Hon. Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Transport):
I am aware of the keen interest which the hon. members of this house have had in the transportation problem of the 1951 grain crop and I thought a brief report on the situation to date would be helpful. The figures which I will put on the record have reference to the period August 1, 1951, to June 12, 1952.
Latest estimates of anticipated marketings from the 1951 crop are 720-4 million bushels. Total marketings from the 1950 crop were 564-6 million. Actual marketings from August 1, 1951, to June 12, 1952, are 619-6 million bushels compared to 479-9 million bushels during the same period in 1950 and 1951 from the 1950 crop. Marketings this season have been greater than at any other similar period in the history of the Canadian grain trade. Car loadings at country points have increased 33 per cent over last year from 221,747 to 295,554 cars.
Total rail and vessel shipments from the lakehead for the present crop year total 370-3 million bushels compared to 223-4 last year, an increase of over 63 per cent.
Shipments to terminals on the Pacific coast this season total 104,947,000 compared to 50,-
970,000 during the same period in the previous crop year, more than a 100 per cent increase over last year.
Total overseas clearances in the same period are 266-3 million bushels compared to 146-5 million bushels from the 1950 crop.
Clearances from the port of Montreal alone since the season opened this year have been particularly large, over 35 million bushels having been shipped compared to 17-7 million for the same period last year, an increase of over 100 per cent. Shipments this season are already greater than at any time in the past in a similar period. Total export clearances from St. Lawrence river terminals since the opening of navigation are 51-4 million as compared to 20-9 million for the same period in 1951.
It should be borne in mind that this last year's crop has been a most difficult one to handle. A seriously delayed harvest last fall, coupled with very poor weather, brought large quantities of out-of-condition grain to market. Salvaging this grain only aggravated an already serious transportation problem. In addition, there has been the problem of getting the immediately saleable grades and types into export channels to meet the excellent demand for our grain abroad.
I think all hon. members will agree that this is a tremendous transportation accomplishment, credit for which should be given in full measure to all the interests concerned, railways, shipping companies, elevator and government employees, not the least of which is the transport controller under whose direction this effort has been achieved.
On the orders of the day: