May 30, 1944

LIB

Douglas Charles Abbott (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Finance)

Liberal

Mr. ABBOTT:

A ceiling was placed on hay in the western provinces in November of 1943; I think in British Columbia, at the request of the provincial agricultural authorities, because the price was running up too fast.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE
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NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

That just shows a system of trial and error.

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LIB

Douglas Charles Abbott (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Finance)

Liberal

Mr. ABBOTT:

As to the question of salaries, I can get my hon. friend the break-down which he asks. He will remember, not I think this session but in the last session, questions were asked-one, I know, by the hon. member for Lake Centre-as to the number of officials of the board in certain salary categories. That answer was given; it involved a considerable amount of *work; and I wonder if my hon. friend would be satisfied if I have the officials of the board check to see if there is any substantial variation from that return, which was tabled, I think, towards the latter part of last session. I doubt if there has been; but if he insists on the information, of course we can obtain it.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE
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NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

It is a very large item-nine millions. I have not seen the return.

Mr, ABBOTT: Perhaps my hon. friend

could let that stand.

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NAT
LIB

Douglas Charles Abbott (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Finance)

Liberal

Mr. ABBOTT:

I will send him a copy, and if he thinks it should be amplified perhaps we might do that.

Now as to the retention of lawyers, a certain number of lawyers are retained on a full-time basis by the board here in Ottawa and in the regional offices. There are regional enforcement counsel. I will get for my hon. friend the number of these lawyers.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE
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NAT
LIB

Douglas Charles Abbott (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Finance)

Liberal

Mr. ABBOTT:

And the names, and the salaries which they are paid. As to the local prosecutions, these are handled, as I understand government prosecutions have been handled for a great many years, by counsel retained by the Department of Justice, and I have no doubt that that practice was followed.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE
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NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

Why

should not the regional counsel handle it?

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LIB

Douglas Charles Abbott (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Finance)

Liberal

Mr. ABBOTT:

I am informed that the number of prosecutions has now risen to some five thousand a year, some of them it is true, of a minor character.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE
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NAT
LIB

Douglas Charles Abbott (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Finance)

Liberal

Mr. ABBOTT:

And that the number of local regional counsel we have, with the other duties they are required to perform, is simply inadequate to begin to handle these cases, which are scattered through different parts of the country.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE
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NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

That is not the whole picture. Most of these cases take about ten minutes each.

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LIB

Douglas Charles Abbott (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Finance)

Liberal

Mr. ABBOTT:

I have not had any personal

experience.

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NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

Neither have I, but I have noticed that most of the defendants plead guilty, and fines are imposed; in default of paying they go to prison. They come up in batches regularly in the police court at Fredericton. I wonder, if a man had ten cases in the one docket, how much he would be paid for the couple of hours that he spends on that. So much a case?

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE
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LIB

Douglas Charles Abbott (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Finance)

Liberal

Mr. ABBOTT:

I cannot say that. I am advised that the costs are fixed by the Department of Justice.

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NAT
LIB

Douglas Charles Abbott (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Finance)

Liberal

Mr. ABBOTT:

I really have no information. But they are settled by the Department of Justice, not by the wartime prices and trade board.

War Appropriation-Finance

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE
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LIB

Ralph Melville Warren

Liberal

Mr. WARREN:

In reference to grading of poultry, as to which the hon. member for York-Sunbury seems to be so terribly concerned, I wonder whether in the cases he has in mind the producers themselves have not been somewhat at fault. Certainly the officials of the wartime prices and trade board would have nothing to do in the matter of grading, and if control is to be exercised as far as the consumer and the producer are concerned we must have some basis. If we are to have ceiling prices we would naturally have those prices established, or ought to, according to grade. [DOT]

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE
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An hon. MEMBER:

How can you?

Mr. WARREN i If they are graded, why not? What is to hinder establishing ceiling prices according to grade?

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May 30, 1944