March 2, 1936 (18th Parliament, 1st Session)


Walter Adam Tucker



If we are going to deprive the farmer of practically all his money, if it takes all his earnings to pay interest, he can ill afford to pay a higher price for his farm implements. I thought the Minister of Finance would like to be reminded of those days when he pioneered in Saskatchewan, but as he does not want the time of the house taken up with these references I shall come back to the resolution.
The people .of Canada elected those whom they thought were the men likely to represent them best in this House of Commons. They hope tihat their representatives will do the best they can to figure out and solve their problems. During the next year they expect that something definite will be done to lighten their burdens and enable them once more to live the life which we expect ordinary Canadian citizens to live. The hon. member for Moose Jaw (Mr. Ross) has referred to the fact that these farm implement companies are raising their prices in the face of a reduction in the tariff. The right answer to that kind of action is: If you are in a position to raise your prices despite a lowered tariff, then we will take the tariff off altogether. It has been suspected that an international combine or cartel exists in connection with the marketing of oil and gasoline and perhaps one exists in connection with the manufacturing of farm implements. If it is found that the large manufacturers of the world are getting together to control prices regardless of tariffs, then I submit that the Liberal party has a policy well designed to deal with such a problem. A part of this policy is contained in the Combines Investigation Act.
Present conditions constitute a challenge to the intelligence and wisdom of parliament.

Over half our people have lost two-thirds of their purchasing power while the price of the articles they require has been rising. This is not my problem alone; it is the problem of every member of parliament. I commend most highly the hon. member who introduced this resolution (Mr. Johnston, Lake Centre). This problem should be submitted to some group of men who will examine into it and try to do something for the basic producers on the western plains who are endeavouring to do ail they can to get along under present conditions. I feel sure that hon. members from eastern Canada will give us their cooperation. They know that unless the great primary industries, such as the farming industry of Canada, are prosperous, the manufacturers of Ontario and Quebec will be in a depression and faced with unemployment. No matter whether a member represents an agricultural constituency in western Canada or a manufacturing constituency in Ontario, it is equally his duty and his privilege to study this problem so that half the population of Canada may be brought back from practically a poverty stricken level to that upon which we want Canadians to be. Once the farmers of western Canada are able to buy the articles they need the manufacturing centres of the east will be prosperous and the spectre of unemployment will no longer stalk through our land.

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