June 1, 1951

PC
LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. Gardiner:

In exactly the same way as they now control the price of milk. A further suggestion is made that we should do something to ensure that the price of milk for all purposes is the same. Again that comes under the control of the provinces. There is an organization already set up under the provincial legislation to handle cheese in Ontario. There is no reason in the world why they cannot handle all the milk, butter, and everything else that is produced from milk in the province of Ontario in the same way as they are handling cheese under that act. Each time the question has been discussed here the method suggested is the same method as being used in connection with potatoes in the maritimes, namely that the milk be delivered to one central farmers' co-operative, and that the same price be paid for the milk no matter what use is going to be made of it. Then, there should be a final payment made on the same basis. That has been operating with regard to whole milk in every province in Canada ever since milk boards were set up, but it has not been operating in connection with milk which goes into the production of cheese, butter and canned milk.

In so far as whole milk is concerned there were quotas set before the war ever started, and the price was set. An individual was told the price at which he could sell whole milk, how much of it would go to the cheese factory or somewhere else, and that was just the beginning of the plan suggested by the hon. member. I am sure that every dairy farmer in Ontario realizes that is a matter which could be handled under the present provincial legislation in the province of Ontario, and it has been handled that way for some considerable time.

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PC

John Alpheus Charlton

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Charlton:

I did not intend to make any remarks at this time, but I cannot let the minister get away with the statements he has just made regarding butter. It is not good for the industry to have butter prices as high as they were this winter. The minister says that we were never short of butter. On the one hand, he tells us that the price did not go up until after the government stores were depleted, while on the other he tells us the government had 10 million pounds.

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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. Gardiner:

I did not say the government had 10 million pounds. I said that there

Supply-Agriculture

were 10 million pounds in storage, but we did not have it. The trade had it, and they charged what they liked for it.

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PC

John Alpheus Charlton

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Charlton:

Is it not a fact that the government did allow a further importation of 4-5 million pounds of butter, knowing very well that there were still 10 million pounds in the country, and also allowed the trade to make practically half a million dollars' profit on that transaction?

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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. Gardiner:

That is not true either, but go on and make your speech.

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PC

John Alpheus Charlton

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Charlton:

According to a statement the minister made at Macdonald college the price of that butter to the trade was 40-4 cents. I have not the clipping containing that statement here, but I have it in my office. That is the minister's own statement.

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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. Gardiner:

The price of that butter to the men who purchased it, laid down in Halifax, was 56-5 cents. Never at any time have I said it was 40 cents. I have said that if it had been delivered in Canada at the same price at which it was sold to the British, it could have been delivered here at 40 cents, but it was not.

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PC

John Alpheus Charlton

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Charlton:

Obviously, then the minister was misquoted because the 40 4 cents was mentioned in the clipping.

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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. Gardiner:

Well, I have not seen that.

I have seen the statements in most newspapers, and they have never said that. The statement I made on the subject appeared in Hansard, and you can read it there and check if.

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PC

John Alpheus Charlton

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Charlton:

I can bring the clipping down and read if to the minister. I used it in the budget debate, but the minister was not here so it was lost.

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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. Gardiner:

Then it is not a correct statement of anything I have ever said. What I have said is in Hansard, and the hon. member can read if there.

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PC

John Alpheus Charlton

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Charlton:

It is rather odd, Mr. Chairman, that that is the only time the 40-4 cent price ever appeared in a newspaper or anywhere else. Every other time this 56*5 cent price has been given out. I wonder whether the trade was a little displeased about that price being quoted by the minister at Macdonald college. It appears obvious that they may have been. There is no doubt that it was in that clipping dealing with the speech the minister made at Macdonald, and it was not refuted when I quoted it in the budget debate.

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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. Gardiner:

In order to get the record straight, the first time that statement was

Supply-Agriculture

made was during a speech I read to the federation of agriculture in the city of Calgary. It is all on the record. I read it in the newspapers, and it was broadcast.

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PC
LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. Gardiner:

It does not come under my estimates. I do not think I can. It is under finance. The farm loan board is administered under the Department of Finance. It is not administered under my department.

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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. Gardiner:

My hon. friend heard it, and he knows what I am now stating is correct. The statement was that if butter had been laid down in Canada on the same basis as it was sold to the British it could have been laid down here at 40-4 cents.

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PC

John Alpheus Charlton

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Charlton:

There is no use arguing about it until I get the newspaper clipping; then I shall let the minister see it. It will prove to him that he did make that statement, or he will probably say he was misquoted.

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CCF

Wilbert Ross Thatcher

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

Mr. Thatcher:

There is one matter which I should like to bring to the minister's attention. Many young farmers in my riding have written to me concerning the difficulties they are experiencing today in buying land. This is due to the high cost of the land, and the amount of equipment that is required on a farm. Many of these young people are finding it extremely difficult to get into farming on their own. As a result of that many of these young people are drifting into the cities, and there is an increasing amount of land being worked by tenant farmers. I believe the Saskatchewan federation of agriculture presented a brief to the cabinet a short time ago making this recommendation, and I should like to put it on Hansard.

We recommend that the federal farm loan act be amended to make provision for a program whereby fully qualified young farm people under proper supervision may secure the greater part of their capital which would be repaid on a long term amortization basis.

I presume that other provinces have the same problem. I should like the minister to tell me today whether or not the federal farm loan act could be amended in some way so that it would enable these young farmers to purchase their land at least partially through a loan. Perhaps the province should contribute some part of it. Maybe there could be a dominion-provincial agreement. But I should like to tell the minister that this is a serious problem for many of our young rural people. I do not know what the answer is but I think it should be feasible that this federal farm loan act should be extended so that young farmers could buy their farms.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
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LIB

Louis-René Beaudoin (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Liberal

The Deputy Chairman:

Shall the item carry?

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June 1, 1951