Anton Bernard WESELAK

WESELAK, Anton Bernard, LL.B.

Personal Data

Party
Liberal
Constituency
Springfield (Manitoba)
Birth Date
February 11, 1918
Deceased Date
January 17, 1989
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anton_Weselak
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=33ad85d3-6c31-4a2e-937e-f26e771cced6&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
lawyer

Parliamentary Career

August 10, 1953 - April 12, 1957
LIB
  Springfield (Manitoba)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 1 of 8)


February 7, 1957

Mr. Weselak:

What do you do with the local currency?

Topic:   CANADIAN WHEAT BOARD ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO EXTEND EXPIRY DATE
Full View Permalink

January 21, 1957

Mr. A. B. Weselak (Springfield):

Mr. Speaker, may I, like those hon. members who have preceded me in this debate, extend my heartiest congratulations to the mover of the address in reply to the speech from the throne, the hon. member for Edmonton-Strathcona (Mr. Hanna), and to the seconder, the hon. member for Gloucester (Mr. Robichaud) for the splendid and capable manner in which they discharged the respective duties assigned to them. May I also extend my heartiest congratulations to the hon. member for Prince Albert (Mr. Diefenbaker) on his elevation to the position of leader of the official opposition. We in western Canada take pride in that one of our number has been selected to fill this high post.

The speech from the throne reflects the conditions under which parliament met for this current session. Serious problems faced the world in the international sphere, and at home we were in the midst of a serious railway strike which had thrown 67,000 people out of work and had tied up thousands of miles of railway track.

The greater part of the constituency of Springfield, which I have the honour to represent, is served by the Canadian Pacific Railway; and while alternative service is generally available by trucks and buses, nevertheless the strike did result in the complete stoppage of grain deliveries to elevators which now are practically always filled. It probably would not have been so serious to us if the farmers in that particular area had had reasonably good crops over the last three years, and if they had received a reasonable amount of cash over that period. This, however, was not the case. The financial position of these farmers can be readily appreciated when it is noted that the average yield in my immediate area for the 1954-55 crop year was 91 bushels per acre as compared with a long-term average yield of 19.7 bushels.

In the crop year 1955-56, on a quota of 3 bushels to an acre, practically all the grain in the district was cleared out. This year a reasonably good crop was harvested, though considerable difficulty was experienced in gathering it in due to wet weather and frost,

which resulted in increased expense, loss of yield and also deterioration of grade due to moisture and frost; therefore the prospect of a lengthy tie-up of rail facilities did not appeal to the people in that area.

I think we all appreciate the struggle labour has had in the past century to achieve the right to organize and also to obtain the right to strike, which is its most effective weapon when all other mediums fail. If one has this appreciation it is difficult to state that this right which has been earned through suffering and privation should be arbitrarily taken away from any group in our labour force. On the other hand the right to strike, particularly when the strike is of the nature of the recent railway strike, must be exercised with responsibility by the leaders of union groups and by the rank and file and therefore, as I have said, it must be carefully exercised. Abuse of this right could very well result in public opinion becoming such that in certain spheres of activity within the country the right would be restricted or in fact taken away, as it has been in some jurisdictions, in the public interest. We certainly hope this will never be necessary in relation to the railroads, and it will not be necessary if organized labour continues to face up to its responsibility.

Management, too, has an overriding responsibility to the public to negotiate in good faith, particularly since where railways are involved there exists the responsibility to take into consideration the public interest and welfare. We in western Canada are particularly affected when events such as the recent strike occur. We are dependent solely upon rail transportation in many areas; and even in areas with alternative service we depend upon rail transportation for manufactured goods from the industrial areas of the east to meet our needs and we depend almost wholly upon rail transportation for the export of our production both of grain and of animals.

Our farmers and local businessmen are having a difficult enough time at present without being subjected to the further losses which naturally flow from such an event. It was therefore reasonable to expect that farm and political leaders of western Canada did not take kindly to the strike and expressed opinions which were critical of it. The people of western Canada, however, were not prepared to settle this matter and have trains operating at any price. Since 1945, according to the Gordon report, the railways have been granted permission to introduce horizontal increases in freight rates on eight separate occasions in order to offset increases in their operating costs. The adjustments which have

been allowed total an increase of somewhat more than 100 per cent over the rates prevailing in 1945.

It is common knowledge that these increases do not affect Ontario and Quebec, where alternative transportation facilities exist, to the extent that they affect the economies of the maritimes and the western provinces. Any increase in freight rates increases the cost of production and the cost of living on the prairies, since prairie consumers must pay the freight on incoming goods. Increases in freight rates also reduce the gross income of western producers, since the cost of freight on produce shipped to eastern markets or ports of export are also deducted from the prices paid to producers for their product. The net result is that costs are increased, revenues reduced and net incomes seriously affected.

Representatives of farm organizations and of provincial governments appearing before the board of transport commissioners in freight rate hearings have insisted on economies in railway operation, and have insisted upon proof from the railway in justification of increased costs. Therefore the attitude of many people in western Canada is that if economies can be effected without prejudice to the general public, the railways should be required and permitted to effect such economies.

As we all know, the issue over which the strike was called was the question of whether firemen should be retained in yard and freight diesels. The railways contended that on diesel engines firemen were not required for their operation, and therefore their services should be dispensed with in all except passenger locomotives. The union on the other hand contended that firemen in the cabs of these engines were essential to public safety. The matter of public safety is one in which the general public of Canada has a definite interest; therefore there appeared to be some merit in the firemen's case.

If firemen are not needed for these purposes it would be ridiculous for the railways to keep these men in the cab. On the other hand, if the safety of the public is endangered the price to be paid for this safety factor is inconsequential compared to the possible loss of life, equipment and freight. The issue had to be resolved, and resolved it was, through the mediation and untiring efforts of the right hon. Prime Minister, who was able to bring the parties together and bring them to common ground, where finally both parties agreed to submit the issue to an investigating body for analysis and determination. The findings of this board should determine the matter as between the parties, and should remove from

The Address-Mr. Weselak the public mind the doubt which exists there as to whether, from a safety point of view, firemen should be removed from the cabs of these locomotives or retained.

The Conservative amendment accuses the government of indifference, inertia and lack of leadership. The settlement of this strike by the right hon. Prime Minister in my view, and I think in the view of most Canadians, refutes this charge and shows that the leader of this government is not indifferent to the welfare of the people of Canada; shows not inertia but aggressiveness; not lack of leadership but outstanding leadership in times of considerable difficulty.

Before leaving the question of railways and freight rates I should like to make one more point. The preliminary report of the royal commission on Canada's economic prospects, commonly known as the Gordon report, suggests among other things that additional revenues to meet rising costs of railway operation might be obtained in the future by increasing the statutory rates on grain.

Obviously the reference is to the Crows-nest pass agreement of 1897, in which the C.P.R. agreed, in return for a cash subsidy of $3,404,702 and a grant by the British Columbia government of 3,602,000 acres of land, to reduce the rate on grain and flour by 3 cents per hundredweight from the prairies to the head of the lakes. Subsequently, in 1927, this rate was extended to Pacific coast ports. As an alternative the Gordon report suggests that the railways be paid a subsidy in lieu of increased rates on grain being transported to the lakehead or Pacific coast ports.

There is no suggestion by the government that it has any intention of repealing the legislation which incorporates the Crowsnest pass agreement rates; nevertheless there seems to be some public support for this as the result of certain statements made in the past by railway officials and others that these rates are responsible for some of the financial difficulties experienced by the railways. The mere fact that these rates were set approximately 60 years ago does not necessarily imply that they are not still profitable, and there is plenty of reliable evidence to show that these rates are profitable to the railways.

We have only to go to the report of the Turgeon royal commission of 1950-51, where a detailed study was made of these rates, to find authoritative evidence in support of the statement that they are profitable. The report of the commission reads in part:

Much time has been taken to consider whether it has been established that the Crowsnest pass rates hitherto exempt from the burden of general freight rate increases, should now be made subject to them. As above stated the removal of this exemption is asked for principally on the ground

The Address-Mr. Weselak that it casts an unfair burden on shippers of other commodities. This argument seems plausible in theory but an examination of all the facts involved shows that it is not well founded. There is really not much to be said against these rates in respect of their effect upon the railways.

We must remember that when the agreement was entered into, production of grain on the prairie provinces was about 35 million bushels per year. Today it is about one billion bushels, and naturally the unit cost of transportation falls with increased volume. In addition, technical advances in railroading since 1897 have resulted in an increase in the capacity of box cars from 60,000 to 120,000 pounds; handling of cars is automatic; trains are longer and motive power much more efficient, all resulting in lower cost of operation per unit bushel transported.

Apart from the Turgeon report we have only to go to the C.P.R. itself for further evidence, for early in 1956 in sworn testimony given before the board of transport commissioners Mr. Kenneth H. Brink, research officer of the C.P.R. stated "normally we depend on a good grain year for good net earnings". If a good grain year contributes to good net earnings, obviously such grains are not hauled at a loss but at a good profit under the Crowsnest rates; therefore no change in rates or subsidy in lieu thereof is justified.

If one examines the accounts of the C.P.R. as contained in their annual report he finds under the heading of land surplus account a cumulative surplus of $101,685,263, and finds that in the year 1954 net revenues from this account amounted to $9,406,406. In its recent campaign for higher freight rates and the abrogation of the Crowsnest pass agreement the C.P.R. has constantly sought to withhold from the railway end of its business the other income and land surplus accounts, and contrary to the statutes creating and endowing the C.P.R. it has arbitrarily divided its accounts in this manner since 1946.

When the railway was built through western Canada, by an agreement in December of 1880 the C.P.R. was given a cash grant of $25 million and 25 million acres of land fairly fit for settlement. The money in the land surplus account of the C.P.R., in violation of the statute, is kept apart by the railway from its operating accounts. This money is income derived in one form or another from land given to the C.P.R. by this parliament and the province of British Columbia. The purpose for which the land was given, as stated in the law, is to complete, equip, maintain and operate the railway in perpetuity.

To summarize, all available evidence indicates that the Crowsnest rates are profitable; that increasing, substantial revenues are received by the railway from lands granted in

western Canada, and therefore charges that these rates undermine the operations of the railway are unfounded and unfair and should be ignored. The railways feel that if they could abrogate this agreement and raise the rates on grain and flour by 100 per cent as they have been raised on many other commodities they would gain from $70 million to $80 million a year at the expense of the western farmer.

Members from other parts of Canada may wonder at the strong and determined resistance of the west towards any change in these rates. This resistance is fully justified, and I hope my remarks here today will contribute toward a better understanding of this problem. The Canadian Pacific Railway through its propaganda has confused the thinking of many Canadians in this respect, and one has only to read the editorials of many leading eastern papers to see the extent to which it has succeeded. The Canadian National Railways to my knowledge have never complained of any losses accruing to them as a result of the Crowsnest pass rates.

The hon. member for Brandon-Souris (Mr. Dinsdale) almost wholly embraces and speaks with general approval of the Gordon commission's recommendations.

Topic:   SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
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January 21, 1957

Mr. Weselak:

In April of 1954 his party colleague, the hon. member for Winnipeg South Centre (Mr. Churchill), spoke strongly in this house in favour of Crowsnest pass rates on grain and flour, and the Winnipeg Free Press on April 14, 1954, had this to say editorially regarding the remarks of the Winnipeg member:

Mr. Churchill's unqualified commitment in favour of Crowsnest rates is welcome. However he should realize that in so speaking he was in so far as the Liberal party is concerned preaching to the converted.

Only one political party has opposed Crowsnest pass rates and presented itself to the electorate on a policy of repealing the statute and nullifying the agreement. That party is Mr. Churchill's party- the Conservative party. The Conservative party did so in 1925 and 1926. Mr. Meighen, then Conservative leader, declared that the Crowsnest pass agreement is a "special privilege". Likewise under Conservative direction an attempt was made to abolish Crowsnest pass rates at the 1919 special session called to deal with railway legislation.

In 1919, the Crowsnest pass agreement was saved by the Liberal party through the instrumentality of the late Senator Robert "Bob" Watson of Portage la Prairie. In 1925 and 1926 the electorate at large saved the Crowsnest pass rates by rejecting the Conservative party and electing the Liberal party.

Mr. Churchill will make a real contribution if he undertakes missionary work in behalf of the agreement in his own party.

I submit, Mr. Speaker, that the Gordon commission's suggestion that statutory rates on grain could be increased, or that the government could provide in lieu thereof a form of subsidy, can only be based upon an assumption, which in fact does not exist, that the statutory rates are not profitable to the railways, when in fact they are, as shown not only by the findings of the Turgeon commission but by the evidence of one of their own research officers.

I hope I have made it clear that the existence of these rates does not constitute a hand-out to the western grain growers at the expense of other sectors of the economy. In this respect grain growers are paying their own way and in fact providing a profitable source of revenue to the railways.

A substantial part of the speech from the throne is devoted to Canada's participation in international affairs. This is as it should be, for while the official opposition may state that the government is not entitled to the confidence of the Canadian people by reason of its indifference, inertia and lack of leadership in serious international problems, the record of the government shows that the contrary is true in actual fact. We have only to examine the work done since the last war in connection with the formation and promotion of NATO by the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for External Affairs to find an excellent example of co-operation and leadership in international matters. Is it likely that Canada's foreign minister would have been selected as one of the "three wise men" of NATO, to review its policies, if Canada had not in the past shown leadership in these matters?

In the sphere of international trade Canada has been a staunch supporter of the principles of GATT, and has constantly led in the fight toward the reduction and removal of trade barriers.

I had the privilege, Mr. Speaker, of attending the pre-Christmas session of the United Nations, and as a result of my experience I can certainly agree with Grant Dexter who, writing from New York on November 26, 1956, to the Winnipeg Free Press, states that his first impression on coming to United Nations headquarters and mixing with peoples of all nationalities was one of surprise and pleasure, and that Canada is almost a magic word at the United Nations. He reports that Canadian prestige is very high there because of the part Canada had played in halting the fighting in the Middle East and in creating a United Nations police force.

He goes on to point out that there is more to it than just this; that this was not Canada's

The Address-Mr. Weselak first major contribution; that over the past 11 years Canada has made innumerable outstanding contributions to the constitution and development of the United Nations. He cites as examples the fact that three Canadians-Norman Robertson, presently high commissioner at London; Louis Rasminsky, now of the Bank of Canada, and the late Hume Wrong, for some years Canadian ambassador at Washington, rewrote the economic sections of the United Nations charter at San Francisco at the time the charter was born.

He further mentions that in 1947 and 1948, when Israel was created and the first conflict with the Arab states broke out, the Canadian government was one of the leading peacemakers. The present Secretary of State for External Affairs, then undersecretary of state, was on the committee which brought about the settlement which endured until just recently. It was partly in recognition of his outstanding service in this regard that Mr. Pearson became president of the United Nations, after becoming minister for external affairs.

He also cites the fact that last year the Minister of National Health and Welfare, as head of the Canadian delegation while the minister for external affairs was engaged on NATO business succeeded in breaking down the antagonism which had prevented admission of new members to the United Nations. As a result of his efforts 16 new members, including Ireland and Italy, were added. Four new members were accepted this year, proving that once broken the old rigidity is unlikely to return.

Mr. Dexter goes on to point out, Mr. Speaker, that veteran delegates to the United Nations said there have been few such occasions in the history of that organization as that when our minister reversed the headlong course of the Middle East debate, turning it from destructive to constructive purposes; and he adds that when President Eisenhower took the time on election day to telephone the Prime Minister at Ottawa to thank him for what Canada had done at the United Nations he was reflecting the feelings of all United Nations members outside the Soviet bloc.

It is true, Mr. Speaker, that Canada's resolution has not solved the basic problems which caused the Middle East explosion, but it helped to stem the deterioration of a highly dangerous situation, brought about a cessation of hostilities and created a more favourable atmosphere in which to set in motion the peacemaking powers of the United Nations.

Apart from Canada's leadership in and contribution to NATO and the United Nations,

The Address-Mr. Weselak the Prime Minister during the life of this parliament made a world tour in an effort to create a better understanding of Canada among the nations of the world. This has been followed by the recent commonwealth tour of the Minister of National Health and Welfare, which will also contribute a great deal toward a better understanding of one another by the commonwealth peoples.

Reports indicate, Mr. Speaker, that there are now 8,500 Hungarian refugees in Canada; that by the end of February this number will be increased to 14,000, and that in the spring when employment opportunities are better another 10,000 will arrive in this country. In this humanitarian work Canada has a creditable record, and a great deal of credit is to be given to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration for his personal attention and concern in this regard when he himself went to Austria to supervise the removal of these unfortunate people and the simplification of immigration processes.

It is encouraging to note that estimates of immigration for the year 1956 will exceed the 1955 figure, and that a very substantial rise in immigration is forecast for 1957. It is my opinion, and the opinion of many people in this country, that immigration should be encouraged; therefore the expected rise in these projected figures is welcome.

The speech from the throne makes reference to the excellent progress which is being made in our national development and this, sir, is not an exaggeration. I am pleased to say that we in Manitoba have shared in this development. Preliminary reports indicate that Manitoba manufacturers in 1956 produced a record of $625 million, as compared with $527 million in 1955. Retail sales increased by 7 to 10 per cent; carload-ings in the western division by 37.7 per cent; mineral and oil production from $61 million to $65 million, and farm cash income for the first nine months of the year from $120 million in 1954 and 1955 to $143 million in 1956, attributable in great part to increased loadings of wheat.

One of the most dramatic events in the developing economy of Manitoba has been the decision of the International Nickel Company to start on the $175 million nickel project in the Mystery lake and Moak lake areas of Northern Manitoba. This mine is scheduled to go into production in 1960 and will be the world's second largest nickel operation, second only to International Nickel's operations in the Sudbury area. This project brings along with it development of the Grand Rapids power site, which will add to the energy sources of the province. In my own constituency the Lithium Corporation of Canada has begun operation of a

lithium mine in the Cat lake area, and has plans for a mill in the vicinity. In the same area a copper mine is also in the early phases of development.

In connection with the Moak and Mystery lakes development, I wish to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the government of Manitoba for their part in bringing this matter to a favourable conclusion, and in particular to the premier of Manitoba, the minister of mines and the former provincial treasurer, Mr. R. D. Turner. These men worked unceasingly with officials of the company in the interests of the province to make this project become a reality.

We are pleased, Mr. Speaker, in my province to see developments such as I have described both provincially and nationally, but our pleasure is dampened when we recognize that a certain sector of our economy which, while recently showing some improvement, is not fully sharing the prosperity of the country. I refer to the agricultural people of Canada.

The speech from the throne recognizes this problem, and recognizes the need for longterm planning and bold imaginative measures to establish Canadian agriculture on a sound economic basis. The establishment of a committee to consider what should be done to make better use of land for agriculture in the light of the benefits we have obtained from the operation of the Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Act is a welcome step in this direction and should contribute toward a solution of the problem.

This, however, is not the complete answer, and unfortunately the Gordon report does not contribute a great deal toward a solution of the problem.

The solution certainly does not lie in curbing and discouraging production. It does not lie, as suggested in the Gordon report, in a negative approach such as the curtailment of prairie farm assistance payments to discourage use of lands where there has been a high record of crop failure, an indirect way of squeezing farmers off farms. It lies in a positive approach to the problem as suggested in the speech from the throne, through such things as relocation of farm population from submarginal lands with government assistance, encouraged diversification of farm production, extension of farm credit for capital purposes, and a more extended use of the Agricultural Prices Support Act to guarantee the farmer a reasonable return pricewise for the goods he produces. The recommendations in the report are worthy of study, but should be scrutinized very carefully before any attempt is made to implement some of them.

I should like to say a few words about the reference in the speech from the throne to continuation of the Canadian wheat board as the sole marketing agency for western wheat, oats and barley. As stated in the Gordon report, this method of marketing wheat and coarse grains is generally accepted by the grain growers of western Canada, and its establishment was the result of many years of consistent effort on the part of the farmers to obtain orderly and stable marketing of their grains. This system of marketing, not surprisingly, has been the subject of some attack by certain groups in western Canada, and this can be expected when periods of congestion exist such as we have recently experienced. In 1955 the Canadian Chamber of Commerce went so far as to pass a resolution condemning agricultural marketing through government agencies. I can assure you, Mr. Speaker, that such a resolution is not in accord with a great weight of farm thinking, particularly in so far as the marketing of wheat, oats and barley is concerned.

The continuance of this legislation is a must. Its importance can best be illustrated by the fact that economists estimate that if today marketing of wheat were to be taken from the jurisdiction of the wheat board and turned over to the trade the market price of No. 1 Northern would not be $1.69 at Fort William and $1.71 at Vancouver, but likely somewhere between 80 and 90 cents per bushel. It is true that the grain trade would take the grain off the farms, but at half its present price. This legislation should be continued, and no doubt will receive the unanimous support of the house.

A great deal has been said recently in the house and in the press regarding the needs of our senior citizens, who in times of difficulty and hardship did so much to make this country what it is today. My concern, Mr. Speaker, is not so much for those who have other sources of income or for those whose financial position is such that with the present pension they can get along quite well. My concern is for those who for a variety of reasons, many beyond their own control, find themselves, particularly in our towns and cities, trying to maintain themselves on $40 per month. It would be a very nice thing to give an across the board increase to all pensioners, but if this is not feasible or practical I would certainly urge the government, either with or without the assistance of the provinces, to make further allowances at least to our old age and blind pensioners who need such assistance.

It is hardly necessary to point out that with the increased cost of living in Canada the present pensions, in those cases where

The Address-Mr. Patterson individuals are solely dependent upon them, are inadequate and do not meet present day needs. In this respect I might also point out that the regulations governing disability pensions should be reviewed by federal and provincial authorities, as there is considerable doubt in my mind whether these regulations reflect the intention and the mood of parliament at the time the act was passed.

The proposal contained in the speech from the throne to authorize the payment of grants in lieu of taxes on federal property in all municipalities where such property receives normal municipal services will be most welcome to municipal councils, and will help to relieve some of the financial difficulties in municipalities affected.

In this house last session I urged the Minister of Finance to give consideration to removal of the sales tax on repairs and replacements for heavy equipment used by municipalities. These expenditures by municipalities run into substantial sums. I hope he is keeping this matter in mind as he works on his present budget.

The establishment of the Canada Council is in keeping with the growth of Canada, and more extended assistance to university students and to the universities themselves through increased grants will help fill a need which is seriously felt at the present time by all universities.

Finally, Mr. Speaker, one has only to compare statements made by the leader of the official opposition in and out of the house in recent days with those of members of the government on current issues, both national and international to determine whether the allegations of indifference, inertia and lack of leadership apply to the government or to the official opposition. In my opinion these words neatly describe the official opposition, and my vote on the amendment will so indicate.

Topic:   SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
Full View Permalink

November 26, 1956

Mr. A. B. Weselak (Springfield):

Mr. Speaker, when the message of the Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent) inquiring whether I would second the address in reply to the speech from the throne was relayed to me at the United Nations in New York, realizing the gravity of the present situation and the serious threat to world peace, I could not help but feel grateful that I could in Canada help initiate this debate and assist in the opening of this special session of the Canadian House of Commons which has been called for the purpose of carrying through and assisting in the work of the United Nations, work designed to avert war in the Middle East where world peace is seriously threatened; a session also called for the purpose of assisting refugees from a region in Europe from which my own ancestors came to Canada and from which many of my constituents and their parents also came to Canada. They came here to find opportunity and freedom which they have found and now value so highly.

I therefore thank the Prime Minister and his cabinet for the honour bestowed upon me, and, through me, on the people of the constituency of Springfield.

To the hon. member for Rimouski (Mr. Legare) who has had the honour of moving this address I tender my heartiest congratulations upon his splendid presentation.

Having witnessed for the past two weeks the proceedings of the general assembly of the United Nations as a member of the Canadian delegation, I cannot refrain from attempting to impress upon this house the gravity and seriousness of the problems facing the assembly, and their complexity.

I feel satisfied that the United Nations has in the past month stopped a major conflict in the Middle East. This was not easily accomplished. Hon. members will recall that in the emergency sessions of the security council and the general assembly held late in October 81537-2

The Address-Mr. Weselak and early this month, England and France opposed resolutions of the security council calling for a cease fire and for prompt withdrawal of all troops, and subsequently in the general assembly, against a large majority of the members, voted against a similar resolution.

Obviously Britain and France felt that they could not leave the Suez area until some other solution was found to protect and assure the passage of ships through the canal, which is so vital to their economy. At this stage it appeared as though the United Nations, facing a supreme test, had failed.

Canada had abstained from voting on the resolution, but in explaining her reason for so doing, the chairman of the Canadian delegation, the Secretary of State for External Affairs, (Mr. Pearson), suggested that a United Nations emergency force be established and that this force be sent to the Middle East to secure and supervise the cessation of hostilities in accordance with the instructions received by it from time to time from the United Nations.

This suggestion of the Secretary of State for External Affairs was immediately seized upon by members of the United Nations and he was urged to formulate and propose a resolution implementing his suggestion. This was done and the resolution received general acceptance and support and was supported by both England and France. The support given to this resolution is indicated by the fact that of a membership of 76, 57 voted in favour of the resolution, 19 abstained, and none were opposed.

This resolution was passed on November 4 and a cease fire went into effect on November 6. On November 7 the general assembly voted to set up immediately the international force to be known as the United Nations emergency force. An advisory committee of seven nations in which Canada was included was established to assist the secretary general in his efforts to solve the many problems which faced him in establishing this unique force, the first of its kind in world history. It is a tribute to Canada that Major General Burns has been appointed by the secretary general of the United Nations to assume command of this special force.

The matter of our contribution to the United Nations force as well as its functions and authority are solely matters for determination by the United Nations itself and are not matters for determination by any one country, group of countries or the recipient country. In our support of the United Nations we must accept its decisions in this respect. Our support of the United Nations must be such that we will in the interest of world

The Address-Mr. Weselak peace subordinate our own desires and willingly make such contributions as may be required of us by the secretary general of the United Nations.

The force being provided is not intended to be a fighting force but is intended to be a police force. It is being sent to the Middle East to create a favourable climate for negotiations which we hope will result in solution of the problems in the area and establish an enduring peace. The duration of the force's stay may well depend upon the progress made in this respect.

The force is now being assembled in Egypt. The British and French have agreed and are in the process of withdrawing their troops. Progress is being made toward clearing the canal, the opening of which to navigation is so important not only to the European countries but also to the Afro-Asian countries which, while the canal remains closed, are suffering great economic loss.

The United Nations, despite its appearance of power, is nevertheless a very fragile creature, still in its infancy. Its weapons have not been force, they have been those of world opinion dependent upon the good faith of its members and their national moral responsibility.

We in Canada who have been staunch supporters of the United Nations should be glad and thankful that in the crises which now exist, and which threaten world peace, the United Nations has been effective and we should with humility take pride in the role which Canada has played and the contribution she has made toward the solution of these difficult problems.

One cannot spend any length of time at the United Nations and not become consciously aware of the fact that there is general acceptance and recognition that Canada has played and is continuing to play a leading role in the solution of the Middle East problem. It is also accepted and recognized that a great deal of the progress made in this connection has been due to the untiring personal efforts of the chairman of the Canadian delegation, the Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. Pearson), who time and time again when serious differences arose between the nations affected acted as adviser and mediator to and between the parties.

Through his efforts these nations were brought together and their differences were overcome by consultation, discussion and compromise. We are deeply grateful for the efforts put forth by the right hon. Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent) and by the Secretary of State for External Affairs directed toward obtaining a solution to these complex and difficult problems.

I would now like to turn to another matter which has been referred to in the speech from the throne, namely the matter of assistance to Hungarian refugees. Five centuries ago the Hungarian hero, John Hunyadi, won freedom for his people by defeating the Turkish forces. The freedom so won and. the hope for its continuance has never died in the hearts of the Hungarian people. Since that time the people of Hungary and her neighbours have repeatedly risen against tyranny, and once again we see them rise in protest against Moscow-dominated communist oppression.

Russia and her satellites would have us believe that this uprising is a fascist resurgence of the old ruling class, a rebellion instigated from outside the country without the support of the common people of Hungary. This, however, is not the case. In the United Nations spokesmen for Austria, Belgium, France and other neighbouring countries who are well aware of what is going on in Hungary denied the Russian allegations, stated that the revolt is from within and is a revolt of the common worker, of the student and of other ordinary people.

The revolt began on October 23; it started as a peaceful demonstration of students and workers, demanding redress of their grievances. It became a revolution when bullets from men in the uniforms of the secret police and of the Soviet army indiscriminately slaughtered unarmed men, women and children. It appeared for a while as though the rebels had succeeded in their fight for freedom and self-determination. A provisional government was set up under Imre Nagy and plans were announced for free democratic elections.

Then what happened? Overwhelming Soviet forces with tanks and planes, with a ruthlessness repugnant to even the most hardened, crushed, killed and smashed the Hungarian patriots and brought forward a small clique of traitors headed by Janos Kadar as its puppet government of the people of Hungary.

The result of the savagery with which the Soviet forces quelled the revolt has been the flight for their lives of over 70,000 people to Austria and to other parts of the free world. Cardinal Mindszenty, primate of Austria, who was released from imprisonment by the short Nagy regime has once again had to flee and now finds refuge in the United States embassy in Budapest.

Irrefutable evidence obtained by Canada, the United States and other countries discloses that Hungarians by the thousands are being shipped east to Siberia in sealed box

cars in trains with Soviet crews. The displacement of a nation and its replanting by Soviet communist indoctrinated nationals once again becomes the order of the day.

Russia and her satellites categorically deny such deportations. Yet in spite of two resolutions of the general assembly passed by overwhelming majorities the present Hungarian government and the Soviet refuse to permit the secretary general of the United Nations or his representatives entry into Hungary to verify the facts. If what Russia says is true, what has she to fear by the entry of a United Nations observer?

Even the Polish and Yugoslav governments have refused to support the Soviet opposition to United Nations observers in Hungary. The failure of Poland to vote for the Russian stand is particularly significant in view of the fact that this is the first time in the history of the United Nations that Poland has failed to support Russia with her vote.

World opinion was expressed in the United Nations when the assembly by a vote of 55 members out of 79 with abstentions called for a withdrawal of Russian troops from Hungary, for a stop to deportations and for the furnishing of aid and relief to refugees. Russia not only refused to accept the resolution but moved an amendment which would have required all nations to return refugees to Hungary where no doubt swift Soviet justice would have been their lot.

The heroic people of Hungary have paid and are paying a terrible price in their fight for freedom. They have however shown the free world what the Soviet interpretation of the words "peaceful coexistence", so freely used by them in recent months, actually mean in the Soviet mind. Obviously one can only coexist peacefully if one accepts the dictates of the Soviet from Moscow and accepts Soviet dictatorship. Hungary has found this out to her sorrow.

We of the free world who have the priceless freedom for which so many Hungarian patriots have so recently died because of their courage and their struggle for the principle we value so highly owe a debt to these people which we must acknowledge by pressing in every forum of world opinion the battle for Hungarian freedom, by using every political and economic weapon against the Soviet oppressor, and by providing relief and asylum to the tens of thousands of refugees who have escaped.

I am sure the hon. members of this house will agree with me when I say that Austria deserves the warm-hearted commendation of the people of Canada for the charitable manner in which she has taken to her these unfortunate refugees. Austria was indeed

The Address-Mr. Rowe fortunate when at the termination of hostilities following the last world war she was occupied by the four powers. As a result of this occupation democratic free elections were held in Austria, she gained her independence and has since fortunately been able to maintain her neutrality. Austria has become the haven for refugees from almost all parts of central Europe, particularly of peoples fleeing Soviet oppression. She is not a large or over-wealthy country, yet she has not closed her borders to anyone and in the flight from Hungary alone, as I have said before, she has accepted over 70,000 refugees. In addition to these recent refugees she has within her borders roughly 120,000 other refugees. The situation in Austria is becoming very critical. I am pleased to see that in the speech from the throne this matter is also to be considered by this House of Commons.

In conclusion I have the honour and take pleasure in seconding the motion of the hon. member for Rimouski (Mr. Legare).

Topic:   ADDRESS IN REPLY, MOVED BY MR. GERARD LEGARE AND SECONDED BY MR. A. B. WESELAK
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July 10, 1956

Mr. A. B. Weselak (Springfield):

Mr. Speaker, I have listened with considerable interest to the speeches which have been made in the course of this debate. The amendment urges this government to take such steps as will ensure the greater processing of our raw materials in Canada. A great deal has been said in the course of this debate regarding the trade deficit which Canada suffers from at the present time in her trading relations. I think it is only common sense to recognize that any country which is experiencing the industrial development and expansion which Canada is experiencing today requires a great deal of specialized equipment, tooling equipment and other items to expand her industrial potential. I think a striking example of this is the pipe which is being imported into Canada at the present time for the construction of the trans-Canada pipe line which eventually will add a great deal to the industrial development and indeed to production in this country of ours.

In discussing the trade deficit a great deal has been made of the statement that Canada

is suffering an increasing trade deficit as a result of her trading relations. Very little has been said in the course of this debate about the increase in exports which this country is experiencing throughout the world.

In the mail this morning I received the dominion bureau of statistics daily bulletin for Monday, July 9, and the first paragraph makes interesting reading as far as this debate is concerned. The section is headed: Domestic Exports in May Reached Record Value and Volume

The article states:

Canada's domestic exports reached an all-time high record total for a month of $428,501,000 in May, topping last year's May total of $367,100,000 by 16-7 per cent and bettering the previous monthly peak of $411,700,000 in June, 1953 by slightly more than 4 per cent, dominion bureau of statistics reports in its monthly summary. In the first five months of this year exports to all countries advanced 11-6 per cent to $1,846,300,000 from $1,654,200,000 a year earlier. The volume of exports, also a record, rose 12-5 per cent in May and 7-9 per cent in the 5-month period, while prices averaged 3-8 per cent higher in May and 3-4 per cent in the cumulative period.

I submit, Mr. Speaker, that these export figures indicate an expansion in our industrial economy which is going forward apace.

On the second page of this bulletin are some rather interesting figures in so far as the group values of exports are concerned. These figures are given in millions, with comparisons for the same period last year. Agricultural and vegetable products, $358 million as compared with $297 million last year; animals and animal products, $102 million as compared with $101 million last year; fibres, textiles and products, $8 million as compared with $7 million last year; wood, wood products and paper, $612 million as compared with $597 million last year; iron and products, $154 million as compared with $128 million last year; nonferrous metals and products, $356 million as compared with $326 million last year; non-metallic minerals and products, $110 million as compared with $71 million last year; chemicals and allied products, $98 million as compared with $92 million last year; miscellaneous products, $44 million as compared with $32 million last year. Across the whole range there has been a substantial increase in our exports in the 5-month period this year as compared with last year.

Then, if we look at the main commodities themselves which are entering into our export trade, I think we can get some idea as to what percentage of those commodities form the raw materials to which the Leader of the Opposition has made reference. At the top of the list we have newsprint paper, a fully processed commodity. We find that in the 67509-371

Natural Resources-Development 5-month period of this year exports of this item have increased from $267 million to $290 million. Wheat, which is incapable of processing, and is generally shipped in its natural state, has increased from $134 million to $191 million. Planks and boards dropped slightly from $151 million to $131 million. Wood pulp, which is capable of further processing, increased from $118 million to $125 million. Nickel increased from $89 million to $93 million. Copper and products increased from $59 million to $85 million. Aluminum and products dropped from $88 million to $80 million. Fish and fishery products rose from $45 million to $46 million. Farm machinery and implements are at the same figure, $42 million.

In this whole range of products which are set out on this sheet, actually the only products which are capable of further processing are wood pulp, nickel in some instances, copper in some instances, zinc in some instances and iron ore. These are our main export commodities, and a very small portion of them is made up of commodities that are capable of further processing in Canada. In this respect, Mr. Speaker, I would like to make some comparisons between 1939 and 1954.

It is true that in this 15-year period our exports of raw materials increased by 288 per cent but alongside this export of raw materials we find that in this period the index on durable manufactures rose from 107-9 per cent to 297-9 per cent or an increase of 277 per cent, which is less than the increase in our export of raw materials. The index on non-durable manufactures rose from 108-2 to 222-4 or an increase of 206 per cent. I think these figures indicate that where it has been economically feasible secondary industries have been established in Canada at a pace which compares favourably with the increase in our exports of raw material.

If we look at the exports we find that exports of partially and fully manufactured goods have risen in that period from $511 million to $1,846 million or an increase of 361 per cent which is far in excess of the percentage increase of our export of raw materials. Our total export of raw materials in 1954 amounted to $1,082 million. It is interesting to note that of this total figure 75 per cent comprises agricultural and other products which are generally exported in their natural and unprocessed state. The remaining 25 per cent or roughly $304 million were mineral and forest products which are quite capable of further processing.

In the same period in 1954 we imported $473 million worth of raw materials of the

Natural Resources-Development same category and this figure indicates, as the Minister of Trade and Commerce and other speakers have stated, that we are a net importer of raw materials to the tune of roughly $170 million in the year 1954 and not net exporters.

The official opposition in this house has advocated that a policy be adopted by this government of encouraging the maximum processing of raw materials within this country. In the course of the speeches which we have heard I do not think that any definite statement has been made by the Conservative opposition as to how they would achieve this end or just what actually would be done by them, should they form the government, to increase the industrial production in this country. However, I recall that the manufacturers' association of Canada were not quite as wary as the Conservative party concerning what means they would suggest be employed to achieve this end. They stated point-blank that they felt the tariff structure in this country was not such as to encourage the expansion of secondary industries. I believe the figures I have quoted indicate there has been a progressive expansion of industry in Canada and that industries have located themselves in this country where they have found it profitable to do so.

I do not think that in this country there is a lack of businessmen with sufficient foresight that where an industry can be established within the country which can compete with other industries in the home and the world market any opportunity would be overlooked by those businessmen to establish such an industry within Canada.

If the only answer lies in the suggestion of the manufacturers' association, then the work which has been done over the past 25 years in encouraging international trade would be lost. In addition to that we would create in and for Canada a state of economic isolation. We would try to reach absolute self-sufficiency at the cost of isolating ourselves from the trading markets of the world. I submit, Mr. Speaker, that if we were to follow that policy we would be going against the record of history. A reading of history indicates to me that in 1930 this method was tried. We tried to isolate ourselves from the other markets of the world and endeavoured to create tariff walls to prevent other people from bringing their goods into this country in competition with our own industrial development. The government of that time no doubt sincerely felt this was the answer, but before its reign was over it found this was

[Mr. Weselak.J

not the answer, and in 1932 the British preferential tariff was brought in in an effort to open the markets of the world to our primary production.

In 1935 the Liberal government came into power and in 1937 a statement of policy was adopted by Mackenzie King in which he stated that this party would bend every effort toward breaking the shackles which prevent free international world trade. I think this government has done that because in the period during which it has been in power protective tariffs in Canada have been reduced by close to 40 per cent and during that period our trade relations with other countries have increased tremendously and our exports have also increased proportionately. By adherence to GATT and bilateral agreements with such countries as Japan and the U.S.S.R. we have opened new markets particularly for our farm products and we expect these markets will be of great benefit to us in the future.

If we were to follow the suggestion of the opposition to its logical conclusion, it would appear to me we would have no alternative but to create an atmosphere wherein we would establish in this country uneconomic secondary industries which would not be capable of competing in the world markets without a certain amount of subsidization or protection. I suggest that the creation of this atmosphere would have an adverse effect upon the economy of this country. If we were to use protection as a means of achieving this end we would soon find we would lose our markets throughout the world.

As has been aptly said, trade is a two-way street. We must buy a certain amount from other countries in order to receive an open port into their markets, and I think this experience is illustrated by the bilateral agreements which have recently been concluded with Russia and which two years ago were concluded with Japan. On the other hand, if we were to try to subsidize these markets we would of necessity have to tax the people in order to meet the cost of such subsidization. If we were to sponsor or force uneconomic industries to establish themselves in this country we would possibly, as I have said, lose our world markets. We would be restricted to our own local markets and as a result we would naturally have to restrict our primary production because we would have no market for it.

This is a serious thing to us in western Canada. Our primary production through agriculture in western Canada is very great. We are dependent for approximately 70 per cent of our production in grain or foreign

markets, particularly in wheat. The expansion of the discovery of raw materials in western Canada has been encouraged by the markets which have been made available for these products and the effect of the development of raw resources in the western provinces is that there have been established service industries and other light industries which are required to service the raw material industry which has been developed as the result of the discovery of such materials, and they are continuing to develop and establish themselves in those particular provinces.

In my own constituency we have a very large pulp and paper mill which is dependent practically completely upon foreign markets. We have recently had brought about mineral developments in the Bird river and Cat lake areas where many metals are being discovered and which are presently being developed and mine shafts being sunk. If we were to adopt the policy of restricting our exports I am sure that these industries would definitely suffer. In my view, this proposition which has been put before the house should be scrutinized very closely. It has many implications which, if carried to their logical conclusion, would certainly have a serious and bad effect upon the economy of the country.

Topic:   TABLE I
Subtopic:   SUMMARY OF ESTIMATED EXPENDITURES ON RESEARCH BY FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
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