John George Diefenbaker
Mr. Speaker, may I be allowed to ask a question at this time? The minister stated that the farmers whose cattle were destroyed, that is those actively infected or those in association with cattle that were found to be suffering from the disease, would be compensated. I have received a number of telegrams from farmers in the infected area, and they want to know what the nature of the compensation will be. They particularly want
Foot-and-mouth disease to know whether the government will give consideration to allowing special compensation in addition to commercial value in respect of purebred dairy cattle or purebred show cattle. Unless some compensation along that line is granted by the department, the loss in the area will be very large because the herds are, in the main, purebred.
When the minister is replying, there is one other point I believe he should clarify. The press in Saskatchewan has stated that it was in November that the existence of this disease was first suspected and the question submitted to veterinarians with a view to ascertaining whether it was in fact hoof-and-mouth disease. Will the minister state whether or not that is correct, and what took place between November and February, or give reasons for the delay in not acting sooner to preserve the country as a whole from the catastrophe that now faces it in so far as the livestock industry is concerned?
Subtopic: OUTBREAK OF FOOT-AND-MOUTH DISEASE IN THE REGINA AREA