Hon. J. G. GARDINER (Minister of Agriculture):
Mr. Speaker, I am sorry I did not notice the question of the hon. member until he had begun reading it and I saw the copy of it on my desk; therefore I have not had time to consider the matter. I should like to say, however, that I noticed in the newspapers this morning the statement reported to have been made by the director of supply for the United States Commodity Credit Corporation, and I find it most difficult to believe that such a statement was made without any statement being made at the same time as to what it may be related to. There may have been some request from the United States Commodity Credit Corporation for beef from Canada at some period or another during the war. However, the reference I made on December 5, 1944, was based upon an inquiry made personally by our own deputy minister in Washington a short time prior to the making of it. Any statement made in the house was in exact accordance with information we had from Washington.
Another question, to which reference was made in the house at the same time, had to do with two different matters, and I believe was referred to by one of the senators in replying to this particular statement. I believe I made the statement to the house in December last-and if I did not, I make it to-day-that at that time, when the peak in delivery was reached last fall, not only did we approach Washington, but we also took the matter up with certain packing plants in St. Paul, Minnesota. We asked them whether or not they would take delivery of a stated number of cattle per week over a short period of time, in order to relieve the Winnipeg stock market.