May 10, 1948

GOVERNMENT ANNUITIES

CCF

Mr. KNOWLES: (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

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

1. What was the total number of individual contracts (not including certificates to persons in group plans) issued by the government annuities branch in each month from April 1, 1947, to March 31, 1948, both inclusive? What was the same total for the period from April 1 to April 19, 1948?

2. What was the number of certificates to individuals in group plans issued' by the government annuities branch in each month from April 1, 1947, to March 31, 1948, both inclusive? What was the same total for the period from April 1 to April 19, 1948?

3. What was the total number of individual annuity contracts (not including certificates held by persons in group plans) held as at March 31, 1948, and as at April 19, 1948?

4. What was the total number of persons holding certificates in government annuity group plans as at March 31, 1948, and as at April 19, 1948?

5. What was the total number of new annuity group plans put into effect in each month from April 1, 1947, to March 31, 1948, both inclusive: (a) governmental bodies; (b) non-governmental bodies? What were the same totals for the period from April 1 to April 19, 1948?

6. What was the total number of government annuity group plans (a) governmental bodies; (b) non-governmental, in effect as at March 31, 1948, and as at April 19, 1948?

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT ANNUITIES
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EXTERNAL AFFAIRS


Right Hon. L. S. ST. LAURENT (Secretary of State for External Affairs): The hon. member for Stanstead (Mr. Haekett) raised a question on May 4, 1948, concerning the appearance before the Ontario municipal board of the consul general of the United States in Toronto. At that time I gave an undertaking that I would inquire into this incident and report to the house. By international custom or treaty, and in accordance with instructions from their home states, consuls perform functions pertaining to the promotion of commerce and industry, the supervision of merchant shipping, protection for nationals of the appointing state, and certain notarial functions. In the performance of these functions pertaining to commerce and industry, consuls must be allowed by the receiving state to watch over the execution of commercial treaties, to send reports to the home state on everything which can influence the development of its commerce and industry, and to give information to merchants and manufacturers of the appointing state necessary for the protection of their commercial interests. It is also generally admitted that in addition to the exercise of these duties of protection, consuls may render certain assistance and help to their nationals who may be litigants before the courts of the jurisdiction where they perform their functions. It seems clear in international law that a diplomatic envoy cannot be compelled or even requested to appear in a court as a witness in a civil, criminal or administrative procedure. But if he chooses to appear the courts may, and usually do, allow him to do so. By analogy, though there does not appear to be any clear rule of international law on this point, it would seem that a consul may ask a court within his consular jurisdiction to hear his statement on any matter in which the local interests of a national of his state may be involved. The court, of course, having control of its procedure, may decide the conditions upon which a statement may be given, and, having heard it, decide what weight, if any, should be attached to it. In this particular instance, public notice had been given by the Ontario municipal board that it would hear the application of the M. & G. Convoy Company of Buffalo for a licence to carry automobiles in bond over provincial highways from one point in the United States to another. I understand it is the practice of the board to hear anyone whose statement is expected to be relevant. In the case of Mr. Russell, the chairman of the board decided to allow him to be heard. It is also our information that the proceedings of the board are usually informal and that witnesses are rarely put under oath. I am informed that the consul general was acting in conformity with instructions from the United States Department of State, and for this reason he felt that he could not properly take an oath or be examined as an ordinary witness. This is quite clear from the letter he sent to the chairman of the Ontario municipal board on April 30. If I understood his statement aright the hon. member for Stanstead said it was competent to the board to receive a letter which would not be received as proof in an ordinary court of justice. I should like to read the letter sent to the chairman of the Ontario municipal board on April 30; I think it puts the matter in its proper perspective: American Consulate General, Toronto 1, Canada, April 30, 1948 The Honourable Chairman, Ontario Municipal Board, Parliament Buildings, Toronto. Sir: I have the honour to refer to the hearing before your board on the morning of April 29, 1948, and beg to confirm herewith my verbal statement at that time . . . Inquiries oj the Ministry



The United States government is very much interested in the general proposal of freedom of movement by American trucking interests carrying in transit goods across Ontario from Michigan to New York, including this present application of M & G Convoy, Incorporated. The consulate general in Toronto hopes for a favourable decision at an early date in this case by your honourable board. There may be other similar applications. As my statement was made officially, I could not properly take oath to it or be examined or cross-examined upon it. Respectfully yours, H. Earle Russell, American Consul General. It seems that all this amounted to, in fact, was to express before the Ontario municipal board what was well known to be the attitude of the United States with respect to this matter. This gentleman, in the exercise of his official functions, was seeking to render assistance to and further the commercial interests of nationals of his country before an administrative board. Whatever view may be taken of such an official act we must not forget that Canada too sends consuls abroad. When His Majesty issues a commission to the Canadian consul His Majesty grants-and I quote the language of the commission- . . . full power and authority by all lawful means to aid and protect those Canadian citizens who may trade with or visit or reside within his consular district. I therefore think this incident should not be magnified into one of considerable significance. In view of the controversial nature of this question and the discussions which have been going on about it for some time, however, I regret that it was considered necessary or advisable for the United States consul general in Toronto to ask to be heard by the provincial municipal board at this time.


PRAIRIE FARM REHABILITATION

AMENDMENT TO PROVIDE FOR APPOINTMENT OF DIRECTOR AND ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR


Right Hon. J. G. GARDINER (Minister of Agriculture) moved that the house go into committee at the next sitting to consider the following resolution: That it is expedient to present a bill to amend the Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Act to empower the Minister of Agriculture to appoint a director of rehabilitation and an associate director of rehabilitation. He said: His Excellency the Governor General, having been made acquainted with the subject matter of the resolution, recommends it to the consideration of the house. Motion agreed to. ~i~ |


STRAIT OF CANSO

INQUIRY AS TO REPORT FROM ENGINEERING COMMISSION


On the orders of the day:


CCF

Clarence Gillis

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

Mr. CLARENCE GILLIS (Cape Breton South):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to ask a question of the Minister of Transport, concerning a matter with which I am sure he is quite familiar. When may his department expect a report from the engineering commission appointed to determine the feasibility of the strait of Canso project?

Topic:   STRAIT OF CANSO
Subtopic:   INQUIRY AS TO REPORT FROM ENGINEERING COMMISSION
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LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Hon. LIONEL CHEVRIER (Minister of Transport):

The board of engineers appointed by the government on February 11 last has held several meetings, and is actively engaged in reviewing plans prepared by the department dealing with the financial and economic practicability of, and the annual charges involved in, the construction of a bridge, causeway, tunnel or other improved facilities at Canso. I am informed it is expected that the report will be in the hands of departmental officers about the end of July.

Topic:   STRAIT OF CANSO
Subtopic:   INQUIRY AS TO REPORT FROM ENGINEERING COMMISSION
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FREIGHT RATES

REPRESENTATIONS OF SEVEN PROVINCIAL PREMIERS


On the orders of the day: Mr. SOLON E. LOW (Peace River): Mr. Speaker, can the Prime Minister say when he may be able to make an announcement as to the decision of the cabinet with respect to the request made recently by seven provincial premiers on the question of freight rates?


LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister):

I regret I am not able to give my hon. friend any information at the moment.

Topic:   FREIGHT RATES
Subtopic:   REPRESENTATIONS OF SEVEN PROVINCIAL PREMIERS
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FARM IMPLEMENTS

ARRANGEMENT FOR SHIPMENT OF CANADIAN- OWNED COMBINES TO THE UNITED STATES


On the orders of the day:


May 10, 1948