January 17, 1956


William Gourlay Blair

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Blair:

At the same time there was an order in council, that lasted three days, against any further importation.


James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)


Mr. Gardiner:

Yes, but the butter was brought in.


John Decore


Mr. John Decore (Vegreville):

Mr. Speaker, may I first of all join with those who have preceded me in this debate in congratulating the mover (Mrs. Shipley) and the seconder (Mr. Laflamme) of the address in reply to the speech from the throne. The way in which these two hon. members acquitted themselves

The Address-Mr. Decore has brought honour not only to themselves but to the constituencies which they represent.

I am sure I am expressing the sentiments of all of us in this house when I say that we are happy to see the Minister of Mines and Technical Surveys (Mr. Prudham) again in good health and now able to continue with his duties.

I wish to inform this house with considerable regret that last Thursday in my constituency one of the old pioneers by the name of Wasyl Eleniak passed away. At the time of his death he had passed his 96th birthday. I mention his name because he was the first settler of Ukrainian origin who came to Canada. He and another man by the name of Pylypiwsky arrived in Canada in 1891, just 65 years ago. Mr. Eleniak was a fine example of a good Canadian, one who had vision and faith. After his arrival he witnessed the coming to Canada of thousands and thousands of his fellow countrymen who made their homes here. Pie also witnessed the contribution which those people made to Canada, both culturally and economically. Those people came from a land where they knew nothing but tyranny and oppression, and he witnessed the enthusiasm, the zeal and the love with which those people embraced their newly adopted land.

During the course of this debate considerable reference has been made to the wheat situation which exists in this country. As one representing a rural constituency engaged primarily in agriculture I should like to deal with the problem we are faced with in the marketing of our grain. I do this because I think there has been a lot of misrepresentation. There has been a barrage of criticism; and many uninformed solutions, such as barter trades, the acceptance of soft currencies, the acceptance of other fancy deals, have been suggested which if carried out would almost certainly have the tendency to destroy the wheat board system of marketing our grain.

We are all aware that there is a problem today which faces the western producer. The wheat board faces greater difficulty in the marketing of grain than at any time since the last war. The government is aware of this situation and has indicated this in the speech from the throne in the following words:

Canada has enjoyed, on the whole, a high level of prosperity. Some sectors of the economy have not fully participated in this increased well-being. In particular, although sales of wheat in the past five years have been at record levels, an unprecedented series of bumper harvests has made necessary the storage of abnormal stocks of grains both in elevators and on farms.

I think that is a clear, concise and frank statement which recognizes the problem.


The Address-Mr. Decore Everyone knows that the marketing of wheat is not merely a Canadian problem, it is international in scope. I should like to refer to a statement made in the house by the hon. member for Lethbridge (Mr. Black-more), who has been a very strong critic of this government. I want to quote his figures as they appear on page 94 of Hansard of January 13. The hon. member said:

Already embarrassing world supplies of wheat have been augmented by a 1955 world total production of 7,300 million bushels, compared with a 1945-49 average of 5,895 million bushels and a 1935-39 average of 6,085 million bushels. By reference to some of these figures of production we see that we have accumulated close to 1 billion bushels of surplus wheat in the world for 1955 alone.

Let us consider the situation in France. We find that in 1935-39 France imported annually 2-5 million bushels of wheat, but in 1955 France exported 92 million bushels of wheat. We find the same situation existing in other countries. This is due to the fact that there has been a heavy subsidization of wheat production in many countries of the world. This has been one important factor in the creation of this problem, and one over which the Canadian government had no direct control. All Canada can do, and I believe this is what we are trying to do, is to convince the importing countries that when the exporting countries are able to meet their needs it is not economically sound to encourage production by means of high internal prices.

Another factor which has contributed to the wheat problem and over which Canada has no control is the method followed by the United States in the disposal of their surplus grain. When we compare Canada with the United States we find that the population of the United States is over ten times that of Canada. We find that of every five bushels of wheat which they produce they are able to consume four bushels right at home. They can almost afford to give away the other bushel, or if they preferred they could even dump it in the ocean. Out of every five bushels of wheat produced in Canada we can hardly consume one bushel. We must find an export market for the other four bushels.

Since the United States has had thrust upon her a position of leadership in the western world she has felt compelled to give aid to many of these countries, and as one method of getting rid of her wheat she is disposing of it in the form of foreign aid. This country cannot afford the luxury of competing with the United States in the methods they use to dispose of their wheat.

A third and I think the most important reason for this problem, and one over which this government could hardly have any direct control, is the superabundant crops we have

had in Canada during the last five years. Reference to the Canadian wheat board report as revised-these figures have been quoted already-will show that for the years 1941-50 the average wheat crop was 362 million bushels, whereas during the last five years the average crop according to my computation was 506 million bushels. The world is simply not in position or is not able to absorb this five year record crop production in Canada, and the result has been that some has had to be carried over on the farms and in elevators.

As I say, the government of Canada has had no direct control over these three important factors which have caused the present world wheat problem.

In spite of these difficulties, what has the government succeeded in doing? I might say that in spite of strong protests from many quarters of Canada, the federal government has respected and upheld the wishes of the western producer by maintaining the wheat board system of grain marketing. This is a very important matter for the farmer of western Canada, who has been fighting for this for so many years. The farmer remembers the hungry thirties, a similar period of unsold surpluses, when in Alberta wheat sold for as low as 18 cents a bushel and at the same time no significant reduction was made in the surpluses.

The wheat board has adopted a policy whereby it has refused to handle surpluses by selling at greatly reduced prices. The wheat board levels things off. It does not throw our wheat on the world market. That does not mean to say it has to sit back and wait. It must be realistic, but it does not have to have a fire sale of the wheat.

Let us look at the record. If we refer to the wheat board report we may see what the farmer has been able to sell during these record crop years as compared with other years. If we take the ten-year period we find in the wheat board report the following round figures, obtained from the Board of Grain Commissioners for Canada, of producers' marketings of western Canadian grains: 1941-42, 227 million bushels; 1942-43, 267 million bushels; 1943-44, 329 million bushels; 1944-45, 351 million bushels; 1945-46, 237 million bushels; 1946-47, 335 million bushels; 1947-48, 247 million bushels; 1948-49, 294 million bushels; 1949-50, 320 million bushels; 1950-51, 368 million bushels. The average, according to my computation, is 295J million bushels annually. Compare that with the crop years 1951-52 and following. The figures, again, are as follows: 1951-52, 455 million bushels; 1952-53, 535 million bushels; 195354, 397 million bushels; 1954-55, 319 million

bushels. Again according to my computation, this comes to 427 million bushels annually. At the same time we find that, having sold better than average crops each and every year, prices have been maintained at a fairly high level.

When it comes to the question of coarse grains, the wheat board has encountered no serious difficulties during this bumper crop period and, according to reports, none are expected to be encountered for this crop year. I might also state that the Minister of Trade and Commerce has visited the province of Alberta and has made the statement -as I believe he has made the statement in this house-that it is anticipated that even this year's crop, a better than average crop, will be sold. Therefore if during the superabundant crop years we can sell a better than average crop at fairly good price levels without resorting to fire sales, without getting panicky and without getting into some of these fancy deals such as barter trades and soft currency deals, that is what the western farmer expects the board to do and continue to do.

We have heard a good deal said, especially in western Canada, about barter trade. I should like to say a word or two in connection with this matter. Our Canadian economy is as free as any economy in the world. Anything can be imported into Canada from anywhere, subject to our customs duties. Barter is a two-way trade. It ties one down and relates a certain product to another product.

Let us take an example. Let us assume that Canada has made a deal with West Germany whereby for a certain number of bushels of wheat we would get from West Germany 10,000 thrashing combines. That would imply that once we got these combines in this country the government would have to tell the farmer he would have to buy one of them. The government would be responsible for seeing that these combines were sold to the farmers. I wonder whether that is what the farmers or Canadians in general would want. It would mean that we would be imposing on the Canadian people federal controls which the Canadian people are not prepared to accept. It seems to me that barter is a most restrictive type of trade.

One hears of another solution, not only in the province of Alberta but also in the province of Saskatchewan and to some extent in Manitoba. There are those who tell you the convenient political myth that Canada should accept soft currencies for wheat. They create the impression that they have an easy answer to our wheat problem, whereas in fact they have no answer at all. When you

The Address-Mr. Decore say "accept soft currency", you mean "accept inconvertible currency". Of course there is no problem if it is convertible, for then you talk in terms of dollars. For example, Britain has convertible sterling and it also has blocked currency which is inconvertible. The wheat sold to Britain by many countries is sold for convertible sterling. The British tell their importers that they may buy wheat in any country of the world. It is significant to note that, as has already been mentioned in this house, the British trade commissioner recently said that Britain would not buy wheat from Canada for blocked sterling. Yet the United Kingdom in the past year bought more wheat from Canada than from all the other countries of the world combined.

It is true that the United States in some cases sells for non-convertible currency and uses that currency for expenses in foreign countries, including the building of airfields and in different forms of foreign aid. In connection with the subject of inconvertible currency or soft currency, I should like to read an editorial which appeared in the Winnipeg Free Press on December 15, 1955, under the heading "The Sterling Myth". The reason I read the editorial is that I think it gives a very good answer to those people who are peddling this solution to the producers of western Canada. The editorial reads:

The people who say that Canada could and should "sell" wheat for sterling fall into two classes. Some do not know what they are talking about, and some do; the latter, that is, know they are talking nonsense. But it is convenient nonsense, and particularly convenient for some Saskatchewan socialists; it gives an impression that they have a simple, government-dealing, non-capitalist answer to our wheat troubles, when in fact they have no answer at all.

For this reason, the myth that "sales" for sterling are possible and desirable no doubt will persist, in face of the most direct and simple evidence to the contrary. There are none so blind as those that do not want to see. But one is entitled to hope that the Saskatchewan myth-mongers will in time gain fewer dupes; that their allies of the other class-the ill-informed-will shrink.

Two weeks ago, on November 30, Mr. Gordon Bowen spoke to the convention of the Saskatchewan farmers' union. He said that Britain would not buy a bushel more wheat if Canada accepted payment in sterling. Mr. Bowen is the United Kingdom's senior trade commissioner in Canada; if anyone ought to know the official British policy in this matter, it is he. And his pronouncement surely is concrete enough, and sufficiently simple, to penetrate any head. Even those who profess not to be able to understand the most definite and simple statements of the case, made many times by Mr. Howe and other Canadians, may pay some attention to the official word of Britain as the buying country.

The editorial goes on:

There is one direct untruth that may, however, have to be disposed of first. It is sometimes said,

The Address-Mr. Decore by advocates of Canadian "sales" for sterling, that the United States now makes such sales. It does not.

The United States takes inconvertible foreign currencies from all kinds of countries whose currencies play no great part in international trade; whose governments therefore do not mind having such claims on them blocked in the hands of other governments; and which have no objection to living on charity.

The United Kingdom, for all its economic weakness, is not that sort of country, and sterling is not an unimportant currency. Sterling that is not blocked-sterling that can be used at all-is the same thing as dollars, to Britain and to everyone else. To take payment in such sterling would be no different at all from what we do now. Blocked sterling, on the other hand, is useless to Canada-it means simply giving wheat away-and to the United Kingdom the exchange of blocked sterling for wheat would represent a further weakening in the status of sterling as an international currency. The Canadian advocates of sterling sales are apt to pose as friends of Britain, even though it be at the expense of the Canadian taxpayer. In fact, they are not anything of the kind. They are doing nothing at all but peddle a convenient political myth.

I think that is a very good answer to those who do in fact peddle this convenient political myth. We have also heard criticism in the house by the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Drew) to the effect that we should have a more aggressive sales policy with respect to the sale of wheat. I do not think selling wheat to other countries is the same thing as selling Fuller brushes or vacuum cleaners, but the fact is that in the last few months members of the wheat board and officials of the Department of Trade and Commerce have visited the major wheat importing countries. These countries include Japan, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Finland, Germany, Belgium, Holland, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Austria. In addition to these visits we have the efforts made by the Canadian trade commissioners in these countries.

At the same time the Canadian wheat board has invited representatives from wheat importing countries to visit Canada. We have had visitors from Japan, the United Kingdom, Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Switzerland, Ireland, Ecuador, Venezuela and Germany, so they could see for themselves how our grain is produced, how it is being stored, how it is being inspected and how it is being handled, because we believe we have the best system in the world and we want the world to know.

The government has made other efforts. As a result of direct action on the part of the government we find that there has been an increase in storage facilities through additions to the Halifax terminal elevators and the elevators at Churchill, and through a system of accelerated depreciation to elevator companies either at country points or terminals. In the last two and a half years there has

[Mr. Decore.1

been a total increase in storage accommodation of nearly 40 million bushels.

The only point I should like to suggest to the government, especially the Minister of Trade and Commerce, is that whereas the privilege of accelerated depreciation is accorded to elevator companies under which they may write off for income tax purposes over a period of three years any building they erect for storage, the same consideration should be given to farmers who store their grain on their own farms. Instead of being able to write off depreciation for income tax purposes over a period of 20 years they should be able to do so in the same period of three years as in the case of the elevator companies.

Finally I should like to say that the western farmer expects, the western farmer insists, that the policy of the government be, first of all, to maintain the wheat board system of marketing. The farmers have fought for the wheat board for many years and they do not want to lose it. Second, the wheat board together with the Department of Trade and Commerce should continue to follow aggressive sales methods by selling as they have been selling, especially during the years of better than average crops. Third, the wheat board together with the Department of Trade and Commerce should endeavour to maintain a fairly high price level by refusing to get panicky, by refusing to resort to fire sale prices, by refusing to indulge in the suggested barter trading or the acceptance of soft currencies or other fancy deals which would have the tendency that the farmer would get less for his wheat or the taxpayers would be burdened with more taxes. I also express the hope, and of course this is beyond the control of the government, that for the crop year 1956 we will have another bumper crop in the west.


Charles Yuill

Social Credit

Mr. Charles Yuill (Jasper-Edson):

Mr. Speaker, at the outset I should like to add my congratulations to those already expressed to the mover (Mrs. Shipley) and the seconder (Mr. Laflamme) of the address in reply to the speech from the throne. During this debate the discussion has centred largely around agriculture, and I think rightly so because agriculture is our basic industry. It is actually the keystone of our whole economy.

We find, however, that, in spite of the apparent over-all buoyancy of our economy last year, we have many problems pertaining to our basic industry. We find that agriculture is perhaps in as precarious a position as it has ever found itself in for a number of years. We find that farm income

has shrunk by better than a billion dollars in the last four years; to be exact, by $1,200 million.

By the same token, we find that agriculture embraces some 20 per cent of our population. Reducing the matter a little further, we find that they have received, in their own right, much less than 10 per cent of the national income, or in other words less than 50 cents on the dollar as compared to their fair share of the national wealth.

When you honestly appraise the whole situation I think you will And that something must be wrong somewhere down the line. I think it is the responsibility of parliament to sit down and soberly and intelligently appraise the whole situation. Instead of getting out and beating political drums I think it is our responsibility as human beings, charged with a grave responsibility, to deal honestly and sincerely with our problems rather than to reduce the matter to a political drum-beating level.

I believe one of the things that perhaps has influenced the depressed standards prevailing throughout agriculture is the fact that agriculture is always in a price-cost squeeze. The farmer is always obliged to buy on a controlled market. By the same token, he is always compelled to sell his commodities on an uncontrolled market.

Another thing that I think has contributed quite considerably to the plight of our economy today dates back to about 1944 or 1945 when, through the medium of the Bret-ton Woods agreement, the trader nations were obligated to go to the moneychangers and change their pounds sterling or their other currency into terms of Canadian or United States dollars. I think that was when many of our former substantial customers were forced, as a matter of self-preservation, to try to become self-sufficient with regard to Jhe growing of wheat.

True enough, in many cases it was apparently necessary to subsidize the wheat-growing industry in those countries in order to encourage their farmers to take over and try to produce in terms of self-sufficiency. As was mentioned just a few moments ago, I believe France was a striking example. We used to sell France a considerable amount of wheat, but now, for that very reason, she has become a surplus producer of wheat. According to figures submitted just a few moments ago they marketed some 92 million bushels of wheat on their own.

I am certainly not one of those who feel unhappy about having a surplus. I do not think there is anything wrong about it. I think it is something to be happy about. But

The Address-Mr. Yuill I believe our basic problem is one of distribution. I think we have fairly well mastered the art of producing, but I do not think we have done a good job in the technique of distribution. In spite of the fact that we have a billion or more bushels of surplus wheat in Canada today, on the world market I do not think it amounts to a surplus at all. When you realize that three out of every five people in the world will go to bed hungry tonight, it does not seem to me that the problem is altogether one of lack of production. We have the production here but we have not the medium through which it can be distributed to the needy people of the world.

We hear a great deal about ways and means. Some people are critical of the suggestions we have offered on more than one occasion. With regard to international trade, we should consider a mutual agreement policy whereby we will trade, on equivalent values, one commodity for another. We find that this procedure has worked previously. We find that it is being used today.

I know the Minister of Trade and Commerce does not take kindly to barter, but yesterday I was agreeably surprised to hear that there is at least one member of the Liberal party who believes in barter trade.

I enjoyed very much the speech of the hon. member for Swift Current-Maple Creek (Mr. Studer). He was loud in his praises of a barter deal that was consummated by the province of British Columbia. He seemed to be quite happy with it. I think it was a good stroke of business. The only thing with which I could disagree is the fact that he took credit for the Liberal government of British Columbia. I wonder if he has forgotten that British Columbia has had a Social Credit government for almost four years and that they were the ones who carried to such a successful conclusion that little barter deal.


Elmore Philpott


Mr. Philpott:

No; it was the federal Minister of Fisheries (Mr. Sinclair) who carried it to a conclusion.


Victor Quelch

Social Credit

Mr. Quelch:

Get the Minister of Trade and Commerce to page the Minister of Fisheries. Then you might learn something about barter deals.


Paul Joseph James Martin (Minister of National Health and Welfare)


Mr. Martin:

Oh, let us hold our tempers here.


Charles Yuill

Social Credit

Mr. Yuill:

So long as parliament sits here I suppose there will always be differences of opinion as to the proper techniques to use. I was going to say I think this is a problem that has reached the proportions of a crisis. It is not a crisis, particularly, but it is a situation that calls for the best thinking from every group in this house. I think it is quite possible to find some acceptable medium


The Address-Mr. Yuill through which we can deal with our trader nations without getting too hot and bothered about soft currencies, barter or anything else. I believe it is essential that we do so. But when we get to the point of setting up barriers that will not permit us to deal on those reasonable and natural levels, I think it is time we had a look at the situation and tried to do something about changing it.

So far as our production today is concerned, looking at it from a world point of view I do not think we have any surpluses at all. With the growing population in the world today, before many years I think we may have the problem of producing enough to feed those people, if we can do it. We are doing a good job of it now.

Then I believe we should give a little bit more thought to the main problem, at least as I see it. I refer to the problem of distribution. We have heard a lot about butter and butter surpluses, and the medium through which our butter is being sold. I am one of those people who believe that there is such a thing as charity. Charity should begin at home. If we are going to give anything away we should start first of all by giving to our own Canadian citizens who are in the low income brackets. We should give to the war veterans, the senior citizens, the mothers on mothers' allowances, blind pensioners, physically handicapped pensioners and others receiving social benefits today.

If the government took a little more realistic view of the matter and enclosed in the envelopes of the recipients of those pensions five butter coupons every month, they could take them to me or to some other merchant and get five pounds of butter for 37 cents a pound. The merchapt in turn could cash them in and replace the five pounds of butter. If we did that we would be doing something that would be not only beneficial to the internal economy but we would be practising Christian and moral ethics that would be worth while as well.

If the time ever comes when we have to give something away, we should start at home. I know there are arguments that it would disrupt the butter trade in Canada. I just wonder whether it would. Many people in those income brackets who would receive butter are not able to buy butter today. They either have to go without it or resort to buying margarine as a substitute. I was at a convention in Alberta not long ago, and the delegates were hot and bothered about whether or not margarine should be coloured.

If butter were made available to underprivileged people at fire sale prices, instead of shipping it behind the iron curtain, we would be doing something of which we could be proud.

[Mr. YuiU.1

As far as agriculture is concerned, I believe the government has given serious thought to the best ways and means of helping. Personally I feel that the two-price system would help solve the problem confronting agriculture in this country. Through that medium we would at least have some semblance of parity and some evidence of a reasonable equation between the cost of production and the amount received from the sale of the product. However, the Minister of Trade and Commerce seems to feel that this would not be a wise move.

I am not questioning the point particularly. From what I can get from the speech from the throne I feel that the sum total of the assistance to agriculture is geared to the $1,500 limit loan at 5 per cent. I come from a community that is basically agricultural. I am just wondering how many farmers will be able to avail themselves of it, desirable as it may be. Very few in my part of the country will be able to qualify. If some of my constituents already have a commitment at the bank I wonder what the reaction of the banker will be? Will the farmer be required to apply the loan to his former commitment? If so, then he will be deprived of any assistance under this new arrangement. I wonder whether there will be any stipulation that this must be a loan independent of any other commitment that an individual may have with the bank.

That is something of great importance to all concerned. We should be willing to sit down and try to come up with the best answers. It would be a wise man who could give a complete answer to this question. Until we are prepared to sit down like human beings and deal with these things we shall never accomplish too much. In our group we have always been champions of agriculture. Many of my colleagues have already expressed the views of this group pertaining to our attitude toward farm-stored grain; therefore I shall not deal with it. I should like to predict that as far as the $1,500 loan is concerned it is going to be a great disappointment to many people who are so urgently in need of special consideration. I am not going to deal any further with agricultural difficulties.

I offer my congratulations to the Minister of Public Works for finally completing the government building in the town of Edson in my constituency. It was a long and perilous detour, but at last we are getting the building in the town that we have needed for many years. On behalf of my people, I express thanks to the Minister of Public Works for getting on with the erection of that much-needed building.

We have another little problem in that part of the country. It relates to what some day is going to be the best part of the trans-Canada highway in the Dominion of Canada, namely Jasper. We have a road that goes through from Jasper to the British Columbia boundary. It will be known some day as the west gate of Jasper national park. There is a road which is passable in fair weather. It is a road that ultimately will be the route of the new trans-Canada highway. What the people in that part of the country would like to see is some favourable consideration by the minister concerned to building that road up to a standard that would be compatible with transportation that would no doubt enhance the tourist aspects of Jasper national park. Last year, according to provincial statistics we had an increase of something over 11 per cent in the number visiting Jasper national park. Since that is one of the show places of the dominion I think anything the department could do to establish a through route from Jasper to the west gate would be not only appreciated but would enhance the tourist trade, particularly, would greatly enhance the public service, and would be welcomed by those who are desirous of coming through from British Columbia into Alberta.

We have in Alberta, up to the east gate, one of the finest highways in Canada. As a matter of fact it is definitely up to trans-Canada standards. It is not completed but it should be, weather permitting, this year. If it is not finished this year, at the latest it will be finished next year.

In British Columbia they have a commitment by the provincial government that they will build a standard highway to the west gate of Jasper national park. If that is done, then I would urge the minister to give consideration to that much-needed connecting link that today is only navigable under very hazardous conditions; to go out there and begin the plan in the not too distant future, and see to it that sufficient money is voted for the completion of that program.

There is one other little suggestion I would like to make, and I do this in all kindliness. In the town of Jasper I think the people have contributed quite considerably to the tourist set-up from many different angles. They perhaps do not contribute as much in dollars and cents as people living in cities out of the park, but they do contribute in their own way quite a considerable amount of money. They do possess a considerable amount of good will, and without the people of Jasper I am sure that park would be anything but the wonderful summer resort it is today for tourists.

The Address-Mr. Mclvor

I would suggest to the minister that he give consideration to setting up some kind of council comparable to that proposed to be set up in the Northwest Territories. These fine people could sit down and by popular choice delegate to two or three or four or any reasonable number the responsibility of co-operating with the local government administration. I think the people would be quite qualified to offer kindly suggestions and by their mutual good will and co-operation enhance the over-all public relations within the town of Jasper.

With all due respect to those who are charged with the responsibility of looking after the park affairs there, I do feel that it would lighten their job. It would pay off in many ways, financially as well as in terms of good will. I would ask the minister if he will think that over, and I hope that in the not too distant future we may have a little more harmony and that over-all good will that I feel is so essential to the happiness of the people who are obliged to live within the confines of the national park.


Daniel (Dan) McIvor


Mr. Daniel Mclvor (Fort William):

Mr. Speaker, I must say that I am very happy to be here listening to the speeches from both sides of the house. I think you will agree that the speeches delivered up to the present time have had more pep in them than at any time in the last 20 years.

I want to welcome the new members to the house. There are a great number, and if I would be allowed to give advice to the new members I would say, always be sure of what you are going to say and be sure that it is right. I would like to welcome the page boys. All but two are new this year. Perhaps we forget the boys who are, in a sense, a very essential part of the efficient carrying on of the business of this house. We bid them welcome.

I congratulate the Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent) on his initiative in doing new things. Of course I support him in his congratulations to the mover and seconder of the motion in reply to the speech from the throne. 1 just want to second what he has said. Also we do like to think that our Prime Minister is capable of doing new things. It was a new thing to request a lady member of the house to be the first speaker. That is in keeping with our gracious Queen of England, who heads the social life of the British commonwealth of nations.

Another new thing he did was in his appointments to the Senate. One of the first jokes I heard when I came down here was told by the late hon. member for Cartier, Sam Jacobs, who had given outstanding service to this house, who was noted for his polish


The Address-Mr. Mclvor as a critic and as a speaker, and noted for his humour. When he was asked if he would consider going to the Senate his reply was, "I have got Jew consideration." Now the Prime Minister has appointed a Jew to the Senate for the first time. Not only that, but the first time in my experience he has appointed a Conservative to the Senate, and three independents; and we congratulate him.

I must admit, Mr. Speaker, that I would rather the former hon. member for Spadina was sitting in his seat here in the house and giving his outstanding service than any other place.

During the recess my better half and I thought we would take a trip west and see what was happening way out there. I remember that when I came to this country in '94 the slogan was "Go west, young man", and I think anybody who goes west will always get an earful. I travelled through Jasper, up into Yukon and back to Vancouver and I found that there were many people throughout all that country who were prophesying great things for Canada.

First there was the Social Credit prophet who said that Social Credit would sweep [DOT]the country. That was quite a statement, and perhaps he was right. Then the C.C.F. prophet said that the C.C.F. would at least be the official opposition in the next house. Then I noticed that the hon. member for Broadview (Mr. Hees) made the prediction that the Conservatives would be the leaders of the house. I would agree with all three prophecies if there were no Liberal party in the Dominion of Canada.

I enjoyed reading the speech from the throne, because it contained so many things that I thought were fine. The farmers are to be considered and it is a well-known fact that if you have prosperous farmers you will have a prosperous country. The unemployed are to be considered, and there is to be equal pay to women for equal work, something for which we have been hungry for years. .

The hon. member for Hamilton West (Mrs. Fairclough) was the first to bring in a private bill in this connection. I remember asking a former minister of labour, the late Hon. Norman Eogers, why it was that girls who taught in schools did not get the same pay as men, and why girls serving behind counters selling goods did not get the same pay as men. He just smiled and said, "We have not much to do with that."

I know from private conversations with the present Minister of Labour (Mr. Gregg) that this matter has been receiving considerable thought during past years. I know that in the Fort William district there are ladies

who receive the same pay as men for doing the same work. We have two or more postmistresses who receive the same pay for doing the same work, and that is only right. One thing that concerns me in connection with employment of the fair sex is that they must retire at 60 years of age instead of 65. If they are to receive the same pay as men let them be retired at 65 the same as the men.

One or two things have happened in Fort William which I think the government and the country should know about. Fort William had 629 days without a fatal accident, which I think is a record of which any city or any member of parliament can be proud. I am certainly thankful for it. It shows that the chief of police, the mayor and city council and the local paper, the Times-Journal, have been on the job advertising and advising. It also shows that the people of Fort William believe in the provincial slogan, "If you drink, don't drive; if you drive, don't drink." That record was broken just a little while back, but we hope to have another record later on.

Fort William is trying to co-operate with the Minister of Labour in providing winter work. During the past year when dredging operations were being carried on, one of two main pipes going under one of our rivers was broken, but it was decided to repair this during the winter by putting a channel under the river. It is hoped that the government will pay at least 20 per cent of the cost. The city is also putting in trunk sewers as winter work. The government should assist in this, and if they do not I am going to tickle somebody under the ear. I think the government is sensible in supporting winter work as it will provide employment for many people.

Before I came down here a committee of citizens called upon me and asked me to do certain things. First, they asked me to tell the Minister of Public Works (Mr. Winters) that they supported him absolutely in his new plans for the completion of the trans-Canada highway. I think the minister has shown initiative, that he understands the needs of Canada and has sympathy with the unemployed. The governments of the provinces are asked to pay only a certain percentage, but they must administer it. The hon. member for Vancouver-Burrard (Mr. MacDougall) said they should pay 100 per cent and he wanted even more than that if he could get it in connection with roads in British Columbia.

I do not agree with him, because he would not give the farmers anything by way of help when he is asking us to subsidize the building of roads.

Then I was told to support the gas pipe line. Two experts, the hon. member for

Trinity (Mr. Carrick) and the hon. member for Calgary South (Mr. Nickle), have provided the house with considerable information. Hon. members would do well to read their speeches in Hansard as each hon. gentleman did a very good job from his own point of view.

I do not expect that the gas pipe line will bring the millennium to the head of the lakes. I know I will not change from electricity to gas or from oil to gas, because we do not like too much gas around our house. The Minister of Trade and Commerce and his associates have been considering this pipe line. We sat in the committee, one of the best committees of the house, and the company was given permission to build an all-Canada pipe line. I remember when a delegation from the lakehead came down here to make sure that the gas pipe line would go through the lakehead, and the minister got the two companies together to get them to co-operate. I asked him if that was the last hurdle in the development of the gas pipe line and he just shook this head* He knew better than I that more money was needed.

This committee told me to support the government in helping the farmers sell their grain or keep it in storage. The members of the committee believed, just as I believe, that the farmers work longer hours and get less pay than anybody else.

There is one thing we want the government to do, and in this connection I refer to what was said by the hon. member for Lambton West (Mr. Murphy). It will be noted that I am quoting a Conservative member, but there are some Conservatives who talk sensibly. The lampreys in lake Superior should be wiped out, and money should be spent in an effort to save our lake trout, the finest table fish in existence.

There are three things that I am going to support later on and to which I want the government to give wholehearted consideration. The first is pensions for veterans who served in action in world war I or world war II. I brought this up three years ago and have been bringing it up since. A man who has served in a war should receive some consideration. One friend of mine had four Christmas dinners in the trenches. One man was asked to go out into the trenches where there was water, and he did not have dry feet for two days. He spent 31 days in a trench. You cannot tell me that would not take away years from his existence. Veterans who have risked their lives and cut down their length of life should have pensions at the age of 60 without a means test. We shall go into this matter again.

Another thing we recommend is that civil servants who retired when their salaries were 67509-15

The Address-Mr. Mclvor small should have their cases examined. One case brought to my notice was that of a man who served for 37 years as a postman. He carried the mail until his feet gave out, and then he had to retire. I believe he was earning $1,600 a year at the time, and he was paid a pension accordingly. He is still receiving that pension. He should have his pension increased in proportion to the increases in salaries since that time.

A third matter we suggest is that the blind should receive pensions without a means test. We shall also deal with this matter again.

I should also like to say that I am perhaps more convinced than ever that the government should go ahead with the provinces in establishing a national health insurance plan. For two years I sat on committees of this house studying this subject. We brought in a bill which I thought was very good, whereby a contributory pension would be paid to patients and they would be allowed to choose their own doctors.

This year in Fort William we had a case of a man and a boy who had to pay $30 a day for nursing only, with hospital and doctor s expenses added. One lad 15 years of age had to lie on his face for three months. His back, arms and legs were burnt, and he lost his two hands. A boy like that, from a home of honest workers, should have consideration. As you would expect, the city of Fort William would not ignore such a case. The West Fort Kiwanis club there organized a local benefit society. We raised at least $8,000 and are still raising more, because we want to give that boy a chance to occupy a position in life. I am not asking any member of the house for anything but, of course, the door is open.

I should like to say a word about external affairs. It has been brought to my attention many times that we should have a department of peace. We have departments of national defence, national revenue, agriculture, trade and commerce and many other departments, but we have no department of peace. I do not think that is right. I read his speeches, and I know the minister of external affairs believes in the Prince of Peace, and his department is really a department of peace. Judging from his speeches, the name of that department might very well be changed from the Department of External Affairs to the department of peace.

Mr. Speaker, I thank you and the house for listening to me once again, and I am happy to note that nobody is sleeping.


John (Jack) Henry Horner

Mr. Van Horne:

Mr. Speaker, I should like to rise on a point of privilege. This morning I apparently used an unparliamentary term

The Address-Mr. G. S. White to designate the inaccuracies, wrong information and misstatements in the speech of the hon. member for Gloucester (Mr. Robichaud).

I am most anxious to withdraw any unparliamentary term I may have used in describing the hon. member for Gloucester. My strong convictions and devotion to the cause of the maritimes' rights incite me with fury whenever I see some hon. member from the maritimes being so lukewarm toward our tragic problems in the maritime provinces and their valiant people.


William Alfred Robinson (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)


Mr. Deputy Speaker:



John (Jack) Henry Horner

Mr. Van Horne:

It was this state of mind which prompted me when I called the hon. member for Gloucester a name not permitted in the house.


William Alfred Robinson (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)


Mr. Deputy Speaker:

I had occasion to read the words to which the hon. member has referred in the blues of Hansard, and I think it warrants going a little further than the hon. member has gone. I think the words should be withdrawn without any qualification.


John (Jack) Henry Horner

Mr. Van Horne:

Mr. Speaker, it is indeed a pleasure for me to do so.


George Stanley White

Progressive Conservative

Mr. G. S. White (Hasiings-Fronlenac):

Mr. Speaker, in rising to take part in this debate I should like to refer first to one matter mentioned in the speech from the throne, which stated that at this session the Dominion Succession Duty Act will be amended. I had hoped since the close of the war that the dominion government would give up the taxes it collects under this act, as in my opinion all such revenue belongs purely to the provinces.

I was interested to read in the press only this morning a comment that the dominion government, especially the Department of National Revenue, was anxious to retain a succession duty because the returns that had to be filed on any estate gave the government valuable information in dealing with the collection of income tax. That may or may not be true, but I would say to the minister that in the opinion of many people, especially in the provinces where they still maintain the right to levy and collect succession duty, this tax does bear most heavily on many people.

The minister knows that the exemption, which is now $50,000, was placed at that figure when our dollar was worth a great deal more than the dollar is worth today. That exemption is allowed in every estate irrespective of the relationship of the person to whom the money may pass. There is a further injustice, at least in my opinion. Once that estate exceeds $50,000 the whole amount of the estate becomes taxable. I for one would be most anxious at some time to hear

some explanation by the minister as to how he can justly and fairly say that an estate of $49,990 should be exempted from all succession duty but an estate of $50,100 should be subject to duty on the full amount. I should like also to mention to the minister that the present exemptions under the dominion act of $20,000 to the widow and $5,000 to children under a certain age, are too small and should be increased. I only mention this to the minister, because I realize that at a later date there will be ample opportunity for discussion when the bill is brought before the house.

I was disappointed that the speech from the throne did not contain some reference to legislation pertaining to veterans. I had hoped that the government would have realized the error it made in the amendments it brought down last year to the War Veterans Allowance Act, in that it did not accede to the requests made by the Canadian Legion that the ceiling be placed at $1,200 for single men and $2,000 for married veterans. This matter has been before the house on many 'occasions, and members from all parties have made most earnest pleas to the minister on behalf of those veterans who are entitled to receive war veterans allowances.

In particular it seems to me that at this very late date the veterans of the first world war, who must be getting close to the age of 60 and whose numbers are decreasing every year, should be given some special additional consideration. Only today I believe I heard a member again asking the government to make the war veterans allowance payable to the veterans of world war I who served only in England, which under the act is not classed as a theatre of war. While no mention is made in the speech from the throne of any legislation for veterans, I for one sincerely hope that the minister will introduce legislation to deal particularly with the raising of income ceilings for war veterans allowance recipients and making the amount payable to veterans who only served in England.

I see that the parliamentary assistant to the Minister of Veterans Affairs is here, and I am sure his attention has been drawn to the December issue of The Legionary in which there is an article entitled, "A National Cenotaph." I am sure there are many members of the house who have seen and been impressed by the memorials and cenotaphs erected in various other capitals of the world. It seems to me that in this Canada of ours surely now, ten years after the end of the war, we should have a national cenotaph in memory of those who served not only in world war I but in world war II and other

wars. I hope the minister will have something to say during the session on the question of a national cenotaph.

In the January issue of the same magazine there is an article by Adam W. Williams entitled, "The Disability Table", to which I am sure the attention of the parliamentary assistant has been drawn. I was most interested to read the table found here, which it is stated was published in 1918. No doubt there have been a great many changes in the disability table since 1918 both by way of increases in the percentage rates and additions to the table. It is interesting to note in the article that the Legion requested the pension commission to publish the current table, and the reply of the commission is quoted as follows:

It is not considered that this document (the table of disabilities), which has been prepared for intercommission use, would serve any useful purpose to the Legion whose officers, at their dominion headquarters, have ready access to the chairman and chief medical adviser.

The article goes on to point out that the Legion officers in Ottawa do have access to the table, but says that the Legion believes the table should be made available to their service bureau officers. I would suggest that it should be made public so the local physician who treats a veteran may have the benefit of it. The article further points out that the act states:

The estimate of the extent of a disability shall be based on the instructions and a table of disabilities to be made by the commission for the guidance of physicians and surgeons making medical examinations for pension purposes.

There is nothing there to indicate that the table is a secret document. If there is any special reason why the table should be kept secret I am sure the many members of the house who are veterans would be glad to know what it is.

On other occasions I have mentioned in the house the failure to observe Armistice day as a national holiday. Last year I quoted a resolution passed by the county council of my country which reads as follows:

That since, by the statutes of Canada, November 11th is designated as a public holiday, our government be urged to enact legislation that November 11th not only be declared a national holiday, but that it also be observed as such.

Of course there are some people who say that we have far too many holidays. The day before Armistice day or on Armistice day you will notice that in the big city newspapers the full-page advertisements of certain stores will indicate that two minutes of silence will be observed, or that the store will not open until two minutes after eleven


The Address-Mr. G. S. White o'clock. This day means a great deal to the veterans of Canada, and I think I am safe in saying that all the Legion branches resent the fact that Armistice day is not generally observed as a holiday throughout the Dominion of Canada. If the parliament of the Dominion of Canada is in session at that time parliament does not observe Armistice day as a holiday.

I should like to concur in the remarks of the hon. member for Oxford (Mr. Nesbitt) with respect to the time limit in making assessments of income tax returns. He referred to the long delay and the fact that the income tax department can go back and reassess farmers, small businessmen and other taxpayers of that kind. I have here a resolution passed by the county council of the county of Hastings which was sent to them by the county council of the county of Middlesex. The resolution reads as follows:

Be it resolved that any farmer, individual or business with a net annual income of $10,000 or less, who files an income tax return and no action is taken on it within six months, that this return become final and complete.

There is another matter I should like to draw to the attention of the government. It is one that has been commented upon many times before, especially last session when the Municipal Grants Act was amended. I refer to the fact that in the smaller towns and villages the government pays no compensation in lieu of taxes. There are hundreds of villages and towns across the country with one, two or three federal buildings, and they are not able to qualify for compensation under the act as it stands at the present time. Yet these small municipalities, which are so hard pressed for money today, have to supply many essential services to government buildings for which they receive no payment. There are such things as snow removal, streets, sidewalks, lighting, garbage collection, fire and police protection and many other services of that nature. It is rather difficult for the average real estate owner in a small village to understand why his taxes should have to go to supply these services to government buildings.

I suggest to the Minister of Finance (Mr. Harris) that a most welcome announcement in his budget would be that in future all federal property will be assessed in the usual way and taxes will be paid thereon. At the same time another most welcome announcement by the Minister of Finance would be that as far as municipalities and school boards are concerned, the sales tax will not be applied to any purchases made by them.

The Address-Mr. G. S. White In the Globe and Mail of today there is the announcement of the establishment of the new townsite near the village of Bancroft, which is the centre of several new uranium mines now coming into production. To date two of these mines have made contracts whereby $65 million worth of uranium concentrates will be purchased by the federal government. The village of Bancroft is the closest village to these various mines. At the present time the small inadequate post office in that village is unable to supply the necessary services required by the large influx of new people in this district. I have had the matter up with the Postmaster General (Mr. Lapointe). His officials have made certain inspections, and I believe they have made certain recommendations, but to dale nothing has been done.

I pointed out to the Postmaster General some time ago that eventually he will have to erect a new building there. At the present time there are several highly desirable sites available. If he delays, those sites will not be available at a later date. The post office at the present time is not suited for a village a third the size of Bancroft. There is insufficient space not only for the public but for the staff. All mail coming into and going out of the office has to be carried from the street, around the building and into the post office. There is no such thing as driving in at the side or around the building. The post office is located on a highway on a sloping hill, without any facilities for public parking. 'There is no accommodation for the various mail contractors who operate rural routes from this post office. There are two wickets, which are entirely insufficient. At the present time the post office at Bancroft has requests for over 300 boxes which cannot be installed for the simple reason that in the post office there is no room to instal them. I find that in the next riding, which is represented by the Minister of National Revenue (Mr. McCann), there are three new post offices located at Killaloe Station, Barrys Bay and Eganville respectively; yet the revenue from the Bancroft post office is from three to four times as much as that from any one of those post offices.

It may be just a coincidence that those three offices just over the line were erected in the minister's riding. At the same time, I feel that the Postmaster General should give immediate attention to the situation that exists in Bancroft. Any improvements they are attempting to make in the present building can only be described as of a temporary and makeshift nature. The developments that are going on now and that will continue in

[Mr. White (Hastings-Frontenac) .1

that district indicate that the only answer is a new federal building with proper accommodation.

I would therefore say in a most kindly way to the minister and to his parliamentary assistant who, I will say, has been most helpful to me in the matter, that they ought to see that something is done at once to begin the erection of a new building in that district.

As to the matter of cheese, I wish to concur in the remarks made yesterday in this house by the hon. member for Oxford and the remarks made this afternoon by the hon. member for Lanark (Mr. Blair) when he referred to the plight of the dairy farmer in Ontario. In the debate last year I urged the Minister of Trade and Commerce to pass an order in council whereby cheese would be placed under the export-import act. Previously in the house the minister had made certain answers which indicated that it could not be done. But I have noticed that neither the Minister of Agriculture nor the Minister of Trade and Commerce has said that the method I suggested in my speech was not feasible, was not correct or could not be carried out.

When the minister spoke yesterday he was apparently pleased with the surplus that we have. At the same time he is adding to that surplus by allowing the importation of millions of pounds of Cheddar cheese from New Zealand. If the Minister of Trade and Commerce is under any delusion as to how the cheese people of eastern Canada feel about the importation of cheese from New Zealand, I would simply say this to him. Let him attend any meeting of cheese producers in eastern Ontario, and let him attempt to explain to them why it is necessary to import millions of pounds of Cheddar cheese into Ontario.

The various county councils in eastern Ontario have all been passing resolutions urging the government to impose proper tariff protection. I will read one resolution that I believe was sent to the Minister of Agriculture. It is as follows:

That Hastings county council express approval of the recommendation of the Ontario federation of agriculture, that the dairy industry of Canada be given adequate tariff protection; and that copies of this resolution be forwarded to the Hon. Jas. G. Gardiner, Minister of Agriculture and to Mr. F. S. Foil well, M.P., and Geo. S. White, M.P.

No doubt the Minister of Agriculture has received many of these resolutions. What he does with them I do not know. But when these people pass these resolutions I should like to point out to the minister that they want something done about them. Their livelihood depends on it. Not long ago I read in the papers a statement by an official of

one of the agricultural associations who described the importation of Cheddar cheese as the worst slap in the face the Ontario farmer has ever received.

Even at this late date I am going to ask the Minister of Agriculture and the Minister of Trade and Commerce if they will not see that the necessary order in council is passed whereby the importation of cheddar cheese will be placed under the export-import act. Last year the Minister of Trade and Commerce was asked for some assurance that no more cheddar cheese would be imported from New Zealand. At that time he said he did not expect-I will be through in a minute, Mr. Speaker-any further importations for another three or nine months. Sure enough, in exactly nine months along come three to five million pounds more cheese.

At six o'clock the house took recess.


AFTER RECESS The house resumed at eight o'clock.


Charles-Arthur Dumoulin Cannon


Mr. Charles Cannon (Iles-de-la-Madeleine);

Mr. Speaker, in taking part in this debate, it is a real pleasure for me to congratulate the mover (Mrs. Shipley) and the seconder (Mr. Laflamme) of the address in reply to the speech from the throne. I say it is a real pleasure because they are both friends of mine. I am sorry to see that the hon. member for Timiskaming is not in her seat. But I say to her through you, Mr. Speaker, that the speech she made was not only an honour to herself but also to the fine constituency she represents so well in this house.


I also wish to congratulate the seconder of the address in reply to the speech from the throne, the hon. member for Bellechasse (Mr. Laflamme). He has shown that he has the makings of a good member of parliament and he will undoubtedly prove to be a worthy successor to our former colleague, Mr. Philippe Picard, now Canadian ambassador to Argentina.


Last summer I was privileged to be a member of the Canadian delegation to the NATO parliamentary association meeting that took place in Paris. The initiative for this meeting was taken by our Canadian NATO parliamentary association, and it was a great success. Nearly 200 parliamentarians representing the 15 countries that belong to NATO were at this meeting, and the Canadian representatives had an opportunity to meet a great many of the other delegates.

This meeting was devoted primarily to contacts and to general discussion. However,

The Address-Mr. Cannon an important resolution was passed inviting the Speakers of the parliaments concerned to send delegates to yearly meetings, expressing the wish that the governments of NATO countries facilitate such meetings and providing for the organization of a continuing committee with secretarial assistance.

The main subject discussed at the Paris meeting was the development of economic and cultural co-operation among NATO nations as contemplated in article 2 of the North Atlantic treaty. It was suggested that future meetings of NATO parliamentarians should devise ways and means of implementing article 2 by facilitating trade and cultural exchanges between NATO countries.

At the briefing we received from General Gruenther of supreme headquarters allied powers, Europe, known as SHAPE, it was suggested that these meetings of NATO parliamentarians are an excellent thing because as all NATO countries are democratic countries, their governments are dependent on public opinion for whatever they do, and it is very important that the parliamentarians of NATO countries be familiar with NATO so they can explain it to their constituents and enlist their support for NATO, without which, as I said, Mr. Speaker, the governments of these NATO countries would be incapable of giving NATO the support it so richly deserves.

It was also mentioned at that meeting that the alliance of countries around the north Atlantic should develop among the NATO countries the same cultural and economic ties and co-operation that existed among the nations that surrounded the Mediterranean at the time of the Roman empire; with the difference, Mr. Speaker, that the nations that developed those cultural and economic ties around the Mediterranean were held together by the force of the Roman empire, while on the contrary the nations of the North Atlantic treaty are united by the free will of their democratic governments elected by the free vote of their people.

I noted with satisfaction, Mr. Speaker, that the final communique of the meeting of the North Atlantic council held last month in Paris contained the following paragraph:

The council recognized that recent developments in the international situation made it more necessary than ever to have closer co-operation between the members of the alliance as envisaged in Article II of the treaty. They decided to instruct the permanent council to examine and implement all measures conducive to this end.

I am sure that those who attended the meeting of NATO parliamentarians in Paris would like to feel that our deliberations had some small part in influencing the council to


The Address-Mr. Cannon include in its communique a reference to the cultural and economic aspects of the North Atlantic treaty.

The receptions given us by the French republic were very fine indeed, in the unique setting in which they were held, and that great country once more lived up to its reputation for gracious hospitality. I wish to take this opportunity, Mr. Speaker, to express publicly the great appreciation of all the Canadian delegates for all the courtesies extended to us during our stay in Paris. I wish to underline the fact that the Speaker of the Senate, Hon. Wishart Robertson, took the initiative for these NATO parliamentary meetings, and that his contribution to them was recognized by the fact that he was elected chairman of the meeting in Paris, and also was elected president of the continuing committee to continue the work we started in Paris last summer.

From Paris we flew to Germany and visited the Canadian troop installations around Soesft in Westphalia. There I had the opportunity to meet the Royal 22nd regiment from Quebec city, where I live, and I had the occasion to renew old acquaintances with several of the officers and men, including the men in the Royal 22nd from the Magdalen islands. It was indeed a pleasure to see them and to say hello to them so far away from home. After that we visited the R.C.A.F. bases at Grostenquin and Marville in France and at Zweibrucken and Baden-Soellingen in Germany.

We all came back with a feeling of pride in the excellent work our soldiers and airmen are doing in participating in the NATO defence of Europe.

The so-called spirit of Geneva, which existed in Europe when we visited last summer, has disappeared rapidly, and it is important that all NATO countries be very careful not to allow themselves to be misled by any seeming softening of the Russian attitude into relaxing our vigilance or diminishing the strength of our NATO defensive organization.

To turn from foreign affairs to the domestic situation, I am sure, Mr. Speaker, that it was with great satisfaction and pride that the members of the house read in the weekly bulletins of the dominion bureau of statistics that all the main indications of the economic condition of our country have shown marked improvement over the same time last year. I refer in particular, Mr. Speaker, to the gross national product, to industrial employment, to manufacturing production, new orders in factories, housing construction, retail trade, total wages paid to labour forces, bank loans and car loadings. Every figure supplied shows an improvement over last year and there is no doubt that this country, under the wise

and firm guiding hand of this government, has reached a degree of prosperity never reached before.

It is a satisfaction also, Mr. Speaker, to note that this well-being and this increase in the national wealth has been accomplished without inflation. The cost of living is about the same as it was at this time a year ago. I have here, Mr. Speaker, some figures that should be of interest to the house that were given to me by the Department of Labour this afternoon, and they are the latest figures. They give an indication of the prosperity now existing in this country. The total labour force at this time in 1956 is 5,588,000. Last year at the same time it was 5,435,000, showing an increase in the labour force of 153,000. People with jobs-and there is a distinction there, because there are people who have jobs but do not work all the time-total

5,388,000 in 1956 against 5,187,000 in 1955, an increase of 201,000. People employed in 1956 total 5,237,000 against 5,082,000 in 1955, an increase of 155,000.

It would be amusing, Mr. Speaker, if I had the time to examine in detail the dire predictions of ruin and catastrophe made by the members of the opposition last year at just about this time. Unfortunately we have not the time to examine all of them but I cannot resist the temptation to take a look at a few. At page 23 of Hansard for last year the hon. member for Dufferin-Sim-coe (Mr. Rowe)-and I am sorry he is not here at the moment-attacked the government for having said in the speech from the throne that the unemployment existing at that time, a year ago, was regional and seasonal. At page 26 he accused the government of complacency and talked about the unemployed worrying and looking to the future with fear and uncertainty.

It has been proved, Mr. Speaker, that the government was right in saying that the unemployment which existed then was seasonal and regional. Seasonal unemployment in a country like ours is inevitable because of the climate; but it is a satisfaction to note, as I said a few minutes ago, that the total labour force employed has increased by

155,000, and that the unemployed are at a much lower figure than they were last year at this time. The fiery hon. member for Eglinton (Mr. Fleming), who I am sorry to say is not here tonight, went off the deep end at page 150 of Hansard when referring to the statement in the speech from the throne that unemployment was of a regional and seasonal nature, when he said:

What a monstrous understatement, Mr. Speaker. It is no wonder that what the speech from the throne proposes in the way of legislative and other

remedies is very fragmentary and of the nature that it is, based upon an approach so hopelessly lacking in realism to a national problem.

I say, Mr. Speaker, that the statement in the speech from the throne last year, that unemployment was regional and seasonal, was not an understatement. It was a statement of fact and was a realistic approach to the situation which existed at that time. Experience has shown that the hon. member for Eglinton was just as wrong as the hon. member for Dufferin-Simcoe, and the government was right in its appreciation of the situation at that time.

The hon. member for Edmonton East (Mr. Holowach) also went out on a limb last year at just about this time. He said at page 2320 of Hansard:

I do not intend to re-examine the validity of all the figures which have been given by the able speakers who have taken part in this debate, but I do believe those figures indicate without doubt that unemployment in Canada is neither regional nor seasonal, as has been constantly stated by government spokesmen.

These hon. members, Mr. Speaker, if they reread this year the speeches they made last year at about the same time, must see that they made a big mistake and must feel rather silly in the light of what has actually happened since then. I wish I had the time to go on, Mr. Speaker, to give you other pearls from the speeches of the opposition members last year. Unfortunately time is lacking, but I think the quotations I have given to the house will show, and I repeat it, how wrong the opposition members were and how right the government was in appreciating the unemployment situation at this time last year.

I have received many complaints, Mr. Speaker, from my constituency concerning the effect and operation of one of the amendments to the Unemployment Insurance Act adopted by this house at the last session of parliament. The speech from the throne last year said:

The government proposes to introduce legislation immediately for the amendment of the Unemployment Insurance Act to provide for an increase in the duration and scale of supplementary winter benefits. It is also proposing to introduce, during the session, broader amendments designed to make unemployment insurance a more effective instrument in providing financial support to unemployed workers.

In the speech from the throne this year, Mr. Speaker, we find another reference made to the amendments to the Unemployment Insurance Act:

The improvements you made to the Unemployment Insurance Act last year will provide a better coverage for those who are temporarily without work, particularly in the winter season.

I note particularly, Mr. Speaker, the words "designed to make unemployment insurance

The Address-Mr. Cannon a more effective instrument in providing financial support to unemployed workers". Unfortunately subsection 2 of section 45 of the new Unemployment Insurance Act has exactly the contrary effect. It decreases the efficiency of unemployment insurance in providing financial support to unemployed workers and provides less coverage for those who are out of work.

This is a section which says that when an insured person who has already drawn unemployment insurance benefits during an established benefit period makes a new application for unemployment insurance, he has to show that he has made contributions during 30 weeks within the last 52 weeks before his claim, that is to say during the preceding year.

Under the old act, people who did not work regularly could qualify for unemployment insurance by making 180 daily contributions during the two years immediately preceding the day their benefit period commenced, providing they had made contributions for at least 60 days during the last year before their claim, or for at least 45 days during the last 26 weeks before their claim. Under the new act, as above mentioned, an unemployed person must have worked and made contributions during 30 weeks out of the preceding 52.

I submit that this is too drastic a change, and as a result only one in ten of the workers of the Magdalen islands who applied last fall for unemployment insurance, and who usually got it, was able to obtain benefits this year. The reason is that the industries in the islands which are connected with the packing, freezing, smoking and salting of fish do not operate 30 weeks in one year. This was the cause of great hardship, and certainly does not help in providing financial support to unemployed workers as was forecast in the speech from the throne last year, nor in giving them better coverage, as is mentioned in this year's speech.

I suggest that the act be amended to lengthen the period in which the 30 weeks of contributions are to be made. This should be lengthened from one year to 18 months. Then if a worker applied for unemployment insurance on November 1, when most of the local plants are closed, he would have not only the immediately preceding summer season but also the summer season before that in which to find his 30 weeks of contributions.

Some of the people in the Magdalen islands who did not qualify for unemployment insurance last fall were able to qualify for seasonal benefits under section 49 and following of the act. However, these seasonal benefits only begin on January 1 and end on April 15. It has been a great hardship for many unemployed workers to be deprived of these

The Address-Mr. Cannon seasonal benefits during the Christmas season, and I suggest that the act should be amended further so that the seasonal benefits would begin on December 15 and end on April 1, instead of beginning on January 1 and ending on April 15. In that way the wives and little children of those people who are unemployed through no fault of their own would be given the opportunity of enjoying the Christmas season like the wives and children of others in the country.

I should like to draw the attention of the Minister of Labour (Mr. Gregg) and the house to the recommendation made by the committee on industrial relations in its fourth report dated June 8, 1955. It recommended that the government study the advisability of extending unemployment insurance to fishermen who earn salaries and who work in other sections of the industry that could be put under the act.

I have mentioned this subject a great many times in this house, and I am coming back to it again. I underline the fact that it is most difficult for a member of parliament to explain to constituents who are fishermen why they cannot get unemployment insurance, when the people who pack and process their fish, who work in the plants on land, are able to get unemployment insurance. This anomaly should be corrected, and I hope we can count on the government correcting it as soon as it is humanly possible.

Before going on to another subject I should like to point out that these amendments to the Unemployment Insurance Act should be made at this session of parliament. If they are not made now but are postponed until the next session, which will probably begin only in January, 1957, next winter the unemployed workers and fishermen will find themselves in exactly the same position they are in this winter, and will have to suffer the same hardships.

Family allowances are one of the greatest measures of social security in our country. They have been ridiculed, even called baby bonuses at times. Nevertheless at this time all parties in this house, even the one headed by the Leader of the Opposition, who so firmly opposed them at first,- now recognize, in their public speeches at least, that they are an excellent thing, not only from the social point of view but from the economic point of view, because they put more money in circulation and add to the purchasing power of the people.

I know that some of our opponents are quite touchy at being reminded that at one time they were opposed to family allowances. I hope you will bear with me if I am unable to forgo the temptation of mentioning it

again. They rightly deserve it because of the attitude they took in the beginning. Our great leader, the late Right Hon. W. L. Mackenzie King, was responsible for them and history will record that his decision to create family allowances was that of a great statesman.

But over ten years have gone by and family allowances have not been increased. As everyone knows, the cost of living has increased enormously during that time while the needs of children have not decreased. The means of meeting the needs of the children should be increased to keep pace with the cost of supplying them. On February 23, 1955, as reported at page 1436 of Hansard, I said:

This is what I said on January 19 last: "I say to the people of my county that when the time comes to increase family allowances the Liberal party will increase them. The Liberal party was the party that introduced family allowances in the first place, and it can be counted upon to increase them when the revenues and wealth of the country permit us to do so."

In case there should be any doubt on the subject, I categorically state that I am in favour of increasing family allowances as soon as practicable.


An hon. Member:

When is that?


Charles-Arthur Dumoulin Cannon


Mr. Cannon:

That is what you are going to find out. I am still of that opinion. I have received representations, both verbally and in writing, from my constituents to the effect that they think it is time family allowances were increased. These people point to the increase in the cost of living since 1945 and the fact that government income available for purposes other than war purposes has greatly increased since that time. I agree with them, and I make an appeal to the government to increase family allowances. If they cannot double them, as requested in some quarters, they should at least increase them 25 per cent or 50 per cent. If it is impossible for the government to increase family allowances all along the line they should-and this is the minimum they should do-at least increase the monthly allowances of $5, $6 or $7 for the younger children to the $8 given to the older children, so the same scale would apply to all. This modification would not only benefit the children but would greatly simplify the administration of the act.

Before leaving this subject I again urge the government most earnestly to enact legislation at this session of parliament to improve, as above outlined, these two great social security measures, unemployment insurance and family allowances.

Before I conclude I think it is only fitting that I should make reference to a visit by His Excellency the Governor General of Canada to the Magdalen islands last fall. He

came during September on the frigate Buckingham, and he visited the islands from one end to the other. I wish to express publicly in this house the great appreciation of the people of the Magdalen islands for the honour that was done to them by the visit of His Excellency to the islands, and especially in the way in which he visited them so completely, going to see all the people.

As we all know, His Excellency has many qualities, but there is one that I did not suspect before his visit to the islands. He is something of a poet, and before terminating my remarks I should like to put on Hansard the "Ode to the Saucy Sally" which was written by His Excellency. The Entry island referred to therein is the Entry island of the Magdalen islands. The ode is as follows:

On board the frigate Buckingham there hung a little craft

As nimble as a kayak, as buoyant as a raft;

The passengers admired her; travelled in her at each stop

And called her Saucy Sally with the fringe on top. For she carried very proudly a magnificent decor- A fringe she had amidships, and also aft and fore. The passengers adored it-what the actors call a "prop"-

And they loved the Saucy Sally with the fringe on top.

When we called at Entry island the wind grew even stronger,

And our journey to the jetty seemed long and getting longer.

We whispered soft as seas grew high and spirits took a drop-

What about it, Saucy Sally with the fringe on top? But she did her duty nobly and never let us down, Returned us to the Buckingham and how she went to town!

The waves she scorned superbly, with a jump and skip and hop-

So thank you, Saucy Sally with the fringe on top.


Alexander Malcolm Nicholson

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

Mr. A. M. Nicholson (Mackenzie):

Mr. Speaker, had I been permitted to take part in this debate yesterday you probably would have found it necessary to call me to order because of the strong language I would have used, as I have rarely been more annoyed with a statement from someone representing the government than I was as I listened to the Minister of Trade and Commerce.

I feel that two members of this cabinet, the Minister of Trade and Commerce, who is responsible for the marketing of wheat and has charge of the bureau of statistics, and the Minister of Agriculture, who is the only farmer in the cabinet, are performing a great disservice to Canada by failing to convey to their colleagues, to parliament and to the country the real problems confronting the farmers in all parts of Canada.

How different was the speech yesterday by the Minister of Trade and Commerce from the speech that President Eisenhower presented to the congress in Washington a week


The Address

Mr. Nicholson ago today. President Eisenhower did not say, "No country is as prosperous as the United States." He did not say, "Our farmers have more money in the bank, more wheat in the granary, more food in conservation, than any other country in the world." This is what President Eisenhower said:

In this session no problem before the congress demands more urgent attention than the paradox facing our farm families. Although agriculture is our basic industry, they find their prices and incomes depressed amid the nation's greatest prosperity. For five years their economy has declined. Unless corrected, these economic reversals are a direct threat to the well-being of all our people.

But more than prices and incomes are involved. In America agriculture is more than an industry; it is a way of life. Throughout our history the family farm has given strength and vitality to our entire social order. We must keep it healthy and vigorous.

Yet the Minister of Agriculture and the Minister of Trade and Commerce have created the impression in this house and abroad that the Canadian farmers are sitting pretty. The Minister of Trade and Commerce raised that old bogey, the abolition of the wheat board. No member of any party in this parliament has suggested that the wheat board should be abolished. Certainly members of my party have been keen supporters of the wheat board when the Liberals were dragging their feet, but to suggest that well-known newspapers such as the Winnipeg Free Press or the Financial Post are campaigning to dispose of the wheat board is nonsense. I am not going to take time to defend the Winnipeg Free Press; its editorial writers will be able to do that. But I should like to draw the minister's attention to the weekly letters of the Searle Grain Company Limited. This company, which one would normally expect to be sniping at the wheat board and anxious to get back to the open market, is very careful in its weekly comments regarding the situation. The leading article in the letter of 11th January states:

The proposed move is of interest because it reflects a partial recognition of the increasingly difficult position in which the farmers of western Canada have found themselves as a result of the marketing problems that have arisen. Because of the sacrifices which farmers have made in the past we have consistently maintained in these columns that sooner or later an appraisal would have to be made of the farmer's position in relation to the whole national economy and that, if it appeared justified, extreme measures of one sort or another might eventually have to be taken to ensure him of a more secure place in the scheme of things.

The same letter refers to another serious problem which we must not ignore, that at the Toronto royal winter fair, Koga II wheat, a new variety developed in Germany, placed 18th in competition with many Canadian hard red spring wheats. It was also pointed out

The Address-Mr. Nicholson that two other English varieties entered in this class placed 21st and 25th respectively.

The fact that the Searle Grain Company is recognizing these important international developments and is not saying a word about the problem that confronts Canadian farmers resulting from the fact that we have a wheat board, shows how ridiculous are the suggestions made by the Minister of Trade and Commerce and other Liberal members from the west who have not enough courage to stand up in parliament and perform their duty to their constituents by pointing out that the people who sent them here are not getting their fair share of the national income.

I turn now to what the minister tells us about net income for the years 1951 to 1954. He tells us in one of his publications that the accrued net income of farm operators from farm production has declined from $2,750 million in 1951 to $1,851 million in 1952, $1,653 million in 1953 and $1,054 million in 1954. How could the minister stand up here yesterday and fail to recognize this situation? If it were not for the fact that all the other sectors of the Canadian economy are experiencing an all-time boom, our Canadian farmers might accept the fact that we in Canada were destined to be hewers of wood and drawers of water. But the dominion bureau of statistics weekly bulletins, also published by the Minister of Trade and Commerce's department, turn up week after week with annoying information. Here is October 14:

Corporation Profits: Second quarter profits before income taxes of corporations in Canada were an estimated 22-6 per cent larger this year than in 1954.

The department store sales were at an alltime high. Chain store sales, manufacturing and all the other sectors of the Canadian economy were at an all-time high.

Naturally I am chiefly concerned about what is happening in the wheat-producing parts of Canada. While farm income in all parts of Canada has been declining, the reduction in farm income in the prairie regions has been staggering. Again taking figures from the minister's own department, we find that in the province of Saskatchewan net farm income dropped from $565 million in 1952 to $126 million in 1954.

It is not easy to know exactly what percentage of the Canadian people are classified as farmers. In provinces like Ontario, Quebec and the maritimes, where some people spend part of their time farming and part of their time fishing or working in industry, one cannot determine exactly, but we -accept the fact that roughly 20 per cent of the Canadian

fMr. Nicholson.]

people derive their livelihood from farming. As long as I can remember, everyone in public life who has sought support has emphasized the fact that the farmers are the salt of the earth, but when it comes to giving them their share of the national income that is a different matter.

I am indebted to the Minister of National Revenue (Mr. McCann) for the information he gives us regarding the distribution of the national income to groups on the basis of profession. These figures do not give a complete and accurate picture, but they do tell us what sort of incomes the people who pay income tax have. Since over 80 per cent of the farmers of Canada have never had enough money to pay any income tax, naturally the Minister of National Revenue has no information regarding how little these unfortunate Canadians are getting. However, the figures I have indicate that medical doctors top the list with an average of $11,258 each, according to the information they furnish the income tax authorities. Consulting engineers and architects are next. I understand the Minister of Trade and Commerce would be in this category if he were working for a living. The figure for them is $10,289. Lawyers slipped a little bit. If they had been able to work another half hour in the year they would have brought their incomes up to the $10,000 mark, but as it was they were about $50 short of reaching that figure.

But farmers are away down the list. Those farmers who were fortunate enough to be able to pay income tax earned an average of $3,869. With respect to the division of the national income among the different classes of people in the country, it is not realized by the farmers nor the people generally that in 1954 our farmers were getting a smaller percentage of the national income than they were immediately before world war II began. If one takes the whole period from 1930 to 1939 the farmers' share of the national income was 6-1 per cent. We have a great deal of sympathy for the people who lived through the hungry thirties. We knew something about the 3 cents a dozen for eggs, 10 cents a pound for butter and a nickel a pound for beef and pork. While these prices prevailed the farmers received 6 * 1 per cent of the national income.

If you go back to 1931 you find that the farmers' share was down to 2 [DOT] 9 per cent. It picked up the next year to 4-1 per cent, but then dropped back to 3 per cent. Twenty per cent of the people received 3 per cent of the national income in that year. In 1954 farmers in all parts of Canada got 5 [DOT] 6 per cent of the national income. No minister of

trade and commerce, Mr. Speaker, who is responsible for the statistical information compiled by a government, is doing his duty when he speaks on a controversial question such as the minister discussed yesterday and completely ignores the fact that in all of Canada in the last year for which statistics are available, 20 per cent of the people only received 5-6 per cent of the national income.

Although most of my remarks are going to be devoted to wheat, I am sure that hon. members who represent farmers in all parts of Canada would not dare to take the Minister of Trade and Commerce back to their constituents and permit him to make a political speech in their support suggesting, as he did yesterday, that the only thing wrong with the farmers of Canada is that there are certain C.C.F. people who are agitating and talking about facts that are unreal. Certainly the people in Ontario and Quebec are not going to blame the C.C.F. for the disastrously low prices they are receiving for what they sell and the very high prices they pay for the things they buy.

A few days before I came here I saw one of the farmers in my constituency. He is a man who has acted on the advice of the Minister of Agriculture. He has put some of his grain on the market by feeding it to cattle. He has one of the best herds of cattle to be found anywhere in the country. On December 27 last, between Christmas and New Year's day, he received for choice steers, young cattle not yet two years old, 14 cents, 13J cents, 13J cents, 13J cents, with a top price of 14$ cents a pound. These cattle were all bought by Canada Packers or Burns. The farmer registered his protest with one of the buyers, and the buyer said, "You are mighty lucky you are selling these cattle at these prices. If you had held off until spring and fed them you might be lucky if you got 10 cents."

This was probably just a comment made by the buyer, who has no more information than anyone else about the matter, but he did convince the farmer that possibly there might be a worse price. But the farmers know that while they are caught in this price squeeze, with their prices going down and their costs going up, others in Canada, as I have indicated, are having a very good time.

I mentioned the fact that corporation profits are going up. The Financial Post survey of industrials and mines gives us some information regarding how some of Canada's big corporations have been faring during the period between 1946 and 1954. I will not mention all of them. One of them, the British American Oil Company, trusts me with a credit card. I usually buy "co-op" gas when


The Address-Mr. Nicholson I am in my own home town, but in travelling around I buy British American gas where "co-op" gas is not available. Therefore I am interested in the profits they are making. Between 1946 and 1954 their net profits after taxes jumped from $3-3 million to $18-1 million, which would appear to be an increase of 410 per cent.

The Steel Company of Canada, which depends to a very large extent on farm machinery for part of its sales, had an increase in net profits after taxes of 440 per cent. Then I come to the Industrial Acceptance Corporation, and it would appear that credit buying in Canada is really paying off for this type of company. Their net profits increased by 2,602 per cent. Loblaw Groceterias apparently found that it is much more profitable to sell vegetables than to grow them. Their profits increased by 306 per cent. Traders Finance net profits increased by 801 per cent, and the profits of the Hudson's Bay Company, which has been doing a land office business in the northern part of my constituency for about 300 years, increased by 478 per cent.

Dominion Stores are advertising today that side bacon can be bought in Ottawa at 27 cents a pound. I do not know how the farmers of Canada can be expected to produce pork when the finished product, side bacon, is sold at 27 cents a pound. This company's profits increased from 1946 to 1954 by 733 per cent.

If it were not for the fact that every conceivable type of corporation in Canada has had a most prosperous period during and since the war, probably our farm population would not be so greatly dissatisfied. But I am sure that in every province in the country the fact that this diminishing share of the national income is going to the farmer is the fact that is driving so many people off the farms and to the cities.

In the small community in which I live we have a composite school that this year has 360 students registered. The principal tells me that he does not know of any of the girls who are looking forward to marrying farmers and living on farms, and that he knows of only three boys who are counting on returning to the farm eventually. I am sure no one can suggest that this school was not established there in the hope that many of these young people would not have to go to the cities to take their high school work, but by being able to stay home at night or by going home for the week end they would keep up their interest in the local farms. But they realize that their parents and their grandparents who have lived on the farm have

The Address-Mr. Nicholson lived in all periods in a situation where they did not get a fair share of the national income for what they produced.

Another serious defect in the minister's statement of yesterday is this. He failed to recognize the fact that price is such an important factor in the present situation. While in my opinion Canada is the best country in the world that I know of, and while our farmers are the best people in the country as far as I can see, I cannot understand why any cabinet minister should boast of the fact that in no country in the world do the producers have to sell their wheat for as low a price as do those in Canada.

I have a criticism to make of both the Minister of Agriculture and the Minister of Trade and Commerce. The Minister of Agriculture has a vote for "Agriculture Abroad" which he gets through parliament every year. In this issue there is a discussion on agricultural developments in Australia, France, Hungary, Ireland, Sweden and the United Kingdom. But in the discussion of agricultural policies in each of those countries the minister's officials carefully refrain from pointing out the wide difference in the prices paid to the farmers in those countries compared with the prices paid to the farmers in Canada.

The Minister of Trade and Commerce also publishes a bulletin entitled "The Wheat Review" which regularly contains information with regard to agricultural conditions in other countries. This one has a discussion of agriculture in Uruguay, Argentina, Australia and France. It so happens that I also get from Washington regular bulletins entitled "Foreign Agricultural Circular", and I suggest to the Minister of Agriculture and the Minister of Trade and Commerce that they could perform a real service by scrapping "The Wheat Review" and "Agriculture Abroad" and merely asking Washington to supply them with information as to what is done.

I will not have time to deal with what the Minister of Trade and Commerce had to say about Uruguay, but I think the Canadian people should have the information in this bulletin that Washington puts out with regard to wheat farming in Uruguay. First of all it points out that before the war Uruguay exported a small quantity of wheat but that as a result of their policies, Uruguay's exports are now 23 million bushels. It is true that is not as large an amount as we are exporting; but the fact that in 10 years' time one country increased its exports ten times suggests that we should pay a little bit of attention to it.

In Uruguay the farmers start out with a price of $2.51 a bushel. Those who are unable to deliver their grain at the beginning of the season have the price go up month by month until at the end of the crop year the price is $2.72 a bushel. In other words the farmer who holds his grain on the farm for a year has an extra 21 cents a bushel for storing his grain. In addition to that, the farmer in Uruguay has been paid 18 pesos per hectare for every hectare he puts into wheat, and this is very conveniently translated into dollars and acres. The Uruguay farmer is paid $4.80 per acre.

What a contrast there is between this amount and the pittance the Minister of Agriculture, under the P.F.A.A. legislation, did not give many farmers who did not get a crop last year. In Uruguay $4.80 an acre is paid for the first 494 acres. As to the big farmer, the farmer who has over 500 hectares or 1,236 acres, he does not get anything. The smaller farmer, however, gets $4.80 per acre for the first 494 acres. For the difference between 494 and 1,236 acres he does not get anything.

I ask this question of the Minister of Agriculture, who is kind enough to be following me carefully. How can the farmers in the Melville area, with present prices, hope to compete in the world market with wheat that is produced on land that carries with it a subsidy of $4.80 an acre, and when the government of Uruguay is bridging the difference between what the farmer is paid and what is received in the foreign market?

The Minister of Agriculture devotes a section to France, but I suggest that he compare what his officials say about wheat in France with what Washington says about wheat in France. Washington points out that the support level for 1955-56 is about the same as it was a year ago. It is $2.64 a bushel for some of the softer varieties and $3.04 per bushel for the Durum or hard wheat. Here is some information that the minister's department carefully avoided putting in the publication. France has been subsidizing her exports. In 1955 France will probably come close to replacing Australia as one of the principal exporters.

For the 1954 crop, marketed in 1954-55, the total export subsidy payments are estimated at 41'8 billion francs ($119,543,000). The quantity of wheat and flour exported under subsidy that year is estimated at 2,015,000 metric tons (74,028,000 bushels) grain equivalent. Hence, the average subsidy cost for the crop was 2,076 francs per quintal ($1.61 per bushel).

This is not all taken out of the treasury, I should explain. This report from Washington explains that the farmers themselves contribute 54 cents a bushel, while the

French government contributes $1.07, making a total of $1.61 a bushel. That partly explains why it is that France, once a country that imported a good deal of wheat and where for quite some time imports and exports balanced, is pushing Australia for fifth place. The exports of France increased from 40-2 million bushels in 1953-54 to 87-9 million in 1954-55, almost double.

Yesterday the Minister of Trade and Commerce very carefully refraine'd from pointing out that last year the United States replaced Canada as the principal exporter. Perhaps hon. members would be interested in this little table showing the exports from the United States, Canada, Argentina, Australia and France last year and the year before. The United States increased from 211-4 million to 276-5 million. Canada dropped from 255-1 million to 251-8 million. Argentina increased from 110-3 million to 134-5 million. Australia increased from 63 * 4 million to 94-2 million and, as I said, France increased from 40-2 million to 87-9 million. The estimates this year are that France will increase her exports to 91-9 million.

I realize the problem that is posed when countries which support one section of their economy are prepared to subsidize to the extent that France has done. My time is running out, and I shall not be able to refer to what they are doing in the United States, but it has been mentioned in the house so often that hon. members in all sections will realize that the United States has been following a very generous policy in dealing with their own farmers.

In spite of efforts in that direction, President Eisenhower brought a message to congress asking support for a soil bank and for disposal of surplus corn, cotton, rice, when this very important sector of the people of the United States is unable to get its fair share of the national income, and that in turn is having a disastrous effect on their whole economy.

Before I conclude I wish to suggest that the proposal made by my leader is very reasonable. The amendment before the house, together with our subamendment, now reads:

We respectfully represent that Your Excellency's advisers, by reason of their indifference, inertia and lack of leadership in the face of serious national problems, including their failure to provide cash advances on farm-stored grain, equal to not less than 75 per cent of the initial price, to alleviate the serious financial crisis now confronting western farmers and the entire economy of the prairie provinces, and their disregard for the rights of parliament, are not entitled to the confidence of this house.

My leader and the hon. member for Assiniboia (Mr. Argue) have made reference to accepting soft currencies and sterling and

The Address-Mr. Nicholson barter. I should like to refer very briefly to the Polish deal. Apart from the blast from the Leader of the Opposition last year when this deal was announced, I have not heard any criticism in parliament or out of parliament regarding this deal. I understand that Poland is going to be in the market for from 50 to 60 million bushels of wheat each year for the next ten years. I understand that Poland has found Canadian wheat to be excellent. It blends very well with their wheat, and I understand that Poland is anxious to do business with Canada. But this business can only be done if we will accept from Poland some of the goods they make and want to sell.

If Poland had access to a lot of gold they probably would supply gold. Canada is prepared to spend $16 million to get a lot of gold from a hole in the ground up in the north and have it put in a hole in the ground down in the hills of Kentucky. But so far we are unwilling to risk more than 4 cents a bushel on last year's wheat crop, with nothing for the oats, barley, rye and other commodities. It is time the Canadian government agreed to set up an import board that would work in co-operation with the wheat board.

The wheat board is charged with the business of selling, but we have no organization in Canada that is facing the situation resulting from the Polish deal, for instance, with a view to getting goods from Poland into Canada without disrupting our Canadian economy. This job can be done. It is a real reflection on our society when we permit 20 per cent of the Canadian people to be placed in the position that their share of the national income is diminishing year by year and we are not making a real effort to increase our production and see that it gets abroad.

Members of this group have frequently referred to the fact that two-thirds of the world's people never get enough to eat. From Rome each month I get the FAO news letters which deal with some of the problems that are being faced by our international organizations on which the Minister of National Health and Welfare has been working so hard. May I say we are very pleased that the minister made such a valuable contribution to the deliberations of the last general assembly of the United Nations; but I cannot understand why he sat there and saw the budget for FAO slashed as it has been.

The director general offered his resignation because the budget was being reduced from $7 million to $6-4 million for an international organization that is charged with the job of

The Address-Mr. Villeneuve organizing the world's production and distribution of food. They have had their budget cut by $600,000, and during the closing days of our last session the Minister of Trade and Commerce in his other capacity as Minister of Defence Production told us that when the air force asked for a new type of plane, although it cost $122 million, there was no problem about finding sufficient Canadian funds to embark on that new type of plane.

I submit that with so many hungry people in the world the government of Canada should be giving real leadership in seeing that maximum production is maintained in Canada, that our own people here have all the foodstuffs they can eat and that our surplus is sold, bartered or given away to relieve hunger in areas where people have never had sufficient to eat.

(Translation) :


January 17, 1956