May 17, 1950

RAILWAYS, CANALS AND TELEGRAPH LINES SIXTH AND SEVENTH REPORTS OF STANDING COMMITTEE CONCURRENCE IN SEVENTH REPORT


Mr. L. O. Breilhaupl (Waterloo North) presented the sixth and seventh reports of the standing committee on railways, canals and telegraph lines, and moved that the seventh report be concurred in. Motion agreed to.


INFORMATION SERVICES

REFERENCE TO "CANADIAN WEEKLY BULLETIN" OF MAY 12, 1950

PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, on a question of privilege I wish to draw the attention of the house to the "Canadian Weekly Bulletin," of May 12, issued by the information division of the Department of External Affairs. On the last page there is a small item which reads:

Mr. Drew's motion defeated: Accepting the government's previously expressed view that Canada's anti-subversive laws are adequate, the House of Commons, on May 8, rejected the motion of Mr. George Drew, Progressive Conservative leader, for amendment to the Criminal Code to make communism and "other similar activities" a criminal offence.

I would point out that the motion before the house dealt with communist and other similar activities. If this was regarded as a matter to be commented on by this weekly bulletin issued by a department of the government, then it would have been appropriate that the quotation marks be in the right place and that the words of the motion itself be used. There is a distinct difference between a proposal to make communism a criminal offence and appropriate legislation to deal with communist and similar activities. I have stated on numerous occasions that an attempt to deal in an act with communism under the name of communism is not effective because it is possible to change the name from time to time. That is the reason why the resolution was drawn as it was, and asked for appropriate legislation to deal with communist and similar activities.

At the appropriate time I will raise strong objection to public money being spent on a propaganda sheet of this kind. I object to 55946-163J

such a sheet misrepresenting what has been stated in the house.

Topic:   INFORMATION SERVICES
Subtopic:   REFERENCE TO "CANADIAN WEEKLY BULLETIN" OF MAY 12, 1950
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FIRE AND FLOOD DAMAGE

MANITOBA AND QUEBEC

LIB

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

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I should like to communicate to the house a message I have just received, through the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations, from the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. It is as follows:

On behalf of my colleagues and myself I should like to convey to you the deep concern with which we have learned of the serious floods in Winnipeg. Please express our heartfelt sympathy with those who have suffered in the catastrophe.

I should also like to make the following announcement in connection with the Manitoba disaster.

The government of Canada has reached agreement with the government of Manitoba to appoint a fact-finding commission, consisting of Mr. D. Bruce Shaw of the city of Winnipeg, investment banker, and Mr. J. B. Carswell of the city of Vancouver, engineer, "to inquire into the nature and extent of the damage caused by the 1950 flood in the Red river valley in Manitoba, the cost of fighting the flood and the providing of emergency relief required because of the flood, and of emergency precautions to guard against the recurrence of such flood conditions, in order to make available at the earliest possible date a complete statement of all the essential facts necessary to determine the amount of the grant which the federal government should make to the government of Manitoba in order to assist that government in discharging its responsibilities in respect of the said flood."

Mr. D. Bruce Shaw is one of the leading investment bankers in the city of Winnipeg, where he has lived for a number of years. He will represent the government of Manitoba on the commission. The dominion's appointee is Mr. John B. Carswell, a prominent engineer of the city of Vancouver, who acted as chairman of the Fraser valley diking board set up by the joint action of the government of Canada and the government of British Columbia to supervise the reconstruction of the Fraser river valley dikes which were destroyed in the flood of 1948.

Fire and Flood Damage

I understand that my colleague, the Acting Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. Claxton), also has a statement to make as to the proceedings of the international joint commission in that connection.

I should also like to inform the house that a similar arrangement has been made with the government of the province of Quebec, and is evidenced by an exchange of telegrams which I ask permission to read and table. (Translation):

The first is dated as follows:

(Text):

Quebec, Que., 16 mai 1950

Hon. Louis-S. St-Laurent,

Premier ministre du Canada,

Ottawa.

Faisant suite aux conversations par telephone longue distance hier et aujourd'hui concernant incendies desastreux a Rimouski et Cabano il esit entendu qu'un Comite charge d'obtenir les rensei-gnements necessaires sera constitud immediate-ment afin de faire rapport sans retard, aux autorites federates et provinciales de Quebec en vue de decider de 1'aide finaneiere a apporter a ce sujet. Je comprends que le representant federal sera monsieur le brigadier P. Theriault de Quebec. Le representant du gouvernement de Quebec sera monsieur Edouard Laurent secretaire du ministOre du Tresor a Quebec. Sinceres salutations.

Maurice-L. Duplessis

(Translation):

The reply I sent him this morning, after a talk with my cabinet colleagues, is as follows: (Text):

L'honorable Maurice-L. Duplessis, M.A.L.,

Premier ministre de la province de Quebec,

H6tel du Gouvernement,

Quebec, Que.

Faisant suite a votre telegramme du 16 mai concernant incendies desastreux a Rimouski et Cabano je vous confirme 1'entente entre nous telle qu'exprimee dans ce telegrarnme. Je comprends que le gouvernement de Quebec a nomme monsieur Edouard Laurent pour le representer au Comite dont il s'agit. Le gouvernement federal a nomme le brigadier A. Theriault comme son representant et le Comite etant ainsi constitue il peut commencer son enquete immediatement.

Louis-S. St-Laurent

Possibly hon. members would like to hear a translation of the telegrams so that they may see that the arrangement is in substance the same as that arrived at with the government of Manitoba. The telegram from Premier Duplessis, dated the 16th of May, 1950, reads as follows:

Following our long distance telephone conversations of yesterday and today concerning the disastrous fires at Rimouski and Cabano, it is understood that a commission charged with obtaining the necessary information will be set up at once to report without delay to the federal and the Quebec provincial authorities with a view to deciding about the financial aid to be extended. I understand that the federal representative will be Brigadier P. Theriault of Quebec. The representative of the

Quebec government will be Mr. Edouard Laurent, secretary of the Quebec treasury department. Sincere greetings.

Maurice L. Duplessis

My answer, dated today, reads as follows:

Replying to your telegram of May 16 concerning the disastrous fires at Rimouski and Cabano, I confirm the understanding between us as set out in that telegram. I understand the government of Quebec has named Mr. Edouard Laurent to represent it on the proposed commission. The federal government has named Brigadier A. Theriault as its representative, and the commission being thus established, it can commence its inquiry at once.

Louis S. St. Laurent

It may have been noticed that Brigadier Theriault is named in one telegram as Brigadier P. Theriault, and in my answer as Brigadier A. Theriault. He is familiarly known to all of us as Pete Theriault. His first name is Antonin and that explains why the initials may appear to be at variance.

I may also say I have received from the premier of Manitoba and the mayor of Winnipeg an invitation to visit the region affected by the flood. It has also been suggested that I should visit Rimouski and Cabano. I have not yet had an opportunity to see what arrangements it may be possible to make, but I can give the assurance that the government does not intend to neglect any action that will assist in securing the required information to help in arriving at proper concrete .decisions as to what aid should be extended in connection with these disasters.

Topic:   FIRE AND FLOOD DAMAGE
Subtopic:   MANITOBA AND QUEBEC
Sub-subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OF COMMISSIONS OF INQUIRY
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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I know that all hon. members of the house will welcome every step that can be taken to deal as expeditiously as possible with the great disasters that have occurred at Rimouski and Cabano, and, over a much larger area, in Manitoba.

I offer one suggestion to the Prime Minister arising out of the announcement he has made. There is this distinction between the problem which must be considered at Rimouski and Cabano on the one hand, and in Manitoba on the other. Rimouski and Cabano are urban communities; in Manitoba there is a serious urban problem and a tremendous rural problem. Along with the very competent engineer who has been chosen I would suggest to the Prime Minister that consideration be given to appointing to the commission having to do with the situation in Manitoba an outstanding farmer who could deal with that particular aspect of the problem.

Topic:   FIRE AND FLOOD DAMAGE
Subtopic:   MANITOBA AND QUEBEC
Sub-subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OF COMMISSIONS OF INQUIRY
Permalink
LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. St. Laurent:

I thank the leader of the opposition for his suggestion. There were only two members of the Fraser river valley commission, and it was felt that, so far as it might be possible to do so, it would be desirable to follow the same pattern. However,

in both cases the commissioners will certainly require expert assistance, and it is not intended to deprive them of any such assistance that can be of value to them in preparing proper reports.

Topic:   FIRE AND FLOOD DAMAGE
Subtopic:   MANITOBA AND QUEBEC
Sub-subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OF COMMISSIONS OF INQUIRY
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RED RIVER VALLEY

REFERENCE TO INTER- NATIONAL JOINT COMMISSION

LIB

Brooke Claxton (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Hon. Brooke Claxton (Acting Secretary of State for External Affairs):

If I may be permitted I should like to make a brief statement supplementing that of the Prime Minister, dealing particularly with the international aspect of the flood situation.

As hon. members know, the fact that the Red river rises in the United States, many miles south of the international boundary, and that consequently the floods in Manitoba are contributed to by waters flowing north into Canada from the United States, means that the problem of flood control is international, and can be solved only by joint action of the United States and Canada. For this reason on January 12, 1948, both governments agreed to request the international joint commission to make recommendations to prevent the recurrence of floods in the area of the Red river valley. The commission was required-

-to conduct necessary investigations and to prepare a comprehensive plan or plans of mutual advantage to the two countries for the conservation, control and utilisation of the waters under reference in accordance with the recommended apportionment thereof.

One of the principal objectives of this reference is the maximum possible control of flood conditions in the Red river valley. This presents an exceedingly difficult engineering problem, in the solution of which engineering investigations are being conducted for the commission by an international board of engineers which the commission has established, and which works in close association with provincial and state engineering authorities. The government of Canada has requested the Canadian section to expedite in every way possible the completion of the engineering investigation now in progress, and the recommendations that will be based on this investigation.

In this connection the government was assured of the full co-operation of the United States. On May 12 the United States government extended to the government of Canada the sympathy of the government of the United States of America for those suffering from the ravages of the Red river flood in Canada. They also informed us that the United States section of the international joint commission had been requested

Manitoba Flood

urgently to report, at the earliest date practicable, the best flood control measures to prevent the repetition of such disasters.

The government is grateful for this expression of sympathy, and is most gratified to have the assurance of the full co-operation of the United States government in this urgent and important matter.

Topic:   RED RIVER VALLEY
Subtopic:   REFERENCE TO INTER- NATIONAL JOINT COMMISSION
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PC

Gordon Graydon

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Graydon:

When did the international joint commission set up this board of engineers to make a report with respect to that project? I ask this question because there is a feeling that the international joint commission has been pretty leisurely about this matter, since it has been two years between floods and nothing has been done.

Topic:   RED RIVER VALLEY
Subtopic:   REFERENCE TO INTER- NATIONAL JOINT COMMISSION
Permalink
LIB

Brooke Claxton (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. Claxton:

I shall be glad to obtain the date for the hon. member.

Topic:   RED RIVER VALLEY
Subtopic:   REFERENCE TO INTER- NATIONAL JOINT COMMISSION
Permalink
PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

Is it not a fact that from January 12, 1948, to May 1 of this year the international joint commission made no report with respect to the submission made to it two years ago?

Topic:   RED RIVER VALLEY
Subtopic:   REFERENCE TO INTER- NATIONAL JOINT COMMISSION
Permalink
CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

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

Mr. Knowles:

During which time we have had two floods.

Topic:   RED RIVER VALLEY
Subtopic:   REFERENCE TO INTER- NATIONAL JOINT COMMISSION
Permalink
LIB

Brooke Claxton (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. Claxton:

My understanding is that the facts on which the report necessarily must be based can be adduced only by the engineers who have been appointed by the commission to make the investigation, and it is the report of the engineers on which the international joint commission is waiting.

Topic:   RED RIVER VALLEY
Subtopic:   REFERENCE TO INTER- NATIONAL JOINT COMMISSION
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MESSAGE FROM BRITISH HOUSE OF COMMONS

LIB

Elie Beauregard (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

A few moments ago I received a cablegram which I think I should read to the house. It bears today's date and comes from the House of Commons, London, England, having been sent at 5.21 this afternoon, British time. It reads:

Speaker,

House of Commons,

Ottawa.

The whole House of Commons is grieved at the sufferings of the city of Winnipeg caused by the present disastrous floods. The generosity and brave friendship of your country have warmed our hearts on many occasions not far distant, and to you, Mr. Speaker, to the afflicted citizens of Winnipeg, and to the whole Canadian people we send our heartfelt sympathy.

Douglas Clifton Brown, Speaker

Topic:   MESSAGE FROM BRITISH HOUSE OF COMMONS
Permalink

May 17, 1950