January 22, 1969

?

An hon. Member:

That is not a new

problem.

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LIB

Horace Andrew (Bud) Olson (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. Olson:

That is not a new problem but I wish hon. gentlemen opposite would hear me out. I sat here very quietly when they were speaking. In fact I was accused of being silent. The fact of the matter was that when we had these increased sales for December and January delivery coming at the same time as these very severe low temperatures, it was not possible for the Canadian Wheat Board, or indeed for the railways or anybody else, to schedule according to what is normal because this weather was not normal.

I am told that if the present cold weather stays in Edmonton for three more days it will break all records in the recorded weather history of western Canada for the longest period at the lowest temperatures. Now, Mr. Speaker, if that is the kind of criticism hon. gentlemen opposite want to level at the government and the transportation companies, that they should do something about this-well, that seems to be what they are arguing.

Instead of this kind of unjustifiable criticism, certainly the Canadian Wheat Board, the staff, the transportation industry and other sectors of the grain industry vitally involved in this whole thing should be urged to more efforts but they should also be commended for having made the best of a difficult situation under very adverse conditions.

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?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear.

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LIB

Horace Andrew (Bud) Olson (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. Olson:

I could deal with many of the other details that have been raised in the arguments offered but there is not much time left to me, Mr. Speaker, and a lot of this detail has been gone over a number of times during the question periods. I would hope that taking into account the economic well being of the grain farmers and of the other people in the grain industry, for this year and

Grain

indeed for the future, we could have a somewhat higher degree of co-operation in trying to find solutions rather than what we have had thus far which is really nothing much more than severe, unjustified, unwarranted criticism.

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?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear.

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NDP

Harold Edward Winch

New Democratic Party

Mr. Winch:

Would the minister allow a question?

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LIB

Horace Andrew (Bud) Olson (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. Olson:

Yes, certainly.

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NDP

Harold Edward Winch

New Democratic Party

Mr. Winch:

In view of the minister's concluding remarks that the pile up was because of weather and, shall I say, an act of God will the minister please explain why, with all the wheat in the assembly yards in Vancouver and en route, four of our shipping berths are not being used because the right kind of grain is not in the right place at the right time?

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LIB

Horace Andrew (Bud) Olson (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. Olson:

Mr. Speaker, I hope I have enough time left to answer that question. I suggest that if the hon. member had done a little more homework he could have found out about that too. The answer is as follows: with the many grades and indeed the number of carloads of damp grain that are in the marshalling yards it is almost a switching nightmare to get the No. 2 dry grain out of there and into the elevators so that it can be loaded. That is part of it. The other part of the story is as the hon. member pointed out, that only about half of the grain in the marshalling yards and enroute to Vancouver was No. 2. I do not have the precise figures in front of me but I think that a very small percentage, less than 50 per cent of it, a minor percentage, is No. 2. Therefore, to keep the pipe line open it is necessary to do a very complex job of switching in those yards so that they can get the carloads of No. 2 switched out to the right terminal where ships are loading No. 2.

The hon. member also knows that the weather conditions in the port have not been normal. They have been severe and this adds to the difficulties of the men working in the yards, on the unloading chutes and all through the whole operation. The adverse weather conditions affected the total output. So, Mr. Speaker, it is not a question of someone standing around and not doing a good job, whether it be the workers in the marshalling yards or at the terminal elevators along the way. It is that they have been

January 22, 1969

Grain

working under very severe weather conditions all the way from the prairies right to the port.

[DOT] (10:50 p.m.)

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PC

Richard Russell Southam

Progressive Conservative

Mr. R. R. Southam (Qu'Appelle-Moose Mountain):

Mr. Speaker, I believe I would be derelict in my duty as a representative of a rural area of western Canada if I did not take a few minutes to take part in this very important debate this evening. In spite of the criticism we have heard from the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Olson) about my colleague the hon. member for Mackenzie's (Mr. Kor-chinski) motion I wish to congratulate him for introducing this very important matter before the house at this time.

Last year on November 28 I had the privilege of moving a motion to adjourn the house in order to debate a matter of a national emergency concerning the serious situation that was taking place on the prairies at that time. I can recall, as can the minister and others opposite, that there were no less than 12 members from western Canada supporting me in the house at that time. I believe the defence of the government at that time was pitiful. Now, two months later we are still faced with this serious situation in Western Canada. I deplore the minister trying to defend himself and members of his government by criticizing us for bringing this situation to the attention of the house.

The world knows that in Canada we produce the best quality of wheat. It is because of this that we want to maintain our position in world markets. Despite the Minister of Agriculture saying that we should not be raising this issue there are headlines in every newspaper which one picks up such as, "Grain-drying problem worsening", "Wheat markets facing threat", "Farmers must dry grain at home", and so on. This goes on day after day. These statements come from responsible members of the news media right across Canada. Why should we in this house not defend the interests of the farmers whom we represent.

Although I must admit our congenial Minister of Industry, and Trade and Commerce (Mr. Pepin) tried to mesmerize us somewhat with his very congenial delivery here in the house tonight, he attempted to minimize the situation. He mentioned there was only twice as much wet grain this year as in previous years, when the fact of the matter is there is three times as much.

Last November 27 Mr. McNamara, the head of the Canadian Wheat Board, pointed out that the largest amount of damp wheat we ever had was something like 120 million bushels. This year we have 380 million bushels of wet wheat in western Canada and in addition have several hundred million bushels of wheat, coarse grain. This emphasizes the seriousness of the situation. On November 28 I tried to impress the government with the idea that they should get the wet grain to the terminals and this would mean that they would have to get the dry grain moving quickly. As we know, the St. Lawrence Seaway is closed in the winter and our greatest terminals are at Fort William and Port Arthur. At these terminals only approximately 8 million bushels of grain can be dried per month. We should have moved as much as possible to those facilities and left the pipeline to the west coast open. But the government, because of its inexperience or for some reason, took it upon themselves to open up a three bushel quota for wet grain and more or less lull the farmers into an artificial state of complacency by making them think this would solve the problem. Then they immediately plugged up the western pipeline so that when customers placed orders for dry wheat we could not meet the situation.

I have had a good deal of experience in respect of this situation, although I did not do as much homework as the hon. member for Vancouver East (Mr. Winch). It so happens that a few weeks ago I was at the port of Vancouver. I saw there a large number of boats waiting to load grain. At that time, as has been pointed out, there were something like 25 or 26 boats. A number of berths were not being utilized for the simple reason that we did not have the right type of grain to service the boats that were waiting.

As has been pointed out there is the very serious situation in respect of the Wheat Board having to foot the demurrage bill. I hate to think of what the situation will be if Canadian farmers find they have to help to defray the demurrage payments. Members on this side of the house have continued to prod, pound and even hound the government into taking positive action to meet the catastrophic situation which faces western agriculture. There are chiefly three problems. The first is the inefficiency of this government through lack of experience and indifference. The second is the greatest pile-up of damp grain in Canadian history. Then, thirdly, there is the lack of wheat markets which has allowed

January 22, 1969

the pile-up of dry grain in all the storage facilities we have such as in farmers bins, country elevators and terminal elevators.

I say that this problem has been aggravated because of the fact the government did not take cognizance of a situation in which the farmers are up against one of the worst economic difficulties faced in Canadian history. They have a huge carry-over of grain from the year before. They have a huge pile of wet grain and do not have the money to finance the drying of it. The minister criticized us because we have not made constructive suggestions. I criticize the government for not doing one of the things they should have done. They should have created initiative on the part of the farmer to help himself. I suggested that acreage payments might be provided in an amount up to $400 to each farmer. I believe that in times of emergency it is necessary to subsidize a major industry like agriculture. It is well known that the export of agricultural products in this country represent the second largest source of income which the country has. The wood pulp industry accounts for the largest, but agricultural production is the second.

Agriculture is a most important factor in the economic life of Canada. If the agricultural industry is allowed to go down the drain, which this government apparently is willing to allow it to do, we will feel the general effect not only in the agricultural industry in western Canada but right across this great nation. I feel that if the government had taken seriously our suggestion of several months ago and had provided an incentive to each farmer to help him pay the cost of moving drying equipment into position, this would have made a great deal of difference. In the most recent survey we found that there are about 3,200 pieces of drying equipment in western Canada and that only 900 are being used. The reason is that the farmers have not been able to foot the bill for the cost of moving these dryers into position. They do not wish to send good money after bad because with the loss of markets they are afraid that they might not be able to pull themselves out of the hole. They believe their industry is so important the government should be showing some initiative in recognizing this fact by assisting them in getting these dryers into position.

[DOT] (11:00 p.m.)

I suggested last fall that the government should have co-operated with the provincial

Grain

governments to provide freight assistance to move these dryers into position. This should have been done on a 50-50 basis. I was pleased to note that the Saskatchewan Government Power Corporation is going to contribute free gas connections to farmers who have gas dryers installed to help them dry the grain. This is a case of a crown corporation taking the initiative from the federal government which has the basic responsibility for this problem. This is an example of a provincial government understanding an emergency in western Canada and doing something, but it is still not enough. This is an area in which the federal government should have moved long ago.

Back in 1961 we experienced the worst drought in the agricultural industry. We provided subsidy payments in co-operation with the provincial governments to move haying equipment into position in order to provide forage for our livestock. In the case we are now considering, we should be moving equipment to dry the grain.

Other hon. members from western Canada have made suggestions, and the minister has mentioned several things that have been done. These have been appreciated, but they have not been sufficient. We are still faced with the problem. I do not see why the government should excuse itself by saying it has done everything that can be done. There are many other things that could and should be done. The hon. member for Provencher (Mr. Smerchanski) presented the most ridiculous argument I have ever heard when he tried to get the government off the hook by suggesting this is a wheat board responsibility. This is like suggesting that when you hire a man to do a job you should not have to tell him what to do or how to do it. After all, if you are going to hire somebody to do a job, as we have hired the wheat board, you should give some direction. I am sure the wheat board officials would appreciate some direction from the government.

This government has recently begun to give the wheat board some instructions, but only after the emergency has become apparent. I do not want to belabour the situation, but I have had the opportunity of discussing this matter at some length in recent weeks and I want to emphasize the seriousness of this situation. We, as hon. members of the opposition want to make every effort to come up with some solution to solve this major emergency facing the Canadian grain and agricultural industry in Canada.

January 22, 1969

Gram

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NDP

John Leroy Skoberg

New Democratic Party

Mr. John L. Skoberg (Moose Jaw):

with regard to Vancouver. I refer to putting No. 2 Northern into position for shipment. Extra crews are working in the yards, and I am sure the railroads can look after the situation.

I was quite amazed, to say the least, when the Minister of Agriculture made his great announcement about the Canadian Pacific news release concerning what they are about to do. Hon. members know what happened at about 2.30 this afternoon. The few remaining Liberal members in the chamber indicates that there is not very much concern on that side of the house. I suggest that they consider the time when this question was raised today. At about 2.30 this afternoon the hon. member for Mackenzie (Mr. Korchinski) moved his motion, which was accepted by Mr. Speaker. At four o'clock instructions were issued from Winnipeg to the railway terminal at Moose Jaw telling them exactly what to do.

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

We knew there were 190 cars of No. 2 northern in that yard waiting to be moved. We also knew after four o'clock that a train was ordered for the west with a 70 car drag. We also know that orders were issued that all the No. 2 northern grain must be moved as soon as possible, and it was exactly four o'clock this afternoon when the message was received at the terminal. After the action was taken in the house, we knew wires would go out to that terminal and no doubt to many other terminals across the country. I suggest this indicates that it takes the action of the Opposition to move this government off its fat back. This is another example of what can be done if there is an indication from the government of their sincerity to do something for the economy of the country. A notice is sent from Winnipeg that additional units are to be put on to carry the grain west. Workers in the terminal were called on to work time and a half oiling box cars and getting them out.

I happen to have worked for some years on the railroad for an excellent company. They will co-operate if they have the co-operation of the government, but often they find that they load these cars with grain and they are then left in a siding. There is no justification for the government allowing this situation to exist this long without getting the railway companies involved directly. I am sure that if you look at the figures, you will find the railroads are willing to co-operate if there is some indication from the government and

29180-297J

Grain

from various departments that they want to do something about the problem.

With regard to what the Minister of Industry, Trade and Commerce (Mr. Pepin) said about these trains only hauling 30 cars in comparison to double that amount, in good weather, we must realize the reference is probably to a one unit operation. After the decision taken in the House, no doubt the Canadian Pacific, and the C.N.R., will move these trains efficiently and quickly to the port of destination.

I suggest that the operation could probably have been much more efficient if there were not as many mishaps and derailments. I believe this is something with which the Minister of Transport (Mr. Hellyer) is morally obligated to deal before the week is out. There is an indication that there is an overall increase in these mishaps, which naturally delay the movement of grain. I can assure the house that there is a great delay in this regard.

I would like to conclude, since I know other hon. members wish to speak and we do not want to drag the debate out past 3 a.m. However, I suggest that in my opinion the government is trying to lay the blame on the Opposition. I suggest that the amount of time the ministers of this government have taken trying to cram through the house an unnecessary increase in interest rates could have been well used in co-ordinating the movement of grain, the need for which they could have anticipated.

Another thing which I would like to respectfully suggest is that the government has spent a considerable amount of time trying to set up the national grains council. I assure you that although we do not oppose the national grains council, the time taken up by those people could have been used to better advantage. I respectfully suggest also that it could well be when the top echelons of our civil servants in the various departments connected with this critical issue were compelled or requested to take the language course this then directly created a lack of coordination within the departments. It is my considered opinion that too many of our top civil servants have had to go to these courses at this time.

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LIB

James Hugh Faulkner (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

Order, please. I suggest the hon. member return to the issue before us.

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PC

Marcel Joseph Aimé Lambert

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Lambert (Edmonton West):

He is on it.

January 22, 1969

Grain

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NDP

John Leroy Skoberg

New Democratic Party

Mr. Skoberg:

With great respect I suggest that what I said with regard to these courses was relevant inasmuch as these courses were partly responsible for the lack of co-ordination which gave rise to the situation we are discussing. I believe every member of the house is sincerely interested in co-operating with the government to the fullest extent, provided the government, in turn, is prepared to reciprocate. It is farcical for the minister to suggest that we were opposed to the Canadian Wheat Board, as he must know. Not one member has ever criticized the Wheat Board as such, and we believe the Wheat Board should be given the fullest support in its endeavours. But in order to do its job properly, the board must have the support of the ministers with whom it works, and I suggest it does not have this backing.

As to sales, I am sure that if there had been unexpected sales the government would have used the occasion to make headlines across the nation. The only sale they did announce-and the announcement was made with a great fanfare-turned out to be a continuation of an arrangement already made. I am sure we would have heard about it by now if there were really big new sales in the offing.

I cannot agree that the action of the opposition has had anything to do with sales overseas at any time. The markets are there for the getting, and if we make a concerted effort and co-ordinate all the departments involved, I can assure the minister sales will be forthcoming. At present there are too many departments which are reluctant to interfere with each other. If they would get together, something could be done.

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PC

Donald Frank Mazankowski

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Don Mazankowski (Vegreville):

In

rising to participate in this debate I shall probably not be as colourful or as carefree or as charismatic as the Minister of Industry, Trade and Commerce (Mr. Pepin), nor do I wish to be, nor shall I try to be. I feel the subject before us is of utmost seriousness.

I welcome, as do all hon. members, particularly those from the prairies, the announcement by the minister that some 3i million bushels of No. 2 northern wheat are being moved from the terminal at Moose Jaw. I would say this is another victory for the opposition, thank to the hon. member for Mackenzie (Mr. Korchinski). I am sure he can be considered as a very good friend of the western Canadian farmer.

IMr. Lambert (Edmonton West).]

From the remarks made by the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Olson), one might conclude that the present prairie grain situation is bright. It would appear it has improved vastly in the past eight hours. Seriously, there can be no doubt that Canada's grain industry is in serious difficulty, despite what the Minister of Trade and Commerce and the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Olson) have said.

Indeed, the situation is such as to constitute a grave national emergency. A production, distribution and marketing system that was once a model for others and constituted the backbone of this country's economic wellbeing is today paralysed and impotent. Ships waiting to load Canadian wheat for foreign buyers lie idle on the Pacific coast. Railway arteries are clogged with the wrong grain in the wrong place and at the wrong time. Farmers on the prairies are sunk in debt under huge piles of dry grain that cannot be moved and damp grain that cannot be exported.

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

What has happened to this system that in happier days sold and shipped countless millions of bushels of grain without serious interruption and to the satisfaction of producer and customer? I believe that the basic cause of today's disaster lies in the refusal of a series of Liberal governments to undertake the basic overhaul of grain production, marketing and distribution methods which has been urged not only by members on this side of the house but by others who are knowledgeable experts in this field.

The immediate causes of the situation that could kill new wheat sales and jeopardize renewal of contracts with our traditional buyers are, I believe, the lack of foresight by responsible officials, the absence of government concern, government inaction over the past few critical months and, last but not least, lack of concern on the part of the Minister of Industry, Trade and Commerce (Mr. Pepin). If since assuming office last summer the minister had spent some time acquainting himself first hand with the responsibility he has in regard to Canada's grain producers, who last summer were overburdened with record surpluses of grain, rather than touring South America on a ministerial junket and appearing on television, he might have come to realize the important role that our grain industry plays in this very important export trade. Perhaps then he might have realized that he had been rewarded with a very challenging and interesting job.

January 22, 1969

The Canadian Wheat Board is the minister's responsibility, and I suspect that the Wheat Board must accept a good portion of the blame for the present situation. How much more falls upon the responsible minister when the wrong grades are in the wrong place at the wrong time, as the hon. member for Vancouver East (Mr. Winch) stated. I submit, Mr. Speaker, this is not an act of God. While the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Olson) has no direct say in these matters, it is still reasonable that we should expect him as an agricultural leader and as a farmer to take a close interest in anything that works to the detriment of his own area of responsibility. In my opinion the inaction the ineptitude and the lack of knowledge of the Minister of Trade and Commerce have worked to the detriment of our western wheat producers.

When I spoke about foresight and the lack of it, I had reference to the fact that the problems of fulfilling commitments for dry grain and handling vast amounts of damp and tough grain, the result of last year's inclement weather and terrible harvesting season, must have been apparent to the experienced officials of the Canadian Wheat Board. They must have experienced this situation some months ago. Not only that, the government of this country was cross-examined many times by members of this house, and the answers we received were ludicrous.

We were referred to as "publicity seekers". One headline read: "Opposition Publicity

Seekers Hurt Wheat Sales, Says Olson". We were accused of damaging our foreign markets. We were not publicity seekers. We were seriously concerned about government inaction and offered our suggestions and solutions and alternatives, watching the serious situation unfold before our very eyes. We suggested the government give assistance by making available large grain dryers, by making advance payments for grain drying, or by some form of acreage payment assistance. The Minister of Agriculture replied by saying, as reported at page 3569 of Hansard:

-hon. members opposite are seeking publicity and it is my right to express my opinion also.

The fact that you, Mr. Speaker, saw fit to allow this emergency debate indicates the seriousness of the situation. I suggest that publicity had no effect whatever on your decision.

More than any other body in this country the Wheat Board knows how much wheat of any grade in a certain condition must be shipped from where to whom at specified

Grain

times. Furthermore, it must know existing contractual commitments to foreign buyers who become more fickle and illusive every day in the existing grain market. Knowing these obligations, how can the government have planned so badly as to fill grain storage facilities with damp grain instead of with dry and marketable grain? How could the minister responsible be so casual about such a grave question and leave detailed planning to others without taking any interest in what was happening? The government had a responsibility in this general area.

As other hon. members have said, about 30 ships are waiting to be loaded in Vancouver harbour. At the same time dry grain, some of it three years old, sits on the prairies and cannot be sold because it cannot be moved. The empty ships are costing our prairies farmers about $2,500 a day each in demurrage costs.

What can one say about the Canadian wheat producer? First he was hit last summer by a strike of grain handlers at Lakehead elevators, and the government took no action until wheat shipments had been delayed to the maximum possible extent, storage facilities clogged, box cars piled up, and our customers frustrated. Next, our wheat producers were hit by dreadful weather conditions during the harvesting season that left them with a diminished crop that was damp, tough and unsaleable. They also had a formidable carryover of unsold grain from previous years.

Then the Wheat Board and the Ministers of Agriculture and Industry, Trade and Commerce said that the individual farmer was responsible for drying his own grain. Most farmers had no drying equipment and to buy it would cost money. With sales dwindling and poor quality crops our producers were faced with the dilemma of whether to invest money in dryers or await a breakthrough in the marketing of damp and tough grain. To make matters worse, western farmers were short of cash. Credit was tight. Firms drying grain commercially required guaranteed payments from farmers which farmers could not meet. Yet throughout this period, even though the government had ample time to act and ample warning of what lay ahead it did nothing to help our farmers in their extraordinary difficulties.

When government inaction and indifference were finally overcome and when the government offered to help farmers in drying their damp grain, it was too late. You just cannot

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January 22, 1969

Grain

dry grain in the 30 degree to 40 degree below zero temperatures we have had on the prairies. To do what they could to help the Canadian Wheat Board embargoed shipments and thus sales of dry grain and devoted all shipping resources to shipping damp grain to terminals for drying. This policy has resulted in the worst tie-up of grain storage facilities in Canada's history.

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

It is beyond me, Mr. Speaker, why the minister did not take a leaf from the book of previous ministers who have been responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board and name a transportation controller or, if you like, special commissioner, whose word would be final and who would have jurisdiction over the railroads, the Wheat Board and everyone else, who could break up the log jam, coordinate the movement of box cars with supply and demand, and generally bring order out of chaos.

The Canadian grain industry has indeed sunk into a pitiful situation under the present government. We have lost sales to traditional customers and we have failed to make sales to new customers. We are not likely to make any new sales when the trade learns of our present predicament. Why, we are in such a mess that we could not even give our wheat away. Just before Christmas, on December 23, the newspapers carried a story of how a gift of 35,000 tons of Canadian wheat for two African countries was loaded on ships but held in Canada because the two countries said they had never asked for it and would not accept it. Do you call that planning? Do you call that co-ordination? The only things the government has been able to co-ordinate are high interest rates, high taxes, and now high demurrage charges.

The present mess is damaging and pathetic. It is another chapter in the gloomy story that has been -unfolding over the past several years of Liberal government. But bad as the present situation is, I believe that sincere action by the government could remedy the situation to a certain degree. But such action may only bring temporary relief. It may not correct the basic weaknesses of our outmoded system which is forced to operate in changing times and a changing environment. I believe that the system has to be overhauled, and we on this side of the house have advocated changes in the production of grain, the sale of grain by the producer, in the marketing of our produce abroad and, above all else, changes to update our distribution system.

If we do not modernize our techniques, take a fresh look at conditions and make new appraisals of existing conditions, if we do not multiply and modernize our grain handling and distribution facilities, then all emergency measures that this debate may bring about will be fruitless. They will simply postpone the evil day when Canadian wheat ceases to be a major item of export and Canadian grain production a major support of our national economy.

During the last election campaign we heard a great deal about the great things that the government was going to do. There were to be sweeping changes, new concepts, new approaches, new initiatives, a reshaping of this and a reshaping of that. After the election the Prime Minister (Mr. Trudeau) said that good government is rather dull at times and is not exciting.

One of the policies that the government brought forward concerned a national grains council. We have heard nothing of it lately. Surely such a body as a national grains council would prevent a situation of this nature. Mr. Speaker, I am afraid it is the same old story, words with no action, promises without fulfilment.

I believe we require an honest endeavour by those responsible to look at the whole changed picture of the world wheat market, at Canada's place in it, and that this long careful look must be followed by action which will put us back into global competition and retain the great grain industry as a major national asset. We need action to restore some life to our western economy which is so dependent on grain markets. We need to restore the cash flow and to relieve the heavy burden of debt that has resulted from the costs of producing, harvesting, storing and drying the overabundance of grain that is on hand. We cannot afford losses of sales like the recent one to Japan of some 17,000 tons estimated to be worth some $10 million.

Whatever government action may come as a result of this debate, and I hope it is quick and effective, whatever may be done now to solve the immediate crisis can only be an emergency measure. Beyond that lies the absolute necessity for a basic re-assessment of and fundamental changes in our organization and policy. If this debate has done no more than pinpoint the need for future action it will have served its purpose well.

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LIB

Otto Emil Lang (Minister Without Portfolio)

Liberal

Hon. Oito E. Lang (Minister without Portfolio):

Mr. Speaker, we are hearing again

January 22, 1969

from members of the opposition about a particular point in their present panic in respect of the immediate situation with regard to wheat. I should like to go over the history of their panic tonight and take a look at what they do, what they accomplish and how they fail so greatly to serve the people whom they ought to be serving best.

First of all I wish to draw the attention of the hon. member for Mackenzie (Mr. Korchin-ski) to the complete inappropriateness of his use of the word "stagnant" to describe the grain movement situation. I might point out to him that "stagnant" is defined by the dictionary as "becoming motionless, having no current, ceasing to flow".

Topic:   MOTION TO ADJOURN UNDER S.O. 26 GRAIN ALLEGED PARALYSIS OF WHEAT MOVEMENT THROUGH VANCOUVER-MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT UNDER STANDING ORDER 26
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LIB

Albert Béchard (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Liberal

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bechard):

Order. Is the hon. member for Cape Breton-East Richmond (Mr. Maclnnis) rising on a point of order?

Topic:   MOTION TO ADJOURN UNDER S.O. 26 GRAIN ALLEGED PARALYSIS OF WHEAT MOVEMENT THROUGH VANCOUVER-MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT UNDER STANDING ORDER 26
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PC

Donald MacInnis

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Maclnnis (Cape Breton-East Richmond):

Yes, Mr. Speaker. My point of order arises from the disagreement by the Minister without Portfolio (Mr. Lang) with the use of the word "stagnant" which is in the motion put forward by the hon. member for Mackenzie. In so doing the minister is reflecting on the decision of the Chair to allow this debate to take place. Any reflection on the wording of a motion which has been accepted by the Chair is certainly a reflection on Your Honour in occupying that position. I would ask that the minister withdraw the remark.

Topic:   MOTION TO ADJOURN UNDER S.O. 26 GRAIN ALLEGED PARALYSIS OF WHEAT MOVEMENT THROUGH VANCOUVER-MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT UNDER STANDING ORDER 26
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?

Some hon. Members:

Withdraw.

Topic:   MOTION TO ADJOURN UNDER S.O. 26 GRAIN ALLEGED PARALYSIS OF WHEAT MOVEMENT THROUGH VANCOUVER-MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT UNDER STANDING ORDER 26
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LIB

Daniel Aiken Lang

Liberal

Mr. Lang (Saskatoon-Humboldi):

January 22, 1969

Grain

something occurs, whether as a result of nature or of the economic system of grain handling, which is disadvantageous to the farmer. That leads people who hear about agricultural problems in the west to believe that western representatives are not worth listening to. When the hon. members' panic at one moment is gone, it is replaced by another panic the next moment.

I suggest to members from agricultural constituencies that there is a fundamental message which they should be preaching and getting across to members from central Canada and to the people of this area. They should be talking about the fundamental problems facing agriculture in a broad, economic way. There is a fundamental problem in relation to the fact that every group, bar a few in Canada, has power to adjust its income when it sees fit; yet the farmer has no such protection. This is a matter of a fundamental kind which members representing agricultural constituencies in the west should be concentrating their attention on. They should not panic about interest rates on farm credit loans, because that is a form of uneconomic farm subsidy which ignores the whole picture of real needs and costs.

Topic:   MOTION TO ADJOURN UNDER S.O. 26 GRAIN ALLEGED PARALYSIS OF WHEAT MOVEMENT THROUGH VANCOUVER-MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT UNDER STANDING ORDER 26
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January 22, 1969