April 23, 1959

CONGRATULATIONS TO LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION ON ANNIVERSARY OF BIRTHDAY

PC

John George Diefenbaker (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Progressive Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, while roses are

usually associated with St. George's day,

I rise, I hope with the unanimous consent of the house, to express to the Leader of the Opposition the warmest of felicitations coupled with the hope that health and happiness will be his during the years ahead. (Translation):

Topic:   CONGRATULATIONS TO LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION ON ANNIVERSARY OF BIRTHDAY
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LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Official Opposition House Leader; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Hon. Lionel Chevrier (Laurier):

Mr. Speaker, I trust hon. members will

allow me to associate myself with the right hon. Prime Minister (Mr. Diefenbaker) in extending to the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Pearson) not only our congratulations but our best wishes on his birthday. On behalf of the members of this party-and I am sure all hon. members will want to join with me in doing so-I should like to wish him good health and many happy returns of the day. May I also express the hope that the youthful look that always seems to light up his face, will remain with him for a long time to come. I also add the usual wish: Ad multos annos.

(Text):

Topic:   CONGRATULATIONS TO LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION ON ANNIVERSARY OF BIRTHDAY
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CCF

Hazen Robert Argue

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

Mr. Hazen Argue (Assiniboia):

Mr. Speaker, we in the C.C.F. are very happy to make the appropriate words of the Prime Minister and the hon. member for Laurier the unanimous expression of our best wishes to the Leader of the Opposition at this time.

Topic:   CONGRATULATIONS TO LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION ON ANNIVERSARY OF BIRTHDAY
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LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I am touched and very grateful to the Prime Minister, the leader of the C.C.F. party and my friend and colleague the member for Laurier, for their kind good wishes on this occasion. It is another evidence, Mr. Speaker, of the fact that personal friendships transcend party differences in this house. I am conscious of the fact-if I were not the Prime Minister reminded me-that this is also St. George's day, and I am also aware of the fact that St. George in his time killed the dragon.

Of course, Mr. Speaker, these anniversaries have their gloomy significance. This one reminds me that I am now only three years

away from the normal date of retirement on pension. If I were inclined, however, to get too gloomy over this reminiscence I am encouraged by the fact that the Prime Minister is even closer to that date.

Topic:   CONGRATULATIONS TO LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION ON ANNIVERSARY OF BIRTHDAY
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AGRICULTURE

DAIRY PRODUCTS

PC

Douglas Scott Harkness (Minister of Agriculture)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. D. S. Harkness (Minister of Agriculture):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to make a statement on the price stabilization program for dairy products for the coming year.

A relatively small surplus in the production of milk in Canada has been going chiefly into the manufacture of skim milk powder. The result has been that a very considerable amount has accumulated in the hands of the stabilization board. During the last calendar year, 1958, production of this product totalled approximately 187 million pounds, of which 103.3 million pounds was surplus to domestic requirements and purchased by the stabilization board. Present board holdings approximate 62 million pounds. The useful life of skim milk powder is limited; thus it is a product which cannot be stored and held indefinitely.

There have been only two means of disposal open to us during the past year, sale as feed and turning over as gifts to international relief agencies. From time to time we sold as feed our older powder as it became apparent that if we did not do so the powder would soon deteriorate and become unusable. The disposal of surplus dry skim milk powder has created very serious problems, particularly in international trade. We offered 30 million pounds of this powder as gifts to international relief agencies in January of 1958. To date only 18.8 million pounds of this have been taken.

In view of the impossibility of selling any considerable quantities of skim milk powder on foreign markets and of the limited amount which can be disposed of as gifts, it is apparent that our production of skim milk powder must be reduced. The support program for dairy products for the dairy year commencing May 1 has been designed to cut down production of skim milk powder and increase production and consumption of cheese and the production of other dairy products such as casein.

The agriculture stabilization board has been authorized to support dairy products

Agricultural Stabilization Program for the 12-month period commencing May 1, 1959, on the following basis:

The support price on butter will continue at 64 cents per pound Canada first grade basis delivery Montreal and Toronto.

The support price on cheese will be 32 cents per pound first grade f.o.b. warehouse in Ontario, 31J cents per pound delivered Montreal for Quebec cheese. In addition, cheese producers will receive a payment of 25 cents per 100 pounds of milk delivered for the manufacture of cheese on the same basis as other milk delivered for manufacturing purposes. The support price, plus 25 cents per 100 pounds for milk, will provide an effective support price for cheese of 34.8 cents, that is, eight-tenths of a cent higher than the present support price.

The support price on skim milk powder will be reduced from 15 cents per pound to 10 cents per pound for the period May 1 to September 30, after which date the support price for powder will be discontinued. In lieu of the reduction in the support price for powder the stabilization board will make a payment to producers of 25 cents per 100 pounds of milk for all milk delivered for manufacturing purposes, with the exception that no payments will be made to producers who sell a portion of their milk within the fluid milk market. The net result will be to reduce producers' returns by approximately 15 cents per 100 pounds on milk used for manufacturing purposes.

Price support on skim milk powder is being continued for the five-month period to the end of September to provide the dairy industry with a period of readjustment so the diversion of milk now used for the manufacture of powder to the production of cheese, casein and other manufactured dairy products may go forward without serious dislocation in the dairy industry and loss to individual producers.

The total effect of the change in the dairy price support program will be:

1. The farmer who delivers cream for butter only will get the same return as last year.

2. The farmer who delivers milk for

cheese-making will receive a small increase in his return.

3. The farmer who delivers milk for

manufacturing into products other than cheese will receive a small decrease, about 15 cents per 100 pounds less than in 1958.

4. The farmer who delivers to the fluid milk market and who has been receiving a price in some cases of up to $5 per 100 pounds for this milk, will not be paid any

subsidy for the milk which he diverts into manufacturing. Thus the returns to the dairy farmers who have been delivering to different types of markets will be brought closer together than they have been in the past.

5. The Canadian consumer of cheese and dry skim milk will be able to secure these products at reduced prices.

Topic:   AGRICULTURE
Subtopic:   DAIRY PRODUCTS
Sub-subtopic:   STABILIZATION PROGRAM
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LIB

Paul Joseph James Martin

Liberal

Hon. Paul Martin (Essex East):

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Agriculture will have an opportunity, I presume, when his estimates come before the committee very shortly, to amplify this statement; likewise those of us on this side will have an opportunity to make comment in greater detail than I now propose to do. But it is noteworthy that the announcement of the minister today does not fully meet the representations made, for instance, by the Ontario milk producers' co-ordinating board and other farm organizations, such as the dairy farmers of Canada and the Canadian Federation of Agriculture, who made representations with regard to this matter during the course of the last few months.

At that time these organizations asked for a support price of not less than 64 cents per pound for butter; a support price of 15 cents a pound for spray processed milk powder; a support price for roller processed milk powder of 13 cents per pound, and a floor price of 35 cents per pound for No. 1 Cheddar cheese.

To the extent that the government has increased some support prices to meet the request of the milk producers of Ontario, a possible Ontario election undoubtedly has served to supplement the representations made by the dairy farmers.

Topic:   AGRICULTURE
Subtopic:   DAIRY PRODUCTS
Sub-subtopic:   STABILIZATION PROGRAM
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CCF

Hazen Robert Argue

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

Mr. Hazen Argue (Assiniboia):

The government announcement this afternoon shows that it has no effective method of dealing with surplus agricultural products other than to cut prices. I think the Minister of Agriculture will find out that merely reducing prices for farm products is not going to move the growing surpluses of many agricultural products into the market. There is a disturbing trend in the government's whole policy, and this announcement has further underlined it, to cut prices rather than implement well known election promises to provide support prices based on parity.

We do not feel that this proposal will meet the representations that have been made by the milk producers' association. We feel that the government support prices in general should not be reduced, and that effective steps should be taken to move these products into markets both at home and abroad.

Topic:   AGRICULTURE
Subtopic:   DAIRY PRODUCTS
Sub-subtopic:   STABILIZATION PROGRAM
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DISTRIBUTION OF STATEMENT ON DAIRY SUPPORT PRICES


On the orders of the day:


LIB

Gabriel Roberge

Liberal

Mr. Gabriel Roberge (Megantic):

Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask a question of the Minister of Agriculture. In view of the statement he just made to the house with regard to support prices, does the minister think it proper, or is it possible, for him to have copies of this statement distributed to all members of this house before his estimates come up this afternoon for study?

Topic:   DISTRIBUTION OF STATEMENT ON DAIRY SUPPORT PRICES
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PC

Douglas Scott Harkness (Minister of Agriculture)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. D. S. Harkness (Minister of Agriculture):

I made the statement, Mr. Speaker, and I should have thought hon. members would be able to take down any figures they wanted in connection with it. I certainly have not taken steps to have this reproduced so I could give a statement to every member of the house, particularly as the statement will appear in Hansard. I do not think there is any necessity for this.

Topic:   DISTRIBUTION OF STATEMENT ON DAIRY SUPPORT PRICES
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LIB

Paul Joseph James Martin

Liberal

Hon. Paul Marlin (Essex East):

A supplementary question. Does the minister not think, in view of the fact that he will be dealing with his estimates today, and as this is a matter of great importance, that he ought to furnish the members of this house with as many copies as he has available? If not, we will have them run off by the national Liberal federation.

1Later:']

Topic:   DISTRIBUTION OF STATEMENT ON DAIRY SUPPORT PRICES
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LIB

Gabriel Roberge

Liberal

Mr. Roberge:

Mr. Speaker, I wish to direct a question to the Minister of Agriculture arising out of previous questions put to him. Do we understand from what the minister said that his estimates are not going through this afternoon?

Topic:   DISTRIBUTION OF STATEMENT ON DAIRY SUPPORT PRICES
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PC

Daniel Roland Michener (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Speaker:

Order. I think the hon. member is rather seeking to enter into a controversy over this subject instead of seeking information.

Topic:   DISTRIBUTION OF STATEMENT ON DAIRY SUPPORT PRICES
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?

Peter Francis Martin

Mr. Marlin (Essex Easl):

No, Mr. Speaker. Hon. gentlemen opposite, I know, wish to accommodate the opposition just as the previous administration accommodated them. The question raised by the hon. member for Megantic is a legitimate one. I ask the Minister of Agriculture if he will not-

Topic:   DISTRIBUTION OF STATEMENT ON DAIRY SUPPORT PRICES
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?

Some hon. Members:

Order.

Topic:   DISTRIBUTION OF STATEMENT ON DAIRY SUPPORT PRICES
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PC

Daniel Roland Michener (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Speaker:

If the hon. member for Essex East is dealing with the question of the hon. member for Megantic as a point of order I will hear him on that, but if he wants to ask a question himself it is a different matter.

Topic:   DISTRIBUTION OF STATEMENT ON DAIRY SUPPORT PRICES
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April 23, 1959