April 28, 1949

SUBSIDIES FOR PRODUCERS


On the orders of the day:


LIB

Robert McCubbin (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. Robert McCubbin (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Agriculture):

On

Tuesday, April 26, 1949, the member for Victoria-Carleton (Mr. Hatfield) asked me a question in the absence of the Minister of Agriculture. Today I wish to give a reply to that question.

Approximately 2,500,000 pounds of No. 1 creamery butter has been bought by the dairy products board at the floor price of 58 cents per pound, basis No. 1 solids delivered Montreal and Toronto. The policy has been to store butter at or near the point of purchase. Market quotations indicate that butter prices have been stabilized at the equivalent of the floor price.

No decision has been reached to sell butter below cost. This is a matter of government policy which will be decided at the appropriate time.

Topic:   REMOVAL FROM MARKET TO SUPPORT FLOOR PRICES
Subtopic:   SUBSIDIES FOR PRODUCERS
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PC

John Thomas Hackett

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hackett:

Will the parliamentary assistant to the Minister of Agriculture say where the butter to which he has just made reference was purchased, and what is the total quantity now held by the government?

Topic:   REMOVAL FROM MARKET TO SUPPORT FLOOR PRICES
Subtopic:   SUBSIDIES FOR PRODUCERS
Permalink
LIB

Robert McCubbin (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. McCubbin:

I am not in a position at the moment to answer the question, but I will take it as notice and give an answer later.

Topic:   REMOVAL FROM MARKET TO SUPPORT FLOOR PRICES
Subtopic:   SUBSIDIES FOR PRODUCERS
Permalink

PRAIRIE FARM REHABILITATION

EXTENSION TO NORTHWESTERN MANITOBA


On the orders of the day:


LIB

Robert McCubbin (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. Robert McCubbin (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Agriculture):

On

April 26, 1949, the member for Dauphin (Mr. Zaplitny) asked me a question relating to a resolution passed by the Manitoba legislature calling for the extension of the Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Act. He asked whether the department had received such a resolution.

I can assure him that the resolution has been received by our department, but, in the

absence of the minister, no decision has been made concerning it.

Topic:   PRAIRIE FARM REHABILITATION
Subtopic:   EXTENSION TO NORTHWESTERN MANITOBA
Sub-subtopic:   RESOLUTION OF MANITOBA LEGISLATURE
Permalink
CCF

John Oliver Probe

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

Mr. Probe:

Where is the minister?

Topic:   PRAIRIE FARM REHABILITATION
Subtopic:   EXTENSION TO NORTHWESTERN MANITOBA
Sub-subtopic:   RESOLUTION OF MANITOBA LEGISLATURE
Permalink
CCF

Frederick Samuel Zaplitny

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

Mr. Zaplitny:

I understand that a similar resolution was sent to the Prime Minister. Can he indicate what the intention of the government is in that respect?

Topic:   PRAIRIE FARM REHABILITATION
Subtopic:   EXTENSION TO NORTHWESTERN MANITOBA
Sub-subtopic:   RESOLUTION OF MANITOBA LEGISLATURE
Permalink
LIB

Louis Stephen St-Laurent (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Righi Hon. L. S. St. Laurent (Prime Minister):

No, he cannot indicate what the intentions of the government are, because the government has not yet decided what it will do about it. Hon. members must realize that we are working under a heavy schedule, and that all these things cannot be dealt with at once.

SUPPLY '

Topic:   PRAIRIE FARM REHABILITATION
Subtopic:   EXTENSION TO NORTHWESTERN MANITOBA
Sub-subtopic:   RESOLUTION OF MANITOBA LEGISLATURE
Permalink
LIB

Douglas Charles Abbott (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Hon. Douglas Abbott (Minister of Finance) moved

that the house go into committee of supply.

He said: Perhaps I might say just a word before you leave the chair, Mr. Speaker. As I indicated yesterday, the proposal which the government is now making for interim supply, to cover the period between probable dissolution of parliament and the time when it would be convenient for a new parliament to reassemble, is in accordance with the practice which was followed just prior to the dissolution of parliament in April, 1945. Yesterday I did not have the dates before me when I spoke, but I have them now. In 1945, the estimates were tabled on March 19. The interim supply bill was introduced, put through all the stages, and passed on Friday, April 13, giving five months' interim supply on all items, and additional amounts as usual on certain special items which fall for payment in the early part of the year. Parliament prorogued on Monday, April 16, of that year.

This year, as I indicated yesterday, I am asking for an additional four months on all items in the main estimates, and certain additional amounts on special items which fall due early in the year, such as legislation, the trade fair in Toronto, and one or two other matters, the details of which I shall give to the house when we are in committee. I want to point out that in asking for this interim supply we are not asking for the full amount of any single item. I assume that the same practice will be followed as was followed in 1945, that is to say, the main estimates will be retabled when the new parliament reassembles. No doubt the usual supplementary estimates will be tabled at the same time, or shortly thereafter, and there will be full opportunity to discuss every item in these estimates and in the supplementary estimates. It is quite clear of course

that during the holding of general elections provision must be made for carrying on the necessary services of the country. It is for that reason that the government believes it is following the proper course in asking now for further interim supply on the estimates as tabled. I should point out that the estimates this year were tabled on March 14, some five days earlier than they were tabled in 1945, and they had been ready some time before that had the debate on the address been concluded.

Topic:   PRAIRIE FARM REHABILITATION
Subtopic:   EXTENSION TO NORTHWESTERN MANITOBA
Sub-subtopic:   RESOLUTION OF MANITOBA LEGISLATURE
Permalink
PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. George A. Drew (Leader of the Opposition):

Before you leave the chair, Mr. Speaker, several matters should be discussed which have a direct relation to the decision to proceed beyond this present stage with the motion which is before the house.

In the first place there is no similarity between the present situation and the situation in 1945, and the example given by the Minister of Finance (Mr. Abbott) is entirely without relation to the situation with which we are confronted here. He has just said that in 1945 the estimates were tabled on March 19, but what he did not tell the house was that no budget was presented in 1945, and that when the estimates were tabled on March 19 of that year, it was done with knowledge that there was to be no opportunity to deal with them in the ordinary way, because by the flux of time parliament was to be dissolved, unless it was dissolved earlier by the action of the government itself.

In order that hon. members may realize how little relationship the minister's illustration has to what is now proposed, I should like to read from page 839 of Hansard, of April 13, 1945, where the then Prime Minister of Canada is reported as having said:

This week, on Wednesday, April 11,-

This, I might say, was on April 13, 1945. -I reminded the house that if the business of parliament were not concluded before midnight on Monday of next week, this parliament would be automatically dissolved.

The whole procedure on that occasion was related to the fact that a special session had been called, for the limited and special purposes stated by the Prime Minister as reported on page 19 of Hansard of 1945. This is what he said:

This session has been called for two purposes. That has been made perfectly clear for weeks past. One has to do with this one international question, an all important one. It should be decided at as early a moment as possible. The other is to provide the supply that may be necessary to permit a general election at an early date and to make provision for the carrying on of the prosecution of the war and of civil government between the time of the beginning of the new fiscal year and the time that the new parliament assembles.

Interim Supply

That was an entirely different situation. The statement was made on Friday, April 13, that parliament was to be dissolved. Even if dissolution had not been announced then, and if parliament had been continued, it was to be dissolved by the flux of time on the following Monday, April 16. There is no similarity whatever between the two instances. This parliament still has considerably more than a year of its life to run, if that should be the choice of the government. The course that is being followed on this occasion is guided by no time limit; it is guided by no other consideration than political expediency, which consideration has guided the government's action in everything they have done at all times. The political expediency in this case is not to give the people of Canada an opportunity to pass on the government's record. The political expediency in this case is to avoid giving to the people of Canada an opportunity to have some knowledge of what the government have been doing, a knowledge which they could gain as a result of the presentation of the estimates and the calling of the public accounts committee.

After all, if any argument that was put forward by the Prime Minister had validity, it was possible for parliament to be dissolved and for the house to have dealt with the interim supply at the time that interim supply was put forward on an earlier occasion. As every hon. member will recall, there were certain emergency measures which this government preferred to continue as emergency measures instead of dealing with them as proper democratic legislation; and at the same time interim supply was asked for in order that government could be carried on in the ordinary way in the intervening period. Therefore they could have dealt with those matters and then dissolved parliament. But instead they proceeded with a budget which is an election budget carefully trimmed and made as attractive as an unsatisfactory budget can be; and having promised at last to give back to the people something of what they improperly took from them, and having sent out cheques to them, they placed all these things before the house. They tabled the estimates that accompany the budget. At this point, having done what they think they can do to mislead the public in regard to what is actually taking place-something I am sure will not happen-they now avoid the ordinary procedure.

The answer to any suggestion of this is the answer of the Minister of Finance: Well, of course, even though we are trying to fool the public, we will not try to fool the house. Then he goes on with one of the most cynical statements I have ever heard. While it is

Interim Supply

quite true, as the Minister of Finance said, that I have not been in this house as long as he has, may I say that I have had a limited experience in a limited field; and I would have been ashamed of the government of which I was the leader if at any time it had conducted its affairs in the way in which this government conducts the business of the country.

Topic:   PRAIRIE FARM REHABILITATION
Subtopic:   EXTENSION TO NORTHWESTERN MANITOBA
Sub-subtopic:   RESOLUTION OF MANITOBA LEGISLATURE
Permalink
LIB

George Alexander Cruickshank

Liberal

Mr. Cruiclcshank:

That is the best one that we have heard.

Topic:   PRAIRIE FARM REHABILITATION
Subtopic:   EXTENSION TO NORTHWESTERN MANITOBA
Sub-subtopic:   RESOLUTION OF MANITOBA LEGISLATURE
Permalink
PC

Gordon Knapman Fraser

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fraser:

That is the truth.

Topic:   PRAIRIE FARM REHABILITATION
Subtopic:   EXTENSION TO NORTHWESTERN MANITOBA
Sub-subtopic:   RESOLUTION OF MANITOBA LEGISLATURE
Permalink
PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

The Minister of Finance yesterday indicated exactly what this government thinks of ordinary parliamentary procedure. In answer to the suggestion that the estimates provide the basis for discussion and examination of the facts upon which the members will judge when they vote supply to enable the government to carry on the business of the country and to tax the people for that purpose, he simply said that he had been sitting here for a number of years-I would have thought it was longer; I would have thought he had gotten into this bad habit by long practice-and that never had any real attention been paid to these estimates. That is not so.

Topic:   PRAIRIE FARM REHABILITATION
Subtopic:   EXTENSION TO NORTHWESTERN MANITOBA
Sub-subtopic:   RESOLUTION OF MANITOBA LEGISLATURE
Permalink
LIB

Douglas Charles Abbott (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. Abboti:

No-to the details of the estimates. There is a big difference.

Topic:   PRAIRIE FARM REHABILITATION
Subtopic:   EXTENSION TO NORTHWESTERN MANITOBA
Sub-subtopic:   RESOLUTION OF MANITOBA LEGISLATURE
Permalink
PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

Oh, yes. I was talking about the details, and that is what I was talking about yesterday. It is the details we want. The statement that the Minister of Finance made yesterday is simply not so. An examination of Hansard will disclose the fact that there have been extended discussions of details, that extremely valuable information has been obtained, and that from time to time important statements have been made as to what the government would do as a result of the cross-examination of the ministers responsible for these accounts-and this is the main purpose of the presentation of the estimates to the house.

For instance, go back to the estimates of last year, and you will find that the silent service-in that I include all the national defence forces-was subject to appropriate comments, and that some information was obtained-much of it inaccurate; nevertheless some was obtained-on the examination of the estimates at that time. Go back to any year and you will find that-

Topic:   PRAIRIE FARM REHABILITATION
Subtopic:   EXTENSION TO NORTHWESTERN MANITOBA
Sub-subtopic:   RESOLUTION OF MANITOBA LEGISLATURE
Permalink
LIB

George Alexander Cruickshank

Liberal

Mr. Cruickshank:

Call George McCullagh.

Topic:   PRAIRIE FARM REHABILITATION
Subtopic:   EXTENSION TO NORTHWESTERN MANITOBA
Sub-subtopic:   RESOLUTION OF MANITOBA LEGISLATURE
Permalink

April 28, 1949