of any intelligent policy or direction on the part of the government has greatly increased the difficulties.
In western Canada particularly, restriction of delivery, causing a serious loss of financial return, together with a lack of proper storage space, and lost markets, have caused a condition which endangers the entire economy. The wheat situation can best be illustrated by saying that the carryover of last year's crop, including stocks of Canadian wheat in the United States, was 301,000,000 bushels. The last estimate of the new 1940 crop is
561.000. 000 bushels, so that for all purposes we have over 860,000,000 bushels available in this crop year. If domestic and foreign requirements reach 350,000,000 bushels, which in my opinion is too much to hope for, our carryover into the next crop year will be more than 500,000,000 bushels, or nearly
50.000. 000 bushels more than all elevator and storage capacity in Canada.
This, however, is not the calamity it appears to be, because it may well become our greatest war asset. For Britain it is an assurance that so long as she can keep the seaways open we have over two years' supply of food for her in our own country; and second, it is an assurance to the suffering people of Europe that as soon as they care to and can cooperate with us in the overthrow of the dictators they too can be fed. In that respect it may prove to be a trump card. We therefore contend that the burden of carrying this asset ought not to be left with the producers, but should be assumed by the entire nation.
Since similar conditions face other branches of agriculture, we would make these suggestions:
1. That the marketing of all farm produce by appropriate boards with adequate producer representation be provided for.
2. The suppression of gambling and speculation in food products, including of course the closing of the grain exchange.
3. The acquisition by marketing boards of all farm produce at parity prices.
4. A cash advance on grain properly stored on the farms of 75 per cent of the wheat board|s initial payment, and an issue of participation certificates on all farm produce marketed through the appropriate boards.
5. That on the participation certificates issued last year an interim payment should be made at once. This would assist the farmers to provide proper farm storage for grain, enabling the producers to benefit from the storage charges, now being paid to elevator and other companies.
6. That all processing and packing plants be brought under cooperative or public ownership and control, to eliminate monopoly exploitation and to establish parity prices.
7. The appointment of a full-time Minister of Agriculture devoting exclusive attention to the industry, and the transfer of all agricultural marketing boards from the Department of Trade and Commerce to the Department of Agriculture.
The policies suggested require the establishment of a planning commission for the agricultural industry. Such a commission should recommend future policy, coordinate the work of the marketing boards and prepare plans for the saving and storage of surplus products during the war period. It Should arrange for adequate distribution of food to persons on relief, on small pensions and on low standards of living. It should arrange also for the establishment of a domestic freight rate which would enable producers in other parts of Canada to use our lower grades of grain for the feeding of live stock. In addition, it should arrange for the export to Great Britain without profit to Canada of surplus supplies of food now rationed in the mother country. But let me emphasize that in addition to this immediate policy it should recommend longterm plans for the rehabilitation of the agricultural industry.
There are other matters which time will allow me only to mention briefly now. Foremost among them are the defence of Canada regulations. As I indicated to the special committee at the close of last session, I am far from satisfied with them in their revised form. I believe that every accused person and every accused organization ought to have the right of an immediate and fair trial before an impartial tribunal. I realize that provisions of a different sort relating to the examination of witnesses may be necessary during the war, but an accused and his counsel should have the right to examine fully the written evidence upon which detentions and internments of British citizens are made. In other words, we are again demanding that the rule of law shall be safeguarded and observed. Without these guarantees there can be no democracy and we are in danger of establishing in Canada the very system which we are fighting abroad. The government should provide the house as early as possible in this session with an opportunity of discussing the report of the special committee which dealt with the defence of Canada regulations at the last session.
Last evening the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) concluded his remarks with a reference to war and peace aims. I was disappointed that he left the matter, shorn
The Address-Mr. Blackmore
of all the verbiage, with a statement that our ability to defeat the enemy would determine our opportunity of building a new social order. With that rather trite statement I fancy we can all agree. But we affirm our belief that this government owes it to the Canadian people, and to our men in the armed forces particularly, to define its aims in consultation with the British and the allied governments. Democratic Canadians want this war to end in a lasting peace based on social and economic justice and the rule of law nationally and internationally. To achieve these ends peace must be negotiated between peoples freed of course from the threat of force. Great and small nations must realize that their security depends upon collective security and not purely upon national power. This conception involves the establishment of an international authority superior to individual states and the abandonment of force as an instrument of national policy. It therefore follows that all people must have the right to develop their own civilization and that the rights of national, racial and religious minorities must be guaranteed and respected. This involves the renunciation of all forms of exploitation and the making of provision for economic cooperation and equal access to raw materials and to the markets of the world. In our opinion a statement of such aims at this time would do much to destroy the influence of Hitler and Mussolini in their own countries and consolidate democratic peoples behind the allied cause.
1 here are other matters which I should have liked to discuss at some length but time does not permit me to do so. We are of the opinion that the government is doing the right thing in calling a conference to consider the Sirois report. Much of the factual material gathered together by the commission will be of great value to students and others in considering the dominion-provincial problems which have to be solved at this time and in relating them to the necessities of our war and post war problems. We shall be glad to give the matter our most intelligent consideration.
I should like to close with the thought that to-day we are witnessing an unhealthy war boom. Employment is increasing; our factories are busy; some prices are rising and bank loans are on the increase. But this is not prosperity in the sense that we use the term in peace time. Neither is it the solution, for which we have been looking, of our unemployment problem. The solution lies deeper and will require great and fundamental changes for which we must prepare. We are witnessing the passing of an age. We must revamp, reform and revitalize our constitutional. economic and social relationships in 14873-sj
preparation for the great task of rebuilding on new foundations a world which at the present time is being subjected to physical and moral deterioration.