August 24, 1917

A FIXED PRICE FOR WHEAT.


On the Orders of the Day:


LIB

Frank Oliver

Liberal

Hon. FRANK OLIVER (Edmonton):

A statement has appeared in the press that Canadian wheat, which was formerly subject to a maximum price after the 1st of August, and also subject to prohibition of export to the United States, has now been made subject to a fixed price of $2.40 up to the end of August. There is a difference between a maximum price and a fixed price,, and I should like to know at what point this occurs and, generally speaking, the policy of the Government in the matter. The handling of the crop of the Northwest is a very important matter. The Government has seen fit, for what I suppose to be good and sufficient reasons, to assume ai-measure of control, in fact full control, over the handling of that crop. I wish to say that it is not at all satisfactory to have notice that a certain position-

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CON
LIB
CON

Edgar Nelson Rhodes (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPEAKER:

The hon. member is rather exceeding his rights. He cannot in putting a question proceed to call in question the action of the Government.

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LIB
CON

George Green Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir GEORGE FOSTER:

The object in view has been from the first, and will continue to be, as large a measure of co-operation as possible between Canada and the United States with reference to such matters. It was expected that before the first of August, powers would have been obtained from Congress by the authorities at Washington, enabling them to deal with the' question, but the legislation was delayed. Therefore the Board of Grain Supervisors of Canada in order to regulate matters for the time being and until co-operation could effectively take place between the authorities on both sides, fixed a maximum price on an ascending market, the object of which was, while getting a good price for the Canadian farmer, to prevent an undue inflation of price during the interim, which would have had the effect of advancing prices on a merely speculative basis and driving up the advancing price of wheat the price of flour and consequently

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LIB

Frank Oliver

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER:

In the same connection

I notice that the Winnipeg price of No. 1 Northern wheat on August 23 is $2.40; and the price of No. 2 Northern $2.38. I notice that on the same date the price of No. 1 in Minneapolis is $2.50 to $2.60; of No. 2 Northern, $2.45 to $2.50; that in Duluth on the same date the price of No. 1 is $2.50 and of No. 2 Northern $2.45. I understood the minister to say some time ago that there was a fixed maximum price in the United States.

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CON

George Green Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir GEORGE FOSTER:

No, there has never been a fixed maximum in the United States.

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LIB

Frank Oliver

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER:

I understood him to say that the price in Minneapolis was lower than the price in Winnipeg at a certain date.

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CON
LIB
CON

George Green Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir GEORGE FOSTER:

The figures are as they are given in the newspapers, and I imagine they are correct. But the whole point seems to be that the variation in price between times-a sort of no man's land, as it might be called-is considerable. Sometimes the United States price is lower and sometimes it is higher than at Winnipeg. On the whole, there has been a very heavy drop in the price in the United States, gradually bringing it down to what it is supposed the price will approximate when the final fixing takes place, and from day to day there are variations for various reasons. I want my hon. friend to understand that the fixation of the prices has made a certainty to the Canadian producer that he would not otherwise have, and it has been, I believe, very beneficial to him. If my hon. friend will read a late editorial in the Grain Growers' Guide, I think he will see what the opinion of people directly interested in the matter is, concerning the operation, as it has proceeded since the 1st of August. My hon. friend says that there is a great deal of dissatisfaction. There may be dissatisfaction.

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LIB
CON

George Green Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir GEORGE FOSTER:

There is some dissatisfaction among some, but as a general rule, so far as my information goes,- and I think it is pretty well founded- there is very great satisfaction with the course the Grain Board has taken.

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LIB

Frank Oliver

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER:

I ask the minister to have his department compile a statement of the amount that has been lost to the Canadian producer by the prohibition of the export of wheat, since it was made on the 27th of July.

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CON

George Green Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir GEORGE FOSTER:

I do not know that11 would be able to compile shell a statement, but if I were able to, and were able to place on the other side a statement of what has been gained by the fixation of

that price, I think my hon. friend would find that the balance would be very much against his present contention.

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EMBARGO ON EXPORT OF SULPRUR FROM UNITED STATES.


On the Orders of the Day:,


August 24, 1917