December 8, 1949

PC

Gordon Knapman Fraser

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fraser:

The minister has corrected a statement he made in committee of supply yesterday having to do with the subject matter of this question on the order paper. He says the number should be 67, instead of 61 as he stated yesterday. Does that also change the number that have been transferred to other departments, which is given as eight?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   NATIONAL FILM BOARD
Sub-subtopic:   EMPLOYEES
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LIB

Robert Henry Winters (Minister of Reconstruction and Supply)

Liberal

Mr. Winters:

No.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   NATIONAL FILM BOARD
Sub-subtopic:   EMPLOYEES
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POTATOES

PC

Mr. Hatfield:

Progressive Conservative

1. How many bushels of (a) Irish potatoes; (b) certified seed potatoes, were exported to the United States each year from 1940 to date?

2. How many bushels of (a) table potatoes; (b) seed potatoes, were imported from the United States during each of the years from 1940 to date?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   POTATOES
Sub-subtopic:   IMPORTS AND EXPORTS
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LIB

Mr. Mcllrailh: (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

1. Exports to United States:

Table Certified

potatoes seed potatoes

Calendar year Bu. Bu.1940 ... 621,790 911,8511941 ... 229,336 676,5001942 . . . 7,798 878,4731943 . . . 63,646 1,056,6221944 . . . 3,460,971 1,995,5601945 . . . 3,433,319 2,163,4771946 . . . 166,319 2,057,9841947 . .. 2,859,284 2,216,4971948 . . . 1,967,797 4,331,707Jan. 1 to Oct. 31, 1949 . . . 1,073,964 4,713,1632. Imports from United States: Table Certifiedpotatoes seed potatoes Calendar year Bu. Bu.1940 . .. 994,338 2,3571941

552,648 1,1101942 ... 671,408 3351943 ... 1,053,012 2,6071944 . . . 348,220 5,7001945

3,312,675 11,6331946 ... 5,409,588 34,4921947

642,167 3,5671948

338,053 1,592Jan. 1 to Oct. 31, 1949

519,505 3,260

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   POTATOES
Sub-subtopic:   IMPORTS AND EXPORTS
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BRIDGE BETWEEN ALLUMETTE ISLAND, QUE., AND NORTH RENFREW, ONT.

LIB

John Hugh Proudfoot

Liberal

Mr. Proudfoot:

Have any representations been made to the government by the government of the province of Ontario or by the government of the province of Quebec, asking for an interprovincial bridge between Allumette Island, Quebec, and North Renfrew, Ontario?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   BRIDGE BETWEEN ALLUMETTE ISLAND, QUE., AND NORTH RENFREW, ONT.
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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

Mr. Fournier (Hull):

No.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   BRIDGE BETWEEN ALLUMETTE ISLAND, QUE., AND NORTH RENFREW, ONT.
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URANIUM

LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Right Hon. C. D. Howe (Minister of Trade and Commerce):

Mr. Speaker, on the orders of the day on Tuesday, December 6, the hon. member for Vancouver-Quadra (Mr. Green) asked for a statement as to reports on the dispatch of uranium from Canada to Soviet Russia. I can now answer that question.

Uranium

A search of the files of the Department of Munitions and Supply and the files of Eldorado Gold Mines Limited, the predecessor company of Eldorado Mining and Refining (1944) Limited, reveals the following facts:

On May 6, 1943, Eldorado Gold Mines Limited received an inquiry from their New York selling agent, Canadian Radium and Uranium Corporation, reporting an order from Chematar Incorporated, a firm of reputable New York exporters, for 500 pounds of black uranium oxide and 500 pounds of uranium nitrate. The inquiry reported that the destination of the material would be Soviet Russia, where it would be used for purposes connected with the prosecution of the war against nazi Germany; that the black uranium oxide would be used for ferro-uranium compounds, which in turn would be used in the production of armaments; and that the uranium nitrate would be used for medical purposes.

Eldorado Gold Mines Limited, which was then a privately-owned company, applied to the arms export permit branch of the Department of Trade and Commerce for a permit for the export of this material to the United States. This was granted by the zinc control branch of the metals controller on May 11, 1943, after it had been determined in the meantime that an export licence from the United States bureau of economic warfare had been issued.

The invoice of the material indicates that 500 pounds of black uranium oxide was billed at $1,275 and 500 pounds of uranium nitrate at $1,180, making a total billing of this material of $2,455.

The material was shipped on May 22, 1943, to Colonel A. N. Kotikov, resident representative of the Soviet government purchasing commission, air service depot of the air transport command, Gore Field, Great Falls, Montana, U.S.A. Payment for the shipment was deposited to the account of Eldorado Gold Mines at the Royal Bank of Canada, New York. The documents covering this shipment appear to be all in order.

Since its mining operations commenced, Eldorado had been producing uranium as a by-product of radium, which was the product of commercial interest at that time. Uranium was being sold for a number of uses through ordinary commercial channels. It was natural, therefore, that the order to which I have referred was treated as normal in both Canada and the United States of America.

At this time, 1943, only a very few persons -very few indeed-knew that experiments in the use of atomic energy for weapons purposes were proceeding. Those who did know, however, realized the wisdom of not calling

attention, by refusing to fill commercial orders, to uranium as a material suitable for any use other than the commercial uses to which it had been put for many years-uses such as those stated for the shipment in question.

It will also be remembered that in 1943 we were at the very height of the war against nazi Germany. Naturally it was then the policy of all the western allies to render any help possible to the Soviet union in the gigantic war struggle which that country was waging, with its allies, against the nazis.

I should add that, as atomic energy research developed, uranium became valuable, of course, for weapons purposes. In 1944, therefore, the Canadian government expropriated Eldorado Gold Mines Limited, in order to acquire closer control of this new strategic mineral.

After the acquisition of the property, Mr. Grant Glassco, of the firm of Clarkson, Gordon, Dilworth and Nash, was appointed by the government as a commissioner to examine into the affairs of Eldorado Gold Mines and the successor crown company, and was instructed particularly to look for irregularities in the shipment of radium and uranium.

Mr. Glassco's investigation revealed nothing to suggest that, in disposing of radioactive substances acquired by them, Eldorado and its agents dealt with customers other than the United States government and the ordinary buyers and users of these substances in Canada and the United States. A close check of the files shows no evidence of any shipment from Canada being re-exported other than the shipment I have just mentioned. .

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   URANIUM
Sub-subtopic:   REPORTED SHIPMENTS FROM CANADA TO SOVIET RUSSIA
Permalink
PC

Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Green:

After I had asked the question the other day the hon. member for Lake Centre (Mr. Diefenbaker) asked a supplementary question in which he said:

Two years ago the Minister of Trade and Commerce undertook to table the investigator's report in the Eldorado investigation. I would suggest that that be brought to the minister's attention, with a view to having it tabled because of its particular interest at the moment, having regard to the evidence that is being given in Washington.

Would the minister be willing to table the report?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   URANIUM
Sub-subtopic:   REPORTED SHIPMENTS FROM CANADA TO SOVIET RUSSIA
Permalink
LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. Howe:

I have had Hansard examined to see what I did say. I find that on March 24, 1947, on the order for the production of papers as reported at page 1657, the hon. member for Lake Centre moved that a copy of the evidence taken in connection with the investigation of Eldorado Gold Mines Limited and an alleged conspiracy by French, Pochon and Pregel to defraud the said company,

Inquiries of the Ministry and the report by the commissioner in connection therewith, be tabled. I said that the report was not yet in the hands of the government, but in any event from inquiries I had made "it could not be tabled, for the reason that it contains information which is of a secret character affecting other governments as well as the government of Canada". That is the position today.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   URANIUM
Sub-subtopic:   REPORTED SHIPMENTS FROM CANADA TO SOVIET RUSSIA
Permalink
PC

Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Green:

That is the position still taken by the government?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   URANIUM
Sub-subtopic:   REPORTED SHIPMENTS FROM CANADA TO SOVIET RUSSIA
Permalink
LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. Howe:

Yes.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   URANIUM
Sub-subtopic:   REPORTED SHIPMENTS FROM CANADA TO SOVIET RUSSIA
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ELECTRIC POWER


On the orders of the day:


PC

Thomas Langton Church

Progressive Conservative

Mr. T. L. Church (Broadview):

Mr. Speaker,

I have a question which I might have raised as a question of privilege. I am addressing it to the Secretary of State for External Affairs. In view of the statement made in this morning's issue of the Globe and Mail and in other newspapers I would ask him these questions:

First, has the government any further information on the development of power in the Niagara river? Officials say that nothing has happened there since 1920 or 1922.

Second, what hopes are there for the ratification of any treaty separately? The treaty with respect to additional power at Niagara was before the house in 1922 and 1923. Has the attention of chief officials of the government been called to a statement by chief officials of the Hydro Electric Power Commission of Ontario, who have been asking ratification of this for twenty months? A spokesman for the Hydro Electric Power Commission of Ontario has said that the report made in the house yesterday is erroneous; one of them went so far as to say-and used a word which I do not think should have been used-that it was "silly".

Is there any change in the international section of the St. Lawrence river regarding the use of power, either separately or in conjunction with the seaway plan? Will any further information be forthcoming before the session ends on these important matters? -because, as I said yesterday, no doubt blackouts are due in Ontario and in other places owing to the scarcity of power. Nothing has been done in the matter whatsoever. The Secretary of State for External Affairs should make a statement about it.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   ELECTRIC POWER
Sub-subtopic:   DEVELOPMENT ON NIAGARA AND ST. LAWRENCE RIVERS
Permalink
LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Hon. L. B. Pearson (Secretary of State for External Affairs):

Mr. Speaker, at the present time there is nothing I can usefully add to what I said in this matter yesterday.

However I shall look into the questions raised by the hon. member and see whether a supplementary answer might be made tomorrow, or during the consideration of my estimates.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   ELECTRIC POWER
Sub-subtopic:   DEVELOPMENT ON NIAGARA AND ST. LAWRENCE RIVERS
Permalink
PC

Thomas Langton Church

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Church:

It is just all talk; that is all it is.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   ELECTRIC POWER
Sub-subtopic:   DEVELOPMENT ON NIAGARA AND ST. LAWRENCE RIVERS
Permalink

INQUIRY FOR RETURN

December 8, 1949