However, as I say, considering the heavy war commitments, particularly of the navy, the mercantile marine and the air
The War-Oil Situation
training schools, we must retain sufficient grip on the consumption of gasoline to enable us if shortages develop to make up these shortages from gasoline for pleasure driving and other non-essential uses, rather than have the war effort crippled.
I will now discuss the advertisement of the Joy Oil company, which I am sure everyone has read. It is regrettable that in times like the present, when it is so essential that all effort and thought be directed towards the winning of this war, those engaged in this work must find it necessary to lay aside their tasks to answer gross and calculated misstatements made to the public.
Perhaps I should first answer the question of the leader of the opposition as to what the Joy Oil company is. It is a company owned in the United States, the only officer of the company I have met, Mr. Austin, who signed the open letter in the form of an advertisement, being also a resident and citizen of the United States. The company distributes gasoline in only three areas in Canada
the Montreal area, the Toronto area, and the Sarnia area. Its total imports represent about one-tenth of one per cent of the total petroleum products brought into this country.
The Joy Oil company has no assets in this country except distributing stations and storage tanks. It has no refining equipment. It owns no tankers. It has no facilities other than those for distribution. It has been operating through the past several years by buying gasoline in any part of the world in which it can be bought, renting tanker space to bring it to Montreal, and distributing gasoline from there. In the past several years, of course, gasoline was a drug on the market, particularly in north America, and it was easy to buy gasoline as such, I dare say even at bargain rates, and very easy to rent tankers because there was then a surplus of tankers, and charter rates were low. The result was that the Joy Oil company was able to bring in gasoline and to undersell Canadian refiners who had a heavy investment in refining capacity and reliable sources of supply.