Right Hon. C. D. Howe (Minister of Trade and Commerce):
Mr. Speaker, on August 3,
1955, I made an announcement with respect to the government's purchasing policy for uranium. In that announcement I stated that, while Eldorado Mining and Refining Limited, the government procurement agent, has a commitment to purchase all acceptable uranium concentrates which are offered under the published price schedule up to March 31, 1962, Eldorado has no commitment to purchase all uranium which is offered at prices higher than those contained in the published price schedule. In the circumstances, it seemed desirable that the mining industry and the public should be informed as to the future policy with respect to purchases under the special price arrangement. I stated that uranium purchased under the special price arrangement was being supplied to the United States atomic energy commission, and that there was a limit on the amount of uranium which would be so purchased. Since it was not possible for security reasons to express this limitation in terms of quantity, it was decided, as an alternative, that Eldorado would not negotiate contracts after March 31,
1956, and that such contracts would not be negotiated unless there was satisfactory evidence that production could commence not later than April 1, 1957.
It has now been decided to modify these arrangements as follows:
Eldorado will continue to receive applications for special price contracts up to and including March 31, 1956. On or shortly after that date Eldorado will notify those applicants which are considered to be eligible for the negotiation of contracts. In making the selection of eligible applicants, the following criteria will be used. First, there must be satisfactory evidence that the applicant has an economic ore body and, second, there must be definite assurance that the property can be brought into production not later than September 30, 1957. There will be no change 67509-1104
in the present provision regarding deliveries. Deliveries under all contracts must be completed by March 31, 1962.
These modifications have been adopted because it has become quite evident in recent weeks that certain of the properties which were considered to be potential producers last August will not be able to meet the production deadline of April 1, 1957. Consequently, it is not anticipated that the total quantity of uranium which will be produced under the special price arrangement, by reason of the extension of the production deadline from April 1, 1957 to September 30, 1957, will be greatly in excess of the quantity which it was estimated might be purchased when the original production deadline of April 1, 1957, was established.
In my announcement of August 3, 1955, I also stated that the government would take under consideration the establishment of policy covering the sale of uranium which might be surplus to Canada's requirements and the commitments entered into with the United States atomic energy commission. Because of the war potential of uranium, the government must establish its export policy with due regard to security provisions. This is one of the reasons that Canada is taking an active part in the discussions of the draft statute for an international agency for atomic energy, which are now under way in Washington. It is considered advisable that any announcement as regards the establishment of export policy should await the outcome of these discussions.
Sub-subtopic: ANNOUNCEMENT OF MODIFICATIONS IN GOVERNMENT PURCHASING POLICY