Mr. Chairman, I should like to say a word about item 75c. It concerns the National Harbours Board, therefore, the harbour of Montreal and, perhaps to a lesser degree, that of Quebec.
Oviously something is wrong in that har-hour. Something is radically wrong there. Conflicts remain unsettled between dockers and shippers. There is talk of inordinate theft, pilfering, in the area of the Montreal harbour. There is talk of violence, of blackmailing, of usurious rates in the port of Montreal. Several commissions were appointed to look into the whole matter, on labour relations. Several investigations were carried out and there are increasing complaints to the effect that the port of Montreal is in utter confusion.
The Minister of Transport is aware of the problem. The Montreal harbour board, headed by the president of the executive committee of the city of Montreal, Mr. Saulnier, came to meet him. There is a serious uneasiness which may jeopardize irremediably the port of Montreal, its future and those who depend on it. When one appreciates that the port of Montreal is a great asset to the economy of the area, one cannot refrain from saying something.
As I know, the minister wants to conclude consideration of his estimates tonight and is anxious to go campaigning; so, I would not want to take any time to outline the problem to him. I know he must be aware of it as well as I am; consequently I will merely put the following question to him: Has his department taken a decision with regard to placing the port of Montreal under a single authority?
At the present time, the National Harbours Board, which has the responsibility of several ports in Canada, has control over many harbours. No decisions are made; everything is higgledy-piggledy. It seems more and more obvious that the only solution would be a single authority for Montreal's harbour. So, I would like the minister to tell me, without going into details, what are his intentions and
March 25, 1968
what are the decisions made by his department in that field.