April 26, 1967 (27th Parliament, 1st Session)


Gilles Grégoire


Mr. Gregoire:

That is right. It might be a good thing but when the hon. member wanted to speak, I let him speak. If he has no farmer in his riding, we have some.
Mr. Chairman, I believe that the question is very simple. Some comparison might be drawn. When it is said that the government subsidizes gold-gold is the subject of subsidies-we know that an ounce of gold, once taken out of the ground, costs about $70 or $72. However, the selling price is $35. Who pays for the difference? The government, at the rate of $35 per ounce. Figure this price per hundredweight. The result is $56,000. Imagine, $56,000 in subsidies from the government for some hundredweight of gold. And the farmer asks a subsidy of $1.25 per hundredweight. Well, this is too much. As concerns gold, my friends, you take it and bury it in vaults, in a hole in the United States. On that score, you will supply $56,000 in subsidies. Are you serious? Is this your policy? And after that, you dare ask us where the money will come from? Did the government ask where to find the money to apply subsidies to gold? No, not at all. You did not even say a word for anybody, you fell silent and you paid subsidies so that you might go to the United States to bury gold in caves and in holes. If only you had helped one of these dairy farmers, but nothing is done. I hear the member for Sherbrooke (Mr. Allard) say that it is discouraging. True: it is discouraging, and I agree with him. It is discouraging, Mr. Chairman, to see how our governments can respond. The Minister of Agriculture raises his arms and says: "The dairy farmers belong to a class of our society which is not treated justly."
A solution is given to him: stop buying bombs and help farmers. No, nobody wants to follow the suggestion. I have the solution. There is no question of taxation. And if necessary, let us vote here to see what you will choose: bombs or farmers. Well, it is up to you to make your choice. I will tell you a fact: farmers are human beings; bombs are engines for the destruction of other human beings. The choice is there.
I think that these few remarks should convince the Liberals. I will agree with them that the price of milk per hundred pounds has increased; I will agree with them that the subsidies have increased; I will admit all that. They admit it. So much the better. The minister has admitted that farmers are not fairly
April 26, 1967

treated today. Economically, it is the most ill-treated class in Canada, the most pitiful social class in Canada. Now that all that is admitted, now that praise has been cast your way because you accomplished something, now, you will ask us for a solution. I will give you one: let us vote supply not only those for agriculture but also those for national defence.
Refuse to pass item 15 on page 318, refuse to pass vote $26,086,000 for bombs. That is all I ask of you. Refuse to pass that and tell the minister to put that in for dairy production, at the service of dairy producers and your problem will be solved. I trust that consideration will be given to this and that the members will take the necessary steps to change the credits so that bombs will not be bought which will never be used, but that instead the most unjustly treated class of society will be helped.
The Liberals tell us that they bring their pressure to bear in caucus, well-

Full View