January 24, 1958

PC

Douglas Scott Harkness (Minister of Agriculture)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Harkness:

After five very long days of debate, under our present extended hours, on the second reading stage of the bill we had another example of the tactics which hon. members opposite follow, in that there were immediately two interjections after I had spoken for only five minutes. After five days of these outpourings from the opposition we had these two interjections, one by the hon. member for Coast-Capilano "filibustering his own bill", and the other from the hon. member for Bonavista-Twillin-gate "a great way to get business done."

These foolish and childish interjections are typical, of course, of the sort of things which have been going on during this session, and which have been coming from hon. gentlemen opposite because they do not want to hear the facts. They feel they should have days and days in which to put forward their own misinterpretation of this piece of legislation, and when the minister responsible for the legislation attempts to reply they immediately try to prevent him from speaking by making interjections along these lines.

Last night, Mr. Speaker, I had pointed out that the main Liberal criticism of this bill was that it was not as good as the Agricultural Prices Support Act now on the statute books, and which the Liberals had introduced some years ago. I had indicated why I was quite sure that was a proposition which no farmer in this country would accept.

The other Liberal criticism of this bill put forward by the hon. member for Rosthern was that it does not cover wheat, oats and barley produced in the prairie provinces, which are handled by the Canadian wheat board. I think the reason for not including wheat, oats and barley under the price support act introduced by the Liberal government was that these grains were handled by the Canadian wheat board. The heads of the three prairie wheat pools did not want, and do not want now, to have wheat, oats and barley handled by the wheat board included in this bill.

3738 HOUSE OF

Agricultural Products-Price Stabilization

The reasons for their stand are very-obvious. If you attempted to handle these grains under two government boards the result would be nothing but confusion and difficulty. I feel there is no question but that it would destroy the efficient operations of the Canadian wheat board. Since the leaders of these three farm co-operatives who represent the people most directly concerned with handling these grains, and who I think know a great deal more about the matter than the hon. member for Rosthern or other members opposite, did not want these three grains included, it is rather difficult to understand why the hon. member for Rosthern and certain members of the C.C.F. and Social Credit parties have been criticizing the bill because these three grains are not included.

Whatever is done, so far as wheat, oats and barley are concerned, will be done under the Canadian wheat board, a body of which the great majority of western farmers are very strong supporters. I deplore the line taken in this regard, particularly from the point of view that it was an attempt to rouse sectional feelings so far as this bill is concerned. Time after time the hon. member for Rosthern said that this bill did nothing for the western farmers. This bill looks after every product produced by the western farmer, with the exception of wheat, oats and barley, which are looked after by another Canadian government board.

This attempt on his part to arouse sectional feelings in regard to this matter is a deplorable example of the extent to which he and the members of his party will go in order to try to stir up trouble in this country. One of the things, Mr. Speaker, from which we have suffered most in Canada is this business of the Liberal party trying to stir up sectional difficulties for their own political advantage. This was just another example of an attempt to do that.

The majority of the criticism levelled at this bill by the C.C.F. and Social Credit was merely abuse, abuse of me personally and abuse of the legislation. As such it is not proper, I think, to dignify it by answering it. Apart from this general abuse, the basic criticism of these two parties was that the legislation contained no rigid formula. This is correct. It contains no rigid formula for the very good reasons which I gave at the resolution stage, and again when I spoke on second reading.

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

Solon Earl Low

Social Credit

Mr. Low:

I rise on a question of privilege, and not to prevent the minister from speaking. I point out that he has done a severe injustice to the members of this group by making a statement that we indulged mainly in personal abuse of the minister. I deny

that most emphatically, Mr. Speaker, and ask the minister to point to any speaker in this group who indulged in personal abuse of the minister.

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, Hansard will speak for itself. I do not apply this stricture to the hon. member for Peace River (Mr. Low).

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

An hon. Member:

Mr. Speaker-

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. The minister is dealing with the point of privilege raised by the hon. member for Peace River, and I think we ought to hear him.

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

Solon Earl Low

Social Credit

Mr. Low:

If he is dealing with the question of privilege I will sit down and let him continue until he has finished. I hope that in dealing with the question of privilege he will point out to me anyone in my group who indulged in personal abuse of the minister while discussing the terms of this bill. If he cannot, then my question of privilege is well taken and he should withdraw that statement.

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 the hon. member wants me to name some members of his group who did engage chiefly in abuse in speaking on this bill I would name the hon. member for Bow River (Mr. Johnston) right away, and the hon. member for Medicine Hat (Mr. Olson) and the hon. member-to a lesser degree-for Red Deer (Mr. Shaw).

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

George Carlyle Marler

Liberal

Mr. Marler:

How can he be an hon. member to a lesser degree?

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

Mr. Johnsion@Bow River

On a matter of personal privilege, Mr. Speaker, I think the minister should refer to Hansard and quote the section in which I indulged in personal abuse of him. I can say that he is absolutely wrong. The fact that I criticized the bill is certainly not personal abuse.

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 am doubtful that these matters are matters of privilege. Hon. members are complaining that the minister said they abused him personally. That is a comment that is often made. If he is wrong there is always an opportunity to correct misstatements at the end of his speech. It should not be done by interruption unless there is a real matter of privilege which must be dealt with at once.

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-

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):

Not only is the minister wrong-

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.

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:

As I said before, I am quite happy to let Hansard speak for itself in regard to this matter. Anyone who wishes to read the speeches of the hon. members, although

Agricultural Products-Price Stabilization

that would be a very profitless undertaking, I think will come to the conclusion that my statements are correct.

As I was saying before these interruptions, Mr. Speaker, the only real criticism from practically all the members of the C.C.F. party and most of those of the Social Credit party so far as this bill is concerned is that it does not contain a rigid formula for price fixing. I dealt with that in very considerable detail at the resolution stage and on the motion for second reading. I pointed out that in the countries, particularly the United States, where an attempt has been made to apply a rigid formula nothing but difficulties, anomalies and unfairness had resulted. In this legislation, therefore, we were trying to avoid a formula of that kind.

Nearly all the speeches we have had from the C.C.F. and the Social Credit parties have been attempts to misrepresent this 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

Douglas Scott Harkness (Minister of Agriculture)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Harkness:

In practically all cases, Mr. Speaker, what is the minimum guarantee in the bill has been represented as its maximum benefit.

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):

Mr. Speaker, is it not against the rules of this house for a minister or any hon. member to say that another hon. member misrepresented a case deliberately? The Minister of Agriculture now is only repeating what he will say in his broadcast on January 25 over the Calgary station when he goes there.

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:

The word "misrepresentation" has a good many meanings. It has often been used in the house and has been accepted as a proper criticism. If it is used in the sense of "deliberate untruth", of course it is objectionable, but the word "misrepresentation" is not necessarily unparliamentary.

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:

I rise on a point of order, Mr. Speaker. The hon. member for Bow River is complaining about the word "misrepresentation" being used.

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):

Deliberate misrepresentation.

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