June 11, 1946

PUBLIC CONTROL AND SUPERVISION OF DEVELOPMENT, APPLICATION AND USE


The house resumed from Monday, June 10, consideration of the motion of Mr. Howe for the second reading of bill No. 165, relating to the development and control of atomic energy.


PC

Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. H. C. GREEN (Vancouver South) :

Mr. Speaker, it is my understanding that the Minister of Reconstruction and Supply (Mr. Howe) is not speaking at this stage of the discussion on the motion for second reading of the bill, but I presume that he will be making a statement in concluding the debate.

The atomic energy control bill, unlike most of the bills that come before this house, breaks new ground. It is an attempt to deal with a new problem, that of the control of atomic energy, and to do so at a time when no one can be sure of the potentialities of this new power either for good or for evil, its potentialities for the improvement of the lot of humanity or for the destruction of our civilization.

Canada is directly concerned for several reasons. In the first place, in our country there is one of the main sources of the mineral from which this atomic energy is produced, namely uranium; it is found away off in the northwest territories of Canada. Secondly, Canadian scientists and manufacturers have taken a very big part in discovering the secret of atomic energy and of putting that energy to use. Canada is concerned for a third reason, in that we share with the United States and the United Kingdom many of the secrets of manufacture, and finally, because this nation is a member of the united nations atomic energy commission. Membership of that commission is confined to the eleven nations that have been elected to the security council, with the addition of Canada. So I repeat that we are directly concerned with this question of atomic energy.

Now Canada must devise methods to control and supervise the development and the application and use of atomic energy. I think the situation is very well described in the preamble to the bill we are considering, No. 165:

Whereas it is essential in the national interest to make provision for the control and supervision of the development, application and use of atomic energy, and to enable Canada to participate effectively in measures of international control of atomic energy which may hereafter be agreed upon;

The Progressive Conservative party, for whom I am speaking to-day, agree that it is essential in the national interest that there should be a measure of this type. We are willing to cooperate with the government and with the other parties in working out the best possible methods for the development and control of atomic energy. Any suggestions we make about this bill to-day are made in that spirit, with a desire to be helpful, and I am sure that any other member of this

Atomic Energy Control

house who speaks on this bill, no matter to what party he belongs, will approach the consideration of the measure in exactly the same spirit.

We suggest to the house that it would be wise, after second reading of the bill, to refer it to a special committee for study. We think that the best type of committee would be a joint committee of the senate and of this house. We make this suggestion believing that this is the most important subject for legislation which has been before a Canadian parliament perhaps since confederation, certainly since the turn of the century. We believe that very careful consideration should be given to the bills which have been brought in in the United States and in the United Kingdom, and we do not believe that that can be properly and thoroughly done with the house in committee of the whole.

The minister has been kind enough to lend me a copy of the United Kingdom Act. One cannot get a copy of that act in the parliamentary library. Nor can one get a copy of the bill, known as the McMahon bill, which has just passed the United States senate; I believe the minister has a copy but copies are not available in the library. I have here the Congressional Digest for May 1946, which features what congress is doing to solve the problem of atomic control, (1) domestic, (2) international, and I recommend to any members who are interested in the subject that they look at this copy of the Congressional Digest. It gives a very fine review of the legislation and of the discussions which have taken place in the United States. I think it would be helpful if the minister could have printed in the Votes and Proceedings of the house for to-day a copy of the United Kingdom bill and also a copy of the McMahon bill. If that were done, every member who wished to do so would be in a position to study these bills.

The minister has told me that the United Kingdom bill to which I have referred has been passed by the United Kingdom parliament. I am not sure of this; perhaps he will confirm that to-day. I am unable to find from the records in our library whether or not the bill has actually gone through the House of Commons and the House of Lords. It was presented to the House of Commons on May 1, but the copies of the British Hansard which have come to hand so far do not contain any discussion on the bill, and so far as I can find, although I may be wrong, it has not yet actually become law.

Another reason for our suggestion that this bill be studied by a special committee is that the drafting of atomic energy legislation

is very difficult. The Americans found that. For example, I quote from page 143 of the Congressional Digest this statement:

Just what is the problem in drafting atomic legislation? The chief difficulty is the fact that never before in history has any government attempted to make a law governing the forces of nature. It presents a multitude of technical and legal problems.

At page 139 of the same issue is a statement by Doctor Vannevar Bush. As lion, members know, Doctor Bush was a member of the committee which was appointed by the late President Roosevelt, two and a half months before the atom bomb was used, to consider atomic legislation. Doctor Bush is the chairman of the United States office of scientific research and development. This is what he has to say about the legislative difficulties involved in atomic energy legislation:

No more intricate and exacting problem was ever posed to government than this one. It is inherently complex because 'the science of the atom is complex. . . The fact that the deadly military potentialities^ of the atomic bomb and the beneficent industrial applications of atomic power are inextricably intermixed complicates it further. Preventing war is a long task, which must be done bit by bit, step by step; so also is the development of peaceful atomic power. The two must be related in our thinking, and what we do toward achievement of the one must be weighed in the balance of its effect on the other.

Again, there is an almost complete lack of knowledge of this whole question, not only in this house but, I submit, throughout the country. There have not been discussions on the radio and in open forums across Canada such as those that have taken place in the United States. Our people are not informed on all the facts in connection with atomic energy. It should be fundamental that the people as a whole have some understanding of these problems before legislation is passed in this house; otherwise our democracy is not functioning properly. It cannot function properly if there is not a chance for the people to understand something at least of what is being discussed in the legislatures.

I think it would be most unwise to rush this bill through, to put it through second reading this afternoon and through committee tonight and to-morrow. Instead of doing that, we Should give the bill second reading to-day and send it to a special committee. It can be dealt with again by this house in committee when it comes back from that special committee. But no matter where or how the bill is to be considered, there are many features which should be borne in mind, and this afternoon I propose to deal with eight of them. There will be many more, but I have picked out the eight which in my opinion are of vital importance.

Atomic Energy Control

In the first place, we should compare the controlling authorities which are to be set up in the United States, in the United Kingdom and in Canada. Under this atomic energy control bill we are providing for a board to be called the atomic energy control board. There will be five members on that board. In the United States they have set up a board of five, known as the atomic energy control commission; but in the United States they have in addition three watch-dog committees. I will explain these in greater detail in a minute or two.

In the United Kingdom bill there is no board at all. There, all the responsibility as well as the power is given direct to the minister of supply. He is the one named throughout the bill as the person in charge of development and control of atomic energy, and that of course has one very great advantage. It puts the responsibility right in parliament, because the minister has to stand up in parliament and answer for everything he does under the powers given him by the bill. There is no suggestion there, as I interpret their bill, of having an outside board or commission given these powers.

The powers are the most far-reaching given for many a long year by any parliament. These powers are to be given in Great Britain to the minister of supply, in the United States to t'he atomic energy control commission, and in Canada to the atomic energy control board, and they are tremendous powers. That is the only way in which they can be described. I repeat therefore that the first question that must be carefully considered is what type of controlling authority is to be set up in Canada.

The second consideration should be this. If we are to have a board such as the bill provides, should there or should there not be watch-dog committees? I have pointed out that in the United States legislation, under the McMahon bill, which, by the way, has passed the senate only and may not get through the house of representatives, they have a board of nine civilian advisers serving in an honorary capacity, being paid only a certain amount for their expenses. They get no remuneration. They are appointed by the president. At page 140 of the Congressional Digest there appears the following explanation:

A board of civilian advisers is to be appointed by the president to meet at least four times a year and consult with the commission on scientific and technical matters relating to materials, production, research and development.

In Canada we are making no provision in this bill for any such advisory boards. In the United States there is a second watchdog

[Mr. Green.l

committee which is known as the military liaison committee, and it is described in the following language;

A military liaison committee, appointed by the secretaries of war and navy, is to consult with the commission on all activities relating to the military applications of atomic energy. This provision has been adopted to give the armed forces a proper voice in such matters as development, manufacture, storage, and use of bombs; allocations of fissionable materials for military research; control of information relating to the manufacture and use of atomic weapons. Upon receiving the recommendations of the military liaison committee, the secretaries of war and navy may at their own discretion carry to the president a protest against any of the commission's actions or failures to act in reference to the matters described. In such event, final decisions are made by the president.

The minister may say that in Canada we are not going to be manufacturing atomic bombs, but I submit that some consideration should be given to the setting up of a military liaison committee because of the fact that the mineral from which atomic bombs are made is found in Canada. This brings us to the question of defence. We must accept responsibility for defending these minerals. I suggest therefore that there is a good deal of merit in having some sort of military liaison with the atomic energy control board.

The third watchdog committee in the United States is a permanent joint committee of the congress. It is composed of nine senators and nine representatives. Their job is to make continual studies of the development of atomic energy and to keep congress fully acquainted with such developments. Under the Canadian bill there is no such provision. In the United States there are these three watchdog committees, and I think there is some merit in having committees of that type. Mind you, they are not supreme; at all times the atomic energy control commission is supreme. These committees are merely there to check on its activities and have been appointed because the power given to the atomic energy commission is so tremendous and atomic energy may mean so much both in the civilian life of the nation and in the event of war.

The third question which should be given careful consideration is this; Is there or is there not sufficient control over this new board so far as parliament is concerned? In the explanatory notes to the bill hon. members will find this statement:

Control by parliament is provided for by sections 15 (making the board generally subject to the provisions of the Consolidated Revenue and Audit Act, 1931), 16 (providing that expenses of the board are to be paid out of moneys appropriated by parliament for the purpose except to the extent that the board or a company may receive funds through the conduct of its operations or by gift or other-

Atomic Energy Control

wise), 17 (providing for audit by the auditor general), 18 (declaring that works or undertakings relating to atomic energy are works for the general advantage of Canada) and 21 (providing for an annual report by the board to the committee-

Which means to the committee of the cabinet on scientific and industrial research.

to be laid before parliament and for the making of such other reports as the committee may require.

These provisions are all right as far as they go. I have already pointed out that in the United States they have a permanent joint committee composed of nine senators and nine congressmen. In Great Britain the minister is directly responsible to parliament. That, of course, gives far more control than we can have under the Canadian system. But there is a further control, and a very beneficial one, provided for in the United Kingdom bill. The minister has wide powers to make orders. For example, under section 10 of the United Kingdom bill the minister may by order provide for prohibiting, except under the authority of a licence granted by the minister, the production and use of atomic energy. These are sweeping powers which he can exercise by order, but every order he makes must be laid before parliament and is subject to what is called negative resolution,-by the way a negative resolution not only by the House of Commons but by the House of Lords. Either house can bring in a resolution revoking the order which has been made by the minister. That provision is found in section 15, subsection 1. It reads as follows:

Every order made by the minister under this act, except an order made under section 7 thereof or an order varying or revoking such an order,

Those are orders in connection with expropriating property. They are the ones which are exempt from this provision.

-shall be laid before parliament forthwith after it is made, and if either house of parliament, within a period of forty days beginning with the day on which any such order is laid before it, resolves that the order be annulled, the order shall cease to have effect, but without prejudice to anything previously done thereunder or to the making of a new order.

In reckoning any such period of forty days no account shall be taken of any time during which parliament is dissolved or prorogued or during which both houses are adjourned for more than four days.

That, of course, gives parliament drastic control. No such provision is to be found in the Canadian bill.

The fourth feature which I suggest for consideration is, should the Canadian atomic energy control board be on a full-time or a part-time basis? Should it be advisory or

operative? The United States commission is a full-time body. Five men serve full time. According to the statements made by the minister during the debates of the last few days the Canadian government has not decided on this point. I shall refer hon. members to page 1905 of Hansard of May 27, 1946, where the minister used these words:

The atomic energy control board is primarily a policy board.

A little later on he said:

The operation of the Chalk River plant, however, would be associated with the national research council. The atomic energy commisison would determine policy in the use of the product and in disseminating knowledge of atomic energy as it affects the people as a whole. But the operation of the Chalk River plant would naturally and, I think, necessarily be under the direction of the national research council, from which it would draw practical^- all its scientists.

On June 3 the minister made a further statement which is found at page 2120 of Hansard. He was asked what power the board would have, whether it would be advisory or operative. He said:

It will depend upon the view of the board when it is appointed whether it should be an operating board or simply a policy board. The board will be closely allied with the national research council in any event, and it may be the decision will be that the national research council shall do the actual operating or it may be that the board itself will be the operating body.

On page 2123 the minister made another statement to this effect:

The decision as to whether it will, in fact, be an operative body will be left largely to the board itself. The present intention would be to clothe the board with the duty of actually operating the project.

He was there referring to the Chalk River project. I continue with the statement:

However, no decision has finally been taken, and I should not like to commit myself at this time and say that the board will be an operating body.

Hon. members will notice that in section 4, subsection 2, of the bill, provision is made for salaries, if any; there is that proviso, "if any," showing that there is some question as to whether or not the members of the board are to be on a full-time basis. Provision is made in section 6 that the board must meet at least four times a year. Then there is the fact that the president of the research council is to be a member of the board. Obviously he cannot be a full-time member because he has many other pressing duties. It seems to me that the decision whether the board is to be a full-time one or not is fundamental and should be made by the government or by the house without further delay, because it makes a great difference in the way the controls are to be set up.

Atomic Energy Control

There seems to be a doubt as to the relative positions of the atomic energy control board and the research council. The measures that have been brought in obviously provide for either eventuality. They constitute what one might call double barrelled legislation. Under the legislation either the board or the research council can operate. I repeat that consideration should be given to the question whether we are to have an advisory board or an operative board.

The fifth feature that I should like to bring to the attention of hon. members is that the bill may unduly hamper research. I notice that both in the United States and in the United Kingdom there was great concern lest there should an interference with research work. Apparently scientists are very much afraid that they may not be allowed full scope; they are afraid of being interfered with. The Canadian bill does give power, and I think ample power, for research work by the board itself or by its employees; but what about research by other bodies? It seems to me that the bill should be extended to make it perfectly clear that certain types of research can be carried on by other bodies. They have done that in the United Kingdom. I shall read from paragraph 6 of the explanatory memorandum which accompanies the United Kingdom bill, where we find this statement:

. . . the minister is to ensure, so far as practicable, the availability of materials and plant for research and educational purposes and for commercial purposes not related to atomic energy.

That is set out in section 10, subsection 2 of the United Kingdom bill, in the following terms:

The minister shall secure so far as practicable, by the issue of licences in such cases or classes of cases as he thinks fit, that such minerals, substances and plant as aforesaid are available for purposes of research and education and for commercial purposes not involving the production or use of atomic energy.

The Americans have a similar provision. In the Congressional Digest for May we find this statement at page 141:

In drafting the bill, the committee has been particularly careful to refrain from inserting prohibitions or restrictions of any nature on scientific research (other than) the minimum necessary to protect national security and prevent hazards to public safety and health.

The sixth feature-and hon. members will be glad to learn that there are only two more after this-is what should be done about inventions in the field of atomic energy. The Canadian bill deals with inventions made by the staff, and I think it covers them fairly well. But what about inventions made outside? What about private inventions? Both

[Mr. Green.1

the Americans and the British have dealt with this subject specifically in their legislation. This is a description of the American provision :

In considering the patent implications of these provisions, the committee concluded that private patents can play no role in fields of activity reserved exclusively to the government. The bill provides that inventions and discoveries in these fields shall not be patentable matter. To assure the commission of access to new inventions and to provide inventors with financial inducements in lieu of patent rights, the bill requires that such inventions be reported to the commission and creates a patent compensation board with authority to make awards to inventors.

In the United Kingdom also they have dealt with that subject. I quote now from paragraph 8 of the explanatory memorandum:

Special provisions regarding inventions in relation to atomic energy are contained in clause 12. The comptroller general of patents, designs and trade marks is required to prohibit or restrict the publication of information concerning an application for a patent of this nature, and to notify the minister, serving a copy of the notice on the applicant.

I believe no such provision is in the Canadian bill, nor does it contain power to carry that out.

The minister may inspect the deposited documents; and, if he is satisfied that the invention is not of importance for purposes of defence, the ban on publication will be lifted by the comptroller general. In addition, the clause prohibits, except with the written permission of the comptroller general, the making of applications outside the United Kingdom, by a person resident therein

That is, for a resident of England or Scotland to apply for a patent in France having to do with atomic energy.

-for the grant of patents in respect of such inventions, unless application for a patent for the same invention has already been made in the United Kingdom, and either no ban on publication has been imposed or any such ban has been lifted.

Then it goes on:

The powers of the minister under section 29 of the Patents and Designs Act, 1907, are extended by clause 12 so as to include power to make, use, exercise or vend an invention for purposes relating to atomic energy; and the minister may authorize the use of any drawing, model, plan "or other document or information.

There is no such power in Canada, as I read the statutes. We have a Patent Act, it is true, and under section 19 of that act we find the government may use-and the word is [DOT]"use"

a patented invention. The section reads:

The government of Canada may, at any time, use any patented invention, paying to the patentee such sum as the commissioner reports to be a reasonable compensation for the use thereof, and any decision of the commissioner under this section shall be subject to appeal to the exchequer court.

Atomic Energy Control

The British go much further than that. The government takes not only the power to use but the power to sell any of these private inventions made outside the government service, and I think consideration should be given to the whole question of the treatment of inventions under this bill.

The seventh feature is the power given in the bill to set up crown companies. I am not going to repeat the arguments we have offered against these crown companies which are set up under part I of the Dominion Companies Act. We have no objection to their being set up by special statute, but we do object to this general power being given the national research council, and now the atomic energy control board, to set up one or any number of companies without coming to the house. There is no such provision in the United Kingdom legislation, or in the McMahon bill which has been passed by the United States senate. Just to give hon. members an illustration of how the power given under the Canadian bill might work; if the atomic energy control board is to be merely an advisory board rather than an operative board, then it will be functioning through these crown corporations; that means the real power will be in the hands of the president and officers of the crown company, just that much further removed from any parliamentary control and just that much closer to the dangerous position of allowing private individuals to take control of atomic energy.

I believe that is one danger which must be considered in connection with atomic energy; the possibility of a group of gangsters getting in a position where they control atomic energy. Perhaps some hon. members read the funnies. Judging by what I see around here when the afternoon papers come in, I guess they all do.

Topic:   ATOMIC ENERGY
Subtopic:   PUBLIC CONTROL AND SUPERVISION OF DEVELOPMENT, APPLICATION AND USE
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LIB

Thomas Reid

Liberal

Mr. REID:

They fill a useful place in life.

Topic:   ATOMIC ENERGY
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PC

Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. GREEN:

That is right. Those of you who read Little Orphan Annie will remember that two or three years ago Daddy Warbucks was manufacturing "eonite" and what great concern there was lest it should get into the hands of someone who would use it against the best interests of the people of the world. I think there is always this danger in connection with atomic energy, that individuals rather than nations may get control and use it to subjugate their fellow men. In any event I do suggest that this power of setting up crown companies should not be included in the bill.

The final feature which I suggest should be given the most careful consideration is the question of whether or not the atomic energy

control board is to be involved directly in international agreements, whether for the control of atomic energy or for any other purpose. I think the minister said the other day that the board was to be concerned only with the domestic use of atomic energy, but we find in section 9 (1) (/) provision giving the board power to make regulations-

-governing cooperation and the maintenance of contact, through international organizations or otherwise, with scientists in other countries or with other countries with respect to the production, use, application and control of, and research and investigations with respect to, atomic energy-

I suggest to hon. members that the time has not yet come when this board set up by the Canadian parliament should have any power to negotiate with other countries. Anything of that sort should be done by the Canadian government as a whole. They have been very careful on this point in the United States. No similar power is given to the atomic energy control commission there. In fact I find at page 141 of the Congressional Digest these words:

To ensure that provisions of S.1717-

That is the McMahon bill.

-do not interfere with the operation of international control machinery, when established, section 8 expressly provides that to the extent any provision of the bill, or any action of the commission under the bill, conflicts with the provisions of an international agreement hereafter approved by the senate or the congress, the provision is to be considered of no further force or effect.

There is no provision in the British bill similar to the regulation in the Canadian bill to which I referred a moment ago. Certainly the overriding documents as between states should be whatever agreements this parliament passes upon. I do not understand why the power is being given to an atomic energy control board to make regulations having to do with other countries.

Those are the eight features which we ask the house to consider. It will be obvious that they cannot be adequately considered by this house in committee of the whole, particularly in view of the lack of knowledge of the measures that have been brought in in other countries and of the whole question of atomic energy. It may be that the bill in its present form is the best bill that could be drawn; I am not in position to say, and I do not think many hon. members of the house are in position to pass on that question.

I repeat the suggestion made earlier in my remarks. After the bill has been given second reading it should be referred to a special committee of this house or to a joint com-

Atomic Energy Control

mittee of the senate and of this house. I repeat also the statement I made in opening, that the official opposition will be only too glad to cooperate with the government and with the other parties in the house in working out a bill that will be the best that can be enacted in the interests of the Canadian people.

Topic:   ATOMIC ENERGY
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CCF

Eric Bowness McKay

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

Mr. E. B. McKAY (Weyburn):

Mr. Speaker, the suggestion made by the hon. member for Vancouver South (Mr. Green) that after second reading this bill should be sent to a special committee of the house or a joint committee of the two houses has considerable merit. I am sure that in that way a great deal of information could be revealed to the public at large, and1 certainly to the members of the committee, with regard to atomic energy, information which hitherto has been denied to us.

I should like to speak briefly on the bill as it appears before the house. I feel that the introduction of this bill at this session is of major importance. I doubt if there is any subject more widely discussed by thinking people everywhere in the world than atomic energy and how it is to be controlled. The bill makes provision for the control and supervision of this new and potent force. The supervision of the development, application and use of atomic energy is of utmost importance to every man, woman and child, not only in our own country but in every other part of the world.

It is believed among scientists that atomic energy can provide the answers to many if not all of the power problems of the world within the course of a very few years. Such an important discovery as this new form of energy may prove to be a boon to mankind if it is controlled by the proper authorities; if it is not properly controlled, it may well prove a menace to all. If it is owned or controlled by private enterprise more interested in profit than in humanity's welfare, industrial chaos might well occur. That is what may happen should this powerful energy be thrown into the competitive market. One can visualize coal mines closing down and oil operators ceasing their operations, resulting in millions of people being unemployed, should atomic energy be produced cheaply enough to compete successfully in the commercial field with coal and oil.

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SC

Charles Edward Johnston

Social Credit

Mr. JOHNSTON:

Do you object to that?

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Subtopic:   PUBLIC CONTROL AND SUPERVISION OF DEVELOPMENT, APPLICATION AND USE
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CCF

Eric Bowness McKay

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

Mr. McKAY:

No, as long as there is some social security for those people. I am referring to the economic chaos that may result if there is not proper control.

There is every possibility of a cheap source of atomic energy being discovered. In the field of research there are tremendous prospects, of which we should take cognizance, of developing cheap sources of this new energy. Indeed these sources may have been already successfully explored. John O'Neil, writing in the Toronto Saturday Night on December 8, 1946, states:

New York: More powerful sources of atomic

energy are now the goal of the scientists._ If they succeed, they will obtain one thousand times more energy from the new source than is obtained from uranium sources, and the latter source provides 2,500,000 times as much energy as an equal weight of coal, oil or T.N.T.

Uranium, the element used to produce the atomic energy substance plutonium, is among the rarer elements, although it is as plentiful as copper in the earth's crust. The cost of plutonium produced under military control, can be estimated at $25,000 a pound, but this figure may be wrong by a very large factor.

The unquestioned fact is that under any circumstances it would be many times, perhaps many thousands of times, as expensive as coal on a pound basis. It would be, nevertheless, very much cheaper than coal on an energy production basis.

The new substance to which the scientists are looking as the new atomic energy source is the cheapest substance on earth . It is hydrogen, one of the two elements composing water.

Peace-time application of atomic energy properly directed and controlled may do amazing things. Doctor Julian Huxley reveals some astonishing prospects for a peace loving world bent on improving the lot of man. This great scientist paints an amazing picture of the world to be which with the proper application of the scientific knowledge obtained in a study of atomic power may be realized even in our day. Speaking recently in the United States, Professor Huxley referred to atomic energy in the following words:

If turned to beneficent uses, it might in the future do for mankind great and amazing things.

The most spectacular possibilities of the new _ power lie in its use in what we may call atomic dynamite. Dams could be built in a fraction of the time now required because atomic explosions would do the work of cumbersome excavating machinery. Atomic heat might dissolve the ice and snow over the north pole. If this were done the level of the sea would rise over one hundred feet and many Atlantic seaboard cities and towns would be submerged.

If the polar caps were blasted the climate of northern and southern hemispheres would change. Foggy Great Britain would become as pleasant a country as Spain were it not inundated. Regions now uninhabitable for lack of fuel or capacity for growth could be made available for migration.

That is Doctor Huxley speaking. There is no question as to this man's ability to forecast. There are, however, less pleasing prospects than the one set out here. Any apparatus producing atomic energy will also produce

Atomic Energy Control

by-products from which poisonous gases could be made which could kill all living creatures within thousands of square miles. This is quite conceivable should control of this energy be permitted to fall into private hands.

With reference to the possible use of atomic poison gas, may I quote from an article appearing in the Ottawa Citizen-before the strike of course. This appeared on the 29th of May, under the dateline New York, May 28:

One small drop of atomic poison gas, in liquid form, can endanger every person in a great industrial plant, or its equivalent.

A concentration of this so-called gas could kill every person within about one kilometer (six-tenths of a mile) of a central point.

In either case the killing would be done, not by the chemical reactions of true poison gases, but by the radioactive rays from atomic fission products.

These are the basic facts behind the report in Washington, by W. A. Higinbothem, chairman of the Federation of Atomic Scientists, that along with germ warfare, there is another new method of war potentially as dangerous as atomic bombs.

An unscrupulous person or country might collect radioactive materials formed as a byproduct in producing nuclear power and spray them over the countryside, destroying all life thereon. Unless proper control of this new' form of energy, which could well be used with malicious intent is established, it could be a terrible threat to the safety of all mankind.

Atomic energy is a most awesome power. The world is still marvelling and horrified at the instantaneous destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The presence of this potentially dangerous atomic power demands the setting up of a powerful united nations organization to control its use. It wmuld be an almost hopeless outlook for the future of humanity should the united nations organization be incapable of controlling the application of nuclear energy to other than peaceful pursuits.

Without effective control all of us will live in constant fear of sudden and violent death and apprehension will be our lot and that of our children.

I believe, Mr. Speaker, that a method must be devised by the security council of the united nations organization to police the laboratories and industries of every nation utilizing atomic energy if satisfactory control of its production is to be effected.

It is my earnest hope, and the hope, I believe, of all humanity, that fear of this new energy may hasten the establishment of a democratic and powerful world government. No other organization can make mankind

secure. An awful and immediate challenge confronts every nation of the world. Man faces the prospect of world destruction or the alternative of uniting all peoples with the common urge of self-preservation.

In the modern atomic world it is essential that we learn the cooperative way of working and living together. Only that society can survive the members of which are prepared to work together in a spirit of cooperation, each man for his neighbour, each nation for the other. We shall either live together, Mr. Speaker, with a common objective, or we shall not live, that is a true statement of fact.

We are dealing with a subject which can well determine the destinies of the world. I am sure the Minister of Reconstruction and Supply is cognizant of this fact and will act accordingly. I feel that we all have a grave responsibility in connection with the future development and control of atomic power. To do other than place it under the control of parliament is inviting trouble. Not only would our economic stability be endangered under private control, but the security of the world would be gravely menaced. The world is looking to Canada for cooperation in establishing a new world order. Let us not be a party to disturbing that trend toward a peaceful and happy world that so many young men laid down their lives to achieve.

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SC

Ernest George Hansell

Social Credit

Mr. E. G. HANSELL (Macleod):

Mr. Speaker, in rising to speak on this measure for the control of atomic energy, this will be one occasion for my handing a little compliment to the government in that it has pursued this particular course, although at the same time I do not know that I agree with all the details of the measure.

I wish to congratulate the hon. member for Vancouver South (Mr. Green) on giving to us what I believe to be a very sensible treatise on this subject. I liked his idea of watch-dog committees. I would support that idea and carry it further and suggest that annually joint parliamentary committees should be set up for the purpose of doing just what the hon. member signified by that term watch-dog. Such committees in order to accomplish their work effectively must have complete access to all pertinent information. Let me illustrate what I mean by reminding the house that during the war, Canadian scientists, under the supervision or direction of the minister of munitions and supply, contributed greatly toward what is known as the discovery of the atomic bomb; and although that w'ork was

Atomic Energy Control

under the minister of munitions and supplj' this parliament and the people of Canada knew nothing whatsoever about what was happening until the news flashed out of the operations over Hiroshima.. I point that out, not because it would have been wise for us to know, but to indicate how inadequately even in this democratic country we were able to scrutinize all the expenditures of government in wartime.

I do not know how much money was spent in that respect, but I do know that during the war, when we were discussing estimates of the departments of defence and of munitions and supply, the discussion went on week in and week out and the parliamentary session was drawn out into months and months. We were talking about the tiniest things: about soldiers' underwear, whether they should be given new underwear or whether the old might be patched and still used. We attempted to show our wisdom by scrutinizing the exepnditure of every dollar, yet we missed the money which was spent on Canada's share in the discovery of the atomic bomb. So I say that all information in respect to atomic energy for peacetime purposes should be available to such watch-dog committees.

I nave risen in this house on many occasions as a supporter of the principle of private enterprise. I believe in it. I do not, however, believe in private monopoly, and I go so far as to say that in such a matter as the use of peace-time atomic energy we cannot permit that monopoly to go into private hands. - I have here a paper to which I subscribe and from which I might quote a few lines to illustrate and reinforce this particular point. The writer, referring to the time when atomic energy will be available to the public for the uses of peace, states:

When it is done, and it may be soon, the corporation-*

Referring to any private corporation.

-doing it will have a monopoly over a new source of power which will give to that corporation as much economic power as though the TYA, Grand Coulee, Bonneville and Hoover dams, wtih all their electric generating equipment, plus all privately-qwned electric light and power plants and transmission lines in the country, plus all the railroads were dominated by a single monopolistic combine.

That simply means that one private enterprise having all the patent rights and so forth could control the economic destinies of the nation, and that is why I agree that in a case of this kind a measure at least similar to the one we are discussing should be favourably considered. I would not for a moment advocate, nor, I believe, would the most ardent supporter of private enterprise, the private

ownership of war planes, tanks, artillery and battleships. We all know that private ownership of such things would give to private persons power over the lives and livelihood and destinies of our people, and I do not think we could regard that as any more dangerous than to put in the hands of the private corporation such power over the life of the country as would be attained through the control of atomic energy. I go that far.

But now there are one or two other things which I wish to say. I think we can go that far and yet retain within our Canadian life a degree of private enterprise in respect to these matters. What I have in mind is that while the government should be in possession of all patent rights in respect to atomic energy for peace-time purposes, they should not go so far as themselves to set up a great state monopoly for manufacturing all articles producible by the use of that atomic energy. I believe they could very well be the licensing authority, having possession of the patent rights, but giving to private individuals the right to use atomic energy for such manufacturing enterprises as they might choose to enter upon.

I wish to bring one other point to the attention of the house. It came to our notice when the hon. member for Bow River (Mr. Johnston) interrupted a while ago the hon. member for Weyburn (Mr. McKay). We must have some method of giving economic security to the people of Canada when atomic energy finds its real place in the life of our nation. I am particvdarly concerned about this matter because, as I think is recognized by us all, we must consider the possibility of finding ourselves living in a new world, a world of atomic energy which will, perhaps, disrupt our entire present economy. For instance, in my constituency there is a very large coal mining industry. What is going to happen to the coal miners of Macleod constituency or the thousands of coal miners all over Canada if atomic energy in peacetime is put to its greatest use? There are two arguments one can use. One can say: Well, we cannot let Canada have

the use of this atomic energy if it is going to put these men out of work. Is that a satisfactory answer? Would anyone rise in this chamber and say, "Of course, that is what we shall have to do"? If he did, he would be the enemy of the progress of civilization. Just the same, have the government, parallel with this measure, any ideas as to how to take care of that situation? If they have not, then I think some discussion should be had in that regard, and some statement should

Atomic Energy Control

be forthcoming from the government. Our railroads may be affected in the same way. It is quite obvious to anyone who will face the facts that the day of full employment is gone. Let us recognize that. And yet just a year ago to-day this government was elected to office on at least one great promise, that it was going to put everybody to work-jobs for all.

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SC

Charles Edward Johnston

Social Credit

Mr. JOHNSTON:

That is why the flag is at half mast to-day.

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SC

Ernest George Hansell

Social Credit

Mr. HANSELL:

I am glad to receive a little applause from my own party here, but it does not come from any place else in the house.

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SC

Charles Edward Johnston

Social Credit

Mr. JOHNSTON:

Because they are all guilty.

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SC

Ernest George Hansell

Social Credit

Mr. HANSELL:

It is because every party except this one went out with the same idea- jobs for all, and now the atomic energy age is on our doorstep and knocks that argument, that plea, that promise, into a cocked hat. I repeat, the day of full employment is gone; the plea of jobs for all is antiquated and can never be used again-until the next election, as an hon. member says. Perhaps the atomic age will not be in the door far enough by that time.

Let me ask the government this question: What measures are they now taking-because this is certainly a grave national issue in the light of this bill-what measures are they taking to care for a situation of that kind? We must have some method, some plan of giving incomes to our citizens from some source other than the old source of jobs for all. To those who believe in the full employment theory, I say that if the government is still of that opinion, if any other party in this country still believes in the old philosophy of full employment, then neither that government nor any party in office would dare to release the discovereies of atomic energy, in all its fulness, for peace-time purposes. They dare not do it. What have they to say as to what they are prepared to do when the atomic age dawns upon us?-and that may be soon.

This bill is not the first step that has been taken in the world in connection with the use of atomic energy. We all know that the large electrical corporations of the United States have spent millions upon millions of dollars upon the very thing that this bill proposes to do, and those corporations are not going to be retarded in their progress. But there is another matter that is commensurate with this. This atomic age brings about what some people would call the problem of unemployment- though I do not call it a problem, because I think it is one of the greatest blessings of the

day that men can have a little time to themselves. But with the dawn of this new day, what is going to happen to the millions of dollars that are invested in these industries? I might refer again to the coal mining industry. Millions of dollars are invested in that industry in this country. What will happen to that investment? Are we simply going to say, "Oh well, those corporations, those companies, those people, all those shareholders will simply be broke, that is all." We have to be fair all round. The government in office must be far-seeing in this matter and should be willing to bring down to the house legislation which will parallel this bill for the control and development of atomic energy, which will care for the security of our people who are going to be affected by it; and they should at the same time provide some compensation for the financial loss that may be incurred by the many shareholders-and remember there are a good many small shareholders in many of these industries.

This measure is more far-reaching than simply a bill of the kind I have suggested. This bill, if commensurate bills are not introduced along with it, will affect the entire economy of the country. Now are we going to move on to the great and glorious civilization we could have, or are we going to monkey around with things in this rapidly expanding scientific age where we meet one problem after another, only to find ourselves after all only in a morass?

I think the problem can be solved, and Canada with all her natural resources, all her wealth in the form of uranium and what have vou, with all her scientific knowledge, should be able to solve it. I am simply overwhelmed, Mr. Speaker, when I think what a wonderful country we have. I take a trip out west over hundreds of miles of wheat lands; I go into the mountains and see gorgeous scenery, vast areas of timberlands, and I say to myself, "This transcends all". Then I come down here and visit the southern part of Ontario and I see the most beautiful country-more beautiful than anything I have ever seen in my life: dairy lands with fat cattle grazing everywhere, so that the voice of scripture comes across to me, "The cattle upon a thousand hills are mine". I said to the train conductor: "What a country we have! What a country Canada is!" It is a country all the advantages of which are worth making available to the people; and what a glorious civilization we could have here. That is my plea. Let us tackle the problem. Let us not tackle it in any picayune way. Let us look upon it as a problem of civilization; let us build up here a civilization which will be

Atomic Energy Control

a glorious example to the rest of the world. If we do that, we shall not have very much trouble with opposing philosophies of life.

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PC

Thomas Langton Church

Progressive Conservative

Mr. T. L. CHURCH (Broadview):

I wish to compliment the minister on his address of June 3. There should be no politics in an important scientific discovery or in any statement that is made in relation to it. I wish to speak solely from the scientific point of view. I believe it is the privilege, function and duty of a member of parliament to take an unbiased view of a matter like this which concerns the welfare of the country as a whole, and civilization at large. In his statement of the case the minister told us where Canada stood before the war, during the war and since the close of the war. He said that Canada was linked up with the mother country and the United States. He referred to the recent developments in the field of atomic energy and said that they:

Placed Canada in a unique position among the nations of the world, in that Canada is an important source of raw material and, as well, shares with the United States the position of having a plant able to produce the final product from which atomic energy can be released. For that reason it is essential that legislative action be taken by parliament to control both the production of atomic energy and the materials from which this energy is derived.

He referred to the part Canada played in the development of the atomic bomb and the Eldorado mine on Great Bear lake. He also said that it is the second most important deposit of uranium oxide that has been discovered to date. He referred to the expropriation of the mine near Great Bear lake in the northwest territories, together with its refinery located at Port Hope, Ontario. He then said:

Activities in the field of atomic energy have been carried on in close association with the United Kingdom and the United States. In 1942 the Montreal laboratory was established.

He also gave a fair statement of what took place in the pre-war years regarding the work in the United Kingdom and the contribution of the joint British-Canadian laboratory at work in Montreal. He then said:

Prior to the war, Eldorado mine and its refinery at Port Hope had been concerned primarily with the production of radium, with uranium as a less important by-product.

He then went on to describe the plant at Chalk River which was set up for the purpose of exploring one particular process for producing the ultimate material. Then in three or four small sentences he went on and referred to the three-nation declaration on atomic energy, signed at Washington on

[Mr. Hansell.1

November 15, 1945, and which he said was approved in this house on December 17, 1945. He then went on to say:

Much has been said and written about the form of international control that should be initiated. The government is giving earnest study to this immensely complex jiroblem.

Further on, he said:

Until such time as the united nations atomic energy commission has made its recommendations, and has translated these recommendations into action, it remains the responsibility of Canada, as well as that of the United States and the United Kingdom, to establish and maintain conditions under which these recommendations can be made fully effective. Canada and all other nations possessing raw materials, or productive apparatus, or special knowledge with respect to atomic energy, have a very special responsibility to establish and maintain conditions which will ensure the effective carrying out of any recommendations that may be made by the commission to provide for international control of atomic energy.

In the United Kingdom, first reading has already been given to an atomic energy bill which will empower the United Kingdom government to establish control over the production or use of atomic energy. In the United States the McMahon bill has been drafted.

In conclusion, the minister said:

To build up a Canadian source of raw materials the government will carry out its own prospecting and development programme, and will encourage private prospecting, even though all the materials related to the production and use of atomic energy are to be under government control at all stages.

Thus the bill will provide means for continuing the important deevlopments that have placed Canada in the forefront of war-time developments in the field of atomic enei'gy. The bill will provide also an appropriate legislative basis for the domestic control of this highly dangerous substance.

I think that was a fair statement of the case. I refer to it because I wish to give the government some constructive suggestions relating to the history of warfare. From the time of the dark ages it has always been the surprise discovery that has won the battle. That was true of the days of Hannibal down to the great war. It has always been the destructive agencies sprung by surprise in war that have won wars. He who discovers the most surprising weapon wins the war. If it had been possible for one invention automatically to destroy the defensive possibilities of the up-to-date war nation the world would have been destroyed years and years ago, since the dark ages. We would have had the destruction of the world by the very same agency that we are discussing to-day, science. But warfare progresses. The initiation of defensive weapons from the time of the Greeks on has overcome offensive weapons. That has been true of the Greeks, the

Atomic Energy Control

Carthaginians and on down to the two great wars. A great text-book writer and scientist- Isvestia, August 17, 1945-gave the constructive history of warfare. He said:

The war was brought to an end not by sensational miracles but by the powerful joint efforts of all the allies. ... it is ludicrous to believe that the atomic bomb can eliminate ground fighting . . . the sensation of the atomic bomb has blinded some people. . . . They seem to regard science as some wizard's incantation.

According to "Watchman", an English scientist, in the National Review.

There is no doubt that a great deal of sensational public opinion has been worked up.

Again and again some sensational warhappening has shocked and stupefied public opinion. But no one weapon can really revolutionize war; the answer to it is soon found, and in the general balance between attack and defence it will always, all other things being equal, be superior resources which in the long run will dominate and beat down the attack, whatever the means by which it is conducted. That defence will soon be found in any up-to-date nation that has an active defence policy. That was so in the recent war. The atomic bomb was a great discovery and may mark the first stage of a social evolution in economic affairs. But the entry of Russia into the war had rendered the Japanese military position helpless and hopeless. The possession of Manchuria was vital to the Japanese war economy; it was impossible to hold Manchuria against the flood of vastly superior Russian armies; the use of the atomic bomb accelerated at most by a couple of weeks or so a surrender which would have been inevitable. But had it been the Japanese who had led the way with this particular weapon, the effects would scarcely have been of greater military importance than the German use jf flying bombs and rockets in 1944, when it was thought we were going to win the war in the spring of 1944. There would have been but few such bombs available; to have used them the Japanese must have dropped them from aircraft. Attempts to bomb vital Anglo-American bases would have come up against a crushing Anglo-American superiority in fighting aircraft, plus radar, and other means. Manchuria is a land of immense spaces, an atomic bomb dropped here or there would have been of no particular importance. The Russian armies would have continued to flood Manchuria; the Anglo-Americans would have continued to push forward their own plans for invasion; the use of atomic bombs by the Japanese would have been a temporary shock but would scarcely have affected the issue or its outcome.

The very fact that every new means of attack evolves from older means connotes that the older means of defence can be swiftly improved and expanded to meet the new danger. That has been so in every war in history. Whether the new means of defence become available in time depends upon the strength and vigour of the social organism attacked. Once you consider the vast distances of the United States or Russia, the wide distribution of their social and industrial centres, the magnitude of their resources and so on, the assumption that either .state could be knocked out by any sudden atomic bomb attack becomes merely absurd. After making all allowances for developments with the atomic bomb likely in the near future, such bombing would certainly be no more effective than the high explosive bombing of Germany, and the probabilities are that it would be far less effective.

The atomic bomb is merely an extension of the power of the high explosive bomb and the rocket bomb developed in the spring of 1945 by Germany. Views as to its war-preventing or war-shortening or war-cheapening qualities are likely to be just as fallacious as views expressed on the older weapon. The gain with the atomic bomb is that you get from an explosive weighing only eight pounds a destructive effect exceeding that of many tons of high explosives. As against this, however, must be set the cost of producing the eight-pound atomic bomb, which greatly exceeds the equivalent destructive power to be gained by the use of high explosives. Even with the great resources of the United States, just before Japan collapsed the United States was forced to establish factories and workshops on islands very close to Japan in order to place fuses on their new weapons. With their great resources the Americans could spend millions, which no other country could have spent, in the development of this new weapon; but Germany lost the war, as military critics point out, because at the expense of her armies and her air force she went to work and developed the high explosive and rocket bombs beyond the limits of her natural resources. As a result, while Germany had air forces superior to those of the allies on the western front for a time, even when that situation was reversed we had to depend upon our land armies to win the war. On the eastern front Russia had vast armies but an inferior air force; yet in spite of this situation Russia swept all before her.

The Kilgore subcommittee in the United States proved this to be true in an important report to congress and the senate in connection with the allied bombing of Germany.

Atomic Energy Control

When it was all over, Germany still had four million tons of machine tools capable of producing immense quantities of armaments; with minor repairs the iron and steel industry was capable of producing twenty-five million tons yearly, while the dye and chemical industry was virtually untouched. The general damage done to German war output was estimated at only twenty per cent. Bombing on a scale fantastically exceeding the wildest pre-war fantasies of Mr. H. G. Wells and other enthusiasts failed to produce anything like the social chaos predicted. Germany survived this bombing successfully enough but succumbed finally to the impact of allied armies. Lacking overwhelming air support the Russian armies won victories no less important than those of the Anglo-American armies, which had overwhelming air support. World war II lasted six years, as compared with four and a half years for world war I. It cost two or three times as much money; yet the 1935 air experts thought air power, even if it failed to prevent wars altogether, would exercise such destructive power that the side inferior in air power would be reduced to chaos in a few days or weeks.

As I have said already, the atomic bomb is just an extension of the high explosive and rocket bombs; and any cheapening of production which will bring atomic energy into civil use is extremely doubtful. Next to the atomic bomb, dynamite and high explosives are the most destructive agents known to man, but we do not use dynamite or high explosives for driving machines. The cost of producing these destructive agents is far too great, and there is also the difficulty of controlling them. According to scientific writers, it will be a long time before atomic energy becomes harnessed to production in the fashion popularity predicted. One such writer, who signs himself "Watchman" says, in the National Review:

Should this occur, a large proportion of man's energies are going to be directed underground. Tunnelling, the sinking of deep shafts, will be greatly speeded and civilization will become honeycombed with vast subterranean workings. When this time comes, any real menace to mankind from atomic energy will die of itself, the rival processes of atomic bombing or rocketing can go on indefinitely, inflicting on both sides loss and destruction, and leaving neither side one step further to decisive victory. To achieve a decision, one side or other must push forward with an army, the advance of which will be covered either by superior bombing or by other means. After all the confident predictions as to wars won by bombing to the exclusion of fleets and armies, we were forced, in the present war, to fall back upon the old-fashioned process of landing armies which fought decisive battles and won them. The wars of the future are likely to be won by similar means.

{Mr. Church.]

In conclusion, I should like to say that a learned and great writer, philosopher and scientist, the late W. MacNeil Dixon, justifies the stand taken by the minister and the government. This scientist delivered the Gifford lectures at the university of Glasgow, and spoke on science in peace and war alike, as the minister did in his remarks on June 3. Mr. Dixon gave a history of what it was hoped would be achieved by atomic energy for the good of mankind, and went on to say:

And science? However you regard her attitude and aims, deplore her emphasis upon the body rather than the soul, you cannot deny the benefits she has conferred upon humanity. True it is that worldliness has under her regime superseded other-worldliness. Yet so impressive, so far-reaching are her achievements as not merely to silence all criticism but to arouse a noble enthusiasm, and enlist in the cause of humanity legions of recruits, missionaries of her gospel.

He goes on to refer, as the minister did, to modern medicine, which he calls the child of

science, and says:

Plagues and pestilences have been stayed, a multitude of diseases-diphtheria, rabies, smallpox, typhus, yellow fever, Maltese fever, to name only a few-almost exterminated. Great scourge-ridden tracts of the earth's surface rendered habitable, food values understood, vaccines and anti-toxins discovered, antiseptic surgery so established as to open up new fields of remedial agency, ailments of the mind as well as of the body controlled and relieved. This is a record, indeed, to which no previous age in history can produce a parallel. Within a century the expectation of life in all civilized countries has been amazingly increased.

Then he gives the figures for various countries. In conclusion, he states:

A static world it is not, never was and never will be. There have been revolutions in the past, there will be revolutions hereafter, in the world of thought as in the world of events. We must expect the sudden and unpredictable. You may desire a stabilized system, an international agreement to keep things much- as they are in respect of national boundaries, material advantages in wealth, coal, oil, trade facilities. It will not be given you. For all your entreaties the world will not cease to revolve. Nature is no friend of stagnation.

The minister said practically the same thing.

Climates change, economic conditions change, birth rates rise and fall, labour is cheap here and dear there, a new invention, a new commodity is in demand, and cities spring up to meet it. Factories are built, populous districts are deserted. The seats of ancient empires are lost in the desert or in the jungle.

I would not go as far as to predict that the minister or any of us will live long enough to see this new energy developed in peace for the good of mankind, as the minister and the scientists hope it will be developed, but I believe the government will have the unani-

Atomic Energy Control

mous support of all hon. members, free from politics in the development of science along the lines that have been suggested.

I think if the bill were referred to a small committee of the house, as the hon. member for Vancouver South (Mr. Green) has suggested, that committee could meet privately or publicly as it liked and get the required information. I believe that procedure would meet with unanimous agreement on the part of all sections of the house.

In warfare I do not think this new atomic bomb would last a very long time without a defence, because any civilized nation would soon provide the answer. In addition, the cost would be prohibitive along the lines that I mentioned relating to Japan. I hope the minister will have every success in his work, and the government is to be commended for trying to advance the scientific standards and encourage the future progress of human life.

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LIB

Robert Henry Winters

Liberal

Mr. R. H. WINTERS (Queens-Lunenburg):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to say a very few words about this matter of atomic energy and the control thereof. In the light of recent publicity it seems to be the general opinion that atomic energy is an easy thing to realize and that the greatest problem is how to control it. As I understand it, actually it is one of the most difficult things in the world to split the atom and to release the energy inherent in it.

The splitting of the atom is not a new feat. That phase did not come into effect only at the time of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Scientists have been working on it for years. This development has been carried on by colleges and private undertakings for some considerable time. Recently the approach has been somewhat different by virtue of the fact that certain radioactive materials were discovered. Years ago the method adopted to split the atom was virtually brute force. Generators were set up to develop as much as ten million volts of static electricity and they were used to bombard certain molecules and atoms with such great force that the electrons could be knocked from them, thereby achieving the splitting of the atom. As I say, it is not a new thing.

I point this out simply to show that, although the government has come into the picture and has exerted a great amount of control for the benefit of mankind and for the winning of the war, in time private research would have arrived at the same point. The atom was being split and great progress was being made in the simplification of the process. Therefore I think we must regard the control of the atom not as a "shut-out" prop-63260-151

osition but simply as a means of guiding the energy we now have, along proper channels, and seeing that the use of it, for the time being, does not fall into the wrong hands.

I am sure we all realize that in this respect Canada has no monopoly on scientific brains. It is true that Great Britain, the United States and Canada enjoyed a head start and went farther than anybody else, but the fact remains that private research was making good progress before the government came into the picture. That leaves one with the clear impression that any other nation could start now and in due course could catch up to where we are at present. Therefore we must realize that we cannot shut out the other nations, and probably we cannot shut out private research in our own country. What we must achieve is. the best possible coordination; the best possible cooperation and have the greatest possible freedom from suspicion between nations and between individuals in connection with the manner in which this energy is to be used.

Down through the pages of history we find evidence of many problems of scientific control. For example, electricity opened up fields that had been unheard of before. There is enough electricity being directed around the streets of Ottawa to-day to wreak untold destruction if it were not controlled. The first public demonstration of atomic energy was one of destruction and it left us all pretty well awestricken. We think of atomic energy as being an energy of destruction, whereas the fact is that an energy which can be used for destruction can be used also for constructive purposes. This energy will undoubtedly be used to benefit mankind; to relieve many of the hardships that we now suffer. For the present time we are primarily concerned here with the matter of control and this bill is the best vehicle for asserting the essential control. I think it is an excellent thing; it is all to the good, as hon. members have said.

I should like to refer for a moment to the remarks of the hon. member for Macleod (Mr. Hansell). The hon. member was worried about atomic energy possibly causing a great deal of unemployment. That would appear to be a short-term outlook. All down through the centuries we find many cases where new developments caused people to fear that they would be thrown out of work. That was true, for example, of steam, of internal combustion and it was certainly true of electricity. It was true also of radio. I well remember when radio first came into prominence there was a great cry from musicians and manufacturers of phonographs that they would become unem-

Atomic Energy Control

ployed. But the economists pointed out that with the advent of radio people would become conscious of music and would demand phonographs in ever-increasing quantities because they would become familiar with music through the use of the radio and would want to hear over and over again that which they were able just to catch in snatches on the radio. Many people thought that this view was entirely wrong; that if people could just turn a dial and get music when they wanted it from all over the world, they would not buy phonographs. But that has not been the case; the demand for phonographs has increased ever since radio was developed. The discovery of radio has resulted in a demand such as never existed before for music and art of all kinds.

When electricity was developed it was thought that people would be put out of work, but the fact is that it has widened our horizons beyond anything that was ever expected. Every day articles such as clocks and household appliances are now powered by electricity and are manufactured in far greater quantities than ever before. This progress has created a demand for labour which was not thought possible years ago. I feel quite confident that the same will prove to be the case with, atomic energy.

The hon. member for Macleod referred particularly to coal and said that the coal industry might be upset and coal miners put out of work. Certainly there is that possibility. We know that coal is an important source of energy through the development of heat, but we know also that the heat from coal is derived and utilized on a most inefficient basis. Coal is used, in many instances, to generate steam which in turn may be used to generate electricity; but, as I recall, in most power plants the efficiency is not more than thirty per cent, and certainly not more than forty per cent. It may be, now that we can look more closely into the atom and study the nuclear side of the physics of coal, that we shall find a means of releasing more energy from this source. I do not know whether that is as yet the case in fact, nor have I any inside information, but I would say to the hon. member for Macleod that he should not be too pessimistic in thinking that coal is finished as a means of energy.

If our scientific brains are concentrated on the development of atomic energy we are bound to progress. I do not think we can backslide. With the direction scientists are getting; with the attention that is being focused on this problem, I believe these efforts will be used for the welfare of mankind. Certainly the atom is a source of energy that is

far beyond anything we have ever dreamed of. The number of people in the world who are able to come even close to realizing the enormous amount of energy in the atom is exceedingly small indeed. With this source of energy now available to us, we have seen something of what it can do destructively. If we can turn the tables, control this energy, guide it and use it constructively, then I would say we have really something to look forward to.

In concluding these short remarks, Mr. Speaker, I should like to dispel as far as possible any gloom the hon. member for Macleod has regarding the danger that we are likely to create a world of unemployment by progressing in the scientific field. I think that is the wrong deduction. It has been proven to be wrong all down through the ages. So that, in conclusion, I would simply say to him, "be of good cheer."

Topic:   ATOMIC ENERGY
Subtopic:   PUBLIC CONTROL AND SUPERVISION OF DEVELOPMENT, APPLICATION AND USE
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PC

George Russell Boucher

Progressive Conservative

Mr. G. RUSSELL BOUCHER (Carleton):

Mr. Speaker, as members who have already spoken have said unanimously-it is difficult for any member of the house to foresee the great consequences which the release of atomic energy may have upon the world. I wonder if it is not like other great inventions, which first were used as a weapon of destruction, I think we are not a little inclined to focus our attention too much upon the destructive aspect of this great discovery. Truly we in Canada are in a particularly favoured position not only by having contributed to the production of the atomic bomb but in having seen its use bring a quick termination to the war. Now that the war is over for the time being, in looking upon this great source of energy I think we should, so far as we can, look upon it as a blessing to mankind rather than as a death-dealing weapon. All new inventions when first discovered, have brought apprehensions into the minds of many people. Fear is a very common result of invention. Fear probably deters to a great extent the practical use of inventions.

In discussing atomic energy this afternoon, I think we must all feel that the minister who introduced this bill has gone a considerable way. I do not think there are any who will criticize the best endeavours he has made. I believe that everyone of us is sincere in urging that the best possible be done under, the circumstances.

Atomic energy may be viewed in two aspects, one the international and the other the domestic. So far as its international use is concerned, we fear that a potential enemy may learn our secret. I do not think history will vindicate anybody in the belief that any great invention can be permanently retained

Atomic Energy Control

and restrained from the use of mankind in general. It is a matter, as I see it, of controlling the use of atomic energy internationally only so far as is practicable to delay its use until its domestic uses have been properly developed. Looking at it internationally, we must realize that it is only for a short time that we can keep our secret locked up in our own hearts.

I prefer to look upon atomic energy from the point of view of its domestic use. I believe that atomic energy will be a great blessing in peace time and that, like so many other discoveries, it will completely revolutionize our peace-time mode of living. Atomic energy by virtue of its great potency may be a great deterrent to war because, When all nations have the secret, any and all nations must fear the use of the death-dealing atomic bomb as a menace even to the aggressor. I think we should take that into our primary consideration.

Atomic energy must be kept under rigid surveillance. If I were to use the word "control", I might be misunderstood, for I do not think science is capable of being controlled beyond a limited extent by other than scientists. That being the case, I would, urge the members of the house to look upon atomic energy as something that we want-developed for peace-time use to the greatest possible extent. Having focused our attention in this parliament on atomic energy really for the first time, we should deliberate carefully before we put on the statute book any enactment dealing with atomic energy. For that reason I am heartily in approval of the suggestion made by the hon. member for Vancouver South (Mr. Green) that before this bill is passed parliament should take every possible means of getting the very best possible measure. I think his suggestion was a good one of setting up a joint committee of the House of Commons and the Senate before which scientists, technical experts, businessmen and administrators could be called, so that from a coordination of the viewpoints of the best we have in Canada a measure might be framed that would best serve our purpose. True, any measure we may pass to-day may have to be amended many times before it is perfect, but let us get the firmest possible foundation at the very earliest stage in dealing with atomic energy.

The hon. member for Vancouver South also mentioned the necessity for vigilance in the use of atomic energy and proposed the setting up of what he called watch-dog committees but which I prefer to call vigilance committees. In the last few days we have all 63260-1514

heard a great deal about and have lent our voice to a great expansion of national research. But we must remember that there are people in private life who also contribute greatly to research and invention, and therefore in studying this measure we must take into consideration not only the activities of the research council and the experts employed by the government but also private enterprise and individual scientists or inventors who may also be able to contribute a great deal. History has shown that private scientists 'have, often by accident, discovered great potentialities of further developments. Therefore I say that it is of no use for us to consider the control of atomic energy nationally unless we are vigilant with regard to the developments of its use internationally. We must realize that in addition to the paid civil servants, scientists and agents employed by this government, private individuals will also be exploring into this as yet largely unknown field.

I should like to draw to the attention of the house a number of matters which I consider important in our approach to passing: legislation of this kind. In the first place,, the war has shown us that great secrecy must often be preserved. But the war has also shown us the difficulty of, restraining secret: discoveries from the general use of mankind) and the danger of the secret getting out fa those who might use it to our detriment. Consequently we must regard secrecy in the light of a danger as well as a protection, because if secrecy retains the use of atomic energy in the control of the few, they can make it more dangerous than if it is in the hands of the many, for the few may impede the development of further uses of this power, and one's imagination at present is hardly equal to realizing to what uses it may be put which would be detrimental to mankind. We must look with a vigilant eye upon developments eleswhere than in our own country. Canada is fortunate in containing the second richest deposits of the fundamental substances required for atomic energy, but it is doubtful whether some or all other countries will not be able to prepare the same product from like or similar materials.

As regards control, the reason the three great nations in possession of this secret, namely Britain, United States and Canada, have not shared it with Russia holus-bolus is not that they selfishly desire to use it for their own ends, but that they want to keep somebody else from using it to our detriment. The joint committee that met in Washington agreed that as soon as practically possible, full knowledge of atomic energy should be

Atomic Energy Control

extended to our allies. By the same yardstick, it must be spread out to scientists and to the public for maximum peace-time use. I am a firm believer that the development of atomic energy, like the radio, the telephone and electricity, will arouse the imagination of our youth, our scientists, our merchants and our industrialists, all of whom in their own way will probably undertake some forms of research. These movements should be sponsored. I am glad that the bill to some extent, though I believe insufficiently, sponsors that development.

If one looks upon atomic energy from the viewpoint of the history of inventions of bygone days, one recalls that there was much fear of the printing press and its effects upon mankind; likewise hindrances arose to the *development of applied electricity, the telephone and, above all, the radio; but, despite fears and predictions of possible trouble, the extension and the use of inventions increased rapidly. It is said that the theory of gravitation was discovered by someone who, sitting under a tree, was struck by a falling apple. So, great new uses of atomic energy may be discovered accidentally. Therefore we should be concerned to see that as much atomic knowledge as possible should be made public. While certain developments no doubt should remain secret and be kept under control, I believe that governmental responsibility is such that a member of the cabinet, responsible to parliament, should be included in the atomic committee so that he can bring to parliament all information which can possibly be disclosed, for dissemination by members of the house in our various ridings. So I urge that, in setting up the committee, not only the president of the national research council be an ex-officio member, but so also should a member of the government.

I agree with the hon. member for Vancouver South that this legislation should not be rushed, but that a special committee should be appointed and given full power to call for papers and documents, to examine experts, and to decide whether a better bill than the one before us can be produced. The best possible methods of controlling atomic energy are none too good for us in this day and age. I do not think we are going to gain anything by rushing the matter through. There are some sections of the bill -which the hon. member for Vancouver South has mentioned which may prove to be either helpful or detrimental, but personally I am not convinced that the bill in its present form is the best that can be adopted. In an attempt to guard the

secret, we may be merely impeding progress, and I think more attention should be given to that consideration. The prime concern of members of this parliament should be the extension of the peace-time use of this great force in all possible directions, for power, for light, for medical and medicinal purposes. There are indeed so many potentialities that we should be careful in drafting legislation that the horse we run with is not a horse which will hinder us in the race.

Topic:   ATOMIC ENERGY
Subtopic:   PUBLIC CONTROL AND SUPERVISION OF DEVELOPMENT, APPLICATION AND USE
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CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

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

Mr. STANLEY KNOWLES (Winnipeg North Centre):

Mr. Speaker, the minister and the government are receiving from all sides of the house congratulations upon the presentation of this bill for the control of atomic energy. I want to join in those congratulations, although I feel that some member of the government might well reply that they have done only what they ought to have done and that therefore congratulations are hardly necessary. As a matter of fact I can hardly conceive in this day and age of any government of a democracy not realizing that they should take steps exactly along the lines of those proposed in the bill before us.

As I see it, the matter is a very simple one. Almost all of those who have spoken in the course of this debate have referred to the two aspects of atomic energy. On the one hand, it has terrifying possibilities with respect to war. On the other hand, it holds tremendous potentialities for us in the domestic field. On both counts I suggest that the government is absolutely right in bringing down a measure providing for public control of this new power.

I say that with a view of what has happened in past history. In the matter of armaments I think we are alj aware of the terrible part that has been played in human history by private manufacture. That has -been true with armaments of a much lesser force than that of atomic energy, and I suggest that all our experience adds up to the fact that this tremendous power, so far as war is concerned, must be under public control. I think we are all aware that control must not stop with national control; it must become truly international; but in order to move in that direction, we must make within our own country the beginning which is foreshadowed by the bill now before us.

On the other hand, in domestic matters, as the leader of this group (Mr. Coldwell) pointed out when he spoke at the resolution stage, history gives us a sorry picture of new sources of power getting into private hands with the result that their advantages are not made available to the people as a whole

Atomic Energy Control

but rather are misused, thus bringing misery to thousands and indeed millions of people. That having been the case with sources of power much less in extent than that which has now been disvovered, it seems to me to be of the utmost importance that as we launch upon the atomic age we see to it that this power remain in public hands.

I consider it highly significant that from all sides of the house, although in many debates we divide along party lines, in this debate there has been general approval of the bill now before us. I make that statement because I wish to refer in passing to something that was said by the hon. member for Vancouver South (Mr. Green); and in replying to something he has had to say, I wish to be perfectly fair and to recognize that he did give support, both on his own behalf and on behalf of his party, to the principle of the bill. I felt, however, that in his remarks there was a certain fear about the bill, because to him it seemed to give to the government or to an agency of the government far-reaching and sweeping powers. In fact, I believe he used words something like these, that in this bill were contained the most far-reaching and sweeping powers ever given to any body of any kind.

I think that is true as far as Canadian history is concerned. Certainly it is true that any person or body or group of people exercising control over atomic energy will have just about the greatest power that any individual or any group ever had. But it is precisely because control over atomic energy is such a tremendous power that I do not want to see it get into private hands. It is for that reason that I support the principle of the bill before us, namely, that atomic energy should without question be brought under public control.

Topic:   ATOMIC ENERGY
Subtopic:   PUBLIC CONTROL AND SUPERVISION OF DEVELOPMENT, APPLICATION AND USE
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PC

Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. GREEN:

I did not question that.

Topic:   ATOMIC ENERGY
Subtopic:   PUBLIC CONTROL AND SUPERVISION OF DEVELOPMENT, APPLICATION AND USE
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CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

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

Mr. KNOWLES:

I recognize that. But in all kindliness may I say-I do not mean that I am not prepared to fight with my hon. friends to the right, but in this debate we are pretty well agreed as to the general principle -hence the manner in which I am dealing with this point. This issue seems- to come up so often-the fear of some of my hon. friends, particularly to the right, of delegating great powers to the government or to agencies of the government-and every time I hear that fear expressed it reminds me of my own greater fear and my own dislike of powers being entrusted to private individuals and corporations especially in view of the results of that policy in the past. So I suggest to the hon. member for Vancouver South and those

associated with him that they think this question through a little farther and realize that there is not a great deal to fear in the course that is being followed. It is far more democratic than leaving great powers in private hands.

I am sure my hon. friend will agree that it is a good day for civilization that something of this importance is to be protected from private exploitation and definitely put under the control of the people of the country and eventually under the control of the people of the world.

Topic:   ATOMIC ENERGY
Subtopic:   PUBLIC CONTROL AND SUPERVISION OF DEVELOPMENT, APPLICATION AND USE
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PC

Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. GREEN:

I was not advocating private exploitation.

Topic:   ATOMIC ENERGY
Subtopic:   PUBLIC CONTROL AND SUPERVISION OF DEVELOPMENT, APPLICATION AND USE
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June 11, 1946