September 19, 1949


On the orders of the day:


CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

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

Mr. Stanley Knowles (Winnipeg North Centre):

I should like to ask the Minister of Public Works whether construction of the new general post office in Winnipeg will be undertaken soon.

Topic:   PUBLIC WORKS
Subtopic:   POST OFFICE BUILDINGS-WINNIPEG AND PETERBOROUGH
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LIB

Alphonse Fournier (Minister of Public Works; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Hon. Alphonse Fournier (Minister of Public Works):

I shall look at the file and tell my hon. friend exactly where the matter stands.

Topic:   PUBLIC WORKS
Subtopic:   POST OFFICE BUILDINGS-WINNIPEG AND PETERBOROUGH
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PC

Gordon Knapman Fraser

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fraser:

When the minister is looking that up will he also find out and tell me when he is going to start the one in Peterborough?

Topic:   PUBLIC WORKS
Subtopic:   POST OFFICE BUILDINGS-WINNIPEG AND PETERBOROUGH
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TRANS-CANADA AIR LINES REMOVAL OF OPERATING HEADQUARTERS FROM WINNIPEG TO MONTREAL


On the orders of the day:


CCF

William Scottie Bryce

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

Mr. William Bryce (Selkirk):

I should like to direct a question to the Minister of Trade and Commerce. In view of the repeated representations that have been made to me by my constituents about the transfer of

T.C.A. personnel from Winnipeg to Montreal, will the minister be prepared to make a statement in the near future?

Topic:   TRANS-CANADA AIR LINES REMOVAL OF OPERATING HEADQUARTERS FROM WINNIPEG TO MONTREAL
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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Right Hon. C. D. Howe (Minister of Trade and Commerce):

I shall be glad to obtain the required information from Winnipeg and make a statement in due course.

Topic:   TRANS-CANADA AIR LINES REMOVAL OF OPERATING HEADQUARTERS FROM WINNIPEG TO MONTREAL
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IMPERIAL OIL LIMITED

QUESTION AS TO ROUTING OF PROPOSED PIPE LINE


On the orders of the day:


CCF

Wilbert Ross Thatcher

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

Mr. W. Ross Thatcher (Moose Jaw):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to direct a question to the Minister of Trade and Commerce. Has the government received any representations from western Canada asking that Imperial Oil Limited be directed to build its oil pipe line through Canadian territory to Port Arthur instead of south to a terminal at Superior, Wisconsin? Has the government considered the matter, and if so, has a final decision been reached?

Topic:   IMPERIAL OIL LIMITED
Subtopic:   QUESTION AS TO ROUTING OF PROPOSED PIPE LINE
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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Right Hon. C. D. Howe (Minister of Trade and Commerce):

I have received representations from Fort William and Port Arthur, as well as from a number of surrounding municipalities. I should like to point out, however, that, by virtue of the pipe lines bill which was passed by the House of Commons at the last session, all jurisdiction over the routing and location of pipe lines was placed in the hands of the board of transport commissioners. The board held hearings at which representations were received from the lakehead, and a decision of the board has been rendered approving the route as filed by Imperial Oil Limited.

Topic:   IMPERIAL OIL LIMITED
Subtopic:   QUESTION AS TO ROUTING OF PROPOSED PIPE LINE
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CCF

Wilbert Ross Thatcher

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

Mr. Thatcher:

Has the minister issued a licence to this particular company to export oil?

Topic:   IMPERIAL OIL LIMITED
Subtopic:   QUESTION AS TO ROUTING OF PROPOSED PIPE LINE
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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. Howe:

Yes. The Department of Trade and Commerce, as a matter of ordinary routine, has issued a licence under the Electricity and Fluid Exportation Act, which permits the company to export oil for reimport into its refinery at Sarnia.

Topic:   IMPERIAL OIL LIMITED
Subtopic:   QUESTION AS TO ROUTING OF PROPOSED PIPE LINE
Permalink
CCF

Wilbert Ross Thatcher

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

Mr. Thatcher:

Then the decision is final.

Topic:   IMPERIAL OIL LIMITED
Subtopic:   QUESTION AS TO ROUTING OF PROPOSED PIPE LINE
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SPEECH FROM THE THRONE

CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY


The house resumed, from Friday, September 16, consideration of the motion of Mr. Maurice Boisvert for an address to His Excellency the Governor General in reply to his speech at the opening of the session.


PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. George A. Drew (Leader of the Opposition):

Mr. Speaker, first of all I wish to extend my warmest congratulations to the Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent) on his elevation to the position he now occupies. No higher honour can come to any Canadian than to be chosen, by the free decision of the people of this country, for the high office of first minister. As I said on another occasion, he has every reason to be satisfied with the decisive support he has received from every part of Canada. No matter how much many of us may

The Address-Mr. Drew have wished that the results had been somewhat different, I sincerely extend to him my best wishes for his health and happiness in carrying out the heavy responsibilities of his great office. Whatever differences of opinion there may be from time to time as to the way in which the business of our country should be carried on, I am sure there will be general agreement that he will occupy that office with distinction, and with credit to himself, his race, his profession, and the historic party which he leads.

No matter how much some of us may have preferred to see a different disposition of the seating arrangements in this chamber, we can all sincerely thank God that we do live in a country in which decisions of this kind are made by a free people, who will be equally free to make other decisions on other occasions in the future.

I wish also to extend my congratulations to the mover (Mr. Boisvert) and the seconder (Mr. Laing) of the motion now before us-and I do so, Mr. Speaker, not as a matter of mere formal expression. Each discharged in an able manner the responsibilities delegated to him, and each expressed that pride in the particular part of Canada he represents, which is in itself a source of strength to the whole nation. No matter what party we represent-and most certainly that representation is overwhelmingly one way-we do collectively, by the choice of the electors, represent all the people in every part of Canada. They have made their decision, and we are gathered here to do the business of those people, who are fully represented by those who sit in this House of Commons. It will certainly add greatly to the strength of Canada as a whole when every member has the feeling of pride and affection for the constituency he represents which was so unreservedly expressed and so well exemplified in the words of the mover and the seconder of this motion.

May I say something at this point about the announcement made a few moments ago by the Minister of Transport (Mr. Chevrier). As leader of the opposition I wish to join with him and with the other members of this house in expressing deep regret not only that such a dreadful tragedy should have occurred, but also that it should have involved so many of our friendly neighbours who visit Canada in large numbers and whose constant movement back and forth is one of the factors contributing to the deep understanding which exists between the two countries.

The announcement that inquiries are already under way to determine the cause of the disaster will undoubtedly be reassuring. They will serve the purpose of determining in what way the repetition of such a calamity may be prevented. It would be unfortunate

The Address-Mr. Drew indeed if there were any fear on the part of those using our lake ships that such a tragedy might occur again. Undoubtedly it will be conducive to the continued use of the many ships which carry visitors to Canada, as well as our own people, to know what steps will be taken following the inquiry to strengthen the various legislative measures which provide protection to travellers.

Perhaps a reason for special precaution in connection with ships which are primarily for summer use is the fact that their crews are not associated with them during the whole year. Without any suggestion that every member of the crew did not completely perform his task, it would seem that some special supervision might be required of ships which start their services in the early part of the summer and continue for only a few months, to ensure that every member of the crew has a knowledge of safety standards and the handling of passengers. In making these remarks, I do not feel that I have transgressed the boundaries which are imposed by the fact that an inquiry is now under way by one of the most eminent jurists of the country.

It is only natural that in the speech from the throne there should be little that is new, because, although this is a new parliament, a session at this time is necessary only because the business of the house had not been finished at the time of dissolution. It will be a pleasing and unusual novelty that nearly all -though certainly not all-the statements in the speech from the throne will receive the support of most members of the house. Those that are new are referred to so briefly and in such general terms that they can be much better discussed when legislation is introduced which will set forth in exact terms what the government has in mind. This is particularly true of the reference to procedure for changing the constitution. I am sure that every hon. member of this house will warmly approve the proposal to consult the provincial governments in regard to the procedure by which amendments to our constitution should be made. There is some suggestion, however, that this consultation will relate only to that part of the procedure which would affect limited fields of provincial jurisdiction.

I earnestly hope that there will be consultation with the provincial governments before any proposal is put forward to settle the procedure for the amendment of our constitution.

That constitution is necessarily one and indivisible. In a great many instances the borderline between national and provincial jurisdiction is not too clear. This is perfectly natural. The constitution was framed at a time when many of the most important activities of this country had not even taken form. For this reason many of the appeals

to the privy council have been for the purpose of determining whether a particular subject fell within the national or the provincial field of jurisdiction. This being so, I urge the government not to make an attempt to draw a distinction between a national and a provincial authority in any of those doubtful areas, or, in fact, to take any step which would have the effect of changing our constitution, without first consulting the provincial governments and obtaining their views. Under any federal system the procedure by which amendment to the constitution is to take place, and the determination from time to time of the expanding responsibilities of all governments, are of the utmost importance. It is not so much a question of who has the power or who has the authority; it is a question of how this can best be done. Agreement as to the procedure is of particular importance in Canada because of the special circumstances under which the provinces joined to form one nation.

As the details are not before us, it will be more satisfactory to discuss this subject when the legislation is before us; but once again I urge upon the government the importance of consulting the provincial governments before this parliament is called upon to make any decision which would have the effect of changing our basic constitution. There never was a time when the avoidance of any possible misunderstanding in regard to a matter of this kind was of more importance to the future of this country than it is today.

One subject referred to in the speech from the throne is of paramount importance. There is a brief reference to the currency situation. The real problem is, of course, world trade and the necessity for finding satisfactory means by which the currencies of different countries can be used effectively for the purposes of international trade.

The past week has in many ways been the most eventful since the end of the war. A week ago today the conference between the foreign and finance ministers of Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States terminated in Washington. From Tuesday to Friday representatives of forty-eight member countries attended meetings of the international bank and monetary fund. While many subjects were under consideration, it was obvious that the primary subject was the closing of the dollar gap. On Saturday the foreign ministers of the twelve countries in the Atlantic pact took steps to organize the Atlantic pact council. Yesterday Great Britain announced the bold and generally unexpected decision to change the value of the pound for the purposes of international trading from $4.03 to $2.80. Each of those events was directly related to the other, and each had

in impact upon the other. Each will have a jrofound effect on the future of all free lations of the world.

When the ten-point recovery plan was mnounced at the end of the Washington con-erence it was difficult for those who were ;aining their information from the press and he radio to find reasons for the optimism expressed by those who had attended the con-erence. Important though the decisions were, md gratifying though it was to see a unani-nous plan of this kind produced, the ten joints put forward did not seem to solve the eally fundamental problems, and some of hem would in any event take many years to vork out. It is now apparent that the con-idence expressed related to the fact that the lecisions of those attending the conference vere to be followed by a revaluation of the urrency in many countries for the purposes if international exchange.

This is at least a first step on the road owards flexible international exchange which vill facilitate free movement of goods and ommodities from one country to another mder normal trading practices. It does seem dear that the international value placed on he pound sterling is an attempt to estimate he actual present value of the pound in inter-lational trading. It is to be hoped that this is nerely the beginning of a more flexible pro-:edure, and some measure of continuing idjustment to actual international exchange values, as was intended when the world bank ind the international monetary fund were et up.

Quite apart from any detailed results which nay flow from the A.B.C. conference, as it las already come to be called, there was one ireat achievement which will undoubtedly jring satisfaction to everyone; its importance annot possibly be overestimated. There is 10 doubt that the efficacy of the Atlantic pact ests upon the economic strength of the lations who have joined together in order to (reserve peace. Their unity depends, how-ver, upon something more than trade and iconomic stability. It depends also on mutual ;ood will, friendship, and understanding, "here is no escaping the fact that during the atter weeks of the summer there had been ilarming suggestions of increasing friction jetween the United States and Great Britain, [rowing out of the economic problem. I am lot suggesting that there was any evidence if friction between the governments, but here certainly was some reason for concern :bout the increasing misunderstanding letween many of the people in those two countries. If this friction had become a eality, it might have threatened the whole uture of the North Atlantic pact, because

The Address-Mr. Drew the wholehearted friendship of the United States and Great Britain is the very foundation of that great fellowship.

Much has been accomplished, and undoubtedly now that the facts are more fully known it certainly will be agreed that more has been accomplished than was originally thought; but if nothing else had emerged from the Washington conference which terminated a week ago than the clear evidence of harmony and good will among Canada, Great Britain and the United States, that meeting would still have been a very great achievement at this particular time. In bringing about this measure of friendly understanding of their mutual problems, Canada's representatives played a part which will, I am sure, meet with the approbation of Canadians generally in every part of the country.

It is important that we remember, however, that dramatic and far-reaching as were the decisions announced yesterday, and important though the decisions may be that will be announced by the Canadian government later today, this is only the beginning of the solution of our major problem, gratifying as the steps already taken may appear to be. Although the government of the United Kingdom expresses confidence that the revaluation of the pound will greatly expand Britain's export trade, the problem still remains of finding a way in which Britain and the other sterling countries can purchase our products. Undoubtedly the intention and the hope in this decision is that this change will make it possible for Britain to export more dollar-earning goods. But still dollars must be earned, and therefore it is only the first step and not the ultimate solution of the problem itself.

Much of what Britain has been buying from us had depended upon the availability of ECA funds. It is expected that those funds will no longer be available after 1952. In the meantime the amount available is steadily diminishing. It is not to be expected that the United States, enormous though their production power may be, can long continue to assume the tremendous international burden which they have assumed during the years since the war. Therefore everything that is now done, every plan that is now examined and considered, should in caution be based upon the assumption that the funds will no longer be available after 1952, and that in any event a diminishing amount of these funds will be available for purchases in Canada by Marshall Plan countries.

There has been a tendency for Canadians to feel that this is a problem remote from us, that it is a problem affecting Great Britain alone, and that we can stand back and hope

The Address-Mr. Drew to see them find a solution to their own problem. But we Canadians are not on the sidelines. This is not merely a problem of dollar shortage in Great Britain. We must sell in the export markets of the world if we are to survive. Our economy is a delicate and very highly specialized one. No other country has greater opportunities for the future than we have to sell our goods in the markets of the world. No other country has greater concern about the solution of this problem, which, as I said before, is not a problem of dollars, but a problem of world trade. It is a problem that affects us almost as directly as it does the people of Great Britain. If Britain is short of dollars, then we lose our established market for a very large part of our products of the farms, the forests, the mines and the sea.

It cannot be repeated too often that jobs on the farm, in the factory, the forest, the mine or anywhere else in Canada depend upon trade and the money which comes from that trade. There is only one sure solution of our problem, and that is to bring about as soon as possible an interchangeability of currency which will give us the widest possible markets, not only in Great Britain but throughout the whole sterling area. The revaluation of the pound and other European currencies marks a vitally important step in the history of the economic problems of the past few years. The next step, and one which the Canadian government should explore in every possible way with the government of the United Kingdom, is to find some means by which the Canadian dollar and the pound may be freely interchangeable. This is no suggestion outside of the realm of practical international exchange or operation. It was the clearly stated intention of the international monetary fund. Every effort should be directed toward the taking of that second step, which is quite as important in its ultimate results as the first.

There has been a tendency to look upon increased exports to the United States as a satisfactory substitute for exports to Great Britain and other countries overseas. I am sure that all Canadians want to see exports to the United States increased to tlie highest possible level. One thing we must remember, however, is that the whole system of transportation and distribution is designed to handle an enormous overseas trade. Our railways, our seaports, our shipping, and all the many services associated with them, as well as the municipal organization of the seaports themselves, depend upon continued trade overseas. There is no more important task facing the government than that of taking such steps as will ensure the maintenance and expansion of that overseas trade. Primarily this means trade arrangements, through

IMr. Drew.]

some adjustment of the financial problem, with Great Britain; because the solution of the exchange problem with Great Britain will carry with it the solution of the exchange problem throughout the rest of the sterling area.

There is an added reason why a solution to this problem must be found. Competition is becoming keener every day. Many products which we have been able to sell almost without competition since the end of the war must now be sold in competition with the products of countries which are rapidly restoring themselves to pre-war levels of production, or even higher.

It is necessary for Canadians to remember that there are two nations which present a very real question mark in this whole matter, namely, Germany and Japan. Now that western Germany has been established as a nation, there will be increasing insistence upon their right to trade freely with other nations. The Germans have great industrial skill. The world has had much too tragic evidence of that fact to make any emphasis of it necessary. Already a number of their products are being sold in Canada. It is difficult to see how Germany can be excluded from some measure of free competitive trading, unless she is to be held down to a point which might encourage the spread of communism, which the western powers are trying so hard to prevent. Undoubtedly this will be a problem calling for the utmost wisdom on the part of those who are supervising the rebirth of what, it is hoped, will be a free and democratic German nation.

All these remarks would apply with almost the same force to Japan. We had evidence of Japan's great industrial skill. Small though it may be, the products of that country are beginning to re-appear in Canada. They too have a very high degree of skill. In years gone by they demonstrated their willingness to put every effort into export trade; and if they are given an opening to the markets of the western world, undoubtedly they will sell at prices which will make competition increasingly strong.

Then there are the great industrial nations of Europe. Although Czechoslovakia is behind the iron curtain, she is selling to the western world; and we know that she too has high industrial skills. Czechoslovakia, so long as she is permitted to sell to the western world, will provide extremely keen competition.

It seems to me all this points to the fact that as soon as possible we must get ourselves out of the strait-jacket of controlled international trading. If we are to meet the kind of competition growing up in the sterling area; if we are to meet the kind of competition emerging from the revitalization and

recovery of so many of the industrial nations devastated by war, we Canadians, who have demonstrated our ability and our skill, must be free to go out and meet that competition by vigorous and effective salesmanship, as we have done in the past. We have the very best of natural products. Nature has endowed our soil with qualities which give us special advantages in many types of production. Canadians have demonstrated their industrial skill; and I should think there is a general belief that Canadians can sell against any type of competition if their salesmen are free to go out and sell by ordinary selling methods.

Now that the first step has been taken by so many countries to make international currency an effective vehicle for promoting international trade, I urge the government to do everything in its power to find a way of taking the second step, at least so far as Canada is concerned, within the sterling area.

I am sure every hon. member will hope that the bold decision taken by the British government will bring the results they expect. To a very great extent the whole problem has resulted from the enormous sacrifices made by the people of Britain in two world wars. Canada stood beside them in both those struggles for the freedom of all mankind. But because there was a wide ocean between us and Europe, we did not in the same way feel the direct physical impact upon our soil. It may sometimes be forgotten that the only nation in the world outside Germany which felt the full physical impact of those two wars was Britain. And Britain has paid an enormous price for its contribution to the survival of freedom.

This country has demonstrated in many ways its sympathy with their situation, and its willingness to assist Britain in meeting its problems. No matter what hon. members may feel about the details of the procedure to be followed, I am sure all of them will hope that Great Britain, as a result of the steps she has taken, will be in a position to meet the problems which lie ahead.

It is not my intention to move an amendment-and not only because it would obviously be defeated by an overwhelming vote. After all, the voting strength of the government is not the factor which determines the duties of the opposition or influences the introduction of an amendment seeking to express a certain opinion and to call for an expression of opinion by hon. members of the house. The truth is that rarely indeed has any government in Canada been in such a commanding position to carry its own motions. This government has just had a decisive vote of confidence from the people of Canada. For that reason I believe the introduction of an amendment would

The Address-Mr. Drew serve no useful purpose. Perhaps I may be permitted to add, however, that the introduction of amendments during the present session will not be influenced by the fact that we may well anticipate what the nature of the vote may be.

By the very size of its majority in the house, the government has assumed a great trust and a great responsibility. Because of the mandate so freshly given to it to speak on behalf of the people of Canada, the government is in a most favourable position to participate in the international discussions that are taking place. I hope this great trust and responsibility will be carried out in the best interests of the people of Canada.

Under our democratic system, the opposition, too, has a great trust. We will fulfil that trust to the best of our ability. It is in that sense that we will take our part in the debates of the house-not only as the representatives of the 1,742,000 Canadian voters who supported the Progressive Conservative party, but also with a realization of the responsibility, which I am sure is shared by all members of the opposition, of all parties, to demonstrate that our people in Canada do not believe in a one-party system, and that a vigilant, vigorous and effective opposition is an essential part of our Canadian parliamentary procedure.

I would hope that my omitting to deal with any particular subject mentioned in the speech from the throne will not be taken as approval or otherwise of the measures proposed. I have mentioned that there are a number of subjects which are stated in very general terms, and which are very important; but it will be much more satisfactory to deal with them when the legislation is before the house and the way in which the government proposes to deal with them is known to the members of the opposition as well as to the government.

With its great majority the government is in a position to give leadership at this extremely critical time. As Canadians we have been very fortunate, but there can be no escaping the fact that we are passing through a grave period in the world's history. When I speak of an opportunity to give leadership, I mean especially leadership in the international field. The solution of the problems which will face us in the comparatively near future, if all our hopes for recovery from the war and the preservation of peace by the combined strength of free nations are not to be shattered, depends upon vision, depends upon boldness, depends upon willingness to try new courses in meeting those tasks. It calls for confidence on the part of the government in our own great future, which is so

34

The Address-Mr. St. Laurent clearly before the eyes of every Canadian who has had an opportunity to see Canada as a whole.

As I said a few moments ago, we will seek to fulfil our historic obligation as the official opposition in this house. In meeting the tasks which must be undertaken, and in seeking solutions of the many grave and important problems which must be solved, we will at all times offer constructive criticism and constructive suggestions, and we will be ready to help the government in every way that this can be done by the members of His Majesty's loyal opposition.

Right Hon, L. S. Si. Laurent (Prime Minister): Mr. Speaker, first of all may I once more express my best wishes to you and my congratulations upon the distinguished manner in which you have begun the discharge of your duties. I should like also to express very sincere thanks to the leader of the opposition (Mr. Drew) for the chivalrous and kind remarks with which he opened his address this afternoon. I thank him personally for his wishes of good health, which I reciprocate. I think both of us come before our colleagues of the house this afternoon with some evidence that there is a prospect of those wishes being realized.

It is gratifying that, whatever the result of an appeal to the people may be, those who made that appeal, and who have come here as a consequence of their electors' response, should feel that they have a responsibility not only to those who supported them, to the members of their party, but also to the people of Canada as a whole. I can give the leader of the opposition the assurance that at all times we will endeavour as best we can to serve the interests of all Canadians. I am sure that the constructive criticism which he has promised to offer as occasion may arise will also be offered in the hope that it will be of benefit to the entire public.

I have much pleasure in joining with him in extending congratulations to the mover (Mr. Boisvert) and the seconder (Mr. Laing) of the address in reply to the speech from the throne. These newly elected members have delivered their maiden speeches. We who have been here before know that it is a pretty trying experience to speak for the first time in the House of Commons, and we realize that when such an event takes place at the opening of a new parliament the difficulties are increased by that circumstance. I am sure we are all proud of the admirable manner in which these two new members, the hon. member for Nicolet-Yamaska and the hon. member for Vancouver South, spoke in moving and seconding the address.

As to my friend the hon. member for Nicolet-Yamaska, those of us who had the privilege of following all his remarks can testify to the fact that he acquitted himself in a fashion most creditable to his electors and to himself. He comes to the House of Commons with a sound reputation arising out of his achievements at the bar and in other fields, and I think we would all wish to say to him that he has added to that reputation by the manner in which, on Friday last, he moved the address in reply to the speech from the throne.

Those of us who knew something of the background of the hon. member for the federal riding of Vancouver South were not surprised to hear the address which he delivered. To those of us who have recently seen the part of the country from which he comes, it was no surprise to hear him extol its beauties and resources. The hon. member for Vancouver South has not only taken an active interest in the affairs of his local community, which he served from an early age, and in a distinguished manner, before coming here. Not all but a good many of us on both sides of the house appreciate the fact that for a long time he has been taking a keen interest in the organization work of the Liberal party in his native province.

Those of us who heard these hon. members, all feel, I have no doubt, that they are to be commended for their broad grasp of public questions as well as for their vision. They have impressed us by the fact that they come here with confidence and look forward to a future in which they hope to have some part in realizing the happy prospect referred to this afternoon by the leader of the opposition as the ultimate destiny of the Canadian nation.

No doubt, as the leader of the opposition has said, it will be more helpful and more pertinent to discuss the matters referred to in the speech from the throne when the measures dealing with them come up for detailed consideration. I am sure that all will agree with that. I shall refer only briefly, as the leader of the opposition has done, to some of the measures forecast in the speech from the throne.

First of all, the hon. gentleman referred to that portion of the speech which forecasts a measure to further the constitutional development of our institutions as fitting for those of a completely autonomous nation. He expressed the hope that that could be achieved without provoking any clash with the authorities of our Canadian provinces and also the hope that there would be no attempt to draw that rather shadowy line between matters that may be of special concern to the federal government and parliament and those other

matters which may be the exclusive concern of the provinces or the joint concern of both the federal and the provincial authorities. He said that he hoped that that might be arrived at by consultation with the provinces.

I would be most happy, indeed, if I could expect such a result could be achieved in any short period of time, but I am afraid that it will be a considerable undertaking. Not because there would, on either side, be any effort to obtain an advantage one over the other but because of the realization which we all must have that anything which is done in that respect is done for a long period ahead and to serve a constantly enlarging Canadian nation. Having that responsibility, no one can easily contemplate giving any consent or acquiescence which might under any possible circumstances take from one or the other of those authorities something which it would otherwise have enjoyed.

But there are other ways in which this tenuous or shadowy divisional line may be pointed out or marked, and these ways have been followed since the earliest days of confederation. I refer to the judicial process. I think it will be a prudent course to have the language used indicate that there will be ample opportunity for anyone who may feel that anything which is being attempted does not come within that language to challenge its correctness before the courts of justice and have them determine whether what is proposed is something which is exclusively of federal concern, exclusively of provincial concern, or of joint concern to both the provincial and the federal authorities. I hope we shall be able to dispel any feeling that there is an attempt to settle by legislation something which could more properly be determined by judicial process.

The hon. gentleman dealt with the situation in which the world finds itself, and to which reference is made in the speech from the throne in the declaration that the ultimate aim of the Canadian government is to move toward that situation where trading nations can engage freely in mutual trade under a multilateral system. There is no doubt that currency is a medium of international trade, and I think it is obvious that there is a serious sterling-dollar problem which has been an impediment to the restoration of that trade in which this nation has perhaps a greater proportionate interest than any of the nations with whom we have been discussing these problems.

I tried to realize for my own benefit, and to point out to some of those to whom I was speaking the other day, the extent to which we are interested in international trade. I got figures from our statistical department 45781-3J

The Address-Mr. St. Laurent showing that our exports were of the general order of $3,000 million. I told those to whom I was speaking that I had never seen a billion dollars nor even a million dollars. In order to get some conception of what such a figure means I have tried to reduce it to a simpler form. A simple calculation has shown me that for every family of five in this Canadian nation we are required to sell something over $1,200 worth of our surplus in order to continue to live as we have been living in the past. I would be surprised if there were any of those with whom we have been discussing these problems who find it necessary to export such a large proportion of their surplus as is required to be done by this country in order to maintain the level of welfare for its people.

As the leader of the opposition stated, during the last week most important international meetings have been held and well-intentioned efforts made to remove the impediment to world trade resulting from this sterling-dollar problem. I think the hon. gentleman was quite right in pointing out that such solutions as have to be envisaged must be predicated on the statement that was made in the communique issued by the ministers of finance at Washington, that by the middle of 1952 no more extraordinary help will be coming from the North American countries. That being so, it is quite apparent that we have all got to work toward a situation where the earning of dollars by sterling countries, or those tied closely to sterling as their main currency, must become sufficient to enable them to secure from us the things that they need and want from us, the things it is very important for us to be able to sell to them, the things for which we have no immediate use in our own economy.

I should not like in any way to say anything which would anticipate what my colleague, the Minister of Finance (Mr. Abbott), will be communicating to this house this evening, but I can give hon. members the assurance that all those factors are very much in our minds in the consideration we are giving to what action, if any, is required at the present time from Canada in view of the announcement made by the United Kingdom and followed by so many others yesterday and today.

I believe that, with the leader of the opposition, we are all satisfied that this Washington conference proved conclusively that, when men of good will meet and frankly expose what they believe to be the causes of the difficulties which are to be overcome, their very frankness is evidence of the degree to which they can have confidence in each other and to which they will contribute to the best possible solution of those difficulties. We were all, of course, rather scandalized at the tone

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The Address-Mr. Coldwell of some of the comments on both sides of the ocean during the last few weeks concerning the attitude of the other. I am confident that what has taken place from the time the President of the United States made his speech a couple of weeks ago and preparations were actively undertaken to bring about this meeting in Washington, as well as during the course of the meeting itself, demonstrates that reasonable minded people in the three nations-who are the vast majority-recognize the inevitable nature of the difficulties which have arisen. These difficulties they regard as facts, not as faults to be attributed to any of them.

I am sure what has been accomplished does, to a degree, implement that which the government had in mind in expressing the view that the economic stability of the western world was extremely important, as important possibly to resisting and therefore deterring aggression as military strength itself. Within the last week, I believe, reasons have been given, first of all by the representatives of the United Kingdom, United States and Canada, then by those who attended the meeting of the international monetary fund and, last but not least, by those who attended the meeting to implement the causes and purposes of the North Atlantic treaty, why aggression would be resisted, could be resisted, and therefore will not be undertaken.

Now, the hon. gentleman has said that many of these difficulties arise out of the great sacrifices made by the United Kingdom in two world wars. I am sure all of us have the greatest possible admiration for what was done in those two world wars, and the greatest desire to understand the lasting effects of those sacrifices as well as the conditions they have created and the necessity imposed upon us all to co-operate for the alleviation of the consequences of those conditions. Whatever decisions any of us have to make should properly be conditioned by our appreciation of the manner in which our share of this tremendous job of putting the world back on its feet can be done and will be done. I am sure that, although we will not be claiming we are giving leadership, we will not be found wanting in our willingness to do our part, as we have done in the past.

Topic:   SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
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September 19, 1949