May 27, 1954

PC

Robert Hardy Small

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Small:

Replying to the minister, I would say that that is just the crux of the whole matter. It is not that I want any greater consideration for the city of Toronto or the municipality of Scarborough. That is beside the point. I have pointed out the general picture, and I am appealing to the committee so that it may place more money in the fund. This would be an opportunity to take care of unemployment.

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LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. Chevrier:

That is a matter the board is looking into, sir.

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PC

Robert Hardy Small

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Small:

But the people can starve while they are looking into it.

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LIB

Chesley William Carter

Liberal

Mr. Carter:

Mr. Chairman, I should like to take a moment or two to express my thanks to the minister, his colleagues in the government, and the officials of his department for the many improvements, particularly in aids to navigation, which have been carried out in my own province since confederation.

Most of the lighthouses and fog stations have been renovated, and new machinery has been installed. In addition, in my own riding, two new radio beacons, two new fog stations and several new lights have been established. I am sure my constituents would want me to express on their behalf their appreciation for these improvements.

Although much has been done, much still remains to be accomplished. Newfoundland has probably more coast line than any other province in Canada. The island of Newfoundland has more than 2,000 miles of coast line, and Labrador has over 1,000 miles of 83276-326J

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coast line, making a total of well over 3,000 miles altogether. Most of this coast line is studded with treacherous rocks and shoals; and it should also be borne in mind that, so far as my riding is concerned, navigation is rendered extremely difficult because of the prevalence of dense fogs or snowflurries during the greater part of the year.

In terms of tonnage, traffic may be very small; but in terms of the number of small boats and human lives involved, it is great indeed. There are more than 50,000 people in my riding, and 80 or 90 per cent of them derive their living from the sea. Human life is precious, however lowly the occupation may be. The saving of a single life more than offsets all the expenditures that have ever been made or ever will be made in the future in this connection.

We need more lighthouses, especially those in the form of light and whistle buoys, which are particularly suited to the conditions on our coast. I understand the establishment of these lights and whistle buoys have been retarded chiefly because the Newfoundland branch of the Department of Transport has no ship at the moment large enough to handle them.

I would draw the minister's attention to the very great need of such a ship specially adapted to and suitable for the handling and servicing of these light and whistle buoys, so that these extra aids to navigation may be provided as quickly as possible.

I have a very special interest in fog stations, because I spent the greater part of my childhood in one, and I always make a point of visiting them whenever I can. In my travels around my riding I have discovered some lack of uniformity in the grading and classification of these stations, and the salaries allocated thereto. I understand a program of reclassification is now under way, and I hope it will be completed and implemented at as early a date as possible.

In conclusion I should like to express my appreciation to the minister and his officials both here in Ottawa and in Newfoundland, for the sympathetic understanding and the co-operation I have always received from them.

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CCF

Hazen Robert Argue

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

Mr. Argue:

Mr. Chairman, the matters one can discuss on this general item are of great importance to the people of Canada generally, and particularly to those of western Canada.

The matter of freight rates across the nation has always been a very important subject, and has usually been contentious. A royal commission inquired into the general freight rate structure and the general freight rate policy, and a report was made in 1951.

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Since then the board of transport commissioners has been endeavouring to carry out the recommendations made by the royal commission on transportation. The recommendations of that royal commission could be summed up in one sentence, namely, support of the principle of equalization of freight rates.

Since that time the board of transport commissioners has taken steps toward equalizing freight rates across the country. Those of us who come from western Canada particularly are very grateful for the extent of equalization that has been brought about. As the minister himself pointed out on an earlier occasion, the class rates have been made more equal by a reduction of 5 per cent in western Canada and an increase of 10 per cent in eastern Canada. The question of transcontinental rates was dealt with by the commission in the one and one-third rule, and that has been of benefit to the people on the prairies.

Another of the recommendations was the $7 million subsidy to help bear the cost of maintenance of railways in that area of northern Ontario that has so little revenue-producing freight. The step in providing the $7 million subsidy was a very important departure from general policy up to that time. I should like to point out to the minister that the benefit he told us had resulted from the $7 million subsidy, namely, a reduction in east-west rates by about 8 per cent, can easily be taken away by action in some other way or by action in another department.

I should like to bring to the attention of the minister the fact that since this subsidy was inaugurated there has been a reduction of 7 cents a bushel on grain coming through Fort William and Port Arthur.'That is equalization in reverse. That, in my judgment, is the very opposite type of policy to that which was set forth in the recommendation for the payment of the subsidy; and if one multiplies the 7 cents a bushel with the quantity of grain coming through that route, it is easy to see that the result is a cost to the prairies more than twice as great as the benefit coming from the $7 million subsidy.

One of the things that has disturbed me over the last few weeks and months is the continuing suggestion by people in responsible positions that there may be a change in the Crowsnest pass rates. I should like the minister to assure us that no consideration is being given to a change in those rates that would result in an increased burden on the people of western Canada. One of the recommendations of the royal commission on transportation was that the Crowsnest pass rates

should not be tampered with. Since that time, as was pointed out in the Financial Times of May 21, the board of transport commissioners on February 15 referred to-and this is in quotation marks-the abnormally low statutory rates on western export. The writer of this article, whether he has reason for his speculation or not, goes on to say that consideration is being given to a change in the Crowsnest pass rates. I am hopeful that the minister will give the committee and western Canada the assurance now that no such change is contemplated.

In his recent address to the shareholders of the Canadian Pacific Railway at the annual meeting, the president, Mr. W. A. Mather, dealt at some length with the question of the Crowsnest pass rates, and as one would expect, he criticized them very severely. I think his criticism was well answered by the minister at page 3124 of Hansard of this session when he said:

The railway business is dependent upon the general activity in transportation services in the country as a whole.

Therefore, any drop there may be in revenue for the C.P.R. and the C.N.R. is not because we have the Crowsnest pass rates, but merely and solely because there has been a drop in general freight revenue. It is easy to see the advantage of the Crowsnest pass rates in western Canada when one compares, for example, the lake freight rate for the shipment of grain that prevailed in 1936 with the rate that prevails today. In 1936 the rate was 4-J cents per bushel; the lake freight rate today is 14J cents per bushel. The rate has increased three times since 1936. This increase in lake freight rates and in ocean freight rates has meant a lower price to the producers of grain. In the face of these other very substantial increases in the cost of moving grain to the markets of the world, I am hopeful that the government will continue its present policy of maintaining intact the present Crowsnest pass rates, and will resist the pressure that is being placed on them apparently by the railway companies, the C.P.R. in particular, and will say no to any suggestion that the Crowsnest pass rates be increased.

As I have said, I believe the minister pointed out very well the reason for any decrease at the present time in railway revenues, namely, the decrease in the general freight traffic. As a matter of fact, any time that the railways have hauled higher than average quantities of grain at the so-called low Crowsnest pass rates, in those periods of time the railway companies have made their largest profits. Nothing will convince

the people of western Canada that any tampering with the Crowsnest pass rates is justified.

As I said, Mr. Chairman, I am hopeful that the minister will quell those rumours now and give us the assurance that no consideration is being given to a change in those rates.

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PC

George Clyde Nowlan

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Nowlan:

At the outset I should like

to express my appreciation to the minister of what he said a few moments ago with respect to his trip along the coast and the reaction that he got to the services being rendered by lighthouse keepers at various isolated communities, of which we all know.

1 am sure it is an expression that will meet with the approval of the public generally. It is something which is tardy in recognition, and I am very glad that the minister has taken the position to express the views which he did this afternoon.

The other night the senior member for Halifax referred in some detail to facilities at the port of Halifax. Since he represents the city of Halifax, this naturally comes especially within his prerogative. But Halifax is also the great port of the province of Nova Scotia, one in which we all have a great interest, and I want to refer for a moment-and I shall speak only briefly-to the situation as it exists there.

Everyone knows that the port of Halifax is one of our great winter ports. It has also developed a very great summer import trade as well, because Halifax is a port of call for New York ships and others and there has been a demand for increased facilities there.

During the last year or so we have had a situation where the ships have had to lie in the stream for as long, I am told, as three days before obtaining dockage facilities in order to unload. Needless to say, shipping lying in the stream is an expensive matter; it can amount to as much as several thousand dollars a day. In order to cope with that situation we require additional facilities. I believe when the port was first envisaged many years ago there was a provision made in the old blueprint for the construction of pier A as a sort of twin to the existing pier we have there now. I know that that matter has been brought to the attention of the minister by the voluntary commission representing the business interests in Halifax, and I hope the minister and his department will be able to provide funds in the estimates so that construction can be commenced on that project in the very near future.

As the minister knows, pier 34, which we have there now, was considered to be a temporary structure but it lasted for a very long

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time until a locomotive engineer became exasperated and drove his engine right through so that it went right through the floor and by the time it was dug up the foundations had been irreparably damaged.

Now we are deprived of pier 34 and we have additional shipping to handle and we require not only an additional pier but the present pier facilities extended and the building of additional sheds. In fact a long-term project should now be brought forward for the development of the port of Halifax, and I simply want to put myself on record as being thoroughly in accord with that. I hope that the minister, with the speed with which he is known to act, particularly when he knows that he has public opinion behind him, will examine these matters and push through the completion of this project.

Although it is true that imports through Halifax port have been increasing yet I think the situation with respect to exports of Canadian goods through Canadian ports is not entirely a happy one. The minister has already heard me speak on this subject and I know he has said: "Well, what can I do about it?" That is the question, and if he asked me now I do not know that I would be in a position to give him a categorical answer, but I know he is cognizant of the problem and I would urge him and his departmental officials to do all in their power to improve the situation.

Two years ago I put the figures on the record with regard to the export of Canadian goods through Canadian ports and I do not want to repeat these now. But I have one or two cases which are a striking illustration of the situation and I would like to put them on record.

For example, though we only have official figures up to 1952, it can be shown that in 1950 the number of Canadian automobiles exported through American ports amounted to 23,046 and the number exported through Canadian ports for the same year amounted to 11,227, or roughly in proportion two to one. That means in effect that for every car exported from Canada two went through an American port for every one that went through a Canadian port. I will not put the figures for 1951 on record but the proportion amounted to five to one which means that for every five cars exported through American ports only one went through Canadian ports.

In 1952, 71,361 cars were exported through American ports and 8,406 through Canadian ports or a proportion of nine to one. If you want to consider automobile parts in 1950 it will be seen that more were shipped through Canadian ports than through American ports, but in 1951 the proportion was

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two to one through American ports and in 1952 the proportion was three-and-a-half to one in favour of the American ports.

The same thing can be said as regards farm machinery. The figures are almost exactly the same for there was a proportion of one-and-a-half to one through Canadian ports in 1950 and over five to one in favour of American ports in 1952.

Now, I know one can say, "well, that is business. What can we do about it. Do you suggest we bludgeon business into moving freight through Canadian ports?" I am not suggesting that, but I do suggest that some steps could be taken.

The automobile industry is an example of one which is prospering greatly through a national policy of which I do not complain, but I do say that a national policy should work both ways and if industry can prosper under such a policy then that industry should utilize Canadian ports and Canadian facilities as far as possible so that we may be able to build up a balanced economy.

It is a rather striking thing that other industries have apparently been able to use Canadian ports. For example, the International Nickel Company which, I imagine, is as well-managed as any other company, has increased its exports through Canadian ports to a striking degree during 1951-52. They have not found it necessary to use American ports. In addition, the great paper industries export through the Canadian ports and their exports recently went up from

3,900,000 hundredweight in 1950 to 8,819,000 hundredweight in 1952.

Some of these, of course, depend on port facilities and the places to which the goods are being exported, but if Canadian industry generally can find it profitable and advantageous in their international trade to use Canadian ports then I think that some fairly strenuous suggestion should be made to some of the other companies which for some reason have not seen fit to use Canadian ports and in fact almost ignore them completely.

The minister some time ago, and the hon. member for Halifax the other night, mentioned the work done by the department in maintaining the Canadian National steamship freighters and we are glad that that has been done. The old "Lady" boats were probably obsolescent, but they served a useful purpose and we are glad to see that Canadian National freighters are still operating, and that the minister has been able to play a part in their maintenance under the aegis of his department.

However, I do think these facilities should be extended. After all, if we are going to develop this nation, the outer periphery of

[Mr. Nowlan.l

it as well as the centre, then the government must spend money even if it means subsidization in order to build up our economy.

In this connection I am thinking particularly of the maritimes and the shipment of agricultural goods to, we will say, Venezuela which is a country on the gold standard and therefore without any dollar exchange problem. Venezuela, for instance, would like to buy through Nova Scotia anything up to

3,000 or 3,500 cases of eggs per week. The market is there, indeed a very considerable market, and what we require now are steamships and refrigerating services which can be operated through the port of Halifax direct to Venezuela. As it is today the progressive producers are going as far as they possibly can and adopting methods of transshipment sometimes through the port of New York, unloading them there by truck, and then putting them on ships through American harbours and shipping them to Venezuela. That has been done with several carloads within the last few months and it justifies the existence of that market but it is only an indication of what could be done if additional facilities were provided and we could ship direct to South American and West Indies ports generally, for these markets are of great value to the maritimes.

I think there are real opportunities for development there. We need regular services for freight, including refrigerator services, as well as passenger services. The Canadian National Railways have pioneered services through there to a certain extent and I can appreciate the fact that there have been great difficulties in so doing but a trade such as this is something that should be extended.

The minister will probably find that from an operating standpoint there would be a deficit on the first year. I do not know about that, but I do know that the money would be returned to the national economy. On balance it would be very much worth while and an expenditure which I think is more than justified.

To revert again to Halifax for a moment, when the minister was raising the point of order with my hon. friend about the grade crossings a little while ago I was reminded of another matter that I do not think comes within the jurisdiction of the transport commission and I doubt whether it comes within the grade crossing fund. However, I know it is a matter which has been brought to the minister's attention. I am sure it is going to be brought to his attention and to that of other ministers in the immediate future. I refer to the drastic situation which the people of Halifax face in so far as so-called bottlenecks are concerned.

The minister knows full well of the situation at Halifax, which is situated on a peninsula, where two main arteries coming out of there both have railway crossings. If something were to happen there, such as a bomb being dropped, you could have possibly

100,000 to 150,000 people sealed off thereby. So far as the Minister of Transport is concerned, while it may be a matter for civilian defence, it comes to a certain extent within his purview with respect to grade crossings. It is a matter which is attracting a great deal of attention at the moment. Halifax is certainly a city where, unfortunately, if we were ever to find ourselves in another war the people would be in a most vulnerable position. Even with regard to the explosions which took place in the dockyard at the end of the last war, in that city there was created a situation which could easily have got out of control. It is beyond the scope of the municipality and of the province. It is a matter which, as I said, must be dealt with. I believe it will be under review in the not too distant future. I mention it now as something which concerns not only the city but the province as a whole.

Much has been said about the Canadian mercantile marine. I notice that the minister said this afternoon that he hoped that some time in the near future-I gathered it might perhaps be before this house rose or at some early date-he will be in a position to make a general statement, in view of the development of the St. Lawrence waterway, with regard to the whole situation.

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LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. Chevrier:

May I just make it clear that the statement I had in mind concerned the restrictions on coastal trade and not on the other matter, although I said that the other matter was under review. I do not want to be misunderstood.

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PC

George Clyde Nowlan

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Nowlan:

I thank the minister for what he has said. With respect to coastal trade the situation is a difficult one. I realize that the co-operation, shall we say, with regard to commonwealth and British ships along the coast is a matter of policy which is to be reviewed in the over-all picture. It is possible that the minister will say that this criticism is not well founded. I have drawn it to his attention before and I have had it drawn to my attention again by captains in the coastal trade who, rightly or wrongly, believe this and I believe some explanation should be given. They complain of the fact that the other boats coming in-British boats -do not have to comply with the provision of the steamship inspection act, whereas they are obliged to do so. They contend that the cost of that inspection service, having regard

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to the relatively small amount of revenue which they derive from their annual business, puts them in a most unfortunate position regardless of the difference in salaries and other costs and operating expenses. One captain told me that in his boat the costs made a difference of $10,000 a year, in connection with his complying with that inspection service. Their argument there is that if other boats take part in the coastal service, then at least they should be in the same situation and under the same regulations, and that if others are not forced to comply with these regulations, they should not be obliged to do so.

Speaking of the steamship inspection service, Mr. Chairman, I should like to express my appreciation again to the minister-I do not want to be too thankful and too complimentary this afternoon-for the co-operation he showed in a matter which I raised. Under the provisions of the act I think unfortunately -at least I say that I did not notice it in the act or I would have questioned it at the time-a certain situation has arisen. Now boats of over 15 tons come within the provisions of this inspection act. In Nova Scotia we have had a situation where small fishing boats, motor boats, just over 15 tons have been ordered ashore. Sometimes they have been ordered ashore even at the busiest season of the year, and have been told that they have had to undergo renovations and repairs running into thousands of dollars before they can operate again. I must say that when one particular instance was brought to the attention of the minister he acted most co-operatively and at least avoided any injustice being done for the particular season and permitted the boats to continue operating. Otherwise they would have lost practically all the money they would have earned that year.

I think that provision is too far-reaching. I hope the minister will at least have the regulations relaxed in so far as the statute permits. After all, these men going out in these little fishing boats-they, their fathers and their grandfathers have been doing it for three generations-do not intend to drown themselves or get drowned. They go out in the morning and come back at night. I am speaking now of the small fishing boats on the Nova Scotia coast. Their fathers did it and their grandfathers did it. They do not think they have to have lifeboats with copper water tanks and a whole lot of the other things they might need if they were carrying passengers or were pleasure boats or were going out to sea for two or three days. They have shafts in their motor boats of 3f inches. These motor boats with these shafts have carried them and their fathers back and forth

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CCF

Alexander Malcolm Nicholson

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

Mr. Nicholson:

Mr. Chairman, earlier in the session I placed on the order paper a resolution calling for the increasing of elevator space and port facilities at Churchill, but before I had a chance to have this resolution debated the minister was kind enough to announce that the facilities were being

doubled. At this very late date I must thank him for such prompt action. I may say that his announcement was made just prior to Christmas. It so happened that I had made a tour from Churchill through Hudson bay to the United Kingdom last fall, and some of my friends were kind enough to give me credit for the announcement. Members of the house who know how difficult it is to get the government to accept resolutions even when we have very good arguments will know that I cannot claim the credit for this decision.

I do not expect that during my lifetime Churchill will become as large as Montreal, Halifax or Vancouver, but the Canadian people have an investment of over $50 million in the railway and the harbour facilities and I think it is in the interests of Canada that we give this development a fair chance. I must express my appreciation to the minister for the sympathetic consideration which has been given since he took over the department. Some years ago we had a Saskatchewan homesteader in the person of Mr. Dunning as minister of transport, but although he was from Saskatchewan I do not think he gave Churchill and the Hudson bay route the sympathetic consideration that the present minister has.

However, there is one matter that I should like to bring to the minister's attention. On the 18th of February his colleague, the Minister of Trade and Commerce, announced a differential that is really going to place Churchill at a great disadvantage. As of the 18th of February wheat was being offered at Fort William at $1.79, at Vancouver at $1.86 and at Churchill at $1.88. It was not possible in February for wheat to be sold for immediate delivery out of Churchill, and the minister did indicate that the matter would be reviewed later. I think he will appreciate my position as a farmer at Sturgis. Some of our wheat moves to Churchill and some to Fort William. Wheat moves to Churchill at an 18 cent rate and at a 20 cent rate to Fort William. I think it is unreasonable for the wheat board to offer wheat moved from Sturgis at a price of $1.88 at Churchill and $1.79 at Fort William.

I know it is an accident that the Minister of Trade and Commerce happens to come from Port Arthur, but it is a fact that he does come from there and I want to suggest to the Minister of Transport that he keep a very watchful eye on the price at which wheat is offered at Churchill when ships are in a position to move in and out of the port. As I intimated earlier, I travelled from Churchill to London on the S.S. Begonia. The captain of the ship had come into the

port of Churchill on half a dozen occasions, and with radar, the gyrocompass and the excellent aids to navigation provided by the Department of Transport Captain Reekie indicated that it was quite safe to go into Churchill, that it was no more hazardous than to go into Montreal.

I think there are two things that are important. I think we should have more cargo coming into Churchill so that the people who live on the plains may have the advantage of the short rail haul and be able to get goods from overseas markets by the most direct route. As I said, we want to make sure that the increased facilities will be used to capacity. I have one further suggestion which I think will provide a little additional revenue. I do not expect that in the very near future there will be a large volume of passenger traffic through Churchill, but most of the ships that come there have accommodation for some passengers. The cargo ships that move out of Halifax and Montreal carry a great many people who prefer to travel on cargo ships because they get away from the noise and crowds of the passenger ships.

Last year I found it very difficult to get information as to what ships might be sailing, when they would be sailing and whether or not there would be accommodation. It so happens that the railway line from The Pas to Churchill is operated by a separate branch of the Canadian National Railways. The C.N.R. employees where I live are very co-operative but they did not seem to have information as to when ships were sailing and whether there would be accommodation. In my opinion it would not cost very much to have a better liaison between the national harbours board at Churchill, the Hudson bay branch of the railway and the Canadian National Railways. If a ship were coming into Churchill with accommodation for ten passengers that information could be made available to the C.N.R. passenger agency in Winnipeg and in turn to their branch agencies throughout the west.

As I said, I do not expect that there will be thousands of people wanting to travel by way of Churchill, but having crossed the Atlantic on several occasions by way of Montreal may I say-and I do not think I could be accused of being partial-that I never enjoyed an ocean voyage more than the restful trip from Churchill to London, England, which took seventeen days. Therefore I hope the minister will be able to make arrangements so that Canadian National Railways can make available to prospective travellers information as to the cost and the possible dates that ships may be sailing from Churchill.

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SC

Victor Quelch

Social Credit

Mr. Quelch:

I am somewhat concerned about the question raised by the hon. member for Assiniboia with respect to the Crowsnest rates. I am a little bit afraid that some of the opponents of those rates may say that only one or two members of the House of Commons made any protest against changing them. Of course the reason that only one or two members are protesting is the fact that no measure is before the house proposing a change in these rates. On the other hand, I am satisfied if any measure were brought in to make a change in the Crowsnest rates every member from the prairie provinces would rise and protest, and I think that we can promise the minister one of the bitterest fights the house has seen for many years if such a measure is introduced. The hon. member for Assiniboia asked the minister to give the house the assurance that the government is not considering any change in these rates. I think we would appreciate getting that assurance from the minister-

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LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. Chevrier:

It will not be difficult.

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SC

Victor Quelch

Social Credit

Mr. Quelch:

-because we could not hear what he said before. To us he seemed to be whispering. I wish he would give us that assurance in a more audible voice at this time and in that way save a lot of debate.

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LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. Chevrier:

I can tell my hon. friend immediately that he can cease worrying at once because there is nothing before the house, nothing before the government and certainly no change in the position which I announced earlier so far as the Crowsnest rates are concerned. I do not know what may have brought this about other than the fact that the railways may be losing money on the movement of grain through the Crowsnest pass. I mean comparatively speaking in so far as the rates for the movement of grain elsewhere are concerned.

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SC

Victor Quelch

Social Credit

Mr. Quelch:

But actually there is no loss of money on the transportation, is there?

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LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. Chevrier:

I asked my officers to get a statement I have in my office. With it I could have dealt with the matter more intelligently, but unfortunately I am not able to get my hands on it. Perhaps that is the basis for the fear that hon. members have in their minds. I hope that I can put something on the record at a later date. In any event, even if that were the position and it was found necessary to give some attention to the problem, there is certainly no intention of amending the act. Certainly no consideration has ever been given by the government to amending the act. If that will allay the fears of my hon. friends, I am happy to give that assurance right now.

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PC

William McLean Hamilton

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hamilton:

I was extremely interested, Mr. Chairman, this afternoon in hearing some of the remarks of the Minister of Transport concerning the jurisdiction which he and his department had over the canal system of Canada, and the deft way in which he made it quite obvious to us that he and his department controlled the canals of Canada. It brought to my mind the desire of those of us on this side of the house to have an excellent corps of people behind us to do research, to dig out facts and to develop arguments so that we could always be as accurate as the minister.

I had a little premonition that perhaps the statement was not technically and completely correct. I know the minister felt it was. I went upstairs, and the first thing I did was to look up the item in the act that gives him the power. The item is very definite and says that the minister shall have the management, charge and direction of all government railways and canals, and of all works and property appertaining or incident to such railways and canals, etc. Then, I leafed through the first 786 pages of the Canada Year Book looking for something I had seen there before and I found this at the top of page 786:

Under the jurisdiction of the federal Department of Public Works are the St. Andrews lock (length, width and draught, respectively, 215, 45 and 17 feet) at Selkirk on the Red river, Manitoba, and the lock at Poupore, Quebec.

I mention this not really to niggle away at the minister at all, but just to point out how easy it is for even experts like the Department of Transport to lose a lock in a canal, and to tell us that everything comes under their jurisdiction. Then, suddenly, we find something that is a fair size-after all, something 215 feet long, 45 feet wide and 17 feet deep is not something one tucks underneath an arm. You would think someone would know about it, but apparently somehow it slipped away from the Department of Transport into the Department of Public Works. I think it points up, Mr. Chairman, not only the care with which we have to examine all statements that are made in this house, but the impressions that are left with us and even sometimes the wording of an act.

It points up also some of the inconsistencies in these government operations. Could anything be more foolish, could anything be more senseless, than that the Department of Transport should have jurisdiction over practically all the canals and locks in Canada except two, one out in Manitoba somewhere and the other down in Poupore, Quebec. One can see how this would gradually drift so that eventually the two departments perhaps would each have an interest in the canal. Before we know it we could get into quite a confused situation.

Most of all, Mr. Chairman, it points up the minister's diatribe this afternoon in answer to one of my colleagues who had made a suggestion that was not based on the facts of the case, and then the minister indicated that he was the sole person responsible for canals and locks in Canada. The minister was arguing from facts which were not quite correct, and I have cited my authority for stating that.

Then again, I cast my mind back, Mr. Chairman, to a rather innocent question I asked of the minister a while ago. It appears in Hansard for April 14, 1954, page 4074. The question referred to something called the Wellington street tunnel in the city of Montreal. I remember at the time the chuckles that arose, and the smile on the minister's face, when he good-naturedly and I presume also seriously, pointed out twice in the course of about four sentences how the member for St. Ann had raised the same question previously in the railways and shipping committee. The only trouble was, you see, Mr. Chairman, that despite the fact I had carefully telephoned the minister's office and given him an indication I was going to ask this question, this was another case where somehow the cogs had slipped a little. We were not talking about the same thing, although my question was quite clear. The minister indicated it had been discussed, and something vaguely relating to the subject had been discussed. As a matter of fact, it is rather amusing. The committee evidence at page 110 shows that the member for St. Ann had questioned the replacement of the tunnel on Wellington street between Congregation and Richmond. He said:

This tunnel is over 80 years old.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   INTERIM SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORT
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Mr. Gordon@

You mean bridge?

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   INTERIM SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORT
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LIB

Thomas Patrick Healy

Liberal

Mr. Healy:

It is a subway.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   INTERIM SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORT
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Mr. Gordon@

An overpass.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   INTERIM SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORT
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LIB

Thomas Patrick Healy

Liberal

Mr. Healy:

Yes, that is right.

So, they finally decided it was an overpass. They reached agreement on the overpass. An overpass is something that goes over, Mr. Chairman, it carries traffic over and a tunnel is something that goes underneath.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   INTERIM SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORT
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May 27, 1954