Hon. H. J. Flemming (Minister of Forestry):
Mr. Speaker, a few days ago the hon. member for Bonavista-Twillingate asked me whether the department was making any progress in finding a means of arresting Dutch elm disease. I replied that I had no up to the minute information but would take the question as notice.
I am pleased to advise as follows. The Dutch elm disease occurs widely in Ontario and Quebec and in the upper Saint John river valley area of New Brunswick. The causal fungus is carried from diseased trees to healthy ones by bark beetles. Spread of the disease can be reduced by sanitation programs to remove weakened elm trees and branches in which the beetles breed, by spraying with d.d.t. to prevent the entry of beetles into healthy trees, and by prompt felling of diseased elms, with destruction of the bark, to prevent emergence of fungusladen beetles. An effective control program may require use of all three lines of action.
The Department of Forestry carries out continuing insect and disease surveys, and keeps municipalities and the public informed of areas of known distribution of the Dutch elm disease. The department is conducting research on host-parasite relationships as an aid to formulation of improved control procedures. It also provides a diagnostic service so that occurrence of the disease in suspect trees may be confirmed before expensive felling operations are undertaken.
Responsibility for the application of control measures rests with the owners, usually
municipalities or private citizens. The department provides information and advice to such owners on the organization of control procedures.
This is a disease of foreign origin and as such comes under quarantine regulations administered by the plant protection division of the Department of Agriculture. Officers of my department co-operate fully with the plant protection division in the exchange of information leading to appropriate quarantine regulations. In the event the hon. member for Bonavista-Twillingate does not have publication No. 1010 on Dutch elm disease, I am sending him a copy.
Subtopic: STATEMENT AS TO ARRESTING OF DUTCH ELM DISEASE