July 4, 1935

UFA

Donald MacBeth Kennedy

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. KENNEDY (Peace River):

I want to deal for a moment with the amendments that have been suggested and accepted. The hon. member for Shelburne-Yarmouth (Mr. Ralston) this morning called attention to the bill, paragraphs (b), (c) and (j). If I followed him correctly-he was looking the other way and I did not catch every word he uttered-he called attention to the language of paragraph (b) which says that the board may market wheat "for such price as it may consider reasonable, with the object of promoting the sale and use of Canadian wheat in world markets." Then he referred to paragraph (c), which reads:

(e) to sell and dispose of stocks of wheat and contracts for the delivery of wheat acquired from Canadian Cooperative Wheat Producers Limited and the whe \t represented by such contracts as speedily as may be reasonably possible, having regard to economic and other conditions.

And then paragraph (j)

(j) to offer continuously wheat for sale in the markets of the world through the established channels.

The hon. member said that the pool had not a sales policy. He criticized the sales policy as not being a sales policy, criticized the government and the pool acting through John I. McFarland. But as a matter of fact they have marketed since 1930 about one billion bushels directly and indirectly, and about 600 million bushels in the last few years, and they have piled up a surplus of roughly 100 million bushels since 1930. Can it be said that that was holding wheat and not selling it? I do not think that is a fair statement at all. But the dangerous thing is this, Mr. Chairman. I do not know any witness who appeared before the committee and suggested that it would be a good thing to throw this surplus rapidly on the market. I think they were all opposed to it, but the danger is that the country and the world will interpret the hon. member's statement on these clauses as meaning that we are going to dispose of this surplus as rapidly as possible, and I hope that when the Prime Minister speaks on this section he will indicate, as he indicated in his speech some days ago, that they have no intention of dumping the surplus.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN GRAIN BOARD
Sub-subtopic:   PURCHASE, STORAGE AND MARKETING OF WHEAT AND OTHER GRAINS
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LIB

Charles A. Stewart

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Edmonton):

When did the hon. member for Shelburne-Yarmouth (Mr. Ralston) say anything of that kind?

Grain Board

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN GRAIN BOARD
Sub-subtopic:   PURCHASE, STORAGE AND MARKETING OF WHEAT AND OTHER GRAINS
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UFA

Donald MacBeth Kennedy

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. KENNEDY (Peace River):

I un saying that his statement is capable of that interpretation.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN GRAIN BOARD
Sub-subtopic:   PURCHASE, STORAGE AND MARKETING OF WHEAT AND OTHER GRAINS
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LIB

Charles A. Stewart

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Edmonton):

Please stick to the statement.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN GRAIN BOARD
Sub-subtopic:   PURCHASE, STORAGE AND MARKETING OF WHEAT AND OTHER GRAINS
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UFA

Donald MacBeth Kennedy

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. KENNEDY (Peace River):

He was contrasting these sections with what John I. McFarland had been doing during the last few

years.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN GRAIN BOARD
Sub-subtopic:   PURCHASE, STORAGE AND MARKETING OF WHEAT AND OTHER GRAINS
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LIB

John Vallance

Liberal

Mr. VALLANCE:

You are all wrong.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN GRAIN BOARD
Sub-subtopic:   PURCHASE, STORAGE AND MARKETING OF WHEAT AND OTHER GRAINS
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UFA

Donald MacBeth Kennedy

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. KENNEDY (Peace River):

I hope that when the Prime Minister (Mr. Bennett) speaks he will indicate that that is not the intention of the government.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN GRAIN BOARD
Sub-subtopic:   PURCHASE, STORAGE AND MARKETING OF WHEAT AND OTHER GRAINS
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CON

George Spotton

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPOTTON:

They are always for and against, they are going and coming all the time.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN GRAIN BOARD
Sub-subtopic:   PURCHASE, STORAGE AND MARKETING OF WHEAT AND OTHER GRAINS
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UFA

Donald MacBeth Kennedy

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. KENNEDY (Peace River):

It would be a disastrous policy.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN GRAIN BOARD
Sub-subtopic:   PURCHASE, STORAGE AND MARKETING OF WHEAT AND OTHER GRAINS
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LIB

James Layton Ralston

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

If there is anything in my statement which indicates that I said that this wheat should be thrown upon the market, I will withdraw it. But I say to the hon. member that he will find no such meaning in any remark which I made, either in this committee or anywhere else. I said that we should sell our wheat as fast as is reasonably possible, and I pointed out the wording of the section, having regard ito economic and other conditions. My hon. friend must not misinterpret my remarks. The Prime Minister did put those words in the bill. The suggestion which I made was that the wheat should be disposed of as speedily as was feasible and that there should be provision in the meantime for stabilization operations. That was changed to provide that it should be disposed of as speedily as was reasonably possible, subject to economic and other conditions.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN GRAIN BOARD
Sub-subtopic:   PURCHASE, STORAGE AND MARKETING OF WHEAT AND OTHER GRAINS
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UFA

Donald MacBeth Kennedy

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. KENNEDY (Peace River):

If I understood the hon. member, the interpretation he placed upon these sections was that they meant something vastly different to what Mr. McFarland was doing. If I understood him correctly, he interpreted the policy of the government put into effect through John I. McFarland as being one of holding rather than of selling wheat.

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Subtopic:   CANADIAN GRAIN BOARD
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LIB

James Layton Ralston

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

Quite right.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN GRAIN BOARD
Sub-subtopic:   PURCHASE, STORAGE AND MARKETING OF WHEAT AND OTHER GRAINS
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UFA

Donald MacBeth Kennedy

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. KENNEDY (Peace River):

And this is contrary to that.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN GRAIN BOARD
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LIB

James Layton Ralston

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

We cannot forever hold wheat, we must dispose of it reasonably.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN GRAIN BOARD
Sub-subtopic:   PURCHASE, STORAGE AND MARKETING OF WHEAT AND OTHER GRAINS
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UFA

Donald MacBeth Kennedy

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. KENNEDY (Peace River):

Forever is a long time.

92582-269J

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN GRAIN BOARD
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LIB

James Layton Ralston

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

Four years ago we started with 75 million bushels and to-day we have 225 million bushels.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN GRAIN BOARD
Sub-subtopic:   PURCHASE, STORAGE AND MARKETING OF WHEAT AND OTHER GRAINS
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UFA

Donald MacBeth Kennedy

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. KENNEDY (Peace River):

I am glad the hon). member has made that point because I followed him very carefully and I got the impression that he was trying to indicate that this wheat must go on the market under greater pressure than has been exerted during the last few years. I think he indicated that very definitely. I am against such a policy as I am of the opinion that the wheat has been put on the market as fast as it could have been without bringing ruin to the producers.

Another suggestion was that it should be for one year only. I do not know if that meant that we could get rid of this surplus in one year and I shall not place that interpretation upon it. Notwithstanding the fact that the world's surplus is decreasing and that Canada's holdings are decreasing I do not believe that we can dispose of our surplus in one year. You cannot separate the surplus from the general crop as they must be both marketed in the same market. If we could ship our surplus to China or to Mars, it would be a separate problem to that raised by future crops, but we cannot do that. Our surplus is part of the same problem and it must be handled in the same way. There is a reasonably hopeful situation in the world to-day so far as wheat is concerned as a result of the policies which have been put into effect but I do not think this situation can be cleaned up in one year. As far as I am concerned I am opposed absolutely to ahy suggestion that this is emergency legislation for one year only.

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Subtopic:   CANADIAN GRAIN BOARD
Sub-subtopic:   PURCHASE, STORAGE AND MARKETING OF WHEAT AND OTHER GRAINS
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CON

Thomas Langton Church

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CHURCH:

Mr. Chairman, like the

hon. gentleman who has just taken his seat I would like to have seen the original bill stand. The history of the world is the history of minorities and the history of Canada is the history of compromises. I came into the house about the same time as the hon. gentleman who has just spoken and I can tell him and the other hon. gentlemen who sit opposite that back in the years 1921 to 1926, when the Drury administration was ruling in Ontario a great protectionist newspaper spent a large sum of money to send skilled experts through the west. These experts recommended that there should he public ownership of Canada's greatest asset, the grain growing industry. At that time there were Liberal Progressives, Liberals and Progressives but when the elections came along they were all Liberals. This protectionist paper, the Toronto Evening Telegram, formerly edited by the great battling editor and patriot, John R. Robert-

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son, emphasized the fact that grain growing was Canada's greatest industry. They demonstrated that it was not a north and south industry but an imperial industry, as our markets were in England, in the allied countries of France and Italy and the foreign country of Germany. The greatest "carryover" the poor grain grower is suffering from was the free trade policy of hon. gentlemen opposite.

Where were hon. gentlemen opposite on that occasion? The greatest liability the poor grain grower has to face is the previous policies of the hon. member for Shelburne-Yarmouth (Mr. Ralston), his colleagues and his former allies, the. Progressives. We must look at this situation as it is to-day. Facts are facts. I said, in 1924 that the best friend of the western wheat grower was the policy of protection. I said:

The best friend of the western wheat grower is the policy of protection, as that policy has been and should be extended and administered by the founders and soldiers of the National Policy, the Conservative party of Canada. The western wheat grower has eaten the sour grapes of free trade. No wonder the western wheat growers' teeth are set on edge. The western wheat grower has taught himself to believe, or has allowed so-called leaders to persuade him, that wheat growing in western Canada is a continental industry, an industry that must prosper by reason of the admission of the roduct to the United States market or perish ecause of its exclusion. I submit that wheat growing in western Canada is the most truly national, the most widely imperial of all Canada's great industries. The markets of the British empire mean more and the markets of the American section of the north American continent mean less to the wheat growers of Canada than to any other class of Canadian producers.

The government is to be congratulated for the policies it has put forth and this will be recorded in history as one of the greatest things ever done. This party has been consistently a grain protectionist party. A further investigation was made following investigations made by the paper to which I have referred and that disclosed that there was bootlegging in Canadian hard wheat, not only in the elevators of Buffalo but in those of Baltimore, New York and Philadelphia. As I say, this government has been very much handicapped when they came into office in 1930 by the free trade policies of the Liberal party and the Progressives and I am glad to see that the Progressives who were formerly under the leadership of Mr. Crerar and Mr. Forke, and they were all real Liberals, 'have at last come to their senses and are admitting that the grain growing industry is and never was a north and south industry but an east and west and over the sea. and purely British.

The poor grain grower has had to suffer from the hit and run policies of the hon. member for Shelburne-Yarmouth (Mr. Ralston) and t/he Liberal party. Did you ever hear of the Argentine selling its wheat with the aid of brass bands? No; there has been too much of the brass band buying and selling policy of wheat asked for by hon. gentlemen opposite.

I commend the Prime Minister for what he has done; it is the most forward step that has been taken in the British empire or the overseas dominion in matters of this kind. In 1924 the Conservatives in this house proposed such a national policy in connection with grain-a public ownership control policy-in buying, selling and marketing of wheat through a public ownership of grain; it was laughed at in the house at that time. I would refer hon. gentlemen, however, to the history of cheap light and power in the province of Ontario. They want to go back to the condition that prevailed with regard to light and power in 1905 so far as the wheat business is concerned. At that time our natural resources were being given away, and Sir James Whitney and others who took the view that he did were described as amateur anarchists and socialists because they proposed to preserve the natural resources and water-powers of the country for the people. We contended that the same principle of protection should be applied to the grain growers, and what did Mr. Drury do? He was head of the national council on agriculture, and on the 2nd of April, 1924 he came here on behalf of that body and presented a memorandum to the cabinet, intimating that protection was an unmitigated evil and that the farmer had been exploited and plundered by those who enjoyed special privileges. They asked to be relieved of the artificial burden imposed upon them and a declaration was made in favour of reciprocity with the United States and the immediate abolition of the tariff. Their demands were all along this free trade line. But Ontario got one obstacle out of the way on June 24-I refer to the so-called Drury Farmers government, as I said in this house on May 5, 1924-though the policy of the Ottawa branch of that party continued to hinder the growth of the country. That party is the worst enemy of prosperity in this country, an enemy to its own supporters engaged in grain growing and other forms of agriculture in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. If its free trade policy had been persisted in, and if hundreds of thousands of new grain growers had gone into the prairies as they wanted, creating overproduction, where would Canada have been when the depression came in

Grain Board

1930? Who is to blame for all this surplus production? The Liberals and free trade.

The hon. member for Shelburne-Yarmouth the other night used some strong language which I think was unworthy of him; referring to the leader of the government he used the words "bluff" and "bluster." Well, if there is bluff and bluster anywhere it is to be found in the support now of protection on grain as a policy of the Liberal party to-day. After professing free trade they have been veering round to all sorts of protection, supporting now stabilization, subvention and subsidies and bonuses. After going through the country denouncing the Conservative party as the enemy of the grain grower, what did they say in Ontario? They said that the greatest enemy the grain growers of the prairies had was to be found east of the great lakes in the manufacturers. Let me tell them that the greatest enemy the western grain growers had was wrest of the great lakes; that enemy was in the grain exchanges, the Winnipeg grain exchange, the elevator combines, the transportation combines and all the middlemen and profiteers who for many years past have had the poor grain grower by the throat. I say, therefore, that if this government has done nothing else to win the support of the people, it will merit that support for the progressive stand it has taken with regard to the nationalization of the grain industry. It has taken a national patriotic stand. There is no doubt that an emergency and a necessity had been created and the government could not have done anything but follow the course it has; it has "hedged" the grain and brought the whole credit of the country to the support of these "hedges" or bankruptcy faced Canada. Every part of the country is interested in the bill, and the other night in my constituency, referring to this legislation. I said that it would forever eliminate the operations of the middlemen, profiteers, the grain and elevator and transportation combines and all the other gamblers in futures who have had a stranglehold on the poor grain farmer. It will remove the middlemen andi the profiteers and give the farmers a higher price for their wheat. I said* further that the day was not far distant when we would have a national policy in connection with our hard wheat, a milling policy, a policy that would handle our wheat right through this country and mill it in Canada, ship it overseas and place it on the markets of the world. It is fortunate for this country that we have at the 'head of the government today a statesman who has brought about this reform. I have every respect and great

admiration for the hon. member for Shelburne-Yarmouth, whom I have known for a great many years; I knew him and his partner before coming into this house. But when the hon. gentleman advocates an inquiry into this particular Canadian cooperative wheat association let me say this to him and to the Liberal party in this house. Years ago they were not so anxious to have a grain inquiry. What did Mr. Crerar do? When the Union government made a strenuous and brave effort in 1921 to come to the support of the prairies, to help the poor grain grower who was being fleeced by the middleman and profiteers out of a fair price per bushel for his grain, where were the Liberals and the Progressives? Let me read what I said on May 5, 1924, in Mt. Crerar's presence in this house:

It cannot be too plainly stated or too often repeated that the United States is now a relatively small factor in making world wheat prices. Canada is a much larger factor and European markets are receiving large quantities of wheat at lower prices than even Canada is making. Moreover, Canada and other countries are able to produce wheat at lower costs than those ruling in the United States. The wheat council in the United States bases its appeal for a higher tariff upon a showing that costs are much lower in Canada.

Let me read what I said in that parliament on that day of the way the Liberals and Progressives blocked grain inquiries:

I believe in free trade, especially free trade in grain inquiries. The Progressives and their leaders proved themselves believers in protection, yes, in the worst kind of protection, the protection that surrounded the alleged robbery of the western wheat growers, and protection against an investigation into the workings of that system of robbery. The hon. member for Marquette (Mr. Crerar) and others combined courts and lawyers and injunctions into a prohibitive tariff against inquiry into the methods of the big interests that handle wheat, not excepting the big interests in this country represented by the hon. member for Marquette. I was never an extremist in my enthusiasm for Union government. But the Union government honestly tried to protect the western wheat producer against the big interests. The western wheat producers have fulfilled in their experience with the hon. member for Marquette and his followers in this house, the words of scripture, "A man's foes shall be they of his household." The worst enemy of the western wheat growers is the policy of the Progressive party, its leaders and its representatives in this house. The next opponent of the western wheat grower is the present policy of the Liberal party, its leaders and representatives in this house and in the capitals of the prairie provinces. The best friend of the western wheat grower is the policy of protection.

I have lived to see the day when a policy such as is proposed in this bill has been

Grain Board

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN GRAIN BOARD
Sub-subtopic:   PURCHASE, STORAGE AND MARKETING OF WHEAT AND OTHER GRAINS
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LIB

William Richard Motherwell

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

I am not going to spend many minutes on this bill, but I should like first to say a word of commendation of the committee of nine for having worked out so relatively successful a solution of this knotty wheat marketing problem as that embodied in this amended bill. I never saw a perfect bill in my life, and especially in the case of one which is the result of compromise, although that is a policy we all have to follow if we are to arrive at anything like reasonably unanimous or resultant conclusions. What use would it be to thrust this measure into the arena in any other than a compromise form? The government had the power to force the original bill through if they desired; then we should have had a great political conflagration on the prairie which would do no good to anyone concerned. That is why I feel like supporting this amended bill, not as a complete solution of the problem but as an improvement on the old bill and as likely to better the conditions that have prevailed. I welcome the spirit of compromise that evidently actuated the committee all through and I feel like accepting this bill as the best obtainable with the limited time and opportunity at our disposal. Of course if there are further improvements and amendments offered in committee, I reserve my liberty to support them. It will be observed that none of the conflicting interests and parties who gave evidence before the committee are getting in this bill all that they would like to get, but all of them are getting some of their desires, and that is the very essence of compromise. If I were more desirous of continuing a grievance than attaining even a partial betterment of present conditions I also might talk against this amended bill. But that is not my desire; my desire is to find the best solution we can get under the present circumstances, and the only way to get that as I see it is to support the amended bill. No one has the old original bill before him, and no one is advocating the continuation of the present holding policy. It was successful in a degree in its time but I always thought Mr. McFarland was given an impossible task, to stabilize the price to the producer and at the same time sell our full share of wheat at com-

Grain Board

petitive prices with other comparable wheats and no one lose any money thereby. This bill looks to a betterment -of such selling conditions, and in this hot July weather, the beginning of the dog days, I do not see why we should continue to argue it; rather let us get along with it. Reserving my right to approve of what I consider further amendments by way of betterment that come from any side of this house I shall discontinue my remarks for the present.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN GRAIN BOARD
Sub-subtopic:   PURCHASE, STORAGE AND MARKETING OF WHEAT AND OTHER GRAINS
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UFA

Robert Gardiner

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. GARDINER:

I shall only take a few minutes in discussing this bill as amended by the special committee. It is not my purpose to follow the argument made by the hon. member for Shelburne-Yarmouth (Mr. Ralston) but I should like to call the attention of the committee to a statement which the hon. member made when he was discussing the budget, which statement has some reference to the exchange of words which took place this afternoon between the hon. member for Peace River (Mr. Kennedy) and the hon. member for Shelburne-Yarmouth. When my hon. friend was discussing the budget last March, dealing with the wheat situation and the volume of wheat held by Mr. McFarland very largely on government account, he made the following statement which I shall read, and let the committee determine the rights and wrongs of the argument which took place this afternoon. The statement is found at page 2116 of Hansard.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN GRAIN BOARD
Sub-subtopic:   PURCHASE, STORAGE AND MARKETING OF WHEAT AND OTHER GRAINS
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July 4, 1935