March 28, 1955

HON. MEMBER FOR TEMISCOUATA BIRTHDAY GREETINGS

LIB-PRO

William Gilbert Weir (Parliamentary Assistant to the Prime Minister; Chief Government Whip; Whip of the Liberal Party)

Liberal Progressive

Mr. W. G. Weir (Parliamentary Assistant to the Prime Minister):

Mr. Speaker, there are occasions when little courtesies, particularly to those of our members who have been here a long time, are I think appropriate. On behalf of the house 1 should like to extend congratulations and good wishes to the hon. member for Temiscouata and many happy returns of the day.

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?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear.

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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. Jean-Frangois Pouliol (Temiscouata):

I thank the government whip for his kind wishes and my colleagues for their generous applause.

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TABLING OF CERTAIN DOCUMENTS

LIB

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

Liberal

Right Hon. C. D. Howe (Minister of Trade and Commerce):

Mr. Speaker, I wish to lay on the tables copies in English and in French of certain instruments which were opened for signature in Geneva at the conclusion of the GATT conference. These instruments, of which we now have received copies, embody revisions which it is proposed to make in the general agreement on tariffs and trade. They also include the text of the proposed agreement on the organization for trade co-operation which would provide GATT with a permanent and definite organization, and the declaration on the continued application of schedules to the general agreement on tariffs and trade.

I am also tabling another document, the final act of the ninth session of the contracting parties to GATT. This document which has been signed merely authenticates the texts of the other four documents. Hon. members will notice that copies in the French language of the documents I am now tabling

are attached in each case to the copies in the English language and are therefore not being tabled separately.

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SALE OF SURPLUS PRODUCTS BY UNITED STATES


On the orders of the day:


PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. J. G. Diefenbaker (Prince Albert):

should like to direct a question to the Minister of Trade and Commerce. Will he comment on the fact that the United States has launched the sale of a whole range of surplus agricultural products, consisting of wheat, oats, barley, flax and the like, on an open bid basis? I should like to ask the minister what effect this fire sale will have, in his estimation, on the market for Canadian farm products of a similar nature and kind, and whether it is not a fact that this action is in contravention of an agreement made by the United States government some time ago that it would not conduct a fire sale of surplus products?

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LIB

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

Liberal

Right Hon. C. D. Howe (Minister of Trade and Commerce):

The hon. member gave me notice of his question and I have read the press dispatch from James M. Minifie to which the question refers. I find nothing new in the dispatch. The United States has been making package offers of agricultural products to various countries in the world. They have made package offers of various commodities to the United Kingdom and to Germany. We have been happy to find that the countries receiving these offers are not inclined to upset their usual pattern of trade. We also know that the United States has called for bulk tenders on butter. The Canadian government enters a protest whenever it feels it is justified in doing so. It is difficult to protest a series of offers, but this government endeavours to look after the interests of Canada as well as possible. I think it is encouraging to find that, in spite of the offers of wheat made by the United States, Canada is selling more wheat than the United States has succeeded in disposing of by the various methods it has adopted.

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CCF

Hazen Robert Argue

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

Mr. H. R. Argue (Assiniboia):

I should like to direct a question to the Minister of Trade and Commerce arising out of his

Trade

answer to the hon. member for Prince Albert. If the sales policy of the United States in relation to agricultural products has not adversely affected the sale of Canadian wheat, why has the Canadian percentage of the world wheat market dropped substantially during this year?

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Howe (Port Arthur):

I did not say that the sales policy of the United States had not adversely affected Canada. I think it has, naturally. But my hon. friend speaks of the percentage of sales of Canadian wheat.

I do not know to what figure he is referring. Is he referring to the international wheat agreement sales or total sales?

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CCF

Hazen Robert Argue

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

Mr. Argue:

Canada's percentage of the total world wheat sales.

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Howe (Port Arthur):

I am not prepared to accept that statement without reviewing the figures. Our percentage of total sales has been reasonably good.

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PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

I should like to ask a supplementary question of the minister in relation to the answer he gave me. Is it not a fact that the United States is following a fire sale policy now in connection with some $2 billion of farm products, and will that have any detrimental effect upon Canadian marketing conditions?

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Howe (Pori Arthur):

I am not familiar with fire sales, Mr. Speaker; I never attended one. It is a fact that the United States has an appropriation, I think of a billion dollars, for the purpose of assisting in the disposal of surplus products. I think there is no doubt that by their disposal policies they have displaced our products in certain markets. What we can do about it, I do not know. The policies of the United States are their policies and are not ours. We follow our own policies. As I say, we protest where we think a protest is warranted, and we have protested in connection with certain recent transactions.

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OIL-INQUIRY AS TO ACTION ON UNITED STATES RESTRICTIONS


On the orders of the day:


PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

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

I wish to direct a question to the Minister of Trade and Commerce. In view of the statement made by the minister, and the fact that he read to this house a communication to the government of the United States concerning the restrictions on the movement of oil across the boundary between Canada and the United States, can he inform the house if there has been any formal reply from the government of the

United States or any official of that government, and if so, what the answer is?

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LIB

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

Liberal

Right Hon. C. D. Howe (Minister of Trade and Commerce):

A formal reply has been received, Mr. Speaker, and we are attempting to get the permission of the state department of the United States government to make that reply public. We have not as yet received such permission.

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March 28, 1955