June 13, 1935

CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

Not all.

Topic:   CANADIAN GRAIN BOARD
Subtopic:   PURCHASE, STORAGE AND MARKETING OF WHEAT AND OTHER GRAINS
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CON

Franklin White Turnbull

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. TURNBULL:

I suggest that the hon. member move an amendment.

Topic:   CANADIAN GRAIN BOARD
Subtopic:   PURCHASE, STORAGE AND MARKETING OF WHEAT AND OTHER GRAINS
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LIB

James Layton Ralston

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

My right hon. friend says that he did not say that that was all the board would do. I think it is quite clear that all he said was that we are going to have a board in name as well as in fact, but there was no suggestion that it was going to be anything more, and I suggest to my right hon. friend that the compulsory feature should come out of the bill.

I would give the board-here is another suggestion-ample power to liquidate and get the present dangerous overhang out of the way just as soon as it is possible to do it in orderly fashion. I would give them equally ample power at the same time to conduct stabilizing operations when necessary to protect the producer.

In connection with the whole matter, Mr. Speaker, I would recognize what I cannot say has been recognized by the government, that the board's operations are by way of assistance in a national emergency, and that if there is a loss the country pays it; but that gambling and speculating to minimize that loss is no part of the board's duties or functions.

I would recognize what I think has also been lost sight of, and that is that we still have to have customers if the wheat industry in the west is going to thrive, and while in this emergency there may have to be some spread between the price to the farmer and the world price, yet wheat is to sell and not to hold, and we are only stirring up trouble for ourselves if we try to exact more from the customer than we are entitled to by reason of the quality of our product. But that is the policy which has been followed, and which has contributed in no small degree to the serious situation in which we find ourselves to-day.

Topic:   CANADIAN GRAIN BOARD
Subtopic:   PURCHASE, STORAGE AND MARKETING OF WHEAT AND OTHER GRAINS
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CON

William John Loucks

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LOUGKS:

Does the hon. member

think that 75 or 80 cents a bushel at the head of the lakes is an extravagant price to the farmers?

Topic:   CANADIAN GRAIN BOARD
Subtopic:   PURCHASE, STORAGE AND MARKETING OF WHEAT AND OTHER GRAINS
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LIB

Charles A. Stewart

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Edmonton):

Who ever

said so?

Topic:   CANADIAN GRAIN BOARD
Subtopic:   PURCHASE, STORAGE AND MARKETING OF WHEAT AND OTHER GRAINS
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LIB

James Layton Ralston

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

I might just as well ask my hon. friend from Rosetown (Mr. Loucks) what he thinks about legal fees. I am not dealing with the matter in dollars and cents; I am dealing with the policy of the government. What I say is that the western farmer should get the best possible price for his product, and I am pointing out that at the present time the farmer is losing his market and is unable to get a fair price, and is faced with this tremendous overhang due to the action of this government.

I would recognize further that permanent action on this great question is not for a

Grain Board-Mr. Ralston

parliament which has outrun its allotted span of life, according to the usual constitutional practice, and faces dissolution almost hourly. I submit that that question is for a new parliament fresh from the people, and which can act in the light of full information in connection with the transactions of the past and have the benefit of the information which will be gained by the board as it operates this fall and winter. It is the action of that parliament, and not of this one, which it seems to me will exemplify the proper principles of representative government in expressing the will of the electorate of to-day rather than expressing as this parliament does the will of the electors of Canada of five years ago.

Lastly, Mr. Speaker, I want to assure you and to assure this house, if any assurance is needed, that the people in the east as well as in the west realize fully how vital it is for the wellbeing and! the success of the whole of 'Canada that there shall be prosperity among the producers of western Canada. Even though this government has delayed this matter until the dying days of the session we realize fully that this problem, which we have before us is not transcended in importance by any public or economic problem whidh is before the people of Canada today.

Somebody asked me a question last night as to what my position was in connection with this bill. I have endeavoured to make miy position clear in making some suggestions which the Prime Minister has invited regarding amendment, and I say to my right hon. friend that as far as I am concerned I shall support this bill going to a committee on the understanding which was made clear by the right hon. the Prime Minister and by my right hon. leader, that that is without prejudice to or commitment in the start that I wish to make on any of the provisions of the bill, and in approving of the second reading I also want to reserve the right which the Prime Minister expressly stated of moving or supporting any amendments which I may see fit notwithstanding that the bill has had its second reading.

Topic:   CANADIAN GRAIN BOARD
Subtopic:   PURCHASE, STORAGE AND MARKETING OF WHEAT AND OTHER GRAINS
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UFA

Robert Gardiner

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. ROBERT GARDINER (Acadia):

Mr. Speaker, in rising to continue the discussion on the motion of the Prime Minister for the second reading of Bill No. 98, it is not my purpose this afternoon to follow very closely the argument made by the hon. member for Shelbume-Yarmouth (Mr. Ralston) who has just taken his seat.

May I say at the beginning, Mr. Speaker, that I approve the principle of this legisla-

tion. There may be some features of the bill that might be strengthened to make it more effective, but I am sure that the special committee to which this bill is likely to be sent will be capable of attending to that matter. So far as the general principle of the bill is concerned I am in hearty accord with it.

Some doubt has been raised1 in this house as to whether the farmers of the west are in favour of this legislation. I must confess, Mr. Speaker, that so far as the western farmers are concerned, there is only one real avenue through which they can express tfheir opinion, and that is through their different organizations in the prairie provinces, and so far as the organization with which I am connected is concerned, the United Farmers of Alberta, we have for the last three years at our annual convention passed resolutions favouring the establishment of a Canada wheat board. These resolutions I am quite sure have been forwarded to the Prime Minister and his colleagues. Therefore as far as Alberta is concerned, and so far as the organized farmers are concerned', they are in favour of the principle of this legislation.

My hon. friend from Shelburne-Yarmouth has suggested that this legislation should be of only a temporary character, and he bolstered that idea with the argument that we had a surplus of wheat to the amount of 210,000,000 bushels which at the present time was a very great handicap in stabilizing the price of wheat, but until such time as it was possible for us to sell that wheat and reduce that surplus he was more or less in favour of this legislation, and for that particular purpose. I want to say this, Mr. Speaker, that so far as I am concerned, and I believe I am speaking for the organization of which I have the privilege of being a member, we not only believe a grain board is essential at the present time to take care of that situation which my hon. friend so well illustrated, but I am satisfied that the farmers of western Canada to-day have come to the point where they recognize that as individuals they are helpless in selling the product of their labour against the monopolies of this country. Therefore, instead of looking upon this board as being merely a temporary organization, I believe we must realize that it will be continued into the future.

It is over thirty-three years since I went to western Canada and I have been a farmer all that time. I know something of the demands and the desires of the farmers through all those years to secure a better system of marketing their grain. The first demand of the farmers was made largely in

Grain Board-Mr. Gardiner

the beginning of this century, some time during 1900. Before I proceed further with this particular matter, I should like to direct the attention of the house to this point: When charters were given to the railway companies to build railways in Canada, more particularly in the west, they proceeded to build the roads but when it came to providing warehouse accommodation for grain the companies found that it was almost impossible for them to handle the situation. The railway companies then leased sites to elevator companies, which companies built elevators and handled the grain. Those who are familiar with conditions in the west know that this method was copied very largely from that which existed in the United States. The elevator is a cheaper way of handling grain than a warehouse such as is supplied by the railways for other commodities. It is quite true that the railway companies did not give a monopoly to any particular elevator company but whatever elevator companies were in existence at that time had a virtual monopoly of the handling of grain by virtue of the fact that they possessed the only means by which grain could be put on the cars of the railway companies for transportation.

As I said, the first demand of the farmers in western Canada for improved marketing conditions took place in 1900. A commission was appointed by the government of that day to inquire into the situation and one of the results of the findings of that commission was that the farmer was granted the right to load his own grain over the platform into the car of the railway company. It might be noted that only those farmers who were located in close proximity to the railroads could take advantage of this new provision as a man living fifteen or twenty miles away could not haul in his grain quickly enough to load a car without keeping it on the siding for too long a time.

The farmers realizing that they were subject largely to the whims and policies of the elevator companies decided to organize an elevator company of their own. Many hon. members in this house will recall the hard times which were experienced during the winter of 1905 and I believe that these were responsible for the demand of the farmers for an improvement in the handling of grain. About the year 1908 the Grain Growers Grain Company was organized composed of farmer shareholders. This was an ordinary company incorporated like other companies but it was owned by the farmers and a limitation of eight per cent was placed upon the dividends which would be paid to the shareholder. This Grain Growers Grain Company did splendid work in eliminating many of the

abuses so prevalent at that time and it handled considerable grain for the farmers. As time went on the farmers felt that even this company was not all that they required and eventually there was organized in Saskatchewan what was known as the Cooperative Elevator Company of Saskatchewan. A similar company was organized in Alberta. The Saskatchewan company was very successful. The difference between the cooperative companies and the Grain Growers Grain Company was this: In both companies the dividends were limited tO' eight per cent but in the cooperatives provision was made that after proper reserves had been accumulated dividends could be paid to those who contributed business to the companies.

A few years later the Alberta Cooperative Elevator Company was amalgamated with the Grain Growers Grain Company, forming what w>as known as the United Grain Growers Grain Company. This organization filled the need for a time but when war conditions came along a few years after conditions were changed. Hon. members will remember the grain board of 1919. This board was not organized as a permanent institution, it was meant merely to take care of a situation which had developed because of war conditions. This board was very successful and when it went out of existence the farmers of the west fellt that they had lost something which was worth while. They immediately began to demand the reinstatement of this grain board for the purpose of handling their grain. Hon. members who were in the house during the sessions of 1922 and 1923 will remember the persistent demands which came from the west asking parliament to reorganize the grain board of 1919. Legislation was passed in 1922 and again in 1923 giving to the board to be created all the powers which this parliament possessed. The establishment of this board depended upon the provinces of the west passing complementary legislation giving to the board what powers the provinces possessed in connection with grain. The outcome of this legislation was the placing of the responsibility as to whether this board would come into operation mainly upon the governments of the three prairie provinces. Many conferences were held but the provincial governments failed to come to any agreement and as a consequence the formation of the grain board was not proceeded with.

After 'the farmers of the west realized that this board would not come into existence they began to devise ways and means to handle the situation in a different way, and the outcome of their deliberations was the

Grain Board-Mr. Gardiner

formation of the wheat pools. Alberta took the lead in creation of these wheat pools, I believe in 1923, and Saskatchewan and Manitoba followed in the next year. These pools were voluntary in character although a contract was signed by which the grain grower agreed to market his grain through ithe pool system. The pools eventually came into existence and functioned very efficiently until 1929, when economic conditions the world over put them in the position where they lost a great deal of money owing to the fact that they had fixed their interim payments on grain too high for 'that year. It is mot necessary to recount the difficulties which these pools met except to say this. Inasmuch as neither of the pools had 100 per cent membership in any of the three provinces, they could not meet the financial stress of 1929 and following years. Now that is a very rough and incomplete resume of the efforts of the farmers of western Canada to secure better marketing conditions. With the financial stress that was occasioned by the depression, the farmers of the west again looked for some better method of marketing; and, as I have already stated, the organized farmers of the west, at any rate so far as Alberta and Saskatchewan are concerned, have requested by resolutions at annual conventions that the government consider the possibility of bringing into existence a new grain board.

That brings us to the present bill. There is no question in my mind that this bill, in so far as interprovincial and export business is concerned, does give monopoly rights to this proposed grain board; there is no doubt about that. In so far as provincial business is concerned, that is outside the scope of this legislation and outside the scope of the constitutional powers of this parliament; but so far as the rights of this parliament are concerned, I think that in this piece of legislation the government has given the board all the rights which this parliament has within its jurisdiction. And it is true to state. I think, that it is practically a monopoly right in so far as the four western provinces are concerned. Someone might take exception to that; but as far as I can see I have no objection whatever to it because I recognize the fact that the days of free competition are gone forever, and that out of free competition has come monopoly, so that we cannot expect those who are at the present time organized as monopolies to deal very tenderly with those who believe in free competition and practise free competition. If the farmers of the west or in any other part of Canada are going to secure anything like an adequate [Mr. Gardiner.;

price for the product of their labour, I am satisfied that they cannot do it by selling that product in the markets of the world against each other. We have to meet monopoly with monopoly, and under these circumstances I believe that this bill does meet a very much needed requirement. I am quite sure, of course, that many farmers will object to it, but I am satisfied, on the other hand, that the great bulk of the farmers to-day, at least in the three prairie provinces, believe that this is the only possible method to pursue.

It is not necessary for me to take up much more of the time of the house except to make this observation. The farmers of the west object and have objected ever since I have been a resident of western Canada, to the speculator determining very largely the price that they will receive for their commodities. I quite realize that under the present method of handling our grain the speculator is a very essential part of the proceeding, simply because of the fact that he is the person to provide the money to hedge the grain when the elevator companies secure that grain in their possession. The Prime Minister explained that situation very well yesterday afternoon. As he said, these companies have not the liquid capital to buy all the grain offered to them; and we know that if the farmers of the west were in that position where they did not know whether the company was able to buy their wheat or not, it would create a tremendous problem, bearing in mind the long distances which they have to travel. Under the present method of handling our grain it is quite true that the speculator must provide the money to permit the companies to hedge. As the Prime Minister stated yesterday, the banks will not provide the funds for these elevator companies to speculate in wheat. They hedge the buying each day, and consequently, so far as the elevator companies are concerned, they reduce the speculative element to the very minimum. Under these circumstances someone must be in the market to provide the funds which will take up these hedges. The farmer objects to the speculative element being the force in the control of the price level of his product. It is quite true that the price level is largely determined by world prices, but nevertheless the farmers of the west feel that the time has come when the speculative element should be eliminated in the process of handling the grain grown in that part of Canada. That is a very important feature so far as the farmer is concerned. I feel sure that the farmers, when they realize this important

Grain Board-Mr- Stewart (Edmonton)

point, that the speculator under this legislation will be to all intents and purposes and in fact, I believe, absolutely eliminated, will welcome the legislation. And even if they do think they would like to have the liberty of selling grain wherever they like, I think they will take more kindly to the legislation under these circumstances. But so far as the majority are concerned, I believe they will be in complete accord in supporting the measure.

It is a most remarkable fact that the primary producers, those engaged in the creation of new wealth annually, have received at the hands of governments less consideration than has been shown those whom we call secondary producers. Probably it is because the primary producers have not the wherewithal to make proper representations to the government. The fact is, however, that the past history of this country shows very cleari'y that so far as the primary producers are concerned, the same consideration has not been given them as has been given those engaged in secondary industries; and I must confess that I am far more interested in the welfare of the primary producer than I am in the welfare of the secondary producer, not only because I happen to be a primary producer myself but because the primary producer is the most important person in production in this country, because he creates new wealth each year. He creates that wealth either by growing crops or digging the wealth from the soil in various forms. Therefore the primary producer, creating new wealth each year for this country, is as much entitled to consideration from this parliament as any other class of producers.

I support this legislation and I hope that it will be finally drawn up in the best possible manner to make it effective. Before I resume my seat, let me say this again. In my judgment we must give more consideration to the primary producer, to see to it that he gets a reasonable standard of living, one comparable with that of other classes of producers in this country. There is no reason why he should not get that reasonable standard of living, and I assure the house that regardless of whatever political party may be in power, I shall be only too happy to do anything I can to achieve that result.

Hon, CHARLES STEWART (West Edmonton) : I regret very much that I was not in the house yesterday as I note from the remarks of the Prime Minister (Mr. Bennett) that a challenge was thrown out to me to define my position on this particular bill. I thought my position in regard to bills of this character was very well! defined. It is

most remarkable that nearly every piece of legislation that has been introduced by the government this year has been along the lines of the well known policy of the Liberal party, and the most amazing thing is the attempt on the part of the government to make it appear that this is something they have just discovered, something new they are introducing, or, in other words, a new deal. The situation has become absolutely ridiculous, so ridiculous in the country that the only question one hears wherever one travels is: When is there going to be an election so that we may remove this moribund government from office and put in someone who will do some business? That is the only question one is asked on the highways.

The other day I listened to a conversation of a couple of members on the government side. They were congratulating themselves on the colourful performance of their leader and themselves. If that is a colourful performance, I do not know what the actual performance would be called. I know what I would call it, but we are not permitted to use that kind of language in parliamentary circles.

I should like to say to the Prime Minister, who does not happen to be in his seat just now, that he and I have been acquainted for a good many years, and I have always followed the habit of saying to his face what I have to say on any occasion. I want, for the idification of the Tory party and of the Prime Minister, to define very clearly where I stand on this grain board bill. I supported a grain board in 1922; I am prepared to support one now; I would have been prepared to support one in 1930 believing it was sound at that time to appoint a board. No one knows better than does the Prime Minister himself what happened in 1929. He knows quite well a mistake was made by the selling agents of the pools when they attempted to sell their own grain on British and foreign markets; he knows that because, on his return from London, he appointed Mr. McFarland to take charge of the selling agency. He made this appointment for no other purpose than to force the withdrawal of these selling agents and Mr. McFarland at once withdrew from foreign and British markets representatives of the Canadian pools. That was the inception of our difficulties. We had no difficulty between 1920 and 1930 in disposing of our grain. Let the members of the Conservative party just consider that fact.

Topic:   CANADIAN GRAIN BOARD
Subtopic:   PURCHASE, STORAGE AND MARKETING OF WHEAT AND OTHER GRAINS
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CON

William John Loucks

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LOUCKS:

Will the hon. member permit a question?

3602 COMMONS

Grain Board-Mr. Stewart (Edmonton)

Topic:   CANADIAN GRAIN BOARD
Subtopic:   PURCHASE, STORAGE AND MARKETING OF WHEAT AND OTHER GRAINS
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LIB

Charles A. Stewart

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Edmonton):

The hon.

member will have a chance to speak when I get through. I propose to say what I am going to say to him so that he will be under no misapprehension and not go into the back concessions and misrepresent Liberal members of this house.

That was the beginning of the difficulty, and John I. McFarland, one individual, was appointed as a selling agency for Canadian pool wheat. Later he was put into the market by this government for the purpose of stabilizing the market. Let me say at once that I have never on any occasion raised my voice in opposition to the action of the Prime Minister in that regard. I believe it was a wise one; I said repeatedly and I say now: If you are going to give to the secondary industries of this country the protection mentioned by the hon. member for Acadia (Mr. Gardiner), you must of necessity give assistance to the agricultural interests; otherwise you are going to .penalize and ruin them, and that is just about what the government has done now. It has brought the farmers to the verge of ruin, and now it has discovered, in the dying days of this session and this parliament, that a grain board is needed. I am told that the Prime Minister was applauded tremendously yesterday because he came to this decision before he is to die, that is die politically,-the Lord knows, I hope he lives a long time because he is exactly the same age as I am and I hope he and I have a good many years to live. Let me say this to my hon. friends: In the dying days of this parliament you have suddenly discovered you are in a mess-and you are in a mess and you have brought it on your own heads; the Canadian people fully realize you have brought it upon yourselves-and you aie going to appoint a grain board with power to sell the grain production of western Canada. The wheat farmer is entitled to bonus when, by the excessive tariffs you have imposed upon him and other basic producers, you make him pay through the nose for every article he buys.

The hon. member for Acadia was kind enough to say: If we are going to have monopolies, let the farmers have a monopoly. I would say to my hon. friend that I am doubtful if that is the way in which we are going to get out of our difficulties. One thing we have to do is not tighten our belts, not reduce production and drive out of business a whole army of people who have established themselves as wheat farmers. Put them out of business, John I. McFarland has said, and so has the Prime Minister. The only solution

they can think of is to reduce production. Canada has come to a pretty pass if that is the only solution the Tory party has for the troubles of the producer. I say here; I have said it on the hustings and I will continue to say: If you had inaugurated reasonable policies, paid your bonus, sold your wheat at whatever price you could get for it and got it off the market, you would not have been in the difficult situation you are in to-day. An hon. member pointed out that the farmer ought to have eighty cents a bushel at Fort William. Of course he should; if he is going to be able to buy more farm implements and machinery, then he will require more than eighty cents a bushel, and I speak very feelingly as one who has been farming all these years. If you do not bring the prices of primary and secondary products into conformity you are going to have difficulty. But what does this government do? They are the greatest copiers in the world. They have just witnessed what has happened in the United States, and now they start in to regiment secondary industry. My good friend the ex-Miinist.er of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Stevens) stands by excessive tariffs and then he goes up and down the country complaining .about the results of that policy, sayis we have got to regiment these people, bring them into line by law, because th'ey are doing what? Taking advantage of the policies that he has placed upon the statute books of this country. We have regiment-tation of every sort. I do not know whether a man is going to be allowed to go out and plough without a licence soon, if this keeps on. Every activity is going to foe regimented. It seems to me that there is just one person that this Tory government forget when they are introducing legislation, that is the consumer.

Topic:   CANADIAN GRAIN BOARD
Subtopic:   PURCHASE, STORAGE AND MARKETING OF WHEAT AND OTHER GRAINS
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LIB

Joseph Philippe Baby Casgrain

Liberal

Mr. CASGRAIN:

The forgotten man.

Topic:   CANADIAN GRAIN BOARD
Subtopic:   PURCHASE, STORAGE AND MARKETING OF WHEAT AND OTHER GRAINS
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LIB

Charles A. Stewart

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Edmonton):

He pays through the nose every time. It has always been so when a Tory government has been in office, ever since 1892 the same thing has happened, the same difficulties have arisen, and then a group of Tories in Montreal and Toronto will start an agitation for a union government. As soon as they have made a bad failure of carrying on their business they want a union government; I have seen that suggestion at the end of every Tory regime. Now we have the additional one that the people should tighten their belts and live more sparingly.

Topic:   CANADIAN GRAIN BOARD
Subtopic:   PURCHASE, STORAGE AND MARKETING OF WHEAT AND OTHER GRAINS
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CON

Henry Alfred Mullins

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MULLINS:

That is not correct.

The Royal Assent

Topic:   CANADIAN GRAIN BOARD
Subtopic:   PURCHASE, STORAGE AND MARKETING OF WHEAT AND OTHER GRAINS
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LIB

Charles A. Stewart

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Edmonton):

It is. My hon. friend will have an opportunity to state his ease when I am finished, which will be very soon. I am going to reserve some remarks until after the report of the committee on this bill. Let me reiterate that the government have brought this upon their own shoulders, it is the result of a mistaken policy that they have pursued, and pursued even ruthlessly. No man can do business in this country after this unless he has a licence, even if he is doing business legitimately. The hon. member for Muskoka-Ontario (Mr. McGibbon) interrupts; perhaps they will regiment the doctors next, and I suppose my hon. friend will support it. Perhaps it would not be a bad thing to regiment a few of them.

My position is this. I would have supported the grain board in 1031. I believe if a grain board had been appointed then we should not have 210,000,000 bushels of carryover facing us at the end of this crop year with a prospect of a crop of another 400,000,000. Reports now indicate that we shall probably have that. It is a mighty unpleasant prospect. We cannot allow the basic producers of this country to be ruined as they have been in the past, because they have no reserves left. They have got to have relief, and I reiterate that as long as those policies of the present government are in effect I am in favour of a bonus to the farmer, not only for his wheat but for his other products. He is entitled to it. Moreover I want that wheat sold and that overhang got rid of in order that as the new crop comes on the market we have an opportunity to get the markets of the world stabilized. Every wheat purchasing country in the world knows exactly how much wheat Canada has.

Topic:   CANADIAN GRAIN BOARD
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THE ROYAL ASSENT


A message was delivered by Major A. R. Thompson, Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod, as follows: Mr. Speaker, His Honour, the deputy of His Excellency the Governor General, desires the immediate attendance of this honourable house in the chamber of the honourable the Senate. Accordingly, the house went up to the Senate. And having returned. Mr. SPEAKER informed the house that the deputy of His Excellency the Governor General had been pleased to give in His Majesty's name the royal assent to the following bills: An act to amend and consolidate the acts relating to patents of invention.



An .act to amend the customs tariff. An act for the relief of Ray Leitman ATonoff. An act for the relief of Agnes Mabel Potter Brockweffil. Am act for the relief o,f John Henry Ley. An act for the relief of Emma Gelfman Goldman Stokolsky. An laidt for the relief of A'lbertine Roberte Montpellier de Beaujeu. An act for the relief of Mary Frances Isobell Brown Gauthier. An act for the relief of Amy May Wells Gorman. An act for the relief of Charles Michael McGuire. An act for the relief of Isabelle Hume Sadlier Rice. An Act for the relief of Nora Ellen Moore McCabe. An act for the relief of Hildur Emilia Hill Souey. An act for the relief oif Ethel Ellis Callow Randles. An act to create employment by public works and undertakings throughout Canada and to authorize the guarantee of certain railway equipment securities. Am iact to amend the Meat and Canned Foods Act. An act to amend the Interpretation Act. An act to amend the Special War Revenue Act. An act to amend The Excise Act, 1934. An act for granting to His Majesty certain sums of money for the public service of the financial year ending the 31st March, 1936.


CANADIAN GRAIN BOARD

PURCHASE, STORAGE AND MARKETING OP WHEAT AND OTHER GRAINS


The house resumed consideration of the motion of Right Hon. R. B. Bennett (Prime Minister) for the second reading of Bill No. 98, to provide for the constitution and powers of the Canadian grain board.


LIB

Charles A. Stewart

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Edmonton):

Mr. Speaker, when His Majesty's officer interrupted] I had almost concluded my observations concerning this matter, because as I stated earlier I shall reserve further remarks until a discussion of the bill in committee of the whole house. However in order to be 'clear I should like to make one or two further observations, and to indicate the detrimental effect upon the milling industry of Canada the policy pursued by the stabilization board under Mr. McFarland has had. Instead of giving the miller his wheat at world prices this board insisted upon receiving for the grain the price they paid for it. Bear in mind, we are not complaining about that price. We 'believe the wheat producer should foe ibonused, and particularly when by way of excessive prices and tariffs granted to secondary industries he is mulcted for so much. So long as that condition exists, nothing else can happen. It is the result of a policy vicious in all its ramifications. I said I could have some

3604 COMMONS

Grain Board-Mr. Stewart (Edmonton)

sympathy with my good friend the ex-Minister of Trade and Commerce if at once he would announce the real trouble about which he is complaining. But no, he does not do that; he simply wishes to regiment everybody.

In the milling industry the miller has been forced to pay for his wheat 7 or 8 cents a bushel above the world price, and has found himself in the unfortunate position that he could not sell his product in markets ini which formerly he did business. From year to year the condition has been aggravated. To-day we have the spectacle of milled foreign wheat being sent into Canada as flour, something which has never happened before. I suppose hon. gentlemen opposite will applaud a condition of that kind. They are the ones who always want to shut out products competing with anything produced or made in Canada, and I say they had better do something about imported flour. Hon. members will observe how as a result of this government's policy the vicious circle has widened. I am reliably informed that unless something is done for it the milling industry in Canada will be forced into bankruptcy. What should be done? As I stated previously we should bonus the farmer. Then we should sell our wheat at the world price, and get rid of it. It is useless for the Prime Minister or any other person to state that we are unable to sell our wheat. Had they been willing to buy goods in exchange, they could have sold our wheat. I say they could have sold it at all times, but they refused to take goods in exchange, have adopted the policy followed by other countries and have said "We cannot do anything because of the action of other countries." They accuse us of sitting by between the years 1920 and 1930, and doing nothing. Well, I say to hon. members opposite that they were going to blast their way into the markets of the world; they said they were going to sell our agricultural products. Retribution must follow.

If the leader, whom the hon. member for Regina (Mr. Turnbull) follows, Chose to make a speech in that city at this time, in view of the 1,500 gentlemen deposited at that place he would have no difficulty in obtaining a few men with white buttons who would form a parade. He 'had some difficulty in 1930, but he wobld have no difficulty in gathering them up now. The hon. member seemed quite perturbed because the condition he described has developed in Regina. I say to him it is the result of the policy he has been supporting for the last five years and that policy which I have no doubt he will continue to support.

Let us sell our wheat, and get ridi of it. Let us pay a bonus commensurate with the bonus the secondary industries are obtaining. If that is the way you are going to run the country, then I am for it. I must say however that I believe I have a better plan. Let us have no more of this nonsense; let us get out, sell our goods, do business and1 not talk about reducing production and tightening our belts. That sort of thing makes me see red. If that is the state to which the Canadian people have come, then God help us. If that is the condition, then I say we are impotent and1 helpless. I say in all sincerity that I would not support over night any government which would make such proposals either to its followers or to the people throughout the country.

You are a pretty badly wrecked institution now, but I have begun to have some doubts about the Prime Minister-and I wish he were in his seat so that I might direct my observations to him. I have had all sorts of sympathy for him, but after his performance of yesterday I have begun to have some doubts. We have been sitting here, taking things quietly knowing you were going to annihilation, and feeling it was only a matter of time when you would declare for an election. We have had sympathy for you in your troubles-although you brought most of them on yourselves. However after the experience of yesterday and after the challenge thrown out, do not think that we are going to sit back and eat humble pie-because we are not. We have a better way, and as soon as we have the opportunity we will put it into effect and bring back to Canada that prosperity to which she is entitled. It will not be any belt-tightening process, nor any silly suggestion of that kind.

Topic:   CANADIAN GRAIN BOARD
Subtopic:   PURCHASE, STORAGE AND MARKETING OP WHEAT AND OTHER GRAINS
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June 13, 1935