May 13, 1948

LIB

William Henry Golding (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Liberal

The DEPUTY CHAIRMAN:

It is not in order to discuss what is before a special committee set up for a special purpose. It is not in order to discuss what is before that committee, and the evidence taken before it, until the committee reports. Hon. members may discuss increases in prices, but should not quote the evidence.

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CCF

Ronald Stewart Moore

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

Mr. MOORE:

I was waiting for an opportunity to bow to your decision, Mr. Chairman. However, one did not present itself.

I should like to draw the attention of the committee to the striking similarity between the attitude taken by Mr. McLean in the prices committee and the attitude he took in respect of this same problem in 1934, when he gave evidence before the price spreads and mass buying commission of that year.

Mr. McLean was on the witness stand and was questioned with respect to the importation of beef from other countries. No doubt hon. members will recall that at that time the price of beef in Canada was very low. In fact, in many instances it failed to return to the farmer the actual cost of production and freight. The evidence before the price spreads and mass buying commission is as follows:

By the Chairman:

Q. As a friend of the farmer, do you think that is good practice?

That is, bringing in beef from other countries to Canada.

A. I do not think it a fair question to ask me.

Q. I think it is a very pertinent question, myself.

A. I do not think it is; I do not think it is fair.

Q. You have said, Mr. McLean-

A. I said we do it.

Q. -that you are just as much interested in the farmer's welfare as he is?

A. Yes.

Q. You said that several times?

A. Yes.

Q. You know that there is a surplus of beef in this country; you know the farmer is getting a very low price for his beef; I am asking you, if you think it is sound Canadian business to encourage the bringing in of frozen beef from other countries who happen for the moment to be able to sell it cheaper than we can, into this country, and deny the 'Canadian farmer the chance to supply the market?

A. I do not think it is my duty to protect the Canadian farmer; if he needs the protection, it is yours.

That is the very point I wish to bring to the attention of the Minister of Agriculture and the government. It was the duty of the government in 1934, which was of the political colour of hon. members to my right-now the Progressive Conservative party-to have protected the interests of the farmers at that time. It is now the duty of the government, which is

Supply-Agriculture

Liberal, to protect the interests of the farmers of today; because Mr. McLean admits the same attitude toward agriculture today as he took in 1934; and I submit that we are rapidly getting back to the conditions which existed at that time.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
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PC
CCF

Ronald Stewart Moore

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

Mr. MOORE:

That is the sad part of it.

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PC
CCF

Ronald Stewart Moore

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

Mr. MOORE:

We want to get together on it. If there is any difference between the two older parties it would be a very trifling difference that the ordinary worker would have difficulty in recognizing.

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PC

James MacKerras Macdonnell

Progressive Conservative

Mr. MACDONNELL (Muskoka-Ontario):

A difference in heart.

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CCF
CCF

Ronald Stewart Moore

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

Mr. MOORE:

Today in the Ottawa Journal there appeared the following article under the heading, "Milk No Gold Mine for the Farmer," which states in part:

It becomes evident that price is not the answer to this riddle, for in normal practice good prices should bring out production. Farmers are the first to admit they consider retail prices for dairy products as high as they should go, but claim their mounting costs have so outdistanced what they receive for their product that it no longer pays to expand or even produce all the milk their farms may be capable of producing. As a result many are producing only what they can with home labour and are selling surplus animals. There is a splendid market across the border for Canadian dairy cattle and they are crossing in numbers. The urge to produce for the home market simply is not there, despite what consumers consider too high prices.

I submit that the government today, particularly the Department of Agriculture, should see that something is done to increase returns to the farmers, without increasing costs to

the producers; because unusually high profits are going to those people who process farmers' production and then market it.

May I call it eleven o'clock?

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

Before you do, I think it would be the wish of the committee that I should, on behalf of the committee, express to the young lady who was referred to by the hon. member for Fort William a moment ago-

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LIB
LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

Yes, Miss Ruth Black- the appreciation we all feel for the very fine effort she put forth at the time of the exhibition in Fort William. I believe I, as minister, should write to her to that effect indicating the appreciation we feel.

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Hear, hear.

Item stands.

Progress reported.

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' BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

PC
LIB

Alphonse Fournier (Minister of Public Works; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. FOURNIER (Hull):

First we shall take up the second reading of Bill No. 221, for the winding up of the Penny Bank of Ontario and the repeal of the Penny Bank Act; next will be the second reading of Bill No. 248, to provide for carrying into effect the treaties of peace between Canada and Italy, Roumania, Hungary and Finland; next the resolution in the name of the Postmaster General concerning supplementary payments. Then, from eight to nine o'clock in the evening we shall consider private bills, following which we shall go into committee of supply, taking the estimates of the departments of transport, post office and labour.

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At eleven o'clock the house adjourned, without question put, pursuant to standing order. 5849-249J



Friday, May 14, 1948


May 13, 1948