May 15, 1950

VISIT TO WINDSOR, ONT., BY MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT

LIB

Arthur Laing

Liberal

Mr. Arthur Laing (Vancouver South):

On a

question of privilege, Mr. Speaker, it is my wish to give voice to the appreciation of some fifty members of parliament and their wives who returned this morning from enjoying a magnificent trip to the great industrial city of Windsor, Ontario. This trip was arranged by the hon. member for Essex West (Mr. Brown), and while there we were the guests of the Windsor chamber of commerce. I think it is good for members of parliament, if they are to legislate on a national basis, to take every opportunity of seeing, as widely as they can, the opportunities, industries and advantages of this country.

I cannot speak too highly of the courtesies that were extended us while we were there. Windsor calls itself the gateway to Canada's industrial progress, and I think those of us who were there are inclined to agree with that statement. That great city was a fortress for us in time of war, and we hope it will be of a source of expanding amenities in time of peace.

I find it difficult indeed to single out for specific mention any particular persons in connection with the great reception given us at Windsor, but in addition to the hon. member for Essex West, I should like to mention the other members of this parliament resident in the general area. I should like to mention the officers of the Windsor chamber of commerce. I should like to mention Mr. R. M. Sale, president of the Ford Motor Company, all his officers, and the other 14,000 men who combine to make it a great industrial team. I should like to mention Mrs. W. F. Herman, widow of the founder of the Windsor Daily Star. Finally, Mr. Speaker, I should like to say a word for the Tigers and the Browns, who gave us two extra innings of superb baseball.

Topic:   VISIT TO WINDSOR, ONT., BY MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT
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PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. J. G. Diefenbaker (Lake Centre):

Mr. Speaker, I do not rise to move any amendment, but rather to join the hon. member, and others who were privileged to be present on this referred to occasion, in expressing appreciation of the opportunity and privilege

which was ours, and of the courtesy and hospitality extended to us by the city of Windsor, the chamber of commerce of that city, the Border Cities Star, and the corporations to which the hon. member made reference. It was one of the most enjoyable and educational trips it has even been my privile^u to take.

I join with the hon. member also in thanking the hon. member for Essex West (Mr. Biown), who arranged the trip, and also the Minister of National Health and Welfare (Mr. Martin), who spared no effort to make the visit a most enjoyable one.

Topic:   VISIT TO WINDSOR, ONT., BY MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT
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SC

Ernest George Hansell

Social Credit

Mr. E. G. Hansell (Macleod):

Mr. Speaker, it is a very happy privilege to voice the gratitude of those of us of the Social Credit party who were included in the group who journeyed to Windsor and enjoyed that most interesting tour. Indeed, we concur in all that has been said by the two previous speakers. The 'courtesies extended to this parliamentary body by the Ford Motor Company of Canada, the Windsor chamber of commerce- and we must not omit the reception of Mrs. Herman-all these courtesies we shall never forget.

We wish to extend our appreciation to the hon. member for Essex West (Mr. Brown) and the Minister of National Health and Welfare (Mr. Martin) for their untiring efforts to make the visit so happy and so successful.

There are two things about such tours which strike me as most valuable. They bring members from all parts of Canada into closer focus with the practical business world. They broaden our views. Then, such tours are of value from another standpoint which, I think, is not too insignificant to mention here. They bring members of parliament closer together in a social friendship which is not always experienced as we sit in the House of Commons or roam the halls of this building. That, to me, in a democracy, is of inestimable value.

May I repeat, on behalf of all those associated with me in this part of the chamber, to all those who were responsible for and so thoughtful in arranging this tour: thanks a million!

Topic:   VISIT TO WINDSOR, ONT., BY MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT
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LIB

Emmett Andrew McCusker

Liberal

Mr. E. A. McCusker (Regina City):

Mr. Speaker, I should not like it to be thought that members of the House of Commons were such narrow-minded guests that they would be afraid to mention that while in Windsor

Parliamentarians' Visit to Windsor they visited the Hiram Walker distilleries. May I say that we had an opportunity of seeing how their product was made, and that we met in the canteen for tea and enjoyed their hospitality. May I offer them our thanks.

Topic:   VISIT TO WINDSOR, ONT., BY MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT
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LIB

George Alexander Cruickshank

Liberal

Mr. G. A. Cruickshank (Fraser Valley):

Mr. Speaker, I do not wish to be left out of this. May I assure the house that the most enjoyable part of our reception in Windsor was when we were honoured as guests at the wedding reception of the most beautiful girl in the city of Detroit.

Topic:   VISIT TO WINDSOR, ONT., BY MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT
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LIB

Donald Ferguson Brown

Liberal

Mr. D. F. Brown (Essex West):

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a question of privilege. Before proceeding, however, with the point of privilege I propose to raise, may I be permitted to express on behalf of the city of Windsor and the county of Essex our appreciation, of the honour conferred upon us by the visit of over fifty members of parliament and their wives.

I know I express the hope of the Ford Motor Company of Canada that other industries across the Dominion of Canada will make it possible, in as efficient a manner as it was done by the Ford Company over the past week end, for members of parliament to see the country and the people for whom we are legislating.

My point of privilege is that in the Ottawa Citizen of May 12, 1950, and repeated in the London Free Press of May 13, 1950-and I understand it also appeared in the Toronto Globe and Mail on or about the same date- in making reference to the largest single exodus of members of parliament in memory on a trip to the sun parlour of Canada, it was stated that I was host to a group of automotive officials two weeks ago when they came to Ottawa to seek imposition of dumping duties on British cars.

Mr. Speaker, I was not host to any such delegation. I had no knowledge of any such delegation, and if any such delegation existed they did not communicate with me. This visit of last week end was conceived by the Windsor chamber of commerce and myself considerably over a year ago.

Further, the question I put on the order paper, and to which reference was made by the Citizen, was not at the request of the automotive industry, or any other industry or individual. It was placed thereon without the knowledge or consent of that industry.

I am interested in providing markets for our products and work for the people of Canada.

The London Free Press stated that the trip was an "expense paid affair". This statement is not correct. The members of parliament were, I believe, pleased to travel at their own

expense to our city and to enjoy our hospitality almost as much as we enjoyed having them.

Topic:   VISIT TO WINDSOR, ONT., BY MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT
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FLOOD CONDITIONS

SOUTHERN MANITOBA

LIB

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

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I am sure all hon. members would like me to express the appreciation we feel of the keen and constructive interest shown by His Excellency the Governor General during his visit to Winnipeg yesterday, in the truly magnificent effort being put forth both by the armed forces and the citizens themselves to combat the ravages of the Red river flood.

This morning I received a cable from a former governor general, the Earl of Bess-borough. I should like to read into our records the text of Lord Bessborough's message and of my reply, and in that way convey the message from Lord and Lady Bessborough to the people of Winnipeg and Manitoba. The cable is from Rowlands Castle, Hants, England, under date of May 13, addressed to me at Ottawa, and it reads:

Much distressed at flood disaster in Manitoba. Through you would like to express our profound sympathy for the people of Winnipeg and province in this great misfortune.

Bessborough

To this I replied:

People of Winnipeg and Manitoba will, I know, appreciate expression of distress and sympathy from yourself and Lady Bessborough, which I propose to mention in parliament today.

Then, just before coming to the house today a message was received from the Prime Minister of Italy, of which this is a translation:

Through my intermediary the government and people of Italy wish to express their sincere sympathy to the government and Canadian people, to which we are tied by bonds of friendship, on the occasion of the disaster caused by the Winnipeg flood.

I shall make answer similar to my answer to Lord Bessborough. I think these communications are a sign of the growing community of feeling that is spreading among the free peoples of the world, and one of the encouraging things which have followed upon this terrible disaster to our fellow citizens in Winnipeg and the adjoining area.

Topic:   FLOOD CONDITIONS
Subtopic:   SOUTHERN MANITOBA
Sub-subtopic:   MESSAGES FROM LORD BESSBOROUGH AND OTHERS
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LIB

Stuart Sinclair Garson (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Hon. Stuart S. Garson (Minister of Justice):

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Claxton) and I spent the week end in Winnipeg conferring with provincial, civic and Red Cross authorities, and with military forces, with regard to the Manitoba flood.

I thought that hon. members might like to

have a brief statement from me as to the present conditions that exist, and also as to the flood fighting activities that,are being carried on.

South of Winnipeg is a lake, in some places over twenty miles wide, and averaging twelve miles wide, extending to Emerson near the international border and for very many miles beyond that point. The Wildwood area in Fort Garry, the Kingston Crescent area, and nearly the whole of the remainder of St. Vital and the large Riverview area, are almost completely evacuated. Much of East Kildonan is largely evacuated. Most of the hospitals have been completely evacuated, and the Deer Lodge and general hospitals partly so. The city of St. Boniface is threatened on two sides, from the Red and from the Seine river, and is being protected by dikes which are in constant course of repair and which in some places are as high as twenty feet. Because of the danger which that height of dike creates, a considerable measure of evacuation of women and children from that city has been recommended and carried out.

I am glad to report that the power situation is considerably better. The power stations and gas plant have been well diked; and there is at the present time considerable optimism with regard to the ability to maintain power and light and gas services unless the river should rise substantially beyond its present level. Even should the Rover street and the Mill street substations go out, they serve only certain areas in the city and there are other substations on higher ground which could continue to serve not only their own areas by connecting power lines but other areas as well whose own substation might be put out of action.

There is no trouble expected in connection with railway access to the city.

The equipment supply has reached a peak point except with regard to pumps.

I think it will be of some relief to those who are anxious to know to be told that a well worked-out and integrated plan for complete evacuation has been prepared. The personnel of the various committees which would be required to implement this plan is already established. Zone commanders have been appointed for each evacuation zone, who would take charge immediately if the necessity arose. Emergency caches of food on both sides of the two rivers have been established to take care of the situation in the event of food warehouses being flooded. Stores of such essential materials as gasoline and motor oil sufficient to last for a considerable time in the future have been established on railway sidings in high and dry places. Emergency loading platforms have been

Manitoba Flood

established at high places for use in the event of mass evacuation, and lights have been prepared so that the evacuation may continue twenty-four hours a day if necessary.

As an indication of the thoroughness with which arrangements have been made, it is interesting to note that arrangements have been made that bread, which is a perishable product, can be brought in on a day's notice from cities outside of Winnipeg. In order to bridge that one day gap, a one day's supply of bread has been baked and frozen and is being held in cold storage. Not even that one day gap will be uncared for.

All of this is the product of what I as a Manitoban can say without immodesty is a most amazing piece of co-ordination between _ the military and civil authorities. The military authorities are acting under provincial instructions and are co-operating to the greatest possible degree with the provincial authorities, the municipal authorities, the Red Cross and the various volunteer civilian flood relief committees which have been set up.

One of the most inspiring spectacles we saw there was the Red Cross headquarters in Winnipeg, where they have three shifts of workers of between 400 and 500 each, who were operating flood lighting auxiliary services, when less than two weeks ago this service did not exist. Within that time workers in these three shifts have been brought together and placed in different branches to discharge different functions; chiefs and assistants and other ratings have been established in each branch, with the whole of this activity brought under central over-all control. All of this has been established within this short period of time; and in these three shifts there are only ten paid workers in all.

Citizens and workers of every kind, businessmen, stenographers, teletype operators, chartered accountants, lawyers, doctors in the Red Cross medical units-all these citizens are taking part in this community effort and are giving almost the entire amount of their time and effort over long hours each day to fighting this flood.

Upon the dikes themselves the work is being maintained and has been maintained from the beginning by literally thousands of volunteer workers. The figure has been given as 60,000, and while I would not want to say that it is that high, it is certainly well over 50,000. Men and women, boys and girls -some as young as twelve who work in carrying up coffee and food to the dikes-are making their contribution. I think this can best be explained in the terms of a statement made to me by a widow in East Kildonan. She told me that she was greatly relieved to be evacuated from that place because her

Manitoba Flood

young twelve year old son had been working daily from morning until late at night taking coffee and sandwiches to the workers, and he felt he had not done enough if he did not continue to carry on that effort. She could not keep him away from the dike which, as hon. members know, burst a few days ago. Luckily through good management there was no loss of life, but nearly all the pumping equipment behind the dike was lost.

All the people of Winnipeg, from the humblest schoolgirl and schoolboy to the most eminent city father, are in this fight during long days and long nights. There are numerous citizens who over a period of weeks have not averaged more than four or five hours of sleep per night. About midnight on Saturday I stood and watched as a matter of curiosity the type of traffic that was going by. There was hardly any motor traffic except trucks and cars which were loaded to capacity with dike workers, either going to or coming from their work.

I think it is proper, and I am sure that the citizens of Winnipeg and Manitoba generally would wish me to do so, to pay tribute to the fine job which the Red Cross and the armed services have been performing. Right from May 6, the day on which Premier Campbell as head of the provincial authorities instructed Brigadier General Morton to take over, he and his staff have been performing a simply magnificent feat of organization and direction. Every afternoon at 4.30 Brigadier General Morton holds a briefing session, and I was privileged to attend one of them. Each of the flood fighting heads reports briefly, succinctly, comprehensively and clearly what has happened in his area since the day before. Through the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Claxton) I should like to convey to the army the deep appreciation of the citizens of Winnipeg, of the work which the Department of National Defence has done.

Topic:   FLOOD CONDITIONS
Subtopic:   SOUTHERN MANITOBA
Sub-subtopic:   MESSAGES FROM LORD BESSBOROUGH AND OTHERS
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LIB

Brooke Claxton (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Hon. Brooke Claxton (Minister of National Defence):

Mr. Speaker, as the Minister of Justice (Mr. Garson) has said, I also visited Winnipeg over the week end. With me was Lieutenant General Foulkes, chief of the army general staff. Vice Admiral Grant, chief of naval services was there earlier in the week, and Air Marshal Curtis, chief of the air staff, was also in Winnipeg yesterday. Our purpose in making the visit at this time was to see what, if anything, the armed services could do in addition to what they are already doing to help to relieve the situation.

I deeply appreciate the remarks of the Minister of Justice, and also those of the premier of Manitoba, concerning the work

of the armed forces. I shall be very glad indeed to communicate them to the services concerned.

At the present time there are actually engaged in this work in Winnipeg over 4,000 officers and men of the navy, army and air force, active and reserve. From the point of view of service participation it is a much larger operation than took place at the time of the Fraser valley floods of 1948. The services involved include some 700 of the navy, many of whom have been flown to Winnipeg from points as far distant as Esquimalt and Halifax; then there are over 2,000 army personnel, and 600 of the Royal Canadian Air Force, in addition to members of the air force engaged on the airlift. The airlift is probably the largest that has ever been carried out in Canada, with a total load already of over a million pounds, and thousands of personnel. Over thirty North Star and Dakota aircraft have been continuously engaged, with an amazing record of performance.

At the present time the aircraft are engaged in removing bed cases from the city hospitals consequent upon evacuation. By Wednesday it is expected that all Winnipeg hospitals will be evacuated, with the exception of Deer Lodge and the general hospital. These aircraft have also been carrying in large quantities of equipment of all kinds, particularly sandbags. The rate of consumption of sandbags at the present time is 300,000 a day. We have a sufficient supply available to feel that the situation is well in hand.

I should like to express to the citizens of Winnipeg the sympathy that I am sure everyone must feel for what they have gone through, and also the tremendous admiration that anyone would have who saw what we saw of the magnificent work of the civilians of Winnipeg and the adjacent communities. After all, the service personnel are doing their duty, which they are trained to do, and doing it very well indeed; but civilians are working long hours voluntarily because it is their community and their fight for their city. Leading that fight are the authorities of the provincial government, the municipalities-and there are more than ten involved-the Canadian Red Cross and dozens of agencies of various kinds, all forming a splendid working team.

I should like to conclude by reading a message I sent to Brigadier General Morton this morning on my return:

As I told the meeting of the Winnipeg flood control committee yesterday, the work being done under your direction by all personnel of the navy.

army and air force, active and reserve, working with the closest possible co-operation with civilian authorities, is a credit to the services and to our country. Our visit brought home to us the tremendous efforts that had been made and still are needed to cope with the disaster. What was most striking was the warm and friendly relationship between service and civilians at every working level. Winnipeg stands today because you stood together. Will you be good enough to convey to all ranks my appreciation and thanks for the job they are doing, and accept my hearty congratulations on your fine personal leadership. Obviously there is a long, hard fight ahead but the way you are working is the best guarantee that you will win through.

Topic:   FLOOD CONDITIONS
Subtopic:   SOUTHERN MANITOBA
Sub-subtopic:   MESSAGES FROM LORD BESSBOROUGH AND OTHERS
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PRIVATE BILLS

REPORT OF EXAMINER OF PETITIONS

LIB

Elie Beauregard (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

I have the honour to inform the house that the Clerk has laid on the table the twenty-second report of the examiner of petitions for private bills.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS
Subtopic:   REPORT OF EXAMINER OF PETITIONS
Sub-subtopic:   PROCEDURE IN PRESENTATION TO THE HOUSE
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LIB

Elie Beauregard (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

It has been customary, when I have informed the house that the Clerk has laid on the table a report of the examiner of petitions for private bills, for the Clerk Assistant to begin to read it to the house. He reads a few words, some hon. members say "dispense", and he does not proceed. Today, before the Clerk Assistant had an opportunity to rise, an hon. member rose on another matter. In future may I take it that, unless a member asks that such reports be read, it is the unanimous wish of the house that the Clerk Assistant should not read them?

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS
Subtopic:   REPORT OF EXAMINER OF PETITIONS
Sub-subtopic:   PROCEDURE IN PRESENTATION TO THE HOUSE
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?

Some hon. Members:

Agreed.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS
Subtopic:   REPORT OF EXAMINER OF PETITIONS
Sub-subtopic:   PROCEDURE IN PRESENTATION TO THE HOUSE
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INQUIRY AS TO NEGOTIATION OF NEW CONTRACT WITH UNITED KINGDOM


On the orders of the day:


PC

A. Earl Catherwood

Progressive Conservative

Mr. A. Earl Catherwood (Haldimand):

In

view of recent press reports that a renewed Anglo-Canadian wheat contract is being considered, and also in view of the fact that the farmers across Canada are vitally interested in such a contract, would the Minister of Trade and Commerce inform the house whether negotiations are under way, and if so, what are the possibilities of such an agreement being concluded?

Topic:   INQUIRY AS TO NEGOTIATION OF NEW CONTRACT WITH UNITED KINGDOM
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May 15, 1950