November 14, 1940

LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister):

If I recollect aright, when we were discussing the estimates of the Department of External Affairs at the close of last session, the hon. member for Vancouver South (Mr. Green) asked whether the

Legations-Argentina and Brazil

government intended to have representation in the Argentine or any of the other South American republics. At the time I replied that the government was giving consideration to the matter. I am now in a position to state that the government has decided to have a minister sent to the Argentine and also to have a minister sent to Brazil.

At the time, when my hon. friend previously brought up the question, I indicated that the government was considering whether or not it might be possible to have an arrangement with respect to the South American republics similar to that which was made with regard to Belgium and Holland, having one minister represent this country at two capitals, in this case Buenos Aires and Rio de Janiero. For obvious reasons, however, it has seemed inadvisable to restrict the appointment to one minister and has seemed very desirable to have two appointments.

I might say that the formal approval of His Majesty the King is necessary before a step of the kind is taken. That approval has been obtained, and the governments of the Argentine and Brazil have been informed, at our request, by the foreign minister of the United Kingdom through the British ambassadors to those countries, that it is the intention of our government to make the appointments in due course. I should say that both countries intimated to the government some time ago that they would like to be in a position to send ministers to Canada. Each of these governments asked whether we would be prepared not only to receive their ministers but to reciprocate in the matter of making appointments to their respective countries. It is just within the last month or two that it has been possible to give them a definite answer on that point.

My hon. friend has asked me to elaborate. I do not know just what he may have in mind. It may be that he refers to the possibility of trade commissioners being able to perform the duties that ministers might perform; I notice there has been some comment in the press to that effect. I imagine, however, this would not commend itself to my hon. friend. I do not think any country has a finer trade commissioner service than Canada has, and the work that is being done by our trade commissioners in the South American republics is satisfactory in every particular. But as hon. members will realize, representatives of the Department of Trade and Commerce as such have not immediate access to foreign governments. In many countries to-day, in order that the ministry may be approached by a representative of another country, that representative must have ministerial standing. Hon. members also are aware

that at the present time matters of trade are becoming largely controlled by governments themselves, by means of quotas, prohibitions and restrictions of various kinds, so that it is becoming imperative to have someone with the authority of a minister to gain the contacts that are necessary with governments on these matters. Perhaps I need only add that the importance of the South American republics, both from the political and the economic point of view, is obvious; and the government feels that it would be in the national interest that we should have this representation at an early date.

Topic:   LEGATIONS
Subtopic:   PROPOSED APPOINTMENT OF MINISTERS PLENIPOTENTIARY TO ARGENTINA AND BRAZIL
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MARKETING OF ONTARIO PRODUCTION-OPERATIONS OF BOARD FOR EASTERN DIVISION


On the orders of the day:


CON

Mark Cecil Senn

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. M. C. SENN (Haldimand):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to ask a question of the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. MacKinnon). On August 2 last, in reply to a question by myself, the minister stated that the accounts in connection with the handling of Ontario wheat were then being audited, and that accordingly payments would be made in a very short time. He also said that there would be a final payment. The holders of participation certificates are anxious to know when this payment will be made; and can the minister state what the amount per bushel will be?

Topic:   MARKETING OF ONTARIO PRODUCTION-OPERATIONS OF BOARD FOR EASTERN DIVISION
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LIB

James Angus MacKinnon (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Hon. J. A. MacKINNON (Minister of Trade and Commerce):

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member for Haldimand was kind enough to send me notification of his intention to ask these questions to-day. I am glad to say in reply that the wheat received from the producer in Ontario during the 1939-40 season has been sold, and the operations of the board completed. The result of the marketing of this wheat shows a surplus of $80,729.27, which amount, less the cost of distribution, will be paid immediately.

At the commencement of the marketing season the board, with the approval of the governor in council, sets initial prices for each grade and variety of wheat. Naturally these spreads cannot be estimated exactly, but as the wheat is sold records are kept of the variations between the prices obtained for the different grades, so that now when the wheat has been sold the producer will be compensated for any inequalities in the initial prices.

Wheat Marketing-Ontario

The amount paid on each grade of wheat, initially, for the 1939 crop, the average price obtained after deducting therefrom the handling and administrative costs, and the balance per bushel payable on each grade

is as follows: Initial Final Balanceprice price per bushelcents cents centsCanadian Eastern Mixed Winter- No. 1 .. 70 71-623 1-623No. 2 .. 68 70-255 2-255No. 3 .. 65 68-351 3-351Canadian Eastern Red Winter- No. 1 .. 70 71-623 1-623No. 2 .. 68 70-108 2-108No. 3 . 65 68-265 3-265Canadian Eastern White Winter- No. 1 .. 70 71-623 1-623No. 2 .. 68 70-062 2-062No. 3 .. 65 67-715 2-715With the approv al of the house, I shall be

pleased to place on Hansard a statement of

the operations of the board for this particular period (eastern division).

An announcement was made in the press yesterday advising the producers to forward their producers' certificates, properly endorsed, to the Canadian Wheat Board, 80 King Street West, Toronto.

Wheat sold at realized prices.... $3,241,354 85 Less wheat delivered by the producers at board fixed prices and for which producers' certificates have been issued 2,957,301 14

Surplus on wheat transactions.. $ 284,053 71 Handling and administrative charges:

Storage and carrying

charges $ 79,842 09

Elevation

20,190 83Railroad charges .. 23,903 22Insurance

355 20Reconditioning, grade adjustments, shrinkage

12,897 01

Less handling charges

recovered 11,154 00

Interest and bank

charges $ 14,385 93

Brokerage 13,146 60

Administrative and

general expenses.. 49,757 56

Surplus in respect of the oper-tions of the 1939 crop-eastern division $ 80,729 27

The per bushel cost of the uncontrollable expenses incidental to the physical handling of the wheat, interest and bank charges, etc., amounted to 3-610 cents per bushel, and for administrative and general expenses 1-169 cents per bushel. Deliveries to the board from the 1939 crop totalled 4,254,935-50 bushels.

Topic:   MARKETING OF ONTARIO PRODUCTION-OPERATIONS OF BOARD FOR EASTERN DIVISION
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EMPLOYMENT OFFICES

ANNOUNCEMENT AS TO OPENING OF NEW OFFICES IN TORONTO


On the orders of the day:


NAT

Harry Rutherford Jackman

National Government

Mr. H. R. JACKMAN (Rosedale):

Mr. Speaker, in the daily press of Toronto there has appeared over the week-end an advertisement under the authority of the province of Ontario, announcing the opening of five new employment offices. Would the Minister of Labour be good enough to say whether this is done with the knowledge or approval of his department, or of the unemployment insurance commission?

Topic:   EMPLOYMENT OFFICES
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT AS TO OPENING OF NEW OFFICES IN TORONTO
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LIB

Norman Alexander McLarty (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Hon. N. A. McLARTY (Minister of Labour):

I am afraid I shall have to let the question stand as a notice. I have no information with respect to it, nor do I know what the commission has done in the matter. I shall be pleased to give the hon. member the information, but it is not available at the moment.

Topic:   EMPLOYMENT OFFICES
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT AS TO OPENING OF NEW OFFICES IN TORONTO
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GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH

CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY


The house resumed from Wednesday, November 13, consideration of the motion of Mr. Brooke Claxton for an address to His Excellency the Governor General in reply to his speech at the opening of the session, and the amendment thereto of Mr. Hanson (York-Sunbury), and the amendment to the amendment of Mr. Blackmore.


LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of National War Services; Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Hon. J. G. GARDINER (Minister of Agriculture and National War Services):

Mr. Speaker, I am sorry that I had not returned to Canada when the mover and seconder of the address spoke on Friday last. Therefore I was denied the privilege of listening to two speeches of the highest order, which were well delivered, judging from the reports in Hansard, and the remarks of previous speakers on both sides of the house.

I have had the privilege of listening to the speeches delivered by the leaders of the three groups sitting opposite, and the very excellent speech delivered by the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King). The Prime Minister, because of his very complete review of the activities of the Department of National War Services,

The Address-Mr. Gardiner

has made it unnecessary for me to say more about our activities at this time. As a matter of fact 1 do not rise to speak on the main motion, but rather to speak on the amendment which is before the house, moved by the leader of the opposition (Mr. Hanson) and supported in certain particulars by the leader of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation group, the hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar (Mr. Coldwell).

The amendment of the leader of the opposition is in the following words:

That the following be added to the address to His Excellency:

"We respectful}' submit to Your Excellency that this house regrets that the government has continued to soothe the Canadian people regarding the war effort of the nation, thereby creating a false sense of security when a clear-cut call to action is desperately needed.

And this house further regrets that despite the serious condition of agriculture no effective action is proposed to alleviate that condition and to ensure to the Canadian farmer a just, fair and reasonable return for his products."

It is my intention to deal first with the reference to agriculture, and if I have time later I shall refer to my recent experiences in Britain in order to refute the suggestions contained in the first part of the amendment.

I would call the attention of the house to the statement that, "no effective action is proposed". The leader of the opposition had no suggestion to make other than a proposal that we should do for the potato grower what we have done already for the wheat grower and the apple grower. I suggest to him that if the application of the policy applied to the condition of the apple grower would satisfy, and if in his opinion we have done all that we should have done for the wheat grower, and if he had no special complaint to make excepts ing with regard to potatoes, he should have greatly narrowed the terms of his amendment. When he made a speech two hours and a half long and offered no proposals to alleviate the condition of the farmer about which he complained, he might have refrained from criticizing the government on that score.

But the leader of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation party did not make that mistake. He stated a grievance, and his long practice in stating grievances has made him an expert. He said:

War has effectively closed our principal markets for farm products.

And again:

Our agricultural problems are, however, not due to war conditions exclusively. Economic nationalism and the increase in production encouraged by the first great war, and made possible by the mechanization and scientific development of agriculture, have combined to increase the difficulties of Canadian agriculture. The lack of any intelligent policy or direction on the part of the governmeut has greatly increased the difficulties.

I take it that he does not blame this government for having brought on the war. We can as a government, therefore, claim that any difficulties arising out of the war are not of our making.

Economic nationalism certainly cannot be laid at the door of this government. When the present Prime Minister accepted the leadership of the Liberal party he condemned narrow nationalism in all its elements. He continued to lead the crusade both inside and outside the House of Commons until to-day he is recognized throughout the empire as the most internationally minded of all the political leaders of the empire. His followers campaigned with him for twenty-one years against the narrow nationalism of the official opposition and the state socialism of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation which is state monopoly of the most nationalistic nature.

The leader of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation then proceeds to condemn increased production, mechanization of farms and scientific development of agriculture as co-partners with economic nationalism and war in causing the problems of agriculture. He then goes on to state:

The lack of any intelligent policy or direction on the part of the government has greatly increased the difficulties.

Well, Mr. Speaker, I cannot conceive of a less intelligent discussion of the causes of our difficulties as related in criticism of the present government of Canada, and would therefore suggest that the policy pursued by the government to date may be quite as intelligent as could proceed from the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation source.

It is not the practice of a government to be announcing policies. Governments put their ideas into practice. The announcing of policies is the right of oppositions. When we were in opposition we announced a policy through our leader in these terms:

The Liberal party by its policies will continue to further the development of agriculture, lumbering, mining and fisheries by effecting reductions in the costs of production of Canada's basic products and by obtaining wider markets therefor, by encouraging export trade and by state assistance in the marketing of natural products.

We appealed to the country on that policy as opposed to narrow nationalism and state socialism as practised by the government of the day and advocated by the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation. We were returned by an enormous majority and put those policies into effect for four years. War came.

The Address-Mr. Gardiner

We again went to the country, outlined our policies, and declared our intention to continue the policies advocated in 1935 and put into effect with beneficial results for four years. What was the result?

Topic:   GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. COLDWELL:

Unemployment.

Topic:   GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of National War Services; Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

My hon. friend says

"unemployment." There was unemployment for practically all the opposition candidates who opposed us. In proof of that may I recite this. The official opposition elected only three members from agricultural seats west of Winnipeg, and I see on the opposition benches only two members from eastern Canada who by the wildest stretch of the imagination can be called farmers. The Cooperative Commonwealth Federation was held to its original representation west of the great lakes and did not elect a single representative from a farming constituency east of the lakes. The Social Credit group had its numbers cut in two.

What about my own position, since I am the minister under discussion? I left a safe seat which I represented in the last house and deliberately challenged the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation on their policies for agriculture, in a seat which was entirely held by the radical opposition in the local house. It was a seat which had been abandoned by the ill-advised official opposition. I campaigned in every province west of Quebec for others, and the people of this western seat returned me by a handsome majority.

I may tell my friends of the official opposition that every traditional Conservative poll in the constituency gave me a majority.

Why should this government change its policies on agriculture? The policies are essentially Liberal. The policies were endorsed in peace-time by the farming population of Canada when proposed in 1935. The policies were put into practice for four years and endorsed in war-time no later than March 26 last. Two of the opposition now have the effrontery to pronounce against those policies in the house without waiting to hear the report of our mission to Britain in an effort to make our future practice conform to their needs. We have only two markets left for our farm products. They are Britain and the United States, the two countries whose markets have been cultivated since we took office and in these we have friends because of our actions during the years we have been in office.

After reviewing the position of the wheat farmer, the leader of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation then went on, as an

opposition should, to do what the leader of the official opposition did not do, namely, announce an alternative policy. He said:

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.

We have boards, most of them with very adequate producer representation upon them, marketing wheat, bacon, dairy products, apples, and although with no assistance from this government, tobacco.

The hon. gentleman's second point was:

2. The suppression of gambling and speculation in food products, including of course the closing of the grain exchanges.

I agree that gambling should be removed from the marketing of our products at all times. I do not think, however, that gambling and speculation are synonymous terms. I agree that when the butter market of Canada is protected by a five-cent duty persons should not purchase butter at 21 cents in the summer season and attempt to sell it to the consumers at 30 to 40 cents in the winter months. I am compelled to say, however, that when I, as a representative of producers, am asked by our only customer to maintain an open exchange when under the circumstances there can be neither gambling nor speculation, I am inclined to accede to his wish. That is what we are doing in Canada at the present time in the handling of wheat.

The leader of the Cooperative Common-weath Federation party proceeds through six planks, each one of which could be dealt with to indicate that in so far as they would be helpful the principle has already been complied with. He concludes with a seventh, which reads as follows:

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.

I presume that when the member for Rosetown-Biggar suggests the appointment of a full-time minister of agriculture he implies what others are stating-that two departments of the nature of Agriculture and War Services are too heavy for one minister. My hon. friend nods his head in assent. Well, that is an arguable position to take. But when in the latter part of the proposal he suggests that all boards having to do with the marketing of farm products be transferred to the Minister of Agriculture he is suggesting that the board of grain commissioners and the wheat board should be transferred to Agriculture.

The Address-Mr. Gardiner

May I state to the member for Rosetown-Biggar that one of the biggest single jobs confronting the government of Canada to-day is that of dealing with the marketing of wheat and the financing of the farmers who have not been able to market their wheat. That job in itself is bigger and more trying than the work of the whole department of war services, particularly when we were able, through the cooperation of the members of this house, to secure the cooperation of all the people of Canada both for the registration and for the calling of men for the training camps.

If it is only the health or capacity of the minister he is worrying about, then I submit that his proposal does not help the situation. If it is his desire to get me out of the department, then I want to tell him that whether I am Minister of Agriculture, War Services, both, or only a private member, or back on the farm where only one of his group ever made a living-

Topic:   GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. COLDWELL:

I never heard that the Minister of Agriculture did either.

Topic:   GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of National War Services; Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

-I shall continue to fight the battles of the farmers of Canada. No adding to or taking away from duties or prestige will remove my life-long association with and love for farmers and farming.

I might add that with the government constituted as it is, wheat is under the joint administration of two ministers, one from the greatest wheat producing province in Canada and one from the second greatest. On the theory that two heads are better than one, the work should be lighter and carried out more efficiently as it is.

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury); What if there isn't any head?

Topic:   GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of National War Services; Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

I am certain that I and the Minister of Trade and Commerce can cooperate to the benefit of the industry.

In reply to the suggestion of the leader of the opposition (Mr. Hanson) I know of only one group in Canada that is without any head.

The leader of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation immediately removes any suggestion that he desires a minister to have anything to do, by proposing that a planning commission should be set up which would take on all the duties of a minister of agriculture. He gives as the last duty of this commission that of arranging for the export to Great Britain without profit to Canada of surplus supplies of food now rationed in that country.

What does he mean by " without profit to Canada "? Almost forty per cent of our population live on the farm; easily sixty per cent are engaged in work which is such that they depend upon returns from the farm for their existence.

Topic:   GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
Permalink
CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. COLDWELL:

Returns are not profits, and the minister knows it.

Topic:   GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
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November 14, 1940