October 24, 1949

LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. Chevrier:

My hon. friend is right. After the bill passes this house the procedure will be as follows: An application will be made by that company to the board of transport commissioners, and the board will or will not grant the application, depending upon the circumstances. As I said a moment ago, they can deal with the movement from the source to the international boundary line, but they cannot consider a movement beyond that. I think they would take into account the availability of oil or, in this case, gas. I think, too, they should have some regard for the wishes or the policy of the province from which the gas or oil comes. For instance, I believe that the attitude of the government of Alberta, if it cares to make known its views to the board, will be given consideration. I do not see any difference between an application such as this and any other application to the board in so far as representations are concerned.

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PC

Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Green:

That would mean that the board cannot decide whether the gas should be used in Canada or in the United States. Personally I do not think it is their job to decide that. It is the duty of the government to decide as a matter of policy whether these Canadian products should be exported at a time when we still need them in Canada. Certainly that question has not been dealt with by any responsible authority. I suggest to the minister that it must be handled by the government. The government must decide whether or not, as a matter of policy, this Canadian product is to go into the United States rather than be used in Canada.

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LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. Chevrier:

On the question of policy, the position is exactly the same as it is with

reference to the export of fluid and electricity. The Minister of Trade and Commerce decides whether or not he will grant a licence and what conditions he applies to that licence. That took place with reference to the application of the Interprovincial Pipe Line Company. What will happen in connection with the application of the gas line that my hon. friend has in mind I do not know. It would be premature on my part to attempt to discuss it at this stage.

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PC

Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Green:

Once these companies have spent millions of dollars to put in the line it is most unlikely that any governmental authority will refuse to give them a licence to export. The damage is done. Once they start spending their money it is too late to make a change.

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LIB

George Alexander Cruickshank

Liberal

Mr. Cruickshank:

May I ask the minister one question? Perhaps he will not answer it. He may say that it is a matter of government policy. But I shall ask it. I do not want to go into details because I intend to speak two or three hours on this subject at the appropriate time. Is it the policy of the government to encourage an all-Canadian route for gas and oil and eventually export the surplus to the United States? That is a fair question, and the minister should answer it.

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LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. Chevrier:

The Minister of Trade and Commerce dealt with that specifically the other evening. In so far as government policy is concerned, my hon. friend has provided the answer himself. That is announced from time to time in individual cases, and on its merits, and I am not going to renew the debate that we had the other evening.

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PC
CCF

Robert Ross (Roy) Knight

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

Mr. Knight:

May I ask the minister how hon. members can be expected to vote intelligently on the granting of these applications unless they know to what extent the board of transport commissioners is to regulate these companies and what some of these regulations may mean? The minister says that if things do not run satisfactorily after the pipe line has been in operation, if injustices develop, we can go to the courts for redress.

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LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. Chevrier:

What case is my hon. friend talking about? He says we cannot expect to vote intelligently, and I am wondering what case he is referring to.

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CCF

Robert Ross (Roy) Knight

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

Mr. Knighi:

No case in particular. I am talking about applications in general for permission to build pipe lines through this country, when applications are granted by parliament. How can members of the House of Commons be expected to vote intelligently

on such applications unless they know whether or not there is to be a regulatory board in the matter? I do not know beforehand what those regulations are likely to be. The minister has suggested that if things do not go properly we can go to the board of transport commissioners and place the matter before them. But I submit that is too late, and that we should have the information now. It may be unreasonable, but that is the way I see it.

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LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. Chevrier:

The hon. member seems concerned about his lack of information on a particular application. If he has in mind the bill which is now in another place, and will come here some time later this week, then I submit to him that that is a private bill. When it comes here it is discussed in the house and sent to a committee. He can go before that committee and get all the information he wants in connection with the bill.

Once the bill had passed the house, an application would go before the board. I do not know what the regulations are. Unquestionably there are some, and I shall be glad to get them for the hon. member. All I can say is that general principles are applied by the board in connection with these applications. In so far as the regulations are concerned, I believe I can get them and table them.

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CCF

Angus MacInnis

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

Mr. Maclnnis:

If I understand the discussion correctly, we are considering two matters, first a pipe line which has already been authorized, so far as the building of it is concerned. It is now being built from one place to another. The second matter is that we are considering a pipe line for another purpose which has not yet been authorized by the house. I think that is putting the matter fairly.

If we take the first pipe line first, it would appear that the government has no policy as to what should be done with Canadian oil. The oil is owned by Imperial Oil Company which, I understand, is a subsidiary of Standard Oil of New Jersey. It is decided to build this pipe line to Superior, Wisconsin-and not to lake Superior in Canada. So far as the government is concerned, they say that that is all right with them. If we take the government's policy on that pipe line we can be pretty sure what its policy will be on the other pipe line. It will be, whatever the company that has the line or is building it, whatever it wishes to do with the gas it owns. If it wishes to pipe it to Timbuctoo, that is all right so far as this government is concerned. The companies have bought the oil, they have bought the gas and that is all there is to it. I do not see why there is so much fault-find-

Supply-Transport

ing, because that is the policy on which this government went to the country; that is free enterprise. Those who own can do what they like with what they own.

The hon. member for Fraser Valley has said that he wanted Canadian resources to be exploited in Canada. Canadian resources are being exploited in Canada, and exploited from Canada. But Canadian resources are not being developed in Canada, and that is what the hon. member for Fraser Valley would like. There is quite a difference between exploiting and developing.

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LIB
CCF

Angus MacInnis

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

Mr. Maclnnis:

But why should you worry? You are getting what you voted for. I am quite sure that the minister' cannot tell you what the policy is, what the policy in connection with the gas pipe line will be, because he does not know what the company's policy is, and the company has not told him that yet.

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LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. Chevrier:

On a point of order, I do not think the hon. member has any right to impute any motives to any person. By that last statement he imputes a motive to me, as minister, in that he says I have not been told by the company what is the company's policy. He has not the slightest right to say that. I know the hon. member is a gentleman and that he will not want to impute those motives to mfe. I am sure he did not intend to say that, but certainly that is what he said.

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CCF

Angus MacInnis

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

Mr. Maclnnis:

If the minister feels I did him an injustice, then I am quite willing to withdraw

and to withdraw completely. But if the minister will note what I said he will see that I did not refer to the minister, except that the government did not have a policy and the minister could not tell the committee what the policy is. That is what I said. But if the minister feels there is any reflection upon him either as a person or as a minister, then I will withdraw it completely.

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PC

Percy Chapman Black

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Black (Cumberland):

I think we should have a declaration from the minister.

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LIB

Andrew Wesley Stuart

Liberal

Mr. Stuart (Charlotte):

Mr. Chairman, I wish to speak briefly. The hon. member for Fraser Valley has insinuated that we should be very careful how we vote.

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LIB
LIB

Andrew Wesley Stuart

Liberal

Mr. Stuart (Charlotte):

It appears that a good many members in this house are forgetful. I wonder where they think we would be today if it were not for oil we have been getting for years and years from the United States. It is no longer ago than the wartime

Supply-Transport

period of 1940-45 when, had it not been for assistance received by way of oil from our good neighbour to the south of us, this country would have been dry, so far as oil is concerned.

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October 24, 1949