Mr. St. Laurent:
Perhaps the applause might be deferred until I make the statement.
As the house is aware, there have been discussions with the United Kingdom government on several occasions concerning article 2(b) of the wheat agreement entered into in 1946-the so-called "have regard to" clause. The United Kingdom government has made it clear that no further payment will be made by them under that agreement. Hon. members may also have seen an announcement by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on February 20 that the United Kingdom will not draw further on the remainder of the credit of $1,250 million which was made available in May, 1946, and which expires on December 31, 1951.
The government has decided to recommend to parliament that an amount equal to the balance of the United Kingdom credit, namely, $65 million, be added to the sums now awaiting distribution in settlement of the five-year pool. The amount will be included in the final supplementary estimates for the fiscal year 1950-51 which are shortly to be placed before the house for approval.
The contribution we will be asking parliament to make is the equivalent of about 23 cents per bushel on the deliveries made during the last two years of the agreement to which article 2(b) had reference. The addition of $65 million to the pool would make a total of approximately $120 million for distribution. On the basis of deliveries of 1,428 million bushels during the period of the five-year pool, this would provide a final payment of about 8-3 cents per bushel. Final payments will be made as soon as possible after parliament has dealt with the supplementary estimates. >