Mr. Solon E. Low (Peace River):
Mr. Speaker, I should like to say just a word on this whole question today, not for the purpose of launching into a long dissertation but more for the purpose of correcting certain errors into which some people have fallen in their thinking. I am also going to have to make an admission today, Mr. Speaker, but it is an admission that does not pain me at all. Yesterday the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Gardiner) drew to my attention the fact that when election campaigns are being fought in the provinces, repercussions of them can be felt in this house. I bow in humble acknowledgment of his rightness in that assertion.
It seems that the most political group in the house today are the members immediately to my right. I do not know whether they feel that they are fighting for their lives or that they have their backs to the wall, or what it is, but they seem to feel that they must put on a political scrap here every
time anything is mentioned. If they would put on their political fights on the basis of fact, then of course we would not mind. But when they stretch the truth in these matters and try to make them appear as something that they are not, we are obliged to take issue with them. I agree with much of what my friend the hon. member for Rosthern (Mr. Tucker) said yesterday. I could not help realizing that he too was speaking the truth.
In speaking this afternoon my friend the hon. member for Mackenzie (Mr. Nicholson) made certain remarks. I think he did so honestly because I give him credit for being honest and sincere in what he says. I do not believe that he would try to mislead anybody. But this afternoon, in the course of his address, he asked how anyone can justify saying that if $2.27 a bushel represents the internal parity price of wheat, the farmers should be asked to take $1.81 which my colleague the hon. member for Acadia (Mr. Quelch) calculated might be a probable resultant of a two-price system under present circumstances. Perhaps the very best answer to my friend the hon. member for Mackenzie is that the interprovincial farm union council have advocated just that because they feel that it is something reasonable and sound, the kind of reasonableness about which my friend the hon. member for Vancouver South (Mr. Philpott) was just speaking. Certainly in our approach to all of these things we must be reasonable. We must know that the people of Canada are the ones who will have to foot the bills in all these things. We must be prepared to accept pretty much what the farmers themselves are prepared to accept as reasonable and sound.
I point out to my hon. friend that that is exactly what they have done. All he has to do is to refer to the submission to the government of Canada by the interprovincial farm union council of January, 1955, and he will find that two-price system-as my friend the hon. member for Acadia outlined it-is advocated by them; and the resultant would be, under present circumstances, exactly what the hon. member for Acadia has outlined here this afternoon.
Another thing the hon. member for Mackenzie asked is this. He asked how long farmers could stay in business if they were asked to accept $1.81 a bushel for their wheat if it cost them $2.27 to produce it. Maybe that was a slip of the tongue. Certainly no one here has suggested that the cost of production is or has been $2.27 a bushel. I would ask who has said that it cost the farmers $2.27 a bushel to produce wheat.