February 28, 1962 (24th Parliament, 5th Session)


William Earl Rowe

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Rowe:

Mr. Chairman, I have listened with interest to the hon. member for Port Arthur and I am very glad to see such a keen interest in the forestry industry expressed from different parts of this house in the last few years. I speak as one who has no direct interest in management, and very little other interest in the pulp and paper industry at the present time; but for many years I have felt that the dominion government, no matter which party was in power, failed to take the proper interest in this very important and foremost basic industry of our country.
I cannot altogether agree with my hon. friend's remarks, but I am not going to speak of them in a controversial way except to say that I think the department has done a great deal to assist the provinces. After all, the forestry industry is connected with and has been regarded mostly as being the responsibility of the provinces. That is why I think governments here in Ottawa over the years felt that they did not have much to do with the industry.
However, when one considers the revenue the dominion government receives directly and indirectly from the great pulp and paper industry of this country, I think a very small proportion of it has been contributed back to the provinces in co-operation with them and for their assistance.
The hon. member has mentioned an article presented at an international meeting by someone in the Department of Forestry. To my mind this is not of any great significance. Sometimes these papers are well written and sometimes they are not so well written. In fact, I do not think there was anything very wrong with the article that was written. I do not agree that the research should be along economic lines or that the Minister of Forestry should get out into the bush and show them how to drive a logging horse or skid the logs, because there are other fundamental parts and functions that his department could play.
I well remember that our ex-prime minister, the Right Hon. Louis St. Laurent, was keenly interested in the pulp and paper industry. I know from personal conversation with him that he also felt his government,

and probably previous governments, did not do as much as should have been done. I do not say this in any political manner except that I compliment the present minister and this government for having done a little more on behalf of the dominion than has ever been done before, and yet not quite enough.

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