March 31, 1950

NEWFOUNDLAND

FIRST ANNIVERSARY OF UNION WITH DOMINION OF CANADA, MARCH 31, 1949

LIB

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

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, as a matter of special privilege and of interest, I am sure, to all hon. members of the house, may I take a moment to refer to the event of which the hon. member for St. John's East (Mr. Higgins) reminded the house yesterday. Even if he had not done so I am sure hon. members would have felt that today should not pass without our recalling that at midnight tonight Newfoundland will have been a Canadian province for a full year. It seems to me that, without any formal motion, the house would like to extend to tha people of our tenth province greetings and good wishes on this occasion. We have all been delighted at the way in which hon. members from Newfoundland on both sides have contributed to our proceedings. They are at home with the rest of us, and we are at home with them. That, I believe, is the spirit in which Newfoundland has fitted, and will continue to fit, into our Canadian union.

Topic:   NEWFOUNDLAND
Subtopic:   FIRST ANNIVERSARY OF UNION WITH DOMINION OF CANADA, MARCH 31, 1949
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LIB

Frederick Gordon Bradley (Secretary of State of Canada)

Liberal

Hon. F. G. Bradley (Secretary of State):

Mr. Speaker, this is the 31st day of March, and in a few hours we shall stand on the threshold of Newfoundland's second year as a province of Canada. It may not be inappropriate that at this time I should make brief reference to our first year of partnership with the other provinces of our nation. I want to thank the Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent) for the words which have just fallen from his lips. They constitute an official confirmation of the fact that the other provinces of Canada and its citizens from east to west have received our people and our country as one of themselves.

From 1933 until 1946 Newfoundland experienced what some people were pleased to term a holiday from politics. In the latter year began a period of political warfare of various types which continued unceasingly until June of 1949. We had a national convention election, with all the guerrilla warfare and pitched battles which followed in its wake. We had the campaigns of two referenda. We had a provincial election, and, lastly, a federal election in June last. The net result of these three years of uninterrupted political battle was that we became the

tenth province of the nation, with Liberal ministries returned to power in both federal and provincial fields.

To date, our experience of provincehood has been a short one-too short to measure long-term results with any degree of accuracy. But we can perhaps estimate broadly the prospects for the future, even by the short experience of the last twelve months.

The reception which was accorded to my countrymen and myself upon our first appearance in this honourable assembly of the Commons of Canada was so spontaneous and wholehearted that even the most implacable and irreconcilable anti-confederationist must have been convinced that our position here was not that of unwelcome guests, but that of valued members of the Canadian family of free people extending from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

During the year, changing world conditions indicated that difficulties lay ahead in many of our foreign markets, and there were indications that our favourable position as sellers, which had continued for a number of years, was disappearing. Outlets for pit props, pulp-wood and sulphite practically dried up, with the resultant substantial unemployment in the industries concerned, as well as in certain other fields which ordinarily profit by their activity. In some sections of the country a short fishery added to our difficulties. In these circumstances the value of Canadian social services in the fields of unemployment insurance, family allowances, and indirectly even old age pensions, has been very substantial, and their beneficial effects are apparent even to the most casual observer.

The prospective problems which our people now face as a result of increased competition from soft currency countries, the devaluation of the pound, and the difficulty of obtaining convertible currency for sales in our European market, are of a character which might prove almost beyond the powers of an independent Newfoundland. Our people are heartened by the knowledge that their negligible bargaining power in the world markets is now supplemented by the weight and influence of this nation.

In the field of modernization of our basic industries there is much to be done. Aids to navigation and the industries of the sea, which are essential to any program in this field, are already under way and in contemplation.

Newfoundland

Extensive research, aimed at increased production at lower costs, is to commence this year and will, I believe, in the foreseeable future, bring revolutionary economic improvement in this ancient and pre-eminently important Newfoundland industry.

Union has inevitably brought some stresses and strains. No reform was ever effected painlessly, but I am quite sure that the net effects thus far have been of great benefit to our people. And the unquestionable desire of the federal government to aid necessary development in every possible way gives confidence in the future, and an assurance that A'e made no mistake in joining the great Canadian family.

I have been a confederationist for nearly forty years. Our struggle to achieve union covered a period of three years of intensive effort against the honest, though mistaken, views of many opponents, and ended in victory but twelve short months ago. The experience of the year which is just expiring has proven to me that, amongst any achievements in my lifetime which may be laid to my credit, my share in bringing about this union stands pre-eminent. In the light of the events of the last twelve months, I am further assured that it is the effort in my career in which I can take the greatest pride.

Topic:   NEWFOUNDLAND
Subtopic:   FIRST ANNIVERSARY OF UNION WITH DOMINION OF CANADA, MARCH 31, 1949
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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I wish to associate myself and the members of my party with the expression of good wishes that has been conveyed in this house to Newfoundland on the first anniversary of its becoming a member of this great partnership. I should think that on this occasion every Canadian would wish to extend to the people of Newfoundland the simple but well-understood greeting, "Many happy returns of the day".

We now share with the people of Newfoundland that justifiable feeling of pride which has been earned through centuries of effort and fortitude by the sturdy people who inhabit the oldest British colony in North America. Today one can still see there the souvenirs of these earliest settlements which really laid the foundation for the establishment of our system of free democracy on the North American continent.

Newfoundland, by its geographical position, was from the early days the bulwark of this settlement which gradually spread over the whole of North America. Much has happened since those early days when John Cabot, and others following after him, discovered the great possibilities of that rugged, challenging, and beautiful island. We have passed from the time of the small sailing ships to the present period of extremely fast transportation which now brings Newfoundland within

a few hours of Great Britain and the European continent. It is in that modern world that the adjustments which are inevitable with a new association of this kind must be made. These developments of the past few years offer new opportunities to the people of Newfoundland, as they do to the rest of Canada. As a result of this union I would hope that vast new opportunities will open up for the people of that province, through the employment of their water power and other natural resources.

This marriage between Newfoundland and Canada, like even the happiest marriages, is not without some difficult adjustments. I feel certain that all Canadians who have welcomed Newfoundland so wholeheartedly into this union will express the hope that everything may be done by the government of Canada and the people of Canada to make the people of Newfoundland increasingly happy in this new association.

Topic:   NEWFOUNDLAND
Subtopic:   FIRST ANNIVERSARY OF UNION WITH DOMINION OF CANADA, MARCH 31, 1949
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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

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

Although my remarks will not be lengthy, Mr. Speaker, they will be none the less sincere. May I say that we join with the Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent), the Secretary of State (Mr. Bradley), the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Drew) and all other members of the house in expressing our appreciation that at last confederation has been consummated. We hope and believe that the first year of this association has been a happy one, and we feel sure that it augurs well for the future.

The Secretary of State referred to the bitter controversy that occurred in Newfoundland prior to confederation. I was glad yesterday when the hon. member for St. John's East (Mr. Higgins) rose in his place, expressed his appreciation of the union, and introduced no note of partisanship. That, after all, Mr. Speaker, is the manner in which this house carried on the discussions which led to confederation. Differences of opinion there were with regard to details, but it is a happy instance of good will that, in reference to this parliament at least, there was unanimity in welcoming Newfoundland into confederation.

Topic:   NEWFOUNDLAND
Subtopic:   FIRST ANNIVERSARY OF UNION WITH DOMINION OF CANADA, MARCH 31, 1949
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SC

Solon Earl Low

Social Credit

Mr. Solon E. Low (Peace River):

I think it is fitting, Mr. Speaker, that this house should mark the end of the first year of Newfoundland's membership in the Canadian family of provinces and the beginning of their second year. At this moment I do not wish to do more than to join with those who have spoken in wishing the people of Newfoundland well, and to say to them that it has only been about forty-five years since Alberta joined the confederation. We have had our ups and downs; we have had to kick a time or two about the

way things were going; but, all in all, we have been happy that we came in. I am sure that the people of Newfoundland, at the end of their forty-five years, will feel the same way.

Judging from the calibre of the members of this house sent to us by Newfoundland, I would say that the people in Newfoundland in the future will be happy and will be one with us. I think we all feel much like the parents who have finally seen the last member of the family in at night and safely in bed.

Topic:   NEWFOUNDLAND
Subtopic:   FIRST ANNIVERSARY OF UNION WITH DOMINION OF CANADA, MARCH 31, 1949
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PC

Joseph Henry Harris

Progressive Conservative

Mr. J. H. Harris (Danforth):

Mr. Speaker, it has been my happy experience during the last three decades to have associated with me two gentlemen from Newfoundland and their families. The Secretary of State (Mr. Bradley) spoke about some basic industry in Newfoundland. I just could not hear what he said, but I thought to myself that perhaps the greatest basic industry of the people there is to produce fine citizens, some of whom come and settle in other parts of Canada.

I want to take this opportunity of mentioning two names. One of them is Eli Frank Benson, a former neighbour of mine, whose dear wife is still alive, although he has passed on; she was the daughter of a Methodist minister. The family are still neighbours of mine. He had been associated with me for some twenty-five years, and did a great deal to help build up the industry of Canada. The other one is Stanley Patrick Martin, also of Newfoundland, whose widow and family are still in my community. These were two men from Newfoundland with whom it was my privilege to be associated. In common with thousands of others they did a great deal to help build up Canada.

I hope that the basic industry to which I referred will continue to produce such men. I am happy to have this opportunity of being associated more and more closely with the province in which is included the constituency of the Secretary of State.

I thank you, Mr. Speaker, for the privilege of being allowed to pay tribute to these two families.

Topic:   NEWFOUNDLAND
Subtopic:   FIRST ANNIVERSARY OF UNION WITH DOMINION OF CANADA, MARCH 31, 1949
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RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING

CHANGE IN PERSONNEL OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE

LIB-PRO

William Gilbert Weir (Chief Government Whip; Whip of the Liberal Party)

Liberal Progressive

Mr. W. G. Weir (Porlage-Neepawa) moved:

That the name of Mr. Drew be substituted for that of Mr. Browne (St. John's West) on the special committee on railways and shipping owned, operated and controlled by the government.

Topic:   RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING
Subtopic:   CHANGE IN PERSONNEL OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE
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Motion agreed to. 31, 1950 1425 House of Commons HOUSE OF COMMONS


REPORT OF CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION ON REVISION OF CLASSIFICATION OF HOUSE OFFICIALS

LIB

Elie Beauregard (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

I wish to lay on the table of the house the report of the civil service commission respecting revisions in the classification of officials of the House of Commons.

Topic:   REPORT OF CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION ON REVISION OF CLASSIFICATION OF HOUSE OFFICIALS
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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):

May I give notice, Mr. Speaker, that on Monday or Tuesday next I shall move concurrence in the report of the civil service commission concerning the revision of salaries of the officials of this house.

Topic:   REPORT OF CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION ON REVISION OF CLASSIFICATION OF HOUSE OFFICIALS
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BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

WEEK OF APRIL 3, AND MONDAY, APRIL 17

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):

Many hon. members have inquired as to the business of the house next week and when we reconvene on the seventeenth. Monday will be private members' day; Tuesday we shall resume the debate on the budget, and Wednesday will be private members' day. Monday, April 17, will be private members' day.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   WEEK OF APRIL 3, AND MONDAY, APRIL 17
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NATIONAL DEFENCE

SEA ISLAND, B.C., AIR FORCE STATION- EMERGENCY QUARTERS

March 31, 1950