July 30, 1946

LIB

James Allison Glen (Minister of Mines and Resources)

Liberal

Mr. GLEN:

I did not say fiancees. The wives and dependents are under the jurisdiction of the Department of National Defence, and the question of their transportation does not fall within this department.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION
Subtopic:   WIVES AND FIANCEES OF SERVICE PERSONNEL- TRAN SPORT ATION TO CANADA
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PAYMENT OF PARTICIPATION CHEQUES-HARVEST EXPENSES


On the orders of the day:


CCF

Hazen Robert Argue

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

Mr. H. R. ARGUE (Wood Mountain):

I should like to direct a question to the Minister of Trade and Commerce. In view of the rapidly approaching harvest in western Canada, will the minister announce when the wheat board cheques will be in the mail? Farmers need this payment to meet harvest expenses.

Topic:   PAYMENT OF PARTICIPATION CHEQUES-HARVEST EXPENSES
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LIB

James Angus MacKinnon (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

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

I presume that the

hon. member is referring to participation

cheques for 1943. Many of these cheques are in the mail now, and the others will follow just as quickly as it is physically possible to get them out.

Topic:   PAYMENT OF PARTICIPATION CHEQUES-HARVEST EXPENSES
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QUESTION AS TO CONTROL BY WHEAT BOARD- CEILINGS ON OATS AND BARLEY'


On the orders of the day:


CCF

William Scottie Bryce

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

Mr. WILLIAM BRYCE (Selkirk):

I wish to direct a question to the Minister of Trade and Commerce, of which I have given him notice. As we are nearing the close of the crop year, has the minister considered the advisability of putting rye under the control of the wheat board? If not, why not?

Topic:   QUESTION AS TO CONTROL BY WHEAT BOARD- CEILINGS ON OATS AND BARLEY'
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LIB

James Angus MacKinnon (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member's notice of his question reached me just as I came into the chamber. Last February or March the leader of his party, the C.C.F., wrote me about this same matter, which is of considerable interest to many members of the house. At that time I made inquiries from my officers and received from them a memorandum which I think I can do no better than give in answer to the hon. member's question.

The hon. member asked whether the minister had considered the advisability of putting rye under the control of the wheat board. A proper appraisal of the rye position requires a number of observations. These are:

During the war the production of certain crops became a matter of national urgency and consequently the principle of established minimum prices was extended to include oats, barley, flaxseed and other oilseed crops. The dominion government felt that when producers were asked to increase the production of certain crops to meet wartime needs, minimum prices should be established in order to give the producer the necessary confidence in the products which were urgently needed. In successive wartime grain programmes rye was never included and at no time was the production of rye a matter of urgency. Producers who grew rye during the war years and since did so entirely on the basis of their own judgment and without direct encouragement on the part of the dominion government.

In the lack of any degree of urgency in the production of rye, it is difficult to find a reason why the dominion government should include rye within the scope of its national grain policies. In establishing measures in respect to wheat, oats and barley, the government was acting on behalf of crops which were produced

Rye Control

by most farmers in the prairie provinces and any policies established in respect to these crops had a broad significance to western agriculture. In contrast, rye is a crop produced on a very limited scale and is without

significance to a very large number of producers in the prairie provinces. This situation may be illustrated by the following table showing the 1945 acreage of rye, wheat, oats and barley for each of the prairie provinces:

Acreage

Rye Wheat Oats BarleyManitoba

26,000 2,132,000 1,697,000 2,139,000Saskatchewan

259,000 13,610,000 5.717.000 2,672,000Alberta

125,000 6,824,000 3,335,000 2,048,000Total

410,000 22,566,000 10,749,000 6,859,000

It will be noted from this table that in 1945 rye acreage amounted to 410,000 acres as compared with a total of 40,174,000 acres seeded to wheat, oats and barley. These figures indicate that rye production in the prairie provinces is not sufficiently important nor sufficiently widespread to justify inclusion within government policies in the general interest of western agriculture.

For the reasons outlined in paragraphs 1 and 2, rye has not been included in successive grain programmes announced by the dominion government.

The only point at which dominion government policies have impinged upon the rye situation has been in connection with the maximum price regulations. When price ceilings were first published for grains :n January, 1942, a ceiling was placed upon rye. This ceiling was removed in April, 1943, for the following specific reasons:

Maximum price regulations were intended to control price levels in Canada. Canadian consumption of lye is relatively small, the bulk of rye marketings going for export. Consequently, as far as price ceilings were concerned rye had very little significance. The Canadian consumer had practically no interest in the maintenance of a ceiling price for rye which was predominantly an export product.

The price of rye having practically no effect upon domestic price levels in Canada, the government felt that no good purpose could be served by continuing the ceiling price on rye.

The dominion government felt that the producer of rye, not having the protection of minimum prices, was entitled to whatever price could be obtained for lye.

Points 1, 2 and 3 combined led to the decision to remove the ceiling price on rye which represented the only control which the government had exercised-and only for a brief period

in respect to this grain. The question may be reasonably asked as to why a ceiling price was not maintained on rye and domestic ceilings enforced in respect to wheat, oats and 63260-2554

barley. The answer is that the domestic price of wheat has a very definite effect upon living costs in Canada, and prices for oats and barley have both a direct effect and an indirect effect upon price levels in Canada. The major effect of the price of oats and barle3' is in relation to production costs of live stock and live stock products-very important items in the cost of living structure in this country. In short, control of the domestic price of wheat, oats and barley was essential to proper price control in Canada, while on the same basis, the maintenance of a ceiling price on rye was not important.

The rise in the price of rye has taken place on an open market and consequently it is difficult to appraise the validity of price levels as established. The price of rye can find its own level without limitation on the upward trend of prices, and without government support on a falling market. During the past two or three years prices have advanced and producers have been able to secure going market prices for whatever quantities of rye they desired to market.

The question at issue is not whether the price of rye is too high or too low. Fundamentally the question is whether or not the government should have intervened in connection with the marketing of rye in the first instance, and maintained a needless ceiling in the second instance. As pointed out earlier in this letter, it is difficult to find reasons why the dominion government should have included rye within its various grain programmes and should have maintained a ceiling price which had little or no significance in connection with the broad price "policies which the government established in the general interest in Canada. These are the main points to be considered in connection with the rye position up to the present time.

Topic:   QUESTION AS TO CONTROL BY WHEAT BOARD- CEILINGS ON OATS AND BARLEY'
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CCF

Percy Ellis Wright

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

Mr. WRIGHT:

I should like to ask a supplementary question of the minister. Has the government given consideration to raising the

404.2

Business of the House

ceilings on oats and barley to bring the prices of these grains into conformity with the new price on wheat?

Topic:   QUESTION AS TO CONTROL BY WHEAT BOARD- CEILINGS ON OATS AND BARLEY'
Permalink
LIB

James Angus MacKinnon (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. MacKINNON:

I think that is a matter of government policy. When there is any policy to announce it will be announced.

Topic:   QUESTION AS TO CONTROL BY WHEAT BOARD- CEILINGS ON OATS AND BARLEY'
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COMMISSION TO BROKERS ON WHEAT SALES TO UNITED KINGDOM

SC

Robert Fair

Social Credit

Mr. ROBERT FAIR (Battle River):

My question to the Minister of Trade and Commerce arises out of the statement he has just made; for that reason it has not been possible for me to give him notice. The question is, wall payment of commission to brokers by the wheat board be continued on sales of wheat to the United Kingdom under the new agreement; and if so, why?

Topic:   COMMISSION TO BROKERS ON WHEAT SALES TO UNITED KINGDOM
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LIB

James Angus MacKinnon (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. MacKINNON:

That, Mr. Chairman, is also a matter which has been under discussion in the cabinet, but no decision has been arrived at, and it is a matter of government policy which will be announced at the proper time.

Topic:   COMMISSION TO BROKERS ON WHEAT SALES TO UNITED KINGDOM
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NATIONAL HOUSING ACT

AMENDMENT AS TO LOAN PROVISIONS-CENTRAL MORTGAGE AND HOUSING CORPORATION


Right Hon. C. D. HOWE (Minister of Reconstruction and Supply) moved the third reading of bill No. 306, to amend the National Housing Act, 1944. Motion agreed to and bill read the third time and passed.


BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE


Right Hon. L. S. ST. LAURENT (Acting Prime Minister): May I be permitted to say a word of explanation with respect to the order of business to-day? Hon. members will recall that last night I stated that the Minister of Veterans Affairs would like, if it were agreeable to members of the house, to advance one stage the resolutions dealing with the legislation resulting from the recommendation of the committee on veterans affairs. There are already nine of these resolutions on the order paper-eight in the name of the Minister of Veterans Affairs, and one in the name of the Minister of Finance but dealing with veterans affairs. There are three more of which the text is in the Votes and Proceedings of yesterday, but those Votes and Proceedings have not yet been distributed, so I suggest that this be allowed to stand until three o'clock, when hon. members will have had the Votes and Proceedings and will have seen the other three resolutions which make up the twelve I mentioned last night. [Mr. Wright.)


PC

July 30, 1946