You would do away with the rugged individualists. I know that the hon. member for Cape Breton South comes from a great race of rugged individualists, but you would do away with the type of people who have helped to make Canada and Nova Scotia what they are. At the present time the free world is fighting a cold war with those behind the iron curtain. If we took that attitude and said to labour and management that we were going to tax them and put them out of business in order to build up an organization such as I visualize, it would be a great step toward losing the cold war because we have to have initiative, the strong individualist and the work of every Canadian and other person outside the iron curtain to withstand the attacks that are being made on us today.
I know the hon. member for Cape Breton South has vivid recollections of the many once prosperous mining towns in Cape Breton which are now ghost towns. But I suggest
Economic Rehabilitation that the history of the world shows that a large percentage of our mines are expendable, as are similar industries. When our people went into those communities they knew what they were going up against.
Following the hon. member's argument a little further, I am suggesting that if the government were to take the responsibility of looking after all these problems which arise, then the government would be obliged to take the responsibility for saying whether new industries could start or new mines could open. There would have to be an over-all power that would say, "No, you cannot start a mine there or you cannot start that industry there because it is going to peter out in such and such a number of years and you are going to be a problem to our fund and our fund is not going to be able to carry it". I say that you cannot have the one thing without the other. I am suggesting that such interference by government with industry would mean the downfall of this country.
As I mentioned before, the hon. member for Cape Breton South has had a great deal of experience. The records show that the hon. member was born in Londonderry, Colchester county, which is part of my constituency, and more commonly known as Acadia Mines. I do not know at what age he left that area. If he had chosen to remain there I suppose he would probably have been the hon. member for Colchester-Hants today. Nevertheless he was born in a great part of our province, called after Londonderry, Ireland. It is a little late for St. Patrick's day, but the tradition is still there. I suppose he recalls, as I do, that at the turn of the century Londonderry or Acadia Mines was a thriving community with a population of something like 2,500. At night the sky would be red with the reflection from the blast furnaces. All in all there was a tremendous amount of activity around that settlement at the base of the Westchester mountains.
Today it is not a ghost town. However, it would have been a ghost town if the hon. member had had his say at that time and the people had been moved out holus-bolus when industry closed up shortly after the first world war. Today we have not a community of 2,500 but we have one of about 500. It is true that not many new houses are being built. There are a number of old houses falling down, and more being destroyed by fire and time. Nevertheless in that little community we have a great community spirit. There are good schools. The people have a fair number of automobiles, radios and television sets. They have a great community spirit. They have one of the best baseball teams in Nova Scotia. But if my hon. friend
had had his way these people would have been moved out holus-bolus when that industry went down and what is now Londonderry would have been again just a wilderness.
There is one other thing, Mr. Speaker, that I would say and it is this. While many of the mechanics and artisans from that plant which closed were scattered to various parts of Canada, they took with them the skills learned there and they made a great contribution to Canada, as I know my hon. friend did with respect to Cape Breton when he left Colchester county in order to go to there.
There is another thing I should like to say. I do not think that Londonderry is done. I believe time will show that in regard to the mines. They were not really mines; they were merely very rich pockets of ore which were possibly worked out. There is plenty of ore in those hills. I believe that the knowledge that was gained by the people who worked in those diggings, which was passed on to their sons and which is retained in that community by the people not being evacuated, as has been suggested, is going to bring to the fore the possibilities which are there. I believe that once again the smoke will belch from a great industry in what is now that quiet little village.
Of course I could go on to mention several other places in my constituency where similar circumstances exist. I could mention the village of Kempt Town. There is a coal mine there; and with all respect to the Cape Breton people and those of Pictou county and Cumberland county, may I say that the Kempt Town seams are the one spot in Nova Scotia where we really have what is practically anthracite coal. Unfortunately the seams are thin. The mine was closed, and it is closed today. Nevertheless there is a great deal of information possessed by the people whom my hon. friend would have moved to Ontario under his scheme. As I say, there is a great deal of information still held by the residents of that community. As a result of this information which is passed on from father to son, I believe that in time, that mine will again be opened and that we shall have mined in Nova Scotia a type of coal which is comparable to Pennsylvania coal.
What I have been saying, Mr. Speaker, has perhaps not too much to do with the whole problem. There is one point on which I should like to correct the hon. member for Digby-Annapolis-Kings. This afternoon he stated that the Nova Scotia Light and Power Company used coal entirely in firing their boilers for the production of electricity. Unfortunately I am afraid that is not the fact. I visited one of their plants when they broke
in a new unit last fall. There were two immense furnaces side by side. I was told that one was fired by coal and one was fired by oil. As I recall it-I may be wrong in this-the information I obtained was that the cost was approximately equal.
I expressed the idea then, and I do it again now, that if that was the case, why would it not have been better to have used coal entirely? On the other hand, as was brought out this afternoon, we have a great refining plant across the harbour, and if they could not get use for part of their fuel oil I presume they would have to cut down the refining operations. It is therefore sort of a toss-up between the two.
I have rambled on at some length-
Subtopic: REQUEST FOR PROVISION OF ALTERNATIVE EMPLOYMENT WHEN PRINCIPAL INDUSTRIES CLOSE