1919. These dates will indicate that it was a matter that was being dealt with not only by one party but by whatever administration had responsibility for the affairs of the country.
The act of 1919 increased the annual grant to $150,000 for a ten-year period from July 1, 1919, and then in 1,927 the name of the commission was changed from the Ottawa improvement commission to the federal distiet *commission. The act passed in that year increased the powers of the commission to enable it to extend its activities to areas or districts outside the capital proper, and provided for the appointment of a commissioner .as a representative of the city of Hull. The dominion government, I^m told, was actuated by the desire to widen the scope of the commission's functions to embrace not only Ottawa and the immediate vicinity but Hull and the adjoining municipalities on both sides as an integral part of the national capital area.
The act of 1927 also increased the annual grant of the commission to $250,000, but this was reduced again to $200,000 in 1928 when provision was made for a grant of $3,000,000 to be expended upon capital improvements over a period of years. The beautification and improvement works which had been commenced in 1900 for Ottawa and district, under these authorizing acts of parliament, consist of parks, landscapes, driveways, the latter extending from Rockcliffe park east of the city of Ottawa to Aylmer road west of the city of Hull, The driveway follows as closely as convenient the banks of the Ottawa and Rideau rivers and the Rideau canal. Approximately twenty-two miles of driveways have been constructed, Gatineau park, comprising
16,000 acres situated in the Laurentian hills on the Quebec side of the river, about seven air miles northwest of Ottawa, is being preserved in its natural state of wooded hills, valleys, lakes and streams, for the enjoyment of the public.
By orders in council the responsibility of improving and maintaining, the grounds of Rideau Hall, those surrounding the national research council buildings and other dominion government buildings in Ottawa was transferred from the Department of Public Works to the commission in the years 1932 to 1934. Amounts for this work are voted annually by parliament in estimates approved by the governor in council.
The number of properties now serviced by the commission is 110. The land now owned or controlled by the federal district commission in and around Ottawa, exclusive of the 16,000-acre national park, is: Owned by the
federal district commission, 758 acres; leased from the crown, 224 acres; leased from
£Mr. St. Laurent.!
the city of Ottawa and developed and maintained by the commission, 129 acres; grounds of government buildings maintained through the instrumentality of the commission under these orders in council, about 200 acres, or a total of grounds thus administered and maintained by the commission in Ottawa and the immediate vicinity of 1,311 acres. In addition, as I stated a moment ago, there is the 16,000 acres of land in the Gatineau park.
The leader of the opposition in his inquiry the other day, seemed particularly interested in having a statement of receipts and expenditures of the commission since its inception. The figures I have been given are as follows:
Statutory grants from 1899 to 1909,
$60,000 a year for 10 years $600,000
Statutory grants from 1909 to 1919,
$100,000 a year for 10 years 1,000,000
Statutory grants from 1919 to 1927,
$150,000 a year for 8 years 1,200,000
Statutory grants from 1927 to 1928,
1 year 250,000
Statutory grants from 1928 to 1946,
$200,000 a year for 18 years 3,600,000
In addition thereto, special grant
made under the act of 1928 3,000,000
Grand total $9,650,000
In addition to that there have been votes by parliament over that period of $1,162,788. There have also been advances from government departments for work on the maintenance of grounds and new buildings of $2,016,766, making a grand total of $12,829,554 over the forty-eight years.
I come now to the expenditures for that period: For the construction and maintenance of the parkway system, $10,690,117; for the maintenance of grounds of government buildings, $1,375,125; for the development of grounds of new government buildings, $641,640.
In connection with the future work of the commission there are a few points I should like to mention. First of all I wish to point out that there is no provision in this bill or in anything parliament is being asked to pass making this a national war memorial. This is a bill to amend the act respecting the federal district commission, and these amendments are required, and I trust will be made by the house, entirely apart from any idea as to whether or not the development of the national capital should be classified as a national war memorial. I know that the Prime Minister has urged that the development of the national capital might be a fitting way for the nation to express its gratification at the role played by the Canadian nation in the last war. That is a matter about which it was apparent from the debate last evening
Federal District Commission
that there is no unanimity of opinion, and it is not my purpose to ask the house to make any pronouncement about it at this time.
This bill is for the continuation of the development of the capital area consisting of Ottawa and the surrounding district. I think there is much to be said for the view that it is something that the Canadian nation would wish to do entirely regardless of any other consideration. I think it is something that the Canadian nation feels should keep pace with the development of the country. The appropriation suggested at this time would not be required, and would probably not be justified, if we in this house felt that the Canadian nation had reached the full stage of its national development and of its importance in world affairs. But as the nation develops-and I think we all feel that it will develop for a long period still, and that this immense area of the habitable portion of the globe is to be the home of a much larger population than the twelve million people who control it at the present time-as that goes on, it will be necessary that the national capital keep pace with the development of the nation. In order that that may be possible I think it is only the part of prudence and foresight to lay out plans which will not be carried out at any early day but which it would be possible to realize without having to destroy too much placed in the way of their realization when the proper time comes. It was for that purpose, and it is for the same purpose, that these capital sums are being asked parliament to appropriate. There are a great many places in Canada where the development has been such that it has necessitated the tearing down of things which would still intrinsically have had some value but which had to make way for something more useful which the developments had made necessary.
As I said at the resolution stage, the work will be somewhat greater in extent than it had been, hitherto, because of two factors. One is that over the past five or six years the development of our people as a nation has proceeded with greater rapidity than it had at any previous period. Canada's position as one of the nations of the world has asserted itself to a much greater degree during the last few years than had happened at any time before, though it must be at once stated that the groundwork for that development and for that expansion had been laid from the very beginning. This is just one example of what I have in mind. The exchange of diplomatic representatives between the Canadian government and the other governments has brought to Ottawa a large body of officials representing other nations of the world. Their presence in Ottawa has put some strain upon the buildings, upon the layout which had previously sufficed for the requirements of the business transacted on behalf of the nation at the national capital, and that is still going on.
The second factor which makes it appear desirable to proceed a little more rapidly is that so much of the maintenance and development work had to give way to more urgent matters during the war period, and they had to be deferred until this time. The federal district commission is like any other large body in Canada. It had to allow activities that were not of vital necessity to win the war to be deferred until the war had been won.
This bill does not deal with any general plan of development which may be decided on for the capital, and I would not expect that there would be any decision made at this time or in the immediate future blueprinting what was to be done and at what dates it would be done. But a general over-all plan is being prepared which would make possible the development of a national capital with a population two or three times what it is at the present time, showing what a city of that size as the national capital would be apt to require. It is suggested in this bill that there be such cooperation between the various authorities concerned as would prevent the doing of things which would be obstacles to the realization of that larger plan, as and when conditions made it proper to develop it.
To cover expenditures of a capital type, such as those for the purchase of lands and works, the development of the parkway system and so on, the bill before the house provides that over a period of years the sum of $3,000,000 may be allocated to the commission, as a similar sum of $3,000,000 was made available between 1928 and 1935 under the terms of the 1928 act. To cover the increased current expenditures an increase in the annual grant from $200,000 to $300,000 is also requested.
The part of the work of the commission which will be connected with the broader developments of the capital will require special arrangements. As hon. members know, the government has had Mr. Jacques Greber to advise on the general planning. I was much interested and impressed by what was said last evening by the hon. member for Eglinton. I think all Canadians wish this capital to be expressive of Canadian mentality and Canadian conditions, that it be the capital of the Canadian nation and not a pocket edition of anything already in existence else-
Federal District Commission