December 11, 1951

St. Lawrence Waterway this maximum. The accounts and financial transactions of the authority are to be audited by the Auditor General. There are, Mr. Speaker, a number of other sections in the bill which speak for themselves, and upon which I do not think I should make any comment at this time. I did feel, however, that a short statement should be made as to the general purport of the bill, and as hon. members have seen it can be divided into these four divisions. I believe that is all I should say at the moment.


Agar Rodney Adamson

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Rodney Adamson (York West):

I am

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.

Topic:   II, 1951

Agar Rodney Adamson

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Adamson:

I am glad the minister says "hear, hear". I do not know how far that coal can be economically shipped, but I do believe that this development will greatly enlarge the area.

I mention these things, Mr. Speaker, because this project is a great link in the development of Canada as a whole. It must be considered not alone for its benefit to one part of Canada. It will, I think, be found to be of great and enormous benefit to the country as a whole.

I am not going to go into the opposition to it at great length, but I think something should be said in this house as to the opposition to the St. Lawrence deep waterways- both that, and the power development. The deep waterway has been' under active discussion for twenty-seven years. Tentative legislation has been under consideration for that length of time. I think the first bill was presented in 1931 or 1932 by the government of Mr. Bennett.

Almost all the opposition is from extremely powerful lobbies in the United States and I think some mention must be made of this fact at this time. I do not propose to criticize in any way the United States form of government, but the fact is that under their system a powerful minority can and will block, and has blocked, an essential development for the national good in order to serve its own selfish interests. I say that without rancour or any feeling of animosity. Those who are opposed to this are acting in their own interests and because they feel that that is the proper thing for them to do.

I say in all seriousness that we are never likely to get an agreement on this matter through the United States congress. There are names and personalities which I might cite who have set themselves up in opposition to this development and have been and still are able to defy the wishes of both the major political parties in the United States and of every president since Coolidge. There is no reason to believe that their power has diminished in any way and we are not being realistic if we expect them to change.

This opposition is just like two men who jointly own a tool shed in which they store the necessary tools to prepare and keep their

gardens fertile and prosperous. Each has a key to open the door which has two locks. One man comes over with his dog and little boy who prevent him from putting the key in the door and opening it. In this case the United States government has asked repeatedly for this development but the dog, in the shape of the United States Senate, and the boy, in the shape of the United States House of Representatives, have refused repeatedly to let their Uncle Sam use his key and thereby pass the legislation. I think we must recognize these facts and be prepared to go ahead with the project no matter what happens.

If there is anything that is likely to cause delay it is for this house to show reluctance to proceed with the waterway and the power development, which latter of course is a natural resource of Ontario and Quebec, with resolution and determination, and alone, if need be. We hope to have the co-operation of the United States because that would be infinitely better; but, if that is not to be, there should be no holding back on this development. There can be no saying that we have not enough information. There can be no suggesting that we should have more time to study this, that or the other angle.

All these angles have been studied and studied for decades. Competent engineers and economists and businessmen have almost unanimously backed the project. The time is now. There can be and there must be no further delay. We have the know-how, the money and the vision-we must put them to work. I had hoped that both bills would be considered at the same time because a great deal of what I have said applies to both the power and navigation projects. If there was ever a time when we must be resolute, it is now and in connection with this matter. We cannot be put off even though we get no assistance whatever from the United States.

The St. Lawrence canal must be proceeded with. No longer can the production of an area which equals the production of the entire continents of Africa and Asia be denied raw materials and adequate cheap transportation to the sea. That is the challenge. That is the problem facing this house today. I say in all seriousness: Let us get on with it; let us brook no more interference; let us show that timidity is no part of the heritage left to us by the fathers of confederation. Our destiny as a nation demands action now.

Topic:   II, 1951

George Taylor Fulford


Mr. G. T. Fulford (Leeds):

Mr. Speaker, I think we all owe a great debt of gratitude to the Minister of Transport (Mr. Chevrier) for the splendid way in which he has presented the purpose of this bill and the other bill which is to follow. I understand that we will be in order when discussing

this bill to set up the St. Lawrence seaway authority to refer to the other bill with regard to the development of hydroelectric power. The presentation by the Minister of Transport was both comprehensive and logical. He not only gave a concise history of this great scheme but also showed the tremendous benefits that will accrue not only to Canada but also to the United States from the construction of the St. Lawrence seaway and hydroelectric development. In fact I find it particularly hard at this time to get on my feet and say anything that the minister has not already said, but at the same time I have a few random thoughts that I should like to present to the house. I might say that on several occasions I have spoken in this chamber on the subject we are now discussing, and furthermore I have addressed service club meetings in both eastern Ontario and northern New York state. I find that there is general unanimity of thought in this section of the province of Ontario and in northern New York state.

Unfortunately, however, there are still many sections of the United States, particularly on the Atlantic seaboard and in the deep south, where the majority opinion is against the building of this great national and international project. In the issue of Fortune magazine of December, 1950, there appears an article entitled, "Battle of the St. Lawrence", written by Freeman Lincoln. With your permission, Mr. Speaker, I should like to read the opening two paragraphs. They are as follows:

A brief look at the map of the world will do for a snap judgment as to the common sense of the man made ditch across the isthmus of Panama and of that other ditch linking the Mediterranean and Red seas. Strong instinct says that the building of the Panama and Suez canals at whatever cost was inevitable and right; that if they had not been built there must have been sharp and dirty knife work at some political cross roads. On the proposition of constructing a deep waterway in the St. Lawrence river to tie the North American great lakes to the Atlantic ocean and so to the world the verdict will be the same. The St. Lawrence seaway will give access to an inland sea whose busyness is indicated by the fact that more yearly tonnage passes through one of its bottlenecks, the locks at Sault Ste. Marie, than passes through the Panama, Suez, Manchester Ship and Kiel canals combined. It will give Canada and the United States together a new seacoast more than 8,000 miles long with ports such as Montreal, Toronto, Buffalo, Cleveland, Toledo, Detroit, Chicago and Milwaukee. The project also includes a power station on the St. Lawrence that will allow Canada and the United States to divide twelve billion kilowatt hours of cheaply produced electric power each year, enough to take care of greater New York's annual needs.

Further on, in explanation of a map of North America, there is a short sentence which I think is also worth putting on the record. It reads:

The St. Lawrence seaway project, now battered and hackneyed after fifty years of futile argument.

St. Lawrence Waterway will provide deep water transportation between the Atlantic ocean and cities on the great lakes, with a hydroelectric power station of greater capacity than Grand Coulee added for good measure.

The article is worth reading in its entirety. It is a wonderful record of the history and development of the St. Lawrence seaway project, but the article also shows the powerful lobby that has been against this scheme for so many years. There is an organization in the United States known as "The National St. Lawrence Project Conference", the subtitle of which is, "A Nationwide Organization in Opposition". There are no less than 250 separate organizations within the framework of this one organization. Offices are maintained in Washington, and the sole purpose is a constant lobby against the seaway in the United States congress.

We have seen how successful the lobby has been in the past. We have seen how it has deprived not only Canada but many American states as well of the advantage of this vast scheme, which must go through. I feel that the best method has been devised in order for Canada to proceed with the scheme on its own. As the Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent) said to a group of college students and graduates at St. Lawrence university in Canton, New York, a year ago last June, Canada has been very patient but our patience is wearing very thin.

In setting up an authority, as the Minister of Transport (Mr. Chevrier) has outlined to the house, we will have found a means of financing this great project without the necessity of calling on the hard-pressed taxpayers of Canada. As has been explained, tolls are to be levied against ships and their cargoes, ships of all nations and cargoes of all kinds. These tolls will be applied against the normal operating expenses of the canal that are involved in keeping the canal open for navigation and the locks running, and furthermore they will be used to amortize the bonds.

Unfortunately much publicity was recently given through the press of Canada to a statement made that the farmers of the west would be obliged to pay for this great scheme. They will make their contribution but it will only be a part of the payment, and I do not think anybody minds paying a contribution if it means a reduction in freight rates. I understand an estimate has been made that freight rates will be reduced approximately four cents a bushel by shipping through the great lakes and the St. Lawrence seaway. The statement claiming that the western farmers will pay for the seaway is unfair because all ships and all


St. Lawrence Waterway cargoes, as has been said before, will be paying tolls. I regret that this statement was made by a prominent Canadian ship owner, and furthermore that it was made in the other place.

I find it very hard to understand the attitude of certain members of the house. They preface their remarks by saying that they are all for the St. Lawrence seaway, and then they proceed to pick it all to pieces. It is quite evident that this attitude is a sectional one and completely cuts across party lines, as demonstrated by the speech just made by the hon. member for York West (Mr. Adamson) and the speech made last week in this chamber by the hon. member for Simcoe North (Mr. Ferguson). I wonder if those members who preface their remarks by saying that they are going to support the seaway and then try to throw every obstacle in the way of the passage of the legislation are not doing so for one of two reasons, or perhaps both reasons. The first, of course, would be to have their remarks published in the home papers for the reading enjoyment of their constituents. The other reason, a little more sinister, is that by introducing this delaying action these bills would not be passed at this session, but would have to wait until the next one. By that time they believe they will have mustered enough force to bring pressure against passage of the bills once and for all. I hate to think that this could be the motive. Nevertheless, speaking as they have, one cannot help feeling there is something more behind it than just the procedure of addressing Mr. Speaker.

I must say the statements of certain members, particularly from Ontario, are very different from those issued by the premier of Ontario and by the chairman of the Ontario Hydro Electric Commission, both of whom have demanded-not requested-have demanded immediate action. Furthermore I am told the government of Quebec has signified its intention to make further developments at Beauharnois, and also in connection with new hydroelectric installations at Lachine.

Living as I do on the banks of the upper reaches of the St. Lawrence river, naturally I am unequivocally supporting the two bills.

I live twelve miles above Prescott. Every day during the season of navigation I see the small canal-size steamers plying their trade back and forth. When the grain begins to move I see the large upper lake freighters bringing their vast cargoes of wheat down to the Prescott grain elevator, where it must be stored for transshipment to Montreal in the small canal-sized freighters. What a waste, to see these small ships of canal-size plying back and forth, when one realizes that

one of the upper lake steamers can carry as much as ten of the smaller ships. The economy of the whole system is unsound. It means larger crews, larger fuel consumption and more of everything, thus bringing about an uneconomic system.

We see also the small tankers coming up from Montreal laden with refined gasoline, and returning empty. Some day I visualize the large tankers going to the head of the lakes, and there filling with the petroleum now being piped half way across the continent from the Alberta oil wells to the vast storage tanks at Superior, Wisconsin. This would bring Canadian oil to the refineries at Montreal, which are now dependent for their oil supply upon the pipe line built during the war from Portland, Maine, to Montreal. The crude oil is piped from Portland after being unloaded from the tankers that pick it up in South America, the Near East and Texas. This is another reason why it is essential that the larger tankers be permitted to carry Canadian crude oil rather than the crude oil produced from wells in other parts of the world.

I find it very difficult to understand why North Americans are so loath to take advantage of the great God-given resources of our two nations. Forty miles below Prescott one sees the awe-inspiring sight of the Long Sault rapids. At this point a power dam capable of producing 2,200,000 horsepower is to be built. This is to be divided equally between Ontario and the state of New York.

In eastern Ontario I do not visualize vast wharves connected with the loading and unloading of grain, nor do I see the building of vast drydocks; but I do see us on the threshold of the largest constant potential supply of electrical power in the world with every port along the upper reaches of the St. Lawrence river and the great lakes a potential seaport.

My mind goes back three years to the power blackouts we had not only in eastern but throughout central and southern Ontario. We have been warned by responsible engineers, and other men in authority, that we may look forward to a similar power shortage within four years, unless the mighty waters of the St. Lawrence river are harnessed. If we are obliged to undergo these objectionable blackouts, not only are they an inconvenience to householders but, far more important, they put a tremendous crimp in industry and are seriously detrimental to the proper operation of farms.

In a time of peace a shortage of power is unfortunate; in the event of war a power shortage is a national disaster. Under no circumstances must this be allowed to occur.

The answer to the power shortage, the answer to additional navigational facilities, the answer to the proper development of the ore bodies in Labrador, all lie in the passage of these two bills now before the house.

If we cannot have the support of our neighbours in the United States, then we in Canada must go ahead on our own. Naturally we would prefer to have a joint undertaking. But in the event that these lobbies about which I spoke earlier are so powerful that they will prevent the legislation going through the United States congress, we have no alternative but that of going ahead on our own with the St. Lawrence seaway authority and the building of the St. Lawrence seaway.

I commend highly the stand our government has taken in this connection.

I am confident most Canadians rejoice in the government's having devised a means whereby Canada can go ahead on its own, with this tremendous scheme, and without any further delays, such as those which have been caused by the united efforts of certain wealthy minority vested interests.

Topic:   II, 1951

William Hector McMillan


Mr. W. H. McMillan (Welland):

St. Lawrence Waterway turned. On that occasion the Hon. William Hamilton Merritt made a speech from which I should like to quote a few extracts. The ceremony took place near the little village of Allanburg, and two hundred persons were present. In his introduction, he said:

We are assembled here this day for the purpose of removing the first earth from a canal which will, by the shortest distance, connect the greatest extent of inland waters in the whole world; and it gives me peculiar pleasure to find that the line of this canal has been, located in this neighbourhood, the inhabitants of which have tinned out on all occasions with a zeal and alacrity worthy of the undertaking.

He expressed some of the difficulties with which they were faced in this way:

We were fully aware of the supposed magnitude of the undertaking; we were sensible that the personal interest of the capital and talent of the district was against us, and that we had no cooperation to expect from them, which the result fully proved. Every attempt has been made to get his project taken up by able hands, but not one individual of extensive capital in the province, or in any high official station, has given it the least assistance, except the Hon. John H. Dunn.

They had other difficulties. For instance, it was hard to get local subscribers to pay up their subscriptions, because it was rumoured that the people in Quebec who had subscribed had not paid up their subscriptions. He enumerated the benefits that would accrue in this way:

Instead of remaining in this dull, supine state, in which we have been for years past, we shall mingle in the bustle and active scenes of business; our commodities will be enhanced in value, and a general tide of prosperity will be witnessed on the whole line and surrounding country. In short, gentlemen, we are situated in a country favoured with every advantage, in soil, climate and situation; its resources remain only to be known to draw men of capital amongst us; and we trust, now that improvements have been commenced, it will increase, and that we may witness the same spirit of enterprise here that our neighbours, the Americans, possess in so eminent a degree.

Further on he says:

We remove the only natural barrier of importance

the falls of Niagara. The rapids between Prescott and Lachine command the next consideration.

Just as they do today. There is one more paragraph I should like to read which makes some comment on what the people thought of the government of the day:

When we contemplate the natural advantages we possess over the Americans in our water communication, it is astonishing to think of the apathy and indifference that have hitherto prevailed amongst us on this subject. If we inquire the cause, nine-tenths of us would blame the government.

Just as we do today.

There never was a more erroneous idea. We are ever inclined to move the burden from our own shoulders, and can only blame ourselves.

Then in one last sentence he says:

It is a rare occurrence that measures of great national improvement originate from the administration of the government.

Most of this work, Mr. Speaker, was done by hand. Diggers were hired at 63 cents a day, Upper and Lower Canada subscribed for stock, and by five years later-in January, 1829-boats were able to go from lake to lake. Since that time two canals have been built. One was built in 1870 and another was started just before the first war and was completed in the early thirties. I hope hon. members will forgive me for giving part of this historical background.

In those early days, when money was scarce, the people had vision and foresight. There was less dependence upon the government than there is today, and they tackled something more out of proportion to their means than we are asked to do today. It is true that the profit motive was present there, but in those early days the people of Upper and Lower Canada united their resources to build something that was for the good of Canada as a whole. The same spirit I would say is evident among members of this house. Practically all members are in favour of this project. Likewise, I think that we as members should support the government in projects in other parts of Canada if it can be proved that they have a good economic basis and can stand on their own feet.

I think the Minister of Transport (Mr. Chevrier) made a brilliant exposition of this subject in introducing the bill the other day. I would be interested to see figures showing prospective earnings of the navigational part of this project. I think we all should like to see such figures. In the light of present-day requirements of iron ore and of the movement of other commodities, we should probably be able to get figures as to the minimum tonnage that would be required in any one year to liquidate this amount of money that has to be spent.

I am convinced that we should construct steel mills to process our own iron ore in this country as much as possible, but I would be adverse to withholding any iron ore from our friends to the south in the United States. I think we should remember that our country was built up by iron and steel from their mills.

I do not agree with the hon. member for Cape Breton South (Mr. Gillis) when he says that this resolution is only window dressing for the purpose of providing power for the province of Ontario. I am not conversant with the engineering part of the program, but I imagine that one project is a complement to the other. In any case, the province of Ontario will pay in full for its power, and I think it is time that we clear up this bottleneck of shipping in the St. Lawrence.

The minister said that money would need to be spent on the Welland ship canal for dredging, and that the locks were adequate. There are seven locks on the Welland ship canal. Locks Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 7 are single. Locks Nos. 4, 5 and 6 are twin; they are called twin flight locks. They are built that way because of the contour of the land which is the Niagara escarpment. These locks are built end to end, and they succeed each other much like the steps on a stair. Their total lift is 139i feet. A few hundred yards from the top of lock No. 6 is lock No. 7, where boats are lifted to the summit level which is practically the level of the water in lake Erie. At the present time when shipping is busy in the canal, lock No. 7 is a bottleneck. Certainly in years to come, if the canal gets busier, I would think that lock No. 7 would need to be a twin lock. There are many industries along the canal. It is the hope that the minister will give favourable consideration in regard to the naming of Port Colborne, which is situated at the lake Erie end of the canal, as a port of registry.

In conclusion, I would say that the people of Welland county are much in favour of this double project, because in times past we have been short of power, and it will not be long now before we shall need more power in that area where power is produced; we should also like to get an adequate gateway to the Atlantic.

Topic:   II, 1951

Joseph Warner Murphy

Progressive Conservative

Mr. J. W. Murphy (Lamblon West):

Mr. Speaker, at this late stage in the session I welcome the introduction of this bill, as I think do most hon. members. I do not intend to take up a great deal of the time of the house because we have had some exceptionally fine speeches by hon. members with regard to the merits of the bill, and to go into the matter in detail would be to repeat, to a great extent, what has been said before.

First, though, I should like to disagree entirely with what the hon. member for Leeds (Mr. Fulford) said a few minutes ago as to some hon. members who did not share his enthusiasm for this project and who in the course of his remarks indicated that some hon. members-the hon. member for Cape Breton South (Mr. Gillis), I think, and some from Ontario-were speaking for a political purpose. I think hon. members will agree with me that any member who had occasion to speak, and who did not share the optimism of many of the rest of us but had some reservations, was not speaking for political purposes but rather was speaking in the interest of his riding, of his province and, I am sure as he thought, on behalf of the people of the Dominion of Canada.

St. Lawrence Waterway

Mr. Speaker, I come from Sarnia, which is in an area on the great lakes which adjoins the river St. Clair. Naturally I am quite enthusiastic about this project; and, as has been said before, I only regret that it was not started many years ago when no doubt labour and materials could have been obtained at much lower prices than those prevailing at the moment. Even at this late date the government has been well advised to undertake this project, not only from a commercial standpoint but from the standpoint of what it might mean to the defence of our own country and from the standpoint of the part that we may be able to play in sharing in the defence of our ideals.

There is one idea that is shared by most hon. members-and I want to be quite plain and factual about it. It is this. I do not think any hon. member would espouse this, or any other project, if it were going to benefit his own area to a certain extent and damage other areas to a greater extent. Hon. members are certainly to be commended on the broad approach they have taken to this idea. Some reservations were made, and I think they were made honestly. We must give those who made those reservations credit for their intent and their modesty in the manner in which the reservations were made. I think that we of the central part of Canada share with the people from the west and the maritimes in their points of view and in their problems. This is one move that is being made for the development of our natural resources. This is a scheme that will no doubt play a big part not only in the increase of wealth and production in the west but I hope in the maritimes as well as in the central provinces. I share the opinion of most hon. members when I say that we should view this project fairly, as we should view the development of other natural resources which do not necessarily affect the central provinces, but do affect the west and the maritimes. I say, as did one of my associates in this party, that the South Saskatchewan scheme should also be given prompt consideration. It seems to be worthy of the consideration of the house. In addition to that area there may be other projects in the west which should be gone on with to develop our natural resources and to make Canada the country that we hope it may be and will be. I know I speak for the Ontario members when I say we share the perplexities of the hon. members from the west and the maritimes. We know that a further development of our natural resources will bring prosperity to those areas and also will be of great help to the different areas of Canada. We should

St. Lawrence Waterway not forget the projects that have been advanced so often not only by members of the party to which I belong but also by members of other parties. I refer to the Chignecto canal and the Passamaquoddy development. There are others. I think the maritimers have been very patient and very fair in this house, in view of what they have had to-I was going to say, suffer. I do hope that when this project is undertaken it will receive the close co-operation of the different provinces. I am now speaking of the ore to be mined and smelted. I recall the statement made by the minister the other day that part of this development came within the jurisdiction of the provinces. I do hope that our government will negotiate, so to speak, with the different provinces, so that instead of exporting this ore in its raw state to our friends to the south we may have mills, whether they be in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario or Quebec, or wherever they may be, that will give a great deal of employment to the people of our country. If that is done our iron ore will not be exported in the form in which we used to export our pulpwood. The construction of steel mills will be a great factor in our economy, and it will be a great project for the maritimes. We can probably build along this waterway new mills to smelt steel, which we badly need. Steel, Mr. Speaker, is the most important factor in our industrial development. I think it is more important than ever before, and the development of this country depends to a great extent on an increased production of steel. In the furthering of this huge development I hope that those who have some responsibility for increasing the production of steel will see the opportunity and the necessity of increasing the production of that necessary product, which is in such short supply today.

Without repeating, Mr. Speaker, may I say this. As I see this picture developing along the great lakes

and no doubt the idea will be shared by many who have been to different parts of Europe and have seen the Ruhr valley and the great industrial development there- it is going to take time, but many areas along that waterway will become large industrial areas because of this development. This country is not known so much as an agricultural country today; it is becoming a great industrial nation. The more we consider the necessity for smelting our own iron into steel the more important it will be for Canadians as a whole. I should like to emphasize that I would hate to see too much of this ore go to the United States in its raw condition, because we in this country have the necessary initiative and engineering ability to undertake any project. I am glad to be one of those who

share the view not only of hon. members but of the people of the country that we are happy that at last we have taken this matter under advisement, with the determination to promote it and not stall any longer.

Unfortunately we have been dependent on the United States for co-operation for a great many years. I do not hesitate for one moment to congratulate those in government today, whether in Ontario or Ottawa, who say that we are ready to go it and to go it alone. I think the people on the other side of the border realize that we are not fooling. I am satisfied in my own mind that we are not, and that we do not intend to. If the challenge is accepted and if they see the necessity of coming into partnership with us in this country in this undertaking it will mean much not only to the United States but to ourselves as well.

A moment ago I mentioned the Ruhr and the great development I could see in this country along this waterway. I can see huge investments and new industries of all sorts, which will mean the development in many ways of our different natural resources. Considerable employment will result, and no doubt this will prove an impetus for the government to increase immigration into this country, which is so necessary for the development of our natural resources. Here and there along the route of this waterway certain projects are in the offing for the development of harbours and so on; and in the development of this project I assume the government will take the long range view. I do hope that this project will be developed before too long.

There is one other angle I should like to discuss, and perhaps the minister can check me on this before I go into details. The St. Lawrence seaway authority is being incorporated for several purposes, and I wonder just where the different municipalities will stand with respect to taxes.

Topic:   II, 1951

Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Transport)


Mr. Chevrier:

The municipalities would come under the statement brought down by the Minister of Finance (Mr. Abbott) which provides that if there is a certain amount of government property in a municipality-I have forgotten the percentage-they would be entitled to certain taxes.

Topic:   II, 1951

Joseph Warner Murphy

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Murphy:

I understand that this

authority will be a crown corporation. The Minister of Finance stated, I think in February, 1950, that payments in lieu of taxes would be made under agreements between crown companies and municipalities which would be fair and equitable under all the conditions. I think those were about his exact words. In fairness to any municipality which might benefit I think there should be a

revision of ideas with respect to these payments by crown companies in lieu of taxes. The Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Howe) is in his seat and I am going to take advantage of this opportunity to make this statement. We are proud to have in Sarnia the Polymer Corporation, a crown company. On one side of that corporation is the Dow Chemical plant and on the other side the plant of Imperial Oil Limited. Up to a year ago the crown company paid to the township a certain sum in lieu of taxes. Under the new legislation brought down this crown company, which is engaging in commercial business, was to pay what was fair and equitable. I might mention that next year Dow Chemical will pay $50,000 in taxes. I am not mentioning Imperial Oil. Polymer is now within the municipality and the agreement reached between the municipality and the crown company provides that the crown company will pay $45,000 in lieu of taxes.

That may seem a large sum to some people, but we must remember that these chemical companies are huge empires. They are not some little industry put up on a building lot. In fairness to the municipalities and to the crown companies there should be a sharing of responsibility in the future which has not been evidenced in the past. I think we all agree that any industry creates certain obligations on the part of the municipality by way of education, services and that sort of thing. I think the Minister of Trade and Commerce will agree with me when I say that Polymer should be assessed at five or six times what Dow Chemical are assessed, and yet they have made a settlement for $45,000. I do not know what other crown companies across this country are doing, but I am concerned about the high taxes in our community. If it is not possible to reopen the 1951 arrangement, then I think the 1952 payment should be based on the statement made by the Minister of Finance and the taxes paid should be fair and equitable under all circumstances.

I think the majority of hon. members desire the early passage of this legislation, and I reiterate the hope expressed by the last several speakers that this project will be undertaken immediately because it is something which will be of great benefit to all.

Topic:   II, 1951

Daniel Aloysius Riley


Mr. D. A. Riley (Saint John-Albert):

Mr. Speaker, before I forget I should like to compliment the hon. member for Lambton West (Mr. Murphy) upon what he said about the maritime provinces and the people who populate that part of Canada. I .do not know why I should feel so kindly disposed toward the hon. member for Lambton West when just recently his native city took from my town a most capable executive director. But I am sure the people of Saint John will find that

St. Lawrence Waterway the keenness of their disappointment is somewhat dulled now that the hon. member has spoken so intelligently on behalf of our provinces.

My first inclination is to compliment the Minister of Transport (Mr. Chevrier) upon the brilliant and comprehensive way in which he presented his statement in respect to the setting up of a St. Lawrence seaway authority. I know the keenness of the interest of the Minister of Transport in matters such as this, and I am fully cognizant of the great role he has played in the development of this country during the years he has been Minister of Transport. I cannot think of anyone whom the people of Canada would rather see present such a bill as this to the House of Commons.

I have listened with increasing interest to the numerous speeches which have been made in respect to the St. Lawrence seaway project. I say I have listened with interest, but at the same time I have felt rather disappointed because when I first heard that the seaway project would be introduced at this session I had the feeling that we would be treated to some very vigorous debates. Realizing the importance of this legislation, involving as it does the expenditure of possibly hundreds of millions of dollars on the part of the people of Canada, I have been amazed at the temper of the debate that has been going on since the minister so ably introduced the subject. I have found the debate to be dull, lifeless and uninspiring. Having regard to the type of debate that rages -in the congress of the United States each time this subject is introduced, I cannot help but feel that the people of Canada will suffer something of a let-down if this legislation is permitted to go through without a full scale and much more vigorous debate taking place.

It is not intelligent for anybody to say there are no arguments which can be offered against the St. Lawrence seaway project. In my short lifetime I have heard any number of arguments which seemed to me intelligent and reasonable, yet I have heard few of them expressed during this debate. I have heard the estimated cost of the seaway placed at something over $800 million. I thought there might be some debate on the cost alone because I feel that these estimated figures must be at least a year old, and since the time they were drawn up costs have increased with respect to labour, materials and many other factors that will enter into the construction of this series of canals and the hydroelectric development which will go to make up the project.

It is estimated that the project may take something like five years to complete. Many

. St. Lawrence Waterway

competent engineers say it will take closer to ten years, and perhaps longer than that. If the cost in 1950 was but a little more than $800 million, having regard to the fact that the construction of the seaway will go on for years and that it will be necessary as time goes on to dredge harbours, increase port facilities and build defence installations, I think it is safe for me to say-and I think I can hardly be questioned for so stating- that the cost of the St. Lawrence seaway project will be closer to $1,500 million than $800 million. This alone should provide some reason for the people of Canada to question the seaway project.

There is also the question of the practicability of the navigation aspect of the plan. There are those who say that inasmuch as the seaway will be open for navigation only a little more than six months in a year the tremendous cost is not warranted. This draws me into another particular phase of the opposition and arguments which I say should be debated on the floor of the house. What effect is the seaway going to have on the railways? I have heard it said that they have no serious objection to the seaway. If there has been an official expression of opinion on behalf of the two major railways of Canada, I wonder if the opinion was not voiced with tongue in cheek, as it were. The railroads in the United States of America estimate that the loss in revenue to their lines would run anywhere from $100 million to $250 million per annum. Surely the railroads of Canada must be going to suffer some loss. Having regard to the fact that they will most likely have to keep their usual complement of personnel on the payroll and their usual amount of machinery in repair and operation during twelve months of the year, how much loss are they going to suffer during the six months the canal is being utilized for navigation?

We have heard arguments put forward on one side to the effect that the project will offer magnificent defence possibilities. Nevertheless many of its opponents in the United States point out, and I am sure with some reason and logic, that an enemy having access to the polar route could and definitely would plant one bomb that could render the seaway useless perhaps indefinitely. Another thing that might be said is that it is going to have a serious effect on our Atlantic ports. We have heard some measure of opposition from certain maritime members, particularly the hon. member for Cape Breton South (Mr. Gillis), who have pointed out that the seaway may have a serious effect on our industries. Some maritime members have said that it

may seriously affect our Atlantic ports. Perhaps it may, but to my knowledge these arguments have not been properly debated in the house. I repeat that the expenditure may run into $1,500 million on the part of the people of Canada, the people of British Columbia, Newfoundland, Alberta, New Brunswick as well as the taxpayers of Quebec and Ontario, and I say more serious consideration should be given to the whole question. We have heard the suggestion that the interests who were opposing the project in the United States had no right to oppose it, that they were representative of the vested interests. Well, perhaps some of them are. No one would oppose a project such as this unless he had reason for so doing. But the fact that they have been able to stimulate such opposition in the United States congress perhaps indicates that there are many logical and intelligent arguments against the seaway.

Surely it is significant that organizations financed to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars have been formed and have devoted much time and interest, through publicity and debates in congress, to opposing United States co-operation in the building of the seaway. These interests are not only the railways, which might be described as vested interests but there are also almost all the ports along the Atlantic seaboard and the gulf coast in the United States. Hundreds of chambers of commerce throughout the United States have gone on record as opposing the seaways.

I have had very little indication from members of the house that there is any great opposition in Canada. Perhaps that is all for the best. Perhaps there is not any real opposition in Canada, but from reading editorials in various newspapers in the last two years I would say there is some opposition.

I repeat that the whole matter should be debated more vigorously before the bill is passed. I have no thought in mind of retarding the passage of the bill; I have no thought in mind of keeping members of the House of Commons away from their Christmas holidays. But I do repeat I am disappointed; and I am sure many taxpayers of Canada will be disappointed if they read reports to the effect that the bill setting up the authority for the St. Lawrence seaway went through the House of Commons with a yawn and a stretch.

Strange as it may seem, I am not opposed to the seaway. Like most of the maritime members I could not in conscience oppose any measure which I feel may add to the development of the country, although it may add principally to the development of that

section of the country which has already outpaced all other sections in its development. I still feel, however, that the matter should be debated at greater length.

I was proud to be a member of the House of Commons during the past week or so when I heard members from all parts of the country speak in the debate on the address in reply, and also on this particular question when it was in the resolution stage, and urge that if the government was prepared to invest such a huge expenditure in the development of the St. Lawrence seaway project it should at the same time express some interest in the suggestion that the authority for the St. Lawrence project be expanded to take into consideration projects in the maritime provinces and in western Canada. It was significant that members such as the leader of the opposition (Mr. Drew), the hon. member for Leeds (Mr. Fulford), indeed members representing all parties in the house, should take time to point out to the government its responsibility in respect of projects which should be surveyed and investigated, but which lie beyond the eastern borders of Quebec and the western borders of Ontario.

During the course of speeches he made in the last year, my good friend the Minister of Transport (Mr. Chevrier) referred time and again to the necessity for providing increased power facilities in Quebec and Ontario. In a speech delivered over the C.B.C. on November 21, 1950, he said:

As a result of the rapid postwar expansion of industry in Canada, together with the constantly rising consumption of domestic power, the province of Ontario has been for the past few years subject to an acute shortage of power to meet demands. This is further accentuated by the present increasing activity in defence production.

And again:

In so far as the province of Quebec is concerned, with the increased output at Beauharnois to be available in the near future the power situation in the large industrial area adjacent to Montreal will be satisfactory but for a few years.

The minister repeated these words when he spoke before the Montreal board of trade. He repeated them again when he spoke before the Canadian Club of Ottawa. I would ask him now: Does he think it unfair that those of us from the maritime provinces and from the western provinces-and particularly in respect of power in the maritimes- should ask that some interest be taken in the power projects which have been proposed intelligently by provinces, by groups and by individuals from the maritime provinces? I was sad to hear reference in this debate to the Chignecto canal. It is all very well to say that the Chignecto canal is a dead horse, and that we should not continue to flog it. Hut as I put on record in the house before,

St. Lawrence Waterway and as I shall continue to do so long as I am a member, the Chignecto canal stands before the eyes of the people of the maritime provinces as a grim reminder of a broken promise made-verbally, but nevertheless made-at the time of confederation. It is said that time is a great healer. Time will never heal that sore on the hearts of our people. It is true that there have been some grave expressions of opinion on the part of governments down through the years when they set up commissions designed to determine the feasibility of the Chignecto canal. The more recent commission, without examining any witnesses, without conducting any survey, merely by looking at a number of references given by some of the provinces and perusing a brief which was put before them by the Chignecto canal committee, endeavoured to effectively close the door on this project which stands so prominently in the minds of the people of our provinces. Perhaps the Turgeon commission has assisted time in dealing with the Chignecto canal, but perhaps time will assist the people of Canada, and more particularly the people from my part of the country, in determining the value of the conclusions of the Turgeon commission in respect to Chignecto.

That is not the only project that has been put forward by the people of the maritimes. There are proposals concerning the development of power in the Saint John river, and the development of the Quoddy scheme. Recently the hon. member for Charlotte (Mr. Stuart) and I were in Boston. While there we consulted a number of New England industrialists and discussed the feasibility of Quoddy from various angles. I was happy to note that the hon. member for Cape Breton South (Mr. Gillis) made a reference the other day to Mr. Sydney Grossman, one of New England's industrialists. Mr. Grossman said that if the governments could be persuaded to go ahead and complete the Quoddy survey, and if the survey revealed that Quoddy was feasible but the government of his country did not see fit to go ahead with the project, then he could lay his hands on at least $10 million to start the project as a private enterprise. I say, Mr. Speaker, that that is significant.

When the hon. member for Charlotte and I were in Boston we heard expressions of enthusiasm from all sides, not only from laymen but from competent engineers. The last time I spoke in this house I made a reference to a sonic survey that was being conducted in the Passamaquoddy and Cobs-cook bays by the United States board of engineers. * In Boston I talked with one of

St. Lawrence Waterway those engineers and he made this statement, and repeated it later over the radio while we were being interviewed on a program sponsored by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He said that as a result of these sonic surveys the United States corps of engineers hoped that the estimated cost of the completion of the Quoddy survey would be cut by at least $1 million. Here we have been trying to get some expression of interest from the government of our country in the completion of this survey. On the other side of the border, just as there is a bill in this house asking for endorsement of a Canadian scheme for the St. Lawrence, there has been a resolution before the congress of the United States since August 25 asking for the full amount of money necessary to complete this Quoddy survey.

As I said before, it is an interesting parallel-in one sense of the word it is-that we are asking for authority to go ahead and spend over a billion dollars on the St. Lawrence, while for the Quoddy we are only asking that something like $2,900,000 be spent. Although I intend to support this bill, I find it difficult to go home to my people and say that I helped to vote millions of dollars for the St. Lawrence but I could not get one cent for the completion of the survey of the Passamaquoddy power project. The minister must recognize it as significant that none of the maritime members have expressed themselves as being unalterably opposed to the St. Lawrence project. Surely this must be an indication to him that we are not maritime righters obstructing the development of other parts of Canada and crying for the development of our own area alone. Surely this must be proof to the government that we in the maritimes are very pleased to see the other parts of the country developed. All we are seeking is an indication of interest in the development of our provinces.

I have discussed the Quoddy with some engineers in the different departments. Many of them say, "Well, you cannot establish to us that cheap power can be produced through the Quoddy project." Yet I know a very competent army engineer in the United States who feels reasonably certain that power can be produced at Quoddy at the rate of about 3 mills per killowatt hour.

Topic:   II, 1951

An hon. Member:


Topic:   II, 1951

Some hon. Members:

Go on.

Topic:   II, 1951

Daniel Aloysius Riley


Mr. Riley:

Perhaps my words may encourage other hon. members to speak. Perhaps w6 may yet have a full scale debate on the St. Lawrence seaway project. I hope the hon.

member who suggested that my time had expired will get to his feet and make an intelligent contribution to the debate. In any event, Mr. Speaker, I may yet have another opportunity to speak. If I do, I hope it is only after there has been a full scale discussion of this all-important project.

Topic:   II, 1951

John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. J. H. Blackmore (Lethbridge):

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member who has just taken his seat has given us a most impressive talk. I hope I shall be able to be in the House of Commons long enough to see the maritimes have something of what is their right.

As to this St. Lawrence seaway project, Mr. Speaker, may I say that I have endeavoured to give the matter most careful and realistic study and consideration. In 1941 I had the honour and the responsibility of leading the Social Credit movement in this house. In 1941 there was an imminent likelihood that the project would be proceeded with after the signatures were put to the agreement between the United States and Canada. At that time I studied intensively many works on both sides of the proposition. A number of those I have preserved as being what I thought to be the most factual, objective, well-balanced and reasoned presentations on the subject. I have before me now several of what I thought were the best. I have, for instance, "The St. Lawrence Seaway Project" by B. D. Tallamy and T. M. Sedweek of the Niagara frontier planning board, Buffalo, New York, published in 1940. I should like to read from paragraph 2 of the introduction to the rather extended document:

In the preparation of this survey, the basic materials used were the reports of a joint board of engineers (appointed by the Canadian and United States governments), an interdepartmental report of the United States government, other governmental documents, and the report published by the Brookings Institution, an impartial research foundation of Washington, D.C. Original analyses as to the costs and as to the economic and political effects of the proposed seaway were then made from this basic material. Data from such sources were believed to be the most authentic information on the subject.

I gave this whole document careful and earnest study. I have another entitled "Some Observations on Canadian, Public Finances, with Special Reference to the St. Lawrence Deep Waterways Project" by George C. McDonald, chartered accountant, December 9, 1940. From this document I should like to read the first three paragraphs:

In March last when new projects regarding the St. Lawrence deep waterways were being discussed, I was asked by friends if I would make a report on the economic features involved in the light of present-day circumstances. I gave the request careful consideration, and because I am deeply interested in certain matters of public import which

are reflected in greater or less degree in the waterway project, and in the various proposals as to its future development, I decided that I should be glad to express my views on some aspects of the problem.

My active interest in the subject had first been aroused as a member of the council of the Montreal board of trade when the report on the St. Lawrence waterways project was made to that body by Messrs. Holgate and Jamieson in 1929.

In 1931, in connection with the activities of the Canadian chamber of commerce, I gave further study to the matter.

That document starts in a rather interesting and impressive way. I read it through with much interest and not a little conviction. I have also "The St. Lawrence Waterway, A Study of the Economic Aspects", by John L. McDougall, Kingston, Ontario, September 3, 1941. I should like to read from that document the first sentence on page 3:

The writer of this report is an economist who received his post-graduate training at Toronto, London and Harvard universities, and in business, and who is now on the staff in commerce at Queen's university.

That sounds attractive to those who are impressed by academic degrees. Then may I read a letter which appears at the beginning of the document:

Canadian Electrical Association Incorporated

Montreal, P.Q., July 21, 1941

J. L. McDougall, Esq.,

Department of Business Administration,

Queen s University,

Kingston, Ontario.

Dear Mr. McDougall:

This letter will serve as formal authority for you to make a study, in our behalf, of the St. Lawrence seaway and power project.

Of especial interest, at this time, is the question as to whether or not Canada can afford to devote the necessary manpower and materials to the building of the navigation and power canal and ancillary works. We understand that your study will be largely concerned with endeavouring to answer this question from the point of view of the welfare of Canada, having regard to the vital need for efficient prosecution of the war.

Yours very truly,

(Signed) H. E. Blachford,

Technical Assistant

That sort of introduction always commends itself to me. I have had quite a lot of training in university matters, and I have a high regard for well-trained people. All three of these reports were not favourable to proceeding with the waterway development at that time, and in some cases they were definitely antagonistic to the whole project.

I have an editorial which, with the consent of the house, I will not take the time to read but which I will have put on the record. It is from the Montreal Daily Star of August 12, 1941. It is the leading editorial and is entitled "No Seaway Now". Have I the permission of the house to put it on the record?

St. Lawrence Waterway It discusses the whole matter objectively. I am told that the editor of the Montreal Star at that time was a man of profound sincerity and sense of responsibility. I am informed that, before attempting to write so portentous an editorial as this, which opposes proceeding with the St. Lawrence waterway project, he gathered around him the best men he could find in Canada from a wide variety of fields of activity. In order to save the time of the house, if I may have permission, I think I will put on the record a list of nineteen of the men whom he called around him, with their qualifications and their positions. These were all men who had been, selected especially to study the project. May I have the consent of the house to put this document on the record?

Topic:   II, 1951

Joseph-Alfred Dion (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)


Mr. Deputy Speaker:

Is it agreed?

Topic:   II, 1951

Donald MacInnis

Mr. Maclnnis:

Mr. Speaker, I think the policy of this house has usually been to accept tables for the record without reading them. I think it would be a mistake to depart from that policy and put on the rec ird reading matter that is not in the form of tables. I know that in the United States congress they put whole books on the record, and the first thing that will happen here, if we are not careful, is that we will be doing the same thing. If the names are not very long I suggest to the hon. member that he read them.

Topic:   II, 1951

John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. Blackmore:

Well, I am quite willing to do that, but it will take ten minutes of the time of the house. I think it is of sufficient importance in the circumstances to justify putting it on the record. Suppose I leave this and put it on after I finish the rest of my remarks; then people will be able to find it. In case there is no time we shall leave it until probably the committee stage of the bill or until some other time. It may be that hon. members will not find it of sufficient value to take up our time with it; but certainly there are some impressive names and titles among the names listed in this group.

At that time I endeavoured to form a sound opinion, and I felt, after all the studying I was able to do, that probably the St. Lawrence seaway project was one for some remote future. At least I was not in favour of proceeding with it under the circumstances which then obtained in Canada.

I have endeavoured to keep more or less in touch with the whole project and the development of thought in respect of it. Everything that has come to my hand I have filed away and read as soon as I could find the time and the energy so to do.

An example of the documents I have considered is one called "The Great Lakes-St.

St. Lawrence Waterway Lawrence Seaway", which I am sure all hon. members have had, by J. G. McLean, vice president, apparently, of the brotherhood of locomotive firemen and enginemen, and national legislative representative in Canada. His article appears in the July, 1951 issue of The Brotherhood of Locomotive and Engine-men's magazine. I am not able to find exactly what is the standing of this gentleman, but anyway the document is here. I think it is worthy of respect. It seems to be written objectively, and the general feeling one gets is that the person knows a great deal of what he is talking about. I should like to read short excerpts from this document. On page 5 he discusses the No. 1 argument-that going forward with the project would provide for lower freight rates. He says: "Actually there is no assurance that it would." No. 2 is found on page 8. He says:

The second argument previously mentioned, i.e., the project would provide for additional sources of hydroelectric power, is the most poignant argument in favour of the proposed seaway.

Therefore he gives considerable respect to argument No. 2. On the same page the third argument is discussed. It reads:

The third argument concerning the encouragement of American capital investments is the most contentious of all.

By the way, these are not all the arguments the minister gave. The fourth argument, also found on the same page, is this:

The last argument, which supports the seaway development which suggests that the plan will strengthen the national defence, lacks any serious merit.

I think, Mr. Speaker, that hon. members, including the ministers, will not blame a person if, after reading such documents as this and every other kind that he can get his hands on, he finds many questions still unanswered. This was the reason I wanted to ask a number of questions. I will be given the opportunity of asking those questions when the bill is in committee stage, but I thought this array of evidence ought to remove from everybody's mind the thought that I was endeavouring to obstruct the other night when I desired to hold up the project long enough to ask some questions that were in my own mind.

As I said when I spoke first on the project, Social Crediters will favour it because I believe we all have a sort of feeling it is the right thing to do; that it is good for the country, and we are pleased also that Canada is going ahead with it regardless of United States assistance. That commends itself to us. I said all this, of course, when I first talked on the subject. At the same time I wanted to keep myself open-minded, ready for information on either side of the situation, in case we might have made a conclusion rather too hastily.

I will say that, with respect to all these documents' to which I have referred, the unanimous testimony of the witnesses was definitely against the immediate construction of the St. Lawrence seaway project in 1940. The one I read recently goes down to 1951.

I feel that the other night the minister made a magnificent speech. I do not know that I have ever heard a better one, better documented, better supported, better developed in every way and more beautifully expressed.

The question will be raised then: why are you not impressed by the statements from boards and other great authorities from whom the minister quoted? Well, I am going to tell you frankly, Mr. Speaker, and I am going to tell hon. members and the government why. Our age is an age of dangerous propaganda. The means of influencing public opinion today are so much more potent than anything heretofore known in the history of the world that we fail to appreciate what propaganda -can do. And the means of influencing public opinion are so completely available to men of wealth and influence and so unavailable to people without wealth and without influence that every man and woman in the nation and in this House of Commons has to exercise the greatest reservation before he takes for granted an idea which is disseminated, propagated, and stimulated by high-pressure propaganda. I am going to mention just two illustrations, and I hope I shall not be out of order in so doing, just to show how careful a person has to be.

Hon. members will recall the tremendous outburst of propaganda which filled our newspapers from coast to coast, and cluttered up our radios in every direction, all advocating the Sirois report in 1941. The actual facts were that the Sirois report was one of the most pernicious documents ever advocated by a body of men in the history of the Dominion of Canada. I am not going into detail on that matter but I shall challenge anybody to disprove what I say; yet Canadians were almost stampeded in respect to the stand on the Sirois report. You found great headlines, often in colours, in some of the newspapers. "The people of Canada demand adoption of the Sirois report," but not one per cent of them knew what it stood for. That was the kind of trash that was poured out all over the pages of our newspapers.

We have seen the same thing in respect to this St. Lawrence seaway project. There has been well-paid, carefully calculated and subtly executed propaganda to prepare the people for it. Probably nothing like that was meant, but every person who tries to

keep his feet on the ground and his head down out of the clouds has every reason to be reserved.

Here is another thing. Hon. members recall the Bretton Woods agreement. From the newspaper and radio propaganda that was carried on in support of the Bretton Woods agreement you would have thought it provided an entrance into kingdom come, that the minute we accepted Bretton Woods the whole lot of us would go right into paradise. All parties except the Social Crediters allowed themselves to be stampeded on Bretton Woods. When the thing was passed many members of the house thought, "well, we have done it; now our troubles are over." As a matter of fact that was the most dangerous thing Canada ever accepted in all her history, and was one of the major causes of the troubles under which the world is now struggling. But you could not even get a hearing when you attempted to reason about Bretton Woods. Hon. members in this house can remember that. So I take with reservation what almost anybody says. We are in an age when confusion is being sown deliberately by certain people.

There is another reason I have endeavoured to be cautious, as I am sure all people in Canada would expect me to be, or demand that I be, being in the opposition. The secret knowledge which may or may not have something to do with the desirability or undesirability of the construction of this project is not known to the people of Canada or to the members of parliament. There are no means whereby we can acquire that knowledge, no matter how diligent we may be in search of it.

The next difficulty is that we cannot tell whom to trust. I do not propose to give any illustrations of the way in which some of the most eminent men have allowed themselves to be tools in the hands of powerful interests in order that statements might be made which would advance the cause of those interests. I must say that I was under considerable anxiety and uncertainty when I was asking questions the other night. I was anxious, as the hon. member for Saint John-Albert (Mr. Riley) advises us to be, that there be adequate discussion of this matter before we put our signatures to so important a contract as one involving an agreement to build the St. Lawrence seaway.

Since I spoke last in this house I have had the opportunity of obtaining a copy of a speech delivered by General McNaughton. He is a man whom I trust to the highest degree. I am not unmindful of the fact that he is a great scientist, that he was a great general in the last war, that he is a man of

St. Lawrence Waterway courage and integrity. I am not unmindful of the fact that he occupies the important position of chairman of the Canadian section of the international joint commission and also chairman of the Canadian section of (the permanent joint board on defence. I think we must accept the word of such a man.

It would be contrary to all the principles of becoming deportment for him to let me know the inner facts upon which he based his conclusions. That is one of the unfortunate elements we must allow for. If he were to let me know, there would be no reason why he should not let others know. While I believe I could be completely trusted, I am afraid there are one or two that perhaps could not be. That means that I find myself without access to the fundamental facts upon which this man would base a statement similar to the one which he made in Toronto on December 6. May I read from the speech which that great man made; and I think we will all agree that we can call him a great man. Referring to the St. Lawrence seaway, he said:

-it has now become most urgent that an early start be made on construction.

This need for early action applies not only to the works contemplated on both sides in the international section of the river for power for which there have long been unsatisfied markets in each country for their respective shares; the need applies also for early action on the construction of the navigation facilities which recent estimates show will be used, well up to capacity, as soon as they are made available and because their absence has become a serious disadvantage to the trade and commerce of Canada.

Further on he used these words:

The representations which have been made to the congress of the United States favour the combined project for navigation and power as conferring the most far-reaching benefits to the peacetime economy of the two countries; they make clear also that the early completion of the works for navigation and power is a vital matter in relation to the defence of the North American continent in this period of deep anxiety and great concern.

In addition to the favourable report and recommendation given by the international joint commission, the project for the combined development of the St. Lawrence for navigation and power has been repeatedly before a succession of national advisory committees and the like both in Canada and the United States. In every case the project has been endorsed.

It has also received the attention of a series of joint engineering boards, where the design of the works required has been developed in great detail and to the point that there is no longer any significant question outstanding between the technical representatives of the two countries.

And further down:

The St. Lawrence project for navigation and power neither in its physical dimensions nor in its financial implications is that colossal, stupendous undertaking that some people have set out to picture, but I would agree that these superlatives will properly apply to the useful effects on our

St. Lawrence Waterway

economy and defence arrangements which will come from its construction, more particularly at this rime.

And the final quotation from that speech is is follows:

The board, after searching analysis, stated the project would increase military potential out of all proportion to expenditure in manpower and critical materials, much of which would be required to be used in any event as additional power had to be provided.

Having in mind these considerations and reaffirming its previous recommendations for the construction of the St. Lawrence project for navigation and power the board recommended:

"That the two governments take immediate action to implement the 1941 St. Lawrence agreement as a vital measure for their common defence."

Thus there is now on the public record the advice of the two bodies which have been created by Canada and the United States jointly to consider matters of mutual interest and concern along our boundary both for peace and for defence-the international joint commission, established under the waterways treaty of 1909 and the Canada-United States permanent joint board on defence, set up by President Roosevelt and Prime Minister King at Ogdensburg in August, 1940, have both recommended-repeatedly-that the St. Lawrence project for navigation and power should be built and promptly.

I must say, Mr. Speaker, that such a pronouncement coming from this man at this time leaves me with no possible alternative but to support the measure without qualification.

What fundamental factors of the seaway situation could have so changed in either their nature or their incidence as to render out of date the conclusions of only ten years ago, to which I referred in the earlier part of my remarks, of those most respectable authorities? The answer is: "Scientific

developments." Things have happened in the world in many different ways since 1940 that have rendered what might not have been an urgent necessity then a most urgent and probably inevitable necessity in 1951.

I said the other night that the Social Credit movement and Alberta would support the project provided it could be established that it would be of benefit to each of the provinces. I can think of no greater benefit that could be conferred upon any one of the provinces at the present moment than adequate defence. Therefore it appears to me as though we Social Crediters are completely in the clear and completely consistent in all the positions we have taken thus far. Defence is the answer to the questions as to what benefit will be given to each province.

What of the maritimes? I said some strong things the other day about the inequities that have been endured for many years by the maritimes, and I meant everything

[Mr. Blackmore.l

I said. I am completely out of patience with people who persist in neglecting the interests of the maritimes.

There are two things which I believe will give cause for comfort to the maritimes. Looking over the whole field I would say the first one is that apparently it will be absolutely necessary in the interests of Canadian well-being and United States defence to develop a great steel mill in the maritime provinces before long. I would say there are two points in the maritime provinces at either, one of which, and particularly at one, the largest and finest steel mill we could build would appear to be entirely in order. If such construction were undertaken I believe the maritimes would benefit greatly by the building of such a mill, and would probably benefit more than they will suffer through any economic results of the construction of the great St. Lawrence waterway.

There is another point, and I am sorry to say there will be no responsive ears among the maritime people when I say this. By employing the principles of Social Credit it is possible to reorganize the economy of Canada in such a way as to make the maritimes enjoy an era of prosperity the like of which their most ardent lovers have never even dreamed of. The maritimes possess the resources. They can produce goods that can make them rich, happy and prosperous. That has been proved time and time again. Is there any man in this house who will deny that the maritimes possess resources in materials, manpower and morale to produce the things that are necessary to raise that area to a high standard of prosperity? Is there any man who will dare to contradict me? Very well. Then the only problem confronting us is to enable the maritimes to produce those goods and distribute them.

Surely distribution is not an impossibility if we can only outgrow the prejudices that we have grown up with. Therefore I say to the maritimes that in taking the position I am taking now I am not receding in any way from my determination to support maritime rights and improvements. As a matter of fact I am prepared to join any one or all of those who will take the foremost position in an effort to begin right now to change conditions in the maritimes so the people of that region will all be able to be happy.

Topic:   II, 1951

December 11, 1951