August 30, 1946

LIB

James Angus MacKinnon (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. MacKINNON:

Yesterday I had one of the members of the board of Grain Commissioners here with me just for the purpose of assisting me in answering such questions, but when the item was passed yesterday this supplementary was overlooked and I think the official went home last night.

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CCF

George Hugh Castleden

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

Mr. CASTLEDEN:

What company is leasing the elevators?

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LIB

James Angus MacKinnon (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. MacKINNON:

We called for tenders some months ago for leasing the elevator, and the only tender we received was from McCabe Brothers.

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CCF

George Hugh Castleden

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

Mr. CASTLEDEN:

They had it before.

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LIB

James Angus MacKinnon (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. MacKINNON:

Yes. The tender was not altogether satisfactory to us, and we negotiated with them and got a little better arrangement. Their tender was the only one, and the elevator is now under lease to McCabe Brothers.

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CCF

George Hugh Castleden

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

Mr. CASTLEDEN:

At what price?

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LIB

James Angus MacKinnon (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. MacKINNON:

I have not that before me, but I shall be glad to get it for my hon. friend.

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PC

John Bracken (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. BRACKEN:

One other question in regard to the matter I raised a few moments ago with regard to the tentative international wheat agreement which was proposed three or four years ago-five years ago, I am told.

Can the minister now say whether that pro-_ posed agreement had the approval of this ' government, I rather thought it had, but I am not sure-or was it just a proposal that was advanced by officials of different governments?

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LIB

James Angus MacKinnon (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. MacKINNON:

Any reply I make on that is subject to correction, because I am speaking from memory. I do not remember any formal approval by this government of the result of the negotiations referred to. If there is some specific point on which my hon. friend wants information, I shall endeavour to give it to him.

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PC

John Bracken (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. BRACKEN:

My question is specific. I am asking, did this government approve the proposed international wheat agreement which was arranged in 1942, I think it was, by several governments? The minister said a little while ago that the officials had no power to bind the government, which everybody recognizes. But here was an agreement proposed and talked about as something good for the future, and I am asking whether it had the endorsa-tion or approval of this government. The minister does not need to answer now, but I should like an answer before the house adj ourns.

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LIB

James Angus MacKinnon (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. MacKINNON:

I might as well answer now. I have no recollection of any formal ratification or adoption by this government of any arrangement made by the delegates at the international wheat conference. It is the w'ish of the government, though, that an agreement be reached between the exporting and importing companies that will guarantee the wheat economy of Canada.

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PC

John Bracken (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. BRACKEN:

Will the minister say whether or not that arrangement had the endorsement of this government?

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LIB

James Angus MacKinnon (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. MacKINNON:

I have just answered that.

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PC

John Bracken (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. BRACKEN:

No, the minister said that he had no recollection of it.

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LIB

James Angus MacKinnon (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. MacKINNON:

I am not trying to split hairs or avoid answering. I am telling the hon. member the exact truth. I have no recollection of that having been done. I do not think there was any formal acceptance by this government of any international wheat agreement or of the recommendations that were made, but I do not want to be too positive about it.

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PC

John Bracken (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. BRACKEN:

Is not that question capable of a definite answer? Can the minister not look back over his records and then state

Supply-Trade and Commerce

definitely whether the agreement proposed wa3 approved by the government or not? He has told us that he is speaking from memory, but surely he can ascertain definitely whether the agreement was approved by this government or not. I do not want to embarrass the minister, but I should like to have an answer later.

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Item agreed to. Dominion bureau of statistics- 865. Statistics - further amount required, 1196,718.


CCF

Joseph William Burton

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

Mr. BURTON:

This further amount of S1E6,71S is in addition to the main vote we passed last night of 82,090,670 for statistics for 1946-47. Why does the minister find it necessary to ask for this further amount in ad*-dition to the large vote we passed for statistics last night, and which in itself was an increase of $4S2,070 over the previous year? Why was not this 8196,718 included in the main estimates tabled some months ago?

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LIB

James Angus MacKinnon (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. MacKINNON:

The main estimates were prepared towards the end of October last, many months ago. The increase is largely accounted for by an item of $129,488 which the bureau of statistics requires for the preparation of an index of deaths as of January 1, 1925 to date and continuing.

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CCF

Joseph William Burton

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

Mr. BURTON:

Did the minister not know last fall that this work was required to be done?

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August 30, 1946