July 6, 1955

PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

No, Mr. Speaker, I am going to deal now with an interjection by one hon. member who says, "That is quite usual", that there is an incorrect quotation. Hon. members opposite know that that is not so. They know quite well they have a chance to check me at any time in regard to any quotations I use. That is just one of the interjections which invite the very kind of comments to which Your Honour was referring earlier in this debate.

Now, so far as the interjection by the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Knowles) is concerned, I would point out that I gladly accept his explanation of the comment which was made. I was refraining from repeating the words which had caused so much discussion already, but certainly the purport of the remark, perhaps more emphatically, was that the Minister of Defence Production knew a great deal more about this subject than hon. members opposite.

Topic:   DEFENCE PRODUCTION ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS RESPECTING SALARY OF MINISTER AND EXPIRY OF ACT
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LIB

Pierre Gauthier

Liberal

Mr. Gauthier (Portneuf):

More than you.

Topic:   DEFENCE PRODUCTION ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS RESPECTING SALARY OF MINISTER AND EXPIRY OF ACT
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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

I would gladly wait for the hon. member opposite to ask the question he wishes to ask.

Topic:   DEFENCE PRODUCTION ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS RESPECTING SALARY OF MINISTER AND EXPIRY OF ACT
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LIB

Pierre Gauthier

Liberal

Mr. Gauthier (Portneuf):

I never asked a question.

Topic:   DEFENCE PRODUCTION ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS RESPECTING SALARY OF MINISTER AND EXPIRY OF ACT
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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

It is just a meaningless noise from the other side.

Topic:   DEFENCE PRODUCTION ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS RESPECTING SALARY OF MINISTER AND EXPIRY OF ACT
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LIB

Pierre Gauthier

Liberal

Mr. Gauthier (Portneuf):

I said "more than yourself"; that is what I said.

Topic:   DEFENCE PRODUCTION ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS RESPECTING SALARY OF MINISTER AND EXPIRY OF ACT
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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

I feel that it is worth while dealing with that subject. I was dealing with the fact that there were a number of hon. members on this side, as on the other side, who have very good reason to know something about the effect of weapons of this and other kinds. I say, without any reflection on

Defence Production Act the Minister of Defence Production and without a moment's hesitation, that there are a great many members on this side and on the other side who know a great deal more about the effect of weapons on human beings and what it means to be on the receiving end of those weapons than does the Minister of Defence Production. That is no reflection on him.

Topic:   DEFENCE PRODUCTION ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS RESPECTING SALARY OF MINISTER AND EXPIRY OF ACT
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Howe (Pori Arihur):

Mr. Speaker, I have been closer to the offensive end of a machine gun held by a German sailor than my hon. friends have ever been.

Topic:   DEFENCE PRODUCTION ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS RESPECTING SALARY OF MINISTER AND EXPIRY OF ACT
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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

That is exactly the kind of argument that it is difficult-

Topic:   DEFENCE PRODUCTION ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS RESPECTING SALARY OF MINISTER AND EXPIRY OF ACT
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?

An hon. Member:

That is the one you are bringing in.

Topic:   DEFENCE PRODUCTION ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS RESPECTING SALARY OF MINISTER AND EXPIRY OF ACT
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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

That is exactly the kind of argument that does make it extremely difficult to take the Minister of Defence Production as seriously as he would like us to take him. I am not in any way claiming any special knowledge of this subject beyond the fact that, if he cares to know, I have been within 30 yards of a German machine gun.

Topic:   DEFENCE PRODUCTION ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS RESPECTING SALARY OF MINISTER AND EXPIRY OF ACT
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Howe (Pori Arthur):

I have been within five yards.

Topic:   DEFENCE PRODUCTION ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS RESPECTING SALARY OF MINISTER AND EXPIRY OF ACT
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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

I think that probably the Minister of Defence Production would, on cooler reflection, regret the inference that he has left by that remark. Nevertheless I am not in any way referring to people personally. I am pointing out, and I would remind him that is what I said before, that there are hon. members on both sides of this house who have had the experience of knowing what the impact of these weapons is. The Minister of Defence Production has taken his full chances. We all know quite well that he narrowly escaped with his life in performing his services to this country. He was in Britain also at a time when there were many very unpleasant weapons arriving there. I repeat my statements, however, that there are those on this side and on the other side who have had a longer and more continuous occasion to know the effect of weapons upon human beings.

I had only mentioned that because of the highly improper suggestion of the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration (Mr. Pickers-gill) that anyone on this side was minimizing the danger of the hydrogen bomb or the atomic bomb or any other weapons.

Topic:   DEFENCE PRODUCTION ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS RESPECTING SALARY OF MINISTER AND EXPIRY OF ACT
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LIB

Russell Earl Reinke

Liberal

Mr. Reinke:

You called it a bogey.

Topic:   DEFENCE PRODUCTION ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS RESPECTING SALARY OF MINISTER AND EXPIRY OF ACT
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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

The hon. member should really pay attention to what is taking place. I was pointing out that the Minister of Defence Production was trying to create bogeys by

Defence Production Act referring to weapons that have nothing to do with the effect and interpretation or application of this act. This act has nothing whatever to do with the hydrogen bomb. The Minister of Defence Production is not building a hydrogen bomb. This act has nothing to do with it. Any hon. member opposite who tries to create the impression that this act has any relationship to the construction or effect of the hydrogen bomb is trying to mislead the house and mislead the public. Certainly, the hydrogen bomb is the deadliest weapon that has ever been invented. The very deadliness of that weapon does create the hope of a great measure of stability, even under the pressure of terror itself. It has given hope to many people that we have returned to a balance of power, if you like, under which the full horror of a general war may conceivably be avoided. Please God, that may be the result. It should be the prayer and the hope of every hon. member, of every Canadian and every thinking human being. No hon. member on this side of the house has suggested for one moment that everything should not be done which will in every way strengthen our part in the common effort to preserve freedom and to clarify the confusing things that are in issue in this cold war in which we are now engaged.

But, Mr. Speaker, this attempt to wrap around this act the suggestion that some of these things have some bearing on the necessity for this act should be dispelled, and the very fact that hon. members opposite have made some of the interjections they have made this morning does emphasize the regretful necessity for continuing to discuss the subject and to emphasize the reasons why this act is in no way related to an emergency, but that it is a piece of legislation which the minister has described as permanent, and to use his exact words, it is being placed on the statute books as part of the law relating to defence which is exclusively a federal responsibility. Therefore, by that very fact it would only come in conflict with provincial legislation to the extent of the powers conferred by this act itself.

It being one o'clock, Mr. Speaker, may I move the adjournment of the debate?

Topic:   DEFENCE PRODUCTION ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS RESPECTING SALARY OF MINISTER AND EXPIRY OF ACT
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

The hon. member does not wish to move the adjournment of the debate?

Topic:   DEFENCE PRODUCTION ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS RESPECTING SALARY OF MINISTER AND EXPIRY OF ACT
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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

No, may I call it one o'clock?

At one o'clock the house took recess.

The house resumed at 2.30 p.m.

Topic:   DEFENCE PRODUCTION ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS RESPECTING SALARY OF MINISTER AND EXPIRY OF ACT
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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

Mr. Speaker, shortly before we adjourned the Minister of Defence Production

(Mr. Howe) challenged the suggestion that anyone on the government side of the house had spoken of an emergency. I do not need to go back over the numerous occasions upon which he has sought to create the impression of an emergency, because hon. members are well aware of the efforts he made along that line. But perhaps it would be best if I were to indicate the extent to which he has impressed the members on his own side with his arguments. It will be by their words that we can best indicate what impression they have gained about the situation.

Naturally the number on the other side of the house who are available to interpret the opinion is very limited, because we have heard from so few of them. However, in the intervening period I did have a short time to check up in this matter, and I have found, for instance, that on June 9 the hon. member for Vancouver South (Mr. Philpott) made this very emphatic statement, as it is reported at page 4568 of Hansard:

There is a world emergency and it is perhaps the most serious emergency there has ever been in the history of the world.

This was in relation to the speeches that were being made on this bill. That was a clear enough use of the word "emergency".

Then the hon. member for Spadina (Mr. Croll) on June 20 took us to task in regard to this subject when he used these words:

We talk about the need for these continuing emergency powers.

The hon. member for Spadina described them as emergency powers. That is the impression that has been left in the minds of hon. members opposite in regard to this subject as a result of the interpretation that has been placed upon the act by the Minister of Defence Production.

Now, there is another aspect to this discussion that I think will bear examination, and that is the effort made by the Minister of Defence Production to justify his idea of emergency powers by what was done in another jurisdiction. I would not, of course, have thought of bringing this subject in, had it not been for the fact that it was introduced voluntarily by the Minister of Defence Production without having been raised in any way from this side of the house.

He attempted to show that in the province of Ontario, at a time when I happened to be the premier of that province, we had dealt with emergency measures in a way that even exceeded the powers he is now seeking. This is what he says at page 5381 of Hansard for this year:

The power act was amended in 1947 to provide that no action could be taken against the Ontario hydro in time of emergency. Another paragraph

provided that there was an emergency any time the hydro commission ruled there was an emergency. In other words, the legislation denied suppliers the right to take action in the courts against Ontario hydro in time of emergency and leaves it to hydro to say what are times of emergency. Talk about delegating the powers of government! Here there is first a denial of the courts and then a delegation of the power to declare an emergency.

However, that was not strong enough. In 1948 the matter was straightened out properly. The Header of the Opposition, who was then premier of Ontario, brought in legislation which for all time denied access to the courts of the land to anyone dealing with Ontario hydro.

I think hon. members, particularly hon. members opposite, are entitled to assume that the minister was not joking when he said that. I think hon. members opposite are entitled to measure his other assurances on the basis of the reliability of his statement in a case of that kind. Either that was an utterly senseless interjection, or it was actually used as an argument to convince members opposite, and presumably some members on this side, that these powers now asked for are not excessive, and that in fact even wider powers are exercised in certain other jurisdictions. For that reason, and regretting that it will take some time to do so, I find it necesary to explain exactly what did take place. I do so, of course, assuming that the minister put this forward with the expectation that he was being taken seriously by his own members.

The legislation of 1947, to which he referred, can be found in the Ontario statutes of that year, particularly at page 305 where an amendment to the Power Commission Act is set out. I would point out that what happened there was precisely what we have been saying should be done here-that if, in fact, there is anything in the nature of an emergency at any time, or if, in fact, there is anything that carries legislation out of the ordinary realm of legislation that respects fully the authority of parliament, then the circumstances should be declared under which that can be done. That has been our argument, and this offers an example of exactly the kind of situation that would be produced by an appropriate re-wording of this act.

The section to which the minister was referring was section 2 of an act to amend the Power Commission Act, and it reads as follows:

2. The Power Commission Act is amended by adding thereto the following section:

58a.- (1) Notwithstanding anything in this act or in any general or special act or in any contract heretofore or hereafter entered into by the commission or by any municipal corporation for which the commission supplies electrical power, pursuant to section 71, where at any time the commission is of opinion that a state of emergency exists by

Defence Production Act reason of damage to or destruction, failure or breakdown of any of its works, wastage of power, power demand in excess of its power resources or other matters restricting its ability to deliver power, and the commission so declares, the commission may, during the state of emergency,-

(a) allocate and distribute its available power amongst the customers under such contracts and interrupt or decrease delivery of power under any contract during the continuance of the emer -geney; and

(b) with the approval of the Lieutenant-Governor in Council, regulate, restrict, prohibit and control the generation, transformation, transmission, distribution, supply and use of electrical power supplied by it,

in order to effect what is in its opinion the most economical, efficient and equitable use and distribution of such electrical power.

Now, that is a clearly stated, clearly defined exercise of the power, and it was in relation to a shortage of power in the province of Ontario at that time, as the right hon. minister well knows. Then I go back to what he said about the fact that in 1948, not satisfied with these wide powers which were clearly defined in their purpose and scope, as he said, we ended for all time access to the courts. I am afraid the only way to deal with this is to read the whole section. Therefore, I would read section 5 of the Power Commission Act, 1948, to which the right hon. minister referred. Section 5, as found in chapter 69 of the statutes of Ontario for 1948, is as follows:

5. Section 58 of the Power Commission Act, as amended by section 7 of the Power Commission Amendment Act, 1943 and section 1 of the Power Commission Amendment Act, 1947 (No. 2), is repealed and the following substituted therefor:

58. (1) If any agreement heretofore or hereafter entered into by the Commission for the supplying of electrical power or energy by the Commission to a municipal corporation or for any other work or service to be done or supplied by the Commission to a municipal corporation contains any term or condition conflicting with or contrary to this act, the agreement shall be deemed to be amended in such manner and to such extent as to give effect to this act.

(2) Subject to subsection 1, where the Commission has heretofore entered, or shall hereafter enter, into an agreement for the supplying of electrical power or energy by or to the Commission or for any other work or service to be done by or supplied to the Commission and such agreement has been or shall hereafter be approved by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council, it shall thereupon be valid and binding upon the parties thereto.

The following section, section 6, relates to it:

6. Subsection 2 of section 58a of the Power Commission Act, as enacted by section 2 of the Power Commission Amendment Act, 1947 (No. 2), is repealed and the following substituted therefor:

(2) The Commission may at any time modify restrict, suspend or re-impose any order, regulation, restriction, prohibition or control, heretofore cr hereafter given, made or exercised pursuant to subsection 1.

(3) The Commission may interrupt or decrease delivery of electrical power or energy in such manner and to such extent as it sees fit to any of

Defence Production Act Its customers who fails to comply with any direction, order, regulation, restriction, prohibition or control given, made or exercised by it pursuant to subsection 1 by such means as it may deem proper and may enter upon any land of any such customer and do whatever is necessary for that purpose.

(4) Any municipal corporation or municipal commission receiving electrical power or energy from the Commission for distribution may interrupt or decrease delivery of electrical power or energy in such manner and to such extent as it sees fit to any of its customers who fails to comply with any direction, order, regulation, restriction, prohibition or control given, made or exercised by the Commission, pursuant to subsection 1, by such means as it may deem proper, and may enter upon any land of any such customer and do whatever is necessary for that purpose.

(5) Nothing done under this section or under any direction, order, regulation, restriction, prohibition or control made or exercised by the Commission under this section or done to enforce or give effect thereto by the Commission, its servants or agents, or by any municipal corporation or municipal commission or its servants or agents, shall be deemed a breach of contract by the Commission or any municipal corporation or municipal commission or entitle any person to rescind any contract or release any guarantor from the performance of his obligation, or render the Commission, its servants or agents, or any municipal corporation or municipal commission, its or their servants or agents liable in any action-at-law or other legal proceedings for damages or otherwise.

Topic:   DEFENCE PRODUCTION ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS RESPECTING SALARY OF MINISTER AND EXPIRY OF ACT
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Howe (Port Arthur):

It sounds a little arbitrary to me.

Topic:   DEFENCE PRODUCTION ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS RESPECTING SALARY OF MINISTER AND EXPIRY OF ACT
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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

Mr. Speaker, the right hon.

Minister of Defence Production says that sounds a little arbitrary. He thinks that is arbitrary. He does not think it is arbitrary to put into effect an act of this kind which does not even bother to say how or under what circumstances the minister, let alone the governor in council, may exercise these wide-open powers.

Topic:   DEFENCE PRODUCTION ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS RESPECTING SALARY OF MINISTER AND EXPIRY OF ACT
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July 6, 1955