March 12, 1952

LIB

Andrew Wesley Stuart

Liberal

Mr. Stuart (Charlotte):

I am pleased to answer that question, and I am so pleased that the hon. member has asked it. In the little county from which I come we have the biggest sardine industry in the world, and use millions of gallons of edible oils.

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LIB

George Alexander Cruickshank

Liberal

Mr. Cruickshank:

Do you want it tax free?

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LIB

Andrew Wesley Stuart

Liberal

Mr. Stuart (Charlotte):

That oil is brought in from the United States because we do not produce a sufficient quantity in Canada to take care of the requirements. That is soybean oil brought in from the United States; and if there is any suggestion made in any way to interfere with bringing it in duty free, at any time while I am a member in the House of Commons, I shall rise in my place and oppose it with all my strength.

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LIB

George Alexander Cruickshank

Liberal

Mr. Cruickshank:

And I will oppose, too.

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LIB

Andrew Wesley Stuart

Liberal

Mr. Stuart (Charlotte):

All right. Then, looking over the item a little farther down I see an item for something in excess of a million dollars, for-

Fruit, vegetables and maple products, and honey, Including grant of $5,000 to the Canadian Horticultural Council.

I find that the greatest part of that vote was to buy boxes, barrels and other containers for the berry producers of British Columbia. And I am not quarrelling with that.

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?

Some hon. Members:

Oh, oh.

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LIB

Andrew Wesley Stuart

Liberal

Mr. Stuart (Charlotte):

Just a moment, now;

I am not quarrelling with that. But down in the maritime provinces we have been buying boxes for a long time. Down in the maritimes the people engaged in the fishing industry

[Mr. Stuart (Charlotte) .1

need pails, hogsheads, tanks and other containers; but I have yet to hear any suggestion that there should be any subsidy paid in that connection.

I am not quarrelling with the people out there, if they need these things-but in that connection I find in the same book from which I read earlier a statement by the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Gardiner) which might be of interest:

In other words, the government has become responsible for the financing of the berries. We have an undertaking, both from the producers and the provincial government, which has been much concerned with the matter, that acreages will be cut down this year to a point where they will more nearly approach the possible market. I may say that the acreages have been cut down somewhat by the floods and they are undertaking to cut them even more.

And the last paragraph:

It is not a floor price that is being put under berries. As a matter of fact, the greater part of it is to pay for the containers the cost of which we guarantee.

That is a statement from the records of the Department of Agriculture, and I believe it is correct. Again I should like to say in passing that I fail to understand why every branch of agriculture requires this assistance, and why at the same time the fishing industry is completely ignored. This has been brought to the attention of the house by members from Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Quebec and British Columbia; but it is utterly impossible to make them understand that this industry, this enormous fishing industry we have in Canada, has much to do with the economy of the country. Half these people who go down to the sea in ships produce this food under conditions under which a farmer would turn his back. I am speaking from experience, because I have been on the water both winter and summer. I did not go out on the water for six or eight months, and then take my family south for the winter. I did not go on the water for six or eight months and then sit by the fireside for the remainder of the year. I was on the water twelve months of the year, and I believe I am in a position to understand just what these men have gone through, down through the years.

I do not believe it will be found that they are asking for any special privileges. That is not what they want. I have only two or three moments left before the six o'clock adjournment, and in that time I would point out that during this last year the sardine industry of the islands of Grand Manan, Campobello and Deer island was nearly a complete failure. Those fishermen took what remained of their lifetime earnings last winter,

and they purchased materials, the wood and twine necessary to build sardine weirs. Many ol them borrowed money. Last spring they built the weirs once again, but the industry was a complete failure.

This winter has been a very windy and tough one along the coast line. Those structures need repairing. But, again, because of the complete failure of the industry last year, the fishermen have not the cash to put back into it this year, and their credit is exhausted. It is a pretty bleak outlook.

This matter has been brought to the attention of the Department of Fisheries, and I hope that some way may be found to give assistance. This cannot continue indefinitely, a condition where one primary producer is singled out for special consideration, while at the same time another primary producer is

12, 1952

The Address-Mr. A. W. Stuart completely ignored. That set-up will not work in a democratic country. We must try to equalize the assistance given.

Before adjourning the debate may I say that, in looking over the situation, we must face the fact that these primary producers are the backbone of the country. Without them there is nothing. It is what they take out of the soil, out of the sea and out of the forests that brings about the prosperity enjoyed here.

On motion of Mr. Stuart (Charlotte) the debate was adjourned.

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BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Fournier (Hull):

Tomorrow we will continue this debate.

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At six o'clock the house adjourned, without question put, pursuant to standing order.



Thursday, March 13, 1952


March 12, 1952