December 10, 1957

HOUSE OF COMMONS DEBATES

OFFICIAL REPORT


queen's printer and controller of stationery OTTAWA, 1958



Tuesday, December 10, 1957


BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

ANNOUNCEMENT OF ADJOURNMENT OVER HOLIDAY SEASON

PC

John George Diefenbaker (Prime Minister)

Progressive Conservative

Right Hon. J. G. Diefenbaker (Prime Minister):

Mr. Speaker, the right hon. Leader of the Opposition (Mr. St. Laurent) asked me what the general plans were with regard to the holiday adjournment. Naturally the desire of the government was to expedite to the limit the business of the house with a view to completion before Christmas, and that was made apparent on a number of occasions. I am not going to enter into the reasons why that now cannot reasonably be anticipated or expected.

Because of that fact, and in order to enable hon. members to make their arrangements accordingly, it is my intention to move that at the conclusion of the day on December 21, at six p.m., the house be adjourned and that it return on Friday, the 3rd day of January, at eleven a.m.

There may be some question raised as to the reason we should not have that entire week, but the position of affairs is such that it will be necessary to move for further interim supply at that time, and any further extension would place the financial situation in a position that is not to be desired. I thought the house should have the information respecting the intention of the government at the earliest possible date, so all members would be able to spend Christmas and New Year's at home.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF ADJOURNMENT OVER HOLIDAY SEASON
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LIB

Louis Stephen St-Laurent (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Righi Hon. L. S. Si. Laurent (Leader of the Opposition):

Mr. Speaker, do I understand that the Prime Minister is having the notice that appeared in Votes and Proceedings of last night corrected?

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF ADJOURNMENT OVER HOLIDAY SEASON
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PC

John George Diefenbaker (Prime Minister)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

I should have explained that. It was originally intended to have the house recalled on January 2, but it was brought to my attention that many hon. members desire to have their New Year's day free for their celebrations. I am speaking of my hon. friends from the province of Quebec in particular, although the practice is carried into western Canada, who set New Year's day aside above many others, and for that reason the alteration is to be made.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF ADJOURNMENT OVER HOLIDAY SEASON
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CCF

Harold Edward Winch

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

Mr. Harold E. Winch (Vancouver East):

Mr. Speaker, may I have the privilege of asking the Prime Minister a question arising out of his statement. What consideration has been given to members from British Columbia who, leaving on the day suggested for adjournment, can only get home by Christmas day? Could not the date be advanced in view of the position of those members? If not, will the government make provision that members who five so far away can fly home and have their expenses covered by a vote of the house?

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF ADJOURNMENT OVER HOLIDAY SEASON
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PC

John George Diefenbaker (Prime Minister)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

Mr. Speaker, I realized that argument would be advanced and should be met. Provision will be made in a vote to be placed before parliament to cover all proper transportation costs.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF ADJOURNMENT OVER HOLIDAY SEASON
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AGRICULTURE

ANNOUNCEMENT OF APPOINTMENT OF ROYAL COMMISSION TO INVESTIGATE PRICE SPREADS

PC

John George Diefenbaker (Prime Minister)

Progressive Conservative

Right Hon. J. G. Diefenbaker (Prime Minister):

Mr. Speaker, I wish at this time to make an announcement in regard to the royal commission on price spreads. With leave of the house I will table the order in council after reading from the appropriate sections.

The chairman will be Dr. Andrew Stewart of Edmonton, president of the University of Alberta, formerly lecturer in agricultural economics at the University of Manitoba and dean of business affairs at the University of Alberta. The other members of the commission will be Mrs. W. R. Walton Jr., of Toronto, a member of the board of directors of the Canadian Association of Consumers since its inception in 1947; Dr. W. M. Drummond of Bristol, Quebec, and Guelph, Ontario, head of the department of agricultural economics of the Ontario Agricultural College; Mr. Howard MacKichan of Halifax, Mr. Romeo Martin of Montreal, Mr. Bernard Couvrette of Montreal and Mr. Cleve Kidd of Toronto.

The commission is appointed under part I of the Inquiries Act, their powers being to inquire into the extent and the causes of the spread between the prices received by producers of food products of agricultural and fisheries origin and the prices paid by consumers therefor; to determine whether or not such price spreads in general or in particular cases are fair and reasonable or are

2124 HOUSE OF

Royal Commission on Price Spreads excessive, in relation to the services rendered, to make such recommendations as they deem appropriate if any such price spreads are found to be excessive, and to examine the adequacy of price information currently available.

I think I should also refer to the other members of the commission whose names I have placed before the house and give something of their background and present occupations. Mr. Romeo Martin of Montreal is a graduate of the Oka Institute and is secretary general of the co-operative federation of Quebec; Mr. Howard MacKichan, general manager of the united maritimes fishermen's co-operative; Mr. Bernard Couvrette, of Montreal, who has his own wholesale grocery firm and is a past president of the Canadian Wholesale Grocers' Association; Mr. Cleve Kidd, Toronto, president of the Ontario federation of labour and formerly general economic adviser of the united steel workers.

I mention the personnel, sir, to indicate the high standard of those who have undertaken, at personal sacrifice, to discharge the important responsibilities which will fall on them.

Topic:   AGRICULTURE
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF APPOINTMENT OF ROYAL COMMISSION TO INVESTIGATE PRICE SPREADS
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LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Official Opposition House Leader; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Hon. Lionel Chevrier (Laurier):

I gather that the order in council to which the Prime Minister has referred is a short one. Would he give consideration to publishing it in Hansard?

Topic:   AGRICULTURE
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF APPOINTMENT OF ROYAL COMMISSION TO INVESTIGATE PRICE SPREADS
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PC

John George Diefenbaker (Prime Minister)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

If that is agreeable to the house, certainly. It is not a long order in council.

Topic:   AGRICULTURE
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF APPOINTMENT OF ROYAL COMMISSION TO INVESTIGATE PRICE SPREADS
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PC

Daniel Roland Michener (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Speaker:

Is it the pleasure of the house that permission be given for this order in council to be printed in Hansard?

Topic:   AGRICULTURE
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF APPOINTMENT OF ROYAL COMMISSION TO INVESTIGATE PRICE SPREADS
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?

Some hon. Members:

Agreed.

[For text of order in council, see appendix, page 2171.]

Topic:   AGRICULTURE
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF APPOINTMENT OF ROYAL COMMISSION TO INVESTIGATE PRICE SPREADS
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CCF

Hazen Robert Argue

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

Mr. H. R. Argue (Assiniboia):

According to the Prime Minister's statement this commission has been set up to inquire into the difference between the price levels paid to agricultural producers and those charged to consumers. Does the Prime Minister not believe it would have been more in keeping with this feature to have arranged for some representation for organized agriculture? My question is, is there a representative on this commission representing the main farm organizations of this country?

Topic:   AGRICULTURE
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF APPOINTMENT OF ROYAL COMMISSION TO INVESTIGATE PRICE SPREADS
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PC

John George Diefenbaker (Prime Minister)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

Mr. Speaker, Dr. Drummond is the head of the department of agricultural economics. Another member of the commission is the secretary general of the co-operative federation of Quebec. I am sure my hon. friend will regard both these

men as properly representing agriculture on that commission. Certainly it is impossible to cover every facet.

I must say, in this regard, we have one representative of business, two professors connected with agricultural economics, two who have been concerned with agricultural cooperatives, one representative of labour and one of consumers' organizations. I think it is very comprehensive. I might add, though this is not applicable to the question asked by my hon. friend, there is also the general manager of the maritime fisheries co-operative, who is also a member of the fisheries council of Canada.

I feel sure that each one of these gentlemen will properly represent the views of all. Certainly consideration was given to covering every interest, but that is impossible. I am sure no one will say this commission is one that will not fairly deal with this serious problem.

Topic:   AGRICULTURE
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF APPOINTMENT OF ROYAL COMMISSION TO INVESTIGATE PRICE SPREADS
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December 10, 1957