February 2, 1948

LIB

Joseph-Arthur Bradette

Liberal

Mr. BRADETTE:

I am no more off the beam than your party has been for so many years. What has Canada done for Great Britain? The Secretary of State for External Affairs has mentioned some of the things, and I do not want to discuss the point further, because we are all glad and proud to do what we have done and wish we could do more, and no matter what we shall do in the future, we shall never be able to fully repay her. At the same time, however, the C.C.F. party try to vilify our own government. They go into their own section of the country, as the Conservatives did in the Portage la Prairie byelection, and tell the farmers of the west, "Your Canadian government is selling you short to Great Britain. They pay you only so much for a bushel of Canadian wheat, while the British government pays 75 cents more for British wheat." And that is the same party which always wraps around itself the great big flag of loyalty. If that sort of thing is not disloyal I do not know what is.

Topic:   FEBllUARY 2, 1948
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PC
LIB

Joseph-Arthur Bradette

Liberal

Mr. BRADETTE:

You were at Portage la Prairie, too. You severely criticized the Canadian government because we were asking the farmers of this country to make some reasonable sacrifices; and what they have done is all to their credit. If our farmers were left to themselves they would not criticize the fact that they get a little less for their wheat and their meat by selling to Great Britain, because they also want to help that country. That is one reason the cost of living in Great Britain is as low as it is at the present time.

Then a great deal is made of the fact that the Canadian farmer is not allowed to sell his cattle on the United States market. If he could do so what would that mean? It would simply mean that, generally speaking, the cost of all meat to the Canadian consumer would immediately increase by at least thirty per cent. Would hon. gentlemen opposite pay the difference by a federal subsidy? Suppose for a moment the Canadian farmers, who played a great role during the war and who are continuing to play a great role at the present time, were permitted to sell their wheat in the world market. They would get almost forty per cent more than they are receiving at present; but what would happen to the price of a loaf of bread in Canada? Immediately it would go up forty or fifty per cent. What would happen to the price of 100 pounds of flour? Immediately it would increase by forty or fifty per cent. I say such high prices would not be good even for the farmers, because the moment flour went up thirty per cent, of necessity the consumers of Canada would ask for higher wages and salaries. Would hon. members opposite camouflage that situation also and cover it with subsidies? It is purely and simply camouflage; you cannot get away from it. If today the people are agitated in their minds, if they thoroughly study the present situation it is because they realize that the cost of living is too high; but I repeat that to hand out subsidies right and left would not be a solution of the problem. Nor would it be the solution of any of the problems we are facing at the present time. What would we subsidize? Milk?

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CCF
LIB

Joseph-Arthur Bradette

Liberal

Mr. BRADETTE:

No, we do not want any subsidies on gold. If you knew what you are talking about you would not make that remark. You do not know the gold situation. There is a rigid price on gold, with which the Canadian government has nothing to do. The gold mining industry has never asked for any subsidy or hand-outs, but just a chance to operate profitably. If you study the legislation

Prices Committee

the government has brought, forward you will not see any mention of a. subsidy. What do you want subsidies on? On milk?

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?

An hon. MEMBER:

What about the $7?

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LIB

Joseph-Arthur Bradette

Liberal

Mr. BRADETTE:

You must have been dreaming when the legislation was brought in. It was not $7; it is $3.50; and it is not a subsidy. Would anyone say the price of milk is too high at the present time, that the farmers are getting too much for it?

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CCF

Gladys Grace Mae Strum

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

Mrs. STRUM:

Yes, the price of milk is too high, but the farmers are not getting too much.

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LIB

Joseph-Arthur Bradette

Liberal

Mr. BRADETTE:

You will have to back up on that statement. What about the subsidy on bread? It is necessary, no doubt. What about, meat? Where are you going to stop? What about subsidies on shoes? It is easy to start on subsidies, but where are you going to draw the line of demarcation? These are questions the Canadian people have been asking, and they want to know the. truth. It is not the duty of the government to camouflage any issue, but to place them sincerely before, the public.

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CCF

Gladys Grace Mae Strum

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

Mrs. STRUM:

We do not need to camouflage.

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LIB

Joseph-Arthur Bradette

Liberal

Mr. BRADETTE:

I agree with you. Is it

camouflage when you have subsidies? In great Britain they camouflage the issue when they subsidize food to the extent of a quarter billion pounds a year. There is no way of getting over it; you cannot say black is white, because the two things are different.

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CCF

Gladys Grace Mae Strum

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

Mrs. STRUM:

If I may ask a question, did this administration not continually publish the cost of subsidies? I remember statements made by the present Minister of Justice (Mr. Usley) on numerous occasions, when he told the cost of subsidies. I do not think it is dishonest to pay subsidies and admit that this is what you are doing to distribute the ordinary, necessary articles of life.

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LIB

Joseph-Arthur Bradette

Liberal

Mr. BRADETTE:

This afternoon the

C.C.F. party said it was a better distribution of the cost they wanted. Let. me take as a typical example the city of Ottawa. Suppose we put back the subsidy on milk. At least ten per cent of the subsidy would be paid to big hotels, restaurants and eating houses. From a quart of milk, on which the government subsidized them, they would get an average of four glasses. If I am not mistaken they will charge five, cents for the glass of milk. Is that proper subsidizing? Who will tell me-and no one will challenge this fact; I throw the challenge to any member in this parliament-that the cost of milk at 17. 18. or 20 cents to the consumer is too high?

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CCF
LIB
CCF

Gladys Grace Mae Strum

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

Mrs. STRUM:

What percentage of milk is consumed in restaurants, and what percentage is consumed in homes, by the children of this country?

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LIB

Joseph-Arthur Bradette

Liberal

Mr. BRADETTE:

In a city like Ottawa at least ten per cent is consumed in public houses.

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CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

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

Mr. KNOWLES:

That is not what they consume in public houses.

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LIB

Joseph-Arthur Bradette

Liberal

Mr. BRADETTE:

They talk about subsidies. May I repeat that I could outdo the C.C.F. party on that point; I could ask the government to spend a quarter of a billion dollars to subsidize shoes, to subsidize shirts, to subsidize hats-to subsidize ladies' long skirts, if you please-all the known commodities. It is all right for them to talk that way, but those things are all commodities. There are practically no luxuries today. Take even the case of automobiles; who will say from the C.C.F. group on the other side of the house that automobiles for the miners, the farmers or the lumber operators in my section of the country, in the bush section, are a luxury for those people? Why not pay $500 or $600 as subsidies on automobiles, or as subsidies on refrigerators, on radios, on building material?

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CCF

February 2, 1948