December 8, 1949

PC

Arza Clair Casselman (Chief Opposition Whip; Whip of the Progressive Conservative Party)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Casselman:

Trade and commerce the last?

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
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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):

That is the last.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
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PC
LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Fournier (Hull):

As much as possible. We shall start off with justice and then health and welfare.

It being 11.20 p.m., the house adjourned, without question put, pursuant to standing order.

[The following items were passed in committee of supply]:

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
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POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT


307. Departmental administration, $1,441,235. 308. Post offices, including salaries and other expenses of headquarters and staff post offices and supplies and equipment for revenue post offices, $37,804,896. 309. Inspection and investigation, $1,684,665. 310. Railway mail service, $15,614,667. 311. Air and land mail services, $22,743,141. 312. Audit of revenue, money order, postal note and savings bank business; issue of postage stamps and postal notes, $2,168,600. Pensions and other benefits- 313. To provide for the payment of compassionate allowances to employees injured while in the performance of their duties, or to other persons injured while performing duties in any way connected with the postal service, or in protecting His Majesty's mails, or to the dependents of such employees or other persons who may be killed while so engaged; payments to be made only on the specific authority of the governor in council, $5,000. 699. Departmental administration-further amount required, $31,900. 700. Post offices, including salaries and other expenses of headquarters and staff post offices and supplies and equipment for revenue post offices- further amount required, $436,972. 701. Inspection and investigation-further amount required, $120,500. 702. Railway mail service-further amount required, $308,400. 703. Air and land mail services-further amount required, $220,000. 847. Air and land mail services-further amount required, $80,000. Supply 848. Audit of revenue; money order, postal note and savings bank business; issue of postage stamps and postal notes-further amount required, $100,000. Pensions and other benefits- 849. To authorize the governor in council to grant, under the terms of the Civil Service Superannuation Act, an annual allowance of $611.41 to Mrs. Elizabeth Meredith Doyle, formerly a clerk, grade 2, in the financial branch, Post Office Department, Ottawa, effective from 6th September, 1945, date she reached the age of sixty-five years, in lieu of the withdrawal allowance of $1,661.04 authorized by order in council P.C. 263/1367, dated 14th June, 1932, which also authorized the removal of her name from the list of employees of the department, effective 13th May, 1932, because of married status, $1.


DEPARTMENT OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS


A-Department and missions abroad- 51. Departmental administration, $2,170,510. 52. Passport office administration, $161,907. 53. Representation abroad-including payment of salaries of high commissioners, ambassadors, ministers plenipotentiary, consuls, secretaries and staff appointed as directed by the governor general in council, notwithstanding anything to the contrary in the Civil Service Act or any of its amendments, $5,172,363. 54. To authorize the use during the fiscal year 1949-50 in payment for the acquisition, improvement or furnishing of properties for Canadian government offices and residences in foreign countries of inconvertible foreign currencies from deposits of such currencies which may be used only for governmental or other limited purposes in these countries and which have been received by the government of Canada from other governments in settlement of claims arising out of military operations or war expenditures, $1. 55. To provide for hospitality in connection with visitors from abroad, $25,000. 56. To provide for relief of distressed Canadian citizens abroad and for the reimbursement of the United Kingdom for relief expenditures incurred by its diplomatic and consular posts on Canadian account, $15,000. 57. Canadian representation at international conferences, $225,000. 58. Expenses of the Canadian delegation to the international civil aviation organization, including salaries of the Canadian delegate and staff, notwithstanding anything to the contrary in the Civil Service Act or any of its amendments, $22,300. 59. Canadian section of Canada-U.S. Permanent Joint Board on Defence, $2,500. 60. Grant to United Nations Society in Canada, $5,000. B-General-The Canadian government's assessment for membership in the following international or commonwealth organizations- 61. United nations, $1,335,000. Specialized agencies- 62. Food and agricultural organization of the united nations, $191,000. 63. International labour organization, $190,500. 64. United nations educational, scientific and cultural organization, $306,500. 65. World health organization, $108,000. Commonwealth organizations- 66. Commonwealth communications council, $8,100. 67. Commonwealth economic committee, $21,500.



Supply 68. Commonwealth shipping committee, $700. International joint commission- 69. To provide for preliminary studies and surveys of the midwestern watershed (revote), $26,000. Demobilization and reconversion- 70. To provide for the Canadian government's contribution to the international refugee organization, $5,425,000. A-Department and missions abroad- 766. Departmental administration-further amount required, $117,500. 767. Passport office administration-further amount required, $16,750. 768. Representation abroad-including payment of salaries of high commissioners, ambassadors, ministers plenipotentiary, consuls, secretaries and staff appointed as directed by the governor general in council, notwithstanding anything to the contrary in the Civil Service Act or any of its amendments- further amount required, $131,044. B-General- The Canadian government's assessment for membership in the following international or commonwealth organizations- 769. United nations organization-further amount required, $33,900. Specialized agencies- 770. Food and agricultural organization of the united nations-further amount required, $10,100. 771. International labour organization-further amount required, $18,900. 772. United nations educational, scientific and cultural organization-further amount required, $7,100. 773. World health organization-further amount required, $256,391. 774. International civil aviation organization, $138,759. 775. Canada's contribution to the administration of the general agreement on tariffs and trade, $20,750. International civil aviation organization- 776. To provide the international civil aviation organization with office accommodation at cost, $63,927. International joint commission- 777. To provide for Canada's share of an investigation on the matter of air pollution in the vicinity of Detroit and Windsor, $33,000. Demobilization and reconversion- 778. Near East relief, $65,000. 779. International children's emergency fund, $1,075,000.



Canals service- 455. Canals service-administration, $81,400. 456. Canals-operation and maintenance, $3,809,650. 457. Canals-construction and improvements (revote $910,000), $3,588,333. 458. To provide for expenses in connection with St. Lawrence ship canal surveys and investigations, $20,000. 459. Supervision and control of water diverted for the hydro electric power development of the Beau-harnois Light, Heat and Power Company, Limited, $2,500. Marine service- 460. Marine service administration, $17,830. 461. Administration of floating equipment, $31,900. 462. Nautical service administration, $490,670. 463. Marine service steamers, including icebreakers-maintenance, operation and repairs, $2,985,978. 464. Construction, maintenance and supervision of aids to navigation, including salaries and allowances to lightkeepers, $4,036,891. 465. Agencies-salaries and office expenses, $371,414. 466. Maintenance and repairs to wharves, $5,000. 467. To provide for breaking ice in Thunder Bay, Lake Superior and other points deemed advisable in the interests of navigation, $30,000. 468. To provide for Canada's share of the cost of the North Atlantic ice patrol, $20,000. 469. Administration of pilotage, including authority for temporary recoverable advances; contributions, and the operation and maintenance, as required of necessary pilot vessels in certain pilotage districts, $270,965. 470. Life saving service, including rewards for saving life (revote $129,240), $404,710. 471. To provide subsidies for wrecking plants- Quebec and British Columbia, $65,000. 472. Grants of $300 each to the Royal Arthur Sailors' Institute at Port Arthur, Ontario and the Welland Canal Seamen's Institute, $600. 473. Miscellaneous services relating to navigation and shipping, including grants as detailed in the estimates; and provision to settle claims by the board of trade, London, England, for expenses incurred, in respect of Canadian distressed seamen of British ships registered out of Canada, $106,207. 474. Steamship inspection and the carrying out of the provisions of the conventions for the safety of life at sea and load lines, $336,000. 475. Marine signal service, $142,770. 476. River St. Lawrence ship channel-contract dredging in the St. Lawrence river and Montreal harbour, including cost of administration-capital, $3,124,055. 477. River St. Lawrence ship channel-operation and maintenance, $622,258. 478. To provide towards the construction of a service vessel for the eastern arctic patrol (estimated cost $2,400,000)-capital (revote $825,000), $2,100,000. 479. To provide towards the construction of a lighthouse supply and buoy vessel for the east coast (estimated cost of $1,890,000)-capital (revote $700,000), $1,400,000. 480. To provide towards the construction of a lightship for the port of Saint John, N.B. (estimated cost $741,850)-capital (revote $520,000), $681,000. 481. To provide for the construction of a general service workboat to be operated out of Parry Sound, Ont. agency-capital (revote $30,000), $41,500. 482. To provide towards the construction of alighthouse supply and buoy vessel for the west coast (estimated cost $900,000)-capital, $899,000. Railway service- 483. Repairs and expenses in connection with the operation and maintenance of official railway cars under the jurisdiction of the department, $64,000. 484. Hudson Bay Railway-construction and improvements-capital (revote $80,000), $168,000. 485. Hudson Bay Railway-to provide for the difference between the expenditures for operation and maintenance and revenue accruing from operation during the year ending March 31, 1950, not exceeding $500,000. 486. Prince Edward Island car ferry and terminals -construction and improvement of terminal facilities-capital (revote $1,372,000), $1,400,000. 487. Strait of Canso-transportation improvements and facilities-capital (revote), $500,000. Maritime Freight Rates Act- 488. To hereby authorize and provide for the payment from time to time during the fiscal year 1949-50 to the Canadian National Railway Company of the difference (estimated by the Canadian National Railway Company and certified by the auditors of the said company to the Minister of Transport as and when required by the said minister) occurring on account of the application of the Maritime Freight Rates Act, between the tariff tolls and the normal tolls (upon the same basis as set out in section 9 of the said act with respect to companies therein referred to) on all traffic moved during the calendar year 1949 under the tariffs approved on the eastern lines (as referred to in section 2 of the said act) of the Canadian National Railways, $5,503,000. 489. Amount required to provide for payment from time to time during the fiscal year 1949-50 of the difference (estimated by the Board of Transport Commissioners for Canada and certified by the said board to the Minister of Transport, as and when required by the said minister) occurring on account of the application of the Maritime Freight Rates Act, between the tariff tolls and the normal tolls (referred to in section 9 of the said act) on all traffic moved during the calendar year 1949 under the tariffs approved by the following companies: Canada and Gulf Terminal Railway; Canadian Pacific Railway, including: Fredericton and Grand Lake Coal and Railway Company and New Brunswick Coal and Railway Company; Cumberland Railway and Coal Company; Dominion Atlantic Railway; Maritime Coal, Railway and Power Company; Sydney and Louisburg Railway; Temiscouata Railway Company, $1,400,000. 490. Canadian government railways-repairs to Ogden Point piers, Victoria, B.C., $165,000. Government employees' compensation- 491. Administration of the Government Employees' Compensation Act, $59,275. Pensions and other benefits- 492. Compassionate allowance to recoup the workmen's compensation board of British Columbia in continuation of a pension granted and to be paid by that board up to the 31st March, 1950, in the sum of $40 per month to the widow of the late E. J. McCoskrie, who was formerly employed as port warden at Prince Rupert, B.C., and who was killed while in the performance of his duties, $480. 493. Amount required to pay pensions at the rate of $300 per annum to former pilots: Alphonse Asselin, Raoul Lachance, Adelard DeLisle, George Larochelle, Wilhelm Langlois, Arthur Baquet, Auguste Santerre, Jules Lamarre, Alexander Larochelle, $2,700. 494. Railway employees' provident fund-to supplement pension allowances under the provisions of the Intercolonial and Prince Edward Island Railway Employees' Provident Fund Act so as to make the minimum payment during the period January 1, 1949, to March 31, 1950, the sum of $30 per month instead of $20 as fixed by the said act, $16,000. Air service- 495. Air transport board-salaries and office expenses, $188,745. 496. Air service administration, $129,775. Civil aviation division- 497. Control of civil aviation, including the administration of the Aeronautics Act and regulations issued thereunder, $645,124. Supply Airways and airports- 498. Construction and improvements, including radio facilities; and to authorize commitments against future years in the amount of $100,000 (revote $2,303,650)-capital, $13,097,300. Operation and maintenance- 499. Civil aviation services, $3,842,568. 500. Radio aviation services, $4,097,050. 501. Airway and airport traffic control, $945,044. 502. Grants to organizations for the development of civil aviation, in the amounts detailed in the estimates, $310,000. 503. Contributions, subject to the approval of the governor in council, to assist municipalities to improve existing airports, the sites of which have been provided by such municipalities (revote $164,000), $264,000. 504. To provide for a dominion contribution to the improvement and reconstruction of the road between Patricia Bay airport, Vancouver island, and the city limits of Victoria, B.C., subject to the completion of an agreement between the dominion and the province of British Columbia, $150,000. 505. To authorize contribution of an amount not exceeding $30,420 to the state of Michigan, U.S.A., Department of Aeronautics, towards the cost of operation and maintenance of certain airways facilities at Grand Marais, Michigan, for use of Canadian aircraft, $30,420. 506. Contribution to the international civil aviation organization as Canada's portion of the financial assistance to the government of Iceland in respect of the provision, operation and maintenance of certain air navigation services, $48,000. Northwest communication system- 507. Additions and betterments, including transport equipment-capital-formerly under demobilization and reconversion estimates, $500,000. 508. To provide for the difference between the expenditures for operation and maintenance and revenue accruing from operations during the year ending March 31, 1950-formerly under demobilization and reconversion estimates, $343,016. Meteorological division- 509. Meteorological services, $4,840,315. 510. Construction and improvements, $587,500. Radio division- 511. Administration of the Radio Act and regulations, $1,075,425. 512. Radio direction finding stations, radio beacons and radio telegraph stations, operation and maintenance, $1,778,283. 513. Suppression of radio interferences, $357,978. 514. Issue of radio receiving licences-(Transport Department only), $666,254. Telegraph and telephone service- 515. Administration, operation and maintenance, $1,263,060. 516. Construction and improvements, $524,192. Demobilization and reconversion-Director of merchant seamen-now included in ordinary estimates- 517. Acquisition of properties in Canada for United States authorities, $24,000. Railway and steamship service- 518. Steep Rock mines-construction, $59,500. 519. Steep Rock mines-subsidy, $240,000.



Supply Air service-civil aviation division-airways and airports- 520. Operation and maintenance of municipal and other airports, $530,800. 521. Care, operation and maintenance of Royal Canadian Air Force airfields transferred to the Department of Transport, $525,072. 522. North East (Crimson) staging route-maintenance of airfields, $19,825. B-Canadian maritime commission- 523. Administration, $182,480. Mail subsidies and steamship subventions-western local services- '524. Vancouver and northern ports of British Columbia and Queen Charlotte islands, service between, $345,000. Victoria and west coast Vancouver island, service between, $60,000. Eastern local services- 525. Baddeck and Iona, N.S., service between,



Campobello, N.B., and Lubec, Maine, service between, $3,000. Dalhousie, N.B., and Miguasha, P.Q., service between, $22,000. Deer island, Campobello island and St. Andrews, N.B., service between, $2,000. Grand Manan and mainland, N.B., service between, $85,000. Halifax, Canso and Guysboro, N.S., service between, $20,000. Halifax, Sherbrooke, Spry Bay and Torbay, N.S., service between, $11,200. Halifax and ports on west coast of Cape Breton island, service between, $6,000. Ile-aux-Coudres and Les Eboulements, P.Q., service between, $16,000. Ile-aux-Grues and Montmagny, P.Q., service between, $2,500. Mulgrave and Arichat, N.S., service between, $25,000. Mulgrave and Canso, N.S., service between, $64,000. Mulgrave and Guysboro, N.S., calling at intermediate ports, service between, $16,500. Murray Bay and north shore of the St. Lawrence, P.Q., winter service between, $50,000. Owen Sound and ports on Manitoulin island and Georgian bay, Ont., service between, $65,000. Pelee island and the mainland, Ont., service between, $11,000. Pictou, Mulgrave and Cheticamp, N.S., service between, $13,500. Pictou, N.S., Souris, P.E.I., and the Magdalen islands, service between, $88,000. Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland, service between, $54,000. Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia, service between, $100,000. Quebec, Natashquan and Harrington, P.Q., service between, $448,000. Quebec or Montreal and Gaspe, P.Q., calling at way ports, service between, $156,500. Rimouski, Matane and points on the north shore of the St. Lawrence, P.Q., service between, $125,500. Riviere-du-Loup and St. Simeon, and/or Tadoussac, P.Q., service between, $21,000. Saint John, N.B., and Minas Basin ports, service between, $10,000. Saint John, N.B., Westport and Yarmouth, N.S., and other way ports, service between, $31,500. Sydney, N.S., and Bay St. Lawrence, Cape Breton island, calling at way ports, service between, $35,000. Sydney and Bras d'Or lake ports, west coast of Cape Breton island and Prince Edward Island, service between, $22,500. Sydney and Whycocomagh, Cape Breton island, calling at way ports, service between, $20,500. Yarmouth, N.S,. and Boston, Mass., service between, $28,000. Non-active accounts-national harbours board- 555. Advances to national harbours board, subject to the provisions of section 29 of the National Harbours Board Act, to meet expenditures applicable to the calendar year 1949 on any or all of the following accounts: (a) Retirement of maturing debentures-Saint John, $85,000; (b) Reconstruction and capital expenditures-Halifax, $2,644,000; Saint John, $1,850,000; Quebec, $1,150,000; Three Rivers, $166,000; Port Colborne, $84,000; Churchill, $279,500; generally unforeseen and miscellaneous, $200,000; less amount to be expended from replacement fund, $428,500, $5,945,000. Deficits-Transport- 556. Amount required to provide for the payment during the year 1949-50 to the Canadian National Railway Company (hereinafter called the national company) upon applications approved by the Minister of Transport made from time to time by the national company to the Minister of Finance and to be applied by the national company in payment of the deficit (certified by the auditors of the national company) in the operation of the Prince Edward Island car ferry and terminals arising in the calendar year 1949, $1,159,000. National harbours board- 557. To provide for payment to national harbours board, of the amount hereinafter set forth, to be applied in payment of the deficit (exclusive of interest on dominion government advances and depreciation on capital structures) arising in the calendar year 1949, in the operation of Churchill harbour, $111,435. 558. Advances to national harbours board with interest at a rate to be fixed by the governor in council for such period and upon such terms and conditions as the governor in council may determine, to be applied in payment of deficits resulting from the operations of the Jacques Cartier bridge, $60,087. Loans and investments-national harbours board- 559. Advances to national harbours board, subject to the provisions of section 29 of National Harbours Board Act, to meet expenditures applicable to the calendar year 1949 on any or all of the following accounts: (a) Retirement of maturing bonds-Montreal, $20,049,750; (b) Reconstruction and capital expenditures-Montreal, $1,199,400; Vancouver, $32,700; less amount to be expended from replacement funds, $50,900, $1,181,200. Marine service- 716. Marine service steamers, including icebreakers-maintenance, operation and repairs- further amount required, $115,000. 717. Construction, maintenance and supervision of aids to navigation, including salaries and allowances to lightkeepers-further amount required, $592,580. 718. Miscellaneous services relating to navigation and shipping-further amount required, $18,200. 719. Steamship inspection and the carrying out of the provisions of the conventions for the safety of life at sea and load lines-further amount required, $40,000. Supply Air service-Civil aviation division-Airways and airports- 720. Construction and improvements, Including radio facilities-capital-further amount required, $449,500. Operation and maintenance- 721. Civil aviation services-further amount required, $3,777,082. 722. Radio aviation services-further amount required, $415,000. 723. Airway and airport traffic control-further amount required, $46,000. Meteorological division- 724. Meteorological services - further amount required, $77,000. 725. Construction and improvements-further amount required, $61,000. Radio division- 726. Radio direction finding stations, radio beacons, and radio telegraph stations, operation and maintenance-further amount required, $119,500. 727. Suppression of radio interferences-further amount required, $20,700. 728. Issue of radio receiving licences-(Transport department only)-further amount required, $8,240. Telegraph and telephone service- 729. To provide for the difference between the expenditures for operation and maintenance, and revenue accruing from the operation of the Canadian government telegraph and telephone services in Newfoundland during the year ending March 31, 1950, not exceeding $350,000. 730. Construction and improvements - further amount required, $300,000. A-Department- 911. Departmental administration-further amount required, $20,000. Canals service- 912. Canals service - administration - further amount required, $2,500. 913. Canals-operation and maintenance-further amount required, $35,430. 914. Canals-Construction and improvements- further amount required, $238,700. Marine service- 915. Administration of pilotage, including authority for temporary recoverable advances; contributions, and the operation and maintenance, as required, of necessary pilot vessels in certain pilotage districts-further amount required, $14,700. 916. To provide towards the construction of an icebreaking vessel to meet the St. Lawrence and northern transportation requirements (estimated cost $5,000,000) capital, $1,000,000. Railway service- 917. Prince Edward Island car ferry and terminals -construction and improvements of terminal facilities-capital-further amount required, $173,568. 918. Canadian government railway-enlargement of dock and terminal facilities at North Sydney, N.S. (estimated cost $2,000,000)-capital, $250,000. Special- 919. To provide for the expenses of the royal commission on national transportation, $300,000. 929. Grant to the province of Manitoba towards the erection of a school building at Churchill, Manitoba, $30,000. Air service-Civil aviation division-airways and airports- 921. Construction and improvements, including radio facilities and to authorize commitments against future years in the amount of $455,500- capital-further amount required, $1. Operation and maintenance- 922. Airway and airport traffic control-further amount required, $6,030. Meteorological division- 923. Meteorological services-further amount required, $59,780. Telegraph and telephone service- 924. Administration, operation and maintenance- further amount required, $68,000. 925. Construction and improvements - (revote $169,000)-further amount required-$183,500. B-Canadian maritime commission-Mail subsidies and steamship subventions-Eastern local services- 926. Halifax, Sherbrooke, Spry Bay and Torbay, N.S., service between-further amount required, $2,800. Halifax and ports on west coast of Cape Breton Island, N.S., service between-further amount required, $4,000. Mulgrave and Arichat, N.S., service between- further amount required, $6,000. Mulgrave and Canso, N.S., service between- further amount required, $21,000. Owen Sound and ports on Manitoulin island and Georgian bay, Ont., service between-further amount required, $35,000. Pelee Island and the mainland, Ont., service between-further amount required, $10,000. Pictou, N.S., Souris, P.E.I., and the Magdalen islands, P.Q., service between-further amount required, $56,000. Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia, service between-further amount required, $61,000. Sydney, N.S. and Bay St. Lawrence, Cape Breton Island, calling at way ports, service between- further amount required, $5,000. Sydney and Bras d'Or lake ports, west coast of Cape Breton Island, N.S., and Prince Edward Island, service between-further amount required, $7,500. Sydney and Whycocomagh, Cape Breton Island, N.S., calling at way ports, service between-further amount required, $7,500.-$2,598,009. Government owned enterprises-deficits-transport- 933. Amount to provide for the payment from time to time to the Canadian National (West Indies) Steamships, Limited (hereinafter called "the Company") of the amount of the deficit occurring during the year ending December 31, 1949 in the operations of the Company and the vessels under the control of the Company as certified by the auditors of the Company, and upon applications made by the Company to the Minister of Finance and approved by the Minister of Transport, not exceeding $360,000. National harbours board'- 935. Advances to national harbours board, subject to the provisions of section 29 of National Harbours Board Act, to meet expenditures applicable to the calendar year 1949 on the following account: Retirement of maturing bonds-Montreal -further amount required, $1,995,000. Appendix



Appendix



(Copy of letter sent to premiers of all the prov-' inces with the exception of the premier of Saskatchewan)



Ottawa, December 7, 1949. My dear Premier: In a recent letter the premier of Saskatchewan has inquired whether it is proposed to have an agenda under which to deal with the question of constitutional amendment at the conference opening on January 10. In my original letter of September 14 the purpose of the conference was described as being to devise a generally satisfactory method of making amendments in Canada to the provisions of the constitution which concern both federal and provincial authorities. It was on that basis that the proposal for the conference was made and agreed to. In my last letter of November 7, I referred to the conference more briefly as being simply "to consider a method of amending the constitution of Canada." It had been the feeling of my colleagues and myself that the subject for discussion at the forthcoming conference scarcely admitted of any formal subdivision or reduction to an agenda of procedure in advance. We had felt that each delegation would be making its own preparations for discussion of the problem of procedure in constitutional amendment, and that the question of the best way of discussing it might be settled after we had assembled on January 10. I should appreciate it if you would let me know whether you feel that this is a satisfactory basis on which to leave the arrangements. Perhaps I might take this opportunity to refer to .another matter which has been considered by my [DOT]colleagues and myself recently. There are many questions of concern to both the provincial and the federal governments in connection with which some discussion would be desirable. Several questions have been proposed for discussion at various times and there may be others which it would be helpful to consider jointly. If it would meet with the approval of the governments of the provinces, I would propose that a general conference should be held early in the autumn of 1950, possibly in September or October, to discuss general questions of common concern to the provincial and federal governments. The conference would, among other things, carry out the undertaking which has been given to several of the provincial governments which entered into tax agreements with the federal government to hold a general conference at least a year prior to the expiration of the agreements on March 31, 1952. If the suggestion for a conference meets with your approval, and that of the other provincial premiers, views might be exchanged in the next few months as to the matters that should be placed on the agenda, and preparations could then be undertaken. It would, I think, be desirable to have an interval of several months in which to make preparations if fruitful discussion is to result. Yours sincerely, Louis S. St. Laurent (Copy of letter sent to the premier of Saskatchewan)



Ottawa, December 7, 1949 Hon. T. C. Douglas, M.L.A., Premier of Saskatchewan, Regina, Saskatchewan. My dear Premier: I have received your letter of November 29 enquiring as to an agenda for the conference which is to open on January 10 to consider the procedure of amending the constitution of Canada. In my original letter of September 14 the purpose of the conference was described as being to devise a generally satisfactory method of making amendments in Canada to the provisions of the constitution which concern both federal and provincial authorities. It was on that basis that the proposal for the conference was made and agreed to. In my last letter of November 7 I referred to the conference more briefly as being simply "to consider a method of amending the constitution of Canada". It had been the feeling of my colleagues and myself that the subject for discussion at the forthcoming conference scarcely admitted of any formal subdivision or reduction to an agenda of procedure in advance. We had felt that each delegation would be making its own preparations for discussion of the problem of procedure in constitutional amendment, and that the question of the best way of discussing it might be settled after we had assembled on January 10. In view of your enquiry I am, however, writing to all the provincial premiers to ask whether they think it would be satisfactory to leave arrangements on the basis I have indicated or whether an effort should be made to draw up an agenda. Perhaps I might take this opportunity to refer to another matter which has been considered by my colleagues and myself recently. There are many questions of concern to both the provincial and the federal governments in connection with which some discussion would be desirable. Several questions have been proposed for discussion at various times and there may be others which it would be helpful to consider jointly. If it would meet with the approval of the governments of the provinces, I would propose that a general conference should be held early in the autumn of 1950, possibly in September or October, to discuss general questions of common concern to the provincial and the federal governments. The conference would, among other things, carry out the undertaking to which I referred in my letter of August 18 to hold a general conference at least a year prior to the expiration of the tax agreements on March 31, 1952. If the suggestion for a conference meets with your approval, and that of the other provincial premiers, views might be exchanged in the next few months as to the matters that should be placed on the agenda, and preparations could then be undertaken. It would, I think, be desirable to have an interval of several months in which to make preparations if fruitful discussion is to result. Yours sincerely, Louis S. St. Laurent



Friday, December 9, 1949


December 8, 1949