July 22, 1946

CCF

Eric Bowness McKay

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

Mr. McKAY:

Is that a proper thing when veterans are going without homes?

Topic:   NATIONAL HOUSING ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT AS TO LOAN PROVISIONS-CENTRAL MORTGAGE AND HOUSING CORPORATION
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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Reconstruction and Supply)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

I was going on to say that priority assistance is given only for homes costing $6,000 or less. That is the only type of building in which the government is giving assistance. If anyone can buy the material he can build anything he likes.

Topic:   NATIONAL HOUSING ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT AS TO LOAN PROVISIONS-CENTRAL MORTGAGE AND HOUSING CORPORATION
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CCF

Thomas John Bentley

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

Mr. BENTLEY:

A contract has been let for the building of a theatre in Ottawa, and a lot of cement blocks are going in there. Are thpre no priorities on cement?

Topic:   NATIONAL HOUSING ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT AS TO LOAN PROVISIONS-CENTRAL MORTGAGE AND HOUSING CORPORATION
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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Reconstruction and Supply)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

Theatres have no priority. There is no priority on anything except housing costing $6,000 or less.

Topic:   NATIONAL HOUSING ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT AS TO LOAN PROVISIONS-CENTRAL MORTGAGE AND HOUSING CORPORATION
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CCF

Thomas John Bentley

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

Mr. BENTLEY:

Anybody can buy all the supplies they want?

Topic:   NATIONAL HOUSING ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT AS TO LOAN PROVISIONS-CENTRAL MORTGAGE AND HOUSING CORPORATION
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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Reconstruction and Supply)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

If they can get them.

Topic:   NATIONAL HOUSING ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT AS TO LOAN PROVISIONS-CENTRAL MORTGAGE AND HOUSING CORPORATION
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CCF

Thomas John Bentley

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

Mr. BENTLEY:

And houses must wait while theatres are built?

Topic:   NATIONAL HOUSING ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT AS TO LOAN PROVISIONS-CENTRAL MORTGAGE AND HOUSING CORPORATION
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CCF

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

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

Mr. KNOWLES:

How do they get the materials if there is a priority for $6,000 homes?

Topic:   NATIONAL HOUSING ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT AS TO LOAN PROVISIONS-CENTRAL MORTGAGE AND HOUSING CORPORATION
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PC

Charles Elwood Stephenson

Progressive Conservative

Mr. STEPHENSON:

In my district Wartime Housing Limited have said that they might be held up in the near future for the lack of nails. I brought this question up in the house in May last and a statement was made which I think should be clarified. In the Toronto Globe and Mail appears this article:

Housing Act

Ottawa, May 30.-There is strong official suspicion that the acute shortage of nails reported to be holding up Canada's construction programme is being accentuated at least by smuggling operations across the border for black market sale.

Canada's nail production described in the Commons by Reconstruction Minister C. D. Howe as going at full capacity, should be quite sufficient to meet even the increased Canadian demand. In fact,' in actual figures, Canada is consuming only a percentage of stocks which should be on hand.

One clue to the situation is the demand from the United States coming through the legitimate channels, a demand which is blocked by refusal to issue export permits to fill the orders.

One recent application was made for a permit to export a substantial shipment to the United States to be sold at $1 per pound. Other applications have quoted as high as $50 a keg. This compares with black market prices in Canada running to $24 a keg.

Retail price of nails on the legitimate Canadian markets is about 8 cents a pound-if available.

While investigations carried on by the steel controller have failed so far to unearth evidence of illegitimate cross-the-border operations, it is pointed out that it is extremely difficult to check a bootleg movement of this kind.

The present shortages are attributed to three main causes:

1. Stock-piling by Canadian producers and distributors who are holding out in the hope of increased steel prices and a corresponding prices board adjustment in nail prices. The last increase was granted in March. This is believed to be the largest contributor to shortages.

2. Black market operations in Canada, said to be quite extensive.

3. Smuggling operations across the border to take advantage of American prices.

May I ask if that is true?

Topic:   NATIONAL HOUSING ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT AS TO LOAN PROVISIONS-CENTRAL MORTGAGE AND HOUSING CORPORATION
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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Reconstruction and Supply)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

The production of nails in Canada is easily checked. It is running at a very high figure, practically equivalent to the nail-producing capacity of the country. We have been trying to check the disposition of these nails. After a thorough check we can find no evidence of export operations or any evidence of stock-piling. If anybody knows where there is a warehouse full of nails, I wish he would tell me. We have been unable to find anything of the kind. The consumption of nails is difficult to explain. We cannot explain it. We think a great amount is going out of the country in packing for export. There is also no doubt that the use of green lumber has stepped up the number of nails used in building. The level of construction in this country is far higher than in any other period in our history. The shortage of nails is due to the great use of nails in construction in Canada to-day. However, we are now entering a shortage which is a real one. Nails are not being manufactured to-day in any quantity, because practically all the nail plants are on strike and the plants

which ship the primary steel to the nail plants are also on strike. So that for the next month or two, or longer if the strike lasts much longer, nails will be in very limited supply indeed. All stocks of nails have been frozen and are being diverted into low-cost priority housing. It is only a matter of time, I think, when shortage of nails will practically close down building construction in this country.

Topic:   NATIONAL HOUSING ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT AS TO LOAN PROVISIONS-CENTRAL MORTGAGE AND HOUSING CORPORATION
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PC

Charles Elwood Stephenson

Progressive Conservative

Mr. STEPHENSON:

Would it be possible for us to know how much of our production of nails is being exported?

Topic:   NATIONAL HOUSING ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT AS TO LOAN PROVISIONS-CENTRAL MORTGAGE AND HOUSING CORPORATION
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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Reconstruction and Supply)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

For many months there has been an export prohibition on nails. No nails whatever are being exported from Canada through legitimate channels. I cannot speak as to bootlegging.

Topic:   NATIONAL HOUSING ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT AS TO LOAN PROVISIONS-CENTRAL MORTGAGE AND HOUSING CORPORATION
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PC

Frank Exton Lennard

Progressive Conservative

Mr. LENNARD:

A short time ago the minister stated that now, when a veteran had his house completed to the extent of fifty per cent, he could secure priority to finish that dwelling. I am pleased to hear that, because several months ago some cases were drawn to my attention where veterans applied for priorities to complete their dwellings, they wanted to obtain lathing, and were told that their house had first to be 75 per cent completed. That practically meant that the laths had to be on the walls before they could secure priority to obtain them. I am pleased to hear the minister's statement. When did that new order come into effect?

Topic:   NATIONAL HOUSING ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT AS TO LOAN PROVISIONS-CENTRAL MORTGAGE AND HOUSING CORPORATION
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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Reconstruction and Supply)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

Last week.

Topic:   NATIONAL HOUSING ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT AS TO LOAN PROVISIONS-CENTRAL MORTGAGE AND HOUSING CORPORATION
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CCF

Frederick Samuel Zaplitny

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

Mr. ZAPLITNY:

Would the minister mind elaborating a little on the question of priorities? My mind is not clear as to whether there are priorities actually for persons building houses up to $6,000, how they go about getting them, and whether it means that those who build homes or other buildings worth over $6,000 do not require priorities but can go ahead and buy on the open market.

Topic:   NATIONAL HOUSING ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT AS TO LOAN PROVISIONS-CENTRAL MORTGAGE AND HOUSING CORPORATION
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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Reconstruction and Supply)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

Everyone can buy on the open market. Everyone does buy on the open market, I suppose. The priority means that if the open market has material the man holding the priority gets it first, but he does not get it all. I suppose that priorities account for only *twenty-five to thirty per cent of materials available for house building; the other seventy or seventy-five per cent are sold on the basis of "first come, first served." Priorities are given to small house builders under certain government plans. One, Wartime Housing; second, integrated housing; third, Housing Enterprises; and fourth, emergency shelter. There is also a priority that applies to a veteran's house not built under any of these plans; provided that

Housing Act

the veteran has it fifty per cent built he is given priority for material allowing him to finish the house. If he does not come under any of these clauses he goes on the market, and we wish him well.

Topic:   NATIONAL HOUSING ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT AS TO LOAN PROVISIONS-CENTRAL MORTGAGE AND HOUSING CORPORATION
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CCF

Frederick Samuel Zaplitny

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

Mr. ZAPLITNY:

I am following this up just another step. The minister states that a person building this low-cost home has a priority, but it has not been made clear over whom he has a priority because, according to the minister's own statement, another person building a more expensive home or another building may go to the same market and buy without having to have any priority. In other words, where there is no material to buy, your priority is no good; when there is material to buy, you do not need priority; you can go and buy anywhere.

Topic:   NATIONAL HOUSING ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT AS TO LOAN PROVISIONS-CENTRAL MORTGAGE AND HOUSING CORPORATION
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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Reconstruction and Supply)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

To carry the analogy one step more, some material comes on the market. Suppose there is no material to-day, but to-morrow a shipment comes in; the man with the priority gets his first, before the man without a priority gets anything.

Topic:   NATIONAL HOUSING ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT AS TO LOAN PROVISIONS-CENTRAL MORTGAGE AND HOUSING CORPORATION
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CCF

Frederick Samuel Zaplitny

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

Mr. ZAPLITNY:

Provided that he is there to get it.

Topic:   NATIONAL HOUSING ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT AS TO LOAN PROVISIONS-CENTRAL MORTGAGE AND HOUSING CORPORATION
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PC

Douglas Gooderham Ross

Progressive Conservative

Mr. ROSS (St. Paul's):

Along these lines there is a case I should like to mention, although it is only a small matter. The other day a master plumber wrote me, and I have tried to do something about priorities for him. He has taken people into his owm house and he wants to put in some more fixtures; he has also some other jobs, but he cannot get wrought iron pipe. The work he has in hand is to accommodate veterans. Other people have done exactly the same thing; they have taken other people in, and they need more plumbing accommodation, the extra bathtub and things like that. Is he entitled to priority, or is he not? I take it that he is not. He is giving extra housing accommodation; why is he not entitled to priority?

As I said when I spoke before, many of these things are in short supply. My colleague mentioned nails the other day. Perhaps the minister knows that a number of theatres are going up, and he probably also knows that great numbers of nails are needed in such construction wrork. But these projects are not necessary, and people want houses. These large buildings which are to be erected will also require plumbing fixtures. Why should they have preference; why not put the fixtures into houses?

The minister, as I understood him, said that distribution of materials is made to certain districts. As I understand it, there is the distribution for the metropolitan district of Toronto, which takes in a wide area. The

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mayor of Toronto has no control over what they do in Mimico or other places in the district, and when supplies are sent out to build

a theatre at Mimico the mayor of Toronto cannot forbid it simply because Toronto is short of material for housing. The situation is serious as far as building supplies are concerned. Soil pipe, wrought iron pipe fittings and other articles are in short supply. Bricks -how difficult it is to get bricks to-day; chimney linings, plumbing fixtures, and many other things are needed. It seems to me that something should be done about this situation. This is not the time to be putting up buildings which are really not necessary at present.. Or take the bank building which I previously mentioned. I like to see the bank going up; but hundreds of pounds of nails and other needed materials will be absorbed in its construction, and it seems to me a pity that the veterans are to be deprived of their houses because of limited supplies of these articles. Some consideration should be given, too, to the people who are arranging to provide accommodation for additional families and who cannot get additional bathrooms, for it is just as important to enable a family to find accommodation in an existing house as to provide a new house.

Resolution reported, read the second time and concurred in. Mr. Howe thereupon moved for leave to introduce bill No. 306, to amend the National Housing Act, 1944.

Motion agreed to and bill read the first time.

Topic:   NATIONAL HOUSING ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT AS TO LOAN PROVISIONS-CENTRAL MORTGAGE AND HOUSING CORPORATION
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July 22, 1946