April 24, 1917

LIB

George Perry Graham

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM:

My hon. friend confessed that there were to. be two, one in Alberta and one in Saskatchewan.

Topic:   THE BUDGET.
Subtopic:   ANNUAL STATEMENT BY THE MINISTER OF FINANCE.
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CON

Arthur Meighen (Solicitor General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

Not on free wheat,

surely.

Topic:   THE BUDGET.
Subtopic:   ANNUAL STATEMENT BY THE MINISTER OF FINANCE.
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LIB

John Gillanders Turriff

Liberal

Mr. TURRIFF:

My hon. friend the Solicitor General made a trip out West.

Topic:   THE BUDGET.
Subtopic:   ANNUAL STATEMENT BY THE MINISTER OF FINANCE.
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LIB

George Perry Graham

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM:

Free wheat" was one of the prisoners that my hon friend let free.

Topic:   THE BUDGET.
Subtopic:   ANNUAL STATEMENT BY THE MINISTER OF FINANCE.
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LIB

John Gillanders Turriff

Liberal

Mr. TURRIFF:

My hon. friend went

West to ostensibly look into the question of penitentiaries, and while he was there he was told emphatically by his own friends that unless wheat were placed on the free list his candidates would have very little chance of returning to this House. My hon. friend, by one of his little adroit movements, has now practically got rid of the leading member of the Government from the West and is able to take his place. He does not want to come back from the West without some following there, so he sends out s.o.s. calls for help to his friend, the Minister of Finance, and they prepare this Order in Council to give free wheat to the farmers. I may say to my hon. friend, the Minister of Finance, that of all the members on that side of the House I think he is the best.

Topic:   THE BUDGET.
Subtopic:   ANNUAL STATEMENT BY THE MINISTER OF FINANCE.
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LIB

George Perry Graham

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM:

That is a doubtful compliment,

Topic:   THE BUDGET.
Subtopic:   ANNUAL STATEMENT BY THE MINISTER OF FINANCE.
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LIB

John Gillanders Turriff

Liberal

Mr. TURRIFF:

I do npt know that that is saying very much, but under the circumstances imy hon. friend the minister has not done too -badly, and I congratulate him for putting wheat on the free list. It will be a help; it is a good thing for the West. I told my hon. friends many times in this House that free wheat had to c.ome; that it was a question that would not down. It has not been downed; it h-as downed the Minister of Finance and the whole Government and they have had to put wheat on the free list. They are entitled to all the credit they can get out ,of it, which will not be very much. There is not a man in the West who does not know that this move on the part of the Government is simply a death-bed repentance; it is just a little better than dying in sin. My hon. friends

think it may help them to get out of purgatory; it may, but I doubt it. Well, we will give hon. gentlemen the credit of having done this, but I wish to point out to them that since 1911 there has not been one year in which free wheat would not have been worth more to the farmers than it is worth this year. I wish tp point out to the Minister of Finance that the statements he makes in the Order in -Council relating to free wheat are not correct. My hon. friend got his information, he says, from the Grain -Commission. Who is the head of the Grain Commission? A police court partisan lawyer from Montreal, recently appointed, who knows no more -about the wheat question than the man in the moon.

Topic:   THE BUDGET.
Subtopic:   ANNUAL STATEMENT BY THE MINISTER OF FINANCE.
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?

An hon. MEMBER:

Who is he?

Topic:   THE BUDGET.
Subtopic:   ANNUAL STATEMENT BY THE MINISTER OF FINANCE.
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LIB

John Gillanders Turriff

Liberal

Mr. TURRIFF:

A man by the name of TS.oyd, I think. At all events, he -spent his life in Montreal studying and practising 1-aw. I assume that the only thing that recommended him to the Minister of Finance -and his understudy the Solicitor General was the fact that he was president of a Conservative Association.

Topic:   THE BUDGET.
Subtopic:   ANNUAL STATEMENT BY THE MINISTER OF FINANCE.
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CON

Arthur Meighen (Solicitor General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

Where?

Topic:   THE BUDGET.
Subtopic:   ANNUAL STATEMENT BY THE MINISTER OF FINANCE.
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LIB

John Gillanders Turriff

Liberal

Mr. TURRIFF:

Near West-mount. It

appears that he has qualifications that my hon. friend the Solicitor General was not aware of, so he is that much better. This is the kind of person who gives my hon. friend the Minister of Finance information about this wheat question. I quote from the Order in Council:

And whereas in normal times there exists a good commercial export demand for milling purposes from Great Britain and the continent for wheat of all grades;

And whereas this demand has for some time past almost entirely ceased on account of shortage of ocean shipping- due to submarine warfare, practically all available tonnage -being required to transport grain of the higher grad-es and flour made therefrom, purchased in Canada and the United States by the British and Allied Governments for their respective needs.

According to that, my hon. friend the Minister of Finance would want this House and the country to believe that there was not a good demand for low-grade wheat.

Topic:   THE BUDGET.
Subtopic:   ANNUAL STATEMENT BY THE MINISTER OF FINANCE.
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CON

William Thomas White (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir THOMAS WHITE:

In Canada.

Topic:   THE BUDGET.
Subtopic:   ANNUAL STATEMENT BY THE MINISTER OF FINANCE.
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LIB

John Gillanders Turriff

Liberal

Mr. TURRIFF:

There was demand

in Canada, but the difficulties of shipping to the United States when there was a duty enabled the Canadian buyer to crowd the price down unreasonably. While this year there was a greater difference in the respective values of low-grade wheat

on the Canadian and American sides of the line, so little wheat was selling in those parts of the province where the quality was low-grade that it did not amount to much in the total. My constituency runs 110 miles along the American boundary; it is practically a wheat field 66 by 110 miles, one of the biggest wheat-producing constituencies in the West. In that constituency not 10 per cent of the wheat paid the cost of cutting last year. We were hit worse than any other part of the country. The wheat was of a poor quality, but dozens of my constituents drove their wheat across the boundary line and got from 25 to 50 cents a bushel more for it than they could get at home. If this Government wanted to benefit the farmers why did they not put wheat on the free list last fall? Why did they wait until the great bulk of it had passed into the hands of the speculator? To-day it is estimated that only 21 per cent of the wheat of the West is in the hands of the farmer, 79 per cent, less wheat has been sold, being in the hands of the iniller-and speculators. Although the elevators are filled with the wheat bought for the millers at $1.20 to $1.40 a bushel, they are compelling the bakers to charge the poor people of Canada the price of bread not on $1.40 wheat but on $2.40 wheat. That is the way in which the Government have handled this free wheat question. They have played right into the hands of the speculators from the first to the last. The measure is a good one, brought down at any time, even at the eleventh hour, but if my hon. friends opposite had had the interest of the farmers at heart, they would have given the farmers free wheat last fall. They knew last fall that the crop in the eastern part of Saskatchewan was ruined; they did not have to wait until the month of April to find that out. Just imagine how the farmers were dealt with on this low grade wheat. Let me cite an instance. When I was in the West two or three weeks ago, I was speaking to a man and this is what he told me: "I drew a load of wheat into Carnduff and tlie elevator man offered me ninety cents a bushel." I said, "all right, I am satisfied with that price, but this wheat was grown on flax ground where flax had been grown the year before; there is a lot of flax in it and flax is worth $2.30 a bushel; you should allow me something for the flax.' The elevator man said, 'I have no means of separating the flax from the wheat, but instead of docking you six pounds for the dirt in the wheat, I will dock you only two pounds." Just then a neighbour of his

came in and said to him, "my friend, you are very foolish to sell wheat for ninety cents a bushel; take it down to Sherwood and you will get a much better price." Sherwood is in North Dakota just two miles south of the boundary line and south of Carnduff. The man replied, "it is only a poor grade of wheat which would ordinarily sell as feed wheat." His friend said, "I do not care what it is, you take it down there and you will get a much better price for it." He, however, sold his wheat at ninety cents a bushel and the next day he loaded up a similar load of wheat and took it down to Sherwood. The elevator man there separated out the flax and paid him $23.50 for the flax that was in it, viz., one bushel out of seven. Then he paid him not ninety cents, but $1.58 a bushel for the wheat, out of which the farmer had to pay ten cents a bushel duty. Then he paid him 25 cents a bushel for the screenings that were screened from the wheat, so that the farmer got in Sherwood double the price that he received in Carrrduff for the same kind of wheat. That is the way in which the farmers have been dealt with on this poor crop and the Government wait until they have practically sold it all before bringing free wheat into force.

It is not necessary to draw the wheat to the American buyers across the line. Another constituent of mine living at Mary-field, in township eleven, sixty odd miles from the boundary line, shipped a carload of this wheat down to Minneapolis. It was only feed wheat that went forty-six pounds to the bushel and the price at Fort William for the wheat was 98 cents on the day that he sold it in Minneapolis for $1,70J. The man's name was Adolf Olsen of Maryfield, Saskatchewan. Out of the price he received he had to pay ten cents duty and three cents difference in freight, or thirteen cents altogether'. That wto-uld give him 1.57$, whereas he could have got only 98 cents at Fort William.

Topic:   THE BUDGET.
Subtopic:   ANNUAL STATEMENT BY THE MINISTER OF FINANCE.
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CON

Francis Ramsey Lalor

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LALOR:

Is there a grain grower's

elevator at Carnduff?

Mr. TURRIFF * There are three or four elevators there and it is quite possible there is one belonging to the Grain Growers' Association, hut- I do not know.

Topic:   THE BUDGET.
Subtopic:   ANNUAL STATEMENT BY THE MINISTER OF FINANCE.
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CON

Arthur Meighen (Solicitor General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

They could sel>

it to

the Grain Growers' by shipping it to Fort William.

Topic:   THE BUDGET.
Subtopic:   ANNUAL STATEMENT BY THE MINISTER OF FINANCE.
Permalink
LIB

John Gillanders Turriff

Liberal

Mr. TURRIFF:

There is a farmers' elevator owned by the farmers in that part

of my constituency. They have a farmers' elevator down at Shorwotu, because during the last number of years millions of bushels have been drawn by wagons across the line.

Topic:   THE BUDGET.
Subtopic:   ANNUAL STATEMENT BY THE MINISTER OF FINANCE.
Permalink
CON

Arthur Meighen (Solicitor General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

Why do the Grain

Growers' Grain Company not pay a fair price for the wheat? -

Topic:   THE BUDGET.
Subtopic:   ANNUAL STATEMENT BY THE MINISTER OF FINANCE.
Permalink
LIB

John Gillanders Turriff

Liberal

Mr. TURRIFF:

I refer my hon. friend to the Grain Growers' Grain Company.

Topic:   THE BUDGET.
Subtopic:   ANNUAL STATEMENT BY THE MINISTER OF FINANCE.
Permalink
CON

Arthur Meighen (Solicitor General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

My hon. friend is a

shareholder.

Topic:   THE BUDGET.
Subtopic:   ANNUAL STATEMENT BY THE MINISTER OF FINANCE.
Permalink
LIB

John Gillanders Turriff

Liberal

Mr. TURRIFF:

I might be a shareholder if I wanted to be one, but I do not happen to be a grain grower and I never was a shareholder in that company.

Topic:   THE BUDGET.
Subtopic:   ANNUAL STATEMENT BY THE MINISTER OF FINANCE.
Permalink

April 24, 1917