April 12, 1951 (21st Parliament, 4th Session)


James Arthur Ross

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Ross (Souris):

Mr. Chairman, I should like to add my congratulations to those expressed by other hon. members to Mr. Justice Turgeon and the members of the commission who generally speaking have made a very excellent study of and report upon this complex problem. Congratulations are certainly due to the chairman and the commissioners.
The hon. member for Lake Centre quoted from page 277 of the report which refers to authority to be vested in the commission. At the bottom of the page it is stated:
The seven provincial governments which united in asking for the appointment of this commission were questioned on this matter. Of the seven, six stated that they would not agree to divest themselves of their exclusive jurisdiction over intra-provincial motor transport.
I think those words are important. I happened to be one of those who were fortunate in being permitted to visit Churchill by air this past week end. It was a most educational and instructional trip from many points of view. We were taken through the elevator there and we saw the modern equipment they have for the drying of damp grain at the rate of some 20,000 bushels a day. After the information I obtained there I find it almost unbelievable that these facilities have not been used to a greater extent.
I have placed a question on the order paper in connection with the amount of damp grain of the 1950 crop that has been moved there for drying and cleaning, and also what has been moved to Fort William. I was told that there had not been any damp grain from the 1950 crop moved into Churchill. I know that this matter is not under the jurisdiction of the minister, but I do want to point out that I think there should be greater co-operation among the departments of government.
If there has been one problem faced by the wheat growers of the prairies that is

more difficult than any other, it is the handling of this damp and tough grain. We have this modern equipment at Churchill with only a small part of the storage capacity occupied, and it does not seem to me to be ordinary business sense that more damp grain has not been moved there. I am sure the producers of western Canada will be shocked to learn that this modern equipment which is owned by the government is not being utilized at all.
I have spoken on transportation before and I am vitally concerned in the Crowsnest pass rates. I have asked that they be not interfered with and I am happy to know that a recommendation has been made that they should not be interfered with.
Several speakers have referred to the 400 or 500 mile gap between Sudbury and Fort William, to which reference is made in the report. That is a very barren stretch of country, as all of us who have to travel it to come down here know. Generally speaking, I think the taxpayers should be called upon to subsidize the haul over that stretch. It is essential in the interests of both eastern and western Canada that there be no division in this great nation of ours. It is essential that services are kept operating over this gap of barren country, but the cost of operating these services should not be entirely borne by the producers of either the west or the east.
At six o'clock the committee took recess.

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