January 19, 1956

PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. George A. Drew (Leader of the Opposition):

Mr. Speaker, it is gratifying at least to find that hon. members opposite can find some humour in the absurd position in which they are placed by contradictory statements that have been made. However, I should like to direct a question to the Minister of Trade and Commerce. Has he either seen or had his attention drawn to a report in the Vancouver Province of January 14 that grain ships are lying idle in Vancouver harbour because they cannot get the grain that has been ordered to fill them?

Topic:   VANCOUVER
Subtopic:   REFERENCE TO PRESS REPORT OF IDLE GRAIN SHIPS IN HARBOUR
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LIB

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

Liberal

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

I have not seen the editorial, Mr. Speaker.

Topic:   VANCOUVER
Subtopic:   REFERENCE TO PRESS REPORT OF IDLE GRAIN SHIPS IN HARBOUR
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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

It is not an editorial. It is a news report.

Topic:   VANCOUVER
Subtopic:   REFERENCE TO PRESS REPORT OF IDLE GRAIN SHIPS IN HARBOUR
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Howe (Port Arthur):

I have not seen the news report. I am aware of the fact that certain ships are delayed, waiting for proper grades. The attention of the railways has been called to the situation, and more cars are constantly being diverted to that movement. The situation largely results from the fact that for some days the tracks in the west were closed through storms in Alberta and through washouts on the lines. The situation is being corrected as rapidly as possible, and by another week I think traffic will be moving normally out of that port.

280 HOUSE OF COMMONS

Inquiries of the Ministry

Topic:   VANCOUVER
Subtopic:   REFERENCE TO PRESS REPORT OF IDLE GRAIN SHIPS IN HARBOUR
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REPORTED CONFERENCE RESPECTING ALLEGED SHORTAGE OF FREIGHT CARS


On the orders of the day:


PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

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

should like to ask a supplementary question of the Minister of Trade and Commerce. Is it a fact that a conference is going on at the present time with the chairman of the wheat board in connection with the shortage of freight cars. Is it a fact that in part the reason for the accumulation of vacant shipping space in Vancouver and elsewhere is the large number of Canadian freight cars in the United States? What is being done to move those cars back into Canada for use in the transportation of available wheat?

Topic:   REPORTED CONFERENCE RESPECTING ALLEGED SHORTAGE OF FREIGHT CARS
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LIB

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

Liberal

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

It is true that we have a great many box cars in the United States. Whether or not the number is as normal I do not know. It is also true that the United States has a great number of flat cars in Canada. Whether or not that situation is as normal I do not know. However, the arrangements governing the return of cars on both sides is a matter of agreement between the railroads. In wartime, when a transport controller was appointed by the government in Washington, there was something the government could do about the matter. We have explored the situation and there seems to be nothing the government can do to assist the railroads in carrying out their arrangements. It is purely a matter for the railroads.

Topic:   REPORTED CONFERENCE RESPECTING ALLEGED SHORTAGE OF FREIGHT CARS
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PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

What is the authority of the transport controller? Where does he operate from, and what authority has he to assure that these cars are available, at least in fair proportion, to the operations of the grain trade?

Topic:   REPORTED CONFERENCE RESPECTING ALLEGED SHORTAGE OF FREIGHT CARS
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Howe (Port Arthur):

Well, Mr. Speaker, my hon. friend helped to pass the act governing the duties of the transport controller. If he will look at that act he will have more accurate knowledge of the duties and authority of the controller than I could give him.

Topic:   REPORTED CONFERENCE RESPECTING ALLEGED SHORTAGE OF FREIGHT CARS
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PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

I understand he has been on vacation.

Topic:   REPORTED CONFERENCE RESPECTING ALLEGED SHORTAGE OF FREIGHT CARS
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Howe (Port Arthur):

Some people do take vacations; unfortunately, I am not one of that happy number. I think my hon. friend takes his share, from what I have been able to learn. The controller has been doing a very good job, and he has a very able staff that is carrying on in his absence. The office of transport controller is not a one-man show.

Topic:   REPORTED CONFERENCE RESPECTING ALLEGED SHORTAGE OF FREIGHT CARS
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SALES TO COMMUNIST COUNTRIES-REQUEST FOR TABLING OF AGREEMENTS


On the orders of the day:


SC

Ernest George Hansell

Social Credit

Mr. E. G. Hansell (Macleod):

Mr. Speaker, about a week ago I asked the Minister of Agriculture if he would lay on the table of the house copies of the agreements for the export of surplus butter to certain countries. At that time he said that he would do so. When may we expect that tabling to be done?

Topic:   SALES TO COMMUNIST COUNTRIES-REQUEST FOR TABLING OF AGREEMENTS
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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Right Hon. J. G. Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture):

I must say, Mr. Speaker, that I have not read too carefully the new regulations with regard to laying returns on the table as the result of what has been arranged recently, but I will see that those agreements, if any, are tabled. I was not aware that I was obliged to bring them here and put them on the table, but I will see that whatever is available is put on the table.

Topic:   SALES TO COMMUNIST COUNTRIES-REQUEST FOR TABLING OF AGREEMENTS
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BRITISH COLUMBIA

ASSISTANCE RESPECTING


On the orders of the day:


CCF

Erhart Regier

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

Mr. Erharl Regier (Burnaby-Coquitlam):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to ask the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration whether any appeals for assistance have been made on behalf of the Indians who suffered severe losses in the November and December floods in British Columbia. If so, has he any statement to make as to what action we may expect?

Topic:   BRITISH COLUMBIA
Subtopic:   ASSISTANCE RESPECTING
Sub-subtopic:   LOSSES SUFFERED BY INDIANS
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January 19, 1956