March 20, 1950

PC

Lewis Elston Cardiff

Progressive Conservative

Mr. L. E. Cardiff (Huron Norih):

I do not

think anyone can accuse me of taking part in a filibuster, Mr. Speaker. This is the first time this session that I have risen in my place in the house to take part in a debate, and I seldom speak. I do so tonight because of the fact that this afternoon two Liberal members took up an hour of the time of this house; and if there has been a filibuster, they are also implicated in it. I think perhaps they added to that filibuster, if it is one, by trying to support the bill on the one hand and, on the other hand, by trying to talk it out. I conscientiously believe they hoped that it would be talked out.

I am one of those who believe in Canada for Canadians. I am one of those who believe that in our minds we should always have Canada first. If we are going to have a strong nation, we must build a strong Canada on a strong foundation. There is no one who does not appreciate the wonderful country south of the border. That the United States is so wonderful is explained by the fact that never at any time have United States statesmen failed to stick up for United States interests. That is why they have become so great. Because we are trying to stick up for Canada is no reason why the United States should think any the less of us.

One reason why we had so much assistance from the United States in years gone by was the fact that we did not have sufficient capital with which to develop our resources. I think the time is long past when we need to have assistance from the United States to develop our resources.

Here in Canada we are privileged in having many resources such as gas, coal and oil. As hon. members know, when gas is in the pipe line, it is ready for distribution and use. Oil must go through the refinery, but gas is ready for use. I think we should realize that British Columbia should have the first chance to

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Alberta Natural Gas Company consume this gas. British Columbia has been suffering from more unemployment than any other part of Canada. As a result of the wonderful climate there in the summertime, many people migrate to British Columbia; and when autumn comes, they find themselves out of work. They then stay in British Columbia for the winter because it is so mild. That is one reason why British Columbia has so many unemployed. I happen to have a boy in British Columbia. He has never been unemployed, but there are many there who are. He tells me that the streets are lined with unemployed in the city in which he is located. If British Columbia had the opportunity of getting this gas at first cost, there is no doubt in my mind that there could be developed there industries that would provide much employment and would help a great deal to relieve unemployment in that part of the country.

I started as a farmer at the head of a family. I was the breadwinner. I had to look after my family first. All hon. members no doubt started in the same way. You did not worry so much about others as you did about your own. That was your responsibility. You had to look after your own family. After you had done that, you could look around and see what you could do for others. The same thing applied in municipal life. I started in municipal life as a councillor. When I was a councillor, I tried to look after my own ward. That was my responsibility. After serving in that capacity for several years, I was elected to the reeveship. While reeve, I had to attend county council and my mind naturally developed. As a member of the county council, it was my responsibility to look after my municipality. I had broadened to that extent. I had to see to it that the roads in my municipality received their fair share of the moneys that were spent. That was my responsibility. No one could criticize me for doing that.

Then when I came into the House of Commons, I again had to broaden my outlook and to develop my mind to look after the Dominion of Canada. That is what I am trying to do tonight. In rising in my place here in the house I am trying to look after the Dominion of Canada. I am not interested in what is south of the border. We get gas and oil from the United States; and I appreciate the fact that we can get it there. But now that we have so much of our own, why is it not possible for us to develop that gas and oil in our own country first? If we have any to export after that, then it is time enough for us to start worrying about what is south of the border.

This afternoon we heard many good speeches. I am going to refer to only one,

namely, that delivered by the leader of the opposition (Mr. Drew). It was the speech of a statesman, not of a politician.

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?

Some hon. Members:

Oh, oh.

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PC

Lewis Elston Cardiff

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Cardiff:

All right; you can laugh at that if you like. May I say that I have a habit of reading minds; I looked over the members of the house at that particular time and I did not see anybody in any quarter of this house who was not digesting that speech to the full. I might also say that there were not any comments directed to the leader of the opposition when he was making that speech. It was the speech of a statesman, it was well delivered, and it will be remembered for a long time.

I put down a few notes here, Mr. Speaker, but I do not think they are of much use to me. In the first place, I do not know anything about gas lines nor pipe lines, but I do know this. If the gas line or the pipe line is constructed in Canada it will create employment for a great many Canadians; but if it goes through the United States there is no question in anyone's mind that it will give work to a great many people on the other side of the boundary. Suppose the pipe line did cost more to build on Canadian soil, would it not be worth the difference to have a pipe line through our own country first and to have our own people served before it is taken out of the country? In British Columbia and through the west there are many industries that would receive cheap gas. By receiving cheap gas they could manufacture things at a much lower cost than would otherwise be possible; they then would be able to compete in the markets of the world. I believe in Canada for Canadians first. After that, if you have anything to spare, sell all you can sell to those outside your own border.

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CCF

Joseph William Noseworthy

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

Mr. J. W. Noseworlhy (York South):

In this bill, Mr. Speaker, we are dealing with one of Canada's great natural resources; and I think it is rather unfortunate that the debate on this important natural resource should have taken on the purely party-political character that it has taken on in this house. It has become quite evident that the bill before us is sponsored by the government although it is known literally as a private member's bill. The Minister of Trade and Commerce has indicated quite clearly to the house his point of view, and quite evidently has given a lead to all the government followers in the house.

Here we have what the leader of the opposition (Mr. Drew) rightfully described as a wasting asset, a wasting asset in the sense that it is not something that can be replaced once it has been disposed of. This particular resource is one that nature has created over the past ages, which has lain hidden in the

ground, according to geologists, for possibly millions of years. We now become the discoverers of that great natural resource, and the question is, what to do with it. Quite evidently our present government has just one policy on that matter, which is to get this natural resource to a market by the shortest and cheapest possible route that will bring greatest profit to those who have invested in that industry, and to those who are concerned with its disposal. That is one way of dealing with it.

Here is a natural resource. We assume it belongs to the province of Alberta. I am quite sure that hon. members from Alberta and the government of Alberta will be among the first to recognize that this is a heritage of the whole Canadian people. The government's policy appears to be: Take this great natural resource. Let us dispose of it through any ready channel that will bring immediate profits, either profits to a government or profits to private investors; and if it is going to cost a few hundred thousand dollars more to build a route that will serve Canadian people, then we cannot take that route. The fact that they are getting this market cheaply, and immediately realizing profit on the disposal of this natural resource, appears to be the chief concern of the government today, and appears to be their chief concern in the matter of this bill.

There is another way in which that natural resource could be disposed of. There is another policy that could be followed. I can well imagine that we have had governments in this country in the past that would have been prepared, in the interests of the Canadian people, to have taken a much more statesmanlike view of that policy than the present government is taking in connection with this matter. We have had governments in this country in the past that would have looked upon this natural resource as a heritage of the Canadian people to be safeguarded for future generations, and not to be exploited as quickly as possible by the shortest and cheapest route possible and for the highest immediate profits possible, which appears to be the present policy.

This afternoon the leader of the opposition gave us a vision of what this particular natural resource could mean in the building of this country, a breadth of view that we have not heard come from a single member or minister of this government in connection

20. 1950

Alberta Natural Gas Company with the development of this resource. Every word we have had from the Liberal side of the house has been concerned with one policy, and one policy only, namely, to get this natural gas market, get it there by the most economical route, get it there to serve the large centres of population in the United States, so that somebody may be able to reap a profit therefrom.

We sometimes talk of the future possibilities of Canada. We sometimes talk of our need of immigration. We sometimes talk of this country as a country that could support many times our present population. But here we have a natural resource that will provide cheap power for the building of industrial centres in our western provinces and, as far as we know, a product that could be economically brought east to build industrial centres east of the great lakes as well. Instead of that our first concern must be, which is the most economical way of building a pipe line. Never mind what happens to Canada; never mind what happens to the cities and towns of British Columbia; let us get the pipe line; get the gas disposed of; get our profits.

On motion of Mr. Noseworthy the debate was adjourned.

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BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

LIB

Alphonse Fournier (Minister of Public Works; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. Fournier (Hull):

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow being government day we shall move to go into supply, and if that motion carries we shall call four departments: finance, transport, veterans affairs and trade and commerce. In committee of supply we shall consider the further supplementary estimates for the year now closing, with the supply bill. Then the Minister of Finance will also ask for interim supply. I understand he has spoken to the leaders of the opposition parties on these matters.

Then we should very much like to conclude the debate on the motion of the Minister of National Health and Welfare (Mr. Martin) to set up a committee on old age security. If we were fortunate enough to complete that business we would take up the motion of the Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. Pearson) to refer his estimates to the external affairs committee.

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At eleven o'clock the house adjourned, without question put, pursuant to standing order. 55946-6O2



Tuesday, March 21, 1950


March 20, 1950