Mr. Rodney Adamson (York West):
very glad to have the statement of the minister at this time on this most important work. The only criticism one could possibly make of the development of the St. Lawrence, both for the purposes of navigation and power, is that it probably comes fifty years too late. The development of the St. Lawrence is a further step in the fulfilment of our national destiny, called the national policy by Sir John A. Macdonald at confederation. During the time of the financial panic in the United States Roosevelt said that the only thing the United States had to fear was fear. We are less prone to the hypnosis of fear than the people of the United States. The only thing we Canadians have to fear is timidity. When we have failed, our failures have all come from leaving undone the things we ought to have done, and undeveloped the things we should have developed. The St. Lawrence is a link in the chain of the national policy as dreamed of by the fathers of confederation. Like the transcontinental railways, the project will be a great unifying work for the stability and the solidarity of Canada. Sir John saw Canada as a great industrial nation, and we must not lose that dream. This development is but a part of it.
It used to be said that trade follows the flag. The modern adaptation of this saying is that industry follows power. Ever since the industrial revolution it has been the history that industry developed where there was an adequate source of primary power. Up till recent times this has been coal. Now it is electricity, in Canada developed by water and gravity; and it may be, possibly during our lives, derived from atomic force.
The national policy, as I see it at the half century, shall be that the first responsibility of any federal government to Canada is to encourage the development of every source of primary power, no matter where - it is situated in Canada. We have recent examples of developments-for example, the Kitimat development in British Columbia, which has been the result of an amazing bit
of foresight on the part of a group of industrial people who are developing that part of the country in northern British Columbia.
I believe it is part of our national responsibility that every power resource that can be developed must be developed, and that it is a prime responsibility of the federal government to do so. I wish here to say that the power resources-whether they be in the maritimes, such as Passamaquoddy, the Chignecto canal, the great untapped developments of north-flowing rivers from the height of land to the Arctic ocean, or the developments in the prairies, such as the South Saskatchewan and elsewhere-are all part of our national heritage. They are all part of the vision of development that the fathers of confederation had. Unless we are prepared to see that every single bit of natural resources is developed in Canada, we are not going to meet the challenge and to achieve the destiny envisioned by the pioneers, the fathers of confederation.
The next and equally important requirement in addition to power is an adequate supply of raw material. If this is not available at the site of the power development or the coal mine then cheap transportation- and water transpprtation is by far the cheapest-must be available to bring the raw material to the power; because there is an economic limitation on the distance over which power can be transmitted. For all practical purposes that distance is about 400 miles. The unique feature of the St. Lawrence is that it provides both power and transportation. It will bring to the sea an industrial area with a production at present as great as that of the whole of the continents of Africa and Asia.
Canada's industrial growth to an industrial nation has taken place in the comparatively recent past in conjunction with the development of electric power. I want to mention for example the development of the province of Manitoba. Manitoba has not been thought cf as an industrial, but rather as an agricultural province. Yet figures recently given in this house by the new hon. member for Winnipeg South Centre (Mr. Churchill) showed that Manitoba today is an industrial province and is shortly going to be one of major proportions. That situation has been brought about largely because of the development of hydroelectric power in that province.
Canada's economy must be strengthened by doing as much as possible of the manufacturing and processing of our raw products before they are exported. Power and population are essential for this purpose. In the Pre-Cambrian shield north of the agricultural belt in the central provinces, we have an
enormous base metal and other mineral potential. Much of this has now been developed, but a great deal more awaits development because of the question of transportation and the question of bringing to the mine the necessary fuel for smelting.
A friend of mine, who is connected with one of the major base metal companies, said that, were this transportation and power project to be developed, his company would seriously consider sending their concentrates for smelting either to tidewater or to the canal. This would not only result in a lower price for the final product but make available vast new deposits of low grade ore in the north country.
The steel industry, which is probably of the most vital importance to the economy of any country, is greatly dependent upon this deep waterway and upon the power as well. I remember that some years ago, when the Steep Rock development was fully proved but had not yet been properly opened up, when $10 million of new capital was required to develop the mine, we unfortunately had to go outside of Canada to obtain that capital. The development was financed through United States capital, and in consequence a great deal of that ore will have a primary duty to go to United States mills. One can understand that, but at the time to me it seemed a pity that we were not able to do in Canada the essential financing of that iron ore deposit. The question of Labrador of course is a major one for the economy of the whole continent, I might say almost the whole world, because with the gradual exhaustion of. the central iron range in Minnesota, and the lack of any new discoveries, apart from Steep Rock, of high grade iron ore in the centre of this continent, the entire continent- I speak continentally-faces a shortage of the essential sinew of her economic production.
The iron ore from Labrador is a natural challenge to us in Canada, and it is imperative that our steel industry, no matter where it is situated at the present time, shall be able to have a sufficient supply of that iron ore to maintain and to increase itself, because the steel industry is the one on which the whole economy of our basic and secondary industry depends. Steps should be taken to ensure that the ore from this development, or sufficient of it, should be made available to our own steel industry.
I then come to the shipping industry. A speech was made in this house the other day with which I regret I cannot agree. With an adequate canal from tidewater to the great lakes we may expect a tremendous increase in the shipping industry in Canada. We have considerable facilities now and we have
St. Lawrence Waterway the ability to increase those shipbuilding plants along the great lakes. I am speaking this way because I disagree with what has been said about the danger to this industry. To give the history of the Panama canal, the same argument was put up in opposition to the Panama canal, that it might destroy the shipping industry along the Pacific coast. Actually the very reverse happened, and today from Vancouver right down along the Pacific coast the shipbuilding industry has been a major factor in the development of the economy of that coast. So will, I am sure, the shipping industry benefit from the opening up of this deep canal.
The canal is to be twenty-seven feet deep, and that will adequately take care of, I believe it is, very nearly 90 per cent of all the ocean-going ships that are in existence at the present time. Therefore we have no real danger for the shipbuilding industry. As a matter of fact we are likely to have a tremendously increased market for that industry.
Special types of ships will be constructed for the trade of the great lakes, as there have been special types of shipping constructed for nearly all the trade of the world. A special type of ship ran from the Argentine to England with chilled meat. There are other special types of ships-or there used to be-designed for that, and until the government of Great Britain ceased to buy meat, or was unable to buy meat, from the Argentine, these ships plied the very lucrative trade. Other special types of ships were built for frozen meat from New Zealand and Australia. I mention this merely as an example of the extent to which our shipbuilding industry on the great lakes may be expected to expand. Unquestionably new types of ships will be developed in Canada for specific trade that we do not know very much about at the present time, not merely bulk ore carriers and bulk grain carriers but specific ships developed for various different trades.
Then I come to the coal industry. It was said in the railway committee that the economic limit of Canadian coal from eastern Canada was somewhere near Montreal. I think the president of the Canadian National Railways said that the economic limit of Canadian coal was somewhere in the Montreal district, or around Montreal. With adequate shipping facilities-and, Mr. Speaker, it is not at all beyond the realm of possibility that with modern icebreakers the St. Lawrence can be kept open practically all the year-the area served by maritime coal is surely likely to be greatly expanded with this development. Up to now we in the
St. Lawrence Waterway central provinces have been dependent very largely upon United States coal, and the new generating stations at Windsor and Toronto are completely dependent, or were dependent, upon United States coal. If we can extend the area in which we could use our own coal, surely that is * one of the useful things that this project will bring about.