April 12, 1951

LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. Chevrier:

We might encourage traffic by bringing to the attention of the Hudson Bay Railway and Canadian National Railways authorities the fact that it is possible to move greater quantities of wheat through Churchill, and the fact that there are elevator facilities there to handle large quantities.

The hon. member referred to the fact that we had moved more than 6 million bushels last year. When one takes into consideration the fact that the movement through Churchill has been more than doubled in the last five or six years, I think it is some indication of our intention to see that these facilities are used to their fullest extent.

I do not want to delay this, but I do want to say I was interested in the attitude taken by the hon. member for Lake Centre and also that of the leader of the C.C.F. party with reference to the co-ordination policy outlined in the report. The position they take is diametrically opposed to that taken by the member of the Social Credit party who spoke this afternoon. I think the interpretation placed by the hon. member for Lake Centre upon the recommendation is the proper one. I think what the chairman and the commissioners had in mind was that there should be control or co-ordination of water, air and railway transport through the board, but not control of trucking, be it interprovincial, international or intraprovincial. I do not think that was in the minds of the commissioners.

I may have been mistaken, but I understood the other evening that the hon. member for Vancouver-Quadra was opposed to the co-ordination policy as recommended in the last part of the report.

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PC

Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Green:

In so far as the Canadian maritime commission was concerned. I am

very dubious about the transport board trying to handle the job of that commission.

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LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. Chevrier:

There seemed to be some apprehension in his mind with regard to that policy. While the position taken by the hon. member is somewhat different from that taken by the hon. member for Lake Centre, I am glad that these opinions and views are coming out in the house.

I had forgotten to reply to one point raised by the hon. member for Victoria-Carleton. I indicated to him that he would find in a certain section the point on the Canadian Pacific opposite to Diamond Junction. That is to be found in section 4 of the act, and the name of the place is Boundary.

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PC

James Arthur Ross

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Ross (Souris):

Mr. Chairman, I should like to add my congratulations to those expressed by other hon. members to Mr. Justice Turgeon and the members of the commission who generally speaking have made a very excellent study of and report upon this complex problem. Congratulations are certainly due to the chairman and the commissioners.

The hon. member for Lake Centre quoted from page 277 of the report which refers to authority to be vested in the commission. At the bottom of the page it is stated:

The seven provincial governments which united in asking for the appointment of this commission were questioned on this matter. Of the seven, six stated that they would not agree to divest themselves of their exclusive jurisdiction over intra-provincial motor transport.

I think those words are important. I happened to be one of those who were fortunate in being permitted to visit Churchill by air this past week end. It was a most educational and instructional trip from many points of view. We were taken through the elevator there and we saw the modern equipment they have for the drying of damp grain at the rate of some 20,000 bushels a day. After the information I obtained there I find it almost unbelievable that these facilities have not been used to a greater extent.

I have placed a question on the order paper in connection with the amount of damp grain of the 1950 crop that has been moved there for drying and cleaning, and also what has been moved to Fort William. I was told that there had not been any damp grain from the 1950 crop moved into Churchill. I know that this matter is not under the jurisdiction of the minister, but I do want to point out that I think there should be greater co-operation among the departments of government.

If there has been one problem faced by the wheat growers of the prairies that is

more difficult than any other, it is the handling of this damp and tough grain. We have this modern equipment at Churchill with only a small part of the storage capacity occupied, and it does not seem to me to be ordinary business sense that more damp grain has not been moved there. I am sure the producers of western Canada will be shocked to learn that this modern equipment which is owned by the government is not being utilized at all.

I have spoken on transportation before and I am vitally concerned in the Crowsnest pass rates. I have asked that they be not interfered with and I am happy to know that a recommendation has been made that they should not be interfered with.

Several speakers have referred to the 400 or 500 mile gap between Sudbury and Fort William, to which reference is made in the report. That is a very barren stretch of country, as all of us who have to travel it to come down here know. Generally speaking, I think the taxpayers should be called upon to subsidize the haul over that stretch. It is essential in the interests of both eastern and western Canada that there be no division in this great nation of ours. It is essential that services are kept operating over this gap of barren country, but the cost of operating these services should not be entirely borne by the producers of either the west or the east.

At six o'clock the committee took recess.

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AFTER RECESS The committee resumed at eight o'clock.


PC

James Arthur Ross

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Ross (Souris):

Mr. Chairman, when we adjourned for dinner I was discussing the long haul between Sudbury and Fort William, what a dormant section of the country that was, and saying that in my opinion that haul should be subsidized in the interests of both western and eastern Canada as recommended in the report of the royal commission. At page 287 of the report, among the observations by Dr. H. F. Angus, I find this:

Amalgamation has few friends. Various forms of joint operation have been carefully considered and condemned. It is true that the estimate of the future earning power of the Canadian National Railways made by its officials at the hearings was so low that a weary taxpayer might have wondered if a lease to the Canadian Pacific Railway on mutually advantageous terms would have its attractions. The alternative of state ownership of all railways has merits which have commended it to most modern states. But economy of operation, though physically possible, is not among these merits. As an immediate practical policy in Canada both these alternatives can be dismissed.

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Then there is a short paragraph at page 129 of the report itself which I should like to read:

The majority of the provincial representatives and of the representatives of other bodies who appeared before this commission favoured the continuance of the present system of two large railway organizations, with the necessary corollary that the Canadian Pacific Railway must be allowed to live and to operate as a privately owned railway.

It is rather significant that even in this report the Canadian Pacific Railway was used throughout as the yardstick. There was quite an article in the Winnipeg Free Press of December 29, 1950, entitled "The west and freight rates," part of which reads:

At the outset of this latest railway campaign for higher freight rates it is in order to state the position of the west. Since October, 1946, when the railways broke a truce of a quarter century by asking for a horizontal increase in rates, there has been a sharp conflict between seven provincial governments and the railways. The provinces concerned are the three maritime and the four western provinces. This dispute, however, has turned upon whether or no the Canadian Pacific Railway which, by common consent of all the railways, the transport board and the federal government, is the yardstick in the fixing of rates, required the increases in freight rates sought from the transport board. The west joined the maritimes in saying "No." But no distinctively western argument was advanced.

Further on the article states:

Documentary proof of the foregoing will not be required by all who have followed the freight rate cases before the transport board beginning with the western rates case taken by the Winnipeg board of trade in 1911. But as a reminder attention is directed to the following figures, drawn from exhibits filed with the transport board. These figures cover the net earnings of the C.P.R. from 1907 to 1925 and 1936 to 1945 inclusive-29 out of a period of 39 years. Ten years are missing because the transport board refused to issue the necessary order to have them produced. These missing years, however, would only buttress an already impregnable case. In studying the figures, it should be borne in mind that the Canadian Pacific handles more than twice as much freight on its eastern lines as on its western lines:

Canadian Pacific Railway Net Earnings

Eastern Lines Western Lines

1907-11

$43,500,000 $ 91,500,0001912-16

60,000,000 152,500,0001917-21

81,000,000 174,500,0001922-25

56,000,000 101,500,0001936

5,855,663 17,455,4461937

10,013,518 13,728,7291938

3,319,735 17,432,7311939

5,949,860 22,573,9601940

14,058,900 21,580,5381941

16,951,233 29,006,3631942

20,885,093 27,302,5961943

19,544,002 29,667,5651944

11,537,387 31,622,2771945

13,090,407 22,963,927$361,705,798 $753,334,134

So great is the discrimination against western Canada that with half the traffic the C.P.R. has consistently made more than twice the profits in the west than in the east.

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In facing this new campaign by the railways for higher freight rates the west must see to it that any further increase in rates is not loaded solely upon western Canada. Yet that is exactly what will happen if the transport board orders horizontal increases in standard rates which because of water, highway and other competition will be meaningless paper increases in the central provinces but will be real hard-cash increases here in the west.

And in taking this position, it should be clear that the west will not be asking state assistance for the railways by way of subventions, bonuses, or subsidies of any kind. The west as the foregoing figures prove has more than paid its way in freight rates and may be forgiven for believing that other sections of Canada should at least pay their way.

Irrespective of any need which may be proved by the railways, there can be no justification for raising freight rates in the west until the effective rates- that is the rates which are actually paid-in Ontario and Quebec have been brought up to the level of the rates in the west.

This question of a horizontal increase in freight rates and the injustice done thereby to western Canada and the maritimes was well covered this afternoon by the hon. member for Lake Centre. Without taking more of the time of the committee, I should just like to sum up what I said before the dinner hour by congratulating Mr. Justice Turgeon and the members of his commission. They certainly put a great deal of work into this investigation and brought in what I think is on the whole a very fair report. I want to repeat what I have advocated in past years, and say that I agree with the commission recommendation that the Crowsnest pass freight rates should be left under the statute. I have already asked that subsidization be provided for this bridge from Sudbury to Fort William. It is a long haul of between four and five hundred miles through an area that does not produce much traffic.

I want to repeat what I said before the recess concerning the Churchill road, and the fact that the government owns a splendid storage grain elevator at the port of Churchill. There are facilities there for storing approximately 2-5 million bushels of grain. This week end I learned that in the port of Churchill there is only a small percentage of the storage space occupied. There is great modern grain drying machinery in that elevator which has not been used at all this year according to the officials there. When you consider that it has a drying capacity of 20,000 bushels per day, I think that could have been a great help with some of this damp grain that is still lying in the open fields in the prairie provinces. Had it been moved to that port, and that equipment utilized, much of it might have been saved.

During the Easter recess I sat in the Manitoba legislature and heard the minister of agriculture for that province state that there was approximately a million bushels

of damp grain still in the province of Manitoba. I imagine there is more than that in Saskatchewan which has not been moved yet. You can imagine how important it would have been to utilize that drying equipment at Churchill.

This brings up another matter which was mentioned the other day, and that is the matter of a box car controller. 1 know the minister rather chastised the member for Assiniboia over the question he put on the order paper.

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LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. Chevrier:

No, about a statement he

made in the house which was erroneous.

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PC

James Arthur Ross

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Ross (Souris):

I was going to say that

I am not in a position to substantiate or contradict the statement he made or the statement made by the Minister of Transport. It would seem to me, as I have already pointed out, that the facilities and equipment at the port of Churchill, owned by the government, for drying this damp grain, could have been utilized if cars had been provided. This grain, may become a loss to the producer, because the chairman of the grain commission has pointed out that if the grain cannot be gathered up and dried before the warm weather, he is fearful it will become a total loss to the producers. It is probable this loss could be avoided if a box car controller were appointed. I do not know how worthy that argument is, because I have not the other facts to buttress it. If there is no other reason for not moving this damp grain to Churchill, a box car controller could have supplied the cars to move it under the supervision of the Minister of Trade and Commerce, under whose supervision the transport of grain rests. I am not blaming the Minister of Transport, because I know it is not his responsibility.

I wish to say once again what a fine job the Turgeon commission has done, and to compliment the members of the commission for their work.

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LIB

Gladstone Mansfield Ferrie

Liberal

Mr. Ferrie:

I should like to say how

pleased we are to find that the minister has taken this report to heart and is appointing a committee to consider that portion of the haul that we in western Canada call no man's land. I am not going to prolong this debate by saying anything more about the commission's report.

There are one or two things that I should like to bring to the attention of the minister. In 1948 the seven provinces made a lot of representations about freight rates. During that period some remarks were made concerning preferential rates to certain bodies. As a result western Canada lost two very

important preferentials. One was a preferential that we had ever since railroading began in western Canada. Even in the old Mackenzie-Mann days, when they were very much in arrears, they gave us that preference because they knew it was a benefit to the railroads to have the farmers sow good seed. We have now lost the preferential rate on the transportation of registered seed and seed grain. I would ask the minister if he would take this into consideration. Last year in western Canada the railroads did not lose any money, they made a profit of approximately $9 million. In eastern Canada they lost around $12 million. In asking for this preferential rate on seed grain, we are not asking for something that is going to be harmful to the railroads, but something that is going to be of benefit to them, as well as to those who are producing the great grain crop. This rate on registered seed will be of benefit to the railroads by reason of the extra bushels that are grown by the producers of that class of grain.

Just leaving that, I should like to mention one other preferential rate which we lost, and that was on the movement of registered livestock. By some means or other that preferential rate was lost last fall. We could not establish it. We have tried, time and time again, to get this preferential back, but we cannot do it. I am appealing to the minister to do something if he possibly can to help the registered livestock industry in Canada. They produce a lot of registered stock, in both eastern and western Canada, and this exchange that goes on is of great benefit, not only to Canada as a whole but to the railroads individually. Will the minister kindly take this into consideration when he is arranging some of the meetings with the railroads.

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CCF

Robert Ross (Roy) Knight

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

Mr. Knight:

Mr. Chairman, in deference to the minister I had intended to reserve my remarks until item No. 491 on the Hudson Bay railroad was called. Since the member for Lake Centre, the member for Souris, and some others have said something about it, I thought I might as well say what I have to say now. I have always, of course, been interested in this railroad and in this port. I was interested in it before I came to parliament, and naturally my interest has increased over the last five years.

In 1945, the first year I came to parliament, my friend and former colleague, Mr. Moore, the member for Churchill, introduced a resolution, one of those useful private resolutions sometimes termed academic but nevertheless at times productive of results, in that they promote the desired cause in the country or bring some pressure to bear on the

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government which, sometimes after a long period of years, adopts the thing as its own and introduces the legislation we desired in the first place.

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CCF

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

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

Mr. Knowles:

Hear, hear.

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CCF

Robert Ross (Roy) Knight

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

Mr. Knight:

My friend the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Knowles) says "hear, hear" and with good reason because I understand that for some years before I came to this house he had been introducing private members' bills with regard to income tax exemptions for union dues and certain professional fees. He has continued to introduce them. I had the pleasure of backing him up in that attempt with regard to teachers; and now in the budget announcement the other night we are toldi that henceforth union dues and teachers' professional fees are exempt.

I think that these private members' resolutions are a good institution. Some of my Liberal friends, referring to my own resolution on education, were shall I say unkind enough to say that these private members' resolutions are a waste of time.

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LIB

Louis-René Beaudoin (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Liberal

The Deputy Chairman:

Order. I think the hon. member should make his remarks relevant to the item now before the committee.

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CCF

Robert Ross (Roy) Knight

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

Mr. Knight:

I accept your rebuke, Mr. Chairman, and shall proceed to talk upon the matter in hand. I was led off my subject, and I shall come back to the exact point. Mr. Moore, the former member for Churchill, introduced into this house in October, 1945, one of those useful private members' resolutions. The resolution asked; for the consideration of the federal government to giving all the encouragement that they could muster for that route and for that port. On that particular occasion the resolution was not talked out but was allowed to come to a vote. There was a favourable vote of 105 to 24, as recorded at page 1110 of Hansard of that date. On that occasion the Minister of Trade and Commerce used the following words in regard to the Churchill route, as reported at page 1109 of Hansard of October 15, 1945:

I feel that In post-war years the port will develop as far as its physical limitations will permit, and I can assure the house that the government will make every effort to see that that development is pressed actively and vigorously.

There are degrees of vigour and there are degrees of activity. I want to say that on the whole I wish to pay tribute to the dominion government, to the minister, to the Department of Transport and to some outside organizations for the interest and the encouragement which they have given to this particular matter. I would include the provincial government of Saskatchewan

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which has been active in that same good cause. The Hudson bay route association is of course well known for its work in that regard. I think of Mr. Frank Eliason, a man who, I was going to say, has grown weary in well doing, but he will never be that; I will say rather that he is growing old in well doing and is now somewhat broken in health. I think that those of us who come from the province of Saskatchewan, and particularly from its northern part, should pay special tribute to that man who has given his whole life in the cause of co-operation and of agriculture in the province of his adoption. To Mr. Streeton too, who is the chairman of that active organization, one should pay a tribute and to that old-timer, Mr. MacNeill, who has come down here on several occasions. While I mention those delegations, I should like to thank the dominion government for the fine reception that they gave to those western adventurers who came down to follow in the path of other pioneers with somewhat similar names who have brought honour in the opening up of the western part of this country. Then there is Mr. Hansen, the director of trade services at Regina, Mr. Graham Spry, who is trade commissioner in London for the province of Saskatchewan, and who is in England working in the same cause and to whom some tribute should be paid.

As I said, the people of the prairie west are interested in this route, and the people of my own native city are not disinterested. You have to live on the prairies a while before you realize to what extent there is a fascination for prairie dwellers in the sight of water. Some of my friends who have come from the city of Winnipeg will perhaps not agree with me in that regard, but in Saskatchewan we like water, and we like to think that we have in that central part of Canada, a proper port of our own, which may be available to us.

Many have visited that port in the last several years, Many have taken advantage of the excursions which have been arranged. Many have gone up there. The other day many hon. members went up by the invitation, I understand, of the Minister of National Defence. I was not able to take advantage of that opportunity, but I had been there two years before.

To come to the matter of the route and the port itself, as I say, I pay tribute to the encouragement given by, I think, every organization concerned. I think that the route has been an unqualified success over the last year or two. In 1950, twenty ships entered that harbour and in that year some 6,700,000 bushels of wheat were exported and 3,400 tons of merchandise were imported.

Those amounts, particularly with regard to imports, are still too small. The smallness of the import is probably due to the lack of knowledge on the part of the British exporting firms as to the savings they could make by using that port. In the matter of British cars-those little cars we see upon our streets -the saving amounts to from $35 on the smaller type to $60 on the larger.

The city of Saskatoon is the main distributing centre for goods in northern Saskatchewan. The wholesalers and distributors there are particularly anxious that the port should succeed in order that they may make available the savings upon the goods, so that those goods may be distributed more cheaply through the area which they serve. There has also been formed a western import and export company, a name which sounds a bit familiar. Its business is to drum up business through that port to the city of Saskatoon and the other northern cities.

The figures that I have given report progress, and I can report progress in other directions also. We are told' that the commonwealth shipping committee is nowadays adopting a; much more friendly attitude towards the insurance of vessels going into Churchill. The marine insurance rates have been lowered by 35 per cent, and I think that we may look forward to the day-and some of us may see it-when the marine insurance rates into that port will be equal to those into the port of Halifax or the port of Montreal. May I say that there never was any real reason for those high rates except, on the part of those who issued them, a lack of knowledge as to the safety of that particular route.

Down through the years we have had statements as to the safety of that port. I am going to quote from a statement made by a sea captain who used it. In a letter which he had addressed to Mr. Hansen, director of trade services at Regina, he said in part:

I should like to go on record as stating that the passage from the U.K. to Churchill is every bit as safe as the voyage from Britain to Montreal or any other St. Lawrence port.

Perhaps indeed it is safer. The weather on the northern route is not any worse than that encountered on the way to the St. Lawrence. While some fog will be met, it usually clears within an hour or so and consists only of patches. It is certainly no worse than the fog often encountered off the Newfoundland banks.

There is another interesting little quotation that throws some light on the same situation, and that is in regard to the length of the season. The length of the season, sir, has always been a sore point with shippers coming into that port. It has always been felt that the insurance companies kept themselves very very safe indeed as to the length

19G7

of the season which was covered by the insurance rates. This is from a ship's captain who had just come through the strait. He says:

Regarding the length of the season. As you know, on our first trip to Churchill we lay off Cape Chidley at the eastern end of the strait for 2i days because our insurance would not allow us to enter the strait before 0001 hours on August 5. The weather during these two days perfect-calm sea and unlimited visibility. The N. B. McLean said we could proceed any time, but because of insurance regulations we could not.

Does it not seem very silly that in beautiful weather, and a calm sea, with no ice in sight, ships have to lie outside for two days simply because there is no flexibility in the insurance season. But in this regard too I have progress to report, because there has been a lengthening of the insurable season, actually by ten days. July 26 instead of August 5 is now the beginning of the season. It is felt by many people that the season could run until the end of October.

As to the port of Churchill itself, some of the people of whom I am speaking saw the place for themselves the other day. There has been an improvement there over the last five years which is almost unbelievable. There has been an improvement in the town-site itself. Those of us who were interested in this throughout the years have been complaining because the Manitoba government was not prepared to sell lots in the port of Churchill. It is not very much encouragement to build a house if one cannot own the lot on which he wants to build. The only way you could do it before was to take a twelvemonths lease. Surely that is a very unsatisfactory way to proceed, particularly if you were going to make a substantial investment. Therefore once again I am pleased to report progress and thank the Manitoba government for what they have done in that regard. The Manitoba government has now made it possible for people to own their lots. The military establishments near that town of course have promoted business. Their existence is at least a matter of public knowledge. Their presence there has promoted business and all year round activities. There are churches, schools, and so on. I want to say that from the point of view of the route and the port itself, the building up of permanent residence there is an important part of its promotion, because the people who have handled the wheat cargoes have had to be imported from Montreal or from some other port. They have had to be brought in for this particular work. Surely that was an expensive business. But if in that northern country we could have such developments as would provide a permanent population with a reasonable hope of earning a

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year round living, then we could take from that permanent population the necessary labour to handle the machinery of the port and1 assist in the loading of the ships.

The hon. member for Souris has expressed some doubt as to his own figures which he gave a little while ago relating to drying of grain at Churchill. I can assure him that they were quite correct. I asked a question which will be found at page 1266 of Hansard of March 15, 1951, as follows:

What is the wheat bushel storage capacity of the elevator at Churchill?

We are not interested in that part of the question at the moment, but we are interested in this one:

What is the drying capacity of that elevator in terms of number of bushels per day?

May I say, sir, that I was startled when I received the answer and was informed that in that plant-and it is a magnificent plant, one of the finest grain elevators in the world- it was possible to dry from 15,000 to 20,000 bushels per day of 24 hours, depending on the moisture content. I almost refused to believe that, but these are the official figures. That, sir, is remarkable, and if that machinery had been operating full blast since the first combines were turned into the fields of Saskatchewan last fall, by this time it would have dried some proportion of the grain which is now lying damp or tough in the farmers' granaries or in elevators in the province of Saskatchewan. That would have been a tremendous help. Who is responsible for that plant and that machinery lying idle I do not know, but I think it should have been in operation since the end of the crop year. What an accumulation of grain we might have had lying in storage in the Churchill elevator, because there is ample room for it there. The capacity is 2,500,000 bushels. According to the answers I received, the number of bushels of wheat in the elevator is something under half a million bushels, in fact, 463,000 bushels. Had other grain been dried and stored there it would be at least in position for shipment. There is not the excuse this year that there was in former years that there was a keen demand for this wheat in Europe, and that it was necessary to have it in position where it could be shipped during the months when Churchill was not in operation. There is no such reason as that now. There is going to be a carry-over of this wheat whether we like it or not, and unfortunately there is going to be a carry-over of wheat which is not going to be in good condition. If it were dried and stored there, at least we would have it in position for the first ship

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that steamed through the straits the first month of the new shipping year in 1951.

I have pleaded before, and I plead again, for the co-operation of the government, the railroad, the wheat board and the wheat pools in regard to the promotion of shipping through that port; My plea has been, and for five years it has been, that we should give the port a chance. If this thing is worth doing it is worth doing right. And if we would for one year ship 15 million bushels of wheat to that port, a thing which could easily be managed, we would take off the shoulders of the taxpayers of this country any burden which they are carrying at present in regard to the port of Churchill.

I notice that this year the deficit is down by $150,000 according to item 491 of the estimates. That is all to the good. It has been argued by people who know, and I am convinced it is so, that if through that port there could be put 15 million bushels of wheat, the port and the railroad would not cost the taxpayers of this country one single cent, there would be no deficit. There are others who believe that 20 million bushels or 25 million bushels could be shipped through that port. I am not an expert, and I will not say, but I repeat that 15 million bushels would pay the necessary bills, and there is no shortage of wheat in the preferential area. It has been estimated by those who know that in that country, which would be applicable to the preferential rates, 65 million bushels of wheat is the average crop there. If we cannot handle 25 million bushels we can surely ship 15 million or 20 million. I am sure that, now when there is lots of wheat available, this is the time for us to try the experiment and give the route a chance to prove itself. When I speak this way I am not speaking altogether in the interests of Saskatoon. I am not speaking only in the interests of the northern farmer but rather in the interests of the nation; because the present deficit must be paid by the taxpayers of the whole nation.

As I said, the route is of national importance. There is of course the strategic factor into which I shall not go at this time. But I do believe the amount of care the government has given the port in the last year or so is not unconnected with its knowledge that the port of Churchill in certain contingencies might be a very useful place to have, indeed.

There are other things that may be shipped from Churchill as well as wheat. We were greatly disappointed a year or so ago when, after arrangements had been made to ship 10 million feet of spruce out of that port, a rise to freight rates precluded any such shipment. So much for exports.

As to imports, we feel that many more could be handled, if perhaps there were a little better organization so that the loading of wheat and the unloading of imports could go on at the same time. The minister has told us that one of his cares and responsibilities in regard to the port is to see that the proper equipment is there. Here is one thing I suggest he might look into.

Westerners do not like all this talk about dumping duties, when it comes to the matter of encouraging imports to Churchill. When we are told that we may impose dumping duties against, for instance, British motor cars, hundred of which were imported through Churchill last year, we do not like that sort of talk. I have had several complaints in the city of Saskatoon from firms who have told me that they had to cancel orders they had placed for British linoleum, and for that very same reason. The linoleum had been ordered for delivery through the port of Churchill and over the Hudson bay route, but the orders had to be cancelled.

One other point, and I shall have finished. I would refer to the matter of shipping feed grains to the maritime provinces as something in which I have been interested, and particularly in this connection. I shall speak only briefly on the matter, because I do not want to detain the house too long. I do believe however that most of the difficulty in connection with feed grains, particularly in the matter of the poor quality of those grains sent to the maritimes, is a matter of storage.

If the people in the maritimes, through their co-operative institutions, could buy quantities of good clean western grain, ticketed as No. 5 or 6, as the case may be, and all of a certified standard and with a certain weight per bushel, so that they could know what they were getting, and if in the maritimes they had storage elevators built into which that grain could be put and out of which it could go for grinding and distribution by their own organization, they would have grain of standard quality a supply of which they could always be assured.

Under present circumstances it is difficult for the maritime farmer to know what he is getting when he buys feed grain in, shall we say, the city of Halifax. I have always said that if government built or co-operatively built storage facilities were available shiploads of this feed grain, certified according to grade, could be shipped to the maritime provinces by the sea route during the time when the Churchill route is open. I think an intercoastal trade of that sort could be built up for the general benefit of not only the farmers in the west, who would have a market for

their grain, but also of the maritimers who would have a source of suitable feed. So much for the subject of feed grains.

I believe this brings me to the conclusion of what I have to say in the matter. Once again let me pay tribute to the effort of the government and to the encouragement it has given us and other people. I am glad, to say that this is not a political matter. I am pleased to say, too, that Mr. Moore's resolution was never a political resolution. I believe the hon. members I see before me who represent the Liberal party in Saskatchewan can, and I know they will, join with me and with the hon. member for Lake Centre who spoke this afternoon in support of the route. I believe that so far as we in Saskatchewan are concerned, we will present a united front in this important matter.

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PC

William Joseph Browne

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Browne (St. John's West):

Mr. Chairman, I wish to speak on two matters dealt with definitely in the report. I have given them a good deal of consideration, although I cannot say I have studied other matters as thoroughly.

The representations made to the royal commission by the Newfoundland government and by other bodies from Newfoundland were directed to two paragraphs in the commission, as follows:

(a) To review and report upon the effect, if any, of economic, geographic or other disadvantages under which certain sections of Canada find themselves in relation to the various transportation services therein . . .

(b) To review the Railway Act with respect to such matters as guidance to the board in general freight rate revisions, competitive rates, international rates, etc., and recommend such amendments therein as may appear to them to be advisable.

Amongst other things, the Newfoundland government sought lower freight rates and improved facilities at North Sydney, which is the terminus in Nova Scotia, and Port aux Basques, which is the opposite terminus in Newfoundland, and on the North Sydney to Louisburg Railway. They also wanted absorption of the handling charges for shipments to Louisburg when the port of North Sydney is closed in the wintertime because of ice, and a car ferry to operate between Port aux Basques and- North Sydney. They also wanted a free port to be established on the south coast of Newfoundland. Some hon. members may not be familiar with the expression "free port", but it has been mentioned in Newfoundland politics for twenty-five years. The idea of a free port is a port where goods can be exchanged between nations without the collection of any customs duty. It was desired by the government that this should be established at bay d'Espoir on

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the south coast of Newfoundland which is an ice-free port. It also wanted a military road to be built between Gander airport and bay d'Espoir.

The first question which was brought up has been dealt with by the board of transport commissioners with the pleasing result for Newfoundland that they won their case. The improved facilities are being dealt with to a certain extent under the estimates now before the house. I understand the car ferry is being built at the present time. A large amount of money has been voted for the improvement of the docking facilities at Port aux Basques and at North Sydney.

The other questions with respect to a free port and the military road were not approved. There are certain general considerations in connection with Newfoundland I should like to draw to the attention of the committee. They arise through the transformation of our economy brought about by confederation. Perhaps hon. members are not sufficiently aware of that tremendous transformation. Before 1949, when we had our own government, Newfoundland traded with the whole world. We could impose duties in respect of Canada, the United Kingdom or the United States, or any other country, just the same as Canada does. We were bound only by international agreements such as the empire preference agreements of 1932 and the like.

But with confederation, and becoming part of Canada, we dropped almost all our import trade from other countries, and our trade was switched to the nine provinces of Canada. That meant that the direction in which the trade moved changed as well. St. John's, which had been an international port with shipping from all parts of the world, immediately showed the effects of confederation because ships did not come there in the same numbers. Instead of the traffic coming by water it began to come by land through North Sydney in Nova Scotia, across the narrow strip of water to Port aux Basques, and then around the island in a semi-circle over the Newfoundland railway. The railway could not handle the traffic.

Before confederation trade with Canada consisted of about $55 million of imports into Newfoundland and about $8 million to $10 million of exports to Canada. Since confederation trade with England and the United States has declined greatly. It has been said that trade with the other nine provinces of Canada now amounts to $100 million in the one direction, and $10 million in the other. The great bulk of this trade is being carried by the railway with the result that there have been tie-ups on several occasions. It

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was necessary to instal new facilities to handle this traffic both at North Sydney and at Port aux Basques.

This seems to me to be a most undesirable state of affairs because the trade used to go to St. John's, the capital of the island with 60,000 papulation. As this traffic is not coming in now by water many longshoremen are faced with a shortage of employment. It means also that large quantities of goods must be carried 550 miles across the island and then distributed from St. John's. Everyone knows that the cost of moving goods by rail is generally much higher than it is to move goods by water.

During the one day that I sat on the railways and steamship committee last year I brought to the attention of the president of the Canadian National Railways the desirability of operating steamships between Halifax or Montreal and St. John's. The Minister of Transport cleverly guided the discussion into other channels and stated that I was trying to bring up the question of rates. That was only incidental. I notice that one of the representations made to the royal commission by the Newfoundland board of trade dealt with that subject. I should like to draw attention to the representations made, which in some respects coincide with what I said last year. On page 143 of the report the board of trade is quoted as having suggested the following remedies:

That the following alternative steamship or car ferry routes be provided:

(a) From Campbellton, N.B., to Corner Brook for all movements between Comer Brook and Bishop's Falls (necessitating the building of a spur about 300 feet long from the pier at Corner Brook to the railway);

That would eliminate much handling by the railway. The next suggestion was in connection with traffic for the Avalon peninsula. The population of the Avalon peninsula is about 130,000, whereas the population of Newfoundland is 350,000. The area of the Avalon peninsula is about one-sixth of the area of the whole island. It would seem that it would be desirable to have a great deal of the traffic brought to St. John's, which after all is the chief commercial emporium of the island. The second suggestion was as follows:

(b) Traffic for the Avalon peninsula should be moved by water from Montreal, Halifax and North Sydney to St. John's, Newfoundland, and, to accomplish this object, the Canadian National Railways should use the Admiralty property on the north side of the harbour at St. John's and build a spur about 600 feet long from the main line; and

(c) The railway should provide two railway car ferries, able also to carry 30 or 40 automobiles, one on the west coast and the other on the east coast.

I do not know whether, the Minister of Transport has given any thought to that

sensible suggestion. There is a network of roads running out of St. John's, but at Port aux Basques there is only a very narrow road presently being built which will go up through Stephenville and then on to Corner Brook. The hope of attracting many tourists into that section of the country is extremely small although I admit that the great sporting rivers are located there. The historic and oldest settled part of the country is on the Avalon peninsula and obviously it would be a wise provision to have a car ferry running from Halifax or Montreal to St. John's.

Last year I was unable to have my car carried from Montreal to St. John's because the boat was filled. I had difficulty at Halifax and could get it carried only on deck. There seems to be a great deal of traffic offering at Montreal and Halifax and there would appear to be room for another steamer on the route. If the country is going in for tourist trade it will be necessary to have a boat capable of carrying motor cars between Halifax and St. John's.

Another recommendation was that St. John's be made a national harbour. I am aware that that deserves a great deal of consideration, but certainly the facilities are there for the handling of much more traffic than is presently being handled. It is much more suitable than Port aux Basques, which has only a small harbour that is difficult to approach and1 besides supports only a small population.

Most of the disabilities from which Newfoundland is suffering, it seems to me, are due to the haste with which the terms of union were settled. The rather obvious things were attended to, but many incidental matters were neglected. As a result they had to be brought to the attention of the royal commission on transportation by the government. The majority of these matters had to be passed on to the Canadian National Railways, the Minister of Transport or the Canadian maritime commission because the royal commission was unable to deal with them. As a result the country was put to a great deal of expense and anxiety.

As I pointed out at the last session, the country has had to pay about $4 million in extra freight rates that should not have been charged. When these matters were brought to the attention of the royal commission they said, "We cannot do anything about these things. The terms of union made provision for the traffic to go through North Sydney and Port aux Basques and we cannot do anything further about it." The same answer was given in connection with many other matters that were raised before the royal commission.

I notice that reference is made to the fact that improvements are going to be made in the railroad. I do not believe there are many refrigerator ears on the island and if agriculture is to be fostered it will be necessary to provided refrigerated space.

There is another matter with which I should like to deal in a way different from any of the speakers who have preceded me. This matter has not been dealt with in the same way by the royal commission. I refer to the question of highway and railway transport. There is an important social principle involved in this question which is not generally apparent and I should like to take a few minutes to discuss it. I would remind hon. members that transportation has developed through the years from the ox-cart travelling over ploughed fields or country lanes and the stage coaches to the point where steam was invented and we had the industrial revolution.

By pooling the resources of a great number of people railroads were built with great rapidity and as a result tremendous industrial progress was made. With the development and invention of the internal combustion engine it became possible to reverse this process. Instead of great companies operating railway systems on fixed lines you can now do almost the same work on the highways. So I say it has become possible to reverse the trend in the capitalistic system and bring about a better distribution of ownership by encouraging the private operation of motor vehicles of various kinds such as busses and trucks.

I notice that the report of the royal commission deals with privately owned trucks, those owned by individual truckers and those owned by large companies who transport their own goods in their own trucks, and finally those trucks which are for hire. The commission reports that the number of trucks for hire is very small in relation to the total number of trucks. It was my information that in the business of transporting goods on a commercial basis there are many truck companies operating at least one hundred or perhaps several hundred trucks, and that is the sort of thing I feel should be regulated. I believe there is a need for someone, whether the federal government or the provinces, to regulate the number of trucks a company may own. It is not very often that we hear any discussion in this house about the restoration of private ownership. Today I was very pleased to hear the leader of the C.C.F. party advise the minister to be very cautious about permitting the railways to go into the trucking business. I think that was wise advice. I would not like to see the railways go into the trucking

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business, because with their large capital and the government behind the Canadian National, at any rate, it would be possible for them to put a large number of people out of business.

This is a very important principle, although some hon. members may think it ludicrous. It is desirable to have as many owners of trucks and busses as possible, to have men own their trucks and earn a living with them. If you have a company with six hundred trucks operating a trans-Canada transportation business it is possible that within a short time it may become almost as powerful as the railway itself, or at least the most powerful transportation organization in the country other than the railway. That is something I want to bring to the attention of the minister, though it is not necessary that he should do anything about it at the present time. It seems to me that problem looms on the horizon. Looking at the report of the Canadian National Railways and reading the remarks of the president in that report and elsewhere, it seems to me the head of that company is looking with an anxious eye at the competition he is experiencing on the part of truck companies. He seems to be rather afraid that this competition is becoming too much for him, and that he will have to go into that business himself. I do not suppose it would be so bad if it were confined to local transportation near the terminus of a railway; but if the C.N.R. should go into long distance trucking and compete with private truckers I think it would be a bad thing for society.

This is a principle I believe the minister should keep in mind. I am sure in the long run it will be found to be in the best interests of the people of Canada if the railways do not go into highway transportation and if that transportation can be regulated so that no great trucking corporations will be permitted.

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CCF

Hazen Robert Argue

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

Mr. Argue:

I am going to direct the main part of my remarks this evening to the report of the royal commission on transportation. With other hon. members who have taken part in this debate I too am pleased with many, in fact almost all, of the findings of that commission. It is certain that railways are vastly important to all parts of Canada. We on the prairies are particularly dependent on railways to move our products to market and to bring in most of the goods we consume.

Before dealing with the report itself I want to deal briefly with one transportation matter I have raised on various occasions in this house. I refer to the many gaps in the railway lines in Saskatchewan. My

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hope is that while little has been done in the past, a great deal may be done in the near future to bridge these gaps. I would refer to the gaps mentioned in a resolution I placed on the order paper some time ago, between Neptune and Radville, Minton and Big Beaver, Mankota and Val Marie, Neid-path and Swift Current, Willowbunch and Assiniboia, Cardross and Dunkirk. A few years ago, I think about 1946 or 1947, the Minister of Agriculture said in this house it was his understanding that as one of its first branch line projects after the war the C.P.R. intended to complete the gap between Mankota and Val Marie. I only hope that company will finally get around to bridging that gap.

As has been said by other hon. members, when the report of the royal commission was brought down we were pleased to see the recommendation that the Crowsnest pass rates on grain should be left untouched. We on the prairies who depend upon the production of grain for the greater part of our income feel that these rates are important to us, and that the statutory provisions dealing with them should not be changed. I believe the report of the royal commission substantiates the position taken in this house by members from the prairies, from British Columbia and from the maritimes on many occasions in the past when they contended that there was in fact discrimination in freight rates as between various parts of Canada. I am sure it was pleasant to all those hon. members to see that the royal commission recognized that discrimination, by recommending an equalization of freight rates.

We are pleased also to see something in the report dealing with the recapitalization of the Canadian National. It seems to me that sufficient regard has not been given the huge funded debt and the watered stock of the C.N.R., and I believe a further scaling down should have been recommended. Nevertheless these recommendations if put into effect certainly should improve both the financial and the competitive position of our publicly owned railway. This whole report is built around the need of an equalization of freight rates as between all parts of Canada. The present discrimination has existed for many years. There was discrimination in 1948 before the 21 per cent horizontal increase in freight rates. With each of the four horizontal increases in freight rates granted by the board of transport commissioners in 1948, and since there has been a further accentuation of that discrimination. I say it is indeed important that all possible steps be taken to remove discrimination as it exists between various areas.

The 45 per cent increase in freight rates, which was the final result of these four separate increases, means that the discrimination now is much greater than it was some three years ago.

I wish at this time to quote from page 61 of the report concerning one of the conclusions in regard to horizontal increases. Paragraph No. 4 reads:

The remedy does not lie in the prohibition, statutory or other, of horizontal increases, but is in the hands of the railways themselves.

It goes on to say that the railways should bring in proposals for varying percentage increases on different commodities, and flat instead of percentage increases where these are more suitable, and maxima in appropriate cases in cents per hundred pounds or other unit. Special attention should be given to long haul traffic, and rates on basic or primary commodities. Then it says:

But if the railways do not approach the task in this way, it ought to be the duty of the board to see that they do so.

It is my opinion, Mr. Chairman, that it has been the duty of the board in the past, as well as the duty of the board now, to take all possible steps to get all the necessary information to ensure that whenever an application comes before the board for an increase in freight rates, whatever increase may be granted, it does not further increase the existing discrimination. On the other hand, any increase should be granted in such a way as to decrease discrimination, and eventually remove it.

On page 126, speaking of equalization, the report says this:

. . . the problem is one peculiarly for the board to resolve finally after the general freight rate investigation and after all parties who may be affected by the proposals have had an opportunity of being heard.

According to the report the problem of the equalization of freight rates is one for the board of transport commissioners after they have completed the general inquiry on freight rates, and after they have heard proposals from all who may be affected. Mr. Chairman, the general freight rate inquiry came about as a result of an order in council passed by the government on April 7, 1948. The royal commission was set up by order in council of January 11, 1949. The point is that the royal commission was set up after the government had instructed the board to undertake a general inquiry into freight rates. The royal commission has completed its work, and its report is published. Do we now have to wait, before we get any concrete action towards the equalization of freight rates, until the board of transport commissioners complete a report that they have already had three years to

consider? I hope that something in the legislation to which the minister referred the other night will result in the board of transport commissioners dealing with this question of discrimination at an early date and not two or three years hence. I hope it is dealt with in such a manner as to remove that discrimination.

The report of the royal commission has this to say on page 271, in respect of certain criticisms that have been made regarding the board of transport commissioners. The report says:

In the main it would seem that the following criticisms of the board are worth recording here, in the expectation that this will lead to an improvement in this procedure for the future, and have been justified by the facts.

I want you to note that according to this statement these criticisms which are outlined have been justified by the facts. Here is criticism No. 1:

That, in the circumstances- of the long delay in disposing of the thirty per cent application made in 1946, the board ought to have granted an interim increase in proper time. On the other hand, however, it must be pointed out, in this regard, that the railways did not ask for such an increase;

2. That the board accepted the assumption that all could be justly and reasonably increased by the same large horizontal percentage increase, regardless of length of haul, the nature of the commodity or the ratio of the freight to the value of the article. This is an unwarranted assumption;

It was an unwarranted assumption according to the royal commission for the board to have increased rates on a horizontal percentage basis. Criticism No. 3 reads:

That the board did not itself obtain, or compel the railways to file with it, proper statistics concerning traffic movements so as to enable it to determine which articles could bear greater or lesser increases in rates;

4. That the board has not paid sufficient attention to the classification to ascertain 'that articles are properly classified to meet changing conditions;

5. That the board has not over the years kept close enough supervision over competitive rates. It will be sufficient in this regard to refer to the conclusions on this subject to be found in the section on competitive rates in this report;

6. That the board has not in the past twenty-three years taken steps to bring about equalization between rates in the west and in the east; and

7. That the board has not paid proper attention to the effect of increases in rates on long haul traffic.

Mr. Chairman, those criticisms which the royal commission says have been justified by the facts completely substantiate the contention of western members that the board should not have, in making these four awards, increased the rates in a horizontal manner which further added to the discrimination that existed at that time. The royal commission has suggested certain changes in the set-up of the board of transport commissioners. Those suggestions appeal to me as

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being reasonable. If they are implemented, I do not know whether they will result in the board becoming competent to the extent it is able to get rid of discrimination, but certainly any changes are worth trying. I would suggest that the change which advocates the appointment of board members on a permanent basis rather than a ten-year basis would seem justified, and perhaps the government should implement it. The whole point, as I see it, is not that the report is not a good one in that it does not deal with the question of equalization and horizontal increases. The report recognizes the injustice of horizontal increases of rates that are already discriminatory. But I hope that we shall not have to wait another two or three years or more for the board of transport commissioners to conclude its general inquiry into freight rates before the actual equalization may be finally accomplished.

The other night the minister, in his statement, could not assure the house that during this session amendments would be brought down. He said that discussion was being had with regard to them by a committee of his department and that he had taken the matter up with certain of his colleagues; but I hope that whatever amendments the government has in mind to deal with the question of discrimination will be brought down during the present session. We on the prairies have waited long enough for the removal of discrimination. We do not want to wait until some future session for these amendments to be brought in.

I was pleased to see in the report the suggestion that a $7 million subsidy should be paid by the government to help the railways to maintain that section of them between Sudbury and the head of the lakes. I hope that such a subsidy will be paid by the government. I trust that it will do a great deal of good in removing discrimination. But I want to point out that $7 million in the budget of the Canadian National Railways or of the Canadian Pacific Railway-and it would have to be apportioned between the two of them-is not a large percentage of the income of either system. It is probably something less than one per cent of the total income of the two railway systems. If all we get out of this report, or if all the action the government will take is the payment of that $7 million, I doubt that that will have any great impact on the matter of discrimination.

I know that this problem of attempting to equalize freight rates across Canada is a difficult one. I am sure it is difficult; otherwise the board of transport commissioners, in making their awards, would have made the freight rates equal. Whenever you get a

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difference in freight rates because of competitive rates in central Canada and higher rates on the prairies and elsewhere, and then get the railways in a position where they need an increase in revenue, in a situation like that it is extremely difficult to bring the competitive rates up sufficiently to provide for that increase and hence to assist in equalization. Even with all of the good recommendations of the royal commission, I do not think freight rates in themselves can be equalized without exception throughout Canada unless something more is done. Instead of a $7 million subsidy only, I say that the federal government should be prepared to subsidize the financial needs of the Canadian railways-both the C.N.R. and the C.P.R.- to whatever extent is necessary in order to provide equal freight rates throughout all parts of Canada. We on the prairies suffer because of a national policy which meant higher freight rates and tariff walls. I think the time has now arrived when the government should implement a policy which will, in fact, once and for all permanently remove discrimination and that the government should take into consideration the proposal set forth in the submission of the Saskatchewan government to the royal commission, namely, after all other steps have been taken to remove discrimination, to consider whatever subsidy is necessary in order that discrimination may be finally removed.

I notice that while the report does not recommend that the board of transport -commissioners acquire the jurisdiction of handling truck traffic in interprovincial trade, nevertheless the royal commission suggests that parliament should consider dealing with the matter of truck competition in interprovincial trade. If the government would equalize freight rates throughout Canada, then I for one am all for the board of transport commissioners or some other government body having control over trucks in interprovincial trade. But until that time comes I shall view with misgiving any acquiring, by the board of transport commissioners or by any other government body, of control over truck rates in interprovincial trade. On the prairies we have no water competition. The truck competition that we have is relatively small, but nevertheless it is a growing competition. I am afraid that in some respects the railway companies are pricing themselves out of the market. Freight rates on automobiles from Oshawa and Windsor to Regina are apparently so high now that fleets of trucks can bring new automobiles into Saskatchewan at a considerable saving. I have here a bulletin put out by the Saskatchewan Motor Dealers' Association; and it refers to one truck dealer in Saskatchewan who saved $4,400 out of a

total freight bill of $7,000, by bringing his trucks in saddle-mounted or by a piggy-back type of transportation.

If, in addition to the discrimination which already exists, the government should take control of the trucking industry in interprovincial traffic without first having removed discrimination, then that can only result in further -discrimination against the prairies, British Columbia, the maritimes and those areas of Canada outside of the central provinces. Before any move is made to control the trucking industry I say that the first and the most important move is to undertake effective steps to remove -discrimination and to bring about implementation of the suggestion in this report that equalization in freight rates should be accomplished. I hope the government will -bring in during this session whatever amendments it thinks are necessary. I hope it will take whatever action is necessary to see that the board of transport commissioners conclude their general inquiry into freight rates and -deal with this matter of discrimination -and equalization which, in the fina-l analysis, even under this report, is left to the jurisdiction of the board of transport commissioners.

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PC

Heber Harold Hatfield

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hatfield:

Just before the dinner recess I asked the minister a question in regard to -select territory on the Canadian Pacific railway and the Canadian National railway. I understand that the Canadian Pacific railway -point is Boundary. Boundary is east of Megantic. That is not a comparable point with Diamond Junction. That is about 125 miles short of the point called Diamond Junction.

In New Brunswick a person shipping over the Canadian Pacific railway has less advantage than a person in New Brunswick shipping over the Canadian National railway. This point of Boundary should- be changed to Farnham, Quebec. I see that the only recommendation the commission make is that section 6 of the act should be changed in regard to keeping a separate account so that they will conform to the present practice of breaking the law. I have never heard of a recommendation like that before. At present it seems that the railways pay no attention to section 6 of the act. I cannot find out how the accounts of the Maritime Freight Rates Act are kept. The government knows where the rates are in effect. It looks to me as though the shipper in Nova Scotia gets more advantage than the shipper in New Brunswick. The shipper in Newfoundland would get still more advantage.

In regard to export trade the act refers to shipments between Fredericton and Saint

John, and from Fredericton to Liverpool. The act defines freight between Fredericton and Saint John, New Brunswick. All the export freight originates north of Fredericton, New Brunswick, or practically all of it. There is practically no advantage whatever in this part of the act. I do not suppose that half a dozen carloads of freight originates in Fredericton, or between Fredericton and Saint John for export; therefore the shippers north of Fredericton have no advantage, and that is where practically 90 per cent of the export freight in New Brunswick originates.

I should like the minister to look into this. The act should be amended regardless of the recommendation of the commission. They do not do anything but recommend that the act be repealed so that the railways can conform with what they have done. They have broken the law all along since September 26, 1926, and the commission wants them to continue to break the law. That is all they recommend in the report. It is something like the flour milling report.

Now, with regard to trucking competition-

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?

An hon. Member:

Combination.

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PC

Heber Harold Hatfield

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hatfield:

You are forcing trucking competition. The increase in freight rates is forcing every person into the trucking business. I agree there should be some dominion regulation with regard to trucking, but so long as you go on increasing your freight rates to the east and west, something has to be done. Ontario and Quebec have the advantages of the trucks and of the railways. They have all the advantages. Something has to be done in the east and the west so that they will have a decent rate into the central markets. So long as you maintain the markets in the two provinces of central Canada and you keep building up those provinces under the defence act, and in every other way, something will have to be done between the railways in eastern Canada and the railways in western Canada, and also something will have to be done about the trucks. I know the railways are going to put themselves out of business if they keep on increasing their rates.

There is a very bad trucking arrangement now between the provinces. There should be some uniformity in the regulations between provinces. You can carry so much on a truck in one province and so much in another province. When you get to the border of another province you have to change. In other words, in the province of Quebec you cannot operate a truck on Sunday. If a trucker picks up a load in Nova Scotia or New Brunswick and gets to the Quebec border on Saturday, he has to

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lay up over Sunday. The railways do not stop for Sunday. They are allowed to operate on Sunday. They go right on. The trucker has to stop and has to wait there until Monday morning before he can start off with his truck again. He has to wait until after twelve o'clock on Sunday night.

This week I had occasion to send a truck to Montreal for a piece of machinery. The piece of machinery could not be carried by freight; it had to be carried very carefully on a truck. We did not think it was advisable to put it in a railway car. That piece of machinery had to be hauled in pieces to the United States border on a small truck, on account of the regulations in the province of Quebec. Then it could be taken with a large truck from the border a distance of some five hundred or six hundred miles to its destination in New Brunswick. There are all kinds of different regulations. They have the same trouble in the United States. You can take a certain load over some state roads, and when you get to the border of another state you have to leave part of your load and come back and get it. There should be some regulation with regard to trucks, a federal regulation. So long as you keep increasing the freight rates you are bound to have trucking, and you are bound to have truck competition, especially east and west.

I should like the minister to take all these things into consideration. With regard to the Maritime Freight Rates Act, as it is now, after you get up to Diamond Junction boundary the rate is built up to take all the advantage of the 20 per cent that the maritime provinces get. Diamond Junction boundary on the Canadian Pacific Railway should be changed to Sherbrooke or Magog or Farnham, a comparable point with the Canadian National railway point. The Canadian Pacific railway shipper from New Brunswick should not be discriminated against.

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LIB

Irvin William Studer

Liberal

Mr. Sluder:

I should like to join with

others for a minute in welcoming this report. The west has been waiting for a report of this kind for many, many years. If its object of removing some of the grievances that the west has carried for these many- years is fulfilled it will have accomplished what it set out to do.

I should like briefly to refer to two items. One is the recommendation of a federal subsidy to cover a portion of the costs between the east and west from Fort William to Sudbury. I think a tribute is due to the present leader of the opposition in the province of Saskatchewan. So far as my knowledge goes, he is one of the first men in Canada

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April 12, 1951