October 5, 1949

PC

George Stanley White

Progressive Conservative

Mr. G. S. White (Haslings-Pelerborough):

I wish to speak briefly on the motion, and to deal particularly with the search for uranium ore. I do not know the exact number of producing uranium mines there are in the world today, but I doubt whether it exceeds four. Neither do I know the tonnage produced, but it is relatively small.

Canada has one such producing mine at Eldorado. While from the information available we believe there is a large deposit of this ore at Eldorado, the expense of operation is very high owing to the fact that all transportation must be either by plane, or, during the summer months, by water. Wages are high, but only in proportion to the cost of living at Eldorado. There is a constant turnover in labour because of the climate and the location of the mine a short distance from the Arctic circle.

As I have said, at the present time Canada has one producing uranium mine. Nevertheless there is every reason to believe that Canada has rich potentials in the Pre-Cambrian shield, which is the most important host rock for pitchblende. With a determined effort and proper incentive, Canada should become a leader in uranium production. Uranium is and will be found to be a scarce mineral. Our security as a nation, and the security of the western countries, depends on Canada and the western countries obtaining a far greater supply of this mineral than is produced at present.

The recent announcement in this house in reference to the atomic bomb explosion in Russia has made us more conscious of the source of atomic energy that lies buried in Canada. In May of this year the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Howe) addressed the graduating class of engineers at McGill university, and I quote from a news report of his address:

A Canadian cabinet minister Friday night spelled out a field of development in the future that is "almost beyond imagination."

That field, Trade Minister Howe told engineering graduates of McGill university, is in atomic energy over which "military implications" have thrown a "temporary cloud of secrecy."

While "the international situation may delay progress temporarily, the day will surely come," he said "when the peaceful use and application of this new and fantastically large source of energy from atoms will certainly open up a new and potentially great field of engineering, technology, industry and opportunity."

Canada is in the "front line of this the most exciting scientific venture of all times," Mr. Howe said in an address prepared for delivery.

I think all hon. members will agree with that statement; but I would ask the minister if he is satisfied that at the present time the government is doing all that can be done to assist in the discovery of uranium ore. At page 11 of the third annual report of the

[Mr Gourd (Chapleau).]

atomic energy control board for 1948-49 I find these two paragraphs under the heading "Prospecting and mining":

The establishment by the government of a guaranteed minimum price of $2.75 per pound of contained uranium oxide (U3O8) in acceptable ores or concentrates was announced in March, 1948 . . .

The Department of Mines and Resources offered to make, without charge, radioactivity tests on samples sent in by prospectors and, where the results of these tests warranted, to make further chemical and other tests and thorium determinations. The response taxed the facilities of the department to the utmost, more than 3,000 samples having been dealt with since April, 1948.

You will note, Mr. Speaker, that the price set by the government is $2.75 per pound for contained uranium oxide in acceptable ore concentrates. I would point out that the price paid by the government of the United States is $3.50 per pound; and with the recent devaluation of the Canadian dollar our government will receive $3.85 for each pound sold to the United States government, for which the government of Canada will pay only $2.75.

In the second paragraph I read it is stated that the facilities of the Department of Mines and Resources were taxed to the utmost to conduct these tests. I would suggest to the Minister of Mines and Resources that the facilities of his department are totally inadequate to help uranium producers. I believe the department needs many more expert mineralogists and much more technical equipment to handle the ever-increasing volume of work sent in from the uranium fields. There are often long delays; I know of some cases in which months have elapsed before producers have received a full and final analysis of their samples.

I suggest also to the minister that his department is not sufficiently active in promoting field work in connection with the search for uranium ore. I believe it would be of great benefit to prospectors and miners if officials of his department could make examinations of new properties and report thereon. A recent press dispatch announced that the government of the United States will pay a prize of $10,000 for new discoveries of uranium ore. No prize of any kind has been offered by the Canadian government for new finds, nor has this government provided capital to bring new uranium mines into production. While I firmly believe in the system of free enterprise, in view of the fact that our very destiny may hang on the discovery and development of uranium ore, and in view of the time element involved, I believe the government should provide the necessary funds.

If something of this kind is not done, large United States mining companies may take over and control our uranium mines. Under

the present regulations, all uranium ore produced in this country must be sold to and controlled by the Canadian government, but the picture might become very different if our uranium mines should be owned and controlled by United States interests. In such case any government here certainly would be under great pressure from the United States owners. Let us suppose that the du Pont interests obtained control of important Canadian uranium mines. Does any hon. member honestly believe that under present conditions, with our whole economy, our defence plans, in fact every phase of our national life, bound up with United States policy, any Canadian government would not be subjected to the most extreme pressure from United States owners of such mines?

The county of Hastings, which forms part of the riding I have the honour to represent, has shown every promise of becoming a large uranium ore producer. I am sure the Minister of Trade and Commerce is aware of the assay results of the samples of uranium ore from that county. If those properties prove out as the samples would indicate, Hastings county will be in the forefront of uranium ore production. The deposits which have been located so far are close to railway and hydro facilities, and also to provincial highways. In every respect the cost of production would be much less than the cost at Eldorado.

I would point out to hon. members that a deposit of uranium ore is very different from a deposit of iron, gold, silver, copper or any other mineral. The initial problems are of great technical complexity. In my opinion to locate a deposit of uranium ore is from ten to twenty times more difficult than to locate a deposit of gold. I hardly need to emphasize the great need for laboratories, technical staff and financial assistance in the search for and production of this strategic mineral, nor do I need to point out that the country with the most uranium will be in a position of unparalleled strength.

In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, I offer the following suggestions to the government in connection with their policy concerning uranium production in Canada:

1. That the government pay $5 per pound for uranium oxide.

2. That the government construct and operate a large laboratory to assist miners and producers.

3. That the government provide a field corps of geologists and mineralogists to visit and advise on all mines and prospects.

4. That the government offer a prize at least equal to the $10,000 offered by the United States government to every individual who discovers a deposit that develops into a commercial mine.

Assistance to Prospectors

5. That, where necessary, the government provide capital to bring mines into early production.

6. That the committee on atomic energy, promised by the Minister of Trade and Commerce a few days ago, be set up as soon as possible.

Topic:   MINES AND RESOURCES
Subtopic:   PROPOSED FEDERAL ASSISTANCE TO PROSPECTORS
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LIB

James Aubrey Simmons

Liberal

Mr. J. A. Simmons (Yukon-Mackenzie River):

Mr. Speaker, I am heartily in favour of this resolution, and take great pleasure in supporting it. As hon. members probably are aware, mining is the principal industry in the constituency I have the honour to represent, and I suggest that this resolution be enlarged to cover financial assistance to qualified prospectors, to encourage them to go into the hills and seek new prospects.

It is well to remember that in the Yukon and Northwest Territories large sums of money must be spent on aircraft or other means of transportation in order to get into the field in the first place. It is not like many other places in Canada where the field to be prospected often lies near a railway or other means of transportation. In the north the season is short. Grubstakes are costly and transportation is expensive. What would we have in our great northland today if it were not for our prospectors? We owe a great debt of gratitude to those courageous and adventurous men who risk their lives and suffer many hardships in order to find new mineral wealth which adds so much to the prosperity of Canada.

It is a costly undertaking for the individual prospector. Unless some financial assistance is provided, I am afraid that the numbers in this field of endeavour will gradually diminish. I should like to see some plan worked out under which a bona fide prospector in the north would receive a clear grant of at least $500 per season. This would be a subsidy to the prospector, and not repayable.

Topic:   MINES AND RESOURCES
Subtopic:   PROPOSED FEDERAL ASSISTANCE TO PROSPECTORS
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LIB

J. G. Léopold Langlois

Liberal

Mr. J. G. L. Langlois (Gaspe):

I am pleased, Mr. Speaker, to add a few words in support of the resolution moved by the hon. member for Fort William (Mr. Mclvor). Some years ago a rumour was brought to my attention, to the effect that the federal government was planning an appropriation of funds to encourage the discovery and development of new oil fields in Canada. The proposal appeared to be a timely one, and must have been connected with the fact that the possibility of developing new oil fields in Canada was beginning to impress the government. This growing conviction was not without foundation. Paleogeographical maps or the historical geography of Canada would show that Canada's producing potentialities have been overlooked for too long a period.

Assistance to Prospectors

Whilst the potentialities of the west and northwest are being particularly stressed as a result of new discoveries in the Leduc area, the opportunities for development in other areas of Canada have been the subject of favourable comment by reputed geologists. In the past few years prospectors in my riding forwarded to me numerous requests for government financial assistance in diamond drilling. I believe hon. members of the house will be interested in learning some facts which were brought to my attention by one company in particular at that time. A company did some drilling in 1939 in the peninsula of Gaspe, but failed to obtain production. The official report of the department of mines of the province of Quebec for the year 1940 merely stated that horizons, which in other areas were generally characterized as petroliferous, had not been reached, and that the well stopped short of two possible producing horizons some one or two thousand feet below the depth obtained by this well. It must be admitted that this was a most inconclusive test.

Two more wells were started in 1942 and 1943, and a third one is now being drilled by two independent companies with whom the Imperial Oil Company of Canada is now associated. The first company to which I referred was formed in 1944, after obtaining a special licence from the department of mines of the province of Quebec covering

85,000 acres. This area had been summarily surveyed by the department of mines of that province. It showed promise of a geological formation favourable to the accumulation of oil in commercial quantities. Further exploratory work was done, after which the company was formed and drilling started. The area was given favourable recommendation in a report issued by the government in 1937.

In a report for another company in 1944, Dr. G. O. Sanderson, of Calgary, looked with extreme favour on the Gaspe peninsula. Russell V. Johnston, another consulting geologist of Calgary, was more specific in his opinion of the area under licence to this company. Messrs. Bates and Cornell, consulting geologists and petroleum engineers of Lafayette, Louisiana, the company's consulting geologists, are also deeply impressed by the possibilities of the Gaspe. They even went so far as to write an article, published in The Oil Weekly, in which it was stated that sooner or later Gaspe will be a producing oil field. It was this conviction that led the officers and chairman of this company to risk capital. Owing to the distance from sources of supply and inadequate communications from the town of Gaspe to the drilling site, FMr. Langlois (Gaspe) .1

the cost of exploration and drilling is far greater than would ordinarily be expected. The resources of an independent company such as this one are not to be compared with those of the major oil companies. Yet, it is well known that in the United States the greater number of new discoveries are made by independent companies. It is also well recognized in that country that the major oil companies lend their support to the independents and to the wildcatters because of their success in bringing in new fields at costs far below those usually incurred by the larger companies. The venture of this company in Gaspe has been particularly difficult because of the inadequate communications and the distance from sources of supply. Weather conditions have also been a factor. They have to battle snow from October until May. In addition to that, the general disrepute into which Gaspe fell in 1902 as the result of an adverse report in connection with drilling operations undertaken prior to that time made it extremely difficult to raise capital. The conclusions reached at that time were hasty, and in the light of later geological information there was no reason to look upon the Gaspe as an uninteresting possibility.

In a report issued by the department of natural resources at Ottawa in 1915 it was plainly stated there was no question that the operations carried out prior to 1902 has been badly managed. Yet the report published in 1902 created an incalculable amount of damage Which it is almost impossible to overcome today. The discovery of an oil field in Gaspe would have tremendous economic repercussions in this country, particularly in eastern Canada. Practically all of our crude oil is imported from Venezuela, or from the gulf states, involving heavy transportation costs and the disbursement of greatly needed United States dollars. Crude oil from Gaspe not only would save United States dollars but would result in lower consumer costs and an adequate supply of oil and gasoline in the face of a critical shortage, which will not disappear for many months, possibly for several years.

In that same period I took this matter up with the former minister of mines and resources, and asked him if it was possible for his department to give assistance to these independent prospectors in my area. The minister informed me then that his department would not go any further than the encouragement already given to the development of new oil fields by the reduction or elimination of import duties on drilling machinery, and tax concessions. He assured me, however, that his department was ready to co-operate with any prospectors in my area

and to lend any assistance which was authorized at the time by the government.

I am therefore pleased to give my hearty support to the resolution so ably introduced in this house this afternoon by the hon. member for Fort William, because in fact it supports the request I previously made to the former minister of mines and resources. For the sake of the future welfare of our mining activities in Canada I hope this house will give careful attention to this worth-while resolution.

Topic:   MINES AND RESOURCES
Subtopic:   PROPOSED FEDERAL ASSISTANCE TO PROSPECTORS
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PC

Clayton Wesley Hodgson

Progressive Conservative

Mr. C. W. Hodgson (Victoria, Onl.):

First of all, Mr. Speaker, I want to take a minute to congratulate you on your election as Speaker of this house. I feel sure that every representative here will get fair treatment and that your decisions will be based on equity and justice. I know that you will uphold the traditional dignity of your office in a manner comparable to that in which it has been upheld in any previous parliament since confederation.

The resolution before us is a timely one and well put. I think the government should take a hand in helping the prospectors and new or smaller mines; they should extend the Emergency Gold Mining Assistance Act to new mines especially. In my own riding of Victoria, the eastern section of the county of Haliburton is one great area of mining property. Outcroppings of different kinds of minerals are to be found there, but greatest in extent is uranium. We all know that the government have been frantically seeking new finds of uranium. They spent many dollars in the far north country. In the eastern section of Haliburton county we have a mining area, with a railroad running through it, with hydroelectric power lines and a paved highway straight through it. Considerable prospecting and mining has been done in a small way. The Geiger counters register excitedly over great areas extending over thousands of acres. A few shafts have been sunk to a depth of four or five hundred feet, and some drifting has been done. Some diamond drilling has also been done, but not enough. The samples received from that area have all been of good quality, showing a high percentage of uranium.

If hon. members will cast their minds back to what they read in the press a couple of years ago, they may remember having read a notice to the effect that cores from some of the diamond drills had been stolen. I am not prepared to say where those cores went. However, the New York atomic energy commission gave a favourable report on the findings there. I understand that the dominion government some time ago sent up to that area a geologist, and probably also

Assistance to Prospectors an engineer. The people up there used dynamite, tools and equipment to the extent of $800. Up until late last spring they had not received any report on the findings, after spending $800 under government supervision. That sort of thing is neither help nor cooperation.

In seeking uranium I think the government should make an effort in that part of the country to which I have referred, because there is no doubt in the minds of many geologists and engineers that the goods are there. But, as is known by hon. members, atomic energy and uranium are controlled by the government. I am satisfied that we can bring in United States capital to finance operations in that part of the country if the government will give us a free hand to do so. We need not only their help but their cooperation.

I say to you, Mr. Speaker, and through you to this house, that a great deal can be done to assist in this matter. I am certainly in favour of the resolution.

Topic:   MINES AND RESOURCES
Subtopic:   PROPOSED FEDERAL ASSISTANCE TO PROSPECTORS
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LIB

George Matheson Murray

Liberal

Mr. G. M. Murray (Cariboo):

I should like to add a word of commendation of this resolution. As the hon. member for Fort William (Mr. Mclvor) has said, the prospector is almost the forgotten man. There is a way in which we can assist him without paying a direct subsidy, although, as has been suggested by the hon. member for Yukon-Mackenzie River (Mr. Simmons), a $500 cash donation to him for a year would be good. It would also be good to provide him with drills, implements and equipment for carrying on the search for minerals. But I suggest to the government that there is a still better way of assisting prospectors-that is by extending the roads and trails into these new mineral areas, and by extending railway services to areas which give great promise of production.

A former member for Cariboo, Hon. J. Gray Turgeon, was a progressive man who has done a good deal to assist the prospector. Before the last war he was in some measure responsible for securing a grant for certain roads north of Prince George and out in the direction of Fort St. James. These roads were used by the prospectors, also by settlers going into that part of the country, and by operators of saw mills as well. But the great pay-off for the construction of the Turgeon highway up beyond Fort St. James was the development of the greatest mercury mine that was ever found on this continent-at Pinchi lake, and there was another at Takla lake-from which came great production during the war period. The discovery of that mine, and its operation, made it possible for the allies to have their own supply of that precious and critical war metal, and made us

Assistance to Prospectors wholly independent of Franco in Spain, and of the Italians, who at that time had a monopoly of the production of mercury on the continent of Europe. If we extend the roads here and there, particularly in that great northwestern country, we shall do something to assist not only the prospectors but the settlement of those communities generally.

I have another example from the Peace river country, and it has to do with the coal mines at Hudson Hope, which now lie roughly 125 miles from the end of steel. Prospectors went in there in the early days and developed this coal. It has been said that the coal in this area is next in value as fuel to the anthracite coal from the Lackawanna valley of Pennsylvania. It is no exaggeration to say that there are mountains of it lying at Hudson Hope; and for confirmation of anything I say in this regard I would refer hon. members to the records of the geological survey branch at Ottawa.

A friend of mine, Mr. Neil Gething, has been in there for more than forty years. This man was trained at Ann Arbor, Michigan, as a geologist, and is a university man. He went in there far ahead of civilization and discovered these vast quantities of semianthracite coal. He has been in there for more than forty years, and is much poorer than he was when he went in. Yet at eighty-five years of age he is still an inspiration to the younger men of the Peace river country and other areas in that part of Canada. He has under his control vast quantities of this magnificent coal, and it requires only an extension from Hines Creek, Alberta, of the Northern Alberta Railways, to make that coal available not only to that part of British Columbia but also to central Canada, including the people of Ontario.

If we wish to make our dollar ring true on the counters of the world, and not have it at a discount, let us develop these great latent resources, and let us take sensible measures such as that advanced by the hon. member for Fort William. Let us support the prospector and thus build up this great mining industry in Canada.

Topic:   MINES AND RESOURCES
Subtopic:   PROPOSED FEDERAL ASSISTANCE TO PROSPECTORS
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PC

Agar Rodney Adamson

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Rodney Adamson (York West):

Mr. Speaker, I have an immense amount of sympathy for the resolution offered by the hon. member for Fort William (Mr. Mclvor). One thing, however, I do regret this afternoon, and that is that the Minister of Finance (Mr. Abbott) is not in his seat; because if there is one think that has killed prospecting and has done more than anything else to hold back the mining industry in Canada it is the regulations and taxation schedules, and the taxing structure put upon mining. It is a burden placed not only upon the successful mining operations, but upon operations which tMr. Murray (Cariboo).]

in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred are not successful, and from which nothing results but a loss of speculative capital

and that is the most valuable kind of capital we have in Canada today.

It costs at the present time-and this is an empirical figure-between $2 million and $5 million to bring in a mine, that is, to produce the underground workings, to build the mill, to open up the levels and the stopes. All this takes an average of approximately five years. That is a lot of money; it takes a long time, and it is big business. The old days when the prospector went into the bush with a grubstake to develop a property are to a great extent over. Today engineering equipment, such as diamond drills and all the geophysical apparatus of mining and prospecting, makes mining and prospecting a very large and expensive business. It is unfortunate but true that more than anything else taxation has put a crimp on prospecting.

The prospector exists by risk or speculative capital. In this day and age, unless provision is made to recompense risk capital for the one bet out of a hundred that pays off, we shall not induce that risk capital to come into the extremely hazardous and speculative business of mining.

What has happened-and I regret this as much as anybody else-is that to a greater and greater extent the larger companies, with their large reserves, are holding blocks of territory which they hope to develop later, while in the meantime they are developing other properties. If there were a sufficient amount of risk capital available, those properties now lying idle in great numbers as moose pasture would have a chance for development.

That is my first point, Mr. Speaker. I feel it is part of the birthright of every Canadian to have a hand in the development of the country. We should be encouraged to invest capital in the development of our great mineral resources. But the government must recognize a simple fact, and that is if one risks capital in the development of a mine, and loses it, that is his loss; but if his venture turns out to be successful he should at least get his risk capital back before he is taxed on any profits which may flow from that venture.

In general terms that is the basic necessity for the encouragement of mining in this country. Let me mention one fact just to show how badly prospecting in this country has been hit. The old camp at Kirkland Lake had been solidly staked for many miles around in all directions, and it was suggested that in order to have the record straight the holders of the claims should restake them and make a new record so that if the camp

developed and if the ore structure was found to extend past the area now considered to be the limits of the camp the claims held would not be the subject of dispute or discussion. It was found that there were no prospectors available to do the job. This camp got its start around 1912 or 1913; it was really only developed during the first war, about twenty-five or thirty years ago, and now there just are no prospectors available to do the necessary job of restaking the old claims. This is an indication of the serious situation that exists with regard to prospecting.

Whether we like it or not, gold has been the magnet which has drawn the prospector into the field. Gold has always been the incentive for the development and opening up of new areas in eastern and western Canada-in the great Cariboo country, in the Mackenzie, Yukon, Yellowknife and other areas. I would remind the house that the Eldorado company, now our major source of uranium, was originally a gold mining company. When Gilbert La Bine discovered the pitchblende it was partly an accident. Gold's value as a colonizer and developer of new country cannot be overestimated.

Because of the way in which gold is treated at the present time by international government finance and monetary control the incentive to look for it has been seriously diminished. Until gold again becomes the magnet to draw prospectors into the bush we will face continuous difficulty in the development of the prospecting industry.

I should like to refer briefly to our Department of Mines and Resources. In this department in Ottawa we have some of the best mineralogists, engineers, geophysicists and geologists to be found anywhere in the world. The personnel of the ore dressing and other laboratories are as fine as will be found in any other capital. But in this department are such things as immigration. Immigration really is a full-time job, because it is one of the most important problems facing Canada today. In my opinion it is wholly wrong to place immigration in the Department of Mines and Resources and thus divide the duties of the minister between immigration and mining. Both matters require a great deal of attention, and the minister cannot give undivided attention to either. The qualifications for both these jobs are entirely different.

Indian affairs are also in the Department of Mines and Resources. By no stretch of the imagination can Indian affairs be considered as having to do with mining and the development of natural resources. Hon. members who were here last year will remember the committee on Indian affairs and the extensive work it did. 1 am sure 45781-35

Assistance to Prospectors they will admit that no one department should have both mines and Indian affairs under its jurisdiction. Indian affairs is a completely different subject which has nothing to do with mining.

Museums and national parks are also under this department. Possibly our national parks could be considered as being related to mining, since they are in the realm of national development. I earnestly ask the government to take Indian affairs and immigration out of the Department of Mines and Resources, and in asking this I have the support of the Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy.

I understand that the Department of Mines and Resources occupy parts of no less than twenty-seven buildings in Ottawa. When a file has to be drawn, a boy is sent on a bicycle to the central registry. A department that must depend for its modus operandi on twenty-seven boys on bicycles can hardly be the efficient organization that the Department of Mines and Resources should be and can be and must be. I suggest that one of the first things the government should do in this national capital beautification plan is to erect a building to house the Department of Mines and Resources. In that building should be the most modern ore dressing and ore testing laboratories, and laboratories for the working out of milling practices for different types of ore. There is such a variety of ores in Canada that milling practices virtually differ fol each mine even in the same camp. Geophysical prospecting methods should be worked out, as well as refining and smelting processes and the other intricate matters that have to do with the mining industry. Furthermore, extensive research should be undertaken.

I suggest that in this building provision should be made to house representatives of the different provincial departments of mines. While the natural resources belong to the provinces, the dominion has great responsibility in connection therewith. The closest possible liaison should be maintained between the dominion and provincial departments of mines, and this liaison should be continuous and on the technical level.

I looked at the Ottawa plan, but was unable to find that any new building is being proposed for the Department of Mines and Resources. In my opinion the centralization of the department of mines under one roof, making it solely a department of mines-not a sort of wastebasket into which all sorts of other difficult problems can be thrown-and giving it the most modern equipment possible, is one of the first things that any central planning board for Ottawa or for the national capital plan should consider. We must revive our mining industry, and we should become the second largest gold producer, a great iron

Assistance to Prospectors mining country and the world's greatest producer of base and light metals. The hon. member for Gaspe (Mr. Langlois) spoke quite recently. I may tell him there are very extensive possibilities with regard to copper in that peninsula.

This country, Mr. Speaker, as far as mining development is concerned, has not been scratched. It takes courage, it takes capital, it takes willingness, and it takes the ingenuity of the people. If we can go ahead with that we shall have no worry about our overall economy.

Topic:   MINES AND RESOURCES
Subtopic:   PROPOSED FEDERAL ASSISTANCE TO PROSPECTORS
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PC

Gordon Francis Higgins

Progressive Conservative

Mr. G. F. Higgins (St. John's East):

I should like to support the resolution so well proposed by the hon. member for Fort William (Mr. Mclvor). I do so because I feel it has real merit. Hon. members may not know it, but mining in Newfoundland is the third in value of our primary industries. We do not live on cod or on trees alone. We have a very considerable mining industry as well. It is for that reason that I am anxious that the resolution should be considered by the house, the selfish reason that it may be of great value to your newest province. The area of Newfoundland, and it is rather difficult to realize, is more than two and a half times as great as the area of the three former maritime provinces put together. That area has not been in any way fully prospected. Yet there are traces of all known minerals showing all over the island, and I include of course Labrador.

I was interested to hear hon. members refer this afternoon to uranium. It was only today that I picked up a Newfoundland paper and read an article about uranium. With your permission I should like to refer to it. It is to be found in the St. John's Evening Telegram of September 24. The article is headed:

Forestry engineer may set off mining boom.

The article reads: ,

An undergraduate forestry engineer who is also an amateur geologist read a pamphlet on ores and as a result the biggest mining bonanza in history might hit Newfoundland. The information in the pamphlet relating to ores said that since the discovery of uranium all ores should be examined for radio activity property.

J. A. Bragg, St. John's man, who was born in Greenspondin Newfoundland.

-thirty-seven years ago, and has lived in Grand Fallsalso in Newfoundland.

-prior to taking up residence in the citymeaning St. John's.

-might be the man responsible for the new mining rush. Mr. Bragg spent most of his vacation time from the university of New Brunswick making

fMr. Adamson.]

surveys for local paper companies. In his spare time he made a hobby of collecting minerals of all types.

For some time past Mr. Bragg has outgrown his hobby and the minerals were laid aside in the attic along with other junk which invariably finds a resting place in the 'hobby graveyard."

However, after picking, up a pamphlet on minerals and reading that since the discovery of uranium all such material should be examined for radioactive properties, Mr. Bragg decided to resurrect his hobby pieces and have them examined by a geologist. He did. And the results as examined by the government geologists showed that one of the collections was rich in the exclusive radioactive property, even greater than the standard sample supplied by the federal bureau of mines, Ottawa.

The bug at present in further prospecting of the area is a matter for the provincial parliament. Uranium is not classified as a mineral under Newfoundland mining laws. This means that a licence cannot be had until such time as a special act is passed.

As a result no claims can be staked. And for that reason Mr. Bragg is keeping the territory a secret until he is vested with the proper protection and security.

In the meantime a company is being formed and will be known as the Uranium Exploration Limited, and will have head offices in St. John's. Should Mr. Bragg's "find" be the forerunner of a sizable amount of uranium it will mean a terrific boost to the economy of Newfoundland. At the present time this mineral is the most sought after in the world and its value is inestimable.

We might very well say, if that newspaper account is correct, that the so-called private prospector is the person who brought it into being, but of course he could only bring it into being with the aid and assistance of a geologist, and that is what the hon. member's resolution speaks of in this case.

I hope I will not be trespassing on the time of the house if I give a brief resume-very brief, I may say-of mining in Newfoundland, because I feel that as much as you can know about our newest province is good for all hon. members. The largest red hematite mine not only in the empire but in the world is situated at Wabana in Newfoundland. That mine, in the time since it was established in 1895, has contributed some 50 million tons of iron ore which has been smelted in various parts of the world, and in a very great measure at Sydney, in the province of Nova Scotia. The mine is actually owned by the Dominion Iron and Steel Company of Sydney, who also own the limestone quarry at Aguathuna.

All over the island of Newfoundland and in Labrador there are indications of iron, and with the increasing prominence of iron, even though it is still the cheapest metal in the world, it may be that in the future the province of Newfoundland, as delimited by the terms of union-and I am not going back to stare decisis either-can make a very great contribution to the future economy of Canada as a whole. In Labrador some 20,000 miles

of that area have been set aside for exploration by the Labrador Mining and Development Company. The territory of Labrador comprises 119,000 square miles altogether, and of that, as I say, 20,000 square miles have been set aside for a period of ten years. An agreement was made in 1938 and was renewed in 1944 for a period which I believe expires in 1953.

Prospects in that particular area have indicated a wonderful body of ore. I made reference to it in the house before, and I do not think there is any question about the fact that in the future Labrador iron will indeed be a valuable asset to the Dominion of Canada as a whole. I believe I also referred at that time, and it will not do any harm to refer to it again, to the great waterfall of Grand falls which adjoins that property. It is higher than Niagara falls. I do not say that the amount of water going over it is as great as that going over Niagara falls, but there is the possibility of a tremendous hydroelectric development there. There is no reason why that water power could not be used for the smelting of Labrador iron ore, and indeed the iron ore of northern Quebec. At the present time, I believe, the company is controlled by the Hollinger mining interests of Canada, but I understand that a number of United States concerns have bought heavily into that company.

We also have fluorspar at St. Lawrence. This is the mineral that is used as a flux for the melting of iron and also, I believe, of bauxite. Interestingly enough, it is also used in the making of freon, the refrigerant used in your electric refrigerator. I do not know how many refrigerators in Ottawa are using material coming from St. Lawrence in Newfoundland, but I would not be surprised if there were quite a few.

I am going into these matters because a number of these prospects which have developed into mines were discovered originally by the lone prospector who went ahead, without the benefit of outside financing, and who usually was rewarded only with the honour of making the discovery, obtaining little of real value afterward as a result. The ore at Buchans was discovered by a prospector using very advanced apparatus, something developed along the lines of radar. Hans Lundberg was the original discoverer of the lead, zinc and copper at Buchans. The mine was opened in 1928 and has been in continuous operation ever since. A very large new body of ore was discovered there only recently.

Speaking of the new method of prospecting, I understand they are even working from 45781-35J

Assistance to Prospectors aeroplanes now. I believe they have some type of apparatus rigged in the nose of the plane which passes waves into the ground, no doubt on the radar principle, enabling them to determine what minerals and in what amounts are in the ground at that point. 1 do not imagine the hon. member for Fort William (Mr. Mclvor) contemplated that type of prospecting in preparing this resolution; it is a little too advanced for the ordinary prospector.

Then at Little Bay we also have a mine that has been out of operation for a number of years, but which in days gone by caused Newfoundland to be rated sixth among the copper-producing countries of the world. We do not produce copper to any great extent now, but at one time we were a considerable producer. We have lead at La Manche, near the peninsula of Avalon. That mine was operated originally by the people responsible for the laying of the first transatlantic cable; I believe the name was Mackay. The mine has not been in operation for some years past. It was investigated again very recently with the idea of reopening it, but I do not know the present position. We also have a considerable quantity of coal. Unfortunately for our province the reports indicate that it would not be economically feasible to work that coal, since the seams are supposed to be fractured to such an extent as to make it impracticable.

I have not given this matter the attention some other hon. members have devoted to it, but the main point to which I should like to direct attention is the fact that we have this vast unexplored territory in Newfoundland. With the indication of minerals all over the area it may be that, if a resolution such as the one now under discussion were carried into effect, the mineral resources of Newfoundland might make a great contribution to the economy of Canada as a whole. I am not a mining man, though like-all Newfoundlanders I have a great interest in the subject. However, I do feel that one sure way of developing the mining resources of my province, and indeed of the whole country, would be for this house to endorse the resolution proposed this afternoon by the hon. member for Fort William.

Topic:   MINES AND RESOURCES
Subtopic:   PROPOSED FEDERAL ASSISTANCE TO PROSPECTORS
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LIB

Daniel (Dan) McIvor

Liberal

Mr. Mclvor:

Mr. Speaker-

Topic:   MINES AND RESOURCES
Subtopic:   PROPOSED FEDERAL ASSISTANCE TO PROSPECTORS
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LIB

Joseph-Alfred Dion (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

I understand that if the hon. gentleman speaks now he will close the debate.

Topic:   MINES AND RESOURCES
Subtopic:   PROPOSED FEDERAL ASSISTANCE TO PROSPECTORS
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LIB

Daniel (Dan) McIvor

Liberal

Mr. Mclvor:

I thank those who have given us the benefit of their judgment and experience while speaking in support of this resolution. The object of the resolution has.

548 HOUSE OF

Canada Shipping Act

now been served; we have placed before the government the needs of the prospector in connection with the development of our natural resources. I now ask leave to withdraw the resolution, feeling sure the government will have plenty of opportunity to put into effect what has been suggested in it.

Topic:   MINES AND RESOURCES
Subtopic:   PROPOSED FEDERAL ASSISTANCE TO PROSPECTORS
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LIB

Joseph-Alfred Dion (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

With the consent of the house the hon. member may have leave to withdraw the resolution.

Motion withdrawn.

Topic:   MINES AND RESOURCES
Subtopic:   PROPOSED FEDERAL ASSISTANCE TO PROSPECTORS
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CANADA SHIPPING ACT

PROPOSED USE OF FIRE-RESISTING PAINT ON PASSENGER SHIPS

PC

Gordon Knapman Fraser

Progressive Conservative

Mr. G. K. Fraser (Peterborough West) moved:

That, in the opinion of this house, early consideration should be given to including in the Canada Shipping Act, a clause making it law that in future every passenger ship, which would come under this act, be painted only with fire-resisting paint on all interior and deck work.

He said: Mr. Speaker, I did not expect this resolution to come on today, but I feel that it can be supported by every hon. member of this house. Few people know anything at all about fire-resisting paint. Few people know that it even exists or can be made; but if such paint is used on a ship certainly there is less danger of fire. I have seen a number of fires on pleasure boats of all kinds, and in each case the fire has spread because the paint has heated and, as the fire has run on the paint, it has become what might be called a flash fire.

I have seen fires of that sort start in one corner of a building. If a door is open and causes a draught the fire will cut a swath perhaps a yard wide right across the building and then spread from there. If a fire-resistant paint is used even a blow torch can be directed on it, though not for any length of time. The paint will sizzle and perhaps burn, but it will not flash or explode as ordinary paint does when it becomes heated. If you look at pictures of ships that have burned, you will see that the paint has even burned off the ironwork. Look at the pictures of the Noronic and you will see that the fire has cleaned the paint off the metal work.

Topic:   CANADA SHIPPING ACT
Subtopic:   PROPOSED USE OF FIRE-RESISTING PAINT ON PASSENGER SHIPS
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LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. Chevrier:

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, though the hon. member has introduced a resolution which is unquestionably of importance, I believe I should point out to you that the matter of the fire aboard the Noronic is now the subject of an inquiry by a justice of the supreme court. While the member may discuss the resolution in so far as it affects fire-resistant paint, I do not think he should discuss questions touching the investigation being conducted by that judge.

IMr. Mclvor.)

Topic:   CANADA SHIPPING ACT
Subtopic:   PROPOSED USE OF FIRE-RESISTING PAINT ON PASSENGER SHIPS
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PC

Gordon Knapman Fraser

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fraser:

I quite agree with the minister, Mr. Speaker, and I shall adopt his suggestion. There are three known formulas for making fire-resistant paints that I know of. I have not those formulas before me, but the one that has been known the longest is the one in which borax is used along with linseed oil as in ordinary paint. If this resolution were given effect and the Department of Transport were to compel ships, especially passenger-carrying ships, to use an approved fire-resistant paint, there certainly would not be the danger of passengers being trapped in their cabins. The painting would not cost any more.

Some people have the idea that a fire-resistant paint must be a water paint, but that is not true. If the right formulas are used, the fire-resistant paint can have a glossy finish, the sort that is necessary on a passenger ship where it is subject to hard wear and tear. Most of these ships are used only in the summer and are, therefore, painted once a year. Ships that are in daily use are painted from time to time throughout the year. The Minister of Transport (Mr. Chevrier) should insist that fire-resistant paints the formulas of which can be supplied by the national research council should be used on every passenger ship carrying Canadians. The lives of our people must be saved. We dare not have fires on our ships.

When I commenced my remarks, Mr. Speaker, I said I did not think this resolution would be reached today. I rose to speak today, however, because I believe time cannot be wasted in our attempt to save lives.

Topic:   CANADA SHIPPING ACT
Subtopic:   PROPOSED USE OF FIRE-RESISTING PAINT ON PASSENGER SHIPS
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CCF

Robert Ross (Roy) Knight

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

Mr. R. R. Knight (Saskatoon):

This resolution affords me an opportunity, which I have been seeking for some time, to bring to the attention of the house a matter which is germane to its subject matter. Before I introduce that particular subject I wish to say that I concur in the remarks of the hon. member who moved this resolution. Last summer I travelled on a ship and, while I do not want to name the ship or the company owning it, I could not help observe the large quantities of paint that were on the metal work. I suspect, although of course I do not know, that the paint was not fire-resistant. I would suggest that, besides using fire-resistant paint, something could be done to avoid amassing coat upon coat of paint. If the old coats of paint were properly removed before a new one was applied, it would I believe reduce the fire hazard to that extent. I recall that this ship had recently been painted and it was not quite dry. One could take a knife and *scrape off large quantities of paint, some chunks as thick as your thumb. If the paint were not fire-resistant, I would imagine this would create quite a hazard.

In recent months the country has been shocked by various fire disasters, which have not been confined to ships. Small prairie towns which have not the proper fire equipment often suffer heavy fire losses, sometimes accompanied by loss of life. I have noticed in the eastern pi'ovinces, I am thinking of one province in particular, that various types of educational institutions in which the children are boarders are particularly susceptible to fire. In the history of this country there has been tragedy after tragedy in which innocent children have been locked up-I think that is the best word to use- with a resultant loss of life.

In the matter of fire equipment, I should like to make a suggestion. From an inquiry I made this summer, I learned that fire equipment is very expensive. I have discovered that a large part of the capital cost of such equipment is made up of tariff charges. Many of the small municipalities to which I have referred cannot afford the equipment needed to ensure the safety of the citizens and their property. If these tariffs were lowered, there would be a consequent lowering of the price of such equipment. Last year I put a question on the order paper and, like my hon. friend, I did not realize this resolution would come up today, so I have not the statistics furnished me as a result of that question. I did discover, however, that the rate on fire equipment is fairly high. There is a large amount of fire equipment imported into this country.

I cannot see, sir, how this country or any section of this country or any people would wish to profit by keeping out fire equipment which is essential to the preservation of life. I say that, in view of the terror which is engendered by that particular death and the suffering which accompanies it. I do not think this government should put anything in the way of municipalities having the proper fire equipment necessary for the preservation of life and property.

Topic:   CANADA SHIPPING ACT
Subtopic:   PROPOSED USE OF FIRE-RESISTING PAINT ON PASSENGER SHIPS
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LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Hon. Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Transport):

As I stated a moment ago when I rose on a point of order, Mr. Speaker, this resolution is unquestionably one of importance in view of the disaster which occurred recently. I think everyone will be in sympathy with the object of the hon. member who has introduced it. First of all, however, perhaps I should read the resolution:

That, in the opinion of this house, early consideration should be given to including in the Canada Shipping Act, a clause making it law that in future every passenger ship, which would come under this act, be painted only with fire-resisting paints on all interior and deck work.

Canada Shipping Act

In the first place, if this were to be made an obligation on the part of owners of passenger vessels in Canada, it would not be done in this manner; it would not be done by inclusion of a clause in the Canada Shipping Act. It could, however, be done by amendment of the steamship inspection regulations. I do not think the house would want at this stage, in view of this recent tragedy, to amend the steamship inspection regulations without knowing what the recommendations of the board of inquiry will be.

There is considerable difference of opinion on the subject of fire-resisting paints. There are those who maintain that dry wood coated with fire-resisting paint will stop progress of a fire. There are also those who maintain that there is not a great deal of difference. Following this disaster I had in my office the director of chemicals and explosives during the war years. At that time he made a statement to the effect that certain ships during the war were treated wih fire-resisting paints but that the moment they were shelled the paint took fire. Whether or not the paint retarded the progress of the fire is another matter, and one which we did not discuss. I think there is a difference of opinion as to whether or not science has today been able to discover a fire-resisting paint which would be one hundred per cent effective. I am informed that in the United States at the moment there is being made what is known as "flame seal". It has been tested and approved by recognized firms in the United States. I do not know the extent of its resistance to fire. I know that the authorities in the national research council have been asked to test samples of it.

We in Canada have no regulations under the Canada Shipping Act, or in the steamship inspection regulations, requiring the placing of fire-resisting paint on passenger vessels. Neither have the United States any such regulations. The United States coastguard service, which is responsible for steamship inspection, or what is equivalent to steamship inspection in that country, has, I believe, given consideration to a regulation which would impose an obligation upon owners to paint their vessels with fire-resisting paint, but it has never decided to make it mandatory or obligatory on the part of the owner of the vessel.

While I agree and sympathize with the motive of the resolution introduced by the hon. member for Peterborough West (Mr. Fraser)-we are all of the view that we should do everything possible to prevent such an occurrence again-I feel that it would be a mistake to do this piecemeal. I feel that we should await the report of the investigating commission. I have no right to anticipate

Canada Shipping Act

what that report might be, nor have I any intention of trying to do so. I think all of us in this house are at a great disadvantage in dealing with a matter of this kind until we have the facts fully before us.

A court of inquiry has been appointed, headed by one of the justices of the Supreme Court of Canada. He is assisted by two assessors and legal counsel. Under the circumstances, if I may so suggest to the house, perhaps the hon. member has achieved what he had in mind in placing this resolution on the order paper, namely, bringing it to the attention of the government. If that is what he has in mind, he certainly has accomplished his purpose. I have no doubt that we were all greatly taken aback by this catastrophe. It would strike me that the better way in which to handle this matter is to await the report of the commission of inquiry. If my hon. friend feels as I do about the matter, perhaps he will not insist that we proceed with the subject matter of the resolution.

Topic:   CANADA SHIPPING ACT
Subtopic:   PROPOSED USE OF FIRE-RESISTING PAINT ON PASSENGER SHIPS
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PC

Gordon Knapman Fraser

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fraser:

I agree with the minister that we should let this matter drop until after the inquiry is over and the report is made. I want to thank him for his remarks. No matter what the report is, I hope his department will consider changing the steamship inspection regulations. After his department and the national research council have studied the "flame seal" that the minister has mentioned, and also the other formulas, I hope the department will put in those regulations a clause making its use compulsory. The minister mentioned that during the war-

Topic:   CANADA SHIPPING ACT
Subtopic:   PROPOSED USE OF FIRE-RESISTING PAINT ON PASSENGER SHIPS
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LIB

Louis-René Beaudoin (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Liberal

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Beaudoin):

Order. I am sorry to interrupt the hon. member, 'but I must point out that he is now exercising bis right to reply, and that in doing so he is closing the debate.

Topic:   CANADA SHIPPING ACT
Subtopic:   PROPOSED USE OF FIRE-RESISTING PAINT ON PASSENGER SHIPS
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October 5, 1949