April 28, 1949

?

An hon. Member:

It was with regard to meat.

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PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

Apparently the hon.

gentleman was not hearing accurately or else he exercised his usual powers of presenting his interpretation. I was talking about beef. He is talking about wheat.

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CCF

Frederick Samuel Zaplitny

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

Mr. Zaplitny:

I stand corrected as to the product, but the principle is the same. I want to assure the hon. member that I did not try to misrepresent what he said. When he said "meat" it sounded like "wheat" to me. Because of the fact that he has moved a few seats away, it is more difficult to hear him.

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PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

It is not the first time the hon. member has misinterpreted what has been said.

Trade

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CCF

Frederick Samuel Zaplitny

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

Mr. Zaplilny:

The principle behind the idea of trade agreements is the same whether it is grain, meat products or anything else. The fact of the matter is this. We of the C.C.F. in this house have attempted, ever since this session began, to bring to the attention of the government the seriousness of our trade position at that time. When parliament first met at the end of January, when we mentioned the fact that we were losing our trade with Great Britain we were laughed at, as a matter of fact, by members on both sides of the house. But as time went by, and more quickly than we are happy about, we found that that is certainly the case; and today we have heard several speeches from the official opposition highlighting their concern over the loss of trade with Great Britain. As I pointed out, the Financial Post headlines that as the major issue of the coming election.

I know that the attitude of the government is that they will not enter into what is commonly known as barter trade or bilateral trade because they feel that that means that eventually the government will have to take some responsibility for carrying on the trade of the nation. It will necessitate the setting up of export and import boards; and that will mean in the long run the cutting out of speculation and the cutting out of profits in the matter of trade. We in the C.C.F. have advocated that very thing, and we have no hesitation in doing so; because we believe in the principle that our agricultural products should be taken to the customer as cheaply as possible, handled as efficiently as possible, and that there should be as little speculation as possible, or profit, in the transaction. We are not here to defend the interests who speculate in the staff of life. We are here to see that this nation prospers and that the people who need our products get them with the least possible interference. Therefore we have no hesitation in supporting bilateral agreements with Britain or any other country that is willing to give us a fair deal.

Our friends to our right have taken a different position. Member after member in that group has risen in this house-and so have others-and stated, as did the hon. member for Calgary East (Mr. Harkness), that he did not care who made a profit or who gambled with this product as long as he got a good price. In other words, they are all for the open market. They do not believe in trade agreements as a principle. But the time has come when the parties must place their policies before the people, and that is a different proposition. So what does the

Financial Post say? It refers to the Progressive Conservative party in these words:

The Conservative strategy, it appears, will stop short of proposing solutions. As one P.C. said, "our job is play on the psychology of fear." If the electors can be persuaded that things are bad enough, it is thought they may be persuaded to vote for George Drew as the man who will put them right without being told just how he will do it.

We have no hesitation in saying how we would do it. We have suggested trade agreements with Great Britain on a bilateral basis. We stand by that policy. We have no fear of the objections that the government has made, particularly the Minister of Finance (Mr. Abbott) in his budget speech when he said that this will lead to interference by the government in the matter of trade. Of course it will. But no government, regardless of what party may be in power in the future, is going to be able to assist the primary producers of this country without interfering in the business of trade. All other talk about expanding our trade, all the big promises made at election time by any party which does not believe in government interference, is just a lot of poppycock because they will not carry them through.

I am not unmindful of the election of 1930 although at that time I did not vote-I was not old enough. But I remember very clearly those slogans of the late R. B. Bennett, that he would blast his way into the markets of the world.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   REFERENCE TO REMARKS IN DEBATE OF APRIL 27
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?

An hon. Member:

He did.

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CCF

Frederick Samuel Zaplitny

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

Mr. Zaplilny:

My hon. friend to the right says he did.

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PC

Wilfrid Garfield Case

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Case:

Of course he did.

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CCF

Frederick Samuel Zaplitny

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

Mr. Zaplilny:

I am not going to argue with him. I will only refer him to the statistics from 1930 to 1935 and let him study them and judge for himself how much blasting was done and in what direction.

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PC

Wilfrid Garfield Case

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Case:

Judge in relation to other countries as well.

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CCF

Frederick Samuel Zaplitny

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

Mr. Zaplilny:

Yes. I am concerned, and I am serious about this. The people of Canada, before they vote on such an important issue as trade, should really know what the situation is.

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PC

Gordon Graydon

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Graydon:

And know the difference between beef and wheat.

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CCF

Frederick Samuel Zaplitny

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

Mr. Zaplilny:

Yes. The hon. member for Peel would not know the difference.

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PC

Gordon Graydon

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Graydon:

I raised more and sold more than you did in your time.

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CCF

Frederick Samuel Zaplitny

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

Mr. Zaplilny:

I did not hear what the hon. member said. The situation in 1949 is much

the same as it was in 1929. There is a sort of deadly parallel there that we have to observe. In 1929 our trading position was beginning to slip. The Conservative party came along and said that if elected to power they were going to blast their way into the markets of the world and see to it that the farmers received a better price for their farm products.

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PC

Julian Harcourt Ferguson

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Ferguson:

They did.

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CCF

Frederick Samuel Zaplitny

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

Mr. Zaplitny:

It was a reasonable proposition for the people of this country to believe that they could do it, and they gave them the opportunity to do it. In the space of a few years they discovered that they were being blasted themselves and that our trade had gone backwards, and that butter, which was one of the chief issues in 1930, was down to the price where it was cheaper to use it for axle grease than to buy axle grease.

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PC

Alfred Johnson Brooks

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Brooks:

How much was it in the United States and in other places?

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CCF

Frederick Samuel Zaplitny

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

Mr. Zaplitny:

The Republicans were running the show in the United States and they were the Tories of the United States. Today we are back in the same position where we were in 1929. Our trade position is deteriorating. Our trade is slipping. The government frankly admit that they will not do anything about it. They do not even bother to say that they cannot do anything; they just simply say they will not do anything because they do not believe in bilateral trade. They are going to cling to the United States dollar. The people are now faced with the situation where they see the failure of the government. The primary producers can see surpluses piling up in front of them. On the other hand they know the alternative of the Conservative party, because they had a taste of it. There is only one thing for them to do, which is obvious, and that is to support the C.C.F.

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CCF

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

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

Mr. Knowles:

Hear, hear.

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April 28, 1949