Hon. Jean-Luc Pepin (Minister of Industry, Trade and Commerce):
Mr. Speaker, I wish to make a statement regarding the final payments on barley and oats.
Producers delivered 27,538,577 bushels of oats and 81,592,536 bushels of barley to the Canadian Wheat Board in the 1967-68 crop year. The pool periods for oats and barley were closed on January 31 and February 14 respectively. The amounts of the final payments to be distributed are $4,800,024 for oats and $3,490,962 for barley. These are not payments by the government of Canada, but represent the net returns of the Canadian Wheat Board in the marketing of western Canadian oats and barley for the 1967-68 crop year.
The board will begin mailing the final payment cheques for oats today, and immediately after the completion of the oats payment the final payment cheques for barley will be distributed.
The final payments are being made on a grade basis as prescribed in the Canadian Wheat Board Act. The average final payment
is 17.4 cents per bushel for oats and 4.3 cents per bushel for barley. While the level of these final payments is lower than the previous crop year, it should be noted that the initial payments for these grains were increased by 5 cents per bushel for oats and 10 cents per bushel for barley at the beginning of the 1967-68 crop year.
Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table the statement being issued today in Winnipeg by the Canadian Wheat Board regarding these final payments.
The 1967-68 wheat pool account was closed on February 28 and the necessary accounting is now being completed. I expect to be able to make an announcement in about two weeks as to the level of the final wheat payments, when the board will be in a position to commence mailing the final payment cheques for wheat.