January 24, 1958

CCF

Willis Merwyn (Merv) Johnson

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

Mr. Johnson (Kindersley):

It has been changed, has it not?

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

Charles Alexander (Sandy) Best

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Best:

I am convinced that it will be beneficial. As the hon. member for Meadow Lake, I believe, said in his speech the other day, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and I suspect that members of some of the

other parties may have rather colicky stomachs when the public is through digesting and making use of the benefits of the bill.

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

Charles Alexander (Sandy) Best

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Best:

Oh, you agree with that. I am glad we are getting some agreement at least. There has been mention of the distinction between constructive criticism and abuse. We heard about that in this corner of the house this afternoon. Constructive criticism is one thing, but we have been far from that in the seven days the bill has been under discussion. I believe this is now the seventh day, and I suggest that hon. members of the Social Credit and C.C.F. parties might stay their hands for a while and let the people of the country decide as to the good and bad points of the bill.

To some extent that has been the position of Liberal members opposite. The right hon. member for Melville, the hon. member for Meadow Lake and others have placed themselves in the interesting position of saying that they will vote for the bill and let the public decide, an abdication of responsibility, I should say, but an interesting point of view.

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

Leonard T. Stick

Liberal

Mr. Slick:

You will have to abdicate before you are through.

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

Charles Alexander (Sandy) Best

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Best:

We will see about that. We might just have a lot more Conservative members from Newfoundland the next time.

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

John Hugh Proudfoot

Liberal

Mr. Proudfool:

Don't take yourself too

seriously.

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

Charles Alexander (Sandy) Best

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Best:

The hon. member for Lambton-Kent mentioned the importance of food in Canada. We all realize that is so. The hon. member for Fort William said that young men have been leaving the farms in past years. Of course that has been part of the great tragedy of agriculture and the problems that were brought on in the last decade by the previous government.

Earlier this afternoon, the hon. member for Kindersley said the minister condemned the opposition. I think the minister was fully justified. The hon. member said that members of the house should have the privilege of representing the people of their constituencies, but in my opinion the good sense of the people of Canada will enable them to distinguish in their minds and hearts between sensible opposition and continual ranting and raving. I know they will distinguish, and possibly in another election they will give their verdict.

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

Willis Merwyn (Merv) Johnson

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

Mr. Johnson (Kindersley):

You are giving a good example right now.

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

Charles Alexander (Sandy) Best

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Besi:

We will see. In concluding the debate on the motion for second reading of

the bill the minister said the main criticism had stemmed from the C.C.F. and Social Credit parties, and involved a rigid formula. That appears to be so. We have noticed the twisting that has taken place at times involving the representation that the minimum guarantee under the bill is the maximum benefit. We realize that is not so. The establishment of a minimum guarantee is only one purpose of the bill. There has also been misrepresentation time and time again as to the opinion and action of farm groups, though this has been contradicted on our part by definite evidence. We realize that they were consulted at every stage of this bill.

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

Edward George McCullough

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

Mr. McCullough:

Oh, no.

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

Charles Alexander (Sandy) Best

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Best:

Before it was laid before this house they were down here. I should like to say as well that the press criticism that has been read here has been very much onesided. I will not say their criticism is not proper, but the farm organizations have indicated many points in favour of this bill. I could read them, too, but the point is that they have not been mentioned by hon. members opposite.

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

Edward George McCullough

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

Mr. McCullough:

Go ahead.

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

Charles Alexander (Sandy) Best

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Best:

All right, I shall not repeat, sir, the article written by Mr. Gordon Greer, president of the Ontario federation of agriculture, which appeared in the Rural Cooperator of Tuesday, January 14, on page 2. He mentions that the bill has no formula, but he also lists five points on which the bill is an improvement. The hon. member for Moose Mountain shakes his head. He, sir, is not putting on the record all the things the farm organizations of this country are saying. He is not showing the whole of this picture, and that is all we are asking him to do.

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

Stanley Howard Knowles

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

Mr. Knowles (Winnipeg North Centre):

Are

you?

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

Charles Alexander (Sandy) Best

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Best:

Yes. That is all we are requesting, and I think that is of great interest here. We have been in communication with all the farm organizations across this country and they have indicated their problems. But they have expressed as well, great satisfaction with many of the changes this bill brings about as against the present act, and also great appreciation of the sincerity and the efforts of the minister and his department, as well as the various members on the government side, in connection with this bill. I feel that should go on the record. In my opinion this is an extremely important point.

I see, Mr. Chairman, that the hon. member for Rosthern is here. Earlier today he was asking the minister, before we had reached committee stage, what amendments might

Agricultural Products-Price Stabilization be made. I wonder whether he is getting nervous about his position in voting against the bill. I wonder whether he senses that the bill might be of greater value than he thought when it gets to the people of western Canada. I see again that interesting balancing act and that little doubt in the back of his mind; it is a point to be conjured with.

I noticed also that the hon. member for St. Boniface and the hon. member for Rosthern voted against second reading of this bill. There was a total of something like 36 Liberal members in the house, and that brings to mind another interesting point; just where do the remaining members of this party stand on this bill? Are they taking refuge in being absent? Are the doubts in their minds so great as to the value or lack of value of this bill that they can stay away?

I should like to know just who does represent agriculture in the opposition, the hon. member for Melville, the hon. member for Rosthern or the hon. member for Bonavista-Twillingate. I have heard reports that the hon. members for Bonavista-Twillingate and Rosthern represented agriculture on the convention committee of the Liberal party. Was the hon. member for Melville present? I did not hear that he was.

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

James Garfield Gardiner

Liberal

Mr. Gardiner:

Yes. I was around all the time.

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

Charles Alexander (Sandy) Best

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Best:

I am glad to hear that, because it is interesting. The confusion amongst the opposition so far as this bill is concerned is most fascinating to my mind.

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

James Garfield Gardiner

Liberal

Mr. Gardiner:

You may have thought I was one of the brass.

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

Charles Alexander (Sandy) Best

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Best:

The hon. member is probably closer to the grass than many others. I believe the hon. member for Swift Current-Maple Creek gave a most interesting speech some time ago. I noticed that at one point he mentioned that the bill contained the germ of something new and interesting, or something of that kind. We hear a wide variety of opinion being expressed from the Liberal side about this bill. I would just repeat that if the vast majority of Liberals do not really believe this bill is an improvement over the present act, then I think there are stronger ways of fighting this bill than those that have been used to date. However, we are pleased with their supporting vote.

Going back and generalizing just for a moment, Mr. Chairman, we understand that this bill is just one step in our agricultural program. We realize that it is just one of the many things we promised the people of this country, and which we shall carry out, now and in the future. We introduced a support price on turkeys when they were brought under the import-export act. Butter and skim

3754 HOUSE OF

Agricultural Products-Price Stabilization milk powder were placed under the act, and support prices were announced for sugar beets. The measure to provide for advance payments on western grain was one of the early bills brought before this house. These things, in my opinion indicate the sincerity of our approach to this bill, which is a further major step in our general agricultural program.

Of course when one goes through the pages of Hansard one finds that many of the members opposite do not understand the explanations given by the minister at various times, or perhaps even the bill itself. They seem to dwell, time and time again, on various points in order to confuse things in their own minds. I hesitate to believe that they could construe out of this bill any of the things that they say.

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