October 21, 1957


On the orders of the day:


LIB

Paul Joseph James Martin

Liberal

Hon. Paul Marfin (Essex East):

I should like to ask the Prime Minister if it is his intention to make a report soon on the recent conference of commonwealth governments which he attended in London?

Topic:   COMMONWEALTH CONFERENCE
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR STATEMENT ON RECENT MEETING
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PC

John George Diefenbaker (Prime Minister)

Progressive Conservative

Right Hon. J. G. Diefenbaker (Prime Minister):

Yes, Mr. Speaker.

Topic:   COMMONWEALTH CONFERENCE
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR STATEMENT ON RECENT MEETING
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TRANSPORT

STATEMENT ON REQUEST FOR APPOINTMENT OF CONTROLLER


On the orders of the day:


PC

George Harris Hees (Minister of Transport)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. George H. Hees (Minister of Transport):

On October 18, 1957, the hon. member for Battle River-Camrose asked me the following question:

Has the Minister of Transport given any thought to the appointment of a transport controller with

the authority and responsibility of seeing that there is an equitable distribution of box cars in western Canada at all times?

Co-operation between the Canadian wheat board and the railway companies appears to be the most satisfactory method of dealing with this situation at the present time, and accordingly no consideration has been given to any other steps, although the matter will be kept under review.

Topic:   TRANSPORT
Subtopic:   STATEMENT ON REQUEST FOR APPOINTMENT OF CONTROLLER
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ALBERTA-NORTHWEST TERRITORIES RAILROAD CONSTRUCTION SURVEY


On the orders of the day:


PC

George Harris Hees (Minister of Transport)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. George H. Hees (Minister of Transport):

On Friday, October 18, the hon.

member for Mackenzie River asked me if surveys are going on at the present time in regard to the construction of a railway from the province of Alberta to the south shore of Great Slave lake in the Northwest Territories. My answer at that time was "No".

Since then I have had further information and I should like to explain my answer. The president of Canadian National Railways, appearing before the House of Commons sessional committee on railways and shipping on March 19, 1957, stated that the Canadian Pacific and Canadian National, because of their joint interest in the Northern Alberta Railways, were currently bringing up to date a study with respect to the advisability or otherwise of building this line. It is my understanding that they are looking into the best route for the line to follow, its probable cost, and the probable amount of traffic which might be generated by the line. This study is being undertaken by the railways entirely on their own account, and I understand that it has not yet been completed. The report is expected later in the year.

Topic:   ALBERTA-NORTHWEST TERRITORIES RAILROAD CONSTRUCTION SURVEY
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LIB

Mervyn Arthur Hardie

Liberal

Mr. M. A. Hardie (Mackenzie River):

Mr. Speaker, my question is supplementary to the answer given by the Minister of Transport this morning concerning the survey of a railroad to Great Slave lake. Am I to take it from his answer that these surveys are being carried on behind desks in the railroad offices in Montreal? If so, would the minister take the bull by the horns and have his own department do the survey?

Topic:   ALBERTA-NORTHWEST TERRITORIES RAILROAD CONSTRUCTION SURVEY
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PC

George Harris Hees (Minister of Transport)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hees:

Mr. Speaker, surveys cannot be carried on behind any desks; they have to be carried on in the field with regard to the particular situation. That is being done, I am confident, in a very efficient manner by the railways, and I feel sure that a thorough investigation is being carried out and that we will be advised as soon as possible of the results of the survey.

Inquiries of the Ministry SHIPPING

Topic:   ALBERTA-NORTHWEST TERRITORIES RAILROAD CONSTRUCTION SURVEY
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UNION STEAMSHIP LINES, B.C. SUBVENTION PAYMENTS


On the orders of the day:


PC

George Harris Hees (Minister of Transport)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. George H. Hees (Minister of Transport):

The hon. member for New Westminster asked me if there had been any change in policy with respect to payment of a subvention to Union Steamship lines to carry cargo to the northern part of British Columbia.

The coastal shipping subsidy to Union Steamship lines in British Columbia, along with certain other similar subsidies, is presently under review, but I am not in a position to make any statement on this matter at the present time.

Topic:   UNION STEAMSHIP LINES, B.C. SUBVENTION PAYMENTS
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EXTERNAL AFFAIRS


On the orders of the day:


PC

John George Diefenbaker (Prime Minister)

Progressive Conservative

Right Hon. J. G. Diefenbaker (Prime Minister):

The hon. member for Algoma East asked this question on October 18:

In view of what appears to be a tense and dangerous situation on the Syrian-Turkish border, would the government consider instructing their delegation at the United Nations assembly to ex-blore with other delegations, as a matter of urgency, the possibility of stationing elements of the United Nations emergency force on that border in the interests of greater security and the avoidance of aggression?

Mr. Speaker, the government has given consideration to the proposal that Canada take the initiative to explore the possibility of stationing elements of the United Nations emergency force on the Turko-Syrian frontier. In that connection I would refer my hon. friend to an answer he gave to me and the then member for Vancouver-Quadra on November 29, 1956, as recorded at page 136 of Hansard. On that occasion I had asked whether or not, in view of the situation in Syria and Jordan, consideration had been given by the secretary general to increasing the numbers of the emergency police force, and what requests, if any, had been received as to the allocation of members for that additional force.

I am not going to read the answers given to me and to the then member for Vancouver-Quadra. However, they set out the difficulties in connection with the setting up of such a force. In particular, if I understand the answer correctly, the reason no action was taken or

Inquiries of the Ministry was to be taken at that time was that a factfinding group was operating under the United Nations in that area. I proceed with the answer to my hon. friend's question:

As the hon. member knows, the United Nations general assembly is already seized of this matter. It seems to be making progress toward a United Nations solution. There are many ideas being considered, but the one best suited to the particular circumstances appears to be one which would involve the creation of an impartial fact-finding body to determine on the spot the causes of the present tension in that area.

I listened to my hon. friend last evening on his appearance on television. If I interpreted him correctly, his suggestion was that a UNEF force operating on the Turko-Syrian boundary would do so as observers and not as an armed force. That being so, the question seems no longer to be of importance because at this particular moment consideration is being given at the United Nations among the various representatives to the end of establishing a fact-finding body. The Canadian government will consider any proposal put forward by a fact-finding body including, if acceptable generally to the parties directly concerned, the possibility of setting up under the aegis of the United Nations a UNEF type force. Meanwhile one advantage of a United Nations fact-finding mission will be that its mere presence would have the desired tranquillizing effect.

In the light of the information now at the disposal of the government I do not consider it would be well advised to pursue at this stage the suggestion made.

Topic:   UNION STEAMSHIP LINES, B.C. SUBVENTION PAYMENTS
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   SYRIAN-TURKISH BORDER STATEMENT ON SUGGESTED USE OF UNITED NATIONS EMERGENCY FORCE
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On the orders of the day:


October 21, 1957