Mr. W. M. Howe (Wellinglon-Huron):
Mr. Speaker, I rise to take part in this discussion on the assistance for promotion of scientific or industrial research. As the hon. member for Greenwood (Mr. Macdonnell) has indicated, it was interesting to note that the parliamentary assistant agreed with the hon. member for Lambton West (Mr. Murphy) that some time before too long we should have a committee set up to go into this question of research. I would be interested to know if that question of research is something that has to be looked after immediately. The minister himself indicated that it was not a static thing but something that has got to be promoted and continue to be promoted.
No doubt most hon. members who have given this matter any thought will be in agreement. Research is not only one of the greatest factors in moulding our lives, but within the sphere of research rests the wellbeing of practically every phase of our economy, as well as the future of this great country of ours. We have been particularly and abundantly blessed with practically all the elements known to man and all the impetus possible should be given so that these elements of the field, the forest, the mines, and waters within and around us can be studied by our scientists. The benefit of that study should be passed on to every phase of our economy. It is a field that is as old as man himself. Today we are living in the reality envisioned by the poet who saw "the heavens fill with commerce, argosies of magic sails".
In the Globe and Mail of Monday, March 22, there appeared an article bearing the headline: "V-2 Man Says Atom Progress Means War Impossible Soon." I will read part of the extract. It states:
The man who invented Germany's V-2 rocket said today he thinks atomic research will make war impossible within the next 12 months.
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Professor Hermann Oberth said that by then it will be possible to reach any point on the globe within 45 minutes with atomic rocket.
This means that in the case of war all big cities of the enemy can be destroyed within two or three hours. I definitely believe that then no minister will decide himself for a war because he would sign his own death sentence at the same time.
So, by this means, the latter part of that great poem which ends like this:
There the common sense of most shall hold a fretful realm in awe,
And the kindly earth shall slumber, lapt in universal law-
-may come true.
During this session of parliament and during the debates which have taken place we have heard a great deal about the depressed economic conditions of certain sections of our industries. I feel that some small measure of relief can be found for these industries through the field of research, and I would suggest that in many of our industrial fields we could, through the medium of research, definitely establish a more pronounced Canadian trend in the field of textiles, for example, rather than bask in and profit by the ideas promoted, particularly by our neighbours to the south.
I find that in my own business as regards women's apparel, American fabrics are not selected particularly on account of their more reasonable price but rather because of their distinctive patterns and novelty materials. Some phases of our textile industry are recognizing that fact, and I would like to quote in this connection a news item which appeared in the March issue of a Canadian magazine called Canadian Business which carries a story entitled "Salesmanship plus New Products" with a subtitle "A formula for textiles?". That article carries the story of the Bruck brothers who are running one of the largest synthetic fibre mills in Canada. They heard of milium being developed in the United States and they went over to the United States and attempted to get the rights in order to sell that product in Canada. But the American firm which controlled it did not want to give the rights to the Canadian firm because they thought they could promote it in Canada. But the Bruck brothers came back to Canada and through the medium of research developed thermalon and went out and sold it. They made such a wonderful job of it that the people from the states were glad to give them milium.
However, every textile mill has not the capital which the Brucks had for carrying out this type of research activity and they should therefore be given encouragement by the government in that respect. As the hon. member for St. Paul's (Mr. Michener) intimated, it is not every organization or
manufacturing firm that is large enough to have these facilities, but there are a tremendous number of small factories and firms in this country employing people which are a definite part of the economy of this country. Some phases of our textile industry are recognizing that fact.
In this connection I would like to quote from a news item which appeared in the March 3 edition of Style which is a women's wear newspaper issued to the trade. This article carries the heading "Nova Scotian Tartan Will Hit Market Soon" and the item states:
There is something new under the sun ... it's Nova Scotia Tartan.
This should provide good news for manufacturers and retailers alike, especially those who keep an eye on the tourist trade.
I am not going to read the entire article but it goes on to conclude with this:
Already many inquiries have been received about the tartan . . . who will be manufacturing it and when it will be available in any marketable quantity. All these questions will be answered when the copyright and registration have gone through.
Tourists will soon, it is hoped, get their first introduction to the new tartan when they cross the Nova Scotian border and behold the Scottish piper blowing the bagpipes to the accompanying swirl of Nova Scotia tartan kilt.
From the same paper I have taken another small item entitled "Canadian Ideas". The article states:
Better still, who not try to create-and we mean create-some truly Canadian fashions, based on Canadian ideas, history and folklore?
The same thing might hold true on the question of housing about which we have heard so much, and to which I think one of the main objections was that even though down payments have been reduced the price of the houses available is still too high for the average wage earner. I feel that through the medium of research a house could be evolved that would make it possible for the ordinary man to have his own house.
In my own experience as chairman of our district high school board, I know that we were confronted with the problem of building a new high school. The provincial department of education set a maximum of $300,000 as the completed cost of our new school. When we first approached the subject we found that schools were costing approximately $14 a square foot. This would mean that the type of school we wanted completed would be around $385,000 which was out of our reach. However, we went into this matter seriously and found that a new school was being built in Mount Forest at a cost of a little over $9 a square foot. This firm of architects, through the medium of considerable prefabrication and other money
saving devices, was able to prove to us that the school we required could be built for $300,000. That school is now in process of being completed and is already being used to a certain extent.
I therefore feel that through the medium of research we in Canada could do as they are doing in so many other countries of the world. In this connection I would like to quote from an article which appeared in the Journal of Thursday, February 20, under the heading of "Prefabricated Housing". The article states:
I. F. Fogh, logging development engineer of the Canadian International Paper Company, Montreal, gave a revealing picture of prefabricated housing in Sweden based on a visit to Sweden, Finland, Norway and Denmark last summer.
He then goes into considerable detail in describing the type of modern house being built over there and goes on:
The saving to the purchaser compared with a similar house built to the same standards by conventional methods was estimated by Mr. Fogh at about $3,000 plus about two months' time.
This development is the result of the efforts of one of Sweden's large combines of water power, iron ore and forest products which was faced with the problem of providing adequate yet economical housing facilities for its workers.
In this connection there is a suggestion I would like to make to the government even though my observation has been that the government apparently sees no good in suggestions coming from this side of the house. My suggestion is one which was urged upon me by the fact that we are paying a large sum of money to an architectural firm in New York for plans for the new national film board building in Montreal. I maintain that as this question has been under discussion for so long and the need for this new building has been realized for so many years, the Department of Public Works should have had the foresight to appoint a team made up of architects, technicians, engineers, draftsmen and so on to study this question. I realize that as this is a specialized type of building, it requires specialists in this field to create it, and I maintain that had this plan been followed we in Canada would have had the benefit of this advanced training for this and any other similar types of buildings that may have to be built in the future. I maintain that this suggestion could hold good for many other departments of the government which, through the medium of long-term planning and research, would have available the men to carry out major projects of this type as they arise.
But how are we going to keep pace, Mr. Speaker? How are we going to ensure the future of Canada in order that she may continue to take her place among the greatest
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nations of the world? I think it is through the immediate assistance and promotion of scientific and industrial research in Canada. But, Mr. Speaker, how are we going to ensure that this great realm of research will have available men with the brains, the courage and the fortitude to carry on the work of our great scientists of today? In this connection I should like to read from page 181 of the Massey report a paragraph which deals with this question:
79. The conclusion presented to us, then, is that the great need is for first-class men to give leadership and inspiration through their own brilliant, original discoveries. The future depends not only on the continued liberality of governmental agencies but on the number and quality of the men induced to work at research. The greatest need is to discover and train these men and then to make sure that they are provided with research facilities and opportunities to enable them to render the services of which they are capable.
I think a group of young people in my riding have come up with one of the answers. I should like to read a resolution that was passed by one of our high school student bodies. It was passed by the student council, Fergus district high school, at their regular meeting on Monday, February 8, 1954, and reads as follows:
That, as possible future recipients of the scholarships and rewards, this council, on behalf of all students in the Fergus district high school, urge the dominion government to organize a committee to bring about the immediate awarding of the scholarships recommended by the Massey report.
At this time I should like to pay a tribute to young high school students who will give serious consideration to a problem which is as old as the world, namely that of the child who through no fault of his own is unable to pursue learning to the extent for which he is fitted by natural abilities. No doubt many hon. members can recall friends of their youth who showed remarkable promise but who on account of their particular status in life were unable to continue at school. Thus Canada was the loser.
In that connection there appeared in the Globe and Mail of March 29 an article entitled "Extending Pure Research" and which speaks about research in the United States. It reads in part as follows:
President Eisenhower has directed the National Science Foundation, an official U.S. government body, to survey the government's research and development program. The stated purposes are to speed the attainment of federal research goals, to stimulate basic research, ascertain possible economies and to propose methods which would safeguard the strength and independence of educational institutions. .
I have here some figures from the Massey report as compiled by a committee on education of the Canadian Manufacturers Association and published in February, 1950. This
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report emphasized the fact that out of 100 Canadian children attending school, only 22 finished high school, only 3 graduated from college and that 54 per cent of those who dropped out did so for economic reasons.
In 1946 the Ontario department of education discovered that only 7 per cent of the young people who had completed their primary and high school education had registered at a university. To us the disturbing thing is not the percentage but the fact that there is no assurance that this 7 per cent comprises the best qualified students. From page 362 of the Massey report on arts, letters and sciences I quote the proposals- as indicated by the resolution I have received [DOT]-made by that very wide and comprehensive study:
16. We are proposing that the present scheme with which the federal and provincial governments are familiar, and which is operating satisfactorily, be enlarged. As for the number of undergraduates who should thus be aided, we do not think it appropriate to suggest a precise figure, although it is our view that as far as may be possible young persons who have the necessary ability and diligence should receive reasonable assistance to enable them to become more useful citizens.
Paragraph 17 lists the scholarships to be given to these undergraduates. Rather than take up the time of the house by reading it, I would ask the permission of the house that these be incorporated in Hansard of today.
Topic: S084 HOUSE OF COMMONS