Some hon. Members:
Get the facts
Subtopic: MARKETING OF NEWFOUNDLAND SALT CODFISH
Get the facts
In view of the minister's statement I think we should hear a few words from the hon. member from St. John's West.
Mr. Browne (St. John's West):
I should like to address a question1 to the Minister of Fisheries for the purposes of clarification. Will the minister state whether the fisheries prices support board is watching the market and the prices paid the fishermen-not the prices paid in the foreign1 markets, but prices paid to the fishermen-so they can come to the assistance of the fishermen if they are not getting suitable prices for their fish, as I pointed out in my address the other day?
The answer is definitely yes, and has been ever since I have been Minister of Fisheries.
Right Hon. J. G. Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture) moved
that the house go into committee at the next sitting to consider the following resolution:
That it is expedient to bring in a measure to amend the Prairie Farm Assistance Act, 1939, to exclude certain areas of land from the provisions of section one of chapter forty-seven of the statutes of 1950 and thus render such areas eligible for assistance.
His Excellency the Governor General, having been made acquainted with the subject matter of this resolution, recommends it to the consideration of the house. But, under the circumstances, as
has been suggested from the far corner of the house, I think I should make an explanation.
Order. This would be an unusual procedure.
This is an unusual day.
It would be an unusual procedure to have an explanation made at this time. I will allow it only with the unanimous consent of the house.
Mr. Speaker, the objective in making the statement at the moment is that I think it was understood by the house some days ago that probably no new legislation would be brought in at this stage. I only wish to say, with regard to that, this measure was mentioned early in the session and was on the list of legislation which was to have been brought down, but it was dependent upon information which had to be gathered in the Peace river country particularly, and all across the northern part of the province of Alberta. I wish only to read to the house a statement which I made to the committee in 1950 when the Prairie Farm Assistance Act was being amended. It is found on page 72 of the minutes of proceedings and evidence of the committee:
I can give more assurance to my hon. friends. Since we met this morning and before the meeting this afternoon, we had a meeting of council and I discussed this matter with council, and they agreed with what I suggested. They think it should be retroactive in order to make the check that we want to make; and they are also committed to the undertaking I have given to the committee that if we find it is creating hardships which should not be created under the spirit of the act, we shall have amending legislation next year.
In order to explain what that had to do with my request may I say that we brought in legislation, as the house will recall, in 1950, which provided that prairie farm assistance would not be paid on certain lands which were in areas that had been open for homesteading prior to 1940, but had not been settled upon. At that time it was
brought to our attention by members from the province of Alberta that there was a new area in the northern part of the province which should not come under that restriction. We gave an undertaking at that time that we would have our inspectors examine into that area carefully. We have had that examination made and we think that the payment should be made in the section of the country which is north of township 60. That will include the areas right across the north of the provinces in which new settlement has been made.
The payments are made under this legislation in December. If the legislation were agreed to now it would not be necessary for us at a later date to come back and make retroactive payments in connection with the year 1951. These cannot be made under the act as it now stands. Therefore I suggest that just a simple amendment be put in which says in effect that these payments may be made north of township 60 on lands which have been settled since January 1, 1941. I think that will meet the wishes of those who brought the question up during the time the matter was being considered in the committee on agriculture in 1950. I do not think it would necessitate any discussion on the general provisions of the Prairie Farm Assistance Act. If it were going to be the wish of the house, when the matter is considered, that there should be a discussion on the whole act, then I am afraid I would have to allow the legislation to fall by the wayside because I do not think there is time to do that this session.
Mr. J. G. Diefenbaker (Lake Centre):
intended that the restriction that now applies in the amendment passed last year will continue in Saskatchewan? If so, it is most unjust to the farmers in Saskatchewan who are in a position similar to those in Alberta who will get the benefit of the Prairie Farm Assistance Act.
In answer to the question, it does not have that effect. It is township 60 right across the provinces.
Mr. P. E. Wright (Melfort):
Mr. Speaker, the minister knows perfectly well, coming from the west, that the line does not run straight east and west with regard to the settlement of these three prairie provinces. It runs from the northwest to the south, and the area affected in Saskatchewan is mostly between 45 and 60. Also the area in Manitoba is in that area, after this legislation passes.
Next session, next session.
In answer to what has been said, and so that we may have an understanding of the position, there has been a complete examination made of the four provinces of British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Alberta and Manitoba; and I think it can be very clearly shown, when this bill is before the house, that there is not anything at the moment along the line suggested by the hon. member for Melfort (Mr. Wright). If any such thing should happen in the future, of course, the house is still here to take care of it.
Prairie Farm Assistance Act