Mr. J. H. Horner (Crowfooi):
Mr. Speaker, in rising to speak on the statement made by the minister my first reaction is one of pleasure on seeing hard earned cash going out to the farmers in western Canada. I will point out immediately that this money is the farmers' money being paid to them from the final sales of 27 million bushels of oats and 81 million bushels of barley. It is regrettable that the grain which sold the largest number of bushels should be the one bringing in the lowest payment-4.3 cents a bushel for the barley. The 17.4 cents on oats is a better payment but the total amount involved is small.
[DOT] (2:10 p.m.)
The recent report of the task force suggests we should be growing and marketing more barley and feed grain. I would only point out that there are 200 million bushels of barley still in storage. How can we justify taking nine million acres out of wheat this year and seeding them to barley and feed grains, when we have such a backlog in storage? Moreover, low final payments such as these will not encourage farmers to do as requested of them in the recent task force report.
So while initially we react with pleasure to see hard-earned cash being paid out to the
March 13, 1969
Movement of Grain
farmers of western Canada at a time of particular need, we see little hope of the suggestions of the task force being carried out, especially having regard to the low payment on barley.