April 8, 1949

SC

Robert Fair

Social Credit

Mr. Fair:

At the session just concluded.

Topic:   AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR MARKETING IN INTERPROVINCIAL AND EXPORT TRADE
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CCF

George Hugh Castleden

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

Mr. Castleden:

It was not done at the last

session?

Topic:   AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR MARKETING IN INTERPROVINCIAL AND EXPORT TRADE
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SC

Robert Fair

Social Credit

Mr. Fair:

At this session just concluded. In reply to the member for Yorkton (Mr. Castleden), I might say that if Bill 135 had been in the interests of the producers of the prairie provinces-that legislation was

promised last session, but after the Alberta legislature had been prorogued, representatives of organized agriculture wrote to the premier to the effect that, under present circumstances, they did not feel it was in the interests of the producer to call a new session. For that reason a new session was not called and the legislation did not pass until the present year.

I agree with the hon. member who has just taken his seat, in that I feel the present legislation is not sufficient. Permanent legislation, such as the Agricultural Prices Support Act, should be enacted. The member for Restigouche-Madawaska (Mr. Michaud) had something to say about the potato growers of his province costing Canada a large sum of money. I feel that other industries in addition to agriculture are continuously costing the people of Canada a great deal of money. Because agriculture is of prime importance to the Canadian family it should not be treated as an orphan when it comes to prices and working conditions. I feel it is time legislation was enacted which would put agriculture on an equal footing with the other industries in this country. Until we have a prosperous agriculture we certainly cannot have a prosperous Canada.

Agricultural Products Marketing Act One of the best authorities in Canada, the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Gardiner), is on record as stating that the farmers have received poor prices during the war. I am going to quote from the Ottawa Journal of February 10 something the minister had to say to a farmers' organization in Ontario. The article is headed, "War Sacrifices of Farmers Entitle Them to Fair Prices."

Canadian farmers were "entitled now" to prices which would justify their wartime sacrifices, Agriculture Minister Gardiner said last night. He was speaking to the annual meeting of the Ontario Concentrated Milk Producers Association at the Chateau Laurier. More than 150 delegates are attending the two-day session, the largest in several years.

"Because there have been declines in the United States, people here are suggesting that food prices should drop to that level, forgetting that prices there rose during the war to a peak never experienced here."

The whole idea in preventing high food prices in Canada during wartime was to allow a "leveling out" afterwards, Mr. Gardiner remarked.

He was "inclined to agree" with the popular statement that consumers did not appreciate what farmers did during the war in keeping the cost of food down. Mr. Gardiner said he was "surprised that farmers had not been able to sell that idea fully."

To reduce the cost of food would mean "bringing down returns to farmers."

"People are inclined to forget that farmers, and dairy farmers in particular, were asked to hold their hand on prices during the war-at a time when they might have charged almost what they wanted."

I agree wholeheartedly with the minister in that statement. The farmer has had comparatively slight increases in the prices of the products he has to sell.

We find that the cost of production has risen to a high level. To take one instance alone, the cost of farm machinery before the war was in excess of what it should have been: on the figures put out lately by the Massey-Harris Company we find that the price of farm machinery has increased by 43-9 per cent. Anyone who takes the trouble to figure out the price of agricultural products will find that it has not kept pace with the cost of production.

Before getting away from that part of my argument I should like to state that during the 1946-47 crop year, according to figures brought down in the house in my name, the farmers of the prairie provinces have lost no less than eighty-six cents a bushel on the wheat sold to the British government in 1946; and in 1947 there is an apparent loss of $1.22.

I am not saying that is the final amount, but the apparent figures show that amount. In addition to that, it is a well-known fact that the prices of coarse grains that were fed here in Canada, and of other products sold to Britain, were based on the price of wheat in the agreement.

I am like other members who have spoken before me. I do not want to be accused of

holding up this bill. We also, after waiting for so many years, want to see this bill passed tonight if that is possible. In order to help the minister and the government, I should like to place on record the Social Credit agricultural and primary producer policy.

(a) A home market supplied with sufficient purchasing power to enable the people to buy the goods which they require for their use.

(b) Adequate and low cost credit facilities through agencies especially acquainted with agricultural and marketing conditions.

(c) Floor prices sufficient to cover the average production costs and to give farm producers a net return for their services, bearing a fair relationship to that secured by citizens engaged in industrial production and distribution.

(d) Grain marketing-[DOT]

(1) Revision of the Canadian Wheat Board Act so that the board shall be an agency operating primarily for the benefit of, and in the interests of, grain producers.

(2) That the Canadian wheat board market all commercial wheat.

(3) Support long-term international wheat agreements to conform with the policy set out above.

(e) Continuation of the operation of the Agricultural Prices Support Act as permanent legislation.

(f) Adequate producer representation on all boards and agencies having control over farm products.

(g) Setting up of federal legislation to provide for voluntary crop insurance.

To deal for a moment with each of those items, in connection with (a) I should like to refer the minister and the government to the analysis made by Professor Hope in dealing with the ability to supply purchasing power so that all the people of Canada could at least have enough to eat. Professor Hope's name is well known in this house, and his record for doing good work in Saskatchewan and at the present time for the Canadian Federation of Agriculture is I believe recognized all across this country.

As to (b), we have at the present time the Canadian farm loan board and the Agricultural Credit Act administration. These two agencies are in my opinion charging too high a rate of interest, because there is no need in the world to have a rate of four and one-half per cent and five per cent interest charged on loans to farmers. If the farmers are not a good risk, I believe it is the duty and the business of the government to see that an agricultural policy is put into effect that will make our farmers good risks like those in other lines of business in the country.

As to (c) I do not think it is necessary for me to repeat our argument, because we have on many occasions stressed the need and given sufficient reasons for fair prices. The Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Gardiner), in the statement I quoted a little while ago, also bears out this argument.

As to (d) (1), we feel that the Canadian wheat board should sell grain for the highest prices that it will bring under our present conditions, and that it should not be used as

an agency to take from the producers and give to the consumers out of the producers' funds. If the government finds it necessary and desirable to pay a bonus, I believe that bonus should come out of the consolidated revenue fund of this country. The producers of this country should not be asked to subsidize other producers who are feeding part of their grain. That procedure is particularly undesirable because of the policy that has been pursued in connection with the sale of our grain and other products in the past.

As to (d) (2), under present circumstances I believe that is the only way we shall get the best service and the best price for our grain; because if we are to have a number of individual sellers and just two or three purchasers, we shall come out on the wrong end of the deal.

As to (d) (3), I think we made our stand on that question known when the international wheat agreement was introduced the other day. I shall have more to say when that agreement is brought in for ratification.

As to (e), my friend across the way who just finished speaking gave some reasons, and many other reasons have been advanced on this side of the house why that legislation should be continued as a permanent measure.

As to (f), I think anybody taking a realistic view of the marketing of farm products, or of any other products for that matter, will see the necessity for having people on the selling board-not on the advisory boards but on the selling board-who understand the position and have at heart the interests of those particularly concerned.

As to (g), that has been asked for by organizations for a number of years. I understand that system is working satisfactorily in the United States, that it is becoming more and more effective, and that more and more farmers are going in under it. That of course is a voluntary organization. I hope this agricultural and primary producer policy of this organization will help the government to set up a much better agricultural policy for Canadian farmers and to make Canada a prosperous country all through.

Topic:   AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR MARKETING IN INTERPROVINCIAL AND EXPORT TRADE
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IND

Herbert Wilfred Herridge

Independent C.C.F.

Mr. H. W. Herridge (Kootenay West):

shall not detain the house long, Mr. Speaker, because I know the members are anxious to see this bill passed as quickly as possible. I feel, however, that I should say a few words, because in listening to this debate I cannot help reliving the past to some extent inasmuch as I come from the district in which were made some of the first moves in Canadian history for the establishment of national marketing legislation.

I listened with a great deal of interest to the naturally academic historical review of

Agricultural Products Marketing Act marketing legislation in British Columbia given by the hon. member for Kamloops (Mr. Fulton). That review would naturally be academic because the hon. member was wearing knee breeches when we were holding our first meetings to organize for a provincial marketing act. Regardless of the attitude of the Progressive Conservative party at the present time, I must say that our experience in British Columbia in the early days was that we had the toughest possible opposition from Conservative members of the provincial legislature when it came to trying to secure support for a provincial marketing act.

Topic:   AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR MARKETING IN INTERPROVINCIAL AND EXPORT TRADE
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PC

Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Green:

May I ask the hon. member a question?

Topic:   AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR MARKETING IN INTERPROVINCIAL AND EXPORT TRADE
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IND

Herbert Wilfred Herridge

Independent C.C.F.

Mr. Herridge:

Certainly.

Topic:   AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR MARKETING IN INTERPROVINCIAL AND EXPORT TRADE
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PC

Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Green:

Is it not a fact that the Bennett government brought in a dominion marketing act?

Topic:   AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR MARKETING IN INTERPROVINCIAL AND EXPORT TRADE
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IND

Herbert Wilfred Herridge

Independent C.C.F.

Mr. Herridge:

I am speaking of the early days in British Columbia, after which time they accepted the experiment in British Columbia which had proven successful and was receiving large support.

Topic:   AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR MARKETING IN INTERPROVINCIAL AND EXPORT TRADE
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PC

Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Green:

Why not be fair?

Topic:   AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR MARKETING IN INTERPROVINCIAL AND EXPORT TRADE
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CCF

Joseph William Burton

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

Mr. Burton:

Wait until he is through.

Topic:   AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR MARKETING IN INTERPROVINCIAL AND EXPORT TRADE
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IND

Herbert Wilfred Herridge

Independent C.C.F.

Mr. Herridge:

I am fair. I am dealing with the development of provincial marketing legislation in British Columbia. After that legislation had proven successful and was popular then, as usual, the Tories learned late.

I speak as one who has lived closely with this problem throughout the years. I never speak on a question of this kind without seeing our fruit growers, the small farmers who at the present time will be pruning their orchards and spraying their trees. I know those pioneers who worked for this legislation, who sacrificed their leisure and their holidays to build up public opinion in support of legislation of this type. I cannot forgo the opportunity to mention some of those in our history who have contributed a great deal toward the development of this legislation because, as the minister mentioned, it originated in British Columbia and amongst the fruit growers of that province.

I am glad to mention the Hon. A. D. Barrow, a former minister of agriculture in British Columbia who did a great deal of work in this respect. The late Dr. McDonald was a great advocate of provincial and national marketing legislation. The Hon. Frank Putman, who is a large and successful fruit grower, worked throughout the years with committees of the British Columbia Fruit Growers Association in support of this

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Agricultural Products Marketing Act legislation. Then a former president of the British Columbia Fruit Growers Association, a gentleman who was president in 1924 when this type of legislation began to germinate in the minds of the producers after their bitter experience with competition, had a lot to do with this type of legislation. I refer to the late Mr. Thomas Abriel, who met with other people in the village of Nakusp to organize support. In the district in which I live, the first meeting to consider plans for the development of provincial marketing legislation was held in my own home, at which the then president of the British Columbia growers association was present along with other directors and growers.

In supporting this legislation this afternoon I think it is wise to remember the efforts of those who have contributed so much to the development of this marketing idea in agriculture. I must also mention Mr. J. J. Campbell, Mr. Percy French and Mr. Barrett, and Mr. W. E. Haskins, whose name was mentioned by the minister, and who contributed a great deal toward the development and drafting of provincial marketing legislation in British Columbia. I also mention Mr. Stirling, a former president of the British Columbia Fruit Growers Association, and Mr. A. K. Loyd, present chairman of Tree Fruits Limited, also Mr. Tom Wilkinson, member of the British Columbia interior vegetable marketing board, and Major Turner Lee, Mr. R. Foxall, manager, Associated Growers, Nelson, British Columbia, and Mr. Noel Brown, president, Kootenay Co-operative Storage Association. There are many others too numerous to mention.

As I said before, Mr. Speaker, I feel it my duty to mention the names of these people, because I am sure many of them will rejoice to know that their efforts have resulted in at least partial success. Those who have passed on would be glad to know of what we are doing in this house today. I do not think this bill is the end of the road so far as national marketing legislation is concerned, but I do think that we have reached a paved portion of the highway which will lead us to the goal of satisfactory provincial, national and international marketing.

I support the principle of this bill. I am pleased to note that it provides powers for provincial boards to control interprovincial and export marketing. I am sure that this bill, and the experience we shall gain as a result of its operation with the co-operation of all parties concerned, co-operatives, producer organizations, provincial boards and other agencies which may be formed under this type of legislation, will bring a greater measure of security to the agricultural producers of this country.

Topic:   AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR MARKETING IN INTERPROVINCIAL AND EXPORT TRADE
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PC

Alfred Johnson Brooks

Progressive Conservative

Mr. A. J. Brooks (Royal):

It is not my

intention to delay the house for any length of time because I realize that everybody is anxious to get this matter through. I have listened with much interest to the speeches which have been made. I was deeply interested in the remarks of the last speaker, but I must say that I was disappointed when he mentioned the men from British Columbia who had done so much to promote this marketing legislation. He did not mention the name of one man who I know has done as much as if not more than any other member in this house to promote marketing acts. I refer to Hon. Grote Stirling. I am sure that the hon. member must have forgotten him, because he mentioned another Mr. Stirling, but he did not mention Grote Stirling, the former member. In the time that I have been in the house I remember that Mr. Esling, who also represented the riding which the present member represents, was a strong advocate of marketing acts.

I had intended to make extensive remarks this afternoon, but unfortunately the time is short, and I shall say what I have to say in a few minutes. At the outset I want to assure the house that I am in entire agreement with the principle of this bill, but I also want to assure the house that I agree with the remarks that were made by my colleague, the hon. member for Restigouche-Madawaska (Mr. Michaud), to the effect that this bill does not seem to meet the requirements of the maritime provinces, and particularly the potato growers of New Brunswick.

When we speak of the necessity of legislation of this kind it is only necessary to point out the chaotic condition of potato marketing in New Brunswick to realize that some federal act and a co-ordinate provincial act is necessary. As has been stated before, this year we had a surplus crop of potatoes. We sold a considerable quantity in the United States market, and then under an embargo our market in the United States was cut off almost immediately.

As the minister knows, we were allowed to sell seed potatoes in the United States, and again the marketing of seed potatoes was interfered with by many of the large exporters of seed potatoes in the province selling seed potatoes for table use. The United States complained of this type of sale, which has also added to the chaotic condition of the potato market in New Brunswick.

In former years we used to sell to the Cuban market. That market was lost to us. We sold to the South American market, and again, as the hon. member for Restigouche-Madawaska said, there was competition between potato dealers in Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick. Those in New

Brunswick were in competition with potato dealers in Nova Scotia, and those in Nova Scotia were in competition with dealers in Quebec. The result was that the whole market for this product, which means so much to the economy of our province, was chaotic. I sincerely hope that the minister will explain to us how some order can be brought out of the present condition.

As I said when I rose, it is not my intention to make any extended remarks. I do hope however that this marketing measure can be made workable in our maritime provinces. What applies to potatoes also applies to apples to a lesser degree. I was amazed the other day to hear the minister say that in the government's decision to cut down apple trees in Nova Scotia they were uprooting and cutting down trees in one year in numbers which they had expected to dispose of in three years. He said that was a proper procedure, because they would not be bothered with the sale of the apples from fruit trees after they had been cut down.

That is not the type of marketing legislation we want for our produce from the maritime provinces. We do not want to cut down our apple trees so as to dispose of the apples which would be produced. We do not wish to have to depend upon a smaller acreage in potatoes, because there is a great demand for potatoes, if not in this country then certainly in other parts of the world.

I trust that through this measure the minister will be able to work out something which would be satisfactory in connection with the marketing of potatoes from New Brunswick, as well as the marketing of our other farm products.

Topic:   AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR MARKETING IN INTERPROVINCIAL AND EXPORT TRADE
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CCF

Frederick Samuel Zaplitny

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

Mr. F. S. Zaplitny (Dauphin):

Mr. Speaker, this is an important piece of legislation, and thus far we have discussed it for only two hours. In doing the nation's business I believe we should not hurry at this point, because the present measure brings into focus the whole question of the best manner in which to dispose of our agricultural products.

A great deal has been said in that respect both in the house and in other places during the last twenty-five years. We of the C.C.F. have always taken the position that trade or marketing is essentially an intelligent exchange of goods, and that to the extent any agency assists in making that intelligent exchange of goods more efficient or easier, such agency is good.

That is why we have opposed speculative marketing as a marketing method. We believe speculation does not add anything to the value of goods exchanged, and that essentially it adds to the cost of exchanging those goods for other goods or services. That is

Agricultural Products Marketing Act why in the house we have always taken the strong position of doing away with speculative interests which enter into the exchange of goods, whether in our domestic markets or our export trade.

I was keenly interested in something that was said this afternoon about death-bed repentance. I am glad that expression was used, because I think it is time some points were cleared up so far as this matter of repentance is concerned. We of the C.C.F. are in the happy position of having no repentance to make, because we have taken the stand consistently for orderly marketing of agricultural products. However, when members of the Progressive Conservative party sitting to my right speak about deathbed repentance they are taking a text which is likely to backfire.

As I listened to the hon. member for Kamloops (Mr. Fulton) I could not help remembering that it was only on March 25 that the hon. member for Calgary East (Mr. Harkness), one of the members of his party, was asked to state whether he believed in the orderly marketing of farm products. The hon. member replied that he did not care who handled his products or how much gambling was done on his grain, provided he received a better price as a result. He expressed the philosophy of the party to which he belongs.

In order to make sure that he was speaking seriously I asked him specifically at the time whether he was voicing his own opinion or that of his party, and he replied in these words:

I am giving, as I always do, my personal opinions. But I think I am expressing fairly well the opinions of a majority of the people in this party.

Let me say to him that he certainly was not expressing the opinion of the majority of the people of the prairie provinces. It is this belief, or this weakness as a result of which people believe that gambling can add something to the value of their product, which keeps the speculative markets alive, and which keeps gambling dens such as the Winnipeg grain exchange operating for their own profit and to the detriment of both producers and consumers.

It is because there are farmers-if the hon. member can so describe himself, in the full sense-who think that by some magic means or by being smarter than the gamblers on the grain exchange they can get a higher price than is received by their neighbours for their products, and that they can use the labour of other farmers to bring them a better return for their own produce, that these naive people place themselves in a position where the grain exchange and other speculative interests are making a good living from the hides of those

2488 HOUSE OF

Agricultural Products Marketing Act hard-working people. I believe it was P. T. Barnum who said, "There's one born every minute." But I did not think we would find one in this House of Commons.

While we are speaking about death-bed repentance, let us make the record complete. The hon. member for Kamloops referred to the government's being in the throes of one of those repentances. While he spoke I thought of discussions which took place in this house in 1935 with respect to marketing. While I was not here at the time, I recall that the Bennett administration introduced a marketing act to which reference has been made this afternoon. It is interesting to note, as I have noticed in several debates this session, that the very words of criticism used by the Liberal party then in opposition are used today by the Tory opposition, and in relation to the same kind of legislation.

If hon. members would refer to Hansard of June 25, 1935, they would find that the late Right Hon. Ernest Lapointe, speaking on the marketing legislation then offered by the Bennett legislation, and directing his attention particularly to section 5 of that bill which referred to fines imposed for infractions, used these words:

They will be fined $25 or $500 or go to jail for three months, or they may be both fined and jailed. And they are presumed guilty under this bill unless they prove that they are not.

Topic:   AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR MARKETING IN INTERPROVINCIAL AND EXPORT TRADE
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?

Joseph Philippe Baby Casgrain

Mr. Casgraln:

As in Russia.

Topic:   AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR MARKETING IN INTERPROVINCIAL AND EXPORT TRADE
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LIB

Hugues Lapointe (Parliamentary Assistant to the Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. Lapointe:

My hon. friend says, as in Russia, and he is right. These schemes of regimentation-

What familiar words!

-can be successful only under a dictatorship. That is the experience. Russia would never have been able to achieve even the small degree of success which she has with her quinquennial plan if she had not the Ogpu, that famous military police. And the same in Germany and Italy. It is the military arm that makes possible the regimentation of the German and Italian farmers under a bureaucratic system of control.

What familiar phrases! What ringing denunciations we heard from the Liberal party of those days about the same type of legislation they are now introducing.

Topic:   AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR MARKETING IN INTERPROVINCIAL AND EXPORT TRADE
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PC

Charles Delmar Coyle

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Coyle:

Are you a farmer?

Topic:   AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR MARKETING IN INTERPROVINCIAL AND EXPORT TRADE
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CCF

Frederick Samuel Zaplitny

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

Mr. Zaplitny:

My dear friend, I have farmed for a long time.

Topic:   AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR MARKETING IN INTERPROVINCIAL AND EXPORT TRADE
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PC

Donald Methuen Fleming

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fleming:

Answer the question.

Topic:   AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR MARKETING IN INTERPROVINCIAL AND EXPORT TRADE
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CCF

Frederick Samuel Zaplitny

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

Mr. Zaplitny:

I am not a farmer at the present time.

On June 25, 1935, we find that one of the members of the Liberal party felt that even Russia would not do the terrible things that the Bennett administration was attempting to do at that time.

Then, speaking on that day, Mr. Elliott said: What is going to become of respect for law in this country if this kind of legislation becomes common?

CMr. Zaplitny.]

I can almost see the long finger of the hon. member for Lake Centre (Mr. Diefen-baker) poking its way half way across the aisle, and hear him yelling, "Wide powers!"

Under the marketing act there is power in these boards to create criminal offences, not offences for which the penalty is a fine of $10 for the first offence and $20 for the second, but a fine of $25 and not more than $500, or imprisonment for three months, or both fine and imprisonment.

Topic:   AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR MARKETING IN INTERPROVINCIAL AND EXPORT TRADE
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LIB

Charles Benjamin Howard (Government Whip in the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. Howard:

Is this in Russia?

Topic:   AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR MARKETING IN INTERPROVINCIAL AND EXPORT TRADE
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April 8, 1949