November 14, 1940

LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

I am coming to that. Canada, in relation to profits, is the people of Canada. His proposal can mean nothing more or less than what is the essence of state socialism, namely, that the whole population, including the farmer, be placed on a bare subsistence basis.

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

George Hugh Castleden

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

Mr. CASTLEDEN:

Rubbish.

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:

The farmers are on that basis now.

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

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

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

May I state what this government has done for agriculture?

Before the war, when we found every branch of agriculture floundering in the bogs of narrow nationalism, having had flung to it by the government of the day the rotten planks of state socialism, we offered it trade with a great friendly nation to the south and a mother country forced to prepare for war, with the result that we were returned to office.

When we returned we implemented our pledges, with the further result that the price of every single farm product increased. The volume of the product at increased prices went up. At the end of two years the increased sales to the two important countries had improved in value by more than fifty per cent. This continued in most products right down to the year in which war began. Wheat was the outstanding exception, and crop failure in 1937 largely accounted for that as well as the dropping off in the total farm exports.

No other government at any time has helped the western farmer from the. treasury of Canada to the extent that this government has. We have spent millions of dollars to assist farmers without crops. We have spent additional millions in rehabilitating farmers. I was referred to in the last campaign, a campaign carried on after the war began, as the Santa Claus to western Canada and western farmers.

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

Charles Edward Johnston

Social Credit

Mr. JOHNSTON (Bow River):

The people do not believe that.

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

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

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

Look at the last election returns and you will be convinced that they do believe it-and they left half of your group at home.

The Address-Mr. Gardiner

Before war came we set up cooperative marketing organizations from coast to coast to handle farm products. Every one of them has been a success financially. Our guarantee enabled them to finance at the bank, and they were so soundly established that although they brought the farmer better returns not one of them required to take a cent out of the treasury of Canada. This demonstrated that the farmers of this countiy can organize and handle the marketing of their own products and make a success of it.

Before the war we paid a premium on good cheese and assisted cheese producers to improve their factories, with the result that quality cheese has been greatly increased both in volume and in price. It is this increase in volume and quality produced by more scientific methods which the leader of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation associates with war and narrow nationalism as the cause of our present farm problems.

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

Thomas Miller Bell

Mr. COLD WELL:

You know better than that.

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

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

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

My hon. friend is quite an expert in a number of things, one of them being composition, which he taught for many years in a school in the city of Regina. If he will read the Hansard report of his speech he will find that what I am stating is exactly correct.

I differ from my hon. friend in his diagnosis of the case. If the peoples of Europe whom Britain has befriended for ages had been able to hold out against the attacks of nazism, every scrap of food Canada prepared against the day of trial would have been required by now and would have been selling at a price which would have partly paid the debts incurred during the days of narrow nationalism. But the war has brought destruction, pillage, rampant death and slavery to the small food-producing countries of Europe, and we, with our food supplies increased to greater surpluses than for years, are able to play a greater part in assisting Britain than we otherwise could have done.

Britain did not want our apples last year. We helped the apple growers as liberally as we ever helped the wheat growers. We entered into an agreement with Britain and set up a board to handle bacon. The price of hogs averaged about three cents a pound higher in Canada than in the United States where there was no agreement. We made an agreement on cheese, and cheese producers were assured of a price much better than the relative price of butter which was left to the tender mercies of our own market. Our farmers could not sell their wheat, and we

did what no government ever did under similar circumstances before. We paid them more by way of advance one year than we could get for it, and when the war break came and our storage would not handle it, we helped finance an increase in storage and we distributed the storage available so that all could get some. We pegged the price so that the speculator could not profit, and Britain came to our assistance and paid us more for wheat than she paid any other country in the world.

In the face of these facts I want to say that, before the trip which I made to Britain a few weeks ago, we had been functioning in the interests of agriculture in this country and had been giving considerable direction to production in Canada. We told the farmers, for example, more than a year ago that it would not be wise to increase wheat acreage; but wheat acreage was increased by two million acres. We cannot always be assured of the carrying out of undertakings which we advise people to enter upon on their own behalf. We advised them, it is true, to g6 on producing bacon. We had some difficulties with that before the end of last year, but those difficulties will be cleared away when I read the arrangements which we made in Britain when I was there in recent weeks.

Perhaps one of the greatest war services provided in Canada has been performed by the farmers. I think the remarks of the different oppositions agree with that. We are inclined to look upon munitions, arms and armies as being indispensable in war time, and they are; but sometimes we forget that the necessities of peace time are the fundamental requirements of war time. Food and clothing are as indispensable in time of war as man-power itself, because without food and clothing there could be no man-power.

The farmers of Canada and the enlisted soldiers from all classes in Canada have been required to make greater economic sacrifices than any others. First it was the apple growers, next the tobacco growers, next the vegetable and small fruit growers; and now the wheat growers have been compelled, because of the turn of the war, to accept much less for their products than they had every right and reason to expect. Farmers suffered as great, if not greater, losses because of war fear before war was declared.

Because of these losses, both before and since the declaration of war, I thought it wise to go to Britain and study the British position first-hand, taking with me, to assist, officials of the department who are entrusted with the task of helping to market farm products. We have just returned and have certain reports to make.

The Address-Mr. Gardiner

The first is that while the blockade lasts there is only one European authority to which we can direct food supplies, and that is the government of Britain. I have noticed from press reports since returning that certain persons have been suggesting while I was away that we should seek markets in certain quarters. I wish to state, in terms that cannot be misunderstood, that having witnessed the bombardment of London and other parts of Britain I would not remain for one hour in any government of Canada which would seek markets for farm products anywhere in the world if the marketing of them there would in any way tend to weaken the blockade Britain is enforcing upon certain sections of Europe.

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

Thomas Miller Bell

Mr. COLD WELL:

What about the selling of copper to Spain?

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

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

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

Well, my hon. friend will find, if he reads this carefully, that the selling of anything to Spain is very well covered by what I have stated.

My observation would lead me to the conclusion that Britain will require to use every legitimate means at her disposal to defeat Hitlerism, and the blockade is the strongest weapon she has until munitions, planes, tanks, trucks, arms and men are pouring into the field of battle.

Britain is enforcing the blockade, and she alone must be in a position to determine where the food products can be placed to do the greatest good. In short, I think it is our duty to place the food supplies available for European consumption at the disposal of the empire through the food and shipping ministries of Britain, to be directed to any market they think advisable. I think we should receive in return from the British government for these supplies sufficient to make it possible for our farmers to carry on producing food supplies which are greatly needed and may be even more essential to ultimate victory.

The second finding we wish to report is that the British food ministry has established a list of essential food products in order of preference. We were not supplied with that list and I presume it is subject to change from time to time, but our discussion would lead us to believe it is at present arranged in about the following order:

1. Wheat and other cereals.

The reason for this is obvious. There is no food product produced anywhere in the world which in its natural state will keep longer than wheat and which at the same time will retain its full value longer than wheat.

2. Dairy products.

3. Fresh meats.

4. Bacon and other cured meats.

5. Fish, canned and frozen.

6. Poultry and eggs.

7. Canned fruits.

8. Canned vegetables.

9. Fresh fruits.

Britain does not want fresh fruits at all.

The only one of these farm products which we are not at present interested in sending to Britain so far as our own economy is concerned is fresh meats. We have a much better market in Canada and the United States for all our fresh meat, including live cattle, than we can secure in Britain or any part of Europe. I should like, Mr. Speaker, to ask this house to whom is due the credit for that? The fact that we have no problem in connection with the marketing of our cattle is due entirely to the agreement which we have with the United States, and which was made by this government. The only farm product which we did not need to discuss in Britain was that of beef and other fresh meats associated in similar trade. I think we should keep that in mind when we are talking about our relationships with some other parts of the world in connection with food products.

We did not, therefore, discuss the sending of fresh meat to Britain other than to make known to them the fact that we have certain surpluses which are being marketed in the United States. We made it very plain to them that if these surpluses were ever required to feed the people of Britain we would be prepared immediately to discuss their problem with them and try to cooperate with them in assisting them to a solution.

We discussed all the other products with them, and bearing in mind the two findings reported above, namely, that the blockade is necessary to victory and that Britain has an essential list of food products set up in order of preference, I wish to report to the house the result of our discussions with the British government.

First, with regard to fish: It was not my duty as Minister of Agriculture to put forward the claims of the fishing industry, but I was pleased to have the officials of the departments of Trade and Commerce and of Fisheries suggest that we include fish in our negotiations. I shall only state in this report, before proceeding with the discussion of agricultural products, that Britain agreed to accept from Canada canned salmon to a value of $5,538,000, other canned fish to a value of $3,145,000 and frozen cod to a value of $3,367,000, or a total in fish of $12,050,000.

The Address-Mr. Gardiner

Fruit. Britain does not desire to take apples and other fresh fruits at present. She does not say she will not take any but she does not desire to take them. This is due to the fact that she places them at the bottom of the list of essential foods, and even on the basis of empire policy considers that while they are fighting the effort of Hitler to break the blockade, shipping space should not be used for fresh apples and other fruits. We have accepted her representations for this year and intend to encourage our own people to use Canadian fresh fruits in greater quantities than formerly as a means of assisting our fruit

growers.

Britain is prepared to

Canned tomatoes to a Dried apples Canned apples Fruit pulp Fruit pectin Honey

take: value of

Or a total in fruit and honey of $4,541,000

In regard to poultry and eggs, we were unable to enter into an agreement because the British food ministry were not prepared to bind themselves to take poultry; it is looked upon more or less as a luxury. The food ministry felt that the eggs which we could provide would not be sufficient in volume to affect their ration lists; therefore they prefer to have these products marketed without agreements, and we agreed to assist in every way possible in the marketing of them without agreement.

With fresh meats eliminated there are three products left which we can supply in quantity. They are wheat, dairy products, and bacon. These are on the British list in that order of preference. I wish to discuss them in the reverse order.

First, bacon and other pork products. Last year we had an agreement with Britain to take 291 million pounds of Wiltshire sides at a price which for that quantity would have netted us 52-4 million dollars. Britain actually did take 321 million pounds which netted us 57-6 million dollars.

Bacon is placed fourth on her list of essential products. There is a strong sentiment in government circles and elsewhere- and this is important to the people of Canada -to the effect that bacon is not an essential product, and could be placed much lower in the list. This is supported by two contentions; first, that bacon costs too much for its food value, and second, that the sources of supply have been so reduced that it would be impossible to maintain a ration which would be worth while.

We presented our position to them, answering the last contention. We estimate that our entire surplus of Wiltshires this year will be 425-6 million pounds, or very close to the amount that Britain used to import from Denmark. We also estimated that we will have a million dollars' worth of offals and a million dollars' worth of bladders and casings which can be sold. We have therefore entered into an agreement under which we will deliver to Britain our entire surplus of Wiltshires, offals, bladders and casings for a total net to Canada of $69,300,000, or almost 17 million dollars more than the agreement of last year provided for, and more than 10 million dollars in excess of what we sold last year. This should clear our own market of all surplus, and maintain the ration in Great Britain at four ounces for this year. This should result in our own market being in a healthy condition, and encourage Britain to maintain either the present or a higher ration of bacon in future years.

May I throw out this warning: that this does not mean that we would be safe in Canada at the present time to go on greatly increasing hog production. We should establish hog production in Canada at the present time, put ourselves in a position to supply this amount throughout the year, and if we are successful in doing so, of good quality and in the quantity required, then next year I think we shall be able to persuade Britain at least to continue the present ration, and probably to increase it.

The terms of the agreement have been so drawn as to permit of the contract being operated this year on a lower cost basis than last year, and the quantity should make it possible to avoid the periodical gluts of last year. These two factors should result in the price level to the producers holding a favourable relationship to last year's average price.

The total number of hogs required to fill last year's agreement would have been 2-5 million. The total number required to fill this year's agreement will be 3-6 million. The total minimum earnings under last year's agreement would have been 52*4 million dollars. If we deliver only the minimum under this year's agreement, the total on Wiltshires will be 67-3 million dollars, and for all pork products, $69,300,000.

With regard to cheese and other dairy products, Britain did not wish to enter into an agreement to purchase butter from us if it would interfere with the quantity of cheese to be delivered.

The Address-Mr. Gardiner

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

Richard Burpee Hanson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

Would the minister be good enough in connection with bacon to name the prices of these commodities?

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

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

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

The price to the farmer of course cannot be named; it is a price that works out over the period. I have not the

price at a Canadian port before me at the moment, but it will be published. I hesitate to try to quote it. I think I know what it is, but I might be a fraction of a cent out.

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

Alexander Malcolm Nicholson

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

Mr. NICHOLSON:

Is it as high as last year?

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

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

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

No, not quite as high as last year, but the better arrangements in connection with maintenance, margin for storage and that kind of thing, should result in a price to the farmer which compares very favourably with that of last year. But the price for delivery is not the same; neither are the conditions under which delivery is to be made.

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

Mark Cecil Senn

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SENN:

Is it a set price and a constant price that is expected?

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

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

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

It is a set price to the government at the port, and the board determines what the packer is to get from it.

Britain places cheese next to wheat in her preference list. She could not offer as much for butter as our farmers can get in their own market. We therefore decided not to press for an agreement on butter, but to enter into an agreement on cheese. This does not mean that Britain will not take any butter, but if she does it will require to be marketed in the

ordinary way, and any influence the government can bring to bear on the marketing will be brought to bear if advisable.

Last year we had an agreement to deliver 78-2 million pounds of cheese at a price which nets us 14 cents a pound at Montreal. We delivered 90 million pounds and received for it 12-6 million dollars. This year we have agreed to deliver 112 million pounds at 14-4 cents at Montreal. This will net us at Montreal 16-1 million dollars. If we can deliver more, Britain will take it. There is no limitation, either in our discussions or in the agreement, on the total amount, but she wanted us to commit ourselves to a minimum amount in order that she might be able to deal with her rations.

In addition to cheese there is an arrangement under which we may deliver condensed milk to the value of at least $3,750,000 or to the amount of 1,000,000 cases. If one totals these figures it will be found that if we deliver only the minimum amounts of food products the contracts call for, we will sell $93,691,000 worth of food products other than wheat and fish. If we include the fish and not the wheat, our export of food products to Britain this year will amount to $105,741,000. This will be the largest return from these products since the latter part of the last war.

Here I Should like to place on Hansard the record for the last seven years, including the record under this agreement on the minimum amounts, in order to indicate what that means to the food producers of the Dominion of Canada:

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

VALUE OF EXPORTS OF CERTAIN CANADIAN AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS AND FISH TO THE UNITED KINGDOM


CALENDAR YEARS 1935-41 (*) - 1935 1936 1937 1938 1939 9 months 1940 Minimum for 1941$ 19,733 529 % 25,138,590 % 32,467,171 % 30,494,762 % 32,287,291 $ 42,445,697 $ 67,300,000 1,000,000 1,000,000 719,283 462,428 559,887 422,118 319,315 547,951 20,452,812 25,601,018 33,027,058 30,916,880 32,606,606 42,993,648 69,300,000 5,986.819 1,069,666 9,359,453 577,538 11,825,692 1,362,651 11,023,338 1,733,533 10,802,873 1,251,404 11,253,203 1,202,597 16,100,000 3,750,000 7,056,485 9,936,991 13,188,343 12,756,871 12,054,277 12,455,800 19,850,000 150,856 638,757 31,980 335,783 195,562 573.272 24,351 320.272 198,331 1,452,754 34,724 500,588 281,067 1,210,198 13,034 655,316 288,696 1,872,899 17,454 932,416 990,412 521,170 125,489 767,745 554.000 2,658,000 177.000 664.000 266.000 222,000 1,157,376 1,113,457 2,186,397 2,159,615 3,111,465 2,404,816 4,541,000 28,666,673 36,651,466 48,401,798 45,833,366 47,772,348 57,853,264 93,691,000 4,158,825 1,307,875 21 3,460,188 985,353 3,798,818 1,128,547 204 3,726,527 1,195,525 267 5,517,273 1,078,471 67,027 4,293,978 1,126,923 69,246 5.538.000 3.145.000 3.367.000 5,466,721 4,445,541 4,927,569 4,922,319 6,662,771 5,490,147 12,050,000 34,133,394 41,097,007 53,329,367 50,755,685 54,435,119 63,343,411 105,741,000 (*) Not listed separately in trade statistics. (2) Includes tomato juice. The Address-Mr. Oar diner The Address-Mr. Gardiner


NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

Will the

minister also say whether he will table those agreements?

Topic:   VALUE OF EXPORTS OF CERTAIN CANADIAN AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS AND FISH TO THE UNITED KINGDOM
Permalink
LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

Oh, yes; they will be

tabled as soon as they are in shape for tabling.

What about wheat? The position has been stated quite fairly by both the leader of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation and the leader of the Social Credit party in so far as crop returns and storage are concerned. I did not go to Britain with authority to make an agreement on wheat. The duty of selling wheat has been entrusted by this house to a wheat board. It is not the duty of any minister to market wheat, but that of the wheat board which under the act reports to the Minister of Trade and Commerce.

Both the Minister of Trade and Commerce and the chairman of the wheat board asked me to discuss wheat and instructed their representatives in Britain to facilitate the discussions in every way possible. I wish here to state that I and those with me appreciated the assistance received from the very competent staffs of the Department of Trade and Commerce and the Department of External Affairs, including the high commissioner. In so far as wheat was concerned the assistance of Mr. Biddulph was indispensable. No official could know his job better or carry it out with greater courtesy and efficiency.

To illustrate Canada's wheat position to Britain I used certain figures, as follows:

Million

bushels

Wheat carried forward from previous years into 1940-41 and now in

storage 282

Canada's crop in the year 1939-40... 561

Stocks in sight to dispose of at August

1st, 1940 843

Canada will probably consume in

1940-41 130

Canada therefore has for sale 713

In the 14 years before the war, Canada sold to the United Kingdom

an annual average of 90

Canada exported to the United Kingdom in calendar year 1939 132

Canada exported last year to all countries, except the United Kingdom which it is now open to her

to sell 25

Canada exported before the war to countries now blockaded, an annual average of 35

The wheat carried forward from previous years covers the amount in the elevators of Canada at August 1, 1940, because I was dealing with the storage situation.

The United Kingdom imported 230 million bushels of wheat in the year 1938-39. It appeared, therefore, that Canada could meet

the entire demands of the United Kingdom for wheat for the next three years out of her present stocks of 843 million bushels. Canada realized, of course- these were the representations made-that the United Kingdom would want to buy wheat also from countries other than Canada. But it appeared that in recent months about seventy per cent of the United Kingdom purchases had been of Canadian origin, and I suggested that the United Kingdom might think it desirable to maintain this percentage. On this basis it appeared that the United Kingdom would want to take about 160 million bushels of wheat a year from Canada.

With regard to the future, I examined the prospects first on the demand and then on the supply side. On the demand side, assuming that the blockade would not be lifted for two more years, Canada expected to be able to dispose of 160 million bushels a year to the United Kingdom, and to raise the consumption within Canada for food and feed from 130 million to 160 million bushels a year. During this two year period it thus would be possible for Canada to dispose of 640 million bushels at home and to the United Kingdom. In addition, Canada expected that after the blockade was lifted it would be possible for her to dispose of 160 million bushels a year to countries now blockaded, or say 480 million bushels over a three year period. Thus during the next five years, assuming two years of blockade and three years of offensive warfare or peace, it should be possible for Canada to dispose of the following quantities of wheat:

Million

To the United Kingdom: bushels

5 years at 160 million bushels

a year 800

By internal consumption:

5 years at 160 million bushels

a year 800

To countries now blockaded:

3 years at 160 million bushels

a year 480

Total 2,080

On the supply side, Canada could expect to produce on an average 380 million bushels of wheat a year. That is her average for the last fourteen years and more than her average for the last five years, including the last two crops. Her total production in five years thus would amount to 1,900 million bushels. To this should be added the 280 million bushels carried over into 1940-41 from previous years, making a total quantity of 2,180 million bushels which it would be necesary for Canada to dispose of in the five year period.

It appeared, therefore, according to the above figures that Canada would have 2,180 million bushels of wheat to sell in the five

The Address-Mr. Gardiner

year period, and that during the same period she probably would be able to market 2,080 million bushels, leaving a carry-over at the end of that time of only 100 million bushels. Moreover, if Canada continued to be able to sell 30 million bushels a year to those countries outside Europe which were not being blockaded, instead of there being a surplus of 100 million bushels at the end of the five year period the demand for Canadian wheat would be 50 million bushels greater than the supply.

I did not consider, therefore, that Canadian wheat producers need be pessimistic, but may I say again that there is nothing in these figures which should induce Canadian wheat growers to increase their acreage this year. As a matter of fact there is very much in them upon which to ask farmers at least to go back to the acreage they had in the year previous to last year, which was 2,000,000 acres lower than the land sowed to grain last year.

Canada could supply Britain's needs and did not anticipate that unsold stocks would grow to excessive amounts. The difficulty, however, was that of financing the quantities of wheat which would have to be carried. About 800 million bushels of wheat would need to be financed, of which roughly half would be financed for two years at a cost of about 80 cents a bushel and the other half for one year at a cost of some 75 cents a bushel, if the present arrangement is continued. This would mean that the Canadian government would require to put out about $320 million on the two year arrangement and about $300 million on the one year arrangement, making a total of S620 million. The dominion government is obliged to pay the farmer any additional amounts received for the wheat. It is generally admitted that 70 cents advance at Fort William, which nets the farmer about 50 cents a bushel, does not cover his total costs of production and therefore does not maintain him as a contented producer. If he is to receive more money, it -must come from the sale price of wheat, or from the taxpayers of Canada, or from both.

Those were the representations made. We made it plain to the British government that we were there not to discuss an agreement but to get their opinions with regard to the wheat situation. I have received those opinions as a result of the representations made through officials of the department concerned, and I have presented them to the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. MacKinnon) to be given consideration under his direction by the government of Canada. When

he is in a position to make the pronouncement he desires to make with regard to the policy to be followed as a result of them, he will make the announcement to the house.

I believe I have more than exhausted my time. I am sorry I had not time to deal with the situation as I saw it in Great Britain.

Topic:   VALUE OF EXPORTS OF CERTAIN CANADIAN AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS AND FISH TO THE UNITED KINGDOM
Permalink

November 14, 1940