May 28, 1948 (20th Parliament, 4th Session)


James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)



With regard to cheese, the price in the contract is thirty cents. It sets a floor under cheese. The requisitioning of cheese depends on two or three things. One is whether we can buy cheese from week to week as we go along in order to fill the British contract. Another one is whether we shall be able to get funds to be able to pay for all the cheese in the month or two toward the end of the season. In my opinion we ought to be able to get our proportion of the cheese every week during the summer, and I have expressed that opinion to the cheese producers in the last two or three days. They are discussing that matter with the possibility of bringing it about, so far as the cheese producers of Quebec and Ontario are concerned.
I am not in a position to say anything more until those discussions are completed. It is not our desire to requisition cheese, and I hope we shall not have to do so. We hope to get the cheese as we go along, rather than have to take it in the last month or two. I think that is advisable. Nor do the British want it all in the last month or two, but week by week, and that is the way we ought to deliver it. But if we cannot deliver it in that way we shall have to make some different arrangements from what we have now.
We have not lowered the ceiling on butter. We have simply said that if it goes down to fifty-eight cents we are prepared to buy it. But butter has not gone down to fifty-eight cents, and I do not know whether it will or not. We have not lowered the ceiling. It is still sixty-seven cents. The papers said seventy-three cents, but there is no such ceiling on butter. The ceiling is a wholesale ceiling of sixty-seven cents, and the fifty-eight cents is in relation to sixty-seven cents, and not in relation to seventy-three cents. The selling price, as everyone knows, is sixty-seven cents, basis Montreal, and the price at which we shall buy, if it goes down to that, is fifty-eight cents.

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