April 26, 1967

?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear.

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PC

Lawrence Elliott Kindt

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Kindt:

I am delighted to hear members on the government benches applauding that remark, because we have heard speeches tonight from down in that corner extending half an hour and more, leading one to the conclusion that those who made them were all vaccinated with a gramophone needle. We want to get out.

However, I have a problem to which I must call attention this evening. I would defer doing so if it were possible. I bring it up now because of the telegrams I have received. It is a joint matter which concerns the Minister of Industry, the Minister of Agriculture and the Minister of Transport. Let me lay the groundwork. Out in the west for a period of years farmers have been buying surplus airplanes and using these aircraft for crop spraying, weed control and similar purposes. It is a new industry and that is why I am addressing these remarks to the Minister of Industry. It is something that fills an economic need. Farmers have been trying to build it up. They can economically spray crops and grasshoppers from the air, more cheaply and more efficiently than by using any other method.

[DOT] (11:10 p.m.)

They have bought these machines. Some are large, others are small. Some are surplus war material. The people concerned at Blackie and at Vulcan have given themselves the name, "The Flying Canadian Farmers." They are trying to perfect this new industry for the benefit of agriculture. The Minister of

April 26. 1967

Agriculture should be interested in it, and particularly the Minister of Transport.

Some time ago the Department of Transport issued a regulation and recently the Air Transport Board issued a circular based on it. Under the regulation these machines are not permitted to fly over a radius greater than 25 miles. Any man with one of these machines does not spray just his own crop; he does custom work. It, is similar to the old threshing machine in the west, which threshed different crops.

The people who own these machines have a big investment in them and they should not be hindered from doing custom work. Now they are going to be put out of business or seriously curtailed because of the restrictions placed upon them by the Air Transport Board. I do not think that was the intention of the Minister of Transport, and it certainly would not be the intention of the Minister of Industry or of the Minister of Agriculture. I ask that action by taken by these three ministers to look into this problem immediately and take the matter up with Mr. Westersund of Blackie, Alberta. He is a darned good Liberal, but he is a man who has always stood behind me and co-operated with me. I like him, and I got a telegram from him this morning about this matter. He is the executive secretary of the Flying Farmers Association at Blackie, Alberta.

I am talking not only for this organization at Blackie but also for the one organized at Vulcan. I hope the three ministers will look into this problem and will take up with the Air Transport Board to see if they can get these stupid rules and regulations eliminated, and let these people operate this new spraying business without government red tape.

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SC

Howard Earl Johnston

Social Credit

Mr. Johnston:

I would like to intervene briefly in this debate to state some arguments on behalf of the dairy farmers of British Columbia.

The debate has been interrupted by the introduction of one or two other topics. I really do not think that the hon. member for York-Humber interrupted the discussion of the dairy policy. Certainly he poured a great quantity of cold skim milk over the members of his own party. When his time was up, in perhaps what could be characterized as true Liberal policy, they decided he had had his quota and they cut off his subsidy.

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The question of the new national dairy policy and the dairy industry in British Columbia is a most urgent one. The bargaining system in the industry there is one which is unique in Canada. I am sure it will defy all the ability of the minister, his officials, the officials of the provincial government and the minister there, to separate the fluid milk producer from the commercial milk producer in any way that will make sense or be of any assistance to the industry in that province.

I should like to point out the breakdown in respect of the subsidy figures by province for last year. I note that in Quebec $33,208,000 was paid in terms of federal payment. In Ontario the amount was $22,429,000 and in British Columbia $1,054,000. The policy which has been announced is one which was designed with the provinces of Ontario and Quebec in mind, not particularly the province of British Columbia. If the policy is to be implemented as announced, I should think that this year the subsidy for British Columbia will be less than it was last year. Yet, this is a province in which the agricultural problems are great. This is a high cost province. Particularly in respect of the cost of labour, the farmer of British Columbia faces a problem which is greater than that faced by the farmers in other provinces.

I should like to draw to the attention of the minister and all hon. members a series of papers which we have received recently in respect of a national food and farm price policy from the Farm Conference Week, University of Manitoba. This is a very useful set of papers and provides a great deal of important information for anyone who is interested in either food prices or agricultural policy. In the paper, by Mr. C. Gilson of the Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Manitoba, the case for increasing farm production is put very very well. It speaks in terms of encouraging efficiency in the industry, in terms of Canadian farmers being dependent on international markets for the sale of their products, and mentions the importance of efficiency in terms of the world food supply where no nation, Canada included, can lag when the world situation in that regard is so precarious. He goes on to say that food consumers can rightfully expect farmers to produce efficiently. I believe, however, that the efficient farmer should expect reasonable compensation for his efforts. He says that a farm price policy should not penalize the farm innovator, the pace setter, the man who is willing to spend the time and take the risks

April 26, 1967

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associated with the development of a highly productive farm business. This is particularly true of the dairy industry in British Columbia.

[DOT] (11:20 p.m.)

I was invited to speak to the largest dairy co-operative in my constituency and I did not realize how completely the minister's announcement of March 22 had failed to convey any information to the farmers in Canada in respect of exactly what the national dairy policy was intended to do. I thought I was explaining some of the aspects of this policy but found myself to be the purveyor of disheartening news. I am sure the minister has felt the repercussions resulting from the realization of what this loss of federal subsidy will mean to that area.

This whole problem can be reduced to an individual thing. Farm innovators, pace setters and young men have expanded their production on the basis of the policy initiated a year ago by this government. Having faith in this government they have borrowed heavily and carried out those things expected of them by the inspectors of dairy farms. In this way they have brought their operations up to the standards required for fluid milk production. They have built up great surpluses of production at great cost. In this way they obtained small fluid milk quotas as registered fluid milk shippers. They are now faced with the possibility of receiving no subsidies at all, in spite of having done all those things we expect young, energetic and conscientious Canadian farmers to do. If their farm capitalization runs to $20,000 or $25,000, which is about what is required to bring a dairy farm up to standard today, the loss in income in some cases will be several thousand dollars. This will put these people in a very serious situation-almost a crisis.

I urge the minister to pay careful attention to the representations from British Columbia, to consider the unique position of that dairy industry and its organizations, and to clarify for the dairy producers of that province the new national dairy policy.

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IND

Maurice Allard

Independent Progressive Conservative

Mr. Allard:

Mr. Chairman, I represent a riding where the vast majority are workers, industrial and commercial people. Consequently, some member may be surprised to hear me speak, this evening, on the federal government's new dairy policy. I do so because I feel that agricultural problems and the dairy industry, are part of the economic

mosaic of the province of Quebec and Canada; they must not rank second they deserve every consideration from the governments if we want to develop some equilibrium between Quebec and Canada as a whole.

Last Sunday, at 11 o'clock in the morning, I was invited to meet the officials of the Catholic Farmers Union, eastern townships section, and I must tell you, Mr. Chairman, that they were there in great numbers from all parts of the eastern townships. I must also tell you, even if it displeases the hon. member for Labelle (Mr. Clermont) who praised earlier the recent dairy policy of the Liberal government, that those representatives and delegates from all parts of the eastern townships were extremely disappointed by the dairy policy announced in the house last March 22.

That disappointment was accompanied by a strong displeasure. And the hon. member for Labelle, who said earlier that he was not afraid to meet the farmers, will shortly have an opportunity to prove his mettle, as will his Liberal colleagues, because it seems that following the disappointment of the farmers and the dairy producers a monster march on Ottawa is being organized. Face to face with the representatives of the farmers and the dairy producers, I wonder if he will have the courage to talk as he did here earlier and to praise so freely the dairy policy which so greatly disappointed our farmers and dairy producers.

But what is that policy announced by the Liberal government last March 22? The farmers were asking for $5.10 per hundredweight and the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Greene) gave them $4.75 and from that price support of $4.75 must be deducted the 10 cent premium to pay for the export subsidies.

And as the provincial subsidy will be dropped this year, in the province of Quebec, the increase to the producers will be an actual 15 cents. That raise is still less because subsidies will apply only to milk produced within quotas prescribed by the government. The quotas were arrived at without any consultation, on the basis of last year's production. Finally the government has distorted the dairy policy by fixing an objective that would not cost more than $120 million to the government. That is an ill-assorted policy, a patch-up policy Which does not settle the problem of eastern farmers and of dairy farmers.

The main grievance expressed by the representatives of the eastern agricultural class and of dairy producers is that the present

April 26, 1967

government refused to establish a true agricultural policy, in consultation with experts on the matter, namely those who can explain to the government the real needs of the agricultural classes. And, in its ivory tower, the government keeps on preparing and introducing inadequate policies which as not based on real needs, which do not correct troubles, which do not alleviate the hardship that continues in eastern Canada's agricultural class.

Their demands, Mr. Chairman, have been fully explained by the different associations, including the C.F.U., and the Federation of Manufacturing Milk Producers. Those requests were fully explained to the federal government, which ignored them believing that government members, such as the hon. member for Labelle, were quite satisfied.

The hon. member for Labelle said that this policy is better than the previous one. We are not saying that nothing was done; we are saying that too little was done, that not enough was done for eastern agriculture-

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LIB

Gaston Clermont

Liberal

Mr. Clermont:

I rise on a point of order, Mr. Chairman. In concluding my remarks, I said that both government members and those who represent Quebec and Canadian ridings, will work together so that dairy farmers may obtain what they are asking for, that is, a price of $5.10. I did not say I was fully satisfied, but that the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Greene) should not be ashamed of his accomplishments up to now.

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IND

Gilles Grégoire

Independent

Mr. Gregoire:

You shower fulsome praise and flattery on the minister. That is all you can do. Stop praising him. Stand up to him instead of kotowing to him.

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LIB

Gaston Clermont

Liberal

Mr. Clermont:

If I were like the hon. member for Lapointe, I would be asking for $10 per hundredweight, because he is totally irresponsible.

[DOT] (11:30 p.m.)

[English'] .

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LIB

Herman Maxwell Batten (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

The Chairman:

Order, please. The hon. member for Sherbrooke has the floor. Perhaps he will continue now.

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IND

Maurice Allard

Independent Progressive Conservative

Mr. Allard:

Mr. Chairman, I am happy to hear the hon. member for Labelle say tonight that the Quebec members will now work towards the solution of agricultural problems, but it is too late. They should have done so and listened to representations a long 23033-977

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time ago, because being members of a political party, they should be able to get more results, which would show that they have influence in their party. However, the attitude of the hon. member for York-Humber (Mr. Cowan) gives a clear indication that in the Liberal party now, members have no influence, and that the minister remained in his ivory tower to develop policies which are not based on the actual needs of the various classes of society.

When I say that the eastern farmers and the dairy producers are not satisfied, I am not making it up all, and I say so to the hon. member for Labelle.

A while ago, in my opening remarks, I said that the representatives of the eastern townships, of the C.F.U. and of milk producers knew as much about this matter as the hon. member for Labelle. They are extremely disappointed. They will probably bring their grievances before the federal government, and I do hope that, on this occasion, the hon. member for Labelle will be there and will not be satisfied with shaking hands, but also say that he is not yet entirely content with this policy and demand, before the authorities concerned and the entire farming society, that the needs of the farmers be met; in short, I hope he will support their representatives by saying so and doing so, and not merely by arranging meetings behind the scenes.

Mr. Chairman, I can see that there is a response and it is a good sign. When there is a response, Mr. Chairman, it is because there is some unrest within the Liberal party.

When there is a response among the farmers and the members of the C.F.U. it is because there is dissatisfaction and discontent with regard to the Liberal policy of the Ottawa government which refuses to help eastern farmers. And we shall never say loud and eloquently enough that in this house there are some who for too long now have been drawing up policies in their ivory tower.

And often those decisions are not even taken by the minister but by the experts, the deputy ministers, and the poor minister must be satisfied to read them out in this house.

The other day, the hon. member for Lapointe (Mr. Gregoire) said that the Minister of Manpower and Immigration (Mr. Mar-chand) was reading newspapers.

Well, there are too many ministers who read and not enough who are doing anything

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in respect oi the needs and requirements of the agricultural class and the dairy farmers.

The needs expressed by the members of the C.F.U. and the federation of manufacturing milk producers, could be summed up in the following manner:

It would be very easy to the hon. members, in considering requests and plights of the agricultural class and of the dairy farmers, to compare the recent position taken by the federal government on this matter to find differences existing between the needs and the requests of the dairy farmers.

What do these people want, Mr. Chairman? They asked:

1. To guarantee milk producers a minimum price of $5.10 per hundredweight including an export subsidy of 10 cents per hundredweight for each of the various categories of milk products based on a butter fat test of 3.5 per cent and for all manufactured milk including surplus fluid milk, these being defined as including all milk that was not paid for at the Class I rate for the period between April 1, 1961 and March 21, 1968;

2. To guarantee a minimum price of $5.10 per hundredweight, including a 10 cent subsidy for export per hundredweight of milk by increasing market prices on the one hand, by support prices and the appropriate export subsidies and, on the other hand, by including the direct subsidy for each of the main product categories more specifically:

(a) by fixing the support price of Cheddar cheese at 45 cents per pound, by increasing the market price to a minimum level of 47 cents per pound through the appropriate export subsidy and by paying a direct subsidy to the producers of $1.40 per hundredweight of milk;

(b) by supporting through purchases the price of butter at 63 cents a pound and of powdered skim milk at 20 cents per pound, and by adding an appropriate export subsidy for powdered milk, and by the payment of a direct subsidy to the producer of at least $1.35 per hundredweight of milk processed into butter and powder;

(c) by increasing through the appropriate export subsidy the market price of casein at 57 cents a pound and by paying a direct subsidy of $1.50 per hundredweight of milk processed into butter and casein;

(d) by granting an additional subsidy of 22.6 cents per butter fat pound to the cream producers;

(e) in the case of casein and butter, by providing adequate funds at the earliest possible time to allow for the quick and rational updating of plants processing milk and cream into butter and casein, such amounts not calculated as integral parts of direct or import subsidies.

Mr. Chairman, I interrupt this list to emphasize how disagreeable it can be to hear the Quebec Liberal members mutter when I am listing the requirements of milk producers. I hear the Liberal Quebec members muttering and mocking the list of needs I am presenting. And the representative of those various

movements asks the government to protect fully the dairy producers against such imports as might be liable to compete unjustly with domestic products; to resort to imports only in case of need and, finally, to see to it that the activities of the Canadian Dairy Commission are co-ordinated with those of the provincial marketing organizations, and that the act establishing the Canadian Dairy Commission does in fact take into consideration special provincial legislation on marketing and marketing organizations.

Mr. Chairman, that is the list of the requests and grievances of the representatives of the CFU and the Canadian Federation of Dairy Producers.

When those requests are considered, it is easy to note the difference and the lag between the shabby dairy policy set forth by the government March 22 last. In my opinion those dairy farmers are justified in crying out loudly that they are faced with pressing needs and that their poverty will not be relieved by the present Liberal government whose policy is not geared to the people's needs, but who dreams and spends its time beating around the bush behind the scenes in ivory towers.

In the past year and a half, legislators in this parliament would gladly have discussed constitutional reforms, but what has just been announced? The right hon. Prime Minister (Mr. Pearson) has just announced in his complacent way that a high official of the justice department will be appointed, probably upon the advice of the new Minister of Justice and Attorney General (Mr. Trudeau), to study the constitutional, fiscal and political reforms, while it is the responsibility not of a clan playing hide-and-seek, blind-man's buff, but of the legislators of this country who gather within these walls and are elected by the Canadian people "from coast to coast" from Halifax to Vancouver.

Mr. Chairman, it is our responsibility to direct the policy of this country; this does not rest with the officials at all, or with the bureaucrats who lead this country for too long a time and who in the field of dairy policy, have established standards which in no way answer the needs of the western farmers and of the milk producers of Quebec and Canada.

Mr. Chairman, the federal government has complete authority in that field, according to section 95. Indeed, pursuant to section 95, the central government and the provinces have a

April 26, 1967

concurrent responsibility in the fields of agriculture and farming and in that concurrent responsibility, it is provided under the constitution and according to judgments passed by the Privy Council that the central government has the priority.

This is precisely a field where the central government, which likes to claim that it must be strong and powerul, that it must have all possible authority to legislate and solve problems, should exercise its authority.

This is precisely a field, agriculture, where there is a constitutional and legal priority, and instead of exercising its responsibility adequately, according to the needs of our farmers and dairy producers, the present government prefers to keep all the money in Ottawa. It wants to intrude in fields under the provincial jurisdiction instead of exercising its full authority, its absolute discretion in fields placed under its jurisdiction by the constitution.

Thus, the present government prefers to establish education allowances for students, a field under the exclusive jurisdiction of provinces. The government prefers to set up retirement pensions, municipal loans, when such areas are within the exclusive jurisdiction of provincial governments. They would rather make loans to university students, when this is a field directly related to education, which is a matter of exclusive provincial jurisdiction under section 93.

The present central government would rather get into the field of hardship and poverty, infringing upon provincial responsibilities, paying old age security pension supplements which are already beginning to cause dissatisfaction among senior citizens and provincial governments. Again this afternoon, to the great satisfaction of Liberal members from Quebec, it pushed through legislation concerning the occupational training of adults, a field which falls, directly or indirectly, within the scope of education. It handles enough money to play the role of Croesus, to get in every nook and comer of the Canadian house when it does not behove him to do so. But when times come for it to use its authority, to legislate, to step in directly into the field of agriculture, to implement a policy aptly expressed by the representatives of the farmers and milk dairy producers, oh no. It would rather set an objective of $120 million. No one knows why. No explanation is given. I am quite convinced that the hon. minister does not know himself. It was probably set by some bureaucrat or other, on the third, or

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eighth floor of the building. It was set at $120 million.

And that is called agricultural planning in Canada. Setting an objective of $120 million without knowing whether it meets adequately the needs of the eastern farmers and dairy producers.

Mr. Chairman, in closing, which gives much pleasure and satisfaction to the Liberal members from Quebec who are looking at me, I say to the hon. minister, hoping that he is not asleep at this late hour, that it is time to convene the representatives of the C.F.U. and the Federation of Dairy Producers.

[DOT] (11:40 p.m.)

Let him not wait for the abcess to fester. Let him call them and set up a true agricultural policy on a short and a long term basis but through consultations with the organizations concerned.

Thus, when he announces the agricultural policy, either a comprehensive or a particular policy for industrial milk, he will be in a better position to meet the needs of the population.

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LIB

Jean-Charles Richard (Jean) Berger

Liberal

Mr. Berger:

Mr. Chairman, would the hon. member permit a question?

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IND

Maurice Allard

Independent Progressive Conservative

Mr. Allard:

Surely.

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LIB

Jean-Charles Richard (Jean) Berger

Liberal

Mr. Berger:

Mr. Chairman, in view of this new agricultural vocation discovered by the hon. member for Sherbrooke (Mr. Allard) who might deserve congratulations, if it were real, and in view of what he has just said a few minutes ago, I should like to know, when he was a member of a very strong party between 1958 and 1962, what great influence, what major role he played, particularly as far as dairy policy is concerned, as a member of a government which at the time was in a position to do much more, while he was one of the pillars of such an ivory tower or possibly a monument with feet of clay, what influence did he exert at that time, at a time when he was a member of an important party?

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IND

Maurice Allard

Independent Progressive Conservative

Mr. Allard:

Mr. Chairman, I am most pleased to reply to the hon. member.

All he has to do is what some ministers are doing now, that is read Hansard all the time. Let him search through the index in the parliamentary library and he will see the numerous interventions I made to help solve the various problems of our people and those of the province of Quebec in particular.

So it is quite easy to reply-

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LIB

Jean-Charles Richard (Jean) Berger

Liberal

Mr. Berger:

What result did you achieve for the dairy industry?

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IND

Maurice Allard

Independent Progressive Conservative

Mr. Allard:

You just read Hansard from 1958 to 1962. In so doing, you win be in good company, with those who spend their time reading instead of doing something to solve the problems of Canada.

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?

An hon. Member:

Did you ever call a meeting of the U.C.C.?

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PC

Richard Albert Bell

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Bell (Carleton):

The hour of 12 minutes before midnight, in my experience and belief, is one for action and not words. At such an hour anything that cannot be said in capsule form is not worth saying.

This is my one minute submission on what I hope is the last night of the first session of the twenty seventh Parliament of Canada.

The dairy policy of this government has been monstrously inadequate, continues to be flagrantly defective and simply must be altered to bring justice and fair play to the most oppressed group of Canadian citizens and their families-the dairy farmers. The injustices visited upon the dairy producers of Canada simply cannot be perpetuated.

I speak from bitter knowledge. Milk at 80 cents a hundred in the 'thirties educated me away from the farm. In this day, the same discriminations which required me to leave the farm are working against young men and women of farm background. The price has not relatively improved. The most significant task for Canada in centennial year is to bring justice to farm people-a fair and reasonable share of the national income. The dairy farmers of Canada ask no more: They cannot be expected to settle for less.

I appeal to the Minister of Agriculture to act-and to act now. Nothing less than $5.10 per hundred for industrial milk will be reasonable or adequate.

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LIB

John James Greene (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. Greene:

fact that he is getting a good price is not going to be of much use to him.

I think the former administration, I am sure with the best intent, tried this method of raising the price through the support program when it raised the support price of butter to some 74 cents a pound. But this shrunk the market of the dairy farmer to the point that his situation was critical, and I hope to lay before the house evidence of the fact that in the minds of members of the former government, including evidence from the mouth of their own minister, they found this was not an adequate policy, that in fact it caused a very difficult situation in Canada where there was a surplus, to the point that all of the money that government could afford, indeed the largest sum the previous administration every spent in respect of the dairy industry, went to move a product into world markets at sacrifice prices from which the dairy farmer did not benefit in the slightest.

I merely point this out to indicate that price alone is not the question here. The question here is the maintaining of the dairy farmer's market in an adequate sense, along with a respectable price, and looking to that position so that the day will come, as the hon. member for Medicine Hat indicated, when the dairy farmer, the manufacturing milk farmer of Canada will get a good income, an adequate income from the market place, at prices people are willing to pay for his product. I think this is the basic concern of the dairy industry and the manufacturing area of it. There is no use in producing a product that people will not pay for at a rate commensurate with the investment and labour of the dairy farmer.

If our own people will not pay for it, and the farmers have to put it into world markets, I think we know full well that the Canadian dairy industry is not one that can compete in world markets. There are other countries better geared for world markets by reason of longer seasons, more grass, etc., to produce dairy products for those markets more economically than we can do here.

Surely therefore the basic need of the Canadian dairy industry is to produce sufficient product for our domestic consumption at prices that the people of Canada are willing to pay to give a just return to the dairy farmer. When I speak of volume, I think the figures I am about to give might be of some help to the house in trying to come to a rational conclusion as to the problems and the needs of the industry.

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I think it is singular that something like 18 per cent of the dairy farmers in the manufacturing segment of Canada produce less than 23,999 pounds of manufacturing milk, some 65 per cent produce less than 95,000 pounds, some 82 per cent produce less than

144.000 pounds and only 9 per cent produce more than 200,000 pounds of milk. In other words, we have only 9 per cent with more than 200,000 pounds, 200,000 pounds being the production of 20 efficient cows or, on the national average, a production of less than 30 cows.

We can see therefore that surely the fundamental and basic problem of the Canadian dairy industry in the manufacturing field is that the units of producers are far too small. When we find that 82 per cent have less than

144.000 pounds and 65 per cent have less than

100.000 pounds-the producer with ten cows-it becomes evident that it just is not feasible to have any form of dairy policy, short of sheer welfare which I am sure the dairy farmers of Canada do not want, which will ensure a good income to a man with only ten efficient producing cows.

There has been much discussion here concerning consultation with the various groups which represent the dairy industry of Canada. This consultation, of course, has been held, and I believe I can safely say that it is their view that we must have larger units and must have a policy which ensures a good income to the efficient dairy producer. I do not think the dairy farmers of Canada, any more than the general public, want a policy which will perpetuate an inefficient industry. I know that the farmers have been moving in this direction. I believe it was the hon. member for Okanagan-Revelstoke who mentioned Professor Gilson and some of his views in respect of Canadian agriculture. Not too long ago, I believe when he was speaking in Winnipeg, Professor Gilson indicated that some $450 million had been poured into the dairy industry of Canada in the past decade or decade and a half, and that this very vast contribution had not contributed toward making the lot of the farmer better, or the industry more efficient. He said he thought the farmer was just as badly off today as he was before this money was poured in.

I do not pretend that this is the final answer, but we have here, for the first time, an attempt at an approach which will put this industry in shape so that some time in the not too distant future the day will come when we will have put this industry in shape and that

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the men who earn their livelihood in it are earning a good livelihood. We have not just accepted the situation and continued to perpetuate it as it was. When one attempts to rectify any ill of the past he cannot find an immediate answer for all segments of the industry. Surely, however, it is better to attempt to solve the problem than perpetuate it by continuing policies which we know will never provide a decent livelihood for those who are in it.

I should like to point out some of the approaches taken by the previous administration so that we will know where we started four years ago, know how far we have come, and know whether or not the progress in that period of time has been a responsible progress. First of all I should like to read from Hansard of April 23, 1959 at the time when the dairy policy of that year was announced.

[DOT] (12 midnight)

In that year the then minister, at that time the hon. member for Calgary North, announced the policy as recorded on page 2694 of Hansard for April 23 as follows:

The support price on cheese will be 32 cents per pound first grade f.o.b. warehouse in Ontario, 31] cents per pound delivered Montreal for Quebec Lheese. 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 . ..

The support price on skim milk powder will be reduced from 15 cents per pound to 10 cents per pound-

We all know that the support price for cheese together with the support subsidy amounts to some 45 cents. Milk powder is being supported at 20 cents per pound today with a reduction of 10 cents to 13 cents as in 1959.

The hon. minister at that time then stated:

-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.

I am rather surprised that so many members on the opposite side of the house, who sat with that government and apparently supported that policy at that time, now take exception to the fact that fluid milk will no

longer be supported. Presumably they supported that policy during their entire tenure as members on the government side.

The then minister said:

The net result will be to reduce producers' returns by approximately 15 cents per 100 pounds on milk used for manufacturing purposes.

He then summed up the policy as follows:

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 cheesemaking 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.

That was the policy of that time. The basic principle enunciated was that as fluid milk producers were the greatest earners in the industry there would be no attempt to help them, and that any government funds available would be paid in the manufacturing area in order to bring up the income of the manufacturing milk farmer to something closer to that of his counterpart in the fluid field.

Again in 1959 the then Minister of Agriculture stated at page 3022 of Hansard for April 24, 1959:

As far as people delivering milk for general manufacture are concerned, rather than a loss of 40 or 50 cents a hundred pounds the biggest reduction they should get in any circumstances should be 15 cents per hundred pounds, and in many cases there should be no reduction at all.

That was the accomplishment of that year. Most would have a reduction of 15 cents per hundred pounds, and the others would be in the very happy position of not having any reduction at all.

I do not wish to refer only to that year. Let us see what the support program for dairy farmers was the next year. Let me quote from Hansard for May 6, 1960 at page 3656:

I think that is as plain as English can make it. Anybody who sells a portion of his milk in the bottled, fluid market is not entitled to the 25 cents. That has been made absolutely clear-

That was the subsidy being paid then as compared to the $1.21 today.

April 26/ 1967

Then he said:

That has been made absolutely clear, and there should have been no confusion at any time in connection with it.

The reason for that provision is, of course, that by and large the people who sell their milk in the fluid milk market-to the bottled trade-receive much higher prices than those who sell milk for manufacturing purposes. The idea of paying this 25 cents subsidy to those who sell milk for manufacturing purposes is in order to bring about to some extent an equality of price levels and to help to equalize the returns to the dairy farmer who sells to a cheese or butter factory.

That was the policy, apparently, of the Conservative party at that time. Perhaps it has changed; but if so, today is the first notice I have received of the fact that it has changed. What of 1961, when the hon. member for Qu'Appelle was minister of agriculture? What was the policy at that time?

I quote from Hansard of April 20, 1961, page 3826

Mr. Speaker, the government has authorized the agricultural stabilization board to continue the present level of price support for the dairy industry for the period May 1, 1961, to April 30, 1962.

They were going to hold their own from the previous year when they had had a cut-back of some 15 cents. I now quote from Hansard of March 10, 1961, page 2901. The hon. member for Qu'Appelle, then minister of agriculture, answered question No. 122 asked by Mr. Boulanger in these terms:

The subsidy of 25 cents per hundred pounds of milk used for manufacturing purposes is payable only to milk producers. The factory or factories receiving milk for manufacturing purposes, acting as agents of the agricultural stabilization board, pay the 25 cent subsidy and after proof of payment are reimbursed by the board. No subsidy has therefore been paid to the condensed milk processing firms referred to.

There again, we continue the subsidy at 25 cents. What was the picture in gross with respect to the subsidies that had been paid and the supports that have been given and are now given to the dairy farmers of this country? First of all I would point to the statistics as to prices received. Remarks have been made, and I think quite properly so, about the plight of the dairy farmer caught in the cost-price squeeze, as are all areas of the agricultural community, and the increasing costs the dairy farmer must bear for the goods which he buys in the marketplace. There is only one way in which we can enable him to meet those increasing costs and that is by increasing the price of the goods he sells in the marketplace.

Interim Supply

I should like to quote the statistics in that regard. In 1961-62, with all the subsidies, the manufacturing milk dairy farmer received $2.86; in 1962-63 the then government "improved" his position by decreasing his return from $2.86 to $2.62; in 1963-64 it was $2.86; in 1964-65, $3.16; in 1965-66, $3.52; in 1966-67, $4.00; and in 1967-68 with the 11 cents off-this is his net position-it is $4.64.

[DOT] (12:10 a.m.)

In the four years that we have been in office the price that he is receiving has been increased by some 70 per cent. I suggest there is no other segment of the economy whose returns during this time have been increased by so great a percentage. I do not claim that this is the whole answer to the problem, but I do say that an increase of this kind very clearly shows the concern of this government for the plight of the dairy farmers. It shows that we have not stood still, as the previous administration did during their tenure of office. It shows that we have recognized the need and have moved responsibly and quickly, and at a very considerable cost to the taxpayers of this country, to try and meet the problem.

We will be here until dawn if we have to, but the story of the dairy farmers and what has been done for them will be laid before the house to the best of my ability, just as the criticisms, some of them responsible and others completely irresponsible, have been before the house. In so far as trying to get us out of here because it is late is concerned, I can assure hon. members that when it is a matter of telling the story as best as I see it and as truthfully as I see it in respect of the problem of the dairy farmers, I will stay here as long as anybody else who wants to stay.

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PC

Gordon Minto Churchill

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Churchill:

Will the minister answer a question?

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LIB

John James Greene (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. Greene:

I will answer questions when I have finished.

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April 26, 1967