April 13, 1933

CON
LIB
CON

Henry Herbert Stevens (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

I am not prepared to

accept that statement. I shall not enter into an argument about iit, but I cannot accept *the statement of my hon. friend. However, the fact is that Mr. McFarland was retained bv the pools for the purpose of managing the selling agency. Synchronizing with that was a request from the pools for assistance, also a request from the provincial government. The pools were in financial difficulties and owed the provincial governments considerable money. If I am not mistaken the amount in question was about $23,000,000, but I speak entirely from memory and am subject to correction. The government did guarantee the banks against that loss. That guarantee is still outstanding, and unless I am very much mistaken the order in council to which reference has been made is one of the renewals of the original transaction.

Topic:   TRADE AND COMMERCE
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LIB
CON

Henry Herbert Stevens (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

I believe it is a renewal.

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CON

James J. Donnelly

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DONNELLY:

Is this the same

guarantee under which hedges are being bought?

Topic:   TRADE AND COMMERCE
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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

I would say this is a

renewal of the original order, and-again speaking subject to correction, because I have

Supply-Trade-Grain Act

no documents before me-is the order under which the purchases are being made under the stabilization scheme.

The hon. member asks me this question: Under these circumstances how much wheat did Mr. McFarland take over from the pools? Mr. McFarland and the government did not take over any wheat. All Mr. McFarland did was to step in and manage the selling agency of the pools, thereby carrying on their business. The government guaranteed the banks against loss in the transaction, thereby making it possible for the banks to continue financing the pools. So far as the government is concerned, that is all that happened. Had we not done so there would have been a liquidation, which would have been one of the worst things that could possibly have happened to western Canada, involving, as it did, all the fixed assets of the pools, such as the elevators and other assets, scattered throughout all four western provinces. The action of the government preserved that situation, and enabled the banks to finance the pools so that business could be carried on in a normal way. They have been carrying on since, and I am convinced that ultimately the pools and the banks of the western provinces will come out of this whole business without any serious loss. I do not think there will be any loss.

Then my hon. friend asked how much wheat he took over. I cannot answer that question, but it is not germane to the discussion. The hon. member also asked how much wheat he sold. He took over whatever wheat they may have had in store at the time and he sold that wheat plus whatever they bought during his term of office.

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CON

James J. Donnelly

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DONNELLY:

No, he has not had

anything to do with the wheat since the carryover of 1930. He has had nothing to do with the selling of the 1931 or 1932 wheat.

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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

He continued to act as

manager of the sales agency up to a certain time, but I am not certain of the date.

Topic:   TRADE AND COMMERCE
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CON
LIB

John Vallance

Liberal

Mr. VALLANCE:

Is John I. McFarland

manager of the central selling agency of the pool at the present time?

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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

There is a matter which

introduces itself here which complicates the question very much. The pools split up at some point. My hon. friends have me at a great disadvantage, because I cannot carry in my mind the exact dates, but I believe they split up at the end of the crop year 1930-31.

The pools as such ceased to operate as a central selling agency, and my impression is that this was done at the end of the crop year 1930-31, which would be in July, 1931. Since then the central selling agency has not functioned in regard.to the handling of the wheat crop of the three western pools.

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LIB

John Vallance

Liberal

Mr. VALLANCE:

I hold in my hand an

order in council which was passed on April 10, 1933, in which I read:

The minister recommends that the governor in council may ait any time fix and determine the date at which wheat producers-

I presume that means Wheat Producers, Limited, which John I. McFarland has been operating as manager of the central selling agency.

-shall proceed to sell and dispose of all wheat and other grains in its possession or control.

Has the government, the minister or the governor in council taken over that function, previously performed by John I. McFarland, of selling the wheat now held by Wheat Producers, Limited? They have done so, according to this order in council.

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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

This question is too complicated to discuss from memory or on the basis of just one order in council. About two months ago I was informed that there was still some of the 1930 wheat on hand, but I think that is down now to a very small amount. This order in council necessarily must carry through, until the whole operation is completed, the power inherent in the first order in council. That is why the terms of the first order are repeated.

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LIB
LIB

John Vallance

Liberal

Mr. VALLANCE:

The minister has stated already that John I. McFarland was not engaged by the government. Then we find an order in council which says that at any time the governor in council may perform the functions heretofore performed by John I. McFarland.

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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

My hon. friend has misunderstood me. I said that so far as the original contact of Mr. McFarland with the selling agency in 1930 was concerned it had nothing to do with the government, except so far as the hon. member for Willow Bunch and my hon. friend suggest that the government urged that he should be appointed. I am not going to dispute that. I have no knowledge of its being done, though that may be so. The fact of his employment, however, had nothing to do with the government. He acted for the three pools as head of the

Supply-Trade-Grain Act

selling agency, but his appointment did synchronize with the undertaking of the government to guarantee the banks against loss in connection with the operations of the pools at that time. Now there enters another factor, that is, this stabilization of the market.

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LIB

John Vallance

Liberal

Mr. VALLANCE:

Before the minister

leaves that point I wish he would correct me if I am wrong in this suggestion: Was it

not the undertaking of this government that they would guarantee the banks against loss provided Wheat Producers, Limited, would appoint John I. McFarland as manager of the central selling agency?

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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

I would say to my hon.

friend that no such condition was imposed.

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LIB

John Vallance

Liberal

Mr. VALLANCE:

Was the guarantee

given before Mr. McFarland became manager of the selling agency?

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April 13, 1933