December 18, 1962

COMMITTEES OF THE HOUSE


Fifth report of standing committee on railways, canals and telegraph lines-Mr. Howe. Second report of sessional committee on railways, air lines and shipping owned and controlled by the government-Mr. Rowe. (Translation);


CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS

ANNOUNCEMENT OF STUDY OF SITUATION RESPECTING FRENCH CANADIANS

PC

Léon Balcer (Minister of Transport)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Leon Balcer (Minister of Transport):

Mr. Speaker, as the house has been told, the president of the Canadian National Railways, at my request, has brought before the board of directors the problem of the promotion of French Canadians in the C.N.R. organization.

Following a meeting of the board of directors, the president has sent me the following report:

I am informed by the chairman of the board of directors of Canadian National Railways that, at its meeting on December 13, the board carefully reviewed the company's methods and procedures for the recruitment, appointment and promotion of supervisory and management employees, having particularly in mind the current discussions respecting the status of French Canadians in the organization. Included in the review were the present methods and procedures for appraising the qualifications for and the performance of personnel in positions throughout the organization and the existing delegation of authority to approve appointments and promotions.

The board considered that, while the present methods and procedures are designed to produce fair and equitable treatment of all the company's employees and applicants for positions, it is of prime importance that a thorough-going study be made to ensure that, in the practical application of these methods and procedures, their objectives are in fact being achieved. In particular, the

study should seek to determine whether more effective measures can be adopted

(a) to attract to the company's service qualified French Canadians in larger numbers, and

(b) to see that French Canadian personnel have full opportunity to enlarge their experience and qualifications for promotions to positions of greater responsibility at all levels in the company.

The study is to be undertaken by a committee of the board consisting of the chairman and Messrs. Charbonneau, Koerner, Levesque and Stewart. All necessary staff assistance will be furnished to the committee to enable the study to be completed and a report made to the full board as quickly as possible.

Topic:   CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF STUDY OF SITUATION RESPECTING FRENCH CANADIANS
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LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Official Opposition House Leader; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Hon. Lionel Chevrier (Laurier):

Mr. Speaker, it gives me pleasure to learn through the Minister of Transport (Mr. Balcer) about the decision taken by the board of directors of the Canadian National Railways to undertake a thorough-going study of the situation in order to find out whether the present promotion system in that company is satisfactory and, especially, to see whether it should not be amended, considering the way many positions can be filled and considering the qualifications and specialties existing among French Canadians in the province of Quebec and elsewhere.

We are all very happy about the decision reached. That decision is all the more important, Mr. Speaker, as yesterday we almost had complete unanimity in this house, not so much concerning this matter referred to by the minister, but about the whole field of bilingualism and our two cultures in Canada.

That discussion was initiated by the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Pearson) and all hon. members who spoke after him were unanimous to conclude that the existing standards should be changed.

I also believe, Mr. Speaker, that this decision is complementary to the interview given by the president of the C.N.R. to a reporter of La Presse.

I am convinced the whole house will be happy about that decision which we hope will achieve good results.

2758 HOUSE OF

Canadian National Railways

Topic:   CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF STUDY OF SITUATION RESPECTING FRENCH CANADIANS
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SC

Gilles Grégoire

Social Credit

Mr. Gilles Gregoire (Lapointe):

Mr. Speaker, I want to associate myself with the member for Laurier (Mr. Chevrier) in expressing the congratulations of our party to the Minister of Transport (Mr. Balcer) and to the board of directors of the Canadian National Railways for the action taken today.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to add that the committee set up to find a solution to the treatment given French Canadians at all administrative levels in the C.N.R., will not have any difficulty in finding among French speaking Canadians men with the necessary qualifications to hold those important positions in the management of the C.N.R. There are such men in the two great nations that make up our country.

That committee will have an easy task, even an agreeable one if he will make it so.

We want also to warn those who are entrusted with that mission that the role of the members of parliament is not over now that a committee has been set up; they will have to see to it that measures follow the decisions taken on December 13.

A lot has been done already. But the work must go on until the great nations that make up our country can realize that their rights are entirely recognized, which will bring about understanding and harmony between our two great races.

(Text):

Topic:   CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF STUDY OF SITUATION RESPECTING FRENCH CANADIANS
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NDP

Douglas Mason Fisher

New Democratic Party

Mr. D. M. Fisher (Pori Arthur):

Mr. Speaker, it is more than two years since I raised the issue, in this house and in the railway committee, concerning the fact that French Canadians were not represented on the executive board of the C.N.R., but at this time I would like to offer my congratulations to the hon. member for Lapointe (Mr. Gregoire); because previously when I raised the issue it did not seem to get the response that it has met very recently, and I think the hon. member for Lapointe and his colleagues may take some credit for the fact that there now seems to be a firmer and keener interest in biculturalism in the Canadian National than there has been in the past.

I would also like to express the hope that this move by the Canadian National, appreciated as it is, will not get in the way of the government's consideration of the other suggestion made by the chairman of the C.N.R., that we have a royal commission on this entire problem. I hope the government will not let this step interfere with serious consideration

of that point, and I particularly hope it will not take seriously some of the carping criticisms made in the house, especially by the official opposition, that there have been too many royal commissions. I know my party would welcome one in this particular field.

Topic:   CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF STUDY OF SITUATION RESPECTING FRENCH CANADIANS
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THE MINISTRY

REPORTED INTENTION OF PUBLIC WORKS MINISTER TO RESIGN


On the orders of the day:


LIB

James Allen (Jim) Byrne

Liberal

Mr. J. A. Byrne (Kootenay East):

I wish to direct a question to the Minister of Public Works. In view of the fact that so many of us on this side of the house are concerned about having the minister appear before the external affairs committee, I wonder whether events in Point Grey yesterday would have assisted the minister in changing his mind about leaving the federal cabinet?

Hon. E. D. Fullon (Minister of Public

Works): Not at all, Mr. Speaker. On the contrary, it seems to me the events in British Columbia yesterday have effectively disposed of the myth that there is only one alternative to socialism in British Columbia, namely the Social Credit party. That myth has been exploded.

Topic:   THE MINISTRY
Subtopic:   REPORTED INTENTION OF PUBLIC WORKS MINISTER TO RESIGN
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EXTERNAL AFFAIRS


On the orders of the day:


LIB

Donald Stovel Macdonald

Liberal

Mr. D. S. Macdonald (Rosedale):

I wish to direct a question to the Secretary of State for External Affairs. It is related to questions asked yesterday by myself and the hon. member for York South, and following perusal of the NATO ministers' communique which was tabled yesterday. Will the minister consider making a statement to the house, before we rise for Christmas, on Canada's position with regard to Portuguese actions in her African territories, in view of the absence of any reference to that question in the NATO communique?

Topic:   THE MINISTRY
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   REQUEST FOR STATEMENT ON CANADA'S POSITION
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PC

Howard Charles Green (Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Howard C. Green (Secretary of State for External Affairs):

Mr. Speaker, Canada's position with regard to the situation in Angola has been very clear from the start. We have been against the action that has been taken there.

Topic:   THE MINISTRY
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   REQUEST FOR STATEMENT ON CANADA'S POSITION
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ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES

INQUIRY AS TO CANADIAN PARTICIPATION


On the orders of the day:


LIB

Hubert Badanai

Liberal

Mr. Hubert Badanai (Fort William):

Mr. Speaker, I wish to direct a question to the

Secretary of State for External Affairs, based on an article which appeared in yesterday's Ottawa Citizen. Can the minister indicate to the house whether Canada is now prepared to join the organization of American states?

Topic:   ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES
Subtopic:   INQUIRY AS TO CANADIAN PARTICIPATION
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December 18, 1962