May 16, 1955

CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS

INQUIRY AS TO SUPER CONTINENTAL SERVICE STOPPING AT BRANDON NORTH


On the orders of the day:


LIB

George Carlyle Marler (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Hon. George C. Marler (Minister of Transport):

Mr. Speaker, in answer to a question some time ago by the hon. member for Brandon-Souris (Mr. Dinsdale) and in response to personal inquiries by the hon. member for Portage-Neepawa (Mr. Weir), I informed the house that it was not the intention to make Brandon North a stop for the Super Continental.

The Canadian National Railways now advise that in the light of actual experience of two weeks' operation of the new train the management are satisfied that the Super Continental can make a conditional stop at Brandon North without interfering with schedules. Accordingly, it has been decided that a conditional stop will be made at Brandon North for passengers to or from Nakina and east, or to or from Edmonton and west.

Topic:   CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS
Subtopic:   INQUIRY AS TO SUPER CONTINENTAL SERVICE STOPPING AT BRANDON NORTH
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CANADA ELECTIONS ACT

INQUIRY RESPECTING REINTRODUCTION OF AMENDING BILL


On the orders of the day:


CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

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

Mr. Stanley Knowles (Winnipeg North Centre):

Mr. Speaker, under the provisions of citation 348 in Beauchesne, second edition, may I ask the hon. member for Quebec South (Mr. Power) if he intends to reintroduce at this session of parliament his bill to amend the Canada Elections Act with respect to election expenses?

Topic:   CANADA ELECTIONS ACT
Subtopic:   INQUIRY RESPECTING REINTRODUCTION OF AMENDING BILL
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LIB

Louis-René Beaudoin (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

Before the hon. member answers the question, I believe the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre has referred the Chair to citation 348.

Topic:   CANADA ELECTIONS ACT
Subtopic:   INQUIRY RESPECTING REINTRODUCTION OF AMENDING BILL
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CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

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

Mr. Knowles:

Citation 348 in the second edition, sir.

Topic:   CANADA ELECTIONS ACT
Subtopic:   INQUIRY RESPECTING REINTRODUCTION OF AMENDING BILL
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LIB

Louis-René Beaudoin (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

I have always understood that a question to be asked of a member had to do with affairs of the house with which he was connected, and was not asking him if he was about to introduce a bill in the future.

50433-239i

Inquiries of the Ministry I think the hon. member under the circumstances should not ask the question of the hon. member for Quebec South. He can telephone him tomorrow.

Topic:   CANADA ELECTIONS ACT
Subtopic:   INQUIRY RESPECTING REINTRODUCTION OF AMENDING BILL
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LIB

Charles Gavan Power

Liberal

Hon. C. G. Power (Quebec South):

Mr. Speaker, I am quite willing to answer the question.

Topic:   CANADA ELECTIONS ACT
Subtopic:   INQUIRY RESPECTING REINTRODUCTION OF AMENDING BILL
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LIB

Louis-René Beaudoin (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

I am sorry. I know the hon. member is always willing to answer, but if we were to follow this course I am afraid it would lead to breaking the rules, and I do not think we should allow that.

Topic:   CANADA ELECTIONS ACT
Subtopic:   INQUIRY RESPECTING REINTRODUCTION OF AMENDING BILL
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CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

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

Mr. Knowles:

Then maybe the hon. member will introduce his bill at the earliest opportunity.

Topic:   CANADA ELECTIONS ACT
Subtopic:   INQUIRY RESPECTING REINTRODUCTION OF AMENDING BILL
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LIB

Hugues Lapointe (Minister of Veterans Affairs)

Liberal

Hon. Hugues Lapointe (Minister of Veterans Affairs) moved

that the house go into committee of supply.

Topic:   CANADA ELECTIONS ACT
Subtopic:   INQUIRY RESPECTING REINTRODUCTION OF AMENDING BILL
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IRRIGATION

SOUTH SASKATCHEWAN RIVER

PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. J. G. Diefenbaker (Prince Albert):

In

rising to take advantage of the opportunity that the making of this motion permits, I wish to refer to the statement that has been made by the right hon. Minister of Agriculture, or rather the right hon. Minister of Trade and Commerce. It is sometimes difficult to know which department looks after which, with the distribution of marketing as between these two departments.

Topic:   IRRIGATION
Subtopic:   SOUTH SASKATCHEWAN RIVER
Sub-subtopic:   PROJECT
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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. Gardiner:

It has never been anywhere else but there.

Topic:   IRRIGATION
Subtopic:   SOUTH SASKATCHEWAN RIVER
Sub-subtopic:   PROJECT
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PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

It is a statement that will be received with deep regret on the part of the farming population generally that depends for its livelihood upon the marketing of wheat. Indeed, by the action of this government, on the basis of purchasing power during the period 1935 to 1939, farmers will be receiving on the farm a price of about 58 cents a bushel. When agriculture is not prosperous the Canadian people cannot be prosperous, for one-seventh of the population is directly dependent on agriculture and a further large segment of our population engaged in industry, transportation, etc., is directly affected. It has been estimated that farmers purchase for the average family four times more than does the urban family. I know that there will be a profound sense of disappointment on the part of western farmers when they are advised that the amount that they are to receive in the cutoff of the pool will be slightly over 6 cents a bushel. What is happening follows in consequence of what we of the opposition had

Wheat

warned against for several years-loss of markets arising through the failure of this government to act, when the portents and indications demanded effective action.

The wheat producer is receiving a disappointing final payment, one of the reasons being that failure to act. Since 1950 we of the opposition have been endeavouring to interest the government in the convening of a British commonwealth trade conference. The answer on every occasion has been that such a course was unnecessary. In the 1953 election the optimistic ministers of the government contended that there was nothing to be concerned about regarding the loss of markets and that Canada had so many markets she could scarcely produce enough to meet their demands.

We find ourselves now in a position dangerous to the economy of this country. The minister's attitude today was far removed from that ultra-optimism he exuded in the past. Today his attitude was one of realism based on experience. The failure to take the initiative during the last several years, based upon danger signals which indicated the threat and the peril to the Canadian wheat farmer directly and indirectly to the people of Canada, is now bringing its reward. I asked the minister how much were the carrying charges on the wheat in storage last year, and he said that was a question for the order paper. It is extremely hard to get answers to that question, Mr. Speaker. For a considerable length of time we have tried to ascertain what those carrying charges are. If I took him down correctly, the minister said that the increase in the carrying charges in the last year now being wound up was 8J cents per bushel. What those carrying charges are, we do not know. Three or four years ago they amounted to $17 million a year.

Two years or two and one-half years ago my recollection is that, on the basis of computation although not on information received from the responsible minister or the department, they amounted to some $25 million. That is a tremendous amount. On the basis of information that one is able to secure, I believe it is safe to say that the Canadian farmer in the last year has had taken from him in storage charges the amount of at least $65,000 a day. Whether or not those figures be correct, I do not know; but the amount has been tremendous and there are still in the elevators of this country large quantities of wheat which, to all intents and purposes, may be unmarketable. For the last year or so members on this side of the house have been endeavouring to get the minister to place before the house and the country a picture of the so-called aggressive policy for

the marketing of the farmers' wheat, but we have not been able to secure any information.

On May 12 the Canadian Press reported the situation. It is one dangerous in its import, one that challenges the Canadian economy. The report reads:

Canada's share of an expanding world wheat market has declined while that of the United States has increased. Thus the United States has recaptured the lead from Canada as the world's top exporter.

That is all within the last few years. What is this government's policy? You cannot blame the wheat board because the wheat board acts under the express direction of the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Howe) and the ministers of this government. What is that policy? What has been done? What active measures are being taken? My friend the hon. member for Assiniboia asked this afternoon and he received the usual illusory, uncertain, indefinite answer which indicated that the question might be answered in a general way by saying that no one need concern himself; for after all, this government knows best and things will turn out all right in the end. The Canadian Press report continues:

In the first eight months of the current crop year which began last August, total exports from the four major shippers-Canada, the U.S., Australia and Argentina-increased by 102,700,000 bushels to 517,500,000 from 414,800,000 a year ago, the bureau of statistics reported today.

Canada's shipments increased by 1,800,000 bushels out of an increase of 102,700,000 bushels during the course of the year. What of this government, that should have acted to provide markets for Canadian wheat, particularly when it enjoys a reputation for being the best wheat in the world? The report goes on to say this:

However, Canada's shipments increased only by 1,800,000 bushels to 172,700,000-

[DOT]-while those of the U.S. jumped by 64,200,000 to 189,900,000. The U.S. has led the world in wheat exports in most post-war years but in the first eight months of last year was far behind Canada-

The United States is trying to find markets. The Canadian government is hoping to find markets.

Topic:   IRRIGATION
Subtopic:   SOUTH SASKATCHEWAN RIVER
Sub-subtopic:   PROJECT
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May 16, 1955