November 14, 1951

PC

George Harris Hees

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hees:

It is encouraging to us in the opposition to see-

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Some hon. Members:

Oh, oh.

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LIB

Elie Beauregard (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

Order.

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CCF

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

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

Mr. Knowles:

They do not like the truth.

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PC

George Harris Hees

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hees:

As I say, it is encouraging for those of us in the opposition to see that occasionally pressure of this kind can force the government to take needed action which otherwise it would not take.

It is obvious, Mr. Speaker, that the government is bringing down this legislation unwillingly; because if it had wanted to take action on veterans pensions at this session, this legislation would have been mentioned in the speech from the throne. Hence, as it is unwilling legislation, forced on the government by the pressure of the opposition, the

likelihood is that the government will try to get away with the minimum which it believes it can get away with. I should like to remind the minister that the cost of living has gone up by twenty-eight per cent since the pension was last increased. This means that the war veterans allowance and the pensions of war veterans, war veterans widows and the dependent mothers of those who were killed in battle will buy approximately one-third less today than could be bought three years ago. I therefore believe that these pensions must be increased immediately in order to compensate for this loss in purchasing power. If this government could increase the pensions of judges by twenty per cent last spring, it can increase adequately the pensions of those without whose sacrifice we would not be free today.

When dealing with the pensions of war veterans and their dependents, let the minister also bring in legislation which will allow those who receive the war veterans allowance, and who are also eligible to receive the old age pension, to continue to receive their war veterans allowance intact. To apply the means test to these pensioners is, I believe, both unjust and unfair.

The Minister of Veterans Affairs had a distinguished career during the last war as commanding officer of the Chaudiere regiment, both in Normandy and in northwest Europe. I want to take this opportunity of warning the minister that he will look back on D-day as an extremely quiet day compared to the battle he is going to have on his hands with members of the opposition if the government makes any attempt to short-change war veterans or their dependents when he brings in his legislation.

To strike a quieter note, Mr. Speaker, I should like to deal with a matter which, though not of the same degree of urgency as veterans pensions, is of great national importance. I refer to the need for the construction of the proposed dam known as the South Saskatchewan river project. I was glad to hear my leader-

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Some hon. Members:

Oh, oh.

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PC

George Harris Hees

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hees:

I will repeat, for the benefit of those who were not fortunate enough to hear me-

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An hon. Member:

What about the boys in Toronto? Do they agree?

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PC

George Harris Hees

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hees:

You bet they will.

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LIB

George Alexander Cruickshank

Liberal

Mr. Cruickshank:

That is one too many.

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PC

George Harris Hees

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hees:

I was glad to hear the leader of the opposition (Mr. Drew) on Monday assure the government that they would receive the

The Address-Mr. McCusker

wholehearted support of the Progressive Conservative party on immediate action to proceed with this much needed project.

When I was in Saskatchewan last summer I became acquainted with the great need of bringing water to the area south of Saskatoon, what could be done, and the results that could be expected. I learned that for an outlay of $100 million a dam could be built which would transform 600,000 normally dry acres into a producer of crops the equal of any in the country. It is estimated that this development would triple the number of farm families who could live in this area, and bring their number to over 3,000. In addition, it would give Saskatchewan a source of hydroelectric power the equivalent of 435 million kilowatt hours per year, which is one and a half times the present needs of this province.

I believe that the way to give Saskatchewan industries which will make that province less dependent upon agriculture is to provide it with hydroelectric power in quantities which this project would provide. I became convinced at that time that this is the sort of project which should be proceeded with for the good of the country as a whole. I say that advisedly as a resident of Ontario, because I have learned that the prosperity of Ontario depends upon the prosperity of the rest of Canada. We in central Canada cannot be prosperous unless the west and the maritimes are prosperous as well.

This type of project can only be undertaken by government, and it is the sort of enterprise which government should undertake. I therefore urge upon this government that they get on with this development at the earliest possible moment. I feel sure that the expenditure which will be necessary for this particular development will receive the wholehearted approval of members of this house from all parts of Canada, and particularly from Ontario.

The Progressive Conservative party has already given its wholehearted approval to this project, as evidenced by the statement made by the leader of the opposition (Mr. Drew) to this house on Monday last, and by the many speeches on this matter made in this house by the hon. member for Lake Centre (Mr. Diefenbaker).

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LIB

George Alexander Cruickshank

Liberal

Mr. Cruickshank:

He now agrees with family allowances, also.

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PC

George Harris Hees

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hees:

The position of the Progressive Conservative party is that what is good for one part of the country is beneficial for the nation as a whole. I therefore hope that the government will see fit to place in the estimates, which they will bring before this

house next February, an adequate amount to ensure that this very advisable and necessary undertaking can be proceeded with immediately.

In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, 1 say that any country which can produce a surplus of more than $100 million a month can maintain the standard of living of its disabled veterans and their dependents, and can develop its natural resources as well. I believe that any government that refuses to do this does not deserve to remain long the government of this country.

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LIB

Emmett Andrew McCusker (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of National Health and Welfare)

Liberal

Mr. E. A. McCusker (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of National Health and Welfare):

Had I spoken earlier in this throne address I should have reviewed the needs of my constituency and of the province of Saskatchewan; but as we are now in the sixth week of this session, many things which are of interest to my constituents have already been dealt with, for example, the old age security legislation, that splendid measure brought in by my minister, which will bring so much comfort to the aged people of this country. The veterans pension and allowance act has been dealt with and passed to a committee. The equalization of freight rates has been referred to a committee. Grain transportation and handling have been discussed, and also storage. The question of advances on grain to western farmers who, owing to adverse weather conditions and difficulties in storage, have been unable to harvest or deliver their grain has been fully discussed, and the government has announced that it has under consideration plans to meet this emergency.

Last night the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Gardiner) announced that he is proceeding west to have discussions with the wheat pool and with other interested parties, and I am sure that much good will come from these conferences. It is the desire of all of us who are interested in western crops to see that the system adopted to make these advances is equitable and does not lead to confusion.

The Minister of Agriculture also spoke of the South Saskatchewan river project. I will not take the time to discuss it today; I discussed it fully in the house last year, and I am glad to see that the recommendations I made then have been adopted, and a commission is now studying the project. As the minister assured us last night, action will soon be taken.

Price controls is a question in which many in my constituency are deeply interested, and on which there are among the public widely divergent opinions. I hope the committee appointed to deal with this will be able to bring in an acceptable solution.

1014 HOUSE OF

The Address-Mr. McCusker

Having briefly referred to matters of interest to my constituents, I should like to direct the attention of hon. members to a matter of interest to all parts of Canada. I refer to civil defence. Since I became parliamentary assistant to the Minister of National Health and Welfare (Mr. Martin) my interest as a medical man naturally has been primarily in the health aspects of this department's important and varied work. However, as one who has played some part in military activity during the two wars, especially on the medical side, I am also intensely interested in what is being done in the department in the field of civil defence. Since I have followed new developments in this field closely from day to day I thought it might be of interest to this house to report in some detail the progress being made in Canada's civil defence preparations because the responsibility in this field was transferred in February to the Department of National Health and Welfare. The primary purpose of civil defence is to reduce the effects of enemy attack upon the lives of our people and their property. But there is also an important although a secondary purpose, and that is to improve our facilities and organization to deal with certain day-to-day hazards to our communities such as fire, and for major disasters such as those caused by fires, windstorms, or floods. Much of the training given for civil defence, much of the equipment purchased and many of these facilities established can serve useful stand-by purposes in peacetime disasters if, as we hope and trust, our communities are never subjected to enemy attack.

Preparations for civil defence embrace many fields of action: health and welfare services, advance warning, communications, fire fighting, public information, liaison with the armed forces and so on. Before considering any of these aspects of the problem in any detail perhaps it would be best if I described briefly to the house the way in which civil defence facilities in Canada are organized. As every hon. member knows, civil defence is a complex of overlapping responsibilities involving the participation of federal, provincial and municipal government authorities. Let me briefly indicate the organizational structure on each level. First, the civil defence organization of the federal government:

1. The cabinet and cabinet defence committee: Matters of major policy respecting federal responsibilities in the civil defence field are decided by cabinet and the cabinet defence committee, subject always to the control of this parliament.

2. The Minister of National Health and Welfare: The Minister of National Health and

Welfare has immediate and direct responsibility for all civil defence matters and reports to this house, as he did in May, on all questions of policy or administration. Both the cabinet and the minister are continually advised by the chiefs of staff committee on questions of defence policy as it relates to civil defence planning.

3. The co-ordinator of civil defence: The co-ordinator of civil defence, Major General F. F. Worthington, who is responsible, through the deputy ministers, to the Minister of National Health and Welfare, is chairman of the civil defence co-ordinating committee. He co-ordinates all federal planning and action in this field, and maintains close contact with provincial civil defence authorities in Canada and with federal agencies in the United States, the United Kingdom and other countries.

4. The civil defence co-ordinating committee: The federal co-ordinator is assisted and advised by the civil defence co-ordinating committee, which has permanent members representative of all government departments concerned with the problem of civil defence. For example, public works, resources and development, trade and commerce, finance, transport, labour, agriculture, the R.C.M.P., and, of course, national health and welfare. The secretary of the chiefs of staff committee and the dominion fire commissioner also sit on this committee. From time to time, representatives of agencies such as the national research council, the atomic energy control board and the defence research board are called in when matters affecting this field are under consideration. These latter organizations, of course, have a continuing responsibility to keep the Minister of National Health and Welfare advised on scientific developments applicable to civil defence in this and other countries.

To act in an advisory and planning capacity, there are a number of important federal committees in such fields as telecommunications, transportation, health planning, welfare planning, food, fire fighting, information and research. These committees are composed of federal civil defence and other specialist officers, representatives of national voluntary and professional associations, and representatives of industry.

5. We have a federal-provincial advisory council on civil defence. Before turning to a discussion of provincial organization I think I should add that there is a continuing committee known as the federal-provincial advisory council on civil defence, which was set up following the first federal-provincial conference on civil defence in August, 1950. This council is made up of federal and

provincial ministers and their advisers, and is concerned primarily with the division of over-all responsibility between the two levels of jurisdiction.

Now let me say a word about civil defence organization on the provincial level. Under the Canadian constitution, most of the matters bearing on civil defence, fire fighting, police, public health and welfare services, and so on, fall under the jurisdiction of the provinces vhich, of course, have complete control of -heir own affairs,

Every province has a minister directly responsible for civil defence, as well as a provincial defence co-ordinator. Each province also has a civil defence committee composed of senior provincial officials, and in many cases, representatives of province-wide voluntary organizations, and other leading citizens who assist in the development of plans and programs.

Provincial responsibilities cover such matters as the following:

1. Organization of municipalities for which civil defence is considered necessary;

2. Co-ordination of services of adjacent municipalities;

3. Provision of information to municipalities and other agencies operating within the provinces;

4. Training within the province;

5. Assistance to municipalities to meet civil disaster;

6. Protection against sabotage of provincial services and advice on methods of protecting municipal and privately-owned services;

7. In so far as within provincial authority, providing the necessary legislation to permit local authorities to operate, and to provide for co-operation with adjacent areas in the United States.

Finally, let me say a word about organization at the municipal level. Almost all the larger cities in Canada have established civil defence committees and appointed full-time civil defence directors. Every community of

50,000 population or more, with one exception -Ottawa-and a great number of smaller communities, already have nucleus organizations in existence.

To illustrate I shall briefly list the chief steps suggested for the organization of a target area for civil defence purposes:

1. Appoint a defence control committee of council members;

2. Appoint a planning committee of officials;

3. Appoint a civil defence advisory council, with representation of voluntary agencies;

The Address-Mr. McCusker

4. On the basis of a survey of possible requirements and available resources, prepare a plan for civil defence;

5. Train one or more officers at the federal civil defence school;

6. Appoint and train a full-time or parttime official as civil defence officer;

7. In co-operation with provincial authorities and in collaboration with military authorities, establish a warning system where practicable;

8. Fix the location of control headquarters outside the target area;

9. Raise a group of volunteer workers to become instructors of larger groups;

10. Over the radio and through the press, inform the population of the main civil defence needs, methods and measures;

11. Arrange with municipalities within the mutual aid reception areas for the organization of assistance;

12. In town-planning and location of communities, industries and important installations, to take into account the desirability of dispersion;

13. Examine and, if possible, amend building codes so as to provide for additional shelter in basements, etc.;

14. Provide for a program of building up fire-fighting and rescue equipment.

Among the first acts of a new organization would be to survey its community under the headings of: fire-fighting, engineering, casualties, welfare, traffic, transportation, shelter, communications, control centres and blackout.

The local civil defence division could include the following units: headquarters

section, wardens' section, rescue section, ambulance section, engineer section and welfare section.

So much for organization. The basic federal guide for this was prepared more than a year ago and has been followed, in its general details, by provincial and municipal planners.

It might now be of interest to the house if I outlined in very brief detail some of the major federal achievements in civil defence action since February when the sixteen specific federal fields of responsibility were clearly outlined, and when the division was transferred to the Department of National Health and Welfare.

In March, in meetings held with the Canadian Red Cross, St. John Ambulance, Canadian Legion, and the Boy Scouts Association,

The Address-Mr. McCusker the areas of co-operative action were outlined and agreement reached on the particular fields in which each national organization would accept responsibility.

In March also, an agreement was announced between Canada and the United States providing the basis for mutual aid in the event of enemy attack on either country, and preparing the way for close co-operation between the two countries and between the provinces and their neighbouring states in all fields of civil defence action.

In April, a conference was held in Washington between federal civil defence authorities in both countries to work out terms of this co-operation in greater detail.

In June, arrangements were made for a comprehensive coast-to-coast program for giving special training to nurses in the handling of casualties of atomic or other forms of attack.

In July, the basic civil defence pamphlet for the individual citizen "Personal Protection under Atomic Attack" was made available for very large scale distribution. Canada has now produced or has under production twenty basic manuals and pamphlets and has distributed one-quarter of a million copies to the provinces. Many of these pamphlets have been highly praised.

In August, the second meeting of the joint United States-Canadian civil defence committee met in Ottawa to further co-operative action in many important fields.

In September, a special federal grant was made available to assist St. John Ambulance in giving first aid training to 135,000 volunteers who agree to enrol for civil defence work. These volunteers are to be trained in addition to the normal complement of

55,000 enrolled by the order each year in its regular courses. To assist with this training program, a basic civil defence first aid manual is now being distributed in very large quantities, and instructors' training kits will shortly be distributed.

Also in September the government announced that after a careful study of all alternative communications systems, arrangements had been made to lease special facilities so that communities could quickly be warned of impending attack, and that the government, after extensive tests, had ordered and would distribute sirens, at federal expense, for local warning systems in target areas.

The armed forces are establishing the advance warning system to detect any threatened attack on Canada. A radar network will be supplemented by the efforts of a large ground observer corps which will

'Mr. McCusker.]

feed information to a number of strategically located air defence centres. Civil defence liaison officers to be located at these centres will instantly alert the civil defence authorities in target areas lying in the path of any predicted enemy approach.

Apart from these random examples of the chief recent developments in the federal civil defence program, I might briefly review the highlights of recent federal activity under a number of headings:

(a) Fire fighting. To extend the effective reach of mutual aid in this field the federal government is assisting the provinces in standardizing their fire fighting equipment. Ontario has already come forward with its plan and will receive a federal grant of $300,000. The other provinces are being encouraged to make use of the moneys available. Extensive tests have been made to find the best type of auxiliary fire fighting units to be supplied by the federal government to local divisions for training purposes.

(b) Equipment. Respirators, steel helmets, special anti-gas protective clothing for thousands of designated civil defence workers are now being distributed by the federal government to the provinces. Several thousand stirrup pumps are being provided for training purposes. Training aids such as stretchers, blankets, thunder-flashes, tear-gas capsules and incendiary bombs are being distributed. Special equipment is being supplied to detect after-effects of atomic attack. After extensive research, a prototype rescue vehicle has been chosen.

(c) Health services. Under the direction of a special federal unit, the program for health services is making good progress. Federal committees are working on such vital problems as casualty services, first aid, hospital and ambulance services, the provision of laboratory and sanitary services in time of enemy attack, the creation of first aid stations and the large-scale stockpiling of supplies and so on. Nearly 200 physicians and 25 nurses have been given training as instructors in medical aspects of atomic war. A travelling team now moving across Canada is training 400 nurse-instructors this year.

On Monday I attended the third conference of the federal civil defence casualty services working party, representing professional associations of Canada's doctors, dentists, nurses, pharmacists, as well as national voluntary health associations and federal departments. I may say that this was a most interesting and active meeting.

(4) Welfare services. A special federal unit is working in the field of civil defence welfare services. The care of the homeless, the evacuation of casualties, the housing,

clothing and feeding of victims of atomic attack-such problems are being dealt with, key workers are being given special training, and basic programs are being shaped up with the active participation of voluntary welfare organizations and of provincial and local welfare officers.

(e) Research. An important aspect of federal effort in civil defence is research into the many aspects of modern warfare. The defence research board and the national research council supply expert advice and assistance on defensive measures against atomic, biological and chemical warfare, and in technical aspects of civil defence planning.

(f) Training. By the end of this year, apart from hundreds of nurse-instructors, we will have trained 400 leaders and instructors in civil defence. These 400 federally-trained leaders and instructors then are going on to train provincial instructors who, in turn, will train the many thousands of volunteer workers required and who are now beginning to come forward in large numbers.

(g) New activities. The federal government has many plans actively in mind:

(1) The stockpiling of millions of dollars worth of essential medical supplies across Canada;

(2) We are strengthening the staff of our federal civil defence headquarters;

(3) Through plans to train 100 instructors and 2,500 volunteer workers, we are proceeding with the protection of the federal civil servants living in Ottawa;

(4) We are working out a formula for sharing with the provinces the cost of compensation for anyone injured while training for civil defence;

(5) We are planning to extend our training program by providing financial assistance to provincially-operated schools.

From what I have said today it can be seen that a great deal of progress has been made in the nine months in which we in the Department of National Health and Welfare have had this grave responsibility of preparing a program for the protection of Canada's civilian population.

No one pretends that there is not still a great deal to do. But I might remind the house, as I have already pointed out earlier in this talk, that civil defence is the responsibility of all three levels of government- and the chief operational responsibility must inevitably and properly rest with the municipal authorities.

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PC

Julian Harcourt Ferguson

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Ferguson:

Could we not just take this as read and have it put on the record? Surely that would save a lot of time.

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LIB

Emmett Andrew McCusker (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of National Health and Welfare)

Liberal

Mr. McCusker:

I would not say that my hon. friend is not interested in the defence of our country or in civil defence.

The Address-Mr. McCusker

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PC

Julian Harcourt Ferguson

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Ferguson:

I heard the hon. member say that he had said something, but would it not be better if he said that he had read something? Let it go at that; put it on the record. Just pass it over because that will save a lot of time.

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LIB

Emmett Andrew McCusker (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of National Health and Welfare)

Liberal

Mr. McCusker:

This is the first time I have read anything to this house. Usually I speak without notes but I considered it most important that this should appear on the record correctly and I would not trust it to memory. I repeat, I would not wish to say that the hon. member is not interested in matters of civil defence and national defence, but I suggest to him that when he gets an opportunity, he take this and read it at home and use it in his own constituency.

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PC

Julian Harcourt Ferguson

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Ferguson:

I still suggest that we take it as read.

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LIB

Emmett Andrew McCusker (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of National Health and Welfare)

Liberal

Mr. McCusker:

I have only a few more words.

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November 14, 1951