House of Commons, 27 January 1949, Canadian Confederation with Newfoundland

JANUARY 27, 1949 Business of the House 15


Right Hon. L. S. St. Laurent (Prime Minister): I table herewith, in English and in French, the terms of union of Newfoundland with Canada, and answers to the questions raised by the Newfoundland delegation when it was here discussing these terms of union.
Also the orders in council passed since prorogation of the last session of parliament with respect to the transfer of duties; orders in council of August 17, 1948, November 5, 1948, two of November 15, 1948, and December 8, 1948.
Hon. J. J. McCann (Minister of National Revenue): I desire to lay on the table the annual report of the Department of National Revenue for the year ended March 31, 1948, in English and in French.
I also wish to report that, with reference to the export of petroleum and pulpwood, no orders or regulations have been issued under the export of petroleum and pulpwood regulations established under chapter 63 of the Revised Statutes of Canada, 1927, since the last return made to parliament.
With reference to the Canada-United Kingdom income tax agreement, no orders or regulations have been issued under chapter 38 of the Statutes of 1946, being the Canada- United Kingdom income tax agreement.
With reference to the Canada—United Kingdom succession duty agreement, no regulations or orders have been issued under chapter 39 of the statutes of 1946, being the Canada-United Kingdom succession duty agreement section.
With reference to the Canada-United States tax convention, no orders or regulations have been issued under the convention relating to succession duties, enacted as chapter 31 of the statutes of 1934, since these were tabled in the house on March 20, 1946.
(For complete list of reports and papers tabled, see Votes and Proceedings, No. 2, January 27,- 1949.)



Right Hon. L. S. St. Laurent (Prime Minister): If I may have the unanimous consent of the house to do so, I should like at this time to move:
That William Henry Golding, Esquire, member for the electoral district of Huron-Perth, be appointed deputy chairman of committees of the whole house.
Some hon. Members: Hear, hear.
Mr. St. Laurent: I thought the manner in which the hon. member performed his duties as deputy chairman of committees of the whole in previous sessions would assure me of the unanimous consent for which I have asked. I therefore move, seconded by the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Howe), the foregoing motion.
Motion agreed to.



Right Hon. L. S. St. Laurent (Prime Minister): Yesterday the discussion with regard to the procedure for today was concluded as follows, as reported in Hansard at page 12:
Mr. St. Laurent: In order to avoid debate I am quite prepared to withdraw the motion and to trust that it will be the desire of hon. members tomorrow that we proceed with the debate on the address.
The leader of the opposition (Mr. Drew) said:
So that there may be no misunderstanding. I was dealing with a motion in a certain form. The Prime Minister has indicated his willingness to withdraw that motion. We come now to another point. There can be no objection to proceeding with the debate in the usual way in so far as the mover and seconder are concerned. but I am unaware of any precedent for the leader of the opposition and the Prime Minister following immediately afterwards under such circumstances as we have here. I do not think that should be suggested. The speech from the throne has only been presented today. The debate is on that speech, and it is customary to afford the leader of the opposition an opportunity to examine it so that his remarks will deal with it. I want to make that observation now that the Prime Minister has withdrawn the motion. I make the observation as to my views of the procedure on the debate merely for the purpose of avoiding any misunderstanding tomorrow.
On the assumption that the foregoing represented the feeling of the house generally, I 16 HOUSE OF COMMONS Business of the House now move that we proceed forthwith to consider the speech delivered yesterday by His Excellency to both houses of parliament. I understand that it is in order to make this kind of motion to apply to the proceedings of today only, but I would have no objection to its applying to the proceedings of the house until otherwise ordered by the house, if it is the desire of hon. members that the motion be in that form. I have it in the two alternative forms:
That the speech of His Excellency the Governor General to both houses of parliament be taken into consideration forthwith.
That the speech of His Excellency the Governor General to both houses of parliament be taken into consideration forthwith and that this order have precedence over all other business except introduction of bills and government notices of motions until otherwise ordered by the house.
I am informed that as to the more complete motion, the technical objection can be raised that forty-eight hours' notice has not been given. If that objection is taken, I suggest the first form, which would provide for the speech being dealt with today. As to the observation of the leader of the opposition that since the speech was delivered only yesterday it would be unusual to require him to deal with it today, if he still feels that way about it, and wishes, after the mover and the seconder have been heard, to move the adjournment of the debate, we on this side of the house would raise no objection.
Mr. George A. Drew (Leader of the Opposition): The proposal which has just been made by the Prime Minister is, I think, in accord with the suggestion I made at the conclusion of my remarks yesterday. While I am unable, of course, to indicate unanimous consent except in so far as I may be able to do so for the members of the party which I lead, I am quite prepared to consent to proceeding with the debate if the second motion which has been read is introduced; it is in accordance with the established practice. I do so on the understanding which has been indicated by the Prime Minister, that at the conclusion of the speech of the seconder I move adjournment of the debate in the usual way.
Mr. Coldwell: I think that is quite satisfactory, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Low: That will be satisfactory to our group.
Mr. St. Laurent: I move, seconded by the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Howe):
That the speech of His Excellency the Governor General to both houses of parliament be taken into consideration forthwith and that this order have precedence over all other business except introduction of bills and government notices of motions until otherwise ordered by the house.
Mr. Drew: Just to clarify the record on this point, Mr. Speaker, I have noted something which I think should be explained to the house before we proceed with the debate. I received my copy of Votes and Proceedings earlier in the day, and I find that the same copy is still on the desks of most of the members. A few minutes ago a new copy of Votes and Proceedings for yesterday was tabled. It includes two additional items which were not in the first printed copies distributed to the members this morning. The second of the additional items is a notice of motion by the Prime Minister. It reads as follows:
That on and after Monday, January 31, 1949, and every sitting day thereafter until and including Friday, February 11, 1949. government notices of motions and government orders shall have precedence over all other business except introduction of bills.
On inquiry I found that the copy which contains the motion I have just read is not yet on the desks of most hon. members. I think it would clarify the procedure if we could be told why one copy of Votes and Proceedings was delivered and then a subsequent copy delivered which contains a new and very important motion.
Mr. Speaker: I must say to the hon. gentleman that I shall look into the matter.
Mr. St. Laurent: I can give an answer to the leader of the opposition right away. As. I announced in the house yesterday afternoon, I gave notice of this motion, which is the last item on the Votes and Proceedings that the hon. gentleman has just read, and when I got the first issue of Votes and Proceedings this. morning I was surprised to find it was not there. I communicated with the Clerk of the House, who verified the fact that he had it, but through some omission it had not gone to the printer. He told me that it was not the first time that there had been an oversight of this kind, and that he would see that the printer had the Votes and Proceedings completed in time for the sitting this afternoon.
I think I might take this opportunity to say that I have had representations from hon. members on both sides of the house, who, in spite of their realization of the urgency of proceeding with the Newfoundland terms of union so that we may have them dealt with by this parliament and subsequently by the parliament of the United Kingdom before March 31, feel they would like to have all next week devoted to the debate on the address. When this motion is called tomorrow, JANUARY 27, 1949 The Address-Mr. Brown 17 if I can have the consent of the house to do so, I shall substitute for the dates that are mentioned the corresponding dates one week later.
Motion agreed to.



The house proceeded to the consideration of the speech delivered by His Excellency the Governor General at the opening of the session.
Mr. D. F. Brown (Essex West): In rising to propose a resolution of appreciation to His Excellency, the Governor General of Canada, for his gracious speech addressed to both houses of parliament, the people of the constituency of Essex West, which I have the pleasure to represent in this house, are honoured and privileged to join with Canadians from the Atlantic to the Pacific in our tribute of loyalty and affection to His Majesty, George VI, our king, and his gracious consort, Queen Elizabeth. We do this, not with a feeling of subservience or subordination, but with the dignity of fidelity and allegiance.
We recognize and admire the attitude of sincerity which Their Majesties attach to their high office, their kindliness to the problems affecting their millions of subjects, their thoughtfulness of those afflicted, and the standard they have set for the world in their domestic lives by the grace, gentility and simplicity of their home living.
Canadians in all walks of life have learned with rejoicing of His Majesty's recent recovery from a serious physical disorder, and have breathed a prayer of thanksgiving for his restoration to health and strength. We humbly express to him our sympathy in the discomfort and suffering which he has endured, but are consoled by the promise that "the darkest hour precedes the dawn".
The British commonwealth of nations for many years has looked, hopefully and expectantly, for word of an heir to the throne. On November 14, 1948, this long awaited promise was fulfilled in the birth of "wee Bonnie Prince Charlie" to Her Royal Highness Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh. To the parents of the baby, christened Charles Philip Arthur George of Edinburgh, we extend our sincere congratulations. To the baby, all Canada extends its hope and prayer for a lifetime of health for himself, happiness with his family, and success in his relationship with his loyal subjects.
The year just passed has brought many changes in our national life and personalities. The Right Hon. William Lyon Mackenzie King, who had held office longer than any other prime minister in the British empire, retired from his post as Prime Minister and leader of the Liberal party. Mr. King's dynamic leadership of the House of Commons, his unbounded energy in upholding that which he thought best for his country, and his unfailing courtesy, thoughtfulness and kindness, will always be an inspiration to the members of this house.
A man of peace, who abhorred war, he led Canada Victoriously through the bitter storm and strife of conflict into the calm harbour of peace and prosperity, with distinction to himself and with honour to his country. His career of self-sacrificing service will be a beacon light to the youth of Canada for generations yet unborn. His followers will remember his uncanny insight and perspicacity ; the opposition will remember him for his vigour and tenacity; but the little people of Canada will remember him as their friend and champion. History will be very kind to William Lyon Mackenzie King.
During the past year the hon. member for Neepawa (Mr. Bracken) found it necessary to retire as leader of the official opposition. During his term the hon. member endeared himself to all members of this house, regardless of party affiliations, by his warmth of friendliness, his vigour of opposition in the house, and his courtesy and affability outside the house. We wish him well.
On the turning of the pages of the history of this house, we are now proud to have as our leader one who is truly a Canadian of distinction—Right Hon. Louis Stephen St. Laurent. Mr. St. Laurent, having heard the clear call of duty, has rejected personal placid interests to accept the highest post of service to his country—that of Prime Minister. In this arduous position he will have every opportunity of displaying to the fullest extent his widely known powers of conciliation and sagacity. We on this side of the house are privileged to serve under his benevolent direction and admonition. May Canada continue to prosper and expand in stature among the nations of the world during his term of office.
It has been said that a government is as strong as its opposition. We are also welcoming a new leader of the official opposition, who comes to this chamber with many years of experience as premier of my own province, the province of Ontario. He has shown much energy and aggressiveness in his public career. We trust that his leadership of the opposition will be vigorous and constructive.
18 The Address—Mr. Brown HOUSE OF COMMONS
On the 11th day of December, 1948, an agreement was entered into by the Dominion of Canada having the effect of bringing into the confederation of the Dominion of Canada the province of Newfoundland, thus uniting in legislative matters two branches of the British commonwealth of nations, living side by side and having similar hopes and ideals. The people of my constituency join with all Canada in extending a warm and cordial welcome to Newfoundland, the tenth province of the Canadian family of provinces.
The agreement for union of Newfoundland has not come about without having to hurdle many obstacles; but with two groups of people, such as Canada and Newfoundland, with the same customs, principles, and aspirations, the union would seem to be natural.
Upon referendum submitted to the people of Newfoundland, the desire to enter into confederation with Canada was expressed. Subsequently representatives of Canada and Newfoundland met and determined the arrangements for the union, which upon approval of the parliament of Canada will come into effect on the 3lst day of March next.
Canada and Newfoundland have much in common for a union. Both have the same heritage in freedom of action, speech and religion. Both have the same political traditions. Both have grown to maturity side by side, and each has been able to observe the progress of the other. Both have realized that in a fast—moving world they need one another for their common defence. Both see that the greatest good, by way of special reforms and security, can come to the ordinary citizen in both places only if united we stand. We believe we can offer to Newfoundland much in the way of trade, but we need also what Newfoundland has to contribute. Newfoundland has lumber and pulpwood; it has fish and sea foods. It has vast deposits of iron ore and other metals. But, more than anything else, we welcome the people of Newfoundland. We realize they are a proud people, of rugged nature, strong and industrious, anxious to take their full share of responsibility, and that they expect their full share of the gains. We Canadians are proud to become associated with them.
We will undoubtedly encounter differences of opinion from time to time; but, having visited each of the nine existing provinces of Canada, I have observed that, while governments may often disagree, the common people of our dominion have the same high goal always before them—that of peace, industry, integrity, and security.
It is in this spirit of partnership that we extend our welcome to the tenth province of the Dominion of Canada, the province of Newfoundland.
My constituency, that of Essex West, borders on the Detroit river for approximately fifteen miles. Discussions on the St. Lawrence waterway development are therefore of vital interest to us, as they should be to all other parts of Canada.
By our methods of production we in Canada do not depend upon domestic markets. We are a trading nation. We export to the four corners of the world. In fact I believe we export about one-third of all the goods we produce. This probably would be much higher in my own constituency. We are therefore most anxious to devise ways and means by which, wherever and whenever possible, we can reduce the cost of the goods we produce and at the same time maintain our high level of living. One of the items which contribute to the increased price of our goods in competition with other goods of a similar nature on the world market is that of transportation of our goods to the consumer in the distant land.
Canada has access to 2,400 miles of waterways from Fort William to the Atlantic ocean. This great waterway, for the most part, is of deep navigable water with a height of 600 feet of falling energy. This waterway is similar to a series of saucepans with the spout of one dropping into the pan below, but with the spout of the final saucepan corroded with rocks, timber, and fear—fear of debt and disaster.
Time passes on. When Jacques Cartier sailed up the St. Lawrence to claim the wilderness for France, little did he realize what he was starting—for this was the first link in the chain of events which has led to the struggle to obtain a free outlet to the sea —a freedom from the bonds of nature. Champlain, La Salle and all the great explorers have seen the need for this direct water route from the sea to that great inland empire of Canada. And now it is hoped the final removal of the impediment of the ages will be realized.
Since the days of the early settlers in Canada, wheelbarrows have become bulldozers; the old buckboard has become the sleek sedan; the magic lantern, the television set. The sailing vessel has become the modern oil burner. And the steamships have grown from the impressive length of 250 feet and a capacity of 2,000 tons to the ships of today with a length of 600 feet and capacity of 20,000 tons. Ships of this latter class pass along the border of my constituency unnoticed every few minutes of the day for eight or nine months of the year.


Canada. House of Commons Debates, 1875-1949. Provided by the Library of Parliament.



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