March 2, 1948


Thomas Vincent Grant


Mr. T. V. GRANT (Kings):

Mr. Speaker, I hope the hon. gentleman who has preceded me will forgive me if I do not follow his remarks. However, I wish to congratulate him upon having put up a splendid fight against his adversaries and upon having put at least a couple of them to flight. I did not intend to say anything during this debate because, like others, I was anxious that it should come to an end. However, upon pressure being brought to bear upon me by some of my maritime colleagues, I yielded against my better judgment. I did not think it was right to allow the Tory member for Queens (Mr. McLure) to have everything to say about conditions in Prince Edward Island. One of my old teachers used to say that when you heard nothing you should say nothing, but here I am afraid I am disobeying him.

I listened attentively but painfully to the doleful speech of the Tory member for Queens. It was a gloomy picture indeed that he gave of conditions in our province. The last part of his speech was brighter, however, because he invited tourists to come down to that terribly neglected province. His speech reminded me of the poet's description of Jacques Cartier's first winter on the St. Lawrence river. He was very gloomy at first because the river was frozen over and there were other conditions which were not very suitable, but later on he changed like my hon. friend. I think the lines of the poet read somewhat as follows:

But when he changed the scene He told how soon it oast In early spring the fetters That held the waters fast.

How the magic wand of summer Cast the landscape of his eyes Like the drybones of the just When they wake in Paradise.

He was referring to the St. Lawrence river and surrounding scenery.

The Address-Mr. Grant

I am sorry the hon. member for Cape Breton South (Mr. Gillis) is not in his seat at the moment. Before continuing and by way of diversion, may I say that following the last provincial election in my province I understand he gave an interview to the press. I am told that the reason given by him for all C.C.F. candidates having lost their deposits was that the people of Prince Edward Island were not sufficiently educated along C.C.F. lines. I am not finding fault with his way of expressing himself, but I presume he meant that we did not know the C.C.F. party well enough. There is a contradiction here, because the people of Prince Edward Island turned down the Tory party because they knew them too well.

To get back to the Tory member for Queens, his speech was indeed mournful and bewildered. The other day he told the Minister of Transport (Mr. Chevrier) that he and the minister had both done well for the province of Prince Edward Island. I think it was ingratitude on his part to ignore the senior member for Queens (Mr. Douglas). I am reminded of the traveller in iEsop's fable who picked up a frozen snake and placed it in his bosom, and after it had warmed up a little it stung him to death. I was surprised to hear such a speech made in this house, especially at a time when the province of Prince Edward Island has never been as prosperous. In fact it looks sometimes as though this is a period of uncontrolled prosperity.

In his speech yesterday the only minister praised by the hon. member was the former minister of fisheries, the late Hon. Mr. Bridges. I suppose he thinks the only good Liberals are dead ones.

The Tory member for Queens deplores the fact that we have not more cold storage plants in Prince Edward Island. His party has been in power in Prince Edward Island, and if he were in his seat tonight I would ask him if he could point to one cold storage plant that the Conservative party ever built in Prince Edward Island. There are in my constituency about five potato warehouses which were built for the benefit of the potato growers and the Liberal party built every one of them. There is one in Souris costing $200,000, another of the same kind in Georgetown, another in Elmira, another in St. Andrews, and another one being built in Morell-all built under a Liberal administration. Not one of those cold storage plants was built by the Conservative party. The Liberals built every one of them. I should like the Tory member for Queens to point out

something that the Conservatives have done in Prince Edward Island, or anywhere else for that matter.

He also spoke about highways. We have a great many highways in Prince Edward Island, hundreds of miles of paved roads running from one end of the province to the other, and the Conservative party did not build one foot of them. They did attempt at one time to build a few miles; but they did not seem to understand how to do it; the frost destroyed the road, and the work had to be all done over again by a succeeding Liberal government.

He also spoke about foxes and reefers. I do not know exactly where his word "reefer" came from, but there is a warm jacket which is known as a reefer and perhaps that is why they call the warm cars reefers. I suggest to my hon. friend that he get one of these reefer coats, if he can get one large enough to button, and then get one of these fox furs and put it around his neck, and then he would not have to do so much talking in the house. We would all know what he stood for-reefers and fox furs.

One strange thing he did say, that all the money that was spent on plants in Prince Edward Island during the war was $1,277. As a matter of fact, there was more money spent in Prince Edward Island for its size than in any other province. Millions of dollars were spent there by the then minister of national defence because he was a member for the province. Millions of dollars were spent on two or three airports. I did not get much in my constituency, but I got elected at the next election. What I did get was an air raid telephone line all along the north shore of my constituency, and after the war was over, the government gave that to the people. It served several parishes. That alone must have cost many thousands of dollars, so that I cannot understand where my hon. friend gets his figure of $1,277.

The Tory member for Queens also complains about our national park and says that the roads leading to it are not good enough. I ask him who built the national park there? What is the national park to any Tory? It was built by the Liberal government, but the Tories can go there, of course. But they never put it there, and they never would put it there. There is one highway to the park. My hon. friend need not complain because his party never did anything like that in our province at least.

Speaking about reefer cars, I should like to put a statement on Hansard with regard to

The Address-Mr. Grant

reefer cars in Prince Edward Island. This is taken from the Department of Agriculture in Prince Edward Island:

During the crop season of 1947 there were 8,835 carloads of potatoes ferried across the straits by the Canadian National Railways.

During the same season 858 carloads of turnips were ferried across, making a total of 9,393 cars of potatoes and turnips ferried across the straits.

So the Tory member for Queens had a big job on his hands in arranging for all these cars. Of course he had the assistance of the Minister of Transport, but he had to work pretty hard himself. The minister is a hard worker too,

but I do not think he could ever get along without the aid of his parliamentary assistant, the Tory member tor Queens.

On motion of Mr. Grant the debate was adjourned.




Angus MacInnis

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


What will be the business

for tomorrow?

Mr. ST. LAURENT: We shall continue

with this debate.


At eleven o'clock the house adjourned, without question put, pursuant to standing order.

Wednesday, March 3, 1948

March 2, 1948