Hon. Alvin Hamilton (Minister of Agriculture):
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to announce that the efforts of the government to sell grain to new markets have resulted in one of the largest single sales ever consummated in the commercial field. Agreement with the China Resources Company of Hong Kong has been reached for the sale and shipment to China during the next few months of 40 million bushels of grain. The break-down is as follows: 750,000 long tons of wheat, equivalent to 28 million bushels; 260,000 long tons of barley, representing 12,133,000 bushels.
The grade of wheat will be mostly No. 2 Manitoba northern, which is the predominant grade available in Canada. There will be a limited quantity of No. 3 Manitoba northern. The barley will be No. 1 feed.
The total value of this sale is approximately $60 million. The wheat and barley will be shipped from the Pacific coast ports of Vancouver, New Westminster, Victoria and Prince Rupert.
The Canadian wheat board negotiated the agreement for the Canadian government. The Canadian grain trade, acting as agents of the Canadian wheat board, will be completing delivery and shipment of the individual cargoes, and will undertake the necessary arrangements in connection therewith.
I know that all Canadians will be pleased at the size of the sale. I would like at this time to pay tribute to my predecessor who was in charge of the wheat board before he became Minister of Veterans Affairs (Mr. Churchill). He made the decision for representatives of the Canadian wheat board to go to China in 1958 and again in the fall of 1960. I have carried on with his plans for the expansion of wheat and flour sales to all parts of the world, but I feel that credit should go where credit is due.
The Canadian wheat board, and all others who helped, deserve our appreciation. The government's policy of accelerated wheat sales is illustrated by the fact that Canada's share of the commercial wheat markets of the world has increased from 30 per cent to 35 per cent.