It is not detailed at all. This is a ^report in respect of the over-all operation of
During those hearings, which went on for four days, an official of the C.P.A. air line sat in attendance in the visitors' section of the committee room, and the full disclosure of T.C.A.'s position was placed before that committee for the information of its chief competitor.
There is also the question of political pressures brought to bear on management; for example, the political pressure brought to bear to keep the T.C.A. overhaul base in Winnipeg, which admittedly will cost T.C.A. a substantial amount of money, and the controversy that swirled throughout the House of Commons over the selection of short range jets, the DC-9 or the Caravelle. When these
The Address-Mr. Addison things happen it becomes increasingly difficult for a member of operating management to divorce himself completely from the political implications.
I suggest that when the air lines are in a healthy position, then this is the time to arrange for a merger. This should be a marriage of convenience and not of necessity. Nineteen sixty three was one of the best years international air lines ever enjoyed, and both Canadian air lines operated at a profit. Air lines in the United States operated at record earnings. Such a merger must be carried through in a spirit of co-operation. It is necessary so that an air line can operate as a business, and an air line must be conducted as a business with the minimum of interference from the government.
I do not think we should operate our flag line as an instrument of national prestige. I do not think it is unrealistic to look into the future when there may possibly be only 10 or 12 international flag carriers servicing all the nations of the world. As trade barriers are reduced competition will become more severe among competing air lines, and now is the time to lay our long range plans for an international flag line representing this country.
One may ask how a merger may be brought about. The heads of the two air lines have been competing against each other for some time and it is only natural that, as competitors, they would not advocate such a step. But I suggest it has worked successfully in other countries, and that it can work successfully here with the government and private industry in a fifty-fifty partnership in a national project. This would give the private enterprise approach with the aid of government financing.
I do not intend to go into a great deal of detail in connection with the merger of
S.A.S., but I think it is important that we look at part of it. S.A.S. is a company which represents Norway, Denmark and Sweden. Norway and Denmark each own two sevenths and Sweden owns the other three sevenths. The Swedish portion of this partnership is owned by a company called A.B.A., which company is controlled 50 per cent by private industry and 50 per cent by the Swedish government.
Each of these groups elects an equal number of directors to the board and the chairman of the board is appointed by the directors voting the government shares, but the operating executive committee is made up of four directors, two from private industry and two representing the government. The chairman of this operating executive committee is elected by the private interests.
The Address-Mr. Nielsen If a dividend is to be paid at the end of the fiscal year, it is determined by the group recommending the lowest figure.
I suggest that with co-operation between private and public financing a transportation company of this type could be a very valuable instrument for Canada, because with such a company as this Canada can utilize it in order to form her own merchant fleet. Today Canada has virtually no international merchant marine, and I think we have all accepted the fact that the country is not going to be in a position to manufacture highly sophisticated, large, supersonic transport aircraft. But we could build a merchant marine using Canadian shipyards, using Canadian personnel and material to build the ships, using Canadian men to man and sail them, and employ these vessels for the purpose of transporting Canadian agricultural products and manufactured goods originating here.
Any policy dealing with transportation is complicated because of regional interests involved. I suggest we accept that we must be united in order to compete internationally. I suggest we adopt a policy of co-operation between private industry and government whereby this company would be allowed to operate as a private company on a free enterprise basis.
This is a house of minorities, and some have accused us of timidity. I do not think this has been the case. Policies have been introduced into the house and pursued with vigour and courage. Courage will be needed to merge the air lines structure so as to form an over-all transportation complex. But for the good of the country and for the sake of competing internationally in the future I feel the approach must be one of full cooperation between government and private industry so as to develop one integral transportation company.
Topic: SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Subtopic: CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY