June 20, 1947 (20th Parliament, 3rd Session)


Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Transport)


Hon. LIONEL CHEVRIER (Minister of Transport):

The hon. gentleman's question
was directed to me just a short while ago. While I have not a full report, I think I have sufficient information to answer the question. He asks whether there will be sufficient labour at the port of Churchill to look after shipments of grain and goods to the United Kingdom. I must say to him first of all that it is not the responsibility of the national harbours board to look after stevedoring operations. That is the responsibility of the shipping firms and their agents. But in the past the national harbours board has followed the practice of recruiting a labour force in that area. It is willing to do that. I am informed by the port manager that some sixty-five or seventy men will be required to do that work, and we think it will be possible to get that force.
The hon. gentleman in his question goes on to ask if grain and goods to the full
capacity of the port can be handed by the
labour force. I must say to him that if his question is directed to mixed cargoes of grain and lumber, I do not think there will be a great deal of difficulty. If it is directed to lumber alone, then it will take an additional one hundred men, and I do not think it will be possible to recruit that force. However, the national harbours board will do its utmost to assist if notified of the labour force required. It has all facilities available at Churchill for general cargo. I wanted the hon. gentleman to keep in mind the fact that the responsibility for stevedoring is not that of the board but rather that of the shipping companies.

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