March 6, 1953

CCF

Hazen Robert Argue

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

Mr. Argue:

Then I would appreciate having the Minister of Finance deal with those figures. If he had them on the record he could check them easily; and if they are wrong I would appreciate his pointing out just where they are wrong, or having someone else do it for him.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
?

An hon. Member:

Get Sinnott.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
CCF

Hazen Robert Argue

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

Mr. Argue:

But so far as I am concerned, I believe those figures are correct. When I put a similar table on the record more than a year ago there was no challenge of any of the figures I tabled at that time. They were right then, and I believe they are right today.

Then, let us take a look at the size of families-if the minister wants us to take note of the number of bachelors, and the numbers of dependent children. The figures indicate that the average dependents in British Columbia showed a figure of 1-8, while Quebec has a figure of 3 [DOT] 3-or 1 [DOT] 5 more in Quebec.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
LIB

Douglas Charles Abbott (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. Abbott:

About 100 per cent higher.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
CCF

Hazen Robert Argue

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

Mr. Argue:

Oh, the minister says it is about 100 per cent higher. The difference in the size of families would place them in about the same net income position for taxation purposes. And with that same position we see that they collect 72 times as much income tax from farmers in British Columbia as from those in Quebec.

Mr. Speaker, you can almost tell where the Liberal party is strong in Canada by taking a look at that table. Out in Alberta the Liberal party scarcely exists and the income tax inspectors are highly efficient. The Alberta farmer paid the highest net income tax. Even though on an average he earned less than the Ontario farmer, he paid over four times as much income tax.

Then, in Saskatchewan the Liberal party is weaker than in most provinces, but perhaps a little stronger than in Alberta. However, the Liberals have not been in office in Saskatchewan for some time. The income tax inspectors out there are right on their toes; they are efficient.

Out in British Columbia it would seem that the income tax inspectors may have been too good, because the Liberal coalition government of 1950 no longer exists. Certainly the income tax inspectors were very efficient in that province.

In Ontario they do a little, but not much. Even though the Ontario farmer has the highest net income, on the average-percentagewise or any other way that the mathematician, who is the Minister of Finance, may wish to employ-they pay, on a average' a very small amount of income tax.

The Budget-Mr. Pouliot

Then, of course, when you come to Quebec -why, they hardly know what it is to pay income tax. It costs them, roughly, the price of a package of cigarettes-just 37 cents, on the average. Yet the net income, per farmer, in Quebec for that year shows up favourably when compared with the net incomes of farmers in many other provinces.

When I began speaking this afternoon I said that this government has been showing .signs of disintegration. The Minister of Justice has run into trouble. The Minister [DOT]of Agriculture (Mr. Gardiner) would not enforce his floor prices. Then the Minister of Finance has brought in a sour budget. The Minister of National Revenue (Mr. McCann) Js not collecting much income tax in some .provinces, while his income tax inspectors *are using methods that almost amount to torture, according to a Liberal member, in dealing with farmers in certain other provinces.

Then, of course, the department of the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Claxton) is the prize of them all-waste, extravagance and corruption. I say this government reeks of scandal and the cabinet is loaded with reckless men.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. Jean Francois Pouliot (Temiscouata):

Mr. Speaker, I am under the impression that the hon. member for Assiniboia (Mr. Argue) prepared his speech with the aid of a dictionary of synonymous words, instead of official statistics from the Department of Trade and Commerce. He would surely interest the house if he would tell how he arrived at his figures. It would be a mystery novel that would surely become a best-seller.

I shall brush aside what he has said about the Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent). The work of the cabinet is too big to be done by one man. It is equally divided among all the ministers.

Today I must tell the Minister of Finance (Mr. Abbott) that the suggestion that his budget is a rich man's budget is untrue. Travelling to and fro on the trains I have met many people, and they all seem to be .satisfied. The morning after the budget was delivered I went to a store, and the clerk told me that even Conservative clerks in the store were all elated about the budget .brought down by the Minister of Finance.

But I understand of course that hon. members in the opposition feel that they must express dissatisfaction; it is only natural. The hon. member for Assiniboia is young and impetuous; he will mellow with age and will be the first to regret the way he has spoken about the Prime Minister this afternoon.

Well, sir, I should like this afternoon to offer some constructive criticism. We hear

[Mr. Argued

from some members suggestions about waste and extravagance. It is so much in their minds that I am sure if the South Saskatchewan river dam were built, the hon. member who has just spoken would call it extravagance and waste, and would be very bitter about it. It has not been done. He has asked that it be done.

Well, that is the depth of human nature. I noticed when listening to the speech of the Minister of Finance that he was very cautious in trying to do what Jim Robb did- to reduce debt and at the same time to reduce taxation. When hon. members are always asking for expenditures they cannot be surprised when taxes are not further reduced.

My constructive criticism has to do with preventing future expenditures of enormous sums of money by Canada and the United States, and to register a solemn protest against the perpetration of a thing that should not be done. Everyone spoke very well, even those who made wrong statements. I do not intend to disagree with anybody because I am going to deal with an entirely different matter. There may be those who will disagree with me afterwards, although I hope not.

My credentials are in the form of resolutions which have been passed by the county council of Temiscouata and by other municipal bodies in my constituency. His Excellency the Archbishop of Rimouski wrote me that he was giving me his entire support in this matter. I intend to refer to the possible flooding of 4,500 square miles in the province of Quebec, with a similar area in the state of Maine. That represents quite an area. Instructions were given to the international joint commission on September 28, 1950, to make a survey of the southern part of the province of Quebec, which included part of my constituency and neighbouring constituencies. Many civil servants and officials from various departments were sent there. One cabinet minister wrote me on August 19 last as follows:

You will note from the terms of the reference that it does not constitute a commitment on the part of either government to conserve and regulate the waters of the basin or to act on the recommendations of the commission. The surveys and studies are being made in order that the commission may advise the two governments as to what projects for the conservation and regulation of the waters of the Saint John river system, in its judgment, would be practical in the public interest. It is understood that in addition to studying the findings of the engineering and technical investigations the commission will conduct public hearings in the area in order to obtain the views of all persons concerned prior to formulating its recommendations.

According to the report of the New Brunswick Electric Power Commission for 1951

their revenue was approximately $475,000 per month. During the last provincial elections the premier of New Brunswick put out ten articles in his program with regard to hydroelectric power. Those were published in the form of full-page advertisements in the New Brunswick newspapers. Another full page advertisement contained the following:

Power development. Harnessed power of Tobi-que river electric power. Liberals fought for public ownership. Electric power blessing to farmers.

The question of hydroelectric development was submitted by the former government of New Brunswick to the electorate by way of the printed word and word of mouth. Everyone spoke about it, but what was the result? That government had a majority of 40 members in a house totalling 52 members but as a result of the election they now hold only 16 seats whereas the former opposition party now hold 35. A majority of 40 was turned into a minority of 20. I should like to quote some of the reports by members of the press gallery to their papers following the New Brunswick election. The correspondent of La Presse had this to say:

(Translation):

An error of strategy and a political mistake.

(Text):

Then Le Canada had this to say: (Translation):

The federal vote and the provincial vote are becoming more and more two quite distinct matters in our country. This fact has already been demonstrated; it will be even more so before very long.

(Text):

Then Le Soleil, the Quebec daily, contained this article:

If Mr. J. B. McNair had tried to have the Conservative party elected in New Brunswick, he could not have succeeded any better, it is said in Ottawa.

Those are the reports that appeared. I have met members of the government of New Brunswick and they have told me that parishes in Temiscouata county would not be flooded. A national subscription is being taken up in connection with natural floods in Europe and I am wondering if we should permit artificial Canadian floods that will cause just as much damage.

To indicate what has been done already by civil servants in various departments, I might say that they conducted aerial photography and ground control surveys at Squat-teck lake, Long lake, Boundary lake, Lac de l'Est and Daaquam. Ground surveys were also carried out at Jerry lake, Cabano, les Straits, Riviere Bleue, Estcourt, lac Enoutiere and Junction Sabine. I believe that is in Dorchester county. They also carried out drilling

The Budget-Mr. Pouliot operations, plowage surveys, and made real estate valuations. I got in touch with the Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. Pearson), under whose jurisdiction the international joint commission comes, and asked for an opportunity to meet the commission when they were making an inspection of the reservoir sites. The date was set for July 8. I was there but no representative of the then provincial government of New Brunswick appeared. There were three or four officials of the government, one of whom looked so wicked that he made me think of a hound that was possessed. They did not want to give any information. General McNaughton was there, representatives of the county council were there, and the accredited representative of the Archbishop of Rimouski was there. They asked me to ask a few questions.

There was a gentleman in the civil service -natural resources and development-from Halifax, who was described by General McNaughton as one expert who knew everything about it. The name of the project that would affect one part of my county-there are others-is Morrill. There was a map on the wall and I said to the gentleman: By how-many feet will you raise the level of the water in my county? He said: Nine feet. Then General McNaughton intervened and said: No, no, no; it is seven feet. The expert had not passed his examination before the great general and the information was stopped then.

Then, I told the commission what it was about and what were the objections of the county to see so many people coming from Ottawa, various parts of the maritimes, three or four from New Brunswick and many from the United States. They were there and I wanted to tell them at the start what were our objections to any flooding of our part of the country.

I have the honour to express the feelings of the county council and of the gentleman who was the representative of the archbishop.

Then, I understand these gentlemen were in a hurry because they had accepted an invitation from the premier of New Brunswick to a two-week party on the lakes there-on the lakes that belonged to the province. They were to be the guests of the New Brunswick government.

I wrote to the Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. Pearson) on July 31 this letter:

I am told that the whole group has been invited to a fishing party by Premier McNair. I would like to know how many of the people above referred to attended that party, where it took place, and how long it lasted.

It was not fair. When the council solicitor argues a case in court and he sees the judge

2692 HOUSE OF

The Budget-Mr. Pouliot go away with the other party, he finds it strange. That was my position.

Some Americans, who were much more decent than the members of the international joint commission, told me there was another big party that had been given in Quebec. It had been given toy the late provincial government of New Brunswick.

But I did not get the information. I was told by the Secretary of State for External Affairs:

I am afraid I have no information about the fishing party given by Mr. McNair, or, indeed, about any of the guests who were invited.

Perhaps the best way to obtain these details would be through Mr. McNair's office direct.

I have no objection to anyone going fishing but in such circumstances I find it rather queer.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
PC

Alfred Johnson Brooks

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Brooks:

Could I ask the hon. member the date of that meeting?

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. Pouliot:

July 8.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
PC

Alfred Johnson Brooks

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Brooks:

1952?

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. Pouliot:

Yes, last summer. And I hope the hon. gentleman will get that information from the present government of New Brunswick and I hope he will pass it over to me -for the two parties: the one in Quebec city, and the one on the lakes.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
PC

Alfred Johnson Brooks

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Brooks:

I am ashamed of the discourtesy of the former government.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. Pouliot:

Well, well. It is always the same story. I find it a lack of ethics, and I do not see why those men who have to decide on the request of the government of New Brunswick could accept an invitation and rush to the party before giving the information asked for. It is the same thing. The same thing was said by Maxime Raymond, the member for Beauharnois-Laprairie, when he asked for the amount of liquor that had been bought by the government of Canada for the Quebec conference. They said it was not ethical. We have the right to know the amount that was spent. However, it is difficult for me to get it but it is easy for my friend; and if he does not want it, let him keep out of the way.

It seemed that the goddess of retributive justice, Nemesis, dealt with Mr. McNair and his government as she will deal with anyone who will set his foot on Temiscouata county to take possession there. It is remarkable that Nemesis could be remembered for that government, and it could be remembered also for Mr. Truman-because his government sent some people, with other bureaucrats, to my county, and the Democrats did not have a great chance at the elections.

I asked who were the people who attended the gathering at Cabano. When I speak to

some people I want to know to whom I speak. I was introduced to some of them and there were 32 seats in the dining room, all occupied by members of the party. I asked General McNaughton to send me the names. In the first place, he gave me the names of 16 only. There were three commissioners of the Canadian section, three commissioners of the American section, and then they have created two boards-the international Saint John river engineering board and the international Saint John engineering committee. I asked what was the difference between the board and the committee and they could not tell me. It was to give some importance to some members of the party.

On the board there were two members of the Canadian section, two members of the American section, and one secretary. On the committee it was the same thing. I learned later on that there were three advisers, one from the province of Quebec, one from New Brunswick and one from the company. I complained that the list was not complete because it represented only a small number of the people that were there. Then I got another list of 22 names on which 4 had been repeated, meaning a difference of 18.

There were many more than that.

Finally, I got my information from several departments and I am told that the list is not complete. There were four provincial civil servants, three from New Brunswick, and the consulting engineer from Fraser Companies, Limited; one adviser or observer from Quebec; two from the International Paper Company and subsidiaries; the chief engineer, Power Corporation of Canada Limited; the assistant engineer, International Paper Manufacturing Company Limited; 31 dominion civil servants

3 commissioners, international joint commission; 1 secretary; 3 from mines and technical surveys; 6 from resources and development and 8 from public works.

With respect to Americans from the state of Maine, no civil servants. It made all the difference in the world. There were six power executives, one of them representing the governor of the state of Maine. There were 15 federal civil servants-3 commissioners, international joint commission; 1 secretary; 3 from the United States geological survey and 8 from corps of engineers, United States army.

Resume: 4 from New Brunswick; 2 from International Paper Company; 1 observer from Quebec; 6 observers from the state of Maine; 31 dominion civil servants; 15 federal United States civil servants. I had to go to New England for a couple of weeks to obtain some information, and I was satisfied to obtain it there.

IMr. Pouliot.]

Now, sir, there are three existing hydroelectric projects in New Brunswick. They are Grand Falls, Tinker and Tobique Narrows. There are eight proposed developments. They are Rankin rapids, Fish River falls, Masardis, Castle Hill, Morrill, Beechwood, Hawkshaw and Glazier lake. I was told that the commission would make a report and select a site, and that would be done next April. I wonder why such a thing should be done? There is no necessity for it. In a financial weekly, I think it was the Financial Post, it was stated that the development is not needed now and that it will be only required in fifteen years. What was the rush? Was it to be used as a screen to cover the scandals of the last New Brunswick government? Was it to distract the attention of the people from what they had done? I do not know, but there was no need for that.

I have met many industrial men in the state of Maine who work for power developments, and they told me that they had enough power to sell a small surplus to New Brunswick, especially to the town of Edmundston. There is no need for that. The other day one of the brightest younger members on this side of the house spoke of the Passamaquoddy development. It is just a bait for obtaining the consent of the state of Maine to other hydro developments. It is absurd. It would work by the ebb and flow of the tide, like perpetual motion, to create the power. Who will ever think of that?

You know, sir, my county has been supplying timber for the Fraser Companies' mill at Edmundston for a long period of years. If it were not for Temiscouata county, that big mill would not operate at all. I suggested years ago that the provincial government should buy title to the Thomas seigniory, where these forests are. Unfortunately, there was some difficulty and the thing was not done. At the present time it is Edmundston, New Brunswick, that has all the advantage from the cutting of timber in my county. It is easy to see the Madawaska river, the outlet of lake Temiscouata, filled with logs which are going straight to Edmundston to supply the mills. What does it give to us? We have only trouble with these neighbours. They want to get all we have, and now they are trying to flood our parishes, just because of a request made by a dead government to cover its sins. It is done that way, and it was concocted by the bureaucrats here in Ottawa.

Not only that, but I have another complaint about the province of New Brunswick and the International Paper Company. This International Paper Company has built a dam in my county for a reservoir to supply Grand

The Budget-Mr. Pouliot falls. As a result the water level of lake Temiscouata has risen by many feet. As compensation, in virtue of legislation, New Brunswick was supposed to deliver to Quebec at cost price 5,000 horsepower which could have been used by my county. I asked them, and I publicly did so, for an option to be given by the government of Quebec at that time to the county council of Temiscouata or to the city of Riviere du Loup to use that electrical wealth. What happened? I have here a letter that I will put on the record. It is a letter from the deputy minister of the department of hydraulic resources of the province of Quebec. It is dated October 17, 1952 and reads as follows:

(Translation):

"Department of Hydraulic Resources Province of Quebec

Office of the Deputy Minister

Quebec, October 17, 1952

Mr. J. F. Pouliot, M.P.,

House of Commons,

Ottawa.

Dear Mr. Pouliot:

The honourable Mr. Bourque has asked me to reply to the letter you sent him on October 4 last, in connection with the act amending the charter of the New Brunswick Electric Power Commission Company, and more particularly section 7 of the said act.

It is true that according to that section, the company was to place at the disposal of the lieutenant governor in council of the province of Quebec, at a point on the border line, a permanent supply of 5,000 horse-power and that the lieutenant governor in council could authorize any person, municipality or company to use, in whole or in part, the said electric power.

It does not appear from our files that the lieutenant governor in council has determined any point on the border where the 5,000 horse-power could be delivered and there is nothing also to indicate that the government of the province wanted to take advantage of, or make available, the said 5,000 h.p.

Out of the numerous storage dams mentioned in the statutes of 1925 and 1927, only one has been built. It is that of lake Temiscouata and at a level two feet lower than was requested by the St. John River Storage Company, with which cur department has a lease regarding that water storage on lake Temiscouata.

(Text):

I beg to remain,

Yours very truly,

(signed) A. Dussault,

deputy minister."

Then, there are coal deposits in New Brunswick. I know that steam power is used to develop electricity. The coal mines in New Brunswick are mentioned in the report of the hydro commission. Why does not the government of New Brunswick or the power commission use the coal from the maritimes to develop the power if they need more?

The Budget-Mr. Pouliot

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
PC

Alfred Johnson Brooks

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Brooks:

Why should they not use both, just as many other provinces do?

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. Pouliot:

They may use everything, as long as they do not flood my parishes.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
PC

Alfred Johnson Brooks

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Brooks:

I should like to ask the hon. member a question. Was that not done through an agreement with the province of Quebec when Grand falls was developed? Quebec agreed to it. If Quebec is not getting her share of the bargain now, is it not her own fault?

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. Pouliot:

It is not her own fault because the province of New Brunswick diverted it somewhere else. I will tell the hon. member for Royal (Mr. Brooks) one thing. It is that I have many good friends in New Brunswick, and what I complain of most is the clique that ran the affairs of New Brunswick until they were defeated. I hope that he will not attribute the same thing to the present government of New Brunswick.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
PC

Alfred Johnson Brooks

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Brooks:

I can sympathize with that point of view.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. Pouliot:

I will tell my hon. friend another thing. It is this. When I complain about these things that have been done, my complaints are justified. I do not mean to say anything against the province of New Brunswick as a whole.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
PC

Alfred Johnson Brooks

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Brooks:

I would hope not.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. Pouliot:

I do not want to offend my friends from New Brunswick. I still have friends there. But there are others who are rotten politicians and they will use any device in order to cause harm to the other provinces of Canada. That is what I complain of.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink

March 6, 1953