March 5, 1953

PC

George Harris Hees

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hees:

Who said vaudeville was dead?

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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LIB

John Sylvester Aloysius Sinnott

Liberal

Mr. Sinnott:

If you want to see contented and happy people, walk by any restaurant as late as 11.30 at night and you will see people indulging in their fourth meal of the day. When our Tory friends were in office-when the hon. member for Broadview (Mr. Hees) was wearing short pants-it was soup kitchens and two meals a day, and small ones at that. Employees were going to work for small wages with a half-filled dinner pail.

Yes, Mr. Speaker, what a difference today. The theme of our Tory friends opposite is "time for a change". Time for what? Is it time for a change because the country is prosperous? Is it time for a change because Canada's dollar is at a premium? Is it time for a change when investment in Canada never brought better returns? Is it time for a change when employment is at an all-time high? Is it time for a change when Canadians are enjoying prosperity, more so than any other country in the world? Will the people of Canada say "it's time for a change" when millions of people are clamouring to

The Budget-Mr. Argue land on our shores to enjoy the prosperity that Canadians are having today?

Mr. Speaker, these questions will all be answered by our sane and sound thinking Canadian people. They will refuse to swallow the bait of the other parties. They will wish to continue to enjoy the present prosperity. They will continue to support the Liberal party. They will continue to follow our leader, the Right Hon. Louis St. Laurent, one of the greatest leaders of our time.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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LIB

George Alexander Cruickshank

Liberal

Mr. Cruickshank:

On a matter of privilege, Mr. Speaker, I have just had a parcel handed to me, I presume through the good offices of one of your staff, with the compliments of the mayor of Ottawa-a beautiful British Columbia apple.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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CCF

Hazen Robert Argue

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

Mr. H. R. Argue (Assiniboia):

I am sure we have all listened with some amusement-

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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LIB

George Alexander Cruickshank

Liberal

Mr. Cruickshank:

What do you mean,

amusement?

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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CCF

Hazen Robert Argue

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

Mr. Argue:

to the hon. member for Springfield (Mr. Sinnott). I notice that in the speech he just made he and the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Gardiner) are poles apart. The hon. member for Springfield is wrong in most instances, but tonight he was right when he said that in the last two years many agricultural prices had fallen by some 30 per cent. The Minister of Agriculture this afternoon, and again this evening, attempted to prove that the farmer now is in a better position than ever before in the history of Canada. Well, Mr. Speaker, I do not think that statement by the minister can be borne out by the facts.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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?

An hon. Member:

He did not try to do anything of the kind.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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CCF

Hazen Robert Argue

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

Mr. Argue:

What has actually happened is that during the war, since the war, and after Korea farm prices rose; but during the last year or two many farm prices have been falling rapidly and drastically. The minister was able to put on the record figures showing high cash farm income, not because farm prices have not gone down but merely because western Canada, during these two years, has had record crops by way of volume. Apparently the Minister of Agriculture is attempting to take credit even for the good rains, and the good crops we have had because of weather conditions.

The Minister of Agriculture spoke for over 40 minutes, his full time, but it was a different speech than he usually makes. I have not heard many full dress speeches by the Minister of Agriculture in which he has not pointed out the many advantages that would follow from the building of the South Saskatchewan river dam, but I notice the

minister stayed a long way away from that subject when he spoke this evening. It was the one thing he did not mention, but he has a new project now that he has been turned down on the South Saskatchewan dam. He brought this to light in a recent speech in Saskatchewan. He is now going to build a railroad, I believe from Churchill to Prince Rupert, right across the northern part of Canada where very few people live. It is not even going to skirt the mountains, as someone said. It is going to go right through. It is a very grand scheme, all in the mind of the Minister of Agriculture, as was the South Saskatchewan river dam about which he has spoken now for some 18 years.

I notice that he is attempting to turn the responsibility of the federal government for the prices of farm products going into interprovincial and export trade back to the various provincial governments. I notice that he pointed out that the Liberal provincial governments in Canada have pretty well failed to support farm prices, because he said that the province of Ontario had the best price support legislation.

I wonder why the party to which the minister belongs, after it replaced the Anderson government back in 1934 in the province of Saskatchewan, did not do something there, if that was the place to do it, in order to put floors under farm products prices in those days. Of course it would be just as nonsensical for me to say that the Liberal party in Saskatchewan in 1935 or 1936 should have placed floors under farm prices as it was for the minister this evening to say that it is a responsibility of the provincial governments.

The Minister of Agriculture might well take a lesson from the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Howe), who has in his department the handling and marketing of grain; and the Minister of Trade and Commerce has in his department the wheat board. The wheat board establishes initial prices, and it controls the marketing of grain. The Minister of Trade and Commerce does not say that is the responsibility of the provinces. On behalf of the government he has accepted his responsibility, and that legislation is good. The legislation of the Minister of Agriculture, when it comes to the handling of farm products prices and setting adequate floor prices, has been a near total failure.

I notice that one thing the Minister of Agriculture did not talk about tonight was the situation in regard to the floor price under eggs. We have had floor prices of one kind or another before, but the floor price under beef has gone. This government is

expecting the United States government to establish floor prices for beef. However, the minister did not mention the floor price for eggs. The floor price is 38 cents for grade A large going into storage, with 5 cents per dozen being paid to the packers. That legislation, judging from the results, is wholly worthless. I have been receiving letters in the last few days and the last few weeks from farm women and people in my constituency, pointing out that they are now receiving for good, sound fresh eggs in the province of Saskatchewan the magnificent sum of 18 cents a dozen. That is the kind of floor price we have received from this Liberal government.

That is the way the Minister of Agriculture has dealt with floor prices on farm products. Those floor prices, as I have said, have been almost a total flop.

The Minister of Agriculture started out by saying that we have to compare the post-war years with years before the war; we cannot compare wartime years because things are abnormal. Then when he came to take two periods for comparison he took 1943-45 and 1949-51. In other words the minister will take the war years when those statistics suit his purpose, but when those statistics do not suit his purpose he says those are abnormal times. Then, to prove that this government is not too bad after all, he has to go back to the early thirties under a Conservative government. The thing that amazed me in the statistics he gave about prices was that during the Conservative regime the prices were so much better than prices during part of the time after the Liberal government took office.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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?

An hon. Member:

Do you want to go back there?

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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CCF

Hazen Robert Argue

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

Mr. Argue:

I do not want to go back to either period. The minister said that under the Bennett government cattle were selling for $69 a head. That was not a very good price, but $69 would probably buy as much in 1932 as the money the farmer gets today for a great many of his cattle, because today some cows are selling for less than $100.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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LIB

Gladstone Mansfield Ferrie

Liberal

Mr. Ferrie:

Not very many.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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CCF

Hazen Robert Argue

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

Mr. Argue:

At any rate, $69 was the price under the Bennett government. The present Minister of Agriculture and this government came to power in 1935. There was a Liberal government in Saskatchewan and the present deputy minister of agriculture was the then provincial minister of agriculture in Saskatchewan. What happened to cattle prices in 1937? The members from Saskatchewan know very well that under a Liberal government in Saskatchewan and a Liberal government at

The Budget-Mr. Argue Ottawa, with the present Minister of Agriculture as the minister of agriculture, the farmers in Saskatchewan were forced to sell many cattle for a cent a pound, $10 a head.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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LIB

Gladstone Mansfield Ferrie

Liberal

Mr. Ferrie:

May I ask the hon. member a question?

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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CCF

Hazen Robert Argue

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

Mr. Argue:

Certainly.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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LIB

Gladstone Mansfield Ferrie

Liberal

Mr. Ferrie:

How much was paid by this government to the people of western Canada when buying cattle in 1937? In Kindersley I paid as high as 9J cents a pound.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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CCF

Hazen Robert Argue

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

Mr. Argue:

I will answer that. The government here paid a cent a pound; that is what it paid. I know of one farmer who sold two head of cattle for $21 and trucked a ton of hay for 50 miles after paying $21 for the ton of hay. Yes; two good milk cows equalled the price of a ton of hay under a Liberal government in Saskatchewan and a Liberal government at Ottawa, with the same Minister of Agriculture we have now.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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LIB

Gladstone Mansfield Ferrie

Liberal

Mr. Ferrie:

Mr. Speaker, on a point of privilege, I do not want to interfere with the hon. member, but let him stay within the bounds of what he knows, for the simple reason that in 1937-

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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PC

George Harris Hees

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hees:

What is the point of order?

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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PC

Donald Methuen Fleming

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fleming:

That is not a question.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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LIB

Louis-René Beaudoin (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

Order. I must advise the hon. member for Mackenzie (Mr. Ferrie) that the question he has stated is not one of privilege.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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March 5, 1953