Right Hon. L. S. St. Laurent (Prime Minister):
Earlier this morning the hon. member was kind enough to send to my office a notice of his intention to ask this question. The only answer I can make at this time is that for the last three months or more the work has been prosecuted very vigorously by the commission. About the middle of April the secretary of the commission reported orally and then confirmed in writing to the Acting Prime Minister that the commission had found it necessary to retain the firm of Mannix Limited of Calgary to prepare an estimate of the owners' cost of the project. On June 6 I received from the secretary a letter informing me that this would mean an increase over the previous estimate in the expenditures the commission would incur in performing its duties. For that reason in the supplementary estimates that have been tabled a supplementary item has been included in order to cover that additional expenditure. There has been no other recommendation than the one for the money necessary to cover what the commissioners considered it was necessary to do. There have been no other recommendations about it to date.
I know that the commission realizes the government's anxiety to get the report at the earliest possible date. From conversations I know that the commissioners are doing their best to meet that desire. I should not like to fix a date. They have not been able to tell me just exactly when their work will be completed. I can say that it will not be within the next few days, and there will not be an opportunity of receiving or of communicating their report to members of parliament just at this time. I can assure the hon. member that we realize that not only the public of Saskatchewan but the public generally do not like to see unexplained delays in the performance of these tasks that are considered
of general public interest. The commissioners fully realize that fact, just as we do. The best efforts will be put forward to avoid any justifiable criticism in that regard.
Subtopic: SOUTH SASKATCHEWAN RIVER