May 5, 1965


On the orders of the day:


PC

Gordon Harvey Aiken

Progressive Conservative

Mr. G. H. Aiken (Parry Sound-Muskoka):

On Thursday last the Prime Minister undertook to give me an answer shortly in relation to the involvement of the Federal Government in the bankruptcy of the Walsh Advertising Company Limited of Toronto. I wonder if he can give that now?

Topic:   FINANCE
Subtopic:   FEDERAL INVOLVEMENT IN BANKRUPTCY OF ADVERTISING COMPANY
Permalink
LIB

Guy Favreau (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Hon. Guy Favreau (Minister of Justice):

The Prime Minister referred the question to me. I had a partial answer submitted to me

but I wanted to check certain of the facts. I should like also to obtain additional facts from the Department of National Defence. If the hon. Member will have patience with me, I will be in a position to answer some time this week.

Topic:   FINANCE
Subtopic:   FEDERAL INVOLVEMENT IN BANKRUPTCY OF ADVERTISING COMPANY
Permalink
PC

Gordon Harvey Aiken

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Aiken:

Yes, I am prepared to be patient.

Topic:   FINANCE
Subtopic:   FEDERAL INVOLVEMENT IN BANKRUPTCY OF ADVERTISING COMPANY
Permalink

CANADIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION

REQUEST FOR EXTENSION OF FRENCH SERVICE TO BRITISH COLUMBIA

RA

David Réal Caouette

Ralliement Créditiste

Mr. Real Caouette (Villeneuve):

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a question of privilege.

This afternoon I received an answer to question No. 213 I had directed to the Secretary of State, with respect to broadcasting in British Columbia.

I asked the Secretary of State whether he had received a petition from some 10,000 French Canadians from British Columbia, in 1961, what had been done with the petition and what had become of it, why had no action been taken in that connection and, especially, why would French Canadians not have the same rights in British Columbia as English speaking Canadians have in Rouyn, Val d'Or, Montreal, Chicoutimi, Quebec and other towns.

In his reply the Secretary of State said that the estimated costs on a per capita basis, that is per French Canadian in British Columbia, were considerably higher than the costs estimated for several other areas also without service at the time, and the corporation stressed that the provision of French language stations in British Columbia could be considered only after the areas with a lower cost per capita had been served.

For the last three months the answer has always been that the Fowler commission appointed by the government is now considering the problem and when it submits its reports, etc.

Mr. Speaker, we always get the same answer to our questions. Is it more expensive per capita in British Columbia to give a French service to the French Canadians who are there than to give us Spanish, Italian or Russian in Canada, paid by the C.B.C. to go and get artists in the field of television and radio in those countries?

I see here my excellent friend from Vancouver East (Mr. Winch) who comes from British Columbia and I am convinced that he will agree with me that it would be fair to put the French Canadians of British

May 5. 1965

Columbia on the same footing as his English speaking compatriots in our own areas, and that it would not cost more to the government to give a service in British Columbia than what it costs to give it in the province of Quebec.

Mr. Speaker, we are fed up with those answers to the effect that it is the Fowler commission which will decide. Does the government have, yes or no, a definite policy to serve in those areas the groups which make up Canada?

That is what I would like to know from the Secretary of State.

Topic:   CANADIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR EXTENSION OF FRENCH SERVICE TO BRITISH COLUMBIA
Permalink
LIB

Maurice Lamontagne (Secretary of State of Canada)

Liberal

Hon. Maurice Lamoniagne (Secretary of State):

Mr. Speaker, it is certainly not the Fowler commission which will make a decision on this matter. It is the government which will make it; however, we have asked the Fowler commission to consider this problem and seek to set priorities in this field of government expenditures.

The government will not make an immediate decision, because it would not be wise not to wait for the recommendations of the Fowler commission.

[DOT] (4:20 p.m.)

Topic:   CANADIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR EXTENSION OF FRENCH SERVICE TO BRITISH COLUMBIA
Permalink

THE BUDGET

ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE


The House resumed from Tuesday, May 4, consideration of the motion of Hon. Walter L. Gordon (Minister of Finance) that Mr. Speaker do now leave the chair for the House to go into Committee of Ways and Means.


LIB

Russell Clayton Honey

Liberal

Mr. Russell C. Honey (Durham):

Mr. Speaker, on taking part in this budget debate I would like, after making a few comments on the budget itself, to move on to deal at some length with the agricultural sector of Canada's economy to discuss for a few minutes how that sector fared in previous years, and relate its problems today, and offer some suggestions as to how we might be able to allow this very important sector of our society to share more equitably in Canada's present affluent economy.

In so far as the budget itself is concerned I am of the opinion that the Minister of Finance (Mr. Gordon) should be commended for his stewardship of Canada's financial and economic affairs since he took office two years ago, and I am happy to do so at this time.

In those two years Canada has moved from a position of high budgetary deficits, sluggish

The Budget-Mr. Honey economy and high unemployment into an era where the budget was within $83 million of being in balance last year. Our economy is moving ahead at an unprecedented rate and, subject to persistent regional pockets of unemployment, our people are now fully employed and are enjoying the affluence of a booming economy in a way which makes Canada the envy of the rest of the world.

Of course there has been criticism on the budget, and that was to be expected. From some of our friends in the Opposition there has been the criticism that the tax cuts were not sufficient. From other of our friends in the Opposition there was the criticism that sufficient tax benefits were not passed on to business and industry.

Well, Mr. Speaker, I am one of those who believe that a government must act responsibly, and must govern its actions by the circumstances in which it takes action. I believe, for example, that it would have been irresponsible to make tax cuts which would have the effect of creating a large budgetary deficit. I believe, further, that the Canadian people are the ones who should benefit from an economy which permits dividends to be paid by way of tax cuts. These tax reductions will of course create increased consumer purchasing power, which will in turn stimulate demand. Industry and business are going to benefit directly from this increased demand, and I for one am among those who feel that any benefit coming their way should be passed to the Canadian taxpayer. It is good that business and industry will benefit coincidentally and the net effect on the Canadian economy will be beneficial.

I mentioned in my introductory remarks, Mr. Speaker, that I wanted to devote most of the time allotted to me to a discussion of the problems of a group of people who are not benefiting from the generally excellent condition of the Canadian economy. I refer to the farmers of Canada; and because my knowledge, such as it is, is greater in this field, and because I represent an Eastern riding, I want to refer specifically to the problems of the farmers of Eastern Canada,

The first report of the Economic Council of Canada pointed out that the main purpose of the report is to examine the problem of achieving simultaneously and consistently certain basic economic and social goals in the Canadian economy in the medium-term future, specifically over the next five years to 1970. These goals were enumerated as: full employment; a high rate of economic growth;

May 5, 1965

The Budget-Mr. Honey reasonable stability of prices; a viable balance of payments, and an equitable distribution of income.

From a study of the recent budget papers and the Minister's speech, I think we could reasonably conclude that the Canadian economy is performing admirably on the first four items of the Economic Council's goals and, further, that the medium range future for achievement of the goals set by the Council by 1970 seems remarkably good for those first four goals.

In respect to the last or fifth goal, namely an equitable distribution of income, I think we are very much in trouble, both at the present time and for the period to 1970, unless something more is achieved to bring the agricultural sector of the economy up to a par with other groups.

In our present affluent society the relative position of the farmer is a shocking one, and I could not describe it any better than to quote a paragraph from the staff study prepared for the Economic Council of Canada by Mr. John Dawson, entitled, "Changes in Agriculture to 1970", where he makes the following statement at page 22:

By 1963 farmers' Income were 54 per cent above the 1949 level, while income of wages and salary workers elsewhere in the economy had increased by 94 per cent. Measured in constant 1949 dollars, income in agriculture had increased by 13 per cent while incomes in non-agricultural occupations had increased by 46 per cent. If an allowance for a return on capital was deducted from farmers' incomes, the increase in current dollars was 21 per cent, and in constant dollars there was a decline of about 10 per cent.

It is only proper, of course, that an allowance for a return on capital should be taken into account when comparing farmers' incomes with those of other sectors of the economy. After all, that is only recognized and accepted business accounting practice followed everywhere in Canada. And after making that allowance we find that measured in constant 1949 dollars income in non-agriculture occupations rose by 46 per cent between 1949 and 1963, and the farmers' income actually declined by 10 per cent in the same period, a shocking discrepancy of 56 per cent in that 14 year period.

[DOT] (4:30 p.m.)

Well, Mr. Speaker, what are we going to do about it? Surely it is the challenge of the government and of each and every Member sitting in this House, to see that some immediate assistance is given to this unfortunate sector of our economy. I want to say now that the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Hays)

and the Minister of Forestry (Mr. Sauve) who is responsible for ARDA and eastern feed grain policy have before them a task not given to any easy solution. The problems confronting agriculture in Canada today are such as call for bold and imaginative steps. The problems call for whole new concepts and philosophies in order to achieve a long range solution and, in addition, some interim short range immediate steps to prevent many Eastern farmers from losing their farms, and enable them to be immediately in a position to provide a proper education and a decent and acceptable standard of living for their families, which is the right of every Canadian family today.

Many Eastern farmers today are existing only on the depreciation allowance on their capital investment. They are going deeper and deeper into debt; they are plagued with worries about their inability to retire their debts.

I think the easier farm credit policy of this Government has been helpful and beneficial to many farmers, but I hasten to add that it has its limitations. It helps the farmer to increase his efficiency of operation and to develop an economical farm unit. Unfortunately, the easier credit policy can only be helpful if the long range credit program can be related to an assurance by the farmer that he will receive fair prices for his production which will in turn permit him to retire his debt in an orderly fashion.

I talked last week end to a farmer who is an excellent farmer on a viable, economic farm unit. Four years ago he obtained a Farm Credit Corporation loan to construct a new barn so he could handle a larger hog raising operation more efficiently. Last year he obtained a farm improvement loan to enable him to buy machinery with which to grow more grain to provide for his more efficient hog operation. Today this man is at a loss. He is producing more hogs in a more efficient manner; he is growing more grain more efficiently and economically. The fly in the ointment is that he cannot get enough return from the sale of his hogs to meet his payments under the Farm Credit Corporation loan and his farm improvement loan.

What is happening, Mr. Speaker, is that farmers in Eastern Canada are using credit as a substitute for earned income because of inadequate farm prices. This situation cannot continue indefinitely and we know it can only end in disaster for the farmer, if he does not obtain higher prices for his

May 5, 1965

produce with which to meet his mortgage payments.

It was recently pointed out by Mr. George R. McLaughlin of the Dairy Farmers of Canada that from Canada's national budget slightly more than 2 per cent is spent on agriculture, and this includes the expense of maintaining the Canada Department of Agriculture with all its research facilities, and annual support for agriculture in one way or another. The average spent on agriculture in the United States, the United Kingdom, West Germany, Denmark, France, Norway, Sweden and Finland is slightly over 8 per cent.

The Canadian people, as Mr. McLaughlin said, eat more cheaply than any other people in the world. In Canada 21 cents of every wage dollar is required to cover the food budget. In the United States 22 cents of every wage dollar is spent on food; in the United Kingdom 39 cents and in Russia 50 cents.

It is the duty of the farmers, of course, to polish their public image, and to satisfy the people of Canada-as I personally believe is the case-that they are not asking for more than that to which they are fairly entitled. I believe this is important because it is my opinion that the Canadian people as a whole would not consciously want the farmer to remain the poor relation of the Canadian family.

And why should the Canadian farmer be singled out as the poor relation of the Canadian family? Minimum labour standards, tariffs and tax incentives benefit workers and industry. These things are fair and reasonable and I do not quarrel with them. My point is that it is fair and reasonable also that farmers should have a comparable income that is fair and reasonable.

As I see it, the responsibilities of Government to agriculture in these circumstances can be divided into those of a long term nature and those of a short term nature. In so far as the long term responsibilities are concerned, I believe this Government has taken some effective steps which will be of material assistance to the farm economy in due course. I have in mind such policies as the increase in farm credit, the Farm Machinery Syndicates Act, the revised crop insurance program, the announcement of the establishment of a National Dairy Commission and the improvements in the marketing and handling of feed grains in Eastern Canada and British Columbia. The Agriculture and Colo-22620-62

The Budget-Mr. Honey nization Committee, which I had the honour to Chair, carried out a very important inquiry into the matter of feed grain, and I would like to pay tribute to members of that committee from all parties who worked so conscientiously and with such good results.

The most important single long term policy, in my opinion, must be the establishment of national marketing boards or agencies. When I had the privilege of speaking in the Throne Speech debate last year I urged the Government to speedily implement the establishment of marketing boards or co-operatives on a national basis. I quite appreciate, as I pointed out at the time, that the implementation of this policy involves constitutional problems, but I think it is important we should move forward as quickly as we can in this area.

This Parliament can enact legislation permitting the establishment of marketing agencies dealing in international and interprovincial trade. The concurrence of the Provinces is of course necessary to permit such boards to handle marketing within the Province. The new National Dairy Commission announced by the Minister of Agriculture is a step in the right direction. I urge him and his colleagues in the Government to move as expeditiously as possible to the establishment of such national marketing agencies for other agriculture commodities.

It seems to me that it is absolutely essential for the farmer to have at his disposal a means whereby he can be master of those things he markets. To do this requires a degree of initiative and co-operation on the part of the farmer-a degree of initiative and cooperation which I know the farmer will assume.

National marketing agencies will give the producers some say in the prices they should receive for the things they market. These marketing agencies, to be effective, must be on a national scale, because it will not serve any useful purpose to have one provincial board offer produce at one price and have another provincial board offer the same produce at another price.

We have heard a great deal about the cost-price squeeze in agriculture. This is the reason why the farmers' net income has declined so dramatically. Today the farmer has no say about the price he will receive for the commodities he offers for sale. A price is offered to him and he can take that price or leave it. He has no real choice; he must take that price or let his produce rot.

May 5, 1965

The Budget-Mr. Honey

Today the situation has progressed to the point where the packing houses, which tell the farmer at what price they will buy his produce, do not in many cases have control of the price at which they will sell the processed products. Today the large chain stores are telling the packing plants the price at which they will buy the processed products.

The consumer who buys a meat product at his retail store today pays substantially less than 50 cents on every $1 to the farmer who produced the meat. The balance, well over 50 cents on every dollar, goes to those who handle, process and sell the meat after it leaves the farmer's hands. Surely this situation cannot be allowed to continue and it seems to me that the answer, as I have already suggested, is orderly marketing through national agencies.

I do not say that such marketing boards should get into the processing business, although they might find it advisable to do so. On the other hand the marketing boards might call on the packing houses, canning factories and other processors to submit tenders setting out the price at which they would be prepared to process the produce of the board.

If national boards such as I am proposing met united buyers' resistance in the bargaining process during their first few years of life, the Government should be prepared to step in and back up the board with financial assistance. I restrict this suggestion to the first few years because I believe that in due course the boards should be self-financing and autonomous agencies.

My suggestion as to the necessity of Government assistance is to guard against any united attempt on the part of the processors or retailers groups to break the board in its infancy by refusing to bargain with it in a realistic and fair manner.

Today the farmer pays the price asked for his machinery, his labour, his repairs, his hydro, his gasoline, his dentist bills, his groceries and so on. And this is the way it should be-I make no complaint about that. But the farmer has no say in the price he will receive for his produce when he puts it on the market. This is the crux of the unfair position and the reason the farmer is being squeezed out of business, the reason why in many cases he is unable to educate and provide for his family as the urban family is provided for.

The farmer is increasingly efficient; he is increasingly productive, and the consumer is getting the benefit of these things. But

month by month more farmers are being pushed to the brink of insolvency. Surely the consumer does not want to see the agriculture community change to the extent that all agriculture commodities are produced by large corporate farmers. In such circumstances, what chance would the consumer then have to buy food at reasonable cost?

[DOT] (4:40 p.m.)

In concluding my remarks I want to emphasize the necessity for some action at once, this month, this week, tomorrow, as quickly as possible, to enable these farmers of whom I have been speaking to get through the interim period until the long range policies implemented by this Government-and I said they are good policies-have time to be effective to raise the farm income to a fair and reasonable level. The Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Hays) has already set out the objectives of a national agricultural policy, namely to raise the net farm income, after an allowance for investment on capital, to a point where it equals the earnings of Canadians working in urban areas.

I want to emphasize the absolute urgency of implementing the portion of the recent Throne Speech which states that Parliament will be asked to consider measures of special assistance to the family farm in both Eastern and Western Canada. These measures of special assistance must operate to immediately bolster up the farm income. In my opinion, they should best be achieved by supplementary payments to the producers, up to a certain maximum level of production on his produce as he markets it. This maximum level of production, or ceiling, would guard against overproduction and would permit the basic units of production which are now being produced to return a fair and reasonable price to the farmer. There is, of course, a precedent for supplementary payments such as I have suggested, and this precedent has been established in the recently announced dairy policy which will bring the level of manufacturing, or concentrated milk prices up to $3.50 per cwt. This new dairy policy is a good and responsible policy and I congratulate the Minister on it, but I urge that similar supplementary payments be made to the producers of other agricultural products to help them over the very difficult interim period with which the industry is faced.

As I mentioned earlier, these payments would have to be subject to some ceiling as are the payments under the new dairy policy, to guard against surpluses and to

May 5, 1965

give maximum benefit to the family farm and thus guard against an undue benefit to the large corporate producer. With such a two-pronged approach to the problems of the agricultural sector of our economy, it would have an opportunity to take its place with other sectors of the economy in good life which the great majority of Canadians are now enjoying.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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?

Maurice Bourget (Speaker of the Senate)

Mr. Speaker:

Order. It being 4.45 o'clock p.m., it is my duty, pursuant to section (6) of Standing Order 58, to interrupt these proceedings and forthwith put the question on the main motion.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
PC

Paul Raymond Martineau

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Marlineau:

Mr. Speaker, I was paired

with the Secretary of State for External

Affairs. Had I voted, against the motion. , I would have voted

May 5, 1965

Administration of Justice

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
PC

Hugh John Flemming

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Flemming (Vicioria-Carlelon):

I was

paired with the Minister of Fisheries. Had I voted, I would have voted against the motion.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
LIB

Sydney John Smith

Liberal

Mr. Smith:

I did not vote; I was paired with the Minister of Forestry.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
PC

Robert Gordon Lee Fairweather

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fairweather:

I was paired with the hon. Member for Charlotte.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
?

André Ouellet

Mr. Ouellel:

Mr. Speaker, I was paired with the Postmaster General. Had I voted, I would have voted against the motion.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
NDP

Frank Howard

New Democratic Party

Mr. Howard:

Mr. Speaker, none of us in the New Democratic Party was paired because we believe this just helps keep the Government in office.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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WAYS AND MEANS

May 5, 1965