March 26, 1957

CCF

Edward George McCullough

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

Mr. McCullough (Moose Mountain):

Nonsense. They just prove everything we said is true.

Topic:   PRAIRIE GRAIN PRODUCERS INTERIM FINANCING
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS TO ACT EXTENDING APPLICATION, FIXING INTEREST AND INCREASING MAXIMUM
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LIB

René Jutras

Liberal

Mr. Julras:

Will you hold your peace? We have heard you; you have talked too much already.

Topic:   PRAIRIE GRAIN PRODUCERS INTERIM FINANCING
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS TO ACT EXTENDING APPLICATION, FIXING INTEREST AND INCREASING MAXIMUM
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CCF

Edward George McCullough

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

Mr. McCullough (Moose Mountain):

What about you?

Topic:   PRAIRIE GRAIN PRODUCERS INTERIM FINANCING
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS TO ACT EXTENDING APPLICATION, FIXING INTEREST AND INCREASING MAXIMUM
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CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

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

Mr. Knowles:

Address the Chair.

Topic:   PRAIRIE GRAIN PRODUCERS INTERIM FINANCING
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS TO ACT EXTENDING APPLICATION, FIXING INTEREST AND INCREASING MAXIMUM
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LIB

René Jutras

Liberal

Mr. Julras:

All this amendment seeks to do is kill this bill, and it does not replace it with anything. All it says is that the government should give consideration to cash advances. I can tell you that the government is now and has been for some time giving extremely serious consideration to some form of cash advances.

Topic:   PRAIRIE GRAIN PRODUCERS INTERIM FINANCING
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS TO ACT EXTENDING APPLICATION, FIXING INTEREST AND INCREASING MAXIMUM
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CCF

Alfred Claude Ellis

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

Mr. Ellis:

And doing nothing about it.

Topic:   PRAIRIE GRAIN PRODUCERS INTERIM FINANCING
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS TO ACT EXTENDING APPLICATION, FIXING INTEREST AND INCREASING MAXIMUM
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LIB

René Jutras

Liberal

Mr. Julras:

The government does not need direction from my socialist friends on that or any other score. This problem has existed for some time, and not only is it being given consideration by the government but it is being studied by the farm organizations. The form it will take will depend to a degree on conditions as they exist next fall and in the future. The point is that by killing this bill you do not improve the situation; indeed, you make it worse.

When the farm organizations were asked what they thought of the present bill they suggested that certain amendments should be made. They suggested first that the amount should be increased. They suggested $3,200, and the Minister of Trade and Commerce made it $3,000. They also suggested that the

Grain

time should be extended to September in order to include all the crop year.

Topic:   PRAIRIE GRAIN PRODUCERS INTERIM FINANCING
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS TO ACT EXTENDING APPLICATION, FIXING INTEREST AND INCREASING MAXIMUM
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CCF

Alexander Malcolm Nicholson

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

Mr. Nicholson:

What about the interest rate?

Topic:   PRAIRIE GRAIN PRODUCERS INTERIM FINANCING
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS TO ACT EXTENDING APPLICATION, FIXING INTEREST AND INCREASING MAXIMUM
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LIB

René Jutras

Liberal

Mr. Jutras:

Wait a moment; I cannot say three things at the same time. I will get to it. Since you have interrupted me I will repeat what I have said. The first suggestion offered by the farm organizations was to raise the amount. The government increased the amount. The second suggestion was to extend the time to make it coincide with the crop year, and the date was moved to September. Third, they asked to have the lowest possible rate, and the minister has left the rate to be determined by the governor in council. It is the intention of the government, I am quite sure, to try to obtain the best possible rate.

It is one thing to say you should have a very low rate, but if you get it too low then the farmers will not be able to obtain loans and the legislation will not be operative at all. There is a middle course to be followed in this regard, and I am satisfied that the Minister of Trade and Commerce and the government will strike the lowest possible interest rate they can negotiate with the banks which will still allow the legislation to be effective.

Any other scheme involving free loans or free advances through the wheat board or any other body are schemes of a permanent nature. If we discover that we must live for a few years with a huge surplus on our hands, then we will have to face up to the problem of developing some scheme of that nature or perhaps one similar to that in the United States; but that would represent a complete change in our system of marketing grain. We have always tried to dispose of our grain as fast as we could, and have endeavoured to reduce our surpluses to the minimum. The Minister of Trade and Commerce, conscious of the fact that we had a larger surplus than usual and that it was exerting an unfavourable pressure on the grain producers, proposed last year that the government pay the carrying charges on all the grain that is in surplus in the country, and this is still in operation.

Topic:   PRAIRIE GRAIN PRODUCERS INTERIM FINANCING
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS TO ACT EXTENDING APPLICATION, FIXING INTEREST AND INCREASING MAXIMUM
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SC

Victor Quelch

Social Credit

Mr. Quelch:

In excess of 178 million bushels.

Topic:   PRAIRIE GRAIN PRODUCERS INTERIM FINANCING
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS TO ACT EXTENDING APPLICATION, FIXING INTEREST AND INCREASING MAXIMUM
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LIB

René Jutras

Liberal

Mr. Jutras:

Yes, in excess of 168 million bushels.

Topic:   PRAIRIE GRAIN PRODUCERS INTERIM FINANCING
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS TO ACT EXTENDING APPLICATION, FIXING INTEREST AND INCREASING MAXIMUM
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SC

Victor Quelch

Social Credit

Mr. Quelch:

No, 178 million bushels.

Topic:   PRAIRIE GRAIN PRODUCERS INTERIM FINANCING
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS TO ACT EXTENDING APPLICATION, FIXING INTEREST AND INCREASING MAXIMUM
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LIB

René Jutras

Liberal

Mr. Jutras:

As far as the producer is concerned this means that even if the grain is kept in storage for two, three, four or five years his price is not affected. The

price does not go down. This removes one of the biggest worries that confronted the farmers and frees the hands of the Canadian wheat board, who are now in a position to sit back and wait for a favourable sale. They do not have to unload the grain in desperation. Under the old system where storage reduced the price every year there came a point where they had to sacrifice the grain. It was either a question of getting rid of it or seeing it deteriorate.

As it is now the hands of the wheat board are free and the price will remain constant. This is one of the biggest worries the farmers had and now it has been removed. I am satisfied that if the situation continues the government will come forward, as the minister has stated on more than one occasion would be done, with a system to alleviate adverse conditions again through some scheme that will be discussed with the Canadian farm organizations, as was done in the present case. Though it may not meet all the demands or requirements, I am confident it will be a scheme that will meet with the general approval of all the farm organizations in that regard, just as the government has tried to meet their wishes over the past years.

No amount of effort on the part of my socialist friends on the other side of the house in an attempt to discredit the Minister of Trade and Commerce will change that picture. This amendment is meaningless. It is simply designed to kill the bill. We are endeavouring to improve the existing bill. This one does not invalidate the other. You can have this credit through the banks and still bring in another bill at a later time if you want to. I do not see the point of the amendment at all. The amendment is a purely political move on the part of the socialists in an effort to make some political hay in Saskatchewan.

Topic:   PRAIRIE GRAIN PRODUCERS INTERIM FINANCING
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS TO ACT EXTENDING APPLICATION, FIXING INTEREST AND INCREASING MAXIMUM
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CCF

Frederick Samuel Zaplitny

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

Mr. F. S. Zapliiny (Dauphin):

Mr. Speaker, at last the long silence has been broken and we have heard from a spokesman who seems to be more concerned with the credit of the Minister of Trade and Commerce than the matter of cash advances to farmers. He has accused members of this group of trying to discredit the Minister of Trade and Commerce. If expressing our opposition to what the minister is proposing constitutes discrediting the minister, then of course we will have to plead guilty. If by discrediting he means that we are going about slandering the minister, then of course he is quite wrong. As a matter of fact on many occasions, perhaps more often than the situation warranted, members of this group have given a great deal of credit to the Minister of Trade and Commerce. We have given credit where

credit is due, but we are not here to polish apples for the Minister of Trade and Commerce as obviously some hon. members are.

I am not surprised that the hon. member for Provencher went to such pains to attack the C.C.F.-

Topic:   PRAIRIE GRAIN PRODUCERS INTERIM FINANCING
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS TO ACT EXTENDING APPLICATION, FIXING INTEREST AND INCREASING MAXIMUM
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LIB

René Jutras

Liberal

Mr. Julras:

I assure you there were no pains.

Topic:   PRAIRIE GRAIN PRODUCERS INTERIM FINANCING
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS TO ACT EXTENDING APPLICATION, FIXING INTEREST AND INCREASING MAXIMUM
Permalink
CCF

Frederick Samuel Zaplitny

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

Mr. Zapliiny:

and to toady up to the minister, because as a matter of fact I think he and the Minister of Trade and Commerce have a great deal in common. I believe both of them have gone as far politically as they will ever go.

We have been wondering at one thing in the hon. member's speech; that is the new announcement of policy he has made tonight. He may not realize that he has made a pronouncement tonight which runs contrary to what the Minister of Trade and Commerce has stated repeatedly in this house. The hon. member for Provencher said tonight that the minister has an open mind on this question and that the government even now is considering the matter of cash advances. Yet we have heard from the Minister of Trade and Commerce, not only this year but during the debate last year the categorical statement that as long as he is minister he will not consider cash advances.

That is on the record. I should like to know who is speaking for whom. It seems to me that every time the Minister of Trade and Commerce goes fishing we make progress. The fishing must be pretty good off Bermuda these days, and I hope he stays a while because already during his absence some of his supporters are beginning to play the maverick and are jumping over the traces by making pronouncements which do not agree with the policy of the government or the policy of the Minister of Trade and Commerce. I am afraid the hon. member for Provencher will get himself into trouble by trying to interpret what is in the minister's mind, when the minister has said absolutely the contrary when making a speech in this house.

Let me refer to what the minister said on March 14, as reported on page 2197 of Hansard. These are his words:

I come forward with a bill in the exact form in which I was asked to have it passed.

He was asked by whom to have it passed? Some of the members who support the minister have been trying to pretend that the farm organizations asked for this kind of a bill. We have put on the record repeatedly resolutions passed by the three prairie wheat pools, by the interprovincial farm union and by other organizations which disproved that claim. As a matter of fact even on the basis 82715-173

Grain

of the resolution which was sent to the minister on March 1 and which he pretended he was carrying out; even that much diluted version with which the farm organizations in their desperation finally had to agree, is not being carried out because the only change in the bill before us is to increase the maximum amount to $3,000 and move the date ahead to September 1.

Nothing at all is done about the other points which were mentioned in the resolution which came from Saskatoon. For example, the first point was that loans should be made on the basis of acreage, $4 per acre with a maximum of 800 acres. This bill does not attempt to do anything of the kind. The principle of this bill is simply that if a banker decides that he wishes to make a loan to a farmer on whatever security the farmer may have, which may include grain but not necessarily so, the banker will make that loan and the government will guarantee it. It has nothing to do with acreage, it has nothing to do with any specific amount per acre, and it does not give the farmer the right to obtain any amount of loan at any time. All it does is guarantee the banks that they will not suffer losses if they make loans. Therefore it does not fulfil that recommendation.

Then there was a request that the interest rate be as low as possible, and in any event not higher than that paid by the Canadian wheat board. What is the government doing about that? Instead of bringing down the interest rate, which is the only way in which that request could be interpreted, they are leaving it to the government in council to set it as they see fit. There is every indication that the rate is going to be more than the present 5 per cent. So even on the basis of the very mild request of March 1 neither the government nor the minister is including in the bill what the farm organizations were asking for.

I come back to the minister's statement:

I come forward with a bill in the exact form in which I was asked to have it passed.

It is certainly not in the form in which the farm organizations asked that it be passed. Who asked the minister to do this? I think the cat is out of the bag, because we have an indication that it is the private members supporting the government who come from the prairie provinces, and particularly the spokesman from Manitoba who spoke tonight; they are the ones who are responsible for this mess which is before us today. It is upon their advice that the minister has presented this bill in the exact form in which they wanted it.

Grain

I ask the hon. member for Provencher if he can go back conscientiously to the farmers of his constituency, read this bill through clause by clause and say it is in the exact form in which he asked the Minister of Trade and Commerce to present it to the house. Will he be able to ask them if they are satisfied? I doubt very much if he will do that.

Topic:   PRAIRIE GRAIN PRODUCERS INTERIM FINANCING
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS TO ACT EXTENDING APPLICATION, FIXING INTEREST AND INCREASING MAXIMUM
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LIB

René Jutras

Liberal

Mr. Jutras:

The hon. member asked me a question; let me answer it.

Topic:   PRAIRIE GRAIN PRODUCERS INTERIM FINANCING
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS TO ACT EXTENDING APPLICATION, FIXING INTEREST AND INCREASING MAXIMUM
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LIB

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

Liberal

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Applewhaite):

do not think I have the right to permit the hon. member for Provencher to answer, because if the hon. member for Dauphin resumes his seat then I cannot see him again in this debate.

Topic:   PRAIRIE GRAIN PRODUCERS INTERIM FINANCING
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS TO ACT EXTENDING APPLICATION, FIXING INTEREST AND INCREASING MAXIMUM
Permalink
CCF

Frederick Samuel Zaplitny

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

Mr. Zaplitny:

Mr. Speaker, I have no desire to violate the rules of this house, but I would suggest to the hon. member for Provencher that he will have an opportunity to reply if he wishes to do so. We are now dealing with the amendment and when that is disposed of, if the bill is still before the house he can reply at that time. I ask other hon. members from Manitoba; I ask the hon. member for Springfield (Mr. Weselak), the hon. member for Portage-Neepawa (Mr. Weir), the hon. member for Brandon-Souris (Mr. Dinsdale) for that matter, whether they will be satisfied to go back and say to the farmers in their constituencies that the bill as it now reads is in the exact form they recommended to the Minister of Trade and Commerce. Will they accept that responsibility? I am sure they will not. They will beat about the bush, they will make excuses, they will-

Topic:   PRAIRIE GRAIN PRODUCERS INTERIM FINANCING
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS TO ACT EXTENDING APPLICATION, FIXING INTEREST AND INCREASING MAXIMUM
Permalink
LIB

René Jutras

Liberal

Mr. Jutras:

We are not socialists.

Topic:   PRAIRIE GRAIN PRODUCERS INTERIM FINANCING
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS TO ACT EXTENDING APPLICATION, FIXING INTEREST AND INCREASING MAXIMUM
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March 26, 1957