June 14, 1950

PC

Agar Rodney Adamson

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Rodney Adamson (York West):

Mr. Speaker, I believe it is fitting that this resolution should be introduced today because, as I understand it, today marks the opening of the Tunnel power plant. I believe the first two units will be put on the line today. The Des Joachims power plant, which is nearing completion, is, next to the Niagara power plant, the largest development in Ontario. It is not as large as the Shipshaw but it is the largest single plant outside of Niagara on the Ontario Hydro Electric Power Commission system. I think the significant thing is that this house should realize what this means. The Hydro Electric Power Commission of Ontario have under construction not only the plant at Des Joachims but several others which will be put into operation this year or early next year. I will not go into the details as to the size and the number of kilowatts, because they are all given in the hydro electric power commission's report and

Niagara Diversion Treaty

have been frequently commented upon by Mr. Saunders, the chairman of that commission. The significant thing for this house to realize at the moment is that, despite the full utilization of all the power plants now being constructed, the province of Ontario and the central part of Canada will again face a power shortage in the year 1957. Less than seven years from now all the available power in Ontario will be fully used, and unless our development in the central part of Canada is to be arrested, steps must immediately be taken to begin the construction of the St. Lawrence power project.

I want to deal briefly with the Niagara situation. The resolution does two things. First of all, it preserves the beauty of the falls. By a series of underwater weirs the flow of the falls at Niagara is made continuous from one edge of the river to the other. The geological history of Niagara falls has been that a great volume of the water was concentrated in a comparatively narrow trough, and the edges of the falls were beginning to be left a little bit bare. This had an unfortunate effect, in that as the volume of the water over the narrow trough increased, there was erosion of the central part of the falls. The centre part of Niagara, particularly the Horseshoe falls, was eating back at the rate of many feet a year, and intensifying the percentage of water which went over the narrow central trough. For that reason alone the work envisaged by this resolution is desirable, because the work to be done will not only stop the increased erosion but will preserve the beauty of the falls from now on. For that reason alone it is important.

There is, however, another reason. With the desperate shortage of power that there is at the present time, or that there will be in the comparatively near future, the efficiency of Niagara must be increased. As hon. members know, the head at Niagara itself is approximately 167 feet, whereas the head at Queenston, farther down the river, is 305 feet. In other words, the efficiency of a cubic foot of falling water is in the ratio of 167 to 305; or it produces at Queenston almost double the amount of electric power that it produces at Niagara falls. That fact in itself is an important consideration.

One of the unique things about the Niagara system is the evenness of flow. I have not before me the figures for the maximum and minimum flow, but the variation of flow in the Niagara river and in the St. Lawrence river-which is of course part of it-is about fifteen per cent to twenty per cent from the maximum to the minimum. The mean flow is about 300,000 cubic feet per second. The flow is amazingly constant. Those doing the

work can count on this constant flow, and the engineers can design the structure with a great deal of accuracy. On other rivers, or on the average river, the flow in the springtime, in the freshet, will be sometimes ten, fifteen or twenty times the normal low water flow. To give you a small example of the variation, the Amazon, over a length of I think about 250 miles, where the river is a minimum width of 17 miles, rises sixty feet over the distance in the flood season.

As to the destruction of the beauty of Niagara, there is no possibility of that through this resolution. There is, however, something which I think must be emphasized. As I have mentioned, we are facing a power shortage of considerable magnitude in Canada today, despite the tremendously important new works which have been recently constructed. The St. Lawrence deep waterway is an integral part of the whole great lakes system, and the discussion of this resolution must also involve consideration of the St. Lawrence waterway and power project.

It is estimated that some 800,000 horsepower will be added to the Niagara system by the more efficient use of the water, as set out in this resolution. That, I suggest, gives some idea of the importance of electric power. At the same time however there is at this moment 2,200,000 horsepower going to waste on the St. Lawrence. Despite the fact that we have utilized the water in the purely Canadian Beauharnois section of the St. Lawrence, there is still between 2,000,000 and 2,500,000 horsepower going to waste on the St. Lawrence.

I do not want to introduce the other question specifically, but I have on the order paper a resolution which, I believe, I should read at this time. It is as follows:

That in the opinion of this house, the government should take into consideration the advisability of approving the application of the state of New York and the province of Ontario to proceed with the construction of hydroelectric works on the St. Lawrence river, with the proviso that such works be constructed in such a manner that should agreement between the United States of America and the Dominion of Canada ever be reached on the deep waterway, navigation facilities could be subsequently installed without interference with the continuous generation of electric power; that furthermore the design of structures would permit the continuance of the present 14-foot shallow draft navigation, the cost of such works to be met by the state of New York and the province of Ontario.

In the submission of the Hydro Electric Power Commission of Ontario to the international joint commission the agreement for continuous navigation was made by the Ontario Hydro Electric, who were willing to see to it that the structure should be such that the present 14-foot navigation would continue.

In the opinion of the engineers it would not be difficult to construct generating works so that the installation of a 27-foot or even 30-foot navigation would be comparatively simple.

I do not propose to discuss the navigation issue at the present time; but I do want to say that, despite the tremendous addition of power, we shall be forced to consider generating electricity by coal and by steam unless the St. Lawrence deep waterways project can be proceeded with in the comparatively near future-and by that I mean this year or next year. It is estimated that a kilowatt-hour can be produced on the St. Lawrence deep waterway system for 2-58 mills, whereas the cost of producing and delivering the same killowatt hour by coal would be 7.7 mills. In other words the cost of generating electricity by coal is approximately three times that of generating it by water.

If our industry is to be able to compete with industry in the rest of the world, then the one thing we must have is cheap electric power. To burden our industry now with an increase not of fifteen or twenty per cent but of possibly one hundred per cent, is going to level a very crippling blow against the whole Canadian economy. I emphasize this because hon. members should realize how tremendously important and serious this question is.

I have studied the manner in which this question has been handled by the United States Senate over a period of some years. Every president since President Hoover, and every major political party at every national convention, has gone on record as approving of the development of the St. Lawrence river. This was stressed by the late President Roosevelt, and was adopted at both the Republican and Democratic national conventions the year before last. Up to the moment it has been a major point in President Truman's policy. However, despite the overwhelming pressure for this development the political machinery of the United States Senate makes it virtually impossible to get this measure through. I do not want to be a pessimist, but I do feel that a small group in the United States Senate can and will hold up the development of the St. Lawrence deep waterway project, and the electric power resulting therefrom, for a considerable period of time. With the political complexion of the United States we must realize that there is no likelihood of having this development approved before we are faced with a major power shortage. There is no use waiting another two or three years, because we are going to need more power in seven years, and it takes from six to eight years to carry out the construction. Our time is running out.

Niagara Diversion Treaty

I suggest to the government that they take this stand with regard to the development of the St. Lawrence deep waterway: If by such and such a time, setting a definite deadline, ratification is not forthcoming, the Canadian government will approve the development of this great project by the state of New York and the province of Ontario. The problem is not one that we can afford to let go much longer; the problem is one of immediate and pressing urgency.

Today Ontario has enough power, but witn the increasing acceleration of the load caused by industrialization that power will run out about 1957, or possibly before. The generation of electricity by coal costs three times as much as it does by water. If the new iron ore discoveries and our primary steel industry are to be developed, we shall need even more power, I believe, than we estimate at the present time.

This is not only a matter of commercial importance; it is something that affects the economy and virtually the security of the North American continent. If we are to have a great steel industry it must be situated where it will be safe from enemy attack. We cannot afford a long ocean voyage for cargoes such as iron ore. I envisage the great developments in Quebec requiring the smelting be done in the upper lakes, and that would be impossible unless the St. Lawrence waterway is proceeded with. The whole development of that iron ore will be in jeopardy unless it can be transported to the upper lakes.

Topic:   NIAGARA DIVERSION TREATY
Subtopic:   CANADA-UNITED STATES APPROVAL OF RATIFI- CATION AND OF AGREEMENT BETWEEN CANADA AND ONTARIO
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LIB

Thomas Andrew Murray Kirk

Liberal

Mr. Kirk (Digby-Yarmouth):

Send it to Nova Scotia.

Topic:   NIAGARA DIVERSION TREATY
Subtopic:   CANADA-UNITED STATES APPROVAL OF RATIFI- CATION AND OF AGREEMENT BETWEEN CANADA AND ONTARIO
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PC

Agar Rodney Adamson

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Adamson:

I am not going to speak about the Nova Scotia industry and the great difficulty in obtaining ore from Newfoundland.

Topic:   NIAGARA DIVERSION TREATY
Subtopic:   CANADA-UNITED STATES APPROVAL OF RATIFI- CATION AND OF AGREEMENT BETWEEN CANADA AND ONTARIO
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LIB

Joseph-Alfred Dion (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

It seems to me the hon.

member is getting out of order.

Topic:   NIAGARA DIVERSION TREATY
Subtopic:   CANADA-UNITED STATES APPROVAL OF RATIFI- CATION AND OF AGREEMENT BETWEEN CANADA AND ONTARIO
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PC

Agar Rodney Adamson

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Adamson:

An hon. member mentioned Nova Scotia. I do want to emphasize the importance of the government taking action in the near future. This proposed development will produce 800,000 additional horsepower, but that will be used up in seven years. The development of additional power and the provision of navigation to the great lakes should be proceeded with immediately. Having observed the strange method by which a small minority in the United States Senate can block legislation, not for one or two sessions but for twenty years, it seems to me that there is not much likelihood of this measure getting approval. I suggest to the government that they state definitely that we in Canada want this scheme to go through,

Niagara Diversion Treaty and that if we are blocked continuously we propose to act with the state of New York and the province of Ontario and proceed with the development of the St. Lawrence.

Topic:   NIAGARA DIVERSION TREATY
Subtopic:   CANADA-UNITED STATES APPROVAL OF RATIFI- CATION AND OF AGREEMENT BETWEEN CANADA AND ONTARIO
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LIB

Harry Peter Cavers

Liberal

Mr. H. P. Cavers (Lincoln):

Mr. Speaker, as I represent one of the areas most vitally affected by the treaty before us today, I should like to express approval on behalf of the people on the Niagara frontier of the great development that is to take place in this area. As the hon. member for York West (Mr. Adamson) has said, this development will not detract in any way from the beauty of Niagara falls; in fact it will enhance it. This fact must be kept before us, because many tourists come to this area, and we should continue to develop that tourist business.

We should develop all the power potentials in this locality. More power is needed in Ontario, particularly along the Niagara frontier. In the past few years we have known of power shortages. We are told that we shall have more in the future. We need the power that will be developed by reason of this treaty. Since 1939 the area which I represent, and in addition the county of Welland and the area extending as far as the city of Hamilton, has experienced a great industrial development, possibly greater than any other part of Canada. In the years to come we shall be able to make use of the additional power that can be developed at Niagara.

I have read the treaty which is under discussion today, and my interpretation of it is that there will be no diversion of water for power purposes between Niagara falls and lake Ontario. In the district in which I live the opinion seems to have been formed that a diversion will take place somewhere near the village of Queenston in order that the flow of water may be used twice-in the Niagara river and in a diverted stream. It may be there are some technical difficulties in the way preventing this policy from being carried out. I am sure that many citizens of Canada, particularly of the Niagara area, would be interested to know whether there are technical difficulties, or what the reason is for the provision that no diversion shall take place between Niagara falls and lake Ontario. I am sure that the development at Niagara can be proceeded with immediately, and in addition to the great power development that will take place along the St. Lawrence river. We need both projects.

I desire to commend the stand taken by the Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. Pearson) and the great efforts he put forth in Washington to bring about the treaty.

Topic:   NIAGARA DIVERSION TREATY
Subtopic:   CANADA-UNITED STATES APPROVAL OF RATIFI- CATION AND OF AGREEMENT BETWEEN CANADA AND ONTARIO
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LIB

Frank Sidney Follwell

Liberal

Mr. F. S. Follwell (Hastings South):

Mr. Speaker, as I am chairman of the utilities

[Mr. Adamson.)

commission of my home city at the present time, and have had a great deal of experience with power shortages during the last few years in the province of Ontario, I feel I should be remiss if I did not rise at this time and congratulate the Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. Pearson) on the way in which he, on behalf of the government of Canada, has proceeded to bring about this treaty between the Dominion of Canada and the United States.

We were told that the power shortages were due to lack of water, but apparently we are not going to lack water from now on. From what has been said I understand that all the water will be used, other than what is necessary to retain the beauty of the falls. As has been pointed out by previous speakers, that will provide a great deal more horsepower for the use of the people of Ontario. I should like to congratulate the government and the minister, and I sincerely hope that the treaty will be made effective at the earliest possible date.

Topic:   NIAGARA DIVERSION TREATY
Subtopic:   CANADA-UNITED STATES APPROVAL OF RATIFI- CATION AND OF AGREEMENT BETWEEN CANADA AND ONTARIO
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LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. Pearson:

Mr. Speaker-

Topic:   NIAGARA DIVERSION TREATY
Subtopic:   CANADA-UNITED STATES APPROVAL OF RATIFI- CATION AND OF AGREEMENT BETWEEN CANADA AND ONTARIO
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LIB

Joseph-Alfred Dion (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

I must inform the house that if the minister speaks now he will close the debate.

Topic:   NIAGARA DIVERSION TREATY
Subtopic:   CANADA-UNITED STATES APPROVAL OF RATIFI- CATION AND OF AGREEMENT BETWEEN CANADA AND ONTARIO
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LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Hon. L. B. Pearson (Secretary of State for External Affairs):

Mr. Speaker, there seems to be unanimity in the house as to the desirability of the treaty. There is little that I need add to what I have already said, but one or two questions have been raised, and possibly I should try to answer them before approval is given.

The hon. member for York West (Mr. Adamson) was good enough to bring his expert knowledge to bear on the matter, and I think he has dealt with some of the questions raised by the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Knowles). The hon. member asked whether in the opinion of the government the treaty would have been necessary if we had been able to carry the St. Lawrence waterway negotiations to a successful conclusion. As has been indicated already by the hon. member for York West, the answer is yes; in our opinion it would have been necessary, not only because the power would be necessary irrespective of the other development, but also because the primary purpose of the treaty is to preserve the scenic beauty of Niagara falls.

As to the power aspect of the question, one must remember that if and when-and I prefer to emphasize "when"-the St. Lawrence negotiations are carried to a successful conclusion, the 5,000 cubic feet per second which are now diverted from lake Ogoki into the great lakes system, and which can now be used

by Canada, would have to be given up under this treaty. We would lose that quantity of power resources. It would also be desirable in other ways to have both treaties.

The hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre expressed the hope that the treaty under discussion would not do anything to prejudice the scenic beauty of the falls. I can assure him-and other hon. members have already so stated-that this will not be the case. We hope the contrary result will be achieved, and that the treaty will make more secure and enhance the value of what is after all a great national asset in which all Canadians take pride and from which we also derive some profit-the scenic beauty of Niagara falls.

The hon. member also inquired as to the present flow of water. I am informed that it is between 110,000 and 115,000 cubic feet per second after existing diversions are taken into account, depending on the season and the level of the lakes. It will of course be known to hon. members that article IV of the treaty deals with the question of the flow of water over the falls and its relation to scenic beauty. The period from April 1 to October 31 is the main tourist season at the falls, and for this reason the flow over the falls and through the rapids is to be

100,000 cubic feet per second in the hours of daylight. This is the flow which the special international Niagara board in 1929 considered to be the minimum essential for an adequate spectacle by day in the tourist season. In this treaty we have attempted to safeguard that position. Less water is needed at night because the beauty of the falls when artificially illuminated does not depend to such an extent on the volume of water as long as the flow is fairly evenly distributed across the width of the falls. From September 16 to October 31 the hours of daylight are appreciably less, and consequently the flow may be reduced at 8 p.m. instead of 10 p.m.

The hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre also asked me whether plans had been made for the use of water in excess of 100,000 cubic feet per second in summer or 50,000 in winter. The answer is that plans have been made by the Hydro Electric Power Commission of Ontario which will presumably use as much of this water as their plants can take at any one time. At this point I might express again the government's appreciation of the co-operation which we have received from the commission in the negotiation of the treaty.

A question was asked, and indeed an answer was given, as to how much additional power would be made available by

Niagara Diversion Treaty the treaty. It has been suggested that it might be as high as 800,000 horsepower. I would not like to be as definite as that; I should think the answer will depend in part upon the plants the Hydro Electric Power Commission of Ontario decide to build, and in part upon the level of water in the Niagara river at any given time. One estimate I have heard is 500,000 horsepower, somewhat lower than that of the hon. member for York West, but in my statement I said that in our opinion there would be a substantial increase, which may be somewhere between those two figures. We hope it will be as great as possible.

In the discussion of this resolution it has been suggested that we as a government should once again bring to the attention of the United States authorities the very great political and economic importance to our two countries of proceeding with the St. Lawrence development. Certainly there does not seem to be any difference of opinion in this house on that matter. Personally I think that political and economic developments in recent years have made this matter of greater importance than ever before; and if any such assurance is needed I can assure the house that this government has taken every possible step to urge the government of the United States that action be taken without delay. At this time I do not think I need go into the details of this urging, because they will be apparent to hon. members. We still feel that way about it, and we hope that our feelings -and by "our" I mean not merely the government but this parliament and I believe this country-will be appreciated in Washington and action taken. I am not as pessimistic in that regard as the hon. member for York West. We hear a great deal these days about international point four programs for technical development, and they are important; I hope Washington will very soon show a realization of the importance of this point one program in the economic and political relationships between our two countries, and that action may soon be taken.

The hon. member suggested that if such action is not taken within a reasonable space of time we might indicate to the United States authorities that we should approve a power development alone on the St. Lawrence between the state of New York and the province of Ontario, to be carried out in such a way as not to prejudice any later navigational developments which it might be possible to bring about. As I have said, I am not as pessimistic as the hon. member in regard to action being taken on the larger scheme and I doubt whether it would be wise formally to take that stand at this time. I would remind the house that even if we did,

Canadian National Railways that would not remove the obstacle, if it is an obstacle, of federal authorization and approval by Washington of any action the state of New York might wish to take with the province of Ontario. I understand the state of New York has already approached the United States federal authorities with regard to this matter, and has not yet been able to secure their approval for a state-provincial power development alone on the St. Lawrence. Therefore unless approval could be obtained by the state of New York from the federal authorities in Washington, any expression of opinion on our part would be more or less academic.

Before resuming my seat I want to reiterate the importance we attach to the larger scheme, and our feeling that in ratifying this Niagara Diversion treaty we are not in any way minimizing the importance of the other scheme. As a matter of fact this gives us an opportunity to emphasize the great importance, politically and economically, we attach to the St. Lawrence seaway development.

Topic:   NIAGARA DIVERSION TREATY
Subtopic:   CANADA-UNITED STATES APPROVAL OF RATIFI- CATION AND OF AGREEMENT BETWEEN CANADA AND ONTARIO
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PC

Agar Rodney Adamson

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Adamson:

I should like to correct one statement by the minister, if I may. It is not the government of the United States that is holding up the St. Lawrence deep waterway. It is a group of-I hesitate to use the word- "maverick" senators who have continuously blocked this development, and apparently are prepared to go on doing so.

Topic:   NIAGARA DIVERSION TREATY
Subtopic:   CANADA-UNITED STATES APPROVAL OF RATIFI- CATION AND OF AGREEMENT BETWEEN CANADA AND ONTARIO
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LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. Pearson:

There should not be any doubt as to what I meant on that point, because it is a matter of our relationship with the United States. Whatever may be the position behind the scenes, the fact remains that the Senate of the United States, which is an important part of the government of that country, for reasons which in its own opinion may be very good, has not yet seen fit to ratify the agreement.

Motion (Mr. Pearson) agreed to.

Topic:   NIAGARA DIVERSION TREATY
Subtopic:   CANADA-UNITED STATES APPROVAL OF RATIFI- CATION AND OF AGREEMENT BETWEEN CANADA AND ONTARIO
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CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS

PROVISION TO MEET CERTAIN EXPENDITURES AND GUARANTEE OF SECURITIES AND INDEBTEDNESS

LIB

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

Liberal

Hon. Alphonse Fournier (for the Minister of Finance) moved

that the house go into committee at the next sitting to consider the following resolution:

That it is expedient to bring in a measure to authorize the Canadian National Railway Company to issue securities not exceeding $24,582,489 in principal amount to provide the moneys necessary to meet capital expenditures made or capital indebtedness incurred during the calendar year 1950; to authorize the governor in council to guarantee the principal and interest of securities issued by the company for the purpose aforesaid; to authorize the making of temporary loans to the said company secured by such securities and not exceeding $24,582,489 in principal amount to enable the said company to meet

[Mr. Pearson.1

such expenditures and indebtedness; with authority to give financial aid and assistance to other companies of the said national system and to authorize the Minister of Finance to place at the disposal of the national company or the Trans-Canada Air Lines, such amounts as may be necessary to enable them to pay operating and income charges if at any time before the first day of July, 1951, the available revenues of the national railway system or the Trans-Canada Air Lines and subsidiaries, respectively, are not sufficient to pay such charges: provided that all such amounts shall be reimbursed to the minister from the recipients' annual revenues in so far as such revenues are sufficient, any insufficiency to be provided for by subsequent deficit appropriations by parliament.

He said: His Excellency the Governor

General, having been informed of the subject matter of this resolution, recommends it to the consideration of the house.

Topic:   CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS
Subtopic:   PROVISION TO MEET CERTAIN EXPENDITURES AND GUARANTEE OF SECURITIES AND INDEBTEDNESS
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PC

James MacKerras Macdonnell

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Macdonnell (Greenwood):

My understanding is that this will be the Canadian National Railways bill-

Topic:   CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS
Subtopic:   PROVISION TO MEET CERTAIN EXPENDITURES AND GUARANTEE OF SECURITIES AND INDEBTEDNESS
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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

Mr. Fournier (Hull):

This is only the formal stage of the resolution.

Topic:   CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS
Subtopic:   PROVISION TO MEET CERTAIN EXPENDITURES AND GUARANTEE OF SECURITIES AND INDEBTEDNESS
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PC

James MacKerras Macdonnell

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Macdonnell (Greenwood):

My understanding is that this is in the ordinary form, so we shall reserve any comments we have until the next stage is reached.

Topic:   CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS
Subtopic:   PROVISION TO MEET CERTAIN EXPENDITURES AND GUARANTEE OF SECURITIES AND INDEBTEDNESS
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LIB

Elie Beauregard (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

The motion before the house is not debatable; it is that the house go into committee of the whole at the next sitting to consider the resolution.

Topic:   CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS
Subtopic:   PROVISION TO MEET CERTAIN EXPENDITURES AND GUARANTEE OF SECURITIES AND INDEBTEDNESS
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Motion agreed to.


June 14, 1950