January 19, 1956

LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration)

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

This is a free country; they can resign if they wish.

Topic:   REQUEST THAT GOVERNMENT SUPPLY PORTION OF HOUSING ACT FUNDS
Subtopic:   SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Sub-subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

I hear the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration say that this is a free country. I hope it will continue to be a free country and I hope this will continue to be a free parliament. I hope that we shall no longer have any suggestions of this kind. We have had enough arrogance from ministers without having arrogance from public servants. This is a subject which calls for further explanation and there is still time in this debate for an explanation to be given as to the authority upon which that statement was made.

In so far as the amendment and the subamendment are concerned, it is my understanding that a vote is to be taken today in accordance with the new rules. I would hope that on that vote there might be some hon. members who would recognize that the first vote, which will be on the subamendment, will be on the primary question of whether there is approval of the principle of making cash advances on farm-stored grain. I would hope that that would be the accepted position. I would hope that very much. I should like some hon. members opposite to express their opinions by way of vote and to indicate their support of a principle which I know many of them have been supporting outside of this house.

In so far as the general subject matter of this debate is concerned, the debate will continue and presumably there will be another subamendment when I can make any further remarks that I deem to be appropriate. For the reasons I have given, it is our purpose to support this subamendment.

(Translation) :

Topic:   REQUEST THAT GOVERNMENT SUPPLY PORTION OF HOUSING ACT FUNDS
Subtopic:   SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Sub-subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
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LIB

David Gourd

Liberal

Mr. David Gourd (Chapleau):

Mr. Speaker may I be allowed to congratulate you on the flawless way in which you have been carrying out your exalted functions over the past three years. I would also like to recognize the high reputation which you enjoy through your deep knowledge of parliamentary law and your remarkable impartiality.

I wish to congratulate the hon. member for Timiskaming (Mrs. Shipley) for her brilliant handling of the delicate task of moving the address in reply to the speech from the throne. Northern Ontario and the adjacent area in northwestern Quebec are rightly proud of the member for Timiskaming.

I am also happy to congratulate the member for Bellechasse (Mr. Laflamme) who so ably seconded the motion. This young man cer-

tainly has a promising parliamentary future and we must congratulate the people of Bellechasse for sending to parliament a newcomer of such merit.

I heard it mentioned in the speech from the throne that, as a whole, Canada is enjoying at this time a remarkable period of prosperity. In fact, one only has to leave our beautiful country and visit other countries to see how privileged we are to be living in Canada and to enjoy so much comfort and freedom. May I be permitted, Mr. Speaker, to point out to our friends in the opposition that we are indebted to the wise administration of this government for this situation.

How privileged we are to have as special representatives to the great powers such extraordinary men as the Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. Pearson) and the Minister of Fisheries (Mr. Sinclair), who visited Soviet Russia and other countries, men like the Minister of National Health and Welfare (Mr. Martin) who has had such great influence on the decisions of the United Nations, and like our Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent), who made a triumphant tour of the world.

Because of their competence and their skill, these statesmen have given our country an outstanding reputation and unequalled prestige abroad.

I would also like to mention the important contribution to the prosperity of Canada of the right hon. Minister of Trade and Commerce and of Defence Production (Mr. Howe), and of the right hon. Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Gardiner). By their efforts they have maintained the prices of our products at a very satisfactory level.

I cannot understand why the members of the opposition are so upset by the abundance of our wheat crop and of our butter production. I take the liberty of advising them not to worry too much, because the situation is much better than they would have us believe. With such an excellent administration as that of our government and with the skill of men like the right hon. Minister of Trade and Commerce and of Defence Production and of the right hon. Minister of Agriculture, we have no cause for worry and, in my opinion, we are far better off with large crops than with short ones.

I would not want to forget to thank our Minister of Transport (Mr. Marler) as well as his predecessor who authorized the construction of the railroad from Barraute to Chibougamau, a distance of over 200 miles, entirely within the constituency of Chapleau, which I have the honour to represent. That

Topic:   REQUEST THAT GOVERNMENT SUPPLY PORTION OF HOUSING ACT FUNDS
Subtopic:   SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Sub-subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
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IS, 1956


railroad has already promoted considerable economic activity in that large area. Moreover, its extension into the lake St. John district will help commercial relations between the two important districts of lake St. John and Abitibi, to the mutual great advantage of both areas. Construction of that railroad will unquestionably permit the establishment of many parishes, and promote the development of several new mines. Already, there are over 400 families and business establishments of all kinds in Chibougamau proper. In addition, the Opemiska Mining Company has' just set up a new municipality, Chapais, where no less than 125 families have settled. Being now acquainted with these facts, and knowing that our district has a population of about 200,000, mostly farmers, you will agree, I think, that we are justified in expecting the establishment of a regional slaughter-house and cold-storage plant which would permit our settlers and our farmers to raise cattle on a larger scale and to increase their agricultural production, since their products could be marketed in an orderly way during the year, which means that our producers would enjoy a security essential to the conduct of their business. On the industrial level, as was so well outlined by my colleague, the member for Ville-neuve constituency (Mr. Dumas), which is adjacent to the county of Chapleau, it is quite possible that a zinc smelter will be built before long in our district. I may add that I learned recently that Noranda Mines company might build a copper smelter. Moreover, in view of the boundless forests that are found in the northern part of my county, it is highly probable that a paper mill will also be built near Mattagami lake. The construction of a new section of the railway, about 50 miles in length, from the vicinity of Beattyville up to Mattagami lake, would be warranted by this building of a paper mill. Once these large scale projects are carried out, we will owe them to the work and unrelenting efforts of our public bodies, our industrial board, the professional organizations of our farmers and agronomists, our municipalities and our county council. I wish to congratulate them publicly, to thank them for their co-operation and to urge them to continue their work of promoting the development of this corner of northwestern Quebec so that it may become one of the most important districts and thus greatly contribute to the economic welfare of Canada. The Address-Mr. D. Gourd Now, Mr. Speaker, I make it a point to congratulate our able Minister of National Defence (Mr. Campney) for his good administration. But I have a suggestion to make in connection with national security. I have already pointed out in this house the many reasons of national interest which would justify the federal government in approaching the government of the province of Ontario to ensure completion of the road connecting Norembega in the province of Ontario and the town of La Reine, in the province of Quebec, a distance of 47 miles. I do not intend to repeat the arguments. I believe however that the dangers which threaten our country and the development of modern weapons which have justified the establishment of a network of radar stations-two of them located in my constituency-require the direct assistance of the Department of National Defence for the completion of that road and the establishment of a communication system between the two provinces. There is another stretch of road whose construction by the Department of National Defence would undoubtedly be most necessary and urgent. This stretch would connect Casey-where the department has built a very important airport-to the radar station at Parent. It is a distance of about 25 miles where construction would be very easy; it would certainly not cost more than $15,000 per mile and would provide an outlet for the population of Parent and the surrounding area. I wish also to take advantage of this opportunity to ask our devoted Minister of National Health and Welfare to see to it that the rate of family allowances and of the disability pension be increased. Now, Mr. Speaker, I would not like to end my remarks without mentioning once again, as I have done in my previous speeches, the necessity of appointing a representative to the Vatican. As almost every other country in the world is represented there, and as everybody admits without religious or national prejudice that the Holy See is an element of unity and peace between nations, I am convinced that, for Canada, the appointment of such a representative would be a help and a contribution to the cause of universal peace. I also submit that the government would respond to the wishes of the great majority of the Canadian people and would follow its regular Canadian policy by giving this coun-



The Address-Mr. Zaplitny try a national flag. Canada is a sovereign member of the commonwealth of British nations, under certain amendments to the British North America Act. Our supreme court is now the final judicial authority and the queen's representative in our country, the governor general, is of Canadian origin. It seems to me that the adoption of a national flag would be an addition to the development of this our great country, Canada. (Text):


CCF

Frederick Samuel Zaplitny

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

Mr. F. S. Zaplitny (Dauphin):

Mr. Speaker, in the speech from the throne there is one sentence in particular to which I wish to draw the attention of this house and upon which I shall base the major part of what I have to say this evening. The sentence to which I refer reads as follows:

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.

The last part of that sentence, that not all parts of the economy have participated, will go down in history as the greatest understatement of all time. Even if we were only to make a summary of what we have heard in the present debate, and I am not referring entirely to speeches by members of the opposition parties, it certainly would appear that there is a large sector of our economy that has not participated in the so-called prosperity referred to in the speech from the throne. However, apparently there are some parts of the economy that have done better than previously. I have in my hand a Canadian Press clipping in which it is pointed out that corporate profits from January to September, 1955 rose to $2,236 million compared with $1,829 million a year ago. Apparently our huge corporations have been increasing their profits, but if that is the only basis on which the government can claim that we have prosperity then I must say they are giving their attention to a very small sector of the Canadian economy.

On the other hand, almost every member who has spoken about agriculture in this debate has drawn attention to the decline in income. Instead of burdening the house with any more statistics, I should like to point out briefly what is being said in my province of Manitoba by two of the farm organizations there, who between them represent pretty well all the farmers in that province, and, in addition, by the provincial government. In its submission to the commission investigating

our economic prospects the Manitoba federation of agriculture stated in the very first paragraph of their brief:

A continuation for even a year or two of recent trends in increasing costs and declining farm prices would spell disaster for agriculture in this province . . .

Then I also have a report of what was stated to the commission by the Manitoba farmers' union as found in the Manitoba Co-operator of November 17 last:

In a ten page brief accompanied by * the appendices showing the continuous increase in farmers' production costs and the continuing decline in the purchasing power of a bushel of wheat, the Manitoba farmers' union suggested to the Gordon commission that perhaps the greatest single factor in influencing present trends in agriculture "is, and has been, the policy or lack of policy on the part of governments."

In a report of the submission of the province of Manitoba, also found in the Cooperator of the same date, there is the following:

Manitoba farmers "are facing an economic squeeze that bodes ill for them in the next few years unless some drastic measures are taken to remedy it," premier D. L. Campbell told the royal commission on Canada's economic prospects. He explained, "Quite frankly, I don't know what the solution is."

That is, of course, a typical Liberal analysis. That is the situation facing agriculture and that is one reason why a great part of this debate has centred upon the amendment to the amendment moved by my leader on which I understand a decision is to be taken today. I want to deal with it for a few minutes, not so much on the basis of what has already been said on this side of the house, because certainly the case for the subamendment has already been very well stated, but on the basis of what has been said in defence of the position of the government. We have had some most extraordinary speeches, and apparently the Winnipeg Free Press seems to think so too. In a leading editorial in their issue of the 17th of this month under the title, "C. D., How Could You?", they state as follows:

Mr. Howe, defending the government against attacks on its wheat policy, made an extraordinary speech in the House of Commons Monday. No doubt it had some subtle point. But such subtlety will leave plain folk in western Canada more puzzled and more dissatisfied than ever.

I am afraid it will be cold comfort to the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Howe) to know that, at least in the opinion of the Winnipeg Free Press, his effort of last Monday is going to leave the farmers of the prairie provinces more dissatisfied than ever. That, Mr. Speaker, will be rather considerable because dissatisfaction and discontent with the actions of the government in the last three

or four months have reached a pitch in western Canada that I have not witnessed before in my lifetime.

There have been mass meetings and meetings of organizations. Resolutions have been passed. In fact, we are informed in the same editorial to which I have referred that even from the constituency of Rosthern two telegrams were sent, as the result of a Liberal association meeting, asking for cash advances on grain. As a matter of fact, it is one of the top issues from the lakehead to the foothills. May I say more as a warning than anything else that if the Liberal members who represent prairie constituencies do not change their attitude they may find very slim pickings from the lakehead to the foothills at the next election.

It is not only a matter of cash advances. That is only one of the issues. It happens to be the top issue today and the straw that broke the camel's back. It is the culmination of years of broken promises, years of disregard for agriculture and, perhaps even worse, disregard for the views of the farmers as expressed through their organizations.

In his address the other day the Minister of Trade and Commerce took a rather astounding position when he as much as said that even though the prairie wheat pools had passed resolutions asking for cash advances, even though the Manitoba farmers' union and the farmers' unions in the other two provinces had passed resolutions asking for cash advances and even though various chambers of commerce, labour organizations and so on had done so, it did not matter. It was his opinion that they should pay no attention to all these organized bodies and should slough off the whole thing simply by saying that if the government took the advice of these organizations difficulty would arise with the officials of the wheat board. I am sure he cannot get away with that and I am sure he does not expect to.

On top of that, in one of his arguments against cash advances on farm stored grain he strongly implied that one reason it could not be done was that there was no assurance that the grain on which the advances would be made would in fact be there so that it could be delivered to repay the advances. That is an implication which I am sure will be resented by every grain grower of the western prairies. I have been in close contact with the farmers of western Canada over a period of 20 years, the Minister of Trade and Commerce has been in contact with them for much longer than that, and I am sure he would not want to imply that the farmers cannot be trusted to the extent of at least 67509-21

The Address-Mr. Zaplitny 75 per cent on the grain they have. Surely the minister would not imply that the farmers would take advantage of such legislation to try to pull off some dishonest deal. There are plenty of ways to keep track of these advances. There are the grain permit books. There is the grain elevator system. There is the wheat board. The machinery is there. The question is whether or not the government are going to take the advice of the farm organizations of western Canada or whether they are going to take their own way regardless of what the people of western Canada think. As to the speech made by the Minister of Trade and Commerce last Monday, in some ways I should be pleased if enough copies of it were made so that one could be nailed on the door of every grain elevator on the prairies. It would make good reading for farmers who could come to the elevators and find there is no space for their grain.

Some of the other members on the government side of the house made their speeches in defence of government policy. I should like to refer to one made by the hon. member for Rosthern (Mr. Tucker) in which he took considerable time trying to interpret what went on at the Saskatoon grain conference. It so happens that I was also present at that conference. I am afraid that the hon. member's line, in which he tried to make it appear as though what is contained in this amendment is a threat to the Canadian wheat board, is nothing more than a most ungainly attempt to hide behind the skirts of the Canadian wheat board. Certainly anyone who attended the Saskatoon grain conference did not come away with any such idea as that.

At the conference were representatives from all the main farm organizations of the three prairie provinces, two of the governments of the prairie provinces, labour organizations, chambers of commerce, and retail merchants. It was a cross-section of the opinion of the prairie west. In all of the discussions that took place there was no suggestion whatever that there was any conflict between the proposition of cash advances on farm-stored grain and the principle of the Canadian wheat board or that there was anything incompatible. Certainly the hon. member for Rosthern cannot come to this house and try to interpret the desire of that conference as being one for bank loans at 5 per cent; because if there is any one thing on which they were fairly clear, it was that they were not in favour of bank loans at an interest rate of 5 per cent and that they were in favour of cash advances.

In dealing with the question of the Canadian wheat board I was rather amazed to find that any member of the Liberal party would

The Address-Mr. Zaplitny get to his feet in this house and try to leave the impression that it was the members of this group or the members of the opposition generally who were any threat to the Canadian wheat board. When we look back over the record we find that exactly the opposite happens to be the case. For example, when the original wheat board bill was introduced in this house in 1935, if one looks back over the debates of that day he will find that it was the members of the Liberal party-who were then in opposition-who expressed some grave doubts as to whether or not they should support such a measure. As a matter of fact, in almost every case where they, spoke, they expressed the hope that it would be a temporary measure, one just for the duration of the emergency at the time, and that it would not be a permanent measure on the statute books of this country. For example, the hon. member for Portage-Neepawa (Mr. Weir)-who is one of the few members on the opposite side of the house who were present in 1935 in this house-spoke on that question on June 13, 1935. In announcing his intention to vote for the second reading of the bill he qualified it with this paragraph as reported at page 3633 of Hansard of that date:

At the same time I would hesitate very much to endorse a proposition whereby, at this stage of the game, a permanent compulsory pool organization or board should be established and set in motion to conduct the wheat marketing affairs of the country for years to come. I dislike to see the government go into the grain marketing business.

That was the position of the Liberal party at that time. If it has changed, it has been a recent conversion. The then minister of justice, the late Right Hon. Ernest Lapointe, in his speech on the same date, qualified his support for that principle in these words. After having given four qualifications, his fifth one was as follows as reported at page 3606 of Hansard of June 13, 1935:

And, fifth, I vote for this as a temporary emergency measure and not as a permanent scheme of socialistic government operations in connection with the production and distribution of wheat, especially since it is introduced in the dying days of a moribund government.

The last few words, of course, are as applicable today as they were at that time. There you have the situation where the members of the Liberal party, sitting in opposition at that time, expressed themselves firmly as not being in favour of the principle of the wheat board handling the marketing of grain as a permanent policy in this country. They would only agree to it as an emergency measure to be taken off the statute books as quickly as possible. As a matter of fact, a year later they came to power and made an attempt at least to so weaken the wheat board as to make it partially inoperative. The time in 1938 when

iMr. Zaplitny.]

Topic:   REQUEST THAT GOVERNMENT SUPPLY PORTION OF HOUSING ACT FUNDS
Subtopic:   IS, 1956
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Howe (Port Arthur):

Since the hon. member has asked for the correction, the government is advancing no money whatever to Trans-Canada Pipe Lines Limited.

Topic:   REQUEST THAT GOVERNMENT SUPPLY PORTION OF HOUSING ACT FUNDS
Subtopic:   IS, 1956
Permalink
CCF

Frederick Samuel Zaplitny

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

Mr. Zaplitny:

I rather expected the

minister would say something like that because the agreement which was drawn up involves the federal government, the government of Ontario and the pipeline company. It amounts to the same thing as the government advancing approximately $85 million to a private company at an interest rate of 3 [DOT] 5 per cent. It is even worse than that, because in that same agreement there is a provision whereby the pipeline company can depreciate the pipeline at a rate of 3-5 per cent. In effect, what the pipeline company is going to have when it buys back that portion of the pipeline being built by the two governments under the agreement is an interest free loan of approximately $85 million.

Topic:   REQUEST THAT GOVERNMENT SUPPLY PORTION OF HOUSING ACT FUNDS
Subtopic:   IS, 1956
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Howe (Port Arthur):

I trust my hon. friend never gets in a position to handle government money because that type of financing would certainly wreck the country.

Topic:   REQUEST THAT GOVERNMENT SUPPLY PORTION OF HOUSING ACT FUNDS
Subtopic:   IS, 1956
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CCF

Frederick Samuel Zaplitny

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

Mr. Zaplitny:

If the minister believes that kind of financing is not right, then he will have to revise the agreement because that is what the agreement provides.

Topic:   REQUEST THAT GOVERNMENT SUPPLY PORTION OF HOUSING ACT FUNDS
Subtopic:   IS, 1956
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Howe (Port Arthur):

It is not what the agreement provides. My hon. friend does not understand it, but I do not mind his explaining it in his own simple way.

Topic:   REQUEST THAT GOVERNMENT SUPPLY PORTION OF HOUSING ACT FUNDS
Subtopic:   IS, 1956
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CCF

Frederick Samuel Zaplitny

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

Mr. Zaplitny:

I will come to that question again. I want to continue. I merely use that as a comparison-

Topic:   REQUEST THAT GOVERNMENT SUPPLY PORTION OF HOUSING ACT FUNDS
Subtopic:   IS, 1956
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Howe (Port Arthur):

Better drop it.

Topic:   REQUEST THAT GOVERNMENT SUPPLY PORTION OF HOUSING ACT FUNDS
Subtopic:   IS, 1956
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CCF

Frederick Samuel Zaplitny

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

Mr. Zaplitny:

-to illustrate the different way in which the grain farmers were treated from the way in which a private company was treated at the same time.

Topic:   REQUEST THAT GOVERNMENT SUPPLY PORTION OF HOUSING ACT FUNDS
Subtopic:   IS, 1956
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LIB

Irvin William Studer

Liberal

Mr. Studer:

Wrong again.

Topic:   REQUEST THAT GOVERNMENT SUPPLY PORTION OF HOUSING ACT FUNDS
Subtopic:   IS, 1956
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CCF

Frederick Samuel Zaplitny

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

Mr. Zaplitny:

I would not advise the hon. member for Swift Current-Maple Creek (Mr. Studer) to put in his oar at this time because the kind of defence he made of the government's position in his speech the other day 67509-21J

The Address-Mr. Zaplitny should convince him that in this case silence would be indicated. The only thing he had to advocate for getting rid of our food surpluses was to eat more. He thought if everybody had all the food he could eat and put on lots of flesh our surpluses would disappear. What he seemed to forget is that there are two kinds of people in Canada. There are those who eat too much and those who eat too little. In many cases those who eat too little are not able to buy the food because of the government's stingy policy on social services.

Topic:   REQUEST THAT GOVERNMENT SUPPLY PORTION OF HOUSING ACT FUNDS
Subtopic:   IS, 1956
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LIB

Irvin William Studer

Liberal

Mr. Sluder:

Haven't you got a province out there that saves all the money?

Topic:   REQUEST THAT GOVERNMENT SUPPLY PORTION OF HOUSING ACT FUNDS
Subtopic:   IS, 1956
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CCF

Frederick Samuel Zaplitny

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

Mr. Zaplitny:

As I said earlier, this question of cash advances, in itself, is not the whole reason for the dissatisfaction amongst western farmers. It is a queston of whether the whole of agriculture in Canada, the east as well as the west, is getting a fair share of the national income. When we look at the statistics and find that 20 per cent of the population of Canada which operates agriculture is receiving less and less each year,. when we would expect them to receive 20* per cent of the national income and find, that they have slipped from about 8-5 percent down to about 7 per cent of the national income, there is the basic reason for farmers complaining about the treatment they receive from this government.

I think before this session is over this parliament will have to give serious consideration to at least three phases of our economy. Basically, if we are going to have prosperity in this country that we can talk about and not just the prosperity of a few big corporations who increased their profits, there are three things which I believe we must do. First, we must agree as a parliament on the principle of parity prices. Parity for agriculture is not only a matter of giving justice to agriculture but it is part and parcel of the future prosperity of Canada. If we so arrange our affairs, and if we have legislation which results in giving agriculture its fair share of the national income, we will find we will have accomplished perhaps the greatest single step in keeping the whole economy of the country in a buoyant state. If we allow the share of agriculture to continually decline while the costs of production remain the same or go higher, then of course we will place agriculture in this country in a position in which the farmers will not be able to buy their share of the good things produced in this country.

As a result of that we will help to create an. economic crisis in other parts of the country. It has happened before, and it would happen.

The Address-Mr. Zaplitny again very quickly. We hear arguments pro and con on the question of parity prices for agriculture. Sometimes we are told that if we attempted to establish a parity price system for agricultural products it might entail subsidies. There are those who are prepared to argue that would not be a good thing because we would have to use public money to place floors under farm products. On the other hand, when we look around our economy and stop to think of the kinds of subsidies that are being paid and have been paid over many years, I cannot see how anyone can argue that a few hundred million dollars in subsidies for agricultural products would be a wrong thing.

If we stop to think of one item alone, our tariff structure, what a terrific subsidy that is to the manufacturing concerns in this country! In the period of time during which tariffs have been operating they have been effective in draining from the pockets of the people of western Canada particularly hundreds of millions of dollars. There are other subsidies that are paid. The farmers of Canada have always been very fair, particularly the grain producers, and willing to play their part. When I hear members like the hon. member for Vancouver-Burrard (Mr. Mac-Dougall) refer to the proposal to pay a certain part of the grain storage charges as a handout, it makes me wonder whether such a member has really studied the situation.

What is the picture? In 1946, when the war was over, the government decided to place a ceiling, not a floor, Mr. Speaker, on the price of wheat. They entered into an agreement under which there was to be a ceiling price of $1.55 a bushel. This was done at a time when we were lifting the ceilings on almost all other commodities in Canada. We were decontrolling steel, farm implements and taking the controls off farm fuels and the other things which enter into the cost of production. The government gave the farmers a proposition. They said that in order to enter into a four year agreement we must be assured a supply of wheat; we must assure Great Britain, our biggest customer, of a supply of grain at a price. The only way we can do that is by placing a floor and a ceiling on grain. At a time when we could have sold wheat at approximately $2 a bushel the farmers were asked to take $1.55 in the interests of stabilization, as it was called.

The farmers responded. They said: All right, in the interests of the over-all good of the Canadian economy, in the interests of the over-all good of the allied countries as well as Canada, we are prepared to go along and take less for our product than we could get on the ordinary market. Then, what happened?

rMr. Zaplitny.]

Topic:   REQUEST THAT GOVERNMENT SUPPLY PORTION OF HOUSING ACT FUNDS
Subtopic:   IS, 1956
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AFTER RECESS The house resumed at eight o'clock.


January 19, 1956