February 10, 1948

LIB

Douglas Charles Abbott (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ABBOTT:

Nuts in the shell are under quota or banned, but not shelled peanuts.

Topic:   FLAXSEED-CATTLE REQUEST FOR ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ASKED ON FEBRUARY 9
Subtopic:   SCHEDULE III
Permalink
PC

Charles Cecil Ingersoll Merritt

Progressive Conservative

Mr. MERRITT:

These nuts were bought from the United States, of course. I understand that United States dollars were paid for them by a government agency. I am suggesting, and my information is, that similar nuts were available for sale in sterling area countries.

Topic:   FLAXSEED-CATTLE REQUEST FOR ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ASKED ON FEBRUARY 9
Subtopic:   SCHEDULE III
Permalink
LIB

Douglas Charles Abbott (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ABBOTT:

They are in very short supply, and are part of our international allocation in the oils and fats administration. Peanut oil is made from them.

Topic:   FLAXSEED-CATTLE REQUEST FOR ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ASKED ON FEBRUARY 9
Subtopic:   SCHEDULE III
Permalink
PC

Charles Cecil Ingersoll Merritt

Progressive Conservative

Mr. MERRITT:

If the minister will let me finish what I want to say I should then like to hear what he has to say in reply. In a much more minor key I was advised recently that a government building in the city of Vancouver has to buy a well-known United States type of floor wax. My informant claimed that there was a very good Canadian substitute which could not be purchased because of the policy of the Department of Public Works or whatever department is concerned. I should like to ask the minister- and it makes no difference whether peanuts or floor wax do not come under this bill- whether the government in its own purchasing is observing the spirit of the austerity program in the same way as it is insisting that it be done by private individuals across the country? Does the government make sure that, before it purchases anything with United States dollars, it cannot get the article it wants from any Canadian or non-United States dollar source. Is there any policy on that point?

Topic:   FLAXSEED-CATTLE REQUEST FOR ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ASKED ON FEBRUARY 9
Subtopic:   SCHEDULE III
Permalink
LIB

Douglas Charles Abbott (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ABBOTT:

The government observes these restrictions the same as anyone else. I cannot give my hon. friend the categorical assurance that some government purchasing department may not purchase some floor wax which it might have got in Canada. If we knew about that we would not permit it. The general rule is, of course, that the government departments are observing the law and are subject, in fact, to the same rules exactly as anybody else. The government purchases its supplies through the ordinary channels of trade. It is not, as a rule, a direct importer of anything.

Topic:   FLAXSEED-CATTLE REQUEST FOR ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ASKED ON FEBRUARY 9
Subtopic:   SCHEDULE III
Permalink
PC

Charles Cecil Ingersoll Merritt

Progressive Conservative

Mr. MERRITT:

I should like to suggest to the minister-if no special instructions have been given to this effect as a result of the restriction program having come into force that the government now see to it that such instructions do go out and that govern-

______________Foreign Exchange Conservation

ment agencies conserve United States exchange just as private persons in the country are required to do.

Topic:   FLAXSEED-CATTLE REQUEST FOR ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ASKED ON FEBRUARY 9
Subtopic:   SCHEDULE III
Permalink
LIB

Douglas Charles Abbott (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ABBOTT:

They do. The government buys supplies through the ordinary channels of trade. It is not a direct importer. I should qualify my statement there. We do import certain military supplies from the United States; but so far as ordinary civilian supplies are concerned, they are purchased through the ordinary channels of trade in Canada, the same as anybody else purchases them.

Topic:   FLAXSEED-CATTLE REQUEST FOR ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ASKED ON FEBRUARY 9
Subtopic:   SCHEDULE III
Permalink
PC

Charles Cecil Ingersoll Merritt

Progressive Conservative

Mr. MERRITT:

They are purchased here. The Commodity Prices Stabilization Corporation and the Canadian Commercial Corporation must be subject to government policy in that respect. Surely, if they are not-

Topic:   FLAXSEED-CATTLE REQUEST FOR ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ASKED ON FEBRUARY 9
Subtopic:   SCHEDULE III
Permalink
LIB

Douglas Charles Abbott (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ABBOTT:

Of course they are.

Topic:   FLAXSEED-CATTLE REQUEST FOR ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ASKED ON FEBRUARY 9
Subtopic:   SCHEDULE III
Permalink
PC

Charles Cecil Ingersoll Merritt

Progressive Conservative

Mr. MERRITT:

Then, surely in these circumstances specific instructions should be given to these bodies to purchase in nondollar countries where they can.

Topic:   FLAXSEED-CATTLE REQUEST FOR ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ASKED ON FEBRUARY 9
Subtopic:   SCHEDULE III
Permalink
LIB

Douglas Charles Abbott (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ABBOTT:

Perhaps my hon. friend would be satisfied if I told him that the president of the Commodity Prices Stabilization Corporation is the chairman of the war-*ime prices and trade board, and is the assistant deputy minister of finance who is specifically charged with the administration of the emergency control division. So he can rest assured that the Commodity Prices Stabilization Corporation is observing the so-called austerity program.

Topic:   FLAXSEED-CATTLE REQUEST FOR ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ASKED ON FEBRUARY 9
Subtopic:   SCHEDULE III
Permalink
PC

Charles Cecil Ingersoll Merritt

Progressive Conservative

Mr. MERRITT:

I might observe, Mr. Chairman, that I would not be wholly satisfied with that since the minister is here himself and he could, if he would, give the assurance I asked for.

Topic:   FLAXSEED-CATTLE REQUEST FOR ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ASKED ON FEBRUARY 9
Subtopic:   SCHEDULE III
Permalink
PC

Frank Exton Lennard

Progressive Conservative

Mr. LENNARD:

With respect to what the hon. member for Vancouver-Burrard had to say in connection with growers, I have particular reference to those who grow under glass, the greenhouse men. In answer to a suggestion of the hon. member for Temis-couata that the minister should have some direction, I might say that a crop of tomatoes grown under glass takes four months, and if there is to be any change in the regulations and there is an increase in the growing of tomatoes for the spring crop, if these regulations are taken off by the end of May it will be a non-profit crop for those who would be sacrificing another crop to grow foodstuffs needed in this country.

Another point I wish to bring up, a general point, is that the florists of the country-I do not mean the flower shops, but those who grow flowers-are not buying bulbs for spring planting. They do not know what the regulations will be in May around Mother's day,, when formerly great imports came from Florida and the southern states. They do not know whether the restrictions will be in force then. They do not know what to do at the moment, and that is the situation as far as the growing trade in eastern Canada is concerned. I know something about the matter, and I can assure the committee that these people do not know where they stand. Someone has foolishly told them that these restrictions will be lifted about March 31. I am sure that is not the case, but they do not know that, and the whole thing is in a muddle.

Topic:   FLAXSEED-CATTLE REQUEST FOR ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ASKED ON FEBRUARY 9
Subtopic:   SCHEDULE III
Permalink
LIB

Douglas Charles Abbott (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ABBOTT:

I received a delegation from the vegetable growers, and they brought up the question whether they could get an assurance as to how long the restrictions would be in effect. They referred to the growing of tomatoes and lettuce under glass and to the expansion of hothouses. I told them-and I am sure they were not surprised-that I could not give any assurance that this measure was a protectionist measure and that anybody who expanded the production of hothouse tomatoes or lettuce must take whatever business risks were involved in doing so under our system. If they planted and the restrictions were still on, they would make a handsome profit and if they planted and the restrictions were not on, they would not. That is a part of the system, and I told them I could give no assurance as to when the restrictions would be taken off. They were not on as a protectionist measure but as an emergency measure, and that was a business risk which they w'ould really have to assess for themselves.

Topic:   FLAXSEED-CATTLE REQUEST FOR ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ASKED ON FEBRUARY 9
Subtopic:   SCHEDULE III
Permalink
PC

Edmund Davie Fulton

Progressive Conservative

Mr. FULTON:

That is not a business risk. That has been the objection to so many of these things. Government interference with the ordinary cycle of marketing, whether necessary or not, creates hazards that cannot be called business risks. No one has asked that this be turned into a protective measure. But you have interfered with the Canadian economy and we say that you should now try to alleviate the effects of that interference as much as you can. Where you have created tremendous uncertainty, try to minimize that uncertainty by introducing a little certainty. If you tell them, "We will not take it off for six months or even three months", you will give them that degree of certainty. That is not a protective measure. It is a measure of common sense, and to refuse to do it is to blind your eyes to the disastrous effects that these things are having, effects which they need not have at all.

Foreign Exchange Conservation

Topic:   FLAXSEED-CATTLE REQUEST FOR ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ASKED ON FEBRUARY 9
Subtopic:   SCHEDULE III
Permalink
LIB

Douglas Charles Abbott (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ABBOTT:

No one need go ahead and build more hothouses to grow more tomatoes and lettuce.

Topic:   FLAXSEED-CATTLE REQUEST FOR ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ASKED ON FEBRUARY 9
Subtopic:   SCHEDULE III
Permalink
?

An hon. MEMBER:

Why not?

Topic:   FLAXSEED-CATTLE REQUEST FOR ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ASKED ON FEBRUARY 9
Subtopic:   SCHEDULE III
Permalink
LIB

Douglas Charles Abbott (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ABBOTT:

If they want to do so they do it at their own risk. We are not putting on prohibitions to encourage the production in this country of hothouse tomatoes and lettuce in the winter. Why should we? If conditions were normal it would be far better to buy lettuce and tomatoes where they are grown naturally in the open and to sell something else to the United States. This measure is not put on as a protective measure to enable industry to expand or increase behind what *is the greatest form of protection, namely a prohibition. It is not for that purpose. It is a *temporary measure because we have to do it. It is put on reluctantly, and anyone who expands production in a particular field, relying on the protection which is afforded by these prohibitions, must do so at his own risk.

Topic:   FLAXSEED-CATTLE REQUEST FOR ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ASKED ON FEBRUARY 9
Subtopic:   SCHEDULE III
Permalink
LIB

William Henry Golding (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Liberal

The DEPUTY CHAIRMAN:

What is before the committee now is simply the short title, "This act may be cited as the Emergency Exchange Conservation Act". The rule is very clear. Standing order 58 states that speeches in committee of the whole house must be strictly relevant to the item or clause under consideration. I wish to appeal to hon. members to try to conduct the business of the house in an orderly way. There is no reason in the world why we should discuss all these matters on the short title. When we come to the different clauses these matters can be discussed in their order. I think hon. members ought to agree now to follow the rules of the house. I appeal to them to pass this clause and get on with the clauses that deal with any of the matters which have been brought up under clause 1.

Topic:   FLAXSEED-CATTLE REQUEST FOR ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ASKED ON FEBRUARY 9
Subtopic:   SCHEDULE III
Permalink
PC

Frank Exton Lennard

Progressive Conservative

Mr. LENNARD:

There is one point I want to call to the attention of the Minister of Finance. I did not for a moment intimate that the acreage under glass should be increased by one foot. I wish that distinctly understood. But the growers want to know what to grow that will be most beneficial to the people of Canada. Would it not be better to grow vegetables than flowers, something necessary for the people.

Topic:   FLAXSEED-CATTLE REQUEST FOR ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ASKED ON FEBRUARY 9
Subtopic:   SCHEDULE III
Permalink

February 10, 1948