March 3, 1961

MISCELLANEOUS PRIVATE BILLS


(Translation): Second report of standing committee on private bills, in English and French-Mr. McCleave. (Text):


COMMONWEALTH CONFERENCE

STATEMENT ON AGENDA AND CANADIAN PERSONNEL

PC

John George Diefenbaker (Prime Minister)

Progressive Conservative

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

The Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Pearson) asked me yesterday whether I would have a word to say with reference to the commonwealth prime ministers' conference and the Canadian representation at that meeting. I would advise that I shall be leaving this afternoon and, as already announced, I shall visit Belfast on the way at the invitation of the Prime Minister of Northern Ireland. On the 5th and 6th of March I shall be in Dublin as a guest of the Irish government for discussions with the Prime Minister of Ireland, Mr. Lemass.

I can assure hon. members that I shall take with me the warm wishes of this house and of Canadians generally, and I shall pay tribute to those of Irish blood who have made so great a contribution to Canada.

Sir, in regard to the prime ministers' meeting, it will commence, as hon. members know, on March 8 and continue until March 16. I shall be accompanied by the Secretary of State, and next week the Minister of Justice will also proceed to London in connection with the meetings.

These meetings of prime ministers are indispensable in commonwealth affairs. They exemplify the process of consultation which lies at the heart of the commonwealth relationship. They represent and are a recurrent symbol of the partnership and diversity of the commonwealth. They provide each national leader with an opportunity to understand the problems and the hopes of the other member nations.

As the Leader of the Opposition knows from personal experience, there is a candour in these meetings which ensures that they are profitable for all who participate. In the past 15 years since the war the commonwealth

has undergone a transformation in membership which has not only increased its usefulness and its opportunities in world affairs, but which has at the same time brought about new complexities and problems into the association.

This meeting of prime ministers will face problems of far-reaching significance, the most conspicuous of these being the continued membership of South Africa. I take it that in general the views of the parties in the house were set out in detail last March and April during the discussions that took place here. Since then the leader of the C.C.F. has given the views of his party. I take it that the Leader of the Opposition holds, because he has said nothing to the contrary, much the same views that he expressed during the debates nine or ten months ago. However, if there is any alteration in that viewpoint I would welcome hearing the hon. gentleman express his views in this regard at this time.

The essence of these meetings is that there shall be serious discussion without predetermined positions being taken. I can only express my conviction that the prime ministers will be inspired by a determination that in what they do the commonwealth will be preserved and strengthened and will be made an association even more effective as a vehicle of international partnership than ever before.

We sometimes fail to realize the tremendous diversity of opinion because of geography, size, culture, race and colour that is convened in these conferences. No one attending them can but have a greater knowledge of the problems faced everywhere in the world because of these diversities. Indeed I repeat what I have said on other occasions, that this body, transcending as it does the boundaries that ordinarily separate peoples of various races and colours, has a message for all mankind.

It is a practice in these meetings that the prime ministers should discuss the most urgent international issues of the day. I expect that there will be a very full review of the Congo situation and that in Laos, which are of concern to nations everywhere. Then there is the question of disarmament, which demands the attention of peoples everywhere. In this connection I shall naturally be bringing before the meeting the strong conviction of the Canadian government that there should be no relaxation- of the effort to achieve

Commonwealth Conference progress in disarmament, and will emphasize, as the Secretary of State for External Affairs has done so effectively, that the middle and smaller nations have a definitive role to play in this process, a role which cannot be discharged by the greater powers by themselves.

There will be before the conference the question of the admission of Sierra Leone. There will be an application for membership from the republic of Cyprus. Beyond that I know the house would not expect me to go. However, immediately on my return I will report the progress made at the conference and, in general, outline and discuss the attitudes taken by the conference as a whole without, of course, revealing the discussions which in the interest of frankness are regarded as confidential.

Topic:   COMMONWEALTH CONFERENCE
Subtopic:   STATEMENT ON AGENDA AND CANADIAN PERSONNEL
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LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Hon. L. B. Pearson (Leader of the Opposition):

I am sure all hon. members will have listened with great interest to the Prime Minister's statement on the forthcoming commonwealth prime ministers' conference. There is no doubt that in the long list of such conferences this will be one of the most important because the problems it will face are difficult and complex and will require all that flexibility of approach, wisdom and understanding which, I think it can be said, have been displayed at prime ministers' meetings in the past.

It was intriguing to me, Mr. Speaker, to read in the London Times this morning a dispatch from its diplomatic correspondent which I think should be given all the authority usually attached to such dispatches, giving the agenda of the forthcoming meeting, not in exact terms but as subjects which would be discussed. It was interesting to learn from that dispatch-and I am sure the Prime Minister's words this morning confirm it-that among the most important subjects of discussion will be disarmament so that if possible the commonwealth, can, at discussions at the United Nations, present a united front on this subject. Particular reference was made to the atomic test ban. In addition, the limitation of membership in the nuclear club is something the commonwealth prime ministers should discuss, especially in view of the fact that when a resolution on this subject was introduced at the United Nations by the Irish delegation last December the commonwealth delegations were badly split, Canada joining, I believe, with some of the Asian and African members in accepting that resolution limiting the nuclear club to countries now in possession of that weapon, while other members of the commonwealth abstained on it. This is one of the things in respect of which the commonwealth could bring about at least a greater measure of unity in its members.

According to the Times correspondent there will also be up for consideration the admission of communist China to the United Nations. Indeed, I am sure that the whole future of the United Nations will be discussed in London again to see if the commonwealth can present a united front in constructive proposals that will strengthen our world organization.

Our Prime Minister has mentioned the question of membership in the commonwealth. I have no doubt, of course, that this will be not only among the most important but also among the most difficult subjects up for consideration in view of the necessity of agreement being reached within this conference in regard to new members; or in regard to a member which has changed its status to a republic, seeking membership in the commonwealth. I, of course, refer in the last category to South Africa.

The position of the official opposition in regard to race discrimination and the policy of apartheid as practised in South Africa remains as described by myself in this house when this matter was discussed previously. I have no doubt that the effect of policies of racial and other forms of discrimination on membership in the commonwealth will have to be discussed at this meeting. I do not propose to go any further than that at this time.

The admission of Cyprus is another problem which the Prime Minister has mentioned. It is interesting and encouraging to realize that not very long ago many of the people of Cyprus were in arms against the United Kingdom. At this conference, after a tremendous majority in the legislature, Cyprus will be asking for admission to the commonwealth, and it may well be that Archbishop Makarios himself may turn up at a meeting of commonwealth leaders. Nothing could better express the flexibility, vitality and enduring strength of our commonwealth than that kind of situation.

The problems of increased membership in the commonwealth, however, are also complex. Perhaps at this meeting some consideration will have to be given to the question of whether institutional arrangements are now required in a commonwealth which is growing so fast and which will soon comprise 16, 18 or 20 members of varying degrees of size, strength and responsibility.

I have no doubt that the prime ministers will be devoting all the attention they can and bringing to bear all the wisdom and energies they possess to the question of commonwealth action in the direction of increasing the strength, co-operation and unity of this association in the search for international peace and security; and that they will do

everything they can to ensure the freedom, without discrimination of any kind, of all peoples within the boundaries of the member nations.

In so far as any progress can be made in that direction-and I am sure our own Prime Minister will do what he can to contribute to that progress-the conference and the Prime Minister will, I know, receive the support of all Canadians, as he will certainly receive and deserve the good wishes of the official opposition.

We wish the Prime Minister a pleasant journey. It is starting off well in that he is going to visit Ireland first. Perhaps he will be able to do something to help realize the vision of a united Ireland. Perhaps also he will visit Blarney castle. We wish the Prime Minister a pleasant journey and a most useful sojourn in London, and a safe return to Canada.

Topic:   COMMONWEALTH CONFERENCE
Subtopic:   STATEMENT ON AGENDA AND CANADIAN PERSONNEL
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CCF

Hazen Robert Argue

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

Mr. Hazen Argue (Assiniboia):

Mr. Speaker, the prime ministers' commonwealth conference will be discussing many important questions. One of the most important in my opinion will be the economic well-being of member nations of the commonwealth. This will mean a discussion of trade and ways and means of expanding trade, and I would hope as well a discussion of a more far-reaching program to provide economic assistance to the underdeveloped nations in the commonwealth.

Canada should take a lead in this field. I suggest that in recent months there have been indications that Canada is falling back in this role. Instead of increasing, our economic assistance is decreasing at this time. I would hope-

Topic:   COMMONWEALTH CONFERENCE
Subtopic:   STATEMENT ON AGENDA AND CANADIAN PERSONNEL
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PC

Howard Charles Green (Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Green:

On a point of order, this is an inaccurate statement and really should not be made. No doubt the hon. member Tead it in some newspaper article, but the statement is not correct.

Topic:   COMMONWEALTH CONFERENCE
Subtopic:   STATEMENT ON AGENDA AND CANADIAN PERSONNEL
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CCF

Hazen Robert Argue

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

Mr. Argue:

A further supplementary estimate will have to be brought down to make it an inaccurate statement. I hope the government will take action to show that the minister's statement is correct. There is certainly room for a vast expansion in economic assistance, and whether we are falling slightly behind or going slightly ahead I suggest the Canadian people feel that the government should be taking an active lead in this field.

Second, I suggest that in international affairs the government should continue a firm stand in opposing any expansion of the nuclear club. It would be a great mistake for more nations to have nuclear weapons. I would hope also that the commonwealth would take a firm stand in opposition to further nuclear tests. At this time, when there are

Columbia River Power Development reports that France is considering a fourth nuclear explosion, I would hope that this subject would be on the agenda for discussion by the commonwealth prime ministers, and that the weight of the commonwealth should be in opposition to further nuclear tests.

The Prime Minister has made special reference to the South African situation. I think the position of this group is rather clear. We have been and are very much opposed to discrimination in any form. We feel that Canada should speak out and the Prime Minister should speak out for Canadians in expressing that opposition. South Africa has had a vote and has decided to become a republic. She will perhaps be asking for admission to the commonwealth as a republic. I suggest that it should be made clear to South Africa that her policies must be changed before sympathetic consideration can be given to bringing her into the commonwealth of nations. I suggest that such an attitude and such a policy would increase the chances of discrimination in this nation being reduced.

We all wish the Prime Minister a successful journey. We hope the conference will be successful, and we shall be looking forward to the report he makes to parliament on his return.

Topic:   COMMONWEALTH CONFERENCE
Subtopic:   STATEMENT ON AGENDA AND CANADIAN PERSONNEL
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PC

John George Diefenbaker (Prime Minister)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

May I be allowed to say to the Leader of the Opposition how very deeply I appreciate his gracious words, and may I express my thanks to the leader of the C.C.F. for his good wishes.

The Leader of the Opposition mentioned the constitutional developments that are taking place. This question is one that will naturally exercise the minds and thoughts of those in attendance. As he pointed out, membership in the commonwealth is increasing so rapidly that it may in effect deny that intimacy and closeness of relationship in discussion which has been characteristic of the past. At what point do you or do you not draw the line? Shall a member nation have a given population or more? These are problems that face the commonwealth. In the light of the developments that are taking place, the commonwealth will have to decide whether it would not be appropriate for the meetings, while held generally in the centre of the commonwealth, might, not on a rotational basis but from time to time, take place in other capitals of the commonwealth.

Again I express my thanks to the Leader of the Opposition and to the leader of the C.C.F.

Topic:   COMMONWEALTH CONFERENCE
Subtopic:   STATEMENT ON AGENDA AND CANADIAN PERSONNEL
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COLUMBIA RIVER

STATEMENT OF FEDERAL

PC

Edmund Davie Fulton (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. E. D. Fulton (Minister of Justice):

should like to make a statement with regard

Columbia River Power Development to the Columbia river treaty, and with particular reference to the report of the British Columbia energy board. I do so in response to requests from many members, including in particular the hon. member for Okanagan-Revelstoke, as well as in response to the request which was made yesterday.

The government has now secured the text of interim report No. 1 of the British Columbia energy board, and has had an opportunity to analyse it. I can say at once that there is no point raised in the report that did not receive exhaustive consideration in the course of Canada-British Columbia discussions and in the course of the negotiation of the treaty. I should like also to emphasize that the British Columbia government were directly represented and participated fully at every stage of these discussions and negotiations. They participated fully in the working out of all provisions, and accepted every section and word of the treaty. Their engineers and technical advisers, including two of the members of the British Columbia energy board, participated fully in the determination of all figures and estimates on the basis of which the treaty was recommended. The British Columbia government accepted the conclusions reflected in the treaty on every one of the points now raised by the British Columbia energy board's report.

The energy board's report suggests that the treaty should not be ratified "without prior consideration" of certain factors. The essential point I want to make is that all these factors have received exhaustive prior consideration over a period of 17 years. Among other things the board suggests that discussions "have not yet proceeded to a point where any precise estimate can be obtained of the actual nature and quantity of power which will reach the B.C. load centres". This is a quotation from the board's report. A reference to the treaty and the annexes will show that the utmost precision possible at this stage has been introduced for the determination of precisely these matters at the only time they can be determined with complete certainty, when the treaty is in effect and operation has begun.

These are the kinds of matter that can only be determined finally when actual operation commences. To suggest that ratification and thus commencement of construction be delayed until a precise determination is obtained on all these points would mean therefore that nothing would ever start. The advance information and estimates on the Columbia project are at least as full and detailed as those available at the stage when other major programs were committed for construction; for instance, the St. Lawrence seaway.

In general, the British Columbia energy board's report asks that everything be determined precisely in advance, whereas in the nature of this kind of development some things can only be finally determined at a later stage. The treaty provides especially rigorous principles and procedures for making this determination.

The British Columbia energy board's report also seems to suggest that storage projects should only be brought in at the theoretically ideal time. This might be an engineer's dream, but it is simply not possible to ensure in a negotiated arrangement of this magnitude where commitments and plans have necessarily to be made far in advance. The British Columbia government is well aware of the reasons for the timetable for the Canadian projects included in the treaty. They know that any difference sequence or timetable would detract from the great value secured for all these Canadian projects.

What matters now is what the British Columbia government intends to do about this report. The real question is whether or not British Columbia and Canada are going ahead with the Columbia development. If it is to go ahead, ratification must take place without any unnecessary delay, and a start on the projects must be made just as soon as possible. Surely nothing should be allowed to jeopardize not only the power benefits but also the many millions of man hours of employment and the general economic stimulus waiting to be realized through the treaty project. If the British Columbia government is going to impose further delay on the basis of some of the points that have been raised again by the board's report, there is grave danger that this will imperil the treaty and the entire Columbia river development, not only for this year but perhaps forever.

The United States Senate will commence its consideration of this treaty as early as March 8. Let there be no doubt that the government of Canada stands ready to proceed with ratification at once.

Topic:   COLUMBIA RIVER
Subtopic:   STATEMENT OF FEDERAL
Sub-subtopic:   GOVERNMENT'S POSITION
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LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Hon. L. B. Pearson (Leader of the Opposition):

Mr. Speaker, the minister has made what I think is a very important statement on this matter. We on this side were of the impression, having regard to what the Prime Minister said some weeks ago, that consideration of this treaty by this house and by the committee to which it would presumably be submitted, and action by this parliament, would not be taken until suitable arrangements had been made with the provincial government concerned.

Having said that, I should add that yesterday in reply to a question I put the Prime Minister did say that no decision had yet been taken as to whether the agreement would be brought forward before the event to which the hon. gentleman made reference.

Now, Mr. Speaker, of course the negotiation and ratification of treaties is the responsibility of the federal government. Although in accordance with a convention of our constitution treaties are submitted to parliament for consideration and approval, once a treaty is ratified, the federal government has an international obligation in respect of that treaty vis-a-vis the other signatory country or countries. While that is true of the implementation of the treaty, nevertheless in so far as that implementation deals with matters under provincial jurisdiction it is the responsibility also of the provincial government concerned. If we proceeded in this house with consideration of this treaty, and with action in regard to it, before those matters had been concluded with the provincial government which are essential to the implementation of the treaty, we might find ourselves in very grave difficulties indeed. I do not want to be dogmatic or final about the matter, but I do want to point out one of the implications in the minister's statement, as I understood it.

Topic:   COLUMBIA RIVER
Subtopic:   STATEMENT OF FEDERAL
Sub-subtopic:   GOVERNMENT'S POSITION
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PC

Edmund Davie Fulton (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fulion:

I thank my hon. friend for drawing to my attention the implication he has taken, because I do think this should be cleared up. My statement is a statement of the position of the Canadian government; that is that the Canadian government has confidence the treaty represents the best advantage to Canada, and stands ready to proceed with ratification. This statement is quite consistent with what the Prime Minister said because, as the hon. gentleman has pointed out, it is important to know exactly what the position of British Columbia is and that, of course, will have to be determined before a final decision is made by the government of Canada. My statement is a statement of the position of the Canadian government, a position about which there should be no doubt. We stand ready to ratify this treaty at the earliest possible moment.

Topic:   COLUMBIA RIVER
Subtopic:   STATEMENT OF FEDERAL
Sub-subtopic:   GOVERNMENT'S POSITION
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CCF

Herbert Wilfred Herridge

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

Mr. H. W. Herridge (Kootenay West):

We

wish to thank the minister for his statement in respect to report No. 1 of the provincial energy board. I have no hesitation in saying that events have proven that the member for Kootenay West was right when he said this government was naive in signing this treaty before reaching an agreement with the government of British Columbia.

Revised Mining Regulations

I received a copy of this report this morning, and I have read it carefully. When I see the names of prominent engineering firms from the United Kingdom attached to opinions indicating that further information is required on the physical aspects, the engineering aspects and the economic aspects of the question before anyone can make a satisfactory decision, I am more than ever convinced that the government acted with haste and without full knowledge of the facts.

I am not alone in that belief. This matter is causing a great deal of concern among the many people I have the honour to represent. I do hope, Mr. Speaker, that this delay and this reconsideration will cause a modification in this treaty which will make it possible for Canada to enjoy the greatest power potential without the unnecessary flooding, as General McNaughton said in his evidence before the external affairs committee, of the territory along the Arrow lakes, and the environs of Revelstoke.

Topic:   COLUMBIA RIVER
Subtopic:   STATEMENT OF FEDERAL
Sub-subtopic:   GOVERNMENT'S POSITION
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NORTHERN AFFAIRS

ANNOUNCEMENT OF REVISED MINING REGULATIONS

PC

Walter Gilbert Dinsdale (Minister of Northern Affairs and National Resources)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. W. G. Dinsdale (Minister of Northern Affairs and National Resources):

Mr. Speaker, I should like at this time to announce the promulgation of revised Canada mining regulations which apply to the Northwest Territories and certain other federal lands.

The regulations for the disposition of mining rights in the Northwest Territories and on other federal lands outside the provinces and the Yukon have been completely revised and modernized. Formerly known as the quartz mining regulations, they had not been basically revised since the early thirties. In the interim, changes have taken place in exploration and production techniques and in other facets of the industry which required recognition in new regulations.

About two years ago my department began a basic revision of this mineral disposition law. Wide consultation was held with industry while the revisions were being studied. Public meetings were held on two occasions in Yellowknife, Edmonton and Toronto, with large numbers of the mining fraternity attending. Three separate sets of drafts were distributed for comment and over one hundred briefs were received from associations, companies and individuals. This active co-operation from industry has been of great help to us in drawing up suitable regulations.

The revised regulations rest on two principles; first, to encourage exploration, development and production, and second, to protect

Revised Mining Regulations the interest of the people of Canada in the valuable resources which are administered under these regulations.

I would like to outline a few of the main changes brought about by the new regulations. There are, of course, a great many other revisions in the regulations which are of a technical or administrative nature which I will not mention at this time.

It is the policy of this government to ensure that Canadians have an opportunity to participate in the ownership and development of our resources. This policy is made effective in these regulations by providing for Canadian participation requirements at the lease stage, just as in the Canada oil and gas regulations. A lease to hold or produce minerals will only be issued to Canadian citizens or corporations incorporated in Canada in which at least 50 per cent of the issued shares are owned by Canadians, or whose shares are listed on a Canadian stock exchange, and in whose financing and ownership Canadians have an opportunity to participate.

The maximum claim tenure period for new claims is set at ten years to avoid the problems inherent in long claim tenure without activity. If the ground is to be held beyond ten years, claims must be converted into leases and, as I have said, leasing is mandatory whenever production starts. Leases are for a 21 year period with a privilege of renewal, and lease rentals may be offset by exploratory work.

In place of the rather unwieldy reservation system in our former regulations, we have introduced a prospecting permit system. These permits are for a maximum three year period and require minimum fixed exploratory expenditures each year, guaranteed by deposits. There will be no special arrangements with individual companies or payments or rentals to the crown. They will be issued on a "first come, first served" basis and only in the winter season, in order that everyone may know the areas granted well before the beginning of the prospecting season.

A large area around Great Slave lake where prospecting is active will be exempted from issuance of permits and, in fact, permits will not be issued in any areas which are being actively explored. They are designed for the more remote areas which have not been actively explored and where exploration over a larger spread of acreage for a short time, using modern methods, is justified. It is confidently expected that this permit system will encourage exploration in remote areas.

Areas not actively under permit will, of course, be open to normal staking and in no event can more than 12 per cent of the permit area be retained in claims by the permit holder.

The new regulations contain transitional clauses framed with the utmost care to protect and confirm rights given under former regulations, to assure that they are not abrogated.

There are a great many other changes which will cut red tape and reduce costs to the prospector and developer.

I am confident that the new Canada mining regulations will provide a sound basis for investment in the exploration and production of federal mineral resources, and will also protect the rights of the Canadian public, the owners of these resources, in line with the government's policy of northern development. (Translation):

Topic:   NORTHERN AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF REVISED MINING REGULATIONS
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LIB

Armand Dumas

Liberal

Mr. Armand Dumas (Villeneuve):

Mr. Speaker, that very important statement made by the Minister of Northern Affairs and National Resources (Mr. Dinsdale) will certainly please the whole population of the Northwest Territories.

However, before being in a position to commit ourselves definitely on the contents of those amendments to the act, I think it would be wise to consider them in fuller detail.

I wish to congratulate the minister for that initiative, and to assure him that the measure will indeed be welcomed by the people concerned.

(Text):

Topic:   NORTHERN AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF REVISED MINING REGULATIONS
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March 3, 1961