February 27, 1950

PRIVATE BILL

FIRST READING


Bill No. 9, to incorporate Prairie Transmission Lines Limited.-Mr. Benidickson.


NIAGARA DIVERSION TREATY

USE OF WATER FROM NIAGARA RIVER FOR HYDROELECTRIC POWER PURPOSES

LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Hon. L. B. Pearson (Secretary of State for External Affairs):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to table three copies in English and three copies in French of the Niagara diversion treaty, which is being signed in Washington this afternoon by the Canadian ambassador, Mr. Hume Wrong, and by the United States Secretary of State, Mr. Dean Acheson. With your permission I should like to make a short statement on this treaty.

We have been discussing with the United States government the possibility of amending article 5 of the Boundary Waters treaty of 1909 with respect to the use of water from the Niagara river for the generation of hydroelectric power. In these talks we have had the valuable assistance of the chairman of the Hydro Electric Power Commission of Ontario and the chairman of the Niagara parks commission. The discussions have resulted in a Niagara diversion treaty.

The Boundary Waters treaty of 1909 authorized the diversion by the United States of 20,000 cubic feet of water per second, and the diversion by Canada of 36,000 cubic feet per second. Although Canada was thus allowed to use more water than the United States the power produced by the extra Canadian share has been exported to the United States. As a result, each country has had the use of hydroelectric power produced by approximately half of the water made available by the 1909 treaty.

During the second world war, additional diversions of 13,000 cubic feet per second on the Canadian side and 12,500 cubic feet per second on the United States side were authorized on a temporary basis.

The new Niagara treaty reserves adequate quantities of water for flow over the falls and through the rapids, and then authorizes the use of all remaining water for power

purposes. Since this water will for the first time be divided equally between the two countries, the United States government is being informed through our embassy in Washington that when facilities have been constructed in the United States to use the full United States share of water, Canadian export licences then in effect will not be renewed unless circumstances existing in Canada at that time make such a course desirable.

It is not possible to say just how much more water this treaty will make available to Canada, since the necessity of preserving the scenic beauty of the falls and rapids is the first charge on the fluctuating volume of water in the Niagara river. However, it is expected that both countries will normally have the use of more water than before. At the same time, the fact that the temporary arrangements agreed upon during the war are being superseded by a permanent agreement will permit the construction of new power plants of the latest design to replace a number of existing plants now in operation which cannot make the most effective use of the available water. For these two reasons, a substantial increase in the amount of hydroelectric power generated at Niagara can be expected once this treaty has been ratified and the new power plants have been constructed.

Nevertheless the demand for power keeps increasing, and this additional Niagara power cannot be expected to meet the full needs of Ontario and New York state. The power requirements of these areas can be met only by the full development of the potential power of the St. Lawrence river. The additional Niagara power should help to tide us over the period required for the construction of the St. Lawrence facilities, but the need for St. Lawrence power is as urgent as it ever has been. The new Niagara diversion treaty does not in any way lessen Canada's interest in, and desire for, early ratification by both governments of the St. Lawrence waterway and power agreement of 1941.

The treaty contains two provisions designed to protect and enhance the scenic beauty of the Niagara river and falls. It calls for early completion of remedial works to ensure an unbroken Crestline on the falls by distributing the waters more evenly. It also ensures that the flow over the falls and through the rapids will not be reduced below the amounts

Niagara Diversion Treaty which experience has shown are essential for the preservation of the full scenic spectacle.

I have been advised by the chairman of the Hydro Electric Power Commission of Ontario that this treaty meets with the approval of the premier of Ontario, the Ontario hydro, and the Niagara parks commission.

Topic:   NIAGARA DIVERSION TREATY
Subtopic:   USE OF WATER FROM NIAGARA RIVER FOR HYDROELECTRIC POWER PURPOSES
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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I feel sure that every hon. member of this house will welcome the statement which has been made with regard to the treaty which is being signed today, not only because it will provide more power for one part of this country, but because of the convincing evidence it offers of the friendly and effective association between Canada and the United States in enterprises of this kind.

I feel sure that everyone will welcome also the statement of the Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. Pearson) to the effect that this will in no way be allowed to obscure the immense importance of proceeding with the power development of the St. Lawrence river. This treaty will provide an additional supply of water which, with certain new developments in power plant construction, will be of great help; but at a time when Canada and the United States are looking to the protection of the peace which is the main concern of people generally throughout the free world, I believe it is right to say that there could be no more cogent evidence of an effective working partnership between two countries than the fact that an agreement could be reached for power development of the St. Lawrence, which would add so much to the potential resources of both countries for peace or for any situation that might arise.

Topic:   NIAGARA DIVERSION TREATY
Subtopic:   USE OF WATER FROM NIAGARA RIVER FOR HYDROELECTRIC POWER PURPOSES
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TRANSFER OF DUTIES

CENTRAL MORTGAGE AND HOUSING CORPORATION ACT

LIB

Louis Stephen St-Laurent (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Right Hon. L. S. St. Laurent (Prime Minister):

Mr. Speaker, I wish to table a copy of an order in council passed on February 23 under the provisions of the Public Service Rearrangement and Transfer of Duties Act, transferring, effective as of January 18, 1950, the powers, duties and functions vested in the Minister of Finance under the Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation Act to the Minister of Resources and Development, as was contemplated by the statute setting up the Department of Resources and Development.

The law officers of the crown tell us that, a former transfer having been made from the

Minister of Finance to the Minister of Reconstruction and Supply, whose department ceased to exist when the new department came into being, it is necessary now to have an order in council transferring these functions from the Minister of Finance to the minister of the new department.

Topic:   TRANSFER OF DUTIES
Subtopic:   CENTRAL MORTGAGE AND HOUSING CORPORATION ACT
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PC

Arthur Leroy Smith

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Smith (Calgary West):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to ask a question, for the purpose of clarification only. A moment ago the Prime Minister announced that the Minister of Finance has divested himself of certain responsibilities by transferring them to the Minister of Resources and Development, and that prior to that time he had divested himself of those responsibilities by the same method. How can the Minister of Finance transfer to another minister something he has already transferred from himself to that minister? Simple addition would indicate that he had nothing left to transfer after he had done his first job.

Topic:   TRANSFER OF DUTIES
Subtopic:   CENTRAL MORTGAGE AND HOUSING CORPORATION ACT
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?

Jean-Paul Stephen St-Laurent

Mr. Si. Laurent:

That was our impression when the statute substituting the new department for the old department was passed, but the law officers of the crown have given the opinion that the order in council which was passed transferring certain duties from the Minister of Finance to the Minister of Reconstruction and Supply ceased to have any effect when the statute under which that department was constituted was repealed. The opinion was that it would be necessary to have a new order in council passed to vest these powers and functions in the minister of the new department. Their opinion evidently was that upon the repeal of the statute setting up the ministry of reconstruction and supply the order in council ceased to have effect, and that the powers and functions reverted to the minister who had first been vested with them by parliament.

Topic:   TRANSFER OF DUTIES
Subtopic:   CENTRAL MORTGAGE AND HOUSING CORPORATION ACT
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PC

Arthur Leroy Smith

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Smith (Calgary West):

In other words, there is no intestacy among departments of government.

Topic:   TRANSFER OF DUTIES
Subtopic:   CENTRAL MORTGAGE AND HOUSING CORPORATION ACT
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BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

QUESTIONS AND MOTIONS FOR PRODUCTION OF PAPERS

LIB

Louis Stephen St-Laurent (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Right Hon. L. S. St. Laurent (Prime Minister):

Perhaps it would be agreeable to hon. members if, notwithstanding the order made for precedence of the debate on the address in reply to the speech from the throne, we should be prepared to bring down on Wednesday answers to most of the questions which are on the order paper. There are already forty-four of them, and I think most of the answers are ready. If it is the wish of the house generally, we could have

the questions, as well as notices of motions for production of papers, called on Wednesday and disposed of.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   QUESTIONS AND MOTIONS FOR PRODUCTION OF PAPERS
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NATIONAL DEFENCE

TRANSFER OF ARMY PERSONNEL

LIB

Joseph-Adéodat Blanchette (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. J. A. Blanchette (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of National Defence):

Mr. Speaker, on February 22 last the hon. member for Simcoe North (Mr. Ferguson) asked the following question, which is to be found at page 128 of Hansard:

In view of the fact that soldiers belonging to the permanent army must obey orders and move where they are directed, and there are men in the ranks with families moving to Ottawa, is any provision being made for the housing of these men, or must they continue to seek any shelter they can possibly obtain and pay exorbitant prices? Is any attempt being made to provide dwellings for these people?

In answer thereto I should' like to say that the policy of the Department of National Defence is to press forward with the construction of married quarters in more isolated centres. At Rockcliffe, however, because of the number of service personnel employed, 108 houses have already been erected; 200 more are in the course of construction or under contract, and it is expected that contracts for a further 300 units will be placed this year. In addition, the policy is adopted of earmarking some of the houses erected by the Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation in larger centres for service personnel. A large proportion of married service personnel are also veterans and have access to accommodation for veterans. More married quarters in proportion to numbers of personnel have been provided in Canada than in any other country.

Topic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
Subtopic:   TRANSFER OF ARMY PERSONNEL
Sub-subtopic:   ACCOMMODATION
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REFERENCE TO ADDRESS OF GENERAL MCNAUGHTON TO CANADIAN GEOGRAPHICAL SOCIETY

February 27, 1950