May 8, 1934 (17th Parliament, 5th Session)


Robert Weir (Minister of Agriculture)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WEIR (Melfort):

I wish first to put on record some information asked for by the hon. member for Ontario (Mr. Moore) at the conclusion of the discussion last week when I was compelled to move that the committee rise and report progress. The hon. member dwelt at great length on the various plans that had been tried for controlled marketing and for the marketing of agricultural products generally. I endeavoured to point out on that occasion that the examples he was citing did not relate to conditions similar to those in Canada, nor were the problems which

Marketing Act
we were attempting to solve similar to the problems presented in the examples he mentioned. I pointed out that the methods set out in the different plans he mentioned were not similar to the chief methods that underlie the legislation embodied in the bill now before this committee. The hon. gentleman continued his recital in this connection however. I am sure that hon. members of this committee will agree with me as to the impossibility of discussing each one of the acts referred to in detail if we wish to make any progress, and therefore I have had prepared a synopsis of the different policies to which my hon. friend referred. If I understood him rightly, he emphasized in the first place the danger of government monopoly, price fixing and controlled production, together with compulsory cooperation, which he referred to more especially at the close of his remarks. The countries and states which he indicated in his address in connection with a marketing policy were Queensland, New South Wales, Bulgaria, Brazil, Chili, Cuba, Germany, Greece, Latvia, the Netherlands, Roumania, Italy, Sweden, Switzerland, Hungary, Egypt, Jugoslavia and Uruguay, sixteen countries and two states. Of these, twelve provided in their policies for government monopoly of purchase and sale. That is not one of the chief principles of the bill which is before us. The object of the bill before the committee is . to enable producers, in so far as they indicate a desire to this end, to regulate marketing by organization and in some instances, if it is felt desirable, through appointment by the dominion board as its agency in the marketing of their own produce. I contend therefore that the statement put on Hansard by the hon. member was far afield if it was intended to apply to the bill before the committee. In the second place, of the different marketing plans which he discussed at considerable length, fifteen embodied the principle of price fixing; that principle appeared in fifteen out of the sixteen countries and two states he mentioned. The bill before this committee makes no provision for price fixing, and therefore I contend again that the hon. member was very far afield indeed when he compared the eighteen different policies of those sixteen countries and two states to the bill which is now under consideration. As I say, one of the chief principles in the plans he discussed was price fixing, which is not provided for or is not one of the aims of the bill before the committee. Further, of the eighteen policies which he outlined, in which reference was made to production con-
trol, four made provision for such control. In the bill which is before the committee no power is given to reduce or control production. I feel therefore that it is not necessary to dwell at any greater length on the statement made by the hon. member for Ontario.

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