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


Charles Edward Johnston

Social Credit

Mr. Johnston (Bow River):

I should like to say something along the same line before the minister answers. I understood the minister to say a few moments ago when replying to the right hon. member for Melville that the purpose of the advisory committee was to advise the government on agricultural problems generally. I think probably the intention is that the advisory committee shall be free at any time to give the minister such advice as they think he should receive but having in mind the way the clause is worded I am inclined to disagree with the minister because he is limiting the functions of the committee. If the clause is carried as it stands the committee will only be permitted to advise the minister on such subjects as are referred to it by the minister or the board. For instance, if the advisory committee decided that woodpulp should come under the legislation and was of the opinion after consulting people in different parts of the country that woodpulp should be given consideration, the advisory committee could not so advise the minister or the board because that subject had not been referred to them first by the minister or the board.
It seems to me the minister is defeating the very purpose he has indicated as the reason for setting up the committee and I believe some consideration should be given by the minister to making a change. I do not have an amendment prepared, but it seems to me it is quite clear that the committee can only make recommendations to the minister of the board on subjects specifically referred to it by the minister or the board. It is just not the case under the wording of the clause that the committee has freedom to make recommendations or discuss matters with the minister as the members of the committee see fit. I suggest that the minister give consideration to changing the wording of the clause so as to give the committee the power to do those things which he said a moment ago it could do.

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