June 17, 1943

SC

Ernest George Hansell

Social Credit

Mr. HANSELL:

Are cargo vessels built in Canada burning coal, or have you any burning oil?

Topic:   MUNITIONS AND SUPPLY
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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Munitions and Supply)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

The North Sands type are coal burning and the Victory type oil burning, and plans are now being made for the production of a modified North Sands type which will have provision for burning either coal or oil.

72537-239J

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SC

John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. BLACKMORE:

The government has contributed a great deal of capital to the establishment of certain industries connected with the war. I have the impression that it has put a great deal of money into various private industries.

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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Munitions and Supply)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

No. The government has not put money into private industry, but has built government facilities to be operated by private industry. It has not financed private industry. It is unfortunate that the words "capital assistance" have been used to describe expenditures of this kind. Expenditures for increased industrial expansion are, in ninety-nine cases out of 100, built for the account of the government and are retained in the ownership of the government.

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SC

John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. BLACKMORE:

What seems difficult for us in the west to understand is why the government does not contribute capital to the establishment of a steel industry in British Columbia. 1 sympathize strongly with the people from British Columbia. I do not believe that industiy is being conducted for the good of the country. In Ontario and Quebec, where industry is being centralized, the people will ultimately be among the greatest sufferers. Every effort should be made to decentralize industry, and for that reason I do think the government should do more than make an offer. They should actually make an endeavour to establish a steel industry in British Columbia.

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NAT

Howard Charles Green

National Government

Mr. GREEN:

Has the government considered providing for a subvention on iron ore produced in the west? It might help in the opening up of iron mines. The provincial government have some provision for assistance, and it might be a great help if the dominion would do something similar.

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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Munitions and Supply)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

The dominion government have never subsidized iron ore. They are not subsidizing iron ore anywhere at the moment.

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NAT

Howard Charles Green

National Government

Mr. GREEN:

It is a fact, is it not, that Canada is very short of iron ore and will be in the future?

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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Munitions and Supply)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

No one at the moment is short of anything. British Columbia is not short of steel and Canada is not short of iron ore. We are doing all right.

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NAT
LIB
SC

Ernest George Hansell

Social Credit

Mr. HANSELL:

I do not quite understand the minister when he speaks about the unfortunate term "capital assistance". In Votes

War Appropriation-Supplies

and Proceedings of Friday, March 26, we have a list of companies that have been assisted- page after page of them. There must be hundreds of them. Surely all these companies mentioned do not belong to the government.

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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Munitions and Supply)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

Yes, they do. The companies do not, huit the assets created by the money shown opposite the companies belong to the government, whether it be machinery or buildings or land.

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SC

Ernest George Hansell

Social Credit

Mr. HANSELL:

And do I understand that none of this represents expansion of the firms themselves?

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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Munitions and Supply)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

The firms are using it, either machine tools or the building created at the government's expense, but it belongs to the government and it will be reclaimed by the government after the war.

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SC

Ernest George Hansell

Social Credit

Mr. HANSELL:

But it does result in expansion of the company for the present.

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LIB
CCF

Clarence Gillis

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. GILLIS:

I am interested in the question of Canadian seamen. The Minister of Transport is in his place, and there are a few questions I wish to ask him. The Minister of Munitions and Supply stated that the problem now is not getting ships but getting men to man the ships. I discussed this matter recently with a member of the Canadian seamen's union and he pointed out that Canada had lost 3,000 seamen to United States ships on account of the differential that exists between the wage rates, and more and more Canadian seamen are going in that direction. We can understand why. There is a lot of confusion in regard to wage rates as applied to the Canadian merchant navy. For example, the war risk bonus is a matter of agreement between the shipping companies and the seamen. If they are organized, there is some uniformity in the rates; if they happen to be on ships that are not unionized, then the bonus is mot paid in the same way. I do not believe the government has anything to do with the war risk bonus. It is considered a matter of agreement between the seamen and the shipping companies. Second, there is a lot of confusion with regard to the cost-of-living bonus. A certain class of seamen receive it and others do not, and that is something which has not been settled so far as the Department of Labour, and the seamen generally, are concerned. I wish the minister would make some comment on that to show where the matter stands. I had a specific complaint only yesterday in a telegram from the Canadian seamen's union in Halifax, to the effect that a ship engaged in salvage work was

about to start on a four months' trip going into waters which they considered entitled them to the war risk bonus. The bonus does not apply to salvage work within a certain area. This was a four months' trip.

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LIB

Joseph Enoil Michaud (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. MICHAUD:

Is that a governmentowned and operated ship, or is it private?

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CCF

Clarence Gillis

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. GILLIS:

Private. No bonus applies,

but the men are going into waters where the bonus should apply. The company does not pay. It stipulates that if the job is successful, when the men return, half of the risk bonus that applies to other ships in that area will be paid. That is a specific complaint and it may tie up that ship. I tried to get information to-day and succeeded in getting what they had, that as far as the government is concerned there is no authority in the matter. I think it is something that the government will have to interest themselves in. If you allow 3,000 seamen to go into other ships by reason of a difference in wage rates, that is a factor which will have to be taken into account, because there is no use in building ships to carry war materials if the ships cannot be manned. The country is full of war materials, but there is a lack of men to get the material moving. The matter should be clarified. There should be some uniformity on the part of the government.

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June 17, 1943