December 21, 1951

PC

William Joseph Browne

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Browne (SI. John's West):

No, it is not

quite the same thing. As I understand the C.C.F. intention, it is that all prices should be regulated.

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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Defence Production; Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. Howe:

Has the federal government any .authority to do that?

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PC

William Joseph Browne

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Browne (St. John's West):

No, but you

are taking the authority to interfere between manufacturer and retailer; and I am sure the Minister of Trade and Commerce in his heart does not agree with this legislation at all.

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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Defence Production; Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. Howe:

Mr. Speaker, I might say that I would like to bring a file of letters, of complaints I have heard about the working of resale price maintenance, people going broke because they did not dare to cut the price of inventories. They were out of business in either case. If they kept the inventories, they went broke; if they disposed of them they got no more merchandise. That is the sort of letter I have. In other letters they were ordered to raise prices. They did not want to raise them; they were satisfied with the old profit margin. Nevertheless

they were ordered to raise prices or they would get no more merchandise.

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PC

William Joseph Browne

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Browne (St. John's West):

I will not deny that there might be abuses in resale price maintenance.

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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Defence Production; Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. Howe:

Thank you very much.

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PC

William Joseph Browne

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Browne (St. John's West):

But I think these things can be regulated, and1 it is the duty of the government to regulate them.

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LIB
PC

William Joseph Browne

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Browne (St. John's West):

This does not regulate them. This abolishes them. That is the purpose of it, to abolish resale price maintenance. I said the other evening-

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CCF

Herbert Wilfred Herridge

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

Mr. Herridge:

Is that not the purpose of the C.C.F. amendment, to regulate prices?

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PC

William Joseph Browne

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Browne (St. John's West):

No. As I

understood the answer given by the hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar (Mr Coldwell) the other day-I am not sure if it was to someone on the other side of the house-I understood him to say that it would be the duty of the state to regulate all prices.

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CCF

Herbert Wilfred Herridge

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

Mr. Herridge:

He said nothing of the sort.

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PC

William Joseph Browne

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Browne (Si. John's West):

I may have misunderstood him but that is the impression I got. You have been advocating it.

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CCF
PC

William Joseph Browne

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Browne (Si. John's West):

The hon. member says "Very necessary". Which answer am I to take?

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PC

Agar Rodney Adamson

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Adamson:

Necessary when necessary, but not necessary when necessary.

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PC

William Joseph Browne

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Browne (Si. John's West):

In connection with this question of the loss leader, I am sure the Minister of Trade and Commerce recognizes that that could easily put people out of business. He must know, because he comes from the United States, that in that country there have been many price wars of the kind that occurred the other day in New York, when people were forced out of business. I know that in reading the history of the co-operative movement-

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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Defence Production; Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. Howe:

Mr. Speaker, I wonder if the hon. member would give me the names of those who were forced out of business in recent price wars.

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PC

William Joseph Browne

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Browne (Si. John's West):

I have not that information in my mind at the present time.

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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

Well, it might be helpful if the Minister of Trade and Commerce would give us the names of the people who wrote the letters from which he has just quoted.

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December 21, 1951