May 25, 1951

MIGRATORY BIRDS CONVENTION ACT

INQUIRY AS TO AMENDMENT WITH RESPECT TO NEWFOUNDLAND


On the orders of the day:


PC

Gordon Francis Higgins

Progressive Conservative

Mr. G. F. Higgins (St. John's East):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to direct a question to the Minister of Resources and Development. What progress has been made in the discussions with the United States government as to a proposed amendment to the Migratory Birds Convention Act in respect to the province of Newfoundland?

Topic:   MIGRATORY BIRDS CONVENTION ACT
Subtopic:   INQUIRY AS TO AMENDMENT WITH RESPECT TO NEWFOUNDLAND
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LIB

Robert Henry Winters (Minister of Resources and Development)

Liberal

Hon. Robert H. Winters (Minister of Resources and Development):

The Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. Pearson), as he informed the house some time ago, did arrange for officials of the Department of Resources and Development to speak with their opposite numbers in the United States government. Since it was the hon. member for Burin-Burgeo (Mr. Carter) who brought this to my attention in the first place, both by correspondence and through discussion, I think he would wish me to say that I have, in reply to the letter he wrote me, given him a full report of developments to date.

I believe I should add that the Secretary of State (Mr. Bradley), who represents a constituency to which this problem is of great concern, has been interested in the matter. I have told him about the arrangements arrived at with the United States authorities.

I received notice of the question just as I came to the house, so that I have not had an opportunity to review the correspondence. Briefly, however, the arrangement is that pending a further study of the problem, which may take a year or two, to obtain statistics and information of various kinds as to rate of growth, decline in population and the like, the section of the act concerned will not be applied; and the officials in Newfoundland responsible for the administration of the act have been so informed.

Topic:   MIGRATORY BIRDS CONVENTION ACT
Subtopic:   INQUIRY AS TO AMENDMENT WITH RESPECT TO NEWFOUNDLAND
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PC

Gordon Francis Higgins

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Higgins:

We do not care so much who gets the credit, so long as we are allowed to have these birds in Newfoundland.

The house in committee of supply, Mr. Beaudoin in the chair.

Topic:   MIGRATORY BIRDS CONVENTION ACT
Subtopic:   INQUIRY AS TO AMENDMENT WITH RESPECT TO NEWFOUNDLAND
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DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE


Defence forces- 245. To provide for the defence forces of the navy, army and air services and defence research and development, and to authorize total commitments for this purpose of $3,831,270,000 including authority notwithstanding section 29 of the Consolidated Revenue and Audit Act, to make commitments for the current year of $1,924,170,835 and commitments against Supply-National Defence future years of $1,907,099,165 against which commitments it is estimated that actual expenditures in 1951-52 will not exceed $1,595,050,000 of which $183,050,000 will be provided from section 3 of the Defence Appropriation Act, 1950, as supplemented by item 246, $1,412,000,000.


LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. Pouliol:

The minister said he would make a statement with regard to the distribution of hose couplings.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
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LIB

Paul Joseph James Martin (Minister of National Health and Welfare)

Liberal

Hon. Paul Martin (Minister of National Health and Welfare):

Last night I outlined the provisions that had been made in the estimates to provide assistance to the provinces as a result of our agreement in February last with the provinces in respect to the standardization of hose couplings. The hon. member asked me particularly as to the procedure to be followed. The procedure would be for the civil defence authority, in this case the minister of social welfare in Quebec, to advise as to the priority claim of a community in relation to the over-all plan. As a result of that information there would be negotiations between the federal and provincial governments to provide assistance along the lines I have indicated.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
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PC

Donald Methuen Fleming

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fleming:

Last night the minister agreed to furnish to the committee a functional break-down of the present staff, and I presume that he will also be in position to furnish a break-down of the functions of the staff as previously proposed.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
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LIB

Paul Joseph James Martin (Minister of National Health and Welfare)

Liberal

Mr. Martin:

First of all there is the civil defence co-ordinator, who is assisted by an administrative officer, grade 1; an administrative officer, grade 3; two administrative officers, grade 6; an administrative officer, grade 7; three technical officers; eight technicians; one messenger; three clerks; five stenographers; six typists.

There are 32 positions available, but as I said last night, there are only 27 filled. In addition there are a cook, storeman, cleaners and helpers at the school here in Ottawa. As I said last night, plans exist for 60 others but there has not yet been final determination as to these; it would depend on circumstances.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
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PC

Donald Methuen Fleming

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fleming:

Surely some thought must have been given to the functional distribution of the enlarged personnel that was apparently involved in the first plans of the government in connection with this matter. When this question was first raised last night the Minister of National Defence said that the staff was to be 80. Now the Minister of National Health and Welfare has indicated that 27 positions have been filled, and he cannot say what will be done about the others. When thought was; first given to this matter and something was done that led to

Supply-National Defence a tentative decision to have a staff of 80, surely some planning was done or thought given to the functional distribution of the 80. Cannot the minister give us any information in that regard?

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
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LIB

Paul Joseph James Martin (Minister of National Health and Welfare)

Liberal

Mr. Martin:

I gave it last night. As I have said, there are 32 positions available on the staff of the civil defence group as such. When civil defence was under my colleague, the Minister of National Defence, he did not have the personnel in his department that we have in the Department of National Health and Welfare. He had to give consideration to filling positions with persons such as we have in large measure in the Department of National Health and Welfare. I have not indicated the extent to which the 60 remaining posts will be filled in accordance with the plans which were conceived before the transfer took place. That will be decided upon in the light of circumstances as we see them. I can give no more complete answer than that.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
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PC

Donald Methuen Fleming

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fleming:

I think it is most regrettable that the minister cannot give us more information. Surely he can tell us what work will be assigned to individuals if these other positions are to be filled, or how many personnel from his own department are going to fulfil the functions in whole or in part of civil defence administration. Surely there is information of that kind available.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
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LIB

Paul Joseph James Martin (Minister of National Health and Welfare)

Liberal

Mr. Martin:

I have already given it in

principle, but I shall give it again. The original intention was that preliminary training of civil defence officials would be done in Ottawa. There have been three courses at the school since January. Since that time some thought has been given to the problem, and it would seem-this is not the final decision-best to decentralize the training apart from the technical instructions which we will continue to give. The school in the province of Quebec started today, and two other provinces are opening schools. The result is that it will not be necessary for us to have as many instructors as we had originally contemplated, nor will it likely be necessary to have as many employees at the school, in the way of cooks and the like, to work along with the inevitable stenographic staff, and so on. If we carry out the present policy of decentralization we shall not need as many personnel in that particular. It is circumstances of this kind that have to be looked at.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. Pouliot:

Mr. Chairman, I should like

to proceed with the question I was asking yesterday. In the first place, I want to say to the minister that he rendered a great

service to the Canadian people when he awakened them in the stirring speech he made not so long ago. Now that the Canadian people have been awakened to the danger of war, they wrant to know what to do with regard to civil defence.

Last night the minister indicated that the procedure for any community to follow would be to get in touch with the provincial representative who had been appointed to look after civil defence within the province. My interpretation of his remarks has been approved by the minister. During the last war the civil protection in the House of Commons consisted of placing sandbags on each of the floors near the elevators. Later, in order to improve the situation, wooden boxes were provided, painted red, in which the sandbags were placed. That was supposed to provide fire protection for this fireproof building in time of war. I remember I brought one of those sandbags to Mitch Hepburn and he could not believe that that was the kind of protection we had in the House of Commons. Finally before the end of the war the boxes and the sandbags in them were taken away.

Civil defence is a much more serious thing than some people believe it to be. I take it seriously myself, and I give credit to the minister for his effort. I agree that he has one of the most difficult jobs of anyone in the government at the present time. We have heard for years about the danger of war at this spot in Europe, that spot in Asia or the other spot in Africa. All over the world there are danger spots. The newspapers for a long time have been printing stories to the effect that we may have war at any moment. We must be ready for it. I am extremely glad that the minister is in charge of civil defence in this country.

The minister spoke about hose couplings. I do not see the use of hose couplings without hose. This morning I telephoned to the bureau of statistics to ask them if they had any information about the length of fire hose available in each municipality. The answer was: We have no information. I was not

at all surprised at that answer. Now that the minister has spoken about hose couplings, I will ask him if he has any information about the length of fire hose available in each municipality of Canada.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
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LIB

Paul Joseph James Martin (Minister of National Health and Welfare)

Liberal

Mr. Martin:

I am afraid that, offhand, I

could not answer that question; but I should be glad to try to get for my hon. friend as quickly as possible the information he has requested.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. Pouliot:

I thank the minister, and I agree with him. But may I tell him that if

the chief co-ordinator were worth his salt, the first thing he would have done with his stenographers, his skeleton staff and the others, would have been to write mimeographed letters to the various city clerks or city treasurers asking them what they already had in the way of protection against fire; because in the event of war, the greatest hazard is destruction by fire.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
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PC

William Gourlay Blair

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Blair:

You will get that information in the next census.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
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May 25, 1951