January 25, 1958 (23rd Parliament, 1st Session)

PC

Douglas Scott Harkness (Minister of Agriculture)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Harkness:

Mr. Chairman, in answer to the question asked by the hon. member for Bow River, the method of support which has generally been used has been to designate a certain grade or quality, and to support that grade at a certain level. In the case of hogs it is grade B-l. These hogs are graded by government graders.

The hon. member expressed the fear that if one particular grade were supported the product would be graded below that grade to ensure that the farmer would not receive as much for his product as he might otherwise receive. Since there is government grading with respect to a considerable number of these products I am inclined to feel that his fear is groundless. With the dozens of different grades of cattle that exist it would be extremely expensive administratively to try to set a support price for each of those grades, and many people would be required to administer the scheme. You accomplish the same purpose by setting a support price at a certain level, we will say for good steers. The relationship that normally exists between different grades because of market conditions and other considerations would be maintained because the support price would tend to keep up the prices on other cattle.

Topic:   AGRICULTURE
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO PROVIDE GUARANTEED PRICES FOR CERTAIN COMMODITIES, ETC.
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