July 1, 1952

DOMINION DAY


85th anniversary of confederation


LIB

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

Liberal

Right Hon. L. S. St. Laurent (Prime Minister):

Mr. Speaker, this being Canada's 85th birthday as a nation, I should like to suggest, supported by the leader of the opposition (Mr. Drew) and, I hope, by all hon. members, that we mark our proud and happy loyalty to our great country and to our gracious sovereign lady by rising and singing together "O Canada" and "God Save the Queen".

Whereupon the members of the house rose and sang

O Canada and

God Save the Queen.

Topic:   DOMINION DAY
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BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

HOURS OF SITTING FOR TODAY

LIB

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

Liberal

Right Hon. L. S. St. Laurent (Prime Minister):

If I might have the consent of hon. members to do so, I should like- to move, seconded by the leader of the opposition (Mr. Drew):

That when this house rises at one o'clock this day, it will resume its sitting at two o'clock, and that in the place of the usual intermission from six o'clock to eight o'clock, there shall be an intermission from four o'clock to eight o'clock this day.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   HOURS OF SITTING FOR TODAY
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Motion agreed to.


ST. LAWRENCE WATERWAY APPLICATION OF GOVERNMENT TO INTERNATIONAL JOINT COMMISSION FOR DEVELOPMENT OF POWER IN INTERNATIONAL RAPIDS SECTION EXCHANGE OF NOTES

LIB

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

Liberal

Right Hon. L. S. St. Laurent (Prime Minister):

I should like to table for the information of the house copies of the application of the government of Canada to the international joint commission for an order of approval of the construction of certain works for development of power in the international rapids section of the St. Lawrence river which I signed for the Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. Pearson) and forwarded to the commission yesterday. I should also like to table copies of an exchange of notes

which took place at a meeting in Washington yesterday between the Minister of Transport (Mr. Chevrier), the Acting Secretary of State of the United States, Mr. Bruce, and the Canadian ambassador to the United States, Mr. Wrong. The United States government has also sent an application to the international joint commission which was signed by the Acting Secretary of State in the presence of the Minister of Transport yesterday. I am sure I am expressing the sentiments of the house when I say that we commend the Minister of Transport and the officials who have been dealing with this matter for the diligence they have shown in advancing this great project.

These applications request the international joint commission to approve the construction of works for the development of power in the international rapids section of the St. Lawrence river which are to be constructed by entities to be designated by the two federal governments. The works for which approval is requested are set out in section 8 of the application and are described in the agreement with the province of Ontario dated December 3, 1951, which forms the schedule to the International Rapids Power Development Act passed at the last session of parliament.

As the question of the deep waterway is not being referred to the international joint commission in the applications to which I have just referred, and as the governments of both Canada and the United States have for many years considered that navigation and power should be developed concurrently in the international rapids section, it was thought advisable to place on record, on an international basis, the nature and extent of Canada's undertaking to provide an uninterrupted waterway between lake Erie and the port of Montreal. That is the main purpose of the notes which were exchanged yesterday.

The house will recall that last September I discussed with President Truman the desirability of proceeding as quickly as possible with both the seaway and power phases of this project. We agreed that it was desirable to proceed with both phases of the project as a joint undertaking by our two countries, but I informed the President that if this were not possible, the Canadian government was prepared to proceed alone with the construction of the seaway when appropriate arrangements were made for construction of the power

St. Lawrence Power Development phases of the project. The President promised to support this alternative proposal if it was not possible to obtain congressional approval for the joint undertaking at an early date. And that having proved to be impossible, we have proceeded on this conditional undertaking that the President had given me last September.

While we shall always welcome the cooperation of the United States in undertakings of this sort which benefit the economies of both countries, it is fitting that, on the 85th anniversary of confederation, we were able to take this major step toward the accomplishment of a goal which has, for certainly at least half a century, excited the imagination of so many Canadians. And after many years of negotiations and working out of arrangements for co-operating in the joint enterprise with our great neighbour to the south, we are now prepared to construct alone this deep waterway which will link the ports of the great lakes with all the other seaports of the world.

Mr. George A. Drew (Leader of the

Opposition): In view of the fact that the

Prime Minister has expressed his hope that this announcement would meet with the approval of all hon. members, may I say without any reservation that the members of the Conservative party in the house do support this great national project as part of a general development of our resources across Canada; and in that respect I would of course wish to make it clear that there are those who naturally believe this should be a pattern of development right across Canada.

Having said that, I wish to offer my very hearty support for the indication which is given that, along with the decision to seek immediate approval of the development of the immense power resources on the St. Lawrence river, it is the decision of the Canadian government to proceed alone with the waterway development along that part of our great inland transportation system.

It is a significant thing that this announcement should be made on Dominion day when we are commemorating the birthday of Canada as a nation. This is of significance to all Canada because it is the one area where the development calls for a substantial measure of international agreement to carry forward an undertaking that we all wish to see completed as soon as possible.

Perhaps because it might have been such a striking example of international co-operation, there have been many who have expressed the hope throughout the years that the United States might see fit to join with Canada in the construction not only of

TMr. St. Laurent.)

the power development, but also of the deep waterway. This gesture between two nations which carry on their daily activities in such harmony would have been significant not only for us but for other people throughout the world who are seeking proof that nations can live in that measure of harmony and good will which we accept as a commonplace on this continent. Nevertheless, since it has been the decision, in their judgment in the United States, not to proceed with the waterway part of this development, I hope that Canada will proceed without any delay.

I wish to refer to statements that I have seen in some newspapers in the United States which convey the impression that there is still some thought in the minds of those writing editorials even in the most responsible publications that Canada is not prepared to carry on with this undertaking alone. Speaking in this house as leader of the opposition, I think it is appropriate that I should join my voice with that of the Prime Minister in expressing complete confidence that Canada is capable of proceeding alone, and that there is no doubt whatever of our ability to finance the project and also our ability to carry out the construction in a manner which will be consistent with the standards of work that have distinguished the construction of the whole of this great inland waterway system.

There are many things about which we differ, and it is the duty of the opposition to express those differences. On this occasion I wish to leave no doubt that we join in expressing the hope that this application will receive early approval, and that this whole project will proceed as an appropriate expression of Canada's confidence, on this 85th birthday, in our very great future.

Topic:   ST. LAWRENCE WATERWAY APPLICATION OF GOVERNMENT TO INTERNATIONAL JOINT COMMISSION FOR DEVELOPMENT OF POWER IN INTERNATIONAL RAPIDS SECTION EXCHANGE OF NOTES
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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. M. J. Coldwell (Rosetown-Biggar):

Mr. Speaker, I think the Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent) and the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Drew) have expressed the views of all hon. members. There is little to be added. I feel confident that Canada can carry this project through; and, personally, I am rather glad Canada will be undertaking the project alone. There would be some value in demonstrating co-operation between these two great countries, but on the other hand, when I look into the future, I think it is better that one of the two countries should undertake this, and be responsible for it.

I am very happy indeed that the government of Canada has decided to be the country to carry the project through. It is indeed fitting that this announcement is made on the anniversary of confederation. I want to join

in expressing appreciation of the diligence that has been shown by the Minister of Transport (Mr. Chevrier) and his staff, and indeed by the government, in pressing forward this great project which I believe will be, in the long run, of inestimable benefit to all of Canada.

Topic:   ST. LAWRENCE WATERWAY APPLICATION OF GOVERNMENT TO INTERNATIONAL JOINT COMMISSION FOR DEVELOPMENT OF POWER IN INTERNATIONAL RAPIDS SECTION EXCHANGE OF NOTES
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SC

John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. J. H. Blackmore (Lethbridge):

Mr. Speaker, Social Credit members have been in favour of this great project from the beginning. We, too, appreciate the fact that the announcement is being made on the 85th birthday of Canada. We are in sympathy with what has already been said by the Prime Minister and by the leaders of the other parties. The leader of the opposition said that Canada has the ability to carry out this project. I think we need only add, as I am sure the leader of the opposition intended to do, that Canada has the will to do it, too.

Topic:   ST. LAWRENCE WATERWAY APPLICATION OF GOVERNMENT TO INTERNATIONAL JOINT COMMISSION FOR DEVELOPMENT OF POWER IN INTERNATIONAL RAPIDS SECTION EXCHANGE OF NOTES
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PC

Gordon Graydon

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Gordon Graydon (Peel):

May I

ask the Prime Minister one question, by way of clarification in connection with this St. Lawrence seaway development. Assuming that Canada is proceeding with this waterway deepening alone, what constitutional difficulty could arise in virtue of the position of the United States, whereby any obstacle could be placed by the congress of the United States in the way of our proceeding alone? I ask this, having in mind what has happened before.

I can understand that, if the government has full power to approve of our going ahead on an international basis with this waterway, that would be all right; but having in mind what happened before in congress, does the Prime Minister know of any obstacle they could place in the way of Canada's developing the seaway alone?

Topic:   ST. LAWRENCE WATERWAY APPLICATION OF GOVERNMENT TO INTERNATIONAL JOINT COMMISSION FOR DEVELOPMENT OF POWER IN INTERNATIONAL RAPIDS SECTION EXCHANGE OF NOTES
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. St. Laurent:

Our information is that under the laws of the United States this application can be approved by the international joint commission, and that its approval under the treaty would make it binding upon the two countries. Of course the treaty could be repudiated before action is taken upon it, but I think that is most unlikely.

Secondly, according to our information the government of the United States has the right to designate the entity that would proceed with the Canadian entity in the construction of the works necessary to develop the hydroelectric power. That entity, after having been designated by the government, would have to get a licence from the federal power commission, which is a semi-judicial body. There is no action required from the congress of the United States in order to carry the project through. Of course the

St. Lawrence Power Development congress of the United States could adopt laws preventing these agencies which now exist from exercising the jurisdiction they have under the present laws. But I think that is very unlikely, also.

There is also the possibility, to which some consideration has been given, of opposing interests endeavouring to have the courts pass upon the regularity of the proceedings, and the extent of the jurisdiction of the federal power commission. That is something that would be referred to the courts. But our information from our own law officers, and from the law officers of the United States government, is that what is being done is regular, and that it is within the jurisdiction as it now exists of the federal power commission.

Of course the Canadian government cannot proceed with the seaway phase of the undertaking unless there are two entities, one Canadian and one American, that are at the same time proceeding with the power phase of the undertaking. The President had told me quite frankly that he would not favour the designation of an American entity to proceed with the power phase unless there was an undertaking to proceed concurrently with the development of the seaway. In his opinion, it was highly desirable that both phases of the project be proceeded with at the same time.

He had told me that he hoped the congress would allow the provisions of the treaty of 1941, with the appropriate amendments, to be carried out, and the two phases handled as the joint undertaking of the two countries, but that he felt it was so desirable to have the matter proceeded with at once that, if the congress did not act within a reasonable time, he would exercise his executive power to designate an agency, and to put that agency in a position where it could apply to the federal power commission for a licence.

Topic:   ST. LAWRENCE WATERWAY APPLICATION OF GOVERNMENT TO INTERNATIONAL JOINT COMMISSION FOR DEVELOPMENT OF POWER IN INTERNATIONAL RAPIDS SECTION EXCHANGE OF NOTES
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RULES OF PROCEDURE

CONCURRENCE IN PART I OF REPORT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE

LIB

Alphonse Fournier (Minister of Public Works; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Hon. Alphonse Fournier (Minister of Public Works):

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the hon. member for Eglinton (Mr. Fleming) inquired of the Prime Minister if someone would move concurrence in the report of the special committee on house procedure which was tabled by Your Honour on June 27. This was the unanimous report of the special committee. I now move:

That part I of the report of the special committee on house procedure presented to the house on Friday, June 27, 1952, be now concurred in; and that the provisions of part I of the said report become effective at the next session of parliament.

Topic:   RULES OF PROCEDURE
Subtopic:   CONCURRENCE IN PART I OF REPORT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE
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Motion agreed to.



Redistribution


REDISTRIBUTION

READJUSTMENT OF REPRESENTATION IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS

July 1, 1952