Mr. Johnston (Bow River):
There is one other remark I want to make in regard to this clause. It seems to me it is possibly the most important clause in the bill. One of the things we in this group have been stressing all through this debate is that the farmer should be given a cost-price relationship. I immediately recognize the difficulties that exist in establishing the cost of producing an article. I believe I am right when I say that an advisory committee will be established under the provisions of this bill and will be able to make recommendations to the board and to the minister with reference to the cost-price relationship.
It seems to me that since this is the most important factor contained in the bill, some sort of formula should be adopted. When one communicates with the dominion bureau of statistics to find out what the cost of producing an article is, one finds they have not got that information. It seems to me that since this is so important there will have to be a system of records kept by the dominion bureau of statistics or some other competent body by means of which we can arrive at what would be considered a fair cost-price relationship. I wonder if the government would consider publishing each year a statement which would give the relevant facts in regard to the establishment of a cost price.
The advisory committee is going to make recommendations in regard to this, I suppose to the advisory board, which will make recommendations to the minister, and it will depend on his judgment what the decision will be because he has the ultimate authority. He must make his decision before anything becomes effective under this bill. Surely when the advisory committee makes its recommendations to the board and the board makes its recommendations to the minister, the minister has to draw a conclusion and make a decision, and at that time there must be some definite formula upon which the minister makes his decision. I think it would be quite inconceivable that when these three organizations meet with the minister, he is going to sit there calmly, hear what the advisory committee says, then what the board says, and then come to the conclusion, "Oh, well, the cost of raising a bushel of wheat I guess should be somewhere around about- oh-I think the minister told the house a few years ago 45 cents a bushel"-
Subtopic: MEASURE TO PROVIDE GUARANTEED PRICES FOR CERTAIN COMMODITIES, ETC.