October 24, 1949

LIB

Stuart Sinclair Garson (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. Garson:

No. The usual privilege of prosecution was extended to the two provinces, as in all cases of the kind, and neither province wished to exercise that privilege. The case is being handled by counsel in Alberta, instructed by the Department of Justice.

The Budget-Mr. Studer THE BUDGET

Topic:   COMBINES
Subtopic:   BAKERY FIRMS IN WESTERN PROVINCES
Sub-subtopic:   QUESTION AS TO PROSECUTIONS
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ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE


The house resumed, from Friday, October 21, consideration of the motion of Hon. Douglas Abbott (Minister of Finance) that Mr. Speaker do now leave the chair for the house to go into committee of ways and means, and the amendment thereto of Mr. Rowe, and the amendment to the amendment of Mr. Thatcher.


LIB

Irvin William Studer

Liberal

Mr. Irvin W. Studer (Maple Creek):

Those of us from far-away places, Mr. Speaker, would like to suggest a few things this afternoon in connection with the budget, the amendment thereto and the amendment to the amendment. The reason we should like to do so is that we come from an area in Saskatchewan which at most times is in such a position that the budget is of extreme interest to it, as it is to other parts of Canada. We who come from the wheatgrowing area of Canada, inasmuch as wheat is one of the products that create considerable wealth in Canada, think that interesting items like the budget enter into our situation. We think that the amendment also affects us, as does the subamendment. For this reason, for a little while this afternoon, we should like to continue the debate which was started last spring.

We have been told that this budget has changed little from what it was last spring. I think all of us will realize, however, that if the budget has not been changed, the amendment is different from the one that was proposed last spring, as is the subamendment. Regardless of all the lost markets we have heard about, a continuation of what I believe was stated to a considerable extent last spring, and the effect the different policies of the government have had on us since that time, we would suggest that possibly the situation is not quite so different as has been suggested to what it was at the particular time last spring when the budget was offered for our consideration.

This amendment as well as the subamendment are of great interest to us because it appears to me that the adoption of certain amendments or subamendments can change the entire economy of the country. One of the things done by this government of Canada, which is now and has been for some years in power, is this. It has created a balance in all its operations-in its laws, and in everything that affects the balance of the economy of this country. The government did not concentrate its efforts along one particular

The Budget-Mr. Studer line, to the detriment of some other particular line. For instance, it had regard to agriculture, industry, and every line in the general economy of Canada that one might care to mention. This particular balance is the secret of good government. In my estimation it is the reason why opposition members are here in smaller numbers than they were last year. It keeps them in a position where one could say they are "fanning the air," because they have most certainly changed their amendment and subamendment from what it was last spring. Here is the amendment that the opposition offered last spring. For the benefit of those of us who are newly arrived here, the amendment offered by the opposition, to be found at page 2188 of Hansard of March 31, 1949, reads as follows:

This house is of the opinion that the government does not possess the confidence of the country.

A subamendment was moved by one of these splinter parties which reads as follows, as reported on page 2192 of Hansard: regrets (a) the failure of the government to remove the sales tax; (b) the action of the government in removing the subsidy on flour milled for domestic purposes, thus adding to the cost of living, and (c) the failure of the government, despite rising national income, to make any provision to improve the living standards of the millions of Canadian people compelled to live on income below the income tax exemption levels.

The amendment of this year is considerably different. It will be found on page 1023 of Hansard and reads as follows:

This house regrets that the government has failed to take effective measures to prevent the present decline in our trade with the sterling area and is of the opinion that the government should consider the advisability of inviting the nations of the commonwealth to a conference in the immediate future for the purpose of working out arrangements to preserve and enlarge those traditional markets on which jobs and opportunities for Canadians very largely depend.

One of the splinter groups again moved a subamendment, which is to be found at page 1027, and reads as follows:

Give immediate consideration to a reduction of tariffs sufficient to encourage an increase in imports from the United Kingdom and other sterling countries.

These opposition groups have changed their position. Last spring one of them said that the country did not have any confidence in the government. They have changed their position to one that is a shadow of what it might have been had we not had as good a government as we have had during these past years. Much of what is contained in the amendment and in the subamendment has been in existence in the operations of the government. I do not think that any government in power in Canada could make any particular move in regard to the operation and ramification of business in the world

today without having a conference with members of other governments in other parts of the world. I do not believe that this government would ever leave anything undone in regard to free trade that would be to the benefit of this country. If it is possible to import something that this country needs, and if it will not injure someone in this country, I am sure that it will be done. As I see it, it should be kept in mind that if we are to import into Canada goods that are produced by people in other countries who have not the same standards of living that we have it will most certainly lead to unemployment in this country. If our workers receive $1.25 or $1.50 an hour and the workmen in some other country are receiving much less to produce a particular article, to import that article would certainly mean that we would be lowering our standard of living and creating unemployment in this country. Therefore, again I come back to the balance that this government has always had in view in the entire economy of this country.

We do not wish to reduce the standard of living of any of our labouring people. We wish to raise it. We wish also to raise the standard of living of people in other countries so that when we trade with one another we do not do it to the detriment of our people. That is the Maple Creek view of what this situation can lead to in this country of ours. The balance which the government has used in its operations is proved by the overwhelming majority which is evident in this parliament at this session. I hope that the government will continue its operations in the same manner. Some reference was made the other night to the happy expression on the face of the Minister of Finance (Mr. Abbott). I would suggest that that happy expression was due to the fact that he did not take the advice of the opposition in the past years.

I understand, Mr. Speaker, that in the budget debate, as on the address in reply to the speech from the throne, hon. members can talk about all situations and bring them before the parliament of Canada. During this session we have heard many speakers talking about their constituencies and about what is produced in various areas. Some hon. members have referred to iron ore, lumber, oil, coal and uranium. Some other hon. members spoke of apples, peaches, grapes, wheat and other grains, livestock and beef, and all the good things of this world. Every constituency has its differences. They are all affected by duties and tariffs. We are affected by them in Saskatchewan. We are interested in tariffs and duties. I am interested particularly because there is a hundred and

eighty miles of border between my constituency and the state of Montana. In that area, we know, there are many things that can be obtained on the other side of the line at a lower price than on the Canadian side. On the other hand, there are many things in Canada that the people of the United States would like, which cost less in Canada than they do on the other side of the line. We know that in Canada our freight rates are lower than they are in the United States. We can haul our grain cheaper to Fort William and Port Arthur than they can haul it a similar distance in the United States to Duluth. There are compensating factors in connection with duties, tariffs and free trade.

To come back to the subamendment, I do not think there is any argument against free trade to the largest extent possible provided that no particular class or industry in Canada suffers as a result. We sometimes wonder at the attitude of some of our splinter parties, particularly our C.C.F. friends, in regard to this matter. The hon. member for Moose Jaw (Mr. Thatcher) moved the subamendment which calls for free trade. He said that the Liberal party should bring into existence right now something that it has preached for fifty years. I would ask the hon. member: How many years have the C.C.F. been preaching free trade? If I remember correctly, it was not very many years ago that party said that free trade was absolutely obsolete in this country, that it was not up to date; and yet we see a change of mind today and our friends are talking about free trade.

The other day the leader of the C.C.F. party (Mr. Coldwell) said that the late Mr. Woods-worth of respected memory changed his mind about the constitution. I would suggest that it is not only the hon. member for Moose Jaw and some others who have changed their minds; most if not all of the members of the C.C.F. party have been changing their minds throughout the years of their existence. I believe Canada is fortunate in that it did not adopt, either provincially to any extent, or particularly federally, the advice that has been tendered to it. I think the people of Canada have made up their minds that they are not going to have any part or parcel of socialism. I would suggest to our friends that they continue to change their minds, and after a few more years they may be of the same mind as the Liberals. Taking everything into consideration for the betterment of all the people of Canada, they cannot do otherwise.

Some years ago the doctrine of self-sufficiency was preached in this country. It was said that we had enough coal, iron, lumber, and everything else that entered into the economic life of Canada, to build up our own 45781-69

The Budget-Mr. Studer economy without depending to any extent on any other country. All we had to do was elect the C.C.F., bring their policy into existence, and we would have everything. We were told we could be self-sufficient within our own country.

I am glad to see however that they have changed their minds. They also changed their minds with respect to certain policies they had in 1934, one of which was called the use-lease system of owning land. We heard about that system in Saskatchewan and it was called the useless-lease policy. However, under the use-lease system all the land would belong to the state, and one would lease over a period of ninety-nine years. If they have not changed their minds about that, at least they have not said much about it since that time.

If I do not understand it correctly, I should like to be corrected with respect to their attitude concerning the first year of the last war. My recollection is that out in Saskatchewan the matter came into prominence when we were told that the war then taking place in Europe, and in which eventually we became involved, was not our war. We were told that it was a capitalistic war-"Why do the people of Canada send their sons overseas to die? Why fight and die for the capitalists?" That is what we heard in Saskatchewan.

If we had followed that policy-and again they changed their minds-there would have been no Canada or commonwealth, as exemplified in the proceedings which took place in this chamber this afternoon. I say therefore that our government is to be commended upon not having followed the advice and the prophecies of those parties during that period of time, when they tried to tell us that the whole world was out of step, except them. That was the impression they tried to leave in Saskatchewan, and the impression which has been left almost up to this date by them in the dominion House of Commons.

The Liberal party is not encumbered by socialistic thinking because they know that civilization has by-passed socialism, that socialism has no place in Canada and, for that matter, possibly no place in any other country. Civilization has now advanced to a position where we have everything necessary to give far and beyond what socialism ever had to offer.

Does anyone wish to tell me that when we achieve socialism we have reached the end of the line, that there is no further progress nations can make? I suggest that these people might change their minds again with regard to socialism, both the people of Saskatchewan and those who are here in the House of

The Budget-Mr. Studer their high standards of living unless our countries make some effort to alleviate the suffering that is present in other parts of the world. The United States and Canada have approximately 160,000,000 people who have a very high standard of living and we must do our part. This is the atomic age when we are no farther from Asia or China or from many other countries than one province was from another fifty years ago. These things should be done for security reasons if we do not want to do them from humanitarian motives. Let us give immediate consideration to what is happening in other parts of the world and let us produce as much grain and other products as we can so that as many as possible in these other countries may be cared for.

We ask that consideration be given to these things. One other disability that we face is the differential in freight rates. There are in the freight rate structure gaps which have not been closed up in certain sections of my constituency and the result is that farmers have to pay a cent or more per bushel to ship out their grain. This is due to backhauls and other factors that enter into the cost of operation.

It has been demonstrated by the university in that area it costs $5.37 to prepare an acre of land for cultivation. This would include the cost of the seed, the cost of preparing the land and all the rest of it. That may be small when compared with the cost in other parts of the country, but I point that out for one reason. Because of our lower costs we can make an enormous contribution to the welfare of Canada. We could make great advances in a short period of time and for this and other reasons I submit that we are entitled to consideration.

I believe there are over 600 returned soldiers who have taken up land in that area. It may be asked why they did that. They did it because they felt there was something there in the future. Even the returned man who risked his life for his country was able to see that. He is usually a pretty bright fellow. When he returns he is familiar with the experiences of his father, and he would hesitate to settle in that area if there were not a future there. He sees the same vision that many other people of that area see. He is trying to do his bit to bring about the progress of the country, and at the same time his own progress, so that the area will be an asset to the whole country.

We like to present the situation in the west, but that does not deter us from trying to understand the situation in the east. If you understand our problems and we understand yours, there is nothing that can stand in the way of the Canadian people and their

parliament or prevent them from achieving the stability and permanence which are their objectives.

I should like to discuss another subject for a few moments. References have been made to the large number of members in the house and coupled with that regret has been expressed in various parts of the country that there are no women members. I am sure we all regret that women are not represented in the house, but I have not heard any of the members say that they are willing to resign to make room for a woman, nor have I heard myself say so. There are no women here, but that does not mean that the influence of women is not present. We can certainly say that the maternal influence has been much in evidence in Liberal governments of the past. Women have intuition and men have not, but because of their influence did we not introduce family allowances specifically for women? There are other social measures which affect them, and I do not believe any other country in the world has anything comparable. Women's influence is present in the house, and I know it is here with me because I have not said anything since I have been a member of the House of Commons that my wife has not told me to say. We want the influence of women to continue, and as time goes on we want it to grow so that all the people of Canada, women and men, will be satisfied with this government.

I think most people were pleased this afternoon to hear the wonderful expression of good will towards Canada from our distinguished visitor. I think he hit upon one secret of success for Canada in the attempt he made to speak the French language. I believe that is expressly what this country needs. I think the French-speaking people of Canada are to be congratulated on the wonderful attempt they are making to place their situation before us, and their ideas about what they believe the policies of Canada should be. The successful manner in which they present their views is a compliment to them. Many hon. members are making an effort to learn French, and it cannot do otherwise than add to their culture. It certainly takes nothing away from an individual and always enriches him. I should like to see that carried on further. I should like to see us learn what we can from the French people so that we may understand their ideas and their culture.

(Translation):

Allow me, Mr. Speaker, to join other members of the house in addressing you briefly in French. The wonderful and successful effort made by the French-speaking members in the use of our language should

encourage us to do likewise with regard to the French language. In order to really understand the destiny of Canada, it is necessary not only to know, one another, but we must also fully understand our problems. Then we from western Canada shall visit you in the east. You from the east who have relatives and friends in western Canada will want to visit them, and us too, and at the same time get acquainted with our problems. We shall thus be in a position to do our utmost to make Canada a greater, a more prosperous and happier country.

(Text):

I suggested to the French-speaking people that they come out to the west and see us because they have many friends and relatives there. While they are out there we will treat them in the same way that they treat us when we are in the east. No one on earth could treat us better than the people of the eastern provinces when we come down here to see them.

The government, with its overwhelming majority, will appear still greater in the eyes of the people of Canada by reason of the way in which it treats minorities. When we have an overwhelming majority we wish to extend every courtesy to those who may be in the minority, not only throughout the length and breadth of Canada but also the minority in the official opposition, and our splendid splinter parties. Someone told me it is not necessary to have splinter parties. Sometimes we wonder why there are such things. Eventually they come around to our way of looking at matters. We sometimes wonder why they would not rather be a part of the ocean on which the ship of state sails so majestically instead of continuing to be something that the tide washes in and then washes out again. We look to them to be a part of Canada, to place themselves in the position where they can make their contribution to Canada and be such Canadians as to merit the love of all. If there is one thing necessary in Canada it is the true love of our country and I should like to see that developed.

In the words of Sir Walter Scott:

Breathes there the man, with soul so dead,

Who never to himself hath said,

This is my own, my native land!

I should like to see that spirit develop in our land from one end to the other so that in times of danger within and danger without the people of every province of Canada will rise as one man and battle unto death for Canada. If we can do anything to develop that spirit I think we will have made a great contribution to Canada.

I believe that Canada needs a flag. A flag

The Budget-Mr. Bryce is the symbol of unity between the individual and his country, and therefore I advocate a flag for Canada. It is our common wish to build a greater Canada. The people of Canada have a vision of what can be accomplished in a country so large and with so many natural resources, a country that has almost everything to make it the greatest in the world.

Now that Newfoundland has become a province of Canada and we have Canada united from Vancouver island to Newfoundland into one great entity, which I think was the vision of the fathers of confederation, I hope eventually it may be said of the present leaders of the country as it has been said of the fathers of confederation that they exhibited great vision for the future greatness of the country. Over one of the portals of this parliament building are carved these words: "Where there is no vision the people perish." Let us work together so that our advance and our betterment may be such that it can be said of our leaders, as it was said of the fathers of confederation, that they set their eyes toward the rising sun; that they laid their foundations upon the rock; that they builded better than they knew.

Topic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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CCF

William Scottie Bryce

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

Mr. William Bryce (Selkirk):

Mr. Speaker, I listened very attentively to the remarks of the hon. member for Maple Creek (Mr. Studer), which I enjoyed. I feel quite proud to be one of that splinter group to which he referred; and I can assure him that a splinter is a bad thing if it gets beneath your skin. However, I have my own speech to deliver, and I have been asked by the government to hurry along so that we may get on to other business.

I want to take this opportunity to bring before the government two matters of great importance to my constituents. The first is in connection with the setting up of new communities in the constituency of Selkirk. I refer to such V.L.A. settlements as those at Roblin Park and Rivercrest. In some cases these settlements contain a hundred homes or more. One of the qualifications required was that the veterans should have families, and I think the average is about two children per family; but nothing has been done to provide these children with schooling. There is no school for them; there is no schoolteacher, and that is bad business. I cannot speak on this subject as an educator; far from it. I can only look at it from the point of view of a school trustee, since I happened to be chairman of a small school board for thirteen years before coming here. Looking back to the thirties I still feel ashamed when I remember how we would offer a teacher $45 a month to teach forty children in eight grades.

The Budget-Mr. Bryce

Returning to the subject of school districts, however, we have these settlements established with no provision for the pupils and no teachers to look after them. We have the Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation pushing the construction of new homes in urban districts such as I represent. In the suburban municipalities of St. James and West Kildonan many new homes have been built within the last few years, but the school districts concerned have been given no help to enlarge their schools to accommodate the children coming from crowded city areas. These school districts are in financial difficulties now trying to make ends meet. Some of the old schools are out of date but cannot be replaced because of lack of funds. Some time ago the Winnipeg Tribune published photographs showing the dilapidated condition of a school built in my constituency sixty years ago. It was falling apart; it was a regular fire trap. After I saw the photographs in the newspaper I visited the school; and I do not think the gentleman who wrote the article exaggerated in any way.

What is the solution to this problem? The law of the land says every child must have an education; and it must be remembered that today people are demanding better educational facilities for their children than they themselves enjoyed thirty or forty years ago. I know education is a provincial responsibility; we have heard that in this house repeatedly. But the situation is getting beyond the provincial governments. If teachers were paid proper salaries some of the best scholars would be attracted to the teaching profession, but that is not the case. If our school districts are to have sufficient funds to build extra schools or enlarge the present buildings, if every child in every province is to have the opportunity to get an education, then I say it is time we had a dominion-provincial conference on education to see what help the federal government can give the provinces or the school districts to permit them to carry on their work in a satisfactory manner.

The second matter I want to bring up is the discrimination against the prairie provinces under the freight rates as they exist today. For many years western Canada has been forced to pay freight rates from 15 to 18 per cent higher than rates for similar commodities in Ontario and Quebec. Railroad rates affect everyone in the west, whether they be farmers, workers, businessmen or anything else. They enter into the everyday life of the people. Produce is shipped east or west; merchandise comes from east and west, mainly from the east. Why should we have to pay more than our neighbours? For years we have argued that the prairie freight rates

should be lower than those in central Canada. We have a flat country, with very few rivers; we have practically no natural obstacles. Hauls are long on the prairies, and most of the produce is moved in carload lots.

I want it to be perfectly clear to hon. members that if the railways need additional revenue to meet increased expenditures caused by higher costs and wages, that is quite all right; but why make the west the scapegoat? If we must have increased freight rates let us all bear a share, and not have the prairies foot the entire bill. Let us find a proper basis for obtaining increased revenues, if they are needed, so the burden will not be borne unequally by the people of Canada, particularly by those in the west and the maritimes, in order that the workers may get the increased wages they deserve and the railways may have the additional revenue they require to operate efficiently.

The progress that has been made by the railroads during the last thirty years never seems to be taken into consideration. I am speaking of this from personal experience, because more than thirty years ago I worked as a machinist in the railroad shops. In those days an engine made one divisional point, going perhaps 120 or 130 miles, and was then serviced. Now a locomotive makes at least three divisional points before being serviced. In those days box cars were built to hold 60,000 pounds. Now they carry 80,000 pounds, some even 100,000 pounds. Freight trains rolled along in those days with fifty cars. Now when you look out on the prairies you see these large engines hauling 100 cars. All this development and improvement must have saved money for the railroad companies.

Let us look at the discrimination that exists on the prairies and see what rates we pay as compared with the central provinces. In the west where there is no water competition, and where truck competition has been kept under supervision by the provincial government boards in order to avoid any real competition with the railroads, the railroads have been able to charge the full amount authorized by the board of transport commissioners. I would mention an example put on the record by the hon. member for Lethbridge (Mr. Blackmore) some time ago when he talked about barbed wire. He showed that on barbed wire shipped from Montreal to Vancouver the freight cost 95 cents per 100 pounds.

Topic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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SC
CCF

William Scottie Bryce

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

Mr. Bryce:

It is 95 now. For the same 100 pounds of barbed wire, if it were shipped only half the distance, shipped to Calgary, the freight would cost $1.98 per 100 pounds.

Another example was put on the record by the hon. member for Moose Jaw (Mr. Thatcher)

when he talked in the house about paint. On paint from Montreal to Vancouver, the freight is $1.50 per 100 pounds. But if you send it just to Calgary, it is $1.98 per 100 pounds.

The average rates from prairie points on the shipment of butter in carload lots work out to approximately $2.47 per 100 pounds to Montreal. But the average rate from stations in Ontario and Quebec to Montreal is about 60 cents per 100 pounds. It can therefore be seen that there is a tremendous difference, although the mileage is decidedly longer.

Let us look at freight rates on carloads of lumber. You can move a carload of lumber west from Megantic, Quebec, a distance of 600 miles, for 24 cents per 100 pounds. But if you try to ship a similar car of lumber from Golden, British Columbia, for a distance 600 miles east, it will cost you 401 cents per 100 pounds.

I can go on quoting different rates to show the discrimination that exists, but before I go on I should like to say that the rates on livestock, which mean so much to the province from which I come, are also discriminatory. The rates on livestock are as follows:

Ontario

and

Distance Quebec Prairies

cents cents

150 miles

20 22200 miles

22 241300 miles

27 30500 miles

36 401

We must remember that the freight cost on the movement of livestock to our central market at Winnipeg is not the only cost to the producer. The price paid to the producer is the price paid at Toronto or Montreal less the freight to those markets. I believe that confederation originally was meant to be an association of provinces equal in every respect. Confederation in fact has given the provinces political equality, but so far I do not believe that it has given us economic equality; and I think that the railway rate structure is a glaring example of that failure.

Discriminatory rates are really bad and it is up to the western members, no matter to what party they belong, to start a fight for the correction of this injustice to the west, as we are carrying far more than our share of the load.

Topic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

LIB

Alphonse Fournier (Minister of Public Works; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. Fournier (Hull):

Before you call it six o'clock, Mr. Speaker, may I say that after the hon. member for Selkirk has completed his speech, we intend to move to go into supply this evening.

At six o'clock the house took recess.

The Budget-Mr. Bryce AFTER RECESS

The house resumed at eight o'clock.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
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THE BUDGET

ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE


The house resumed consideration of the motion of Hon. Douglas Abbott (Minister of Finance) that Mr. Speaker do now leave the chair for the house to go into committee of ways and means, and the amendment thereto of Mr. Rowe, and the amendment to the amendment of Mr. Thatcher.


CCF

William Scottie Bryce

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

Mr. Bryce:

Mr. Speaker, may I resume where I left off before the dinner recess. Trucking competition in the central provinces has secured lower rates for many people. As I have already said, the provincial governments have boards which supervise the trucking industry, and in most cases railroad rates have been the yardstick which guided them; but I see that the Canadian Pacific Railway is going to take no chances on any competition developing in the prairies. They are right in the trucking business and will most certainly maintain railroad rates, and at the same time no double establish a monopoly in the trucking business in the west.

I hold in my hand a pamphlet published by the Canadian Automobile Transportation Association from which I should like to quote. It reads:

Railway buys truck competitors in western Canada. C.P.R. takes over 2,700 miles of routes from independent truckers. Six independent trucking organizations have been purchased by the Canadian Pacific Railway since December, 1947. These purchases have been consummated by the C.P.R.'s wholly-owned subsidiary, the Canadian Pacific Transport Company.

I should also like to quote from the speech of Mr. John Magee, executive secretary of the Canadian Automobile Transportation Company of Toronto, who spoke at Winnipeg on December 3, 1948. For the benefit of hon. members who may wish to look it up may I say his speech will be found in the December 1948 issue of "Highway News". I shall quote part of his remarks:

You all know that the Canadian Pacific Railway, acting swiftly in a series of purchases which began in September, 1947, has taken over an important segment of the trucking industry in western Canada. The last company acquired was Dench of Canada, one of the biggest long-distance trucking operations in the west with headquarters in Calgary. Following the Dench acquisition (in April, 1948), a breathing spell apparently was necessary to permit digestion of the six highway operations acquired up to this time. There is every indication that once this digestive process has been completed, a new series of trucking purchases will commence.

All of these purchases have been quietly consummated by the least known of the C.P.R.'s wholly owned subsidiaries, Canadian Pacific Transport

The Budget-Mr. Bryce

Company. They enabled the C.P.R. in the short space of eight months, to snuff out competition on 2,100 miles of trucking routes in western Canada.

With Dench of Canada providing the backbone of the C.P.R.'s highway operations in the west, the railway is now in control of long-distance trucking services commencing at Winnipeg and extending westward, not only through Manitoba but through Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia, as far as Creston on the southern trans-Canada highway. A hundred and fifty miles further along the highway, O.K. Valley Freight Lines-the first highway operation purchased by C.P.R.-commences at Osoyoos and extends westward to Princeton, two hundred and twenty-five miles from Vancouver.

No one should have difficulty in understanding why the trucking industry is so concerned about this problem. At stake is the independence and integrity of an industry competitive with the Canadian railroads. A trucking industry controlled through purchase by the C.P.R., or any other railway, would not be a trucking industry at all-it would merely be a branch line operation of the railroads run on a branch line basis. By buying out motor truck competitors on 2,100 miles of highway, and by its intent to buy out still more of its motor truck competitors, the Canadian Pacific Railway is leading western Canada backward into a new era of transport monopoly.

Further on he says:

Here is how a trucking purchase is consummated, C.P.R. style-and this actually happened here in Manitoba in December of last year. You take one trucking firm with two trucks valued at S3.167 and owning warehouse property valued at $390-a total of $3,557. To that you add payment for goodwill at an additional figure of $11,443, with a total purchase price of $15,000. Can you blame the operator for selling the two trucks?

That has always been the way that mighty corporations have followed in blazing their trail to industrial monopoly-big prices to the firms that will sell today and then tomorrow, companies which have retained their independence, can be forced to sell at 50 or 75 cents on the dollar. We have seen it happen in other industries-we would be living in a fool's paradise if we did not act now to prevent it happening in our industry.

I have always thought that our utilities such as telephones, hydro-power plants and other necessary public services, should be provided at cost and I have always advocated that. But when I see the Canadian Pacific Railway, a so-called private enterprise corporation, starting out to establish a monopoly in the trucking industry in western Canada, than I say: if we are to prevent a monopoly, let us have some of the competition that private enterprise calls for and advocates so strongly.

Another matter in connection with the railways that I want to raise my voice about is the changing of the freight rates on purebred livestock going to the fairs. This is a serious blow to the purebred livestock industry. In the time at my disposal I do not think I can do justice to this important matter, but I should like to quote from an editorial by Mr. James Gray, an ex-member of the press gallery and a westerner from Winnipeg. He is the editor of the Farm and

Ranch Review, and he has this to say, with which I think the farmers in the west will agree. He heads his article:

The railways kill a goose

And goes on to say:

The effect of the recent boost in special livestock freight rates to the fairs is a shattering blow to the purebred livestock industry of western Canada, It will drastically reduce the livestock exhibits at all the provincial fairs immediately. In the long run it cannot help but create great differences in the quality of livestock from area to area.

To show purebred livestock is in itself a losing proposition. The expense of feeding, grooming and transporting stock costs far more than any breeder can hope to win in prize money. But shipment of livestock to interprovincial shows has worked wonders in a general improvement of breeds all across the prairies. Through the years, a substantial trade in purebred stock was developed. Many a farmer went to the fairs with but one idea in mind, to see and compare the best with what he was producing. On the educational level alone the exhibitions were very much worth while.

All this came about as a result of concessions by the railways in freight rates. An exhibitor who could ship 20,000 pounds of prize cattle in one car paid the standard rate for the first move and then half rate for subsequent moves. But the railways have now cancelled this rate and are demanding full freight all around the fair circuit. Here, in tabular form is how the old rate compared with the new, on a shipment of purebred cattle from a farm at Selkirk around the western fairs.

1947 1948 1950Selkirk to Brandon

$44 $54 $58.32Brandon to Calgary

48 58 123.12Calgary to Edmonton

24 30 64.80Edmonton to Saskatoon .

32 40 84.24Saskatoon to Regina

22 28 58.32Regina to Selkirk free free 75.60Total freight $170 $210 $464.40No industry in western Canada has more to gain

from livestock raising than the railways. It is imperative that the special rates for show stock be restored or the plain truth is that livestock shows as we have known them are a thing of the past.

In concluding, Mr. Speaker, there is one other matter in connection with railroad rates or freight rates that western farmers are complaining about, and that is the freight rates on their implements which the railways are now asking-that is, that 6th class freight be charged. The highest rate that has ever been charged for machinery was in 1920 when the rate rose to 92-5 cents per 100 pounds. The recent rise in rates makes the rate $1.08 per 100 pounds which is 16 per cent higher; and if the railroads get implements into the 6th class rate, the rate will have advanced 42 per cent above the highest it has ever been.

The freight cost to Winnipeg, my nearest town, was 82i cents per 100 pounds in 1939. After the 21 per cent increase we paid $1. At the present time, after the 8 per cent increase we are paying $1.08, and if a change is made to the class 6 rate we will be paying

$1.32-and points farther west will pay considerably more. Some may think that this will not make much difference. Let me place some figures on Hansard so that there may be no misunderstanding. I have chosen for this comparison four ordinary farm implements used every day. The comparison on these implements of the respective freight rates is as follows:

After After Class 61939 21% 8% rate3-furrow plow $ 9.68 $11.73 $12.67 $ 15.488-foot one-way disk. 20.42 24.76 26.74 32.688-foot binder 15.51 18.80 20.30 24.8112-foot combine self-propelled 64.00 77.60 83.80 102.43No government, not even the presentLiberal government, can ignore any longerthese grievances I have raised. The federal

government must assume responsibility for some help to education, either one way or another. If confederation is to have any reality then there must be equality of treatment for all provinces; and one of the best ways to begin is to remove the discrimination which exists in freight rates. It is the responsibility of the Liberal government to make this possible.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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PC

Agar Rodney Adamson

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Rodney Adamson (York West):

Mr. Speaker, before moving the adjournment of the debate there is one observation I should like to make. Through you, sir, may I pay a humble but sincere tribute to the Speaker of this chamber upon his eloquent address of thanks made on the occasion of the visit of the Prime Minister of India today. Those of us who were in the chamber can as Canadians be proud of the excellent and delicate way in which Mr. Speaker thanked the very famous gentleman from India who spoke to us this afternoon.

On motion of Mr. Adamson the debate was adjourned.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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LIB

Alphonse Fournier (Minister of Public Works; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Hon. Alphonse Fournier (Minister of Public Works) moved

that the house go into committee of supply.

Motion agreed to and the house went into committee of supply, Mr. Beaudoin in the chair.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT


307. Departmental administration, $1,441,235 Item stands. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORT Administration of the Transport Act- 454. Board of Transport Commissioners for Canada -administration, maintenance and operation, $610,880. Supply-Transport


LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Hon. Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Transport):

Mr. Speaker, when we were dealing with this item the other evening a number of questions were asked, and I should like to bring down the answers.

First may I deal with the question asked by the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre concerning the crossing at Talbot avenue. I find that at Talbot avenue in Winnipeg there are two crossings, one over the East Selkirk branch of the Canadian Pacific railway and the other over the Mol-son cut-off branch. The board's files indicate that protective signals have been installed at both crossings, and since the installation no accidents have occurred. These crossings appear to the board to be adequately protected. However, if the city of Winnipeg is not in agreement with that view they are free to make application to the board. The point I wish to make is that no application is before the board, and therefore the case cannot be considered.

Then, the hon. member for St. John's East asked regarding the standardization of the gauge of the Newfoundland railway. He felt the railway services were not adequately conforming with an article in the terms of the agreement. The officers of the Canadian National Railways have made a complete survey of the railway in Newfoundland, and they think the time has not yet come to standardize the gauge of that road. If conditions change at a later date I can assure the hon. member that the Canadian National will be willing to give the matter careful consideration.

Further in regard to the adequacy of service, I might say that after surveying the position the Canadian National has come to the conclusion that new terminal facilities are required at North Sydney, and already plans and specifications are in the making for the construction of these facilities. I am not in a position to say how long it will take before they are completed but I can assure the hon. member that the Canadian National Railways are giving careful attention to the question of additional traffic that may arise because of union with Newfoundland.

Topic:   POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT
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PC

Gordon Francis Higgins

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Higgins:

May I ask a question with regard to the adequacy of the service between Port aux Basques and North Sydney? Is it the intention of the Canadian National management to provide a larger boat or to add another boat? The accommodation on that run is most inadequate at the present time, and I speak from actual knowledge. I have seen what is happening on this run, and so has the hon. member for St. John's West. There are times on the run from Port aux Basques to North Sydney when passengers have to lie

Supply-Transport

on the floor during the night. When the sea is rough, as happens quite often in the gulf of St. Lawrence, it is not very pleasant for people who are seasick to have to lie around on the floor, and it certainly is most unpleasant for those not seasick. Is any provision being made to take care of that?

There is another matter I should like to draw to the attention of the minister about which he may not have any knowledge. For some reason or other a limit is placed on the number of people who may go on the boat for the run from North Sydney to Port aux Basques, but there is no limit on the number who may go on the boat for the run from Port aux Basques to North Sydney.

Topic:   POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT
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?

Mr, Chevrier:

I am glad the hon. member has brought these matters to my attention and I shall see that the Canadian National Railways officials are apprised of them. Answering his first question, may I say that I have no indication that the Canadian National Railways are going to place an additional boat on that service.

I should like to deal now with the question asked by the hon. member for Vancouver-Quadra in connection with the sittings of the board of transport commissioners and the royal commission on transportation. Order in council 1487 provided for a general investigation. I am informed by the chairman of the board that after that body was established notices were sent out to the railroads and the provinces and others who might be particularly interested in the investigation. I presume the provinces and railroads were not in a position to make submissions to both the board of transport commissioners and the royal commission and decided to make submissions to the latter. The board of transport commissioners thereupon decided to make a study of the waybill factor with which they are proceeding at the moment.

The board feel that it will not be possible for them to complete their investigation until the report or the recommendations of the royal commission have been handed down. In a moment I shall refer to when that is likely to be. That is why it has been found necessary to delay in regard to public hearings. If after the recommendations of the royal commission are handed down the board feel that public hearings are necessary, they will hold them. It is not possible at this time to say whether such hearings will be necessary.

The chairman of the royal commission informs me that regional hearings have taken place in most of the provinces and that the general argument by the railroads and the provinces will take place in Ottawa early in November. The commission has been pro-

ceeding with great dispatch but it is difficult at this time to say how soon the official report will be handed down. I wish I could give more definite indication. The best information I have is that the argument will take the greater part of a month or perhaps two months. Then the commissioners will have to read the evidence and get their recommendations in order.

Topic:   POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT
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October 24, 1949