William Earl ROWE

ROWE, The Hon. William Earl, P.C.

Parliamentary Career

October 29, 1925 - July 2, 1926
CON
  Dufferin--Simcoe (Ontario)
September 14, 1926 - May 30, 1930
CON
  Dufferin--Simcoe (Ontario)
July 28, 1930 - August 14, 1935
CON
  Dufferin--Simcoe (Ontario)
October 14, 1935 - January 25, 1940
CON
  Dufferin--Simcoe (Ontario)
  • Minister Without Portfolio (August 30, 1935 - October 22, 1935)
November 8, 1937 - January 25, 1940
CON
  Dufferin--Simcoe (Ontario)
March 26, 1940 - April 16, 1945
NAT
  Dufferin--Simcoe (Ontario)
June 11, 1945 - April 30, 1949
PC
  Dufferin--Simcoe (Ontario)
June 27, 1949 - June 13, 1953
PC
  Dufferin--Simcoe (Ontario)
August 10, 1953 - April 12, 1957
PC
  Dufferin--Simcoe (Ontario)
  • Leader of the Official Opposition (November 1, 1954 - February 1, 1955)
  • Leader of the Official Opposition (August 1, 1956 - December 13, 1956)
June 10, 1957 - February 1, 1958
PC
  Dufferin--Simcoe (Ontario)
March 31, 1958 - April 19, 1962
PC
  Dufferin--Simcoe (Ontario)
June 18, 1962 - February 6, 1963
PC
  Dufferin--Simcoe (Ontario)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 1 of 860)


February 28, 1962

Mr. Rowe:

I know Mr. Ambridge is not scared of you, either.

It takes much work and effort to build up a great industry such as the pulp and paper industry and again I compliment the government on the steps they have taken to assist in this direction. I hope these efforts will be given encouragement by all hon. members in the future.

I can well recall a time in this parliament when practically nothing was spent by the federal government on the great pulp and paper industry, despite the revenue which came into the coffers of the dominion government for so many years. Again I suggest there is tremendous research work to be carried out with reference to destruction caused by insects, fungi and fire. So far as reforestation is concerned, practically every important company in Canada is doing a great deal. The hon. member for Port Arthur shakes his head but I should like to tell him that

Supply-Forestry

independent of what any of the companies may be doing there is a great misconception with regard to what can be achieved by assisting in reforestation. I have tramped through the bush a good many times over the years in which I was more closely interested in and responsible for this big industry. I have seen areas which will not have on them, it is true, for fifty years after it is cut down, wood which is fit to cut again. However, in some areas I myself have counted ten times as many little spruce growing up as spruce trees that were cut down. The most advanced and most educated silviculture scientists today, while they differ a great deal, believe that our general natural reproduction, if it is protected from fire, will amount to between 85 per cent and 90 per cent generally right across the board.

Trees are just like other products that grow. A few years ago some hon. members asked about this matter. I remember one hon. member asked why the pulp and paper industries and the lumber industry should be allowed to go into the forests and cut them down. I might ask some of my friends from western Canada a similar question. When they have miles of beautiful golden wheat that looks so beautiful from the aeroplane or from the train, why cut it down when it is ripe and ready to harvest? It is cut because the next crop will come on. Our forest industry is somewhat the same. When the trees are ready to cut and there is a market for them, they should be cut. They should be taken as a crop. The difference is that it takes from 60 to 70 years to grow a spruce tree and it probably takes fewer months to grow a crop of wheat, probably six months.

On the other hand, as has been mentioned, research is now being carried out no doubt by the companies. Lowering the costs of production is of vital importance in ever growing competition throughout the world. That is something that is always changing. The competition today in the world is entirely different from what it was a few years ago. There is competition from the Scandinavian countries and, though not as well known, from Russia. I have heard it said that there is not much competition from Russia because their streams run the wrong way and that when they freeze up it is impossible to drive. That is all very fine. However, I have seen some of the most beautiful pulpwood in the world come in at different seasons of the year from Russia in years past for far less than our cost of production. It was better trimmed and peeled and was in beautiful shape. Hence, we have competition in that regard. Any research that can be done in order to cheapen production is all to the good.

Supply-Forestry

I know that a few years ago many companies had three times as many men in the bush as they have now. Many companies had as many as 1,000 teams and some of them had 2,000 teams of horses drawing out pulp-wood, or skidding, which the hon. member mentioned this afternoon. Now some of the same companies have not any horses at all and one third the number of men are moving out the wood. The same thing is happening in general automation, as a result of mechanical advancement, in agriculture and other basic industries.

The hon. member mentioned chain saws. I can remember when the boast used to be made that if a man was strong enough he could, with a bucksaw, cut three cords to four cords of wood a day. Now two smart fellows going through university can take a chain saw and, as my hon. friend knows, can sometimes produce as many as 30 cords a day. Such is the march of progress.

I hope that we shall have a new look at the possibilities of protecting these great virgin forests. We have tremendous forest resources in this country. We are blessed with forest resources such as few other countries have ever been blessed with. The hon. member suggests that perhaps we are cutting too much spruce. May I suggest that spruce will grow and will replenish itself just the same as any other trees do. Chemical science is now finding out that just as good paper can be made from many other sources of wood. A few years ago they did not believe that could be done at all. Some assert that in a few years to come many other species of hardwoods will be used just about as widely as spruce is used at the present time.

Again I wish to compliment this government on the fact that, along with the other things they have done, they have a forward look with regard to the forest industry. I may say that at the present time I think they are looking as far into it as they feel it is constitutionally possible in order to assist this great industry to perpetuate itself and to protect it from fire, insects, fungi and so on. May I suggest that I believe they are on the right road, in the first place with respect to access roads to these regions. We have virgin forests that are not accessible to the present mills. In the next quarter of a century these forests will no doubt have mills in their midst. In the meantime, with access roads from one province to another into these districts in order to protect them when the forests are struck by lightning and fires are started or are infested with fungi, budworms and other insects which destroy the trees, these forests can be accessible through these roads.

While I personally think we have waited a long time to play the proper part in cooperating with the provinces in assisting the forest industry, again I wish to compliment the government for going as far as they have gone in the plans they have for greater support of and co-operation with the provinces in the future. I leave this thought with you, Mr. Chairman. I believe the features they are emphasizing are not so much the research that has been done, as mentioned by the hon. member for Port Arthur, in telling the companies how to handle their labour, how to reduce their costs or, in other words on the side of economics-I believe that is their responsibility-but are more in the direction of protection of the virgin forests in the years that are ahead from fire, insects and other destructive forces.

Topic:   OLD AGE SECURITY
Subtopic:   WINNIPEG
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February 28, 1962

Mr. Rowe:

I am glad to hear the hon. member's opinion on that, though I might be prepared to offer him an argument on it. But I am glad he has cleared up his position in respect of the Abitibi company. I am speaking in generalities. I do not want the hon. member-

Topic:   OLD AGE SECURITY
Subtopic:   WINNIPEG
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February 28, 1962

Mr. Rowe:

I understand. I only mentioned the Abitibi company as an example. I might well have taken the whole industry. I am in no way inferring that the hon. member was critical of the company's attitude either to the men or to the shareholders, except that he did mention it was less efficient in some respects, with regard to research and so on, than some of its United States competitors.

Topic:   OLD AGE SECURITY
Subtopic:   WINNIPEG
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February 28, 1962

Mr. Rowe:

Yes. Well, in better times they always do. I merely mentioned that there are other factors which are basic to the preservation of this great resource. When one considers what is used in the pulp and paper mills and in the lumber mills, and what is still used for firewood, it is rather frightening to realize that there is more spruce, jackpine and timber of different species burnt in this country in forest fires and destroyed by fungus and insects than the entire amount used by the pulp and paper industry. Surely, then, this is the angle that should get first priority.

I know it is difficult for the dominion government, our constitution being as it is, to interfere too much with the administration of the departments of lands and forests in the respective provinces, but I may say it should be just about as possible, constitutionally, to do so as it is to interfere with agriculture. I believe we have only touched the edge of what the dominion government could do and should be doing in this respect, and I am glad the trend is toward co-operation with the provinces in this field.

1 believe the government has in the first year, spent $5 million on assisting the different provinces. In addition, $1,250,000 is to be distributed in the different provinces toward the purchase of fire fighting equipment. I hope there could be a working arrangement with the Department of National Defence so that when these major fires take place prompt assistance could be forthcoming. No one who has ever experienced one of these great fires, such as that which happened last year in Newfoundland and those which occasionally happen in northern Ontario-the district to which the hon. member for Port Arthur has referred-can ever forget it. The destruction is simply tragic: To think that we, collectively, the dominion government and the provincial governments, should allow an annual destruction in these rich black forests of more acreage than is used in all the pulp and paper industries in Canada!

We hear people worrying about the amount of timber that has been consumed by the pulp and paper industries. I was glad to hear the hon. member for Port Arthur compliment the United States companies who

have subsidiaries here in Canada. I know most of these companies very well-Kimberly-Clark and many others he has mentioned. I have no brief for any particular company, but I cannot think the hon. member is entirely impartial when he criticizes the company in his own district-the Abitibi company-for not being as up to date in every respect, particularly in connection with research, as any of the companies to which he referred. I think that there are many fine companies in the country, and one of the finest is the great Abitibi company which, of course, gives employment to many people. It is fair in its treatment of labour, as the Great Lakes Company and other companies have been, and I think Kimberly-Clark and its subsidiaries have carried out a great deal of research and are to be complimented for it. However, from the nature of this great industry and of the constitutional responsibility shared by the different governments, provincial and dominion, it is difficult to see how the dominion government can fit in today and exert as much influence as the industry might warrant.

Nevertheless I do believe that a great deal more could and should be done in co-operation between the federal and the provincial departments. I compliment the minister on the steps which have been taken along this line and I hope they may continue. I trust that more money will be spent in this direction, if only on roads connecting the forests of the different provinces because, after all, there is no better way to lay the basis of a sound protection against fire, fungi and insects than to have access roads through these great timber areas.

People speak about the pulp and paper industries and the amount of timber they use. They accuse them of cutting down the trees and ravaging the forests, thinking about nothing but profits. May I remind the committee that the pulp and paper industry is, generally speaking, across Canada, only earning between 3 and 5 per cent on the money it has invested? As I say, I have no brief for the Abitibi company and I mention it because it is a company with which I have no connection; in fact it might be said I was competitive with it. The hon. member was worrying about the men who are working for that company and about the other pulp and paper workers and bushworkers in Canada. I would remind him that they are among the highest paid workers in the world. I notice the hon. member did not say anything about the 33,000 shareholders, 75 per cent of whom are small shareholders. In fact, over half the shareholders might well be widows, retired school teachers, retired professional people, or retired members of parliament, even, who might have a few dollars invested. I would

venture to say that the holdings are a great deal smaller on an average than the amount of investment it takes to employ one labouring man.

Topic:   OLD AGE SECURITY
Subtopic:   WINNIPEG
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February 28, 1962

Mr. Rowe:

No.

Topic:   OLD AGE SECURITY
Subtopic:   WINNIPEG
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