I presume the information gained through this seismograph work is made available to the public as soon as it is obtained, and I should like the minister to tell us how that is done. I wish to know also whether there is any general policy in regard to doing seismograph work in areas already leased to development companies. I have in mind one area west of Rocky Mountain House, for instance, where there is a very large potential field. One well has been drilled there at tremendous expense, costing something over $500,000. I should assume that it would be desirable to do more intensive work in examining the potentialities of that area, but I can see also that such work would be to the benefit of a company which is already in there with a very large leasehold. The work being done by the department is desirable and commendable, but I was wondering whether the department was confining its exploratory work to areas not already leased, or whether it was giving some assistance to companies possessing areas not yet proven up.
I believe this is the first year the federal government has spent money on the seismograph method, though I understand that certain oil companies which have areas in Alberta under permit or licence have used the method, which is a common practice in the United States. However, we are not spending any money now in areas under the control of private companies. I am informed that our tests by the seismograph method will be confined almost wholly, if not entirely, to Wainwright national park, which is still under the control of the federal government. The survey may be carried outside the boundaries, but it is a new thing. The officers of the department think it has possibilities, and my judgment is that it will probably pay the government to incorporate permanently in its geological survey work the seismographic method.