January 21, 1957

PC

Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Green:

May I point out, Mr. Speaker, that it would be far more impressive if the government took some practical steps to turn such talk into deeds. For example, why could not the government bring in a bill right away to waive the interest on the United Kingdom loan? The Prime Minister was asked about this on January 11 as reported at page 120 of Hansard. The question was:

Could he tell the house If the government has made any undertaking with regard to the proposed waiver of $22 million in interest charges due by the United Kingdom?

The Prime Minister in his reply pointed out that under the agreement between Canada and the United Kingdom the United Kingdom was entitled to a waiver of the interest on this loan under three conditions. One was that it was found necessary, having regard to the gold and foreign exchange reserves of the United Kingdom; second, that the international monetary fund certified to certain

specified conditions regarding United Kingdom balance of payments statistics; and the third, that any other country which has made a loan with similar conditions is also waiving the interest agreement which of course referred to a loan made about the same time by the United States. The Prime Minister went on to say:

Early in December of last year the United Kingdom formally requested a waiver of the interest which would be due on the 31st of December, 1956.

He intimated that the question was under consideration by the government but concluded his answer with these words:

In the meantime the United Kingdom has paid the instalment of principal amounting to ?15J million which was due on December 31 and has, I understand, set aside in an account in the Bank of Canada the amount of interest, this to be held by the Bank of Canada until a decision has been reached whether or not there will be a waiver of interest granted by all those who have similar loans.

Now, the United States have found that there is some defect in the agreement they have with the United Kingdom, as a result of which that government must get further authority from congress before a waiver of interest on the United States loan can be put into effect, and apparently Canada is once again just tagging along behind the United States. There is no reason why Canada could not act independently. The government could bring in a measure to waive the payment of this interest if it saw fit to do so. Probably there is little doubt that eventually the United States will take such action and then the Canadian government will have to act and will waive the interest under the agreement. Why on earth could not a step of this kind be taken right now without waiting for a lead from Washington? Such action would be the sort of thing that would encourage the United Kingdom. It would encourage not only the government but also the people and it would give some hope to the people of Canada that this government is not pursuing its policy of criticism of the United Kingdom.

The Vancouver Province carried an excellent editorial concerning this very question on December 6 and I am going to quote the final paragraphs because they sum up the situation very clearly:

Twenty-two million extra Canadian dollars in the British treasury would not, by themselves be enough to stave off bankruptcy.

But if Ottawa were to leave them there, by waiving the interest payment off its own hook, without waiting to see what Washington was going to do, there would be other benefits.

One would be a boost for British confidence,- and there is psychology involved in every financial crisis as well as economics.

The Address-Mr. Green

Another would be to set an example to the United States Congress, which is all too likely, in the present mood of American opinion, to be reluctant to do anything for the British, even when it is in the clear interest of the United States.

The editorial concludes:

In fact, why shouldn't Ottawa lead instead of follow?

Other actions that the government could take would be to express openly some concern and a degree of understanding with respect to Britain's difficulties in such places as Cyprus and Aden. The Canadian government failed to do that over the seizure of the Suez last summer, taking the position that what happened in the Suez was none of our business. One direct result is that today about one-fifth of the troops actually in that area are Canadians. Canada was very directly concerned last summer but the government refused to acknowledge it.

Then when the British and French moved into the Suez the blow that hurt the most came from Canada. When I refer to a blow I mean the statements made by government leaders and the actions of Canada in the United Nations and the speech made by the Prime Minister in this house at the emergency session. The Canadian people would have acted very differently, Mr. Speaker, and would have at least withheld judgment. The Canadian people were and they are today entitled to have a stand taken by their government on questions like this, just as on other questions, which reflects their beliefs and their aspirations. This government has been in office for so long and is so arrogant that the ministers think they know best what Canadians should believe.

The ministers pursue their own pet ideas. Let me give an example; the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for External Affairs rushing to side with the Asian members of the commonwealth on the Suez issue. The Canadian people would not have done that, although having the most friendly feelings for these fellow nations of the commonwealth. Had the Canadian people been making the decision at that time they would not have rushed to side with the Asian nations.

Just the other day the Secretary of State for External Affairs again tried to leave the impression that such action had saved the commonwealth. I was rather surprised that he should take that stand again because I think it shows he has a guilty conscience and is trying to justify the actions taken last fall by making the claim that they helped to save the commonwealth. Prime Minister Nehru was here last month and had something

The Address-Mr. Green to say about the suggestion that the commonwealth was in danger of breaking up. I quote from a dispatch of December 5, 1956 as follows:

The commonwealth, Mr. Nehru emphasized, had suffered a severe shock in the Middle East crisis and has survived it.

"This," he said, "did not lead us to think that the commonwealth association was not good enough or should be broken. I never thought so in spite of the grave differences of opinion."

The prime minister of Ceylon was quoted on December 2, 1956 as having said at the United Nations:

Prime Minister Solomon Bandaranaike of Ceylon, Interviewed at the UN, said he thought Mr. Pearson's commons statement was "rather an exaggeration." He said that there is more than mere sentiment linking the commonwealth countries together, as they were linked by a common way of life, the democratic way.

There has never been any doubt as to where Pakistan stands in the commonwealth. I point out to the Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent), his Secretary of State for External Affairs, and other members of the cabinet that these Asian members of the commonwealth would have far more respect for Canada if Canada had taken a stand such as would have been taken by the Canadian people themselves rather than to try to curry favour with the Asian nations by running along with them. So much for that particular subject.

I should like now to say a word about the speech from the throne, more particularly about what we do not find in that speech. It mentions about ten measures which are to be brought in and apparently they are the only ones the government considers to be of importance at this session; at any rate the only ones the government feels must be dealt with by the house this spring. I think all will agree with me when I say that it is a very light legislative program. In the 21 years I have been here I do not remember any program which was as light as the one we now have before us. It is evident that the government is coasting instead of endeavouring to deal with difficult problems.

This would seem to be another sign of their arrogance. It shows the low value they place on parliament. It shows that the ministers believe they are the masters of the Canadian people rather than their servants. As an example, I would mention four prob [DOT] lems which should be dealt with.

In the first place, a policy should be adopted and legislation brought down to enable the government to co-operate with the provinces in the development of power and other resources which might be considered as self-liquidating projects. This

could be described as a joint investment program. One example is the development of power on the Saint John river. For a long time New Brunswick has been suggesting to the dominion government that it should back the provincial bonds or give similar financial support in order that this project might proceed on a large scale rather than the small scale which has been undertaken by the province alone.

The Saint John river is an international river, as is the Columbia. The Minister of Northern Affairs and National Resources (Mr. Lesage) will be expecting me to refer to the Columbia later on. Two years ago the government took a licensing control over international rivers and I believe it has some responsibility for helping to bring about development on these rivers.

The Gordon commission report contains a recommendation along these lines. I am not going to read the extract in full, but it commences at the foot of page 103 and is to be found in the section dealing with the Atlantic provinces. The commission point out that there are a number of problems which require substantial capital expenditures, and the report continues.

These include the provision of additional power resources in New Brunswick and the various suggestions for improving transportation facilities which have been referred to previously. In part at least, some of these might be self-liquidating.

Mr. Gordon and his fellow commissioners go on to say:

. . . the desirability of granting some measure of capital assistance towards the construction of public projects, including improved transportation facilities, in the Atlantic provinces is apparent. Specifically it is suggested that the federal government should agree to contribute a fixed sum per annum for capital assistance for a term of years, on the understanding that the initiative in the actual allocation of these funds, including the determination of priorities should come from the Atlantic provinces themselves. Under this proposal, some kind of joint capital projects commission would be established with an appropriate staff.

There are plans for large developments on the Columbia river in British Columbia and, as the minister knows, the ultimate cost of these undertakings will be about $1,000 million. The main development consisting of a dam and power plant at Mica Creek could be commenced if it were known just how that work is to be done.

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LIB

Jean Lesage (Minister of Northern Affairs and National Resources)

Liberal

Mr. Lesage:

The engineering studies will take at least another year.

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PC

Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Green:

The engineering studies may take at least a year to complete but something must be done to bring about finality as to how the work is to be completed, and the situation today is that nobody knows.

Several proposals have been made. One is that the Puget Sound utilities council,

The Address-Mr. Green

which is a United States organization, should come in and do at least part of the work, but this would give a foreign country considerable control over the river in Canada. Another is that a private company should do the work. This would mean additional cost and if that company were the British Columbia Electric it would mean a monopoly over quite an area in the province. The third suggestion is that the province of British Columbia should do it, but that province is not in a position to finance projects to the extent of $1,000 million. The final suggestion is that there should be a joint undertaking by the dominion and the province, co-operating much along the lines of the suggestion with regard to the Saint John river. Now the minister himself conferred with Premier Bennett last summer concerning Columbia river developments, and I have here the press release which followed. We find these words.

It was agreed that in the circumstances it is of the utmost importance for the future development of the province to ensure that the largest possible amount of power is derived from the hydro electric possibilities that are present, and that this be done at the lowest possible cost.

There can be no doubt that the cheapest way in which this work could be done would be by co-operation between the dominion and the province. In this way money could be raised at a lower rate of interest, and I do urge upon the government that this policy should be adopted; that there should be finality now and legislation brought down which would make it possible for the dominion government to participate.

In connection with the Columbia river may I point out to the minister that fears have been expressed in British Columbia that in the negotiations which are about to take place with the United States government Canada will be prepared to bargain away some of the rights which we now have under article 2 of the boundary waters treaty of 1909. There has already been a great delay in connection with this matter. The announcement that these negotiations were to take place was made by the minister on May 23 of last year but just the other day, on January 9, he told a questioner in the house that no definite date had been settled. Someone, either here or in Washington, is dragging his feet in connection with these negotiations.

However, under the boundary waters treaty Canada has the right to divert water from the Kootenay to the Columbia and from the Columbia to the Fraser without the United States government being entitled to protest. That right only comes to us because the United States itself insisted on including

a provision to this effect in the treaty of 1909, when it favoured the United States, and I hope the minister and his advisers are not prepared now to go down to Washington and bargain away the rights which belong to us under that treaty.

The second problem which I suggest should be faced this session is Canada's lack of a deep-sea fleet. I am not going to discuss this question in any detail today; I will just say this: the government has allowed the deep-sea fleet under the Canadian flag to disintegrate. There are still only 17 deep-sea cargo vessels, which represent a total tonnage of less than 100,000 tons, and out of this number eight are Canadian National Steamships. It is true there are some 90 wartime vessels on the United Kingdom registry, but I understand that about 20 of these have been sold this year, so that in a matter of a few months that number will be down to about seventy. These vessels are under United Kingdom control; they are not manned by Canadians. Some of them were requisitioned for service in connection with the Suez canal by the United Kingdom government.

Canadian-registered ships are practically off the high seas at the present time. One result is that supplies and equipment for Canada's forces in the Middle East have to be carried in foreign bottoms; there are no Canadian ships available to carry them. In order to carry Canadian troops and their equipment to the Middle East, what do we do? We strip the Magnificent, Canada's principal naval vessel, built at a cost of millions of dollars. That vessel had to be stripped-I presume at a cost of more millions of dollars-in order that she could act as a troop carrier.

Next year or, at the latest, by the opening of navigation in 1959 the St. Lawrence seaway will be ready for use. There will not be one Canadian deep-sea vessel to use it unless some policy is quickly adopted by the Canadian government. Other nations are preparing for this opening. Germany has been building vessels for that service. But at the present time there are no Canadian or American vessels available. The Americans have moved to meet the situation. I have here the year-end summary of the federal maritime board. The chairman of that board, Mr. Clarence G. Morse, had this to say with regard to shipping through the seaway:

Additional ocean transportation service on essential U.S. foreign trade routes is expected under operating-differential subsidy agreements. In February 1956 the ocean routes between the great lakes and St. Lawrence river ports of the United States and ports of western Europe were declared essential to the trade and economy of the nation.

The Address-Mr. Green and the size and type of ships and frequency of service required was determined by the maritime administration.

Mr. Morse goes on to point out that three American shipping companies are taking advantage of that provision, also that the route through the great lakes to the Caribbean is to be declared essential. Thus, when the seaway is opened there will be American -vessels to use it, but all Canadian freight through great lakes ports will have to be carried by foreign vessels.

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LIB

George Carlyle Marler (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. Marler:

I suppose the hon. member means overseas traffic?

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PC

Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Green:

Yes, deep-sea traffic. The present position illustrates so clearly the folly of delay. I point out once again to the minister and to the government that there must be a policy and legislation which will ensure a nucleus of modern deep-sea cargo vessels owned and manned by Canadian citizens and [DOT]operated under Canadian registry.

The third and fourth questions which in my opinion should be dealt with at this session affect the Canadian people directly, and for that reason they are even more important than the subjects I have already mentioned. One is legislation for veterans and the other is welfare legislation, including old age security, old age assistance and pensions for the blind.

With regard to the veterans there was practically no legislation last session. At that time we were given the excuse that the government was waiting for the resolutions from the dominion convention of the Canadian Legion which was held in Vancouver in June. Those resolutions have, of course, been available now for many months. Furthermore, the cabinet met the dominion executive of the Legion in November, and once again recommendations were made for improvements in veterans legislation. Nevertheless, there is not one word in the speech from the throne about any such legislation being introduced.

Some of these particular matters are of great importance to the veterans of Canada. Let us consider, for example, the subject of pensions. The Legion have asked that there should be an increase in pension rates to correspond with the increase in the cost of living. Then they ask, once again, that where a disability has not been recorded on enlistment there should be a presumption that, should it develop subsequently, it did arise while the veteran was in the service even though the doctors may suggest a pre-enlistment origin.

Another point which should be dealt with this session is the removal of the provision which affects marriages by veterans of the first war. Any who were married since May 1, 1954,

can receive no payment for their wives. This deadline should have been wiped out long ago. The practice has been to lift it from time to time, that is, to put it ahead, but evidently there is to be no such action this year.

Turning to war veterans allowances, the Legion has asked again that the ceilings on permissive income be raised to $1,200 for a single man and $2,000 for a married man and that the married rate be raised from $108 to $120. These again are changes which should have been made a long time ago, and I cannot understand the attitude of the government in failing to take some step to meet this need at the present time. The equity in a home allowed to a recipient of war veterans allowance should be increased from $6,000 to $8,000 or $9,000 to be in line with the values of homes at the present time. These are all changes which should not have to wait but apparently there is to be no legislation until 1958.

I believe that parliament is shirking its duty in not dealing with these veterans' problems now. We are all at fault. Members on all sides of the house will be criticized for the failure to bring down legislation along these lines, and I hope that the government will change its mind and see that something is done before dissolution.

The final question I wish to place before the house as calling for action this year is the matter of welfare legislation involving, for example, our senior citizens and those Canadians who have the misfortune to be blind. I believe that very real hardship is being suffered by thousands of such Canadians across this land. Their pensions have never been sufficient to enable them to live decently. Their pensions have represented merely an existence. Now, with the great decrease in the value of money, these payments have fallen far below the existence level.

In a few provinces some help is given by the provincial governments. I know that is true in my own province of British Columbia. But obviously the time has come for a general increase. Someone may say: Well, how is it going to be paid? I believe that these increases could be paid out of the large surplus. Apparently the Minister of Finance (Mr. Harris) is expecting a surplus of from $300 million to $400 million. Such increases could also be paid by means of a larger levy. I believe the people of Canada would be perfectly willing to pay more taxes in order to increase the payments going to these worthy Canadians.

Unless action is taken this session there can be no improvement until the fall or

perhaps 1958. Meanwhile these older Canadians and the blind will continue to suffer. In my opinion that will be tragic and a very direct result of the failure of the government to act now.

It is not going to be good enough for the Minister of Finance to make an announcement in March or early in April that something is to be done about old age and blind pensions at a later date. Action should be taken now. Legislation should be placed on the statute books during the present session.

On these four questions, the joint development of power projects, re-establishing the Canadian deep sea fleet, legislation for veterans and welfare legislation, the government as yet is offering no leadership. On these questions the speech from the throne is just one big blank. Evidently this session is going to last for another two and a half lo three months.

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LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration)

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

Oh, oh!

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LIB

Walter Edward Harris (Minister of Finance and Receiver General; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. Harris:

Why look at me?

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PC

Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Green:

The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration (Mr. Pickersgill) laughs. I do not know whether that means it will last for a longer or shorter time.

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LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration)

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

I will not do anything to lengthen it.

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PC

Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Green:

In any event, it is generally understood that we will be here for another two and a half to three months. I suggest that the government bestir itself and deal with these problems. There is no reason why these and other problems should be shelved. They should be dealt with this spring, and I can assure you that if they are not the new government which will take over this fall will deal with them promptly and effectively.

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LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration)

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

Why do you want them settled in the meantime?

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. J. H. Dickey (Halifax):

Mr. Speaker,

in rising to take part in the resumption of this debate I want to congratulate most sincerely the two hon. gentlemen who initiated the debate by moving and seconding the address in reply. It is pleasant to welcome these two hon. members to the ranks of those who in past sessions have had the privilege of performing this important duty. I assure both hon. gentlemen that in the opinion of their colleagues in the house they each performed their duties in the highest traditions of this house.

This session opened, Mr. Speaker, under the shadow of very serious events in the international field. The so-called Suez situation is only one of the serious matters of international importance facing the free

The Address-Mr. Dickey world today. On the domestic scene there was also the shadow of the stoppage of work on the Canadian Pacific railway. Fortunately the international situation has not developed as adversely as very well might have happened, and while matters of international policy are still of extreme concern we can at least take heart from the fact that since the brief special session of parliament last fall the situation has improved considerably rather than the reverse.

The situation with respect to the Canadian Pacific railway strike is, of course, even more favourable. That strike has become, as the Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent) predicted it would become, a part of the industrial history of this country. We are now discussing the traditional address in reply with the more serious aspects of that work stoppage attended to.

The amendment to the address in reply moved by the official opposition calls, I believe, for at least some passing reference, particularly the strange choice of words adopted in framing that amendment. As it appears on page 30 of Hansard of January 9, it respectfully represents to His Excellency that his advisers, by reason of their indifference, inertia and lack of leadership in the face of serious national and international problems, have lost the confidence of the house and of the country.

Let us look at the record very briefly to see whether or not hon. members opposite have tried to suggest any real reason why they should select such words as "indifference", "inertia" and "lack of leadership". Take, for example, the question of the Suez problem and the international situation generally.

Has any hon. gentleman opposite suggested that the Canadian representatives at the United Nations showed an indifference to these problems or showed any inertia in dealing with them? Canada's initiative is recognized by every other country in the world, friend or foe, but the official opposition chooses to suggest-contrary to the clear record-that the government has been indifferent and inert.

Only this morning it was said by the hon. member for Vancouver-Quadra (Mr. Green), somewhat in criticism of the government, that at the present time one-fifth of the membership of the United Nations emergency force is made up of Canadian soldiers. I ask the hon. gentleman this question: are those Canadian soldiers there because of indifference and inertia on the part of the Canadian government? I suggest that the opposite is the case. I suggest that the hon. member must be either in favour of the government's

The Address-Mr. Dickey policy or against it. I suggest that a reading of his speech will justify the presumption by the people of Canada that the hon. member for Vancouver-Quadra and the party of which he is a distinguished member in this house are against the present policy of the Canadian government in attempting to participate in United Nations action to maintain peace and order in the Middle East and throughout the world.

Let us now look at the record in so far as the Canadian Pacific Railway strike is concerned. That strike was a matter of tremendous importance to practically every section of this country. It was of importance to business men, to farmers and to all those engaged in productive activity in this country. Have hon. members of the official opposition suggested that there was any inertia or indifference in the government's handling of this problem?

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PC

Gage Workman Montgomery

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Montgomery:

Yes; they have.

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PC

Clayton Wesley Hodgson

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hodgson:

Yes, indeed.

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Gage Workman Montgomery

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Montgomery:

There certainly was

inertia.

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PC

Clayton Wesley Hodgson

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hodgson:

If the Prime Minister had done in the first place, before the strike happened, the very thing he did in the end there would have been no strike at all.

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Dickey:

I am glad to hear the hon. members opposite take that attitude. Let us look at the record. I do not know whether or not hon. members who have been interrupting me believe in the principle of collective bargaining in this country.

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Gage Workman Montgomery

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Montgomery:

We certainly do.

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Dickey:

What happened was that the process of collective bargaining was followed and it was found to be impossible for the two sides to reach a settlement of their differences, even with the active assistance of the Department of Labour and the government represented by the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Howe). The strike was called and it took place. The government took action to try to get the parties together and to narrow the differences that were separating them. This action was taken in order to get a resumption of railway service under way at the earliest possible date. Do hon. members opposite suggest that the days of conferences and negotiation which brought about a resumption of rail service and a submission of the remaining points of difference to a board of inquiry to be set up by the government came about because of indifference and inertia? If that is so, they certainly are showing a real lack of appreciation of the activities that went on.

,

The settlement of the differences in so far as they could be settled and the agreement to have the remaining differences submitted to a tribunal for study and report came about solely as a result of the initiative of the Prime Minister. The result that was achieved is a tribute to his understanding of the position of both sides and to his policy of bringing them together and reducing the area of difference to a point where each side could agree upon a cessation of the strike and resumption of rail service on grounds that were satisfactory to each of them. This result will go down in the industrial history of Canada as a great achievement on the part of the Prime Minister and the government, and one which was brought about by hard, patient and excellent work on the part of those who were engaged in the negotiations, including management, labour and government.

One of the extraordinary things about this choice of language-"indifference, inertia and lack of leadership"-is that in fact the only group in this house to which those words can be properly ascribed is the official opposition. The leading members of the other two opposition groups have pointed that fact out to their colleagues in opposition in no uncertain terms. It has not been left to the members on this side of the house to bring this matter to public attention.

The official opposition in this session has clearly shown sings of most marked indifference, inertia and lack of leadership. They have always been waiting for the government to announce its policy with regard to this or that, and then they would say what was in their minds. That was said clearly, Mr. Speaker, by the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Diefenbaker) both inside and outside of this house with respect to the Canadian Pacific Railway strike. He said: "When the government acts, we will then let our position be known". The government has acted and the strike has come to an end. Has the Leader of the Opposition or any member of the official opposition mentioned that fact since the settlement? Not at all. We and the Canadian people are still completely in the dark as to what the position of the official opposition was with respect to that important matter or what they would or could have done about it.

An excellent example of the attitude that the members of the official opposition are taking is the speech of the hon. member for Broadview (Mr. Hees) in this debate on Thursday. It was the same kind of hodge podge that the hon. member gives to this house whenever he rises in his place to speak. He repeated the old song that he sang so

often inside and outside this house last year, namely that the government was an old and tired gang. As reported at page 340 of Hansard, he said this:

It is high time that this old gang this tired, worn-out old gang, this group who are ready to move to that rest home down the hall . . . were permitted to go there; . . .

I would have thought the hon. member for Broadview and his colleagues in the official opposition, in the light of recent history of their party and also in the light of recent events in this house, would have given up that particular line of argument because everyone knows which party has been showing signs of fatigue, being old and tired, and with members who are looking for somewhere else to go.

Now, Hr. Speaker, we in Ottawa have been experiencing over the last 10 days or so very severe winter weather. That has been true of other parts of the country. In my province of Nova Scotia there have been, since the last days of December, a succession of very severe and damaging storms. These storms have interfered with transportation services and have caused great difficulties for a number of people. The portion of the population which has particularly suffered has been the shore fishermen who, in order to carry out their work, have to maintain wharves and fish houses right along the shore and have to keep stored in exposed locations their lobster traps, boats, nets, and other equipment. These storms, most exceptional in their character, have caused a great deal of damage in the fishing villages of Halifax county and other counties along the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia.

As hon. members know, we in this parliament, as a result of the initiative of the government, have provided means whereby certain of the gear and other accoutrements of the fishermen can be insured against losses of this nature at very favourable rates. Unfortunately many of the fishermen have not taken full advantage of these insurance procedures. In addition the losses which have recently been sustained, particularly in villages such as Prospect and east and west Dover and other villages in Halifax county, have been of such a nature that they would not all have been covered by this insurance in any event. That situation has created a good deal of hardship and a great deal of difficulty for the fishermen who have suffered such severe reverses.

The Department of Public Works which provides public wharves, breakwaters and other facilities for the fishing industry will, of course, study the situation, will repair damage to protective works and wharves wherever public structures have suffered

The Address-Mr. Dickey damage and will be prepared to provide wherever possible and where required additional protection, the need for which has been made obvious by these recent storms. The question of some relief or assistance for those who have suffered losses in this connection is a matter which must first of all be dealt with by the provincial authorities. I have received a number of inquiries from interested people in my constituency about this matter. I have had to reply to them that applications for relief or assistance for the repair and replacement of damaged wharves, fish houses, lobster traps and the like must go in the first instance to the provincial authorities. Then, if the provincial authorities find that the amount of damage and its widespread character is such that it is an emergency beyond the capacity of the province to cope with adequately, the province could, if it saw fit, take the step of applying to the federal government for assistance.

The provincial government, having responsibility for property and civil rights within the province, is the sole judge of the extent of damage and the kind of disaster which has taken place. If they, in the exercise of their constitutional responsibilities, find that there is a disaster which requires and justifies national participation then I am sure their official application to the government on that basis would receive consideration on its merits.

That has been the pattern which has been established over the years for dealing with like matters and the normal pattern would, I am sure, be faithfully carried out in this respect.

Turning to something which is a little more hopeful, I wish to make some reference to the extent of winter port activity through the port of Halifax. The expansion of both import and export trade which has gone on under the policies of this government over the past few years has resulted in a very satisfactory and heartening expansion of the trade through the port of Halifax both in summer and in winter. Of course our winter traffic is particularly heavy. This is the season of the year when our facilities are taxed to their utmost. The harbours board and the Department of Transport have over the years taken a great interest in providing as rapidly as they can the facilities which are required in the port of Halifax. We are very happy with the important construction activities which have been going on in the port of Halifax over the years and at the present time. However, one aspect of the provision of facilities which has not kept pace with the expanding business by any means is the grain handling capacity. The

The Address-Mr. Dickey provision of the extra belts for more rapid loading of ships at the grain berths which are now provided is essential. The harbours board had made provision for funds to provide these belts and it had been hoped that they would be in operation for this shipping season. Unfortunately the steel strike and other matters delayed installation of these belts and this has had to be put off until next spring.

I suggest, Mr. Speaker, that consideration should be given and favourable action speedSy taken to provide additional grain berths through the construction of new galleries so that there will be at least three additional grain berths available for grain boats entering Halifax during the next winter.

Now, Mr. Speaker, I want to turn to a question which is of considerable interest to Halifax and Dartmouth and one that is of national interest as well. That is the question of housing and the redevelopment of urban areas. The record of house building in Canada since the second world war is, I think, an excellent one indeed. We were faced at the end of the war with a very severe post-war shortage of housing and priority naturally had to be given to the provision as rapidly as possible of new homes to meet the demands of returning servicemen and the demands of the ordinary civilian population who had been forced to put up with shared accommodation and the like during the war years.

In recent weeks there has been some criticism by hon. members opposite on the matter of the provision of housing and the operation of the National Housing Act. I do not quite know how they would expect to have the preceding records of completion that have been made over the past few years continued uninterrupted particularly at a time when the economy of this country is straining in every direction and when it is not to be expected that we can do all the things we want to do or all the things that need to be done at the same time. However, in spite of the suggestions from hon. gentlemen opposite that we are facing an extremely difficult problem in this regard, I am sure that the eventual housing record for this year and succeeding years will be a highly satisfactory and creditable one indeed. In the next year or so we may not make as much progress as we have in the last couple of years in overcoming the backlog, but I am sure we will have almost total success in keeping up with new demands.

I suggest this is a time, Mr. Speaker, when those in charge of our cities and towns should take the opportunity of having a look at the

[Mr. Dickey.l

extremely important question of urban redevelopment and renewal; in other words community planning. We have all seen the excellent attractive new sections that have been added both within the borders of our cities and towns and immediately outside of them in post-war years. These have been priority projects because they provided new housing without any complications for the rehousing of people who had already been accommodated, but I feel that now the emphasis should be shifted and under the leadership of the provincial authorities and with the co-operation of the federal authorities the municipal governments should take a very careful look at community planning and should make arrangements to participate to the ultimate of their abilities in redevelopment and rehousing.

The redevelopment of cities is made necessary not only by the houses and other buildings that have been caught up with by deterioriation and obsolescence; I believe we have a tendency to pay too much attention to that side of the problem. The necessity also comes from our requirements to meet new demands that are being made upon the hearts of our urban areas and by the changes and increases in automobile traffic, the growing needs of business and industry and the changing patterns of living within our cities. Private owners in the normal course will make their own individual decisions as to improvement of properties and changes in the use of those properties, but with the changing pattern of life in cities there often arise circumstances where unfavourable conditions in an area or the unfavourable nature of surrounding properties discourage individual initiative and as a result an entire area can be condemned to a gradual and slow process of deterioration until it reaches the ultimate status of a slum. The economic losses to the owners of these properties, the loss of tax revenue and the staggering cost in terms of the waste of human resources which accompanies this result is becoming more and more obvious even in the cities and towns of Canada which are relatively new and which by European standards are certainly very young indeed. The only answer to this problem is action by public authority for the redevelopment of areas which have come to experience this degeneration.

The machinery for this redevelopment exists but I think that too little use of it has been made up until now. The legislation passed by this parliament in this field is far-reaching and I believe it provides excellent means whereby municipal governments can tackle this task with resultant advantage to themselves as municipalities and to the great

benefit of their citizens generally. The obstacles to be overcome are local resistance which arises out of short-sightedness and ideas of false economy. We are all too prone to recognize the immediate expenditures involved in projects of this nature and to lose sight of the very real economic and human benefits that can be achieved over a period of years. The National Housing Act as it was amended at the last session provides first of all for the planning of redevelopment and renewal in any urban area in Canada. Under the act Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation may make grants for the purpose of carrying out surveys of housing conditions and urban studies. These studies may be of a general nature or they may be related to specific conditions or problems. Out of these studies can be produced a basic plan for community development in any municipality.

While there has been a growing interest in redevelopment on the part of the municipalities of Canada, the full advantages available have not been recognized. I am glad to say that Halifax is one Canadian city that has participated in one of these studies which has not yet been completed. The Halifax study which should be completed this spring provides for a survey by Professor Gordon Stevenson of the rehousing requirements of residents of blighted areas which require clearance and the re-use of the cleared lands.

Seventy-five per cent of the estimated cost up to a maximum of $12,000 is borne by this government, with the city being responsible for the remaining 25 per cent.

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CCF

Alexander Malcolm Nicholson

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

Mr. Nicholson:

What about the provinces? Is there a cost sharing arrangement? Does the province share in the profit?

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January 21, 1957