May 17, 1948

LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Trade and Commerce; Minister of Reconstruction and Supply)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

Yes. Perhaps we shall get that complaint tomorrow. Nevertheless we cannot use wire that we produce in this country beyond our capacity for production. It is an exceedingly costly investment to provide machinery for drawing wire, and in times like these it takes many months to obtain the necessary equipment. In other words, we are limited by the amount of wire that can be produced in this country.

As to the co-operative plant that wants to invest in nail machines and demands wire, the only way that co-operative can get the wire is to take if from another plant which is making nails with the same wire. In other words, you put people out of work and shut down machines in order that someone who has no real investment which was made in the industry when nails were in easy supply, may come in with a small investment and in an active market; and because it is a co-operative, the government orders some steel company to drop an old customer and supply a new customer. The new customer is allowed to do very well until times get tough and, when he finds he cannot compete, complaints

come in that the big companies are underselling him. That is the history of that sort of transaction.

Topic:   EXPORT OF FISH LIVERS-DISTRIBUTION OF NAILS -BRITISH MARKET FOR B.C. APPLES
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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. COLDWELL:

The co-operatives are in business to stay.

Topic:   EXPORT OF FISH LIVERS-DISTRIBUTION OF NAILS -BRITISH MARKET FOR B.C. APPLES
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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Trade and Commerce; Minister of Reconstruction and Supply)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

Perhaps so, but not in the nail business; they never have 'been. That is the situation with regard to nails.

I may say that if anything is this country is being watched, it is the production, price, and distribution of nails. We have done everything possible to get production up to the maximum. We are taking the last drastic step and are cutting out other necessary steel production for the time being in order to fill the nail markets.

One hon. member referred to a grey market. That grey market is not basic, and the dealers who get nails from regular distributors are carefully watched. For instance, in Winnipeg, people like Ashdown Hardware and some other reliable wholesalers are distributing in that district. I doubt very much if Canadian nails are going into grey markets. I think it is a tribute to this country that with all the grey markets operating in the country to the south of us, grey markets are practically unknown to us in Canada. The nails to which my hon. friend referred, I think, are nails that are imported from the United States. There is no law that prevents a dealer from going to the United States and buying nails- if he can buy them there-bringing them into Canada and selling them at any price he likes. If a man has such an urgent need for nails that he must patronize that type of market, perhaps there is no harm in it. But if he buys through regular channels, I believe my hon. friend will find that the price he pays is a price which is standard across Canada for nails at this time. And I mav say it is a price which is considerably below' that at which nails are selling in any market in the United States.

Topic:   EXPORT OF FISH LIVERS-DISTRIBUTION OF NAILS -BRITISH MARKET FOR B.C. APPLES
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CCF

Angus MacInnis

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

Mr. ANGUS MacINNIS (Vancouver East):

I wonder, Mr. Speaker, if the Minister of Fisheries (Mr. MacKinnon) would make some statement on the matter referred to by the hon. member for Skeena (Mr. Archibald) and spoken to by other members. I too regret that the members from British Columbia, where this action has created a great deal of consternation, were not advised of what was being done. We are mature people, and I do not think we are particularly uncooperative if we are advised as to what is being done. But when we find that action of this kind,

Postal Service

affecting our constituents, lias been taken without any knowledge on our part; when we have to be advised from British Columbia that this has taken place in Ottawa, I say it does not look very well.

Hon. J. A. MaeKINNON (Minister of Fisheries): Mr. Speaker, I hesitated about taking any part in the discussion concerning this item of export, because it is not the responsibility of the Department of Fisheries, nor did my department, I believe, have anything to do with the restrictions referred to. I shall look into the matter and make inquiries, and see that an appropriate answer is given.

Topic:   EXPORT OF FISH LIVERS-DISTRIBUTION OF NAILS -BRITISH MARKET FOR B.C. APPLES
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CCF

Angus MacInnis

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

Mr. MacINNIS:

Which department deals with it, then?

Mr. MaeKINNON: It seems to be a matter for the prices board.

Topic:   EXPORT OF FISH LIVERS-DISTRIBUTION OF NAILS -BRITISH MARKET FOR B.C. APPLES
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LIB

James Horace King (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

Before I leave the chair I should like to draw the attention of hon. members to citation 488 of Beauchesne, second edition, page 148:

Whenever an order of the day has been read for the house to resolve itself into the committee of supply or the committee of ways and means, the motion "that the Speaker do now leave the chair" must be proposed, except in cases provided by standing order 28. When such motion is proposed, it shall be permissible to discuss any public matter within the powers of the federal parliament or to ask for the redress of any grievance, and it is not necessary to move an amendment for that purpose; provided that the discussion and the amendment, if one is moved, shall not relate to any decision of the house during the current session, nor to any item of the estimates, nor to any resolution to be proposed to the committee of ways and means, nor to any matter placed on or whereof notice has been given in the order paper.

I should like also to bring to the attention of hon. members the last part of citation 345 at page 137 of Beauchesne, third edition:

Members may discuss various matters on the motion for the Speaker to leave the chair without any amendment being proposed . . .

Then I call attention to the following:

. . . but once debate is stopped on one matter and another matter intervenes, members cannot again discuss the former.

Hon. members will recall that this afternoon a discussion commenced on nails; then another hon. member commenced to discuss fisheries; then the discussion came back to nails, and vice versa. I have directed attention to these citations, and I hope the Speaker will not be obliged to intervene in the discussion on any future occasion.

Motion agreed to and the house went into committee, Mr. Golding in the chair.

Topic:   EXPORT OF FISH LIVERS-DISTRIBUTION OF NAILS -BRITISH MARKET FOR B.C. APPLES
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NATIONAL DEFENCE


General services- 231. Grants to military associations and institutes, as detailed in the estimates, $116,950. Item stands.


PUBLIC WORKS


327. Departmental administration, $246,607. Item stands.


VETERANS AFFAIRS


532. Departmental administration, $2,253,340. Item stands. Progress reported.


POSTAL SERVICE

MAIL CONTRACTS-SUPPLEMENTAL PAYMENTS ACT AMENDMENT


The house resumed from Friday, May 14, consideration in committee of Bill No. 313, to amend the Mail Contracts Supplemental Payments Act-Mr. Bertrand (Laurier)- Mr. Golding in the chair. On section 1-Extension of authority.


PC

Thomas Langton Church

Progressive Conservative

Mr. CHURCH:

I want to ask the minister just one question. If this bill is passed today will it mean that the funds necessary to carry the post offices which were mentioned during the debate Friday evening will be taken from the receipts of the larger cities? Toronto, for instance, contributes some $15,000,000 to the Post Office Department, as compared with about $10,500,000 for the city of Montreal. I presume this money goes into the consolidated revenue fund, and the Post Office Department has had a surplus for a great many years. This is really a reconversion, under which the government will take over these post office mail contracts payments at the expiration of another year.

As I see it, Mr. Chairman, we are entitled to a reduction in postal rates, which we were promised years ago. After all, we are now paying war rates; but I am afraid the practice of the past will be continued, and the surplus turned over by the Post Office Department will be used for purposes other than that for which it was intended. Here you are going ahead and building a whole lot of public buildings which from a business or revenue standpoint are not required.

Topic:   POSTAL SERVICE
Subtopic:   MAIL CONTRACTS-SUPPLEMENTAL PAYMENTS ACT AMENDMENT
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LIB

William Henry Golding (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Liberal

The DEPUTY CHAIRMAN:

Order. I should call the hon. member's attention to the fact that this bill is to amend the Mail

Postal Service

Contracts Supplemental Payments Act. It deals specifically with that matter, and that matter only.

Topic:   POSTAL SERVICE
Subtopic:   MAIL CONTRACTS-SUPPLEMENTAL PAYMENTS ACT AMENDMENT
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PC

Thomas Langton Church

Progressive Conservative

Mr. CHURCH:

That is right, Mr. Chairman. This bill provides:

No supplemental payments shall be authorized under this section after the thirty-first day of March, nineteen hundred and forty-nine.

The explanatory note reads:

The words underlined on the opposite page are substituted for the words in italics above-

I contend that postal receipts are used for other than post office purposes. They are used to maintain other supplemental mail contracts, and I object to that principle unless the minister gives some undertaking that the receipts will not continue to be used for such purposes. It was always intended that the Post Office Department should give postal service to the country at cost. I should like a reply from the minister. Is it intended to continue to use the money in this way?

Topic:   POSTAL SERVICE
Subtopic:   MAIL CONTRACTS-SUPPLEMENTAL PAYMENTS ACT AMENDMENT
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LIB

Ernest Bertrand (Postmaster General)

Liberal

Hon. ERNEST BERTRAND (Postmaster General):

Last year we passed an act by virtue of which we were allowed to' grant certain supplements, because the cost of living was increasing, and perhaps in some cases the amounts paid these contractors were too low. When the contracts were expiring we would have had to ask for tenders, if we were not able to extend the contracts this year. That would have been the condition, in virtue of the law passed last year; otherwise it would have had no further force. That is all we are asking.

The hon. member for Broadview has made reference to Toronto, to its being a big city bringing in a revenue of about $15,000,000 to the Post Office Department, while Montreal brings only $10,000,000. There is some truth in what the hon. member has said. Perhaps he does not know, however, that most of the big newspapers from the United States reach Canada through the port of Toronto which in part accounts for the surplus from that city. In addition there are the two large stores of Eaton's and Simpson's which, through their heavy mail order business, account for the balance of the surplus over Montreal.

So far as profits are concerned, may I point out that we are not making so much more profit from Toronto, despite the money which passes through there. We must keep in mind the fact that the heavy daily newspapers come through there.

Topic:   POSTAL SERVICE
Subtopic:   MAIL CONTRACTS-SUPPLEMENTAL PAYMENTS ACT AMENDMENT
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PC

Joseph Henry Harris

Progressive Conservative

Mr. HARRIS (Danforth):

Just because those newspapers happen to come through Toronto I cannot see why that city should be debited with the cost of heavy mail of that

[The Deputy Chairman.1

kind, which is for the benefit of the general public of Ontario. Indeed, sometimes I doubt whether these periodicals are for the benefit of Canada as a whole. It would be urged, however, that they are for the use of all of Canada. Just why Toronto should be charged that great overriding debit because of its being the clearing office for such periodicals is beyond my comprehension.

Topic:   POSTAL SERVICE
Subtopic:   MAIL CONTRACTS-SUPPLEMENTAL PAYMENTS ACT AMENDMENT
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May 17, 1948