March 20, 1950

LIB

James Joseph McCann (Minister of Mines and Technical Surveys; Minister of National Revenue)

Liberal

Hon. J. J. McCann (Minister of National Revenue):

I shall look into the matter, and after I have reviewed the question more carefully I shall be able to give an answer.

Topic:   INCOME TAX
Subtopic:   APPEAL BOARD
Sub-subtopic:   JUDGMENT IN CASE OF "MR. C." AND THE MINISTER OF NATIONAL REVENUE
Permalink

FARMERS

PROSECUTIONS

LIB

James Joseph McCann (Minister of Mines and Technical Surveys; Minister of National Revenue)

Liberal

Hon. J. J. McCann (Minister of National Revenue):

On a question of privilege, I should like to refer to a question asked by the hon. member for Moose Jaw (Mr. Thatcher), to be

found at page 849 of Hansard lor March 17. It had to do with prosecutions of farmers under the Income Tax Act.

The information which was given to the press was that during the period from January 1 to March 6, 1950, 1,953 summonses were issued for failure to file returns. These summonses covered all types of taxpayers, and this fact was so reported in most newspapers. I reiterate that it is not practicable to break down the figures by occupational groups. I should also like to state that the Winnipeg Free Press, if it published a report, as was stated by the hon. member for Moose Jaw, to the effect that 1,953 farmers were prosecuted, was in error in so doing.

Topic:   FARMERS
Subtopic:   PROSECUTIONS
Sub-subtopic:   REFERENCE TO ANSWER TO QUESTION ASKED ON MARCH 16
Permalink

PRIVATE BILLS

ALBERTA NATURAL GAS COMPANY


The house resumed, from Tuesday, March 14, consideration of the motion of Mr. Maybank for the second reading of Bill No. 7, respecting Alberta Natural Gas Company, and the motion of Mr. MacDougall: "That this question be now put."


PC

Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Howard C. Green (Vancouver-Quadra):

Mr. Speaker, in my remarks on Tuesday last I outlined the two alternate routes for a pipe line from Alberta to the Pacific coast. One was the route which is proposed to be followed by this company, running from southern Alberta into southern British Columbia and then into the United States at the nearest point. The other was through the Yellowhead pass and down through central British Columbia, serving Canada first and then going on to the United States. I also spoke of public opinion in British Columbia favouring the Canada-first route. Further proof that I was correct in those statements is given in a resolution adopted unanimously by the legislature of British Columbia last Thursday. I will not read the recitals to that resolution, but the final paragraph was as follows:

Therefore be it resolved that the legislative assembly of the province of British Columbia urge upon the federal and provincial authorities concerned the advisability, in the interests not only of British Columbia but of Canada as well, that such pipe lines be constructed through the Yellow-head pass and thence through the interior of British Columbia to Vancouver, with provision for the extension of the line to the Peace river block, so that when sufficient supplies of petroleum and natural gas are available in that area there will be an available outlet to market without unnecessary delay.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS
Subtopic:   ALBERTA NATURAL GAS COMPANY
Permalink
LIB

George Matheson Murray

Liberal

Mr. Murray (Cariboo):

May I ask the hon. gentleman if the resolution of the British Columbia legislature opposes the bill now before this house?

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS
Subtopic:   ALBERTA NATURAL GAS COMPANY
Permalink
PC

Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Green:

The resolution advocates the Canada-first route through the Yellowhead

pass. That resolution was moved by the member for Peace River, part of which is in the constituency of the hon. member who asked the question; and the one riding in British Columbia which would gain the most by the Yellowhead route would be the riding of the hon. member for Cariboo.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS
Subtopic:   ALBERTA NATURAL GAS COMPANY
Permalink
LIB

George Matheson Murray

Liberal

Mr. Murray (Cariboo):

I would like an answer to my question.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS
Subtopic:   ALBERTA NATURAL GAS COMPANY
Permalink
PC

Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Green:

The hon. member may make his own speech. I am not answering any more of his questions.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS
Subtopic:   ALBERTA NATURAL GAS COMPANY
Permalink
LIB

Elie Beauregard (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

Order. I would inform the hon. member that questions may only be asked with the consent of the hon. member who has the floor.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS
Subtopic:   ALBERTA NATURAL GAS COMPANY
Permalink
LIB

George Matheson Murray

Liberal

Mr. Murray (Cariboo):

It was an honest question, and I should like an answer.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS
Subtopic:   ALBERTA NATURAL GAS COMPANY
Permalink
LIB
PC

Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Green:

I have here a press dispatch of the following day from Vancouver, headed "Victoria unanimous on B.C. gas pipe line". The dispatch goes on to say:

The house got on its collective high horse Thursday. Party lines were forgotten as M.L.A.'s unanimously went on record for a gas pipe line from Alberta through B.C. to the Pacific coast.

They feared that if they didn't do something, the U.S. would beat us . . .

Even the public galleries grew enthusiastic. One after another, M.L.A.'s hopped up to say why, of course, the line should be in B.C.

Opposition leader Winch said the C.C.F., too, wants the line in B.C. He urged the house to speak in a united voice for B.C. first, because there's a very powerful New York voice in the House of Commons . . .

Everyone agreed pressure should be put on Ottawa to have the line in B.C. The resolution went through with flying colours and everyone thumped desks.

It will be rather interesting to see the attitude of British Columbia Liberals in this house-interesting to see whether their fear of their constituents will overcome their fear of the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Howe).

Then I pointed out that no company had a prior right to this route. The Alberta Natural Gas Company could choose the Yellowhead route too, or any other route which served Canada first; and if they should do so there would be no objection in this house.

The suggestion has been made that the question of the route is none of our business. In moving second reading of this bill the hon. member for Winnipeg South Centre (Mr. Maybank) made no attempt whatever to explain the route. Asked where the line was to run, he replied, "I don't know"; and he said it in such a way that one could only take from his remarks that he had no intention of giving the house that information. We have been told that the granting of a charter should 55946-57

20, 1950

Alberta Natural Gas Company be automatic, that parliament has no duty other than to grant it. We are told that questions of policy must be left to the board of transport commissioners, to the Alberta natural gas and petroleum conservation board, and finally to the Minister of Trade and Commerce.

. Well, I suggest that the board of transport commissioners will never take the responsibility of deciding that the route must serve Canada first. There is no hint given in the legislation that such is government policy. How is that board supposed to know that it must decide whether or not the route is to serve Canada first? Besides, the board of transport commissioners have plenty of trouble of their own just now trying to straighten out the freight rates mess. So far they have not been very successful in solving that problem, and they are most unlikely to be successful in solving the pipe-line problem.

As for the Alberta natural gas and petroleum conservation board, surely its responsibility is to decide whether there is gas to be sold. It is not the responsibility of that board to decide which way it shall go from the province. As for the Minister of Trade and Commerce, he has made his attitude abundantly clear. He calls those of us who advocate that the resources of Canada should be used first for the Canadian people "little Canadians." That is the way he describes anyone who advocates serving Canada first. The other day he was asked a prepared question by the hon. member for Yorkton (Mr. Stewart), and brought in a very carefully prepared answer which said-

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS
Subtopic:   ALBERTA NATURAL GAS COMPANY
Permalink
LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. Howe:

I just want to say I had no knowledge that any question was going to be asked, and I had no prepared answer.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS
Subtopic:   ALBERTA NATURAL GAS COMPANY
Permalink
PC

Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Green:

It is a funny thing that the minister should have read from a typed statement when giving his answer. Someone in his office knew all about it, in any event. The following day the hon. member for Fraser Valley (Mr. Cruickshank) asked, at page 850 of Hansard:

Am I to understand from that statement that no export permit will be granted other than through an all-Canadian route?

The minister did not answer; he made a number of evasive statements which did not have a thing to do with the question, and gave the hon. member for Fraser Valley no reply whatever. It is obvious that his policy on this question is the same as the policy of the United States oil and gas interests. We do not expect, therefore, very much help from the Minister of Trade and Commerce in seeing that this pipe line goes through British Columbia before going to the United States.

Alberta Natural Gas Company

This house has a duty to perform on this question, Mr. Speaker. If the members believe that the route to the Pacific should serve Canadians first, then they can easily force this company, as well as the second company for which application is made, to promise to build this route accordingly. In fact this parliament could write a stipulation to that effect into each bill. Certainly the record of the applicants for incorporation of this particular company is such that we know the Alberta Natural Gas Company will not serve British Columbia first unless it is compelled to do so.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS
Subtopic:   ALBERTA NATURAL GAS COMPANY
Permalink
LIB

Alan Carl Stewart

Liberal

Mr. Stewart (Yorkton):

May I ask the hon. member a question?

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS
Subtopic:   ALBERTA NATURAL GAS COMPANY
Permalink
LIB

Elie Beauregard (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

I must point out it is only with the consent of the hon. member who has the floor that questions may be asked.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS
Subtopic:   ALBERTA NATURAL GAS COMPANY
Permalink

March 20, 1950