April 30, 1941

NAT

George James Tustin

National Government

Mr. TUSTIN:

On whose recommendation does the commissioner make the appointment of enumerators?

Mr. MaeKINNON (Edmonton West): The recommendations are made by the census commissioners, and the census commissioner in each constituency is appointed on the recommendation of the sitting member or the defeated government candidate.

Topic:   DECENNIAL CENSUS
Subtopic:   QUESTION OF MAKING FORMS AVAILABLE IN ADVANCE OF CALLS BY ENUMERATORS
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NAT

Ernest Edward Perley

National Government

Mr. PERLEY:

Did any special instructions go out to commissioners to confer with defeated candidates or sitting members in connection with that matter?

Mr. MaeKINNON (Edmonton West): Yes. Detailed instructions went out from the chief census commissioner to the census commissioner in each constituency asking that contact be made with the sitting member for the constituency with regard to the appointment of enumerators. In many cases my information is that this work is being done fairly and that partisan methods are not being followed.

Topic:   DECENNIAL CENSUS
Subtopic:   QUESTION OF MAKING FORMS AVAILABLE IN ADVANCE OF CALLS BY ENUMERATORS
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NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

In some cases.

Topic:   DECENNIAL CENSUS
Subtopic:   QUESTION OF MAKING FORMS AVAILABLE IN ADVANCE OF CALLS BY ENUMERATORS
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CCF

Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

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

Mr. DOUGLAS (Weyburn):

Will the minister table those instructions?

Mr. MaeKINNON (Edmonton West): I

shall be glad to table the instructions which have gone out from the chief census commissioner.

Topic:   DECENNIAL CENSUS
Subtopic:   QUESTION OF MAKING FORMS AVAILABLE IN ADVANCE OF CALLS BY ENUMERATORS
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CCF

Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

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

Mr. DOUGLAS (Weyburn):

Many sitting members have not been consulted, according to conversations that I have had.

Supply-State of Agriculture

Topic:   DECENNIAL CENSUS
Subtopic:   QUESTION OF MAKING FORMS AVAILABLE IN ADVANCE OF CALLS BY ENUMERATORS
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AGRICULTURE-AMENDMENT TO MOTION OP MINISTER OP FINANCE


The house resumed from Tuesday, April 29, [DOT]consideration of the motion of Mr. Usley for committee of supply, and the amendment thereto of Mr. Diefenbaker and the amendment to the amendment of Mr. Douglas (Weyburn).


LIB

Hughes Cleaver

Liberal

Mr. HUGHES CLEAVER (Halton):

Mr. Speaker, I am not unmindful' of the fact that at this time our war effort demands all of our thoughts and all our efforts, but I also appreciate the fact that if we are to have a maximum war effort, all types of producers, all classes of people in this country must be fairly treated. Therefore, in taking up the time of the house on this occasion to discuss the problems of agriculture, I feel that I am not only doing my duty to my constituents but also making some contribution to our war effort.

To me it is a matter of great regret that politics should have been deliberately interjected by the sponsors of the amendment into a debate on the problems of agriculture. As we all know, the amendment is in the form of a vote of want of confidence in the government. If the amendment is carried, the government is defeated. Two hon. members who originally sponsored the amendment, the hon. member for Haldimand (Mr. Senn) and the hon. member for Qu'Appelle (Mr. Perley), are both experienced members of this house. They knew full well when they introduced this amendment in its present form just what they were doing. I am not questioning their right to do this, but I want to make it quite plain that the responsibility for the form of this debate is theirs and theirs alone. If the hon. members had wanted a fair, impartial and non-political discussion of the problems of agriculture, they could have had this when we were considering the agriculture estimates. If they were not willing to wait for the agriculture estimates, they could have had the debate at this very time but without moving a vote of want of confidence in the government.

My hon. friends were quite lavish in their [DOT]criticism, but the helpful suggestions which [DOT]they offered were most meagre. Their complaint is that since 1935, when there was a change of government.-I am quoting their own words-conditions confronting agriculture have grown gradually worse, that agriculture is now in a worse condition than it has ever been before. They went on to say that as a result of this, a deep-seated resentment has been raised in the minds of our farm-

ers against the present administration. They stated that the proposed measures to assist the western farmers to change from the growing of wheat to other types of production will result in the total demoralization and the ultimate ruin of agriculture throughout Canada. The hon. member for Qu'Appelle says that he is not so much concerned about a surplus of wheat, or, to use his own words, he is not "worrying very much about surplus wheat." Then we had the final taunt, and it is a taunt, from the hon. member for Haldimand, who said near the conclusion of his speech:

How my Liberal friends from rural ridings in eastern Canada will be able to sit quietly by without making any protest is beyond my imagination.

In view of these charges, what are we asked to do? We are asked to throw the present government out of office, to place this country in the throes of another general election. We are asked to take this action at a time when Canada and eveiy other democracy in the world is fighting a life and death struggle for their very existence. We had a war-time election in this country and the people chose this government to direct its war effort. I submit that the people of Canada have a right to demand the acceptance of their decision. I for one resent very much being placed in a position where I must ostensibly vote against agriculture in order to keep the present war-time government in office. In my opinion the problem of agriculture is much too serious to be made into a political football.

The taunt offered by the hon. member for Haldimand that it was beyond his imagination that his Liberal friends from rural ridings in eastern Canada would be able to sit quietly by without making any protest was a deliberate attempt to stir up sectional discord in this country, to pit the east against the west. An attempt of that kind is bad enough in peace time, but in war time it is certainly not the type of loyalty that we have the right to expect from members of this house. At a time when Canada should be making a maximum war effort, we should brush aside all these sectional differences.

Topic:   AGRICULTURE-AMENDMENT TO MOTION OP MINISTER OP FINANCE
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NAT
LIB

Hughes Cleaver

Liberal

Mr. CLEAVER:

Unfortunately there are

still men in public life in this country who will not do it. The first illustration of this came shortly after the declaration of war. In the fall of 1939 the government of Quebec attempted to split French Canada from our war effort. These very same men, although defeated, in the following spring, attempted to elect a so-called national government. The present government was in office less than three months when another highly political

Supply-State oj Agriculture

and objectionable attempt was made to stir up sectional trouble in this country, to disrupt Canada's war effort. An attempt was made to drive the present Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) out of office. The reason advanced was that he was too highly cultured, and of too high a character to direct properly Canada's war effort.

I say in all charity that all these selfish political moves which have been made from time to time-I place this present political move in the same category-are distinctly harmful to Canada's war effort. Surely the emergency which we face to-day in fighting this war is serious enough that politics should be banished absolutely, as should sectional differences, until this war is won.

My next criticism of the speeches made by the mover (Mr. Senn) and the seconder (Mr. Perley) of the amendment-and I mean the real mover and seconder, not the foster parents who had it left on their doorstep-is with regard to the statement that the condition of agriculture has been getting progressively worse ever since 1935. I believe that the agricultural problem is a serious one. I am not satisfied with present conditions in agriculture, but I also believe we shall never reach a correct solution of the problem until we are willing, honestly to face the facts which brought about the problem.

Topic:   AGRICULTURE-AMENDMENT TO MOTION OP MINISTER OP FINANCE
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NAT
LIB

Hughes Cleaver

Liberal

Mr. CLEAVER:

During the depth of the depression we all suffered losses, but a study of the annual statistics shows that agriculture suffered a much more severe loss than any other type of industry in Canada. Agriculture not only had to face the results of the depression but suffered from a disastrous trade policy. Looking at the figures, I find that the total annual income in Canada in 1929 was 84,726,900,000. This receded to $2,604,600,000 in 1933 and has since climbed back to $4,594,200,000 in 1940, thus showing in 1940 a net decrease of less than 3 per cent compared with 1929. As to agriculture, this industry showed in 1929 an income of $691,400,000. This receded in the depth of the depression to $144,500,000 and has since climbed back to $508,800,000 in 1940, thus showing in 1940 a decrease of 26-5 per cent compared with 1929. During the depth of the depression the total income of Canada receded 45 per cent, while in the same period the income of agriculture receded 79 per cent.

These figures show conclusively that while agriculture did not suffer alone, it suffered a decline of nearly twice the severity of the decline in incomes generally. As a result, the farmers used up all their surplus. Many farmers had to mortgage their farms, so that

in 1934 it became necessary to pass the Farmers' Creditors Arrangement Act to'

prevent thousands of farmers from being dispossessed. That was the state of affairs we found when we took office in 1935.

My hon. friend now says that conditions have gradually grown worse for agriculture since 1935. The only way to deal with a statement of that kind is, I suggest, simply to state that it is wholly inaccurate and to give the figures to prove the assertion. I should like to read into the record the yearly net income of agriculture for the last ten yeans, as follows:

1929 $691,400,000

1930 399.300,000

1931 222,600,000'

1932 144,500,0001933 173,700,000*

1934 262,200,000*

1935 290,900,000

1936 390.400,000

1937 422j500,000

1938 421,800,000

1939 505.700,000

1940 508,800,000

My hon. friend says that agricultural conditions have grown progressively worse. I say that the figures prove that agricultural conditions have improved by S217-9 million annually since 1935, or an improvement of 73 per cent since 1935.

Topic:   AGRICULTURE-AMENDMENT TO MOTION OP MINISTER OP FINANCE
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NAT

Karl Kenneth Homuth

National Government

Mr. HOMUTH:

Then there should be

nothing to worry about.

Topic:   AGRICULTURE-AMENDMENT TO MOTION OP MINISTER OP FINANCE
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LIB

Hughes Cleaver

Liberal

Mr. CLEAVER:

I suggest to the hon.

member for Waterloo South (Mr. Homuth) that perhaps he does not like this, and that may be why he is making his rather childish interjections.

Topic:   AGRICULTURE-AMENDMENT TO MOTION OP MINISTER OP FINANCE
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NAT

Karl Kenneth Homuth

National Government

Mr. HOMUTH:

I am not paying much, attention to the hon. member.

Topic:   AGRICULTURE-AMENDMENT TO MOTION OP MINISTER OP FINANCE
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LIB

Hughes Cleaver

Liberal

Mr. CLEAVER:

The motive behind that charge with respect to agriculture I leave to public opinion.

Topic:   AGRICULTURE-AMENDMENT TO MOTION OP MINISTER OP FINANCE
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CON
LIB

Hughes Cleaver

Liberal

Mr. CLEAVER:

What about wheat? The hon. member for Qu'Appelle says that he is not much concerned about the surplus of wheat, and the hon. member for Haldimand says that the present policy of the government to assist the western farmer to change over from wheat to other types of production will all but ruin Canadian agriculture. What are the facts? Canada's yearly average wheat supply for the last five years has been 413,000,000 bushels. The normal annua! wheat consumption of the world is 4,000,000,000 bushels, of which Canada produces only one-tenth. The normal world carryover of wheat per annum is 542,000,000 bushels. Canada's

Supply-State of Agriculture

wheat carryover this year will be at least 570,000,000 bushels. In the light of these facts, the Sanford Evans statistical service of Canada in a recent pamphlet entitled "Canada's Immediate Wheat Problem" makes this statement:

No country in the world has ever before carried over so great a quantity as 500 million bushels. The record has been 391 millions in the United States in 1932. But for the United States that carryover represented only about sixty per cent of one year's domestic consumption whereas Canada's prospective carryover would meet domestic requirements including seed for the next four years.

If Canada planted no wheat at all this spring and none in 1942, her present surplus would enable her to maintain both her domestic and her foreign trade for two years at the full average of the last five years, would provide seed for the third year so that she might again become a producer, and yet leave her some carryover on August 1, 1943.

Our present excess is so large that if there -was not a bushel of wheat in Norway, Denmark, Holland, Belgium, Luxembourg or France it would provide a full year's consumption for these six countries, including seed requirements, at the highest rate of wheat disappearance in the last five years and still leave us a carryover.

But excessive carryovers are also causes. The two important consequences are: (1) effects on price and (2) effects on costs.

The heaviest costs consist in the loss on all new crops because a price has to be accepted for them which is lower than it would have been if there had been no excess.

These facts clearly show that in bonusing our western farmers to produce more wheat, we have in part defeated the very object we set out to attain, namely, that of assisting the Canadian wheat grower, because the very surplus of wheat which we have produced has made its contribution towards driving down the world price of wheat to an all-time low. Canada to-day has an investment of over $400,000,000 in wheat. It will cost this country over $50,000,000 annually in carrying charges alone-and the hon. member for Qu'Appelle says that he is not much concerned! In the light of all these facts, I wish to commend the government for its present policy of facing up to the problem and of helping the western farmer to reduce his production of wheat by one-third.

Vice-President Wallace of the United States in a recent statement said:

Growing unneeded crops is a sheer waste of labour, of capital and of the soil.

Those words in my opinion are very, very true, especially with respect to wheat at this time. ,

In refuting the inaccurate statements which have been made by the sponsors of the amendment we are now discussing, I do not wish

-

to be misunderstood. I am not satisfied with the present condition of agriculture, nor do I think the farmers of this country are receiving a just share of the national income. But are we going to get anywhere toward a solution of the problem simply by making it a political football? I suggest that the problem should be impartially studied and that we should consider the question in an impartial way before the committee on agriculture which would bring ini recommendationcs 'that would be of more value, I submit, than any recommendations we might reach as a result of our discussion of a motion to throw this government out of office.

Topic:   AGRICULTURE-AMENDMENT TO MOTION OP MINISTER OP FINANCE
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NAT

Karl Kenneth Homuth

National Government

Mr. HOMUTH:

That would not be a bad idea.

Topic:   AGRICULTURE-AMENDMENT TO MOTION OP MINISTER OP FINANCE
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LIB

Hughes Cleaver

Liberal

Mr. CLEAVER:

In discussing the farm

problem with many farmers of my riding, I find a great diversity of opinion among them. I find that many remedies are suggested, some of which are opposed to each other. Obviously they all cannot be correct. Therefore to me it is a matter of great pleasure to find that the farmers of Canada are organizing to help themselves. I believe that there are many things which agriculture as an industry can do to assist agriculture, and which governments

cannot.

There is among farmers a growing belief that they should copy some of the practices of other types of industry and apply them to agricultural problems. They believe, first, that there are too many white-collar gentlemen making a good living off agriculture. I was surprised to hear the hon. member for Haldi-mand in his address commend the butter speculator. I have in my hand a letter from Mr. M. M. Robinson, of the Canadian Food Distribution Council, Toronto, which indicates something of what has been going on with regard to speculation in farm products. I will read a part of the letter:

A certain party in Ontario bought four carloads of butter last summer on speculation. He made $10,000 on the deal, but has two grievances: (1) the government took ^$8,000 in

excess profits; (2) speculate this year.

be does not feel free to

The point I would make in connection with that letter-

Topic:   AGRICULTURE-AMENDMENT TO MOTION OP MINISTER OP FINANCE
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April 30, 1941