March 4, 1968 (27th Parliament, 2nd Session)


John James Greene (Minister of Agriculture)


Mr. Greene:

With respect to the implementation of the Kennedy round agreement and the world wide wheat agreement, I fail to understand how the Leader of the Opposition who, to the best of my knowledge in public life is known for the care of his statements-I believe he is known as a square dealer-can say that Canadians in any way are responsible for the fact that the maximum and minimum prices agreed on in the Kennedy round have not yet been brought into the world wide wheat agreement.
Canadians attended at meetings of the world wheat council. I think my colleagues will indicate to you that we have been in constant communication and constant negotiation with others to assure the implementation of the Kennedy agreement into the world wheat agreement. I feel sure that those negotiations will be successful. How the Leader of the Opposition can allege-and this, really, is not only a criticism of the government but also of its officials, who are responsible for carrying out negotiations to bring the agreements under the Kennedy round into the world wheat agreement-that there has been negligence, that we or our officials have been remiss in our duties and that we could or should have done something in order to implement the Kennedy round agreements into the world wheat agreements, I fail to understand. I think that that was a very unfair and untrue criticism, with all respect, Mr. Chairman.
As hon. members know, after the successful conclusion of the Kennedy round negotiations on May 16 of last year, world wheat prices dropped sharply. That made it difficult for the buyer nations to implement the Kennedy round agreement and world wheat agreement in July, as we had anticipated would be possible. It made that negotiation more difficult. We do not control world wheat prices. Certainly I think the Canadian minister and 27053-4584
Canadian officials took every proper step and pursued the end most actively of implementing this price range of the Kennedy round agreement into the world wheat agreement.
If we want to talk about world wheat prices, here are some facts about world wheat prices. In 1957-8 the price of No. 1 Northern was $1.62. In 1958-9 it was $1.60; in 1959-60 it was $1.59; in 1960-61 it was $1.80 ; in 1961-62 it reached $1.91. Let us recall that these prices were on volumes of sales that equal about half the volumes that have been sold since we have been in office. The price in 1962-63 was $1.87; in 1963-64 it was $1.97. I did not hear much about $1.97 wheat from 1957 to 1962. The price in 1964-65 was $1.89; in 1965-66 it was $2; the estimated price in 1966-67 is $2. That is that $2 wheat hon. members over there are talking about.

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