May 14, 1943

STANDING ORDERS


First and second reports of standing committee on standing orders.-Mr. Golding.


PRICES AND TRADE BOARD

REPORT OF ACTIVITIES TO MARCH 31, 1943-SUBSIDIES PAID BY COMMODITY PRICES STABILIZATION CORPORATION TO MARCH 31, 1942.

LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Hon. J. L. ILSLEY (Minister of Finance):

I desire to table two documents concerning the wartime prices and trade board. The first is a report covering the activities of the board from its creation on September 3, 1939, to March 31, 1943, a period of three years and seven months. This is the first detailed report of this kind prepared by the board and will, I feel sure, be of considerable interest to hon. members and to the public at large. An attempt has been

made to deal briefly yet adequately with all phases of the work of the board and its related crown companies, and I am hopeful that it will give information that would otherwise be requested on the order paper or when the relevant item in the war appropriation is under consideration, and thus will help to facilitate proceedings. Copies of the report are being distributed to hon. members to-day.

The second document I am tabling is a statement showing the recipients of subsidies paid by the commodity prices stabilization corporation up to March 31, 1942. The corporation was formed in December, 1941, and is the agency responsible, under the wartime prices and trade board, for the payment of subsidies necessary for the maintenance of the price ceiling. This statement covers subsidies paid during a period of approximately three months, January, February and March, 1942.

Hon. members may recall that a year ago- on April 23 to be precise-I gave a statement to the house in which I dealt at some length with the reasons for subsidies and the basis on which they are paid. At that time I said that I had come to the conclusion, after very careful study, that it is definitely not in the public interest to give current information as to the names of persons to whom subsidies are being paid, or the amount paid to each. I did agree, however, at some appropriate time, that is when the information is not likely to reveal to competitors and others intimate details of the nature and volume of the recipients' business, to give the names of individual recipients and the amount of subsidy paid to each. It is reasonable to assume, I think, that information as to subsidies paid more than a year ago is not likely to reveal anything of vital importance in regard to current business dealings.

The statement I am now tabling shows subsidy payments amounting to SI,180,215. As I have already explained, this covers only the initial four months of the price ceiling and represents but a small fraction of total subsidies paid to date. As hon. members will see, when they have had an opportunity of reading the full report of the wartime prices and trade board, total subsidies paid from the date of the application of the price ceiling until March 31, 1943, amounted to approximately S65 million, in addition to which there were trading losses on bulk purchases by the commodity prices stabilization corporation of about $2j4 million.

Although subsidies to the end of March, 1942, amounted to just over one million one hundred thousand dollars, no less than 35,601 individuals participated in the payments. This large number is attributable to the fact that

Wartime Prices and Trade Board

the most important subsidies during this period were domestic subsidies paid in connection with the production of fluid and concentrated milk. At that time a subsidy of 40 cents per 100 pounds was paid on milk used in the manufacture of concentrated milk products and 30 cents per 100 pounds on fluid milk sold in areas where there had been no price increase since August 1, 1941. These milk subsidies accounted for nearly 80 per cent of total subsidies paid to March 31, 1942, and for all but 129 of the individual recipients.

I am sure hon. members will appreciate the very heavy task involved in listing the names of 35,000 individual recipients of milk subsidies and will agree with me that the expenditure of time and money entailed in preparing such a list could not have been justified. Instead of giving the names of individual ultimate recipients of these milk subsidies, it was therefore decided to list the names of the milk distributors which had been used as agencies for making payments to individual milk producers, together with the numbers of producers participating. Thus one of the first names on the list is that of a Toronto dairy which was paid $15,053.00 to reimburse it for subsidies in that amount which it, as a milk distributor, had previously paid out in full to 404 producers delivering their milk to it.

Apart from milk the only other classifications of subsidies up to the end of March 1942 were footwear and imports. I would refer hon. members to the report of the board for details as to the principles on which these subsidies were paid. During the period covered by this statement $191,504 were paid out by way of domestic subsidy on leather footwear to 78 individual recipients and $64,758 on imports to 51 individual recipients. The statement does not specify the import or imports in respect of which subsidy was paid, listing only the name of the recipients and the total amount paid. To have classified payments by individual imported goods would have meant much additional work in the preparation of the statement and in particular cases might have meant, even after the lapse of more than twelve months, the revelation of information valuable to Competitors.

At the risk of reiterating in part what I said a year ago I want to make it perfectly clear that these subsidies are not really subsidies to any manufacturer, importer or dealer, but are in reality subsidies for the benefit of the consumer. They are paid when there is no other way of ensuring adequate supplies of a particular product for the consumer at prices

permitted by the price ceiling. In principle, these subsidies are paid to the consumer to keep down the cost of living. In practice, because consumers are so numerous, they are paid to producers or dealers on condition that they maintain supplies and carry out the policy of the price ceiling by supplying goods to others at such prices as will permit them in turn to operate within the limits of the price ceiling.

I can perhaps illustrate this point by referring to subsidies on imports. These are paid to ensure a continued supply of essential goods produced outside of Canada at costs higher than would permit their sale in Canada at domestic ceiling prices. If the subsidy were not paid, these essential goods simply would not be imported for sale in Canada at ceiling prices.

With regard to presenting a report later, covering subsidies paid in the fiscal year ending March 31, 1943, the difficulties in giving names of recipients, the chief of which is the tremendous number of individual payments-hundreds of thousands-will be sh great that it now appears that they will be insurmountable. I can discuss these difficulties when the wartime prices and trade board estimates under the War Appropriation Act are reached. My only purpose in referring to them now is that I do not wish it to be assumed that the procedure followed with regard to the subsidies paid in 1941-42 will or can necessarilj' be followed for those paid in 1942-43.

Topic:   PRICES AND TRADE BOARD
Subtopic:   REPORT OF ACTIVITIES TO MARCH 31, 1943-SUBSIDIES PAID BY COMMODITY PRICES STABILIZATION CORPORATION TO MARCH 31, 1942.
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PRIVATE BILLS

FIRST READINGS-SENATE BILLS


Bill No. 79, for the relief of Helen Alissamon Wheeler Baker Macoun.-Mr. Claxton. Bill No. 80, for the relief of Adele Le Roy Fuller Hardy.-Mr. Hill. Bill No. 81, for the relief of Constance Maxine Keating Noseworthy.-Mr. Abbott. Bill No. 82, for the relief of Alvina Antoinette Bouchard Winterson.-Mr. Mcllraith. Bill No. 83, for the relief of Bernice Evelyn Berman Sholomenko.-Mr. Mcllraith. Bill No. 84, for the relief of Marjorie Florence Gray Lever.-Mr. Whitman. Bill No. 85, for the relief of Robert Gordon Shaw.-Mr. Macmillan. Bill No. 86, for the relief of William Taffert.-Mr. Mcllraith. Bill No. 87, for the relief of Uuno Ojalammi. -Mr. Mcllraith. Wheat



Bill No. 88, for the relief of Leo Guay.- Mr. Tomlinson. Bill No. 89, for the relief of Marie Beatrice Arsenault Theriault.-Mr. Abbott. Bill No. 90, for the relief of Margaret Varga Csabi. Mr. Maelnnis. Bill No. 91, for the relief of Frances Helen Shand Howell.-Mr. Maelnnis. Bill No. 92, for the relief of Charles Cardin. -Mr. Ross (St. Paul's). Bill No. 93, for the relief of Gladys Irene Harrison Mathers.-Mr. Casselman (Grenville-Dundas.) Bill No. 94, for the relief of Eileen Grace Shearer Taylor-Mr. Macdonald (Brantford City).


INCREASE OF QUOTA FOR 1942-43 TO FIFTEEN BUSHELS PER AUTHORIZED ACRE


On the orders of the day:


LIB

James Angus MacKinnon (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

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

Before the orders of the

day are proceeded with I should like to make a brief statement respecting wheat quotas for this crop year.

The Canadian Wheat Board are establishing 1942-43 wheat quotas of fifteen bushels per authorized acre as quickly as elevator space permits. About eight hundred points can be increased to fifteen bushels almost immediately. Up to the present the maximum quotas have been fourteen bushels per authorized acre. The extra bushel is considered necessary to bring the permitted deliveries up to 280 million bushels, as provided in order in council No. 10,000 of November 6, 1942.

The authorized acreage for wheat delivery purposes in the west in 1942-43 is slightly over 19 million acres, but many farmers are unable to deliver fifteen bushels per authorized acre because of hail, drought, frost, et cetera, unusually heavy farm feeding of wheat, or because of seeding in 1942 much less than the authorized acreage for delivery purposes. The deliveries of durum wheat, military services over-deliveries, and certain family gristing deliveries are over and above the total delivery figure of 280 million bushels.

The authorized wheat acreage for delivery purposes in 1943-44 will be closer to 20 million acres than to 19 million acres, mainly because there are about 700.000 authorized acres on farms which seeded no wheat in 1942-43. This acreage was ineffective for delivery purposes in 1942-43, but some of it will be effective in 1943-44. The western farmers will begin the 1943-44 season with

200,000,000 to 225,000,000 bushels of wheat on farms, whereas they had practically none to start the 1942-43 season. With an ordinary 1943 crop, the authorized wheat acreage will therefore be more effective in 1943-44 than in 1942-43 and a fourteen bushel quota should bring out as much wheat in 1943-44 as a fifteen bushel quota will in 1942-43.

Topic:   INCREASE OF QUOTA FOR 1942-43 TO FIFTEEN BUSHELS PER AUTHORIZED ACRE
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CCF

George Hugh Castleden

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

Mr. CASTLEDEN:

Are we to understand from this statement that there will be space available at delivery points for the quotas that have been established at those points?

Topic:   INCREASE OF QUOTA FOR 1942-43 TO FIFTEEN BUSHELS PER AUTHORIZED ACRE
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LIB

James Angus MacKinnon (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. MacKINNON (Edmonton West):

The quotas will be established on a basis of fifteen bushels just as soon as there is space available at the various points, and it is hoped that the total amount of wheat which we have stated we would take from the producers will be accepted before the end of the crop season.

Topic:   INCREASE OF QUOTA FOR 1942-43 TO FIFTEEN BUSHELS PER AUTHORIZED ACRE
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CCF

Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

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

Mr. DOUGLAS (Weyburn):

How many points are there at which this quota cannot be accepted now?

Topic:   INCREASE OF QUOTA FOR 1942-43 TO FIFTEEN BUSHELS PER AUTHORIZED ACRE
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LIB

James Angus MacKinnon (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. MacKINNON (Edmonton West):

I forget the exact number of quota points, but there are eight hundred where this quota can be accepted, and I think that is about fifty per cent of the quota delivery points.

Topic:   INCREASE OF QUOTA FOR 1942-43 TO FIFTEEN BUSHELS PER AUTHORIZED ACRE
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LABOUR CONDITIONS

INQUIRY AS TO TRANSFER OF EMPLOYEES OF JOHN INGLIS COMPANY


On the orders of the day: Mr. CLARENCE GILLIS1 (Cape Breton South): I should like to direct a question to the Minister of Labour, and I am sorry I did not have an opportunity to send him notice of it. Is the bargaining agency of the employees being used to assist selective service in transferring the men from the plant of the John Inglis company in Toronto to other essential industries? In transferring the employees from that plant to other work, will the wage rates applying at that plant be maintained in such other work? Could the minister make a statement supplementary to the one made yesterday by the Minister of Munitions and Supply (Mr. Howe) with respect to this situation?


LIB

Humphrey Mitchell (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Hon. HUMPHREY MITCHELL (Minister of Labour):

As my hon. friend knows, and as was indicated yesterday by the Minister of Munitions and Supply, the lay-off has not started yet. Any transfer will be undertaken, of course, through the instrumentality of selective service.

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
Subtopic:   INQUIRY AS TO TRANSFER OF EMPLOYEES OF JOHN INGLIS COMPANY
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May 14, 1943