March 27, 1946 (20th Parliament, 2nd Session)


Major James William Coldwell

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


I answered his question. I said that in order to achieve a fair price, that price must be based on negotiation among all those interested. I am not one of those who guesses, as the hon. member for Stanstead did, that the farmer might get a dollar a pound for his butter, or guesses, like somebody else, that he might get $3 a bushel for his wheat. The only manner in which prices can be found to be reasonable, fair and stable is by intelligent examination and by negotiation among the parties concerned. That is the manner in which I would answer the particular question.
I do not believe that the farming population of this country desire to take advantage of the widespread starvation which exists throughout the world to-day. I was reading only this morning an account of the recent by-elections in Great Britain, and I was greatly struck by the attitude of 'the British people who -today are enduring a greater austerity programme than they endured even in the days of the war. One of their constituencies, the Hey-wood and Radcliffe division, up to 1935 was regarded as an entirely safe Conservative seat. In the general election last summer the Labour party won the seat by a small majority. In the by-election that was held last month the Labour party won that constituency again, by a slightly reduced majority; and when the result was made known the successful candidate, Flight-Lieutenant Greenwood, summed up the whole matter in a single sentence. This is what he said:
I have won this election because the people of this division were not prepared to sell their birthright of two thousand years of Christian principles for a packet of dried eggs.
To-day, Mr. Speaker, a packet of dried eggs or the lack of it-Is a symbol of the austerity programme in Great Britain. And I do not believe that the farmers of this country are prepared to forgo the teachings of two thousand years of Christianity and try to wring the last cent out of a starving world.
I am rising this afternoon because I find that lately, in the Winnipeg Free Press and some other papers, we have been bracketed with the Progressive Conservatives.

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