December 20, 1957

?

An hon. Member:

You still are.

Topic:   AGRICULTURE
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO PROVIDE GUARANTEED PRICES FOR CERTAIN COMMODITIES, ETC.
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PC

William Earl Rowe

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Rowe:

-and I am still a farmer and I am still responsible for the management of a lot of acres. My right hon. friend, the former minister of agriculture, in a facetious mood, when somebody said one day that I was a dirt farmer, replied maybe I was a dirty farmer. Well, Mr. Speaker, he and I both know how difficult it is to keep a farm clean; our farms might be cleaner were it not that we are in parliament. But I will remind him, and he will recall it very well, that a very great friend of his and of the hon. member for Essex East (Mr. Martin), the hon. member for Waterloo North (Mr. Schneider), said that the right hon. former minister of agriculture was one of the greatest politicians ever to be the minister of agriculture. He said-in a very facetious mood because I did not agree with it and I know my right hon. friend did not agree with it either-that when the right hon. gentleman went home after he had been talking politics for so long and he ground up some of his surplus wheat and wanted to feed it to a hog, the hog backed up and said "You have fooled so many people, I do not believe I will try to eat it."

However, Mr. Speaker, I have listened to the right hon. the former minister of agriculture this afternoon and I could not help but think of how regretful he must have been that he had not used that mediocre bill more

Agricultural Products-Price Stabilization than he did. There was nobody to your left, Mr. Speaker, who could have done more to help re-elect the previous government than the right hon. gentleman. I would not like to say that he was the most responsible for their defeat but he could have been the most responsible for their remaining in power had he then used a little more of the powers he had under that bill. I know that he had opposition in his cabinet; I know that he was not able to do all the things he wanted to do and perhaps he and I are both in the twilight of our careers so I would hesitate to say the things I used to say about him-

Topic:   AGRICULTURE
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO PROVIDE GUARANTEED PRICES FOR CERTAIN COMMODITIES, ETC.
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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner

Liberal

Mr. Gardiner:

Go right ahead.

Topic:   AGRICULTURE
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO PROVIDE GUARANTEED PRICES FOR CERTAIN COMMODITIES, ETC.
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PC

William Earl Rowe

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Rowe:

I know he likes this bill. I know he knows it is an improvement on his bill. I know when he speaks about hesitating to support it that he has no intention of opposing it, because he would rather risk the fortunes of the farmers than risk the next election on this issue-

Topic:   AGRICULTURE
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO PROVIDE GUARANTEED PRICES FOR CERTAIN COMMODITIES, ETC.
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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner

Liberal

Mr. Gardiner:

Try me.

Topic:   AGRICULTURE
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO PROVIDE GUARANTEED PRICES FOR CERTAIN COMMODITIES, ETC.
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PC

William Earl Rowe

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Rowe:

I know if I was in his position I would too. Mr. Speaker, this is an excellent bill. This bill has been improved.

The hon. Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Hark-ness) today is a very fortunate choice as the Minister of Agriculture at this time. No man in Canada on our side of the house- and certainly with their reputation there is no one over there one would want to pick now-could have been picked who would have made a finer minister of agriculture than the present minister. He is one of those down to earth men, he is a farmer.

Topic:   AGRICULTURE
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO PROVIDE GUARANTEED PRICES FOR CERTAIN COMMODITIES, ETC.
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CCF

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

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

Mr. Knowles (Winnipeg North Centre):

Oh,

do not be so modest.

Topic:   AGRICULTURE
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO PROVIDE GUARANTEED PRICES FOR CERTAIN COMMODITIES, ETC.
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PC

William Earl Rowe

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Rowe:

He is a lot better minister than you would have made. There is no one, Mr. Speaker, in this house who talks so long on so many things of such very little interest to anyone as the hon. gentleman who has just interrupted. Just compare the two, Mr. Speaker; just compare the two. God help the Canadian farmer if the member for Winnipeg North Centre had been minister of agriculture. He would not know a dairy cow from a beef steer.

Mr. Speaker, we have a practical man; we have a man who does not split hairs; a man who does not waste a lot of the time of parliament. I have been sitting here and you may have thought that I have not been thinking about what has been going on, but I have been counting up what has been going on here in parliament. The right hon. the former prime minister of this dominion, a most distinguished Canadian-

Topic:   AGRICULTURE
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO PROVIDE GUARANTEED PRICES FOR CERTAIN COMMODITIES, ETC.
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?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear.

2696 HOUSE OF

Agricultural Products-Price Stabilization

Topic:   AGRICULTURE
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO PROVIDE GUARANTEED PRICES FOR CERTAIN COMMODITIES, ETC.
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PC

William Earl Rowe

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Rowe:

-is a man who, next to the Prime Minister of Canada (Mr. Diefenbaker) is the most responsible man in parliament, as you will all agree. Now, I have checked in Hansard and I find my hon. friend from Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Knowles) has used just eight times as many pages as the right hon. the leader of Her Majesty's loyal opposition in this house. May I remind my hon. friend, because I always have to be an economist in order to pay my hotel bills here, that every hour of this parliament costs our taxpayers $1,000.

Topic:   AGRICULTURE
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO PROVIDE GUARANTEED PRICES FOR CERTAIN COMMODITIES, ETC.
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CCF

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

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

Mr. Knowles (Winnipeg North Centre):

Closure.

Topic:   AGRICULTURE
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO PROVIDE GUARANTEED PRICES FOR CERTAIN COMMODITIES, ETC.
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LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

Is this one worth it?

Topic:   AGRICULTURE
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO PROVIDE GUARANTEED PRICES FOR CERTAIN COMMODITIES, ETC.
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PC

William Earl Rowe

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Rowe:

Since last fall he has cost the country about $10,000 in the hours he has spent speaking in this parliament while the right hon. the Leader of Her Majesty's loyal opposition has cost this country about $800. In fact he is worth that much to the country and I would have paid his expenses myself. Perhaps his silence is due to his years of experience and his tolerance in listening, as he and I have had to do, to a lot of things that have been of little help to either the farmers or the industrialists or business generally.

Topic:   AGRICULTURE
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO PROVIDE GUARANTEED PRICES FOR CERTAIN COMMODITIES, ETC.
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?

An hon. Member:

Not much help is right.

Topic:   AGRICULTURE
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO PROVIDE GUARANTEED PRICES FOR CERTAIN COMMODITIES, ETC.
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PC

William Earl Rowe

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Rowe:

And as for my hon. friend the member for Winnipeg North Centre, I have great admiration for him too. He knows the rules so well and emphasizes them so much that I sometimes wonder if he is a theorist who would almost make parliament look ridiculous. Mr. Speaker, there are 100 members in this house who have not taken up as much time during this session as the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre. Perhaps the wagon that makes the most noise needs the most grease, but I must say I have seen more men talk themselves out of parliament than I have ever seen talk themselves into it. I have heard more nonsense from those who talk the most than from those who talk the least. I listened to the hon. members in the far corner discussing this bill and then moving the amendment that Bill No. 237 be not now read the second time but that the subject matter thereof be referred to the standing committee on agriculture and colonization. My congenial friend, the former minister of agriculture, would not have moved a motion like that, because he would see that this casts the die for another election and would put them further into oblivion than ever before. It needs Spartans to make a motion like that -people like the hon. members in the far corner to make a motion that Bill 237 be not read the second time.

Mr. Speaker, with all your technicalities and rules can you imagine what that means? It would mean the end of this bill. It would mean that these great champions who want to give the farmers 100 per cent parity are saying to the farmers of Canada that we are here in parliament to see that the bill should end entirely. The former minister of agriculture says he does not like it. I think he made an excellent speech; in fact, I have never heard him when he did not make a good speech. I never heard a man who could speak louder when his case was weaker. I have always enjoyed his speeches, because I enjoy the sporty style he has, but he would never be so stupid as to move a motion which would eliminate the bill. He gives quiet acquiescence to it rather than go to the country. He says: it is just a little bit better than the one I brought in that won an election for us.

My hon. friends in the far corner who never hope to have responsibility can champion $100 for old age pensions and 100 per cent parity and not even know what parity means. These champions of agriculture, knowing they will never have an opportunity to come into power, will suggest anything. They would find the former minister of agriculture and myself probably both voting against some of the wild ideas they have. Mr. Speaker, it sounds to me like the last swan song of a party which has seen two other parties get very close in competition; of a party which has no hope; almost like those who have very little pride of ancestry politically and no hope of posterity in the future. My hon. friends in the far corner will not have a corporal's guard here after the next election.

I am amazed at the hon. members to my right who, tonight, would move a motion in the terms I have mentioned with the guaranteed support of those sitting in turn on their right. Neither one would have had the courage, Mr. Speaker, to make such a motion if they thought the other great historic party would support such nonsense. They can be champions, they can hurl, they can move the hell from the blue in their speeches provided they know that the former minister of agriculture and those who follow his good political judgment are not going to be carried down the wild garden path with them.

Topic:   AGRICULTURE
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO PROVIDE GUARANTEED PRICES FOR CERTAIN COMMODITIES, ETC.
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CCF

Herbert Wilfred Herridge

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

Mr. Herridge:

You are both rowing in the same boat.

Topic:   AGRICULTURE
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO PROVIDE GUARANTEED PRICES FOR CERTAIN COMMODITIES, ETC.
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PC

William Earl Rowe

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Rowe:

I would never want you to row in my boat because I know it would be sure to sink. A man who has had the Conservative inclination you have and who has rowed with the group you have been rowing with for years could not row a thing politically.

Agricultural Products-Price Stabilization

The Minister of Agriculture has shown me in the short time he has been Minister of Agriculture in this dominion that history will recall him as the best minister of agriculture we have had since confederation. I have great regard for the former minister of agriculture. I have a keen regard for him. He knows I have. I have a keen regard, too, for the old historic Liberal party. I say to my hon. friend from Essex East (Mr. Martin) than I do not want to show him any partiality because I do not know which way he would take it if I did, but I do say to him and to the hon. member for Algoma East (Mr. Pearson) and to whoever else might be a candidate for the leadership of the great historic Liberal party in Canada, that I hope, and I say this with all sincerity, the Liberal party will select a good leader. They have had an excellent leader in the right hon. gentleman, the member for Quebec East (Mr. St. Laurent). He is a gentleman, a great Canadian, a great statesman and a man who will go down in history as having been the prime minister of this dominion for many years without one finger pointing at him. So I hope that whoever is named will be a good leader, because I am confident that if democracy is going to continue in this country it will go on with a two-party system. I am satisfied-and I am more confident than ever after listening to the debate on the motion which has been moved today-that there is no room in this house for more than a yes or no to any question, and that does not need more than two parties.

Mr. Speaker, I am, as probably you know, a champion-or I am trying to be a champion; I am not much of a champion-of free enterprise. I am a subscriber, at least, to private enterprise, and I am confident that no man merits his place in this country who does not burn the midnight oil. You will see that whoever is chosen leader of the Liberal party will burn the most midnight oil in Canada between now and the time the hon. member for Quebec East retires.

I do not believe in regimentation. That is why I can quite understand that hon. members to my right would not subscribe to this bill because it would not guarantee 100 per cent parity, in other words it would not guarantee over-payments for over-production and guarantee surpluses which would put us in a worse mess than the United States is in today. Mr. Speaker, stop and think. Have any responsible people in Canada been suggesting that we should go out for 100 per cent parity. Why, Mr. Speaker, Mr. Benson in the United States today is almost smothered with his surpluses which are now worth $10 billion. A few years ago it cost $1,300

million to handle the surpluses of the United States. Last year it cost $3,300 million. If they are going on as they are going on at present in this great new land and produce much more of what they do not need it may well be that the cost in future will be greater than $10 billion.

The former minister of agriculture says this bill is not much better than it was before.

Topic:   AGRICULTURE
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO PROVIDE GUARANTEED PRICES FOR CERTAIN COMMODITIES, ETC.
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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner

Liberal

Mr. Gardiner:

Not quite as good.

Topic:   AGRICULTURE
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO PROVIDE GUARANTEED PRICES FOR CERTAIN COMMODITIES, ETC.
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PC

William Earl Rowe

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Rowe:

Well, then, if you think it is not quite as good I cannot figure out in my limited experience why you do not vote against it. Probably you can, and you will tell me on the side.

Mr. Speaker, the former legislation which the Liberal administration brought in emphasized the uncertainty of the farmers' prices. The bill which the Minister of Agriculture has brought in now emphasizes stability. You did not have a 12 months guarantee. You could do as you like with it, which you did, and that is why the farmers of Canada voted against you. They had lost confidence in your administration of the act, though they believed there was some merit in it. In all fairness, you did not even take what merit there was in the act out of it, and yet you are criticizing the present Minister of Agriculture who has improved it and who has suggested it will give at least a 12 months guarantee.

The flexibility has been criticized. I know the former minister of agriculture tried to emphasize today-and I ask his pardon because I was called out to the telephone; in fact, I expected to leave on the 4.15 plane; I went out to the airport, but the plane was grounded; I cannot blame either the opposition or the government for this-

Topic:   AGRICULTURE
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO PROVIDE GUARANTEED PRICES FOR CERTAIN COMMODITIES, ETC.
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LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

Lost in the fog.

Topic:   AGRICULTURE
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO PROVIDE GUARANTEED PRICES FOR CERTAIN COMMODITIES, ETC.
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December 20, 1957