March 14, 1956

CCF

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

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

Mr. Knowles:

I move he try it out in his car.

Topic:   ATOMIC ENERGY
Subtopic:   SPECIAL COMMITTEE TO EXAMINE INTO ROLE OF GOVERNMENT IN NON-MILITARY RESEARCH
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PC

Wallace Bickford (Wally) Nesbitt

Progressive Conservative

Mr. W. B. Nesbitt (Oxford):

When this committee on research is set up, I think one of the very important problems it will have to consider is the implication of Russia's new industrial offensive. I think all members are quite familiar with the fact that, apparently because of nuclear stalemate, Russia is, to all intents and purposes, embarking on a new development program to further her ultimate aim of world domination. This has come to the attention of editorial writers and prominent people throughout the world. I should like, very briefly, to refer to an article in a prominent periodical known as Newsweek. It is the issue of February 6, 1956. There is a special business section in this magazine which relates to this problem. The article is entitled "Industrial War, Can Russia Win?" It reads:

The clash of giants resounds around the world. Moscow has declared industrial war.

At a time when the U.S. prospers as no nation has before, the soviet union is launching a massive economic offensive. The objective: To destroy capitalism by outproducing its U.S. base, capturing its markets and potential friends in under-developed lands.

Then it goes on:

Close to one billion people in Asia, the Middle East and Africa are likely to throw their weight to the stronger side. On their decision largely depends the outcome of the cold war.

In that same article there are numerous other references showing how Russia has the ability to carry out this offensive to its ultimate conclusion. I think all hon. members realize the vast resources of raw materials available to the Soviet union, the vast resources of people, and also, a most important thing with which I am going to deal at some little length, the fact that the Soviet union has embarked on a program to produce scientists and engineers such as no other country has ever attempted before.

I should like to make a brief reference to this' economic offensive and in doing so to [DOT]quote briefly from this article in Newsweek to which I have referred. It points out, and I will not quote it but merely paraphrase it, that since the second world war, 600 million Asians and Arabs have won political independence from old world colonialism. Now, these same people who have secured their political independence are looking forward to the day of economic independence. These people in the east and in Africa are sick of never having enough to eat; they are

sick of never having enough of what we consider to be the simple essentials of life and what to them are the luxuries. I do not think it is just a question of whether or not these people in the east and in Africa are going to get these things; it is more a question of how they are going to get them. Russia is making an allout attempt to outbid us.

At the present time, in roughly 38 short years from the revolution, Russia has transformed a defeated, semi-feudal society into the world's second mightiest power. Since 1913, shortly before the revolution, Russia's gross national product has increased by more than 10 times. I believe it now amounts to almost that of Germany and Britain put together. This is something we are going to have to face. In order to increase this great potential that Russia has, and in order to make proper use of their resources in both materials and people, she has to have more scientists and engineers. In a broadcast towards the end of last January, Matthew Halton reporting on the well-known radio program on Sunday afternoons, "Capital Report", presented some very disquieting figures. He pointed out that this year the Soviet union will graduate 60,000 engineering students, whereas the United States will graduate 22,000 and Great Britain 3,000. There was no figure available for Canada, but after making some inquiries I understand there would probably be only a few hundred.

Now, the Soviet union undoubtedly is attempting to become the master of the world through science and technology. What is more, apparently last fall a group of very prominent British scientists visited the Soviet union and had an opportunity of talking to their graduates in engineering and examining their education system. According to Mr. Halton, it was their opinion that when you compared these groups in Russia, Britain and the United States, the Russian scientists and engineers were superior to those in the United States and Great Britain. Apparently Sir Winston Churchill referred to this situation as an emergency, and something had to be done about it. It is bad enough to have superiority in the number of engineers and scientists, but much worse when that superiority is in quality as well. Apparently, 1,200,000 students of science generally, including engineers, will graduate in Russia this year, and approximately 900,000 in the United States. These figures are very disturbing, Mr. Speaker. They should be disturbing to all hon. members. It is something that I hope this committee will look into.

The resolution to set up this committee refers particularly to non-military research.

In the modern world of science and technology military and non-military research cannot be basically dissociated. It is also apparent that Russia leads in military research in some fields as well as in non-military. I am going to refer hon. members to an article which appeared in the New York Times of January 29 of this year, by Hanson W. Baldwin. I am not going to read it. If hon. members are interested they may look it up. Mr. Baldwin is a well-known and well respected commentator. He points out that in the field of intercontinental missiles Russia is apparently ahead of the United States and Great Britain.

This business of Russia continuing to develop scientists had a parallel in the past. Hon. members know that before 1914 the government of imperial Germany set up a very extensive plan to make Germany the leading country in the world in science and technology. This was done by the government subsidizing the universities and in other ways. This worked very well, as hon. members know. The calibre of German scientists became a byword. Russia is doing the same thing today, but on a much larger scale. In addition, they have at their disposal not only their own scientific brains but the scientific brains of the Germans taken from East Germany at the end of world war II. They also have the advantage of the scientific brains of a few traitors of the western countries who have gone over to the Soviet.

It is quite apparent that Canada's great resources cannot be developed to the fullest extent without adequate scientists and engineers, and apparently there is a considerable shortage at the present time. I refer briefly to comments by a very noted Canadian which appeared in the Montreal Gazette, of Wednesday, March 7 last. They are the comments of Dr. O. M. Solandt, former chairman of the national research council. I quote briefly from the article:

Scientist Shortage Critical Problem

The shortage of scientists and engineers will be the dominant factor and a critical problem in Canadian scientific and economic development.

In addition to that, Mr. Speaker, Dr. Sidney Smith, president of the University of Toronto, a person whose opinion cannot be brushed lightly aside, has this to say, according to the Montreal Gazette of Wednesday, March 7, 1956:

Industry was warned by a university president today that by continuing to draw off top-notch university professors through high salaries, it may kill the goose that laid the golden eggs.

Dr. Sidney Smith, head of the University of Toronto, said his institution-and others, too-are facing a serious problem in getting sufficient high-calibre instructors to train the increasing number of students required in Canada's economic expansion.

Committee on Atomic Energy

In this same regard there was an article by Henry Eyring, of the University of Utah in the United States, regarding federal support of basic research at a state university. I do not wish to take up the time of the house to read the article. I just wish to point out that Professor Eyring said that universities in the United States are up against the same problem. They have insufficient funds to pay professors, and the professors are going into more lucrative jobs, and there is no one to train the students. Let me quote briefly from this article:

Since the top 10 to 15 per cent of the faculty make the difference between distinction and mediocrity much of a university's quality depends on how long it has been since it last went through the wringer.

There is a great deal more in this article, but I shall not take up the time of the house to read it.

On Thursday, March 8 last, the engineering institute of Canada, a well-known and highly respected organization in this country, and again an organization whose opinions cannot be casually brushed aside, appeared before the Gordon commission and pointed out the serious shortage of engineers in Canada. They also pointed out, as I have done this afternoon, that Russia was training vast numbers. I think that is also very important.

To win the industrial war with the Soviet union we have to develop fully our resourced, and we cannot do that without technicians The Russian economic offensive depends on efforts to build up the economies of the underdeveloped countries of Asia and Africa. They intend to do that by means of technical assistance. This means sending scientists and engineers to those countries, plus outright gifts and loans of material.

I should like to refer briefly to an article which appeared in a newspaper of the capital of Indonesia. As hon. members know, the capital of Indonesia is Djakarta. The name of the newspaper is Pedoman. The quotation reads:

Heavy industry is a magic word to underdeveloped nations. Compared with what Russia has planned to undertake, all FAO and Colombo plan aid fades into insignificance.

That is the opinion of the press of Indonesia. Indonesia is a country which has not decided for either the east or the west. It is in the balance. Apparently the action that Russia is taking is just the thing that is going to make those countries, with vast millions, fall into the Russian orbit. Canada and other western countries-I am referring, of course, only to Canada-must find ways of encouraging and training scientists and

Topic:   ATOMIC ENERGY
Subtopic:   SPECIAL COMMITTEE TO EXAMINE INTO ROLE OF GOVERNMENT IN NON-MILITARY RESEARCH
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PC

William Marvin Howe

Progressive Conservative

Mr. W. M. Howe (Wellingion-Huron):

Committee on Atomic Energy would not bring about a resumption of the growing of this crop and the development of a linen industry in this country.

Another phase of industrial research was brought to my attention a few days ago by a question asked in connection with the use of stilbestrol in cattle and poultry feeds. When I heard the answer given by the Minister of National Health >and Welfare I gathered that the minister was not too sure about the matter himself. We are told that this is a very powerful drug which has to be used with care, and I wonder whether it should be put on the market before additional research is carried out to prove that it is not detrimental to the health of the people of Canada.

We can find many instances where research would be of great benefit. When we think about this question of research we cannot help but wonder what is going on in the rest of the world. I have often wondered why Danish butter was always in first demand on the British market, and the same with Danish hogs. But then I read that in Denmark, a country much smaller than Canada with a population of approximately 5 million people, there are 28 agricultural colleges. No doubt the boys and girls going through these colleges are able to carry on some research activity at home and are better able to interpret the policies developed by their agricultural colleges.

There are many other matters in connection with which additional research could be carried on, such as the handling of fresh vegetables and fruit, the refrigeration of vegetables, meats and perishable products and the packaging of all types of agricultural products to make them more palatable and attractive to the consuming public. Even in ;he face of our apparent surpluses, I think ;he main question is the possibility of develop-ng means of increasing our production as our copulation increases in order to prevent the lituation which has been mentioned by so nany of our learned men, that before too ong we will be short of food supplies.

To the urban dweller research is usually issociated with atomic energy, medical drugs, dtamins, television and so forth, but to a armer research means hybrid corn, disease [DOT]esistant crops, better control of insects, liseases of weeds, animals that grow faster ind cows that give more milk. It means more fficient ways of pricing and marketing his iroduct. It adds up to a higher standard of iving for the entire community.

Topic:   ATOMIC ENERGY
Subtopic:   SPECIAL COMMITTEE TO EXAMINE INTO ROLE OF GOVERNMENT IN NON-MILITARY RESEARCH
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PC

John Borden Hamilton

Progressive Conservative

Mr. John B. Hamilton (York West):

Mr. peaker, I doubt very much whether under le terms of reference mentioned by the hon. lember for Oxford (Mr. Nesbitt) I could

qualify as even an amateur scientist in so far as my ability to take part in this debate is concerned. I have not even read the pulp magazines to which the hon. member referred. But I do feel that I have considerable responsibility in presuming to speak on a subject of this kind. It seems to me that the terms of reference under which this special committee will operate cover a most important field of activity, one which will affect not only our economic life but perhaps the moral and spiritual values throughout the whole world for hundreds of years to come. In that respect it may plot a course for us which will have far-reaching effects.

I only hope that as a result of setting up this committee we may have a continuing flow of information made available not only to the committee but to the public at large, on the widest possible basis. I hope I will be forgiven if I read briefly from the preface of a book which was sent to me by Dr. R. L. Hearn, an outstanding engineer and head of the Hydro Electric Power Commission of Ontario. This preface is by Roger H. Evans, director general of UNESCO and the book is entitled "Nuclear Energy and Its Uses in Peace". The preface reads:

Almost any new discovery in science may be used for good or for evil. It is men who decide, according to their needs of the moment, and according to their moral and philosophical conceptions. With peace now prevailing, with the peoples of every nation eager for the good life, and with ample knowledge now available from 15 years of research, the time is certainly ripe for developing the beneficent and constructive uses of the atom for peace.

And later:

Thus a new era opens. The science of atomic materials and the engineering uses of atomic energy will be shared by all the world. It becomes as important for the public to learn the new facts as it has been to understand the use of coal and steam. The new power will be widely used long before school textbooks can be rewritten and before the children who study them can become adults. An introduction to the new knowledge and to its use in ordinary peaceful living is needed at once.

There is little doubt that this knowledge is needed at once. As I listened to General Gruenther this morning I began to wonder whether we could accomplish all that we would hope to accomplish in this committee if we attempted to keep separate the fields of military and non-military research. In this respect I agree with the opinion expressed by the hon. member for Oxford that it is going to constitute a most serious question. No one here wants to urge that the committee be given classified material, but it is going to be very difficult to make the best use of this committee; it is going to be very difficult to produce the best results in atomic research, if we are going to have it developed on two parallel lines, developed with two separate and distinct groups of scientists,

developed with two separate and distinct votes of government funds, and developed for two separate and distinct purposes.

I think I might be forgiven if I refer again to the problem of development and research in the field of aviation as a typical example of the problem that faces us here. No one can deny that the progress we have made in the commercial aviation field has been tied very definitely to the development of aviation as a means of waging war. The aircraft industry in this country is concerned, I believe it is distressed, because it feels that the government is not prepared to take that one additional step which is required to integrate the benefits that are being produced in military research, by bringing them forward and producing the results that can be produced right within this country in connection with commercial aircraft development.

Now I should like to refer, in connection with this phase of the matter, to the submission made by Avro at Malton to the Gordon commission on economic prospects. I shall read only a few words from this submission:

At the outset, it should be stated that military aviation requirements provide the impetus for practically all aeronautical advances. It is a historical fact that, except for one or two cases, every commercial airliner flying today is a direct offshoot of a military aircraft. The reason for this is that the research and development needed to bring about a major advance are so costly that seldom can they be justified from a purely commercial point of view. This limitation does not apply to the military. When it becomes a matter of survival, economics are secondary.

Further on the submission says:

The use of atomic power in military aircraft also probably is not far off. Its introduction will make a difference mainly in economy of operation and almost unlimited range, rather than in speed and altitude, since atomic energy will be, in effect, a substitute for fuel in already existing power plants. However, until a shielding process can be found which does not involve the tremendous weight of material needed at present, atomic power will be used only in the largest aircraft.

The application of all these advances to civil aviation undoubtedly will depend, as in the past, on how quickly they can be proved reliable enough and economical enough for use in transporting passengers and freight. The nature of the advances will be governed by advances in military aviation.

Topic:   ATOMIC ENERGY
Subtopic:   SPECIAL COMMITTEE TO EXAMINE INTO ROLE OF GOVERNMENT IN NON-MILITARY RESEARCH
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LIB

James Allen (Jim) Byrne

Liberal

Mr. Byrne:

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I perhaps am not as charitable in my forgiveness as most hon. members. I think we have heard sufficient of these quotations in this debate. These matters, and certainly opinions of experts, could be much better brought before the committee and not before the house as a whole. We have 265 members here whose own opinions I am very anxious to hear, but I think the place we should hear these technical opinions is in the committee. For that reason I believe the hon. member is out of order.

Committee on Atomic Energy

Topic:   ATOMIC ENERGY
Subtopic:   SPECIAL COMMITTEE TO EXAMINE INTO ROLE OF GOVERNMENT IN NON-MILITARY RESEARCH
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PC

John Borden Hamilton

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hamilton (York West):

I think the

committee in question would be delighted if it had the power to call Mr. Crawford Gordon, junior, of Avro Aircraft at Malton, and ask him exactly how he felt about this particular phase of investigation and research.

Topic:   ATOMIC ENERGY
Subtopic:   SPECIAL COMMITTEE TO EXAMINE INTO ROLE OF GOVERNMENT IN NON-MILITARY RESEARCH
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LIB

John Horace Dickey (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Defence Production)

Liberal

Mr. Dickey:

Would the hon. member permit a question? Does he suggest for a moment that the committee has not the power to invite Mr. Crawford Gordon to come here and give evidence, if he is willing to come here, for as long as he wants to give evidence?

Topic:   ATOMIC ENERGY
Subtopic:   SPECIAL COMMITTEE TO EXAMINE INTO ROLE OF GOVERNMENT IN NON-MILITARY RESEARCH
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PC

John Borden Hamilton

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hamilton (York West):

Instead of the parliamentary assistant phrasing that in the form of a question-

Topic:   ATOMIC ENERGY
Subtopic:   SPECIAL COMMITTEE TO EXAMINE INTO ROLE OF GOVERNMENT IN NON-MILITARY RESEARCH
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LIB

John Horace Dickey (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Defence Production)

Liberal

Mr. Dickey:

Just answer the question.

Topic:   ATOMIC ENERGY
Subtopic:   SPECIAL COMMITTEE TO EXAMINE INTO ROLE OF GOVERNMENT IN NON-MILITARY RESEARCH
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PC

John Borden Hamilton

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hamilton (York West):

-if he will inform the house that the committee will definitely have men such as Mr. Crawford Gordon here, I assure you I will not need to quote all the remarks to which I have been referring.

Topic:   ATOMIC ENERGY
Subtopic:   SPECIAL COMMITTEE TO EXAMINE INTO ROLE OF GOVERNMENT IN NON-MILITARY RESEARCH
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LIB

John Horace Dickey (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Defence Production)

Liberal

Mr. Dickey:

It is not up to the parliamentary assistant. It is up to the committee.

Topic:   ATOMIC ENERGY
Subtopic:   SPECIAL COMMITTEE TO EXAMINE INTO ROLE OF GOVERNMENT IN NON-MILITARY RESEARCH
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PC

Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Green:

Then give it power to send for witnesses. Why hamstring it?

Topic:   ATOMIC ENERGY
Subtopic:   SPECIAL COMMITTEE TO EXAMINE INTO ROLE OF GOVERNMENT IN NON-MILITARY RESEARCH
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?

An hon. Member:

What will the committee do?

Topic:   ATOMIC ENERGY
Subtopic:   SPECIAL COMMITTEE TO EXAMINE INTO ROLE OF GOVERNMENT IN NON-MILITARY RESEARCH
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?

An hon. Member:

What it is told.

Topic:   ATOMIC ENERGY
Subtopic:   SPECIAL COMMITTEE TO EXAMINE INTO ROLE OF GOVERNMENT IN NON-MILITARY RESEARCH
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PC

John Borden Hamilton

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hamilton (York West):

This has certainly been an interesting aside. At least it has brought some of these things to the attention of the members of the house, and perhaps I may be allowed to continue.

Topic:   ATOMIC ENERGY
Subtopic:   SPECIAL COMMITTEE TO EXAMINE INTO ROLE OF GOVERNMENT IN NON-MILITARY RESEARCH
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LIB

James Allen (Jim) Byrne

Liberal

Mr. Byrne:

I think I am perfectly right-

Topic:   ATOMIC ENERGY
Subtopic:   SPECIAL COMMITTEE TO EXAMINE INTO ROLE OF GOVERNMENT IN NON-MILITARY RESEARCH
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?

An hon. Member:

Sit down.

Topic:   ATOMIC ENERGY
Subtopic:   SPECIAL COMMITTEE TO EXAMINE INTO ROLE OF GOVERNMENT IN NON-MILITARY RESEARCH
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LIB

James Allen (Jim) Byrne

Liberal

Mr. Byrne:

-in raising this point of order as to the reading of excerpts from too many technical opinions.

Topic:   ATOMIC ENERGY
Subtopic:   SPECIAL COMMITTEE TO EXAMINE INTO ROLE OF GOVERNMENT IN NON-MILITARY RESEARCH
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

Order. The hon. member for Kootenay East has raised this point of order with regard to the reading of extracts. The extracts to which the hon. member for York West was making reference did not in my opinion, offend the rule with regard to commenting on proceedings within the house or the remarks of members within the house. Hon. members, I think, are well aware of that rule.

I presume that the point of order raised by the hon. member for Kootenay East is with regard to the reading of long extracts, which in effect introduces another member into the House of Commons and which at times has the effect of expressing not the opinions of the member who has the floor

Committee on Atomic Energy but the opinions of some other person. I believe Speakers have invariably ruled that the reading of such long extracts is not in order. I am not aware of any rule against the reading of short extracts as long as they do not offend against the citation I mentioned earlier. Therefore I can only ask the hon. member to take care that he does not offend any custom of the house against the reading of such lengthy extracts that he is in effect expressing not the opinions of himself, but the opinions of another.

Topic:   ATOMIC ENERGY
Subtopic:   SPECIAL COMMITTEE TO EXAMINE INTO ROLE OF GOVERNMENT IN NON-MILITARY RESEARCH
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PC

John Borden Hamilton

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hamilton (York West):

Perhaps I should have used a procedure I have found necessary to use in court from time to time, adopting the words of the expert and using them as my own. I am quite sure that I shall be within the rules of order of the house. However, I do not have to quote these things. I thought that in doing so I was bringing before the house the opinions of experts in this field.

When I began to speak I said I thought that anyone who took part in this debate was presuming a great deal if he did not qualify as even an amateur scientist, as set out by the hon. member for Oxford. However, the extracts I have quoted indicate that the nature of the technical advances in the industry will be governed by advances in military aviation. This opinion is confirmed by the submission to the same commission by Cana-dair Limited of Montreal, which sets out very clearly that in all phases of commercial aircraft development the background has been based very firmly on the lessons learned from research done in the military field. As a matter of fact, in that submission Geoffrey Notman referred very definitely to the setting up of a nuclear products division of the company on which a considerable amount of money, two or three million dollars, was being spent for the purpose of continuing research on a very definite basis as to the use of atomic materials in so far as aircraft are concerned.

Here are two plants engaged at the present time primarily in the production of military aircraft whose executives plainly see that there is a tie-in with respect to the research required in the one type of endeavour and the progress which may be made in the peaceful uses of aircraft in this country. Yes, Mr. Speaker, in reply to the question raised by the parliamentary assistant I say that the committee very definitely should call such men as Crawford Gordon, jr., of Avro and Geoffrey Notman of Canadair and have them outline in full their programs of research to see if it is not possible to take those programs one further step in order to enable us to take

such terrific commercial advantage of the many millions of dollars being spent on military research in this field.

If we did that, perhaps we would not have the Minister of Defence Production losing so much sleep because he has invested $65 million or some such amount in a plant and is worried because we have not had a single plane in some time off the production line. If it were possible to ensure that the money being spent for that purpose, with the little additional help that might be required, would result in commercial planes for peaceful purposes coming off the same production lines, I think there would be a lot less concern in the country about the amount of money being spent in these activities.

I am wondering whether the Massey commission did not have something like this in mind in its recommendation under the heading, "Scientific Research Under the Federal Government". In that regard it had this to say:

That under the direction of the privy council committee on scientific and1 industrial research, a study be made as soon as possible of all research activities of the federal government, with a view to their adequate co-ordination, the avoidance of any wasteful duplication, and the maximum co-operation that may be possible.

These words certainly fit the terms of reference that are required for this particular committee.

I should like to speak about one or two other phases of the problems that will confront the committee. The other day I received a letter from a constituent of mine who had heard a radio address by the hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar (Mr. Coldwell). She wrote me a letter in which she suggested that we should increase our gifts under the Colombo plan. I guess it was a pretty appealing radio address and had an effect. I had to write back and say that I was not exactly sure I could criticize the government in connection with the amount of money it was spending under the plan because after all I knew that whatever help was given had to come out of the taxpayers' pockets, and to a great extent I thought we were near the breaking point in that connection.

But I am wondering whether there is not another answer to such problems, another answer that may be produced before the committee. You know, scientists are able to equate the prosperity of a country or the standard of living of a country with the amount of energy, the amount of fuel that is available in that country. They talk about coal, petroleum, natural gas and even water power, but they lump them all together and talk about energy. They say that using this

formula you can determine just how far a country can go in raising its standard of living. They point out that on an annual basis the United States, which most people agree has the highest standard of living in the world, uses 8 tons of coal or energy, whatever you want to call it, per person; that Britain and Norway use 4-5 tons per person per annum, Japan 1 ton and India -01 ton.

Then they say, compare this with the annual income per person in these countries. The United States figure is $2,000 as against 8 tons, the United Kingdom or Norway $1,000 as against 4-5 tons, Japan maybe $100 and India maybe $50. Their complete standard of living is determined by their ability to produce the energy required for the production of goods used in everyday life.

We are entering an entirely new field now. If we wanted to raise the standard of living of all people throughout the free world to our own living standard we would probably have enough energy of the coal-petroleum type to last us 25 or 30 years, but with the use of new materials, with the use of uranium and thorium as sources of energy, it would be possible for us to raise the standard of living of the peoples of the free world to our own basic standard and keep it there for a thousand years.

Perhaps this is the answer to the problems that face us in a period between peace and war. I do not think anyone believes that merely to complete the building of massive defence forces is going to be the ultimate answer. It seems to me that the one sure way of maintaining peace is to see that there is an exchange of this information, an exchange of the material which creates energy, and the raising of the living standards of substandard nations to our own level.

If we do that we will write the best insurance policy so far as peace is concerned that we can get anywhere. How are we going to do it? First of all we in this house have to get the information, and later we have got to do our part as parliamentarians to see that the information is distributed to the right people and ensure that the basic commercial quantities of the goods we have that will do this job are also made available to them.

I do not see why we cannot have the type of parliamentary and scientific committee they have at Westminster. The committee there can meet regularly. It can call before it scientists of all types. It can bring them from other lands as well. These scientists give lectures on this type of topic, so that every bit of information that is of commercial value is placed right on their doorstep.

Committee on Atomic Energy

If 'we could get such information perhaps we could help to solve some of the problems to which the hon. member for Oxford rereferred, when he mentioned the fact that we were losing out in the educational race. He pointed out that we are not producing the engineers we require to carry on this job. If we did that perhaps we could get away from such headlines as that which appeared in the Toronto Telegram last year, namely, "Lack of Engineers Surprising to Howe." If it is surprising to him, let us get the committee going and find out all about it. Maybe the Minister of Defence Production will be able to learn the answer as to why we do not have the engineers. In the article he is reported as saying:

"This is hard for me to understand", Mr. Howe told the annual dinner of the association of consulting engineers here.

I had a letter from a friend in the United States the other day, and he said it was not very hard for him to understand. In the last three or four years we have had $395 million of engineering work done in this country, and all but approximately $33 million of it was done in the United States and shipped here. Perhaps that is one reason we do not have people with engineering skill remain in this country.

All in all, here is one opportunity. Let us not allow it to slip through our fingers. Surely the amendment which has been proposed by the hon. member for Vancouver-Quadra places with the committee the power to get the answers, the power to see that the information made available to it is given to the proper people in this country and the proper people in other countries to ensure that we all go forward, as freedom-loving nations, in the development of atomic energy for the use of all mankind and not just for the use of a few.

Topic:   ATOMIC ENERGY
Subtopic:   SPECIAL COMMITTEE TO EXAMINE INTO ROLE OF GOVERNMENT IN NON-MILITARY RESEARCH
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March 14, 1956