Hon. H. A. BRUCE (Parkdale):
The question of payment is of secondary importance to the stakes at issue. Let it never be said that the great Dominion of Canada was found wanting on the question of profit and loss. To-day is not the time to reduce production in foodstuffs when the existing needs of the empire are so apparent, and when the subsequent needs of a prostrated Europe stand out, even now, in bold relief. Let us produce and continue to produce. What is the wisdom and what the nature of that which dictates a policy of underproduction? What is to be gained, apart from idleness, from a policy of underproduction?
The nazi machine of war was forged, not through monetary manipulation but through production-yes, primary production. The destruction of natural wealth, as, for example, the so-called "revalorization" policy with respect to coffee in Brazil, involving as it did the destruction of the major part of coffee produced in south America, was intended to sustain an artificial price level. A similar policy with respect to cotton in the southern states was carried on regardless of the increased production of cotton in India, the Sudan and Egypt. Moreover, the withholding of wheat from the world market in 1929-30 proved a fallacious policy on the part of the Canadian government, in view of the fact that Canada had no monopoly in wheat production.
The withholding of wheat from the people of Great Britain except on a cash or credit basis can hardly be identified with a total war effort.
To-day we are not concerned with price or cost of production. We are concerned with winning the war. On the economic front, the supreme and sublime gesture has come from the United States. Great of heart and forever loyal to their antecedents, the people of the United States have cast in their lot with the people of Britain. In pursuance of this attitude of a nation, not at war, is there any logic or any explanation sufficiently convincing to condone the attitude of the Canadian government with respect to wheat?