March 16, 1950

THE LATE MAURICE HARTT

LIB

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

Liberal

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

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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I wish to associate myself and the members of the party to which I belong with this tribute of respect to the memory of a very gallant member of this house. I use the word "gallant" advisedly, because it is well known to all hon. members that he suffered greatly during the last year and a half or more, and his illness was such as to call for a high degree of courage. His presence in this house in itself was a manifestation of that courage.

I did not have the privilege of knowing Mr. Hartt for the number of years that he was known to many other hon. members, but I do know that his industry and the stand he took on public affairs had won the regard and the admiration of members in all parts of the house. It perhaps was both natural and fitting that a man who came originally from a country which has suffered so much under the tyranny of communism should have identified himself so vigorously with a campaign against communism in this country.

In his passing this house has lost a man who, whatever other grounds of difference there might be in political opinion, certainly represented the common viewpoint in regard to the preservation of our system of democracy and the traditional institutions which we wish to preserve.

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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

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

Mr. Speaker, in remembering the late Mr. Hartt I think it is a tribute both to his ability and to the opportunities provided by this country that, having come from Roumania, he should have achieved the distinction of membership in the legislature of Quebec and in this parliament.

As occasionally I sat here listening to him I admired his ability to use both the English and the French language, as well as, of course, his mother tongue and I believe related languages. We wish to join with all others in the house in expressing sympathy to his widow and his sons in their bereavement.

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SC

John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. J. H. Blackmore (Lethbridge):

Mr. Speaker, it is a cause for deepest regret that a man should be taken from our, midst at the early age of fifty-four. At that age a man

The late Mr. Maurice Hartt has acquired just enough knowledge and wisdom to be of real value to any body of legislators with which he might be connected.

Mr. Hartt proved himself to be very sincere, a man of great courage, as was pointed out, and a man disposed to face facts as they are. These things I believe constitute a great tribute to his memory.

This group desires to join with those who have already spoken in expressing our deep sympathy with the bereaved ones, and our appreciation of a fellow member who has gone.

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LIB

David Arnold Croll

Liberal

Mr. David A. Croll (Spadina):

Mr. Speaker,

I speak from a sense of personal loss. I knew Maurice Hartt, having first met him twenty-five years ago when he came to the counties of Essex and Kent to speak on behalf of an old friend of mine, Eddie Odette, who was running in the constituency. I remember on that occasion hearing him speak at Tilbury and Belle River, and speaking in most fluent French. Then, as in later years, he was a most forceful speaker.

Our paths did not cross often. However, we met again in Ottawa in 1947, when he recaptured Cartier for Canadians. On account of ill health he seldom spoke in the house, but he did make some fiery and worth-while contributions to the cause which was closest to his heart-establishment and recognition of the state of Israel.

He was a man of intense loyalties-loyalty to his country, loyalty to his party, loyalty to his religion; and he was fiercely loyal to his friends. His great interest in life was the people in his riding of Cartier. There were many underprivileged people there who made many demands upon him. He met those demands as well as any member could have met them.

It is interesting to note the statistics in Cartier. That riding has a very high member-mortality rate. Public service had shared much of Mr. Hartt's life. In 1939 he was a member of the legislature of Quebec. He came to this house in 1947, but he took up community life in the city of Montreal from the time he graduated from Queen's and moved to Montreal.

To the public lifd of this country he gave a mind that was keen and thoughtful and a heart that was kind and considerate. He was a man who loved a fight, giving as he got. As recently as Monday of this week I received a cheerful and buoyant letter from him telling me of plans he had in mind for the future. Hon. members will appreciate what a shock it was to me when yesterday afternoon I was informed he had passed on.

I saw him a few times during his illness. From our conversations I feel sure he would want me to say what I am now going to say. I wish particularly to thank the Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent), you, Mr. Speaker, and the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Claxton), for their thoughtfulness and kindness to Mr. Hartt during his long illness.

May I join with hon. members in extending deepest sympathy to his wife and children. He leaves to them a cherished memory of a very high reputation earned in the service of his country.

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LIB

John Sylvester Aloysius Sinnott

Liberal

Mr. J. S. Sinnott (Springfield):

Mr. Speaker, I am sure I would be remiss in my duty if I failed to join in paying tribute to the memory of the late member for Cartier, who was my roommate for some considerable time.

I, too, wish to express my sympathy to Mrs. Hartt and her two sons. It is tragic to learn that at the early age of fifty-four years a man of Mr. Hartt's calibre should have been called. As his former roommate I had the opportunity for many discussions with him about the hard knocks one sometimes gets in life. I am sure those who have known him will miss his pleasant smile.

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LABOUR CONDITIONS

POLYMER CORPORATION, SARNIA REPORT AS TO THREATENED STRIKE

PC

Joseph Warner Murphy

Progressive Conservative

Mr. J. W. Murphy (Lamblon West):

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a question of privilege. Yesterday, in view of the threatened strike at the Polymer Corporation, because of representations made to me I asked the following question of the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Howe):

I should like to direct a question to the Minister of Trade and Commerce. It is based on a dispatch in today's Globe and Mail, and also on a telegram which I have just received. The dispatch indicates a threatened strike of employees of Polymer Corporation which would involve all the major industries in Sarnia. Is the Minister of Trade and Commerce prepared at this time to make a statement to the house?

I asked the question because it affected not only the major industries in the city of Sarnia, but also those in western Ontario, inasmuch as the plant supplies electricity to the extent of about 40,000 horsepower. This was the answer given at that time by the Minister of Trade and Commerce:

Mr. Speaker, I have had no report today from the Polymer Corporation, but a few days ago it was reported to me that a conciliation board had been sitting on a labour-management dispute, and that the board had brought in a unanimous finding which the management intended to accept. What has developed since I cannot say. The management of the corporation handle their own labour negotiations. From what I know of the relations between

the management and labour at Polymer I can assure my hon. friend that there is not likely to be a strike.

My interpretation of the minister's answer was-except for the last few words which are so important-that there would be no strike. Having received the minister's answer, I wired the union at Sarnia accordingly. My interpretation of what the minister said was borne out by a press report in the Globe and Mail of today's issue, which states:

Trade Minister Howe said today he could assure the Commons that there will be no strike at the government-owned Polymer rubber corporation at Sarnia.

I understand that the only other morning paper in western Ontario, the London Free Press, carries the same interpretation of the reply given by the minister.

Inasmuch as there is a vast difference between "there will be no strike" and "there is not likely to be a strike", I wonder if in view of the seriousness of the situation, in case there should be a strike, the minister would clarify the record.

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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, obviously if the the hon. member will read what I said it will be clear that I was expressing an opinion. Whether I said that there would in my opinion be no strike, or that there was not likely to be a strike, is, I think, immaterial. My hon. friend may make the headlines in his local paper, but I do not think he has thrown much light on the situation.

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PC

Joseph Warner Murphy

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Murphy:

I think it is more serious than that.

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Subtopic:   POLYMER CORPORATION, SARNIA REPORT AS TO THREATENED STRIKE
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?

Some hon. Members:

Order.

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PC

Joseph Warner Murphy

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Murphy:

The statement made by the minister does not clarify the question I asked. The point I am raising now is in substantiation of what I said a moment ago. What the minister said yesterday is not borne out by what appears in Hansard.

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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

Mr. Speaker, I submit that there are certain questions which are so obviously a matter of public interest that no narrow interpretation of the practice should' apply. In this particular case there is involved a plant which is not only a crown corporation producing certain important products, but supplies steam to many vital industries in the area, and electricity to the hydroelectric system throughout that part of Ontario. I should think that it is a matter of considerable importance, not only to the members of this house but to the people of western Ontario, to know whether there is or is not going to be a strike which will have effects that will go far beyond the Polymer plant.

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Subtopic:   POLYMER CORPORATION, SARNIA REPORT AS TO THREATENED STRIKE
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?

An hon. Member:

Where is the privilege?

Inquiries of the Ministry

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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. Howe:

I think it should be obvious to every hon. member that I cannot anticipate with certainty human behaviour. There are 800 men on the payroll of the Polymer plant, and they will determine whether or not there will be a strike. From my knowledge of labour conditions since the plant began operations I expressed the opinion that there would be no strike. All I can do is to give an opinion.

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PC

Gordon Graydon

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Graydon:

You did not say it was an opinion yesterday.

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RAILWAYS, CANALS AND TELEGRAPH LINES CHANGE IN PERSONNEL OF STANDING COMMITTEE

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) moved:

That the name of Mr. Ward be substituted for that of Mr. Weaver on the standing committee on railways, canals and telegraph lines.

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March 16, 1950