June 4, 1942 (19th Parliament, 3rd Session)

LIB

Joseph Enoil Michaud (Minister of Public Works; Minister of Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. MICHAUD:

It was found to be a profitable venture. We have succeeded in establishing on this continent a market for the product of a Canadian industry. For a hundred years prior to 1940 producers as well as processors never thought that was possible of accomplishment. This year it was found necessary to buy scarcely any canned lobster from the packers, because the invasion of the United States market was continued. The government continued its assistance in improving the market situation, and, as hon. members know, the whole of last year's pack was sold at a high price.
I will give some figures which will enable the committee to understand the situation. In the spring of 1941 we established a minimum price of 5j cents a pound to the fishermen for the raw material. Before the season was over last year, the price was up to 10 cents a pound, and this year the opening price is 12 cents a pound. Now they are complaining that the price is too high. We set a price for canned lobster in 1941 of $18 per forty-eight pounds net weight of lobster, and $16 for a lower grade. Last year the price went from $20 to $30, and this year the price control board has established a maximum price of $28. But already American buyers are offering more to the packers than the ceiling price, although the packing season has been open for only one month. So that at the present time fishermen are getting from 12 to 13 cents a pound for their raw material and the packers are being offered from $28 to $30 a case for lobster.
The $100,000 which the government has invested within the last two years to help create a home market and a north American market for this valuable industry has been a good investment, and it is one that will not
have to be repeated this year. I think it is the best thing that has ever been done for the lobster industry.

Topic:   FINANCE
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