March 28, 1955

LIB

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

Liberal

The Chairman:

Q. I have one question. Your statement that you felt it must have been instrument trouble, that is a deduction you have arrived at since the crash?

A. Well, having looked-all I can remember is being so surprised because, as I say, I thought we were at 2,000 feet, and I'm-

Here again there is the dash which means the witness is cut off.

Q. Would you answer my question? It's a deduction you have arrived at since the crash?

A. Oh, yes.

- (Witness withdrawn.)

I submit, Mr. Speaker, that that kind of questioning is not good enough, having in mind the fa'ct that the results of an inquiry of this kind should be fair to the members of the crew and should be fair to the public in the sense that the facts of the case should be brought out if at all possible. That is my submission, Mr. Speaker. It is a great deal shorter than I had intended it to be for reasons that are now obvious to everyone.

Let this be crystal clear. My whole complaint is over the decision of the Minister of Transport not to hold a public inquiry, as was his original intention. I am not levelling any complaint against T.C.A. I have, as we all do, the highest praise for the tremendous safety record of this organization. Indeed I am proud of it as is the minister. I register no complaint against the pilots' association for any arrangement they may have made with Trans-Canada Air Lines. I am not attempting to set myself up as a judge of the technical factors involved in this huge document, though I have read it with a great deal of interest and I have learned a good deal in doing so.

However, it does seem to me that, as an ordinary human being, I have a right to comment on what 61 hours of duty in four days at work, during an elapsed period of six days, would do to anyone. In the light of that I call upon the Minister of Transport to go ahead with his original intention and have a public inquiry set up. I remind him I am not alone in this view. There are a number of newspapers in the country which have expressed this opinion editorially, but I shall not bother to quote from them. I have three such editorials on my desk, one from the Globe and Mail in Toronto and one from the Ottawa Journal. Lest he remind me that those papers do not support the government, even though that should not matter in a case of this kind, I shall tell him I have one from the Saskatoon Star-Phoenix, which does support the government very strongly. While I have not checked all the newspapers in the country to see whether or not there are others, I have no doubt there are many people in this country who share the view that I have put forward.

I have no doubt there will be discussions on side issues. But the central issue is that the Minister of Transport said initially that, in addition to the technical board of inquiry by officials within the department, there would be a public board of inquiry. In my view the failure of this report to bring out all the facts and to deal with them properly makes it imperative that the minister now go ahead with his original intention.

28, 1955 2447

Committee on Railways and Shipping

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING
Sub-subtopic:   ESTABLISHMENT OF COMMITTEE ON RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING OWNED, OPERATED AND CONTROLLED BY THE GOVERNMENT
Permalink
LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Defence Production; Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Right Hon. C. D. Howe (Minister of Trade and Commerce):

Mr. Speaker, I am sure

my hon. friend from Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Knowles) will appreciate that to convey to the public of Canada the thought that Trans-Canada Air Lines send out pilots under situations which will make them subject to fatigue is very damaging to the air lines. I think the facts have not been brought out fairly, as deduced from the report, and I would like to amplify the remarks of the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre as regards pilot fatigue.

I would point out first that the terms of service of an air lines pilot are governed by an agreement between T.C.A. and the air lines pilots' association. I have the document here, and it is in great detail. Roughly however it provides that no pilot in four-engine equipment shall fly more than 900 hours per year and that, so far as possible, no pilot in four-engine equipment shall fly more than 75 hours per month. And that, I think, is a tighter regulation than applies for any other air line in the world. I know that in the United States-

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING
Sub-subtopic:   ESTABLISHMENT OF COMMITTEE ON RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING OWNED, OPERATED AND CONTROLLED BY THE GOVERNMENT
Permalink
CCF

Harold Edward Winch

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

Mr. Winch:

How much in 24 hours?

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING
Sub-subtopic:   ESTABLISHMENT OF COMMITTEE ON RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING OWNED, OPERATED AND CONTROLLED BY THE GOVERNMENT
Permalink
LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Defence Production; Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. Howe (Port Arthur):

That is not specified, for the simple reason that if a pilot is flying across the ocean he must get to the other side before his hours run out. And if the aircraft is delayed by head winds he cannot stop on the ocean. It is not practical therefore to set the limit of flying time in one day.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING
Sub-subtopic:   ESTABLISHMENT OF COMMITTEE ON RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING OWNED, OPERATED AND CONTROLLED BY THE GOVERNMENT
Permalink
CCF

Harold Edward Winch

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

Mr. Winch:

How much in 24 hours of

actual flying? It does not take 24 hours to cross the Atlantic.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING
Sub-subtopic:   ESTABLISHMENT OF COMMITTEE ON RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING OWNED, OPERATED AND CONTROLLED BY THE GOVERNMENT
Permalink
LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Defence Production; Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. Howe (Port Arthur):

Well, it could.

I have been 22 hours coming back from the United Kingdom, as a result of a head-wind. However, it is not practical to place such limits, and there is no regulation which makes provision for the time of flying in 24 hours; although, by and large, it is not the practice to set up pilot cycles which call for much over eight hours of flying time per day. However, as I say, pilots flying between Montreal and London airport do fly longer cycles than that.

It is the business of T.C.A. pilots to fly aircraft. That is the way they earn their salaries. I often think that perhaps members of parliament do not realize that the air lines' pilots are the economic royalists of the labour movement. While they belong to the American Federation of Labour, I think there is no other branch of the federation that is paid nearly as well as the pilots. They all get considerably more money than members

2448 HOUSE OF

Committee on Railways and Shipping of parliament, and I think the calibre of pilot fitness that is maintained justifies that high rate of pay.

One requirement, I know, is that these pilots shall keep in perfect physical condition. In other words, they are not people like my hon. friend and myself who, occasionally, take long rides in the rear seats of aircraft and then go right back to our work. I think we both have had the experience of getting in at four o'clock in the morning-I know I have-and being at my desk down on Wellington street at nine o'clock on the same morning. In other words, there is nothing unusual in people going on working when they are tired.

But I say that pilots are required to be in perfect physical condition and so required in order that they can stand long hours, when the nature of their service requires that those long hours on duty are necessary.

Now, let us look at the duty time this pilot actually put in. From November 19 to December 12 he did no work at all. He was off duty. In other words, he was on holidays, and on his regular days off. Then on December 12 he was on duty for 14 hours and two minutes, including ten hours and 27 minutes in the air and three hours and 35 minutes on the ground. This was followed by 16 hours and 17 minutes off duty. In other words he was at home for 16 hours and 17 minutes.

Then on December 13 he was on duty for

12 hours and 32 minutes, which included nine hours and 54 minutes in the air and two hours and 38 minutes on the ground. This was followed by 33 hours and 15 minutes off duty at home.

On December 15 the captain was on duty for 17 hours and 29 minutes, which included

13 hours and 19 minutes in the air, and four hours and ten minutes on the ground. This was followed by 27 hours and 30 minutes off duty at home.

On December 17 the captain was on duty a total of 13 hours and 30 minutes, including ten hours and 13 minutes in the air and three hours and 17 minutes on the ground. If the flight to Montreal had been completed successfully he would then have had eight days off duty at home.

That is the situation.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING
Sub-subtopic:   ESTABLISHMENT OF COMMITTEE ON RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING OWNED, OPERATED AND CONTROLLED BY THE GOVERNMENT
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CCF

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

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

Mr. Knowles:

Would the minister permit a question? Has he any details of his figures for the 13th? His figures for the other days are very close to my own. The 13th is the day the minister said he was on duty 12 hours and 32 minutes. My figures show 16 hours for that day. In any case, the minister's figures total 57 hours and 33 minutes for the four days. Is that correct?

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING
Sub-subtopic:   ESTABLISHMENT OF COMMITTEE ON RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING OWNED, OPERATED AND CONTROLLED BY THE GOVERNMENT
Permalink
LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Defence Production; Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. Howe (Pori Arthur):

I have not added the duty time up; but I would point out that there are three men in the cockpit of a Constellation. There is the pilot, the co-pilot and the flight engineer. 1 would point out that, on long flights of that kind, the fatigue is not particularly serious. The automatic pilot is used a good deal, and one member of the crew of officers can go back and take a rest. There is a bunk provided in the cockpit for that purpose. He does not sit there continuously with the wheel in his hand guiding the aircraft. He sits there and makes his calculations; he makes his check points; and for a good deal of the time the automatic pilot is operating the aircraft.

This is true on long trips, but it is not true on short trips, generally speaking, where there are a number of landings and takeoffs. The strain on a pilot is much greater then than it is on a flight from Montreal to Bermuda or from Toronto to Tampa. However, this is beside the point.

No one has suggested that the cycle this pilot was following was in any way irregular or that it was in violation of the agreement between T.C.A. and the pilots' association. And it is very interesting to note, in the evidence of the crew taken on oath, that no member of the crew suggested they were fatigued, or that fatigue had anything to do with the landing at Malton airport.

I may say there is no dispute as to what happened on the aircraft. Why the pilot did as he did, I suppose we will never know. He says he does not know. But in an accident where there was no loss of life, where the facts seem to be indisputable and where, as I say, medical evidence was taken from six eminent physicians who found no sign of pilot fatigue, I suggest that to hold a public inquiry is an exercise wholly uncalled for in the circumstances.

What does my hon. friend expect to prove by a public inquiry? Would he prove that there was something wrong with the aircraft? Would he prove that the pilot was not responsible for the procedure of landing? 1 think if he attempted to prove fatigue, expert evidence could be brought from every air line in the world to say that the cycle that was followed by this pilot was not one that would produce fatigue to the point where the pilot no longer would be able to carry out his duties efficiently.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING
Sub-subtopic:   ESTABLISHMENT OF COMMITTEE ON RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING OWNED, OPERATED AND CONTROLLED BY THE GOVERNMENT
Permalink
CCF

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

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

Mr. Knowles:

When the minister refers to a cycle such as this pilot had worked as not being fatiguing, may I ask if there is any provision for changing the cycle, changing the flights within the cycle, when there is a delayed trip? For example, according to the

schedule this pilot should have got back to Montreal at 11.10 p.m. on Monday but he did not get back until 4.30 a.m. on Tuesday. When that happens is it necesssary that the rest of the cycle be followed without interruption?

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING
Sub-subtopic:   ESTABLISHMENT OF COMMITTEE ON RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING OWNED, OPERATED AND CONTROLLED BY THE GOVERNMENT
Permalink
LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Defence Production; Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. Howe (Port Arthur):

If the pilot had complained that he was suffering from fatigue or had asked that the cycle be changed I dare say it would have been changed. The regulations provide that if a crew find they are fatigued it is quite permissible to set the aircraft down until the pilots have rested. Every provision has been made in the agreement to protect the pilots against fatigue. In other words there is nothing in the regulations, there is nothing intended in the regulations, and there is nothing intended in the operations program of the pilots which would make it possible that aircraft shall be endangered through fatigue of the crew. That is well understood in planning pilot cycles.

These cycles are worked out largely to meet the convenience of the pilots. The pilots like to spend their spare time at home. You ask why does not a pilot fly down to Tampa and spend the night there before coming back the next day. Generally the pilot would prefer to have his day off at home, and the cycles are worked out so the pilots may have a few consecutive days at home rather than work one day, and then have a day off, to be spent away from home.

A great deal of experience goes into the setting up of these cycles, and the pilots are consulted as to their convenience. If there had been any suggestion anywhere in the hearing that fatigue had played a part my hon. friend might have had some reason for bringing this matter before parliament, but he will not find in the inquiry where anyone, including the pilot or any other member of the crew, represented that pilot fatigue had any part to play in the situation.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING
Sub-subtopic:   ESTABLISHMENT OF COMMITTEE ON RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING OWNED, OPERATED AND CONTROLLED BY THE GOVERNMENT
Permalink
SC

Frederick George Hahn

Social Credit

Mr. F. G. J. Hahn (New Westminster):

Mr. Speaker, I do not intend to relate my remarks to the Brampton crash but rather to the setting up of a committee to study the business of the Canadian National and its associated enterprises. We in this group will support the motion to set up a committee at this time.

In commencing his remarks the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre drew attention to an editorial in the Toronto Telegram. in which the statement was made that the people of Canada would be happy to make a $2 contribution to defraying the deficit of the Canadian National Railways. I suppose most people in Canada will be happy to do that if it can be proved that the railway has operated as efficiently as possible, but I have news for my hon. friend. I for one know of

28, 1955 2449

Committee on Railwais and Shipping many charitable organizations to which I would donate in preference to the C.N.R., so he can count me out if it is found that the railway is not run as efficiently as I think it should be.

The matter of employment has been mentioned. I often wonder whether it is the purpose of an organization owned by the government to act as an agency to provide jobs for people who are out of work. I think the business of the Canadian National Railways should be the transporting of goods and passengers as efficiently as possible. The setting up of this committee will give us an opportunity to discover the efficiency or lack of efficiency as the case may be. It will give us an opportunity to discover why the largest government enterprise has a deficit. It is not an unknown fact that government enterprises frequently go into the red. The reason might be that they are government-owned. However, we might have to establish that fact later.

It will give us an opportunity to study the Canadian National and possibly the piggyback service which we read of so often today. It will also give us an opportunity to discuss truck transportation as affecting the Canadian National and other transportation systems. I hope it will give us once more an opportunity to discuss the sale of hotels, and more particularly the building of another hotel by the Canadian National. I have always felt, and I have said so frequently, that the business of a railway should be that of transportation rather than the providing of hotel accommodation for people.

We welcome this opportunity to study again the activities of Canadian National (West Indies) Steamships Limited. I am particularly interested in this because I have found that all passenger bookings have been taken up until some time in mid-November of this year. If that is true of this year it was possibly also true of last year. When this steamship line has been able to book all its passenger accommodation so late into the year I wonder why it should show a deficit.

It will also give us an opportunity to discuss, as the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre has already discussed, the air crash at Brampton and also the one at Moose Jaw, that has been raised in this house on more than one occasion. Possibly certain revisions may follow our study of these crashes. The committee is the place where we can best decide what recommendations should be made as to changes. It may be that this committee will offer a good opportunity to discuss the need of civil airports. I have raised this matter frequently in the house, more particularly with respect to my own community.

2450 HOUSE OF

Committee on Railways and Shipping

However, I find there are other items of business on the order paper which this group would like to get out of the way so they can become law before the end of the month. That does not necessarily mean I am opposed to other hon. members going ahead to discuss matters which they have in mind, because they may consider them just as pertinent as the one we hope to deal with later. It might be that the government would make this other matter retroactive; I am referring to the war veterans allowances.

I do want to indicate once again that this group approves the setting up of a committee to discuss these questions.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING
Sub-subtopic:   ESTABLISHMENT OF COMMITTEE ON RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING OWNED, OPERATED AND CONTROLLED BY THE GOVERNMENT
Permalink
PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. J. G. Diefenbaker (Prince Albert):

Mr. Speaker, having listened to what the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre had to say regarding this unfortunate accident at Brampton, Ontario, and the answer given by the Minister of Trade and Commerce, I personally believe that a public inquiry is necessary in order to clarify what is apparently a serious contradiction in the attitudes and views of my hon. friends. Certainly before the Minister of Trade and Commerce made his explanation I felt that an inquiry by the committee to be set up under this motion would have been sufficient. But the minister in the course of his explanation rather weakened his argument when he stated that the number of hours this pilot had been on duty were in reality and in effect nothing of any particular moment, for the minister himself had often gone to work when tired. Well, when the minister went to work four hours after his arrival in Ottawa he went to his office on Wellington street, and was not in a position where the lives of others were under his control.

The fact that the minister took that position is indicative of an official attitude that certainly deserves clarification in a public inquiry. Indeed, when the Minister of Transport (Mr. Marler) replies I think he should answer why he changed his expressed intention to set up a public inquiry and had instead a qualified private inquiry? What was the reason for the alteration in his general attitude? What events caused him to change his position, which was categorical and clear at the beginning? No one wants to do anything that will cause fear in the hearts of Canadians who travel on the T.C.A., which has an outstanding safety record. On the other hand, no one wants to make a scapegoat of this pilot if the evidence is not such that an independent inquiry would bear out the conclusions arrived at by the private inquiry.

I feel that the minister should give serious consideration to the setting up of an independent commission, if you will, to have this matter investigated in order that no one will have any doubt that justice has been done. As things are now the findings of the private investigatory group have been challenged. There is a feeling among many people in this country that grave unfairness has been done to the pilot. That being so, the minister has a duty to those who serve this country to assure that no injustice shall be permitted to go unchallenged. The findings of an independent commission supporting what has already been found by the investigatory body that was set up would be conclusive, and would remove from the hearts of people any doubt as to whether fairness and equity were achieved in this man's case.

Having said that, there are one or two other matters to which I shall refer. When this committee is set up I should like it to consider the whole question of the payment of pensions to retired employees of the Canadian National Railways. The present basic pension rate of $25 is paid in a considerable number of cases. The particulars of the numbers who receive this pension were requested by the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre, and are recorded in Hansard. There is a feeling widely held that the present rates are unjustifiably low, and that the time has come for reconsideration of the claims for fairness presented by those who are retired on that basic pension.

Another problem which is of general interest is the matter of unemployment, the retirements and lay-offs on the Canadian National Railways. For several weeks in this house an endeavour has been made to ascertain the true situation. Various union representatives of Canadian National Railways employees across this country are wondering why it is that difficulty is met by those in this house who endeavour to ascertain the picture of lay-offs on the Canadian National Railways. Indeed, it is becoming extremely difficult to secure any information in the house regarding Canadian National Railways employees.

On the 28th of January I placed a question on the order paper asking how many section and maintenance men had been laid off since the 1st of January, 1955, and what further lay-offs, etc., were anticipated. That question should not have required weeks to answer, but the answer was finally brought down on February 21. My question read:

1. How many section and maintenance men of the Canadian National Railways have been laid off by (a) regions; (b) divisions, since the 1st day of January, 1955?

This was the answer given by the Minister of Transport:

This is another question which cannot be answered completely without the assignment of a special staff. Here again, the information would have to be assembled at the 42 divisions of the company, and would then have to be consolidated. This would take many weeks, and by the time the figures had been compiled they would no longer be currently accurate.

I say to the minister that if that answer is correct it does not indicate that the records kept by the Canadian National Railways are similar to records kept by other corporations. They could not be kept in the same manner. My next question was:

2. Is it anticipated that there will be further lay-offs and, if so, what are expected numbers by

(a) regions; (b) divisions?

The answer to that question was as follows:

Seasonal employment, with resultant lay-offs at the termination of seasonal programs, has a very marked impact on figures relating to the strength of working forces.

That portion of the answer is simply legislative evasion. My third question was:

3. What is the total number of employees of Canadian National Railways in (a) office staffs;

(b) all other positions, laid off either permanently or temporarily, since the 1st day of December, 1954?

The minister answered:

These comments apply particularly to parts 1 and 3, and similar difficulties exist as to part 2 of the question.

My fourth question was:

4. How many employees of Canadian National Railways have had their working hours reduced, since the 1st day of January, 1955?

The minister replied:

With regard to part 4, I would answer that no employees have had their working hours reduced since 1st January, 1955, except perhaps that in certain cases of illness an employee may be working part-time pending complete recovery.

1 am not going to argue with the answer given by the minister. The same type of answers were given the same day to questions asked by the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre. I submit that those answers given by the minister either do not give the picture as the railway company knows it to be, or indeed reveal a cavalier attitude on the part of the high officials of the Canadian National Railways toward the right of parliament to information.

I go on to point out that on February 28 I moved:

For a copy of all correspondence exchanged between the minister or Department of Transport and the Canadian National Railways relative to a question placed on the order paper in the name of the mover of this matter on the 28th January last, the purpose of which was to ascertain the number of section and maintenance men, office staffs, etc., who have been laid off by the Canadian National Railways during the periods particularly set forth in the said question.

28, 1955 2451

Committee on Railways and Shipping

That motion was challenged by the minister, and it was dropped. A little later a further question was put on the order paper in order to ascertain the number in the employment of the Canadian National Railways as at the end of February this year. That is my recollection of the question. I am not certain of the date as I have not the question before me. In that case the answer again was that the information was not then available.

Those answers throughout do not meet the fair requests of Canadian National Railways employees across Canada who are asking for information on this matter, and for the assurance that their jobs are not to be placed unnecessarily in jeopardy. They are not in the position of being suppliants. They have the right to know the position in which they will find themselves in the days ahead, as far as the railway company can predict. They certainly have the right to information as to the number of employees who have been laid off since December last.

Among the employees in general-that is, sectionmen, maintenance men and the like-

I find the desire to know what the situation is. They want information, but they do not seem to be able to get it. There is only one method by which they can secure it, and that is through their parliamentary representatives. At least that was what they thought until questions were asked by certain of those representatives in parliament.

I ask the minister, when he replies, to give the Canadian people and the railway employees the picture as to how many had been laid off from last fall until the end of February. The railway employees believe the number runs into thousands. Indeed, as a result of their own computations several of them have concluded that the number of employees laid off within the last year approaches 10,000. They may be in error, but the only way they can find out is to have the minister give that information, and give to those who hold positions today some reassurance as to the future.

After all, you cannot maintain morale unless there is full and complete disclosure. Today morale among Canadian National Railways employees is undermined as a result of the failure of the minister to give some information as to the picture and the course to be followed. I ask him, when he concludes this debate, to furnish the information to the extent that it is possible to do so.

As to the last question I asked, with regard to the number who were in employment as at the end of February, as I recollect the answer it was to the effect that the computation was made on the 15th of each month.

2452 HOUSE OF

Committee on Railways and Shipping The 15th of the month is now past, so the information should be available. I ask the minister to furnish it.

Then I pass on to one other matter upon which the Canadian people are asking for information. I refer to the Queen Elizabeth hotel in the city of Montreal. On February 14 I asked not for copies of correspondence with the railway company but for the letters from the Department of Transport or the minister with regard to the Queen Elizabeth hotel. That motion was turned down by a vote of the house, with every member supporting the government voting against it. When a commitment running into millions of dollars-and the estimate of the cost of this hotel is some $20 million-has been made of moneys belonging to the Canadian people, upon considerations which must have governed the directors of the railway company in making such a commitment, surely the Canadian people have a right to know why, when this great hotel is completed, it should be turned over to the Hilton Hotels Corporation, a United States corporation. The Canadian hotel operators want to know what Canadian hotel corporations had an opportunity to bid in this matter. My information is that the hotel association communicated with the Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent) early in January to ask him about the situation, and had no reply by the end of January.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING
Sub-subtopic:   ESTABLISHMENT OF COMMITTEE ON RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING OWNED, OPERATED AND CONTROLLED BY THE GOVERNMENT
Permalink
LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

Order. I have been turning up the references, and I find that on Monday, February 14, the hon. member moved for information along somewhat the same lines as he is now discussing, and that the motion was negatived on that date. I am just wondering whether he is in order in going on at this time at this length on the same subject.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING
Sub-subtopic:   ESTABLISHMENT OF COMMITTEE ON RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING OWNED, OPERATED AND CONTROLLED BY THE GOVERNMENT
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PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

With deference, Mr. Speaker, may I point out that my motion was to get the documents. That motion was turned down. What I am asking for now is the information, not the documents. The motion for documents was defeated. I therefore can do no more than accept the decision of the house as, of course, I do. But what I am asking of the minister now is this. Why can we not get a peek behind this curtain of secrecy into the reasons that a management lease was given of this hotel?

The Canadian people are furnishing the money. They have a right to know what peculiar considerations would impel the Canadian National Railways to build this fine hotel needed in Montreal and then, having built it, turn it over to someone else for operation. Is it going to be profitable? How much is going to be paid? Or is it going to

turn out to be a white elephant? I am not suggesting that it is, but it seems passing strange that so mysterious a transaction should have been entered into. Just imagine it, Mr. Speaker; we pay the money, get the hotel and then turn it over to somebody else. Why? That is what we ask. After all, parliament is being asked to consider the accounts and estimates. If ever there was an expenditure that should be looked into and that should not be hidden in a veil of secrecy, this is it. This is one transaction that deserves the fullest investigation.

Now, sir, I feel that the minister should give this information. I can do no more than ask that he do so. Today the Canadian people are wondering and the correspondence one receives indicates it, why this transaction was entered into. Why was the construction proceeded with at public expense? Why were Canadians not given an opportunity? If there was a change of plan on the part of the railway company, why was it necessary to go outside of Canada to find a hotel company to operate a Canadian hotel for and on behalf of the Canadian people or the Canadian National Railways?

There is one other matter I should like to bring to the minister's attention. The hon. member for Greenwood (Mr. Macdonnell) dealt with the deficit this year. The past year has not been a year of railway expansion except in the hotel line. Requests have been made and supported, I believe, by one of the members of the government, for railway construction to tap our resources, particularly the resources in the northern part of the western provinces. Indifferent transportation facilities have been the main cause of delay in developing the north country. Let no one say that is not a fact, because the statement was made quite recently by the Minister of Northern Affairs and National Resources (Mr. Lesage).

I believe the time has come for Canadian National Railways to consider the strategic extension of railway lines to meet the present and the long-term needs of the vast mineral empire of the north. Already consideration is being given, I understand, to a railway line from Waterways to the south shore of Great Slave lake. I say I believe such consideration is being given because the Minister of Northern Affairs and National Resources is reported to have so stated. Having regard to the tremendous development taking place in the western provinces I believe there is a need of extension of railway facilities.

In Manitoba, Canadian National Railways extended its line from Sherridon to Lynn Lake. Consolidated has now commenced

developments west of Hudson Bay, some 300 miles to the north. I believe that is one railway extension that will have to be seriously considered immediately. In the province of Saskatchewan there has been a change in the last few years since private enterprise has been welcomed to northern Saskatchewan, a change that deserves the consideration of the department and of Canadian National Railways so far as the extension of railway facilities into the north is concerned.

While public enterprise is something I do not often approve, a visit to the Eldorado development in northern Saskatchewan is a worth-while experience. The development there is tremendous. The future expansion of uranium production, while not unlimited, certainly seems to be approaching that condition. That being so, I believe the time has come for consideration of the extension of railroad facilities into the north in order not only to make possible the removal of what is being mined and produced there today, but to meet the needs of future years.

I was glad to learn from the Minister of Northern Affairs and National Resources that consideration is being given to one railway line into the north from Waterways to the south shore of Great Slave lake. In determining where that line should go the fullest weight should be given to the need of a line in northern Saskatchewan to tap the areas of mineral development now being opened between Eldorado and the city of Prince Albert.

I think that is all I wish to say at the moment, except to point out that at Uranium City, Eldorado's present milling capacity of 500 tons daily is being increased to 700 tons. At the present time two mines are sending ore to Eldorado for custom milling. I refer to Nesbitt La Bine and Rix-Athabasca. Eldorado's present payroll is about 500, and Gunnar, which is about 18 miles distant, has 500 construction workers. In 1953 the freight tonnage to Bushell, the end of the water route, was some 35,000 tons, in 1954 about

50,000 tons, and in 1955 it will be much greater. The developments taking place there are tremendous in their potentialities. That being so, when consideration is being given to the building of railroad facilities I ask that the potentialities of northern Saskatchewan be kept in mind, as well as the fact that today there is need of a rail exit for the production taking place there, which will greatly increase in the years ahead.

As far as northern Alberta is concerned, it has railway facilities that northern Saskatchewan does not have. It is my belief that railway extensions to resources will pay tremendous dividends, and will at the same

Committee on Railways and Shipping time afford transportation facilities to enable not only the building of the northern radar defence lines but also their maintenance and upkeep.

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LIB

Frank Sidney Follwell

Liberal

Mr. F. S. Follwell (Hastings South):

Mr. Speaker, you indicated that you would allow some latitude on the discussion of the motion to set up this sessional committee. I hope the remarks I am about to make will come within that latitude, although I had intended to make them in the debate on unemployment because of the fact that we are all alarmed and concerned about the employment situation in Canada.

We are particularly concerned about the employment situation amongst the railroad workers on the Canadian National Railways. I find myself in agreement with the hon. member for Prince Albert when he suggests that the railroad employees' pension scheme should be investigated and overhauled. I believe there should be an upward revision in the amount of the pensions paid these railroad employees.

What I particularly have in mind is to make a recommendation to the government with regard to the building of the trans-Canada natural gas pipe line. Canadian National Railways, as we well know, has a right of way clear across this great country. I believe we were all disappointed, no matter from what part of Canada we come, when we heard the announcement made by the Trans-Canada Pipe Lines executives that for reasons of financing this project would have to be deferred for another year. I believe this project could go forward immediately if it were built under the direction of Canadian National Railways. As I have said, the railway owns the right of way.

It might be pointed out to me that this route would probably necessitate building a little longer gas pipe line than was expected, but in turn I could point out that the railroad is economically sound only because it serves the whole population of Canada. It must go where the people are. This route would make the Trans-Canada natural gas pipe line economically sound too, because it must go where the people are in order to serve them with natural gas.

Canadian National Railways has at its head Mr. Donald Gordon, who is well known for his great financial ability. He is surrounded by men of great courage and men of great skill in the engineering field who, I am quite sure, could build this natural gas pipe line much cheaper than a private company because they already have this roadbed. It is probably quite true that the pipe line could not entirely follow the railroad line,

2454 HOUSE OF

Committee on Railways and Shipping but there again the Canadian National Railways has a lands department, a legal department and, as I have said, a financial department. It has been suggested, more particularly by the C.C.F. group, that if the Canadian taxpayers are to guarantee the financial arrangements for the Trans-Canada pipe line, then the Canadian people should build it. I believe that if Canadian National Railways built this pipe line even that group would be satisfied that the construction was being undertaken in the right way.

The construction of this gas pipe line is a project that will require the placing of very large orders for steel pipe as well as many other materials. I am sure this would immediately set in motion the necessary production to take up the slack in our unemployment at the moment. I feel that it would be well if the Minister of Transport were to call together at the earliest opportunity the officials of the Trans-Canada pipe line and the Canadian National Railways to ascertain whether or not some method could be worked out to make possible the immediate construction of this pipe line under some lease arrangement from Canadian National to Trans-Canada Pipe Lines Limited. It has been mentioned here that Canadian National Railways built a hotel which it was found more advantageous to lease to another company for management.

As we well know, Canadian National Railways has been able to extend its lines to Lynn Lake and Kitimat. Agreements were made in connection with these extensions that made them profitable to build, yet they were a great service to the country in opening up our natural resources. I am sure it would be possible to work out some kind of satisfactory financial arrangement that would permit Canadian National Railways to finance the project and lease it to Trans-Canada Pipe Lines for management. I do not know what legislation would be required to provide the money for Canadian National Railways. It may well be that legislation is already on the books that would enable parliament to grant sufficient funds to start the project immediately. As I have said, I have in mind that the whole of Canada, particularly the producers in the west and the consumers in the central provinces, were disappointed when it was indicated that natural gas would not be coming forward this year, or at least there would not be an early start to provide it.

So, Mr. Speaker, I urge the government and the Minister of Transport to take some notice of what I have said and call together the Trans-Canada Pipe Lines people and the Canadian National Railways officials. The

[Mr. Follwell.l

building of this pipe line by the Canadian National would give the railway a great deal of traffic. As I have said, when it is indicated that it would be economically sound and in the best interests of the people to extend the pipe line to a particular point, it could be extended by means of branch lines the same as the railway lines are now extended. I feel that if this matter is looked into immediately some decision could be made that would enable work to be started this summer and orders placed for the necessary material.

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CCF

Wilbert Ross Thatcher

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

Mr. W. Ross Thatcher (Moose Jaw-Lake Centre):

I am not a member of this particular committee. I wish I were, because there are a few questions I should like to ask Trans-Canada Air Lines officials. I travel on T.C.A. a great deal, and I think their safety record is exceptional. Nevertheless I feel they should try at all times to make it even better. Today I feel there are certain elementary precautions which Trans-Canada Air Lines are not taking as they fly over military areas.

As hon. members know, the worst air tragedy in Canadian history took place over the city of Moose Jaw. Since that time there have been two or three other incidents involving military aircraft and Trans-Canada Air Lines planes. I feel that these incidents may continue unless something is done to have T.C.A. take certain safety precautions which I am going to suggest. I have proposed these steps to the Minister of Transport before, but I do not feel the answers he has given have been satisfactory.

I suggested in the first place, and a good many people have agreed with this suggestion, that when a Trans-Canada Air Lines plane is going over a military area it should radio the fact ahead, so the control tower at the military airport could notify all military planes which might be in the air. Then they could clear the airway and runways in order to minimize the danger of a collision. Such a procedure makes sense to me, and I do not know why it would not be feasible.

On February 9, in sessional paper No. 166-B, the government answered this suggestion by saying there were technical difficulties in the way. If that is so I think it is a rather shocking reply. This is a scientific age. No one can tell me it is not feasible to have a radio arrangement so that a Trans-Canada Air Lines plane can inform a military airport that it is passing over. I may tell the minister, as he probably knows, that Canadian Pacific Air Lines follow such a procedure today. I cannot understand the technical objections. Quite frankly I feel that the president of Trans-Canada Air Lines is taking a rather lofty attitude toward this whole subject.

Some reporters questioned Mr. McGregor in Edmonton some months ago about the incidents over Moose Jaw. They queried him regarding the questions I had asked in tha house, and he had this to say:

Mr. Thatcher seems to assume that T.C.A. and the R.C.A.F. stand at opposite ends of a hall and shout at each other. Actually, there is very good co-operation between the two.

I suggest to you, Mr. Speaker, that such a statement is not an answer. It there is such good co-operation, then why are these incidents continuing? Mr. McGregor cannot afford to brush aside such proposals. If a proposal is not feasible, then I wish he would state clearly the reason. I hope the committee will investigate this whole matter when Mr. McGregor appears before it within a few days.

Another suggestion made was that T.C.A. aircraft, when flying over military areas, should fly at 8,000 or 9,000 feet instead of at 6,000, as at present. Most of the Harvard training aircraft simply cannot fly that high. The department replied to this suggestion by stating:

The establishment of such minima might be imprudent in that they might require an aircraft to maintain an altitude which had become unsatisfactory due to local weather conditions.

Such a statement might be correct six or eight days in the year, but how about the other 350 or 360 days? I believe that if T.C.A. would fly at 8,000 feet there would be almost no accidents from collision. And if their planes had to come down because of storms, then they could notify control towers at the military airports in advance, and thus lessen the danger.

Some have suggested that the sensible thing to do would be to move all military airports from areas in which Trans-Canada Air Lines operate. I do not think this is a sensible suggestion. In the first place there would be a considerable number of airports to move. In the second place the cost would be absolutely prohibitive. In the third place, if the stations were removed I believe the military authorities would find it much more difficult to recruit. Certainly it has been found that personnel like to be near the larger centres.

I say again there are certain elementary safety steps which look reasonable to a layman. I hope that the minister or Mr. McGregor will answer these proposals before the committee. If the suggestions are not sensible, then let them die once and for all. But at least let there be a full explanation.

(Translation) :

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IND

Paul-Edmond Gagnon

Independent

Mr. Paul E. Gagnon (Chicoutimi):

Mr. Speaker, in a talk delivered before the Canadian railway club in Montreal, on December

Committee on Railways and Shipping 13, 1954, the chairman of the Canadian Pacific stated as follows:

(Text):

Canada's resource industries share with agriculture the distinction of forming the backbone of the export trade upon which national prosperity depends. A country which derives more than 20 per cent of its national income from exports dependent for their competitive advantage in world markets upon a price measured in part in terms of transportation cost cannot afford to remain indifferent to those problems which affect the railroads in their ability to meet new as well as existing transportation needs.

(Translation):

Railways have been the spearheads of Canada's economic development. The district of which I have the pleasure of being one of the representatives has witnessed a new expansion at the end of the last century when it was linked by rail with the city of Quebec.

The railroad, built chiefly to open up new settlements and provide a new outlet for existing parishes, has not followed the progress of our district.

It has remained a settler's railroad. It is a slow, winding road, dotted with decrepit stations, where trains are seldom on time. It is becoming more and more urgent that improvements be made, that the railroad be shortened and modernized so as to meet adequately the needs of our district, which has become a great industrial area, and of our constantly increasing population.

(Text):

"One of the best tests of whether a people can see, in the economic sense, beyond its nose," says the editor of that internationally known journal. The Economist of London, "is in its attitude to transport, for transport, although absolutely essential to economic progress, confers its benefits indirectly."

(Translation) :

The relevancy of that remark prompts me to speak of the necessity of undertaking as soon as possible the construction of the Chibougamau-St. Felicien railroad.

On January 25 last, the Minister of Transport (Mr. Marler), in reply to a question of the hon. member for Three Rivers (Mr. Balcer), stated that he had no intention of introducing a bill about this matter during the present session. At the last session, legislation for that purpose was enacted by parliament. Unfortunately for us, none of its clauses compels the Canadian National to build that railroad within a set time, or provides anything to that effect.

In short, clause 1 prescribes that the governor in council may provide for the construction and the completion, in whole or in part, of the lines described in the appendix, before December 31, 1964.

2456 HOUSE OF

Committee on Railways and Shipping

On the other hand, the then minister of transport, as well as the vice-president of the Canadian National asserted, both in the house and before the railway committee, that if a sufficient amount of traffic was guaranteed, the construction of our trunk-line would not be delayed.

The parliamentary assistant to the Minister of Transport (Mr. Langlois) repeated it again in a speech he made last November in Roberval. He said to his listeners of the Saguenay area: "As soon as you can give us the same guarantees of 175,000 tons of freight per year, the Chibougamau-St.-Felicien trunk-line will be built".

I am told that these guarantees have been secured and supplied to the authorities of the Canadian National Railways.

On December 20, 1954, Le Soleil made the following comments on this news:

Prospects appear bright in the lake St. John area for the construction of the trunk line between lake Chibougamau and St. Felicien. The Canadian National Railways have all guarantees they required of a freight traffic of 175,000 tons per year in this lumbering and mining district which is now open to extraordinary development. For the time being, ten industrial establishments have undertaken to supply a total of 180,000 tons of freight, with the promise of bringing this amount to more than 400,000 tons when the new railway is in full operation.

The people of the area are going at it in no small way: eight large lumbering companies

operating in this vast area north of lake St. John up to and beyond lake Chimougamau, over a distance of more than 200 miles, are getting ready to use the proposed railway for the transport of manufactured lumber shipped to various parts of the province. At the present time, they are using to a large extent the road that the provincial department of highways built some years ago, and also the rivers flowing into lake St. John. They look forward to the improvement that the railway will bring for the rapid and safe transportation of their products.

In a speech delivered in Toronto last November, the Minister of Northern Affairs and National Resources (Mr. Lesage) advocated the construction of a railway line in the mining district of the Yukon and the Northwest Territories with the financial assistance of the federal government.

That is exactly what we asked for last year: a subsidy that would permit the Canadian National to undertake simultaneously the construction of the A and B sections of the Chibougamau railway. Besides, such a subsidy was granted in 1949 for the extension of the Pacific Great Eastern line from Ques-nel to Prince George in British Columbia. And a precedent had been made in that respect in 1913 with the Ontario Northland.

The minister believed that the carrying out of such a project would be the best means to push the industrial development of our

northern empire. After that conference, Mr. Charles Pelletier wrote in L'Action Catholique the following comments:

Mr. Lesage is indeed right. It is through the development of our means of communication, especially our railway lines, that it will be possible to integrate in our national economy areas which are rich in possibilities of all kinds but whose resources will not be adequately developed so long as they remain inaccessible. And it is perfectly normal for the government to help these transportation projects at the start until they become self-supporting through the developments that they initiate.

If the construction of railway lines had always depended on the guarantee of immediate profits, Canada would not be the great industrial country she is today.

But what is true of our northern districts is all the more so of districts which are much closer to our large centres and which are already developed to a certain extent, such as lake St. John and the Gaspe peninsula.

And further on:

Even if the eastern section of the railway were not immediately self-supporting, that would not be sufficient reason for putting off its construction when the progress of a large part of the province is at stake. As Mr. Lesage so aptly said, railway lines are esssential to economic development.

They should not be looked upon as the result or the crowning of progress, but as its essential condition. After all, the pioneers who built up this kingdom of the Saguenay, and so largely contributed to the opening up of the Chibougamau district, deserve as much consideration as the few inhabitants of the Northwest Territories.

The article concludes with these words:

Our representatives in Ottawa should carefully avoid dual policies, so to speak: one for the

province of Quebec, where railroads would only be built or maintained to the extent that they would bring immediate returns; and the other for the remainder of the country, where equipment expenses would be readily granted in anticipation of increased activities and wealth. It is up to them to explain and defend the position of their voters with the same determination as the members from other provinces. The new Minister of Transport (Mr. Marler) whose broad-mindedness and fairness are well known, will undoubtedly do his best to ease their task.

I say, and repeat for the benefit of those to whom the local topography of this part of our province is not familiar, that the length of the rail-route from Chibougamau to Chicoutimi is 220 miles, of which 139 are still to be built; the route from Chibougamau to Barraute, and from Mont Laurier to Montreal comprises 515 miles, 350 of which are still unfinished; while that from Chibougamau via Barraute, Noranda and North Bay to Toronto is 750 miles long, with 165 miles still to be built.

The distance from Chibougamau to the port of Chicoutimi is 220 miles shorter than to the next nearest seaport. And even in winter, as the route from Chibougamau to Montreal or Quebec is shorter via Chicoutimi, freight rates to or from Chibougamau would be even

more substantially reduced. The importance of this situation from a business standpoint is obvious.

The port of Chicoutimi is one of our national ports which is being managed by a federal organization.

Its facilities, if further improved, would be put to very good use if the ore, raw or refined, mined in the northern part of the province were shipped there and if goods from the exterior were sent and handled there.

Instead of being in the red as today, that harbour would likely become a paying national undertaking.

The manpower available in my riding, without par anywhere in Canada, would benefit from the project, one which would add stability to the prosperity of 100,000 good Canadians. That aspect of the problem is worth considering, and seasonal unemployment, which prevails every year in our cities, would disappear or at least be reduced if new industries springing from the economic development taking place at Chibougamau were established alongside existing ones.

The majority of the railways which were built across Canada, those in the west particularly, were built not because they were guaranteed a certain traffic by private enterprise, but because of the future development of existing material wealth. That principle should apply to the St. Felicien-Chibougamau line.

The people of my constituency have confidence in the new Minister of Transport (Mr. Marler) and they hope that he will recognize the justice of our claims.

Le Progres du Saguenay, a daily newspaper of the queen city of the north, wholeheartedly devoted to the interests of the area and non-partisan politically, had this to say on September 29, 1954, following a rumour that the new Minister of Transport intended to visit us:

It would appear that the Hon. George C. Marler, new federal Minister of Transport, has expressed the wish to visit Chicoutimi and meet there with the members of the economic development council for the Saguenay in order to discuss the proposed construction of the Chibougamau-St. Felicien railway. This news was greeted with a great deal of satisfaction by every businessman in the district. The reputation of this statesman is well known; his honesty is beyond reproach. His record of public service is an inspiration for the younger generation and his rise to his recent high estate has been gradual and perfectly natural. He is a man of real ability and his reputation extends throughout Canada. There is no better proof of his merit than the esteem in which he is held by his political opponents. This explains why the people from the lake St. John and 50433-156

Committee on Railways and Shipping

Saguenay area were happy to learn of his elevation to the post of Minister of Transport. We are now certain of obtaining justice.

I hope, Mr. Speaker, that these words of praise coming from a daily newspaper of my area will be amply deserved by the Minister of Transport.

(Text):

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PC

William McLean Hamilton

Progressive Conservative

Mr. W. M. Hamilton (Notre Dame de Grace):

Mr. Speaker, we in Canada have hotels from coast to coast of which we can rightly be proud. Around the world some of these hotels are well known, such as the Royal York, the Chateau Laurier, the Chateau Fron-tenac, the King Edward, the Bessborough, the Macdonald, and others. Now apparently we are going to have added to this list another name, that of the Hilton Queen Elizabeth. This hotel is to be built and paid for with public funds and operated not by Canadians but by others. This government, which to say the least has not facilitated the use of the word "royal" by some of our top transportation units but does condone the same word on things like poolrooms, and shoeshine parlours, is now leasing out the name of our gracious young sovereign for the benefit of a commercial organization which is not Canadian, and such action does give me some pause.

I know the attitude of the government is that this hotel is going to retain its Canadian identity, that this is purely a management arrangement which will have no direct bearing in the eyes of the public, and that this will be a $20 million project of which we as Canadians can well be proud. Actually it is evident, and I hope that evidence is going to be examined by this committee, that this will not be the case. We know from information already available to us that it is not the approach of the Hilton organization to keep their name in the background. They want the units associated with them to be presented to the world as Hilton units. This is understandable because it is at least a partial gratification to their president, a world-famous man who is admittedly a most capable operator in the field of hotel financing, but who is perhaps less widely known in the field of hotel operation. This is the man of whom Fortune of January 19, 1955, had this to say:

For nobody, but nobody, quite matches Connie Hilton's passion to be the world's biggest and best known hotel man.

That is all very well. I admire a man with those attributes, but I rather hesitate when I find the Canadian government and the people of Canada financing him in his projects. For

2458 HOUSE OF

Committee on Railways and Shipping example, I read a few lines like these in the April 11, 1953, issue of Business Week:

Hotels Wide-eyed.

Hotelmen are broadening their view of possible sites, see U.S.-run hotels in every corner of free world.

Bent on building an empire abroad, U.S. hotel-men are eyeing every major city in the free world as a possible hotel site.

Those of us who admire free enterprise, as certainly I do, can admire admissions like that; but I do not think we necessarily need to condone the obvious attempt of the government in this instance to put Canadian funds and Canadian effort at the disposal of these empire builders of the United States, particularly when, as we know, they have sizeable funds of their own which we would be more than anxious, I would think, to welcome for investment in Canada, perhaps in the hotel business. We must not forget that Mr, Hilton himself invested some $111 million in the purchase of the Statler chain just a little while ago.

Now, Mr. Speaker, on the statement that the hotel will be identified as Canadian, I point out to the house that the normal operation of this chain is to identify its hotels as Hilton hotels, particularly when they are located in parts of the world other than the United States. They so identify these hotels even under arrangements which as far as we can understand, are parallel with those they have with the Canadian government in this instance. In a parallel situation they continue to identify their hotels as Hilton hotels, taking away from them their individual nature and establishing them as a part of this chain. For example, they have the Palacio Hilton in Chihuahua, Mexico, the Caribe Hilton in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and the Castellana Hilton in Madrid, Spain. As I indicated at the beginning of my remarks, they are now going to have the Hilton Queen Elizabeth in Montreal.

I do not think any Canadian government has ever been party to the use of the name of our Canadian sovereign for the commercial benefit and personal gratification of a nonCanadian organization, and I think it is absolutely unbelievable that the Canadian people should be asked without adequate explanation-and thereby hangs much of my argument-not only to accede to this arrangement but to put up $25 million to make it possible. Of course, one of the great difficulties in assessing this situation is to penetrate the hot air curtain which the government has managed to throw up around the situation.

Before I deal any further with the matter I wish to make it clear that I have a great regard for American achievement and ability

in this modern age, but I do not necessarily admit they transcend those of Canadians. I admire and respect the genius of Conrad Hilton and his organization who have built the world's greatest hotel empire. But I am not convinced that this genius, primarily demonstrated in the field of finance and manipulation, can do for this new hotel anything which Canadians could not do equally well.

I approach this entire problem from the viewpoint of a Canadian who, while admiring and respecting the United States and its business acumen, and being extremely friendly thereto, nonetheless feels that Canadians are capable of doing at least as good a job as our United States counterparts.

Let us see how the situation has come about and what information the public has been given on the subject. The project first swam into view when we were given information in definite form at last year's hearings of the railways and shipping committee. During this hearing there was considerable discussion about this new hotel, but there was absolutely no mention of it being managed by an outside firm. Instead, the impression was certainly given that it was a sound proposition on its own merits and that it would be a Canadian operation.

I am going to introduce into the record at this point certain quotations from these proceedings which bear on this point. The quotations are taken, unless otherwise indicated, from statements made by the president of the Canadian National Railways, Mr. Gordon. I do not hold him responsible in any way, shape or form for this situation, because he made it quite apparent what he had in mind and certainly any change in the situation can be laid at the door of the government and not at Mr. Gordon's door.

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?

George Gordon

Mr. Gordon:

Forecasts show that a range of

from two per cent to six per cent on the invested capital could be realized and that an average return of at least three per cent could be expected after meeting all charges including maintenance, taxes and depreciation.

And later, during discussions of eventual development of the area around the hotel:

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?

George Gordon

Mr. Gordon:

I am positive that the hotel will

stand on its own merits.

Later, in general discussion concerning the business prospects and future operation of the hotel:

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March 28, 1955