February 17, 1953

SC

Victor Quelch

Social Credit

Mr. Quelch:

No. It will not help the

elevator companies either way. Therefore, as the proposal will have the effect of increasing the administrative costs of the board-which come out of the price of the farmers' wheat- without giving any material benefits to the farmers who are most in need of them, we are not able to support the bill.

On the other hand, if the bill was for the purpose of providing approved farm storage against which loans could be made, we would certainly give it further consideration and support it. But that is a much different thing from this bill. This bill merely provides for payment of farm storage which, as I say, has to come out of the price of the wheat. If on the other hand you had a system of approved farm storage so that loans could be made against that wheat, the smaller farmer would be in a position to hold his wheat and get the benefit of the storage.

In the past we have advocated approved farm storage. I think it is a good idea. It is an accomplished fact in the United States, where provision is made for loans which can be made against the wheat held on the farm. I have here "Overseas Report on Agricultural Developments" issued by the economics division, marketing service, United

States department of agriculture, under date of February, 1953. I find that it states as follows:

Wheat which has been inspected and held in sealed storage on a producer's farm is eligible for a loan at the full support price level for the particular quality of the wheat and the particular location of the farm.

Therefore when people say that it would be extemely difficult to provide for a system of approved farm storage, the answer of course is that already in the United States that very thing is being done, and I do not think there is any reason why it could not be done in this country. But that is an entirely different proposal from the one that is before us at the present time. For the reasons I have given we are not prepared to support the measure.

Topic:   CANADIAN WHEAT BOARD ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT PROVIDING FOR PAYMENT FOR FARM STORAGE
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PC

James Arthur Ross

Progressive Conservative

Mr. J. A. Ross (Souris):

Mr. Speaker, I desire to say a few words in support of this Bill No. 5. I am not able to follow all the arguments advanced by my good friend the hon. member for Acadia (Mr. Quelch). As I see this bill, it is simply carrying the proposal for pooling somewhat further. As was stated by the proposer of the bill, it will not cost the taxpayer any money.

Topic:   CANADIAN WHEAT BOARD ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT PROVIDING FOR PAYMENT FOR FARM STORAGE
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?

An hon. Member:

But it will cost the wheat growers money.

Topic:   CANADIAN WHEAT BOARD ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT PROVIDING FOR PAYMENT FOR FARM STORAGE
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PC

James Arthur Ross

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Ross (Souris):

You might well carry the same line of argument that my hon. friend has just advanced into the matter of the international wheat agreement and point out how much that deal has cost the wheat producers of this country. It is just as logical an argument.

As to the international wheat agreement, I am one of those who have not asked any questions of the minister or of his parliamentary assistant with regard to the negotiations now being carried on in Washington. But I should also like to say that if the agreement is carried through-and I hope it will be-I trust that the prices there provided will be in keeping with those asked for by the organized farmers of the prairies.

As I understand it, when the international wheat agreement was brought into being the initial requirements of each importing country were based on their consumers' requirements. In a report by Reuters from Washington I notice that it has been brought out that those importing countries have been reselling this wheat which they purchased at the international price of grain. I think that action is not in keeping with the original plan of the international wheat agreement. I hope that practice will be rectified, and that if there is

Canadian Wheat Board Act a new agreement there will be a proviso to the effect that that sort of thing is not permitted.

1 say that because, according to the Canadian wheat board report for the 1951-52 crop year, there is on the average a difference of 48 and a fraction cents a bushel between wheat sold throughout that year under the international wheat agreement, and class II wheat. The average price, according to that wheat board report, month by month, for that year was $1.82 under the international wheat agreement as compared with $2.30 and a fraction under class II wheat. Therefore by that agreement, which is a co-operative agreement, or so we are told, to supply the needs of the people of the world, the wheat producer was taking a direct loss of over 48 cents a bushel.

Topic:   CANADIAN WHEAT BOARD ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT PROVIDING FOR PAYMENT FOR FARM STORAGE
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LIB

William John Ward

Liberal

Mr. Ward:

What has that to do with farm storage?

Topic:   CANADIAN WHEAT BOARD ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT PROVIDING FOR PAYMENT FOR FARM STORAGE
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PC

James Arthur Ross

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Ross (Souris):

I am making a comparison. I am pointing out that farm storage is a co-operative pooling effort and not costing the public anything. It is a matter of one neighbour paying the other fellow's farm storage when he cannot deliver his grain at all. You people who are so keen about this pooling business should be humane enough in your hearts to carry it that much further, because I think my hon. friend will realize that the technique of harvesting on the prairies and the delivery of grain to elevators have changed greatly over the past two years owing to the advent of the self-propelled combines and the rapid delivery of grain by truck in the fall. Therefore the rolling stock of the railways and the elevator systems are not able to take care of this grain which is so rapidly harvested in good weather. In 1952 we harvested by far the greatest crop in the history of this country, and the maximum quota anywhere in the prairie provinces was still 15 bushels to the acre. That has created a real hardship for many of the smaller producers in the country who took off their crop.

In many instances the business people of these communities, who service the communities, are carrying the grain of the farmers. As has been pointed out, our neighbours to the south have had a loan policy for their wheat. They lend 90 per cent of the parity value of grain during harvest, and they are allowed storage on top of that for the next year. If they want to take that as a settlement, O.K. If they want to sell the grain and take the increase, which in the past few years the United States government has been paying, it amounts to a great deal over the international wheat agreement.

Canadian Wheat Board Act Thus their farmers are very much better off on that basis. I am one of those people who would like to see assistance such as that worked out in this country.

Our present storage problem has worked against the efficient grain producers in this country as well. I know several communities where we will say the average wheat grades 3 and 4 northern. One farmer may have an excellent quality of wheat that grades say 2, and because of lack of storage space, if he wishes to deliver the grain and has a quota available, he must take grade 3 or 4 for that wheat despite the fact that it is grade 2 and that is a very great hardship at this time.

Many farmers have not proper storage. I think this bill should be passed in order to assist those people to provide the necessary storage in this country. We just have an hour on private bills at this time of the session, and there are still a great many more things I should like to say on the bill, but I do not want to be accused of talking the matter out. But I want to say that I am in favour of this measure in this very difficult situation that is now prevailing in the prairie provinces.

Topic:   CANADIAN WHEAT BOARD ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT PROVIDING FOR PAYMENT FOR FARM STORAGE
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LIB

Frederick Hugo Larson

Liberal

Mr. F. H. Larson (Kindersley):

This

matter of farm storage has a great deal of interest for me. I am not going to say that I complain very much about the idea of paying farm storage. I feel that I would be the recipient of something which as a recipient I feel would not come amiss at all. However, there are a good many difficulties involved in the payment of farm storage. I notice that part of the section reads as follows:

-for such period of storage as the board in its sole discretion shall fix for the purposes of such storage payment.

Well, in a year such as this, when there is a large amount of wheat, it would appear to me they would have to pay the storage for the entire year. You could not break it up into sections and pay storage part of the time and no storage for the rest of the time.

I should like to say that to a large extent I agree with what the hon. member for Acadia (Mr. Quelch) had to say regarding grain in position. In a year such as this we have a great deal of wheat on hand. There is a lot of grain in position. But in a year when there is not nearly as much wheat around in storage as there is this year we might run into a situation where we would not have enough grain in position, and we would lose some markets as the result.

To get grain into position it is necessary to get it to the lakehead or seaboard. If farmers wanting to take advantage of farm storage held their grain, there would have to be a requisition system set up. It appears to me it would be a very difficult matter to discriminate between one farmer and another by demanding one farmer's grain and allowing the other to store his grain and benefit from the farm storage.

There is one other point that I should like to discuss for a minute, namely the small farmer who has to sell his grain in the fall to pay his bills. He has to sell his grain even though he would like to hold it. I am speaking of the years in which there is not as much grain on hand as there is now. On the other hand you have the large farmer who sells a certain amount of grain in the fall, and for considerations, possibly taxes, and so on he desires to hold his grain. He is going to be allowed to hold as much grain as he wishes, and the poor farmer who has to sell his grain to pay his bills is going to have to help pay the storage to the big farmer.

This matter is much more serious in a low crop area such as the southern part of Saskatchewan than in a higher yield area such as you find farther north. The farmer in the normally low yield area is going to find himself continually paying farm storage to the man in the higher yield area who has more grain. This is about the first time I have ever seen a measure introduced where they make the poor farmer help to pay something to the rich farmer.

I see it is six o'clock; therefore I should like to adjourn the debate.

On motion of Mr. Larson the debate was adjourned.

Topic:   CANADIAN WHEAT BOARD ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT PROVIDING FOR PAYMENT FOR FARM STORAGE
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LIB

William Alfred Robinson (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Liberal

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Robinson):

At

eight o'clock the house will resume the business which was interrupted at five o'clock.

At six o'clock the house took recess.

Topic:   CANADIAN WHEAT BOARD ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT PROVIDING FOR PAYMENT FOR FARM STORAGE
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AFTER RECESS The house resumed at eight o'clock. ATOMIC ENERGY


APPOINTMENT OF COMMITTEE TO EXAMINE INTO OPERATIONS OF CONTROL BOARD


The house resumed consideration of the motion of Mr. Howe: That a special committee be appointed to examine into the operations of the government in the field of atomic energy; that the said committee be empowered to sit during the sittings of the house and to print such papers and evidence from day to day as may be ordered by the committee; and to report from time to time; that the said committee consist of Messrs. Bourget, Brooks, Coldwell, Gibson, Green, Kirk (Digby-Yarmouth), Low, McCusker, McIIraith, Murphy, Murray (Oxford), Pinard, Stuart (Charlotte), Winkler.


LIB

John Hornby Harrison

Liberal

Mr. Harrison:

Mr. Speaker, when the debate on this motion was interrupted at five o'clock to discuss private and public bills I was making reference to Uranium City, and had said that until recently it was a town only on paper, having been surveyed three years ago by the lands department of the provincial government. The purpose was to provide a residential area for the mines at Beaverlodge lake some four miles east.

There has been some little difficulty in establishing the town. The uranium companies in the area and the provincial government have not been able to see eye to eye as to who should pay all the costs. The provincial government has made the proposal that the uranium companies should put in the power and water systems, as well as sewage disposal works, and that the lots should then be leased. Apparently they did not believe in selling them. This has somewhat retarded the development of the town.

Some of the heads of the uranium companies to whom I talked last year were apparently under the misapprehension that I was a provincial representative, and proceeded to take me to task for this policy. One of them said he had been in the mining business all his life, that he had been in practically every province of Canada, and that Saskatchewan was the only place in which he had met a policy of this kind that would have the effect of retarding the program.

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CCF

Percy Ellis Wright

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

Mr. Wright:

Is that not the policy of the dominion government in the national parks?

Topic:   APPOINTMENT OF COMMITTEE TO EXAMINE INTO OPERATIONS OF CONTROL BOARD
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LIB

John Hornby Harrison

Liberal

Mr. Harrison:

That might be, but this gentleman took exception to it. It is the same policy that has been followed by the provincial governments in connection with veterans. They are asked to go on the land, and to have it assessed at a value to be determined ten years later. In this instance the period of time was three years, with the result that many of those people who wished to establish businesses in Uranium City were confronted with a situation whereby, if in that time they wished to purchase the property, they might have to pay for their own improvements. However, these questions will no doubt be ironed out in the course of time. In spite of this, the town is going ahead and long-term leases are being taken out. Hotels and banks are coming in.

All this is beside the point; the main fact is that had it not been for the far-sightedness of the Minister of Trade and Commerce

Committee on Atomic Energy (Mr. Howe) I do not believe we would have had any production of uranium in Saskatchewan for some time to come. We are now just on the doorstep, and it will not be long before we are in full operation. Certainly that part of the country knows that it owes a great deal to the minister.

Topic:   APPOINTMENT OF COMMITTEE TO EXAMINE INTO OPERATIONS OF CONTROL BOARD
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PC

Alfred Johnson Brooks

Progressive Conservative

Mr. A. J. Brooks (Royal):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to congratulate the hon. member who has just taken his seat upon being so fortunate as to represent a constituency in which uranium has been discovered. The fact that it has been discovered at Beaverlodge in the constituency of Meadow Lake means a great deal to the economy of that section of Saskatchewan, just as Eldorado means so much to the economy of the northern part of this country.

I am pleased indeed that the minister has seen fit to reappoint the committee on atomic energy this year. He says it is to review the government's program. I had the honour and privilege of serving on the previous committee, and I must say that I enjoyed our meetings very much, an enjoyment which I believe was shared by the other members of the committee. Not only were our deliberations informative; they were also instructive.

It was a good committee, under the chairmanship of the hon. member for Ottawa West (Mr. McIIraith), and I know the members of the committee gained a good deal of information. I do not feel the members themselves contributed anything from a scientific standpoint; indeed, they were not expected to. We got a smattering of what was going on. It was amusing to note that we were warned by different scientists when we attended lectures and visited Chalk River that we were not to divulge any of the secrets of atomic energy. I am sure the learned doctors must have had their tongues in their cheeks when they told us that, because I am sure no one learned enough to disclose anything of a scientific nature. But we did learn something of the objectives and possibilities of atomic energy. We learned what was being done and what it was proposed to do.

Another great benefit from the setting up of that committee was that its members spoke at clubs and other gatherings throughout the country. The information which we gave out was widely disseminated. From my own experience I know the interest that was taken by people all over the country.

Speaking this afternoon the minister said that the program was dominated by the military requirements. He also emphasized the fact that Canada had not done anything as far as producing an atomic bomb was concerned, but we all know that we produced in Canada the plutonium which was used

2028

Committee on Atomic Energy in the United States in the production of the atomic bomb. Isotopes are a by-product in the development of plutonium about which we hear a great deal.

In thinking of atomic energy people think of it mainly in terms of war. We all know its terrible possibilities in that regard, and those possibilities for destruction are increasing every year. One of the sad features is that to date no effective defence against the atomic bomb has been discovered. It is doubtful if any effective defence can be developed. When other instruments of war have been invented there has always been something else developed to counteract them, but that is not the case with the atomic bomb.

In the United States they speak about the decentralization of population as a means of defence; but they estimated the cost of decentralizing the population of some of the large cities and breaking them down into cities of around 50,000 to 100,000, and the total was around $300 billion, so it was considered to be entirely out of the question.

However, there is another phase of decentralization which it occurs to me might be undertaken, and which I believe is being undertaken in some countries, particularly Sweden. I refer to the decentralization of industry. We never know what may happen should war break out, and it would be a good idea in this country if some of the industry now centralized in our larger cities was decentralized.

Another means of defence considered in the United States was the evacuation of cities in the event of war. That is a civil defence matter and one to which we in Canada should give great attention. Until we knew Russia had the bomb herself we felt more or less safe. Now that there is no doubt that Russia has the bomb it places her on the same footing as ourselves. When it was felt that Russia did not have the bomb the defence of western Europe was not considered to be too difficult, but now we are faced with the necessity of having large forces to combat the great Russian forces.

The great advantage which all of us see in the development of atomic energy is in its contribution to peace. I was looking over the reports of the national research council on atomic energy projects and the industrial use of isotopes, and I was amazed at the use that is being made of these isotopes in agriculture, medicine, industry and in many other ways. I shall not quote the uses referred to in this book, but I am sure anyone reading it will be surprised at the uses that have been developed.

I should like to quote what Mr. Vishinsky said at Lake Success as far back as November,

1949. I intend to quote from an editorial which appeared in the Christian Science Monitor; and while it intimated that Mr. Vishinsky was doing a lot of boasting, it quoted his words for what they were worth as follows:

Right now we are utilizing atomic energy for our economic needs in our own economic interests. We are razing mountains; we are irrigating deserts; we are cutting through the jungle and the tundra; we are spreading life, happiness, prosperity, and welfare in places where the human footstep has not been seen for a thousand years.

The editorial goes on to say that that statement was a great exaggeration, but while agreeing that it might be for propaganda purposes, it continues:

Granted that it has a propagandistic purpose, there is merit in his emphasis on the possible peaceful engineering and industrial uses of atomic power opposed to preoccupation with the atomic bomb.

That indicates what can be done in the future with this great source of energy. It is quite amazing to realize, as we were told at our lectures, that the fissioning of uranium yields only one one-thousandth of the energy available. Only that very small portion of the energy in the uranium is being used at the present time. They went on to tell us that if only 11 per cent efficiency was obtained in connection with the conversion of power through the fissioning of uranium, one hundred tons of uranium metal would supply the power requirements of the United States for one year. A householder could replace ten tons of coal with one one-fortieth of a pound of uranium metal. An automobile owner whose car used 15 miles per gallon of gasoline could run it for over four million miles on one pound of uranium. This gives us some idea of the tremendous possibilities in the development of this source of energy.

The minister told us this afternoon that it was not possible to control this energy in such a way as to displace water and coal in the production of power, but I have no doubt the time will come when that can be done.

It is not my intention to speak any further on this subject, but I do want to congratulate the minister upon having set up this committee again. I believe it will prove to be a valuable asset and I am sure that valuable information will be obtained,

Topic:   APPOINTMENT OF COMMITTEE TO EXAMINE INTO OPERATIONS OF CONTROL BOARD
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LIB

Daniel (Dan) McIvor

Liberal

Mr. Daniel Mclvor (Fort William):

Mr. Speaker, I would just like to say one brief word. This committee should be set up as soon as possible and get to work.

Topic:   APPOINTMENT OF COMMITTEE TO EXAMINE INTO OPERATIONS OF CONTROL BOARD
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?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear.

Topic:   APPOINTMENT OF COMMITTEE TO EXAMINE INTO OPERATIONS OF CONTROL BOARD
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LIB

Daniel (Dan) McIvor

Liberal

Mr. Mclvor:

At the lakehead we will soon know some of the benefits of the work of the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Howe) along this line, when we shall have a cobalt

bomb. It is an outstanding benefit to Canada and a splendid tribute to the minister and the scientific experts who support him.

Topic:   APPOINTMENT OF COMMITTEE TO EXAMINE INTO OPERATIONS OF CONTROL BOARD
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PC

John Angus MacLean

Progressive Conservative

Mr. J. A. MacLean (Queens):

Mr. Speaker, I think it is only reasonable that a fairly detailed debate should take place on a question so important as that of setting up a committee to investigate the operations of the government in the field of atomic energy.

Atomic energy, after all, and man's discovery of how to control it, is probably the greatest advancement mankind has made since discovering how to control fire. It is a most revolutionary development, much greater than any isolated discovery of any kind. It has come about as the result of a long period of scientific research by the best brains of very many countries of the world. We talk about atomic energy in our everyday conversation and, in many cases, probably without realizing exactly what we are talking about. If you will permit me, Mr. Speaker, in order to bring to our attention the present situation, I think it might be worth while to review very briefly the history of the scientific study of atomic energy and the history of the atom.

Originally, in a superficial way, man supposed that matter was a continuous thing, but as long ago as 400 B.C. Greek philosophers began to realize that the characteristics of matter could not be explained by assuming that it was a continuous thing, and an atomic theory of a primitive sort came into being. This came about as a result of very obvious observations. The early Greeks, especially a philosopher called Democritus, observed different things. He noted that when salt was put in water the salt disappeared and diffused in the water; and more strangely still, he noticed that if a bit of dye was put in water the colour diffused throughout the whole liquid. The only way that sort of thing could be explained was that the liquid and all other matter was made up not of a continuous thing but of various very small particles-and the particles of one matter dispersed among the spaces or atoms of the other one.

Later on in the Middle Ages men noticed other phenomena that lent strength to the atomic theory. One was that men noticed that when two liquids were mixed together- an equal measure of one liquid and an equal measure of another liquid-the resultant volume was not necessarily twice as great. They noticed that if a measure of water was mixed with a measure of alcohol the resulting measure was less than the two measures. That was a fairly astute observation for those

68108-129i

Committee on Atomic Energy medieval people to make when you consider the shortage of cocktail lounges in those days.

Anyway, as science progressed it became evident that all material could be broken down into certain elementary substances, and the theory of elements came into being. As far back as 1780 a French chemist named Lavoisier was able to identify 50 elements^ It was thought that those elements were the* elemental matter from which all things were composed, and that theory existed for a very-great length of time.

The modern atomic theory, as we know it, came into being when John Dalton, the English chemist, propounded it about 1808. Then more elements were discovered, and they were studied in great detail. Their atomic weights were arrived at and, as a result of further study, the great Russian chemist Mendeleyev arranged elements according to their atomic weights and their characteristics, this arrangement becoming known as the atomic table, which made it possible for scientists to forecast the nature of elements which were not yet discovered and to advance the science of chemistry in many, many ways.

Following the discovery of this theory of Mendeleyev there was a great deal of very marvellous and fascinating research into the structure of the atom which took place for a great number of years, up until about the turn of the present century. This study, for this period of the nineteenth century, was conducted mostly from a chemical point of view, from a chemist's point of view, and man's knowledge of the atom and the composition of all material things was greatly advanced. In that period the theory that all matter was composed of atoms which could not be divided further was accepted. As a matter of fact the word "atom" is taken from the Greek and means something that is indivisible.

About the turn of the present century physical scientists began to make new and marvellous discoveries. Some of the most remarkable of them were made by Lord Rutherford at McGill university in Montreal. Then there was also the discovery of radioactive elements by the French chemist Becquerel, followed by the discovery of radium by the Curies. Then too from a different approach entirely, about the same time there were other remarkable advances in the field of philosophical mathematics by such men as Max Planck and Albert Einstein. Max Planck in 1905 or 1906 enunciated the quantum theory which produced a challenge for the mathematician Einstein, who tried to

2030 HOUSE OF

Committee on Atomic Energy work out a system which would explain the known facts which had come to light up to that time with regard to the structure of matter. As a result of this pure science wonderful advances were made, and I think it illustrates to us that what is the pure science today is an applied science tomorrow; and what seems to be a very impractical searching for useless knowledge one day will be found very useful and applicable to our everyday life within a very few years.

As a result of Einstein's theory of relativity certain advances were made in the study of the atom. I am not pretending that I understand the theory of relativity. Even if I did, there would not be too many people within the sound of my voice who would understand what I was talking about. There are advanced scientists in the world, however, to whom this theory makes sense. There are scientists who can talk about time as the fourth dimension and who can talk about energy and matter as the same thing; they can talk about space being curved and that sort of business, and it makes sense to them. The ordinary layman getting into that field of science quickly gets beyond his depth. The fact that he does is very neatly expressed in a little limerick that someone has written with regard to relativity. It reads as follows:

There was a young lady named Bright

Whose speed was greater than light

She left home one day

In a relative way

And returned the previous night.

It is very difficult for the ordinary man to understand what this is all about. Nevertheless, this pure science does result in practical benefits after a period of time.

As a result of Einstein's work in the field of mathematics, certain things became evident. One was that it was a certainty that matter and energy were two forms of the same thing. When we talk about the production of atomic energy, the unique thing about atomic energy is that it is produced from matter itself. It is a process of transforming matter into energy. Einstein even worked out a formula. He predicted the amount of energy that could be produced by the destruction of a given amount of matter. As a result of his calculations, he forecast the terrific amount of energy that could be produced from the atomic bomb.

At the time that he propounded his theories he was laughed at by the ordinary man in the street who said, "Well, how is this going to affect me?" He little realized that within his lifetime atomic bombs would be relatively common things and would have been the means of ending the last great wai and probably the means of preventing, up until this date at least, a third world war.

The scorn with which Einstein's theory of relativity was treated at one time is also illustrated by a little limerick about this great scientist and two other people, the authoress Gertrude Stein and the sculptor Epstein. The little limerick runs as follows: There's a marvellous family called Stein There's Ep, and there's Gert and there's Ein Gert's writings are bunk Ep's sculpture is junk And nobody understands Ein.

Although nobody understood him in those days, his scientific work made possible the present developments in the field of atomic energy. As I said before, he was even able to predict the amount of energy that could be produced in the destruction of a given amount of matter. Einstein showed that the translating constant for converting mass measured in grams into energy measured in ergs is equal to the square of the velocity of light measured in centimeters per second. This standard equation made the present advances in atomic science possible. The velocity of light is 30 billion centimeters per second, so the result is that a very great amount of energy is produced from a very small amount of matter.

Einstein took this figure of 30 billion centimeters per second, the speed of light, as a constant to arrive at the result. I suppose if he had wanted to he could have taken twice the national debt and he would have arrived at the same figure. In any event, Einstein calculated that one gram of matter is the equivalent of 200,000 kilowatt hours of energy. This is enough energy to run

200,000 one hundred watt bulbs for 10 hours. One gram of matter is the amount you could hold on the tip of your finger.

Many people seem to have the opinion that atomic energy was some sudden discovery that was made during the last war by United States scientists. As a matter of fact our present knowledge of atomic energy is something that has been built up over the years. The term "atomic energy", has been used since about 1906. Contributions to the total pool of knowledge of the atom have been made by scientists of almost every nationality. It is folly for us, therefore, to think that the western world has a secret which we can preserve. It is not the case, Mr. Speaker. During the war we were a little more advanced than the other nations so far as atomic research was concerned. Most of the things concerning atomic research are common knowledge to all the scientists of the world, and have been for many many years. It is only reasonable, therefore, to conclude that any nation that worked at it could produce an atomic bomb, and could produce atomic energy for other purposes within a period of a very few years.

In that connection I should like to quote briefly from a book entitled "Explaining the Atom" by Selig Hecht, who is a United States professor. On page 190, he says:

Can another country make an atomic bomb? Of course it can. If we can think of several ways of doing each step from uranium fission to atomic bomb, so can another group of scientists. In fact, the British were ahead of us in 1941, and they may possibly have given us a good run if Britain were not so near Germany that its plants and cities were steadily bombed and blasted. We were far away from the scene of the war and the British sent their best people to work with us. So did the Canadians. Even Niels Bohr from Denmark came here to help. Moreover, we had on our side some of the best brains in the refugees from Germany, Austria, Hungary and Italy.

That, Mr. Speaker, is the state of affairs, and it should be realized. There is no such thing as the atomic secret that can be kept for any length of time, because any secret we have is only a secret that would be arrived at independently by scientists in other parts of the world in a very short time.

So far as the first development of the atomic bomb is concerned, there is a very enlightening quotation from a lecture by Sir John Cockcroft, who is a British scientist. In this connection, he said:

In April 1940 a memorandum was sent to S r Henry Tizard, then scientific adviser to the air ministry, by Professor Peierls and Dr. Frisch who were working in Birmingham university. Thev pointed out that under suitable circumstances a chain reaction in uranium might be explosive and that the effect might be equivalent to a very large quantity of ordinary explosive.

You can see from this that the idea of the atomic bomb was conceived in England. Then he goes on to say:

A similar conclusion was reached by Professor James Chadwick, and Professor Geoffrey Taylor worked out in some detail the disastrous effects such an explosive might produce. On receiving these reports the Ministry of Aircraft Production appointed a subcommittee of the committee for the scientific survey of air warfare under the chairmanship of Professor George Thomson, and I remember meeting first with four other members in April, 1940, a French officer who came to warn us that the Germans were working on this problem and were trying to obtain from Norway the world's largest stock of heavy water to investigate the pos~ibilities of the chain reaction in uranium and heavy water.

This news brought a realization of the disasters which might befall us if the Germans were to produce an atomic bomb. We appreciated the great dangers from radioactivity which might be produced in such a bomb, and took some first steps in preparing instruments for civil defence work.

We must remember, Mr. Speaker, that this was in 1940, in the United Kingdom.

There has been a great deal of discussion as to whether scientists should have undertaken the work on the development of the atomic bomb. Looking back to the dark months of 1940 when this work was started, I do not think we had any doubts on the matter. The Germans had over-run Holland, Belgium, France, Denmark and Norway, and freedom was fast disappearing from the world. Armed first

Committee on Atomic Energy with the atom bomb, Hitler could have conquered the world. We had serious doubts as to whether the project would succeed, but no doubts about the need to go on with the work.

After the fall of France in June, 1940, the university physicists were reinforced by Dr. Halban and Dr. Kowarski, who were sent to us by Professor Joliot, bringing with them the 180 litres of heavy water which the French had succeeded in bearing away from Norway before the invasion.

There you have an exceedingly interesting reference to the type of development that went on in England at that time. Then owing to the vulnerable position of the United Kingdom it was decided to transfer atomic research to the North American continent; and we are all familiar with the story from there on.

We have been concerned chiefly with atomic energy as a military weapon up to the present time, and from that point of view it is still an extremely important thing. After all, it is a fact that our only potential enemies, the Russians, have the atomic bomb and they probably have other atomic weapons. The destruction which they can bring about is terrible to contemplate. If an atomic bomb explodes half a mile above a city, the people walking on the sidewalk evaporate into thin air owing to the extreme heat produced, just the same as little droplets of fat dropped on a red hot stove will evaporate. All buildings within nine miles of the point of detonation of a modern hydrogen bomb are destroyed. A whole city can be wiped out in the twinkling of an eye.

There are many other examples that could be given of the destructive powers of this weapon. When we think of these things we must realize the terrible responsibility that is ours in the field of civil defence and in planning our economy so that our population is not gathered in a few large cities like Montreal and Toronto in such a way that a large percentage of our people and an even larger percentage of our productive capacity could be wiped out by less than a dozen atomic bombs.

Apart from the explosive atomic bomb, other types of weapons can be used, such as radioactive dust which might be dropped over our city and which would have a slow but extremely decisive effect on the health of the inhabitants. The detrimental effect of radioactivity on living organism is a most subtle sort of thing. It is something that in many cases is not recognized for a long period of time, and it is something that is cumulative in its effect. It builds up over a period of time and at a later date the results begin to be noticed.

Then too, of course, in a military sense atomic energy can be used for powering

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Committee on Atomic Energy submarines; and probably before long it will be used to provide the power needed for aeroplanes and so forth. If that dream is realized, it will be possible for heavy bombers to fly around the world probably three or four times without refuelling, or something of that sort, so that any spot in the world will be within range of atomic-powered bombers if they are developed.

But we should not get the idea that in the field of destruction alone atomic energy is of importance. Atomic energy has great importance in other fields, as has atomic research. One of the most important is its use in science. Many radioactive isotopes of the elements can be made which can be used as tracers in the study of life, metabolism, and for many uses in science. Then there is the isotope of cobalt which is used in the cobalt bomb for the treatment of cancer; and there are other substitutes for radium in the treatment of cancer.

Then there are many applications of radioactive elements in industry as well; but perhaps the most important potential use for atomic energy is in the field of industry for the generation of power. There are many reasons to believe that atomic energy can be produced at approximately the same cost as hydroelectric power. If that is a fact, when it is developed it will have a profound effect on our economy.

For instance, in the reduction of aluminum, it will no longer be necessary to bring the raw material from South America to Canada where there is a cheap supply of electric power in order to have it reduced. Electric generating plants can be built at the source of supply and powered by atomic energy for the reduction of aluminum in South America. That is one possible example of what might happen.

Then there are a great many industries which use a vast amount of power and in which the power consumed is one of the major costs involved, where atomic energy can probably be used to advantage. Along with the reduction of aluminum, there is the chlorine and caustic soda industry, the phosphate fertilizer industry, the cement industry, the glass industry and the steel industry.

In some of these cases, of course, new methods of production would have to be evolved. In the case of the reduction of iron ore, for instance, coal is used both as a source of energy and as a chemical because iron ore is reduced by carbon monoxide and heat; therefore in that case, if you were to use atomic energy you would have to reduce iron

(Mr. MacLean (Queens).]

ore by some other means, probably by hydrogen and the application of heat in the form of electric power.

Then again, if cheap electric power could be produced from atomic energy it could be used to advantage for the electrification of our railway system where traffic is heavy and the population is dense. In addition to that, it is predicted that atomic energy can be used economically for the heating of homes on a central heating basis, where one large plant is built to heat a section of a city.

The characteristics of atomic energy are such that the pattern of our economic life may be changed very considerably. And if atomic energy is used to the best advantage we can have a levelling effect, an evening up effect on the economy of the world in general and above all on the economy of any given country. For instance, in a country like Canada cheap electric power is available in the central provinces of Quebec and Ontario. It might not be feasible or advisable to try to make atomic energy compete with it, but atomic energy is easily transported, and it could be used to produce cheap electric power in the parts of this country where hydroelectric power is not available, such as the maritime provinces and the prairie provinces.

Topic:   APPOINTMENT OF COMMITTEE TO EXAMINE INTO OPERATIONS OF CONTROL BOARD
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LIB

Leonard T. Stick

Liberal

Mr. Stick:

Especially Saskatchewan.

Topic:   APPOINTMENT OF COMMITTEE TO EXAMINE INTO OPERATIONS OF CONTROL BOARD
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February 17, 1953