July 8, 1943

LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

Yes. There is a demand.

I do not know that there is any great suffering at the moment, but unless we can get a very considerable volume of that grain moved this summer into storages there will be trouble next winter. That trouble will not have anything to do with what heaven does this year with the crop. That grain is there and we wTant it moved to the east and put into storage elevators, and an order in council has already been passed by the government putting up money to cover the extra cost.

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PC
LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

Any extra cost to hold the grain between the time it is shipped down and the time it would be shipped under ordinary circumstances.

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PC

Mark Cecil Senn

Progressive Conservative

Mr. SENN:

Is there not another difficulty in the financing of the grain to hold it in storage? There is not a sufficiency of funds available, particularly among the farmers, to purchase the grain and keep it in storage until next winter's feeding.

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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

An order has already been passed and there is an order now under consideration, which I hope will be passed in some form in due course and which is known to the trade and others who will be handling this business, and that will take care of the problem of providing for grain being moved down. So far as the financing of that kind of thing is concerned, the trade is .prepared to finance it provided the government is nulling to take care of the extra charges that would be involved by reason of shipping it now instead of waiting until next January or February, and we are attempting to provide for that under the arrangements that are being made. I wish to make that clear to the committee before we discuss the other statement I had intended putting on the record.

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NAT

James Arthur Ross

National Government

Mr. ROSS (Souris):

Is there an abundance of grain available in Fort William to people who need it? I was talking to one dealer a few days ago and he said he had difficulty at that time in getting sufficient oats or barley from Fort William for his customers.

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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

There was difficulty last winter, in spite of these figures which indicate that very much more was being moved; notwithstanding the difficult winter we had, the railways moved more grain than they had been accustomed to moving-very much more -owing to the fact that there is much more live stock being fed this year. In addition there is a poor grain crop in the eastern part of Canada; at any rate they anticipate a poor crop because of the late seeding. Because we are afraid of that we have made every possible arrangement and everyone is trying to cooperate in getting that grain put down here. Moreover, we are trying to develop some means of encouraging the farmers to take it from the feeder and put it into their own storage. All that is involved in the orders I spoke of a moment ago, and we believe that a very considerable amount of grain will be moved down before the freeze-up this fall, and put into storage here, to supply the farmers. It is true, as represented to the hon. member for Souris, that there will be different localities in the east that will now have trouble because this grain did not get down in sufficient quantities last winter or the early part of this season.

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PC

Mark Cecil Senn

Progressive Conservative

Mr. SENN:

I believe I raised the point the other day about the anticipation of a shortage of feed in Ontario and eastern Canada, and also the question of the price that will be charged to feeders in eastern Canada. If it is brought down and left in the hands of the trade the trade can perhaps

Supply-Agriculture

charge the farmers what they like. There is a ceiling on feed grain, but after it is processed and made into chop for feeding, is any precaution being taken to see that the farmer does not pay a veiy high price for it? That would probably come under the wartime prices and trade board, from the point of view of prices.

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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

My understanding is that the grains themselves are all under a ceiling and it is impossible for dealers to collect freight on the grain shipped from Fort William unless they abide absolutely by these regulations. In addition to that, there are ceilings on such things as mill feeds, and I understand that there are ceilings on the other feeds as well. I did not want to be too certain about that, but there are ceilings so far as our activities with them are concerned. They cannot collect freight unless they sell with the price margins as between what they obtain the product for and what it cost to market it. We have to be satisfied on that question, before paying freight which does establish a ceiling.

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PC

Mark Cecil Senn

Progressive Conservative

Mr. SENN:

So long as the farmers are protected I do not care. That is all I am worrying about.

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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

That is what we are trying to do, and if there are cases where that is not being done I should like to have a report regarding them.

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CCF

George Hugh Castleden

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

Mr. CASTLEDEN:

Would it not'facilitate matters with regard to this whole situation if the grain board handled all this grain instead of letting the grain exchange in Winnipeg operate?

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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

Of course if the grain board were going to handle it all they would have to set up agencies all over eastern Canada. I do not want to enter into a discussion of the question whether it is better to have grain handled by a government board or otherwise, but the facilities are all set up in eastern Canada, through feed dealers at every small point throughout the farming area, and we have been utilizing that machinery to distribute this grain. They have had their contacts with different grain companies from which they get their grain, and the business is being done much in the manner in which it was done before the war. But it is being done under regulations, and we are keeping a check on the margins that do exist between the cost of grain and the selling price of the product. We are keeping a check on these margins with the idea of keeping down the cost of producing food in Canada. Our object is to keep down the price of feed to the farmer in eastern

Canada, and so far as it is necessary to take * care of the western farmer we are allowing him to participate in the price of any grain which is shipped out of Canada, spreading that participation over all those who sell oats or barley in western Canada, whether it is shipped east or to the United States. So that the man who supplies an eastern Canadian farmer, under the ceiling, will eventually get the same price for his grain as the man who supplies the United States market with grain.

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CCF

George Hugh Castleden

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

Mr. CASTLEDEN:

If the grain board does not ship grain out of Canada, how will the farmer participate in that?

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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

The grain board issues a permit to anyone who ships grain out, and they have to pay the difference between the Canadian market and the United States market.

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CCF

George Hugh Castleden

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

Mr. CASTLEDEN:

But that does not include the higher grades of wheat.

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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

No; the higher grades of wheat are selling in the United States higher than the market price in Canada. As to wheat that has been delivered to the board, the advance is the same whether it is finally sold in the United States or not. If it is sold at a profit in the United States, participation certificates take care of the producer's interests.

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CCF

George Hugh Castleden

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

Mr. CASTLEDEN:

But grain is paying a dollar in the grain exchange at Winnipeg, or, as the minister said the other day, $1.02. If the board is handling it, whatever was received from the United States would go direct to the farmer.

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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

One has to remember

that the farmers always deliver their grain to the wheat board as long as the advance paid by the wheat board is higher than the market price. And up until a certain date practically all, if not all the wheat, was delivered to the board. Then at a certain time the price rose above 90 cents. In fact it has gone up to about $1.02. Since that time practically all the grain is being delivered to the trade. That is just a choice that is made by the farmer; it is not made by the government. They must make a choice of one or two things. They can either deliver the wheat to the board and get the ninety cents advance, taking advantage of the participation certificate for collection later, or they can deliver to the trade. They have their reasons for delivering to the trade. I do not wish to discuss them at the moment. But the great majority of them, as soon as the price goes above the advance, deliver to the trade. The trade has been selling that wheat

Supply-Agriculture

as they bought it, and probably some of it is offered by the board on the market. The wheat which is delivered by the board on the market will be getting ten cents a bushel to go toward participation certificates. But the wheat which goes to the line companies will be sold by the line companies at whatever the market is. They will buy at whatever the market is, and they will sell at whatever the market is. To that extent they may make some profit, or they may make some loss, depending on how the trade goes.

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CCF

George Hugh Castleden

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

Mr. CASTLEDEN:

But the farmer gets

nothing out of it.

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July 8, 1943