April 24, 1947

REPORT OF COMMITTEE


Third report of the standing committee on railways, canals and telegraph lines.-Mr. Breithaupt.


REPORTS AND PAPERS

TABLING OF ORDERS IN COUNCIL UNDER EMERGENCY POWERS ACT


Right Hon. L. S. ST. LAURENT (Secretary of State for External Affairs): I wish to table copies in English and French of orders in council, including minutes of council and of the treasury board, passed under the authority of the National Emergency Transitional Powers Act, 1945, for the month of March, 1947, and copies in French for the month of February, 1947.


ST. LAWRENCE WATERWAY CONCURRENCE IN PROPOSAL FOR TOLL CHARGES


Right Hon. L. S. ST. LAURENT (Secretary of State for External Affairs): In view of the fact that the St. Lawrence seaway agreement has been resubmitted to the United States congress for approval, it is felt that it would be useful to provide a brief statement of the present position for the information of members of the house. The Great Lakes-St. Lawrence basin agreement was signed on March 19, 1941. Since that time the agreement has been regularly submitted to congress, but has never been approved. In 1946 the senate foreign relations committee, after extensive hearings, made a favourable report on the bill but the matter never came to a vote in the senate. The Canadian government was recently approached by the United States authorities regarding the possibility of reaching agreement in principle that the seaway be made self-liquidating through an agreed system of tolls the details of which could be worked out at a later date. The Canadian govern-1 ment has now concurred in principle with the proposal to make the St. Lawrence seaway self-liquidating by means of toll charges subject to the conclusion of arrangements satisfactory to both governments for the implementation of this principle. [Later]:


PC

John Bracken (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. JOHN BRACKEN (Leader of the Opposition):

The minister referred to an agreement which had been made with respect to the seaway agreement. Can the correspondence be made available?

Mr. ST. LAURENT: The consent of the United States government would be required.

I am not sure how much of this was covered by correspondence. I know that there were negotiations which were conducted orally between the United States ambassador and the Department of External Affairs here, and there were other negotiations conducted orally between our ambassador in Washington and the state department there. There possibly has been an exchange of notes; if there has been, they will of course be tabled.

Topic:   ST. LAWRENCE WATERWAY CONCURRENCE IN PROPOSAL FOR TOLL CHARGES
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PC

John Bracken (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. BRACKEN:

The minister referred to an agreement in principle on a system of tolls. If there is an agreement could we have its exact terms?

Mr. ST. LAURENT: There was a statement made that Canada would not object to the principle of tolls provided they could be arranged in such a way that there would be genuine benefit to transportation in a reduction of charges by the construction of the seaway. I am not sure that there was a formal exchange of notes, but if there was I shall be glad to see that the notes are tabled.

Topic:   ST. LAWRENCE WATERWAY CONCURRENCE IN PROPOSAL FOR TOLL CHARGES
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PC

Agar Rodney Adamson

Progressive Conservative

Mr. ADAMSON:

Was the legislation introduced in congress in the form of a bill, or in the form of a treaty? Will it require a two-thirds majority or a simple majority?

Mr. ST. LAURENT: I should not like to

express an opinion as to what is required constitutionnally, but my opinion is that a bill has been introduced.

Supreme Court Act

Topic:   ST. LAWRENCE WATERWAY CONCURRENCE IN PROPOSAL FOR TOLL CHARGES
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EAST INDIANS

FRANCHISE IN BRITISH COLUMBIA-EXCHANGE OF TELEGRAMS BETWEEN OTTAWA AND NEW DELHI


Right Hon. L. S. ST. LAURENT (Secretary of State for External Affairs): There is a statement I should like to make to the house in explanation of the fact that a release to the press was made this morning at eleven o'clock of an exchange of telegrams between Ottawa and New Delhi with respect to the amendment of the Franchise Act of British Columbia and its effect upon the franchise of East Indians. The reason the release was made this morning instead of being communicated first here in the house was that it was desired to have it released simultaneously here and in New Delhi. Because of the difference in time even eleven o'clock this morning meant something like 9.30 p.m. in New Delhi. The telegrams are as follows: Right Hon. Louis S. St. Laurent. Secretary of State for External Affairs, Ottawa. I would like to convey to Prime Minister of Canada, to Premier of British Columbia, and to yourself, my appreciation and thanks for action taken by legislative assembly of British Columbia in passing bill enfranchising Indians. I hope this is forerunner of increasingly friendly relations between Canada and India. Jawaharlal Nehru, Minister for External Affairs and Commonwealth Relations, India. To which the following reply was sent: Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Minister for External Affairs and Commonwealth Relations, New Delhi. Greatly appreciate your kind telegram regarding enfranchisement of Indians in British Columbia which has resulted from action by legislative assembly of that province. I join with you in hope that friendship between India and Canada will be strengthened by this action. Louis S. St. Laurent, Secretary of State for External Affairs.


PC

Thomas Langton Church

Progressive Conservative

Mr. CHURCH:

I take it from the Hindu statement with respect to votes for these Hindus in British Columbia that the government is automatically recognizing the new Nehru provisional Indian government.

Topic:   EAST INDIANS
Subtopic:   FRANCHISE IN BRITISH COLUMBIA-EXCHANGE OF TELEGRAMS BETWEEN OTTAWA AND NEW DELHI
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CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS

REPORT OF AUDITORS REFERRED TO RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING COMMITTEE

LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Hon. LIONEL CHEVRIER (Minister of Transport):

Mr. Speaker, I wish to table the report of George A. Touche and Company, auditors of the Canadian National Railway

system for the year ended December 31, 1946. Copies in English are being distributed to the members this afternoon and I expect to be able to table the French edition in a day or two. By leave of the house I move:

That the report to parliament of George A. Touche and Company, auditors of the Canadian National Railway System, for the year ended December 31, 1946, tabled this day, be referred to the sessional committee on railways and shipping owned, operated and controlled by the government.

Topic:   CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS
Subtopic:   REPORT OF AUDITORS REFERRED TO RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING COMMITTEE
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Motion agreed to.


SUPREME COURT ACT

AMENDMENT TO ABOLISH APPEALS TO PRIVY COUNCIL

April 24, 1947