March 17, 1937

CCF

Major James William Coldwell

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. COLDWELL:

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO MOTION OF MINISTER OF FINANCE
Sub-subtopic:   CANADIAN WHEAT BOARD ACT
Permalink
LIB

Harry Leader

Liberal

Mr. LEADER:

Beef.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO MOTION OF MINISTER OF FINANCE
Sub-subtopic:   CANADIAN WHEAT BOARD ACT
Permalink
SC

John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. BLACKMORE:

We may even have

to subsidize beef, although I would hesitate to say that, because at present it might be too big a task.

I deprecate any tendency to weaken the board that was established by the last government, either in its design to set a just price or in its efforts to enable the farmer to participate in such rises of price as a developing market throughout the year may bring about. I feel very resentful about the government's policy of 1936. I believe it was entered upon in good faith, but there is surely resentment regarding it in my district. I am much reassured, however, by the promise which the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Gardiner) implied in the closing words of his.

Wheat Board-Mr. Donnelly

speech, and I believe that feeling will be shared by a good many people throughout the country. Nevertheless, to register my disapproval of what we believed the government's policy was leading to, I propose to vote for the amendment.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO MOTION OF MINISTER OF FINANCE
Sub-subtopic:   CANADIAN WHEAT BOARD ACT
Permalink
LIB

Thomas F. Donnelly

Liberal

Mr. T. F. DONNELLY (Wood Mountain):

For the last five or six years there has been a debate each session with regard to the marketing of wheat, and this year is no exception. The question arose back in 1929, when the pools got into financial difficulties and applied to the dominion government for assistance. At that time the pools were condemned for their policies with regard to wheat. I was then a member of this house, and I listened to many hon. gentlemen of the Conservative party expressing their objection to the policy of holding wheat. What was true as regards the pools applied also to every marketing facility employed in western Canada. The banks, those operating the ordinary marketing facilities, and many others, held wheat believing that the price would go up. In 1930 the pools, however, found themselves in such financial difficulties that they asked the then prime minister, the present leader of the opposition (Mr. Bennett) to assist them. Assistance was given.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO MOTION OF MINISTER OF FINANCE
Sub-subtopic:   CANADIAN WHEAT BOARD ACT
Permalink
CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

The provinces assisted them, I believe.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO MOTION OF MINISTER OF FINANCE
Sub-subtopic:   CANADIAN WHEAT BOARD ACT
Permalink
LIB

Thomas F. Donnelly

Liberal

Mr. DONNELLY:

Yes. at first, but afterwards the federal government gave them help.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO MOTION OF MINISTER OF FINANCE
Sub-subtopic:   CANADIAN WHEAT BOARD ACT
Permalink
CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

Not financially.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO MOTION OF MINISTER OF FINANCE
Sub-subtopic:   CANADIAN WHEAT BOARD ACT
Permalink
LIB

Thomas F. Donnelly

Liberal

Mr. DONNELLY:

Well, it assisted them to the extent that a man was put in charge, somewhat in the capacity of a receiver, to try to market their wheat. About 77,000,000 bushels were taken over by this official with the idea of selling it. From year to year we tried to get information as to what disposal was being made of this wheat, whether it was being sold or not, but we had a great deal of difficulty in finding out what was being done. At last it was disclosed that this man, who was supposed to be selling these 77.000,000 bushels, was also buying wheat, and by so doing was supposed to be stabilizing the market. On December 6, 1935, after the Liberal government came into office and a new board was appointed, we found that there were 175,000,000 bushels of wheat in the hands of the board or of John I. McFarland. The policy of the former government as carried out by Mr. McFarland was apparently to set a price for wheat and make the world pay that price whether buyers were willing to do so or not. The result was that year by year our surplus grew, and with every month and year that passed we were losing our markets.

Take the 1932 crop. There was sold at that time, under the Conservative government,

264.000. 000 bushels. The next year, 1933, we sold 191,000,000 bushels, and in 1934, 165,000.000 bushels. This shows the extent to which year by year we were losing our markets. After the election of 1935 the Liberal government came into power, with a new policy. As I understood that policy and propounded it from the platform, we were to set a reasonable price which the farmers were to receive, and were to sell at the world price; that is, we were to compete with other nations in the marketing of wheat, to try to hold such markets as we had and get back those we had lost. Following out that policy, under the new wheat board, with James Murray at the head, we immediately began to regain what we had lost. To such an extent was that tine that in the year following the appointment of the new board, whereas in

1934 we had sold only 165,000,000 bushels, in

1935 we disposed of 254,000,000 bushels. Take for instance our greatest market, that of Great Britain, where we have been rapidly losing ground. We exported to Britain, of the 1932 crop, 113,000,000 bushels; of the 1933 crop, 80,000,000 bushels; of the 1934 crop,

75.000. 000 bushels, but in 1935. under the new board, we sold 105,000,000 bushels. Under the policies of the Liberal party, week by week and month by month our hold-over diminished and our prices increased. We made it clear that we were growing wheat in order to sell it, that we would clear out our bins and get rid of the accumulation, and that, is just what happened.

I have listened for some time to the theories propounded by hon. members on the left. I believe that some of those who belong to the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation have a new policy; I hear the hon. members for Rosetown-Biggar (Mr. Coldwell) and Wey-burn (Mr. Douglas) arguing that farmers should get the cost of production plus a reasonable profit. When I hear this talk about cost of production plus a reasonable profit, I begin to wonder what that is. I live in a district where for eight years farmers have had no crops. How much will it cost them to produce a bushel of wheat? Are you going to pay them cost of production where they have produced nothing for eight years?

In my opinion what the farmer in western Canada expects is a reasonable price. It is all very well to talk about cost of production; they are nice words to roll under the tongue; but to carry it into practice is a different thing. I can take you to my own constituency and show you two farmers, a

Wheat Board-Mr. Donnelly

barbed wire fence separating their farms, one of whom had ten bushels of wheat for the year, and the other not a bushel. Are you going to give each of them cost of production? Where will you set the price? It absolutely cannot be done. This sort of thing is ridiculous; it is merely something to talk about.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO MOTION OF MINISTER OF FINANCE
Sub-subtopic:   CANADIAN WHEAT BOARD ACT
Permalink
LIB

Charles Avery Dunning (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

No farmer ever lived

on an average.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO MOTION OF MINISTER OF FINANCE
Sub-subtopic:   CANADIAN WHEAT BOARD ACT
Permalink
LIB

Thomas F. Donnelly

Liberal

Mr. DONNELLY:

No. It cannot be dona. What we should talk about is a reasonable price for the farmer, a price that would enable him to make a living. But we find people talking about a higher price.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO MOTION OF MINISTER OF FINANCE
Sub-subtopic:   CANADIAN WHEAT BOARD ACT
Permalink
SC

Victor Quelch

Social Credit

Mr. QUELCH:

Will the hon. member define reasonable price? What is a reasonable price?

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO MOTION OF MINISTER OF FINANCE
Sub-subtopic:   CANADIAN WHEAT BOARD ACT
Permalink
LIB

Thomas F. Donnelly

Liberal

Mr. DONNELLY:

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO MOTION OF MINISTER OF FINANCE
Sub-subtopic:   CANADIAN WHEAT BOARD ACT
Permalink
CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

I suppose one of those farmers was a Liberal and the other a Conservative.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO MOTION OF MINISTER OF FINANCE
Sub-subtopic:   CANADIAN WHEAT BOARD ACT
Permalink
LIB

Thomas F. Donnelly

Liberal

Mr. DONNELLY:

Those were the farms one of which I wanted to give you and which you would not take.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO MOTION OF MINISTER OF FINANCE
Sub-subtopic:   CANADIAN WHEAT BOARD ACT
Permalink
CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

I suspect the farm you wanted to give me had no bushels.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO MOTION OF MINISTER OF FINANCE
Sub-subtopic:   CANADIAN WHEAT BOARD ACT
Permalink
LIB

Thomas F. Donnelly

Liberal

Mr. DONNELLY:

I hear a good many

people saying they want a higher price. I was one of those who last fall talked about what should be done in regard to wheat, and I maintain that the fixing of a higher price is absolutely wrong. I will show you why. It is the very policy that broke the pool; it is the very policy on which the Conservative government got in wrong, by setting a price that was too high.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO MOTION OF MINISTER OF FINANCE
Sub-subtopic:   CANADIAN WHEAT BOARD ACT
Permalink
CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

It broke us, too.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO MOTION OF MINISTER OF FINANCE
Sub-subtopic:   CANADIAN WHEAT BOARD ACT
Permalink
LIB

Thomas F. Donnelly

Liberal

Mr. DONNELLY:

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO MOTION OF MINISTER OF FINANCE
Sub-subtopic:   CANADIAN WHEAT BOARD ACT
Permalink
LIB

Olof Hanson

Liberal

Mr. HANSON:

How much did he sell?

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO MOTION OF MINISTER OF FINANCE
Sub-subtopic:   CANADIAN WHEAT BOARD ACT
Permalink
LIB

Thomas F. Donnelly

Liberal

Mr. DONNELLY:

He sold twenty-two million bushels at an average price of 88-7 cents. That was the price he obtained that day, and I hold that he did not sell enough, because shortly after that the price of wheat began to fall. During the month of December he sold 49,000,000 bushels and obtained an average price of 88-6, and the May average price of wheat in that December was 88-3. In other words, for the wheat he sold in December he obtained1 -3 cent more than the average price for May wheat at that time. That was not bad; in fact I call it good. During the month of January he sold something like 26,500,000 bushels at an average price of 88-483, and the average price for May during that January was 88-057.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO MOTION OF MINISTER OF FINANCE
Sub-subtopic:   CANADIAN WHEAT BOARD ACT
Permalink

March 17, 1937