested in the mining industry, at present between one and a quarter and one and one-half billion dollars, and employing anywhere from 115,000 to 150,000 people. To think of the government undertaking to control that amount of capital and make it pay and that number of employees just in one single industry-it is out of the question; it just could not be done. The whole industry would go to pieces under any such basis of operation.

There are three classes of minerals. There are, first, the precious metals, gold, silver, perhaps copper, nickel, aluminum, platinum and radium, if it is a mineral, and so on. Then there are the base metals, such as iron, lead and other minerals of that order. Then there are the industrial minerals, if they may be so called, such as gypsum, mica, feldspar, and in particular, dolomite, because from it we get a real mineral, magnesium metal. Each one of these classes is a wide study in itself; each one has a long history behind it and many ramifications. To me it is inconceivable that any government with the material it has at hand could direct or control, much less operate, production in these various lines of minerals. It takes all the ingenuity, skill, ability and experience of private enterprise to bring about production of' the various kinds of minerals.

The last speaker said, quite rightly, that the mineral problem is largely under the jurisdiction of the provincial governments. Just how this government could step into Ontario, which produces 49'4 per cent of all the mineral production of Canada, or into any of the provinces which supply the remainder of the production, and undertake this class of production, I do not know. I do not know how they could operate under this resolution. This is provincial business, and we have difficulty enough in getting along now with the provinces, without any further interference in such a wide and large business as mining with all its ramifications of employment and laws in connection therewith. I do not believe it could be done. Therefore the resolution, in my opinion, could not be put into effect.

Take just one of the minerals which I have mentioned-nickel. In that industry anywhere from $170 million to $200 million is invested. There are employed in that industry approximately 15,000 men and women. How any government could undertake to operate the nickel industry I do not know. In the first place the government would have to obtain the capital necessary to take it over. In the second place it would be wholly out of the question for a government to operate the nickel industry with 15,000 people; a government would require not less than 30,000, probably 45,000. I believe the ratio as between . government and private industry operation is as three to one. This, of course, would provide some additional employment, but it would also certainty add to the cost of production and make it impossible to compete in the world's markets. I suppose it could be contended that this is not wholly true of the nickel industry, because Canada contains not less than ninety per cent of the world's nickel resources. But, as the hon. member for Cochrane (Mr. Bradette) pointed out, if we socialized the mineral industry the process would not stop there. We would have to socialize every industry. Just fancy the government operating every industry in Canada! It is utterly out of the question.

I am perhaps more familiar with the iron and steel industry. At the moment Canada does not produce a great deal of iron ore, but we are rapidly getting along, and we are going to produce more. In recent months I have been to some big iron mines and before long they will be producing a great deal of iron; other large new mines are about to be opened up. The iron and steel industry has invested in it something like $235 million and it employs approximately 35,000 employees. When you start socializing a nation's industries you get into astronomical figures. At the moment these industries are handled and operated by tried and trained men, men who could not possibly work under government direction. I would no more work under government direction in industry than I would fly up in the air. Once I was required to lose my initiative, my right to initiate private enterprise, I would get out of the business immediately. Therein lies the difference between private enterprise and government operation.

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If I might speak personally, I know one man, engaged in processing raw iron into the finished product, who wore himself out and had to go to hospital for four months to recover, from sitting up all hours of the night, and even thinking in bed after he got there, trying to figure out methods of production of a particular form of lathe, a machine which did more than any other individual instrument in Canadian industry toward winning the war. It is inconceivable that any government employee would sit up all night long, week in and week out, trying to determine how to achieve this or that. It would not be done; it is not done outside of private industry. But it takes both private industry and private initiative to achieve what this country has achieved. I have a thorough knowledge of that in connection with the iron industry. I was in it; I myself worked all hours of the night, week out and week in, to discover and process plans for the production of the lines of material I was in. No one could conceive of employees of the government doing that. You would not expect them to do it. They are not employed to do it. They are employed to carry out the directions of the departments, and do it well, and no country in the world is served better by its public employees than Canada is. I have the highest regard and respect for them. But I would never expect them to go through what I went through when I was in industry, or what a multitude of others whom I know went through.

I remember when, a few years ago, gold was increased in value. The hon. member for Cochrane, whose riding I know well, has spoken of gold. I have spent considerable time at the Lake Shore mines, at Wright Hargreaves, Macassa, in the Lake Shore area, at the Hollinger, Dome and other mines in the Timmins area. This country owes a vast amount of respect for what the mining industry of northern Ontario has accomplished. At that time the price of gold was, I believe, $20.67 per fine ounce. The world was in the throes of the depression. Through the efforts of our own government here, the then prime minister, Mr. Bennett, and the then president of the United States, as well as others, a conference was organized in London at which the price of gold was raised to what it is now, namely $35 plus exchange, or $38.50 Canadian per fine ounce. What was the result? It broke the back of the depression. That is what started the world on its way again, and that is one* thing we owe the mining industry. The amount of purchases made by this industry is almost inconceivable.

Think of the thousand and one items of manufactured material which have gone, for example, into northern Ontario, as one great mining area, or into the Flin Flon area, or into the Yellowknife area, where there are great gold fields. Materials purchased by these gold mines, initiated and operated by private enterprise, have kept thousands of factories in operation in eastern Canada. To my mind, anything which interferes in any way with the initiating of new mines of any description would be bad for this country. Yet this resolution calls for taking over not only the present mines, but potential ones. That is a large order and would be detrimental to this country. I do not believe that capital would come into this country and open up new mines under such a programme. Any restrictions on the mining industry that would interfere with the investment of capital will not get my support. We need more capital to open up more and more mines. Any restrictions on that would be detrimental to this country.

I have no option but to oppose any resolution such as this. The hon. member for Cape Breton South is an earnest man. I have sat on many committees with him and I have always found that he used his own best judgment. He was always sincere and earnest in what he proposed in the committees. All I can say with regard to this resolution is that perhaps he has not had the wide business experience that is required to discuss a matter of industrial advance. I believe that he is wrong in so far as the terms of this resolution are concerned. If he had mentioned ways and means of expanding the mining industry, as I believe it can be expanded in Canada, for there is no country in the world that has such incomparable mineral resources, then I could have supported him.

The mining industry can be expanded. Some hon. member mentioned sending out more and more geologists. That is one way in which it could be done. More geologists should be sent out. Another hon. member said that in the last few years the government has been sending young men into the mining areas during the holidays. I supported that because it gives them an opportunity to learn how to prospect. When they return to the universities-the great majority of them are university students-the experience they have gained in the field will help them in their studies, and when they finish their studies, they will be much more capable of achieving success in the prospecting they undertake.

In addition to increasing the number of prospectors, I would increase the number of

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geologists and mining engineers. That is one way in which we can advance this country. If we develop our mines we develop our country. I am sure that the hon. member for Cape Breton South is just as anxious as I am to increase the mining industry in Canada. He knows as well as I do that in that way we can expand industry all over Canada, because in some way or another, in the last analysis, much of our industry is associated with the mining industry.

Some time ago I advocated a plan whereby the federal government could assist the provincial governments in the development of roads in the mining areas. I was happy to learn that my suggestion was carried out in connection with mining areas in northern Ontario. I do not say that the government should finance it, but they should do something to assist the local provincial governments in the development of mining roads. It will be remembered that as a result of a recommendation in this house the roadway from Hawk Junction in northern Ontario was extended to the Helen Mountain iron mine where they are turning out about 750,000 tons of siderite ore a year, which, when smelted, produces about 250,000 tons of No. 1 pig iron. In that way the government can help. I would support the government taking other means to make it easier for investors to get into the mining areas, and for the mining companies to expand those areas and then get the raw product out to the market. That is one way in which we can assist in the opening of our mining areas. I take a strong stand on this, because industry in this part of Canada is frequently engaged in making large machines for the mines. That is true all over Canada. I remember when I last visited Yellowknife. I saw on the docks large amounts of iron and steel equipment made in Dundas by the Bertram company. It was shipped to the Yellowknife for use in some of the mines in that area. That is the way the country expands. We open up new areas. Orders come here which mean jobs for men in the factories in the eastern part of Canada. From your own city, -sir, a large amount of mining machinery is shipped to northern Ontario, to Flin Flon, to the Yellowknife, to the Yukon and to British Columbia, which is also a great mining country.

I believe one or two other hon. members wish to speak on this resolution and I think they should have an opportunity. I am opposed to this resolution because I am for private enterprise and private initiative. I

am for government assistance in every legitimate way to open up the country and provide jobs.

Mr. SOLON E. LOW (Peace River): I think I should take just a few minutes to place before the house the views of my group regarding this resolution. If the hon. member for Cape Breton South (Mr. Gillis) had brought in a resolution regarding the coal situation in Canada and had confined it to that subject I am satisfied that coal would have received much better consideration here this afternoon than will possibly be the case when it is attempted to discuss this resolution as it is placed on the order paper. I am happy that the hon. member brought it forward, however, and I am pleased at the indications of widespread concern over the coal situation. However, I shall not be able, in the few minutes that I shall speak, to deal with coal in any comprehensive way. I must confine myself largely to the principle of the resolution itself.

Before I enter into that part of the discussion, I should like to refer briefly to one or two matters which were brought up in the course of the remarks of the hon. member for Cochrane (Mr. Bradette). I should like to point out to him that if his memory is so bad that he has in his mind only the one principle of the national dividend which has been advocated by the social credit organization, I would suggest that he improve himself by a little more reading and studying, because nobody in this organization has ever said that the implementing of a system of national dividends would solve all our problems. That principle is only one of a whole series that makes up the complete philosophy of social credit.

We believe in a system of economic and political democracy. Our philosophy is comprehensive and complete, a philosophy of life. We are in no way merely monetary reformers. We in no way advocate a single, simple solution of our complex problems in this land. We know they are complex, and we know no single thing will solve all these problems. But we do say, and with very good reason and evidence to support our assertion, that if the principles advocated by the social credit (Organization were applied we would set this old country on the road to peaceful prosperity. The rest of it would have to be worked out as we go along.

I was surprised that the hon. member took so much time to sideswipe the various political organizations represented in this house,-of course with the exception of the Liberal organization, when he should have devoted

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his time to a discussion of the resolution itself. Some of the arguments he presented in support of the mining of gold bear little weight. One would almost think he was pleading the cause of the gold people. As far as I am concerned I do not care whether another pound of gold is ever mined in this or any other country. I am satisfied that the thousands of people now engaged in the gold mining industry in Canada could find work just as lucrative, just as pleasant, and just as congenial in some other field that would yield a much better return to the whole world. I never saw anyone who could eat gold. I never saw anyone who could clothe himself in gold. I never saw anyone who was very happy when he was involved in the intricacies of gold. I have yet to see anyone successfully demonstrate that gold is of vast importance in our national economy as the hon. member suggests. I am going to leave my remarks with respect to the hon. member's address at that.

I wish to point out briefly, Mr. Speaker, that I look upon this resolution as one more step toward the centralization of power in the hands of the federal government. I am opposed to this principle on the ground that true democracy simply cannot exist under centralization of authority. The best guarantee of good administration, good government and the orderly development of our resources is to decentralize as far as possible. If this resolution had been brought forward in one of the provincial legislatures; if rather than federal government ownership, it had provided for further decentralization so that the municipalities of that province might have more or less say in the control and development of the resources, then I would have given it sympathetic support. Let me point out that the western provinces, particularly Alberta and Saskatchewan, were not granted control of their resources in 1905, when they became provinces. Their resources were left in the hands, and under the administration, of the federal government under a system of completely centralized control and ownership. I would point out also that it was a very real government ownership. Nobody owned, and nobody controlled, except the federal government. During the twenty-five year period from 1905 to 1930 the dominion government demonstrated what happens when centralization takes place and when a central government attempts to own, control and develop the resources. It left to Alberta and Saskatchewan a legacy of complicated problems and disabilities which it will take many decades to clear away.

What are some of these problems? In a short discussion of these matters I cannot confine my remarks merely to the mineral resources, but what I have to say in general about the resources of the province of Alberta will, of course, hold true for the mineral resources. The first problem created, which has complicated the lives of the people in Saskatchewan and Alberta, was the haphazard land settlement policy of the federal government, which owned and controlled those lands in those two western provinces. They allowed, yes, encouraged, the building of widespread communities, some of them hundreds of miles apart in the hinterland, in the wild, undeveloped areas of the provinces. There was no orderly settlement, no orderly policy of settlement and there could not be with the government three thousand miles away, having no intimate association or knowledge of conditions existing in those areas and, I might add, not very much interest. They allowed the settlement of marginal and sub-marginal land. Not only did they allow it; they encouraged the settlement of land in the Palliser triangle which they knew perfectly well was not fit for settlement. I say they knew this perfectly well. The Palliser report was in the hands of the federal government for a good many years prior to the time the settlement of that area was entered upon. But they.brought in settlers just the same; they colonized the land largely through the homestead method.

I might just point out that the settlement of those marginal and sub-marginal lands has cost the people of Alberta fully $25,000,000 in rehabilitation alone. They have written off their books more than $16,000,000 of taxes, seed grain advances,and relief advances. To rehabilitate those areas fully after this haphazard settlement will require many more millions. That settlement in Saskatchewan and Alberta was so poorly planned under federal government ownership, administration and development that in Alberta, for example, we have had to build 96,000 miles of roads to link up the scattered communities of the province, which in itself is no mean item when it comes to maintenance. So that I say I have yet to be convinced that government ownership and development is the policy we should follow.

The second problem is the alienation from the crown-the people-of not less than 50 per cent of the total mineral resources of Alberta. The people found they did not own even 50 per cent of the mineral resources, after those resources were returned to them in 1930. They had been given away as gifts to the Hudson's Bay company, to the Canadian

Mineral Resources

Pacific Railway company, to the C. and E. Corporation and others; and when it came to trying to obtain a fair share of the returns from the development of these resources the people of Alberta could not do so simply because under centralized federal government control and development those resources had been alienated from the crown and therefore from the people of the province.

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Subtopic:   MINERAL RESOURCES
Sub-subtopic:   PROPOSED GOVERNMENT CONTROL AND OPERATION
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CCF

John Oliver Probe

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

Mr. PROBE:

Is the hon. member arguing at this stage that this is an example of government ownership and control? It seems to me that would be a most flagrant case of government maladministration.

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SC

Solon Earl Low

Social Credit

Mr. LOW:

I am pointing it out as a fair sample of what we can expect if we centralize the development and control of resources in the hands of the federal government.

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CCF

John Oliver Probe

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

Mr. PROBE:

Of the Liberal organization.

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SC

Solon Earl Low

Social Credit

Mr. LOW:

No doubt the C.C.F. would be entirely different.

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LIB

James Horace King (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

Order. The hon. member who has the floor may not be interrupted without his permission.

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CCF

Frederick Samuel Zaplitny

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

Mr. ZAPLITNY:

I am asking permission of the hon. gentleman, if he will allow me to ask a question. Would he say, then, that he would be in favour of government ownership under the control of the provincial government, but not under the federal government?

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SC

Solon Earl Low

Social Credit

Mr. LOW:

Near the close of my few remarks I shall explain the .policy I advocate, if the hon. member will allow me. I shall not forget it. Let me go on for just one moment.

The third problem that was created in that period of federal government ownership, control and development, in the twenty-five years between 1905 and 1930, which has had far-reaching results, was the depletion of the timber resources, and particularly those of Alberta. This has come about through timber slashing. Those resources were wasted; there was no reforestation; there was no attempt whatsoever to preserve watersheds. Streams became dry and, as a result, atmosphere and rainfall conditions changed.

A careful study of the situation over the years has shown that the federal government in its own areas has been a notoriously bad fire-fighter. As a matter of fact, in some areas it has done nothing whatsoever to assist. Last, year I happened to visit in the United States just across the boundary line from Waterton lakes national park. I got iirto the area known as Glacier national park in that country. While there, I met dozens of young men who were acting as wardens and who looked for fires every day. The United States

government was spending considerable money, but it was also making money because those young men were watching and preserving the timber resources of the country. At the same time, just across the border line in Alberta fires were raging in our own Waterton national park, an area which is supposed to be watched over and preserved by the federal government. Nothing was being done in Canada; the watersheds were being destroyed. It is high time something was done to prevent that sort of waste.

Another problem has been our coal problem. The hon. member for Cape Breton South made a strong plea on behalf of that industry, particularly as it applies to Nova Scotia and the Cape Breton area. In the few remarks I shall make about coal let me say at the outset that in Alberta we have a big coal problem. Coal is our greatest mining operation and, next to agriculture, our greatest resource. In Alberta for many years we have attempted to develop the Ontario market for our coal.

During the war we have seen another example of what happens under centralized federal controls, and the house should know about it. The government appointed a fuel administrator. Under his dictatorial powers he set aside certain areas in Albert which were supposed to be supplementary stripmining areas. He built tipples and spurs of railway track. He brought in huge implements and machinery, and commenced a process of strip-mining. Mind you, those strip mines produced the worst coal we have in Alberta. With only a small amount of overburden, it is only natural that that coal would be our poorest quality. The average depth of our mines would run from 200 to 400 feet, and at those depths the coal is of better quality. But, would you believe it, the coal for which permission was granted for shipment to Ontario, to keep up the market for Alberta coal, was derived from those strip mines! No wonder some of the people in northern Ontario said, "What in the world do you mean by sending us such stuff as that?"

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CCF

John Oliver Probe

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

Mr. PROBE:

To make the Pennsylvania coal more popular.

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SC

Solon Earl Low

Social Credit

Mr. LOW:

Perhaps that is it. But that is just one example of the quality of the control that is exercised by a centralized federal government, which is located so far away from the actual scene of operations. We realize that the coal problem is an extremely big one, and that it is complicated. There is no simple formula for its solution, and it is well to remember that. Perhaps ih Nova Scotia, as in Alberta, our greatest single problem in con-

Mineral Resources

nection with coal is that of marketing. Markets have to be found as near the mining operations as possible. I am convinced that the solution for Alberta in the future is so to develop that resource that the product can be used in the province. I am convinced that Alberta sits on the site of the greatest chemical industry in the world, and we shall not solve our coal problem until we begin to develop that industry in its diversified forms, with all its derivatives. We must develop those products which come from coal and which can be used right there among the people, or shipped to nearby areas of population. Our solution is certainly not found in shipping all our coal to Ontario-certainly not in the light of the arrangements the federal government now has with the United States.

One other point I should like to mention is this. It seems to me that the coal operators in Alberta, as well as those in Nova Scotia, have been losing a good bet in that they have failed to process their coals, and properly to clean and grade them before sending them to the markets in those areas where they are required. I am satisfied that if the Alberta producers would pay more attention to that phase of their activity, and see to it that the coal is properly processed, cleaned and graded, they would find a better market in Ontario for their product. I throw out that suggestion, because I believe it is true.

I am ready to assert that, in the past, natural resources have not been developed and administered in the best interests of all the people of Canada. I am ready to admit that there is much room for improvement, but I am convinced that improvement will never be brought about by centralizing administration and development in the hands of the federal government. I have good reasons for my conviction.

In addition to those already stated, I might place on record this further one, if any further is required to prove my contestations. When the war situation began to intensify the federal government asked Alberta for permission to come in and take over the Abasand oil properties in the Athabaska tar sands field, and there to carry on some developments for the purpoe of helping to supply the requirements for fuel oils and derivatives in the war effort. Everyone, especially those of us who come from the west, is quite familiar with the fiasco that followed, when Alberta did allow the federal government to come in, set up their pilot or experimental plant, for the attempt to develop and devise new ways of extracting oil from those sands. The attempt was a complete wash-out. They

have shown no beneficial results whatsoever, so far as we in Alberta have been able to ascertain. That is why the provincial government joined with private enterprise in setting up a pilot plant in the Athabaska tar sands area for the purpose of making further investigations respecting the best methods of extracting the oil and bitumen from those sands. That ought to be sufficient evidence to show that centralization of controls in the federal government brings only disappointment and maladministration of things so far from the seat of government.

Topic:   SUPPLY OF FOODSTUFFS TO INDIA
Subtopic:   MINERAL RESOURCES
Sub-subtopic:   PROPOSED GOVERNMENT CONTROL AND OPERATION
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April 17, 1946