March 15, 1949

PRIVILEGE

UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE COMMISSION


Mr. Stanley Knowles (Winnipeg North Centre): Mr. Speaker, I rise on a question of privilege. I hold in my hand sessional paper No. 55D, tabled in the house on Friday, March 11. This was brought down in response to an order of the house passed on February 16 of this year pursuant to a motion of mine asking for the tabling of certain documents. I shall try to state my question of privilege as briefly as possible, but there are one or two facts of importance which I must indicate. Following the passing of the motion I was invited by an officer of the department concerned to go into the office of the minister to examine the file. This was not on a confidential basis. I was told that the reason I was asked to look over the file was that I might indicate any papers which were inconsequential and need not be produced. I did so. I initialed, in accordance with the suggestion made to me, all the papers which were important and which I felt should be produced; and I was assured they would be brought down. Now that the sessional paper has come down, to my amazement some of the very important documents which I initialed are not included. I could cite a number of them; but to be specific I shall refer to one group, namely, the communications from the regional superintendent of unemployment insurance at Winnipeg to the unemployment insurance commission here at Ottawa-and I may say that there are letters in this sessional paper between officers of various departments and their superiors at corresponding levels. The only difference between the documents produced and those withheld is that most of the documents produced approve the action taken, while those withheld disapprove. I am sure Your Honour will agree with me, as will the Prime Minister and leader of the house, that an order of the house should be complied with, and that this sessional paper should be supplemented to such an extent as to give the full information required by the order of the house.


LIB

Humphrey Mitchell (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. Mitchell:

I think the hon. member said that he had come to my office.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE COMMISSION
Sub-subtopic:   RETURN AS TO OFFICE SPACE AT SIOUX LOOKOUT
Permalink
CCF

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

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

Mr. Knowles:

I said an officer of the department concerned took me into the minister's office to see the file.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE COMMISSION
Sub-subtopic:   RETURN AS TO OFFICE SPACE AT SIOUX LOOKOUT
Permalink
LIB

Humphrey Mitchell (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. Mitchell:

In my office?

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE COMMISSION
Sub-subtopic:   RETURN AS TO OFFICE SPACE AT SIOUX LOOKOUT
Permalink
CCF

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

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

Mr. Knowles:

Yes.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE COMMISSION
Sub-subtopic:   RETURN AS TO OFFICE SPACE AT SIOUX LOOKOUT
Permalink
LIB

Humphrey Mitchell (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. Mitchell:

I do not recall my hon. friend's getting anything in my office in my presence.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE COMMISSION
Sub-subtopic:   RETURN AS TO OFFICE SPACE AT SIOUX LOOKOUT
Permalink
CCF

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

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

Mr. Knowles:

I thought I made it clear that it was in the minister's office, but that he was not there. It was an official of the department who let me look at the file.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE COMMISSION
Sub-subtopic:   RETURN AS TO OFFICE SPACE AT SIOUX LOOKOUT
Permalink
LIB

Humphrey Mitchell (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. Mitchell:

That is important to me- that I was not there. I have no objection to my hon. friend's holding an inquest on me if I am there. The impression I got from his remarks was that I was there.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE COMMISSION
Sub-subtopic:   RETURN AS TO OFFICE SPACE AT SIOUX LOOKOUT
Permalink
CCF

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

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

Mr. Knowles:

The point at issue is that important documents have been withheld.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE COMMISSION
Sub-subtopic:   RETURN AS TO OFFICE SPACE AT SIOUX LOOKOUT
Permalink

COARSE GRAINS

OATS, BARLEY AND OILSEEDS SUPPORT PRICES FOR 1949-50 CROP YEAR

LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Right Hon. C. D. Howe (Minister of Trade and Commerce):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to advise the house of certain decisions which the government has reached in regard to floor prices for oats, barley and oilseeds. Before dealing with the policies which the government will implement for the crop year 1949-50, I would like to make some general observations.

There has been a general easing of the world grain and oilseed position as production of grains in Europe returned close to pre-war levels, and as substantial increases were made in the production of oils and fats in that area and elsewhere. Supplies of wheat and feed grains in exporting countries during the present crop year are sufficient to meet demand, and, in spite of the prevailing financial position, most importing countries are going to secure supplies of grain which they require. As I shall indicate later, supplies of vegetable oils generally are more than adequate to meet existing demand, and in the case of certain vegetable oils, international surpluses exist today due largely to wartime expansion in production. These are basic factors which the government has had

Coarse Grains

to consider in connection with the crops under review.

I would now like to refer specifically to oats and barley. It is important that producers in the prairie provinces should continue to maintain a sound diversity in the crops which they produce, in order that there should be a corresponding diversity in the grain which this country will have for export during this period of adjustment in the world demand for, and in the world supply of, grains.

As members of the house know, western wheat producers are assured of a minimum price of $1.75 per bushel basis No. 1 northern in store Fort William-Port Arthur or Vancouver until July 31, 1950. In view of this established level of wheat prices, the government feels that producers should have reasonable assurance in respect to support prices for oats and barley during 1949-50.

The government has decided to support the price of western oats and western barley during the crop year 1949-50 at the same support prices that are in effect for the present crop. These prices are 61J cents per bushel basis No. 1 feed oats in store Fort William-Port Arthur and 90 cents per bushel basis No. 1 feed barley in store Fort William-Port Arthur. As in previous years, the Canadian wheat board will administer the support prices for these two grains. I want to emphasize that these are support prices only, and producers will have the advantage of whatever higher prices prevail during 1949-50.

In regard to oilseeds, the government must take a realistic view of the position as it exists today. Our major contact with the international oilseed position on the export side is through flaxseed. In 1948 flaxseed production in Canada amounted to 17-4 million bushels as compared with an average of 1-5 million bushels during the 1935-1939 period. Nineteen hundred and forty-eight production of flaxseed in the United States, traditionally an importer of flaxseed, is estimated at 50 million bushels as compared with an average production of 11 million bushels during the five years prior to the war. This expansion in acreage and production of flaxseed in Canada and United States has more than offset decreased production in the Argentine. It is now evident that all three countries will have surplus stocks of flaxseed or linseed oil available for export at the end of the present crop year, and of course additional supplies will be available through 1949 production.

I should say a word in regard to rapeseed and sunflower seed. There is practically no demand for rapeseed or rapeseed oil in Canada, and, as a result, this crop is almost entirely an export commodity and is there-

fore affected by the broader oilseed position which I have described. Sunflower seed is in a different position, being an edible vegetable oil which can be utilized in Canada. In my opinion sunflower seed oil will continue to have a good market in this country, and for that reason will not require continuing government support.

Under the circumstances the government is not prepared to encourage the production of oilseeds by establishing support prices for 1949-50. The position will be examined again at the beginning of the next crop year.

The government does not propose to provide specific floor prices for oats and barley produced outside of western Canada. In the opinion of the government, the interests of eastern producers marketing these grains as grain will be protected through support prices established for western oats and barley, which constitute the main stream of commercial supplies in this country.

It must be emphasized that the great bulk of oats and barley produced in eastern Canada and British Columbia is consumed on farms where grown, and does not enter into commercial channels except through livestock and livestock products. Not more than 100,000 bushels of oats and barley in eastern Canada are inspected and graded under the provisions of the Canada Grain Act, which indicates that the purely commercial movement of these grains is relatively unimportant as compared with farm consumption, and of course as compared with the commercial movement of western grains.

To the extent that eastern oats and barley are sold commercially, the producers concerned have a geographical advantage in that their prices are based broadly on the laid-down price of western grains at various points in eastern Canada. This statement is true even after allowing for the free freight policy which has been in effect for some years. There is nothing to indicate that producers in other parts of Canada who have oats and barley to sell commercially will not continue to have a price advantage, owing to the cost of shipping western oats and barley into local markets in eastern Canada.

With eastern production of oats and barley tied in closely with farm feeding, a very serious problem would arise if for some unexpected reason prices fell below a support level made effective in eastern Canada. The only practical way in which the Canadian wheat board or any other agency could implement floor policies in eastern Canada or in British Columbia would be to take delivery of these grains in carload lots in terminal positions. In this case feed grains would have to be shipped to . areas where

required 1 or purchase under a price support program. The results would be to draw off feed grain supplies from areas in which they were required to maintain the existing livestock population. The subsequent redistribution of these supplies of oats and barley purchased by the organization responsible for maintaining support prices would be a difficult and costly undertaking. Should it be found that the floor price policy that I have outlined does not in fact protect the price of oats and barley grown in eastern Canada, means will be sought to remedy the situation.

Topic:   COARSE GRAINS
Subtopic:   OATS, BARLEY AND OILSEEDS SUPPORT PRICES FOR 1949-50 CROP YEAR
Permalink
PC

John Bracken

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Bracken:

May I ask the minister if any change is proposed in the free freight policy with respect to coarse grains?

Topic:   COARSE GRAINS
Subtopic:   OATS, BARLEY AND OILSEEDS SUPPORT PRICES FOR 1949-50 CROP YEAR
Permalink
LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. Howe:

Government policy in that

regard will be announced in due course.

Topic:   COARSE GRAINS
Subtopic:   OATS, BARLEY AND OILSEEDS SUPPORT PRICES FOR 1949-50 CROP YEAR
Permalink

THE BUDGET

ANNOUNCEMENT OF PRESENTATION ON TUESDAY, MARCH 22

LIB

Douglas Charles Abbott (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Hon. Douglas Abbott (Minister of Finance):

I wish to inform the house that, barring unforeseen contingencies, I expect to bring down the budget a week from tonight at half past seven.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF PRESENTATION ON TUESDAY, MARCH 22
Permalink
CCF

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

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

Mr. Knowles:

A half hour earlier in the day than last year.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF PRESENTATION ON TUESDAY, MARCH 22
Permalink

March 15, 1949