April 9, 1957

PC

William Earl Rowe

Progressive Conservative

Hon. W. Earl Rowe (Dufferin-Simcoe):

Mr. Speaker, we have observed a spectacle tonight of true Liberalism as it stands today. The Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Gardiner) knew very well that there was an agreement made concerning this debate which was to continue to allow speakers from this party and the party to my left to participate and yet he says that the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Diefenbaker) brought up an issue that' was not important and that he wasted the time of the house. It took the Minister of Agriculture twice as long to answer what was said by the Leader of the Opposition so eloquently this afternoon as it took the leader of my group to speak. I have listened to the Minister of Agriculture in this house for many years and I have always observed that when he talks the loudest and longest he has the weakest case.

I propose tonight to be a gentleman in this House of Commons

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Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear.

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PC

William Earl Rowe

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Rowe:

Those who applaud the loudest and longest should observe it the most. I propose to leave half the time for the other parties in the House of Commons and while my right hon. friend the Minister of Agriculture has left only ten minutes for each of us he himself talked for an hour and forty minutes-

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Some hon. Members:

Shame.

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PC

William Earl Rowe

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Rowe:

-criticizing the Leader of the Opposition for talking too long and for bringing up an issue that is not important. In spite of all this the minister spoke for twice the length of time consumed by the Leader of the Opposition in his feeble attempt to answer the statements made by the leader of this party. I will leave it to you and to those who observe the proceedings in this House of Commons, that if you analyse the minister's speech tomorrow morning and take the eloquence and loudness out of it you will find it is the most empty, barren bleak and hollow political speech that has ever been presented in this house.

The Minister of Agriculture is a great friend of mine, a bonny fighter in the House of Commons. No man in this house can take

Agricultural Products-Support Prices so weak a case and present it as loudly, eloquently and at as great length as the minister has done on this and many other occasions.

He tells us tonight that we are responsible for our boys leaving the farms and for the condition of agriculture today. Who is responsible?-

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LIB

John Horace Dickey (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Defence Production)

Liberal

Mr. Dickey:

You are.

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PC

William Earl Rowe

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Rowe:

I am listening to the weak little voice of the assistant minister of agriculture.

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LIB

Robert McCubbin (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. McCubbin:

I did not say one word.

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PC

William Earl Rowe

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Rowe:

Did you say you never said one word?

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LIB

Robert McCubbin (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. McCubbin:

I did not interrupt you in any shape, manner or form.

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PC

Clayton Wesley Hodgson

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hodgson:

It was the little squeak behind him.

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PC

William Earl Rowe

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Rowe:

You have admitted that you did not say a word. You have never said many words in the House of Commons anyway.

The Minister of Agriculture talked tonight for 15 minutes about the cluckers in the poultry business. When hens are about to lay eggs they cluck. How many hon. members in this house have placed their hands under a hen to withdraw an egg and have heard her clucking? There have never been more cluckers in any one place than there are in this government. It is a government composed of old cluckers. The old Minister of Agriculture has been in power for so long and he has done nothing but cluck throughout that time and it has been the most clever political clucking that has been possible to hear in Canada in the last 30 years. The most clever political clucking I have heard in Canada in the last 30 years was done by the Minister of Agriculture. He is the prize clucker in Canada.

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PC

Gordon Knapman Fraser

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fraser (Peterborough):

And he has

been laying cracked eggs.

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PC

William Earl Rowe

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Rowe:

He talks about us telling the farmers to leave and he whistles while he passes the graveyard. He does not even see the problem. All he has to do is drive up and down the side roads of this country to see the "for sale" signs on the gate posts of farms and the auction sales bills in the grocery stores to know that farmers do not have to listen to the Conservative party to find out what is wrong with agriculture today. They know what is wrong themselves.

Surely even the Minister of Agriculture knows that agriculturists in this country have not shared in the national economy as they should and as the Leader of the Opposition

3348 HOUSE OF

Agricultural Products-Support Prices so eloquently expressed in his remarks this afternoon. No one knows this better than the Minister of Agriculture and that is why he talked so long and loud. He would have ceased a half hour ago if conditions were good but he did not want to hear from those of us on this side of the house.

The minister says he was born a long time ago.

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PC

Clayton Wesley Hodgson

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hodgson:

Too long ago.

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PC

William Earl Rowe

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Rowe:

I am rather sorry he was born so long ago because I would like him to be around to see the results and fruits of his political manoeuvring in agriculture in this country in years to come. I have been in this house longer than he has and I have watched agriculture throughout the years. He said this afternoon in a glib and loud outburst that we were not going to suffer another period such as we had after the first great war. Oh, how soon they forget.

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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. Gardiner:

You have forgotten too. Cattle went down to $4.66 when you got in.

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Some hon. Members:

Sit down.

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PC

William Earl Rowe

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Rowe:

I did not interrupt you when you were speaking. You have left me only ten minutes and I am not going to waste time listening to your interruptions because they are not worth while anyway.

The Minister of Agriculture knows very well that in the years following the first great war we had prosperity until 1926. I myself sold hogs on my farm for $25 a live weight in 1925.

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PC

Gordon Knapman Fraser

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fraser (Peterborough):

I did, too.

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April 9, 1957