May 25, 1954

LIB

John Horace Dickey (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Defence Production)

Liberal

Mr. Dickey:

Applications for approval of projects, I am informed, are received at the rate of about two per month. According to the memory of officials in the Department of National Revenue who deal with this subject, only two or three applications have ever been refused. The practical situation is, therefore, that almost every application that has been made by a private company or organization to get this 100 per cent deductibility for research expenditures has been approved. The practice is that the Minister of National Revenue consults the national research council with respect to these matters, and makes a decision.

A very important feature of the system is the definition of scientific research. I think I should like to put that on the record. It is: ... any activity in the field of natural or applied science for the extension of knowledge.

This is amplified further on in the regulations as:

references to scientific research relating to a business or class of business, include any scientific research that may lead to or facilitate an extension of that business, or as the case may be, business of that class.

In other words, that means that while research must be related to the taxpayer's business, it need not necessarily be in the

particular line of production in which he is actually engaged at that time. It may be a similar line or a by-product or some line quite different from the main line of production. Any bona fide research program undertaken by a taxpayer in Canada to further the interests of his business is almost certain to receive this approval.

Now, these expenditures may be made for research directly carried out by the taxpayer, or they may be payable to approved bodies that carry out research for the taxpayer, such as research associations undertaking scientific research related to the class of business to which the taxpayer's business belongs, or something of that kind. It may be an approved university, college or similar institution. Now, the capital expenses, as opposed to current expenditures, are on a little different basis. There is no deductibility for the land. All other items of a capital nature that are directly undertaken by or on behalf of the taxpayer, that is buildings, equipment, machinery, whatever might be required, are depreciable at the rate of one-third of the value per year. In other words, those items are completely written off in three years. I would submit to the hon. member and to the house that is a very generous write-off indeed.

How does this situation compare to the situation that exists in other countries? The hon. member was interested in that. I feel the hon. member will agree that the scale of industrial research in the United States is extensive indeed. The situation there is that the internal revenue code of the United States does not contain any special provision dealing with the deduction of expenditures for scientific research. In administering their particular law, however, the bureau of internal revenue recognizes that most manufacturing businesses have experimental, research and developmental departments, and allows the cost of this work as a deductible expense. I am advised the main concern of the bureau appears to be whether any cost in developing a new process should be capitalized, that is regarded as a capital expenditure, and written off over a period of years or should be classed as a current expenditure.

In brief, with respect to current expenditures, the situation in the United States is just about on a par with the situation in this country prior to 1944. It does not appear to be as generous a provision as we now have in Canada. Though scientific research programs do not have to be officially approved any deduction made by a taxpayer has to meet the general test of being a necessary expense of doing business.

That brings us right back to the situation we had in Canada prior to the fiscal provisions made in 1944. Expenditures on scientific research of a capital nature in the United States do not qualify for any quick write-off but would obtain only the depreciation allowance for property of their class used in the general course of the business. That is obviously a very much less generous provision than that provided in this country for capital expenditure.

In the United Kingdom the provisions of the income tax law which allow a deduction for expenditures on scientific research are similar in many respects to those in the Canadian law. Scientific research is defined as:

Any activities in the fields of natural or applied science for the extension of knowledge.

There is a deduction for expenditure of both a current and capital nature, but the deduction for expenditures of a capital nature must be spread over five years, as compared with three years in Canada. Their law does not have the requirements that the scientific research program must be approved, although it does require that when expenditures are made by scientific research associations, universities and the like, these institutions must be approved. And they have a lengthy definition which ties the expenditure down to research related to the trade in question. This is regarded as quite a bit more restrictive than the situation here in Canada.

In his speech the hon. member for Lamb-ton West referred to provisions made in a recent budget brought down in the British parliament on April 6. He referred to a special 20 per cent write-off for research expenditures. I was interested in that, as it seemed to indicate a change in the situation as I had understood it. With that in mind I looked up the parliamentary debates of the House of Commons at Westminster, volume 526, No. 90, and I believe that portion of the budget speech to which the hon. member had reference is to be found at page 225, where the Hon. Mr. Butler said:

In general, the field over which the new investment allowance will operate will be the same as that of the initial allowance, which applies to plant and machinery generally and to new industrial buildings and mining works.

Looking further, I find that this is not a deduction specifically for research purposes. It is a special allowance made over the broad field of industrial expansion for new plant, new industrial buildings, and new undertakings of that kind. They are eligible for this 20 per cent allowance, whether or not they are connected with research. It is true that if they are connected with research, they may qualify; but it is not a program that is intended specifically to encourage research.

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It is a program that is intended rather to encourage the expansion of business over the general field.

That, I think, deals in some detail with what I believe was the main theme of the hon. member's speech. He went on to ask questions about whether we are doing enough agricultural and medical research. Well, I think the answer to that is exactly the same as the answer to his first question. It can never be said we are doing enough. The question is: Are we doing the best we can in all the circumstances, and with the facilities available?

Then he asked how the situation compares between the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada. The Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Howe) put some figures on record in this debate on May 11, when he dealt with that subject. I am not going to tire the house by repeating the figures, but I would state briefly that the figures of expenditures on an absolute basis, on the basis of per capita expenditure, and also on the basis of expenditures as related to national income and gross national product, show that Canada has been expanding research, and particularly government research, in a manner that is very creditable indeed, as compared with either the United States or the United Kingdom.

I do not suggest for one moment that we are doing everything that could possibly be done; but I do suggest the general program compares favourably with programs under way in the two countries I have mentioned. The hon. member referred particularly to arrangements being made in the United States and the United Kingdom for special committees or advisory councils. The fact is that for many years neither of those countries found it necessary or thought it advisable to have any organization of the nature of the national research council, which we have had for a long period of time.

We think the job the national research council has done has been pretty effective and pretty worth while for Canada. I do not doubt that the types of organizations selected in the United States and the United Kingdom will be designed to meet the problems with which they are confronted. But I do submit to you, Mr. Speaker, that the performance we have had from the national research council indicates that we have followed a pretty clear and pretty worth-while path in that regard.

Then the hon. member asked a final question, which amounted to his wondering whether the national research council is doing enough: Is its work sufficient? Well, that again is a question to which no one can

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give a categorical answer. I think the hon. member will agree that the reputation of the national research council in scientific circles, not only in this country and in the United States, but throughout the world, is very high indeed. Names of many men connected with the national research council, and the work they have done, are known everywhere. Perhaps the most recent and most outstanding honour that has come to this organization, or anybody connected with it, was the awarding of the Kelvin medal to Dr. Mackenzie. That is an accolade that is an honour, not only to the distinguished man who received it but to the organization in which he has worked and which he has headed so effectively for many years.

He would be the last to suggest I am sure that the national research council has done everything possible. I am sure every scientist realizes, perhaps better than hon. members in the House of Commons, the tremendous extent of knowledge as yet undiscovered, and the magnitude of the problem with which research men are faced. Having that knowledge, they realize even better than we do that no one can say, "Well, the organization is doing enough".

We come again to the basic question: Are we doing the best we can, in all the circumstances, and with the facilities available? I believe there is very little more I can add, except to say in conclusion that the national research council does cordially invite members of the House of Commons to come to their open-house tomorrow, and if not then to come later in the week.

In his speech the hon. member for Lamb-ton West used an expression that I thought was quite extraordinary. As reported at page 4632 of Hansard, referring to the development of Canada, and what he termed a new phase in Canadian history, he said:

We are beginning to grow up in spite of ourselves.

Now, that may be the considered opinion of the hon. member. It is not my opinion, and I hope it is not the opinion that is shared very widely in this house and in the country. I do not believe this country has grown in spite of itself, in any sense of the word; but it has grown because of what has been done in this country in many, many fields, and not the least of these fields is the field of research. The circumstances of our development in Canada have meant that a very large proportion of our research has to be done by government, not only the federal government but by other governments. Happily the extent to which private initiative and private interests are making contributions to research is growing every day. I think that the kind of

climate that this government has created in this country, both over the whole sphere of the economic life of the country and also in the measures that have been taken to try to make it possible for companies to undertake research, has been largely responsible for the scale of our progress.

It has taken hard work and an intelligent approach to problems and a willingness by governments, by individuals and by private enterprise to search and to find the best path towards our continued and sound progress, but that has in large measure been done. I hope that we have built well on the foundation that was provided for us by our ancestors, and I hope that our children and our children's children will not consider that we have grown up in spite of ourselves.

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PC

James MacKerras Macdonnell

Progressive Conservative

Mr. J. M. Macdonnell (Greenwood):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to make a few observations, prompted partly by what the last speaker has said and partly by what the hon. member for St. Paul's (Mr. Michener) said. We owe a duty to the hon. member for Lambton West (Mr. Murphy) for introducing the amendment he did, even though it had the fate that amendments sometimes have of not passing the scrutiny of Your Honour. There are other worthy amendments that lie in the same scrap heap, so that we need not sympathize too much with this particular amendment.

We have had a speech at length by the senior member for Halifax (Mr. Dickey) answering many of the questions which were asked by the hon. member for Lambton West. I found the hon. member's speech interesting. I was surprised that he picked up so emphatically the phrase, which seemed to me a very ordinary one, used by the hon. member for Lambton West when he said "in spite of ourselves." I would point out to the senior member for Halifax that he did not say "in spite of the government". He just said "in spite of ourselves". I think it is just part of the natural modesty which we on this side of the house try to cultivate. I do not think there is more than that in it.

As I say, I was interested in the speech of the senior member for Halifax who said many interesting things. I was, however, surprised that he emphasized so much "the tremendous increase in the annual amounts expended". He would have been wiser to dwell wholly on the results achieved.

One of the reasons why I think it is a good thing that this amendment was moved is that it has prevented the debate on this bill being just a mere competition in adulation. It would be a very queer person who would not wish to give great credit to the national research council for all it has done. It just so happens

that the officials have been very kind to me this week, and I have them particularly in mind.

It is interesting to look back to the constituting act of 1924 and to find how exclusively at that time it appears to have been directed to immediate utilitarian objectives, but as time has gone on and as we read the last report we realize how far the institute has gone in its operations. Because of the extent of the operations it almost makes one dizzy as one reads the report. We begin with the science laboratories; we go on to the division of pure chemistry, then the division of applied chemistry and on to physics, and so on. I am ashamed to say that there are many words here I do not even know the meaning of. I think, however, there is a danger which is always inherent in an organization which is to some extent in a position of isolation and which is presided over by a man of immense driving energy and who likes to see things done and likes to play a big part in doing them. There is always a question as to whether it goes on accumulating, growing, without any really critical view being brought to bear on it. I say "critical view". I think it is extremely difficult for a committee composed merely of members of parliament to bring an informed criticism to bear on the work of the research council because it is so highly scientific. We admire so much what it is doing that we really hesitate to become anything but a mutual admiration society, and yet that is bad.

There is a great danger that when people get to the top of an organization of this kind they naturally want it to grow. I remember when I was in business my chief saying to me once after a small new department had been founded: "Remember, Jim, you have got a new king now and he will want to have as many subjects as possible". I think that is true in all kinds of relations in life. Therefore I feel that if the result of this debate shows that, we shall be more determined to have a committee which will be able to collect opinions from various people across Canada. The people, for example, that I think would be worth consulting are the heads of provincial research institutes, selected university people, selected manufacturing people and others who can bring to the work of the institute an informed criticism.

When I say "criticism" I mean it only in the sense of trying to assess what has been done, so much of which we know is good. Certainly, I do not know anything that is not good; but I still feel that it would be very desirable if next year-it is too late this year -there could be a committee which, by

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getting the opinions of other experts, would try to come to an informed view as to whether there is a danger of this excellent institution getting the bit in its teeth and running away with it.

Let me say again, Mr. Speaker, that the farthest thing from my mind is criticism. I am sure the council has done and will do great things. All I am suggesting is that in some way the members of this house should put themselves in a position whereby, if it is suggested to them that the council, so to speak, has the bit in its teeth and is running away with it, we can say that is not so because the views of people who are competent to express them have been heard and we are satisfied with the conditions.

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PC

William Marvin Howe

Progressive Conservative

Mr. W. M. Howe (Wellinglon-Huron):

Mr. Speaker, I rise to take part in this discussion on the assistance for promotion of scientific or industrial research. As the hon. member for Greenwood (Mr. Macdonnell) has indicated, it was interesting to note that the parliamentary assistant agreed with the hon. member for Lambton West (Mr. Murphy) that some time before too long we should have a committee set up to go into this question of research. I would be interested to know if that question of research is something that has to be looked after immediately. The minister himself indicated that it was not a static thing but something that has got to be promoted and continue to be promoted.

No doubt most hon. members who have given this matter any thought will be in agreement. Research is not only one of the greatest factors in moulding our lives, but within the sphere of research rests the wellbeing of practically every phase of our economy, as well as the future of this great country of ours. We have been particularly and abundantly blessed with practically all the elements known to man and all the impetus possible should be given so that these elements of the field, the forest, the mines, and waters within and around us can be studied by our scientists. The benefit of that study should be passed on to every phase of our economy. It is a field that is as old as man himself. Today we are living in the reality envisioned by the poet who saw "the heavens fill with commerce, argosies of magic sails".

In the Globe and Mail of Monday, March 22, there appeared an article bearing the headline: "V-2 Man Says Atom Progress Means War Impossible Soon." I will read part of the extract. It states:

The man who invented Germany's V-2 rocket said today he thinks atomic research will make war impossible within the next 12 months.

Research Council Act

Professor Hermann Oberth said that by then it will be possible to reach any point on the globe within 45 minutes with atomic rocket.

This means that in the case of war all big cities of the enemy can be destroyed within two or three hours. I definitely believe that then no minister will decide himself for a war because he would sign his own death sentence at the same time.

So, by this means, the latter part of that great poem which ends like this:

There the common sense of most shall hold a fretful realm in awe,

And the kindly earth shall slumber, lapt in universal law-

-may come true.

During this session of parliament and during the debates which have taken place we have heard a great deal about the depressed economic conditions of certain sections of our industries. I feel that some small measure of relief can be found for these industries through the field of research, and I would suggest that in many of our industrial fields we could, through the medium of research, definitely establish a more pronounced Canadian trend in the field of textiles, for example, rather than bask in and profit by the ideas promoted, particularly by our neighbours to the south.

I find that in my own business as regards women's apparel, American fabrics are not selected particularly on account of their more reasonable price but rather because of their distinctive patterns and novelty materials. Some phases of our textile industry are recognizing that fact, and I would like to quote in this connection a news item which appeared in the March issue of a Canadian magazine called Canadian Business which carries a story entitled "Salesmanship plus New Products" with a subtitle "A formula for textiles?". That article carries the story of the Bruck brothers who are running one of the largest synthetic fibre mills in Canada. They heard of milium being developed in the United States and they went over to the United States and attempted to get the rights in order to sell that product in Canada. But the American firm which controlled it did not want to give the rights to the Canadian firm because they thought they could promote it in Canada. But the Bruck brothers came back to Canada and through the medium of research developed thermalon and went out and sold it. They made such a wonderful job of it that the people from the states were glad to give them milium.

However, every textile mill has not the capital which the Brucks had for carrying out this type of research activity and they should therefore be given encouragement by the government in that respect. As the hon. member for St. Paul's (Mr. Michener) intimated, it is not every organization or

manufacturing firm that is large enough to have these facilities, but there are a tremendous number of small factories and firms in this country employing people which are a definite part of the economy of this country. Some phases of our textile industry are recognizing that fact.

In this connection I would like to quote from a news item which appeared in the March 3 edition of Style which is a women's wear newspaper issued to the trade. This article carries the heading "Nova Scotian Tartan Will Hit Market Soon" and the item states:

There is something new under the sun ... it's Nova Scotia Tartan.

This should provide good news for manufacturers and retailers alike, especially those who keep an eye on the tourist trade.

I am not going to read the entire article but it goes on to conclude with this:

Already many inquiries have been received about the tartan . . . who will be manufacturing it and when it will be available in any marketable quantity. All these questions will be answered when the copyright and registration have gone through.

Tourists will soon, it is hoped, get their first introduction to the new tartan when they cross the Nova Scotian border and behold the Scottish piper blowing the bagpipes to the accompanying swirl of Nova Scotia tartan kilt.

From the same paper I have taken another small item entitled "Canadian Ideas". The article states:

Better still, who not try to create-and we mean create-some truly Canadian fashions, based on Canadian ideas, history and folklore?

The same thing might hold true on the question of housing about which we have heard so much, and to which I think one of the main objections was that even though down payments have been reduced the price of the houses available is still too high for the average wage earner. I feel that through the medium of research a house could be evolved that would make it possible for the ordinary man to have his own house.

In my own experience as chairman of our district high school board, I know that we were confronted with the problem of building a new high school. The provincial department of education set a maximum of $300,000 as the completed cost of our new school. When we first approached the subject we found that schools were costing approximately $14 a square foot. This would mean that the type of school we wanted completed would be around $385,000 which was out of our reach. However, we went into this matter seriously and found that a new school was being built in Mount Forest at a cost of a little over $9 a square foot. This firm of architects, through the medium of considerable prefabrication and other money

saving devices, was able to prove to us that the school we required could be built for $300,000. That school is now in process of being completed and is already being used to a certain extent.

I therefore feel that through the medium of research we in Canada could do as they are doing in so many other countries of the world. In this connection I would like to quote from an article which appeared in the Journal of Thursday, February 20, under the heading of "Prefabricated Housing". The article states:

I. F. Fogh, logging development engineer of the Canadian International Paper Company, Montreal, gave a revealing picture of prefabricated housing in Sweden based on a visit to Sweden, Finland, Norway and Denmark last summer.

He then goes into considerable detail in describing the type of modern house being built over there and goes on:

The saving to the purchaser compared with a similar house built to the same standards by conventional methods was estimated by Mr. Fogh at about $3,000 plus about two months' time.

This development is the result of the efforts of one of Sweden's large combines of water power, iron ore and forest products which was faced with the problem of providing adequate yet economical housing facilities for its workers.

In this connection there is a suggestion I would like to make to the government even though my observation has been that the government apparently sees no good in suggestions coming from this side of the house. My suggestion is one which was urged upon me by the fact that we are paying a large sum of money to an architectural firm in New York for plans for the new national film board building in Montreal. I maintain that as this question has been under discussion for so long and the need for this new building has been realized for so many years, the Department of Public Works should have had the foresight to appoint a team made up of architects, technicians, engineers, draftsmen and so on to study this question. I realize that as this is a specialized type of building, it requires specialists in this field to create it, and I maintain that had this plan been followed we in Canada would have had the benefit of this advanced training for this and any other similar types of buildings that may have to be built in the future. I maintain that this suggestion could hold good for many other departments of the government which, through the medium of long-term planning and research, would have available the men to carry out major projects of this type as they arise.

But how are we going to keep pace, Mr. Speaker? How are we going to ensure the future of Canada in order that she may continue to take her place among the greatest

Research Council Act

nations of the world? I think it is through the immediate assistance and promotion of scientific and industrial research in Canada. But, Mr. Speaker, how are we going to ensure that this great realm of research will have available men with the brains, the courage and the fortitude to carry on the work of our great scientists of today? In this connection I should like to read from page 181 of the Massey report a paragraph which deals with this question:

79. The conclusion presented to us, then, is that the great need is for first-class men to give leadership and inspiration through their own brilliant, original discoveries. The future depends not only on the continued liberality of governmental agencies but on the number and quality of the men induced to work at research. The greatest need is to discover and train these men and then to make sure that they are provided with research facilities and opportunities to enable them to render the services of which they are capable.

I think a group of young people in my riding have come up with one of the answers. I should like to read a resolution that was passed by one of our high school student bodies. It was passed by the student council, Fergus district high school, at their regular meeting on Monday, February 8, 1954, and reads as follows:

That, as possible future recipients of the scholarships and rewards, this council, on behalf of all students in the Fergus district high school, urge the dominion government to organize a committee to bring about the immediate awarding of the scholarships recommended by the Massey report.

At this time I should like to pay a tribute to young high school students who will give serious consideration to a problem which is as old as the world, namely that of the child who through no fault of his own is unable to pursue learning to the extent for which he is fitted by natural abilities. No doubt many hon. members can recall friends of their youth who showed remarkable promise but who on account of their particular status in life were unable to continue at school. Thus Canada was the loser.

In that connection there appeared in the Globe and Mail of March 29 an article entitled "Extending Pure Research" and which speaks about research in the United States. It reads in part as follows:

President Eisenhower has directed the National Science Foundation, an official U.S. government body, to survey the government's research and development program. The stated purposes are to speed the attainment of federal research goals, to stimulate basic research, ascertain possible economies and to propose methods which would safeguard the strength and independence of educational institutions. .

I have here some figures from the Massey report as compiled by a committee on education of the Canadian Manufacturers Association and published in February, 1950. This

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report emphasized the fact that out of 100 Canadian children attending school, only 22 finished high school, only 3 graduated from college and that 54 per cent of those who dropped out did so for economic reasons.

In 1946 the Ontario department of education discovered that only 7 per cent of the young people who had completed their primary and high school education had registered at a university. To us the disturbing thing is not the percentage but the fact that there is no assurance that this 7 per cent comprises the best qualified students. From page 362 of the Massey report on arts, letters and sciences I quote the proposals- as indicated by the resolution I have received [DOT]-made by that very wide and comprehensive study:

16. We are proposing that the present scheme with which the federal and provincial governments are familiar, and which is operating satisfactorily, be enlarged. As for the number of undergraduates who should thus be aided, we do not think it appropriate to suggest a precise figure, although it is our view that as far as may be possible young persons who have the necessary ability and diligence should receive reasonable assistance to enable them to become more useful citizens.

Paragraph 17 lists the scholarships to be given to these undergraduates. Rather than take up the time of the house by reading it, I would ask the permission of the house that these be incorporated in Hansard of today.

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LIB

William Alfred Robinson (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

Has the hon. member unanimous consent to have these paragraphs incorporated in Hansard?

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?

Some hon. Members:

Agreed.

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PC

William Marvin Howe

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Howe (Wellington-Huron):

Paragraph 17 reads in part as follows:

17. The following plan has been proposed to us and is respectfully suggested for the guidance of the government and of the agencies which may be charged with the administration of these scholarships:

1. 100 annual scholarships of $1,000, tenable for four years, to be known as Canada scholarships. These scholarships are intended to confer not only a valuable award but considerable prestige upon students of outstanding ability and exceptional promise. These scholarships at least, in our judgment, should be granted only after personal interviews.

2. 250 national scholarships annually of $500, to be tenable for four years. These are intended for distinguished and promising students.

3. 2,000 bursaries of $500 a year tenable for four years, for able and diligent students on the basis of need.

4. A loan fund open to all students whose work is acceptable to the authorities of their universities.

It was interesting to note from the minister's speech how many scholarships are being given by the national research council and it was interesting to note that in the estimates of the national research council

they have suggested an increase in the allowances from $448,500 last year to $563,000 this year. However, these scholarships are only for a few of those students who have completed their university training and are in the form of fellowships and doctors' degrees for advanced studies. I feel that this is a move in the right direction, but I think that the government of Canada, in cooperation with the provincial governments, should go further and should put into force the recommendations that I have mentioned in order that we may be assured that our own Canadian research will have the benefit of all the brains and ingenuity to be found among the youth of our country. The Canadians who will inherit this country, the ones who will have the responsibility of guiding this young giant which is now awakening from its slumbers, are sitting in the classrooms of the schools today. It is our duty and responsibility to help them contribute to the Canada of tomorrow.

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PC

Walter Gilbert Dinsdale

Progressive Conservative

Mr. W. G. Dinsdale (Brandon-Souris):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to make a contribution to the discussion of this extremely important matter that is before the house at the present time. I say it is important because it is recognized today by everyone in responsible positions that research is absolutely necessary if modern nations are going to maintain their position among the nations of the world. Ever since the western world applied the scientific method in the solution of its problems it has been possible for the researchers of the western world to carry on almost indefinitely, in terms of physical progress, by means of the art of invention.

Actually with the advent of the scientific method man invented the art of invention. In the physical sciences we of course have some outstanding examples of what this has meant in terms of development in the field of materialistic progress. For instance, the most recent and perhaps the most outstanding example of what can be accomplished as a result of the discovery of the art of invention is the successful completion of what has become known as the Manhattan project. A group of scientists banded together in order to meet the challenges arising from world war II, and by pooling their own knowledge in the field of physics and bringing together the vast amount of knowledge that had been accumulating from the nineteenth century onwards they were able to complete successfully the construction of the atomic bomb. That, I think, demonstrates very dramatically the potentialities, particularly in the physical sciences, that are inherent in the field of organized and co-ordinated research.

It seems that in Canada, as in the other western nations, the emphasis in research has been placed upon the development of the arts of war. In looking at the record of our own national research council we find that it came into existence in the year 1917 largely as the result of the pressing demands that had arisen from Canada's participation in world war I. Since that time the national research council has made definite strides in Canada, and in my opinion its greatest work, as I read the record, has been as a co-ordinating body bringing together various research projects under way in Canada.

These projects largely fall within four fields. First of all there are the projects undertaken by the federal government. Second, there are the projects undertaken by provincial governments. Closely connected with the activities of provincial governments in the field of research are the provincial universities and private provincial educational institutions. Finally we have the very excellent work that is being undertaken by private industry. Today private industry spends a good deal of its time and resources in seeking new areas of activity and new methods of production, endeavouring to increase its efficiency by applying scientific ideas to the field of research.

I should like to support the hon. member for Lambton West (Mr. Murphy) in his submission that there is room for the expansion of research activities in Canada, particularly in areas other than those concerned with the development of the arts of war. Canada is engaged in tremendous activities so far as the arts of war are concerned. The atomic energy project at Chalk River is commanding a good deal of our attention. The new demands of warfare in the Arctic climate are also receiving considerable attention from Canadian researchers. These activities are very necessary and essential to our national defence.

However, I think that we might well give consideration to greater promotion of the arts of peace and the field of domestic research. In this connection I should like to refer to the activities of our provincial governments. Through the provincial agricultural colleges they are largely responsible for agricultural research. In my own province of Manitoba there has been much discussion in recent years about the fact that the faculty of agriculture of the University of Manitoba has not devoted too much attention to fundamental research. Actually the only original research being carried out in the field of agriculture in that province, and also in the other prairie provinces, is being done through our experimental farm services. It seems to

Research Council Act

me that the faculties of agriculture of the respective universities are in an ideal position to tackle the agricultural problems peculiar to their own provinces. I believe some attention should be given by the federal government to encouraging in every way possible the promotion of essential research, particularly in the prairie provinces which are so dependent upon the well-being of the agricultural industry.

While governments, both provincial and federal, are making their contribution together with industry to the field of original research, I believe fundamental research is essentially a function of the universities. From time immemorial, even before the advent of the application of the scientific method to the field of creative thought, our universities have been the custodians of new ideas and creative thought and activity. Our universities, along with the other agencies responsible for carrying on research, have devoted much of their attention to physical research. Indeed, there is an excellent plan of research assistance under federal government sponsorship by means of which the various university faculties are tied into research projects. That applies particularly in the fields of physics, chemistry, electronics and so on, areas which again are essential to the defence of Canada.

I do not have the details on the matter, but I wonder whether the same amount of assistance is being given to university faculties, which are so well equipped to carry on research, as is being given to research projects operating directly under government sponsorship. For example, how would the grant per researcher to one of our Canadian universities compare with the grant per researcher to some scientist directly engaged in the atomic energy project at Chalk River? I would venture to say that the grant to a university scientist would be somewhat smaller than that to the scientist operating at the Chalk River project. I wonder also just how the grant per university for research work compares on a proportionate basis to the funds that are being supplied to carry on the project at Chalk River?

The universities with their highly qualified staff, most of whom have become experts in their respective fields as a result of long years of study in Canada and abroad, are merely waiting for the opportunity to expand their activities in the field of creative research. Not only are there members of the faculty who are qualified, but also the universities are responsible for the experts who, in turn, will carry on creative research activity of the future in the research projects

Research Council Act

that are being undertaken under government sponsorship. We find that the faculty members depend substantially for assistance on their graduate students, particularly those proceeding to the Ph.D. level. Because of the fact they have these graduate students available to participate in research projects, these projects can be carried on with a minimum of expense. The greater the support, the better prepared these graduate students are to carry on further work when they pass beyond the confines of the university and go out to carve out their own careers in their chosen field of activity.

This, of course, applies to the realm of the physical sciences especially in Canada. Perhaps even more so than in countries such as the United Kingdom and the United States, we have restricted our research activities largely to the realm of the physical sciences. There is, for example, no body operating in the social science field that compares to the national research council of Canada. There is a voluntary organization that calls itself the social science research council, but it is not incorporated directly into the activities of the national research council.

I would suggest, Mr. Speaker, that if there is room for further development in the physical sciences to deal with the urgent problems that face us, there is definitely a more challenging area of activity open to study and investigation in the field of the social sciences. It is true that the social sciences are comparatively new. Various social sciences, so far as universities are concerned, are relatively new scientific disciplines. Some of them, such as sociology, have not as yet established themselves as a scientific discipline. Even economics, which is often referred to as the dismal science, has its severe critics when it is viewed from the standpoint of a scientific discipline. Notwithstanding all this, Mr. Speaker, I feel that this government, as well as the other agencies who have the necessary skills and resources to promote research activity, would be well advised to give closer attention to the necessity of carrying on their research in the social science field.

Actually the political scientist comes under the classification of a social scientist. We who participate in the activities of the house are well aware that there is a wide area of investigation that we have not even touched so far as endeavouring to rationalize what takes place here, and in the whole democratic processes for that matter. Certainly if we cannot meet the challenge in the field of human relationships, which is the area of interest that the social science concerns itself with, there is not much hope that all the

research we are doing in the physical sciences, particularly in the arts of war, will be of any value to Canada or to any other nation.

In speaking to this very important topic, Mr. Speaker, I would definitely support the hon. member for Lambton West who has made such a comprehensive statement on the board aspects of the subject, particularly in reference to the need for further development in the physical sciences. At the same time, I should like also to suggest in the strongest terms possible that the time has come when this government, through its various departments and agencies, might consider the possibility of giving closer support to the various social science faculties operating in our universities in Canada. This would enable them to pursue with greater enthusiasm the work to be undertaken in this field, and also be in a position to expand. As we view the situation, I believe we are forced to the conclusion that Canadian universities are merely on the fringe of the research that is necessary if we are going to solve the very pressing human problems that confront us in this twentieth century.

Mr. Speaker, I should like to call it ten o'clock.

Topic:   S084 HOUSE OF COMMONS
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?

Some hon. Members:

Go ahead. .

Topic:   S084 HOUSE OF COMMONS
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PC

Motion agreed to, bill read the second time, considered in committee and reported. Business of the House


LIB

Louis-René Beaudoin (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

When shall the bill be read a third time?

Topic:   S084 HOUSE OF COMMONS
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PC

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

LIB

Walter Edward Harris (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. Harris:

Tomorrow we will take third readings; then the second reading of the Public Service Superannuation Act, which will then go to the committee on banking and commerce. We will then take the committee stage of the act respecting banks and banking; the Bank of Canada Act, and the act respecting savings banks in the province of Quebec; and the second reading of the bill to amend certain acts respecting the superannuation of government employees transferred to crown corporations.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
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PC
LIB

Walter Edward Harris (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. Harris:

If that is reached before six o'clock we will take budget resolutions.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
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CCF

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

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

Mr. Knowles:

What about going into

supply?

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
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It being seven minutes after ten o'clock the house adjourned, without question put, pursuant to standing order.



Wednesday. May 26, 1954


May 25, 1954