September 30, 1949

THE PRIME MINISTER

ANNOUNCEMENT OF DECISION TO ESTABLISH OFFICIAL RESIDENCE


On the orders of the day:


LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, on a question of privilege, I should like to mention a subject that is in the minds of members of parliament, and, I believe, a large section of the public. My subject is a permanent home in Ottawa for Canada's prime ministers. Canada is one of the few countries that does not have an official residence for its prime minister. Most of us realize the difficulty of a prime minister, coming to Ottawa for an uncertain tenure, in obtaining the type of house suitable to the high office he holds.

Some years ago the government purchased the Edwards property, which is located on the banks of the Ottawa river adjacent to the French embassy The government purchased the property without any particular purpose in mind. At the moment it is rented to the Australian high commissioner and used as a legation. The lease on the property expires on the first of November. Today the government, acting in the absence of the Prime Minister, has decided to ask parliament to make it possible to rehabilitate the house by making provision for the cost of alterations, repairs and future maintenance. If there is no serious opposition to this program, the house will be asked, in the estimates for 1950, to provide funds for the required repairs, alterations and future maintenance of that property as a home for Canada's prime minister.

Topic:   THE PRIME MINISTER
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF DECISION TO ESTABLISH OFFICIAL RESIDENCE
Permalink
PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

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

Shortly before the opening of this sitting, Mr. Speaker, I was informed by the Minister of Trade and Commerce of. the government's decision to make arrangements for an official residence for Canada's prime ministers. I feel sure the decision is one which will meet with the general approval of the members of this house and of citizens in every part of Canada. Members of parliament know-it may not be known generally throughout the rest of the country-the extent to which the Prime Minister of Canada is called upon to receive official visitors.

Certain duties which are essential to that high office should be a part of the responsibility of the state.

I am not in a position to give any opinion as to the particular residence mentioned. I do wish to express our satisfaction that the Prime Minister will have the opportunity of carrying on his official duties and receiving official visitors in a manner more in keeping with Canada's present position in world affairs. These visits of important and distinguished visitors are no mere social engagements. They are part of world development in one of the most important periods of history. The fact that in these days Ottawa should be visited by so many of the leaders of other nations is in itself evidence of the importance that Canada has assumed in the minds of the governments of other countries. It will assist the Prime Minister of Canada, not only in receiving those important visitors but in carrying out his own heavy personal duties, to have a permanent home, where, as the elected head of the government of Canada, he can discharge his responsibilities in a manner that will be in keeping with the status of Canada in the world today.

Topic:   THE PRIME MINISTER
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF DECISION TO ESTABLISH OFFICIAL RESIDENCE
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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. M. J. Coldwell (Roselown-Biggar):

I am glad, Mr. Speaker, that the announcement was made this afternoon that a home will be provided for the prime ministers of Canada. I am also grateful to the Minister of Trade and Commerce for mentioning this matter before the opening of this sitting, because I can now speak not only for myself, but for my colleagues, whom I have had an opportunity to consult.

The house that has been chosen is beautifully situated on the Ottawa river. I am sure that visitors to Canada who are entertained there will appreciate the beauty of the city more than they would if they were housed in a hotel in the heart of the city. I know where the house is, and I know something about it. Several times since the minister spoke about this matter, I have wondered whether the government might not be well advised to build a new house, with modern conveniences, and perhaps more suitable for the purpose in mind, instead of reconditioning or rebuilding the interior of an old house. I hope the government may give some consideration to this suggestion.

I am glad that the Prime Minister is to be suitably housed; and I hope that we in this

386 HOUSE OF

Official Residence for Prime Ministers parliament may all co-operate to the end that all the Canadian people, both rural and urban, may be suitably housed.

Topic:   THE PRIME MINISTER
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF DECISION TO ESTABLISH OFFICIAL RESIDENCE
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SC

Solon Earl Low

Social Credit

Mr. Solon E. Low (Peace River):

It gives me considerable satisfaction, Mr. Speaker, to be able to say on behalf of our group in the house that we welcome the announcement which has been made by the Minister of Trade and Commerce. I am not acquainted with the particular property he has mentioned, but I am sure the government has made ihvestigations and knows whether it would be better to build a new house or to recondition the old one.

While the government is making provision for a home for the Prime Minister, I think they should consider also the question of furnishing adequate recompense for him by way of indemnity. The prime ministers of this country have been notoriously underpaid. Over the years they have been called upon to make sacrifices far beyond the measure of the services they have given to the country.

Topic:   THE PRIME MINISTER
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF DECISION TO ESTABLISH OFFICIAL RESIDENCE
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LIB

Jean-Thomas Richard

Liberal

Mr. J. T. Richard (Ottawa East):

As all of

the prime ministers since confederation-Sir John A. Macdonald, Sir Wilfrid Laurier, Sir Robert Borden, Lord Bennett and Right Hon. W. L. Mackenzie King-have lived in my riding, I think it is only fitting that the permanent home of the prime minister of Canada should remain in Ottawa East. I am thankful to the government for its decision.

Topic:   THE PRIME MINISTER
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF DECISION TO ESTABLISH OFFICIAL RESIDENCE
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LIB

Daniel (Dan) McIvor

Liberal

Mr. Daniel Mclvor (Fort William):

As the

one who first mentioned this matter in the house this year, Mr. Speaker, I am sure I express the gratitude of those who, in debate, urged that this very step be taken. I assume that this residence will be for any prime minister, the leader, male or female, of any government party.

Topic:   THE PRIME MINISTER
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF DECISION TO ESTABLISH OFFICIAL RESIDENCE
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FOREIGN EXCHANGE

DEVALUATION OF CANADIAN DOLLAR


On the orders of the day:


PC

Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Howard C. Green (Vancouver-Quadra):

I should like to direct a question to the Minister of Trade and Commerce. Have class II Canadian wheat prices been altered following the government's action in devaluing the Canadian dollar? If so, what is the change in price? *

Topic:   FOREIGN EXCHANGE
Subtopic:   DEVALUATION OF CANADIAN DOLLAR
Sub-subtopic:   EFFECT ON PRICE OF CLASS II WHEAT
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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

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

Class II wheat is wheat sold outside the contract with the government of the United Kingdom, and outside the inter-

national wheat agreement. The price of Canadian wheat is the world price, adjusted to the value of the Canadian dollar. When the Canadian dollar was devalued, the price of class II wheat increased by roughly ten per cent. *

Topic:   FOREIGN EXCHANGE
Subtopic:   DEVALUATION OF CANADIAN DOLLAR
Sub-subtopic:   EFFECT ON PRICE OF CLASS II WHEAT
Permalink
PC

Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Green:

In other words the price was brought up as though the Canadian dollar were at par with the United States dollar?

Topic:   FOREIGN EXCHANGE
Subtopic:   DEVALUATION OF CANADIAN DOLLAR
Sub-subtopic:   EFFECT ON PRICE OF CLASS II WHEAT
Permalink
LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. Howe:

That is correct.

Topic:   FOREIGN EXCHANGE
Subtopic:   DEVALUATION OF CANADIAN DOLLAR
Sub-subtopic:   EFFECT ON PRICE OF CLASS II WHEAT
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PC

Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Green:

Can the minister give us an assurance that such action will not retard the sale of this Canadian wheat?

Topic:   FOREIGN EXCHANGE
Subtopic:   DEVALUATION OF CANADIAN DOLLAR
Sub-subtopic:   EFFECT ON PRICE OF CLASS II WHEAT
Permalink
LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. Howe:

So far as I know, all wheat moving to class II countries is on the same price level. There are not many countries buying class II wheat today. I believe there are some thirty countries within the international wheat agreement, and those countries purchase wheat under the terms of the agreement. United Kingdom transactions are covered by a bilateral contract. It is only to countries outside the wheat agreement that sales of class II wheat are made. We have made sales of class II wheat in considerable volume this year, and I know of nothing in the revaluation that would change the situation. It is still as cheap as any other wheat.

Topic:   FOREIGN EXCHANGE
Subtopic:   DEVALUATION OF CANADIAN DOLLAR
Sub-subtopic:   EFFECT ON PRICE OF CLASS II WHEAT
Permalink

DEVALUATION OF POUND STERLING

NEWSPRINT

September 30, 1949