April 20, 1943 (19th Parliament, 4th Session)


William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)


Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister):

Mr. Speaker, I wish to make a statement to the house with respect to travel on the Alaska highway.
I am informed that requests for permission to 'travel along the military highway to Alaska are being received in considerable numbers by both the Canadian and United States authorities. Most of these requests come from persons who are actuated by an understandable curiosity or interest but who have no compelling reason for visiting the northwest at the present time.
There are at present no facilities along most of the highway for ordinary civilian traffic. For sleeping accommodation, for food, for gasoline and for repairs such travellers would have to rely on assistance from the military authorities. Every non-essential traveller who has to be assisted in such ways will detract by that- much from the primary work of the military authorities, the completion and operation of the highway for war purposes.
Under these circumstances we have agreed with the United States authorities that, until
further notice, no civilian traffic will be allowed on the Alaska highway except in the case of persons whose presence in the area will contribute to the prosecution of the war. It is contemplated that a joint control unit will be set up in Edmonton and will be given authority to issue permits to applicants who have legitimate reasons for wishing to travel on the highway. No civilian will be allowed on the highway without such a permit.
The arrangements which have been announced by which bona fide prospectors engaged in the search for oil or minerals of war value are allowed access to the area traversed by the highway will continue in force, and such prospectors will be granted permits to use the highway.

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