Had the minister started his description from the 1950's he would probably have found a great similarity between the program in force at that time and the present program taking into consideration that the earlier program was designed to take care of surpluses rather than shortages. The simple
fact is that the senior officials of his department are exactly the same people now as then, and the surprising thing is that the minister tonight admitted he is not making the policy, that it is his officials who are making it.
There has really been no change in policy at all, and it is not hard to understand why fluid milk shippers are not being supported. Can the minister explain why for the first time last year surplus manufactured milk coming out of fluid milk was covered by subsidy, but it has now been placed back under the old system? Members should note that the minister has not taken control of his department, that policy is not being designed by him but by the senior officials who are doing now exactly what they have done for many years.
The time may have arrived to take a further decision, which must be a political one, to arrange for the pooling of all milk so that it may all be brought under one control with no difference in respect to fluid milk and manufacturing milk. This is a decision which the minister will have to take, not his officials.
It was interesting that in the figures the minister gave us he mentioned that the domestic price for spray powdered skim milk was 25 cents a pound in 1957-58. Now the price in the support program is 20 cents.
Subtopic: SITTING SUSPENDED