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Newfoundland National Convention, 26 November 1947, Debates on Confederation with Canada

852 NATIONAL CONVENTION November 1947

November 26, 1947

Mr. Cashin In moving that the Economic Report be deferred, may I give notice of question?
Mr. Chairman Certainly.
Mr. Cashin I give notice that I will on tomorrow ask the Honourable the Commissioner for Finance to table the following information:
(a) What effect if any has the present austerity programme recently adopted in the Dominion of Canada had on, or will have on the Newfoundland people?
(b) At the present time, what is the credit balance of trade of Newfoundland with the USA?
(c) Does the sale of newsprint to countries outside of the USA call for payment in American dollars?
(d) Does the Department of Finance keep account of Newfoundland's credit of American dollars, and does the treasury receive any remuneration in the form of commission on such balances that may accrue?
(e) Has the Dominion of Canada recently applied to the USA for a temporary loan, what was the amount applied for, the amount received, and under what terms was said loan given?
(f) What amount of paper currency is in November 1947 NATIONAL CONVENTION 853 circulation by the Canadian banks in Newfoundland, and what security has been deposited by these banks as a guarantee of redemption?
I move the deferring of item 1, Mr. Chairman.
[The motion carried]
Mr. Smallwood Mr. Chairman, I move item 2 on the order paper, and in doing so, I would like to make a brief explanation. A few days ago in the debate on this order in committee of the whole a rather heated exchange, at least on my side, took place between Mr. Higgins and myself. I got angry, as the Convention may recall, and in the course of my remarks said, "All right, let's have a showdown, and the whole story will come out". I don't know the exact words I used, but I conveyed the impression that there was a story to come out. There was nothing out of the way. I was not referring to anything that happened in Ottawa, and did not even have that in my mind. I was thinking of something altogether different, and I would like that to be thoroughly understood.
Mr. Chairman It is clear therefore you never intended to convey the impression that there was room for the slightest doubt upon the integrity and character and efficiency of Mr. Higgins.
Mr. Smallwood I was not referring to that at all. I may go so far as to say this, that the delegation in Ottawa were the best possible friends. We worked together, we collaborated, each man did his work, and his fair share, and there was no bad feeling. Mr. Higgins and I worked together on several things that the other members of the delegation did not work on, on the matter of housing for example, because Mr. Higgins hap pens to be very keenly interested in housing in St. John's; as I said here yesterday, we had gone to spend some hours one day talking with the head of the housing outfit of Canada. We worked together, as the whole delegation did, and there was not the slightest suggestion in the world that the whole seven of us did not work together and co-operate as Newfoundlanders and as friends, finding out all we could for the benefit of this Convention and this country.
Mr. Higgins Thank you very much, Mr. Smallwood.
Mr. Chairman Are you quite satisfied Mr. Higgins?
Mr. Higgins Quite, sir.
Mr. Smallwood I give notice that I will on tomorrow ask His Excellency the Governor in Commission to ascertain from the Government of Canada whether there exists a federal shipbuilding bounty, and, if so, to give an outline of the plan.
To ask His Excellency the Governor in Commission for statistics showing exports of salt dried codfish from Canada to the foreign markets over a period of years, together with some explanation of why salt dried codfish exports to the Mediterranean markets have fallen off in recent years.
To ask His Excellency the Governor in Commission to ascertain from the Government of Canada whether, in the event of union, existing or other privately owned broadcasting stations would be permitted to operate and what is the policy of the Government of Canada as to power output permitted to such private stations....

Report of the Ottawa Delegation Proposed Arrangements for the Entry of Newfoundland into Confederation Committee of the Whole

Mr. Smallwood Mr. Chairman, last night we finished clause 6 and were ready to go on with clause 7; well, actually, clauses 7, 8 and 9, and a number of clauses from here on are under the general heading "Financial Arrangement".
Mr. Chairman Yes, with one qualification, and that is subsection 7 of clause 5 which was deferred pending the attendance of Mr. Ballam. Now, I don't know whether it is Mr. Ballam's intention to address himself on this question or not, or what the reason was.
Mr. Smallwood I think he just wanted to be present while we were debating the matter of pensions and rehabilitation of war veterans and merchant seamen; I don't understand that it is his desire to have it gone into at this particular moment. We are to go back to it before the debate is over.
Mr. Higgins Mr. Chairman, so that we won't have to go back again, there are a couple of matters that I believe the chairman passed over. One was housing. I believe he said he did not have his notes there at the time. I don't know if he discussed it afterwards, but rather than go back 854 NATIONAL CONVENTION November 1947 again over a three page memorandum on the situation I thought we might finish it now, if that is satisfactory to Mr. Smallwood.
Mr. Chairman Yes, certainly.
Mr. Higgins This particular memo was prepared while we were in Ottawa, and submitted to Mr. Mansur at the time, and he agreed to it basically β€” the position of the housing acts.
Mr. Smallwood I think maybe Mr. Higgins would not mind if I pointed out that it was Mr. Higgins himself who raised this question. Mr. Mansur, the head of the Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation, I think it is called, could only tell us what happens and what can be done under the existing arrangements in Canada, and if these existing arrangements do not cover our Newfoundland situation in the matter of housing, then it would become a matter for the minister himself; that is the Right Honourable C.D. Howe, the minister in charge of that department. Mr. Higgins raised the matter with Mr. Howe himself, and my recollection is that Mr. Howe said he had no doubt that something could be worked out to cover the Newfoundland situation from the standpoint of housing, but that that would be a matter for the future. It was not something that he could very well do until and unless Newfoundland became a province.
Mr. Chairman Yes, well, if you don't mind Mr. Smallwood, if there are any remarks that you wish to address based upon what Mr. Higgins has to say, I think it would be time to make them later. At the moment I am interested in what Mr. Higgins has to say.
[Mr. Higgins read a summary of Canadian housing acts, and information about the committee]
Mr. Higgins Now with reference to the few remarks that Mr. Smallwood made, I was principally interested in the St. John's Housing Corporation, and the possibility of obtaining further loans under the set-up of their Housing Association up there, and Mr. Mansur and Mr. Howe explained that under the present set-up it would be impossible to obtain financing for the St. John's Housing Corporation. But at the last plenary session Mr. Howe informally told us that it was possible that some legislation would be provided whereby loans could be made for the St. John's Housing Corporation to continue its operations.
Now I want to go a little further, not on the Housing Corporation, but just to bring matters up to date, so that we won't have to go back over them again. When we were discussing the paragraph 5, the Newfoundland Railway, I believe a question was asked as to whether the present employees of the Railway would be retained. And I believe the answer was that they would be retained.... As you know the committee dealing with transportation consisted of Mr. Ballam, Mr. Smallwood and myself, and we met with the committee set up by the Canadian govemment, consisting of Mr. Fairweather of the CNR and some other officials. As a result of that meeting, and the facts we gave them, the report made by the Vice-President and those associated with him was given to each member of our committee.... Look for Appendix 7 (Black Book, Volume 2), and you will see a preliminary statement of what would be involved in the integration of the Newfoundland railway and steamship system with the Canadian railway system.... This particular part of the report was not included in the Black Book: "It is not anticipated that the re-arrangement of the organisation and other duties of the administrative personnel would result in demotions or dismissals, although no assurance should be given on that point, since it would be necessary to have discretionary power to deal with situations as they might arise".... Now you have there: "It is noted that the staff of the railway at the present time numbers 2,990, and of the steamers 761, a total of 3,751" ... but this is not included: "This looks to be an undue number in relation to the size of the operation, but only a careful, detailed study would reveal whether or not the staff would likely be decreased under Canadian National administration"....
Now that is all on that, but before I finish I want to get it all over and done with, and there was a debate yesterday on the advantages that would accrue to Prince Edward Island under confederation.
Mr. Smallwood No, sir.
Mr. Chairman There were some questions asked, I believe, by Mr. Bailey.
Mr. Bailey I think there was quite a bit yesterday.
Mr. Smallwood Not on the advantages or otherwise accruing to Prince Edward Island. There was some discussion of the ferry service.
Mr. Chairman There was a discussion in a November 1947 NATIONAL CONVENTION 855 qualified sense on the advantages of confederation to Prince Edward Island insofar as it affected the ferry service between Prince Edward Island and the mainland.
Mr. Higgins And arising out of that, sir, do you permit me to admit any reference as to the value of confederation to Prince Edward Island at the same time? I understood it was opened up for that one aspect.
Mr. Smallwood It is rather a wide field if Mr. Higgins opens that.
Mr. Higgins I did not intend making any speech myself, I was merely quoting, Mr. Chairman, from the Premier.
Mr. Chairman Of course it was opened up, but not altogether in a general sense. The discussion thus far, if I remember correctly, was confined to a specific aspect of the advantages of confederation to Prince Edward Island, and I....
Mr. Higgins Was not the statement made that Prince Edward Island had improved as a result of confederation?
Mr. Chairman No, it was restricted to the ferry service only. That point was discussed, and the impression I gathered was that Prince Edward Island had benefitted in that particular only.
Mr. Higgins Well, would you permit me to refer you to a few remarks by the Premier of Prince Edward Island with respect to the advantages derived from confederation? I think it is in order, from what little I know of the debate yesterday.
Mr. Smallwood If Mr. Higgins is permitted to quote the Premier of Prince Edward Island, obviously I will be allowed to quote letters from him to me.
Mr. Chairman Just a moment, please. Mr. Higgins is obviously entitled to quote the Premier of Prince Edward Island provided he is quoting him on a matter which has been discussed or is under discussion. At the moment I am rather afraid, Mr. Higgins, at this particular time it would not be relevant. I am not questioning your right to do it in the course of the present debate, but in view of the fact that I don't want....
Mr. Higgins It has to do with the ferry service, as well you know.
Mr. Chairman Then I will ask you to confine your remarks as nearly as possible to the benefits, if any, accruing to Prince Edward Island as a result of the ferry service.
Mr. Higgins I will do it as nearly as possible, I can assure you. I am referring now to one of the official handbooks that were supplied in Ottawa, The Dominion-Provincial Conference of 1945, Dominion and Provincial Submissions and Plenary Conference Discussions, Official Handbooks.
Mr. Bailey I think our debate yesterday was on the ferry and the train service, and the changeover from narrow gauge to broad gauge. I think that was brought in, on what could happen to us if we came into confederation with regard to our ferry service. That is what I was speaking about.
Mr. Chairman Yes, that is my understanding, and I am reluctantly but none the less compelled to ask you if you will please confine your remarks to these two specific matters.
Mr. Higgins I will do the best I can. Naturally you will allow me a certain amount of leeway. After all, I was only quoting the Premier of Prince Edward Island, and I believe one of the main ideas he had at that time was trying to force the federal parliament to give...
Mr. Chairman Is your point this, that in order to deal with these two specific aspects of confederation as they effect Prince Edward Island, it now becomes necessary for you to quote a general statement which may include other things?
Mr. Higgins Yes sir, that's the point.
Mr. Chairman All right.... I would like members to be clear. I can't allow you to paraphrase a statement. Therefore if the quotation or quotations to which you are about to direct our attention, Mr. Higgins, notwithstanding the sweeping character that they may have, if they cover the questions already discussed by the House, then you are justified in quoting them.
Mr. Higgins Thank you, sir.
[Mr. Higgins read from a speech delivered in August 1945, by Premier Jones of Prince Edward Island]
Mr. Smallwood Mr. Higgins, through the words of the Premier of Prince Edward Island delivered in 1945, has been telling us something about the conditions on Prince Edward Island. Let us first of all remember where and when Premier Jones made that statement. The Government of Canada had called a conference of all the provinces in Ottawa to lay before the nine provinces proposals for the rearrangement of certain taxing powers. Each provincial premier got up and washed all 856 NATIONAL CONVENTION November 1947 the dirty linen of his province. Premier Jones did it on that occasion. Prince Edward Island ... is one-twentieth as large as the island of Newfoundland. Its population is double that of St. John's, 90,000-odd people, yet it is a province.... It is just one big farm, and it has only a handful of people. Ever since they came into confederation in 1873 they have been clamouring and clamouring for more and for more from the federal government, and they have been getting more and more from the Government of Canada. Since 1917, the Government of Canada has spent $40 million to provide that little island with a ferry service. In 1917 they built them a train ferry at a cost of$1 million.... In 1927 the government built them a new ferry β€” a $2 million ferry. Just two years before that we thought we did very well when we got the Caribou on the Gulf. She cost half a million dollars.... They ran that from 1927 until she was lost last year. They ran that for the people of Prince Edward Island at a loss of $1 million a year, after spending $2 million to put her there. And this year they gave them a brand new ferry at a cost of $5 million; and on top of that they spent another $6 million to build up-to- date wharves and terminals at each end of that ferry run. Let's look at the ferry. She is the biggest ice-breaker ferry in the world today; carries 750 passengers, 60 motor cars, and 20 train cars. Now I don't know how many that would be equal to of our cars for our railway. The Canadian cars are bigger than ours, and 20 Canadian cars would perhaps be equal to something between 20 and 30 of our cars.... On top of all that, sir ... Prince Edward Island has another ferry that the Canadian government subsidises every year. Now what is their complaint? In 1945 they did not have the big new one, they still had the $2 million ferry and the extra ferry that the Canadian government was subsidising. What was Premier Jones' complaint made at the annual provincial council that Mr. Higgins was quoting from? What was his complaint? That the ferry boat would not take trucks and buses while the other one would, so that you could load up your truck somewhere on the island and run her right on to the ferry.... The main ferry would not take it, but the other one would, the one that the Canadian government was paying a subsidy to. $40 million since 1927 the Government of Canada has spent to provide that little farming province ... with a good ferry service, and from 1873 to 1927 it was nearly another $40 million. And when you discover what that tiny province has cost the Government of Canada just to give them ferry service, just about as much as our whole railway system has cost us, then you have to ask yourself the question, would the federal government treat Prince Edward Island as well as you know....
Mr. Chairman I think we are getting beside the point.
Mr. Smallwood I agree, sir, but Mr. Higgins raised it, and I have the right to do the same thing; and I am willing to take it province by province, the whole nine provinces of Canada, and argue from now till doomsday as to whether it did them good or bad to go into confederation.
Mr. Chairman I am not willing to listen to that.
Mr. Smallwood But you are willing to listen to Mr. Higgins!
Mr. Chairman No, I mean now, before you attack my integrity.
Mr. Smallwood I am not attacking you, sir.
Mr. Chairman Well, I don't know what you are doing, but I want to make this clear. I did state that Mr. Higgins was entitled to quote from the Premier of Prince Edward Island upon the railway and steamship service, but I insisted that he should quote, and not attempt a paraphrase. If, to cover his point, he was compelled to deal with other matters, I had to decide that we would hear his quotation or we would not. In view of the fact that the quotation in part had a bearing upon the discussions, I ruled he was entitled to quote. I did not hold that Mr. Higgins was entitled to go into the general terms of confederation as existing between the Canadian Parliament and Prince Edward Island.
Mr. Higgins I did not read it all.
Mr. Chairman On one occasion I was compelled to rule you out. Would you please, Mr. Smallwood, confine your remarks as nearly as you can to the ferry service and railway service.
Mr. Smallwood I have no more to say on the question at the moment. I will bring in here a letter which I received from the Premier of Prince Edward Island, the very gentleman whom Mr. Higgins has just read from. I will produce a letter written by the Premier dealing with this very matter and with your permission, I will read it.
Mr. Chairman You will be permitted to read it for the same reason. As long as it bears directly November 1947 NATIONAL CONVENTION 857 upon the question, I must allow it.
Mr. Reddy Mr. Higgins has quoted something; Mr. Smallwood elaborated on it; could I quote a headline from The Family Herald?
Mr. Chairman No. We must draw the line somewhere. You will appreciate that I allowed the distinguished member to quote from a speech made by the Premier of Prince Edward Island; if Mr. Smallwood or any other member proposes to introduce something from the same source, then I must allow it. But as to the Family Herald, I am not prepared to recognise it.
Mr. Harrington ....Mr. Higgins has quoted from some documents, the greater part of which we have before us; some sections we did not have. Apparently, as far as I can make out, these sections are in the possession of other members of the delegation. If that is the case in connection with the Railway, have members other sections? I think that is a fairly serious matter. We had quite a fuss a while ago about another delegation that went to London; some members were in possession of certain information, others were not, and it was agreed that it be produced.
Mr. Chairman If you send a delegation anywhere and they bring back any information, surely it belongs to members. If there are excerpts which should be in these Black Books for our benefit and for the benefit of the country, I think we should have them all. There may be in existence some supplementary documents or information not generally in possession of members. If that is so, we would like to get it for members.
Mr. Smallwood The position is this: there was a committee of the Ottawa delegation appointed to meet with a committee from the Government of Canada to discuss the question of the Newfoundland Railway, with a view to finding out what problems would be brought up if the railway system were to be taken over by the Canadian government. That Canadian committee consisted of the Minister of Transport, Mr. Chevrier; Deputy Minister of Transport, Commander Edwards; the Vice-President of the Canadian National Railways, the President of the Clarke Steamship Company and other officials. We handed over to them what information we had about the Railway. They asked for still more and we sent back to Newfoundland and got that information. With all the information we had given them, the Canadian National Railways and ship ping experts got their heads together....
Mr. Chairman I am not interested as to what the personnel of any particular committee was, or the negotiations of the respective committees or delegations; what I am interested in dealing with is the point raised by the member for St. John's West, Mr. Harrington, in which he expresses the fear that because we have already discovered in the possession of one or more members some information which has not been generally made available, there may be other such information, and he raised the question, quite properly, whether such information is to be made available to members. The point I would like you to address yourself to is whether there is in the possession of that Ottawa delegation information in any form which has not been made available. If so, have you any objection to this information being made available to members, and if so, why so?
Mr. Smallwood It is exactly on that point that I am addressing you. I do not know any other way to do it.
Mr. Chairman You know all right.
Mr. Smallwood As one member of that delegation, I am not going to have it hinted or suggested that anything is being kept back β€” not by you, sir.
Mr. Chairman Mr. Harrington is raising the question; I want it disposed of.
Mr. Smallwood I say, the Canadian National Railway and steamship experts having been given what information we could give them, then made on their own ... a study of our railway and steamship system, insofar as they could make a study on the information they had. There was not the time to come to Newfoundland and make a study of the Railway on the spot. They took the data and information that we gave them, and on that information they wrote a report on our railway and steamship system, not for the Newfoundland delegation, but for their employers β€” the Government of Canada. I have never seen it, but I was informed that it was a long report. A small extract from that report was provided to the members of the Transportation Committee of the Ottawa delegation. I received a copy of it, and no doubt Mr. Higgins received a copy of it, and he has quoted from it this afternoon, and whoever was the other man.
Mr. Higgins Mr. Ballam.
Mr. Smallwood Mr. Ballam was the other mem 858 NATIONAL CONVENTION November 1947 ber, and without a doubt he received a copy of it also. What was it? It was merely a small extract from that very large report provided to the Government of Canada by its own experts. It was the Government of Canada which compiled these two Black Books, and it was the Government of Canada which decided what should go in these books and what should not. It was their choice. If the Government of Canada chose, in inserting into this Black Book, part of the report they had received from their own officials, it was their right to do so. What we have is the same as you have here, with the very significant exception that one or two clauses have been dropped from the Black Book that were in the original report. Why is it significant? The original report, the copies of which were handed to the three of us, contained the clause which Mr. Higgins has read out this afternoon. You don't find that clause in the Black Book. The Black Book is what the Government of Canada compiled, what their own officials compiled as their report to them. What we go by is this Black Book.
Mr. Chairman Oh no...
Mr. Smallwood What is official is what is in the Black Book, which was given to the delegation as a whole.
Mr. Chairman Just a moment, Mr. Smallwood, please. That may be regarded as an official source, but I am not going to hold that that is the only source. Therefore if members of that delegation were in possession of supplementary information it is the property of this Convention and we are entitled to have it.
Mr. Smallwood I am not questioning that for one moment. I am merely drawing this distinction, that as it appears in the Black Book it is officially inserted by the Government of Canada; the other thing is not official because it did not come from the Government of Canada. It came from officials of the Government of Canada, and had not been passed on by the Government of Canada.
Mr. Chairman Did I understand you to take the position that when the provinces were called together to consider the implementation of the Royal Commission which brought in that report, that any statement made by the premier at that conference is not to be regarded as an official statement?
Mr. Smallwood I was not referring to that, sir.
Mr. Chairman Well, what were you referring to?
Mr. Smallwood I was referring to the paragraph that Mr. Higgins read concerning the railway of Newfoundland, a paragraph which he read from a document, which paragraph does not appear in the Black Book. What I say is this: that so far as concerns our Newfoundland Railway service, which includes the steamships, we have here a document, put in this Black Book by the Government of Canada. Mr. Higgins quotes a paragraph from another document, which was written by officials of the Government of Canada. What we must take as being official is what the Government of Canada itself put in this Black Book, not another document which has not been put in the Black Book at all.
Mr. Chairman I am afraid we have to part company on that point. I said that the fact that we have to accept that as official, as you put it, by no means implies that we are not to accept something else as official. Suppose I accept your premises that that is official, then I say that that is official so far as it goes, but that is not to be taken to mean that that is to be the sole source of information available to the members of this house if and when it is discussed. There are other sources of information.
Mr. Smallwood No, sir. I agree with you completely, but what I say is this, that so far as our Newfoundland Railway service is concerned we have here in the Black Book a document inserted by the Government of Canada. That we take as being the official statement. We have also, Mr. Ballam, Mr. Higgins and I, another document...
Mr. Chairman That's the point!
Mr. Smallwood We have another document which has not been given to us by the Government of Canada, because it does not form part of the Black Book.
Mr. Chairman I don't care about that.
Mr. Smallwood No sir, so long as that is made clear. Understand, I was not objecting to the production of that other document, from which Mr. Higgins is quoting, I was merely pointing to the fact that the one we go by is the official one inserted here by the Government of Canada.
Mr. Chairman I am not going to make a ruling on that.
Mr. Smallwood No, you don't have to make a ruling....
November 1947 NATIONAL CONVENTION 859
Mr. Chairman I say whether it is Mr. Smallwood, or Mr. Higgins, or Mr. Ballam or anyone else, if they had in their possession information which came to them while they were serving in the discharge of duties assigned to them by this Convention, it is clear and unmistakable to me that it is their duty to produce these supplementary documents and make them available to members.
Mr. Ballam I was on that committee, and I agree with Mr. Smallwood that that quotation there was taken from the report that these gentlemen made to the Canadian government, and the Canadian government findings are included in this Black Book.
Mr. Chairman I agree with you as far as you go. I am not suggesting for one moment that any information gathered by any member of that delegation from any source other than the Canadian government is official and therefore has to be introduced. Let me make myself clear. I say that any information that the members of that delegation, or any committee of that delegation, received as such, should be and is, as far as I am concerned, a proper matter to be placed before the Convention.
Mr. Smallwood I put this to you, Mr. Chairman. Some members of the delegation received from the Government of Canada a certain secret and confidential book which had been prepared for the Government of Canada, by their own experts and officials, and we were given the courtesy...
Mr. Chairman Now just a moment, before you go any further. In what capacity did they receive it?
Mr. Smallwood Who, sir?
Mr. Chairman The members.
Mr. Smallwood Purely as a courtesy and kindness, so that we could read it and gather what information was in it, but on condition that it was strictly secret and confidential. We have it, I have a copy now, and I tell you that all the Conventions that are created will never get me to divulge it β€” not all the Conventions in the next hundred years.
Mr. Chairman I am not suggesting for one moment that you should break faith.
Mr. Higgins Is it improper, sir? I brought that up. I did not think it was improper at this particular point.
Mr. Chairman Insofar as it did not cover railway and steamships or ferry service it was ir relevant.
Mr. Higgins I was not talking about the Prince Edward Island affair, but this business about the Railway and with reference to two things that were not included in the Black Book.
Mr. Chairman Now just a moment. How did you come to receive it?
Mr. Higgins Sometime prior to July 31, I am not sure of the exact date now, there was a committee set up consisting of Mr. Ballam, Mr. Smallwood and myself, to meet with representatives of the Canadian government, who would be buttressed by their railroad
Mr. Chairman You were appointed a committee by the chairman of the delegation?
Mr. Higgins The chairman of the delegation, Mr. Bradley, appointed Mr. Ballam, Mr. Smallwood and myself to be a committee from the Newfoundland delegation to meet with representatives of the Canadian government.
Mr. Chairman You were deputising for the delegation as a whole?
Mr. Higgins That's right. We met with that committee sir, and, to the best of my recollection we only met them once, but information that we asked from the government here was supplied. I believe Mr. Ballam will bear me out in that.
Mr. Ballam We met them twice. The second time was to do with the steamship part of it. We met the railway part only once. I think that's so.
Mr. Smallwood Twice.
Mr. Higgins All right, we met them twice. Now as a result of that meeting we did not discuss anything with them, and again I am going by memory, except give them what information they required. All that we had with us, and all that they wanted that we had to acquire from Newfoundland, we gave them that. As a result they made a report to, I presume, the committee that was meeting us from the Canadian government. I presume that because the only thing I have to go by now is our minute of our meeting, a memorandum of July 31, and at that meeting it is stated that the secretary...
Mr. Smallwood The secretary of the plenary session.
Mr. Higgins Yes, the secretary of the plenary session had reported that the sub-committee had reviewed the whole matter and the Canadian members had obtained a substantial amount of information from the Newfoundland members of 860 NATIONAL CONVENTION November 1947 the sub-committee, and had submitted reports to the chairman of the sub-committee, the Minister of Transport. This special sub-committee had obtained the information and had submitted it to Mr. Chevrier, who acted as chairman of this sub-committee on transportation.
The substance of these reports had been made available to members of that delegation, and I, with Mr. Ballam and Mr. Smallwood, was passed these copies at that time. I read the report in the Black Book, and I read this, and you will find that practically everything that's in the report is in the Black Book, with the exception of these two very important matters. I make no report on it, I merely draw it to your attention.
Mr. Chairman But I still have to deal with the report raised by Mr. Harrington, and as I have not discussed it yet, would you mind answering my question. Had I been in Ottawa as a private professional man would I have received that document?
Mr. Higgins I doubt very much if the other members, Mr. Burry and Mr. Ashbourne, received it. I don't know, I am not able to say.
Mr. Chairman How did it come into your possession?
Mr. Higgins From the secretary, Mr. Baldwin.
Mr. Chairman By virtue of the fact that you were a member of the committee?
Mr. Higgins That's right.
Mr. Chairman Well now, while you are on your feet let us try to dispose of this. Is that the property of the Convention, and if not, why not?
Mr. Higgins That's the point. In my opinion it is.
Mr. Smallwood Sir, speaking on that, we have two documents picked and inserted in the Report of the Ottawa Delegation by the Government of Canada. The other is another document altogether. There has been a process of selection carried out by the Government of Canada. If the other document, the one which Mr. Ballam, Mr. Higgins and I received, is tabled, let it be tabled, but on the clear understanding that the official one is the one that is selected by the Government of Canada and put in the Black Book. I don't object to it, but I want the distinction drawn, and when you remember what are the two paragraphs, you will see the necessity for the distinction. Officials are hired men, they are civil servants, employees of the government. Those officials of Canada are not concerned with politics, or policy. They are not concerned with matters of high level policy, or decision, they merely report on the conditions of a railway. It is the Government of Canada which decides what it will do about that railway should we become a province, therefore the document which is compiled by officials is not official from our standpoint, and the one that is inserted in the report is official, because it is from the Government of Canada.
Mr. Chairman If the Canadian government decides that this is to be regarded as official, I am not quarrelling with the decision of the Canadian government at all.... But that does not mean that information which came to the delegation while in Ottawa from official sources should be kept from members.... If there is other documentary information in the possession of members of that delegation, unless they received it upon the express condition and understanding that they were not to divulge it, I am duty bound to say that it should be made available to us for what it is worth.
Mr. Smallwood And always on the understanding that it was not the final picture. The final picture is in the Black Book.
Mr. Ashbourne Mr. Chairman, that was my understanding sir, about the situation, that at the last plenary session we had with Mr. St. Laurent, that this was the official declaration or documents that we were to take to Newfoundland, and the others, which we received as members of subcommittees, as far as I am concerned myself, were given to us as secret and confidential; and that's as I understand it. Now Mr. Higgins can see how he misunderstood it. He was there at the last meeting.
Mr. Higgins Mr. Ashbourne will agree that up to the point that we came back I was there. We can't have anything secret and confidential from the delegation, surely.
Mr. Chairman It is a matter for members to decide in their own consciences....
Mr. Smallwood All the documents handed to us from time to time had in broad scarlet letters on the cover "Secret" and "Confidential", and I hope that all documents we received from time to time are superseded, and put right out of date, by this official Black Book in two volumes. This is what we go by, together with the Grey Book, which November 1947 NATIONAL CONVENTION 861 came sometime since then. I have an armful of them down there, we all have, marked "Secret" and "Confidential" in broad red on the cover.
Mr. Higgins We only got three of these, you know.
Mr. Smallwood Well, I got dozens.
Mr. Chairman I must hold that these were only received by His Excellency the Governor of Canada, and therefore must be regarded as being the official pronouncements upon the...
Mr. Higgins These were not received from His Excellency the Governor, sir.
Mr. Smallwood No, from the Government of Canada.
Mr. Higgins They were received by us from the Department of External Affairs.
Mr. Smallwood The Department of External Affairs was merely the department through which the government functioned. It was from the Government of Canada.
Mr. Higgins I submit that the Government of Canada did not see these so-called Black Books before they were delivered to us, because they were only completed and finished and delivered to us as we got on the train.
Mr. Chairman Even so, the Department of External Affairs is for all purposes the Government of Canada.
Mr. Higgins I think we are getting away from the point.
Mr. Penney May I suggest that we are wasting too much time on generalities. It is one and a half hours since this Convention was opened, and we have not touched upon this, I don't know what you call it, this Grey Book, and it will be a week tomorrow since we started this business, and we are not down to page 2 yet; according to that we will never get through it till Doomsday, let alone Christmas. I think there ought to be some way, Mr. Chairman, of cutting this down. The whole matter of terms of confederation means one thing to me; it is an attempt to sell out Newfoundland for a price.
Mr. Smallwood I demand that Mr. Penney withdraw that remark.
Mr. Chairman Yes, I am afraid you will have to withdraw that remark.
Mr. Penney If it is inflammatory or not, on your request I will, but certainly not on Mr. Smallwood's.
Mr. Chairman I must ask you to withdraw it. Mr. Penney I withdraw it at your request, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Chairman The position is that you have dragged me into matters of conscience, and I don't see how I can go around the place probing the minds of the Ottawa delegation, or the Canadian government or anybody else. All I can do, Mr. Harrington, is to ask members to confine themselves to the Black Books and the Grey Book; and if any reference is made to anything else I will require the members desiring to quote from it to satisfy me (1) that he is free to quote from it, and (2) that it is necessary to an understanding of the position as reflected in the Black Books and the Grey Book.
Mr. Bailey As far as I can see we made a mistake in sending this delegation to Ottawa. We should all have gone, and then we would all have the information. I said from the first, whatever information was given, privately or publicly, was given to the Ottawa delegation as servants of this Convention. We are the delegates of the people, and they were sent there by us, and whatever information is private or secret, there is not any more honour in a man from Bay St. George than there is in a man from Trinity South. We are all the same men, doing the same job, and whatever information there is should not be kept from anybody. I can't see why a thing should be secret when 25 or 30 men elected to send these men to get it for them. Now I don't say to put it all over the earth, but we do have private sessions here, and whatever is necessary we should have.
Mr. Chairman I am not going to ask any member to prostitute his undertaking.... I am not going to put any member in the position where he is expected to repudiate an undertaking, that he would regard as confidential and secret the information which was passed to him on that express condition.
Mr. Bailey I agree with you 100%, but any member of a delegation should not be bound by that. That is my meaning.
Mr. Chairman Well, that is something else, but having given that undertaking, then I think it would not only be highly immoral but highly improper for me to suggest that he should violate the confidence reposed in him.
Mr. Bailey Perhaps I have not made myself clear. He should not be asked to do it. After all the Government of Canada was talking to 45 862 NATIONAL CONVENTION November 1947 elected members of this National Convention, and whatever was given to one man should be given to the whole Convention. Why should things be culled out, and why should they be passed on to some? Then we can get down and get a clear picture of the whole thing.
Mr. Chairman Whether they should have given that undertaking or not is something on which I am not prepared to comment. I am sure that they were acting in good faith, but whether they should have given the undertaking or not is entirely immaterial. If they gave the undertaking you have no right to require them to break the undertaking.
Mr. Bailey But my argument is that they should not have been placed in that position in the first place, because every member of this National Convention should have access to the same information.
Mr. Burry I would like to make myself clear on that point. When I accepted these minutes and other information in those envelopes marked "Secret", I accepted them as secret, but not with the understanding that it was to be kept away from this Convention. It was a convenience agreed among us that it should be done that way, and we were to receive official documents when we left; and these are the official documents. I have read them through, and I have my secret information and minutes, and I have read these through, and there is nothing in that secret information that is not embodied in these documents here, if not word for word, certainly in the spirit of it. I accepted the secret information with the understanding that it would be given to us officially, and we were to take back to this Convention official documents that we would agree upon as a result of our meeting there. There is nothing in the secret documents that I would not have this Convention receive. If I had known that I would not have accepted them. When I went to Ottawa I went there to do my best, and to bring back everything that went on there, as far as I could possibly do it. I have done it, sir, in these official documents, and I have nothing whatever to hold back from the Convention....
Mr. Hickman I am glad that this point was brought up. I was going to ask why they were left out, but I don't have to ask now. Mr. Smallwood has said that what was in the Black Book, the official handout from the Canadian government, was selected by the Canadian government, and I can quite understand why some paragraphs may have been left out. The Canadian government would not select something that would not look very good to some Newfoundlanders. I brought up that question yesterday, and asked Mr. Smallwood if there was any assurance or any guarantee that if the Canadian National Railway took over our Railway that they would retain the same number of employees that we have working today. Mr. Smallwood said that there was no assurance, and possibly there would not be. I can quite see that, but, as Mr. Fogwill just pointed out, when I asked him this question, and if he had this information in front of him, why could he not have answered me and told me that? As it says here: "This looks to be an undue number in relation to the size of the operation." If that's the opinion of the officials who constitute the government and from whom the cabinet take their findings, it may be that they might say, "We will cut this staff 25%, and lay 90 or 100 men off." I asked that yesterday, and I don't see why Mr. Smallwood could not have brought that out. It would have satisfied me. I heard nothing about it until Mr. Higgins brought it up today. I don't want to say too much, but it doesn't seem right to me the way some things are going. Twice Mr. Smallwood was reading words there that were not in the report, and if we are going to have the report...
Mr. Smallwood I rise to a point of order. I ask Mr. Hickman to take that back.
Mr. Hickman You read the other night "freely provided", and it was not in the report.
Mr. Chairman Mr. Hickman, you are not entitled to say that. Where it said "gratuitously" he said "freely", which of course has the same meaning.
Mr. Hickman I am not making insinuations, but I want to get what is in the Black Book, and not Mr. Smallwood's interpretations.
Mr. Chairman But it happens to be a fair interpretation of the word "gratuitously", and I don't think you are imputing any ulterior motive to him.
Mr. Hickman I was not imputing an ulterior motive, but I can't agree that "gratuitously" and "freely" are the same in this matter here.
Mr. Smallwood Mr. Chairman, if Mr. Hickman will turn to page 5, section 17, he will see why I November 1947 NATIONAL CONVENTION 863 did not refer to the paragraph in this other document.
Mr. Chairman We have been here two hours and accomplished practically nothing. I am not in a position to rule on this question because there are three schools of opinion amongst the Ottawa delegation as to what is confidential, if it is confidential, and to what extent it is confidential. Therefore, since I can't get unanimity of opinion, all I can do is to say that we will go on as we have been going, and if any member is going to refer to anything outside the Grey Book and the Black Books I will have to ask him to lay his foundation for it.
Meanwhile, I feel that if members of the delegation came into possession of information ... and if they have given an undertaking to keep it secret then I can't ask them to violate it.
Mr. Bailey I am not laying any stress on the Ottawa delegation. I am laying the stress on this, that the Government of Canada should have given to each and every individual everything they gave to the Ottawa delegation. It was us that sent them there, and it is up to us to know what went on. Whether we work for or against confederation, and whether it is a good thing or a bad thing, that's what we sent the delegation to Ottawa for, and that is what the Canadian government should have given them β€” not a little bit here and little bit there. Mr. Fogwill asked the question, and Mr. Hickman asked the question. There's nobody going to be laid off in the Newfoundland Railway. That's balderdash, as Mr. Higgins said.
Mr. Chairman Can we get along with section 7?
Mr. Smallwood Clause 7 β€” Debt.
Canada will assume and provide for the servicing and retirement of the 3 per cent Stock Issue maturing 1943-63 guaranteed by the United Kingdom. (This, in the opinion of the Canadian government, represents a fair estimate of the amount of debt incurred for purposes which would presumably have been the responsibility of the Government of Canada had Newfoundland been a province of Canada when the debt was incurred.) All sinking funds against this portion of the debt will be taken over by Canada.
The Province of Newfoundland will continue to be liable for the remaining portion of the Newfoundland debt and retain all sinking funds against that portion.
The apportionment of the debt and sinking funds is set forth in Annex II hereto.
[Mr. Smallwood read Annex II]
The position then would be that Canada would take over $63,569,000, and Newfoundland would have $6,354,000. I don't know that there is anything I need to add to that. This public debt falls under two headings β€” what is guaranteed by the United Kingdom, and what is held here locally.... Canada will take over our external debt, and the Province of Newfoundland would be left with an internal debt owed to the people of Newfoundland....
Mr. Cashin Mr. Chairman, there are a couple of questions there. Do I take it, Mr. Smallwood, that Canada takes over $63 1/2 million of our debt? That's about right isn't it?
Mr. Smallwood Yes.
Mr. Cashin The outstanding debt then would be about $6 1/2 million from Newfoundland?
Mr. Smallwood Yes.
Mr. Cashin When you were discussing this national debt offer, did you talk to them at all with regard to the per capita debt of Canada as against the per capita debt of Newfoundland, and what was their reply?
Mr. Smallwood We did, Mr. Chairman, we had a committee on public debt. I know I was on it, but there are two others as well. I was secretary of the delegation, and I was therefore a member of all the committees. I forget now β€” it is in the Black Book.
Mr. Higgins Mr. Ashbourne, Mr. Ballam, myself and you.
Mr. Smallwood We met the men from the Department of Finance, and also some man from the Bank of Canada, and they gave us the history of what had been done by the federal government with the different provinces as they came in, what they did about the public debts.
Mr. Higgins It was Mr. Sharp, Dr. Watts and Mr. McKie.
Mr. Smallwood ....In our case it is a very much higher proportion, higher per capita figure, than in any other province. As a matter of fact, the highest amount of provincial debt that Canada ever took over was $50 a head of the debt of Prince Edward Island. In our case I don't know what it works out at, but it is more than that. It is 864 NATIONAL CONVENTION November 1947 the highest proportion yet.
Mr. Higgins $50.
Mr. Cashin That's not my point. My point is this: This delegation went to Ottawa to get terms, or what would be a good base to go into confederation. If you and I are going into partnership, the first thing I will say to you is, "Now what have you got?" And you will say, "Cashin, I owe $100"; I will say, "I owe $50", consequently I am $50 better off than you. Now Canada owes roughly $1,300 or $1,400 per head, and Newfoundland owes $150 per head. Now we are going into business with Canada, and according to this thing here, we are going to forget our indebtedness of $150 a head and take on an indebtedness of $1,300 or $1,400 a head. That does not sound like good business to me. In 1895, if my memory serves me right, a delegation went to Ottawa and was there 11 days, and that's where that $50 a head came in, and the Canadian government had a less per capita debt than Newfoundland, and our people here, because Canada would not take over $5 million of our debt, refused to go into confederation at that time. Now the boot is on the other foot. The position today is that Newfoundland has a net per capita debt say of $150 per head, and Canada has $1,300 per head. It is more than that I think, and consequently the difference between the two is $1,150. Now if you multiply $1,150 by 320,000 people, you will find that if we carried out their agreement, or the arrangements in 1895, that Canada would have to pay Newfoundland to go into confederation somewhere around $350 million. The position now as I see it is that they are taking over our indebtedness of $63 1/2 million. What do they get for it? All Newfoundland, and all Labrador, the Railway and buildings and everything for $63.5 million; a railway which cost $72 million; all our public buildings, everything for $63 million. I think that's poor business. Now apart from my prejudices with regard to confederation, I feel that this situation on the public debt is not a square deal.... They are going to take on a debt of $50 per head, and we will take on a debt of $1,300. Is it going to be easier to pay off $l,300 than it is to pay of $50? Other people may see it, but I can't. I will probably have more to say on this debate before it is concluded, but I want to know whether the delegation directly asked the Canadian government that question, whether, based on our per capita debt, that they did not think that Newfoundland was entitled to the difference between $150 a head and $1,300 or whatever it may be.... In making up the estimates of expenditure β€” I have not looked at it β€” did you take into account the interest and sinking fund? That is $350,000 added to the provincial expenditure, not included in the books. Do our interest and sinking fund go into the provincial budget study? It is not included in here, when those figures were made up of what the provincial expenditure would be. I would like to know whether the delegation asked the Canadian government what they were prepared to do for Newfoundland now in view of the fact that our debt is $150 a head and their debt is $1,300 a head.
Mr. Smallwood I am glad Major Cashin raised that point. He put it very well. Two men going to join a partnership. Major Cashin says, "What do you owe?" And one says "$50". The other says, "I owe $100". Difference of $50. Something should be done about that, when they start in partnership. The Government of Canada owes per capita somewhere between $1,000 and $1,100.
Mr. Cashin A little more. They added to it a couple of days ago.
Mr. Smallwood A paltry $300,000, temporary accommodation. It is like my going to the bank and borrowing $30 or $40. The per capita debt of Canada is $1,000 to $1,200, and our per capita is $200 or somewhere around there. The difference is quite a bit. Therefore something should be done to compensate us for that. That is perfectly true. I hold something has been done. The Government of Canada has got to pay into Newfoundland, one way or another β€” some direct to the provincial government, and some to the people of Newfoundland direct. Some of it is for the performance of services for the people β€” running the railway, lighthouses, post offices, etc. The Government of Canada has got to pay something between $10-l5 million a year into Newfoundland.
Mr. Cashin Point of order. My question was, when you were talking to the Canadian government, did you or did you not put to them the question about the difference in the debt? I do not care what they will pay in here. If you did not ask them, well and good.
November 1947 NATIONAL CONVENTION 865
Mr. Smallwood We went into the question of public debtβ€”that question was raised, discussed across the table, as we might in your office, informal and friendly. The answer was, "No". The reason was that the terms given one province must be guided by the terms given to other provinces. The Government of Canada for many years will have to pay into Newfoundland between $10-15 million more than they can take out of Newfoundland. I hope it will not be too many years; I hope the day will come when things will be so developed, industries so productive, our people so prosperous that we will be paying a lot more taxes to the Government of Canada than we will be paying for some years to come. Put it at $10 million β€” the difference between what the Government of Canada will pay into Newfoundland and what they take out β€” that is $100,000 every ten years. These subsidies are paid; some in return for the grant of certain taxes, direct taxes, income taxes, corporation taxes and death duties. The government will take so much money in taxes. That government will pay so much into Newfoundland every year. If we take it at the lowest figure β€” $10 million β€” that is $100,000 a year that the Province of Newfoundland would cost the Government of Canada. That is something.
One other point far more important β€” the per capita debt of any country, the public debt is important to the people of that country for one outstanding reason, ... and in this I hope Major Cashin will agree ... you have to service that debt, pay interest on it, put a sinking fund forward; and you have to pay it back when it falls due. You pay so much a year for this debt, you pay in your taxes. So what matters in a country, what counts, is not so much the size of the public debt, but the size of your taxation.... That includes public debt, it includes family allowances, it includes public services, it includes the Railway, your taxes that you pay, the total amount you pay.... There is not a special tax collected from people to pay the interest on the debt, it is paid out of the regular revenue that the government collects, and the only real importance of a public debt is how much it adds to your taxation....
Incidentally, in Newfoundland too there are very bitter experiences with public debt. We have in this country a great horror of public debts. I find that in larger countries they don't have that same dread. In Canada, certainly Mr. Higgins and all our delegation will agree, all the officials and cabinet ministers used to smile at our great concern and our dread of public debt. Maybe they can afford to smile, because nearly all their debt is internal. It is owned in Canada. When they pay interest on it they are paying it to Canadians. It still stays in Canada. I think every year it is around $400 million that the Government of Canada pays on the public debt, and nearly all of it goes to Canada and is used for the general purposes of providing capital. Maybe that is why they don't fear public debt.
If a country is growing, has good industries and their prospects seem to be very good, then they look upon debts as something natural, not something to be scared of; because if they were to be scared the United States today would be a nation frantic with fear and debt; and the same applies to Great Britain.... However, the question of public debt is so much connected with the question of taxation, because taxation includes public debt, that I hesitate to go into the matter now. I would suggest to Major Cashin that we have got to get down to brass tacks in this debate before it is over, get down to this question of taxation, then we can have it out about our public debt as well.
Mr. Cashin I think I am inclined to agree with my friend Mr. Smallwood for once. To go into the matter of revenues and expenditure and public debt is a very important matter in connection with this debate. It is the only matter really that is worth talking about, and I think that this matter should be put off until some of the questions that appear on the order paper are correctly answered, because I don't want to be guessing any more. Whilst I want to get this thing over, I want to be in a position to discuss the public debt from an economic standpoint as far as the country is concerned. So far I have got the answer that they put it up to the Canadian government who said they were not prepared to give us anything for the difference.
Mr. Smallwood Would you allow me for a moment? We did not exactly put it up to the Government of Canada, we put it up to the financial men, and we got so little encouragement that we did not raise it in the plenary session at all.
Mr. Cashin In other words you got no pity and you gave it up.
866 NATIONAL CONVENTION November 1947
Mr. Higgins I think we were told that it would be out of the question. The amount would be too high.
Mr. Ashbourne Regarding the matter of the difference between debts, I particularly raised that point.... If I mistake not the matter was gone into and I believe one of the officials of the committee went into the matter and in one of our meetings read us a memorandum or a digest of the points to cover that, and I don't know where that is. I don't know if Mr. Bradley has it, or the secretary, Mr. Smallwood...
Mr. Smallwood I think I have.
Mr. Ashbourne It was very enlightening, and as far as I am concerned I realise that some of the assets of Newfoundland have been put on the other side to look after the debt. It is a small country with a small debt and small assets, whereas in a big country like Canada it would naturally be expected that they have big assets. There are other countries contiguous to Canada that have a bigger debt than Canada has, and on the other side as well, but that does not debar them from raising money. If they are in a liquid position, it is the assets they have that you have to look upon.... Furthermore, I would like to ask Major Cashin, since he gave us the figures of the per capita debt that we would be called upon to pay, if he would kindly give us the amount of interest at 2 1/2% that is on that money over in the Bank of England.
Mr. Cashin What is it?
Mr. Ashbourne Would you kindly give us that amount of interest and deduct it from the $3,232,000 that is over on the other side?
Mr. Cashin Oh no, you are wrong there, that $3,232,000 that is over on the other side is put there for a particular purpose, and it is to pay a debt that is coming due in 1950-52. That is not included in the $6 1/2 million.
Mr. Ashbourne Oh, yes.
Mr. Cashin Oh, no.
Mr. Ashbourne It is included in the $10 million. What is the rate of interest if we have got to pay that on $6 million β€” 5-6% isn't it?
Mr. Cashin The $3.5 million coming due in 1950-52 is taken care of by the setting aside of Β£800,000, which is invested at the present time by the Crown Agents in London at 2 1/2%. There is one loan coming due in 1950, and they will pay it out of that, and the other comes due in 1952, and the accrued interest added on to that $3,232,000 will be sufficient to meet both of these loans, consequently that's out altogether. Therefore the balance of the loan would be charged up to the government, as I said it would be $6.25 million or $6.5 million. Now on that $6.25 million you have got to find $300,000 annual interest and sinking fund, and when you come to these matters as to where you got your revenues and expenditures, etc., it is not provided in here in the estimates of expenditure at all. That is another amount that's got to go on to this so-called deficit.
Mr. Smallwood When we were drawing up our guess, if you like, of what it would cost to run the province, we left out all the interest on public debt, because we hoped that Canada would take over our debt, not leave us even with $6 million as they have done.... But on the question of raising the cost of running the province, I suggest that we leave that until we come to it. I don't want to duck it.
Mr. Cashin All this here?
Mr. Smallwood All this financial stuff should be left until we come to the discussion of taxation, etc.
[There followed an interchange between Mr. Cashin and Mr. Ashbourne on the public debt and its service]
Mr. Smallwood It is a good thing that Mr. Ashbourne did labour the point. The story would be that we start off with a public debt of anywhere between $400,000 a year, and pay the interest and sinking fund on it. This would have to be provided by the provincial government, and added in to the provincial government's budget. We start off as a province with a debt of roughly $6 million, and we would owe that to ourselves, and the interest on it we would be paying to our own people.
[The committee rose and reported progress. Various items were deferred]
Mr. Bailey I give notice that I will on tomorrow ask His Excellency the Governor in Commission to obtain copies for the members of the Convention of the year books of the different provinces of Canada; also statements of the urban, rural and municipal taxation system, whether by boroughs, ridings, counties or parishes of all the provinces of Canada; also copies of the taxation returns for all the provinces of Canada and the various November 1947 NATIONAL CONVENTION 867 municipalities and/or rural or urban communities thereof.
Mr. Smallwood That is quite a tall order to ask the Government of Canada to do, to give you the taxation in every municipality in Canada. If you were to ask the provincial governments of the nine provinces you would get it; after all, it is no concern of the federal government what taxes are collected by some little town council. That concerns the provinces, not the federal government. Frankly, they don't know.
Mr. Bailey Pardon me, Mr. Smallwood, I am asking the Governor in Commission.
Mr. Smallwood They have got a nice job.
Mr. Bailey No, fairly simple, it is only to ask the government of each of the provinces. I think it is very easy. I think it is something that we should have in the light of what we have got ahead of us. I think this has more bearing on what we have got to do that anything else, when you have to show our people what form of government they have got to go to. Remember we are breaking a new path.
[The Convention adjourned]

Source:

Newfoundland. The Newfoundland National Convention, 1946-1948 Vol 1: Debates. Edited by J.K. Hiller and M.F. Harrington Montreal: Memorial University of Newfoundland by McGill-Queen's University Press, 1995).

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Selection of input documents and completion of metadata: Gordon Lyall.

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