Hon. J. A. MacKINNON (Minister of Trade and Commerce):
Mr. Speaker, I desire to make a statement in regard to a special measure to increase wheat deliveries in western Canada and to announce the government's 1946-47 programme for oats, barley and oilseeds.
As the Prime Minister has stated, the government desires to make available the utmost quantity of food to help meet the needs of people in less fortunate parts of the world. While we have been working on a very large wheat and flour export programme during the present crop year, we hope to be able to increase shipments over the quantities originally planned. To accomplish this, it will be necessary for producers' in western Canada to deliver promptly their remaining farm surpluses of wheat. Deliveries of grain have been exceptionally good this year and marketings have exceeded estimates, month by month. However, there is still a substantial quantity of wheat on farms, available for early delivery, that can be moved abroad to needy areas.
There is some wheat being held on farms in western Canada, principally due to the present levels of income tax combined with the uncertainty of yields from the new crop to be harvested in 1946. The amount of wheat so held on farms is not large in relation to the quantities which have already been shipped abroad, but if made available now would be of material help in meeting the present food situation. With this objective in mind the government has made an arrangement whereby wheat, which producers may not have intended to deliver at the present time, can be marketed and' sold over the
next three months, with cash settlement made at any time the producer may choose in 1946, 1947 or 1948. The arrangement will become effective on April 1, 1946, and details will be announced shortly by the Canadian wheat board. There may be a few days' delay in getting the new emergency wheat receipt forms into the hands of the elevator companies, but producers need not delay their wheat deliveries on this account. They may continue to deliver, taking storage tickets for later conversion into emergency wheat receipts. Of course those farmers who wish to deliver their wheat and take cash tickets in the usual way can proceed as in the past. There is no change in this respect. The new arrangement merely provides a means whereby producers may elect to deliver wheat between April 1 and June 30, 1946, with cash settlement taken at their option in 1946, 1947 or 1948.
Special transportation arrangements have been made to move the additional wheat forward to mills and seaboard.
I now desire to deal with the government's programme for oats and barley for 1946-47.
The 1945-46 oats programme will be continued in 1946-47. The government, through the Canadian wheat board, will guarantee a minimum price of forty-five cents per bushel for No. 2 C.W. oats, basis in store at Fort William and Port Arthur. The oats equalization fund will again operate in 1946-47, and producers will receive advance equalization payments of ten cents per bushel at the time of delivery. >
In the case of barley the government will guarantee a minimum price of sixty cents per bushel for top grades basis in store at Port Arthur and Fort William. The barley equalization fund will operate in 1946-47, and advance equalization payments of fifteen cents per bushel will be made on delivery. In addition, premiums up to five cents a bushel may be paid for barley accepted as suitable for malting.
During the present crop year all barley produced and marketed in Canada was needed for our own requirement, and exports were prohibited except for small quantities sold for export prior to July 31, 1945. With exports eliminated, the government felt that producers should be protected on premiums they would have received on barley accepted for malting purposes and exported to the United States. For this reason, the advance equalization payment was increased to twenty cents per bushel for the present crop year. The producer of feeding barley received the same price as the
producer of malting barley. This policy was announced to meet a feed emergency in Canada and has served a useful purpose this year. The government, however, does not desire unduly to limit exports of barley for any longer than necessary, and hopes that barley supplies in 1946-47 will be sufficiently large to permit the resumption of ex'ports. The government must, however, reserve the right to reexamine the barley situation when the extent of 1946 production is known.
During the greater part of the war there has been an urgent demand for vegetable oils, and the government has endeavoured to encourage the production of oil seeds. At the present time there is a world-wide shortage of both fats and vegetable oils. In order to assist in meeting oil seed requirements the government proposes to increase the present guaranteed price of flaxseed from $2.75 per bushel to $3.25 per bushel, basis No. 1 C.W. flaxseed in store Fort William, Port Arthur or Vancouver, effective August 1, 1946, for the crop year 1946-47.
In announcing the new price for flaxseed the government wishes to emphasize the importance of this drop during the present crop year and to urge producers to seed a larger acreage in 1946.
The 1945-46 rapeseed programme will be continued in 1946-47. Producers will be guaranteed six cents per pound for'top grades basis country shipping points.
In 1946-47 producers will be guaranteed five cents per pound for top grades of sunflower seed basis country shipping points.
In announcing the government's programme in respect of feed grains and oil seeds, I should like once again to appeal to producers in the prairie provinces for prompt delivery of their remaining supplies of surplus wheat. Up to the present time wheat producers in western Canada have exceeded all estimates for the delivery of grain. Marketings have been high throughout the present crop year. There is still a large volume of wheat to be delivered. Wheat is urgently needed in Europe and elsewhere.