It is even nicer to see you laughing. I am surprised that your face did not crack.
If our labour continues to thus migrate to the central provinces, I am afraid we are going to find ourselves in an even worse position that ever before in our history after the present crisis is over. The only profitable business venture in which we shall be able to engage will be the retailing of cheap cardboard suitcases. I do not want to give to hon. members the impression that I have come here to give voice to a plaintive wail, nor do I wish to convey to hon. members of this house the idea that I or the people whom I represent are looking to the government to create vast industrial centres in the Atlantic provinces. I want to point out, however, that the defence program on which we are now embarked, calling as it does for the expenditure of billions of dollars, provides for the government of this country a ripe opportunity to stimulate the development of the far east and the west, by assisting and encouraging both the establishment and the expansion of small industries.
I have taken the time to discuss our problems with many of my constituents and they consistently ask me to make known to the government that they are willing and ready to build and to manufacture whatever the government might suggest for them so to do. They would prefer, of course, to manufacture commodities which could be produced by small, light industries.
I have here on my desk a letter from a young man in my constituency. He is the type of young man who is intensely interested in the development of his own province. He is a member of a family which has built up several small industries and who himself sees for the Atlantic provinces a great future looming on the horizon. In this letter he makes an offer to supply the necessary land, buildings and operation for any type of industry for the manufacture of defence needs. The land and buildings which he makes available are in a favourable locality, close to facilities for shipment by water or rail. He has in mind that when the present crisis is over this plant could be used to house a stable peacetime industry.
I also have here on my desk another letter from one of our younger citizens who is intent upon merchandizing a commodity considered to be the best in quality and the most practical of its kind manufactured in this country. It is a commodity which is now being manufactured almost exclusively in the United States for the government of that country. The raw material is in such great
demand by the American manufacturers that the producers will have to curtail delivery in Canada unless the manufacturer here is able to get defence orders. That manufacturer himself, a ranking air force ace of the first great war, can increase his production to meet any government needs in this country. Despite our efforts to interest government officials in this commodity over the past few months we have not yet been successful. There is in my constituency a group of men who are at present preparing to found another industry. They have at their disposal an excellent plant for the type of commodity which they propose to produce. In addition, they have a great deal of extra floor space available, and1 they have asked me to in turn ask the heads of our government what they would like them to produce with this extra space. I had in Ottawa with me the other day one of these men, a highly skilled technical man who during the last world war managed several industrial plants engaged solely in the manufacture of defence items. I hope that his visit here will not have been in vain. Several other industries, already established, have sent representatives to me asking for direction on how they could best serve defence requirements, and they have stated their willingness to expand their plants to take care of whatever orders might be forthcoming. I have sent the names of these firms to the government agencies which might be interested and again I am hopeful that orders will be forthcoming. In checking over the lists of orders placed by Canadian Commercial Corporation since November 20, 1950, it has been a source of keen disappointment to me and to my constituents to note that orders going to the Atlantic provinces have been so pitifully small, so pitifully few and have amounted in value to such a meagre sum of money that I would be ashamed to place the figures on the record of this house.
I know that during the past two years some authorities here in Ottawa have at the instance of the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Howe) and the ministers representing the Atlantic provinces made extensive studies with a view to stimulating our economic development; but I again regret to say that the subjects of these studies have not yet tasted the fruits of their findings. I repeat that if ever there was an opportunity for the federal government to infuse a real stimulant into the economic life of our lagging provinces, that opportunity presents itself today. I should hate to have to thank those responsible a couple of years from now for an abundance only of sympathy received by our people. I would rather be able to say 80709-13a
The Address-Mr. Riley that the twenty-first parliament marked a milestone in the growth of the Atlantic provinces, the beginning of a realistic exploitation of their resources of materials and manpower.
It was a source of great satisfaction to me, as it was to many of my fellow easterners, to read the speech delivered by the premier of Ontario at the conference of federal and provincial governments here in Ottawa a short time ago. Speaking to the assembled delegates he expressed on behalf of his government a real appreciation of the problems which confront provinces other than his own. In the course of his remarks he directed attention to conditions in some of these other provinces, and I quote:
Problems associated with large concentrations of industry, are, however, in the main incidental to these areas having such industrial development. What I have said makes evident the desirability of an even development of Canada. Large concentrations of industry in particular places in Ontario have created large provincial problems. A development of Canada with large concentrations of industry in particular provinces and little industry elsewhere creates like problems.
Perhaps it would be well if this conference, as part of its work, would consider ways and means of providing for a more even industrial development across this country. It is very heartening indeed to see the expansion in the two far western provinces of British Columbia and Alberta.
May I say just here that I had hoped that when the welfare state had been introduced into Saskatchewan there might have been a better measure of industrial development there; but apparently it has not taken place. I continue with the quotation:
It is to be hoped that the other provinces may show a like development, and we here should do everything possible to stimulate such development. The more even the development of this country the better it will be for all of us.
I hope that the words of the premier of this great province reflect the general feeling of her people; for what he said on that occasion can bode well for the future of those provinces in less favourable geographic locations.