September 26, 1945

?

An hon. MEMBER:

How about the Liberal government in Ottawa?

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LIB

Walter Adam Tucker

Liberal

Mr. TUCKER:

If my hon. friend had been here he would know that no one fought for the farmers harder or more effectively than the Liberal group from western Canada in previous houses. Now I should like to read the opinion of Mr. Plumer, chairman of the Alberta wheat pool, in regard to the matter. In the Calgary Herald of September 20 he is reported as having said:

The Address-Mr. Tucker

The government policy of fixing wheat prices for a period of five years is a step in the right direction. A staple wheat price is important, but proper relationship of prices is even more so.

That is a statement I endorse most heartily. If there is one thing we Liberals of western Canada have urged upon the government of this country more than anything else, it is that the farmers are entitled to a fair share of the national income; and when the Agricultural Prices Support Act was written into the statutes of this country we thought we had established the efficacy of our work for all the country to see. Mr. Plumer goes on:

Prairie farmers, I believe, will generally approve of the government's policy as announced, providing there is no increase in the price of things that the farmer must buy.

Again we have the principle of parity prices, which is accepted in the statutes of this country as a direction to the board which is to administer these matters and establish those floor prices. I continue:

General reaction of the individual farmer seemed to be that the guarantee of a stated floor price for wheat over the five-year period of not less than $1 a bushel was a step in the right direction and would assure a balanced market for five years at least.

I repeat that there was no suggestion in the government announcement that under present conditions the initial, and therefore floor, price would be less than $1.25, basis lakehead or Vancouver. The only suggestion was that farmers could rest assured that no matter what happened-prices might fall; the prices of the things the farmer had to buy might decrease-the farmers could always rely upon a floor price or initial payment of $1 per bushel. As I understand the attitude of the farmers, it is fair. They want parity prices; they want their fair share of the national income, but also they want to have some idea as to what they can absolutely count on, regardless of what happens in other directions, just as other branches of economic activity want to know what they can count on. So while under present conditions the initial price is $1.25, the farmer may be assured that for the next five years, whatever happens, it will not be lower than $1 basis lakehead or Vancouver, subject to the overriding principle I have mentioned already, which has been written into the law of the land and is the accepted policy of the government.

The United Farmers of Alberta also approve. Mr. Church had this to say:

"The United Farmers of Alberta have consistently sought the establishing of floor prices on all major farm products, and will therefore welcome the announcement of the dominion government of a minimum price for wheat of

one dollar a bushel basis Fort William for the next five years. There will be general satisfaction among farmers, particularly in view of the announcement that a price of $1.55 has been set for wheat bought by Britain. It must not be overlooked that the world price has^ been higher for some time than the $1.25 initial payment being made by the wheat board.

"The U.F.A. believes that stability in the price of farm products will be a great factor in post-war reconstruction and that even if it should require a bonusing policy to maintain that stability all Canada would benefit by it."

Here again we have an endorsation of the policy of the government already written into the statutes of this country.

In concluding my remarks on this subject I should like to say to hon. members from other parts of Canada that, as Mr. Wesson pointed out, it is appreciated in western Canada that under the present unusual conditions we could take advantage of the needs of our customers-though probably we should have to finance it ourselves-and get more from them than $1.55. But I would ask the country to note the attitude of the farmers of western Canada, as represented by their authorized leaders. They do not want to take advantage of the temporary need of their allies and friends overseas. All they ask is that the people overseas should remember, when days may be different, that the farmers of Canada took this attitude, and as the representative of a farming constituency it is an attitude of which I for one am very proud.

I do not intend to spend much time this afternoon on my hon. friends of the C.C.F. party. In all sincerity, however, as a resident of Saskatchewan, I should like to say that they held out to the people of that province the vision of a new era there. They were going to extend and broaden social services, and were going to pay the increased cost not by higher taxation but by going into business and making profits. We are waiting with a great deal of interest for the C.C.F. party to carry out the promises it made to the people of Saskatchewan.

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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. COLDWELL:

Give them a little time.

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LIB

Walter Adam Tucker

Liberal

Mr. TUCKER:

They have been in power almost a year and a half now, and with the exception of their horse meat packing plant, their brickyard, their fish filleting plant, the woollen mill, which is not much more than started as yet, and the shoe factory, which they have only talked about so far, nothing has been done as yet that amounts to anything in carrying out their programme.

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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. COLDWELL:

What about the protective legislation the big interests are asking to have disallowed?

The Address-Mr. Tucker

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LIB

Walter Adam Tucker

Liberal

Mr. TUCKER:

The Liberal party passed legislation to protect the farmers which those so-called big interests also petitioned or urged to have disallowed; my hon. friend should not forget that.

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CCF

Thomas John Bentley

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. BENTLEY:

Will the hon. gentleman permit a correction?

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Order.

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CCF

Thomas John Bentley

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. BENTLEY:

I want to tell the hon. member-

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LIB

James Horace King (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

I would remind the hon. member that when an hon. member has the floor there should be no interruption without his permission.

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CCF

Thomas John Bentley

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. BENTLEY:

I am asking his permission. I just want to ask the hon. member-

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?

An hon. MEMBER:

Ask your question.

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LIB

Walter Adam Tucker

Liberal

Mr. TUCKER:

The custom in this house is that questions may be asked but a speech should not be interjected into another member's remarks.

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CCF

Thomas John Bentley

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. BENTLEY:

Does the hon. member know that the horse meat packing plant at Swift Current is not owned by the Saskatchewan government but by a cooperative?

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LIB

Walter Adam Tucker

Liberal

Mr. TUCKER:

I knew that, but the C.C.F. were taking so much credit for it that I felt I had to refer to it. If I had not, I would probably have been corrected by some C.C.F. member. They seem to be so proud of some of the things they have done that I feel sure if I had not mentioned it I would have been corrected by five or six members.

I venture to suggest that they will not get anything in the way of profits out of these enterprises with which to expand the social services they have led the people to believe they will get. Outside of that, the only thing they have done is to expand social services at the cost of increased taxation. The Libera! party had a proud record in Saskatchewan in the extending of social services.

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Oh, oh.

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LIB

Walter Adam Tucker

Liberal

Mr. TUCKER:

Their record met with the approval of the people for a long time. However, my hon. friends held out a vision of a new way of handling things whereby these services would be paid for in some mysterious way rather than by having to take money out of their pockets, and the people turned temporarily from the Liberal party. But I would point out to hon. members that there are only two C.C.F. members sitting in this house from Saskatchewan who, like my hon. friend the Minister of Agriculture and myself, had the support of the majority of the people

voting. That does not look as though the people of Saskatchewan have swallowed completely the C.C.F. fantasies that were held out to them.

As I was going to say, the Liberal party were expanding social services in Saskatchewan as fast as the money could be obtained, so that is nothing new. What we have had now from the C.C.F. government there is an increase in the gas tax and an increase in the licence fees for farmers' trucks. I ask hon. gentlemen: is that the new era they had in mind when they held out these glowing promises to the people? This is the thought that is in the minds of the people of Saskatchewan to-day; do the C.C.F. mean what they say when they speak of the new era, when they talk about taking over businesses and making profits in order to advance the social welfare of the people, or are they just talking about it in order to catch votes?

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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. COLDWELL:

If we did not believe it we would join the Liberal party.

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LIB

Walter Adam Tucker

Liberal

Mr. TUCKER:

I say to my hon. friends that if we did not have a better record in Saskatchewan than they have, we would not have been returned steadily for twenty-five years. I warn my hon. friends that if they do not get going with their programme and produce some of the things they promised the people, they will not be re-elected time after time.

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CCF

William Irvine

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. IRVINE:

Is my hon. friend saying that the farmers of Canada are now receiving ninety per cent of parity?

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September 26, 1945