February 21, 1955

LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. Gardiner:

I have seen things go through before, and not many of them go through unanimously. I am quite sure this one would not. I have never brought anything to this house yet in the 20 years I have been here that I could not stand up and defend from A to Z. I certainly could not defend that proposal. If my hon. friends had been a little more considerate of what might be the proper thing to do and just said to increase the payments, there might have been some argument for increasing them a little, though not nearly so much as hon. members have indicated, if you base those increases on the figures I have given.

Prairie Farm Assistance Act

The farmer realizes that he has had better treatment than would be indicated by the figures which were given by hon. members criticizing the act. I am quite sure if this legislation is looked at again, if hon. members will consider it from every point of view, it will go a long way toward settling the troubles that are looked upon as possibilities in the future. I do not think they will be there.

Topic:   PRAIRIE FARM ASSISTANCE
Subtopic:   RESOLUTION SUGGESTING THAT PAYMENTS UNDER ACT BE DOUBLED
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?

Some hon. Members:

Question.

Topic:   PRAIRIE FARM ASSISTANCE
Subtopic:   RESOLUTION SUGGESTING THAT PAYMENTS UNDER ACT BE DOUBLED
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CCF

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

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

Mr. Knowles:

Tell us about the dam.

Topic:   PRAIRIE FARM ASSISTANCE
Subtopic:   RESOLUTION SUGGESTING THAT PAYMENTS UNDER ACT BE DOUBLED
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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. Gardiner:

Another hon. member back here wants to speak, anyway. If I sit down, he will just have to start. If you will call it ten o'clock, Mr. Speaker, I shall move the adjournment of the debate.

Topic:   PRAIRIE FARM ASSISTANCE
Subtopic:   RESOLUTION SUGGESTING THAT PAYMENTS UNDER ACT BE DOUBLED
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SC

Solon Earl Low

Social Credit

Mr. Low:

Before the minister sits down, will he put on record a statement of the collections from the 1 per cent payment over the areas for which he quoted payments?

Topic:   PRAIRIE FARM ASSISTANCE
Subtopic:   RESOLUTION SUGGESTING THAT PAYMENTS UNDER ACT BE DOUBLED
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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. Gardiner:

Well, I will give the totals all together. I will not try to go through them all. From 1939-40 to 1953-54 the collections in Manitoba amounted to $12,465,000. I will just give round figures. In Saskatchewan the collections amounted to $44,343,000; in Alberta, $22,885,000; and unallocated, $14,744. Some of those I presume would be from the area in British Columbia. The total is $79,708,145. In Manitoba, the expenditures amounted to $3,924,000; in Saskatchewan, $104,969,000; in Alberta, $36,921,000; other payments, British Columbia largely, $290,526. The total is $146,105,000. If you want to get the total down to the end of March this year you will have to add approximately $25 million.

Topic:   PRAIRIE FARM ASSISTANCE
Subtopic:   RESOLUTION SUGGESTING THAT PAYMENTS UNDER ACT BE DOUBLED
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SC

Solon Earl Low

Social Credit

Mr. Low:

That is the payments.

Topic:   PRAIRIE FARM ASSISTANCE
Subtopic:   RESOLUTION SUGGESTING THAT PAYMENTS UNDER ACT BE DOUBLED
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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. Gardiner:

Yes, the receipts will be somewhere in the neighbourhood of $4 million.

Topic:   PRAIRIE FARM ASSISTANCE
Subtopic:   RESOLUTION SUGGESTING THAT PAYMENTS UNDER ACT BE DOUBLED
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CCF

William Scottie Bryce

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

Mr. Bryce:

When the minister is putting these tables on record will he also give us the districts that are paying into this fund and getting nothing out of it?

Topic:   PRAIRIE FARM ASSISTANCE
Subtopic:   RESOLUTION SUGGESTING THAT PAYMENTS UNDER ACT BE DOUBLED
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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. Gardiner:

The hon. member for Selkirk has been coming back to that. I am sorry he was not here during the last two or three years when we dealt with some of these things. But he is back again, and I have no hesitation in explaining the matter to him.

When this legislation was put on the statute books it was to cover the wheat growing areas, and when we put it on we explained that one of the reasons it was necessary to have it was that the administration of the natural resources, including the lands of the prairies, was carried on from Ottawa for a considerable time. They put

people in areas where it was too dry to farm, and some of them had to be moved off.

When the hon. member for Assiniboia gave the figures a few moments ago of the number of farmers we had in that area some years ago and the number we have now, he forgot to state that we moved a lot of people off those lands. We moved them off because the land was too dry for them to farm. We put the lands into pastures to help the farmers who were living around about the pastures. Some were moved over into the neighbourhood of the rolling hills at Brooks. Some of them we are moving now into the area around Vauxhall in Alberta. Many of them were moved to other sections of the province of Saskatchewan, but still outside that area.

We moved those people; but the question my hon. friend asks me is, what about the area up between the lakes? They are not able to benefit under this act. We amended the act, I think in 1947 or somewhere around there, because we found that some people were being put back on those lands in certain areas by the provincial authorities. Some people were being put back on the lands that we had taken them off, and so we brought in legislation providing that if the provincial government put anyone on those lands, or on any other lands, from 1940 down to a certain date, it was presumed that they had put them in under conditions where they could make a living without having the benefits of this act. We said that if the act was to be made to apply to everybody, if anyone bought that land afterward then this government would be asked to pay something we do not think we should pay. Therefore we took the matter to the agriculture committee and thrashed it out there. Then we decided where the line should be run in Alberta. We were not able to decide where it should run in Saskatchewan and Manitoba until a year later. A year later we decided the lines there, saying that this particular amendment would not apply to anyone who came in north of those lines.

That is the reason some of those people over in that area are not able to draw benefits. But I call the attention of my hon. friend to the fact that everybody in Montreal who is a taxpayer pays into this; everybody in Toronto who is a taxpayer pays; everybody in Vancouver who is a taxpayer pays, and so with Regina, Saskatoon and everywhere else.

Topic:   PRAIRIE FARM ASSISTANCE
Subtopic:   RESOLUTION SUGGESTING THAT PAYMENTS UNDER ACT BE DOUBLED
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?

An hon. Member:

We pay for gold.

Topic:   PRAIRIE FARM ASSISTANCE
Subtopic:   RESOLUTION SUGGESTING THAT PAYMENTS UNDER ACT BE DOUBLED
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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. Gardiner:

My hon. friend reminds me of something I had forgotten.

Topic:   PRAIRIE FARM ASSISTANCE
Subtopic:   RESOLUTION SUGGESTING THAT PAYMENTS UNDER ACT BE DOUBLED
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CCF

William Scottie Bryce

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

Mr. Bryce:

I know what the minister is telling me. He is telling me what I want to

know, that we are paying 1 per cent and getting no benefit from it.

Topic:   PRAIRIE FARM ASSISTANCE
Subtopic:   RESOLUTION SUGGESTING THAT PAYMENTS UNDER ACT BE DOUBLED
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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. Gardiner:

I was coming around to telling you; I expected my hon. friend would say something like that. My hon. friend says they are paying in the 1 per cent in these areas and they are not being paid. But the 1 per cent which is paid does not equal the amount being paid out of revenues. My hon. friend spoke about his area. What about Gladstone right across the lake? There is not a chance of the people in Gladstone municipality drawing under this act as a rule, as they have not had a crop failure, unless it is this year because of rust. Take the municipality in which I live. We have not come under this act at any time, yet we pay in our 1 per cent. That is the principle underlying any co-operative effort; it goes right back to biblical days. We bear one another's burdens. We are told that people who want to help out should give of their substance, and so we are saying that everybody should help. My hon. friend called something to my attention a moment ago.

Topic:   PRAIRIE FARM ASSISTANCE
Subtopic:   RESOLUTION SUGGESTING THAT PAYMENTS UNDER ACT BE DOUBLED
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?

An hon. Member:

Gold.

Topic:   PRAIRIE FARM ASSISTANCE
Subtopic:   RESOLUTION SUGGESTING THAT PAYMENTS UNDER ACT BE DOUBLED
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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. Gardiner:

As' for paying for gold, I do want to call attention to the fact-

Topic:   PRAIRIE FARM ASSISTANCE
Subtopic:   RESOLUTION SUGGESTING THAT PAYMENTS UNDER ACT BE DOUBLED
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LIB

Louis-René Beaudoin (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

It being five minutes past ten o'clock perhaps we can call it ten o'clock.

Topic:   PRAIRIE FARM ASSISTANCE
Subtopic:   RESOLUTION SUGGESTING THAT PAYMENTS UNDER ACT BE DOUBLED
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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. Gardiner:

I just wanted to add that the hon. member for Assiniboia has proved that we take care of everybody else, therefore we ought to take care of the grain grower in western Canada. He says that everybody has been taken care of, why not take care of wheat growers. I agree this government has been good for all Canada.

Topic:   PRAIRIE FARM ASSISTANCE
Subtopic:   RESOLUTION SUGGESTING THAT PAYMENTS UNDER ACT BE DOUBLED
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BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

LIB

Walter Edward Harris (Minister of Finance and Receiver General; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. Harris:

Tomorrow we shall consider the motion that Mr. Speaker do leave the chair for the house to resolve itself into committee of supply. When that is completed we shall take up the resolution standing in the name of the Minister of Veterans Affairs (Mr. Lapointe) with respect to the War Veterans Allowance Act. We shall then take up Bill No. 3.

I should like to draw the attention of hon. members to the fact that there are six or seven comparatively innocuous resolutions on the order paper that I think we should dispose of fairly soon in order to get some work done and ready for the other place. I would ask hon. members to take a look at them to see if we could not arrange to dispose of them in short order some day that can be agreed on. These are items Nos. 13, 14, 21, 24, 27, 31 and 32.

Business of the House

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
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February 21, 1955