February 25, 1959

ANNOUNCEMENT OF INTERIM PAYMENT ON 1957-58 CROP

PC

Gordon Minto Churchill (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Gordon Churchill (Minister of Trade and Commerce):

Mr. Speaker, I wish to make a statement in connection with the 1957-58 pool account for wheat. The Canadian wheat board has submitted a report dealing with the financial position of this account, indicating it to be in a surplus position at the present time. The board has advised that it is possible to make an interim payment to producers and the government has, accordingly, authorized a payment of 10 cents per bushel on all grades of wheat except the top grades of durum, upon which the interim payment will be 15 cents per bushel.

Producers delivered a total of 376.9 million bushels of wheat to the 1957-58 pool. Taking into consideration the higher interim payment rate for the top grades of durum wheat, the payment will provide for the distribution of $38.8 million to western producers. The distribution of cheques will be commenced by the board within the next two or three weeks.

A special word may be required with regard to durum. There is a limited export market for durum wheat, at the present time confined largely to Switzerland and Germany, and the very large production increase experienced in recent years has resulted in a surplus position of durum in western Canada. This surplus has developed at a time when world demand for durum has decreased in relative terms because of improved production in consuming countries as well as increased production by other exporters. As a result the premium price commanded by durum has steadily declined in the past two years.

Up until the present crop year special delivery privileges were granted for durum wheat, but since the beginning of August, 1958, marketings of durum have been under regular specified acreage quotas. In addition, the initial payment rates for durum wheat are now at the same level as the initial payment for the corresponding grades of hard spring wheat. Both these factors reflect the marked change which has taken

place in the past two years in the marketing potential for this type of grain.

Producers are aware of the changed conditions, and in 1958 reduced durum acreage by over 50 per cent. In spite of this, production last year was in excess of a year's commercial requirements and added to some extent to the existing surplus. The higher rate of interim payment being made for the top grades of durum, therefore, reflects marketing conditions in the past rather than the outlook for the future.

Topic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF INTERIM PAYMENT ON 1957-58 CROP
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L L

William Moore Benidickson

Liberal Labour

Mr. W. M. Benidickson (Kenora-Rainy River):

Mr. Speaker, I think the house will welcome the announcement made by the minister, coming as it does at this season of the year. I believe it is well in advance of some other years, and certainly the payment is up to average. At a later time perhaps we might be able to hear from the minister as to the progress that is being made in th.e utilization of the increasing surplus of storage facilities that I believe has become available over the winter months, so the quota restrictions will not be as severe as those in force in other years.

The distribution of this amount of money will, of course, be welcomed in western Canada. The minister indicated that the wheat board would be able to commence to process payment within two or three weeks. Has he any indication as to just how long it will take to complete the job?

Topic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF INTERIM PAYMENT ON 1957-58 CROP
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CCF

Hazen Robert Argue

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

Mr. Hazen Argue (Assiniboia):

This is an announcement that has been made for a great many years, namely the provision for an interim payment on wheat. In very recent years the interim payment has been of the same amount as has been announced, namely 10 cents per bushel. This is just half the 20 cents interim payment that had become the pattern for a great many years after the war. No matter what the size of this payment, it can be said, Mr. Speaker, that prairie grain producers support the Canadian wheat board system of marketing their wheat, oats and barley.

There may be a feeling, there is a feeling, that this payment should have been supplemented by a deficiency payment, and by means of a deficiency payment made substantially larger, but that does not constitute a quarrel amongst prairie grain producers with the wheat board system of marketing grain. I express the hope that it may be possible to

Starred Questions

close out the account at an early date and make final payment as quickly as possible. This payment will be welcomed now particularly because western grain producers are hard pressed for cash, and they will be looking forward to government action in this field subsequent to the mass delegation coming to Ottawa.

Topic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF INTERIM PAYMENT ON 1957-58 CROP
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PC

Gordon Minto Churchill (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Churchill:

If I may answer the question asked by the hon. member for Kenora-Rainy River, I think the cheques will all be received by the farmers within three weeks' time.

Topic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF INTERIM PAYMENT ON 1957-58 CROP
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STARRED QUESTIONS

ROYAL COMMISSION ON ENERGY

EXPENDITURES

LIB

Mr. Forgie

Liberal

What has been the cost of the royal commission on energy, including travelling expenses, up to the latest date for which figures are available?

Topic:   ROYAL COMMISSION ON ENERGY
Subtopic:   EXPENDITURES
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PC

John George Diefenbaker (Prime Minister)

Progressive Conservative

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

The answer to the question asked by the hon. member for Renfrew North is that the cost of the royal commission, including travelling expenses, from November, 1957, to March 31, 1958, was $83,387.48, and from April 1, 1958, to January 31, 1959, $233,737.04.

Topic:   ROYAL COMMISSION ON ENERGY
Subtopic:   EXPENDITURES
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SECONDARY TRANS-CANADA HIGHWAY, CAMPBELLTON-MONCTON, N.B.

LIB

Mr. McWilliam

Liberal

1. Did the government receive from the province of New Brunswick or from other sources, a request for a secondary trans-Canada highway from Camp-bellton to Moncton?

2. If so, what action has been taken?

Topic:   SECONDARY TRANS-CANADA HIGHWAY, CAMPBELLTON-MONCTON, N.B.
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PC

Howard Charles Green (Minister of Public Works; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Progressive Conservative Party House Leader)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Howard C. Green (Minister of Public Works):

The answer to the first question is that representations were received through Mr. Van Horne, M.P., from the Chatham bridge committee that the federal government declare the highway from Campbellton to Moncton a secondary trans-Canada highway.

The answer to the second question is that no action has been taken, as the route was not designated by the province as the route of the trans-Canada highway and there is no provision in the legislation for a secondary route.

Topic:   SECONDARY TRANS-CANADA HIGHWAY, CAMPBELLTON-MONCTON, N.B.
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PAINTING "LANDSCAPE WITH CHRIST APPEARING TO THE APOSTLES"

LIB

Mr. Pickersgill

Liberal

1. Did the director of the national gallery receive authorization from the government or any member of the government or anyone authorized to speak for a minister, either in writing or orally, to make an offer for the purchase of the painting "Landscape with Christ appearing to the Apostles" by Breughel?

2. Was any offer made by the director of the national gallery to any agent acting for the owner Baron G. von Polnitz to purchase this painting?

Topic:   PAINTING "LANDSCAPE WITH CHRIST APPEARING TO THE APOSTLES"
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?

Robert Fair

Hon. Ellen L. Fair dough (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration):

The answer to part 1 of the question is that the board of trustees of the national gallery had asked for "authorization to negotiate for the purchase of the Breughel owned by Baron von Polnitz". At the same time the trustees asserted that the necessary funds had been appropriated and were available for the purchase. This statement was confirmed by the director of the gallery. Acting on this information, which later proved to be erroneous, the cabinet on May 2 authorized the Acting Minister of Citizenship and Immigration to give permission to the director to proceed accordingly.

During the ensuing week end it was found that the assumption of funds available in the purchase account was incorrect, and accordingly on May 7 the acting minister instructed the director to suspend negotiations immediately and advise the parties accordingly. This was done on May 8 and confirmed by letter from the director to the owner on May 12.

The answer to part 2 of the question is that the director of the national gallery did telephone to an agent of Baron von Polnitz on May 2 and asked him in effect whether he would find out if the baron would sell the painting for $350,000. The director then advised the agent that funds for the purchase would have to be approved by treasury board and provided by parliament.

It is clear that no authority existed to make a firm offer or enter into a contract for this purchase by the national gallery or the government of Canada or anyone on its or their behalf. The Financial Administration Act specifically requires that there be an appropriation provided by parliament for the purpose before a contract can be made.

It is reiterated that the authority asked for was to negotiate. Although granted in the first instance this was immediately revoked as soon as the lack of appropriation was revealed.

Topic:   PAINTING "LANDSCAPE WITH CHRIST APPEARING TO THE APOSTLES"
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SOUTH SASKATCHEWAN DAM

WAGE RATES

LIB

Mr. Martin (Essex East)

Liberal

1. On what basis are wage rates for employees on the South Saskatchewan dam project established?

2. Are they lower, higher, or the same as rates for similar work under collective agreement in the province of Saskatchewan?

Topic:   SOUTH SASKATCHEWAN DAM
Subtopic:   WAGE RATES
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PC

Michael Starr (Minister of Labour)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Michael Starr (Minister of Labour):

The answers to the questions asked by the hon. member for Essex East (Mr. Martin) are as follows:

1. The rates of pay are established under the authority of the Fair Wages and Hours of Labour Act, which prescribes fair wages;

that is, such wages as are generally accepted as current for competent workmen in the district in which the work is being performed, but shall in all cases be such wages as are fair and reasonable. The contractors are required to pay not less than the fair wages prescribed on this basis and set forth in the schedule of labour conditions applicable to each contract.

2. Eight contract wage schedules were issued between July 10 and November 4, 1958, on this work. With respect to all eight wage schedules, the rates used for three classifications are the collective agreement rates used on government contract work in any part of Saskatchewan. In the absence of collective agreements in the area the wage rates used for the other classifications were established by surveys.

Topic:   SOUTH SASKATCHEWAN DAM
Subtopic:   WAGE RATES
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February 25, 1959