December 6, 1951

LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. Chevrier:

Those are questions that I think are significant answers to those raised by the hon. member for Cape Breton South.

Another point that was made was this: Why not build up our mills in our own country? On that point, Mr. Chairman, I find myself in agreement with the hon. member for Cape Breton South, the hon. member for Annapolis-Kings and the leader of the opposition, who did not go nearly as far as did the hon. member for Annapolis-Kings or the hon. member for Cape Breton South.

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CCF

Clarence Gillis

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

Mr. Gillis:

He did not understand as well.

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LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. Chevrier:

He said: I have no objection to exporting ore provided we see to it that

some assistance is given to our own mills.

I hope it will be possible to do that, and that takes me to the point raised by the hon. member for Cumberland with respect to pulpwood and the paper industry. That was a point made by the leader of the opposition, namely that in the pulpwood industry and in the timber industry we were able to place certain conditions on the export of this pulpwood, when we stipulated that mills for the production and fabrication of paper would be established in our own country, as they have been.

But the position as to pulpwood compared with the position as to iron ore is as day is to night. In pulpwood and in timber we have a monopoly; but in iron ore we are not in that fortunate position. In iron ore we are in a competitive position. We have to compete with iron ore from Liberia, from Venezuela and from other countries. We therefore cannot stipulate. Then again, when I say "we cannot" I refer unquestionably to the provincial governments; and I say this without the slightest desire to be disparaging of them, because these are matters which concern provincial governments. The timber rights and the rights concerning iron ore in Ungava and Newfoundland are those arising out of provincial jurisdiction; and if anyone can tie down the owners, it is the provincial governments. But I am saying that the position, so far as a provincial government is concerned, with reference to iron ore is entirely different from that with reference to pulp and paper.

Then again it has been suggested that Canadians do not want to be merely hewers of wood and drawers of water. I agree with those sentiments. I wish to make it clear that I am not disparaging in any sense the hewers of wood and the drawers of water; but that is not the point. The point is that we want other Canadians to work on the wood and on the water too, in shaping them to their ultimate uses. In this case, that of iron ore, we want Canadians to have the opportunity of mining it and moving it to market. We hope also that other Canadians will have a large share-the larger the better -in the smelting of the iron, in producing the steel, yes and in fabricating the steel into finished products. The production of steel ingots and castings in Canada, for instance, has increased from a total of 1,551,000 net tons in 1939 to a total of 3,383,000 in 1950. I am not able to say what the production is in Nova Scotia, because this concerns one company alone and I am not at liberty to produce the figures I have; but I may say

that the Nova Scotia production was substantial and that province has shared tremendously in the expansion which I have just mentioned.

There is no evidence-certainly none on the record so far in this debate-that the completion of the seaway will put an end to the expansion of Nova Scotia's steel industry. As a matter of fact it appears that some reduction in the cost of production, possibly a substantial one, can be effected by mixing Labrador ore with Wabana ore in the blast furnaces. Iron and steel costs may be further reduced to the extent that the cost of coal is lowered by the mechanization now under way in the coal mines. All these forces will, I think, tend to strengthen the steel industry not only in other parts of Canada but in the maritime provinces as well. The day before yesterday I had the good fortune of discussing this very problem with one greatly concerned with the production of steel in the maritime province of Nova Scotia. He immediately said to me: The seaway will not in the slightest degree harm our steel industry in Nova Scotia.

I now go on to the point which was made concerning navigation being window dressing for power. It has been suggested that we are not serious about the navigation, that it is only a question of window dressing. The federal government is using its best efforts, in this resolution and in the bills which will follow, to assist Ontario in developing

1.100.000 horsepower in the international rapids section of the river where it is required by that province. Then, in case my hon. friend should think that the statement made by the Secretary of State for External Affairs sometime ago was indicative that there was a snag in Quebec, let me assure him that there is no snag in the province of Quebec; because there at Lachine it is hoped it will be possible to develop a joint power and navigation scheme as a result of which

1.200.000 horsepower of electrical energy will be produced. What prompts me to make the statement is that some two years ago I tabled in the House of Commons a joint report made by a board established by this government

the chairman was Mr. R. A. C. Henry, a prominent engineer of Montreal, a former deputy minister of the Department of Transport, a former chairman of the air transport board and a former officer of the Canadian National Railways-together with the Quebec hydro, in which several plans were submitted for the production of power and the development of navigation at Lachine. One of them particularly was recommended. It had to do with a joint power and navigation scheme at Lachine.

St. Lawrence Waterway

My hon. friend spoke disparagingly, I thought-I am sure he did not mean to do so but it looked to me as though he did-of the statement made in western Canada by my colleague the Minister of Trade and Commerce. He spoke disparagingly, I thought, of his statement which he quoted to this effect: The St. Lawrence seaway must be built. Without it the steel industry now on the great lakes would have to migrate to the Atlantic coast.

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CCF

Clarence Gillis

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

Mr. Gillis:

That statement was made in the United States.

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LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. Chevrier:

I am not denying that it was made there.

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CCF

Clarence Gillis

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

Mr. Gillis:

You said the statement was made in the west.

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LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. Chevrier:

I accept the correction. But the point I am making now is that surely that statement, taken out of its context, means an entirely different thing than if read with the context. What the Minister of Trade and Commerce was referring to unquestionably was the migration of steel industries to the Atlantic sea coast of the United States. And the argument he was probably making-I have not his text before me-was that it would be much better for us to take our iron ore in Labrador and Quebec and move it up to the great lakes, through the St. Lawrence seaway, and there sell it where there is a market, than leave it where it is doing nothing. That is the position I think he took.

Then he referred to shipbuilding in the great lakes, as I did, too. I think my friend the hon. member for Annapolis-Kings misunderstood or misinterpreted, not intentionally I am sure, the statement I had made. I had no intention of saying anything concerning the shipyards on the Atlantic coast. I was dealing with one thing only, and that was the great lakes-St. Lawrence seaway for defence purposes. I was trying to make the point that if we had the seaway we could build there, in an area which would be practically invulnerable to attack, destroyers, submarines, escort vessels, trawlers and the like, which could be taken down the deep waterway for defence purposes. That is the point I was trying to make, and I think it is exactly the point the permanent joint board on defence made. Certainly there could be no damage done to our maritime yards on the St. Lawrence river or on the Atlantic coast, because at the moment 1 think they have a considerable number of orders.

The hon. member for Annapolis-Kings discussed the question of finance. He will excuse me if I do not go into that now, because I do not think this is the stage to

1672 HOUSE OF

St. Lawrence Waterway do that. There are financial sections in the bill which we will come to at the appropriate time. But I think the main point he made, and which I have not referred to up to now, is the adverse effect that this will have on the railways. Well, I made what I thought was a fairly considerable explanation of the position of the railways. Apparently it did not satisfy my hon. friend, and I do not think it satisfied the hon. member for Royal. However, he is entitled to his opinion. Perhaps if he will not take my argument he will at least take the argument of the president of the Canadian National Railways when he spoke to the railways and shipping committee-

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PC

George Clyde Nowlan

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Nowlan:

I would rather take the

minister's.

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LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. Chevrier:

-on March 25, 1949. Mr. Hazen asked this question:

There Is another matter you referred to in addition to truck and air competition: you referred to the deepening of the St. Lawrence waterways. Now, you must have made some study on that, I presume?

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?

Mr. Vaughan@

Yes, sir.

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?

Douglas King Hazen

Mr. Hazen:

What losses in revenue, or in railway business, do you anticipate if the St. Lawrence waterway is deepened?

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?

Mr. Vaughan@

We had our research and development department, and bureau of economies make a thorough study of that situation, because we were very anxious to know what traffic we might lose if the canals were deepened. After giving the matter much study and making a thorough investigation their report is, as I recall it, that they do not expect the railway will suffer any substantial loss of business at all because they consider that there will be so many new industries built up along these new waterways that the business we would get from these new industries would more than make up for what we might lose in any other direction. Mr. Hazen: When was that report made?

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?

Mr. Vaughan@

That report was made two or

three years ago.

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?

Douglas King Hazen

Mr. Hazen-:

Was it in 1947, or 1948, or prior to

that time?

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LIB

Leslie Alexander Mutch (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Veterans Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. Mutch:

In any event that was the conclusion. Mr. Vaughan: I remember distinctly that the

conclusion reached in the report forecast no great loss of business. The report was made about two years ago but I cannot give you the exact date.

The successor to Mr. Vaughan, Mr. Donald Gordon, is of the same view and has so declared on more than one occasion in public statements. I think I am not taking too much upon myself when I say it is our view that the Canadian Pacific Railway are of the same opinion.

I have spoken altogether too long, Mr. Chairman. I had no intention of being so lengthy, but I did want to assure the committee and the hon. member for Cape Breton South that, like himself, I too am a Canadian and I believe in the development of our Canadian resources. If I did not I probably would not be in the house at all, because those who sent me here felt that was one of the first duties that I owed to them and to

this parliament. That, too, is the duty of the government. It feels that the resources of the country should be developed. Unquestionably, both from the point of view of power and the point of view of navigation, as well as from the point of view of iron ore and all the allied industries that will come out of it, those resources will mean a great deal to the economy of Canada. And to those who say that the taxpayers cannot foot the bill I say: wait a little while and see what the bill contains. I think it will be established, I hope beyond doubt, that it will be possible, as I stated in my initial speech, to self-liquidate the whole navigation part of -this scheme by means of -the imposition of tolls. With that, Mr. Chairman, I hope it will be possible to get on with the resolution.

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CCF

Clarence Gillis

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

Mr. Gillis:

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SC

John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. Blackmore:

Why is that?

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CCF

Clarence Gillis

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

Mr. Gillis:

They can make more money, and it is cheaper to import the coal and get the drawback from the government. That point the minister brought out in his figures. We are not putting any coal at all into Ontario at this time. Another thing of which I would remind the minister in connection with the production figures he gave us is that at least three large coal-producing collieries, namely collieries Nos. 2 and 11, and the Allen shaft, have closed, but which were operating on that short-week basis. One of them employed 1,500 men, but they have closed down since.

So the production figures do not help the minister's case at all. They merely prove what I have been saying over the years, that so far as that industry is concerned there is no national vision. It is a matter of shrinking the industry to cater to the market handiest to them, while they import coal from the United States and fill the market for which they themselves should be reaching.

St. Lawrence Waterway

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SC

John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. Blackmore:

I should like to make one comment. The hon. member is making a most admirable case. Everyone is rejoicing because of the work he is doing; a man who comes from the mines, and who can express himself so admirably here in the House of Commons. I compliment him in the highest measure. I should like to ask him one or two questions so that he may enlighten us with his answers. Can he give us any connection between this shrinkage and any economic factor the impact of which is likely to be intensified by the construction of the St. Lawrence seaway?

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PC

Alfred Johnson Brooks

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Brooks:

That is a poser.

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December 6, 1951