October 10, 1945

PC

Edmund Davie Fulton

Progressive Conservative

Mr. FULTON:

I am glad to hear that.

Topic:   LIVE STOCK
Subtopic:   PROPOSED ESTABLISHMENT OF BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS FOR REGULATION AND CONTROL
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LIB

Humphrey Mitchell (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. MITCHELL:

I know my hon. friend

is an expert on cattle, and I bow to his superior knowledge, but suppose they would not process the meat in the plants of the United States; what then?

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PC

Edmund Davie Fulton

Progressive Conservative

Mr. FULTON:

I am sorry I cannot give

the minister an answer. I suggest a deal should be made or some inquiries instituted. I am offering the suggestion. Unfortunately we are not on the government benches; so we cannot carry out this suggestion. I am suggesting that some approach be made to finding a solution to this problem.

The Minister of Labour said he realized that I am an expert on cattle. I certainly do not hold myself out as an expert, but I do know that producers of meat, of whom my constituency contains a very large number, are extremely worried over the prospect of this

Live Stock-Control

Strike. That is Why I am suggesting to responsible ministers a course which they might take, a course which would result not only in the opening again of that potential market in the United States, but would help solve to some extent the United States meat shortage, would make meat available to the devastated countries without the loss of time and of meat which would follow a strike in our packing plants, would prevent a certain and definite loss to the producers, and, if it were stated now that some such step will be taken, would remove the fear they now have which may bring about a panic and a sudden run and glut of cattle on the market.

As I say, we are not on the government side and therefore are not in a position to put these suggestions into effect. But a suggestion was made yesterday in another matter to the Minister of Labour which he was kind enough to say was very constructive. All I ask is that, in the interests of the meat producers of this country, the Minister of Agriculture give the same degree of consideration to this suggestion.

Topic:   LIVE STOCK
Subtopic:   PROPOSED ESTABLISHMENT OF BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS FOR REGULATION AND CONTROL
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LIB

Robert McCubbin

Liberal

Mr. ROBERT McCUBBIN (Middlesex-West) :

I have listened with interest to the discussion which has taken place on the motion which was moved by the hon. member for Selkirk (Mr. Bryce). I have also listened to other members discussing this question, and as to whether it would be in the interest of Canada as a whole and of the live stock industry if a board of live stock commissioners were appointed. All those who have spoken during this last hour and a half have taken the stand that such a board should be appointed, and have given their reasons for doing so. I am going to take the opposite view. I feel that we have now boards enough, if not too many.

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Subtopic:   PROPOSED ESTABLISHMENT OF BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS FOR REGULATION AND CONTROL
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PC

James Arthur Ross

Progressive Conservative

Mr. ROSS (Souris):

Such as they are.

Topic:   LIVE STOCK
Subtopic:   PROPOSED ESTABLISHMENT OF BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS FOR REGULATION AND CONTROL
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LIB

Robert McCubbin

Liberal

Mr. McCUBBIN:

And at this time I do not think it is in the interests of the live stock industry to appoint such a board.

As you know, we have a dominion-provincial conference, and members of the house are watching its proceedings. It is adjourned until the end of November, when it will again meet. The government put out a little book, which I have read with interest, containing the proposals of the dominion government for this dominion-provincial conference on reconstruction. I suppose all hon. members have read it. Certainly those who are interested in agriculture will read what is therein contained with respect to agriculture, our basic industry. I am going to read into the record just a couple of paragraphs, containing proposals to the con-

[Mr Fulton.]

ference Which should be of interest to those engaged in agriculture. I quote:

No industry has made a greater contribution to the Canadian war effort than agriculture. Its achievement has left problems of conversion to peacetime conditions comparable to those of manufacturing industry. Sfany branches of agriculture were greatly expanded in response to war needs, and overall production increased to levels far exceeding those of the past. This accomplishment drew heavily upon agricultural resources, resulting in heavy depreciation of machinery and equipment and great strain on the depleted farm population. The dominion government feels it has a responsibility to assist the industry in making the necessary readjustments to peace-time circumstances and to work in cooperation with the provincial governments to provide for a greater degree of stability in farm income and a greater measure of security than has prevailed in the past.

I skip a little, and come to the subject of marketing which is dealt with in the resolution of the hon. member for Selkirk.

In the field of agricultural marketing, there are two matters that merit special consideration; one has to do with the regulation of the movement and sale, the other with the grading and inspection, of products. With respect to the first, it has been noted that some of the provincial governments have provided legislation under which various marketing plans and activities are developed. It would appear that this is evidence of an interest that should be considered at this conference in so far as dominion-provincial relationships in the marketing field are concerned.

The second aspect of the matter, namely that relating to grading and inspection, is one that has concerned the dominion and provincial governments for a great many years. By various means, the regulations with respect to grading, inspection, packaging and labelling of products have been enforced to the advantage of producer and consumer alike. From time to time, however, the procedure followed has been interrupted by decisions of the courts which have indicated that either the dominion or the provincial governments had exceeded their respective powers. It is apparent that the dominion and the provincial governments are agreed as to the need for some action which will clarify the control and direction of activities in this field. Under these circumstances, it would appear that the conference should give some consideration to this matter with a view to achieving the desired control.

That is the attitude of this government at this conference in respect to agriculture and the marketing of agricultural products. The hon. member for Haldimand (Mr. Senn), who was the only speaker from Ontario, has referred to this live stock industry, which had a value last year of $538 million, as something which is worthy of consideration; and I wish to commend all the speakers who have taken part so far on their sincerity and honesty in trying to provide the necessary machinery for the orderly marketing of farm products. Though I may not agree with it, nevertheless they are putting forward their own proposal.

Live Stock-Control

The hon. member for Selkirk has brought up this matter in the house before, as also has the hon. member for Melfort (Mr. Wright) and, I believe, the hon. member for Souris (Mr. Ross). It has been, stated that the leader of the opposition (Mr. Bracken) spoke on it in a speech at Lethbridge. As the hon. member for Selkirk has mentioned, it is sought to deal with these problems in the same manner as that in which the board of grain commissioners are dealing with wheat. The price spreads report has been mentioned here to-day. I have in mind a statement which I read in that report, and also in Hansard, in the year 1935, when the exminister of trade and commerce, Hon. H. H. Stevens, said to the then leader of the government, Right Hon. R. B. Bennett, that he thought the government was dodging its responsibility to the grain trade by appointing a board of grain commissioners. That was his view at that time. I am not saying it was right or wrong. But we in Ontario got mixed up with the wheat board, to our sorrow, one time in the marketing of our wheat. I hate to have to say this; nevertheless it is true: the board and the administrators and the office workers in connection with it used up all the profits, after the initial price had been paid, in the administration of the board, and we as producers received only a cent or a cent and a half on our participation certificates.

Topic:   LIVE STOCK
Subtopic:   PROPOSED ESTABLISHMENT OF BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS FOR REGULATION AND CONTROL
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PC

James Arthur Ross

Progressive Conservative

Mr. ROSS (Squris):

I know that the hon. member will not mind a question. Is he talking about the Canadian wheat board or the grain commission? They are two different organizations altogether.

Topic:   LIVE STOCK
Subtopic:   PROPOSED ESTABLISHMENT OF BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS FOR REGULATION AND CONTROL
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LIB

Robert McCubbin

Liberal

Mr. McCUBBIN:

I am talking about the wheat board.

Topic:   LIVE STOCK
Subtopic:   PROPOSED ESTABLISHMENT OF BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS FOR REGULATION AND CONTROL
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PC

James Arthur Ross

Progressive Conservative

Mr. ROSS (Souris):

That is not the grain commission.

Topic:   LIVE STOCK
Subtopic:   PROPOSED ESTABLISHMENT OF BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS FOR REGULATION AND CONTROL
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LIB

Robert McCubbin

Liberal

Mr. McCUBBIN:

Did I say the grain commission? I thought I said the wheat board. It is "the wheat board" that I have written down here. That was our experience with the wheat board in the province of Ontario.

I will admit, Mr. Speaker, that wheat is not handled in a satisfactory manner in the province of Ontario; it is not handled in the way it is dealt with in the west. This, however, will be discussed at another time.

We in Ontario feel that we are not getting a fair show as regards the price we are receiving for our wheat.

Topic:   LIVE STOCK
Subtopic:   PROPOSED ESTABLISHMENT OF BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS FOR REGULATION AND CONTROL
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CCF

Joseph William Burton

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

Mr. BURTON:

In comparing the wheat board with the board which the hon. member for Selkirk (Mr. Bryce) suggests, the hon. member is in error because what is asked for is a board of live stock commissioners similar to the board of grain commissioners.

Topic:   LIVE STOCK
Subtopic:   PROPOSED ESTABLISHMENT OF BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS FOR REGULATION AND CONTROL
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LIB

Robert McCubbin

Liberal

Mr. McCUBBIN:

You may say to me, "If you are not in favour of this board, what are you in favour of?" In my opinion, under the dominion department of agriculture and the departments in the provinces everything possible will be done. They have efficient officers and they will try to see that our farm products are marketed in an orderly manner in the interests of the farmers of the country.

I suggest that we need markets more than we need boards, and I would net support this government if I did not think that they will do everything in their power to procure markets for Canadian farmers.

This question of a live stock board was brought up some years ago. The hon. member for Haldimand (Mr. Senn) will remember this better than I do, because I was not a member of the house. The matter was brought up by the then member for Peace River, Mr. Kennedy, who introduced the subject in 1935. [DOT] At that time the leader of the government, Mr. Bennett, opposed the setting up of a live stock board because in his opinion there would be overlapping. I have a copy of Hansard of that day and I could quote from it to show that in his opinion it was not in the interests of agriculture to set up a live stock board of the kind that is asked for to-day. That was his view. As I say, we are more interested in markets.

Topic:   LIVE STOCK
Subtopic:   PROPOSED ESTABLISHMENT OF BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS FOR REGULATION AND CONTROL
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PC

James Arthur Ross

Progressive Conservative

Mr. ROSS (Souris):

Let us look to the future.

Topic:   LIVE STOCK
Subtopic:   PROPOSED ESTABLISHMENT OF BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS FOR REGULATION AND CONTROL
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LIB

Robert McCubbin

Liberal

Mr. McCUBBIN:

I am looking to the future, but we have to review the past if we are to look properly into the future. Some of the hon. members who have spoken to-day voted in 1936 against the trade agreements which did so much for the farmers and the cattle producers of the country.

The hon. member for Kamloops (Mr. Fulton) referred to the lifting of the embargo from Canadian cattle going into the United States. No one would be happier than I to see it lifted, but that is not possible at the present time. However, I hope the day is not far distant when that can be brought about.

Topic:   LIVE STOCK
Subtopic:   PROPOSED ESTABLISHMENT OF BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS FOR REGULATION AND CONTROL
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PC

James Arthur Ross

Progressive Conservative

Mr. ROSS (Souris):

Why is it not possible?

Topic:   LIVE STOCK
Subtopic:   PROPOSED ESTABLISHMENT OF BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS FOR REGULATION AND CONTROL
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LIB

Robert McCubbin

Liberal

Mr. McCUBBIN:

It is not possible because we have certain commitments. The governments of Canada, the United States and Great Britain have certain commitments across the sea, and we intend to carry out those commitments. We have been asked for two hundred million pounds of beef, and another twenty-five million pounds, if we can send it, and it is our duty to see that it is shipped. However, as I say, I hope the day is not far distant when we can ship our cat-

tie to the United States, and I wish to commend the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King), my leader, for the visit he paid President Truman before leaving for overseas. I am sure that under his able leadership and that of President Truman, agreements will be consummated which will be in our interests as well as in the interests of the American people. We know that the United States Senate is permitting the president to reduce tariffs in future trade agreements by a further fifty per cent, and that will be to our advantage. I am happy to see our friends on the other side of the house willing to support these trade agreements. I hope I shall be sitting on these benches when such an agreement is voted on in the house, and I trust that members on the other side will not then do as they did in 1936 and 1939, but will stand up and support the agreements which I have every reason to believe will be brought into effect by the present leader of the government.

I am not here to uphold and commend everything the government has done with regard to the cattle industry. It has done certain things in the last five years that I do not like as a cattle producer, and the people whom I represent do not like them; nevertheless, there are certain things that must be done in wartime, and we are willing to do them. But we are willing to have them done by this government and not by any board. This government should take on the responsibility of bringing in any legislation that is necessary; it should not be done by members of a board.

Topic:   LIVE STOCK
Subtopic:   PROPOSED ESTABLISHMENT OF BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS FOR REGULATION AND CONTROL
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PC

Wilfrid Garfield Case

Progressive Conservative

Mr. CASE:

And not- by orders in council.

Topic:   LIVE STOCK
Subtopic:   PROPOSED ESTABLISHMENT OF BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS FOR REGULATION AND CONTROL
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LIB

Robert McCubbin

Liberal

Mr. McCUBBIN:

That is all right.

Topic:   LIVE STOCK
Subtopic:   PROPOSED ESTABLISHMENT OF BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS FOR REGULATION AND CONTROL
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PC

James Arthur Ross

Progressive Conservative

Mr. ROSS (Souris):

There are exceptions.

Topic:   LIVE STOCK
Subtopic:   PROPOSED ESTABLISHMENT OF BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS FOR REGULATION AND CONTROL
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LIB

Robert McCubbin

Liberal

Mr. McCUBBIN:

I have always taken that stand because I believe in it. The other day I listened to the hon. member for Muskoka-Ontario, (Mr. Macdonnell) and with a good deal of what he said I was in agreement. I am a farmer and I speak on behalf of farmers. I feel that this government, of which I happen to be a supporter, is one that will do the utmost to legislate in the interests of our farmers and primary producers; for there is no class of people who have done more-and they will continue to do a great deal-for the welfare of this country. I hope the government will go forward with the legislation that is on the statute books and not appoint a lot of boards. I hope they will take the necessary steps themselves, and if there is to be any discussion it should take place on the floor of the house or in committee.

Live Stock-Control

Topic:   LIVE STOCK
Subtopic:   PROPOSED ESTABLISHMENT OF BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS FOR REGULATION AND CONTROL
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October 10, 1945