April 7, 1948

PRIVILEGE

MR. MCIVOR-REFERENCE TO ATTENDANCE IN GALLERIES BEFORE PRAYERS

LIB

Daniel (Dan) McIvor

Liberal

Mr. DANIEL McIVOR (Fort William):

Mr. Speaker, on a question of privilege, when I saw part of the press gallery and some of the seats in the members' gallery occupied before prayers, I was going to congratulate you on your progress, as their attendance is in keeping with the prayer we pray every day, that whosoever will may come. I think the press gallery and the general public will enjoy the prayers some day in the future.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. MCIVOR-REFERENCE TO ATTENDANCE IN GALLERIES BEFORE PRAYERS
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FREIGHT RATES

INCREASES ORDERED BY TRANSPORT BOARD- PROPOSED INVESTIGATION OF RATE STRUCTURE OF RAILWAYS UNDER JURISDICTION OF PARLIAMENT

LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Hon. LIONEL CHEVRIER (Minister of Transport):

Mr. Speaker, the Board of

Transport Commissioners for Canada, by order No. 70425 of March 30, 1948, authorized the member railway companies of the Railway Association of Canada to make a general advance in freight rates of 21 per cent with certain exceptions, and on coal and coke a flat increase of 25 cents per ton.

The railway companies were authorized to publish and file tariff schedules, in accordance with the board's findings, on not less than three days' notice.

The board's authorization for increased rates does not include the following:-

1. Rates on grain and grain products from all points on all lines of railway west of Fort William to Fort William, Port Arthur and Armstrong.

2. Rates on grain and grain products from all prairie points on all lines of railway to Vancouver, Prince Rupert and other British Columbia coast ports for export.

3. Rates on grain and grain products for domestic consumption between points in western Canada and rates on feed grain published in C.F.A. tariff C.T.C. 154.

4. Joint international rates between Canada and the United States of America (except

coal and coke, board order No. 70462) which were increased as a result of decisions of the interstate commerce commission in ex parte 148, 162 and 166.

5. Rates between United States points on traffic passing through Canada.

6. Export and import rates to and from Canadian ports, which are at present on a parity with rates to or from United States ports.

7. Agreed charges.

8. Demurrage and penalty charges.

9. Interswitching rates covered by the board's general order No. 252, dated October 26, 1918.

The government has reviewed the petition from the transportation commission of the maritime board of trade, representing inter alia the governments of the provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island and representations made on behalf of the governments of the provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia and other interested persons and organizations, to vary order No. 70425 of the board of transport commissioners by providing that tariff schedules published and filed under the provisions of this order be not effective until at least thirty days from the date thereof.

After careful consideration of these representations, and, without prejudice to any appeal, the government has decided that it should not interfere with the effective date of the board's order.

The government has taken into consideration the fact that no general investigation of freight rates has been made in Canada since that conducted in 1925 by the board of railway commissioners. In the circumstances, the government has decided it would be in the public interest to have the board of transport commissioners make a thorough investigation of the rate structure of railways and railway companies which are under the jurisdiction of parliament, with a view to the establishment of a fair and reasonable rate structure which will, under substantially similar circumstances and conditions, be equal in its application to all persons and localities so as to permit the freest possible exchange of commodities between the various provinces and territories of Canada and the extension of Canadian trade, both foreign and domestic, having due regard

Freight Rates

to the needs of agriculture and other basic industries. This investigation will be subject, of course, to the statutory provisions affecting freight rates known as the Maritime Freight Rates Act and the Crowsnest Pass agreement.

I now table orders in council P.C. 1486 and P.C. 1487 of today's date, giving effect to the decisions of the government.

Topic:   FREIGHT RATES
Subtopic:   INCREASES ORDERED BY TRANSPORT BOARD- PROPOSED INVESTIGATION OF RATE STRUCTURE OF RAILWAYS UNDER JURISDICTION OF PARLIAMENT
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LIB

Thomas Reid

Liberal

Mr. REID:

I should like to ask the minister a question on the statement he has just made. In view of the fact that instructions, almost identical with those previously given, have been given by the government to the board of transport commissioners to investigate freight rates, will the minister review the instructions given to see that the board has power to remove the mountain differential in British Columbia? I ask this question because I think these are the very words in the instructions given by governments in the past, and the board of transport commissioners has said that it has no power to equalize rates.

Topic:   FREIGHT RATES
Subtopic:   INCREASES ORDERED BY TRANSPORT BOARD- PROPOSED INVESTIGATION OF RATE STRUCTURE OF RAILWAYS UNDER JURISDICTION OF PARLIAMENT
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LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. CHEVRIER:

That is the object of this investigation.

Mr. CRUICKSHANIv: And nothing will come of it.

Topic:   FREIGHT RATES
Subtopic:   INCREASES ORDERED BY TRANSPORT BOARD- PROPOSED INVESTIGATION OF RATE STRUCTURE OF RAILWAYS UNDER JURISDICTION OF PARLIAMENT
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LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. CHEVRIER:

The object of the investigation is to make a thorough study of the inequalities which may exist in the various regions across Canada.

Topic:   FREIGHT RATES
Subtopic:   INCREASES ORDERED BY TRANSPORT BOARD- PROPOSED INVESTIGATION OF RATE STRUCTURE OF RAILWAYS UNDER JURISDICTION OF PARLIAMENT
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?

Mr. COLD WELL@

May I ask the minister a supplementary question? In the meantime I suppose the rates go into effect?

Topic:   FREIGHT RATES
Subtopic:   INCREASES ORDERED BY TRANSPORT BOARD- PROPOSED INVESTIGATION OF RATE STRUCTURE OF RAILWAYS UNDER JURISDICTION OF PARLIAMENT
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LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. CHEVRIER:

Yes.

Topic:   FREIGHT RATES
Subtopic:   INCREASES ORDERED BY TRANSPORT BOARD- PROPOSED INVESTIGATION OF RATE STRUCTURE OF RAILWAYS UNDER JURISDICTION OF PARLIAMENT
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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. COLDWELL:

And the investigation may take as long as the investigation of last year. The rate structure of the railways is a complicated affair and the investigation may take a year or two.

Topic:   FREIGHT RATES
Subtopic:   INCREASES ORDERED BY TRANSPORT BOARD- PROPOSED INVESTIGATION OF RATE STRUCTURE OF RAILWAYS UNDER JURISDICTION OF PARLIAMENT
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LIB

George Alexander Cruickshank

Liberal

Mr. CRUICKSHANK:

Ten years.

Topic:   FREIGHT RATES
Subtopic:   INCREASES ORDERED BY TRANSPORT BOARD- PROPOSED INVESTIGATION OF RATE STRUCTURE OF RAILWAYS UNDER JURISDICTION OF PARLIAMENT
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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. COLDWELL:

In the meantime the people of Canada are to be penalized by these excessive rates.

Topic:   FREIGHT RATES
Subtopic:   INCREASES ORDERED BY TRANSPORT BOARD- PROPOSED INVESTIGATION OF RATE STRUCTURE OF RAILWAYS UNDER JURISDICTION OF PARLIAMENT
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LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. CHEVRIER:

I cannot tell the hon. gentleman how long the investigation will take. It may take a year, or it may take two years. That will depend upon the dispatch with which the board can get across the country.

Topic:   FREIGHT RATES
Subtopic:   INCREASES ORDERED BY TRANSPORT BOARD- PROPOSED INVESTIGATION OF RATE STRUCTURE OF RAILWAYS UNDER JURISDICTION OF PARLIAMENT
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PC

Percy Chapman Black

Progressive Conservative

Mr. BLACK (Cumberland):

Have the findings of the board of transport commissioners been printed? If so, will copies be placed in the hands of hon. members? I myself have not yet received a copy.

Topic:   FREIGHT RATES
Subtopic:   INCREASES ORDERED BY TRANSPORT BOARD- PROPOSED INVESTIGATION OF RATE STRUCTURE OF RAILWAYS UNDER JURISDICTION OF PARLIAMENT
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LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. CHEVRIER:

The judgment consists of some 162 pages-

Topic:   FREIGHT RATES
Subtopic:   INCREASES ORDERED BY TRANSPORT BOARD- PROPOSED INVESTIGATION OF RATE STRUCTURE OF RAILWAYS UNDER JURISDICTION OF PARLIAMENT
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PC

Percy Chapman Black

Progressive Conservative

Mr. BLACK (Cumberland):

It is important enough to have printed and placed in our hands, Mr. Speaker.

Topic:   FREIGHT RATES
Subtopic:   INCREASES ORDERED BY TRANSPORT BOARD- PROPOSED INVESTIGATION OF RATE STRUCTURE OF RAILWAYS UNDER JURISDICTION OF PARLIAMENT
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LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. CHEVRIER:

The hon. gentleman did not give me time to complete my reply. If he had he would have learned that I was about to say that the order is a simple matter to get out; the judgment consists of some 166 pages or more, which cannot be put out overnight, but if it is the wish of the house I shall see to it that hon. members get copies of it.

Topic:   FREIGHT RATES
Subtopic:   INCREASES ORDERED BY TRANSPORT BOARD- PROPOSED INVESTIGATION OF RATE STRUCTURE OF RAILWAYS UNDER JURISDICTION OF PARLIAMENT
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LIB

Douglas Charles Abbott (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ABBOTT:

It was distributed.

Topic:   FREIGHT RATES
Subtopic:   INCREASES ORDERED BY TRANSPORT BOARD- PROPOSED INVESTIGATION OF RATE STRUCTURE OF RAILWAYS UNDER JURISDICTION OF PARLIAMENT
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April 7, 1948