May 31, 1948

PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. DIEFENBAKER:

I say to the minister that if he has a plan for the expenditure of $110 million that is today being dangled before the western provinces, why did he not submit that plan to the provinces and secure their agreement to that expenditure, provided that it could be proven efficacious.

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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

That plan was submitted to the provinces two years ago.

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PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. DIEFENBAKER:

That is fine. If it was submitted to the provinces two years ago, why is it that they are not prepared to accept the plan that was submitted to them? If it has been submitted to them, then we already know that plan has not been accepted by each of the provinces.

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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

No; the point is this. We did not assume the position that we have all the knowledge on the matter. We submitted to the provinces the plan which they thought they could improve upon. We have accepted some of their suggestions and put them in the form of this resolution.

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PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. DIEFENBAKER:

In order to clarify the whole situation, I am pointing out that if the people of western Canada believe that the plan which the minister has placed before them could be carried into effect without the consent of the provinces they are due to be undeceived.

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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

They are not being asked to do that; they are going to consent.

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PC
LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

Placed before this house and the country.

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PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. DIEFENBAKER:

I appreciate the

general plan, but I want to see how it was placed before the provinces. Certainly, as far as this house is concerned, what was placed before it was merely a generality. I wish the

Suppl y-A griculture

minister would table the correspondence passed between the provinces and the dominion on this matter-

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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

May I point out to my hon. friend that a considerable part of it is right in front of him, and he is discussing it under an item under which he is not entitled to discuss it at all. The whole plan is enunciated in the items that are recited, one being this very item, but part of it is covered in the next item, the St. Mary river dam project, which is already under way, and a very considerable part of it constructed. Then you go on down through the items and you find parts of it on the next page. The items have already been dealt with session after session. If you take the items which are mentioned in No. 30 and add them to the St. Mary river dam project it will amount to SI 10 million.

.Mr. DIEFENBAKER: I am directing my

attention at the moment to the general scheme which has been brought to the attention of the people of Saskatchewan. That scheme will cost approximately $66,000,000.

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LIB
PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. DIEFENBAKER:

What we have

before us under item 30 amounts to 13,000,000 in 1948-49, and item No. 31, the St. Mary river dam project, amounts to $2,200,000.

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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

In the projects that are here, there are: the Medicine Hat irrigation scheme, which is $4,000,000; the Red Deer diversion project, which runs somewhere between $15,000,000 and $20,000,000; the South Saskatchewan river project, which is $66,000,000. These items together will come very close to what is being proposed, and then there is the St. Mary river dam project, which will cost $15,000,000 to $20,000,000. These total up to around $110 million. The whole program is right in front of the hon. member.

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PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. DIEFENBAKER:

Merely a survey of these various projects.

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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

They have to be surveyed first.

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PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. DIEFENBAKER:

I am asking the minister this simple question. Our people are being led to believe that within a couple of years a great construction proposition will be undertaken in our province, provided that it is proven by surveys to be efficacious and efficient.

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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

And provided that the province is prepared to go on with the development.

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PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. DIEFENBAKER:

Yes, we have that veto. It still rests with the province.

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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

It is not a veto at all. It is whether they want to spend the money, that is all.

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PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. DIEFENBAKER:

So that we can get this out of the sphere of a more or less ephemeral promise or the expectation of a hope, I am asking the minister to table the correspondence regarding the particular matter, and I am not going outside my own province. All I am asking for at the moment is the correspondence that passed between his department, or any other department of government, and the governments of Saskatchewan and Manitoba respecting the river projects in Saskatchewan.

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May 31, 1948