George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)
I am sorry-between the combines branch and the minister.
Subtopic: FINAL REPORT OF MACQUARRIE COMMITTEE
I am sorry-between the combines branch and the minister.
The report, which will of course speak for itself, proposes that the present functions exercised by the combines branch-of starting a preliminary inquiry, making an investigation and then reporting to the minister-shall be divided between two bodies. One body will make the inquiry and investigation, and then the reporting body will consider the evidence and make the final report to the minister.
This is the last day before the Easter recess and the minister has indicated that legislation will be introduced. Inasmuch as consideration is being given to the form of the legislation, I should like to point out that when a similar proposal was put forward with respect to broadcasting it was turned down by the government as being a method that would not be satisfactory. It would seem that if it is consistent in the one case it would be consistent in the other. I hope the minister will bear that in mind in drafting the legislation he will bring forward.
Mr. Robert McCubbin (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Agriculture):
should like to make an announcement with respect to beef support prices.
The agricultural prices support board has been authorized to establish support prices for cattle on the basis of $25 per hundred pounds for good steers at Toronto, with appropriate differentials at other markets and
for other classes of cattle. This price will remain in effect until July 1, 1952. The results of the policy will be reviewed before that date and monthly thereafter with a view to providing a proper measure of support until the United States embargo against Canadian cattle is lifted or modified sufficiently, or other markets are found to enable trade in livestock or meat to be resumed.
Differentials between markets will be based on differences which have prevailed in normal trade practice. In addition, cattle will be grouped into broad classes, and prices of the different classes will be supported in fair relationship to the price established for good steers.
While the support price will undoubtedly help to stabilize the cattle market and thereby give farmers the confidence necessary to enable them to spread their deliveries over a longer period, it must be clear that our cattle marketing difficulties can only be overcome by the reopening of the United States market or by some other arrangement for the disposal of surplus meat. In the meantime it is hoped and expected that large numbers of cattle which would normally come to market in the next few months will be retained on farms. With a holdback of even 15 per cent to 20 per cent of normal marketings there should be practically no surplus, and such a holdback would give the farmer the advantage of additional returns due to gain in weight which cattle will make pending the reopening of the United States market.
One purpose of this support price is to discourage heavy sales while the United States border is closed and thus prevent a chaotic condition in the market. If farmers and marketing agencies co-operate in the management of deliveries, well-finished cattle should be readily absorbed at reasonable rates in relation to the support price.
To assist the agricultural prices support board and the officers of the marketing service of the Department of Agriculture during the next few months, a special management committee will be set up. This committee will deal with operating policy. Officers of the marketing service will be responsible for all details of operation. In addition to the management committee there will be an advisory committee to which all provincial governments may appoint representatives. These special arrangements have been made to ensure that the interests and needs of each area will be fully considered.
Has the management committee been appointed? If so what is its personnel? Are the producers of livestock represented on that committee or indeed on
the advisory committee? In the latter case I understand appointments may be made by the provincial governments.
The members of the
management committee have not all been appointed yet but as soon as they are appointed their names will be announced.
I hope consideration will be given to the appointment of producers.
Is consideration being given to stabilizing the dairy industry which finds itself in a predicament as a result of cattle being excluded from the United States market?
All these things are given consideration. I have no doubt this announcement will assist the dairy industry as well as the beef industry.
Will the parliamentary assistant to the Minister of Agriculture say when these floor prices on cattle will become effective?
They will come into effect immediately.
Mr. H. B. McCulloch (Pictou) moved:
That the second report of the standing committee on railways, canals and telegraph lines, presented to the house on Tuesday, April 8, be now concurred in.
Is it the pleasure of the house to adopt the motion?
Mr. Speaker, it does seem that there should be some explanation. Yesterday when this matter was brought forward some explanation was called for, and it should be forthcoming now.
The report was tabled.
The report was tabled
May I simply point out that I regard you, Mr. Speaker, as the Speaker of the house, and I was directing my remarks through you to the member moving the motion. If the reason for the motion is that the report has been tabled, and that is adequate, then I think the house could be told that by the member who is moving concurrence in the report.