January 23, 1956


Hazen Robert Argue

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

Mr. Argue:

Did the hon. member ask the Prime Minister for cash advances?


Henry Philip Mang


Mr. Mang:

Many policies have been discussed. There are many ways in which the economic situation with respect to surpluses could be improved in Saskatchewan. There have been surpluses in the world in the past, and we have had surpluses in Saskatchewan. Our economy is so based that we must have a certain amount of surplus at times. Our yields fluctuate. We can drop something like 200 million bushels in our yields in one year. That was clearly illustrated by last year's record and this year's record. Those wide fluctuations have created surpluses, the statistics of which are on the record, and I will not go into them. Our friends across the way have always had some solutions. They are the greatest ones for dreaming up resolutions of any party we have had in western Canada. I should like to quote something I saw the other day.


Edward Turney Applewhaite (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)


The Acting Speaker (Mr. Applewhaite):

Order, I am sorry to interrupt the hon. member, but I am afraid there will be no time for quotations. He has exhausted his time.


Charles Edward Johnston

Social Credit

Mr. C. E. Johnston (Bow River):

Mr. Speaker, of all the subjects mentioned in the speech from the throne, to my mind the most important is that which deals with agriculture. The speech from the throne indicates that the government recognizes some

of the injustices done to agriculture, and they are going to make some small effort to recompense the farmers for some of their losses.

I wish to refer to that for just a minute, Mr. Speaker, because this is one place where I should like to congratulate the government. I congratulate the government on their endeavour to bring in legislation to relieve the farmer of the necessity of having to pay storage on an abnormal carryover. The carryover will amount to about 178 million bushels this year, and the government has suggested that the farmers should be compensated in some way for that cost.

The storage charges on this carryover have gone from 8 cents a bushel to 10 cents a bushel. Last year they were around 16 cents a bushel, and they could go as high as 20 cents. That means a cash outlay by the farmers of about $30 million. The government have at long last recognized that this is an imposition, and they suggest in the speech from the throne that the farmer should be compensated for this loss. They are to be commended for that, Mr. Speaker. Now that they have recognized the farmer has been unjustly penalized and forced to carry over this abnormal surplus from year to year, it is only right and proper that the government should compensate the farmers for the losses they have sustained in this respect over the last two, three or four years. It would mean that the farmers would have about $50 or $60 million coming to them in compensation, which they have had little hope of receiving up to the present time.

I now want to turn to the more immediate problem in agriculture. Throughout this debate great emphasis has been laid on the condition of agriculture. It is not just some mere passing fancy. Proof of the economic condition of agriculture has been definitely established. The dominion bureau of statistics stated just recently that in 1951 the income of the prairie farmers amounted to $1,127 million; in 1952, it was $1,082 million; in 1953, it was $884 million; in 1954, it was $376 million; and the bureau estimates that in 1955 the income will be still lower. According to the Albertan of November 25 last, the Alberta wheat pool has stated that farm income dropped 55 per cent between 1951 and 1954, and they, too, forecast a further drop in 1955.

If this is not a tremendous loss of income to the farmers, I should like to know what it is. It is not merely being short of cash. This represents a definite loss, and no one could argue otherwise. The provincial bureau of statistics reports that the Alberta farm income was nearly $3 million lower during 67509-28

The Address-Mr. C. E. Johnston the first eight months of 1955 than it was in the same period in 1954. That is the income for just one province and surely that is not "just being a little short of cash". This is definite and positive proof that the agricultural industry throughout the western provinces is facing a difficult situation indeed.

It has been stated over and over again in this house that the farmers are in dire need of cash. Throughout the fall I visited different parts of my constituency at the request of organizations which were holding protest meetings. The farmers are reluctant to hold protest meetings in my constituency but they did it this time because circumstances forced them to do it. The meetings that were held were certainly of a non-political nature. As far as I am aware these meetings were not called by any political organization, that is in the sense of a political party. It is true that various political parties were represented there, but when one finds farmers being forced to sell their grain to machine companies for as low as 60 cents a bushel, and in a great many cases, 75 cents a bushel, one can well understand that the farmers are becoming hard up for cash.

It was, of course, against the law to sell grain to machine companies who in turn sold it to feeders, but what were the farmers to do? The situation was common knowledge; therefore no one was going to lay a complaint. Certainly the federal authorities would not lay a complaint, nor did they; because it was as a result of their policy that the farmers were forced to sell their grain at such tremendously low prices, with disastrous results for a great many farmers. It seems queer that in the face of such huge surpluses the federal government, after all these years, has no policy by which it can adequately dispose of these surpluses.

Do not think for a moment that the situation I have described is imaginary. There are places in the world where people are desperately in need of assistance, and it is so reported by the Edmonton Journal on October 17. They quote a statement made by the United Nations food and agricultural organization. As you well know, that organization was set up and designed purposely to do away with huge surpluses of food in view of the want existing in the world. The Canadian government did not give their support to this organization, and we in this House of Commons can take the credit for contributing in a large measure to the holding back of the otherwise successful efforts of the FAO. I will now read what this organization had to say:

Seventy per cent of the world's population will go to bed undernourished tonight.

The Address-Mr. C. E. Johnston

Huge surpluses glut warehouses In a lucky few countries while the world's dinner pail scrapes close to the bottom in vast areas. Millions are hungry.

At this point they raise the question, what are we doing about it? However, that is not the only place where people are destitute and we can find an instance closer to home. The Albertan of October 31 reports an instance in the United States. Let me read just a section:

Chronic Poverty Still Rife in U.S.-

Many Americans are still chronically poor despite general prosperity, a congressional staff report said Sunday. It said this poverty endangers the future economic strength of the nation.

In general, the study pointed to the south, farms, and the non-white population as areas having a disproportionate share of poor folks. But there are depressed areas outside the south, and in cities as well as on the farm.

The report was written by the staff of the joint committee on the economic report, the major economic study group in congress. It was prepared for a subcommittee, headed by Senator John Sparkman (Dem. Ala.), which from Nov. 18 to 23 will hold hearings on the problems of poverty.

I can vouch for the accuracy of a part of that statement because I visited those areas and saw that poverty was rampant there. We do not have to take the word of the FAO, nor do we have to go to the United States to find great want and poverty. We can find it in the city of Ottawa and in the city of Hull. There is not a province in this country which does not have people who are destitute and in want. Our old age pensioners, for example, are required to live on $40 a month. Because of the policy of this government we are unable, under this outmoded financial system, to raise sufficient cash to enable these people to buy one additional loaf of bread when they are so greatly in need, despite our huge surpluses.

Who is to blame for this situation? We talk about being wealthy. Our gross national product this year will be over $26 billion, yet we require our old age pensioners to eke out an existence on $40 a month. What is the solution? The only solution this government has is the one offered by the Minister of Trade and Commerce the other evening, when he was vying with the Progressive Conservatives to see which of them had reduced the acreage the greater. Curtailing production seems to be the only answer of this government. I would like to read the words of the minister recorded at page 125 of Hansard:

The suggestion was made by the hon. member for Prince Albert (Mr. Diefenbaker) that we immediately adopt the soil bank plan of the United States government. I suppose he thought that would be a new plan. We in Canada invented the soil bank plan back in 1941.

"We", of course, refers to the Liberals. He continued:

We paid our producers to take their acreage out of wheat and put it into coarse grains or summer-fallow. As a result of that policy, we reduced acreage in wheat from 27| million acres in 1940 to 16 million acres in 1943, a reduction of 111 million acres. During the year 1955 only about 20 million acres are planted to wheat, which is a reduction of 7| million acres planted to wheat since 1940.

This is the government's policy, despite the fact that millions of people are going to bed hungry every night. The government stands up and brags about it as if that would solve the economic problems throughout the world and make it a better world in which to live.

I noticed when the minister was speaking that rather than place the blame where it belongs, on the policy of the Liberal government in getting rid of our surpluses, he attempted to blame the C.C.F. and the Social Credit parties for being frightened of surpluses. I shall, of course, let the C.C.F. speak for themselves, but I must point out that has never been the policy of Social Credit.


Edward George McCullough

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

Mr. McCullough (Moose Mountain):

Nor of

the C.C.F.


Charles Edward Johnston

Social Credit

Mr. Johnston (Bow River):

In January of this year the Social Credit caucus issued a report through its magazine "The Canadian Social Crediter" which said:

It is obvious that the federal government does not have the answer to surplus production. We do not look upon surpluses as a calamity. It is only when we bungle the handling of them that they become such. If we provide proper storage, widely dispersed on the farms, and are prepared to use the national credit to finance the cash advances against the surpluses so stored, these surpluses can become a blessing to our country and the world in the years ahead.

As a long range program towards a permanent solution to the problem of surplus grain production the Canadian government should undertake a vigorous sales campaign to sell our surplus agricultural products to other nations requiring additional food supplies. To this end we should be prepared to enter into barter deals, credit deals and to accept at least some currencies of the importing countries in exchange for our surplus grain.

That certainly gives the lie to what the minister said the other day in regard to the policy of the Social Credit party in respect to surpluses. Social Credit policy is designed to take care of surpluses, while the policies of the old-line parties, both Liberal and Conservative, are designed for and function only in connection with scarcities. Let there be no misunderstanding about that.

It takes a great deal to convince the Minister of Trade and Commerce that the western farmer is in difficulty. During the summer and fall, as I have indicated already, I was home and attended some of these

meetings. Some were held by the F.U.A., which is a non-political organization made up of all political classes throughout the west. They passed resolutions which were forwarded to the Minister of Trade and Commerce and some to the Prime Minister. Meetings were held by chambers of commerce, one being at Gleichen. I was invited to that meeting, which passed a resolution which was sent to the Minister of Trade and Commerce and the Prime Minister. Then farmers held meetings on their own; in all these cases resolutions were forwarded to the Minister of Trade and Commerce and the Prime Minister. I have not the time on this occasion to read them all, but I have them here and in passing I should like to say something about the requests made in these resolutions.

Most of them ask that 90 per cent of the initial payment be advanced. That was not an unreasonable request. Then they asked something in respect to the interest rate. They said that no interest should be charged, but in any case that it should not be greater than 2 per cent. They had two reasons for that. The first was that it was just an advance on their own grain, and the second was that the provincial government of Alberta had loaned money to municipalities at 2 per cent on self-liquidating projects. They reasoned, and quite properly so, that if the provincial government with its limited resources could lend money at 2 per cent then surely the federal government with its vast resources could lend money at not more than 2 per cent.

They asked also that we extend our sales program to cover a wider field for the sale of our wheat. In doing so we must be prepared to accept local currencies in payment for some of that wheat, that being particularly true of Great Britain. Then we must be prepared to accept some barter deals. It must be remembered that when we ask other countries to buy from us we must be prepared to buy their goods. Not one of these things asked by these meetings was unreasonable.

Then there were other organizations that asked certain things of the government. Here is one presentation which was submitted to the government with respect to the urgent need for cash advances on farm-stored grain. This is dated October 11, 1955 and is in the form of a submission to the government. Who signed it? I want to put these names on the record because I may refer to them later on. This was presented by:

Alberta department of agriculture Manitoba department of agriculture Saskatchewan department of agriculture Saskatchewan wheat pool Manitoba farmers' union United grain growers 67509-28^

The Address-Mr. C. E. Johnston

Saskatchewan federation of agriculture Manitoba federation of agriculture and cooperation Alberta federation of agriculture Saskatchewan farmers' union Alberta wheat pool Interprovincial farm union council Alberta farmers' union Manitoba wheat pool

What did they ask for? I quote from page 5 of this brief as follows:

-for advances to farmers on grain in store on the farm . . .

Then further it states

While the principle of cash advances on farm-stored grain was unanimously endorsed-

Notice that; unanimously endorsed:

-by the organizations present at the conference, various proposals were offered on the mechanics of making those advances.

There surely is evidence as to the need that the people of western Canada were ask ing this government to consider. What did the minister do? From almost every walk of life throughout the entire west he received the same request, but did he accept that? No, he did not. That was not eastern Canada, Ontario or Quebec, asking for something. What did he decide to do in the face of that evidence? I quote from page 127 of Hansard of January 16, where he is reported as follows:

I went to western Canada for one reason only, namely to see just what the situation was there and the extent to which it could be remedied.

He was not taking the word of these different organizations I have mentioned. And further down:

I made up my mind that something should be done to assist the farmers-and particularly the small operators-to finance themselves until

marketing could return to normal. I recommend to the government that the system of loans that was used in 1951 be made available again this year.

And again:

The government decided the only practical way to handle the matter would be to arrange guaranteed loans from the chartered banks.

That is what the minister was not asked to do by 90 per cent of the people out west, but that is what he decided to do after having gone west. He recommended the plan that was in operation in 1951; that was the solution of the government. You will notice that in the submission I read and in the resolutions presented to the minister and the Prime Minister, most of them asked for advances, but this is what the minister said in regard to those appeals:

Recently there has been a great drive for advances on farm-stored grain.

And again:

Who are its supporters? The supporters are the enemies of marketing through the wheat board.

The Address-Mr. C. E. Johnston

That is what the minister is saying of the departments of agriculture of Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan, the Saskatchewan wheat pool, the united grain growers and all these different organizations. How ridiculous can we get in this house? Those are the very organizations which fought for the creation of the wheat board despite the minister's protests when he first took it over. Those are the organizations which are being accused of being saboteurs of the wheat board. Could anything be further from the truth? The minister knows there is not an organization in western Canada that is asking that the wheat board be done away with.

The minister went west to get out of giving advances to the farmers at low rates of interest. When he came back he said he had decided to give loans at 5 per cent regardless of what these different organizations had asked for. That is what he did. The explosive issue in the west is the interest rate. Western farmers with huge stocks of grain on their hands in the midst of a wheat glut have asked for cash advances from the Canadian wheat board or bank loans at low rates of interest. I suggest that so far they have not got that.

Now let me speak about the interest rate and the minister's views in that regard. As reported on page 127 of Hansard of January 16, 1956, he said:

It has been said that the interest rate is too high at 5 per cent. I have been a borrower from banks all my life, and I have never yet succeeded in borrowing money from a bank at less than 5 per cent.

He must be a very poor businessman, though he may have accumulated millions, because I have borrowed money from banks at less than 5 per cent. What was my guarantee? The dominion government. What is the guarantee for these bank loans? The dominion government. I have borrowed money from banks at 31 per cent with a dominion government guarantee, a dominion bond. What is behind a dominion bond? The dominion government. What is behind these bank loans the banks are going to make to the farmers at 5 per cent? The dominion government. But the farmers have to pay 5 per cent on this. Yet the minister says:

I therefore cannot be too greatly concerned about objections to guaranteed loans bearing an interest rate of 5 per cent.

It is merely an excuse to give another handout to the chartered banks. Believe me, the chartered banks do not need much of a handout. They can look after themselves quite well. According to the Albertan of Wednesday, October 26, which says "Two

Banks Hike Dividend Payments", let me show you how hard up the banks are. This report says:

Two leading Canadian chartered banks, the Royal Bank of Canada and the Bank of Montreal, Tuesday announced increases in dividend payments for the current quarter.

The Royal Bank of Canada announced an increase of 71 cents to 45 cents from 371 cents in addition to a bonus of 20 cents a share, payable December 1, 1955, to shareholders of record at the close of business, October 31, 1955.

Bank of Montreal announced shareholders of record October 31, 1955, will receive an extra dividend of 20 cents a share on $10 par capital stock, payable December 15, 1955, as well as a quarterly dividend of 35 cents, an increase of 5 cents. The regular dividend is payable December 1, 1955.

This shows that the banks are quite capable of looking after themselves. Yet the government comes along with a guarantee for the banks to take a mortgage on the grain, and the farmers have to pay 5 per cent. The minister says he is not worrying too much over them anyway. Perhaps the minister has been influenced by some of the presentations made by Liberal members of this house who have spoken about the condition of western farmers. Perhaps he should not pay so much attention to them.

I do not think it was ever the intention of the minister that the farmer should use this facility to any great extent. In fact I am quite positive of that. What did he say in regard to it? As shown on page 129 of Hansard of this session, he said:

Apart from that, it did not seem to me that there was any particular burden on the farmer through this condition of plenty.

The reference was to the question of storage. He disbelieves all the provincial departments of agriculture. He goes out west, comes back and says, "I do not think that there is any particular burden on the farmer through this condition of plenty." He was basing his plan on the 1951 plan. He knew, when he did that, that only 1,500 farmers took advantage of that plan, and they borrowed only $625,000 altogether. Why? Because the interest rate was too high and they could not afford it. Now, in spite of all this objection, 2,200 farmers have so far taken advantage of it, and over $2 million has already been loaned-more than that, I suppose, if we had the up to date figures. That shows whether or not the farmers are merely a little hard up for cash. They are in dire need of cash or they would not be going to the banks.

I said a moment ago that the federal government had no expectation that farmers were going to use this plan to any great extent. I can give you no better authority than the statement made by the Minister of Trade

and Commerce in Calgary, as reported in the Calgary Herald of 28th November, 1955. He said:

It is my hope and belief that comparatively limited use will be made of the lending facilities, that most farmers are either in a position to carry on without borrowing, or are in a position to finance in the ordinary way.

That should give everyone a clear understanding of what was in the minister's mind when he made this proposition regarding loans to farmers. He never intended it to be used. He certainly was not carrying out the requests of the organizations throughout western Canada.

The minister has said that the Social Crediters have no plan. Let me review quickly what we have suggested from time to time. The Social Crediters have advanced the two-price system. We were the first to mention it in this house or anywhere in Canada. We have suggested the extension of markets by the acceptance of sterling, particularly from Great Britain, in part payment, and the acceptance of barter where necessary. We have suggested too that provision be made for a normal carryover in case of need during crop failure years, the storage to be paid on that carryover by the federal government.

I have not the time to speak about other things that are important, such as old age pensions, and the conditions existing in the Banff national park. I have not the time to speak about the trans-Canada highway, about which I should like to speak. I have not time on this occasion to go into the question of the coal mining industry, which has been so depleted in western Canada. These questions will receive attention when the proper time comes.

(Translation) :


Raoul Poulin


Mr. Raoul Poulin (Beauce):

Mr. Speaker, I gladly join previous speakers in this debate in congratulating the mover (Mrs. Shipley) and seconder (Mr. Laflamme) of the address in reply to the speech from the throne. I am quite sure that their respective constituents will be proud of their representatives and also-at least I hope so-of their speeches, which will serve as models and leave a happy impression on the general tone and level of debate in this house.

In the course of these remarks I intend to express a few personal views on the agricultural problem in Canada, and on nothing else. According to the census of 1951, the farming population in this country, and I don't mean the rural population but only those people who live directly from agriculture, is 2,911,996. If we add to this figure

The Address-Mr. Poulin the number of those who live indirectly from agriculture, we would certainly reach three millions. The dairy industry alone numbers about two million people, heads of families and dependents, who earn their living directly through it, while an additional 370,000 people earn their living indirectly from dairying. All this goes to show that, at least as far as mere numbers are concerned, the agricultural class in this country occupies a highly important place. But what at this time, is its economic position? Is it sharing in the general prosperity about which such proud boasts are being made, and rightly so, in this country? Is it benefiting as well as the individuals of the other classes from the general buoyant state of the economy? The answer is clearly no. In this connection I should like to quote two opinions.

First of all there is that of Mr. J. Edouard Labelle, president of the Provincial Bank of Canada. This view was expressed at the 55th annual meeting of shareholders.

Unless very particular measures are taken to improve the economical state of the agricultural industry, the widening of the price gap between agricultural and industrial products would most certainly lower the standard of living of a large section of our population while, at the same time, improving that of many other groups of citizens. Such a situation would hardly be tolerable, neither from the point of view of the general good, nor from that of justice and equity.

And here is now the opinion expressed by Mr. A. C. Ashforth, president of the Toronto-Dominion Bank, at the last general meeting of the shareholders.

Profits obtained in the field of business were widely spread over our entire economy. If there was a weak point, it was in the field of agriculture. I am not referring to the volume of our agricultural production, which was great, but to the differences between prices of agricultural products and these of industrial products and also between farm income and that of city dwellers. This tendency is not new, but its persistency is troublesome.

Agricultural prices and income have remained weak as compared with the greatly increased revenues of other sectors of the economy. In 1951, farmers received more than 12 per cent of the national income; today, they are getting about 7 per cent.

I know, Mr. Speaker, that comparisons are seldom fair and sometimes invidious. Nonetheless, I shall attempt a comparison between the farmers' situation and that of salaried workers. From 1951 to 1954, inclusively, the individual income of salaried workers in Canada increased by nearly 17 per cent. This information is taken from a statement made by the present Minister of Finance (Mr. Harris) and quoted from the record of the 1955 session, at page 2794. In the same statement, page 2773, the minister admitted

The Address-Mr. Poulin a reduction of nearly a third in the net income of farmers for a single year, namely from 1953 to 1954.

On the other hand, if we refer to the Statistical Review of June 1955, we find that, for the whole period 1951 to 1954, while the income of salaried workers increased by 17 per cent, the net income of farmers decreased by 47 per cent.

I am very glad for our working class that, on the average, salaries have greatly increased but I regret the sad plight of our farmers who, during the same period, have seen their returns decrease by an alarming percentage.

The farmer, just like the wage earner, is a consumer as a householder but he is also a consumer, and to a much greater extent, as the head of a farm.

Now the price of all he needs to run his farm is constantly going up while the price he gets for his products is going down. For instance, according to the figures provided by the Canadian Federation of Agriculture, in a brief submitted by a delegation that came down here in Ottawa on March 3, 1955, we have the following comparison which is very illuminating on that question: the wholesale price of farm products in 1951 was represented by the index number 190.

In 1956, that figure was down to 154, a decrease of 19 per cent. On the other hand, during the same period, the price paid by the farmer for the goods and services he buys is represented by the index number 173 in 1951, and 177 in 1954, an increase of 2-3 per cent.

In short, for the same period, the price of what the farmer has to sell shows a large decrease and the price of what he has to buy shows a small increase.

When speaking of price increases one naturally thinks of the prohibitive level at which we now find the prices of feed, fertilizers, and farm implements.

One thinks also of the price of seed which in 1954 and 1955-and I imagine that the same thing will happen again this year- went up considerably due to very poor weather conditions.

On this point of seed grain in particular, I received numerous resolutions and appeals which were also transmitted to the federal government and to the right hon. Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Gardiner) for help in buying grain. The Catholic farmers' union of Ste. Clothilde de Beauce, the councils of the municipalities of St. Jules and St. Victor, the municipal corporation of Beauce county, Which is, after all, one of the most important bodies in my county, were among the institutions which sent me those resolutions.

The sale of pork even if it is protected by a floor price of 23 cents, surely does not bring in returns representing adequate compensation for the many hours of work the farmer spends looking after his herd. In my humble opinion, this price should be brought up to 26 cents.

The position is still worse with regard to the sale of lamb, veal and beef, and I do not hesitate to state that this sector too should be covered by a floor price that would ensure a reasonable income to the farmer in exchange for his work and that would stop speculative manoeuvres from entering the picture, with the result that the consumer is obliged to pay an exorbitant retail price for meat that has been bought at a ridiculously low price from the primary producer.

If we look at the position of the apple or potato producers of the maritimes, we feel hardly more reassured, and I also favour perhaps more efficient measures that would help these specialized producers.

And what about the western wheat producers? I must admit that I have never had more sympathy than I should for those farmers who, from time to time, like everybody, perhaps, have to face considerable difficulties. Yet, I think that their present position is serious enough, and I hope that the legislation announced in the speech from the throne will be able to settle their problem which is certainly of national scope.

I do not want unduly to darken the picture of our farm problem, but I think that it would scarcely be exaggerated to state that, on the whole, Canadian farmers are badly off. I am not saying that the government failed to take action in the matter, or that it did not try; far from it. Something more must be done however or we must proceed in some other way, this last suggestion being probably the better of the two.

I have said nothing yet about the dairy farmer. I concede that, so far, he has enjoyed some protection but I shudder at the thought that, sooner or later, under unmanageable pressure, the right hon. Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Gardiner) might give up his policy of price support for butter, a policy which I humbly suggest is embodied in one of the best pieces of legislation enacted in the last few years. Farmers are, however, rightfully apprehensive because in 1952, the support price was established for a period of three years while last year it was extended for one year only. Even if, in fact, this legislation were renewed each year, the procedure followed is unquestionably wrong since the dairy farmer never knows just where he

stands from one year to the other and has no definite information on which to rely for the management of his business. That is far from being comparable to the request of industrial workers for a guaranteed annual wage.

However, we may rightfully believe that this step has become necessary, at least partly, because of a refusal to deal realistically with the problem of butter substitutes. I have stated on several occasions, but I want to repeat it once more, that price support legislation on butter has not been detrimental to workers or salaried people in general; on the contrary, I am convinced that it has saved them some money, although the latest sales of butter at a discount may have cost those people a few cents. Everyone will remember that in the winter of 1951-52 when dealers got hold of all the butter available at a price barely above the minimum price, they were selling it at 80 cents, 90 cents or even a dollar a pound retail.

The position would have been the same year after year if the government had abandoned its support price. Salaried people who are inclined to complain against an artificial price which they believe established for the sole benefit of the producer, would have paid dearly indeed, in certain months of the year, for the small savings they could have made during the other months.

Producers and consumers would both have had to pay the piper, because speculators and middlemen, who fortunately are not numerous, would have made a fortune at their expense. Even if the minister had no other reason to take this step, he should be congratulated for the enactment and maintenance of that legislation.

There are several other reasons which justify its maintenance, but I shall not repeat them. There is one however which I need no excuse to emphasize once again. It is the dangerous decrease in purchasing power which would occur among a large group of consumers

I said at the beginning that there were 2,370,000-if the dairy industry was allowed to fall off by a discontinuation of the price support legislation.

It has been said in certain quarters that it was scandalous to sell to foreign countries at 37 to 39 cents a pound a product for which we have to pay 63, 64 and even 65 cents. I take exception to that opinion, unless someone can show me that it would have been

The Address-Mr. Poulin possible to act otherwise without completely dislocating the price structure on the local market and without ending up, although by different means with the same result, namely bankruptcy for the dairy farmer.

Oh! It is something altogether different if we want to give away our butter to our needy people or to foreign countries; it is no longer an economic problem but one of charity, of kindness and it should be considered from that angle. Under those circumstances, I humbly believe that parliament or at least the government should see to it that two essential conditions are fulfilled: first, that Canadian taxpayers can support the additional burden, because when we give something away, there is always someone who pays the shot; and second that our charitable gesture will not disrupt an important sector of our economy, thus increasing the number of needy people.

If those two conditions were met, the humble representative of Beauce county would not be far behind those who are now strongly urging us to make donations to our needy people and even to those of foreign countries.

In the meantime, let us proceed wisely and strive to avoid increasing the number of people in Canada to whom we must give assistance, as would happen if we let our dairy farmers become poverty-stricken.

I take this opportunity of congratulating the right hon. Minister of Agriculture who has agreed to sell a certain quantity of our surplus butter at 40 cents a pound, I believe, to educational institutions, hospitals and charitable institutions. This does not affect the market price, for several reasons, one in particular, that is that in some of those institutions margarine has been used rather widely. In fact some farmers also use it.


Raoul Poulin


Mr. Poulin:

And speaking of margarine, it seems that the government should be blamed for its failure to do away with that product which is surely the greatest threat to the dairy industry.

Before that product invaded the Canadian market, around 1949, Canada produced approximately the quantity of butter we needed; it even happened that from time to time we were forced to import some. But that is an old story known to everyone, and to some people in particular. It is only since

The Address-Mr. Poulin margarine has been tolerated in Canada that we really have butter surpluses which are gradually increasing in proportion with the consumption of margarine. That is not surprising, since in 1949 each Canadian used 29 pounds of butter per year, while 5 years later, in 1954, he used only 20-7 pounds, that is 40 per cent less.

During that same period production of margarine greatly increased, from none at all in 1948 to 115,000,000 pounds in 1954, the average consumption being 7-5 pounds per capita for that same year. We can readily understand why butter consumption has decreased in Canada, and why we have a surplus.

But what is not so easy to understand is why the Canadian government does not take the necessary steps to decrease production or use of a substitute which, in short, such at least is my humble opinion, does not help anybody, unless it is a few large concerns. I say for the tenth time that flooding the market with margarine will finally kill the dairy industry, deprive 2,370,000 Canadian consumers of their purchasing power, give rise to a national depression and cause unemployment among workers and salaried people.

I would like to repeat here a question 1 asked several times, not only in the house but before the good people of the constituency I represent: do workers and salaried people at large prefer eating butter at 63 cents a pound and have jobs, or run the risk of eating margarine at 35 cents a pound while being unemployed?

The price of butter is undoubtedly too high, but one must not forget that if we take the salary average in 1939, the Canadian worker could purchase 1-5 pounds of butter with one hour's wages while in 1955 he could purchase 2-3 pounds.

On the other hand, farmers have not remained idle in that connection and they have made serious efforts to lower their cost of production. While engaging in much more intensive cultivation, thereby lowering their cost of production, they have greatly increased the number of their milch cows and their average yield. Time does not permit me to prove all this with statistics, but they are readily available.

But the farmer has gone even further: he pays for the costs of advertising to increase consumption of liquid milk, thereby causing a relative decrease in the production of butter. In that connection, I am happy to

say that in 1954, the province of Quebec won first place for milk consumption per person, that is 1-03 pints per day. In 1956, $362,000 are earmarked for advertisement by Canadian dairy producers. It can therefore be said that farmers did what they could to lower their cost of production. They made an intelligent and reasonable effort, with the help of federal and provincial experts, to make available to the Canadian consumer, at the lowest possible price, a product that is gradually being replaced by another one which, in last resort, will benefit no one.

How does the outcome of this situation look to responsible people? Do they not believe that it could develop into a national calamity? Does the government consider that the problem is quite serious? It seems that we must reply in the affirmative since, in the case of butter for example, the government agrees to sell that product at a loss of 22 to 24 cents per pound and that in the case of wheat it announces legislation that will cost several million dollars in one year to Canadian taxpayers. But will the government be satisfied with that? Will it consider the possibility of resorting to other means to change the situation? Personally, I said only what I think about the matter.

Although I am expressing the feelings and wishes of the agricultural people of Beauce county, there might be other ways of dealing with the situation. It might be that the steps we are suggesting, we the humble and small people, are but stop-gaps, expedient, arbitrary remedies which sometimes succeed more or less; or are they tested and scientific remedies, the result of an all-embracing approach not only of the agricultural problem as a whole but even of its effects on the other sectors of our economy? I believe it is time we should be told.

Personally, I cannot very well lay claims to wisdom because I have been sitting here only since 1949. However, I may say that since I have come here I have not heard a single truly objective and comprehensive statement on those problems from the right hon. Minister of Agriculture. We need general directives from experts who have the facilities for investigating the whole agricultural problem throughout the country. I know that such investigations and studies should first be initiated by those concerned, but it cannot be denied that our farmers in

general have seriously undertaken that investigation; I referred to this briefly a moment ago. I also know that such investigations concern more directly provincial authorities and it must be admitted that all provincial governments without exception have given special attention to the agricultural problems of their respective areas. However, there is some advice and certain leadership that should come from higher up and which take into account the situation in the country as a whole and not only one particular district. For instance, I am thinking of the payment of subsidies for the shipment of grain from western Canada into the east, which is beneficial to the agricultural economy of several provinces and has some happy effects on the country as a whole.

This leads to the statement that the whole agricultural problem of Canada should be re-examined, taking into account modern scientific data as well as the developments of recent years in all sectors of the Canadian economy. The effects of the success or failure of these methods in a given district on Canadian citizens as a whole should also be taken into account. This is undoubtedly a matter for the experts of the central government.

May I add that this should not affect in the least the freedom and prior rights of the provinces in matters pertaining to agriculture.

Before concluding my remarks, I would like to add a few words about an agricultural industry particular to eastern Canada and especially to the province of Quebec and even more so to the constituency I represent in the house, namely the maple sugar industry.

The following figures give some idea of the extent of that production. These statistics are for 1951, that being the last year for which, unfortunately, the data which I need is complete.

The revenue from this source for 1951, was as follows: For the whole of Canada,

$8,555,000; for the province of Quebec, $6,797,000; for the county of Beauce, $943,716. That is close to a million. I can say that in 1954 and 1955 the figures must be somewhat over a million. There are sugar bushes on 2,086 farms of this constituency, out of a total of 4,465. That is to say that 46-7 per cent of farmers take part in this type of activity which, according to the 1951 figures-and the corresponding figures would be larger for the last few years-has brought them an annual revenue of $452.40, this revenue being 13-9 per cent of the total figure for this production for the province of Quebec and 11 per cent of the total for the whole of Canada.

The Address-Mr. Poulin

The county of Beauce ranks first among counties producing this commodity in Canada. The second on the list is that of Megantic, whose production is valued at 77 per cent of the first.

It will therefore be easy to understand how important that product is for the farmers of the constituency I represent.

For those who are unfamiliar with the situation, let me explain very briefly how it happens that the maple sugar industry appeared in the public accounts of the government.

The Food and Drugs Act states that there shall be no obnoxious or poisonous substance in these products. Well, it was found in 1936 that Canadian maple products contained traces of lead. If I am not mistaken, the United States, our largest customer for those products, were the ones to point out this anomaly. Shipments were stopped immediately and the whole industry was threatened by ruin. It was found afterwards that the presence of lead in maple sugar was due to the solder used in the manufacture of the sap collecting-pails. All those therefore had to be changed. After lengthy research, it was found that, to prevent the presence of lead in maple sugar, it was necessary to use aluminum pails.

However, this change was a very costly undertaking and the farmers could not finance this overnight.

It was then that an appeal was made to the Quebec and Ottawa governments. It was decided that the cost of replacement would be shared equally, one third by each government and one third by the owner of the sugar bush.

Thus through the co-operation of the governments concerned equipment has gradually been renewed since 1941. In recent years, Canadian parliament has approved the following expenditures in that connection: 1952-53, $500,000; 1953-54, $300,000; 1954-55, $100,000; and 1955-56, 0.

The Quebec legislature has spent similar amounts, except in 1955-56 needless to say, so that until 1955 the Quebec provincial government and the Ottawa government had each spent $3,500,000 thus permitting the renewal of 17,308,823 pails out of a possible total of 21 to 22 millions. The Quebec government has maintained its policy and is still paying one third of the cost of replacement. The federal government gave up its program when the 1955-56 budget was brought down. There are still therefore a small number of these producers who will not benefit from the same advantages as others and who will be unable to deliver their product on its natural market. I do not see why the government

The Address-Mr. Harkness which, for a dozen years, took part in this program, would not, for two or three more years, be as generous as it has been in the past in order to complete a piece of work so well begun, a work which has been greatly beneficial to a particular class of producers which really deserve a special attention.

I therefore hope that, among many steps to be taken to help agriculture as a whole and a class of producers in particular, the right hon. Minister of Agriculture will be kind enough to insert in his next budget an amount of $100,000 for the replacement of pails for collecting maple sap. Farmers of the Beauce district in particular, since they are the most directly concerned, will no doubt be grateful to him, as they have been in the past.



Douglas Scott Harkness

Progressive Conservative

Mr. D. S. Harkness (Calgary North):

Mr. Speaker, I wish to add my congratulations to those of the speakers who have preceded me in this debate to the mover (Mrs. Shipley) and the seconder (Mr. Laflamme) of the address in reply to the speech from the throne. I might say that I had the opportunity of getting to know the mover of the address a bit better this summer, and I was very glad that she was given the honour of moving the address. I say that, not as a large number of members have because she is a woman, but because she is herself.

Now, Mr. Speaker, to turn to less agreeable questions, I should like to say something first of all on an income tax matter. During the past year I have heard a constantly increasing number of complaints over departmental rulings that what the taxpayer considered was a capital gain was in fact taxable income upon which he was then called to pay an impost. In many cases the transaction involved took place many years previously, with the result that the man who had to pay quite a considerable sum including the interest on the money involved found himself in an extremely difficult situation, sometimes a ruinous situation, because his business had expanded or contracted, as the case might be, to the point where he found it extremely difficult to make this payment.

Under our income tax laws capital gains are not taxable. However, the department seems to have been following a policy under which capital gains in effect are being taxed in a large number of cases. The result of this is a great state of uncertainty on the part of many people as to what their situation is, and as a consequence of this uncertainty the expansion of a business or the start of a new enterprise is frequently prevented.

In addition too, in many cases people get into difficulties such as the one I mentioned a short time ago.

The trouble in regard to this matter seems to be that there is no definition in the Income Tax Act of what is taxable income and what is capital gain. As a result the taxpayer is at the mercy of the officials of the income tax department and their rulings vary from time to time and from place to place, with the result that quite frequently nobody knows what the situation is in regard to any particular transaction.

The situation has grown so difficult so far as some people are concerned that they have actually told me they would prefer to have capital gains taxable rather than be left in their present position of uncertainty. That is a change in the Income Tax Act to which I do not think many of us here would be agreeable. I think the system under which capital gains are not taxable, such as we have in this country and in Great Britain, is preferable to the one which exists in the United States where they are taxable.

However, when some people consider that the system I mentioned would be better, in that they might know definitely just where they are, I think it is a good indication of how serious the situation is in relation to a large number of people. As I say, I think this could be corrected fairly readily by writing into the Income Tax Act a definition of what nontaxable gains consist of so that everybody would know where they stood.

I remember from my student days that one of the accepted principles of taxation is that a tax should be certain so that the taxpayer knows exactly what his situation is and what he is liable for. That is exactly what we do not have in Canada. At the present time, so far as capital gains are concerned, we have an uncertain tax, and as a result we have a great state of uncertainty on the part of a large number of businessmen. This is a situation which affects small businessmen and individuals in particular. It is not a matter which greatly affects large corporations, because in most cases they have the resources to meet any difficulties of that type which might arise. In view of this I would hope there would be some action at this session to clear up the present situation by legislation and put it on a more satisfactory basis.

I turn now, Mr. Speaker, to the problem of most concern to western Canada: that is the inability of farmers to market their grain, the reduced prices which the farmers receive for the grain they do manage to deliver, and the consequent drastic reduction

in income. We have in western Canada, as has been pointed out several times already in this debate, an extremely serious situation. It is one which affects not only the prairie provinces but the entire country, and the repercussions will be increasingly felt by the rest of the country as time goes on. We have had statistics put on the record several times as to the reduction in income of farmers in the west, particularly the reduction in their net income, the amount of money they actually have to spend.

I am not going to take the time of the house in repeating those statistics. Mention has also been made of the desperate situation in which many farmers find themselves, in that they are trading in their grain to implement dealers, in many cases, and to dealers of all kinds at prices ranging from 60 to 65 and 70 cents a bushel. These transactions are, of course, outside the normal channels of trade, and I presume if the situation were not as desperate as it is probably the wheat board or the government might take some punitive legal action against some of the people engaging in these transactions.

As the matter stands I think everyone is only too delighted that these farmers are able to discharge their debts and secure some of the goods they need by this means. When the normal selling price of grain at the head of the lakes is supposed to be approximately $1.70 a bushel; when the initial payment is $1.40 a bushel, and farmers are selling grain for 60, 65 or 70 cents a bushel in order to obtain sufficient cash to carry them through, it gives a pretty good idea of how serious the situation is and how desperate some of these farmers are.

In order to meet the situation the government has made only two very inadequate proposals, each of which is the subject of a resolution on the order paper and one of which will be adopted in the very near future. In view of this I am not going to deal with either of these proposals in detail, but I do wish to indicate the inadequacy of each of them to meet the problem with which we are faced in western Canada.

The first of these proposals is the loan scheme which is already in effect. It has had the main effect, I would say, of angering and exasperating the western farmers. According to the last figures we have had it is true that some 2,000 farmers have taken advantage of this scheme, and it is also true that a great many more than that have applied; and that is one of the difficulties. A considerable number of farmers, I am informed, have had great difficulty in securing loans. Many of the people who are most in need of loans,

The Address-Mr. Harkness as happens in connection with most bank loans, are the very ones who have been unable to secure them.

Apart from that altogether there are two serious difficulties as far as this bank loan scheme is concerned. The first is that the amount of $1,500 is quite inadequate as far as a very large number of farmers are concerned. The other day the Minister of Trade and Commerce said he was not interested in those people who did not think $1,500 was quite an adequate sum. If he had to meet $500 or $1,000 worth of harvesting expenses, which is the case with a very large number of farmers, or if the farm were a large one it would be more than that, perhaps he would think that a $1,500 loan was not of much use. That is actually the situation. It is not sufficient to cover the harvesting and other expenses of a very large number of farmers.

The other thing which is wrong is the interest rate of 5 per cent. To the western farmer that appears as just an extra toll on what he has already earned or produced. He does not think there should be an interest rate on this loan at all; in other words he does not think it should be a loan-this is something I will come to later-but that it should be a cash advance. If it is to be a loan he considers that an interest rate of 5 per cent is greatly in excess of what it should be, considering that it is to be a government-guaranteed loan.

Apparently the government have realized that this $1,500 loan scheme is inadequate, because they have since put forward a second proposal to pay the carrying charges on what they call abnormal carryovers of wheat, which are defined as any amount of wheat in excess of 178 million bushels. This move is a good one as far as it goes, but the inadequacy of the move to meet the present situation, particularly the shortage of cash in the hands of western farmers, is shown immediately when we begin to figure out what this will mean to the average farmer in western Canada in the form of cash in his pockets. At the present time and for several months to come it will mean not one cent more in his pockets; it is not going to help his cash position in the slightest for several months. At some time in the future, several months hence, the average farmer will get from $150 to $200 more than he would get otherwise. Therefore, as I say, the scheme is all right as far as it goes, but as far as meeting the present desperate cash shortage it is no good. Even when it will be paid in the form of participation certificates or something of that sort months hence it is not going to go very far.

The Address-Mr. Harkness

The fact that these are the only proposals of the government to meet the present grain difficulties shows that one of two things exists. Either there is a complete lack of realization on the part of the government as to the seriousness of the situation, or there is a complete bankruptcy of ideas as to how to deal with the situation. A week ago today the Minister of Trade and Commerce made a speech dealing with the subject I am dealing with at the moment. I am sure that speech must have occasioned a great deal of profane language in western Canada. I will wager that at least 90 per cent of the farmers who read that speech, no matter what their political complexion, engaged in extremely unflattering remarks as far as the Minister of Trade and Commerce and his understanding of their plight were concerned.

In that speech the minister complained about people complaining that there was a surplus of wheat and said that a surplus was a good thing, that he would far sooner have a surplus than a deficit. As far as abstract theory is concerned I presume we could all agree with that. Most of us would rather have a surplus than a deficit. But to the farmer who has part of that surplus sitting on his farm, in many cases exposed to the weather and in all cases deteriorating, and who is unable to get cash for it in order to meet his requirements for food, tractor fuel and all sorts of things, that surplus is anything but a good thing; it is something about which he is anything but pleased to have.

There is no use in the Minister of Trade and Commerce or anyone else dealing with these things on the basis of what you might call abstract theory as to the desirability of having a big surplus of wheat or food of any kind with which to feed the starving world. That is all very well; but as far as the man who has actually produced the grain is concerned, if that surplus is sitting on his farm and he cannot get any money for it, he is in desperate circumstances none the less. He is wondering how he is going to eat, rather than wondering how the hungry world is going to be fed. As far as we in this house are concerned he is the man we are dealing with; it is his problem we have to keep most in mind. I am very much afraid that he is not the man the Minister of Trade and Commerce has most in mind.

The minister said also in his speech that the demand for cash advances for wheat stored on the farm did not come from the farmers, that this demand came from the people in the cities and those who were opposed to the wheat board. Of all the

peculiar statements the minister has made, of all what you might call the questionable and ridiculous statements he has made in the eleven years I have been in this house, that one takes the prize. It is the most extraordinary statement of all. The people whom he attacks as wanting to get rid of the wheat board, as has been pointed out before, are the people who were really responsible for bringing it into existence. If that is the best defence the minister can make then I think it would be better for him not to talk on wheat at all, because he merely acerbates the people most concerned.

At six o'clock the house took recess.


AFTER RECESS The house resumed at eight o'clock.


Douglas Scott Harkness

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Harkness:

Mr. Speaker, before the dinner recess I had just begun to comment on the speech of the Minister of Trade and Commerce on wheat in this house a week ago, and had been dealing with the incredibly ill-informed statement he made that the farmers in western Canada are not asking for cash advances. On the contrary, I believe that practically all the farmers in western Canada not only have been asking for but want cash advances on farm-stored grain.

The minister went on to say that loans on grain could not be made by the wheat board, that there were too many difficulties in the way. I should like to point out that the farmers have not asked for loans from the board and are not asking for them now. What they have asked for are cash advances, which is a very different thing, indeed.

I can see no real difficulty in the wheat board making cash advances to farmers on grain they have not yet delivered. It is merely an extension of what they have been doing every day for the past seven years on grain which is actually delivered. They get the delivery in the permit book and issue a cheque for it. It would be essentially the same thing for them to make a cash advance, enter it in the order book and, of course, when the grain is delivered-and there is nowhere else the farmer can deliver it except to the board -the amount of cash advance would be deducted from the value of the grain. That does not present any serious difficulty and, particularly, it does not convert the wheat board into a lending institution or a banking institution.

It is rather peculiar that a number of the western Liberal members seemed to have

changed their tune in regard to cash advances on Harm-stored grain since coming to Ottawa. Out in the west they were proponents of it because practically all their farmer constituents were asking for it. Since coming here they have been following the minister's line and trying to say that cash advances are not required, are not wanted and so on. The result is that we are getting some double personalities developed among these people.

An outstanding example is the hon. member for Rosthern (Mr. Tucker). I notice there is a reprint about him having become the twobodied or two-tongued member for Rosthern, advocating cash advances in the west and condemning them here. Apparently he and other western Liberal members have taken very much to heart the talk given at the Liberal dinner last week by the Minister of Trade and Commerce, at which he said that they must stand by the party line, right or wrong. Therefore they are standing by it, in spite of what their former position might have been when they were out among their *own constituents.

The Minister of Trade and Commerce also said that the interest rate of 5 per cent on the bank loans being made was quite a fair rate of interest, and that when he had had to borrow money, which was frequently, he had always had to pay 5 per cent or more. I would say to him that he must consider the risk. This is one of the big items to consider as far as lending money is concerned, and apparently the banks thought that he was a risk deserving of 5 per cent or more. It is necessary to consider that these loans are backed by the dominion government. The wheat board, when it pays the farmer for the grain for which it does take delivery, has borrowed the money at less than 5 per cent. Any other government guaranteed loans such as this could carry a lesser rate of interest than 5 per cent because the risk is not great; in fact it is almost negligible.

The Minister of Trade and Commerce attributed the surplus and the troubles that exist in the grain situation to a variety of causes: first, the weather; second, the United States policy; third, the speeches made by his political opponents, which he said were preventing the sale of grain. In other words, his statements in this regard reminded me of one of the old sayings of world war I: "You can send my mother, my sister or my brother, but for God's sake don't send me." The minister, in effect, is saying the same thing except that it is "Don't blame me; blame everybody else."

The minister said there had been a succession of good crops, which by and large is true,

The Address-Mr. Harkness that dry years would come again and the situation would right itself. In other words the government has no answer to the wheat problem except a series of crop failures. That is the only long-term solution it has. Evidently it proposes to sit down and wait for these crop failures to come, and to leave these farmers to their troubles in the meantime.

This attitude on the part of the government sums up my chief criticism of it in regard to grain matters. The government accepts no responsibility for allowing the present situation to develop. It admits to no failure of any kind in the marketing of grain, nor any failure of any other sort, but it does nothing whatever except wait for crop failures to cure the situation.

I believe there will be poorer years for grain production than have been experienced throughout the world during the past five or six years. However, I think we must expect that the average world grain crop will be larger in the future than it was 10, 20 or 30 years ago. There are a variety of reasons why I think that opinion is well founded. To begin with, European countries are now growing considerably more wheat, particularly, than they were in the past, because of a desire for economic sufficiency on their part due to the danger of war and the desire not to be caught short of bread grains and supplies of that sort. Throughout the world better methods of tillage-and that is particularly true of this continent-have been put into operation, and that again has raised the general level of yield, either in good or in bad years. Similarly, wider use of fertilizer has tended to raise the yield. Then again, more irrigation has raised the yield. Not only does irrigation raise the yield on the land directly irrigated, but it raises the general water table and thus raises the yield on a great deal of the surrounding land which is not directly irrigated.

For all those reasons the general level of world grain crops will be greater than it has been in the past. If we are going to be realistic we must face that situation and accept it as a fact, instead of trying to blink it off and saying, "We shall have dry years, and all our troubles will disappear."

On the other side of the picture, too, the consumption of bread grains has not been going up proportionately to the increase in population. The average person on this continent particularly is not eating the amount of bread or wheat products he did in the past. When I was a boy I remember there would be a big stack of wheatcakes or pancakes for breakfast. How many people eat a stack of pancakes for breakfast now? Verj

The Address-Mr. Harkness few, even in the rural areas, let alone in the cities. The same thing applies right through the picture. In other words the consumption of wheat has been going down on the average per person, and probably that will continue.

Taking all these factors together, our wheat surplus is likely to be a continuing problem and one for which we must seek a long-term solution. It is not something we can blink off. We cannot say that time and the weather will look after it. A glance at the carryover figures for the past six or seven years shows that the surplus is a mounting problem, one that is growing worse year by year. I have the figures here, and these are the only figures I shall use. I should like to put them on the record to show the way in which our surplus is constantly increasing.

In the crop year 1949-50, we had a carryover of 112 million bushels. The next year, 1950-51, it was 189 million bushels, up 77 million bushels. The next year, 1951-52, the carryover was 217 million bushels, up 28 million from the previous year. In 1952-53 it was 369 million bushels, up 152 million. In 1953-54 it was 587 million bushels, up 218 million bushels from the large carryover of 1952-53.

Then in 1954-55 we had a poor crop; we grew less than 300 million bushels of grain. That was the one really poor crop we have had in a long period, owing to a variety of reasons, and the carryover fell to 481 million bushels. Then we had a reasonably good crop last year and the carryover this year will probably be between 580 million and 590 million bushels, bringing us back up to the high figure of 1953-54. What that indicates is that with anything like a normal crop we are not able to export enough grain or to consume enough at home to take care of what we are growing. We are producing more than we can get rid of. As a result we have this surplus mounting and mounting.

One of the serious aspects of this mounting surplus is the matter of the carrying charges on it, which have already amounted to a large sum, an amount of money which would otherwise have gone in the farmers' pockets and from there into the general stream of the economy, thus benefiting everyone in the country. If these surpluses continue to mount the cost of the carrying charges on them-* just looking after these surpluses-will be a continuing and increasing drain not only on the farmers but on the general economy. This drain, under the proposed government measure of a storage payment plan, is going to be partially transferred to the general taxpayer, but of course it is still going to be a drain. That plan, which I think is sound enough, is still going to cause a great deal

of discontent in other parts of Canada and a cry-which we do not like in the west- that the western farmer is being subsidized by the rest of the country, that there is no justification for it and so on and so forth.

Another feature of the cost of the carrying charges which I should like to point out is this. They have caused a constantly increasing spread between the price at which the wheat has been sold either at home or abroad and the price received by the farmer. The spread used to be a few cents, but it has gone up and up so that at the present time the farmer receives-and I will not go into the statistics-much less than he used to receive for a bushel of grain, chiefly because of these carrying charges. The cost of these carrying charges alone in the spread they have caused between the price received by the farmer and the price the grain is sold for is a sufficient reason to indicate to the average farmer that a surplus-contrary to what the Minister of Trade and Commerce has said-is not a good thing as far as he is concerned, and he is extremely unhappy about it.

As I stated, the minister and the government have done nothing whatever about a long-term solution to our wheat surplus problem. Apparently they have not even gone to the extent of giving serious thought to the problem, because the Minister of Trade and Commerce has scoffed at every suggestion which has been made with regard to dealing with that surplus. In his speech last week, for example, as reported at page 125 of Hansard, he had this to say:

Well, we should plant at least 20 million acres of wheat. I believe that our economy requires production to that extent. I will admit at once that if we get five more wet years in succession, 20 million acres of wheat will produce an accumulating surplus in this country.

And so on. Then he goes on further to say this:

Therefore, I reject the soil bank plan or any other plan-

The minister rejects the soil bank plan, and he rejects any other plan before he even hears it.

-destined eventually to place wheat in the deficit column. If we cannot keep wheat supplies in balance, let us have a surplus of wheat, but let us never adopt a policy that can produce less wheat than our markets will take.

The whole trouble is that we are producing more wheat than our markets will take. I would be quite happy if we were producing just the amount of wheat our markets would take or anything close to that amount. But unfortunately we are producing a great deal more than that and that fact, of course, is the whole cause of the difficulty.

In connection with this statement to which I have referred, one might well ask this question. Why does our economy require 20 million acres of land in wheat? Especially is that so if we cannot sell wheat? One might just as well say, picking a figure out of a hat, "Our economy requires 25 million acres of land in wheat", or 15 million acres of land in wheat. There is no magic in the figure 20 million acres. It just happens that 20 million acres is what we had in wheat last year. There is nothing to show that is what we should continue to have or that it is the ideal amount for us to have.

As a matter of fact I should think it would be much more sensible to say that the acreage our economy requires to have in wheat is only that acreage which will produce the amount of wheat which can be economically raised and disposed of. That is the acreage we should aim for, and not any particular fixed figure. The land that we have in wheat probably should go up and down considerably from time to time, depending on what the world markets are.

The Minister of Trade and Commerce has attributed a great deal of our difficulty to the United States policy of giveaways, selling for blocked currencies and things of that sort. I think it is quite evident that this policy of the United States has cut down our potential markets considerably. At the same time, however, I think we must admit that the United States has taken a much more realistic and practical attitude toward their wheat surplus than has our government toward our wheat surplus. The United States giveaways are preventing our sales at the present time. There is no question about that fact. But there is some hope that these giveaways and the reduction in acreage by their soil bank plan will eventually remove the United States as such a serious competitor for world markets as they have been during these past two or three years. However, it looks as though a period of several years will have elapsed before that end is accomplished. It is going to take some considerable time.

In the meantime I believe that we ourselves must look for some solution in order to look after our own surplus. I do not see that we can just continue to let the surplus mount up and up and consequently continually reduce the price to the farmer and lower his standard of living. I would suggest a considerable extension of the present P.F.R.A. measures which have already taken a considerable amount of land out of wheat production. The minister said there were about 27 million acres in wheat in 1940. The figure is now down to 20 million acres. A great deal of that reduction is due to work done by P.F.R.A. I should think that an

The Address-Mr. Carter extension of the work of that agency should be our first step in reducing the amount of wheat we are producing.

As a matter of fact, if the amount of $30 million a year which it is now proposed should be spent on the carrying charges for wheat, according to the projected bill, had been spent annually for the last three or four years in converting areas in southern Saskatchewan and southeastern Alberta from wheat production into grass and establishing farmers on that grassland in the livestock business, we would not at the present time be in as serious a situation as that in which we find ourselves with regard to our wheat surplus. At the same time we would have built up that soil and would have made out of it a permanent resource to meet any projected period of scarcity in the future, such as that which the minister envisages, when we may want to increase production considerably.

I believe a plan of this nature should be put into operation forthwith. It should be the first step in cutting down our wheat acreage and our wheat production in order to attempt to get into some sort of reasonable balance with what we have a prospect of consuming at home and selling abroad.

I can see no good sense whatever in producing the same amount we have been producing and engaging in these giveaway programs, or selling it for sterling or blocked currencies. In any event, apparently the British government does not want to deal in that way. They are not willing to accept our wheat on the basis of selling for sterling. They would just as soon pay dollars for it. I can see no advantage to us in trying to dispose of our surplus wheat by means of these giveaway programs, whatever particular form they may take. On the other hand it seems completely foolish and stupid to produce a great deal of wheat which you cannot dispose of in any form. It seems to me the logical thing to do is to begin cutting down production.

I would strongly recommend that steps be taken immediately, as I said, to extend the operations of the P.F.R.A. plan with that in mind.


Chesley William Carter


Mr. C. W. Carter (Burin-Burgeo):

I feel, Mr. Speaker, that I should embrace this opportunity to bring before the house certain matters which are of vital concern to my constituents and which, in my opinion, are too urgent to be left over until the estimates are before us. Before going further I should like to identify myself with those who have complimented the mover (Mrs. Shipley) and seconder (Mr. Laflamme) of the address in reply on the excellent manner in which they have discharged their duties.


The Address-Mr. Carter

The speech from the throne lists a record of achievements during the past year and outlines a program of legislation for this session of which all Canadians may feel justly proud. There is, however, one omission which I know will be a cause of general regret to my constituents and, I believe, to all the fishermen in Newfoundland. I refer of course to the lack of any reference to unemployment insurance benefits for fishermen.

The number of Newfoundland fishermen has been steadily declining since confederation. This decline has been most severe along the southwest coast, particularly in the riding of Burin-Burgeo which I have the honour to represent. At the time of confederation six years ago the total number of Newfoundland fishermen was estimated at

28.000. Today they are estimated at around

8.000. These figures speak for themselves. It must be borne in mind also that a considerable number of these 8,000, probably as many ' as 25 per cent, are men of 50 years of age and over. They are too old to secure employment in secondary industries where the labour supply is regulated by labour organizations. They are too old to stand the physical strain of working in the mines or in the forests.

Many factors have contributed to this exodus from the Newfoundland fishing industry. In my opinion the two most important factors have been the lack of unemployment insurance benefits on the one hand, and on the other the availability of alternate employment with unemployment insurance benefits as well as, in some cases, better remuneration. For 450 years the Newfoundland fisherman toiled, suffered and died, but he always managed to cling to the hope that some day things would be better.

Then came confederation, and he hailed it as the dawn of a new day; the day for which he had waited so patiently and so long; the day of fulfilment of the hope that had been deferred through four and a half centuries. His soul was stirred at the prospect of becoming a Canadian citizen and sharing in the great Canadian democracy-a democracy based on lofty ideals such as the strong helping the weak and equal treatment for all, great and small, rich and poor alike. He heard wonderful stories of the fabulous natural wealth of Canada, and he looked forward to sharing the prosperity which was certain to result from its development. He was aware also of the vast resources of the federal government, financial and otherwise. He looked forward to the speedy employment of those resources in finding a solution to his

problems. He expected a quick expansion of his markets and a steady rise in his standard of living.

Six years have passed, and the Newfoundland fisherman looks at his fishing industry. What does he see? He sees a depressed and declining industry. He sees his numbers reduced from 28,000 to 8,000. He sees the once great Labrador fishery completely gone. He sees the inshore fishery rapidly disappearing. He sees his living costs and his operating costs steadily mounting and greatly increased. He sees the price of his product remaining stationary and sometimes falling below the pre-confederation level. He looks out from the south coast over the nation and sees the greatest production and the greatest prosperity in the history of Canada.

Then he turns his gaze along his own south coast. He looks at places like Marystown, Lamaline, Garnish, Belleoram, St. Jacques, English Harbour West, Mose Ambrose, Jersey Harbour, Harbour Breton, Rencontre West, Francois, Grand Bruit, Rose Blanche, Burnt Islands, and many others. I mention those settlements because they were once famous as centres of the south coast fishing industry. I could have mentioned many other smaller places in between those settlements. But as he looks at those places which were once prosperous and flourishing, he sees now ghost towns. He sees them all in distress, economically sick; some dead and others dying. He sees that everyone is prosperous except the fisherman. He is still the hewer of wood and the drawer of water.

He must still take all the risks, endure all the hardships and suffer through life under a subsistence level. At the same time he sees others benefiting from his product and earning a better living for themselves. Those who handle it enjoy unemployment insurance benefits at every stage, from his boat to the consumer.

It is true that like other Canadian citizens he gets the family allowance and old age pension. He finds them a real blessing, but good as these are they are poor substitutes for a livelihood. As a means of livelihood, the only natural resource on the southwest coast is fish. Other sections of the province prominent in fishery development plans have additional resources. They have mineral resources and forest resources, but the riding of Burin-Burgeo is a have-not riding.

With the exception of a fluorspar mine at St. Lawrence, we have only fish, nothing else; but fish we do have of all varieties and in abundance, herring, mackerel, lobster, cod, salmon, haddock, rose fish, halibut, sole

and many others. Furthermore, we have numerous fishing grounds from one mile to twelve miles offshore, plenty of year-round open ports with fine natural harbours, and an all year round fishing season. The lack of development of these resources leaves the south coast fisherman with no alternative but to abandon his occupation, abandon his house, his property, his friends, pull up his stakes and move to the mainland. This is a sad spectacle to contemplate and one that is not in the best interests of either Newfoundland or Canada.

The Newfoundland fisherman feels entitled to a fairer share of Canada's prosperity than he has hitherto received, but he sees no chance of economic improvement in the near future. His day of deliverance seems as far off as ever. The bright vision which he associated with confederation is beginning to fade, and in its place is coming a sense of futility and despair.

The deferment of unemployment insurance benefits and the reasons for withholding them have added to his disappointment. Let us look at some of these reasons. Wage earners in other occupations can qualify for unemployment insurance benefits, but wage earners who are fishermen cannot because they number only six or seven thousand. Another reason given is that fishermen cannot qualify for unemployment benefits because they are certain to be unemployed in the off season. In this respect, how do the fishermen differ from the great lakes seamen, the dockers and the stevedores in the various ports along the shores of the lakes and of the St. Lawrence seaway? Are not these also certain to be unemployed in the off season when the freeze-up comes?

A third reason given is that a satisfactory plan of unemployment insurance for fishermen would not be actuarially sound. I find it difficult to believe that this principle is rigidly applied to other individual industries. If it were so, surely it would necessitate a different rate of contributions and a different scale of benefits for every single industry, because no two industries are exactly alike either in their economic structure or their economic potential. The very fact that all workers pay the same rate of contributions, based on earnings, and receive the same scale of benefits, based on contributions, to me seems to prove that actuarial considerations apply to industry collectively and not to each separate industry. In other words unemployment insurance benefits have become another social security measure, and I see no justification for excluding fishermen from those benefits.

No one would wish to minimize the benefits of price supports, deficiency payments,

The Address-Mr. Carter salt rebates, storm damage insurance, small loans for fishermen and other measures which this government has provided to assist the fishermen. These measures, however, can never cure the sick fishing industry. At best they can prolong a miserable existence. In many instances the effectiveness of these measures is considerably curtailed by the regulations with which they are circumscribed. It will take many years before their combined cumulative effect can have any significant impact on the fishing industry of Newfoundland.

If the Newfoundland fishing industry is to be revived something more than economic aid must be forthcoming. Something must be done to inspire the fisherman with a new hope and a new courage; something must be done to give him a sense of belonging to a great Canadian family who are interested in him and are anxious to help him. One thing more than anything else that will accomplish this goal is unemployment insurance benefits.

I know it is not easy to work out a satisfactory scheme, but I believe it can be done and I am glad to learn that there is still hope; that the idea has not been abandoned but that it is still under study by a committee set up for the purpose. I trust that it will be possible to work out a satisfactory solution and bring in the necessary legislation before the end of this session. I must emphasize again that speed is of the essence, because at the present rate of exodus, if it is delayed much longer very soon there will be no Newfoundland fishermen left.

A short while ago, Mr. Speaker, I referred to the disappearance of our deep sea banking fleet. Confederation has also had an adverse effect on our coastal shipping. Our coastal fleet is in grave danger of disappearance. Prior to confederation we could boast of a coastal fleet of over a thousand ships. Today there are probably fewer than 200 left. The rapid decline in coastal shipping is due, in the first place, to the high mortality rate suffered by both men and ships. During the past year 32 vessels were shipwrecked and became a total loss, five of them from my own riding; and one of those was lost with all hands. In addition, several others were sold.

In the second place, there is no incentive to replace those ships for two reasons. One reason is the high construction cost of Canadian shipyards, which require a capital outlay far in excess of what the ordinary shipowner can afford. The second reason is the high operating cost resulting from Canadian standards, and regulations of various federal departments, which make it impossible to operate at sufficient profit to amortize the original investment. For example, Canadian

The Address-Mr. Carter steamship inspection regulations require ships of 150 tons and over to undergo a complete inspection every year. This very often runs to a cost of thousands of dollars, and eats up the low earnings- of the ship. Ships under 150 tons are required to undergo an inspection every four years. This regulation favours a ship which it is no longer economical to operate. A 200-ton ship can be operated with exactly the same crew and at practically the same expense as a ship of 150 tons.

I therefore urge the Minister of Transport and his colleagues to endeavour to have these Canadian steamship inspection regulations changed so that only ships of over 250 tons would be subject to annual inspection.

The second reason for our high cost of operation is the absence of small marine docks. Consequently Newfoundland ships requiring repairs, cleaning, maintenance or painting are forced to make the long journey to Sydney or Halifax for docking. The only alternative is to go to St. Pierre and Miquelon, which is a foreign land and in which case duty must be paid not only on the materials used but also on the cost of the labour employed. We hope that the Minister of Public Works will be able to come to our rescue and provide small public docks at strategic points along our coast.

Another extra cost which falls on Newfoundland ship owners comes as a result of the regulation which compels Newfoundland ships to go to Halifax to obtain a de-rat certificate; that is, a document which certifies that the ship is free from rodents. This discrimination has existed for six years, and I am sure the Minister of National Health and Welfare does not wish to have it continue any longer. I therefore urge him to take the necessary steps to have this service performed in Newfoundland, as was done prior to confederation.

This drastic reduction in the Newfoundland coastal shipping is a matter of great concern to all our people, because Newfoundland is an island and all our supplies must be brought in by sea. Also, most of our 1,300 settlements have no road communication whatsoever and are entirely dependent on ships of under 250 tons because their harbours are not large enough to accommodate ships of a larger size. To meet this emergency I would suggest to the Minister of Finance and his colleagues that the 50 per cent surcharge, together with tariff and other import restrictions, be removed entirely from ships up to 500 tons. Suitable ships are no longer available in eastern Canada, and since construction costs are so prohibitive the only way the Newfoundland ship owners can secure replacements is to

obtain them from foreign sources. These tariff restrictions do not help the Canadian shipbuilding industry, but serve only to put the Newfoundland operator out of the shipping business. The only alternative would be a government subsidy, because Newfoundland must have ships or perish.

While I am dealing with the subject of coastal shipping I should like to draw to the attention of the Minister of Transport the need for additional navigation aids, particularly light and whistle buoys. Newfoundland has a much greater coastline than any other province, and much of it is dotted with treacherous shoals and sunken rocks. We need a large number of navigation aids to bring us up to the standard enjoyed by the other maritime provinces. Indeed, there are many buoys which were used to mark shoals prior to confederation which have not yet been replaced because we have not had any supply and service ship capable of handling them. We are happy to learn that such a ship is now going to be constructed. In view of the lives lost every year we hope that additional navigation aids will be forthcoming at an early date.

Before concluding my remarks I should like to draw to the attention of the Postmaster General the plight of another group of Newfoundlanders for whom confederation has been a doubtful blessing. I refer once more to the postmaster-telegrapher. To understand the plight of this group it must be remembered that prior to confederation they were full time employees of the Newfoundland government and as such they enjoyed civil service status. With the coming of confederation those employees who happened to find themselves in offices classified as revenue post offices lost their civil service status completely. They retained only their pension rights, which happened to be safeguarded by one of the terms of union; but their other rights and privileges, which were considerable and included vacations with pay, sick leave with pay, and government paid substitutes during vacation, they lost altogether along with their civil service status.

No one seems to know what their present status is. The Post Office Department regards them as casual or part-time employees, though strangely enough should one of them wish to retire for health reasons he suddenly becomes subject to all the red tape that applies to the highest paid civil servant. As telegraph operators they are also casual employees. The C.N.T. regards them as part-time agents whose services they rent from the Post Office Department and for which they pay the Post Office Department for each postmaster individually, in proportion to the traffic handled.

Recently these postmaster-telegraphers received notice from the C.N.T. to the effect that wireless telephones would be substituted for their present Morse instruments, and in consequence of that change the remuneration paid for them to the Post Office Department would be greatly reduced.

If this reduction is passed on to them a human tragedy will result, because their present salaries barely keep them at subsistence level. Many of these postmaster-telegraphers are married and have families to support. Many of them own their own homes in settlements where they have served for periods ranging from 10 to 20 years. They cannot afford to pull up stakes and sacrifice the homes which they have acquired at such great sacrifice. They have not the means to do this even if it were their wish. Another serious aspect of the problem is the effect this change will have upon their pensions, because pensions are based on salaries and if salaries go down the pensions are automatically reduced.

Although these employees are regarded as part-time employees by both the post office and the C.N.T. between the two they actually have a full-time job. Whether or not there is traffic to be handled their duties compel them to remain in their offices during regular business hours. Their ordinary work week is exactly the same as that of other civil servants and in many cases it is a little longer because the C.N.T. offices remain open until six p.m. Sometimes they have to work overtime, for which they get no extra remuneration.

As I see it, this is primarily a problem for the Post Office Department, because in as much as the post office uses part of their services and rents the remainder to the C.N.T. in such a way that a full work week is used up, I feel the postmaster-telegraphers should therefore be regarded as full-time employees of the Post Office Department. I hope the Postmaster General will interest himself in the plight of these employees and do everything possible to see that they do not suffer any further injustice.

While I am on my feet I should perhaps remind the Minister of Northern Affairs and National Resources, the Secretary of State for External Affairs and the Minister of Justice that this is the season for turrs in Newfoundland. We are looking forward to a satisfactory solution to this problem and we hope there will be no repetition of certain incidents which occurred last year when fishermen attempted to take these birds.

Mr. Speaker, we are proud of Canada's growing influence in international affairs and of the contribution Canada is making to the

The Address-Mr. Herridge maintenance of peace and the preservation of democracy. Democracy is on trial today. It is being judged not by what we preach but by what we practice. It is being judged by our faithfulness to the ideals we profess, and above all by our concern for the individual, particularly the little man, the primary producer who must always remain at the bottom of the economic ladder.

It is on such matters as these which I have mentioned today that democracy will stand or fall. It is in such matters which vitally impinge on human lives that democracy can make its greatest contribution to the cause of peace and freedom. If democracy fails to meet these human needs, both physical and spiritual, then our other efforts, either within NATO or without, can never be fully effective.


Herbert Wilfred Herridge

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

Mr. H. W. Herridge (Kootenay West):

Mr. Speaker, as I rise to add my trickle of words to the torrent of eloquence which has flowed around this chamber since January 10, I am deeply conscious of the fact that I am a very dimly glowing parliamentary asteroid surrounded by a galaxy of brilliant and scintillating parliamentary stars. Regardless of that, I rise in all humility to add my few words, ideas and suggestions to this debate.

Before proceeding I must compliment the Liberal member who has just taken his seat for having informed the house that all is not well in his constituency, and that Liberal policies have not to date produced a satisfactory state of affairs so far as his riding is concerned. I am sure he is representing his constituents completely and properly in bringing their complaints in the way he has to the attention of the government and the house this evening.

During the parliamentary recess, which my constituents insist on terming the parliamentary holiday, I had an opportunity of visiting all parts of my riding from its northern to its southern boundary. I had the opportunity of addressing a good many public meetings, labour organizations, veterans' organizations, women's institutes, church groups, farmers' institutes, chambers of commerce, public schools, high schools and service clubs. So I think I can properly say that I had an opportunity to find out the thinking of my constituents on international, national and local problems.

During my tours around my constituency I had some interesting and at times amusing experiences, experiences which indicated the variety and diversity of human nature and the differences in reaction to certain situations and questions. 1 am in the habit of giving what I term reports from parliament hill once a week over the Nelson and Trail

The Address-Mr. Herridge radio stations in my constituency, which I understand my constituents appreciate very much largely because they cannot listen satisfactorily to any other Canadian stations, so I have a monopoly in our district.

One lady told me that she found my talks most stimulating. She said that as a matter of fact on two occasions her radio had caught fire when I was speaking. I am quite sure it was not my language which caused the fire. Yet another lady listening to the same report from parliament hill told me somewhat the opposite. She said that she found my radio talks most soothing, and always did her ironing while I was giving my report from parliament hill because the time went so quickly.

I could give quite a number of illustrations of the confusion that arises in the minds of people in regard to federal and provincial jurisdictions and the use of legal terms. Just before coming down here I said to a chap who was cutting some timber, "Is there anything you would like me to bring up while in Ottawa?" That is the best way to put it, you know. This man, who is a good logger, is of French-Canadian descent. He said, "Yes, I wish you would bring this up". I said, "What is it?" He said, "I have been logging in this country for 40 years and every contract I have had with the provincial government has said that His Majesty or Her Majesty gets a royalty of so much a pole or so much per thousand feet of logs. I do not think that is fair as I have to do the work. I cannot see why Her Majesty should get that royalty". I had to explain to him that that was a matter of provincial jurisdiction and that "royalty" was simply a term which meant that the state, the government of British Columbia, got that amount. He was quite satisfied with my explanation, and I did not have to bring that question to Ottawa.

People are interested not only in policies and programs but in events, in procedures and in personalities. In no part of my riding do my constituents enjoy Canadian television. We have some United States television piped in on a very limited scale to Rossland, Nelson and Trail, but there is no Canadian television. Over a large section of my riding my constituents have very little opportunity to listen to Canadian programs because of weak signals and for certain other reasons such as the nature of the country, and so on.

Therefore at the conclusion of the talks I give to my people I am often asked to answer questions, which is something members of the C.C.F. always welcome, and to describe events and procedures and even personalities. I have done a little bit on the amateur stage at different times, and on occasion I am asked

to imitate various prominent personalities in this country. I must say that on these occasions I always try to be fair. Once a lady got up and said, "Can you tell us something about the member for Prince Albert? Can you give us an imitation of his mannerisms?" I said that in fairness I thought I could best describe the hon. member as the greatest melodramatic parliamentary tragedian in Canadian history.

On another occasion I was asked about the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Knowles). I said I could not imitate him because I had not the capacity to imitate his ability and his industry, but I said I could best describe him as the Sir Stafford Cripps of the Canadian House of Commons, as a great successor to Mr. J. S. Woodsworth, and a member who is doing a great deal for the people he represents and the people of Canada.

On another occasion a lady asked me about that smuggling member from Charlotte (Mr. Stuart) who once boasted of his activities in that connection in this house. I explained that I thought he was actually using parliamentary poetic licence when he described the incident in question in order to emphasize the necessity for the lowering of tariffs on certain goods coming from the United States into Canada. I assured the lady that he was a gentleman of thorough integrity and, if you met him outside this house, you would take him to be a reputable country solicitor.

I was asked on another occasion about the hon. member for Macleod (Mr. Hansell), and I must say that I did a bit of a skit on his account and tried my best to imitate and indicate his witty and witless remarks.

I have gone over those experiences merely to indicate the interest of people in the country not only in the policies and programs but in the personalities in this House of Commons.

During this pre-election period-and I think this is a pre-election period-it has been noticeable, in the first days since the session opened, that there is a temptation to outbid one another in the auction of ideas in connection with national matters and federal-provincial relations. While we are all very much interested in doing the best we can for Canada as a whole, for our constituents and for the provinces from which we come, there is a great necessity at this time for us as representatives of democracy to act with a sense of responsibility.


Irvin William Studer


Mr. Sluder:

Another socialist gone now.


Herbert Wilfred Herridge

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

Mr. Herridge:

The hon. member for Swift Current-Maple Creek (Mr. Studer) has such a limited understanding of socialism that he would not realize that our program and our policies are based on the foundation of responsibility to the nation.


Irvin William Studer


Mr. Studer:

If someone else produces it.


Herbert Wilfred Herridge

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

Mr. Herridge:

In my opinion our greatness as a nation, our progress in the ultimate sense of the word, will grow into a dead end if a majority of our citizens accept the philosophy that votes can be traded for a road, a bridge, a politically timed adjustment in income tax or a job. Without concern for facts related to the principles of justice and a sense of responsibility, we in this country shall very soon flounder in a moral wilderness.

As I said before, all of us are interested in federal-provincial relations because the problems that face the federal and provincial governments and all of us in this country require a very responsible approach to this situation. In my opinion, if more people would be concerned with provincial responsibilities instead of provincial rights, there would be no loss of those rights. I believe that government services in a genuine democracy should be performed at the lowest level of government having the capacity to do the job. Whilst this government may be called upon to assist with fiscal arrangements, the closer you can get administration to the people, the more democratic and satisfactory that administration will be.

Our constitutional difficulties and the people's needs can only be met, in my opinion, by a spirit of co-operation between federal and provincial governments, by a recognition of rights on both sides, by the acceptance of responsibilities and scientific fiscal arrangements between the governments concerned. Surely that is within the capacity of the governments concerned with these difficult problems.

Before going on to other aspects in my remarks, I wish to say that this group advocates and advances our program with an understanding of Canadian conditions and circumstances and in the full knowledge that, in this modern world, government action is required to provide a more equitable distribution of wealth and a more equitable distribution of the benefits society has created as a whole.

That is all I am going to say in general language and terms. Before dealing with other aspects, however, I must say that during my tours around my constituency I did hear people of all parties make complimentary references to the good work done by the

The Address-Mr. Herridge Minister of National Health and Welfare (Mr. Martin) as a representative of Canada during the past year at the United Nations.

I support the remarks of the leader of this group, the hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar (Mr. Coldwell), speaking in this debate on Thursday, January 12. There is no necessity for me to repeat in detail what he had to say, but I wish to refer to one or two things and possibly present them in a somewhat different form.

Before doing that, I must say I was glad to see legislation proposed that will provide equal pay for equal work to those women who come within the scope of the federal government. I was glad to see that amendments to the Canadian Farm Loan Act are proposed, I understand, for an increase in the amount of loan available.

I was sorry there was so little reference in the throne speech to national health insurance, and no reference to the establishment of a Canada Council. I am not going to deal with national health insurance, because the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre dealt very fully, completely and effectively with that question in his remarks this morning.

When speaking in the house on Thursday, January 12, the hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar said, in part, the following, as shown on page 56 of Hansard:

The increasing United States dominance in Canadian industry is a matter of legitimate concern. I am sure this concern is shared by Canadians everywhere.

I was very glad the hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar made those remarks and dealt with that question, because many people in Canada in all walks of life are feeling some concern about the increasing United States dominance of Canadian investment and Canadian industry. Not only is that reflected in conversations but it comes up at public meetings, and in editorials and articles in responsible publications and newspapers across this country. I can only deal briefly with three here this evening because of lack of time. I should like to deal with an article that appeared in the Financial Post recently entitled "Foreign Investors Should Become Canadian." I should like to quote briefly from that editorial:

"Modern history is filled with sad examples of foreign corporations operating in a country with almost complete disregard for their inherent obligations to the people and to the country in which they operate."

That frank warning to U.S. investors in Canada came in an address by Dr. G. Edward Hall before the annual Boston conference on distribution this week . . .

It was not enough for American corporations operating in Canada, as Dr. Hall said, to pay taxes

The Address-Mr. Herridge and observe the law. They should become Canadian. He urged them to make the same disclosures in their company reports of Canadian operations as Canadian companies do, to offer capital stock in their Canadian plants and to fill key roles in Canadian operations with Canadians.

Then I noticed that on Friday, January 20, the Ottawa Citizen dealt with this question. I quote in part what it said:

The lack of Canadian participation in enterprises controlled by foreign capital is becoming a matter of increasing concern. Mr. James Muir, chairman and president of the Hoyal Bank of Canada, added his voice to those pleading for more investment by Canadians in the nation's resources when he addressed the Canadian Club in Ottawa yesterday. His appeal deserves wide discussion.

True, between 1946 and 1953 Canadians themselves contributed about 75 per cent of the capital employed in the country's development. But much of the remaining 25 per cent, invested from abroad, went into risk ventures. Mr. Muir pointed out, for example, that "non-resident ownership in petroleum was 59 per cent of the industry at the end of 1953." Canadians have tended to invest their money in safer enterprises and in bonds.

While foreign investment in Canadian enterprises brings many benefits, including not only fresh capital but new technical skills, Canadians themselves are often unable to participate at the managerial level. If the nation is to advance to maturity, the situation should be remedied.

Then in today's Montreal Gazette I see this article. The heading is "Labour Group urges Duplessis to get Canada Alcan Priority", and the article reads as follows:

The Quebec federation of labour (AFL-TLC) has urged Premier Duplessis to induce the Aluminum Company of Canada to give Canadian consumers priority on available aluminum supplies.

In a weekend telegram sent to the premier, the federation said:

"Respectfully request on behalf of affiliated organizations that you use your good offices to induce the Aluminum Company of Canada to supply requirements of Canadian fabricators of aluminum products rather than giving American manufacturers priority on available aluminum supplies because they offer premium prices.

"Alcan has reduced shipments to Canadian fabricators of aluminum products by 40 per cent, thus causing lay-offs at a time when governments and employers are making every effort to reduce winter unemployment.

"Canadian consumption of aluminum amounts to less than 15 per cent of total production in our country and it is only right Canadian needs should be fully supplied before foreign commitments are met.

"Alcan should not be permitted to take advantage of the temporary aluminum shortage to cut supplies to Canadian fabricators and to extort premium prices for such aluminum as they have available."

That is a case where Canadians supply the power for this great industry but United States consumers come first in the minds of the company's executives, and where Canadian workmen employed in those factories go on short time because of those rearrangements. We in this group are strongly opposed to this sort of thing. This increasing investment of United States capital, without further control over the situation means increasing

control of our natural resources, distribution of production, employment and investment in this country. Our forests, minerals, oil and gas are being increasingly exploited to the first advantage of United States corporations.

In finishing up, Mr. Speaker, may I say that yesterday I had a letter from a constituent of mine. I am not going to read it, but in order to be quite accurate in my statement I am going to read briefly from a paraphrase of that letter. Some years ago this man invested some money in Canadian Western Lumber Company Limited because of his faith in our ability to develop our own natural resources. Later, Canadian Western Lumber Company made a deal with the Pacific Mills on the Elk Falls pulp plant and obtained a forest management licence in British Columbia. Still later, Crown Zellerbach corporation-the owners of Pacific Mills-bought out Canadian Western Lumber Company and paid the shareholders in shares in Crown Zellerbach corporation. Thus the shareholders and owners of the Canadian company became shareholders in the larger United States corporation. In substance what this amounts to is that a Canadian, in order to participate in this particular Canadian enterprise, does so through share ownership in a United States corporation. When the profits earned are distributed, they are paid from California, and the United States government collects a 15 per cent income tax on profits belonging to a Canadian and made by the development of Canadian natural resources. In other words we pay a commission to Uncle Sam for investing our own money to develop our own natural resources. A similar situation exists with respect to the operations of nearly every large United States corporation in Canada. United States investment in Canada results in increasing control of our natural resources, our economy as a whole, the employment situation and the distribution of Canadian production to Canadian consumers. Surely the protection of Canadian interests demands more control and direction of these vast, largely foreign-owned private enterprises. We in this group believe that there should be a national investment policy. We believe there certainly should be some greater control and direction of the operations of these United States industries.

Labour organizations in my constituency are concerned about amendments to the Unemployment Insurance Act because a considerable number of workers have been unable to establish a new benefit period under section 45 (2) of the act, and they urge that it be rescinded. I shall have more to say about that matter later.

Smelter workers, miners and railroaders are interested in industrial pension plans and particularly in the Income Tax Act and the regulations concerning the operation of these industrial pensions. I want to say in passing that there is no one in this house who has spent more time on the study of industrial pensions and superannuation than has the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre. For 14 years continuously, session after session since he first entered the House of Commons, he has dealt with this problem of industrial pensions and superannuation for civil servants and others from various angles. When this question comes before the house I am quite sure we shall have from him some extremely informative remarks.

The farmers in my constituency are much concerned about markets-I am not going to deal with that aspect of the question tonight -tariffs, and amendments to the Canadian Farm Loan Act. Potato growers particularly are concerned about the potato marketing situation and ask for some equality of tariff arrangements in respect of potatoes as between Canada and the United States.

As I mentioned before, I am glad to hear of the proposed amendments to the Canadian Farm Loan Act to increase the amount that can be loaned to farmers under this act. I should like to bring to the attention of the house a situation that was brought to my attention last year. I want to do this in order to show how sometimes regulations and administration can be somewhat impractical and unsound. I have in my constituency a farmer who farms 490 acres of excellent land on a bench at a somewhat high level in the mountains. He has 300 acres in hay and 190 acres in pasture. He has about 50 head of beef cattle and he produces annually, in addition to the pasture, about 100 tons of hay. He cannot haul that hay from the fields down to his homesite because the road is a mountain road and it is impractical to do so, especially under winter conditions. He therefore keeps his cattle up there, and he keeps his hay up there. He feeds his cattle and drives them down the trail whenever they are ready to go to market.

That farmer asked for a relatively small loan from the Canadian Farm Loan Board. He is a farmer of long experience, farming on first-class land and with a record of good production throughout the years. That loan was refused because his house does not happen to be actually on the property he is farming. As a matter of fact it is some 5 miles or 6 miles away. I think that situation is unsound and impractical. A farmer of that type should receive a loan. When the act is being amended, and the regulations, I trust

The Address-Mr. Herridge that something will be done to assist farmers operating under these circumstances.

Our farmers are also interested in the little cherry disease investigation. On that account the British Columbia fruit growers' association local in my constituency at Robson are asking for space in the new federal building at Castlegar. A very small amount of space is required, perhaps a room about 10 by 10, for the storage of orchard maps, spray records, experimental cages, insecticides and other records. I do hope the Minister of Agriculture will be able to persuade the Minister of Public Works that it is necessary that this small space be provided for this very important investigation.

I want to say a few words about war veterans allowances. I am very sorry that there is no provision in the throne speech for amendments to the War Veterans Allowance Act to raise the permissive income for single men to $1,200 and for married men to $2,000. I am sorry there is no provision for amendments to include benefits to veterans who served in world war I in the United Kingdom, and also widows of veterans who have 20 years of residence in this country. I am sorry there is no provision for the payment of allowances to those who have to live outside of Canada for health reasons. They are very few in number and live under very difficult conditions. I was very sorry to hear the minister's answer when I asked him about this question the other day. I do hope this matter, so important to so few, will receive further consideration from the minister.

So far as the Veterans Land Act is concerned, my veteran constituents are still hopeful that the government will see fit to reduce the acreage for small holdings under that legislation. In addition, they would very much prefer to have all the housing legislation in which veterans are concerned brought under the direction of the Veterans Land Act administration. They do not like this idea of starting out with the Veterans Land Act administration and then being handed over to Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

The women in my constituency have indicated their interest in national health insurance, improved disability pensions, old age security legislation, succession duties and the establishment of the Canada Council. I shall have to refer to those later this session.

At this point I want to say a few words about public works. First of all my constituents are very interested in the trans-Canada highway. They do urge a thorough consideration of every route. I noticed in the Revel-stoke Review dated December 1 a news item saying, "Rogers Pass Most Likely Says

The Address-Mr. Herridge Winters." Now we have the Rogers pass route suggested by the minister and the Big Bend route built. There is another route that has not received sufficient consideration, and that is the Jumbo pass route which goes from Invermere over into the Kootenay country and then north to Revelstoke. I do urge, on behalf of my constituents, that the federal government use its good influences with the British Columbia government to see that a thorough survey is made of this route. We have the time to make certain, before any decision is made, that we choose the right route for this section of the trans-Canada highway.

I also ask, on behalf of the Trail chamber of commerce and other organizations, that the Department of Public Works reconsider the possibility of the removal of Rock island, thus lessening the flood danger at Trail. I know the engineers have not considered that the removal of the island would bring about that desired result. But there are some prominent and well known engineers within the constituency who are still convinced that the lowering of Rock Island would add greater protection to Trail during flood periods, and at little expense.

Then I should like to see an investigation of the possibility of dredging the Kootenay river in the Creston area. There was some dredging done there some years ago. I do not know whether that would come under public works or the international joint commission, but I should like consideration given to the possibility of dredging the Kootenay river between Kootenay lake and the international boundary in order to lower the level of the river and avoid excessive erosion of the dikes built around the wheat fields and other farm properties in the Creston area.

Then I suggest there should be some dredging at the mouth of the Columbia, near Arrowhead. The Columbia has changed its course in recent years. If the original main channel were dredged so as to divert the main flow of the water into the main lake instead of the north arm, it would prevent the rapid silting up of the channel entering the Arrowhead docks, and would also lessen the difficulties with the very large ice floes that come down the Columbia in the winter months, making navigation very difficult at certain periods.

I also ask for a further appropriation for the continuation of the good work that is being done on the Duncan river. I tramped up that river for miles this summer, and by removing the log jams and straightening the river it will again become navigable between Duncan lake and Kootenay lake. I have a word or two now for the Minister of

Transport. I am trying not to miss anybody. I was talking to the captains of the passenger ferries on the Arrow lakes and the captains of the tugs that are hauling concentrates to railhead and towing logs. Recently we had a passenger service established by the provincial government from Beaton to Nakusp. On account of the changed schedules the ferries are often running when it is dark, in the winter months, and the captains of the ferry and the tugs have all suggested that for safety purposes there is a necessity for blinker lights at Cape Horn, Albert Point, Johnson Point and Whiskey Point between Nakusp and Beaton.

So far as the minister is concerned, I do want to bring to his attention that there is a great and continuous demand for low power relay stations at Nakusp, Rosebery and Balfour to serve those good citizens who still at this time are denied any satisfactory radio reception from Canadian stations.

So far as the Minister of National Revenue is concerned, the people of Castlegar would like to see provision made at the Castlegar airport for customs inspection, and an improved arrangement for clearing customs between Nelway and Nelson. The people of my district would like a 24-hour service at Patterson. In addition, I suggest that United States visitors using the Columbia water course to come up from the United States into the Arrow lakes should be allowed to report at Trail rather than at Waneta because of the navigation hazards. There is nothing at Waneta to indicate the spot at which they are supposed to call. They have to beach expensive boats on rocky beaches. They have to turn in at Waneta just at a time when they are entering this very dangerous water which is flowing very fast, in whirlpools and so on. I do ask the minister to give consideration to that very modest request. In fact I represent a most reasonable people whose requests are most modest in every respect.

I see that I have five minutes left, so I want to say a word or two about the Columbia basin development. The first development in the Kootenays was the development of the fur industry in the early days. Then came the development of the mining industry, the forest industry and agriculture and fruit farming. Now there is the development of water resources on a large scale all over British Columbia. The international rivers improvements bill was debated in the house and in committee, and the basis of understanding of this vast proposed development in Canada and the United States was widened. I think that bill lays a foundation

for an orderly, scientific and proper approach to the development of these international rivers in Canada.

Last October we had the pleasure of a visit from Senator Richard L. Neuberger, a member of the committee on interior and insular affairs in the Senate of the United States. I had correspondence on this and phone calls from him. I had the opportunity to make and was very willing to make arrangements for his trip and itinerary while he was in the Kootenay country. I must say that we were all very pleased that he visited our district.

I wonder whether you are getting a bit restless, Mr. Speaker, but I am just concluding. Since I cannot deal with it more fully, I advise everyone to read the report the senator gave to that committee. Printed copies may be obtained from Washington, dated December 15 of last year. It is a most fair, comprehensive and informative report.

In view of the situation that exists now, I think I am safe in saying that the people in my constituency and in the whole of the basin in British Columbia want action. They want co-operation among all governments, the Canadian government, the British Columbia government and the government of the United States. They want a district authority for the Columbia river basin, first proposed by the members of this group in 1949. I am pleased to note that the Progressive Conservatives are now supporting our program in that respect. According to this group, here is a great opportunity for a public investment program and an opportunity for co-operation among all governments and between public and private power authorities, in the interests and to the advantage of the people of the Columbia river basin in Canada and of Canada as a whole.


Norman C. Schneider


Mr. N. C. Schneider (Waterloo North):

Mr. Speaker, in this debate on the speech from the throne I shall avail myself of its purpose, which is to give to each member an opportunity to present the problems and the wishes of his constituency. There is an old saying that members of parliament point with pride and view with alarm. I shall do both this evening. .

I must first remind you of the high honour given to Waterloo North in the selection of the Kitchener-Waterloo Dutchmen senior

O.H.A. hockey club to represent Canada at the 1956 Olympic games at Cortina, Italy. Anyone seeing this team in action will be assured of their excellent qualifications for this high honour. They have played Canada's national game in a' clean, fast style, using good combination and team play. While they are among the lightest in weight of any 67509-29

The Address-Mr. Schneider men in their league, they are fast. They can take tough play, and if compelled to they can also give it. I am taking these few minutes to tell you of our pride in this hockey team, but I remind you that they are also your hockey team. Almost all nationalities making up Canada's population are represented on your Olympic team, the Scottish by such names as McKenzie and Logan. How can we lose with a captain named McKenzie? The English are represented by Woodall and White; the French by Brodeur and Theberge; the Pennsylvania Dutch by Laufman and Martin, and so forth. Elmira, the biggest little hockey town in Canada, in the north of the riding, has contributed three native sons to this fine team.

You will be interested in the personnel of this team and the occupation of its members. They are all clean-cut, typical young Canadians. Two are high school teachers; three are salesmen; two are college students; one is a lumberman and one is a bricklayer; three are carpenters. All of them are steadily employed at a trade or profession.

The name "Dutchmen" has been used for years, honouring the Pennsylvania Dutch who pioneered and settled Waterloo county in the early 1800's. The team played warm-up games in Scotland and Czechoslovakia before their opening Olympic game on January 26. They have not only won those games but they have won the admiration of their opponents for their good sportsmanship. I am sure this house will wish them Godspeed, victory in their matches, and a safe return on February 10.

I would remind hon. members that today is the first day of the issue of our new hockey stamp. It is a beautiful piece of art work, and is a credit to the Post Office Department.

The towns and cities of Waterloo county are highly industrialized. The rural districts are developed in agriculture, and contain some of the finest purebred cattle and hogs herds as well as diversified crops.

Our farmers and dairymen are sensitive to the problems of marketing Canadian-produced butter, animal fats and oils. I wish to draw the attention of the house to a problem which seriously affects every livestock producer in Canada, and contributes to the steadily shrinking income of our farmer. Farm cash income in 1952 was $2,800 million. In 1954 it had fallen to $2,300 million, a reduction of $471,500,000 or 16 per cent. With a steadily increasing wage rate in industry in the cities this unbalance must be rectified. In the next few minutes I will submit an idea which will assist considerably in raising the income of all livestock producers. It will

The Address-Mr. Schneider turn our good Canadian dollars back to our own Canadian farmers rather than to foreign farmers and planters.

We heard appeals from almost every province for the maintenance of the floor price on Canadian butter, and I am sure that the favourable decision has been approved generally. But I frankly believe that a price a little closer to world markets would eventually benefit the dairymen and take business away from margarine. Anyone having even a slight knowledge of farming will agree that dairying is the backbone and the mainstay of agriculture today, and must be preserved and kept on a strong and stable basis. A high degree of livestock activity is essential on any good farm, not only for the sake of diversification but also for the fertility of the land.

There is another basic industry of our country which I feel has been almost entirely forgotten. This industry is also an indispensable part of agriculture in all parts of Canada. This industry supplies the main dish in practically every meal on the national dining table, and the question I am raising has a direct bearing on the income of the farmer producer and the ultimate cost and selling price to the consumer.

As we have been gradually changing from a nation of workers in the fields and outdoors to an ever greater percentage of factory, office and indoor workers, our eating habits have changed so that today we find very few people who will accept the normal cuts of beef and pork as they come from the top grades of cattle and hogs. They will not buy fat. Canadian animal fats are a serious problem today, and I feel it is time that we faced the facts and tried to be realistic, and took the necessary steps to give them their rightful place in our economy.

Canadian animal fats belong to and are necessary in our Canadian climate. Canadian edible beef fat and lard can now be processed at moderate cost in a way which removes all animal fat odours. The deodorizing of these fats requires operations quite similar to those used in preparing vegetable oils, and the product is equal and even superior to vegetable oil products in food value and shortening qualities. Any argument that animal fats are more fattening than vegetable oils in our diet can be disproved by the fact that animals gain their fats from the same vegetable feeds. Fat is fat whether you eat it in the form of butter, margarine, vegetable shortening, lard or beef fat.

Very few people realize the extent of the present importation of foreign vegetable oils and their impact on the Canadian livestock

. .

and dairy industry. In the past year a grand total of 232,797,000 pounds of foreign edible oils was imported into Canada. This includes crude or unrefined oil and oil pressed from seeds which are imported. This figure makes little impression on most people unless you give some comparison. A tank car carries

60,000 pounds of vegetable oil. If all this imported edible vegetable oil for a year were to pass in review before you it would require 77 trains with 50 tank cars in each train.

I will not take the time of the house to explain how this large volume of business in imported vegetable oil has been built up. In the early days oils such as peanut oil, cottonseed, palm, cocoanut and soya bean oil were considerably cheaper than our Canadian animal fats and their bland flavour or lack of any flavour seemed to make them preferred to the animal fats. Modem processing removes these odours, and the shortening qualities of pure lard are superior to any pure vegetable or blended shortening. I feel that the time has come for the government to take action to control this flood of imported oil so that Canadian animal oil products ma? take their rightful place and realize a price nearer to their actual cost of production.

I would ask the house to pay particular attention to the next statement, as it is the basis of my appeal. The meat processor today pays approximately 23 cents per pound for hogs. When the carcass is separated into various cuts he must trim down the 1J to 2| inches of fat on hams, loins and shoulders to about the quarter inch of fat which is now demanded by the consumer. There is also leaf lard which is rendered out with these surplus fats. Processing these surplus fats is an expensive operation, involving a shrinkage of 33 per cent in weight and high cost coal, labour and equipment. The surplus fat for which the processor paid 23 cents per pound has now been converted to lard costing approximately 36 cents per pound in bulk, including no cost for packaging, delivery or overhead.

I have current market reports offering tank cars of pure Canadian high grade lard at 11J cents per pound. Small meat packers offer over the retail counter at 12 cents per pound lard which cost them 36 cents per pound to produce. With the amount of excess fat on each hog varying from 19 pounds on an A grade hog to 35 pounds on C grade, it is difficult to figure the loss per hog. I am sure that any processor would agree that at today's prices there is a loss of $4 per hog because of the surplus fat. As more than 5 million hogs are slaughtered annually, we have a total loss of $20 million to the

industry. These figures will vary according to the amount of surplus fat trimmed off by the processor and the number of heavy hogs slaughtered.

There is a similar story in the case of beef marketing. We find that beef fat is bought on the hoof at an average of about 15 cents per pound. This includes cheaper cattle at 11 cents per pound up to the best grades at 19 and 19J cents per pound. I struck an average of 15 cents a pound, which I think is fair. There are about 65 pounds of surplus fat on each carcass. By the time this goes through the same costly rendering and shrinkage it costs the processor about 40 cents per pound, and you can buy any amount of first-class edible beef tallow at this time at 10 cents per pound in tank car lots. With a marketing of 1,635,000 cattle, at inspected slaughterhouses only in Canada last year, and figuring a loss of at least $19.50 on each, there is a total loss amounting to $31,882,000.

I should make it clear at this time that I do not advocate an embargo on all these imported vegetable oils. If freedom means anything to Canada, I believe that anyone wanting to use margarine should have the right to do so, and we all know that its low price has been a great help to many large families with low or moderate incomes.

This total loss of over $51 million in the disposal of these surplus animal fats is caused by the importation in 1954 of 232,797,000 pounds of foreign vegetable oils. Would it not be reasonable to reduce this importation by imposing quotas so that Canadian livestock processors would be encouraged to process Canadian animal fats? If our Canadian fats could be sold at prices equal to those of refined imported vegetable oil products it would enable the processor to pay considerably more to the farmer in higher prices for his livestock or to sell the meat cuts much cheaper to the consumer. Of the 232 million pounds of edible vegetable oil imported, 103 million pounds were used in the manufacture of shortening. Is it reasonable to import this oil when we have good Canadian fats which will serve the same purpose and render a fair return to Canadian agriculture?

I suggest to this house that we should at least put a limit to this ever increasing volume of imported edible vegetable oil, and peg it where it is. As our country grows this will gradually work to the benefit of our own good Canadian fats and oils.

I must confess that I take no pleasure in speaking on a problem which has been increasing for the past few years for the rubber footwear workers in my riding and in three ridings in Quebec, at Granby, St. Jerome and


The Address-Mr. Schneider Lachine. The rubber footwear industry in Canada is 100 years old and until recently employed as many as 7,500 people, two-thirds of whom live in Quebec and one-third in Ontario. Generations have contributed to the skill and ingenuity required in this trade, and Canadian footwear has set a standard all over the world.

Not long ago Canadian footwear had a high volume of export business. Farmers, fishermen, lumbermen and miners in most foreign countries accepted it as top quality and our factories were humming. It was not surprising that other countries took up this industry and developed a product patterned exactly on our models. With cheap labour and lower costs it is also not surprising that they have taken away practically all our export business. But what is more surprising still is the fact that these substandard, starvation-wage operators have gained a foothold for their footwear in Canada in such volume that if it continues this hundred-year old Canadian industry is most certainly doomed.

The least difficult lines are naturally being taken over first. Rubber canvas shoe imports into Canada started in 1949, and have now reached 54 per cent of the Canadian market with 2,186,928 pairs in the first ten months of 1955. Canadian-made shoes had a corresponding reduction in Canadian sales. Waterproof rubber footwear, which is a different line, is now being shipped into Canada in ever-increasing quantities. Standing at less than 1 per cent in 1949, imports of rubber boots and rubbers have now increased to 945,652 pairs, which represents 8} per cent of Canadian requirements in the first ten months of 1955.

The effect of this loss of business on Canadian employment is a reduction of persons employed from 7,350 in 1948 to 4,500 in 1955. Some of the rubber companies have ceased operations in footwear and have absorbed these workers into tire making. Some of these footwear factories are in small towns where there is very little other employment available.

Foreign competition, principally from Hong Kong but also from Japan and other low-wage countries, has taken advantage of low labour costs. Their wages are so low that theirs is an altogether different way of life, paying 7 cents per hour to girls as compared with $1.45 per hour for the same operation in Canada. Men earn from 10 to 15 cents per hour in Hong Kong.

We know this is a real problem for the Department of Trade and Commerce, and we realize that we must buy from these countries if we wish to continue to sell them our wheat.

The Address-Mr. Dinsdale Higher tariff protection is not the answer. A fair valuation for duty purposes based on fair Canadian costs would help, but I believe that a quota would be a fair way to control this unfair competition.

I am sure all members of this house will agree that we must not allow this industry to be eliminated. If trouble comes we can be sure that we cannot depend on Hong Kong and Japan for this essential commodity, holding a high priority for the armed forces, the farmer, the miner and the fisherman and every Canadian.

There is nothing in the present trade agreements to prevent these substandard countries frbm taking over our entire rubber footwear business, and they are already working on the production of automobile and truck tires. A delegation from Japan recently visited one Canadian footwear manufacturer and boldly proposed that they would make a highly profitable deal with him if he would stop manufacturing and allow them to supply his entire needs according to his own models and specifications.

The four members who have rubber footwear plants in their ridings earnestly request this house to seriously consider the future of these remaining 4,500 workers and the essential character of the product they make. In the announcement of GATT agreements it was clearly explained that if any Canadian industry were threatened, escape clauses could be invoked. The three members from Quebec join me in the claim that this is a clear case of such a threat, and we ask your serious consideration of this problem.


Walter Gilbert Dinsdale

Progressive Conservative

Mr. W. G. Dinsdale (Brandon-Souris):

Mr. Speaker, I want to say just a few words by way of introduction this evening, and with your permission I shall go no further than to refer to the remarks of the two speakers who have preceded me. I think I am fortunate in the position in which I find myself

this evening, that is so far as the type of speech delivered by the two previous speakers is concerned.

The hon. member for Waterloo North (Mr. Schneider) referred to the fact that the team which is striving for Olympic honours for Canada this year is the well known Kitchener-Waterloo Dutchmen. I should like to inform the house that one of the leading players on that team, as a matter of fact the captain, is a product of my native city. Jack McKenzie was raised in Brandon and played for the Brandon Wheat Kings in the early part of the fifties. He grew up in my neighbourhood and was a member of my boys' group. I am sure that with such an outstanding specimen from the west the Dutchmen may be assured of success in their tour overseas.

I am speaking tonight from a slightly different location in the house than that which I occupied last year. I have moved to the left, but I want to assure you that that is only in a geographic sense. As I listened to my worthy friend and colleague, the hon. member for Kootenay West (Mr. Herridge), I thought if I had been moving around my constituency and had been asked to describe some of the members of the house I would have described the hon. member for Kootenay West as being the best Conservative in the C.C.F. party. It was an excellent Conservative dissertation which he gave the house tonight. I do not know who is influencing whom since I moved down to this corner of the chamber.

Rather than go further with my remarks tonight, I wonder if it would be possible for me to adjourn the debate.

On motion of Mr. Dinsdale the debate was adjourned.


January 23, 1956