Hon. J. G. GARDINER (Minister of Agriculture) :
I desire to make an announcement of government policy on milk and other dairy products covering the milk year which begins May 1, 1944. and continues until April 30, 1945.
I should like at the outset of my remarks to record the appreciation of the government of the splendid job which the dairy producers of Canada have done and are continuing to do on production in spite of difficulties. The season of 1942-43 was unusually favourable and a record production was secured. The latter half of the season of 1943-44 has been very unfavourable and milk producers have done a remarkably good job in maintaining milk production at high levels.
The chief difficulty beginning in November was related to a short supply of feed in eastern Canada, resulting from the poorest crop which
Dairy Products-Government Policy
eastern Canada has harvested in fifty years. Realizing the danger of a drop in supplies the government increased the subsidies on all dairy products between October 1,1943, and April 30, 1944. This, together with assistance given toward the movement of feed grain from the West, has resulted in fair supplies under extremely difficult circumstances.
It is hoped that weather conditions will be more favourable throughout 1944, although it is recognized that to the extent that grain feed is required an improvement in the position cannot come until a new crop is harvested in the
east. By far the greater part of dairy production will, however, depend upon pastures during the early part of the season, and to that extent costs will be reduced as compared with the winter season.
The new subsidy levels are therefore placed on a lower plane in the first five months than they were during the last seven months of the preceding year, but on most items will be placed at the same level for the last seven months.
The subsidies for the year 1943-44 were as follows:
May 1, 1943 to Oct. 1, 1943 to
Sept. 30, 1943 April 30, 1944
Fluid milk 25 cents a hundred 55 cents a hundred (excepting
in certain districts where it
_ is 25 cents)
Nil 30 cents a hundredButter
8 cents lb. butterfat to 10 cents lb. butterfat Jan. 1Dec. 31 to April 30Concentrated whole milk
Nil 30 cents a hundred
The subsidies for the year 1944-45 will be as follows:
May 1 to Sept. 30, Oct. 1, 1944 to
1944 April 30, 1945
Fluid milk 35 cents a hundred 55 cents a hundred
(except in certain districts where it will continue to be _ 25 cents)
20 cents a hundred 20 cents a hundredButter
10 cents lb. butterfat 10 cents lb. butterfatConcentrated whole milk
15 cents a hundred 30 cents a hundred
It will be noted that in respect of fluid milk there are some districts where there are exceptions to the subsidies suggested. In certain districts subsidies have been 25 cents throughout the year, and those subsidies will be continued.
We are at present negotiating a contract with Great Britain for cheese, which we hope will provide for Britian to take all the cheese we can provide during the next two years. Any surpluses of butter or canned milk which may result can be marketed in Britain.
We think these subsidies, along with the door under prices already provided through our agreements and otherwise for dairy products, should-result, if weather is favourable, in a record production in dairy products in 1944.
We therefore feel justified in urging the highest possible production of cheese in the cheese producing areas, the highest possible production of butter in the butter producing areas, the utilization of duplex plants for cheese in summer and butter in fall and winter seasons where duplex plants exist, and the
production of whole milk tributary to cities and processing plants turning out commodities desired in our war effort.
We are taking authority through the food board to direct plants to depend upon the same sources for milk supply as in a previous year. We are most anxious that butter and fluid milk supplies should meet domestic requirements, and that cheese should be available for both domestic and allied markets.