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


Edward George McCullough

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. McCullough:

I am afraid I must disagree with what the Minister of Agriculture has just said on this point, namely that if support prices are placed on the top grades of the various farm commodities you then have some real assurance that the other grades will remain somewhere in line so far as price is concerned. I must take exception to that, because I have recently received quite a number of letters from people in my constituency who say just the opposite.
I refer particularly to the grading of eggs. Those of us who have been interested in this matter over the years on behalf of the farmers have found that when you have a support price for grade A large eggs of 38 cents, that support price is not carried through to the other grades. The argument made to me by farmers who deliver eggs is that if a reasonable number of the top grades of eggs and other farm products were supported in a relative way, then we would get away from some of our farm products being undergraded and therefore underpriced.
I think I can say with a good deal of assurance, so far as cattle going to the stockyards are concerned, that if there was a support price under good steers, if the minister wanted to take the second grade, then I am sure he would find that a large number of the steers would at times be graded either as stockers or as feeders. Therefore I think the point raised by the hon. member who just spoke is a good one, and I would ask the minister to give consideration to it; because the farmers have not been satisfied with just having a support price under the top grade.

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