Mr. E. E. PERLEY (Qu'Appelle):
Mr. Speaker, I should like to make a few observations, and to direct the attention of the house to chapter 53 of the statutes of 1935. Subsection (a) of section 8 deals with the duties of the wheat board, and provides:
8. It shall be the duty of the board:
(a) to fix a price to be paid to the producers for wheat delivered to the board as by this act provided, subject to the approval of the governor in council;
Section 7, subsection (e), reads as follows:
(e) to pay to producers delivering wheat at the time of delivery or at any time thereafter as may be agreed upon such fixed price per bushel, according to grade or quality or place of delivery, as may be determined by the board with the approval of the governor in council; and to issue to such producers when such wheat is purchased certificates indicating the number of bushels purchased, the grade, quality and the price, which certificate shall entitle producers named therein to share in the equitable distribution of the surplus, if any, of the operations of the board during the crop year, it being the true intent and meaning of this section that each producer shall receive for the same grade and quality of wheat the same price on the Fort William basis. Such certificate shall not be transferable
Order in council P.C. 2202 was passed on the 28th day of August, 1936, a copy of which 'I hold in my hand. It is certified to be a true copy of a minute of a meeting of the committee of the privy council, approved by the deputy of His Excellency the Governor General on the 28th day of August, 1936. The order in council reads:
The committee of the privy council have had before them a report, dated August 27th, 1936 from the acting Minister of Trade and Commerce, stating that under clause A of section 8 of the Canadian Wheat Board Act, 1935, provision is made that it shall be the duty of the Canadian Wheat Board, established under the said act, to fix the price to be paid to the producer of wheat delivered to the board as by the said act provided, subject to the approval of the governor general in council;
That the Canadian Wheat Board established under the said act, has fixed a price of eighty-seven and one-half (871) cents per bushel for wheat graded as No. 1 Northern at Fort William, as a basic price for wheat for the 1936-1937 crop year, effective from August 1, 1936, delivered to the board as provided by the said act, the price of other grades of wheat to be fixed^by the board on the basis of the price for No. 1 Northern wheat delivered at Fort William as aforesaid:
The final paragraph reads:
The minister, therefore, recommends that the recommendation of the Canadian Wheat Board be not approved unconditionally but that approval be given only in the event of the closing market price for wheat dropping below ninety cents per bushel for wheat graded as No. 1 Northern at Fort William, in which event the price of 871 cents per bushel as recommended by the board shall be approved, and this order in council be regarded as approving the same.
That order in council meant the repeal of the act. There is no conditional clause in the act; it contains nothing that states that the price of wheat must drop to a given level before the board shall set a fixed price. That order in council meant the sacrifice of the western producer to the open grain trade, and brought about a loss of several millions of
Wheat Board-Mr. Perley
dollars to the farmers on the 1936 crop alone. It also took away from the producer the second choice of a buyer, which is important.
It is not necessary for me to take up the time of the house to-day in reviewing this question at length. Already this session much has been said in this regard. The other day in his speech on the budget the hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar (Mr. Coldwell) set out very clearly the result, as far as western Canada is concerned, of the passing of this order in council. I had something to say myself as well, and the situation created in the west by this action on the part of the government has been made quite clear. The language used by the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Gardiner) in his reply on that occasion would indicate that he intends to stand by this order in council. Therefore, without taking further time, I desire to move the following amendment, seconded by the hon. member for Brandon (Mr. Beaubier):
That all the words after "that" in the said motion be omitted and the following substituted therefor:
"this house regrets that the government rendered the Canadian Wheat Board Act, 1935, inoperative in its application to the 1936 wheat crop."
I should like to know if hon. members opposite from western Canada, the hon. member for Saskatchewan (Mr. Young), the hon. member for Moose Jaw (Mr. Ross), the hon. member for Melfort (Mr. McLean), the hon. member for North Battleford (Mr. McIntosh), and others, approve of the action taken by this government in making the 1935 act inoperative last year. If they do, and if this house defeats this amendment, the farmers will know what to expect in the fall of 1937.
I am not going to argue the point further, except to give one more quotation. I think hon. members should be made acquainted with what happened on July 1, 1935, when the act was finally drafted and prepared for submission to this house. The last move made by the Liberal members of that committee was a motion proposed by Mr. Ralston and seconded by Mr. Stewart, as follows:
The operations of the board shall not extend beyond the fifteenth day of August, 1936. except for the purpose of sale and realization of assets, collections, payments and generally for the winding up of the affairs and business of the board, unless on or before the first day of July,
1936, the operation of this act be extended by order of the governor in council for one year from the date first mentioned in this section, in which event such operations with the exceptions above mentioned shall terminate on August 15,
1937, unless further extended by parliament.
Parliament is preparing Mr. Speaker, for prorogation in the near future. We should know where hon. members stand with respect
to this important public question, and I say that without further argument of the point parliament to-day should declare itself.
Subtopic: AMENDMENT TO MOTION OF MINISTER OF FINANCE
Sub-subtopic: CANADIAN WHEAT BOARD ACT