Mr. Speaker, I should like to point out to you that during the depression, the sun spots were in the heads of the economists and that, at the present time, there are problems out West which are comparable to the false sun spots of the depression.
Now, we have come to grips with a similar problem. First of all, let us speak of the economists. The Minister of Agriculture should not trust economists too much, for the last report of the Economic Council of Canada recommends to increase production. On the other hand, the Minister of Finance (Mr. Benson) tells us: Tighten up your belts and increase production. There is a contradiction in that. This is the illogical consequence of an absurb economic system, and it explains why, today, we are faced with a transportation problem out West and why tomorrow, another problem will come up in the Mari-times.
We are also grappling with a wheat problem in the province of Quebec. Indeed, our farmers cannot buy Canadian wheat at the same price as the Chinese Communists; when our wheat sold for $1.50 a bushel in the province of Quebec, it was about twice what they paid. These are not stories but facts that are born out by the figures of the Department of Trade and Commerce. We are now grappling with the problem of the export of wheat
January 22, 1969
which is perhaps not directly our problem in Quebec but in which we are interested as Canadians.
It is the same problem that exists now in western Canada and that is reflected in other segments of the economy because there is no planning by the federal government.
First, they do not plan their financing. Consequently, they are now grappling with a given problem and to-morrow there will be another one. Instead of solving our problems, we make enquiries and we create royal commissions. Big deal. Instead of trying to solve the problem tonight, why not form a royal commission and study still another year, because that is the solution which the Liberals have been putting forward for many years.
How is it that tonight the Minister of Agriculture announced-I believe I was absent from the house at the time-that the C.P.R. had issued orders to make available in the port of Vancouver all the cars required to meet the needs of the present crisis?
Why did the C.P.R. not do it a few weeks ago? Why is it possible today when it was not at that time?
Tomorrow, hundreds of cars will stand on the sidings in the port of Vancouver, but how much will it cost us for the cars that will thus stand idle for whole days? Might it be that the C.P.R. wants to replenish its coffers or that its shareholders stand to make greater profits?
For weeks and weeks we needed them, and there were none, but now we have them all together at the same time!
Such are the questions that could be directed to the Minister of Agriculture and which deserve an answer. Those questions are of concern to all Canadians. Why? Because we are facing a financial problem and tonight, it is a transportation problem.
It is just the same in the field of economics: a transport problem, an economic bottleneck, a bottleneck affecting the means of transport in Vancouver. The minister will no doubt explain it, by putting the blame on the weather, just as the socialist technocrats, several years ago, explained to the whole world how they had lost their crops on the farms of Ukraine by blaming it on the snow, the frost and on permits which arrived too late.
In the present case, things were not planned in good time and this vindicates the Credi-tistes who want to decentralize production. The Minister of Industry and Trade and 29180-298
Commerce is grinning; he has listened to nobody but the technocrats and now he is confronted with the situation which arose here tonight. He should seek the advice of experienced entrepreneurs, of successful businessmen, rather than of technocrats who try to explain away their carelessness by speaking of the weather or some such nonsense.
[DOT] (1:50 a.m.)