March 5, 1968

LIB

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

Liberal

The Chairman:

Order, please.

Topic:   INDIAN AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   PROTECTION OF HUNTING RIGHTS UNDER MIGRATORY BIRDS CONVENTION
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LIB

John James Greene (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. Greene:

Well, perhaps the hon. member wishes to change his position. What I believe he said was that we should never have abandoned the world wheat agreement.

Topic:   INDIAN AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   PROTECTION OF HUNTING RIGHTS UNDER MIGRATORY BIRDS CONVENTION
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PC

Richard Russell Southam

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Southam:

We said that it should not have been allowed to lapse.

Topic:   INDIAN AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   PROTECTION OF HUNTING RIGHTS UNDER MIGRATORY BIRDS CONVENTION
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LIB

John James Greene (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. Greene:

If the hon. member was familiar with the nature of the Kennedy round discussion he would have known that if we had not let the world wheat agreement lapse we could not have entered into the Kennedy round to renegotiate these far better mini-mums and maximums in the interests of the Canadian farmer. I believe it is totally wrong to blame anyone for the fact that the wheat prices went down after the Kennedy round, or to blame our negotiators or the Canadian government for the fact that there was a decline in world wheat prices which naturally made the buyer nations reluctant to implement the findings at the conclusion of the Kennedy round into the world wheat agreement.

I believe the hon. member for Burnaby-Coquitlam was quite right in this regard. He did not attempt to play politics with this. He said that world wheat prices went down by reason of the fact that there had been very large crops in the Communist countries and-I do not know whether or not he alleged this-the fact that the Americans brought I believe 30 million acres out of the soil bank into production. These were the reasons the world wheat prices went down. If one attempts to formulate a policy having in mind the facts, rather than playing politics, I think he must accept as fact that the world wheat prices went down because of natural reasons, and not because of any failure on the part of the Canadian negotiators or the

Supply-Agriculture

Canadian government. Negotiations have been going on since, as I believe the Minister of Trade and Commerce has often stated here. I believe these negotiations will be fruitful and will result in a new world wheat agreement which will implement the higher price range that was achieved at the Kennedy round. If this comes to pass, as I believe it will, it will certainly place the western farmer in a much better position than he was in prior to the Kennedy round, and I feel certain he will appreciate the efforts which were made at Geneva by the Canadian negotiators.

I should like to deal with the points raised by the hon. member for Burnaby-Coquitlam, because I think he and the hon. member for Lambton-Kent brought in some very constructive points which I believe are valid and could add something extremely useful to the discussions in respect of the direction that agricultural policy should take and the direction in which we should be moving. I think the hon. member for Lambton-Kent originally suggested that we should move in the direction of an incomes policy in agriculture. He suggested the implementation of Dr. Gilson's paper in this regard. I believe that the same general line of approach was taken by the hon. member for Burnaby-Coquitlam with, regard to the question of the marketplace in which the farmer finds himself today, a marketplace which is not free.

If I understood the position of these hon.. gentlemen correctly I believe they both indicated that we should be moving toward some type of incomes policy, if we want to keep agriculture in a healthy state and if we want to obtain a satisfactory level of income for the agricultural producer in the non-free marketplace which exists today. I think it is a fact that the marketplace is no longer the free marketplace it was when the agricultural policy of the past was conceived. If the farmer is to get a fair shake in this non-free-marketplace, there will have to be new approaches which do not presume as at present that the farmer is dealing in a free marketplace where the consumer has a free-choice. I think this is an area of suggestion and direction which merits the very careful consideration of those who are serious about attempting to improve the lot of the farmer today. I believe that when hundreds of thousands of farmers are dealing with very few buyers in the non-free marketplace it is inevitable that the farmers will get the worst of the deal until the time comes when they have equal control one way or another over the

March 5, 1968

Supply-Agriculture

marketplace, whether it be by means of an incomes policy or otherwise.

I very much appreciate the suggestions of the two hon. members in this regard and I assure them this is an avenue of consideration that is being studied by the government and one which certainly will, I am sure, receive a very comprehensive survey by our task force. I quite appreciate that some very pervasive and fundamental changes will have to be made in the agricultural industry if we are to achieve the kind of income we desire for our Canadian farmers.

Not too much mention of the task force was made by hon. members opposite, but I believe one or two members did ask questions about it. I can only say to those interested in the work of this body that I hold great hopes for the contribution that the task force can make in pointing out the directions in which Canadian agriculture should move and the direction in which parliament should move if we are to achieve the kind of income and economic sufficiency for the farmers that they should have.

To those hon. gentlemen who asked about the task force I can say that it is meeting almost continuously. In fact they were here today and I had a meeting with them. They will be reporting by the end of this year. I have every anticipation that the work of the task force when completed will be compiled in a paper for the perusal of hon. members, and for members of the public generally who are interested in the problem of agriculture. The present intent of the government is that ultimately the findings of the task force will be submitted to a national conclave of one kind or another at the federal and provincial levels, which would include representatives of farm organizations as may be recommended by the task force.

(9:50 p.m.)

It is quite clear that the problems of agriculture cannot, under the complexities of our constitution, be solved by either the federal or provincial governments alone. This is an area of our economy that very clearly comes within the responsibility of the two.

Topic:   INDIAN AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   PROTECTION OF HUNTING RIGHTS UNDER MIGRATORY BIRDS CONVENTION
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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. I must interrupt the hon. minister to advise him that his allotted time has now expired.

Topic:   INDIAN AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   PROTECTION OF HUNTING RIGHTS UNDER MIGRATORY BIRDS CONVENTION
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?

Some hon. Members:

Carry on.

Topic:   INDIAN AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   PROTECTION OF HUNTING RIGHTS UNDER MIGRATORY BIRDS CONVENTION
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?

An hon. Member:

No.

Topic:   INDIAN AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   PROTECTION OF HUNTING RIGHTS UNDER MIGRATORY BIRDS CONVENTION
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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:

Does the minister wish to continue?

Topic:   INDIAN AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   PROTECTION OF HUNTING RIGHTS UNDER MIGRATORY BIRDS CONVENTION
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LIB

John James Greene (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. Greene:

Apparently hon. members do not consent.

Topic:   INDIAN AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   PROTECTION OF HUNTING RIGHTS UNDER MIGRATORY BIRDS CONVENTION
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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:

Does the committee give its unanimous consent for the minister to continue?

Topic:   INDIAN AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   PROTECTION OF HUNTING RIGHTS UNDER MIGRATORY BIRDS CONVENTION
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?

An hon. Member:

No.

Topic:   INDIAN AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   PROTECTION OF HUNTING RIGHTS UNDER MIGRATORY BIRDS CONVENTION
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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:

There is not unanimous consent.

Topic:   INDIAN AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   PROTECTION OF HUNTING RIGHTS UNDER MIGRATORY BIRDS CONVENTION
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PC

Harry Andrew Moore

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Moore:

Mr. Chairman, I rise on a question of personal privilege. The minister implied that I did not know what I was talking about when I quoted certain figures in my speech. Let me put it on the record that there are many shippers of fluid milk who receive for their surplus $3.25 per hundred pounds, and many cream shippers who receive something over $2. With the added payment this means they receive very little more than $3.30 per hundredweight.

Topic:   INDIAN AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   PROTECTION OF HUNTING RIGHTS UNDER MIGRATORY BIRDS CONVENTION
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PC

Ronald David McLelland

Progressive Conservative

Mr. McLelland:

been pressing the government to request the Canadian Wheat Board to make the final wheat payment for the 1966-67 crop, because they need the rest of their money. I hope the minister realizes that farmers delivering the same variety and the same grade of wheat I referred to earlier receive only $1.28J per bushel for No. 2 hard wheat, and $1.24| per bushel for No. 3 C.W. Durum wheat. The farmers in the constituency of Rosetown-Big-gar need their final payments, and I hope they will receive them in the not too distant future. I hope I have helped the minister to understand what the western members have been talking about in respect of wheat.

Let me draw another problem to the attention of the minister which is of great concern to the people in certain parts of my constituency. We now have a dam, built or at least started during the time when the Conservative government was in power. I am sure the minister is aware of this because he was at the location last July 21. A large irrigation project will be developed downstream from this dam. Farmers there are now levelling and preparing their land. Some will be sowing irrigation crops this year. I ask the minister to use his influence with his cabinet colleagues to see whether the Minister of Finance will discontinue the 12 per cent sales tax applicable to irrigation equipment and other supplies used for the irrigation of land. I hope the government can be encouraged to give some tax incentive to the farmers in this new development area, which will be called upon to produce a great deal to answer the world demand for food supply. The minister should take a serious look at this whole question and use his influence to convince the Minister of Finance to provide tax incentives or to rescind the tax now applicable on these supplies. This will provide an opportunity for these people to go ahead with the development of this area, in order that they may increase production.

Mr. Chairman, may I call ten o'clock.

Progress reported.

Topic:   INDIAN AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   PROTECTION OF HUNTING RIGHTS UNDER MIGRATORY BIRDS CONVENTION
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BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

LIB

Allan Joseph MacEachen (Minister of National Health and Welfare; Minister of Amateur Sport; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. MacEachen:

Mr. Speaker, I should like to advise the house that tomorrow we will continue with supplementary estimates, beginning with the estimates of the Department of Finance. The Minister of Finance will make a statement at the opening of his estimates.

Proceedings on Adjournment Motion

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Permalink
PC

Robert Lorne Stanfield (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Sianfield:

Mr. Speaker, I should like to maye it clear that I am not sure this is agreeable, in view of the length of time the Minister of Agriculture has taken tonight and the quality of the remarks made. We will sleep on it.

[DOT] (10:00 p.m.)

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
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PROCEEDINGS ON ADJOURNMENT MOTION


A motion to adjourn the house under provisional standing order 39A deemed to have been moved.


PUBLIC SERVICE-PENSIONS OF RETIRED CIVIL SERVANTS-REQUEST FOR INCREASE AT THIS SESSION

March 5, 1968