Sidney Earle Smith (Secretary of State for External Affairs)
Hon. Sidney E. Smith (Secretary of Stale for External Affairs):
Mr. Speaker, I desire to reply to a question addressed to me last Friday, January 3, by the right hon. member for Melville. The question was:
Has the government taken note of the declared intention of United States agricultural secretary Benson of increasing by 50 per cent in 1958 the farm surplus give-away program of that country and has the government taken any steps to protest this decision?
I took the question as notice. On the next day, January 4, an almost identical question was addressed by the hon. member for Laurier to the Minister of Trade and Commerce. I can best answer the question that was addressed to me by giving the reply made by my colleague the Minister of Trade and Commerce last Saturday. We are aware of the proposed action on the part of the United States. I do not think any action on our part is necessary. The United States surplus disposal program is not likely to interfere with the sale of wheat to our cash customers, and that is one of the main points about which we have been particularly concerned.
Subtopic: STATEMENT ON REPORTED INTEN- TION TO INCREASE GIVE-AWAY PROGRAM