Mr. Chairman, the question of control of harbours is one which is very complicated and which at the present moment is being studied. To the best of my knowledge there has been no fundamental look at this question for about 25 years. Three studies are being done which will be co-ordinated by our department. As my hon. friend knows, the present situation is one in which there are National Harbours Board ports, ports under the administration of the local commissions, and those operated by the department itself. Whether it is best to have three different solutions like this, or whether one would be better, or whether some different solution would be more appropriate, remains to be seen. In any event there is the feeling that one consideration might be a greater local participation in the management of harbours.
I have indicated to the Montreal port council-I believe that is the title-that we have commenced this study and that I hope it will not take more than three or four months to have a report available. I have indicated to them that as soon as it is available I would then be in a position to discuss with them further the question of local participation. In the meantime I do not want to take any steps which would prejudice the outcome of the study, because it is a fundamental one which could have repercussions or which could have application in other parts of the country as well. In the meantime I hope we can keep the port operating, improve its efficiency, and then as soon as the report is ready we will be prepared to discuss with the Montreal authorities any change in the organization which might be warranted.