We are talking about a fairly serious matter, at least on this side of the house. I would like to believe that the concern of the Leader of the Opposition for the ownership of natural gas pipe lines by Canadian majority interests stems from both a sense of realism and a sense of public duty. Having failed to convince one, at least, of his followers-and that one the most likely to best assess the situation and the weight of his leader's views-I fear he will also fail to convince this house and the country. The country will not forget that if at this time in our political history it is possible for anyone to even suggest that a billion dollar project should be undertaken or could be undertaken with Canadian capital only, it is precisely because Canada has made such tremendous economic strides in recent years, and this under the very aegis of the sponsor of this resolution and of this government. As between the Leader of the Opposition and the Minister of Trade and Commerce this country has good and sufficient reasons for believing in the deeds of the one rather than
in the flow of words of the other. There has been no equivocation as to that since 1935, and still less since 1948.
The Leader of the Opposition will not convince the country because he omits to mention that his bosom pal, "autonomic" Duplessis, has just sold to what I believe to be United States interests the exploitation of-fancy that-the gas branch of Quebec hydro. He will not convince the country because the current president of the Conservative federation and the immediate past president have not yet determined which theory or speech sounds best, and where, when, and which version is' best suited, for Quebec, for Ontario and elsewhere, and which one of Duplessis' Ungava policies or of Bennett's hegira to London is best adapted for public wooing.
There is natural gas in Alberta, and approximately one-sixth of it is going to waste daily because it is not being tapped and is seeping out and vanishing into thin air. There is natural gas in Alberta. Alberta is one of the ten Canadian provinces, and it is the duty of Canada to help exploit a natural resource. So far this seems to be sound, even to the opposition, the more so since a large part of Canada will benefit from the advantage of gas. This would eliminate imports of natural gas and would be particularly interesting to the hon. member for Cape Breton South, because it would reduce our imports of United States coal by approximately $200 million a year. To achieve this a pipe line has to be built.
But in the many words of the opposition we should not have a pipe line yet because the Canadian people would have to endorse a note for $72 million redeemable on April 2, 1957 and carrying a 5 per cent interest charge. Is there any security? Yes, there is the pipe line and all movable and immovable assets of Trans-Canada Pipe Lines Limited. But to the Leader of the Opposition that is hardly enough. It is not substantial and concrete enough. He would rather ask for names on a board. The need for a pipe line is urgent. The hon. member for Calgary North has just stated that. Many Canadians realize the need is vital, but all the opposition, whether Conservative or C.C.F., seem oblivious to one thing.
We of the Liberal party who constitute the government are the ones, and the only ones, to whom for 21 historic years the financial, economic and social advancement of this country and the stewardship of Canada's patrimony have been entrusted. We are, and we have been for better than two-thirds of the life of confederated Canada, the country's trustees for what is good
15, 1956 3907
Northern Ontario Pipe Line Corporation and sound for Canada. I have seen many elections, and in all the elections since the advent of the present Leader of the Opposition we have been happy to have our policies, our concept of Canadianism and our administration scrutinized and I trust approved by the six million-odd citizens of Canada who in the final estimate select those who occupy these seats.
Come that time of scrutiny, and fortunately it will be soon enough that no one may have forgotten this debate, neither the protagonists of the pipe line nor the antagonists, whatever the premise may be for their views, we on this side shall have this to say to our fellow Canadians: Entrusted by you with the task of safeguarding your interests, moral, physical and financial, now and in the future; satisfied that the future of Canada and of each Canadian, old or new, lies in the fruition of each of the natural assets with which providence has endowed Canada; believing in deep conscience that one of the ten provinces of Canada, Alberta, offers undeveloped natural assets, the exploitation of which would enhance the economic position of a great number of Canadians, if not of the majority; fully conscious of the responsibility which devolves upon us through the trust placed by you in us to implement your hopes for a greater Canada by deed, by constructive deed and by effective and speedy deed, we deem it our duty to Canada, to the vast majority of Canadians who have told us by their ballots to look after their interests, to do this and to say this: "There shall be a pipe line; it shall be constructed as of early June this year; the means: whatever is best for the purpose of speedy, efficient construction in the interests of Canada, and not the means advocated by dilatory parties for dilatory purposes and for spurious reasons."
If all Canadian capital is not available today and if the money of the taxpayers is required and if construction should start today -and construction must start today-let us use all sources of capital. The origin of the capital is relatively unimportant provided we do not lose sight of the country's interests. What is important, what is essential and what is paramount is that we act now. We shall; and we will stand on our doings come the next election.
Topic: NORTHERN ONTARIO PIPE LINE CORPORATION
Subtopic: CONSTITUTION OF CROWN COMPANY TO CONSTRUCT PIPE LINE, MAKE SHORT-TERM LOANS, ETC.