January 31, 1958

REDUCTION IN INTEREST RATE ON TREASURY BILL OFFERINGS

PC

Donald Methuen Fleming (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Donald M. Fleming (Minisier of Finance):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to make an announcement to the house. Yesterday the weekly offering of Dominion of Canada treasury bills was sold at the lowest rate at which treasury bills have been sold for the last 13i months. The rate on the bills is 3.25 per cent as compared with a rate for the previous week of 3.58 per cent, a reduction of one-third of one per cent in a week. Consequently the interest rate of the Bank of Canada has been reduced to 3.5 per cent, the lowest interest rate for the Bank of Canada since October 18, 1956, the date on which the Bank of Canada interest rate was first tied to the treasury bill rate. I am sure this will be a matter of gratification to all members of the house.

Topic:   FINANCE
Subtopic:   REDUCTION IN INTEREST RATE ON TREASURY BILL OFFERINGS
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LIB

James Sinclair

Liberal

Hon. James Sinclair (Coast-Capilano):

May

I ask a question of the minister in this connection. Does this announcement indicate the

truth of the assertion of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in a recent brief that the decline in the interest rate is caused by a lack of demand for money?

Topic:   FINANCE
Subtopic:   REDUCTION IN INTEREST RATE ON TREASURY BILL OFFERINGS
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PC

Donald Methuen Fleming (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fleming:

Mr. Speaker, I think it indicates significantly something rather different. I think it not only indicates confidence, but it indicates also that we are moving steadily and significantly away from the tight money policies which manacled business.

Topic:   FINANCE
Subtopic:   REDUCTION IN INTEREST RATE ON TREASURY BILL OFFERINGS
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CCF

Colin Cameron

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

Mr. Colin Cameron (Nanaimo):

May I

address a supplementary question to the Minister of Finance. Can he inform the house if this change from a tight money position has been the result of some action by the government, and what the action has been?

Topic:   FINANCE
Subtopic:   REDUCTION IN INTEREST RATE ON TREASURY BILL OFFERINGS
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PC

Donald Methuen Fleming (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fleming:

Yes, Mr. Speaker, there has been action on the part of the government. I do not say that the reduction is attributable entirely to the government's action, but it certainly is in line with government policy, and is in part attributable to it. The fact is that we have been seeking to bring about, with the means open to us, a reduction in this rate. I am not at liberty, and it has never been the practice, to indicate to the house all the government operations or the operations of the fiscal agent of the government in these matters, but I can assure my hon. friend that this reduction, which I am happy to report this morning, is fully in line with government policy.

Topic:   FINANCE
Subtopic:   REDUCTION IN INTEREST RATE ON TREASURY BILL OFFERINGS
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BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

REQUEST FOR STATEMENT ON PLANS FOR REMAINDER OF SESSION


On the orders of the day:


LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Hon. L. B. Pearson (Leader of the Opposition):

Mr. Speaker, as this is the last day of the month and the deadline date set by the government for this session, as a courtesy to the house to which I think it is entitled would the Prime Minister indicate the plans for the rest of this session?

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR STATEMENT ON PLANS FOR REMAINDER OF SESSION
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PC

John George Diefenbaker (Prime Minister)

Progressive Conservative

Right Hon. J. G. Diefenbaker (Prime Minister):

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the regard that my hon. friend now has for the rights of parliament.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR STATEMENT ON PLANS FOR REMAINDER OF SESSION
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?

Some hon. Members:

Shame.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR STATEMENT ON PLANS FOR REMAINDER OF SESSION
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?

Some hon. Members:

Cheap.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR STATEMENT ON PLANS FOR REMAINDER OF SESSION
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PC

Daniel Roland Michener (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Speaker:

Order, please.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR STATEMENT ON PLANS FOR REMAINDER OF SESSION
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PC

John George Diefenbaker (Prime Minister)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

All I can say is that I just arrived in the house in time for the opening, and I have not had an opportunity of consulting with my colleagues in the

Inquiries of the Ministry cabinet. Having done so I hope to be in a position to give a general answer to the question asked.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR STATEMENT ON PLANS FOR REMAINDER OF SESSION
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CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles

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

Mr. Stanley Knowles (Winnipeg North Centre):

Mr. Speaker, may I address a question to the Prime Minister. Because of the proper and rightful concern of all the people of Canada in this matter, may I put this question to him. Is he or is he not planning to ask for an early dissolution of parliament?

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR STATEMENT ON PLANS FOR REMAINDER OF SESSION
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PC

John George Diefenbaker (Prime Minister)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

That question, Mr. Speaker, will be answered in due course.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR STATEMENT ON PLANS FOR REMAINDER OF SESSION
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CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles

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

Mr. Knowles (Winnipeg North Centre):

May

I ask the Prime Minister a supplementary question. In view of the many statements he has made in the house and to the press, which have stirred up speculation on this matter, does he think this cat and mouse game properly befits the office of the Prime Minister of Canada?

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR STATEMENT ON PLANS FOR REMAINDER OF SESSION
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PC

John George Diefenbaker (Prime Minister)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

I do not intend to enter into any controversy with my hon. friend, who in the past and throughout this session has shown that he himself has the attribute which he applies to others.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR STATEMENT ON PLANS FOR REMAINDER OF SESSION
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REQUEST FOR ANSWER TO QUESTION ON ORDER PAPER

January 31, 1958