January 7, 1955

HOUSE OF COMMONS DEBATES

OFFICIAL REPORT


House of Commons! Betmtes



Speaker: The Honourable L. Rene Beaudoin Friday, January 7, 1955


SECOND SESSION-TWENTY-SECOND PARLIAMENT-OPENING


The parliament which had been prorogued on the twenty-sixth day of June, 1954, met this day at Ottawa for the dispatch of business. Mr. Speaker read a communication from the secretary to the Governor General, announcing that His Excellency the Governor General would proceed to the Senate chamber at two o'clock on this day, for the purpose of formally opening the session of the dominion parliament. A message was delivered by Major C. R. Lamoureux, Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod, as follows: Mr. Speaker, His Excellency the Governor General desires the immediate attendance of this honourable house in the chamber of the honourable the Senate. Accordingly, Mr. Speaker with the house went up to the Senate chamber. And the house being returned to the Commons chamber:


VACANCIES

LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

I have the honour to inform the house that during the recess I have received communications from several members' notifying me that vacancies had occurred in the representation, as follows:

Of Hon. D. C. Abbott, member for the electoral district of St. Antoine-Westmount, consequent upon his acceptance of an office of emolument under the crown.

Of Hon. Lionel Chevrier, member for the electoral district of Stormont, consequent upon his acceptance of an office of emolument under the crown.

Of Hon. Brooke Claxton, member for the electoral district of St. Lawrence-St. George, by resignation.

Of Rodney Adamson, Esquire, member for the electoral district of York West, by decease.

Of Lionel Conacher, Esquire, member for the electoral district of Trinity, by decease.

Of Robert James Wood, Esquire, member for the electoral district of Selkirk, by decease.

Accordingly I addressed my warrants to the chief electoral officer for the issue of new writs of election for the said electoral districts.

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NEW MEMBERS

LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

I have the honour to inform the house that during the recess the Clerk of the House has received from the chief electoral officer certificates of the election and return of the following members, viz.:

Of Claude S. Richardson, Esquire, for the electoral district of St. Lawrence-St. George.

Of Albert Peter Lavigne, Esquire, for the electoral district of Stormont.

Of John Borden Hamilton, Esquire, for the electoral district of York West.

Of Hon. George C. Marler, for the electoral district of St. Antoine-Westmount.

Of Donald D. Carrick, Esquire, for the electoral district of Trinity.

Of William Bryce, Esquire, for the electoral district of Selkirk.

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NEW MEMBERS INTRODUCED


Hon. George C. Marler, member for the electoral district of St. Antoine-Westmount, introduced by Right Hon. L. S. St. Laurent and Right Hon. C. D. Howe. Donald D. Carrick, Esquire, member for the electoral district of Trinity, introduced by Right Hon. L. S. St. Laurent and Hon. L. B. Pearson. Albert Peter Lavigne, Esquire, member for the electoral district of Stormont, introduced by Right Hon. L. S. St. Laurent and Hon. J. J. McCann. Claude S. Richardson, Esquire, member for the electoral district of St. Lawrence-St. George, introduced by Right Hon. L. S. St. Laurent and Hon. Alcide Cote. John Borden Hamilton, Esquire, member for the electoral district of York West, introduced by Hon. W. Earl Rowe and Mr. J. G. Diefenbaker. William Bryce, Esquire, member for the electoral district of Selkirk, introduced by Mr. M. J. Coldwell and Mr. Alistair Stewart (Winnipeg North).



House of Commons HOUSE OF COMMONS


REFERENCE TO ILLNESS OF LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION

LIB

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

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I am sure that hon. members in every part of this chamber would wish me to say what is in all our minds at this time, and that is how sorry we all are that the Leader of the Opposition, the Hon. George A. Drew, is unable to be present with us at this opening of parliament.

We were all deeply shocked when we heard last November that he had been stricken suddenly by a serious illness. Fortunately after some days of anxiety we were relieved to hear that he had safely passed the critical phase of the malady. Subsequently from time to time we were most grateful to learn that he was making steady progress toward complete recovery although he had to remain in hospital for several weeks.

All of us, his friends in this house-and I am sure this is also true of his hosts of friends outside of this house-sincerely hope that the present rest which his medical advisers have persuaded him to take will enable him to regain completely his strength and that it will not be long before his health and his usual vigour will have been fully restored and that he will be able to be back with us in the house.

Although the request may be somewhat unusual I am sure that every one of us, wherever he sits in the house, would be grateful to you, Mr. Speaker, if you would in the meantime convey to Mr. Drew our most sincere greetings and good wishes.

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PC

William Earl Rowe (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. W. Earl Rowe (Acting Leader of the Opposition):

Mr. Speaker, I must take advantage of this opportunity to indicate the keen appreciation of the associates of the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Drew) on this side of the house of the kind good wishes which the Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent) has so generously expressed today. I realize, as do many others, that it is a great tribute to the present-day efficiency of modern medical science that the Leader of the Opposition has been able to get through the very critical days of his illness. However, I am most happy to report, after having visited him yesterday, that he is making a very rapid recovery and indeed his health has been restored to a greater degree than I had expected to find. I feel most confident, and I am sure he does, as well as his doctors, that he will be returned to the health and vigour which the Prime Minister has indicated is his usual state of health.

[Mr. Speaker.!

Topic:   REFERENCE TO ILLNESS OF LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
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OATHS OF OFFICE

LIB

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

Liberal

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

for leave to introduce Bill No. 1, respecting the administration of oaths of office.

Motion agreed to and bill read the first time.

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SPEECH FROM THE THRONE

LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

I have the honour to inform the house that when the house did attend His Excellency the Governor General this day in the Senate chamber, His Excellency was pleased to make a speech to both houses of parliament. To prevent mistakes, I have obtained a copy, which is as follows:

Honourable members of the Senate:

Members of the House of Commons:

It affords me great pleasure to greet you as you resume your parliamentary duties at the beginning of this new year.

Since you last met, the people of Canada have been given an opportunity of extending once more an affectionate welcome to Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth, the queen mother. They have also had the pleasure of greeting again the consort of our sovereign, the Duke of Edinburgh, who came to attend the British Empire and Commonwealth games held in Vancouver during the summer and to visit northern parts of Canada.

While there is hopeful evidence that the increasing strength of the free world has lessened the likelihood of aggression, the terrible destruction that war would bring to North America and indeed to all mankind has been magnified by the increase in the number and effectiveness of atomic and thermonuclear weapons and the means of delivering them.

My ministers are convinced that, while the resources of diplomacy must never be neglected in the search for peace, the efforts of the free nations in building their deterrent forces must be maintained. To this end, Canada was represented at the London and Paris conferences which formulated an alternative to the European defence community and provided for the entry of the Federal Republic of Germany into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. You will be asked to approve the agreements reached at those meetings.

Our country continues to give full support to the United Nations. The Canadian delegation took an important part in the deliberations of the recent meeting of the general assembly in New York. It is earnestly hoped that the adoption of the resolution on disarmament introduced in the political committee by the Canadian delegation may lead to agreement on an effective system of international safeguards. .

While no final settlement has been reached in Korea, the lessening of the threat of renewed aggression in that area has made possible the withdrawal of a substantial portion of the Canadian forces.

At the invitation of the Geneva conference Canada has accepted the heavy responsibility of serving on the armistice commissions which have been formed to supervise the restoration of peace in the associated states of Indo-China.

Last autumn our nation was the host at the annual meeting of the consultative committee of the Colombo plan. You will be asked to approve Canada's continued participation in the plan as well as in the United Nations' technical assistance program.

A meeting of commonwealth prime ministers will be held in London at the end of this month to consider a number of problems affecting the peoples of this great association of nations. My prime minister plans to attend this conference.

During the summer arrangements were completed to permit the navigational facilities of the St. Lawrence river to be enlarged and a hydroelectric project to be undertaken in the international rapids section.

Work on these two projects has already begun and my ministers are convinced the stimulus to the national economy resulting from their construction will be shared in all parts of the country.

Since you last met, Cape Breton island has been linked with the mainland by the new causeway which will be ready for service as soon as the ship canal has been bridged.

It is expected that, in the course of the coming season, the new ferry between North Sydney and Port aux Basques will be in operation and the ferry service between Yarmouth and Bar Harbor started. Construction of a new ferry to operate between Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island will be undertaken early in the present year.

To improve navigation on the Pacific coast, you will be asked to make provision at this session for the removal of Ripple Rock.

Canadians learned with deep regret of the loss of life and damage to property caused by two severe storms felt heavily in the province of Ontario and the province of Nova Scotia. An agreement has been reached with the province of Ontario to assist those persons whose homes were damaged or destroyed and assistance has been given under the Agricultural Prices Support Act to the producers of apples in Nova Scotia. You will be asked to make the necessary financial provision for these arrangements.

The Disabled Persons Act which you passed at the last session was proclaimed to come into force at the beginning of the present year. The governments of all the provinces have announced their intention to participate in implementing the program to assist those who are totally unable to care for themselves; and my ministers are now in a position to conclude the necessary federal-provincial agreements to bring this humanitarian measure into operation.

Although the national economy is in a generally healthy condition, the relatively poor wheat crop is being reflected by a small decline in the total national income. Some unemployment of a regional and seasonal nature is being experienced. To help meet this situation work on public construction projects already approved is being accelerated and you will be asked to make financial provision for construction in the programs of various departments and agencies on a scale that will make possible a substantial increase in the total expenditures for this purpose.

The government proposes to introduce legislation immediately for the amendment of the Unemployment Insurance Act to provide for an increase in the duration and scale of supplementary winter benefits. It is also proposing to introduce, during the session, broader amendments designed to make unemployment insurance a more effective instrument in providing financial support to unemployed workers.

The National Housing Act, 1954, enacted early in the last session, which authorized lower downpayments and larger loans, and which enabled the chartered banks for the first time to make loans on the security of residential mortgages, has been an important factor in stimulating the construction of a record number of houses in the past year. The prospects are favourable for a high level of house building in 1955.

It is proposed to bring into general operation on the first of February the provision of the act under which loans may be made for home improvements. In accordance with an undertaking given at the last

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Speech from the Throne

session, this section was proclaimed for small holders under the Veterans' Land Act with effect from the first of this year.

You will be asked to consider amendments to the Railway Act relating to the elimination of level crossings. The government also hopes to lay before you during the present session a measure to consolidate the legislation affecting the Canadian National Railways.

Amendments to the Electricity and Fluid Exportation Act and a measure to control works which affect the normal flow of rivers which cross the international boundary will be proposed for the purpose of ensuring that natural resources are developed in the best interests of the Canadian public.

You will be asked to consider a measure to implement a convention between Canada and the United States relating to fisheries research on the great lakes.

You will also be asked to consider legislation to provide facilities for loans to fishermen similar to those provided to farmers by the Farm Improvement Loans Act.

The government will submit amendments to the War Veterans Allowance Act to raise the basic rates as well as the ceiling on permissible incomes of recipients of allowances.

You will also be asked to consider amendments to the Blind Persons Act, to lower the age of eligibility and raise the income ceilings.

A measure which will provide for amendments to the National Defence Act and the Defence Services Pension Act will be placed before you.

Legislation will be proposed to replace the Meat and Canned Foods Act by measures to provide for the inspection of meat and for the establishment of standards for all agricultural products.

You will be asked to approve a convention signed by the members of the international civil aviation organization which fixes the responsibility for damage caused to third parties by foreign aircraft.

A joint committee of both houses will be proposed to examine, in the light of the Municipal Grants Act and possible amendments thereto, the financial and other relationships of the government and the federal district commission with the city of Ottawa and neighbouring municipalities.

Among other measures you will be asked to consider amendments to the Defence Production Act, the Government Employees Compensation Act, the Financial Administration Act, the Public Service Superannuation Act, the Historic Sites and Monuments Act, the Radio Act, the Territorial Lands Act, the Library of Parliament Act, the Canada Grain Act, the Northwest Territories Act, the Yukon Act, the Canada Shipping Act, the Emergency Gold Mining Assistance Act and to the Municipal Grants Act.

Members of the House of Commons:

You will be asked to make provision for the public service for the next fiscal year.

Honourable Members of the Senate:

Members of the House of Commons:

I pray that Divine Providence may guide you in the discharge of your responsibilities.

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January 7, 1955