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.
Subtopic: ANNOUNCEMENT OF DECISION TO ESTABLISH OFFICIAL RESIDENCE