July 25, 1944

LIB

Ernest Bertrand (Minister of Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. BERTRAND (Laurier):

I must say

that I am not a pessimist; I do not see the after-war period in as black a light as some hon. gentlemen. I think we have done a lot of work during the war and we have improved our machinery in many ways. I hope the fishermen are going to have improved conditions; I hope they are going to be more successful than ever. The purpose of the bill to be introduced is to foresee conditions that may arise after this war. The plan is to see that the prices of primary products do not fall to the low levels to which they fell between 1930 and 1936 and 1937. That is all. -I cannot go into the details because the bill will give most of the particulars, but that is the general plan. I am quite sure that this is but one more instrument given to the Minister of Fisheries and his officials to improve the lot of the fishermen after this war, if it is necessary to do that.

Topic:   FISHERIES PRICES
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR STABILIZATION, PURCHASE OF STAPLE PRODUCTS AT APPROVED PRICES, ETC.
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IND

Alan Webster Neill

Independent

Mr. NEILL:

I hope the hon. member for New Westminster is right when he says that the fishermen are asking for this and will benefit by it. I have not heard any requests from them along those lines. I still think that i-t will be unworkable. It will not meet the conditions of a country which is spread out like this one, with so many diverse conditions. The hon. member for Halifax (Mr. Isnor) says that he hopes the prices will be raised to such an extent that the fishermen will find conditions more livable. So do we all. In times gone by I think I have heard him speak of a price of a cent and a half for a cod. I suppose if that price were multiplied by five the local fishermen down there would consider it satisfactory, but we in the west would not be satisfied with such a price because that is what we consider to be a very low price.

Only one man representing the fishermen is to be on this board. I cannot foresee how it

Fisheries Prices

will work. We have had a lot of trouble during the war, we have cheerfully but reluctantly put up with a lot of these boards that come along and say, "You must do this or do that." In some cases it has worked out fairly enough, but in other cases it has proved unworkable to a large extent. If this thing is to be spread all over the country it will have to be done on the average. The government will have to adopt something like that. They will have to fix an average price, but what may be a bonanza in one place will be ruination somewhere else. The fact that this is to be run by the government makes it impossible to take cognizance of local conditions.

Topic:   FISHERIES PRICES
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR STABILIZATION, PURCHASE OF STAPLE PRODUCTS AT APPROVED PRICES, ETC.
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LIB

Ernest Bertrand (Minister of Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. BERTRAND (Laurier):

The bill foresees that.

Topic:   FISHERIES PRICES
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR STABILIZATION, PURCHASE OF STAPLE PRODUCTS AT APPROVED PRICES, ETC.
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IND

Alan Webster Neill

Independent

Mr. NEILL:

Then you will have an awful job on your hands.

Mr. HiANSON (York-Sunbury): It is quite apparent that the minister is only asking for enabling legislation to do something which he in his optimistic way does not anticipate will be necessary. I hope he is right.

Topic:   FISHERIES PRICES
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR STABILIZATION, PURCHASE OF STAPLE PRODUCTS AT APPROVED PRICES, ETC.
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LIB

Ernest Bertrand (Minister of Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. BERTRAND (Laurier):

I hope it will not be necessary.

Topic:   FISHERIES PRICES
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR STABILIZATION, PURCHASE OF STAPLE PRODUCTS AT APPROVED PRICES, ETC.
Permalink
NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

I hope there will be no necessity for action on the part of the government to buy all the fish produced in Canada in order to save the situation. It is quite apparent that they have no plan. All the minister has is an objective, and with that we agree.

Topic:   FISHERIES PRICES
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR STABILIZATION, PURCHASE OF STAPLE PRODUCTS AT APPROVED PRICES, ETC.
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LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver Centre):

It is going to work.

Topic:   FISHERIES PRICES
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR STABILIZATION, PURCHASE OF STAPLE PRODUCTS AT APPROVED PRICES, ETC.
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NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

They have no plan at all.

Topic:   FISHERIES PRICES
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR STABILIZATION, PURCHASE OF STAPLE PRODUCTS AT APPROVED PRICES, ETC.
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LIB

Ernest Bertrand (Minister of Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. BERTRAND (Laurier):

I deny it.

Topic:   FISHERIES PRICES
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR STABILIZATION, PURCHASE OF STAPLE PRODUCTS AT APPROVED PRICES, ETC.
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NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

Then trot it out and let us look at the old horse.

Topic:   FISHERIES PRICES
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR STABILIZATION, PURCHASE OF STAPLE PRODUCTS AT APPROVED PRICES, ETC.
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LIB

Ernest Bertrand (Minister of Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. BERTRAND (Laurier):

It is not necessary to make a long speech and repeat the same thing three or four times.

Topic:   FISHERIES PRICES
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR STABILIZATION, PURCHASE OF STAPLE PRODUCTS AT APPROVED PRICES, ETC.
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NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

The minister has not told us anything. He certainly has not replied to an intelligent interrogatory. What he has done is to state the objective which he and his department hope to attain in a certain contingency, namely, if prices drop to what they consider to be too low a level. That is all the minister has said. I suppose I am anticipating what is in his mind, but I suppose there will be set up an advisory committee. I have heard of these advisory committees. Do they ever function?

Topic:   FISHERIES PRICES
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR STABILIZATION, PURCHASE OF STAPLE PRODUCTS AT APPROVED PRICES, ETC.
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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

Certainly they function. The agricultural food advisory committee is meeting to-morrow.

Topic:   FISHERIES PRICES
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR STABILIZATION, PURCHASE OF STAPLE PRODUCTS AT APPROVED PRICES, ETC.
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NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

The Minister of Agriculture knows his onions, I am sure, and he would grab a good suggestion as quickly as anybody I know. There will be an advisory board in this connection. Who will be on it? The intention is to set up an advisory board, I assume?

Topic:   FISHERIES PRICES
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR STABILIZATION, PURCHASE OF STAPLE PRODUCTS AT APPROVED PRICES, ETC.
Permalink
LIB

Ernest Bertrand (Minister of Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. BERTRAND (Laurier):

There will be an advisory board.

Topic:   FISHERIES PRICES
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR STABILIZATION, PURCHASE OF STAPLE PRODUCTS AT APPROVED PRICES, ETC.
Permalink
NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

The resolution does not say so. It will d>o' no harm, although I do not think it will do very much good unless the minister gets the right type of men on the board and listens to them. These men should be selected with great care. I am inclined to agree with the hon. member for Comox-Alberni that three will not be enough because of the diverse interests involved by reason of geographical position. The problems on the west coast are certainly different from our problems on the east coast and I suggest that there should at least be representatives from each coast. I do not want to see the board top-heavy with representation from the trade. Their representatives of course are intelligent men and they know their business, but primarily the objective of this legislation should be to help the fishermen, not the trade. If we cannot get anything more from the minister I shall have to sit down.

Topic:   FISHERIES PRICES
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR STABILIZATION, PURCHASE OF STAPLE PRODUCTS AT APPROVED PRICES, ETC.
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IND

Alan Webster Neill

Independent

Mr. NEILL:

The government appointed an official about two years ago in British Columbia primarily to give advice in connection with prices to fishermen, and the gentleman appointed just happened-just happened -to be a large shareholder in one of the big fish processing companies. It is his advice that is put forward-I hope it is not always accepted-on matters affecting the producers. There is an illustration.

The best argument I have heard in favour of this proposal was that put forward a few minutes ago by the minister when he said that he hoped and believed that the legislation would never be used. That is a poor argument for legislation, the hope and belief that it will never be used.

Topic:   FISHERIES PRICES
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR STABILIZATION, PURCHASE OF STAPLE PRODUCTS AT APPROVED PRICES, ETC.
Permalink
NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

The hon. member for Comox-Alberni-

Topic:   FISHERIES PRICES
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR STABILIZATION, PURCHASE OF STAPLE PRODUCTS AT APPROVED PRICES, ETC.
Permalink
?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Carried.

Topic:   FISHERIES PRICES
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR STABILIZATION, PURCHASE OF STAPLE PRODUCTS AT APPROVED PRICES, ETC.
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NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

Just a minute; I am not going to be rushed off my feet. I am not going to rush ill-digested legislation through this house without proper

Fisheries Prices

consideration and examination. The hon. member for Comox-Alberni has referred to the fact that the government appointed an officer from the west coast who was very deeply interested in one aspect of the fisheries business. I know that this government has appointed as fisheries controller a gentleman right out of the trade.

Topic:   FISHERIES PRICES
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR STABILIZATION, PURCHASE OF STAPLE PRODUCTS AT APPROVED PRICES, ETC.
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July 25, 1944