September 19, 1945

REFERENCE BY MR. SPEAKER TO DISPLAYING OF EXHIBITS DURING SPEECHES


On the order for motions:


LIB

James Horace King (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

I desire to draw the

attention of the house to a new practice which, in my opinion, should not become general in the debates of this house. I refer to members' displaying of exhibits when making speeches. On Monday last, an hon. member came in with two baskets of peaches and showed them to the house in order to make 47696-19

a point in the discussion. Yesterday, another hon. member unfolded a large flag and spread it wide over one of the gangways. I think the house will agree that such a practice is far from adding to the dignity and decorum of the House of Commons of Canada. The proper places for the production of exhibits are the standing and special committees where they may be required as evidence in certain investigations. If perchance the display of merchandise on the floor of the house should become part of our procedure, I am very much afraid it would create an atmosphere hardly desirable for a parliamentary institution, and I trust the house will bear with me when I say that hon. members should refrain from such a practice in the future.

Topic:   REFERENCE BY MR. SPEAKER TO DISPLAYING OF EXHIBITS DURING SPEECHES
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MAXIMUM PRICE FOR EXPORT-ESTABLISHMENT OF LONG TERM FLOOR PRICE


On the order for motions:


LIB

James Angus MacKinnon (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I wish to make a brief statement on wheat prices.

The second world war has concluded with Canadian wheat producers in a particularly strong marketing position. Not only has the general disruption and bad weather reduced production in the war areas, but the Australian and North African crop failures and a small crop in Argentina have left Canada and the United States as the only countries at present having substantial export surpluses of wheat. This has coincided with the release of pent-up demands in the liberated areas.

In these extraordinary circumstances, Canadian wheat might well command for a limited period very much higher prices in the world market. The importing countries, nearly all of them our allies in the war, are buying out of necessity and, to a large extent, on credits. They would be compelled to meet through larger credits or through sacrifice of other food and rehabilitation supplies whatever higher price is demanded for Canadian wheat.

It is in the interest of Canada and of Canadian wheat growers that the importing countries should continue to obtain Canadian wheat at prices not in excess of those prevailing at the end of hostilities. Accordingly the government, by order in council, has instructed the Canadian wheat board to offer wheat for sale for export overseas at prices not higher than the current export price of $155 per bushel, basis No. 1 northern, in store Fort William/Port Arthur or Vancouver.

In asking Canadian producers to forgo such benefits as might be realized in the short run through higher export prices, the government

Wheat

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*COMMONS


recognizes the paramount need for relative stability of income to wheat producers. Toward this end, the government undertakes that in the five-year period ending July 31, 1950, producers will receive not less than $1 per bushel, basis No. 1 northern, in store Fort Wil-liam/Port Arthur or Vancouver on the authorized deliveries for each crop year. For the balance of the 1945-1946 crop year, at least, the Canadian wheat board initial advance will continue at $1.25, where it was set two years ago. By providing a long-term floor price of not less than $1.00 the government will protect producers against the consequences of any sharp reversal in the world wheat position during the next five-year period. The government, in adopting this policy of a maximum price for overseas shipments for the present and a floor price for five years, is asking the producers, in their own interests, to forgo exceptional short-run advantages in favour of a long-run stability of income. In arriving at its decision on this policy, the government 'had the following fundamental considerations in mind: Any further increase in wheat prices now would aggravate the problems of economic and political readjustment of the liberated areas to Canada's detriment in future trade with those areas. There is a moral obligation not to take advantage of our recent allies in their time of compelling need. Higher wheat prices would encourage the importing countries in a hurried return to wheat production and pre-war wheat policies very directly to the detriment of the wheat exporting countries, particularly Canada. Moreover, production in a number of exporting countries would be unduly encouraged. I wish to lay on the table copies of order in council P.C. 6122.


CCF

Percy Ellis Wright

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

Mr. WRIGHT:

May I ask a question with regard to the statement the minister has read? Does it imply that the wheat board will continue to operate until 1950?

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LIB

James Angus MacKinnon (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. MacKINNON:

It does not refer to that. The hon. member can deduce what he wishes from the statement, but there is no reference to the continuation or non-continuation of the wheat board. I anticipate and the government anticipates that the wheat board will continue indefinitely.

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?

Thomas Miller Bell

Mr. COLD WELL:

In view of the importance of this statement, with the material it contains, to the producers of western Canada particularly, will the government set aside a day when the matter might be discussed by members who represent the wheat growing

areas of the country? The statement is so important that it should not be tabled without discussion.

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SC

John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. BLACKMORE:

Do I gather that deliveries of wheat in the years between now and 1950 are to be governed by a quota, as was the case during the war?

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LIB

James Angus MacKinnon (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. MacKINNON:

I made no reference to that. If the hon. member reads the statement he will see that the point is covered.

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PC

Mark Cecil Senn

Progressive Conservative

Mr. SENN:

Does the statement apply to winter wheat from the eastern provinces as well as the western?

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LIB

James Angus MacKinnon (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. MacKINNON:

The statement refers only to western wheat, wheat grown in the western provinces. Ontario wheat production is dealt with on another basis.

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SC

John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. BLACKMORE:

I gathered from the minister's statement that a quota was to be imposed on the amount of grain which could be delivered. Of what value would it be to the farmer to have a guaranteed price if the quota which he can sell is too small to enable him to live?

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LIB

James Horace King (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

I must point out to the hon. member that the matter is not debatable.

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

The leader of the opposition asked if it would be possible-

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Hear, hear.

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

I meant the leader of the C.C.F. party, who is also a part of the opposition. He asked whether the government would set apart a day to discuss the matter of wheat just referred to. First of all let me say, as to giving information immediately to the house, I hope the house will accept that as a mark of respect, if I may put it in that way, rather than as something to be criticized. The desire of the government was to have the house given information on this important matter at the earliest possible moment. As to setting apart a day, I think we should conclude the debate on the address before we consider fixing any time for other matters. Once the debate on the address is concluded there will be occasions, as for example when the house is moved into committee of supply, on which this matter could be brought up for discussion in a regular way. I think that would be preferable to fixing a special day at present.

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September 19, 1945