May 17, 1956

?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear.

Topic:   NORTHERN ONTARIO PIPE LINE CORPORATION
Subtopic:   CONSTITUTION OF CROWN COMPANY TO CONSTRUCT PIPE LINE, MAKE SHORT-TERM LOANS, ETC.
Permalink
PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

What is the record of this company, Trans-Canada Pipe Lines Limited? For five long years we have been waiting for action. Throughout that entire period this company has played a monopoly game without chance. Its attitude has been one of artful juggling. It has changed its front from year to year. From year to year this cobweb of colourful finance has been spun.

They started with the idea that they could finance themselves. They said they needed no government help. They secured an incorporation on that basis, and having designedly made the allegation that under no circumstances would they ask for assistance, they began that tortuous course they have followed ever since. First they said, "We will ship directly to the Ontario and Quebec markets and provide the necessary pipe line." Their next attitude was, "We will change that; we need United States markets and we will build a spur line to the United States boundary and that spur line will supply the great needs of the middle west."

They were able to contact in the United States three companies named by the Minister of Trade and Commerce who were prepared to pay a real price, a price far in excess of what is to be paid today by the

4034 HOUSE OF

Northern Ontario Pipe Line Corporation Western Pipe Lines company. Today the Minister of Trade and Commerce says the reason this was not gone ahead with was that there were complaints from the consumers. Nothing of the kind. That statement is unjustified, for after a lapse of a few months and consideration being given by the federal power commission, suddenly the whole matter was dropped by Trans-Canada Pipe Lines.

Their next proposition was that they would have to get some assistance in order to bridge northern Ontario. No; I am ahead of myself. As a matter of fact it is difficult to follow this company in the labyrinth of financial manipulation, and one is apt to forget the changes of front that have been made. First they asked for a guarantee of assistance from the industrial development bank, and that was denied. Then they came along with a new proposition, a complete change of front. They said they would need assistance by way of the creation of a crown corporation to bridge that area of northern Ontario which would be unprofitable.

So the changes have gone on. Throughout that entire period, whatever change of front this favoured corporation has made, how often it has altered its course, it has still been able to command the benediction of the Minister of Trade and Commerce, and today he is joined with the amens of every member of the cabinet. Why? Why does this corporation enjoy such a peculiarly favoured position in the heart of this government? Why are competing corporations given no opportunity even to submit a proposition? Those are questions on which we require information; those are questions on which we have a right to obtain information.

Let us follow the course of the Minister of Trade and Commerce. In March, 1953, he said this was economically feasible to build. He was the man who was able to secure the merger of Trans-Canada and Western Pipe Lines. He said, "There is no danger at all; there is no reason for delay. In March of 1953 he said, at page 2929 of Hansard:

The policy of the government of Canada is to refuse permits for moving natural gas by pipe line across an international boundary until such time as we are convinced that there can be no economic use, present or future, for that natural gas within Canada.

A little later on in that speech he said:

This government has reason to believe that it is economically feasible to build a gas pipe line from southern Alberta to Toronto and Montreal, serving the intervening Canadian cities.

And then this master of optimism said this on December 1, 1954: "I believe that the construction of Trans-Canada will begin in 1955; that the building of the pipe line

rMr. Diefenbaker.l

from Alberta to Winnipeg and south to Emerson will be completed in that year and the complete line will be built to Montreal in 1956."

What was the justification for that optimistic attitude? Why the continuing enlargement of the period within which this favoured pet of the government is prepared to extend and extend again the time of completion? I ask, why this change of front? Why has the government-and I ask the Prime Minister to give an answer on behalf of this government-displayed such solicitude, such a keen feeling of regard for this corporation? Why has the permission to extend been granted over and over again? Why, after the delay of five long years, this unusual rush for action in 1956? Why? This is a question that has never been answered.

A while ago the Minister of Trade and Commerce described the men who are connected with this company, the founders, as it were; the Clint Murchisons of Texas. While Clint Murchison has not the controlling interest today, he is the owner of Canadian Delhi and, through that company, he will own over 25 per cent of all the stock of Trans-Canada Pipe Lines. According to the records today, of the 1,928,183 shares Mr. Murchison, as the head and owner of Canadian Delhi, will have 497,000 shares. It is true, as I said a moment ago, that he is no longer on the executive of Trans-Canada Pipe Lines.

Who is this man Murchison, this builder, this man who is so interested in Canada? His biographical sketch was written in 1954. It is a revealing one. It begins by saying: "According to affectionate legend, he has found and has been able to add $1 and $1 and get $11 million." That was two years ago, before he improved on that previous record. It says in his biographical sketch:

He possesses the popular Texas ambition of buying the rest of the United States.

That was two years ago. While the biography was being written, and since it has been written he raised his sights. It goes on to say, and this is a great description of this man, this beneficiary of Canada:

| His companies are as varied as a pirate's I treasure.

That is an appropriate description. The mention of pirates does not require too much amplification. It adds:

\ He juggles multi-million deals with the unconcern of a racetrack teller counting $2 bills.

| Then it quotes him as saying, following the success that he has had over the years:

Cash makes a man careless.

Well, that is one part of the biography that certainly is not lived up to unless the

Northern Ontario Pipe Line Corporation

cash comes from the Canadian government. The record year by year is one of deceptive "Cash makes a man careless." It goes on to finance, false promises and unjustified hopes, say that his life is given to spinning new The Toronto Daily Star of May 14, 1954, said:, companies. Then it states: N. E. Tanner-

He expects no trouble in having Trans-Canada i -he is now president

Pipe Lines built by 1955. >

He still has 25 per cent. Here is a revealing statement, sir. He is asking how he does his financing and this is his secret of finance: He has a system of "financin' by finaglin'."

Mr. Speaker, this is the man who more than anyone else conceived this plan for Canada's gas. This is the man, along with those who are now connected with him, to whom this country is asked through the medium of closure to turn over monopoly control of one of Canada's great and exhaustible resources. Yes, this is the man who was accepted at face value by this government through the years, and who even today is in a position where by virtue of the stock percentage he controls he would be able to go a long way to control the company.

Now, sir, I am going to read for a moment something of the record week by week and almost day by day of the announcement of this company since 1951. On February 22, 1951, the Toronto Star said:

J. R. Tolmie, counsel for T.C.P.L. outlined plans for a 2,200 mile pipe line from Alberta to Montreal. The company plans to spend $250 million on the project. Mr. Schultz said that the initial outlay would be subsidized by United States capital. It was planned to split the Canadian firm from the United States company as soon as possible, and Canadians would be given an opportunity to buy stock.

Then on January 2, 1952, again from the Toronto Daily Star:

A spokesman for Mr. Schultz denied a statement by Hon. W. S. Gemmell, Ontario provincial minister of mines-

And said-

. . . that his company were satisfied, that if they could only get permission to carry the gas out of Alberta it would not need any government capital investment.

A little later on, on April 3, 1954 the Toronto Daily Star said:

Trans-Canada Pipe Lines expects to build the proposed pipe line from Alberta to Ontario and Quebec, without direct government help, vice president Frank Schultz said today. His firm would not contemplate getting less consideration than the Interprovincial Oil Lines in regards to sales tax and other concessions. His firm expects a pretty rough time at the start, but it expects to walk on its own feet. He said that signed contracts with distributing firms were expected to provide enough guarantee to make bonds acceptable to insurance companies, and the company did not need a government guarantee for its bonds.

-said that construction of the pipe line will start early next year. Gas is to start moving no later than December 31, 1955. He expects it to be feeding Winnipeg by late 1955, Toronto and Montreal to be hooked up by 1956.

' Then on June 15, 1954, the following

appeared in the Toronto Daily Star:

Nathan Tanner, president of Trans-Canada Pipe Lines, said . . . construction is due to start July 1st this year. He said that some pipe had already arrived. He stated that now the transport board in Ottawa had assured his company that they would get the necessary authority for the Trans-Canada line, plans are under way to get construction started in the spring of next year. He said that the financial success of the whole Trans-Canada project would not be affected if his company was unable to get the necessary permit from the United States federal power commission in Washington to sell gas in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Surely, sir, the ramifications inherent in statements like that are not a foundation upon which to build faith in a company with a record as uncertain as has been the record of this^ company.

Then on June 18, 1954, it is reported in the Toronto Globe and Mail:

J. Ross Tolmie, counsel for Trans-Canada Pipe Lines, said that it wanted to make a start next spring on the first leg of the line from the Alberta-Saskatchewan border to Winnipeg, and then south 60 miles to the American border. He asked for interlocking permit similar to that granted the company by the Alberta Natural Gas and Petroleum board.

On July 29, 1954, the Toronto Daily Star reported:

Mr. Tanner announced that newly formed company Bechtel, Mannix and Hester will be in charge of design, engineering and construction of the pipe line. Granting of the permit by the transport board was all the company had been waiting on to go ahead with the Alberta-Montreal line. The contract with Bechtel, Mannix and Hester calls for the completion of the project by the end of 1956. The company will be selling gas in Saskatchewan, as far east as Winnipeg, and to the Minnesota area by next fall-

That is the fall of 1954.

-and Toronto and Montreal a year later.

And so on, page after page of statements, promises and things hoped for, whose only purpose could have been to delude;, yet all through this picture this government, having been deceived over and over again, still continued to give its benediction and continued to deny alternative companies the opportunity to have their plans made known to parliament.

Northern Ontario Pipe Line Corporation

On August 10, 1954, the Toronto Daily Star reports Mr. Tanner as saying:

The construction of the pipe line will start next spring It will be completed to Winnipeg and Emerson for exporting to Minnesota by November 1955 and to Toronto and Montreal the following fall.

Then on September 23, 1954, the Toronto Daily Star reported:

Trans-Canada Pipe Lines has concluded an agreement for the sale of gas from pipe line to Northern Natural Gas Company, a distributor servicing the Minneapolis and St. Paul area of Minnesota, it was stated by N. Tanner. The company had agreed to sell and Northern to buy 100 million cubic feet of gas daily, starting fall of 1955. The following year, the agreement calls for stepping up delivery to Northern to a rate of 150 million cubic feet daily.

Then on October 22, 1954, the Toronto Star reported:

Mr. Tanner assured Transport Minister Howe-*

That is the way the description appears in the paper; there is a mistake in the portfolio.

-that plans for financing gas line $300 million will be completed by December 31 deadline drawn up by transport commissioners. He assured the minister that financing plans were proceeding satisfactorily. Surveys were being completed in the west to determine the completion of the line. The pipe line will get under way next spring as planned.

What manner of foolish deception is this? Has this company in the last few weeks sprouted the wings of determination that -will result in the early completion of this line when for five long years it has followed .a course of continuing to issue optimistic .statements which it must have known there was no hope of achieving?

The Toronto Daily Star of November 9, 1954 reports Mr. Tanner as saying:

. . . the proposed pipe line was a sound project, and construction would start in spring of 1955. Gas producers, pipe lines and municipal distributors were all going to have to take a little less in the first year of operation of the pipe line. Both Canadian and Alberta governments were encouraging the company to get on the job.

And so on since. Everywhere, day by day through 1955, statements were issued that everything was being done. On April 18, 1955, in the Toronto Daily Star:

Trans-Canada plans to build a 370-mile pipe line (24" diameter), from Toronto to Montreal this year, at a cost of approximately $29 million. This company had not abandoned plans to extend into Ottawa this fall, but this might depend on whether the market could be built up sufficiently beforehand.

On June 9, 1955 in the Toronto Daily Star:

A natural gas pipe line from Toronto to Montreal may be built this year, said A. P. Craig, vice president in charge of sales Trans-Canada Pipe Lines said today.

All those statements indicate the labyrinth of financial twisting and turning which has characterized this company. Now, in 1956, the government finally, says that something must be done, and it is going to advance up to 90 per cent of the necessary money to construct the first portion of the pipe line. The company is required to repay, as provided for in the agreement, within a period of some nine months.

This brings me to the point raised today by the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre. There is something very strange about this bill. Whilst one cannot refer to clauses in particular, nonetheless a reading indicates that this bill is to be implemented by agreements already completed or which will be signed after the bill is passed by parliament.

What does that mean? Here is another example of a loophole whereby this company will be able, because the actual agreement is not incorporated as an appendix, to evade its responsibilities with the assistance and connivance of the government. A new agreement can be entered into, other terms can be substituted, alterations can be made, and regardless of any term in that bill as to the date of completion, the changes that can be made will enable this government to grant to its favourite an extension over and above the period fixed in the bill. That clause clearly indicates that future agreements can be made; and if they can be made, it means that parliament is asked to accept and ratify in anticipation any changed agreements that are made at any time between the government and this company.

There has been a change recently. Mr. Gardiner Symonds has come into the picture. I am not going into particulars with regard to this gentleman, except to say that he too has a biography that is set out in detail in Business Week. It indicates that this man has indeed been a tremendous success in bringing together various pipe-line companies in the United States, and also in establishing and building new ones. In 1954 his company marketed 6 per cent of all the natural gas marketed in the United States, and that amount has been increased in 1955.

It is interesting to know, as far as Mr. Symonds is concerned, the man who is to be the guardian of Canadian interests, that he has already made a deal in anticipation with Trans-Canada Pipe Lines, a company of which he will be one of the major shareholders, whereby Mr. Symonds' companies in the United States will benefit to the extent of $2 million a year for 25 years. Already he has made that arrangement. Already the price that is to be paid by Midwestern Pipe

Lines company in the United States is so much lower than that offered by Natural Gas and the other two companies associated with it that Mr. Symonds will reap a profit on the basis of the anticipated supplies of this pipe line of approximately $20,000 every day in the year.

That is the kind of thing that demands to be looked into. That is thejrind of thing .that demands invesfigafion, examination and consideration by parliament. That is the kind of thing that this government is trying to avoid and tried to avoid in the resolution stage, when it would be possible to ask ques tions, by the application of closure, thereby denying that investigation in which parliament has the responsibility to engage when so vast an undertaking as described by the Minister of Trade and Commerce is being foisted upon this house and the legislation forced through by that dangerous medium of the closure.

Northern Ontario Pipe Line Corporation McMahon plan was. He was in Ottawa early in April. Parliament is denied the existence of the letters, but oh, not Mr. Gardiner Symonds, described as the supersalesman of this generation. During the period of his visit he made a speech at a luncheon meeting of the Canadian Club of Montreal, and in the Montreal Star I find a report of what he had to say. First of all he dealt generally with the plan and how beneficial it would be to Canada. Then there is the following in Ifhe report:

Symonds also noted that the Canadian em would be able to take advantage of the age facilities for gas available to Tennessee in the United States-

It is the Tennessee Corporation in the United States, of which he is the head.

-and which were superior to storage available in Ontario. Commenting on reports that a rival gtoup was putting in a bid to build the trans-Canada pipe line, Mr. Symonds said, "I don't think it is serious."

Yes, it is interesting to know this. We in parliament tried for days and days to find out any alternative plan. We tried to find out the McMahon plan, which was referred to in the press. We endeavoured to secure information in that regard, but strangely enough we could not do so. I am not going to read the record, but it is a record of recklessly false statements made by the government in denying the existence of these letters. Parliament was treated as a pawn to be ridiculed by the government. We asked for production. "There are no documents," was the answer. If the Minister of Trade and Commerce had desired to rely upon the confidentiality of those letters, he would have said, "They are personal and confidential." But nothing of the sort. He said, "There are none."

Then you ask us why we on this side of the house view with some concern and suspicion the amazing solicitude of this government for this chosen instrument which for five years has fooled this government and the Canadian people. Parliament could not see the documents. These documents were personal and confidential. Apparently the delusion that was perpetrated on this house by that denial of the existence of those documents was removed only when it transpired that there were two other copies, the existence of which caused such terrible annoyance to the Minister of Trade and Commerce. Then, in his annoyance that there were other copies, he revealed the existence of these copies after a communication by telephone, at the suggestion of the opposition that Mr. McMahon might consider the removal of the veto of confidentiality.

But what about Mr. Symonds? He knew what was in those letters. He knew what the

Well, it was serious enough for Mr. McMahon to visit Ottawa on two occasions. It was serious enough for him to set out his plan in detail. It was serious enough for him to point out in the correspondence with the Minister of Trade and Commerce that the Trans-Canada Pipe Lines plan would be ineffectual and inoperative and that it could not be implemented.

Strangely enough the Prime Minister never heard of the McMahon plan. I believe him, as all of us will believe him; but is that not a terrible commentary on the fact that this government has one minister who carries around in his pocket an alternative plan for this magnificent development, as it was described today, this development that according to the minister even exceeds the St. Lawrence waterway? With McMahon having submitted a plan, having pointed out the shortcomings, the impossibility of Trans-Canada Pipe Lines ever doing what it had promised, surely further proof was not necessary after five long years of changing course, of crab-like advance. Then Mr. Symonds went on to say:

The announced competition came from Frank McMahon, an Alberta multimillionaire oil and gas promoter. Mr. Symonds said he had looked over the facts and figures presented by the McMahon group and could not see how they could be taken seriously.

Who showed them to him? Was he shown them when he visited Ottawa?

Topic:   NORTHERN ONTARIO PIPE LINE CORPORATION
Subtopic:   CONSTITUTION OF CROWN COMPANY TO CONSTRUCT PIPE LINE, MAKE SHORT-TERM LOANS, ETC.
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Howe (Port Arthur):

No, sir.

Topic:   NORTHERN ONTARIO PIPE LINE CORPORATION
Subtopic:   CONSTITUTION OF CROWN COMPANY TO CONSTRUCT PIPE LINE, MAKE SHORT-TERM LOANS, ETC.
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PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

Was he given a peek? That is the kind of thing we want to know. That is what closure was designed to preclude and prevent. Yes; hide the documents; deny their existence, then plaintively appear in the

Northern Ontario Pipe Line Corporation House of Commons when you find they have become publicized, because there were two other copies, and in indignation describe how unfair it was that they became public property. We want to know how Mr. Gardiner Symonds found out about this. You can be sure McMahon did not show it to him, because he was a competitor. Who did? He knew when he spoke in Montreal on the 10th day of April what the McMahon plan was. He knew, the man who is going to make these millions I mentioned a while ago, the man whose plan will not assure to the producers of Alberta the same high return that would have been assured had Northern Natural Gas and the other companies been given an opportunity to carry out the plan they offered and the arrangements they produced.

Mention was made by the minister of the Northern Natural Gas Company of Omaha and these other companies. I asked for the production of documents, and certain documents were produced. It is very strange to read these documents. These companies are the major companies in the middle west. They are not in the position of raiders of a territory already allocated to them in Minnesota and adjacent states. They are there. The great fight today before the federal power commission is with the Gardiner Symonds' company, Midwestern, which is the raider interfering with and overrunning the area which these three companies and others are serving. They already had the marketing potentialities. They were there. They offered to take tremendous amounts of gas.

A reading of the documents indicates that some unusual things took place which suddenly altered the course. The minister says today that he was approached by them and that he said, "Of course I have nothing to do with this", and asked them to get in touch with the representatives of Trans-Canada. This is very interesting. Read the letters. On July 21, 1955, there is a letter from Northern Natural Gas Company, John F. Merriam, president, to Right Hon. C. D. Howe, which letter reads:

Attached is a conformed copy of a letter proposal which has been today mailed to Trans-Canada Pipe Lines Limited by Northern Natural Gas Company, People's Gas, Light and Coke Company and American Natural Gas Company. It is the hope of the three companies that the proposal will be helpful in providing a solution to the natural gas export- problem. We will be glad to discuss this with you further, or with anyone you would designate, if it would be of assistance.

Yours very truly,

John Merriam.

To that letter the minister replied as follows:

Dear Mr. Merriam:

Thanks for yours of July 21 sending me a copy of your letter to Trans-Canada Pipe Lines Limited.

I had a talk with Mr. Tanner and some of his associates this morning and understand that he will have a discussion with you shortly. I am hopeful that a program can be worked with you and your group that will make it unnecessary to deal with others proposing to serve your territory. I will let you know if there would be any purpose in your group coming to Ottawa for further discussions.

Yours sincerely,

C. D. Howe.

That is quite a different matter from the coloured description given by the minister today. A plan was set. out in detail whereby the three undersigned companies would organize and own a new company which would propose to receive natural gas from Trans-Canada at the United States-Canadian border south of Winnipeg in the fall of 1956 in such authorized quantities as were available. The three companies would propose to absorb in their three billion cubic feet per day pipe-line systems such volumes of natural gas delivered to them as were not required for delivery in eastern Canada, in the Windsor-Sarnia area. They proposed to spend $30 million to build a 400-mile connecting pipe line from the Winnipeg border to the one billion cubic feet per day pipe-line system of Northern Natural Gas in the Minneapolis area.

Topic:   NORTHERN ONTARIO PIPE LINE CORPORATION
Subtopic:   CONSTITUTION OF CROWN COMPANY TO CONSTRUCT PIPE LINE, MAKE SHORT-TERM LOANS, ETC.
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Howe (Port Arthur):

Does it say what price they were going to pay?

Topic:   NORTHERN ONTARIO PIPE LINE CORPORATION
Subtopic:   CONSTITUTION OF CROWN COMPANY TO CONSTRUCT PIPE LINE, MAKE SHORT-TERM LOANS, ETC.
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PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

The price was set out

earlier in detail. I do not have it here but I think it was 29 cents per thousand cubic feet.

Topic:   NORTHERN ONTARIO PIPE LINE CORPORATION
Subtopic:   CONSTITUTION OF CROWN COMPANY TO CONSTRUCT PIPE LINE, MAKE SHORT-TERM LOANS, ETC.
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Howe (Port Arthur):

That was formally withdrawn.

Topic:   NORTHERN ONTARIO PIPE LINE CORPORATION
Subtopic:   CONSTITUTION OF CROWN COMPANY TO CONSTRUCT PIPE LINE, MAKE SHORT-TERM LOANS, ETC.
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PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

That is the figure I have in my mind, and I am not usually mistaken about numbers.

Topic:   NORTHERN ONTARIO PIPE LINE CORPORATION
Subtopic:   CONSTITUTION OF CROWN COMPANY TO CONSTRUCT PIPE LINE, MAKE SHORT-TERM LOANS, ETC.
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?

Some hon. Members:

Oh, oh.

Topic:   NORTHERN ONTARIO PIPE LINE CORPORATION
Subtopic:   CONSTITUTION OF CROWN COMPANY TO CONSTRUCT PIPE LINE, MAKE SHORT-TERM LOANS, ETC.
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PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

That is a great deal higher than is being offered today by the Midwestern company that has no sales area under its jurisdiction. That is a raiding corporation. If the federal power commission of the United States follows its judgments given in the past, it will deny to any other company the right to come in there because the system in effect in the United States, as recognized by the supreme court of the United States, is that it is in the best interests in public utilities, so long as the public interest is protected by powers such as the transport commission, that no area should find itself competed for when those occupying and serving that area are rendering reasonable service and are not mulcting the consumers.

Topic:   NORTHERN ONTARIO PIPE LINE CORPORATION
Subtopic:   CONSTITUTION OF CROWN COMPANY TO CONSTRUCT PIPE LINE, MAKE SHORT-TERM LOANS, ETC.
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PC

Carl Olof Nickle

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Nickle:

Would the hon. member permit a question?

Topic:   NORTHERN ONTARIO PIPE LINE CORPORATION
Subtopic:   CONSTITUTION OF CROWN COMPANY TO CONSTRUCT PIPE LINE, MAKE SHORT-TERM LOANS, ETC.
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Oh, oh.

Topic:   NORTHERN ONTARIO PIPE LINE CORPORATION
Subtopic:   CONSTITUTION OF CROWN COMPANY TO CONSTRUCT PIPE LINE, MAKE SHORT-TERM LOANS, ETC.
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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.

Topic:   NORTHERN ONTARIO PIPE LINE CORPORATION
Subtopic:   CONSTITUTION OF CROWN COMPANY TO CONSTRUCT PIPE LINE, MAKE SHORT-TERM LOANS, ETC.
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PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

Mr. Speaker, my hon. friend has already received the commendation of the Minister of Trade and Commerce and I do not want to interfere with that favourable relationship. I would suggest that any information he has to convey personally or by questions be conveyed to the minister and not to me.

Topic:   NORTHERN ONTARIO PIPE LINE CORPORATION
Subtopic:   CONSTITUTION OF CROWN COMPANY TO CONSTRUCT PIPE LINE, MAKE SHORT-TERM LOANS, ETC.
Permalink
?

An hon. Member:

The gag.

Topic:   NORTHERN ONTARIO PIPE LINE CORPORATION
Subtopic:   CONSTITUTION OF CROWN COMPANY TO CONSTRUCT PIPE LINE, MAKE SHORT-TERM LOANS, ETC.
Permalink
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 who has the floor cannot, of course, be interrupted without his consent.

Topic:   NORTHERN ONTARIO PIPE LINE CORPORATION
Subtopic:   CONSTITUTION OF CROWN COMPANY TO CONSTRUCT PIPE LINE, MAKE SHORT-TERM LOANS, ETC.
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PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

This letter concludes in this way:

We wish to repeat that our three, companies are the only ones who can either build a major pipe line all the way from the Winnipeg border to eastern Canada for maximum volumes, or build piecemeal in smaller steps to handle minimum volumes.

No one else can do this.

We are prepared to extend to you and the Canadian authorities the full co-operation of our companies in working out the program of handling the gas supply question in the best possible manner for the public interest of our two countries.

What I have quoted to you is from letters tabled in this house which indicate that at least an offer was made that caused the minister to say, "I hope you people can come to an arrangement". Then in order to show on what affable terms things were conducted I read you first the telegram from Mr. Tanner to John Merriam, president of Northern Natural Gas Company and dated August 8, 1955:

Am unable to advise more definitely at this time. Use your best judgment regarding proposed study.

Eldon.

That telegram is signed "Eldon", a fact which indicates a fairly friendly relationship at that time. Then the Minister of Trade and Commerce said, "I hope you people get together". In his letter he said he hoped they would get together and that "a program can be worked out that will make it unnecessary to deal with others proposing to serve your territory". Then on August 15 we have the following wire:

Topic:   NORTHERN ONTARIO PIPE LINE CORPORATION
Subtopic:   CONSTITUTION OF CROWN COMPANY TO CONSTRUCT PIPE LINE, MAKE SHORT-TERM LOANS, ETC.
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?

Charles Cecil Ingersoll Merritt

Mr. John Merriam:

Further to my wire to you August 8, Trans-Canada has executed a contract which meets its requirements.

N. E. Tanner.

That telegram is signed "N. E. Tanner". What happened between those dates? What

17, 1956 4039

Northern Ontario Pipe Line Corporation things transpired? What changed the "Eldon" relationship to a business relationship? Why the alteration in course? The minister tried to give an explanation today to the effect that they could not get together or something of the sort. Actually, it is interesting that it was at this point that this master salesman Symonds entered the picture.

Those are things we want to find out about. Those are questions that must be asked. If we ask them of the government and if we get the kind of answers that we received in reference to the McMahon letters, the replies will not be as valuable as the facts might warrant. Yes; what about Mr. McMahon? He made an offer. He set it out in detail. He showed what he would do. That statement is contained in his letter of April 24, 1956, to the Minister of Trade and Commerce, detailing every possible eventuality, giving the particulars that only a definite offer would possibly include. It was naturally marked "private and confidential". It is to be communicated to the government. The letter is addressed to the Minister of Trade and Commerce.

Topic:   NORTHERN ONTARIO PIPE LINE CORPORATION
Subtopic:   CONSTITUTION OF CROWN COMPANY TO CONSTRUCT PIPE LINE, MAKE SHORT-TERM LOANS, ETC.
Permalink
LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Howe (Pori Arthur):

It is addressed "Dear C.D.".

Topic:   NORTHERN ONTARIO PIPE LINE CORPORATION
Subtopic:   CONSTITUTION OF CROWN COMPANY TO CONSTRUCT PIPE LINE, MAKE SHORT-TERM LOANS, ETC.
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PC

William Earl Rowe

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Rowe:

What a darling he is!

Topic:   NORTHERN ONTARIO PIPE LINE CORPORATION
Subtopic:   CONSTITUTION OF CROWN COMPANY TO CONSTRUCT PIPE LINE, MAKE SHORT-TERM LOANS, ETC.
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May 17, 1956