April 7, 1952

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Jean-Paul Stephen St-Laurent

Mr. SI. Laurent:

I am sure that those who are processing these claims have this consideration in mind, and my information is that they wish to have, in connection with one we both have in mind, something on record to show that there is real need.

Topic:   WAR REPARATIONS
Subtopic:   QUESTION AS TO INTERIM PAYMENTS OF CLAIMS
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MAINTENANCE OF INDUSTRY AS MARKET FOR SURPLUS MILK


On the orders of the day:


PC

Harry Oliver White

Progressive Conservative

Mr. H. O. White (Middlesex East):

I wish to direct a question to the Minister of Agriculture or, in his absence, to his parliamentary assistant. What action, if any, is proposed by the government to preserve and to maintain the Canadian Cheddar cheese industry as a market for surplus milk? My question arises out of an article appearing in the London Free Press on Saturday morning.

Topic:   MAINTENANCE OF INDUSTRY AS MARKET FOR SURPLUS MILK
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LIB

Robert McCubbin (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. Robert McCubbin (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Agriculture):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to assure the hon. member for Middlesex East that everything that can be done will be done. We had the cheese and the dairy men in here discussing the matter with us some weeks ago. As this is a matter of government policy, it will be announced in due course.

Topic:   MAINTENANCE OF INDUSTRY AS MARKET FOR SURPLUS MILK
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FLOOD CONDITIONS

LAKE LEVELS


On the orders of the day:


PC

Harry Oliver White

Progressive Conservative

Mr. H. O. White (Middlesex East):

I wish to direct a question to the Minister of Public Works (Mr. Fournier). In view of the impending disaster owing to high lake levels, does the government intend to take immediate steps to prevent Pelee island from being entirely covered by water?

Right Hon. L. S. St. Laurent (Prime

Minister): Mr. Speaker, there seems to be a general impression that whenever there are flood waters anywhere in the country there is on the federal government a responsibility to see that no damage is done or that whatever damage is done is repaired.

The other day I tried to point out to one of the hon. members that that is not the responsibility of the federal government. Floods in the various provinces are primarily the responsibility of the local authorities. Whenever it happens that there is a catastrophe of such magnitude that the local authorities feel it is beyond their power to deal with it, they apply to the federal government for assistance. There have been three or four cases in which the magnitude of the catastrophe was felt to be such that it took on a national aspect, and the federal government co-operated with the local authorities in an effort to alleviate the consequences to the individuals who had suffered. But unless the flooding of Pelee island can be attributed to some works for which the federal government has responsibility in connection with navigation- or navigable channels, it is not primarily a responsibility of the federal government.

There have been many requests for inspections by officers of the Department of Public Works in connection with the floods that are occurring at this season of the year. Those inspections are being made for the purpose of ascertaining whether the disasters are in any way attributable to works for which the federal government is responsible. But that is as far as we can go under the present constitutional distribution of responsibilities.

If there is a situation at Pelee island which can in any way be attributed to federal works, I am sure that the engineers of the Department of Public Works will investigate the matter and make an appropriate report to the minister of that department. But if it is something which is not attributed to federal works but is rather a calamity arising out of the course of nature, then only if the local authorities, through the provincial government, made representation that the consequences were such that the provincial authorities were not capable of taking care of them, would the federal government feel called upon to consider whether they should recommend to parliament that the matter be treated as one of national magnitude.

Topic:   FLOOD CONDITIONS
Subtopic:   LAKE LEVELS
Sub-subtopic:   PELEE ISLAND
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LIB

Donald Ferguson Brown

Liberal

Mr. Brown (Essex West):

I should like to ask a supplementary question of the Prime Minister. Has Ontario asked for aid in the Pelee island, Detroit river and lake St. Clair

districts or any other district in that province? Has it asked for aid for the province of Ontario?

Topic:   FLOOD CONDITIONS
Subtopic:   LAKE LEVELS
Sub-subtopic:   PELEE ISLAND
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LIB

Louis Stephen St-Laurent (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. St. Laurent:

Not to my knowledge, Mr. Speaker. But that is not something that the province would have to do immediately following the occurrence of the disaster. They themselves would naturally investigate and be in a position, if they came to the federal government, to make representations that would show that there was something of a national character that had to be dealt with. Because I have not received any representation does not mean that there may not be some made after the Ontario government has ascertained the extent and magnitude of what has taken place.

Topic:   FLOOD CONDITIONS
Subtopic:   LAKE LEVELS
Sub-subtopic:   PELEE ISLAND
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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

Mr. Speaker, without being unduly concerned about the constitutional division of authority, in view of the concern which this matter is causing not only in Ontai'io but also in the United States, may I suggest that an examination be made by the departmental engineers to see whether in fact there is any practical way in which this serious situation can be dealt with?

Topic:   FLOOD CONDITIONS
Subtopic:   LAKE LEVELS
Sub-subtopic:   PELEE ISLAND
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LIB

Louis Stephen St-Laurent (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. St. Laurent:

I am sure that that is

being done by the officers of the Department of Public Works. It is not only in respect of these international waters that examinations are being made. I know that representations are coming from sections of the province of Quebec asking for federal assistance in connection with damages resulting from the action of waters at this season. I know that the inspectors of the Department of Public Works are examining all these situations, because quite frequently the assertion is made, not always founded on fact, that the disaster is in some way attributable to works done by or omissions of the Department of Public Works in connection with navigable waters.

Topic:   FLOOD CONDITIONS
Subtopic:   LAKE LEVELS
Sub-subtopic:   PELEE ISLAND
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PC

Gordon Knapman Fraser

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fraser:

This must be the only thing that the government does not control.

Topic:   FLOOD CONDITIONS
Subtopic:   LAKE LEVELS
Sub-subtopic:   PELEE ISLAND
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LIB

Louis Stephen St-Laurent (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. St. Laurent:

I did not understand what the hon. member said.

Topic:   FLOOD CONDITIONS
Subtopic:   LAKE LEVELS
Sub-subtopic:   PELEE ISLAND
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HIGHWAYS

NIPAWIN-FLIN FLON, MAN.


On the orders of the day:


LIB

Gladstone Mansfield Ferrie

Liberal

Mr. G. M. Ferrie (Mackenzie):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to ask the Minister of Resources and Development if he will table the correspondence between the government of Saskatchewan and himself with regard to highway No. 35 from Nipawin to Flin Flon in the years 1951 and 1952?

Inquiries of the Ministry Hon. Robert H. Winters (Minister of Resources and Development): Subject to the general reservation with regard to approval by the provincial government respecting their correspondence, I shall be glad to table the correspondence.

Topic:   HIGHWAYS
Subtopic:   NIPAWIN-FLIN FLON, MAN.
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AMERICAN AIR LINES

April 7, 1952