July 4, 1935 (17th Parliament, 6th Session)


Richard Bedford Bennett (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Conservative (1867-1942)


I tried to explain to the committee that there was one thing I was not prepared to do, and that was to lay down a

rule by which a fixed price might be determined, because we might include four factors and omit the fifth which might be the governing factor. To undertake to indicate in a bill of this kind all the factors which would be considered by the board would be something in my opinion that would be injurious to the very interests that the hon. gentleman desires to serve. It will be observed, however, that this price must be approved by the governor in council, and if in fixing that price disregard has been had of factors that should have been considered, then obviously it would be the duty of the government, whoever might comprise the government, to deal with the matter in a proper sense. I have no idea at the moment as to what price would be fixed, but I think I could name immediately five or six factors that would govern in fixing a price. For instance, the entire world's production would be a factor; the demands of the importing countries would be a factor; the cost of production averaged would be a factor. It would be very difficult to say that the cost of production in every section of western Canada would be the same. In the evidence before the committee one gentleman spoke of a cost of production that in my judgment was entirely too low, and in other cases I heard suggestions made which the farmers regarded as too high. All these are factors. The first factors I mentioned deal with supply and demand in reality. I could name many other factors if it would serve any useful purpose, but I still think it is undesirable to undertake to state in this bill all these circumstances or contingencies that would have to do with the fixing of the price; but inasmuch as the government must ultimately take responsibility for approving the price I think the interests of the producers may be said to be adequately safeguarded.

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