January 24, 1958

PC

George Harris Hees (Minister of Transport)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hees:

I heard the hon. member accuse the Minister of Agriculture of telling a direct lie.

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

Charles Edward Johnston

Social Credit

Mr. Johnston (Bow River):

I did not do any

such thing, Mr. Speaker, and I ask the Minister of Transport (Mr. Hees) to withdraw those words. What I said was that the statement was a lie. I said the statement was a lie and so it is, but that is not calling the minister a liar.

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

Some hon. Members:

Oh, oh.

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

Charles Edward Johnston

Social Credit

Mr. Johnston (Bow River):

Although people can draw their own conclusions.

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

George Harris Hees (Minister of Transport)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hees:

Mr. Speaker, if I say that the statement the hon. member has made is a lie, is that not saying that he is a liar? You bet your hat it is.

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

Daniel Roland Michener (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Speaker:

Order. Fortunately I did not hear that statement made, and I hope it is not reported in Hansard. I would consider that it was improper to say that any statement made by an hon. member of the house is a lie; but in my opinion that is a much different thing from saying that a member has misrepresented the effect of legislation, or even saying that he has done it deliberately.

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

Charles Edward Johnston

Social Credit

Mr. Johnston (Bow River):

I said "deliberate"; that makes a big difference.

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

Douglas Scott Harkness (Minister of Agriculture)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Harkness:

Mr. Speaker, I know the truth hurts and these people do not want to hear it. I do not wonder that they are making these complaints and are raising all these questions of privileges and points of order.

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

Daniel Roland Michener (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Speaker:

I wish the minister would leave the point of order alone now that it has been dealt with.

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

Douglas Scott Harkness (Minister of Agriculture)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Harkness:

I shall be delighted to do that, Mr. Speaker. A moment ago the hon. member for Bow River challenged me to point out any instances of personal abuse. One of my colleagues has just pointed out to me one which he turned up in half a minute. It is to be found at page 3658 of Hansard. The hon. member for Red Deer (Mr. Shaw) was speaking and he said this:

Once again I suggest to the house that if it is the minister's conclusion that this bill can or will provide social equity and place the farmers in a proper position in our economy, I would almost have to accuse him of being inebriated.

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

Some hon. Members:

Oh, oh.

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

Douglas Scott Harkness (Minister of Agriculture)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Harkness:

If that is not abuse, if that is not an absolutely incorrect type of implication to make in this house, I do not know what it is. As I say, anyone who wants to waste his time in going through Hansard and reading the speeches of these hon. members will find plenty of other instances of the same thing.

Before these interruptions I had just been saying that what is the minimum guarantee provided by the bill has been represented as its maximum benefit. That has been the whole purpose of the speeches made by hon. members opposite, particularly those in the far corner of the house in the C.C.F. party. They have made every possible effort both in this house and, as far as I can make out, outside of it during the Christmas recess to try to persuade the farmers of this country

Agricultural Products-Price Stabilization that all this bill provided for them was 80 per cent of the average prices for the past 10 years. As I have pointed out time after time, that is the absolute minimum guarantee in this bill in order to ensure what we might call a certain amount of ultimate security as far as the farmer is concerned.

The main purpose of the bill is to provide guaranteed yearly prices which can be set for any agricultural commodity except wheat, oats and barley produced in the western area. These guaranteed yearly prices, once they are set, will be in effect for 12 months in the future. In other words the bill brings forward prices into effect for the first time, and it provides to the farmer, through the ultimate security clause, through the guaranteed yearly price which will be put into effect-and which will be the one chiefly in effect-a very much greater degree of security than he has ever before enjoyed.

I think the chief reason the hon. members of the C.C.F. party have been so determined in their misrepresentation of this bill is that they are afraid that when it gets into operation it will please the farmers so much that they will fail to return any C.C.F. members from western Canada.

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

Some hon. Members:

Oh, oh.

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

Hazen Robert Argue

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

Mr. Argue:

That is personal abuse.

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

George Hugh Castleden

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

Mr. Castleden:

It does not apply to wheat, does it?

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

Douglas Scott Harkness (Minister of Agriculture)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Harkness:

One of the matters which have been noteworthy in the campaign carried on by the C.C.F. members, as was pointed out by the Minister of Northern Affairs and National Resources, is the fact that they have never referred to the royal commission on agriculture and rural life set up by the province of Saskatchewan, their own C.C.F. government, and the recommendations which were made by that royal commission. The Minister of Northern Affairs and National Resources yesterday put some of those recommendations on the record and immediately provoked some angry outbursts on the part of C.C.F. members. However, I think it is noteworthy that this royal commission set up by a C.C.F. government was never referred to by these hon. members. Why was it not referred to? It was not referred to because the conclusions and the recommendations contained in that report are quite contrary to all they have been saying.

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

An hon. Member:

Who is misrepresenting now?

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

Douglas Scott Harkness (Minister of Agriculture)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Harkness:

The conclusions and recommendations in this report as a matter of fact support the type of legislation provided by this bill.

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

An hon. Member:

Nonsense.

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

Douglas Scott Harkness (Minister of Agriculture)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Harkness:

I am not going to take the time to read all these conclusions, but at page 212-and anyone who is interested can get it himself-there is conclusion No. 38, which says that a support program should include the following principles, and it lists them from (a) to (f). Every one of those principles is contained in this legislation except for one, and that is that it should guarantee only a reasonable amount of production from any one farm. That matter can be looked after under one of the provisions of this bill, through the regulations which are written to carry the provisions of the bill into effect.

Conclusion No. 40 I should certainly like to draw to the attention of the house, because a great deal of the talk we have heard has been in connection with the terrible plight of the small farmer. I know that the position of the small farmer is bad, but these members have tried to represent that if this bill were amended in order to put into it a rigid price support formula, it would help the small farmer and would look after his difficulties. Conclusion No. 40 on page 212 of this report reads as follows:

It should be recognized that no price measure can effectively solve the problem ot low income groups in agriculture. Such groups need access to greater resources so that their productivity can be increased.

As I indicated at the resolution stage and at the second reading stage, this is only one facet of our general agricultural program to try to improve the general position of agriculture in this country. As I pointed out in introducing the measure at the resolution stage, no one piece of legislation can be expected to solve all the difficulties of an extremely complex industry such as agriculture, and we of course were not so foolish as to try to do so in this bill or to try to represent to the farmers that it would do so.

This report makes several definite recommendations as well as conclusions, and I was talking previously about the conclusions. When we come to the recommendations we might first take recommendation No. 9. I should perhaps say that these are the recommendations dealing with the stabilizing of farm incomes, which is a term, I would point out, used in this report in spite of the remarks of the right hon. member for Melville during his two or three speeches in connection with this bill to the effect that the word "stabilizing" indicated nothing was going to be done and that his bill was much better because it had a different name. This royal commission uses the term "stabilizing farm income".

Topic:   AGRICULTURE
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO PROVIDE GUARANTEED PRICES FOR CERTAIN COMMODITIES, ETC.
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January 24, 1958