February 7, 1957

IND

Wilbert Ross Thatcher

Independent

Mr. Thatcher:

You still have not told us how to sell more wheat.

Topic:   CANADIAN WHEAT BOARD ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO EXTEND EXPIRY DATE
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SC

Ernest George Hansell

Social Credit

Mr. E. G. Hansell (Macleod):

Mr. Speaker, before the debate concludes I should like to say a word because I come from a wheatgrowing section of the country. I have also attended a good many farmers' meetings, have carried on a good deal of correspondence with respect to wheat-growing problems and have received numerous resolutions from time to time. The bill now before us gives us an opportunity to speak about the operations of the Canadian wheat board and to say whether or not we are in favour of the continued life of the board.

I am quite certain that the wheat-growing farmers of Canada are almost unanimous in their desire to have the Canadian wheat board continued. Wherever I go I find that this desire exists. There is the odd occasion when some may say that they wish we could go back to the type of wheat marketing we had before the board took over all deliveries of wheat.

I recall being at a farmers' meeting a number of years ago. They had their problems. Among their problems was that of

Canadian Wheat Board Act marketing their grain as well as the price they were receiving at that particular time. The chairman of the meeting was the reeve of the municipality and it happened that the reeve was a very good political supporter of mine. I do not know whether or not I made any remarks which left a wrong impression. I think perhaps I did try to explain that there was another side to the question of marketing wheat which the odd individual may have expressed. However, no matter what remarks I may have made at the time, after the meeting the reeve came to me and in spite of the fact that he was a very good supporter of mine he said "Mr. Hansell, we are glad to know that you support the wheat board but if you ever talk against it in the House of Commons there will be no use of your ever coming into this community again." That was said by a man who knew what he was talking about and I think he was only expressing the opinion of almost 100 per cent of the farmers of that community.

I believe that the reason the farmers want the continuation of the wheat board is that it does tend towards a more orderly marketing policy. The farmer is not left altogether to chance. Not only does it offer a more orderly marketing policy but it puts the farmer in a position where he is a little more certain of his future. He is not dependent upon fluctuations which might occur on the open market and might occur by reason of design. He knows that his wheat will be sold. He knows there will be a payment coming along and he knows that in the long run there is more stable marketing and a more stable income for him.

There is one point that we must remember. We cannot blame the wheat board for that which sometimes appears to be impossible for them to do. We must recognize that, while the wheat board is the only avenue through which the farmer can market his wheat, the wheat board must go out into a very competitive world, particularly at a time when there is no international wheat agreement in existence. The wheat board has to go out into what might be termed an open market among the nations of the world. Therefore the board goes out into a competitive market. It may not be able to do all that might be desired and we must not blame the board for minor failures which we might suppose it has made. If the board has not met all the wishes of the wheat grower I do not know that it is always and altogether the fault of the board. It could be by reason of circumstances that exist in the world and over which they have little control.

However, we do know that the world is in need of wheat. Wheat is a very stable food and perhaps the world would starve if it were not for the wheat supplies that come from the farms. The hon. member for Acadia (Mr. Quelch), the hon. member for Battle River-Camrose (Mr. Smith), the hon. member for Bow River (Mr. Johnston), and a few minutes ago the hon. member for Red Deer (Mr. Shaw) and the hon. member for Lethbridge (Mr. Blackmore), and the hon. member for New Westminster (Mr. Hahn), all being members of this group, have placed upon the record a good deal of valuable material as to the position which this group takes with respect to the wheat board, with respect to the farmer's position and with respect to the marketing of wheat generally. I believe the hon. member for Acadia mentioned the fact that the world needs wheat. The Alberta Wheat Pool Budget of November 9, 1956, points out that while the world carry-over of wheat is 1| billion bushels-at that time-the population of the world stands at 2| billion people; so 1J billion bushels represents only 36 pounds of wheat per person. In the United States 190 pounds of wheat per person are consumed annually. The annual world consumption of wheat is about 6 billion bushels. So a carry-over of 1J billion bushels is equivalent to only a three months' supply for wheat-eating nations.

The need for the reserve is further highlighted by a speech made by the North American representative of the food and agricultural organization, Mr. Hambridge. He pointed out that over 50 per cent of the population of the world are underfed and underclothed with millions dying from starvation. Then he made the significant statement that the situation would be bad enough if the people knew that it could not be avoided owing to a shortage of food in the world. But, he pointed out, they know that that is not the situation and they know that there is an abundance of food in the world. Hence they are no longer willing passively to submit to this intolerable situation.

I recognize, Mr. Speaker, the fact that sometimes it may be difficult to find markets but I am rather of the opinion that sometimes that difficulty exists because we are not always willing to take the various currencies of the world. We have two policies to propose. One is that we would be willing to go out into the world and offer credits to other nations who care to take our wheat. That has been done with some other countries. I think I am right in saying that that is the way in which the United States handled a good deal of their surplus wheat. There is no reason why we cannot do the same thing.

The wheat would be taken from the farmers, and the farmers would be paid for it, and we would be paid for it in the currencies of the nations that take our wheat. So in that respect it is not necessarily a wheat-marketing problem as much as it is a financial problem. This government here should embark upon a solution of that particular financial problem.

We advocate also a two-price system. We advocate that support prices should be maintained at 100 per cent of parity for farm products sold in the domestic market and that the surplus products should be sold abroad for the best price obtainable, preferably under some form of international agreement but in any event covered by a support price sufficient to meet average costs of production.

In view of the fact that over 94 per cent of all farm products, excluding wheat, are sold in Canada it would mean that farmers would receive 100 per cent of parity for 94 per cent of their products excluding wheat. In regard to wheat, approximately 80 per cent is sold abroad and 20 per cent is sold in the domestic market. Therefore 20 per cent at parity of, we will say, about $2.27 per bushel or thereabouts and 80 per cent at the ceiling of $1.95 per bushel under the international wheat agreement would give the farmers a support price of approximately $2 or a little over $2 a bushel.

We believe that careful consideration should be given to building up efficient family farms. Right now I want to put in a plug

Canadian Wheat Board Act for the small farmer. We believe that we should give consideration to building up efficient family farms. If it is conceded that family farms, in order to make the most efficient use of power machinery, will have to be in the neighbourhood of two sections of average land or one section of heavy land, and if the average annual production of wheat on such farms might be approximately 8,000 bushels of wheat, then we feel that by limiting the support price to 8,000 bushels per farmer we would help to strengthen the family farm. The large operators farming thousands of acres would receive the support price on the first 8,000 bushels and would receive the world market price on the balance.

I see that the clock has moved around to the point of ten o'clock, Mr. Speaker. I believe there are one or two others who wish to speak, but I am not through. I should like to spend the balance of the time that is allotted me to the furtherance of my speech, and I would ask that you call it ten o'clock. I move the adjournment of the debate.

On motion of Mr. Hansell the debate was adjourned.

Topic:   CANADIAN WHEAT BOARD ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO EXTEND EXPIRY DATE
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BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Harris:

Tomorrow we shall continue with the business that I indicated last evening.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
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At ten o'clock the house adjourned, without question put, pursuant to standing order.



Questions


ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS


The following answers, deposited with the Clerk of the house, are printed in the official report of debates pursuant to standing order 39:


INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT BANK

?

Mr. Van Horne

1. Did the industrial development bank make loans in New Brunswick in 1956?

2. If so, how many loans were made and what was the amount of each loan?

3. How many applications for loans were made?

4. What percentage of the loans applied for were granted?

Answer by: Hon. W. E. Harris (Minister of Finance):

Answer provided on Tuesday, January 15, 1957, as recorded on page 290 of the House of Commons Debates:

"1, 2, 3 and 4. The only information of government record is contained in the annual report of the industrial development bank which shows that loans to the amount of $1,346,000 were authorized in the province of New Brunswick in the fiscal year ended September 30, 1956".

Corrected answer:

1, 2, 3 and 4. The only information available is to the effect that the industrial development bank authorized 8 loans in the total amount of $1,346,000 in the province of New Brunswick during the fiscal year ended September 30, 1956.

Topic:   ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT BANK
Sub-subtopic:   NEW BRUNSWICK LOANS
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DISABILITY ALLOWANCES, NOVA SCOTIA

LIB

Mr. Buchanan

Liberal

1. To how many citizens in Nova Scotia was the disability allowance awarded during 1956?

2. What is the total number of citizens in Nova Scotia receiving an allowance under the Disabled Persons Act?

Answer by: Hon. Paul Martin (Minister of National Health and Welfare):

1. Records furnished by the province of Nova Scotia show a total of 386 applicants awarded disabled persons allowances in the calendar year 1956.

2. 1,409 as at December 31, 1956.

Topic:   ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   DISABILITY ALLOWANCES, NOVA SCOTIA
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INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT BANK

NOVA SCOTIA

LIB

Mr. Purdy

Liberal

For the fiscal year of the industrial development bank, ending 30th September, 1956:

1. How many applications for advances were received from concerns in Nova Scotia, and what amount in each case?

2. What was the number and total amount of such applications approved?

Answer by: Hon. W. E. Harris (Minister of

Finance):

1 and 2. The only information available is to the effect that the industrial development bank authorized 8 loans in the total amount of $400,500 in the province of Nova Scotia during the fiscal year ended September 30, 1956.

Topic:   INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT BANK
Subtopic:   NOVA SCOTIA
Sub-subtopic:   APPLICATIONS
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FEED GRAIN

FREIGHT ASSISTANCE

LIB

Mr. Balcom

Liberal

What was the amount of freight assistance on western feed grains paid to Nova Scotia during the year 1956?

Answer by: Right Hon. J. G. Gardiner

(Minister of Agriculture):

Topic:   FEED GRAIN
Subtopic:   FREIGHT ASSISTANCE
Sub-subtopic:   PAYMENTS, N.S.
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$1,722,509.60. HEALTH OF ANIMAL INSPECTION, B.C.

SC

Mr. Hahn

Social Credit

1. How many eviscerating plants receive health of animal inspection in the province of British Columbia?

2. Are they permitted to use the H of A stamp of approval for dominion retail sales?

3. How do the regulations under the health of animals inspection regulations compare with provincial regulations?

4. To what extent has health of animal inspection materially improved in the dominion market, during the past two years?

5. What effect has it had on the sale of birds not so marked?

6. How many processing plants are there, other than health of animal inspected in the province of British Columbia, which are inspected under the British Columbia provincial health act?

Answer by: Right Hon. J. G. Gardiner

(Minister of Agriculture):

1. There are five poultry eviscerating plants in British Columbia operating as inspected establishments under the federal Meat and Canned Foods Act and receiving veterinary inspection by the health of animals division.

2. The "Canada Approved" stamp, identifying the product of such inspected establishments, must be applied to all carcasses, cuts and packages of meats, including poultry, processed in those establishments, regardless of whether the products are to move in export, interprovincial or local trade.

3. The provincial act provides for standards of plant sanitation, as a basis of accepting a plant under inspection, virtually equivalent to those established under the federal Meat and Canned Foods Act. The provincial act does not make inspection under that act compulsory. The federal Meat and Canned Foods Act, administered by the health of animals division, requires that any plant engaging in interprovincial or export trade must operate as an inspected establishment under that act. Federal inspection is, however, granted on a

non-eompulsory basis to any poultry eviscerating plant, doing business entirely within a province, which meets the standards for plant sanitation established under the Meat and Canned Foods Act and regulations. There are no minimum volume requirements for the granting of such inspection.

4. In the fiscal year 1954-55 there were 27 poultry eviscerating plants operating as in-

Questions

spected establishments under the Meat and Canned Foods Act. At the present time there are 45 such plants.

5. In some trade channels and with certain classes of poultry there is reported to be a preference for the product of inspected establishments.

6. We do not maintain records of provincial inspections.

Friday, February 8, 1957

Topic:   $1,722,509.60. HEALTH OF ANIMAL INSPECTION, B.C.
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February 7, 1957